Hawles, John (DNB00)

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HAWLES, Sir JOHN (1645–1716), lawyer, second son of Thomas Hawles of Moanton in Wiltshire, by Elizabeth Antrobus of Hampshire, was born in the Close at Salisbury in 1645. His father, whose name is sometimes spelled Hollis, belonged to the family of Hawles of Upwimborne, Dorsetshire, and was probably the second son of Edmond Hawles of that place. During the civil war he was leader of the band known as the ‘club men’ in Salisbury, who took the side of the parliament. John Hawles was educated at Winchester, and in 1662 entered at Queen's College, Oxford, but left the university without taking a degree. He entered at Lincoln's Inn, was called to the bar, and soon rose to great eminence in his profession. ‘Upon the turn of affairs made by the Prince of Orange,’ says Wood, ‘he became a great Williamite.’ On 25 March 1689 he was returned to the House of Commons as M.P. for Old Sarum. But in 1691 he was not able to secure the recordership of London in competition with Sir Bartholomew Showers [q. v.] On 1 July 1695 Hawles was appointed solicitor-general in succession to Sir Thomas Trevor. In October of the same year he was returned for the borough of Wilton in Wiltshire, and in 1695 was knighted. When a fresh parliament was summoned in 1698, Hawles sat for St. Michael in Cornwall, and was also returned for Beeralston in Devonshire. In the parliament of 1700–1 he represented Truro, and for the short session of 1702 was member for St. Ives in Cornwall. In 1702 he ceased to be solicitor-general, but continued to sit in parliament for Wilton until 1705, and from that year until 1710 for Stockbridge in Hampshire. As a prominent whig lawyer he was appointed one of the managers of the impeachment of Sacheverell in 1710. He resided for some years on the family estate at Upwimborne, and died on 2 Aug. 1716. Hawles wrote: 1. ‘Remarks upon the Tryals of E. Fitzharris, S. College, Count Koningsmark, the Lord Russel, … &c.,’ London, 1689, fol. 2. ‘A Reply to a Sheet of Paper entitled The Magistracy and Government of England vindicated: or a justification of the English Method of proceedings against Criminals, by way of Answer to the Defence of the late Lord Russel's innocence,’ &c., London, 1689, fol. 3. ‘The Englishman's Right; a Dialogue between a Barrister-at-Law and a Juryman; plainly setting forth, I. The Antiquity; II. The excellent designed use; III. The Office and just privileges of Juries …’ &c., London, 1763, 8vo. Other editions 1764, 1771, 1793, Philadelphia, 1798, and later both in England and America.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, iv. 528; Visitation of Dorset (Harl. Soc. Publ.), viii. 53; Hutchins's Dorset, iii. 389; Le Neve's Pedigree of Knights, p. 450; Hoare's Modern Wiltshire, vi. 402; Return of Members of Parliament, passim; Cooper's Biog. Dict.; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

W. A. J. A.