Hawkesworth, Walter (DNB00)

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HAWKESWORTH, WALTER (d. 1606), dramatist, was the second son of Walter Hawkesworth of Hawkesworth, Yorkshire, by his wife Isabel, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Colthurst of Edisforth in the same county. He was matriculated as a pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, on 30 March 1588, was elected a scholar in 1589 (B.A. in 1591–2, and M.A. 1595), admitted a minor fellow in October 1593, and a major fellow in April 1595. As a writer and actor of comedies he gained considerable reputation. At the bachelors' commencement of 1602–3 the Latin comedy of ‘Leander,’ of which he was probably the author, was acted at Trinity College for the second time, and another comedy entitled ‘Pedantius’ is said to have been written by him, and to have been then first produced. He represented the principal characters in both these dramas. (His alleged ‘Pedantius’ must be distinguished from the Latin comedy of the name produced at Trinity in February 1580–1, and possibly penned by Edward Forsett [q. v.]). About Michaelmas 1605 Hawkesworth resigned his fellowship. Then he accompanied Sir Charles Cornwallis [q. v.] on his embassy to Spain as secretary, and was soon sent back to England on a special mission by Cornwallis, who wrote to Salisbury that Hawkesworth left him ‘with a body weak, and a mind not very strong.’ In March 1605–6 he returned to Spain, with instructions from the council. He died of the plague at Sir Charles Cornwallis's house in Madrid in October 1606. He was unmarried.

He is the author of: 1. ‘Labyrinthus: Comœdia habita coram Sereniss. Rege Jacobo in Academia Cantabrigiensi,’ 12mo, London, 1636. A manuscript copy is in the library of the university of Cambridge, MS. Ee. 5, 16(3). The representation before the king is supposed to have taken place on his third visit to Cambridge in March 1622–3. 2. A letter to Sir Robert Cotton, in Cotton. MS. Julius, C. iii. 24. 3. Latin verses (signed G. H. C. T.) in the collection on the death of Sir Edward Lewkenor and Susan his wife, 1606.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 441–2; will, dated 5 Oct. 1606, proved on 30 Nov. 1606, P. C. C. 81, Stafforde.]

G. G.