Hawkwood, John de (DNB00)

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HAWKWOOD, Sir JOHN de (d. 1394), general, second son of Gilbert de Hawkwood of Hedingham Sibil, Hinckford, Essex, a tanner, was born in that place early in the fourteenth century. Gilbert de Hawkwood was a man of substance and gentle blood, the family having held land at Hedingham Sibil since the reign of John. The tradition that Hawkwood began life as a tailor in London probably originated in Italy, and from a corruption of his name, which Matteo Villani spells Gianni della Guglia (John of the Needle). He is also said to have been impressed for the French wars, and to have served as an archer in the army of Edward III.

In 1359 Hawkwood was in Gascony in command of a troop of free-lances, who maintained themselves by pillage, and in the summer of that year took Pau by storm, robbing the clergy, and letting the laity alone. From Pau Hawkwood led his men towards Italy, hoping to escape the plague which was then desolating France, and in the autumn of 1360 joined his forces to those of another company of freebooters, which, under Bernard de la Salle, was advancing from the north with the same object. On 28 Dec. they took Pont l'Esprit, thirty miles north of Avignon, then the seat of the papacy, and after levying a substantial contribution from Pope Innocent VI (reckoned by Froissart at sixty thousand francs, of which Hawkwood received a sixth; and by Matteo Villani at one hundred thousand florins of gold), proceeded on their way to Italy, and entered the service of John Paleologus, marquis of Monferrato. Hawkwood tarried for a little in order to take part in the battle of Brignais, where the English defeated the French under Jacques de Bourbon on 6 April 1362, and then followed his comrades into Italy. The Marquis of Monferrato was at war with the Visconti of Milan, and employed his new auxiliaries, who numbered between five and six thousand, in ravaging Lombardy. They went by the name of the White Company, probably by reason of the splendour of their equipment.

The White Company soon numbered a thousand lances—they introduced into Italy the practice of counting cavalry by lances—and two thousand infantry. Each lance consisted of knight, squire, and page, the last mounted on a palfrey. Knight and squire rode powerful chargers, the one sheathed in iron and steel from head to foot, the other less heavily armed. Their principal weapon was a long and heavy lance, requiring two men to wield, but they also carried heavy swords and daggers, and bows slung across their backs. They fought both on horseback and on foot, but used their lances only on foot, waiting in square or circular formation to receive the enemy upon the points of their lances, or advancing slowly and with fierce shouts against them. The infantry were armed with the long bow of yew, one end of which they stuck into the ground before drawing it. They also carried swords, daggers, and small and light ladders, by superposing which one upon another they were able to scale the highest towers in the country. Horse and foot alike were in the prime of life, inured to every kind of hardship in the French wars, and admirably disciplined. Five lances composed a company, five companies a troop, and every ten lances had usually a separate officer. For their raiding expeditions the White Company usually chose the night, when they would burst like a deluge upon a town, massacre the men, violate the women, carry off whatever was valuable and portable, and set fire to what they left behind. At other times they would content themselves with levying contributions.

Before advancing into the Milanese they made a raid into Piedmont, where they took seven castles, surprised the Count of Savoy and his principal barons, and held them to ransom for 180,000 florins. They then passed into Lombardy, and carried havoc on both sides of the Po, from Novara to Pavia and Tortona. On 22 April 1363 they signally defeated near Romagnano a company of Hungarians led by Count Conrad Landau of Suabia, on whom the Visconti mainly relied for the defence of their dominions. Landau died of his wounds, and the Visconti made peace ({{sc|Higden}, Rolls Ser., viii. 371; Gent. Mag. 1788, pt. ii. p. 1061; Matteo Villani, lib. ix. chap. xxxvii. lib. x. chaps. xxvii–xciv.; Froissart, Suite du Livre Premier, chaps. mlxv. mlxvi. livre second, chap. li.) In July the company passed into the service of the republic of Pisa, then at war with Florence, their pay being fixed at ten thousand florins of gold per month. They took the field at once, and marched on Florence, but failing to entice the Florentines into the open, shot into the town some arrows bearing the words ‘This Pisa sends you,’ struck some coins bearing the arms of Pisa above those of Florence, and retreated to Pisa. Returning in the autumn they took Figline, defeated the Florentine general, Ranucio Farnese, at Incisa (13 Oct.), and advancing on Florence burned the suburb of San Niccolò (22 Oct.), after which they retreated to Figline. In December Hawkwood was appointed to the command in chief at Pisa; in the following month the pay of the company was raised to twenty-five thousand florins of gold per month. In March the republic of Pisa hired a German company of three thousand horse, led by one Hans von Bongard (Anichino di Bongarden), who was also placed under Hawkwood's orders.

Hawkwood marched with his full strength, on 13 April 1364, into the plain of Pistoia; thence by Prato to Fiesole, which he sacked, and occupied Montughi. On 1 May he advanced on Florence. After several engagements, in which the Pisan force lost more than two thousand in killed and wounded, Hawkwood failed to enter Florence and withdrew to Incisa, where he found himself deserted by Hans von Bongard and all but eight hundred of the White Company, seduced by Florentine gold. With the remnant he retreated to Pisa. A Florentine army, four thousand strong, under Galeotto Malatesta, now invaded Pisan territory, burned Livorno, and at Cascina, within six miles of Pisa, formed, on 28 July, a camp defended by strong palisades. With the small force at his disposal Hawkwood's only chance of saving Pisa lay in carrying this camp by a coup de main; but, although he effected a breach, he was overpowered by numbers, and was compelled to retire with heavy loss. This defeat was followed by a revolution in Pisa, Giovanni dell' Agnello, a wealthy merchant, contriving with the help of Hawkwood to get himself elected doge of the city (28 Aug.). His first act was to make peace, which he purchased at the price of an annual tribute of ten thousand florins of gold for ten years.

In the following November Hawkwood, resuming his old profession of free-lance, invaded the Perugino. Perugia engaged Hans von Bongard to defend it, but the two companies being equally matched swore eternal friendship to each other and to the commune of Perugia, and dined together at its expense. Hawkwood remained at Perugia until the end of the month, and then marched into Lombardy. He reappeared at Perugia in July 1365. Attacked by Hans von Bongard he fought a pitched battle with him, and was defeated with great loss on the 25th. He made good his retreat into the Sienese; thence into the Maremma, closely followed by the German commander, and eventually took refuge in Genoa. He subsequently joined his forces to those of the Italian company of St. George, commanded by Ambrogio, one of the illegitimate sons of Bernabò Visconti, and the German company of Count John of Hapsburg, in concert with whom he ravaged the country between Genoa and Siena during the autumn of 1365 and the spring of the next year, when he parted company with them, and advanced into the Perugino. There he remained supporting himself by pillage, and levying contributions until the spring of 1367, when he returned to Pisa. At this time Pope Urban V was expected to touch at Livorno on his way from Avignon to Viterbo, and Giovanni dell' Agnello came thither from Pisa, escorted by Hawkwood and a large bodyguard, to receive him. The pope was so impressed by the formidable appearance of the English knights that he would not land.

The approaching marriage of Lionel, duke of Clarence, with Violante, daughter of Galeazzo Visconti, drew Hawkwood to Milan in the summer of 1368. Shortly after the ceremony (5 June) he, with four thousand men, entered the service of Bernabò Visconti. In 1369 there was an outbreak of hostilities between Perugia and the pope. Perugia appealed to Bernabò Visconti, who placed Hawkwood and his lances at the disposal of the republic. While marching to Perugia in June, Hawkwood was surprised by the pope's German mercenaries near Arezzo, defeated, and taken prisoner. He was at once ransomed by the Pisan republic, and, collecting his scattered forces, marched to Montefiascone, where the pope then was. The pope fled to Viterbo. Hawkwood pursued, burned the vineyards in the neighbourhood of the town, and retreated into the Pisano. About the same time Bernabò Visconti induced San Miniato to revolt from Florence, and placed a garrison in the town. Florence sent an army of four thousand men under Giovanni Malatacca of Reggio to reduce the place. On his way Malatacca was defeated at Cascina on 1 Dec. by Hawkwood, who had with him two thousand horse, mostly German, but only five hundred men on whom he could absolutely rely. But Hawkwood was too weak to relieve San Miniato. In May 1370 he returned with reinforcements to the Pisano, accompanied by Giovanni dell' Agnello, who had been expelled from Pisa in 1368, and whom the Visconti were determined to restore. On 20 May Hawkwood failed to carry Pisa by escalade, and after sacking Livorno, and ravaging the Maremma, retreated into the Parmigiano. Meanwhile both Bologna and Reggio had joined the enemies of the Visconti. The latter place Hawkwood invested towards the end of July; but the Florentines sent an army to its relief, which defeated Hawkwood (20 Aug.). The defeat was to some extent retrieved by the capture in September of the commander-in-chief of the Florentine army in ambuscade near Mirandola. Negotiations for peace, which were already pending, were thus accelerated, and a treaty was concluded on 16 Nov. 1370. On 2 June 1372 Hawkwood engaged, under the walls of the castle of Rubiera, Count Lucius Landau, who was coming to the aid of the Marquis of Monferrato, then at war with Galeazzo Visconti. Though outnumbered by nearly two to one, Hawkwood defeated and took the count prisoner. He then invaded the marquisate of Monferrato, and laid siege to Asti. The Count of Savoy came to the help of the marquis, and the operations before the town were indecisive, owing, as Hawkwood alleged, to his plans being secretly thwarted by a council of war, whom he scornfully described as ‘escrivans.’ Accordingly in the autumn he suddenly threw up his command.

At the time Pope Gregory XI had declared war on the Visconti, and Hawkwood passed direct from their service into his. In November a papal army of thirteen hundred lances (five hundred under the command of Hawkwood) invaded the Piacentino, and surprised the castle of Borgo Nuovo. The Visconti in the following January sought to create a diversion by threatening Bologna, and Hawkwood was detached with eight hundred lances to protect the city. The Milanese forces, though numerically superior, retreated before him towards Reggio. He pursued, and virtually annihilated them on the Panaro between Modena and Bologna. He then, in conjunction with the Sieur de Coucy, led a force into the Milanese, and up the Chiese towards Brescia, in order to effect a junction with the Count of Savoy, who had crossed the Ticino in February with a considerable force. But this movement was frustrated by the ‘Count of Virtue,’ Gian Galeazzo, son of Galeazzo Visconti, by whom Hawkwood was defeated on 8 May at Montechiaro. Hawkwood, however, rallied his men at Gavardo, and, turning upon the pursuing Milanese, routed them with great slaughter, most of the principal officers being made prisoners. Hawkwood then retreated to Bologna, and a year's truce was arranged with the Visconti on 6 June 1374. The pope had proved a bad paymaster, and Hawkwood, after sending one of his officers, John Brise of Essex, to Avignon to press for a settlement, and obtaining nothing but vague promises and permission to take the matter into his own hands, marched into Tuscany to levy contributions. Having obtained money he retired into the Piacentino, where his company, now largely reinforced and styled the ‘holy company,’ was employed in garrisoning various castles and towns held by the church. In June 1375 he again marched into Tuscany, and in the course of the summer levied contributions from Florence, Pisa, Siena, Lucca, and Arezzo to the amount of about 220,000 florins of gold, 130,000 of which were furnished by Florence alone, Hawkwood and his principal officers at the same time binding themselves and the company not to molest Florence or her allies for the next five years, except in obedience to superior orders. On 12 July the republic granted Hawkwood an annual pension of twelve hundred florins of gold for life.

Hawkwood fixed his headquarters at Perugia, which rose in revolt against the pope (7 Dec.). Instead of suppressing the revolt Hawkwood seized the governor as hostage for arrears of pay, and occupied the castle of Castrocaro, to which the church subsequently added Bagnacavallo, Cotignola, and Conselice, all in Romagna, by way of further security. Meanwhile the revolt spread throughout the Bolognese and Romagna. In Bologna were some of Hawkwood's principal officers and his two sons. He accordingly marched upon the city, devastating the country as he went. The Bolognese thereupon imprisoned all the English in the town, including Hawkwood's boys, but delivered them up to Hawkwood in return for a truce of sixteen months (25 May). Leaving Faenza, which he had previously reduced, in charge of Alberto d'Este, marquis of Ferrara, Hawkwood betook himself to Cotignola, and spent the rest of the year there in enlarging and strengthening the fortifications. The fosse and strong bastioned walls with which he surrounded the town remained almost intact until the middle of the last century. Now all that is left is a single round tower, built as a look-out. Early in February 1377 he was summoned to Cesena, where the populace had risen against a Breton garrison, placed there by Robert of Geneva, cardinal of the church of the Twelve Apostles, and legate of Romagna, afterwards the antipope Clement VII. The cardinal's instructions were ‘Blood, blood, and justice.’ Hawkwood at first demurred, but led his men into the town on the night of 3 Feb., indulged in a general massacre, and looted the town.

Disgusted with this butcher's work, Hawkwood in May 1377 went over to the antipapal league, Bernabò Visconti giving him one of his illegitimate daughters, Donnina, in marriage. This, apparently, was Hawkwood's second marriage. It was celebrated at Milan with much pomp, feasting, and jousting. After spending the honeymoon at Cremona, Hawkwood returned to the Bolognese, where he passed the rest of the summer. Towards the end of August Hawkwood compelled Raimondo, a nephew of the pope, at the head of a force of Bretons, to raise the siege of Maremma and retreat into the Perugino, whence he drove him into the Sienese, and occupied San Quirico. There a deputation from Siena waited on him with rich gifts, and there he stayed for two months, receiving ambassadors, and attempting to mediate between the pope and the league. In December he marched to Florence, where he was received with distinction, although his peace proposals were not well entertained.

Early in March he escorted the papal ambassadors (the Cardinal of Amiens and the Archbishops of Pampeluna and Narbonne) to Sarzana, where Bernabò Visconti met them and opened the negotiations in form. They were interrupted by the death of Gregory XI (27 March), but the new pope, Urban VI, made peace on 24 July.

In April 1378 Bernabò Visconti sent Hawkwood and Count Lucius Landau with a force of English and Germans into the Veronese, to claim in right of his wife, Beatrice, the inheritance of her brother, Can Signore della Scala of Verona (d. 1371). They formed an intrenched camp under the walls of Verona, but were withdrawn on payment of four hundred thousand florins of gold, and promise of an annual tribute of forty thousand for six years.

At this time Francesco Carrara, marquis of Padua, was the head of a league which included the republic of Genoa and the king of Hungary, and was designed as a counterpoise to Venice. The Venetian senate accordingly made a handsome bid for Hawkwood's services, which he declined. Having collected reinforcements, Hawkwood and Landau re-entered the Veronese in August 1378, but encountering an Hungarian army under Stephen Laczsk, waiwode of Transylvania—a member of the anti-Venetian league—were driven back into the Bresciano, and so signally defeated that Bernabò Visconti concluded a truce of a month and a half. Hostilities were resumed in December. After a slow and difficult march, Hawkwood and Landau crossed the Adige, and advanced within six miles of Verona, but again recoiled before Laczsk, and only made good their retreat across the Adige with heavy loss. Bernabò Visconti thereupon stopped their pay. They indemnified themselves by pillaging the Bresciano and the Cremonese, and Bernabò put a price on their heads. They then crossed the Po, and marched into the Bolognese.

Meanwhile war was raging between Pope Urban and Robert of Geneva, who had been elected antipope as Clement VII in September 1378. Froissart's improbable statement that Hawkwood commanded for the pope at the defeat of the Breton forces of the antipope at Marino (28 April 1379) is uncorroborated.

Hawkwood separating from Landau retired to Bagnacavallo in July 1379. After he had rendered various services at a high price to Florence, which was menaced by Charles of Durazzo, nephew of Louis of Hungary, on his way to seize the crown of Naples, the Florentines in the spring of 1380 sent for him and five hundred lances, agreeing to pay them 130,000 florins of gold for six months' service, Hawkwood receiving an additional thousand florins as his personal salary. He zealously protected the city, and the engagement was thrice renewed for six months each time. In May 1382 he was appointed, jointly with Sir Nicholas Dagworth and Walter Skirlawe, dean of St. Martin's, English ambassador to the holy see. As he now contemplated a long term of service with the Florentine republic, he ceded in August his property of Bagnacavallo and Cotignola to the Marquis of Este for sixty thousand ducats of gold. In July 1382 the pope requested the Florentine government to place Hawkwood at the disposal of Charles of Durazzo, who was fighting against Louis of Anjou for the crown of Naples. This the government declined to do, but they allowed Hawkwood to go to Naples on his own account with two thousand horse (22 Oct.) The war languished, both armies suffering severely by the plague, and towards the end of 1383 Hawkwood returned to Tuscany. In June 1384 he occupied the castles of Montecchio, Migliari, and Badia al Pino in the Aretino. On 6 Feb. 1385 he was appointed, jointly with John Bacon, dean of St. Martin's, and Sir Nicholas Dagworth, English ambassador to the Neapolitan court, the republic of Florence, and other Italian states. In the following July he agreed to hold himself at the disposal of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the ‘Count of Virtue,’ saving prior engagements, with thirty lances, for which he was to receive three hundred florins a month, and a premium of a thousand florins on entering the service of the count. He was at this time heavily in debt, and appears to have been principally occupied in settling his private affairs.

In December 1386 Hawkwood entered the service of Francesco Carrara, marquis of Padua, then at war with Antonio della Scala of Verona. He brought with him only five hundred English horse and six hundred English archers, but was placed in command of the entire Paduan army. The enemy permitted him to cross the Adige at Castelbaldo in January 1387, and advance unopposed into the heart of the Veronese, but poisoned the wells, desolated the country, and intercepted his supplies, so that the Paduan army was sorely distressed by hunger and thirst, and Hawkwood retreated. At Castagnaro on 17 March he made a stand and defeated the enemy with great slaughter. Soon after this Hawkwood quitted the Paduan service, and re-entered that of Florence (September). In March 1388 he was commissioned by Richard II, who as Duke of Aquitaine was tempted to interfere in the affairs of Provence, to undertake the suppression of the Angevin faction in that country, but it does not appear that he took any steps in pursuance of the commission.

On 18 Dec. 1385 Hawkwood's father-in-law, Bernabò, was murdered by the ‘Count of Virtue,’ Gian Galeazzo Visconti, his nephew. In concert with Bernabò's son Carlo, Hawkwood assembled in August 1388 at Cortona a band of about four thousand adventurers, and sought permission from the Florentine government to lead them against the murderer. This being refused, Hawkwood and Carlo Visconti entered the service of Queen Margaret, widow of Charles of Durazzo, then at Gaeta. Naples, with the exception of the castle of Capuana, was in the hands of the Angevin faction, and Hawkwood's attempt to relieve the castle of Capuana failed (12 April 1389). Retreating into Tuscany, Hawkwood joined his forces to those of Count Conrad Landau, and spent the summer in ravaging the Sienese. In October he returned to Queen Margaret at Gaeta.

In March 1390 Hawkwood was recalled to Florence, where it had been at length decided to take energetic action against the ‘Count of Virtue.’ He arrived in Florence on 30 April, and was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces of the republic, with absolute discretion as to the measures to be adopted for the security of the city. He ordered a large ditch to be dug between Montopoli and the Arno for the defence of the lower Val d'Arno. He averted an attack on Bologna, threatened by the Milanese general Jacopo dal Verme, at the head of a large army (14 May), and finally drove him from the neighbourhood with considerable loss on 21 June. Hawkwood returned to Florence. Soon afterwards the Florentine government hired Jean, comte d'Armagnac, to invade the Milanese from the side of Provence. With the view of effecting a junction with him, Hawkwood crossed the Adige at Castelbaldo on 15 May, in command of 2,200 lances and a large body of infantry, including twelve hundred crossbowmen, and thence marched into the Bergamasco. There in the district between the Adda and the Oglio Hawkwood waited for tidings of D'Armagnac, entrenching himself about the middle of June in the neighbourhood of Pandino, ten miles to the south-east of Milan. Of D'Armagnac's movements he could learn nothing, but Jacopo dal Verme, with a Milanese army numerically superior, hovered about his camp, cut off his supplies, and harassed him by incessant attacks while avoiding a pitched battle. Towards the end of the month Hawkwood broke up his camp and began a retreat, which the Florentine historian, Poggio Bracciolini, compares to the most brilliant achievements of the ancient Romans, but of which contemporary authorities give no consistent account. It seems, however, that, retreating towards Cremona, Hawkwood halted at Paterno Fasolaro, where he lay for four days, permitting the enemy to come close up to his line. He thus succeeded in exciting in them so false a confidence that Dal Verme sent him a trap with a live fox in it, by way of signifying that he had him in the toils. Hawkwood, however, released the animal, and sent the empty trap back to Dal Verme, with the message that the fox had escaped. On the fifth day he made a sudden sortie, in which he placed 2,700 of the enemy hors de combat in killed, wounded, and prisoners. He thus cleared his way to the Oglio and Mincio, both of which, though harassed by the enemy, he crossed without mishap. The passage of the Adige presented greater difficulty. As Hawkwood approached Castagnaro he found that the dikes had been broken down, the country turned into a vast lake, and the enemy were pressing on his rear. Accordingly on the night of 11 July Hawkwood mounted as many of his infantry as possible behind his cavalry, and abandoning the rest to their fate took to the water, and guiding his men by devious tracks where it was shallowest, arrived at Castelbaldo in the morning with considerable loss, but with the bulk of the army intact. On 25 July Jacopo dal Verme signally defeated D'Armagnac under the walls of Alessandria; in the following month he invaded Tuscany. Hawkwood, however, was there before him; impeded his advance by incessant attacks, and offered battle at Tizzana in September. Dal Verme retreated towards Lucca. Hawkwood pursued, and during the night of the 23rd cut off his rearguard. In the following month he drove him into Liguria. Florence was thus enabled to make peace early in 1392 on honourable terms.

During the rest of his life Hawkwood resided chiefly at Florence, where he had a house called Polverosa in the suburb San Donato di Torre. There he died after a short illness on the night of 16–17 March 1394. On the 20th the republic gave him a magnificent funeral in the Duomo. An elegy on the occasion by an anonymous poet, which minutely describes the obsequies, was long a favourite with the populace (see Archivio Storico Italiano, 4ta serie, xvii. 172–7). The tomb was on the north side of the choir. An elaborate marble monument had been designed while Hawkwood was alive, and the design was painted in fresco on the wall above the tomb by Taddeo Gaddi and Giuliano d'Arrigo. This design, which was never carried out, was in 1436 replaced by a fresco in terra-verde by Paolo Uccello, representing Hawkwood on an ambling charger in complete armour, except that for the helmet was substituted a light cap or berrettone, a short cloak depending from his shoulders, and the bâton of a general in his right hand. The painting was transferred to canvas about 1845, and placed at the west end of the church. The figure is that of a man above the middle height, broad-shouldered and deep-chested. The features are regular and handsome, and the mouth, chin, and cheeks clean-shaven. According to Paolo Giovio (Elogia Virorum bellica virtute illustrium), a doubtful authority, Hawkwood's complexion was ruddy, and his hair and eyes chestnut-coloured. These traits do not appear in the picture. The engraving published by Giovio, and reproduced in Wright's ‘Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica,’ vol. vi., is not authentic.

Hawkwood is mentioned by Stow (Annals, ed. 1615, p. 335) as one of the founders of the English Hospital at Rome in 1380. During his later life he was much troubled by pecuniary embarrassment. In April 1391, however, the Florentine government raised his pension to the sum of 3,200 florins of gold, settled a jointure on his wife of one thousand florins of gold per annum, voted a marriage portion of two thousand florins of gold for each of his three daughters by his second wife, and conferred on himself and his issue male the freedom of the city, saving only capacity to hold office. Some estates at Naples, Capua, and Aversa, which he had acquired while in the Neapolitan service, he parted with in 1387. Besides the house at San Donato di Torre, he had an estate called La Rochetta at Poggibonzi, with villas and grounds at San Lorenzo a Campi. These he appears to have sold before his death, with the intention of returning to England, reserving only the right of occupying the house in San Donato di Torre until his departure. He had also contracted to sell the castles which, as already mentioned, belonged to him in the Aretino to the Florentine republic for six thousand florins of gold, giving up at the same time his pension, his wife's jointure, and the marriage portion of his third daughter. The contract was carried out by his widow.

Neither the date nor the fact of Hawkwood's first marriage has been established. Before his marriage with Bernabò Visconti's natural daughter, Donnina, Hawkwood had, besides two sons, a daughter, Antiocha, or Mary, who resided in 1379 at Milan with her husband, Sir William de Coggeshall, afterwards of Codham Hall, Essex (for the descendants of this union see Notes and Queries, 7th ser. x. 101–2). Corio (Storia di Milano, ed. 1856, ii. 277) mentions another daughter, Fiorentina, married to a Milanese noble, Lancellotto del Mayno, and a third daughter, Beatrice, appears in Berry's ‘County Genealogies, Sussex,’ p. 62, as the wife of John Shelley, M.P. for Rye between 1415 and 1423, an ancestor of the poet Shelley. By Donnina Hawkwood had one son, John, and three daughters, viz. Janet, Catherine, and Anne. The first daughter married, on 7 Sept. 1392, Brezaglia, son of Count Lodovico di Porciglia, commander of the Bolognese forces, podestà of Ferrara, and for a brief period after Hawkwood's death commander of the Florentine forces. The second married, in January 1393, Conrad Prospergh, a German condottiero, who had served under Hawkwood. The third married after her father's death Ambrogiuolo di Piero della Torre of Milan. In 1395 the republic, at the special request of Richard II, granted Lady Hawkwood the right of transferring her husband's body to England. Whether she did so, or what was her subsequent history, is not clear; but her son John came home, was naturalised in 1407, and settled on the ancestral estate of Hedingham Sibil, in the church of which parish a cenotaph, a fragment of which still exists, had already been placed to Hawkwood's memory, and a chantry founded by some friends, and where in all likelihood his bones were laid to rest (Morant, Essex, ii. 262, 287, 291, 373; Visitation of Essex, Harl. Soc. i. 38; Wotton, Baronetage, vol. iii. pt. ii. p. 511; Weever, Ancient Funerall Monuments, p. 623). Hawkwood was, in Hallam's words (Middle Ages, i. 501), ‘the first real general of modern times.’ The genius for organisation which enabled him to convert a band of freebooters into something like a regular army, his rude but effective strategy, his energy and resource distinguish him from all his mediæval predecessors. He was recognised by his contemporaries as not only the ablest and most intrepid, but also the most trustworthy of condottieri. His fidelity, however, was by no means above suspicion, but to the Florentine government he was uniformly faithful. That he was not without humour is shown by an anecdote narrated by Sacchetti (Novelle, clxxxi.) Two mendicant friars presented themselves at Montecchio, and greeted Hawkwood, with the customary ‘God give you peace,’ to which he curtly replied, ‘God take from you your alms.’ The friars disclaimed all offence; Hawkwood rejoined, ‘How, when you come to me and pray that God would make me die of hunger? Do you not know that I live by war and that peace would undo me?’

Hawkwood's name figures in Froissart as Haccoude, in the Italian chronicles usually as Acuto, Aguto, or Aucud, with other variations too numerous to instance. In official documents he is commonly addressed as ‘Magnificus et Potens Miles’ or ‘Dominus Johannes Haucud.’ He himself spelt his name indifferently Haucud, Haucwod, Haukcwod, and Haukutd. That he held the rank of knight there is no doubt, but it is uncertain when or where he won his spurs.

[The principal authorities are the contemporary, or nearly contemporary, chronicles in Muratori's Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, with the supplement by Tartinius and Manni, cited as R. I. S. and R. I. S. Suppl.; the Archivio Storico Italiano, cited as A. S. I., vol. vi. pt. ii. and vol. xvi. pt. i.; the Chronicles of Marchionne di Coppo Stefani in the Delizie degli Eruditi Toscani, Donato Velluti, Goro Dati, San Antonino and Leonardo Bruno, commonly called Leonardo Aretino; the Documenti Diplomatici Milanesi, edited by Osio; the Calendar of Venetian State Papers, edited by Rawdon Brown, vol. i.; the Letters of St. Catherine of Siena, Salutato and Vergerio (R. I. S. vol. xvi.), and a variety of original documents, chiefly from the archives of Italian cities, printed for the first time in Temple-Leader and Marcotti's Giovanni Acuto, Florence, 1889 (English translation by Leader Scott, London, 1889). Secondary authorities are the histories of Florence by Buoninsegni, Ammirato, and Poggio Bracciolini (R. I. S. vol. xx.); of Milan by Corio; of Pisa by Roncioni (A. S. I. vol. vi. pt. i.); of Perugia by Pellini; of Bologna by Ghirardacci, and the Annales Ecclesiastici of Raynaldus. Ricotti's Storia delle Compagnie di Ventura in Italia, Gregorovius' Rom im Mittelalter, and Sismondi's Histoire des Républiques Italiennes du Moyen Age, illustrate the part played by Hawkwood in the military and political history of Italy. Of Lives the most important are the following: (1) that by Manni in R. I. S. Suppl. ii.; (2) a somewhat fuller but very inaccurate account contributed by Gough to the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, vol. vi.; (3) a clear and good sketch by J. G. Alger in the Register and Magazine of Biography, vol. i.; and (4) the elaborate work by Temple-Leader and Marcotti above mentioned, which, though marred by diffuseness of style and strange inaccuracy in the citation of authorities, is the only approximately complete account of the great condottiero that has yet appeared. See also Black's Catalogue of Ashmolean MSS. No. 823; Addit. MS. 6395; and Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. App. 322 b, and 7th Rep. App. 247.]

J. M. R.