Hawley, Joseph Henry (DNB00)

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HAWLEY, Sir JOSEPH HENRY (1813–1875), patron of the turf, eldest son of Sir Henry Hawley, the second baronet, who died 29 March 1831, by Catherine Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Gregory Shaw, bart., was born in Harley Street, London, 27 Oct. 1813. On 31 Aug. 1832 he became a cornet in the 9th lancers, and on 28 June in the following year a lieutenant. He left the service on 11 April 1834, and devoted himself to yachting. In his schooner the Mischief he visited Greece, Sicily, Morocco, and then took up his abode in Italy. While at Florence he imported some horses from England, and in conjunction with J. M. Stanley ran them at most of the meetings in Italy with varied success, his chief opponent being Prince Poniatowski. On his return to England the confederacy was renewed, and in 1844 his famous ‘cherry and black cap’ was registered in the ‘Calendar.’ In the same year he served as sheriff for the county of Kent. Little success attended his turf career until in 1847 Sim Templeman won the Oaks for him on Miami. At this time he purchased Mendicant for three thousand guineas from John Gully, and in 1858 won 100,000l. when her son Beadsman gained the Derby Stakes. The Derby of 1851 was won by Teddington running in Hawley's name, although really the property of his friend Stanley. Hawley was already known as the ‘lucky baronet,’ but failed to win the St. Leger in 1851, although his filly Aphrodite, winner of the One Thousand Guineas, was the favourite. In 1858 he won the Two Thousand with FitzRoland as well as the Derby with Beadsman. In 1859 Hawley again won the Derby, with Musjid, and again in 1868 with Bluegown, when some of his opponents were almost ruined by their losses. Wells, the winning jockey on Musjid and Bluegown, had already won the same race on Beadsman. In March 1870 Hawley sold Bluegown for 5,000l., and the horse died on his passage to America. The entire stakes, about 6,000l., won the Derby of 1868 were presented to Wells the jockey, who had already won the same race on Beadsman. In 1869 Hawley won the St. Leger with Pero Gomez. At this period he won an action for libel against Joseph H. Shorthouse, M.D., of Carshalton, the founder of the ‘Sporting Times.’ Hawley was rather a fortunate than a scientific breeder, but like Lord Falmouth (1819–1889) he spared no pains in the selection of his stud, and did much to improve the breed of horses throughout the country. In 1870 he made proposals for turf reform, advocating the abolition of two-year-old races, and denouncing heavy betting. On 19 July 1873, on retiring from the turf, he sold his racing stud for 23,575 guineas.

Although ardently devoted to the turf, Hawley was a great bookworm, and the library he collected at Leybourne Grange, near Maidstone, was probably the most valuable in Kent. He died at 34 Eaton Place, London, on 20 April 1875. His wife, whom he married on 18 June 1839, was Sarah Diana, third daughter of General Sir John Crosbie, G.C.H., of Watergate, Sussex; she died 9 March 1881. He left two daughters.

[Sporting Review, 1858 xl. 111–14, 1868 lx. 15–18; Baily's Mag. 1861, iii. 1–5, with portrait; Illustrated London News, 1875, lxvi. 387, 427, 618; Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 1875, iii. 93, 95, 112, with portrait; Rice's History of the Turf, 1879, ii. 232–41; Thormanby's Famous Racing Men, 1882, pp. 95–100, with portrait; Taunton's Race Horses, 1888, iv. 192 et seq.]

G. C. B.