Sir John Hawkins: Queen Elizabeth's Slave Trader

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Yale University Press, 2003 - History - 402 pages
3 Reviews
A portrait of a colourful Elizabethan slaver, merchant and admiral. Although his cousin Sir Francis Drake is more famous, Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) was a more successful seaman and played a pivotal role in the history of England and the emergence of the global slave trade. Born into a family of wealthy pirates, Hawkins became fascinated by tales of the riches of foreign lands. Early in his career he led an illegal expedition in which he captured three hundred slaves in Sierra Leone and transported them to the West Indies. There he traded them for pearls, hides and sugar, thus giving birth to the British slave trade. His voyages were so lucrative that Queen Elizabeth herself sponsored subsequent missions.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - trinibaby9 - LibraryThing

I can't decide who was worse....John Hawkins a man with no regard for human life, capable of unspeakable acts of brutality....Or Queen Elizabeth who was aware of all his doings but chose to ignore them and use them to her advantage for her own personal gains. A tragic period of history. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

While not as lively as Kelsey's biography of Sir Francis Drake, this book is as much about Hawkins' important (if controversial) career as a naval administrator and as a possible double agent of Spain ... Read full review



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About the author (2003)

Harry Kelsey is a research scholar at the Huntington Library.

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