Hawkins, Sir John


Hawkins was born in London. By profession he was a lawyer, but devoted his leisure time to the study of literature and music. He was never anything more than an amateur musician, but served the musical world by the publication of his well-known History of Music, the fruit of sixteen years' work. In 1776 he published this in five volumes. In 1853 it was reprinted in two volumes. It is of value because of its marvelous accuracy, though its style is heavy and it is not well arranged. Sir John Hawkins was one of the founders of the Madrigal Society, 1741, a frequent contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine, author of words for six cantatas which were set to music by Stanley. In 1740 he became a member of the Academy of Ancient Music, and in 1749, upon Samuel Johnson's invitation, a member of the Thursday Evening Club in Ivy Lane.