Hawkes Family

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Revd. E. C. Hawkes was Rector of Tyneham from 1914 to 1916.


Revd. Edward Clifford Hawkes (1853-1920)


reverend edward clifford hawkes aged 33 later became rector of tyneham dorset in 1914

Edward was born in the St. Pancras area of London to Edward John Hawkes (1819-1879) and Mary Hawkes neé Hawkes (1829-1886). His father was a shirt maker employing other workers. Edward and Mary had two further children, but they both died in infancy. ‘Clifford’ was his maternal grandmother’s maiden surname.

Revd Edward Hawkes father edward john hawkes and mother mary hawkes

Edward attended Corpus Christi College at Cambridge obtaining his B.A. In 1878, the same year as he was ordained deacon at Rochester. His first position was as a curate at St. James, Gravesend in Kent and during his time there he married. He was ordained priest at Winchester in 1880 while curate at Wrecclesham, Surrey and obtained his M.A. in 1882 while curate at Clevedon, Somerset. In all, Edward held sixteen clerical posts during his lifetime and these are detailed later.

Edward married Agnes Henrietta Jefferies (1855-1908) at Cirencester on 30 April 1879. She was the daughter of John Jefferies (1822-1904), one of the leading horticulturalists and nurseryman of his day, and Alice Jefferies neé Freeth (1810-1893). Edward’s father died in July 1879 at Gravesend, Kent.

Apparently the Hawkes and Jefferies families intermarried in three successive generations, being of the same social standing at that time. The respective families both stemmed from the same village of Somerford Keynes (Hawkes pre-English Civil War 1634 and Jefferies 1708) and Jefferies still live in the area.

Edward and Agnes had seven children:

Revd. Edward Hawkes' wife Agnes and children 1886
  • Edward Albert Hawkes (1880-1968) – Edward, born at Wrecclesham, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a clergyman. He married Winifred Florence Judkins in 1911 and they had one son, Martin, who later became a lion-tamer and married a trapeze artist, known as Ida Rosaire. Edward officiated at his son’s wedding.
  • William John Hawkes (1882-1943) – William, born at Clevedon, became a school headmaster. He married Jessie Louisa Allen in 1908 and they had three children, Joyce, Peggy and Peter. At the time of his father’s death in 1920, he was at Woodrough School, Moseley, Birmingham.
  • Arthur Clifford Hawkes (1884-1959) – Arthur, born at Norwood, also became a clergyman and even officiated at Tyneham while his father served there. Arthur married Margaret Crossley at Kimmeridge in 1916 and his father officiated at the service. Arthur was quite eccentric in that he kept a cockerel in a cage on his desk, wore wellies to church and tied his dog collar with a shoe-lace! Nevertheless he was a very kind man, and held in high regard for his work in his parishes especially with the poor.
  • Agnes Dorothy Hawkes (1885-1966) – Dorothy, also born at Norwood, never married and died at St Leonards on Sea.
  • Mary Alice Hawkes (1887-1973) – Mary, born at Canford Magna, was a nurse and served in the First World War at the Field Hospitals at Rouen and Boulogne. Mary worked at the Chipili mission in Rhodesia from 1929 until 1966 on behalf of the UMCA.
  • Bertha Margaret Hawkes (1891-1933) – Bertha, known as Daisy, was born at Broadstone. Unfortunately she was crippled with arthritis.
  • Ronald Lionel Clifford Hawkes (1901-1933) – Ronald, born at Burbage, became a farmer and, at the time of his marriage to Margaret Lillian Nicolson in 1931, was living at Moseley in Birmingham, near to his brother William John Hawkes. His uncle Edward officiated at the marriage. In the twenties he had farmed in Canada. Ronald helped build the Jameson road in Rhodesia. He died in 1933 aged just 32 as a result of the tsetse fly.

When Edward arrived at Tyneham in 1914, he was a widower and his youngest son, Ronald, would then have been just 13.

Edward’s dearly loved wife Agnes died six years earlier in 1908 while he was incumbent at Compton Abbas. Edward had serious heart trouble which made him a semi-invalid in later life. He died on 28 December 1920 at Brixton Deverill, Wiltshire, a few hours after preaching his Sunday evening sermon. Edward was buried with his wife Agnes at Compton Abbas.

Edward’s obituary in the Diocese of Salisbury Gazette, January 1921:

Edward Clifford Hawkes began his work in the Diocese [of Salisbury] as Curate in Charge of Broadstone. His ten years there gave evidence of the signal power of winning the affection of his people, which characterised his career in all the seven [Diocese of Salisbury] parishes of which he was successfully Incumbent, five of them in Dorset (Langton Matravers, Winterborne Whitchurch, Compton Abbas, Tyneham and Wool), and two (Burbage and Brixton Deverill) in Wiltshire. Mr Hawkes was possessed of considerable preaching power, and in his early days did good work as Mission Preacher.

But it was the great kindliness of his loving heart which was the distinctive mark of his ministry, and was recognised and appreciated wherever he went.

Of late years his health had been very uncertain, and the end came with much suddenness, only a few hours after speaking to the hearts of his parishoners on the evening of Sunday, 26th December. The Burial Service was read at Brixton Deverill on New Year’s Day by the Archdeacon of Dorset, who had inducted him four times – there was a mutual affection between them – but his body was laid to rest by the side of his wife, who death some time ago had been to him a great grief, in his former parish of Compton Abbas. Reqiuescat in peace.

Edward’s obituary in the Western Gazette, 7 January 1921:

Late Vicar of the Parish

It was with feelings of intense sorrow that the parishioners of Wool received the sad news of the almost sudden death of their late Vicar, the Rev. E. Clifford Hawkes. Although he had been in very indifferent health for a long time, his zeal and devotion to his church never flagged, and he conducted his services, as usual, on Christmas-day and the Sunday after. On Boxing-day he was taken ill, and, although everything possible was done, he became unconscious, and passed away on the following day.

The reverend gentleman had held various livings in Wiltshire and Dorset – the vicarage of Compton Abbas and Winterbourne Whitchurch and the curacies of Canford Magna and Langton Matravers – and left Wool about ten months ago on account of bad-health. Since then, he has been rector of Brixton Deverill, in Wiltshire, which living he held until his lamented death. He will long be remembered for his unfailing sympathy with all who were in trouble, and many feel that in him they have lost a true friend. He was an eloquent preacher, his sermons always being marked with great earnestness. The greatest sympathy is felt for the bereaved family, who have lost a devoted father.

The funeral took place on New Year’s-day at Compton Abbas, where the body of Mrs. Hawkes lies. It was preceded by a service in Brixton Deverill Church, where he had laboured so faithfully until the very last. A wreath was sent by the parishioners of Wool, and during the service the bell in Wool Church was tolled. At the time of the actual interment the ringers gave muffled peals on the bells, and again on the Sunday morning after. He will be sadly missed and mourned by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Listing of the parishes in which Edward served during his lifetime:

FromToPosition/Parish
18781879Curate of St. James, Gravesend, Kent
18801881Curate of Wrecclesham, Surrey
18811882Curate of St. John, Clevedon, Somerset
18831885Curate of St. Luke, Lower Norwood, Middlesex
18861896Curate at Broadstone, Dorset (then in the Parish of Canford Magna)
18961900Rector of Langton Matravers, Dorset
19001903Vicar of Burbage, Wiltshire
19031905Lay Preacher, Diocese of Salisbury, Wiltshire
19051907Vicar of Winterborne Whitchurch, Dorset
19071911Rector of Compton Abbas, Dorset
19111912Curate of St Augustine’s, Bournemouth, Hampshire
19121914Priest-in-Charge of Stourton Caundle, Dorset
19141916Rector of Steeple with Grange and Tyneham
19161920Priest-in-Charge of Wool, Dorset
19161920Vicar of Coombe Keynes, Dorset
19201920Rector of Brixton Deverill, Wiltshire

With special thanks to Alison Hawkes, Andrew Hawkes and Richard Wilson for providing family photographs and information about the Hawkes Family


Page last updated: 29 June 2021

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