This famous surname is recorded in many spellings including Hawking, Hawkyen, Hawkings, Hawkens, Hawkin, and Hawkins. Amongst the long list of British naval heroes, the names of Sir John Hawkins and Lord Hawkins (no relation), the conquerors with Sir Francis Drake of the 1588 Spanish Armada, stand almost supreme. The name itself, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Hafoc" meaning "Hawk", is descriptive for one who possessed that bird's ferocious instincts. The name, as a personal name without a surname is recorded in the spelling of "Havok" in the Domesday Book of 1086, compiled by William the Conqueror. In the spelling form as Hawkings, the name is a double diminutive or patronymic which translates as "the son(s) of the son (kin) of the Hawk". The surname as "Hawk" is very early, being first recorded in 1176, when Roger Havech appeared in the Pipe Rolls of Dover, Kent; as "Hawkin" the first recording is that of Roger Havekin in the Essex Rolls of 1298; and as Hawkyns, the medieval spelling, the name is recorded in the early 14th Century (see below), whilst Agnes Hawking married Roger Carpinter (as spelt) at St. Peter Westcheap, city of London, on August 4th 1560. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margery Haukyns, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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