The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

IV. The Literature of the Sea

§ 11. Sir Richard Hawkins

Another remarkable contribution to the literature of maritime discovery is the description of his adventures by Sir Richard Hawkins, only son of Sir John Hawkins, a storehouse of information of all kinds concerning the lives and ideas of the early navigators. It is entitled The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins, Knight, in his voiage into the South Sea; anno Domini, 1593 (printed 1622). In this volume, Hawkins shows strong descriptive power, imagination and skill, besides natural sagacity and a just judgment of affairs. He enforces the need of experience for the successful conduct of enterprise at sea, adding “and I am of opinion that the want of experience is much more tolerable in a general on land than in a governor by sea.” The ship in which he sailed was built in the Thames in 1588, and he tells us that his mother, craving the naming of the ship, called her the “Repentance.” He expostulated with her for giving the vessel that “uncouth name,” but never could have any satisfaction, save that “repentance was the safest ship we could sail in to purchase the haven of heaven.”