Born: December 3, 1804, in the vicarage of Charles Church, Plymouth, England.
Died: August 15, 1875. He had joined the Roman Catholic church the previous evening. Julian reports the death as August 15, 1873, Morwenstow, Cornwall. Hayden & Newton give it as March 25, 1875, Plymouth, England.
Buried: Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth, England.
Robert was the son of Jacob Stephen Hawker.
He was educated at Liskeard Grammar School, Cornwall; Cheltenham Grammar School; and Pembroke College, Oxford (BA 1827, MA 1836). He won the 1827 Newdigate Prize for poetry.
Hawker took Holy Orders in 1829 and became curate at Wellcombe, Devon, and in 1834 vicar of Morwenstow, Cornwall.
He published several poetical works, including Ecclesia (1840), in which some of his hymns appeared. Some were also published in Lyra Messianica (1864). He also wrote The Song of the Western Men, published anonymously in 1825.
We see them not—we cannot hear
The music of their wing—
Yet know we that they sojourn near,
The angels of the spring!
The glide along this lovely ground,
When the first violet grows:
Their graceful hands have just unbound
The zone of yonder rose!
I gather it for thy dear breast
From stain and shadow free,
That which an angel’s touch hath blest
Is meet, my love, for thee!
Robert Stephen Hawker