Edward Hawke, baron, an English admiral, born in 1715, died at Shepperton, Middlesex, Oct. 14, 1781. He entered the navy at a very early age, and in 1734 had risen to the command of a vessel. Ten years later he was present at the naval battle of Toulon between the English fleet and the combined French and Spanish fleets, on which occasion his ship, the Berwick, broke from the line of battle, and captured the Spanish ship Padre, of superior force. But as this act of heroism involved a disobedience of orders, Capt. Hawke was tried and dismissed from the service, to which he was immediately restored by George II., who thenceforth called him his own admiral. In 1747 he was made rear admiral of the white, and on Oct. 14 of the same year gained a complete victory over a French squadron off Belle-isle on the coast of France. In 1756 he superseded Admiral Byng in the Mediterranean, and subsequently was employed in blockading the French ports in the bay of Biscay. In April, 1758, he drove a French armament destined for America on shore in the Basque roads.
In November, 1759, he attacked the French fleet under Conflans in Quiberon bay in the midst of a storm, and, after a memorable and extremely perilous action, the ships being closely engaged among the breakers on the coast, destroyed or captured several of the enemy's vessels, thus preventing the projected invasion of England. For these services he received the thanks of parliament and a pension of £2,000. In 1765 he was appointed vice admiral of England and first lord of the admiralty, and in 1776 was created Baron Hawke of Towton in Yorkshire.