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Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

Robert Hawker was born in Exeter, the son of a surgeon.

He was educated at Exeter Grammar School and trained for a career in medicine. After spending three years as an assistant surgeon in the Royal Marines, Hawker matriculated at Oxford University but left without taking a degreee.

Ordained in 1778, he served as a Curate at Charles near Plymouth and later succeeded to the Living. He was appointed Deputy Chaplain to the Plymouth Garrison in 1797 and in 1802 founded the Great Western Society for Dispersing Religious Tracts.

Hawker was one of the most prominent Calvinists in the Church of England. A brilliant orator, for many years he paid an annual visit to London where he preached in crowded chapels. He also wrote extensively on theological matters and was a pioneer of Sunday Schools in Plymouth.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

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