Robert Stephen Hawker


For anyone interested in visiting Morwenstow, or in finding out more about writers, smugglers, shipwrecks, old books, old churches and various related topics of general interest the websites below are worth investigating.

HAWKER SOCIETY – An expanding archive of literary, critical and historical material connected to Hawker, his writings, and his times, plus information on membership, newsletters, events, etc.

LITERARY PLACES – A more general look at books and writers connected with the south west of England, including Ronald Duncan at Welcombe.

THE OLD VICARAGE, MORWENSTOW – Accommodation for guests in the house built by Robert Stephen Hawker. A self-catering cottage is also available.

RECTORY FARM AND TEA ROOMS, MORWENSTOW – Award-winning tearooms in a 13th Century farmhouse beside Morwenstow church.

THE BUSH INN, MORWENSTOW – A 13th Century Inn offering meals and accommodation only a short walk from the church and the South West Coast Path.

ABEBOOKS – Shop online for new, secondhand, rare and out-of-print books

THE OPEN LIBRARY – Offers online editions of works by Hawker in a very readable format which includes a search option. They also have C. E. Byles’s Life and Letters.

STRATSIDE GALLERY, STRATTON – Includes details of an exhibition and e-book on the life and work of John Ley Pethybridge, the illustrator of Life and Letters, Cornish Ballads and Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall.

A CHURCH NEAR YOU – The Church of England’s ‘Parish Finder’ webpage includes information on all of the churches associated with Hawker.

THE GIBSONS OF SCILLY – A collection of shipwreck photos from Scilly and West Cornwall dating back to 1891. Some of these pictures were published in the book Shipwreck by John Fowles, Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1974.

SMUGGLERS’ BRITAIN – Masses of information on 18th and 19th century smuggling provided by Richard Platt, author of Smuggling in the British Isles.

THE VICTORIAN WEB – Literature, history and culture in the Age of Victoria.

POETS’ GRAVES – The graves of famous poets, brief biographies, a glossary of poetic terms, classic poems and a selection of interesting quotations about poetry.

THE MORWENSTOW SOCIETY does not have a website but the Treasurer can be contacted by email at: morwenstowsociety at hotmail dot – (to avoid spam this is not an active link – you will need to type the address in the ‘to’ box of your email, replacing ‘at’ and ‘dot’ with the appropriate symbols).

THE YELLOW NINETIES ONLINE – All thirteen volumes of The Yellow Book and some biographies of writers from the 1890s, including James Ashcroft Noble.

THE ALLIANCE OF LITERARY SOCIETIES – An umbrella organisation for literary societies/groups in the UK. Their website provides contact details for around 125 societies, along with a calender of events around the country.

EXETER CATHEDRAL HOOKER LECTURE 2010 – The ‘Hooker Lecture’ page on the Cathedral website provides a link to an article entitled ‘What can the Twenty-First Century Church learn from the Victorians?’. The article touches on several of the controversies referred to by Hawker in his letters and also mentions the revival of diocesan synods, which Byles attributes to Hawker (Life and Letters, p. 172).

DEVON PERSPECTIVES – Excellent illustrations and a wide selection of well researched pieces. The article on the Arscotts of Tetcott mentions Hawker and refers to Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall in the footnotes.

POETS’ CORNER – A non-commercial poetry site offering more than 7000 out-of-copyright poems. Far better than the majority of poetry websites – no adverts, almost 800 authors, and clear, unfussy presentation.

FORD PARK CEMETERY TRUST – Hawker was buried here in 1875 and his grave is number 48 on their Heritage Trail. A booklet is available to order via the Publications page on the website.

DICKENS JOURNALS ONLINE – Aims to create a complete online edition of Dickens weekly magazines, Household Words and All The Year Round.