Robert Stephen Hawker

A Selected Bibliography


– The Open Library has searchable online copies of many books by or about Hawker, including:

– The Life and Letters of R. S. Hawker by C. E .Byles

– Memorials of the Late Rev. Robert Stephen Hawker, M.A. by F. G. Lee

The following is just a selection – for a more complete bibliography see Cecil Woolf, ‘Some Uncollected Authors XXXIX : Hawker of Morwenstow’, Book Collector (Spring/Summer 1965).


The Quest of the Sangraal: Chant the First. Exeter: Printed for the Author, 1864.

Cornish Ballads and Other Poems, ed. by C. E. Byles. John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1904, 1908.

A Selection of R. S. Hawker’s Cornish Ballads on Local Topics. With an Introduction by The Reverend F. C. Hamlyn, Vicar of Morwenstow. No date given but Frederick Conrad Hamlyn was vicar from 1927 to 1932.

Twenty Poems (Little Nineteenth Century Classics). With an Introduction by John Drinkwater. Basil Blackwell, 1925.

Hawker of Morwenstow. Benn’s Augustan Books of Poetry, Ernest Benn Ltd, circa 1931.

Hawker’s Cornish Ballads, ed. by Piers Brendon, Elephant Press, 1975.

Selected Poems, ed. by Cecil Woolf and illustrated by Brigid Pepin, Cecil Woolf, 1975.


Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall, John Russell Smith, 1870.

The Prose Works of the Rev. R. S. Hawker, William Blackwood and Sons, 1893.

Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall, ed. by C. E. Byles. John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1903, 1908.

Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall, Westaway Books Ltd, 1948


Baring-Gould, Sabine. The Vicar of Morwenstow: being a Life of Robert Stephen Hawker M. A. Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1919.

Betjeman, John. ‘Hawker of Morwenstow’. Text of a BBC broadcast, 1945-49, published in Coming Home: An anthology of prose. Methuen, 1997

Brendon, Piers. Hawker of Morwenstow: Portrait of a Victorian Eccentric. (With a Foreword by John Fowles). Pimlico, 2002.

Breton, Rev. H. Hugh, Vicar of Morwenstow. Hawker of Morwenstow. The Morwenstow Series – No. 3, printed by Thomas Cory Burrows, Hartland. No date given, but Rev. Breton was vicar from 1923 – 1927.

Burrows, Margaret F. Robert Stephen Hawker: A Study  of His Thought and Poetry. Basil Blackwell, 1926.

Byles, C. E. The Life and Letters of R. S. Hawker (sometime Vicar of Morwenstow). John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1905.

Edwards, Tudor. ‘The Hermit of Morwenstow’. Published in The Month, New Series Vol. 9, No. 6, June 1953.

Harris, W. Gregory. ‘Hawker and “The Quest of the Sangraal”. Published in Old Cornwall, Vol. II No. 3, Summer 1932.

Hartman, Lois I. Remembered in This Land. Privately printed, 78 pages. Stapled booklet, no publication date but signed by author in 1978. Lois Ijams Hartman is a distant relative of Hawker’s first wife Charlotte, and this booklet tells the story of her genealogical researches and her eventual discovery of the connection with Hawker.

Hopkinson, D. M. ‘Parson Hawker of Morwenstow’, published in History Today.

Hutton, Patrick. I Would Not Be Forgotten: The Life and Work of Robert Stephen Hawker. Tabb House, 2004.

Lawrence, Grania. ‘Parson who stamped out wrecking, but helped the smugglers’. Published in Cornish Magazine, Vol. 3 No.12, April 1961.

Lee, Frederick George. Memorials of the Late Rev. Robert Stephen Hawker. Chatto and Windus, 1876.

Massingham, H. J. ‘Hawker of Morwenstowe’, published in Out of Doors, Vol. 13, No. 10, January 1952.

Noble, J. Ashcroft. Essay entitled ‘Hawker of Morwenstow’ in The Sonnet in England and Other Essays. John Lane, 1896.

Rowse, A. L. Robert Stephen Hawker of Morwenstow: A Belated Medieval. Elephant Press, 1975.

Sewell, Brocard. ‘Robert Stephen Hawker: the Pastor of Morwenstow’. A previously unpublished essay included in Like Black Swans: Some People and Themes. Tabb House, 1982.

Smallcombe, H. R. The Renowned “Passon” Hawker of Morwenstow: A Tribute. 1963

Smith, Sheila. ‘Ho! for the Sangraal! Opium and Robert Stephen Hawker’s Arthurian Legend’, from Beyond the Pleasure Dome: Writing and Addiction from the Romantics, ed. by Sue Vice. Sheffield Academic Press, 1994.

Trezise, Simon. The West Country as a Literary Invention: Putting Fiction in its Place. University of Exeter Press, 2000.

Wickett, W. W. ‘”Passon” Hawker of Morwenstow’. Published in Cornish Magazine, Vol. 6 No. 11, March 1964


Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories. Wordsworth Editions, 2008. One story: ‘The Botathen Ghost’.

Hawker’s Tales of Ghosts and Witchcraft. Oakmagic Publications, 1997. Two stories – ‘The Botathen Ghost’ and ‘Holacombe’ – printed in an A5 stapled booklet. Includes reproductions of the signed portrait of Hawker aged 61, which appeared as a frontispiece in Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall, and two other illustrations by J. L. Pethybridge: ‘”The Place” of Botathen’ and ‘The Cheesewring (or The Devil’s Wring)’, which originally appeared alongside the story ‘Daniel Gumb’s Rock’.

Strange Tales of the Cornish Coast. Tor Mark Press, 1997. Includes an abridged and altered version of Hawker’s story ‘Cruel Coppinger’, along with ‘The Smugglers of Penrose’ by William Bottrell and ‘The Mermaid’s Revenge’ by Robert Hunt; also a short and well-written introduction on the history of folktale collecting in the southwest of England.

Haunted Cornwall: A Book of Supernatural Stories, ed. by Denys Val Baker. William Kimber, 1973. Includes Hawker’s story ‘The Botathen Ghost’.

Cornish Tales of Terror, ed. by R. Chetwynd Hayes. Fontana Books, 1974. Includes ‘The Botathen Ghost’.


Oscar and Lucinda, a novel by Peter Carey. Faber & Faber, 2001. The character of the Reverend Hugh Stratton is based on Hawker and some scenes in the film version were shot in and around the Old Vicarage, Morwenstow. The characters of Oscar, and his father Theophilus Hopkins, were inspired by Edmund Gosse’s autobiography, Father and Son, and as a result the landscape and place names in the early part of the novel (e.g. ‘Hennacombe Cliff’) are a peculiar blend of North Cornwall and Torbay.

This Way to the Tomb, a play by Ronald Duncan. Included in Collected Plays, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1971. Duncan lived for forty years at Marsland and Welcombe and This Way to the Tomb, written in the 1940s, was his first play. In his introduction he explains how he had been asked to write something that could be performed in the open without any scenery. ‘But I lacked a subject. This was given to me accidentally a few months later, when T. S. Eliot suggested to me that I should call on Michel St Denis. In his flat I idly picked up a book of reproductions of Hieronymus Bosch and was arrested by his St Anthony meditating with an old sow at his feet. The apparent incongruity of the Saint’s companion revived two images in my mind. The first was the story of the Reverend Stephen Hawker, who used to walk over the cliffs from Morwenstowe to Welcombe with a lop-eared black sow at his heels. When asked why he did so, he replied that “being a priest he liked to have a real Christian as a companion to talk to”. The second association was more immediate: a few years previously I had spent some time living with Gandhi at Segoan, his Ashram near Wardha, and had been fascinated by the various facets of the Mahatma.’ (I can’t find Duncan’s version of the story of Hawker’s pig, Gyp, in The Life and Letters, but he was as inventive as Hawker himself when it came to setting down a lively narrative.)

Sweet and Twenty, 3 vols, a novel by Edward James Mortimer Collins. Hurst and Blackett, 1875. (Also available new, in three volumes from the British Library Historical Collection digitisation project, via Amazon.) In his book, The West Country as a Literary Invention, Simon Trezise describes the character of ‘Canon Tremaine’ as one of the most vivid and accurate contemporary portraits of Hawker.

– The Vicar’s Wife, by Lois I Hartman, is a novel based on the life of Hawker’s first wife, Charlotte. For more information see ‘BOOKS’ pages.

 – For references to Hawker and/or Morwenstow in verse see ‘POEMS’ pages.


Abbot, Adrian. Images of England Series: Bude and District, The Second Selection. The History Press, 2009.

Fleming, Guy. A Century of Plymouth: Events, People and Places over the 20th Century. Sutton Publishing, 2007.

Old Cornwall Society. The Archive Photographs Series: Around Bude. Complied by Bude, Stratton and District Old Cornwall Society. Chalford Publishing Company 1998.

Rendell, Joan. Around Bude and Stratton. Bossiney Books, 1985.


Behenna, John. West Country Shipwrecks: A Pictorial Record 1866 – 1973. David & Charles, 1974.

Bray, John. An Account of Wrecks 1759-1830 on the north coast of Cornwall. Edited and Transcribed by A. K. Hamilton Jenkin. A joint publication of the Institute of Cornish Studies and the Trevithick Society, 1975.

Carter, Clive. Cornish Shipwrecks (The North Coast). Pan, 1978.

Cofton, C. F. Bencoolen to Capricorno: A Record of Wrecks at Bude. J. E. Cornish, 1902.

Cunningham, Hugh. Grace Darling: Victorian Heroine. Hambledon Continuum, 2007.

Fowles, John. Shipwreck. Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1974.

Larn, Richard. Shipwrecks of the Devon Coast. Countryside Books, 1996.

Larn, Richard and Bridget. Shipwrecks on Cornwall’s North Coast. Tor Mark Press, 2002. (First published in 1990 as Shipwrecks St Ives to Bude.)

Maskell, William. Bude Haven; a pen-and-ink sketch, with portraits of the principal inhabitants. British Library Historical Collection reprint, first published in 1863. PDF version available to download from the ‘Free Publications’ page. This 33-page booklet includes a vivid eye-witness account of the wreck of the Bencoolen at Bude in 1862. The Boy’s Own Volume of Fact, Fiction, History and Adventure; Midsummer 1864 (published by S. O. Beeton, 248 The Strand, London) also provides an account of the wreck as part of an anonymous piece entitled ‘My Story and the Second Officer’s’ (pp. 440-448) which may possibly have been written by Maskell. The earlier version was later republished in Odds and Ends (1872).

Pearce, Cathryn. Cornish Wrecking, 1700-1860: Reality and Popular Myth. The Boydell Press, 2010.

Quiller-Couch, Arthur. The Ship of Stars. Anthony Mott Ltd, The Cornish Library Number 10, 1983. According to Piers Brendon Quiller-Couch drew heavily on Hawker’s account of the wreck of the Caledonia in this novel;Brendon refers to it as ‘perhaps more of a hommage than a plagiarism’.

Seal, Jeremy. Treachery at Sharpnose Point: Unraveling the Mystery of the Caledonia’s Final Voyage. Harcourt, 2001.

Vivian, John. Tales of the Cornish Wreckers. Tor Mark Press, 1989.

Vivian, John. Tales of the Cornish Smugglers. Tor Mark Press, 1969.


Brown, Rosalind. Ramsey Remembered: The Durham Years, (edited by Rosalind Brown). Durham Cathedral, 2010. Nicola Trzaska-Nartowski’s contribution (pp. 18-21) makes reference to Michael Ramsey’s interest in Hawker.

Chitty, Susan. Charles Kingsley’s Landscape. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1976.

Chitty, Susan. The Beast and the Monk: a Life of Charles Kingsley. Hodder and Stoughton, 1974.

Chope, R. Pearse. Farthest from Railways: An Unknown Corner of Devon.

De Quincy, Thomas. Confessions of and English Opium-Eater and Other Writings. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Dickinson, Bickford H. C. Sabine Baring-Gould: Squarson, Writer & Folklorist 1834 – 1924. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1970.

Du Maurier, Daphne. Vanishing Cornwall. Penguin Books, 1974.

Du Maurier, Daphne. The King’s General. Virago, 2009.

Duncan, Ronald. Where I Live. The Country Book Club, 1954.

Friar, Stephen. The Sutton Companion to Churches. Sutton Publishing, 2003.

Gardiner, Merriel. ‘Preserving a Victorian Vision: The Old Vicarage in Morwenstow’. Published in Cornwall Today.

Gifford, Margaret Jeune. Pages from the Diary of an Oxford Lady 1843 – 1862. Shakespeare Head Press, 1932.

Gosse, Edmund. Father and Son. Penguin, 1989.

Hamlyn, Rev. F. C. Morwenstowe Since Stuart Times or a History of Morwenstowe after the Restoration. Wells Garner, Darton & Co. Ltd., circa 1930.

Hamlyn, F. C. The Pilgrim’s Way – The Church of St. John the Baptist, Morwenstowe.

Haslam, Rev. W. From Death Into Life, or Twenty Years of My Ministry. Morgan and Scott, 1880.

Hopkins, R. Thurston. The Literary Landmarks of Devon & Cornwall. Cecil Palmer, 1926.

Jenkins, A. K. Hamilton. Cornwall and its People. David & Charles, 1983.

Lambton, Lucinda. An Album of Curious Houses. Chatto & Windus Ltd., 1988. One exterior photo of the Old Vicarage at Morwenstow and two pages of biographical information on Hawker. No pictures of the interior.

Lewis, H. L. In the Footsteps of Robert Stephen Hawker: a walker’s companion guide to Hawker’s Morwenstow. Cornwall Council, 2009.

Martyn, Philip Docton. Morwenstowe Church.

Newlyn, Lucy, ed. Chatter of Choughs. Signal Books Ltd. 2001.

Purcell, William. Onward Christian Soldier: a Life of Sabine Baring-Gould, Parson, Squire, Novelist, Antiquary, 1834 – 1924. (With an Introduction by John Betjeman.) Longmans, Green and Co., 1957.

Rendell, Joan. Hawker Country. Bossiney Books, 1980.

Salmon, Arthur L. The Cornwall Coast. T. Fisher Unwin, 1910.

Shearme, John. Lively Recollections. John Lane, 1917.

Stamp, B. Dudley. Ebbingford Manor, Bude. 1973.

Straffon, Cheryl. Fentynyow Kernow: in Search of Cornwall’s Holy Wells. Meyn Mamvro Publications, 2005.

Tagert, Mary. The Story of Morwenstow.

Tangye, Nigel. Voyage into Cornwall’s Past. William Kimber, 1978.

Tennyson, Charles. Alfred Tennyson – by his grandson Charles Tennyson. Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1949.

Thorn, Michael. Tennyson. Little, Brown and Company, 1992.

Tomlin, E. W. F. The Church of St. Morwenna and St. John The Baptist, Morwenstow: A Guide and History. 2003.

Tomlin, E. W. F. The Tall Trees of Marsland. Lodenek Press, 1991.

Williams, Michael. Hawker’s Morwenstow. Bossiney Books, 1988.

Williams, Michael. Following the Famous in Cornwall. Bossiney Books.

Williams, Michael. Supernatural in Cornwall. Bossiney Books.

Wright, Mary. Cornish Guernseys & Knit-frocks. Polperro Heritage Press, 2008.

Wright, W. H. Kearley. West Country Poets: their Lives and Works. Elliot Stock, 1896.

Young, Bill and Stamp, Bryan Dudley. Stratton Past and Present. Bill Young 2002.