Colonel Peter Hawker
Hawker's Cottage was the Keyhaven home of Colonel Peter Hawker. As a young soldier in the Spanish Peninsular War he served with distinction under Wellington, but was obliged to retire after being seriously wounded at the battle of Talavera in 1809.

His injury did not deter him from the pursuit of country sports, his book “Advice to Young Sportsmen”, first published in 1814, is still regarded as one of the best introductions to young people taking up shooting or fishing. The book was also published in America in 1847.

Extract from Colonel Peter Hawker diary

Hawker built his home in Keyhaven in 1818 (next to the Gun Inn) and used it as a winter base for his wildfowling activities in the marshland between Keyhaven and Lymington. His permanent home was in Longparish near Aldershot.
 
Colonel Peter Hawker 1786-1853
Married twice and had two sons (the elder son died in infancy) and two daughters by his first wife, Julia Barttelot. Following Julia's death in 1844 Hawker then married Helen Symonds.

Hawker had a wide range of interests, besides being a keen shot and an active sportsman he was also an accomplished musician, studying the piano under Henri Bertini in Paris. He regularly played the organ at his local church and devised a patented device, “hand moulds” to assist the teaching of the piano. He was acquainted with many of the celebrated pianists and opera singers of his day.

Extract from Colonel Peter Hawker diary

He kept a diary for most of his life (published in 2 volumes), the contents are mostly a day-by-day account of his wildfowling (3) exploits, although there are some fascinating accounts of his journeys to the Continent both before and after the fall of Napoleon. Unfortunately after his death in 1853 his family destroyed the personal extracts which made up a large part of the diary.

Extract from Colonel Peter Hawker diary

(1) Thomas Inman bought what is now the Berthon Boatyard, Lymington in 1819
(2) Sir Charles Lyell, geological tutor of Charles Darwin wrote, that "In the great storm of November 1824, this bank of shingle (Hurst Spit) was moved bodily forward for forty yards towards the northeast".
(3) Wildfowling - a popular sport in the Victorian times involves shooting wild duck and geese on marshes and foreshores, the season runs from the beginning of September to the middle of February.
 
Read it online (Be aware, the diary is mostly about his wildfowling activities!)
 
 
 
Keyhaven 1838
 
Colonel Peter Hawker's house
 
wildfowling
 
Gun Inn