Creating a Believable Persona
From a class given by The Honorable Captain Roderic Hawkins


This guide is for a long term project. You will not do this in a year or even a few years. Every piece of research will add something or change something. If you find new details do not be afraid to incorporate them, even if the make some other part of your story incorrect. Always change to something more accurate. Research is a living thing, it is ongoing, changing and always growing. The goal is to become someone who might have lived in your period. The ultimate goal is to become a person that, if that magical transport to the past ever happened, would be able to live and work among your contemporaries without noticeable difference.

Captain Roderic Hawkins

Born: January 7, 1555, Parish of St. Mary le Ghyll. Barnoldswick, West Riding of Yorkshire
Father: Alfred Hawkins, a carriage maker
Mother: Alice Cadman
Siblings: Brother, Ned, in London, Sister, Jane, in Manchester
1565 - Apprenticed to Harry Booth, Harness Maker and Saddler, High Street, Skipton
1571 - Joined Trayned Band as a musketeer. Part of my employment was to maintain the leather for the garrison of the castle. I began to spend my little spare time with the soldiers.
1576 - I joined the garrison full time as a musketeer. I also received training as a gunner on the castle artillery.
1581 - I was promoted to serjeant. At this time the Scots reivers were a plague on the northern borders. Since Skipton Castle was part of the honour of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, I was part of the force provided by His Lordship to patrol the northern borders. I spent much of the next six years shuttling between Skipton and Brougham castle for long periods of riding patrol on the West March border.
1586 - Lord Clifford outfitted 3 ships as privateers to raid Spanish shipping. I sailed as a gunner on the Red Griffin, eventually transferring to the Elizabeth Bonaventure, when my Lord Clifford became an admiral. On that ship I fought the Armada in 1588. I stayed with the ship for two and a half years after the Armada's defeat.
1591 - I returned to Scipton Castle to take up the post of Constable of the Castle.

My employment consists of being Captain of the Garrison and of the Trayned Band, policing the lands of the castle, and some messenger duties for my Lord Clifford.

I live in the castle, although I have a small holding in West Marton, that is rented out. I am paid 7 pounds per quarter by Lord Clifford, with another 10 pounds per year received in rent. When I am in the castle I receive my food in the hall. My room in the castle is also provided as part of my employment. As a professional soldier I have spent a fairly large sum on my weapons and equipment. Some of this came from loot while riding the borders, still more from prize money received while sailing with the Bonaventure

My normal day consists of rising at dawn, breaking my fast with bread, bacon or beef, cheese and small beer. I will spend the morning inspecting the artillery, inspecting the guards, and dealing with daily weapons drill and any discipline problems. Late in the morning, or perhaps just afternoon, I will ride to the small villages in the area, to find out any problems, and to receive reports from the local constables. I generally eat in the saddle or perhaps at one of the taverns in the villages. My evenings are free to myself, generally finding me at the Bay Horse in the High Street. As Constable I am constantly on call, either for problems in the honour of the castle, or for taking important messages to My Lord Clifford's other holdings, or occasionally to his house in London, where My Lord spends much of his time at Court.

One day in each month the Trayned Band of Scipton shall muster. This is composed of every able bodied man between 16 and 60. Each man must present himself with his weapons and armour so that they may be inspected. The afternoon is spent drilling the men, so that they may be proficient in the use of their weapons. It is my job to see that all is in order, and my responsibility to levy appropriate fines upon those derelict in their duties or absent altogether.

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