Grandson of Sir Caesar Hawkins (1711-1786), surgeon at St George's Hospital and serjeant-surgeon to George II and George III. Born in Gloucestershire. Sent to Christ's Hospital (the Bluecoat School), 1807-1813 following his father's death.
Apprenticed to Mr Sheppard of Hampton Court, medical attendant to the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV). Student at St George's Hospital 1818, under Sir Everard Home and Benjamin Brodie. Studied chemistry at the Royal Institution under Michael Faraday. Taught anatomy at the Hunterian or Windmill Street School of Medicine.
Assistant surgeon at St George's Hospital 1829, surgeon 1829-1861, consulting surgeon 1861-1884.
Serjeant-surgeon to Queen Victoria 1862, the fourth member of his family in the office. Member of the council, examiner, vice-president and Hunterian orator at the Royal College of Surgeons; chairman of the Midwifery Board; representative of the RCS on the General Medical Council; trustee of the Hunterian Museum; FRS 1856.
Successfully performed ovariotomy in 1846. Published widely, including on tumours and rabies.
Married twice, to Miss Dolbel and to Ellen Rouse, no children. Died 20 Jul 1884 home at 26 Grosvenor Street.