Hawkwood, Sir John de

Hawkwood, Sir John de,

d. 1394, English soldier. He fought in the French wars of Edward III and was knighted, although it is not known when or where. With his "white company" of mercenaries, he entered (1362) Italy and became a condottierecondottiere
[Ital.,=leader], leader of mercenary soldiers in Italy in the 14th and 15th cent., when wars were almost incessant there. The condottieri hired and paid the bands who fought under them.
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. He served sometimes one republic, sometimes another, but he was employed most regularly by Florence, where he died. The cathedral in Florence contains an equestrian portrait of Hawkwood by Paolo Uccello.
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