He blockaded Rochefort in 1757 and in 1758 he directed the blockade of Brest for six months. Driven off station by a storm, the French fleet under Hubert de Brienne, Comte de Conflans, took advantage and left port. On November 20 1759 he followed the French warships and during a gale he won a sufficient victory in the Battle of Quiberon Bay, when combined with Edward Boscawen's victory at Lagos, to remove the French invasion threat.
He then retired from active duty, and given the honorary rank of Vice-Admiral of Great Britain in November 1765. He was made First Lord of the Admiralty in December 1766 and served until January 1771. He was made a baron in 1776.
Towards the end of his life he lived at Swaythling House, near Southampton, although he died in Sunbury-on-Thames. His memorial, depicting the Battle of Quiberon Bay, is in North Stoneham church near Swaythling.
Organisations adopting the Hawke title: