Hale, Matthew (DNB00)
HALE, Sir MATTHEW (1609–1676), judge, only son of Robert Hale, by Joan, daughter of Matthew Poyntz, was born at Alderley, Gloucestershire, on 1 Nov. 1609. His father, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn, who abandoned the practice of the law because he had scruples about the manner in which pleadings were drawn, died when Hale was under five years of age, and his mother was also dead. His puritan guardian, Anthony Kingscote, had him educated in his own principles by Staunton, vicar of Wotton-under-Edge. In Michaelmas term 1626 Hale went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, with a view to taking holy orders. Here he developed a taste for amusements, dress, and manly sports, frequented the theatre, and practised fencing, in which, being tall, strong, and active, he became very expert, and had thoughts of entering the service of the Prince of Orange as a soldier. Lawyers he regarded as a barbarous sort of people, until he came into contact with Serjeant Glanville, whom he consulted about some private affairs, and who excited in him a taste for law.
He entered Lincoln's Inn on 8 Sept. 1628, and applied himself to the study of law with ardour, reading during the first two years of his pupilage as much as sixteen hours a day, and afterwards eight hours a day. He was a pupil of Noy, who treated him almost like a son, so that he was known as 'young Noy,' and he early made the acquaintance of Selden, who inspired him with his own love of large and liberal culture. He now sought recreation in the study of Roman law, mathematics, philosophy, history, medicine, and theology, avoided the theatre and general society, was studiously plain in his dress, corresponded little, except on matters of business or questions of learning, and read no news. He was greatly impressed by Cornelius Nepos's 'Life of Pomponius Atticus,' whom he resolved to take for his model. He aimed at a strict neutrality in the approaching civil strife. He probably advised Strafford on his impeachment in 1640, though he made no speech. He was counsel for Sir John Bramston on his impeachment in 1641. Wood (Athenae Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 109) states that he took the covenant in 1643, but his name does not appear in the list given in Rushworth's 'Hist. Coll.' iv. 480, and it is unlikely that he should have taken so decided a step. By Laud's desire he was assigned as one of his counsel on his impeachment (November 1643) (Cobbett, State Trials, v. 213; Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, Camd. Soc. p. 78). In 1645 he argued on behalf of Lord Macguire, one of the principal contrivers of the Irish rebellion of 1641, the important point of law whether there was jurisdiction to try an Irish peer by a Middlesex jury for treason committed in Ireland. Prynne argued the affirmative to the satisfaction of the court of king's bench, and Macguire was convicted and executed. He was one of the counsel assigned for the eleven members accused by Fairfax of malpractices against the parliament and the army in the summer of 1646. Burnet says that he tendered his services to the king on his trial. As, however, Charles refused to recognise the jurisdiction of the court, he was not represented by counsel . Hale defended James, duke of Hamilton and earl of Cambridge, on his trial for high treason in February 1648-9, arguing elaborately but unsuccessfully that as a Scotsman the duke must be treated not as a traitor, but as a public enemy. The duke was convicted. According to Burnet he also defended the Earl of Holland, Lord Capel [see Capel, Arthur 1610?-1649], but this does not appear from the 'State Trials' (Whitelocke, Mem. pp. 77, 258, 381; Wood, Athenae Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 128; Cobbett, State Trials, iv. 577, 702, 1195, 1211; Burnet, Memoirs of the Dukes of Hamilton, p. 398). Though at heart a royalist, he did not scruple to take the engagement to be true and faithful to the Commonwealth required by the ordinance of 11 Oct. 1649 to be subscribed by all lawyers, and thus was able in 1651 to defend the presbyterian clergyman, Christopher Love [q. v.], on his trial for plotting the restoration of the king. On 20 Jan. 1651-2 he was placed on the committee for law reform. On 23 Jan. 1654 he was created a serjeant-at-law, and soon afterwards a justice of the common pleas (Cobbett, State Trials, v. 210 et seq.; Parl Hist. iii. 1334; Wood, Athenae Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 280, 1091; Whitelocke, Mem. p. 520; Swedish, Ambassy, ii. 133). Hale stood for his native county at the general election of 1654, and was returned at the head of the poll. Parliament met in September, and set about the great business of settling the nation. Hale spoke forcibly in favour of subordinating 'the single person' to the parliament. Cromwell silenced opposition by requiring members to subscribe a 'recognition to be true and faithful to the Lord Protector and Commonwealth of England.' The majority complied, and all dissentients, of whom Hale was probably one, were excluded by a subsequent vote. According to Burnet, Hale was required by the council of state to assist at the trial of Penruddock (April 1655), but refused. This, however, is unlikely, as Penruddock's trial took place at Exeter, and Hale belonged to the midland circuit. Burnet also intimates that his seat on the bench was by no means an easy one, his strict impartiality rendering him odious to Major-general Whalley, who commanded on his circuit, and also to the Protector. But this is inconsistent with extrinsic evidence. On 1 Nov. 1655 he was placed by the council of state on the committee of trade; and on 31 March 1655-6 Whalley writes to Cromwell from Warwick requesting the Protector to give more than ordinary thanks to Hale for his behaviour on the bench; and on 9 April tells Thurloe that no judge had a greater hold upon the 'affections of honest men.'
Hale continued to act as justice of the common pleas until the Protector's death, and was offered a renewal of his patent by Richard Cromwell, but refused it, probably because he foresaw that Richard's tenure of power would be of short duration. On 27 Jan. 1658-9 he was returned to parliament for the university of Oxford. He took an active part in the restoration of Charles II, but moved that a treaty should be made with him, and to that end a committee was appointed to search for precedents in the various negotiations had with the late king at the treaty of Newport and on other occasions. The motion was defeated by Monck. In the Convention parliament, which met in April 1660, he sat for Gloucestershire. He was chosen one of the managers of the conference with the lords on the settlement of the nation, and was placed on a committee for purging the statute book of all pretended acts inconsistent with government by king, lords, and commons, and confirming other proceedings which were equitable, although technically void. He was also a member of the grand committee for religion, and advocated the old ecclesiastical polity against presbyterianism. He supported the bill of indemnity, but opposed the inclusion of the regicides. On 22 June he was called to the degree of serjeant-at-law, and in that capacity was included in the commission for the trial of the regicides. On 7 Nov. he was appointed lord chief baron of the exchequer, and afterwards knighted, somewhat against his will, it is said. One of his last acts in the House of Commons was to introduce a bill for the comprehension of presbyterians. It was thrown out on the second reading on 28 Nov. 1660 (Burton, Diary, i. xxxii, iii. 142; Whitelocke, Mem. p. 605; Cal. State Papers, 1655 p. 175, 1655-6 p. 1, 1656-7 p. 81, 1660-1 p. 354; Thurloe State Papers, iv. 663, 686, v. 296; Burnet, Own Time, fol. p. 80, 8vo i. 322 n.; Parl. Hist. iv. 4, 25, 79, 101, 152-4; Comm. Journ. viii. 194; Siderfin, Rep. i. 3, 4).
At the Bury St. Edmunds assizes on 10 March 1661-2 two old women, Rose Cullender and Amy Drury, widows, were indicted before him of witchcraft. They had, it was alleged, caused certain children to be taken with fainting fits, to vomit nails and pins, and to see mysterious mice, ducks, and flies invisible to others. A toad ran out of their bed, and on being thrown into the fire had exploded with a noise like the crack of a pistol. Sir Thomas Browne gave evidence in favour of the prosecution. Serjeant Kelynge thought the evidence insufficient. Hale, in directing the jury, abstained from commenting on the evidence, but 'made no doubt at all' of the existence of witches, as proved by the Scriptures, general consent, and acts of parliament. The prisoners were convicted and executed (Cobbett, State Trials, vi. 687-702).
After the fire of London a special court was constituted by act of parliament (1666), consisting of 'the justices of the courts of king's bench and common pleas and the barons of the coif of the exchequer, or any three of them,' to adjudicate on all questions arising between the owners and tenants of property in the city destroyed by the fire. The commission sat at Clifford's Inn, and disposed of a vast amount of business. Its last sitting was held on 29 Sept. 1672. Besides his part in the strictly judicial business of this tribunal, Hale is said to have advised the corporation on various matters relating to the rebuilding of the city. His portrait, with those of his colleagues, was painted by order of the corporation and hung in the Guildhall. Hale showed a certain tenderness towards the dissenters in his administration of the Conventicle Acts, the severity of which he did his best to mitigate, and also in another attempt which he made in 1668, in concert with Sir Orlando Bridgeman, to bring about the comprehension of the more moderate. On 18 May 1671 he was created chief justice of the king's bench, where he presided for between four and five years with great distinction. In 1675 he began to be troubled with asthma, and his strength gradually failing, he tendered the king his resignation, which was not at once accepted. On 20 Feb. 1675-6 he surrendered his office to the king in person. Charles took leave of him with many expressions of his regard, and promised to consult him on occasion, and to continue his pension during his life. He died on the following Christmas day, and was buried in Alderley churchyard, having left express instructions that he should not be buried in the church—that being a place for the living, not the dead. His tomb was a very simple one; but his real monument was a clock of curious workmanship, which he had presented to the church on his sixty-fourth birthday (1 Nov. 1673), in which, on the occasion of an examination of the works in 1833, a paper was found with the following words: 'This is the gift of the right honourable Chief-justice Hale to the parish church of Alderley. John Mason, Bristol, fecit, 1 Nov. 1673.' Besides his paternal estate at Alderley, which has remained in the possession of his posterity to the present day, Hale bought in 1667 a small house at Acton near the church with a 'fruitful field, grove, and garden, surrounded .by a remarkably high, deeply founded, and long extended wall,' said to have been the same which had belonged to Skippon, and which was then tenanted by Baxter, to whom, while residing there, Hale extended his friendship and countenance. Baxter thus describes him: 'He was a man of no quick utterance, but often hesitant; but spoke with great reason. He was most precisely just; insomuch as I believe he would have lost all that he had in the world rather than do an unjust act: patient in hearing the tediousest speech which any man had to make for himself. The pillar of justice, the refuge of the subject who feared oppression, and one of the greatest honours of his majesty's government.' Hale was also on terms of intimacy with Wilkins, bishop of Chester, with whom he was associated in his efforts to secure the comprehension of the dissenters, with Barrow, master of Trinity College, Tillotson, Stillingfleet, Ussher, and other eminent divines. His friendship with Selden ceased only at the death of Selden, who made him one of his executors. Though for his station a poor man, he dispensed much in charity, particularly to the royalists during the war and interregnum, and afterwards to the nonconformists, his principle being to help those who were in greatest need, without distinction of party or religious belief. As a lawyer he was distinguished not less by his strict integrity and delicate sense of honour than by his immense industry, knowledge, and sagacity, disdaining while at the bar the common tricks of the advocate, refusing to argue cases which he thought bad, using rhetoric sparingly, and only in support of what he deemed solid argument. On one occasion, while he was lord chief baron, a duke is said to have called at his chambers to explain to him a case then pending. Hale dismissed him unheard with a sharp reprimand. He also discountenanced the custom of receiving presents from suitors, either returning them or insisting on the donor taking payment before his case was proceeded with. Roger North imputes to him a bias against the court, but admits that 'he became the cushion exceeding well; his manner of hearing patient, his directions pertinent, and his discourses copious and, though he hesitated often, fluent.' He adds that 'his stop for a word by the produce always paid for the delay, and on some occasions he would utter sentences heroic,' and that 'he was allowed on all hands to be the most profound lawyer of his time' (Life of Lord-keeper Guilford, ed. 1742, pp. 61-4). Elsewhere North compares the court of king's bench during Hale's chief justiceship to 'an academy of sciences,' so severe and refined was Hale's method of arguing with the counsel and giving judgment (On the Study of the Laws, p. 33). His authority coming at last to be regarded as all but infallible, it would by no means be surprising if he became, as North alleges, exceedingly vain and intolerant of opposition; but of this, beyond North's word, we have no evidence. Hale remained throughout life attached to his early puritanism. He was a regular attendant at church, morning and evening, on Sunday, and also gave up a portion of the day to prayer and meditation, besides expounding the sermon to his children. He was an extreme anti-ritualist, having apparently no ear for music, and objecting even to singing, and in particular to the practice of intoning. Though strictly orthodox in essentials, he was impatient of the subtleties of theology (Baxter, Notes on the Life and Death of Sir Matthew Hale). With Baxter he was wont to discuss questions of philosophy, such as the nature of spirit and the rational basis of the belief in the immortality of the soul. He carried puritan plainness in dress to such a point as to move even Baxter to remonstrate with him.
Hale married first Anne, daughter of Henry Moore of Fawley in Berkshire (created bart. in 1627), son of Sir Francis Moore, [q. v.], knight, serjeant-at-law, by whom he had issue ten children, all of whom, except the eldest daughter and youngest son, died in his lifetime. His fourth and youngest son married Mary, daughter of Edmund Goodyere of Heythorp, Oxfordshire. His first wife was dead in 1664. He married for his second wife Anne, daughter of Joseph Bishop, also of Fawley in Berkshire. She was of comparatively humble origin, 'but the good man,' says Baxter, 'more regarded his own daily comfort than men's thoughts and talk.' By her he had no children. His posterity died out in the male line in 1782 (Stow, Survey of London, ed. 1754, i. 285-6; Herbert, Antiq. of the Inns of Court, p. 275; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1664-5, p. 20; Burnet, Own Time, fol. i. 259, 554; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. ix. 269-70; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. App. 726 a, 7th Rep. App. 468 b; Nichols}, Lit. Anecd. ix. 505; Lysons, Env. ii. 15; Marshall, Genealogist, v. 288; Baxter, iii. 47).
Hale's judgments are reported by Sir Thomas Raymond, pp. 209-39; Levinz, pt. ii. pp. 1-116; Ventris, i. 399-429; and Keble,ii. 751 usque ad fin., iii. 1-622. An opinion of his, together with those of Wild and Maynard, on the mode of electing the mayor, aldermen, and common councilmen of the city of London, was printed in 'London Liberty; or a Learned Argument of Law and Reason,' London, 1650. Other of his opinions were published together with 'The Excellency and Praeheminence of the Laws of England ' (by Thomas Williams, speaker of the House of Commons in 1562), London, 1680, 8vo. Two of his judgments in the court of exchequer, reported by Ventris (loc. cit.), also appeared in separate form as 'Two Arguments in the Exchequer, by Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Baron,' London, 1696. In 1668 Hale edited anonymously Rolle's 'Abridgment,' with a preface, giving a brief account of the author, whose intimate friend he had been.
His earliest original works were: 1. 'An Essay touching the Gravitation or Non-Gravitation of Fluid Bodies, and the Reasons thereof,' London, 1673; 2nd edit. 1675, 8vo. 2. 'Difficiles Nugae; or Observations touchy ing the Torricellian Experiment, and the various Solutions of the same, especially touching the Weight and Elasticity of the Air,' London, 1674, 8vo. Neither treatise possessed any scientific value. The latter is well described by a contemporary as 'a strange and futile attempt of one of the philosophers of the old cast to confirm Dame Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum, and to arraign the new doctrines of Mr. Boyle and others concerning the weight and spring of the air, the pressure of fluids on fluids, &c.' (Philosophical Transactions, abridged, ii. 134). These two tracts elicited from Dr. Henry More a volume of criticism worthy of them, entitled 'Remarks upon two late Ingenious Discourses,' London, 1676, to which Hale rejoined with 'Observations touching the Principles of Natural Motions, and especially touching Rarefaction and Condensation,' which appeared posthumously, London, 1677, 8vo. Three other works by Hale also appeared anonymously shortly after his death. 1. 'The Life and Death of Pomponius Atticus, written by Cornelius Nepos, translated . . . with Observations . . . ,' London, 1677 (a very inaccurate translation). 2. 'Contemplations Moral and Divine' (two volumes of edificatory discourses, the fruit of Hale's Sunday evening meditations, with seventeen effusions in the heroic couplet on Christmas. The work was in the press at Hale's death, and is stated in the preface to have been printed without the consent or privity of the author, by an ardent admirer into whose hands the manuscript had come by chance. It was reprinted with Burnet's 'Life of Hale' in 1700). 3. 'Pleas of the Crown; or a Methodical Summary of the Principal Matters relating to that Subject,' London, 1678, 8vo. This brief and inaccurate digest of the criminal law went through seven editions, being considerably augmented by G. Jacob; the last appeared in 1773, 8vo.
Hale left many manuscript treatises, chiefly on law and religion, and voluminous antiquarian collections, part of which he bequeathed to Lincoln's Inn and the remainder to his eldest grandson, conditionally on his adopting the law as a profession, and in default to his second grandson. He gave express direction that nothing of his own composition should be published except what he had destined for publication in his lifetime, an injunction which has been by no means rigorously obeyed. The following is Burnet's somewhat confused list of the manuscripts other than those bequeathed to Lincoln's Inn, which remained unpublished at his death: ' 1. Concerning the Secondary Origination of Mankind, fol. 2. Concerning Religion, 5 vols. in fol. viz.: (a) De Deo,. Vox Metaphysica, pars 1 et 2; (b) Pars 3. Vox Naturae, Providentiae, Ethicae, Conscientiae; (c) Liber Sextus, Septimus, Octavus; (d) Pars 9. Concerning the Holy Scriptures, their Evidence and Authority; (e) Concerning the Truth of the Holy Scripture and the Evidences thereof.' Nos. 1 and 2 together constitute a formal treatise in defence of Christianity, to the writing of which Hale devoted his vacant Sunday evening hours after the ' Contemplations ' were finished. The composition of the work was spread over seven years, but appears to have been completed while he was still chief baron. The manuscript was submitted to Bishop Wilkins, who showed it to Tillotson. Both advised condensation, for which Hale never found leisure. The first part was published after his death as 'The Primitive Origination of Mankind considered and examined according to the Light of Nature.' In this very curious treatise Hale in the first place attempts to show that the world must have had a beginning; next, with lawyer-like caution, that if by possibility this were not so, the human race at any rate cannot have existed from eternity; then passes in review certain 'opinions of the more learned part of mankind, philosophers and other writers, touching man's origination,' and finally defends the Mosaic account of the matter as most consonant with reason. The book was translated for Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg, the great elector, by Dr. Schmettau in 1683. The other parts have never been published. A copy of the treatise on the 'Secondary Origination of Mankind,' made for Sir Robert Southwell in 1691, exists in Addit. MS. 9001. '3. Of Policy in Matters of Religion, fol. 4. De Anima to Mr. B. fol. 5. De Anima, transactions between him and Mr. B. (probably Baxter) fol. 6. Tentamina de ortu, natura, et immortalitate Animae, fol. 7. Magnetismus Magneticus, fol. 8. Magnetismus Physicus, fol. 9. Magnetismus Divinus' (an edificatory discourse published as 'Magnetismus Magnus; or Metaphysical and Divine Contemplations on the Magnet or Loadstone,' London, 1695, 8vo). '10. De Generatione Animalium et Vegetabilium, fol. Lat. 11. Of the Law of Nature, fol.' (Hargrave MS. 485: a copy of this treatise, made from the original for Sir Robert Southwell in 1693, is in Addit. MS. 18235, and another transcript in Harl. MS. 7159). '12. A Letter of Advice to his grandchildren, 4to : ' a transcript of this manuscript exists in Harl. MS. 4009; it was first printed in 1816. '13. Placita Coronae, 7 vols. fol:' the following minute in the journals of the House of Commons relates to this manuscript, of which only a transcript (Hargrave MSS. 258-264) appears to be now extant: 'Ordered, that the executors 01 Sir Matthew Hale, late Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, be desired to print his MSS. relating to the Crown Law, and that a Committee be appointed to take care in the printing thereof.' The editio princeps, however, is that by Sollom Emlyn, published as 'Historia Placitorum Coronae; The History of the Pleas of the Crown, by Sir Matthew Hale, Knight, sometime Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench,' London, 1736, 2 vols. fol. A new edition by Dogherty appeared in 1800, 2 vols. roy. 8vo. '14. Preparatory Notes touching the Rights of the Crown, fol.' Cap. viii. of this manuscript, dealing with the royal prerogative in ecclesiastical matters, was printed for private circulation by leave of the benchers of Lincoln's Inn in 1884. The treatise itself is, with occasional breaks, consecutive and complete. '15. Incepta de Juribus Coronae, fol.' (a mere collection of materials). '16 . De Praerogativa Regis, fol.' (a fragment, of which Hargrave MS. 94 is a transcript) : transcripts of 14, 15, and 16, made partly by and partly under the direction of Hargrave, are in Lincoln's Inn Library. A work entitled 'Jura Coronae: His Majesty's Prerogative asserted against Papal Usurpations and all other Antimonarchical Attempts and Practices, collected out of the Body of the Municipal Laws of England,' appeared in 1680, 8vo, and is probably a garbled version of or compilation from one or other or all of these treatises. '17. Preparatory Notes touching Parliamentary Proceedings, 2 vols. 4to.' (Hargrave MS. 95). '18. Of the Jurisdiction of the House of Lords, 4to ' (among the Hargrave MSS. in British Museum Library, together with a transcript by Hargrave, by whom it was printed for the first time in 1796 under the title 'The Jurisdiction of the Lords' House in Parliament considered according to Ancient Records '). '19. Of the Jurisdiction of the Admiralty' (Hargrave MSS. 93, 137). 20. Touching Ports and Customs, fol. 21. Of the Right of the Sea and the Arms thereof and Customs, fol.: ' transcripts of this manuscript, entitled ' De Jure Maris,' are in Hargrave MS. 97, and Addit. MS. 30228. No. 19, with the transcripts of 20 and 21, now in the Hargrave collection, came in the last century into the possession of George Hardinge [q. v.], solicitor-general to the queen of George III, who gave them to Francis Hargrave, by whom the transcripts were published in 1787 in a volume entitled 'A Collection of Tracts relative to the Law of England, from MSS. now first edited.' There they appear as 'A Treatise in three parts: Pars Prima, "De Jure Maris et Brachiorum ejusdem; "Pars Secunda," De Portibus Maris; " Pars Tertia," Concerning the Customs of Goods imported and exported." ' It has since been reprinted in 'A History of the Foreshore,' by Stuart A. Moore, 1888, where also will be found the original draft of the same treatise, printed for the first time from Hargrave MS. 98. The treatise was ascribed by Hargrave unhesitatingly to Hale. Its authenticity has been questioned, but on unsubstantial grounds. The titles correspond with those given by Burnet, and the style is that of Hale. For a discussion of the question see Hall 'On the Rights of the Crown in the Sea Shore,' ed. Loveland, 5 n., and Jerwood's 'Dissertation on the Rights to the Sea Shores,' pp. 32 et seq. '22. Concerning the Advancement of Trade, 4to. 23. Of Sheriffs' Accounts, fol.' (published in 1683 as 'A Short Treatise touching Sheriffs' Accompts,' together with a report of the trial of the witches at Bury St. Edmunds, said to have been written by Hale's marshal, 8vo, reprinted with the 'Discourse touching Provision for the Poor,' mentioned infra, in 1716. '24. Copies of Evidences, fol. 25. Mr. Selden's Discourses, 8vo. 26. Excerpta ex Schedis Seldenianis. 27. Journal of the 18 and 22 Jacobi Regis, 4to. 28. Great Commonplace Book of Reports or Cases in the Law, in Law French, fol.'
Manuscripts described by Burnet as 'in bundles' are: 1. 'On Quod tibi fieri, &c., Matt. vii. 12; ' perhaps art. No. (8) of Hale's 'Works Moral and Religious,' 1805 (see below). 2. 'Touching Punishments in relation to the Socinian Controversy.' 3. 'Policies of the Church of Rome.' 4. 'Concerning the Laws of England: ' possibly identical with Hargrave MS. 494, fol. 299, 'Schema Monumentorum Legum Angliae,' or with Harl. MS. 4990, f. 1, 'An Oration of Lord Hales in commendation of the Laws of England; ' or may be the original from which the extracts contained in Lansd. MS. 632 were taken. 5. 'Of the Amendment of the Laws of England ' (Harl. MS. 711, ff. 372-418, and Addit. MS. 18234, published in 1787 as 'Consideration touching the Amendment or Alteration of Lawes ' in 'A Collection of Tracts relative to the Law of England,' by Hargrave, who gives an account of the manuscript, which belonged to Somers, and afterwards to Sir Joseph Jekyll). 6. 'Touching Provision for the Poor ' (printed 1683, 12mo). 7. 'Upon Mr. Hobbs, his MS.' (appears to be identical with the 'Reflections on Hobbes' "Dialogue on Laws'" contained in Harl. MS. 711, f. 418 usque ad fin., of which Addit. MS. 18235 and Hargrave MS. 96 are transcripts). 8. 'Concerning the Time of the Abolition of the Jewish Laws.' Burnet also mentions the following as 'in quarto,' viz.: 1. 'Quod sit Deus.' 2. 'Of the State and Condition of the Soul and Body after Death.' 3. 'Notes concerning Matters of Law.'
A full account of the Hale MSS. in Lincoln's Inn Library is given in the catalogue (1838) by Joseph Hunter. The collection also contains three manuscript copies of the Bible in Latin which are supposed to have belonged to Hale, one of the fourteenth century and two of the fifteenth century. The following legal treatises by Hale are mentioned neither in the schedule to his will nor in the list of his other manuscripts given by Burnet: 1. Hargrave MS. 140, of which Harl. MS. 711, ff. 1-371, is a transcript, a manuscript in Hale's hand, entitled 'The History and Analysis of the Common Law of England.' Apparently the original was in the possession of Harley in 1711, and then lent by him to William Elstob, on condition that no transcript of it should be made (NICHOLS, Lit. Anecd. iv. 124). Two years later the work was printed as ' The History and Analysis of the Common Law of England, written by a learned hand/ London, 8vo; reprinted as by Sir Matthew Hale in 1716, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1739, 8vo. Cap. xi. of this work had appeared in 1700 as a substantive treatise, ' De Successionibus apud Anglos, or the Law of Hereditary Descents/ London, 8vo; reprinted in 1735. The ' Analysis ' also appeared separately in 1739. A fourth edition of the entire work, with notes and a life of Hale by Serjeant Runnington, issued from the press in 1779, London, 8vo; a fifth with many additions in 1794, 2 vols. 8vo, and a sixth in 1820, 2 vols. 8vo. 2. 'A Discourse concerning the Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas ' (printed by Hargrave in the ' Collection of Tracts ' in 1787, from a manuscript derived from the same source as the tract on the ' Amendment or Alteration of Lawes ').
Of doubtful authenticity are : 1. ' A Treatise showing how useful . . . the enrolling and registering of all Conveyances of Land may be to the inhabitants of this kingdom. By a person of great learning and judgment,' London, 1694, 4to; reprinted with the draft, by Whitelocke and Lisle, of an act for establishing a county register; reprinted as by Hale in 1710, again in 1756, and in 'Somers Tracts,' xi. 81-90. 2 'A Treatise of the Just Interest of the Kings of England in their free disposing power,' &c., London, 1703, 12mo (written 1657 as an argument against the proposed resumption of lands granted by the crown). 3. 'The Original Institution, Power and Jurisdiction of Parliaments,' London, 1707, 8vo. This is undoubtedly spurious. The first part is a mere compilation, chiefly from Coke's 'Institutes,' pt. iv. Of the second part Hargrave had a manuscript, which now seems to be lost, but by which Herbert purported to be the author of the work (see manuscript notes in Hargrave's copy in the British Museum). 4. 'The Power and Practice of the Court Leet of the City and Liberties of Westminster displayed,' 1743, 8vo. 5. 'A Treatise on the Management of the King's Revenue' (printed with 'Observations on the Land Revenue of the Crown,' by the Hon. John St. John, 1787, 4to; reprinted 1790, 1792, 8vo). For other manuscript treatises and miscellaneous collections by Hale see the catalogue of the Hargrave MSS. in the British Museum, and the catalogue of the Hale MSS. in Lincoln's Inn referred to above.
Hale was a diligent student of Fitzherbert, and reading habitually pen in hand, he covered the margin of his copy of the 'Novel Natora Brevium' with manuscript notes, which formed a complete commentary on the treatise, and were published as such in the 'New Natura Brevium, with Sir Matthew Hale's Commentary,' London, 1730, 4to; reprinted 1794, 2vols. 8vo. Hale also made frequent annotations in his copy of 'Coke upon Littleton,' which he gave to one of his executors, Robert Gibbon, from whom it passed to his son, Phillips Gibbon (M.P. for Rye, d. 1762), a friend of Charles Yorke (lord chancellor 1770). Yorke copied the notes, and a transcript of his copy was made for Sir Thomas Parker (lord chief baron 1740-72), from which transcript they were printed by Hargrave and Butler in their edition of 'Coke upon Littleton' in 1787 (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. viii. 558 n.; The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, authore Ed. Coke, ed. Hargrave and Butler, vol. xxvi.)
Baxter edited from the original manuscript 'The Judgment of the late Lord Chief Justice, Sir Matthew Hale, of the Nature of True Religion, the Causes of its Corruption, and the Church's Calamity by Men's Additions and Violences, with the desired Cure. In three several Discourses,' &c., London, 1684, 4to (re-edited by E. H. Barker in 1832, 8vo). The same year appeared a collection of various fugitive pieces by Hale entitled 'Several Tracts, viz. : 1. A Discourse of Religion on Three Heads : (a) The Ends and Uses of it, and the Errors of Men touching it; (b) The Life of Religion and Superadditions to it; (c) The Superstructions upon it, and the Animosities about it. 2. A Treatise touching Provision for the Poor. 3. A Letter to his Children advising them how to behave themselves in their Speech. 4. A Letter from one of his Sons after his Recovery from the Small-Pox.' Four years later appeared 'A Discourse of the Knowledge of God and of Ourselves, (1) by the Light of Nature, (2) by the Sacred Scriptures. Written by Sir Matthew Hale' (with other tracts by Hale), London, 1688. A pious 'Meditation concerning the Mercy of God in preserving us from the Malice and Power of Evil Angels,' elicited from Hale by the trial of the supposed witches, was published by way of preface to 'A Collection of modern relations of matter of fact concerning Witches and Witchcraft upon the Persons of the People,' London, 1693, 4to. At Berwick in 1762 appeared 'Sir Matthew Hale's Three Epistles to his Children, with Directions concerning their Religious Observation of the Lord'sDay, to which is prefixed An Account of the Author's Life,' 8vo; reprinted with a fourth letter and an edificatory tract as 'The Counsels of a Father, in Four Letters of Sir Matthew Hale to his Children, to which is added The Practical Life of a true Christian in the Account of the Good Steward at the Great Audit,' London, 1816, 12mo. His 'Works Moral and Religious,' with Burnet's ' Life r and Baxter's ' Notes' prefixed, were edited by the Rev. T. Thirlwall, London, 1805, 2 vols. 8vo. This collective edition contains; (1) the 'Four Letters' to his children, (2) an 'Abstract of the Christian Religion,' (3) 'Considerations Seasonable at all times for Cleansing the Heart and Life,' (4) the 'Discourse of Religion,' (5) ' A Discourse on Life and Immortality,' (6) 'On the Day of Pentecost,' (7) 'Concerning the Works of God,' (8) 'Of Doing as we would be done unto,' (9) the translation of Nepos's 'Life of Atticus,' (10) the 'Contemplations Moral and Divine', with the metrical effusions on Christmas day. A compilation from the New Testament entitled 'The Harmony of the Four Evangelists,' edited by John Coren in 1720,. is attributed to Hale on the strength of 'a. tradition in the family whence it came.'
Portions of Hale's edificatory and apologetic writings have also been from time to time edited for the Religious Tract Society, and by individual religious propagandists, whom it is not necessary to particularize. Besides the portrait in the Guildhall already referred to, there is one by an unknown painter in the National Portrait Gallery, to which it was presented by the Society of Serjeants-at-Law in 1877.[The principal authorities for Hale's biography are Burnet's Life and Death of Sir Matthew Hale, London, 1682, 8vo; and the brief account given in Wood's Athenae Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 1090-6. Of more recent lives the most ambitious is Memoirs of the Life, Character, and Writings of Sir Matthew Hale, knt., Lord Chief Justice of England, by John (afterwards Sir John) Bickerton Williams, LL.D., F.S.A., London, 1835, a careful compilation marred by the author's painful desire to edify. See also Campbell's Lives of the Chief Justices, and Foss's Lives of the Judges.]