HALE, John (1614-91), of Bowringsleigh, West Alvington, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

bap. 19 Mar. 1614, 1st s. of John Hale, grocer, of Soper Lane, London and Harmer Green, Welwyn, Herts. by Elizabeth, da. of Humphrey Browne of Essex. m. by 1634, Anne, da. and coh. of Robert Halswell of Goathurst, Som., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 1620.2

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. (parl.) 1642.3

Receiver of tithe, Devon and Cornw. 1655; j.p. Devon 1656-65, 1667-70, 1673-6, commr. for assessment 1657, Jan. 1660-80, militia 1659, Mar. 1660, maj. of militia horse Apr. 1660; commr. for inquiry into Newfoundland govt. 1667.4


Hale came from a cadet branch of the Hertfordshire family. By his marriage he obtained not only an estate in Devon, but a valuable political connexion with Sir John Northcote, who married his wife’s cousin. A parliamentarian officer in the Civil War, he became under the Protectorate the first of the family to enter Parliament. He was re-elected to the Convention for Dartmouth, 15 miles from his home, and was marked on Lord Wharton’s list as a friend. An inactive Member, he was named to only eight committees as ‘Major Hale’ and made no recorded speeches. On 1 Aug. 1660 he was among those ordered to bring in a bill for taking local accounts, and he helped to manage a conference on the poll-tax on 12 Sept. He did not stand again, and was three times removed from the commission of the peace, once for encouraging the constable of West Alvington to f