HALES, or HAYLES, JOHN (d. 1571), English writer and politician, was a son of Thomas Hales of Hales Place, Halden, Kent. He wrote his Highway to Nobility about 1543, and was the founder of a free school at Coventry for which he wrote Introductiones ad grammaticam. In political life Hales, who was member of parliament for Preston, was specially concerned with opposing the enclosure of land, being the most active of the commissioners appointed in 1548 to redress this evil; but he failed to carry several remedial measures through parliament. When the protector, the duke of Somerset, was deprived of his authority in 1550, Hales left England and lived for some time at Strassburg and Frankfort, returning to his own country on the accession of Elizabeth. However he soon lost the royal favour by writing a pamphlet, A Declaration of the Succession of the Crowne Imperiall of Inglande, which declared that the recent marriage between Lady Catherine Grey and Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, was legitimate, and asserted that, failing direct heirs to Elizabeth, the English crown should come to Lady Catherine as the descendant of Mary, daughter of Henry VII. The author was imprisoned, but was quickly released, and died on the 28th of December 1571. The Discourse of the Common Weal, described as " one of the most informing documents of the age," and written about 1549, has been attributed to Hales. This has been edited by E. Lamond (Cambridge, 1893)- Hales is often confused with another John Hales, who was clerk of the hanaper under Henry VIII. and his three immediate successors.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)