Hales (also Hayles) was born in 1516 or shortly before, probably at or near Canterbury, and died in London on 26 December 1572. As a Young man he suffered an accident that left him lame for life. He appears to have received no formal education, and claims to have taught himself four languages including Greek. From around 1525 he was in service in the household of a distant relative, Sir Christopher Hales, master of the rolls, but there seems to have been a falling out between them, possibly because Hales saw no chance of preferment upon his reaching adulthood. In 1534 he sought employment with Thomas Cromwell, and by the following year was a clerk in Cromwell's household. By 1537 he was was assisting Ralph Sadler as a Senior clerk in the Wardrobe. He became prosperous and in the early 1540s bought several properties in London and Coventry, notably the former Hospital of St John in Coventry, where he later founded a school, the Henry VIII’s Free School.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.