Edward Hall

Edward Hall (also Halle) (c. 1498–1547), English chronicler and lawyer, was born about the end of the 15th century, being a son of John Hall of Northall, Shropshire.

Educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, he became a barrister and after-wards filled the offices of common sergeant of the city of London and judge of the sheriff's court. He was also elected member of parliament for Much Wenlock in 1529 and 1539 and Bridgnorth in 1542 and 1545.

The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrate Families of Lancastre and Yorke, commonly called Hall's Chronicle, was first published in 1542. Another edition was issued by Richard Grafton in 1548, the year after Hall's death, and another in 1550; these include a continuation from 1532 compiled by Grafton from the author's notes. In 1809 an edition was published under the supervision of Sir Henry Ellis, and in 1904 the part dealing with the reign of Henry VIII was edited by Charles Whibley.

The Chronicle begins with the accession of Henry IV to the English throne in 1399; it follows the strife between the houses of Lancaster and York, and with Grafton's continuation carries the story down to the death of Henry VIII in 1547. Hall presents the policy of this king in a very favourable light and shows his own sympathy with the Protestants. For all kinds of ceremonial he has all a lawyer's respect, and his pages are often adorned and encumbered with the pageantry and material garniture of the story.

The value of the Chronicle in its early stages is not great, but this increases when dealing with the reign of Henry VII and is very considerable for the reign of Henry VIII. Moreover, the work is not only valuable, it is attractive. To the historian it furnishes what is evidently the testimony of an eye-witness on several matters of importance which are neglected by other narrators; and to the student of literature it has the exceptional interest of being one of the prime sources of Shakespeare's historical plays. See James Gairdner, Early Chroniclers of Europe; England (1879).

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Famous quotes containing the word hall:

    In football they measure forty-yard sprints. Nobody runs forty yards in basketball. Maybe you run the ninety-four feet of the court; then you stop, not on a dime, but on Miss Liberty’s torch. In football you run over somebody’s face.
    —Donald Hall (b. 1928)