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,