Archdeacon Francis Hales was born in Ireland on Christmas Day 1821. His father was Francis Hales, a quartermaster in the 40th Regiment. He came to Sydney with his parents in 1826, to Hobart in 1827 and Bombay, India, in 1829, where his father died in 1832. He returned to Dublin with his mother and entered Trinity College in 1842. He graduated in 1846 and was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church in 1847. After a year at Castlebar in the famine-stricken north, he travelled with his wife, three clergymen and Bishop Perry to Melbourne in 1848. He served in Victoria until 1853, then moved to Launceston where he became chaplain of the Trinity parish.
He was appointed rector of the Holy Trinity Church and gaol chaplain in 1856, and archdeacon of Northern Tasmania in 1877. Archdeacon Hales was a board member of the Mechanics' Institute, and was involved with the Launceston Church Grammar School, the University of Tasmania, the Launceston Working Men's Club and the Launceston Investment Savings and Building Society.
Archdeacon Hales and his wife Anne Augusta Stoney had 13 children from 1848 to 1873: Francis William, Anne Augusta, William Prior, Katherine Frances, George Barnewall, Robert Shirley, Fanny Mary, Thomas Barnewall, Mary Henrietta, Frederick Charles, Walter Shirley, Margaret Letitia and Maurice Day. He died on 9 Jul 1900 aged 78 years and was buried in the Cypress Street Cemetery. Part of the Hales vault is located behind the Holy Trinity Church in Cameron Street. He was one of the oldest working Anglican clergymen in the colonies. His wife Annie had predeceased him aged 62 on 30 Nov 1887. The great east window in the new Holy Trinity Church, which was consecrated in 1902, is dedicated to Archdeacon Hales and his wife. Three of their children, Katherine. Mary and Maurice, are also in the Family Album. See The Examiner 3 Mar 2007, page 31.