Edward Hake was educated under John Hopkins, the part-author of the metrical version of the Psalms. He resided in Gray's Inn and Barnard's Inn, London. In the address To the Gentle Reader prefixed to his Newes out of Powles Churchyard, Otherwise entitled Syr Nummus (2nd ed., 1579) he mentions the "first three yeeres which I spent in the Innes of Channcery, being now about a dosen of yeeres passed." In 1585 and 1586 he was mayor of New Windsor, and in 1588 he represented the borough in parliament. His last work was published in 1604. He was protected by the Earl of Leicester, whose policy it was to support the Puritan party, and who no doubt found a valuable ally in so vigorous a satirist of error in clerical places as was Hake.
Newes out of Paules Churchyarde, A Trappe for Syr Monye, first appeared in 1567, but no copy of this impression is known, and it was re-issued in 1579 with the title quoted above. The book takes the form of a dialogue between Bertulph and Paul, who meet in the aisles of the cathedral, and is divided into eight 'satyrs', dealing with the corruption of the higher clergy and of judges, the greed of attorneys, the tricks of physicians and apothecaries, the sumptuary laws, extravagant living, Sunday sports, the abuse of St Paul's cathedral as a meeting-place for business and conversation, usury, etc. It is written in rhymed fourteen-syllable metre, which is often more comic than the author intended. It contains, amid much prefatory matter, a note to the "carping and scornefull Sicophant," in which he attacks his enemies with small courtesy and much alliteration. One is described as a "carping careless cankerd churle."
He also wrote a translation from Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation, or Following of Christ (1567, 1568) ; A Touchstone for this Time Present (1574), a scurrilous attack on the Roman Catholic Church, followed by a treatise on education; A Commemoration of the Raigne of Elizabeth (1575), enlarged in 1578 to A Joyfull Continuance of the Commemoration, and of Gold's Kingdom, and this Unhelping Age (1604), a collection of pieces in prose and verse, in which the author inveighs against the power of gold. A bibliography of these and of Hake's other works was compiled by Mr Charles Edmonds for his edition in 1872 of the Newes (Isham Reprints, No. 2, 1872).
Being the entry for HAKE, EDWARD in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.