Thomas Henry Hall Caine was born at Runcorn, Cheshire, 14 May 1853, the eldest son of John Caine, a ship's smith, of Ballaugh, Isle of Man. Much of Caine's childhood was spent between Liverpool and the Isle of Man. Leaving an elementary school in Liverpool at the age of fourteen, Hall Caine became the pupil of a local architect, but when he was about seventeen, owing to ill health, he abandoned work for a time and revisited the Isle of Man, where he succeeded his uncle as schoolmaster at Kirk Maugold Head. Returning to Liverpool after nearly a year, he contributed articles to the Builder and the Building News, and soon became assistant to a builder. His essays in architectural criticism won him the notice of John Ruskin, while his membership of the 'Notes and Queries' Society brought him into contact with many famous men, including Sir Henry Irving and the poet Sir William Watson. Later in life he became an intimate friend of the Manx writer T. E. Brown.
In 1883 Hall Caine was offered a post on the Liverpool Mercury and, while living in London, he worked for a time as one of its leader-writers. His first novel, The Shadow of a Crime (1885), appeared as a serial in the Liverpool Weekly Mercury, but he soon abandoned journalism and settled in the Isle of Wight. The publication in 1887 of the Deemster, a story set in the Isle of Man, marked the beginning of his extraordinary popularity. From 1892 to 1893 Hall Caine visited Poland and the frontier towns of Russia at the request of the Russo-Jewish Committee in order to investigate the facts of Jewish persecutions, and in 1895 he was sent on behalf of the Incorporated Society of Authors and the Colonial Office to Canada where he conducted successful negotiations with the Dominion government on the subject of Canadian Copyright. From 1901 to 1908 he was a member of the Manx House of Keys, associating himself with the reforming party. During the First World War Hall Caine devoted his energies to Allied propaganda in the United States . He also edited King Albert's Book (1914) for which he was made an officer of the Belgian Order of Leopold. He was appointed K.B.E. in 1918 and C.H. in 1922.
He died at his home, Greeba Castle, Isle of Man, 31 August 1931, leaving unfinished a Life of Christ which was published posthumously in 1938. Sir Hall Caine wrote nearly twenty novels, including The Bondman (1890), The Manxman (1895), The Christian (1897), The Eternal City (1901), The Woman Thou Gavest Me (1913) and Master of Man (1921). A number of his works were adapted to the stage, including The Bondman and The Woman Thou Gavest Me.