Horace Earle was born in London and educated at Highbury College. A teacher in Singapore, he later emigrated to Victoria to work in the goldfields and was in Ballarat during the Eureka Stockade.
Earle worked for the East India Company for a time and then returned to Australia to settle in Brisbane. He was employed as an accountant and then a journalist; he later became the editor of the Mercantile Gazette.
In 1886, Earle published The Commerce and Industries of Queensland; he also wrote and published short stories. Earle established, with James Brunton Stephens (q.v.), Brisbane's influential Johnsonian Club.