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586
INNS OF COURT


and other entertainments. In 1887 there was a revival (the first since the 17th century) of the Masque of Flowers at both the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. The Royal Horticultural Society's annual exhibition of flowers and fruit is held in May in the Temple Gardens. Plays are also occasionally performed in the Temple, Robert Browning's Sordello being acted in 1902 by a company of amateurs, most of whom were either members of the bar or connected with the legal profession. The Inner and the Middle Temple, so far as their history can be traced, have always been separate societies. Fortescue, writing between 1461 and 1470, makes no allusion to a previous junction of the two inns. Dugdale (1671) speaks of the Temple as having been one society, and states that the students so increased in number that at length they divided, becoming the Inner and Middle Temple respectively. He does not, however, give any authority for this statement, or furnish the date of the division. The first trustworthy mention of the Temple as an inn of court is found in the Paxton Letters, where, under date November 1440, the Inner Temple is spoken of as a college, as is also subsequently the Middle Temple. The Temple had been the seat in England of the Knights Templars, on whose suppression in 1312 it passed with other of their possessions to the crown, and after an interval of some years to the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, who in the reign of Edward III. demised the mansion and its surroundings to certain professors of the common law who came from Thavie's Inn. Notwithstanding the destruction of the muniments of the Temple by fire or by popular commotion, sufficient testimony is attainable to show that in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II. the Temple had become the residence of the legal communities which have since maintained there a permanent footing. The two societies continued as tenants to the Knights Hospitallers of -St John until the dissolution of the order in 1539; they then became the lessees of the crown, and so remained until 1609, when James I. made a grant by letters patent of the premises in perpetuity to the benchers of the respective societies on a yearly payment by each of £IO, a payment bought up in the reign of Charles II. In this grant the two inns are described as “ the Inner and the Middle Temple or New Temple, " and as “ being two out of those four colléges the most famous of all Europe ” for the study of the law. Excepting the church, nothing remains of the edifices belon ing to the Knights Templars, the resent buildings having been aimost wholly erected since the reign ofp Queen Elizabeth or since the Great Fire, in which the major part of the Inner Temple perished. The church has been in the joint occupation of the Inner and Middle Temple from time immemorial-the former taking the southern and the latter the northern half. The round portion of the church was consecrated in 1185, the nave or choir in- 1240. It is the largest and most complete of the four remainin round churches in England, and is built on the plan of the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. Narrowly escaping the ravages of the fire of 1666, this beautiful building is one of the most perfect specimens of early Gothic architecture in England. In former times the lawyers awaited their clients for consultation in the Round Church, as similarly the sergeants-at-Law were accustomed to resort to St Paul's Cathedral, where each serjeant had a pillar assigned him. The Inner Temple, comprehending a hall, parliament chamber, library and other buildings, occupies the site of the ancient mansion of the Knights Templars, built about the year 1240, and has from time to time been more or less rebuilt and extended, the present handsome range of buildings, including a new dining hall, being completed in 1870. The library owes its existence to William Petyt, keeper of the Tower Records in the time of Queen Anne, who was also a benefactor to the library of the Middle Temple. The greatest addition by gift was made by the Baron F. Maseres in 1825. The number of volumes now in the library is $7,000. Of the Inns of Chancery belonging to the Inner Temple Clzjfordhr Inn was anciently the town residence of the Barons Clifford, and was demised in 1345 to a body of students of the law. It was the most important of the Inns of Chanceryyand numbered among its members Coke and Selden. At its dinners a table was specially set aside for the “ Kentish Mess, " though it is not clear what connexion there was between the Inn and the county of Kent. It was governed by a principal and twelve rulers. Clement's Inn was an Inn of Chancery efore the reign of Edward IV., taking its name from the parish church of St Clement Danes, to which it had formerly belonged. Clement's Inn was the inn of Shakespeare's Master Shallow, and was the Shepherd's Inn of Thackeray's Pendennis. The buildings of Clifford's Inn survive (1910), but of Clement's Inn there are left but a few fragments.

The Middle Temple possesses in its hall one of the most stately of existing Elizabethan buildings. Commenced in 1562, under the auspices of Edmund Plowden, then treasurer, it was not completed until 1572, the richly carved screen at the east end in the style of the Renaissance being put up in 1575. The belief that the screen was constructed of timber taken from ships of the Spanish Armada (1588) is baseless. The hall, which has been preserved unaltered, has been the scene of numerous historic incidents, notably the entertainments given within its walls to regal and other personages from Queen Elizabeth downwards. The library, which contains about 28,000 volumes, dates from 1641, when Robert Ashley, a member of the society, bequeathed his collection of books in all classes of literature to the inn, together with a large sum of money; other benefactors were Ashmole (the antiquary, William Petyt (a benefactor of the Inner Temple) and Lord Stowell. F rom IZII to 1826 the library was greatly neglected; and many of the most scarce and valuable books were lost. The present handsome library building, which stands a art from the hall, was completed. in 1861, the prince of Wales (afterwards Edward VII.) attending the inauguration ceremony on October 31st of that Year, and becoming a member and bencher of the society on the occasion. He afterwards held the office of treasurer (1882). The MSS. in the collection are few and of no special value. In civil, canon and international law, as also in divinity and ecclesiastical history, the library is very rich; it contains also some curious works on witchcraft and demonology. There was but one Inn of Chancery connected with the Middle Temple, that of New Inn, which, according to Dugdale, was formed by a society of students previously settled at St George's Inn, situated near St Sepulchre s Church without Newgate; but the date of this transfer is not known. The buildings have now been pulled down. Lincoln'sI nn stands on the site partly of an episcopal palace erected in the time of Henry III. by Ralph Nevill, bishop of Chichester and chancellor of England, and partly of a religious house, called Black Friars House, in Holborn. In the reign of Edward II., Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln, possessed the place, which from him acquired the name of Lincoln's Inn, robably becoming an Inn of Court soon after his death (in I3IO), tliough of its existence as a place of legal study there is little authentic record until the time of Henry VI. (1424), to which date the existing muniments reach back. The fee simple of the inn would appear to have remained vested in the see of Chichester;and it was not until 1580 that the society which for centuries had occupied the inn as tenants acquired the absolute ownership of it. The old hall, built about 1506, still remains, but has given place to a modern structure designed by Philip Hardwick, R.A., which, along with the buildings containing the library, was completed in 1845, Queen Victoria attending the inauguration ceremony (October 13). The chapel, built after the designs of Inigo llones, was consecrated in 1623. The library-as a collection of aw books the most complete in the country-owes its foundation to a bequest of John Nethersale, amember of the society, in 1497, and is the oldest of the existing libraries in London. Various entries in the records of the inn relate to the library, and notabl in 1608, when an effort was made to extend the collection, andy the first appointment of a master of the library (an office now held in annual rotation by each bencher) was made. The library has been much enriched by donations and by the acquisition by purchase of collections of books on special subjects. It includes also an extensive and valuable series of MSS., the whole comprehending 50,000 volumes. The prince of Wales (George V.), a bencher of the society, filled the office of treasurer in 1904. The Inns of Chancery affiliated to Lincoln's Inn were Thavie's nn and Furnival's Inn. Thavie's Inn was a residence of students of the law in the time of Edward III., and is mentioned by Fortescue as having been one of the lesser houses of Lincoln's Inn for some centuries. It thus continued down to 1769, when the inn was sold by the benchers, and thenceforth it ceased to have any character as a place of legal education. Furnivafs Inn became the resort of students about the year 1406, and was purchased by the society of Linc0ln's Inn in 1547. It was governed by a principal and twelve antients. In 1817 the Inn was rebuilt, but from that date it ceased to exist as a legal community and is now demolished.

The exact date of Gray's Inn becoming the residence of lawyers is not known, though it was so occupied before the year I?7O. The inn stands upon the site of the manor of Portpoole, be onging in ancient times to the dean and chapter of St Paul's, but subsequently the pro erty of the family of Grey de Wilton and eventually of the crown, iifom which a grant of the manor or inn was obtained, many years since discharged from any rent or payment. The hall of the inn is of handsome design, similar to the Middle Temple hall in its general character and arrangements, and was completed about the year 156O. The chapel, of much earlier date than the hall, has, notwithstanding its antiquity, little to recommend it to notice, being small and insignificant, and lacking architectural features of any kind. The library, including about 13,000 volumes, contains a small but important collection of MSS. and missals, and also some valuable works on divinity. Little is known of the origin or early history pf the library, though mention is incidentally made of it in the s0ciety's records in the 16th and 17th centuries. The gardens, laid out about 1597, it is believed under the auspices of the lord chancellor Bacon, at that time treasurer of the society, continue to this day as then planned, though with some curtailment owing to the erection of additional buildings. Among many curious customs maintained in this inn is that of drinking a toast on grand days “ to the glorious, pious and immortal memory of Queen Elizabeth.” Of the special circumstances originating this display of loyalty there is no record. The Inns of Chancery connected with Gray's Inn are Staple and Barnard's Inns. Staple Inn was an Inn of Chancery in the reign of Henry V., and is probably of yet earlier date. Readings and moots were observed here with regularity. Sir Simpnds d'Ewes

mentions attending a moot in February 1624. The inn, with its