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INNS OF COURT
Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

INNS OF COURT, . These are places in Holborn inhabited by members of the legal profession. The principal of them are, the Temple (consisting of the Inner and Middle Temple), Lincoln's Inn, and Gray's Inn.

They each of them have their own libraries and halls, in the former of which lectures are given, and in the latter a fixed number of dinners are eaten by certain of the students in order that they may keep the proper number of terms required of those who are to be called to the barony This "eating of terms" used to be a sine quâ non; but there are, now other means-such as attending a certain number of lectures, &c. of being "called. The "benchers," a body of barristers selected from the members of the inn on account of their professional standing or eminence, also dine in the hall at a "high table," and by them all matters connected with the management of the inn are conducted. The benchers of the Inner and Middle Temple have the privilege of granting orders of admission to the Temple church; and the Temple gardens, which reach down to the Thames, afford a healthful and pleasant promenade for the members of the two inns and their friends. The gardens are carefully planted and kept, and the chrysanthemum shows which take place there periodically are numerously and fashionably attended. There is also a garden at Gray's Inn which is open to the public, but it is chiefly the resort during the summer evenings of children and nursemaids, who flock to it from the populous districts of Bloomsbury to which it is adjacent. The other inns of court are, Serjeants' Inn, Barnard's Inn, Clement's Inn, Clifford's Inn, Furnival's Inn, Lyon's Inn, Staple's Inn, and Thavies' Inn. These are all situated in the neighbourhood of Holborn and the Strand, but as they do not make calls to the bar, they are not used for legal purposes, but are let out, with the exception of Serjeants' Inn, in sets of chambers to any respectable tenant who may choose to reside there. The Incorporated Law Society is a large building in Chancery-lane. It contains a hall, a library, a club room, a lecture room, a fire-proof room for depositing deeds, offices for consultations, and rooms for arbitrations, committees, and various other professional purposes. It is much used by attorneys and solicitors both as a club and also for meetings of a professional nature.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. ©2003]