|Inns of Court and Chancery. ||120
Of the Houses for Students in the
Law, called, The Inns of Court and Chancery.
HAving said thus much of the Towers and Castles of our
ancient City, and more particularly and largely of the Royal Tower, we go on in
Perambulation to mark other very memorable and Publick Places; as namely, the
of Court and Chancery, the Schools, and Houses of Learning, the Colleges and
There is in and about this City an whole University as it were of Students,
or Pleaders, and Judges of the Laws of this Realm: Not living of common
in other Universi-
ties it is for the most part done, but of their own private Maintenance: As
altogether fed either by their Places or Practice; or otherwise by their proper
or Exhibition of Parents and Friends. For that the younger Sort are either
or the Sons of Gentlemen, or of other most wealthy Persons.
Inns of Court and Chancery.
Consisting of Gentlemen, or wealthy Persons.
Of these Houses, there be at this Day Fourteen in all; whereof Nine do stand
Liberties of this City, and Five in the Suburbs thereof.
Number of these Houses.
|Serjeants Inn in Fleetstreet,|
Serjeants Inn in Chancery Lane,
Judges and Serjeants only.
|The Inner Temple,|
The Middle Temple,
Houses of Court.
|Cliffords Inn in Fleetstreet,|
Thavies Inn in Holborn,
Furnivals Inn in Holborn,
Barnards Inn in Holborn,
Staple Inn in Holborn,
|Grays Inn in Holborn,|
Lincolns Inn in Chancery Lane, by
the Old Temple.
|Houses of Chancery without
in the Liberty of Westminster.
Of every of these Inns, ye may read more in their several Places where they stand.
There was some time an Inn of Serjeants in Holborn; as ye may read of Scroop's
over against St. Andrew's Church.
A Serjeants Inn in Holborn.
There was also one other Inn of Chancery, called Chester's Inn, for the Nearness
Bishop of Chester's House; but more commonly termed Strand Inn, for that it
Strand Street, and near unto the Strand Bridge without Temple Bar, in the
Dutchy of Lancaster. This Inn of Chancery, with other Houses near adjoining,
pulled down in the Reign of Edward VI. by Edward Duke of Somerset, and Protector
of the Realm; wo in Place thereof, raised that beautiful (but
House, called Somerset House.
Chester's Inn, or Strand Inn, in Place where standeth Somerset House.
There was moreover, in the Reign of King Henry VI. a Tenth House of Chancery,
mentioned by Justice Fortescue, in his Book of the Laws of England; but where it
stood, or when it was abandoned, I cannot find: And therefore I will leave it,
to the rest.
A Tenth House of Chancery.
The Houses of Court be replenished, partly with young Students, and partly with
Graduates and Practisers of the Law. But the Inns of Chancery being as it were
Provinces, severally subjected to the Inns of Court, be chiefly furnished with
Attorneys, Sollicitors and Clerks, that follow the Courts of the King's Bench,
Common Plaeas. And yet there want not some other, being young Students, that
thither sometimes from one of the Universities, and sometimes immediately from
Grammar Schools. And these having spent some Time in studying upon the First
Elements and Grounds of the Law, and having performed the Exercises of their own
Houses, called Boltas Moots, and Putting of Cases; they proceed to be admitted,
become Students in
some of these Four Houses or Inns of Court. Where continuing by the Space of
SevenYears, or thereabouts, they frequent Readings, Meetings, Boltings, and
learned Exercises. Whereby, growing ripe in the Knowledge of the Laws, and
approved withal to be of honest Conversation, they are either by the general
the Benchers, or Readers, being the most ancient, grave and judicious Men of
of the Court, or by the special Privilege of the present Reader there, selected
to the Degree of Utter Barristers; and so enabled to be Common Counsellors, and
practise the Law, both in their Chambers and at the Bars.
Houses of Inns of Court, what they be.
Of these, after that they be called to a further Step of Preferrment, called,
there are Twain every Year chosen among the Benchers, of every Inn of Court, to
Readers there. Who do make their Readings at two Times in the Year also; that
in Lent, and the other at the Beginning of August.
The Bench Readers.
And for the Help of young Students in every of the Inns of Chancery, they do
chuse out of every one Inn of Court a Reader there; being no Bencher, but an
Barrister there, of Ten or Twelve Years Continuance, and of good Profit in
Now from these of the said Degree of Counsellors, or Utter Barristers, having
continued therein the Space of Fourteen or Fifteen Years at the least, the
best Learned are by the Benchers elected to increase the Number (as I said) of
Bench amongst them. And so in their Time do become first single, and then
Readers to the Students of those Houses of Court. After which last Reading,
became Apprentices of the Law. And in default of a sufficient Number of
Law, these are (at the Pleasure of the Prince)
Apprentices at the Law.