Inns of Court and Chancery. 120

Inns of Court and Chancery.
CHAP. XXI.

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 our Perambulation to mark other very memorable and Publick Places; as namely, the Inns of Court and Chancery, the Schools, and Houses of Learning, the Colleges and Hospitals.]

J. S.

There is in and about this City an whole University as it were of Students, Practisers, or Pleaders, and Judges of the Laws of this Realm: Not living of common Stipends, as in other Universi- ties it is for the most part done, but of their own private Maintenance: As being altogether fed either by their Places or Practice; or otherwise by their proper Revenues, or Exhibition of Parents and Friends. For that the younger Sort are either Gentlemen, 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 within the Liberties of this City, and Five in the Suburbs thereof.

Number of these Houses.


VIZ.

 


Within the Liberties
Serjeants Inn in Fleetstreet,
Serjeants Inn in Chancery Lane,
For Judges and Serjeants only.
The Inner Temple,
The Middle Temple,
In Fleetstreet, Houses of Court.
Cliffords Inn in Fleetstreet,
Thavies Inn in Holborn,
Furnivals Inn in Holborn,
Barnards Inn in Holborn,
Staple Inn in Holborn,
Houses of Chancery.
Without the Liberties.
Grays Inn in Holborn,
Lincolns Inn in Chancery Lane, by
the Old Temple.
Houses of Court.
Clements Inn,
New Inn,
Lions Inn,
Houses of Chancery without Temple-Bar,
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 Inn, 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 to the Bishop of Chester's House; but more commonly termed Strand Inn, for that it stood in Strand Street, and near unto the Strand Bridge without Temple Bar, in the Liberty of the Dutchy of Lancaster. This Inn of Chancery, with other Houses near adjoining, were 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 yet imperfect) 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, and return 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 Officers, Attorneys, Sollicitors and Clerks, that follow the Courts of the King's Bench, and Common Plaeas. And yet there want not some other, being young Students, that come 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, and 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 other 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 Consent of the Benchers, or Readers, being the most ancient, grave and judicious Men of every Inn of the Court, or by the special Privilege of the present Reader there, selected and called to the Degree of Utter Barristers; and so enabled to be Common Counsellors, and to 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, The Bench, there are Twain every Year chosen among the Benchers, of every Inn of Court, to be Readers there. Who do make their Readings at two Times in the Year also; that is, One 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 likewise chuse out of every one Inn of Court a Reader there; being no Bencher, but an utter Barrister there, of Ten or Twelve Years Continuance, and of good Profit in Study. 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 chiefest and best Learned are by the Benchers elected to increase the Number (as I said) of the Bench amongst them. And so in their Time do become first single, and then double Readers to the Students of those Houses of Court. After which last Reading, they became Apprentices of the Law. And in default of a sufficient Number of Serjeants at Law, these are (at the Pleasure of the Prince)

Apprentices at the Law.

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