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In answer to the adverse criticism which was made on the Note
B. action of the serjeants in selling their Inn and dividing the proceeds amongst themselves, the insinuation being that it was Sale of public property, Mr. Serjeant Robinson says: “That Serjeants’ Serjeants
Inn. Inn was a private club, and that our funds were derived from private sources, may surely be sufficiently established from this, that the fifteen judges would never have acted as they did if there had been a scintilla of proof or even of suspicion to the contrary. There was not one of the serjeants who did not deeply regret the necessity of parting with our venerable hall and its appendages, but not a voice was raised against our right to proceed to a partition. With the certainty that no more serjeants would be created, judicial or otherwise, and that our income of £1,500 or £2,000 a year would thus be cut off from us, it was impossible that the establishment could be maintained on the same liberal scale as of yore; we should be gradually dying off, like the members of a tontine, until the property ultimately vested in the survivor to do as he please with, for there was no one else who could have the slightest claim to it. The Inn was accordingly sold, and the proceeds divided amongst the members.” (Chap. xxiii., p. 313.)
Pulling on this subject says: “Under the private Act in 1834 the society [of Serjeants' Inn] was constituted a corporation, and this incorporated society still continues, though without worldly property, for its accounts have all been wound up. Its only remaining possessions (1884], the interesting old pictures, have been presented to the National Portrait Gallery, and now form part of that collection." “ The Order of the Coif,” chap. v., p. 127, note.
Mr. Serjeant Ballantine records (“Experiences,” chap. xvii.) that in 1872 he was elected treasurer of Serjeants’ Inn, and
a dog's trick by running off with my fee of ten guineas as a retainer to plead, when become a serjeant, for the society of Lincoln's Inn. I made him disgorge the money at the House of Lords by threatening to sentence him to the gallows as a thief, and by commencing my judicial career with a notorious culprit I was sworn in before the Chancellor at four o'clock, . . . First I was made a serjeant and then my patent writ as chief-justice was handed to me. . . . I dined twice at the Serjeants' Inn, my admission to which cost me near seven hundred pounds.” “Life of John, Lord Campbell,” chapters xxix., xxx, by his daughter, Mrs. Hardcastle.
Lecture annually re-elected until 1875, when he accepted a retainer II.
to go to India; and that on his return, “being reinstated, I reinained treasurer until the abolition of the Inn; and if I have no other word inscribed on the roll of fame, I shall be recorded as the last treasurer of one of the most ancient, and at one time the most honored, of the institutions of Great Britain. ... The order to sell the property was made at the
last meeting, held on April 27, 1877.” Bibliog Mr. Herbert has an interesting account of the Antiquity and raphy.
Dignity of Serjeant-at-law,- “Antiquity of the Inns of Court,"
THE EDUCATION AND DISCIPLINE OF THE English BAR, AND
HEREIN OF THE INNS OF COURT, THEIR HISTORY, CHARAC-
of the Inns of Court has numerous buildings of its own, consisting of chambers or rooms let Buildings for hire, mainly to the barristers and students ;1 and belonging to each Inn is a large library hall, a spacious kitchen, and also a commodious and beautiful hall used for readings, dining, etc., and a chapel for religious service. The Inner Temple owns and in common with the Middle Temple uses for the latter
purpose the exquisite Temple Church built by Temple the Knights Templars (in imitation of a temple near the Holy Sepulchre), and which was dedicated in A. D. 1185, over seven hundred years ago. In the
1 “ The whole number of inhabited houses in the Inner Temple is said to be forty-two, which seems large in comparison with the twentythree of Lincoln's Inn, but is exceeded considerably by the fifty-six at Gray's Inn.” Loftie, “ Inns of Court and Chancery" (Macmillan), 1893, p. 32. According to the census of the city in 1891 there were nine hundred and eighty-two employers in the Inner Temple, and eight hundred and fifty-seven in the Middle Temple. Loftie, p. 24.
Lecture chapels and the Temple Church some of the most
eloquent and pious of the English divines have exercised their sacred office, among whom may be mentioned as familiar to us the names of Hooker,
Donne, Hurd, Tillotson, Heber, and Warburton. Literary Chambers or apartments in the Inns are let
to others as well as to members of the profession. These have been thus occupied by some of the most famous of the poets and writers of England, and this gives to the Inns an added interest. How close and intimate are the ties between the people of our race in this new country and their ancestors in the old appears not only in our laws and institutions but in our whole history. It was reserved, so far as I know, for an American, Mr. Hutton, to make the first compendious survey of what I may call literary London, and to display its landmarks and the footprints of its great poets, writers, and authors. I quite agree with his observation that “ London has no associations so inter
esting as those connected with its literary men, " and that to the cultivated reader the Temple owes “its greatest charm to the fact that it was the birthplace of Lamb, the home of Fielding, and that it "contains Goldsmith's grave."1 These names are here put by way of example only, - of eminent example, if you please, — but there are other names equally illustrious to which Mr. Hutton refers in the body of his book, and there are also some others which he has omitted to notice.
After a day of labor in the contentious arena of the court room, where my life has been so largely
1 IIutton, Introduction to “ Literary Landmarks of London.”
men of let. ters who
spent, I have filled up the tranquil leisure of an evening, or the other precarious leisure that comes to the active lawyer or the judge, by literary recreations, and in course of these have made notes of the distinguished men of letters who have had chambers or lodgings within the Inns. Time allows me only Eminent to cast a hasty glance over these notes, and merely to pronounce the names of Chaucer, Beaumont, resided Sidney, Chapman, Bacon (who equally belongs to philosophy, law, and literature), Fielding, Cowper, Johnson, Boswell, Goldsmith, Horne Tooke, Sheridan, Hallam, Lamb, Macaulay, Thackeray. Destined as you are for a profession which yet happily retains its claim to be regarded not only as a learned but liberal calling, I trust you will not tax against me the few moments of your time which this reference to the literary celebrities of the Inns has taken, and without which even this outline sketch — for it is nothing more — would be manifestly deficient. So long as the world shall recall the unselfishness of Sidney; so long as it shall remember “The Canterbury Tales,” shall admire the sturdy morality of Johnson and read the history of “Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia ;” so long as it shall delight in “ The Vicar of Wakefield,” “The Traveller,” and “The Deserted Village, -- so long will these works and their authors remain associated in men's memories with the Inns wherein they lived and studied, rejoiced and suffered, toiled and
1 I have made some extracts from these notes, which, in the hope that they may be regarded with sufficient interest to be worth the small space they occupy, I have reproduced in a note (A) at the end of this lecture.