Map C: All Legal Inns, 1292-1500
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Map C summarizes the number and extent of legal inns during the formative years of the both the Inns of Court and the Inns of Chancery. It illustrates how legal education and practice dominated this suburb of London after teaching common law was prohibited within the city walls and the lawyers migrated to what was called after 1394 the Ward of Farringdon Without [the Walls]. Once settled, the legal profession has never left the area. The opening of the Royal Courts of Justice or, more commonly, the Law Courts, by Queen Victoria in 1882 marked the logical conclusion of this concentration. The Law Courts are in The Strand, close by the former locations of several Inns of Chancery. These inns are marked today chiefly by Clement’s Inn Passage, winding from The Strand around the western end of the Law Courts.
A few points should be noted:
- The inns shown in Map C were not necessarily coterminous. Many of the earlier inns cited by Williams, such as Willoughby’s or Bardelby’s, disappeared when their owners died or sold the property. Others (Clement’s, Lyons, Barnard’s, and others) became legal inns only after 1415 and the expulsion of the Chancery clerks from all legal inns (see Maps D and E and their notes).
- Several inns changed names over time. For example, Chancery clerk William Mirfield’s inns on Holborn were an amalgamation of a number of earlier legal inns, each once named after its leasse, but his properties all ceased to be a legal inns after Mirfield’s death around 1380. The inn held by Chancery clerks Robert Farringdon and John Scarle at the south end of Chancery Lane became Serjeants Inn, an inn for the highest ranks of the legal profession; although nothing is known about this inn when held by the Chancery clerks, the name may indicate that it was always an inn for sergeants-at-law.,
- Some legal inns were used by judges and serjeants and were probably never used formally for education, especially Scrope’s and Serjeants Inns, except perhaps in the sense that modern American judicial law clerks or English judicial assistants are still in a process of post-graduate education.
- As later maps will show, the center of gravity of the legal inns moved toward the west over this period. The eastern inns more toward Shoe Lane and the city wall almost all disappeared by 1400. Those which survived into history tended to cluster at the north (Holborn) and south (The Strand) ends of Chancery Lane, which almost perfectly bisects the Inns of Chancery that survived after 1500.
- General Introduction
- Table of the Inns of Chancery
- Map A: All Legal Inns, 1292-1350
- Map B: Minor Legal Inns, 1350-1425
- Map C: All Legal Inns, 1292-1500
- Map D. Chancery Clerks’ Holdings 1350-1425
- Map E. Chancery Clerks’ New Inns 1425-1500
- Map F: Inns of Chancery, c. 1470
- Other Maps of the Legal Inns
- Chancery Clerks