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History of the Middle Temple

Editor(s): Richard Havery
Media of History of the Middle Temple
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Published: 10-06-2011
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 544
ISBN: 9781841134215
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £65.00
Online price : £58.50
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About History of the Middle Temple

The history of the Middle Temple is a long and fascinating one. Templars held the estate of the Temple from the twelfth century until their suppression in the early fourteenth century; thereafter the lawyers came. The magnificent Tudor Hall of the Middle Temple was completed in 1574. By Elizabethan times the Inns of Court were known colloquially as the Third University of England. Many persons other than lawyers became members of Middle Temple - among them Sir Walter Raleigh, Elias Ashmole, Edward Hyde (Earl of Clarendon), William Congreve, Henry Fielding, Edmund Burke, William Cowper and William Makepeace Thackeray. Another Middle Templar and explorer was Bartholomew Gosnold, discoverer of Cape Cod, who named a nearby island Martha's Vineyard in honour of his six-year-old daughter. From those beginnings grew the thirteen American colonies, and in due course five Middle Templars signed the American Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776. Moreover, the US Constitution was drafted by a committee chaired by yet another Middle Templar, John Rutledge, who, along with six other Middle Templars, was among its 39 original signatories.

The story of the Inn in modern times has seen it become one of the world's pre-eminent centres for legal education and practice.

This history of the Middle Temple, written by a team of eminent lawyers and legal historians, is the product of original research in the archives of the Middle Temple and will be a treasure trove of information about the Inn, its diverse history and influence.

Table Of Contents

Prologue: The Knights Templar Jonathan Riley-Smith
Article: The Temple Church John Toulmin
Chapter 1: The First Two Centuries John Baker
Article: Buildings of the Middle Temple Richard O Havery
Chapter 2: Conflict, Change and Continuity: Elizabeth I to the Great Temple Fire Wilfrid Prest
Article: The Maritime Connection Richard Hill
Article: Literary Associations of the Middle Temple Jessica Winston
Appendix: Men of Letters Associated with the Middle Temple Lesley Whitelaw
Chapter 3: The Unreformed Middle Temple Wilfrid Prest
Article: The American Connection John Colyer
Appendix: The American Connection John Colyer
Chapter 4: The Middle Temple in the 19th Century Raymond Cocks
Article: The Inn as a Disciplinary Body David Woolley
Chapter 5: The Middle Temple Since 1900 Eric Stockdale


“...this is a handsome and at times entertaining volume. There are more than fifty good quality colour and black and white plates, illustrating the documentary and architectural record as much as the personality who have contributed to the life of the Middle Temple...the sweep of six hundred and more years of English lawyering and legal culture is certainly illuminated in this work.” –  Kenneth Campbell, The Edinburgh Law Review Volume 16

“When this book was conceived, Master Richard Havery took on a monumental task: to produce a history of the Middle Temple worthy to rank alongside Master Williamson's classic History of the Middle Temple (1924). He and his team of highly distinguished lawyers and academics have not only succeeded, they have triumphed...Their success partly stems from the judicious organisation of the work. Each chapter, dealing with a broad sweep of the Middle Temple's history, is proceeded by an article focusing on one particular topic...Like the members of the Middle Temple themselves, each contribution is highly individual – sometimes even a little quirky – but together they form something more valuable than the sum of its parts. Every page bristles with culture and learning, from first to last.

Thanks to this superb volume, it may well be another ninety years before a new work of its kind is required.

” –  Will Robinson, The Middle Templar Issue 51

“Richard Havery's History of the Middle Temple is compiled with stunning scholarship and not a little love. The extensive records of the Middle Temple, which survive from the sixteenth century, have been mined to produce a substantial work of literary, social and legal history. It is essential reading for member of the Inn (bencher or student) who wants to know about his or her Inn. Likewise it is for anyone who wants to understand the past and present roles of the Inns of Court in England as a place of learning and vocational training. There has long been a need for this book.” –  Richard Wilmot-Smith Q.C., Law Quarterly Review Volume 128

“… before this quite fascinating History of the Middle Temple was published in 2011 few people, not even that many lawyers, knew how many of England's movers and shakers, who changed English history, not to mention American history, for better or worse, were members of this Inn.

A riveting read as well as a fascinating history, and enlivened with illustrations, this is a book which should attract a wide readership, not just within the legal fraternity, but among the general public

…many of the issues raised in the book remain topical today – all of which makes this splendid work a must-have acquisition for anyone's library.

” –  Philip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers, The Report - The Journal of The City of Westminster and Holborn Law Society Issue 74

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