Gentlemen and Barristers: The Inns of Court and the English Bar, 1680-1730

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Clarendon Press, 1990 - History - 323 pages
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This is the first detailed analysis of English barristers and the inns of court in the period 1680-1730. The four inns of court have constituted the principal institutional home of common lawyers since medieval times, and by the ealy modern period were regarded as a "third university". Barristers were the preeminent professional men of Augustan England, and as such, they played a disproportionate role in the business of the Commons. Lemmings shows how the inns declined from their former splendor during the late seventeenth century until, by the reign of George II, they were principally dormitories and offices for a mass of non-lawyers. This original and thorough analysis draws on material from the archives of the inns to offer a fresh perspective on England under the last Stuarts and first Hanoverians.

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