The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:

9 Annotations

Alan Woodward  •  Link

This is the Church of the Knight Templars which was built in 1185.

Stuart Woodward  •  Link


"By about 1350, when the royal courts were sitting permanently at Westminster, the Temple had become a home for lawyers and from an early date, it seems that there were two independent legal societies based there, Inner and Middle Temple, each occupying a separate hall.

In 1608, James I granted the Temple to the Benchers of the two Inns in free and common socage. The division of the site between the two societies was formalised in 1732 by a deed of partition, with only the Temple Church, the Masters house and garden and the churchyard remaining in common. "

We can assume that anyone he meets there is a lawyer or is training to be a lawyer.


Nigel Pond  •  Link

A (belated and somewhat lengthy) note on the Temple and Chambers.

"The Temple" refers to the Middle Temple and Inner Temple on the Strand in London. They, together with Lincoln's Inn and Grays Inn, comprise the Inns of Court, which are the institutions charged with calling to the Bar ("admitting") those who have the appropriate qualifications (the Bar exam and have kept terms ie dined the appropriate number of times in their Inn) to become Barristers (one half of the split legal profession in the UK, the other being "solicitors").

The Inns of Court were originally just that -- inns. After the Crusades the Knights Templar congregated in the Inns and lived there. Over time the Crusaders moved out and the lawyers moved in. There are still many vestiges of the presence of the Knights Templar - for example the 12 century round section of the Temple Church (which is shared by the Inner and Middle Temples). This part of the church still contains effigies of Knights Templar who were buried in the church. The Temple Church was damaged by German bombs during the Blitz and repaired after generous donations by the American Bar Association.

So on to "Chambers". Practicing Barristers (as opposed to those who work in-house like me) are self-employed. They do not work in firms or partnerships and they do not share profits. They do however group together in sets of Chambers (usually designated by their address such as "11 King's Bench Walk", "9 Old Square" etc) where they share the services (and expsenses) of a clerk (who manages the chambers, collects fees etc) and other office personnel. All members of chambers contribute to Chambers expenses, but after those deductions they keep what they have each earned.

Useful links:


I have a small silver plaque 2.5.inches by 3 inches
depicting the main gate at Temple Bar. Which has been in my family for at least 3 generations. Does anyone know where and why these were made. Or in fact any information relating to the plaque would be much appreciated

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
A walled and gated liberty or district stretching from the s. side of Fleet St. to the Thames (now to the Victoria Embankment), the name being a relic of its ownership by the order of Knights Templars (dissolved 1313). Owned and governed by the Benchers of the Middle and Inner Temple and comprising those two Inns of Court and the Temple Church. It suffered extensive damage in the Fire and in 1939-45.

Bill  •  Link

Temple (The). A liberty or district between Fleet Street and the Thames, and so called from the Knights Templars, who made their first London habitation in Holborn, in 1118, and removed to Fleet Street, or the New Temple, 1184. Spenser alludes to this London locality in his beautiful "Prothalamion " :—
those bricky towres
The which on Themmes brode aged back doe ryde,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers,
There whylome wont the Templer Knights to byde,
Till they decayd through pride.

At the downfall of the Templars, in 1313, the New Temple in Fleet Street was given by Edward II. to Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, whose tomb, in Westminster Abbey, has called forth the eulogistic criticism of the classic Flaxman. At the Earl of Pembroke's death in 1323 the property passed to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, by whom the Inner and Middle Temples were leased to the students of the Common Law, and the Outer Temple to Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, and Lord Treasurer, beheaded by the citizens of London in 1326. No change took place when the Temple property passed to the Crown at the dissolution of religious houses in the reign of Henry VIII., and the students of the two Inns of Court remained the tenants of the Crown till 1608, when James I. by letters patent conferred the two Temples on the Benchers of the two societies and their successors for ever.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.