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The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known simply as Middle Temple, is one of the four
Inns of Court The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. There are four Inns of Court – Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple. All barristers must belong to one of them. They have ...
exclusively entitled to
call Call or Calls may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Games * Call, a type of betting in poker * Call, in the game of contract bridge, a bid, pass, double, or redouble in the bidding stage Music and dance * Call (band), from Lahore, Pakis ...
their members to the English Bar as
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialis ...

barrister
s, the others being the
Inner Temple The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as the Inner Temple, is one of the four (professional associations for s and judges) in London. To be and practise as a barrister in , a person must belong to one of these Inns. It is ...

Inner Temple
,
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
and
Lincoln's Inn The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are Call to the Bar, called to the Bar. (The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray' ...

Lincoln's Inn
. It is located in the wider
Temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...
area of London, near the
Royal Courts of Justice The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is a court building in Westminster which houses the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. The High Court also sits on circui ...

Royal Courts of Justice
, and within the
City of London The City of London is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

City of London
.


History

During the 12th and early 13th centuries the law was taught, in the
City of London The City of London is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

City of London
, primarily by the clergy. But a
papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden Seal (emblem), seal (''bulla (seal), bulla'') that was traditionally appended to the end in order to auth ...
in 1218 prohibited the clergy from practising in the secular courts (where the English
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-us ...
system operated, as opposed to the Roman
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
favoured by the Church). As a result, law began to be practised and taught by laymen instead of by clerics. To protect their schools from competition, first
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...

Henry II
and later
Henry IIIHenry III may refer to: * Henry III, Duke of Bavaria (940–989) * Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1017–1056) * Henry III, Count of Louvain (died 1095) * Henry III, Count of Luxembourg (died 1096) * Henry III, Duke of Carinthia (1050–1122) * Henr ...

Henry III
issued proclamations prohibiting the teaching of the civil law within the City of London. The common law lawyers migrated to the hamlet of
Holborn Holborn ( or ) is a district in central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city s ...

Holborn
, as it was easy to get to the law courts at
Westminster Hall The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In the UK and Canada, the Common ...
and was just outside the City. They were based in
guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functiona ...
s, which in time became the Inns of Court. The Middle Temple is the western part of "
The Temple A temple (from the Latin word ) is a building reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. The term typically used for such buildings belonging to all faiths where a more specific term such as church ( ...
", which was the headquarters of the
Knights Templar The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon ( la, Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), also known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar, or simply the Templars, was a Catholic military order (so ...
until they were dissolved in 1312. There have been lawyers in the Temple since 1320, when they were the tenants of the
Earl of Lancaster The title of Earl of Lancaster was created in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and ...
, who had held the Temple since 1315. The Temple later belonged to the
Knights Hospitaller The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem ( la, Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani), commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller (), was a medieval and early modern Catholic The Catholic Church, ...

Knights Hospitaller
. In 1346 the knights again leased the premises to the lawyers – the eastern part (which became
Inner Temple The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as the Inner Temple, is one of the four (professional associations for s and judges) in London. To be and practise as a barrister in , a person must belong to one of these Inns. It is ...

Inner Temple
) to lawyers from
Thavie's Inn Thavie's Inn was a former Inn of Chancery , the only Inn of Chancery building to survive largely intact The Inns of Chancery or ''Hospida Cancellarie'' were a group of buildings and legal institutions in London initially attached to the Inns of C ...
, an
Inn of Chancery , the only Inn of Chancery building to survive largely intact The Inns of Chancery or ''Hospida Cancellarie'' were a group of buildings and legal institutions in London initially attached to the Inns of Court Image:London-Inns-of-Court.JPG, 300p ...
in Holborn, and the western part to lawyers from St George's Inn. The Cross of St George is still part of the arms of Middle Temple today. All of the Inn's records were burned during the
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
of 1381. After
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for Wives of Henry VIII, his six marriages, including his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon ...

Henry VIII
seized the Temple from the Knights Hospitaller in 1540, each Inn continued to hold its share of the Temple as tenants of the Crown for £10 a year, until it was granted to them jointly in 1608 by
James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and En ...

James I
, to be held in perpetuity so long as they continue to provide education and accommodation to lawyers and students and maintain the Temple Church and its Master. The
Temple Church The Temple Church is a Royal peculiar church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It was consecrated on 10 February 1185 by Patriarch Heraclius of Je ...
, consecrated in 1185, still stands as a "
Royal Peculiar#REDIRECT Royal peculiar A royal peculiar is a Church of England parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical juri ...
" (extra-diocesan) church of the Inner and Middle Temples. Much of the Middle Temple was destroyed in a fire in 1678, which caused more damage to the Inn than the
Great Fire of 1666
Great Fire of 1666
. The Thames being frozen over, beer from the Temple cellars was used to fight the fire, which was eventually only contained by blowing up some buildings with gunpowder. The Lord Mayor of London tried to exploit the occasion to assert his own jurisdiction over the Temple – which was independent of the City – and on being thwarted in this endeavour, he turned back a fire engine which was on its way to the fire from the City. The first woman to be admitted to any Inn was Helena Florence Normanton, who joined Middle Temple as a student member on 24 December 1919. The Temple was damaged extensively during
the Blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the . The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term , the German word for 'lightning war'. The Germans conducted mass ai ...
(1940–1944). The Library was destroyed, much of the Church was destroyed, the Master's House burned down, and the Hall was badly damaged. 112 chambers were destroyed, out of a pre-war total of 285 (39%). The Inns served as colleges for the education of lawyers until they stopped being responsible for
legal education Legal education is the education of individuals in the principles, practices, and theory of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a ...
in 1852, although they continue to provide training in areas such as advocacy and ethics for students, pupil barristers and newly qualified barristers. Most of the Inn is occupied by barristers' offices, known as barristers' chambers. One of the Middle Temple's main functions now is to provide education and support to new members of the profession. This is done through advocacy training, the provision of scholarships (over £1 million in 2011), subsidised accommodation both in the Temple and in Clapham, and by providing events where junior members may meet senior colleagues for help and advice. In 2008 the 400th anniversary of the charter of James I was celebrated by
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
issuing new
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act acco ...
confirming the original grant.


Buildings

The Middle Temple owns 43 buildings, many of which are
listed building A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive ...
s. The ones in the Temple itself are still held under the 1608
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act acco ...
of James I, but some others just outside the Temple were bought subsequently. Some buildings are modern, replacing ones which were destroyed in
The Blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the . The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term , the German word for 'lightning war'. The Germans conducted mass ai ...
, but others date back to the 16th century. (There is a lis
here
showing the dates of construction, architect, and listed status.) The Inn is also jointly responsible, with Inner Temple, for
Temple Church The Temple Church is a Royal peculiar church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It was consecrated on 10 February 1185 by Patriarch Heraclius of Je ...
and the Master's House next to the church, a Georgian townhouse built in 1764.


The Hall

Construction of Middle Temple Hall began in 1562 and was completed in 1572. Its
hammerbeam roof A hammerbeam roof is a decorative, open timber roof truss A timber roof truss is a structural framework of timbers designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. Trusses usually occur at regular intervals, linked by ...
has been said to be the best in London. visited the hall in 1578, unannounced, to inspect the new building and listen to a debate between barristers. This is the earliest known visit of a reigning monarch to an Inn of Court. One of the tables at the end of the hall is traditionally said to have been made from the timbers of the ''
Golden Hinde ''Golden Hind'' was a galleon captained by Francis Drake in Francis Drake's circumnavigation, his circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580. She was originally known as ''Pelican,'' but Drake renamed her mid-voyage in 1578, in honour of ...
'', the ship used by
Sir Francis Drake Sir Francis Drake ( – 28 January 1596) was an English explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new ...

Sir Francis Drake
to circumnavigate the world. Above the table is a massive painting of
King Charles I of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg, Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen re ...

King Charles I
thought to be a copy by
Peter Lely Sir Peter Lely (14 September 1618 – 7 December 1680) was a painter of Netherlands, Dutch origin whose career was nearly all spent in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court. Life Lely was born Pieter van der F ...

Peter Lely
of the original by
Anthony van Dyck Sir Anthony van Dyck (, many variant spellings; 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque painting, Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England after success in the Southern Netherlands and Italy. ...
, and also portraits of Charles II, James II, William III, Elizabeth I, Queen Anne and George I. On the walls are panels bearing the coats of arms of Readers (senior membersReaders are
Bencher Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. A bencher or Master of the Bench is a senior member of an Inns of Court, Inn of Court in England and Wales or the Bar of No ...
s of the Inn, who traditionally were appointed to give a 'Reading.'
) dating back to 1597. The first recorded performance of Shakespeare's play ''
Twelfth Night ''Twelfth Night'', or ''What You Will'' is a romantic comedy Romantic comedy (also known as romcom or rom-com) is a subgenre of comedy and slice-of-life Slice of life describes the depiction of mundane experiences in art and entertainm ...

Twelfth Night
'' occurred in the hall on 2 February 1602. Shakespeare himself was probably present. The hall survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was damaged by bombing in the Second World War. Middle Temple Hall is at the heart of the Inn, and the Inn's student members are required to attend a minimum of 12 qualifying sessions there. Qualifying sessions, formerly known as "dinners", combine collegiate and educational elements and will usually combine a dinner or reception with lectures, debates, , or musical performances. Middle Temple Hall is also a popular venue for banqueting, weddings, receptions and parties. In recent years, it has become a much-used film location—the cobbled streets, historic buildings and gas lighting give it a unique atmosphere.


Library

Little is known about the original library, which was probably just a room in a barristers' chambers. All the books were stolen prior to the reign of Henry VIII. In 1625 a new library was established at the site of what is now Garden Court, and in 1641 it was enlarged when a member of the Inn,
Robert Ashley Robert Reynolds Ashley (March 28, 1930 – March 3, 2014) was an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical music ...
, died and left his collection of books and £300 to the Inn. This library was demolished in 1830. After an interval of three decades, a new library was built, in a
Gothic style Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of Sty ...
designed by architect H. R. Abraham. It was opened by
The Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

The Prince of Wales
on 31 October 1861. This Victorian library was badly damaged during the London
Blitz Blitz, German for "lightning Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and m ...
in 1940, and was demolished following the war. A new Library was constructed in the 1950s to a design by
Edward Maufe Sir Edward Brantwood Maufe, RA, FRIBA (12 December 1882 – 12 December 1974) was an English architect and designer. He built private homes as well as commercial and institutional buildings, and is noted chiefly for his work on places of w ...
and opened by the
Queen Mother A queen mother is a former queen, often a queen dowager#REDIRECT Queen dowager A queen dowager, dowager queen or queen mother (compare: princess dowager, dowager princess or princess mother) is a title or status generally held by the widow of ...
in 1958. The building still houses the Inn's library and archives as well as various administrative offices, and is now known as the Ashley Building. Middle Temple Library possesses
Emery Molyneux Emery Molyneux ( ; died June 1598) was an English people, English Elizabethan era, Elizabethan maker of globes, mathematical instruments and weapon, ordnance. His terrestrial and celestial globes, first published in 1592, were the first to be made ...
's terrestrial and celestial globes, which are of particular historical cartographical value.


Gatehouse

The present gatehouse, on
Fleet Street Fleet Street is a major street mostly in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar, London, Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall and the River Fleet from which ...

Fleet Street
on the northern boundary of the Inn, was built in 1684 by
Sir Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren President of the Royal Society, PRS Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; – ) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, as well as an anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist. H ...

Sir Christopher Wren
. It replaced an earlier one which had been allowed to decay until it had to be demolished. It leads into Middle Temple Lane, which proceeds southwards through the Inn to end at gates on the
Victoria Embankment Victoria Embankment is part of the Thames Embankment, a road and river-walk along the north bank of the River Thames in London. It runs from the Palace of Westminster to Blackfriars Bridge in the City of London, and acts as a major thoroughfare ...

Victoria Embankment
, south of the Temple. All of the buildings in the Temple lying west of the lane belong to Middle Temple; the buildings to the east belong to one Inn or the other.


Chambers


West of Middle Temple Lane

Proceeding south from the Fleet Street gatehouse, Middle Temple Lane passes Brick Court to the west, so called because it is said to consist of the first brick buildings to be built in the Temple, in the reign of Elizabeth I.
Sir William Blackstone Sir William Blackstone (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist, judge and Tory (British political party), Tory politician of the eighteenth century. He is most noted for writing the ''Commentaries on the Laws of England''. Bo ...

Sir William Blackstone
worked here before becoming the first professor to lecture in law at Oxford University. The poet and playwright
Oliver Goldsmith Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1728 – 4 April 1774) was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping o ...

Oliver Goldsmith
also lived here from 1765 (having earlier resided in Garden Court), and is buried in the Temple Church. Blackstone, living on the floor below Goldsmith's chambers, complained about the noise made by Goldsmith's raucous parties, which were attended by many celebrities of the time, including
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic A critic is a person who communicates an asse ...
. Blackstone later moved to Pump Court; whether because of the parties or for some other reason is unknown. Next to Brick Court are the buildings called Essex Court, which actually form part of the same courtyard. The earliest record of Essex Court is from 1640, but the original buildings were replaced in 1656 and 1677. Today Essex Court and Brick Court are occupied by barristers' chambers. Through a passageway to the west is New Court, built by Wren, and a gate leading out of the Temple into Devereux Court and Essex Street. (Another passageway to the north leads through
Outer Temple The Outer Temple is a building next to Temple, London, the Temple in London, just outside the City of London. In the 14th century, the property seized from the Knights Templar was divided, and that part of the Temple property then just outside Lon ...
to Fleet Street.) South of New Court and Essex Court lies Fountain Court. The fountain there was described by
Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian e ...

Charles Dickens
in ''
Martin Chuzzlewit ''The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit'' (commonly known as ''Martin Chuzzlewit'') is a novel by Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He ...
''. In her notes to her poem ''The Middle Temple Gardens'',
Letitia Elizabeth Landon Letitia Elizabeth Landon (14 August 1802 – 15 October 1838) was an English poet and novelist, better known by her initials L.E.L. The writings of Landon are transitional between Romanticism and the Victorian Age. Her first major breakthrough ...

Letitia Elizabeth Landon
says of it: 'it is the poetry of the place, or, rather, the voice of the poetry with which it is filled'. To the south of Fountain Court are, from west to east, Garden Court (where the old library used to be), Middle Temple Gardens (which extend to the southern perimeter of the Temple), and Middle Temple Hall. The current buildings of Garden Court, which lie along the western edge of the Temple, were constructed in 1883. South of Garden Court are Blackstone House, Queen Elizabeth Building, and a gate leading out of the Temple (and a short distance from
Temple tube station A temple (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...
). South of the hall, and east of the gardens, are Plowden Buildings, built in 1831, which contain the Treasurer's office. South of that is the current library, and then, at the end of Middle Temple Lane, are the buildings called Temple Gardens, built on both sides of the lane by both Inns in 1861. The western part belongs to Middle Temple, and the eastern part is Inner Temple's. The lane passes through the middle of Temple Gardens via an archway and leads out of the Temple.


East of the lane

Along the east side of Middle Temple Lane (proceeding northwards from the southern archway), the buildings belong to Inner Temple, until the lane reaches Lamb Buildings. Lamb Buildings belong to Middle Temple, which bought the land from Inner Temple after the Great Fire of 1666. Inner Temple needed the money because it found itself short of funds due to the extensive property destruction. Lamb Buildings are built on the site of Caesar's Buildings, which were destroyed in the fire, and which had belonged to Inner Temple. The
Lamb of God Lamb of God ( el, Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnòs toû Theoû; la, Agnus Dei, ) is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Eu ...
is the symbol of Middle Temple and is engraved above the entrances to the building. Behind Lamb Buildings, further east, is Elm Court, built in 1880. The buildings on the south and east sides of Elm Court are part of Inner Temple; the west and north buildings are Middle Temple. Further north is , one of the oldest courts in the Temple. Most of the buildings here belong to Middle Temple, except those in the north west corner. Further east are Middle Temple's
cloister A cloister (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

cloister
s, leading to Church Court between Temple Church and Inner Temple Hall. North of Pump Court is Inner Temple's Hare Court, and then more buildings belonging to Middle Temple, until the lane ends at the gate to Fleet Street. Parallel with and to the east of Middle Temple Lane lies Inner Temple Lane, which runs from Fleet Street to Church Court. On the east side of Inner Temple Lane, and opposite Hare Court, is Goldsmith Building, so named because of its proximity to Goldsmith's tomb in the adjacent Temple Church. Despite its location in the Inner Temple, Goldsmith Building actually belongs to Middle Temple, for reasons which are no longer remembered. It was built in 1861.


Structure and governance

The Inn's supreme body is its Parliament, which is made up of the
Bencher Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. A bencher or Master of the Bench is a senior member of an Inns of Court, Inn of Court in England and Wales or the Bar of No ...
s (judges and senior barristers), who are elected for life, and headed by a treasurer who is elected annually. The Parliament approves the Inn's budget and authorises the
Call Call or Calls may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Games * Call, a type of betting in poker * Call, in the game of contract bridge, a bid, pass, double, or redouble in the bidding stage Music and dance * Call (band), from Lahore, Pakis ...
of student members to the Bar. Members of the
Royal family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
who are made honorary benchers are known as "Royal Benchers". The first of these was Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, made a Royal Bencher when he opened the newly constructed library in 1861. The Inn is run from day to day by an executive committee and four other committees, which are accountable to the Parliament. The executive committee consists of 14 voting members (including the treasurer and the deputy treasurer) and two non-voting members (including the under treasurer). The treasurer for 2021 is Andrew Hochhauser QC, and the Lent and Autumn Readers are His Honour John Mitchell and Ian Mayes QC respectively. The under treasurer and chief executive is Victoria Wallace, who was appointed in 2020.


Liberty

Middle Temple (like the Inner Temple) is one of the few remaining liberties, an old name for a geographic division. It is an independent
extra-parochial area In England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom ...
, historically not governed by the
City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of London The City of London is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (19 ...
(and is today regarded as a local authority for most purposes) and equally outside the
ecclesiastical jurisdiction Ecclesiastical jurisdiction signifies jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from L ...
of the
Bishop of London The Bishop of London is the Ordinary (church officer), ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the Thames, River Thames (historically the ...
. The Middle Temple's functions as a local council are set out in the Temples Order 1971. It geographically falls within the boundaries and wards of the City, but can be thought of as an independent
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...

enclave
. Some of the Inn's buildings (those along Essex Street, Devereux Court and the Queen Elizabeth Building near the Embankment) lie just outside the liberty of the Middle Temple and the City's boundary, and are actually situated in the
City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British gov ...

City of Westminster
. Quadrant House (7–15 Fleet Street) was acquired by the Middle Temple in 1999, and after five years of conversion is now a barristers' chambers. This lies outside the liberty (though immediately adjacent to it) but is within the City of London.


Badge and coat of arms

The badge of the Middle Temple consists of the
Lamb of God Lamb of God ( el, Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnòs toû Theoû; la, Agnus Dei, ) is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Eu ...
with a flag bearing the
Saint George's Cross In heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage o ...
. This symbol appears in the centre of the Inn's
coat of arms#REDIRECT coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the fu ...

coat of arms
, against a background consisting of the same cross (a red cross on a white field). The cross, and the lamb with the flag, each were symbols of the
Knights Templar The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon ( la, Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), also known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar, or simply the Templars, was a Catholic military order (so ...
.


Notable members

* *
William Byrd II William Byrd II also known as William Byrd II of Westover (March 28, 1674August 26, 1744) was an American planter, lawyer, surveyor, author, and a man of letters An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical th ...

William Byrd II
* Sir John Popham *
Sir Walter Raleigh Sir Walter Raleigh (; – 29 October 1618), also spelled Ralegh, was an English statesman, soldier, writer and explorer. One of the most notable figures of the Elizabethan era, he played a leading part in English colonisation of North America ...

Sir Walter Raleigh
*
Arthur Onslow Arthur Onslow (1 October 169117 February 1768) was an English politician. He set a record for length of service when repeatedly elected to serve as Speaker of the House of Commons, where he was known for his integrity. Early life and education O ...
*
John Evelyn John Evelyn (31 October 162027 February 1706) was an English writer, gardener and diary, diarist. John Evelyn's Diary, John Evelyn's diary, or memoir, spanned the period of his adult life from 1640, when he was a student, to 1706, the year he ...

John Evelyn
*
Sir William Blackstone Sir William Blackstone (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist, judge and Tory (British political party), Tory politician of the eighteenth century. He is most noted for writing the ''Commentaries on the Laws of England''. Bo ...

Sir William Blackstone
*
Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian e ...

Charles Dickens
*
Thomas Morris Chester Thomas Morris Chester (May 11, 1834 – September 30, 1892) was an American war correspondent, lawyer and soldier who took part in the American Civil War. Early life and education Chester was born at the corner of Third and Market Street in Harris ...

Thomas Morris Chester
*
Vallabhbhai Patel Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (; ; 31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950), endeared as Sardar, was an Indian statesman. He served as the first deputy Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1950. He was a barrister and a senior leader of the Indian ...
*
Geoffrey Howe Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe, Baron Howe of Aberavon, (20 December 1926 – 9 October 2015), known from 1970 to 1992 as Sir Geoffrey Howe, was a British Conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social ...

Geoffrey Howe


Royal benchers

*
The Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

The Prince of Wales
(later Edward VII) (1861; served as Treasurer in 1866)The Prince's appointment as Treasurer was honorary, and the office's functions were performed by the Deputy Treasurer. *
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892) was the eldest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 Novembe ...

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale
(1885) *
The Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...
(later Edward VIII) (1919) *
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A const ...

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
(1944) *
Diana, Princess of Wales Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was a member of the British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict lega ...

Diana, Princess of Wales
(1988) *
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (William Arthur Philip Louis; born 21 June 1982) is a member of the British royal family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or ...

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
(2009)


Other honorary benchers

*
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power of ...

William Howard Taft
(1922), US chief justice and presidentMiddle Temple website: Honorary Benchers
/ref> *
Anthony Eden Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, (12 June 1897 – 14 January 1977), was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the ...

Anthony Eden
(1952), prime minister *
Harold Macmillan Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the na ...

Harold Macmillan
(1958), prime minister * Warren E. Burger (1971), US chief justice *
Lord Denning Alfred Thompson "Tom" Denning, Baron Denning, (23 January 1899 – 5 March 1999) was an English lawyer and judge. He was called to the bar The call to the bar (rarely, call to bar) is a legal term of art Jargon is the specialized termi ...
(1972),
master of the rolls The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales The Court of Appeal (formally "Her Majesty's Cou ...


See also

* List of members of Middle Temple


Notes


References


External links

*
John Hatsell: 18th Century Middle Temple - UK Parliament Living HeritageJohn Glynn MP & Middle Temple - UK Parliament Living Heritage
{{Authority control Bar of England and Wales Districts of the City of London Education in the City of London English law Grade I listed buildings in the City of London Grade I listed law buildings Castles and fortifications of the Knights Templar Inns of Court Liberties of London Libraries in the City of London Local authorities in London Organisations based in the City of London Politics of the City of London Professional education in London Local precepting authorities in England