Lincoln’sInn & The Inns of Court Lincoln’sInn is one of the four Inns of Court—the others being the Inner Temple, theMiddle Temple, and Gray’s Inn—which anyone who wants to be called to the Barmust join.1Today the duties of Lincoln’s Inn, and of all the Inns of Court, are mostlyunchanged from when they began, and are concerned with the training of studentsand calling them to the Bar.2Beyond teaching law the Inns also provide support for the barristers and play arole in administering discipline and dealing with complaints against theirmembers.3Whenone is referring to Lincoln’s Inn, or any Inn, they are referring to both theSociety and the physical institution.
4Geographically, the Lincoln’s Inn is located on 11 acres in central London,north of the Strand (where the two Temples can be found) and south of HighHolborn (where Gray’s Inn) can be found.5All the Inns of Court were formed and remain within the boundaries of the Cityof London. This has to do with safety: when they were formed it was far saferto be within a city where there was a force protecting the people.
6TheLincoln’s Inn is the oldest of the four Inns of Court, though there is no exactrecord of when it was founded.7In the mid-14th century the Society of Lincoln’s Inn was located atLyncolnesynne, belonging to Thomas de Lincoln, the King’s Sergeant of Holborn,and rent would have been around £5 a year.8It is important to note that in the 14th century all Inns would havebeen accommodation provided by wealthy and powerful people who came to Londonand brought their retinues with them. Inns would have attracted like-mindedpeople. Apprentices of law would have sought this shared living space duringthe legal terms in order to learn and hone their craft.
It was these sharedliving spaces that became the four Inns, with the most recent being Gray’s Inn.9Itwas in the latter part of the 14th century that they really began toevolve into what they are today.10For the most part, the structure of the Inns have remained the same, although aposition called “Serjeants”—where the member was allowed to be a part of theBar but was also no longer part of the Inn—was removed during the 19thcentury.11The growth and change of the Inns have been organic. Even though theyoccasionally take up volunteer positions and ranks during wartime, they haveweathered the storms of political turmoil and civil war with littledisturbance.12 13This has to do with their lack of a charter tying them to any one government.14Even on the physical end the Lincoln’s End has been very lucky and it stands asit does today because, during the Blitz, it was most unscathed.
15 TheCourt of Chancery When it was created in the 15thcentury it was done so as to what the common law courts of those days couldnot: bring justice to the people. At the time, the common law courts did notsatisfy people’s complaints and were easily bribed by the powerful. Therefore acourt of equity was needed. Initially, the Lord Chancellor, who was the one incharge of the Chancery Court, was given wide judicial power by the then Kingand Council.
16The idea behind the Court was that it was a court of conscience and that theChancellor was the holder of the King or Queen’s conscience. It has not beenthe only court of conscience, though it was the highest court. Courts ofRequests and the Court of Exchequer were also part of this category. It islikely that at the time it was created there was a standard understanding amongthe people of what a conscience was; there was certainly an understanding ofwhat equity was.17Because it was such a cheap court, at least at the beginning, and because itwas more just than the common law court, it developed quickly throughout the 15thand 16th centuries. In the 17th century, even thoughthere was beginning to be a pushback from angry members of the common lawcourt, it had become recognized as an important part of the legal makeup of thecountry.18Butthat was just the beginning of its decline. In the latter half of the 19thcentury it was more or less abolished and replaced with the Judicature system.
Thedeterioration in the traditional equity of the system was a major role in theimplementation of the Judicature system. Traditional Equity was no longer thesame powerful influence it has once been. Another of the reasons for thedecline of the Court was that it was behind the times and had rather archaiclegal procedures that involved more people than actually necessary. It alsowasn’t as cheap as it had been in the beginning and took a long time to resolveanything, resulting in an expensive and cumbersome procedure.
However, itshould be noted that the Court of Chancery was not the only one suffering suchat the time.19Todaythe Court of Chancery does not exist as it once does, and what remainsresembles little of what it once did. It is part of the High Court of Justiceand handles cases related to business disputes, commercial and intellectualproperty disputes, and probate disputes.2021They also handle issues such as dissolution of partnerships, rectifying errorsin deeds, breaches of contract, and professional negligence. Beyond that thereare several specialist courts as well.22 WorksCited Burns,Fiona R.
“The Court of Chancery in the 19th Century: A Paradox ofDeclineandExpansion.” www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UQLawJl/2001/5.pdf.
Accessed27 January 2018.”ChanceryDivision of the High Court.” Gov.UK,Crown Copyright,www.gov.
uk/courts-tribunals/chancery-division-of-the-high-court.Accessed24 January 24 2018.”Historyof the Inn: Origins.” The HonourableSociety of Lincoln’s Inn, TheHonourableSociety of Lincoln’s Inn,www.lincolnsinn.org.uk/index.php/history-of-the-inn.
Accessed 24January2018.Hurst,Sir Gerald. “The Origin of Lincoln’s Inn.” AShort History of Lincoln’s Inn,Constableand Company Ltd., 1946, pp. 1-7.Klinck,Dennis R.
“Preface.” Conscience, Equityand the Court of Chancery inEarly Modern England, Routledge, 2016, pp. vii-ix.Loftie,W.J.
The Inns of Court and Chancery. Seeleyand Co. Limited, 1908.TheEditors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 20 July 1998,www.
brittannica.com/topic/Court-of-Chancery.Accessed 24 January2018.”TheHonourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.” TheBar Council, The Bar Council,www.
barcouncil.org.uk/about-the-bar/what-is-the-bar/inns-of-court.Accessed24 January 2018.1 “The Honourable Society ofLincoln’s Inn.
” The Bar Council, TheBar Council, www.barcouncil.org.uk/about-the-bar/what-is-the-bar/inns-of-court.Accessed 24 January 2018.2 Hurst, Sir Gerald. “The Originof Lincoln’s Inn.
” A Short History ofLincoln’s Inn, Constable and Company Ltd., 1946, pp. 1-7.3 “The Honourable Society ofLincoln’s Inn.”4 “History of the Inn: Origins.
“The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, TheHounourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, www.lincolnsinn.org.
uk/index.php/history-of-the-inn.Accessed 24 January 2018.5 “The Honourable Society ofLincoln’s Inn.”6 Loftie, W.J.
The Inns of Court and Chancery. Seeleyand Co. Limited, 1908.7 “History of the Inn: Origins.”8 Hurst, Sir Gerald.9 “History of the Inn: Origins.”10 “History of the Inn: Origins.”11 Hurst, Sir Gerald.
12 Loftie, W.J.13 Hurst, Sir Gerald.14 Hurst, Sir Gerald.15 “The Honourable Society ofLincoln’s Inn.”16 The Editors of EncyclopaediaBritannica, 20 July 1998, www.
brittannica.com/topic/Court-of-Chancery. Accessed24 January 2018.17 Klinck, Dennis R. “Preface.”Conscience, Equity and the Court of Chancery in Early Modern England,Routledge, 2016, pp.
vii-ix.18 The Editors of EncyclopaediaBritannica.19 Burns, Fiona R. “The Court ofChancery in the 19th Century: A Paradox of Decline and Expansion.” www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UQLawJl/2001/5.pdf.Accessed 27 January 2018.20 The Editors of EncyclopaediaBritannica.21 “Chancery Division of the HighCourt.” Gov.UK, Crown Copyright, www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/chancery-division-of-the-high-court.Accessed 24 January 24 2018.22 “Chancery Division of the HighCourt.”