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The Inns of Chancery

Were probably so called because they were anciently inhabited by such clerks as chiefly studied the forming of writs, which regularly belonged to the cursitors, who are officers of chancery.

The first of these is Thavies Inn, begun in the reign of Edward III., and since purchased by the society of Lincoln's Inn; Clement's inn; Clifford's Inn, formerly the house of Lord Clifford; Staple Inn, belonging to the merchants of the staple; Lion's Inn, anciently a common inn, with the Sign of the lion; Furnival's Inn, now handsomely rebuilt; and Barnard's Inn. These were considered only as preparatory schools for younger students; and many were entered here before they were admitted into the inns of court. They are now chiefly occupied by attornies and solicitors. They belong, however, to some of the inns of court, who formerly sent barristers annually to read to them.

We had intended to introduce into this chapter, some general details regarding the public offices for national business; but as the remarks would interfere with descriptions of sundry public buildings, the proposed observations will be mingled with the accounts of the various edifices.

Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819