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six years of pupilage, until they could secure quarters within college walls, students frequently lodged in the houses or chambers of near relations who were established in the immediate vicinity of the inns. A judge with a house in Fleet Street, an eminent counsel with a family mansion in Holborn, or an office-holder with commodious chambers in Chancery Lane, usually numbered amongst the members of his family a son, or nephew, or cousin who was keeping terms for the bar. Thus placed under the immediate superintendence of an elder whom he regarded with affection and pride, and surrounded by the wholesome interests of a refined domestic circle, the raw student was preserved from much folly and ill-doing into which he would have fallen had he been thrown entirely on his own resources for amusement.
The pecuniary means of Inns-of-Court students have not varied much throughout the last twelve generations. In days when money was scarce and very precious they of course lived on a smaller number of coins than they require in these days when gold and silver are comparatively abundant and cheap; but it is reasonable to suppose that in every period the allowances, on which the less affluent of them subsisted, represent the amounts on which young men of their respective times were just able to maintain the figure and style of independent gentle
The costly pageants and feasts of the inns in old days must not be taken as indicative of the pecuniary resources of the common run of students; for the splendor of those entertainments was mainly due to the munificence of those more wealthy members who by a liberal and even profuse expenditure purchased a right to control the diversions of the colleges. Fortescue, speaking of his own time, says:
“ There can no student bee mayntayned for lesse expenses by the yeare than twentye markes. And if hee haue a seruant to waite uppon him,
as most of them haue, then so much the greater will his charges bee.” Hence it appears that during the most patrician period of the law university, when wealthy persons were accustomed to maintain ostentatious retinues of servants, a law-student often had no private personal attendant. An ordinance shows that in Elizabethan London the Inns-of-Court men were waited upon by laundresses or bedmakers who served and took wages from several masters at the same time. It would be interesting to ascertain the exact time when the “laundress” was first introduced into the Temple. tainly flourished in the days of Queen Bees; and Roger North's piquant description of his brother's laundress is applicable to many of her successors who are looking after their perquisites at the present date. “The housekeeper," says Roger, “had been formerly his lordship's laundress at the Temple, and knew well her master's brother so early as when he was at the writing-school. She was a phthisical old woman, and could scarce crawl upstairs once a day.” This general employment of servants who were common to several masters would alone prove that the Inns-of-Court men in the seventeenth century felt it convenient to husband their resources, and exercise economy. Throughout that century sixty pounds was deemed a sufficient income for a Temple student; and though it was a scant allowance, some young fellows managed to push on with a still more modest revenue. Simonds D’Ewes had £60 per annum during his student course, and £100 a year on becoming an utter-barrister. “It pleased God also in mercy," he writes, “after this to ease me of that continual want or short stipend I had for about five years last past groaned under; for my father, immediately on my call to the bar, enlarged my former allowance with forty pounds more annually; so as, after this plentiful annuity of one hundred pounds
was duly and quarterly paid me by him, I found myself easyd of so many cares and discontents as I may well account that the 27th day of June foregoing the first day of my outward happiness since the decease of my dearest mother.” All things considered, a bachelor in James I.'s London with a clear income of £100 per annum was on the whole as well off for his time as a young barrister of the present day would be with an annual allowance of £250 or £300. Francis North, when a student, was allowed only £60 per annum; and as soon as he was called and began to earn a little money, his parsimonious father reduced the stipend by £10; but, adds Roger North, “to do right to his good father, he paid him that fifty pounds a year as long as he lived, saying he would not discourage industry by rewarding it, when successful, with less." George Jeffreys, in his student-days, smarted under a still more galling penury, for he was allowed only £50 a year, £10 being for his clothes, and £40 for the rest of his expenditure. In the following century the nominal incomes of law-students rose in proportion as the wealth of the country increased and the currency fell in value. In George II.'s time a young Templar expected his father to allow him £150 a year, and on encouragement would spend twice that amount in the same time. Henry Fielding's allowance from General Fielding was £200 per annum; but as he said, with a laugh, he had too feeling and dutiful a nature to press an affectionate father for money which he was totally unable to pay. At the present time £150 per annum is about the smallest sum on which a law-student can live with outward decency; and £250 per annum the lowest amount on which a chamber barrister can live with suitable dignity and comfort. If he has to maintain the expenses of a distant circuit Mr. Briefless requires from £100 to £200 more. Alas! how many of Mr. Briefless's meritorious and most ornamental
kind are compelled to shift on far less ample means! How many of them periodically repeat the jest of poor A—, who made this brief and suggestive official return to the Income Tax Commissioners—“I am totally dependent on my father, who allows me-nothing !"
CHAPTER XXXVII. .
READERS AND MOOTMEN.
OMANTIC eulogists of the Inns of Court maintain
that, as an instrument of education, the law-university was nearly perfect for many generations after its consolidation. That in modern time abuses have impaired its faculties and diminished its usefulness they admit. Some of them are candid enough to allow that, as a school for the systematic study of law, it is under existing circumstances a deplorably deficient machine; but they unite in declaring that there was a time when the system of the combined Colleges was complete and thoroughly efficacious. The more cautious of these eulogists decline to state the exact limits of the period when the actual condition of the university merited their cordial approval, but they concur in pointing to the years between the accession of Henry VII. and the death of James I., as comprising the brightest days of its academical vigor and renown.
It is however worthy of observation that throughout the times when the legal learning and discipline of the colleges are described to have been admirable, the system and the students by no means won the approbation of those critical authorities who were best able to see their failings and merits. Wolsey was so strongly impressed
by the faulty education of the barristers who practised before him, and more especially by their total ignorance of the principles of jurisprudence, that he prepared a plan for a new university which should be established in London, and should impart a liberal and exact knowledge of law. Had he lived to carry out his scheme it is most probable that the Inns of Court and Chancery would have become subsidiary and subordinate establishments to the new foundation. In this matter, sympathizing with the more enlightened minds of his age, Sir Nicholas Bacon was no less desirous than the great cardinal that a new law university should be planted in town, and he urged on Henry VIII. the propriety of devoting a certain portion of the confiscated church property to the foundation and endowment of such an institution.
On paper the scheme of the old exercises and degrees looks very imposing, and those who delight in painting fancy pictures may infer from them that the scholastic order of the colleges was perfect. Before a young man could be called to the bar, he had under ordinary circumstances to spend seven or eight years in arguing cases at the Inns of Chancery, in proving his knowledge of law and Law-French at moots, in sharpening his wits at case-putting, in patient study of the Year-Books, and in watching the trials of Westminster Hall. After his call he was required to spend another period in study and academic exercise before he presumed to raise his voice at the bar; and in his progress to the highest rank of his profession he was expected to labor in educating the students of his house as assistant-reader, single-reader, double-reader. The gravest lawyers of every inn were bound to aid in the task of teaching the mysteries of the law to the rising generation.
The old ordinances assumed that the law-student was thirsting for a knowledge of law, and that the veterans