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and Erskine had recourse: and besides attending strictfy professional clubs, it was usual for the students, of their respective times, to practise elocution at the coffee-houses and public spouting-rooms of the town. Murray used to argue as well as 'drink champagne' with the wits; Thurlow was the irrepressible talker of Nando's; Erskine used to carry his scarlet uniform from Lincoln's Inn Hall, to the smoke-laden atmosphere of Coachmakers' Hall, at which memorable discussion forum' Edward Law is known to have spoken in the presence of a closely packed assembly of politicians, idlers upon town, shopmen, and drunkards. Thither also Horne Tooke and Dunning used to adjourn after dining with Taffy Kenyon at the Chancery Lane eating-house, where the three friends were won't to stay their hunger for sevenpence halfpenny each. “Dunning and myself,” Horne Tooke said boastfully, when he recalled these economical repasts,

were generous, for we gave the girl who waited on us a penny apiece ; but Kenyon, who always knew the value of money, rewarded her with a halfpenny, and sometimes with a promise."

Notwithstanding the recent revival of lectures and the institution of examinations, the actual course of the lawstudent has changed little since the author of the ‘Pleader's Guide,' in 1706, described the career of John Surrebutter, Esq., Special Pleader and Barrister-at-Law. The labors of pupils in chambers, are thus noticed by Mr. Surrebutter :

“ And, better to improve your taste,

Are by your parents' fondness plac'd
Amongst the blest, the chosen few
(Blest, if their happiness they knew),
Who for three hundred guineas paid
To some great master of the trade,
Have at his rooms by special favor
His leave to use their best endeavor,

By drawing pleas from nine till four,
To earn him twice three hundred more ;
And after dinner may repair
To 'foresaid rooms, and then and there
Have 'foresaid leave from five till ten,
To draw th' aforesaid pleas again.”

Continuing to describe his professional career, Mr. Surrebutter mentions certain facts which show that so late as the close of last century professional etiquette did not forbid special pleaders and barristers to curry favor with solicitors and solicitors' clerks by attentions which would now-a-days be deemed reprehensible. He says :

“Whoe'er has drawn a special plea

Has heard of old Tom Tewkesbury,
Deaf as a post, and thick as mustard,
He aim'd at wit, and bawl'd and bluster'd
And died a Nisi Prius leader-
That genius was my special pleader-
That great man's office I attended,
By Hawk and Buzzard recommended ·
Attorneys both of wondrous skill,
To pluck the goose and drive the quill.
Three years I sat his smoky room in,
Pens, paper, ink, and pounce consuming ;
The fourth, when Epsom Day begun,
Joyful I hailed th' auspicious sun,
Bade Tewkesbury and Clerk adieu ;
(Purification, eighty-two)
Of both I wash'd my hands; and though
With nothing for my cash to show,
But precedents so scrawlid and blurr'd,
I scarce could read a single word,
Nor in my books of common-place
One feature of the law could trace,
Save Buzzard's nose and visage thin,
And Hawk's deficiency of chin,
Which I while lolling at my ease
Was wont to draw instead of pleas.
My chambers I equipt complete,

Made friends, hired books, and gave to eat;
If haply to regale my friends on,
My mother sent a haunch of ven’son,
I most respectfully entreated
The choicest company to eat it;
To wit, old Buzzard, Hawk, and Crow;
Item, Tom Thornback, Shark, and Co.
Attorneys all as keen and staunch
As e'er devoured a client's haunch.
And did I not their clerks invite
To taste said ven’son hash'd at night?
For well I knew that hopeful fry
My rising merit would descry,
The same litigious course pursue,
And when to fish of prey they grew,
By love of food and contest led,
Would haunt the spot where once they fed.
Thus having with due circumspection
Formed my professional connexion,
My desks with precedents I strew'd,
Turned critic, danc'd, or penn'd an ode,
Suited the ton, became a free
And easy man of gallantry;
But if while capering at my glass,
Or toying with a favorite lass,
I heard the aforesaid Hawk a-coming,
Or Buzzard on the staircase humming,
At once the fair angelic maid
Into my coal-hole I convey'd;
At once with serious look profound,
Mine eyes commencing with the ground,
I seem'd like one estranged to sleep,
•And fixed in cogitation deep,'
Sat motionless, and in my hand I
Held my “Doctrina Placitandi,'
And though I never read a page in't,
Thanks to that shrewd, well-judging agent,
My sister's husband, Mr. Shark,
Soon got six pupils and a clerk.
Five pupils were my stint, the other
I took to compliment his mother.”

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Having fleeced pupils, and worked as a special pleader for a time, Mr. Surrebutter is called to the bar; after which ceremony his action towards the inferior branch' of the profession is not more dignified than it was whilst. he practised as a Special Pleader.

It appears that in Mr. Surrebutter's time (circa 1780) it was usual for a student to spend three whole years in the same pleader's chambers, paying three hundred guineas for the course of study. Not many years passed before students saw it was not to their advantage to spend so long a period with the same instructor, and by the end of the century the industrious student who could command the fees wherewith to pay for such special tuition, usually spent a year or two in a pleader's chambers, and another year or two in the chambers of an equity draughtsman, or conveyancer. Lord Campbell, at the opening of the present century, spent three years in the chambers of the eminent Special Pleader, Mr. Tidd, of whose learning and generosity the biographer of the Chancellors makes cordial and grateful acknowledgment. Finding that Campbell could not afford to pay a second hundred guineas for a second year's instruction, Tidd not only offered him the run of his chambers without payment, but made the young Scotchman take back the £105 which he had paid for the first twelve months.

In his later years Lord Campbell delighted to trace his legal pedigree to the great pleader and pupillizer 'of the last century, Tom Warren. The chart ran thus Tom Warren had for pupil Sergeant Runnington, who instructed in the mysteries of special pleading the learned Tidd, who was the teacher of John Campbell.” With honest pride and pleasant vanity the literary Chancellor maintained that he had given the genealogical tree another generation of forensic honor, as Solicitor Gen



eral Dundas and Vaughan Williams, of the Common Pleas Bench, were his pupils.

Though Campbell speaks of Tom Warren as “the greater founder of the special pleading race," and maintains that “the voluntary discipline of the special pleader's office” was unknown before the middle of the last century, it is certain that the voluntary discipline of a legal instructor's office or chambers was an affair of frequent occurrence long before Warren's rise. Roger North, in his ‘Discourse on the Study of the Laws,' makes no allusion to any such voluntary discipline as an ordinary feature of a law-student's career; but in his ‘Life of Lord Keeper Guildford’he expressly informs us that he was a pupil in his brother's chambers.

“His lordship," writes the biographer, “having taken that advanced post, and designing to benefit a relation (the Honorable Roger North), who was a student in the law, and kept him company, caused his clerk to put into his hands all his draughts, such as he himself had corrected, and after which conveyances had been engrossed, that, by a perusal of them, he might get some light into the formal skill of conveyancing. And that young gentleman instantly went to work, and first numbered the draughts, and then made an index of all the clauses, referring to that number and folio; so that, in this strict perusal and digestion of the various matters, he acquired, not only a formal style, but also apt precedents, and a competent notion of instruments of all kinds. And to this great condescension was owing that little progress he made, which afterwards served to prepare some matters for his lordship's own perusal and settlement.” Here then is a case of a pupil in a barrister's chambers in Charles II.'s reign; and it is a case that suffers nothing from the fact that the teacher took no fee.

In like manner, John Trevor (subsequently Master of

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