The Process Of Educational Revolution Within The Inns Of Court

2192 words - 9 pages

The Process of Educational Revolution Within the Inns of CourtStemming from scholarly demand and defeating academic competition to adapt successful methods of modification, the Inns of Court in England were the subjects of nothing less than a revolution. The inns of the fourteenth century fought for some three hundred years before collapsing under the pressure of modern desires. It began before the emergence of the four great inns, namely Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple, in fact, one could argue the revolution began with the boarding-houses, colleges and universities. Boarding houses were the primary foundation for the inns. Unlike the hysterical universities where students lived in poverty, attended lectures if they so desired and were the subjects of gruesome oral examinations, they offered cheaper living, regular meals and respectable management . Dissimilar to colleges though, the boarding houses offered no lectures, only peace of mind for worried parents and irritated townspeople. All the same, they were remarkably similar to the earliest inns.Before their initial revolution, the inns were nothing more than a method for saving money and avoiding burden. When legal business was in session for the four short periods a year in London, those being from Michaelmas and ending before Advent, resuming upon Hilary and ending with the first divagations of Septuagesima, continuing with the quindene of Easter through harvest-tide, and finally from the Octave of Trinity to harvest time, lawyers desired the reassurance of a place to lodge . Renting a house and hiring a chef and servants guaranteed lawyers and those associated with the church a place to stay, a warm meal and the knowledge that they were saving money the whole while. The popularity of the inns grew, and by the fourteenth century their numbers increased rapidly. It is unclear exactly how the inns transformed from lodging houses to educational institutions. Dissimilar to the creation of colleges, they had no royal charters or licenses and until the sixteenth century they did not own freehold property, making it virtually impossible to locate their foundation in historical documents . What is clear, however, is that legal education was not always provided. When formal education did develop at the inns, a rush of demand and growth would follow.As popular as they were, rules seemed to appear as quickly as new students. The inns continued to expand and more formal order was needed to prevent a repeat of the vicious Sunday battle of 1326, which took the lives of several apprentices of the Bench. Although occurring before the first form of an inn, tragedy still lingered when they did emerge. The first records of the early inns imply violence, death and homicide. Surprisingly enough, the earliest records are derived from coroners' reports . A hasty judgment may label the young scholar as belligerent, but the lack of alternate sources is also a lack of justification....

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