Professors of the Law: Barristers and English Legal Culture in the Eighteenth Century

Hardcover | May 15, 2000

byDavid Lemmings

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What happened to the culture of common law and English barristers in the long eighteenth century? In this wide-ranging sequel to Gentlemen and Barristers: The Inns of Court and the English Bar, 1680-1730, David Lemmings not only anatomizes the barristers and their world; he also explores thepopular reputation and self-image of the law and lawyers in the context of declining popular participation in litigation, increased parliamentary legislation, and the growth of the imperial state. He shows how the bar survived and prospered in a century of low recruitment and declining work, butfailed to fulfil the expectations of an age of Enlightenment and Reform. By contrast with the important role played by the common law, and lawyers, in seventeenth-century England and in colonial America, it appears that the culture and services of the barristers became marginalized as the courtsconcentrated on elite clients, and parliament became the primary point of contact between government and population. In his conclusion the author suggests that the failure of the bar and the judiciary to follow Blackstones mid-century recommendations for reforming legal culture and delivering theEnglishmans birthrights significantly assisted the growth of parliamentary absolutism in government.

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What happened to the culture of common law and English barristers in the long eighteenth century? In this wide-ranging sequel to Gentlemen and Barristers: The Inns of Court and the English Bar, 1680-1730, David Lemmings not only anatomizes the barristers and their world; he also explores thepopular reputation and self-image of the law...

David Lemmings is the Head of the Department of History at University of Newcastle, Australia.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:May 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198207212

ISBN - 13:9780198207214

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction: Two Stories of the LawHistorians, the Law, and Eighteenth-Century SocietyAnother Story of the Law: the Reputation of Lawyers and the CourtsII. The Work of the Bar and Working LifeAdvocacy and Pleading: The Shape of Barristers WorkCounselling and ConveyingEveryday LifeIII. Barristers and Practisers: Numbers and ProspectsBarristers and Non PractisersPractisers: Supply and DemandThe Characteristics of Litigation: A Crisis in Westminster Hall?Prospects for Barristers: Keeping Life GoingIV. Gentlemen Bred to the Law: Induction and Legal EducationMotives and Qualifications: Hopes and DreamsThe Failure of Institutions: Education at the Universities and the InnsA Dry and Disgusting Study: Learning the LawA Cultural Challenge?V. Practice at the Centre: Westminster Hall and Its SatellitesStarting Out: Launching A PracticeWinners and Losers: The Distribution of Work in Westminster HallGetting On: Practices, Fees, and IncomesVI. Practice at the Margins: The Old Bailey and the ColoniesTribunes of the People: The Old Bailey Bar Law, Lawyers, andIreland and America: Colonial Bars and BarristersLaw, Lawyers, and 1776: Contrasting American Attorneys and English BarristersVII. Advancement and IndependenceRank and Status at the Inns of Court: Internal PromotionPatronage, Politics, and Office: External PromotionServing the State? The Independence of Bar and BenchVIII. Conclusion: The Culture of the Bar and the Recession of the Common LawCollective Life and Rituals 24. Self-Images: Collective Self-Esteem and Legitimating ConceptsSelf-Images: Collective Self-Esteem and Legitimating ConceptsConsequences? : The Failure of the Bar and Recession of the Common LawAppendix A: Methodology and Biographical Notes for Barrister Samples, 1719-21 and 1769-71Appendix B: A Prescription for Educating a Barrister, 1736Appendix C: Leading Counsel In Kings Bench, Exchequer, Common Pleas, and Chancery, 1720, 1740, 1770, 1790Appendix D: A Junior Barrister's Complaints about the Selection and Advantage of King's Counsel, 1750

Editorial Reviews

`meaty study ... Professors of the Law is a treasure trove of new analysis and information about the working lives and cultural impact of barristers in the long eighteenth century.'Penelope J. Corfield, TLS