The best overall guide is Guy Holborn Sources of Biographical Information on Past Lawyers British and Irish Association of Law Librarians 1999: available from BIALL (
Sources mentioned include:


  • Dictionary of National Biography (for eminent lawyers)
  • Gentleman's Magazine 1731-1868 (useful for obituaries)
  • The Law List and predecessors (annual directory of lawyers) 1775-1976
  • A W Simpson's Biographical dictionary of the Common Law 1984

    Law officers and King's Counsel

  • Sir John Sainty A list of law officers, King's Counsel and holders of patents of precedence Selden Society 1987


  • J H Baker The Order of Serjeants-at-Law Selden Society supplementary series vol. 5 1984

    Inns of Court

  • A Calendar of the Inner Temple Records vols. I-III 1505-1714 edited by F A Inderwick 1896-1901; vols. IV-V 1714-1800 edited by R A Roberts 1933-36; vols. VI-VIII 1801-35 edited by B Given 1992
  • Lincoln's Inn The records of the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn: admissions and chapel registers vols. 1-2 1420-1895 London 1896; vols. 3-4 1894-1973 unpublished typescripts 1981
  • Middle Temple Register of admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple vols. 1-3 1501-1944 compiled by H A C Sturgess London 1949; vols. 4-5 1945-75 London 1978;
  • J Foster The register of admissions to Gray's Inn, 1521-1889, together with the register of marriages in Gray's Inn Chapel, 1695-1754 London 1889

    University graduates

  • John Venn Alumni Cantabrigienses…. Cambridge University Press 1922-59
  • Joseph Foster Alumni Oxonienses…Oxford University Press 1888-92

    Attorneys and solicitors

  • The Law List and predecessors (annual directory of lawyers) 1775-1976
  • Lawyers: Records of Attorneys and Solicitors National Archives Research Guide: Domestic Records Information no.36 (available via TNA website )

  • Archive Enquiries: Please address all database enquiries to the archivist.