THE INNER TEMPLE ADMISSIONS DATABASE

EDITORIAL NOTES

Sources

The main sources used in compiling the Inner Temple Admissions Database are:

Inner Temple admission registers (1547-1920)
The information provided in these registers changes over time. The earliest registers, dating from 1547, record the member's name and address, usually just the town and county. Until about 1660 the names of the pledges were usually added. From 1571 the Inn of Chancery from which the student transferred is recorded, if applicable. The proportion of students admitted from an Inn of Chancery decreases in the seventeenth century and by 1660 they represent the exception rather than the rule. From about 1678 the father's name and address are generally recorded, whilst the son's address is less commonly given. Prior to 1751 the majority of students and their fathers are described as gentlemen. After this date a wider range of occupations are represented. From 1751 it also becomes usual to include a street name in London addresses.

In places, the registers have become faded and illegible and the entries affected by this decay are noted in the database. No admissions were made between 8 July 1563 and 18 Apri1 1564, when the Temple closed owing to an outbreak of plague, nor between 25 April 1570 and 3 February 1571, for no apparent reason. During the English Civil War (1642-45) and Commonwealth period (1645-60) few admissions were recorded because the Inner Temple suspended normal functions.

Bar Book (1590-1920)
This volume, compiled in the 19th and 20th centuries, lists student members who were called to the bar at the Inner Temple, with date of call. It also includes barristers who joined the Inner Temple having previously been called at another Inn of Court. Dates of call to the bench are added where applicable. From 1751 the entries become fuller and may include subsequent honours and date and place of death.

Admissions to the Inner Temple (1505-1850) volumes I-V
edited by R L Lloyd (unpublished typescript 1954-60)
This index reproduces in summarised form the entries from the Inner Temple admissions registers (see above). It has been an invaluable source in compiling the database and acknowledgment should be made to R L Lloyd for his tireless work in translating and transcribing the original entires.

A Calendar of Inner Temple Records Volumes I-VIII 1505-1835
edited by FA Inderwick; R A Roberts; and Barbara Given (published 1896-1992).
This Calendar reproduces in summarised form the main entries in the Acts of the Inner Temple Parliament (see glossary), the Bench Table Orders (see glossary) and the main series of account books.

Types of admission
There were three main types of admission to the Inner Temple

  • General admission (on payment of a standard fee and/or deposit)
  • Special admission (at no cost or at a reduced fee)
  • Ad eundem admission (admission of a barrister called at another Inn of Court on equal terms to barristers called at the Inner Temple.)

    Special admissions were usually granted by Act of the Inner Temple Parliament, the principal governing body of the Inn. There was often an interval of a few days or even months between the Act of Parliament and the date that the special admission was entered in the admission register. Where the two differ the date recorded in the admission register has been used in the database.

    Dates

    Old Style
    Prior to 1752, the year changed for dating purposes on the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady on the 25th March. Thus dates between 1 January and 24 March were numbered as the previous December. These are known as Old Style dates.

    New Style
    In 1752, by Parliamentary Statute, the Gregorian calendar was adopted in place of the Julian calendar and eleven days were dropped from the calendar in September that year to bring dates in line with the remainder of Europe. The New Year was now recorded as 1 January. These dates were known as New Style.

    Database
    All dates have been converted to New Style years.

    Surnames
    These appear in two forms:

  • Given form: spelling exactly as written in the admission register.
  • Standard form: spelling has been standardised.

    The two forms have been provided to assist researchers in retrieving variant forms of the same surname since the standardisation of surnames did not approach consistency until at least the mid 18th century. The selection of a standard form has been made with reference to A Dictionary of English Surnames edited by PH Reaney, revised by RM Wilson, OUP 1997.

    Some variant surnames sharing a common root are in simultaneous use today, e.g. Lee, Lea and Leigh; and Smith and Smythe. In other cases one form is more commonly used than another e.g. Merrifield instead of Merefeild or Ashby instead of Asshebye. Some names in the admission registers appear archaic today e.g. Arcedeckne for Archdeacon. In each of these cases, a search using the standard form will also produce all the variant forms e.g. a search of "Lee" will produce Lee, Lea, Leigh and Legh. A search of a non-standardised given form e.g. Leigh, will reveal that it has been standardised, e.g. to "Lee". A further search under the standard name is advised in order to ensure that all variant spellings are checked.

    In addition, wild searches are possible using the first letters of the surname, e.g. Le*** will reveal Lea, Lee, Leigh and Legh (as well as Leach, Leak, Leatherley etc.)

    The father's surname (where known) has not been standardised and appears in the database in the form given in the original register.

    With compound surnames (whether hyphenated or not), the last element has been entered into the surname field with the first element added to the first name field e.g. John Windsor-Brown becomes Brown, John Windsor-

    Addresses

    British addresses
    British addresses included in the database have been divided into the following fields:

  • First line of address e.g. house number, name of street or road or college
  • City, town or district
  • County
  • Modern country name
  • Old county or old country name

    All these fields may be searched except for the first line of the address. In addition, the names of colleges and universities can be selected from a drop-down list.

    Wherever possible, archaic spellings of place names in the registers have been modernised with reference to The Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names by AD Mills, OUP 2003 and the Vision of Britain and Genuki websites (www.visionofbritain.org.uk & www.genuki.org.uk). For example the place name recorded in the admission register as Droytewiche appears as Droitwich in the database. When an original place name has not been equated with a modern place name, the spelling given in the registers has been retained.

    Counties have been entered onto the database as they appear in the registers with the spelling modernised where necessary. Outside central London, these generally equate to the pre-1974 counties, although it is possible that some towns and villages situated near boundaries underwent county changes during the period covered by the database.

    London addresses
    For central London, the county boundaries of the London County Council (LCC), 1889-1965, have been assigned to the data. Before 1889, the central London area outside the City of London was divided between the counties of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent and addresses often appear in the registers with only the street and county name e.g. St. John's Street, Middlesex. In order to facilitate "London-wide" searches, the county field is described as the County of London and the county name given in the admission registers has been retained in the old country/county field. The LCC Metropolitan Boroughs have been entered in the district field of the database whenever they can be deduced. This table provides a list of LCC Metropolitan Boroughs, their former counties and their present Greater London Boroughs.

    Metropolitan Boroughs, 1889-1965
    (used in the Inner Temple database)

    Former county (pre 1889)

    Current Greater London Borough

    Battersea
    Bermondsey
    Bethnal Green
    Camberwell
    Chelsea
    Deptford
    Finsbury
    Fulham
    Greenwich
    Hackney
    Hammersmith
    Hampstead
    Holborn
    Islington
    Kensington
    Lambeth
    Lewisham
    Marylebone (or St. Marylebone)
    Paddington
    Poplar
    St Pancras
    Shoreditch
    Southwark
    Stepney
    Stoke Newington
    Wandsworth
    Westminster
    Woolwich

    Surrey
    Surrey
    Middlesex
    Surrey
    Middlesex
    Kent
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Kent
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Surrey
    Kent
    Middlesex

    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Surrey
    Middlesex
    Middlesex
    Surrey
    Middlesex
    Kent

    Wandsworth
    Southwark
    Tower Hamlets
    Southwark
    Kensington & Chelsea
    Greenwich
    Islington
    Hammersmith and Fulham
    Greenwich/Lewisham
    Hackney
    Hammersmith and Fulham
    Camden
    Camden
    Islington
    Kensington and Chelsea
    Lambeth
    Lewisham
    Westminster

    Westminster
    Tower Hamlets
    Islington
    Hackney
    Southwark
    Tower Hamlets
    Hackney
    Wandsworth
    Westminster
    Greenwich

    Welsh addresses
    Where possible, Welsh place names have been standardised with reference to M. Richards, Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units (Cardiff, 1969); The National Archives E 179 database (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) and the National Library of Wales' on-line catalogue of Archives and Manuscripts (http://www.llgc.org.uk). Where the modern versions cannot be deduced, the original spellings in the registers have been retained.

    Irish addresses
    Where possible, the towns and counties recorded as being in Ireland have been attributed to the current Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, as appropriate. However, where no county or town is specified in the admission register and the country is recorded merely as 'Ireland', the term 'Ireland' has been retained.

    Overseas addresses
    Countries that have changed their names or boundaries since the 19th century, have been assigned, where possible, to the modern country. The former name, as it appears in the registers, has been recorded in the old country/county field e.g. Sri Lanka is given in the country field, with Ceylon recorded as the old country.

    Countries in the West Indies can be searched under country name e.g. Trinidad or Jamaica, and under the regional term "West Indies", which has been added to the district field. Similarly, the USA and Canada appear as countries, with the term "American colonies" recorded in the district field when applicable.

    Occupations
    The occupation fields for student and father include terms descriptive of social status, such as peer or esquire, as well as conventional occupations, such as merchant or clergyman. Until about 1750 the most common description of occupation/status was "gentleman". In the City of London the occupation given may represent membership of a City Livery Company rather than a practising trade. University qualifications may also be included in the occupation field, usually in abbreviated form. For example:

    AB Artium Baccaleireus (Bachelor of Arts)
    AM Artium Magister (Master of Arts)
    BA Bachelor of Arts
    BCL Bachelor of Civil Law
    BD Bachelor of Divinity
    DCL Doctor of Civil Law
    DD Doctor of Divinity
    LLB Bachelor of Laws
    LLD Doctor of Laws
    MA Master of Arts
    MusDoc Doctor of Music
    SCL Student of Civil Law
    STD Sacre Theologie Doctorus (Doctor of Sacred Theology)
    STP Sacre Theologie Professorus (Professor of Sacred Theology)

    In general the term recorded in the original admissions registers has been used. However, in some cases the occupation has been derived from supplementary information, for example the title Reverend is presumed to indicate clergyman.

    Notes field
    Information contained in this field has been taken from the Inner Temple admission registers or the bar book, unless otherwise indicated. All personal names given in this field are as spelled in the original documents. The main types of information to be found in this field are:

  • The names of pledges.
  • The circumstances of a special admission, including at whose request it was made.
  • Family relationships mentioned in the registers, other than that of father/son.
  • Additional occupations of a member or his relatives
  • Subsequent titles inherited or awarded by a member or his relatives
  • Ecclesiastical parish where this has been given as part of an address.
  • Name of Inn of Court where a member was called to the bar, if other than the Inner Temple
  • Name of former Inn of Chancery
  • Place of death, if known

    In addition this field has been used for editorial comment, for example if there is uncertainty over which student was called to the bar on a particular date. Such difficulty usually arises because of several contemporary students having the same name.


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