Inns of Chancery (Strand)

“Middle Temple attachments

The first lawyers to occupy the premises which later became the Middle Temple came from St George’s Inn, arriving by 1346. The inn was later deserted in favour of New Inn.

Strand Inn, also called Chester Inn, was the shortest lived of the Inns of Chancery. Founded in the fifteenth century it was pulled down in the 1540s by Lord Somerset in his role as Lord Protector so that he could build Somerset House. The students instead went to New Inn, and Strand Inn was absorbed into that Inn. Thomas Occleve was said to have studied at Strand Inn.

New Inn was founded in the late 15th century on the premises of Our Lady Inn, a hostel. Noted students included Sir Thomas More, who attended New Inn before going to Lincoln’s Inn. The buildings of New Inn were pulled down in 1902 to make way for a road between Holborn and the Strand. After the destruction of Strand Inn, New Inn was the only Inn of Chancery left attached to the Middle Temple.”

(From Wikipedia)

From Tombland (2018) by C J Sansom, set in 1549:

“We turned the corner into the Strand, passing under the arch of Temple Bar. A pall of dust hung in the air, which set me coughing, and there was the sound of sawing and hammering from the southern side of the road where hundreds of men were working on Somerset House. The huge palace, fronted with high columns, was almost complete, but work continued on the many lesser buildings; trenches were being dug, foundations laid, timber was being sawed, masons in aprons worked on great blocks of stone…

…I followed his gaze, and saw a tall, thin man with a long, pointed fair beard, a richly coloured robe, and a guard of three swordsmen in Seymour livery. He was bending over a plan laid out on a trestle table, where an architect in a long robe was indicating features with a pointer. I had met Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, briefly, in the old king’s time, and was struck by how much older he looked…”

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