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Kent; who, having embraced Christianity, and being baptized by Melitus, Bishop of London, immediately (to shew himself a Christian indede) built a Church to the honor of God and St. Peter, on the West side of the City of London, in a place, which (because it was overgrown with thornes, and environed with water) the Saxons called 'Thornez,' or ' Thorney ;'.... whereupon, partly from the situation to the IVest, and partly from the Monasterie orMinster, itbegan to take the name of Westminster:" and then he goes on with the history of that Church.
So far of Westminster. Of Eastminster Stowe gives the following account, by which it will appear that the foundation of Eastminster was subsequent to that of Westminster, by at least 700 years. "In the year 1348," says he, " the 23d of Edward the Third, the first great Pestilence in his time began, and increased so sore, that for want of roome in Church-yards to bury the dead of the City and of the Suburbs, one John Corey, Clerke, procured of Nicholas, Prior of the Holy Trinity within Ealdgate, one toft of
ground neere unto East Smithfield, for the buriall of them that dyed; with condition, that it might be called the Church-yard of the Holy Trinity: which ground he caused, by the ayd of divers devout Citizens, to be inclosed with a wall of stone; . . . .and the same was dedicated by Ralfe Stratford, Bishop of London, where innumerable bodies of the dead were afterwards buried, and a Chapel built in the same place to the honour of God; to the which King Edward setting his eye (having before, in a tempest on the sea, and peril of drowning, made a vow to build a Monastery to the honour of God, and our Lady of Grace, if God would give him grace to come safe to land), builded there a Monasterie, causing it to be named Eastminster, placing an Abbot and Monks of the Cistercian or White order." P. WJ.
In Stowe, p. 7^1, is a list of all the " Patrones of all the Benefices in London," in which this Foundation seems to be twice mentioned, first as the "Abbey of White Monks," and then as "Mary de Grace, an Abbey of Monkes, by the Towre of London." MEMORANDA
RELATIVE TO THE
gwtetp of tje Cemple,
Written in or about the Year 1760.
The Societies of the Temple have no Charter; but the Fee was granted by a Patent to the Professors and Students of the Law, to them and their Successors for ever.
The King is Visitor of the Temples; and orders have been sent down from him so lately as Charles the Second's time, for the Regulation of them, which were brought in great form by the Lord Chancellor and twelve Judges, and signed by them.
The Discipline of these Societies was formerly, till within these eighty years, very strict. The Students appeared, upon all occasions, and in all places, in their proper habits; and for neglecting to appear in such
habit, or for want of decency in it, they were punished by being put two years backward in their standing. This habit was discontinued, because the Templars having been guilty of riots in some parts of the town, being known by their habits to be such, a reproach was thereby reflected on the Society, for want of discipline.
Commons.—Till there was a relaxation of discipline, the Commons were continued in the Vacation as well as in the Terms; and the Members obliged to attend, upon severe penalties for neglect of it. The Barristers, though they were called to their degree, were not admitted to practise, but by special leave from the Judges, till three years after their call, during which their attendance to Commons, both in Term and Vacation, was not to be compounded for, or dispensed with.
The Law Societies were, at first, under one general regulation and establishment, till they branched out, and divided, as it were, into Colonies. The Societies of each Temple are very zealous in contending for the Antiquity oftheir Society.
The Society of the Middle Temple must now be very rich; and it consists in money, they having no real estate. I have been as-» sured, that the certain yearly expences of it, exclusive of repairs, amounts to a considera-r ble sum.
The Benchers are generally in number about twenty, though there is no fixed num-i ber. They may be called to the Bench at eighteen or twenty years standing. The Bench have power to call whom they think proper of such standing to the Bench; which if they answer not, they pay a, Fine of Fifty Pounds.
The Benchers eat at their own expence in this Society, having nothing allowed but their Commons; which few, I believe none, of the Benchers of the other Houses do.
The Readings, which generally were upon some Statute, continued about eight days, when there were Treats and Balls at the Reader's expence; and there is an Order of the House, of no very old date, by which the Reader was restrained from having above Eight Servants, which shews, in some mea