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THERE is a legal district of London as unmistakably as there
is a Jews' quarter in Frankfort; for the Juden-gasse of the German free
town is hardly more distinct from the Zeil, than Chancery Lane and its
environs from the City or West End of our Metropolis.
And as there are several foreign colonies scattered throughout the British Capital - as Hatton Garden and its purlieus, swarming with glass-blowers and organ-grinders, is the Metropolitan ITALIA; the neighbourhood of Leicester Square, with its congregation of beards and soft hats, the Cockney GALLIA ULTERIOR; and the parish of St. Giles, where the courts and cellars teem with hod-men and market-women, the London HIBERNIA; so is there a peculiar race of people grouped around the Courts of Law and Inns of Court - Westminster and Lincoln's Inn being the two great legal provinces of London, even as York and Canterbury are the two great ecclesiastical provinces of England.
A reference to the annexed maps will show that Legal London is composed not only of lawyers' residences and chambers, but of Inns of Court and Law Courts - Civil as well as Criminal, "Superior" as well as Petty - and County Courts, and Police Courts, and Prisons; and that whilst the Criminal, the County, and Police Courts, as well as the Prisons, are dotted, at intervals, all over the Metropolis, the Superior Law Courts are focussed at Westminster and Guildhall; the Inns of Court being grouped round Chancery Lane, and the legal residences, or rather "chambers" (for lawyers, like merchants, now-a-days live mostly away from their place of business), concentrated into a dense mass about the same classic spot, but thinning gradually off towards Guildhall and Westminster, as if they were the connecting links between the legal courts and the legal inns.
The Circles represent Inns of Court and Law Courts; the Diamonds, County Courts; the Squares, Police Courts; and the Ovals, Prisons.
INN OF COURT
1. Lincoln's Inn
3. Gray's Inn
4. Furnival's Inn
5. Staple Inn
6. Sergeant's Inn
7. Clifford's Inn
8. Clement's Inn
9. New Inn
10. Lyon's Inn
11. Symond's Inn
12. Barnard's Inn
13. Thavies Inn
14. Westminster Hall
15. Lincoln's Inn
16. Rolls Court
19. Insolvent Debtors
20. Ecclesiastical and Admiralty
21. Central Criminal Court
22. Middlesex Sessions House
23. Surrey Sessions House
24. Westminster Sessions House
25. Tower Liberty Sessions House
26. Southwark Sessions House
37. Mansion House
39. Bow Street
40. Marlborough Street
44. Worship Street
54. Female Convict, Brixton
55. Hulks, Woolwich
56. House of Correction
57. Middlesex House of Correction
58. City House of Correction Holloway
59. Surrey House of Correction
60. Bridewell Hospital
61. Bridewell House of Occupation, St. George's Fields
62. Middlesex House of Detention
64. Surrey County Gaol
65. Queen's Bench
66. Whitecross Street
68. Strong Room, House of Commons
The Inns of Court are themselves sufficiently peculiar to give a strong distinctive mark to the locality in which they exist; for here are seen broad open squares like huge court-yards, paved and treeless, and flanked with grubby mansions - as big and cheerless-looking as barracks - every one of them being destitute of doors, and having a string of names painted in stripes upon the door-posts, that reminds one of the lists displayed at an estate-agent's office and there is generally a chapel-like edifice called the "hall," that is devoted to feeding rather than praying, and where the lawyerlings "qualify" for the bar by eating so many dinners, and become at length - gastronomically - learned in the law. Then how peculiar are the tidy legal gardens attached to the principal Inns, with their close-shaven grass-plots looking as sleek and bright as so much green plush, and the clean-swept gravel walks thronged with children, and nursemaids, and law-students. How odd, too, are the desolate-looking legal alleys or courts adjoining these Inns, with nothing but a pump or a cane-bearing street-keeper to be seen in the midst of them, and occasionally at one corner, beside a crypt-like passage, a stray dark and dingy barber's shop, with its seedy display of powdered horsehair wigs of [-73-] the same dirty-white hue as London snow. Who, moreover, has not noted the windows of the legal fruiterers and law stationers hereabouts, stuck over with small announcements of clerkships wanted, each penned, in the well-known formidable straight-up-and-down three-and-fourpenny hand, and beginning-with a "This-Indenture"-like flourish of German text - "The Writer Hereof" &c. Who, too, while threading his way through the monastic- like byways of such places, has not been startled to find himself suddenly light upon a small enclosure, comprising a tree or two, and a little circular pool, hardly bigger than a lawyer's inkstand, with a so-called fountain in the centre, squirting up the water in one long thick thread, as if it were the nozzle of a fire-engine.
But such are the features only of the more important Inns of
Court, as Lincoln's and Gray's, and the Temple; but, in addition to these, there
exists a large series of legal blind alleys, or yards, which are entitled
"Inns of Chancery," and among which may be classed the lugubrious
localities of Lyon's Inn and Barnard's ditto, and Clement's, and Clifford's, and
Sergeants', and Staple, and the like. In some of these, one solitary,
lanky-looking lamp-post is the only ornament in the centre of the backyard-like
square, and the grass is seen struggling up between the interstices of the
pavement, as if each paving-stone were trimmed with green chenille. In
another you find the statue of a kneeling negro, holding a platter-like sun-dial
over his head, and seeming, while doomed to tell the time, to be continually
inquiring of the surrounding gentlemen in black, whether he is not "a man
and a brother?" In another you observe crowds of lawyers' clerks, with
their hands full of red-tape-tied papers, assembled outside the doors of new
clubhouse-like buildings. Moreover, to nearly every one of these legal nooks and
corners the entrance is through some arch way or iron gate that has a high bar
left standing in the middle, so as to obstruct the passage of any porter's load
into the chancery sanctuary; and there is generally a little porter's lodge, not
unlike a French conciergerie, adjoining the gate, about which loiter
livened street-keepers to awe off little boys, who would otherwise be sure to
dedicate the tranquil spots to the more innocent pursuit of marbles or
The various classes of Law Courts too have, one and all, some picturesque characteristics about them. For example, is not the atmosphere of Westminster Hall essentially distinct from that of the Old Bailey? During term time the Hall at Westminster (which is not unlike an empty railway terminus, with the exception that the rib-like rafters are of carved oak rather than iron) is thronged with suitors and witnesses waiting for their cases to be heard, and pacing the Hall pavement the while, in rows of three or four, and with barristers here and there walking up and down in close communion with attorneys; and there are sprucely-dressed strangers from the. country, either bobbing in and out of the various courts, or else standing still, with their necks bent hack and their mouths open, as they stare at the wooden angels at the corners of the oaken timbers overhead.
The Courts here are, as it were, a series of ante-chambers ranged along one side of the spacious Hall; and as you enter seine of them, you have to bob your head beneath a heavy red cloth curtain. The judge, or judges, are seated on a long, soft-looking, crimson-covered bench, and costumed in wigs that fall on either side their face, like enormous spaniel's ears, and with periwigged barristers piled up in rows before them, as if they were so many medieval medical students attending the lectures at some antiquated hospital. Then there is the legal fruit-stall, in one of the neighbouring passages, for the distribution of "apples, oranges, biscuits, ginger-beer "- and sandwiches - to the famished attendants at Court; and the quiet, old-fashioned hotels, for the accommodation of witnesses from the country, ranged along the opposite side of Palace Yard.
How different is all this from the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey! There we find a large boiled-beef establishment, with red, steaming rounds in the window, side by side with the temple of justice, and a mob of greasy, petty larceny-like friends of the "prisoner at the bar," and prim-looking policemen, gathered round the Court doors and [-74-] beside the gateway loading to the sheriffs' entrance at the back, waiting the issue of that day's trials. Then, within the Court, upon the bench, there are the aldermen, reading the daily papers or writing letters, attired in their purple silk gowns trimmed with fur, and with heavy gold S collars about their neck; and the under-sheriffs in their court suits, with their lace frills and ruffles - the latter encircling the hand like the cut paper round bouquets - with their black rapiers at their side, and all on the same seat with the full-wigged judges; and the barristers below crowded round a huge loo-table, that is littered with bags and briefs; and the jury packed in their box at one side of the little court - which, by the by, seems hardly bigger than a back parlour - with a long "day-reflector" suspended over their heads, and throwing an unnatural light upon their faces; whilst in the capacious square dock, facing the bench, stands the prisoner at the bar awaiting his doom, with the Governor of' Newgate seated at one corner of the compartment, and a turnkey at the other.
This, again, is all very different from the shabby-genteel crowd, with its melange of "tip-staffs" and sham-attorneys, gathered about the Insolvent Court, and the neighbouring public-houses, in Portugal Street; that, too, utterly unlike the quaint, old-fashioned tribunals in Doctor's Commons; these, moreover, the very opposite to the petty County Courts, that have little to distinguish them from private houses, except the crowd of excited debtors, and creditors, and pettifoggers grouped outside the doors; and those, on the other hand, entirely distinct from the still more insignificant Police Courts, with their group of policemen on the door-step, and where, at certain hours, may be seen the sombre-looking prison-van, that is like a cross between a hearse and an omnibus, with the turnkey conductor seated in a kind of japan-leather basket beside the door at the end of the vehicle.
Farther, there are the several prisons scattered throughout the Metropolis, and forming an essential part of the Legal Capital: the gloomy, and yet handsome prison pile of Newgate, with its bunch of fetters over each doorway - the odd polygon-shaped and rampart-like Penitentiary, perched on the river bank by Vauxhall - the new prison at Pentonville, with its noble, portcullis-like gateway - the City Prison at Holloway, half castle half madhouse, with its tall central tower, reminding one of some ancient stronghold - besides the less picturesque and bare-walled Coldbath Fields, and Tothill Fields, and Horsemonger Lane, and the House of Detention, and Whitecross Street, and the Queen's Bench - not forgetting the mastless Hulks, with their grim-looking barred port-holes.
These, however, constitute rather the legal institutions of
London than the legal localities; and that there are certain districts that are
chiefly occupied by lawyers, and which have a peculiarly lugubrious legal air
about them, a half-hour's stroll along the purlieus of the Inns of Court is
sufficient to convince us.
Of this Legal London, Chancery Lane may be considered the capital; and here, as we have before said, everything smacks of the law. The brokers deal only in legal furniture - the publishers only in "FEARNE ON REMAINDERS" and "IMPEY'S PRACTICE", and such like dry legal books - and the stationers in skins of parchment and forms of wills, and law-lists and almanacs, and other legal appliances. Then the dining-rooms and "larders," so plentiful in this quarter, are adapted to the taste and pockets of lawyers' clerks; and there are fruiterers, and oyster-rooms, and "café-restaurant" bakers, and "COCKS", and "RAINBOWS", for barristers and attorneys to lunch at; and "sponging-houses," barred like small lunatic asylums, and with an exercising yard at the back like a bird-cage; and patent-offices; and public-houses, frequented by bailiffs' followers and managing clerks; and quiet-looking taverns, which serve occasionally as courts for commissions "de lunatico."
Then stretching in all directions from the legal capital, with its adjacent attorney byways of Cook's Court, and Quality Court, and Boswell Court, and Southampton Buildings, we have what may be termed the legal suburbs, such as Bedford Row, with its annexed James and John Streets, and the doleful Red Lion and Bloomsbury Squares, and Southampton Street, Holborn. In the opposite direction, we find the equally legal Essex Street, and Lancaster [-75-] Place, and Somerset Place, and Adam Street (Adelphi) and Buckingham Street, and Whitehall Place, and Parliament Street, and Great George Street, all connecting, by a series of legal links, chancery Lane to Westminster. Again. along Holborn we have the out of-the-way legal nooks of Bartlett's Buildings and Ely Place. Whilst, in the neighbourhood of the City Courts of Guildhall, there are the like legal localities of King Street, Cheapside, and Bucklersbury, and Basinghall Street, and Old Jewry Chambers, and Coleman Street, and Tokenhouse Yard, and Copthall Buildings, and Crosby Chambers, and New Broad Street, with even a portion of the legal Metropolis stretching across the water to Wellington Street in the Borough.*
[*The subjoined is a list of the legal localities throughout London, as indicated by the Post-office Directory - a legal locality being considered to be one in which the number of resident lawyers is equal to at least one-fourth of the number of residences:-
Locality - No. of Resident Barristers and Attorneys - No. of Houses
Lincoln's Inn New Square 266 14
Lincoln's Inn Old Square 217 62
Lincoln's Inn Fields 198 60
Chancery Lane . . 150 125
King's Bench Walk, Temple . . 129 13
Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn . . 128 7
Paper Buildings, Temple 82 5
Pump Court ,, . 73 6
Bedford Row . . . 99 51
Furnival's Inn .. 64 16
Inner Temple Lane, Temple 57 9
Brick Court, ,, 56 5
Elm Court 58 5
South Square, Gray's Inn 55 14
Essex Court, Temple 43 5
Plowden Buildings 40 5
Figtree Court ,, 39 8
Hare Court ,, 37 5
Sergeants' Inn, Fleet Street 37 16
Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane 37 47
Essex Street, Strand 35 49
Old Jewry Street, City 35 37
New Inn, Wych Street, Strand 34 13
Harcourt Buildings 34 4
Basinghall Street, City 34 84
Great James Street, Bedford Row ... 32 42
Tanfield Court, Temple 31 3
Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn . 30 68
Coleman Street, City 29 81
Bucklersbury, Cheapside 28 38
Serle Street, Lincoln's Inn . . . 28 16
Mitre Court, Temple 27 12
Middle Temple Lane 27 6
Staple Inn, Holborn 27 12
Crown Office Row, Temple 27 11
Raymond's Buildings, Gray's Inn 35 6
New Boswell Court, Carey Street 25 17
Parliament Street, Westminster 23 55
Ely Place, Holborn 23 42
Clifford's Inn, Fleet St 21 17
Verulam Buildings, Gray's Inn 19 5
Churchyard Ct., Temple 19 3
Sergeant's Inn, Chancery Lane, 18 3
King's Street, Cheapside 17 30
Tokenhouse Yard, Lothbury 15 27
Mitre Court Buildings, Temple 15 2
Bloomsbury Square 15 43
Devereux Court, Strand 15 23
Lancaster Place, Strand 15 10
Austin Friars, City 15 30
Whitehall Place, Westmr. 14 22
Barnard's Inn 14 9
Walbrook, City 14 38
New Bridge St., Blackfriars 13 42
John Street, Bedford Row 13 38
Great George Street, Westminster 13 37
Gresham Street, City 12 48
Southampton St., Holborn 12 23
New Court, Temple 12 1
Temple Garden Court 12 4
New Broad Street, City 11 38
Quality Court, Chancery Lane 11 9
Sise Lane, Bucklersbury 11 18
Farrar's Buildings, Temple 11 10
John Street, Adelphi 11 22
King's Arms Yard, Coleman Street, City 11 20
King's Road, Bedford Row 11 22
Gray's Inn Place 10 11
Clement's Inn, Strand - New Inn 10 18
Clement's Lane, Lombard Street 10 30
Temple Cloisters, Inner Temple Lane 10 2
Inner Temple Hall Staircase 9 1
Lamb Buildings 9 4
Red Lion Sq., Holborn 8 38
Nicholas Lane, Lombard Street, City 8 39
Great Knight Rider Street 8 22
Bell Yard, Doctor's Commons 8 10
Symond's Inn, Chancery Lane 8 10
Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn 8 31
Ironmonger Lane, City 8 31
Fenchurch Buildings 7 18
Field Court, Gray's Inn 6 4
Buckingham St., Strand 6 28
Angel Court, Throgmorton Street, City 6 16
Lyon's Inn, Fleet Street 5 8
Adam Street, Adelphi 5 20
Barge Yard, Bucklersbury 5 5
Copthall Buildings, City 5 5
Church Court, Clement's Lane, City 5 5
Tanfield Chambers 5 2
Wellington St., Borough 4 16
Temple Chambers, Falcon Court, Fleet Street 4 2
Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross 4 4
Somerset Place, Somerset House 4 9
Cook's Ct., Lincoln's Inn, 4 15
Old Palace Yard, Westminster 3 7
Arthur Street, City 3 11
Temple Church Porch Chambers 3 1
Walbrook Buildings 3 3
Whitehall Chambers 3 5
Twisden Buildings, Temple 2 1
[total] 2417 2069
Locality - No. of Advocates and Proctors - No. of Houses
Great Knight Rider St. 31 22
College, Doctor's Commons 18 17
Great Carter Lane 15 34
Godliman Street 23 15
Dean's Court 8
Bell Yard 4 10
Paul's Bakehouse Court 4
Pope's Head Alley, Cornhill 3 7
[total] 106 115
The following, on the other hand, is the distribution of the lawyers' and lawyers' clerks and law-[-76-]court officers, above twenty years of age, throughout the several districts of London, according to the returns of the Census Commissioners, by which it will be seen that the greatest number of lawyers are resident in the western districts by Kensington, whereas the greatest number of clerks are found located in the northern districts by St. Pancras and Islington; whilst at the east end of the town, such as Whitechapel and Poplar, on the Middlesex side, and Rotherhithe, and St. Olave, Southwark, on the Surrey side of the water, but few lawyers or clerks are to be found:-
Lawyers Clerks, &c. Total No. to 1000 Kensington 722 118 840 29.5 Chelsea 130 95 225 15.7 St. George, Hanover Sq. 329 99 428 20.7 Westminster 130 130 260 13.4 St. Martin's 90 39 129 16.5 St. James 159 25 184 15.9 Total W. Districts 1560 506 2066 20.2 Marylebone 477 181 658 16.0 Hampstead 101 21 122 44.5 St. Pancras 661 680 1341 30.7 Islington 255 664 919 38.6 Hackney 126 166 292 2.2 Total N. Districts 1620 1712 3332 18.7 St. Giles 381 129 510 31.7 Strand 267 301 568 43.4 Holborn 403 295 698 51.3 Clerkenwell 121 291 412 22.9 St. Luke's 35 77 112 7.5 East London 25 34 59 4.7 West London 138 160 298 33.1 London City 120 104 224 13.7 Total Central Dists. 1498 1391 2810 25.4 Shoreditch 37 311 348 12.3 Bethnal Green 17 64 81 3.5 Whitechapel 12 33 45 1.9 St. George in the East 7 30 37 2.7 Stepney 32 127 159 5.5 Poplar 12 20 32 2.4 Total E. Districts 117 585 702 5.4 St. Saviour 15 84 99 9.8 St. Olave 4 15 19 2.9 Bermondsey 5 45 50 3.9 St. George Southwark 45 88 133 9.2 Newington 82 221 303 1.8 Lambeth 284 421 705 20.1 Wandsworth 159 72 231 18.5 Camberwell 130 160 290 22.7 Rotherhithe 3 13 16 3.1 Greenwich 92 58 150 5.0 Lewisham 97 38 135 16.2 Total S. Districts 916 1215 2131 13.0 West Districts 1560 506 2066 20.2 North " 1620 1712 3332 18.7 Central " 1490 1391 2881 25.4 East " 117 585 702 5.4 South " 916 1215 2131 13.0 Total all London 5703 5409 11112 17.5
[-76-] Now, the people
inhabiting the legal localities of the Metropolis are a distinct tribe,
impressed with views of life and theories of human nature widely different from
the more simple portion of humanity. With the legal gentry all is doubt and
suspicion. No man is worthy of being trusted by word of mouth, and none fit to
be believed but on his oath. Your true lawyer opines, with the arch-diplomatist
Talleyrand, that speech was given to man not to express but to conceal his
thoughts; and, we may add, it is the legal creed that the faculty of reason was
conferred on us merely to enable human beings to "special plead," i.e.,
to split logical hairs, and to demonstrate to dunderhead jurymen that black
What beauty is to a quaker, and philanthropy to a political economist, honour is to your gentleman of the long robe - a moral will-o'-the-wisp, that is almost sure to mislead those who trust to it. The only safe social guide, cries the legal philosopher, is to consider every one a rogue till yea find him honest, and to take the blackest view of all men's natures in your dealings with your friends and associates; believing that there is no bright side, as has been well said, even to the new moon, until experience shows that it is not entirely dark. In legal eyes, the idea of any one's word being as good as his bond is stark folly; and though, say the lawyers, our chief aim in life should be to get others to reduce their thoughts to writing towards us, yet we should abstain from pen, ink, and paper as long as possible, so as to avoid " committing ourselves" towards them. Or if, in the frank communion of friendship, we are ever incautious enough to be betrayed into professions that might hereafter interfere with our pecuniary interests, we should never fail, before concluding our letter, to have sufficient worldly prudence to change the subscription of " Yours, sincerely," into "Yours, without prejudice."
That lawyers see many examples in life to afford grounds for such social opinions, all must admit; but as well might surgeons believe, because generally dealing with sores and ulcers, that none are healthy; and physicians advise us to abstain from all close communion with our fellows, so as to avoid the chance of contagion, because some are diseased. Nor would it be fair to assert that every lawyer adopts so unchristian and Hobbesian a creed. There are many gentlemen on the rolls, at the bar, and on the bench, who lean rather to the chivalrous and trusting than the cynic and sceptical view of life; and many who, though naturally [-77-] inclining towards the Brutus philosophy, mid preferring stoical justice to Christian generosity, are still sufficiently poetic to see a glimpse of "good in all things."
Moreover, it is our duty and our pride to add, that if among the body of legal gentry there are to be found such enormities as "sharp practitioners" and "pettifoggers" - scoundrels who seek to render law a matter of injustice, and who use that which was intended to prevent injury and robbery as the means of plunder and oppression-who regard it as their interest to retard, rather than advance justice, and who love equity and its long delays simply on account of the iniquity of its costs - if there be such miscreants as these included among the legal profession, there are, on the other hand, the most noble judges of the land comprised among its members; and granting we should estimate the true dignity of a vocation by those who are at once the most honourable and honoured types of it, we must candidly admit that there is no office which sheds so pure and brilliant a glory upon our nation, as that filled by the righteous and reproachless band of English gentlemen who occupy the judgment-seats of this country. For whilst in every other kingdom the judge is but little better than a quibbling and one-sided advocate - a government hireling, trying his hardest to convict the prisoner - the British arbiter weighs, with an exquisitely even hand, the conflicting testimony in favour of and against those who are arraigned at his tribunal, and with a gracious mercy casts into the trembling scale - in cases of indecision-the lingering doubt, so as to make the evidence on behalf of the accused outweigh that of his accusers. Nor can even the most sceptical believe that it is possible for governments or private individuals to tempt our judges to swerve from the strictest justice between man and man, by any bribe, however precious, or by any worldly honours, however dazzling. Indeed, if there be one class in whose iron integrity every Englishman has the most steadfast faith - of whose Pilate-like righteousness he has the profoundest respect, and in the immaculateness of whose honour he feels a national pride-it is the class to whom the high privilege of dispensing justice among us has been intrusted, and who constitute at once the chiefs and the ornaments of the profession of which we are about to treat.
Concerning the population of this same Legal London, it may be said to comprise the following numbers and classes of persons above 20 years of age:-
Barristers . . . . . . 1,513
Solicitors . . . . . . 3,418
Other lawyers (as advocates, proctors, &c.) . . 772
Law clerks . . . . . . 4,340
Law court officers (including 8 females) and law stationers 1,069
[grand total] 11,112*
[* According to the census returns, there are - in addition to the above - 160 lawyers end 1,530 clerks &c. - altogether, 1,690 persons - connected with the law in London who are under twenty years of age; so that, adding these to the total above given, the aggregate of lawyers and their "subordinates" resident in [-78-] the Metropolis would amount to 12,802. The distribution of the lawyers and their subordinates throughout the several counties of England and Wales, is as follows:-
TABLE SHOWING THE DISTRIBUTION OF LAWYERS AND THEIR CLERKS (ABOVE 20 YEARS OF AGE)
DIVISIONS Lawyers Clerks &c. Total No. to 1000 DIVISION I - METROPOLIS 5703 5401 11104 17.5 DIVISION II - SOUTHERN-EASTERN COUNTIES Surrey (ex-Metro) 360 86 446 8.2 Kent (ex-Metro) 332 208 540 4.1 Sussex 345 112 457 5.2 Hampshire 292 146 438 4.0 Berkshire 147 84 231 4.3 Total 1476 636 2112 4.8 DIVISION III - SOUTH MIDLAND COUNTIES Middlesex (ex Metro) 270 80 350 8.9 Hertfordshire 115 51 166 3.6 Buckinghamshire 79 60 139 3.8 Oxfordshire 104 54 158 3.4 Northamptonshire 105 59 164 2.8 Huntingdonshire 32 31 63 4.1 Bedfordshire 45 24 69 2.2 Cambridgeshire 113 94 207 4.1 Total 863 453 1316 4.1 DIVISION IV - EASTERN COUNTIES Essex 194 131 325 3.5 Suffolk 172 115 287 3.4 Norfolk 292 194 436 4.2 Total 658 440 1098 3.7 DIVISION V - SOUTH-WESTERN COUNTIES Wiltshire 142 98 240 3.8 Dorsetshire 121 84 205 4.5 Devonshire 497 275 772 5.3 Cornwall 162 123 285 3.3 Somersetshire 403 226 629 5.5 Total 1325 806 2131 4.7 [-66-] DIVISION VI - WEST MIDLAND COUNTIES Gloucestshire 478 243 721 6.6 Herefordshire 100 58 158 5.6 Shropshire 187 150 337 5.0 Staffordshire 278 234 512 3.0 Worcestershire 257 147 404 5.9 Warwickshire 234 233 467 3.6 Total 1534 1065 2599 5.6 DIVISION VII - NORTH MIDLAND COUNTIES Leicestershire 100 84 184 3.0 Rutlandshire 8 5 13 1.9 Lincolnshire 207 183 390 3.6 Nottinghamshire 118 106 224 2.9 Derbyshire 126 64 190 2.7 Total 559 442 1001 3.2 DIVISION VIII - NORTH WESTERN COUNTIES Cheshire 307 244 551 2.4 Lancashire 1025 777 1802 3.3 Total 1332 1021 2353 3.3 DIVISION IX - YORKSHIRE West Riding 611 467 1078 3.1 East Riding 232 186 418 6.1 North Riding 121 64 185 3.5 Total 964 717 1681 3.5 DIVISION X - NORTHERN COUNTIES Durham 175 138 313 2.9 Northumberland 169 111 280 3.5 Cumberland 102 73 175 3.4 Westmoreland 31 21 52 3.3 Total 477 343 820 3.2 DIVISION XI - MONMOUTHSHIRE AND WALES Monmouthshire 82 55 137 2.6 South Wales 216 223 469 2.9 North Wales 158 137 295 2.8 Total 486 415 901 5.7 Total for England and Wales 15377 11739 27116 5.7
Hence, if we include the families of the above individuals (and, according to the returns of the Census Commissioners, there are, upon an average, 4.827 persons to each family through-out England and Wales), we arrive at the conclusion that Legal London comprises an aggregate population of 53,638 souls, which is exactly one forty-fourth part of the entire metropolitan population.
Now, the next question that presents itself to our
consideration concerns the order and method to be adopted in our treatment of
each of the several classes of people and institutions connected with the
administration of the laws in the Metropolis.
In our previous specification of the various details comprised under the term Legal [-78-] London, we have spoken of it as comprehending the Inns of Court anti the people in connection therewith - the Superior Courts of Law, Civil, as well as Criminal, and their various legal functionaries, as judges, solicitors, law clerks, and law-court officers-the County Courts, and Police Courts, together with their attendant judges, magistrates, clerks, and practitioners - and, lastly, the Prisons, with the governors, turnkeys, and teachers attached to them.
Such a list, however, has but little logical distinctness among the parts or congruous unity in the whole; hence, we must seek for some more systematic arrangement and classification, under which to generalize the various particulars.
The most simple and natural mode of dividing the subject appears to be into two principal heads, namely:-
THE METROPOLITAN INSTITUTIONS AND PEOPLE CONNECTED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE CIVIL LAW.
AND THE METROPOLITAN INSTITUTIONS AND PEOPLE, CONNECTED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE CRIMINAL LAW.
Under the first of these general heads is comprised the following particulars:-
The Courts of Equity, and the persons connected therewith.
The Courts of Common Law, Superior as well as Petty and Local, and the several functionaries and practitioners appertaining to them.
The Courts of Bankruptcy and Insolvency, with the professional gentry attached to the same.
The Debtors' Prisons, and their associate officers.
[-79-] The Ecclesiastical and Admiralty Courts, with their attendant judges, advocates, proctors, &c.
Whereas, under the second head of the Metropolitan Institutions and people in connection with the Criminal Law, we have the following sub-heads:-
The Criminal Courts and Sessions Houses, with their several officers and practitioners.
The Police Courts and the magistrates, their clerks and others attached thereto.
The Coroners' Courts, and the several people connected with them.
The Criminal Prisons, and their associate governors, turnkeys, &c.
Such an arrangement appears to exhaust the subject, especially when certain minor points come to be filled in - as, for example, the Patent Offices and Lunacy Commissions in connection with the jurisdiction of the Lord Chancellor, and the granting of licenses at the various Sessions Rouses by the justices of the peace - which latter function, though hardly connected with the Criminal Law, must still (for the sake of avoiding an over-complicity of details) be treated of under that head.
There are, of course, two ways of dealing with the above particulars - either we may commence with the beginning, and so work down to the end; or we may reverse the process, and beginning at the bottom, proceed gradually up to the top. The first method is the one generally adopted by systematic writers. On the present occasion, however, we purpose taking the opposite course; and we do so, not from mere caprice, but because there happen to be such things as "terms and returns" in Law, which give a periodical rather than a continuous character to legal proceedings, and so prevent attention to such matters at all times. Accordingly, as neither perspicuity nor interest is lost by pursuing the latter plan, we shall here begin our exposition of the character, scenes, and doings of Legal London, by dealing first with the Criminal Prisons of the Metropolis.