The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn. It is near the Royal Courts of Justice, within the City of London.
In the 13th century, the Inns of Court originated as hostels and schools for student lawyers. The Middle Temple is the western part of "The Temple", the headquarters of the Knights Templar until they were dissolved in 1312; the awe-inspiring Temple Church still stands as a "peculiar" (extra-diocesan) church of the Inner and Middle Temples. There has never been an "Outer Temple", apart from a Victorian-era office block of that name: an order of 1337 mentions the "lane through the middle of the Court of the Temple", used by chancery justices and clerks on their way to Westminster, which became known as Middle Temple Lane and probably gave its name to the Inn.
The Inns stopped being responsible for legal education in 1852, although they continue to provide supplementary training in areas such as advocacy and ethics for students, pupil barristers and newly-qualified barristers. Most of the Inn is occupied by barristers' offices, known as "chambers". One of the Middle Temple's main functions now is to provide support for new members to the profession. This is done through the provisions of scholarships (£1 million in 2005), subsidised accommodation both in the Temple and in Clapham, and by providing events where junior members may meet their more senior colleagues for help and advice.
Middle Temple Hall is at the heart of the Inn, and the Inn's student barristers are required to dine there for a minimum number of nights for several terms. The dinners are sometimes followed by lectures or debates. Middle Temple Hall is also a popular venue for banqueting, weddings, receptions and parties. In recent years it has become a much-used film location - the cobbled streets, historic buildings and gas lighting give it a unique atmosphere. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night received its first performance here, at the feast Candlemas in 1602.
Middle Temple and the neighbouring Inner Temple are also two of the few remaining liberties, an old name for a geographic division. It is an independent extra-parochial area, historically not governed by the City of London Corporation (although geographically within the boundaries and liberties of the City of London) and equally outside the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.
Eminent Members and Benchers
- Sir Charles Scarborough, Physician to King Charles II, later King James II; King William III and Queen Mary II; and Prince George of Denmark
- Clive Anderson, Television presenter
- Simon Brown, Baron Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
- William Blackstone, Jurist and author of Commentaries on the Laws of England
- Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of the Lok Sabha of India
- Anthony Clarke, Baron Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
- Brajendranath De, esq., ICS, Magistrate and Collector of Hooghly in Bengal and Commissioner (offg.) of Burdwan in Bengal
- John Dickinson (delegate), American Founding Father
- Romesh Dutt, ICS, Dewan of Baroda and Commissioner of Orissa
- Behari Lal Gupta, esq., ICS, Dewan of Baroda and first Indian Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta
- Sir Krishna Govinda Gupta, ICS, Member of the Secretary of State's (for India) Council and Commissioner of Burdwan in Bengal
- C. R. Pattabhiraman (1906-2001), Indian lawyer, politician and Union Minister. Eldest son of Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer.
- Paul Jenkins (lawyer), Treasury Solicitor
- Igor Judge, Baron Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
- K. M. Panikkar, Indian Ambassador to China
- Nicholas Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
- G.P. Pillai, One of the earliest practising Advocates of the High Court of Madras
- Walter Raleigh, Governor of Jersey
- Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty
- Anand Ramlogan, Human Rights Attorney
- Mark Rylance, honorary Bencher, awarded in acknowledgement of his 400th anniversary production of Twelfth Night mounted in Hall on 2 February 2002.
- Patricia Scotland, Attorney General for England and Wales
- Raja Sir Maharaj Singh, First Indian Governor of Bombay
- Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions (England and Wales).
- Prince William of Wales
- Geoffrey Howe
- John Rutter
- David Cameron
- ↑ Staff writer (2008). "The Middle Temple". The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. http://www.middletemple.org.uk/the_inn/History_of_the_Inn/The_Middle_Temple.html. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- ↑ Middle Temple accommodation for students (accessed 26 April 2007)
- ↑ Staff. "Middle Temple Hall". The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. http://www.middletemple.org.uk/History/Middle_Temple_Hall.html. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
- ↑ Indiansaga Who's Who: Famous Personalities
- ↑ Taylor, Paul (2 February 2002). "Mark Rylance: A Twelfth Night to remember". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/features/mark-rylance-a-twelfth-night-to-remember-659159.html. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
- ↑ Staff (2008). "Keir Starmer QC to be the new DPP". The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. http://www.middletemple.org.uk/content.asp?PageID=548. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Middle Temple|
- Middle Temple website
- Middle Temple Banqueting website
- Temple Church website
- 2008 Temple Festival website