The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. It is believed to be named for Lincoln de Lacy, the third Earl of Lincoln.
Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond those of the other three, by tradition, none of the Inns claims to be the oldest of the four. The exact origins of Lincoln’s Inn are not fully known. The extant records of Lincoln’s Inn open in 1422; but a society of lawyers by that name was then already in existence. It is likely that it evolved during the late part of the fourteenth century.
The Old Hall is the finest building in the Inn, and, indeed, is one of the finest buildings in London and according to a tablet on the outside of the north wall was built around 1490. It was here that Sir Thomas More, who joined the Inn in 1496, lived much of his professional life.
By the beginning of the 19th century the Old Hall was becoming inadequate for meeting all the demands made upon it, and, in a stately ceremony, Queen Victoria opened the new replacement building in 1845. The year and the initials of the architect, Philip Hardwick, can be seen worked into the brickwork, high on the southern face of the hall.
Both the Great Hall and the Old Hall, and many of the Inn's meeting rooms are available for private hire.
Tours of the Inn, with qualified guides, can be arranged; however, at least two weeks’ notice is required.
Contact details for the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn tel: + 44 (0) 20 7405 1393, fax: + 44 (0) 20 7831 1839, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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