Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 2Wilkinson, Robert
Furnival's Inn, Holborn. Taken down in 1818.
The Inns of Court are stated to owe their establishment to King Henry III. who having in the year con firmed the charters granted by John his father, removed the Courts of Justice from his Palace into Hall; about which time, the lawyers, or practitioners in their Courts, began to form themselves into a Society (supposed at Thavie's Inn, in ) in a collegiate manner; hence their place of residence was denominated an Inn, or House of Court: and Henry III. by his mandate, directed to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, about the year , strictly enjoined them to make proclamation throughout the City, that no person whatsoever should presume to set up a School or Schools therein, for the teaching Law. In each of these Societies mootings were held, that is public meetings for the instruction of Students, wherein are argued divers abstruse points of Law, after the manner of trials in the Courts of Justice.
is an Inn of Chancery, situated on the north side of , and is noticed as a Law Seminary in the Steward's Account-book, written about the of King Henry IV. and derives its name, like most of the other Inns, from its original proprietors, the Lords Furnival. This noble family became extinct in the male line in the year of Richard II. some time before which period this Inn was demised by the Students of the Law, as is evident from the above circumstance; but the precise date of its legal establishment is unknown.
By Joan, the daughter and heir to William Lord Furnival, in the time of the former monarch (Henry IV.), the inheritance of came to Thomas Nevill, younger brother to Ralph Earl of Westmoreland; and by Maude, sole daughter and heir to the said Thomas and Joan, it afterwards descended to John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. In this line it continued till Francis Earl of Shrewsbury, in consideration of ., by his deed, bearing date the , Edw. VI., sold it to Edward Gryffin, Esq. then Solicitor-General to the King, William Ropere, and Richard Heydone, Esqs. and their heirs, to the use of the Society of ; which sum of . (the purchase-money) was paid out of the treasury of that Society, and is entered in their register. The Principal and Fellows of , to whom a lease was granted by the Society of , were to pay yearly . , as appears by the accounts of that house, and by special orders there made, they were allowed several privileges as follows: in Eliz. it was ordered, that the utter Barristers of , of a year's continuance, and so certified and allowed by the Benchers of , should pay no more than apiece for their admittance into that Society. The following year a like order was made, and every Fellow of this Inn, who had been allowed an utter Barrister here, and that had mooted here for vacations at the utter bar, should pay no more for his admission into the Society of than though all utter Barristers of any other Inn of Chancery, excepting Thaivie's Inn, should pay ; and that every inner Barrister of this House, who had mooted here vacation at the inner bar, should pay for his admission into this House, but ; those of other houses (excepting Thaivie's Inn) paying
Also, when by an order made at , in Eliz. the admission of the gentlemen of this House and Thaivie's Inn into that Society, was raised to those of other Inns of Chancery were strained to ; and in Eliz. those of this House had so much farther favour, that they might, after their admittance into , stay years in the Inn of Chancery, paying their pensions during those years; and that they should be discharged of casting into commons, and of all the vacations and changes of Christmas, during the time of their stay here for those years.
Amongst other rules and orders hung up in the buttery of , were the following, respecting the ancient mootings of this Society, and those of Thaivie's Inn:
"Mootes in Furnivall's Inn, every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and Saturday, during the reading; but no exercise after the readers feast."
This Inn occupies a very considerable plot of ground, and is divided into squares or courts. The towards is of a good width, but shallow, and built round on the sides. The , or inner court, extends the
|depth of great part of , and has chambers on side only: the date of the buildings is about the time of Charles the .|
Previous to being taken down in , the hall was seen on entering the gateway next the street, but its aspect was by no means calculated to make a favourable impression on a spectator. It was a low plain brick building, with a small turret, and large projecting bow windows at the west end, and was, like the rest of the Inn, in a most neglected state. The north side of it, on passing through the passage or entrance to the inner court, with a small range of old chambers that adjoined, and whose fronts were plastered in the cottage style, had a singularly rustic appearance, bearing a much greater resemblance to a country village than a London Inn of Chancery.
The interior of the hall bore signs of greater antiquity than any other part of the building; its dimensions were feet by . The roof was of timber, arched, and divided into pannels by ribs springing from the sides; the floor at the upper end of the hall was raised for the Principals, as at the Middle Temple, &c. It had in like manner a fireplace in the midst, and the same disposition of tables and benches; but they had no appearance, nor indeed the hall itself, of being often used. In the windows of this hall were a few armorial bearings; it likewise contained portraits of Lords Raymond and Pengelly.
The Society of was governed by a Principal and ancients; and the numbers were to be in commons a fortnight in every term, or pay per week if absent.
Their arms are, argent a bend between martlets, gules within a border of the .
is thought by many to have been built after a design of Inigo Jones, but it bore not the least resemblance to the classical works of that great architect: the roof exhibited a jumble of inconsistencies irreconcilable with the taste and judgment of that master who stood forward as the artist in his way of the time.
During the taking down of the old building, to clear the foundation for the structure now erected, an accident happened in Court, by the falling of a wall, that separated it from the Inn, which from the injudicious heaping of rubbish against it, more than its strength could bear, gave way, and buried children in the ruins.
The view represents the front of this building, accurately delineated immediately previous to its demolition; the entrance seen to the left, is that of Court; and the inn-yard from which the stage-coach is issuing is the yard of the Bell and Crown Inn, .
The cellar adjoining to gate, merits notice from the following circumstances, well attested: it had long been frequented as an ale and cyder cellar, and falling into the hands of John Grey, who, after many years' application and industry, realized a sum of money, sufficient to purchase in Yorkshire, the place of his nativity, an estate of nearly . per annum; when, having resided upon it a certain time, he grew weary of retirement, and pining for his former active situation, absolutely returned to London, and endeavoured to purchase his old cellar; but not succeeding, he proposed becoming a waiter, was accepted as such, and lived there several years, receiving a salary until he died.
Title page of Vol. 2 reads: Theatrum illustrata. Graphic and historic memorials of ancient playhouses, modern theatres and other places of public amusement in the cities and suburbs of London & Westminster with scenic and incidental illustrations from the time of Shakspear to the present period.