Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gray's Inn

‘Sunday 11 August 1661…Hence to Graye’s-Inn walks, and there staid a good while; where I met with Ned Pickering, who told me what a great match of hunting of a stagg the King had yesterday; and how the King tired all their horses, and come home with not above two or three able to keep pace with him. So to my father’s, and there supped, and so home.’

Samuel Pepys enjoyed many inns, recording visits to several in his Diary.  Gray’s Inn, like Lincoln’s Inn, is one of the four inns of the court, and reached its heyday before Pepys’ time, in the time of Shakespeare, and Queen Elizabeth.  Gray’s Inn, and its association with the legal world are called in to play in Walter Scott’s “Fortunes of Nigel”:

"Why, my lord," replied the Templar, "our neighbouring state of Alsatia, which the law calls the Sanctuary of Whitefriars, has had its mutations and revolutions like greater kingdoms; and, being in some sort a lawless, arbitrary government, it follows, of course, that these have been more frequent than our own better regulated commonwealth of the Templars, that of Gray's Inn, and other similar associations, have had the fortune to witness.

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