The Inns of Court


Francis Bacon was a member of Grays Inn, and had lodgings there during the greater part of his life. Grays Inn was closely allied with the Inner Temple, which was governed by certain rules, one of which was that members were not allowed to talk at meals, and another rule was that members should seat themselves in the dining hall in messes of four.

We find that "Shakespeare" was familiar with these petty details, a reference to which will be found in the play of "Henry VI." Here we read :

Suffolk : Within the Temple hall we were too loud
The garden here is more convenient.

Plantagenet : Thanks, gentle sir,
Come, let us four to dinner."
-Act 2, Scene 4.

Is it a coincidence that "Shakespeare" and Bacon were both familiar with the private rules that govern the Inner Temple, an institution for lawyers only, to which the general public were not admitted?


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