Skip to main content Skip to navigation

The Intellectual and Cultural World of the Early Modern Inns of Court

Date: Thursday 14 - Saturday 16 September 2006

Location: Courtauld's Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre and the Inns.

This three-day conference is designed to bring together an international, interdisciplinary group of scholars for the presentation of new research on an important, but hitherto overlooked, topic: the role of the Inns of Court as centres of learning and artistic patronage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In addition to stimulating new work on the art, architecture, drama and music of the early modern Inns, this conference aims to reconsider the Inns' status as 'the third university' in this period, as well as their place within the religious and political climate of post-Reformation England. The first day of the conference will focus on political, religious and legal history with respect to the Inns; the second day will examine the music, art, architecture and gardens of the Inns; and the third will focus on entertainments, drama, and literary culture at the Inns.

The bulk of the lectures will take place in the Courtauld’s Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, and some talks and related events will be held at the Inns themselves. Professor Nigel Llewellyn, the leading expert on Tudor-Stuart tomb sculpture, will deliver his keynote address (on depictions of justice on funerary monuments in Temple Church) /in situ/. In addition, there will be an opportunity to visit Middle Temple Hall, where the celebrated architectural historian Dr Mark Girouard will supplement his Courtauld keynote address (on the Inns' halls) with some informal comments on the Middle Temple hall screen. Other events scheduled to take place at the Inns include an organ recital in Lincoln's Inn Chapel and one or more receptions.

It is anticipated that this conference will attract academics and post-graduate students with a specialist interest in early modern English history. In addition, many members of the Judiciary and Bar have informally indicated their intention to attend, and it is very much hoped that substantial numbers of judges, barristers and solicitors will participate in this event. To that end, the conference will be advertised in The Times’ legal supplement, as well as in the following: Bar News, Counsel, The Law Society Gazette, and each of the Inns’ newsletters. Details will also be circulated to major London solicitors’ firms, selected London-based barristers’ chambers and members of the High Court Bench. The organisers have recently approached the Bar Council regarding the possibility of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points being awarded for attendance at this conference, and a similar approach will shortly be made to the Law Society.

The objectives of this conference are three-fold: 1) to forge networks between academics and practising members of the legal profession; 2) to foster new, interdisciplinary research on the history of the Inns of Court; and 3) to disseminate selected findings via an essay collection (a prospectus for which will shortly be submitted to Cambridge University Press).

Further Information

For further information about any aspect of the conference, please contact the organisers:

  • Dr Jayne Archer - (University of Wales, Aberystwyth)
  • Dr Elizabeth Goldring - (University of Warwick)
  • Dr Sarah Knight - (University of Leicester)
  • Or write to the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, U.K.

View the provisional timetable here - Word icon

Download the booking form here - Word icon

Download the flyer here - PDF icon