Four Illuminated Manuscripts

In the early years of the last century the Library acquired by gift one of its most valuable and historically important manuscripts. This was a set of four fifteenth century illuminations on vellum which provide the earliest known depictions of the English courts and court dress. They date from about 1460 and show the four courts at Westminster Hall – the courts of Chancery, Common Pleas, Exchequer and King’s Bench. The illuminations were presented to the Inn by Lord Darling (Treasurer 1914-1915), who had purchased them at Christie’s in 1894.

Court of Kings Bench
Court of Kings Bench.
Image copyright © Inner Temple Library
Exchequer
Court of Exchequer.
Image copyright © Inner Temple Library
Court of Chancery
Court of Chancery
Image copyright © Inner Temple Library
Court of Common Please
Court of Common Pleas
Image copyright © Inner Temple Library