Hare Court, West Range, Middle Temple Lane. Sir Thomas Graham Jackson (1835-1924). 1893-94. Red brick and Portland stone. Inner Temple, Inns of Court, London. Photograph by George P. Landow 2011. Caption and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2011. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print document.]
This distinctive late-Victorian building stands on the narrow Middle Temple Lane not far from the Fleet Street entrance. The southern range is on Hare Court in the Inner Temple, and is an original (1680s) building; there are passages through to it. Though "a rare instance at the Temple of the Queen Anne manner," and very different from the earlier chambers here, the building of this western range was surrounded by none of the controversy that bedevilled E. M. Barry's "fantastically elaborate French Renaissance" Temple Gardens Building at the Embankment end of the lane (Bradley and Pevsner 109), which showed the kind of problems that could arise along the boundary between the two Inns of Court.
Hare Court is primarily associated with Judge Jeffreys, the notorious "hanging judge," who entered the Inner Temple in 1663 and had chambers at 3 Hare Court. In Victorian times the main association is with Thackeray, who began to study for the bar at 1 Hare Court. but (luckily for readers of Victorian fiction) gave it up, having found that it was "difficult to read dry law-books and attend to them," and that "[t]his lawyer's preparatory education is certainly one of the most cold-blooded, prejudiced pieces of invention that ever man was slave to" (qtd in Stevenson 47).
Bradley, Simon, and Nikolaus Pevsner. London 1: The City of London, Vol. 1. London: Penguin, 1998.
Stevenson, Lionel. The Showman of Vanity Fair. New York: Scribner's, 1947.
Last modified 21 December 2011