As a celebration to mark the day that the Society was founded 130 years ago, members and their guests met at Middle Temple last week for a friendly get together. London’s Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court, existing since the 14th century originally as colleges for the study of law.
Our group included members not only from the London and Home Counties, but also from further afield – authors Gary Biltcliffe and Caroline Hoare from Devon, Sarah Dawkins from Warwickshire, Nils and Turid Hornnaess from Norway, and Davis Mews, currently at Cambridge, with four University fraternity friends who travelled from Berlin.
It was a wonderful opportunity for members to meet each other. We noted that Francis Bacon, like all prophets, is more revered outside his own country than within it. During his recent visit to the UK the Chinese President Xi Jinping referred specifically to his admiration for Shakespeare and for Francis Bacon.
We were given a tour of the buildings and of the Hall where it would have been customary for Bacon to dine on guest nights. At lunch we sat just below the 101 foot long High Table, made from a single one thousand year old oak, where the current Benchers, senior members of the Inn, were dining just as they have done since Queen Elizabeth reputedly gave the table to the Inn. The table was sailed down the Thames and carried in through the side of the building before the walls were completed. Grand portraits of monarchs including Elizabeth and Charles hang above this table, and armour used in the Spanish Armada and the Civil War are dotted along the windowsills, under a magnificent double hammer beam roof.
We’ve had good feedback, it seems that everyone enjoyed the visit, so we look forward to another outing next year and hope you will join us.
A gallery of photos from our visit can be viewed via this link: http://bit.ly/1WPRbXG
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For more information about Middle Temple, visit http://www.middletemple.org.uk/
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