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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ. The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple

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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ.
The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple
page 374



readers, officers of great dignity, whose duty it has been to read and expound LA W in the hall, at and after tueals, iu the same way as the readers of the Knights Templars read and expounded SELiaiON. There has also been, in connexion with the modern fellowship, a class of associates similar to the associates of the antient Templars.* These were illustrious persons who paid large sums of money, and made presents of plate, to be admitted to the fellowship of the Masters of the Bench ; they were allowed to dine at the Bench table, to be as it were honorary members of the society, but %vere freed from the ordinary exercises and regulations of the house, and had at the same time no voice in the government thereof. The conversion of the chief house of the most holy order of the Temple of Solomon in England into a law university, was brought about in the following manner. Both before, and for a very considerable period after, the Norman conquest, the study of the law was confined to the ecclesiastics, who engrossed all the learning and knowledge of the age.-f In the reign of king Stephen, the foreign clergy who had flocked over after the conquest, attempted to introduce the ancient civil law of Home into this country, as calculated to promote the power and advantage of their order, but were resolutely resisted by the king and the barons, who clung to their old customs and usages. The new law, however, was introduced into all the ecclesiastical courts, and the clergy began to abandon the municipal tribunals, and discontinue the study of the common law. Early in the reign of Henry the Third, episcopal constitutions ' Dupd. Orig. Jurid., p. 212. Τ Nullum clericue nisi cauiodicns* Will. Halm., lib. iv» f. 69. Radulph de Dicete, apud Hist. AngL Script. Antiq., lib, vii. cel. 606, from rrhom itappeare that the chief juatitiary and jueticei itinerant were ail priettt.


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