The Temple, London
The Temple was so named from the Knights Templars who removed their abode hither from Thavies Inn, Holborn, in the reign of Henry II. In the reign of Edward II. The order was suppressed, and Temple subsequently became the property of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. In 1346 the Knights Hospitallers leased it to the students of common law, and from that day to the present time the group of buildings here have been a school of law. In the reign of Henry VIII. The two societies of Inner and Middle Temple became tenants of the Crown, but in 1609 the estate and buildings were declared by royal decree the free hereditary property of the corporation of the Inner and Middle Temple. The Inner Temple is so called from its position within the precincts of the City. Its hall is a modern building by Smirke, opened in 1870, and possessing a fine open-work roof. The hall of the Middle Temple, built in 1562-72, is one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in London. It is about 100 feet long, and its open-work ceiling in old oak is conspicuous for its beauty. The walls are embellished with the armorial bearings of the Knights Templars, and five large full-length portraits of Charles II., James II., William III., Queen Anne, and George II., together with a portrait of Charles I. on horseback, painted by Vandyke. Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" was acted in this hall during the lifetime of the poet. Each of the Inns has a library, that of the Middle Temple being contained in a large new building on the side next the Thames. The Temple Gardens form a pleasant green retreat between the busy streets of the City and the Victoria Embankment. They have been rendered for ever famous by Shakespeare, who places here the plucking of the white and red roses which were afterwards assumed as the badges of the houses of York and Lancaster in the Wars of the Roses.