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EARLY a quarter of
a century has elapsed since the appearance of the first
edition of this little work, and within that period many changes have taken place with regard to the buildings belonging to the Society, whose local habitation it has been the chief object of these pages to describe, as well as in its internal arrangements, not the least important of these being the plan just adopted for the promotion of legal study, and the more complete education of the student in the several branches of law and jurisprudence.
Of those Benchers of the Society whose names were prefixed to the volume on its publication in 1850, about two-thirds have passed away from the scene of human life, many of whom had graced the seat of justice by their talents, or enlivened the social meetings in the Hall by their genial converse ; but a glance at the present list will show that the roll has been amplified by many worthy accessions, and that some of the earlier names yet remain to adorn the annals of the Society.
In this edition of the account of Lincoln's Inn, the work has been reduced in bulk, so as to bring it more within the reach of the inquiring visitor who may wish to know something of the history of those Inns of Court whose edifices he admires, wherein have been trained many of the distinguished men whose eloquence has charmed the forum or the senate, or whose wisdom and integrity have dignified the administration of justice for many centuries in this kingdom. With this object such portions of the work as contained bibliographical details relating to various classes of books not belonging to the law have been omitted or greatly curtailed, while all that relates to the peculiar features of Lincoln's Inn, or to the earlier law writers, has been retained, and at the same time many additions relative to the more recent changes in the buildings and in the arrangements of the Society have found place in its pages.
An index, which has been thought desirable, is added to this edition.
LINCOLN'S INN, June 1873.