The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2010  Saturday, 18 August 2001

From:           Daphne Pearson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 16 Aug 2001 18:20:15 +0100
Subject: 12.2001 Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2001 Re: Funeral Elegy

>The Ford attribution makes sense in terms of the apparent biographical
>content of the elegy.  Ford and William Peter were both Devonshire lads,
>and Ford has the required connection with Oxford University (since
>that's where William Peter was educated).  I have a question about
>Ford.  What can be implied from the fact that he attended one year at
>Oxford and then was admitted to Middle Temple?  Where is Middle Temple?
>London is where I assumed.  Does this indicate he was doing well at
>Oxford or doing poorly?  Would this represent a change in course or a
>logical educational progression?

Attendance at university was not the structured experience it is today.
It was quite usual for a man to attend university for a period of time
and leave without a degree. Increasingly, as the 16thC progressed, it
was common practice for gentry to follow a period of time at university
with a year or so studying law. This was done at the Inns of Court, of
which Middle Temple was (is) one. As you surmise, the Inns of Court are
in London.

There are 4 Inns of Court (Inner and Middle Temple, so-called because
they stand on the site of the headquarters of the Knights Templar,
Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn). They are the names of the buildings
belonging to the 4 societies that have the exclusive right to admit
students to practise at the bar.

Daphne Pearson

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