The Monuments of Lawyers

Nigel Saul

in English Church Monuments in the Middle Ages

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199215980
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191710001 | DOI:
 The Monuments of Lawyers

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This chapter argues that the monuments of lawyers afford valuable insights into the self-image and identity of the professional men of law. The monuments of the judges and sergeants at law — the two groups comprising the order of the coif — show the commemorated in their professional attire, indicating a perception of that attire as a mark of status. The monuments of two other groups — the notaries and apprentices, likewise show their subjects in professional attire — the apprentices being recognisable by their tall puffed hat. Below the level of the apprentices, the local attorneys wore no professional attire and are recognisable only from the descriptions of status on their epitaphs. At all levels, the lawyers were torn between a professional and a gentry identity. Among the attorneys it was the gentry identity that triumphed.

Keywords: judges; serjeants; apprentices; notaries; attorneys; gentry; identity

Chapter.  9334 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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