A Lincoln's Inn Commonplace Book

'Lincoln's Inn has seen out many centuries, just how many no one quite knows. Its Treasurers, by contrast, each serving for a single year, make a brief appearance in the ever-unfolding drama which is the life of the Inn. This commonplace book, as it is accurately and, I think, self-deprecatingly entitled, is truly a labour of love. It is the fruit of years of painstaking research, deep contemplation, careful authorship and scholarly devotion to the extraordinary place which is this Inn.

And what better person could there be to undertake the task than Graham Brown? From his many years in practice as a member and latterly senior partner of Payne Hicks Beach working from his office in New Square and since 2009 as one of the Society's Honorary Benchers, Graham knows his subject as well as anyone can. To this must be added his love of literature, music and the visual arts, and a willingness to find the time both when in practice and now in retirement to put together this magnificent picture of the Inn and those who have inhabited it as expressed in the thoughts or as seen through the eyes of so many persons, from all walks of life, drawn from London's colourful past right down to the present day.

The foreword by Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe who, as he explains, has lived or worked for most of his adult life within the Inn introduces the reader to the author and sets the scene for what is to come. Sir John Baker's masterly historical essay on the origin and early character of the Inn is an intriguing glimpse into the past. Coming from the leading expert on English legal history, it is a most significant contribution to this tantalising subject. Anyone who takes an interest in Lincoln's Inn should acquire a copy of this book. It will remain an everlasting and treasured source of interest and amusement for the reader. I commend it without reservation.'

William Blackburne

Published21 January 2016