Law French is an archaic language based on Old Norman and Anglo-Norman, but influenced by Parisian French and English. It was used in the law courts of England, beginning with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, its use continued for several centuries in the courts of Wales and Ireland. Although Law French as a narrative legal language is obsolete, many individual Law French terms continue to be used by lawyers and judges in common law jurisdictions; the earliest known documents in which French is used for discourse on English law date from the third quarter of the thirteenth century and include two particular documents. The first is The Provisions of Oxford, consisting of the terms of oaths sworn by the 24 magnates appointed to rectify abuses in the administration of King Henry III, together with summaries of their rulings; the second is The Casus Placitorum, a collection of legal maxims and brief narratives of cases. In these works the language is sophisticated and technical, well equipped with its own legal terminology.
This includes many words which are of Latin origin but whose forms have been shortened or distorted in a way which suggests that they possessed a long history of French usage. Some examples include advowson from the Latin advocationem, meaning the legal right to nominate a parish priest; until the early fourteenth century, Law French coincided with the French used as an everyday language by the upper classes. As such, it reflected some of the changes undergone by the northern dialects of mainland French during the period. Thus, in the documents mentioned above,'of the king' is rendered as del rey, whereas by about 1330 it had become du roi or du roy. During the 14th century vernacular French suffered a rapid decline; the use of Law French was criticized by those who argued that lawyers sought to restrict entry into the legal profession. The Pleading in English Act 1362 acknowledged this change by ordaining that thenceforward all court pleading must be in English so "every Man….may the better govern himself without offending of the Law."
From that time, Law French lost most of its status as a spoken language. It remained in use for the'readings' and'moots', held in the Inns of Court as part of the education of young lawyers, but it became a written language alone. In the seventeenth century, the moots and readings fell into neglect, the rule of Oliver Cromwell, with its emphasis on removing the relics of archaic ritual from legal and governmental processes, struck a further blow at the language. Before in 1628, Sir Edward Coke acknowledged in his preface to the First Part of the Institutes of the Law of England that Law French had ceased to be a spoken tongue, it was still used for case-reports and legal text-books until the end of the century, but only in an anglicized form. A quoted example of this change comes from one of Chief Justice Sir George Treby's marginal notes in an annotated edition of Dyer's Reports, published 1688: Richardson Chief Justice de Common Banc al assises de Salisbury in Summer 1631 fuit assault per prisoner la condemne pur felony, que puis son condemnation ject un brickbat a le dit justice, que narrowly mist, et pur ceo fuit indictment drawn per Noy envers le prisoner et son dexter manus ampute et fix al gibbet, sur que luy mesme immediatement hange in presence de Court.
The post-positive adjectives in many legal noun phrases in English—attorney general, fee simple—are a heritage from Law French. Native speakers of French may not understand certain Law French terms not used in modern French or replaced by other terms. For example, the current French word for "mortgage" is hypothèque. Many of the terms of Law French were converted into modern English in the 20th century to make the law more understandable in common-law jurisdictions. However, some key Law French terms remain, including the following: French language Norman language French phrases used by English speakers English words of French origin Jersey Legal French Franglais List of legal Latin terms Legal English Manual of Law French by J. H. Baker, 1979; the Mastery of the French Language in England by B. Clover, 1888.'The salient features of the language of the earlier year books' in Year Books 10 Edward II, pp. xxx-xlii. M. D. Legge, 1934.'Of the Anglo-French Language in the Early Year Books' in Year Books 1 & 2 Edward II, pp. xxxiii-lxxxi.
F. W. Maitland, 1903; the Anglo-Norman Dialect by L. E. Menger, 1904. From Latin to Modern French, with especial Consideration of Anglo-Norman by M. K. Pope, 1956. L'Evolution
Commonwealth Law Reports
The Commonwealth Law Reports are the authorised reports of decisions of the High Court of Australia. The Commonwealth Law Reports are published by a division of Thomson Reuters. James Merralls AM QC was the editor of the Reports from 1969 until his death in 2016; each reported judgment includes a headnote written by an expert reporter which, as an authorised report, has been approved by the High Court. The headnotes include a summary of counsel's legal arguments; the Reports include tables of cases reported, reversed, applied or judicially commented on and cited. The Reports are available in PDF format from Westlaw AU. For lawyers, the Commonwealth Law Reports are the preferred source for decisions of the High Court of Australia. An example of proper citation is: Coleman v Power 220 CLR 1This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled Coleman v Power, decided in 2004, can be found beginning at page 1 of volume 220 of the Commonwealth Law Reports. An alternative citation, medium neutral, is: Coleman v Power HCA 39This citation refers to the case entitled Coleman v Power, the 39th decision published by the High Court of Australia in 2004.
Both forms of citation may be used so that users can access the case from different sources: Coleman v Power HCA 39.
Sir Edward Coke was an English barrister and politician, considered to be the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. Born into an upper-class family, Coke was educated at Trinity College, before leaving to study at the Inner Temple, where he was called to the Bar on 20 April 1578; as a barrister he took part in several notable cases, including Slade's Case, before earning enough political favour to be elected to Parliament, where he served first as Solicitor General and as Speaker of the House of Commons. Following a promotion to Attorney General he led the prosecution in several notable cases, including those against Robert Devereux, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Gunpowder Plot conspirators; as a reward for his services he was first knighted and made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. As Chief Justice, Coke restricted the use of the ex officio oath and, in the Case of Proclamations and Dr. Bonham's Case, declared the King to be subject to the law, the laws of Parliament to be void if in violation of "common right and reason".
These actions led to his transfer to the Chief Justiceship of the King's Bench, where it was felt he could do less damage. Coke successively restricted the definition of treason and declared a royal letter illegal, leading to his dismissal from the bench on 14 November 1616. With no chance of regaining his judicial posts, he instead returned to Parliament, where he swiftly became a leading member of the opposition. During his time as a Member of Parliament he wrote and campaigned for the Statute of Monopolies, which restricted the ability of the monarch to grant patents, authored and was instrumental in the passage of the Petition of Right, a document considered one of the three crucial constitutional documents of England, along with Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1689. Coke is best known in modern times for his Institutes, described by John Rutledge as "almost the foundations of our law", his Reports, which have been called "perhaps the single most influential series of named reports".
He was a influential judge. In America, Coke's decision in Dr. Bonham's Case was used to justify the voiding of both the Stamp Act 1765 and writs of assistance, which led to the American War of Independence; the surname "Coke", or "Cocke", can be traced back to a William Coke in the hundred of South Greenhoe, now the Norfolk town of Swaffham, in around 1150. The family was prosperous and influential – members from the 14th century onwards included an Under-Sheriff, a Knight Banneret, a barrister and a merchant; the name "Coke" was pronounced during the Elizabethan age. The origins of the name are uncertain. Another hypothesis is that it was an attempt to disguise the word "cook". Coke's father, Robert Coke, was a barrister and Bencher of Lincoln's Inn who built up a strong practice representing clients from his home area of Norfolk. Over time, he bought several manors at Congham, West Acre and Happisburgh, all in Norfolk, was granted a coat of arms, becoming a minor member of the gentry. Coke's mother, Winifred Knightley, came from a family more intimately linked with the law than her husband.
Her father and grandfather had practised law in the Norfolk area, her sister Audrey was married to Thomas Gawdy, a lawyer and Justice of the Court of King's Bench with links to the Earl of Arundel. This connection served Edward well. Winifred's father married Agnes, the sister of Nicholas Hare. Edward Coke was born on 1 February 1552 in one of eight children; the other seven were daughters – Winifred, Elizabeth, Anna and Ethelreda – although it is not known in which order the children were born. Two years after Robert Coke died on 15 November 1561, his widow married Robert Bozoun, a property trader noted for his piety and strong business acumen, he had a tremendous influence on the Coke children: from Bozoun Coke learnt to "loathe concealers, prefer godly men and briskly do business with any willing client", something that shaped his future conduct as a lawyer and judge. At the age of eight in 1560, Coke began studying at the Norwich Free Grammar School; the education there was based on erudition, the eventual goal being that by the age of 18 the students would have learned "to vary one sentence diversely, to make a verse to endight an epistle eloquently and learnedly, to declaim of a theme simple, last of all to attain some competent knowledge of the Greek tongue".
The students were taught rhetoric based on the Rhetorica ad Herennium, Greek centred on the works of Homer and Virgil. Coke was taught at Norwich to value the "forcefulness of freedom of speech", something he applied as a judge; some accounts relate. After leaving Norwich in 1567 he matriculated to Trinity College, where he studied for three years until the end of 1570, when he left without gaining a degree. Little is known of his time at Trinity, though he studied rhetoric and dialectics under a
In law, common law is that body of law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals. The defining characteristic of "common law" is. In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts, synthesizes the principles of those past cases as applicable to the current facts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision. If, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases, legislative statutes are either silent or ambiguous on the question, judges have the authority and duty to resolve the issue; the court states an opinion that gives reasons for the decision, those reasons agglomerate with past decisions as precedent to bind future judges and litigants. Common law, as the body of law made by judges, stands in contrast to and on equal footing with statutes which are adopted through the legislative process, regulations which are promulgated by the executive branch.
Stare decisis, the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so that similar facts will yield similar results, lies at the heart of all common law systems. The common law—so named because it was "common" to all the king's courts across England—originated in the practices of the courts of the English kings in the centuries following the Norman Conquest in 1066; the British Empire spread the English legal system to its historical colonies, many of which retain the common law system today. These "common law systems" are legal systems that give great precedential weight to common law, to the style of reasoning inherited from the English legal system. Today, one-third of the world's population lives in common law jurisdictions or in systems mixed with civil law, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Cyprus, Fiji, Grenada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zimbabwe.
Some of these countries have variants on common law systems. The term common law has many connotations; the first three set out here are the most-common usages within the legal community. Other connotations from past centuries are sometimes seen and are sometimes heard in everyday speech; the first definition of "common law" given in Black's Law Dictionary, 10th edition, 2014, is "The body of law derived from judicial decisions, rather than from statutes or constitutions. This usage is given as the first definition in modern legal dictionaries, is characterized as the “most common” usage among legal professionals, is the usage seen in decisions of courts. In this connotation, "common law" distinguishes the authority. For example, the law in most Anglo-American jurisdictions includes "statutory law" enacted by a legislature, "regulatory law" or “delegated legislation” promulgated by executive branch agencies pursuant to delegation of rule-making authority from the legislature, common law or "case law", i.e. decisions issued by courts.
This first connotation can be further differentiated into pure common law arising from the traditional and inherent authority of courts to define what the law is in the absence of an underlying statute or regulation. Examples include most criminal law and procedural law before the 20th century, today, most contract law and the law of torts. Interstitial common law court decisions that analyze and determine the fine boundaries and distinctions in law promulgated by other bodies; this body of common law, sometimes called "interstitial common law", includes judicial interpretation of the Constitution, of legislative statutes, of agency regulations, the application of law to specific facts. Publication of decisions, indexing, is essential to the development of common law, thus governments and private publishers publish law reports. While all decisions in common law jurisdictions are precedent, some become "leading cases" or "landmark decisions" that are cited often. Black's Law Dictionary 10th Ed. definition 2, differentiates "common law" jurisdictions and legal systems from "civil law" or "code" jurisdictions.
Common law systems place great weight on court decisions, which are considered "law" with the same force of law as statutes—for nearly a millennium, common law courts have had the authority to make law where no legislative statute exists, statutes mean what courts interpret them to mean. By contrast, in civil law jurisdictions, courts lack authority to act. Civil law judges tend to give less weight to judicial precedent, which means that a
Edward Stillingfleet was a British theologian and scholar. Considered an outstanding preacher as well as a strong polemical writer defending Anglicanism, Stillingfleet was known as "the beauty of holiness" for his good looks in the pulpit, was called by John Hough "the ablest man of his time", he was born in Dorset. He went at the age of thirteen to St John's College, where he graduated B. A. in 1652. He became vicar of Sutton, Bedfordshire in 1657. In 1665, after he had made his name as a writer, he became vicar at Holborn, he preached at St Margaret, Westminster on 10 October 1666, the'day of humiliation and fasting' after the Great Fire of London, with such an attendance that there was standing room only. Samuel Pepys recorded that he could not get in to hear the sermon, eating a meal of herrings in a pub instead, he held many preferments, including a Royal Chaplaincy, the Deanery of St Paul's, the latter involving him in work connected with the building of the new St Paul's Cathedral. He became Bishop of Worcester in 1689.
He was a frequent speaker in the House of Lords, had considerable influence as a churchman. He supported Richard Bentley, who lived in his household as a tutor for a number of years, from shortly after his graduation in 1693. Bentley would be his chaplain and biographer, describe him as "one of the most universal scholars that lived". In 1691, at his request, Queen Mary II wrote to the magistrates of Middlesex, asking for stronger enforcement of the laws against vice; this was an early move in the campaign of the Society for the Reformation of Manners. At his death Stillingfleet left a library of some 10,000 printed books, which were purchased by Narcissus Marsh and today are part of Marsh's Library in Dublin, Ireland, his manuscript collection was purchased by Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, passed with the Harleian Manuscripts to the British Museum in 1753 as one of the foundation collections. Stillingfleet had to wait many years for a bishopric, a fact linked to his disfavour at Court in the 1680s.
He never, lacked for well-connected patrons. The first was Sir Roger Burgoyne, 2nd Baronet, a barrister and MP in the Long Parliament, in whose gift was Sutton, his living; these both offered him tutoring positions. He was supported by Harbottle Grimstone, who as Master of the Rolls gave him a preaching position in the Rolls Chapel; the transition at the Restoration was problematic. Earl of Southampton presented Stillingfleet to Holborn. Humphrey Henchman, Bishop of London, employed him to write a vindication of William Laud's answer to John Percy. According to Jon Parkin, Stillingfleet was a leader within the Church of England of the "latitudinarians", the group of Anglicans thus defined pejoratively. Latitudinarism as doctrine was considered to have grown from the teaching of the Cambridge Platonists, but in practical terms conditions at the Restoration did not favour it. Quite a number of its Cambridge adherents left an unpromising career in religion for the law, or had to rely for patronage on those who had done so.
Stillingfleet was most associated, in his attitudes, with such as Isaac Barrow, Robert South and John Tillotson. They agreed, for example, on a literal interpretation to Biblical exegesis, discarding allegorical readings. With Tillotson he favoured the so-called Erastian view, that the ruler had great powers over the Church, from the days of 1660. With Gilbert Burnet, Benjamin Hoadly, Simon Patrick, William Powell and William Whiston, he held some High Church views also. With Thomas Tenison and Tillotson preached on behalf of reason and natural religion, they were broadly Arminian rather than Calvinist, took the stock of core beliefs to be a small set of fundamentals, in Stillingfleet's case supported reconciliation with Presbyterians. In 1674 they met with Richard Baxter and Thomas Manton, in an attempt to draft a reconciliation with the nonconformists, they were sympathetic with the new science of their times. Stillingfleet did draw the line at the materialist tendency in the views of Edmond Halley, whom he examined with the help of Richard Bentley in 1691, when Halley applied for the Savilian Chair of Astronomy.
A keen controversialist, he wrote many treatises, with a general but learned concern to defend Anglican orthodoxy. His first book was The Irenicum advocating compromise with the Presbyterians; the philosophical basis was the state of nature. The arguments of the Irenicum were still live in the 1680s, when Gilbert Rule produced a Modest Answer, it was followed by Origines Sacrae, Or, A Rational Account of the Grounds of Christian Faith, as to the Truth and Divine Authority of the Scriptures, Matters Therein Contained and A Rational Account of the Grounds of Protestant Religion. It included an attack on Catholicism, Edward Meredith replied on the Catholic side. A Discourse Concerning the Idolatry Practised in the Church of Rome formed part of a controversy with the recusant Catholic Thomas Godden and noted Church scholar Serenus de Cressy; the Mischief of Separation a sermon, was followed up by The Unreasonableness of Separation: Or, An Impartial Account of the History and Pleas of the Present Separation from the Communion of the Ch
Sir William Blackstone was an English jurist and Tory politician of the eighteenth century. He is most noted for writing the Commentaries on the Laws of England. Born into a middle-class family in London, Blackstone was educated at Charterhouse School before matriculating at Pembroke College, Oxford in 1738. After switching to and completing a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, he was made a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford on 2 November 1743, admitted to Middle Temple, called to the Bar there in 1746. Following a slow start to his career as a barrister, Blackstone became involved in university administration, becoming accountant and bursar on 28 November 1746 and Senior Bursar in 1750. Blackstone is considered responsible for completing the Codrington Library and Warton Building, simplifying the complex accounting system used by the college. On 3 July 1753 he formally gave up his practice as a barrister and instead embarked on a series of lectures on English law, the first of their kind; these were massively successful, earning him a total of £453, led to the publication of An Analysis of the Laws of England in 1756, which sold out and was used to preface his works.
On 20 October 1758 Blackstone was confirmed as the first Vinerian Professor of English Law embarking on another series of lectures and publishing a successful second treatise, titled A Discourse on the Study of the Law. With his growing fame, Blackstone returned to the bar and maintained a good practice securing election as Tory Member of Parliament for the rotten borough of Hindon on 30 March 1761. In November 1765 he published the first of four volumes of Commentaries on the Laws of England, considered his magnum opus. After repeated failures, he gained appointment to the judiciary as a Justice of the Court of King's Bench on 16 February 1770, leaving to replace Edward Clive as a Justice of the Common Pleas on 25 June, he remained in this position until his death, on 14 February 1780. Blackstone's legacy and main work of note is his Commentaries. Designed to provide a complete overview of English law, the four-volume treatise was republished in 1770, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1778 and in a posthumous edition in 1783.
Reprints of the first edition, intended for practical use rather than antiquary interest, were published until the 1870s in England and Wales, a working version by Henry John Stephen, first published in 1841, was reprinted until after the Second World War. Legal education in England had stalled. William Searle Holdsworth, one of Blackstone's successors as Vinerian Professor, argued that "If the Commentaries had not been written when they were written, I think it doubtful that the United States, other English speaking countries would have so universally adopted the common law." In the United States, the Commentaries influenced Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, James Wilson, John Jay, John Adams, James Kent and Abraham Lincoln, remain cited in Supreme Court decisions. William's father, Charles Blackstone, was a silk mercer from Cheapside, the son of a wealthy apothecary, he became firm friends with Thomas Bigg, a surgeon and the son of Lovelace Bigg, a gentleman from Wiltshire. After Bigg's sister Mary came to London, Charles persuaded her to marry him in 1718.
This was not seen as a good match for her, but the couple lived and had four sons, three of whom lived into adulthood. Charles and Henry, both became fellows of New College and took holy orders, their last son, was born on 10 July 1723, five months after Charles' death in February. Although Charles and Mary Blackstone were members of the middle class rather than landed gentry, they were prosperous. Tax records show Charles Blackstone to have been the second most prosperous man in the parish in 1722, death registers show that the family had several servants. This, along with Thomas Bigg's assistance to the family following Charles' death, helps explain the educational upbringing of the children. William Blackstone was sent to Charterhouse School in 1730, nominated by Charles Wither, a relative of Mary Blackstone. William did well there, became head of the school by age 15. However, after Charles' death the family fortunes declined, after Mary died the family's resources went to meet unpaid bills.
William was able to remain at Charterhouse as a "poor scholar", having been named to that position in June 1735 after being nominated by Sir Robert Walpole. Blackstone revelled in Charterhouse's academic curriculum the Latin poetry of Ovid and Virgil, he began to attract note as a poet at school, writing a 30-line set of rhyming couplets to celebrate the wedding of James Hotchkis, the headmaster. He won a silver medal for his Latin verses on John Milton, gave the annual Latin oration in 1738, was noted as having been the favourite student of his masters. On 1 October 1738, taking advantage of a new scholarship available to Charterhouse students, Blackstone matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford. There are few surviving records of Blackstone's undergraduate term at Oxford, but the curriculum of Pembroke College had been set out in 1624, Prest notes that it was still followed in 1738, so Blackstone would have studied Greek, logic, philosophy, mathematics and poetry. Blackstone was good at Greek and poetry, with his notes on William Shakespeare being included in George Steevens' 1781 edition of Shakespeare's plays.
Many of B
Matthew Hale (jurist)
Sir Matthew Hale was an influential English barrister and lawyer most noted for his treatise Historia Placitorum Coronæ, or The History of the Pleas of the Crown. Born to a barrister and his wife, who had both died by the time he was 5, Hale was raised by his father's relative, a strict Puritan, inherited his faith. In 1626 he matriculated at Magdalen Hall, intending to become a priest, but after a series of distractions was persuaded to become a barrister like his father thanks to an encounter with a Serjeant-at-Law in a dispute over his estate. On 8 November 1628 he joined Lincoln's Inn, where he was called to the Bar on 17 May 1636; as a barrister, Hale represented a variety of Royalist figures during the prelude and duration of the English Civil War, including Thomas Wentworth and William Laud. Despite the Royalist loss, Hale's reputation for integrity and his political neutrality saved him from any repercussions, under the Commonwealth of England he was made Chairman of the Hale Commission, which investigated law reform.
Following the Commission's dissolution, Oliver Cromwell made him a Justice of the Common Pleas. As a judge, Hale was noted for his resistance to bribery and his willingness to make politically unpopular decisions which upheld the law, he sat in Parliament, either in the Commons or the Upper House, in every Parliament from the First Protectorate Parliament to the Convention Parliament, following the Declaration of Breda was the Member of Parliament who moved to consider Charles II's reinstatement as monarch, sparking the English Restoration. Under Charles, Hale was made first Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Chief Justice of the King's Bench. In both positions, he was again noted for his integrity, although not as a innovative judge. Following a bout of illness he retired on 20 February 1676, dying ten months on 25 December 1676. Hale is universally appreciated as an excellent judge and jurist, with his central legacy coming through his written work, published after his death, his Historia Placitorum Coronæ, dealing with capital offences against the Crown, is considered "of the highest authority", while his Analysis of the Common Law is noted as the first published history of English law and a strong influence on William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England.
Hale's jurisprudence struck a middle-ground between Edward Coke's "appeal to reason" and John Selden's "appeal to contract", while refuting elements of Thomas Hobbes's theory of natural law. His thoughts on marital rape, expressed in the Historia, continued in English law until 1991, he was cited in court as as 2009. Hale was born on 1 November 1609 in West End House in Alderley, Gloucestershire to Robert Hale, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn, Joanna Poyntz, his father gave up his practice as a barrister several years before Hale's birth "because he could not understand the reason of giving colour in pleadings". This refers to a process through which the defendant would refer a case over the validity of his title to land to a judge instead of a jury, through claiming a allegation about this right; such an allegation would be a question of law rather than a question of fact, as such decided by the judge with no reference to the jurors. Although in common use, Robert Hale saw this as deceptive and "contrary to the exactness of truth and justice which became a Christian.
John Hostettler, in his biography of Matthew Hale, points out that his father's concerns about giving colour in pleadings could not have been strong "since he not only retired to his estate at Alderley where he managed to live on his wife's inherited income, but directed in his will that Matthew should make a career in the law". Both of Hale's parents died, it was revealed that Robert had been so generous in giving money to the poor that at his death his estate provided only £100 of income a year, of which £20 was to be paid to the local poor. Hale thus passed into the care of one of his father's relatives. A strong Puritan, Kingscot had Hale taught by a Mr. Stanton, the vicar of Wotton known as the "scandalous vicar" due to his extremist puritan views. On 20 October 1626, at the age of 16, Hale matriculated at the University of Oxford as a member of Magdalen Hall, with the goal of becoming a priest. Both Kingscot and Stanton had intended this to be his career, his education had been conducted with that in mind.
He was taught by Obadiah Sedgwick, another Puritan, excelled in both his studies and fencing. Hale regularly attended church, private prayer-meetings, was described as "simple in his attire, rather aesthetic". After a company of actors came to Oxford, Hale attended so many plays and other social activities that his studies began to suffer, he began to turn away from Puritanism. In light of this, he abandoned his desire to become a priest and instead decided to become a soldier, his relatives were unable to persuade him to become a priest, or a lawyer, with Hale describing lawyers as "a barbarous set of people unfit for anything but their own trade". His plans to become a soldier died after a legal battle concerning his estate, in which he consulted John Glanville. Glanville persuaded Hale to become a lawyer, after leaving Oxford at the age of 20 before obtaining a degree, he joined Lincoln's Inn on 8 November 1628. Fearing that the theatre might dissuade him from his legal studies as it had a