Gray's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns. Located at the intersection of High Holborn and Gray's Inn Road, the Inn is both a professional body and a place of living and office accommodation (chambers) for many barristers. It is ruled by a governing council called "Pension", made up of the Masters of the Bench (or "Benchers"), and led by the Treasurer, who is elected to serve a one-year term. The Inn is known for its gardens, or Walks, which have existed since at least 1597. Gray's Inn does not claim a specific foundation date; there is a tradition that none of the Inns of Court claims to be any older than the others. Law clerks and their apprentices have been established on the present site since at least 1370, with records dating from 1391. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Inn grew steadily, reaching its pinnacle during the reign of Elizabeth I. The outbreak of the First English Civil War in 1642 during the reign of Charles I disrupted the systems of legal education and governance at the Inns of Court, shutting down all calls to the Bar and new admissions, and Gray's Inn never fully recovered. Fortunes continued to decline after the English Restoration, which saw the end of the traditional method of legal education. Although now more prosperous, Gray's Inn is still the smallest of the Inns of Court. (Full article...)
Image 44King Alfred the Great statue in Winchester, Hampshire. The 9th-century English king encouraged education in his kingdom, and proposed that primary education be taught in English, with those wishing to advance to holy orders to continue their studies in Latin. (from Culture of the United Kingdom)
Poster: Parliamentary Recruiting Committee; restoration: Adam Cuerden
A British recruitment poster from the First World War, featuring imagery of Saint George and the Dragon. Britain in the First World War fielded more than five million troops. Enrollment was initially voluntary, and in 1914 and 1915 the British military released numerous recruitment posters to attract troops. As the war progressed there were fewer volunteers to fill the ranks, and in 1916 the Military Service Act, which provided for the conscription of single men aged 18–41, was introduced. By the end of the war the law's scope had been extended to include older and married men.
The "Hampden" portrait of Elizabeth I of England was painted by the Flemish artist Steven van der Meulen in the mid to late 1560s. Art historian Sir Roy Strong has suggested that this is "one of a group produced in response to a crisis over the production of the royal image" as a number of old-fashioned and unflattering portraits of the queen were then in circulation. This is the earliest full-length (2 m or 7 ft tall) portrait of the young queen, and depicts her in red satin trimmed with pearls and jewels. It represents a phase in the portraiture of Elizabeth I before the emergence of allegorical images representing the iconography of the "Virgin Queen". In November 2007 it was auctioned by Sotheby's for ₤2.6 million, more than twice the maximum predicted.
The Felbrigge Psalter, an illuminated manuscriptPsalter, is the oldest book from England to have an embroideredbookbinding. The needlework on this mid-thirteenth century manuscript probably dates from the early fourteenth century, which puts it more than a century earlier than the next oldest embroidered binding to have survived. Both the design and execution depicting the Annunciation are exceptionally high quality. The cover is made with linen and gold on linen with later leather binding edge.