Pump Court

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Pump Court, Temple, London

Pump Court, Temple, London was the first on the left in Middle Temple Lane from 6 Fleet Street, leading to Inner Temple Lane and Lamb's Buildings.[1] Its name referred to the pump in the middle.[2]

In the year following 1 Car 1 (1625), brick buildings were erected in the Pump Court. In 1637 (13 Car 1), the rest of the brick buildings in the Pump Court were set up.[3]

Many celebrities have lived in Pump Court including Blackstone, Cowper, Fielding, Lord Russell of Killowen and Viscount Alverstone, his successor as Lord Chief Justice of England. There is a sundial with a motto that reads "shadows we are and like shadows we depart" to remind the residents of the ephemeral character of their occupancy.[4]

1 Pump Court[edit]

Joseph Chitty the elder trained in succession in his pupil room here "a great number of the most eminent lawyers".[5]

The Filazers', Exigenters' and Clerk of the Outlawries' Office for the Court of King's Bench was here. These officers were so called from the French word Fil, or thread, because they filed or threaded the writs. Thomas Kenyon was Filazer, Exigenter and Clerk of the Outlawries, and Andrew Edge was Filazer for Essex and Monmouthshire.[6]

3 Pump Court[edit]

The Warrant of Attorney Office was here.[7] This was an address of William Draper Best MP.[8]

4 Pump Court[edit]

Henry Fielding lived here.[9]

5 Pump Court[edit]

5 Pump Court Chambers is one of the oldest established barristers' chambers in London. It has been in continuous existence since 1870. It now comprises 57 barristers and 8 clerks.[10]

Morris Simeon Oppenheim had chambers here, where he committed suicide on 3 January 1883.[11]

References and sources[edit]


  1. ^ Lockie, John. "Pump Court, Temple" in Lockie's Topography of London. 2nd Ed. London. 1810. Page 274.
  2. ^ Wheatley and Cunningham. "Pump Court, Temple" in London Past and Present: Its History, Associations, and Traditions. CUP. Page 131.
  3. ^ Herbert, W. Antiquities of the Inns of Court and Chancery. London. 1804. Page 245.
  4. ^ Bellot, Hugh H L. The Inner and Middle Temple: Legal, Literary, and Historic Associations. Methuen & Company. 1902. Page 300.
  5. ^  Hamilton, John Andrew (1887). "Chitty, Joseph". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  6. ^ James Elmes. "Filazers', Exigenters' and Clerk of the Outlawries' Office" in A Topographical Dictionary of London and Its Environs. Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot. Ave Maria Lane, London. 1831. Page 191.
  7. ^ Hands, William. A Practical Treatise on Fines and Recoveries in the Court of Common Pleas. 4th Ed. Joseph Butterworth and Son. Fleet Street, London. 1825. Page 411.
  8. ^ Joshua Montefiore. Commercial Dictionary. London. 1803. Page xxxii.
  9. ^ Ed Glinert. "Pump Court" in Literary London. Penguin. 2007. ISBN 9780141901596. Page 161.
  10. ^ 5pumpcourt.com
  11. ^ Rubinstein, William D. "Oppenheim, Morris Simeon" in The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History. Palgrave Macmillan. 2011. Page 732.


  • Bellot, Hugh. The Inner and Middle Temple: Legal, Literary, and Historic Associations. Methuen & Company. 1902. Google Books. Internet Archive.
  • "Notes on Pump Court" (1935) 180 The Law Times 279 & 317 Google Books
  • Richardson, John. "Fire at the Middle Temple" in The Annals of London. University of California Press. 2000. Page 155.