William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq: A Study of His Life and Works to the Year 1768

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V
THE TEMPLE

those bricky towres, The which on Themmes brode aged backe doe ryde, Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers, There whylome wont the Templer Knights to byde, Till they decayd through pride.

SPENSER, Prothalamion

Within the Temple Hall we were too lowd. The Garden here is more conuenient.

I Henry VI, II, iv, 3-4

'WILLIELMUS COWPERffilius et Hæres Apparens...Reverendi Johannis Cowper' was admitted into the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple on 29 April 1748. After his admission he had no associations with the society until November 1753.1 Presumably he had left Chapman's some time during that year. In March he was visiting in Drayton.2 And in July he arranged for admission to Gray's Inn3--probably in a desperate attempt to find chambers anywhere in one of the Inns. He did not, however, find rooms until autumn. According to the Students' Ledger of the Middle Temple, it seems that he took his 'complete set of chambers' there on 15 November 1753. He had finally been successful in obtaining the rooms of John Alexander Stainsby, who had recently migrated to the Inner Temple.4 Cowper made payment of his fines the following

____________________
1
'Admissions to the House and to Chambers: 1737-58', f. 185; 'Students Ledger: 1747-64', f. 146: M.T. MSS.
2
Early Poems, p. 25. Probably Drayton in Norfolk, where one of the Donne family may have had a home. William Cowper was frequently at Catfield in his youth, which was the centre of the Donnes in Norfolk. See Letters, III, 436; IV, 4, 303; Early Poems, pp. 12-17.
3
Joseph Foster, The Register of Admissions to Gray's Inn ( London, 1889), p. 379: 17 July 1753--'William Cowper, of the Middle Temple, Gent'.
4
Cowper's Memoir, p. 8; 'Students Ledger', f. 146. The notes under ' Cowper William of Great Berkhamstead Hertfordshire' are brief and rather cryptic. They seem to indicate that he took rooms which were formerly held by Edward Leeds ( 1695?-1758),

-64-

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William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq: A Study of His Life and Works to the Year 1768
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Plates viii
  • Short Titles and Abbreviations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • I - Berkhamsted 1
  • II - Westminster 14
  • III - The Boys 36
  • IV - Reading 55
  • V - The Temple 64
  • VI - The Geniuses 78
  • VII - Writing 102
  • VIII - Theadora 119
  • IX - The Defect 135
  • X - Failure 145
  • XI - The Saints 158
  • A - Uncollected Letters And Essays: 1750-67 177
  • B - Uncollected Poems: Early And Late 226
  • C - Uncollected Contributions To Magazines: 1789-93 246
  • Notes on Cowper's Relatives And Friends 261
  • Index 267
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