Lincoln’s Inn Hall. The Lord Chancellor’s Court
About the work
This engraving shows the interior of the hall at Lincoln's Inn. It was published in 1841 as part of a series of prints titled ‘London Interiors: A Grand National Exhibition of the Religious, Regal, and Civic Solemnities, Public Amusements, Scientific Meetings, and Commercial Scenes of the British Capital’. The series was accompanied by lengthy texts and the text for this plate includes the following:
‘The Engraving exhibits the INTERIOR of the fine HALL of LINCOLN’S INN, which, during term-time, is used as the dining-hall for the benchers, barristers, and students; and during vacation, (when the Courts in Westminster Hall are closed,) as the Courts of Chancery. It is in this latter capacity that we represent it; the LORD CHANCELLOR presiding, in the same way as in his Court at Westminster, attended by the barristers who practise in Chancery…
The Hall of Lincoln’s Inn is the most ancient portion of the existing establishment, having been built in the reign of Henry the Seventh [1485-1509] …Above the screen is a picture, represented in our Engraving, the production of Hogarth… “Paul before Felix”.’
William Hogarth’s ‘Paul before Felix’ was executed for Lincoln's Inn in 1748 and still hangs in the building today.
About the artist
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd was born in London; the son of a watchcase maker. His elder brother was watercolourist George Sidney Shepherd, with whom he collaborated in 1813 on street views for Ackermann’s ‘Repository of the Arts’. He went on to build his reputation on depictions of fashionable cities. He made numerous sketching tours and, in 1818, visited France. He worked for Jones & Co. (1826-31), producing some 450 plates for the firm in total. He also worked as a drawing master. After 1842 he received regular commissions from the ‘Illustrated London News’ but still struggled financially. Collector Frederick Crace commissioned numerous watercolours of London sites from the artist (now in the British Museum). He died in Islington, aged c. 71.