Use the timeline listing to explore notable dates, events and members throughout the history of the Inn. Each timeline entry can be clicked on for expanded information.

  • 1684

    In the late 17th century the Inn suffered a series of disastrous fires, which taken together substantially depressed its fortunes, already weakened by the Civil War and the changes in the legal system, and impoverished it for years.

  • 1689

    Sir John Holt portraitSir John Holt (1642-1710; called 1663) was Lord Chief Justice from 1689. He declined the Great Seal in 1700.

  • 1702

    Revd Adam Buddle (1662-1715) was appointed Gray's Inn Chapel Reader in 1702. Buddle was not only an impoverished clergyman but also a noted botanist, especially expert in mosses. Linnaeus named the buddleia in his honour.

  • 1723

    The present gates to the Walks are erected bearing the initials of the Treasurer at the time, William Gylby or Gilby.

  • 1783

    Samuel Romilly (1757-1818; called 1783) was one of the most distinguished Inn members of the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • 1840

    Sir Robert Lush portraitSir Robert Lush (1807-81; called 1840; Treasurer 1860) was one of the few prominent members of the Inn of the 19th century.

  • 1891

    James Richard Atkin (1867-1944), later Lord Atkin, was called to the Bar from the Inn in 1891.

  • 1893

    The Chapel was restored in a late Gothic style in 1893, which it remained until it was destroyed during the Blitz.

  • 1899

    F E Smith (1872-1930; called 1899), later Lord Birkenhead, was equally well-known for his successful career at the Bar and his subsequent political career.

  • 1918

    Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt first met in 1918 at a dinner in Gray’s Inn Hall.


Find out more

  • Archives

    The archives of Gray's Inn form a compact collection relating mostly to the Society's conduct of its own business.


  • Women of the Inn

    We are building up a collection of articles on women and the law

    Women of the Inn

  • Contact

    Get in touch with the Inn