Monday 19 July 2010

A christening at the Temple

It was Hugo's christening yesterday, which gives me an excuse to post a couple of pictures of both the little fellow and the church and surroundings of the Temple in London. Nowadays, the Temple is best known as the collective noun for the Inner Temple and Middle Temple, two of England's four "Inns of Court" which, in practical terms, are collections of lawyers (specifically, barristers rather than solicitors). Lawyers set up shop in the area early in the 14th century, but the Temple began life as the English headquarters of the Knights Templar. Temple Church was consecrated in 1185 by Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem in the presence of Henry II. The "Round Church", to which the rectangular Chancel was added some years later, was designed to be a replica of the Church of the Holy Sepulcre in Jerusalem. It was in the Round that Hugo was baptised and the church's Master (the priest of the church still bears the title of the head of the military order) explained how difficult it is for us today to imagine how people in the 12th century would have felt being in a near-replica of the place where Jesus was buried - it was the closest to being in Jerusalem that many would ever achieve. When the Templers fell in 1307 the Church and its adjoining monastic buildings were appropriated by King Edward II who then handed the Temple over to the Knights Hospitaller. The Hospitallers in turn rented out some of the area to the lawyers whose successors have remained ever since.

After the christening we stayed for the service of mattins and then held a reception for our guests in the rooms of Middle Temple Hall. The Hall was built between 1562 and 1573. It hosted the first performance of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" in 1602 and provides the dining rooms for members of the Middle Temple. After lunch we went out into the gardens to enjoy the sunshine and I found some displays of renaissance arms and armour at the foot of the main staircase.

We all had a most enjoyable time and it was a privilege to spend the day in such historic surroundings. The Temple Church in fact has a strong connection to my family, as my parents were married there and my brother and I were both christened in it as well. My father practiced in the Middle Temple for many years and is now a Bencher. Hugo did very well yesterday, although he didn't care much for his 100 year-old family christening gown and we had to remove him from the Church when he started blowing raspberries during the Lord's Prayer at mattins. I imagine I behaved in similar fashion when in the same church 37 years ago...

On the painting front, I'm pleased to say that the Carlists are finally finished and going through the basing process. The 108th Ligne has 5 companies completed and should be finished this week. Not sure what to do next - perhaps some French artillery. I'm feeling a bit of an itch to paint some more AWI British line, although that would necessitate an order to Messrs Perry.


Phil said...

Congratulations Giles an the whole family.
Best regards

Doc Smith said...

Beautiful Giles - setting, family and of course your star attraction, little Hugo. Congratulations and best wishes from the other Other Side of the World (Down Under)!


PS: Look forward to seeing more of your Carlists!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

"Best of", and all that, to little Hugo... he's had a fantastic start to his life!

Brilliant post - I had no idea of the history of the inns..

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Hello there Giles,

Very interesting history of The Temple, and Hugo looks like he came through the service with flying colors. A very handsome boy he is too!

Best Regards,


airhead said...

Great post Giles, all the best to the family, and congratulations to Hugo.

Best Regards


Anonymous said...

Congrats to one and all and does the mighty Hugo get a suit of armour now he's a Templer knight?

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Congratulations Giles and very nice pics.It looks like another future modeler being developed.
Nice little history btw.
All the best,

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you and the whole family.

Lovely history and thanks for sharing.


Fire at Will said...

Congratulations, sounds like Hugo is a chip off the old block!

Ubique Matt said...

Very nice post.
I believe "Blowing raspberries in the Temple" is the title - and indeed plot - of the latest Dan Brown potboiler.


legatus hedlius said...

Blowing rapberries isn't too bad. Guy was sick on my shoulder during his christening...

Best wishes to all. We really must meet up when I return from Cowes!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Congratulations to Hugo on his christening. He's a little charmer even with the raspberries.