The Lawyer of the Canterbury Tales
Come to serve the Goddess of Law with the Sergeant of Law!
Man on the Job Q&A
A: Around the time of William of the Conqueror, our young, educated man would be the best man to have in the courts. No matter what case, whether it's large or small, he will have the solution for he knows all of England's laws. Mainly consulting his clients at the St. Paul's Cathedral of London with a price of some of your land.
Q: Why was they important to the Middle Ages?
A: Sergeants of law are needed due to the their creation of the France's Court of Common Pleas to study law for sixteen years and are the only candidates to judge in the courts, including the King's Bench, and settle cases of the king's people. At the time, they were highest rank in law profession out of all the land. From the Order of the Coif, a council of court justices, an account given by Sir John Fortesque applies that seven or eight persons of mature age and more proficient in the justice of the law shall served his king's commands to estate himself as sergeant of law. This account was written down by Alexander Pulling to create the order's importance.
Q: What was their social standing?
A:The Sergeants at Law were very high in the Middle Ages for he tends to be sly. He gains most of his land by allowing his clients to pay him part of their land. Based on his profession, he is most likely trusted to be permitted as judge for the courts.
Q:What do they do on their daily basis?
A: Most of the sergeants time are based on studying all of English law. If a case is needed to be settled, the Court of Common Pleas are most likely to have the most active. When royal case is brought up, the Court of King's Bench is used for nobles. Most of these cases involved disputes between property, family and work areas.
Q: What did Chaucer did not include on this person?
A: What Chaucer did not include the most significant peace of lawyer's clothing: a close fitting, white hood called a coif, creating the Order of the Coif. This is what creates the traditional wig of the court judges. And before the name Sergeant of law was created, they were called contours meaning story teller in french.
Q: What occupations would relate to this?
A: There three occupations that relates to the Sergeant at Law. Attorney, Prosecutor, and Judge. The attorney defends those who have been framed or committed crime. They must understand the consequences with their defendants and the rules of courts. Prosecutors do the opposite of the attorneys for they have to prove that those who have committed crime are the actual criminal. The Judge is in the middle for they must hear from both sides. If either sides violates the law in court with forged evidence, one side is favored by default.
About the Sergeant...
The Man of Law's Tale Prologue:
Such hatred pity, for am I in poverty
Harsh colds and horrible hunger
To ask help with shameful heart
Under noon and bitter sorrow, you may ask
The truth from hidden wounds shall be revealed
Despite for those who are in poverty
or steals, begs, or borrow your supplies
Though you blame Christ and cease in agony
He departed with his richest temporarily
The neighbor you see that sins
And cease to seek light from him
Sometimes he takes consideration
When his tale shall burn in glee
For he has not help the need in his need
Listen to my wise sentence:
"Better to die than to be in poverty
To despise your own neighbor.
If you are poor, you have no dignity
But the wise man take this sentence.
"Of all days of the poor man's life,
With his brother's hatred
And all of his friends, fled from him, alas.
The rich merchants, full of wealth
The nobles and rude folk in that case!
Your bags had been filled with bad luck,
but sunk with the chance to redeem themselves
At Christmas, may you dance merrily!
Those who seek from land and sea for their winnings
Wise folk you know will have recognize your rank
Of reigns, you have been the father of tidings
And tales, both of peace and war
I will tell my tale, more interesting
Than that merchant's tale
That you shall now hear.
Sir Lawyer, a man of intelligence yet suspicious
Always chooses his words wisely to gain the trust of the
Knows England's law from the back of his hands
And written many documents since King's Williams time
Whether it is consulting clients
Day by day at the St. Paul Cathedral in London
Or when judging and deciding the ruling
of the King's Court
He seems to gain more land by the second
Though he may look like the busiest man at that time
It's almost as if that was an illusion
Always traveled in a multi-colored trench coat
With some pins and a silk belt...
That's all I can say about his clothing.
The Sergeant wears a multicolored coat and its very tacky (Line 338-330). He is said to be wise (Line 309 of the Lawyer and Line 113 of the Lawyer's Tale Prologue). He is one of the biggest landowners of the land (Line 317-320). Seems to use cathedrals as his workplace which would explain the Sergeant's education and be trusted in the King's Court (Line 315-316).
What does Chaucer see in this Character?
What I see in Chauncer's view, it shows he really doesn't like the character of the Lawyer. Seems most of the Noble Rankings are very disliked by him due to misusing power, can be very deceiving when known for their profession and can steal behind the backs of the King's People.
"Canterbury Tales Prologue Page 8." SparkNotes. SparkNotes. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Strong, Frank R. "COIF-history." COIF-history. English Antecedents and American Adaptation, Dec. 1977. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400) "The Canterbury Tales" (in Middle English and Modern English). Web. 10 Mar. 2016.