The pocket on a barrister’s gown

I must say I believed the story that barristers’ gowns had a pocket on them because they were not allowed to sue for fees and some money could discreetly be put in there by the client. However, it appears that that story was an invention and the pocket (known as a liripipe) is the remnant of a mourning hood assumed on the death of King Charles II in 1685.

See The junior barrister’s gown on Sir Henry Brooke’s site Musings, Memories and Miscellanea.

One thought on “The pocket on a barrister’s gown

  1. Sir John Baker – the legal historian in question putting about this Charles II story as gospel truth – is in fact an Honorary QC, as referred to.

    Both theories, though, survive http://archive.nswbar.asn.au/docs/about/what_is/gowns.pdf whilst the liripipe could indeed have started out as the remnant of a mourning hood.

    By the way, the client dropping the honorarium or a ‘taxable tip’ into either the gold or silver coin section of the pouch would have been the legal client pre-trial, namely the Solicitor briefing Counsel, rather than – anecdotally – the delighted lay client post-trial and who had instructed the Solicitor.

    For a better picture, see
    https://graduation-gowns.co.uk/index.php/legal/barristers-gown-black-4380 and for more information on ‘Solic-ic-tors Gowns’, see
    http://www.stanley-ley.co.uk/acatalog/Stanley_Ley_Bar_Gowns_and_Robes_2.html

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