Originally Posted By: Ted Remington
Just got back from the annual "meting of the bounds" (measuring of the boundaries) at Gray's Inn, one of the legal Inns of Court, in London. The meting of the bounds ceremony is to commemorate the occasion (over 200 years ago) when there was a dispute with an adjoining Inn as to who owned the land on which Gray's Inn had been built. Several of the senior Barristers (known as "Benchers") of Gray's Inn refused to acknowledge the rival Inn's claim and were thrown into an underground dungeon by the Court of Chancery. To prove the case for Gray's Inn (and to effect the release of the Benchers) Serjeant Zachary Fitt, the Mace-bearer of Gray's Inn, took his Mace, which measured exactly 36 inches, and, using it as a yardstick, precisely measured the boundaries of the disputed building. His measurements proved the case for Gray's Inn. He caused a sketch or plan to be made, presented it to the Court of Chancery, and the Benchers were set free.

To commemorate this event, every year since, the ceremony of "meting the bounds" is carried out with great dignity. During the perambulation, Benchers of the Inn sing the Gray's Inn anthem:

"A Gray's Inn Mace, now mete the bounds
And save a sketch for we
Who once were tossed down underground;
Confined, but now set free."


How cool is that?
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