practitioners of the law

These were very numerous in France (Montaigne said they almost constituted a Fourth Estate — as we to-day say about journalists), owing to the varied systems of common law that prevailed in different districts. But they were not in a majority in the 'État'; out of 652 members the lawyers numbered 272. There were 162 magistrates of lower grades; the " distinguished magistrates " were represented in the Estate of the Nobility: and it was the lawyers who best knew the condition and need of the people. A Breton advocate, Le Chapeher, was President of the Tiers État.

Note by A.J.Grieve (MA), from The Achievement of France in Part One of Reflections On The Revolution In France
« LAST » Note « NEXT »