York is a compact city packed full of exciting, unmissable #OnlyinYork experiences.
As York based lawyers, it is easy to talk about our city. Solicitors generally have nothing better to look at than the train station when they arrive in the morning. In York as Solicitors, there is the opportunity to move through every period in history from the pre roman Britons to the modern Elizabethans. But York has more to offer than its history, while a town rich in culture it also has a modern outlook and biotechnoligy and medicine are uppermost in our university offerings, bringing in fresh minds and fresh thinking from the across the globe. As York Solicitors are mostly centred in the very heart of the city it is also worth noting that you can reach just about everyone of them within a 10 minute walk. Try doing that in our larger cities. The York and Yorkshire based legal services market has moved a long way in the last 20 years in terms of its talent and services and the Leeds legal services market has Solicitors firms now that can otherwise only be found in London. In fact there is much to advance the argument that Solicitors in Yorkshire now are probably vying for the one of the worlds largest legal centres.
In terms of Yorks history though, it is fair to say that all you have to do is walk the medieval cobbled streets and soak up the history of the city, once ruled by the Romans and the Vikings. A melting pot of culture waiting to be discovered, where Chocolatiers created the world’s finest chocolate and ghosts roam the snickelways. With over 30 attractions in less than one square mile you’re spoilt for choice with access to world class museums, galleries and experiences. Shop till you drop at one of the many unique independent York shops and high street fashion favorites. A foodie destination with something to suit all appetites, from fine dining to street food, and quaint cafes all in picturesque, historic surroundings.
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The Legal Community in York
If a county or a city anywhere has a claim to an early system of law, then it is has to be one whose history stretches back to Roman occupation.
In that regard, given that Yorkshire and York in particular is an ancient capital not just of Britain but of the Northern Roman Empire (Constantine was even declared Emperor here) then it has to be a contender. York being a central garrison fort and major trading post must have had some form of legal administration and this, however, primitive, puts us ahead of our neighboring cities.
The Ancient and Historic Capital of England
York already an established settlement before the Romans came. However, it is likely that the establishment of the Garrison at York probably also brought the first legal administrators or officials who doled out the law by some system now long forgotten. By the middle ages though, York was established as a center of the law through the rural Assizes or regional Court Sittings. By the time of the Elizabethan age York was a regional capital and York law was well established.
Read more about the Elizabethan Period
In many respects the Elizabethan period was good for York and features of life in the Elizabethan city are still recognisable today. By 1596, more than 60 inns were providing accommodation in the city, making hospitality an important part of the city’s economy. Makers of luxury items like gold and silver jewelry were also expanding. There was also a constant demand for parchment, made from sheepskin, for the records of York’s administrators. The national economy stabilised and by the end of Elizabeth’s reign York corporation had cleared its debts to the crown (built up through centuries).
Read More about York Pre-Civil War
Trade in food and drink thrived and the city imported luxury goods from London to sell to the northern nobility. The owner of Harewood House, James Ryther, was not impressed: in a report to one of the queen’s ministers, he accused traders of charging extortionate rates for cheap London products. The merchants guild was renamed the Merchant Adventurers Company in 1581 and imported iron, hemp and other items from northern Germany and the Baltic states. Increased trade boosted York’s money lenders too. This renewed prosperity eventually had an effect on the city population. Virulent outbreaks of plague and sweating sickness had counteracted the migration into York during the first half of the 16th century.
- see https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/transactions-of-the-royal-historical-society/article/scotland-elizabethan-england-and-the-idea-of-britain/8422DF9E06FDC6A59F9C285F1192BC91
- see https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z3nqsg8/revision/4
York is both centrally located in Britain, it is was one of our first capital city’s and remains a centre for much of our rail travel. Its positon equidistant between the London and Edinburgh City Commute means that it benefits from both cities in terms of its population and its cultural exchange between these two great cosmopolitan cities. York based Solicitors and York legal services are equally accessable and dynamic.
The Great Capital City!
April 1642: When the London mob made life too dangerous for King Charles I in the capital, he moved to York, bringing his family and court with him. Foreign ambassadors, members of the nobility and officers of the state were compelled to come to the city too. For six months York was, in effect, capital of the kingdom again. It is inevitable that such administrative importance carried with it a large York and Yorkshire based legal system and no doubt a plethora of York lawyers.
Read More About York in the Civil War
In response, to York’s success, Parliament sent a committee to reside in the city, ostensibly to keep the lines of communication open with the king but also to keep a close eye on him. Charles lived in Sir Arthur Ingram’s house and royalist propaganda was issued from his printing press set up in St William’s College.
The End of the War
York council hoped for a peaceful settlement. It put the city’s 600-strong militia at the king’s disposal but asked that it were not called away from the city to fight. In July 1642 the authorities started strengthening York’s defenses. The walls were repaired and sentry boxes set up. After the king made an unsuccessful raid at Beverley, it was clear that war was on its way. Charles left York on August 16, six days before he raised his standard at Nottingham and hostilities officially began.
York’s Legal Community has not been large since this short period before the civil war, however, it is a highly professional and well organised community and it harbors some of the best legal expertise in the County and the Country.
Today York has no valid claim to central government or administration, however, the history of the city is uniquely observable in its buildings and architecture, every period of British history is to be found here represented by our homes and public buildings. A history of York is a history of England and that means inevitably a history of Yorkshire law and Yorkshire legal life is a microcosm of that history. Yorkshire law firms and York Law firms in general have very high reputations for quality of service and York Lawyers are renowned for the friendliness and approachability.
York law firms cover practically every legal practice area and legal subject imaginable and harbor some of the greatest legal minds in the Country, many of which are former city lawyers forced north to find a kinder temperament and cleaner air.