One of the four Inns of Court, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was performed here in 1602.
Middle Temple is one of the four London Inns of Court for the training of lawyers. In this period the students often organised and acted in plays and masques at winter festival times at the Inn’s hall.
Indeed, the Inns of Court still are London’s premier colleges for the training of lawyers (barristers and judges). In the Shakespearean period the four locations were sometimes referred to as ‘the third university’ after Oxford and Cambridge, since the young men who studied to qualify in the law - often wealthy and socially well-connected - occupied these elite spaces. Such student lawyers lived and worked as ‘members’ at an inn of court, and often frequented the nearby indoor theatres, including the Blackfriars, Whitefriars, Cockpit and Salisbury Court.