Advocates' Hats, Roman Law, and Admission to the Scots Bar, 1580-1812

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The final ceremony for admission as advocate in Scotland before the College of Justice formerly was the delivery of a speech in Latin on a text of the Corpus iuris civilis. The intrant advocate wore a hat for this ceremony. This article discusses the procedures for admission as an advocate to argue that the ritual wearing of a hat had a symbolic meaning central to the aspirations of the Faculty of Advocates. Eventually misunderstood, the ceremony was discontinued in the early nineteenth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-61
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Legal History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Advocate
  • Roman Law
  • George Wallace
  • Hat
  • Doctorate
  • Faculty of Advocates
  • Ritual
  • dress
  • thesis
  • Corpus iuris civilis
  • humanism
  • Nobility


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