He arrived in London in February 1893 and after two months he left Graham’s on April 25 of that year to join Lincoln’s Inn, one of the oldest and well reputed legal societies that prepared students for the Bar. On June 25, 1893, he embarked on his study of the law at Lincoln’s Inn. His quest for general books especially on politics and biographies led him to apply to the British Museum Library and he became a subscriber of the Museum Library. The two years of “reading” apprenticeship that he spent in barrister’s chambers was the most important element in Jinnah’s legal education.
Entrance to Lincoln’s Inn, London
He used to follow his master’s professional footsteps outside the chambers as well.
When Jinnah landed at Southampton, it was the peak of British power and influence in the world. The Victorian era was about to end and a new economic order was struggling to be born. Young Jinnah was greatly affected by the life in what was then called, “the greatest capital of the world”, where people had more freedom to pursue what they believed in. Apart from his upbringing according to the traditions and ethics of a religious family, the Victorian moral code not only colored his social behavior but also greatly affected his professional conduct as a practicing lawyer. Jinnah’s political beliefs and personal demeanor as a public man in India for four decades clearly indicate that his training, education and life in London profoundly influenced his way of life. It was that influence and training that helped him a great deal in presenting the most important case of his life and eventually led him to win that case a free country for the Muslims of the subcontinent.
In London, he received the tragic news of the death of his mother and first wife.
Nevertheless, he completed his formal studies and also made a study of the British political system by frequently visiting the House of Commons. He was the youngest student ever to be called to the Bar.
“It was in London that he acquired love of personal freedom and national independence. Inspired by the British democratic principles and fired by a new faith in supremacy of law, liberalism and constitutionalism became twin tools of Jinnah’s political creed which he daringly but discreetly used during the rest of his life.” Aziz Beg, Jinnah and his Times.
He was greatly influenced by the liberalism of William E. Gladstone, who had become prime minister for the fourth time in 1892.
Jinnah also took keen interest in the political affairs of India. He was extremely conscious of the lack of a strong voice from India in the British Parliament. So, when the Parsi leader Dadabhai Naoroji, a leading Indian nationalist, ran for the British Parliament, it created a wave of enthusiasm among Indian students in London. Naoroji became the first Indian to sit in the House of Commons. Naoroji’s victory acted as a stimulus for Jinnah to lay the foundation of the “political career” that he had in his mind.