London has been home to more lawyers, for more centuries, than any other city on earth. Paris ran it neck-and-neck for a while, after which London romped away as the imperial capital of a legal system with Royal Courts of Justice, Inns of Court, Courts of Appeal, debtors prisons, the Old Bailey, Fleet Prison, and the Metropolitan Police.
Mark Herber read history and politics at university; then trained as a lawyer, qualifying as a solicitor in 1984. He specialized in fraud and insolvency litigation and investigations until 1996, at Allen & Overy, in the City of London, and then at the Serious Fraud Office. A member of the Society of Genealogists, he is the author of Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History which was awarded the Library Association's McColvin Medal for an outstanding work of reference and which included detailed guidance to the records of the English courts. Mark has also had published two volumes of transcripts of the 18th-century marriage registers of the Fleet Prison and the rules of the Fleet, featuring many clandestine marriages.