By the end of the 16th century, the two Inns of Court had erected many fine buildings at the Temple, yet their position as tenants was not a secure one.   In order to protect what they had built up from any future whims of the Crown, they petitioned King James I for a more satisfactory arrangement. On 13 August 1608 the King granted the two Inns a Royal Charter giving them use of the Temple in perpetuity.

One condition of this was that the Inns must maintain the church.  The Temple and the church are still governed by that charter.  In gratitude, the Inns gave King James a fine gold cup. Some years later, in the Civil war, his son Charles I needed funds to keep his army in the field.  The cup was sold in Holland and has never been traced.