Adolphus George Charles Liddell (1846-1920) was a lawyer and fixture in English society in late 19th century. He was by profession a lawyer--but not a successful one. In court he was plagued by self-doubt. In 1911 he published a candid memoir, "Notes from the Life of An Ordinary Mortal, Being a Record of Things Done, Seen and Heard at School, College, and in the World During the Latter Half of the 19th Century." In Chapter Seven, which covers the years 1870-1876, he describes his worries, awkwardness and feelings of inferiority when he appeared in court. For instance:
"But, on the whole, I think I should have done better if I had declined such things as dockers before I had some experience of Court work. A 'docker' is a most upsetting form of practice for a beginner. When a case is called on, custom allows the prisoner to hand down to any counsel he may choose the sum of £1.3s.6d., generally made up of various small coins wrapt in a dirty piece of paper. The unfortunate advocate, if he is lucky, may have time to glance through the 'depositions,' or he may have to pick up the facts as the case proceeds, with faculties benumbed with the apprehension of making a fool of himself. Unfortunately, I got one of these doubtful mercies shortly after I joined the Sessions. The case was a hopeless one, and after I had made a rambling speech, my client was promptly sentenced to fourteen years' penal servitude. The effects of this performance on my nerves were disastrous, and were not improved by subsequent experience."