Parvis

(London). The “place” or court before the main entrance of a cathedral. In the parvis of St. Paul's lawyers used to meet for consultation, as brokers do in exchange. The word is now applied to the room above the church porch. (Paravisus, a Low Latin corruption of paradisus, a church close.)

A sergeant of lawe, war and wvs,
That often haddé ben atté parvys.

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales (Introduction)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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