Monday, 23 April 2012

A-Z Challenge: T is for Time Immemorial

You thought this was just a well-worn phrase that has entered the English language as something that "everyone says" when they mean something which has gone on forever, didn't you?  Well, I have done a little research on "time immemorial", and you may be surprised at the results.

"Time Immemorial" was actually a legal term which meant all time prior to the accession of Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) in 1189.


In 1291, however, a person who "held a franchise without any charter of authority, but who could proved that he had possessed it from 'time whereof the memory of man runneth not the contrary' (i.e. 'time immemorial' or 'time out of mind') could be granted a charter for that franchise." [Terrick Fitzhugh, Dictionary of Genealogy, p 283]

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea. How very interesting that it originated as a legal term.

    ReplyDelete

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