Great post, would love to hear more on this.
we learn something of the possible origin of this expression.
It’s first recorded from the British Rolls of Parliament in 1414 and in 1432 in the modern form. The second example refers to a petition by the inhabitants of the little fishing port of Lymington in Hampshire and says (in modernised spelling): “That through time out of mind there were wont many diverse ships to come in to the said haven”.
It is almost identical in meaning to another phrase from time immemorial. Both may be variant versions of beyond legal memory, which refers to the year 1189, fixed by a statute in 1275 as being the oldest date that English law can take account of.
By the time Edmund Burke was writing, in 1782, the phrase had pretty well become a cliché: “Our constitution is a prescriptive constitution; it is a constitution, whose sole authority is, that…
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