In 1276, a statute was passed in England applying this term to events that occurred prior to 1189, the year in which Richard I ascended the throne. In 1832, this definition was abandoned as a legal term, but common use has prevailed.
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Its original use was in recording legal memory, and the 19th century law merely stated that rights that were held for 20 years cannot be withdrawn just because they weren’t held before then. The Crown enjoys a 30-year luxury.
Question by Sumant Srivathsan