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Re: An Englishman's (a man's) home is his castle

Posted by ESC on June 14, 2004

In Reply to: Re: An Englishman's (a man's) home is his castle posted by Lewis on June 14, 2004

: : : I was most interested to read in this item the fact that Sir Edward Coke lived between 1552 and 1634 and he is quoted as saying "For a man's house is his castle..." in the year 1644, ten years after he died. Something has gone wrong somewhere. Your comments please.

: : It took them 10 years to break down his door?

: Perhaps because he did not coin it or repeat it famously? 1634 was indeed Coke's death year and there are pages of interesting legal maxims from Coke on the web. "A man's home is his castle" or variants do not appear in the pages I found.

: Coke was a champion of 'the common law' i.e. judge-made law and he was one of the most important legal figures in the common-law jusrisdctions, but he did not appear to originate that particular phrase.

That's what we call a "typo." I just had my research assistant (otherwise known as my spouse) check the original reference. Mr. Titelman had the dates wrong, obviously, and I didn't notice.

A MAN'S HOME IS HIS CASTLE - "This saying is as old as the basic concepts of English common law.," From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

"You are the boss in your own house and nobody can tell you what to do there. No one can enter your home without your permission. The proverb has been traced back 'Stage of Popish Toys' . In 1644, English jurist Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) was quoted as saying: 'For a man's house is his castle, et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium' ('One's home is the safest refuge for all'). First attested in the United States in 'Will and Doom' . In England, the word 'Englishman' often replaces man." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).