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An Englishman's home is his castle

Posted by K McDonald on July 31, 2007

There are few old posts here, now archived, so I can't contribute to them.

All offered some background on the phrase 'An Englishman's home is his castle'.

The phrase is sourced in the law, and has much to do with the English civil wars and the battle for power between King Charles I & II and the Parliament.

Two English cases provided the foundation for the concept of the inviolability of person property to the forces of state: Semayne's Case 5 Coke's Rep. 91a, 77 Eng. Rep. 194 (K.B. 1604) and Entick v Carrington 2 Wils KB 275; 95 ER 807.

The most well-known articulation of the principle is that of William Pitt in Parliament in 1763: "The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter, the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter - all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement."

Maybe of interest to someone! It has some lovely asyndeton.