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Where does the phrase "possession is nine tenths of the law" come from?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Point of Order, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Need some quick help if anyone knows the answer to this. If you can provide a cite or link within the next hour I would be much obliged. Thanks.
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Yeah, I read that. It says it came from "old English Common Law (but other sources claim it is much older)".

    It doesn't really give a whole lot of detail about the origins of the saying.
  3. zimbabwe

    zimbabwe Active Member

    A deleted scene in the early John Holmes videography.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Here's something:

    Quote It Completely: World Reference Guide to More Than 5,500 Memorable Quotations from Law and Literature [K58 .Q68 1998, Ref.]. On page 833, under the heading Possession, it says, "Possession is very strong; rather more than nine points of the law" _ Lord Mansfield, 1774.

    Have no idea if that's accurate, but it's a lead.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Here's a source for Lord Mansfield being the, umm, source of the quote:


    ("Introduction to Law," by Beth Walston-Dunham, fifth ed., 2008)
  6. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    So Mansfield is saying that possession is three-quarters of a pica of the law?
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I think there is some exception if Indiana is playing Michigan.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    They just needed a more formal sounding phrase than "Finders' keepers losers' weepers."
  9. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    It came from the guy who got the other guy to hold his weed.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Where's William Safire when you need him.
  11. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Awesome. Thanks.
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