In the 12th century, King Henry I of England fixed the yard as the distance from his nose to the thumb of his out-stretched arm. A yard was originally the length of a man’s belt or girdle. In the 8th century, the length of King Charlemagne’s foot became the measurement of a foot and this was determined to be 36 barleycorns laid end to end, however no measurement for the barleycorn was given. In the 10th century, the width of King Edgar’s thumb was officially designated as an inch. This happened to be three barleycorns across. Barleycorns are still used today as the unit of shoe sizes. The Roman shoemakers were the first to use a barleycorn to measure feet for making a sandal.
Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January seventeenth prompt suggested by John, The Sound of One Hand Typing and that is “Inch”.