What we now know as the inch (from Latin uncia, or “12th part”) was defined as 112 foot by the Romans.
It was roughly a thumb’s breadth, while a foot was roughly the length of a human foot.
The Romans introduced the inch to Britain, where it was incorporated into the English system of weights and measures.
The English made their own contribution to inch lore.
In 1305, King Edward I decreed that an inch should be the measure of three dried barleycorns.