Littell's Living Age/Volume 130/Issue 1683/Miscellany
Popular Science Review.
The Visible Horizon. — A point of some scientific interest has just been argued in the High Court of Justice. It was contended by the solicitor-general that the three miles' limit of territorial waters was of modern origin, and by Sir R. Phillimore that it was due to that being the distance a cannon-ball would reach from the shore. There can, however, be no doubt that the limit was recognized long before the invention of gunpowder.
Three miles is the distance of the offing or visible horizon to a person six feet in height standing on the shore. It is natural to suppose that the early maritime peoples of Europe would lay claim to the sea as far as the eye could reach. This distance they would find by experience was just three miles, and it can be proved mathematically to be correct. Measured by this standard — a tall man, usually taken as six feet high — the distance is invariable for all time, places, and peoples; measured by a cannon-ball, it is constantly varying, and now ought to be five miles rather than three. The fact that the distance depends on both ocular and mathematical demonstration, and is not subject to improvement in gunnery, is the best explanation of its origin and application.
|Dulwich, May 8.||B. G. Jenkins.|
Provost Cazenove has retired from the editorship of the Church Quarterly, but will continue to contribute to that periodical. The new editor is Canon Chichester.