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    #1

    "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    Alan Turing - most commonly remembered as the guy who enabled the "Bombe" (a device deciphering germany's enigma-encrypted radio messages in WWII) and less commonly titled the father of theoretical computer science - was pardonned by the British Queen on Christmas Eve.

    (please find said pardon here: http://cryptome.org/2013/12/turing-pardon.pdf )

    It starts as following:
    ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other Realms and Territories QUEEN, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, To all to whom it these Presents shall come,
    Greeting!
    I just do not understand what that means, "to all to whom it these Presents shall come" and would appreciate it if somebody could clear that up for me.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    PRESENTS. This word signifies the writing then actually made and spoken of; as, these presents; know all men by these presents, to all to whom these presents shall come.
    A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
    Presents legal definition of Presents. Presents synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.

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    #3

    Re: "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    Quote Originally Posted by User1291 View Post
    I just do not understand what that means, "to all to whom it these Presents shall come" and would appreciate it if somebody could clear that up for me.
    You're in good company- most native speakers would not understand this either. When I first saw know all men by these presents in a rent contract, I had to look it up.

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    #4

    Re: "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    PRESENTS. This word signifies the writing then actually made and spoken of; as, these presents; know all men by these presents, to all to whom these presents shall come.
    A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
    Presents legal definition of Presents. Presents synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.
    So basically "to whomever reads this"?
    Much obliged.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You're in good company- most native speakers would not understand this either. When I first saw know all men by these presents in a rent contract, I had to look it up.
    In a rent contract? That's hilarious. By wording I would have expected a royal decree.

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    #5

    Re: "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    The "it" seems like it doesn't belong there to me.

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    #6

    Re: "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    Quote Originally Posted by User1291 View Post
    In a rent contract? That's hilarious. By wording I would have expected a royal decree.
    It was a rent contract in the Philippines - I haven't seen it used in the UK - so it may be a preserved form that has largely fallen into disuse elsewhere, other than royal decrees.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "to all to whom it these Presents shall come"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It was a rent contract in the Philippines - I haven't seen it used in the UK - so it may be a preserved form that has largely fallen into disuse elsewhere, other than royal decrees.
    Perhaps lawyers call these things "presents" because they are things they can make money arguing about.

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