A mile is one of the various units of distance, originated from the Roman “mille passus”, or “thousand paces,” which measured 5,000 Roman feet.

About the year 1500, the “old London” mile was defined as eight furlongs. At that time, the furlong, measured by a larger northern (German) foot, was 625 feet, and thus the mile equaled 5,000 feet.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, (1558–1603) the mile was increased by 280 feet totaling 5,280 feet (1,760 yards or 1609 km). Under a Statute of 1593, it was confirmed that the use of a shorter foot made the length of the furlong 660 feet. The furlong was an old English unit of length, based on the length of an average plowed furrow (hence “furrow-long,” or “furlong”) in the English open field system.

Elsewhere in the British Isles, longer miles were used, including the Irish mile of 6,720 feet (2.048 km) and the Scottish mile of 5,952 English feet (1.814 km).

For many years the British nautical mile, or admiralty mile, was set at 6,080 feet (1.85318 km), while the U.S. nautical mile was set at 6,080.20 feet (1.85324 km).

In 1929 the nautical mile was redefined and standardized as exactly 1.852 km (about 6,076.11549 feet or 1.1508 statute miles) at an international conference held in Monaco, although the United States did not change over to the new international nautical mile until 1954.

The measure remains in universal use in both marine and air transportation. The knot is one nautical mile per hour.

More Info: en.wikipedia.org