This verbal phrase remains grammatical in Romance languages (eg: 'avoir X ans' in French).
closed as unclear what you're asking by curiousdannii, TimLymington, jimm101, tchrist♦, Nathaniel Mar 23 '16 at 1:45
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As mentioned in a comment, I’m not sure that your example (have been) matches your question (have), at least not close enough for me to understand how “…have been X years' appears to imply that 'to have X Years' was grammatical …”
However, even if your example and/or your interpretation of its implications are not perfect, it does not render invalid your good question as it is posed in the title header:
Did English ever admit the 'to have X years' verbal phrase?
My answer to that question is that modern English actually does admit/have/use the ‘to have X years’ verbal phrase, although it has not been abbreviated into a fixed expression, as it has been in your French example, used to tell how old one is.
I have always interpreted “avoir X ans” in French as an abbreviated form of “avoir X ans d’âge" where the d’âge, being so well understood when responding to “Quel âge avez-vous,” was at some point in the past deemed unnecessary and omitted (similar to how in English “I am 62 years old/of age” can be and often is reduced to just “I am 62”).
(see here in ‘Choix de Chroniques Et Mémoires Sur L'histoire de France: Avec Notices ...” by Jean Alexandre Buchon, via ‘Google Books’ for some early examples of “ [avoir] X ans d’âge”)
Although the French have seen fit to omit “d’âge” in the specific case of using “avoir X ans” in discussing/telling one’s age, they also use the “avoir X ans” verbal phrase in other contexts, with the specific type of years mentioned (d’expérience/de service/d'ancienneté, for example), just as in English:
"She has 25 years [of experience/of service/of seniority."