Volume XII, Poise-Quelt
Clarendon Press, Oxford
premiss, premise
(‘prɛmis), sb. [a. F. prémisse (Oresme, 14th c.), also obs. and less usual premise ('a foreplacing, a setting before’ Cotgr.), ad. Med. L. præmissa (propositio, sententia), in Logic, a proposition set in front, a premiss, pa. pple. fem. of præmittĕre to put before: see PREMIT.
The etymological spelling is premiss, pl. premisses, formally used in all senses, and still frequent (but by no means universal) in sense I; in other senses premises (sing. premise), which appears in early in 16th c., is now in use. This may have been influenced by promise, -ises, or possibly by the 16th c. Fr. Variant prémise.
  I. In Logic. (Often premiss.)
1. A previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion; spec. in pl. the two propositions from which the conclusion is derived in a syllogism. (The sing. is late (17th c.) and less common).
  II. II. in Law and gen. (Now always premise(s).).
2. pl. The matters of things stated or mentioned previously; what has just been said; the aforesaid, the foregoing. Often in legal phraseology: see also 3, 4. Rarely in sing. (quot. 1683 in β). Now rare or Obs. exc. In technical use.
3. Law. (pl.) That part in the beginning of a deed or conveyance which sets forth the names of the grantor, grantee, and things granted, together with the consideration or reason of the grant.
4. Law. (pl.) (spec. use of 2.) The subject of a conveyance or bequest, specified in the premises of the deed: so expressed when referred to collectively in the latter part of the document; = the houses, lands, or tenements above-said or before-mentioned.
5. pl. (from 4) A house or building with its grounds or other appurtenances.
6. pl. Previous circumstances or events; things happening before. Obs.

Premiss (in the first sense, and as a previous reason for something’s existence) has been nigh on impossible to try and find online. Mind you, my use of it is strangely reminiscent of the fourth one’s premise as well.

  Of course, I might still be misusing it.
  Oh! And I was typing this:
  Monty [the dog] had finished his sniffing, and was sauntering down the lab's steps. He knew that Peter, or the missing Cordelia, had no cheesy habits, and that the cellar's premiss had become somewhat more laconic than it used to be.
  I would love to hear some opinions of my use of premiss (or for someone to tell me I'm using it incorrectly). So please give me any opinions you can on:
Thank you....