The French took the prefix in the reversative sense: "not capable of being lived in" - what today we would describe as "uninhabitable". And this is the sense you need when you hear Mowbray say to King Richard that he would fight Henry Bolingbroke even if he were "tied to run afootEven to the frozen ridges of the Alps,Or any other ground inhabitable" (Richard II, I.i.65).
Shakespeare only uses the word once, but he was not alone in its use. In the Douai Bible of 1609, we find: "Her cities shall be desolate and inhabitable" (Jeremiah 48.9) - "uninhabited".
David Crystal is author, with Ben Crystal, of Shakespeare's Words, published by Penguin