On 15 June 1215, in the meadow of Runnymede beside the Thames between Windsor and Staines, King John sealed (not signed) the Magna Carta. Although this iteration of the document on legal rights lasted for a very short time before being torn up, its successors paved the way for various rights in English law and international laws, lending itself to newer documents including the American Bill of Rights.
Numerous events have and are being held to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and this weekend sees a pivotal moment for many of these. Next Monday (15 June 2015) is exactly 800 years since the original document came into law. For full details see the Magna Carta 800 website and if you would like to get involved see the Events page for listings in your area.
Who wrote Magna Carta?
For a fascinating insight into the drawing up of Magna Carta check out the John Coffin Memorial Lecture given by Professor Nicholas Vincent FBA (University of East Anglia, director of the Magna Carta Project, and author of A Very Short Introduction to Magna Carta).
In addition, take a look at the Talking Humanities blog posts on the subject of Magna Carta:
- Political crisis and legal rights: the Habeas Corpus Amendment Act, 1679 (Professor Michael Braddick, Sheffield)
- Faversham reveals its ‘hidden treasure’ (Laura Samuels)
- British Library’s Magna Carta exhibition is ‘nutritious food for thought’, says medieval history expert (Dr John Sabapathy, UCL)
- Magna Carta: the international symbol of freedom (Danny Millum, IHR)
- Magna Carta 1215-2015: England’s greatest export (Julian Harrison, British Library)
Image: The Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede (wikipedia)