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800 Year for Magna Carta
Jun 25, 2015

Recently, the Queen of England led celebrations to mark the 800 years of Great Charter or what is more popularly called Magna Carta in Latin. 

  • It was on June 15, 1215 that an apparently reluctant King John entered into an agreement with his barons to rule by a set of laid down principles. 

  • The charter was agreed between King John and a group of leading barons exasperated at the king's arbitrary rule and high taxes. It was in effect a peace treaty designed to head off armed conflict.

  • Magna Carta outlined basic rights with the principle that no-one was above the law, including the king

  • It charted the right to a fair trial, and limits on taxation without representation.

  • It inspired a number of other documents, including the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Only three clauses are still valid—the one guaranteeing the liberties of the English Church; the clause confirming the privileges of the City of London and other towns; and the clause that states that no free man shall be imprisoned without the lawful judgement of his equals.

  • The British Library has two copies of the 1215 Magna Carta.

  • One original copy is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and one by Salisbury Cathedral. 


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