Category: Liberty & Dignity

By William D‘Aubigny, Huntingfeld, King John, Delacis, Marshall, Jr.

Published in 1350

Reference #0671

Illuminated Manuscript, on parchment in Latin and Anglo-Norman. Entitled, “Magna carta cum statutis et tractatibus” this volume contains the Magna Carta, Statutes of the Realm, and Register of Writs. It was written around 1350 in England, most likely in London. The Magna Carta, also known as The Great Charter, was a charter first issued in 1215 to make peace between King John of England and a group of barons. The first draft was written by Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury; it was a charter of liberties which contained sixty-three clauses, most of which were grievances related to King John’s rule. The Magna Carta clauses included: protection of church rights, protection of illegal imprisonments for the barons, access to swift justice, and limitations of payments to the Crown.

The charter established for the first time that everybody was subject to the law, including the King. The charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III after neither side kept their commitments, which led to the First Barons’ War (1215-17). The charter was reissued in 1216, unsuccessfully, and again, in 1217 at the end of the war, as part of the agreed upon peace treaty. The Magna Carta, the basis of English law, became a symbol against oppression; it heavily influenced the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.