Magna Carta

Commemorating the sealing of Magna Carta
On 15 June 1215 the tranquil meadow of Runnymede provided the unlikely setting for an event which was to change the course of English history and, ultimately, to resonate across the world. On the run from his rebellious lords, King John – the archetypal bad king – was compelled to submit to a charter which consigned generations of Plantagenet tyranny to history and guaranteed unprecedented freedoms to his subjects. This iconic treaty became known as Magna Carta, meaning ‘The Great Charter’.Monday 15 June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the first sealing of Magna Carta, and it has become the focus of debate, commemoration and celebration as never before. It is by far the most significant concession to the people ever forced on an English Monarch, and as the enduring symbol of the rule of law over the arbitrary authority of the despot, it is also the most famous document in the history of England, if not the world.Sadly, the original Magna Carta is lost. Of the copies distributed during the summer of 1215, only four survive.  Two of these are in the British Library, and we have created a facsimile of the best preserved of them – Cotton MS Augustus ii.106.


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