Remember back in 1215 when King John sealed his approval on the Great Charter at Runnymede? Not to worry, few of us do! However, the 15th June this year sees a very important anniversary. The 803rd anniversary of the Magna Carta. Many today don’t realise the impact this document had on the modern world, but in fact, it was a hugely significant and life changing event that affected our judicial system and three of the clauses of the Magna Carta still stand today. Those include a defence of the rights of the English church, the liberties and customs of London and most importantly, the right to a fair trial and only being arrested for a just cause.
The Magna Carta was the first ever formal document which stated that a King had to adhere to the laws of the land and it guaranteed the rights of individuals against the wishes of the King, establishing the principle that the people of England could limit the power of a monarch. This was, and is, an extremely big deal! It has paved the way for trial by jury and is the fundamental principal of English justice, the basis of the United States Constitution and part of the law of all modern democracies.
Many copies of the Magna Carta were made by scribes and sent all over the country, however there are only four remaining copies in existence today; one in Lincoln Castle, two in the British Library in London and the best-preserved copy in Salisbury Cathedral. The Lincoln Magna Carta has travelled all over the world, including the United States of America where it spent World War II in Fort Knox and is registered as part of UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World’ programme.
To commemorate this momentous event that shaped our legal system today, we are giving away 5,000 copies of our book The Magna Carta Chronicle. To get your hands on a copy of this fun and informative guide to 800 years in the fight for freedom, simply click on the link below.