Coming Soon: The four surviving copies of the Magna Carta will be under one roof October 14, 2014 – Posted in: Content, Exhibits – Tags: ,

magna carta

In many respects it is the document that laid the seeds for the western world as we know it. It is where the pursuit of liberty and the rule of law make their first appearance in print.

Some highlights of the Charter:

– It was the first document forced onto a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.

– The charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary.

– It was an important part of the process that led to the rule of constitutional law in the English speaking world.

– By the time of the English Civil War it had become an important symbol for those who wished to show that the King was bound by the law.

– It influenced the early settlers in New England and inspired later constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution.

Early next year, 800 years after the issue of the Charter by King John in 1215, the four surviving copies will be gathered under one roof for the first time.

And to commemorate the exhibition and the year of its issue The British Library, Lincoln Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral are throwing a one day celebration where only 1,215 members of the public be allowed to see them.

Enter the Magna Carta Ballot where you can become one of those lucky twelve-hundred and fifteen.

 Winners will be welcomed to the British Library by historian and TV presenter Dan Jones, who will explain the history and significance of Magna Carta. To the sound of live medieval music in the British Library’s entrance hall, winners will then be taken by costumed characters from the 13th century to view the four original Magna Carta manuscripts on display together for the first time.

Winners will each receive a special edition gift bag containing a pair of tickets to forthcoming Magna Carta exhibitions – at the British Library, at Lincoln Cathedral and at Salisbury Cathedral. Each gift bag will also include a Certificate of Attendance, which will be inscribed with the winner’s name and sealed in wax with a stamp created to mark the day.


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