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Archive for the ‘800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta’ Category

The four surviving original copies of Magna Carta will be brought together in 2015 for the first time in history, the British Library has announced.

Magna Carta
Magna Carta inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The event will take place over three days and launch a year of celebrations across the UK and the world to mark the document’s 800th anniversary.

 

The document is seen as the cornerstone of Britain’s constitution, outlining a set of basic rights.

There are four surviving copies of Magna Carta – two copies belong to the British Library, one copy is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and one by Salisbury Cathedral.

All three organisations will be involved in the event, which will be held at the British Library in London.

‘National significance’

The library said it would be a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for researchers and the public to see the documents side-by-side”.

The manuscripts will be examined by some of the world’s leading experts.

The library said the unification of the documents would allow them to be studied much more closely, particularly faded or obscured parts of the text.

Historians would also be able to look for new clues about the identity of the writers of the texts, which is still unknown.

The charter was issued by King John as a way solving the political crisis he faced when powerful barons rebelled against him and captured London.

Although almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, the document established a number of important principles that have been copied around the world.

These include the principle that no-one is above the law – including the king – the right to a fair trial, and limits on taxation without representation.

It inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Claire Breay, lead curator of medieval and earlier manuscripts at the British Library, said: “Magna Carta is the most popular item in the library’s treasures gallery, and is venerated around the world as marking the starting point for government under the law.”

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Reverend June Osborne, praised the values of social justice in Magna Carta and said she hoped the unification would increase awareness of the charter “to a huge new audience”.

The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, said bringing together all four copies would be of “national significance” and would mark a “pivotal point” in the anniversary year.

Lincoln Cathedral will be opening a new purpose-built Magna Carta centre in Lincoln Castle during the anniversary year

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23304764

Join us on a tour of Salisbury and see the Magna Carta on Salisbury Cathedral

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2015 – The 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta
The diversity of worldwide creativity to celebrate Magna Carta 800 is testament to it’s power and longevity. Thousands of events and activities are being organized for millions of people, all of whom have been touched by the events of 19th June, 2015. A Magna Carta Symphony will be performed, special exhibitions, lectures and conferences will be held. Magna Carta 800 is a global event to which the whole world is invited.

Magna CartaSalisbury Cathedral intends to re-display and re-present its Magna Carta in the newly-conserved Chapter House, safeguarding the document for the future and using the latest interpretation techniques to communicate Magna Carta’s historic background and modern significance to the many extra visitors it expects to welcome in 2015. It also hopes to conserve and repair the Cathedral’s medieval Cloisters where the Chapter House is located.

Brief background information on Magna Carta 1215
Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in English history, regarded as the cornerstone of English liberty, law and democracy, and its legacy has been its enduring worldwide influence. It was written in Latin, the language of all official documents of the period, on a single skin of vellum (calfskin). It consists of 63 clauses written on 76 tightly packed lines, written with the standard medieval time and space-saving abbreviations. It is one of the most celebrated documents in English history whose importance cannot be exaggerated. It is often claimed to be the cornerstone of English liberty, law and democracy and its legacy has been its enduring and worldwide influence. The critical importance of the charter is that it imposed for the first time detailed written constraints on royal authority in the fields of taxation, feudal rights and justice, and limited unjust and arbitrary behaviour by the king. Magna Carta has become an icon for freedom and democracy throughout the world. The other surviving copies are held by the British Library and Lincoln Cathedral.

Stay updated. Preparations are underway for some truly memorable celebrations from a national bank holiday and a new bridge over the Thames to local street parties and tours

Salisbury Cathedral: http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/
Salisbury Museum: http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/
The events leading up to Magna Carta: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/magna_01.shtml

Follow us on Twitter for updates leading up to the anniversary: https://twitter.com/HisT0URies

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