Magna Carta

Magna CartaRadio 4 is putting out some fascinating stuff these days. This year being the 8ooth anniversary of King John’s signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, a document that has had major repercussions through the centuries in many countries across the world, it was good to hear that Melvyn Bragg was entrusted with the presentation of its history over four programmes.

Believed to be the foundation stone of most modern democracies today, it was astonishing to discover that the first version of Magna Carta was denounced as unlawful by the Pope within weeks of itsMagna_charta_cum_statutis_angliae_p1 publication, re-establishing the king’s divine right to, not only be the law-maker in his own kingdom, but also to be above the law and immune from prosecution.

The death of King John, however, brought the child King Henry III to the throne, and the rebellious barons once again saw their opportunity to re-establish the principles of Magna Carta, which was finally ratified in 1225.

Though most of the clauses have now lost their relevance in modern democracies, the very principles on which they were based are still pertinent, and have helped lay the foundation of constitutions around the world, most notably that of the United States……to name but one.

A series well worth attention:

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 12, 2015, in Aspects of Britain, Book reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks Frank. Though I’ve seen the copy in the British Library, I’ve never really understood its significance. Hopefully Melvin can explain it to me.

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