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Magna Carta is a role playing game for the PC.

  • Horrible Histories returns for a special about King John and Magna Carta, starring Ben Miller. John annoys the Barons and agrees Magna Carta at Runnymede, after a banging rap battle. Meanwhile across the world we meet the formidable Genghis Khan in Mongolia, and catch up with the crafty Saladin during the Crusades. With of course, our host Rattus to guide the way!
  • Magna Carta PortableAn epic tale of war, romance and betrayal.On the continent of Efferia, humans and a race known as the Yason uneasily co-exist in the throes of an endless war. Calintz, the leader of a mercenary group, the Tears of Blood, encounters a mysterious girl, Reith, who has no recollection of who she is. Little does he know, this chance encounter will change the future for all of.
Magna Carta (1215)
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MagnaCarta
1215

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JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Dukeof Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to hisarchbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices,foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all hisofficials and loyal subjects, Greeting.
KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those ofour ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation ofthe holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at theadvice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop ofCanterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holyRoman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop ofLondon, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath andGlastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter Bishop of Worcester,William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, MasterPandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, BrotherAymeric master of the knighthood of the Temple in England,William Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury,William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan deGalloway constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz Gerald, Peter FitzHerbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville,Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny,Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and otherloyal subjects:
(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this presentcharter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, thatthe English Church shall be free, and shall have its rightsundiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this soto be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will,before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and ourbarons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of theChurch’s elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatestnecessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmedby Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves,and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs inperpetuity.
TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also granted, for us andour heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to haveand to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs:
(2) If any earl, baron, or other person that holds landsdirectly of the Crown, for military service, shall die, and athis death his heir shall be of full age and owe a ‘relief’, theheir shall have his inheritance on payment of the ancient scaleof ‘relief’. That is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl shallpay 100 for the
entire earl’s barony, the heir or heirs of a knight l00s. atmost for the entire knight’s ‘fee’, and any man that owes lessshall pay less, in accordance with the ancient usage of ‘fees’.
(3) But if the heir of such a person is under age and a ward,when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without‘relief’ or fine.
(4) The guardian of the land of an heir who is under age shalltake from it only reasonable revenues, customary dues, andfeudal services. He shall do this without destruction or damageto men or property. If we have given the guardianship of theland to a sheriff, or to any person answerable to us for therevenues, and he commits destruction or damage, we will exactcompensation from him, and the land shall be entrusted to twoworthy and prudent men of the same ‘fee’, who shall beanswerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom wehave assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone theguardianship of such land, and he causes destruction or damage,he shall lose the guardianship of it, and it shall be handedover to two worthy and prudent men of the same ‘fee’, who shallbe similarly answerable to us.
(5) For so long as a guardian has guardianship of such land, heshall maintain the houses, parks, fish preserves, ponds, mills,and everything else pertaining to it, from the revenues of theland itself. When the heir comes of age, he shall restore thewhole land to him, stocked with plough teams and such implementsof husbandry as the season demands and the revenues from theland can reasonably bear.
(6) Heirs may be given in marriage, but not to someone of lowersocial standing. Before a marriage takes place, it shall be madeknown to the heir’s next-of-kin.
(7) At her husband’s death, a widow may have her marriageportion and inheritance at once and without trouble. She shallpay nothing for her dower, marriage portion, or any inheritancethat she and her husband held jointly on the day of his death.She may remain in her husband’s house for forty days after hisdeath, and within this period her dower shall be assigned toher.
(8) No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she wishesto remain without a husband. But she must give security that shewill not marry without royal consent, if she holds her lands ofthe Crown, or without the consent of whatever other lord she mayhold them of.
...
(63) IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the EnglishChurch shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have andkeep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well andpeaceably in their fulness and entirety for them and theirheirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places
for ever.
Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall beobserved in good faith and without deceit. Witness theabovementioned people and many others.
Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede,between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in theseventeenth year of our reign (1215; the new regnal year beganon 28 May).
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Doris Mary Stenton
Reader in History, University of Reading (1955–59). Author of English Society in the Early Middle Ages (1951), The English Woman in History (1957), and others; editor of Pleas Before...
Alternative Title: Great Charter

Magna Carta, English Great Charter, charter of English liberties granted by King John on June 15, 1215, under threat of civil war and reissued, with alterations, in 1216, 1217, and 1225. By declaring the sovereign to be subject to the rule of law and documenting the liberties held by “free men,” the Magna Carta provided the foundation for individual rights in Anglo-American jurisprudence.

What is the Magna Carta?

The Magna Carta (“Great Charter”) is a document guaranteeing English political liberties that was drafted at Runnymede, a meadow by the River Thames, and signed by King John on June 15, 1215, under pressure from his rebellious barons. By declaring the sovereign to be subject to the rule of law and documenting the liberties held by “free men,” it provided the foundation for individual rights in Anglo-American jurisprudence.

What did the Magna Carta guarantee?

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Among the Magna Carta’s provisions were clauses providing for a free church, reforming law and justice, and controlling the behavior of royal officials. One of the charter’s 63 clauses tasked the barons with choosing 25 representatives to serve as a “form of security” ensuring the preservation of the rights and liberties that had been enumerated. Above all, the Magna Carta guaranteed that government, royal or otherwise, would be limited by the written law of the land.

When was the Magna Carta reissued?

King John’s successor, Henry III, reissued the Magna Carta on November 12, 1216, in the hope of recalling the allegiance of rebellious barons who were supporting French King Louis VIII’s efforts to win control of England. It was reissued again in 1217, when the council reconsidered it clause by clause. In 1223 Pope Honorius III declared that the young King Henry III was old enough to make valid grants, and Henry reissued the charter in 1225.

Why does the Magna Carta matter today?

The enduring influence of the Magna Carta comes not from its detailed expression of the feudal relationship between lord and subject but from its more-general clauses in which every generation can see its own protection. The right to petition and habeas corpus and the concept of due process are derived from language in the Magna Carta, which also was a forerunner of Parliament, the Declaration of independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Where is the Magna Carta kept?

There are four extant original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215. Two of them are held by the cathedral churches in which they were originally deposited—Lincoln and Salisbury—and the other two are in the British Library in London. The four “originals” were assembled in one place for the first time in February 2015 as part of a British Library commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the charter’s issue.

Origin of the Magna Carta

With his conquest of England in 1066, William I secured for himself and his immediate successors a position of unprecedented power. He was able to dominate not only the country but also the barons who had helped him win it and the ecclesiastics who served the English church. He forced Pope Alexander II to be content with indirect control over the church in a land that the papacy hitherto had regarded as bound by the closest ties to Rome. William’s son Henry I—whose accession (1100) was challenged by his eldest brother, Robert, duke of Normandy—was compelled to make concessions to the nobles and clergy in the Charter of Liberties, a royal edict issued upon his coronation. His successor, Stephen (1135), whose hold on the throne was threatened by Henry I’s daughter Matilda, again issued a solemn charter (1136) with even more generous promises of good government in church and state. Matilda’s son Henry II also began his reign (1154) by issuing a solemn charter promising to restore and confirm the liberties and free customs that King Henry, his grandfather, had granted “to God and holy church and all his earls, barons and all his men.” There developed, in fact, through the 12th century a continuous tradition that the king’s coronation oath should be strengthened by written promises stamped with the king’s seal.

Although the volume of common law increased during that period, in particular during Henry II’s reign (which ended in 1189), no converse definition had been secured in regard to the financial liabilities of the baronage to the crown. The baronage also had no definition of the rights of justice that they held over their own subjects. As the Angevin administration became ever more firmly established with learned judges, able financiers, and trained clerks in its service, the baronage as a whole became ever more conscious of the weakness of its position in the face of the agents of the crown. Compounding discontent among the nobility were tax increases during Richard I’s reign (1189–99), which resulted from his Crusade, his ransom, and his war with France. John was confronted with those myriad challenges upon his rise to the throne in 1199. His position, already precarious, was made even weaker because of the rival claim of his nephew Arthur of Brittany and the determination of Philip II of France to end the English hold on Normandy.

Unlike his predecessors, John did not issue a general charter to his barons at the beginning of his reign. At Northampton, however, Archbishop of CanterburyHubert Walter, royal adviser William Marshal, and justiciar Geoffrey Fitzpeter summoned the nobility and promised, on behalf of the king (who was still in France), that he would render to each his rights if they would keep faith and peace with him. As early as 1201, however, the earls were refusing to cross the English Channel in the king’s service unless he first promised them “their rights.” In 1205, in the face of a threat of invasion from France, the king was compelled to swear that he would preserve the rights of the kingdom unharmed. After the loss of Normandy in 1204, John was forced to rely on English resources alone, and the crown began to feel a new urgency in the matter of revenue collection. Royal demands for scutage (money paid in lieu of military service) became more frequent. The quarrel with Pope Innocent III over the election of Stephen Langton to the see of Canterbury resulted in a papal interdict (1208–13) and left the English church defenseless in the face of John’s financial demands. The excommunication of the king in 1209 deprived him of some of his ablest administrators. It is not surprising then that when peace with the church was made and Langton became archbishop of Canterbury, he emerged as a central figure in the baronial unrest. Indeed, it was Langton who advised that the demand for a solemn grant of liberties from the king be founded on the coronation charter of Henry I.

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Great Charter of 1215

A detailed account of the months preceding the sealing of the Magna Carta has been preserved by the historians of St. Albans abbey, where an initial draft of the charter was read in 1213. Many, although not all, of the documents issued immediately before the charter have survived either in the original or as official transcripts. From those records, it is clear that King John had already realized that he would have to grant free election to ecclesiastical offices and meet the barons’ general demands. It is equally clear that Langton and the most-influential earl, William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, had considerable difficulty in bringing the most-extreme members of the baronage to a frame of mind in which they would negotiate. Those nobles wanted to fight, although it is not clear what use they would have made of a military victory in 1215.

On June 15, 1215, the document known as the Articles of the Barons was at last agreed upon, and to it the king’s great seal was set. It became the text from which the draft of the charter was hammered out in the discussions at Runnymede (beside the River Thames, between Windsor and Staines, now in the county of Surrey), and the final version of the Magna Carta was accepted by the king and the barons on June 19. The charter was a compromise, but it also contained important clauses designed to bring about reforms in judicial and local administration.

Much explosive material is set out in the Magna Carta, which was sealed by King John “in the meadow called Ronimed between Windsor and Staines on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign.” The remarkable fact is not that war broke out between John and his barons in the following months but that the king had ever been brought to agree to the sealing of such a document at all. That the king genuinely wished to avoid civil war, that he was prepared to accede to reasonable demands for a statement of feudal law, and that he had a basic desire to give good government to his subjects are all strikingly shown by his submission to clauses that, in effect, authorized his subjects to declare war on their king.

Clause 61 of the 1215 charter called upon the barons to choose 25 representatives from their number to serve as a “form of security” to ensure the preservation of the rights and liberties that had been enumerated. John’s dissatisfaction with that clause and its implementation was recorded by chronicler Matthew Paris, and historians since that time have questioned its genesis. Was clause 61 proposed by Langton as a method of progressing toward a limited monarchy, or did it come from the barons as a way of expressing their feudal right of formal defiance in the face of a lord who had broken a contract? Whatever its origin, that clause is of interest because it illustrates the way that the western European elite were talking and thinking about kingship in 1215. Although clause 61 was omitted from reissued versions of the charter, after the deposing of King Henry III during the Barons’ War (1264), it served as the model for an even harsher attempt to control the king.