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Events

The global event to which the whole world is invited

The 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta will be a commemoration of national and international significance. Due to its central place in English history and its impact across the world, a wide range of events and activities are being planned.

From specially commissioned BBC documentaries and books, to academic conferences, public exhibitions, local community events and a Magna Carta tourism trail, there will be hundreds of exciting events announced on this website.

A number of events have already taken place in 2014. To keep informed about what is being planned in 2015 , join the Magna Carta 800th mailing list.

The key events for 2015 are listed on this page and will be updated as more information is available.

Detailed information about events being planned by key Magna Carta Towns and our partners is shown in the links to the left side of this page.

January

January – December 2015 – Cathedral Banners at Hereford Cathedral. For more information, click here.
6th – The beginning of the Magna Carta lecture series at the University of the West Indies, part of the Commonwealth Caribbean Magna Carta project
12thThe Magna Carta Charity Dinner at the Guildhall: launching 2015 Commemorations with Foreign Secretary, American Ambassador and Bishop of London.
14th – Lord Mayor Alderman Andrew Yarrow to speak at Gresham College on Magna Carta.
20th – Democracy Day, with UK Parliament
20th – The launch of ‘Parliament in the Making’ exhibition at Parliament, which will run until November. Banners will commemorate 800 years of the movements and moments that have made a difference in the journey to rights and representations.
20th – Citizenship ceremony in Brent – for the first time, new citizens will be given Magna Carta facsimiles as a welcoming gift.
22nd – Internationally renowned Medievalist Professor Nigel Saul of Royal Holloway, to give the first of many public Magna Carta lectures at the Beckenham and Bromley Historical Association.
30thLincoln Lecture Series: Lord Cormack.
29th – 31stDitchley Foundation Conference: ‘The Future of Democracy in the World: Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Conference’

February

The American Bar Association to launch their Magna Carta programme at Houston, Texas
Multiple lectures across the country: featuring Prof. Nigel Saul, Prof. David Carpenter, Lord Judge, Sir Robert Worcester together with University of Virginia Magna Carta Scholar Professor Dick Howard
2-4th – The four surviving 1215 Magna Carta will be united at the British Library
5th – The four 1215 Magna Carta will then be united at Parliament
5-20th - ‘Magna Carta & Parliament’ exhibition to take place in Parliament – public tours
5thIntelligence Squared to host a panel discussion, ‘Magna Carta, Myth & Meaning’ – featuring Dr David Starkey, at the Royal Institute of Great Britain.
11thLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Prof. I. E. Moore
23-25thThe Global Law Summit – leading legal minds will come together to discuss the Rule of Law

March

Flags to be displayed in Parliament Square
1st – A ‘Read not Dead’ Globe performance of The Troublesome Reign of King John – book here
13th March – 1st SeptemberThe British Library’s main exhibition, Law, Liberty, Legacy, will open. The Exhibition will feature the Library’s Magna Cartas alongside the US Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
14th – The Final of the Historical Association’s Great Debate, at the Picture Gallery of Royal Holloway, University of London. The question candidates are to answer is: ‘What does Magna Carta mean to me?’
20th – A Magna Carta debate held at Oxford Brookes: “On Liberty, Magna Carta and our future.” Newsreader Jon Snow, Helena Kennedy QC, and Shami Chakrabarti will discuss the state of liberty today.
20th March – 20th September - Oxford’s Magna Carta Exhibition, ‘Marks of Genius’ will open. Oxford’s Gloucester Magna Carta will be on display.
23rd March – 30th SeptemberHereford’s major Magna Carta exhibition, Icon of Justice – Pledge of Freedom, will open to the public
23rd March – 30th SeptemberCathedral displays begin at Hereford Cathedral, to display the Hereford story
23rd March – 20th JulyHereford Cathedral’s dedicated Magna Carta Exhibition (Magna Carta: Icon of Justice – Pledge of Freedom) will be opened to school parties on Tuesday mornings between 9.30 and 11.30. Booking is essential.
24thLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Prof. Nicholas Vincent
30th – Magna Carta 800 Symposium, State Bar of Georgia, Georgia Bar Conference Center, Atlanta.

April

1st – Lincoln Castle to reopen to the public – with its new, £22 million Magna Carta Vault
7thLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Professor Rowan Williams
10 – 19th Beginning of The Globe Theatre’s run of the Troublesome Reign of King John at Temple Church
16th – A lecture by distinguished Professor Nigel Saul at Hereford Cathedral, ‘Magna Carta and English History’
22ndLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Lord Janvrin
22nd – The Master of the Rolls to speak at the Law Society
23rd Lincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Dr. Rachel Foxley
24 – 16th MayThe Globe’s Troublesome Reign of King John at Holy Sepulchre Church, Northampton

May

1stThe American Bar Association to host a Law Day – with Magna Carta as its theme.
2nd MayThe Battlefields Trust Annual General Meeting, where Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Chairman Sir Robert Worcester will be speaking
12th – Surrey Arts Concert, Held at the Royal Albert Hall
15thLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Lord Powell.
21st – Prof. Nigel Saul to speak at the Barnes and Mortlake History Society: ‘Magna Carta: why it still matters.’
21stLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Dr Mark Goldie & Lord Griffiths
26th – Prof. Stephen Church Lecture at the Society of Antiquarians
27 – 30th The Globe Theatre’s Troublesome Reign of King John at Salisbury Cathedral
28th – Sir Robert Worcester to speak at Worcester Cathedral

June

1st – A Magna Carta Citizenship Ceremony taking place at Allington Castle, Kent
1st June – 31st AugustDurham’s major Magna Carta Exhibition, ‘Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt’, opens to the public
1st June – 20th September – Free Magna Carta and the City walking tours of the City of London, organised by Temple Church.
1 – 28th The Troublesome Reign of King John at The Globe Theatre.
1 – 19thAn exhibition at Royal Holloway, University of London’s Picture Gallery, will use famous pictures from the Holloway Collection to explore the Loss of Liberties in Victorian Art
2nd – Prof. Carpenter Lecture at the Society of Antiquarians
2nd – Nicholas Vincent , Professor of Medieval History, University of East Anglia lecture at Hereford Cathedral, ‘The Hereford Magna Carta’
3rd – Prof. Nigel Saul to speak at the Hedgerley Historical Society
5thLincoln Cathedral will host a major Magna Carta dinner
5th – 6th – A conference in Canterbury: ‘Magna Carta, King John and the Civil War in Kent’
6th4th Annual Bagehot Debate: Lord Tyler and Lord Norton to debate ‘It’s time for a new Magna Carta.’
9th – Susan Reynolds to discuss Magna Carta & European Context at the Society of Antiquarians
10thLincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series: Lord Judge
14thTemple Church will hold a service for senior judiciaries and legislators, and rededicate to the principles of Magna Carta
14th – National Peal of Bells, organised by the Bellringers Association
14thMagna Carta Thanksgiving Evensong, at Hereford Cathedral – Lord Lisvane KCB to preach
14thParliament to encourage all communities to deliver a national awareness moment through the LiberTeas initiative
14th – Penshurst Village Fete to celebrate Magna Carta at Penshurst Place, Kent.
15thMajor International Commemoration Event at Runnymede Meadows. More details to be announced.
16thRoyal Holloway’s annual Magna Carta Lecture. Speaker will be the Rt Hon Jack Straw.
23rd – Esteemed Medievalist Linda Colley to speak on Magna Carta and the American Constitution at the Society of Antiquarians.
27th – Magna Carta Masquerade shall be the Isle of Wight Mardi Gras theme
30th June – 4th JulyHistory of Parliament Trust Conference, ‘Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments: Constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000.’

July

8-11thThe British Legal History Conference, at Reading University.
16th – Mark Carney (Gov of Bank of England) Lecture, part of the Lincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series
16th – Jonatha Guant QC, Prof David Carpenter & Sir Nicolas Bratza Lecture at Lincoln’s Inn, Great Hall; part of the Lincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series
25th July – 5th August – Three Choirs Festival, at Hereford
31stA mock trial of the Barons at Westminster Hall – were they guilty of treason?

August

1 Aug – 30 SepAn exhibition at the Supreme Court, ‘The Impact of Magna Carta on the Way We Live.’
5th – A Liberteas event at Worcester Cathedral: ‘Simon De Montfort & Battle of Evesham’
15th‘Magna Carta Mayhem and Merriment’ Re-enactment day at Hereford Cathedral

September

‘Magna Flora’ Flower Festival at Salisbury – More details to be announced later in the year.
5th – Sir Mark Elder Lecture, Part of the Lincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series
23rd - Liberteas at Worcester Cathedral: ‘On Slavery’, with Prof. Suzanne Swartz

 

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Magna Carta, or as it is properly called the Great Charter of Liberty, was born on 15 June 1215 at Runnymede when King John – Bad King John as he is more commonly known – was persuaded to accede to a number of demands made...

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Preparations are underway for some truly memorable commemorations from major international conferences and exhibitions to local events and parties and a Magna Carta tour. To be the first to hear of these, sign up to the newsletter below.