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Lincoln Cathedral has been home to its 1215 Magna Carta, marked twice on the reverse with the word ‘Lincolnia’, for the whole of the last eight centuries, surviving the ravages of the English Civil War.
This is appropriate since Hugh of Wells, Bishop of the large and powerful Diocese of Lincoln, was present at Runneymede. It is significant since Archbishop Stephen Langton, the architect of Magna Carta, was a Lincolnshire man who studied ideas of kingship from the manuscripts of Lincoln Cathedral. Whilst Lincoln Cathedral has been its home, Magna Carta has also travelled. It was protected during WWII by the United States who kept it safely in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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When you were kind enough to ask me to speak this evening I was Master of the Rolls and as such ex officio Chairman of the Magna Carta Trust. The Magna Carta Trust is a charitable body devoted to increasing knowledge of and...

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