Skip to Content

December 21, 2015

ABA Magna Carta Memorial now Grade II Listed Monument

21st December 2015

The American Bar Association Magna Carta Memorial has been awarded a Grade II listing under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

The reason for its designation is for its ‘special architectural or historic interest.’

List entry Number 1430723, the Memorial overlooks Runnymede, where Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. On the 15th June 2015, the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the Memorial was the site of celebration and the focus of the world.

William Hubbard, President of the American Bar Association, Loretta Lynch, current US Attorney General, HRH Princess Anne, and the Rt Hon Philip Hammond, UK Foreign Secretary spoke at the Memorial on Magna Carta Day.

Pictures of this event can be viewed here.

Three reasons were provided for the Grade II designation:

The Magna Carta monument of 1957, by Edward Maufe, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: the memorial is the only specifically designed structure to commemorate the signing of the Magna Carta, which represents a seminal moment in the history of democracy for English, and later American, citizens; * Group value: a key part of the listed Runnymede group that includes Magna Carta House, Lutyens’ lodges and commemorative urns, Air Forces Memorial, and Kennedy Memorial; * Architectural interest: as an example of the work of the nationally celebrated architect Edward Maufe, displaying his signature style of modern classicism.”

The monument was constructed by Edward Maufe, and supported by the American Bar Association. It is the only official monument to Magna Carta in Britain today.

Click here for more information

November 5, 2015

Attorney General Lynch Delivers Remarks at Magna Carta Commemoration Ceremony

15 June 2015 – Magna Carta Day.
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the American Bar Association Memorial, Runnymede.
Click here to read this speech as it appears on the Justice Department’s website.

“Thank you, Secretary [Philip] Hammond, for that kind introduction. Your Excellencies, distinguished colleagues, honored guests – it is a pleasure to be here this morning, and a great privilege to join you all at this important commemoration.

Eight hundred years ago, on the grounds of Runnymede, King John sealed a piece of parchment – a Great Charter – that extended basic rights to individuals subject to his reign. That Magna Carta was neither expansive nor long-lived – its rules applied to only a small group of noblemen, and it was first annulled just 10 weeks after being sealed. But its adoption served as a signpost on a long and difficult march, and those who forged its compromise stood as early travelers on the road to justice. While the hands that wrote the Magna Carta have long been stilled, the principles they carved out of the struggles of their day – of the struggles of the human condition – live on.

Seven and a half centuries after that historic day, in 1957, a crowd of 5,000 people walked in storied footsteps to dedicate this memorial and to recognize its significance. Among them was Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of America’s Supreme Court and one of our nation’s greatest jurists, who noted in an opinion a year later that principles traced back to Magna Carta represented a concept that is “nothing less than the dignity of man.”

For Chief Justice Warren, and for the many American lawyers and jurists who gathered by his side, this monument had special meaning, because Magna Carta had come to symbolize more than a simple agreement between noblemen and their king. This social contract between a monarch and his people codified, however imperfectly, notions that would one day stand at the heart of our own system of justice: the idea that no power is unconditional, and no rule is absolute; that we are not subjugated by an infallible authority, but share authority with our fellow citizens. That all are protected by the law, just as all must answer to the law. These fundamental, age-old principles have given hope to those who face oppression. They have given a voice to those yearning for the redress of wrongs. And they have served as the bedrock of free societies around the globe, inspiring countless women and men seeking to weave their promise into reality.

For those who drafted the U.S. Constitution, the significance of Magna Carta was clear. Its influence helped shape a political system that enshrines separation of powers, due process and the rule of law; a legal system that recognizes and honors the dignity of all people; and a commitment to ongoing efforts to realize these ideals in every interaction between our citizens and our institutions.

Even today, America continues to pursue these goals. We are engaged in initiatives to promote trust and understanding between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve. We are working with partners in the United States and around the world to pursue those who would deny human dignity, whether through trafficking or corruption, violence or terrorism. And we are carrying out a historic reorientation of our criminal justice practices to end an overreliance on incarceration. At every turn, we are driven by that same devotion to the rule of law whose seeds took root in this field so long ago.

Of course, our journey has not been easy, and it is far from over. Just as men and women of great conscience and strong will have, over eight centuries, worked to advance the cause that animated their forebears – in nations around the world – we too must advance and extend the promise that lies at the heart of our global community. We too must deliver on the spirit of Magna Carta. And we too must carry forward our work to new fields of equality, opportunity and justice.

On the day that this monument was dedicated in 1957, one of the former presidents of the American Bar Association called his journey to Runnymede a “devout pilgrimage to the ancestral home, to the well springs of our profession, to the fountainhead of our faith.” Today, we not only pay tribute to the source of our legal doctrine – we reaffirm our devotion to its values and recommit ourselves to the service of its most treasured ideals. As we go forward, I am proud, I am honored and I am humbled to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all of you in our shared pursuit of a more just world.

Thank you all, once again, for the opportunity to take part in this commemoration. Thank you for your dedication to the ennobling ideals we are here to celebrate. I look forward to all that our nations will achieve together in the spirit of their promise in the years ahead.”

June 17, 2015

Magna Carta changed the world, David Cameron tells anniversary event

BBC News, Monday 15th June, 2015
Click here to read the original article.

Magna Carta went on to change the world, Prime Minister David Cameron has said, at an ceremony in Surrey marking the 800th anniversary of the document that heralded modern democracy.

The event at Runnymede, where King John sealed the original accord in 1215, was attended by the Queen and other royals.
The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a commemorative art work at the site.

The Charter first protected the rights and freedoms of society and established that the king was subject to the law.

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal also attended the ceremony, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, senior judges, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of the American Bar Association, which erected a memorial to the charter at Runnymede in the 1950s.

Magna Carta originated as a peace treaty between King John and a group of rebellious barons.

Its influence can be seen in other documents across the world including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Speaking at the Magna Carta Memorial, Mr Cameron said the document had inspired different generations and countries.
He said it had had altered forever “the balance of power between the governed and the government”.

“Why do people set such store by Magna Carta? Because they look to history. They see how the great charter shaped the world, for the best part of a millennium, helping to promote arguments for justice and for freedom.”

He also alluded to the government’s plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British bill of rights, amid its concerns about rulings by the European Court of Human Rights and their application to the UK.

Mr Cameron said in his speech: “It falls to us in this generation to restore the reputation of those rights… It is our duty to safeguard the legacy, the idea, the momentous achievement of those barons.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said the document had “set the bar high for all of us today”.

In his address, he reminded the audience how his medieval predecessor Archbishop Stephen Langton played an important role as a mediator in the writing of the Magna Carta.

He also said the Church had failed to support the fight for social justice in the past.

“From the support for enclosures to the opposition to the Great Reform Act, to the toleration of all sorts of abuse, with humility, we recognise these failings,” he said.

Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls and chairman of the Magna Carta Trust, said the Magna Carta was “a symbol of democracy, justice, human rights and perhaps above all the rule of law for the whole world”.

Lord Dyson, the second most senior judge in England and Wales, said: “A few clauses of Magna Carta are still part of our law, including famously the provision that no free man shall be taken or imprisoned except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land; and to no-one will we sell, to no-one will we deny or delay right or justice.”

The art installation unveiled by Prince William, called The Jurors, is inspired by the 39th clause of Magna Carta, which gives the right to a jury trial. Artist Hew Locke said it was a “great honour” to be chosen to produce the piece.

Princess Anne rededicated the US memorial, saying Magna Carta “provides us with one of our most basic doctrines – that no person is above the law.

“In recent history and even today we see in many parts of the world that power without the rule of law can lead to human suffering of terrible proportions. But it takes all of us to stand up for these principles.”

A replica of Magna Carta began its journey down the Thames on Saturday as part of the commemorations. The Royal Barge Gloriana led 200 boats from Hurley in Berkshire to Runnymede.

There are just four known copies of the original Magna Carta in existence today, from an estimated 13 that were made. Two are held by the British Library, with Salisbury Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral holding the others.

This article was originally published with images and further analysis. Click here to read the article as it originally appeared in full.

In Pictures: Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary – BBC News

BBC News, Monday 15th June, 2015
Click here to view the original article.

The BBC featured a series of excellent photos of events at Magna Carta Day, which took place on 15th June, 2015 at Runnymede.

Click here to view these images.

April 16, 2015

The Queen to attend Magna Carta 800th Anniversary event

16th April 2015
Surrey News – click here to read the article as it appeared on the site.

Her Majesty The Queen will mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta at the site in Runnymede where the historic document was sealed.

Accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Her Majesty will attend a commemoration event at Runnymede Meadows on 15 June.

The Duke of Cambridge, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also be present.

Details of the event, which is being organised by Surrey County Council and the National Trust, are being finalised.

It is expected to include speeches, music and art together with a rededication of the American Bar Association’s Magna Carta Memorial.

Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Community Services Helyn Clack said: “This anniversary will be an occasion of immense local, national and international importance so it is fitting that The Queen and other members of The Royal Family will help to celebrate it in the county that gave Magna Carta to the world.

“It will be a delight and honour to welcome them all to the site where history was made 800 years ago and I have no doubt that they will ensure the Runnymede event will be the jewel in the crown of the celebrations here and across the globe.”

Sealed by King John at Runnymede in 1215, Magna Carta is considered one of the first steps towards modern democracy.

The Queen is patron of the Magna Carta Trust for the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.

Categories

Archives

Recently Added

By Topic