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Canterbury lay in the eye of the storm which began with the accession of Stephen Langton as Archbishop in 1207. He became implacably opposed to King John and in 1213, Archbishop Langton revived the ancient charter of Henry I. This pressure, combined with the military power of the Barons, led directly to the showdown at Runnymede.

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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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