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Events that took place in the City of London on Sunday 17th May 1215, became the tipping point in the long-running battle between King John and the Barons. While everyone was at mass, the Barons simply installed their own Mayor, took over the city and then used this as leverage to compel King John to meet them at Runnymede.

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Today is the very anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, that great charter which laid down the basis for English common law, now spread throughout the world. Magna Carta gave protection of law against despotism by...

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