November 28, 2014
Contemporary account of sealing of Magna Carta discovered
The Independent, 28th November 2014
An account of how the sealing of the Magna Carta went down with ordinary people at the time has been discovered by staff at the British Library.
King John was forced by his nobles to seal the historic document in June 1215 and it is widely seen as the birth of civil liberties in the UK, as it enshrined the right to swift and fair justice and put legal controls on the head of state’s power.
However a poem written shortly afterwards by Scottish monks in the Melrose Chronicle saw it rather differently, according to a report in The Guardian.
Julian Harrison, the British Library’s curator of medieval manuscripts, found the poem in the chronicle, which appears not to have been examined for mentions of the Magna Carta before.