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January 5, 2015

What is Magna Carta and why are we celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2015?

The Metro, Monday 29th December

‘2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. It’s a document you’ll be hearing a lot more about over the next 12 months so, just in case that history lesson passed you by at school, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Magna Carta and why is it so important?

Magna Carta is a document created in 1215 that limited the power of the monarch and established human rights for everyone in England.

Signed on June 15 by King John of England in Runnymede, Surrey, Magna Carta was meant as a peace treaty between King John and his subjects, and demanded that every person had to obey the law, including the king.

Among the original 63 clauses in the 1215 Magna Carta – many of which dealt with King John’s wrongdoings during his tyrannical reign – were the right to a fair trial by jury for all ‘free men’ and the right of all cities, boroughs, towns and ports to enjoy ‘free customs’.

‘Magna Carta’ means ‘The Great Charter’ in Latin, and the signing of this new ‘peace treaty’ is considered a pivotal moment in the establishment of the human rights that we all enjoy today.’

To read more of the Metro’s report, click here.



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