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Magna Carta

Published 1215

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Charter

Magna Carta

The Magna Carta is an English charter dating to 1215. The National Archives calls the Magna Carta a “charter of ancient liberties guaranteed by a king to his subjects” and gives this history of the document:

“King John of England agreed, in 1215, to the demands of his barons and authorized that handwritten copies of Magna Carta be prepared on parchment, affixed with his seal, and publicly read throughout the realm. Thus he bound not only himself but his "heirs, for ever" to grant "to all freemen of our kingdom" the rights and liberties the great charter described. With Magna Carta, King John placed himself and England's future sovereigns and magistrates within the rule of law.”