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A Very Happy Saturday Everyone!

Today in 1215, following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta (“Great Charter).” Essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, it guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws.

The Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. As a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral, and two in the British Museum.