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Monday, 15 June 2015

After Magna Carta "Sealed not Signed"

So, my busy schedule puts me at a loss once again to produce anything particularly meaningful on yet another very important historic day. 800 years ago this week, on 19th June, King John and 25 rebellious barons shared a charter drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury that was intended to restore peace between the crown and the aforementioned angered noblemen. John would give the charter his royal seal, but contrary to many dramatic depictions, including the one I describe later, he could not be forced into signing it. In essence, Magna Carta would protect the barons from being subject to limitless taxations by the king and also from unjustifiable imprisonment. The charter was radical document for its time and neither side stood by their commitments, leading to the First Barons' War. It would be called upon in response to the actions of another rebel, Simon DeMontford. DeMontford would covene a "parley" at Kenilworth Castle in 1264, consisting of demoncractically elected knights. This would be the first Parliament. He would eventually usurp the crown for a year, becoming a prototypical Oliver Cromwell before he was overthrown and killed by Henry III's forces. Henry would re-issue and re-edited version of the Magna Carta.