The Magna Carta, ‘The Great Charter’, was agreed by King John of England in Runnymede, near Windsor on this day in 1215, June 15.
The charter became part of English political life. It promised the protection of church rights, protection from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and, most importantly, limitations on taxation and other feudal payments to the Crown, with certain forms of feudal taxation requiring baronial consent.
The Magna Carta continues to have a powerful iconic status in British society. Its perceived guarantee of trial by jury and other civil liberties. However, the Magna Carta carries little legal weight in modern Britain, as most of its clauses have been repealed and relevant rights ensured by other statutes.
See the British Library’s website: www.bl.uk/magna-carta for more information.