Monday, June 15, 2015

This anniversary has to be noted

Magna Carta, a crucial and still controversial document was signed on June 15, 1215 and a great deal of time is being spent this year on discussions about its importance and relevance.

It seems to me that there is a case to be made for reading the text, though few of us can do that in the original but here is a seemingly reliable English translation.

Here is a good summary of the history of the document and of its subsequent fate, an analysis of the Clauses and the text of the three still in English law:
I. FIRST, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, for Us and our Heirs for ever, that the Church of England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever.

IX. THE City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, as with all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.

XXIX. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.
There are some excellent pieces on the History Today site and on spiked-online. So, are we right to be celebrating the signing of the Great Charter? Is it really relevant today and if not should it be made more relevant? Are all clauses to be rescued and if not (I can think of a few that ought to be buried) then which ones. As they say: Discuss.

1 comment:

  1. Marriott Edgar

    And it's through that there Magna Charter,
    As were made by the Barons of old,
    That in England today we can do what we like,
    So long as we do what we're told.