October 15 2015: Magna Carta by Tim Porter

Tim Porter was up to his usual high standard when he gave a talk to FHS in October on the Magna Carta, highly appropriate as the country is celebrating the 800th anniversary of its signing Runnymede in June 1215.

He gave a comprehensive background to the events leading up to the signing, the power of the King, the growing resentment of the Barons and quarrel between the Pope and the King on the appointment to the post of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Pope was in favour of Stephen Langton, the King was not. Between 1209 and 1214 there is an Interdict imposed on England, at the the end of 1214 the King capitulated.

Tim outlined the drafting and issuing of the Magna Carta and the several later amended editions (the last one being produced in 1300). Although King John had no intention of abiding by the Magna Carta, many of its 63 clauses later formed the basis of English law and its unwritten constitution and the great Charter of Liberties is now regarded as the most important document in English history.