The Magna Carta Project
is a Project

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Property Object
Collaborator There are 11 more objects.
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Has co-investigator
Has principal investigator Nicholas Vincent
Output There are 360 more objects.
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Impact THE WIDER PUBLIC: The project website will make freely available newly discovered charters, letters and writs of King John and English translations of the various texts of Magna Carta (1215, 1216, 1217 and 1225) with their associated clause-by-clause commentaries and illustrative primary material (also all in English translation). These will be accompanied by an introduction, aimed at a general readership, to the political, legal and social history of the period, the reign of King John, the making of Magna Carta in 1215, the meaning of Magna Carta, its subsequent re-issues, its enforcement during the reign of King Henry III and its longer-term significance. The website will include a glossary of technical terms, a regular commentary modelled on the 'Fine of the Month' feature that was so successful an aspect of the AHRC-funded Henry III Fine Rolls Project, directed by Professor Carpenter. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATIONS for the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta (2015): The UK government has already initiated a series of celebrations for the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. At a ceremony held on 12 November 2010 at the memorial site in Runnymede, the Secretary of State Kenneth Clarke and the Justice Minister Lord McNally both spoke of its enduring relevance in the twenty-first century ( As Lord McNally observed, 'The promises Magna Carta contains are as important today as they were in 1215'. The governments of the USA and numerous Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and many African states acknowledge Magna Carta's influence on their constitutions. The project will make a valuable contribution to national and international celebrations in the following ways: -The project will contribute to a major exhibition (online and in situ) at the British Library in 2015 which will be part based upon the project's research. -The project will host a conference in London in 2015, one day of which will be specifically targeted at the general public and at raising public awareness. -A public launch event will be held at the British Library in June 2015 to which representatives of the governments of the United Kingdom, United States and interested Commonwealth countries will be invited, alongside academics, archivists, librarians, museum curators, students and teachers. -Professor Vincent will liaise closely with the Magna Carta Trust, through whom discussions are already ongoing for a major television series. SCHOOLS: The project promises to engage with school pupils of all ages through its work with the Magna Carta Trust. Building upon the success of the 2007 celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, and in co-operation with advice from the education secretary, the Rt Hon Michael Gove, MP, and the Department for Education, it is hoped that Magna Carta be taken into schools to raise awareness of its importance. The project website will be of particular value to sixth-form students who are studying modules on medieval England at A'level (OCR, Edexcel and AQA Advanced GCEs in History). The Reign of King John, 1199-1216 (OCR, unit F965), The Angevin Empire, 1154-1216 (Edexcel, History Unit 1 A3), and The Angevin Kings of England: British Monarchy, 1154-1216 (AQA, unit 3: HIS3A) are all modules studied by sixth-form students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The website will host free learning resources for sixth-formers and their teachers, compiled with the assistance of teachers serving on the project's Knowledge Transfer Advisory Committee. These resources will include readily accessible English translations of Magna Carta, whereby one might click on each clause of Magna Carta and call up a school-level commentary and a range of translated primary material that would enable pupils to research the topic further
Status Closed
Identifier AH/J004170/1
abstract Magna Carta is one of the most famous documents in history, celebrated throughout the English-speaking world. It is widely seen as the foundation stone of the British constitutional tradition in which kings and law makers are themselves subjected to the rigours of the law. And yet, there is a great deal about Magna Carta that remains unknown. There has been no proper commentary on the original 1215 issue of Magna Carta in the past hundred years, and there has never been a proper commentary on the 1225 reissue of the charter that became the standard version, parts of it still on the Statute Book today. Despite the fact that all four of the original versions of Magna Carta preserved from the issue of 1215 have been granted UNESCO World Heritage status, there has never been a proper edition noticing all of the differences between these documents. The subsequent reissues of the charter, including the definitive version of 1225, have been left unedited and to a large extent unstudied since 1805. No-one is entirely sure of the relation between these texts, or indeed of how many reissues, or how many surviving copies there are from the first century of Magna Carta. Since the 1830s, there has been no systematic search for documentary evidences for King John. As a result, historians today have only a warped and incomplete understanding of large parts of John's reign, crucial for the making of Magna Carta. Because no work has been undertaken on the handwriting of John's original letters and charters, several hundred of which survive in archives scattered across Britain, Ireland and France, we are unable to say who wrote Magna Carta or whether the four surviving originals were written by royal or by other scribes. The present project, which combines input from four universities and the principal modern authorities on the subject, is intended to appeal both to scholars and to a more general public. It will fill many gaps in our knowledge of Magna Carta in time for the forthcoming 800th anniversary of the charter to be celebrated in 2015. The project's website, intended to become the first port of call for anyone interested in Magna Carta, will supply full commentaries and English translations of all of the various versions of the document. It will supply photographs and summaries not only of all of the surviving Magna Cartas but of several hundred related documents. It will explain the charter's significance, both in scholarly and in popular terms. It will supply access to a large body of documentary evidence, until now locked away in the archives, crucial for our understanding of the writing, marking, meaning and posterity of Magna Carta. It will be supplied with blogs, monthly features and postings intended both to broadcast these new discoveries and to satisfy public interest. Its result will be fed into a programme directed to schools and to public understanding as well as to scholars. It will assist in the mounting of a major Exhibition at the British Library in the anniversary year, 2015, accompanied by an international conference open to the general public, the media and to scholars. The conference will itself further disseminate the project's findings. Amongst these, besides the first proper edition of Magna Carta ever presented in all its guises, the first ever full commentary on the standard 1225 text of Magna Carta, and the first commentary since 1914 on the original version issued by King John, it is hoped that by 2015 we can not only explain 'Who wrote Magna Carta', but the context and the circumstances in which this most significant of constitutional documents was brought to birth.
Type Project
Label The Magna Carta Project
Title The Magna Carta Project

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University of East Anglia Of
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