Pope Innocent III (1161–1216) declared Magna Carta null and void on 24 August 1215. However, before that declaration had even reached England, three papal commissioners, acting on earlier instructions received from Rome, had commanded Stephen Langton to excommunicate the rebellious barons. The commissioners in question — Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester (1205-38), Simon, Abbot of Reading (d. 1226), and the papal legate, Pandulf (d. 1226) — maintained that the rebels had violated the terms of Magna Carta, doubtless because they remained in arms against the king and continued to hold London against the terms of the settlement. This is the letter sent to Langton by the commissioners. It is written in an Italian hand, presumably by a scribe in Pandulf’s household. Nine rebellious barons are singled out for condemnation, headed by Robert fitz Walter (1162-1235), together with six clerics, including fitz Walter’s own chaplain and Giles de Briouze, Bishop of Hereford (1163-1215).
- Full title:
- Letter naming the rebels and declaring that their lands be confiscated
- 5 September 1215
- Manuscript / Letter
- Peter des Roches , Simon the chamberlain , Pandulf
- Held by:
- Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- © Reproduced with permission of Canterbury Cathedral Archives CCA/DCC/ChAnt/M/247
- Article by:
- Nicholas Vincent
- Medieval origins, Clauses and content
The agreement at Runnymede in 1215 had broad consequences for medieval England. Professor Nicholas Vincent explores the immediate impact of Magna Carta, considering the Civil War, the re-issue of the charter and the formation of early forms of parliament.