Statute book containing Magna Carta issued by King John and Henry III

Description

During the 13th and 14th centuries, Magna Carta was frequently copied into chronicles and collections of charters and statutes, for use by lawyers and administrators. In some cases, only the most recent version of Magna Carta was recorded; sometimes, texts of different versions of the charter were conflated. Errors of transcription are not uncommon in such compilations. This manuscript, made in the reign of King Edward II (r. 1307–27), contains various statutes in Latin and Anglo-Norman French, beginning with the 1215 Magna Carta (‘Carta regis Iohannis dicta de Ronemede’), the version of the Great Charter issued by Henry III in 1225, and the Charter of the Forest. Henry III’s Magna Carta opens with an ornately decorated initial ‘H’, painted in red and blue and embellished with gold leaf, highlighting the significance of the text. Such collections of statutes are frequently small in size, for ease of portability and consultation.

Full title:
STATUTES OF THE REALM, ETC.: a collection of legal and historical tracts probably compiled in London; early 14th cent, with later additions.
Created:
c. 1300 - 1399
Format:
Manuscript / Charter
Held by:
British Library
Usage terms:
Public Domain
Shelfmark:
Additional MS 62534

Related articles

Consequences of Magna Carta

Article by:
Nicholas Vincent
Themes:
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.

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