This representation of King John’s tomb was drawn by the artist John Harris (1791-1873). The image is found at the end of a copy of Magna Carta, printed in gold on vellum by John Whittaker (d. 1831) in 1816. Harris added a handwritten note at the end of this volume, asserting that he had designed this image of the tomb, as well as many of the barons’ coats of arms which feature at the head of each page of Magna Carta; the remaining coats of arms can be attributed to his father, the watercolourist John Harris the Elder (1767-1832). Here the monument is shown before the altar and the east window, with John’s head nearest to the viewer. This represents the state of the tomb before restoration work was carried out in 1872–73, when a crown made of tin was added to John’s head and the effigy was gilded, although both the crown and gilding were later removed.
- Full title:
- Magna Carta Regis Johannis, XV. Die Junii, MCCXV. Anno Regni XVII. (Conventio inter Regem Johannem et Barones.) [The initial letters are illuminated, and the heraldic shields of the Barons are printed in gold and colours by J. Harris, the elder, and J. Harris, the younger. With a painting of the interior of the east end of Worcester Cathedral on the blank leaf at the end, by J. Harris, Junr.] B.L. MS. note.
- Book / Illustration
- John Harris the elder , John Harris the younger
- Held by:
- British Library
- 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.