Examine collection items such as the British Library's 1215 copy of Magna Carta together with a translation in modern day English. Read an introduction to Magna Carta, learn more about the context of its creation, the people involved or explore a timeline of its legacy.

To mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta, the British Library is holding a once-in-a lifetime exhibition that explores the history and resonance of this globally-recognised document. Find out more about the exhibition which runs 13 March - 1 September 2015.

Visit this website again in March 2015, when it will be updated with a wide range of new content about Magna Carta and its legacy.

Articles

Basics of Magna Carta

Magna Carta: an introduction

Essential information about Magna Carta. Why was it created? What does it say and why has it become one of the most celebrated documents in history?

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Magna Carta in context

Magna Carta in context

From the medieval Church to money-lending, feudal rights to the royal forest, discover how Magna Carta was both influenced by, and impacted upon, the institutions and customs of its day.

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Magna Carta and King John's seal

English translation of Magna Carta

Translation of the full text of the original 1215 edition of Magna Carta from Latin into modern day English. Which clauses were later omitted and which are still valid today?

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Magna Carta: people and society

Magna Carta: people and society

Who were the key personalities in the history of Magna Carta? Find out more about King John, the barons, Pope Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen Langton and the other individuals and groups who played important roles.

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Magna Carta timeline

Timeline of Magna Carta and its legacy

Stretching from 979 to 2015, this simple timeline charts the key events leading up to the declaration of Magna Carta in 1215 and then explores the legacy of the document up to the present day.

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Collection items

Explore an original Magna Carta of 1215 (one of only four surviving), together with a 1225 Magna Carta and Forest Charter authorised by Henry III. Discover Magna Carta in draft form by viewing The Articles of the Barons and the papal bull that later annulled all clauses, plus the genealogical roll that shows the ancestry of King John.

Magna Carta, 1215

Date: 15 June 1215

Magna Carta, 1225

Date: 11 February 1225

The Forest Charter of 1225

Date: 11 February 1225