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Timeline

Learn more about the influence of the Magna Carta

 

 

979

Coronation of Æthelred the Unready

Æthelred the Unready takes the traditional three-fold coronation oath of an English king, to uphold peace in the church, to forbid robbery and unrighteousness to all, and to provide justice and mercy in all judgements.

 

1014

Restoration of Æthelred the Unready

Æthelred the Unready is restored to the throne of England following the death of Swein Forkbeard. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Æthelred's restoration is founded on a pact agreed between the English king and his people, probably based on his coronation oath.

 

25 December 1066

Norman Conquest

The Norman Conquest is completed when William Duke of Normandy is crowned King William I of England following his victory over King Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066.

 

1086

Domesday Book

Domesday Book is compiled. This monumental record of the detailed national survey of land holding in England, commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085, is preserved at The National Archives, Kew.

 

5 August 1100

Coronation of Henry I

Henry I issues a charter of liberties at his coronation. The charter contains a series of promises to his barons and other parties, mostly relating to feudal custom.

 

27 May 1199 Top

Coronation of King John

John is crowned King of England following the death of his older brother Richard I in France on 6 April 1199.

 

24 March 1208

Papal Interdict

Pope Innocent III places a papal interdict on England, which bans priests from administering most of the sacraments and forbids Christian burial.

 

1 June 1213

Stephen Langton installed as Archbishop

King John finally accepts Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton subsequently absolves John of his excommunication from the Church.

 

21 April 1214

Pope becomes England’s feudal overlord

Pope Innocent III accepts overlordship of England. This displaces King John from the pinnacle of the feudal hierarchy but in return secures much needed papal support for the king.

 

17 May 1215 Top

Barons capture Tower of London

The rebel barons capture the Tower of London, greatly strengthening their position in their struggle with King John.

 

10 June 1215

Meeting at Runnymede begins

The barons assemble at Runnymede by the River Thames to negotiate with King John. Their demands are listed in the Articles of the Barons.

 

15 June 1215

Granting of Magna Carta

King John grants Magna Carta.

 

19 June 1215

Peace is restored

The barons make formal peace with King John by renewing their oaths of allegiance to him.

 

24 June 1215

Distribution of Magna Carta begins

The first seven copies of Magna Carta are delivered for distribution.

 

24 August 1215

Pope annuls Magna Carta

Pope Innocent III issues a papal bull declaring Magna Carta null and void.

 

22 May 1216 Top

French invasion of England

Prince Louis of France invades England and attracts substantial baronial support.

 

12 July 1216

Loss of royal treasure

King John loses his royal treasure in the quicksands of The Wash.

 

18 October 1216

Death of King John

King John dies suddenly at Newark having failed to recover from an attack of dysentery. He is buried, according to his wishes, in Worcester Cathedral and his nine-year-old son becomes King Henry III.

 

12 November 1216

First revision of Magna Carta

Less than a month after King John's death, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, issues a revised version of Magna Carta in his capacity as Regent.

 

6 November 1217

Second revision of Magna Carta

The Regent, William Marshal, issues a second revision of Magna Carta.

 

11 February 1225 Top

Henry III issues revised Magna Carta

Henry III, who has come of age, issues a substantially revised version of Magna Carta under his own great seal.

 

12 October 1297

Edward I confirms Magna Carta

Edward I confirms Henry III's 1225 version of Magna Carta: this text is subsequently placed on the first statute roll.

 

June 1628

Petition of Right

Sir Edward Coke initiates the Petition of Right, a statement of civil liberties sent by Parliament to Charles I and conceded by the king in return for a grant of taxation.

 

27 May 1679

Habeas Corpus Act

Parliament passes the Habeas Corpus Act, strengthening the ancient writ of habeas corpus which protects people from being detained without legal authority.

 

16 December 1689

British Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is passed by Parliament. It sets out the civil and political rights of the people at the time of the accession of William and Mary.

 

4 July 1776 Top

American Declaration of Independence

The American Congress formally declares the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain through the Declaration of Independence.

 

17 September 1787

Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of the United States is signed and then ratified the following year. It establishes the system of federal government that begins to operate from 1789.

 

15 December 1791

American Bill of Rights

The American Bill of Rights is added to the U.S. Constitution as the first ten amendments.

 

10 December 1948

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

2 October 2000 Top

British Human Rights Act

The British Human Rights Act 1998 comes into force. This makes the European Convention on Human Rights enforceable in UK courts.