Learn more about the influence of the Magna Carta
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.