Card game entitled Magna Charta or Knight Errantry

Description

In 1821 M. Landry of Fancy Repository, Greenwich, published this children’s game which gave prominence to the Great Charter. Described by its anonymous author as an ‘Instructive Pastime’, the game was designed to teach chivalry to younger people. The playing cards were hand-coloured, with each one bearing an image of the twenty-four Orders of Knighthood, or an important event, item or person associated with English history. Among the cards were ‘Magna Charta’ (No. 52), ‘Bill of Rights’ (No. 39), ‘Robin Hood’ (No. 5) and ‘Doomsday Book’ (No. 4). According to the rather complicated rules, ‘Magna Charta takes any card and is privileged to mark twelve points’. Intriguingly, ‘Magna Charta’ itself is represented not by a picture of a medieval document but by two pink roses.

Full title:
A new Game, entitled Magna Charta: or, Knight Errantry. [52 cards in a case]
Published:
1821, Greenwich
Format:
Games and toys / Illustration
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
786.a.25

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Magna Carta in the 20th century

Article by:
Alex Lock
Theme:
Legacy

Throughout the 20th century, Magna Carta inspired figures across the political spectrum, from suffragists and fascists to those drafting human rights legislation. Dr Alexander Lock explores the charter’s relationship to the Second World War, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and modern America.

Playing with things

Article by:
Jackie Marsh
Theme:
Playing with things

Jackie Marsh explores the importance of children's play with objects

Related collection items