• Full title:   Magna Carta, 1216
  • Created:   1216
  • Formats:  Manuscript, Charter
  • Copyright: © Model.CollectionItem.CopyrightDisplayForCollectionItem()
  • Usage terms

    © Archives Nationales, France

  • Held by  Archives Nationales (France)
  • Shelfmark:   MS J655 Angleterre sans date no. 11


On the death of King John in 1216, the minority government of his son, Henry III (r. 1216–72), executed a complete change of policy and issued a new version of Magna Carta. The aim was to tempt supporters of Prince Louis back to Henry’s side. Only one original of the 1216 charter survives, in the archives of Durham Cathedral. Shown here is a contemporary copy, which probably came into Louis’s possession and left England with him in 1217; hence its descent in the French royal archives. There is no evidence that Louis responded by granting a charter of his own. The new version of the charter was issued in Henry’s name at Bristol on 12 November 1216, having been sealed by Guala (1150–1227), the papal legate, and the regent, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke (1147–1219). It omitted the security clause and other controversial features of the 1215 charter, but preserved its spirit and much of its letter.