Magna Carta, 1297


After 1225 no new versions of either Magna Carta or the Charter of the Forest were issued. Instead, when called upon to do so, Henry III and his successors simply confirmed the charters of 1225. One of the most famous confirmations was that of King Edward I (r. 1272–1307) in 1297, since it was this confirmation of Magna Carta that was copied on to the Statute Roll. Four originals survive, and this version was widely copied. The confirmation took the form of a letter patent in which the king declared that he had inspected his father’s Magna Carta. He then recited the whole of the 1225 charter, before ordering that its articles be observed in every respect. Since Edward himself was in Flanders at this time, the letter was the work of the government at home, acting in his name. It was witnessed by Edward’s son, the future Edward II (r. 1307–27), at Westminster on 10 October 1297. The letter was originally authenticated with the Great Seal, lost in this example. The 1225 Forest Charter was confirmed at the same time in similar letters.

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