First of all, Happy Father’s day in the UK! Hope you’ve all got something special planned.
Secondly, good luck to those taking part in Race For Life today! I will be one of the thousands of women dressed in pink and attempting to run 5K today also, in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
On this day in 1215 King John put his seal on the Magna Carta.
Magna Carta was the first document imposed upon a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights.
The charter is widely known throughout the English speaking world as an important part of the protracted historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in England and beyond.
The 1215 charter required King John to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary—for example by explicitly accepting that no “freeman” (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right that still exists under English law today.
The name Runnymede may be derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘runieg’ (regular meeting) and ‘mede’ (mead or meadow), describing a place in the meadows used to hold regular meetings.
The Witan, Witenagemot or Council of the Anglo-Saxon kings of the 7th to 11th centuries was held from time to time at Runnymede during the reign of Alfred the Great.
The Council met usually in the open air. Succeeding versions of the Council influenced the creation of England’s 13th century parliament.