The original Magna Carta manuscripts were dispatched over a period of a few weeks in late June and early July 1215. The surviving four, which have never all been in the same place before, were together at the British Library for three days, from Monday until today.
Magna Carta is one of the world’s most influential documents – an agreement granted by King John in 1215 as a practical solution to a political crisis, which in the centuries since has become a potent symbol of liberty and the rule of law.
Following the British Library event this week, the manuscripts will travel to the House of Lords tomorrow for one further day together, before being separated and put on display by their home institutions in major anniversary exhibitions.
The British Library will host Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy from 13 March-1 September, Salisbury Cathedral will open a new permanent exhibition Magna Carta: Spirit of Justice, Power of Words from 6 March, and Lincoln Cathedral’s Magna Carta will go on display in Magna Carta: Power, Justice and Accountability in the newly-built David PJ. Ross Magna Carta Vault at Lincoln Castle from 1 April 2015.
For more on the conservation of the documents read M+H Advisor’s special Environmental Control Case Study on Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta
The four surviving original manuscripts together for the first time at the Britsih Library. Photograph by Clare Kendall