Charter signed in 1215 by King John of England guaranteeing certain basic rights


Magna Carta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Magna Carta (Latin for 'Great Charter', literally 'Great Paper'), also called Magna Carta Libertatum ('Great Charter of Freedoms'), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. Magna Carta was the most significant early influence on the long historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today. Magna Carta influenced many common law documents, such as the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, and is considered one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy. ..."

Events of Interest

15 Jun 1215, signed, in Runnymede,England

Web Pages

Magna Carta
The British Library, includes Modern English translation


An Arrow against all Tyrants, by Richard Overton, 12 Oct 1646
Letter addressed to "Mr Henry Marten, a member of the House of Commons", after two months in Newgate Prison having been arrested for publishing "An Alarum to the House of Lords"
"For the first, namely the exorbitances of the Lords: they are to such an height aspired, that contrary to all precedents, the free commoners of England are imprisoned, fined and condemned by them (their incompetent, illegal, unequal, improper judges) against the express letter of Magna Carta chapter 29 (so often urged and used): that no free man of England "shall be passed upon, tried, or condemned, but by the lawful judgement of his equals, or by the law of the land", which, as says Sir Edward Coke in his exposition of Magna Carta, p. 28, last line, is "per pares, by his peers, that is, by his equals"."
An Independent Judiciary: Edward Coke, by Jim Powell, The Triumph of Liberty, 4 Jul 2000
Lengthy biographical essay
"James needed money, so he summoned Parliament in 1610, but reluctant Members drew up a Petition of Grievances. Coke declared: 'I must fly to Magna Carta and entreat explanation of his Majesty. Magna Carta is called...The Charter of Liberty because it maketh freeman. When the King says he cannot allow our liberties of right, this strikes at the root.' James fumed against Parliament, saying 'I am surprised that my ancestors should ever have permitted such an institution to come into existence.'"
Islam and the Discovery of Freedom: A Message of Liberty for Muslims and Non-Muslims Alike, by George Leef, The Freeman, Sep 1998
Book review of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom, based on Rose Wilder Lane's book, with an introduction and commentary by Imad-Ad-Dean Ahmad
"Ahmad adds that Magna Carta, to which Westerners trace the beginnings of the idea of limited government, resulted from pressure by English nobles who had returned from the Crusades, where they had learned that the Muslim leader Saladin was bound by the law the same as any other citizen."
Related Topic: Rose Wilder Lane
Lysander Spooner, Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Nov 2005
Lengthy biographical and bibliographical essay; from 1852 to Spooner's death, examining An Essay on the Trial by Jury, the No Treason essays and his subsequent influence
"Thus Trial by Jury draws heavily on the Magna Carta, an early 13th-century document signed by King John, which acted as a charter of liberties through which the English nobility protected itself against the power of the Crown. The document is widely viewed as a milestone in the evolution of human liberty. One of the protections established by the Magna Carta was trial by jury."

Cartoons and Comic Strips

On Dec. 18, Sotheby's will auction off The Magna Carta ..., by Ted Rall, 15 Dec 2007