The Text of Magna Carta (1215)

In 2015 there were celebrations around the free world to honour the 600 year anniversary of the sealing of this remarkable document by King John at Runnymede near Windsor in June 1415. Books, films, articles and speeches have all been written in praise of the Great Charter and it has become iconic in all free societies as the precursor of the idea of liberty under authority. Magna Carta affirms that authority must be subject to law arising from the community itself and thus it becomes the quintessential document for the existence of parliamentary and constitutional government and constitutional monarchy. Australia has an original copy of the 1297 ‘inspeximus’ version and it is held in Parliament House Canberra.

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King John signed the Charter on June 15 1215 at Runnymede. The speech shown in the video is by Daniel Hannan (MEP, SE England) who spoke as part of the Freedom Association's 2013 commemoration of the signing of the Charter. Hannan persuasively shows just how significant the document has been to the development of the freedoms of the English-speaking peoples.

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