Magna Carta (Great Charter)

The Magna Carta, derived from Latin meaning “Great Charter,” was signed by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15th June 1215.

King John’s reign was marked by disputes between him and his barons and bishops.

Queen Elizabeth II commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015

As a result, the nobles compelled him to abide by an agreement known as the Magna Carta, which aimed to limit his power. The Magna Carta holds great significance in English history, being the first English “bill of rights”.

King John signing the Magna Carta in 1215

The Magna Carta introduced the concept that monarchs had limited rights and were obligated to abide by certain laws, granting nobles greater influence in government. Its impact extended beyond England, inspiring governmental structures in other countries.

Following its enactment, the idea of Parliament began to take shape.

On 15th June 2015, an 800-year celebration took place, with Queen Elizabeth II participating. The Royal Mint also released an anniversary coin to commemorate the occasion.