Thursday, July 30, 2015

Magna Carta 800th Anniversary

The Magna Carta was a charter that defined the relationship between the king and his subjects and at its core, states the nobody, including the king, is above the law of the land. The Royal Mail's Magna Carta 800th anniversary stamps feature text from the document and other international declarations and documents that were derived or inspired from it. 

The stamp on the left has text from the initial 1215 sealed version of the document. This is one of the few remaining clauses from the original document that is still a law and it basically says that all men have a right to fair justice. 

The stamp on the right is a quote from a 1265 summons to de Montfort's Parliament. Simon de Montfort seized power in England in 1265 but he didn't have a very good grip on it. To stabilize his power he formed a parliament and summoned representatives to discuss reforms with the hope that he would gain the support of the broader population. This was the first English parliament, held at the Palace of Westminster in London.

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