161128 History Talk 28th Nov 2016: What about Magna Carta – did she die in vain?

Hancock- 12 Angry Men

Date: Monday 28th November 2016 10:30

Location: Salón de Actos, Espai la Senieta, Moraira (next to the large free car park)

Subject: What about Magna Carta – did she die in vain?

Lecturer: Mike Granville

2015 was the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the document traditionally seen as enshrining property rights, rights to a fair trial and the principle that the monarch is not above the law.

But the road to the foundations of democracy was not as smooth – or as straightforward – as we were taught in school. There are, for example, several versions that were drafted and redrafted after that famous day in Runnymede.

And it has been in and out of favour. It was declared null and void by the Pope just a few weeks after that day in Runnymede, while England’s own leaders held it in disregard. In fact, while Charles I and Oliver Cromwell would have agreed on very few things, this appeared to be one area where they were united.

But while it languished in England, the founding fathers of the United States lapped it up. The memorial in Runnymede was put up not by a British institution but by the American Bar Association.

So come to the meeting and decide whether you think it is as important as many of today’s commentators say, or whether, in the words of Oliver Cromwell, it’s more a case of “Magna Farta”.