Magna Carta


Magna Carta (Latin For Great Charter ) Charter Of Liberties.

Described as the greatest historical document of all time, The Magna Carta was an English Charter, originally issued in the year 1215, the charter  first passed into law in 1225.

The 1215 Charter required King John Of England proclaiming certain liberties and to  accept that his will was not arbitrary. For example by explicitly accepting no “freeman”        (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land,  a right which is still in existence to this day.


Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a
group of his subjects (the barons ) in an attempt to limit his powers by
law and protect their privileges. It was preceded and directly
influenced by the 1100 Charter of Liberties, when King Henry I had
specified particular areas where his powers would be limited.

Despite its recognised importance, by the second half of the 19th century nearly all of its clauses had been repealed in their original form. Three clauses remain part of the law of England and Wales, however, and it is generally considered part of the uncodified constitution. Described as “the greatest constitutional document of all times” – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.

The charter was an important part of the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in the English speaking world, although it was far from unique, either in content or form. In practice, Magna Carta in the medieval period did not in general limit the power of kings, but by the time of the English Civil War it had become an important symbol for those who wished to show that the King was bound by the law. It influenced the early settlers in New England and inspired later constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution.

In 1215 some of the most important barons engaged in open rebellion against their king. Such rebellions were not particularly unusual in this period. Every king since William the Conqueror had faced rebellions. What was unusual about the 1215 rebellion was that the rebels had no obvious replacement for King John, in every previous case there had been an alternative monarch around whom the rebellion could rally.In January 1215, the barons made an oath that they would “stand fast for the liberty of the church and the realm”, and they demanded that King John confirm the Charter of Liberties, from what they viewed as a golden age.

They, and many of the moderates not in overt rebellion, forced King John to agree to a document later known as the ‘Articles of the Barons’, to which his Great Seal was attached in the meadow at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. In return, the barons renewed their oaths of fealty to King John on 19 June 1215, which is when the document Magna Carta was created.

The Runnymede Charter of Liberties did not apply to Chester, which at the time was a separate feudal domain.   Earl Ranulf granted his own Magna Carta.  Some of its articles were similar to the Runnymede Charter.

The following is the list of the 25 barons who witnessed the great seal and became known as the Magna Carta Sureities, from which  10 of these are Carolyn Booths direct Ancestors – they are highlighted by thier Coat Of Arms.

Magna Carta Barons – 25 Witnesses – Known as the Sureities  for the enforcement of the Magna Carta.

William d’Aubigny, Lord of Belvoir Castle

Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk                                                                             ( 25th Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Roger Bigod - Coat of Arms

Roger Bigod – Coat of Arms

Hugh Bigod, Heir to the Earldoms of Norfolk and Suffolk                                           ( 24th Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Hugh Bigod - Coat of Arms

Hugh Bigod – Coat of Arms

Henry de Bohun, Earl of Hereford

Richard de Clare –   Earl of Hertford                                                                                      ( 22nd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Richard DeClare - Coat of Arms

Richard DeClare – Coat of Arms

Gilbert de Clare, heir to the Earldom of Hertford                                                           ( 23rd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Gilbert De Clare - Coat Of Arms

Gilbert De Clare – Coat Of Arms

John FitzRobert, Lord of Warkworth Castle

Robert FitzWalter de Clare,(1167-1235) Lord of Dunmow Castle                              ( 23rd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Robert Fitzwalter - Coat Of Arms

Robert Fitzwalter – Coat Of Arms

William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle

William Hardel, **Mayor of the City of London

William de Huntingfield, Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk

John de Lacy, (1192—1240) Lord of Pontefract Castle                                                  ( 23rd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

John De Lacy - Coat Of Arms

John De Lacy – Coat Of Arms

William de Lanvallei, Lord of Standway Castle

William Malet, Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset

Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex and Gloucester

William Marshall Jr, heir to the earldom of Pembroke

Roger de Montbegon, Lord of Hornby Castle, Lancashire

Richard de Montfichet, Baron of Stanstead

William de Mowbray, (1173-1222)  Lord of Axholme Castle                                       ( 22nd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

William De Mowbray - Coat of Arms

William De Mowbray – Coat of Arms

Richard de Percy, Baron

Saire/Saher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester

Robert de Ros, Lord of Hamlake Castle

Geoffrey de Saye, Baron                                                                                                               ( 24th Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Geoffrey De Say - Coat Of Arms

Geoffrey De Say – Coat Of Arms

Robert de Vere, heir to the earldom of Oxford

Eustace de Vesci, Lord of Alnwick Castle                                                                             ( 23rd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Eustace De Vescy

Eustace De Vescy – Coat Of Arms


Llywelyn The Great – Prince of Wales (1173-1240)                                                         ( 23rd Great Grandfather Of Carolyn Booth)

Brother Aymeric Master of the Knights Templar in England

Master Pandulff, subdeacon and member of the Papal Household

Alexander II of Scotland

The escutcheons (armorial shields) of these Barons is from a restored manuscript. The manuscript bears the bookplate of George John Warren Vernon, it was auctioned by Sotheby’s on June 11, 1918 to Maggs for 4 pounds 15s.

Note : the Vernons or De Vernons have Norman origins dating back to the 1066 Invasion and were a very important Noble family connected to William The Conqueror and helped maintain a stronghold in the Peak District of Derbyshire against Scottish Invasions  and protect the wealthy mining interests in the area. They also have a long bloodline connection to the Booth Ancestors. I hope to feature the Vernon Family History as they played a very significant role in helping establish stability in the Midlands of England for William the Conqueror and no doubt had a very close connection with other Norman families which established vast land and titles throughout the Midlands.


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