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The Magna Carta

(The Great Charter)

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Abses by !ing John "ased a re#olt by nobles
who "o$%elled hi$ to exe"te this re"ognition of
rights for both noble$en and ordinary
&nglish$en' (t established the %rin"i%le that no
one) in"lding the *ing or a law$a*er) is abo#e
the law'
+re%ared by ,an"y Trot$an (The Cle#eland -ree.
,et . aa/01)' 2istribted by the Cyber"asting
3er#i"es 2i#ision of the ,ational +bli"
Tele"o$%ting ,etwor* (,+T,)'
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otherwise redistribute this file, provided appropriate point of
origin credit is given to the preparer(s) and the ational
Public !elecomputing etwor"#
The Magna Carta 4
The Magna Carta
(The Great Charter)
Preamble: John) by the gra"e of God) *ing of
&ngland) lord of (reland) d*e of ,or$andy and
A5itaine) and "ont of An6o) to the ar"hbisho%)
bisho%s) abbots) earls) barons) 6sti"iaries)
foresters) sheriffs) stewards) ser#ants) and to all his
bailiffs and liege sb6e"ts) greetings' !now that)
ha#ing regard to God and for the sal#ation of or
sol) and those of all or an"estors and heirs) and
nto the honor of God and the ad#an"e$ent of his
holy Chr"h and for the re"tifying of or real$) we
ha#e granted as nderwritten by ad#i"e of or
#enerable fathers) 3te%hen) ar"hbisho% of
Canterbry) %ri$ate of all &ngland and "ardinal of
the holy Ro$an Chr"h) Henry) ar"hbisho% of
2blin) 7illia$ of London) +eter of 7in"hester)
Jo"elyn of 8ath and Glastonbry) Hgh of Lin"oln)
7alter of 7or"ester) 7illia$ of Co#entry)
8enedi"t of Ro"hester) bisho%s9 of Master +andlf)
sbdea"on and $e$ber of the hosehold of or
lord the +o%e) of brother Ay$eri" ($aster of the
!nights of the Te$%le in &ngland)) and of the
illstrios $en 7illia$ Marshal) earl of
+e$bro*e) 7illia$) earl of 3alisbry) 7illia$)
earl of 7arenne) 7illia$) earl of Arndel) Alan of
Galloway ("onstable of 3"otland)) 7aren -it:
Gerold) +eter -it: Herbert) Hbert 2e 8rgh
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(senes"hal of +oito)) Hgh de ,e#ille) Matthew
-it: Herbert) Tho$as 8asset) Alan 8asset) +hili%
d<Abigny) Robert of Ro%%esley) John Marshal)
John -it: Hgh) and others) or liege$en'
4' (n the first %la"e we ha#e granted to God) and by
this or %resent "harter "onfir$ed for s and or
heirs fore#er that the &nglish Chr"h shall be free)
and shall ha#e her rights entire) and her liberties
in#iolate9 and we will that it be ths obser#ed9
whi"h is a%%arent fro$ this that the freedo$ of
ele"tions) whi"h is re"*oned $ost i$%ortant and
#ery essential to the &nglish Chr"h) we) of or
%re and n"onstrained will) did grant) and did by
or "harter "onfir$ and did obtain the ratifi"ation
of the sa$e fro$ or lord) +o%e (nno"ent ((()
before the 5arrel arose between s and or
barons= and this we will obser#e) and or will is
that it be obser#ed in good faith by or heirs
fore#er' 7e ha#e also granted to all free$en of or
*ingdo$) for s and or heirs fore#er) all the
nderwritten liberties) to be had and held by the$
and their heirs) of s and or heirs fore#er'
;' (f any of or earls or barons) or others holding of
s in "hief by $ilitary ser#i"e shall ha#e died) and
at the ti$e of his death his heir shall be fll of age
and owe >relief>) he shall ha#e his inheritan"e by
the old relief) to wit) the heir or heirs of an earl) for
the whole barony of an earl by ?4@@9 the heir or
heirs of a baron) ?4@@ for a whole barony9 the heir
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or heirs of a *night) 4@@s) at $ost) and whoe#er
owes less let hi$ gi#e less) a""ording to the
an"ient "sto$ of fees'
/' (f) howe#er) the heir of any one of the aforesaid
has been nder age and in wardshi%) let hi$ ha#e
his inheritan"e withot relief and withot fine
when he "o$es of age'
0' The gardian of the land of an heir who is ths
nder age) shall ta*e fro$ the land of the heir
nothing bt reasonable %rod"e) reasonable
"sto$s) and reasonable ser#i"es) and that withot
destr"tion or waste of $en or goods9 and if we
ha#e "o$$itted the wardshi% of the lands of any
s"h $inor to the sheriff) or to any other who is
res%onsible to s for its isses) and he has $ade
destr"tion or waster of what he holds in wardshi%)
we will ta*e of hi$ a$ends) and the land shall be
"o$$itted to two lawfl and dis"reet $en of that
fee) who shall be res%onsible for the isses to s or
to hi$ to who$ we shall assign the$9 and if we
ha#e gi#en or sold the wardshi% of any s"h land to
anyone and he has therein $ade destr"tion or
waste) he shall lose that wardshi%) and it shall be
transferred to two lawfl and dis"reet $en of that
fief) who shall be res%onsible to s in li*e $anner
as aforesaid'
1' The gardian) $oreo#er) so long as he has the
wardshi% of the land) shall *ee% % the hoses)
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%ar*s) fish%onds) stan*s) $ills) and other things
%ertaining to the land) ot of the isses of the sa$e
land9 and he shall restore to the heir) when he has
"o$e to fll age) all his land) sto"*ed with %loghs
and wainage) a""ording as the season of hsbandry
shall re5ire) and the isses of the land "an
reasonable bear'
A' Heirs shall be $arried withot dis%arage$ent)
yet so that before the $arriage ta*es %la"e the
nearest in blood to that heir shall ha#e noti"e'
B' A widow) after the death of her hsband) shall
forthwith and withot diffi"lty ha#e her $arriage
%ortion and inheritan"e9 nor shall she gi#e anything
for her dower) or for her $arriage %ortion) or for
the inheritan"e whi"h her hsband and she held on
the day of the death of that hsband9 and she $ay
re$ain in the hose of her hsband for forty days
after his death) within whi"h ti$e her dower shall
be assigned to her'
C' ,o widow shall be "o$%elled to $arry) so long
as she %refers to li#e withot a hsband9 %ro#ided
always that she gi#es se"rity not to $arry withot
or "onsent) if she holds of s) or withot the
"onsent of the lord of who$ she holds) if she holds
of another'
D' ,either we nor or bailiffs will sei:e any land or
rent for any debt) as long as the "hattels of the
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debtor are sffi"ient to re%ay the debt9 nor shall the
sreties of the debtor be distrained so long as the
%rin"i%al debtor is able to satisfy the debt9 and if
the %rin"i%al debtor shall fail to %ay the debt)
ha#ing nothing wherewith to %ay it) then the
sreties shall answer for the debt9 and let the$
ha#e the lands and rents of the debtor) if they
desire the$) ntil they are inde$nified for the debt
whi"h they ha#e %aid for hi$) nless the %rin"i%al
debtor "an show %roof that he is dis"harged thereof
as against the said sreties'
4@' (f one who has borrowed fro$ the Jews any
s$) great or s$all) die before that loan be re%aid)
the debt shall not bear interest while the heir is
nder age) of who$soe#er he $ay hold9 and if the
debt fall into or hands) we will not ta*e anything
ex"e%t the %rin"i%al s$ "ontained in the bond'
44' And if anyone die indebted to the Jews) his
wife shall ha#e her dower and %ay nothing of that
debt9 and if any "hildren of the de"eased are left
nder age) ne"essaries shall be %ro#ided for the$
in *ee%ing with the holding of the de"eased9 and
ot of the reside the debt shall be %aid) reser#ing)
howe#er) ser#i"e de to fedal lords9 in li*e
$anner let it be done to"hing debts de to others
than Jews'
4;' ,o s"tage not aid shall be i$%osed on or
*ingdo$) nless by "o$$on "onsel of or
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*ingdo$) ex"e%t for ranso$ing or %erson) for
$a*ing or eldest son a *night) and for on"e
$arrying or eldest daghter9 and for these there
shall not be le#ied $ore than a reasonable aid' (n
li*e $anner it shall be done "on"erning aids fro$
the "ity of London'
4/' And the "ity of London shall ha#e all it an"ient
liberties and free "sto$s) as well by land as by
water9 frther$ore) we de"ree and grant that all
other "ities) boroghs) towns) and %orts shall ha#e
all their liberties and free "sto$s'
40' And for obtaining the "o$$on "onsel of the
*ingdo$ anent the assessing of an aid (ex"e%t in
the three "ases aforesaid) or of a s"tage) we will
"ase to be s$$oned the ar"hbisho%s) bisho%s)
abbots) earls) and greater barons) se#erally by or
letters9 and we will $o#eo#er "ase to be
s$$oned generally) throgh or sheriffs and
bailiffs) and others who hold of s in "hief) for a
fixed date) na$ely) after the ex%iry of at least forty
days) and at a fixed %la"e9 and in all letters of s"h
s$$ons we will s%e"ify the reason of the
s$$ons' And when the s$$ons has ths been
$ade) the bsiness shall %ro"eed on the day
a%%ointed) a""ording to the "onsel of s"h as are
%resent) althogh not all who were s$$oned
ha#e "o$e'
41' 7e will not for the ftre grant to anyone
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li"ense to ta*e an aid fro$ his own free tenants)
ex"e%t to ranso$ his %erson) to $a*e his eldest son
a *night) and on"e to $arry his eldest daghter9
and on ea"h of these o""asions there shall be le#ied
only a reasonable aid'
4A' ,o one shall be distrained for %erfor$an"e of
greater ser#i"e for a *night<s fee) or for any other
free tene$ent) than is de therefro$'
4B' Co$$on %leas shall not follow or "ort) bt
shall be held in so$e fixed %la"e'
4C' (n5ests of no#el disseisin) of $ort d<an"estor)
and of darrein %resent$ent shall not be held
elsewhere than in their own "onty "orts) and that
in $anner following9 7e) or) if we shold be ot
of the real$) or "hief 6sti"iar) will send two
6sti"iaries throgh e#ery "onty for ti$es a year)
who shall alone with for *nights of the "onty
"hosen by the "onty) hold the said assi:es in the
"onty "ort) on the day and in the %la"e of
$eeting of that "ort'
4D' And if any of the said assi:es "annot be ta*en
on the day of the "onty "ort) let there re$ain of
the *nights and freeholders) who were %resent at
the "onty "ort on that day) as $any as $ay be
re5ired for the effi"ient $a*ing of 6dg$ents)
a""ording as the bsiness be $ore or less'
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;@' A free$an shall not be a$er"ed for a slight
offense) ex"e%t in a""ordan"e with the degree of
the offense9 and for a gra#e offense he shall be
a$er"ed in a""ordan"e with the gra#ity of the
offense) yet sa#ing always his >"ontent$ent>9 and a
$er"hant in the sa$e way) sa#ing his
>$er"handise>9 and a #illein shall be a$er"ed in
the sa$e way) sa#ing his >wainage> if they ha#e
fallen into or $er"y= and none of the aforesaid
a$er"e$ents shall be i$%osed ex"e%t by the oath
of honest $en of the neighborhood'
;4' &arls and barons shall not be a$er"ed ex"e%t
throgh their %eers) and only in a""ordan"e with
the degree of the offense'
;;' A "ler* shall not be a$er"ed in res%e"t of his
lay holding ex"e%t after the $anner of the others
aforesaid9 frther) he shall not be a$er"ed in
a""ordan"e with the extent of his e""lesiasti"al
;/' ,o #illage or indi#idal shall be "o$%elled to
$a*e bridges at ri#er ban*s) ex"e%t those who
fro$ of old were legally bond to do so'
;0' ,o sheriff) "onstable) "oroners) or others of or
bailiffs) shall hold %leas of or Crown'
;1' All "onties) hndred) wa%enta*es) and
trithings (ex"e%t or de$esne $anors) shall re$ain
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at the old rents) and withot any additional
;A' (f anyone holding of s a lay fief shall die) and
or sheriff or bailiff shall exhibit or letters %atent
of s$$ons for a debt whi"h the de"eased owed
s) it shall be lawfl for or sheriff or bailiff to
atta"h and enroll the "hattels of the de"eased)
fond %on the lay fief) to the #ale of that debt) at
the sight of law worthy $en) %ro#ided always that
nothing whate#er be then"e re$o#ed ntil the debt
whi"h is e#ident shall be flly %aid to s9 and the
reside shall be left to the exe"tors to flfill the
will of the de"eased9 and if there be nothing de
fro$ hi$ to s) all the "hattels shall go to the
de"eased) sa#ing to his wife and "hildren their
reasonable shares'
;B' (f any free$an shall die intestate) his "hattels
shall be distribted by the hands of his nearest
*insfol* and friends) nder s%er#ision of the
Chr"h) sa#ing to e#ery one the debts whi"h the
de"eased owed to hi$'
;C' ,o "onstable or other bailiff of ors shall ta*e
"orn or other %ro#isions fro$ anyone withot
i$$ediately tendering $oney therefor) nless he
"an ha#e %ost%one$ent thereof by %er$ission of
the seller'
;D' ,o "onstable shall "o$%el any *night to gi#e
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$oney in lie of "astle.gard) when he is willing to
%erfor$ it in his own %erson) or (if he hi$self
"annot do it fro$ any reasonable "ase) then by
another res%onsible $an' -rther) if we ha#e led or
sent hi$ %on $ilitary ser#i"e) he shall be relie#ed
fro$ gard in %ro%ortion to the ti$e dring whi"h
he has been on ser#i"e be"ase of s'
/@' ,o sheriff or bailiff of ors) or other %erson)
shall ta*e the horses or "arts of any free$an for
trans%ort dty) against the will of the said free$an'
/4' ,either we nor or bailiffs shall ta*e) for or
"astles or for any other wor* of ors) wood whi"h
is not ors) against the will of the owner of that
/;' 7e will not retain beyond one year and one
day) the lands those who ha#e been "on#i"ted of
felony) and the lands shall thereafter be handed
o#er to the lords of the fiefs'
//' All *ydells for the ftre shall be re$o#ed
altogether fro$ Tha$es and Medway) and
throghot all &ngland) ex"e%t %on the seashore'
/0' The writ whi"h is "alled %rae"i%e shall not for
the ftre be issed to anyone) regarding any
tene$ent whereby a free$an $ay lose his "ort'
/1' Let there be one $easre of wine throghot
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or whole real$9 and one $easre of ale9 and one
$easre of "orn) to wit) >the London 5arter>9 and
one width of "loth (whether dyed) or rsset) or
>halberget>)) to wit) two ells within the sel#edges9
of weights also let it be as of $easres'
/A' ,othing in ftre shall be gi#en or ta*en for a
writ of in5isition of life or li$bs) bt freely it
shall be granted) and ne#er denied'
/B' (f anyone holds of s by fee.far$) either by
so"age or by brage) or of any other land by
*night<s ser#i"e) we will not (by reason of that fee.
far$) so"age) or brgage)) ha#e the wardshi% of the
heir) or of s"h land of his as if of the fief of that
other9 nor shall we ha#e wardshi% of that fee.far$)
so"age) or brgage) nless s"h fee.far$ owes
*night<s ser#i"e' 7e will not by reason of any
s$all ser6ean"y whi"h anyone $ay hold of s by
the ser#i"e of rendering to s *ni#es) arrows) or the
li*e) ha#e wardshi% of his heir or of the land whi"h
he holds of another lord by *night<s ser#i"e'
/C' ,o bailiff for the ftre shall) %on his own
ns%%orted "o$%laint) %t anyone to his >law>)
withot "redible witnesses broght for this
/D' ,o free$en shall be ta*en or i$%risoned or
disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed) nor
will we go %on hi$ nor send %on hi$) ex"e%t by
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the lawfl 6dg$ent of his %eers or by the law of
the land'
0@' To no one will we sell) to no one will we refse
or delay) right or 6sti"e'
04' All $er"hants shall ha#e safe and se"re exit
fro$ &ngland) and entry to &ngland) with the right
to tarry there and to $o#e abot as well by land as
by water) for bying and selling by the an"ient and
right "sto$s) 5it fro$ all e#il tolls) ex"e%t (in
ti$e of war) s"h $er"hants as are of the land at
war with s' And if s"h are fond in or land at
the beginning of the war) they shall be detained)
withot in6ry to their bodies or goods) ntil
infor$ation be re"ei#ed by s) or by or "hief
6sti"iar) how the $er"hants of or land fond in
the land at war with s are treated9 and if or $en
are safe there) the others shall be safe in or land'
0;' (t shall be lawfl in ftre for anyone
(ex"e%ting always those i$%risoned or otlawed in
a""ordan"e with the law of the *ingdo$) and
nati#es of any "ontry at war with s) and
$er"hants) who shall be treated as if abo#e
%ro#ided) to lea#e or *ingdo$ and to retrn) safe
and se"re by land and water) ex"e%t for a short
%eriod in ti$e of war) on gronds of %bli" %oli"y.
reser#ing always the allegian"e de to s'
0/' (f anyone holding of so$e es"heat (s"h as the
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honor of 7allingford) ,ottingha$) 8ologne)
Lan"aster) or of other es"heats whi"h are in or
hands and are baronies) shall die) his heir shall
gi#e no other relief) and %erfor$ no other ser#i"e
to s than he wold ha#e done to the baron if that
barony had been in the baron<s hand9 and we shall
hold it in the sa$e $anner in whi"h the baron held
00' Men who dwell withot the forest need not
hen"eforth "o$e before or 6sti"iaries of the
forest %on a general s$$ons) nless they are in
%lea) or sreties of one or $ore) who are atta"hed
for the forest'
01' 7e will a%%oint as 6sti"es) "onstables)
sheriffs) or bailiffs only s"h as *now the law of
the real$ and $ean to obser#e it well'
0A' All barons who ha#e fonded abbeys)
"on"erning whi"h they hold "harters fro$ the
*ings of &ngland) or of whi"h they ha#e long
"ontined %ossession) shall ha#e the wardshi% of
the$) when #a"ant) as they oght to ha#e'
0B' All forests that ha#e been $ade s"h in or
ti$e shall forthwith be disafforsted9 and a si$ilar
"orse shall be followed with regard to ri#er ban*s
that ha#e been %la"ed >in defense> by s in or
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0C' All e#il "sto$s "onne"ted with forests and
warrens) foresters and warreners) sheriffs and their
offi"ers) ri#er ban*s and their wardens) shall
i$$ediately by in5ired into in ea"h "onty by
twel#e sworn *nights of the sa$e "onty "hosen
by the honest $en of the sa$e "onty) and shall)
within forty days of the said in5est) be tterly
abolished) so as ne#er to be restored) %ro#ided
always that we %re#iosly ha#e inti$ation thereof)
or or 6sti"iar) if we shold not be in &ngland'
0D' 7e will i$$ediately restore all hostages and
"harters deli#ered to s by &nglish$en) as sreties
of the %ea"e of faithfl ser#i"e'
1@' 7e will entirely re$o#e fro$ their bailiwi"*s)
the relations of Gerard of Athee (so that in ftre
they shall ha#e no bailiwi"* in &ngland)9 na$ely)
&ngelard of Cigogne) +eter) Gy) and Andrew of
Chan"eax) Gy of Cigogne) Geoffrey of Martigny
with his brothers) +hili% Mar* with his brothers
and his ne%hew Geoffrey) and the whole brood of
the sa$e'
14' As soon as %ea"e is restored) we will banish
fro$ the *ingdo$ all foreign born *nights)
"rossbow$en) ser6eants) and $er"enary soldiers
who ha#e "o$e with horses and ar$s to the
*ingdo$<s hrt'
1;' (f anyone has been dis%ossessed or re$o#ed by
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s) withot the legal 6dg$ent of his %eers) fro$
his lands) "astles) fran"hises) or fro$ his right) we
will i$$ediately restore the$ to hi$9 and if a
dis%te arise o#er this) then let it be de"ided by the
fi#e and twenty barons of who$ $ention is $ade
below in the "lase for se"ring the %ea"e'
Moreo#er) for all those %ossessions) fro$ whi"h
anyone has) withot the lawfl 6dg$ent of his
%eers) been disseised or re$o#ed) by or father)
!ing Henry) or by or brother) !ing Ri"hard) and
whi"h we retain in or hand (or whi"h as %ossessed
by others) to who$ we are bond to warrant the$)
we shall ha#e res%ite ntil the sal ter$ of
"rsaders9 ex"e%ting those things abot whi"h a
%lea has been raised) or an in5est $ade by or
order) before or ta*ing of the "ross9 bt as soon as
we retrn fro$ the ex%edition) we will
i$$ediately grant fll 6sti"e therein'
1/' 7e shall ha#e) $oreo#er) the sa$e res%ite and
in the sa$e $anner in rendering 6sti"e "on"erning
the disafforestation or retention of those forests
whi"h Henry or father and Ri"hard or broter
afforested) and "on"erning the wardshi% of lands
whi"h are of the fief of another (na$ely) s"h
wardshi%s as we ha#e hitherto had by reason of a
fief whi"h anyone held of s by *night<s ser#i"e))
and "on"erning abbeys fonded on other fiefs than
or own) in whi"h the lord of the fee "lai$s to
ha#e right9 and when we ha#e retrned) or if we
desist fro$ or ex%edition) we will i$$ediately
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grant fll 6sti"e to all who "o$%lain of s"h
10' ,o one shall be arrested or i$%risoned %on
the a%%eal of a wo$an) for the death of any other
than her hsband'
11' All fines $ade with s n6stly and against the
law of the land) and all a$er"e$ents) i$%osed
n6stly and against the law of the land) shall be
entirely re$itted) or else it shall be done
"on"erning the$ a""ording to the de"ision of the
fi#e and twenty barons who$ $ention is $ade
below in the "lase for se"ring the %ease) or
a""ording to the 6dg$ent of the $a6ority of the
sa$e) along with the aforesaid 3te%hen) ar"hbisho%
of Canterbry) if he "an be %resent) and s"h others
as he $ay wish to bring with hi$ for this %r%ose)
and if he "annot be %resent the bsiness shall
ne#ertheless %ro"eed withot hi$) %ro#ided always
that if any one or $ore of the aforesaid fi#e and
twenty barons are in a si$ilar sit) they shall be
re$o#ed as far as "on"erns this %arti"lar
6dg$ent) others being sbstitted in their %la"es
after ha#ing been sele"ted by the rest of the sa$e
fi#e and twenty for this %r%ose only) and after
ha#ing been sworn'
1A' (f we ha#e disseised or re$o#ed 7elsh$en
fro$ lands or liberties) or other things) withot the
legal 6dg$ent of their %eers in &ngland or in
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7ales) they shall be i$$ediately restored to the$9
and if a dis%te arise o#er this) then let it be
de"ided in the $ar"hes by the 6dg$ent of their
%eers9 for the tene$ents in &ngland a""ording to
the law of &ngland) for tene$ents in 7ales
a""ording to the law of 7ales) and for tene$ents
in the $ar"hes a""ording to the law of the
$ar"hes' 7elsh$en shall do the sa$e to s and
1B' -rther) for all those %ossessions fro$ whi"h
any 7elsh$an has) withot the lawfl 6dg$ent of
his %eers) been disseised or re$o#ed by !ing
Henry or father) or !ing Ri"hard or brother) and
whi"h we retain in or hand (or whi"h are
%ossessed by others) and whi"h we oght to
warrant)) we will ha#e res%ite ntil the sal ter$
of "rsaders9 ex"e%ting those things abot whi"h a
%lea has been raised or an in5est $ade by or
order before we too* the "ross9 bt as soon as we
retrn (or if %er"han"e we desist fro$ or
ex%edition)) we will i$$ediately grant fll 6sti"e
in a""ordan"e with the laws of the 7elsh and in
relation to the foresaid regions'
1C' 7e will i$$ediately gi#e % the son of
Llywelyn and all the hostages of 7ales) and the
"harters deli#ered to s as se"rity for the %ea"e'
1D' 7e will do towards Alexander) *ing of 3"ots)
"on"erning the retrn of his sisters and his
The Magna Carta 4C
hostages) and "on"erning his fran"hises) and his
right) in the sa$e $anner as we shall do towards
or owher barons of &ngland) nless it oght to be
otherwise a""ording to the "harters whi"h we hold
fro$ 7illia$ his father) for$erly *ing of 3"ots9
and this shall be a""ording to the 6dg$ent of his
%eers in or "ort'
A@' Moreo#er) all these aforesaid "sto$s and
liberties) the obser#an"es of whi"h we ha#e
granted in or *ingdo$ as far as %ertains to s
towards or $en) shall be obser#ed b all of or
*ingdo$) as well "lergy as lay$en) as far as
%ertains to the$ towards their $en'
A4' 3in"e) $o#eo#er) for God and the a$end$ent
of or *ingdo$ and for the better allaying of the
5arrel that has arisen between s and or barons)
we ha#e granted all these "on"essions) desiros
that they shold en6oy the$ in "o$%lete and fir$
endran"e fore#er) we gi#e and grant to the$ the
nderwritten se"rity) na$ely) that the barons
"hoose fi#e and twenty barons of the *ingdo$)
who$soe#er they will) who shall be bond with all
their $ight) to obser#e and hold) and "ase to be
obser#ed) the %ea"e and liberties we ha#e granted
and "onfir$ed to the$ by this or %resent Charter)
so that if we) or or 6sti"iar) or or bailiffs or any
one of or offi"ers) shall in anything be at falt
towards anyone) or shall ha#e bro*en any one of
the arti"les of this %ea"e or of this se"rity) and the
The Magna Carta 4D
offense be notified to for barons of the foresaid
fi#e and twenty) the said for barons shall re%air to
s (or or 6sti"iar) if we are ot of the real$) and)
laying the transgression before s) %etition to ha#e
that transgression redressed withot delay' And if
we shall not ha#e "orre"ted the transgression (or)
in the e#ent of or being ot of the real$) if or
6sti"iar shall not ha#e "orre"ted it) within forty
days) re"*oning fro$ the ti$e it has been inti$ated
to s (or to or 6sti"iar) if we shold be ot of the
real$)) the for barons aforesaid shall refer that
$atter to the rest of the fi#e and twenty barons)
and those fi#e and twenty barons shall) together
with the "o$$nity of the whole real$) distrain
and distress s in all %ossible ways) na$ely) by
sei:ing or "astles) lands) %ossessions) and in any
other way they "an) ntil redress has been obtained
as they dee$ fit) sa#ing har$less or own %erson)
and the %ersons of or 5een and "hildren9 and
when redress has been obtained) they shall res$e
their old relations towards s' And let whoe#er in
the "ontry desires it) swear to obey the orders of
the said fi#e and twenty barons for the exe"tion of
all the aforesaid $atters) and along with the$) to
$olest s to the t$ost of his %ower9 and we
%bli"ly and freely grant lea#e to e#eryone who
wishes to swear) and we shall ne#er forbid anyone
to swear' All those) $o#eo#er) in the land who of
the$sel#es and of their own a""ord are nwilling
to swear to the twenty fi#e to hel% the$ in
"onstraining and $olesting s) we shall by or
The Magna Carta ;@
"o$$and "o$%el the sa$e to swear to the effe"t
foresaid' And if any one of the fi#e and twenty
barons shall ha#e died or de%arted fro$ the land)
or be in"a%a"itated in any other $anner whi"h
wold %re#ent the foresaid %ro#isions being
"arried ot) those of the said twenty fi#e barons
who are left shall "hoose another in his %la"e
a""ording to their own 6dg$ent) and he shall be
sworn in the sa$e way as the others' -rther) in all
$atters) the exe"tion of whi"h is entrsted)to
these twenty fi#e barons) if %er"han"e these twenty
fi#e are %resent and disagree abot anything) or if
so$e of the$) after being s$$oned) are
nwilling or nable to be %resent) that whi"h the
$a6ority of those %resent ordain or "o$$and shall
be held as fixed and established) exa"tly as if the
whole twenty fi#e had "on"rred in this9 and the
said twenty fi#e shall swear that they will faithflly
obser#e all that is aforesaid) and "ase it to be
obser#ed with all their $ight' And we shall
%ro"re nothing fro$ anyone) dire"tly or indire"tly)
whereby any %art of these "on"essions and liberties
$ight be re#o*ed or di$inished9 and if any s"h
things has been %ro"red) let it be #oid and nll)
and we shall ne#er se it %ersonally or by another'
A;' And all the will) hatreds) and bitterness that
ha#e arisen between s and or $en) "lergy and
lay) fro$ the date of the 5arrel) we ha#e
"o$%letely re$itted and %ardoned to e#eryone'
Moreo#er) all tres%asses o""asioned by the said
The Magna Carta ;4
5arrel) fro$ &aster in the sixteenth year of or
reign till the restoration of %ea"e) we ha#e flly
re$itted to all) both "lergy and lay$en) and
"o$%letely forgi#en) as far as %ertains to s' And
on this head) we ha#e "ased to be $ade for the$
letters testi$onial %atent of the lord 3te%hen)
ar"hbisho% of Canterbry) of the lord Henry)
ar"hbisho% of 2blin) of the bisho%s aforesaid) and
of Master +andlf as to"hing this se"rity and the
"on"essions aforesaid'
A/' 7herefore we will and fir$ly order that the
&nglish Chr"h be free) and that the $en in or
*ingdo$ ha#e and hold all the aforesaid liberties)
rights) and "on"essions) well and %ea"eably) freely
and 5ietly) flly and wholly) for the$sel#es and
their heirs) of s and or heirs) in all res%e"ts and
in all %la"es fore#er) as is aforesaid' An oath)
$oreo#er) has been ta*en) as well on or %art as on
the art of the barons) that all these "onditions
aforesaid shall be *e%t in good faith and withot
e#il intent'
Gi#en nder or hand . the abo#e na$ed and $any
others being witnesses . in the $eadow whi"h is
"alled Rnny$ede) between 7indsor and 3taines)
on the fifteenth day of Jne) in the se#enteenth
year of or reign'
The Magna Carta ;;
-ro$ the Resear"her
This is bt one of three different translations (
fond of the Magna Carta9 it was originally done
in Latin) %robably by the Ar"hbisho%) 3te%hen
Langton' (t was in for"e for only a few $onths)
when it was #iolated by the *ing' Jst o#er a year
later) with no resoltion to the war) the *ing died)
being s""eeded by his D.year old son) Henry ((('
The Charter (Carta) was reissed again) with
so$e re#isions) in 4;4A) 4;4B and 4;;1' As near
as ( "an tell) the #ersion %resented here is the one
that %re"eeded all of the others9 nearly all of it<s
%ro#isions were soon s%er"eded by other laws)
and none of it is effe"ti#e today'
The two other #ersions ( fond ea"h %rofessed to
be the original) as well' The basi" intent of ea"h
is the sa$e'
Gerald Mr%hy (The Cle#eland -ree.,et .

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