Lord Chancellor and Master of the Rolls prepare for Magna Carta's 800th anniversary

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  • The Magna Carta was issued 800 years ago.
    Cyrus' Cylinder was issued 2500 years ago, and was more comprehensive and detailed that the "first great charter".
    Whilst the impact Magna Carta had in England or the West could not be understated, it's impact on the world is doubtful as many more of such charters existed many years before it.

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  • Hear! Hear! Well said.

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  • I think the significance of the Magna Carter is that it was the first time any such comprehensive survey took place in Britain, rather like a modern day census. The Cyrus Cylinder is from Babylon (modern-day Iraq), so whilst such things may have happened many years earlier elsewhere, the signing of the Magna Carter was the first such enterprise in the British Isles, which enevitably had a knock-on effect on our (ex-)colony, the USA. We should not underestimate its place in 'Western' history.

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  • Remember the Domesday Book of William I (also an eager taxer) -- that was probably the first comprehensive survey; not Magna Carta. Will we who are descendants of King John also have a role in these observances? Remember, despite his real and imputed failings, John is reckoned by most to have been a capable adminstrator who did much to provide a basis for modern courts of law in England, includng the increase of coroners, etc., to investigate causes of death. Perhaps too grasping, he also was under pressure to raise money to pay for the Crusade and later the ransom of his brother, King Richard. Despite the antipathy alleged to have existed between him and his brother, he supported Richard loyally enough in clashes with the French in Normandy, and one of John's sons was himself named Richard (Baron) Fitzroy. Then, again, unlike some of his brothers, John never rebelled against his father, either. This event promises another cartoonish presentation of a John Carradine-like king skulking and plotting about. All that will be missing are Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham!

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