25 July – 5 August
Hereford Cathedral boasts two important Magna Carta items, housed in its New Library Building, alongside a wealth of other medieval treasures.
The first of these is the finest surviving 1217 Magna Carta, a significant revision and reissue of King John’s Magna Carta by his son, Henry III. This superseded the earlier agreement, forming the basis of the final text set as Statute Law in 1297.
The second item is the unique ‘Kings Writ’, issued by King John from the meeting of the rebel barons at Runnymede in June 1215. This remarkable letter from the King is to royal officials throughout the kingdom, telling them of the peace made and charter agreed. It is addressed to the sheriff of Gloucestershire, with John instructing him to ensure the terms of the charter are made known publicly, sworn to and kept. The document also asks that the ‘evil customs’ of other sheriffs and officials are investigated and abolished.