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Bristol and the Magna Carta – an historic connection

  • 16th Nov 2016

bristol-law-society-and-magna-carta-1216

Bristol Law Society’s historic links with one of the most important medieval documents in British history, the Magna Carta, have been celebrated at a special commemorative evening.

Although most people have heard of the Magna Carta, meaning Great Charter, few are aware that it was actually re-issued in Bristol on 12 November 1216 after King John, who signed the first version in June 1215, died.

The evening’s events were arranged by Bristol Law Society, the oldest law society in the country, and held at the ancient St John the Baptist Church on Broad Street. The speakers included UWE historian Professor Peter Fleming and Sir Harry Potter QC.

Wards Solicitors’ was honoured to attend and delighted for Michael Gupwell, Associate Solicitor, Solicitor-Advocate and Notary Public with the firm, to assist at the event.

Michael, a former president of Bristol Law Society, said: “It was a fantastic and well attended evening commemorating the 800th anniversary of the resealing of Magna Carta in Bristol in 1216. It was extremely interesting to learn how this important document is interwoven into the history of Bristol and the world beyond.”

Those who attended the event were also able to view Bristol Law Society’s 1556 very own Tottell Latin edition of the Magna Carta which was on display for the evening.

The ideas put forward in the Magna Carta, which is world famous as a symbol of justice, fairness and human rights, have become lasting principles of liberty to the English. Three of the clauses are still in force today including the freedom of the English church, the ancient liberties of the City of London and the right to due process. It also paved the way for trial by jury.

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