Magna Carta 1297 Canberra Parliament House

One of only 17 existing copies of the Magna Carta (from 1297) sits in Parliament House in Canberra

Magna Carta 1297 Detail Canberra

Details of the Magna Carta

Written in shorthand Latin (after all writing material were expensive in those days) on vellum, the Magna Carta (Great Charter) is one of the world’s most important legal documents influencing the constitutions of many countries (including Australia, Canada and USA). Initially issued in 1215 by King John, this version is from 1297 (under King Edward 1) and is one of only 17 existing copies of this valued and historic document. Multiple copies of the same document were spread around England to spread the word of the laws. It’s remarkable that so many have survived almost eight centuries of dusty rooms, warfare and ill-treatment.

Laws from this document are still active in the UK (and Australia)including the rights to freedom, the freedom of the Church of England and the rights to be tried by jury (habeas corpus).

The text is tiny, elegantly scribed and totally unintelligible to the untrained reader. This version is permanently displayed in Australia’s National Parliament in Canberra.



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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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