The exhibition opens 2nd July 2021 and runs to 2nd January 2022.
The story of the Magna Carta is the story of the struggle against tyranny.The Magna Carta is widely considered as the inspiration for the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the British Human Rights Act.
On display in the exhibition will be the Magna Carta of 1217. This rare artefact is one of only four of its kind still surviving and was the first to be called “Magna Carta.”
In addition to the Magna Carta the exhibit will feature the unique 1215 King’s Writ, the document sent to sheriffs across England immediately after the sealing of the 1215 charter by King John. It is the only surviving copy of this document and the only contemporary document that refers to “Runnymede” as the location of the meeting where King John and the barons agreed to the terms of what became known as Magna Carta.
The story of Magna Carta is the story of bringing tyrants to account; it is about overcoming tyranny, rather than the creation of democracy. This is at the heart of Magna Carta from the Medieval to the Modern, through Magna Carta, the Stuarts, the American Revolution and to the present. Throughout the story is the reminder that rulers are ordained by God and that bad rulers – be they kings, emperors, or presidents – better watch out and take heed of the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Woe unto those who make unjust laws”.
The exhibit explores the roles that the Bible and the English church play in the struggle against tyranny. Beginning in the early thirteenth century in England, the exhibition explores the medieval world, the context of the creation of Magna Carta and the personalities involved. The second part of the exhibition takes in the Americas in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where the notion of Magna Carta took on new meaning in the struggle for independence.
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