Visit The Magna Carta Project website for more on Magna Carta and King John.

Friday 14 August 2015

Festival of Freedoms

This September, members of the Magna Carta Project will be taking part in Parliament’s Festival of Freedoms. The Festival is part of Parliament in the Making, a year-long cultural and education programme that commemorates a series of major anniversaries including 750 years since Simon de Montfort’s parliament and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta.

Westminster Hall, site of the
1265 parliament 
On 15 September, Sophie Ambler will be talking at Portcullis House on ‘What Happened at Simon de Montfort’s Parliament?’. De Montfort’s parliament of 1265 is celebrated as a pivotal episode in the history of politics. But why was the parliament summoned and what actually took place? Sophie will describe the tumultuous context of the parliament, with England’s king imprisoned and the kingdom ruled by a council of his subjects, and examine new evidence to reconstruct the events, personnel and atmosphere of the meeting, in order to reveal the dramatic course of the parliament and its theatrical climax. 

Statue of
Llewelyn the Great,
On 17 September, David Carpenter will be speaking at The National Assembly for Wales on ‘Wales and Magna Carta in 1215’. Magna Carta, one of the most famous documents in world history, was sealed 800 years ago in 1215. Here, David will explore the crucial role played by the Welsh rulers in the creation of the Great Charter. Focussing on the rebellion against King John by Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales (later known as Llewelyn the Great) and his allies, he will examine the chapters in Magna Carta dealing with their grievances - revealing that Magna Carta is a very much a British document, with important chapters about both Wales and Scotland.

These events are free and all are welcome but booking is required. To find out more about the Festival of Freedoms, to see the full events listings and to book your place, please visit the 2015 anniversary events page on Parliament’s website. 

Monday 10 August 2015

Robert fitz Walter on Trial

Recently a mock trial was held in Westminster Hall, in which the Robert fitz Walter and his army faced accusations of treason for their rebellion against King John. David Carpenter played the part of fitz Walter, defended by Nathalie Lieven QC, against Clive Anderson’s King John.

Before a large gathering in Westminster Hall and judges Dame Sian Elias (Chief Justice of New Zealand), Lord Neuberger (President of the Supreme Court)  and Justice Stephen Breyer (of the US Supreme Court), David successfully made the case for ‘not guilty’.

It is hoped that a video of the trial will be available in due course – watch this space!

David Carpenter as Robert fitz Walter defends the rebellion against King John
Nathalie Lieven QC defends Robert fitz Walter
Clive Anderson playing the part of King John