Magna Carta 800th anniversary celebrations set for Northampton in May and June

Northampton Borough Council has announced a series of events to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
Northampton Borough Council has announced a series of events to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

A leading Magna Carta expert is to give a talk in Northampton as part of the borough council’s bid to marks 800 years since the signing of the document.

The Magna Carta, sealed by King John on June 15, 1215, set out a series of laws on freedoms and justice that paved the way towards parliamentary democracy.

It established the principle that no man, not even the king, was above the law of the land.

Today Northampton Borough Council has revealed a series of events to mark the anniversary in Northampton, including a talk on Magna Carta by historian Professor Nicholas Vincent, at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on May 9.

Professor Vincent, of the University of East Anglia, is leading on a major research project into the document and was also the expert called upon to authenticate the recently discovered copy of the Magna Carta found in Kent County Council archive.

Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Events in Northamptonshire were the catalyst for King John to seal the Magna Carta and so it is fitting that we mark the anniversary. I am particularly pleased to welcome Professor Vincent who is a leading expert. Securing him to give this talk is a real coup.”

As well as the talk There will be a family event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on May 26 .

Activities on the day will include making a Magna Carta scroll.

On June 20, Northampton Battlefields Society and Friends of Northampton Castle will take a stall at the annual Spring Boroughs Festival and conduct tours from the nearby Hazelrigg House, taking in the importance of Northampton in the development of the Magna Carta and the siege of Northampton Castle in 1264.

More information on these events will be released nearer the dates.