Northampton prepares for 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with series of events

GV Guildhall
GV Guildhall

A number of events and activities are happening in Northampton to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta was sealed by King John on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede and has a central place in English history. It set out a series of laws about freedoms and justice that assumed greater authority over the course of the next 800 years.

It is considered to be one of the first steps towards parliamentary democracy and established the principle that no man, not even the king, was above the law of the land.

Events to mark the anniversary in Northampton include a talk on Magna Carta by one of the UK’s foremost experts on the subject, 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 on the Magna Carta and was also the expert called upon to authenticate the recently discovered copy of the Magna Carta found in Kent County Council archive.

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 20 June, 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.

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.”