Magna Carta was issued in June 1215 and was the first document to put into writing the principle that the king and his government was not above the law. It sought to prevent the king from exploiting his power, and placed limits of royal authority by establishing law as a power in itself.
In 2015 the Houses of Parliament, along with the people of the UK, will be commemorating 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta (1215).
When was Magna Carta first issued?
The first version of it was issued in 1215 at Runnymede, an otherwise obscure field lying next to the Thames in Berkshire between Windsor and Staines. Charters granting rights and liberties to individuals and groups were issued by lords throughout society, including the king. They were written records of someone's action and were authenticated with a wax seal. Although its form was normal for the time, Magna Carta was the product of political crisis and an uprising of the leading men of England.