Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Magna Carta

I finally got a chance to see the Magna Carta on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 On 15. June 1215, King John of England was forced to set his seal on the Magna Carta. The document is significant because it limited the king's power and made the king subject to the law just like everyone else. This document was also the inspiration for the United States Declaration of Independence.

 Sadly, photographs even without flash were not permitted. The lighting was quite dim so these old eyes couldn't really see the details of the writing. The document wasn't as elaborate as I thought it would be. It's not large, maybe a little larger than 14 in. x 17 in. The writing was neat, but small, and no large decorated initials.  Small and plain in size, but huge in it's significance.

The last day to see the exhibit at the MFA is 31. August. The document will be heading back to its home at the British Library. Next year, marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, but you don't have to travel to England to see it.  The British Library has an online exhibit, Magna Carta: Treasures in Full. You can see the document up close. Read it in Latin or an English translation, and see its place on a timeline.


  1. Very cool. A 14 x 17 piece of history.

  2. Replies
    1. This is one of four copies that have survived.