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Magna Carta Copy Found, Boosting Hopes There Are Others Too

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:33 PM

A rare surviving copy of the 1300 edition of the Magna Carta was found damaged and tattered in the historical archives of Sandwich, England, in December.

With just 24 Magna Carta editions known in the world, the find was important because its location supports the idea that copies of the Magna Carta went to at least 50 towns and ports, The Guardian reported. That may mean other copies also exist.

Professor Nicholas Vincent, of the University of East Anglia, had contacted Sandwich archivist Dr. Mark Bateson to pull the town’s original Charter of the Forest, a companion document to the Magna Carta, the Guardian said.

When Bateson pulled records, he found a Victorian scrapbook sheltering the remnants of the Magna Carta along with the Forest Charter, only one of two pairs of the documents known to have survived over time.

“It must have been much more widely distributed than previously thought because if Sandwich had one ... the chances are it went out to a lot of other towns. And it is very likely that there are one or two out there somewhere that no one has spotted yet,” Vincent told The Guardian.

Vincent speculated that the document could be worth about $15.3 million, although that would be the upper end of the value because about one-third of it is missing.

“The 1300 Magna Carta, issued by Edward I, was apparently the last drawn up by the royal chancery and distributed under the king’s seal,” according to the Magna Carta Project. “The discovery of the Sandwich Magna Carta brings the number of surviving originals of 1300 to seven.”

The Magna Carta, first created in 1215, “outlined basic rights with the principle that no one was above the law, including the king,” the BBC said, and also created fair trial and “limits on taxation without representation.”

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A rare surviving copy of the 1300 edition of the Magna Carta was found damaged and tattered in the historical archives of Sandwich, England, in December.
magna carta, copy, found
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2015-33-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 04:33 PM
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