Release Date: March, 2006 [eBook #10000] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on October 15, 2003] [Date last updated: January 2, 2003]
Edition: 0.1 [1.0 should be posted by December 10, 2003] [The date of the 10th Anniversay of eBook #100]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK the magna Carta ***
A note from Michael Hart, preparer of the 0.1 version.
This file contains a number of versions of the Magna Carta, some of which were a little mangled in transit. I am sure our volunteers will find and correct errors I didn’t catch, and that version 0.2 — 1.0 will have significant improvments, as well as at least one more version in Latin.
Version 1.0 may contain a dozen different versions.
John, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.
Know that before god, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop of London, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter Bishop of Worcester, William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, Master Pandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, Brother Aymeric master of the knighthood of the Temple in England, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz Gerald, Peter Fitz Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and other loyal subjects:
(1) First, that we have granted to god, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church’s elections — a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it — and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.