Legal History

Another Magna Carta is found

  • Print.

A small-town historian has found an ancient edition of the Magna Carta tucked away in a scrapbook compiled at the end of the 19th Century.

The newly found Magna Carta was issued by royal decree in 1300, report the Washington Post, BBC News and the Guardian. Historian Mark Bateson found the Magna Carta when looking for another historical document at the bidding of the Magna Carta Research Project, the project said in a statement.

Bateson had been looking for a copy of the Charter of the Forest, a document considered a companion to the Magna Carta that made land available to commoners.

According to the Post, the newly found Magna Carta was rotten and soggy, and it “looks like a rag that sopped up some paint, with about one-third missing.”

The ABA is marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in commemorative events in London in June, according to the ABA website. The document, sealed by King John of England in 1215, was an early acknowledgement of the rule of law. Edward I issued the 1300 Magna Carta, which was apparently the last version issued, BBC News says.

With the new discovery, there are now seven known surviving originals of the 1300 Magna Carta.

The document, valued at $15 million, is owned by the British coastal town of Sandwich.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.