Magna Carta was a right headache for King John

Readers' Letters
Readers' Letters

SO it’s 800 years since rebellious barons in 13th century England, resenting how much wealth and property King John (who allegedly suffered from delusions of power) was demanding from them, to finance his failed military expeditions in France, turned against him in the form of a civil war.

It ended in, as they say in chess circles, ‘stalemate’, leading to King John signing The Great Charter, aka Magna Carta, at Runnymede on the south bank of the river Thames.

It said the King was not to make the people pay taxes without consent of the great council (probably made up of barons) and that no one was to be punished for any wrongdoings without a proper trial, according to the law of the land.

However, it was said at the time that no sooner had John put his seal on a lump of wax to show that he had signed and consented to keep his promise set out in the Charter, he threw himself on the ground, gnashing his teeth and gnawing sticks and straws in his rage!

Moreover, as the monk wrote at the time: “A new state of things has begun in England, such a strange affair as had never been heard of before, for the body wishes to rule the head and the people desired to be masters over the king.”

Ken Johnson,

Mowbray Road,

South Shields.