Bury St Edmunds: Committee is still trying to secure Magna Carta loan

Margaret Charlesworth and Simon Pott are pictured in the Abbey Gardens, Bury. They are part of the l

Margaret Charlesworth and Simon Pott are pictured in the Abbey Gardens, Bury. They are part of the local Magna Carta 800 committee.

Hopes are high one of the original copies of the Magna Carta will be on display in Bury St Edmunds in May even though organisers are still waiting for confirmation.

The display of the charter at St Edmundsbury Cathedral was set to be one of three major events planned in the town to mark the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary.

However, Margaret Charlesworth, chairman of the local Magna Carta 800 committee, said she had still not been given confirmation the charter was definitely coming to Bury, but added she was optimistic. “We are progressing on the assumption we will be getting it,” she said.

She said the committee had been working for about two years on being allowed to borrow a copy of the charter from Lincoln Cathedral and, while the cathedral was happy for this to happen, other bodies needed to give their permission.

It is believed that on November 20, 1214 the barons came to Bury’s abbey to swear their allegiance to each other to force King John to seal the charter.


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The document was then sealed by the king on June 15, 1215, at Runnymede. Other celebratory events in Bury next year include a study day on September 20 and a light and sound event in October.

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