Magna Carta 1215

Professor Nicholas Vincent

17th October 2015

St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton

Magna Carta is a document widely associated with certain key locations in England: with Runnymede (where it was issued), with Lincoln, Salisbury and London (in whose archives originals of the 1215 charter still reside). Northampton and Northamptonshire deserve to join this select company. Not only was the political crisis of John's reign to a large extent engineered by barons with strong connections to Northamptonshire, but the town and castle of Northampton became the first targets of the civil war in May 1215. The Northamptonshire Record Office itself guards significant new evidence, previously overlooked, both for the events of 1215 and for the baronial coalition that forced King John into signing Magna Carta.

Nicholas Vincent is Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of more than a dozen books, and 100 or so academic articles on various aspects of the medieval past. Throughout 2015, he has played a leading role in the 800th anniversary celebrations of Magna Carta.

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