For the king, the consequences of this “charter of freedom” were clear. From there, and for the first time, a king of England would not govern only by the “grace of God” or with the pope`s blessing. On the contrary, he should first take care of the interests of the nobility, then the ordinary people. But for King John, there was no other method than to sign the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215 in Runnymede, Surrey. The barons had prepared several copies – one for each county – so that within a few days the contents of the Magna Carta were known throughout the country. Since 1202, King Philip II of France has maintained the conflict. British real estate in France was confiscated and then returned according to the rules of a contract. The French nobles of northern France rebelled against the British crown; Then the pope went into the mix. In 1209, King John was even excommunicated. At the beginning of 1214, the King of France threatened to attack England, but King John acted first and invaded France.
The invasion failed miserably. The shame of defeat was the last straw of England`s nobility. The barons drew up a list of 63 items detailing the rights they wanted the king to guarantee to them and their descendants. The Charter, consisting of a preamble and 63 clauses, dealt mainly with feudal causes that had little impact in England outside the 13th century. But the document was remarkable in that it implied that there were laws that the king had to respect, which precluded any future claim of the English monarch to absolutism. The greatest interest for future generations was Article 39, which stated that “no free person can be arrested or imprisoned, dispossessed or expropriated, exiled or victimized in any way…… except by the legitimate judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. This clause was hailed as an early guarantee for trial by the jury and habeas corpus and inspired the Petition of England (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679). In 1215, the barons rebelled against the king`s abuse of feudal law and manners. Faced with a superior force, John had no choice but to give in to their demands. The former kings of England had made concessions to their feudal barons, but these charters were vaguely formulated and voluntarily issued.
The document drawn up for John in June 1215, however, obliges the king to give specific guarantees on the rights and privileges of his barons and on the freedom of the Church. On 15 June 1215 John met the barons at Runnymede, on the Thames, and sealed the articles of the barons who, after a short revision, were officially published as Magna Carta. The Magna Carta article that says that the king is not in a position to impose any tax, “unless by a common council of our kingdom” recalls a similar political claim made during the American War of Independence at the end of the 18th century: “No taxation without representation.” Author: Matthias von Hellfeld (dc) Several copies of the first Magna Carta (a parchment sheet of about 3,600 words in vegetable ink) were distributed to English district courts in the summer of 1215. Today, four of these copies are obtained; The British Library holds two, and the other two are in the collections of Salisbury and Lincoln Cathedrals.