15th June 2015. 800 years ago King John agreed the Magna Carta. But it was days later that the barons renewed their oaths.
What happened in those missing days? Where did the charter go and who had it? What happened to it? Could it have been something suspicious? Or funny?
Probably, or maybe not.
You can read it all now in The Magna Carta (Or is it?) Apparently available from all good bookshops, although I expect they’ll learn pretty soon.
Howard Warwick 15th June 2015
And now the time has come to talk of Magna Carta. 800 years ago, upon Runnymede field, the King and his nobles did agree the terms of their charter.
It is a story handed down through generations, but dare we speculate on what might actually have happened? (Well, it probably didn’t, but we can still speculate.)
The Magna Carta (Or is it?) is a tale told by an idiot… and, er, that’s it really. And it seems to have a lot of idiots in it as well.
Available to order from all reasonably good book shops ISBN 978-0-9929393-3-5 on 1st June 2015.
And from Amazon on ebook from 15th June (Pre-order now to avoid disappointment.) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tha-Magna-Carta-Howard-Warwick-ebook/dp/B00XCVUKHC/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431163272&sr=1-10
And then read each chapter from the 15th June as it happens, until the day the charter was finally sealed – or was it?
I am reliably informed that I have a cult following and am very, very funny. I think that’s a good thing, but I wonder if History Today will take me quite so seriously any more… http://scaryduck.blogspot.co.uk/
Howard Warwick Monday
As the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta draws nigh, (111 shopping days to go) new researches have revealed a remarkable story. Well, my researches have anyway.
It seems that things were not all straightforward, and the Magna Carta we have today went through many trials and tribulations before reaching the final parchment. In fact there were so many trials and tribulations that it is quite possible the document we now have is the wrong one!
To mark this major breakthrough, June will see the publication of The Magna Carta (Or Is It?)
One Robert Peal of Civitas, which appears to be some sort of tank for thinking, has criticised some writers for encouraging people “not to think about the past, but to laugh at it.” – here’s hoping.
A first glimpse of the latest text is offered below:
The ink was still wet. King John held the rudiments of the great charter up in front of his eyes, much to the consternation of the old master scribe, who rushed forward to try and stop the words running down the page. But this was King John, and stopping him doing exactly what he wanted was the reason they were all here in the first place.
The scribe valued the remaining days of his ancient life highly enough to make his objections clear with a very light cough.
The King noticed things like this, looked over to the scribe and scowled at him. ‘What is it now?’
A scowl from the King was a powerful thing. The man was not physically commanding, his build was slight and wiry, although obviously he could kill you with sword or dagger as well as the next man. The face was in keeping with the body; lean, with prominent cheekbones and a proportionate nose. There was no denying he was a handsome man, well, handsome considering he was coming up to fifty and by all rights should be dead by now.
He had been on the throne for sixteen years and knew how to be King. He had that certain something about him. That certain something that made you step aside, even when he was behind you and you didn’t see him coming. That certain something that made you avoid his stare, which was as likely to kill you as his dagger. Talk of his personality was enough to keep most men at bay. Some of the horrible things he was rumoured to have done were simply unbelievable. Until it was rumoured he’d done them a second time. And a third.
The scribe stopped coughing and tried to sound as if he didn’t want to say anything at all. ‘Ah, sire, Majesty. It’s only that the document is not yet dry and some of the letters may slip. Once your discussions are finished we need to apply the final changes and instigate the copying. The copyists won’t be able to work if the original is corrupted. It is always advisable to keep a parchment level until it has been sanded or until a scribe has advised…’ the scribe trailed off in the face of the King’s withering gaze.
It had taken the Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Barons, the Church, the Bishops and the Clergy months to get John to this point in discussing the rights and powers of the throne. They’d been camped out at Runnymede alone for the best part of a week. A humble scribe had no chance quibbling over how to handle a parchment.