Welcome to

Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800

Bury St Edmunds’ links with the Magna Carta go back 800 years to 1214 and they are reading this to learn how to calculate profit the year before the Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede in 1215.

This project celebrates the specific role of Bury St Edmunds’ in the Magna Carta story. It celebrates the part we have played in history and democracy in the continuing tradition of the town’s pageants. This website is to help you make the most of these celebrations.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge that the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee awarded Bury St Edmunds £20,000 towards the ‘Our Liberty’ light and sound trail.

This was from the £1m funding provided by the Chancellor in his Budget Speech on 18th March with the 15th June 2015 anniversary less than one year from now. For more details see http://magnacarta800th.com/magna-carta-today/round-1-grants/

Our sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors:

Greene and Greene solicitors

Bury St Edmunds Town Council

Ashton KCJ solicitors

Whatley Lane Estate Agents

We are proud to support the Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800th year anniversary and celebrate our latest office opening at 1 Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. 01284 765256, www.wlea.co.uk

Beckett Financial Services

Becketts is honoured to be supporting the Magna Carta 800 events. We are based in Bury St Edmunds and provide investment advice to clients throughout East Anglia. Our company is proud sponsors of the Theatre Royal, and our involvement with the Magna Carta is equally exciting. Phone: 01284 754500. www.beckettinvest.com

Find out more about Magna Carta and its links to Bury St Edmunds in the 13th century.

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Find out more about the range of special events organised in Bury St Edmunds in 2014 and 2015.

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Find out more about how the town has celebrated its Magna Carta links in 1907, 1959 and 1970.

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Find out more about the national commemorations of the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.

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What was Bury St Edmunds’ link to the Magna Carta?

According to Roger of Wendover, a group of feudal barons met secretly in St Edmunds’ Abbey, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in November 1214 and together swore an oath to compel their king to accept a proclamation that sought to bind him to certain laws regarding the treatment of nobles, church officials and individuals. It was called The Charter of Liberties. And so Bury St Edmunds’ role in the story of Magna Carta was begun, a role it enshrines in its town motto ‘Sacrarium Regis, Cunanbula Legis’ (Shrine of the King, cradle of the Law).

What was the Magna Carta?

A year after the secret meeting in Bury St Edmund’s Abbey, King John sealed under oath the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter” on the banks of the River Thames at Runnymede in 1215. The document was a direct descendent of The Charter of Liberties that the barons had sworn to effect, and it became the foundation of what we now know as English constitutional law.