The Magna Carta

Listen in pop-out player

Melvyn Bragg and guests Nicholas Vincent, David Carpenter and Michael Clanchy discuss the Magna Carta, the oft-proclaimed foundation of English liberties.The Magna Carta has been cited ever since its issue in 1215 as a foundation stone of English liberties. It includes clauses of universal justice, some of which are still on the statute book, but also sorted out the fishing rights in the upper Thames. Whether Magna Carta is a genuine proclamation of universal liberty or a hotchpotch of baronial self-interest has been debated ever since. Melvyn and his guests examine the ideas contained within it, assess their legacy and find out what really happened all those years ago in a tent in Runnymede.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 7 May 2009 21:30

Featured in...

Download this programme

Download this episode

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.

In Our Time Archive: A new way to find the programmes you want to hear

Free Will

We've created a new way to search through the programmes and would like your help.

In Our Time Downloads


Every episode of In Our Time - available to download to listen to when & where you want.

Watch animations from A History of Ideas

The Libet Experiment

Explore some big questions about how we live today.