King John signs Magna Carta
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Magna Carta was 'peace treaty'

David Cameron may not have known that Magna Carta translates as "great charter" when interviewed by New York talkshow host David Letterman last night. But he did know that it was signed in 1215 and had a decent stab at its contribution to the development of democracy.

Plans are already afoot to educate the rest of us in the run-up to the 800th anniversary. Louise Wilkinson, reader in Medieval history at Canterbury Christchurch University in Kent, is working on the Magna Carta project.

"Magna Carta was immensely important," she told The World at One. "It was originally intended to be a peace treaty."

  • 27 Sep 2012