Saturday, 6 June 2015

Getting ready for the Magna Carta Celebrations.

This is the busy scene on Egham High street this week - the local council is putting up flags and banners for the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

As you can see, the high street was also full of volunteers;

Painting shields on all the street bollards, ready for the Magna Carta Fair on the 13th of June.

We're hoping to go although it's Wraysbury fair that afternoon and I'm planning to enter the craft fair again this year. We'll try to go to both.

The slogan on this banner is all very well except that none of these fine virtues have anything to do with the Magna Carta.

That was a peace treaty signed as a result of the Kings soldiers and the Barons armies having a face off on the meadows of Runnymede.

The Magna Carta wasn't signed there but across the river at Wraysbury.

Anyway, the barons were upset that a crazy king was having them locked up or imprisoned. The reality of Magna Carta is all in this clause on one of Runnymede's posters;

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land"

The problem is that back then there were hardly any free men - except for barons, of course. There weren't any free women either.

Most people were serfs and they had no rights at all - they were the property of other men.

So all the other clauses giving, for example, property rights only applied to a tiny, all powerful minority.

Lots of bloody battles followed. It took a thousand years of struggles for us to win the few rights we have today.

It would be a shame to lose them.....we'd better keep fighting then.

Remember the old saying; "Put not your faith in Princes"

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)


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