Archive for November 2010

Celebrations begin

12 November 2010

Celebrations for the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015 have begun. Today, the Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke are due to address a public launch at a memorial site in Runnymede, where King John sealed Magna Carta in 1215 (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11735060). The event, organised by the Magna Carta Trust, is one in a series of events and campaigns planned by the trust over the next five years. Among the items planned can be found the campaign for an extra bank holiday in 1215, a commemorative stamp and coin, and a number of exhibitions.

Celebrations have also been held for William I’s Charter for London, which in July of this year became one of the first inscriptions to the UK Memory of the World Register, a list of documentary heritage which holds cultural significance specific to the UK (see http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Records_and_archives/Events/UNESCO_World_Register.htm). The register is part of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) programme to support and raise awareness of archives (see http://www.unesco.org.uk/2010_uk_memory_of_the_world_register). William I’s Charter for London was issued soon after the Battle of Hastings and is the oldest document in the archive of the City of London. Its significance is based on its survival as the earliest royal or imperial document which guarantees the collective rights of the inhabitants of any town. London Metropolitan Archives have kindly given permission for the charter to be part of the Early English Laws and the image of the document together with the edition of the text prepared by Professor David Bates will be available on our website in early 2011.

While celebrating these documents, I thought I’d also mention a few upcoming events at which Early English Laws will have a presence. On Thursday 18 November, we will be holding our annual workshop in the UK. This year we are focussing on the digital aspect of our work and by collaborating with three other projects have put on a programme relating to digital editing (see http://www.earlyenglishlaws.ac.uk/events/workshops/). Early English Laws will also be coming to the US in May 2011, where you’ll be able to find us at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. In June, the University of St Andrews is organising a three-day conference on Law, Violence and Social Bonds, c. 900-1250, for which a call for papers has recently gone out (see http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/saims/law/index.html).

If you are planning an event or have news regarding any document featured on the Early English Laws website, please let the project team know.