December 11, 2003

Magna Carta

Classy. Project Gutenberg's 10,000th book is Magna Carta:

JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, Greeting.

KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom, at the advice of our reverend fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William bishop of London, Peter bishop of Winchester, Jocelin bishop of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Walter Bishop of Worcester, William bishop of Coventry, Benedict bishop of Rochester, Master Pandulf subdeacon and member of the papal household, Brother Aymeric master of the knighthood of the Temple in England, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz Gerald, Peter Fitz Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppeley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and other loyal subjects:

(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.

TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs...

Posted by DeLong at December 11, 2003 02:21 PM | TrackBack

Comments

10,000 you say?

I remember when Penguin, the paper publishers, came out with their 1,000th ("One Of Our Submarines") and that seemed like an awfully large number of titles. It took them roughly a generation to do it.

Ten times as much publishing in roughly the same amount of time? It's almost enough to make you believe in Danny Hillis.

Posted by: David Lloyd-Jones on December 11, 2003 05:00 PM

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"1066 and all that", does a fair assessment of Magna Carta. a few copies still around I believe.I almost forgot Mr S Holloway's epic, on that subject, with the classic:- "The barons stood round a-Gnashing their teeth, and them with no teeth gnashed their gums".

Posted by: big al on December 11, 2003 06:24 PM

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Of course, it wasn't terribly beneficial if you were a Jew...

:10. If one who has borrowed from the Jews any sum, great or small, die before that loan be repaid, the debt shall not bear interest while the heir is under age, of whomsoever he may hold; and if the debt fall into our hands, we will not take anything except the principal sum contained in the bond.

11. And if anyone die indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and pay nothing of that debt; and if any children of the deceased are left under age, necessaries shall be provided for them in keeping with the holding of the deceased; and out of the residue the debt shall be paid, reserving, however, service due to feudal lords; in like manner let it be done touching debts due to others than Jews. "

or a woman

"54. No one shall be arrested or imprisoned upon the appeal of a woman, for the death of any other than her husband. "

or a relation of Gerard of Athlee, of course.

Posted by: barry on December 12, 2003 07:38 AM

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