See on this subject the Historical Essay on the Magna Charta
of King John, (a most beautiful volume), by Richard Thomson.
With all England he knew the utter contempt in which Henry held the terms of the Magna Charta
which he so often violated along with his kingly oath to maintain it.
The history of this branch of the English Constitution, anterior to the date of Magna Charta
, is too obscure to yield instruction.
Perhaps he sat quietly writing it in his cell when the angry barons were forcing King John to sign the Magna Charta
. At least he wrote it when all England was stirring to new life again.
They made him out to be the Royal arms, the Union-Jack, Magna Charta
, John Bull, Habeas Corpus, the Bill of Rights, An Englishman's house is his castle, Church and State, and God save the Queen, all put together.
The struggle was for chartered rights--for English liberties--for the cause of Algernon Sidney and John Hampden--for trial by jury- -the Habeas Corpus and Magna Charta.
But the English lawyers had decided that Parliament was omnipotent--and Parliament, in its omnipotence, instead of trial by jury and the Habeas Corpus, enacted admiralty courts in England to try Americans for offences charged against them as committed in America; instead of the privileges of Magna Charta, nullified the charter itself of Massachusetts Bay; shut up the port of Boston; sent armies and navies to keep the peace and teach the colonies that John Hampden was a rebel and Algernon Sidney a traitor.
Such was MAGNA CHARTA
, obtained by the barons, sword in hand, from King John.
We had originally intended to go on to Magna Charta
Island, a sweetly pretty part of the river, where it winds through a soft, green valley, and to camp in one of the many picturesque inlets to be found round that tiny shore.
No feudal baron in Magna Charta
times could have more thoroughly resented some incursion of the crown.
Of the latter commodity he had always a grim little heap, on which lay a little wooden measure which had no discernible inside, and was considered to represent the penn'orth appointed by Magna Charta
. Whether from too much east wind or no--it was an easterly corner--the stall, the stock, and the keeper, were all as dry as the Desert.
'Expressly stipulated in Magna Charta
, sir,' said Mr.