Magna Carta in Parliament | Parliamentary Archives | UK Parliament

Magna Carta in Parliament | Parliamentary Archives | UK Parliament

Baroness D’Souza, Lord Speaker>>This is
our year to celebrate Parliament in the Making. Not just the 800th anniversary of the sealing
of Magna Carta, but also, as you will know, the 750th anniversary of Simon de Montfort’s
Parliament. Rt Hon John Bercow, Speaker of the House of
Commons>>Today’s events, bringing together the four surviving originals of Magna Carta
in Parliament will provide a truly extraordinary opportunity for all those participating.
Very Reverend June Osborne>>We have been custodians of the Magna Carta, that in a moment
I hope you’ll all see, since 1215. It has never been outside our archives.
Professor David Carpenter>>Magna Carta lays down the first constitution of Parliament.
It doesn’t use the name, but the thing is really there. Well in a way, Magna Carta is
the birth of Parliament, we see the beginnings of Parliament in Magna Carta, so to have the
four original Magna Cartas brought here in the Mother of Parliaments is a momentous,
exciting and atmospheric event. Lara Artemis>>We’ve been working for about
two-and-a-half to three years, trying to bring four very important constitutional documents,
the only surviving of the 1215 Magna Carta, to Parliament has been the biggest challenge.
Some of that has been around making sure we have the correct environment, including lighting.
The items will be shown in the Robing Room. The Magna Cartas arrive, they will be checked
by conservators, to make sure that we comply with conditions of loan, which includes any
damage that may have been caused through transit. Constitutional documents, particularly very,
very important constitutional documents, are the most challenging for a loans registrar
to manage. And it’s unlikely that this kind of event will happen again in my lifetime.
David Prior>>In the exhibition that’s behind me we’ve actually brought together a whole
series of documents that relate very strongly to Magna Carta. If you believe, as we do,
that Magna Carta is essentially the beginning of Parliament, the documents behind me are
kind of their family tree, Parliament’s family tree really, over eight centuries.
The highlight in many ways is the Petition of Right of 1628, which many people hold to
be on a level with Magna Carta. Sitting alongside the Petition of Right, three really important
seventeenth century documents as well, the Habeus Corpus Act, the draft Declaration of
Rights and the Bill of Rights of 1689. Visitor>>It’s the first time the four Magna
Cartas have been together for 800 years – it’s an event in history and I feel really lucky
to be here. [Background noise]
Visitor>>It was amazing to see a document that I think is so significant to all our
countries, Commonwealth countries as well as the UK, and to see something that’s so
well preserved, after 800 years, I think it’s so impactful – and I wish that sometimes
we could look back and have more of that, more preservation of our documents, because
that’s our history, that’s our background and that’s something we should all be excited
to see and experience. Visitor>>A very good foundation for human
rights as well, because it served as the foundation, the founding stone for human rights.
Visitor>>The could be a once in a lifetime experience and something I might never see
again in my life, so I’m just trying to make the most of it.

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