THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

10 February 2015

Magna Carta Under The Proverbial Microscope

Last Wednesday, a select group of scholars and other interested observers were the first people in 800 years to compare the four surviving 1215 Magna Carta manuscripts side-by-side. This one-off event was held at the British Library, and was part of the Magna Carta unification, sponsored by the global law firm Linklaters. Everyone involved was thrilled to be a part of history and, equally importantly, great strides were made towards learning more about the production and later ownership of these four manuscripts, held respectively by Lincoln Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and the British Library. More details will doubtless be published in due course on the Magna Carta Project website. In the meantime, here are some photos of our special day (you get a bonus point if you can identify all of the participants).

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Chris Woods (Lincoln and Salisbury conservator), Nicholas Vincent (University of East Anglia), Tessa Webber (Trinity College, Cambridge) and David Carpenter (King's College, London)

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Edward Probert (Salisbury Cathedral), Louise Wilkinson (Canterbury Christ Church University), Philippa Hoskin (University of Lincoln)

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Tessa Webber, Nicholas Vincent and David Carpenter

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David Carpenter getting to grips with the Lincoln Magna Carta

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Trying to identify the inscription on the back of the 'London' Magna Carta

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The examination continues ...

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The lucky few!

Comments

The first for ['in' is US] 800 years, or the first ever? We were told that they had never been in the same room even when they were being made.


Julian Harrison (British Library) writes: They had never been together before, so this was the first time ever.

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