Monday, November 14, 2011

A medieval market town has discovered it owns an original version of the Magna Carta

A medival market town has discovered it owns an original version of Magna Carta, potentially worth about 20 million pounds, rather than a copy worth only 10,000 pounds.

It was identified in the collection of Faversham town council in Kent by academic experts prompted by the auction of a version from 1297 owned by Ross Perot, who ran for the US presidency against Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. In 2007 that version had fetched $US21.3m (about $A20.8 million at today's rates).

Confirmation of the find comes ahead of the announcement of celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the 1215 charter that established the right of freeborn Englishmen to be punished only under the law of the land.

Nicholas Vincent, an authority on Magna Carta and professor of medieval history at the University of East Anglia, said: "There is an original from 1300 in Faversham that the people of Faversham knew about but nobody else did, that they had insured for 10,000 pounds ($A15,000) but must be actually worth more like 20m pounds ($A31m). That came as a bit of a surprise to them."

Click here to read this article from The Australian