The Magna Carta 1215 – King Henry I of England
When King Henry I of England ascended to the throne in 1100, he issued (and then largely ignored) the Charter of Liberties, or Coronation Charter, which redressed abuses of power by his brother William II by establishing royal directives regarding barons of the realm and church offices, among other things.
A century later, Henry’s great-grandson John had lost the majority of his French holdings, as well as a large sum of money, in an attempt to reclaim them. He taxed the barons in 1214 to fund an ultimately futile military campaign in France. The following year, a number of lords revolted, enraged by John’s frequent abuses of feudal and common law. The king agreed to sign The Magna Carta (“great charter”) at Runnymede, between Windsor and the rebels’ camp at Staines.