The High Sheriff of Shropshire

The High Sheriff of Shropshire

High Sheriff Badge

Magna Carta 800. The British Library

Together, for this once-in-a-lifetime moment, are the iconic documents and artefacts that tell the story of Magna Carta and its legacy: two of the four original 1215 Magna Carta documents, Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, one of the original copies of the US Bill of Rights, (the latter two on display in the UK for the first time), together with stunning manuscripts, paintings, statues and royal relics including two of King John’s molars – he clearly didn’t have a sweet tooth because they were in excellent condition.

Co-curators, Julian Harrison and Claire Breary have done the most extraordinary job pulling this all together. The visit, organised by the High Sheriff’s Association started out with a superb talk by Julian Harrison – learned and funny, he talked about the history of the Magna Carta, he highlighted popular myths (it did not introduce Habeas Corpus), and he explained its global legacy.   Then we explored the fascinating exhibition itself – if you have a chance you must go (British Library, London NW1 2DB until 1st September).