The 800 year old agreement known as Magna Carta was made between the ‘Barons’ and King John of England at Runnymede Fields.
Although significantly ‘watered down’ a few years after being authorized, this Charter became part of British political life for many years and is considered to be the forerunner of all other ‘bill of rights’ and in particular the United States Constitution.
King John met with the rebel leaders at Runnymede, near both the royal fortress of Windsor Castle and the rebel base in Staines, on 10th June 1215.
Here the rebels presented him with their demands for reform, known as the “Articles of the Barons”.
By June 15, a general agreement had been made on the text of the Charter, and on June 19, the rebels renewed their oaths of loyalty to John and copies of the Charter were formally released.
Spelthorne has been celebrating her special place in the history of Magna Carta this week with anniversary events held at historic locations around the Borough.
At Lammas Park near the river at Staines, crowds thronged to see falconry, archery, jousting demonstrations and period dance (together with pig roasting and other high jinks around the tent ale) at the ‘Barons Gathering’.
And the Spelthorne river flotilla made its way up the River Thames from King’s Meadow in Sunbury to join revellers at Lady Lindsay’s Lawn and Penton Hook Lock.
The 1215 charter named 27 ecclesiastical and secular magnates who had counselled John to accept the new terms.
It is likely that many of these peers had made the journey from London to Runnymede along the Thames.
It is also highly probable that many of these aristocrats assembled in Staines before their meeting with the King and stayed at the Manor of Staines (Duncroft) for the duration of the talks.