Further Proof of the 1213 Magna Charta

New, Sit Down When You Read This Patriots

This knowledge of treason at home made the next move of Innocent against John effective. He declared John deposed, released his subjects from their allegiance, and early in 1213 authorized Philip Augustus to carry out the sentence. Philip was only too glad of an opportunity to wage another war against his ancient enemy. His army was assembled and ready to embark, when John surrendered to the pope in April. John had prepared for defense, but, knowing that he could not rely upon his own followers, he decided to forestall the danger of invasion. At the same time he was bidding for the support of the pope against his barons. He agreed to accept Lagton and to give the clergy damages for their loss of property and income. He also did homage for England and Ireland and agreed to pay 1,000 marks a year in evidence that he held these islands as fiefs of the papacy. John’s humiliation at the hands of the pope was complete. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 144.


The barons were the first to break the charter. The more recalcitrant northern barons left Runnymede before the negotiations had been completed, and in defiance of the twenty-five (my note-the twenty-five were an oligarchy of barons) began to harry the king’s lands and do violence to the king’s men. The twenty-five, moreover, treated John with unnecessary disrespect. John, after observing the provisions of the treaty for about two months, began to prepare for war on his side by sending abroad for mercenaries. He had the support of the pope who intervened as his suzerain to quell the barons with spiritual weapons. he declared the charter void and placed under sentence of excommunication the barons who should attempt to hold the king to his promise. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 149-150.


The quality of Henry’s rule during the period of his minority depended upon the character of those who controlled the government in his name. As long as William Marshal was at the head of affairs, all went well. This experienced statesman who was well over seventy had served three kings of England faithfully before he served Henry III…..After William’s death no baron stood out as a leader whom the other barons could follow without jealousy and friction. I was recognition of this situation that caused William Marshal during his last illness to commit the keeping of the king to the pope and to the legate who represented him. This arrangement had the sanction of the feudal custom, which gave to the lord wardship of the minor heir and the lands of a deceased vassal, and it seems to have been tacitly accepted by the barons. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 151-152.


In 1199 the papacy for the first time had compelled its clerical subjects to pay a tax of a fractional part of their incomes. Taxation, as distinguished from dues, rents, and services, was at that time so rarely levied by any authority that it was generally regarded as good and sufficient reason for resistance. When the imposition was decreed by an authority which had never before attempted to exercise such a right, it was certain to arouse opposition. This first tax was collected with difficulty, although it was levied for a crusade. In 1215 another was raised for the same purpose. In 1229 a tenth was exacted to assist the pope in his war against the emperor. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 153.


The stream of gold which flowed from England to the papal coffers was ever on the increase, and Englishmen believed it was being used largely to further the popes as temporal policies of the papacy. The position of the popes as the spiritual heads of Christendom was not assailed, but what popular opinion held to be the greed of the papal court, the corruption of the papacy in its administrative capacity, and its overweening temporal ambitions were subjected to bitter criticism. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 158.

As part of the price of this crown, which still had to be won, Henry agreed to pay a debt of over 90,000L previously contracted by the papacy in its prosecution of the war. Part of the money was raised by a tax imposed on the English clergy by the pope, but in 1258 Henry failed to meet one of the installments due. Threatened with ecclesiastical censure by the pope if he delayed the payment beyond a certain time, he appealed to the great council for financial help. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 159.


The development of factions among the barons gave the king his opportunity. In 1261 he persuaded the pope to release him from his promise and to declare the enactment’s of 1258 and 1259 null and void. He then dismissed the council of fifteen, putting his own partisans in their places. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928 pg 160






Insight on the 1297 Confirmation of Charters, However, Patriots Don’t Get Excited Thinking this First Section Proves the 1215 Magna Charta Is a Legal Document. As You Will See. Keep Reading.

The parliament of Edward I was preeminently a judicial organ. The addition of representative elements did not change that emphasis during the Middle Ages. When the origin of parliament as a court of law had long been forgotten, its judicial character was still apparent, and to this day the house of lords remains the highest court of the land.

In only two of the functions which parliament performed was the cooperation of the representative elements essential.

1. Parliament could not inform the king fully of the state of public opinion without the presence of the representatives. In the closing years of the reign of Edward I such information appears to have been of importance to the king. In that age, when roads were poor and postal service, newspapers, telephones, and other means of rapid communication unknown, it was difficult to learn the real state of public opinion. The concentration of representatives from all parts of England provided an opportunity to feel the popular pulse, such as was given by no other agency at the king’s disposal.

2. After 1297 parliament could not constitutionally grant non- feudal taxes without the consent of the representatives of the middle class. The right was established by the confirmation of the Charters in 1297. In that year the exigencies of warfare caused Edward to demand heavy taxes on personal property for the fourth consecutive year. Such a demand, even in two successive years, was without precedent. An irregularly constituted assembly granted the request, but the barons, supported by the higher clergy, opposed the levy of the tax, making a display of armed force. The government capitulated and summoned the barons and elected knights of the shire to meet. The assembly, dominated by the barons, sought the confirmation of the Charters in amplified form. The king agreed. The assembly in return approved a new tax on personal property, declaring the old tax void. Its action seems to have been equivalent to an assertion that the king could not levy a tax on personal property without the consent of a properly constituted representative assembly. Among the clauses added to the Charters was one which stated the principle more explicitly. In it the king promised to earls, barons, prelates, and the community of the land that henceforth he would take no such manner of exactions as had just been in dispute “but by the common assent of all the realm” History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928, pg 218, 219

Not Only Was the 1215 Magna Charta Declared Null and Void, THE Reconfirmation of the Charta in 1297 Was Declared Null and Void by the Pope. Read on.

With the popes Edward was generally on friendly terms. Popular opposition to the papacy waxed stronger because papal provisions increased in number and the weight of papal taxation borne by the clergy grew heavier; but the king derived too much advantage from the papal friendship to sacrifice it readily for the popular clamor. Although papal provisions became more frequent in his reign, the popes interfered with the elections of bishops rather less than they had in the time of his father, and from the papal taxation of the clergy Edward derived much profit. During the first two years of his reign the clergy at the order of the pope paid a tenth to help him and his brother meet the debts incurred for their crusade, and the larger part of the proceeds of several other crusading-taxes levied on the clergy by the pope went into the royal coffers…..

Not until the accession of Boniface VIII to the Holy See in 1295 did a serious rift occur. Boniface asserted the superiority of the spiritual over the temporal authority in more extravagant terms than any pope had used since the time of Innocent III. In 1296 he issued the bull clericis laicos, which forbade the clergy of any country to pay taxes to lay rulers without the consent of a papacy. The clergy, who had been hard hit by Edward’s severe taxation of the past three years, were happy to follow the papal lead. Under the direction of the archbishop of Canterbury, they refused the royal demand for a fifth in 1296 on the plea of the papal prohibition. The conflict between papal and royal commands they met squarely with the statement that while they owed obedience to both, they owed the greater obedience to the spiritual power. Edward promptly outlawed the clergy, putting them outside the protection of the royal courts. Most of the clergy paid the fifth to escape this sentence. Those who did not had their temporal goods confiscated. Edward’s successful opposition together with that of the king of France convinced the pope that he had undertaken more than he could perform. Shortly he modified the terms of clericis laicos, and within a year practically annulled them entirely. Through one result of the contest was to throw the clergy on the side of the barons in the struggle for the Charters, it was a complete victory for the king so far as the papacy was concerned.

Despite this and other differences with the papacy, king and pope cooperated to tax the English clergy to their mutual advantage. In 1303 Edward obtained from Boniface the grant of half proceeds of a tenth imposed on the English clergy for three years by papal order. Edward thus obtained a tax from his clergy without asking their consent…..

With the accession of Clement V in 1305 the system underwent a notable extension. This friendly pope absolved Edward from his oath taken in confirmation of the charters, suspended from office the archbishop of canterbury who had been largely responsible for the clerical and baronial opposition to the king since 1297, and commanded the English clergy to pay to the king a tenth for seven years. In return for these favors Edward allowed pope to levy a new tax upon the clergy of the British Isles. Annates, as the new tax was called, was a sum which had to be paid by all clergymen newly appointed to benefices in the British Isles within three years. Thus the English clergy found themselves ground between the upper and neither millstones of the royal and papal fiscal necessities…..

The levy of annates disturbed not only the clergy, who pay them, but also the laity, who feared encroachment on their rights of patronage. At the parliament of Carlisle, held in 1307, the barons and the commonalty petitioned the king to put an end to provisions, annates, and other new fiscal demands of the pope. William Testa, the papal collector, was forthwith indicted before parliament. He pleaded the order of the pope as his justification. Parliament, finding the plea insufficient, forbade him or his agents to exact any of the new payments demanded by the pope. Revenues which the papacy had regularly received from England in the past he was allowed to collect. Edward seems to have been bound by his arrangement with Clement to allow annates to be levied; at any rate, after parliament had been dissolved, he revoked the parliamentary prohibition so far as it related to that tax. The remainder of the parliamentary award he enforced strictly, as did also his son after him. History of England, W. E. Lunt, 1928, pages 220-222

Also, read a related document I released called “Further Proof Of The 1213 Charta”. If you do not have a copy of these Charters so you can read them, let me know and I will happy to provide them to you. The 1213, 1215, and the 1297 Charta.