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What happened on 15 June 1215?

Short sketch outlining what happened at Runnymede
So exactly what happened on June the 15th in 1215? To answer that question, we need to go to Runnymede. Runnymede is a meadow on the River Thames, about 20 miles west of London. It’s a famous place because it was here that King John met with some very unhappy barons on June the 15th, 1215, and it was here that Magna Carta was sealed. As we saw in the previous step, the barons were very unhappy with the way in which King John was treating them. For one thing, they had to pay very high taxes. King John was using this money to fight foreign wars. To make matters worse, these wars were not always successful.
The barons wanted King John to stop taking their sons as hostages, and they also wanted a free church. The barons promised to stay loyal to King John if he agreed to their demands. King John agreed to Magna Carta, although he later went back on his word.

So, what exactly happened on 15 June 1215?

To answer that question, we need to go to Runnymede.

As we saw in the last step, the barons were very unhappy with the way they were being treated under King John. They met with King John at Runnymede and presented him with their list of demands. This list of demands was Magna Carta.

There were 63 demands (or clauses) in Magna Carta – it must have taken King John quite a while to read them.

Think about the things we mentioned in previous steps that the barons were unhappy about. Can you guess what any of the Magna Carta clauses might have been?

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

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Magna Carta

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