Two Northumberland communities invited to City of London’s Magna Carta celebration

Durham Cathedral 1216 copy of the Magna Carta.
Durham Cathedral 1216 copy of the Magna Carta.

Representatives from more than 20 English towns and villages, including two in north Northumberland, have been invited to an event on Tuesday to mark the 800th anniversary of a landmark event ahead of the sealing of Magna Carta by King John.

Representatives from Alnwick and Warkworth have been invited by Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor of the City of London, to a gathering at his official residence.

On May 17, 1215, the powerful barons, who were putting pressure on the monarch to stop his abuse of royal power, gained the support of London and its mayor. Eight centuries later and to mark the historic anniversary of the entry of the baronial army into London, representatives from the towns and villages where the twenty-five Magna Carta barons had their chief manors will attend the reception at the Lord Mayor’s official residence.

They include: Alnwick and Warkworth in Northumberland; Helmsley, Thirsk, Topcliffe and Skipton in North Yorkshire; Pontefract in West Yorkshire; Hornby in Lancashire; Castle Hedingham, Little Dunmow, Pleshey and Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex; Clare, Framlingham and Huntingfield in Suffolk; Walkern in Hertfordshire; Leicester and Belvoir in Leicestershire; Curry Mallet in Somerset; Trowbridge in Wiltshire; Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire; West Greenwich in London.

Peter Sinclair, chairman of the Magna Carta Barons Association, said: “In the run-up to the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, the arrival of the barons in London and the City joining their cause was a landmark event. Without it, it is quite possible that Magna Carta would not have happened at all, so its significance cannot be underestimated.
“We are delighted that Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow, the City’s policy chairman, Mark Boleat, and their City colleagues have been so enthusiastic in wanting to mark the barons’ entry into London, which preceded the sealing of Magna Carta, and we look forward to attending this official gathering at The Mansion House.”

The Mansion House reception – one of the events in a series of celebrations organised or supported by the City of London Corporation – is followed by an event at Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Temple Church next Thursday, during which the London Charter will be on display.

The historic document which, it is believed, was given its seal at Temple on May 9, 1215, will be transported from the City Heritage Gallery at Guildhall Art Gallery to Middle Temple – the first time in eight centuries – and the Lord Mayor and the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, will deliver keynote speeches.