The four surviving copies of the 1215 Magna Carta have been brought together for the first time here as part of celebrations to mark its 800th anniversary.
One of the most important documents in history, Magna Carta is considered one of the first steps towards parliamentary democracy and includes the principle that no one is above the law, including the king.
It was signed on 15 June 1215 at Runnymede.
More than 40,000 people entered a public ballot to see them, with 1,125 getting the chance to see all four at the British Library over three days.
After three days, the documents will be taken to the House of Lords for a day before two are returned to the British Library and the others taken back to Lincoln and Salisbury Cathedrals where they are kept, the BBC reported. In a joint statement, the library and cathedrals said: “King John could surely never have anticipated the enduring global legacy of Magna Carta when he agreed to its terms in 1215.
“Eight hundred years later, the international interest and excitement about this unification event is testament to the extraordinary significance and symbolic power of these four manuscripts.”
250 copies created
It is believed that about 250 copies of the document were originally created and sent to legal and religious officials across the country to make sure it was carried out.
Seventeen copies are known to have survived, the report said.
Source: The Hindu