In celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta I thought I’d share a letter from Henry III to the people of Ireland regarding the institution of the Magna Carta. It was unlikely to have been written by him, as it was still during William Marshal’s regency.
The King to all archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, knights, free tenants and all our faithful subjects settled throughout Ireland, greetings.
With out hearty commendation of your fidelity in the Lord, which you have ever exhibited to our lord father and to us in these our days are to exhibit our pleasure is, that in token of this your famous and notable fidelity, the liberties granted by our father and by us, of our grace and gift to the realm of England shall in our kingdom of Ireland be enjoyed by you and your heirs forever.
Which liberties distinctly reduced to writing by the general council of all our liege subjects we transmit to you sealed with the seals of our Lord Gualon, legate of the apostolical see and our trusty earl William Marshal, our governor and governor of our kingdom because as yet we have no seal. And the same shall in the proceeds of time and on fuller council receive the signature of our seal.
Given in Gloucester on the 6th day of February.
Dr Thomas Leland, History of Ireland from the Invasion of Henry II, London, 1773, p. 203.
This is obviously in translation, and was part of a significantly complicated situation but it is still interesting.
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