Study some royal orders from Henry III to Sheriff of Chester
We need to consider why King Henry III has reissued Magna Carta? Why don’t you start by exploring the document and reading the transcript...
The king sends greetings to the sheriff of Chester. Although we have given rights to you and to other honest men our kingdom, we also wish for the royal rights and our peace to be observed properly. We have heard that you have been trying to use the rights in Magna Carta to avoid your responsibilities to the king. This angers us, and we order that you preserve the royal rights and our peace.
Henry III is making a very important point here. He believes that if the king has to live by the rules set out in Magna Carta, his barons had to do so as well. We all hope that this will lead to a period of peace and stability in which king and barons respect each others’ rights. But will it?
Royal orders from Henry III to Sheriff of Chester 1225
C 54/34 The National Archives
Test your understanding
What have the sheriffs been using Magna Carta for?
Not quite right I’m afraid. Why don’t you go back and listen to the transcript again?
Well done! Yes, the sheriffs have been avoiding their responsibilities to the king.
Why has Henry III re-issued Magna Carta?
Is it because he has genuinely learned the lessons from the rule of his father, uncle and grandfather and he is offering a new way of ruling?
Is it because Henry simply needs money because the French king has invaded Gascony and and is threatening Henry’s power in France?
The view of this chronicle on why Henry is issuing Magna Carta now is…
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