History of Britain - Rulers & Ruled


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3.Magna Carta

How did medieval kings share power with their barons? The story of King John reveals the answer. (6.25 mins)

4.First Parliaments
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iconChapter Breakdown

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1. The real power-struggle in Norman England: not Norman vs Saxon, but the King vs his barons.
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2. Barons had tussled for advantage from the earliest days of the Conquest. The story of Roger FitzOsbern.
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3. How kings kept control through the power of patronage.
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4. How King John misused the power of patronage.
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5. The barons rise in rebellion. And the result: Magna Carta - restraining Kings through the rule of law.

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iconLocation details


We filmed this resource all over England, starting at Runnymede in Surrey where there's an impressive memorial to Magna Carta built by the American Bar Association.

From there, the module moves to William FitzOsbern's keep at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight.


The re-enactment sequences were shot at English Heritage event day at Scarborough Castle in North Yorkshire.

And the effigy of King John is found in Worcester Cathedral, an underrated cathedral with an impressive Norman crypt and chapter house.


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