Magna Carta

February 14, 2014 - August 17, 2014

An original edition of the “Magna Carta,” and the only known example of the King’s Writ — a letter from King John to the Sheriff of Gloucester announcing the signing of the Magna Carta — is visiting Houston from its home in Hereford Cathedral.

The Magna Carta is considered to be Great Britain's most valuable export to the world and is a model upon which the United States Constitution was based. The Magna Carta continues to serve as the definitive document modeling basic civil liberties, and is the source of many of the most fundamental concepts of law. In more than 100 decisions, the United States Supreme Court has traced dependence on the Magna Carta for an understanding of due process, trial by jury, the importance of a speedy and unbiased trial, and protection against excessive bail or fines or cruel and unusual punishment.

This historic document can be viewed for a limited time Feb. 14, 2014 to Aug. 17, 2014.



Related Information:

About Hereford Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Ethelbert the King

A Cathedral dedicated to the martyred King Ethelbert has stood on the current site of Hereford Cathedral since Saxon times and is home to a community which has worshipped and worked together here continuously for well over 1200 years. Learn more...


The loan of the documents is a partnership arrangement between the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Chapter of Hereford Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust.

Magna Carta is generously underwritten, in part, by The Hamill Foundation; The Harriet and Truett Latimer Endowment Fund; Dianne and George Lindahl; Kathrine G. McGovern; Kelly and Bill Montgomery; Elizabeth and Gary Petersen; HMW Entertainment; George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation; Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.; Vinson & Elkins LLP; Laurie and Reed Morian; and Lisa Young and Matt Assiff.

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