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