BUILDING SUPPORT FOR MAGNA CARTA. I praised the drafting of the enforcement provisions of Magna Carta here. The clause, among other things, provided for the election of 25 barons charged with enforcement and that a majority of those 25 persons could bind them all.When Magna Carta was reissued in 2016 after King John’s death, the provisions were omitted. However, the political/military position of Magna Carta’s supporters was strong enough that it was reissued not only in 1216 but also in 1217. This wikipedia entry describes the changes made in 1216 and 1217.

The wikipedia entry says that: “Magna Carta was however novel in that it set up a formally recognised means of collectively coercing the King.” Ferdinand Mount in a review essay on new books on Magna Carta in the London Review of Books (April 23) describes the efforts by the 25 barons who were given enforcement powers by Magna Carta to build support for Magna Carta throughout the country. Right after the execution of the document, duplicates of Magna Carta were sent to 12 bishops “as being the most reliable custodians and distributors”. At the same time, the 25 barons who were charged with enforcement “sent letters to all the county sheriffs, instructing them to take an oath of allegiance to the charter and to elect 12 knights in each county to inquire into ‘evil customs needing reform”. There was a systematic effort to give Magna Carta importance throughout the country.

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