Magna Carta for every free person, 800 years of rights: THE CHARTER OF THE FOREST 1217
A public lecture by Professor David Carpenter Professor of Medieval History, King’s College, University of London
Unlike its more famous counterpart, Magna Carta, which dealt with the rights of the barons, the little known Charter of the Forest of 1217 addressed the rights of the common man. It was one of the first laws in the world to regulate the use of natural resources by establishing a basic right to use public lands and restricting the amount of land that the king could claim for his private use. It remained law in England until 1971, making it one of the longest lasting laws in English history, and influenced laws regarding the use of land in the USA.