A very early edition of the Magna Carter has been discovered in an old Victorian scrapbook in a council’s archives. It’s estimated to be worth £10 million.
BBC News reports:
An early edition of Magna Carta has been found in a Victorian scrapbook during a search of a council’s archives
The discovery has come months ahead of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in Runnymede in 1215.
Kent archivist Dr Mark Bateson had been asked to search for another charter from the town of Sandwich.
Dr Bateson found the town’s Charter of the Forest in a Victorian scrapbook in Kent County Council archives – with the long-forgotten Magna Carta edition.
The document was ripped with about a third missing but could still be worth up to £10m, according to Professor Nicholas Vincent, a specialist in medieval history from the University of East Anglia.
Its high value comes from the fact that it was found with the Charter of the Forest. The only other such pair in the world is owned by Oriel College, Oxford.
Professor Vincent, who asked Dr Bateson to search for the forest charter in December and went on to authenticate the Sandwich Magna Carta after it was found, said it was “a fantastic discovery”.
He said it backed the theory that Magna Carta was issued more widely than previously thought, to at least 50 cathedral towns and ports.
He also said the discovery gave hope that further copies would also turn up.
Twenty-four editions of Magna Carta, which established the principle of the rule of law, are currently known to exist.
The Magna Carta Research Project describes the Sandwich document as a “previously unknown exemplar of the 1300 Magna Carta”, over half a metre in length, but missing text and its royal seal.