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9th March 2015, 11:33am
Magna Carta: past and present
Magna Carta: past and present The circumstances which led to the creation of Magna Carta 800 years ago and the way digital technology is transforming how the historic document is viewed today will be discussed in two free public lectures this month.

As part of the Lincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series, Professor Nicholas Vincent FBA , will present his talk, Who Wrote Magna Carta? at the University of Lincoln on Tuesday 24th March. Featuring a variety of fascinating illustrations, it will explore the working of King John’s government, and the lives of the scribes who penned the ‘grand charter’.

Professor Vincent, a Fellow of the British Academy and Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia, said:  “Magna Carta is an iconic document. In origin, however, it was merely one of many thousands of letters and charters issued by King John. Of these, more than 200 have been traced over the past few years.  I will use this new body of evidence to explore the workings of King John's government, the specific circumstances in which Magna Carta came to be written, and the careers and peculiarities of the scribes who physically wrote it.”

His lecture will be followed on Friday 27th March by Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, who will examine the implications and opportunities arising from the Magna Carta in the digital age.

Mr Keating, said: “Standing in front of an original Magna Carta manuscript is a powerful experience and huge numbers of visitors from around the world flock to see the document on display in the British Library and Lincoln Castle every year.

“And yet in the 21st century, these 800 year old pieces of parchment have taken on a new and increasingly digital identity. Only in the past 12 months we have seen Tim Berners-Lee call for a ‘Magna Carta for the internet’, and imaging technology has enabled us to reveal hidden secrets in the Library’s Magna Carta manuscripts, using digital techniques undreamt of by previous generations of scholars.

“I look forward to exploring the powerful interplay between the physical and digital artefact with audiences in Lincoln during this very special Magna Carta anniversary year.”

The Lincoln Magna Carta Lecture Series is taking place at venues across the City of Lincoln. It forms part of the wider programme of celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215.

Professor Vincent’s lecture on 24th March takes place at the EMMTEC building on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Campus.  Roly Keating’s lecture on 27th March will be held at the David Chiddick Building, also on the Brayford Campus. Admission is free with registration from 5.30pm registration and a 6pm start. To book a place, or find out more about other upcoming events  at the University of Lincoln, visit:

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