Dawn's Journal

By DawnP

Clause 39

After nearly 2 weeks of feeling miserable and mainly stuck indoors nursing a cold, today the sun was shining and I felt a need for some fresh air.  So I took myself off to Runnymede and a walk around the area seen by many as the birthplace of democracy.

The key event was when King John put his seal to the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215, and so established the basis of  common law across the world.  Four of the original 63 clauses still exist in English law, including Clause 39:

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."

This has inspired a new architectural artwork at Runnymede by Mark Wallinger, which one enters via a simple labyrinth, to find a central chamber with a pool which uses reflection in water to reveal the text as a play against the idea of law written in stone.

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