‘No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned, or dispossessed … except through the lawful judgment of his peers or through the law of the land.’ ‘To no one shall we sell, to no one shall we deny or delay right or justice.’ Magna Carta (or ‘Great Charter’ of English Liberties) is one of the most important documents in legal history. Originating as a peace treaty agreed between King John and a group of powerful barons at Runnymede near Windsor on 15 June 1215, it enshrined in law the concept of individual liberty and defined the role of the monarch towards the people. The charter was successively revised and reissued throughout the thirteenth century by England’s monarchs, and the ideas expressed in it had a profound influence, as seen in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Latin text of one version of this landmark document (the 1217 issue of Henry III) is transcribed here in full, together with a modern translation and an introduction which traces the background to the making of the charter and its subsequent revisions through the centuries. It also explains how this text has become an enduring symbol of freedom in Britain and throughout the world.