This year, Faversham joins with cities and towns across the UK to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta by King John in 1215, a document widely regarded as England’s greatest export. This ‘Great Charter’, the foundation stone of democracy has brought freedom to people all over the world and has inspired a number of other documents including the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Faversham can boast a special right to be part of these commemorations as proud owner of an edition of Magna Carta dated 1300, the last reissue of the document presented to the ‘Barons of the Port of Faversham’ and with King Edward I’s seal. In addition to Magna Carta the town of Faversham owns a magnificent set of some 17 charters dating from 1252 to 1685 described as being ‘of world importance’.
A major programme of events including exhibitions, concerts talks and the Magna Carta weekend will take place in the town to mark the anniversary, details below
Magna Carta Rediscovered’ Exhibition – 23rd May to 28th June
The Alexander Centre
Open every day from 10am to 4.00pm (last admission 3.30pm). Late evening Thursday until 7.30pm. A FREE exhibition
Faversham’s priceless and rarely displayed Magna Carta will be the centrepiece of this major exhibition which will tour Kent in 1215. Launching in Faversham the exhibition with interactive and graphic displays will interpret the importance of the medieval Magna Carta to today’s concepts of the freedom of the individual, democracy and society. The exhibition will also showcase a selection of the other charters.
Protest, Democracy and the Law’ Exhibition – 23rd May to 28th June
The Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre. Fleur opening hours. A FREE exhibition
This exhibition will highlight the long history of protest in Faversham starting in 1300.
Events will include:
• Town versus Abbey, a disagreement in 1301
• The murder of Arden, Mayor of Faversham in 1551
• The story of Thomas Jennings, sentenced to death for burglary in 1783, but pardoned
• The Agricultural riots in the early 1830s
• Representation in Parliament in the 1800s and 1900s
• Local branches of global movements such as CND and Greenpeace
• ‘No to Foulness’ – an ongoing story
For more details go to http://www.faversham.org/favershammagnacarta