The names of the twenty-five barons elected as sureties or guarantors of Magna Carta are now part of the historical record. Their lives and achievements have been well documented and, rightly or wrongly, many people proudly claim descent from them.
Yet these men were very much a product of those unsettled times. They were the aristocratic elite of Anglo-Norman society, holding large swathes of land from the king, particularly in the North of England and East Anglia.
Each baron had at least one barony that was made up of a number of fees or manors, and one manor in particular was the caput honouris, the chief manor. Eight centuries later, unsurprisingly, few of the barons’ descendants are connected with the communities that developed on these manors.
Instead, what we find today are the towns and villages formed by generations of residents who worked in the same fields, lived in the same houses, attended services in the same parish church, and were laid to rest in the same cemetery.
Eighteen of these towns and villages have formed the Magna Carta Barons Association to celebrate 800 years of their history in June 2015.
For news of the events they are planning, click News.
And for news of national events being planned, click Magna Carta 800th Anniversary.