The 1217 Charter of the Forest

by Peter Sinclair on July 2, 2017

To mark the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, issued by Henry III together with his reissue of the Charter of Liberties (to be known as Magna Carta in 1218 to differentiate it from the Charter of the Forest), a lecture was given by Christian Liddy of the University of Durham on 29 April 2017. It was entitled ‘Common Rights and Natural Resources: The 1217 Charter of the Forest in Historical Perspective‘ and took place in Newcastle.

After the Conquest, the crown enjoyed exclusive rights over large parts of England. The Charter of the Forest established wider access for hunting, grazing and fuel for the country’s free men. Christian’s lecture uses the charter as a historical starting point to consider conflicts over our rights of access to common land. Thanks to the Medievalists.Net and YouTube we are able to include it here.

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