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2015 Magna Carta Lectures with Chris Dyer
Fri 24 April 2015, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm£7
Professor Chris Dyer – Magna Carta and the Common People: Did the Great Charter Have Any Meaning for Peasants?
Sellar and Yeatman famously mocked the exclusive privileges granted by Magna Carta by stating that it was ‘a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People)’. More serious historians once shared their belief that the aristocracy were the main or even the sole beneficiaries of the charter. Now we can see points of direct contact between the royal government and the peasantry. Peasants looked to the king as their protector. They had sufficient political skill to negotiate with their lords, and like those who demanded the reforms included in Magna Carta, aimed to set limits to the powers of their superiors and to enjoy some security and independence.
Christopher Dyer has been Professor of Social History at the University of Birmingham, and Professor of Regional and Local History at the University of Leicester. He is the author of books and many articles and essays on the history of English villages and towns and their inhabitants in the middle ages. His most recent book, A Country Merchant, is about a Cotswold wool dealer who lived between 1470 and 1540.
Tickets are £7 and are available by phoning 01722 424800, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on the door. Follow-up seminar takes place on Saturday 25 April priced at £10. Places limited.
Lecture takes place in Salisbury Cathedral.
Subsequent lectures and seminars
Lectures: Nicholas Vincent (15 May), Dick Howard (7 June), Lord Igor Judge (18 June) and Lesley Smith (rescheduled, 24 July) Seminars: Chris Dyer (25 April), Nicholas Vincent (16 May) and Lesley Smith (rescheduled, 25 July)