Charter of Liberties

The Charter of Liberties, also called the Coronation Charter, was a written proclamation by Henry I of England, issued upon his accession to the throne in 1100. It sought to bind the King to certain laws regarding the treatment of nobles, church officials, and individuals. The 19th-century historians Frederick Maitland and Frederick Pollock considered it a landmark document in English legal history and a forerunner of the Magna Carta.

The document addressed abuses of royal power by his predecessor William II (his brother William Rufus), as perceived by the nobility, specifically the over-taxation of the barons, the abuse of vacant sees, and the practices of simony and pluralism.

The Charter of Liberties was generally ignored by monarchs, until in 1213 Archbishop Langton reminded the nobles that their liberties had been guaranteed over a century prior in Henry I’s Charter of Liberties.

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