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Magna Carta Purchased by David Rubenstein for $21.3 Million


Luke_Wilbur
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A rare 710-year-old copy of the Magna Carta valued was sold by The Perot Foundation at Sotheby's in New York last night. It fetched US$21.3 million,[16] the most ever paid publicly for a document. It was bought by David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group: "I thought it was very important that the Magna Carta stay in the United States and I was concerned that the only copy in the United States might escape as a result of this auction," Rubenstein said after the auction. David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $75 billion from 33 offices around the world.

 

Magna Carta (Latin for "Great Charter", literally "Great Paper"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum ("Great Charter of Freedoms"), established rights of the English people and curbed the power of the king. The U.S. Constitution includes ideas and phrases taken almost directly from the charter, which rebellious barons forced their oppressive King John to sign in 1215.

 

Sotheby's said the Magna Carta was ratified and reissued with each monarch who succeeded John. It was enacted as law in 1297 by the British parliament when it was reissued by King Edward I. The copy to be sold is from 1297. It was held by the Brudenell family, earls of Cardigan, who had owned it for five centuries, before being sold to the Perot Foundation in 1984.

 

For modern times, the most enduring legacy of Magna Carta is considered the right of habeas corpus. This right arises from what are now known as clauses 36, 38, 39, and 40 of the 1215 Magna Carta. This right arises from what are now known as clauses 36, 38, 39, and 40 of the 1215 Magna Carta.

 

I. FIRST, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, for Us and our Heirs for ever, that the Church of England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever.

IX. THE City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, and all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.

XXIX. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.

 

Sotheby's said there are fewer than 20 copies of the Magna Carta and that this copy, which has been on loan to be displayed beside the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C., is one of only two held outside of Britain. The other copy, also from 1297, is owned by the Australian government.

 

David Redden, Sotheby's vice chairman, said the document "symbolizes mankind's eternal quest for freedom; it is a talisman of liberty."

 

Sotheby's said The Perot Foundation, created by billionaire former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot to make philanthropic grants, would use the money for its charities. The Foundation bought the Magna Carta in 1984.

 

King_John_of_England_signs_the_Magna_Carta___Illustration_from_Cassell__s_History_of_England___Century_Edition___published_circa_1902.jpg

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Guest Public Affairs

Magna Carta Returns to Display at the National Archives

 

In celebration of David M. Rubenstein’s generous loan of the 1297 Magna Carta, the National Archives will present a special tribute program on Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater in addition to "Magna Carta Days" -- March 12 through March 26 -- when the National Archives museum will be open until 8 p.m. The program will feature Professor A. E. Dick Howard, author of The Road from Runnymede: Magna Carta and Constitutionalism in America. Attendees of the evening's program will have a special opportunity to view the document following the program.

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