Bolles and the Magna Carta


Randall and Barbara Bolles attended the Annual Meeting of the Kansas-Missouri Society of Magna Charta Dames and Barons on October 25, 2014. Robert "Randall" Bolles #2886, Kansas City MO, is a Baron of Magna Charta, and his daughter, Kelly Bolles Butler #3298 is Randall's Legacy Member, 'Dame of Magna Charta'. Bolles Family Association members who were members of the Magna Charta Society include the late Francis Robert Bolles #3152 of Binghamton NY, the late George C. Campbell #2081 of New Milford PA and the late Edith L. Bolles Viets Syring Dixon #1435 of Spokane WA. If anyone knows of other people, please let us know. The guest speaker was Dr. Kimberly Schutte, PhD, Academic Consultant, Historian, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Her subject was, “Magna Carta at Nearly 800”. Dr. Schutte is sharing her wealth of information for the benefit of BFA members. Editor's Note: The different spelling of "Magna Carta" and "Magna Charta" is not an error.





Magna Carta at Nearly 800

By: Dr. Kimberly Schutte

Nearly 800 years after King John signed the great charter at Runnymede, the Magna Carta remains one of the touchstones of modern democracy. This, despite the fact, that the majority of the document refers to grievances that are very specific to their place in feudal society. The original document has something of a random quality to it—clearly indicating the work of many hands working in haste. The Barons had good cause to fear and distrust John, a King whose mental health is certainly in question. He had starved a woman and her son to death, murdered his nephew, and hanged Welsh hostages (the charter has 2 clauses that deal with the proper treatment of the Welsh). From its outset John’s reign had been marked by discord both internally with his Barons and externally, most notably – though not exclusively – with Pope Innocent III and King Philip II Augustus of France. When John inherited the throne from his brother Richard the Lionheart in 1199, he inherited more than just England, he also gained substantial portions of France. When John came to the throne, he did not have the best claim – in front of him, under some interpretations, was his nephew Arthur of Brittany. John had his nephew, who was only 12 in 1199, imprisoned and eventually murdered in 1203. This shocked many of his Barons.

Click here to continue reading