Magna Carta 21st Century version created in St Albans

Parchment signed in St Albans 800 years after historic meeting in the city led to the creation of Ma

Parchment signed in St Albans 800 years after historic meeting in the city led to the creation of Magna Carta. Paul Wright, manager of William Cowley, was one of over 100 people to sign the document. - Credit: Photo supplied

Eight hundred years after St Albans set the scene for the creation of the iconic Magna Carta, the city has again made history with a piece of parchment.

Parchment signed in St Albans 800 years after historic meeting in the city led to the creation of Ma

Parchment signed in St Albans 800 years after historic meeting in the city led to the creation of Magna Carta. Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams was one of over 100 people to sign the document. - Credit: Photo supplied

Over 100 people from St Albans and beyond, from a local street cleaner to Lord and Lady Salisbury, have signed a parchment created to help commemorate the city’s status and heritage as a Magna Carta Charter Town.

Following last year’s successful exhibition of an original Magna Carta at St Albans Abbey, Rosemary Stevens has been on a mission to have people who have contributed to the district sign the parchment.

Rosemary said: “I thought it would be a fun idea.”

The sheepskin parchment was provided by William Cowley, the UK’s only parchment and vellum makers, and one of just three or four such firms in the world.


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A wide range of occupations and roles are represented on the document including judges, a supermarket manager, tailor, goldsmith, butcher, miller and plumber.

Even the Herts Advertiser’s editor, Matt Adams, was asked to sign.

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Paul Wright, general manager of William Cowley which provided exhibits for last year’s exhibition in St Albans, praised Rosemary’s efforts and the district for continuing its leading role in celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

He said: “St Albans is unique in that Rosemary’s parchment is part of the Magna Carta 800th anniversary celebrations – you are streets ahead of anyone else.

“To create another record 800 years after the Magna Carta was initiated in St Albans is part of your history. And it has been signed by everyone from the street sweeper to the High Sheriff. That is community. No one has done what you guys have done.”

Paul, who was the last person to sign the parchment, is currently looking at replicating the document on archival paper.

Rosemary said that while a permanent home for the parchment had yet to be found, people could contact Paul to purchase copies of the document. For more information email enquiries@williamcowley.co.uk

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