We haven't had a Maps on Monday post for a while so as today, 15 June 2015, is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta let's have some maps related to that.
Magna Carta was agreed by King John of England and a group of rebel barons at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. Although Magna Carta was somewhat limited in scope, dealing with such issues as the rights of the church and protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, the political myth of Magna Carta as a document guaranteeing widespread personal liberties persisted until well into the 19th century. It influenced the early American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies and the formation of the American Constitution in 1789.
This strip map from a 1675 "road atlas" of England and Wales published by John Ogilby shows the routes that would have been taken by the king and the barons to the field at Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed. The king rode down from his castle at Windsor and the barons crossed the River Thames at Staines, where a "wooden bridge" is marked on the map.
Researchers at Cambridge University have recently created the first digital maps of the travels undertaken by King John and of his successors Henry III and Edward I during their reigns. It turns out that John was pretty much always on the move raising taxes and holding court, trying to hold on to his authority in spite of the challenges from those pesky barons.
And what does all this have to do with sailing?
Not a lot.
Except I think every sailor has at some time lost a "personal treasure" overboard. A cell-phone. A pair of sunglasses. A favorite hat. Yes?
So show some sympathy for King John who lost most of his personal belongings, including the Crown Jewels, as he and his retinue and their pack-horses crossed one of the tidal estuaries which empties into the Wash.
Oh, and for all my American readers, did you know that every American president except one, is descended from King John?
Can you guess who the exception is without going to that link first?
And what is the most valued "personal treasure" that you have lost to the ocean depths?