Robert Grosseteste, natural law and Magna Carta: national and universal law in 1253

Hoskin, Philippa (2015) Robert Grosseteste, natural law and Magna Carta: national and universal law in 1253. International Journal of Regional and Local History, 10 (2). pp. 120-132. ISSN 2051-4530

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This paper considers how the English episcopate's complaints (gravamina) of 1253 demonstrate one view of how the king's authority could be curbed through Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. The gravamina were drafted by Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln 1235–1253, and declare that the king is ignoring universal, natural law and man-made common law. They reveal Grosseteste's own view of the relationship between justice and natural law and how this should influence written law codes to ensure the salvation of mankind. Grosseteste interpreted the charters of liberties through natural law, as intended to bring common law and natural law into line with each other to make salvation possible through the exercise of justice. Magna Carta was now not an immediate solution to a local problem, but part of a universal, eternal concern. As the document was issued in the names of all the episcopate, they also consented to this view

Keywords:Magna Carta, medieval history, natural law, Robert Grosseteste, NotOAChecked
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V340 Intellectual History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:19889
Deposited On:28 Dec 2015 21:55

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