Royal Holloway University of London – Department of History
3 March 2009
The 2009 Hayes Robinson Lecture
“The Magna Carta Manifesto”
Prof. Peter Linebaugh examines the current state of liberty and shows how longstanding restraints against tyranny—and the rights of habeas corpus, trial by jury, and due process of law, and the prohibition of torture—are being abridged. In providing a sweeping history of Magna Carta, the source of these protections since 1215, he demonstrates how these ancient rights are repeatedly laid aside when the greed of privatization, the lust for power, and the ambition of empire seize a state. Peter Linebaugh draws on primary sources to construct a wholly original history of the Great Charter and its scarcely-known companion, the Charter of the Forest, which was created at the same time to protect the subsistence rights of the poor.
Professor Linebaugh is the author of The Magna Carta Manifesto blog.
NOTE: Due to technical problems beyond our control the first 20 minutes of this lecture did not record. We have, however, obtained a backup recording taken from video and joined the initially missing section with our recording. You may hear a noticeable difference in quality between sections.