In 2015 the Sandwich Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest were rediscovered in the Kent County Council archives in Maidstone.
To celebrate these historic finds and their continuing legacy, BASH secured funding from Magna Carta 800 to bring a series of events to Sandwich.
Our events, coinciding with 800 years of Magna Carta, were scheduled around the first public exhibition of the Sandwich Charters in the town’s Guildhall in the autumn of 2015.
16th September 2015 Our first event in the series was a fascinating and highly entertaining free public lecture from two key academics from the Magna Carta Project: Prof Nicholas Vincent (University of East Anglia) who discovered the Sandwich charters, and Prof Louise Wilkinson (Canterbury Christ Church University) whose research includes the role of women in the politics of the age.
3rd October 2015 The Robin Hoodeners brought interactive folk theatre to the streets of Sandwich. The troupe's shows are based on surviving examples of early Robin Hood tales and include live music, mumming and audience participation. The shows coincided with the display of the Sandwich charters inside the Guildhall as part of the Magna Carta Rediscovered touring exhibition, allowing visitors to view historic law-making documents inside, and enjoy the exploits of England’s favourite outlaw outside.
16th October 2015 Our grand finale was a high-energy programme of music and tales in the historic church setting of St Mary’s, Sandwich. With harp, fidel, percussion, bagpipes and voices, early music stars Joglaresa performed 'Robbers, Rebels and Royals', with songs to challenge the supreme authority of kings, criticise the Roman Curia, and highlight the lives, loves, imprisonment and taxation of ordinary folk at the time of Magna Carta. They were joined by harp-playing, folk-singing storyteller extraordinaire Nick Hennessey for a lively programme featuring tales of Robin Hood, King John, outlaws, rebels, social justice and injustice - all interwoven with Joglaresa's electrifying song.
BASH donated money raised at the events, and half of all ticket sales from the concert, to the East Kent Mercury fundraising campaign to bring the Sandwich Charters home.
Find out more about the Sandwich Charters and protocol for access on the Sandwich Town Council website.
Read more about the discovery of the charters, including BASH’s article in the MC800 newsletter Magna_Carta_Newsletter_Mar_2015