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VIDEO: David Starkey on why ‘boggy’ Runnymede was chosen as Magna Carta site

As England marks St George’s day, TV historian David Starkey has revealed that the site where the Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede was chosen because it was a muddy bog that prevented a battle between the king and the barons erupting.

Dr Starkey, whose interview on Radio 4 this morning about the historic document upset Today programme listeners, explained that the sodden fields by the River Thames were used as Magna Carta was “a product of civil war”.

King John put his name to the charter almost 800 years ago to meet the barons’ demands after arguments over royal power.

More than 650 people packed Guildford Cathedral last night to hear Dr Starkey give a talk about the manuscript organised by Surrey County Council.

Pictures can be found at http://www.flickr.com/surreynews. Feel free to embed the video.

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