Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 433

The Magna Carta


Hello Everyone



As l write this blog post, l am sitting in Auntie Alice’s cottage and the children are playing at being Robin Hood and his merry men outside in the garden. 


There was no argument about who should be Maid Marian – that was going to be Emily.  But nobody wanted to be the wicked King John.


ln actual fact, although the King John you see in old films was the bad brother of the good king Richard the Lionheart; he was not really such a bad monarch.


Richard the Lionheart, or Richard l, is one of history’s superheroes because he is now thought of as a great, noble leader and crusader. 


He actually spent only seven months of his ten year reign in England and his countrymen paid very dearly for his campaigns in foreign lands. 


He fought to secure a treaty (written agreement) that would allow Christians safe passage to the holy city of Jerusalem.  This was finally achieved in 1192.


He was a well-educated, athletic man who showed great bravery on the battlefield and this reputation earned him the name of Lionheart.


At the end of his reign, Richard proclaimed that his youngest brother John should be his successor.  Richard died in 1199.


You will notice that King John does not have a number after his name like monarchs normally do.  This is because we have only had one king called John so he does not need to have a number to tell us which King John he was.


John tried hard to look after the country that his brother had largely neglected.  But things went wrong for John.


He lost territories abroad.


He refused to accept the Pope’s choice of Archbishop of Canterbury and as a result, the Pope (his name was lnnocent lll), forbade any church service to take place in England – apart from baptisms and funerals. 


John confiscated church property and so then the Pope excommunicated John (set him outside the Christian Church) and declared that he was no longer the rightful king of England.


ln a time when the Church had a powerful hold over the lives of people, this was a serious argument.  ln the end, John had to give in.


The King also upset the nobility by enforcing a high level of taxation.  He needed funds to carry out plans he had to improve the country.  He spent a lot of the money on building castles and improving existing ones.


He was married twice and had five children with his second wife.  He loved hunting and having a bath – which was thought to be a strange occupation at the time because people then rarely bathed.


Historians now tell us that King John was a good administrator with a fair sense of justice.  He may have been spiteful at times; however, he was a hard-working ruler and an effective general and diplomat. 


But his people were not happy with him.


ln 1214, some English barons, who were owners of large land estates, and church leaders met at Bury St Edmunds, in East Anglia, to discuss what they wanted to force the king to agree to.


They were not happy with his rulings with regard to taxes, law, foreign policy and even religion.


They thought that he was being too high-handed.


They drew up a charter listing their demands.


They threatened war if they did not get what they wanted.


There was much disagreement over the charter between the king who was residing at Windsor and the barons who had moved to nearby Staines to start discussions which him.


Finally, after much haggling, John agreed to meet with the barons half way between the two places to get things settled.


They met in a field at Runnymede.


ln 1215, on 15th June, the royal seal was fixed to the charter and over the next four days copies were made and sent around the kingdom.


The document which set out the rights of the people and their relationship with the crown originally set out 63 clauses.


The document was called the Magna Carta. 


These words are Latin and the mean The Great Charter.  The word great referred to it being wide-reaching as it affected the life of all the people – rather than being a very long document.


lt limited the king’s powers to tax and guaranteed the rights of the church. 


lt stated that nobody should be put in prison unlawfully.


After the royal seal was put to the charter the barons pledged allegiance to their king.


The Charter was reissued again in 1216 and 1217 with revisions.  The final version was agreed by Henry lll in 1225.


Lots of different rules were noted down and you can see copies of the Magna Carta on show to the public in various places like Salisbury Cathedral.


lt stated that a widow should not be forced to remarry if she did not want to.  That was a stand for women’s rights.


A national measure was set for units of alcohol sold in public houses and this still holds in modern law.  Weights and measures of anything sold are standardized – that means they should all be the same.  This was to make sure that customers were not cheated.


As the feudal system died out under the Tudor monarchs, this document became largely irrelevant. 


The feudal system meant that landowners allowed peasants to have land to grow food for themselves in return for labouring on the landowner’s land and also maybe helping to form a fighting force when called to by their overlord.


But nowadays it is viewed as an important development in the history of England because it was a written agreement between the people and their monarch setting out exactly how the relationship should work.


Then later in 1215, the Pope declared that King John did not need to abide by the Magna Carta and this triggered a civil war.


ln 1216, the barons asked for help from the French in fighting John.  They landed in Kent to no opposition and Prince Louis succeeded in capturing the Tower of London. 


John lost his war chest of cash that he needed to pay for his support in the war and his crown jewels whilst crossing a tidal estuary that empties into the Wash.  This is the almost square-shaped sea bay between Norfolk and Lincolnshire. 


Very soon afterwards John died of illness at Newark and was buried in Worcester Cathedral.  The war ended with his death.


Henry lll was the next king.  He was only nine years old when he took over the throne.  As he was so young, two men helped him to rule.


They were called regents.  A regent is someone who rules on behalf of a monarch whilst they are unable to carry out their duties.  One of them was appointed by John before his death.


The Runnymede Memorial that stands next to the River Thames in the place where the Charter was agreed was paid for by the American Bar Association and dedicated in 1957.


Ah!  An arrow has just flown in through the window – so l think l should go out and have a word…



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  Why do dragons sleep during the day?


Bill:  So they can fight knights!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery




The Wash is between the phone box

and the top of the Queen Elizabeth Tower (houses Big Ben)


The memorial








Captain Jack was so proud of himself this week.

He won the Annual Rocky Bay Sports-a-thon Competition.

Of course, being Rocky Bay we do things here in a different and fun way.

I will tell you about the things he had to do.

The first leg was to go around the crazy gold course at Sandy Cove.

The second leg was to knock seven coconuts off at a coconut shy.

The third leg was to ride a donkey to the Rusty Anchor Inn.

The fourth leg was to reach a score of 500 points by throwing darts at a board.

The final leg was to drink a pint of cherryade.

The moment the glass was empty and the base thumped down onto the counter top the contestant had finished the course!

A lot of the contestants got hiccups at that point!



Reg, the landlord at the Rusty Anchor, wrote the finishing times of each competitor up on a blackboard outside the pub to let the crowd know how everyone was doing.

Of course, everything was against the clock which made it so exciting for the contestants – and the crowd.

When people try to do things quickly, they may not do them so well. 

A lot of people were fumbling and tripping but it just added to the hilarity.

The contestants started off individually and a judge went with each one carrying a stop watch to clock their time and check that they had completed everything properly.

All the competitors paid to enter and there was a prize of a large cup to take home – donated by the mayor.

The money collected was for charity and lots of people went round the in crowd with buckets to collect cash from the spectators too.

It really was a lot of fun.

I have to say, I don’t think that Captain Jack would have done so well if it was a running, cycling and swimming competition!

But don’t tell him I said so!









Quick Quiz


What are these things?


Draw a column of boxes 6 across and 8 down


Put the 6 letter answers to these clues across inside the boxes


The first letters of the answers will spell a word


  1. a storage box that pulls out
  2. the start of something
  3. a pen for cattle
  4. must be done in a hurry
  5. an unworthy favourite
  6. someone knowledgeable about a subject
  7. bite a little at a time
  8. to prosper/flourish/do really well







lt’s the Weekend!




This picture frame would fit into a grand dolls’ house or a room setting for a 12” doll.

First, choose the size of frame you want to make according to the picture you want to frame.

You may have to trim the picture a bit because you will have to cut the plastic canvas you are going to use by choosing how many squares you need to cut around and this will limit your choice of size.



You will need two pieces of the same size.

One piece will be for the back and one piece will be for the front of the frame.

You will need to cut a hole in the front piece by using very small, sharp scissors.  You may need an adult’s help with this part because it is a bit fiddly and you will not want the scissors to slip and jab into your hand.

Sew crosses across the back of the back piece of the frame using one or two colours.

Then, using one or two colours, sew crosses around the front of the frame.  The frame in the photograph has two shades of peach sewn in alternate crosses.

Sew stitches in around the inner side using back stitch.

Sew the front to the back using over-sew stitching remembering to slip the picture into the frame before you sew along the last edge.

If you will want to change the picture from time to time, sew along the top of the front of the frame and then carry on sewing the next three edges attaching the back to the front as you go.

Then you will have a gap at the top of the frame.

If you use two colours that are very similar, you will get a very subtle overall effect, but if you use two contrasting colours the effect will be jazzier.

Remember to sew your crosses in the same direction.



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. a storage box that pulls out – drawer
  2. the start of something – origin
  3. a pen for cattle – corral
  4. must be done in a hurry – urgent
  5. an unworthy favourite – minion
  6. someone knowledgeable about a subject – expert
  7. bite a little at a time – nibble
  8. to prosper/flourish/do really well – thrive


Answer = document


A corral

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