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Magna Carta copy to be auctioned

September 26, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

A 13th century copy of the Magna Carta, a milestone of English freedom, will be offered for sale Dec. 10 in New York, Sotheby's auction house said.

The vellum manuscript owned by the Perot Foundation is estimated to sell for $20 million to $30 million, Sotheby's said.

The document was on display at the National Archives in Washington for more than 20 years, until Thursday.

King John was forced by barons to agree to the charter in 1215. It guaranteed that freemen would not be imprisoned or deprived of property without due process, including a right to a speedy trial before a jury.

Other versions of the Magna Carta were issued by John's son, King Henry III, in 1216, 1217, 1225 and 1264. The copy offered by Sotheby's is dated 1297, the year it was incorporated into the statute rolls of King Edward I.

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