By Paul Rimm, February 26, 2015
King John signs the Magna Carta in 1215. A Jewish lawyer drew it up
The original copy of the Magna Carta was written in Hebrew, newly discovered evidence has shown.
Clerks at King John’s court charged with compiling the “Great Document” 800 years ago turned for help to a Jewish lawyer, known as David of Cheapside, it is now believed.
Esther Smythe, professor of historical documentation at University College London, said recently unearthed papers showed that David was brought in to draft the complex legal clauses that had proved beyond the skill of John’s scribes.
Ms Smythe said documents dating back to the 13th century had been uncovered in the archive at Taschen Castle, in Lincolnshire, which contained an account by a clerk called Gerald Haman.
Gerald describes how courtiers sought out David and begged him to draw up the charter. He writes that…