Confirmations by Kings and Parliament:
As a peace treaty Magna Carta failed. Within ten weeks of its sealing, King John convinced the pope to render it void and England was plunged into internal war. This might have been the end of Magna Carta. Nevertheless, King John’s successors found re-issuing Magna Carta to be a useful political measure for keeping peace with the barons of the kingdom. It declared the king’s good faith in protecting the barons’ interests, couched in the language of the rule of law. King Henry III (reigned 1217–1272), as a minor, issued a significantly abridged version of Magna Carta in 1216, and then again in 1217 along with a companion charter, the Charter of the Forest. King Henry III later confirmed Magna Carta in 1225, 1237, 1253, and 1265 as the need to levy new taxes arose. Henry’s successor, King Edward I (reigned 1272–1307), reissued Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest in his Confirmation of the Charters (1297) to gain funds to support his war in Flanders.
Over time, however, Magna Carta came to symbolize a commitment to the rule of law. By the fourteenth century reconfirmation of Magna Carta by Parliament became a regular public event by which members of Parliament asserted the king’s obligation to uphold the rule of law. Modern research has revealed as many as forty-four distinct, reaffirmations of Magna Carta, with the last occurring in 1423.