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Charter of Liberties: England, 1100

Henry I became king in 1100 following the death of his brother, William II. In that year he signed ‘The Charter of Liberties’, which made him theoretically subject to the rule of law. It is understood to have been in response to demands from his nobles and is considered a landmark document in English legal history and a forerunner of Magna Carta.

Of particular interest to women is the provision that widows, either with or without children, are permitted to keep their dowries, and are free to marry again if they so choose. They are also allowed to be guardians of any land left by their husbands.

Another section of the new Charter of Liberties guarantees the independence of the Church.

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

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