13th-Century Food Fights Helped Fuel the Magna Carta

The recent loan and display of a 1297 copy of the Magna Carta at the National Achives allows careful readers to note how food security and free trade prompted English Barons to negotiate with King John.

The King could visit a baron's estate any time, expecting hospitality and to raid the baron's stores for supplies. Theoretically, there was compensation, but it was not always timely, and sometimes corrupt intermediaries made this "supply chain" less-than-optimally-efficient. Eventually, this and other aggrevations led the barons of England to...insist...that King John make some changes.