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PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION. - Misc (Magna Carta), Magna Carta: A Commentary on the Great Charter of King John, with an Historical Introduction 
Magna Carta: A Commentary on the Great Charter of King John, with an Historical Introduction, by William Sharp McKechnie (Glasgow: Maclehose, 1914).
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PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.
The numerous and weighty criticisms upon the first edition of this Commentary (published in 1905 and now out of print) were doubly welcome to the author as showing a widespread interest in the subjects discussed, and as enabling him to profit from the collaboration of eminent specialists in the elucidation of Magna Carta and of the age that gave it birth. The last eight years have been fertile in discussions on the form and contents, the historical setting, and the constitutional value of the Great Charter. Monographs and contributions to periodical literature, devoted exclusively to Magna Carta, have been published in France, Germany and the United States of America, as well as in Great Britain; while few books have appeared on English medieval history or on the development of English law without throwing light incidentally on one or more of the Charter’s various aspects.
An endeavour has been made, by severe condensation, to find room in this new edition for whatever seemed relevant and of permanent value in this mass of new material, without sacrificing anything of importance contained in the first edition. Effect has been given, so far as space permitted, to the suggestions cordially offered by critics and fellow–workers, both privately and in published books and articles; while the author’s own recent researches have supplied additional illustrations, and have led him to modify several of his earlier impressions. Although no reason has been found for altering fundamental propositions, the whole work has been recast; hardly a page, either of Commentary or of Historical Introduction, remains as originally written; and care has been taken to supply the reader with references to the most recent authorities on the various topics discussed or referred to.
The new material will be found mainly (1) in the portions of the Introduction treating respectively of scutages, the Coronation Charter of Henry I., the juridical nature of Magna Carta, its contemporary and permanent effects on constitutional development, its reissues by Henry III., and the nature of the so–called “unknown charter” of John; and (2) in chapters 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 25, 27, 34, 38, 39 and 61 of the Commentary. In the Appendix, Professor Liebermann’s amended text of Henry I.’s Charter of Liberties has been adopted, and the Great Charter of 1225 substituted for that of 1217; while an attempt has been made, by means of italics and foot–notes, to show at a glance the chief points in which the three reissues by Henry III. differ from one another and from the Charter as originally granted by John.
Latin Charters, of which the full text is given in the Appendix or elsewhere, have been printed literatim as in the authorities cited in each case; but for detached Latin words or phrases, whether occurring in the Historical Introduction or the Commentary, a uniform spelling has been adopted, in which the “ae” diphthong, where appropriate, has been substituted for the less familiar “e.”
The author’s grateful acknowledgments are due to the Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation, for a grant towards the expenses of this edition; to Professor Vinogradoff, for help courteously given in solving problems affecting the interpretation of chapter 34; and to Mr. David B. Mungo, LL.B., formerly the author’s assistant in the University of Glasgow, for his services in reading the proof–sheets and for many useful suggestions.