Literature Study GuidesThe Magna CartaSection 41 Section 42 Summary

The Magna Carta | Study Guide

King John

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The Magna Carta | Section 41–Section 42 | Summary



Section 41

Merchants can move in and out of England, and throughout the country, safely and free of illegal tolls. They can move unless England is at war and the merchants happen to be from the enemy country. In that case the merchants will be kept in custody until it is ascertained if England's merchants in the enemy country are being treated well. If they are, the enemy country's merchants will be treated well, too.

Section 42

Anyone can move in and out of England except convicted criminals and people from countries with which England is at war.


Like Section 33, which decreed fish traps be removed from rivers so travel would not be interrupted, Sections 41 and 42 concern free movement. Under King John, tolls exacted by the king from merchants going in and out of the country were a burden. They increased when John was in need of money. Similarly, Section 42 lifted restrictions for nearly anyone who wanted to go in or out of the country. This made it easier for clergy to travel to Rome.

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