Literature Study GuidesThe Magna CartaSection 54 Section 55 Summary

The Magna Carta | Study Guide

King John

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Magna Carta Study Guide." Course Hero. 24 Feb. 2018. Web. 20 Nov. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, February 24). The Magna Carta Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 20, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "The Magna Carta Study Guide." February 24, 2018. Accessed November 20, 2018.


Course Hero, "The Magna Carta Study Guide," February 24, 2018, accessed November 20, 2018,

The Magna Carta | Section 54–Section 55 | Summary



Section 54

No one accused of homicide will be arrested or placed in prison on the appeal of a woman. The only exception will be if the man who was killed was her husband.

Section 55

Any fines made unfairly by the king will be canceled. These will be done either immediately or after review of the board of 25 barons plus the archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present.


These two sections address two practices regarding women the barons found unfair. One was the practice of allowing a woman to accuse a man of murder without physical consequence for herself. Accusations of murder were often resolved by trial by combat. In the case of a woman accuser, the accused man would have to participate in the trial by combat. The female accuser could choose a champion to fight in her place. The other practice was of levying fines and fees on widows for using their rightful estates. These estates include theirs before marriage and those inherited from their deceased husband. Like Section 52, Section 55 expands on an earlier section. Section 7 only concerns future actions, but Section 55 expands on the idea to include reparations for past wrongs in this area.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Magna Carta? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!