18:06 19 January 2015
Author Dr Marc Morris has pointed out the glaring “schoolboy error” on the new £2 coin saying that the historic moment when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 was totally misrepresented.
The presenter of the 2003 Channel 4 show Castle, who is also an expert in the Middle Ages, said that King John was not holding a quill as he would have stamped the document with a seal.
Speaking last week, he said: ‘To depict King John holding a quill is simply a schoolboy error.
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‘Medieval kings did not authenticate documents by signing them, they did it by sealing them – or rather by getting one of their officials to do it for them.
‘All the pen in John’s hand symbolises is ignorance of this basic fact.’
However, bosses at the Royal Mint said that the image on the coin was ‘symbolic’ rather than ‘factual.’
‘The design is symbolic of King John’s acceptance of the Magna Carta, it is not intended to be interpreted as a literal account of what actually occurred.
‘The design is in fact inspired by King John’s royal seal, the very seal used on the Magna Carta.’