Establishing a text & the first stirrings of constitutional restraints
There are 4 surviving copies of the first Charter of 1215, then 1 of 1216 re-issue, and 4 of 1217 and 4 of 1225.
"The charter of 1215 was not cast in parliamentary form, and was not a statute in teh later sense: Re Sir John Skene (1475) 15 Edw IV fo.13, pl.17 per Littleton J. [Edward] Coke, however, thought that i should be deemed to be an act of parliament becuase it changed the law and had been accepted as such: The Prince's Case (1606) 8 Co.Rep. 1." per Baker, in IELH.
The 1225 re-issue & confirmation was significant in that the King (a minor) declared he was issuing it of his own free will & that he would not do anything to undermine it. In exchange he was given the returns of a taz on movables. Later medieval lawyers would accept that this marked the start of a notional canon: it became the first entry in manuscript collections of statutes.
In 1237, Henry III (a child no longer) issued a small charter of confirmation.
In 1265, at a parliament summoned by Simon de Montfort, Henry III's loyalty to Magna Carta was re-affirmed. The clerks in the royal chancery drew up an inspeximus - "an authoritative verbatim recitation ... to provide an authoritative exemplification or copy of the existing document" in this instance the 1225 text, (Four copies of the inspeximus are known including Bodleian MS. Add. C.188.)
1297 a good copy issued to overcome problems of mistranscriptions
1300 Final reissue sealed under monarch's great seal & distributed to counties and cathedrals
By mid 14th century it seems to have been accepted that important provisions such as right to justice & safety did indeed extend to the "Common People"
Magna Carta is a subject search you can use in SOLO
Using subject searches
Constitutional history -- Great Britain
Civil rights - Great Britain -- History
Political science Great Britain History
should find you books which consider MC's role in the development of the English constitution in both fact and myth.
The 2015 anniversary stimulated new publications and evaluations.
The recent works available in the Law Bod include the works below.
Before the new research, re-examinations triggered by the 800th anniversary of the original 1215 engrossment, the following were the go-to commentaries...
Holt, Magna Carta (2nd edn 1995) is at Legal Hist H758a2
Subject searches to use in SOLO
Great Britain -- History -- John, 1199-1216;
Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1154-1399
John, King of England, 1167-1216