Throughout 2020, community groups and organisations across the country will mark the 1,000th birthday of the oldest inclusive law of equal rights in the world.

This website provides resources to inspire and enable these celebrations, including...

videos telling the legends surrounding the history
video interviews with historical experts exploring the documentary evidence
a searchable map for finding related events
fact sheets and posters
guidance on running a successful community event
recipes, games, and ideas for community events
lesson plans for discussing the history in schools from Key Stage 1 to 3

Creatives of all kinds can also upload images or videos showing their responses to this significant moment in history. Find out how you can get involved

The History

English Common Law is the world's oldest and most widespread legal system, and aims to ensure fair trials for all. But where did it begin?

Some say it began when Henry II of England invented trial by jury, to help ensure law continued to be enacted when he himself was unavailable. Others claim it began when Henry I of England, son of William the Conqueror, decided to adopt many Anglo-Saxon laws – including the right of anyone in the kingdom to petition the king when aggrieved.

But the very first time we see such a law in writing is in the very Anglo-Saxon code that Henry I turned to for help – and it was a code put in place by Britain’s Danish conqueror Knut, beginning with a proclamation in 1020AD. Unlike all such laws before it, Knut’s law applied to everyone in the kingdom – regardless of their class, religious level, or their nationality.

Why did Knut put this law in place? In Cambridgeshire, a story has been told for centuries of Knut being inspired by his friendship with a peasant family. Perhaps Knut was instead reacting to the tales of Anglo-Saxon kings before him, like the much-loved Alfred the Great. Maybe he was following the example of his grandfather Harald Bluetooth, who had found that uniting Denmark made for a much stronger kingdom. Or perhaps he just wanted to avoid trouble breaking out in his kingdom while he attended to matters overseas.

Whatever his inspiration, the action of this immigrant king laid the foundation for human rights in Britain and beyond. That’s a proclamation worth celebrating.

Latest uploads from Kingdom 1000

The Love Of Silence
A book-art interpretation of the life of the Venerable Bede and the times he lived in.
The artwork is made inside a religious book of conduct and the materials are mostly paper and other materials one can find around the house and recycle, painted to look like the inside of a monastery, complete with a writing desk. It is meant to remind us that we were all much the same throughout history, we dream, we explore, we feel, we recycle... and we all want to be appreciated as equal human beings.
Rebecka Eriksson is a time travelling seamstress, artist and silent storyteller of Swedish origin living in Cambridge.
King Alfred the Great and the story of the burnt c
After hearing the story of King Alfred who burnt some cakes at a peasant woman's home, I thought as
Chapatis - Indian Unleavened flatbreads Chapatis, made fresh everyday, are a type of unleavened bread from northern India. The wholewheat dough is made from a flour that is predominantly ground in stone mills known as chakkis. The grinding of the wheat with stone, breaks and damages the starch which releases extra sweetness. The dough is rolled into flat circles and then cooked on a hot, flat griddle called a lava. In an Indian meal, chapatis are used as a scoop to pick up vegetable and lentil dishes. Makes 8 chapatis 250g medium atta or chapati flour 250ml cold to tepid water butter, for spreading (optional) Place the flour in a deep bowl. Add the water to the bowl of flour, a little at a time, kneading as you go, until you have a soft, elastic dough. The longer you knea
Manju Malhi, a TV chef and a cookbook author, was born in England to Indian parents. She grew up in West London surrounded by Indian culture, traditions and lifestyles. However, she spent several years of her childhood in India where she explored and experienced the vast and varied cuisines of the c
For ages 4-11: Anansi's Children
An African folk tale showing that Every Child Matters, and We're Better Together!
The celebration equality doesn't have to be stuck 1,000 years ago. It doesn't even have to be stuck in the UK. In fact, it can go way back to before humans existed, in the wild lands of ancient Africa... Inspired by the Kingdom1000 themes of equality and community, we've brought SEVEN Epic Storytellers together for a single incredible story! Pauline Cordiner, Amber Lickerish, Usifu Jalloh the Cowfoot Prince, Giorgiana Popan, Andy Copps AND our regular tellers Janina and Chip ALL come together to share a tale starring Africa's master of stories: Anansi the Spider!
Epic Tales helps teachers harness the power of storytelling to boost children's confidence in literacy, numeracy, science, and more.
For ages 4-11: The Golden Apple
Young ears will love this medieval folk tale, told by the presenter of Kingdom 1000.
King Edmund returns from battle with the most precious of treasures: a gold apple that promises good luck - but only if you give it away to the person you love the most! So who should he give it to...? Let your young learners enjoy this mesmerising tale while learning important areas of the curriculum at the same time - and they won't even realise it. And afterwards, Epic Storyteller Chip will set an Epic Challenge - a fun task that will also hit children’s literacy learning for the week! To hear the end of the story, follow the link to our website. Teachers and educators: Visit Epic Tales to hear teachers discussing the many other learning outcomes in this and other Kingdom 1000 stories, including numeracy and science.
Epic Tales helps teachers harness the power of storytelling to boost children's confidence in literacy, numeracy, science, and more.
For ages 4-11: The Eel Catcher's Daughter
A special story starring Knut told for ages 4-11, with supporting learning resources.
Storyteller Amber Lickerish shares a folk legend about King Knut, the man who made the first equal justice law in the UK. But could a Viking really befriend the Anglo-Saxons he'd defeated in war? For the full story visit our website, where you'll also find a podcast in which teachers discuss the numerous learning outcomes in this story – including PSHCE, literacy, and even numeracy!
Epic Tales helps teachers harness the power of storytelling to boost children's confidence in literacy, numeracy, science, and more.

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