The Charter of the Forest
Did you know that after the Magna Carta, somewhat in the manner of the Bill of Rights, there was The Charter of the Forest? I didn't.
In comparison with Magna Carta, it provided some real rights, privileges and protections for the common man against abuses of encroaching aristocracy.
At a time when the Royal forests were the most important potential source of fuel for cooking, heating and industries such as charcoal burning, this charter was almost unique in providing a degree of economic protection for serfs and vassals.
Here's an excerpt:
1. In the first place, all the forests which Henry, our grandfather, afforested shall be visited by good and lawful men; and if he afforested any woodland other than that of his own demesne to the damage of him to whom the woodland belonged, let it be disafforested. And if he afforested his own proper woodland, let it remain forest, saving common of herbage and other things in the same forest to those who were accustomed to have them before.
3. All forests, however, which were afforested by King Richard, our uncle, or by King John, our father, down to the time of our first coronation, shall at once be disafforested, excepting our own demesne woodland.
So far as I can tell -- historians? -- this clause rolls back the seizure of forest land from the commons all the way back to King Henry, undoing what King Richard and King John did.
Sounds like an interesting bit of history.