When a hammer-wielding thief tried to steal a piece of English history, an impromptu squad of law-abiding citizens—including two American tourists—worked to stop him. The clash inside Salisbury Cathedral shows that respect for the rule of law—and the ancient laws themselves—isn’t dead.
The Magna Carta is a charter of rights. It was signed in 1215 by England’s King John. Many people consider it the founding document of English law. The charter pronounced that even kings were subject to the law. It also granted swift justice to accused persons and protected church rights—all principles eventually repeated in the U.S. Constitution.
Most of the Magna Carta’s liberties actually had to do with the relationship between the king and the medieval nobles—not ordinary citizens. However, the Magna Carta remains an important symbol of liberty. It is often quoted by scholars, lawyers, and politicians.
Salisbury Cathedral houses one of only four existing copies of the famous document. The Magna Carta’s importance—plus a healthy dose of respect, boldness, and civic duty—made a couple from Louisiana intervene when they thought the manuscript was in danger.
Alexis Delcambre saw a man emerge from the bathroom at the cathedral’s Chapter House, or clergy meeting room. The man went to the case holding the Magna Carta and started walloping the glass with a hammer.
Alexis quickly raised the alarm. Her husband Matthew and other bystanders tried to keep the thief behind closed doors.
The thief muscled his way out. But Matthew Delcambre gave chase. He grabbed the man’s arm near an outdoor courtyard gate and knocked the hammer away. At that point, a church employee tackled the thief. He held him down until more help arrived.
Thankfully, the Magna Carta was under two layers of thick glass. It wasn’t damaged.
Even more than the Magna Carta, God’s law embodies our righteous, trustworthy, unchangeable, and truthful God. Sadly, many Christians don’t defend God or the Bible as quickly as the group in Salisbury Cathedral defended a human-made document.
Delcambre is humble about his part in the thwarted theft. “It wasn’t me by myself,” he says. The quick response of the Delcambres and the church workers stopped the thief and protected the prized document. Delcambre calls it “completely a group effort.”
Now thanks to the Magna Carta, the would-be thief will be subject to the law of the land. He will likely feel the hammer of swift justice.
That is interesting. I wonder why he wanted to steal it?
that would most likely been sold 4 a very pretty penny that is so cool!
I Wonder Why The Criminal Wanted It?
@LP I read Ur Comment
Yeah Prob I Agree
I'm glad they caught the
I'm glad they caught the thief! That would have been bad if the Magna Carta had been stolen.
Who lives in Indiana?????
Who lives in Indiana?????
I can't believe Delcambre was so humble.
If you read this you might have seen two American citizens helped with catching the thief. Well my mom just got a email from my uncle and he told me he was one of them.
That thing will cost like 999,999 or something like that.
Who is he?
Who is he?
(THIS IS ANDREW H.)
Why would someone want to take the Magna Carta?
i saw one of the magna cartas in washington d.c. and it was so cool. i am glad this one was not stolen
that sounds like the worst attempt ever just doing it in the open
It is great that they caught the thief! I'm surprised tourists worked together to stop him! It is amazing to see how God helps!
yay. 15 comments
why would he try to steal it when there was meeting going on and why did he want to steal it. (YEAH 16 COMMENTS)
im glad those good samaritans stopped him, because who knows what would have happened if he would have gotten away.................
I Wish He Was KILLED On The Spot!!!!!!!!
We Have To Many Thiefvs Around
Why would he do it in public?
Why would he do it in public? I mean like, really
Why would he think that he
Why would he think that he could brake the glass with that.
Wow! That's so cool!
That's so cool that they all
That's so cool that they all worked together and were able to stop the thief!
Okay I just wanted to address three people on here. First Being, I live in Indiana sometimes, (Indianapolis and ill be moving back in May) And also Curtis, What the heck man? Why in the world would you want him Killed on the spot? That's way-way too aggressive for such a meaningless crime. We have the death penalty for serial killers and mass murderers or rapists but for attempting to steal a piece of art? Come on dude. And also Tucker, How else would he do it bro? :D He probably doesn't know the first thing about stealing.
wow. 25 comments
thats good that they caught the thief!! the Magna Charta is really special to the whole world
The thief must have thought that no one would try to stop him because not all people respect the law. Its a good thing that those people were there to stop him. p.s. OK your a genius.
he should be punished well
he should be punished well
I'd love to see one of the
I'd love to see one of the copies of the Magna Carta. I think the last two sentences of the article and amusing.
@Curtis &--please don't say that you wish that he had been killed. He may have tried to steal something, but he is still made in God's image and I don't think that we should go around wishing that people would be killed. (I'm sorry if the way I said that was offensive; I tried to think of the least offensive way possible that I could say it.)
yay. 30 comments
this is not ben
that dude was an idiot stealing an expensive document out in the open. do it at night. duh.
My family got robed in bright daylight! And non of the nebors saw it!! They stole oure:Two TV's our only computer a knew speaker we had gotten a few days before and a few other things. It was disgraceful :'(
But God is good and everything was EVENTUALLY restord: D
Sounds Like Fiction!
That's such a great story, it sounds like someone wrote it as fiction! It's always cool when that sort of thing actually happens.
And About The The Killing Thing
I agree with Curtis that the story would be more interesting if he had been killed on the spot, if perhaps someone had accidentally killed him with the hammer while trying to stop him, but I dont actually think that that should have happened, considering that this isn't fiction.
I think we should pray for his salvation.
Its the least we can do.
Lieon 33 In God I Trust
The Magna Carta was paid for at an auction for about 21 million dollars!