The National Society
Magna Charta Dames and Barons
 National Society Magna Charta Dames®
Somerset Chapter Magna Charta Barons®

P.O. Box 4222, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Telephone: 215-836-5022; Fax 215-836-5056





National Society Magna Charta
Dames and Barons
Electronic Newsletter, February, 2014



DATE: February 28, 2014

If this is the first Electronic Newsletter that you have received from our Society, please read the paragraph OUR E-MAIL LIST below. The link to the Website is: Please go to What's New for the version of this E-News which has the links included.


Editorial Comment: When we sent a mailed Newsletter to over 20,000 members and potential members the cost was significant as we tried to include considerable content. Then the cost of postage increased and I was reminded that small print was hard to read. The electronic news has provided an alternative and we would like to expand circulation to our members and potential members without email.

Annual Dinner in Washington DC - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - Subscriptions and Patrons Welcome

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Annual Dinner for Saturday, April 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Our speakers will be announced.

 Chancellor Neilson will provide an update on the 800th Celebration activities and will offer perspective on the role of our Society in continuing awareness of Magna Charta and the legacy which can be embraced by the future.

Mailed invitations to our April 12, 2014 dinner will be sent to those who have expressed interest in attending, those who have recently attended, recent contributors and leaders. It is not too late to request an invitation. Mailed invitations, like mailed newsletters, involve significant cost and we appreciate that our members with internet access share information. Electronic Newsletters especially can provide considerable and lasting information which supports our educational mission.

I encourage you to attend the dinner and to consider how the 800th can be celebrated in your community. Contributions, especially Patron Contributions, are welcome and encouraged.


The Houston Museum of Science is offering a discount to members of our Society for their Exhibit of the Magna Charta from February 14, 2014 to August 14, 2014.


Organized by the Houston Colony of our Society over 100 descendants attended the Exhibit - we are waiting for a picture.


Especially Interesting are the presentations and educational programs, co-hosted with Rice University.


Exciting progress at Lincoln Castle - Magna Charta Interpretative Center - Displaying the 1215 Lincoln Magna Charta


I visited the Lincoln Castle, where one of the 1215 Magna Charta is displayed and observed exciting progress for the new Interpretive Center which is under construction as part of a 20 million pound (approx. $32 million dollars) project, including 5.2 million pounds from the Lincolnshire County Council. Visit and search for the Castle. We encourage our members and friends to attend the opening event in 2015 (to be announced).  Please let us know if you are interested in attending.


Services We Provide - Tours


We offer modest enrollment fees as part of our mission to develop awareness of Magna Charta. There are additional charges for extra services, one of which has been educational tours when our members have requested them.


A number of our members have recently expressed interest in a tour to England in connection with the 800th Anniversary. If you are interested please let us know. With a larger number of participants the travel professionals can arrange a more interesting program. 


Reports from the Magna Carta Trust & 800th Anniversary Plans


The 800th Anniversary is meeting regularly in London to achieve the aspirations identified by Sir Robert Worcester at our Annual Dinner in 2012. Updates on their progress are provided on the 800th website.

In the United States a number of initiatives are planned. The Library of Congress (as reported at our Annual Dinner in 2012) is planning for a Magna Charta Exhibit to open November 6, 2014 to continue until January 19, 2015 The American Bar Association is planning to launch a traveling exhibit in August 2014 and to refurbish the Memorial at Runnymede.

The Charter Towns are planning celebrations in England for the 800th Anniversary. The first was at St. Albans, August 2 to 4, 2013. The celebration in Bury St Edmunds is planned for November 2014. A significant celebration is being planned for Runnymede in June 2015. Salisbury and London are also planning celebrations.

The Castle in Lincoln is being refurbished to include an interpretative center at a cost of approximately 20 million pounds and the official opening is scheduled for April 2015.

Each of these public events can provide educational content if the process of collection is supported by our members and friends.

If any of our members are interested in participating in any of the events in England please let us know. If there is sufficient interest then we can plan some exceptional educational tours.

The Text Initiative

We have added 56 pages of text from Ross Perot's Magna Charta Sale Program Edited by Professor Nicholas Vincent -  Link

We have added additional resources especially for educators, from 2008, The Magna Carta Workshop Report, Teaching about human rights and democracy – The Magna Carta as a reference point - A collaboration of the National Education Association, the National Union of Teachers and Lincoln Cathedral - Report - 76 Pages

We have developed a short slide presentation to introduce and explain our Society. Link.


The Video Initiative:

We have added considerable video which can be found on the What's New Page of our Website

Washington DC Lecture April 2013 - Ambassador G. Philip Hughes is a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group ( as well as a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He spoke regarding the importance of educating the world on the values of the Magna Carta during the 800th Anniversary celebration.  Dinner April 2013

State Meeting Page (for video) Link - We have added an interview recorded in 1993 with one of our members who attended the 750th Anniversary at Runnymede

We have added Educational Tour Video From Runnymede Garter Day Beating Retreat Prince Edwards Wedding (outside St Georges Chapel) and Highclere Castle (venue for the television series Downton Abbey)

We have added the July 20, 2013 Announcement by British Library of 2015 Exhibit of 4 2015 Magna Charta. Video Link.

9th Annual Lecture - June 17, 2013 -  Magna Carta Lecture Video  Text  - University of London Royal Holloway College/Runnymede TrustTHE U.N. QUEST FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

by Professor Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan LL.M, Ph,D., Barrister-at-Law (Lincoln’s Inn) previously: Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor, First Swiss Chair of Human Rights, Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Deputy and then Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists; Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Currently President of UPR Info.


 Conference - June 15, 2013 - The Magna Carta - Its Relevance for today and tomorrow - Conference

Our Democratic Heritage held a debate in Bloomsbury, London, on this year’s Magna Carta Day. By symbolizing freedom from tyranny, Magna Carta has been a touchstone for concepts of rights and responsibilities for centuries. Whatever their views it is vital to come together to celebrate the creation of the freedoms we now enjoy and to debate how best to preserve and extend them today. The conference will discuss the contemporary relevance of the Magna Carta, and how its legacy should be carried into the future. Widely recognized as a pivotal document in the development of the rule of law, the debate will discuss alternate interpretations of Magna Carta’s meaning for a contemporary audience. Our Democratic Heritage is looking to support anyone interested in holding their own activity on that day, however small or ambitious.

Lord Judge Lecture - Text - June 12, 2013.

Retirement Presentation COL James Durant - June 11, 2013

We recognize that our Divisions, Chapters and Colonies have educational and substantive talks which are usually presented to a limited number of people. Since 1993 I have recorded every talk when I am present with plans for those talks to be assembled as curricula based programming which could provide educational information for classrooms. I continue to be impressed with the quality of the recording equipment which is available today at a modest cost and encourage all of our members to record, with permission, of course, those presentations which provide educational content relevant to Magna Charta and to send them to us for presentation on our website. We utilize Silverlight (like Netflix) to provide high quality video.

Too many groups waste time and energy by having relatively small attendance and talks which are shortly forgotten. Our substantive recorded presentations could have an unlimited audience and inspire significant accomplishments.

The Password Protected Website – Link from to

Our regular websites are unrestricted which is consistent with our educational mission.

Our members’ restricted website provides information specifically for our members and provides the opportunity for our members to share information. Many of our members and potential members (who have provided their email address) should have received a username and password. If not, then please send us an email requesting registration. If you have received the username and password and the password does not work then you should observe a screen which allows you to reset the password using the username (which has been assigned to you) or your email address. We continue to work on the site to provide additional information and welcome reasonable suggestions.  

You may also register online for this site if you are not a member of our Society and we anticipate that the information available for the lineage community generally will be expanding.

There are two main features now within the "members" site:

There is a page (accessible to members of our Society) for each Division, Colony or Chapter with contact information, names of officers and upcoming meeting dates (for many). If there are any changes you can go to the page using the “blog” feature and provide additional information which we can then add to the page. 

There is a drop down list of immigrant ancestors (accessible to anyone who registers for the site) (about 200) (we anticipate this number will grow to exceed 1,000) with a direct link to the ancestor page on the Brookfield site, each page listing Baron Ancestors (most qualifying immigrants descend from multiple Barons). An addition to the dropdown list for each is a page which has “[name of ancestor] – Share Information”. These pages (which are accessible to members of our Society) have a “blog” feature to add information about the ancestor. This information can include discussions and can also include information which can then be added to the ancestor page on the Brookfield site which is public. The immigrant ancestors will be added to include both those qualified for our Society as well as other immigrants who were prominent in the colonial period. We anticipate that this site will be a significant genealogical resource providing educational information concerning the descendants of the Magna Charta Barons.


Reaching Out

I wish all of our Divisions Colonies and Chapters well with your programs and meetings.


We have also sent an email to Regents explaining our initiative to inform the Regents of members in their geographic area to contact and encourage participation in local programs.


Our Divisions, Colonies, and Chapters have a special role in our Society, enabling our members throughout the United States to participate in educational programs with friendship and fellowship. We continue to look to our Divisions, Colonies, and Chapters to encourage membership development and to provide educational content for our web presence. If you share our passion for the purposes of our Society and wish to start a Division, Colony, or Chapter, please let us know.

Greetings and Thank You

On behalf of the Officers and Council of the Society, I bring greetings with this Newsletter. We continue to develop awareness of Magna Charta and its message. We ask each of you to participate with us in continuing the long tradition of friendship and fellowship which has continued over many years. We continue to be pleased with the response from our members to update addresses and provide new addresses for those who have been lost. Many members who were eligible to do so have appointed successors.

Magna Charta Partners

We are emphasizing Magna Charta Partners for those who share interest in our purposes but are not members. We plan for an Advisory Council. You may be a MC Partner by application, either by explaining your service in support of our purposes or by including an annual contribution, currently $125.00. There is detailed information on our website. While we have grown to over 17,000 members, I am still surprised at the number of people who are proposed for membership but have not completed the lineage forms as well as the number of people, who have responded to our “lost members” pages but have not taken the next step to become members. We would like you to participate as Magna Charta Partners in support of our Society and our purposes. Please look at what's new.

News From Brookfield Publishing

Additional information continues to be added to the Brookfield Publishing Web Site. Please use the links on the entry page to go to the "beta" site and to the 2015 Page.

A Lineage Form has been added which can be completed by computer and then printed out and mailed with supporting documentation. Original signatures are needed for the application and the supporting documentation needs to be included.

Indexing continues of archival information and we look forward to exciting and interesting initiatives.

800th Anniversary Publication - Our Own Edition

At our meeting last year we learned about the planned publication of Magna Carta The Foundation of Freedom 1215-2015, edited by Professor Nicholas Vincent. Professor Vincent had provided the text for the Program Book for the Sale of the 1297 Magna Charta formerly owned by Ross Perot’s Foundation and now owned by David Rubenstein and displayed at the National Archives. We were given permission to include the text but not the pictures on our website and the link is above. I was very impressed by the 56 page text.

 Our Society is planning one of 6 Special Editions (in addition to the general edition) of Magna Carta The Foundation of Freedom 1215-2015, edited by Professor Nicholas Vincent, and published by Third Millennium of the UK. If our members and other supporters subscribe for enough books (I have been told 500) for a special edition, then I am planning an 8 page forward and we will include a list of our subscriber members in the book. The forward will emphasize the role of our Society members in developing awareness of Magna Charta. The new book will include additional authors as well as excellent pictures. The other special editions in addition to our Society are for the ABA, the IBA, the Law Society and the Bar council of England and Wales, and Lincoln Cathedral. Even if there are not enough subscriptions for the special editions the general version (without a special forward or list of member subscribers) will be an excellent legacy publication for the first 800 years of the MC. Link To Page

Potential Members

If you are not a member of our Society and are eligible, I hope that you will join. If you are not eligible but share our interest in history and genealogy, we encourage you to remain on our Email list and to become a Partner. We also welcome your participation in our ongoing genealogical research projects and our Tours. We welcome and encourage new members and remind those submitting lineage information to include copies of referenced material.

As mentioned in prior E-Newsletters, membership continues to be of vital importance to our Society. If you wish to speed up or facilitate the membership process, please include with the Proposal Form a well-documented lineage (including copies of the documentation) to either a known ancestor or to one of the qualifying Barons. If you have sent lineage information without the copies, you may also speed up the process by sending copies of the documentation. Lineage Forms are provided on the Website.


We rely on member contributions for our Society operations and we plan to build our endowment in connection with the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of Magna Charta. We hope you will consider contributions, including contributions of appreciated securities. Our Society is a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Our E-Mail List

We continue to significantly increase our e-mail list. To those of you who are new to our list we welcome you to receive our Electronic Newsletter and hope that you will find our Society and our mission to be interesting. Since the primary mission of our Society is to develop awareness of Magna Charta, we wish to expand the circulation of our Electronic Newsletter by increasing our e-mail address list. We particularly wish to include those who are members of lineage societies and/or those who share our interest in the principles of Constitutional Liberty. I would like to thank those who have shared their email lists since our last Electronic Newsletter.

We encourage you to check our Website regularly for new developments and information. The link to the Website is:

Our E-mail list is made up of those who have sent us e-mail, of members and friends of the Society who have responded to our Newsletter request for E-mail addresses, and others who we believe might be interested in our Society or mission. If you would prefer not to receive future Electronic Newsletters, please let us know. If you have friends who you believe might be interested in our Society, please forward this e-mail. If you have received this as a forwarded e-mail, please visit our Website at for more information about our Society. You may also contact our Society Office at 215-836-5022.

Do not hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions.

Lewis L. "Ted" Neilson, Jr.
National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons
Telephone: 215-836-5022
Fax: 215-836-5056
Mailing Address: PO Box 4222, Philadelphia, PA 19144


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