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, March, 2013



DATE: March 31, 2013

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:


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 13, 2013 - Subscriptions and Patrons Welcome

We are pleased to announce the 2013 Annual Dinner for Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Our speakers include Ambassador Hughes and Chancellor Neilson.


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 will speak regarding the importance of educating the world on the values of the Magna Carta during the 800th Anniversary celebration.  

Ambassador Hughes has served in many senior foreign policy posts in the White House and Department of State, Commerce and Defense. He was U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from 1990 to 1993 and for almost five years he held the position of Deputy National Security Affairs Advisor to Vice President George Bush. He served two tours of duty on the National Security Council staff during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush as Director for Latin American Affairs and, later, as the Executive Secretary of the Council.

Mr. Hughes is a graduate of the University of Dayton and holds graduate degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University. He is currently a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, and Secretary of the Council of American Ambassadors.

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 13, 2013 dinner have been 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 information (including links) 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.


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 Unites 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 28, 2014 to continue until February 2015 The American Bar Association is planning to launch a traveling exhibit in August 2014 and to refurbish the Memorial at Runnymede. An exhibit is planned for Philadelphia in 2014 and additional exhibits are hoped for throughout the United States.

The Charter Towns are planning celebrations in England for the 800th Anniversary. The first will be at St. Albans, August 2 to 4, 2013. The celebration in Bury St Edmunds is planned for November 2014 and Canterbury is planning for June 9 to 17, 2015. 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 Video Initiative:

The June 15, 2012 Magna Carta Lecture by the Archbishop of Canterbury in at Royal Holloway in England was recorded by our Herald Nicole Escue and the video is shared on our website.

The Regent of the Houston Colony, Mrs. Gilpin, arranged for their meeting talk given by Dr. Louis Markos to be recorded so the video is shared on our website.

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 Third Millennium Publication – Our Society Edition

            The most impressive recent publication I have seen is the limited edition book prepared for the December 18, 2007 auction by Ross Perot’s foundation of the 1297 Magna Charta. I received permission from a representative of Southby’s to reprint the content for our website but not the pictures, I was recently informed that the Third Millennium publication (benefiting the Magna Charta Trust for 800th Anniversary Programming) will be written by the same author, Professor Nicholas Vincent, with more information and especially including the pictures.

            The publicartion is by subscription and if there are enough subscribers (to be listed in the book) who request our Society Edition then they will provide a few chapters specifically for our Society.

Last year we announced that we plan to recognize the efforts of others participating in support of the Celebration and the Magna Carta. Consistent with this effort, the 800th Anniversary Committee commissioned a major illustrated book to celebrate the 800th Anniversary, which it believes will be of great interest to the Society's membership. London-based international publisher, Third Millennium, has produced books for many leading world famous institutions including for the 800th Anniversary of Cambridge University in England and most recently for the approaching centennial of UCLA in California (see their website at ( Third Millennium have devised a subscription-based model whereby interested buyers can support the publication by subscribing in advance and have this support listed in the publication itself (the Cambridge University book lists over 3000 of such 'subscribers'). Importantly, the royalties from the book will go to the Magna Carta Trust supporting the programs of the 800th Anniversary Committee. The estimated cost is $75.00. Please let me know if you would be interested in subscribing to this publication.

The Password Protected Website – Link from

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.

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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