National Society Magna Charta
Dames and Barons
MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL
SOCIETY MAGNA CHARTA DAMES AND BARONS, POTENTIAL MEMBERS AND THOSE WHO SHARE
OUR INTEREST IN THE PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY
LEWIS L. NEILSON, JR., CHANCELLOR
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
Subscribe to our Dinner in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 12, 2014. We
continue to provide educational information concerning Magna Charta.
We continue to add new information to our website at magnacharta.org.
Please check the “what’s new” page regularly.
Services We Provide - Tours.
Of special interest: new
video and text from Ambassador Hughes at our April 2013 dinner, new
information about the 800th Anniversary including video from England and
links to the IBA Annual Meeting in Boston, new video presented from our
Educational Tours – and more.
Start with our website at magnacharta.org. It
has our searchable Lost Member and Deceased Member lists (still resulting in
found members) and has links to content sites and the link to the
password protected site for members.
We encourage contributions to support our Celebration of the 800th
Anniversary in 2015 – please help with the expenses of assembling and
presenting educational information.
Call our office at 215-836-5022 with questions.
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.
in Washington DC - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - Subscriptions and Patrons
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.
Interesting are the presentations and educational programs, co-hosted with
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
www.lincolnshire.gov.uk 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
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.
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
Reports from the Magna
Carta Trust & 800th Anniversary Plans
Anniversary is meeting regularly in London to achieve the
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 -
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
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 (whwg.com) as well as a Senior
Associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
regarding the importance of educating the world
on the values of the Magna Carta during the 800th Anniversary celebration. Dinner
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
Prince Edwards Wedding
(outside St Georges Chapel) and
(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.
9th Annual Lecture - June 17, 2013 -
Magna Carta Lecture Video
- University of London
Royal Holloway College/Runnymede Trust:
THE 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
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.
Protected Website – Link from magnacharta.org to magnacharta1.org
Our regular websites are unrestricted which is consistent with our
Our members’ restricted
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Do not hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions.
Lewis L. "Ted" Neilson, Jr.
National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons
Mailing Address: PO Box 4222, Philadelphia, PA 19144
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