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, 2016

801 Years Since 1215 



DATE: March 31, 2016

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.


Annual Dinner in Washington DC - Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Subscribers and Patrons Welcome – Subscription Form is on our Website.

The Rule of Law in the Digital Age: Magna Carta & Protecting Freedoms in a Connected World”

We are pleased to announce that our speaker for this year’s dinner will be Dr. Emm Barnes Johnstone, a public historian who last year led the Magna Carta project at Royal Holloway University of London in Runnymede, just two miles from the meadow where the Charter was sealed. Dr. Johnstone’s role oversaw a festival at the University on the anniversary weekend, the creation of an app that guided visitors through the historical and natural sights in and about Runnymede field, and a suite of legacy projects including the establishment of a doctoral center for Magna Carta and its legacy at the college. 


As a public historian, Dr. Johnstone specializes in sharing and developing insights into our past with diverse audiences through objects and images. Her fields of interest include medical history, in particular the history of care for the chronically ill, and the history of the rule of law from 1215 to the present day. She is also the co-author of two books; The Art of Medicine, University of Chicago Press 2011, and The Changing Faces of Childhood Cancer, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. She also led the development of a massive open online course about the Magna Carta that launched in 2015 and enrolled over 70,000 students.


 Currently Dr. Johnstone is the Executive Officer at Queen Mary University of London. Previously she was Senior Executive Manager and Science Outreach Officer at Royal Holloway, University of London. She received her BA Honors and PhD. in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge. Her PhD. was in Victorian Theories of Mind. She also studied at the University of Pittsburgh.


Her husband, Professor Adrian Johnstone, will also be joining us for the dinner. Professor Johnstone is in the Department of Computer Science at Royal Holloway University of London, Centre for Software Language Engineering. He led the bid for £1m from the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Studentships scheme to create the Magna Carta Doctoral Centre, supporting interdisciplinary PhD. research on the theme of Freedom and the Rights of the Individual in the Digital Age.


Mailed invitations to our April 9, 2016 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 and call us to let us know you are coming. 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.



Next Trip - Our Educational Tour to Runnymede, June 2016 - Fairhaven Lectures - Tentative Schedule Includes

We are excited about the continuation of a lecture series at Royal Holloway University. For the past 10 years, Royal Holloway University hosted Magna Charta lecture series, which cumulated last year for the 800th Anniversary and featured foremost experts on Magna Charta history and significance. A suggestion by our society to continue the lecture series prompted Royal Holloway University to prepare a grant request for the proposal to the Magna Charta Trust, which was then matched by the Runnymede Magna Charta Legacy. The lecture series, now dubbed the Fairhaven Lecture Series, will now continue for another decade. To show our support for the continuation of this series, our Society ambitiously plans to made a yearly tour to England for this educational opportunity. The tour will commence this June and be limited to 45 people. Please contact us if you have questions or are interested in reserving a seat.

Report of Our Excellent Year - 2015 - Information About the Extraordinary 2015 Tour

2015 was a year filled with accomplishments, most notably our June 2015 tour to Runnymede, England to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Charta. After the ceremonies your Chancellor had the amazing opportunity to be greeted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a great honor for our society and the 107 society members that participated on the tour. He was able to tell her about our trip, our society, and how we had brought 200 members to the 750th in 1965 and are aiming for 200 in 2025. Prior to this, our society also contributed to the planning and development of the 800th festivities, including sitting as a member on the 800th Anniversary Committee and a trustee of the Magna Charta Trust.

During our trip, we were able to videotape educational speeches and photograph unique celebrations and sites that were inspired by and created for the 800th. This year we will be indexing and assembling this source material so that we may provide access to it on our website. This addition to our online archive also will include our 800th Anniversary Newsletter, another important societal accomplishment, which was distributed via mail to approx. 9,000 primary members last spring.



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.

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. 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.


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.


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