National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons

Electronic Newsletter, January, 2008



DATE: JANUARY 19, 2008

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 Newsletter on the Website is: The link to the Website is:

Topics: New Information ***

Short Term Goals - Long Term Vision
*** The Magna Carta 1215 U.S. Tours - Overview
*** Report on video initiatives
*** Video from Magna Carta Exhibit 2007 - Philadelphia - Opening July, 2007
*** Video from Magna Carta/USA Week - 2007

*** Updated video from the 2002 Perot 1297 Magna Carta Exhibit in Philadelphia
*** The text of the Sotheby's Program for the sale of the Perot 1297 Magna Carta.

*** Membership Initiatives
*** Reissue of Magna Charta in 2015 - 800th Anniversary
*** Dinner in Washington, DC- April 12, 2008
*** Magna Carta/USA Week - 2008
***Participation in State Divisions
- Please send new email addresses
***Thank you
***Potential Members
***Enhancement of our E-Mail list

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

We have added a "members only" section of our website. We have sent the username and password (which is case sensitive) to all of our members who have been identified as members in our email program. Since that is different from our member database it is necessary to individually identify people as members in the email program so that is in process. If you are a member and did not receive the the email with the password, please send us an email with your full name and address with MEMBER and state in the subject line.

Continuing Theme: Short Term Goals - Long Term Vision

We introduced a page on our Website which identifies the short term goals and long term vision for our Society, consistent with our purposes and supporting our mission. This page will be periodically updated and we invite suggestions. Please look at the "What's New" Page on our Web Site for information.

1215 Magna Carta Tour - Overview

Do you have any pictures from the 1987 tour when Dean Finnes brought the 1215 Magna Carta to the United States and transported it in a large tractor-trailor across the country. I have found information on the web but would like pictures and information which we can include on our website. Personnel recollections would be especially welcome. I have heard from our members that in some venues thousands lined up to view it. I understand that when Lincoln Cathedral started planning for the Virginia Beach exhibit that Dean Finnes recommended that our Society be contacted since our members were helpful with his tour. On our website you can view his presentation this past July in Lincoln describing that tour.

Exhibits, like unrecorded speeches, tend to be transitory and we look for ways to increase their effectiveness. The three month Virginia Beach Exhibit which you can view on our website was excellent and I would hope that the video that was prepared for the Exhibit eventually can be shared. We recorded the opening which involved a number of very effective speakers. A long term result is that I understand that an exhibit case which is a self contained environment was made and given to Lincoln Cathedral  so that future exhibit venues do not need to provide museum grade environments. This could significantly reduce the cost of future exhibits so that funds could be allocated to Lincoln Cathedral to interpret Magna Carta. The exhibit in Philadelphia at the Constitution Center is an example. The vision and efforts by the Constitution Center combined with the support from Verizon resulted in a very effective three week exhibit. Our video of the the opening provides insight into the enthusiasm for this exhibit and for the message of Magna Carta.

When Verizon was considering supporting the Philadelphia Exhibit I received a telephone call asking for the link to the speech by Reg Weaver given at Lincoln Cathedral. Reg is a very charismatic and effective leader and his speech on individual rights was inspiring. I am pleased that our video was able to assist with the decision to support the Philadelphia Exhibit.

I was pleased to be contacted by the New York Times the day before the announcement that the 1297 Perot Magna Carta was to be sold and had the opportunity to be quoted in a paragraph concerning the importance of individual liberty and the rule of law. Actually I understand that the article was one of the headlines on aol for a day. I emphasized the role of the document as a rallying point.

There can be a number of Exhibit opportunities leading up the the 800th anniversary in 1215 and I would welcome suggestions.

Report on video initiatives

During the past several months we have been converting the older video which has been taken at our meetings from analog to digital format. With effective use of Silverlight which is a new technology from Microsoft. I am hopeful that we can transfer a portion of that video to our website. While in some instances the camera was in a corner of the room, the talks are excellent and the introduction portions especially can provide reminders of magic moments. There is also a visual reminder of the commitment and enthusiasm of our members which can be embraced by present and future members of our Society.

Video from Magna Carta Exhibit 2007 - Philadelphia - Opening July, 2007

I attended the opening of the Magna Carta Exhibit in Philadelphia on July 3, 2007. We are delighted that the National Education Association presented an Exhibit of Magna Carta at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia beginning July 4, 2007, with support from Verizon. We encourage all to view this extraordinary document. Our Society has been encouraging this exhibit for a number of years beginning in 2004 when we invited the Dean of Lincoln to visit the Constitution Center as a potential venue. The current United States tour of the Magna Carta started on March 30, 2007 with an opening in Virginia Beach. The Philadelphia Exhibit includes the Emancipation Proclamation and a printing of the U.S. Constitution. I believe that this is the first time the 1215 Magna Carta has been in Philadelphia which provides a very special opportunity.

Video from Magna Carta/USA Week - 2007

This year Lincoln Cathedral hosted a Magna Charta/USA Weekend on July 26 to 28, 2007 with the Tastes of Lincolnshire Banquet on Thursday presented by former Dean Fiennes and the Magna Carta Lecture on Friday presented by Mayor Meyera Oberndorf who has been Mayor of Virginia Beach for over 20 years. We recently received video from Lincoln from this weekend and have included it on our website.

Updated video from the 2002 Magna Carta 1297 Exhibit in Philadelphia

We have updated the video from the 2002 Exhibit.

The text of the Sotheby's Program for the sale of the Perot 1297 Magna Carta.

There is an excellent hard bound book which has been prepared by Sotheby's as the catalogue for the auction of the 1297 Magna Carta. That book includes some excellent text which is included on our website. The book also includes some excellent pictures of the various versions of the Magna Carta and I understand that this book can be purchased from Sotheby's.

Membership Initiatives

We are pleased that many of our members have appointed their successors. On the first page of the website there is a tab for Successor Information which will explain succession in our Society.

If you are a member of our Society you may Propose your children for membership using the Proposal Form for our Society. Your signature on the form will be accepted as primary proof of descent and no additional documentation will be necessary. If you propose another relative then descent would need to be established from your common ancestor on your qualifying line.

Reissue of Magna Charta in 2015 - 800th Anniversary - Reminder

We are continuing with planning for the Reissue and welcome interest in a Committee to be established for this purpose.

Our March Newsletter provided information concerning the Reissue Project and I encourage you to review that information.

Dinner in Washington DC - Saturday, April 12, 2008

Our Washington DC dinner is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, 2008. Let us know if you might be interested in attending so that we can send you an invitation when they are prepared. We are also considering the addition of patrons who provide additional support for the dinner. If you might be interested in participating as a patron please let us know.

Magna Carta/USA Week - 2008

This year Lincoln Cathedral is planning a Magna Charta/USA Weekend in June 2008. We will add additional information on our website as it becomes available.

If there is interest in our organizing a tour including Lincoln, please let us know. The purpose of our educational tours is to visit locations of cultural and historical significance primarily relating to the Magna Charta. We are undertaking to reduce the cost while maintaining quality.

Participation in State Divisions and New Divisions

We will be sending lists of new members to most of the State Division Regents or local Regents. If you are a member and wish to participate at the State or local level, please let us know. The "members only" section of our website includes contact information for our State Divisions. Please be reminded that it is necessary to first be a member of the National Society in order to participate in State Divisions or Chapters of Colonies.

Several of our members have expressed interest in forming new Divisions. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to assisting with this effort.


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 need to increase the number of members and friends on our email listing. Please ask your relatives or friends to send us their E-mail address. Please also send us the E-mail addresses of friends who are interested either in lineage societies or in memorializing Magna Charta. For the future, please propose new members for our Society. Please also attend your local meetings and include your children and grandchildren. We have a very special organization and I hope that you will help us to maintain its traditions.

Thank You

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. Updated address lists will be sent to the State Divisions. I am, however, saddened to learn when our members are deceased. I and the Society are grateful for the time, dedicated effort and financial contributions that many of those members have given to our Society. As I update the deceased role with members who I have worked with and known during the past seventeen years, I am reminded that we need to express appreciation on an ongoing basis to all of those who are helping to make our Society a wonderful organization. Thank You!

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 100th Anniversary of the founding our Society in 1909. 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.

Enhancement of our E-Mail list

Our email list is a separate list from the roster of the Society. Initially we used Outlook for the list and we did not indicate who was a member or which state they lived in. If you are a member of our Society, please send an email message to and write MEMBER in the Subject field followed by a space and then the abbreviation for your state.


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 a 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 particularly including 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 Newsletter on the Website is: 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, however, 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, Phila., PA 19144


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