National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons

Electronic Newsletter, June, 2002



DATE: JUNE 22, 2002

We continue to 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 are members of lineage societies and/or who might share our interest in the principles of Constitutional Liberty.

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: Please also refer to OUR E-MAIL LIST at the end of this Newsletter.

Please inform us of changes to your email address.

This Electronic Newsletter focuses on the Magna Carta Exhibit Opening and Luncheon on July 3, 2002. All of our members in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been sent invitations by regular mail and this Electronic Newsletter is to inform those on our email list of the program who might wish to attend or might visit Philadelphia during the Exhibit. If you wish to attend please call our office as well as sending your check as soon as possible. We anticipate a sell-out although there are currently seats available for the luncheon. 

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 [Logo from the Queen's Golden Jubilee: ]

                                                           Logo of the Queen's Golden Jubilee

Magna Charta Exhibit in Philadelphia, July 3, 2002. Opening 10:00 AM - Luncheon Noon - Speaker The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith, Her Majesty's Attorney General

Our Society is pleased to participate in the opening celebration of the Magna Carta Exhibit at the Independence Visitor’s Center at Sixth and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA at 10:00 AM on July 3, 2002. The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith, Her Majesty’s Attorney General, will open the Exhibit and will present an address on the "Common Roots of the Common Law" at a noon luncheon to be held at the Downtown Club, 11th Floor, Sixth and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA. Our Society is handling reservations for the opening and luncheon.

This Exhibit of an original Magna Carta, dated 1297, is the result of the unified effort of members of the Judiciary, Bar and Government as well as interested individuals and corporations. The success of the Exhibit reflects the commitment to the rule of law established and enhanced by the Magna Carta. We look forward to hearing Lord Goldsmith articulate the development of the Common Law within law-based States committed to individual rights and freedoms. He will also focus on the challenges the United Kingdom faces since September 11, 2001 between preservation of individual rights and the need to protect broader national security interests.

We are pleased that this Exhibit is during the Golden Jubilee Year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, II. Our Society is honored to participate and to offer this event to our members and guests as a Golden Jubilee activity.

The cost for the opening and luncheon will be $35.00 per person with a cash bar. If you wish to subscribe, please respond with the attachment below before June 28, 2002. Since space is very limited for this outstanding event, we encourage you to respond promptly. Please call our office if you wish to attend to make sure there is enough space. If you have any questions, you may also call our office at 215-836-5022.

Please Detach and Return For Subscription

To: National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons: P. O. Box 4222, Phila., PA 19144

Please accept my subscription for the opening and luncheon on July 3, 2002. I am enclosing a check payable to the National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons for ________ subscriptions @$35.00 each; total ___________. I have listed the subscribers on the reverse side for seating.

Name, Telephone Number & Email Address [Please Print]

Information Concerning the 1297 Magna Carta at the National Archives and Records Administration webpage:



Magna Carta, Charter On Which U.S. Freedoms Are Based, To Be Exhibited Exclusively On America’s Most Historic Square Mile

Philadelphia , PA-- Magna Carta, the bedrock of constitutional freedom and foundation for the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, will go on exhibit on America ’s most historic square mile, at the Independence Visitor Center , 6th & Market Streets, beginning July 3rd. During this era of renewed patriotism, visitors to Philadelphia , the birthplace of democracy, will have a rare opportunity to view Magna Carta, the document that framed the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Independence Visitor Center will host Magna Carta, courtesy of the Perot Foundation through the National Archives, and an accompanying exhibit of historically significant documents on loan from The Library Company of Philadelphia .  Magna Carta returns to Philadelphia from the National Archives where it is on permanent loan from the Perot Foundation. In 1987, the charter was displayed in Old City Hall as part of the “We the People” U.S. Constitution Bicentennial celebration.

  In June 1215, King John of England agreed to the demands of his barons as expressed in Magna Carta. An extraordinary testament to basic rights and freedoms, Magna Carta expressed human principles that previously had never been stated or written into law.  Handwritten copies of the charter were prepared on parchment, affixed with the king’s seal and publicly read throughout the region, guaranteeing freedoms for  generations to come.

Sir Edward Coke’s, Chief Justice during the reign of King James, reinterpretation of Magna Carta in the early 17th century underlined several major principles: that everyone has a right to a jury trial before imprisonment, that the law must be obeyed by everyone including kings, and that there are certain rights, which no law can take away.

When American colonists raised arms against England , they were not fighting for new rights, but to preserve the liberties evoked in Magna Carta that dated back to the 13th century.

Coke’s interpretation of Magna Carta was widely read by American law students such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.  Like the barons of 1215, the colonists petitioned their grievances against the Stamp Act of 1765 by declaring the Act “against the Magna Carta and the natural rights of Englishmen, and therefore, according to Lord Coke, null and void.”  On the eve of the Revolution, Massachusetts adopted as its seal—a militiaman holding a sword in one hand and the Magna Carta in the other.  In 1779, John Adams expressed Magna Carta’s concept of constitutional rights this way:  “A government of laws, and not of men.”

During the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, instead of revising the Articles of Confederation, delegates turned to the English legal system as evolved from Magna Carta. They created a new form of government embodied in the Constitution of the United States . It would be the “the supreme law of the land” just as the rights granted by Magna Carta could not have been dismissed by any subsequent English laws.

The Magna Carta copy is owned by H. Ross Perot, one of five known surviving copies of Magna Carta that were commissioned by King Edward I in 1297 and entered on the English statute rolls and the only copy residing permanently in the United States . Mr. Perot purchased his copy of Magna Carta in 1984 for $1.5 million. Magna Carta remains as a profound legal presence.  The United States Supreme Court has cited  Magna Carta in over 100 cases.  

The Independence Visitor Center is the only venue in the United States where Magna Carta is being exhibited outside the National Archives. Magna Carta will be on view to the public beginning July 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily in the Independence National Historical Park exhibit area of the visitor center.  The exhibit opens during the 2002 Sunoco Welcome America! Festival which features over 50 free patriotic events and activities throughout the City of Philadelphia , June 28th – July 7th. .

The new regional Independence Visitor Center is the primary point of orientation for residents and visitors to Independence National Historical Park , the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. For more information log onto  For information about traveling to the Philadelphia region, visit  


Our E-mail list is made up of 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 between the hours of 9:30am and 3:00pm.

Best wishes.

I hope that each of you are well. Do not hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions. 

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