National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons

Electronic Newsletter, August, 2002



DATE: AUGUST 24, 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 Web Site 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 e-mail address.

The special significance of this Newsletter is that it announces a number of exceptional presentations concerning the Magna Charta and its contemporary, as well as historical, significance. Lord Goldsmith, Attorney General of the UK, addresses issues concerning individual liberty since September 11 and Donald Murphy, Deputy Director of the National Park Service, presents the rights within Magna Charta as an evolution of the human mind. His perspective is particularly significant as the National Park Service may be considered the largest educational organization in the United States, sharing with all Americans and visitors to this country the soul of this nation. We are grateful that three exceptionally distinguished Judges offered their perspective on Magna Charta. Considering the outstanding content from the Exhibit Opening and the luncheon I am sending this e-mail to my entire e-mail list which includes a number of organizations. I particularly extend best wishes to the members of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry serving on active duty on their way to Bosnia. An honor guard from the Troop was present at the Exhibit Opening.

Magna Carta Exhibit Opening - July 3, 2002

We are delighted to include the text of all of the talks presented at the opening of the Magna Carta Exhibit on July 3, 2002 at the Independence Visitors Center, 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA.

The Exhibit includes the Magna Carta of 1297, the banners from the barons of 1215, a copy of Sir Edward Coke’s Institutes of the Laws of England, owned by Pennsylvania’s founder William Penn and later by the colony’s Chief Justice Benjamin Chew, a printed version of Magna Carta belonging to Benjamin Franklin, a first draft of the colonists’ Petition for the Repeal of the Stamp Act, written by John Dickinson in October 1765 and the printed copy of The Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties, issued in 1689 by Parliament, an English Bill of Rights derived from Magna Carta, which was owned by Benjamin Franklin.

The Unveiling Ceremony included an introduction by Judge Edward Becker, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and presentations by Donald W. Murphy, Deputy Director of the National Park Service, and the Rt. Hon. Lord Goldsmith, Her Majesty’s Attorney General. Bonnie Grant, Deputy City Representative brought greetings from Philadelphia Mayor Street. The text is included on a page entitled The Unveiling Ceremony.

The luncheon portion was held at the Downtown Club with introductions by Steve Harmelin and Judge Becker, presentations by Judge Becker, Mr. Murphy and Lord Goldsmith, and responses by Judge Albert Rosenblatt of the New York Court of Appeals and Judge Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. I encourage you to read these excellent presentations. The text is on three pages, one for the introductions and presentations by Mr. Harmelin, Judge Becker and Mr. Murphy, one for the presentation by Lord Goldsmith and a third for the responses by Judges Rosenblatt and Pollak.
Lord Goldsmith:

We have transcribed the presentations from video which we filmed at the events. While the luncheon was also filmed by Cspan, I am informed that Cspan unfortunately will not broadcast the talks.

I encourage our members and recipients of this Electronic Newsletter to forward it to lawyers and historians who you believe might be interested in the content.

The complete translation of the Magna Carta of 1297 has been presented by the Avalon Project of Yale University. It is referred to by the Avalon Project as the Confirmation of Charters.
An illustrative study has been presented by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in presenting a translation of Magna Carta 1215, with 63 clauses, noting the clauses still valid under the charter of 1225 and noting the clauses omitted in all later reissues of the charter.
We encourage study of the various charters and their role in the evolution of rights.

Prince Andrew Visit to Philadelphia, September 22 - 23, 2002

We are pleased to announce that HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is planning to visit Philadelphia on September 22 and 23, 2002. Our Society has been asked to participate in the Commonwealth Festival at the Morris Arboretum which Prince Andrew will visit to inaugurate a new charitable foundation to benefit Philadelphia public high school students. The Festival will showcase the performing arts talents of the diverse populations that make up the British Commonwealth. The Festival will be held the afternoon of Sunday September 22, 2002, from 3:00 to 5:00, and will cost $50.00 per person with children under 18 free. To request an invitation please call the Morris Arboretum at 215-247-5777 (extension 171) and refer to a page of their Web Site: for further information. We encourage you to do so promptly as the number of tickets is limited. Please also contact our office (215-836-5022) to let us know that you are interested in attending this event.

Additional fund-raising events are a gala banquet on Sunday evening, September 22, 2002, to be held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a luncheon on Monday, September 23, 2002 to be held by the British American Business Council. Please contact our office for information about these events.

Educational Tour to England June, 2003

We are pleased to announce our plans for a Magna Charta Educational Tour next June. While the plans are in the preliminary stages, we hope that you will mark your calendars for June, 2003. We plan to attend Runnymede, Royal Ascot, the Garter Day Ceremony and many homes and locations of historical and educational significance. Please contact our office at 215-836-5022 if you might be interested in this Tour.


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 by sending a reply email requesting that you be removed from our list. 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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