National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons

Electronic Newsletter, October 1999

TO MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY MAGNA CHARTA DAMES AND BARONS

FROM LEWIS L. NEILSON JR., CHANCELLOR

DATE: OCTOBER 22, 1999

I am delighted to report that our Society is doing extremely well and to present our second Electronic Newsletter. Please visit our WebSite  News Page and Table of Contents. Please E-mail us using the Feedback Page.

Since the last Electronic Newsletter we have increased our electronic list to over 500. I believe that the Internet provides an easy and inexpensive way to share information.. I hope that you will helpby forwarding this Electronic Newsletter to those who you believe are interested in lineage societies in general as well as those who might be interested in Magna Charta. We also encourage you to send us their names and addresses (both E-mail and mailing address). One of our missions is simply developing awareness of Magna Charta and we can enhance that mission by communication.

[If you have received this as a forwarded email, please visit our WebSite at http://www.magnacharta.org for more information about our Society]

We have added a listing of deceased members to our WebSite. We are hoping that perspective members will find their relatives or ancestors on the WebSite. Please visit the Deceased Member Page which serves as a directory for approximately 5,000 deceased members.

We are in the process of preparing our Fall, 1999 Newsletter which we will send to each of our members, currently over 16,000. If you are a member and do not receive the Newsletter by the end of the year, please contact our office to let us know your correct address. In explanation, we send the Newsletters with address correction requested so that if you have moved your Newsletter will be returned and then remailed with the new address. Since the cost of the Newsletter is considerable, contributions from our members would be welcome and extremely helpful.

We are currently planning for our Tours next year, the Year 2000. Please visit our Travel Page. Please note that the dates have changed to June 12 to 21 for the June Tour which will focus this year on Dorset as well as the historic events in London and Windsor. The dates for the July Tour remain the same, July 21 to 31. We have included the itineraries for both Tours on the WebSite. As mentioned in our May Electronic Newsletter some of the exciting and special events which might be included on the Tours have not been planned and will be added to the Tour in the Spring. While this has been the case for most of our Tours, we have initially presented exceptional Tours. We welcome suggestions for our Tours both this year and in the future, focusing on sites of historic and cultural significance. Please remember to purchase travel insurance which should be approximately $89.00. Please also remember that there is a deadline for applying for entrance to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.

We had an outstanding 1999 June Tour and a very small number of participants for the August/September 1999 Tour to Wales and Windsor. We are pleased that the August/September Tour was run for those who had looked forward to participating. We have learned that the visit to St. George's House within Windsor Castle has not generated the interest we had hoped, however, we will treat this as a learning experience and focus on other locations for our future Tours. I mention this in case there actually might be future interest in staying within Windsor Castle.

There were many highlights of our recent June Tour, including the very happy wedding day of Edward and Sophie, now the Earl and Countess of Wessex. It is refreshing to experience the enthusiasm and optimism which was, in this case, enhanced by the beauty of Windsor Castle. We wish the Earl and Countess every happiness in their life together. The traditional Garter Ceremony was outstanding with the induction of two new Garter Knights, the Duke of Abercorn and Sir William Gladstone. Ascot Day was lovely with many of the British Nobility enjoying a very traditional English sport. We were pleased to participate in two events of the Royal Society of St. George. One was a ceremonial Beating the Retreat at Penshurst Place, an exceptional example of a mediaeval home, the residence of the Viscount de L'Iisle. The other was a formal dinner to Commemorate the Battle of Waterloo, held in the Inner Temple. We visited the field of Runnymede where the Magna Charta was sealed and met Prince Philip at a charity cricket match held by the Lord's Taverners. With the many other activities, detailed in the program for the Tour, we had a unique and enjoyable opportunity to experience historic and cultural places and events connected with English History.

Our  Churchill Day was very special. We first had lunch at the lovely home of Mrs. Mary "Minnie" Churchill and were delighted to learn that Grace Hamblin OBE was to join us. She is now 91 years old and was the personal secretary to Sir Winston. She related her personal experiences to our group. I asked her if she could recall an instance where Sir Winston gave advice to young people. After some thought, she told of an occasion where several young people were sitting with Sir Winston in a place of particular beauty. They asked him to share his thoughts and he replied as follows: "out of a life of long and varied experience the most valuable piece of advice I could hand onto you is to know how to command the moment to remain." (I verified the wording in a subsequent telephone call). Extremely profound; we should learn from those who have demonstrated accomplishment with their lives. Certainly, Sir Winston Churchill was one of the foremost statesman and leaders of his time. After lunch we went to Chartwell for a Tour by Ms. Arabella Churchill, Sir Winston's granddaughter. The Tour was illuminating and provided a personal perspective on the home and her grandfather. I offered her a membership in our Society and was pleased that she graciously accepted. We look forward to her continued involvement in our Society in the future.

Salisbury provided an unexpected surprise. Before lunch, we went to the Chapter House to see one of the four copies of the Magna Charta; we had previously seen two of the other copies at the British Library. Next to the exhibit at the Chapter House was a leaflet and a loose leaf binder which contained the printed pages from several WebSites. Considering that current search engines are only able to access a portion of the Web, I was particularly pleased to find the information. I have created a Salisbury Information Page which includes that information with links and hope that each of our readers will access the Page and view the linked pages. In addition, if anyone is aware of additional responsible WebSites which concern Magna Charta, please let me know. We then had a delightful luncheon with John Cordell, former PM at his historic home, Malmsbury House within the Cathedral Close in Salisbury.

As we process lineage information from candidates for membership in our Society please remind those who are submitting their lineage forms that it is necessary to provide a well documented lineage, with copies of the documentation. As I mentioned in the first Electronic Newsletter if you have sent lineage information without the copies you may speed up the process by sending copies of the documentation.

We have not received much biographical information concerning the immigrant ancestors. Perhaps an additional approach would be to try to locate links to other WebSites which are focusing on the ancestor. If any of you know of such WebSites please let me know with the view to including a link on the Immigrant Ancestor Page.

I hope that each of you are having an excellent season and welcome suggestions for our Society.

Please note that I have included links within this Newsletter. I understand that not all those who receive E-mail are able to access WebSites on the Internet. If you would like me to include some of the linked information within a special E-mail, particularly the Salisbury links or the Tour itineraries for June or July, please let me know.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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