Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Dering Roll of National Importance

Most enthusiastic followers of English heraldry will know that the Dering Roll has recently been sold at auction to a foreign buyer and is under threat of export. The Culture Secretary  is prepared to grant an export licence unless there is a fairly robust UK counter offer by April the 19th.

I understand that the British Library have already expressed an interest in raising the funds to purchase the manuscript but nevertheless, I have felt it prudent to email my local MP and I would urge those who also have an interest in keeping this important manuscript within these shores to do the same.

You find the email address of your local MP here http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alms.cfm

 My letter is copied below for your information:

Dear Mr. Wright,
The Dering Roll has recently been sold at auction and is under threat of export.

The Dering Roll was produced in England in the last quarter of the 13th century. It is eight and a half feet long and contains the coats of arms of approximately one-quarter of the English baronage of the reign of King Edward I. As the earliest surviving English roll of arms it is a key document of medieval English knighthood. As a statement of the knights who owed feudal service to the constable of Dover Castle, it carries outstanding local as well as national significance.

The Culture Secretary is prepared to grant the export licence unless there is a fairly certain offer by April 19th.  Given the short time period available to raise over £200,000 there is a very real chance that this historic document will be lost.  Can you please contact the Culture Secretary to ensure at the very least a photographic facsimile is made available to the British Library before export?

Thanking you in anticipation.
Yours sincerely,
Martin Goldstraw

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