Parchment Copy of Declaration of Independence Found in Small British Town

Two Harvard researchers say they have found a rare parchment copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence — in England.

The only other known parchment copy is housed in the National Archives in Washington.

Researchers Emily Sneff and Danielle Allen found the document in the archives of the small town of Chichester in Sussex, in southern England.

The Boston Globe reports the Duke of Richmond is believed to have been the original owner of the parchment which the researchers dated to the 1780s. The duke was also known as Radical Duke because of his support of Americans during the Revolutionary War.

Allen says the document “scrambles the names of the signers” and “they are no longer grouped by state.” She said “It is the only version of the declaration that does that, with the exception of an engraving from 1836 that derives from it. This is really a symbolic way of saying we are all one people…”

Allen and Sneff are working with British officials and the Library of Congress to run non-invasive tests on the document.

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