D'oyly-Carte Coat of Arms / D'oyly-Carte Family Crest
The arms associated to the family of D'OYLY-CARTE are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Pondhall in Hadleigh Parish, County Suffolk, and of London, during the reign's of Henry VI to Henry VIII being the Lytchurch branch of the family above named, which settled in Suffolk on marrying the heiress of the branch of LEGAT. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901) was the English impresario, born in London. After working in his father's musical instrument-making business, he became a concert agent and from 1875 produced the first operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan, with whom he formed a partnership. In 1881 he built the Savoy Theatre in London, the first to be lit by electricity. Another theatre building, a Royal English Opera House (1891) failed. After his death the D'Oyly Carte company continued to perform Gilbert and Sullivan in traditional style for many years.
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