The surname of PRATT was a baptismal name 'the son of Prat' an early 12th century font name, although now forgotten as a personal name. The name was originally derived from the Old French name PRAT, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is also spelt PRAT and PRATS. Early records of the name mention Wilfric Prat, who was documented in County Suffolk in the year 1179. Aedmund Pret was recorded in County Berkhire, 1192. Norman Pratt, 1273 County Cambridge. Thomas Pratt of the County of Gloucestershire, ibid. Eustace Pratt was recorded in Lancashire in the year 1300. Richard Pratt of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Henry Pratt and Avice Sharpe were married in London in the year of 1579. The first of the name to appear in Scotland, was William Prat, who witnessed a charter by the earl of Buchan, circa. 1200. William Pratt of Fifeshire was recorded in 1296, and Thomas Pratt held land in Aberdeen in 1464. David Pratt, an artist in the reign of James IV. had payments made to him, and George Pratt was the 'town sergeant' of Aberdeen in 1664. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter that served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. Pratt is the family name of the Marquesses and Earls of Camden. They are descended from John Pratt (died 1573) of Devonshire. The first Earl, Sir Charles Pratt (1714-94) was a childhood friend of the elder Pitt. His son was created Marquess in 1786.
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