Recorded in various spellings including Cutler, the French Cuttelar, and possibly the dialectal Cutajar, this is a famous and noble surname of Old French origins. It is occupational and derives from the word "coutelier", and as such was introduced into England by the Norman Invaders in the conquest of 1066. The precise meaning is a maker of swords and knives, and the early cutlers with the armourers, accompanied the military forces wherever they went. They were also expected to be proficient in the use of the sword and to act as soldiers in their own right, when the battle commenced.The importance of the occupation, is mirrored in the early grants of coats of arms both in France where the blazon is of a prancing hound on a red field, and in Britain where no less than eleven coats of arms have been granted to nameholders. Early examples of the name recordings include Peter Le Cutelir of Clerkenwell, London, in 1216, Johannes Cotelar of Handsworth in 1319, although he is recorded as being a 'bakester', and Willemus Cotteler in the Poll Tax rolls of Sheffield, Yorkshire in 1379. John Cutler of Stainborough Hall, Yorkshire, was the Standard Bearer to King Henry VI (1422 - 1461) during the War of the Roses. In 1659 Sir John Cutler in raising the City of London in support of Charles 11, paved the way for the restoration of the monarchy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph le Cuiteiller, which was dated 1212, in the "Records of St. Bartholomews Hospital", London, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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