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A Letter from Sir Charles Santley

Here is a note sent by Sir Charles Santley on 10th May 1907 confirming his attendance at the Lord Mayor's dinner for The Savage Club to be held at Mansion House on June 29th that year. Mark Twain was the chief guest and speaker at that dinner. The letter is owned by a member of the Company.

A lecture on the life and works of Sir Charles Santley (1834-1922) was published in 1930 by Novello & Co. The author was Liveryman John Mewburn Levien (1863-1953). Levien served on the Court for just two years before resigning for reasons of bad health.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Upon his death, part of Levien's legacy established an annual award in memory of Sir Charles Santley. The funds were used to distinguish not only great singers at the peak of their career, but also to recall those who have achieved greatness in the past. Click Here to see more information and Past Winners of The Santley Award.


Santley (shown left) was a Liveryman of the Company and an eminent English baritone. In the Drury Lane Theatre in July 1870 he led the cast of the joint Mapleson/Royal Italian Opera Company as 'The Dutchman' in the first Wagner Opera to be performed in London (Der fliegende Holländer).


Just 9 days before writing the Acceptance Note shown above, Santley celebrated his 50 year singing career at a grand benefit concert in his honour at The Royal Albert Hall (1st May 1907). He was knighted in the December of that year (the first singer to receive this honour).

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