1) Formerly a dry measure of capacity, used particularly for coal and lime, but also for grain and salt.

1371 Et in ij schaldres de secole emptis pro eodem [igne circa le mold], 10s, York

1456-7 iij chaldyr salis, Fountains Abbey

1530 ten chawder of coilles for to be distributed to poore people, Whitby

1540 for 3 chawd[er] of whett, Grosmont

1541 to power [poor] people to pray for my soul one chawder of colles and one lode of woode to be delte vpon Christinmase even, Whitby. 1562 A chalder of coles for the merchauntes own house, York: 1642 they carry but a chalder, i.e. 4 quarter or 9 seckes, in a waine, Elmswell

1665 an intolerable wast made of coals … insomuch as coal is at Ł5 a chauldron and very difficult to be gotten, Northowram. The OED note on this word seems to draw a distinction between such spellings and ‘celdre’, a vernacular Scottish form recorded before 1300. It is interesting therefore to note that the two feature close together in a set of accounts for Whitby Abbey, especially as they both referred to coal which was unloaded in the harbour, from Newcastle in one case and from Norfolk in the other: 1395 It. pro ij celd [ris] carbonum, una navi Novi Castri, vjs viijd

It. de j hoic de Northfolk, j chaldr., iijs iiijd. It is considered to be a northern word which came to be used more widely as a result of the trade between the north-east and London.

spellings chaldron chawder
dates 1371 1395 1456-1457 1530 1540 1541 1562 1642 1665

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