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.