British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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March 19.]                   CHARE Thursday.                             147
In Germany Passion Week is called Charwoclie, and Good Friday Charfreitay But in former times Char was prefixed to every day of Passion Week, and we find Charmontag (Chare Monday), Chardienstag (Chare Tuesday), &c. The origin of Chare Thursday is therefore evident. Char is an old German word signifiyng luctus, solicitudo; Goth, har, Jcara; Old Saxon cara ; O.-H.-G. chara ; Anglo-Saxon cearu, caru, allied to Latin cura, &c*
The original signification chare having become obsolete, a word of similar sound was substituted in its place, and hence Shere Thursday.
Robert Halliday, by his will, dated 6th May, 1491, gave estates in the parish of St. Leonard, Eastcheap, London, the rents to be applied to various purposes, and, amongst others, five shillings to the churchwardens yearly, either to make an entertainment among such persons of the said parish of St. Clement, who should be at variance with each other, in the week preceding Easter, to induce such persons to beget bro­therly love amongst them; or if none should be found in the said parish, then to make an entertainment with the said five shillings, at the tavern, amongst the honest parishioners of the said parish on the day of our Lord's Supper, commonly called Shere Thursday, that they might pray more fervently for the souls of certain persons named in his will.—Edwards, Old English Customs and Charities,, 1842, p. 146.
By indenture, bearing date 11th April, 1691, John Hall, granted a messuage, in the parish of St. Martin Ongar, to Francis Kenton and another, in trust to pay out of the rents thereof, amongst other sums, ten shillings a year, to the churchwardens of the parish of St. Clement, Eastcheap, London, on the Thursday next before Easter, to provide two turkeys for the parishioners, to be eaten at their annual feast, called the reconciling or love feast, usually made on that day. The house is in the possession of the Weavers' Company, who make the payment for the turkeys annually. Ibid. p. 60.
* Sec Care Sunday, p. 121.
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