CHOULTRY, s. Peculiar to S. India, and of doubtful etymology; Malayal. chawati, Tel. chawadi, [tsavadi, chau, Skt. chatur, ‘four,’ vata, ‘road, a place where four roads meet]. In W. India the form used is chowry or chowree (Dakh. chaori). A hall, a shed, or a simple loggia, used by travellers as a resting- place, and also intended for the transaction of public business. In the old Madras Archives there is frequent mention of the “Justices of the Choultry.” A building of this kind seems to have formed the early Court- house.

1673.—“Here (at Swally near Surat) we were welcomed by the Deputy President…who took care for my Entertainment, which here was rude, the place admitting of little better Tenements than Booths stiled by the name of Choultries.”—Fryer, 82.

“Maderas…enjoys some Choultries for Places of Justice.”—Ibid. 39.

1683.—“…he shall pay for every slave so shipped…50 pagodas to be recovered of him in the Choultry of Madraspattanam.”—Order of Madras Council, in Wheeler, i. 136.

1689.—“Within less than half a Mile, from the Sea (near Surat) are three Choultries or Convenient Lodgings made of Timber.”—Ovington, 164.

1711.—“Besides these, five Justices of the Choultry, who are of the Council, or chief Citizens, are to decide Controversies, and punish offending Indians.”—Lockyer, 7.

1714.—In the MS. List of Persons in the Service, &c. (India Office Records), we have:—

“Josiah Cooke ffactor Register of the Choultry, £15.”

1727.—“There are two or three little Choulteries or Shades built for Patients to rest in.”—A. Hamilton, ch. ix.; [i. 95.]

[1773.—“A Choltre is not much unlike a large summer-house, and in general is little more than a bare covering from the inclemency of the weather. Some few indeed are more spacious, and are also endowed with a salary to support a servant or two, whose business is to furnish all passengers with a certain quantity of rice and fresh water.”—Ives, 67.]

1782.—“Les fortunes sont employées à bâtir des Chauderies sur les chemins.”—Sonnerat, i. 42.

1790.—“On ne rencontre dans ces voyages aucune auberge ou hôtellerie sur la route; mais elles sont remplacées par des lieux de repos appelées schultris (chauderies), qui sont des bâtimens ouverts et inhabités, où les voyageurs ne trouvent, en général, qu’un toit.…”—Haafner, ii. 11.

1809.—“He resides at present in an old Choultry which has been fitted up for his use by the Resident.”—Ld. Valentia, i. 356.

1817.—“Another fact of much importance is, that a Mahomedan Sovereign was the first who established Choultries.”—Mill’s Hist. ii. 181.

1820.—“The Chowree or town-hall where the public business of the township is transacted, is a building 30 feet square, with square gable-ends, and a roof of tile supported on a treble row of square wooden posts.”—Acc. of Township of Loony, in Tr. Lit. Soc. Bombay, ii. 181.

1833.—“Junar, 6th Jan. 1833.…We at first took up our abode in the Chawadi, but Mr. Escombe of the C. S. kindly invited us to his house.”—Smith’s Life of Dr. John Wilson, 156.

1836.—“The roads are good, and well supplied with choultries or taverns” (!)—Phillips, Million of Facts, 319.

1879.—“Let an organised watch…be established in each village…armed with good tulwars. They should be stationed each night in the village chouri.”—Overland Times of India, May 12, Suppl. 7b.

See also CHUTTRUM.

CHOULTRY PLAIN, n.p. This was the name given to the open country formerly existing to the S.W. of Madras. Choultry Plain was also the old designation of the Hd. Quarters of the Madras Army; equivalent to “Horse Guards” in Westminster (C. P. B. MS.).

1780.—“Every gentleman now possessing a house in the fort, was happy in accommodating the family of his friend, who before had resided in Choultry Plain. Note. The country near Madras is a perfect flat, on which is built, at a small distance from the fort, a small choultry.”—Hodges, Travels, 7.

CHOUSE, s. and v. This word is originally Turk. chaush, in former days a sergeant-at-arms, herald, or the like. [Vambéry (Sketches, 17) speaks of the Tchaush as the leader of a party of pilgrims.] Its meaning as ‘a cheat,’ or ‘to swindle’ is, apparently beyond doubt, derived from the anecdote thus related in a note of W. Gifford’s upon the passage in Ben Jonson’s Alchemist, which is quoted below. “In 1609 Sir Robert Shirley sent a messenger or chiaus (as our old writers call him) to this country, as his agent, from the Grand Signor and the Sophy, to transact some preparatory business. Sir Robert followed him, at his leisure, as ambassador from both these princes; but before he reached England, his agent had chiaused the Turkish and Persian merchants here of 4000l., and taken his flight, unconscious perhaps that he had enriched the language with a word of which the etymology would mislead Upton and puzzle Dr. Johnson.”—Ed. of Ben Jonson, iv. 27. “In Kattywar, where the native chiefs employ Arab mercenaries,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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