[chan-tree, chahn-]
noun, plural chantries. Ecclesiastical.
an endowment for the singing or saying of Mass for the souls of the founders or of persons named by them.
a chapel or the like so endowed.
the priests of a chantry endowment.
a chapel attached to a church, used for minor services.

1300–50; Middle English chanterie < Middle French. See chant, -ery Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chantry (ˈtʃɑːntrɪ)
n , pl -tries
1.  an endowment for the singing of Masses for the soul of the founder or others designated by him
2.  a chapel or altar so endowed
3.  (as modifier): a chantry priest
[C14: from Old French chanterie, from chanter to sing; see chant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica


chapel, generally within a church, endowed for the singing of masses for the founder after his death. The practice of founding chantries, or chantry chapels, in western Europe began during the 13th century. A chantry was added to the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris in 1258. During the 14th century, the chantry movement so established itself as a manifestation of religious life that these chapels became a part of the original plan of cathedrals, as at Tours and Bordeaux. The earliest recorded chantry in England is that of Bishop Hugh of Wells in Lincoln cathedral, c. 1235. When the number of foundations rapidly increased after the plague known as the Black Death in 1349, chantries were established not only in churches but in monasteries, hospitals, and grammar schools in memory of the founders. During the English Reformation the chantries were largely abolished.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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