Today is ‘maundy Thursday’ in the Christian calendar, and the purses are known as ‘maundy Money’.
On maundy Thursday we cast off the warps on shore, took our spare anchors on board, and waited for the tide.
After this maundy they were fed and sent away with a small present of money.
In England the giving of gifts on maundy Thursday has taken the place of foot-washing.
The ceremony observed on the day was called holding or making the maundy.
maundy, mawn′di, n. the religious ceremony of washing the feet of others, esp.
He also provided the maundy gifts and selected the poor for the washing of feet.
He distributes the sovereign's doles to the poor on maundy Thursday.
maundy money is still distributed at Magdalen College, Oxford.
It was named maundy Thursday from the baskets (or maunds) which contained the gifts.