The surname Chase is of English origin. It is a metonymic occupational name for a huntsman, or rather a nickname for an exceptionally skilled huntsman, derived from the Middle English ‘chase’, hunt ( Old French ‘chasse’, from ‘chasser’, to hunt, chase, Latin ‘captare’ ). The term was used of hunters on horseback of game such as stags and wild boars, which was in the Middle Ages a pursuit restricted to the ranks of the nobility. A tenth century colloquium was; “One craft I know. Which? ‘Hunter’ I am”. The surname may also be local, ‘at the chase’, from residence in that part of the forest or park termed the chase; an open piece of ground for the herding of deer and other game. ‘With hunte and horne, and houndes him beside’, an old poem. During the winter months when meat animals could not be kept well, an important source of food was the game killed by the Chase or Chaser, whose work was both a nescessity and a past time for the ruling classes. The British were famed for their hunting dogs. One nobleman in France was said to have had sixteen hundred hounds in his kennels and six hundred horses in his stables. The favourite quarries of the nobility were the stag and the wild boar. The name dates back to t… Coat of arms: Gules, four crosses cro…
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