BOURSE (from the Med. Lat. bursa, a purse), the French equivalent of the Stock Exchange, and so used of the Paris Exchange, or of any foreign money-market. The English form "burse," as in Sir Thomas Gresham's building, which was known as "Britain's Burse," went out of use in the 18th century. The origin of the name is doubtful; it is not derived from any connexion between purse and money, but rather from the use of a purse as a sign. At Bruges a house belonging to the family de Bursa is said to have been first used as an Exchange, and to have had three purses as a sign on the front.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)