PURSE (Late Lat. bursa, adapted from Gr. /3upera, hide, skin; possibly O. Eng. pusa, bag, has influenced the change from b to p), a small bag for holding money, originally a leather pouch tied at the mouth, but now of various shapes. The great seal of England is borne by the purse-bearer in a purse, usually styled " burse," decorated with the arms of the kingdom, the " burse" being thus one of the insignia of office of the lord chancellor of England. The " privy purse" is the amount of public money set apart in the civil list for the private and personal use of the sovereign (see PRIVY PURSE).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)