"Acatry—Is this term still in use? I have just met with it for the first time, "Clerk of the Acatry to the Royal Household" (temp. Charles II.), and on turning to the Technological Dictionary I find it written Acatery, and it is said to be "a sort of check between the king's kitchen and the purveyors." No derivation is given. Query, is it from the French—Achat, Achaterie, Acatery, Acatry?" — John J. A. Boase.
"Acatery is obsolete; but in Todd's Johnson we meet with "Catery, the depository of victuals purchased." See also Kelham, Norm. Dict., "Serjeaunt de l'acaterie, serjeant of the catery." In the Ordinances and regulations, &c. published by the Society of Antiquaries, Liber Niger Edw. IV., acatery is the room or place allotted to the keeping of all such provisions as the purveyors purchased for the king; and achatour (p. 22.), the person who had charge of the achatry. The office of achator, or purveyor, was common in religious establishments. Most lexicographers derive the word from the Fr. achator, to buy or purchase, to purvey, to provide. Hence the modern word caterer. Boucher says, "Acheter was formerly written and pronounced achapter, and seems to have a connexion not very remote with the common English words, chap, chapmen, cheap, to cheapen, to chop, or exchange, &c."
Notes and Queries, Medium of Inter-Communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc. Second Series, Volume Second: July—December, 1856; London: Bell & Daldy.
acatry, n. Pronunciation: Brit. /əˈkeɪtri/, U.S. /əˈkeɪtri/ Forms: 15 accatre, 15–16 acatrye, 15– acatry, 16 acatrie, 16 accatrie, 17 accatery, 17 accatry, 17– acatery. Etymology:Either < acate n. + -ry suffix, or alteration of achatry n. after acate n. Compare Anglo-Norman achaterie office for purchasing supplies (a1376). Now hist. Provisions bought in rather than made in the house, esp. meat and fish; a place of storage of, or staff responsible for, such provisions in a large household, spec. the English royal household.
"The acatry was responsible for the reception and storage of meat for the royal tables. In 1660 the establishment of the acatry consisted of a clerk and a sergeant, appointed by royal warrant, and a yeoman of the salt stores, yeomen and grooms, appointed by lord steward's warrant." 'The household below stairs: Acatry 1660-1761', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (revised): Court Officers, 1660-1837 (2006), pp. 415-418. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43855 Date accessed: 19 March 2013.