Saturday 7 April 1660

This day, about nine o’clock in the morning, the wind grew high, and we being among the sands lay at anchor; I began to be dizzy and squeamish. Before dinner my Lord sent for me down to eat some oysters, the best my Lord said that ever he ate in his life, though I have ate as good at Bardsey. After dinner, and all the afternoon I walked upon the deck to keep myself from being sick, and at last about five o’clock, went to bed and got a caudle made me, and sleep upon it very well. This day Mr. Sheply went to Sheppy.

31 Annotations

sam  •  Link

Well, it would seem that Sam does come to need caudle after all!
Funny how it should come up in an entry so soon after the previous ' knotted cane ' discussions. Do we think again i wonder.

jack  •  Link

Since caudle is a cane he might have slept on it to keep from rolling out of his bunk, he has to try a lot of them to find the right one.

WKW  •  Link

"squeamish": not our more prevalent "extremely fastidious or easily disgusted," but the older primary sense of "queasy" or, as the Companion (citing the OED, citing Pepys as first example) says, "slightly affected with nausea."

A. De Araujo  •  Link

methinks caudle comes from "Caldo"portuguese=clear soup;by the way reformado also comes from portuguese meaning retired, not on active duty

Lance  •  Link

Oysters and Sea Sickness.
I'm turning green just reading about it.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Actually, I think the use of 'caudle' here makes a contrast with the previous usage. Pepys has to go and bespeak one (from the galley?) - this makes it even clearer that the captain would be unlikely to act in the capacity of a servant to bring him one.

Pauline  •  Link

Unless the captain brought him the ingredients and now someone has made it up for him (added water? or added the medicinal agent to a clear soup?). Frankly, I don't want to give up the knotted cane. We learned too much about canes not to have one lying around in the "story." So I'm listening to Jack and Jenny or anyone who can get us out of this.

It would be good to know if this "caudle" is also written in long hand in the diary and looks like the previous "cane."

Anyone from the Pepys Library at Magdalene quietly reading along? Any reader live close enough to go to the library and snag us a scholar?

David Quidnunc  •  Link


This time, Latham & Matthews is in agreement with our version of the diary. L&M just says "caudle" and there's no note.

It's interesting that here, as on 5 April, Pepys immediately mentions sleeping after the word "caudle" comes up (if, that is, it was a "caudle" on 5 April). Could the rolling of the ship be affecting his handwriting?

According to the L&M index (p 128), this is the one and only time the word "caudle" shows up in the diary. Savor it!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: caudles as sleepaids

I noted that, too, David, and wondered if the juxtaposition of caudles and sleepiness in each case (the 5th and the 7th) might mean that Sam did indeed mean a caudle on the 5th.

Still, I think I'm with Pauline on this one. Let's go with a cane for the 5th and a nice, warm, stomach-settling caudle for the 7th.

Emilio  •  Link

Speaking again for the cane party, there is a slight difference between the 2 appearances of 'caudle': Today it is obviously related to his falling asleep - the "it" links to the previous phrase, referring back to 'caudle' or (conceivably) 'bed'. One the 5th, however, there is a full stop between, leaving open the possibility that the juxtaposition is a coincidence.
From this point of view, the later appearance of 'caudle' might also be the very reason the word appears on the 5th. With a doubtful word to find some reading for, Wheatley could have taken the easy path, seeing a similar word in a similar position a couple days later and assuming they're the same.
All entirely speculative, but logical at least.

Jason Hutchens  •  Link

Could it not simply be that the use of "caudle" in today's entry precipitated the interpretation of Thursday's "knotted Cane" as a "noted caudle"?

Pauline  •  Link

Emilio and logic
Yes, I was going to point out that we're a bit thrown by coming upon caudle again two days after more or less rejecting it; but without the transcription of cane as caudle on the 5th, we wouldn't have made any link between these two nouns. Wheatley may well be the one introducing the link.

alex  •  Link

Why not just admit we don't know what the word on the 5th was? When evidence is thin, it's best to suspend judgement rather than try to force the evidence to say more.

michael f vincent  •  Link

a)" and got a caudle made me,and sleep upon it very well"
b)" , and Captain Clerke brought me a noted caudle. "
It could be a case of two,to,too or
four for, i.e, sounds versas spelling and content.
a: is in s/h b: in l/h (must be a reason)

b) It would be veddy rare for High ranking Hofficer to bring a secretary a remedy (unless he is known family friend), still think it was a nice reward or bribe or incentive
c) noted caudle a recipe? unlikely.
alex has a point! what "jtc", speculate is todays way, what evidence? do we need any....? just kidding.

Michael f vincent  •  Link

a) is the invalid drink
b ) is the bribe

Mary  •  Link

The sands

Perhaps the Blythe Sands, close to the north Kent coast, just to the west of the Isle of Grain.

Glyn  •  Link

Coddling and Mollycoddling Samuel

"Caudle" is so similar in sound to "Coddle" (i.e. comfort) that the words must surely be related (that correct Language Hat?)

Caudle has to be the comforting drink rather than a cane - since he's having one made for him every day to help him get to sleep (is he also a little queasy from sea-sickness so it settles his stomach). The cane was a nice idea but I think we have to discard it - he wouldn't need more than one and it would last more than a day. Just as readers in future centuries will think we had special "nightcaps" sewn for us every night.

Mary  •  Link


L&M Companion cross-refers this place to Bawdsey, Suffolk, a very small spot just north of the Deben Estuary. I can well believe that good oysters might have been obtained there (Colchester, in particular is still well-known for its oysters and there may have been other good spots along the Essex/Suffolk coast) but do we know when Pepys might have visited the place? It's not on the way to anywhere at all.

Glyn  •  Link

I do hope you're wrong, Mary! As a patriotic Welshman, I insist that Pepys means exactly what he says, so that Bardsey is the Holy Island of Bardsey off the coast of North Wales. It's not too far away from Montagu's lands in Worcestershire - is there any Welsh connection with the Pepys family?

If this is correct, then it is an example of this site being more exact than the "Latham Companion", which cannot be 100% accurate. That may be a long shot, but I live in hope.

Mary  •  Link


I quote the OED.
CAUDLE derives from Old Norman French CAUDEL (chaudel in central France of the time).

The origins of CODDLE (meaning to pamper, cherish etc.) are obscure. The word appears in no dictionary before 1818. It might derive from an obsolete French verb CADELER, which means to pamper, cherish, make much of. An alternative explanation is that it may derive from a dialectal variant of CAUDLE, where the long vowel-sound represented by 'au' could be shortened to 'o'. You pays your money and takes your choice.

As for Bardsey/Bawdsey, what sort of reputation for oysters does the Welsh location have?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

A cane's a cane, and according to my dictionary (not the OED, sadly,) a caudle's "a warm drink for sick people." I'm inclined to think that if Sam wrote out the word "cane" on the April 5 entry, that's what he meant there. I think Pauline's correct: the juxtaposition is confusing. At least, it was to Bright and/or Wheatley.

Incidentally the word "caudle" derives (through French, actually) from "caldum", Latin for a "hot drink", which is probably the same root for the Portuguese "caldo."

Mary  •  Link

Bardsey/Bawdsey; second thoughts.

Bawdsey certainly looks isolated on the road map, but Pepys could well have put in either there or close by (e.g. Felixstowe) when on his pre-diary trip to Mountagu's Baltic fleet with letters for the commander.

Nix  •  Link

"Why not just admit we don’t know what the word on the 5th was?"

Alex, you must not be an aspiring professor of English. Whole careers have been built on less!

Peter  •  Link


Could be a Cordial - sounds similar, and in this latest context could mean something that was mixed for Sam to get him to sleep.These days it usually means a fruit based concentate but with some alcohol added it would certainly help.

Laura Brown  •  Link

More about caudle

Caudle is the drink traditionally served at christenings, and I would imagine that nowadays most people know the word in this context if they know it at all. Emily Post, writing in 1922, said: 'Although according to cook-books caudle is a gruel, the actual “caudle” invariably served at christenings is a hot eggnog, drunk out of little punch cups.' ( )

The tradition of serving caudles at christenings probably stems from the use described by Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: 'Any sloppy mess, especially that sweet mixture of gruel and wine or spirits once given by nurses to recently confined women and their "gossips" who called to see the baby during the first month.' ( )

In Pepys' day, caudle was drunk from special vessels called caudle cups. They were two-handled cups with a cover, sort of like a modern baby's cup. Here's one from 1659:
The lid would have been helpful on board ship.

I wonder if the associations with birth and christening made the drink bittersweet for childless Pepys.

fimm  •  Link

Do you think Peyps likes the alliteration of “This day Mr. Sheply went to Sheppy"?

Pauline  •  Link

“This day Mr. Sheply went to Sheppy.”
Yes, when I first read it it made me smile and I felt Sam had been the first to smile over it. I think as this word/sound savorying and playfulness accumulates, we do reach a point where we can assume a consiousness of it on his part.

Laura Brown  •  Link

Mr Sheply went to Sheppy

Would the rhyme 'Dr Foster went to Gloucester' have been known at this time?

(I have seen various explanations of the rhyme's origin, but these things aren't always reliable.)

Tonyel  •  Link

For UK readers only, there is a new series starting next Wednesday, 10th, on BBC4 at 9 p.m. called "The Century That Wrote Itself" about the explosion of literacy in the 17th century which will focus on "five remarkable writers". Can't imagine that Sam won't be in there somewhere.

Lisa Liss  •  Link

Coddle, I see, is a possible variant of caudle. No question that SP is being coddled with caudle, while gaining his sea legs. I hope the cane mutiny has been forever suppressed.

meech  •  Link

Good one, Lisa Liss!

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