Thursday 5 April 1660

Infinity of business all the morning of orders to make, that I was very much perplexed that Mr. Burr had failed me of coming back last night, and we ready to set sail, which we did about noon, and came in the evening to Lee roads and anchored. At night Mr. Sheply overtook us who had been at Gray’s Market this morning. I spent all the afternoon upon the deck, it being very pleasant weather. This afternoon Sir Rich. Stayner and Mr. Creed, after we were come to anchor, did come on board, and Creed brought me 30l., which my Lord had ordered him to pay me upon account, and Captain Clerke brought me a noted caudle. At night very sleepy to bed.

31 Annotations

First Reading

David Brown  •  Link

Caudle was generally a blend of wine or ale, gruel, eggs, sugar and spices. Sounds good.

Keith Wright  •  Link

As others have recently noted, the Nazbey is making such leisurely progress that the dramatis personae are using it much like a stagecoach, which they get off of at will and rejoin at some later staging post as convenient. The open sea is still some ways ahead. Will Mr. Burr's absence without leave be explained, much less excused?

David Bell  •  Link

The wind will affect the voyage greatly.

It's possible that the slow progress comes from a combination of unfavourable wind direction and the tides. The Nazeby may be slowed by an adverse wind at the moment, and only making progress when the tidal currents are favourable.

Are there any sources for weather information at this time?

Rick Ansell  •  Link

It seems to me that they are in an anchorage ('roads') off what is now _Leigh_ on sea. This is at the mouth of the Thames, out into in the estuary.…

The name could have changed or Peyps got the name verbally and misspelled it.

This link shows both Tilbury (to the right of Grays) and Leigh. Northfleet Hope ('The Hope'), where the day began, is the reach upstream (left) of the bend in the river at Tilbury.…

steve h  •  Link


Another definition
"CAUDLE: a warm drink of thin gruel mixed with ale or wine and sweetened, often for the sick-bed. (William Ellis, 1750)"
Caudles were also drunk for breakfast, and often had oatmeal. They were served to women after childbirth, but to invalids in general.
Is Pepys feeling ill, or having trouble sleeping or digesting navy food?

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"a noted caudle" -- uncertain meaning

The Latham and Matthews edition renders it "a knotted Cane" and, in a note say "l.h. uncertain." Now, "l.h." in L&M means "long hand" (abbreviation explained on page cxl in Vol. 1). In other words, Pepys didn't use his typical shorthand for this but wrote at least the word "Cane" in longhand ("knotted" sounds like his shorthand, which -- I think -- could render words like "knotted" and "noted" with the exact same symbols).

It seems to me that previous editions figured Pepys meant "a noted caudle" but L&M are skeptical of that interpretation, especially because they've got "Cane" in longhand in the diary. That's nicely cautious, but it means they -- and we, if we trust them -- don't have a clue as to what Pepys is referring to.

In my humble opinion: (1) for Pepys to render the word "Cane" in longhand means he's thoroughly unfamiliar with the thing and wanted to render the name "right" as he understood it or heard it; (2) "noted caudle" sounds like a rather good guess on the part of the 19th century editors. (Although it seems that either they took quite a liberty with a word that was in longhand in the manuscript or had trouble reading Pepys's handwriting. Does "uncertain" mean "uncertain meaning" or "uncertain about deciphering the handwriting"?)

It might matter a great deal in trying to understand this to know what "noted" and "knotted" could mean in Pepys's day. Can anyone with an OED help us? (And if you have an OED, you might want to look up "cane" as well.)

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'Knotted cane' makes sense in view of the fashionableness of canes as an accessory. Here is a website which gives a brief history of canes (scroll down):…

The relevant part reads thus:

"The use of the word cane for a walking stick began in the 16th century, when bamboo and other tropical grasses and reeds began to be used as shafts. The distinction between sticks and canes is based on the materials used; sticks were made of ivory, whalebone, ebony and other valuable woods. Canes were made from Malacca or rattan, bamboo and other hardy reeds. Quality canes spoke volumes about a person's wealth and social status. After the 1600s, canes became fashionable for men to carry as part of their daily attire. New rules of etiquette were formed during this time. To break this code of behavior was considered a violation of good manners."

Slightly later than our period, but if you look at the pictures on this website you will see examples of the use of canes as a fashion accessory:…

Pauline  •  Link

Noted caudle: "L&M are skeptical of that interpretation"
Thank you for this information, David. It makes me skeptical too. "Noted" strikes me as odd for Sam to use in reference to a caudle, no matter how recommended it might be. Now I am floating my mind around cane-like things. Surely Sam was familiar with canes; but maybe in not knowing what to call this thing, he long-handed "cane" as the nearest thing, sorta like my just putting it in quotes? Something scepter-like? Carved knot? Leather woven knot? Jute?

Maybe something to go after Mr. Burr with if he ever shows up.

Pauline  •  Link

Thanks, Jenny.
Interesting website. It sounds possible that the word "cane" was new to Sam--till now "sticks" or "walking sticks," but new materials and a new name.

The presentation of one to Sam might indicate another acknowledgement of his rising rank in the world.

David Bell  •  Link

It might not be just Sam's rising status.

The "knotted cane" (I think this does make sense), combined with the revelation yesterday (Wednesday 4th April), seeming to confirm that the voyage is aimed at the return of the King, suggests that there is some attention being paid to making sure the officers of the Navy put on a good show.

My Lord will have been careful to choose his party for both competence and for making a good show, I think, but I wonder how much of Pepys later career comes from his presence here? Will it lead to the King, and his party, making an assumption about Sam's natural rank?

mary  •  Link

a knotted cane?

For 'knotted' the OED provides:
Knotted: characterised by knots or protuberences.
1664:" The Gray or Horse-fly; her legs all jointed and knotted like the plant called Equisetum or Horse-tail."

Over all, the knotted cane makes better sense than the noted caudle; I'm sure Sam would have mentioned feeling under the weather and so in need of a mild restorative if that were the case.

J. Hamery  •  Link

Burlwood, which comprises the knots of the wood, could make a handsome cane. The French call it "loupe d'orme" and make small desk objects, jewelery boxes, etc. of it.

Barbara  •  Link

Knotted cane: it seems to me much more likely that Captain Clerke would bring a cane than a caudle. Could Captain Clerke have come aboard with Sir Richard Stayner and Mr. Creed?

WKW  •  Link

"knotted" akin to "knobbed"

A.De Araujo  •  Link

Sugar cane has Knots, maybe Sam was drinking "Garapa"(in portuguese} "Grapa" in italian

language hat  •  Link

knotty problem:
I too think "knotted cane" is a good solution, and I congratulate the assembled Pepys Irregulars for their diligent detective work! (It would be nice to see a reproduction of the relevant page of the MS, but that's probably not likely. Although maybe before the Pepysblog has run its course...)

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Oh. An actual knotted cane.

The idea that "knotted Cane" actually referred to, ah, a knotted cane. . . . Well, there's nothing like the obvious explanation! (Lesson: Never, ever, ever annotate when tired.)

michael f vincent  •  Link

"brought me a noted caudle" The knotted/knobled cane has my vote; my thought it was a thank ye item from the capitan: Great work one and all:

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

If it was a bamboo cane, as the website I quoted suggests was newly fashionable, Sam might well have used the term 'knotted' to describe the natural joints on bamboo. I will copy the post on this into the 'fashion' section of the annotations.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Captain Clerke

Latham & Matthews spell it "Clarke." Am I correct in believing that, even today, the British pronunciation of the word "clerk" uses an "ah" sound, so it would rhyme with "lark"?

In the U.S., of course, "clerk of the works" rhymes. Am I right in assuming the Brit pronunciation is used in all other English-language countries?

Mary  •  Link

clerk,lark etc.

do indeed rhyme in Modern English English, though the perks that Pepys is in constant receipt of rhyme with quirks. Some words have changed their pronunciation in this kind of context since the second half of the 17th Century; Dryden, in 'Absalom and Achitophel' rhymes 'desert' with 'art.'

Can anyone answer for Australian/NZ clerks?

Karen  •  Link

I'm American-born, but resident in Australia for thirty years. Having a mixed background makes one more aware of the language differences, such as this one. In Australia 'clerk' is pronounced 'clark' (as in your 'lark'). In most of the differences between American and United Kingdom English, Australians follow the UK forms.

Glyn  •  Link

20th century English pronunciation is no infallible guide to 17th century English pronunciation.

American pronunciations could also be as valid. There's speculation that the English of this time would sound a lot like West Country or Irish, rather than BBC English. Small example: Shakespeare uses a pun on the words "reason" and "raisin" in Hamlet - that works well with an Irish or American pronunciation but not a current English one.

If this sort of topic interests you, then please tune into Professor Laura Wright on the Robert Elms BBC radio show each Monday (12-3):…

It is available over the internet and the development of words and accents that she discusses is always fascinating.

Mary  •  Link

Seventeenth Century Pronunciation

For anyone who is really interested in pursuing this topic seriously, Dobson's 'English Pronunciation 1500-1700' published by OUP is an exhaustive work. However, it doesn't make for light reading and requires a good deal of application.

vincent  •  Link

Caudle/noted cane : see cane knotted in a Rembrant painting of Jacob Trip 1666 at…
or trot off to the National Gallery London.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

I posted a note in the encyclopedia under fashion/canes about knotted canes.

Lisa Liss  •  Link

Knotted candle?
Nautical candle?

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Journal of the Earl of Sandwich; Navy Records Society, edited by R.C. Anderson
“5th. Thursday. We sailed out of the Hope and came back to an anchor between the buoy of the Nore and Blacktail. “

"... we ready to set sail, which we did about noon, and came in the evening to Lee roads and anchored."

This is a short sail, I presume for safety, training and/or shake down purposes. As noted before, the Naseby would need a compliment of about 400 sailors, and Pepys hasn't mentioned any coming aboard. They will go on some short cruises "to learn the ropes" before sailing anywhere away from the home port.

With Captain Roger Cuttance away in Weymouth for a week or so, Montagu clearly doesn't expect to be going anywhere significant soon.

The new construction and interior improvements will have changed the way the Naseby handles, but that doesn't mean the Lieutenant and the local pilots (no, not pirates!) can't maneuver her around as necessary to keep her safe from the changing winds, especially if they have some experienced hands on board already.

The Lee Roads -- Google isn't being helpful about this: it wants to tell me about where Gen. Leigh rode in the American Civil War and a pop group!
I think this must refer to the outlet of the Lee River into the Thames estuary:…

Or was it off Leigh-on-Sea? "The riverside settlement of 'Old Leigh', or 'The Old Town', is historically significant; it was once on the primary shipping route to London. From the Middle Ages until the turn of the 20th century, Old Leigh hosted the settlement's market square, and high street (known as Leigh Strand). Elizabethan historian William Camden (1551–1623) described Leigh as "a proper fine little towne and verie full of stout and adventurous sailers". By the 1740s Leigh's deep water access had become silted up (as attested to by John Wesley) and the village was in decline as an anchorage and port of call."…

Blacktail is no help either -- it's a USA ski center, there was a town in the Dakotas by that name, XBox game, type of deer, etc. etc.

The Nore we know:…


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I know, our link for Lee Roads goes to Leigh-on-Sea, but compare the maps with that and Grey's Market, and it's a long way away. Pepys does say it took all afternoon to make the change. Assuming Pepys knew what he was talking about (and he's not a nautical man, so I think Montagu is more reliable), no wonder he was worried about "loosing" Mr. Burr.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

The Odnance Survey (https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey…) places the Blacktail Spit at 51.54320145°N, 0.94283312°E, in the Thames estuary. It lists it as "wetland/tidal" and suggests you take a walk there. Someone did so in their little sailboat - apparently called the Talisker 1 - and helpfully posted a bunch of nautical charts at….

The charts abound in annotations like "foul ground" and "historic wreck area". Clearly the shallow waters, strong tide and shifting sand banks make the area a tricky one for a large ship and its escort. Indeed our friends on the Talisker 1 recall near Pyefleet Creek "a large Sailing Vessel heading northeast directly towards us under engine only was making heavy going with wind over tide".

A quick check on the river Lee suggests it's all within greater London, but plugging the above co-ordinates into Google Maps calls up an area that includes the hamlet of Lee-over-Sands, on the estuary of the Colne about 25 km northeast of Blacktail Spit. Perhaps the Lee roads ran/run nearby.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Good find, Stephane. The mouth of the Thames has silted up a lot since Pepys' times, so I think we are in agreement that they have anchored off the mouth of the River Lee or Lee-over-Sands, and not at Leigh-on-Sea.

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