In England, 15ᵗʰ – 18ᵗʰ centuries, a unit based on a small cask. Though it is mentioned in connection with grains, it was largely a unit of count for fish.

As a unit of count, the cade was associated with a special definition of “hundred.” In 1502, Arnold stated there were 5 hundred in a cade, with 6 score 4 herrings for the hundred, that is, (124 × 5 = ) 620 herrings in a cade.

Compare mease.

Two centuries later Worlidge (see below) gives much the same definition.

Richard Arnold.
The Customs of England, otherwise called Arnold's Chronicle....
London, 1502, reprinted 1811.



[For Imports]
Fish Herrings white full or shotten the barrell,
white full or shottenye last cont. xij barlls
red the cade cont. five hundred
red the last cont. xx cades
[For Exports]
Spratts the Cade cont a thounsad
Herrings voc Winter Herrings red full the cade cont. five hundred
the Last cont. 20 cades or ten thousandsand
Winter Herrings red shotten the cade cont. 500
the Last cont. 20 cades or ten thousand
Herrings voc So[m]mer Herrings shotten white packed the barell
packed the Last cont. xij barlls
unpacked or seastick the Last con 18 barlls
Red the Cade cont. 5 C
the Last cont. 20 Cades or ten thousand

“A Subsidy granted to the King of Tonnage and Poundage and other summes of Money payable upon Merchandize Exported and Imported.”
A statute from the 12th year of Charles II, 1660. The selection is from the Booke of Rates, which is not part of the statute proper but developed from it. Both are printed in:
Statutes of the Realm, Volume 5: 1628-80, John Raithby, editor.
London: 1819.

Using the long hundred of 120, “five hundred” is 600.


CADE of herrings; Et in uno cade rubei allecis empto de Harmando Banbury viii. sol.* The quantity is thus determined in the accounts of the cellarist of the abbey of Berking.

Memorandum that a barrel of herryng shold contene a thousand herryngs, and a cade of herryng six hundreth, sixscore to the hundreth, Mon. Ang. tom. i. p. 83.

In Kent a cade of beef is any parcel or quantity of pieces under a whole quarter. Hence in the north to cadge is to carry, and a cadger is a butcher, miller, or carrier of any other load : and cadge-belly, or kedgebelly, is a full fat belly.

White Kennett.
Parochial Antiquities Attempted in the History of Ambrosden, Burcester, and other adjacent Parts of the Counties of Oxford and Bucks. vol. 2.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1818. (First published in 1695.)
Unpaged glossary.

*a quote from an account book covering the year 1425-1416, reproduced on page 255 of vol. 2 of Kennett.


CADE; is a Measure, viz. of Red-herrings 500, Sprats 1000; yet I find anciently 600 made the Cade of Herrings, Six score to the Hundred, which is called Magnum Centum.

Worlidge, 1704.


CADE, in the Book of Rates is us'd for a certain determinate Number of some kinds of Fish; as a Cade of Herrings is 500, of Sprats is 1000.

John Harris.
Lexicon Technicum, or a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences....Vol. II. 2nd ed.
London: Printed for D. Brown, et al 1723.

Harris fails to notice the long hundred.

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