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Shoe Making

Those who worked with the finest leather were called Cordwainers because their material came from Cordoba in Spain. Initially Cordwainers (shoe makers) were a distinct trade to Cobblers (shoe repairers).

Extract from:  History of Newcastle and Gateshead, Richard Welford, 1884.


The gallants of Newcastle, who, in common with the fast youth of London, had adopted, it may be supposed, the new fashion of wearing boots with long-peaked toes, were suddenly checked in their extravagances by the reading of a Papal bull [a public decree by the Pope], in which his holiness, according to Gregory's Chronicle, cursed those cordwainers who made any long peaks passing two inches in length." And the King granted in a council and in the parliament that it should be put in execution, and this was proclaimed at Paul's Cross. And some men said that they would wear long peaks whether Pope will or nil, for they said the pope's curse would not kill a fly. God amend this. And within short time after some of the cordvvainers got privy seals and protections to make long peaks, and caused the same men of their craft that laboured to the pope for the destruction of long peaks to be troubled, and in great danger."

Industry and Work Cordwainers Company of Newcastle Upon Tyne


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