Saints’ Lives and Shoemakers’ Holidays: The Gentle Craft and the Wells Cordwainers’ Pageant of 1613

Gina M. Di Salvo


This essay considers the 1613 Wells Cordwainers’ pageant of SS Crispin and Cris­pianus through an exploration of hagiographical appropriation in two other contem­porary iterations of the St Crispin legend and the conditions of English occasional pageantry. A comparison with the prose tale The Gentle Craft by Thomas Deloney and the stage play A Shoemaker, A Gentleman by William Rowley indicates that the Cordwainers improvised on a popular Jacobean version of their patron saints as romance heroes instead of holy martyrs.

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