Incorporation of Cordiners

Trades of Edinburgh | Incorporation of Cordiners

The Incorporation of Cordiners is supposed to have originated as early as about 1449 but there is some doubt about its beginnings.

The Incorporation had an altar in St. Giles’ dedicated to their patron saints, St. Crispin and Crispinian. These two were said to have been brothers and to have been martyred in Rome in 286 AD. Their feast day is 25th October, when, in pre-Reformation times, the Cordiners marched in procession with their banner flying and performed a play in which “King Crispin” was the main character.

 Another seal of cause followed on 26th November 1479 and a Crown Charter was granted on 6th March 1598/9.

 The principal business of a cordiner is the making of leather shoes and other small items of both soft and hard leather. The skins they used were supposed to have come originally from Cordova, in Spain, from which the terms Cordiner and Cordwainer derive.


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