British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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Oct. 25.]                      st. Crispin's day.                             389
shoes, with which it is said they furnished the poor at an ex­tremely small price, an angel, according to the legend, supplying them with leather. They suffered martyrdom in the persecution under Maximian.
In Time's Telescope for 1816 it is observed that the shoemakers of the present day are not far behind their pre­decessors in the manner of keeping St. Crispin. From the highest to the lowest it is a day of feasting and jollity. It is also observed as a festival with the corporate body oi cordwainers or shoemakers of London, but without any sort of procession on the occasion.
In the town of Hexham, the following custom is, or was, at cne time observed :—The shoemakers of the town meet and dine by previous arrangements at some tavern ; a King Crispin, queen, prince, and princess, elected from members of their fraternity of families, being present. They after­wards form in grand procession (the ladies and their atten­dants excepted), and parade the streets with banners, music, &c, the royal party and suite gaily dressed in character. In the evening they reassemble for dancing and other festivities. To his majesty and consort, and their royal highnesses the prince and princess (the latter usually a pretty girl), due regal homage is paid during that day.— N. & Q. 1st S. vol vi. p. 243.
At one time the cordwainers of Newcastle celebrated the festival of St. Crispin by holding a coronation of their patron saint in the court of the Freemen's Hospital at the Westgate, and afterwards walking in procession through the principal streets of the town. This caricature show produced much laughter and mirth.—Mackenzie, History of Newcastle, 1827, vol. L p. 88.
In the parishes of Cuckfield and Hurst-a-point, St Crispin's Day is kept with much rejoicing. The boys go round asking for money in the name of St. Crispin, bonfires are lighted, and it passes off very much in the same way as the
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