Shoemakers and Cobblers: A Note In Guildford Museum

Craftsmen were divided into cordwainers, corvesors and cobblers. Both the cordwainer the corvesor made new shoes. The cobbler bought up old shoes and reconditioned of them for resale, probably to the poor. Disputes between cordwainers and cobblers arose over the use of new leather in the reconditioning of shoes for resale. A ruling of 1409 prohibited cobblers from using new leather for soles or quarters but allowed them to reinforce the existing sole with irregularly shaped pieces of thick leather known as ‘clump’ soles. Only cordwainers were permitted to repair and resole shoes with new leather.