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. 


pageant, REED, Wells, Cordwainers, shoemakers, theatre historiography

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Gina M. Di Salvo
University of Tennessee
United States

Gina M. Di Salvo ( is an assistant professor in the department of Theatre at the University of Tennessee.