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Broadside entitled 'King Crispin'


This account begins: 'The ancient and modern history of King Crispin, with a particular account of the plan and order of the grand procession, time of meeting, &c.' This sheet was published by R. Martin of South Niddry Street (which was located in the Cowgate, Edinburgh) and would have been sold for a penny.

St Crispin was and still is the patron saint of shoemakers, who is alleged to have been martyred on the 25th of October during the third century A.D. During the middle ages most guilds, trades and professions adopted a patron saint, and celebrated their martyrdom by taking an annual holiday and processing with the saint's image. This sheet informs the public of the shoemakers' holiday and the route of their procession.

Crispin was of noble Roman lineage but fled from his home during the Emperor Diocletian's persecution of the Christian faith. Crispin, however, continued to preach but to support himself he made shoes, mainly for the poor. It is this angle of Crispin's story which allowed him to be adopted as the patron saint of shoemakers.

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Probable date published: 1830-1850   shelfmark: L.C.1268
Broadside entitled 'King Crispin'
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