Osage Indian Murders – A (non-exhaustive) bibliography

Thanks to the recent publication of Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday 2017), I thought I’d go ahead and share some of the other previously published books, novels, videos, and other resources that have dealt with these murders, if people want to really explore these events.

Burns, Louis. In A History of the Osage People., 439–442. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1989.

Curtis, Gene. “ ’Reign of Terror Kills Osage Family.” Tulsa World, November 26, 2006.

Fixico, Donald Lee. The Invasion of Indian Country in the Twentieth Century : American Capitalism and Tribal Natural Resources. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1998.

Franks, Kenny A. The Osage Oil Boom. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1989.

Grann, David. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI . New York: Doubleday, 2017.

Grove, Fred. Drums without Warriors. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976.

———. Flame of the Osage. New York: Pyramid Books, 1958.

———. The Years of Fear: A Western Story. Waterville, ME: Five Star., 2001.

———. Warrior Road. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1974.

Hogan, Lawrence J. The Osage Indian Murders: The True Story of a Multiple Murder Plot to Acquire the Estates of Wealthy Osage Tribe Members. Frederick, MD: Amlex, 1998.

Hogan, Linda. Mean Spirit. New York: Ivy Books, 1992.

Holm, Tom. Osage Rose. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2008.

Howell, Melissa. “The Reign of Terror.” NewsOK, January 12, 2014.

Hunt, John Clinton. The Grey Horse Legacy. New York: Knopf, 1968.

Larner, John William. FBI File on the Osage Indian Murders. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1986.

Mathews, John Joseph. Sundown. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988.

McAuliffe, Dennis. Bloodland: A Family Story of Oil, Greed and Murder on the Osage Reservation. San Francisco: Council Oak Books, 1994.

———. The Deaths of Sybil Bolton: An American History . New York: Times Books, 1994.

Meyer, Jon ’a, and Gloria Bogdan. “Co-Habitation and Co-Optation: Some Intersections between Native American and Euroamerican Legal Systems in the Nineteenth Century.” The American Transcendental Quarterly 15, no. 4 (n.d.): 257–75.

Murdered Native Americans: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Anna Mae Aquash, James Vann, Elias Boudinot, Chief Pontiac, Cornstalk, Little Crow, Major Ridge, Chief Niwot, Red Shoes, Opchanacanough, Black Kettle, Spotted Tail, John Ridge, Spotted Elk, Mangas Coloradas, Conquering Bear, William Mcintosh, Osage Indian Murders. Memphis, TN: Book, LLC, 2010.

Osage Tribal Murders. DVD. S.l.: Ball entertainment, 2010.

“The Osage Murders.” G-Men. NBC, August 3, 1935.

Underhill, Lonnie E. The Osage Indian Reign of Terror: The Violence of Bill Hale, 1921-1923. Gilbert, AZ: Roan Horse Press, 2010.

“Wahzhazhe (Ballet).” n.d.


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Ten Little Zeppelins

There was a fun little song recorded in 1917 recording by Harry Bluff[1]


Ten little zeppelins passing out the [stork]
‘What a treat for England’ said the Kaiser with a lark
As the crew was singing The Watch Upon the Rhine
One met an airman and then there were nine.

Nine little zeppelins sailed along with glee
Just to prove the North Sea belonged to Germany
We’ll strike a blow at London and sing this song of hate
But one struck a lighting [pipe] and then there were eight.

Eight little zeppelins their bravery to show
Were also busy dodging enemies below
Never saw the aeroplane climbing up to heaven
Till he dropped his little bomb and then there seven.

Seven little zeppelins gayly taking wing
Found a lot of search lights ‘round them in a ring
Thought that Woolrich Arsenal this time they’d surely fix
But one cannon with a cannonball and then there were six.

Six little zeppelins felt the Kaiser’s wroth
Hoped to peddle something, had to sally forth
But before their time in England to arrive
One settled in the ocean and then there were five.

Five little zeppelins going back to roost
Met a little stranger who’d not been introduced.
And before their time to murmer ‘wait and see’
Or even say ‘Jack Robinson’ then there were three.

Three little zeppelins you know just what they are
Said to our ambition there’d never be a bar
One went to Cuffley and very soon was done
And another went to Potter’s Bar and that left one.

One little zeppelin dropped a bomb and then
Felt he’d settle London and fight a million men
Off to get the Iron Cross quickly took his hoof
But broke his back at Dunkirk and now we’ll close the book.

Ten brand new zeps have gone to rest
On land or in the sea
The crew all swell quite safe in – well
The place where they ought to be.

An interesting bit of propaganda, but not exactly accurate.

The German raids in England began in 1914, and a number of airships were lost over time.  It is tricky trying to match the airships to the real losses.

10. ?
9. ?
8.  May be the LZ37, by R.A.J. Warneford who bombed the airship as it was returning to its base in Belgium. 7 June 1915.[2]
7. A Zeppelin was fired upon at Woolrich in September 1916[3] This could be the L33, brought down by cannon fire from Beckton, Wanstead, or Victoria Park. It came down reasonably intact north of the Blackwater Estuary.[4]
6. The L12 and L19 both came down in the sea.
5/3. Uncertain although Leefe Robinson brought down the SL-11, however it was brought down by Cuffley.
3. The L31 was brought down at Patters Bar by Wulstan Tempest 1 Oct 1916
1. ?

[1] https://youtu.be/lRS-4Iea4z0

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_strategic_bombing_during_World_War_I

[3] https://thamesfacingeast.wordpress.com/tag/zeppelin-raids/

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_strategic_bombing_during_World_War_I


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Chapter 2 Tools and Materials, Part 1

There are many tools that could have been used to make shoes in the Middle Ages.  It is likely that that we will never know all the precise items used because different areas may have used different tools or techniques.  Archaeologically the evidence for shoemaking tools is sparse.   Some specific items are referred to in the meagre documents, such as the Dictionarius of John de Garlande, the Lystyne lordys verament, the Promptorium Parvalorum, and so forth; and appear in the illustrations from Das Hausbuch Der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung Zu Nürnberg, and a few paintings depicting St. Crispin and his brother Crispianus.

At the end of the 16th century, Thomas Deloney wrote a series of stories about what he termed “The Gentle Craft”, and in the story of Saint Hugh,[1] he relates how St Hugh’s Bones became the name for the shoemaker’s kit, or collection of tools.[2]  Contemporary to Deloney, the playwright Thomas Dekkar wrote a bit more about the shoemaker’s tools and terms in his “Shoomaker’s Holy Day”, which also served to add more folklore to the mix.  By the end of the 17th century, we have Randal Holme’s Academy of Armory in which he discusses, among many other things, the tools and terminology of the shoemaker.

So using these sources, let’s take a look at the probable toolkit of the shoemaker.  We can divide these into: Work area items, Knives, Sewing tools, Lasting tools, Slickening tools and Other tools.

Work area items


Fig. A. The Buffett is a modern interpretation of a three legged milking stool. It has a closing block and stirrup on it.

To start with, in a shoemakers shop, we would be likely to find a buffet (or short 3 legged stool) a bench[3] and a bucket of water.  Ideally, the bench should be just high enough that the shoemaker can reach to get things off of it without bending, or stretching.  If the shoemaker is using a stirrup, he or she will want a buffet that’s lower than their knee.  Some illustrations[4] indicate a shoemaker sitting in a chair, but it’s likely that this is a social comment more than an indication of what they usually sat on.[5]

Along with the bench should be a cutting board of some sort, although some shoemakers are shown at standing height cutting benches for clicking[6] overleathers on, while others are shown seated with a cutting board.[7]

Among other items that might be associated with the shoemaker’s work area is a Wheston[8] (or a Whetstone) to sharpen knives, shears, awls, and other tools.

It cannot be stressed enough that a sharp knife cuts better and more easily; creating a better product than a dull one.  You should sharpen your knives every time you sit down to use them.


Fig. B. Westons, Stropping Block and leather Strop.

To use a wheston properly requires a light lubricating oil, or water.  Some stones will require one or the other, and using the improper liquid can ruin a stone so be mindful of any instructions the stone came with.

The purpose of this liquid is not to serve as a lubricant, so don’t be stingy.  The purpose is to keep the pits in the stone from being clogged with metal as you sharpen.  The metal you are removing is what forms the grimy black slurry as you sharpen.  The slurry should be wiped away regularly to keep it from clogging up the stone.  Water is believed by some to make a finer edge; while others prefer pure oil or oil mixed with paraffin.

You need to be aware of the bevel that your blade forms and try to keep to this angle.  You can determine the edge of the blade on the stone.  If you are determining the bevel for the first time, I suggest aiming between 15 and 20 degrees.

There are different schools of thought on whether it is better to use broad strokes or work the knife in small circles.  I prefer the latter, but it really doesn’t matter.  Whichever you do, keep with it until you can’t feel a burr, and the knife cuts sharply again.  If you keep with it regularly you shouldn’t need more than a regular stropping on a stropping stick or leather to keep a clean sharp edge.  If your knife dulls while you are working, stop and resharpen or strop then.

A stropping stick, which is probably what Delony was referring to when he mentioned the “stopping stick.”[9]  Later terms for this tool include sharpening bat, bat, buff, buffing strap or strop, stopping or stropping stick, rap stick, rifle, and whittie,

It is a wooden stick, covered on its two to four sides with leather, some which may be impregnated with some form of polishing grit, and is used to help keep awl points, shears and knives sharp.[10]

To strop, stroke the blade smoothly and firmly along the leather, and then the other side.  If you have oil on your blade, that’s fine.  The leather will soak it up and any metal in the oil will help act as grit.  Afterword, run your thumb carefully along the edge to feel for burrs, checks or rough edges.  It the stropping won’t make the burrs go away you will need to return to the stone.


Fig. C. The work bench shown is a modern reproduction based on late 15th century illustrations in Der Hausebuch der Mendelschen. Several tools are displayed.

Finally we have a Tool basket,[11] a Napron,[12] a Hand leather,[13] and a Thumb leather.[14]   The tool basket is a simple open basket to hold the tools and keep them from rolling about on the bench.


Fig. D A leather Napron, or Apron.

The napron is traditionally a long green sheepskin apron, intended to protect the shoemaker’s clothes and possibly to help wind and unwind the thread.[15]   Garsault says that “which goes down to mid-leg, and comes up over the chest and fastens at the back.”[16]

Illustrations show both a pointed to and a flat topped style of napron worn by shoemakers, with the change really coming in the 16th century.

One of the earliest tasks for an apprentice to complete is that they can make their own napron, and stirrup.

The hand leather is a bit of leather, calfskin is preferred, wrapped around the left hand to protect the skin of the shoemakers hand from being cut by the thread when yerking the thread.  The thumb leather is a similar bit of leather wrapped around the thumb to protect it.

Another form of Hand-leather described by Diderot is a “piece of calfskin taken from the head, about two and one-half inches wide, and long enough to go around the palm and back of the left hand leaving the fingers free. The two ends are sewn together across the width and a hole is made for the thumb to pass through.”[17]


Shoemakers appear to have used two sorts of knives, the Carving Knife and the Trenket.

The carving knife, which is also spelled carwyng knyfe,[18] is used to trim the inseam while the shoe is still on the last, as well as to trim away excess leather, particularly in places where the trenket would be difficult to handle or manage.

Archaeological and artistic representations of this include:


Carving Knives



Fig J. R. Hole (1688) A shoemaker’s cutting knife.

The trenket, also spelled in the Middle Ages as tranchet[19] and trenchet, in medieval Latin: ansorium and axorium, is the medieval version of the modern round knife.  . If present, the hook in the back is used to scratching out a pattern before actually committing the blade to cutting the leather.

It is frequently referred to as the shoemakers cutting knife, or shaping knife.  In iconography involving in pictures of shoemakers from the period it regularly appears.  It derives from the Old French, trechet and trenquet.   Again, the spike is used to mark the leather before it is cut.         This is shown in Treue, W. et al., Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung zu Nürnberg. 1965 in this variety of fashions:


Trenkets in Art

Archaeological examples are shown as:


Trenkets in Archaeology

Of similar derivation is trenchowre, medieval Latin scissorium, which appears to refer to scissors, shears or a sort of knife.  “trench” means “to cut”.

Also related to cutting are shears, which are a sort of cutting tool made from a single strip of metal, and are used like scissors.  They are used for cutting thinner overleather. Shears appear in the medieval artwork as well.

[1] In the same fashion that Maid Marion and Lancelot were later attachments to the original stories of Robin Hood and King Arthur, “Saint Hugh” became attached to the folklore of St. Winifred – at least as understood by the Shoemakers.  There is no mention of him before Deloney’s book was published, but based on the 17th century materials St, Hugh was was clearly part of British shoemaking folklore after Deloney.

[2] Deloney also notes that a Journeyman shoemaker should also be skilled in sword and buckler, longsword or quarterstaff; must be able to sound a trumpet, play a flute, and take his part in a “three mans song”, and readily reckon up his tools in a rhyme, and unless he’s served in the military in combat, he must be willing to pay up a bottle of wine when called upon to do these things, or else be considered an apprentice.

[3] These are clearly depicted in Der Hausebuch der Mendelschen in 15 pictures; Guy Marchand’s bookplate  Paris, 1496; a series of 4 miseres from Rouen late (15th century); Polish shoemaker shop, by Balthazar Behenm, Krakow (c.1505);  Ammon, Jost and Hans Sack. Eigentlicher Beschreibung aller Stände auf Erden. (1568)

[4] Specifically in Der Hausebuch der Mendelschen.

[5] The ideotechnic function of the chair in symbolically establishing status in early iconography is discussed in, James Deetz’s In Small Things Forgotten.

[6] “Clicking” derives from the term Clicker, which itself derived from the French Claquier originally the person in the shop who greeted people coming into the shop.

[7] The earliest depiction of this standing and cutting is from from the Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen (Merdein Swob, shoemaker. 1459). Guy Marchand’s bookplate  Paris, (1496) is the first depiction of the special bench for this that appears in carvings over the next century

[8] Whetston’s are not actually in the medieval shoemaking literature, or any illustrations, although some of the Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen illustrations may show them.  However, considering how important it is to keep your knives sharp, they had to have been used.  You should sharpen your knives before every use.  The term “wheston” appears in Thomas Wright’s Volume of Vocabularies.

[9] Admittedly this possibility is highly speculative.  The term “strop” has its earliest appearance in the OED with this meaning in 1702.  The OED gives an unsourced suggestion for a “stopping stick” as something to stop up, or block holes, which doesn’t make much sense to me.

[10] It is entirely possible that this is not a medieval tool anyway, but it does make it easier to keep blades sharp while you are using them, and thereby gives a more professional edge.

[11] The tool basket appears in several of the Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen pictures.  I have no idea what they called the tool basket, so I am forced to use this term, which as far as I know is original to this book.

[12] The term Napron for Apron goes back at least to 1307.  It is also referred to as a barmclothe, and in Medieval Latin Limas.  Apron seems to be a 15th century alternate spelling.  The Rouen Cathedral miseries and the Guy Marchand’s bookplate show early aprons with triangular tops, while several of the images and statutes from the 16th century depict the more familiar straight top apron.

[13] The term Hand leather appears at the end of the 16th century in Dekker’s play A Shoemakers Holiday.  They may not have been used in the Middle Ages.

[14] Also not specifically a medieval tool.  These are also later referred to as a Thumb-stall.  I should note that thumb stalls are also referred to as sailor’s palms and sailors thimbles, although it’s possible that these are different tools from the thumb leather.

[15] And really, you need to be careful of your clothes.  The code can be extremely messy.

[16] Garsault, François A de; Saguto, D. A. M. de Garsault’s 1767 Art of the shoemaker: an annotated translation. Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2009

[17] Diderot, D., and J. d’Alembert. L’encyclopédie Ou Dictionnaire Raisonné Des Sciences, Des Arts Et Des Métiers, Par Une Société Des Gens De Lettres, Mis En Ordre Et Publié Par Diderot. Paris, 1772.

[18] Some modern sources refer to this as a paring knife.

[19] It should be noted that today the meaning of Tranchet is a totally different sort of knife.

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Appendix A. Timeline of Tool References.

  • C.350 Roman Spain, the Testamentum porcelli  bristles
  • C. 650 Isidore of Seville, wrote his Etymologiae or Origines, bristles
  • C. 950 Ælfric’s Colloquy
  • C. 950 Ælfric’s Vocabulary  Awl, the use of Last may refer to a last, a wooden footprint, boots or something else – laest is also called a solum.  Subtaleres/swifteleares, Baxece “wife’s shoes”, coturnus wooden soled shoes, talares or “unhege sceos”, obstrigilli or rifelingas
  • 1050 MS Cotton. Julius A II – ael, naedl
  • 1200 c  The “Boot and Shoemaker” as illustrated in Forrer, Robert. Archäologisches zur Geschichte des Schuhes aller Zeiten, 1942 (original source unknown) depicts a shoemaker holding a boteu (low boot or knee-high boot), and an axe-headed trenket (or round knife).  On the table in front of him are two high shoes (or ankle boots), one with a top band.  Hanging nearby may be botes (thigh high boots or ocrea), but because of the pointed tops, I would assume they may also be chaucer, or leather hosen.
  • 1210 A scene in the Reuner Musterbuch , also about 1210, depicts what may be a bootmaker wrestling with a boteau, possibly trying to remove a last.  He is sitting in an armless chair, with a container in front of him holding what may be more boots or other items.  In the other half of the scene (possibly in another building) there is a leather worker sitting on a bench ‘staking’ a piece of leather (a process used in tanning and oiling to manipulate leather and soften it).  Above the two of them there is a shown a worker holding an awl and what looks like a draw knife.
  • 1210 In Chartres Cathedral there is a stained glass window dated to about 1210 depicting a shoemaker sitting on a bench next to a low work table.  He is holding a high shoe and an unidentifiable tool. From his hand position I would be inclined to suggest that it’s a pen or a paintbrush.  On the low work table there are several competed high shoes.  Behind him in an open chest are several more high shoes.  Above the chest hangs a bote or a chaucer.
  • 1220, John of Garland (Johannes de Garlondia) pig bristles, blackening, twist
  • The Ordinances of the Cordwainers of London  basan, cowhides, alum leather
  • 1300 “Satire”, Harley 913 awls, black teeth, treisuses (plaiting tools?)
  • 1300 c  In the 14th century there is a painting in the Cathedral in Manresa, Spain depicting the “Life of St. Mark”.  It shows four shoemakers sitting at a table working on side laced shoes, one pair with an extensive cut out pattern.  Tools illustrated are awls (with a fairly unique profile) and a pair of scissors.  The shoemaker on the left is talking to St. Mark (and is about to have a tragic awl accident).  The shoemaker on the right is sitting and sewing.  He is using a stirrup on his right leg to hold the shoe, and has a work cloth in his lap to protect his clothes.  He is holding his awl in his right hand.  The thread loops and his hand positions are similar to those exhibited by shoemakers using bristles.  The shapes of the shoes on the table may be used as evidence of last shapes.
  • 1320? Meister Eckhart, sewing with bristles.
  • In Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Allegory of Good Government, Effects of Good Government in the city”, in the Palazzo Publica in Sienna, Italy, dated to about 1337-9, a Shoemaker’s Stall is depicted.  In it there are four people in the stall.  The one on the right is selling to a customer.  The one on the left is apparently sewing.  Two of them are in the background, with one either sitting very low or else is a child.  On the window-counter are shown several shoes and tools.  The tools are unclear in my copies of the painting, and I haven’t seen the original.  However one appears to be an awl, and one is likely a knife.  The third tool looks more like a stick than anything else.  Behind the men in the shop, several boteus and botes of varying sizes are hanging.  The boteus have three parallel laces.
  • A shoemaker is depicted in a Bohemian church fresco from Slavetin near Ohri, and dates from between 1350 and 1400, based on the clothing and the style of boteu.  The boteu has a poulaine, and the welt is clearly visible.  It is being held in place on the shoemakers left leg by a stirrup.  There is a carving knife in his right hand and he is trimming the welt, and with his left he appears to be pulling away the offcut.
  • 1385 “History or Narration Concerning the Manner and Form of the Miraculous Parliament at Westminster in the year 1386, in the tenth year of the reign of King Richard the Second after the Conquest, declared by Thomas Favent, Clerk”  Bod. Misc. 2963 “Soles of Joseph”?
  • Chaucer.  Couped shoes, Paules windows, cordwain, high shoes knopped with dags
  • 1390c  British Library, MS Harl. 1002  Cordwain, Clouting shoes, Brystles, last, thread overleather, Baryng-sexe (trenket) awl, blacche-pot  sunt attromenta [blacche] *AND* sed atrum [blacke].
  • 1395 Letter-Book H. fol. ccciv. 19 Richard II (1395) “Indenture of agreement between the Cordwainers and the Cobblers” also from Riley’s Memorials,   Cobblers can mend old boots and shoes with either old leather or new, whevever is better specifically: in quareling before and behind, clouting and pecyng, and ryvetting and lynyng
  • 1400 c  There is a wooden statute of  St. Crispianus standing at a workbench from the Isle de France.  In it the shoemaker is holding an axe headed trenket, and is using it to carve a piece of leather.  There is what may be a carving knife held in a slot to one side of the workbench.  He is wearing a peak-bibbed apron, pinned or buttoned at the top.
  • 1400 c In a carved wooden panel of Crispin and Crispinianus in their workshop from the Netherlands there are two shoemakers in a shop above some other people.  One works at the window-counter, possibly cutting leather.  Next to him are several high shoes on display, with what may be a representation of  stick illustrated below in the Hausbuch der Mendelschen .  Behind him is a seated worker may be sewing.  Both are wearing peak-bibbed aprons with what seem to be a strap around the neck.
  • 1400 c. A Nominale, Liverpool  wheston Sutor for shoemaker
  • 1400 c. MS Royal. Reg.17, C. wampe, woling for pero, welte, clowte
  • 1400 c.”A LATIN AND ENGLISH VOCABULARY OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY” Trinity College, Cambridge.  Acuarium needle, trenket. Cordwain, “up cuttynge”, a shavyngknyf, or a trenket, Attramentum/ bleche, [Calopodium, ance tapyn  – tapinage is secrecy or hidden], Clouts, Boots, Last – Duca/Formipedium/forumula/Pedalis, overleather, vampey, pedulus – pynson or sok, peronis – cokeres, Brystle, stirrup, awl, heel/Talus (back part of the shoe)
  • 1400 Petition of the Pouchmakers, as to the supervision of Galoches.
    2 Henry IV. A.D. 1400. Letter-Book I. fol. vi.  galoches of wood
  • 1409 In the Letter-Book I. fol. lxxxi. 10 Henry IV (1409) “Inquisition made for the regulation of the Cordwainers and the Cobblers”, from Riley’s Memorials quarters/quarter, the sole, overlethir: no quarter, called forfote, of overlether, made of new leather, or quarter of overlether behind, called the ‘hele,’ of new leather: bootlets [boteux] resoled, or vamped and soled
  • Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen from Nürnberg contains images of trades and crafts from the city over the space of about a century, including 16 portraits of shoemakers.  The first set of portraits is from 1425, starting with a shoemaker whose name has not survived.  His is seated, and is holding a boteu in his lap, and carving the welt.  A pair of shears is on the floor at his feet.  On the workbench next to him are shoe soles, a large piece of leather draped over what may be a long cutting board or a weston.  A halberd headed trenket is stabbed into the bench.  A pair of lasts is in a rack on the wall.  What looks like a rope is stretched out from the wall to the ceiling and has no clear purpose.  A pair of boteus is on on display on the window counter.  A piece of wood is sticking out of them, and may be part of the last, a tree, or some fitting.
  • 1425 Mertein Schuster is shown sitting on a low stool carving the welt of a high shoe or a boteu.   A pair of shears is on the floor next to him.  There is a work bench next to him with a pair of boteus on it.  There is another pair on display on the window counter.
  • 1425 Niclas Altreaß is not a shoemaker, but rather a cobbler, or worker on old leather.  His is seated and is sewing a shoe or boteu (probably the latter based on the odd number shown on display on the window counter).  He is holding the awl in the left hand, suggesting he is left handed.  His hands are depicted as if he were holding bristles.  On the low bench next to him are precut soles, what might be a long cutting board or a weston, and a halberd-headed trenket stabbed into the bench.
  • 1425 Second is Herman Schuster.  His picture shoes him seated on a low stool next to a bench.   He is apparently using an awl to open eyelet holes in a side laced boteu.  A pair of lasts and a pair of shears is on the floor at his feet.  On the bench are three other side laced boteus.
  • 1425 Tumherr is the standing next to a low table and is holding a high bote, another pair of botes hanging from a rack on the wall.  Also hanging from the rack are a pair of two colored boteus Another pair of boteus is on the table.  A sole lies on the floor.
  • 1425 With Kneußel, we move past 1425 to 1426.  He is also shown on a stool carving the welt of a boteu.  On the work bench next to him is a bit of leather, a pre-cut shoe sole, a long cutting board or a weston, and a trenket stuck into the bench.  A pair of boteus is on the window counter.  A pair of lasts are in the rack behind him.  Hanging from a nail in the counter is what looks like either prayer beads or a string of buttons.  There is a bit of text in the middle of the page.
  • From 1432 we have Schuhster, which means shoemaker.  Again we see the same image, sitting on the stool, carving the welt, shears on the floor, the low bench with the long cutting board (or a weston) and the trenket stabbed into it, the pair of boteus on display in the window counter, and the pair of lasts in the rack behind him.  The other object on the bench could be either a thimble, or a cake of wax, although it may be something entirely different.
  • 1440 Promptorium Parvulorum  BLEKE (blecke, P.) Atramentum.
    BOTE or cokyr, BRUSTYL , CHAUNCEPE, or schoynge horne (chaucepe), CLOWTE of a schoo, Pictasium, CODE, sowters wex (coode, H.P.) Coresina (cerisina, P.) CORDWANE, ledyr (cordwale lethir, K.) Aluta., awl/ELSYN, GALACHE, vndirshone  (In the inventory of the effects of Hen. V. taken A.D. 1423, mention occurs of “j peir de galaqes faitz d’estreyn, iv d.;” but it is not easy to understand how straw should be a proper material for the purpose. See Rot. Parl. cv. 329. In Sir John Howard’s Household Book, A.D. 1465, p. 314, are named both galaches and pynsons, which last are in the Promptorium explained to be socks, LACHET, LESTE, sowtarys forme. Formula, CATH. formipedia, DICC. calopodia, C. F. ,  ORGONE. Organum. (May refer to a type of pypes)   OVYR LETHYR of a school, PECYN, or set peeys to a thynge, or clowtyn, REVVLYN. Aporio, PIKE, of a schoo. Liripium, DICC. (liripipium, P.), PYNSONE. “a pinson or pump, calceamen,” SHAPYNG KNYFE, of sowtare: Ansorium, (Trenket)
  • 1446 Ott Norlinger is another cobbler, this time from 1476.  He too sits on a low stool by a bench, sewing on a two-colored boteu in his lap.  From his hand positions, he appears to be using bristles.  On the bench in front of him are a pair of high shoes, a pair of cut out soles, a trenket, an awl, and either a thimble or a cake of wax.  A bucket is on the floor next to the bench.  A pair of lasts is on the floor next to him.  A pair of lasts is in a rack on the wall.  A boteu similar to the one in his lap is on his other side, although it’s not clear what it’s sitting on.  Two pair of boteus are on the window counter, one two-colored, one solid.  The two colors is likely a case of mixing white-tawed leather with blackened tanned leather. [pers com volken].  The bench is interesting in that the top appears to be two layers and hinged, although what purpose this might serve is unclear.
  • Hans Gelderßheimer is also from 1447.  He is also depicted on a stool with a low bench.  The bench has a pre-cut shoe sole and the long cutting board (or a weston), the pair of lasts in the rack behind him, the pair of high shoes with the wooden extensions sticking out on display on the window counter.  This shoemaker however appears to be sewing on the shoe in his lap with a needle.
  • Ulrich Schuster is from 1447.  He too is shown seated on a stool near a work bench.  The bench has a trenket stabbed into it.  Interestingly this picture is from outside the shop, looking in over and past the window counter.  On the counter are two pair of high shoes, one with the last or tree that we’ve seen in some of the earlier pictures.  There is also a pair that the shoemaker is working with him, one on the table and one in his lap.  The rack behind him shows two pair of lasts.
  • Merdein Swob’s picture dates from 1459.  He is standing at a  tall workbench, clicking an upper.  A pair of shears is next to him on the counter top, as is a pair of boteus.  Another pair of boteus is on a low bench nearby and two more pair are on display on the window counter.
  • Peter Velner, 1474, is depicted in almost the same setting as Kneußel, above.  However, he is the only shoemaker in the Hausbuch shown sitting in a chair with arms, which may have some social significance.  He is also shown carving a welt, pre-cut shoe soles on the work bench next to him, with a bit of leather and what is almost certainly a cutting board with a trenket stuck into it.  Behind him is a pair of lasts in a rack, and two pairs of boteu on the window counter.  Beads hang beneath the counter.
  • c Lystyne Lordys Verament Oxford, Lincoln College, MS Lat 141. Trenket, paring bord, carwyng knife, lasts, lygellys, chaspy, schoyng horne, turning styke, sterop, fotyng-bloke, brystyllys (sow), talow, gres, blackyng pot, blacking pan, nallys (awls?), thombys blake, Kyng Coltyng spone, orgone
  • 1475 c MS Additional 37075   awl, galla/last . thong, Brystle, welt; trenket “cutting knife”, lappe of the boote [may refer to armor, or may refer to the extended part of the boot (e.g. the boot leg), caliga, hose. Lacing; basan , cordwain, vamp, paten
  • 1488 In a copy of  Aristotle’s “Ethics and Politics” translated by Nicholas Oresme around 1371, but printed in 1488 there is an image by “Bertranno” that shows a man in a market looking at a pair of two-colored high shoes.  The Shoemaker is wearing a peak-bibbed apron, and is holding a trenket.  Behind him on the wall are a series of lasts, and there is a pair of long botes on the other wall.
  • Telman de Wesel, sometime between 1490 and 1510 drew a picture of  Saints Crispin and Crispian showing a trenket and a boot.
  • The woodcut “The Parson asks the Cobbler to Fix his shoes”  from around 1490 is interesting in that it is the only medieval image I have yet found that shows a shoemaker with a hammer.
  • 1490 c In the cathedral in Rouen, there are several wooden carvings of shoemakers from the end of the 15th century, showing various low benches, stools, lasts or trees with wooden extensions and a work basket.
  • In 1492, a printing of Boccaccio’s Decameron was made in Venice showing a shoemaker helping a customer try on a pair of shoes.  There are a variety of high shoes shown around the shop. There may be a pair of shears on the wall behind the shoemaker.  The shoemaker is wearing an apron, no bib is shown in the picture.
  • A bookplate from Paris, 1492 depicts Saints Crispin and Crispianus at work.  The Saint on the left is standing at a bench, clicking with his trenket.  On the bench is a pair of precut shoe soles.  The saint on the right is sitting on a bench, sewing on a shoe, held by a stirrup.  Both are wearing peak-bibbed aprons, pinned at the top.  Next to the seated Saint is a work basket with only an awl recognizable.  Various pairs of shoes and high shoes litter the floor around them.
  • 1500 c An altar panel from Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria dates to about 1500 and rife with details.  It depicts Saints Crispin and Crispian, one clicking leather at a bench with a trenket and cutting board.  Scattered around the shop are clearly seen a cistern and sink, a pair of shears, 5 pairs of lasts, a foot measure, a shoe horn, various pans, offcuts and scraps of leather, a work basket, an awl, what seem to be various hollin sticks, a ball of thread, a ball of code, two types of carving knife.  There are a couple of items that are as yet unidentified, including what appears to be a stand for staking leather, a clawed tack pulling tool  and what may be a fender.
  • 1500 c There is a painted wooden statute of  St. Crispin standing at a workbench.  In it the shoemaker is holding an axe headed trenket, and is using it to carve a piece of leather.  There is what may be a carving knife or a gouge held in a slot to one side of the workbench.  He is wearing a square-bibbed apron.
  • 1505 Also in 1505 Balthazar Behenm drew a picture of a Polish shoemaker shop.  A well dressed woman is sitting in an armchair spinning flax.  The positioning of the woman in the chair suggests that this is her shop.  At her feet a child is playing with a black blob.  Next to her a man is playing a set of bagpipes.  Behind that three people are working.  In back, a balding man is clicking leather at a table.  In front of him are a man and a woman are each sitting on stools sewing.  Although it is not clearly depicted, the woman’s position suggests that she is using a stirrup.   Shoes fill shelves in the background.
  • 1505 c “Two scenes with Saints Crispinus and Crispinianus” a pair of altar paintings from Fribourg are attributed to the Bernese Master of the Pinks between 1500 and 1510.  These paintings show the saints working in their shop, and being tortured with their own awls.  These show small awls, a carving knife and trenket, lasts on the counter, and in racks on the walls of the shop.  Shoes, both kuhmaul and high shoes, are also shown on racks, as well as the counter.  A pair of long botes hangs in the background.  The more medieval looking high shoes are clearly being given to the poor, while the kuhmaul shoes remain on the wall.
  • 1505 In Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen in 1505, Hanß Filser is depicted much as the others, sitting on a stool, next to a low bench, with a long cutting board (or a weston) and a trenket stuck into the bench.  Three pairs of boteus are in the shop, two on the floor, one on the window counter. He is clearly shown sewing.
  • 1510 c A cupboard panel in the cathedral in Turin shows saints Crispin and Crispian, again dating from the kuhmaul period.   While one clicks leather with an ax shaped trenket, the other is talking to a member of the poor.  In front of the counter, a young worker is sitting on a very low stool, and is sewing, holding an awl in front of him.  On the ground next to him are a pair of high shoes and a work basket with a ball of thread and other tools.  Next to him on a taller stool, another boy is doing something (playing an instrument, eating, drinking, the picture is unclear).
  • 1510 c In the Marian Church, Delitzsch, has a carved alter figure of Saints Crispin and Crispinian.  The saint on the left is holding what may be a handle for a trenket, and a kuhmaul shoe.  The saint on the right has a shoe held in a stirrup, an awl handle and is wearing hand leathers on both hands.
  • 1515 c A painting from 1515 and 1525 shows Saints Crispinus and Crispinianus working with another shoemaker wearing slash and puff.  Again one saint cuts while the other is sitting talking to a poor man.  The other shoemaker is sitting on a stool making thread by looping it under his foot.  On the floor are bits of kuhmaul shoes in process, a very thing carving knife, awls in a work basket, a clawed tack pulling tool, another basket holding leather scraps.
  • 1515 c An early to mid-16th century painted disk showing Saints Crispin and Crispinian in the workshop depicts the saint on the left standing at a workbench clicking with his trenket, and tools hanging in the slot to the side.  He is wearing a peak-bibbed apron.  The saint on the right is sitting on a bench, with a shoe held in a stirrup, and a footing block.  Around the shop are a variety of tools, of which the awl and carving knife are the most clear.
  • 1517 Jakob Paumgartner, again from the Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen, and dating to 1517, is depicted in a fairly simple picture.  He is sitting on a stool, carving on a welt.  On the bench next to him is a trenket, an off cut and the mate to the high shoe he is working on.
  • 1531 Herman, last name unclear, also in Das Hausbuch, from 1531.  He is sitting on a stool sewing on a kuhmaul shoe.  Near him is a table and a stump.  The table has a trenket and leather, and a pair of shoes with lasts still in them, and little protruding bits that resemble those from the earlier pictures.  On the stump are two straight awls and a half round tool that may be a knife, but there is no way to tell.  On the floor are some leather scraps, and a pair and a half of kuhmaul shoes.  Behind him are three racks of awls on the wall.  On the distant wall, there is a shelf over a window.  On the shelf are two pairs of shoes, one resembles the earlier depicted two colored shoes, while the other clearly has a last in it.  Hanging from the shelf is a pair of long boots.
  • A 1534 carving of Saints Crispin and Crispianus shoes the two saints in front, one clicking, and the other sewing, both in peak-bibbed aprons.  The saint sewing is using a stirrup and a footing block. A bucket sits next to him on the floor.  Behind them are two workers, one is putting a shoe on a customer’s foot, the other is sewing, also with a stirrup and block.  Shoes hang from the wall in back.
  • Ulrich Fürnpach is the last shoemaker in Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen, and dating to 1535.  He is sitting on a stool, holding a shoe with a last in it.  On the bench in front of him is a variety of things, a pair of shoes, a black lump, a ball of thread, an awl.  A pair of lasts is on the floor in front of him, and several lasts are in a rack on the wall behind him. With the lasts is a trenket, and what might be an instep leather.  On the window counter, there several pairs of shoe, an awl and a trenket.  A hat is sitting on another bench next to him.
  • In a section of a work by Hans Collaert from about 1565 shows a shoemaker at his window counter, clicking with his trenket.  Outside, to his right, a worker is sitting on a stool sewing.  A variety of shoes and boots are hanging around his shop.
  • The picture of the shoemaker’s shop by Jost Ammon is from 1568.  In it the master is at the counter talking to a customer, his trenket and carving knife in the counter in front of him.  In the foreground are two workers on stools to either side of a bench.  They are each sewing.  The one on the left is using a stirrup, while the one on the right is holding his work between his knees.  On the bench is a trenket, a carving knife, a ball of thread, some soles, and some scraps.  They are both in squared bib aprons.
  • 1580 c A French woodcut signed “Reymond Pierre, emailleur à Limoges” depicts a master clicking at a table, while a child sits on a stool in front of him sewing using a stirrup.  Both are in peak-bibbed aprons.  On the table is an awl, another trenket, what looks like a long stick and some scraps.  Behind the master is a bucket.  A work basket is on the floor next to the child.  Various shoes and leather scraps lie around the shop.  What is probably a birdcage hangs on the back wall.
  • 1580 c A sculpture in the church of St. Pantaleon in Troyes, France shoes “Saints Crispin and Crispianus arrested by the Roman Soldiers”.  In it one of the Saints is standing clicking with an axe headed trenket, while the other is sitting on a stool, sewing with a stirrup.  Beneath him is either a basket or a water container.
  • 1580 c Another picture of a shoemaker’s shop, and probably derived in part from Ammons.  In this, the mistress is at the counter dealing with the customers, while the master is on the other side of the shop, standing at a table, clicking with his trenket, a carving knife on the table in front of him.  Between these two are two workers on stools to either side of a bench, and a third one in back drinking. A child is on the floor, playing with a boot.  The worker on the right is sewing, using a stirrup, while the one on the left is carving, holding his work between his knees.  On the bench is a trenket, a carving knife, a ball of thread, a shoe, some scraps, a horn with an awl stuck into it.  They are both in squared bib aprons.  Shoes, boots and leather fill the shop around them.
  • 1598/9  Thomas Dekker. “The Shoemaker’s Holiday”  paring knife ,four sorts of awls (a prick, awl), shoe-thread, stirrup, dresser, heel block, last, hand- and thumb- leather, stopper, rubbing pin, two balls of wax, organ (pipe), wooden heel (womans cork shoe?), a firkin of butter, to tan leather withal, gimlet?, clouts, rubbing brush
  • 1600 c Deloney, Thomas. The Gentle Craft paring knife , pricking awl, shoo-thread, stirrup, sow-hairs, drawer, dresser, 2 wedges (more and a lesser), heel block, Hand and thumb leathers, pincers, tacks, stopping stick, rubbing stone, awl steel, whetston, needle, thimble, apron (lambs skin)
  • Great Leather Act – wax well rosined, hand leathers. Thread well twisted
  • Rowley, William. A Shoo-Maker a Gentleman  Paring-knife/cutting knife, pricking awl, awl, shoe threads, stirrups, sow hairs, drawer, dresser, heel blocks (greater and lesser), hand and thumb leathers, pincers, tacks, stopping stick, rubbing stone, steel and whetstone, needle thimble, apron, short heels.
  • 1688 Holme, Randle. The Academy of Armory  cutting knife, paring knife, Aule, stitching Aule, sowing Aule (Bent), pegging Aule, Closing Thread, Stitching Thread, Leather or Heel thread, Stitching Thread,  Tatching ends, a Rowl or Knot of a Tatching Thread, dresser, pair of wedges, last, Pincers/Nippers, Pincers/Hammer, Pincers, polishing stick (or hollin sticks – 3 sorts), Bakers Brake, Petty Boy, stitching Stick, fore-part Stick, Long Stick, Ball of Shoomakers Wax, Shooe-sole/Pattern for a Shooe-sole, Mounter, Shoomakers Measure. Punch, Punching Lead, Lead/Cistern
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Glossary v.1.5, part 6

Tacks (Lasting Tack) Small nails used in lasting.

Tallow This refers to the rendered fat of either sheep or cattle.

Tanning (Also called Barkynge Latin: Frunicio). Turning raw or green hides into leather.  There are several versions of this, but most involve making a chemical change by steeping in the leather through infusion of various vegetable tannins.  First we have Vegetable Tanning.  There is the historical Pit Tanning, in which the hides are soaked in vats of liquors of rich tannin solution for months.  Frequently these solutions are made from ground barks of various trees.  Today we have Drum Tanning, in which the hides are run in drums full of highly concentrated extracts of tannin solutions.  This takes only a matter of weeks.  These two forms of tannage each yield a very different product with different properties.  See also Combination Tannage, Oil Curing, Smoke Tanning, Tawed leather.

Taws The thin, pointed ends of the thread.

Tawed leather (Latin: Alluta) Leather that was not tanned, but rather cured with mineral salts, specifically alum.  Cordwain was originally made of tawed and dyed Mouflon skin, as were many shoe overleathers.  Unfortunately these may have lost their mineral salts and reverted to an easily decomposed raw state. See also Combination Tannage, Oil Curing, Smoke Tanning, Tanning.

Thimble Thimbles are used to protect the thumb from needles while stitching.

Thombys blake This phrase appears in the Lystyne lordys verament, and the meaning is unclear.  Black thumbs could be from cering thread with code or possibly from blacking the shoes with some sort of paste.

Thong (Other medieval spelling include Thonging, þwang, Wang, Whang) Thonging used sew stitch with.  Not commonly used in Medieval shoes, but it is used in areas where thread has been more expensive.  For example, leather thonging has been found in Britain in construction roles that are filled by thread at the same time on the Continent.  In later Saxon shoes and Scandinavian shoes it’s sometimes found in the inseam

Thread A fine cord of flax (linen), hemp, or silk.

Thumb-Leather (also Thumb stall) A piece of leather wrapped around the thumb to protect it when stitching, or yerking the thread, or drawing it tight.  Might be a Medieval tool.

Tibracis An Anglo Saxon term for a form of leather boot

Tongue A piece of leather frequently placed between two sides of a tied opening.  They most often extend up and back from the vamp throat in front-lacing boots or shoes.  Sometimes laces will pass through the tongue.

Topline (Top edge, Top line) The top-most portion of an overleather.

Translator A person who translates, or remakes old shoe parts into a new shoe, i.e. a cobbler. Note that when dealing with medieval shoes, it may be not be possible to tell a translated shoe from one that’s merely been resoled, or half resoled, for its owner.

Treadline  (Tread,) The treadline is the widest part of the shoe sole, corresponding with the joints of the foot..

Treadsole Erroneously used for outer sole.

Tree A last-like wooden form used to keep the shape of shoes when they are not being worn.   These are a 19th century item for shoes, and 18th century for riding boots.

Trenchowre (Latin: Scissorium) This term may refer to scissors, shears or a sort of knife.

Trenket (Other medieval spellings include: Tranchet, Trenchet Latin: Ansorium, Axorium.  Also: Cutting Knife, Carving Knife, Shaping knife, Shaving Iron. Modern terms include: Half Moon Knife, Head Knife, Round Knife) A shoemakers cutting knife, or shaping knife.  I believe this refers to the  spiked round knife that the iconographical attribute in pictures of shoemakers from the period.  It should be noted that today the meaning of tranchet is a totally different sort of knife.

Trenket/Trenchet of Cordwainers A group of shoemakers.

Turn welt (also Turned-welt) This modern term presupposes that there is a significant difference between the welt in a single soled shoe , and that in a double soled shoe.

Turning stick (Turn stick, Turning Styk) A stick that is used to help turn a turned shoe right side out after it is removed from the last.  The 19th century ones are about 12” long with a mushroom like head to put against your chest when pushing.

Turn-shoe (Turned shoe, Turned Work, Turnshoe) A type of shoe that is made inside out and turned ‘rightside out’, so that the seams are on the inside.  The term is not medieval, but only appears as late as the 19th century

Turnshoe Construction This term is used to describe the manufacture of a turn-shoe.

Turnshoe Mallet A mallet that is used to flatten the inseam on a turn-shoe

Turnsole An erroneous usage for turn-shoe.  A “turnsole” is a kind of plant that includes Sunflowers and Heliotropes.

Twist (Latin: Licino) Hard twisted thread.  This term in English may not be medieval, although the Latin is.

Two-Piece Sole If a turn-shoe is found comprised of two or more pieces, this is probably a sign of a repair, not an original construction feature, it being easier to place part of a sole on a turn-shoe than it is to repair the hole thing. (especially if the original last is not available.

Unhege-Sceo See High Shoe.  Although this meaning seems traditional, it is somewhat speculative, since there is no clear link to the High shoes.  Sceo seems to be an older academic form for scoh The term is Anglo-Saxon/Old English.

V-back soles The distinctive sole shape for early medieval Scandinavian shoes, where the sole came up behind the heel of the foot in an inverted V shape.

Vamp See Forefoot

Vamp Seam (also Centre seam over vamp) A real or decorative seam running from the toe to instep of the forefoot.

Vamp throat The leather over the top edge of the forefoot, generally where a shoe’s tongue or buttons might be attached.

Wax When used this may refer to beeswax, or else it may refer to code.

Wedges These objects, sometimes more specifically referred to as a Greater Wedge and a Lesser Wedge, are used with instep leathers,  shovers and a comb last are used to precisely adjust the girths. By inserting them under the shover. or instep leather the girth can be increased. When the wedge is removed, the shover can then be removed, and then the last is removed.

Welt (Other medieval spellings include: Waltys, Waltt, Walte Latin: Intercucium, Intercutium,) A welt is a strip of leather used in shoemaking.  Initially, it was used in single soled shoes to protect the thread, and to extend the useable sole out past the inseam.  This is incorrectly referred to by Archaeologists as a rand (See Rand).  In the mid 15th century, outer soles were being sewn to the Welt, and by the end of the 15th century, the position of the Welt had moved in the seam from between the overleather and sole, to outside the overleather so that the shoe could better be made right side out and still allow an outer sole to be attached.

Welted Construction This term is used to describe the manufacture of an unturned modern “welted” shoe.  Developed in the 15th century, this technique formed the basis of most shoemaking well into the modern era, and, although no longer the mainstay of shoemaking in this era of exuded plastics and molds, this method is still preferred by traditional hand sewn shoemakers.

Wet (or Wetted) This refers to soaking leather in water to make it pliable.

Wheston (also Whetstone Oilstones, honing stones, and sharpening stones. Latin: Acuperium, Cos) These do not appear in the any of the medieval literature, but they do appear in illustrations of shoemakers, and are very important to keeping knives, shears, and awls sharp.

Whip (also Overcast Stitch, Whip Stitch, Whipping Modern terms include: Binding Stitch) This is a type of sewing stitch used for binding seams, attaching linings and edging, cording, and patching.  It was usually sewn with a split hold, that is, the needle or bristle and thread are passed partly through the leather, so that the stitch doesn’t appear on the outside of work; working around the edge of the applied piece, with an overcast stitch creating a series of angled holes and marks on the leather.  Sometimes the whipping will stab through the lining or even through the body of the work.  The term to whip, as in making an overcast stitch appears from the 16th century.  The term whip stitch appears in the 17th century.

White Tawyer (Other medieval spellings include: White-Tawer, Whittawer) Someone who makes tawed leather, or prepares white leather.

Winter Shoes This term refers to a specific, non-ecclesiastical shoe with a cork filled sole.  There are a very few examples of these from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Wrap-round Upper (also One Piece Upper) A single piece overleather for a shoe or boot.  These are very common in medieval footwear.

Yerk This refers to drawing your stitches tight, or to bind tightly.

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Glossary v.1.5, part 5

St. Hugh (also Sir Hugh) A character from shoemaking folklore.  He makes his first appearance in the late 16th century.

St. Hugh’s Bones A term for the shoemaker’s tools.  This term doesn’t appear in the documentation before the 1590s.

Sandal A simple type of footwear with a sole held on to the foot by straps.

Sabot The work shoe of the peasantry, frequently wooden.

Sandalium A clerical (Bishop’s) shoe.

Scarpine (Scarpino, Scarpini, Escarpin, Escarpino) A light shoe, maybe similar or synonymous with the pump.  This term has also sometimes been used for a type of broad toed shoe.

Scoh An Anglo-Saxon/Old English term for shoe, possibly referring to the high shoe styles since those were so common in England of that period.

Scraped Shoe decoration that’s had the grain scraped off to create a contrasting surface effect.

Scraping (also called Glassing) Trimming off excess leather by scraping it with the edges of a small piece of broken glass, or with a sharp knife.  This is usually done with heel or outer sole edges after shaping them with a knife or rasp.

Seld A type of movable stall for street sales, rather than selling in the shoemaker’s shop.

Sewing This refers to any seam, including sewing a whip stitch where the hole or stitch path does not pass from one side of the leather to the other, or only shows the thread on one side of the work.  “The Sewing” refers to the Inseam holding the overleather, the welt, and the sole of a turn-shoe, or the insole of a double soled shoe or modern unturned shoe.

Shears A large pair of scissors, made from a single strip of metal, used for cutting leather. Shears appear in the medieval artwork as well.

Shoe (Sceo, Scoh, Sho, Sco Latin: Sotularis; Calceus) A generic term for footwear that come to, or just below, the ankle.

Shoeing Horn (Other medieval spelling includes: Schoyng horne. Also referred to as a Shoe horn, Shoe Lift) A tool made of wood, horn, or metal used to pull out the back of the shoe while the foot slips into it.

Shoemaker (Other medieval spellings include: Sceo-wyrhta, Shoe-maker Shoewright, Schounemaker) Someone who makes shoes.  Sceo-wyrhta is an 11th century term.  See also Cordwainer, Cobelere and Soutor.

Shoemaker’s Stitch (Modern terms include: Saddle Stitch, Saddler’s Stitch) Stitching with both ends of the thread at the same time, each side of every stitch passing through the same hole at the same time.

Short Bones These are just short flat bits of bone like bone folders/folding bones used for slickening seams.

Side Seam The seam that joins the forefoot to the rear quarters.  Wrap-around shoes have a single side seam.

Sinew The tendon fiber which was used at certain times and places by many people for stitching leather.  There is no evidence for it being used for shoes or boots in the Middle Ages.

Single-soled shoe Used to indicate turn-shoes that do not have an outer sole.

Size A measurement indicating the length of a shoe.  There are a number of systems in use today.  Although shoemaking tradition says the English system was set in place by Edward II in 1324, based on the length of three barleycorns to the inch, there is no evidence that this was used before the 18th century.  Evidence suggests that by the 17th century, sizes were based on 1/4 inch per size with 12” being a size 15, and this system was used until the 18th century.

Skin Skin refers to the pelt of smaller animals. See also Hide.

Slickening (Burnishing, Slicking) Making a seam or overleather leather smooth or polished by rubbing it with a hard smooth tool, such as one of the variety of sticks or bones.

Slipper (Other early medieval spellings include: Slebescoh, Slipshoe, Slypesco, Slype-sceo, Slypesco, Staeppescoh, Swiftlere) A low cut shoe that can be slipped on, and has no means of fastening. A cheap, low shoe meant to be worn indoors

Smoke Tanning (Aldehyde Tannage) By smoking the skin over a wood fire, and application of fats and oils to keep the skin more supple. The wood smoke releases various aldehydes and phenols into the skin that simulate tannage.  See also Combination Tannage, Oil Dressing, Tanning, Tawed leather.

Sokke (Other medieval spelling includes: Socc Latin: Soccus) An Anglo Saxon term for a simple slipper consisting of a light overleather and sole, possibly synonymous with slebescoh or slypesco, as well as being callicula and gallicula, both terms apparently derived from the Roman caligae.

Sock (also called Sock Lining Modern terms include: Inner sock) An inner sole used to cover the Insole.  These may not have been used in the Middle Ages.

Sole The bottom part of the shoe.

Sole Pattern  A wooden form used to cut the shape of the sole.

Soller An Anglo Norman term for shoes in general or a particular type of shoe.  The term likely derived from the French soulier.

Solleret Armored footwear made up of lames or plates.  The term appears to have been used in English around 1826.

Sotulares (Latin: Sotularium) Shoes, may also refer to inexpensive shoes, and possibly clerical shoes.  May be synonymous with the subtalaris, or may refer to high shoes

Sotulares Veteres A medieval Latin term referring to old, patched or remade shoes, deriving from the Classical Latin veterementarius, or cobbler.

Souter (Other medieval spellings include: Sewtor, Sutor) A medieval term for a shoemaker derived from the Latin “sutor”.  The early term sutor allutarius referred to a shoemaker who worked in Alluta, (see Cordwainer), as opposed to a sutoris vace, work worked in bovine leather.  Eventually it came to refer to a Cobbler and was a term of abuse. and by the 16th century, it referred to an unskilled workman, with little or no education in “real” shoemaking.  See also Shoemaker, and Cobler.

Split Hold (also informally referred to as “Making a split passage”, “Split Hold Sewing”,Split Stitch”) In sewing, the awl enters one face of the leather, but does not stab through the leather. Instead it either emerges from the same face of the leather, or out the edge, in either case ‘splitting’ the leather.  Archaeologically, the split hole will appear as an edge/flesh stitch, a tunnel stitch, or a decorative stitch. See Closing.

Spring Heel These are made by inserting one or more lifts between the outer sole and the welt. They are a 16th century technique presaging the later raised heels.

Stabbed Seam This refers to two similar types of seams, both of which are stitched through so that the thread shows on both sides of the work.  The first (Modern terms include: Closed (or Close) Seam) is a seam formed when two leather pieces are stitched together like a seam in clothing,  face to face, then opened out and flattened.  Do not confuse the modern, archaeological term closed seam with the shoemaking term closed.   The second (Modern terms include: Lapped Seam, Overlapped Seam) is a seam formed between two overlapping sections of leather.

Stabbing (Modern terms include: Grain/flesh stitching) This refers to stitching the leather from side to side, so that the stitch is visible on both sides of the leather.  Stabbing specifically uses a straight awl, while stitching may be done with either a straight or curved awl.

Stitch Stitch indicates the single placement of the thread through the hole in the leather, or a particular type of placement of the thread through the leather. It can also refer to a single thrust of an Awl into the leather. Stitch is also used today in some archaeological materials to refer to the pitch of the thread, or number of stitches per inch.

Stitching This refers to piercing the leather from side to side, so that the stitch is visible on both sides of the leather (See Stabbed Seam).  In post-Medieval shoemaking, “The Stitching” (Modern terms include: Outseam) specifically refers to the seam attaching the outer sole to the welt.  Stitching may be done with either a straight or curved awl, while stabbing specifically uses a straight awl.  In a medieval double soled shoe, the welt is stabbed and the outer sole is sewn in what I am referring to as a blind split seam.

Stirrup (Other medieval spellings include: Sterop Also Stirrup Strap) A narrow belt or strap that is used by wrapped under the foot and around the thigh, holding the last or a closing block.  It is used to hold the shoemaker’s work in place under tension.  It is only used for Sewing.  This strap is usually leather, and might be divided, but rope was also used, as was cloth for clean work.  Even as late as the 20th century, use of a Stirrup was not universal, and many shoemakers appear in pictures holding their work in their laps.  See Closing Block and Footing Block. Note that the verb “stirrup” and the term “oil of stirrup” refer to beating someone with the stirrup strap.

Stitching Stick A tool for slickening stitches.

Stopping stick (also Stopper) This tool is referred to in some of the sources, and the meaning is obscure.  It may refer to a stropping stick.  It may also refer to a tool for stopping, that is to say, filling in openings.

Straight Shoes (also Upright, Straight sole) Shoes that are made to fit either foot, as opposed to those that are made to fit right and left specifically.  Contrary to popular belief, straight shoes are NOT a normal medieval shoemaking style.

Straps (Tab Modern terms include: Buckle attachment strap,) Straps and latchets are formed by bringing tabs from the quarters forward over the instep for fastening the shoe.  Straps are used to buckle or button the shoe; latchets are used to tie the shoes. Straps are often incorrectly called latchets.

Stropping stick (Other terms include Sharpening Bat, Bat, Buff, Buffing Strap or Strop, Stopping or Stropping Stick, Rap Stick, Rifle, Whittie) A wooden stick, covered on its two to four sides with leather, and is used to help keep awls, shears and knives sharp.  This may not be a medieval tool, but it’s reasonable that something very like this was used.

Stuff Everything that goes into making up the bottom.  Also used to refer to filling leather with waxes, fats and oils such as gresyn.

Subtalaris (Other medieval spelling includes Subtelaris) The term is Latin, and means “below the heel”.  In the Anglo Saxon era it appears to have been term for a low shoe,  and may have been used to refer to staeppescoh and swiftlere.  It may also refer to a clerical shoe.  The term also apparently was used to refer to a chaucepey.

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Glossary v.1.5, part 4

Maker (Shoe Man) The person who actually attaches the overleather to the soles.

Making Attaching the overleather to the soles.

Making Thread Aligning a number of strands of hemp, or flax, and cering them with code, and twisting them into a thread.

Mock up (Modern terms include: Fitter, Fitter’s model, Glass Slipper) A cheap, quickly made shoe meant to test the shape and size of a given last, checking patterns, etc.

Mounter A tool for slickening stitches.

Muleus A type of shoe. Possibly the same as the backless shoe later called a mule.

Needle Needles have probably been used in shoemaking all along, although their recorded uses have generally been for closing work, such as attaching linings, cording, and so on.

Ocrea Boots or Hose

Ocreae Rostratae May refer to piked boots.

Ocreas Anglo Norman term for a type of shoe, although it may be the same as ocrea.

Off-cut A bit of leather scrap from cutting out pieces, or from paring seams, or trimming soles.

Oil Dressing (also Chamoised, Fat/Oil Curing, Oil Curing, Oil Tanning, Shamoyed) This is a process in which a raw skin or hide has various oils and fats massaged into it, keeping the skin supple and pliable while triggering an oxidization reaction in the skin with the kneading and manipulation.  Cod liver oil is a frequent choice for this in shoemaking.  This process goes back to at least the 3rd millennium BCE, although it doesn’t survive well under archaeological conditions. Buff Leather is made this way, by taking buffalo (Bos bubalus, or perhaps Bos Bonasus ) hide, or ox hide, oiling it, and buffing up the surface. See also Combination Tannage, Tanning, Smoke Tanning, Tawed leather.

Orgone (Latin: Organum) This term appears in a 15th century poem, Lystyne lordys verament.  It may refer to a musical instrument, specifically a wind instrument.

Outer Sole (also Out-Sole, Outer soal, Outsole) The sole layer that actually comes in contact with the ground.

Overleather (Other medieval spellings include Ovyr Lethyr, Ouerledyr. Also Overleathers, Uberleder, Upper leather, Uppers) Generally this refers to the forefoot, quarters, linings and tongue.

Pantofle (also Pantoble) A post-medieval term for a slipper or a raised overshoe

Paring Specifically refers to trimming the sole of the forepart closely to the stitches.

Paring Board (Other medieval spellings include Paring Bord) The meaning here is unclear, and it is likely that this is either a cutting board, or possibly it may be a small board used for trimming welts without damaging the pverleather. See Fender.

Paste An adhesive made from rye or wheat that is used to adhere leather pieces in place during sewing, stitching, whipping, etc.  May not be a medieval tool.

Paste Horn A container made from a bovine horn, used to hold the paste. May not be a medieval tool.

Patten (Other medieval terms include Clog, Clogge, Galache, Galoch, Galosh, Golosh, Galoche, Galegge, Galliochios, Galloche, Gaulish Shoes, Paten, Patyn, Trippe  Latin: Calopodla,Calopedes, Callopedium, Crepitum, Crepita) These are all names for a variety of overshoes, made with wood, leather, or cork platform soles, sometimes with bits of metal on the bottoms, intended to protect the shoes from wet, cold, mud and pavement. They remained in use in one form or another until the American Colonial period.  Some items seen currently thought of as Patens may in fact be sandals.

Peg A small wooden pin used initially for repairs, then in later eras to attach heels then finally soles.

Peen (also Pane) To beat out leather with the narrow end of the hammer; to shape the soles, lay the stitches, or compress the leather.

Petty Boy A tool for slickening stitches.  May not be a medieval tool.


Piecing (Other medieval spellings include Pecyn, Pecyng, Latin: Repecio, Reb(r)occo, Sarcto, Reficio. Modern terms include: Insert) This could refer either to using smaller pieces of leather to build a larger piece, such as a boot leg; or it may refer to clouting.  There was some disagreement between cordwainers and cobblers about whether piecing could mean a whole quarter or only part of a quarter.  A piece of leather which has been added to the overleather to fill out or adjust the final shoe.  There is also a modern definition that has nothing to do with the archeological meaning (or historical shoemaking).

Pike (Other medieval spellings include: Crackowes, Pouilaines Latin: Liripipium) A point.  Specifically the point on the toe of a shoe.  In the 12th century piked shoes appear to have been called pigases (pigaches in French), or pigaciæ and pigatiæ.  In the later 14th century, the style was called “crackowe”, such as “shoes with crackowe pikes”, then later “shoes with long crackowes”.  In the early 15th century, in France, the term “poulaine” referred to the Polish fashion.

Pin (Modern terms include: Bubble) Commonly these fittings are smaller single-layer leather patches, but can also be larger laminates of leather added to a last to adjust its size, shape, etc. for custom fitting.  These are called heel-pin, toe-pin, and so forth, depending on location.

Pincers A simple iron tool used in lasting, for hammering tacks and pulling them out.  After the Middle Ages, Pincers become increasingly more specialized into pincers and nippers.

Pinson (Other medieval spellings include: Caffignon, Pinsone, Pinçon, Pinsion, Pisnet, Puisnet, Pynson, Sokke. Latin: Pedipomita, possibly Calceolus, Calceamesa Calceamen Pedibomita Pedribriomita) A kind of thin shoe, slipper or pump.  Although they appear in the literature from 1350 to around 1600, there is no clear contemporary description of them.  It maybe assumed that they are a slip on shoe held in place by fit, rather than any fastenings.

Pitch The measurement of stitch lengths per inch in a given seam.  It is likely that this term is 19th century in origin.

Pitch Tar thickened and purified by boiling.  Tar is the caramelized sap from trees gathered in the charcoal making process.

Prick To stick your awl into the leather.

Pump A light, low-cut turn-shoe, first mentioned in the 16th Century, thin soled, shoe without any lacing, straps or a heel, or later a very low heel. It often had no fastening and was kept in place by the close fit. They were worn principally by footmen. The term remains until the 19th century when it dies out, only to be used in the 20th century for a similar style of heeled woman’s shoe.

Punch A punch is a tool used to make a hole in leather, by removing a plug of leather, as opposed to stabbing through or piercing leather.  Also used to describe the action of a punch, as in “punching holes in leather”.

Punching Lead A bit of lead that the punch is hammered into.  The softness of the lead being enough to protect the blade of the punch from dulling.


The meaning is not clear, the use in context regards work a cobbler might do, and so may mean cutting out holes in the old leather and piecing those holes with new leather; or it may refer to sewing with a quarrel, or a square needle.


Quarter A part of the overleather.  From the use of this term in context, it is pretty clear that the forefoot was part of the quarters, which differs from later shoemaking usage in which the quarters referred specifically to the rear part of the overleather; the material which goes round the wearer’s heel.


Raised Heels Separate, raised heels do not appear before about 1600.

Rand (also spelled Rann, Rahn. Also called French Seat, Rand Welt) The historical shoemaking term rand and its various spellings, are first used in the very late 16th century to describe a type of thin welt that’s been rolled under the insole and braced with thread.  This technique almost certainly derived from leather covered cork or wooden soles on certain forms of pattens, ecclesiastical footwear, and winter shoes.  The term will therefore be used earlier than it is known to have been used elsewhere when describing the construction of those items.   The term Rand is used historically to describe several different sorts of welt, and in the archeological jargon to refer to welts in turn-shoes, although this particular usage has no basis in either shoemaking or history.

Readymade Mass produced work, as opposed to bespoke work.

Reconstruction(Reproduction, Repro) A shoe made in a historical fashion, based on a specific historical original, or a conjectural shoe based on fragments, or even speculative shoe based on historical artwork.

Revelin (Brogue, Carbatíne, Hudsko, Kreplau, Llopan, Moccasin, Opanke, Pampootie, Pedules,Rewylynys, Rifeling, Rivelins, Rivilin, Riwelingas, Rowlingas, Rullions, Rulyions, Skin-sko) Culponius, PeronatusCarpatinæ An easily made single piece shoe, worn by the lowest ranks of rural population, with the sole turned up all around the edge forming part of the overleather. The edges were cut into loops through which a lacing pulled the sides together. Frequently of undressed or untanned hide, this general type of shoe was among the earliest of shoes among the Greeks, Romans and early Celtic peoples. It probably continued to be worn through the Middle Ages, although there are no examples.  In certain areas these were worn regularly well into the 20th century (and even to the present time as traditional folk costume).  Note that while the terms appear interchangeable, the actual shoe designs can be different in details.

Riggett (Other medieval spelling includes Riggot Also Channel) A shallow vertical slit cut around the edge of an outer sole or an insole to hold the thread to keep a row of stitching below the surface of the leather to protect the thread.  Before the 16th century, riggetts were probably not used on the outer sole, since outer soles were attached with a blind split seam.  Slanting channels are only found after the late 17th.

Rivet (also Riveting, Ryvetting Latin: Cnusticium,) A welt.  The term appears to derive from the rivet, or the burr a nail is clenched to in riveting things together.  Riveting, therefore might refer to a Cobbler’s rewelting a shoe, or attaching an outer sole to a welt.  This use dates from about 1395.

Roan A sort of low-grade sheepskin used for book-binding, slippers, and such.

Rosin (Also called Resin) Hardened sap from resinous trees that’s been boiled and purified.

Round Closing (Round Closed Seam, Inside Seam, Edge-Flesh Seam) This is a butted edge sewn (i.e. using a split hold) seam. The hold is made close enough to the edge that the leather bulges into a rounded hump, as it is drawn closed, hence the name.  A properly made round closed seam should not grin, or show thread in gaps on the other side, nor expose much thread inside the shoe to rub away.  The round hump should rise higher in the middle of the seam (‘stand proud in the seam’) and will protect the thread that’s buried to either side.  If the bulging leather is “set”, that is hammered and slicked flat, this flattened leather should cover the thread completely.

Roundings (Modern terms include: Filling Pieces) Leather pieces stitched between the welt and the outer sole. This is to help deal with foot problems such as pronation.  Although examples appear as early as the early 16th century, they are more of a 19th century thing.

Rubbing Pin (also called Rubbing Stone) A tool used to scour and smooth cut edges, and slicken the edges of a piece of leather.  In the 17th century and later, these were abrasive shapes of sandstone set into wooden handles.

Running Stitch A running stitch is an easy stitch where the thread makes a sine wave pattern rippling through the leather.  The term may not appear before the 19th century.

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Glossary v.1.5, part 3

Facing (Modern terms include: Eye stay, Lace-hole Reinforcement) A lining inside the shoe to help reinforce eyelets.  There is not a good term to describe these

Fender (Modern terms include: Paring Horn) A flat, thin piece of horn placed between the welt and the overleather when trimming the welt, used to protect the shoe from the paring knife.  The term fender is a medieval one, referring to an item used to protect or defend another thing.  It is also a traditional shoemaking term.

Findings (Traditional terms include: The Grindery) These are historical shoemaking terms for the materials that a shoemaker works with.  Findings is the term in the US, while the grindery is used in Britain.

Finishing This is the final work done on a shoe after it’s been made.  Examples of finishing work have historically been trimming the sole edges, rasping and scraping them with a bit of glass, inking, sleeking, washing, waxing, creaming, polishing the overleather, etc.

Firk (also Ferk) To quickly prick the leather, hence “to firk and yerk” meaning to hole the leather and then draw the stitches tight.

Fitting Any leather either single-layer patch, or laminate built from leather, whether stuck, pegged, tacked semi-permanently, or lashed temporarily with thread to any last, in any location, to alter its shape, size, increase its girth, etc.  Pins, instep leathers and shovers are each a kind of fitting.

Flesh-side (Other medieval terms include: Rim. Traditional terms include: Flesh) The inner surface of leather – the side with the loose fibers.

Folded Welt Although this term has been mistakenly used to refer to a rand, it actually refers to a welt made of upper leather folded in half.  They have been found as early as the late 16th century.

Foot Measure (Traditional terms include: Foote Mesure, Gage, Gauge, Measure, Size Stick, Sliding Rule. Latin: Pedale) A measuring stick used for measuring the size of the foot.  It is not known whether the people in the Middle Ages used such a thing

Footing Block (Other medieval spellings include: Footynge Block, Fotyng-bloke, Heel Block) A small block, 3” or so, placed under the heel of the shoemaker using a stirrup. This elevates the leg slightly, and helps the tension of the stirrup.

Forefoot (Other medieval spellings and terms include: Avan-pie, Avant pied, Empeignes, Enpenyes, Vampet, Vampethe, Vampey, Vawmpe, Wampe, Waumpe, Vamp. Latin: Antepedale, Inpedias, Pedana, Pedium, Pedula. Modern terms include: Forepart) The front section of a shoe’s overleather covering the wearer’s toes and part of the instep.  Note that while “vamp” is also derived from the French “avant pied”, in the Middle Ages it was usually used to refer to the front of a foot on hose, as was forefoot.  In archaeological terminology, forepart refers to the shoe, sole or insole in front of the instep.  In shoemaking parlance, forepart refers to the sole in front of the waist.

Forepart Stick A type of stick, used for slickening sole edges.

Foxing Foxing refers to repairing shoes or boots by renewing the overleather leather; also to attack a strip of ornamental leather to the outside of the overleather.  It is not known if this is a medieval shoemaking term, although “foxing” is a medieval term for a “clever deceit”.

French Chalk Talc, used as a lubricant for the last, to facilitate the removal of the last from a shoe or boot.  It is not known if this is a medieval practice.

Full Cast Stitch A variation of the cast using a shoemaker’s stitch, passing the bristles or needles though through the loops on both sides of the seam, making two half-hitch knots inside the leather – one on each side. This is usually only done on the final stitch in a row to secure the end of the seam. See also Casting Off and Half Cast Stitch.

Gamashe (Other medieval spellings include: Gamash, Gamachio, Gamache) A kind of legging of cloth, worn to protect the legs from mud, dirt and wet.

Girth A measurement taken around the circumference of the foot at a specific point. The girths are traditionally most often taken are at the joints or ball of the foot (i.e., the widest part of the foot at the hinge where the metatarsal bones touch the ground level), the waist (which is about an inch behind the joints), which is sometimes referred to as the low instep (although some people place the low instep an inch behind the waist), the instep or high instep is the highest point of the instep, where the bump at the top of the instep protrudes. There is also a girth measurement called the “hass”, which is behind the high instep, and is the highest point of the foot, where it merges with the shin, but this is not universally used (and isn’t important for measuring for below the ankle shoes). Finally, there is the ankle, the short heel (the high instep to around the heel), and the long heel (the base of the heel to the high instep).

Grain The outer surface of a piece of leather.

Grease (Other medieval spellings include: Crawk, Grece, Gres Latin: Cremium) The rendered softened fat of some sort of animal (historically most commonly mutton tallow or “degras” (lanolin)), possibly used as some sort of lubricant or dressing by the shoemaker.

Grinning A seam that has gaps where threads can be seen or the seam can be seen through is said to be grinning.  A seam that grins is weakly stitched, and dirt can get into the seam to fray and weaken the threads.

Half Cast Stitch A variation of the cast using a shoemaker’s stitch, passing the bristles or needles though through the loops on the weaker side of the seam, making an half-hitch knot inside the leather.  In post-medieval shoes, the cast is made on the welt side of the inseaming, while on medieval shoes this would be the overleather side of the seam (in both cases it’s on the outside of the inseaming – as opposed to the last side. See also Casting Off and Full Cast Stitch.

Hand-Leather (Modern terms include: Shoemaker’s Mitten) A piece of leather wrapped around the left hand to protect the skin of the shoemakers hand from being cut by the thread when yerking the thread.  Might be a medieval tool.

Heel (Other medieval spellings include: Hele) The rear quarters.  In modern parlance the heel is the added part of a shoe or boot, under the quarters, but this is not a medieval usage.

Heel Liner (Modern terms include: Heel Stiffener Inside Counter, Counter) A piece of lining leather used as a stiffening or internal reinforcement in the rear quarters or heel area. It is most frequently sewn inside the shoe. In medieval shoes it is whipped in place, and is usually invisible from the outside.   Please note that we have no idea what these were called in the Middle Ages, and the closest English shoemaking term, counter, has too many conflicting interpretations depending on who you ask.

Hem Using a whip stitch to attach linings.

Hide Hide refers to the pelt of the larger animals. See also Skin.

High Shoe (Other medieval spellings include: Heigh Scoh, Scoh, Unhege-Sceo Modern terms include: Ankle Boot, Ankle Shoe, Half boot) A shoe that extends to the ankle, or slightly higher.  There is no way to be more specific between the high shoe and low boot, as the medieval meaning are not clear.

Hobnail A short nail with a large solid head, nailed into the sole to help protect the sole from wear.

Hold This concept is one of the most basic in sewing leather, but can a trick to describe.  Inserting thread into leather, in order to grab that leather is making a stitch.  Once it’s grabbed the leather and is gripping it, it and the leather being gripped make up a hold.  The two terms are very similar, and may appear synonymous.  They are not.  The hold is determined in part by the thread, and how that thread is passed through the leather, but also by the amount of the leather captured within the stitch on each side of the seam, how far back from the edge the hole is made, how deeply the hole is made through the leather. Even though in traditional shoemaking, the term “hold” is only used regarding closing seams in the uppers, I maintain that there is no appreciable difference between the medieval edge-flesh stitches other than the size of leather and placement of the seam, therefore I use the term hold in describing the inseam as well – anticipating the term “hold fast” in later shoemaking.

Hole To make a hole, as for stitching.  This term is apparently not a medieval shoemaking term, although its use is consistent with medieval use.

Hollin Sticks (also Helling Sticks, Shoulder Sticks) There are a number of types and shapes of these sticks, with various types of “shoulders”, or raised guides to help shape shoe soles.

Hueses (Hauses, Husseaus) A kind of legging or hose.  Also possibly boots that reach the thigh. They can have pikes, and so may be footed hose with leather soles.  They are possibly related to chaucers.

Inseam (also “the Sewing” Modern terms include: Internal seam) The seam connecting the insole and the overleather, and welt if there is one.  Archaeologists sometimes refer to this seam as an internal seam on turn-shoes.

Insole (also Inner Sole, In-Soal, In Sole) The inner-most sole of a shoe, that the Overleather and Welt (if any) are attached to.  For a single soled shoe, the Insole is also the Outer sole.  Do not confuse the Insole with the Sock.

Instep The a vaguely defined area on top of the foot over the metatarsals up front of the ankle joint.  Also the corresponding area on a shoe and on a Last.

Instep-leathers (also Instab-leathers) Laminated leather fittings routinely lashed temporarily on top of the instep of a comb-last with a thread ligature to bring it up full to girth measure, vary/adjust its girth measurements, and removed first to facilitate the last’s removal from the finished shoe or boot.  These can then be adjusted to further increase the girth by the introduction of wedges.  Instep leathers cover the instep of the last, while a shover reaches to the toe of the last, and are meant to help facilitate the removal of lasts in closed front, pull on boots, and so are after the medieval period.  It is not known if instep leathers or shovers were used in the Middle Ages, although there is evidence to suggest they could have been.

Joints (also Ball of the foot) The joints are the widest part of the foot, corresponding with the treadline in the shoe sole.

Kit The shoemaker’s tools.  In the 19th century, the definition becomes more specialized.

Lacing (Other Medieval spellings include: Laas, Lace, Laise Modern terms include: Drawstring) Some times called a “shoe-lace”, or a “boot lace” is a long strip of braid, cord, leather, line, ribbon, string, tape, etc. used to draw together and close an opening, and in modern shoes to adjust the tightness of the fit.   For this work, lacing will refer to any sort of tie used to close footwear.

Last (Other Medieval spellings include Læste, Leste, Latin: Calepodia, Crepidam, Forma, Formes, Formipedia/um, Formula, Furmes) A wooden model that shoes and boots are made on.  Their use has been a source of some debate; when they were invented, what they were used for.

Lasting This refers to actually forming the overleather to the last.

Lasting Margin The part of the overleather that is pulled under the last and attached to the insole or sole during lasting.  It is trimmed or pared off later.

Latchet (Other Medieval spellings include: Langett, Languets, Languids, Languides Latin: Tenea. Also called: Tab C.f  Latchet fastening) Straps, and latchets are formed by bringing tabs from the quarters forward over the instep for fastening the shoe.  Straps are used to buckle or button the shoe; latchets are used to tie the shoes.  Latchet fastening is a modern term that confuses the traditional meanings, as it refers to both ties and buckles.  The term latchet is often incorrectly used to refer to strap.

Laying the Stitch (also Beating too the stitch, Bedding the Stitch) Whacking the finished seam with a hammer and slickening them to close the stitches tightly to the thread, and to flatten a seam.

Leather (Other Medieval spellings include: Barkyn, Leðer, Leðyr, Leder, Lider, Leer, Leyre Latin: Coreum, Frunio, tanno, tannio) The skin or hide of an animal that has been chemically rendered impervious to decomposition and resistant to change by water through tanning. Tanning also makes the skin stronger and more resistant to wear.  Some skins are loosely referred to as leather, which have been treated in some other, less permanent fashion such as tawing, oil dressing, and so on.  See Tanning and Tawed Leather.

Leggings There are many illustrations of leg coverings of leather or cloth stretching up from the feet, to the knee or the waist, with a strap passing under the shoe.

Lead (also Cisterne)  A small pan of water, used to hold the balls of code in, and keep them cool so that they don’t soften too much in warm weather.

Lifts Leather pieces stitched between the welt and the outer sole.  Use to make a spring heel.

Lingel (Ligneul, Lingle, Lignoul, Lygellys, Lingula, Lynyolf)   Shoemaker’s thread, probably that’s been cered and bristled. (See End.)

Lining (Lyning, Internal strengthening) In medieval footwear, this refers to the material that has been attached to the inner side of the overleather to reinforce specific areas. These are usually whipped into place.  Types of lining can include any of the following: facing, heel lining, side lining, toe lining.   As a verb, lining refers to attaching such material.

Long Stick In unturned shoemaking, this tool is used for general slickening the outer sole after rounding and tacking it, but before cutting any riggott.

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Glossary v.1.5, part 2

Calc (Latin: Calciamenta) An Anglo Saxon term for a type of sandal.

Calceology Although this is not at this time a formally recognized field of research, Calceology informally refers to the study of footwear, especially historical footwear, whether as archaeology, shoe fashion history, or anywhere else.  A person who makes such a study can be considered a Calceologist.

Caligae In the Middle Ages this referred to a type of clerical footwear.  Historically the name derived from the Roman Caligae, the boots worn by 1st century Roman soldiers.

Caligarum (also Caligis) Shoes

Calopedes A Latin term for wooden soled shoes.  See Pattens.  Also, this may refer to a sort of Anglo Saxon era clerical footwear, possibly because they had wooden soles.

Carving knife (Other Medieval spellings include: Carwyng Knyfe, Paring knife) It is likely that this is the knife used to trim the inseam while the shoe is still on the last, as well as to trim away excess leather, particularly in places where the trenket would be difficult to handle or manage.

Cast This isn’t really a term, as much as it’s an attempt to show the link between two other terms. In sewing or stitching with a shoemaker’s stitch, this refers to finishing the stitch by passing the bristles or needles though through the loops on one or both sides of a seam, making an half-hitch knot inside the leather. This is usually only done on the final stitch in a row to secure the end of the seam.  See Half Cast Stitch. Full Cast Stitch

Cere To smear or cover thread with wax.  I must say that this may not have been a shoemaking term, but I believe the use is correct.

Chaucepey (Other medieval spellings include: Chaspey, Chaspy, Chaunce Pé, Chaucepe, Latin: Subtaleris, Parkipollex, Parcopollex) This term is usually glossed as ‘shoe horn’ (see Shoeing horn), and by the 18th century, it clearly referred to a strip of hair-on calf skin that was used to help pull on a shoe.  I will note that subtaleris also refers to a type of shoe.

Chaucer (Other medieval spellings include: Chauceor, Chaude-pis, Chaude-pisse, Chau-pis, Chau-pisse, Chauser, Chausses, Chausure) Leggings or hose of leather or maille.  They are possibly related to hueses.

Cheverel (Other medieval spelling includes: Cheuerel) Kid or goat skin leather, known for its stretchiness.

Chopines (Other medieval spelling includes: Shopines) High, cork soled shoes in the 16th century. These developed into the pantofle.  The really exaggerated styles were not seen in England.

Clicking (also to Click. Modern and traditional terms include: Trenching, Cutting Out) Clicking is a post-Medieval term referring to cutting pattern pieces for overleather (uppers) and boot tops out of leather.

Closing (also to Close, Edge closing Modern terms include: Butted Seam) This term has both a narrower and a broader meaning.  The first is edge closing or bringing pieces of leather together, generally butted edge to edge, and joining them by a tightly yerked seam (either flat or round), leaving no grinning or opening between the pieces.  In medieval footwear, the predominant closing was what is now frequently referred to in the archaeological jargon as an edge-flesh seam, but in shoe making parlance is a round closing (or sewn with a split hold) on the inside. Other examples of the term in use are “The two quarters are closed at the back seam”, or “the boot tongue is closed to the leg,” and so forth).   More broadly, closing may also include everything sewn or stitched to make the finished overleather, including bindings, whipped linings, cordings, even decorative stitching.

Closing Block (Traditional terms include: Sewing Block, Seam Block) A long block of wood, slightly “U” shaped in cross section, which can be rested on the thigh (the opening of the “U” on the bottom of the bock), under the stirrup, to hold the overleather securely in place during the closing.  There is no direct evidence that it was used in medieval shoemaking, although the indirect evidence of the stirrup is suggestive.

Clout (Other medieval spellings include: Clowt, Clowtys Latin: Lampedium, Limpedium, Renovandopictacia, Pictacium, Pictasium.  Modern and traditional terms include: Clump, Clump sole) Leather repair patches (pacch, or scrutum) on shoes.  In the Middle Ages these were usually stitched on; later they were pegged on, and nailed on.  A number of medieval outer soles have been described in the archaeological literature as “clump soles” although this is a 19th century term.

Cobbler (Other medieval spellings include: Botcher, Clouter, Clowtars, Clowter, Cobbeler, Cobblar, Cobeler, Cobelere, Cobler, Cobulare, Cobyller, Specker, Latin: Pictaciarii, Savetiers, Rebroccator) A mender of shoes, or someone who might make translated shoes from old leather.  This trade has been traditionally separate from shoemaking, and is frequently less prestigious.  See also Cordwainer, Shoemaker and Soutor.

Code (Other medieval spellings include: Coode, Cud, Cude, Sowters Wax. Latin: Cerisina, Coresina. Modern and traditional terms include: Coad, Hand, Handwax, Shoemakers Wax). A wax-like or taffy-like substance that shoemakers cere their threads with.  Post-medieval wax is understood to have been made from a mixture of pitch, rosin, and some oil, and generally has no natural wax in it, although some recipes do allow for some beeswax.

Coker (Other medieval spellings include: Cokyr, Cocur, Cuker, Quequer, Latin: Cocurus, Coturnus, Ocrea) This term refers to a short laced boot, or a laced legging worn by farmers, hunters, fishermen to protect the legs.  Other authors want to refer to revelins as cokers.

Comb Last A specific sort of last with a flattened instep, designed to be used with shovers, instep leathers, and wedges.  The term is not medieval, and there is some disagreement whether medieval lasts were comb lasts or not.

Combination Tannage Any combination of processes, for instance brain tanning is a form of oil dressing, combined with the partial aldehyde tannage from smoke tannage.  Currying, on the other hand combines both the tanning process with the oxidization process in oil dressing.

Coperas water (Iron Black) These are actually two different, but very similar things.  Coperas water is made from iron sulfate and water or vinegar, while iron black is made from iron filings and water and vinegar.  These solutions when applied to tanned leather, reacts with the tannins and turns that leather a dark gray or black.  This is the same basic mixture as used for medieval ink.  This sort of blacking appears to have been used as early as the Roman period.

Cord (also Cording. Modern terms include: Binding Cord, Reinforcement CordStrengthening cord) A technique of binding a length of cord by whipping a second cord around it, to strengthen and reinforce an area of a shoe, and to keep it from stretching (for example, around the unfinished edges).  These were used from the 13th century up to the 18th century.  In the early 1600s, narrow tape was used as well.  I can not prove that this is what this technique was called at the time, however the term Corder for someone who did this is known from the 15th century.

Cordwain (Other medieval spellings include: Cordoban, Cordovan, CordewanCorwale, Spanish Leather Latin: Aluta) Cordwain leather was traditionally a particularly rich red-dyed tawed leather from the Mouflon sheep or goat, from Cordoba in Spain. It was eventually used to refer to goatskin, and later it was made from dyed, vegetable tanned bovine hide.  By the middle 18th century, this term refers to equine leather.

Cordwainer (Other medieval spellings include: Corden Cordevaner, Cordewan, Cordewanarius, Cordewaner, Cordiner, Cordner, Cordoan, Cordoanier, Cordon, Cordonnier, Cordouan, Cordouanier, Cordovaniere, Corduan, Corduennier, Cordwain, Cordwar, Cordwayner, Cordwent, Cordyware, Corveisier, Corvesarius, Corveser, Corvesters, Corviser, Corvisor, Courvoisier, Kordewanier, Kurdiwæner Latin: Allutarii, Alutarius, Sutor) A shoemaker, specifically someone who works in cordwain leather. The term is generally obsolete today, except among historical shoemakers, or as part of the name of the trade organization or company of shoemakers.  It is also sometimes used today to include all branches of the trade.  See also Shoemaker, Soutor, and Cobelere. Cordwainery and Cordwaining both refer to the art of the craft of the Cordwainer

Couped  (Other medieval terms include: Decouped, Icouped, . Modern and traditional terms include: Gimped, Pinked, Cut Out, Fenestrated, Openwork decoration) Leather that has been decorated with slashed, cut outs, punched holes, or scalloped edges.

Crakowe (Crakow, Cracowes, Krakau, Krakow, Poulaine) A 14th century shoe with a long pointed toe, peak or pike.

Crinc An Anglo Saxon term for a type of slipper or sandal.

Decorative Stitch (Other modern and traditional terms include:  Mock Seam, Mock Stitch, Tunnel Stitching) There is no known term to describe this in medieval shoemaking, but it refers to embroidering on the outside surface of the shoe, sewing with a split hold, generally using a shoemakers stitch, so that the thread doesn’t show up on the inside of the shoe.  I am told that in 17th century French, this is “un couture de parade” or “show stitch”.

Double Soled shoes (Modern terms include: Turned-Welt Construction, Double sole/double-soled footwear, Turned Welt, Turnwelt) This term, which is medieval, refers to a turn-shoe that has had an outer sole attached.

Dragant (Traditional terms include: Adragant, Dragagantum, Gum Adragant, Gum dragant, Gum dragon, Gum tragacanth, Tragacanth, Gum Water). A semi water-soluble resin that is used by some leatherworkers and shoemakers to help set seams or to slicken edges

Drawer The meaning of this is obscure, but I suspect that it may be referring to a channeling tool, or a tool for carving the grooves that the stitches will run along, to protect the exposed thread from wear. It may also refer to a straight edge, to “draw” your dull awl against for the same purpose, or possibly an edge creaser or a “drawing” knife.

Dresser The meaning of this is obscure. Some sources suggest that this refers to a polishing bone, an edge creaser, a slicking or rubbing stick, used to slicken the edges, or to flatten and smooth leather.  It is also possible that this may be a tool for similar to a fender.

Edge Trimming (also Rounding) Trimming the sole to the last, forming the seat or heel portion of the sole, cutting off any wavy edges, making a channel and possibly holing the stitch lengths.

Elson See Awl.

End (Other medieval terms include: Tatched End, Tatching End, Tachynge End. Modern and traditional terms include:  Roset, Shoemaker’s End, Waxed End, Wax-end) There is some minor disagreement in usage here between modern shoe and bootmakers on this, some using the term to refer to the bristled end of a cered lingel, while others use the term to refer to the whole lingel.  My personal preference is to use it to refer to bristled end.

Estivaux (Aestivales) Apparently a type of boots made from expensive fabric.

*Lacing holes (Other Medieval spellings include: Oilet, Olyette. Modern terms include: Eyelets, Lace hole, Tie Holes) Holes stamped or cut into vamps, legs, quarters, latchets, tongues intended to hold laces for tying shoes and boots.  We have no term for what they called these, and eyelets has too many connotations of metal eyelets, grommets and so forth.  Furthermore, lacing holes can be used to refer to any of the several forms of holes and slits cut for lacings.

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Glossary v.1.5, part 1

This glossary explains the vocabulary used in this book, indicates some of the other spellings and synonyms from the medieval literature, as well as modern synonyms that are generally not used in this book, but may be more familiar to the average reader.

Please note that there are several terms that meant something quite different in the Middle Ages from their later, better known, meanings (e.g. Heel and Quarters).

Using the standard model established for my online “Glossary of Footwear Terminology” at (http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/shoe/RESEARCH/GLOSSARY/bdef.htm):

  • Medieval shoemaking terms will be noted in italics.
  • Traditional English shoemaking jargon terms will be in bold face.
  • Terms that can not be proven to be medieval shoemaking terms, but likely are, will be given in bold faced italics.
  • Modern archeological/museum jargon terms will be underlined
  • Terms I have made up will be noted with an *Asterisk and underlined.

Aglet (Other medieval spellings include Agglette, Agglot, Aigulet, Esguylettes.  Latin: Aeus, Actdus, Acula. Modern and traditional terms include: Tag and Lace End) A binding around the end of a lace to protect it, reinforce it and help thread it through holes.  Although they are not commonly found, medieval boot and shoe aglets seem to have been coiled brass wire, while those for clothing were wrapped metal sheets.  In some forms of medieval boot and shoe lacing only a single end might need an aglet, while the other end was just knotted or stitched inside the shoe or boot.  Aglets were used on some leather laces, and if they were used on cloth laces these have not survived.

Allutarii An Anglo-Norman term, from the Latin, for a shoemaker, and refers to them as people who work with alum tawed leather.

Arch Technically the foot has at least four arches, although there are two major arches, the longitudinal arch, which extends along the length of the foot on the medial or inner side, under the instep from the joint to the heel; and the metatarsal arch, formed by the natural arching of the metatarsals at the joints of the foot.

Awl (Al, Alesne, Alishin, Alle, Bodkin, Bodkyne. Elshin, Elson, Elsyn Latin: Sibula Subula) A family of tools used to pierce holes in leather or fabric (see Hole). Elson and awl are both used for the cordwainer’s awl. 

Backpart Literally, the back of the sole, or insole.  This term is not consistently used in the modern literature.  It is not used generally to describe the Heel or any part of the overleather, except in cases of footwear lacking a side or back seam, in which case, backpart refers to the rear quarters on a shoe with no backseam.  Medieval shoes do not usually have a backseam

Back Seam The seam that joins the rear quarters up the center-back of the shoe.

Baker’s Brake A tool that is used like a long stick or bone to polish, burnish or slicken leather.

Barber’s Twist An old term for a type of silk thread, twisted hard. See Twist.

Basan (Other medieval spellings include: Basĕn, Baseyn, Basan(n)e, Basyn, Bazan, Bazen(n)e) Brown sheepskin, the leather has been tanned in oak or larch bark.  It is not the same as roan, which is tanned in sumac.  To judge from the London Ordnances, it was sometimes illicitly passed off as “cordovan”, or cordwain, or mixed into shoes with cordwain.  The word’s earliest appearance seems to be about 1300, although at least one source has suggested that it was also used for a style of Anglo-Norman riding boot worn by the clergy.

Bespoke Custom work that has been “spoken for”.  Something that has been made to order, as opposed to Readymade work.

Binding (Modern terms include: Edge Binding, Top band) A finishing technique that sews a band of leather along the raw top edge)

Black (Other medieval spellings include: Blacken, Blacken, Blake, Blatche, Bleche, Bleke, Bletch, Bletche Latin: Atrementum, Artrementumo) The precise meaning of what “black” and blacking was in the Middle Ages with regards to shoemaking remains a bit cluttered.  Clearly it is something used to make the shoes black.  One form is probably some form of Coperas water, although it may also refer to a form of black paste.

Blacking Pan (Other medieval spelling includes: Blackyng pan). This phrase appears in the Lystyne lordys verament, and the meaning is obscure, but I suspect that, because the term pan more often means a container used in the manufacture of something than it is to refer to a storage container, this may be the pan used for preparing the blacking.

Blacking Pot (Other medieval spelling includes: Blackyng pot) This phrase appears in the Lystyne lordys verament, and the meaning is obscure but I suspect that, because the term pot can be used either for manufacture or storage (and the reference already mentioned the blakyng pan), this may be some form of container for holding the blacking in.

Bleche of Souters A group of shoemakers.

Blind Blind is a used to describe something where the work must be done where it can’t be seen by the person doing the work, or the finished product can’t be seen, hence a blind stitch/blind hold is one where the thread is hidden, but is not buried in a channel.

*Blind Split Hold or *Blind Split Seam (Modern terms include: Caterpillar Stitch, Clump Stitch, Hidden stitch, Tunnel Stitch) This term has been generated to the split hold sewing used in attaching an outer sole to a welt in a Medieval shoe, or to the overleather in a Roman shoe.  These stitches are made such that the stitch vanishes completely into the body of the work (other than the thread visible on top of the welt).  While this is generally referred to in archaeological terms as a tunnel stitch, the term *blind split hold is intended to reflect the more traditional shoemaking argot.  Clearly a *blind split seam is a seam made up from such holds.

Blocking Setting the wet insole, or sole for a turn-shoe, on the last and molding it to shape.  It may also refer to trimming it to shape on the last.

Bone & Rattle (Traditional terms include: Scratch bone) This bone can be used to slicken the leather, but it also has a set of teeth cut into one end to scrape away excess wax from finished rows of stitching.

Bones and Sticks This entry is more for a class of object than a specific term.  Bones in this case is not necessarily a reference to skeletal remains, although it can be.  These are tools, long smooth sticks that are used to slicken the leather, smooth it and compress it

Boot leg (Modern terms include: Leg) The part of any type of footwear that covers the ankle and extends above it.

Bote (Other medieval spellings include: Bat, Bate, But, Bute, Buyt, Boot Latin: Bota/Botarum, Ocrea) A family of types of footwear extending above the ankle, and may end just above the ankle, calf length, knee high, or thigh high.  Cokers and hueses are probably types of botes.  A bote may lack any closure, or may be laced, buckled or buttoned.  Based on documentary evidence and illustrations, botes were worn by laborers, hunters or riders.  This may also refer to a type of legging, or leather hose.

Boteu (Other medieval spellings include: Bateau, Botewes, Butewe, Buttwe. Butewes, Buttows, Buttois, Low boots Latin: Coturnus, Botula, Crepita) A kind of low boots, reaching above the ankle and perhaps as high as the calf.

Bottom (Modern terms include: Bottom Unit) The bottom stuff made up of one or more of  the outer sole, the insole, any midsole, welt, rand, and any separate raised heel. In a single piece shoe like a revelin, this term may be used for that single piece of material that forms the sole and sides. See Stuff.

Bracing (Traditional terms include: Breasing) Bracing is a technique for holding leather around a form by making criss-crossing of thread between the edges of the leather.  It is known that in the 16th-17th century, a rand would be braced to keep it curved under the insole, until it could be stitched.  Therefore, it is likely that medieval rands were braced in the manufacture of leather covered cork or wooden soles on certain forms of pattens, ecclesiastical footwear, and winter shoes.

Bridging When pulling leather tight during lasting, it will not always pull down to the wood over extreme contours on the last resulting in bridging.

Bristle (Other medieval spellings include Brustel Latin: Seta, Sæta) A long hair from a wild pig (hog is preferred today) which is attached to the end of the thread.  This allows the thread to be drawn through the stitch hole for sewing or stitching.   According to tradition, bristles became used in the shoemaking industry because they were cheaper than needles, and because of their flexibility in pulling the thread through curved or oblique holes. They were in use during the Roman Era, and then they do not appear in literature until the 12th century, and when and where they were used in the mean time is not known. See End, also see Needle.

Broad Toed Shoes (Other terms include: Bearpaw, Bear’s Claw, Cowmouth, Escarpin, Hornbill, Horned, Kuhmaul, Scarpina, Solleret) Towards the end of the 15th century, as interest for pointed toed shoes waned among the stylish, the fashion drifted towards more blunt, squared-off toes. However, as with the crakowes, the broad toed shoes eventually became grossly exaggerated. These styles were limited at times to a mere 6 inches wide. They were often worn by the German mercenary soldiers.  Unfortunately, I am unaware of a really good term from the era in English to describe these, and most of the terms that have been used also mean other things as well.  Also many of these do represent variations in styles.

Brodequin (Brodequin, Cothurnus, Corthurnus, Korthornos, Scin-hose, Socca, Soccus, Sokke) A 15th century boot, reaching the calves or knees. These are referred to by many names that are also used for other sorts of footwear.  Most often they are erroneously referred top as buskins.

Buckle A frame with a hinged pin used to fasten straps.

Buffet A low three legged stool.

Buskin Buskin is a 16th century word for a type of soft leather boot reaching the calf or knee, or perhaps a shorter laced boot, possibly deriving from the 15th century brodeguin.  Starting in the 16th century, historians started referring other footwear, such as the ancient Greek cothurnus/corthurnus/korthornos, as “buskins” because they vaguely look like Buskins, leading to much confusion about what a buskin really is.  It has also been, used to refer to low stockings and hose of leather, linen, silk, or embroidered and brocaded fabrics.  See also Socc.

Button (Other medieval spellings include: Botone, Botoun Modern terms include: Toggle) A small knob used to fasten a shoe’s straps.  In archaeology and museums the term toggle is used to describe buttons in a belief that this is a more accurate term.  Rolled toggle and coffee bean toggle are terms that have been used to describe buttons of rolled leather.

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