John Bagford Manuscripts

As we wander afield it can be interesting, at least to me to examine some of the minutia that can bog down research – especially in obscure fields, like the history of shoemaking.

John Bagford (1650/1-1716) was an antiquarian, author, book-dealer, bibliographer, and manuscript collector.  He may also have had his start as a shoemaker by the Great Turnstile (An alley between High Holburn and Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London).  If so he appears to have tired of that and changed professions around 1686.

One of the things he is best known for was gathering together a large number of collections of books and manuscripts.  Among those he helped to build were the collections of Robert Harley, Hans Sloan and Sir Robert Cotton; which is to say – much of the core of the British Museum library.  Unfortunately he was also the target of a lot of negative commentary, mostly due to his overall lack of education and the collections he built for himself of title-pages of books — according to legend, he was known to visit the homes of the great and the good, and if he found books whose pages he lacked, he’d remove those pages and take them with him.  Whether this is true, or slander laid against him can be debated endlessly.

He was well known to have been a good man without pretense (according to Thomas Rawlinson) and highly learned if not formally educated.

In the Harleian Manuscripts he left a short handwritten piece about shoemaking.  Curiously there is some debate as to what manuscript this is in.

In Nichols, John.  Literary anecdotes of the eighteenth century; comprizing biographical memoirs of William Bowyer, printer, F.S.A., and many of his learned friends; an incidental view of the progress and advancement of literature in this kingdom during the last century; and biographical anecdotes of a considerable number of eminent writers and ingenious artists; with a very copious index. Vol. 2 1812. Pp. 462-463 it is said that Bagford acknowledged “that he practised, or had practised, “the gentle craft,” as he calls it, in a little curious and entertaining tract on the fashions of shoes, &c. and the art of making them, which may be seen in the British Museum, Harl. MSS. 5911.”


According to the Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, v. 7, p. 158.  Harl. 5911 is “Letters by Wanley. Petition to University for leave to examine bindings and remove fragments.   Collections regarding libraries, MSS, etc. A History of Shoemaking, f. 92. Magnet.  Account of Barlow 110.

Also listed, pg. 159. “Harl. 5981. Collections for a history of shoemaking.”

Looks promising.

The Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, v. 3, p. 309, lists

“5911.  A thin volume containing very various matters;

  1. A Letter from Mr. H. Wanley, dated Aug. 11, 1697, to some Rev* person, respecting his own Collections towards a history of the Origin and Progress of Writing.
  2. Remarks, by the same, on travels, and directions for examining foreign Libraries, with the approbation of several learned Men.
  3. Lift of Books to be enquired for in the public Library at Cambridge. By the same.
  4. Remarks on Saxon coins, by the same.
  5. A declamation, “Privata publicæ Vi æ est anteferenda” in English. In a different hand.
  6. Catalogue of Dr. Bernard’s Books and Manuscripts.
  7. Proposal by H. Wanley for collecting old external leaves of MSS. &c. followed by other matters by him.
  8. Abstract of the will of King Henry VIII.
  9. Various lists and titles of Books.
  10. Account of a perfect collection of Books and MSS. begun in 1640 by order of Charles I. This is in MS. and in print, followed by various unconnected papers, chiefly relating to books.”


“5979-5981 In reference to Printing, in MS, 3 Vol. very undigested.”


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Measurement in the Middle Ages

Originally, the Imperial system of Measurement was based on that used in the Roman Empire, and during that time, all were standardized. After the collapse of the Empire, the definitions of the measurements began to wander a bit until by the 18th C, they were completely different in different countrys and often different in separate regions of the same country.

Such was the situation in France at the time of the Revolution, and it was the need for a new standard that brought about the introduction of the Metric System. Eventually other countries adopted this new standard as well. It should be noted that in the century since its adoption, the length of the meter has been redefined a number of times until a standard that was based on a real figure could be rationalized (I believe it’s currently something like “the distance that light travels in 1.2 x 10^-9 seconds”).

I’ll define the major units first:

Foot The length of a man’s foot. A measure of length. From town to town, country to country, this measurement could differ, but as a rule a French Pied was equal to 12.8 English inches, while a Spanish Pie was 10.96 English inches
Gallon An English measure of capacity. The imperial gallon contains 27714 cubic inches: the winegallon of 231 cubic inches is the standard in the United States.
Pound A measure of weight and mass derived from the ancient Roman libra (which is equal to 327.25 grams), but this ancient standard has been modified variously over the course of time, and in different countries. The pound consisted originally of 12 ounces, corresponding more or less to that of troy weight. This is still used by goldsmiths and jewellers in stating the weight of gold, silver, and precious stones; but as early as the thirteenth or fourteenth century a pound of sixteen ounces was used for more bulky commodities. This was made a standard for general purposes of trade by Edward III, and known as the pound aveir de peis, i.e. of merchandise of weight, now called avoirdupois, q.v. At other times the pound has varied locally from 12 to 27 ounces, according to the commodity, pounds of different weight being often used in the same place for different articles, as bread, butter, cheese, meat, malt, hay, wool, etc.

  1. A measure of capacity for liquids (also for corn and other dry substances of powdery or granular nature), equal to half a quart or 1/8 of a gallon; of varying content at different times and places.
  2. A vessel holding a definite quantity (usually four ounces), used to receive the blood in blood-letting.
Dram A weight, orig. the ancient Greek drachma; hence, in Apothecaries’ weight, a weight of 60 grains =
1/8 of an ounce; in Avoirdupois weight, of 27.13 grains = 1/16 of an ounce; = drachm
Ell From the Latin “Ulna”. A unit of linear measure equal to 45 inches. The word ell seems to have been variously taken to represent the distance from the elbow or from the shoulder to the wrist or to the finger-tips, while in some cases a “double ell” has superseded the original measure, and has taken its name. English ell = 45 in. Scots = 37.2 in. Flemish = 27 in.
  1. (UK and historically) A unit of linear measure equal to the breadth of a finger, or about 3/4 inch.
  2. (US) A unit of linear measure equal to the length of a finger, or about 4 1/2 inches.
Furlong Originally the distance an Ox could pull a plow before needing to rest, ie., “a furrow long”. As early as the 9th c. it was regarded as the equivalent of the Roman stadium, which was 18 of a Roman mile; and hence furlong has always been used as a name for the eighth part of an English mile, whether this coincided with the agricultural measure so called or not. The present statute furlong is 220 yards, and is equal both to the eighth part of a statute mile, and to the side of a square of 10 statute acres.
  1. A measure for liquids, containing one fourth of a standard pint.
  2. In many districts the gill is equivalent to a half-pint, the quarter-pint being called a jack.
Grain The weight of 1 Barleycorn (or one grain of Barley)
Hand A unit of linear measure, formerly taken as equal to three inches, but now to four; a palm, a  hand-breadth. Now used only in giving the height of horses and the like.
Inch From the Latin “Uncia” (or a twelfth part), an inch is 1/12 Foot. A measure of length. In French, the unit of 1/12 a “foot” is the Pounce. In Spanish, Pulgadas. nb. A 12th of a Pounce is a Ligne, and a 12th of a Pulgadas is a Lignas. English inches are traditionally divided into 12 Lines. English inches are also defined as being the length of “Three good sized barleycorns
placed end to end”.
League An itinerary measure of distance, varying in different countries, but usually estimated roughly at about 3 miles; app. never in regular use in England, but often occurring in poetical or rhetorical statements of distance. Although the league appears never to have been an English measure, leuca occurs somewhat frequently in Anglo-Latin law-books (Bracton, Fleta, etc.); it is disputed whether in these works it means one mile or two.
Mark A denomination of weight formerly employed (chiefly for gold and silver) throughout western Europe; its actual weight varied considerably, but it was usually regarded as equivalent to 8 ounces (= either 23 or 12 of a pound, according to the meaning given to the latter term).
Mile Originally, the Roman lineal measure of 1,000 paces (mille passus or passuum), computed to have been about 1,618 yards. Hence, the unit of measure derived from this, used in the British Isles and in other English-speaking countries. Its length has varied considerably at different periods and in different localities, chiefly owing to the influence of the agricultural system of measures with which the mile has been brought into relation (see furlong). The legal mile in Britain and the U.S. is now 1,760 yards (5280 feet). The Irish mile of 2,240 yards is still in rustic use. The obsolete Scottish mile was longer than the English, and probably varied according to time and place; one of the values given for it is 1,976 yards.
  1. A measure of weight for wool, beef, etc., usually equal to eight pounds =clove
  2. A measure of land.
  3. A measure of length for cloth; 2.14 inches, or the 1/16th part of a yard. “The precise origin of this sense is not clear. The use of the nail in early examples suggests that one sixteenth from the end of the yard-stick may have been marked by a nail.” (OED)
Ounce From the Latin “Uncia” (or a twelfth part), an ounce is 1/12 Pound (or was originally, and is still in “troy” weight). A measurement of weight.
Pace A vague measure of distance with two widely differing definitions:

  1. Historically, the distance between successive stationary positions of the same foot or two “Steps”, or about 5 feet (60 inches).
  2. The distance from where one foot is set down to where the other is set down, or about 2 1/2 feet (30 inches).
Pint A measure of capacity for liquids (also for corn and other dry substances of powdery or granular nature), equal to 1/2 a quart or 1/8 of a gallon; of varying content at different times and places.
  1. English. The pint is equal to 34.66 cubic inches.
  2. (US) The standard pint is that of the old wine measure, equal to 28.78 cubic inches.
  3. The old Scotch pint was equal to about 3 imperial pints (104.2 cubic inches).
  4. In local use also a weight, e.g. of butter in East Anglia = 1 1/4lb.
Pound, Merchantile (16 “Tower” oz.) is different from the Avoirdepois Pound (of 16 Avoirdepois oz), being a ratio of 36 Mercantile Pounds to 35 Avoirdepois Pounds
Pound, Tower (12 “tower” oz.) used as a standard from Ethelred until Henry VIII abolished it in favor of the Troy Pound.
Quart An English measure of capacity, one-fourth of a gallon, or two pints
Sack of Wool Defined by Edward III to be equal to the weight of 26 times the Big Rock used to measure the “Aveir de peis” weight. That specific rock, or “Stone” weighed (at that time 14 pounds) (n.b., a sack of wool was equal in weight to 1/6th a cartload of  lead) or 364 pounds aveir de peis.
Span Generally the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, or sometimes to the tip of the forefinger, when the hand is fully extended; the space equivalent to this taken as a measure of length, averaging nine inches.
Ton, or tun A unit used in measuring the carrying capacity or burden of a ship, the amount of cargo, freight, etc.

  1. Originally, the space occupied by a tun cask of wine.
  2. For the purposes of registered tonnage, the space of 100 cubic feet.
  3. For purposes of freight, usually the space of 40 cubic feet, unless that bulk would weigh more than 20 cwt., in which case freight is charged by weight. But the expression “ton of cargo” is also used with regard to special packages which are conventionally assumed as going so many packages to the ton.
  4. 20 cu feet of timber.
  1. A unit of linear measure equal to equal to 3 feet or 36 inches. Also the corresponding measure of area (square yard = 9 square feet) or of solidity (cubic yard = 27 cubic feet). Also called a Verge.
    NOT to be confused with:
  2. A unit of linear measure equal to 16 1/2 feet or 5 1/2 yards (but varying locally); AKA rod, pole, or perch. Sometimes distinguished as land-yard.


1 Grain (1/7000th Lb Avoirdupois) =0.0648 grams
1 Pennyweight (i.e. the weight of one Anglo-Saxon/Carolingian penny) = 1.3 grams
1 Penny Weight = 1.55 grams
1 Dram (1/16 Oz Avoirdupois) = 1.77 grams
1 Dram (1/8 of an ounce Troy) = 3.89 grams
1 Shilling = 18.67 grams
1 Ore (Anglo-Danish) = 20.8 grams
1 Ore (Anglo-Saxon) = 23.3 grams (or 24.88)
1 “Uncia” = 27.2 grams
1 Ounce (Avoirdupois) = 28.4 grams
1 Ounce (Tower) = 29.2 grams
1 Once (French) = 30.6 grams
1 Ounce (“Scotch Troy”) = 30.8 grams
1 Ounce (Troy) = 31.1 grams
1 “Tron” Ounce (Edinburgh/Scots) = 38.97 grams
1 Mark (determined from the weight of the Anglo-Saxon penny) =166.4 grams
1 Mark (Anglo-Saxon?) = 226.8 grams
1 Mark (French) = 245 grams
1 Pound (determined from the weight of the Anglo-Saxon penny) =312 grams
1 Pound (Italian – low end) = 300 grams
1 Roman Libre (12 Unciae) = 326 grams
1 Pound (12 Tower Ounces) = 349.9 grams
1 Pound (Italian – high end) = 350 grams
1 “Livre de Charlemagne” (12 Onces) = 367.5 grams
1 Pound (12 Troy Ounces) = 373.25 grams
1 Pound (16 Avoirdupois Ounces) = 453.6 grams
1 Pound (Hapsburg? low end) = 459 grams
1 Pound (Mercantile; 16 Tower Oz.) = 466.6 grams
1 Pound (Hapsburg? high end) = 469 grams
1 Livre (French; 16 Onces) = 490 grams
1 Pound (“Scotch”; 16 “Troy Oz”) = 493.1 grams
1 Pound (“Dutch”; 16 Troy Ounces) = 497.6 grams
1 Pfund (Modern) = 500 grams
1 ? Pound (1/100 Hundredweight) = 508 grams
1 Pint (East Anglia) =567 grams
1 “Tron” Pound (Edinburgh/Scots) = 623.5 grams
1 Mark (English) = 746.6 grams
1 Clove (7 pounds Avoirdupois) = 3175.2 grams (3.2 kg)
1 Nail or Clove (8 pounds Avoirdupois) =3628.8 grams (3.6 kg)
1 Stone (12 Mercantile (listed in 1303)) = 5599.2 grams (5.6 kg)
1 Stone (14 pounds Avoirdupois) = 6350.4 grams (6.4 kg)
1 “Quarter” weight = 12700.4 grams (12.7 kg)
1 Fotmal (72 lbs Avoirdupois) = 32659.2 grams (32.7 kg)
1 (“Quarter Sack”) = 41277.6 grams (41.3 kg)
1 “Hundredweight” = 50803.2 grams (50.8 kg)
1 Sack (???) = 163296 grams (163 kg)
1 Sack (Wool) = 165110 grams (165 kg)
1 Ton (2000 lbs Avoirdupois) = 907200 grams (907 kg)
1 “Cartload of lead” = 979776 grams (980 kg)
1 “Ton” (2240 lbs Avoirdupois) = 1016064 grams (1016 kg)


  • Jones, Stacy V. Weights and Measures: An Informal Guide. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1963.
  • Woolhouse, Wesley Stoker Barker. Historical, Measures, Weights, Calendars & Moneys of All Nations and an Analysis of the Christian, Hebrew and Muhammadan Calendars (with Tables up to 2000 A.D.). Chicago: Ares Publishers, 1979.
  • Zupko, Ronald Edward. A Dictionary of English Weights and Measures: From Anglo-Saxon Times to the Nineteenth Century. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968.
  • Zupko, Ronald Edward. French Weights and Measures before the Revolution a Dictionary of Provincial and Local Units. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.
  • Zupko, Ronald Edward. Italian Weights and Measures from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, 145. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1981.
  • Zupko, Ronald Edward. A Dictionary of Weights and Measures for the British Isles the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, 168. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1985.
  • Zupko, Ronald Edward. Revolution in Measurement Western European Weights and Measures since the Age of Science Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, 186. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1990.
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Annoying tempting similarities

riot162You know you are spending too much time on a topic when you start seeing things.

This young man kindly took his time out from shooting, looting and burning to have his picture taken in front of the ruins of the Dreamland Theater on Greenwood, late morning of 1 June 1921.

The more I look at him, the more I think he looks like this guy:


This would be Fred Barker, youngest son of the Barker Family, one of the founders of the Barker-Karpis gang in the early 1930s.  Fred was 19 and a half in June, 1921.  He and his brothers were members of the Central Park Gang in Tulsa.  He was first imprisoned in 1927 for burglary.  After teaming up with Karpis in 1930, he escalated to bank robbery, kidnapping, and murder.

The annoying part is that Fred was actually in Tulsa during the riot and could well have been involved.

Sadly, no way to prove it.

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Tales of the Gold Monkey

One of the things I like to research is internal continuity of series (television, literary, what have you).  Recently I ran across a set of Tales of the Gold Monkey episodes.  If you are unfamiliar with this series, it was a fun bit that aired in the 1983-84 TV season on ABC.  It was created and produced by Donald P. Bellisario, who also brought us Magnum P.I., Quantum Leap, Airwolf, JAG, First Monday, and NCIS.  I should note that as I am about to be dissecting a Bellisario production for internal continuity, I should note that he is also the namesake of Bellisario’s Maxim ( ), which can be shortened to ‘don’t sweat the details; it’s just a TV show.’

That being said, I will say that if you worry about such things as historical accuracy and internal continuity Gold Monkey is a seriously fun program but it’s also a hot mess internally.  So, if you don’t care, move on.  If you might be interested, let me present the

TIME LINE of the Tales of the Gold Monkey
Compiled by I. Marc Carlson

Since all of this information came from other sources, I really don’t feel like I can copyright it. Feel free to use it as you wish. If you like the occasional hypothesis herein all I ask is that you remember where you got it.

Note on sources:

The sources used for this were the episodes, and

Those items marked with an (*) are conjectural, based on the information on hand, and may be further explained by a description in brackets. An item marked by an asterisk within the brackets with the text indicates something constructed with the information on hand, as well as guesswork.  Italics indicate real world information.

The dates are predicated initially on those two various sets founds in the series bible described on, and trying to find a workable marriage.


  • 25th of ?  Jake Cutter was born the bastard son of a famous aviation pioneer who by 1938 owned a large aircraft corporation in San Diego, and taught at Cornell.   His father never acknowledged him.  His mother, deceased, was a famous Broadway actress. He has an aunt, Nellie.


  •  Jake discovers the novels of Adventurer and Pilot Heywood Floyd.


  • Jake attended Cornell.  His father was a teacher there.


  • Jake was engaged to Elizabeth, a beautiful East Coast socialite whose parents stopped the wedding when they discovered Jake’s parentage.


  • Jake played Double A Baseball for the Duluth Dukes until his arm froze up.


  • Jake joined the Army and flew for the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He is taught to fly by Robby Harrington and his daughter Brigit.


  • Jake flew the airmail for the Army all around the States and particularly in the Alleghenies.  During this period Jake and Brigit went to Mozambique.  Jake may have acquired Jack the Dog about this time, since Jack knows Brigit.


  • After leaving the army, Jake went barnstorming and flying cargo mostly in Central and South America.


  • Jack may have been born about this time, depending on the sources.


  • *Pan Pacific Clipper Service began in South America [Pan Am Clipper Service began.  Pan Pacific is a stand in for Pan Am]


  • Jake was a Clipper Co-pilot and Pilot, mostly in South America.


  • Met Corky, best mechanic for Pan Am. [The episode says 1935]
  • Ferried Llamas from Lima to La Paz with Corky.
  • At some point Corky was sick in Natal.


  • May  P-36 Hawk first flown.


  • Jake bought Jack’s eye for a couple of hundred dollars when flying gold out of Peru.
  • July  Spanish Civil War Begins.


  • July The Spanish Civil War begins.
  • Jake flew for the Republicans in Spain.  [Ok, this is the first of the major issues in the timeline.  The XV International Brigade, the “Abraham Lincoln Brigade” was formed in January 1937, and this would badly overlap the time Jake is known to have been in China.  So clearly he served as a mercenary much earlier in 1936.]
  • October. Clipper Service across the Pacific occurs.  [Based on Pan Am.]


  • In Cairo, Professor White is killed.
  • *February/March  Jake and Corky start flying for the Tigers in China.  Jake was possibly recruited from the Spanish Republicans.  They flew in China for the Tigers with Randall McGraw and Gandy Dancer among others.  [Clearly the Chinese invaded earlier in this universe (as well as several planes were used earlier). Jake was over Chunking in December, and elsewhere they discuss having lost 7 pilots (including Whitaker, Lindstrom, Martinelli, Burns) in 11 months.]
  • *May [Presumably this is about when Jake and Corky saw a man-eating tiger in Djakarta during the monsoon, which usually takes place in May in Indonesia.]
  • May 29  The first flight of the prototype Grumman G-21 Goose.
  • July  Japanese invade China in our world.
  • August  Chenault serves as an advisor to the Chinese in our world.
  • Jake and the Tigers fight the Japanese over Shanghai
  • Randall McGraw almost got Jake killed over Nanking. (In our world, the Nanking Massacre is December 1937)
  • December  Fighting Japanese over Chunking.
  • Over the Youn Lou Highland, Jake is attacked by two ‘Zekes’, and becomes an Ace.  He’s credited with five Japanese aircraft and two probables.


  • *December/January  Jake was badly wounded (hit in the leg over Nankow [Nankow Pass is north of Beijing]) and sent back to Hawaii to recover. On the way, he and Corky heard of a Grumman Goose that had crashed in the Solomon’s while being ferried to Australia from Hawaii. They found it, claimed salvage, and repaired it.  They also say they paid $5000 for it, but that may just have been repair costs.


  •  Jake, Corky and Jack are in Boragora in the French Marivellas.
  • March  James Kramer started with the Tigers
  • April  Ferrying nuns to a Leper Colony.
  • *June?  Pilot – Sarah Stipney White arrives in the Marivellas.  The adventure to Baku, searching for the Golden Monkey cast by the Tsing-Tsing monks.  A volcanic eruption.
  • *June?  Shanghaied – Corky is kidnapped and meets Mud People.
  • *June?  Black Pearl—The Nazis are trying to build an atomic bomb near Trou Dans la Mer.  Johnny Kimbel, US Agent appears.
  • *July?  Legends Are Forever –Gandy Dancer searches for King Solomon’s Mines in the South Pacific. Fortunately there are Watusis.
  • July 14  Ape Boy—On the way to a Bastille Day celebration, Jake, et al, crash on Bokatari and find a boy raised by apes.
  • *July?  Escape from Death Island—In prison.
  • *August?  Trunk from the Past—A trunk arrives for Sarah, and it turns out there is an ancient Egyptian Cult in the Marivellas.
  • *August?  Once a Tiger—Meet up with two Tigers and a Cargo Cult.
  • *August?  Honor Thy Brother—Jake is hunted by a Japanese fighter pilot.
  • *September?  The Lady and the Tiger—Amish on a Japanese Held island.
  • *September?  The Sultan of Swat—Baseball in the Marivellas.
  • *September?  God Save the Queen—An attempt to blow up the luxury liner, the Queen Victoria.
  • *October? High Stakes Lady—More Spies.
  • *October? Force of Habit—Brigit returns as a nun.
  • *October? Cooked Goose—Honeymoon kidnapping.
  • October P-40 Warhawk is first flown.
  • November  The Late Sarah White—Sarah’s been in the Philippines for a month.  The date is mentioned.
  • *November? Last Chance Louie—Louie is convicted for murder.
  • *November? Naka Jima Kill—Someone tries to assassinate the Japanese Defense Minister
  • *December? Boragora or Bust—Platinum rush on BoraGora.
  • *December? Mourning Becomes Matuka—Murder of Princess Koji.
  • *December? A Distant Shout of Thunder—Volcano on BoraGora.
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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. ?






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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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