Shoemakers and Cordwainers

One of the most intriguing (and as yet unsolved) mysteries in the Society history is why so many of the early members had a job/profession as a bootmaker, shoemaker or cordwainer. “Saddlers, glaziers, barbers and weavers were members of the Norwich Florists’ Society in the 1750s. Shoemakers seemed to predominate in the Wakefield Tulip Society,  founded in 1835 ”  (The Tulip – Anna Pavord)

It is understandable that John Gill (Snr) and his sons John, Tom and George should follow the same profession. Similarly living as their close neighbour provides a good reason for William Mellor.“The Wakefield growers included an extraordinary number of shoemakers, such as the brothers Tom and George Gill and William Mellor of Nettle Lane” (The Tulip – Anna Pavord)

However what about Isaac Parker, James Parker, Mark Blackburn and Charles Dews (he lived in Ossett) to mention just four others.

Nothing is known about how these members operated in their working life.
Did they make shoes to order or speculatively?
If the latter, how did they sell their products?
How and where did they buy their leather and other raw  materials?
Did these sons of Crispin meet together apart from their flower show days, perhaps on the day of Saint Crispin their patron saint?

Click on the pictures below to see relevant adverts from newspapers of the period

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