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I just found out... (Lighthearted thread!)

(30 Posts)
lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 10:54:59

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing? On a recent visit to the Town Hall in a nearby market town, I was fascinated by the many Guild shields on the walls depicting the local occupations from times gone by. Along with the ones we all recognise, e.g. Carpenters, Butchers, Skinners, Tanners etc. the shield for the Guild of Cordwainers was up there. I had never heard of Cordwainers (although I'm sure people from Leicestershire and Northamptonshire will be rolling their eyes!) but they were shoemakers and made new shoes from new leather, as opposed to Cobblers, who originally only repaired shoes.

Fascinating!

What have you found out lately, that you didn't know before? (Please, no cheating partners!)

Chewbacca Sun 20-Sep-20 10:57:07

I didn't know what a cooper was until I visited the Liverpool Maritime museum a while ago. blush

FannyCornforth Sun 20-Sep-20 10:59:03

Cordwainers sound like something Rambling Sid Rumpo would sing about.
I'm having a think now...

FannyCornforth Sun 20-Sep-20 11:02:17

I feel very stupid about this, but I only learnt a couple of days ago that cows udders are only visible when the have calves or are used for milking.
My garden backs onto a field full of cows and I've lived here twenty years.

lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 11:20:03

Well, FannyCornforth, I believe the answer lies in the soil...

merlotgran Sun 20-Sep-20 11:23:36

Are you sure they're not bullocks, FannyC? grin

lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 11:34:10

So many common surnames were also represented in those shields, too, because these jobs, traditionally, were only done by men. Other occupations up there were Cooper, Fletcher, Brewer, Tailor, Fuller, Carpenter, Butcher, Skinner, Tanner etc. I've never met or heard of anyone with the surname Cordwainer or Cobbler! As far as I know, there's no surname 'Spinster' since that job was only done by unmarried women.

BlueSky Sun 20-Sep-20 11:51:09

FannyCornforth I didn't know who your name sake was, in fact I believed you made it up! And I thought I was well educated! blush

lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 13:35:20

More proof of the wonder of the internet, BlueSky, as I just looked up Fanny Cornforth too. What a complicated life!

fiorentina51 Sun 20-Sep-20 13:41:38

I didn't know you could eat fuchsia berries until my daughter informed me. Tried one the other day, they taste a bit like cherries.

Anniebach Sun 20-Sep-20 13:49:22

In our Cathedral one of the side Chapels is called ‘The Cordwainers Chapel ,

lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 14:00:20

Brilliant, Anniebach! There are pockets of shoemaker history around England and now one (at least) in Wales. 😊

SueDonim Sun 20-Sep-20 14:00:22

I have a friend whose surname is Cordiner, which I guess might derive from Cordwainer.

Elegran Sun 20-Sep-20 14:19:26

lizzypopbottle Female occupational surnames include Brewster (female brewer) , and Baxter (female baker) Brewing and baking were originally women's work, like spinning (Can she brew and can she bake, Billy boy, Billy boy?")

welbeck Sun 20-Sep-20 14:33:33

i think the word bride came from the one who brews and bakes.
brewing was necessary to make water potable .
i believe cordwainer is related to cordoba in spain, where the leather came from.
i learnt this from the entry plate to a hosp ward, years ago, before they changed them all to, "2W, 3E, 4S, 5N" etc

cavewoman Sun 20-Sep-20 14:33:39

According to the 1851 census my GGG Grandfather was a cordwainer.
In 1861 he was listed as a bootmaker.

He couldn't have been that good though as he used the services of another bootmaker. In our local newspaper archives it was reported that he'd taken his rival to court for making him a pair of boots one boot being half inch shorter than the other.

annodomini Sun 20-Sep-20 15:06:30

Talking of shoemakers. In what seems like another life, I was supposed to teach day release students 'communication skills'. One group was comprised of 'basic boot and shoe operatives' who informed me that they were 'skivers'. I told them that was nothing to boast about, but they informed me that 'skiving' was a process in shoe-making. I always learnt something new from those students!

JackyB Sun 20-Sep-20 17:43:03

Lizzypopbottle says

I've never met or heard of anyone with the surname Cordwainer or Cobbler!

I wonder if James Corden's name originates from it.

lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 18:04:50

Thanks for all the surname snippets 😊

annep1 Sun 20-Sep-20 19:40:56

You will not believe this. And I promise you I am educated. I asked my husband today why the sun looks the same but isn't as warm now. He said because we're further away. That sounds logical.😩
I also found out that the ozone layer is only 30km above. (Radio Times quiz).

annep1 Sun 20-Sep-20 19:41:56

Wrong facehmm

mokryna Mon 21-Sep-20 08:16:08

SueDonim

I have a friend whose surname is Cordiner, which I guess might derive from Cordwainer.

Cordier could come from the French corde and maybe came over after 1066. My French physiotherapist had the same name.

Anniebach Mon 21-Sep-20 10:29:32

I did a search and reported in the Western Mail newspaper
was an article on the Cordwainers annual pilgrimage to the
Cathedral, this was 1936.

WOODMOUSE49 Mon 21-Sep-20 10:34:29

I did local studies as part of my degree. On a walk around a village I went in search of the Chandler's House after finding out that chandler was a person who makes or sells candles and sometimes other items of tallow or wax.

Spangler Mon 21-Sep-20 11:01:24

lizzypopbottle Sun 20-Sep-20 10:54:59
I had never heard of Cordwainers (although I'm sure people from Leicestershire and Northamptonshire will be rolling their eyes!) but they were shoemakers and made new shoes from new leather, as opposed to Cobblers, who originally only repaired shoes.

It was a long time before I found out that a costermonger was a fruit seller. Costermonger has such a dubious ring to it.

An Alnager was a onetime officer in England whose duty it was to inspect and attest the measure and quality of woollen cloth. A sort of early weights & measures.

If you have a fence that is shrubbery and you need it pruning, you might employ a company with the name hayward in their title. A hayward was a fence and hedge inspector.

A lapidary is an artist or artisan who forms stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems, and faceted designs.

A wig maker was known as a peruker.