A shoemaker. St. Crispin was a shoemaker, and was therefore
chosen for the patron saint of the craft. It is said that two brothers,
Crispin and Crispian, born in Rome, went to Soissons, in France (A.D.
303), to propagate the Christian religion, and maintained themselves
wholly by making and mending shoes. Probably the tale is fabulous, for
crepis is Greek for a shoe, Latin crepid-a, and St. Crepis
or Crepid became Crepin and Crespin.
St. Crispin's Day.
October 25th, the day of the battle of Agincourt. Shakespeare makes
Crispin Crispian one person, and not two brothers. Hence Henry V. says
to his soldiers—
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by ...
But we in it shall be remembered.
Shakespeare: Henry V., iv. 3.
St. Crispin's holiday.
Every Monday, with those who begin the working week on Tuesday; a
no-work day with shoemakers. (See Crispin.)
St. Crispin's lance.
A shoemaker's awl. In French, “Lance de St. Crépin.” Crispin
is the patron saint of shoemakers.
The French argot for a leather purse is une crépine.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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