IN June, 1895, an Exhibition of Boots and Shoes was held in the Cordwainers’ Hall, and excited very considerable interest. It was in consequence of the success of this Exhibition that I was induced to write the following treatise on a subject concerning which little has been written, but which possesses strong elements of interest even for the casual students of history and of antiquities.
In appealing to these casual students I feel that I am addressing a large section of the reading public, but while trusting that they will find much to repay their perusal of my work, I believe that it will prove specially useful to those who are able, and who require, to give more time to studying old-time ways and fashions, such as Antiquarians, Historians, Artists, and Directors of Museums, Libraries, and Schools of Art. If the present treatise assists such men in their endeavours to add to the wealth and knowledge of the nation, I shall feel fully repaid for the long and careful thought and research which I have devoted to my subject.
In conclusion, I tender my warm thanks to the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers for permission to undertake this work, Messrs. C. L. Layers-Smith (Past-Master of the Cordwainers’ Company), F. W. East (from whose excellent photographs of many objects in the Antique Section of the 1895 Exhibition, the plates which illustrate the text are produced), W. Greig, W. Box Kingham, C. Purdon Clarke, D. J. Hile, and to many others for their kind and valuable assistance in collecting various items of interest.
N.B.—Since this book .was written, and before it was through the press, the sad event of the author’s death occurred, and if any source of information has not been acknowledged, his wife, who took the deepest interest in the work throughout its whole course, trusts that this circumstance will be received as an explanation and apology.