Further comparison of tools mentioned in texts

This page last updated 13 April 2005

Thomas Dekker. "The Shoemaker's Holiday" 1598/9 Deloney, Thomas. The Gentle Craft. London: John Stafford, 1648. (Excerpt) Originally published c.1600. Rowley, William. A Shoo-Maker a Gentleman London:  I. Okes, 1638.
Bold Red Letters indicate something that was not in the later list Blue letters indicate something that was not in the earlier list.  

Act II, Scene III.  

Eyre: "Call the quean up: if my men want shoe-thread, I'll swing her in a stirrup."
Firk: "Yet, that's but a dry beating; here's still sign of drought."
Firk: "Master, for my life, yonder's a brother of the gentle craft; if he bear not Saint Hugh's bones, I'll forfeit my bones..."
Firk: "If Saint Hugh's bones shall not be set a-work, I may prick mine awl in the walls and go play."
Firk: "And hark you, sko-maker, have you all your good tools, a good rubbing-pin, a good stopper, a good dresser, your four sorts of awls, and your two balls of wax, your paring knife, your hand- and thumb- leathers, and good Saint Hugh's Bones to smooth up your work?"
Eyre: Hear ye, friend, have ye any skill in the mystery of cordwainers?"
Firk: "...Ho, boy, bring him an heel-block, here's a new journeyman."

Act III, Scene V.

  The First Three-Men's Song.
  Enter Hodge, Hans, Ralph, Firk and other Shoemakers, in a morris...


To this motion euery one gaue his consent, so that the same night Saint Hughes bones were taken down, and the same being brought before a sort of shoomakers, there they gaue their opinion; That it was necessary to fulfill the will of the dead, and to take those bones in as good a part, as if they were worth ten thousand pounds; whereupon one stept out, and thus did say.

My friends, I pray you list to me,
And mark what S.
Hughes bones shall be.

First a Drawer and a Dresser,
two wedges, a more and a lesser:
A pretty block three inches high,
in fashion squared like a Die,
Which shall be called by proper name,
Heel-block, the very same.
Hand-leather and a Thumb-leather likewise,
to pull out
shoo-threed we must deuise;
Needle and the Thimble,
    shall not be left alone,
Pincers and the pricking Aule,
    and the
rubbing stone.
Aule steele and tackes,
Sow-haires beside,
Stirrop holding fast,
    while we sowe the Cow-hide,
whetstone, the stopping-stick,
    and the
paring knife:
All this doth belong
    to a Journeymans life,
Apron is the Shrine,
    to wrap these bones in:

Thus shrowded we Saint
gentle Lambs skin.


Now all you good Yeomen of the Gentle Craft, tell me now (quoth he) how like you this?

As well (replyed they) as Saint George doth of his horse, for as long as we can see him fight with the Dragon, we will neuer part from this Posie.

And it shall be concluded, that what Iourney-man soeuer he be hereafter, that cannot handle his Sword and buckler, his long sword or a Quarter-staffe, sound the Trumpet, or a play vpon the Flute, and bear his part in a three mans Song, and readily reckon vp his Tools in Rime: except he haue born Colours in the field, being a Lieutenant, a Sergeant or Corporall, shall forfeit and pay a pottle of Wine, or be counted for a colt: to which they answered all viua voce, Content content; and then after many merry songs, they departed. And neuer after did they trauell without these tools on their backs: which euer since were called Saint Hughes bones.


Act 4, Scene ?.
Raph.: I, but which of our tooles shall we call so?
Barnaby: Marry, even all fellow Raph, all the tooles we worke with: as for example, the Drawer, Dresser, Wedges, Heele-block, hand and thumb-lethers, shooe-thrids, Pincers, pricking-aule, and a rubbing-stone, Aule, Steele, and Tacks, shooe-hairs, and Stirrups, whetstone, and stopping stick, Apron and Paring-knife, all these are Sir Hughs bones, Now sir, whatsoever he be, that is a Gentleman of the Gentle Craft, and has not all these at his fingers ends, to reckon them up in Rime, shall presently up with him and strapado his bum.
AH: An everlasting Law renowned Barnaby.
Barnaby: Nay, heare me since like a Swan or a Sowter: Furthermore, if any Journey-man shall travel without these tools, now call'd St. Hughs at his back, and cannot slash, cut or crack coxcombes, with brave Sword and Buckler, long sword and quarter-staffe, sound a trumpet or play the flute, ' or  beare his parte in a three-man song, he shall forfeit a Gallon of wine, and be counted as a Colt as long as his shooes are made of running lether : Speake, is't agreed on?
ALL: Agree, Agree, Agree
Barnaby: Wee'le take up the body then.
Raph.: Ile have a leg of him.
1.: And I another.
2.: And I another,
3: And Ile help thee Raph.

With reverence and with silence then: For as we have made these Lawes in remembrance of him, so it shall not be a misse to make it the sweeter, to reckon up our tooles and put them in meeter, and instead of a Deirge, I think it fit time and reason to reckon Sir Hughs bones in Rime:
Drawer first, and then the Dresser, Wedges and Heeleblocks, greater and lesser; Yet tis not worth two Gander's feathers, Unlesse you have the hand and thumb-lethers: Then comes your short-heeles, Needle and Thimble,
pincers and pricking Aule, so neate and nimble:
Rubbing stone next, with the Aule, Steel and Tacks,
Which often will hold when the shooe-leather cracks:
Stirrup, Stopping Stick, with good Sow-haires Whet-stone, and cutting knife, which sharply pares:
And lastly, to clap Saint Hughs bones in
Apron that's made of a jolly sheepes skin,
and thus to all Shooemakers we bid adieu
with tryumph to bury the famous St. Hugh.