Crispin and Crispinian are the Christian patron saints of
cobblers, curriers, tanners, and leather workers. They were beheaded
during the reign of Diocletian; the date of their execution is given
25 October 285 or 286.
3 Popular culture
4 See also
6 External links
Born to a noble Roman family in the 3rd century AD, Saints Crispin and
Crispinian fled persecution for their faith, ending up at Soissons,
where they preached
Christianity to the
Gauls whilst making shoes by
night. While it is stated that they were twin brothers, that has not
been positively proved.
They earned enough by their trade to support themselves and also to
aid the poor. Their success attracted the ire of Rictus Varus,
governor of Belgic Gaul, who had them tortured and thrown into the
river with millstones around their necks. Though they survived, they
were beheaded by the Emperor c. 285-286.
An alternative account gives them to be sons of a noble Romano-Briton
family who lived in Canterbury, following their father's murder for
displeasing the Roman Emperor. As they were approaching maturity their
mother sent them to London to seek apprenticeship and to avoid coming
to the attention of their father's killer. Travelling there, the
brothers came across a shoemaker's workshop at
Faversham and decided
to travel no further and stayed in Faversham. This account fails to
explain how the brothers came to be venerated and martyred.
The feast day of Saints
Crispin and Crispinian is 25 October.
Although this feast was removed from the Roman Catholic Church's
universal liturgical calendar following the Second Vatican Council,
the two saints are still commemorated on that day in the most recent
edition of the Roman Church's martyrology.
In the sixth century a stately basilica was erected at
the graves of these saints, and St. Eligius, a famous goldsmith, made
a costly shrine for the head of St. Crispinian.
Crispin and Crispinian are often associated with the Battle of
Agincourt since the battle was fought on their feastday. It has been
immortalised by Shakespeare's
St. Crispin's Day Speech from his play
Henry V. Also, for the Midsummer's Day Festival in the third act of
Wagner has the shoemakers' guild enter singing a
song of praise to St. Crispin.
A plaque at
Faversham commemorates their association with the town.
They are also commemorated in the name of the old pub "Crispin and
Crispianus" at Strood.
St Crispin Street Fair
St. Crispin's Day Speech
Daughters of St. Crispin
Order of the Knights of St. Crispin
City livery companies
^ a b Meier, Gabriel. "Sts. Crispin and Crispinian." The Catholic
Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 14 Mar.
^ See: Arnold Hugh Martin Jones; John Robert Martindale; J. Morris
(1971). The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: V. 1 A.D.
260-395. I.. Cambridge University Press. p. 766.
ISBN 978-0-521-07233-5. "He is most probably a fictitious
character since there was no persecution of Christians in N. Gaul;
this area was subject to the Caesar Constantius."
^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Crispin and Crispinian".
Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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