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The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Cordwainers were workers in fine leather; the Company gets its name from "cordwain" (cordovan), the white leather produced from goatskin in Cordova, Spain. All fine leather makers, including Girdlers and Glovers, were originally classified as cordwainers; however, the term eventually came to refer only to fine leather footwear, including boots.

Worshipful Company of Cordwainers
MottoCorio et Arte
Locationc/o Clothworkers' Hall, Dunster Court,
Mincing Lane,
London EC3R 7AH
Date of formation1272
Company associationLeather industries
Order of precedence27th
Master of companyPatrick Peal

The Cordwainers' Company, which received the right to regulate City trade in 1272 (the same year as the Curriers), obtained a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1439. The status of the Company as a trade association has lessened over the years;[1] the Company is now, as are most other Livery Companies, a charitable body. Other leather-linked Livery Companies, which enjoy close relations with the Cordwainers include not only the Curriers, but the Leathersellers, Saddlers and Tallow Chandlers Companies too.

The Company ranks twenty-seventh in the order of precedence of Livery Companies and is the highest ranked one without its own Livery Hall. The Company's motto is Corio et Arte, Latin for Leather and Art.

The livery hall of the Cordwainers, Cordwainers' Hall, stood near St. Paul's Churchyard from 1316 until its destruction in the London blitz in 1941.[2]


  1. ^ City Livery Companies
  2. ^ John Kennedy Melling (2003). London's Guilds and Liveries. Osprey Publishing. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-0-7478-0559-5.

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