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22 August 2014
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Legacies - Northants

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Myths and Legends
Boot workers
© David Hall and Cyril Putt
Boots on the march

Daniel Defoe wrote that an Englishman’s shoes were "from Northampton for all; the poorest countryman and the master". The town’s once great claim that it made footwear for the world, came about for a number of reasons.

In medieval times, Northampton had major political importance, a prosperous market and good communications. The River Nene, that runs virtually the length of the county, provided water and lush meadows for grazing cattle for leather but, most important of all, the county had a long tradition of tanning. Hides were readily available and the vast areas of oak woods provided bark. There was also a willing and capable workforce. By the 1580s, shoemaking had emerged as Northampton’s main trade. More...

Words: David Saint

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Your comments

1 Graham Bandy from Northampton - 16 January 2004
"When I was a child my father related to me a local tale that he had heard from his family and around where he was born (Coton). It was maintained that after her defeat by the Romans, Boudicca committed suicide and was buried in Whittlebury forest. I have not heard this tale from anyone else. Is it just a family legend, or has any one else heard it? "

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