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750 years of shoemaking

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One of the oldest livery companies in the City of London

Cordwainers are shoemakers, originally highly skilled craftsmen who used the finest goatskin leather from Cordoba in Spain. The Company’s roots date back to 1272, and the first Charter in 1439 licensed Cordwainers to control the shoe trade within the City of London. Today, the Cordwainers have a strong charitable ethos and our primary focus is to nurture young talent in the fashion and shoemaking industries.

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‘Give someone the right shoes and they can conquer the world.’

We are proud to promote and support footwear education and the British footwear industry.

We provide scholarships, bursaries and prizes to outstanding students at a number of universities and colleges. In doing this we continue to promote the profile of footwear education and the shoe industry in the UK.

We are immensely proud that the annual Cordwainers Footwear Awards provide a focus for new design talent and enable the brightest and best student footwear designers to share their work with a wide audience of footwear professionals.



The focus of the Company’s charitable giving is on charities and partners with whom we have established strong links over many years.

We fund a number of charities according to the wishes of our original benefactors, those related to our trade and those with which we have historic connections.

They include the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), the Royal Free Hospital, ‘C’  (City of London) Company of the Army Reserve of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, as well as social housing projects.

In addition, our members wholeheartedly embrace the Company’s ethos of ‘doing good and having fun’ by taking part in and supporting a wide range of fundraising activities.


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