E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A shoemaker. St. Crispin was a shoemaker, and was therefore chosen for the patron saint of the craft. It is said that two brothers, Crispin and Crispian, born in Rome, went to Soissons, in France (A.D. 303), to propagate the Christian religion, and maintained themselves wholly by making and mending shoes. Probably the tale is fabulous, for crepis is Greek for a shoe, Latin crepid-a, and St. Crepis or Crepid became Crepin and Crespin.
St. Crispins Day. October 25th, the day of the battle of Agincourt. Shakespeare makes Crispin Crispian one person, and not two brothers. Hence Henry V. says to his soldiers
And Crispin Crispian shall neer go by
But we in it shall be remembered.
Shakespeare: Henry V., iv. 3.
St. Crispins holiday. Every Monday, with those who begin the working week on Tuesday; a no-work day with shoe-makers. (See CRISPIN.)
St. Crispins lance. A shoemakers awl. In French, Lance de St. Crépin. Crispin is the patron saint of shoemakers.
The French argot for a leather purse is une crépine.