This statue is located on Watling Street in the ward known as Cordwainer, named after the shoemakers who worked in this area. There’s a difference between a cordwainer and a cobbler, as the former makes shoes and the latter fixes shoes. The word is from the French ‘cordewaner’, meaning shoemaker, which is derived from the Spanish town of Córdoba in Andalusia whether the leather used in shoemaking was often from.
The statue was commissioned in 2002 by the Ward of Cordwainer Club to mark their centenary. Initially, the statue was placed in the churchyard of St Mary le Bow, but was moved to its current location a couple of years later. The statue is located near to the site of the Livery Hall of the Cordwainers’ Company, where there were six successive halls from 1440 until 1941. When the hall was destroyed in the London Blitz, a decision was made by the company that they wouldn’t construct another. The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers still exists, but they’re primarily a charitable organisation, with some members being descendants of shoe-makers and some working in the industry today. One of their charitable efforts in recent years was a bike ride from Córdoba, where their name began, to London.