gentle craft



(the) gentle craft (plural not attested)

  1. (archaic) Shoemaking; the trade of a cobbler.
    • 1845, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Nuremberg" in The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems:
      Here Hans Sachs, the cobbler-poet, laureate of the gentle craft, Wisest of the Twelve Wise Masters, in huge folios sang and laughed.
  2. (archaic) Fishing; angling.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, chapter 20, in A Tale of Two Cities:
      Another fisherman was picked up here—and that so silently, that if Young Jerry had been superstitious, he might have supposed the second follower of the gentle craft to have, all of a sudden, split himself into two.
    • 1892, W. H. Hudson, chapter 20, in Fan: The Story of a Young Girl's Life:
      [O]n Sundays he went fishing, being devoted to the gentle craft.
    • 1904, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, chapter 28, in The House by the Church Yard:
      Dangerfield was of good Colonel Venables' mind, that 'tis well in the lover of the gentle craft to associate himself with some honest, expert angler, who will freely and candidly communicate his skill unto him.