About This Object
These leather straps were part of a wooden shoe patten, and would have been used to strap the shoe into place. Pattens are protective overshoes that were worn outdoors over a normal shoe. They elevated the foot above the mud and dirt of the street, in a period when road and urban paving was minimal. By the 18th and 19th centuries, men’s shoes had thicker soles and the wealthier gentlemen tended to wear riding boots, and thus pattens were worn only by women and working-class men in outdoor occupations. Its presence on a warship is unexplained, but might indicate that one of the sailors had been a cobbler before embarking and had been practicing his trade in his spare time.