The father of angling, Izaak Walton (1593–1683). Angling is called “the gentle craft”; shoemaking was also so called. Probably there is a pun concealed in the first of these; a common bait of anglers being a “gentle.” In the second case, St. Crispin was a Roman gentleman of high birth, and his craftsmen took from him their title of “gentle” (generosi).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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