The shoemaker is so anxious to make every penny he can out of his trade that he even denies his wife a new pair of shoes. Some other husbands tend to be equally selfish. As the other proverb says: The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.
But who is wurs shod, than the shoemakers wyfe, With shops full of newe shapen shoes all hir lyfe?
[1546 J. Heywood Dialogue of Proverbs i. xi. E1V]
The Shoe-maker’s wife often goes in ragged shoes. ‥ Although there had been a [Methodist] Society begun here by Mr. Whitfield, yet‥the people of Gloucester are not much the better for having had so great a Prophet born amongst them.
[1773 R. Graves Spiritual Quixote I. iii. ii.]