This interesting and unusual name, with variant spellings Crispe, Chrisp, Crips, Chrippes and Scripps, derives from the Olde English pre-7th Century word "crisp, cryps", from the Latin "crispus", meaning curly or the curly-haired one, or from the Old French "crespe", curled. Crisp may also be a short form of Crispin, a short form of "Crispinus", the name of the patron saint of shoemakers who was martyred at Soissons, circa 285, from the Latin "crispus" as above. The surname first appears in records in the early 11th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Henry le Cresp, circa 1200, recorded in Early London Personal Names; Walter Crips, 1273, recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire; and one Richard Crysp mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275. John Marten Cripps (died 1853), an interesting namebearer, was educated at Cambridge, he travelled over Europe and the near East and Naturalised Kohl-rabi, a Russien vegetable. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Benedictus Crispus, which was dated circa 1030, in "Old English Bynames", during the reign of Canute the Dane, Ruler of England, 1016 - 1035. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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