This is an English surname of great antiquity. Recording in various spellings including Crispe, Chrisp, Crips, Chrippes and Scripps, the derivation is either from the Olde English pre7th century word "cryps", itself from the original Roman Latin "crispus", or possibly from the Old French "crespe", both meaning curly haired. As Crisp the surname may also be a form of Crispin, from Crispinus, the name of the patron saint of shoemakers who was martyred at Soissons, in the year 285, although the origin of the name remains the same. The surname is first recorded in the early 11th Century (see below), and other examples from the same period include: Henry le Cresp, in the lists of London in the year 1235, Walter Crips, rcorded in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire in 1273 and Richard Crysp in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275. John Marten Cripps (1790 - 1853) was educated at Cambridge University. He travelled over much of Europe and the near East, and introduced Kohl-rabi, a Russian vegetable to the British market. 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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