Fay Sampson’s Family History
This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)
THOMAS CRISPE (14)
THOMAS CRISPE. We owe our knowledge of Sarah Crispe’s father to the happy accident that two Crispe children were baptised on the same day. The baptismal register of St Clement, Sandwich did not normally record the parent’s name in the 16th century. In this case, it was necessary to distinguish between Sarah, daughter of Thomas Crispe, and John, son of William Crispe. We have no such help with the baptisms of other Crispe children.
We have not found a suitable baptism for Thomas. Since he could have been fathering children as early as 1567, he may have been born before 1538, when parish registers were instituted by Henry VIII.
There was a burial of Thomas Crispe at St Clement’s on 14 Nov 1564. He may well be the father of this younger Thomas Crispe.
William Crispe, whose son was baptised on the same day as Sarah, is probably his brother.
Though the River Stour is now silted up, Sandwich was one of the original five Cinque Ports. These were instituted at least as early as 1100. Their purpose was to maintain ships for the use of the Crown. In return, they received exemption from taxes and tolls, with the right to levy tolls of their own and to punish and execute certain criminals. This freedom led to smuggling becoming one of the dominant industries.
We have not been successful in finding Thomas’s marriage. It probably took place in the 1560s.
In 1561, shortly before Thomas married, Elizabeth I granted permission for Protestant workers from the Low Countries to settle in England to escape religious persecution. So many chose to live in Sandwich that they outnumbered the English population. There were at least 2,400 Flemish and 500 Walloon exiles living there in the 16th century.
They brought with them skills in silk manufacture and market gardening. It was they who made celery popular in England. They also brought with them Flemish building techniques, observable in many Sandwich houses.
Flemish Houses, Market Place, Sandwich 
There were three parish churches in Sandwich: St Clement, St Peter and St Mary the Virgin. Since Sarah was baptised at St Clement’s we should expect other children of Thomas to be baptised there also. But we have no way of distinguishing which of these baptisms were children of Thomas and which of William Crispe.
The St Clement’s baptisms for children who may be Thomas’s are as follows.
Baptisms. St Clement, Sandwich.
1566/7 Feb 17 Thomas
1569 May 29 Henry
1571 Sep 30 Sarah
1574 Apr 28 Nicholas
What happened after that is unclear. We have not found a burial for an adult Thomas Crispe. This is not unusual in early records. Even when parish registers have survived, pages may be missing, mutilated or illegible. Or the 16th century handwriting may be mistranscribed.
There are burials at St Clement’s, one of which may be Thomas’s wife.
Burials. St Clement, Sandwich.
1581/2 Feb 17 Widdow Crispe
1595/6 Jan 14 Katherine Crispe widow
1621 Jun 9 Margret Crispe
NEXT GENERATION: 13. BEERE-CRISPE