The surname of CRESPO was a baptismal name 'the son of Crispian', an early font name which was originally derived from the Latin CRISPINUS and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. This name was especially popular in France in the Middle Ages, having been borne by Saint Crispin (martyred in 287). According to legend, under the reign of Diocletian he fled from Rome, with his brother St. Crispinian, and worked as a shoemaker in Soissons, while striving to spread Christianity. He and his brother suffered martyrdom in 287, by being thrown into molten lead. Their feast day is 25th October. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Other records of the name mention Milo filius Crispini, 1273, County Oxford. William Crispin was documented in County Wiltshire in the year 1272. Peter Crispin, County Norfolk, ibid and Thomas Crispin appears in County Lancashire in the year 1379. A later instance of the name includes John Bedwell and Jane Crispen who were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1721. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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