Saints Crispin and Crispinian (or Crispianus)

The CRIPPEN - CRIPPIN Connection - Contents


The Dictionary of British Surnames by P.H. Reaney and R.M. Wilson identifies two likely origins of the names CRIPPEN & CRIPPIN, these are:

CRISPIN. The patron saint of shoemakers, martyred at Soissons, France c285 AD.

St Crispin’s Day is 25th October

CRISPINUS. The Latin for the nickname ‘curly’ haired.

This gives some background to Saints Crispin and Crispinian (or Crispianus).

These martyrs are particularly venerated at Soissons in France, where there was a church in their honour in the sixth century. Their legend, which is very late and quite worthless, says that they were missionaries from Rome in the third century that preached the gospel at Soissons, where they earned their living as shoemakers and were eventually martyred. The truth may well be that they were Roman martyrs whose relics were brought to Soissons and enshrined there. Crispin and Crispinian are the traditional patron saints of shoemakers and other workers in leather, and this ascription has not been wholly forgotten in England, either in the trade or more generally. A local tradition of unknown origin says that they fled from persecution to Faversham in Kent, England, where formerly there was an altar bearing their name in the parish church. Their emblem in art is a shoe or a last.

The Faversham Society has published a Paper entitled The Faversham Legends of Crispin and Crispianus, Princes and Saints, as told by Thomas Deloney in The Gentle Craft and Leslie Smith in Stories of Faversham. The Paper, number 73 was published in 1999 and is edited by Arthur Percival.

For more information see the web-site

Completely revised December 2001, this page was last updated Saturday, January 05, 2002.

 © John Crippen, 2001, 2002

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