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William Crispin (1751-1828)


William Crispin (1751-1828) joined HMS Adventure on 24 June, 1772, as carpenter’s mate, and appears as number 116 on the muster roll.  He joined at Plymouth from HMS Centaur.  Serving in Adventure, Crispin does not feature in Cook’s narrative.  He had a successful naval career and by 1794 he was carpenter in HMS Queen, a 2nd rate, at the Battle of the Glorious First of June.  In 1798, he was carpenter on HMS Royal Sovereign, a 1st rate.

William Crispin; Ship's name: HMS Royal Sovereign; Pay book number: SB 622;   Rank: Carpenter; Relation: Wife Susannah; When Alloted: 1797.1


On 5 December, 1803, William was classed as “a superannuated carpenter of a first rate”.  Another document states:

William Crispin; Rank: Carpenter; Born: [Not Given]; Age on entry: [Not Given];   Dates served: 15 May 1779-31 March 1803.2


William Crispin was baptised on 29 December, 1751, at St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich.  His parents, Benjamin Crispin (1717-1798) and Elizabeth Ansell (1712-1798), had married on 10 May, 1740, at St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich.  William married Susanna Mackay (1757-1831) on 16 March 1775 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.


The Crispins had three children, William, Susannah and Benjamin Hugh.  The first died young.  Susannah (1784-1841) married John Simpson, a Royal Navy lieutenant, on 28 October, 1804, at Northwood, Hampshire.  They had 13 children.  


Benjamin Hugh Crispin (1776-1836) was baptised on 25 December, 1776, at Woolwich.  He joined the Royal Navy becoming a post-captain in 1813.  He married Elizabeth White (1776-1831) on 15 April, 1797, at Alverstoke, Hampshire.  They had 15 children, and the family settled at Lulworth in Dorset.  One of their sons, William Crispin (1802-1865) also joined the navy becoming commander of the Royal Steam Yacht Victoria and Albert in 1844.  In 1842 he married Caroline Ferrand but, sadly, she died in 1846 giving birth to twin daughters, Victoria and Albertine.  Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were affected by the mother’s death and acted as sponsors for the two girls, giving each of them a large christening cup.


William Crispin, Adventure’s carpenter, was buried on 17 October, 1828, at St. Alphage, Greenwich.  He had been living in Deptford.  His will was proven on 25 October, 1828, by his widow, Susanna.3  She died in 1831, aged 74, and was buried at St. Alphage, Greenwich.


John Robson



  1. ADM 27/2/188 1797-1798.  Held at The National Archives (TNA), Kew. 
  2. ADM 29/1/133 1802-1814.  TNA.
  3. PROB 11/1746.  TNA.


Originally published in Cook's Log, page 23, volume 37, number 2 (2014).


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Isla, thank you for your message, it is nice to know that there are direct descendants.
By Cliff Thornton on 9/20/2017 9:37:56 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Maiden name Crispin Direct descendant
By Isla jones on 9/19/2017 11:25:19 AM Like:0 DisLike:0

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