In 1643 Margaret Van der Schure (Jasper) married (Admiral Sir) William Penn (1621-1670). Seven years later, c1650, Margaret Penn’s sister, Anne, married Captain William Crispin.
Like the Penn family, William Crispin (c1610-1681/2) was a merchant; captaining his own ship as he plied international trade, including importing wool from Holland.
During the period of the English Revolution (1640-49) he was a ship’s purser on a number of vessels. He is also reported as being a soldier under Cromwell and rose to be Captain of the Guard. In 1652, during the Commonwealth period, he was appointed command of the Hope.
Under Admiral Penn he became a naval captain and later sailed under the Admiral’s command in attacks on, firstly, the Dutch (1643-44) when he commanded the Assistance (180 men, 40 guns) and then, commanding the “Laurel” ( 160 seamen, 30 soldiers and 40 guns), on the Spanish in the Caribbean as part of Cromwell’s ‘Western Design’
Like Admiral Penn, Captain Crispin was in favour of the return of the Monarchy and conspired against the Cromwellian republican government.
At the time of the Restoration he was living in the important, English-occupied, Irish port of Kinsale ~ probable to be near and work in association with Admiral Penn. He later lived in Kilrush, County Clare, in close association with Admiral Penn, for some 20 years. He may well have been an administrator of English ‘justice’ in the county ~ certainly he will have been awarded for his previous Royalist sympathies and activities. There is no mention that he became a Quaker while in Ireland – though it is an outside possibility.
Captain Crispin died in Barbados en route to be a Commissioner in Pennsylvania (one of three originally appointed) which was the property of the Admiral’s son, the Quaker, William Penn. He was to work with William Penn’s cousin, William Markham, who was the Deputy-Govenor of the colony. Specifically the Commissioners were to negotiate with Native Americans for land to build the city of Philadelphia.
Penn also intended Crispin to act as a Chief Justice in the province:
“London, 18th 8th mo. 1681.
Cosen Markham :
“… I have sent my Cosen, William Crispin, to be thy Assistant, as by Commission will appear. His Skill, Experience, Industry & Integrity are well known to me, & perticulerly in court-keeping &c ; so that it is my will & pleasure that he be as Chief Justice, to keep the Seal, the Courts & Sessions ; & he shall be accountable to me for it. The proffits redounding are to his proper behoof. He will show thee my Instructions, which will guide you all in the business. The rest is left to your discretion ; that is, to thee, thy two Assistants & the Counsel. . . . Pray be very respectfull to my Cosen Crispin. He is a man my father had great confidence in and value for. . . .
The Captain was one of the first purchasers of land in Pennsylvania – buying some 5,000 acres. When Crispin died Penn gifted these lands and the rights to city lots in Philadelphia to Crispin’s nine children.
Following the death of her husband, Anne stayed in Ireland with her younger children for seven years.
As relations, by marriage, to William Penn, the Crispins became involved in the establishment of the Pennsylvania colony ~ as landowners and administrators.