Crispin, Gilbert

, abbot of Westminster in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, was born in Normandy, of a considerable family, and educated in the monastery of Bee, under Lanfranc, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, who was then prior of that convent, and taught the liberal arts with great reputation. In this seminary Crispin became a monk, under Anselm, who was at that time abbot. He was much esteemed by both these eminent men, the former of whom, after his advancement to the see of Canterbury, sent for him to England, and made him abbot of St. Peter’s, Westminster, and Lanfranc parted with him reluctantly, and continued to correspond with him as long as he lived. Crispin was abbot of Westminster thirty-two years, during which he was sent on different embassies by king Henry I. Leland says, that he was some time at Rome, probably on some ecclesiastical errand. He died in 1117, and was buried in the south part of the great cloisters. Leland, Bale, and Pits, who give him the character of a very learned and pious ecclesiastic, attribute a great many works in divinity to him, of which we know of one only that was published, “De fide ecclesise, contra Judasos,Cologne, 1537, and Paris, 1678, with Anselm’s works. This was occasioned by a disputation which he held with a very learned Jew at Mentz, whose arguments, with his own, he drew up in the form of a dialogue. 1


Leland. Bale. Pits. Tanner.