CREWE, Sir Clippesby (1599-1649), of Crewe Hall, Barthomley, Cheshire and St. Margaret's, Westminster; later of Lincoln's Inn Fields, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 4 Sept. 1599, 1st s. of (Sir) Ranulphe Crewe* of Crewe Hall and Westminster by his 1st w. Julian, da. of John Clippesby of Clippesby, Norf.1 educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1619; L. Inn 1619; Padua 1620.2 m. 7 July 1625,3 Jane (d. 2 Dec. 1639), da. of Sir John Pulteney* of Misterton, Leics., 2s. 2da. (1 d.v.p.).4 kntd. 18 June 1620;5 suc. fa. 1646.6 d. Jan. 1649.7

Offices Held

Commr. array, Cheshire 1642.8


Crewe received a gentlemanly but unsettled education. Already aged 20 when he entered university, he left Cambridge within a few months for Lincoln’s Inn, where he spent barely a year. In June 1620, three days before he was knighted, he was licensed for three years’ travel on the Continent, and in the following November he enrolled in Padua University, though whether for study or to avoid the censure of the local Catholic authorities is unknown.9

Crewe’s election for Downton to the 1624 and 1625 Parliaments was probably the work of the borough’s principal patron, the 3rd earl of Pembroke, who certainly nominated him at Callington in 1626. However, it is unclear whether he was in the earl’s service or was relying on contacts generated by his father’s prominence in the judiciary.10 He made no recorded speeches in any of these three Parliaments, and received only three nominations, two to legislative committees concerned with wool exports (27 June 1625) and scandalous ministers (15 Feb. 1626), and one to a conference with the Lords about lenient royal treatment of recusants (8 Aug. 1625).11

Little has been ascertained about Crewe’s career outside Parliament. Judging from the baptismal records of his children, he resided primarily with his father in Cheshire and Westminster.12 His virtual exclusion from local office may be explained by Sir Ranulphe’s longevity and the prolonged period of disgrace which followed the latter’s dismissal as lord chief justice in 1626. In July 1632 Crewe was licensed to go abroad for three years, but, assuming he actually went, had returned to England by April 1634, when he received another pass, this time for one year.13 He crossed the Channel again in January 1644, apparently touring Normandy for several weeks.14 This trip came immediately after the royalist capture and ransacking of Crewe Hall in December 1643. The damage caused had been only partially rectified when Crewe inherited the Hall and its contents in January 1646, for in October 1645 his father noted that ‘the plate and furniture is much impaired’ and advised him to ‘keep the little that is left’. Crewe inherited properties in Cheshire, Norfolk and Warwickshire, but as he did not also get Sir Ranulphe’s Westminster home, he leased a house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He drew up his will on 13 Apr. 1647. Much of his property was evidently entailed on his heir John, and he had already transferred manors in Norfolk and Leicestershire to his younger son, Ranulphe. He now bequeathed £500 and his London home to his daughter Anne, who had married a younger son of the 2nd earl of Winchilsea (Sir Thomas Finch*), and left over £400 to other relatives and servants. In addition, he set aside £400 to erect a monument to his father at Barthomley. Crewe died in January 1649, and at his own request was buried near his wife’s grave in Westminster Abbey on 3 February.15 Crewe’s great-grandson, John, sat for Cheshire in the early eighteenth century.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Henry Lancaster / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. G. Ormerod, Hist. Cheshire, iii. pt. 1, p. 314; PROB 11/196, ff. 100, 101v.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; LI Admiss.; H.F. Brown, Inglesi e Scozzesi all’Università di Padova, 144.
  • 3. Memorials of St. Margaret’s, Westminster, 332.
  • 4. Ormerod, iii. pt. 1, p. 314.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 175.
  • 6. Ormerod, iii. pt. 1, p. 314.
  • 7. Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xciii), 31.
  • 8. Northants. RO, FH 133.
  • 9. APC, 1619-21, p. 222; Brown, 144.
  • 10. V.A. Rowe, ‘Influence of the Earls of Pembroke on Parl. Elections’, EHR, l. 244; SP16/523/77.
  • 11. Procs. 1625, pp. 252, 422; Procs. 1626, ii. 44.
  • 12. Ormerod, iii. pt. 1, p. 314.
  • 13. PC2/42, p. 158; 2/43, p. 578.
  • 14. Add. 28010, ff. 55-8v.
  • 15. Ormerod, iii. pt. 1, 312; PROB 11/196, ff. 100v-1v; 11/207, ff. 298v-300; Regs. Westminster Abbey ed. J. Chester, 142.