1) CRISPIN WAS BORN IN LONDON 10 December 1354. His family estate was in Sheen, just up the Thames in a place later called Richmond, near King Richard’s favorite estates. King Richard’s first beloved wife, Ann of Bohemia, died there and he was so heartbroken, he burned the palace to the ground. Crispin is aged 30 when the series begins.
2) CRISPIN HAS GRAY EYES AND BLACK HAIR. He is also clean-shaven, though many other men chose beard and mustache in that period. He just likes it better.
3) HIS FATHER WAS HENRY AND HIS MOTHER JOHANNA. He had two brothers—Henry and Robert—but both died before he was born. He had a younger sister, Katherine, but she died when he was 7.
4) HIS MOTHER DIED FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS when he was six years old. He was there and held her hand as she died. He doesn’t remember much of her. He doesn’t remember much of his father either, who died in battle and was frequently off to war or pilgrimage. He was raised in John of Gaunt’s household from age 7 on.
5) CRISPIN WAS BETROTHED to Rosamunde St. Albans, but the betrothal was broken off when he was dispossessed of his title and lands.
6) CRISPIN’S FIRST CHILDHOOD MEMORY is hiding under the table when the servants hung the Advent greenery. He was 3.
7) CRISPIN’S JOBS: From aged 7 to 14 he was a page for John of Gaunt. A squire for the duke from 14 to 18, and a knight and baron from aged 18 to 23, when he committed treason and lost his title, lands, and wealth. Once he was released from prison and allowed to live in London, he became a gong farmer (cleaning out the public privies), a hencheman for a rich lord, a scribe, and finally on his own as the Tracker. He began this last in 1380.
8) HE MET GILBERT AND ELEANOR LANGTON not long after being let loose in London. They took him in and helped him make his way. They got him the lodgings on the Shambles.
9) CRISPIN FIRST MET JACK TUCKER when the 11-year-old was caught stealing from Crispin at the Boar’s Tusk.
10) CRISPIN’S DEEPEST SECRET is that he doesn’t believe he deserves God’s protection. He feels he failed and dishonored himself when he committed treason.