As a nine-year old midshipman Crispo escaped the sinking of the Royal George 100 on 29 August 1782 by swimming to a nearby vessel, and at the resultant court martial into the loss of the ship he was lifted on to a table by a member of the court to give his evidence.
He was commissioned lieutenant on 30 December 1790, and from the following year commanded the schooner Alert 4 which ran the post between Halifax and New York. This commission ended when she was wrecked on St. John’s Island, now known as Prince Edward Island, whilst in passage from Quebec to Halifax on 8 July 1791.
Crispo commanded the cutter Telemachus on the Channel station during 1796, bringing news of Captain Sir William Sidney Smith’s capture by the French on 18 April to the Admiralty, and taking two small enemy privateers, the Margueritta and Requin in the same year.
He was promoted commander on 20 January 1797 and recommissioned the troop ship Resource 28 en-flute at Woolwich in July. This vessel sadly lost ten men including the captain of marines and the purser when a boat foundered in the Downs during October 1799. She later saw service in the Egyptian campaign which saw troops landed on 8 March 1801.
In the spring of 1808 Crispo commissioned the Danish prize Little Belt 18, going out to Africa and the West Indies, and during the summer of 1809 he served in North American waters. He left this vessel after he was posted captain on 21 October 1810 and did not enjoy any further employment.
Crispo died in 1841.
His son, John William, entered the navy and died with the rank of lieutenant in 1757.