The Proprietors of the Northern Neck
Just before it cuts through the chalk of the North Downs to drain the
Weald of Kent into the estuary of the Thames, the river Medway is fed at the shire town,
Maidstone, by a westward flowing stream called the Len. The narrow valley of this stream
separates the Downs from the parallel ridge of Lower Greensand (known locally as 'the
Quarry,' because it is the site of the beds of limestone which are worked as 'Kentish
Rag') and so opens to the traveller the most ancient of the trade routes leading inland
from the English channel. 33
On the orchard-clad slopes of the upper end of this valley lies the
hundred of Eyhorne, made up of the parishes of Harrietsham, Hollingbourne, Bromfield and
Leeds; including, with the manors from which the parishes took their names, those of
Greenway Court and Elnorthing.
During 'great Eliza's days' most of these lands were, and long had been,
vested in the St. Legers of Ulcombe; but the protracted and uncompensated Irish service of
those stalwart soldiers gradually wore down their fortunes until they were compelled to
sell their Kentish lands manor by manor. In that process the St. Legers were steadily
superseded by the Wigsell Culpepers. It was a succession, characteristic of the beginning
of the seventeenth century, of men of the robe to men of the sword.
Having acquired the St. Leger lands in the Len valley, and finding them
good, the Culpepers abandoned their long inherited seats of Wigsell and Lossenham
concentrated their family life on their new acquisitions. Their monuments and records
which survive in Hollingbourne show how they were justified in this decision: for by
persistent intermarriage with the neighbouring territorial families of Pordage of
Rodmersham; Stede of Harrietsham; Cage of Bersted; Wyat of Boxley; Filmer of East Sutton;
Harlakenden of Woodchurch; Clarke of Wrotham; Scott of Scots-hall; and with the St. Legers
themselves, they became, during the flowering period of their history which we have now
reached, the locally dominant factors of the part of Kent in which their ancestors first
made their appearance as simple retainers of a lord of Leeds Castle.
The opportunity to accomplish this was created by one of William10
XI. Francis Culpeper (William10
of Wigsell), 1538-1591, of Greenway Court, was named in his father's will
(1559) as 'ffraunces Culpeper, my second son,' after he had already begun his career.
Entered at Winchester School at the age of 13, he secured, in 1553, an appointment
as a Scholar on the foundation, being recorded of 'Hunton, Kent' (Kirby, Winchester
Scholars, 1888, p. 132). Thence he went on as an approved Wykhamist to New College,
Oxford, where he was in residence from 1558-60 on a scholarship of that foundation.
But, unlike his younger brother Martin, who thus far had emulated his career, Francis now
abandoned the shades of Academe and, as the New College record has it, resigned his
scholarship, and 'contulit se ad studium juris regni.'
He may have betaken himself to Clements Inn, where his eldest son later
pursued preliminary law studies, but Francis11 is not himself enrolled as a
member of any one of the Inns of Court, nor is there other record that he followed a
professional career; indeed, there is nothing more to testify for him at all until, in his
thirty-fourth year, he took up his residence in Kent in the vicinity of the Hunton manor
house of his boyhood.
The baptism of his second son (1573) and the burial of his first wife
(1574) at Harrietsham indicate that it was in 1572 that he inaugurated his family's
landholding in the Len valley, by purchasing from his 'cousin,' Sir Warham St. Leger, the
manor of Greenway Court.34
There he maintained his residence for twenty years, and thence he was buried, in
Hollingbourne, June 1, 1591, as 'ffraunces Culpeper, generos.' His youngest son
subsequently erected for him and his second wife the first of the Culpeper M.I.'s in
Hollingbourne church, as follows:
'Franciscus Culpeper de Greeneway Court Ar(miger) Filius S(e)c(un)dus
Willemi de Wigsell, et Joanna uxor ejus, Filia Joh(ann) is Pordage de Rodmersham,
Ar(miger), expectant hic adventum D(omi) ni et properari orant. Ille. ultimo Maij A. D.
1591, aetat 53, Illa, xxmo Martij A. D. 1597 aetat 60, in coelum rediit. Exiguum. hoc
officii et amoris ergo posuit Thomas unicus iis communis filius; et eorum piae et integrae
vitae memoria suae, et suis exemplar vivat precatur.'
His will dated
May 20, 1590, and proved November 22, 1591.
He m. 1st, 1567? Philippa, 'dau. and heir of . . . of Hinckstead.
The christian name appears from her burial at Harrietsham, July 7, 1574,
as 'Philippa, uxor Francisci Culpep'.' The description quoted above is that given in one
of the Rowe More Kentish pedigrees (B. M. Add. MS. 5528, fo. 176). No other
identification has appeared.
and by her had
i John (1568-1607) of Folkington, co. Sussex.
He matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, November 18, 1586, as 'of Kent, aged
17' (Foster) ; and was described in his father's inq. p. m., October, 1591, as 'son
and next heir, of the age of 23 years and more.' On March 12, 1593/4, he was admitted to
the Middle Temple as 'Mr. John Culpeper, late of Clements Inne [was he a contemporary of
justice Shallow?35], gent.,
son and heir of Francis C., late of Hollingbourne, Esq., deceased' (Hopwood, i, 339). By
his will (P.C.C. Windebank, 30) proved in 1607, he styled himself 'of Fogington.'
By his wife, who was a Scott of Seven Oaks (an aunt of that George Scott who was a
diligent 'private member' of the Virginia Company to its end. Cf. Brown, Genesis,
ii, 996) and with whom he had Folkington, he left issue which persisted for three
generations and became extinct in 1693 with John Culpeper of Riverhead in Seven Oaks, co.
Kent. For this family see the pedigree of 'Culpeper of Fogington,' recorded at the
Visitation of Sussex, 1633-34; the wills P.C.C. Coke, 136; Duke, 130; and Coker,
100; and the case of Culpeper v. Wigg, 1679, in Chancery Reports temp.
ii Walter, 1573-1595, o.s.p.
He was baptized in Harrietsham, November 2, 1573, as 'Walterus filius Francisci
Culpep'; and is named both in his father's will and in that of his father's widow, the
latter indicating that he was living in March, 1594/5. The visitation pedigrees enter him
as 'slayne in Holland,' and it seems likely that he died fighting under Sir Francis Vere,
perhaps in the wild foray on Crudenburg on August 22, 1595 (See Markham, The Fighting
2d, Joan, 1574, dau. of John Pordage of Rodmersham, co. Kent, and widow of William
Stede of Harrietsham.
For Pordage of Rodmershain (near Sittingbourne and only a few miles north of Greenway
Court) see Hasted, ii, 593; The Genealogist, vi, 76. For Stede of Harrietsham, with
whom the Wigsell Culpepers several times intermarried in consequence of this alliance of
Francis11, see the pedigree returned at the Visitation of Kent, 1619 (Harl.
Soc. Pub., xlii, 71) and Berry's continuation in his Kent. One of these Stedes,
whose mother was a Culpeper, served in America as Governor of Barbados.
Joan Pordage was buried in Hollingbourne, April 7, 1598, as Joane Culpeper, vidua' and
left a will, which combines
genealogical material of the Stedes and Culpepers:
Canterbury Consistory, 38: 168.
Will dated March 8, 37 Eliz. 
Proved May 9, 1598.
Joan Colpeper of Hollingbourne, co. Kent, widow. To
bur. in parish church of Hollingborne. Goods to my son William Steed of Harrietsham, Kent,
Esqe. he to be exor. £100 to purchase £25 a year lands for poor of prsh. of Harietsharn
& Hollingborne. To my son [in-law] William Covert, Esq. £10 for poor of Leedes &
Bromfield. To each of my sons & daurs. children 20s. Rings, to my son [in-law] William
Covert and his wife, to my son [in-law] Richard Colepeper [i. e., her second husband's
younger brother Richard11, who m. 1589, Jane Stede, her daughter by the first
bed] & his wife, to my son Thomas Colepeper, to my son [in-law] Edward Partridge &
to my daur. Susanna, to my [step] son Walter Colpeper, my son Steed & my daur. his
wife. To Joan Cotinge £3.6.8. at 25. To my servant Jane Borredge 20s. To good wife Peeter
20s. To rest of servants, 3s. 4d. apiece. Rest of goods to my son Thomas Colpeper at 24. Witns.
William Covert, Thomas Culpepper [i. e. Thomas11 of Wilmington].
As to lands, manor of Greenway Court & all my lands in
Hollingborne & Harrietsham to my son Thomas Colpeper for 2 years from my death,
according to power given me by my husband Francis Colpeper by his will. Witns.
William Steede [her son], John Colpeper [i. e., John11 of Wigsell].
Probatum by William Steede, exor.]
and by her had
iii Sir Thomas (1575-1661) of Hollingbourne, of whom presently.
XII. Sir Thomas Culpeper (Francis11
of Greenway Court) 1575-1661, of Hollingbourne, called 'the elder.' He was
baptized in Harrietsham, December 8, 1575, as 'Thomas, filius Francisci Culpep'. On
October 15, 1591, he matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, 'aged 16' (Foster) ; and on May
15, 1594, was entered at the Middle Temple as 'Mr. Thomas, third son of Francis Culpeper,
late of Hollingbourne, Kent, esq., deceased' (Hopwood, i, 343). He commenced parliamentman
soon after he came of age, and is shown by the Official Returns of M. P.s 1878 to
have been successively burgess for Rye (1597), Winchelsea (1601), Chippenham, co. Wilts
(1614), and Tewkesbury, co. Glouc. (1628). He was knighted by James I, September 19, 1619
(Nichols, Progresses of James I, iii, 568). In 1621 he presented to parliament, and
subsequently published, a Tract against the high rate of Usurie in which be argued
for a reduction of the legal rate of interest from 10% to 7% (D. N. B. re-issue, v,:287;
Wood, Athenae Oxon, iii, 533, where his parliamentary activities are confused with
those of the first Lord Culpeper). This tract, supplemented by a similar argument by
Francis Bacon in 1625, resulted in the act of 21 Jac. I, c. 17, reducing the rate of
interest to 8%: but he kept up the fight for 6% and reprinted his tract in 1642 (It was
subsequently reprinted also in 1668, both by his son and as an appendix to Sir Josiah
Child's well known Discourse on Trade; and in 1754 was translated into French). For
these public services Cambridge University created him M.,A. in March, 1635/6 (Venn, i,
Having by his marriage greatly enhanced his paternal estate, in 1623 he purchased from
his cousin Sir John, later first Lord Culpeper, the ancestral seat of Wigsell and settled
it upon his eldest son, Cheney; and in 1632 purchased Leeds Castle also, and settled it
upon his two surviving sons in tail male.
During the Troubles he 'stood for his King' and while 'never in arms' was deemed by the
Parliament a malignant; and, despite the interest of his eldest son, was required to
compound for his estate, paying on April 30, 1646, the large fine of £1318 (Cal.
Committee for Compounding, ii, 1235, 1289). The last record of him is a
petition to the Crown immediately after the Restoration for a lease of the profits of a
sinecure post 'to him and his youngest son, to repair the ruin of his family by their
loyalty' (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-66, p. 143, where this petition, being
undated, is doubtfully attributed to 1665. The reference to the 'youngest son' is evidence
that the petitioner was Sir Thomas 'the elder' and so the petition must have been made
before his death in January, 1661/2).
After his wife's death he rebuilt and dedicated to his family an ancient chapel at, the
east end of the north aisle of Hollingbourne Church, which he embellished with monuments.
There he was buried January 27, 1661/2 (recorded in the parish register as 'Sir Thomas
Culpeper, Knight') but although he had composed MI.'s for all his family, there was none
to perform that office for him. His
P. C. C. Laud, 16.
Will dated January 15, 1661/2.
Proved February 8, 1661/2.
Sir Thomas Culpepper of Hollingbourne, Kent, Knight.
To be buried in the vault under the Aisle at Hollingbourne. My youngest son Thomas C. to
be executor, and to him in fee all my lands and goods.
Witnesses, Ralph Freke, Will. Stede, Stephen Symmons.
Proved by Thomas C. son and executor.
He m. 1600 Elizabeth (1582-1638), dau. of John Cheney of Guestling, co. Sussex.
She was the heiress of the junior branch of the ancient family of Cheney of Shurland,
co. Kent, for which see Suckling, Suffolk, i, 104 Horsfield, Sussex, 468; Fuller,
Worthies, i, 525; Cave-Brown, Story of Hollingbourne.
She was buried in Hollingbourne Church, October 30, 1638, as 'Elizabeth, the virtuous
Lady of Tho. Culpeper, Knight and there her husband erected the notable tomb which, with
its recumbent effigy, emblazonment of arms and elaborate MI. is, to the genealogist, one
of the most satisfactory of such records extant. That MI. is as follows:
Elizabeth uxor Thomae Culpeper, Militis, Filia unica et haeres Johannis Cheney de
Gestlinge, in Comit. Sussex, Ar (miger) 27 die Octobris Anno D(omi)ni 1638, aetat 56, in
Coelum rediit Optima Foemina, vere pia, fidem operibus manifestans, magni ingenii et
cogenitionis plusquam muliebris, omnium virtutum cultrix studiosissima, humilitatis
admiratrix; Optima Conjux, Optima Mater, cujus eximiae virtutis memoriam hoc quoque exili
amoris pignore semper lugens maritus suis commendat.
Beata haec foemina marito suo peperit filios tres; Cheney primo, genitus, qui
Elizabeth-am Johannis Stede de Harrietsham Militis filiam uxorem duxit; Franciscum, qui
juvenis obiit; Thomam natu minimum: filias octo, Paulinam natu maximam, Gualtero
Harlackenden, de Woodchurch, Armigero nuptam; Elizabetham quae mitis et modesta Virgo
obiit; Juditham, Johanni Culpeper, Militi, Cancellario et Sub-Thesaurario Scaccarii et
serenissimo Regi Carolo a Consiliis Prevents; Joannam Gulielmo Cage de Bersted Ar (migero)
; Ceciliam Radulpho Freke de Allington in Thornham Ar(migero) ; Mariam Gulielmo Clarke de
Wrotham Ar(migero) Franciscam Gulielmo Freke de Hannington, Ar(migero), nuptas, et
Philippam natu mimmarn Elizabethae moribus et morte sororern et consortem; quae matris in
aegritudine Londini famulans quinto post die in Coelum secuta est.
and by her had
i Sir Cheney, 1601-1663, of Leeds Castle, o.s.p.m.s.
He was baptized in Hollingbourne, July 15, 1601, as 'Cheanye, filius Thomae Culpeper;'
matric. at Hart Hall, November 6, 1619, 'aged 17' (Foster) ; admitted to the Middle
Temple, May 7, 1621, as 'only son' of his father (Hopwood, ii, 662). When he came of age
in 1623 his father purchased Wigsell for him from Sir John13, afterwards first
Lord Culpeper (Close Roll 21, Jac. I, pt. 26). Knighted by Charles I, September 8. 1628,
at Farnham (Metcalfe, p. 189), on July 9, 1629, he was sent to the Hague to carry a letter
of condolence to the Queen of Bohemia on the death of her eldest son (Cal. State
Papers, Dom. 1629-31, pp. 7, 509).
In October, 1632, he m., in London, his cousin Elizabeth, dau. of Sir John Stede of
Harrietsham (the marriage license read 'The Rt. Worshipful Sir Cheney Culpeper, Kt. bach.,
28, and Mrs. Elizabeth Steede, spr., 18, her parents being dead, consent by Lady Steede,
her mother-in-law, and Dr. Steede, her uncle,' Harl. Soc. Pubs., xxiii, .208; xxvi,
308). His first three children were baptised in Harrietsham.
During the Troubles, alone of his family, he adhered to the Commonwealth. On October
21, 1651, the Council of State voted to restore Leeds Castle to him as 'the proprietor, a
gentleman well affected to us' (Cal. State Papers, Commonwealth, xvi, 589).
Meanwhile, in August, 1650, he had been appointed one of the Commissioners for regulating
Trade, and in June, 1659, served also on the Commission for the Militia of the City of
Westminster (Acts and Ordinances of the Interegnum, 1642-1660, ed. Firth, ii, 403,
1290). Although during the remainder of his life he was known as 'of Leeds Castle' (e. g.,
on the pedigree of his daughter's husband 'Cage of Bersted,' returned at the Visitation of
Kent, 1663), he was ruined by the Restoration, and when he died in 1663, without a will,
his estate was administered by his creditors (P.C.C. Admon. Act Book, 1663, and
again, 1691, d.b.n.). He was buried in the Temple Church 'at the entrance into the
north isle the second of April, 1663 (Inderwick, Inner Temple Records, iii, 445).
His widow survived until 1674, when her will (P.C.C. Bunce, 74) was proved.
His only son, Thomas, was baptised in Harrietsham, March 9, 1636/7, and buried in
Hollingbourne on February 8, 1637/8. He had also four dau. of whom the youngest m. her
cousin german, Sir William Cage of Bersted.
ii Paulina, 1603?-1625, m. 1617 Walter Harlakenden (1603-1628) of Harlakenden in
Woodchurch, co. Kent.
She was not baptised either in Harrietsham or Hollingbourne and so perhaps was born in
London. Her first appearance is, therefore, in her mar. lic. at Canterbury, June 14, 1617,
'Walter Harlackenden of Funstall and Paulina C. of Hollingbourne, virgo. at Hollingbourne
or elsewhere in dioc. Cant.' The Hollingbourne register records the m. June 16, 1617,
'Mr. Walter Harlaccenden, generosus, and Pelina Collepeper;' the baptism October 4, 1624,
of 'Thomas, the s. of Walter Harlackenden, Gent.;' and the burials, November 26, 1625, of
'Paulina, the wife of Mr. Walter Haerlackenden, ' and December 20, 1628, of 'Walter
While owning property in Kent, the Harlakendens were a family long established in
Essex. See their full pedigree in Topographer and Genealogist, i, 228, 395; ii,
215, where it appears that it was the son of Paulina Culpeper, whose baptism is recited
above, who (as noted infra) m. Philippa, dau. of the first Lord Culpeper by his
iii Elizabeth, 1605?-1626, unmarried.
She was 'the meek and modest virgin' of her mother's MI., and was buried in
Hollingbourne, September 10, 1626, as 'Elizabeth Culpeper.'
iv Judith, 1606-post 1651, m. 1631 Sir John Culpeper, later first Lord Culpeper, of
She was the first of her family to be baptised in Hollingbourne, June 1, 1606, as
'Judethe Colepeper, filia Thome Colepeper, gener.'
v Joan, 1607- , m. 1637 William Cage of Milgate in Bersted.
Her only entry in the Hollingbourne register was her baptism, August 16, 1607, as
Joane, filia Thome Culepepper.' She m. in London, under lic. from the bishop of that
diocese, December 2, 1637 (Harl. Soc., xxvi, 232), reading 'William Cage of
Milgate, wid. 30, & Joane Culpep., dau. of Sir Thos. C. of Hollingbourne., Spr. 27.'
This first Cage-Culpeper m. was not shown on the Cage pedigree returned at the
Visitation of Kent, 1663-64; apparently because Joan o.s.p. Her husband's son, Sir
William Cage, who m. Cicely, dau. of Sir Cheney Culpeper, was born of his first m. with
Susan, dau. of Sir J. Cage of Stow, co. Camb.
vi Francis, 1608-1610, ob. infans.
Both baptism and burial are in the Hollingbourne register.
vii Cicely, 1610-1651, m. 1636, Ralph Freke (1596-1684) of Aldington in Thornham, co.
Her entire career is in the Hollingbourne register. Baptised October 10, 1610 as 'Sisle
Colepeper, filia Thomae Colepeper, generosus;' she m. August 18, 1636, as 'Ralphe Frieke,
Esq. and Cicely, the dau. of Sir Thomas Culpeper, Knight by licence;' and was buried
January 6, 1650/1, as 'Cisly Ferke, wiffe of Ralfe Ferke.' An MI. was subsequently erected
by a granddaughter (Cave-Brown, p. 35).
Ralph Freke's grandfather was that Robert Freke of Shoroton, co. Dorset, who was many
years Auditor of the Treasury under Henry VIII, and died leaving what was later termed 'a
plum,' i.e., £100,000. His father was the Sir Thomas Freke, M.P. from Dorset, who was
named one of the Council for Virginia in 1607, and was later a member of the Virginia
Company (Brown). He settled the manor of Hannington, co. Wilts, jointly upon two younger
sons, viz: this Ralph and William, infra (See The Family of the Frekes in Sir
Thomas Phillip's Middle Hill collections). On his m. Ralph established himself in the
neighborhood of Hollingbourne.
Of the four daughters of this m. the third, Frances, b. 1644, m. George Norton of Leigh
near Bristol, and appears in Clarendon's pages by reason of the shelter she gave Charles
II during his escape in 1651 after Worcester fight (Rebellion, vi, 528). A dau. of
this Norton m. was that Grace, wife of Sir Richard Gethin, to whom MI.'s were erected not
only in Hollingbourne but in Bath and Westminster abbeys by reason of a 'curiosity of
literature' which Isaac D'Israeli (ii, 270) recorded. The story is elaborated by
Cave-Brown, p. 31 ff.
viii Mary, 1612- m. Sir William Clarke, of Wrotham, co. Kent.
She was baptised in Hollingbourne, January 3, 1611/12, as 'Marie Colepeper, filia Mr.
Thomas Colepeper;' and m. there also, January 7, 1635/6, as 'Mr. William Clarke and Mrs.
Mary Cullpeper, by licence.'
Her husband, descended from a baron of the Exchequer temp. Henry VI (Hasted, ii, 239),
and, through his mother, who was a Stede, from John Culpeper11 of Wigsell, was
a true 'Kentish Sir Byng.' Clarendon (Rebellion, iv, 504) records his death
at Cropredy Bridge on the Cherwell in Oxfordshire, June 29, 1644, aet. 36, when in a
glorious victory 'we lost two colonels, Sir William Boteler and Sir William Clarke, both
gentlemen of Kent, of fair fortunes, who had raised and armed their regiments at their own
charge and were both killed dead upon the place.'
A younger brother of this Sir William, shown on the Clarke pedigree certified at the
Visitation of Kent, 1619, as 'John aet. 5, 1619,' died in Virginia, 1644, when Edward
Wyatt administered upon his estate (W. & M. Quar., iii, 37)
ix Frances, 1613-1682, m. William Freke (1605-1656) of Hannington, co. Wilts.
She was baptised in Hollingbourne, October 3, 1613, as 'Frances Colepeper, filia Thomas
Colepeper,' and died in London, 1682, where her estate was administered as 'Frances Freke,
widow' (P.C.C. Admon Act Book, 1682).
x Philippa, 1615-1638, unmarried.
She was baptized in Hollingbourne, March 14, 1614/15, as 'Philipe Colepeper, tlie
daughter of Thomas Colepeper;' and the same register, recording her burial November 4,
1638, as 'Philippa, daughter of Tho. Culpeper, Knight,' confirms the mention of her upon
her mother's MI., for that burial was five days after that of her mother.
xi Sir Thomas, 1625-1697, of Hollingbourne, called 'the
He was baptised in Hollingbourne, November 3, 1625, as 'Thomas Culpeper, s. of Sir
Thomas Culpeper,' and matriculated at University College, Oxon, April 27, 1640, 'aged 14,'
being almost contemporaneously elected to a fellowship of All Souls; from which the
Parliamentary commissioners ejected him in 1649 (Foster). He proceeded B.A., February 8,
1643/4, and M.A., May 26, 1653. Meanwhile, on December 1, 1647, he was 'specially
admitted' to the Middle Temple as 'Mr. Thomas, second son of Thos. Culpeper of
Hollingbourne, Kent, Knt.' and on November 22, 1661, 'Sir Thomas Culpeper [was] called, of
grace, to degree of the Utter Bar' (Hopwood, iii, 958, 1167).
The last entry shows that he was knighted by Charles II soon after the Restoration, but
he is not recorded by LeNeve or Shaw.
After his father's death he retired to Hollingbourne and devoted himself to editing,
republishing and enforcing his father's works against usury, publishing, incidentally, Moral
Discourses of his own (See the bibliography in Athanae Oxon, iv, 447; D. N. B.
re-issue, v, 287).
In 1679 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent and served that office until
1693, when his commission was withdrawn in consequence of his tory politics (Cal. State
Papers, Dom., 1679-80; 1693).
He was buried in Hollingbourne, September 27, 1697, as 'Sir Thomas Culpeper, Kt.' and
left a will which was proved as P.C.C. Pyne, 274.
1st, 1661, a lady who is recorded only as Dame Dowse Culpeper, who died s.p.s. (Cf.
baptism of her child, July 25, 1662, at St. Paul's Covent Garden, London (Harl. Soc.,
xxxiii); her own burial in Hollingbourne, August 5, 1662, and the adm. on her estate
P.C.C. Admon. Act Book, 1667).
2d, 1663, Alicia (1639-1730), daughter of Sir William Culpeper (1588-1651) of Aylesford
(The mar. lic. December 18, 1663, ran, 'Sir Thomas Colepep', Kt. of Hollingbourne, co.
Kent, widr. about 35 & Mrs. Alicia Colepep' of Aylesford, spr. about 24, consent of
mo. Dame Helen Colepep) and by her had several sons and daughters, including Frances
(1664-1740), who m. John, third Lord Culpeper, and William (1665-1727), the promoter of
the Kentish Petition of 1701 heretofore noted.
From this William14 descend the persisting Colepepers (as they once more
spell the name) represented by Frederick Henry Colepeper20, of Brockley, living
In 1628 the attraction of this family of Sir Thomas12 drew also to
Hollingbourne the head of his house. Thereupon Wigsell ceased to be the designation of
this branch of the Culpepers, and for a generation they were practically unanimously 'of
Hollingbourne' or its immediate neighbourhood: which brings us back to the descendants of
Thomas12 of Wigsell.
(Continued in Chapter 3b)
33 The archeological artefacts
found in the Len valley prove that that geological trough was a British trade route long
before the Romans opened their Watling Street to the north of it, That it againbecame a
main travelled road in Saxon times, leading to the port of Hythe, is proved by the
location of Leeds Castle. Still later, the 'Pilgrims Way' and a railway successively
followed it. (Return)
34 Greenway Court, from which the sixth Lord
Fairfax derived the name of his wilderness lodge in Virginia, still stands, close at the
foot of the North Downs, on the boundary line of Harrietsham and Hollingbourne. Some of
the old masonry dates from the fourteenth century, but the house has been several times
rebuilt. Hasted says (ii, 466) that it "was formerly esteemed a manor, the mansion of
which was a seat of good account." Originally held by a family called Greenway, the
estate came into the possession of the Crown and was settled by Henry VIII upon the Dean
and Chapter of Canterbury, of whom it was held by the St. Legers, Culpepers and Fairfaxes
successively until 1758, when Robert, seventh Lord Fairfax, alienated the leasehold to the
banker, Sir Francis Child. Although the manor of Alnorthing was usually held with Greenway
Court, the latter was in itself never more than a dwelling house and curtilage. Sir
Alexander Culpeper12 describes it in his will (1645) as "11 acres and no
more," As -appears from the text, the house, though modest according to modern
standards, or when compared with Leeds Castle, was occupied in turn by every branch of the
Wigsell Culpepers, during an hundred and eighty years, and was always held by that family
in high esteem and affection as a comfortable refuge from a cold world, where a tradition
of old hospitality and a simple family life might be maintained in dignity. (Return)
35 "I was once of Clements Inn: where I
think they will talk of mad Shallow yet... The very same day did I fight with one Sampson
Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn. Jesu! Jesu! the mad days that I have
spent" (2 Hen. IV, act iii, scene 2). (Return)
01 Aug 2011