The Sussex Colepepers
The Colepepers of Wigsell, in Salehurst
Walter, second son of Sir John Colepeper, married Anne, daughter and heiress of Harry
Aucher, of Lossenham, co. Kent, and was Under Marshal of Calais at the time of his death
in 1514. The following is the
abstract of his will:
Will of Walter Colepeper 151644
14 Sep 1514. I Walter Colepepir onder m'shall of the town of
Calays. To be byried in
the Resurreccon Chapell within Saint Nicholas Churche, to the whiche chapell my newe
poleax and ij of my spere staffs myn Ermite and my swarde. To St George Chapell
within the same Churche my cote of plate couered wt chamlet and myn old
polleax. To Jhus (Jesus) Chapell wtin the seyd Churche my best Javelyn and a
copyll of my spere stavys. Unto St John in the wall 6s Vnto the
reparacons of the said Church of St Nicholas 10s. "I wyll that
Anne my wyff haue all my lands lying within the Shyre of Kent and Sussex, or in any other
place within the Realme of England during hir lyff and after hir decesse to remayne to the
heires of my body lawfully begotten after the course of the comen lawe of Ynglond and
laudable customes of the seyd Shyres of Kent and Sussex where the lond lyeth. To my
seruants that ar sworne in the Retynewe her onder me and in my petie wags ther brigandynes
folds standards saletts and musteryn cotes stavys and saletts that they wer wont to were
at the musterys." To Richard Payn myn old seruant my gowne of marble colour furred.
To Henry hacuplaynt my veluet doblet, my blak jacket and oon sheff of arowes. To Richard
Borne my blak cote of cloth bordered with Sarsenet and oon sheff of arowes. To the
of Newenden for the discharging of my consciens of such duties as I owe to the same 4 m'ks
sterling. Church of Gowtherst 40d sterling. Church of Sevenoke 3s.
If the next heires of Thomas Ratlyff of Newenden will pay to my wyff £5 sterling then
they shall have the croft and house place that was Thomaseys ther fader to theym and their
heirs. Margaret Swayne my seruant my blak gowne lyned wt Sarcenet. To Nanne the
bedrede woman's daughter oon payr of myn old hoses and ij of my shirts. To my cosyn
Otewell Gaynesford my blak damask cote. To my cosyn George Gaynesford my damask cote of
white and grene. To my cosyn Lewes Clyfford my crossebowe and wenlasse and my gune wth
her apparel. To Henry Tetle my bowe case of tymbre and one sheff of arowes. My galberdyne
of scarlet bordered with veluet to my sone Thomas. To my daughter Elizabeth Welford my
grete lewte and oon dosyn of fyne dyaper napkins. To my brodyr Alexander Colepepyr my
white harnesse complete. Residue to Anne Colepepyr my wyff to se me honestly
to se Anthony and Willm our sonnys founde to schole. She is to be executrix. Wrytyn wt
myn own hand. Witnesses Henry hacupleynt, Richard Borne and Willm Annyley. In the presence
of Robert Wyndebanke and of John Wyndebanke who have subscribed ther names with ther own
hands. Robert Wyndebank pson of Colne. John Wyndbank solgyer of Calays. Proved at Lambith
28 Apr 1516 by Anne the relict and executrix.
The will of his widow Anne is at Canterbury,45
and is dated 4 Sep 1532 (24 Henry VIII).
Extracts from the Will of Anne Colepeper
If I happen to dye
at Canterbury then I wyll my body to be buryed at the frears there, and yf I
happen to dye at Cranbroke then I wyll my body to be buryed at the frears of Lossenham
besyde my ffather there buryed. To Wyllm my sone my weddynge rynge and all my
platte except my lyttle lowe salt wt the couer and vj my best sponys
which I wylle to my daughtr Anne Tooke. To my sone Wyllm Colepeper
all my stoke at Lossenham. To
every of the children of Elysabeth my daughter xls. She mentions
Francis, Anne, Constance, Katheryn and Mary the children of Thomas Wylford, my
goddaughters. To my daughter Culepeper ij of my best gownes. Executor and
residuary legatee my son Wyllm. All my manors and lands in Newenden Rowynden and
Biddenden to certain trustees to hold them to the use of my sone Wyllm and his
heirs--in default to the right heirs of Harry Ager, Esq., my father.
It would therefore (from the wills) appear that their sons Thomas and Anthony died
without issue between 1514 and 1532.
Their eldest son, William Colepeper, about 4 Jan 1530 (21 Henry VIII),
married Cicely, daughter of John Barrett, of Belhowse, in Alvethley, co. Essex, and sister
of George Barrett, whose widow Elizabeth, daughter of John Dyngley by her second marriage
with Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, co. Kent, was mother of John Tufton, of Hothfield,
Esq. On his marriage the Wigsell estates were settled46 on Anne, widow of Walter Colepeper,
for the term of her life, with remainder to William Colepepyr, son and heir of the said
Walter, and Cicele Barrett, his intended wife. The following is an abstract of
Will of William Colepeper, of Wigsell.47
16 Nov 1559 (1 Elizabeth). I Willm Culpeper
of Wigsell in the County of Sussex, Esquire. To be buried in the
parish church of
Salehurste, in the chapell where my good dere wife Cicely Culpeper
doth lye. Poor householders of Bodyam 20s. £10 for a tome
to sett on my grave. To reparation of Church
of Newyndon £3. 6. 8. To William Grantham my seruant
20s. a yere for life. To Gybson's widow 10s. a
yere for life. To Mr. Hyde scolemaster of Wynchester 30s.
To Elizabeth Wilgosse and Anne Edolf my daughters £5 each for a
silver cup with my arms to be graven on it. To Edward Donck of
Hawkherst my newe cloth gowne furred and to John Twysden my ffryce
coot. Residuary legatee and Executor John Culpeper my eldest son and
my nephew John Tufton of Hothfield Esq my overseer to whom my graye
curtall geldynge. Witnesses Willm Grantham, Willm Lopham, John Webbe,
George Pix, John Tufton, Marye Tufton, Symon Edolfe, Anne Edolfe,
As to my lands in Sussex and Kent to John my son, my
manors of Lossenham and
Louedean in Kent, my m'she in Newynden called the ffryers m'she, my
lands called Scotts in Sandherste and Newynden and and a yerely rent of
£3 out of Walland marshe, also two parts of my manor
of Wigsell in the county of Sussex in three partes divided, if the
said John pay unto Fraunces Culpeper my second son, Marten Culpeper my
third son, Walter Culpeper my fourth son, Thomas Culpeper my fifth son
Edmonde Culpeper my vijth son £5 a year each for life, and
to Richard Culpeper my vjth son an annuity of £6. 13. 4.
--all the above with the right of entry in default of payment on the two
parts of the manor of Wigsell. My manor of Heryngden in Kent to John my
son to pay my debts and legacies and if he will not to Francis and
Martin my sons. Proved 6 Dec 1559 by John Colepeper executor.
Of the daughters, Elizabeth married John Wildgose, of Salehurst, co. Sussex, and Anne
married Simon Edolphe, of St. Radigunds, co. Kent, while the descendants of Martin, Walter
and Richard removed to other counties and died out as shown in the pedigree, and Edmund,
who held various livings in Kent, apparently died unmarried.
The fifth son Thomas was of
Wilmington, co. Sussex, and, as he left no issue by his wife Elizabeth, widow of John
Gode, of London, the wills
of himself and his wife are included below. Their marriage licence to marry at
Harrietsham is dated 17 Dec 1579, at Canterbury, Thomas Colepeper being, then
described as of Hawkhurst, gent. He died on the 7th and was buried at Wilmington on the
10 Oct 1603, aged 60. His widow Elizabeth was also buried there 3 Jul 1606.
of the Will of Thomas Culpeper of Wilmington48
I Thomas Culpeper, of Wilmington in the County of
Sussex Esq. 22 Oct 1602. My brother John Culpeper of Wigsell co.
Sussex Esq. his wife Elizabeth and their son Thomas. My cousin Anthony
Culpeper of Bedgbury in Kent Esq. and his son Henry. My nephew
Culpeper of Fokington co. Sussex. My nephew William Steede
of Steede Hill Esq. To my wife Elizabeth the relict of John Gode of
London merchant taylor my lease of Courtlodge in Wilmington, and the
lease of the Rectory of Westham. To her son John Gode of London, gent.
To my good Mr and landlord Lord Buckhurst £20. Servauts Wm.
Jurden, Edmond Shibbard and Richard Colliar. Leaves his personal
property to be divided into 6 parts as follows:2 parts to John Godes
brother in law and my son in law John Leake marchant taylor and Mary
Leake his wife. To Anne late the wife of Cassian Cooper my said wife's
eldest daughter a third part. To Katheryn Hampson, daughter of my said
wife, and wife of Robert Hampson Esq. one of the Aldermen of London a
fourth part. To Mary Leake third and now youngest daughter of my said
wife, and now wife of John Leake marchant taylor a fifth part, and the
sixth of the said six parts to my overseers. My son in law Francis
Gode. Wife Elizabeth residuary legatee and executrix, by whom the will
was proved 22 Oct 1603.
of the Will of Elizabeth Culpeper of Wilmington49
I Elizabeth Culpeper of Wilmington widowe. To be
buryed near or in the place where the body of my late husband Thomas
Culpeper was buried. To the poor parishioners of Willmington 20s.
To my cousin Robert Brooke his children 20s. Unto Abraham
Brooke his brother £20. Unto Elizabeth God my goddaughter and the
daughter of my eldest son John God the furniture in the porch chamber.
Unto his daughter Dorothy God the furniture of chamber wherein I
usually lye. Unto my daughter Cowper the furniture of chamber over
kitchen. To my daughter Leake the furniture of chamber next old
kitchen. To William Jorden my servant a bed and bedstedle. My son John
shall have speciall regarde to legacy given to old Shubert and to
Richard Collyer by my husbands last will. The residue after payment of
my debts to be divided into 6 parts, of which 2 parts to my eldest son
John God, one part to my daughter Cowper, a fourth part to my daughter
Dame Katherine Hampson, the fifth part to My daughter Leake, and the
sixth part to my son Fraunces, the same to be ordered and guided by a
codical annexed to my late husband's will. Son John God sole executor
to perform the will of my late husband Thomas Culpeper. Friends John
Culpeper of Fockington Esqr and Herbert Springet, gentleman
overseers to whom £5 each. Dated 13 Jun 1604. Proved by John God 28
We have, therefore, only to consider the descendants of the two eldest sons of William
Culpeper, of Wigsell, viz., John and Francis.
John, the eldest son of William Culpeper, of Wigsell, was born in 1530, admitted of the
Inner Temple in 1553, married about 1560 Elizabeth, daughter of William Sidley, of
Southfleet, co. Kent, Esq., and was buried at Salehurst 21 Oct 1612, aged 82. From
the Inq. Post Mortem, taken at East Grinstead 7 May 1614
(12 James I),50
after the death
of their eldest son, Thomas Culpeper, Esq., of Wigsell, we find that John Culpeper, his
father, died on 20 Oct 1612, that his mother Elizabeth survived him, and was
living in 1614 at Newenden, in Kent, that he had two brothers, John and Alexander, and
that by his wife Anne, buried at Salehurst 26 Feb 1601/2, he had a son and heir,
Slaney Culpeper, aged 14 years, 10 months and 18 days on the 18th September, 1613, also
that he (Thomas Culpeper) left a will. His mother, Elizabeth Culpeper, was buried at
Salehurst 17 May 1618. All these particulars are important, because Sir John, the first
Lord Colepeper, is made out in Wykeham Martin's History of Leeds Castle, and in
G.E.C.'s Complete Peerage, to be the son of Sir John Colepeper, of Wigsell, by
Elizabeth Sedley, whereas he was really his grandson, son of his son Thomas, by Anne,
daughter of Sir Stephen Slaney, Lord Mayor of London and brother of Slaney Culpeper
mentioned above, as is shown not only by the foregoing, but by the Inq. P.M. on
16 May 1618 (16 James I), of Slaney Culpeper, Esq., which states that he died 12
and that John Colepeper is his brother and heir, and that he was aged 18 years, 9 months
and 9 days.
John Culpeper, Esq., of Wigsell, who died in 1612, left no will. He had four sons,
Thomas, William, John and Alexander. William matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, in 1579,
aged 17, and was entered of the Middle Temple, in 1583, as second son of John Colepeper,
of Wigsell, Esq., but as John of Feckenham, co. Worcester, is styled on his monument at
Hollingbourne to be the second son of John of Wigsell, and aged 70 at his death,
20 Dec 1635, it would seem that William, the second son, must have died early without
issue. He is the only one of the four sons who left no will.
from the Will of Thomas Culpeper of Wigsell, Esq.51
I Thomas Culpeper of Wigsell in the Countie of
Sussex Esquire. To be buried with littell adoe. To my welbeloved wife
the household stuff plate and linnen which she brought. Whereas I have
received £500 for certain land which belonged to my wife in co
Salop, sometime the Williames or one of them, although I have bin at
the charges of above £72 I will a certain farm at Padian to my wife
for her life and after her decease to the eldest son I shall beget of
her body and for default of such issue to such daughters as I shall
beget, remainder to the heirs male of my body, and if I have but one
daughter by my now wife then £700 to such daughter at 18, but if she
die before 18 then £500 to my wives son at 24, and if he die before
then £100 to Elizabeth Mumford and to such children as shall be
living if Elizabeth Mumford shall die. Wife shall have use of all
jewells she hath, that is to say a border, a chayne of perle, a payer
of bracelets, a cup of silver with the lyde thereto belonginge wch I
bought, and certain gold wroth buttons which I bought wch
she useth to were on her gowne some set wth stones and
perle and some wth perle only during her lyfe and after her
decease to such doughter or doughters as shall will them unto begotten
by me and for all other Jewells wch her mother Baistone
hath geaven I will absolutely to herselfe. All other goods and profits
of my lands till my eldest sonne come to the age of 24 yeares to my
executors to the good of all my children begotten by my now wife as of
my children begotten by my first wife. My daughters portions to be
paid at 18 and sons at 24. Executors my brother John Culpeper and my
brother Alexander Culpeper to whom all lands parsonages, or leases
which I have heretofore bought with authority to sell the same for
payment of debts, and the residue to be bestowed among my children at
their discretion. Dated 16 Sept. 1613. Witnesses Richard Relfe,
After this I added this much more 6 May 1612.
To my dear wife Mary Culpeper a tankard of silver and such goodes as I
shall have of her mother Bistone. 6 May 1612. Witness John Sleep. All
lands I have by graunt discent or will from my father unto the said
John Culpeper and Alexander Culpeper till my sonne Slaney Culpeper is
21 and my debts paid, after which they shall convey the same to him.
16 Sep. 1613. Witnesses Richard Relfe, John Sleep. All timber on my
mannor of Wigsell and on my mannor of Harrenden in Sandherst and
Newenden in Kent to my executors for payment of my debts. And I
intreate my executors to compound for the wardship of my eldest son
and heir if any lands are held of the King in capite. 16 Sept. 1613.
Witnesses Richard Relfe, John Sleep. Proved with codicils 25 Sept.
1613 by John Colepeper one of the executors, power being reserved for
Alexander Culpeper, the other executor.
Chanc. Inq. P. M. Ser. IL 341: 53
(Added by Culpepper Connections from The Proprietors of the
Inquisition taken at East Grinstead co.
Sussex 7 May 1614 ( 12 James I) before... , after death of Thomas Culpeper esq.
oath of... who say that long before death of sd. T. C., one John Culpeper esq., his father
was seised in fee of manor or farm of Wigsell containing 600 acres in pish. of Saleherst
in sd. co. & of lands containing 12 acres in Saleherst & Bodyham in sd. co. in
tenure of Thomas Dunke. So seised sd. J. C: by Indre dat. 16 May, 31 Eliz - conveyed
sd lands to use of himself & Elizabeth his wife for lives; remainder to sd T. C. in
tail male by Anne his wife; remr. to heirs male of sd. J. C.; remainder to heirs male of
William C_ dec. father of sd John; remr to heirs of body of sd T. C. by sd Anne;
right heirs of sd J. C. Afterwards sd Anne died on 20 Feb 1605/6 ( 3 James I) Sd John
Culpeper died 20 Oct 1612 ( 10 James I). Sd Elizabeth his wife survives, & is seised
of sd lands for life, & is living at Newenden co. Kent. Moreover sd T. C. was seised
of lands containing 12 acres in Saleherst, in tenure of John Culpeper jun- [i. e., John12,
later of Feckenham]; & of a messe in Robertsbridge, sd co., in tenure of Richard
Greene; & of lands containing 7 acres in Ewherst in sd. co. in tenure of sd J.
Culpeper jun.; & of a mess & 2 acres in Westharn in sd co. Sd T. C. on 16 Sep.
1613 made his will as follows 'All lands I have bought to my sd exors. my brother John
& my brother Alexander C. in fee on trust for legacies etc. & then among my
children at discretion of my exors. All lands I have from my father to sd exors. to take
profits until my son Slany C. be 21 ; & then exors. to convey same to him in fee.'
T. C. died 18 Sept. last [16131 & Slany C. esq. is his son & heir by sd Amne &
also son & heir of sd Thomas & was 14 years 10 months & 18 days at his
father's death. Wigsell is held of Thomas Pelham, Bt. as of his castle of Hastings in sd
co. by knights service (but by what part jurors know not) & is worth £10 a year. Sd
12 acres in Saleherst & Bodyharn are held of Ralph Bosvile knight & Thomas Levett
gent., as of their manor of Bodyham, by fealty (but by what services jurors know not)
& are worth 3s. 4d. a year. Sd. 12 acres in Saleherst [John Culpeper jun's] are held
by Robert Tirwhitt esq. as of his manor of Etchingham by fealty (but by what etc.) &
are worth 3s. 4d. a year. Sd premises in Robertsbridge are held of Robert, viscount Lisle
as of his manor of Robertsbridge sd co. by fealty (but by what etc) & are worth 2s.
Sd. 7 acres in Ewhurst sd co. are held of John Bromfeld gent. as of his manor of Ewhurst
sd co. by fealty (but by what etc.) & are worth 6d. a year. Sd messe etc. in Westham
sd co. are held of Thomas Baker knight as of his manor of Newe Pryorye sd co. in socage
(but by what rent etc.) & are worth 5s. Sd T. C. held no other land in sd co.
The first wife of Thomas Culpeper, of Wigsell, was Anne, daughter of Sir Stephen
Slaney, Kt., Lord Mayor 1595, by whom he had two sons:
(i.) Slaney, who died 12 Dec 1618, when by Inq. P.M. his brother John was found
to be his heir, and aged 18 years, 9 months and 9 days.
(ii.) John, afterwards Lord Colepeper, baptised at Salehurst 17 Aug 1600.
And a daughter:
(iii.) Elizabeth, baptised at Salehurst, 1601, who married Sir Robert Brooke, of
Cobham, and died 22 Jul 1683. She was a woman of some celebrity in her day; see her
funeral sermon, by N. Parkhurst, and Wilford's Memorials of Eminent Persons.
Anne, first wife of Thomas Culpeper, was buried at Salehurst 26 Feb 1601/2, and
he married, secondly, Mary, daughter of Roger Beeston, citizen of London, and widow of
Francis Gibbon, of Benenden, in Kent, Esq., by whom he had one son:
(i.) Thomas, baptized 13 Dec 1607, at Hawkhurst, and buried at Salehurst 30
And three daughters:
(ii.) Mary, baptized at Salehurst
10 Aug 1606.
(iii.) Cicely, baptized at Salehurst
8 Jul 1610.
(iv.) Ann, baptized at Hawkhurst 10 Nov 1611, and married at Frittenden, Kent, 3
Nov 1636, to Thomas Scott, of Smeeth, Esq.
Thomas Culpeper, of Wigsell, was buried at Salehurst
19 Sep 1613, but his
widow Mary survived him many years. Her will is at Canterbury, dated 15 Aug 1660,
and proved 11 Apr 1661, by Edmund Gibbon, Esq., her son. The following is
an abstract of her will:
of Mary (Beeston) Culpeper52
To my sonne Thomas Scott £3. To my daughter his
wife xls. to buy each of them a ringe. All my old gould to
be equally divided between my sonne Edmund Gibbon and my grandchild
Robert Scott. The latter to have £20 per annum during his and his
father's joynt lives and I do tye my farme in the east end of Benenden
for the payment thereof. To my loving son Edmund Gibbon of the Middle
Temple, Esq., all my lands and messuages, with remainder to my
grandchild Robert Scott. Residue to Edmund Gibbon, who is executor.
From this will it would appear that her daughters Mary and Cicely died without issue.
John, the eldest son of Thomas Culpeper, of Wigsell, was knighted 14 Jan 1621,
married at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, 29 Oct 1628, Philippa, daughter of George
Snelling, of West Grinstead (she was buried at Hollingbourne 16 Sep 1630), by
whom he had issue a son:
(i.) Alexander, who married Catherine, daughter of Sir Edward Ford, of Harting, and
died without issue. Administration of his estate was granted in P.C.C. to his widow
Katherine, then 4th January, 1664/5, the wife of Ralph Grey, Esq.
And a daughter:
(ii.) Philippa, who married Sir Thomas Harlackenden, of Woodchurch, co. Kent.
Sir John Colepeper, who sold Wigsell 30 Jan 1623, to Cheney Colepeper,53 married,
secondly, by licence, dated at Canterbury 12 Jan 1630/1, Judith, daughter of Sir
Thomas Colepeper, of Hollingbourne. He served some time in the army, was elected M.P. for
co. Kent in the Long Parliament, made a P.C. and Chancellor of the Exchequer 2
1642.54 He obtained, 28 Jan 1643, the office of Master of the Rolls and was on
21 Oct 1644, created Baron Colepeper, of Thoresway, co. Lincoln. In Wykeham Martin's History
of Leeds Castle it is stated that Sir John bought the Castle from his cousins,
and Thomas, but this is a mistake, as Sir John fled the country with Prince Charles on
2 Mar 1646, when his estates were confiscated, and he remained in exile till the
Restoration. On 21 Oct 1651, the Council of State, which had been using the Castle as
a magazine, decided to restore it to Sir Cheney Culpeper, the proprietor, a
gentleman described in the order as " well affected to us."55
Sir John died 11 Jul 1660, aged 60, and was buried at Hollingbourne. His will,
dated 3 Jul 1660, was proved 3 Aug 1660 by his wife Judith, who was buried at
Hollingbourne in 1691. He had the following children, all baptized at
(i.) Elizabeth, baptized and buried in 1632.
(ii.) Thomas, baptized 1638, buried 1634.
(iii.) Thomas, baptized 1634, who succeeded his father as second Lord Culpeper, and by his
marriage with Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Jean Van Hesse, Seigneur de Perschill
and Wena in Holland, had an only daughter and heiress,
(1.) Catherine, who married Thomas, 5th Baron Fairfax, of Cameron, in Scotland, and had
a daughter Frances, who married Denny Martin, Esq., and conveyed the estate of
Leeds Castle, in Kent, to
his family, now represented by C. P. Wykeham-Martin, of Leeds Castle.
The 2nd Lord Colepeper was not a very estimable character. After his
death, 27 Jan 1688/9, his widow stated56 that her late husband had two houses in London,
one in St. James' Street, the other in Hammersmith. He died in St. James' Street and she
was living at Leeds Castle, not having had the least notice that he was
sick until some time after his decease. She immediately went to London and buried him, and
wants to administer his estate in order to pay his debts, which she is informed are very
great and many. But Susanna Willis, alias Weldon, alias Laycock, who had
been living with him at his house in St. James' Street, has the key of his closets and has
possessed herself of everything.
In her answer Susanna Willis mentions her two daughters by Lord Thomas Colepeper,
Susan, wife of Sir Charles Englefield, Bart. (married at St. James', Westminster,
22 Feb 1685/6) and Charlotte, aged 13. By indenture in 1688 Lord Colepeper granted to her
daughters land at Solihull, co. Warwick, the tithes of Mayfield, the Manor of Thoresway,
24 acres at Wittersham, land near Kent Bridge, in Wittersham, yielding £7. 10s. 0d. per
annum, land in Erith, Lesnes and Plumstead, valued at £72 per annum, land in Buriton, co.
Southants, 260 acres of marsh at Lydde and Bromehill, worth £185 per annum, a farm in
Loose, East Farleigh and Maidstone, yielding £30 per annum. Then she mentions a will of
Thomas Lord Colepeper, in which he revoked all his other wills, especially his last one,
23 Aug 1681, and he settled on his natural daughter Susan, Wife of Sir Charles
Englefield, an annuity of £100 for life out of Thoresway Manor and £3,000 portion,
£3,000 to his natural daughter Charlotte, his house in Hammersmith to Susanna Weldon, alias
Willis. The Manor of Arreton, Isle of Wight, to his natural daughter, Charlotte. The
residue of his property to Katherine, his daughter, who is executrix.
A Bill in Parliament to annul the above gifts, whether by deed or will, to Susanna
Willis, alias Weldon, alias Laycock, and her two illegitimate children, was
rejected in the House of Lords 15 Jan 1689/90.
(iv.) Elizabeth, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1637;
married, 1661, James Hamilton, Esq., Groom
of the Bedchamber to Charles II; their son, James Hamilton, became 6th Earl of Abercorn.
(v.) Judith, baptized at Hollingbourne
1638, died 1691.
(vi.) John, baptized at Hollingbourne
16 Mar 1640, became 3rd Lord Colepeper on his
brother's death in 1688/9, married 30 Jun 1707, Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas
Colepeper, of Hollingbourne, by Alice, daughter of Sir William Colepeper, of Aylesford,
but died s.p. 8 Jul 1719, when he was succeeded by his brother.
(vii.) Cheney, 4th Lord Colepeper, baptized at Hollingbourne
6 Sep 1642. On his death,
unmarried, 25 Jun 1725, the peerage became extinct.
(viii.) Francis, who died s.p.
(ix.) Philippa, baptized at Hollingbourne
1649, died 1719. Will in P.C.C., 132
Thomas Colepeper, of Wigsell, father of John, 1st Lord Colepeper, had, as will be seen
from his will above,
two brothers, John and Alexander.
John died 20 Dec 1635, in the 70th year of his age, and on his monument at
Hollingbourne is described as "de Fakenham in Com: Wigorn ar. filius secundus
Johannis de Wigsell." In his will, dated 14 Dec 1635, and proved in P.C.C.,
23 Jan 1635/6,57 he styles himself "John Culpeper, of Greenway Court in the
Countie of Kent, Esquior," and mentions his wife Anne, sons Thomas and John and
daughters Cicely and Frances, the wife of James Medlicote.
Sir Alexander Culpeper describes himself in his will,58 dated
30 Jan 1644, with
codicils 4 May 1645, as of "Greenway Court in the county of Kent, Knight, youngest
son of John Culpeper, of Wigshell, co. Sussex, Esquire, deceased." He married Mary,
daughter of Sir Thomas Scott, and widow of Anthony St. Leger, Esq., of Illcombe, but died
without issue at Bridgwater59 in Aug 1645, while with the King's forces. His wife's
granddaughter Katherine, daughter of Sir Warrham St. Leger, married his nephew Thomas (son
of his brother John Colepeper, who, it is stated, lost his life and his liberty in the
Civil War.60 Their children were:
(i.) Alexander Colepeper, Surveyor General of Virginia in 1671, whose will was proved
in P.C.C., 5 Jan 1694.61
(ii.) Frances, baptized at Hollingbourne,
1634, married Sir William Berkeley, Governor of
(iii.) John, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1633.
(iv.) Anne, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1630.
Neither John Colepeper, who died in 1635, nor his brother, Sir Alexander Colepeper, who
died in 1645, had any immediate connection with Sussex. Their uncle Francis Colepeper,
however, who died on 31 May 1591, aged 53, and is described on his monument
at Hollingbourne as "filius scdus Willelmi de Wigsell," besides issue by his
second wife Joan, daughter of John Pordage and widow of William Steede, who continued to
reside at Hollingbourne, had by his first wife Philippa,62 buried at
Harrietsham 7 Jul
1574, two sons:
(i.) Walter, baptized at Harrietsham
2 Nov 1573, slain in Holland, and
(ii.) John, who settled at Folkington, in Sussex, and of whom hereafter.
The following is an
Abstract of the will of
Francis Culpeper, Esq.:63
(Culpepper Connections Note: The abstract included
below is a slightly more complete version by Fairfax Harrison from The
proprietors of the Northern Neck.)
20 May 1590. I Ffrancis Culpepper of Greenewaye Court, co. Kent, esq.
My body to be buried at Hollingbourne if I die in Kent, no solemnity nor repair to be used at my
burial; only six of my servants to carry me to my grave & they to have for their pains
20s. apiece. He that burieth me, a noble [gold piece]. My burial to be at 6 o'ck in the
morning. I make my exors my wife Johane C. & the right worshipful my very good friend
John Tufton esq. [of Hothfield, later knight and baronet, whose son was created earl of
Thanet, 4 Car. I], my brothers John C. [of Wigsell] & Thomas C. [of Wilmington]
esquires. I make my overseers my three sons, John, Walter & Thomas. I pray my
to take upon them the charge committed to them by a Deed Indented of date hereof. To every
of my exors. 50s. for rings. To the rest of my brothers 30s. apiece for rings. To my
eldest clerk in Household with me who hath served me 6 years & above, £14 a year for
his life. Because by Deed of Gift I have given my goods in my lifetime sd. deed to be
taken as my will & if need be annexed as a codicil. To my poor servants which take
pains in watching me in my sickness 13s. 4d. each. To my daur.-in-law [step daughter]
Susanne Steede 100 marks beyond the 500 marks which I stand bound for. To my son-in-law
[step son] William Steede my best gelding except such gelding as his mother shall reserve
for herself. To my very good friend & cousin Anthony Sallenger [St. Leger of
Esq. 5 angels. Hoping by mercy of God to live to see my debts paid & my children in
more forwardness, I will leave with my indenture of trust a remembrance of debts due to me
& debts I owe.
This Indenture made 20 May
1590 [ 32 Elizabeth] between John
Tufton of Hothfield, co. Kent esq. John Culpepper of Wigsell, co. Sussex & Thomas
Culpepper of Willmington, Sussex, esquires, & Johanne Culpepper of Hollingbourne Kent
gentlewoman, of the first part & Francis Culpepper of Hollingbourne afsd. esq. of the
second part: In consideration of payment of debts of A. F. to be paid & then for
assuring the dower of the wife of the said F. & thirdly for preferment of children of
sd. F., sd. F. hath given to sd. J. J. T. & J. all his goods & lands to following
uses, viz: to hold all lands of A. F. in Hollingbourne & Harrison [Harrietsham] &
Leeds (except the 'Abbey of Leeds') to use of Johanne C. for life she paying £120 yearly
for 2 years in discharge of debts of sd. F.; & after debts of sd. F. discharged, which
A. F. accounteth will be at 'Hollantide' [All Hallows] next shall be two years at the
furthest, the sd. Johane to have all the lands etc. for life: On her death stock to be
left on the ground to use of Thomas C. & plate & instuff to be divided between
Thomas C. & John C. sons to A. F. On death of sd. Johane lands at Hollingborne &
Harrison [Harrietsham] to go to Thomas C. son of A. F. in tail male; in default to John C.
son of sd. F. in tail male; in default to Walter C. son of sd. F. in tail male; in default
to right heirs of sd. F.; none to alienate lands. Rest of lands to A. (Trustees) till John
C. son of A. F. be 30; profits meanwhile to use of him, in tail male; in default to sd
Walter & Thomas successively in tail male; in default to, right heirs. On John's
attaining 30, he to have lands of A. F. in co. Southtn, viz manor of Pennington, leases of
manor & parsonage of Enforde in Wilts, free mill & hammer [iron works] & lands
in prsh of Hawkerst, Kent, leases in Lidd & Rumney mershe & the Stewardship of
Rochester & a lease taken from Sir Warren Sellenger [Warharn St. Leger] of £64 a
year. Walter C. to have out of lands willed to Thomas C. £15 a year & out of lands
willed to John C. £15 a year, both for life. When lease of Parsonage of 'Lateomay be
taken, to be taken in his name & to his use.' Sd. Thomas to have lease of sd. F. at
Winsborowe in East Kent. John C. to give to his brother Walter one year's profits of manor
& parsonage of Enford, viz: £100 when in possession thereof. Johane C. to allow
Thomas C. exhibition money out of Greenway Court until John C. be 30. Sd. Feoffees to
allow John son of sd. F. 40 marks a year & if he demean him self well to increase it
to 50 marks; to Walter £20 a year. If it please God to call sd Johane within sd. 7 years
(six) she to have disposal of lands at Greenway Court, Hollingborne & Harrison
[Harrietsham] for two years after her death. Whereas in consideration of jointure or dower
to sd. Johane there is granted from my son-in-law [step son] William Steade a lease of
lands worth 100 marks a year above the rent that lease also to be to sd. Johane.
feoffees to be my exors. The Abbey of Leeds to be sold towards payment of my debts. After
sd. 7 years expired, about which time my son John will attain 30, profits of lands which
are to come to my son Thomas to be received by my feoffees for him until he be 24. No
Prob. by proctor of Thomas Cullpepper esq. one of the exors. Power reserved for Johane the relict, John Tufton & John Culpepper esquires .
To this was added contemporaneously the following
Inquisition64 taken at Sittingbourne 1 Oct.  found
that Francis Colepeper Esq. died seized of the manor of Greenway Court in Hollingbourne
and Harrietsham, held of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury by the rent of £3.12.8. and
worth £26.13.4. per ann. and of a water mill at Harrietsham called Holme myll held of the
same and worth 40s. p. ann. and of a messuage, barn and 12 acres of land in Hawkhurst
Kent, held of the said Dean and Chapter worth 40s. p. ann.; And of the manor of Penton
alias Pennyngton in the County of Southampton held in free socage as of the town of
Andover and worth £20 p. ann. The said Francis Colepeper made his Will 20 May 32 Eliz.and
died the last of May 32 Eliz. John Colepeper, gent is his son and next heir and of the age
of 23 years and more at the taking of this Inquisition. Joan the widow of Francis is still
living. Francis Colepeper's sons Walter and Thomas are also mentioned.
His widow Joan, daughter of John Pordage and widow formerly of William Steede of
Harrietsham, esquire, (by whom she had:
(i.) William Steede,
(ii.) Jane Steede, who married Richard Colepeper,
(iii.) Susanna Steede, who married Edward Partriche,
(iv.) Elizabeth Steede, who married William Covert),
was buried at Hollingbourne 7 Apr 1598, aged 60, and in her will at Canterbury,65
dated 8 Mar 1594, and proved 9 May 1598, she bequeaths as follows:
Abstract of the Will of Joan
My goods and chattels to my welbeloved son
Wm. Steede of Harrietsham Esq to pay my debts. He is executor. £100 to
purchase land for the poor in Harrietsham and Hollingbourne. To my son (i.e. son in law)
William Covert. Executor to have 10 rings made for the following:
To my sonne Wm. Covert and his wife: 2.
To my sonne (i.e. son in law) Richard Colepeper and his
To my sonne Thomas Colepeper: 1.
To my sonne Edward Patriche and to my daughter Susanna: 2.
To my sonne Walter Colepeper: 1. (This must mean her
stepson, the half brother of Thomas Colepeper above, who in putting up the monument to his
parent's memory in Hollingbourne Church, styles himself "unicus iis communis
filius" and therefore shows that he was not "slain in Holland" before
To my sonne Steed to retain 1 for himself and to deliver 1
other to my daughter his wife. Residue to my son Thomas Colepeper when 24. As to Greenway
Court I give it as I am empowered by my husband's will to my son Thomas for a period of 2
years after my decease.
As Thomas, the only son of Francis Colepeper and Joane Pordage, who was afterwards
knighted and married Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John Cheyney, Esq., of
Guestling in Sussex, continued with his descendants at Hollingbourne, in Kent, and this
paper is only concerned with the Colepepers of Sussex, we will return to John, the son of
Francis, by his first wife Philippa.
To next chapter
44 P.C.C., 16 Holder
45 C. Liber 15, No. 163
46 Harl., Ch. 76, h. 12
47 P.C.C., 61 Chaynay
48 Lewes, A. 11, 218, and P.C.C., 102 Bolein
49 P.C.C. 54 Staffordes
50 Chancery Inq. P.M. 1614, No 53
51 P.C.C., 79 Capell
52 A. 71, Avery, No. 70.
53 Close Roll, 1 James I, pt. 26
54 Pat. Roll, No. 2,905, 20 Charles I, No. 4
55 Cal. State Papers, Vol. 16, p. 589. See also Feet of
Fines, Kent, Trin., 1650. Inter Cheney Culpeper mil. et John Page et
alios de manerio et castro de Leeds. See also Feet of Fines, Hillary,
56 Bills and Answers before 1714, Hamilton, Vol. II,
Bundle 85, No. 66. See also Hamilton, Bundle 671.
57 P.C.C. 4 Pile
58 P.C.C. 157 Rivers
59 Royalist Compos. Papers, 2nd series, Vol III, page 734
60 Cal. of State Papers, America and the West Indies,
1669-74, f. 571
61 P.C.C. 3 Irby
62 Add. MSS., 5,520, fo. 176, gives no Christian name, but
makes her daughter and heir of ___ of Hinckstead
63 P.C.C. 85 Sainberbe
64 Inq. P.M. 33 Elizabeth, pt. 1, No. 125
65 C. Liber 38, No. 168
12 May 2011