Sir Thomas Culpeper of Preston Hall in Aylesford, co. Kent1

Male, #8542, (say 1549 - 12 Oct 1604)
Father*Sir Thomas Culpeper of Preston Hall, Knight (1517 - 1587)
Mother*Margaret Culpeper (s 1525 - )
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Birth*say 1549 Thomas was born say 1549. 
Marriage*say 1587 He married Maria Pynner say 1587. 
Will18 Jul 1587 He is mentioned in the will of Sir Thomas Culpeper of Preston Hall, Knight on 18 Jul 1587.2,3 
Death of Father1587 His father Sir Thomas Culpeper of Preston Hall, Knight died in 1587. 
Birth of Son1588 His son Sir William Culpeper of Preston Hall in Aylesford, 1st Bart. was born in 1588. 
Birth of Sonsay 1591 His son Thomas Culpeper of Aylesford was born say 1591.1 
Birth of Sonsay 1594 His son Richard Culpeper was born say 1594. 
Will*Dec 1600 He made a will in Dec 1600.

In the name of the Blessed and Holy Trinity the Father Son and Holy Ghost in…. there in power and everlasting and Almighty God Amen.
     I Thomas of Colpepper of Aylesford in the County of Kent Squire being…. of sound mind and perfect Remembrance thanks be to God and aged Forty three years or thereabouts do ordain and make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following hereby revoking whatsoever.
     I give hereafore said or… in that behalf of other than war have…. first and as the principal of party I with a free heart do give and bequeath my soul into the merciful hands of Almighty God the only Lord of Life make humble and grateful blessings his most glorious…. In the in… if his ….through the passion and mediation of his dearly beloved son. Accept this my…. saviour and redeemer to accept the …. into his…. protection that afore this life ended I may…. the everlasting…. of Heaven prepared from the beginning for his… my body I bequeath to be buried in opine manner surroundings to the difference and injudgment of mine Executrix and remembering my… …. my will and purpose is that our whole and full part of all my messuages lands tennements and heriditaments in whatsoever ….in Aylesford Ditton East Malling St…. and….or where in the countie of Kent. I shall … and be unto my oldest son William Colepepper (Sir William Culpeper of Preston Hall in Aylesford, 1st Bart.) and his haires forever and the other two third part of all my said messuage lands tenements and heriditaments with their appurtenances.
     I will and bequeath in manner and form following that is to say one of the said two third part thereof I bequeath unto John Tufton Esquire my… and Thomas Tennyson... Esquire my brother in law (possibly the husband of Elizabeth Culpeper) to have to them and there assignes for and during their natural life of my deer beloved wife Mary (Maria Pynner) support the…. trust and confidence to them already declared in that behest and the other of the said two third part. I will and bequeath to the said John Tufton and Thomas Tennyson and of their assigns forever the…. of this my last will and Testament to have to them until such time as my said son William shall have attained the full age of one and twenty years they the said third part of all my messuage lands tenements and hereditiement bestow in their …unto the said John Tufton and Thomas Tennyson and their assignes until my said William shall attain this said age of one and twenty years and this it also for and formentioned the …. Of this my last will and Testament and after the full age of my said son William and death of my said wife I give and bequeath the said two third….. of the …..before in their …. Bequeathed unto the said John Tufton and Thomas Tennyson as aforesaid unto my said son William and the heirs males of his body hopefully begotten and default of such issue the same to…. my third son Richard Colepepper (Richard Culpeper) and the males heirs maketh of his body hopefully begotton and for default of such issue the same …. To mine …. Right heirs for ever and my will is that Thomas Chamberlaine of …. Farm in the domestie of Middlesex Esquire shall by good assurances and …..in the …. …. And assure and …. To be … and sssired unto the said John Tufton and Thomas Tennyson and their heirs or such after …. …. As they shall nominate in that behest all singular the messuage lands tenements and heriditments in Monkton ……bury otherwise called Monkton ….bury or else made in the county of Northampton for which I have heretofor ….. and …… with him the said Thomas Chamberline or to any other …. or …..whatsoever and I …and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Colepepper (Mary Culpeper) the sum of eight hundred pounds of lawfull English money to be paid unto her when she shall attain the full age of eighteen years also I give and bequeath unto my daughter Ffrances Colepepper (Frances Culpeper) the like sum of eight hundred pounds of lawfull English money to be paid unto her …..he shall have attained the fill age of eighteen years also I give and bequeath unto my said son Thomas Colepepper (Thomas Culpeper of Aylesford) the like sum of eight hundred pounds of lawful English money to be paid unto him when he shall attain the full age of one and twenty years Also I give and bequeath unto my said son Richard Colepepper the like sum of eight hundred pounds of lawful English money to be paid unto him when he shall attain the full age of one and twenty years and if it fortune either or both of my said daughters to depart this life before the or they shall have attained the said age of eighteen years then I will and bequeath the person and persons of….of them so dec…. unto my said two younger sons Thomas and Richard to be paid unto them when they shall formally have attained the full age of one and twenty years and if it shall fortune both my said daughters to depart the life before their said ages of eighteen years and also one of my said younger sons to depart this life before he shall attain the full age of one and twenty years then I will and bequeath the …. And …… formally limited to my said daughters and son so declaring unto my said son William and ….of my said son Thomas and ….. as shall ….. ….. to be bestoweth them to be paid unto them when they shall naturally have attained their full ages herin before mentioned then I will and bequeath all the said party and …. Of my said daughters and younger sons unto my said son William to be paid unto him …. He shall have attained the full age of one and twenty years and if it shall fortune that my said wife shall be with child at the time of my death then I give unto such child whether son or daughter the sum of ****** of lawful English money to be paid when the said child shall attain the full age of one and twenty years being a son or the age of eighteen years if it fortune to be a daughter, and my purpose and reasoning is that my said daughters and younger sons shall be virtually brought up with the profit of their said ….fortune
     And of this my last will and testament do ordain and make my said beloved wife Mary and the said John Tufton and Thomas Tennyson to be my Executors requiring them to have that honesty and religious …. In ……. Hereof and in payment of my debts and to them in that behest appropriately in ….. ….. of I have herunto set my hand and seal this****day of December in the three an fortieth year of the reign of our most generous Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth (** Dec 1600) Thomas Colepepper ..

Memorandum That ….. the first making of this my will my oath being offered I give full power and authority to my two Executors now living to all the said lands called Moreton …..by in Northampton therein, and also as much of that said lands before conveyed by this my will and my Executors as shall be sufficient for the payment of all my debts and ……. And to make good assurances in law of all or any part of the same lands at their discretion , …things in this my said will to the contary notwith standing. Thomas Colepepper in the presence ofJohn Marks. William Godwin, William Sutton, John Smith (his mark), Edward Hall (his mark).4,3 
Honor*1603 Thomas was honored in 1603. 
Death*12 Oct 1604 He died on 12 Oct 1604. 
Burial*after 12 Oct 1604 His body was interred after 12 Oct 1604 at St. Peter's Church, Aylesford, co. Kent, England
Probatesay 1605 Probate action was taken on Thomas's estate say 1605 at co. Kent, England,

P.C.C. 92 HarteInq. p.m. 2 James I (1605), pt2. 
Biography* Thomas Culpepper married Marie (Maria Pynner), Thomas Pinner (Thomas Pynner)'s daughter. He was the last Culpepper to hold the fortified manor of Old Soar, Plaxtol (see: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/places/plaxtol.htm), built in Kentish ragstone in 1290 by Culpepper of Preston. William of Preston died possessed of it in 1326. By 1601 Thomas had sold it to Nicholas Miller for £2000. Nicholas was the richest member of a local family originating from yeoman farmers of the 15th century.
     In 1604 Thomas purchased from James I (1603-25) the tenure by ancient demesne of the royal manor of Aylesford (See: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/places/prestonhall.htm). He became Sir Thomas and inherited the estate.
     Against the east gable and under the central piers of the chancel of the parish church at Aylesford was erected one of the finest rectangular tomb chests in Kent (See: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/places/aylesford.htm#culpeperMonument).This well-preserved monument of Elizabethan style, supported the life-size recumbent effigies of a knight and his lady. It was in grey alabaster mottled with veins of iron oxide. The black paint on the lower of the two steps of the marble plinth was flaking away. Below the architrave the long north and south sides were divided into three equal bays. The east and west ends were each of one bay.
     Surmounting was the effigy of a bearded bare-headed knight in black armour edged in gilt. His bare hands were clasped together in an attitude of prayer. After the Netherlandish fashion introduced during Elizabethan times, he lay on a rush mat with rolledup ends, on one of which rested his saboton heels. He wore rowel spurs. Contrary to tradition, there was no canine effigy at his feet. Probably, this was because he was a farmer, not a soldier.
     On his left was his lady. Her hands were similarly clasped together. Both effigies were orientated with the feet pointing eastwards. Under each head was carved a cushion with piped edges, gilt brocade on the upper surface, and heavy tassels at each corner.
     The lady wore a plain white dress draped from the neck and tucked in concealing her feet. A plain white shawl was pleated over the head and cascaded below the knee. The absence of jewellery was particularly remarkable. The rather sombre nature of the lady's apparel was in contrast to the ostentation of her husband.
     An inscription on the west end of the monument recorded:

     Here liethe intombed Sir Thomas Colepeper, Knighte, by bloode & descente descended of many worthye ancestors: in his life time for his worth and desarte beloved of all men: and in his death as much lamented and bemoned: he had by Dame Marie, his only wife at the time of his decease, three sonnes and two daughters: which Dame Marie to performe her last duty in remembrance of her faithfull love to her deceased husband at her owne cost erected this gratefull monumente: under which he resteth and by his lively faithe hopeth a joyfull resurrection. He died 12 Oct 1604.

This monument was embellished with armorial bearings in colour of six coats quarterly;
     1) Argent, a bend engrailed gules (Arms of Culpepper).
     2) Argent, a chevron sable between nine martlets gules (Arms of Hardreshall).
     3) Gules, on a cross argent five escallops of the first
     4) Barry of four, vert and gules, three bezants, two and one in chief a cross formee or.
     5) Gules, seven mascles, three, three and one, or.
     6) Sable, a fesse chequy argent and sable between three owls proper, impaling azure a chevron argent between three lions' heads erased, ermine crowned or.

     The Culpepper crest is a falcon volant argent, belled or.
     A large undecorated floriated armorial device on the east end was obscured by the close proximity of the column of the east wall of the chancel.
     In the central bay of the south side were carved effigies of three kneeling sons, viz. William, Richard and Thomas. In the corresponding bay on the north were similarly displayed carved effigies of three kneeling daughters, viz. Francisca, Maria and Ann.
     There is an anomaly concerning the effigies carved on the sides of the monument, and the text of the inscribed tablet on the west end. This was probably the original stone commemorating Sir Thomas's interment in 1604. Dame Marie was probably pregnant when her husband died, such that the birth of the third daughter, Ann, was posthumous.
     The imposing monument was commissioned after 1604 by their eldest son, Sir William, to commemorate not only his father but also his mother. The original simple tablet pertinent to his father, of dissimilar stone, was incorporated into this later design.
     There was no evidence on the monument to identify the sculptor. An inset of stone 2 in square on the south cornice may be a later attempt to erase his signature. However, the style in Dame Marie's effigy resembled that of Lady Elizabeth's black and white marble tomb chest in All Saints Church, Hollingbourne (See: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/places/hollingbournechurch.htm#Chapel). Lady Elizabeth was wife to Sir Thomas Culpepper of Greenway Court. She died in 1638 and was interred in the Culpepper family vault beneath the chapel at the east end of the north aisle of All Saints Church. Lady Elizabeth's monument was the work of the sculptor Edward Marshall (1578-1675). His signature was incised on the top moulding of the west side of the plinth.
     E. Marshall was employed by the Culpepper family to create two delightful memorial brasses at Ardingly, Sussex (See: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/places/ardingly.htm). Elizabeth, baptised in Bolney on 20 November 1627, died aged seven years and was interred on 8 December 1634 at the side of her grandmother, Dame Elizabeth, who died in 1633.
     On the death of Sir Thomas of Preston Hall in 1604, the estate passed to the eldest son William.5 

Family

Maria Pynner (say 1570 - )
Marriage*say 1587 He married Maria Pynner say 1587. 
Children
ChartsThe 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
Last Edited3 Jun 2011

Citations

  1. Col. F.W.T. Attree R.E./F.S.A. & Rev. J.H.L. Booker M.A., "Colepeper of Aylesford Pedigree in The Sussex Colepepers, Part I", Sussex Archaelogical Collection, Vol. XLVII, 1904.
  2. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Will of Thomas Colepeper of Aylesford (#8536), dated 18 Jul 1587, transcribed by Charles Andrew Grigsby from image at: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/wills/images/Thomas_of_Aylesford_1588.pdf.
  3. E-mail written 2007 to Warren Culpepper from Charles Andrew Grigsby, England, e-mail address.
  4. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Will of Thomas Culpeper of Aylesford Kent (#8542), transcribed by Charles Andrew Grigsby from the images at: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/wills/images/Thomas_of_Aylesford_1604.pdf.
  5. James H. Sephton, Preston Hall, Aylesford, 496 Station Road, Aylesford, Kent: J. H. Sephton, 1997, Repository: Warren Culpepper's Personal Library.