Sir Cheney Culpeper of Leeds Castle

Male, #8882, (circa 1601 - circa 1 Apr 1663)
Father*Sir Thomas Culpeper of Hollingbourne, the Elder, Knight (c 1575 - c 26 Jan 1661/62)
Mother*Elizabeth Cheney (s 1582 - 27 Oct 1638)
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Birth*circa 1601 Cheney was born circa 1601. 
Baptism15 Jul 1601 He was baptized at Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England, on 15 Jul 1601.  
Marriage*24 Oct 1632 He married Elizabeth Stede at London, England, on 24 Oct 1632. 
Birth of Sonbefore 9 Mar 1637 His son Thomas Culpeper was born before 9 Mar 1637. 
Death of Mother27 Oct 1638 His mother Elizabeth Cheney died on 27 Oct 1638. 
Will13 Jan 1644 He is mentioned in the will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of Greenway Court, Knight at Greenway Court, Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England, on 13 Jan 1644.1,2 
Will30 Jan 1644 He is mentioned in the will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of Greenway Court, Knight on 30 Jan 1644.3,4 
Biography Sir Cheney Culpeper of Leeds Castle, 1601-1663
Sir Cheney Culpeper's family origins were in Kent, and as an eldest son he expected to inherit the large estate of his family. He trained as a lawyer, with, amongst others, Sir Robert Honeywood, and was knighted in 1628. In the late 1620's and early 1630's he became engaged in supporting the cause of Continental Protestantism, through promoting the Palatinate and serving Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. This connection was probably instrumental in leading him towards the circle of Samuel Hartlib, in the early 1640's, of which he soon became an integral member. In 1641 he was already helping to finance Hartlib's intellectual and educational activities.

Throughout the 1640's, Culpeper's letters to Hartlib indicate his sympathy with the diverse areas of reform and activity which engaged the Hartlib circle. These included education and learning, exemplified by the Office of Address, as well as technological innovation and scientific experimentation. His contact with Benjamin Worsley was mainly based on their shared interest in chemistry, alchemy, and husbandry, all of which were aspects of Worsley's saltpetre project. Worsley was in fact one of many innovators whom Culpeper was interested in, one other prominent example being William Wheeler.

Culpeper's letters also contain much commentary and opinion on the political events of the day. Culpeper was always on the side of parliament, but throughout the 1640's his opinions became increasingly radical until he came to adopt a strongly anti-monarchical outlook, which combined with his distrust of episcopacy and presbyterianism to associate him clearly with the 'Independents'. However, like most others of this political leaning, Culpeper was not a doctrinaire republican. He interpreted political events in an apocalyptic sense that could encourage him to use rather extreme language and imagery in his judgements. Unfortunately, Culpeper's support of the parliamentarian cause in the 1640's and '50's caused him to be disinherited, and he thus never attained the riches at one time he had expected.

Although he was never became an active politician, like Worsley, he was associated with the 1650 Council of Trade, of which he was a member along with Sir Robert Honeywood. We have no record for his precise activities on this body, but probably at this time Hartlib published an anonymous discourse probably by Culpeper, attached to another pamphlet, supporting William Potter's proposal for a land-bank, An Essay upon Master W. Potters Designe. His longstanding interest in agricultural improvement and technological innovation would also have been likely interests when on the Council.

After the dissolution of the Council of Trade, Culpeper remained an associate of Hartlib and his circle. Throughout the 1650's his main interest seems to have been in agricultural issues, specifically innovations in methods of husbandry. He never managed to regain his familial inheritance, and died, indebted, in 1663.5 
Death*circa 1 Apr 1663 He died circa 1 Apr 1663. 
Burial*2 Apr 1663 His body was interred on 2 Apr 1663 at Temple Church, London, England
Biography* 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 John, 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.6 
Will12 Aug 1710 He is mentioned in the will of John Lord Culpeper 3rd Baron of Thoresway on 12 Aug 1710.7,8 

Family

Elizabeth Stede (circa 1615 - 1674)
Marriage*24 Oct 1632 He married Elizabeth Stede at London, England, on 24 Oct 1632. 
Children
ChartsThe 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
The Culpepers of Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England (Possibly extinct): Descendant Chart
Last Edited5 Jun 2011

Citations

  1. E-mail written 2007 to Warren Culpepper from Charles Andrew Grigsby, England, e-mail address.
    Transcription of Will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of Greenway Court Hollingbourne Kent 1649
    Ref: 422.
  2. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Image of will at: /archives/uk/wills/images/Alexander_of_Greenway_Court_1649.pdf .
  3. Fairfax Harrison, The Proprietors of the Northern Neck - Chapters of Culpepper Genealogy, Richmond, VA: The Old Dominion Press (Privately printed), 1926, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Film #929429. Transcription available online at: http://gen.culpepper.com/historical/nneck/default.htm
    P. C. C. Rivers, 157.
    Image:http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/wills/images/Alexander_of_Greenway_Court_1645-1.pdf.
  4. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Image of will at: /archives/uk/wills/images/Alexander_of_Greenway_Court_1645-1.pdf.
  5. M. Braddick and M. Greengrass, "Introduction" to "The Letters of Sir Cheney Culpeper, 1641-1657". Camden Miscellany XXXIII. (1996). pp. 105-150.
  6. Fairfax Harrison, The Proprietors of the Northern Neck - Chapters of Culpepper Genealogy, Richmond, VA: The Old Dominion Press (Privately printed), 1926, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Film #929429. Transcription available online at: http://gen.culpepper.com/historical/nneck/default.htm.
  7. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Will of John 3rd Lord Culpeper, dated 12 Aug 1710, transcribed by Charles Andrew Grigsby. Image at: http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/wills/images/John_Baron_of_Thoresway_1719-1.pdf and
    http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/wills/images/John_Baron_of_Thoresway_1719-2.pdf.
  8. E-mail written 2007 to Warren Culpepper from Charles Andrew Grigsby, England, e-mail address.
  9. Identified in her mother Elizabeth's will.