The Proprietors of the Northern Neck
At the time of their check at the hands of Edward II, the Culpepers seem
to have recently inaugurated their characteristic practice of land acquisition by the time
honored expedient of marrying heiresses. It was from their first manor so acquired, that
of Bayhall in the Kentish parish of
Pembury on the southern border of the weald, that they
spread, as Hasted remarks, 'over the whole face of the county' of Kent; and, we may
add, eventually of adjacent Sussex as well.
In this process, the Walter Culpeper who fought at Agincourt, being of the
seventh recorded generation of his family,27 put his roots in the ground a few miles southeast of
Bayhall. About 1425
he married the widow of the last Bedgebury of Bedgebury in Goudhurst and was buried with
that family in Goudhurst church. His tomb described him as 'arm. filius Thorne Culpeper
militis... obiit 24 November 1462' (Weever, Antient Funeral Monuments, 1767
ed., p. 69); which identifies him genealogically as the Walter, son of Thomas, who himself
left sons, John, Richard and Nicholas, as rehearsed in DeBanco Roll, 4 Edw. IV, Hilary
Term, membrane 484.
It follows that it was this last mentioned John who served the office of
Sheriff of Kent in 7 Edw. IV (1468) and was buried in Goudhurst, beside his father; being
described on his tomb as 'Johannis Culpeper, militis obiit 22 December 1480 (Weever,
It appears from an indenture dated 4 January, 21 Henry VIII [1529/30]
which has survived (Harl. Charter, 76 H 12) that Sir John8 left a will
(otherwise lost) disposing of his estates among two sons, Alexander and Walter, named
respectively for their maternal uncle, Alexander Clifford of Bobbing (thus introducing
among the Culpepers a name which was to appear in Virginia), and for their grandfather,
the Squire of Agincourt. These estates included the manors acquired by the Bedgebury
marriage (Bedgebury and Haselden) in Kent, an inherited Culpeper manor (Wigsell) in
Sussex, and certain lands in Essex which Sir John had purchased; and the will in question
divided them among the two sons, the intention of the testator being that, despite the
Kentish custom of gavelkind, the elder should take all the lands in Kent, and the younger
those in Sussex and Essex.
Wigsell, which thus devolved upon Walter9 and was to be the seat
of three generations of his descendants, was at the time of the death of Walter's father a
manor 'holden by Knights service of the Lord of the Castle of Hastings,' consisting
of some 600 acres of plough and pasture, with as much more of wood and heath, in the
Sussex parish of Salehurst; lying close under the southwestern border of Kent, not far
from Bayhall and Bedgebury. It was purchased in 1348 (Sussex Feet of Fines, 22
Edward III) from Simon de Etchingham by Sir John Culpeper;5 whose heir, Sir
Thomas;6 records in his will
of 1429 (Harl. Ch., 80 H 27) that it was settled upon him on the
occasion of his first marriage. Wigsell was not yet a place of residence, however: its
original value lay in the supply of charcoal which its forest cover provided for the iron
smelting industry in which the Culpepers, like so many of their neighbours in the Weald,
were profitably engaged in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (Victoria County
History, Sussex, ii, 241). At the death of Sir John,8 Wigsell must already
have been somewhat denuded and so of less value than it had been; but the title was
sufficient, nevertheless, to enable its inheritor to pursue the thrifty practice of his
ancestors and negotiate a marriage which established Culpeper of Wigsell for a century and
a half to come.
With the founding of this house, from which came the proprietors of -the
Northern Neck of Virginia, we begin our detailed examination of genealogical testimonies.
IX. Walter Culpeper (Sir John8
of Bedgebury), 1475?-1515, of Calais and Wigsell, began life, like his
grandfather, the squire of Agincourt for whom he was named, as a professional soldier;
but, unlike his grandfather, he did not live to retire to his estates. The earliest record
of him is on the page of national history, at the very end of his career.
The Chronicle of Calais (Camden Society, No. 35, p. 6) recites him
in October, 1508 as under marshal of that town, present at the treaty for the marriage of
Mary, daughter of Henry VII to the Duke of Burgundy, afterwards the emperor Charles V; and
in that capacity there was assigned to him at the beginning of the next reign (July, 1509)
a Crown tenement in Fisherstrete in Calais and an annuity of £ 20 out of the revenues
of the town. Two years later, in November, 1511, being then recited a 'squire of the body'
of Henry VIII, lie was granted also the post of bailiff of the Scavage of Calais and the
isle of Colne (L. & P. Henry VIII, i, 47, 94, 298).
His crowding hour came in August, 1513, when his young master was engaged
in the invasion of France to assert an outworn claim of inheritance of that realm, and it
was Walter's fortune to be left for the moment in responsible command of the garrison of
Calais. The chronicler Hall records (Holinshed iii, 580) that as the King lay before
Therouanne on the Flemish border, the captain of Boulogue made a night foray on Calais
seeking booty and to insult the invading English. Arriving with a thousand men at the
bridge which defended the causey leading to the town, the Frenchman surprised the guard
and captured the ordnance there mounted. Retaining 600 men at the bridge 'for a stale'
he then dispatched the remaining 400 'into the marishes and meadows to fetch away the
beasts and cattle which they should find there.' Some of these foragers approached so
near the walls of Calais as to raise the alarm, whereupon
"about five of the clocke in the morning the gate of Calis, called
Bullongue gate, was opened, and by permission of the deputie one Culpeper, the under
marshall, with two hundred archers under a banner of Saint George, issued forth,' and 'set
so fiercelie on that finallie the Frenchmen were discomfited and four and twentie of them
slaine, besides twelve score that were made prisoners and all the ordnance and bootie
again recouered. These prisoners were brought to Calais and there sold in open
Walter9 died before June 24, 1515 (when he was recited dead on
the appointment of Sir H. Banaster to his bailiffry, L. & P. Henry VIII', ii,
168), leaving a will
which bristles with as many old world weapons as a modern museum.
He married in 1500(?) Anne, daughter and heiress of Harry Aucher of
Lossenham. in Newenden, co. Kent,
The marriage is shown on both the Culpeper and Aucher pedigrees
recorded at the Visitation of Kent, 1619, in Harl. Pub., x1ii, pp. 62, 181. Thereby
it appears that the Lossenham Auchers, here in question, were the senior stem of an ancient
Kentish family, of which the junior and persisting branch, seated at Otterden (Hasted, ii,
501), also had ties with America. One of them was the wife of Sir Humphrey Gilbert,
the half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh; another, Sir Anthony Aucher, whose mother was a
daughter of Archbishop Sandys, was a member of the Council for the Virginia Company
(Brown; Genesis, ii, 818). Their blood was brought to the colony by the
Lovelaces and Gorsuches (Va. Mag., xvii, 292; xxvi, 393; xxviii, 285).
Lossenham lies near the Sussex border, a few miles southeast of Wigsell. It
remained a Culpeper property from this marriage until 1628, when (Hasted, iii, 78) it was
sold by Sir John13 (i.e., the first lord, not his grandfather as implied by
'Anne my wyff named in the will of Walter9
completes her identification by the reference to her father and children in her own will.
Extracts from the 1532 Will of Anne Culpeper
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.
and by her had:
i. Anne Culpeper living 1532, m. ? Tooke.
As she was not named in Walter Culpeper's will of 1514, the only testimony
for her is the legacy in her mother's will of 1532 to 'my daughter Anne Tooke.'
There is no clue to her husband in any of the Kentish Visitation
pedigrees: certainly he was not of the family of 'Toke of Bere' in West Cliffe. But the
Sir Brian Tuke (spelled also Tooke and Tuck) who was clerk of the Council of Calais in
1510 and later Secretary to Wolsey and Henry VIII (D. N. B. re-issue, xix, 1252). while a
Kentish man, acquired lands, on which his descendants lived, in Essex (Morant, i, 407) ;
and it will be recalled that this Anne Culpeper's father also held lands in Essex under
the will of Sir John Culpeper11 Moreover Sir Brian Tuke's father was a Richard
Tuck, and the Wylford pedigree shows that a daughter of 'Anne Tooke's' sister married a
Richard Tuck of a later generation. Considering these evidences and the propensity of
Kentish families (like Virginia families) to marry cousins, it is possible that this was
such a marriage; and that 'Anne Tooke's husband was of the family of Sir Brian Tuke.
ii. Elizabeth Culpeper, d. ante., 1532, m. ante. 1514, Thomas Wy1ford of
Hartridge in Cranbrooke, co. Kent.
She is named in her father's will (1514) 'my daughter Elizabeth Welford,'
and referred to in her mother's will (1532) as then dead, by provision for 'the children
of Elizabeth, my daughter
the children of Thomas Wylford.' The m. was noted at the
Visitation of Kent, 1619, not only in the Culpeper pedigree but in that of the Wylfords
(Harl. Pub., x1ii, 53, 61, 104). From the latter it appears that the James Wylford, who
witnessed his maternal grandmother's will in 1532, was that outstanding soldier, Sir James
Wylford (1516-1550), who distinguished himself at the battle of Pinkie (1547) and
subsequently withstood a notable siege at Haddington (D. N. B. re-issue, xxi, 236; Froude,
Edward VI, chap. ii).
As a family, the Wylfords had several ties with Virginia. One sister of
Sir James in. Archbishop Sandys (see her MI. in Morant Essex, ii, 34) and another
in. Leonard Digges of Wooton, co. Kent, from whom descended the Edward Digges of Belfield,
York County, Virginia, Governor of the colony, 1655-58, whose name was long a synonym for
the best Virginia mild tobacco, the 'E Dees' (Va. Mag., xvii, 292). It would be
interesting to prove a connection with these Wylfords of that Dr. Robert Wellford of
Fredericksburg, of the generation after the American Revolution whose descendants have
inter-married with Virginia families. See W. & M. Quar., xi, I; x, 139.
iii. Thomas Culpeper, living, 1514, but o.s.p. ante., 1532.
iv. Anthony Culpeper, living, 1514, but o.s p. ante., 1532.
They are both named in their father's will (1514) ; but not in that of
fheir mother (1532), which treats the youngest son, William, as the heir.
v. William Culpeper (1509?-1559) of Wigsell, of whom presently.
X. William Culpeper (Walter9
of Calais), 1509?-1559, of Hunton and Wigsell, born a youngest son, was
named in his father's will (1514) as 'my sonne Willm,' with provision to be 'founde
to schole.' That this injunction was carried out and that he was put through grammar
school, and sent thence to London to reside at either Barnard's or Staple Inn, may be
deduced from his admission to Grays Inn in 1530 (Foster, fo. 423).28
This would be the year he came of age, when the deaths of his two elder
brothers had already left him his father's heir. This appears both from. the contemporary
instrument (Harl. Charter, 76 H 12, already cited) which confirmed to William as
'son and heir' of his father the dispositions of the will of Sir John8 in favor
of Walter9; and from his mother's will two years later.
It may be that William Culpeper began life as a practising lawyer. The
earliest public record of him is not in itself inconsistent with such an hypothesis. In
1538 he was included in the long list of gentlemen enrolled as 'servants' to Henry VIII's
servant Thomas Cromwell, then Lord Privy Seal and at the dizzy height of his prosperity;
for he was not part of the household, but one of those who were to attend only when called
(L. & P. Henry V111, xiii, pt. 2, p. 497). The patronage resulting from this
service was part of the contemporary spoil of the monasteries. He had a grant of an
annuity charged on the priory of Christ Church at Canterbury, and on March 10, 1538/9, the
seizing of the lands of the dissolved priory of Lossenham, which his Aucher ancestor had
founded (ibid., xiv, pt. I, p. 224; xx, Pt. I, p. 324).
It is significant that in all these testimonies William10
appears only in relation to Kent. In his grant of the priory of Lossenham he is, indeed,
described as 'of Hunton,' while his second son was listed at Winchester College in
1553 (Kirby, Winchester Scholars, 1888, p. 132) by the same qualification. Thus it
appears that on his marriage, which took place in 1530 as appears from the record of the
family settlement of that year, William10 established himself, not at Wigsell,
but in the midst of the Kentish weald, on the river Beult near its junction with the
Medway. This was an eminently agreeable place of residence, but Hunton was not a Culpeper
lordship. It was vested in the Wyatts of Allington (Hasted, ii, 229), a family which, like
the Culpepers, later produced a Governor of Virginia.
In relation to the Wyatts, William Culpeper achieved also his next
appearance in a public record: for when, in January, 1540/1, Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet,
was involved in Cromwell's downfall and for some weeks was held a prisoner in the Tower,
William Culpeper was, on Wyatt's nomination, permitted by the Privy Council to have the
custody of Allington Castle (L. & P. Henry V111, xvi, 229). He did not,
however, persistently follow their fortunes. Whether, unlike his youthful kinsmen of
Bedgebury and Aylesford, he remembered the check his family had had in the reign of Edward
II, whether he had never accepted the break with Rome (three of his sons were named for
saints), or whether it was merely his fortieth year which counseled prudence, William was
loyal to Queen Mary's government in the crisis of 1553 and did not follow the poet's son
into 'Wyatt's rebellion.' His record then was that of an active justice of the peace; at
first in organizing police, and, after the danger had passed, charged with the custody of
sequestered estates (Acts P. C., 1554-56) pp. 70, 85).
In the course of this last duty William moved his residence several times,
which explains why his third son, Martin, was entered at Winchester (Kirby, supra) as
'of Barfriston' in east Kent. It follows that it was not until the very end of his life
that William settled down at Wigsell, where he made
He married in 1530, Cicely, daughter of John Barrett of Belhouse in
Alvethy, co. Essex,
The Culpeper family settlement of 4 January, 1529/30 (Harl. Chart., 76 H12,
already cited) provided for the holding of Wigsell by trustees 'to the use of said Anne
Colepepyr [widow of Walter9 for life; remainder to said William Colepepyr and
Cecele Barett, and the heirs of their bodies; in default to said William Colepepyr in
tail, in default to the right heirs of said Sir Alexander Colepepyr [of Bedgebury].'
This is testimony at once that on the date of the charter of 1530 the marriage had been
arranged and was still to be consummated.
In the Culpeper pedigree returned at the Visitation of Kent, 1619, the
bride is described only as 'Cecelia, filia
Barrett,' but the Barrett pedigree
returned at the Visitation of Essex, 1612, which also certifies the marriage, identifies
the bride's father.
The Barretts, descended from a companion of the Conqueror (see the
Visitation of Essex, 1612, Harl. Pub., vol. xiii, 145), were long seated in Hawkhurst, co.
Kent (Hasted, iii, 72), but in 1397 one of them married the heiress of the family of
Belhouse in Essex and removed thither his residence (Morant, i, 78). His descendants were
raised to the peerage by James I as barons Newburgh of Fife after an intermarriage with
the Falkland Carys.
The John Barrett of Belhouse, whose daughter married William10,
but who died in 1526, before that marriage was celebrated, is described by Morant as
'applying himself to the study of the law, became eminent in that profession.' His
contemporary, John Leland the antiquary, in his Encomia Illust. viror. (Works, 1774
ed., v, p. 107), vaunts his forensic eloquence in latin verse:
'Sic tua sollicitos facundia rara clientes
Sublevet, et medio stet tua caussa foro.'
It would seem, therefore, that it must have been the tradition of this
John Barrett, quite as much as the legal education of William Culpeper himself, which was
the inspiration of the procession of the Wigsell Culpepers towards the Inns of Court.
and by her had.29
i. John Culpeper (1531-1612) of Wigsell, of
ii. Elizabeth Culpeper, m. John Wildigos of Iridge in Salehurst, co.
She is named in her father's will 'Elizabeth Wilgosse, my daughter,' and
was bur. in Salehurst, 1606, as 'uxor johannis Wildigos, armiger.'
Her husband appears in the Elizabethan records as the colleague of his
brother-in-law, John11, in the commission of the peace and as church warden of
For this family, long since extinct, see Berry, Sussex, and Hodson,
iii. Anne Culpeper, married Simon Edolphe of St. Radigunds, co. Kent.
She is named in her father's will, 'Anne Edolf, my daughter.' The
marriage is noted in the Edolphe pedigree certified at the Visitation of Kent, 1663. For
this family see the full pedigree in Misc. Genealogica et Heraldica, N. S.,
iv. Francis Culpeper (1538-1591) of Greenway Court, co.
Kent, of whom hereafter.
v. Martin Culpeper (1540-1605) of Feckenham, co. Worcester, of whom hereafter.
vi. Walter Culpeper (1541?-1616) of Handborough, co. Oxon, o. s. p. m.
He is named in his
father's will (1559) 'Walter Culpeper my fourth son.'
He seems to have been the first of his family to matriculate at Hart Hall, Oxford, whence
he graduated B. A. in 1569 (Foster).30 He was also of Grays Inn, 1565 (Foster) and later was
included in the commission of the peace of Oxfordshire. The other records of him are
chiefly in the parish register of Handborough, co. Oxon, where his brother Martin had
acquired an estate, as appears from his Will.
1st, 1571, Anne Dance, widow, of Mackney, co. Berks.,
The marriage bond, dated 13 Eliz. (printed in the Gentleman's Magazine in
1797, lxvii, p. 645) recited his brothers John and Francis as sureties, and was
conditioned that Walter should 'well, honestly and lovingly use and live with the said
Anne as an honest man ought to use and live with his lawful and good wyff,' or in
default the said Anne might 'sever herself from the said Walter ... whensoever it shall
and by her, who was buried at Handborough, April 1, 1580, had
Margaret, m. (at Handborough, 1599) Sir William Sandys of Fladbury, co.
2nd, 1581, Mary, widow of George Holbrook of Newington in Sittingbourne,
co. Kent, s. p.
The mar. lic. at Canterbury, June 26, 1581, describes him as 'Walter
Culpeper gent., ' and the m. is recorded in Harrietsharn register, June 29, 1581,
simply as 'Walterus Culpep-Maria Hoolbroke.' She was buried at Handborough, 1593.
As Jane Culpeper, she administered upon his estate (P. C. C. Admon Act
Book, 1616), and was herself buried at Handborough, 1636.
vii. Thomas Culpeper (1543-1603) of Wilmington, co. Sussex, o. s. p.
He is named in his
father's will (1559) as 'Thomas Culpeper my fifth
son,' and in the will (1581) of John Sydley of Southfleet, as 'my brother-in-law,
Mr. Thomas Colepepyr.' His mar. lic. at Canterbury, December 17, 1579, describes him
as 'of Hawkhurst, gent.,' but he is named in the will of his brother, Francis
(1590), as 'of Willmington, Sussex, esquire.' He died, 1603, and was buried at
Wilmington, 'aged 60;' leaving a will which was proved as P. C. C. Bolein, 102.
He married in 1579, Elizabeth, widow of John Gode of London, but
described in the mar. lic. as 'of Harrietsham.' His will shows that
he left no issue.
will, proved in 1604 as P. C. C. Stafforde, 54, shows that
she had children by her first husband, John Gode, `merchant taylor,' viz: John
Gode, 'of London, gent.;' Francis; Anne, wife of Cassian Cooper; Katheryn, wife
of Robert Hampson, Alderman of London; and Mary, wife of John Leade, 'merchant
In 1643 one John Goode emigrated to Barbados and, before 1660, removed to
Virginia, where he left numerous descendants. He is assumed (Goode, Virginia Cousins, 1887,
P. 24) to be of the family of John Goode of Whitstone, co. Cornwall, M. P. for Camelford
in 1604. These Culpeper wills may be a clew to his more immediate provenance.
viii Richard Culpeper (1545?-post 1594) of Newton Longville, co. Bucks.
He is named in his
will (1559) as 'Richard Colepepyr my vj (8th) son,' in that of
John Sydley of Southfleet (1581) as 'my brother-in-law Mr. Richard Colepepyr;' and
makes his next appearance in a mar. lic. at Canterbury, May 17, 1589, as 'Richard
Colepepyr gent. & Jane Steede, spr., dau. of... Steede of Harrison [Harrietsham], co.
Kent, gent.' His wife was a daughter by her first marriage of Joan Pordage, the second
wife of his brother Francis of Greenway Court, thus celebrating the first of several
Culpeper-Stede marriages. He is not named in Francis' will
(1590), but appears in that of his wife's mother (1594) as 'my son Richard Colepepyr'
This is the last record of him alive,
He left a son William, who is named in the will (1605) of Dr. Martin11
as 'William Culpeper, son of my late brother Richard.' This William12
was apprenticed in London as a skinner at Christmas, 1605, 'aged 10 years,' and
died in 1630, leaving a Will, P. C. C. Scroope, 100, in which he named only a
ix Edmund Culpeper (1547?-post 1605). Canon of Lincoln, etc.
He is named in his
will (1559) as 'Edmonde Culpeper my Vij th (9th) son.' Foster
records that he graduated B. A. Oxford, 1573 'from Hart Hall,' and subsequently
proceeded M. A. (1578) and B. D. (1585). He was canon of Lincoln, 1581, and rector
successively of Staplehurst, Kent (1585); of Ashbury (1587); of Sunningwell (1590); and of
Milton, Berks (1591).
Although Col. Attree says (Sussex Archeological Collections, xlvii, 63)
that this Edmund 'apparently died unmarried' in 1591, he was certainly still living
in 1605, for he was named in the will of his brother Martin in a bequest 'to my brother
Edmond Culpeper, the first advowson [he seems to mean presentation] of the
parsonage of Staplehurst, Kent, where Dr. Newman now dwelleth.'
Culpeper of Barbadoes: As Edmund11 is
the only one of his generation for whom no conclusive genealogical evidence has been
found, it is possible, if not probable, that he was the father of the otherwise
unidentified William Culpeper, who (although he does not appear in the published lists of
either of the universities) was in February, 1628, presented to the living of Wychling,
co. Kent, by Sir Thomas Culpeper12 and Dr. William Stede as guardians of Cromer
Stede (Foster), and is named in the will of Sir Alexander Culpeper12 (1645) as 'my
cousin William Culpeper, minister of Wickling, or (if dead) to his wife or children.'
This William was licensed to marry April 29, 1633, as 'William Culpeper
clerk, M. A., parson of Wychling, bach. about 28 (i.e., born, 1605) to Margaret, dau. of
the worshipful Richard Allen, D.D., parson of Stouting,' subsequently emigrated to
Barbadoes [hence the uncertainty of Sir Alexander12 as to whether he was
living, 1645] and there left descendants who still persist in the West Indies and Natal
(See Oliver, Monumental Inscriptions in Barbados, 1915, p. 194, and Col. Attree's chart,
'Culpeper of Barbados'). If he was a son of Edmund, he would be of Sir Alexander's
generation and his 'cousin' as also a likely candidate for presentation to a living by his
other cousins of the same generation.
by Warren L. Culpepper: I have
discovered the following baptismal record in the IGI
William Colepeper: Christening 23 Dec 1605 at
Sunningwell, Berkshire, England; Father, Edmund Colepeper; Mother, Marye.
[Film no. 0088422]
I believe this is conclusive evidence that William was the
son of Edmund, and the connection of the Barbados and English line is thus
(Continued in Chapter 2b)
27 As to the earliest generations of the
Culpepers, we have followed the reasoned and documented enumerations of Col. F. W. T.
Attree in his study of The Sussex Culpepers (Sussex Archeological journal, xlvii,
47 ff.), which has superseded the authority of the Culpeper pedigrees in
Wykeham-Martin, Leeds Castle, 1868. (Return)
28 So far as the surviving records show,
William10 of Wigsell was the first of the Culpepers to be enrolled at any of
the Inns of Court merely for education. Those of his name who preceded him (and there were
several, including Henry IV's judge) all made careers as lawyers and were called to be
serjeants, or at least 'ancients' of their inns. (Return)
29 It is at this point that confusion begins
in the testimonies for the'Wigsell Culpepers.The return of Bedgebury at the Visitation of
Kent, 1619, carried their cousins of Wigsell to and including the eldest son of William10,
and there stopped abruptly. Intending to bring this deduction up to 1619, the heralds
subsequently made a note (Stow M.S., 618) setting out all the sons of Wiffiam10
and proceeding with the descendants of the eldest to and including his grandson, Sir John13,
whose identity is established by the entry of his two marriages. But in tacking this
extension to the visitation pedigree, some successor of Stow assumed that the John and his
brothers with which it began were the sons of the last John entered on the visitation
pedigrees; and in consequence that sacrosanct genealogical authority, the Harl. Pub. (in
vol. x1ii) is guilty of the duplication of a generation at Wigsell.
Meanwhile, Hasted also contributed a red herring. Seeing that there was a
superfluous generation somewhere on the herald's pedigree, he eliminated one by stating
(ii, 476) that Sir John13 (afterwards first lord Culpeper) was son of John11.
Hasted's error, which was merely in the name selected for elision, has persisted and
propagated. On the revered authority of the 'prince of county historians,' it was adopted
not only by Wykeham-Martin and Cave-Brown, but by specialists like Professor Firth and G.
E. C. (including his latest editor, Vicary Gibbs); and in the process reduced Alexander
Brown to sterile conjecture in his attempt to array the Culpepers in relation to the
Virginia Company. (Return)
30 As in the case of his eldest brother, the
educational records make it possible to distinguish this Walter1l of the
Wigsell family from another of the same name and generation. The Oxford career of Walter1l.
son of Thomas10 of Bedgebury, is recorded by Foster as 'B. A. 1559, fellow of
All Souls, B. C. L. 1566 He died unmarried in 1575 'of Burston' (P. C. C. Admon
Act Book, 1575).
By enrolling at Hart (or Hertford) Hall in Oxford, Walter of Wigsell set a
precedent which was thereafter numerously followed by his house. His older brothers had
matriculated at New College, going thence from Winchester on William of Wykeham's twin
foundation: but the tradition is that while New College was building some of its students
lodged at Hart Hall, an ancient adjacent foundation on the site of the modern Hertford
College; and so set a precedent. This is probably the explanation of the Culpepers' resort
thither; for throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Hart Hall was vested in
Exeter College and was deemed a dependence upon it, and the Culpepers had no interest in a
west country foundation as such. Among the members of Hart Hall in the seventeenth century
were Hobbes, Clarendon, Walter, Sir Matthew Hale, and Dean Swift. (Return)
02 Jan 2015