Sir Thomas Culpeper of Brenchley and Bayhall

Male, #8399, (say 1230 - after 1309)
Father*John Culpeper (s 1200 - )
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Birth*say 1230 Thomas was born at England say 1230. 
Birth of Sonsay 1260 His son Sir Thomas Culpeper of Bayhall in Pembury, co. Kent was born say 1260 at England
Birth of Soncirca 1262 His son John Culpeper of Lynleigh was born circa 1262 at England
Birth of Soncirca 1264 His son Nicholas Culpeper was born circa 1264 at England
Birth of Sonsay 1266 His son Walter Culpeper of Preston Hall was born say 1266 at England
Death*after 1309 He died after 1309. 
Biography* Most pedigrees agree in giving John as the Recognitor's son, followed by Sir Thomas as his grandson. If the pedigrees are correct then this Sir Thomas, of Bayhall, must have been an old man in 4 Edward II or 1310 (Note: the date convention used here is "regnal" dating in which the year is the number of years into the reign of the current monarch. Thus 4 Edward II would be the 4th year of the reign of King Edward II). Assuming that the grandfather was fifty years of age when he served as Recognitor, then the two generations succeding him must have covered a period of some eighty years. This would make Sir Thomas Colepeper, in 4 Edward II., when his son Thomas and Margery his wife purchased of him 50 acres in Foulsden, a fairly old man, and although, he indicted in 1305, with his son Thomas, for stealing the goods of the vicar of Ringmer, we can hardly believe that he took any active part in the matter. For this reason it was not probable that it was this Thomas who was porter or janitor of Leeds Castle in 1292; it was more likely his son of the same Christian name.
     In 1296 (25 Edward I) there is an important reference to Thomas Colepeper, sen; the executors of the will of Sir William de Montfort brought an action against Thomas Colepeper and John his son concerning the manor of Newenton, in Kent.
     From this it is clear that there was, besides his sons Thomas and Walter, who were executed, another son John, and there was doubtless another son named Nicholas. All four were implicated in the Earl of Lancaster's rebellion, but John and Nicholas evidently in a Iesser degree than Thomas and Walter. There was an order issued in 1322 to the Sheriff of York to receive John Colepeper and others into custody in York Castle. This looks as if John Colepeper took part in the Battle of Boroughbridge, and Weaver, in his Ancient Funeral Monuments, p. 272, speaks of Sir Thomas Colepeper siding with the Earl of Lancaster and being hanged, drawn and quartered at Winchelsea. The place fatal to the Earl was Pontefract, so it seems certain that both Thomas and John were with Lancaster's forces at Boroughbridge.
     After remaining a close prisoner during the remainder of the reign in the Castles of Berkhampstead and Gloucester, John Colepeper was released on the accession of Edward III., and in the restoration of confiscated lands which then took place those of John Colepeper, of Lynlegh, were included. He was alive eleven years later, when John Colepeper, of Lynlegh, with Johanna, his wife, appear as deforciants in a fine relating to 20 acres of land in Wythyhame.
With regard to the other two sons of Sir Thomas Colepeper, sen., Walter and Nicholas, they both suffered for their refusal to admit Queen Isabel to Leeds Castle. Walter "sticked not to tell him" (the Queen's marshal) "that neither the Queen nor any other should be lodged there without the commandement of his Lorde the owner." On the Queen coming to the gate in person "the Captaine most malapertly repulsed her, insomuch that shee complained grievously to the King," who besieged the place and eventually took it. "Then tooke he Captaine Colepeper and hoong him up." Captain Colepeper was doubtless Walter, as the release of Nicholas, his only brother yet unaccounted for, forms the subject of the following order issued in 1323 to Henry de Cobeham, Constable of Rochester Castle: "Whereas Nicholas Colepeper and others are imprisoned in Rochester Castle because they adhered to certain rebels who held the King's Castle of Ledes against him. The King, compassionating their estate, and being unwilling to detain them longer in prison, orders the Constable to release those of them whom he shall find by Inquisition to have no lands, and to cause those of them who have lands to come before the King within 15 days from Easter at their own cost and to do and to receive what the King's Court shall consider in the matter."
Of the four sons of Thomas Colepeper, grandson of the Recognitor, we can find no trace of John and Nicholas, while from Captain Walter Colepeper sprang the Colepepers of Oxenhoath and Aylesford.
The eldest son, Sir Thomas Culpeper, who was executed at Winchelsea in 1321, seems to have married Margery, a daughter of the Bayhall family, and either by this match, or by purchase, to have acquired their estates. This Thomas is called in 1306 "fil' Thom' Colepeper de Brenchesle."1 


ChartsCatherine Howard (Fifth Queen of Henry VIII): Culpeper Ancestral Chart
Diana, Princess of Wales: Culpeper Ancestral Chart
John Culpeper the Merchant: Ancestral Chart
The 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
Last Edited2 Feb 2012


  1. Col. F.W.T. Attree R.E./F.S.A. & Rev. J.H.L. Booker M.A., "The Sussex Colepepers, Part I", Sussex Archaeological Collections, XLVII,47-81, (1904)
    Pp 49-51.