Sir Thomas Culpeper of Bayhall in Pembury, co. Kent

Male, #8400, (say 1260 - 1321)
Father*Sir Thomas Culpeper of Brenchley and Bayhall (s 1230 - a 1309)
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Birth*say 1260 Thomas was born at England say 1260. 
Marriage*say 1299 He married Margery Bayhall say 1299. 
Birth of Sonsay 1303 His son Walter Culpeper was born say 1303. 
Birth of Sonsay 1305 His son Sir John Culpeper of Hardreshull and Bayhall was born say 1305 at England
Birth of Sonsay 1307 His son Richard Culpeper was born say 1307. 
Death*1321 He died in 1321. 
Biography* Sir Thomas Culpeper of Bayhall, 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."
     Sir Thomas Colepeper, who "pro bono servicio in partibus Scotie" received a pardon in the 32nd year of Edward I. for breaking the park of the Prior of Christ Church, Canterbury, at Westwell, and the park of the Prior of Michelham, in the 29th year of that King's reign, took the side of the Earl of Lancaster against Edward II., and being Governor of Winchelsea, was there executed in 1321.
     Previous to this, however, by a fine levied in 1320, part of his estates, consisting of 2 messuages, 2 mills, 405 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 60 acres of pasture, 80 acres of wood and 20 shillings annual rental in Pepyngbery, Thonebregg and Teudele, were settled on himself and Margery his wife for life, with remainder to their sons Walter, John and Richard in succession.
     By Inquisition taken at Tunbridge 25th February, 1 Edward III. (1327), it was found that Thomas Colepeper died seized of Bayhalle, with lands in Pepyngbery, Thonebregg and Teudele, and that Walter was his son and heir, aged 22 years on the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary last past (2nd February, 1327). In the Inquisition de terris forisfactis, 17 Edward II., taken at Lamberhurst, mention is made of Thomas Colepeper's estate in Pepynbery, included in the fine levied in 1320, besides which it is stated that he had acquired 50 acres in ffoghelesdenne from Thomas Colepeper, senr., in 1310, 1 messuage and 1 carucate of land in Bernette and Ramherste from Richard Wych in 1320, 1 messuage and 60 acres of land in Bocstede from Ralph Marscot, 10 acres in Bayrugge from Michael de Bettesfield, and 40 acres in ffernth (i.e., Frant) from Roger de fferrugge. All these lands had been seized by the King on November the 6th, 1321, on account of the felony of the said Thomas, and for no other reason.
     It was not long, however, before all these estates were restored to the family. By deed bearing date 1st July, 17 Edward II, Margery, widow of Thomas Colepeper, agreed to grant the Pepinbury estate to the King for the term of her life on the payment of 12 marks per annum from the Exchequer. But apparently she soon repented of this bargain, and addressed a petition to the King praying that "le manoir de la Bayehalle" might be restored to her, the grounds for the request being tllat the King's ministers had not only neglected to pay the rent, but had let her houses go to ruin, "a g'nt damage de l'avantdite Marg'ie de xlli." On this the King issued a commission to Henry de Cobham and others to investigate the matters set forth in the petition, and the direct result of this enquiry was an order for the immediate restoration of all the, property. The outlying estates were to be restored unconditionally, and if lands had been "demised at ferm" the farmers were to be satisfied for their expenditure on the land , while with regard to Bayhall and the land included in the fine levied in 1320, there was this saving clause, viz., that this portion of the property was to revert to the King in case all the parties mentioned in the fine died without issue.
     From this order it appears that Thomas Colepeper acquired the Buxted property mentioned above in 7 Edward II., and in 13 Edward II. he purchased from Reginald, son of Reginald Burgeys, of Boxstede, 1 messuage and 50 acres in Boxstede and Marsefeld. The 40 acres in Fernth (Frant), co. Sussex, is supplemented in this order by 10 acres of wood bought in 10 Edward Il. from Roger, son of Richard de Ferrugge, while another 20 acres in the same town is stated to have been acquired from William son of John de Netteworth.1 
Biography The date at which iron-working was begun on Oldlands is unknown, but it was perhaps by the 14th century when the Culpepers of Bayhall in Pembury, Kent, who had iron works near by at Tudeley, owned it. Iron was certainly founded at Buxted in 1492. The frequent changes of ownership in the 16th and early 17th centuries suggest commercial activities connected with the iron industry, either from direct exploitation of the estate or, more likely, through letting it to tenants. The increase in the purchase price, from £563 in 1576 to £2200 in 1609, may indicate that such financial speculation was justified.
     In 1313 or 1314 Thomas Culpeper of Bayhall (Sir Thomas Culpeper of Bayhall in Pembury, co. Kent) and his wife Margery (Margery Bayhall) acquired a messuage and 60 acres of land in Buxted from Ralph Marescot and in 1319 or 1320 another messuage and 50 acres in Buxted and Maresfield from Reynold Burgess. Culpeper was appointed forester of Rotherfield in Tonbridge chase in 1315, and in 1318, at the request of his patron, Bartholomew de Badlesmere, and others, Edward II granted to him the forestership of Ashdown and the keeping of Maresfield park. He was involved with Badlesmere in the rebellion of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and was sentenced to death and executed at Winchelsea in 1322. His possessions were forfeited to the Crown, but the lands in Buxted and Maresfield were restored in 1324 to Margery, whose date of death is unknown. Their son and heir, Walter (Walter Culpeper), died childless between 14 July 1359 and 20 July 1364, and the estate descended under an entail to Walter’s younger brother Sir John Culpeper (Sir John Culpeper of Hardreshull and Bayhall). The John Culpeper, esquire, whom John of Gaunt appointed constable of Pevensey castle in 1372 and master forester of Ashdown chase in 1375, may have been a kinsman, possibly a younger son. By 1378 Sir John had been succeeded in the estate by his son Sir Thomas (Sir Thomas Culpeper of Bayhall, Hardreshull & Exton), who died late in 1428 or early in 1429. Sir Thomas devised it to a younger son Nicholas (Nicholas Culpeper), who died late in 1434 or early in 1435. From Nicholas it descended to his daughter Joyce (Joyce Culpeper) (d. 1486) and her husband Walter Lewknor (Walter Leuknor of Walberton, co. Sussex) (d. 1498), whose elder brother Richard Lewknor (d. 1503) held the manor of Buxted itself in 1483–4.
     Walter’s and Joyce’s son and heir Humphrey Lewknor (d. by 1531) sold Oldlands at an unknown date to George Nevill, Lord Abergavenny (d. 1535), who sold it in 1533 to Edmund Pope of Little Horsted...2 


Margery Bayhall (say 1265 - )
Marriage*say 1299 He married Margery Bayhall say 1299. 
ChartsDiana, 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 Edited3 Jun 2011


  1. Sussex Archeological Collections, Vol. XLVIII, Volume XLVIII, Sussex, England: Sussex Archaeological Society, 1936-.
    pp 51-54.
  2. Sussex Archeological Collections, Sussex, England: Sussex Archaeological Society.
    Janet H. Stevenson, "Alexander Nesbitt, a Sussex antiquary, and the Oldlands estate", 1999, Volume 137, pages 163-164.