John Culpeper of Bayhall, Hardreshull & Bedgebury1

Male, #8408, (say 1430 - 22 Dec 1480)
Father*Walter Culpeper of Goudhurst, Bayhall & Hardreshull (s 1400 - 24 Nov 1462)
Mother*Agnes Roper (s 1400 - 2 Dec 1457)
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Birth*say 1430 John was born say 1430. 
Death of Mother2 Dec 1457 His mother Agnes Roper died on 2 Dec 1457 at Goudhurst, co. Kent, England.2 
Death of Father24 Nov 1462 His father Walter Culpeper of Goudhurst, Bayhall & Hardreshull died on 24 Nov 1462 at Goudhurst, co. Kent, England
Marriage*say 1465 He married Agnes Gainsford say 1465. 
Birth of Sonsay 1470 His son Sir Alexander Culpeper of Bedgebury & Hardreshull, Knight was born say 1470. 
Birth of Sonsay 1475 His son Walter Culpeper of Calais and Wigsell was born say 1475 at England
Death*22 Dec 1480 He died at Goudhurst, co. Kent, England, on 22 Dec 1480. 
Burial*after 22 Dec 1480 His body was interred after 22 Dec 1480 at Bedgebury Chapel of St. Mary's Church, Goudhurst, co. Kent, England
Biography* Sir John(8) 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, loc. cit.)
It appears from an indenture dated 4 January, 21 Henry VIII [1529/30] which has survived (Harl. Charter, 76 H 12) that Sir John left a will (otherwise lost) disposing of his estates among two sons, Alexander(9) and Walter(9), 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 Walter(9) 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.
Source of preceding: Fairfax Harrison, "The Proprietors of the Northern Neck"
Sir John's two brothers, Richard and Nicholas, under somewhat romantic circumstances, married Margaret and Elizabeth Wakehurst, (granddaughters and co-heiresses of Richard Wakehurst, sen., of Wakehurst, in Ardingly). These two girls were confided by Elizabeth, their grandmother, to the care of John Colepeper and Agnes, his wife. For further deatils, see narrative for Nicholas.
Alexander and Walter, the two sons of Sir John and Agnes, were respectively, the progenitors of the senior line of Bedgbury, in Goudhurst, co. Kent, and the Wigsell branch of the family in nearby Salehurst, co. Sussex.1

Will22 Sep 1516 He is mentioned in the will of Richard Culpeper of Wakehurst on 22 Sep 1516.3 


Agnes Gainsford (say 1445 - )
Marriage*say 1465 He married Agnes Gainsford say 1465. 
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 Edited9 Nov 2010


  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)
  2. 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)
    Pages 54-60.
  3. Col. F.W.T. Attree R.E./F.S.A. & Rev. J.H.L. Booker M.A., "The Sussex Colepepers, Part II", Sussex Archaeological Collections, XLVIII,65-98, (1905)
    Pp 65-66.