Dr. Martin Culpeper of Feckenham in Astwood, co. Worc.

Male, #8819, (1540 - circa 9 Oct 1605)
Father*William Culpeper of Hunton and Wigsell (1509 - Nov 1559)
Mother*Cicely Dingley Barrett (1512 - b 6 Dec 1559)
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Birth*1540 Martin was born at Wigsell, Salehurst, co. Sussex, England, in 1540. 
Will16 Nov 1559 He is mentioned in the will of William Culpeper of Hunton and Wigsell on 16 Nov 1559.1 
Death of FatherNov 1559 His father William Culpeper of Hunton and Wigsell died in Nov 1559 at Salehurst, co. Sussex, England
Marriage*say 1578 He married Lettice Clarke say 1578. 
Birth of Sonsay 1580 His son Sir Martin Culpeper of Deane, co. Oxon was born say 1580 at Deane, Spelsbury, Oxfordshire, England
Birth of Son1581 His son Sir Stephen Culpeper of Chipping Campden, Glouchester was born in 1581. 
Will*1 Oct 1605 He made a will on 1 Oct 1605.

Martin Culpeper of Astwoode in prsh. of Feckenham, co. Worcs., Doctor of Physic:
     All lands I have in cos. Oxford, Worcester, Berks, Sussex, etc. in England to my son in law Sir Samuel Sandis of Ombersley, Worcs. knight, (Sir Samuel Sandys of Wickhamford, co. Worc.) Lettice C. (Lettice Clarke) my wife, Walter Culpeper of Hanborow esq. (Walter Culpeper of Handborough) my brother & John Culpepper of the Middle Temple London, utter barrister (John Culpeper of Astwood in Feckenham, co. Worcs.), my nephew in fee in trust for sd. wife Lettice: to have for her maintenance Astwood House furnished as it is and my lands at Home Green, Love Lane & Wibbe Heath, with my stock at Woodbery in Oxfords., for life.
     Devisees to receive rents of Parsonage of Feckenham. & of Osme & Walton & Cripple nr. Oxford all which cometh very near to £200 by the year. If it want of the sd. sum I will my daur. in law the Lady Culpepper, widow, & Lettice my wife to make up the sum of £200 for 5 years, to make a stock for Lettice (Lettice Culpeper) & Anne (Anne Culpeper), the daurs. of my late son Sir Martin C. knight dec. (Sir Martin Culpeper of Deane, co. Oxon); sd. Sir S. Sandis to receive same. Another £1,000 to be raised & then £1,200 to be pd. to sd. Lettice [the granddaur] at 19 & £1,000 to sd. Anne at 19.
     Rest of money from sd. trust to daurs & younger children of my son Sir Stephen C. (Sir Stephen Culpeper of Chipping Campden, Glouchester); sd. son Stephen to have for life only, my houses & lands in Hanborow, co. Oxon. He to have rents of Osme & Cripple. If he have issue a son, fee simple of my lands at Hanborow & of parsonage there & my lease there, my brother Walter C.'s estate & his wife's in the parsonage there.
     My manor of Astwood & fee lands at Home Green to sd. son Sir Stephen C. from a year after death of my sd. wife for life, also parsonage of Feckenham. for 100 years. If he have issue a son, then fee simple of sd. manor, lands at Rome Green to him, also my lease of sd. parsonage. If sd. son die with out issue male, then my house at Home Green & lands there to Martin Sandys my godson [and grandson] in fee.
     House etc. at Wibbe Heath & Love Lane to John Sandys my daur's youngest son, in fee. On death of sd. son S. s.p.m. all my sd. lands to such daurs. of my daur. Sandys or my daur. Culpepper the widow, in fee as shall fortune to marry with a Culpepper; paying out of same £30 a year to my nephew William (William Culpeper), son of Richard Culpepper my brother (Richard Culpeper of Newton Longville, co. Bucks.) for life. After my sd. Wife's death, Manor of Astwood, parsonage of Feckenharn & lands in Hanborow, shall come to my sd. nephew John Culpepper for life; & if he have issue a son, fee simple of sd. lands to same son & lease of sd. parsonage; but if sd. nephew die s.p.m. then sd. lands to William C., son of my late brother Richard, for life; remr. to the eldest son of sd. nephew W. C. £10 a year to be given on St. Martins day for poor of Feckenham until £50 be made up.
     To every one of the children of my daur. Sandis 100 marks at age of 20.
     To Humphrey White & the Clerks of prsh. of Feckenham succeeding him 6s. 8d. yearly for clean keeping of the chancel & tomb of Sir Martin Culpepper, knight, there.
To my brother Edmond C. (Canon Edmund Culpeper of Lincoln) the first advowson of the parsonage of Staplehurst Kent where Dr. Newman now dwelleth. To sd. brother the 20 marks a year he owes me for 24 or 25 years to come; he to pay my devisees £20 a year till he have paid £160, which I paid for him long since to Mr. Every & Mrs. Fulce.
     My sd. son in law Sir Samuel Sandys knight, my wife Lettice C., my brother Walter C. & my nephew John Culpeper to be Exers.
     Whereas testator hath the advowson of divers benefices, they to be offered to an honest man of New Coll Oxford when void.
     Witns. Walter Clarke, Timo. Atwood, Richard Harris, Richard Bradsell.

     Frob. by Lettice C. relict & one of the exers. Power reserved to prove a codicil on the part of sd. Lettice when she can establish the truth of the same; & also Power reserved to Samuel Sandys knight, Walter Culpepper & John Culpepper the exers. to prove Will.2 
Death*circa 9 Oct 1605 He died circa 9 Oct 1605. 
Burial*10 Oct 1605 His body was interred on 10 Oct 1605 at Feckenham, Worcestershire, England.3 
Biography* He was named in his father's will (1559) as 'Martin Culpeper, my third son.' He was sent to Winchester school in 1553 when he was 13, and the following year, like his brother Francis, was appointed a Scholar on Bishop Wykham's foundation, being then recorded as born at Barfreston, Kent (Kirby, Winchester Scholars, 1888, p. 132) . Thence he proceeded to New College, Oxford, again on a Scholarship of the foundation, and there made an academic career of the highest distinction. While he took orders, he specialized in medicine. Foster (Alumni Oxon) collects his degrees and preferments as 'Fellow of New Coll Oxon., 1559-68; B.A., 1562; M.A., 1566; B.Med., 1568; D.Med., 1571; Warden of New Coll., 1573-99; Vice Chancellor, 1578; rector of Stanton St. John, co. Oxford, 1576; dean of Chichester, 1577-1601; rector of Colern, co. Wilts, 1588; archdeacon of Berks, with rectory of North Moreton, 1598.'

On the profits of these pluralities, he made several important acquisitions of real estate, including the purchase, in 1595, of the manor of Astwood in Feckenham, co. Worcester (Victoria County History, Worcestershire, iii, 115), which he intended to make the capital seat of his descendants

He had married, probably in 1578, Lettice, dau. of Humphrey Clarke of Westhalks in Kingsnorth, co. Kent (the m. is noted in the pedigree of Clarke of Westhalks, returned at the Visitation of Kent, 1619) ; and by her had Sir Martin, 1580-1604, of Deane, co. Oxon.

A year after burying his eldest son, and a few weeks after burying his only grandson, Dr. Martin Culpeper came himself to die, and, after making a will, was buried in Feckenham, October 10, 1605, being recorded in the parish register as 'Martin Culpeper, Doctr. in physicke.' There is no MI., but his will (above) testifies for him.

This will shows that in the last weeks of his life Dr. Culpeper realized the disappointment of an ambition to establish his own issue at Astwood as a new and enduring house of Culpeper; and therefore, to that end, turned his face towards that 'John Culpeper of the Middle Temple, London, utter barrister, my nephew,' (John Culpeper of Astwood in Feckenham, co. Worcs.) whom he named one of his trustees and executors, and who was a younger son of the testator's own eldest brother. Contemplating the failure of issue male by his surviving son, Sir Stephen, he provided that, "...after my said wifes's death, the manor of Astwood, parsonage of Feckenharn and lands in Hanborow shall come to my said nephew John Culpeper for life and if he have issue a son, fee simple of said lands to said son..."

Thus it was that after the death of Sir Stephen in 1611, a younger son of John of Wigsell, himself the father of two sturdy boys, became 'of Feckenham,' with the confident expectation of realizing his uncle's ambition for that house and of rooting his name in Worcestershire. He could not foresee the civil wars already brewing, and the consequence that both his sons were destined to die in the far distant Virginia in which that John had himself inaugurated a family interest.3 


Lettice Clarke (say 1560 - )
Marriage*say 1578 He married Lettice Clarke say 1578. 
ChartsCharlemagne, 'Emperor of the West': Descendent Chart
The 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
Last Edited21 May 2011


  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)http://gen.culpepper.com/historical/sussex/default.htm.
    Colepepers of Wigsell, in Salehurst (pages 60-74).
  2. 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
    Will of Dr. Martin Culpeper of Astwood in Feckingham; P.C.C. Hayes, 88; Will dated October 1, 1605; Proved December 12, 1605.
  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.