Sir Thomas Culpeper of Hollingbourne, the Elder, Knight

Male, #8879, (circa 1575 - circa 26 Jan 1661/62)
Father*Francis Culpeper of Greenway Court, co. Kent (1538 - 31 May 1591)
Mother*Joan Pordage (1538 - 23 Mar 1598)
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Birth*circa 1575 Thomas was born circa 1575. 
Baptism8 Dec 1575 He was baptized at Harrietsham, co. Kent, England, on 8 Dec 1575.  
Will20 May 1590 He is mentioned in the will of Francis Culpeper of Greenway Court, co. Kent at co. Kent, England, on 20 May 1590.1 
Death of Father31 May 1591 His father Francis Culpeper of Greenway Court, co. Kent died on 31 May 1591. 
Middle Temple*1594  In 1594, Thomas was admitted to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court (professional associations for barristers and judges) in London.2 
Will8 Mar 1594 He is mentioned in the will of Joan Pordage on 8 Mar 1594.3 
Death of Mother23 Mar 1598 His mother Joan Pordage died on 23 Mar 1598 at Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England
Marriage*say 1600 He married Elizabeth Cheney say 1600. 
Birth of Soncirca 1601 His son Sir Cheney Culpeper of Leeds Castle was born circa 1601. 
Will7 Sep 1607 He is mentioned in the will of John Culpeper of Folkington, co. Sussex at Folkington, co. Sussex, England, on 7 Sep 1607.4 
Birth of Son1608 His son Francis Culpeper was born in 1608. 
Death of Son1610 His son Francis Culpeper died in 1610. 
Knighted*1619 He was knghted in 1619.2 
Birth of Soncirca 1625 His son Sir Thomas Culpeper of Hollingbourne, Knight was born circa 1625. 
Will14 Dec 1635 He is mentioned in the will of John Culpeper of Astwood in Feckenham, co. Worcs. on 14 Dec 1635.5 
Death of Spouse27 Oct 1638 His wife Elizabeth Cheney died on 27 Oct 1638. 
Will13 Jan 1644 He is mentioned in the will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of Greenway Court, Knight at Greenway Court, Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England, on 13 Jan 1644.6,7 
Will30 Jan 1644 He is mentioned in the will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of Greenway Court, Knight on 30 Jan 1644.8,9 
Will3 Jul 1660 He is mentioned in the will of John Lord Culpeper 1st Baron of Thoresway at co. Kent, England, on 3 Jul 1660.10 
Will*15 Jan 1661/62 He made a will on 15 Jan 1661/62.

Sir Thomas Culpepper of Hollingbourne, Kent, Knight. To be buried in the vault under the Aisle at Hollingbourne. My youngest son [R:1) to be executor, and to him in fee all my lands and goods. Witnesses, Ralph Freke of Aldington in Thornham, co. Kent, William Stede LL.D., Stephen Symmons. Proved by Thomas C. son and executor.11 
Death*circa 26 Jan 1661/62 He died circa 26 Jan 1661/62. 
Burial*27 Jan 1661/62 His body was interred on 27 Jan 1661/62 at Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England
Biography* He was baptized in Harrietsham, December 8, 1575, as 'Thomas, filius Francisci Culpep'. On October 15, 1591, he matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, 'aged 16' (Foster) ; and on May 15, 1594, was entered at the Middle Temple as 'Mr. Thomas, third son of Francis Culpeper, late of Hollingbourne, Kent, esq., deceased' (Hopwood, i, 343). He commenced parliamentman soon after he came of age, and is shown by the Official Returns of M. P.s 1878 to have been successively burgess for Rye (1597), Winchelsea (1601), Chippenham, co. Wilts (1614), and Tewkesbury, co. Glouc. (1628). He was knighted by James I, September 19, 1619 (Nichols, Progresses of James I, iii, 568). In 1621 he presented to parliament, and subsequently published, a Tract against the high rate of Usurie in which be argued for a reduction of the legal rate of interest from 10% to 7% (D. N. B. re-issue, v:287; Wood, Athenae Oxon, iii, 533, where his parliamentary activities are confused with those of the first Lord Culpeper). This tract, supplemented by a similar argument by Francis Bacon in 1625, resulted in the act of 21 Jac. I, c. 17, reducing the rate of interest to 8%: but he kept up the fight for 6% and reprinted his tract in 1642 (It was subsequently reprinted also in 1668, both by his son and as an appendix to Sir Josiah Child's well known Discourse on Trade; and in 1754 was translated into French). For these public services Cambridge University created him M.,A. in March, 1635/6 (Venn, i, 431).

Having by his marriage greatly enhanced his paternal estate, in 1623 he purchased from his cousin Sir John, later first Lord Culpeper, the ancestral seat of Wigsell and settled it upon his eldest son, Cheney; and in 1632 purchased Leeds Castle also, and settled it upon his two surviving sons in tail male.

During the Troubles he 'stood for his King' and while 'never in arms' was deemed by the Parliament a malignant; and, despite the interest of his eldest son, was required to compound for his estate, paying on April 30, 1646, the large fine of £1318 (Cal. Committee for Compounding, ii, 1235, 1289). The last record of him is a petition to the Crown immediately after the Restoration for a lease of the profits of a sinecure post 'to him and his youngest son, to repair the ruin of his family by their loyalty' (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-66, p. 143, where this petition, being undated, is doubtfully attributed to 1665. The reference to the 'youngest son' is evidence that the petitioner was Sir Thomas 'the elder' and so the petition must have been made before his death in January, 1661/2).

After his wife's death he rebuilt and dedicated to his family an ancient chapel at, the east end of the north aisle of Hollingbourne Church, which he embellished with monuments. There he was buried January 27, 1661/2 (recorded in the parish register as 'Sir Thomas Culpeper, Knight') but although he had composed MI.'s for all his family, there was none to perform that office for him.5 
Biography Sir Thomas Culpeper, the elder (1578-1662), writer on usury in Elizabeth’s reign, was only son of Francis Culpeper. He purchased from Sir Warham St. Leger the manors of Greenway Court and Elnothington, near Hollingbourne, Kent, and resided on the former.

His father, Francis, the second son of William Culpeper of Lossenham, married Joan, daughter of John Pordage of Rodmersham, Kent. He died in 1591 at the age of fifty-three and was buried at Hollingbourne Church.

Thomas, born in 1578, became a commoner of Hart Hall, Oxford, in 1591; left the university without a degree; entered himself as a student at one of the Inns of Court; purchased Leeds Castle, Kent, and lived either there or at Greenway Court for the rest of his life. James I knighted him 23 Sep 1619 (Nichols, Progresses of James I, iii. 568).

In 1630 he began writing his Tract against the high rate of Usury, and published it after having presented it to parliament in 1621. Culpeper argues that ten percent, which was the legalized rate of interest at the time, was too high for commerce or morality, and argued for its reduction to six percent. The subject came before parliament in 1623 and 1624. Ultimately the rate of interest was reduced to eight per cent. (21 Jac. I, c. 17). Bacon, whose essay on usury was first published in 1625, demanded a reduction to five percent. Culpeper's tract was reprinted in 1641, and twice in 1668 - first by Sir Josiah Child as an appendix to his Discourse of Trade, and secondly by Culpeper's son. It was translated into French with Sir Josiah Child's book in 1754.

Culpeper married Elizabeth, daughter of John Cheney of Guestling, Sussex, by whom he had three sons and eight daughters. He died in January 1661/2, and was buried in Hollingbourne Church 25 Jan.

The eldest son, Cheney, inherited Leeds Castle, which was entailed, but with the consent of his surviving brother he cut off the entail and sold the estate to his cousin John, Lord Culpeper. The second son, Francis, died young.12 
Biography From Alumni Cantabrigienses, a compliation of Cambridge University Alumni
     Sir Thomas Culpepper, Born 1578. M.A. 1635-6, Litterae Regiae (Royal mandates directing the conferring of a degree). Son of Francis Culpeper, of Greenway Court, Hollingbourne, Kent. Matriculated from Hart Hall, Oxford, 15 Oct 1591. Of the Middle Temple, 1594. Bought Leeds Castle, Kent. Knighted, 1619. Member of Parliament for Chippenham, 1614; for Tewkesbury, 1628-9. Author, Tract against Usury. Died 26 Jan 1661-2, Buried at Hollingbourne. (Dictionary of National Biography; Viscount of Sussex.)2 

Family

Elizabeth Cheney (say 1582 - 27 Oct 1638)
Marriage*say 1600 He married Elizabeth Cheney say 1600. 
Children
ChartsDiana, Princess of Wales: Culpeper Ancestral Chart
The 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
The Culpepers of Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England (Possibly extinct): Descendant Chart
Last Edited4 Jun 2011

Citations

  1. 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
    P.C.C. 85 Sainberbe, Will dated May 20, 1590, Proved November 22, 1591.
  2. J. A. Venn, compiler, Alumni Cantabrigienses (Alumni of Cambridge University), Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1921.
    Sir Thomas Culpeper.
  3. 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.
    C. Liber 38, No. 168.
  4. 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.
    Pages 74-75.
  5. 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.
  6. E-mail written 2007 to Warren Culpepper from Charles Andrew Grigsby, England, e-mail address.
    Transcription of Will of Sir Alexander Culpeper of Greenway Court Hollingbourne Kent 1649
    Ref: 422.
  7. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Image of will at: /archives/uk/wills/images/Alexander_of_Greenway_Court_1649.pdf .
  8. 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
    P. C. C. Rivers, 157.
    Image:http://gen.culpepper.com/archives/uk/wills/images/Alexander_of_Greenway_Court_1645-1.pdf.
  9. Public Records Office, National Archives, London.
    Image of will at: /archives/uk/wills/images/Alexander_of_Greenway_Court_1645-1.pdf.
  10. 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
    P. C. C. Nabbs, 235.
    Will dated July 3, 1660.
    Codicil dated July 9, 1660.
    Proved August 6, 1660.
  11. 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 Sir Thomas Culpepper of Hollingbourne, Kent, Knight, P. C. C. Laud, 16. Will dated January 15, 1661/2. Proved February 8, 1661/2.
  12. The Dictionary of National Biography. The Concise Dictionary. Part 1, From the beginnings to 1900. London: Oxford University Press, 1953.