4. Wigsell Colepepers
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The Sussex Colepepers
The Colepepers of Wigsell, in Salehurst

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Walter, second son of Sir John Colepeper, married Anne, daughter and heiress of Harry Aucher, of Lossenham, co. Kent, and was Under Marshal of Calais at the time of his death in 1514. The following is the abstract of his will:

Will of Walter Colepeper 151644

14 Sep 1514.  I Walter Colepepir onder m'shall of the town of Calays. To be byried in the Resurreccon Chapell within Saint Nicholas Churche, to the whiche chapell my newe poleax and ij of my spere staffs myn Ermite and my swarde. To St George Chapell within the same Churche my cote of plate couered wt chamlet and myn old polleax. To Jhus (Jesus) Chapell wtin the seyd Churche my best Javelyn and a copyll of my spere stavys. Unto St John in the wall 6s Vnto the reparacons of the said Church of St Nicholas 10s. "I wyll that Anne my wyff haue all my lands lying within the Shyre of Kent and Sussex, or in any other place within the Realme of England during hir lyff and after hir decesse to remayne to the heires of my body lawfully begotten after the course of the comen lawe of Ynglond and laudable customes of the seyd Shyres of Kent and Sussex where the lond lyeth. To my seruants that ar sworne in the Retynewe her onder me and in my petie wags ther brigandynes folds standards saletts and musteryn cotes stavys and saletts that they wer wont to were at the musterys." To Richard Payn myn old seruant my gowne of marble colour furred. To Henry hacuplaynt my veluet doblet, my blak jacket and oon sheff of arowes. To Richard Borne my blak cote of cloth bordered with Sarsenet and oon sheff of arowes. To the Churche of Newenden for the discharging of my consciens of such duties as I owe to the same 4 m'ks sterling. Church of Gowtherst 40d sterling. Church of Sevenoke 3s. If the next heires of Thomas Ratlyff of Newenden will pay to my wyff 5 sterling then they shall have the croft and house place that was Thomaseys ther fader to theym and their heirs. Margaret Swayne my seruant my blak gowne lyned wt Sarcenet. To Nanne the bedrede woman's daughter oon payr of myn old hoses and ij of my shirts. To my cosyn Otewell Gaynesford my blak damask cote. To my cosyn George Gaynesford my damask cote of white and grene. To my cosyn Lewes Clyfford my crossebowe and wenlasse and my gune wth her apparel. To Henry Tetle my bowe case of tymbre and one sheff of arowes. My galberdyne of scarlet bordered with veluet to my sone Thomas. To my daughter Elizabeth Welford my grete lewte and oon dosyn of fyne dyaper napkins. To my brodyr Alexander Colepepyr my white harnesse complete. Residue to Anne Colepepyr my wyff to se me honestly byried, and to se Anthony and Willm our sonnys founde to schole. She is to be executrix. Wrytyn wt myn own hand. Witnesses Henry hacupleynt, Richard Borne and Willm Annyley. In the presence of Robert Wyndebanke and of John Wyndebanke who have subscribed ther names with ther own hands. Robert Wyndebank pson of Colne. John Wyndbank solgyer of Calays. Proved at Lambith 28 Apr 1516 by Anne the relict and executrix.

The will of his widow Anne is at Canterbury,45 and is dated 4 Sep 1532 (24 Henry VIII).

Extracts from the Will of Anne Colepeper

If I happen to dye at Canterbury then I wyll my body to be buryed at the frears there, and yf I happen to dye at Cranbroke then I wyll my body to be buryed at the frears of Lossenham besyde my ffather there buryed. To Wyllm my sone my weddynge rynge and all my platte except my lyttle lowe salt wt the couer and vj my best sponys which I wylle to my daughtr Anne Tooke. To my sone Wyllm Colepeper all my stoke at Lossenham. To every of the children of Elysabeth my daughter xls. She mentions Francis, Anne, Constance, Katheryn and Mary the children of Thomas Wylford, my goddaughters. To my daughter Culepeper ij of my best gownes. Executor and residuary legatee my son Wyllm. All my manors and lands in Newenden Rowynden and Biddenden to certain trustees to hold them to the use of my sone Wyllm and his heirs--in default to the right heirs of Harry Ager, Esq., my father.

It would therefore (from the wills) appear that their sons Thomas and Anthony died without issue between 1514 and 1532.

Their eldest son, William Colepeper, about 4 Jan 1530 (21 Henry VIII), married Cicely, daughter of John Barrett, of Belhowse, in Alvethley, co. Essex, and sister of George Barrett, whose widow Elizabeth, daughter of John Dyngley by her second marriage with Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, co. Kent, was mother of John Tufton, of Hothfield, Esq. On his marriage the Wigsell estates were settled46 on Anne, widow of Walter Colepeper, for the term of her life, with remainder to William Colepepyr, son and heir of the said Walter, and Cicele Barrett, his intended wife. The following is an abstract of

The Will of William Colepeper, of Wigsell.47

16 Nov 1559 (1 Elizabeth). I Willm Culpeper of Wigsell in the County of Sussex, Esquire. To be buried in the parish church of Salehurste, in the chapell where my good dere wife Cicely Culpeper doth lye. Poor householders of Bodyam 20s. 10 for a tome to sett on my grave. To reparation of Church of Newyndon 3. 6. 8. To William Grantham my seruant 20s. a yere for life. To Gybson's widow 10s. a yere for life. To Mr. Hyde scolemaster of Wynchester 30s. To Elizabeth Wilgosse and Anne Edolf my daughters 5 each for a silver cup with my arms to be graven on it. To Edward Donck of Hawkherst my newe cloth gowne furred and to John Twysden my ffryce coot. Residuary legatee and Executor John Culpeper my eldest son and my nephew John Tufton of Hothfield Esq my overseer to whom my graye curtall geldynge. Witnesses Willm Grantham, Willm Lopham, John Webbe, George Pix, John Tufton, Marye Tufton, Symon Edolfe, Anne Edolfe, Rich. Lacheford.

As to my lands in Sussex and Kent to John my son, my manors of Lossenham and Louedean in Kent, my m'she in Newynden called the ffryers m'she, my lands called Scotts in Sandherste and Newynden and and a yerely rent of 3 out of Walland marshe, also two parts of my manor of Wigsell in the county of Sussex in three partes divided, if the said John pay unto Fraunces Culpeper my second son, Marten Culpeper my third son, Walter Culpeper my fourth son, Thomas Culpeper my fifth son Edmonde Culpeper my vijth son 5 a year each for life, and to Richard Culpeper my vjth son an annuity of 6. 13. 4. --all the above with the right of entry in default of payment on the two parts of the manor of Wigsell. My manor of Heryngden in Kent to John my son to pay my debts and legacies and if he will not to Francis and Martin my sons. Proved 6 Dec 1559 by John Colepeper executor.

Of the daughters, Elizabeth married John Wildgose, of Salehurst, co. Sussex, and Anne married Simon Edolphe, of St. Radigunds, co. Kent, while the descendants of Martin, Walter and Richard removed to other counties and died out as shown in the pedigree, and Edmund, who held various livings in Kent, apparently died unmarried.

The fifth son Thomas was of Wilmington, co. Sussex, and, as he left no issue by his wife Elizabeth, widow of John Gode, of London, the wills of himself and his wife are included below. Their marriage licence to marry at Harrietsham is dated 17 Dec 1579, at Canterbury, Thomas Colepeper being, then described as of Hawkhurst, gent. He died on the 7th and was buried at Wilmington on the 10 Oct 1603, aged 60. His widow Elizabeth was also buried there 3 Jul 1606.

Abstract of the Will of Thomas Culpeper of Wilmington48

I Thomas Culpeper, of Wilmington in the County of Sussex Esq. 22 Oct 1602. My brother John Culpeper of Wigsell co. Sussex Esq. his wife Elizabeth and their son Thomas. My cousin Anthony Culpeper of Bedgbury in Kent Esq. and his son Henry. My nephew Culpeper of Fokington co. Sussex. My nephew William Steede of Steede Hill Esq. To my wife Elizabeth the relict of John Gode of London merchant taylor my lease of Courtlodge in Wilmington, and the lease of the Rectory of Westham. To her son John Gode of London, gent. To my good Mr and landlord Lord Buckhurst 20. Servauts Wm. Jurden, Edmond Shibbard and Richard Colliar. Leaves his personal property to be divided into 6 parts as follows:2 parts to John Godes brother in law and my son in law John Leake marchant taylor and Mary Leake his wife. To Anne late the wife of Cassian Cooper my said wife's eldest daughter a third part. To Katheryn Hampson, daughter of my said wife, and wife of Robert Hampson Esq. one of the Aldermen of London a fourth part. To Mary Leake third and now youngest daughter of my said wife, and now wife of John Leake marchant taylor a fifth part, and the sixth of the said six parts to my overseers. My son in law Francis Gode. Wife Elizabeth residuary legatee and executrix, by whom the will was proved 22 Oct 1603.

Abstract of the Will of Elizabeth Culpeper of Wilmington49

I Elizabeth Culpeper of Wilmington widowe. To be buryed near or in the place where the body of my late husband Thomas Culpeper was buried. To the poor parishioners of Willmington 20s. To my cousin Robert Brooke his children 20s. Unto Abraham Brooke his brother 20. Unto Elizabeth God my goddaughter and the daughter of my eldest son John God the furniture in the porch chamber. Unto his daughter Dorothy God the furniture of chamber wherein I usually lye. Unto my daughter Cowper the furniture of chamber over kitchen. To my daughter Leake the furniture of chamber next old kitchen. To William Jorden my servant a bed and bedstedle. My son John shall have speciall regarde to legacy given to old Shubert and to Richard Collyer by my husbands last will. The residue after payment of my debts to be divided into 6 parts, of which 2 parts to my eldest son John God, one part to my daughter Cowper, a fourth part to my daughter Dame Katherine Hampson, the fifth part to My daughter Leake, and the sixth part to my son Fraunces, the same to be ordered and guided by a codical annexed to my late husband's will. Son John God sole executor to perform the will of my late husband Thomas Culpeper. Friends John Culpeper of Fockington Esqr and Herbert Springet, gentleman overseers to whom 5 each. Dated 13 Jun 1604. Proved by John God 28 Jul 1606.

We have, therefore, only to consider the descendants of the two eldest sons of William Culpeper, of Wigsell, viz., John and Francis.

John, the eldest son of William Culpeper, of Wigsell, was born in 1530, admitted of the Inner Temple in 1553, married about 1560 Elizabeth, daughter of William Sidley, of Southfleet, co. Kent, Esq., and was buried at Salehurst 21 Oct 1612, aged 82. From the Inq. Post Mortem, taken at East Grinstead 7 May 1614 (12 James I),50 after the death of their eldest son, Thomas Culpeper, Esq., of Wigsell, we find that John Culpeper, his father, died on 20 Oct 1612, that his mother Elizabeth survived him, and was living in 1614 at Newenden, in Kent, that he had two brothers, John and Alexander, and that by his wife Anne, buried at Salehurst 26 Feb 1601/2, he had a son and heir, Slaney Culpeper, aged 14 years, 10 months and 18 days on the 18th September, 1613, also that he (Thomas Culpeper) left a will. His mother, Elizabeth Culpeper, was buried at Salehurst 17 May 1618. All these particulars are important, because Sir John, the first Lord Colepeper, is made out in Wykeham Martin's History of Leeds Castle, and in G.E.C.'s Complete Peerage, to be the son of Sir John Colepeper, of Wigsell, by Elizabeth Sedley, whereas he was really his grandson, son of his son Thomas, by Anne, daughter of Sir Stephen Slaney, Lord Mayor of London and brother of Slaney Culpeper mentioned above, as is shown not only by the foregoing, but by the Inq. P.M. on 16 May 1618 (16 James I), of Slaney Culpeper, Esq., which states that he died 12 May 1617, and that John Colepeper is his brother and heir, and that he was aged 18 years, 9 months and 9 days.

John Culpeper, Esq., of Wigsell, who died in 1612, left no will. He had four sons, Thomas, William, John and Alexander. William matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, in 1579, aged 17, and was entered of the Middle Temple, in 1583, as second son of John Colepeper, of Wigsell, Esq., but as John of Feckenham, co. Worcester, is styled on his monument at Hollingbourne to be the second son of John of Wigsell, and aged 70 at his death, 20 Dec 1635, it would seem that William, the second son, must have died early without issue. He is the only one of the four sons who left no will.

Extracts from the Will of Thomas Culpeper of Wigsell, Esq.51

I Thomas Culpeper of Wigsell in the Countie of Sussex Esquire. To be buried with littell adoe. To my welbeloved wife the household stuff plate and linnen which she brought. Whereas I have received 500 for certain land which belonged to my wife in co Salop, sometime the Williames or one of them, although I have bin at the charges of above 72 I will a certain farm at Padian to my wife for her life and after her decease to the eldest son I shall beget of her body and for default of such issue to such daughters as I shall beget, remainder to the heirs male of my body, and if I have but one daughter by my now wife then 700 to such daughter at 18, but if she die before 18 then 500 to my wives son at 24, and if he die before then 100 to Elizabeth Mumford and to such children as shall be living if Elizabeth Mumford shall die. Wife shall have use of all jewells she hath, that is to say a border, a chayne of perle, a payer of bracelets, a cup of silver with the lyde thereto belonginge wch I bought, and certain gold wroth buttons which I bought wch she useth to were on her gowne some set wth stones and perle and some wth perle only during her lyfe and after her decease to such doughter or doughters as shall will them unto begotten by me and for all other Jewells wch her mother Baistone hath geaven I will absolutely to herselfe. All other goods and profits of my lands till my eldest sonne come to the age of 24 yeares to my executors to the good of all my children begotten by my now wife as of my children begotten by my first wife. My daughters portions to be paid at 18 and sons at 24. Executors my brother John Culpeper and my brother Alexander Culpeper to whom all lands parsonages, or leases which I have heretofore bought with authority to sell the same for payment of debts, and the residue to be bestowed among my children at their discretion. Dated 16 Sept. 1613. Witnesses Richard Relfe, John Sleep.

After this I added this much more 6 May 1612. To my dear wife Mary Culpeper a tankard of silver and such goodes as I shall have of her mother Bistone. 6 May 1612. Witness John Sleep. All lands I have by graunt discent or will from my father unto the said John Culpeper and Alexander Culpeper till my sonne Slaney Culpeper is 21 and my debts paid, after which they shall convey the same to him. 16 Sep. 1613. Witnesses Richard Relfe, John Sleep. All timber on my mannor of Wigsell and on my mannor of Harrenden in Sandherst and Newenden in Kent to my executors for payment of my debts. And I intreate my executors to compound for the wardship of my eldest son and heir if any lands are held of the King in capite. 16 Sept. 1613. Witnesses Richard Relfe, John Sleep. Proved with codicils 25 Sept. 1613 by John Colepeper one of the executors, power being reserved for Alexander Culpeper, the other executor.

Chanc. Inq. P. M. Ser. IL 341: 53
(Added by Culpepper Connections from The Proprietors of the Northern Neck)

Inquisition taken at East Grinstead co. Sussex 7 May 1614 ( 12 James I) before... , after death of Thomas Culpeper esq. dec., by oath of... who say that long before death of sd. T. C., one John Culpeper esq., his father was seised in fee of manor or farm of Wigsell containing 600 acres in pish. of Saleherst in sd. co. & of lands containing 12 acres in Saleherst & Bodyham in sd. co. in tenure of Thomas Dunke. So seised sd. J. C: by Indre dat. 16 May, 31 Eliz [1589]- conveyed sd lands to use of himself & Elizabeth his wife for lives; remainder to sd T. C. in tail male by Anne his wife; remr. to heirs male of sd. J. C.; remainder to heirs male of William C_ dec. father of sd John; remr to heirs of body of sd T. C. by sd Anne; remr. to right heirs of sd J. C. Afterwards sd Anne died on 20 Feb 1605/6 ( 3 James I) Sd John Culpeper died 20 Oct 1612 ( 10 James I). Sd Elizabeth his wife survives, & is seised of sd lands for life, & is living at Newenden co. Kent. Moreover sd T. C. was seised of lands containing 12 acres in Saleherst, in tenure of John Culpeper jun- [i. e., John12, later of Feckenham]; & of a messe in Robertsbridge, sd co., in tenure of Richard Greene; & of lands containing 7 acres in Ewherst in sd. co. in tenure of sd J. Culpeper jun.; & of a mess & 2 acres in Westharn in sd co. Sd T. C. on 16 Sep. 1613 made his will as follows 'All lands I have bought to my sd exors. my brother John & my brother Alexander C. in fee on trust for legacies etc. & then among my children at discretion of my exors. All lands I have from my father to sd exors. to take profits until my son Slany C. be 21 ; & then exors. to convey same to him in fee.' Sd. T. C. died 18 Sept. last [16131 & Slany C. esq. is his son & heir by sd Amne & also son & heir of sd Thomas & was 14 years 10 months & 18 days at his father's death. Wigsell is held of Thomas Pelham, Bt. as of his castle of Hastings in sd co. by knights service (but by what part jurors know not) & is worth 10 a year. Sd 12 acres in Saleherst & Bodyharn are held of Ralph Bosvile knight & Thomas Levett gent., as of their manor of Bodyham, by fealty (but by what services jurors know not) & are worth 3s. 4d. a year. Sd. 12 acres in Saleherst [John Culpeper jun's] are held by Robert Tirwhitt esq. as of his manor of Etchingham by fealty (but by what etc.) & are worth 3s. 4d. a year. Sd premises in Robertsbridge are held of Robert, viscount Lisle as of his manor of Robertsbridge sd co. by fealty (but by what etc) & are worth 2s. Sd. 7 acres in Ewhurst sd co. are held of John Bromfeld gent. as of his manor of Ewhurst sd co. by fealty (but by what etc.) & are worth 6d. a year. Sd messe etc. in Westham sd co. are held of Thomas Baker knight as of his manor of Newe Pryorye sd co. in socage (but by what rent etc.) & are worth 5s. Sd T. C. held no other land in sd co.

The first wife of Thomas Culpeper, of Wigsell, was Anne, daughter of Sir Stephen Slaney, Kt., Lord Mayor 1595, by whom he had two sons:

(i.) Slaney, who died 12 Dec 1618, when by Inq. P.M. his brother John was found to be his heir, and aged 18 years, 9 months and 9 days.

(ii.) John, afterwards Lord Colepeper, baptised at Salehurst 17 Aug 1600.

And a daughter:

(iii.) Elizabeth, baptised at Salehurst, 1601, who married Sir Robert Brooke, of Cobham, and died 22 Jul 1683. She was a woman of some celebrity in her day; see her funeral sermon, by N. Parkhurst, and Wilford's Memorials of Eminent Persons.

Anne, first wife of Thomas Culpeper, was buried at Salehurst 26 Feb 1601/2, and he married, secondly, Mary, daughter of Roger Beeston, citizen of London, and widow of Francis Gibbon, of Benenden, in Kent, Esq., by whom he had one son:

(i.) Thomas, baptized 13 Dec 1607, at Hawkhurst, and buried at Salehurst 30 Dec 1607.

And three daughters:

(ii.) Mary, baptized at Salehurst 10 Aug 1606.

(iii.) Cicely, baptized at Salehurst 8 Jul 1610.

(iv.) Ann, baptized at Hawkhurst 10 Nov 1611, and married at Frittenden, Kent, 3 Nov 1636, to Thomas Scott, of Smeeth, Esq.

Thomas Culpeper, of Wigsell, was buried at Salehurst 19 Sep 1613, but his widow Mary survived him many years. Her will is at Canterbury, dated 15 Aug 1660, and proved 11 Apr 1661, by Edmund Gibbon, Esq., her son. The following is an abstract of her will:

Will of Mary (Beeston) Culpeper52

To my sonne Thomas Scott 3. To my daughter his wife xls. to buy each of them a ringe. All my old gould to be equally divided between my sonne Edmund Gibbon and my grandchild Robert Scott. The latter to have 20 per annum during his and his father's joynt lives and I do tye my farme in the east end of Benenden for the payment thereof. To my loving son Edmund Gibbon of the Middle Temple, Esq., all my lands and messuages, with remainder to my grandchild Robert Scott. Residue to Edmund Gibbon, who is executor.

From this will it would appear that her daughters Mary and Cicely died without issue.

John, the eldest son of Thomas Culpeper, of Wigsell, was knighted 14 Jan 1621, married at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, 29 Oct 1628, Philippa, daughter of George Snelling, of West Grinstead (she was buried at Hollingbourne 16 Sep 1630), by whom he had issue a son:

(i.) Alexander, who married Catherine, daughter of Sir Edward Ford, of Harting, and died without issue. Administration of his estate was granted in P.C.C. to his widow Katherine, then 4th January, 1664/5, the wife of Ralph Grey, Esq.

And a daughter:

(ii.) Philippa, who married Sir Thomas Harlackenden, of Woodchurch, co. Kent.

Sir John Colepeper, who sold Wigsell 30 Jan 1623, to Cheney Colepeper,53 married, secondly, by licence, dated at Canterbury 12 Jan 1630/1, Judith, daughter of Sir Thomas Colepeper, of Hollingbourne. He served some time in the army, was elected M.P. for co. Kent in the Long Parliament, made a P.C. and Chancellor of the Exchequer 2 Jan 1642.54 He obtained, 28 Jan 1643, the office of Master of the Rolls and was on 21 Oct 1644, created Baron Colepeper, of Thoresway, co. Lincoln. In Wykeham Martin's History of Leeds Castle it is stated that Sir John bought the Castle from his cousins, Cheney and Thomas, but this is a mistake, as Sir John fled the country with Prince Charles on 2 Mar 1646, when his estates were confiscated, and he remained in exile till the Restoration. On 21 Oct 1651, the Council of State, which had been using the Castle as a magazine, decided to restore it to Sir Cheney Culpeper, the proprietor, a gentleman described in the order as " well affected to us."55

Sir John died 11 Jul 1660, aged 60, and was buried at Hollingbourne. His will, dated 3 Jul 1660, was proved 3 Aug 1660 by his wife Judith, who was buried at Hollingbourne in 1691. He had the following children, all baptized at Hollingbourne:

(i.) Elizabeth, baptized and buried in 1632.

(ii.) Thomas, baptized 1638, buried 1634.

(iii.) Thomas, baptized 1634, who succeeded his father as second Lord Culpeper, and by his marriage with Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Jean Van Hesse, Seigneur de Perschill and Wena in Holland, had an only daughter and heiress,

(1.) Catherine, who married Thomas, 5th Baron Fairfax, of Cameron, in Scotland, and had a daughter Frances, who married Denny Martin, Esq., and conveyed the estate of Leeds Castle, in Kent, to his family, now represented by C. P. Wykeham-Martin, of Leeds Castle.

The 2nd Lord Colepeper was not a very estimable character. After his death, 27 Jan 1688/9, his widow stated56 that her late husband had two houses in London, one in St. James' Street, the other in Hammersmith. He died in St. James' Street and she was living at Leeds Castle, not having had the least notice that he was sick until some time after his decease. She immediately went to London and buried him, and wants to administer his estate in order to pay his debts, which she is informed are very great and many. But Susanna Willis, alias Weldon, alias Laycock, who had been living with him at his house in St. James' Street, has the key of his closets and has possessed herself of everything.

In her answer Susanna Willis mentions her two daughters by Lord Thomas Colepeper, Susan, wife of Sir Charles Englefield, Bart. (married at St. James', Westminster, 22 Feb 1685/6) and Charlotte, aged 13. By indenture in 1688 Lord Colepeper granted to her daughters land at Solihull, co. Warwick, the tithes of Mayfield, the Manor of Thoresway, 24 acres at Wittersham, land near Kent Bridge, in Wittersham, yielding 7. 10s. 0d. per annum, land in Erith, Lesnes and Plumstead, valued at 72 per annum, land in Buriton, co. Southants, 260 acres of marsh at Lydde and Bromehill, worth 185 per annum, a farm in Loose, East Farleigh and Maidstone, yielding 30 per annum. Then she mentions a will of Thomas Lord Colepeper, in which he revoked all his other wills, especially his last one, 23 Aug 1681, and he settled on his natural daughter Susan, Wife of Sir Charles Englefield, an annuity of 100 for life out of Thoresway Manor and 3,000 portion, 3,000 to his natural daughter Charlotte, his house in Hammersmith to Susanna Weldon, alias Willis. The Manor of Arreton, Isle of Wight, to his natural daughter, Charlotte. The residue of his property to Katherine, his daughter, who is executrix.

A Bill in Parliament to annul the above gifts, whether by deed or will, to Susanna Willis, alias Weldon, alias Laycock, and her two illegitimate children, was rejected in the House of Lords 15 Jan 1689/90.

(iv.) Elizabeth, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1637; married, 1661, James Hamilton, Esq., Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles II; their son, James Hamilton, became 6th Earl of Abercorn.

(v.) Judith, baptized at Hollingbourne 1638, died 1691.

(vi.) John, baptized at Hollingbourne 16 Mar 1640, became 3rd Lord Colepeper on his brother's death in 1688/9, married 30 Jun 1707, Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Colepeper, of Hollingbourne, by Alice, daughter of Sir William Colepeper, of Aylesford, but died s.p. 8 Jul 1719, when he was succeeded by his brother.

(vii.) Cheney, 4th Lord Colepeper, baptized at Hollingbourne 6 Sep 1642. On his death, unmarried, 25 Jun 1725, the peerage became extinct.

(viii.) Francis, who died s.p.

(ix.) Philippa, baptized at Hollingbourne 1649, died 1719. Will in P.C.C., 132 Shaller.

Thomas Colepeper, of Wigsell, father of John, 1st Lord Colepeper, had, as will be seen from his will above, two brothers, John and Alexander.

John died 20 Dec 1635, in the 70th year of his age, and on his monument at Hollingbourne is described as "de Fakenham in Com: Wigorn ar. filius secundus Johannis de Wigsell." In his will, dated 14 Dec 1635, and proved in P.C.C., 23  Jan 1635/6,57 he styles himself "John Culpeper, of Greenway Court in the Countie of Kent, Esquior," and mentions his wife Anne, sons Thomas and John and daughters Cicely and Frances, the wife of James Medlicote.

Sir Alexander Culpeper describes himself in his will,58 dated 30 Jan 1644, with codicils 4 May 1645, as of "Greenway Court in the county of Kent, Knight, youngest son of John Culpeper, of Wigshell, co. Sussex, Esquire, deceased." He married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Scott, and widow of Anthony St. Leger, Esq., of Illcombe, but died without issue at Bridgwater59 in Aug 1645, while with the King's forces. His wife's granddaughter Katherine, daughter of Sir Warrham St. Leger, married his nephew Thomas (son of his brother John Colepeper, who, it is stated, lost his life and his liberty in the Civil War.60 Their children were:

(i.) Alexander Colepeper, Surveyor General of Virginia in 1671, whose will was proved in P.C.C., 5 Jan 1694.61

(ii.) Frances, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1634, married Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia.

(iii.) John, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1633.

(iv.) Anne, baptized at Hollingbourne, 1630.

Neither John Colepeper, who died in 1635, nor his brother, Sir Alexander Colepeper, who died in 1645, had any immediate connection with Sussex. Their uncle Francis Colepeper, however, who died on 31 May 1591, aged 53, and is described on his monument at Hollingbourne as "filius scdus Willelmi de Wigsell," besides issue by his second wife Joan, daughter of John Pordage and widow of William Steede, who continued to reside at Hollingbourne, had by his first wife Philippa,62 buried at Harrietsham 7 Jul 1574, two sons:

(i.) Walter, baptized at Harrietsham 2 Nov 1573, slain in Holland, and

(ii.) John, who settled at Folkington, in Sussex, and of whom hereafter.

The following is an 

Abstract of the will of Francis Culpeper, Esq.:63

(Culpepper Connections Note: The abstract included below is a slightly more complete version by Fairfax Harrison from The proprietors of the Northern Neck.)

20 May 1590.  I Ffrancis Culpepper of Greenewaye Court, co. Kent, esq. My body to be buried at Hollingbourne if I die in Kent, no solemnity nor repair to be used at my burial; only six of my servants to carry me to my grave & they to have for their pains 20s. apiece. He that burieth me, a noble [gold piece]. My burial to be at 6 o'ck in the morning. I make my exors my wife Johane C. & the right worshipful my very good friend John Tufton esq. [of Hothfield, later knight and baronet, whose son was created earl of Thanet, 4 Car. I], my brothers John C. [of Wigsell] & Thomas C. [of Wilmington] esquires. I make my overseers my three sons, John, Walter & Thomas. I pray my exors. to take upon them the charge committed to them by a Deed Indented of date hereof. To every of my exors. 50s. for rings. To the rest of my brothers 30s. apiece for rings. To my eldest clerk in Household with me who hath served me 6 years & above, 14 a year for his life. Because by Deed of Gift I have given my goods in my lifetime sd. deed to be taken as my will & if need be annexed as a codicil. To my poor servants which take pains in watching me in my sickness 13s. 4d. each. To my daur.-in-law [step daughter] Susanne Steede 100 marks beyond the 500 marks which I stand bound for. To my son-in-law [step son] William Steede my best gelding except such gelding as his mother shall reserve for herself. To my very good friend & cousin Anthony Sallenger [St. Leger of Ulcomb] Esq. 5 angels. Hoping by mercy of God to live to see my debts paid & my children in more forwardness, I will leave with my indenture of trust a remembrance of debts due to me & debts I owe.

This Indenture made 20 May 1590  [ 32 Elizabeth] between John Tufton of Hothfield, co. Kent esq. John Culpepper of Wigsell, co. Sussex & Thomas Culpepper of Willmington, Sussex, esquires, & Johanne Culpepper of Hollingbourne Kent gentlewoman, of the first part & Francis Culpepper of Hollingbourne afsd. esq. of the second part: In consideration of payment of debts of A. F. to be paid & then for assuring the dower of the wife of the said F. & thirdly for preferment of children of sd. F., sd. F. hath given to sd. J. J. T. & J. all his goods & lands to following uses, viz: to hold all lands of A. F. in Hollingbourne & Harrison [Harrietsham] & Leeds (except the 'Abbey of Leeds') to use of Johanne C. for life she paying 120 yearly for 2 years in discharge of debts of sd. F.; & after debts of sd. F. discharged, which A. F. accounteth will be at 'Hollantide' [All Hallows] next shall be two years at the furthest, the sd. Johane to have all the lands etc. for life: On her death stock to be left on the ground to use of Thomas C. & plate & instuff to be divided between Thomas C. & John C. sons to A. F. On death of sd. Johane lands at Hollingborne & Harrison [Harrietsham] to go to Thomas C. son of A. F. in tail male; in default to John C. son of sd. F. in tail male; in default to Walter C. son of sd. F. in tail male; in default to right heirs of sd. F.; none to alienate lands. Rest of lands to A. (Trustees) till John C. son of A. F. be 30; profits meanwhile to use of him, in tail male; in default to sd Walter & Thomas successively in tail male; in default to, right heirs. On John's attaining 30, he to have lands of A. F. in co. Southtn, viz manor of Pennington, leases of manor & parsonage of Enforde in Wilts, free mill & hammer [iron works] & lands in prsh of Hawkerst, Kent, leases in Lidd & Rumney mershe & the Stewardship of Rochester & a lease taken from Sir Warren Sellenger [Warharn St. Leger] of 64 a year. Walter C. to have out of lands willed to Thomas C. 15 a year & out of lands willed to John C. 15 a year, both for life. When lease of Parsonage of 'Lateomay be taken, to be taken in his name & to his use.' Sd. Thomas to have lease of sd. F. at Winsborowe in East Kent. John C. to give to his brother Walter one year's profits of manor & parsonage of Enford, viz: 100 when in possession thereof. Johane C. to allow Thomas C. exhibition money out of Greenway Court until John C. be 30. Sd. Feoffees to allow John son of sd. F. 40 marks a year & if he demean him self well to increase it to 50 marks; to Walter 20 a year. If it please God to call sd Johane within sd. 7 years (six) she to have disposal of lands at Greenway Court, Hollingborne & Harrison [Harrietsham] for two years after her death. Whereas in consideration of jointure or dower to sd. Johane there is granted from my son-in-law [step son] William Steade a lease of lands worth 100 marks a year above the rent that lease also to be to sd. Johane. Sd. feoffees to be my exors. The Abbey of Leeds to be sold towards payment of my debts. After sd. 7 years expired, about which time my son John will attain 30, profits of lands which are to come to my son Thomas to be received by my feoffees for him until he be 24. No witnesses.

Prob. by proctor of Thomas Cullpepper esq. one of the exors. Power reserved for Johane the relict, John Tufton & John Culpepper esquires . also exors.

To this was added contemporaneously the following testimony:

Inquisition64  taken at Sittingbourne 1 Oct. [1591] found that Francis Colepeper Esq. died seized of the manor of Greenway Court in Hollingbourne and Harrietsham, held of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury by the rent of 3.12.8. and worth 26.13.4. per ann. and of a water mill at Harrietsham called Holme myll held of the same and worth 40s. p. ann. and of a messuage, barn and 12 acres of land in Hawkhurst Kent, held of the said Dean and Chapter worth 40s. p. ann.; And of the manor of Penton alias Pennyngton in the County of Southampton held in free socage as of the town of Andover and worth 20 p. ann. The said Francis Colepeper made his Will 20 May 32 Eliz.and died the last of May 32 Eliz. John Colepeper, gent is his son and next heir and of the age of 23 years and more at the taking of this Inquisition. Joan the widow of Francis is still living. Francis Colepeper's sons Walter and Thomas are also mentioned.

His widow Joan, daughter of John Pordage and widow formerly of William Steede of Harrietsham, esquire, (by whom she had:

(i.) William Steede,

(ii.) Jane Steede, who married Richard Colepeper,

(iii.) Susanna Steede, who married Edward Partriche,

(iv.) Elizabeth Steede, who married William Covert),

was buried at Hollingbourne 7 Apr 1598, aged 60, and in her will at Canterbury,65 dated 8 Mar 1594, and proved 9 May 1598, she bequeaths as follows:

Abstract of the Will of Joan (Pordage) Colepeper.

My goods and chattels to my welbeloved son Wm. Steede of Harrietsham Esq to pay my debts. He is executor. 100 to purchase land for the poor in Harrietsham and Hollingbourne. To my son (i.e. son in law) William Covert. Executor to have 10 rings made for the following:

To my sonne Wm. Covert and his wife: 2.

To my sonne (i.e. son in law) Richard Colepeper and his wife: 2.

To my sonne Thomas Colepeper: 1.

To my sonne Edward Patriche and to my daughter Susanna: 2.

To my sonne Walter Colepeper: 1. (This must mean her stepson, the half brother of Thomas Colepeper above, who in putting up the monument to his parent's memory in Hollingbourne Church, styles himself "unicus iis communis filius" and therefore shows that he was not "slain in Holland" before 1594.)

To my sonne Steed to retain 1 for himself and to deliver 1 other to my daughter his wife. Residue to my son Thomas Colepeper when 24. As to Greenway Court I give it as I am empowered by my husband's will to my son Thomas for a period of 2 years after my decease.

As Thomas, the only son of Francis Colepeper and Joane Pordage, who was afterwards knighted and married Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John Cheyney, Esq., of Guestling in Sussex, continued with his descendants at Hollingbourne, in Kent, and this paper is only concerned with the Colepepers of Sussex, we will return to John, the son of Francis, by his first wife Philippa.

To next chapter

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44 P.C.C., 16 Holder
C. Liber 15, No. 163
46 Harl., Ch. 76, h. 12
47 P.C.C., 61 Chaynay
48 Lewes, A. 11, 218, and P.C.C., 102 Bolein
49 P.C.C. 54 Staffordes
50 Chancery Inq. P.M. 1614, No 53
51 P.C.C., 79 Capell
52 A. 71, Avery, No. 70.
53 Close Roll, 1 James I, pt. 26
54 Pat. Roll, No. 2,905, 20 Charles I, No. 4
55 Cal. State Papers, Vol. 16, p. 589. See also Feet of Fines, Kent, Trin., 1650. Inter Cheney Culpeper mil. et John Page et alios de manerio et castro de Leeds. See also Feet of Fines, Hillary, 1650.
56 Bills and Answers before 1714, Hamilton, Vol. II, Bundle 85, No. 66. See also Hamilton, Bundle 671.
57 P.C.C. 4 Pile
58 P.C.C. 157 Rivers
59 Royalist Compos. Papers, 2nd series, Vol III, page 734
60 Cal. of State Papers, America and the West Indies, 1669-74, f. 571
61 P.C.C. 3 Irby
62 Add. MSS., 5,520, fo. 176, gives no Christian name, but makes her daughter and heir of ___ of Hinckstead
63 P.C.C. 85 Sainberbe
64 Inq. P.M. 33 Elizabeth, pt. 1, No. 125
65 C. Liber 38, No. 168

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Last Revised: 02 Jan 2015


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