John Culpeper son of Thomas & Katherine

Male, #8997, (circa 1633 - circa 1674)
Father*Thomas Culpeper of the Middle Temple (s 1602 - s 1652)
Mother*Katherine St. Leger (c 1602 - 1658)
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Colepeper. 
Name-AltSpell This surname is sometimes spelled Culpepper. 
Name Variation He was also known as John Culpeper baptized at Hollingbourne.1 
Name Variation He was also known as John Culpeper Sheriff of Northampton Co., VA. 
Birth*circa 1633 John was born at Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England, circa 1633. 
Baptism4 Apr 1633 He was baptized at Hollingbourne, co. Kent, England, on 4 Apr 1633.  
Death of Fathersay 1652 His father Thomas Culpeper of the Middle Temple died say 1652 at Virginia
Death of Mother1658 His mother Katherine St. Leger died in 1658 at Maidstone, co. Kent, England
Court Records*15 Jul 1670 (CCR 179) Att a called Court, held the 15th July, 1670, at ye house of Samuel Davis, for ye county of Albemarle, in ye Province of Carolina. Present, the Honorable Peter Carteret, Governor and Commander-in-Chief. Left, Col. John Jenkins, John Harudy [Harvey], Major Richard Foster, Capt. Thomas Cullen, council.
     Whereas, Mr. John Culpeper, Gent, attorney for Sir William Berkeley, Knight, and Capt. General of Virginia, petition to this Court for letters of administration on ye estate [of] Capt. Sam'l Stephens, deceased, he putting in security to save ye Court harmless, it is ordered yt ye said Culpeper have orders of administration granted to him. 
     Whereas, Andrew Woolward was summoned to this Court of Chancery and being required to give his oath upon injury, of what he knew to be the estate of Samuel Stephens, Esq., deceased, he wilfully denyed and refused to give his oath, wherefore ye Court ordered yt he remain a close prisoner till further orders.2 
Court Records27 Sep 1670 Att a called Court, held the 27 September, 1670, at ye house of Sam'l Davis, for ye county of Albemarle, in ye Province of Carolina. Present, the Honorable Peter Carteret, Esq., Governor and Commander-in-Chief. Left, Col. John Jenkins, John Harudy [Harvey], Mr. Oliver Rithd. Foster, Mr. Francis Godfrey, Mr. John Willoughby, Capt. Thomas Cullen....  
     Mr. John Culpeper, atto. to Sir Wm. Berkeley, and administrator to ye estate of Capt. Sam'l Stephens, deceased, commences suit against Herman Smewin..
     Mr. Jo. Harudy [Harvey], petition against ye estate of Capt. Samuel Stevens.
     John Culpeper, atto. to Sir William Berkeley, Knight, and administrator of Sam'l Stephens, against Andrew Wellwood.....
     John Culpeper, atto., and administrator est. Sam'l Stephens, deceased, moved to ye Court that there is a son of Richd. Felton, by name Richard Felton, attached to said estate of above Wm. Stephens, and since Mr. Stephens, deceased, placed by Mr. John Hill, yt was no will concerned in ye estate to Wm. Luerton, wherefore ye Court orders yt ye said Luerton, deliver ye said Felton, to said atto., he paying yd fees.2 
Marriage*circa 1671 He married Mary (?) at Virginia circa 1671. 
Death*circa 1674 He died circa 1674.3 
Research note He is referenced in a research note for John Marlo Culpepper (Apocryphal).4,5,6 
Biography He is referenced in a biographical note for John Culpeper the Merchant.5 
Biography* John, son of Thomas and Katherine, was baptised in Hollingbourne, April 4, 1633, as 'John, sonne of Thomas Culpeper, esq.' No other certain record for him has been found in England, according to Fairfax Harrison6, suggesting that he may have lived abroad. Fairfax Harrison, writing in 1926, thought that this John must have been John Culpeper of Albemarle NC, aka 'the Rebel'. Likewise, Warren H. 'Dick' Culpepper7 believed the same.

However, the assumption that John, son of Thomas and Katherine, was John of Albemarle has been disproven. If his own deposition can be believed, then John Culpeper, 'the Rebel' of Albemarle was born between November 1641 and August 1648. This critical fact can be found in the Master's Thesis of William S. Smith, Jr., "Culpeper's Rebellion, New Data and Old Problems, page 19:

     "... while both [Fairfax] Harrison and others list John Culpeper's birthdate as about 1633, a transcript of Albemarle John Culpeper's deposition for the trial of Thomas Miller for blasphemous utterings lists John Culpeper's age as thirty one. Unfortunately, no specific date is given for this deposition although it must have been between November 1673 when the alleged offense occurred and August 1679 when Miller's final trial for these alleged offenses occurred. Reading of a photocopy of the original manuscript of the deposition from which William L. Saunders' Colonial Records data was taken shows that Culpeper's age was correctly transcribed."

Further, as will be established below, John, son of Thomas and Katherine is almost certainly one and the same with John Culpeper, Sheriff of Northampton. John, the Sheriff died in 1674 whereas John of Albemarle died 20 years later. So given the differences in both date of birth (1633 vs. 1644) and date of death (1674 vs. 1694), we can rule out the possibility of John, son of Thomas and Katherine, could have been John Culpeper, the Rebel, of Albemarle, NC.

Fairfax Harrison mentions that a son of Thomas Culpeper and wife Katherine was known to have been a "gentleman" in Virginia. This was probably a reference to this John.

Sir William Berkeley Governor of Virginia, whose wife was Frances Culpeper, apparently refers to this John, his brother-in-law, in a letter to the Commissioners of Surry County, VA, dated 29 April 1673:

     "Gentlemen: There is a despute between my brother Culpeper and Colonel Swann of the damage my brother Culpeper may sustaine by the lease was lett by Captain Graves to George Domingoe. I therefore desire that for the friendly ending of itt there may be a jury impanelled to give theire judgments what the damages may be by a just estimation. Your friend and Sarvt: William Berkeley. Recorded 9 May 1673." (From LDS microfilm 034098, Surry County Records 1671 -- 1684, page 23) [Surry County is on the south side of the James River. At that time, it was just west of Isle of Wight County, which was just west of Nansemond County, which was just west of Lower Norfolk County, all of which are on the south side of the James River. Nansemond County is now Suffolk (City), and western Lower Norfolk County is now Chesapeake (City).]

Arguments in favor of this John as the one who was a sheriff in Northampton Co, VA, and who died there in 1674, include:

     1) this John was around 40 years old in the early 1670's, a good age to have been a sheriff. Another possibility for the job, John Culpeper born in 1606, was in his mid to late 60's by this time and probably too old

     2) The estate of John the sheriff mentioned no descendants, and no descendants are currently known for the John born in 1633. He was about the same age as Henry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk Co., VA, and so might have been either his brother, or his first cousin. He could not have been Henry's father (John the Merchant), nor could he be John of Albemarle who had daughters.

     3) Mary, the wife of John Culpeper, the sheriff of Northampton County, VA, was known to have been a relatively young woman, since she married twice after John's death, and had additional children. This would suggest that her husband John Culpeper might have been a relatively young man as well.

Bill Russell8 suggests: "If John (son of Thomas and Katherine) came to Virginia with the rest of his family, he was only 18 when he left England. He could, of course, have had some training at law in Virginia by reading law - serving as an attorney's clerk while learning the law. He was at least literate enough to serve as clerk and sheriff. It is not clear one way or the other whether or not he was acting as an attorney - he may well have been."

As mentioned, John Culpeper of Northampton and wife Mary seem to have left no descendants. His land in Northampton County, VA was escheated back to the state of Virginia and re-sold.

From Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. III, p. 55: "[to] John Custis, 100 acres in Northampton County, 24 October 1701, p. 414 [of Patent Book 9]. Escheated from John Culpeper, dec'd, by inquisition under John Custis, Esquire, Escheater etc."

From The Papers of William Berkeley (page 475), at Jamestown on 17 Jun 1675, "Mary Culpeper, Relict and Administratrix of the estate of Mr. Jno. Culpeper, deceased" petitioned the court for 50 pounds sterling, so John died shortly before this date.6,9 
Biography He is referenced in a biographical note for John Culpeper of Albemarle NC
Research note He is referenced in a research note for John Culpeper of Accomack Co., VA.8 

Family

Mary (?) (between 1645 and 1650 - circa 1682)
Marriage*circa 1671 He married Mary (?) at Virginia circa 1671. 
ChartsThe 12th century Culpepers of England: Descendant Chart (16 generations, Males only)
Last Edited11 May 2011

Citations

  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.
  2. From "Records of Courts Held by The Governor and Council, from the North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, I, (1900), 135 (The original documents are now lost. This source appears to consist in part of abstracts and to reflect many misreadings of the manuscript.).
  3. Warren M. Billings, compiler, The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605-1677, Richmond, Virginia: Library of Virginia, 2007.
    At Jamestown on 17 Jun 1675, "Mary Culpeper, Relict and Administratrix of the estate of Mr. Jno. Culpeper, deceased" petitioned the court for 50 pounds sterling.
  4. Warren L. Culpepper (#1942), Former publisher of Culpepper Connections, e-mail address.
  5. Lewis W. Griffin Jr. (#47), e-mail address.
  6. 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.
  7. Warren H. 'Dick' Culpepper (#6860), Culpeppers of England and America, Provo, Utah: Stevenson's Genealogy Center, 2008.
  8. E-mail written 1999-2011 to Culpepper Connections from William A. 'Bill' Russell, Alexandria, VA, e-mail address (Sep 2011).
  9. Warren M. Billings, compiler, The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605-1677, Richmond, Virginia: Library of Virginia, 2007.