John Colepeper, 1st Baron Colepeper

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Lord Colepeper

John Colepeper of Bedgebery, 1st Baron Culpeper of Thoresway [1] (c. 1600 – 11 June 1660) was an English politician.



He was the only son of Thomas Culpeper of Wigsell manor, [2] Bodiam, East Sussex (1561 - 19 September 1613) and Anne Slaney (c. 1575 - before 26 February 1602), daughter of Sir Stephen Slaney, Lord Mayor of London. [3] The Colepepers (the name is thought to derive from the plant) resided in Sussex for many years, and as early as the reign of King Edward III were serving in administrative capacities (particularly as sheriff) in Kent and Sussex. [4]

Manor Estate in land to which is incident the right to hold a manorial court

In English law, a manor is an estate in land which includes the right to hold a manorial court. The Lord of the manor, through the manorial court, has jurisdiction over those who live within the lands of the manor. The proper unit of tenure under the feudal system is the fee, on which the manor became established through the process of time, akin to the modern establishment of a "business" upon a freehold site. The manor is nevertheless often described as the basic feudal unit of tenure and is historically connected with the territorial divisions of the march, county, hundred, parish and township.

Bodiam village in the United Kingdom

Bodiam is a small village and civil parish in the Rother District district, in East Sussex, England, in the valley of the River Rother near to the villages of Sandhurst and Ewhurst Green. There is a 12th-century church, which contains a brass of a knight with the arms of the de Bodeham family, one of the first lords of the manor. Originally it was a port and crossing point from Battle to North Kent. During the medieval period a great moated castle Bodiam Castle, was built which is now a popular visitor attraction. There is a small range of houses, a pub, and a restaurant. Although famous for its castle, Bodiam was also in a main hop-growing area in the last century and was famous for growing hops for Guinness. Reginald B. Levett of Court Lodge Farm would sell part of his land to Guinness to grow hops. A railway was built to provide transport for the hoppers, the Kent and East Sussex Railway (K&ESR), which is now another tourist attraction. The MP of the local UK Parliament constituency is is Huw Merrriman.

East Sussex County of England

East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent to the north and east and West Sussex to the west as well as the English Channel to the south.

John Colepeper began his career in military service abroad, and came first into public notice at home through his knowledge of country affairs, being summoned often before the council board to give evidence on such matters. He was knighted, and after representing Rye in the Short Parliament in April 1640 was elected member later in the year for Kent in the Long Parliament. He then took the popular side, speaking against monopolies on 9 November 1640, being entrusted with the impeachment of Sir Robert Berkeley on 12 February 1641, supporting Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford's attainder, and being appointed to the committee of defence on 12 August 1641.

Rye was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Rye in East Sussex. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until its representation was halved under the Reform Act 1832.

Short Parliament Parliament of England that was summoned by King Charles I of England

The Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that was summoned by King Charles I of England on 20 February 1640 and sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640. It was so called because of its short life of only three weeks.

Kent was a parliamentary constituency covering the county of Kent in southeast England. It returned two "knights of the shire" to the House of Commons by the bloc vote system from the year 1290. Members were returned to the Parliament of England until the Union with Scotland created the Parliament of Great Britain in 1708, and to the Parliament of the United Kingdom after the union with Ireland in 1801 until the county was divided by the Reform Act 1832.

He separated, however, from the popular party on the Church question, owing to political rather than religious objections, fearing the effect of the revolutionary changes which were now contemplated. He opposed the London petition for the abolition of episcopacy, the project of religious union with the Scots, and the Root and Branch Bill , and on 1 September he moved a resolution in defence of the prayer-book. In the following session he opposed the militia bill and the Grand Remonstrance, and finally on 2 January 1642 he joined the party of King Charles I, taking office as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Militia generally refers to an army or other fighting force that is composed of non-professional fighters

A militia is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a nation, or subjects of a state, who can be called upon for military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel, or historically, members of a warrior nobility class. Generally unable to hold ground against regular forces, it is common for militias to be used for aiding regular troops by skirmishing, holding fortifications, or irregular warfare, instead of being used in offensive campaigns by themselves. Militia are often limited by local civilian laws to serve only in their home region, and to serve only for a limited time; this further reduces their use in long military campaigns.

Grand Remonstrance 1641 petition of Parliament to Charles I

The Grand Remonstrance was a list of grievances presented to King Charles I of England by the English Parliament on 1 December 1641, but passed by the House of Commons on 22 November 1641, during the Long Parliament; it was one of the chief events which was to precipitate the English Civil War.

Charles I of England 17th-century monarch of kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Charles I was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution.

He highly disapproved of the king's attempt to arrest John Pym and four other members of the Long Parliament, which was made without his knowledge, but advised the enterprise against Hull. On 25 August 1642 he appeared at the bar of the House of Commons to deliver the king's final proposals for peace, and was afterwards present at the Battle of Edgehill, where he took part in Prince Rupert's charge and opposed the retreat of the king's forces from the battlefield.

John Pym politician

John Pym was an English parliamentarian, leader of the Long Parliament and a prominent critic of Kings James I and then Charles I. He was one of the Five Members whose attempted arrest by King Charles I in the House of Commons of England in 1642 sparked the English Civil War. In addition to this Pym went ahead and started to accuse William Laud of trying to convert England back to Catholicism.

Long Parliament English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660

The Long Parliament was an English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament which had convened for only three weeks during the spring of 1640, and which in turn had followed an 11-year parliamentary absence. In September 1640, King Charles I issued writs summoning a parliament to convene on 3 November 1640. He intended it to pass financial bills, a step made necessary by the costs of the Bishops' Wars in Scotland. The Long Parliament received its name from the fact that, by Act of Parliament, it stipulated it could be dissolved only with agreement of the members; and, those members did not agree to its dissolution until 16 March 1660, after the English Civil War and near the close of the Interregnum.

Robert Pierrepont, 1st Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull English politician

Robert Pierrepont, 1st Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull was an English nobleman who joined the Royalist side in the English Civil War after some delay and became lieutenant-general of the counties of Lincoln, Rutland, Huntingdon, Cambridge and Norfolk. He was killed in a friendly fire incident after being captured by Parliamentary forces.

In December he was made by Charles Master of the Rolls. He was a leading member of the Oxford Parliament, and was said, in opposition to the general opinion, to have counselled considerable concessions to secure peace. His influence in military affairs caused him to be much disliked by Prince Rupert and the army, and the general animosity against him was increased by his advancement to the peerage on 21 October 1644 by the title of Baron Colepeper of Thoresway in Lincolnshire.

The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, Civil Division, and Head of Civil Justice. As a judge, he is the second in seniority in England and Wales only to the Lord Chief Justice. The position dates from at least 1286, although it is believed that the office probably existed earlier than that.

Oxford Parliament (1644) the Parliament assembled by King Charles I for the first time on 22 January 1644 and adjourned for the last time on 10 March 1645, with the purpose of being an instrument of the Royalist war campaign

The Oxford Parliament was the Parliament assembled by King Charles I for the first time on 22 January 1644 and adjourned for the last time on 10 March 1645, with the purpose of being an instrument of the Royalist war campaign.

A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles in a number of countries, and composed of assorted noble ranks.

He was despatched with Hyde in charge of the Prince of Wales to the West in March 1645, and on 2 March 1646, after Charles's final defeat, embarked with the prince for Scilly (the Isles of Scilly in the Duchy of Cornwall) and thence to France. He strongly advocated gaining the support of the Scots by religious concessions, a policy supported by the queen and Mazarin, but opposed by Hyde and other leading royalists, and constantly urged this course upon the king, at the same time deprecating any yielding on the subject of the militia. He promoted the mission of Sir John Berkeley in 1647 to secure an understanding between Charles and the army.

In 1648 he accompanied the prince in his unsuccessful naval expedition, and returned with him to The Hague, where violent altercations broke out among the royalist leaders, Colepeper going so far, on one occasion in the council, as to challenge Prince Rupert, and being himself severely assaulted in the streets by Sir Robert Walsh. He continued after the execution of Charles I to press the acceptance on Charles II of the Scottish proposals. He was sent to Russia in 1650, where he obtained a loan of 20,000 rubles from the tsar, and, soon after his return, to the Netherlands, to procure military assistance. By the treaty, agreed to between Oliver Cromwell and Mazarin, of August 1654, Colepeper was obliged to leave France, and he appears henceforth to have resided in Flanders. He accompanied Charles II to the south of France in September 1659, at the time of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. At the Restoration he returned to England, but only survived a few weeks, dying on 11 June 1660.

Several contemporary writers agree in testifying to Colepeper's great debating powers and to his resources as an adviser, but complain of his want of stability and of his uncertain temper. The Earl of Clarendon, with whom he was often on ill terms, speaks generally in his praise, and repels the charge of corruption levelled against him. His political foresight is shown by a remarkable letter written on 20 September 1658 on the death of Cromwell, in which he foretells with uncommon sagacity the future developments in the political situation, advises the royalists to remain inactive till the right moment and profit by the division of their opponents, and distinguishes George Monck as the one person willing and capable of effecting the Restoration (Clarendon State Papers, iii. 412).


Colepeper was twice married: first to Philippa, daughter of Sir John Snelling, by whom he had one son, who died young, and a daughter; and second to Judith, sister of Cheney Culpeper who owned Leeds Castle, in Kent, given to him by his father Sir Thomas Culpeper, [5] by whom he had seven children. Of these, Thomas (d. 1719; Crown Governor of Virginia 1680–1683) was the successor in the title, which became extinct on the death of his younger brother Cheney, in 1725. His daughter by Judith, Elizabeth, married James Hamilton. The two were parents to James Hamilton, 6th Earl of Abercorn. [6]

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  1. Col. F.W.T. Attree R.E./F.S.A. & Rev. J.H.L. Booker M.A. "Culpeper Connections". "The Sussex Colepepers, Part I", Sussex Archaeological Collections, XLVII, 47-81, (1904). Archaeological Collections. Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  2. Great Wigsell house, early 17th century also with date 1641 on doorway, Grade II* listing Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1221404)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  3. Culpepper Connections! The Culpepper Family History Site Archived 8 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 26 August 2013
  4. John Colepeper, The History of Romney Marsh, William Holloway, John Russell Smith, London, 1849
  5. Leeds Castle Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Richard K. Evans, The Ancestry of Diana Princess of Wales for Twelve Generations, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2007, Repository: Warren Culpepper's Personal Library.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Francis Cottington
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Edward Hyde
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Norton Knatchbull, Bt
Sir Roger Twysden, Bt
Member of Parliament for Kent
With: Sir Edward Dering, Bt 1640–1642
Augustine Skinner 1642–1644
Succeeded by
Augustine Skinner

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Colepeper, John Colepeper, 1st Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica . 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 675.