The Family Tree of John Richard McCoy:Information about John Culpeper
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John Culpeper (b. Abt. 1603, d. Abt. 1674)John Culpeper (son of John Culpeper and Ursula Woodcock) was born Abt. 160322, and died Abt. 1674.
Notes for John Culpeper:
1NAME Culpepper the Merchant Colepeper the Merchant //
2GIVN Culpepper the Merchant Colepeper the Merchant
BIOGRAPHY: John Culpeper, born in 1606, could be the ancestor of most American Culpeppers. And yet little is known about him for certain. Other than this John, and his brother Thomas, there are no known Culpepers with ties to Virginia, old enough to have been the father of the first Henry Culpeper of early Lower Norfolk County, VA. From the research of Fairfax Harrison (see below), we know that although John was trained as a lawyer, he took up the career of a merchant instead, and that he was involved in trade between England and the American colonies. And so hereafter, I'll refer to him as John Culpeper the Merchant..John the Merchant may have been the John Culpeper who served for a time as the sheriff of Northampton County, VA, and who died there in 1674. It at least seems likely that he was the John who appears in records in Isle of Wight and Northampton Counties beginning in the 1640's. So it might be logical to assume that he was the John Culpeper in records there in the 1670's as well..Some, however, think that John the Merchant (born 1606) would have been too old to have served as Clerk of Court, and Sheriff of Northampton County in the early 1670's. By that time he would have been in his mid-60's. These researchers think it more likely that these later Northampton records refer to John Culpeper, born 1633, son of John Culpeper and Katherine St. Leger, who would have been almost 40 years old in the early 1670's. This John (born 1633), is also thought to have lived in Virginia. Like John the Merchant, few surviving records document his life. .There is no record that John, the sheriff of Northampton, left any descendants, as none are mentioned in his 1674 estate. Also, his one known land grant escheated (was returned by default) to the state of Virginia some 20 years after his death. .Those who think that John the Merchant was the one who died in 1674 offer various logical reasons why his land might have escheated back to Virginia, even though they think he did indeed leave descendants..Others suggest that the 1674 estate was that of John, son of Thomas and Katherine, and that John the Merchant died somewhere else, perhaps even in Barbados or in England. Further research is needed to clarify these issues. It should be noted that early records in many southern Virginia counties have been lost. Had these records survived, they might have greatly expanded our knowledge of the various early John Culpepers in Virginia..In addition to John Culpeper the Merchant, and John Culpeper the son of Thomas and Katherine, there was also a third contemporaneous John, John Culpeper "the Rebel" of Albemarle, NC, probably born in the 1640's. This third John, of Albemarle, also seems to have been a merchant, and may possibly have been the son of John the Merchant..It is difficult to sort out which of the various surviving records in early NC, Virginia, and New England, might pertain to each of these Johns, and no attempt will be made to do so, at this time, in this article..Merchants in colonial America left few records which have survived until today, and our knowledge of John Culpeper the Merchant suffers as a result. But from what little we do know, it seems possible that John the Merchant and his sons may have worked as a agents, or "factors" in colonial trade. The following description of this sort of work is excerpted from Perry of London by Jacob M. Price, page 30:."There were hardly any towns in the seventeenth century Chesapeake except the ‘capitals' of Jamestown and St. Mary's City, and they were places of little commercial importance. Early trading ventures to the Chesapeake had often been entrusted to captains and supercargoes who could travel about and seek out business where settlers were to be found. The practice, however, was inefficient in its utilization of ship time and by mid-century had largely yielded to the factor system. The English merchant desiring to trade to the Chesapeake would either by himself or as part of an ad hoc syndicate or ‘adventure' send out an agent, usually known as a factor, who would sell goods and buy tobacco on the account of his principals, the metropolitan merchants, and receive in return a salary or a commission of ten percent (five percent for selling the trading goods and five percent for buying tobacco). The factor normally rented a room from a planter at a place convenient for keeping his goods; most of his time, however, was spent traveling about, meeting planters, arranging sales and purchases, and related details. He might be at his "store" as seldom as ne day a week. Most of the factors appear to have remained in the colony only a few months... or at most a few years. But some settled permanently. As members of this last group accumulated capital of their own, they became the peddlers, country traders and even merchants of the colony....".John Culpeper the Merchant's work may have taken him to Barbados, Virginia, Maryland, New England, and perhaps elsewhere. Much research remains to be done in order to construct a more accurate and complete picture of John's life and activities..The following account of John Culpeper the Merchant is taken from "The Proprietors of the Northern Neck, Chapters of Culpeper Genealogy" by Fairfax Harrison:."He was baptised in Harrietsham, October 26, 1606, as ‘Johannes, filius Johannis Culpeper, arm.;' and on May 7, 1621, was admitted 'specially' to the Middle Temple as ‘Mr. John, second son of John Culpeper of Astwood, Worc. esq.' (Hopwood, ii, 662). He did not pursue the law, but before 1633 had embarked in the Virginia trade, being recorded that year as part owner, with his elder brother, of a new ship, the Thomas and John, which was equipped with ordnance from the public stores in order to voyage to Virginia (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1633-34, p. 223, and Hotten, Original Lists, p. 83). He was named in his father's will (1635) as 'my son John C.;' on his father's MI. in Hollingbourne as 'Johannem' the third child; and in the will of Sir Alexander as 'my nephew John C. her (i. e., Cicely's) brother.'."His legacy under his father's will was a 'rent charge of £30, payable by Sir John [afterwards first Lord] Culpeper during my said son John's life.' When, in 1651, the Commonwealth was hearing claims upon the forfeited estate of Lord Culpeper, a John C. appeared and, describing himself as a merchant who had been 'beyond seas' during the Troubles, asserted his title to this rent charge, claiming that since 1645 he had received only £75 (Cal. Com. Compounding, 1643-60. v, 3277). That this was John there can be no doubt." .There is some evidence that this John was the father of Henry Culpepper, of Norfolk County, VA. Henry Culpepper appears in records of Lancaster County, VA prior to his arrival in Norfolk County, and a John Culpepper can be placed in Lancaster County about the same time. ."Lancaster Co VA Deeds & Wills 1654-1661," Page 173 -- The P:sents Winesseth that I HENRY COLEPEPPER, Planter, in ye County of Lancaster in Virginia doe assigne unto JOHN EDWARDS, Surgeon, in ye same County his heirs or assignes one Cow Cale being brown ye right ear a peice taken out behind & a nick in ye forepart of ye sd ear ye left ear cropt & underkeeled with a nick in ye forepart thereof & do warrant ye sd Calfe from any p:son whatsoever unto him ye sd EDWARDS or his assignes forever, as Witnes my hand this 7thday of December 1658. Witnes LEONARD CACOTT, HEN: COLEPEPPER p sig, THO: WILLIAMSON p sig (Edwards then assigns his interest in the heifer to Leonard Cacott.).Neither John nor Henry Colepeper or Culpeper appear in early Lancaster County, VA tithable records, indicating that they were not being taxed as landowners in Lancaster County, even though Henry, above, was described as a "planter." ."Lancaster Co VA Deeds & Wills 1661-1702," Page 374 -- WHEREAS there was a meeting by the Parishoners of Lancaster Parish & the Parishoners of PIEANKITANCK for to the final ordering of all difference betwixt lhe 2 Pshes: oncerning the bounds of the sd Pshes: and it was then mutually agreed for the time to come that the bounds of thc Pshers: should be & extend according to an Order of the County Court bearing date the 10th day of Sept 1657, Provided the levys due from the LADY LUNSFORDs plantacon & other plantacons for the time past be paid to the use of the sd Lancastr: Psh: & this Agreemt. not to make invallid any Order of Court for the recovery of the sd Levys. In witnes whereof I HENRY CORBYN on behalfe of the Psh of Lancastr: set to my hand & seale this l4th of Sept: 1659 This Agreemt. to take place from this day JOHN COLEPEPER, HEN: CORBYN, JOHN RYNES, CUTH: POTTER. Recognit In Cur 9d Maii 1660 et record xxd p EDWD. DALE, Cl Cur.The area of discussion at the above meeting is the part of Lancaster County across the Rappahannock River in what is now Middlesex County. Middlesex County was originally part of Lancaster County. The Pianketank River divides present Middlesex County from Mathews County. Middlesex County has excellent records, including the Christ Church Parish records, which should be checked..Also, a John and Henry were traveling on the same ship in 1664: "The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699," by Peter Wilson Coldham, page 64, the year 1664: "10 May - 30 June. Shippers by the Defence, Mr. John Webber, bound from London for New England:Benjamin Hewling, John Newell, Humphrey Hodges, Thomas Parris, James Fassett, John Fullerton, Sir William Peake, Robert Davies, Robert Knight, John Winder, HENRY CULPEPPER, JOHN CULPEPPER. (PRO: E190/50/1,50/2).From Bill Rusell, May 2000, comes the following useful summary of John Culpeper, the Merchant:.First, John was clearly a ship owner with business interests throughtout the colonies. He had been away from England for some time when he returned to protect his brothers estate in 1651. Their interests were probably more entangled than just their common ownership of the _Thomas and John_. It would appear that they may have owned a trading company with points of presence in England, Barbados, New England, and Virginia. Indeed, John probably had sons or sons-in-law in those places to carry out their trading business. I suspect that Hannah who married Edward Frisbie and Susannah who married Francis Lindley were both daughters. Edward Frisbie was from another prominent merchant trading family in Norfolk County, VA and removed to New England. Francis Lindley ended up in New Jersey after having lived in New England. I also believe the John Culpeper "the Carolina Rebel" was a son of John the merchant..Second, John the Merchant was also John the lawyer, a fact we sometimes overlook and which may go some ways to unraveling some of the confusion over the various Johns. John the merchant was at the Middle Temple as was his brother Thomas. More importantly, he was there at the same time as Gov. Sir William Berkeley. I believe that it was John the merchant who represented the legal interests of Frances Culpeper Stephens Berkeley before the courts in North Carolina and who attested to Berkeley's signature on the deed to Roanoke Island in New England. Who better to entrust to such a job than the Governor's wife's uncle, a lawyer who ownd a ship able to travle to North Carolina and New England on short notice and who personally knew the Governor. He makes a more logical candidate for the job than the relative young "Carolina Rebel" who had no legal training and may not have even reached North Carolina by the time in question..Third, John the merchant had known trading interests and presence in New England and Barbados. Charleston, SC was settled originally by groups from both places and it is possible the John the Rebel was his father's representative in those areas. Culpeper's Rebellion in North Carolina - really Albemarle -, was fomented by New England merchant traders. If John the merchant handled the sale of Roanoke Island for Governor Berkeley, it is clear that the Lamb family who purchased it were friends of Sarah Mayo, John the Rebel's wife. From the records it would appear that John the Rebel arrived in Albemarle after the John Culpeper who was in court in the sale of the property, yet the later buyers were well familiar with John the Rebel's family. The Lamb family who bought Roanoke Island were also New England merchant traders who mainained a family presence in the Albemarle region of North Carolina..The above is partly theory based upon available records. I believe that John the merchant was the father of Hannah and Susannah of New England, Henry of Virginia, and John the Rebel. He may also have been the father of some of the Barbados Culpepers.
More About John Culpeper:
Christening: 26 Oct 1606, Harrietsham, co. Kent, England.
Record Change: 07 Jan 2007
More About John Culpeper and <Unnamed>:
Marriage: Abt. 1660, Norfolk Co., Virginia.
Children of John Culpeper are:
- +Henry Culpeper, b. Abt. 1633, Norfolk Co., Virginia, d. Aft. 1675, Norfolk Co., Virginia.