CULPEPER, Jasper (by 1508-56/64), of Penshurst, Kent and Arlington, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1508, 6th s. of Richard Culpeper of Wakehurst, Suss. by Joan, da. of Richard Naylor of London. educ. Oxf. BA 1522. m. Anne, da. of Henry Stafford, 11th Earl of Wiltshire, wid. of Richard Clifford, 1da.2

Offices Held

Servant of Thomas Culpeper by 1541, of Sir John Gage by 1545.3


Of the several branches of his family in Kent and Sussex, Jasper Culpeper came of the senior line established at Wakehurst in Sussex. He probably owed his education at Oxford to the example of his uncle Edward Culpeper, a fellow of All Souls, but although he may have been intended for the Church he was to spend his life in the service of courtiers.4

Culpeper’s first known master was his cousin Thomas Culpeper, a gentleman of the privy chamber to Henry VIII, and it was probably this relationship which yielded him two grants of presentations from the crown. The first, in 1533 was a share in the next one to the rectory of Middleton in the diocese of Durham. The second, two years later, was a share with his kinsman Sir Edward Neville, of the next presentation to the incumbency of Stone, in the diocese of Rochester. The connexion was not, however, without its hazards, as when his purchase of fabrics on his cousin’s behalf from two London merchants led to a dispute over their value and to a warrant for his arrest for debt: he petitioned Audley to hear the case in Chancery on the ground that his ‘labouring and attending upon the King’s business’ had not allowed him to answer his summons in person and that as a stranger to the capital he feared the partiality of a London jury. The Queen may have had a hand in Jasper Culpeper’s marriage to a kinswoman of hers, but he emerged unscathed from the disaster which overwhelmed both the Queen and his master. In November 1541 he was instructed to make an inventory of his cousin’s goods at Penshurst, and not long afterwards he found employment with Sir John Gage.5

As a dependent of Gage, Culpeper may have entered the Commons before 1547, the names of all but one of the Members for East Grinstead in Henry VIII’s later Parliaments being lost. His Membership in both 1547 and November 1554 was undoubtedly due to Gage, whose bequest of £5 to him in 1556 is the last reference found to Culpeper in his lifetime. After Culpeper himself had died intestate the administration of his property was granted in 1564 to his kinsman George Roberts.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: R. J.W. Swales


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from education. Comber, Comber. Suss. Genealogies (Ardingly), 124; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 157.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xvi, xx.
  • 4. CP, i. 31; Emden, 157.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, vi, ix, xvi; C1/967/78.
  • 6. PCC 9 Ketchyn, 124 Comber.