We’re in week three!
Ancestor #11 – Lord Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron of Thoresway 1635-1689
<< The Great Wigsell. My 12th great grandfather was Thomas Culpeper of Wigsell (not the guy above). A couple of his sons were John (my 11th great) and Thomas (still not the guy above). This Thomas had a son named John who was the 1st Baron Culpeper of Thornesway, who in turn had a son Thomas who was the 2nd Baron Culpeper of Thornesway (the guy above!)
Are there enough Thomases and Johns to confuse you yet? Me, too! That’s why I’m going to leave the relationship between me and Thomas 2nd Lord Culpeper up to you. He’s either a cousin or an uncle or something, but it makes my head spin.
The most important part is Lord Thomas had no sons, so the Culpeper family crest died with him, as a crest is traditionally given to a son. I figured since nobody was using it, nobody would mind if I did, so here’s my Culpeper tat on my back. The bottom is French and means “I hope.”
Okay, on to Lord Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron of Thoresway…
Lord Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron Thoresway (left), was the son of Judith and John Culpeper, 1st Baron of Thornesway. As a royalist, his father left England at the end of the English civil war following the execution of Charles I. Lord Thomas lived with his father in the Netherlands and there on 3 August 1659 married the Dutch heiress Margaret van Hesse. (pictured below)
(On a weird note, my trophy husband’s last name is Hess, but I’m sure he’s German, not Dutch.)
In July 1677, Lord Thomas became governor of Virginia but did not go there until 1679. While in Virginia, he seemed more interested in maintaining his land than governing, and he soon returned to England, though he did continue to serve as an absent governor until 1683.
Culpeper’s marriage to Lady Margaret was not a happy one. She lived at Leeds Castle (photo on left), and Lord Thomas lived in London with his mistress Susannah Willis and their two daughters. He left a will in favor of Willis which was suppressed. The reason may be that Leeds Castle was more than likely acquired using Lady Margaret’s dowry. (The Culpeper boys seemed to have a tradition of marrying wealthy girls.)
His only child with Lady Margaret was a girl, Catherine Culpeper (left, as a child), and young Catherine inherited much of her father’s wealth. A year after his death, in 1690, she married Thomas Fairfax, 5th Lord of Cameron (pictured below – look at those pouty lips!), thereby transferring the Culpeper wealth into the Fairfax family.
In Virginia, both Culpeper County and its county seat, the town of Culpeper, Virginia, are named for Lord Thomas.