A to Z – H is for Hollingbourne

a2z-h-smallA to Z Blog Challenge

H is for Hollingbourne Manor


My mother was a Culpepper. I’ve done tons of research on them. I’ve even written four books about my 10th great grandpa, John Culpepper.



h1John’s uncle owned a house called Hollingbourne Manor in Kent, England – about five miles outside the town of Maidstone – about two miles from another family home, Leeds Castle. The house, and I use that term loosely, was acquired in 1590 by Francis Culpepper of Greenway court. It was bequeathed to his son Thomas the Elder, and later to his son, Thomas Jr. who was a knight. The last owner was Thomas Jr.’s son William. It was in the family for about 125 years.


Hollingbourne-Outside-Grave-AreaThomas the Elder built a chapel in the local Hollingbourne church, All Saints Church, as a monument to his wife Elizabeth. In the marble effigy, Lady Elizabeth’s hands each wear a ring tied by a single cord that disappears up the sleeve of her dress. The epitaph written by her husband reads: Optima Faemina, Optima Coniux, Optima Mater, which means: The best of women, the best of wives, the best of mothers.


AllSaintsWindowThere are many lead coffins beneath the chapel containing the remains of various Culpeppers. The entrance has now been sealed. The window in the chapel at the foot of Lady Elizabeth’s coffin bears the Culpepper coat of arms. It is the white square in the upper left with the red diagonal line.


Some day I shall visit.






If you love this old England stuff, check out the Culpepper Saga on Amazon.

culpepper saga

4 responses to “A to Z – H is for Hollingbourne

  1. My name is David Culpepper. I just read all four volumes of your Culpepper saga in four days. Griffin, Warren Culpepper, and Dick Culpepper got me started in Culpepper genealogy. I have written a little for Culpepper Connotation. My line came through Columbus GA. I visited the primitive cemetery in Chattahoocje Co. I have visited Greenway, Hollingbourne, and All Saints Church. You made all my memories come alive. I have also visited Jamestown and have sat on the quiet riverbank where Col. (governor) Stephens had his plantation. I’ve seen Francis’s grave in Jamestown. Your books made her seem just as I imagined. The hardest thing is to make ancestors seem real. You did an amazing Job. I recently visited a gravesite north of Jackson MS where a young ancestor died in the civil war from the mumps. I suspect I was the first visitor ever at this young Culpepper’s grave. My daughter and month old granddaughter live in Sebastopol, MS. I just wanted to tell you your work has enriched my life. Dave

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Dave, I’m so happy you like those stories! Your comments really made my day. And, I think I may have found my ancestry-cousin-soul-mate! Nobody in my family is as interested in the lineage as I am. I love putting personalities to the names/dates on the page. Thank you!!

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