NameThomas Colepeper [781], 23G Grandfather
Birthca 1170 [780]
Notes for Thomas Colepeper
Extract from [781]:
“With regard to the derivation of the name Colepeper no satisfactory explanation has ever been given, but as the first of the family of whom we have any mention, the "Recognitor Magnae Assisae tempore Regis Johannis," is called Thomas de Colepeper, we may fairly conclude that the name either bore a local signification, or it refers to the occupation, or calling in life, of those who first adopted it. If the name is a local one two places have been suggested from which it may be derived, viz., Gollesberghe, in Sandwich, co. Kent and Goldspur, or Culspore, a hundred in the Rape of Hastings. If, on the other hand, the name is connected in some way with the occupation of those who first assumed it, then it is argued that in the same manner as Coleprophet means a false prophet, and Coletragitour a false traitor, so Colepeper may mean a false pepperer, or sham grocer, i.e., one who traded outside the Fraternity of Pepperers, the Guild whence sprang the Grocers' Company, which was incorporated in 1345. Another suggestion points to the possibility of Colepeper meaning Blackpepper, while another hints at the likelihood of there having been formerly some industry in which the culling or picking of pepper may have formed one of the chief branches.

The armorial bearings of the family, Arg: a bend engrailed, gu., may possibly furnish a clue to its origin. Papworth, in his Ordinary of British Armorials, mentions some sixty families as bearing the bend engrailed, but apparently only two of them, viz., Chitcroft and Walrand, displayed identically the same coat as the Colepepers. As Robert Walrand, in the Roll of Arms, temp. Henry III., appears as the owner of this coat,1 the Colepepers probably got it somehow through him, and they were using it as early as 3 Edward III. (1329), when John, the son of Sir Thomas Colepeper, is recorded as bearing it, and his brother Richard differenced it with a label of three points.2 The Chitcrofts also were probably either Colepepers or closely connected with them, as not only are their arms identical, but we find the two families associated together at a very early period. In 1299 Benedicta, daughter of Thomas de Chitcroft, granted land in Beghal, with a mill in Pepinbury, to Thomas, son of Thomas Colepeper, and Margery his wife,3 while in 11 Henry IV (1409) the names of John Chitcroft and Thomas Colepeper chivaler, appear coupled as defendants in an action brouglht by John Mortymer, relating to the manor of Asshen, co. Northants.4 An investigation of the early Walrand and Chitcroft pedigrees would doubtless reveal some connection with Colepeper, but would probably give no clue to the origin of the name, which may, therefore, be left to the choice of the reader or to his further researches.”

And again from [781]:
“Thomas de Colepeper is stated to have been a Recognitor of the Grand Assize, on the authority of Phillipott, in his Villare Cantianum where he quotes "Bundels of incertain years in the Pipe Office," but no direct reference being given we have, unfortunately, been unable to trace him. We would, however, point out that a Recognitor was not a Judge, as is asserted in the article referred to.
The Grand Assize was not an assize in the sense which we now use the word, but it was a proceeding or enquiry like an assize of novel disseisin, or an assize of mort d'ancestor, &c., while the Recognitors, who were summoned on such tribunal, were the jurors whose function it was to investigate all cases involving questions of right, and who, being probably neighbours of the disputing parties, were bound to "recognise" and speak the truth concerning the matter at issue.5”
Last Modified 20 Jul 2005Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh