Thomas Colepeper (Royalist)

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Sir Thomas Colepeper (1578 – January 1661) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1629. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War. He is known also as a writer on usury.


Colepeper was the third son of Francis Colepeper of Hollingbourne Kent. He matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford on 15 October 1591 age 13. He entered Middle Temple in 1594.[1]

In 1614, Colepeper was elected Member of Parliament for Chippenham in the Addled Parliament.[2] He was knighted on 23 September 1619.[1] In 1628 he was elected MP for Tewkesbury and sat until 1629 when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.[2]

Colepeper had a large estate at Hasleton near Northleach, Kent. During the Civil War he was an officer of the King's revenue, but never took up arms. On 39 April 1646 he compounded for delinquency. He was set a fine of £1,318 on 24 September 1646 which was reduced on review on 16 January 1647 to £1044, and further reduced on 27 November 1647 to £844.[3]

Colepeper died in 1661 and was buried at Hollingbourne on 25 January 1661.[3]


Colepeper published in 1623 his Tract against the High Rate of Usury, a work already presented to Parliament two years earlier. In it he argued for a reduction of the highest permitted annual interest rate, from 10%, presenting a case from other countries where the limit was 6%. Legislation in 1624 reduced the limit to 8%. Colepeper's work was reprinted in 1641, and in 1668.[4]


Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Dudley Digges
Baptist Hicks
Member of Parliament for Tewkesbury
With: Baptist Hicks 1628
Sir William Hicks, 1st Baronet
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640