Culpeper’s Rebellion

1677–1678 — The Second Rebellion in 17th Century Colonial America

Culpeper’s Rebellion was a short-lived revolt against taxation and oppressive government in the Albemarle Sound region of the Province of Carolina. The rebels controlled the colony for about two years before the government was restored to control of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

King Charles I of England, Portrait

King Charles I granted the charter for the Province of Carolina to the Lords Proprietors. Image Source: Sotheby’s.

Culpeper’s Rebellion Summary

Culpeper’s Rebellion (1677–1678) was a short-lived revolt against taxation and oppressive government in the Albemarle Sound region of the Province of Carolina, one of the original Southern Colonies. When the government started collecting taxes related to the Navigation Acts, colonists led by John Culpeper arrested the acting Governor, Thomas Miller. For two years, Culpeper and the rebels controlled North Carolina and maintained stability. However, the Lords Proprietors of North Carolina eventually regained control of the colony, although Culpeper was acquitted of committing any crimes. 

Culpeper's Rebellion, Arrest of Thomas Miller, NYPL
This illustration depicts the arrest of Thomas Miller. Image Source: New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Culpeper’s Rebellion Facts

  • Culpeper’s Rebellion took place in 1677-1678 in Albemarle County in the Province of Carolina.
  • Albemarle County is present-day Pasquotank County, North Carolina.
  • The primary cause of the rebellion was the collection of taxes levied by the Navigation Acts, including the 1673 Plantation Duty Act.
  • North Carolina was ruled by 8 Lords Proprietors, who resided in England.
  • The colonial government consisted of a Governor and Council, half of which was appointed by the Lords Proprietors, and a General Assembly that was elected by popular vote.
  • The main leaders of the rebellion were John Culpeper, George Durant, and John Jenkins.
Oliver Cromwell, Portrait
Oliver Cromwell was the leader of the Rump Parliament when the Navigation Act of 1651 was passed. Image Source: Wikipedia.

Culpeper’s Rebellion History

Culpeper’s Rebellion took place from July 1677 to November 1680 in the Albemarle Sound area of northeastern Carolina. Colonists opposed abusive rule, the Navigation Acts, and higher taxes. During the revolt, they imprisoned the governor, customs collector, and other officials. 

John Culpeper led the rebellion, convened a popularly elected assembly, and established a court system, which operated for two years. The Lords Proprietors of Carolina regained control and tried Culpeper for treason, but did not punish him.

The primary cause of discontent in Albemarle was the strict enforcement of the Navigation Acts, which were previously not enforced in the struggling colony. These acts, mandated by London, created several problems for the colonists:

  1. They prohibited them from importing goods that did not come directly from England.
  2. They restricted trade between colonies. 
  3. They required most American goods to be sold directly to English merchants.
  4. The 1673 Plantation Duty Act imposed a one-penny-per-pound tax on tobacco shipped between colonies, which reduced the profit plantation owners and farmers made from their main cash crop.

In July 1677, Governor Thomas Eastchurch decided to spend time in the West Indies, instead of Albemarle.

In response, Thomas Miller, an Albemarle landowner, and the newly appointed colonial secretary, seized power. However, Miller favored the Lords Proprietors, and his authoritarian behavior and insistence on collecting taxes were unpopular. Miller was also involved in election tampering and imposing fines on colonists for failure to comply with the laws.

Outraged colonists, led by John Culpeper and George Durant, arrested Miller and threw him in prison, along with Timothy Biggs, the customs official.

Culpeper, who arrived in Albemarle Sound in 1675, was from Charles Town, South Carolina, and had a reputation for causing trouble.

With Miller in prison, Culpeper and Durant assumed control of the government. The insurgents documented the grievances in a document they called “The Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of Pasquotank.”

This document was sent to the various precincts in the region, leading to the arrest of more customs officials. Miller remained in jail for two years but eventually managed to escape and return to England.

Culpeper and Durant decided to try to come to an agreement with the Proprietors and went to England in 1680. However, Culpeper was arrested and tried for treason. The Proprietors, fearing a rebellion in the colony, decided to help defend Culpeper, leading to his acquittal.

Following Culpeper’s Rebellion, the Lords Proprietors tried to stabilize the government. They appointed Seth Sothel as Governor, who was one of the Lords Proprietors. However, on his journey to North Carolina, Sothel was captured by Turkish pirates. 

During his absence, George Durant governed the colony, even though he did not hold the official title of Governor. Durant restored order and granted pardons to the people involved in Culpeper’s Rebellion. He also enforced the Navigation Acts and the collection of customs duties.

Sothel arrived in North Carolina in 1683, however, he was corrupt. The General Assembly removed him from office and banished him. This led to a period of instability, which ended in 1691 when Philip Ludwell was appointed governor. North Carolina was relatively stable until 1711 when Cary’s Rebellion took place.

Governor William Berkeley, Virginia
William Berkely was one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Image Source: New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Culpeper’s Rebellion Significance

Culpeper’s Rebellion is important to United States history because it was one of the first colonial uprisings against the policies of the English government, especially enforcement of the Navigation Acts. Culpeper’s Rebellion likely contributed to the unwritten policy of Salutary Neglect, which was implemented by Prime Minister Robert Walpole.

The other major rebellions in 17th Century Colonial America were:

  1. Bacon’s Rebellion (1676–1677), Virginia
  2. Coode’s Rebellion (1689–1698), Maryland
  3. Leisler’s Rebellion (1689–1691), New York
Bacon's Rebellion, Burning Jamestown
This illustration depicts the Burning of Jamestown that took place during Bacon’s Rebellion. Image Source: New York Public Library Digital Collections.

People Involved in Culpeper’s Rebellion

The following biographies are for people who played important roles in Culpeper’s Rebellion. Most were members of the “Rebel Parliament,” insurgents, or supporters of the Lords Proprietors. Many of them spent time holding political offices in Albemarle, including Governor.

Timothy Biggs

Timothy Biggs, a Quaker who had previously resided in the Ashley River settlement in 1672, was appointed Deputy Collector of Customs for Upper Albemarle in 1676 while serving as a Deputy of the Earl of Craven. Following the rebellion and his first trip to London in 1678, the Proprietors designated him as the Comptroller and Surveyor-General for Albemarle on September 28 of the same year. During this time, he operated from an office located on Little River Point.

In 1679, as a Council Member and Deputy for Colleton, he participated in the Palatine Court, which aimed to try Thomas Miller for blasphemy and treason. However, shortly thereafter, he played a role in Miller’s escape.

Upon his return to Albemarle around 1683, serving as Collector of Customs and Surveyor-General, Timothy Biggs married Mary, the widow of George Catchmaid. Catchmaid, who had been the Speaker of the Albemarle Assembly in 1666 and later worked as a clerk for Nansemond County, Virginia. Mary’s claim to her first husband’s property in Albemarle led Biggs to raise complaints against Seth Sothel, who disputed her right to the inheritance.

Timothy Biggs appears to have passed away around 1686, and some accounts suggest that before his death, he relocated to Virginia along with other Quakers who found Albemarle inhospitable after the decline of the rebellion.

Valentine Bird

Valentine Bird held the position of Speaker of the Assembly in 1672. He was appointed as Collector of Customs by John Jenkins and served in this capacity from 1675 to 1677. 

During the investigations into the rebellion, the Proprietors alleged that Bird, along with several others, resisted Thomas Miller when he first arrived as the representative of Thomas Eastchurch in 1677. Bird emerged as a prominent figure in the rebellion, not only as a member of the Parliament but also as one of the judges tasked with trying Miller for blasphemy and treason.

Valentine Bird passed away sometime before January 31, 1680, leaving behind an estate valued at £583. Is. 3d. It was alleged that at the time of his death, Zachariah Gillam owed his estate around 2,000 pounds of tobacco. Following Bird’s death, his widow, Margaret, went on to marry John Culpeper.

James Blount

James Blount, originally residing in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1660, had relocated to Albemarle by 1669. 

His involvement in the region’s governance was notable: he served as a member of the Council in 1672, was among the eighteen individuals chosen for the rebellious Parliament in 1677, and also sat as a judge on the court assigned to try Thomas Miller during that period. 

In 1679, he was listed as a member of the General Assembly. Blount’s leadership role in Culpeper’s Rebellion was alleged to have brought the Chowan Precinct into the uprising.

James Blount passed away sometime before July 1686, when his will was proven before Seth Sothel. He left behind his wife, Anna Willix, formerly of Exeter, New Hampshire, who had been married prior to her union with Blount. In his will, Blount named three sons, Thomas, John, and James, as well as two daughters, Ann Slocum and Elizabeth Hawkins, as beneficiaries. Subsequently, his widow married Seth Sothel.

Caleb Calleway

Caleb Calleway established residence in Albemarle as early as 1663. In addition to cultivating tobacco, he also worked as a cooper, crafting hogsheads used for shipping tobacco.

While actively involved in the outbreak of the rebellion and serving as a member of the Parliament in 1677, Calleway’s prominence diminished in the records of active participants after that year. Nevertheless, he continued to play a significant role in Albemarle’s affairs. He served as a Justice of the Perquimans Precinct Court from 1693 to 1699 and held the position of Overseer of Roads from 1704 to 1706.

William Crawford

William Crawford was likely from New England, but he had already established his presence in Albemarle as early as 1665. In that year, Captain John Whitley, who appeared to be employed by the Proprietors to facilitate the settlement and livestock transfer to Albemarle, voiced grievances about being deceived by Crawford.

Crawford played a prominent role in the rebellious Parliament in 1677 and 1678. In 1680, he was again listed as a member of the Council during John Jenkins’ administration. He faced accusations of being one of the principal leaders of the rebellion and seemed to harbor political ambitions. Crawford was among the individuals appointed to the court in 1677 to participate in the trial of Thomas Miller.

His residence was situated in “Pascotank” on Albemarle Sound. During the turmoil in 1679, while John Culpeper served as Collector of Customs, Crawford’s plantation appeared to be a focal point for the illegal shipping of tobacco. 

There is a possibility that he and his wife, Margaret, relocated to Virginia, as a Captain, William Crawford served as a delegate from Lower Norfolk County to the House of Burgesses in 1688.

John Culpeper

John Culpeper’s presence in Carolina dates back to 1671 when he arrived in the Ashley River settlement with a proprietary commission as Surveyor-General. After becoming entangled in an uprising there, he fled to Albemarle, arriving sometime before October 1675.

Intrigue and involvement in various plots and schemes appeared to be inherent in Culpeper’s character. He was reportedly instrumental in various incidents in Ashley River, Albemarle, New England, and Virginia. In the Albemarle uprising, Thomas Miller claimed that Culpeper served as their “Chief Councillor and scribe.”

Following the rebellion, Culpeper was appointed Collector of Customs. However, he was lax in performing his duties. Not only were customs duties ignored, but he also faced accusations of confiscating tobacco and money that had already been collected by Miller and his deputies. 

During his time in London, he managed to explain away his transgressions to the satisfaction of most until Thomas Miller’s arrival in England. Culpeper was subsequently arrested and charged with treason but was acquitted by the Court of the King’s Bench in 1680, thanks in part to Lord Shaftesbury testifying for the defense. Shaftesbury argued that there was no genuine rebellion in Albemarle and that Miller did not represent the legitimate government.

After the rebellion subsided, Culpeper is believed to have gone to New England, although he appears to have passed away in Albemarle sometime before 1695.

Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, 1672, Portrait
The First Earl of Shaftesbury. Image Source: Wikipedia.

George Durant

George Durant’s presence in Albemarle can be traced back to at least 1661. He was documented as one of the key figures in the earliest known land exchange in the region.

The Lords Proprietors’ account of the uprising stated that “George Durant was always a discontented man and was the most active of the rebels.” 

Despite John Jenkins serving as the head of the government, it was alleged that Durant, in his capacity as Attorney-General, held the real power in Albemarle. This is supported by the fact that a majority of the rebel meetings convened at Durant’s house, described by Timothy Biggs as their “usual rendezvous.” 

Durant was responsible for formulating the charges against Miller during the trials of 1677 and 1679. He, along with John Willoughby, was chosen as an agent for the insurgents, tasked with concealing their actions in England to prevent the truth of what they were doing from reaching the Lords Proprietors.

After Seth Sothel assumed the role of Governor, Durant was imprisoned for openly criticizing him and threatening to file a complaint with the Proprietors regarding the Governor’s actions.

Thomas Eastchurch

Thomas Eastchurch may have been from Devon, England, and graduated from Queen’s College, Oxford, in 1628. His political connections were strong, as he had family ties to Thomas Clifford, the Lord High Treasurer of England, who recommended Eastchurch for the position of Governor of Albemarle.

Eastchurch had been in Carolina before December 1671, as evidenced by a letter he wrote from Virginia in that month, in which he complained to Governor Peter Carteret about some damage that had been done to his property in Albemarle.

In 1671, he was appointed as the Surveyor-General of Albemarle, and by 1675, he had risen to the position of Speaker of the Assembly and was the leader of the proprietary faction within the colony. In 1676, upon Clifford’s recommendation, the Proprietors appointed him Governor of Albemarle, extending his authority to any new settlements that might be established on the Neuse or Pamlico rivers.

During his journey to the colony in 1676, he made a stopover on the West Indian island of Nevis, where he married a woman of “a considerable fortune.” He then dispatched Thomas Miller with authorization to fulfill his duties in Albemarle.

In the early summer of 1677, he arrived in Virginia but was prevented from entering Albemarle by armed guards positioned by the rebels along the border. While gathering recruits to quell the revolt, he contracted a fever from which he ultimately died.

Richard Foster

Richard Foster’s name appears in the records of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, as early as 1641. He was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1655–1656 and held the title of Captain.

Foster held multiple appointments as a member of the Council, which included service in 1670 (under Governor Samuel Stephens), 1670-1672 (under Governor George Carteret), 1678 (under Governor John Jenkins), 1679 (under Governor Thomas Harvey), and 1680 (under Governor Jenkins again). His address by the military rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1679 suggests that was in command of the Albemarle Militia.

Notably, Foster was the only Proprietary Deputy who participated in Culpeper’s Rebellion. In the investigation of the uprising, the King’s Council believed that Foster, alongside Culpeper, had “contrived” the rebellion. In 1677, Foster presided over the court tasked with trying Thomas Miller for blasphemy and treason.

Zacharia Gillam

Zachariah Gillam was widely regarded as one of the key figures behind the revolt against Thomas Miller. He was the second son of Benjamin Gillam, associated with Gillam and Company of Boston.

In 1664, at around the age of 30, Gillam served as the captain of the vessel that transported the French explorers Radisson and Groseillers into the Hudson Bay region. Aboard the ketch Nonesuch, he conducted reconnaissance of the bay for those interested in establishing the Hudson Bay Company, and his vessel was reputed to be the first European ship to reach the lower end of the bay. 

In 1671, the year following the company’s charter, Gillam commanded the Prince Rupert on another voyage into Hudson Bay. This expedition included a search for the Northwest Passage. 

Upon his return to England in 1673, he was dismissed from company service and accused of engaging in private trade while conducting business for the Proprietors of Hudson Bay. In 1674, Lord Shaftesbury initiated a lawsuit against him in Chancery Court. However, by 1675, Gillam seemed to have regained the favor of the Proprietors.

He became involved in the Albemarle tobacco trade as early as 1676, and he also appeared to be serving as an unauthorized agent for the purchase of tobacco intended for the non-English European market. There have been suggestions that Gillam operated a counting house in Albemarle.

Zachariah Gillam definitely played a role in Culpeper’s Rebellion, as the uprising occurred after the arrival of his ship, the Carolina, carrying a cargo of arms and ammunition. In 1680, he was arrested in London alongside John Culpeper but was ultimately released due to a lack of evidence of his participation in the affair.

Following this period, he was referred to as “Old Gillam,” and took the Prince Rupert on a voyage to Hudson Bay. There, he and his son, Benjamin II, known as “Young Gillam,” were accused of conducting illegal trading in the region. On October 21, 1682, Zachariah Gillam was killed when the Prince Rupert was crushed by ice in the Nelson River and sank.

John Harvey

John Harvey arrived in Albemarle from Virginia around 1658, leading a group of 17 settlers. He was granted land that would later become known as Harvey’s Neck. In 1670, he served as a Council member under Governor Samuel Stephens, and in 1672, he held the position of Assistant Governor under Peter Carteret.

Harvey’s involvement in Culpeper’s Rebellion appears to have been minimal. He did, however, take Marshal General Edward Wade into custody during the early stages of the upheaval. His other notable activity was recording depositions as part of the efforts to build a case against Thomas Miller. However, Harvey’s name does not appear among the active rebels in any of the complaints, affidavits, or depositions filed by Miller and his supporters.

Harvey helped George Durant draft charges for Miller’s second trial in 1679. As Governor, he would have presided as the judge had the trial taken place.

Following the capture of Governor Seth Sothel at sea and his subsequent ransom by Turkish pirates, Harvey assumed the role of Governor in February 1679. He served in this capacity until his passing in August of the same year.

Robert Holden

Robert Holden arrived in Virginia around December 1671. In September of that same year, the Lords Proprietors granted him 660 acres of land in Albemarle and permitted him to engage in trade with the Native American tribes. This was done with the expressed hope that he might establish a trading route connecting Albemarle with the Ashley River settlement.

Holden appears to have been a favorite of the Proprietors. He frequently served as the Secretary of Albemarle, holding the position in 1675, 1677, and from 1679 to 1684. He also held a seat in the Council in 1678 and from 1679 to 1690.

It is likely that he was more involved in Culpeper’s Rebellion than official records suggest, as he was accused as a “Ringleader” in Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia. A warrant had been issued for his arrest in Virginia as one of the leaders in that uprising.

Under Governor Seth Sothel’s administration, Holden was appointed as the Customs Collector. He brought Governor Harvey’s commission to Albemarle after Harvey was captured by Turkish pirates. Holden seems to have held the position of Customs Collector until 1685 and was the first person in that role to return any receipts to the Crown.

In February 1679, Holden received a commission from the Proprietors to lead a group of men to explore the interior of Carolina, both on this side and beyond the Apeletean Mountains. He was also commissioned to act as the personal representative of the Proprietors in asserting their rights to “all Wrecks, Ambergrise or any other Ejections of the Sea.”

In the spring of 1707, he was in London and wrote a description of Carolina for the Proprietors. During the same year, the Proprietors attempted to secure royal confirmation of Holden’s appointment as Governor of the Bahamas. However, there is no evidence to suggest that he ever actually served in that capacity.

Henry Hudson

Henry Hudson held the position of Deputy Collector for Lower Albemarle under Thomas Miller and was arrested with Miller in 1677. In 1679, Hudson was among those who assisted in Miller’s escape. He also provided testimony against John Culpeper during Culpeper’s trial in 1680.

In 1681, Henry Hudson submitted a petition seeking relief from the economic difficulties stemming from the rebellion. On July 19, 1681, he was appointed as the Customs Collector for Albemarle. Unfortunately, he passed away the following year before he could return to North Carolina.

Thomas Jarvis

Thomas Jarvis established his residence in Albemarle prior to 1663, possibly as early as 1658. He was renowned for his “sterling character and sound judgment.” Together with his wife, Dorcas, he resided on a plantation adjacent to that of John Jenkins.

In 1672, Jarvis served as a member of the Council. Additionally, he was elected as a delegate to the rebel Parliament in 1677. Between 1691 and 1694, he acted as a deputy to Philip Ludwell. In this capacity, he held the position of governor for the region of Carolina situated northeast of the Cape Fear River.

John Jenkins

John Jenkins may have graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, in 1642.

In 1653, he obtained a land patent in Northumberland County, Virginia, although he did not settle on this land. That same year, he received a license from the Council of State in England to transport 23 men and 100 dozen pairs of shoes to Bermuda.

Around 1658, Jenkins established his residence in Albemarle. On September 6, 1663, he was granted 700 acres of land south of the Perquimans River by Sir William Berkeley.

In 1670, Jenkins held the position of Deputy for the Earl of Craven and served on the Council under Governor Samuel Stephens. He was also a member of the Council in 1677 and once more in 1679 under the administration of Governor John Harvey. 

In 1672, Jenkins held the title of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Albemarle Militia, and that year, he assumed the role of President of the Council, succeeding Peter Carteret as acting Governor. 

He continued in this capacity until 1677 when he was removed from office by the proprietary faction of the Assembly. As a prominent figure in the rebellion against Thomas Miller, he was subsequently chosen as the acting executive, though some claimed that he acted under the influence of George Durant. 

Following the death of John Harvey in August 1679, Jenkins reassumed the position of acting Governor, performing its duties until his own passing on December 17, 1681.

William Jennings

William Jennings acquired a land patent for 350 acres in Surry County, Virginia, in 1657. Six years later, in 1663, he was granted an additional 550 acres of land on New Begun Creek in Albemarle County.

While there is limited information available about William Jennings, it appears that he was moderately involved in Culpeper’s Rebellion. As early as 1672, he had served on the Governor’s Council, and in 1677, he was elected as a member of the rebel Parliament.

Alexander Lillington

Lillington was a member of the rebel Parliament and may have been one of the more active leaders in Culpeper’s Rebellion.

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller was a central figure in the resistance against the proprietary faction in 1675. He faced charges of treasonable and blasphemous utterances, some dating back to 1673. Transported to Virginia, Governor William Berkeley and his Council acquitted Miller, who then sailed to London. There, he was to be joined by Thomas Eastchurch, the newly appointed Governor of Albemarle.

Upon Eastchurch’s appointment as Governor, he and Miller set sail for Albemarle, making a stopover in the West Indies. However, Eastchurch fell in love during their voyage, delaying their arrival in Albemarle. When Thomas Miller arrived in the summer of 1677, he was 29 years old and serving as a Deputy for the Earl of Shaftesbury. He held a commission as Register and Collector of the Customs and was authorized by Eastchurch to perform executive functions until the Governor’s arrival.

For five months, Miller efficiently collected customs, though he faced some resistance from Valentine Bird and other members of the anti-proprietary faction. However, according to Shaftesbury, Miller had no legal authority to assume the powers of government in Albemarle.

As the rebellious faction rose against him, Miller was once again charged with the old offenses of blasphemy and treasonable words. He was confined to a log jail on William Jennings’ plantation. In 1679, Miller managed to escape and made his way back to London. There, he delivered depositions, affidavits, and petitions to the Proprietors, the Commissioners of Customs, and the Privy Council.

Even after the Lords Proprietors favored Culpeper over him during Culpeper’s trial, Miller continued to present claims and complaints, especially against Lord Shaftesbury’s interference in favor of Culpeper, who had been proven guilty. 

In December 1680, Miller formally resigned his position as Collector. The Treasury compensated him £59 for his losses in Albemarle.

Miller was later appointed as the Collector for the ports of Poole and Weymouth on the English Channel. However, he encountered financial troubles and fell into arrears in his accounts. Miller was arrested and died in prison in 1685.

John Nixon

John Nixon appears to have been a Scot whose presence in Albemarle was first recorded in 1668. In 1673, he served as a Magistrate for Albemarle but refused to preside over the trial of Thomas Miller for blasphemy and treasonable words, citing a lack of sufficient evidence.

In 1677, Nixon was a Deputy for Sir Peter Colleton and a member of the Council. He was arrested along with Miller and others of the proprietary faction by the Culpeper group and accused of treason.

Nixon once again became a member of the Council in 1679 but seemed to have adopted a new approach, aligning himself with both sides of the rebellion. During Miller’s trial that year, Nixon submitted a deposition against Miller.

In 1679, it is believed he was appointed Governor of the Hudson Bay. However, he soon encountered difficulties with the Proprietors and was removed from office by 1684.

Samuel Pricklove

Samuel Pricklove appears to have played a significant role as one of the primary subordinates in Culpeper’s Rebellion. He had been in Albemarle as early as 1662.

Pricklove acted as a messenger, carrying the “Remonstrance” of the inhabitants of Pasquotank into Perquimans. However, he was arrested by Marshal Edward Wade. He was later elected as a member of the rebel Parliament in 1677.

In 1680, Pricklove served as Deputy Surveyor-General under Timothy Biggs. During this time, he was arrested and imprisoned when he was sent by Biggs to investigate the operations of Robert Holden.

Anthony Slocum

Anthony Slocum was a member of the Parliament in 1677, and subsequently, he served as a member of the Council in 1678 under Jenkins, in 1679 under Harvey, and once more in 1680 under Jenkins.

Seth Sothel

Very little is known of Seth Sothel until he became a Proprietor of Carolina. He joined the Proprietors by acquiring the share held by the Earl of Clarendon. Subsequently, he assumed the role of Governor of Albemarle, a position he held after his arrival in Albemarle around 1683.

As Governor, Sothel’s approach created widespread discontent among the people of Albemarle. Led by Thomas Pollock, they took matters into their own hands and arrested Sothel. He, like Thomas Miller before him, found himself confined to a “Logg House.” 

Instead of returning to England to face the charges against him, Sothel agreed to abide by the Assembly’s decision. Under duress, he took an oath renouncing any aspirations for the governance of Albemarle and pledged to leave the colony for a year. During his exile, he resided in Charleston.

Governor Francis Nicholson of Virginia noted in June 1691 that Sothel, who had been banished from North Carolina, was now leading a faction in Charleston, South Carolina, causing significant disorder.

Sothel eventually assumed the role of Governor in South Carolina. He served as chief executive of the Ashley River settlement until 1691. Afterward, he returned to Albemarle, where he spent the remainder of his life. 

He retained his status as a Proprietor until his death in 1694.

Patrick White

Patrick White played a significant role in the uprising against the proprietary government.

White was a member of the Parliament of 1677, and one of the six judges chosen to preside over the trial of Thomas Miller.

John Willoughby

John Willoughby, a prominent political figure during this period, is described as having a complex personality. While he displayed courteous behavior towards those of lower social status, some viewed his actions as driven by a desire for popularity. As a judge, he was characterized as having a natural inclination towards pride and ambition.

Willoughby’s involvement in the political landscape of Albemarle is evident through his various roles and affiliations. He served as a Deputy for Ashley-Cooper in 1670, and when Ashley-Cooper became Lord Shaftesbury, Willoughby continued to represent his interests as Deputy in 1682. Additionally, he held positions on the Council in different years, including 1670 under Governor Stephens, 1678 under Governor Jenkins, 1679 under Governor Harvey, and 1680 under Governor Jenkins once again.

Before the outbreak of the rebellion in Albemarle, Willoughby fled to Virginia in 1675 to avoid persecution by the faction led by Thomas Eastchurch. It is noted that he even physically confronted a messenger sent to summon him before the Eastchurch faction. Willoughby was considered one of the principal leaders of the rebellion, and he, along with George Durant, was chosen as an agent to present the case of the rebels to the authorities in England.

Culpeper’s Rebellion APUSH Review

Use the following links and videos to study Culpeper’s Rebellion, the Colonial Era, and the 13 Original Colonies for the AP US History Exam. Also, be sure to look at our Guide to the AP US History Exam.

Culpeper’s Rebellion Definition APUSH

Culpeper’s Rebellion for APUSH is defined as a significant early colonial uprising against the proprietary government. Led by John Culpeper, colonists protested against the oppressive rule of the Lords Proprietors and their appointed officials, including enforcement of the Navigation Acts. The rebellion aimed to establish more representative and accountable governance in the colony. While ultimately suppressed by the Proprietors and their agents, Culpeper’s Rebellion highlighted colonial discontent and contributed to subsequent political changes in the Carolina Colony, which would later be divided into North and South Carolina.

Culpeper’s Rebellion Video for APUSH Notes

This video from Chadwick Stokes discusses the history of Carolina, including Culpeper’s Rebellion.

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  • Article Title Culpeper’s Rebellion
  • Date 1677–1678
  • Author
  • Keywords Culpeper’s Rebellion, Culpeper’s Rebellion overview, Culpeper’s Rebellion history, Culpeper’s Rebellion summary, Culpeper’s Rebellion facts, Culpeper’s Rebellion significance, Culpeper’s Rebellion causes, Culpeper’s Rebellion effects, Culpeper’s Rebellion dates, Culpeper’s Rebellion events, Who was involved in Culpeper's Rebellion, What was Culpeper’s Rebellion, What were the causes of Culpeper’s Rebellion, What were the effects of Culpeper’s Rebellion, When was Culpeper’s Rebellion, Where did Culpeper’s Rebellion take place, Why did Culpeper’s Rebellion happen, How did Culpeper’s Rebellion start, How did Culpeper’s Rebellion end
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date April 21, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 22, 2024