Culpeper, Or Colepeper, Thomas, lord, a colonial governor of Virginia, died in 1688. He was one of the grantees of the territory of Virginia, and in 1669 purchased of his co-grantees their rights to the country lying between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers. This grant he surrendered, and in 1673 a new one, including the whole of Virginia for the term of 31 years, was issued to him and the earl of Arlington. Culpeper was at this time a member of the commission for trade and plantations, and had the reputation of being most cunning and covetous. In 1675 he was appointed governor of Virginia for life, but he did not come to his province until the early part of 1680, and he returned to England in the latter part of the same year. In 1682 he again came to Virginia, and having returned to England again in 1683 without the royal permission, and being also charged with having violated his instructions, he was by a proceeding of law deprived of his commission. He administered his office almost exclusively for his own pecuniary advantage, with little regard for the welfare of the people.
Under his administration an act was passed to encourage emigration by enabling the governor to naturalize any person by instrument under his seal; also an act of indemnity for all offences committed in the rebellion under Gov. Berkeley, and one to prevent the frequent meeting of slaves.