CULLEN, Abraham (c.1624-68), of East Sheen, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1624, 1st s. of Abraham Cullen, merchant, of Great St. Helens, London by 1st w. Abigail, da. of Martin Moonens, hosier, of Norwich, Norf. m. 10 Dec. 1650 (aged 26), Abigail, da. of John Rushout, Fishmonger, of London and Marylords, Essex, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 6da. suc. fa. 1658; cr. Bt. 17 June 1661.1
Capt. of militia ft. Surr. Apr. 1660, j.p. July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, London and Surr. 1661-d., Evesham 1663-4.2
Both Cullen and his wife, a sister of Sir James Rushout, were of purely Flemish extraction. His grandfather Richard Van Cuelen, a religious refugee from Breda, became a hosier in Norwich, dying at Wandsworth in 1644. His father took out a patent with another Fleming in 1626 for the manufacture of stone pots, jugs and bottles at Lambeth. When it lapsed in 1641 he was still not reckoned more than moderately well off. None of the family seems to have taken any part in politics during the Civil War and Interregnum, but its prosperity dated from this period. The father bought several valuable City freeholds, while the son began to acquire land in several counties, moving out to East Sheen on his father’s death, though he was still described as a Londoner when returned for Evesham in 1661, presumably on the Rushout interest. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to only 22 committees, most of them of commercial or financial interest. He was among the Members appointed to inspect the accounts of the disbandment commissioners. In 1664 he served on the committee for the Wey navigation bill promoted by his colleague William Sandys. His name stands first on the committee to bring in a bill for the preservation of prize goods on 13 Oct. 1665, which suggests opposition sympathies. He was appointed to the committee to inspect the accounts of navy, ordnance and stores on 26 Sept. 1666, but he took no part in the attack on Clarendon. His only recorded speech occurred in the grand committee on supply on 6 Mar. 1668, when he proposed a tax on coaches, but found no seconder. He died intestate on 28 Aug. and was buried at Mortlake. His personal and real estate was inventoried at over £20,000. His youngest son and eventual successor, Sir Rushout Cullen, sold the Sheen estate about 1679 and moved to Cambridgeshire, which he represented as a Whig from 1697 to 1710.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Edward Rowlands / John. P. Ferris
- 1. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. lx), 34; Walloons at Norwich (Huguenot Soc. i), pt. ii. 191; PCC 526 Wootton; Mortlake Par. Reg. 25-29.
- 2. Parl. Intell. 23 Apr. 1660.
- 3. Wandsworth Par. Reg. 314; CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 575; 1638-9, p. 620; VCH Surr. ii. 283; iv. 71; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), ii. 110; Grey i. 107; Worcs. RO, Rushout mss.