Capt. Sir John PERROT, Knight

Born: ABT 1527, Haroldston, Pembroke, England

Died: 3 Nov 1592

Father: HENRY VIII TUDOR (King of England)

Mother: Mary BERKELEY

Married 1: Anne CHENEY


1. Thomas PERROT (Sir)

Married 2: Jane PRUET (dau. of Hugh Pruet of Thorry and Margaret Wood) (w. of Sir Lewis Pollard)


2. William PERROT

3. Anne PERROT

4. Lettice PERROT

Associated with: Elizabeth HATTON (illegitimate dau. of Sir Christopher Hatton)


5. Elizabeth PERROT

Associated with: Sibyl JONES


6. James PERROT (Sir)

7. Dau. PERROT

8. Thomas PERROT

9. John PERROT

I want to thank Andrew Kaufman, of the Bristol Renassaince Faire, for the research he had done about Sir John Perrot

Born in 1527 to Sir Thomas Perrot and Mary Berkeley; presumed to be a bastard son of Henry VIII. Mary Berkeley was the daughter of James Berkeley of Thornbury and Susan Fitzalan. There is no documentation to support the story that she was at court as a lady in waiting and yet the rumor persists that she might have borne not one, but two sons to Henry VIII in the period 1525-1530. The first was Thomas Stucley or Stukeley. Around 1526, Mary Berkeley wed Thomas Perrot of Haroldston. The marriage was arranged by Mary's uncle, Maurice, Lord Berkeley. Both Mary and Thomas were his wards. The sum of 500 marks was settled on the couple. Mary’s son, Sir John Perrot bore such a strong resemblance to Henry VIII that he was widely believed to be the king’s illegitimate son, but again there seems little evidence of this.

Educated at St. Davids in Pembrokeshire, at age 18 was placed in the service of William Paulet, the Marquis of Winchester. He possessed great physical strength, a violent disposition and a reputation for brawling. Because of this he owes a personal introduction to Henry VIII, he was involved in a fracas with two yeoman of the guard. Henry made him a Promise of Preferment, but died before he could fulfill it.

Introduced to the Court in the autumn of 1547 and made a Knight of the Bath by Edward VI within a week of achieving his majority in Nov of that year. Highly skilled in knightly exercises he secured a place with the Marquis of Northampton when he visited France in Jun 1551 to secure a marriage between Edward VI and Elizabeth the infant daughter of Henri II of France. Henri II was fascinated with Sir John and offered him considerable inducements to stay there, Sir John demurred and returned home.

He ran up very extravagent debts but because of the friendship between Sir John and Edward VI most were paid by the crown. Sir John stayed by the Kings side until the end of his reign. He entertained Edward VI with stories of his misspent youth and served as a man of the King's bedchamber. In 1552, he was High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire 

When Mary arrived on the throne thing started to become dicey for Sir John. He was denounced for housing heretics in his home in Wales. His uncle Robert, Edward VI's greek tutor, and Alexander Nowell, later made the Dean of Lichfield. Because of this he spent time in Fleet Prison. He was detained only for a short time and then was sent to serve under the Earl of Pembroke in France, and was present at the capture of St. Quentin in 1557. He returned to England only months before the death of Mary. Being staunchly Protestant he refused to assist the Earl of Pembroke in hunting down heretics.

When Elizabeth ascended the throne he was chosen as one of the four men to carry her canopy of state at here coronation. Soon afterwards he was made Vice-Admiral of the seas about the south of Wales, keeper of the gaol in Haverfordwest and because of Pembrokes influence was granted Carew Castle. He began extensively re-modeling the castle and it became one of the grand Tudor mansions of the day. While at his estates he probably sponsored piracy and fisheries off Newfoundland.

He was mayor of Haverfordwest in 1570. Following these appointments he was made a Member of Parliament, a member of the Council of Marches and had become the most powerful person in his county. During this time he became involved in numerous lawsuits and because of his intense love of litigation made a number of enemies of his powerful neighbors. In 1571 he was sent to Ireland to be the first President of Munster and to restore order. And after 2 1/2 years of intensive action was able to do so. He returned to England in 1573 without Elizabeth's leave pleading ill health. Actually it was because of disatisfaction with the Queen decision to restore the Earl of Desmond, Essex's interference with his tenantry, and irritation at the Privy Council reprimanding him for conduct in the matter of a French merchant ship that he had detained.

He was shortly thereafter made a member of the Privy Council and again appointed mayor & gaoler of Haverfordwest. At the time of the faire he was being eyed for Comissioner of Piracy. He then largely withdrew from public life spending much of the next ten years developing his estates in Pembrokeshire.

He married Anne Cheney, dau. of Sir Thomas Cheney and Anne Broughton, and sister of Henry Cheney, first Baron Toddington; no date given, they had a son Thomas, approx 1563 and two daughters, Anne and Lettice, who married Arthur Chichester. Some sources quote Jane Pollard, widow of Sir Lewis Pollard and daughter of Hugh Pruet of Thorry, Hartland, Devonshire, as his wife, and mother of his daughters, but probably there is a confussion. Sir John Perrot also left three natural children: Sir James Perrot (1571-1637) by Sibyl Jones, of co. Radnor; who was an illigitamte dau. of Thomas Jones, the second husband of Perrots mother; and also by her a dau. who married one David Morgan, gent.; and by Elizabeth, illegitimate dau. of Sir Christopher Hatton, he had a dau. Elizabeth who m. Hugh Butler of Johnston.

John Browne, whilst sketching a map of Galway Town, in 1583 was described as servant to Sir Christopher Hatton. By 1585 he was working closely with Sir John Perrot in the subjugation of the Irish in county Mayo and was made Sheriff of Mayo in that year by him. So there is the possibility that Elizabeth Hatton met Sir John Perrot in Ireland.

His son Thomas was in the Huntington household to be raised as a proper gentleman. Sir John was viewed as something of a troublemaker and somewhat mouthy, but he was also well respected for his abilities both on and off the field of battle. He was a very able administrator when he put his mind to the task.

In 1584 the Queen appointed Perrot Lord Deputy of Ireland. Perrot's time in Ireland as Lord Deputy, like that of those who had gone before and were to succeed him, was not an easy one. It is a measure of his ability that he was able to return in 1588 with his reputation, if not his health, intact. However, his absence had provided an opportunity for his enemies, both in Court and elsewhere, to conspire against him. Perrot's worst mistake, however, was to make indiscreet remarks about the Queen. In Mar 1591 he was imprisoned on the Tower, tried and convicted of high treason. Found guilty on a charge of high treason, he was condemned to death on 27 Apr 1592. Elizabeth was reluctant to sign her supposed half-brother's death warrant or to pardon him. He died of ill health (although there is a suggestion that he may have been poisoned) on 3 Nov that teat before sentence could be carried out. There is some evidence that the Queen may have been on the point of pardoning him.

Flamboyant and ambitious, Perrot was noted for "majesty of personage" and dubbed "good Sir John". However, he seems to have had an unfortunate talent for making enemies. As Vice-Admiral of West Wales one of his duties was to stamp out piracy and smuggling along the coast. Local merchants complained that - far from fulfilling his duty - he was deeply implicated in contraband operations, and they petitioned the Crown for an investigation.

The family estates finally were inherited by John Philips who married Sir John's daughter Anne.

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