Sunday, September 14, 2008

Question from KB - More on John Perrot


I am interested to know what the community thinks about Sir John Perrot's relationship with Henry VIII; whether he was Elizabeth's half-brother or not.

I have him listed as the son of Thomas Perrot and Mary Berkeley. I know very little else about him except that his grandson Thomas married Dorothy Devereux, daughter of Lettice Knolls Devereux and sister to Penelope Devereux Rich.

So I geuss the question is whether Mary Berkeley was Henry VIII's mistress 8-10 months before John's birth - a date I don't have to hand.

Any information, thoughts or trivia would be welcome. Thanks.

[Ed. note - This has sort of already been addressed, but I don't think we've had much discussion on John himself.]

Previous threads:
http://tudorhistory.org/queryblog/2007/05/question-from-marcy-henry-viii-son-by.html
http://tudorhistory.org/queryblog/2008/05/question-from-elizabeth-more-possible.html



9 Comments:

Blogger kb said...

Lara -
Thank you for posting the previous threads. I should have known to go looking there first.

I am intrigued by stray comments in the records of John Perrot claiming the relationship.

September 14, 2008 1:10 PM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

I assume, KB, that you have read the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on Perrot? In that article, Roger Turvey states categorically that the story of a relationship between Mary Berkeley and Henry VIII is a myth. You might want to access Turvey's book about Perrot, "The Treason and Trial of Sir John Perrot" (Univ of Wales Press, 2005), if you have not already done so.

September 14, 2008 5:07 PM  
Blogger kb said...

Thank you for the reference, I didn't know of it. Yes, I have read the ODNB article on him but am still a bit fuzzy on some other references that have him claiming kinship. It's possible all those references derive from Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia - I'm just not clear enough yet.

Am I reading the dates wrong? Or is it possible that Mary Berkeley was old enough to be H8's mistress even if the record does not support this notion?

September 14, 2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

If Mary Berkeley was born in 1511, she would have been old enough to be his mistress any time after about 1527-1530 (age 16-19). Son John Perrot was born in 1528. So their dates correlate, and the late 1520s is a period in which Henry was at his most "active." But I tend to trust Turvey when he says it is all a myth.

September 15, 2008 12:41 PM  
Blogger kb said...

I think the rumour must be nearly wholly derived from Naunton.

Thank you for the comments and references

September 15, 2008 7:56 PM  
Blogger Amateur said...

All of Henry's offspring showed favour to Perrot. Edward paid his debts, Mary granted him Carew castle in spite of his Protestantism, and Elizabeth gave him jewels, and loving messages and later put up with a lot from him.

November 09, 2008 4:52 PM  
Blogger Amateur said...

Perrot was certainly supported at various times by all Henry VIII's offspring - Edward paid his debts and looked up to him, Mary granted him Carew castle in spite of his protestantism, and Elizabeth gave him jewels and favours, and put up with a lot from him.

November 09, 2008 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Snoberrys@Aol.com said...

I have just now discovered this site, and I am ecstatic because I trace my maternal family tree to:
11 7.33 PierrePerrot 1654-
7.33 m. 1685
11 7.33 Geneviève Duclos
This man pops up in New France, seemingly out of nowhere. I have been unable to find any lead to a potential Perrot of that period. Might it be possible for anyone reading this to be able to piece a connection between my Pierre Perrot and John Perrot's son, perhaps, or a relative? I would be immensely grateful.
Giles LaFreniere-Desrosiers
Snoberrys@Aol.com

January 21, 2009 1:50 PM  
Anonymous another amateur said...

I don't know what to believe.

'[I]t is very positively asserted that Perrott laid claim to a "left-handed" relationship to the Queen at her "father's side." Sir John Perrott was a man of gigantic frame, and said "to be very like King Hal." In voice and temper he closely resembled the Tudor family.'

(Found on Google Books, S. Hubert Burke's 'Historical portraits of the Tudor dynasty and the reformation period, Volume 4', page 238, 1887)

'On his return to the Tower after his trial, he [Perrot] said, with oaths and fury, to the Lieutenant, Sir Owen Hopton, "What! will the Queen [Elizabeth] suffer her brother to be offered up as a sacrifice to the envy of my strutting adversaries?"'

(From Doyne Courtenay Bell's 'Notices of the historic persons buried in the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula ...' pages 203-204, 1877)

Here's my current, unprofessional opinion: From my very brief Internet research it's clear to me that Perrot himself believed that he was the king's bastard. He is described as an honest man by all of the accounts I have read, and assuming that's true, he wouldn't have claimed to be the Queen's "left-handed" brother unless he honestly believed that he was.

Of course, just because Perrot was convinced that he was a royal bastard, doesn't mean that he necessarily was. He could have been wrong about his own paternity.

I'm just looking at this aspect of the issue: the fact that Perrot himself appears to have believed the rumors.

February 17, 2010 2:38 AM  

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