SIR JOHN PERROT.

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Sir John Perrot - reputed son of Henry VIII and Mary Berkeley who later married Sir Thomas Perrot - probably born at Haroldston in 1527 but later resided chiefly at Carew and Laugharne.

1577 During the reign of Elizabeth I the Privy Council sent an indignant letter to Sir John Perrot  cataloging the misdeeds of John Callice "whereas their Lordshipsare given to understand that one John Callice, a notable pirate frequenting that county and arriving lately at Milford, was lodged and housed at Haverfordwest, and being there Known was suffered to escape, their Lordships do not a little marvel at the negligence of such as are Justices in those parts".

(Acc/to  Sir John Perrot - G. Douglas James.)

1527.    Sir John Perrot born 1527 - natural son of Henry VIII,  to whom he bore a remarkable resemblance in appearance, voice and temperament.  His mother was Mary Berkeley, a lady of the Court and wife of Sir Thomas Perrot, a direct descendant of one of the Conqueror's entourage.  Born at Haroldston, near Haverfordwest ­noted for his abrasive manner,  swearing,  ungovernable temper, great strength.

1570, 1575, 1576 - Mayor of Haverfordwest.

1548-52 MP for Carmarthenshire.

1563-67 MP for Pembrokeshire.

1588.    MP for Haverfordwest.

1551.    High Sheriff for Pembrokeshire - later Vice Admiral for West Wales - part of his responsibilities was the suppression of piracy - but there is a strong suspicion that he shared in the proceeds.

Friend of Edward VI who made him a Knight of the Bath. Relationship acknowledged by Edward VI,  Mary and Elizabeth. Imprisoned by Mary for favouring Protestantism and harbouring heretics at Haroldson.

One of the four who carried the canopy at Elizabeth's coronation - she appointed him Lord President of Munster to quell the Desmond Rebellion.

He was one of the wealthiest subjects of the Crown and had a great love for Haverfordwest which he endowed with a grant of property.

1591 falsely accused of High Treason - denounced by it is believed by Thomas Cardarn of Prendergast - condemned to death but Elizabeth refused to sign the death warrant - she resolved to pardon him but before the pardon was signed he died in the Tower and was buried in St Peter's Church there.

 

SIR JOHN PERROT

THE Elizabethan Era was perhaps the most glorious in our island history and one in which we can take great pride.

It saw the first fruits of the three outstanding events, the Renaissance, the Discovery of America and the Reformation, movements which revolutionized the activities and minds of the people of the Western World and when the people of our country passed to maturity and awakening, and awoke to the possibilities of a more intense and adventurous life of development.

With Elizabeth as its head, Burleigh as its eminent statesman, Shakespeare as the prince of dramatists, Bacon the great philosopher, Philip Sidney and Spenser its outstanding poets; Raleigh, Drake, Frobisher, its intrepid sailors, our country produced a galaxy of talent which, perhaps, has never been surpassed.

During this era our own county was the birthplace of one who, although he did not attain the eminence of the above named figures, was a very remarkable man who played a prominent part in those stirring times both nationally and locally. He was Sir John Perrott! A natural son of Henry VIII, to whom he bore a remarkable resemblance in appearance voice and temperament. His mother was Mary Berkeley a lady of the Court and wife of Sir Thomas Perrot, a direct descendant of one of the Conqueror's entourage.

He was born at Haroldston, just outside the Borough of Haverfordwest and he was, throughout his life, the Outstanding personality in South Wales.

From his earliest years he was noted for his ruffling ways, his prowess in athletics, his great strength and courage, and notorious for his arbitrary ways and ungovernable temper.

He was Mayor of Haverfordwest in 1570, 1575 and 1576, Member of Parliament for Carmarthenshire, 1548-52, for Pembrokeshire, 1563-67 and Haverfordwest in 1588.

In 1551 he was High Sheriff for Pembrokeshire (1584-88) and later Vice-Admiral for West Wales in which latter office he was responsible for the suppression of piracy, but he undoubtedly shared the booty of many a valuable cargo.

He was a great friend of Edward VI, who made him a Knight of the Bath, and although nothing was said of any acknowledgment of his parentage the relationship was frankly acknowledged by Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth.

During the reign of Mary he was imprisoned for favouring Protestantism and harbouring heretics at Haroldston, but was released on her death.

Elizabeth granted him many favours. He was one of four who carried the canopy at her Coronation. She appointed him Lord President of Munster to quell the Desmond Rebellion, which he did in twelve months, and then returned to Haroldston and later to the Lordship of Carew Castle. Subsequently he was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland.

In 1591 he was falsely accused of High Treason, being denounced, it is said by Thomas Cadarn of Prendergast. He was condemned to death, but Elizabeth refused to sign the death warrant as she knew he was innocent and resolved to pardon him, but before the warrant was signed he died in the Tower of London and was buried in St. Peter's Church there.

His portrait, which hangs in the Shire Hall, Haverfordwest, and presented to the County by Sir Charles E. G. Philipps, Bart., of Picton Castle, is a copy of the original painting in the possession of Sir John Pakington, Bart., of Twickenham and formerly of Westwood, Worcestershire, a direct descendant of Sir John Pakington, Bart., who married Hester, the inheritrix of Sir Herbert Perrot of Haroldston, in 1700.

IN 1727 Richard Rawlinson, LL.D., F.R.S., St. John's College, Oxford, received from Ireland the original manuscript of "The Life, Deedes and Death of Sir John Perrot" which he published in London the following year, and which has been authenticated as having been written by an unknown author about the latter end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

It is from this book that the following details of Sir John's character have been extracted.

"Sir John Perrot was a man in stature very tall and big, exceeding the ordinary stature of man by much, and almost equal to the mightiest men that lived in his time. His body was very compact and proportionable through all its parts. As he did exceed most men in stature so did he in strength of body. His hair was auburn until it grew grey in his elder years, his countenance full of majesty his eye marvellous piercing and carrying a commanding aspect. In time of danger he showed himself resolute and valiant He had a very sharp wit, and was (as may be said) naturally wise, for though he was not learned in the sciences yet would he give as good a reason for matters of Experiment as most men. He had in him many excellent parts, as Magnanimity, Valour, Ripeness of Judgment, Understanding of the Languages as the French, Spanish, the Italian, and in fact, matters that a man not professing Learning could comprehend; he had some defects else had he not been flesh and blood. He would swear too much which proceeding from custom and partly from choler, he could hardly refrain when provoked."

The Rev. James Phillips (1847-1907) in his "History of Pembrokeshire gives the following vivid and striking estimate of his character:

"He was a true son of Henry VIII. If he reproduced in an exaggerated form the faults and vices which stained his father's character without the genuine refinement and culture which half concealed them from the King's contemporaries, he also inherited those qualities that enabled the masterful Tudor to retain in so large a measure, the Confidence and loyal admiration of his people.

Most significant is the admission of his bitter enemy that he was "frended" as well as feared.

Unclean of lip and life, unscrupulous in his greed ungovernable in his passions, cruel in his resentment, he was yet loved quite as much as he was hated.

Patriotic and loyal to the heart's core, and sincere in his attachment to the Protestant Faith, he might have taken a high place among the statesmen of Elizabeth’s reign if it had not been for the violence of his temper and the foulness of his morals and his speech. The Queen entertained a high opinion of his abilities.

He had been one of the wealthiest subjects of the Crown, but the extravagance of his habits, the expensive vices in which he indulged, the number of his retainers and his princely liberality, left him little margin of income over expenditures.

Sir John had a great love for Haverfordwest and he always took a prominent part in its administration. He was Mayor three times and in 1588 was its Member of Parliament.

During his lifetime the town attained great prosperity. It contained many men of enterprise and foresight, and the Queen's Surveyor described it, "The best buylt, the most civill and quickest occupied towne in South Wales". George Owen of Henllys, Lord of Kemes, our first illustrious County Historian, stated that "Haverfordwest is a good towne, wealthie and well governed".

With its seven guilds and the many productive activities in the town many merchants built up a lucrative and foreign trade, and in this Sir John was intimately interested.

It is therefore not surprising that being so engrossed in the town's prosperity and future development he should endow the town with a princely gift the benefits from which it still happily enjoys.

As will be seen from the GRANT dated 20th September, 15&0, full details of which are given below, he directed that the rents and profits derived from the messuages, lands and tenements devised therein were to be expended to the improvement of the Town of Haverfordwest, and to the repair of the streets, bridges, walls, conduits of water, and all other dilapidations of Haverfordwest as well as to the rebuilding of the new quay in the town and all other useful works which may be needful or suitable for the improvement of the town.

The original document which is written in Latin inscribed on parchment is in excellent condition and is now displayed on the wall in the Mayor's Parlour in the Corporation Offices, Picton Place. And interesting, is Sir John's seal attached.

In May 1899 the Deed was translated by Henry Owen Esq., D.C.L. (Oxon), F.S.A*, our County's most illustrious historian, and it is as follows:-

To all the Faithful in Christ to whom this Present Deed shall come,

JOHN PERROT of Haroldston, in the County of Pembroke, Knight, (wishes) eternal salvation in the Lord. KNOW YE that I the said John Perrot for the love which I bear towards my beloved and faithful neighbours the burgesses of the town and county of Haverfordwest and for that the mayor sheriff bailiffs and burgesses of the said town have granted for them and their successors that I and my heirs in time to come living and dwelling at Haroldston aforesaid or elsewhere in the said county of Pembroke shall have so much of every kind of wine, salt or any other merchandise coming into Milford and to the same town for common traffic or contract of sale as shall suffice for the sustenance of our house at the same price as the mayor and other burgesses of the same town shall buy and have them. And that it shall be wholly lawful for me and my heirs living and dwelling at Haroldston afore-said or elsewhere within the said county of Pembroke to have the pre-emption of all kinds of victuals coming to the market of the town of Haverfordwest as in the said county of Pembroke in the places same town for the time being at the like price as they shall be sold to another. And that I and my heirs living and dwelling at Haroldston aforesaid shall be burgesses and of the council of the same town if we wilt And that we shall have the nomination of one burgess in the same town in any year in which such burgess may be living and dwelling in the same town and in which he shall take such oaths as the other burgesses of the same town are wont to take.

HAVE GIVEN granted and by this my present indented deed have confirmed to Maurice Canon gentleman mayor of the town and county aforesaid Thomas Tank, Jenkin Davides, Richard Batman, Morgan Voile, Edmund Harries, John Kiner, and William Jones,

All and singular the messuages lands, tenements, burgages, and hereditaments below described and set out, situate and lying as well in the town and county of Haverfordwest, specified below. That is to say:

(1). FIRST. All that messuage or tenement with all and singular its appurtenances situate and lying in Camros in the said county of Pembroke in the tenure of Thomas Bowen gentleman or his assigns.

(2). ALSO one other tenement and one carucate of land with the appurtenances lying in Wolffdale in the said county of Pembroke now in the tenure of Owen Ormond.

(3). ALSO one messuage containing half a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the town and county of Haverfordwest in Shipp street there now in the tenure of Henry Gwillim.

(4). ALSO one other tenement containing one burgage with the appurtenances lying in the town and county of Haverfordwest aforesaid in the northern part of Higstreate there now in the tenure of Thomas Kethin between land of Maurice Walter on either side.

(5). ALSO one other tenement containing one burgage with the appurtenances lying in the town of Haverfordwest aforesaid in the southern part of the Higstreate of the town of Haverfordwest aforesaid now in the tenure of Edwin Donn and abutting on the land of Thomas Bowen on the East and the land of William Warren on the West.

(6). ALSO one tenement containing two burgages with the appurtenances lying in the town of Haverfordwest aforesaid in Banstreate there now in the tenure of Thomas Tanck between land late of John Sinett on the West and land late of Arnold Butler on the East.

(7). ALSO one other tenement containing half a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the town of Haverfordwest aforesaid in the Darkstreate there in the tenure of William Ricard between a tenement of Edmund Harries on the East and land of Maurice Canon on the West.

(8). ALSO one other tenement containing another half of a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the town of Haverfordwest aforesaid in the Darkstreate there in the tenure of Richard Gronow.

(9). ALSO two other tenements containing one burgage and a half with the appurtenances lying in St. Maries Streat in the said town of Haverford between several tenements of Maurice Canon on the East side of each of them and land late of Thomas Sutton on the West now in the several tenures of Michael Wolff and Thomas Streat.

(10). ALSO three tenements containing one burgage divided into three parts lying together in the said town of Haverford in St. Maries Street aforesaid there in the several tenures of Owen Jones, William Richardes and Richard Gronow between land late of the said Thomas Sutton on the East and land of Edmund Harries on the West.

(11). ALSO one tenement containing the third parts of a burgage lying in the said town of Haverford on the South side of the church of the Blessed Mary there late in the tenure of Thomas Sutton between a tenement John Harries the cordwainer on the East side of the Markett Streat and the land of John Vaghan of Narberth gentleman on the East.

(12). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage lying in the said town of Haverford uth and land of the said David Cradock on the North. Gate on the South now in tenure of Lucy Lloid.

(13). ALSO one tenement Containing half a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the said town of Haverford between tenements of Henry the tailor on the in the Markett Streat there late in the tenure of William Jones between land of Henry Nash on the South and a tenement of John Row on the North.

(14). ALSO two tenements lying together in the said town of Haverford in the Markett Streat there one of them containing the third part of a burgage now in the tenure of William Walter and the other containing two parts of a burgage formerly in the tenure of Katherine Jeffrey between tenements of Richard Meiler on the North and a tenement of the late John Sinett on the South.

(15). ALSO one tenement containing half a burgage on the east side of the Markett Streat aforesaid now in the tenure of David Cradock between Goat Streat on the south and the land of the said David Cradock on the North.

(16). ALSO one burgage with the appurtenances lying on the south side of Goate Streat in the said town of Haverford between tenements of Henry the tailor on the  West and the way leading to the east stile on the East in the several tenures of Thomas Madock and Owen Phillips.

(17). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the said town of Haverford in St. Thomas Grene there between land of John Wogan of Bulston esquire on the North and land of John Davides on the South.

(18). ALSO one tenement containing half a burgage with the appurtenances in the said town of Haverford in the Hillstreat there between land of the said John Perrot knight on the South and land of William Warren on the North.

(19). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the said town of Haverford at the higher end of and on the East side of Great Dewstreat in the several tenures of John Harries the capper David Cradock and John Adames between land of the said John Harries on the South and land of Thomas Bowen on the North.

(20). ALSO one tenement containing half a burgage with the appurtenances lying in Dewstreate aforesaid in the said town of Haverford late in the tenure of Elizabeth Powell there between land of Owen Phillips on the South and land formerly of Margaret Hughes on the North.

(21). ALSO one tenement containing half a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the Dewstreate aforesaid in the said town of Haverford between the Queen's high way on either side now in the tenure of Roger Marcroft or his assigns.

(22). AlSO one tenement containing a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the said town of Haverford in Dewstreate aforesaid now in the tenure of William Kinney a hooper there between the tenement formerly of Thomas Sutton on the North and land of John Kinney on the South.

(23). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage with the appurtenances in the Dewstreate aforesaid in the said town of Haverford now or late in the tenure of John Webb between land of Maurice Canon on the North and a tenement late of Henry Catharne on the South.

(24). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage in the Dewstreate aforesaid in Haverford aforesaid now in the tenure of Thomas Higday between a tenement in the Bridgestreat in the town and county of Haverford in the tenure of Thomas Walter the tucker on the South and a tenement in the tenure of Robert Barrie on the North.

(25). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage lying in the Desstreate aforesaid now in the tenure of Jenkin Vaure or his assigns.

(26). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage lying in the Dewstreate aforesaid in the tenure of John Howell or his assigns.

(27). ALSO one tenement containing two burgages lying in the Dewstreat aforesaid, one of them in the tenure of Lucy Lloid and the other burgage in the several tenures of Henry Reynold and Thomas Higday or their assigns.

(28). ALSO two closes containing by estimation three acres of land with the appurtenances lying at Cathlott in the said county of Pembroke now in the tenure of Maurice Walter or his assigns.

(29). ALSO two tenements with their appurtenances ford aforesaid now in the tenure of Henry Gwillim and Elen his wife or their assigns between land formerly of Thomas Revell the elder on either side.

(30). ALSO one garden lying near Jurie Cross within the franchise of the said town and appertaining to the same tenements.

(31). ALSO one tenement containing a burgage with the appurtenances lying near the bridge there within the said town of Haverford now in the tenure of George Eynon.

(32). ALSO one small parcel containing an acre of land with the appurtenances called Kilfigin lying within the franchise of the said town of Haverford by the bridge there now in the tenure of Thomas Revell or his assigns.

(33). ALSO fine tenement containing a burgage with the appurtenances lying in the said town of Haverford in the Castletowne there now in the tenure of Thomas Yowan.

(34). ALSO two closes containing by estimation seven acres of land with the appurtenances situate and lying within the franchise of the said town in a place there called Burton Hill late there in the several tenures of William Morris Gwyn and John Howell.

 

ALL AND SINGULAR which aforesaid messuages, lands, tenements, burgages and other the premises with their appurtenances for the greater security of their being held for the use below written, were lately found to be lands concealed any afterwards obtained by me from the hands of our lady the Queen as by letters patent of our said lady the Queen bearing date the 22nd day of September in the 17th year of her reign to that intent made to certain John Herbert and Andrew Palmer more fully and clearly appears whose interest in the premises I the said John Perrot now hold for the use below written.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD all and singular the aforesaid messuages, lands, tenements and other the premises above set out with all and singular their appurtenances to the aforesaid Maurice Canon, Thomas Tanck, Jenkin Davides, Richard Batman, Morgan Voile, Edmund Harries, John Kiney and William Jones their heirs and assigns for ever of the superior lords of those fees by the rents and services thereunto before due and aforetime accustomed to the intent that the said feoffees and their heirs shall expend the rents and profits to be annually derived from the premises, to the improvement of the said town of Haverfordwest and to the repair of the streets, bridges, walls, conduits of water, and other dilapidations of the said town as well as to the rebuilding of the new quay in the said town and all other useful works which may be needful or suitable for the improvement of the said town.

AND I the said John Perrot Knight, and my heirs will warrant against me and my heirs and will for ever defend by these presents all and singular the aforesaid messuages, lands, tenements, burgages, and other the premises above set out with all and singular their appurtenances to the said Maurice Canon, Thomas Tank, Jenkin Davides, Richard Battman, Morgan Voile, Edmund Harries, John Kiney and William Jones their heirs and assigns.

AND MOREOVER KNOW YE that I the said John Perrot have made, constituted and appointed and set out in my place my beloved in Christ, John Davides and Thomas Warren of the town and county aforesaid gentlemen my true and lawful attorneys together and separately to enter and take full possession in my name of all and singular the aforesaid messuages, lands, tenements, burgages, and other the premises above set out with their appurtenances and after possession in this manner so taken and had then to deliver full and peaceful possession and seisin of and in the premises to the feoffees aforesaid or their attorneys in this behalf according to the tenor force form and effect this my present deed made to there for this purpose. I holding and to hold ratified and confirmed all and whatsoever my said attorneys shall in my name do. Our cause to be done or either of them shall do or cause to be done in the premises as if I were personally present.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF to one part of this indented deed remaining with the said Maurice Canon, Thomas Tanck, Jenkin Davides, Richard Battran, Morgan Voile, Edmund Harries, John Kinef, and William Jones, I, the said John Perrot have affixed my seal of arms, and to the other part of the said deed remaining with me the said John Perrot the said Maurice Canon, Thomas Tanck, Jenkin Davides, Richard Battman, Morgan Voile, Edmund Harries, Jo,hn Kiney and William Jones have caused to be affixed as well their own proper seals as the common seal of the said town of Haverford.

GIVEN on the twentieth day of September in the twenty-second year of the reign of the Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.

JOHN PERROT.


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