The Tudor Society

Was Sir John Perrot Henry VIII’s son?

In today's Claire Chats video I start a series on the people who are rumoured to have been illegitimate children of Henry VIII. I'm starting with Sir John Perrot, looking at who he was, where the rumours come from and whether there's any evidence to back them up.

Sources and Further Reading

  • Turvey, Roger (2004) ‘Perrot, Sir John (1528–1592)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009 -
  • Turvey, Roger (2005) The Treason and Trial of Sir John Perrot
  • Jones, Philippa (2009) The Other Tudors: Henry VIII's Mistresses and Bastards
  • Turvey, Roger (2010) "Sir John Perrot: The man and the Myth. Separating fact from fiction in the life of this legendary figure", The Perrot Society.

There are 7 comments Go To Comment

  1. L

    I never heard of John Perrot but now I do, so I’m going to enjoy this series and learn quite a lot about Henry’s other children

  2. H

    Great talk. I have always believed Henry VIII would have claimed any illegitimate children, he claimed Henry Fitzroy, he would have been proud of any son he fathered, proof he was not at fault in not producing a legitimate heir. The fact he never claimed any of the others makes me doubt he had any other children then the 4 we know of, as you mentioned.Claire.

  3. L

    Thank you Claire for your talk. In such a perfect place, it must be very lovely in your village. In response to John Perrot, this is the first time I have ever heard of him. I now have read enough about Henry VIII, to realize he had a roving eye and he did not seem to care about whether his children were legitimate or not. I am interested in hearing more about John Perrot. Also, was it just in royal families to have illegitimate children, or did the common people also do it too. I’m curious.

  4. M

    Thank you for the talk on John Perrot. I’ll have to do more digging before deciding whether the claim for his being Henry VIII’s illegitimate son holds water. The rooftop background is so incredible; I heartily encourage you to consider doing more Claire Chats from there!

  5. C

    Nice video. I tend to agree that it’s unlikely John Perrot was Henry’s son but his career is interesting in its own right.
    I love your cats by the way!

    1. C - Post Author

      John Perrot had an amazing career, I agree.
      Ha! Yes, if I’d known they were walking along that wall behind me I would have had a heart attack. I hate them going up there. It’s a two storey drop and it just freaks me out!

  6. M

    I live in Haverfordwest where the name of John Perrott is well known.

    I’ve been researching my family tree and have discovered a direct line to SJP. His history has fascinated me. I would love to know more about his alleged paternity. The dates for his mother’s marriage and his birth are blurred.

    What history did give us was that Mary was in the right place at the right time. I’ve read a few articles that say it was a bit so well kept secret at the Tudor Court plus all the help he received from the legitimate heirs, does make for an interesting theory.

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Was Sir John Perrot Henry VIII’s son?