In this revealing study, the intriguing story behind the accusation and conviction of Sir John Perrot of Carew, Pembrokeshire for treason is related together with the first fully edited transcript of his trial to appear in print since 1816. It is a compelling story with a rich cast of dubious characters and a splendid plot involving espionage, counterfeiting, double-dealing, lies and betrayal, together with the added spice of combative courtroom drama. This absorbing study will reveal how, and why, Perrot was framed for a crime he did not commit. But who was Sir John Perrot? He was a man of remarkable personality - 'a tempestuous and choleric character of Shakespearian proportions' - whose varied career touched on sixteenth-century society at many points. He attended the courts of three Tudor monarchs, served in the armies of two and was handsomely rewarded for his royal service by the last and perhaps greatest of them, Elizabeth I. He was appointed the First Lord President of Munster and was later made Lord Deputy of Ireland. His successful Irish service earned for him a seat on Elizabeth's Privy Council and thus a place among the Elizabethan elite.
A powerful and forthright figure, Perrot was loathed by his adversaries but admired by friends and allies. However, his sometimes reckless behaviour, blunt manner and plain-speaking often left both friends and family exasperated. His greatest failing was in giving vent to his anger and frustration by publicly criticizing the queen whose inconsistent policy decisions and lack of support for him in Ireland, often left him in a rage. These publicly uttered indiscretions would later come back to haunt him. For these reasons alone, the activities of Perrot's public and private life deserve comprehensive study. This book breaks new ground in that it offers a reassessment of Perrot's career and of his trial, and it contributes to existing researches in the field of political affairs in late Elizabethan England and Ireland. This book will restore a great Elizabethan who hailed from Wales to his rightful place in history. It will appeal to anyone interested in matters of secrecy, betrayal, loyalty and, ultimately, in miscarriages of justice.
Roger Turvey is Head of History at Amman Valley School and WJEC's Principal Examiner for AS/A Level (16th and 17th Century Welsh/British History). He has published widely on Welsh History and on Sir John Perrot.