Dorothy Perrot, Countess of Northumberland

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Dorothy Perrot (Devereaux), Countess of Northumberland

Birthplace: Chartley Hall, Staffordshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: August 03, 1619 (54-55)
Petworth, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: pentworth
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. and Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex & Leicester
Wife of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland and Sir Thomas Perrot, MP
Mother of Lady Dorothy Percy, Countess of Leicester; Lucy Hay (Percy), Countess of Carlisle; Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland; Henry Percy, Lord of Alnwick; Penelope Lower and 1 other
Sister of Penelope Blount, Countess of Devonshire; Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex; Viscount Hereford Walter William Devereaux and Francis Devereaux
Half sister of Robert Dudley

Occupation: Countess of Northumberland
Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:

About Dorothy Perrot, Countess of Northumberland

Dorothy Percy, Countess of Northumberland (formerly Perrot, née Devereux; c. 1564 – 3 August 1619) was the younger daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex by Lettice Knollys, and the wife of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland.

Portrait identified as Dorothy Devereux (on the left) and her elder sister Penelope Devereux, c.1581 This unusual double portrait of the teenage sisters Dorothy (left) and Penelope Devereux (right) hangs at Longleat House, home of Lord Bath. Dorothy was to become Countess of Northumberland upon her marriage, and Penelope was to become Lady Penelope Rich on marrying Lord Robert Rich. For more information on this portrait and Penelope Rich, refer to Chapter Fifteen and the Author's Postscript to Shakespeare's Dark Lady.

Thomas Perrot married Dorothy Devereux (d.1619), daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, by whom he is said to have had a son who predeceased him without issue, and a daughter, Penelope.[1] Perrot's daughter, Penelope, married firstly the astronomer Sir William Lower, by whom she had three sons and a daughter.[10][11][12] After Lower's death Penelope (née Perrot) married secondly Sir Robert Naunton, by whom she had a daughter Penelope (born 1620), who married firstly Paul Bayning, 2nd Viscount Bayning, and secondly Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke.[13][14] Sir Robert Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia is the source of the claim that Thomas Perrot's father, Sir John Perrot, was an illegitimate son of Henry VIII.[3]

After Perrot's death his widow, Dorothy, married Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland.[15]

Dorothy was born in about 1564, the daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex and Lettice Knollys, a lady-in-waiting of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Her paternal grandparents were Sir Richard Devereux and Dorothy Hastings, after whom she was named. Her maternal grandparents were Sir Francis Knollys and Lady Catherine Carey, the daughter of Mary Boleyn, herself the sister of Queen consort Anne Boleyn. Dorothy had an elder sister Penelope Devereux, who was said to have been the inspiration for Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella. She had three younger brothers, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Walter Devereux and Francis Devereux.

In September 1576, Dorothy's father died in Dublin, Ireland of dysentery. Two years later, her mother married secondly and in secret, Queen Elizabeth's favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, thus earning the wrath of the queen, who promptly banished her from court. The marriage produced one son Robert, Baron Denbigh who was born in 1581. The boy died at the age of three. In 1589, eleven months after Leicester's death, Dorothy acquired another stepfather, Sir Christopher Blount, who was thirteen years younger than her mother. On 25 February 1601, her brother Robert, 2nd Earl of Essex was beheaded at the Tower of London for treason.

Marriage and children

In July 1583 at Broxbourne Hertfordshire she married Sir Thomas Perrott, 1st Baronet of Haroldston. There were rumours at the time that Dorothy's father-in-law, John Perrot, was an illegitimate son of Henry VIII by his mistress Mary Berkeley. They had three daughters:

Penelope Perrott, married 1. William Lower, had issue; 2. Sir Robert Naunton, by whom she had a daughter Penelope.

Dorothy Perrott, married James Perrott of Wallingford, by whom she had two children.

Elizabeth Perrot

Dorothy married secondly in 1594, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, known as "The Wizard Earl", but the marriage was not a success, and they later separated. In 1605, the earl was sent to the Tower of London on suspicion of involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, and he was not freed until after his wife's death.

They had four children:

Dorothy (c.1598- 20 August 1659), married Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, by whom she had six children.

Lucy (1599/1600- 5 November 1660), married as his second wife James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle.

Algernon (29 September 1602- 13 October 1668), married firstly, Anne Cecil, by whom he had five daughters, including Lady Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Essex; he married secondly, Lady Elizabeth Howard, by whom he had his heir, Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland.

Henry Percy, Lord of Alnwick (1604- April 1659), died unmarried.

Through her eldest daughter Dorothy, Countess of Leicester, she was an ancestress of Diana, Princess of Wales.


Betchemann, Lita-Rose (2005). Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England. New York: Collins.

Brenan, Gerald (1902). A History of the House of Percy. London: Freemantle.

Brennan, Michael and Noel Kinnamon (2003). A Sidney Chronology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dorothy Percy, Countess of Northumberland

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Dorothy Perrot, Countess of Northumberland's Timeline

Chartley Hall, Staffordshire, England (United Kingdom)
Middlesex, VA, United States
August 20, 1598
Northumberland, England
September 29, 1602
Essex House, London, Middlesex, England
August 3, 1619
Age 55
Petworth, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)