Perrot, John (d. 1665), quaker, is of unknown origins. He may have been born in Ireland. He claimed to be the illegitimate son of Sir John Perrot (qv), former lord deputy of Ireland, but there is no evidence to support his claim. In 1655 he was a baptist, living close to Waterford city, where his wife, Elizabeth, and two children were still resident in 1659. Shortly afterwards, Perrot became a quaker missionary, following his conversion by Edward Burrough in Waterford. He was arrested in Limerick at the home of Captain Wilkinson, in April 1656, by order of Colonel Henry Ingoldsby (qv), governor of the city. He was forced to hear a sermon, probably by Claudius Gilbert (qv), after which he attempted to address the congregation. Although banished from the city by Ingoldsby, Perrot returned to Limerick less than two weeks later, where he was re-arrested and sent to prison in Dublin. While in prison in May 1656, he wrote to Henry Cromwell (qv) complaining about the unjustness of the charges against him and the harsh treatment he had received in Limerick. He also wrote a number of prophetic epistles addressed to the people of Ireland, including one entitled The burden of Wexford.
After August 1656, Perrot left Dublin for England and, apart from a brief visit in 1662, he probably never returned to Ireland. In December 1656 he signed a petition calling for the remittance of a sentence passed against the quaker James Naylor. In mid-1657, accompanied by five others, he embarked on a quaker mission to the Ottoman empire and to Rome to convert both the sultan and the pope. In July 1657 the group reached Leghorn in Italy, where they were examined by three friars from the Inquisition. Continuing their journey, they reached Athens in August, at which time Perrot sent an epistle to Ireland simply entitled To the baptists in Ireland. When the group split up in March 1658, Perrot, accompanied by John Luffe, travelled to Venice, where he had an audience with the doge. From there they proceeded to Rome, arriving in the city on 6 June 1658. When Perrot attempted to arrange an audience with the pope, with a view to converting him, the Inquisition promptly arrested and imprisoned the two men. Eighteen weeks later, Perrot was declared insane and was placed in the Pazzarella asylum where he remained for three years. Before the end of 1658, John Luffe died, or was possibly murdered, in prison. While imprisoned in Rome, Perrot was tortured and his sanity suffered, although a number of quakers, such as Thomas Ellwood, believed he greatly exaggerated his suffering in order to gain support. During his incarceration, he wrote a large number of pamphlets, which were sent back to London for publication, including John, the prisoner, to the risen seed of immortal love (1660). Although his cause was taken up by quakers in England, he was not released until 1661.
Perrot was back in England by the end of July 1661, where he was not very well received, and he soon became embroiled in controversy with George Fox. He argued that men should continue to wear hats during prayer, which was against quaker practice. The issue in itself became quite controversial, Fox regarding it as a challenge to his authority, which had to be ruthlessly put down. Fox issued a variety of tracts against Perrot, causing many of his supporters to abandon him. He was arrested at Canterbury in August 1661 and at Aldersgate in June 1662.
In return for his release, Perrot went into voluntary exile in Barbados. He arrived there in October 1662 and was later joined by his wife and children. He was employed as a magistrate's clerk and, in 1663–4, he travelled around Virginia and Jamaica before returning to Barbados. While still calling himself a quaker, Perrot carried a sword and, in May 1664, he was commissioned captain by the governor of Barbados. He also became involved in various schemes, to improve the island and its trade, which were largely unsuccessful. He died in Barbados in 1665, leaving a large debt, and was survived by his wife and two children.