Percy Wainwright was a son of a Methodist minister who died young being run over by a mail coach. Following his death, Wainwright and his mother lived for some years in poverty.
At the age of fourteen, Wainwright was approached by a well-dressed man who took him to his house where they had sex. Wainwright continued working as a male prostitute, at the same time realizing that he was gay.
Mrs. Wainwright, who was beautiful, met and married General Stanley, but died a few months later, leaving Percy in the general's care.
In June 1757, Wainwright briefly meets Lord John Grey during a visit to the Lavender House, a London club for gay men. He introduces himself and kisses Grey's hand, but Grey doesn't give his name to Wainwright.
In January 1758, Percy Wainwright accompanies his step-father, Sir George Stanley, to a luncheon where he officially meets Lord John Grey and his brother Harold, as Stanley is engaged to their mother, Benedicta Grey. Wainwright becomes romantically involved with John, and joins the 46th Regiment in which John serves.
In spring, the regiment is detached to the Rhine Valley and Wainwright is caught in flagrante delicto with a German soldier Michael Weber, by John Grey and two other soldiers. Weber is then discreetly shot by his commanding officer Captain von Namtzen, and Wainwright arrested and sent to England to await a court-martial, which is to take place in October. With help from Grey, Wainwright escapes from prison and flees the country.
Percy is looking for a man named Claudel Fraser on behalf of a French nobleman. Having learned that Claudel was taken from a Parisian brothel roughly thirty years earlier by a man matching Jamie Fraser's description, he comes to America on a ship owned by Baron Amandine, in order to continue his search there. However, he doesn't know that Claudel adopted the name Fergus Fraser years earlier.
In July 1776, he meets Lord John Grey in Wilmington and wants Grey to convey a certain offer to the British government. He also mentions Jamie Fraser and Grey's stepson William during the conversation, and Grey asks him to stay away from him and his son.
In April 1777, Percy Beauchamp meets Claire Fraser in Fergus's printshop in New Bern, looking for her husband Jamie and asking questions about Claudel. She pretends to be ignorant and promises to pass the message to Jamie.
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Percy has dark curl hair with a sweet mouth made of soft full lips and soft brown eyes that Lord John Grey compares to the color of a sherry sack, with long dark lashes and fine dark brows. Described as being well built and having clear skin and clean features.
Percy briefly meets Lord John Grey in a London club for gay men, Lavender House, in June 1757. They meet again in January 1758, learning that they will become brothers by marriage, as Percy's step-father General Sir George Stanley is to marry Benedicta Grey. Grey and Percy become close friends and lovers, and Percy joins Major Grey's regiment as a lieutenant.
In spring of 1758, they go with the army to Prussia, where Percy is caught having sex with a German soldier by Grey and two other witnesses. Percy is arrested for sodomy and awaits court-martial. Hurt and angry with Percy's recklessness, but also worried for him, Grey visits Percy in prison. Percy tells Grey that he loved him, but his feelings weren't be reciprocated, as Grey is still in love with another man (Fraser), and asks Grey to save his life for the sake of kindness that was between them. He knows that Grey is expected to testify against him, and knows that lying before the court-martial would destroy his reputation. However, Percy knows that Grey cannot let him be hanged for a crime that Grey is also guilty of, but was simply never caught, and so with Grey's help Percy escapes from prison and flees the country.
Percy meets Grey again in July 1776 in Wilmington in North Carolina. Percy is now a French spy and uses the name Beauchamp, having married Cecile Beauchamp, one of the sisters of the Baron Amandine. Percy wants Grey to convey an offer to the British government. He also mentions Jamie Fraser and Grey's stepson William in the conversation, and Grey asks him to stay away from him and his son – he clearly doesn't trust Percy.
Sometime between his escape from prison in 1758 and 1776, Percy marries Cecile Beauchamp and takes her last name, as her family comes from money.
In terms of sexual contacts, Percy's relationship with his wife is rather unorthodox. He sometimes sleeps with his brother-in-law Baron Amandine, and occasionally with both Cecile and Amandine. However, Percy prefers the company of a sub-gardener named Emile, while his wife has a sexual relationship with her cousin Lucianne.
- Perseverance meaning, "steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success."
- Percival is a name created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the Story of the Grail a character (and probably the name) based on that of the Welsh hero Peredur,possibly means "hard spears" in Welsh. The spelling was perhaps altered under the influence of Old French percer val "to pierce the valley".
- Wainwright is an Anglo-Saxon occupational surname derived from the pre-7th century Old English word waegnwyrhta. The prefix, "waeg(e)n/waen", refers to a vehicle/wagon, common in its time as being horse-driven and four-wheeled. The suffix, "wyrhta/wright", refers to a maker/builder.
- Beauchamp (English (or Norman origin) and French) is a habitational name from any of several places in France, for example in Manche and Somme, that are named with Old French beu, bel 'fair', 'lovely' + champ(s) 'field', 'plain'. In English the surname is generally pronounced "Beecham".
- ↑ Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
- ↑ Behind the Name: Perseverance - accessed 12 June 2016
- ↑ Behind the Name: Peredur - accessed 12 June 2016
- ↑ Behind the Name: Percival - accessed 12 June 2016
- ↑ Wainwright - accessed 12 June 2016 via Wikipedia
- ↑ Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press, via Ancestry.com