Levett was born in Harewood, Yorkshire, and removed early to the city of York, where he was listed as a freeman in 1581, and where he served the city as chamberlain and subsequently Sheriff in 1597. His daughter Ann married another York Sheriff, Christopher Topham (father of Member of Parliament Christopher Topham), and on his death married Dr. Joseph Micklethwaite.
The ancestors of Percival Levett came from Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, and they shared a coat-of-arms with the Levetts of Normanton, High Melton and Hooton Levitt, Yorkshire, indicating that a cadet branch of the family probably relocated to Bolton Percy during medieval times.
Levett was a contributor from York to the Queen's Loan in 1590. He was a member of the Eastland Company, an English company established in the sixteenth century in an attempt to wrest Baltic trade from the Hanseatic League.
Percival Levett was buried at St. Martin's Micklegate in York on 13 February 1625. Levett had done well enough as a merchant to acquire the title of gentleman, a title he assuredly was born without, and sold his home in Coppergate, in central York, to Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of York. Levett's sons, aside from Capt. Christopher the explorer, also became merchants, including his son Percival, a merchant at Beverley and York. Percival Levett's brother Richard Levett was a longserving mayor of Doncaster, South Yorkshire.