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Saint John Fisher

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Saint John Fisher

  • Birth 1469
  • Death 22 Jun 1535 Tower Hamlets, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England
  • Burial London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England
  • Plot Exact location unknown
  • Memorial ID 6849

Bishop of Rochester. Born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, the eldest son of Robert and Agnes Fisher. In 1484 he moved to Michaelhouse, Cambridge and took a theology degree in 1487 and another in 1491; after which he served as parish preist in Northallerton, Yorkshire for four years. In 1497, he left Yorkshire for a position as Master of Michaelhouse, and at about the same time became chaplain to Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. In he was elected Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1504 as well as the Bishop of Rochester. In 1509, upon Henry VII's death, Fisher delivered the king's funeral oration. in 1527 he was asked to study Henry VIII's marriage. Henry wished to discard his wife on the grounds that he had married his brother's widow; Fisher became the Queen's chief supporter and he appeared on the Queen's behalf in court, becoming the target of Henry's wrath by defending the validity of the royal marriage. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry VIII's marriage to Queen Catherine, Henry responded by enacting legislation which limited papal jurisdiction and revenues in England. In February of 1531 the House Commons acknowledged the king as the head of the English church, but Fisher publicly opposed Henry's mandatory Oath of Allegiance, which declared King Henry the head of the Church of England. In 1532, Fisher preached publicly against the king's divorce. He was arrested and imprisoned in for his opposition and spent 14 months in confinement but was then released without charge. In March 1534, a bill of attainder was passed against Fisher and his estates were confiscated, a pardon was granted, however, after payment of a fine. Parliament then passed the Act of Succession, which demanded an oath acknowledging children of Henry and his new queen, Anne, as legitimate heirs to the throne. Fisher refused the oath and was committed to the Tower on a charge of treason in April 1534. He was created a cardinal in 1535 by Pope Paul III. In June 1535 Fisher was tried at Westminster Hall on a charge of treason. He was found guilty, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. The verdict was altered in that the mode of execution was changed to what was seen as a less disgraceful death and he was beheaded on Tower Hill. His body was initially buried in the churchyard of Allhallows, Barking, but it was moved later and reinterred in the Chapel off St. Peter-ad-Vincula but without its head, which, after some weeks on display on London Bridge, was thrown into the Thames. In December 1886, he was among the fifty-four English Catholics who were declared martyr and beatified by Pope Leo XIII. He was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.

Bio by: Iola





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 7 Nov 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6849
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Saint John Fisher (1469–22 Jun 1535), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6849, citing Chapel of Saint Peter-ad-Vincula, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .