Fisher was educated in Beverley and then Cambridge University. After he finished his studies, Fisher was consecrated a priest in York.
Returning to Cambridge, Fisher advanced rapidly to become the Chancellor, and also helped to found St John’s College. In 1504, Fisher was appointed Bishop of Rochester.
Fisher then made what might be seen as a political misstep. He firmly came down on Katherine’s side,
and resolutely affirmed the Pope’s authority in England.
Fisher refused to swear oaths recognising the legitimacy of Henry’s new marriage to Anne or the king’s status as Head of the English Church. Under the new laws, Fisher was charged and convicted of treason.
On 22 June 1535, the elderly Bishop John Fisher was beheaded on Tower Hill in London.
Even after his death, Beverley retained links to Fisher. Over the next 300 years, a series of endowments provided scholarships for students of Beverley Grammar School to attend St John’s College, Cambridge.
The eighteenth-century portrait displayed in this exhibition follows a painting of John Fisher made in c.1527 by Hans Holbein the Younger. This influential artist painted many of the most important people in Tudor England.
The 1530s: divorce, reform, martyrs