Studied theology at Cambridge University, receiving degrees in 1487 and 1491. Parish priest in Northallerton, England from 1491 to 1494. Gained a reputation for his teaching abilities. Proctor of Cambridge University. Confessor to Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, in 1497. Bishop of Rochester, England in 1504; he worked to raise the standard of preaching in his see. Chancellor of Cambridge. Tutor of the young King Henry VIII. Excellent speaker and writer. When in 1527 he was asked to study the problem of Henry‘s marriage, he became the target of Henry‘s wrath when John defending the validity of the marriage and rejecting Henry‘s claim to be head of the Church in England. Imprisoned in 1534 for his opposition, he spent 14 months in prison without trial. While in prison he was created cardinal in 1535 by Pope Paul III. Martyr.
- hanged, drawn and quartered on 22 June 1535 on Tower Hill, Tyburn, London, England
- buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, Barking, England without rites or a shroud
- head exhibited on London Bridge for two weeks as an example, then thrown into the River Thames
- relics in Saint Peter’s Church in the Tower of London
Had you but tasted one drop of the sweetness which inebriates the souls of those religious from their worship of this Sacrament, you would never have written as you have, nor have apostatized from the faith that you formerly professed. – Saint John Fisher, writing to the bishop of Winchester, England
O God, who in martyrdom have brought true faith to its highest expression, graciously grant that, strengthened through the intercession of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, we may confirm by the witness of our life the faith we profess with our lips. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. – liturgical collect
- “Saint John Fisher“. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 December 2016. Web. 22 February 2017. <>