The Tudor Society
  • 22 June – The Execution of Bishop Fisher

    On 22nd June 1535, in the reign of King Henry VIII, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was executed.

    Why was Fisher executed and how did the pope try to save him?

    Find out in this #TudorHistoryShorts video...

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  • 20 May – A cardinal’s hat for a headless man

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th May 1535, Pope Paul III made John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Cardinal-Priest of San Vitale, and arranged to have his cardinal’s hat sent to him.

    The pope hoped that this would save Fisher, who was imprisoned at the time, from further punishment, but it made the king even more determined to behead Bishop Fisher. Oh dear!

    Find out more about what happened in today’s talk.

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  • 22 December – Bishop Fisher begs for a shirt

    On this day in Tudor history, 22nd December 1534, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who was a prisoner in the Tower of London, wrote to Thomas Cromwell.

    In his letter to Cromwell, the poor bishop begged him for a shirt, sheet, food and books, as well as asking him to intercede with King Henry VIII on his behalf.

    It is so sad that a man who had served the king so loyally in the past had come to this, and, of course, the king’s mercy would only stretch to commuting his method of execution to beheading.

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  • 7 May – John Fisher is tricked

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th May 1535, after a year of imprisonment in awful conditions at the Tower of London, John Fisher, former Bishop of Rochester, was visited at the Tower of London and tricked into saying something that would lead to his brutal end.

    I explain what led to Fisher’s imprisonment, what happened on this day in 1535 and what happened next.

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  • 5 April – A bishop’s cook gets into hot water

    Sorry about the tongue-in-cheek title, but the cook of Bishop Fisher’s household really did get into hot water on this day in 1531 when he was boiled to death for high treason at Smithfield.

    He was found guilty of high treason by an act of Parliament, but why? What happened and why did King Henry VIII take a personal interest in this case?

    Find out all about Richard Roose and the case of poisoning in today’s video

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  • 21 April 1509 – The Death of Henry VII

    At around 11 o’clock on the night of 21st April 1509, King Henry VII died at Richmond Palace. It was not a sudden death, the king had been ill for some time and had shut himself away at Richmond since January.

    John Fisher, the future Bishop of Rochester, recorded details of Henry VII’s last days for a sermon. The king died a good Christian death but his last days were far from peaceful, they involved confession, prayer, weeping and a dying man trying to bargain with God, pleading with God that he would be a changed man if God sent him life.

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