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Tudor Minute June 22: Execution of Bishop John Fisher

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for June 22.

Today in 1535 Bishop John Fisher was executed for not supporting Henry VIII, speaking out in favor of Catherine of Aragon, and not recognizing Henry as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. He had been in jail for 14 months already, and numerous times he had declined to swear to the Oath. Towards the end the Pope made him a Cardinal in hopes that that would save his life, but if anything it only enraged Henry further.

Bishop Fisher had been a confessor to Henry’s grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort. He had also been a good friend to King Henry. But Henry would not put up with any opposition. He was kept in the Tower for over a year without enough food, or clothing, and was denied a priest even at the end for confession. The executions of Bishop Fisher and Thomas More are truly some of the most shameful of Henry’s reign. And that’s saying a lot.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.