FISHER, Jasper (by 1528-79), of London.
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Family and Education
b. by 1528, s. of John Fisher. m. (1) by 26 Dec. 1556 Alice, wid. of one Withers, s.p.; (2) in 1576, Margaret, da. of Nicholas Bostock of Newington, Surr., wid. of Richard Blount† of London and Williton, Som., s.p.1
King’s goldsmith 16 Oct. 1552-8 Mar. 1554; one of the six clerks, Chancery by 1562-d.; j.p. Mdx. 1564-d.; warden, Goldsmiths’ Co. 1566-8.2
Jasper Fisher claimed kinship with the gentle family of Great Packington, Warwickshire, obtaining in 1567 a grant of arms of similar emblazon. The first glimpse of him is in September 1549 when he witnessed the inventory of a Luccese merchant’s goods. In the period following the coup d’ètat against the Protector Somerset he emerges from the records of the city of London as a man of growing importance, and shortly before Somerset’s execution he became the royal goldsmith, an appointment he probably owed to the Duke of Northumberland. Fisher’s only opportunity to serve in the Commons came not long afterwards in the Parliament summoned on Northumberland’s advice: as he was a stranger to Cornwall his return for Lostwithiel was presumably the work of the minister’s supporter, (Sir) Henry Gates, as receiver-general of the duchy of Cornwall, which had its headquarters there. At the accession of Mary, Fisher sued out a general pardon but, as one who had prospered through association with the Dudleys, he soon lost his post as goldsmith, receiving in compensation an annuity of £40. He was to suffer no other setback: his business flourished, he became a governor of the grammar school of St. Dunstan in the West founded in 1562, he was put on the Middlesex bench by Elizabeth, he made regular purchases of land, and he built in Bishopsgate a house, described by Stow as ‘beautiful ... with gardens of pleasure and bowling lanes’, which, because it had been constructed for a man of no greater calling, was popularly called Fisher’s Folly.3
Fisher was a sick man when he made his will on 28 Feb. 1579. He left his Bishopsgate house and property in Warwickshire to his wife and instructed a string of ‘well-beloved friends’ (Sir) William Cordell, Sir Rowland Hayward†, Thomas Bromley II, George Bromley, William Fleetwood, Thomas Fanshawe, Peter Osborne, Nicholas Bacon, Thomas Poole, John Frenche, Nicholas Woodruff and Edward Osborne, to sell both after her death and to pay her daughter the £1,600 and her son the £400 bequeathed them by their father. His executors included Poole and Richard Bostock, and his overseers Fleetwood. Fisher died the same day as he made his will and in accordance with his wish he was buried in St. Botolph’s church on 6 Mar. His widow married Nicholas Saunders.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 69; CPR, 1555-7, p. 253; C142/190/40; VCH Warws. iv. 121.
- 2. CPR, 1550-3, p. 261; 1553-4, p. 239; 1560-3, p. 227; 1563-6, p. 24; 1569-72, p. 226; 1572-5, p. 209; W.S. Prideaux, Mems. Goldsmiths’ Co. i. 68, ii. 362.
- 3. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 216-17; Dugdale, Warws. 989; VCH Warws. 121, 167; information from Dr. C. G. Ericson; CPR , 1550-3, p. 261 to 1569-72, p. 147; APC , iii. 351; Lansd. 156 (28), f. 108v; Prideaux, i. 68.
- 4. PCC 46 Bakon; C142/190/40; Reg. St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate , ed. Holler, i. 283.