FISHER, John I (d.c.1590), of Warwick.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of Thomas Hawkins alias Fisher, and bro. of Thomas Fisher I.

Offices Held

Town clerk, Warwick 1563-90, bailiff 1564-5, 1580-1, steward, auditor and surveyor 1570.


Fisher, son of a fishmonger, described as ‘yeoman’ in a pardon of 16 June 1554, wrote the greater part of Warwick’s Black Book as well as a manuscript, known as the ‘Book of John Fisher’, which recorded local court proceedings between 1580 and 1588. In lively prose, he described corporation meetings, ceremonials, lawsuits, and quarrels. Obviously a great local character, like so many of the period he was often incapacitated by ill health.

When the arrangements for the visit of the Earl of Leicester to the town in 1571 were bungled, Fisher came in for a share of the blame. He acted on behalf of the town in various discussions with Leicester about the new almshouses. He represented the town in Parliament on three occasions, in 1571 ‘disabling himself ... for want of credit, wisdom and health’, but, elected none the less, he offered £10 towards the town’s charges, which was refused. In Parliament he was named to only one committee, 15 Dec. 1584, for the bill to relieve the creditors of his nephew Edward Fisher, son of his brother Thomas. He may have been the ‘Mr. Fisher’ appointed to a committee on 13 Mar. 1576 concerning vicars and curates.

Unsuccessful for the borough in the contested election of 1586, Fisher thought himself ‘not a little injured in that I should be thrust out of that place wherein to my no little charge I have spent both time and years, not so few as 16 or 17, and I trust behaved myself’. His entries in the Black Book ceased in 1590 and he presumably died in that year, or soon after.

CPR, 1553-4, p. 417; Black Bk. of Warwick; D’Ewes, 339; CJ, i. 115.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.