Fisher, John

, an English Jesuit of the seventeenth century, whose true name was Piercy, was born in Yorkshire, and admitted in the English college at Rome, whence he removed to Louvaine, and became a Jesuit in 1594. Afterwards he was sent on a mission to England, and laboured several years in endeavouring to make proselytes, until he was imprisoned and banished. Those of his order then made him professor of divinity at Louvaine, and vice-provincial of the English Jesuits. Returning thence to England, he made a considerable figure in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. in various controversies and conferences with some noted divines of the church of England. His most remarkable conference was with Dr. Francis White, dean of Carlisle, and afterwards bishop of Norwich, which was held in the king’s presence in 1622, at three different times, at the request of the duke of Buckingham, on account of his duchess being a Roman catholic. At the conclusion of these conferences, king James desired Fisher to return an answer to nine points, proposed by his | majesty, which Fisher did in writing, except an article concerning the supremacy, about which he desired to he excused. He had conferences also with Laud, Featley, and othrrs. He was alive in 1641, but how long afterwards we do not find. He published 1. “A Treatise of Faith,” Lond. 1600, and St. Omers, 1614. 2. “A Defence of the preceding against Wooton and White,” St. Omers, 1612. 3. “A Challenge to Protestants; to shew the succession of their pastors, from Christ down,” ibid. 1612. 4. “An Answer to nine points of Controversy proposed by king James I. with the censure of Mr. White’s reply,1625, 4to. In answer to him were published, 1. “The Romish Fisher caught in his own net,” by Dr. Featley, Lond. 1624, 4to. 2. Two other pamphlets by the same. 3. “A Conference between bishop Laud and Fisher,” ibid. 1639, by Laud. 4. “Reply to the relation, of the conference between Laud and Fisher,” by an anonymous author, 1640, 4to. 5. “Reply to Fisher’s answer to some questions propounded by king James,1624, by Francis White. 6. “Orthodox faith and the way to the church explained,” by the same, 1617. 7. “Fisher’s folly unfolded,” &c. by George Walker, 1624. 8. “Catalogus protestantium before Luther,” by George Webb, 1624, 4to. 9. “An answer to Mr. Fisher the Jesuit, &c. in a dialogue,” by Henry Rogers, 1623. 10. “The Protestant church existent, and by whom their faith professed in all ages,” by the same, 1638, 4to. 11. “A Dialogue about this question, Where was your church before Luther?” by C. W. 1623. 1


Alegambe fiibl. Script. oc. Jesu. Dodd’s Church Hist. vol. II.