1501: He was elected vice-chancellor of Oxford University.
1503: He was appointed by the Countess of Richmond to fill the newly founded chair of divinity.
1504: He was elected to the chancellorship of the university, an office to which he was re-elected annually for ten years, and eventually for life. A papal bull (14 Oct. 1504) ratified his election to the see of Rochester, but for this preferment he was indebted solely to King Henry's favour and virtue.
12 April 1505: Fisher was elected to the presidency of Queens' College, but held the office only for three years. His appointment to the post, it has been conjectured, was mainly with the design of providing him with a suitable residence during the time that he was superintending the erection of Christ's College, which was founded by the Lady Margaret under his auspices in 1505.
1513: On Wolsey's promotion to the see of Lincoln, Fisher, in the belief that one who stood so high in the royal favour would be better able to further the interests of the university, proposed to retire from the office of chancellor, advising that Wolsey should be elected in his place.
At a council of the clergy held at Westminster in 1517, Fisher gave satisfactory proof that he was actuated by no spirit of adulation; and in a remarkable speech, wherein he severely censured the greed for gain and the love of display and of court life which characterised many of the higher ecclesiastics of the realm, he was generally supposed to have glanced at the cardinal himself.
1523: He opposed with no less courage, by a speech in convocation, Wolsey's great scheme for a subsidy in aid of the war with Flanders.
To the notable scheme of church reform brought forward in the House of Commons in 1529 he offered strenuous resistance, and his language was such that it was construed into a disrespectful reflection on that assembly, and the speaker was directed to make it a matter of formal complaint to the king.
The unflinching firmness with which he opposed the doctrine of the royal supremacy did honour to his consistency. When convocation was called upon to give its assent, he asserted that the acceptance of such a principle would cause the clergy of England 'to be hissed out of the society of God's holy catholic church'; and his opposition so far prevailed that the form in which the assent of convocation was ultimately recorded was modified by the memorable saving clause, 'quantum per legem Dei licet' (11 Feb. 1531).
His opposition to the royal divorce was not less honourable and consistent, and he stood alone among the bishops of the realm in his refusal to recognise the validity of the measure. As Queen Catherine's confessor he naturally became her chief confidant.
28 June 1529: He appeared in the legate's court and made his