Famous Religious and Political Figures from Yorkshire

Boasting a rich and long history, Yorkshire has been home to several prominent religious and political figures throughout history.

Religious Figures from Yorkshire

John of Beverley

A bishop, and the founder and patron saint of the town of Beverley. John of Beverly was from Harpham and Beverley, and died in 721 AD.

Serving as the Bishop of York, John built the first monastery – and structure – in the town of Beverley.

The Catholic Church canonized John as a saint in 1037, and he was associated with several miracles.

John Fisher

Bishop, saint, cardinal and martyr, John Fisher was born in Beverley in 1491. He was venerated as Saint John Fisher by the Roman Catholic Church and served as an English Catholic bishop cardinal.

An academic at heart, Fisher served as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

Fisher was alive during the reign of Henry VIII and the time of the English Reformation. He was executed by King Henry VIII for refusing to take the oath declaring Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England.

Honored as martyr and a saint by the Catholic Church, Fisher shares a feast day with St. Thomas Moore on June 22.

Hilda of Whitby

Founder of the Whitby monastery and Christian saint, Hilda of Whitby played an important role in the conversion of Anglo-Saxons to the Christian faith.

Hilda was known for her wisdom, which drew many kings to her for advice.

Political Figures from Yorkshire

Herbert Henry Asquith

Herbert Henry Asquith, or H.H. Asquith, was the Liberal Prime Minister of the UK between 1908 and 1916. H.H. Asquith played an integral role in the creation and passage of liberal legislation, and led the UK in to the First World War in 1914.

Asquith was born in Morley, West Riding of Yorkshire in 1852.

William Bradford

Born in Austerfield in 1590, William Bradford was the pilgrim father and the Plymouth governor.

In 1620, Bradford took the Mayflower to Plymouth Colony. His journal, entitled Of Plimoth Plantation covered his stay in Plymouth from 1620 to 1657.

Guy Fawkes

Born in York in 1570, Guy Fawkes was a Yorkshire-born soldier and a part of the Gunpowder Plot.

The failed Gunpowder Plot was an attempt to assassinate King James I of England by a group of English Catholics. The group was led by Robert Catesby.

Fawkes’ effigy is burned on a bonfire and fireworks are set off in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot.

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