John Sherwood
Bishop of Durham
Appointed29 March 1484
Term ended14 January 1494
PredecessorWilliam Dudley
SuccessorRichard Foxe
Consecrationprobably 26 May 1484
Personal details
Died14 January 1494
Previous post(s)Archdeacon of Richmond

John Sherwood (or Shirwood; died 1494) was an English churchman and diplomat.


Sherwood was the son of the common clerk John Shirwod of York and his first wife, Agnes.[1] He graduated M.A. at University College, Oxford in 1450.[2] He learned Greek from the scribe Emmanuel of Constantinople, in 1455; for which he was later commended in a letter from Richard III of England to Pope Innocent VIII.[3][4] He was a papal lawyer, and then a diplomat, when he became the first permanent English ambassador, resident from 1479 in Rome.[3][5] He built up a noted classical library, and gained the support of George Neville, Archbishop of York.[6]

Sherwood was Archdeacon of Richmond in 1465[7] and later became Bishop of Durham, in 1484.[2] He was nominated on 29 March 1484, with Richard III on the throne, and probably was consecrated on 26 May 1484. Despite knowing of the Princes in the Tower, through their physician, he did nothing for them.[8] He visited Rome twice more as ambassador: in 1487, with Thomas Linacre and William Tilly of Selling; and in 1492-3, when he died there.[9]

Sherwood died on 14 January 1494.[10][11]


  1. ^ Raines, Angelo, ed. (1864). Testamenta Eboracensia III. Durham: Andrews & Co. for the Surtees Society. p. 207.
  2. ^ a b Concise Dictionary of National Biography
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Hughes, Arthurian Myths and Alchemy: The Kingship of Edward IV (2002), p. 239.
  4. ^ Jonathan Hughes, The Religious Life of Richard III (1997), p. 73.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Hughes, Religious Life, p. 89.
  7. ^ Jones Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300-1541: volume 6: Northern province (York, Carlisle and Durham): Archdeacons: Richmond Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Hughes, Religious Life, p. 90.
  9. ^ P. S. Allen, The Age of Erasmus (1963), p. 125.
  10. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 242
  11. ^ Pollard, A. J. "Shirwood, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25447. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)