Friday, July 30, 2010

The Hunter Martyrs

John Foxes’ Book of Martyrs tells the story of two Hunter Brothers, William and Robert Hunter.
William Hunter, (d. 1555), was a Weaver's apprentice and martyr. William Hunter refused to attend mass in London in 1553; he returned home to Brentwood, Essex. He was denounced to Thomas Wood, the vicar of South Weald, for reading scriptures in English. He was examined by Wood, who denounced William Hunter to Anthony Browne. Hunter was brought before Browne and interrogated; Hunter was then sent to Bonner by Browne. William Hunter was examined by Bonner and condemned. Hunter was detained by Bonner for nine months, during which time the bishop tried both harsh and lenient treatment to persuade him to recant. Hunter was examined by Bishop Bonner on 8 February 1555; he was condemned by Bishop Bonner on 9 February 1555. William Hunter was then condemned by Bishop Bonner. William Hunter was sent to Brentwood to be burned. Hunter refused pressure at his execution to recant and died constantly on 26 March 1555. Hunter wrote a short letter to his mother shortly before his martyrdom.
Robert Hunter, Brother of William Hunter, supplied Foxe with the account of his brother's martyrdom. Robert Hunter was imprisoned in the stocks and interrogated by Anthony Browne. Robert Hunter witnessed his brother's condemnation on 9 February 1555. At his brother's execution, Robert refused to attempt to persuade William to recant; instead he encouraged him. William at the stake gave Robert his Psalter.
From: John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs .