Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

William Hunter (Protestant martyr)

Wiliam Hunter was a Marian martyr burnt to death in Brentwood at the age of 19 on March 27, 1555. He had lost his job in London as a silk-weaver because of his views and had come to live with his parents in Brentwood, but got into a dispute when reading the Bible in Brentwood Chapel. He refused to accept the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation according to which the bread and wine of the communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

He was taken before the local Justice, Antony Browne but refused to retract his position. Then he was sent to see Bishop Bonner in London. He resisted both threats and bribes - Bonner offered to make him a Freeman of the City of London and give him 40 - and was eventually returned to Brentwood to be burnt. The site is now Brentwood School, an educational establishment founded by Antony Browne.