It’s important to remember those who suffered and died cruel deaths defending the truth of the Gospel we believe. Could Rome’s past atrocities be repeated? It’s been said Rome never changes.

“Martyrdom of William Hunter

William Hunter had been trained to the doctrines of the Reformation from his earliest youth, being descended from religious parents, who carefully instructed him in the principles of true religion.

Hunter, then nineteen years of age, refusing to receive the communion at Mass, was threatened to be brought before the bishop; to whom this valiant young martyr was conducted by a constable.

Bonner caused William to be brought into a chamber, where he began to reason with him, proimising him security and pardon if he would recant. Nay, he would have been content if he would have gone only to receive and to confession, but William would not do so for all the world.

Upon this the bishop commanded his men to put William in the stocks in his gate house, where he sat two days and nights, with a crust of brown bread and a cup of water only, which he did not touch.

At the two days’ end, the bishop came to him, and finding him steadfast in the faith, sent him to the convict prison, and commanded the keeper to lay irons upon him as many as he could bear. He continued in prison three quarters of a year, during which time he had been before the bishop five times, besides the time when he was condemned in the consistory in St. Paul’s, February 9, at which time his brother, Robert Hunter, was present.

Then the bishop, calling William, asked him if he would recant, and finding he was unchangeable, pronounced sentence upon him, that he should go from that place to Newgate for a time, and thence to Brentwood, there to be burned.

About a month afterward, William was sent down to Brentwood, where he was to be executed. On coming to the stake, he knelt down and read the Fifty-first Psalm, until he came to these words, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Steadfast in refusing the queen’s pardon, if he would become an apostate, at length one Richard Ponde, a bailiff, came, and made the chain fast about him.

William now cast his psalter into his brother’s hand, who said, “William, think on the holy passion of Christ, and be not afraid of death.” “Behold,” answered William, “I am not afraid.” Then he lifted up his hands to heaven, and said, “Lord, Lord, Lord, receive my spirit;” and casting down he head again into the smothering smoke, he yielded up his life for the truth, sealing it with his blood to the praise of God.”

Source: Fox’s Book of Martyrs


  1. This copy of the Foxe’s Book of Martyr’s I have is very very old and falling apart. The elderly man who gave it to me was born in 1910 but went to be with the Lord in his 100th year. It belonged to previous generations of his family and he told me that he had memories of reading it as a boy sitting under the kitchen table. He was horrified at what men, women and even children suffered for the sake of the gospel. I noted that unacceptance of “transubstantiation” was what infuriated those who tortured and murdered these saints. We are living in an awful era when many have forgotten why they have the liberty to worship as they do but even worse than this – they are giving credence to Roman Catholicism as just another denomination of the “Christian church.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elizabeth for sharing such an interesting story. I have also read that rejection of transubstantiation was the main reason so many were tortured and sent to the flames. The acceptance of Roman Catholicism by many or should I say most churches today is a great tragedy.

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  2. Thanks, Cathy. Every believer should read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs with its accounts of Christians in England and Scotland who were required to worship the Jesus wafer or face torture and death. It’s quite interesting that one of those who carried out the persecution, Lord Chancellor Thomas More, is venerated by Catholics as a saint and a champion of religious freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree Tom, every believer should be familiar with Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It should be required reading in every “new believer class” held in the churches. Interesting fact about Thomas More. I’m familiar with the name but that’s about all. I’ll have to look his name up. Thanks for the info.

      Liked by 2 people

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