William Hunter was a Marian martyr burnt to death in Brentwood, England at the age of 19 on 27 March 1555, on Ingrave Road. He had lost his job in London as a silk-weaver because he refused to attend the Catholic mass, despite an order that everyone in the City of London had to attend, and had come to live with his parents in Brentwood, but got into a dispute when discovered reading the Bible for himself 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.
The site is now Brentwood School, which was founded by Antony Browne in 1558, under a grant from Queen Mary. The Martyr’s Elm was grown on the spot of Hunter’s incineration.
The site is marked by a plaque with the inscription
WILLIAM HUNTER. MARTYR. Committed to the Flames
March 26th MDLV.
privilege of an open Bible. And be careful to maintain it.