Thematic Divisions in Book 11
1. The Martyrdom of Rogers 2. The Martyrdom of Saunders 3. Saunders' Letters 4. Hooper's Martyrdom 5. Hooper's Letters 6. Rowland Taylor's Martyrdom 7. Becket's Image and other events 8. Miles Coverdale and the Denmark Letters 9. Bonner and Reconciliation 10. Judge Hales 11. The Martyrdom of Thomas Tomkins 12. The Martyrdom of William Hunter 13. The Martyrdom of Higbed and Causton 14. The Martyrdom of Pigot, Knight and Laurence 15. Robert Farrar's Martyrdom 16. The Martyrdom of Rawlins/Rowland White17. The Restoration of Abbey Lands and other events in Spring 155518. The Providential Death of the Parson of Arundel 19. The Martyrdom of John Awcocke 20. The Martyrdom of George Marsh 21. The Letters of George Marsh 22. The Martyrdom of William Flower 23. The Martyrdom of Cardmaker and Warne 24. Letters of Warne and Cardmaker 25. The Martyrdom of Ardley and Simpson 26. John Tooly 27. The Examination of Robert Bromley [nb This is part of the Tooly affair]28. The Martyrdom of Thomas Haukes 29. Letters of Haukes 30. The Martyrdom of Thomas Watts 31. Mary's False Pregnancy32. Censorship Proclamation 33. Our Lady' Psalter 34. Martyrdom of Osmund, Bamford, Osborne and Chamberlain35. The Martyrdom of John Bradford 36. Bradford's Letters 37. William Minge 38. James Trevisam 39. The Martyrdom of John Bland 40. The Martyrdom of Frankesh, Middleton and Sheterden 41. Sheterden's Letters 42. Examinations of Hall, Wade and Polley 43. Martyrdom of Christopher Wade 44. Nicholas Hall45. Margery Polley46. Martyrdom of Carver and Launder 47. Martyrdom of Thomas Iveson 48. John Aleworth 49. Martyrdom of James Abbes 50. Martyrdom of Denley, Newman and Pacingham 51. Martyrdom of John Newman52. Richard Hooke 53. Martyrdom of William Coker, et al 54. Martyrdom of George Tankerfield, et al 55. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Smith 56. Martyrdom of Harwood and Fust 57. Martyrdom of William Haile 58. George King, Thomas Leyes and John Wade 59. William Andrew 60. Martyrdom of Robert Samuel 61. Samuel's Letters 62. William Allen 63. Martyrdom of Thomas Cobb 64. Martyrdom of Catmer, Streater, Burwood, Brodbridge, Tutty 65. Martyrdom of Hayward and Goreway 66. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Glover 67. Cornelius Bungey 68. John and William Glover 69. Martyrdom of Wolsey and Pigot 70. Life and Character of Nicholas Ridley 71. Ridley and Latimer's Conference 72. Ridley's Letters 73. Life of Hugh Latimer 74. Latimer's Letters 75. Ridley and Latimer Re-examined and Executed76. More Letters of Ridley 77. Life and Death of Stephen Gardiner 78. Martyrdom of Webb, Roper and Park 79. William Wiseman 80. James Gore 81. Examinations and Martyrdom of John Philpot 82. Philpot's Letters 83. Martyrdom of Thomas Whittle, Barlett Green, et al 84. Letters of Thomas Wittle 85. Life of Bartlett Green 86. Letters of Bartlett Green 87. Thomas Browne 88. John Tudson 89. John Went 90. Isobel Foster 91. Joan Lashford 92. Five Canterbury Martyrs 93. Life and Martyrdom of Cranmer 94. Letters of Cranmer 95. Martyrdom of Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield 96. Persecution in Salisbury Maundrell, Coberly and Spicer 97. William Tyms, et al 98. Letters of Tyms 99. The Norfolk Supplication 100. Martyrdom of John Harpole and Joan Beach 101. John Hullier 102. Hullier's Letters 103. Christopher Lister and five other martyrs 104. Hugh Lauerocke and John Apprice 105. Katherine Hut, Elizabeth Thacknell, et al 106. Thomas Drury and Thomas Croker 107. Thomas Spicer, John Deny and Edmund Poole 108. Persecution of Winson and Mendlesam 109. Gregory Crow 110. William Slech 111. Avington Read, et al 112. Wood and Miles 113. Adherall and Clement 114. A Merchant's Servant Executed at Leicester 115. Thirteen Burnt at Stratford-le-Bow116. Persecution in Lichfield 117. Hunt, Norrice, Parret 118. Martyrdom of Bernard, Lawson and Foster 119. Examinations of John Fortune120. John Careless 121. Letters of John Careless 122. Martyrdom of Julius Palmer 123. Agnes Wardall 124. Peter Moone and his wife 125. Guernsey Martyrdoms 126. Dungate, Foreman and Tree 127. Martyrdom of Thomas More128. Examination of John Jackson129. Examination of John Newman 130. Martyrdom of Joan Waste 131. Martyrdom of Edward Sharpe 132. Four Burnt at Mayfield at Sussex 133. John Horne and a woman 134. William Dangerfield 135. Northampton Shoemaker 136. Prisoners Starved at Canterbury 137. More Persecution at Lichfield
Critical Apparatus for this Page
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Person and Place Index  *  Close

A summoner of Brentwood, Essex

Atwell denounced William Hunter, when he observed him reading the Bible in English, to Thomas Wood. 1570, pp. 1712-13; 1576, p. 1462; 1583, p. 1536.

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Robert Hunter

Brother of William Hunter

Robert Hunter supplied Foxe with the account of his brother's martyrdom which was used in 1570 and all subsequent editions 1570, p. 1712; 1576, p. 1462; 1583, p. 1536.

Robert Hunter witnessed his brother's condemnation on 9 February 1555. 1570, p. 1714; 1576, p. 1463; 1583, p. 1537.

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. 1570, p. 1716; 1576, p. 1464; 1583, p. 1538.

Robert Hunter was imprisoned in the stocks and interrogated by Anthony Browne after his brother's death. 1570, p. 1716; 1576, p. 1465; 1583, p. 1539.

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Robert Salmon

Constable of Brentwood, Essex

Robert Salmon was summoned by Anthony Browne to arrest William Hunter. When Hunter surrendered, Salmon placed him in the stocks and the next day brought him to Browne. 1570, p. 1713; 1576, pp. 1462-63; 1583, pp. 1536-37.

Salmon conveyed Hunter to Bishop Bonner. 1570, p. 1714; 1576, p. 1463; 1583, p. 1537.

He was commanded by Browne to return home after Robert Hunter was released from the stocks. 1570, p. 1716; 1576, p. 1465; 1583, p. 1539.

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Sir Anthony Browne

(1509/10 - 1567)

JP, MP for Lostwithel (1545), Great Bedwyn (1547), Preston (1553), Scarborough (1554), Maldon (1554). Sergeant-at-law and Mary's sergeant (1555). Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (1558 - 1559) and Justice of the Common Pleas (1559 - 1567). A leading early Elizabethan recusant [Bindoff, Commons, sub 'Browne, Anthony II'; DNB].

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Sir Anthony Browne was instructed, in a letter of 19 August, to imprison those who criticised the 'Queenes order of religion' or did not attend mass and to report their names to the privy council. 1583, p. 1765. [Foxe's account was taken from APC V, p. 63, but Foxe misdated the incident to 1553; the Privy Council Register says 1554].

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He threatened to send William Hunter's father to prison if William did not surrender himself. He interrogated William Hunter, became enraged with Hunter and sent Hunter to Bishop Bonner. 1570, pp. 1713-14; 1576, pp. 1462-63; 1583, pp. 1536-37.

He complained about the lack of wood at William Hunter's execution. He told Hunter that he would no more pray for him than for a dog. 1570, p. 1715; 1576, p. 1464; 1583, p. 1538.

He had Robert Hunter imprisoned in the stocks and then interrogated. 1570, p. 1716; 1576, p. 1465; 1583, p. 1539.

He was one of the commissioners who examined Thomas Wattes on 26 April 1555. He sent him to Bishop Bonner on 27 April to be tried for heresy. 1563, pp. 1162-63 and 1165-66; 1570, pp. 1769-70; 1576, p. 1511; 1583, pp. 1594-95

He was present at the execution of Thomas Higbed. 1570, p. 1720; 1576, p. 1469; 1583, p. 1542.

Anthony Brown persecuted George Eagles. 1570, p. 2204, 1576, p. 1902, 1583, p. 2010.

Rumours were raised in Chelmsford that Justice Brown had falsely accused diverse honest men who had kept Eagles safe in their houses, in order to discredit Eagles. Someone named Reynold of Chelmsford witnessed this to be false report. 1570, p. 2204, 1576, p. 1902, 1583, p. 2010.

Sir Anthony Hungerford sought the advice of justice Brown on how he should act towards Richard White and John Hunt. 1563, p. 1702, 1570, p. 2256, 1576, p. 1948, 1583, p. 2055.

[NB: Anthony Browne named Sir Edward Saunders as one of the overseers of his will (Bindoff, Commons).]

[NB: Do not confuse this Anthony Browne with Sir Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague - they are not the same person.]

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Thomas Tailour

Silkweaver of London

Thomas Tailour was the master of William Hunter. He ordered Hunter to return home when Hunter refused to attend mass. 1570, p. 1716; 1576, p. 1465; 1583, p. 1539.

Anthony Browne claimed that Tailour was present at William Hunter's execution; Robert Hunter denied this. 1570, p. 1716; 1576, p. 1465; 1583, p. 1539.

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Thomas Wood

(fl. 1528 - 1562)

Ex-Franciscan. Vicar of South Weald (1543 - 1559); held prebends in Canterbury and Westminster and a number of livings in the diocese of London; deprived of his livings in 1559 - 1560. Afterwards vicar of Twickenham (Middx) in 1562; deprived the same year [Emden, 1501-40 and Fasti].

On being informed that William Hunter was reading the Bible, Thomas Wood took it 'very hainously.' He examined Hunter, called him a heretic and denounced him to Anthony Browne. 1570, p. 1713; 1576, p. 1462; 1583, p. 1536.

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NGR: SK 054 095

A chapelry in the parish of St Michael, Lichfield; in the hundred of Offlow, county of Stafford. 3.5 miles west by south from Lichfield. A perpetual curacy in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield.

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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1560 [1536]

Queene Mary. The notable historie of William Hunter Martyr.


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William Hunter

Several notes focus upon the unnaturalness of popery: Foxe exploits the request to Hunter's father to return his son to what he suspects, with justice, will be his death; the glosses concerned with this episode use metaphors of 'fruit', and comment on the naturalnes of the relations between Hunter and his father. In the gloss 'The fruite of the Popes doctrine to set the father agaynst the sonne', Foxe sets the generative metaphors of fruit and paternity against each other to emphasise the subversion of the natural order by papal doctrine and offers a contrast in a later gloss, 'The working of nature betwene the father & the sonne'. Another gloss emphasises the comforting of Hunter by the son of the sheriff ('The Shriffes sonne geueth comfortable wordes to W. Hunter'), which suggests that a son was set against his father. Two glosses make use of phrases established in Book X as anti-catholic commonplaces: the charge that papists cannot 'abide' scripture ('The Catholickes cannot abide the Bible') and the use of the phrase 'pelting chafe' to indicate the fury of a persecutor ('M. Browne in a pelting chafe'). Some glosses near to the account of Hunter's death ('His father and mother come to cōfort him'; 'His father & mother exhort him to be constant'; 'Maister Higbed maruelleth at the constancy of Williams mother') emphasise constancy and several relate the prophetic dream Hunter had shortly before his death and the occasions of 'verification' of it ('A notable thing concerning W. Hunters dreame'; 'W. Hunters dreame verefied'; 'Williams dreame verified'). The cruel treatment of Hunter is also stressed ('Boner commaundeth W. Hunter to the stockes. W. Hunter 2. dayes & 2. nightes in the stockes, with a crust of bread, & a cuppe of water'; 'W. Hnnter layd in the conuict prison with as many yrons as he could beare'). An erroneous date in the 1563 edition is corrected in later editions.

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Marginalia Anno 1555. March MarginaliaW. Hunter prentyse & Martyr. MarginaliaMarch. 26. worthy to be noted and had in admiration of all parentes. Wherein may appeare a singulare spectacle, not onely of a maruelous fortitude in the partie so young: but also in hys parents, to beholde nature in them striuing with religion, and ouercome of the same.  
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The conquering of affection and love was an important part of the stoicism which was expected of the martyrs (see Collinson [1983]). Foxe describes martyrs such as John Rogers and Rawlins White refusing to allow the sight of their families to dissaude them from martyrdom. The Hunter family supplied Foxe with an opportunity to stress this domestic stoicism from another angle, that of the martyrs' families.

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Wherby Christian parents may learne what is to be done not only in their children, but also in them selues, if neede at any time do require, or godlynesse should demaund the duetie of a christian man against naturall affection.  
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Foxe's deletion of the passages from his later editions does not indicate that he felt that the topic was unimportant, but it reflects the need to accommodate the considerable detail which Robert Hunter would supply about his brother.

Example whereof in the sequele of thys hystorie we haue here presēt before our eyes. Which hystorie as it was faithfully drawen out by Robert Hunter hys owne brother (who being present with his brother William, & neuer left him till his death, sent the true report vnto vs) we haue heere with like faithfulnesse placed and recorded the same, as followeth.

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MarginaliaW. Hunter prentise in Colman streete with Thomas Taylour. W. Hunter threatned for not receiuing at a Masse. W. Hunter willed of his Maister to depart. W. Hunter commeth to his father to Burntwoode.William Hunter being a prētise in London, in the first yeare of Queene Marie, was commaunded at the Easter next following, to receiue the Communion at a Masse, by the Priest of the Parish where hee dwelte, called Colman streete: whyche, because hee refused to doe, hee was verye much threatned that he shoulde be therefore brought before the Bishop of London. Wherefore William Hunters master, one Thomas Tailour, a silke weauer, required William Hunter, to go and depart from him, lest that he shuld come in daunger, because of him, if hee continued in hys house. For the which causes, William Hunter tooke leaue of his said maister, and thence came to Burntwoode where his father dwelt, with whome he remained afterwarde, about the space of halfe a quarter of a yeare.

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After this it happened, within 5. or 6. wekes, that William going into the chappell of Burntwoode, and fineding there a Bible lying on a deske, did reade therein. In the meane time there came in one MarginaliaFather Atwel a Sumner or Promotor.father Atwell a Sumner,  

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A summoner for the bishop: that is, an official responsible for collecting small sums of money owed to the bishop and with ensuring attendance at ecclesiastical courts.

which hearing William read in þe Bible, said to him, what medlest thou with the Bible? Knowest thou what thou readest, and canst thou expound the Scriptures?

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MarginaliaTalke betwene Atwell & W. Hunter concerning the Bible.To whome William aunsweared and sayde: father Atwell,. I take not vppon me to expounde the Scriptures, except I were dispensed  

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I.e., licensed.

withall, but I fineding the Bible here when I came, red in it to my comfort. To whome father Atwell sayde: it was neuer mery since the Bible came abroad in English. MarginaliaThe Catholickes cannot abide the Bible.

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To the which words William answeared, saying: Father Atwell, say not so for Gods sake, for it is Gods booke, out of the which euery one that hathe grace, may learne to knowe what things both please God, & also what displeaseth him. Then sayd father Atwel: could we not tell before this time, as well as now, how God was serued: William aunsweared: no father Atwel, nothing so wel, as we maye now, if that we might haue his blessed word amongste vs still as we haue had. It is true sayde father Atwell, if it be as you say.

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Well sayd William Hunter, it liketh me very well, and I pray God that we may haue the blessed Bible amongest vs continually. To the which wordes father Atwell sayd, I perceiue your minde well enoughe, you are one of them that misliketh the Queenes lawes, and therefore you came frō London, I heare say. You learned these waies at London, but for all that, sayde father Atwel, you must turne an other leafe, or els you and a great sorte moe heretickes will broyle for this geare, I warrāt you. To the which wordes William sayd: God geue me grace that I may beleeue hys worde, & confesse his name, whatsoeuer come therof. Confesse his name, quoth olde Atwell? no, no, ye will goe to the deuill all of you, and confesse his name.

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What, sayde William? you say not well father Atwell. At the which woordes hee went oute of the Chappell in a great furie, saying: MarginaliaAtwell not able to reason, but he is able to accuse the innocent. I am not able to reason with thee, but I will fetch one straight way which shall talke with thee, I warrant thee thou hereticke. And hee leauing William Hunter reading in the Bible, straight wayes brought one Thomas Wood, who was then vicar of Southweld, which was at an alehouse euen ouer against the sayde Chappell: who hearing olde Atwell say, that William Hunter was reading of the Bible in the chappel, came by and by to him, and finding him reading in the Bible, tooke the matter very hainously, saying: Sirha, who gaue thee leaue to reade in the Bible and to expound it? MarginaliaThe vicar of Southweld angry with W. Hunter for reading in the Bible.

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Then William aunswered: I expound not the Scriptures Syr, but reade them for my comfort. What medlest thou with them at all, sayde the Vicar? It becommeth not thee, nor none suche to meddle with the Scriptures, But William aunswered: I wil reade the Scriptures God willing, while I liue, and you ought (M. Vicar) not to discourage any mā for that matter, but rather exhort men diligētly to read the scriptures for your discharge and their own.

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Vnto the which the Vicare aunswered: It becommeth thee well to tell me what I haue to doe. I see thou arte an

hereticke, by thy wordes, William sayd, I am no hereticke for speaking the truthe. But the Vicar sayde, MarginaliaThe Catholicks in no wyse will be controled. it is a merye worlde when such as thou arte, shall teache vs what is the truthe, Thou art medling, father Atwel telles me with the 6. of Iohn, wherein thou maist perceiue, how Christ saith: Except that yee eate the flesh of Christ and drinke his bloude, yee haue no life in you. William sayd, I reade the 6. of Iohn, in deede: howbeit, I made no exposition on it.

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Then said father Atwel, when you read it I saide, that you there might vnderstande howe that in the Sacrament of the aultar is Christes very natural body and bloud: vnto the which you answered, howe that you would take the scriptures as they are, & that you woulde meddle wyth no great exposition, except that ye were dispensed with all.

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MarginaliaW. Hunter examined of the sacrament. Ah, sayd the Vicar? what say you to the blessed (Sacrament of the aultar) beleeuest thou not in it, & that the bread and wine is transubstantiated into the very body & bloude of Christ? William answered, I learne no such thing in the 6. of Iohn, as you speake of. Why sayde the Vicare, doest thou not beleue in the Sacrament of the aultare? I beleue sayde William Hunter, all that Gods word teacheth. Why sayd the Vicar thou mayest learne this which I say plainly in the 6. of Iohn.

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Then sayde William, you vnderstand Christe wordes muche like the carnall MarginaliaThe Catholicks lyke to the Capernaites. Capernaites,  

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Capernaite is a derogatory term for a believer in transubstantiation. The term is a reference to John 6: 52.

whych thoughte that Christe woulde haue geuen them his flesh to feede vppon, which opinion our sauiour Christ corrected, when he said. The wordes which I speake to you, are spirite and life.

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Now, quoth the Vicar, I haue found you out: now I see that thou art an hereticke in deede, and that thou doest not beleeue in the sacrament of the aultar.

MarginaliaHeresy mistaken with the Papistes. Then said William Hunter, wheras you doubt my beliefe, I would it were tried whether that you or I woulde stand faster in our faith. Yea thou hereticke, (sayde the Vicar) wouldest hou haue it so tried? William Hunter aunswered, that which you call heresie, I serue my Lorde God withall.

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Then sayd the Vicar: canst thou serue God wyth heresie? But William answered, I would that you and I were euen now fast tied to a stake, to prooue whether that you or I would stand strongest to our faith. But the Vicare aunswered: it shal not so be tried. No quoth William, I thinke so: for if I might, I thinke I knowe who woulde soonest recant, for I durst sette my foote against yours euen to the death. That we shall see, quoth the Vicar, and so they departed, the Vicar threatning William much, how that hee would complaine of him: with other much communication which they had together.

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MarginaliaThe vicar complayneth to Iustice Browne of W. Hunter. Immediately after, this Vicare of Weilde  

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I.e., vicar of the South Weald.

tolde maister Browne of the cōmunication which William Hunter and he had together. MarginaliaIustice Browne sendeth for Hūters father. Which when M. Browne vnderstoode, immediatly he sent for Williams father and the Constable, one Robert Salmon. For immediatly after William Hūter and the Vicar had reasoned together, he tooke hys leaue of his father and fled, because Woode the Vicare threatened him. Now when the Constable and Williams father were come, and were before M. Browne, he asked where Williā Hunter was. His father answered, saying: if it please you Syr, I knowe not where he is become. No, quoth maister Browne? I will make thee tel where he is, and fetche hym foorth also ere I haue done with thee. Sir saide Williams father, I know not where he is become, nor where to seke for hym.

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MarginaliaThe fruite of the Popes doctrine to set the father agaynst the sonne. Then sayde M. Browne, why diddest thou not bryng him whē thou haddest him? I promise thee if thou wilt not fetche him, I will send thee to prison till I shal gette hym. Wherefore see that thou promise me to fetch him, or els it is not best to looke me in the face any more, nor yet to rest in Burntwood. MarginaliaAn vnreasonable request of Iustice Browne. Wel, quoth M. Browne to Williams father, see that thou seeke him foorth, and bring him to me.

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Williams father aunswered: Syr, would you haue me seeke out my sonne to be burned? If thou bring him to me, quoth M. Browne, I will deale wel enough for that matter: thou shalt not neede to care for the matter. Fetch hym, and thou shalt see what I will doe for him.

Moreouer, if thou lackest money, quoth he, thou shalte haue some, & bad the Constable M. Salmon to geue him a crowne, but Williams father tooke none of him. How be it M. Browne would neuer rest, till Williams father hadde promised him to seeke out his sonne. And thus M. Brown sent the Constable home againe, and Williams father, cōmaunding hym to seeke out William Hunter, and then to come againe and bring him to him.

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MarginaliaThe father pretended to seeke the sonne. After that olde father Hunter had ridden a two or three dayes iourneyes to satisfie maister Brownes expectation, it happened that William mette with his father in the high way as he trauailed, and first he seeing his father, came to hym,and spake to hym, and told him how that he thought

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