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Death: 1600


After escaping from an Elizabethan prison, the English priests Thomas Hunt, of Norfolk, and Thomas Sprott, of Skelsmergh, resumed their secret apostolate to the country’s persecuted Catholics. But soon afterward, the inn where Fathers Hunt and Sprott were staying was raided by officers looking for robbers. Upon searching the two fugitives’ belongings, the officials discovered two breviaries and holy oils, arousing the suspicion that the two were priests. Fathers Hunt and Sprott admitted to having been Catholics from their infancy, but refused to say whether they were priests. Their profession of papal primacy led to their arrest. At their trial, where they were summarily condemned to death for being priests, Fathers Hunt and Sprott were subjected to a barrage of polemics from Protestant ministers. The priests refuted the ministers’ arguments so ably that they began to win the sympathy of the onlookers, leading the magistrates to order an end to the debate. Both priests were executed by drawing and quartering.


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