Francis Bunney, A. B.—This person was born at Vach, near Chalfont St. Giles, in Buckinghamshire, May 8, 1543, and educated in the university of Oxford, where he became fellow of Magdalen college. He entered upon the ministerial work in 1567, and soon became an admired and a popular preacher. He was for some time chaplain to the Farl of Bedford; but, upon the resignation of his fellowship, he retired into the north of England, where he. dis
• Nrwcnurt's Rrpert. Keel, vol. i. p. 99.
* Wood's Athcntc Oxoa. vol. i. p. 494.
covered uncommon zeal, constancy, and popularity in his ministerial labours. In the year 1572, he became prebendary of Durham; the year following, upon the resignation of Mr. Ralph Lever, he was made archdeacon of Northumberland ; and in 1578, he became rector of Ryton, in the bishopric of Durham. Though he obtained these preferments, he did not hold them all at the same time, but in succession.* Upon his going into the north, the Bishops Pilkington and Barns, successively of Durham, shewed him great favour, and his labours were rendered particularly useful.t The former of these prelates was a great friend to the puritans and silenced nonconformists. He often took them under his patronage and protection. He connived at their nonconformity ; and, to the utmost of his power, promoted, encouraged, and sheltered them from the storm. Such appears to have been the conduct of this generous prelate towards Mr. Bunney. Wood says " he was very zealous in his way, (meaning the way of puritanism;) a great admirer of John Calvin, a constant preacher, and much given to charity; but a stiff enemy to popery."t He died at Ryton, April 16, 1617, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. His remains were interred in the chancel of the church at that place; and upon the wall over his grave is a monumental inscription on a brass plate, the first stanza of which is the following:
My bark now having won the haven,
I fear no stormy seas;
God is my hope, my home is heaven,
My life is happy ease.
Mr. Bunney, by his last will and testament, bequeathed thirty-three pounds to Magdalen college, Oxford, and one . hundred pounds towards the erection of new colleges in that university. He was brother to Mr. Edmund Bunney, another puritan divine, whose memorial is given in the following article.
His Works.—t. A Survey and Trial of the Pope's Supremacy, 1590. —2. A Comparison between the ancient Faith of the Romans and the new Romish Religion, 1595.—3. Answer to a Popish Libel, called A Petition to the Bishops, Preachers, and Gospellers, 1607.—1 Exposition on Romans iii. 28, wherein is manifestly proved the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, 1616.—5. A plain and familiar Ex|K>sitioa of the Ten Commandments, 1617.—6. IuJoelis Prophetiam enarratio. The last was left in manuscript, and probably never published.
• Wood's Athens Oxon. vol. i. p. 355,740.
t Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 355. j Athens Oxon. vol. i.p.355.