Burial register ID: 8513
Surname: BRUNTON
First name: ALFRED
Middle names:
Gender: Male
Age: 72 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 17-May-1900
Date of burial: 19-May-1900

Block: 193
Plot: 13

Bio contributor: David Murray

Alfred Brunton c1827 – 1900

Alfred Brunton was one of the most dynamic evangelists of Victorian Dunedin. The son of an engineer, he was born in Islington, London, probably in 1827. He went to Australia at the age of 19, intent on being a gold miner, but instead became a teacher, evangelising in his spare time. Brunton arrived in Dunedin in 1866 to relieve the minister of the Moray Place Congregational Church and was afterwards a preacher for the Plymouth Brethren. He delivered the gospel in a rousing, popular, straight-from-the-shoulder style and was soon attracting hundreds to the Sunday evening services at Farley’s Hall in Princes Street. In the 1870s he established a choir of more than 100 voices, knwon as “Brunton’s Choir”, which introduced the lively choruses of Moody and Sankey to Dunedin and helped to attract even greater crowds. A sailor at a meting in Port Chalmers later described Brunton and his choir:
“Gathered close to the platform was a little company of well-dressed men and women intent upon the words of a thick-set dark-visaged man, who was addressing the volubly… Suddenly I heard him say, “Now then, one, two” and with a sweep of his hand he launched them into another burst of song, quite unaccompanied, but wonderfully sweet.”

In 1880 the Assembly moved to the Garrison Hall, where on one occasion a congregation estimated at 2800 packed in to hear Brunton and a fellow evangelist. Brunton died in 1900 at the age of 72, his wife having died some years earlier. According to a friend he was active to the end, and died “practically in harness”.

Death certificate
Otago Daily Times, 18 May 1900, 19 May 1900
Frank T. Bullen, With Christ at Sea (1901)
Charles Croot, Dunedin Churches
Peter Lineham, A History of Assemblies of Brethren in New Zealand (1977)

There are 3 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
BRUNTON ALFRED 72 Years 17-May-1900 19-May-1900
BRUNTON MARY ANN 72 Years 29-Oct-1888 31-Oct-1888
BRUNTON REBECCA 88 Years 19-Jul-1953 21-Jul-1953