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Jan Styaertsz and his cousin Pieter were Anabaptist martyrs, beheaded in 1538 at Vinderhout, near Ghent, Belgium. They lived first at Meredor (Merendrée) in Flanders. Because they were dissatisfied with the Catholic Church and its doctrines, they traveled to Germany (to Münster?), because they had heard that there was "a better faith." They were baptized in Germany, but soon they were disappointed and returned to Flanders. Shortly after their return they were arrested. Their prison was a filthy pit full of vermin which ate their food and their clothes.

Van Braght, Martyrs' Mirror, also reports that Jan, falling ill, was allowed to go home for nursing. He did not flee, but after his recovery obediently returned.

[edit] Bibliography

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, …, 1685: II, 44.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 449. Available online at:

Verheyden, A. L. E. Het Gentsche Martyrologium (1530-1595). Brugge: De Tempel, 1946: 4, No. 9-10.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Jan Styaertsz (d. 1538)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 1 Jun 2016.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1957). Jan Styaertsz (d. 1538). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 June 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 83. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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