Engraving from Apocalypsis, or The revelation of certain notorious advancers of heresie. London, 1655. Scan provided by the [http://grebel.uwaterloo.ca/mao/ Mennonite Archives of Ontario].
Hendrik (Heinrich) Niclaes was the founder of the Familists
or the "House of Love," also called Nicolaites
. He was a native of Münster
. He had visions as a boy, entered a Latin school at the age of nine, but three years later worked in his father's business until he married and took over a business of his own. At the age of 27 he was arrested on a suspicion of Lutheran beliefs, and then moved to Amsterdam
. Here he was arrested on a suspicion of being a "Münsterite." After his release he stayed nine years longer in Amsterdam. At the age of 39, while he was living in Emden, East Friesland
, where he owned a thriving business, he had prophetic visions and gathered a following. When he was 59 he was again imprisoned and tried on the rack. He escaped to Kampen
, Dutch province of Overijssel
, and from there to London and Cologne. He was a prolific writer. Nippold
names 51 titles from his pen, which deal with a mystical pantheism.The disloyalty of some friends embittered the last years of his life. With David Joris he
carried on a brief literary dispute. Other Anabaptist
connections cannot be claimed, as some older histories erroneously assert. In Holland
he had few adherents. Only in Dordrecht
was there a group of followers until about 1614. Among his most influential followers was Christoffel Plantijn (1520-1589), noted printer at Antwerp
Cramer, Samuel and Fredrik Pijper. Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica. 10 v. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1903-1914: VII, passim, see Index.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 224.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 387-394.
Lindeboom, J. Stiefkinderen van het Christendom. The Hague, 1929: 201-209.
Nippold, F. "Heinrich Niclaes und das Haus der Liebe." Zeitschrift für die historische Theologie 3-4 (1862).
|| Christian Neff
| Date Published
 Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Niclaes, Hendrik (1502-1580)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 Jul 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Niclaes,_Hendrik_(1502-1580)&oldid=93094.
Neff, Christian. (1957). Niclaes, Hendrik (1502-1580). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 July 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Niclaes,_Hendrik_(1502-1580)&oldid=93094.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia
, Vol. 3, p. 871. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press
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