Tielt, a town (1959 pop. ca. 13,000; 2006 pop. 19,269) in Flanders, Belgium, was the center of an Anabaptist congregation in the 16th century. Their preacher, Paulus van Thielt or van Meenen, was an influential elder, who played a large role in the dissensions of the day; he fled to the northern Netherlands. His sister-in-law, Prijntgen Maelbouts (see Pierijntgen van Male), the widow of his brother Jacob de Bakker, was beheaded at Ghent in 1564. A letter written by him (Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica VII, 215) indicates that he was opposed to a strict interpretation of the ban. The martyr Jelis Strings, who was seized at Werwik with Pieter and Jelis Potvliet, all of them from Tielt, and burned at the stake there in 1562, advised Paulus to flee. In 1568 he baptized the martyr Jan van Alckeren outside Halewijn in the presence of 50 members. In 1605 he was a preacher in the congregation at Haarlem, Holland. He was a large, tall man. Elder Jacob de Rore also preached in Tielt. In 1573 Anthonis Ysbaerts was burned at the stake in Tielt; he had been a servant of the bailiff of Ghent and had thus participated in the execution of a number of Anabaptist martyrs. After his conversion he fled to Friesland, but returned to Tielt to help another fugitive from Tielt get some of his possessions. On his visit he was recognized and arrested. A monk, Pieter de Bakker, tried in vain to lead him to recant. By persecution and emigration the Tielt congregation died out probably by 1580, although a few Mennonites were still living in or near the town in 1629.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 313.
 Cite This Article
Vos, Karel. "Tielt (West-Vlaanderen, Belgium)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 Apr 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Tielt_(West-Vlaanderen,_Belgium)&oldid=126321.
Vos, Karel. (1959). Tielt (West-Vlaanderen, Belgium). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 April 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Tielt_(West-Vlaanderen,_Belgium)&oldid=126321.
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