Aeltjen Baten (d. 1593)

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Aeltjen Baten, an Anabaptist martyr, was drowned in the Maas River at Liege, Belgium, at the end of October 1593 (Martyrs Mirror says 24 July 1595,  which is certainly incorrect). She was an elderly woman who was seized in the summer of 1593 with her husband Quintijn Jacobs and a young woman Maeyken Wouters at Zonhoven near Hasselt, where they were living. All three were taken to Liege. Quintijn was released, but the women could not be induced to change their minds. For ten weeks they were kept in prison "in des Officiaels Toren." When they heard their death sentence "they thanked the Lord with laughing mouth." Taken to the Maas bridge by the executioner, Aeltje said, "This is a beautiful city, would that it like Nineveh would repent." Then she was prevented from speaking and was cast into the water. From prison she had sent a greeting to her husband and asked that "he bring up my children in the fear of the Lord." A song about her, beginning: "Voorwaer 't dient niet Versweghen, des weerelts blintheyd groot," is found in Veelderhande Liedekens (1559) and later songbooks.


Bax, Willem. Het Protestantisme in het bisdom Luik en vooral te Maastricht, 1557-1612. s-Gravenhage : M. Nijhoff, 1941: 343-347.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde 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: Part II, 789.

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: 1091. Available online at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 136.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1955

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Aeltjen Baten (d. 1593)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 2 Oct 2023.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1955). Aeltjen Baten (d. 1593). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 October 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 19-20. All rights reserved.

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