Anthoenis Elberts (d. 1535)

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Anthoenis Elberts, an Anabaptist martyr, was put to death 14 May 1535, at Amsterdam, along with 10 other brethren. This execution was very cruel; before they were beheaded, they were cut open alive and their hearts removed from their bodies, and after the decapitation their corpses were quartered, and as a deterrent example to the people their heads were displayed on the top of poles. This Anthoenis and his fellow martyrs had taken part in an attack on Amsterdam on 10 May 1535.They had been stirred up by Jan van Geelen, the ambassador of Münster. The names of these martyrs do not occur in the older martyr books, nor does the Martyrs Mirror include them. It is possible that no recollection remained, especially regarding these oldest martyrs in Amsterdam. Of the approximately 100 martyrs who were seized in Amsterdam and vicinity during the first years, only a very few are included in the martyr books. It is also possible that these persons were intentionally omitted from the martyr books because they were more or less Münsterite, and as such were not to be considered along with the nonresistant Mennonites, although by no means all of them had participated in the Münster atrocities. The martyr books were really not consistent in the inclusion or exclusion of such semi-Münsterites. However, the assertion of K. Vos (Doopsgezinde Bijdragen) that the martyrs included by van Braght on pages 412-415 (Dutch ed. of 1685), a total of 19 men and 17 women executed between 31 December 1534 and 7 July 1535, were "without exception Münster-minded," is incorrect.


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: Part II, 412-415.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1917): 170.

"Verhooren en Vonissen der Wederdoopers, betrokken bij de aanslagen op Amsterdam in 1534 en 1535", in Bijdragen en Mededeelingen van het Historisch Genootschap 41 (Amsterdam, 1920): 63-64. Available in full electronic text at

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1955

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Anthoenis Elberts (d. 1535)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 2 Oct 2023.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1955). Anthoenis Elberts (d. 1535). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 October 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 130. All rights reserved.

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