Barbele Pieters (d. 1576)

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Barbele (Barberken) Pieters, an Anabaptist martyr, was executed on 19 July 1576 at Ghent in Belgium, with Lippijntgen Roetsaerts and Kreupel Sijntgen. These three women were beheaded rather than drowned, as was the general practice for the execution of women heretics. The reason for changing to this method is not known. These women were not executed in public but inside the Gravenkasteel (castle of the counts). Barbele came from Flerten near Weert, Dutch province of Limburg. She had been rebaptized by Jans Heuvebreiere. Van Braght did not possess these details and set the date of her death "about the year 1573." Barbele was married to Michiel Willems (Michiel van Brüssel), who on the same day that his wife was beheaded was burned at the stake in Ghent.


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, 643.

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: 968. Available online at:

Verheyden, A. L. E. Het Gentsche Martyrologium (1530-1595). Brugge: De Tempel, 1946: 67, No. 239.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Barbele Pieters (d. 1576)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 7 Dec 2023.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Barbele Pieters (d. 1576). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 232-233. All rights reserved.

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