Beutelhans (d. 1527)

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Beutelhans (Hans Beutel), an Anabaptist martyr, a citizen of Königsberg in Franconia, Germany, where he owned a house in the suburbs with vineyards. He was baptized by Hans Hut, and traveled about the surrounding villages with him, winning many for the Anabaptist movement. On 8 February 1527 he was imprisoned with six fellow believers and soon afterward beheaded (Wappler, 4, note 1). In agony of torture they were reported to have said that their preachers had ordered them to flee to Mülhausen in case the Turks came and there was great want and agitation, and gather there as a Christian group, which would grow to several thousand men (Wappler, 45). It is, however, to be assumed that these statements were forced from them as a consequence of torture, since there was no actual occurrence to confirm them. The burgomaster and the council of Königsberg gave the imprisoned Anabaptist citizens the testimonial that "they had conducted themselves as citizens," and that "the poor men should be shown mercy and permitted to live."

Still less comprehensible is the reproach of seditious tendencies, when one examines the confession forced from Beutelhans by the repeated, terrible torture (Berbig, 313). The confused statements about Mülhausen and the expected meeting of the "new Christians" there, were obviously suggested to him on the rack. Furthermore, his stress on nonresistance is especially worthy of note.


Berbig, G. "Die Wiedertäufer im Amt Königsberg in Franken 1527-28." Deutsche Zeitschrift für Kirchenrecht 13 (1913).

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 214.

Wappler, Paul. Die Stellung Kursachsens und des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen zur Täuferbewegung. Münster i. W : Druck und Verlag der Aschendorffschen Buchhandlung, 1910.

Wappler, Paul. Die Täuferbewegung in Thüringen von 1526-1584. Jena: Gustav Fisher, 1913.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1953

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Neff, Christian. "Beutelhans (d. 1527)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 23 Sep 2023.

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Neff, Christian. (1953). Beutelhans (d. 1527). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 September 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 320. All rights reserved.

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