Breuning, Hans (16th century)

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Hans Breuning, an Anabaptist from Dachrieden near Mühlhausen in Thuringia, was arrested early in May 1533 with six fellow believers and imprisoned in Mühlhausen. They refused to name their leaders or brethren and desired to die in their faith, "thinking that their suffering was Christ’s suffering." They were sentenced to death; but Philipp of Hesse, who held a protectorate over Mühlhausen conjointly with Saxony after 1525, did not give his consent. He commissioned the parson of Hersfeld, Balthasar Raidt, to persuade the prisoners of their error. By his skill and gentleness he brought about their public confession and recantation after an imprisonment of 21 weeks. Soon afterward Hans Breuning apparently again joined the Anabaptists. In the court records of 1534 his name occurs frequently as the co-worker and companion of Ludwig Spon; he was supposedly baptized by Klaus Scharf, but he definitely denied this in his confession. He seems to have bought his freedom by recanting all of this. Nothing more is known of him. Perhaps he went to Moravia, for he longed for a peaceful residence.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 268.

Roth, Fr. "Der Meistersinger Georg Breuning und die religiöse Bewegung der Waldenser und Täufer im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert." Beiträge zur bayerischen Kirchengeschichte (1904): 226.

Wappler, Paul. Die Stellung Kursachsens und des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen zur Täuferbewegung. Münster, 1910.

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

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Breuning, Hans (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 8 Dec 2021.,_Hans_(16th_century)&oldid=162500.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1953). Breuning, Hans (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 8 December 2021, from,_Hans_(16th_century)&oldid=162500.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 427-428. All rights reserved.

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