Bure, Idelette de (d. 1549)

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Idelette de Bure was the wife of John Calvin, whom she married in August 1540, at Strasbourg in Alsace. She was for a time an Anabaptist, and had previously been married to an Anabaptist of Liege, Jean Stordeur (also called Storder and Stordene), who died of the plague. After the birth of a son Jacque in 1542, who lived only a few days, Idelette slowly succumbed, and died on 29 March 1549. Little is known about her life; but Calvin's loss is seen in a letter of 2 April 1549 to his friend Farel in Neuchätel. (Schwarz)

Whether Idelette contributed to the Anabaptist influence on Calvin, which some believe is evident in Calvin's strict church discipline, is uncertain. It is true that soon after his arrival in Strasbourg in 1538 Calvin made contacts with the Anabaptists, and that some of the French Anabaptist refugees, finding it difficult to understand their German-speaking brethren, joined the French church which Calvin organized here, a step which was perhaps made easier because Calvin introduced into his church one of the principal Anabaptist demands, i.e., strict church discipline. But there is no concrete evidence of Idelette's part in this.

N. Weiss, professor and librarian at the universityof Strasbourg, reports that a portrait of Idelette was extant at Fontenay, rue Roses 1907. The picture is a photographic copy of a painting on wood; it shows her unusually sharp features and long nose.

Idelette was probably the daughter of Lambert van Buren, who with his daughter, her husband Jean Stordeur, and a few others, was expelled from Liége, Belgium in 1533, because they were Anabaptists. They moved to Strasbourg, where Stordeur and his wife were converted by John Calvin.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 300.

Mennonitische Blätter (1909): 36.

Schwarz, Rudolf. Johannes Calvins Lebenswerk in seinen Briefen: eine Ausw. von Briefen Calvins in deutscher Uebers. Tübingen: Mohr, 1909: 338 f.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Bure, Idelette de (d. 1549)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 11 May 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bure,_Idelette_de_(d._1549)&oldid=144905.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1953). Bure, Idelette de (d. 1549). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 11 May 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bure,_Idelette_de_(d._1549)&oldid=144905.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 471; v. 4, p. 1142. All rights reserved.

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