Clement Henricksz (d. 1569)

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Clement Henricksz, an Anabaptist martyr, was burned at the stake at Amsterdam, of which city he was a citizen, on 17 December 1569. By trade he was a sail-maker. Clement, like Cornelis Jansz, Jan Quirijnsz, and Willem Jansz, was a victim of the Spanish-inspired reaction in Amsterdam, particularly after the coming of Alba in 1568. Clement, as well as the other three brethren, were condemned to death by burning because they had attended Mennonite meetings and were thought to hold "stubborn heresy" although he had not yet been baptized. Cornelis, Jan, and Willem were executed on 12 March 1569, but the execution of Clement was repeatedly postponed. Possibly it was expected that he would after all return to the Roman Catholic fold. At any rate, information was given on 24 March that he appeared to be not unwilling to be heard again, and on 21 April that he doubted. Still, Clement remained loyal until death. On 17 December after the execution had again been stayed several times, he had to go to the stake. With the bell ringing in order to prevent the crowd from understanding the words which he was expected to speak to them, he "gave up joyfully." He was strangled at a stake, and then burned.

The Offer des Heeren contains a letter from Clement, written in prison. Later on four other letters from him were discovered, also written from prison. They were included with the first letter in the Groot Offerboek of 1615 and all five copied by van Braght in his Martyrs' Mirror. In one of these letters, he wrote about the severe torture he had to endure.

There is a song about Clement Henricksz which begins, "So wie op den Steen Christum bout, Diens timmering mach blijven" (He who builds on Christ the Rock, his building will remain). This song is included in the Offer des Heeren.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 478-483. Available in full electronic text at:

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, 439.

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: 833.  Available online at:

Grosheide, Greta. Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der Anabaptisten in Amsterdam. Hilversum: J. Schipper, Jr., 1938: 60, 305, 181-183, 310.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 282.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 69.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Clement Henricksz (d. 1569)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 May 2020.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Clement Henricksz (d. 1569). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 May 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 622. All rights reserved.

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