Crespin, Jean (1520-1572)

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Jean Crespin was born in 1520 at Arras, France, and died 12 April 1572 at Geneva of the plague. A lawyer by profession, he lived in Paris, Arras (banished from there in 1545), Strasbourg, and Geneva. Crespin is the author and publisher of Le Livre des Martyrs, an account in the French language of the life and suffering of Protestant martyrs, beginning with Jean Hus. The first edition appeared 1554 at Geneva (687 pages). There are five editions of 1554, all with slight differences; during the life of Crespin the book of martyrs was reprinted several times, the titles being somewhat changed; the last edition, revised and printed by the author himself, is dated 1570 (1,424 pages). The martyrbook of Crespin was very popular among the Calvinists. After the death of Crespin some new editions were issued by Simon Goulart, a Reformed preacher of Geneva, the last of which was published in 1619. This version was published about 1920 in a new edition at Tou¬louse (by D. Benoit). There are also Latin, German, and Italian translations. Besides Calvinist martyrs Crespin also gave place to Waldenses and Albigenses as well as to Wycliffites; but Anabaptists and Mennonites are intentionally excluded. According to his preface he thought it terrible to believe that Anabaptists could be martyrs for the truth. Crespin's book is interesting and important for the study of religious conditions and church history of the 16th century, especially in France.


Haeghen, Ferdinand van der, Thomas Arnold and R. Vanden Berghe. Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais, 2 vols. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1890: II, 87-252.

Pijper, Fredrik. Martelaarsboeken. The Hague, 1924: 5-33.

Sepp, C. Geschiedkundige Nasporingen. Leiden, 1873: II, 20-44.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Crespin, Jean (1520-1572)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 25 Jan 2021.,_Jean_(1520-1572)&oldid=118883.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Crespin, Jean (1520-1572). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 January 2021, from,_Jean_(1520-1572)&oldid=118883.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 739. All rights reserved.

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