Delft (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)

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Delft is a town in the Dutch province of South Holland with about 95,300 inhabitants in 2007. As early as 1534 there was live Anabaptist activity here. On 27 March 1534 the martyr Jan Evertsz of Middelburg, who had visited Delft shortly before, named nine persons at Delft who had been rebaptized, among them David Joris and his wife. In the fall of 1534 Obbe Philips visited Delft and ordained David Joris as an elder. Early in March 1535 and in December 1535 some Anabaptists were executed whose names are not known. Probably there was a congregation there at this time, which was deeply influenced by David Joris. In January 1539, 31 Anabaptists were put to death, including Maritgen, the mother of David Joris. All these persons were Davidjorists. After this terrible execution some Anabaptists must have remained, though David Joris had left Delft. The Mennonite martyr Adriaen Cornelisz, executed at Leiden in 1552, lived in Delft. And on 5 Februrary 1572, two Mennonites, Jan Hendriksen van Zwartewaal and Martin Jansen Korendrager, who are both found in the Martyrs' Mirror, suffered martyrdom at Delft. Martin Jansen is definitely said to have been a citizen of this town. Leenaert Bouwens visited Delft several times and baptized 30 persons here. Shortly after this there was a Mennonite congregation at Delft, which is said to have attracted some Reformed people. The Mennonites were opposed by the Reformed minister of Delft, Arent Cornelisz, who wrote two books against them: Grondtlich bewijs ende onderricht wt der heyliger Schrijtuyre dat het Godts wille ende bevel is, dat men de onmondiche kinderkens der Christenen doopen sal; and Wederlegginghe der voorneemste bewijsredenen. From the records of the Reformed Church it appears that Niesgen Bruyne, the widow of Herman Schinkel and later the wife of Aelbrecht Heyndricksz, had reprinted the Mennonite Offerboek in 1578. This must have been the edition of Het Offer des Heeren of which until now the printer was unknown (edition No. 6, 1578 b; see BRN II, 11-12). In 1599 there existed at Delft a Frisian Mennonite congregation, of which Jan Woutersz was a preacher. Of this Frisian congregation nothing further is known; it may soon have united with the Flemish congregation, of which the origin is unknown but which existed in 1578, in which year Christiaen Adriaensz was an elder here. In 1626 the ministers of Delft, Michiel Jantz, Willem Theunisz, and Adriaen Jansz, signed the Confession of Outerman. Representatives of this congregation attended the conferences of the Flemish at Haarlem in 1649 and other Flemish meetings. In 1664 they signed the Verbond van Eenigheid and joined the stricter wing of the Dutch Mennonites, the Zonists.

In 1647 there was also a Waterlander congregation in Delft, of which five representatives were present at the general Waterlander conference at Amsterdam. The history of these three congregations is equally obscure; it is not clear when they were founded and only a few facts are given. Even the places where two of these congregations met are not known; the Waterlanders had a meetinghouse in the Huetersteeg. Since about 1630 the Flemish congregation had no minister of its own. For more than 50 years it was ministered to by preachers from other congregations, especially from Rotterdam (buitenmannen); it must have died out at the end of the 17th century. About 1680 the Waterlander congregation joined the Waterlander Sociëteit of South Holland and got a preacher of its own; how long this minister, C. de Wit Jzn, stayed here, is not known. The congregation, which during the 17th century was always very small and of which it is said in 1713 that it was nearly extinct, must have disappeared soon after. At least it is not mentioned in the first [[Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de Vereenigde Nederlanden|Naamlijst ]](1731).    

In April 1907 several Mennonites living at Delft founded a Kring (group). J. Dyserinck, a retired minister of Rotterdam who was living at The Hague, conducted services once a month in the Remonstrant church; he also gave catechismal instruction and in the spring of 1909 held a baptismal service. The members of the Delft group were registered in the records of the Mennonite congregation of The Hague. After the death of Pastor Dyserinck (1912), Pastor G. Wuite of The Hague took care of the Delft Mennonite group. In 1923 this group obtained its own minister, M. van der Vegte Jr. 1923-1927, followed by Miss M. T. Gerritsma 1927-1929, Miss J. H. van der Slooten 1929-1932, and after 1934 Miss S. Goossen. In 1925 this group was organized as an independent Mennonite congregation. The membership, which numbered 98 in 1916, 115 in 1927, was 154 in 1954. As of that time the congregation had no church building of its own. Meetings were held in the Remonstrant church or in a rented hall. There was a Sunday school for children, a ladies' circle, and a youth group.


Cramer, Samuel and Fredrik Pijper. Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1903-1914: II, 205.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1872): 67; (1892): 108, 124-126; (1896): 44; (1907): 78, 210; (1909): 187; (1917): 160-167; (1918): 69.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I, 401.

Het Offer des Heere. Edition No. 6, 1578 b. see Cramer, Samuel and Fredrik Pijper. Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica, 10 vols. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1903-1914: II, 205; II, 11-12.                                

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: I, Nos. 80, 105, 108, 144, 146, 204, 216, 248, 297, 298, 443, 749, 812, 814; II: Nos. 1677-1690.

Jaanus, Hendrik Johan. Hervormd Delft ten tijde Arent Cornelisz (1573-1605). Amsterdam: Nordemann,1950.

Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de zestiende eeuw. Haarlem : H. D. Tjeenk Willink, 1961. I,  passim.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Delft (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 30 Jun 2022.,_Netherlands)&oldid=126060.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Delft (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 June 2022, from,_Netherlands)&oldid=126060.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 30-31. All rights reserved.

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