Fagel, Francois (1659-1746)

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François Fagel, a Dutch statesman, nephew of Caspar Fagel, and like him a defender of religious toleration, did much for the Mennonites in Europe. He was born at The Hague in 1659, died there in 1746. In 1690-1744 he was clerk of the Dutch States-General. François Fagel threw himself into the cause of the oppressed Mennonites in the Palatinate, Switzerland, and Prussia. At the insistence of the Dutch Mennonites, especially the congregations of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and in accord with the resolutions of the States-General, Fagel, who warmly promoted this intercession, induced Prince William of Orange to write a letter to Elector Johann Wilhelm of the Palatinate in 1694, and again in 1697 in favor of the Mennonites living there, who were suffering many hardships. On 15 March 1710 Fagel in the name of the States-General made a strong protest to the republic of Bern, Switzerland, in behalf of the persecuted Mennonites, many of whom had been thrown into prison and others sold to Venice and elsewhere to serve on the galleys. It was Fagel who proudly declared that the Mennonites, who were being forcibly shipped by the Bern government to the English colony of Carolina in America in 1710, would be set free when passing the Dutch border (which indeed happened), because this country did not allow suppression or persecution for the sake of religion. And when the King of Prussia, Frederick William I, adopted harsh measures against the Lithuanian Mennonites in 1732, it was again Fagel who, at the request of a number of Mennonite congregations in Holland, moved the States-General to instruct the Dutch ambassador in Berlin to make a strong protest against this persecution. The [[Amsterdam Mennonite Library (Bibliotheek en Archief van de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Amsterdam)|Mennonite archives at Amsterdam]] contain a large number of letters exchanged between Fagel and the Dutch ambassador in Switzerland, Johann Ludwig Runckel, who by order and at the expense of the Dutch States was active in the cause of emigration of the Swiss Brethren. Of special interest is a document of 22 March 1710, which states that the Dutch Committee of Foreign Needs thanked François Fagel for promoting the intercession for the Mennonites of Bern. It was Fagel too, who in 1720 successfully intervened with the Duke of Jülich on behalf of Wilhelm Grahe and other Dompelaars, who had been imprisoned.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1861): 80; (1909): 136-137, 146, note 1.

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, No. 1758, 1763, 1764, 1768.

Molhuysen, P.C. and P.J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: III, 382.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Fagel, Francois (1659-1746)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 26 Sep 2022.,_Francois_(1659-1746)&oldid=119256.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Fagel, Francois (1659-1746). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 September 2022, from,_Francois_(1659-1746)&oldid=119256.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 287-288. All rights reserved.

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