Frans Jansz (16th century)

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Frans Jansz, a sheriff of the North Holland town of Alkmaar from about 1528, was a Sacramentist. By trade he was a glazier. In 1533 he is found among the Anabaptists, attending Anabaptist meetings at Limmen, near Alkmaar, where Geeryt mitten baerde and Aeffgen Lystyncx preached; he also held meetings in his own house at Alkmaar, where the question was discussed, whether they should go to Münster (DB 1909, 7, 11, 12, 14).

At the same time, there was another Anabaptist Frans Jansz living at Alkmaar, who was a ship's carpenter, and who must be distinguished from the above. This Frans Jansz the carpenter, who had previously lived at Krommeniedijk, took part in the journey to Münster in March 1534, was arrested at Bergklooster, brought to Haarlem, renounced his faith, and was set free on 18 September 1534, upon payment of a fine (DB 1909, 14-15).

He may have been identical with Frans Jansz the locksmith, born at Alkmaar, who was a follower of the Anabaptist revolutionary leader Jan van Batenburg. If this is the case, he must have changed his trade after his imprisonment at Haarlem and rejoined the Anabaptists of the Batenburg group. Frans Jansz the locksmith was arrested at Utrecht in 1541. He had been rebaptized about 1534 and was charged with having broken into the prison of Leiden and liberating some Anabaptist prisoners, and also robbing some Catholic churches. He was sentenced to death together with his wife Aeff Peters and hanged at Utrecht on 2 April 1541 (Inv. Archief. Amst. I, No. 283; DB 1909, 21-22, 25).

Another person of this name, Frans Jansz Mickers, also living at Alkmaar, who presumably was also a follower of Batenburg, was put to death at Alkmaar on 16 April 1540, together with his mother Stijntgen, Jan Mickers' widow, and his sister Geertje (or Guertje) Jansdochter (DB 1909, 21, 24).


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1909): 7, 11, 12, 14-15, 21-22, 24-25.

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: v. I, No. 28.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Frans Jansz (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 6 Feb 2023.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Frans Jansz (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 February 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 378. All rights reserved.

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