Gillis de Graet (d. 1559)

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Gillis (de) Graet (Jelis de Groot), a Dutch Anabaptist martyr, was burned at the stake at Kortrijk (Courtrai), Belgium, on 18 February 1559 (<em>Martyrs' Mirror</em> erroneously 1558, without exact date). He was a native of Lendele, Flanders. After he had been arrested the officers considered transferring him to the Doornik prison, because they were afraid that the populace of Kortrijk would try to liberate him. But the transfer did not take place. Gillis was kept in prison for 13 months. Then he faithfully suffered martyrdom. There were also other Mennonites in the de Graet family. A Jan de Graet of Kortrijk was charged with Anabaptism as early as 1538. Syntgen de Graet (see Jozijne Steeghers), an old woman, and her son Steven de Graet died for their faith at Ghent, Belgium, in 1564.


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: II, 387.

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: 616. Available online at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 187.

Verheyden, A. L. E. Le Martyrologe Courtraisien et la Martyrologe Bruxellois. Vilvorde: R. Allecourt, 1950: 33, No. 6.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Gillis de Graet (d. 1559)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 20 Aug 2018.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1956). Gillis de Graet (d. 1559). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 August 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 519. All rights reserved.

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