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Huiskoopers (Huiskopers, House-Buyers) is the name of a party of Flemish Mennonites, which arose in Franeker, Dutch province of Friesland, in 1586, when Thomas Bintgens bought a house, the deal involving some implications of dishonesty. A division of the Flemish group followed, with the Huiskopers (Bintgens and his followers) on one hand and the Contra-HuiskoopersJacob Keest, Joos Jans, and Jacob Berends with their adherents on the other. The elders from Haarlem, Amsterdam, Groningen, and elsewhere, who had met to settle the dispute, returned without having achieved their object.

The schism was not confined to Franeker. Its rapid spread is evidence that it was not merely a matter of the sale of a house. The issue was actually strictness or laxity of moral conduct; i.e., the retention of the concept of a church without spot or wrinkle, or its abandonment. Another attempt made in Haarlem in 1589 to heal the breach ended in failure; Amsterdam decided against Bintgens, while Haarlem decided in his favor.

The Contra-Huiskoopers are identical with the "Young" or "Soft" Flemish Mennonites, and the name Contra-Huiskoopers soon disappeared. The Huiskoopers were identical with the Old Flemish Mennonites. After most of these Old Flemish had merged with the Flemish on the basis of the Dordrecht Confession of 1632, the name Huiskopers was often used for another group of Flemish Mennonites which arose about this time in the Netherlands, namely, the Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites. In the 18th century their congregations were still called Huiskopers, and not only as a nickname by their antagonists, as is shown by a catechism of 1708 of the Danzig Old Flemish, of which R. A. Joncker is the author, entitled Mennoniste Vrageboek . . . als . . . in de vergaderinge der Doops-gesinden: genoemt de Huys-kopers geleert wort.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1912): 49-60.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 267.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: I, Nos. 477, 558, 578, 593, 1122; II, Nos. 2689 f.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Huiskoopers." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 Jun 2024.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Huiskoopers. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 June 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 837. All rights reserved.

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