Jan Matthijsz van Haarlem (d. 1534)

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Jan Matthijsz van Haarlem (Matthys, Matthyssen, Mathis), an Anabaptist leader, originally a baker of Haarlem, Dutch province of North Holland. He had been baptized by Melchior Hoffman, but left the way of love and peace preached by Hoffman to enter upon a course of hatred and violence against the ungodly. He did not follow Hoffman's command to wait two years before baptizing, but proclaimed himself a prophet sent by God to establish the kingdom by force. He left his wife and took another, Dieuwertgen, who after his death became the chief spouse of Jan van Leyden at Miinster. She was then called Queen Divara. In 1533 he appeared in Amsterdam and won some followers there, whom he sent out two by two as apostles to proclaim to the world that Enoch had appeared and that the millennium was near its fulfillment. Two of them, Gerrit Boeckbinder (Gerrit torn Kloster) and Jan van Leyden (Johan Bockelson), who had been baptized by Jan Matthijsz, arrived at Münster in Westphalia on 13 January 1534. This city now became the New Zion, elected to initiate the kingdom of God. In February Matthijsz also arrived, and the rebellious reign of the Dutch adventurers began. On 5 April Matthijsz met an adventurous death. In the midst of a merry company he arose, allegedly seized by divine inspiration, and cried, "Father, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." He immediately left the festivities; it had been revealed to him that he should go out to meet the enemy. On the next day (Easter) he chose ten or twenty companions and marched out of the city to its besiegers. He was surrounded and died fighting bravely.

See also Münster


Cornelius, Carl Adolf. Historische Arbeiten vornehmlich zur Reformationzeit. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1899.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1919): 213-217.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 60.

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. 47.

Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932.

Mellink, Albert F. De Wederdopers in de noordelijke Nederlanden 1531-1544. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1954: passim.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Jan Matthijsz van Haarlem (d. 1534)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 30 Sep 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Jan_Matthijsz_van_Haarlem_(d._1534)&oldid=145824.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1957). Jan Matthijsz van Haarlem (d. 1534). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 September 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Jan_Matthijsz_van_Haarlem_(d._1534)&oldid=145824.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 79. All rights reserved.

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