Jan Willemsz (d. 1580)

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Jan Willemsz (Willems) (Wilhems), of Roermond (also said to be of Kleve), a revolutionary Anabaptist, "in whom Jan van Leyden seemed to have returned," as Kühler writes. His headquarters were near Wesel, Germany, but he was also active in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In 1574 he was arrested and imprisoned at Wesel. By bribing the jailer, he was able to lead his followers even while in prison, for a period of five years. On 12 March 1580 he was put to death at Wesel by burning at the stake. With him the Münsterites and Batenburgers died out. Charles de Nielles, the Reformed minister at Wesel, in 1695 published a French translation of Obbe Philips' Bekentenisse at Leiden, adding an account of Jan Willemsz' career in order to alert the government against "the pernicious doctrines of the Anabaptists."


Cramer, Samuel and Fredrik Pijper. Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1903-1914: VII, 66, note, 101.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1900): 200.

Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 208-211.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Jan Willemsz (d. 1580)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 29 Sep 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Jan_Willemsz_(d._1580)&oldid=127848.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Jan Willemsz (d. 1580). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Jan_Willemsz_(d._1580)&oldid=127848.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 85. All rights reserved.

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