Lysken Dirks (d. 1552)

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Lysken (Elisabeth) Dirks (Dirk Andries Dochter, Lisken Aerts, Aertssen), wife of Jeronimus Segersz, an Anabaptist martyr, was drowned in the Scheldt River at Antwerp, Belgium, on 19 February 1552, after she had given birth to her child in prison. The old record says, "Because of her heresies and because she has confessed to have been rebaptized she was sentenced to be put alive into a sack and to be drowned." Her husband had been burned at the stake at Augsburg on 2 September 1551. The Offer des Heeren and later martyr books, including van Braght, have preserved a correspondence between Jeronimus and Lysken, while both were in prison. Jeronimus wrote eight letters to Lysken, Lysken three to Jeronimus. These letters give a striking testimony of her strong Biblical faith and a warm love to her husband. They are among the most moving pieces of martyr literature. By her faith Lysken comforted her husband and by singing devotional hymns she is said to have heartened and strengthened her fellow prisoners. Lysken and Jeronimus have been celebrated in a hymn, "God de Heere is getrouwe" (The Lord is faithful), found in the Offer des Heeren.


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: Part II , 107-128.

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: 504-522. Available online at:

Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 126-176. Available in full electronic text at:

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1864): 100.

Génard, P. Antwerpsch archievenblad: VIII, 409, 416; XIV: 20 f., No. 215.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 635.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Lysken Dirks (d. 1552)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 7 Dec 2019.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Lysken Dirks (d. 1552). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 December 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 427. All rights reserved.

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