Maeyken Boosers (d. 1564)

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Maeyken Boosers, an Anabaptist martyr, a descendant of the Alard de Boosere family, magistrates of Doornik (Tournai, Belgium), was burned at the stake there, 18 September 1564. A song written for her, "Die op den Heere betrouwen" (Those who trust in the Lord), is found in Offer and later martyrbooks. Van Braght's Martyrs' Mirror prints seven short letters written to her parents, children, brothers and sisters, that testify to her clear religious understanding, her strong faith, and her great joy in suffering and dying for her conviction. During her trial Maeyken was disrobed and tortured to compel her to name her fellow believers; the attempt was futile. The 1566 edition of Offer des Heeren also contains a short letter of her children to her, which, however, was not inserted in later editions; it is also missing in the Martyrs' Mirror. Maeyken's letters, and the one written by her children were published in a separate edition of 1566 (n.p.), together with Testament ghemaecket by Jan Gheertsen. This short letter was published by Samuel Cramer in Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica II (Offer des Heeren), 626. Maeyken Boosers, who was a wealthy woman and only 24 years old when she was executed wrote in a graceful style. On one of the visits of her children to her cell she gave her son a pear. The boy did not eat the pear, but saved it; it is now in Amsterdam. This son Hans (Jan) (b. 1559) escaped to Emden and attended the disputation with the Reformed in 1578. He lived at the "Groote Veen" near Oldersum, East Friesland, where he died on 20 May 1652. This is known through the van Geuns family, which is descended from the de Boosers.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 411-420. Available in full electronic text at:

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, 302 ff.

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: 667-669. Available online at:

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1898): 114-116; (1902): 168-170; (1906): 56, 64, 69, 79.

Haeghen, Ferdinand van der., Thomas Arnold and R. Vanden Berghe. Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais. II. Receuils. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1890: I, 705-708.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 245.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf, 1965: 68.

Author(s) Karel Vos
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Maeyken Boosers (d. 1564)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 2 Jun 2023.

APA style

Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Maeyken Boosers (d. 1564). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 June 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 437. All rights reserved.

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