Matthijs van Balk (16th century)

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Matthijs van Balk (Mathias van Balck, Matthias Belkensis, or Maes de Schoenmaker) was probably a native of Balk, Dutch province of Friesland, and was a leader in the revolutionary wing of Anabaptism. After the fall of Oldeklooster in March 1534 he fled from Friesland to Ommelanden, Dutch province of Groningen, where he met with other revolutionary leaders like Jan van Batenburg, whom he won over to his group. About his activity during the Münster period nothing is known. In the summer of 1536 he was among the Anabaptist leaders who met at Bocholt (Boekholt), Westphalia, where he defended the Münsterite principles of force and polygamy against Jan Matthijsz van Middelburg and Jan Smeitgen van Tricht. He is said then to have been of an advanced age. Here his trace is lost.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1917): 120; (No. 119): 138; (1919): 193.

Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 201.

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

Vos, Karel. Menno Simons. Leiden, 1914: 41.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Matthijs van Balk (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 3 Dec 2022.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Matthijs van Balk (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 December 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 541. All rights reserved.

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