Neelken Jacobs (d. 1559)

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Neelken Jacobs (Cornelia van Rommerswael), an Anabaptist martyr, drowned on 28 June 1559 at Antwerp, Belgium, after giving birth to a child. Neelken was married to Adriaen Pan, who suffered martyrdom in Antwerp on 18 June 1559.

They had formerly lived at Nijvele (Nivelles) in Flanders, but moved to Antwerp, where they were arrested. Their furniture was confiscated and publicly sold while they were in prison, even before they were sentenced. Neelken, who like her husband died steadfast, is commemorated in the hymn on Adriaen Pan, "Duysternis gaet van henen, wanneer dat licht coemt aen" (Darkness passes away when the light appears), found in Offer des Heeren. In Offer and following Dutch martyrs' books, including van Braght's Martyrs Mirror, this martyr is called simply Neelken (Neeltgen).


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 342, 346f. 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: 244

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: 618. Available online at:

Génard, P. Antwerpsch archievenblad:  v. IX, 3, 9, 16; v. XIV, 26 f., No. 295.

Haeghen, Ferdinand van der, Thomas Arnold and R. Vanden Berghe. Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais. II. Receuils. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1890: No. 573.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 204.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Neelken Jacobs (d. 1559)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 17 Feb 2019.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Neelken Jacobs (d. 1559). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 February 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 819. All rights reserved.

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