Oldeklooster (Friesland, Netherlands)

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Oldeklooster (or Bloemkamp), a monastery near Bolsward in the Dutch province of Friesland, was seized on 30 March 1535 by about 300 Anabaptists of Friesland, both men and women, led by Jan van Geelen, an emissary of the Anabaptists of Münster. They thereby won a strong position and from here tried to conquer the entire province—an absurd idea! The imperial stadholder Georg Schenk von Tautenburg was put in charge of capturing the old monastery from the Anabaptists. He supposed that he would be able to do so by a mere turning of the hand, but found himself compelled to conduct a regular siege. On 1 April he decided to bombard the monastery with heavy artillery and tried to storm it. Four times he had to lead his soldiers into the fire. On the third assault they succeeded in taking several positions. Some of the fortifications and the church remained in Anabaptist possession. On 7 April the monastery was finally stormed after a severe battle. Eight or nine hundred Anabaptists are said to have lost their lives, but this number is a gross exaggeration; there were 300 at the most. Of these who did not lose their lives in the storming, 37 were at once beheaded and 132, both men and women, taken to Leeuwarden, of whom 55 were executed there after a short trial. Jan van Geelen escaped. Among the victims of Oldeklooster was Peter Simons, who is erroneously said to have been a brother of Menno Simons.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 298.

Keller, Ludwig. Geschichte der Wiedertüufer und ihres Reiches zu Münster. Münster, 1880: 2 ff.

Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 166-68.

Mellink, Albert F. De Wederdopers in de noordelijke Nederlanden 1531-1544. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1954: 247-249.

Vos, Karel. Menno Simons, 1496-1561, zijn leven en werken en zijne reformatorische denkbeelden. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1914; particularly 228 f., with a list of the persons executed at Leeuwarden.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Oldeklooster (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 Aug 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oldeklooster_(Friesland,_Netherlands)&oldid=144518.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1959). Oldeklooster (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 August 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oldeklooster_(Friesland,_Netherlands)&oldid=144518.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 52-53. All rights reserved.

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