Olivier Willemsz (d. 1574/5)

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Olivier Willemsz (Willemssens), an Anabaptist martyr, was burned at the stake at Antwerp, Belgium on 23 January 1574. He was a native of Nijmegen, Dutch province of Gelderland. He had been a Catholic priest at Leeuwen near Nijmegen. When he left the Catholic Church he moved to Antwerp, opened a bookshop in the Steenhouwersvest, and joined the Mennonites. After some time both Willemsz and his wife were arrested. Willemsz was sentenced to death because of his "heretical faith," but his wife escaped from prison and died at the age of 85.

The actual date of Olivier Willemsz' death is uncertain. The Martyrs' Mirror indicates he died on 23 January 1574. Other sources state he was executed on 21 January 1575.


Antwerpsch archievenblad 13: 192, 200; 14: 96 f., No. 1081.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde 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, 692-693. Available in full electronic text at: https://books.google.ca/books/about/Het_Bloedig_Tooneel_of_Martelaers_Spiege.html?id=CsdmAAAAcAAJ&redir_esc=y.

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: 1007. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/contents.htm.

Plaisier, J. A. and M. Akkermans. "Antweerpens Martyrologium: Overzicht van de meeste martelaren in Antwerpen die om hun geloof geëxecuteerd zijn 1522-1589." Middelburg: Stichting de Gihonbron, 2019: 100. Web. 12 May 2020. http://www.theologienet.nl/documenten/Antwerpen%20Martyrol%201522-1585.pdf.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published May 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Olivier Willemsz (d. 1574/5)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2020. Web. 12 Jul 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Olivier_Willemsz_(d._1574/5)&oldid=168110.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (May 2020). Olivier Willemsz (d. 1574/5). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 July 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Olivier_Willemsz_(d._1574/5)&oldid=168110.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 56. All rights reserved.

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