Peter Bruynen (d. 1551)

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Peter Bruynen (Peter de Bruyne), a native of Weert, Dutch province of Limburg, an Anabaptist martyr, who was put to death at Belgium, Belgium, on 22 October (van Braght erroneously 2 October), 1551. Four others executed with him were Jan van den Wouwer (van Braght calls him Jan de Oude Kleerkooper), Pleunis van den Hoevele (van Braght, Pleun), Martin du Petitz (not mentioned in van Braght), and Jacob Peeters (van Braght: another brother). Peter Bruynen was unmarried. In prison he wrote two letters of farewell, which are little more than a succession of Scripture verses. Peter was baptized in Weert by Anthonis van Asselroye (Theunis van Hastenrath).

The Groot Offerboek (Haarlem, 1615) relates the trial of Peter, Jan, and Pleun, which is not found in Offer des Heeren or van Braght; all three of the defendants admitted that they had taken part in the breaking of images on the dike at Austruweel, and destroying a cross on the way to Hoboken near Antwerp. This is the only instance of iconoclastic Anabaptism in Holland known to me.

Peter and the four others are the subject of a song which begins with the words, "Tot lof des Vaders, soons, heyligen geest," found in Offer des Heeren and taken over in the Ausbund (No. 10); it is possible that the song, "Ick sal met vreuchden singhen een Liet" (Een liedeken van III Vrienden), found in the Lietboecxken, mentions Peter, Pleun, and Jan. Both hymns are found in Wolkan, Lieder.


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, 128-30.

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: 498. Available online at:

Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 177-86; concerning the matter of image-breaking, 177 note 1, and 182 note 2. Available in full electronic text at:

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1899): 154 ff.

Génard, P. Antwerpsch archievenblad VIII: 405, 415; XIV: 20 ff., No. 209.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 287.

Historie der Martelaren ofte waerachtige getuygen Jesu Christi (Groot Offerboek). Haarlem, 1615: 141-47.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. De Graaf, 1965: 61, 66, 127.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Peter Bruynen (d. 1551)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 9 Aug 2020.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Peter Bruynen (d. 1551). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 August 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 149. All rights reserved.

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