Siegenbeek, Matthijs (1774-1854)

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Matthijs Siegenbeek, (born 23 June 1774 at Amsterdam, died 26 November 1854 at Leiden), a Dutch Mennonite pastor and scholar, studied at the Mennonite Theological Seminary at Amsterdam and became a ministerial candidate in 1795. Accepting a call of the Mennonite congregation of Dokkum in Friesland, he served here from March 1796 until July 1797. He then left Dokkum where soon after his departure the Mennonites and Remonstrants — very probably not without Siegenbeek's influence —merged as the "United Christian Congregation." Siegenbeek moved to Leiden, where he had accepted a professorship in Dutch elocution at the University. In 1799 he taught also the Dutch language and literature and from 1815 also national Dutch history. He published a number of literary books and papers. His project for better spelling of the Dutch language (spelling-Siegenbeek) was accepted by the government in 1804. Siegenbeek gave much energy to the Association for Dutch Literature (Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde), of which he was secretary 1803-1822, and president 1822-1847.

At the same time Siegenbeek gave much of his time and his care to the Mennonite brotherhood. In 1804-1829 he served the congregation of Leiden as an assistant pastor, in 1814-1845 he was a trustee of the Algemeene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit (Dutch General Mennonite Conference), several times its president and also a curator of its seminary 1814-1845. Even after his death his love for the seminary was shown by an important bequest for the purpose of rewarding prominent students.

In Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis (VI, 1835, 203-24) Siegenbeek published a paper, "Over hetgeen het kerkgenootschap der doopsgezinden in de laatste vijftig jaren tot verspreiding van redelijke Godskennis, handhaving van het zuiver Christendom en verbetering van de predikwijze heeft toegebracht." In 1808-1810 he was active in behalf of a new Mennonite hymnal, forming a committee with P. Beets, J. van Geuns, and J. de Vries, which prepared the edition of Uitgezochte Liederen in 1810.

Matthijs Siegenbeek married Geertuida Tieboel, of Dokkum. They had two sons, both born at Leiden on 23 February 1806, but one of them soon died. The other, Daniel, bearing the family name of Tieboel Siegenbeek (died 11 January 1866, at Leiden), studied literature and law at the University of Leiden and became a lawyer in his home town; in 1858-66 he was burgomaster of Leiden. He married Elizabeth van Heukelom, and served as a deacon in the Leiden congregation 1838-65. He sponsored his cousin Daniel van Heukelom (1850-1900), who adopted his family name and was called Daniel Eliza Siegenbeek van Heukelom; he was a medical professor at the University of Leiden and served the Leiden congregation as deacon 1874-1876 and from 1886 until his death. Matthijs Siegenbeek was commemorated in a funeral sermon by Christian Sepp; Samuel Muller published an obituary notice for the Dutch Association for Literature.


Algemeen Doopsgezind Weekblad X, No. 10 (14 May 1955).

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1865): 76; (1900): 111; (1912): 107.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. II, No. 2544.

Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: II, 1317; IV, 742; V, 735-741.

Muller S. in Levensberichten. Leiden, 1855: 83-135.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam: 1798: 57, 1804: 64, 1829: 34.

Poole, L. G. le. Bijdragen tot de kennis van . . . de Doopsgezinden te Leiden. Leiden, 1905: passim.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Siegenbeek, Matthijs (1774-1854)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 13 Apr 2024.,_Matthijs_(1774-1854)&oldid=118726.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Siegenbeek, Matthijs (1774-1854). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024, from,_Matthijs_(1774-1854)&oldid=118726.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 523-524. All rights reserved.

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