Titelman, Pieter (1501-1572)

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Pieter (Pierre, Petrus) Titelman(s) (1501-72), Roman Catholic dean of Ronse (Renaix) in Flanders, Belgium, and from 1546 official inquisitor of the districts of Flanders and Artois. He was very capable and active and determined to eradicate all heresy: "he was the most hated of all inquisitors, because he was the most hardhearted of this kind of men. His notoriety was due to his intransigence" (Halkin). He was alternately a judge and police dog. Particularly the Mennonites of Flanders encountered his zeal and implacability. As in Halewijn in 1563 and Meenen 1567 he often appeared in various towns to surprise Mennonite meetings and to arrest the attendants. In many of the trials of the martyrs, e.g., those of Jooskint, Claes de Praet, Hans de Vette, and Peter van Wervik, he was the examiner. Claes de Praet frankly charged him with a spirit of persecution. In the discussion with this martyr Titelman admitted that the moral conduct of the Mennonites was irreproachable, and that they were justly praised because of their peace, love, and charity; "but," he said, "what is the good of it ... if you have not the (right) faith?" This was his settled opinion and he ruthlessly acted in accord with this view.

Not all Catholics approved of Titelman's assiduity and practices. Especially certain magistrates lodged complaints with the governess at Brussels that his rigorous measures were severely injuring the prosperity of many towns.


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, 299b, 167b-70a, 170b, et passim.

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: 665, 554-60. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1906): 68 ff.

Halkin, L. E. La Réforme en Belgique sous Charles-Quint. Bruxelles, 1957: 58.

Valvekens, E. De Inquisitie in de Nederlanden. 1949.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Titelman, Pieter (1501-1572)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 4 Apr 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Titelman,_Pieter_(1501-1572)&oldid=130134.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Titelman, Pieter (1501-1572). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 April 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Titelman,_Pieter_(1501-1572)&oldid=130134.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 728-729. All rights reserved.

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