Waldhauser, Thomas (16th century)

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Thomas Waldhauser (Thoman Waldhauser, or "Tall Thoman"), played an important role among the Anabaptists in Upper Austria. After he had become a Protestant he gave up his position as Catholic chaplain in Grein - he is often called Thoman von Grein - and accepted a position with the Lutheran barons of Hardegg in the village of Krauz. Since he was not satisfied with the Lutheranism adopted by his baron, he joined the brotherhood of the Anabaptists in Styria in 1527. From Styria he went to Bavaria with the schoolmaster of Wels and in Regensburg associated with Ludwig Haetzer. From Bavaria he went to Moravia. At the beginning of the next year he was in prison at Brno. In the spring of 1528 Hans Kuhn of Passau wrote that Brother Thoman von Grein was in prison. After a long imprisonment and trial he was sentenced to death with two other Brethren, called Balthasar and Dominicus in both the Hutterite Chronicle and van Braght's Martyrs' Mirror; all three died at the stake on the Friday before Easter, 10 April 1528, at Brno. A letter by Johannes of Zwola to Johannes Hess, from Tobichau, dated 15 April 1528, indicates that one of these two men was the Bohemian Brother Johann Cizek (Zeising). Waldhauser wrote an epistle of farewell, which is found in manuscripts 163 and 190 at Pressburg, with the title, "Ein Sendbrieff Thoman Waldhausers an die so Brüder gewesen sein - zu Brünn. Im 1528. Jahr gesandt aus der Gefangnus zu Brünn am Samstag vorm Palmtag genannten Jahrs."

Before they were sentenced the three warned the council against the shedding of innocent blood, for God would not leave it unpunished. One of the councillors mocked at this idea and acted as if he were washing his hands (in innocence). "But God gave him his washing," says the Chronicle. He died suddenly even before the Brethren were executed. In prison Thomas wrote a brief, moving letter of consolation to the Brethren at Brno. The report had reached him that several of the Brethren had recanted in the face of the raging dragon, which greatly grieved him and led him to write to them, reminding them that God in His great love had sent His own Son to redeem them from sin and to bring them eternal life, and urging watchfulness and steadfastness. In conclusion he besought them to pray for him, because he felt that God would soon release him from his suffering. It was his only wish that his death might bring honor to God. To all who were serving God with a pure heart he sent a sincere parting greeting.


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 65.

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. 42.

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. 428. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 436.

Moravian national archives at Brno, Beck collection no. 56: 1-4.

Author(s) Wilhelm Wiswedel
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. "Waldhauser, Thomas (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 10 Dec 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Waldhauser,_Thomas_(16th_century)&oldid=146314.

APA style

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. (1959). Waldhauser, Thomas (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 December 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Waldhauser,_Thomas_(16th_century)&oldid=146314.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 876. All rights reserved.

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