Willeboort Cornelisz (d. 1564)

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Willeboort Cornelisz, an Anabaptist martyr, be­headed on 26 October 1564 at Middelburg, the capital of the Dutch province of Zeeland. Willeboort, who was a native of Oostkapelle on the Zeeland island of Walcheren, was arrested with his wife, Maeyken Pieters, in the night of 19 January 1561, and imprisoned at Middelburg for three years and nine months. He was tried by the Catholic bishop of Middelburg and tortured several times. Remain­ing steadfast, he was sentenced to death, but the execution was delayed again and again until it finally took place secretly within the Gravensteen castle for fear of a popular uprising. Maeyken, who gave birth to a child in prison on 17 September 1561, escaped with a number of other prisoners.

From prison Willeboort wrote a letter to his wife, which was first published in the Great Mar­tyrs' book of 1615, and was also included in van Braght's Martyrs' Mirror. The date of Willeboort's death as given by van Braght (14 September 1564, re­peated in Mennonitisches Lexikon) is incorrect.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1562, 1567, 1570, 1578, 1580, Amsterdam, 1590, n.p., 1591, Amsterdam, 1595, Harlingen, 1599: 463, Note 1, 469. Available in full electronic text at: http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/_off001offe01_01/

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, 305.

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: 677.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 372.

Pekelharlng, K. R.  "Geschiedenis der Hervorming in Zeeland." Archie Zeeuwsch Genootschap VI (1866): 44-47.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Willeboort Cornelisz (d. 1564)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 27 Oct 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Willeboort_Cornelisz_(d._1564)&oldid=162835.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Willeboort Cornelisz (d. 1564). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 October 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Willeboort_Cornelisz_(d._1564)&oldid=162835.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 952. All rights reserved.

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