Willemsz, Jan (1583-1660)

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Source: [http://dpc.uba.uva.nl/cgi/i/image/image-idx Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Amsterdam: Doopsgezinde Prenten]

Jan Willemsz, b. 9 May 1583, at Cologne, Germany, d. 1660 at De Rijp in North Holland, Netherlands, a physician and in 1610-1660 a Mennonite minister, at first a preacher, soon an elder of the Waterlander Mennonite congregation at De Rijp. He was edu­cated for the Catholic priesthood, but he ran away from school and became a soldier. On a Sunday morning at Haarlem, Holland, he accidentally ar­rived in the Waterlander meetinghouse and was converted; he wanted to be a member of the church. The Haarlem Waterlander congregation bought off his military obligations and thereupon he was baptized upon his confession of faith. His marriage to a well-to-do lady of De Rijp enabled him to study medicine. After finishing his study he settled at De Rijp to practice medicine; soon after this he was chosen as a preacher of the congregation. His long service seems to have been blessed, though it is said that he was somewhat stubborn and quarreled with other leaders, including his colleague Pieter Pietersz. Willemz seems to have sympathized with Nittert Obbes in the latter's conflict with the Waterlander leader Hans de Ries; a booklet by Jan Willemsz, Raegh-Stock voor Nittert Obbes Reaghbesem, in which Willemsz defended Obbes against de Ries, exists only as a resume by Jan Theunisz. Of special interest is Willemsz' Grondich Ondersoeck, in which he attacked the practice of ordaining deacons with the laying on of hands.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1917): 30-32.

Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis van de Doopsgezinden in Nederland II. 1600-1735 Eerste Helft. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon n.v., 1940: v. II, 170 ff.

Molhuysen, P. C. and  P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: v. I, 1578.

Schijn, Hermann. Uitvoeriger Verhandeling van de Geschiedenisse der Mennoniten. Amsterdam: Kornelis de Wit, 1744: 651, 683 (with portait).

Yearbook Amstelodamum XXV (1928): 98, 118.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Willemsz, Jan (1583-1660)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 1 Oct 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Willemsz,_Jan_(1583-1660)&oldid=109754.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Willemsz, Jan (1583-1660). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Willemsz,_Jan_(1583-1660)&oldid=109754.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 956. All rights reserved.

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