Zehentmayer, Martin (d. 1529)

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Beheading of 7 brothers, Schwäbisch- Gmund, 1529. Engraving by Jan Luiken in Martyrs Mirror, v. 2, p. 25 of Dutch edition. Scan provided by [http://www.bethelks.edu/mla/holdings/scans/martyrsmirror/ Mennonite Library and Archives]

Martin (Marthi or Marthan Maler) Zehentmayer was a Hutterite martyr, who stemmed from Langenmoosen near Inchenhofen in the Aichach district of Bavaria, Germany. He learned painting probably in the neighboring Augsburg. There he must also have joined the Anabaptists. In 1528 he was expelled from Augsburg and went to Schwäbisch-Gmünd. There he opened the door wide for Anabaptism. He is said to have baptized over 100 persons in chapels and private houses. Then the council became aware of him and in the middle of February they seized him and in succession 40 of his followers, including 19 girls and women. They were given only bread and water and kept in the towers around the city the entire summer and autumn. For 42 weeks Zehentmayer was in arrest. He was also cross-examined on the rack and confessed that he had wanted to have all things held in common. On 4 December 1528 he was tried with several of his fellow believers. The council of Gmünd could risk this, in its confidence in the troops sent by the Swabian League. He was sentenced to execution by the sword. On 7 December 1529 (Wolkan, erroneously 1531), the sentence was carried out outside the city.

Zehentmayer also wrote some songs: "Mit Freuden will ich singen" (Lieder: 48 ff.), and another with a companion, "Aus tiefer not schrein wir zu dir" (Ausbund with a different text; Lieder: 51). In addition these deal with the seven brethren: "Kürzlich hab ich mich besonnen" (according to Beck, 38, written by Peter Riedemann; Lieder: 53), "Wer Christo hier will folgen" (Lieder: 52), and "Ausherzlichem Muet und euffer kann ich nicht unterlan" (Lieder: 55), which was written by Andreas Ehrenpreis.


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 37 ff.

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, 32.

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: 439 f. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/contents.htm.

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

Lieder der Hutterischen Brder. Scottdale, 1941: 48-59.

Wagner, "Die Reichsstadt Gmnd 1526-30." Württembergische Vierteljahrshefte (1884): 85 ff., 183.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop, B. De Graaf, 1965.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.

Author(s) Gustav Bossert
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bossert, Gustav. "Zehentmayer, Martin (d. 1529)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 17 Aug 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zehentmayer,_Martin_(d._1529)&oldid=146771.

APA style

Bossert, Gustav. (1959). Zehentmayer, Martin (d. 1529). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 August 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zehentmayer,_Martin_(d._1529)&oldid=146771.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1021. All rights reserved.

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