Biezen, de (Zeeland, Netherlands)
De Biezen is a polder southeast of Aardenburg, Dutch province of Zeeland, district of Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen, near the Belgian border. About 1615-1630 a number of Mennonites from the Flemish territories of Kortrijk, Oudenaerde, and the vicinity of Ghent settled here and turned the swamp into a fertile polder by throwing up dikes, one of which is still called Doopersdijk (Mennonite dike). Among the Mennonite settlers were the families of Bybau, Claeys, Coppens, Hebberecht, and van der Sluys. They were mostly farmers and rather well-to-do. One of them was Jacques van Maldegem, a farmer-preacher. De Biezen was at that time not only a Mennonite settlement. A letter of 8 November 1630, from the Council of Flanders to Isabella, Queen of Spain, stated that many Mennonites from the vicinity of Ghent, Tielt, and other Belgian towns regularly traveled to de Biezen to hold their meetings safely and undisturbed on Dutch territory just across the border, going at night, with blue sacks as marks of recognition, and returning the next night. Soon the Mennonites of de Biezen joined the church of Aardenburg, of which Jacques van Maldegem and later Ghijsel Hebberecht became the ministers.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1876): 94-108.
Janssen, H. Q. and J. H. van Dale. Bijdragen tot de oudheidkunde en geschiedenis, inzonderheid van Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen (6): 196 ff. The letter to Isabella is found in French in this article.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 341. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Biezen, de (Zeeland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B54013.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1953). Biezen, de (Zeeland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B54013.html.