Brielle (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)
Brielle (or den Briel), a town in the Dutch province of South Holland. Anabaptists were found here very early. Cornelis wt den Briel baptized Janneke Melchior Symonsz here in 1533. About New Year 1534 Jan Beuckelsz and Gert thom Closter, two apostles of Jan Matthijsz van Haarlem, visited Brielle; Gert baptized 15 or 16 persons here. In 1534 Anneke Jans was also baptized here by Meyndert of Emden (or of Delft), who soon thereafter fled to England with her husband Arent Jansz, where Arent died; Anneke was seized upon her return to Netherlands and was drowned. Two other Mennonites of Briel died as martyrs, viz., Hendrik Arents and Job Janze, both in 1568. There is no information concerning a congregation during this time. In 1568 Jan Willems performed a marriage here "after the teachings of Menno."
When Brielle was taken by the Geuzen (followers of the Prince of Orange) on 1 April 1572, and Catholicism was compelled to yield to the Reformed faith, there was apparently a considerable number of Anabaptists, who had some difficulties with the Reformed concerning marriages and military service; they were relieved of such service by the payment of a set fee. This money was used to support the poor of the Reformed Church, and later (1656) for the general poor fund. There were also some complaints made by the Reformed council concerning the transfer of members to the Mennonites. Nevertheless the conditions were better here than in many other Dutch towns. On 9 September 1589 the Mennonites were even by law admitted to the city council. It is, however, not known that any Mennonites ever actually had a seat on the council.
Brielle also had its Mennonite divisions, with the result that we find three congregations in the town. The Flemish and the Waterlander congregations had their own churches. Whether the Huiskoopers (Old Flemish) also had a meetinghouse of their own is not known. This congregation was in existence until about 1720. Though all records of the membership of these congregations are missing, the number must have been large about 1650.
In the second half of the 17th century the Flemish congregation, which seems to have united with the Waterlanders in 1700, belonged to the Lamists. In 1642 the ministers were Daniel Danielse Breys (Buys?) and Leenaert Jacobse (Coornkooper). Until about 1687 Jan Abrahamsz was a minister. He was followed in 1688 by Evert Buys.
The united congregation did not thrive either, in spite of the financial and moral support of the Rotterdam congregation; its membership declined rapidly. The members made contacts with the Remonstrants; thus in 1715 their deacon Pieter Zonnevijl united with the Remonstrants with the announcement that he (and other Mennonites) were joining "with the stipulation that they might remain true to their feelings about their views on the bearing of arms."
Although the Brielle congregation does not occur in the Naamlijsten issued after 1731, it was still in existence, though in a weak state, judging by the Resolutieboek, with entries until 1801. In 1754 there were, however, no male members left in the membership.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1872): 67; (1892): 115, 124-26; (1899): 99; (1917): 99.
Hulshoff, C. H. "Bezoekreis van Hendrik Berents Hulshoff . . . in 1719." Bijdragen en mededelingen van het Historisch Genootschap, Utrecht 59 (1938): 33; Nos. 143, 243, 417, 821, 840, 896, 907, 1128; II, Nos. 1599-1606, 1610, 1874.
Jager, H. de. "Bizonderheden betr. de Mennoniten te Brielle." Navorscher (1894): 101-123. See also 1882 volume.
Veltenaar, C. Het Kerkelijk-leven der Gereformeerden in den Briel tot 1816. Amsterdam, 1915: 20-28, 91-98, 125-203, 333-339.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 429. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Brielle (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B74922.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1953). Brielle (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B74922.html.