Miertgen (d. 1560)
Miertgen (Maritgen, Mynken Sduucs), an Anabaptist martyr, born at Komen (Commines) in Flanders, the wife of Hans de Vette. In July 1559 a number of members of the Mennonite congregation of Ghent, Belgium, were arrested. Most of them were put to death on 5 July and 7 August 1559, among them Hans de Vette on 5 July. Two women, Tanneken Gressy (Tanneken Godtbetert) and Miertgen, who were pregnant when they were arrested, had their execution postponed until they had given birth to their children; and then the execution for some reason or other was again postponed until 27 June 1560, when they were secretly beheaded in the Ghent Gravensteen castle and immediately buried. Miertgen, who with the other martyrs of this group is commemorated in the hymn "Ick moet een liet beginnen" (I must begin a song), No. 14 of the Liet-boecxken van den Offer des Heeren, faithfully suffered imprisonment and martyrdom. She is said to have spoken from the window of her prison to the passers-by and to have thrown letters into the street.
Van Braght (Martyrs Mirror), who calls this martyr Maritgen van Waestene (Warneton in Flanders), where Hans and Miertgen probably had lived before they moved to Ghent, gives 1559 as the year of execution.
Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Herren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1562, 1567, 1570, 1578, 1580, Amsterdam, 1590, n.p., 1591, Amsterdam, 1595, Harlingen, 1599. The 1570 edition is cited as reproduced in BRN II., 51-486, including Een Lietboecxken, tracterende van den Offer des Heeren (pp. 499-617): 348, 559.
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: 246,249.
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: 620. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Verheyden, A. L. E. Het Gentsche Martyrologium (1530-1595). Brugge: De Tempel, 1946: 26, No. 74.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 683. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Miertgen (d. 1560)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M5413.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1957). Miertgen (d. 1560). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M5413.html.