Hondschoote (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)
Hondschoote (Hondschote), a town (1954 pop. 2,800; 1999 pop. 3,811) in Flanders, during the 16th century belonged to the Southern Netherlands, now to France. In the 16th century its population was much larger than now, and the town was an important center of wool weaving. There was once a Mennonite congregation here, which supplied a number of martyrs. In 1558 a young man named Wouter was burned at the stake. Four years later seven were seized, apparently when a religious meeting was surprised. Five of them were burned; two married women were secretly drowned in 1562. Their names were Karel van den Velde of Ghent and his wife Proentgen, Frans de Swarte of Bailleul and his wife Klaesken, Jasper de Schoenmaker, Charlo de Wael, unmarried, and Martijntgen Amare. The last was without doubt the Martijntgen Aelmeers whom van Braght mentions as a martyr. In Veelderhande Liedekens is found a song on her death, "Genade ende vrede moet godvreezende zijn." Her brother Nicasen was also burned at Bruges in 1562. In 1587 the preacher Christiaen de Rycke was seized. He had previously been active in Leiden. A booklet of 15 letters written by his hand is reprinted in part in the Martyrs' Mirror. He was burned at the stake 7 April 1558.
Jacob de Rore addressed his fifth letter to the congregation of Hondschoote. Of this congregation not much is known. It may have existed about 1540-1587. A letter of Adriaen van Kortrijk, deacon or preacher of Ghent, addressed to the congregation of Antwerp about 1545, is also signed by the congregation of Hondschoote. This letter says that the congregations are "young" and want visits of an elder.
In 1561, when the congregation of Ypres (Ieper) had been destroyed by the drastic measures of the inquisitor Titelman, its members fled partly to Armentières, partly to Hondschoote. As has been said, Christiaen de Rycke was for some time its preacher. After his arrest the congregation may have been destroyed or its members moved to other towns. In the Frisian-Flemish troubles the congregation of Hondschoote took the side of the Flemish and was very rigorous as to banning and shunning.
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, Y, 1685: II, 297, 757 ff.
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: 663, 1063 ff. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 342.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 439.
Verheyden, A. L. E. "Mennisme in Vlaanderen." Unpublished mss.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 802-803. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Hondschoote (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hondschoote_nord_pas_de_calais_france.
APA style: Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1953). Hondschoote (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hondschoote_nord_pas_de_calais_france.