Jan Everts (d. 1535)
Jan Everts, an Anabaptist martyr, a shoemaker by trade, born at Deventer, was seized with his wife Anneken at Arnemuiden, not far from Middelburg, capital of the Dutch province of Zeeland. He confessed that he had been baptized at The Hague by a weaver, Meynart (probably Meindert of Emden). For four years he had neither been at the confessional or at communion; he had no intention of going, for he disregarded the commands of the Catholic Church. Concerning the sacrament of the altar, he did not believe that God was in it, but that it served only as a memorial of the suffering and death of our Lord. Any ordinary person who had been baptized upon his faith could distribute it. The Son of God received no flesh from Mary, for whatever is of the flesh is sinful, and God's Son was without sin. He confessed that he had, to be sure, heard of Jan Beukelszoon van Leyden, who was in Münster, "but what he is or does there is unknown to him except that he has heard tell that he is king there." On the rack Jan Everts betrayed a number of Anabaptists in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Delft. After he had been baptized he traveled about, going first to Amsterdam, where he was arrested, but was released upon recanting; then he lived in the bishopric of Münster and afterwards in the city of Deventer, Dutch province of Overijssel, where he married Anneken "only with a promise, giving her half of a broken coin, not marrying her according to the ordinance of the Church, which seemed to him to be of no value." He died faithful, only 26 years of age. The execution took place at The Hague on 19 April 1535 by beheading.
His wife Anneken, also called Tanneken, who had been baptized at Delft, Dutch province of South Holland by Obbe Philips, was pregnant when she was arrested; she had to stay in prison until the birth of the child. What happened to her is not known.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1908): 5-7.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 616.
Mellink, Albert F. De Wederdopers in de noordelijke Nederlanden 1531-1544. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1954: 91, 207-11, 319 f.
Pekelharing, K. R. Bijdragen voor de Gesch. der Hervorming in Zeeland, in Archief Zeeuwsch Genootschap VI. Middelburg, 1866: 19-24.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 73. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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