Jan Willemsz (1533-1588)
Jan Willemsz, of Hoorn, Dutch province of North Holland, was a well-known Dutch Mennonite leader and elder. His father, living between Hoorn and Enkhuizen, turned from the Catholic Church to the Mennonites and then moved to Hoorn where the magistrates were tolerant and where he was safe. Jan Willemsz was appointed elder at Hoorn in 1557. After the outbreak of the Flemish-Frisian schism he joined the Frisian Mennonites. Both Jan Willemsz and Lubbert Gerritsz, also a preacher of the Hoorn congregation, were invited in December 1566 to come to Friesland to settle the Frisian-Flemish quarrel. Jan Willemsz presided at the decisive meeting of 1 February 1567 which, however, did not reconcile the divided body. In 1568, while he was on the way to visit Dirk Philips, who was then staying at Emden, Germany, Jan Willemsz and all the Frisians were excommunicated by Dirk Philips, who took the side of the Flemish. Jan Willemsz was rather moderate; he much deplored the schism that had arisen among the Dutch Mennonites and during his life he did as much as he could to maintain peace among the Frisians and succeeded in keeping them in one united body, but soon after his deadi the Frisians too divided into a moderate and a conservative group. Of the private life and special activities of Jan Willemsz almost nothing is known. De Hoop Scheffer (DB 1867, 58-65) gives some information about his descendants (see Sleutel family), many of whom were active in the Mennonite Church.
Cramer, Samuel and Fredrik Pijper. Bibliotheca Reformatoria Neerlandica. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1903-1914: VII, 62ff., 67 f., 340 f.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1867): 58-65; (1893): 26-79, passim.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: passim, see Index.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 85-86. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Jan Willemsz (1533-1588)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/jan_willemsz_1533_1588.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1957). Jan Willemsz (1533-1588). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/jan_willemsz_1533_1588.