Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites
The Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites (Dantziger Oude Vlamingen) were a branch of the Flemish Mennonites that arose shortly after 1630, when most Old Flemish Mennonites wished to merge with the (Young) Flemish. They were found in the Netherlands and in Prussia. In the Netherlands they sometimes were called Huiskoopers, and in West Prussia Clercken, Clarichen, or Klerkschen. In 1740 this group had congregations in the following towns: Haarlem (op de Smallegraft), Amsterdam (bij de kruikjes), Rotterdam (in de Lombard-straat), Blokzijl, Giethoorn (Noordzijde), Zuidveen (Oude Huis), and Oldemarkt; in former times this group had other congregations which died out before 1740, as Bridle, Oud-Beyerland, Landsmeer, and perhaps a number of other churches now unknown.
In Prussia the following churches belonged to the Danzig Old Flemish: Danzig (op het Schotland), Elbing, the Grosse Werder (later forming the four congregations of Rosenort, Tiegenhagen, Ladekopp and Fürstenwerder), Heubuden and Königsberg. There was some contact between these Prussian churches and the Dutch congregations; occasionally conferences of representatives were held, mostly at Danzig; Dutch elders of this group visited Prussia in order to hold baptism services and to ordain elders. In 1725, when the elder of the Amsterdam congregation had died and no Dutch preacher was available for the eldership, Elder Dirk Janssen came from Danzig to Amsterdam and served this church for nearly eight years; then the Dutch preacher Isaac de Veer was appointed elder of the congregation of Amsterdam, and Janssen returned to Danzig. Most of these Danzig Old Flemish churches had only a small membership; that of Amsterdam, which was the largest of all, numbered in 1741 only seventy members. The Dutch congregations of this group all died out or merged with other Mennonite congregations during the eighteenth century. The Danzig Old Flemish congregation of Rotterdam died out shortly after 1750; that of Amsterdam merged with the Zonists in 1788, and that of Haarlem with the United Mennonites in 1789. The Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites were different from other conservative groups such as the Groningen Old Flemish in the practice of feetwashing, not practicing it in connection with the communion services, but practicing it toward elders and members coming from other places. In 1743 they published their first printed confession: Pieter Boudewijns, Onderwyzinge des Christelyken geloofs, volgens de Belydenis der Christenen, die men de Oude Vlaamsche Mennoniten noemt . . . (printed at Haarlem, 1743).
Rues, Simeon Friedrich. Tegenwoordige staet der Doopsgezinden of Mennoniten, in de Vereenigde Nederlanden: waeragter komt een berigt van de Rynsburgers of Collegianten: beide ter vertooninge van de leer, uiterlyken toestand, en godsdienstige gebruiken dezer kerkelyke genootschappen; nevens een verhael wegens den oorsprong en voortgang van de jongstleden geschillen der eerstgemelde, met de leeraers der Gereformeerde Kerke. Amsterdam: By F. Houttuyn, boekverkooper, 1745.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 11-12. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D2610.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1955). Danzig Old Flemish Mennonites. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D2610.html.