Kops, Claes Wolters (1559-1641)
Claes Wolters Kops (Cops) (b. 1559, d. July 1641) was the son of Wolter Kops. He was a weaver and after 1593 lived on the Aldenhof at München-Gladbach, duchy of Julich, Germany, but was frequently at Haarlem in connection with his trade or in consequence of persecution. In 1581 he married Grietgen Comes (d. 1616) at Cologne. He was twice remarried. Kops was a Mennonite preacher at München-Gladbach, and for some time also of the High German congregation at Haarlem, Holland, where he became involved in a dispute (about 1610) with his colleague Leenaerdt Clock, apparently concerning marriage with non-members of the group (buitentrouw). Kops took the more conservative position. He thus obstructed the merging of his High German group with the Young Frisians and Waterlanders, a movement initiated by the Concept of Cologne in 1591. In 1619 he was again living at München-Gladbach, where he had a substantial business in yarn and linen. In 1622 he is said to have been a wealthy man, living on a great estate, and was censured for this by Abraham Rietmaker of Aachen. After 1622 there is no further information about Claes Wolters Kops, except the date of his death. His followers were called Claes-Woltersvolk. There was a Claes-Wolters congregation in Friedrichstadt, Germany, as late as 1632.
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Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I, 364.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: I, No. 554 f.; II, Nos. 1195, 2626 f; 2789.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis van de Doopsgezinden in Nederland II. 1600-1735 Eerste Helft. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon n.v., 1940: II, 92.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 226. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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