Jump to: navigation, search

Jan Matthysz (Matthijsz) van Middelburg (also called Jan Matthijsz Blaeuwaert), a native of Middelburg, Dutch province of Zeeland, a goldsmith, was an Anabaptist leader and martyr. As a preacher he was active in 1534 in Middelburg and the island of Walcheren; then he disappeared from Zeeland, where his possessions were confiscated. In the first half of 1535 he stayed in Amsterdam, where he and Jacob van Campen were the principal leaders of the large congregation. Here he forsook the peaceful Anabaptist view to become a follower of the Münsterite principles of Jan van Leyden. Together with Jan van Geelen, the Münsterite ambassador, he prepared the attack on Amsterdam, 10-11 May 1535; the assault miscarried and a large number of Anabaptists were apprehended; Jan Matthysz, however, was not among those imprisoned; he must have escaped. In a revolt at Hazerswoude, Dutch province of South Holland, on 31 December 1535, a Jan Matthijsz was found, who likely is identical with Jan Matthijsz van Middelburg. In early 1536 he lived in England. In the summer of 1536 he attended a meeting of Anabaptist leaders at Boekholt (Bocholt in Westphalia, Germany), where he defended the peaceful principles of Obbe Philips against the Münsterite leaders. Hence he must have been converted from his revolutionary views to his former peaceful grounds. Returning to England, he was arrested there and put to death on 29 November 1538 at London.

[edit] Bibliography

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1909): 17, 25.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 60.

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, Nos. 97, 145.

Mellink, Albert F. De Wederdopers in de noordelijke Nederlanden 1531-1544. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1954: passim.

"Verhooren en Vonissen der Wederdoopers, betrokken bij de aanslagen op Amsterdam in 1534 en 1535", in Bijdragen en Mededeelingen van het Historisch Genootschap 41 (Amsterdam, 1920): 48, 193. Available in full electronic text at

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Jan Matthysz van Middelburg (d. 1538)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 29 Apr 2017.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Jan Matthysz van Middelburg (d. 1538). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 79. All rights reserved.

©1996-2017 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.