Dirk Willemsz (d. 1569)

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Dirk Willemsz rescues his pursuer. Engraving by Jan Luiken in Martyrs Mirror, v. 2, p. 387 of Dutch edition.
Scan provided by Mennonite Library and Archives

Dirk Willemsz (Willems), an Anabaptist martyr, was born and lived at Asperen, Dutch province of South Holland. He was burned at the stake outside the town of Asperen on 16 May 1569.  According to Van Braght, Dirk managed to escape from prison. Pursued by a guard or policeman, he succeeded in saving his life by crossing a wide river covered with thin ice. The policeman following him on the ice fell in and was on the point of drowning. Then Dirk came back and saved the man, who was very grateful and would have let him go, but the burgomaster ordered him to seize the heretic. So Dirk was brought back to prison and after some months died steadfastly. In the Martyrs' Mirror there is a fine etching of the rescue.


Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, …, 1685: Part II, 387.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 741. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Dirk Willemsz (d. 1569)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 Jun 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dirk_Willemsz_(d._1569)&oldid=101174.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1956). Dirk Willemsz (d. 1569). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 June 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dirk_Willemsz_(d._1569)&oldid=101174.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 66-67. All rights reserved.

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