Foecke Floris was a blacksmith and a Mennonite preacher at Surhuisterveen in the Dutch province of Friesland. On 16 April 1683 Franciscus Elgersma, a Reformed preacher of Grouw, charged him openly with Socinianism, and wrote Rechtzinnige leer van het sacrament des hl. Doops (Leeuwarden, 1685). Foecke replied with Beschermingh der waerheyt Godts (Leeuwarden, 1687). Elgersma again brought his accusations before the Leeuwarden Reformed Synod and with their approval wrote the following booklets: Seedige verhandeling van de hooge verborgentheit der hl. Drieëenheid and Kanker der Sociniaansche ketterij (Leeuwarden, 1688). An anonymous friend now entered into the dispute, defending Foecke with a pamphlet: Klaar vertoog, Dienende tot wederlegginge van de ongefondeerde beschuldingen (1689).
Meanwhile the Reformed Synod of Harlingen had taken the affair in hand. Both parties were summoned to appear before it. By a decision of 18 November 1687 they condemned Foecke's book, ordered all copies to be burned, and forbade him to preach on penalty of five years' penitentiary. Soon afterward he was arrested and brought to Leeuwarden; but he found so much sympathy that over 2,000 persons came to visit him. Eight weeks later he was banished and went to Oost-Saandam (Zaandam in the province of North Holland) where he again began to preach. In 1688 the Synod of North Holland decided to bring their charges before the bailiff of Kennemerland. Then the persecuted man presented an appeal to Prince William, which had been drawn up by Galenus Abrahamsz de Haan. The prince gave orders to let the matter rest until more information could be gathered (this letter with the signature of the prince is found in Arch. Amst. I, 456). Hence the synod of 1690 was unable to proceed further. Representatives of the synod were given audience by the prince in two successive years, and both times received a noncommittal answer. Then the bailiff of Kennemerland came to the rescue of the synod and forbade Foecke to preach in August 1692.
Nevertheless he resumed his preaching in March 1693. Apparently his influence declined from this point, at least the complaints ended. But his following in Grouw did not disappear. In Jan Klaassz he had a worthy successor. Foecke's writings reveal that he was not a full-fledged Socinian, but that he was on the other hand not entirely free of unorthodox views. He wrote also Leerregel der Bibels, Eenige vorbeelden onzer lofelyke vaderen, and Een Hemelsch ABC (Haarlem, 1690), and Afdeeling der H. Bibelwetten (Amsterdam, 1696).
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht en Gelderland. 2 v. Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1847: 229
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon., 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 655.
Molhuysen, P.C. and P.J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek. v. 1-10. Leiden, 1911-1937: III, 71-73.
Veen, S. D. van. "Foecke Floris." Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1887): 49-85.
Cite This Article
Vos, Karel. "Floris, Foecke (ca. 1650-ca. 1700)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 12 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Floris,_Foecke_(ca._1650-ca._1700)&oldid=80867.
Vos, Karel. (1956). Floris, Foecke (ca. 1650-ca. 1700). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Floris,_Foecke_(ca._1650-ca._1700)&oldid=80867.
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