Claesken (d. 1563)

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Claesken (Klaesken or Claesken Pertrijs), was the wife of Jan de Swarte, an Anabaptist martyr, taken prisoner at Halewijn (Halluin) in French Flanders, together with her husband, four sons, and a group of brethren and sisters of the church. She was burned at the stake at Rijssel (Lille) in France on 27 March 1563, together with three of her sons, Christiaen, Hans, and Mahieu, after her husband and her son Claes had given their lives by burning 10 days before.

The Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais states that Claesken, whose official name was Claisse Florissone, also called Buens or Bienes, was not executed at Rijssel but at Hondschoote in Flanders, the date being 27 April 1563, but this must be an error.


Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde 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, 299.

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: 664.  Available online at:

Haeghen, Ferdinand van der., Thomas Arnold and R. Vanden Berghe. Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais. II. Receuils. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1890: II, 421.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Claesken (d. 1563)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 Oct 2018.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Claesken (d. 1563). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 October 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 616-617. All rights reserved.

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