Dirck Pietersz (d. 1546)

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Dirck Pietersz (alias Smuel or Simil) was an Anabaptist martyr, and a blacksmith by trade, living in Edam, Dutch province of North Holland. He had been baptized and held meetings in his house on the dike near Edam. He was apprehended together with Jacob de Geldersman on 24 March 1546, and brought to Amsterdam by ship, where he was examined. Dirck Pietersz confessed that he thought the Roman Catholic Church could not be the true church, which was only to be found in the "meeting of believers"; neither did he believe in purgatory. He admitted that he had read in his house together with others "the book of the Gospel." He did not possess books of Menno Simons or David Joris, but confessed that he had a Bible, a New Testament, and a "booklet of the faith." (It is not clear what book this was.) On 5 May both men were brought to the Hague, where they were examined again. Dirck was put on the rack on 16 May, but remained steadfast. He was sentenced to death on 22 May. The next day both Dirck and Jacob were brought back to Amsterdam and burned at the stake on 24 May. The execution of Dirck must have been very cruel, for it lasted for more than twenty-four hours. For this reason the executioner received special remuneration. While in prison, Dirck Pietersz wrote a letter (called Testament) to his wife, Wellemoet Claes, and also a letter to all friends of the evangelical truth. Both letters are found in the Martyrs' Mirror. The account in the Martyrs’ Mirror about Dirck Pietersz is not quite correct. After having mentioned the martyrdom of Dirck Pietersz Smuel and Jacob de Geldersman, van Braght inserts another account of two martyrs Andries Smuel and Dirck Pietersz, 1546 (without date). Here van Braght must be in error; there is no further trace of a martyr called Andries Smuel; Andries Smuel and Dirck Pietersz must be the same.


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, Y, 1685: Part II, 75-80.

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: 475-481. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1887): 114-115; (1899): 125.

Grosheide, Greta. Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der Anabaptisten in Amsterdam. Hilversum: J. Schipper, Jr., 1938: 108-109, 303.

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. 337, 745.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Dirck Pietersz (d. 1546)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 14 Dec 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dirck_Pietersz_(d._1546)&oldid=129542.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1956). Dirck Pietersz (d. 1546). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 December 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dirck_Pietersz_(d._1546)&oldid=129542.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 64. All rights reserved.

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