Douwe Eeuwouts (d. 1571)

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Douwe Eeuwouts, a Dutch Anabaptist martyr and father of five small children, was seized at Leeuwarden on 3 January 1570 (van BraghtMartyrs' Mirror, has erroneously 1571), and put into a dungeon. He steadfastly confessed his faith before the bishop who examined him repeatedly under torture. After months in a dungeon he joyfully suffered death by drowning on 12 October 1571. When he was led to the execution place he sang a hymn, "Ic arm Schaepken aen groen heyde, waer sal ic henen gaen." This sentence was passed by a clergyman, the Catholic bishop of Leeuwarden, rather than by a secular judge as was customary. Douwe is the author of a song beginning, "Ich mach wel droevich singen in desen ellendigen tijt." It is found in an extremely rare booklet, Sommige Belijdingen . . . van Reytse Aysesz (ca. 1577), a copy of which is found in the Library of the Society for Dutch Letters at Leiden.


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, 560.

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: 893. Available online at:

Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: 81.

Haeghen, Ferdinand van der., Thomas Arnold and R. Vanden Berghe. Bibliographie des Martyrologes Protestants Néerlandais. II. Receuils. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1890: I, 20.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 507.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Douwe Eeuwouts (d. 1571)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 14 Aug 2018.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Douwe Eeuwouts (d. 1571). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 August 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 95. All rights reserved.

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