Krechting, Hinrich (1501-1580)

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Hinrich Krechting was a leader in the Münsterite "kingdom." He was born at Schöppingen, Westphalia, Germany, and was a priest at Gildehaus. In 1533 Krechting was appointed administrator of the territory of Sandwelle near Ahaus by the Bishop of Münster. In this capacity he received an order to arrest Arnd Belholt, who was a supporter of Bernhard Rothmann at Münster. When Jan van Leyden came to Schoppingen in 1533 he stayed in Krechting's home. Krechting resigned from his office because he refused to comply with the bishop's orders to execute Johann van der Wiek, a Lutheran minister. Summoned by the Bishop, he fled to Münster, arriving there on 15 February 1534. His brother Bernd Krechting was already there. Both became outstanding leaders in the religious and political development of the city. Hinrich became the chancellor of the Münsterite kingdom and the supreme chancellor of "King" Jan van Leyden. The other relatives and friends he had brought with him from Schöppingen also received special positions.

When the decisive battle between the forces of Jan van Leyden and the Bishop took place, Hinrich Krechting received the opportunity through Johann von Raesfeld, an acquaintance of his, to escape with a small remnant. For a while he remained at Lingen, Westphalia, then fled to Oldenburg, where he continued to promote the cause of the Anabaptists as a follower of David Joris. In May 1538 he took part (opposite side) in the debate with David Joris in Oldenburg, emphasizing the significance of the Bible against Joris's visionary views. Because of the insecurity of his position Krechting left Oldenburg after 1538 and settled in Godens, Friesland, on the land of the Count Hero von Oldersum. Under the influence of John a Lasco he became Reformed, and in 1545 became the Vorsteher of the Reformed Church at Dykhausen, where he died 28 June 1580. He was probably the only leader who survived the Münster catastrophe. The Münsterites were sometimes called the "Crechtingsvolk" after the Krechting brothers.


Buhr, Gerhard de. "Der Wiedertäufer Hinrich Krechting und seine Sippe." Manuscript in Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College (North Newton, KS)

Cornelius, C. A. Bericht der Augenzeugen über das Münsterische Wiedertäuferreich. Münster, 1853: 379 ff., 405 ff.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967; II, 558.

Mellink, Albert F. De Wederdopers in de noordelijke Nederlanden 1531-1544. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1954:see Index.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Krechting, Hinrich (1501-1580)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 1 Jun 2020.,_Hinrich_(1501-1580)&oldid=146534.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Krechting, Hinrich (1501-1580). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 June 2020, from,_Hinrich_(1501-1580)&oldid=146534.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 234-235. All rights reserved.

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