Maeyken Floris (d. 1559)

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Maeyken Floris (Flours), an Anabaptist martyr, burned at the stake at Ghent, Belgium, on 7 August 1559. Van Braght's account, which follows the account in the Offer des Heeren, is incorrect. He states that Maeyken was executed with 11 co-martyrs and does not relate the exact date of the execution. Maeyken was a native of Nukerke (Nypkerke, Nieppe) in Flanders. She was one of a group of 12 Mennonites whose stay had been reported to the magistrates by treachery, and who were all apprehended. Baudin (Baudynken), Maeyken's 12-year-old sister, was also examined; but notwithstanding the severe threats of the officers, she resolutely refused to reveal the place where her parents were staying. Of the group arrested four victims were burned on 5 July, and six more, including Maeyken, on 7 August. Two members either escaped or abjured their faith. Maeyken died steadfast. The execution took place on the Vrijdagsmarkt at seven o'clock in the morning.

Maeyken and the other martyrs are commemorated in a hymn, "Ic moet een liet beginnen" (I must begin a song), No. 14 of the Lietboecxken van den Offer des Heeren; this hymn is also found in the Nieu Liedenboeck of 1562. Another hymn, "Een eeuwighe vruecht, die nieten vergaet" (An eternal joy, which does not pass away), is found in Veelderhande Liedekens of 1569. This hymn is more accurate than that of the Lietboecxken; it also gives the information that the group of 12 Mennonites was betrayed to the attorney-general of Ghent by a Beguine, and that they were apprehended that very evening while they were eating together.

See Anthonis van Cassele (d. 1559) for a list of the persons seized.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 348, 556 ff. Available in full electronic text at:

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, 246.

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: 620-622. Available online at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 656.

Verheyden, A. L. E. Het Gentsche Martyrologium (1530-1595). Brugge: De Tempel, 1946: 25, No. 67.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Maeyken Floris (d. 1559)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 12 Jul 2020.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Maeyken Floris (d. 1559). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 July 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 438. All rights reserved.

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