2015: Four more in Pakistan, but not Shafqat Hussain 1791: Alessandro Cagliostro condemned

1531: Sikke Freriks, Menno Simons inspiration

March 20th, 2015 Headsman

Dutch artisan Sikke Freriks, beheaded on this date in 1531 in Leeuwarden‘s market, was the first Anabaptist put to death in that Friesland city.

While a minor milestone in the crowded history of Reformation martyrdoms, Freriks had a noteworthy posthumous effect: word of his heresy — adherence to adult, rather than infant, baptism — came to the ears of a Catholic priest, who later wrote that a man’s dying for this illicit doctrine led him to investigate it further.

To his amazement, the priest found no scriptural support for the established church’s practice of baptizing infants before they developed the maturity and volition to embrace Christ from the will of their own hearts. Christians are “cheated” by the loss of that opportunity of freely giving oneself in baptism, he later wrote.

This man, Menno Simons, would follow his discomfiting scrutiny of holy writ all the way out of the priesthood and into that same forbidden sect. His preeminence in the Anabaptist movement after its disastrous M√ľnster rebellion — and particularly his pacifistic orientation — eventually ennobled him as the founder as well as the namesake of the Mennonites, a term that in Menno Simons’s own lifetime became all but synonymous for Dutch Anabaptism.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 16th Century,Beheaded,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,God,Habsburg Realm,Heresy,History,Martyrs,Netherlands,Public Executions,Religious Figures

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Calendar

Archives

Categories

Execution Playing Cards

Exclusively available on this site: our one-of-a-kind custom playing card deck.

Every card features a historical execution from England, France, Germany, or Russia!


Recent Comments

  • markb: writing project: i retired from the Kentucky State Police last year. i was a facilities security officer, not...
  • sheila duane: This month marks the 150th anniversary of Bridget’s hanging. She is not guilty of the murder for...
  • Kevin M. Sullivan: You are so correct, Lucy, it’s not always about men. Women can be just as abusive,...
  • Lucy: I had a female gym teacher who played a similar game with us. It wasn’t quite as sadistic as it was just...
  • Kevin M. Sullivan: We are not all connected as one, That is foolishness. You’re pushing a utopia that does not...