Snider, in Leyden gebuoren. Is Wiërdaiperkunink in Mönsterwuorn.
John of Leiden (Dutch: Jan van Leyden or Jan Beukelszoon; aka John
Bockold or John Bockelson) (1509? - 1536) was an Anabaptist leader
from the Dutch city of Leiden. He was the illegitimate son of a
German mayor, and a tailor's apprentice by trade.
Raised a "bastard" and dogged by poverty,
young John became a charismatic leader who was widely revered by his
followers. According to his own testimony, he went to the German city
of Münster, arriving in 1533, because he had heard there were
inspired preachers there. He sent for Jan Matthys, who had baptized
him. After his arrival Matthys - recognized as a prophet - became
the principal leader in the city. Following a failed military attempt
on Easter Sunday 1534, in which Matthys died, John of Leiden became
King of Münster until its fall in June of 1535. He set up a theocracy
in Münster and led a communalistic and polygamous state. Some
sources report that John of Leiden took sixteen wives. He publicly
beheaded one of his wives after she rebelled against his authority.
The army of Münster was defeated in 1535 by
the prince bishop Franz von Waldeck, and John of Leiden was captured.
He and the other leaders were tortured and executed. He was first
taken to a dungeon in Dülmen, then brought back to Münster.
On January 22, 1536, along with Bernhard Krechting and Bernhard Knipperdolling,
he was tortured and then executed. Each attached to a pole by an iron
spiked collar, their bodies were ripped with red-hot tongs for the
space of an hour, then each was killed with a dagger thrust through
the heart. Their bodies were raised in three cages above St. Lambert's
Church, the remains left to rot. Their bones were removed about 50
years later, but the cages have remained into the 21st century.
His name still lives on in the Netherlands in the
saying zich met een Jan(tje) van Leiden van iets afmaken,
which means getting something done with pretty but empty words.