Serienscheine: das schöne Notgeld


Münster in Westfalen

Ian Bockelson, Snider, in Leyden gebuoren
Is Wiërdaiperkunink in Mönsterwuorn.

De Priädiger Rottmann verdeffendeert zu 8. August, 1533

Wat uower de Wiërdaup is lehrt

gedruckt von Gebrüder Jäneke
gezeichnet von Josef Dominicus*

A, B, C, D, E

Ian Bockelson, Snider, in Leyden gebuoren. Is Wiërdaiperkunink in Mönsterwuorn. 1534-1536

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. (Source:

Johann Carl Baehr (1801-1869)
Jan van Leiden tauft ein Mädchen (originally "Die Wiedertäufer"), 1840

Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster

Jan Bockelson, tailor, born in Leyden, became Wiedertäufer king in Münster.
The preacher Rottmann defends what is taught about the anabaptism.
Translation by Christian ("Tabbs")

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