Martyrs Mirror |

TBC Staff

Jan van Paris, Pieter van Cleves, Hendrick Maelschalck, and Lauwerens Pieters, had not yet united with the church, but were novices and ready to unite; hence going to hear the Word of God preached, they were apprehended, at Ghent, in flanders, in the year 1568, and taken to the Count’s Castle. After a bold confession of, and steadfast adherence to the faith, they were sentenced in Passion Week, to be strangled and burned. But when they had mounted the scaffold, the Spanish Provost (there being at that time nineteen companies of Spanish soldiers in Ghent), seeing that it was the intention to strangle them, compelled the executioner to fetch other appliances. Hence the executioner spoke to the commander-in-chief, who ordered him, contrary to the sentence renounced, to burn them alive. The provost also severely kicked and beat the brethren.

In the meanwhile the execution fetched a basketful of chains, When the brethren heard that they were to be burnt alive, they raised their voices and sang: “I call upon thee, O heavenly Father.” Then the Spaniards beat them so dreadfully with sticks, that the eye of one fell out on his cheek. And thus they were burnt alive, the Spaniards loudly vociferating, and throwing sticks into the fire at a rapid rate, as desiring to have part in this madness, as though they thought to do God service thereby

          Thieleman J. van Braght, Martyrs Mirror, Herald Press 1996, pp 723