For Bishop Franz von Waldeck stamping out the Anabaptists wasn’t just a political crisis, it was now a grievously personal one. His natural son Christoph had been captured by the Anabaptists in the first bungled attack on the city, and had more or less gone native. Likely the aggrieved von Waldeck was aware that Christoph […]Read more "On a Wing and a Pamphlet"
While the Anabaptist community struggled to explain their newly polygamous lifestyle to their friends outside Münster, Franz von Waldeck had redoubled his efforts to bring the siege to an end. He had spent the months following the aborted assault bombarding his neighbors with letter and emissaries for assistance. No one was exactly happy with von […]Read more "His Kingdom Come"
Like the awkward fetish revealed after marriage, Jan van Leiden tried to raise the topic of polygamy quietly at first. As far back as late May 1534 he spoke with Bernard Rothmann and some of the city’s leading preachers about its introduction. Far from agreeing with the prophet, Rothmann and the others questioned whether this […]Read more "Polygamy and Protest"
Jan van Leiden wasn’t just out to reform the city physically though, it was time for a leadership facelift in Münster. Unlike Matthias’ thunderous teleconferences with God, van Leiden opted for a more carefully planned and staged kind of revelation. One calm evening in April Jan van Leiden ran through the streets, wearing himself out […]Read more "Of Shirts, Sorties, and Bible Service"