None too bright

Mchael-Jackson-Beat-ItI’m not sure whose hands should be considered stained with Joris Wippe’s blood, but it’s tempting to blame him.

Wippe, according to the Martyrs Mirror, was the mayor of a place called Meenen in Flanders when he became an Anabaptist and was, understandably, compelled to flee his post. He moves to the city of Dortrecht in Holland and sets up as a cloth dyer with a few well-to-do clients.

Well, it doesn’t take long before the local Catholic religious establishment start to suspect his Anabaptist sympathies. They summon him to appear for questioning. Wippe panics and asks his influential customers what he should do. They, naively, tell him to answer the summons, believing that he’ll be questioned and released.

Now, let’s stop right here. Wippe was a former government official, and he already took the liberty to flee certain death at the hands of the church once. He knows the score. At least he should. He should have turned tail and fled.

And the Mirror even implies that the lords of Dortrecht believe he’ll make a quick estimation of the situation and skip town. After all, Wippe would have left his property in the hands of the government, making the lords a quick buck without much fuss.

But, instead, the dumb bastard shows up on April 28, 1558, just as ordered.

When he came there, and the lords saw him, they were filled with consternation, and would have preferred that he had taken their summons as a warning to secretly make his escape, since they did not thirst much for innocent blood…

So Wippe is arrested. The lords didn’t want to have to execute him, so they tried to export him to the higher court in Gravenhange. But that court stuck to its jurisdictional guns and sent Wippe back. The Dortrecht executioner refused to kill him, since Wippe had often fed the executioner’s wife and kids. So, the city got a beat cop to drown poor Wippe in a wine cask filled with water.

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One Response to “None too bright”

  1. why was he arrested

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