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Exile memories and the Dutch Revolt. The narrated diaspora, 1550 - 1750

In 1725, Johannes Lehnemann, elder of the Netherlandish congregation of the Augsburg Confession in Frankfurt, wrote a history of his congregation in the city of Antwerp from where his Lutheran ancestors had migrated 140 years earlier.1 In this work, titled Historische Nachricht, he described the establishment of the Lutheran congregation in early sixteenth-century Antwerp, its persecution by the Catholic Habsburg authorities and the migration of its members to Frankfurt in 1585.

In that year Antwerp, which had been ruled by a Calvinist-dominated magistrate for almost seven years, was taken over by Habsburg forces after a long siege, and all dissenters, Reformed, Lutherans and Mennonites, were forced either to leave within four years or to convert to Catholicism if they wished to stay.

The Habsburg takeover of Antwerp and many other rebel towns in the Southern Low Countries led to a mass exodus of Protestants to the Dutch Republic, the Holy Roman Empire and England. In May 1585, three months before the city surrendered to its besiegers, a group of Antwerp Lutherans, among whom the converted Sephardi minister Cassiodorus da Reina, founded their own congregation in Frankfurt.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Sep 20th, 2022 at 01:43:51 PM EST
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