Frederiks Willem

Frederiks Willem, was an enlightened Rgmsan Catholic priest, who contributed much to prepare the way for the Reformation in Holland. In earlier life he enjoyed the friendship of John Wessel and R. Agricola, and in later years that of Erasmus. He was a man of learning, and also skilled in medicine. He was pastor of St. Martin's church in Groningen. He also frequently served the city in apolitical capacity. He acquired great influence, and was highly esteemed. Erasmus regarded him not only as an enlightened man, but as a model priest. He belonged to a circle in which the spirit of Wessel continued to live. Associated with such men as Everard Jarghes, Herman Abring, Nikolaas Lesdorp, Johannes Timmermans, and Gerard Pistoris, he diffused liberal ideas more in harmony with the views of the Reformers than with those pf the Roman hierarchy. The Dominicans attempted to counteract these liberal views by offering to defend certain theses. A debate ensued in 1523. In the progress of it it became apparent that this circle of friends had deeply imbibed the spirit and sentiments of the illustrious Wessel. The liberty which they enjoyed in the expression of their views was greatly due to the extraordinary influence of Frederiks. He laid Groningen under still further obligations to him by bequeathing to the St. Martin's church his library, volumes of which are still found on the shelves of the University Library of that place. He died in 1525. He left a son, who was a civilian, and who rendered himself very useful by his hospitality and readiness to assist those who were persecuted for their faith. See Glasius, Godgeleerd Nederland, blz. 472 en verv.; Ypeij and Dermont,

Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Hervormde Kerk, 1 Deel, blz. 66 (Breda, 1819). (J.P.W.)

 
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