Tanchelm (TANCHELIN, TANQUELIN), a fanatic who lived in the 11th century, and was identified with the opposition current in that age against the ecclesiasticism then prevailing. We are told that he despised the Church and the clergy, from the pope downward, and claimed that the true Church inhered in him and his followers; that the priestly station has no influence upon the sacrament of the eucharist, worth and sanctity being the only efficient qualifications of the minister. He declared himself to be possessed of the Holy Ghost, and even to be God, as Christ is God; and he affianced himself with the Virgin Mary, whose image he presented to the vision of the assembled multitude, demanding sponsalia, which were readily contributed. Water in which he had bathed was distributed for drinking purposes, with the assurance that its use formed a sacred and powerful sacrament to the good of the body as well as the soul. Tanchelm's followers were chiefly drawn from the lower classes of society, and were mostly women. His operations were carried on along the coast of the Netherlands, and particularly in Utrecht, where disturbances were occasioned which called forth the successful interference of archbishop Frederick of Cologne. Tanchelm then removed to Bruges and Antwerp, where he caused still greater tumults than at Utrecht, and was killed on shipboard by a priest in A.D. 1124 or-1125. His sect continued to exist somewhat longer, but was ultimately scattered or reclaimed to the Church. See Hahn, Gesch. d. Ketzer in Mittelalter (Stuttg. 1845), 1, 459 sq.; Okken, Diss. de Priva Rel. Christ. Med. Evo inter Nederlandos, etc. (Groning. 1846), p. 43 sq.; Ep. Traj. Eccl. ad Fridericum, Archiepiscopum Colon., in Tengnagel, Coll. Vet. Monum. contra Schismaticos (Ingolst. 1612), p. 368 sq.; Du Plessis d'Argentre, Coll. Jud. de Novis Erroribus, etc. (Paris, 1728), 1, 11 sq. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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