John Of Leyden, a Dutch fanatic, born about 1510, put to death in Munster, Westphalia, in January, 1536. His true name was John Boccold or Bockelson, and he was the son of a magistrate of the Hague, and worked in that city at the trade of a tailor. In 1533 he joined the Anabaptists in Munster, where he assisted Matthias of Haarlem in the rebellion of that year, and after his death assumed power as a prophet. On June 24,1534, he was crowned with the title king of Zion. He appointed 12 judges to administer his government, assumed princely state and luxury, introduced polygamy, marrying 15 wives, and the city was given up to excesses of fanaticism and lust. He issued proclamations against neighboring rulers, and sent out more than 20 apostles, who preached his doctrine, though they rejected many of his excesses. He coined money, specimens of which, silver pieces with his stamp, are in the museum of Hanover.. Being besieged by the bishop of Miinster, discontent and rebellion broke out among his followers, which he repressed with much cruelty and bloodshed, executing one of his wives with his own hand. The city was taken by treachery in the night of June 24, 1535, and he was made prisoner.
He was sent through the country in an iron cage, and at length, together with two of his companions, was tortured to death with hot pincers.. Their caged bodies were hung upon the tower of St. Lambert's church, where the cages are still to be seen. His house in Miinster is yet standing. (See Anabaptists.)