(Account from Martyrs Mirror, pp. 897-899)
In the year of our Lord 1572, the lords of justice at Dortrecht in Holland, laid their hands on two very meek and dear friends of God, who followed their Saviour, the slain Lamb of the cross, Jesus Christ, and were not of the least of the members of the church of the Lord scattered abroad in all countries, in showing forth, as lights in this world, their eminent virtues among this evil and perverse generation. They were both taken out of the fold like lambs for the slaughter, the circumstances being as follows:
First, Adriaenken Jans’ daughter was suddenly apprehended. She resided at Molenaersgraef, in the Papendrecht district; which was under the jurisdiction of the city of Dortrecht, and because she was said to be a heretic, she was seized and imprisoned in the Vuylpoort.
After that the plan was formed to capture Jan Wouterss van Kuyck, who resided in the city, but frequently changed his abode, so as not to be so easily recognized. To this end, the bailiff, having learned where he resided (namely, in the street leading to the Rietdijck, near the New Gate, in a room which was reached from the street by a flight of stairs), came with his beadles and unexpectedly, and without asking anything, ascended the stairs, where Jan Wouterss met him just as he opened the door. The bailiff said, since he did not know him: “Does Jan van Kuyck reside here?” to which this good, upright and very sincere man, not willing to speak contrary to the truth, answered yes, adding that it was he himself.
These words he spoke very loudly, in order that his dear wife, who was back in the room, should hear it and flee, which she did: his only daughter, however, a child of only about seven years, remained in the room and saw her father apprehended, to which no attention was paid. The ministers of justice immediately laid their hands upon this friend of God, and forcibly bound him, whereupon he said: “O my lords, how you bind me, as though I were a wicked man; however, you bind not me, but yourselves.” Then a great lamentation arose among them; however, they proceeded, and led him, as a defenseless lamb that is overcome by wolves, from the Rietdijck to the Vuylpoort, about half an hour’s walk through the city, where they put him into another cell than the one in which Adriaenken Jans was confined, though within the same walls and under the same roof of said prison.
In the meantime both had to suffer much temptation, according to the body as well as in regard to the soul; several times they were severely tortured, stripped, and scourged, so that almost the entire city spoke about their sufferings and misery, as Jan Wouterss subsequently also indicated in one of his letters.
The [Roman Catholic] clergy also assailed them much according to the soul, in order to deprive them, by many wiles and snares, of the treasure of a true faith; but they were not able to accomplish anything with either of them; hence they [the two martyrs], were finally sentenced to death in open court, to be executed with fire, on the water front of the city, near a certain lime kiln, where now the new fortification is, between the mill that stands upon the bastion, and the rampart; however, with the condition, that Adriaenken Jans should not really die by fire, but should prior to her burning be strangled at the stake, which lesser penalty of death we do not find to have been executed on Jan Wouterss.
In the meantime both prepared themselves for death with great desire and inward joy, unable sufficiently to praise God that they had been counted worthy to deliver up their bodies as a sacrifice for His holy name’s sake.
When the hour of their departure had come, both were tied together; however, they fell upon their knees, and quietly offered up, before they were led forth, an earnest prayer to God the Lord, that He would strengthen them in their impending suffering, to persevere unto the end.
Thereupon their mouths (for fear that they should speak something to the people), were gagged with a piece of wood, or some other instrument made for this purpose, and they were thus led from the prison which presented a pitiful sight. Jan Wouterss, however, pulled out the piece of wood, or instrument, with one hand, which it appears was not bound, and cried with a loud voice: “O Lord, strengthen Thy feeble servant: and Thy poor handmaiden. It is for Thy name’s sake that we have come to this for which we have willingly prepared ourselves.”
When he had said this, one of his fellow believers, whose heart, as it seems, had been set aflame hereby mightily pressed his way through the people, and coming before him, said: “Strive valiantly, dear brother, you will suffer no more hereafter.”
Thereupon Jan Wouterss instantly pulled open his jacket and showed him his breast bloody from the scourging inflicted upon him in prison and said: “I already bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus;” and he lifted up his eyes to heaven, looking longingly as it were to the heavenly resting place.
In the meanwhile, before all this was properly noticed, because of the surging crowd, said person went out of sight and disappeared among the people; whereupon some of the servants of justice murmured and sternly asked, where this man was. This occurred near the swine market, close by the New Haven.
They went on and soon arrived at the place of execution, where two stakes stood erected near, and around which an innumerable multitude was gathered.
Having arrived there, they ascended the height, or erected scaffold, where they on their knees again quietly prayed to God, though Jan Wouterss only was able to speak, since the mouth of Adriaenken Jans was well gagged with the previously mentioned piece of wood, or instrument.
When they had risen, preparations were first made to strangle Adriaenken Jans, whereupon she placed herself at the stake.
Then Jan Wouterss said: “This is the day of salvation.” But the underbailiff, hearing this, sternly cried: “Be silent.” Thereupon Jan Wouterss said: “Why should I keep silent; I certainly speak nothing that is evil.”
In the meantime Adriaenken Jans was strangled…
The servants of justice then turned to Jan Wouterss, who cheerfully, yea, with a smiling countenance, placed himself at the other stake, which stood close by, where he while being fastened to it, noticed that some of his fellow believers stood among the people, to see his end; to whom, without naming any one, he cried aloud: “Adieu and farewell, my dear brethren and sisters, I will herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord who shed His blood for us.” With this he made haste and prepared himself for death, commending his soul to God in these words: “O God, who art my strength, I commend my spirit into Thy hands.”
Then fire was set to the wood piled around him, and this friend of God was burned alive, as it appears, with his dead sister, to the great sorrow of many that stood around and were filled with commiseration at the sight of it.
This was the end of these two dear favorites of the Lord, of whom no one spake any evil (touching their life), but whom every one praised on account of their virtuous walk.