Sunday 7 September 2014


Antonius Schorus (b. 1525 in Hoogstraten)  sympathized with the Protestant reformers. This did not go over well with the Catholic authorities. He narrowly escaped being arrested. In a letter to his friend Franciscus de Encinas he described his flight.

You may have heard about my exile or rather my escape from Babylonian captivity, he wrote.He was forced to flee to Strasbourg because he had professed the pure faith more freely than the tyrants could stand.

One night, during a heavy downpour an officer was sent by the Margrave. He left his fellow officers at the gate of the building so he could lure me outside more easily. I asked him what he wanted. He said the Margrave had told him to call me. I was quick on the uptake and asked him to wait a little so I could put on my coat which I had left behind in the bedroom, for I had already undressed to go to bed.  He gave me permission, and I escaped out the backdoor, since I had the opportunity.

The officer waited some time, then harangued Schorus’ wife, but to no avail.

The Margrave immediately sent seven guards to keep an eye on the house all night to prevent anyone from taking anything away…Afterwards they carefully inspected my books , but they found nothing.

They claimed however that my flight showed that I was conscious of having committed a crime and confiscated my household goods.

Schorus’ wife and child eventually joined him in Protestant Strasbourg.

(Source: Encinas, Epistolario, Span. Trans. I. Garcia Pinilla)


  1. Any similar story on sympathyzers of the Catholic church who sneaked away from Protestant authoritiers?

  2. Sorry to get back to you so late -- was travelling in Italy. Re your question: Yes, a number of Catholic canons fled Strasbourg in 1525, taking the church treasure of St. Thomas with them. After lengthy litigation, a settlement was reached. The canons returned the treasure and were given a pension instead. That’s the short version. The details are in The Correspondence of Wolfgang Capito, volume 1.