Nicholas, Henry

(c. 1502–c. 1580)
   Sect Founder and Mystic.
   Nicholas was born in Münster, Germany. From an early age, he claimed to have had visions from God. He became a merchant and, in c. 1540, he founded a new sect, the Family of Love or Familists. Among the beliefs of the new group were an emphasis on mystical, Pantheistic communion with God, the imminent Second Coming of Jesus and salvation only available to members of the sect. Nicholas spent much of his adult life at Emden, but he was constantly harassed by the religious authorities and he spent his final years as a fugitive. There were Familist groups throughout the Low Countries and the sect had a strong following in England. However, it had disappeared by the end of the seventeenth century.
   C.W. Marsh, The Family of Love in English Society (1994);
   A.C. Thomas, The Family of Love or the Familists (1893).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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