1549 – Anabaptist Elizabeth Dirks is drowned in a bag. Her Catholic captors, in an attempt to get her to betray the name of the person who baptized her, had tortured her with thumbscrews until blood spurted from under her fingernails, and crushed her legs in screws until she fainted from agony.
Elizabeth Dirks was a trailblazer and a woman of great courage. Raised in a nunnery in East Friesland, she learned to read Latin and read the Bible through and through. She became certain that monasticism was not the way taught in Scripture. With the help of milkmaids she escaped and became a follower of peaceful Menno Simons. She was one of the first Reformation women ministers, probably a deaconness.