In Gorkum, the Calvinist Sea Beggars caught and imprisoned eleven Franciscan friars and lay brothers, four parish priests, two Norbertine canons, an Augustinian canon regular and a Dominican friar (see sidebar).
John of Cologne, the Dominican pastor, came to Gorkum after hearing of the others’ arrest to offer spiritual consolation and thus was arrested.
These 19 were held in prison from June 26 until July 6 and then taken in two separate groups to Brielle to appear before the leader of the Sea Beggars, William de la Marck.
They were given the chance to renounce their allegiance to the pope and to deny the Real Presence in the Eucharist. They refused.
Throughout their imprisonment and interrogations, the 19 were brutalized, offered for public display and held in spite of orders from the leader of the Dutch rebellion, William the Silent (the Prince of Orange).
On July 9, 1572, these witnesses to Christ were hanged. Their bodies were mutilated during their executions and after, before they were dumped in a ditch.