Nicholas of Basel

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Nicholas of Basel (died 1397) was a prominent member of the Beghard community, who travelled widely as a missionary and propagated the teachings of his sect.


Though vigorously sought after by the Inquisition he eluded its agents for many years until in 1397 he was seized in Vienna, and burned at the stake as a heretic, together with two of his followers, John and James. A considerable legend has attached itself to Nicholas through the persistent but mistaken identification of him with the mysterious "Friend of God from the Oberland," the "double" of Rulman Merswin, the Strasbourg banker who was one of the leaders of the 14th-century German mystics known as the Friends of God.