Tribunal of the Holy Office of the
Inquisition (Spanish: Tribunal
del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish
Inquisition (Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It
was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to
replace the Medieval Inquisition, which was under Papal control. It
became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of
the wider Catholic
Inquisition along with the Roman
Portuguese Inquisition. The "Spanish Inquisition" may be defined
broadly, operating "in Spain and in all Spanish colonies and
territories, which included the Canary Islands, the Spanish
Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, and all Spanish possessions in
North, Central, and South America. According to modern estimates,
around 150,000 were prosecuted for various offenses during the three
centuries of duration of the Spanish Inquisition, out of which between
3,000 and 5,000 were executed.
Inquisition was originally intended primarily to identify heretics
among those who converted from
Islam to Catholicism. The
regulation of the faith of newly converted Catholics was intensified
after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1502 ordering Jews and
Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave Spain. The Inquisition
was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of
Isabella II, after a period of declining influence in the preceding
Inquisition is often cited in popular literature and
history as an example of Catholic intolerance and repression. Various
modern historians have questioned whether earlier accounts about the
scope and brutality of the Spanish
Inquisition were exaggerated during
the waves of anti-Catholicism in the nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries. The two most significant and extensively cited sources
of this revised analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish
Inquisition: An Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen.
1 Previous inquisitions
2 Activity of the Inquisition
2.1 Start of the Inquisition
2.2 Expulsion of Jews and repression of conversos
2.3 Repression of Moriscos
2.4 Control of Protestants
2.6 Suppression of other heresies
4 Composition of the tribunals
5 End of the Inquisition
6.2 Death tolls
6.2.1 Henningsen-Contreras statistics for the period 1540–1700
6.2.2 Autos da fe between 1701 and 1746
6.3 Abuse of power
7.1 19th to early 20th century scholarship
7.2 Revision after 1960
8 In popular culture
8.3 Theatre, music, television, and video games
9 See also
11 External links
Inquisition was created through papal bull, Ad Abolendam, issued
at the end of the twelfth century by
Pope Lucius III as a way to
Albigensian heresy in southern France. There were a large
number of tribunals of the Papal
Inquisition in various European
kingdoms during the Middle Ages. In the Kingdom of Aragon, a tribunal
of the Papal
Inquisition was established by the statute of
Pope Gregory IX, in 1232, during the era of the
Albigensian heresy. Although not an inquisitor, as canon lawyer and an
advisor to James I of Aragon,
Raymond of Penyafort
Raymond of Penyafort was often consulted
regarding questions of law regarding the practices of the Inquisition
in the king's domains. "...[T]he lawyer's deep sense of justice and
equity, combined with the worthy Dominican's sense of compassion,
allowed him to steer clear of the excesses that were found elsewhere
in the formative years of the inquisitions into heresy." With time,
its importance was diluted, and, by the middle of the fifteenth
century, it was almost forgotten although still there according to the
There was never a tribunal of the Papal
Inquisition in Castile.
Members of the episcopate were charged with surveillance of the
faithful and punishment of transgressors. During the Middle Ages, in
Castile, little attention was paid to heresy by the Catholic ruling
class. Jews and Muslims were tolerated and generally allowed to follow
their traditional laws and customs in domestic matters. However, by
law, they were considered inferior to Catholics and were subject to
Inquisition (Inquisición Española) can be seen as an
answer to the multi-religious nature of Spanish society following the
reconquest of the
Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Moors. After
invading in 711, large areas of the
Iberian Peninsula were ruled by
Muslims until 1250, when they were restricted to Granada, which fell
in 1492. However, the
Reconquista did not result in the total
expulsion of Muslims from Spain, since they, along with Jews, were
tolerated by the ruling
Christian elite. Large cities, especially
Valladolid and Barcelona, had significant
centered in Juderia, but in the coming years the Muslims were
increasingly subjugated by alienation and torture.
Post-reconquest medieval Spain has been characterized by Americo
Castro and some other Iberianists as a society of "convivencia", that
is relatively peaceful co-existence, albeit punctuated by occasional
conflict among the ruling Catholics and the Jews and Muslims. However,
Henry Kamen notes, "so-called convivencia was always a relationship
between unequals." Despite their legal inequality, there was a long
Jewish service to the crown of
Aragon and Jews occupied
many important posts, both religious and political. Castile itself had
an unofficial rabbi. Ferdinand's father John II named the Jewish
Abiathar Crescas to be Court Astronomer.
Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late 13th
century and throughout the 14th century. England and France expelled
Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively. At the same
time, during the Reconquista, Spain's anti-
Jewish sentiment steadily
increased. This prejudice climaxed in the summer of 1391 when violent
Jewish riots broke out in Spanish cities like Barcelona To
linguistically distinguish them from non-converted or long-established
Catholic families, new converts were called conversos, or New
According to Don Hasdai Crescas, persecution against Jews began in
Seville in 1391, on the 1st day of the lunar month Tammuz
(June). From there the violence spread to Córdoba, and by the 17th
day of the same lunar month, it had reached Toledo (called then by
Jews after its Arabic name "Ṭulayṭulah") in the region of
Castile. From there, the violence had spread to
Majorca and by the
1st day of the lunar month Elul it had also reached the Jews of
Barcelona in Catalonia, where the slain were estimated at two-hundred
and fifty. So, too, many Jews who resided in the neighboring provinces
of Lérida and Gironda and in the kingdom of València had been
affected, as were also the Jews of
whereas many died a martyr’s death, while others converted in order
to save themselves.
Encouraged by the preaching of Ferrand Martinez,
Archdeacon of Ecija,
the general unrest affected nearly all of the Jews in Spain, during
which time an estimated 200,000 Jews changed their religion or else
concealed their religion, becoming known in Hebrew as "Anūsim",
meaning, "those who are compelled [to hide their religion]." Only a
handful of the more principal persons of the
Jewish community managed
to escape, who had found refuge among the viceroys in the outlying
towns and districts.
Forced baptism was contrary to the law of the Catholic Church, and
theoretically anybody who had been forcibly baptized could legally
return to Judaism. Legal definitions of the time theoretically
acknowledged that a forced baptism was not a valid sacrament, but
confined this to cases where it was literally administered by physical
force: a person who had consented to baptism under threat of death or
serious injury was still regarded as a voluntary convert, and
accordingly forbidden to revert to Judaism. After the public
violence, many of the converted "felt it safer to remain in their new
religion." Thus, after 1391, a new social group appeared and were
referred to as conversos or New Christians. Many conversos, now freed
from the anti-Semitic restrictions imposed on
attained important positions in fifteenth century Spain, including
positions in the government and in the Church. Among many others,
Andrés Laguna and Francisco Lopez Villalobos (Ferdinand's
court physician), writers Juan del Enzina, Juan de Mena, Diego de
Valera and Alonso de Palencia, and bankers
Luis de Santangel
Luis de Santangel and
Gabriel Sanchez (who financed the voyage of Christopher Columbus) were
Conversos – not without opposition – managed to
attain high positions in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, at times
becoming severe detractors of Judaism. Some even received titles
of nobility, and as a result, during the following century some works
attempted to demonstrate that virtually all of the nobles of Spain
were descended from Israelites.
Activity of the Inquisition
Start of the Inquisition
Fray Alonso de Ojeda, a Dominican friar from Seville, convinced Queen
Isabella of the existence of
Crypto-Judaism among Andalusian conversos
during her stay in
Seville between 1477 and 1478. A report,
produced by Pedro González de Mendoza, Archbishop of Seville, and by
the Segovian Dominican Tomás de Torquemada, corroborated this
Ferdinand and Isabella
Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the
conversos returning to the practice of Judaism.
Pope Sixtus IV granted
a bull permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three
priests over forty years of age to act as inquisitors. In 1483,
Ferdinand and Isabella
Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer the
inquisition with the Dominican Friar
Tomás de Torquemada
Tomás de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General.
Thomas F. Madden
Thomas F. Madden describes the world that formed medieval politics:
Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or
oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Heresy was a crime against the state.
Roman law in the
Code of Justinian
Code of Justinian made it a capital offense. Rulers,
whose authority was believed to come from God, had no patience for
heretics". The monarchs decided to introduce the
Castile to discover and punish crypto-Jews, and requested the pope's
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon pressured
Pope Sixtus IV to agree to an
Inquisition controlled by the monarchy by threatening to withdraw
military support at a time when the Turks were a threat to Rome. The
pope issued a bull to stop the
Inquisition but was pressured into
withdrawing it. On 1 November 1478, Sixtus published the Papal bull,
Exigit Sinceras Devotionis Affectus, through which he gave the
monarchs exclusive authority to name the inquisitors in their
kingdoms. The first two inquisitors, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San
Martín, were not named, however, until two years later, on 27
September 1480 in Medina del Campo.
The first auto-da-fé was held in
Seville on 6 February 1481: six
people were burned alive. From there, the
Inquisition grew rapidly in
the Kingdom of Castile. By 1492, tribunals existed in eight Castilian
cities: Ávila, Córdoba, Jaén, Medina del Campo, Segovia, Sigüenza,
Toledo, and Valladolid. Sixtus IV promulgated a new bull categorically
prohibiting the Inquisition's extension to Aragón, affirming that:
many true and faithful Christians, because of the testimony of
enemies, rivals, slaves and other low people—and still less
appropriate—without tests of any kind, have been locked up in
secular prisons, tortured and condemned like relapsed heretics,
deprived of their goods and properties, and given over to the secular
arm to be executed, at great danger to their souls, giving a
pernicious example and causing scandal to many.
"In 1482 the pope was still trying to maintain control over the
Inquisition and to gain acceptance for his own attitude towards the
New Christians, which was generally more moderate than that of the
Inquisition and the local rulers."
In 1483, Jews were expelled from all of Andalusia. Though the pope
wanted to crack down on abuses, Ferdinand pressured him to promulgate
a new bull, threatening that he would otherwise separate the
Inquisition from Church authority. Sixtus did so on 17 October
Tomás de Torquemada
Tomás de Torquemada Inquisidor General of Aragón,
Valencia, and Catalonia.
Torquemada quickly established procedures for the Inquisition. A new
court would be announced with a thirty-day grace period for
confessions and the gathering of accusations by neighbors. Evidence
that was used to identify a crypto-Jew included the absence of chimney
smoke on Saturdays (a sign the family might secretly be honoring the
Sabbath) or the buying of many vegetables before Passover or the
purchase of meat from a converted butcher. The court employed physical
torture to extract confessions. Crypto-Jews were allowed to confess
and do penance, although those who relapsed were burned at the
Innocent VIII attempted to allow appeals to Rome against
the Inquisition, but Ferdinand in December 1484 and again in 1509
decreed death and confiscation for anyone trying to make use of such
procedures without royal permission. With this, the Inquisition
became the only institution that held authority across all the realms
Spanish monarchy and, in all of them, a useful mechanism at the
service of the crown. However, the cities of
resisting, and even saw revolt, as in
Teruel from 1484 to 1485.
However, the murder of Inquisidor
Pedro Arbués in
September 15, 1485, caused public opinion to turn against the
conversos and in favour of the Inquisition. In Aragón, the
Inquisitorial courts were focused specifically on members of the
powerful converso minority, ending their influence in the Aragonese
Inquisition was extremely active between 1480 and 1530. Different
sources give different estimates of the number of trials and
executions in this period;
Henry Kamen estimates about 2,000 executed,
based on the documentation of the autos-da-fé, the great majority
being conversos of
Jewish origin. He offers striking statistics: 91.6%
of those judged in Valencia between 1484 and 1530 and 99.3% of those
Barcelona between 1484 and 1505 were of
Expulsion of Jews and repression of conversos
Jews who refused to convert or leave Spain were called heretics and
could be burned to death on a stake
Inquisition had been established in part to prevent
conversos from engaging in
Jewish practices, which, as Christians,
they were supposed to have given up. However this remedy for securing
the orthodoxy of conversos was eventually deemed inadequate since the
main justification the monarchy gave for formally expelling all Jews
from Spain was the "great harm suffered by Christians (i.e.,
conversos) from the contact, intercourse and communication which they
have with the Jews, who always attempt in various ways to seduce
faithful Christians from our Holy Catholic Faith". The Alhambra
Decree, issued in January 1492, ordered the expulsion. Historic
accounts of the numbers of Jews who left Spain have been vastly
exaggerated by early accounts and historians:
Juan de Mariana
Juan de Mariana speaks
of 800,000 people, and
Don Isaac Abravanel
Don Isaac Abravanel of 300,000. Modern
estimates, based on careful examination of official documents and
population estimates of communities, are much lower: Henry Kamen
estimates that, of a population of approximately 80,000 Jews and
200,000 conversos, about 40,000 chose emigration. The Jews of the
kingdom of Castile emigrated mainly to Portugal (where the entire
community was forcibly converted in 1497) and to North Africa.
However, according to Kamen, the Jews of the kingdom of
Christian lands, mainly to Italy", rather than to Muslim
lands as is often assumed. Although the vast majority of conversos
simply assimilated into the Catholic dominant culture, a minority
continued to practice
Judaism in secret, gradually migrated throughout
Europe, North Africa, and the Ottoman Empire, mainly to areas where
Sephardic communities were already present as a result of the Alhambra
Tens of thousands of Jews were baptised in the three months before the
deadline for expulsion, some 40,000 if one accepts the totals given by
Kamen, most of these undoubtedly to avoid expulsion,
rather than as a sincere change of faith. These conversos were the
principal concern of the Inquisition; being suspected of continuing to
Judaism put them at risk of denunciation and trial.[citation
The most intense period of persecution of conversos lasted until 1530.
From 1531 to 1560, however, the percentage of conversos among the
Inquisition trials dropped to 3% of the total. There was a rebound of
persecutions when a group of crypto-Jews was discovered in Quintanar
de la Orden in 1588; and there was a rise in denunciations of
conversos in the last decade of the sixteenth century. At the
beginning of the seventeenth century, some conversos who had fled to
Portugal began to return to Spain, fleeing the persecution of the
Portuguese Inquisition, founded in 1536. This led to a rapid increase
in the trials of crypto-Jews, among them a number of important
financiers. In 1691, during a number of autos-da-fé in Majorca, 37
chuetas, or conversos of Majorca, were burned.
During the eighteenth century the number of conversos accused by the
Inquisition decreased significantly. Manuel Santiago Vivar, tried in
Córdoba in 1818, was the last person tried for being a
Repression of Moriscos
Inquisition searched for false converts from
Judaism among the
conversos, but also searched for false or relapsed converts among the
Moriscos, forced converts from Islam. In spite of myth, Kamen asserts
that very few Protestants were involved. Beginning with a decree
on February 14, 1502, Muslims in
Granada faced forcible conversion to
Christianity or expulsion. Muslims in the Crown of
obliged to convert by decree of Charles I in 1526, as most had been
forcibly baptized during the
Revolt of the Brotherhoods
Revolt of the Brotherhoods (1519–1523)
and these baptisms were declared to be valid. The War of the
Alpujarras (1568–71), a general Muslim/Morisco uprising in Granada,
ended in a forced dispersal of about half of the region's Moriscos
throughout Castile and
Andalusia as well as increased suspicions by
Spanish authorities against this community.
Moriscos were suspected of practising
Islam in secret, and the
jealousy with which they guarded the privacy of their domestic life
prevented the verification of this suspicion. Initially they were
not severely persecuted by the Inquisition, experiencing instead a
policy of evangelization without torture, a policy not followed
with those conversos who were suspected of being crypto-Jews. There
were various reasons for this. Most importantly, in the kingdoms of
Aragon a large number of the
Moriscos were under the
jurisdiction of the nobility, and persecution would have been viewed
as a frontal assault on the economic interests of this powerful social
class. Still, fears ran high among the population that the
Moriscos were traitorous, especially in Granada. The coast was
regularly raided by Barbary pirates backed by Spain's enemy the
Ottoman Empire, and the
Moriscos were suspected of aiding them.
In the second half of the century, late in the reign of Philip II,
conditions worsened between
Old Christians and Moriscos. The Morisco
Granada in 1568–1570 was harshly suppressed, and the
Inquisition intensified its attention on the Moriscos. From 1570
Morisco cases became predominant in the tribunals of Zaragoza,
Valencia and Granada; in the tribunal of Granada, between 1560 and
1571, 82% of those accused were Moriscos, who were a vast majority of
the Kingdom's population at the time. Still, according to Kamen,
Moriscos did not experience the same harshness as judaizing
conversos and Protestants, and the number of capital punishments was
In 1609, King Philip III, upon the advice of his financial adviser the
Duke of Lerma
Duke of Lerma and Archbishop of Valencia Juan de Ribera, decreed the
Expulsion of the Moriscos. Hundreds of thousands of
expelled, some of them probably sincere Christians. This was further
fueled by the religious intolerance of Archbishop Ribera who quoted
the Old Testament texts ordering the enemies of God to be slain
without mercy and setting forth the duties of kings to extirpate
them. The edict required: 'The
Moriscos to depart, under the pain
of death and confiscation, without trial or sentence... to take with
them no money, bullion, jewels or bills of exchange.... just what they
could carry.' Although initial estimates of the number expelled
such as those of Henri Lapeyre reach 300,000
Moriscos (or 4% of the
total Spanish population), the extent and severity of the expulsion in
much of Spain has been increasingly challenged by modern historians
such as Trevor J. Dadson. Nevertheless, the eastern region of
Valencia, where ethnic tensions were high, was particularly affected
by the expulsion, suffering economic collapse and depopulation of much
of its territory.
Of those permanently expelled, the majority finally settled in the
Maghreb or the Barbary coast. Those who avoided expulsion or who
managed to return were gradually absorbed by the dominant culture.
Inquisition pursued some trials against
Moriscos who remained or
returned after expulsion: according to Kamen, between 1615 and 1700,
Moriscos constituted only 9 percent of those judged by
the Inquisition. Upon the coronation of Philip IV in 1621, the new
king gave the order to desist from attempting to impose measures on
Moriscos and returnees. In September 1628 the Council of the
Inquisition ordered inquisitors in
Seville not to prosecute
Moriscos "unless they cause significant commotion."  The
last mass prosecution against
Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices
Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving
relatively light sentences. By the end of the 18th century, the
indigenous practice of
Islam is considered to have been effectively
extinguished in Spain.
Control of Protestants
The burning of a 16th-century Dutch Anabaptist, Anneken Hendriks, who
was charged with heresy
Despite much popular myth about the Spanish
Inquisition relating to
Protestants, it dealt with very few cases involving actual
Protestants, as there were so few in Spain. It should be noted
Inquisition of the Netherlands, is here not considered part
of the Spanish Inquisition.
Lutheran was a portmanteau accusation used
by the inquisition to act against all those who acted in a way that
was offensive to the church. The first of the trials against those
labeled by the
Inquisition as "Lutheran" were those against the sect
of mystics known as the "Alumbrados" of Guadalajara and Valladolid.
The trials were long and ended with prison sentences of differing
lengths, though none of the sect were executed. Nevertheless, the
subject of the "Alumbrados" put the
Inquisition on the trail of many
intellectuals and clerics who, interested in
Erasmian ideas, had
strayed from orthodoxy. This is striking because both Charles I and
Philip II were confessed admirers of Erasmus.
Such[clarification needed] was the case with the humanist Juan de
Valdés, who was forced to flee to Italy to escape the process
that had been begun against him, and the preacher, Juan de Ávila, who
spent close to a year in prison.
The first trials against
Lutheran groups, as such, took place between
1558 and 1562, at the beginning of the reign of Philip II, against two
communities of Protestants from the cities of
Valladolid and Seville,
numbering about 120. The trials signaled a notable intensification
of the Inquisition's activities. A number of autos-da-fé were held,
some of them presided over by members of the royal family, and around
100 executions took place. The autos-da-fé of the mid-century
virtually put an end to Spanish Protestantism, which was, throughout,
a small phenomenon to begin with.
After 1562, though the trials continued, the repression was much
reduced. According to Kamen, about 200
Spaniards were accused of being
Protestants in the last decades of the 16th century.
Most of them were in no sense Protestants ... Irreligious sentiments,
drunken mockery, anticlerical expressions, were all captiously
classified by the inquisitors (or by those who denounced the cases) as
"Lutheran." Disrespect to church images, and eating meat on forbidden
days, were taken as signs of heresy...
It is estimated that a dozen
Spaniards were burned alive.
A 1508 woodcut of the Inquisition
As one manifestation of the Counter-Reformation, the Spanish
Inquisition worked actively to impede the diffusion of heretical ideas
in Spain by producing "Indexes" of prohibited books. Such lists of
prohibited books were common in Europe a decade before the Inquisition
published its first. The first Index published in Spain in 1551 was,
in reality, a reprinting of the Index published by the University of
Leuven in 1550, with an appendix dedicated to Spanish texts.
Subsequent Indexes were published in 1559, 1583, 1612, 1632, and 1640.
The Indexes included an enormous number of books of all types, though
special attention was dedicated to religious works, and, particularly,
vernacular translations of the Bible.
Included in the Indices, at one point, were many of the great works of
Spanish literature. Also, a number of religious writers who are today
considered saints by the
Catholic Church saw their works appear in the
Indexes. At first, this might seem counter-intuitive or even
nonsensical—how were these Spanish authors published in the first
place if their texts were then prohibited by the
placed in the Index? The answer lies in the process of publication and
censorship in Early Modern Spain. Books in Early Modern Spain faced
prepublication licensing and approval (which could include
modification) by both secular and religious authorities. However, once
approved and published, the circulating text also faced the
possibility of post-hoc censorship by being denounced to the
Inquisition—sometimes decades later. Likewise, as Catholic theology
evolved, once-prohibited texts might be removed from the Index.
At first, inclusion in the Index meant total prohibition of a text;
however, this proved not only impractical and unworkable, but also
contrary to the goals of having a literate and well-educated clergy.
Works with one line of suspect dogma would be prohibited in their
entirety, despite the orthodoxy of the remainder of the text. In time,
a compromise solution was adopted in which trusted Inquisition
officials blotted out words, lines or whole passages of otherwise
acceptable texts, thus allowing these expurgated editions to
circulate. Although in theory the Indexes imposed enormous
restrictions on the diffusion of culture in Spain, some historians,
such as Henry Kamen, argue that such strict control was impossible in
practice and that there was much more liberty in this respect than is
often believed. And Irving Leonard has conclusively demonstrated that,
despite repeated royal prohibitions, romances of chivalry, such as
Amadis of Gaul, found their way to the New World with the blessing of
the Inquisition. Moreover, with the coming of the Age of Enlightenment
in the 18th century, increasing numbers of licenses to possess and
read prohibited texts were granted.
Inquisition Scene by Francisco Goya. The Spanish
Inquisition was still
in force in the late eighteenth century, but much reduced in power.
Despite repeated publication of the Indexes and a large bureaucracy of
censors, the activities of the
Inquisition did not impede the
development of Spanish literature's "Siglo de Oro", although almost
all of its major authors crossed paths with the Holy Office at one
point or another. Among the Spanish authors included in the Index are:
Bartolomé Torres Naharro, Juan del Enzina, Jorge de Montemayor, Juan
de Valdés and Lope de Vega, as well as the anonymous Lazarillo de
Tormes and the Cancionero General by Hernando del Castillo. La
Celestina, which was not included in the Indexes of the 16th century,
was expurgated in 1632 and prohibited in its entirety in 1790. Among
the non-Spanish authors prohibited were Ovid, Dante, Rabelais,
Ariosto, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Jean Bodin, Valentine Naibod and Thomas
More (known in Spain as Tomás Moro). One of the most outstanding and
best-known cases in which the
Inquisition directly confronted literary
activity is that of Fray Luis de León, noted humanist and religious
writer of converso origin, who was imprisoned for four years (from
1572 to 1576) for having translated the
Song of Songs
Song of Songs directly from
Some scholars state that one of the main effects of the inquisition
was to end free thought and scientific thought in Spain. As one
contemporary Spaniard in exile put it: "Our country is a land of ...
barbarism; down there one cannot produce any culture without being
suspected of heresy, error and Judaism. Thus silence was imposed on
the learned." For the next few centuries, while the
rest of Europe was slowly awakened by the influence of the
Enlightenment, Spain stagnated. However, this conclusion is
The censorship of books was actually very ineffective, and prohibited
books circulated in Spain without significant problems. The Spanish
Inquisition never persecuted scientists, and relatively few scientific
books were placed on the Index. On the other hand, Spain was a state
with more political freedom than in other absolute monarchies in the
16th to 18th centuries. The backwardness of Spain in economy and
science may not be attributable to the Inquisition.
Suppression of other heresies
The category "superstitions" includes trials related to witchcraft.
The witch-hunt in Spain had much less intensity than in other European
countries (particularly France, Scotland, and Germany). One remarkable
case was that of Logroño, in which the witches of
Navarre were persecuted. During the auto-da-fé that took place in
Logroño on November 7 and November 8, 1610, six people were burned
and another five burned in effigy. The role of the inquisition in
cases of witchcraft was much more restricted than is commonly
believed. Well after the foundation of the inquisition, jurisdiction
over sorcery and witchcraft remained in secular hands. In general
Inquisition maintained a skeptical attitude towards cases of
witchcraft, considering it as a mere superstition without any basis.
Alonso de Salazar Frías, who took the Edict of Faith to various parts
Navarre after the trials of Logroño, noted in his report to the
Suprema that, "There were neither witches nor bewitched in a village
until they were talked and written about".
Included under the rubric of heretical propositions were verbal
offences, from outright blasphemy to questionable statements regarding
religious beliefs, from issues of sexual morality to misbehaviour of
the clergy. Many were brought to trial for affirming that simple
fornication (sex between unmarried persons) was not a sin or for
putting in doubt different aspects of
Christian faith such as
Transubstantiation or the virginity of Mary. Also, members of the
clergy itself were occasionally accused of heretical propositions.
These offences rarely led to severe penalties.
Inquisition also pursued offences against morals, at times in open
conflict with the jurisdictions of civil tribunals.
In particular, there were trials for bigamy, a relatively frequent
offence in a society that only permitted divorce under the most
extreme circumstances. In the case of men, the penalty was five years
service as an oarsman in a royal galley (possibly a death
The first sodomite was burned by the
Inquisition in Valencia in 1572,
and those accused included 19% clergy, 6% nobles, 37% workers, 19%
servants, and 18% soldiers and sailors.
Nearly all of almost 500 cases of sodomy between persons concerned the
relationship between an older man and an adolescent, often by
coercion, with only a few cases where the couple were consenting
homosexual adults. About 100 of the total involved allegations of
child abuse. Adolescents were generally punished more leniently than
adults, but only when they were very young (under ca. 12 years) or
when the case clearly concerned rape did they have a chance to avoid
punishment altogether. As a rule, the
Inquisition condemned to death
only those sodomites over the age of 25 years. As about half of those
tried were under this age, it explains the relatively small percentage
of death sentences.
Papal ban of Freemasonry
Papal ban of Freemasonry and In eminenti
Catholic Church has regarded
Freemasonry as heretical since
about 1738; the suspicion of
Freemasonry was potentially a capital
Inquisition records reveal two prosecutions in Spain
and only a few more throughout the Spanish Empire. In 1815,
Francisco Javier de Mier y Campillo, the
Inquisitor General of the
Inquisition and the Bishop of Almería, suppressed Freemasonry
and denounced the lodges as "societies which lead to atheism, to
sedition and to all errors and crimes." He then instituted a purge
Spaniards could be arrested on the charge of being
"suspected of Freemasonry".
Beyond its role in religious affairs, the
Inquisition was also an
institution at the service of the monarchy. The Inquisitor General, in
charge of the Holy Office, was designated by the crown. The Inquisitor
General was the only public office whose authority stretched to all
the kingdoms of Spain (including the American viceroyalties), except
for a brief period (1507–1518) during which there were two
Inquisitors General, one in the kingdom of Castile, and the other in
Auto-da-fé, Plaza Mayor in Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru, 17th century
Inquisitor General presided over the Council of the Supreme and
Inquisition (generally abbreviated as "Council of the
Suprema"), created in 1483, which was made up of six members named
directly by the crown (the number of members of the Suprema varied
over the course of the Inquisition's history, but it was never more
than 10). Over time, the authority of the Suprema grew at the expense
of the power of the Inquisitor General.
The Suprema met every morning, except for holidays, and for two hours
in the afternoon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The morning
sessions were devoted to questions of faith, while the afternoons were
reserved for "minor heresies" cases of perceived unacceptable
sexual behavior, bigamy, witchcraft, etc.
Below the Suprema were the various tribunals of the Inquisition, which
were originally itinerant, installing themselves where they were
necessary to combat heresy, but later being established in fixed
locations. During the first phase numerous tribunals were established,
but the period after 1495 saw a marked tendency towards
In the kingdom of Castile, the following permanent tribunals of the
Inquisition were established:
Seville and in Córdoba.
1485 In Toledo and in Llerena.
Valladolid and in Murcia.
1489 In Cuenca.
Las Palmas (Canary Islands).
1512 In Logroño.
1526 In Granada.
1574 In Santiago de Compostela.
There were only four tribunals in the kingdom of Aragon:
Barcelona (1484), and
Majorca (1488). Ferdinand
the Catholic also established the Spanish
Inquisition in Sicily
(1513), housed in Palermo, and Sardinia, in the town of Sassari.
In the Americas, tribunals were established in
Lima and in
(1569) and, in 1610, in
Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena de Indias (present day Colombia).
Composition of the tribunals
Structure of the Spanish Inquisition
Initially, each of the tribunals included two inquisitors, a
calificador (qualifiers), an alguacil (bailiff), and a fiscal
(prosecutor); new positions were added as the institution matured. The
inquisitors were preferably jurists more than theologians; in 1608
Philip III even stipulated that all the inquisitors must have a
background in law. The inquisitors did not typically remain in the
position for a long time: for the Court of Valencia, for example, the
average tenure in the position was about two years. Most of the
inquisitors belonged to the secular clergy (priests who were not
members of religious orders) and had a university education.
The fiscal was in charge of presenting the accusation, investigating
the denunciations and interrogating the witnesses by the use of
physical and mental torture. The calificadores were generally
theologians; it fell to them to determine if the defendant's conduct
added up to a crime against the faith. Consultants were expert jurists
who advised the court in questions of procedure. The court had, in
addition, three secretaries: the notario de secuestros (Notary of
Property), who registered the goods of the accused at the moment of
his detention; the notario del secreto (Notary of the Secret), who
recorded the testimony of the defendant and the witnesses; and the
escribano general (General Notary), secretary of the court. The
alguacil was the executive arm of the court, responsible for
detaining, jailing, and physically torturing the defendant. Other
civil employees were the nuncio, ordered to spread official notices of
the court, and the alcaide, jailer in charge of feeding the prisoners.
In addition to the members of the court, two auxiliary figures existed
that collaborated with the Holy Office: the familiares and the
comissarios (commissioners). Familiares were lay collaborators of the
Inquisition, who had to be permanently at the service of the Holy
Office. To become a familiar was considered an honour, since it was a
public recognition of limpieza de sangre — Old
Christian status —
and brought with it certain additional privileges. Although many
nobles held the position, most of the familiares came from the ranks
of commoners. The commissioners, on the other hand, were members of
the religious orders who collaborated occasionally with the Holy
One of the most striking aspects of the organization of the
Inquisition was its form of financing: devoid of its own budget, the
Inquisition depended exclusively on the confiscation of the goods of
the denounced. It is not surprising, therefore, that many of those
prosecuted were rich men. That the situation was open to abuse is
evident, as stands out in the memorial that a converso from Toledo
directed to Charles I:
Your Majesty must provide, before all else, that the expenses of the
Holy Office do not come from the properties of the condemned, because
if that is the case, if they do not burn they do not eat.
Inquisition arrived in a city, the first step was the Edict
of Grace. Following the Sunday mass, the Inquisitor would proceed to
read the edict; it explained possible heresies and encouraged all the
congregation to come to the tribunals of the
Inquisition to "relieve
their consciences". They were called Edicts of Grace because all of
the self-incriminated who presented themselves within a period of
grace (usually ranging from thirty to forty days) were offered the
possibility of reconciliation with the Church without severe
punishment. The promise of benevolence was effective, and many
voluntarily presented themselves to the
Inquisition and were often
encouraged to denounce others who had also committed offenses,
informants being the Inquisition's primary source of information.
After about 1500, the Edicts of Grace were replaced by the Edicts of
Faith, which left out the grace period and instead encouraged the
denunciation of those guilty.
The denunciations were anonymous, and the defendants had no way of
knowing the identities of their accusers. This was one of the
points most criticized by those who opposed the
example, the Cortes of Castile, in 1518). In practice, false
denunciations were frequent. Denunciations were made for a variety of
reasons, from genuine concern, to rivalries and personal jealousies.
Diego Mateo López Zapata in his cell before his trial by the
Inquisition Court of Cuenca
After a denunciation, the case was examined by the calificadores, who
had to determine if there was heresy involved, followed by detention
of the accused. In practice, however, many were detained in preventive
custody, and many cases of lengthy incarcerations occurred, lasting up
to two years, before the calificadores examined the case.
Detention of the accused entailed the preventive sequestration of
their property by the Inquisition. The property of the prisoner was
used to pay for procedural expenses and the accused's own maintenance
and costs. Often the relatives of the defendant found themselves in
outright misery. This situation was remedied only following
instructions written in 1561.
The entire process was undertaken with the utmost secrecy, as much for
the public as for the accused, who were not informed about the
accusations that were levied against them. Months or even years could
pass without the accused being informed about why they were
imprisoned. The prisoners remained isolated, and, during this time,
the prisoners were not allowed to attend Mass nor receive the
sacraments. The jails of the
Inquisition were no worse than those of
secular authorities, and there are even certain testimonies that
occasionally they were much better.
The inquisitorial process consisted of a series of hearings, in which
both the denouncers and the defendant gave testimony. A defense
counsel was assigned to the defendant, a member of the tribunal
itself, whose role was simply to advise the defendant and to encourage
them to speak the truth. The prosecution was directed by the fiscal.
Interrogation of the defendant was done in the presence of the Notary
of the Secreto, who meticulously wrote down the words of the accused.
The archives of the Inquisition, in comparison to those of other
judicial systems of the era, are striking in the completeness of their
documentation. In order to defend themselves, the accused had two
possibilities: abonos (to find favourable witnesses, akin to
"substantive" evidence/testimony in Anglo-American law) or tachas (to
demonstrate that the witnesses of accusers were not trustworthy, akin
to Anglo-American "impeachment" evidence/testimony).
In order to interrogate the accused, the
Inquisition made use of
torture, but not in a systematic way. It was applied mainly against
those suspected of
Judaism and Protestantism, beginning in the 16th
century. For example, Lea estimates that between 1575 and 1610 the
court of Toledo tortured approximately a third of those processed for
heresy. In other periods, the proportions varied remarkably.
Torture was always a means to obtain the confession of the accused,
not a punishment itself.
Torture was also applied without distinction
of sex or age, including children and the aged.
Inquisition torture chamber. Mémoires Historiques (1716)
As with all European tribunals of the time, torture was
employed. The Spanish inquisition, however, engaged in it far
less often and with greater care than other courts. Historian
Henry Kamen contends that some "popular" accounts of the inquisition
(those that describe scenes of uncontrolled sadistic torture) are not
based in truth. Kamen argues that torture was only ever used to elicit
information or a confession, not for punitive reasons.
The inside of a jail of the Spanish Inquisition, with a priest
supervising his scribe while men and women are suspended from pulleys,
tortured on the rack or burnt with torches. Etching.
Inquisition was technically forbidden from permanently
harming or drawing blood, this still allowed several methods of
torture. The methods most used, and common in other secular and
ecclesiastical tribunals, were garrucha, toca and the potro. The
application of the garrucha, also known as the strappado, consisted of
suspending the victim from the ceiling by the wrists, which are tied
behind the back. Sometimes weights were tied to the ankles, with a
series of lifts and drops, during which the arms and legs suffered
violent pulls and were sometimes dislocated. The toca, also called
interrogatorio mejorado del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth
into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled
from a jar so that they had the impression of drowning. The potro,
the rack, in which the limbs were slowly pulled apart, was the
instrument of torture used most frequently.
The assertion that confessionem esse veram, non factam vi tormentorum
(literally: '[a person's] confession is truth, not made by way of
torture') sometimes follows a description of how, after torture had
ended, the subject freely confessed to the offenses. Thus
confessions following torture were deemed to be made of the
confessor's free will, and hence valid.
Once the process concluded, the inquisidores met with a representative
of the bishop and with the consultores, experts in theology or Canon
Law, which was called the consulta de fe. The case was voted and
sentence pronounced, which had to be unanimous. In case of
discrepancies, the Suprema had to be informed.
According to authorities within the Eastern Orthodox Church, there was
at least one casualty tortured by those "Jesuits" (though most likely,
Franciscans) who administered the Spanish
Inquisition in North
America: St. Peter the Aleut.
The results of the trial could be the following:
Although quite rare in actual practice, the defendant could be
acquitted. Inquisitors did not wish to terminate the proceedings. If
they did, and new evidence turned up later, they would be forced into
reopening and re-presenting the old evidence.
The trial could be suspended, in which case the defendant, although
under suspicion, went free (with the threat that the process could be
continued at any time) or was held in long-term imprisonment until a
trial commenced. When set free after a suspended trial it was
considered a form of acquittal without specifying that the accusation
had been erroneous.
The defendant could be penanced. Since they were considered guilty,
they had to publicly abjure their crimes (de levi if it was a
misdemeanor, and de vehementi if the crime were serious), and accept a
public punishment. Among these were sanbenito, exile, fines or even
sentencing to service as oarsmen in royal galleys.
The defendant could be reconciled. In addition to the public ceremony
in which the condemned was reconciled with the Catholic Church, more
severe punishments were used, among them long sentences to jail or the
galleys, plus the confiscation of all property. Physical punishments,
such as whipping, were also used.
The most serious punishment was relaxation to the secular arm for
burning at the stake. This penalty was frequently applied to
impenitent heretics and those who had relapsed. Execution was public.
If the condemned repented, they were shown mercy by being garroted
before burning; if not, they were burned alive.
Frequently, cases were judged in absentia, and when the accused died
before the trial finished, the condemned were burned in effigy.
The distribution of the punishments varied considerably over time. It
is believed that sentences of death were enforced in the first stages
within the long history of the Inquisition. According to García
Cárcel, the court of Valencia employed the death penalty in 40% of
the processings before 1530, but later that percentage dropped to
Main article: Auto-da-fé
Auto-da-fé, Plaza Mayor in Madrid, 1683
If the sentence was condemnatory, this implied that the condemned had
to participate in the ceremony of an auto de fe (more commonly known
in English as an auto-da-fé) that solemnized their return to the
Church (in most cases), or punishment as an impenitent heretic. The
autos-da-fé could be private (auto particular) or public (auto
publico or auto general).
Although initially the public autos did not have any special solemnity
nor sought a large attendance of spectators, with time they became
solemn ceremonies, celebrated with large public crowds, amidst a
festive atmosphere. The auto-da-fé eventually became a baroque
spectacle, with staging meticulously calculated to cause the greatest
effect among the spectators. The autos were conducted in a large
public space (frequently in the largest plaza of the city), generally
on holidays. The rituals related to the auto began the previous night
(the "procession of the Green Cross") and sometimes lasted the whole
day. The auto-da-fé frequently was taken to the canvas by painters:
one of the better-known examples is the painting by Francesco Rizzi
held by the
Prado Museum in
Madrid that represents the auto celebrated
in the Plaza Mayor of
Madrid on 30 June 1680. The last public
auto-da-fé took place in 1691.
The auto-da-fé involved a Catholic Mass, prayer, a public procession
of those found guilty, and a reading of their sentences. They took
place in public squares or esplanades and lasted several hours;
ecclesiastical and civil authorities attended. Artistic
representations of the auto-da-fé usually depict torture and the
burning at the stake. However, this type of activity never took place
during an auto-da-fé, which was in essence a religious act. Torture
was not administered after a trial concluded, and executions were
always held after and separate from the auto-da-fé, though in the
minds and experiences of observers and those undergoing the confession
and execution, the separation of the two might be experienced as
merely a technicality.
Execution of Mariana de Carabajal (converted Jew),
Mexico City, 1601
The first recorded auto-da-fé was held in Paris in 1242, during the
reign of Louis IX. The first Spanish auto-da-fé did not take
place until 1481 in Seville; six of the men and women subjected to
this first religious ritual were later executed. The
limited power in Portugal, having been established in 1536 and
officially lasting until 1821, although its influence was much
weakened with the government of the Marquis of Pombal in the second
half of the 18th century.
Autos-da-fé also took place in Mexico,
Brazil and Peru: contemporary historians of the Conquistadors such as
Bernal Díaz del Castillo record them. They also took place in the
Portuguese colony of Goa, India, following the establishment of
Inquisition there in 1562–1563.
The arrival of the Enlightenment in Spain slowed inquisitorial
activity. In the first half of the 18th century, 111 were condemned to
be burned in person, and 117 in effigy, most of them for judaizing. In
the reign of Philip V, there were 125 autos-da-fé, while in the
reigns of Charles III and Charles IV only 44.
During the 18th century, the
Inquisition changed: Enlightenment ideas
were the closest threat that had to be fought. The main figures of the
Spanish Enlightenment were in favour of the abolition of the
Inquisition, and many were processed by the Holy Office, among them
Olavide, in 1776; Iriarte, in 1779; and Jovellanos, in 1796;
Jovellanos sent a report to Charles IV in which he indicated the
inefficiency of the Inquisition's courts and the ignorance of those
who operated them: "friars who take [the position] only to obtain
gossip and exemption from choir; who are ignorant of foreign
languages, who only know a little scholastic theology".
In its new role, the
Inquisition tried to accentuate its function of
censoring publications but found that Charles III had secularized
censorship procedures, and, on many occasions, the authorization of
Council of Castile
Council of Castile hit the more intransigent position of the
Inquisition. Since the
Inquisition itself was an arm of the state,
being within the Council of Castile, civil rather than ecclesiastical
censorship usually prevailed. This loss of influence can also be
explained because the foreign Enlightenment texts entered the
peninsula through prominent members of the nobility or government,
influential people with whom it was very difficult to interfere. Thus,
Diderot's Encyclopedia entered Spain thanks to special
licenses granted by the king.
After the French Revolution, however, the Council of Castile, fearing
that revolutionary ideas would penetrate Spain's borders, decided to
reactivate the Holy Office that was directly charged with the
persecution of French works. An
Inquisition edict of December 1789,
that received the full approval of Charles IV and Floridablanca,
having news that several books have been scattered and promoted in
these kingdoms... that, without being contented with the simple
narration events of a seditious nature... seem to form a theoretical
and practical code of independence from the legitimate powers....
destroying in this way the political and social order... the reading
of thirty and nine French works is prohibited, under fine...
However, inquisitorial activity was impossible in the face of the
information avalanche that crossed the border; in 1792, "the multitude
of seditious papers... does not allow formalizing the files against
those who introduce them".
The fight from within against the
Inquisition was almost always
clandestine. The first texts that questioned the
praised the ideas of
Montesquieu appeared in 1759. After
the suspension of pre-publication censorship on the part of the
Council of Castile
Council of Castile in 1785, the newspaper
El Censor began the
publication of protests against the activities of the Holy Office by
means of a rationalist critique.
Valentin de Foronda published
Espíritu de los Mejores Diarios, a plea in favour of freedom of
expression that was avidly read in the salons. Also, in the same vein,
Manuel de Aguirre wrote On Toleration in El Censor, El Correo de los
Ciegos and El Diario de Madrid.
End of the Inquisition
The Peruvian Inquisition, based in Lima, ended in 1820.
During the reign of
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV of Spain (1788–1808), in spite of the
fears that the
French Revolution provoked, several events accelerated
the decline of the Inquisition. The state stopped being a mere social
organizer and began to worry about the well-being of the public. As a
result, the land-holding power of the Church was reconsidered, in the
señoríos and more generally in the accumulated wealth that had
prevented social progress. The power of the throne increased,
under which Enlightenment thinkers found better protection for their
Manuel Godoy and
Antonio Alcalá Galiano
Antonio Alcalá Galiano were openly hostile to
an institution whose only role had been reduced to censorship and was
the very embodiment of the Spanish Black Legend, internationally, and
was not suitable to the political interests of the moment:
The Inquisition? Its old power no longer exists: the horrible
authority that this bloodthirsty court had exerted in other times was
reduced... the Holy Office had come to be a species of commission for
book censorship, nothing more...
Inquisition was first abolished during the domination of Napoleon
and the reign of
Joseph Bonaparte (1808–1812). In 1813, the liberal
deputies of the
Cortes of Cádiz
Cortes of Cádiz also obtained its abolition,
largely as a result of the Holy Office's condemnation of the popular
revolt against French invasion. But the
Inquisition was reconstituted
when Ferdinand VII recovered the throne on 1 July 1814. Juan Antonio
Llorente, who had been the Inquisition's general secretary in 1789,
became a Bonapartist and published a critical history in 1817 from his
French exile, based on his privileged access to its archives.
Possibly as a result of Llorente's criticisms, the
once again temporarily abolished during the three-year Liberal
interlude known as the Trienio liberal, but still the old system had
not yet had its last gasp. Later, during the period known as the
Ominous Decade, the
Inquisition was not formally re-established,
although, de facto, it returned under the so-called Congregation of
the Meetings of Faith, tolerated in the dioceses by King Ferdinand. On
26 July 1826 the "Meetings of Faith" Congregation condemned and
executed the school teacher Cayetano Ripoll, who thus became the last
person known to be executed by the Inquisition.
On that day, Ripoll was hanged in Valencia, for having taught deist
principles. This execution occurred against the backdrop of a
European-wide scandal concerning the despotic attitudes still
prevailing in Spain. Finally, on 15 July 1834, the Spanish Inquisition
was definitively abolished by a Royal Decree signed by regent Maria
Christina of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand VII's liberal widow, during
the minority of Isabella II and with the approval of the President of
the Cabinet Francisco Martínez de la Rosa. (It is possible that
something similar to the
Inquisition acted during the 1833–1839
First Carlist War, in the zones dominated by the Carlists, since one
of the government measures praised by Conde de Molina Carlos Maria
Isidro de Borbon was the re-implementation of the
protect the Church). During the Carlist Wars it was the conservatives
who fought the liberals who wanted to reduce the Church's power,
amongst other reforms to liberalize the economy. It can be added that
Franco during the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War is alleged to have stated that he
would attempt to reintroduce it, possibly as a sop to Vatican approval
of his coup.
Alhambra Decree that had expelled the Jews was formally rescinded
on 16 December 1968.
It is unknown exactly how much wealth was confiscated from converted
Jews and others tried by the Inquisition. Wealth confiscated in one
year of persecution in the small town of Guadaloupe paid the costs of
building a royal residence. There are numerous records of the
opinion of ordinary
Spaniards of the time that "the
devised simply to rob people". "They were burnt only for the money
they had", a resident of Cuenca averred. "They burn only the
well-off", said another. In 1504 an accused stated, "only the rich
were burnt". In 1484 Catalina de Zamora was accused of asserting that
Inquisition that the fathers are carrying out is as much for
taking property from the conversos as for defending the faith. It is
the goods that are the heretics." This saying passed into common usage
in Spain. In 1524 a treasurer informed Charles V that his predecessor
had received ten million ducats from the conversos, but the figure is
unverified. In 1592 an inquisitor admitted that most of the fifty
women he arrested were rich. In 1676, the Suprema claimed it had
confiscated over 700,000 ducats for the royal treasury (which was paid
money only after the Inquisition's own budget, amounting in one known
case to only 5%). The property on Mallorca alone in 1678 was worth
"well over 2,500,000 ducats".
Contemporary illustration of the auto-da-fé of Valladolid, in which
fourteen Protestants were burned at the stake for their faith, on May
García Cárcel estimates that the total number prosecuted by the
Inquisition throughout its history was approximately 150,000; applying
the percentages of executions that appeared in the trials of
1560–1700—about 2%—the approximate total would be about 3,000
put to death. Nevertheless, it is likely that the toll was higher,
keeping in mind the data provided by Dedieu and García Cárcel for
the tribunals of Toledo and Valencia, respectively. It is likely that
between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed. This is significantly lower
than the number of people executed for witchcraft in Europe during
about the same time span as the
Inquisition (estimated at c.
Modern historians have begun to study the documentary records of the
Inquisition. The archives of the Suprema, today held by the National
Historical Archive of Spain (Archivo Histórico Nacional), conserves
the annual relations of all processes between 1540 and 1700. This
material provides information for approximately 44,674 judgments, the
latter studied by Gustav Henningsen and Jaime Contreras. These 44,674
cases include 826 executions in persona and 778 in effigie (i.e. an
effigy was burned). This material, however, is far from being
complete—for example, the tribunal of Cuenca is entirely omitted,
because no relaciones de causas from this tribunal have been found,
and significant gaps concern some other tribunals (e.g., Valladolid).
Many more cases not reported to the Suprema are known from the other
sources (i.e., no relaciones de causas from Cuenca have been found,
but its original records have been preserved), but were not included
in Contreras-Henningsen's statistics for the methodological
reasons. William Monter estimates 1000 executions between 1530
and 1630 and 250 between 1630 and 1730.
The archives of the Suprema only provide information about the
processes which took place prior to 1560. To study the processes
themselves, it is necessary to examine the archives of the local
tribunals; however, the majority have been lost to the devastation of
war, the ravages of time or other events.
Jean-Pierre Dedieu has
studied those of Toledo, where 12,000 were judged for offences related
to heresy. Ricardo García Cárcel has analyzed those of the
tribunal of Valencia. These authors' investigations find that the
Inquisition was most active in the period between 1480 and 1530, and
that during this period the percentage condemned to death was much
more significant than in the years studied by Henningsen and
Henry Kamen gives the number of about 2,000 executions in
persona in the whole of Spain up to 1530.
Henningsen-Contreras statistics for the period 1540–1700
The statistics of Henningsen and Contreras, based entirely on
relaciones de causas, are the following:
Number of years with preserved relaciones de causas from the period
Number of cases reported in the preserved relaciones de causas
Executions in persona reported in the preserved relaciones de
Executions in effigie reported in the preserved relaciones de
Cartagena (established 1610)
Lima (established 1570)
Mexico (established 1570)
Aragonese Secretariat (total)
Galicia (established 1560)
Toledo (incl. Madrid)
Castilian Secretariat (total)
The actual numbers, as far as they can be reconstructed from the
available sources, are following:
Estimated number of all trials in the period 1540–1700
The number of executions in persona in the period 1540–1700
At least 8
At least 93
Cartagena (established 1610)
At least 3
Lima (established 1570)
Mexico (established 1570)
Aragonese Secretariat (total)
At least 665
At least 27
At least 34
Galicia (established 1560)
At least 72
At least 47
At least 190
At least 128
Toledo (incl. Madrid)
At least 66
At least 54
Castilian Secretariat (total)
At least 638
At least 1303
Autos da fe between 1701 and 1746
Table of sentences pronounced in the public autos da fe in Spain
(excluding tribunals in Sicily,
Sardinia and Latin America) between
1701 and 1746:
Number of autos da fe
Executions in persona
Executions in effigie
Palma de Mallorca
Santiago de Compostela
Abuse of power
Author Toby Green notes that the great unchecked power given to
inquisitors meant that they were "widely seen as above the law"
and sometimes had motives for imprisoning and sometimes executing
alleged offenders other than for the purpose of punishing religious
nonconformity. Among the "litany of complaints" against Juan de
Mañozca—who was one of the first inquisitors of Cartagena, Colombia
in 1609 and made chief inquisitor of
Mexico in 1643—was that he
"made a habit of hauling market traders before [him and a colleague]
and seizing whatever took their fancy, throwing them into the
inquisitorial jail if they did not comply." When a butcher
in a house next door to Mañozca's disturbed him by killing a pig,
Mañozca had the butcher's butler and servants arrested and interned
in the inquisitorial jail.
Green quotes a complaint by historian Manuel Barrios about one
Inquisitor, Diego Rodriguez Lucero, who in Cordoba in 1506 burned to
death the husbands of two different women he then kept as mistresses.
According to Barrios,
the daughter of Diego Celemin was exceptionally beautiful, her parents
and her husband did not want to give her to [Lucero], and so Lucero
had the three of them burnt and now has a child by her, and he has
kept for a long time in the alcazar as a mistress.
How historians and commentators have viewed the Spanish Inquisition
has changed over time, and continues to be a source of controversy.
Before and during the 19th century historical interest focused on who
was being persecuted. In the early and mid 20th century historians
examined the specifics of what happened and how it influenced Spanish
history. In the later 20th and 21st century, historians have
re-examined how severe the
Inquisition really was, calling into
question some of the conclusions made earlier in the 20th century. The
"Black Legend", a term associated with scholar Julian Juderias,
developed significantly, in his view, from the approach of considering
the Inquisition's persecutions.
19th to early 20th century scholarship
Before the rise of professional historians in the 19th century, the
Inquisition had largely been studied and portrayed by
Protestant scholars who saw it as the archetypal symbol of Catholic
intolerance and ecclesiastical power. The Spanish
them was largely associated with the persecution of Protestants.
The 19th-century professional historians, including the Spanish
scholar Amador de los Rios, were the first to challenge this
perception and look seriously at the role of Jews and Muslims.
At the start of the 20th century
Henry Charles Lea
Henry Charles Lea published the
groundbreaking History of the
Inquisition in Spain. This influential
work describes the Spanish
Inquisition as "an engine of immense power,
constantly applied for the furtherance of obscurantism, the repression
of thought, the exclusion of foreign ideas and the obstruction of
progress." Lea documented the Inquisition's methods and modes of
operation in no uncertain terms, calling it "theocratic absolutism" at
its worst. In the context of the polarization between Protestants
and Catholics during the second half of the 19th century, some of
Lea's contemporaries, as well as most modern scholars thought Lea's
work had an anti-Catholic bias. William H. Prescott, the
Boston historian, likened the
Inquisition to an "eye that never
Starting in the 1920s,
Jewish scholars picked up where Lea's work left
off. They published Yitzhak Baer's History of the Jews in
Christian Spain, Cecil Roth's History of the Marranos and, after World
War II, the work of Haim Beinart, who for the first time published
trial transcripts of cases involving conversos.
Revision after 1960
Main article: Historical revision of the Inquisition
One of the first books to challenge the classical view was The Spanish
Inquisition (1965) by Henry Kamen. Kamen argued that the Inquisition
was not nearly as cruel or as powerful as commonly believed. The book
was very influential and largely responsible for subsequent studies in
the 1970s to try to quantify (from archival records) the Inquisition's
activities from 1480 to 1834. Those studies showed there was an
initial burst of activity against conversos suspected of relapsing
into Judaism, and a mid-
16th century pursuit of Protestants, but the
Inquisition served principally as a forum
Spaniards occasionally used
to humiliate and punish people they did not like: blasphemers,
bigamists, foreigners and, in Aragon, homosexuals and horse
smugglers. Kamen went on to publish two more books in 1985 and
2006 that incorporated new findings, further supporting the view that
Inquisition was not as bad as once described by Lea and others.
Along similar lines is Edward Peters's
One of the most important works in challenging traditional views of
Inquisition as it related to the
Jewish conversos or New
Christians is The Origins of the
Inquisition in Fifteenth Century
Spain (1995/2002) by Benzion Netanyahu. It challenges the view that
most conversos were actually practicing
Judaism in secret and were
persecuted for their crypto-Judaism. Rather, according to Netanyahu,
the persecution was fundamentally racial, and was a matter of envy of
their success in Spanish society.
Challenging some of the claims of revisionist historians is Toby Green
in Inquisition, the Reign of Fear, who calls the claim by revisionists
that torture was only rarely applied by inquisitors, a "worrying error
Thomas F. Madden
Thomas F. Madden has written about popular myths of the
In popular culture
Tribunal as illustrated by Francisco de Goya
The literature of the 18th century approaches the theme of the
Inquisition from a critical point of view. In
Candide by Voltaire, the
Inquisition appears as the epitome of intolerance and arbitrary
justice in Europe.
During the Romantic Period, the Gothic novel, which was primarily a
genre developed in Protestant countries, frequently associated
Catholicism with terror and repression. This vision of the Spanish
Inquisition appears in, among other works,
The Monk (1796) by Matthew
Gregory Lewis (set in
Madrid during the Inquisition, but can be seen
as commenting on the
French Revolution and the Terror); Melmoth the
Wanderer (1820) by
Charles Robert Maturin
Charles Robert Maturin and The Manuscript Found in
Saragossa by Polish author Jan Potocki.
Literature of the 19th century tends to focus on the element of
torture employed by the Inquisition. In France, in the early 19th
century, the epistolary novel Cornelia Bororquia, or the Victim of the
Inquisition, which has been attributed to Spaniard Luiz Gutiérrez,
and is based on the case of María de Bohórquez, ferociously
Inquisition and its representatives. The Inquisition
also appears in one of the chapters of the novel The Brothers
Karamazov (1880) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which imagines an encounter
Jesus and the Inquisitor General. One of the best known
stories of Edgar Allan Poe, "The Pit and the Pendulum", explores along
the same lines the use of torture by the Inquisition.
There was no remedy, from Los Caprichos, 1797–98, by Francisco de
Inquisition also appears in 20th-century literature. La Gesta del
Marrano, by the Argentine author Marcos Aguinis, portrays the length
of the Inquisition's arm to reach people in Argentina during the 16th
and 17th centuries. The
Marvel Comics series
Marvel 1602 shows the
Inquisition targeting Mutants for "blasphemy". The character Magneto
also appears as the Grand Inquisitor. The
Captain Alatriste novels by
the Spanish writer
Arturo Pérez-Reverte are set in the early 17th
century. The second novel, Purity of Blood, has the narrator being
tortured by the
Inquisition and describes an auto-da-fé. Carme
Riera's novella, published in 1994, Dins el Darrer Blau (In the Last
Blue) is set during the repression of the chuetas (conversos from
Majorca) at the end of the 17th century. In 1998, the Spanish writer
Miguel Delibes published the historical novel The Heretic, about the
Valladolid and their repression by the Inquisition.
Captain from Castile
Captain from Castile deals directly with the
Inquisition during the first part of the novel.
In the novel La Catedral del Mar by Ildefonso Falcones, published in
2006 and taken place in 14th century, there are scenes of inquisition
investigations in small towns and a great scene in Barcelona.
The 1947 epic
Captain from Castile
Captain from Castile by Darryl F. Zanuck, starring
Tyrone Power, uses the
Inquisition as the major plot point of the
film. It tells how powerful families used its evils to ruin their
rivals. The first part of the film shows this and the reach of the
Inquisition reoccurs throughout this movie following Pedro De Vargas
(played by Power) even to the 'New World'.
In both the stage (1965) and film (1972) versions of the musical play
Man of La Mancha,
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes is arrested by the Spanish
Inquisition and thrown into a dungeon, in which he and the other
prisoners perform the story of Don Quixote. At the end of the musical,
he and his manservant are escorted by the
Inquisition to their trial.
Inquisition segment of the 1981
Mel Brooks movie The
History of the World Part 1 is a comedic musical performance based on
the activities of the first
Inquisitor General of Spain, Tomás de
The Fountain (2006), by Darren Aronofsky, features the
Inquisition as part of a plot in 1500 when the Grand
Inquisitor threatens Queen Isabella's life.
Goya's Ghosts (2006) by
Miloš Forman is set in Spain between 1792 and
1809 and focuses realistically on the role of the
Inquisition and its
end under Napoleon's rule.
The film Assassin's Creed (2016) by Justin Kurzel, starring Michael
Fassbender, is set in both modern times and Spain during the
Inquisition. The film follows Callum Lynch (played by Fassbender) as
he is forced to relive the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nehra
(also played by Fassbender), an Assassin during the Spanish
Theatre, music, television, and video games
Grand Inquisitor of Spain plays a part in
Don Carlos (1867), a
Friedrich Schiller (which was the basis for the opera in five
acts by Giuseppe Verdi, in which the Inquisitor is also featured, and
the third act is dedicated to an auto-da-fé).
Monty Python comedy team's Spanish
Inquisition sketches, an
inept Inquisitor group repeatedly bursts into scenes after someone
utters the words "I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition",
screaming "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" The Inquisition
then uses ineffectual forms of torture, including a dish-drying rack,
soft cushions and a comfy chair.
Inquisition features as a main plot line element of the
2009 video game Assassin's Creed II: Discovery.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Inquisition in Portuguese Goa
History of the Jews in Spain
Holy Child of La Guardia
Mexican Inquisition in New Spain
Inquisition of the Netherlands in the Spanish Netherlands
Persecution of Christians
Persecution of Muslims
Inquisition in the Viceroyalty of Peru
^ a b Hans-Jürgen Prien (21 November 2012). Christianity in Latin
America: Revised and Expanded Edition. BRILL. p. 11.
^ Henry Kamen: The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision. 1999
^ Smith, Damian J., Crusade,
Inquisition in the Lands of
the Crown of Aragon, Brill, 2010 ISBN 9789004182899
^ Kamen (1998), p. 4
^ Peters 1988, p. 79.
^ Peters 1988, p. 82.
^ a b Letter of Hasdai Crescas, Shevaṭ Yehudah by Solomon ibn Verga
(ed. Dr. M. Wiener), Hannover 1855, pp. 128 – 130, or pp. 138 - 140
in PDF; Fritz Kobler, Letters of the Jews through the Ages, London
1952, pp. 272–75; Mitre Fernández, Emilio (1994). Secretariado de
Publicaciones e Intercambio Editorial, ed. Los judíos de Castilla en
tiempo de Enrique III : el pogrom de 1391 [The Castilian Jews at
the time of Henry III: the 1391 pogrom] (in Spanish). Valladolid
University. ISBN 84-7762-449-6. ; Solomon ibn Verga,
Shevaṭ Yehudah (The Sceptre of Judah), Lvov 1846, p. 76 in PDF.
^ Letter from
Hasdai Crescas to the congregations of Avignon,
published as an appendix to Wiener's edition of Shevaṭ Yehudah of
Solomon ibn Verga, in which he names the
Jewish communities affected
by the persecution of 1391. See pages 138 – 140 in PDF (Hebrew);
Fritz Kobler, Letters of the Jews through the Ages,
London 1952, pp.
^ Solomon ibn Verga, Shevaṭ Yehudah (The Sceptre of Judah), Lvov
1846, pp. 41 (end) – 42 in PDF); Kamen (1998), p. 17. Kamen
cites approximate numbers for Valencia (250) and
Barcelona (400), but
no solid data about Córdoba.
^ According to Gedaliah Ibn Yechia, these disturbances were caused by
a malicious report spread about the Jews. See: Gedaliah Ibn Yechia,
Shalshelet Ha-Kabbalah Jerusalem 1962, p. רסח, in PDF p. 277 (top)
(Hebrew); Solomon ibn Verga, Shevat Yehudah, Lvov 1846 (p. 76 in PDF)
^ Abraham Zacuto, Sefer Yuchasin,
Cracow 1580 (q.v. Sefer Yuchasin, p.
266 in PDF) (Hebrew).
^ Raymond of Peñafort, Summa, lib. 1 p.33, citing D.45 c.5.
^ Kamen (1998), p. 10
^ Notably Bishop Pablo de Santa Maria, author of Scrutinium
Jeronimo de Santa Fe (Hebraomastix) and Pedro de la
Caballeria (Zelus Christi contra Judaeos). All three were conversos.
(Kamen (1998), p. 39).
^ Notably the Libro verde de
Aragon and Tizón de la nobleza de
España (cited in Kamen (1998), p. 38).
^ The terms converso and crypto-Jew are somewhat vexed, and
occasionally historians are not clear on how, precisely, they are
intended to be understood. For the purpose of clarity, in this article
converso will be taken to mean one who has sincerely renounced Judaism
Islam and embraced Catholicism. Crypto-Jew will be taken to mean
one who accepts
Christian baptism, yet continues to practice Judaism.
^ Peters 1988, p. 85.
^ Peters 1988, p. 89.
^ Thomas Madden: The Real Inquisition.
National Review 2004
^ Cited in Kamen (1998), p. 49
^ Ben-Sasson, H.H., editor. 1976. p. 588.
^ Kamen (1998), pp. 49–50
^ Archbishop Arnold H. Mathew, The Life and Times of Rodrigo Borgia,
p. 52-53. Quote: "Isabella's Confessor, Torquemada, had imbued her
with the idea that the suppression of all heresy within her realms was
a sacred duty. She had, therefore, in November 1478, obtained a bull
from the Pope, Sixtus IV., for the establishment of the
Castile. Many modern writers have sought to reduce her share in the
introduction of this terrible institution, but it must be remembered
that Isabella herself probably considered it a meritorious action to
punish with inhuman barbarity those whom she looked upon as the
enemies of the Almighty. In 1480, two Dominicans were appointed by
her, as Inquisitors, to set up their tribunal at Seville. Before the
end of the year 1481, 2,000 victims were burned alive in Andalusia
Pope himself became alarmed and threatened to withdraw the
bull, but Ferdinand intimated that he would make the Inquisition
altogether an independent tribunal. This it became later for all
practical purposes, and its iniquitous proceedings continued
^ Ben-Sasson, H.H., editor. A History of the
Jewish People. Harvard
University Press, 1976, pp. 588-590.
^ Kamen (1998), p. 157
^ Kamen (1998), p. 60
^ quoted in Kamen (1998), p. 20
^ Kamen (1998), pp. 29–31
^ Kamen (1998), p. 24
^ Murphy, Cullen (2012). God's jury : the
Inquisition and the
making of the modern world. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
p. 75. ISBN 978-0-618-09156-0.
^ Kamen (2014), p. 369
^ Kamen (2014), p. 370
^ Henry Kamen. 2014 p 100
^ S.P. Scott: History, Vol II, p. 259.
^ Simplified: Many
Moors were "converted" rudely, baptized by force
with a wet broom, without religious instruction or record keeping.
Absent records, the
Inquisition decreed that all
Moors were to be
regarded as baptized and thus were
Moriscos subject to the
Inquisition. Secular authorities then decreed (in 1526) that 40 years
of religious instruction would precede any prosecution. Fifty Moriscos
were burnt at the stake before the Crown clarified its position.
Neither the Church nor the
Moriscos utilized the years well. The
Moriscos can be stereotyped as poor, rural, uneducated agricultural
workers who spoke Arabic. The Church had limited willingness or
ability to educate this now-hostile group.Green (2007),
^ Kamen (1998), p. 222
^ Kamen (1998), p. 217
^ Kamen (1998), p. 225
^ Lea (1901), p. 308
^ Lea (1901), p. 345
^ Trevor J. Dadson: The Assimilation of Spain's Moriscos: Fiction or
Reality?. Journal of Levantine Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, Winter 2011,
^ Boase, Roger (4 April 2002). "The Muslim Expulsion from Spain".
History Today. 52 (4). The majority of those permanently expelled
settling in the
Maghreb or Barbary Coast, especially in Oran, Tunis,
Tlemcen, Tetuán, Rabat and Salé. Many travelled overland to France,
but after the assassination of Henry of
Navarre by Ravaillac in May
1610, they were forced to emigrate to Italy,
^ Adams, Susan M.; Bosch, Elena; Balaresque, Patricia L.; Ballereau,
Stéphane J.; Lee, Andrew C.; Arroyo, Eduardo; López-Parra, Ana M.;
Aler, Mercedes; Grifo, Marina S. Gisbert; Brion, Maria; Carracedo,
Angel; Lavinha, João; Martínez-Jarreta, Begoña; Quintana-Murci,
Lluis; Picornell, Antònia; Ramon, Misericordia; Skorecki, Karl;
Behar, Doron M.; Calafell, Francesc; Jobling, Mark A. (December 2008).
"The Genetic Legacy of Religious Diversity and Intolerance: Paternal
Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula".
The American Journal of Human Genetics. 83 (6): 725–736.
doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2008.11.007. PMC 2668061 .
^ Michel Boeglin: La expulsión de los moriscos de Andalucía y sus
límites. El caso de Sevilla (1610-1613) (In Spanish)
^ Vínculos Historia: The
Moriscos who remained. The permanence of
Islamic origin population in Early Modern Spain: Kingdom of Granada,
XVII-XVIII centuries (In Spanish)
^ Kamen (2014), p. 100
^ Kamen (2014), p. 94
^ Kamen (2014), p. 126
^ Kamen (2014), p. 98
^ Kamen (2014), p. 97
^ These trials, specifically those of Valladolid, form the basis of
the plot of The Heretic: A novel of the
Inquisition by Miguel Delibes
^ Kamen (1998), p. 99 gives the figure of about 100 executions
for heresy of any kind between 1559 and 1566. He compares these
figures with those condemned to death in other European countries
during the same period, concluding that in similar periods England,
under Mary Tudor, executed about twice as many for heresy: in France,
three times the number, and ten times as many in the Low Countries.
^ Kamen (2014), pp. 102-108
^ Kamen (1998), p. 98
^ Kamen (1998), pp. 99–100
^ Johnson, Paul, A History of Christianity, Penguin,
^ Kamen (2005), pp. 126–130
^ These trials are the theme of the film Akelarre, by the Spanish
director Pedro Olea.
^ Henry Kamen: The Spanish
Inquisition A Historical Revision. 1999
^ Cited in Henningsen, Gustav, ed. The Salazar Documents: Inquisitor
Alonso de Salazar Frías and Others on the Basque Witch Persecution.
Vol 21, Cultures, Beliefs, and Traditions: Medieval and Early Modern
Peoples. Boston: Koninklijke Brill, 2004. Second Report of Salazar to
Inquisitor General (Logroño, 24 March 1612): An account of the
whole visitation and publication of the Edict with special reference
to the witches' sect, 352.
^ Green (2007), pp. 223-224
^ Green (2007), p. 296
^ Green (2007), p. 298 Five to seven years in Portugal.
^ Statistics are not available for Spanish oarsmen, but the general
state of Mediterranean oared galleys circa 1570 was grim. "... galley
slaves led lives bitter and short." "One way or another the oared
galley consumed men like fuel. Each dying wretch dumped overboard had
to be replaced - and there were never enough."Crowley, Roger (2009).
Empires of the sea : the siege of Malta, the battle of Lepanto,
and the contest for the center of the world. New York: Random House
Trade Paperbacks. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-0-8129-77646.
^ Kamen (1998), p. 259
^ Monter, Frontiers of Heresy, pp. 276-299.
^ Green (2007), p. 320
^ a b William R. Denslow, Harry S. Truman: 10,000 Famous Freemasons,
^ Henningsen, Gustav: The Spanish
Inquisition and the Inquisitorial
Mind, p. 220.
^ García Cárcel (1976), p. 21
^ Kamen (1998), p. 141
^ In Sicily, the
Inquisition functioned until 30 March 1782, when it
was abolished by King Ferdinand IV of Naples. It is estimated that 200
people were executed during this period.
^ García Cárcel (1976), p. 24
^ Cited in Kamen (1998), p. 151
^ Kamen (1998), p. 57
^ Kamen (1998), p. 174
^ Though over the course of the trial, their identities likely became
^ "In the tribunal of Valladolid, in 1699, various suspects (including
a girl of 9 and a boy of 14) were jailed for up to two years with
having had the least evaluation of the accusations presented against
them" (Kamen (1998), p. 180).
^ Walsh, Thomas William, Characters of the Inquisition, P.J. Kennedy
& Sons, 1940, p. 163.
^ H. C. Lea, III, p. 33, Cited in Kamen (1998), p. 185. García
Cárcel (1976), p. 43 finds the same statistics.
^ a b Haliczer, Stephen,
Inquisition and society in the kingdom of
Valencia, 1478-1834, p. 79, University of California Press, 1990
^ a b c Kamen (1998), p. 190
^ by Peters, Edward, Inquisition, Dissent, Heterodoxy and the Medieval
Inquisitional Office, pp. 92-93, University of California Press
(1989), ISBN 0-520-06630-8.
^ Kamen (1998), p. 189
^ Sabatini, Rafael, Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition: A History,
p. 190, Kessinger Publishing (2003), ISBN 0-7661-3161-0.
^ Scott, George Ryley, The History of
Torture Throughout the Ages, p.
172, Columbia University Press (2003) ISBN 0-7103-0837-X.
^ Carrol. James, Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A
History, p. 356, Houghton Mifflin Books (2002),
^ Peters, Edward, Inquisition, Dissent, Heterodoxy and the Medieval
Inquisitional Office, p. 65, University of California Press (1989),
^ García Cárcel (1976), p. 39
^ Peters 1988: 93-94
^ Kamen (1998), pp. 192–213
^ Stavans 2005:xxxiv.
^ Cited in Elorza, La Inquisición y el pensamiento ilustrado.
Historia 16. Especial 10º Aniversario La Inquisición; p. 81.
^ Members of the government and the Council of Castile, as well as
other members close to the court, obtained special authorization for
books purchased in France, the
Low Countries or Germany to cross the
border without inspection by members of the Holy Office. This practice
grew beginning with the reign of Charles III.
^ Elorza, La Inquisición y el pensamiento ilustrado. p. 84.
^ The argument presented in the periodicals and other works
circulating in Spain were virtually exact copies of the reflections of
Montesquieu or Rousseau, translated into Spanish.
^ Church properties, in general, and those of the Holy Office in
particular, occupied large tracts of today's Castile and León,
Extremadura and Andalucia. The properties were given under feudal
terms to farmers or to localities who used them as community property
with many restrictions, owing a part of the rent, generally in cash,
to the church.
^ Elorza, La Inquisición y el Pensamiento Ilustrado. Historia 16.
Especial 10º Aniversario La Inquisición; pg. 88
^ See Antonio Puigblanch, La Inquisición sin máscara, Cádiz,
^ Kamen (2014), p. 382
^ Historians have different interpretations. One argument is that
during the Ominous Decade, the
Inquisition was re-established- because
of a statement made by King Alphonso upon a visit to the Vatican that
he would reintroduce it if the occasion arose, but the Royal Decree
that would have abolished the order of the Trienio Liberal was never
approved, or at least, never published. The formal abolition under the
regency of Maria Cristina was thus nothing more than a ratification of
the abolition of 1820.
^ Kamen (2014), pp. 372-373
^ 1492 Ban on Jews Is Voided by Spain– The New York Times, 17
^ Anderson, James Maxwell. Daily Life during the Spanish Inquisition.
Greenwood Press, 2002. ISBN 0-313-31667-8.
^ Kamen (1998), p. 150
^ Data for executions for witchcraft: Levack, Brian P. (1995). The
Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe (Second Edition).
London and New
York: Longman, and see
Witch trials in Early Modern Europe
Witch trials in Early Modern Europe for more
^ For full account see: Gustav Henningsen, The Database of the Spanish
Inquisition. The relaciones de causas project revisited, in: Heinz
Mohnhaupt, Dieter Simon, Vorträge zur Justizforschung, Vittorio
Klostermann, 1992, pp. 43-85.
^ W. Monter, Frontiers of Heresy: The Spanish
Inquisition from the
Basque Lands to Sicily, Cambridge 2003, p. 53.
^ Jean-Pierre Dedieu, Los Cuatro Tiempos, in Bartolomé Benassar,
Inquisición Española: poder político y control social, pp. 15-39.
^ García Cárcel (1976)
^ Kamen (2005), p. 15
^ Henningsen, The Database of the Spanish Inquisition, p. 84.
^ a b c Henningsen, The Database of the Spanish Inquisition, p. 58.
^ Henningsen, The Database of the Spanish Inquisition, p. 84. Numbers
in the table are given in approximation.
^ Data for the Aragonese Secretariat are probably complete, some small
lacunae may concern only Valencia and possibly
Sardinia and Cartagena,
but the numbers for Castilian Secretariat - except Canaries and
Galicia - should be considered as minimal due to gaps in the
documentation. In some cases it is remarked that the number does not
concern the whole period 1540–1700.
^ a b c d e W. Monter, Frontiers of heresy, p. 327.
^ W. Monter, pp. 309 i 329.
^ Museo de la Inquisición y del Congreso.
^ See H. Ch. Lea, The
Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies, London
1922, p. 204 ff. and The Catholic Encyclopedia: Mexico.
^ Francisco Fajardo Spínola, La actividad procesal del Santo Oficio.
Algunas consideraciones sobre su estudio, Manuscrits 17, 1999, p. 114.
^ One burned in 1567 (E. Schäffer, Beiträge zur Geschichte des
Spanischen Protestantismus, Bd. 2, Gütersloh 1902, p. 41-42), 13 in
the period 1570–1625 (W. Monter, Frontiers of heresy, p. 48), 5
burned in 1627, another 5 burned in 1655 (Kamen (2005), p. 266)
and 3 burned alive in 1665 (Miriam Bodian, Dying in the law of Moses:
Jewish martyrdom in the Iberian world, Indiana University Press
2007, p. 219).
^ cf. Henningsen, p. 68.
^ Four burned between 1553 and 1558 (W. Monter, Frontiers of heresy,
p. 37-38 n. 22), one in 1561 (W. Monter, Frontiers of heresy, p. 233),
19 others in the period 1570–1625 (W. Monter, Frontiers of heresy,
p. 48) and 10 burned in 1654 (Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews,
Vol. V, 2009, p. 91).
^ Two persons condemned to death in 1678 were burned in the auto da fe
Madrid in 1680 (H. Ch. Lea, History of the Inquisition
of Spain, New York 1907, vol. III, p. 300). Therefore, they are
included in the number of executions for Toledo/Madrid.
^ This number includes 7 persons burned ca. 1545 (H. Ch. Lea, History
Inquisition of Spain, New York 1907, vol. III, p. 189), 9
persons burned in 1550-52 (Flora García Ivars, La represión en el
tribunal inquisitorial de Granada, 1550–1819, ed. Akal, 1991, p.
194), 14 persons burned in 1560s. (W. Monter, p. 44 i 233), 24 burned
between 1570 and 1625 (W. Monter, p. 48), 12 burned in 1654 (Heinrich
Graetz, History of the Jews, Vol. V, 2009, p. 92) and 6 burned in 1672
(A. J. Saraiva, H. P. Salomon, I. S. D. Sassoon: The Marrano Factory:
Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536–1765. Leiden
– Boston – Cologne: BRILL, 2001, p. 217 n. 62).
^ 154 burned between 1557 and 1568 (J. L. Morales y Marin: El Alcazar
de la Inquisicion en Murcia, s. 40), 11 executed in the period
1570–1625 (W. Monter, p. 48) and 25 between 1686 and 1699 (Consuelo
Maqueda Abreu, El auto de fe, Madryt 1992, p. 97).
^ This number includes 2 executions in the auto-da-fé in 1545
(W.Monter, Frontiers of heresy, p. 38), 114 executions in the autos da
fe between 1559 and 1660 (Victoria González de Caldas, Judíos o
cristianos?, Universidad de Sevilla, 2000, p. 528) and 12 executions
in the autos da fe between 1666–1695 (Consuelo Maqueda Abreu, El
auto de fe,
Madrid 1992, pp. 99-100).
^ 13 burned in the autos da fe between 1555 and 1569 (E. Schäffer,
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Spanischen Protestantismus, Bd. 2,
Gütersloh 1902, p. 79-91.), 25 burned between 1570 and 1625 (W.
Monter, p. 48), 2 burned between 1648 and 1699 (H. Ch. Lea, A History
Inquisition of Spain, vol. IV, New York 1907, p. 524; cf.
Joaquín Pérez Villanueva & Bartolomé Escandell Bonet (ed.),
Historia de la Inquisición en España y América, vol. 1, Madrid
1984, p. 1395), and 26 burned in two autos da fe in
Madrid w 1632 and
1680 (H. Ch. Lea, A History of the
Inquisition of Spain, vol. III, New
York 1907, p. 228).
^ This number includes 6 executions given by Henningsen and Contreras
for the period 1620–1670 (Henningsen, The Database of the Spanish
Inquisition, pp. 58 and 65), 26 burned in two famous autos-da-fé in
1559 (W.Monter, Frontiers of heresy, pp. 41 i 44),2 burned in 1561 (W.
Monter, pp. 41, 44 i 233),15 burned between 1562 and 1567 (E.
Schäffer, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Spanischen Protestantismus,
Bd. 3, Gütersloh 1902, p. 131) and 5 burned in 1691 (H. Ch. Lea,
History of the
Inquisition of Spain, New York 1907, vol. III, p. 197).
^ Source: Teofanes Egido, Las modificaciones de la tipologia: nueva
estructura delictiva, in: Joaquín Pérez Villanueva & Bartolomé
Escandell Bonet, Historia de la Inquisición en España y América,
Madrid 1984, p. 1395.
^ a b c Green, Toby (2007). Inquisition : the Reign of Fear. New
York: Thomas Dunne Books. pp. 4–5.
^ Archivo General de las Indias, Seville, Santa Fe 228, Expediente 63
^ Archivo General de las Indias, Seville, Santa Fe 228, Expediente
^ Green, Toby (2007). Inquisition : the Reign of Fear. New York:
Thomas Dunne Books. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-312-53724-1.
^ Barrios, Manuel (1991). El
Tribunal de la Inquisicion en Andalucia:
Seleccion de Textos y Documentos. Seville: J. Rodriguez Castillejo
S.A. p. 58.
^ Juderías, Julián (2003; first edition 1914): La Leyenda Negra
^ a b c d e f g "A Kinder, Gentler Inquisition", by Richard Kagan in
the New York Times, 19 April 1998.
^ a b "
Henry Charles Lea
Henry Charles Lea Papers - Biographical Sketch". Univ. of
Special Collections. January 11, 2003. Retrieved
^ Van Hove, Brian (12 November 1996). "A New Industry: The
Inquisition". Catholic.net. Archived from the original on 2007-04-05.
^ See for example Jean-Pierre Dedieu, Los Cuatro Tiempos, in
Bartolomé Benassar, Inquisición Española: poder político y control
social, pp. 15-39 and García Cárcel (1976)
^ Benzion Netanyahu’s History
^ Green, Toby (2007). Inquisition : the Reign of Fear. New York:
Thomas Dunne Books. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-312-53724-1.
^ The Real Inquisition: investigating the popular myth by Thomas F.
Madden (National Review, 18 June 2004)
^ 'Spanish Inquisition' Compilation - Monty Python's Flying Circus
Carroll, Warren H., Isabel: the Catholic Queen, Christendom Press
García Cárcel, Ricardo (1976). Orígenes de la Inquisición
Tribunal de Valencia, 1478–1530. Barcelona.
Graizbord, David L. Souls in Dispute:
Converso Identities in Iberia
Jewish Diaspora, 1580-1700. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press 2004.
Homza, Lu Ann, The Spanish Inquisition, 1478–1614, An Anthology of
Sources, Hackett Publishing (2006)
Kamen, Henry (1998). The Spanish Inquisition: a Historical Revision.
Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07522-9.
Kamen, Henry (2005). Inkwizycja Hiszpańska [The Spanish Inquisition]
(in Polish). Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.
Kamen, Henry (2014). The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision.
New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-18051-0.
Kamen has published 4 editions under 3 titles: "First edition
published 1965 ... as The Spanish Inquisition. Second edition
published 1985 ... as
Inquisition and Society in Spain. Third edition
published 1998 ... as The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision.
Fourth edition 2014."
Monter, William, Frontiers of Heresy: The Spanish
Inquisition from the
Basque Lands to Sicily, Cambridge University Press (1990)
Parker, Geoffrey (1982). "Some recent work on the
Inquisition in Spain
and Italy". Journal of Modern History. 54 (3): 519–532.
Peters, Edward (1988). Inquisition. New York London: Free Press
Collier Macmillan. ISBN 9780029249802.
Rawlings, Helen, The Spanish Inquisition, Blackwell Publishing (2006)
Seminal classical works
Henry Charles Lea, A History of the
Inquisition of Spain (4 volumes),
(New York and London, 1906–1907).
Lea, Henry Charles (1901). The
Moriscos of Spain: Their Conversion and
Expulsion. Philadelphia, PA: Lea Brothers and Co.
Juan Antonio Llorente, "Historia crítica de la Inquisición de
Ludwig von Pastor, History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle
Ages; Drawn from the Secret Archives of the Vatican and other original
sources, 40 vols. St. Louis, B.Herder 1898
Antonio Puigblanch, La Inquisición sin máscara (Cádiz,
Inquisition Unmasked (London, 1816)]
William Thomas Walsh, Isabella of Spain (1930) and Characters of the
Inquisition (1940). Both reprinted by TAN Books (1987).
Rafael Sabatini, Torquemada and the Spanish
C. Roth, The Spanish
C. Roth, History of the Marranos (1932)
A.S. Turberville, Medieval History and the
A.S. Turberville, The Spanish
Genaro García, La Inquisición de México (1906).
Genaro Garcia, Autos de fe de la Inquisición de
F. Garau, La Fee Triunfante (1691-reprinted 1931)
J.T. Medina, Historia de la Inquisicion de Lima; de Chile; le la
Plata; de Cartagena de las Indias; en las islas Filipinas (6 volumes),
V. Vignau, Catálogo... de la Inquisición de Toledo (1903)
J. Baker, History of the
History of the
Inquisition from its origin under
Pope Innocent III
till the present time. Also the private practices of the Inquisitors,
the form of trial and modes of torture (1814)
J. Marchant, A Review of the Bloody
E.N Adler, Autos de fe and the Jew (1908)
González de Montes, Discovery and Playne Declaration of Sundry
Subtile Practices of the Holy
Inquisition of Spayne
Ludovico a Paramo, De Origine et Progressu Sanctae Inquisitionis
J.M. Marín, Procedimientos de la Inquisición (2 volumes), (1886)
I. de las Cagigas, Libro Verde de
R. Cappa, La Inquisicion Espanola (1888)
A. Paz y Mellia, Catálogo Abreviado de Papeles de Inquisición (1914)
A.F.G. Bell, Luis de Leon (1925)
M. Jouve, Torquemada (1935)
Sir Alexander G. Cardew, A Short History of the
G. G. Coulton, The
Memoires Instructifs pour un Voyageur dans les Divers États de
Ramon de Vilana Perlas, La verdadera práctica apostólica de el S.
Tribunal de la Inquisición (1735)
H.B. Piazza, A Short and True Account of the
Inquisition and its
A.L. Maycock, The
H. Nickerson, The
Conde de Castellano, Un Complot Terrorista en el Siglo XV; los
Comienzos de la Inquisicion Aragonesa, (1927)
Bernard Gui, Manuel de l'Inquisiteur, (1927)
L. Tanon, Histoire des Tribunaux de l'
A.J. Texeira, Antonio Homem e a Inquisicao (1902)
A. Baiao, A Inquisiçao em Portugal e no Brasil (1921)
A. Herculano, Historia da Origem e Estabelecimento da Inquisiçao em
Portugal (English translation, 1926)
Joseph de Maistre, Letters on the Spanish
Inquisition (1822, composed
1815):— late defence of the Inquisition
Cornelius August Wilkens: Spanish Protestants in the Sixteenth Century
(1897), 218p. read online at archive.org"Title Catalog". The Library
of Iberian Resources. Retrieved 2006-05-17.
Green, Toby (2007). Inquisition : the reign of fear. New York:
Thomas Books. ISBN 978-0-312-53724-1.
Miranda Twiss, The Most Evil Men And Women In History (Michael O'Mara
Books Ltd., 2002).
Simon Whitechapel, Flesh Inferno: Atrocities of Torquemada and the
Inquisition (Creation Books, 2003).
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