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Title: A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 1
Author: Lea, Henry Charles, 1825-1909
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 1" ***

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                        THE INQUISITION OF SPAIN

                        WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

     volumes, octavo.

     LATIN CHURCH._ In three volumes, octavo.

     CHURCH._ Third edition. (_In preparation._)

     CENTURY._ One volume, octavo. (_Out of print._)

     _SUPERSTITION AND FORCE._ Essays on The Wager of Law, The
     Wager of Battle, The Ordeal, Torture. Fourth edition, revised. In
     one volume, 12mo.

     _STUDIES IN CHURCH HISTORY._ The Rise of the Temporal Power,
     Benefit of Clergy, Excommunication, The Early Church and Slavery.
     Second edition. In one volume, 12mo.

     THE INQUISITION._ Censorship of the Press, Mystics and Illuminati,
     Endemoniadas, El Santo Niño de la Guardia, Brianda de Bardaxí. In
     one volume, 12mo.

     one volume, 12mo.

                               A HISTORY
                                 OF THE
                          INQUISITION OF SPAIN

                        HENRY CHARLES LEA. LL.D.

                            IN FOUR VOLUMES

                               VOLUME I.

                                New York
                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                     LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.

                         _All rights reserved_


                            COPYRIGHT, 1906,
                       BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

           Set up and electrotyped. Published January, 1906.


In the following pages I have sought to trace, from the original sources
as far as possible, the character and career of an institution which
exercised no small influence on the fate of Spain and even, one may say,
indirectly on the civilized world. The material for this is preserved so
superabundantly in the immense Spanish archives that no one writer can
pretend to exhaust the subject. There can be no finality in a history
resting on so vast a mass of inedited documents and I do not flatter
myself that I have accomplished such a result, but I am not without hope
that what I have drawn from them and from the labors of previous
scholars has enabled me to present a fairly accurate survey of one of
the most remarkable organizations recorded in human annals.

In this a somewhat minute analysis has seemed to be indispensable of its
structure and methods of procedure, of its relations with the other
bodies of the State and of its dealings with the various classes subject
to its extensive jurisdiction. This has involved the accumulation of
much detail in order to present the daily operation of a tribunal of
which the real importance is to be sought, not so much in the awful
solemnities of the auto de fe, or in the cases of a few celebrated
victims, as in the silent influence exercised by its incessant and
secret labors among the mass of the people and in the limitations which
it placed on the Spanish intellect--in the resolute conservatism with
which it held the nation in the medieval groove and unfitted it for the
exercise of rational liberty when the nineteenth century brought in the
inevitable Revolution.

The intimate relations between Spain and Portugal, especially during the
union of the kingdoms from 1580 to 1640, has rendered necessary the
inclusion, in the chapter devoted to the Jews, of a brief sketch of the
Portuguese Inquisition, which earned a reputation even more sinister
than its Spanish prototype.

I cannot conclude without expressing my thanks to the gentlemen whose
aid has enabled me to collect the documents on which the work is largely
based--Don Claudio Pérez Gredilla of the Archives of Simancas, Don Ramon
Santa María of those of Alcalá de Henares prior to their removal to
Madrid, Don Francisco de Bofarull y Sans of those of the Crown of
Aragon, Don J. Figueroa Hernández, formerly American Vice-consul at
Madrid, and to many others to whom I am indebted in a minor degree. I
have also to tender my acknowledgements to the authorities of the
Bodleian Library and of the Royal Libraries of Copenhagen, Munich,
Berlin and the University of Halle, for favors warmly appreciated.







Disorder at the Accession of Ferdinand and Isabella                    1
Condition of the Church                                                8
Limitation of Clerical Privilege and Papal Claims                     11
Disputed Succession                                                   18
Character of Ferdinand and Isabella                                   20
Enforcement of Royal Jurisdiction                                     24
The Santa Hermandad                                                   28
Absorption of the Military Orders                                     34


Oppression of Jews taught as a duty                                   35
Growth of the Spirit of Persecution                                   37
Persecution under the Spanish Catholic Wisigoths                      40
Toleration under the Saracen Conquest--the Mozárabes                  44
The Muladícs                                                          49
The Jews under the Saracens                                           50
Absence of Race or Religious Hatred                                   52
The Mudéjares--Moors under Christian Domination                       57
The Church stimulates Intolerance                                     68
Influence of the Council of Vienne in 1312                            71
Commencement of repressive Legislation                                77


Medieval Persecution of Jews                                          81
Their Wealth and Influence in Spain                                   84
Clerical Hostility aroused                                            90
Popular Antagonism excited                                            95
Causes of Dislike--Usury, Official Functions, Ostentation             96
Massacres in Navarre                                                 100
Influence of the Accession of Henry of Trastamara                    101
The Massacres of 1391--Ferran Martínez                               103
Creation of the Class of Conversos or New Christians                 111
Deplorable Condition of the Jews                                     115
The _Ordenamiento de Doña Catalina_                                  116
Utterances of the Popes and the Council of Basle                     118
Success of the Conversos--The Jews rehabilitate themselves           120
Renewed Repression under Ferdinand and Isabella                      123
The Conversos become the object of popular hatred                    125
Expulsion of the Jews considered                                     131
Expulsion resolved on in 1492--its Conditions                        135
Sufferings of the Exiles                                             139
Number of Exiles                                                     142
Contemporary Opinion                                                 143


Doubtful Christianity of the Conversos                               145
Inquisition attempted in 1451                                        147
Alonso de Espina and his _Fortalicium Fidei_                         148
Episcopal Inquisition attempted in 1465                              153
Sixtus IV grants Inquisitorial Powers to his Legate                  154
Attempt to convert and instruct                                      155
Ferdinand and Isabella apply to Sixtus IV for Inquisition in 1478    157
They Require the Power of Appointment and the Confiscations          158
The first Inquisitors appointed, September 17, 1480                  160
Tribunal opened in Seville--first Auto de Fe, February 6, 1481       161
Plot to resist betrayed                                              162
Edict of Grace                                                       165
Other tribunals established                                          166
Failure of plot in Toledo--number of Penitents                       168
Tribunal at Guadalupe                                                171
Necessity of Organization--The Supreme Council--The
   Inquisitor-general                                                172
Character of Torquemada--His quarrels with Inquisitors               174
Four Assistant Inquisitors-general                                   178
Separation of Aragon from Castile                                    180
Autonomy of Inquisition--It frames its own Rules                     181
It commands the Forces of the State.--Flight of Suspects             182
Emigration of New Christians forbidden                               184
Absence of Resistance to the Inquisition                             185
Ferdinand seeks to prevent Abuses                                    187
The Career of Lucero at Córdova                                      189
Complicity of Juan Roiz de Calcena                                   193
Persecution of Archbishop Hernando de Talavera                       197
Córdova appeals to Philip and Juana                                  201
Revolt in Córdova                                                    202
Inquisitor-general Deza forced to resign                             205
Lucero placed on trial                                               206
Inquisitorial Abuses at Jaen, Arjona and Llerena                     211
Ximenes attempts Reform                                              215
Appeals to Charles V--His futile Project of Reform                   216
Conquest of Navarre--Introduction of Inquisition                     223


Independent Institutions of Aragon                                   229
Ferdinand seeks to remodel the Old Inquisition                       230
Sixtus IV interferes                                                 233
Torquemada's Authority is extended over Aragon                       236
Assented to by the Córtes of Tarazona in 1484                        238

Popular Resistance                                                   239
Resistance overcome                                                  242

Tribunal organized in Saragossa                                      244
Opposition                                                           245
Resistance in Teruel                                                 247
Murder of Inquisitor Arbués                                          249
Papal Brief commanding Extradition                                   253
Punishment of the Assassins                                          256
Ravages of the Inquisition                                           259

Its Jealousy of its Liberties                                        260
Resistance prolonged until 1487                                      261
Scanty Results                                                       263
Oppression and Complaints                                            264

Inertia of the Old Inquisition                                       266
Introduction of the New in 1488--Its Activity                        267
Tumult in 1518                                                       268
Complaints of Córtes of Monzon, in 1510                              269
Concordia of 1512                                                    270
Leo X releases Ferdinand from his Oath                               272
Inquisitor-general Mercader's Instructions                           273
Leo X confirms the Concordia of 1512                                 274
Charles V swears to observe the Concordia                            275
Dispute over fresh Demands of Aragon                                 276
Decided in favor of Aragon                                           282
Catalonia secures Concessions                                        283
Futility of all Agreements--Fruitless Complaints of Grievances       284



Combination of Spiritual and Temporal Jurisdiction                   289
Ferdinand's Control of the Inquisition                               289
Except in Spiritual Affairs                                          294
Gradual Development of Independence                                  298
Philip IV reasserts Control over Appointments                        300
It returns to the Inquisitor-general under Carlos II                 301
The Crown retains Power of appointing the Inquisitor-general         302
It cannot dismiss him but can enforce his Resignation--Cases         304
Struggle of Philip V with Giudice--Case of Melchor de Macanaz        314
Cases under Carlos III and Carlos IV                                 320
Relations of the Crown with the Suprema                              322
The Suprema interposes between the Crown and the Tribunals           325
It acquires control over the Finances                                328
Its Policy of Concealment                                            331
Philip IV calls on it for Assistance                                 333
Philip V reasserts Control                                           336
Pecuniary Penances                                                   337
Assertion of Independence                                            340
Temporal Jurisdiction over Officials                                 343
Growth of Bureaucracy limits Royal Autocracy                         346
Reassertion of Royal Power under the House of Bourbon                348


Universal Subordination to the Inquisition                           351
Its weapons of Excommunication and Inhibition                        355
Power of Arrest and Imprisonment                                     357
Assumption of Superiority                                            357
Struggle of the Bishops                                              358
Questions of Precedence                                              362
Superiority to local Law                                             365
Capricious Tyranny                                                   366
Inviolability of Officials and Servants                              367
Enforcement of Respect                                               371


Exemption from taxation                                              375
Exemption from Custom-house Dues                                     384
Attempts of Valencia Tribunal to import Wheat from Aragon            385
Privilege of Valencia Tribunal in the Public Granary                 388
Speculative Exploitation of Privileges by Saragossa Tribunal         389
Coercive Methods of obtaining Supplies                               392
Valencia asserts Privilege of obtaining Salt                         394
Exemption from Billets of Troops                                     395
The Right to bear Arms                                               401
Exemption from Military Service                                      412
The Right to hold Secular Office                                     415
The Right to refuse Office                                           420
The Right of Asylum                                                  421


Benefit of Clergy                                                    427
Ferdinand grants to the Inquisition exclusive Jurisdiction over
   its Officials                                                     429
He confines it to Salaried Officials in criminal Actions and as
   Defendants in civil Suits                                         430
Abusive Extension of Jurisdiction by Inquisitors                     431
Limitations in the Concordia of 1512                                 432
Servants of Officials included in the _fuero_                        432
Struggle in Castile over the Question of Familiars                   434
Settled by the Concordia of 1553                                     436
The Concordia extended to Navarre                                    438
Struggle in Valencia--Concordia of 1554                              439
Concordia disregarded--Córtes of 1564                                441
Valencia Concordia of 1568                                           442
Disregard of its Provisions                                          445
Complaints of criminal Familiars unpunished                          446
Aragon--its Court of the Justicia                                    450
Grievances arising from the Temporal Jurisdiction                    452
The Concordia of 1568                                                454
Complaints of its Infraction--Córtes of 1626                         454
Case of the City of Huesca                                           456
Córtes of 1646--Aragon assimilated to Castile                        458
Diminished Power of the Inquisition in Aragon                        461
Catalonia--Non-observance of Concordias of 1512 and 1520             465
Disorders of the Barcelona Tribunal--Fruitless Complaints            467
Catalonia--Hatred of the Tribunal--Catalonia rejects the Concordia
   of 1568                                                           469
Córtes of 1599--Duplicity of Philip III                              471
Increasing Discord--Fruitless Efforts of Córtes of 1626
   and 1632--Concordia of Zapata                                     472
Rebellion of 1640--Expulsion of Inquisitors--A National
   Inquisition established                                           476
Inquisition restored in 1652--Renewal of Discord                     479
War of Succession--Catalan Liberties abolished                       483
Majorca--Conflicts with the Civil Authorities                        484
Contests in Castile--Subservience of the Royal Power                 485
Exemption of Familiars from summons as Witnesses                     491
Conflicts with the Spiritual Courts                                  493
Cases in Majorca--Intervention of the Holy See                       498
Conflicts with the Military Courts                                   504
Conflicts with the Military Orders--Project of the Order of
   _Santa María de la Espada Blanca_                                 505
Profits of the Temporal Jurisdiction of the Inquisition              508
Abuses and evils of the System                                       509
Fruitless Efforts to reform it in 1677 and 1696                      511
Repression under the House of Bourbon                                514
_Competencias_ for Settlement of Disputes                            517
The Temporal Jurisdiction under the Restoration                      520
Refusal of _Competencias_ by the Inquisition                         521
Projects of Relief                                                   524


Causes of Popular Hatred                                             527
Visitations of the Barcelona Tribunal                                528
Troubles in Logroño                                                  530
Preferences claimed in Markets                                       533
Trading by Officials                                                 534
Character of Officials                                               536
Grievances of Feudal Nobles                                          537
General Detestation a recognized Fact                                538

APPENDIX. List of Tribunals                                          541
List of Inquisitors-general                                          556
Spanish Coinage                                                      560
Documents                                                            567






It were difficult to exaggerate the disorder pervading the Castilian
kingdoms, when the Spanish monarchy found its origin in the union of
Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. Many causes had contributed
to prolong and intensify the evils of the feudal system and to
neutralize such advantages as it possessed. The struggles of the
reconquest from the Saracen, continued at intervals through seven
hundred years and varied by constant civil broils, had bred a race of
fierce and turbulent nobles as eager to attack a neighbor or their
sovereign as the Moor. The contemptuous manner in which the Cid is
represented, in the earliest ballads, as treating his king, shows what
was, in the twelfth century, the feeling of the chivalry of Castile
toward its overlord, and a chronicler of the period seems rather to
glory in the fact that it was always in rebellion against the royal
power.[1] So fragile was the feudal bond that a _ricohome_ or noble
could at any moment renounce allegiance by a simple message sent to the
king through a hidalgo.[2] The necessity of attracting population and
organizing conquered frontiers, which subsequently became inland, led to
granting improvidently liberal franchises to settlers, which weakened
the powers of the crown,[3] without building up, as in France, a
powerful Third Estate to serve as a counterpoise to the nobles and
eventually to undermine feudalism. In Spain the business of the
Castilian was war. The arts of peace were left with disdain to the Jews
and the conquered Moslems, known as Mudéjares, who were allowed to
remain on Christian soil and to form a distinct element in the
population. No flourishing centres of industrious and independent
burghers arose out of whom the kings could mould a body that should lend
them efficient support in their struggles with their powerful vassals.
The attempt, indeed, was made; the Córtes, whose co-operation was
required in the enactment of laws, consisted of representatives from
seventeen cities,[4] who while serving enjoyed personal inviolability,
but so little did the cities prize this privilege that, under Henry IV,
they complained of the expense of sending deputies. The crown, eager to
find some new sources of influence, agreed to pay them and thus obtained
an excuse for controlling their election, and although this came too
late for Henry to benefit by it, it paved the way for the assumption of
absolute domination by Ferdinand and Isabella, after which the revolt of
the Comunidades proved fruitless. Meanwhile their influence diminished,
their meetings were scantily attended and they became little more than
an instrument which, in the interminable strife that cursed the land,
was used alternately by any faction as opportunity offered.[5]


The crown itself had contributed greatly to its own abasement. When, in
the thirteenth century, a ruler such as San Fernando III. made the laws
respected and vigorously extended the boundaries of Christianity,
Castile gave promise of development in power and culture which miserably
failed in the performance. In 1282 the rebellion of Sancho el Bravo
against his father Alfonso was the commencement of decadence. To
purchase the allegiance of the nobles he granted them all that they
asked, and to avert the discontent consequent on taxation he supplied
his treasury by alienating the crown lands.[6] Notwithstanding the
abilities of the regent, María de Molina, the successive minorities of
her son and grandson, Fernando IV and Alfonso XI, stimulated the
downward progress, although the vigor of the latter in his maturity
restored in some degree the lustre of the crown and his stern justice
re-established order, so that, as we are told, property could be left
unguarded in the streets at night.[7] His son, Don Pedro, earned the
epithet of the Cruel by his ruthless endeavor to reduce to obedience his
turbulent nobles, whose disaffection invited the usurpation of his
bastard brother, Henry of Trastamara. The throne which the latter won by
fratricide and the aid of the foreigner, he could only hold by fresh
concessions to his magnates which fatally reduced the royal power.[8]
This heritage he left to his son, Juan I, who forcibly described, in the
Córtes of Valladolid in 1385, how he wore mourning in his heart because
of his powerlessness to administer justice and to govern as he ought, in
consequence of the evil customs which he was unable to correct.[9] This
depicts the condition of the monarchy during the century intervening
between the murder of Pedro and the accession of Isabella--a dreary
period of endless revolt and civil strife, during which the central
authority was steadily growing less able to curb the lawless elements
tending to eventual anarchy. The king was little more than a puppet of
which rival factions sought to gain possession in order to cover their
ambitions with a cloak of legality, and those which failed to secure his
person treated his authority with contempt, or set up some rival in a
son or brother as an excuse for rebellion. The work of the Reconquest
which, for six hundred years, had been the leading object of national
pride was virtually abandoned, save in some spasmodic enterprise, such
as the capture of Antequera, and the little kingdom of Granada,
apparently on the point of extinction under Alfonso XI, seemed destined
to perpetuate for ever on Spanish soil the hateful presence of the

The long reign of the feeble Juan II, from 1406 to 1454, was followed by
that of the feebler Henry IV, popularly known as El Impotente. In the
Seguro de Tordesillas, in 1439, the disaffected nobles virtually
dictated terms to Juan II.[10] In the Deposition of Ávila, in 1465, they
treated Henry IV with the bitterest contempt. His effigy, clad in
mourning and adorned with the royal insignia, was placed upon a throne
and four articles of accusation were read. For the first he was
pronounced unworthy of the kingly station, when Alonso Carrillo,
Archbishop of Toledo, removed the crown; for the second he was deprived
of the administration of justice, when Álvaro de Zuñiga, Count of
Plasencia, took away the sword; for the third he was deprived of the
government, when Rodrigo Pimentel, Count of Benavente, struck the
sceptre away; for the fourth he was sentenced to lose the throne, when
Diego López de Zuñiga tumbled the image from its seat with an indecent
gibe. It was scarce more than a continuation of the mockery when they
elected as his successor his brother Alfonso, a child eleven years of


The lawless independence of the nobles and the effacement of the royal
authority may be estimated from a single example. At Plasencia two
powerful lords, Garcí Alvárez de Toledo, Señor of Oropesa, and Hernan
Rodríguez de Monroy, kept the country in an uproar with their armed
dissension. Juan II sent Ayala, Señor of Cebolla, with a royal
commission to suppress the disorder. Monroy, in place of submitting,
insulted Ayala, who as a "buen caballero" disdained to complain to the
king and preferred to avenge himself. Juan on hearing of this summoned
to his presence Monroy, who collected all his friends and retainers and
set out with a formidable army. Ayala made a similar levy and set upon
him as he passed near Cebolla. There was a desperate battle in which
Ayala was worsted and forced to take refuge in Cebolla, while Monroy
passed on to Toledo and, when he kissed the king's hands, Juan told him
that he had sent for him to cut off his head, but as Ayala had preferred
to right himself he gave Monroy a God-speed on his journey home and
washed his hands of the whole affair.[12]

The _ricosomes_ who thus were released from all the restraint of law had
as little respect for those of honor and morality. The virtues which we
are wont to ascribe to chivalry were represented by such follies as the
celebrated _Passo Honroso_ of Suero de Quiñones, when that knight and
his nine comrades, in 1434, kept, in honor of their ladies, for thirty
days against all comers, the pass of the Bridge of Orbigo, at the season
of the feast of Santiago and sixty-nine challengers presented themselves
in the lists.[13] With exceptions such as this, and a rare manifestation
of magnanimity, as when the Duke of Medina Sidonia raised an army and
hastened to the relief of his enemy, Rodrigo Ponce de Leon besieged in
Alhama,[14] the record of the time is one of the foulest treachery, from
which truth and honor are absent and human nature displays itself in its
basest aspect. According to contemporary belief, Ferdinand was indebted
for the crown of Aragon to the poisoning of his brother, the deeply
mourned Carlos, Prince of Viana, while the crown of Castile fell to
Isabella through the similar taking off of her brother Alfonso.[15]

A characteristic incident is one involving Doña Maria de Monroy, who
married into the great house of Henríquez of Seville, and was left a
widow with two boys. When the youths were respectively eighteen and
nineteen years old they were close friends of two gentlemen of Seville
named Mançano. The younger brother, dicing with them in their house, was
involved in a quarrel with them, when they set upon him with their
servants and slew him. Then, fearing the vengeance of the elder brother,
they sent him a friendly message to come and play with them; when he
came they led him along a dark corridor in which they suddenly turned
upon him and stabbed him to death. When the disfigured corpses of her
boys were brought to Doña María she shed no tears, but the fierceness of
her eyes frightened all who looked upon her. The Mançanos promptly took
horse and fled to Portugal, whither Doña María followed them in male
attire with a band of twenty cavaliers. Her spies were speedily on the
track of the fugitives; within a month of the murders she came at night
to the house where they lay concealed; the doors were broken in and she
entered with ten of her men while the rest kept guard outside. The
Mançanos put themselves in defence and shouted for help, but before the
neighbors could assemble she had both their heads in her left hand and
was galloping off with her troop, never stopping till she reached
Salamanca, where she went to the church and laid the bloody heads on the
tomb of her boys. Thenceforth she was known as Doña María la Brava, and
her exploit led to long and murderous feuds between the Monroyes and the

Doña María was but a type of the unsexed women, _mugeres varoniles_,
common at the time, who would take the field or maintain their place in
factious intrigue with as much ferocity and pertinacity as men.
Ferdinand could well look without surprise on the activity in court and
camp of his queen Isabella, when he remembered the prowess of his
mother, Juana Henríquez, who had secured for him the crown of Aragon.
Doña Leonora Pimentel, Duchess of Arévalo, was one of these; of the
Countess of Medellin it was said that no Roman captain could get the
better of her in feats of arms, and the Countess of Haro was equally
noted. The Countess of Medellin, indeed, kept her own son in prison for
years while she enjoyed the revenues of his town of Medellin and, when
Queen Isabella refused to confirm her possession of the place, she
transferred her allegiance to the King of Portugal to whom she delivered
the castle of Merida. At the same time the Moorish influence, which was
so strong in Castile, occasionally led to the opposite extreme. The Duke
of Najera kept his daughters in such absolute seclusion that no man, not
even his sons, was permitted to enter the apartments reserved for the
women, and the reason he alleged--that the heart does not covet what the
eye does not see--was little flattering to either sex.[17]


The condition of the common people can readily be imagined in this
perpetual strife between warlike, ambitious and unprincipled nobles, now
uniting in factions which involved the whole realm in war, and now
contenting themselves with assaults upon their neighbors. The land was
desolated; the husbandman scarce could take heart to plant his seed, for
the harvest was apt to be garnered with the sword and thrust into
castles to provision them against siege. As a writer of the period tells
us, there was neither law nor justice save that of arms.[18] In a letter
describing the universal anarchy, written by Hernando del Pulgar from
Madrid, in 1473, he says that for more than five years there has been no
communication from Murcia, where the family of Fajardo reigned
supreme--it is, he says, as foreign a land as Navarre.[19] That the
roads were unsafe for trade or travel was a matter of course; every
petty hidalgo converted his stronghold into a den of robbers, and what
these left was swept away by bands of Free Companions.[20] Disorder
reigned supreme and all-pervading. The crown was powerless and the royal
treasury exhausted. Improvident grants of lands and revenues and
jurisdictions, to bribe the treacherous fidelity of faithless nobles, or
to gratify worthless favorites, were made, till there was nothing left
to give, and then Henry IV bestowed licenses for private mints, until
there were a hundred and fifty of them at work, flooding the land with
base money, to the unutterable confusion of the coinage and the
impoverishment of the people.[21] The Córtes of Madrid, in 1467, and of
Ocaña in 1469, called on Henry to resume his improvident grants, and
those of Madrigal, in 1476, repeated the urgency to Ferdinand and
Isabella, who had been forced to follow his example. To this the
sovereigns replied thanking the Córtes and postponing the matter. They
did not feel themselves strong enough until 1480, when at the Córtes of
Toledo, they resumed thirty million maravedís of revenue which had been
alienated during the troubles, and this after an investigation which
left untouched the gifts to loyal subjects and only withdrew such as had
been extorted.[22] Respect for the crown had fallen as low as its
revenues. A story told of the Count of Benavente shows how difficult it
was, even after the accession of Isabella, for the nobles to recognize
that they owed any obedience to the sovereign. He was walking with the
queen when a woman came weeping and begging justice, saying that he had
had her husband slain in spite of a royal safe-conduct. She showed the
letter which her husband had carried in his breast, pierced by the blow
which had ended his life, when the count jeeringly remarked "A cuirass
would have been of more service." Piqued by this Isabella said "Count do
you then not wish there was no king in Castile?" "Rather," said he, "I
wish there were many." "And why?" "Because then I should be one of


In such a chaos of lawless passion it is not to be supposed that the
Church was better than the nobles who filled its high places with
worthless scions of their stocks, or than the lower classes of the laity
who sought in it provision for a life of idleness and licence. The
primate of Castile was the Archbishop of Toledo, who was likewise _ex
officio_ chancellor of the realm and whose revenues were variously
estimated at from eighty to a hundred thousand ducats, with patronage at
his disposal amounting to a hundred thousand more.[24] The occupant of
this exalted position, at the accession of Isabella, was Alonso
Carrillo, a turbulent prelate, delighting in war, foremost in all the
civil broils of the period, who, not content with the immense income of
his see, lavished extravagant sums in alchemy. Hernando del Pulgar, in a
letter of remonstrance, said to him, "The people look to you as their
bishop and find in you their enemy; they groan and complain that you use
your authority not for their benefit and reformation but for their
destruction; not as an exemplar of kindness and peace but for
corruption, scandal, and disturbance." When, in 1495, the puritan
Ximenes was appointed to the archbishopric, one of his first acts is
said to have been the removal, from near the altar of the Franciscan
church of Toledo, of a magnificent tomb which Carrillo had erected to
his bastard, Troilo Carrillo.[25]

His successor in the see of Toledo has a special interest for us in view
of his labors to purify the faith which culminated in establishing the
Inquisition. Pero González de Mendoza was one of the notable men of the
day, whose influence with Ferdinand and Isabella won for him the name of
"the third king." While yet a child he held the curacy of Hita; at
twelve he had the archdeaconry of Guadalajara, one of the richest
benefices in Spain, which he retained during the successive bishoprics
of Calahorra and Sigüenza and the archbishopric of Seville; the see of
Sigüenza he kept during the whole tenure successively of the
archiepiscopates of Seville and Toledo, in addition to which he was a
cardinal and titular Patriarch of Alexandria. With his kindred of the
powerful house of Mendoza he adhered to Henry IV, until they effected
the sale of the hapless Beltraneja, who was in their hands, to her
father, Henry, for certain estates and the title of Duke del Infantado
for Diego Hurtado, the head of the family, after which Pero González and
his kinsmen promptly transferred their allegiance to Isabella. His
admiring biographer assures us that he was more ready with his hands
than with his tongue, that he was a gallant knight and that there was
never a war in Spain during his time in which he did not personally take
part or at least have his troops engaged. Though he had no leisure to
attend to his spiritual duties, he found time to yield to the
temptations of the flesh. When, in 1484, he led the army of invasion
into Granada he took with him his bastard, Rodrigo de Mendoza, a youth
of twenty, who was already Señor del Castillo del Cid, and who, in 1492,
was created Marquis of Cenete on the occasion of his marriage, amid
great rejoicings, in the presence of Ferdinand and Isabella, to Leonor
de la Cerda, daughter and heiress of the Duke of Medina Celi and niece
of Ferdinand himself. This was not the only evidence of his frailty of
which he took no shame, for he had another son named Juan, by a lady of
Valladolid, who was married to Doña Ana de Aragon, another niece of


With such men at the head of the Church it is not to be expected that
the lower orders of the clergy should be models of decency and morality,
rendering Christianity attractive to Jew and Moslem. Alonso Carrillo,
the archbishop of Toledo, can scarce be regarded as a strict
disciplinarian, but even he felt obliged, when holding the council of
Aranda in 1473, to endeavor to repress the more flagrant scandals of the
clergy. As a corrective of their prevailing ignorance it was ordered
that in future none should be ordained who could not speak Latin--the
language of the ritual and the foundation of all instruction,
theological and otherwise. They were forbidden to wear silk or gaily
colored garments. As their licentiousness rendered them contemptible to
the people, they were commanded to part with their concubines within two
months. As their fondness for dicing led to perjuries, scandals and
homicides, they were required thereafter to abstain from it, privately
as well as publicly. As many priests disdained to celebrate mass, they
were ordered to do so at least four times a year; bishops, moreover,
were urged to celebrate at least thrice a year, under pain of severe
penalties to be determined at the next council. The absurdities poured
forth in their sermons by wandering priests and friars were to be
repressed by requiring examinations prior to issuing licenses to preach,
and the scandals of the pardon-sellers were to be diminished by
subjecting them to the bishops. The bishops were also urged to make
severe examples of offenders in the lower orders of the clergy, when
delivered to them by the secular courts, and not to allow their
enormities to enjoy continued immunity. The bishops, moreover, were
commanded to make no charge for conferring ordinations; they were
exhorted, and all other clerics were required, not to lead a dissolute
military life or to enter the service of secular lords excepting of the
king and princes of the blood. As duels were forbidden, both laity and
clergy were warned that if slain in such encounters they would be
refused Christian burial.[27] That this effort at reform was, as might
be expected, wholly abortive is evidenced from the description of the
vices of the ecclesiastical body when Ferdinand and Isabella
subsequently endeavored to correct its more flagrant scandals.[28] It
was wholly secularized and only to be distinguished from the laity by
the sacred functions which rendered its vices more abhorrent, by the
immunities which fostered and stimulated those vices and by the
intolerance which, blind to all aberrations of morals, proclaimed the
stake to be the only fitting punishment for aberration in the faith.
While powerless to reform itself it yet had influence enough to educate
the people up to its standard of orthodoxy in the ruthless persecution
of all whom it pleased to designate as enemies of Christ.

Yet in Spain the immunities and privileges of the Church were less than
elsewhere throughout Christendom. The independence which the secular
power in Castile had always manifested toward the Holy See and its
disregard of the canon law are points which will occasionally manifest
themselves hereafter and are worthy of a moment's consideration here. I
have elsewhere shown that, alone among the Latin nations, Castile
steadily refused to admit the medieval Inquisition and disregarded
completely the prescriptions of the Church regarding heresy.[29] In the
twelfth century the popular feeling toward the papacy is voiced in the
ballads of the Cid. When a demand for tribute to the Emperor Henry IV is
said to be made through the pope, Ruy Diaz advises King Fernando to send
a defiance from both of them to the pope and all his party, which the
monarch accordingly does. So when the Cid accompanies his master to a
great council in Rome and kicks over the chair prepared for the King of
France, the pope excommunicates him, whereupon he kneels before the holy
father and asks for absolution, telling him it will be the worse for him
if he does not grant it, which the pope promptly does on condition of
his being more self-restrained during the remainder of his stay.[30]
There is no trace of the veneration for the vice-gerent of God which
elsewhere was inculcated as an indispensable religious duty.


When such was the popular temper it is easy to understand that the
prohibition to carry money out of the kingdom to the pope was even more
emphatic than in England.[31] The claim to control the patronage of the
Church, which was so prolific a source of revenue to the curia, met
throughout Spain a resistance as sturdy as in England, though the
troubled condition of the land interfered with its success. In
Catalonia, the Córtes, in 1419, adopted a law in which, after alluding
to the scandals and irreparable injuries arising from the intrusion of
strangers, it was declared that none but natives should hold preferment
of any kind and that all papal letters and bulls contravening this
should be resisted in whatever way was necessary.[32] In Castile the
Córtes of 1390 forcibly represented to Juan I the evils resulting from
this foisting of strangers on the Spanish Church, but his speedy death
prevented action. The remonstrance was renewed to the tutors of the
young Henry III, who promptly placed an embargo on the revenues of
foreign benefice-holders and forbade the admission of subsequent
appointees. This led to a compromise, in 1393, by which the Avignonese
curia secured the recognition of existing incumbents by promising that
no more such nominations should be made.[33] The promise made by the
Avignonese antipope was not binding on the Roman curia and the quarrel
continued. Even if the recipient was a native there was little ceremony
in dealing with papal grants of benefices when occasion prompted, as was
shown in the affair which first revealed the unbending character of the
future Cardinal Ximenes. During his youthful sojourn in Rome Ximenes
procured papal "expectative letters" granting him the first preferment
that should fall vacant in the diocese of Toledo. On his return he made
use of these letters to take possession of the _arciprestazgo_ of Uceda,
but it happened that Archbishop Carrillo simultaneously gave it to one
of his creatures and, as Ximenes refused to surrender his rights, he was
thrown into a tower in Uceda--a tower he subsequently, when himself
Archbishop of Toledo, used as a treasury. As he continued obstinate,
Carrillo transferred him to the Pozo de Santorcas, a harsh dungeon used
for clerical malefactors, where he lay for six years, resolutely
refusing to abandon his claim, until released at the intercession of the
wife of a nephew of Carrillo.[34] Evidently the Castilian prelates had
slender respect for papal diplomas. About the same time, during the
civil war between Henry IV and his brother Alfonso, when Hernando de
Luxan, Bishop of Sigüenza, died, the dean, Diego López, obtained
possession of the castles and the treasure of the see, joined the party
of Alfonso, and, with the aid of Archbishop Carrillo, caused himself to
be elected bishop. Meanwhile Paul II gave the see to Juan de Maella,
Cardinal-bishop of Zamora, but Diego López refused to obey the bulls and
appealed to the future council against the pope and all his censures. He
disregarded an interdict launched against him and was supported by all
his clergy. Maella died and Paul II gave the bishopric to the Bishop of
Calahorra, requesting Henry IV to place him in possession. So secure did
Diego López feel that he rejected a compromise offering him the see of
Zamora in exchange, but the possession of Sigüenza happened to be of
importance in the war; by bribery a troop of royalist soldiers obtained
admittance to the castle and carried off López as a prisoner.[35]

It was the same even with so pious a monarch as Ferdinand the Catholic.
When, in 1476, the archiepiscopal see of Saragossa became vacant by the
death of Juan of Aragon, Ferdinand, with his father, Juan II, asked
Sixtus IV to appoint his natural son, Alfonso, a child six years of age.
The claim of the papacy to archiepiscopal appointments, based on the
necessity of the pallium, was of ancient date and had become
incontestable. In the thirteenth century Alfonso X had admitted it in
the case of the archbishops, but when Isabella appointed Ximenes to the
see of Toledo in 1495 the proceedings showed that the post was
considered to be in the gift of the crown and the papal confirmation to
be a matter of course.[36] So in the present case the request was a mere
form, as was seen when Sixtus refused. The defect of birth could be
dispensed for, but the youth of Alfonso was an insuperable objection,
and Sixtus appointed Ansias Dezpuch, then Archbishop of Monreal,
thinking that the services rendered by him and by his uncle, the Master
of the Order of Montesa, would induce the king to assent. Dezpuch
accepted, but Ferdinand at once sequestrated all the revenues of Monreal
and the priory of Santa Cristina and ordered him to resign. On his
hesitating, Ferdinand threatened to seize all the castles and revenues
of the mastership of Montesa, which was effectual, and Sixtus
compromised by making the boy perpetual administrator of Saragossa.[37]


Isabella, despite her piety, was as firm as her husband in defending the
claim of the crown in these matters against the papacy. When, in 1482,
the see of Cuenca became vacant and Sixtus IV appointed a Genoese cousin
to the position, Ferdinand and his queen energetically represented that
only Spaniards should have Spanish bishoprics and that the selection
should be made by them. Sixtus retorted that all benefices were in the
gift of the pope and that his power, derived from God, was unlimited,
whereupon they ordered home all their subjects resident in the papal
court and threatened to take steps for the convocation of a general
council. These energetic proceedings brought Sixtus to terms and he sent
to Spain a special nuncio, but Ferdinand and Isabella stood on their
dignity and refused even to receive him. Then the Cardinal of Spain,
Pero González de Mendoza, intervened and, on Sixtus withdrawing his
pretensions, they allowed themselves to be reconciled.[38] They alleged
that whatever might be the papal rights in other countries, in Spain
the patronage of all benefices belonged to the crown because they and
their predecessors had wrested the land from the infidel.[39] So
jealous, indeed, were they of the papal encroachments that among the
subjects which they submitted to the national synod assembled by them in
Seville, June, 1478, was how to prevent the residence of papal legates
and nuncios, who not only carried off much money from the kingdom, but
threatened the royal pre-eminence, to which the synod replied that this
rested with the sovereigns to do as their predecessors had done.[40] It
is easy thus to understand why, in the organization of the Inquisition,
they insisted that all appointments should be made by the throne.

In other ways the much-prized superiority of the canon over secular law
was disregarded in Spain. The Córtes and the monarch had never hesitated
to legislate on ecclesiastical affairs, and the jurisdiction of the
ecclesiastical courts was limited with a jealousy which paid scant
respect to canon and decretal. Nothing, for instance, was better settled
than the spiritual cognizance of all matters respecting testaments, yet
when, in 1270, the authorities of Badajoz complained of the interference
of the bishop's court with secular judges in such affairs, proceeding to
the excommunication of those who exercised jurisdiction over them,
Alfonso X expressed surprise and gave explicit commands that such cases
should be decided by the lay courts exclusively.[41] So little respect
was felt for the immunity of ecclesiastics from secular law, in defence
of which Thomas à Becket had laid down his life, that, as late as 1351,
an _ordenamiento_ of Pedro the Cruel concedes to them that they shall
not be cited before secular judges except in accordance with law.[42] On
the other hand, laymen were jealously protected from the ecclesiastical
courts. The crown was declared to be the sole judge of its own
jurisdiction, and no appeal from it was allowed. In the exercise of this
supreme power laws were repeatedly enacted providing that a layman, who
should cite another layman before a spiritual judge, not only lost his
cause but incurred a heavy fine and disability for public office. The
spiritual judge could not imprison a layman or levy execution on his
property, and he who attempted it or any other invasion of the royal
jurisdiction forfeited his benefices and became a stranger in the
kingdom, thus rendering him incapable of preferment. The ecclesiastic
who cited a layman before a spiritual judge lost any privileges or
graces which he might hold of the crown. The layman who attempted to
remove a cause from a lay court to a spiritual one was punished with
confiscation of all his property, while any vassal who claimed benefit
of clergy and declined the jurisdiction of a royal court forfeited his
fief. In re-enacting these laws in the Córtes of Toledo, in 1480,
Ferdinand and Isabella complained of their inobservance and ordered
their strict enforcement.[43] No other nation in Christendom dared thus
to infringe on the sacred limits of spiritual jurisdiction.


Yet even this was not all, for the secular power asserted its right to
intervene in matters within the Church itself. Elsewhere the
ineradicable vice of priestly concubinage was left to be dealt with by
bishops and archdeacons. The guilty priests themselves, even in Castile,
were exempt from civil authority, but Ferdinand and Isabella had no
hesitation in invading their domiciles and, by repeated edicts in 1480,
1491, 1502, and 1503, endeavored to cure the evil by fining, scourging,
and banishing their partners in sin.[44] It is true, as we have seen
above, that these laws were eluded, but there was at least a vigorous
attempt to enforce them for, in 1490, the clergy of Guipuzcoa complained
that the officers of justice visited their houses to see whether they
kept concubines (which of course they denied) and carried off their
women to prison, where they were forced to confess themselves
concubines, to the great dishonor of the Church, whereupon the
sovereigns repressed the excessive zeal of their officials and ordered
them in future to interfere only when the concubinage was notorious.[45]
A yet more significant extension of royal authority was exercised when,
in 1490, the people of Lequeitio (Biscay) complained that, though there
were twelve mass-priests in the parish church, they all celebrated
together and at uncertain times, so that the pious were unable to be
present. This was a matter belonging exclusively to the diocesan
authority, yet the appeal was made to the crown, and the Royal Council
felt no scruple in ordering the priests to celebrate in succession and
at reasonable hours, under pain of banishment and forfeiture of
temporalities, thus disregarding even the imprescriptible immunities of
the priesthood.[46] So slender, indeed, was the respect paid to these
immunities that the Council of Aranda, in 1473, complained that
magistrates of cities and other temporal lords presumed to banish
ecclesiastics holding benefices in cathedral churches, and it may well
be doubted whether the interdict with which the council threatened to
punish this infraction of the canons was effective in its

One of the most deplorable abuses with which the Church afflicted
society was the admission into the minor orders of crowds of laymen who,
without abandoning worldly pursuits, adopted the tonsure in order to
enjoy the irresponsibility afforded by the claim acquired to spiritual
jurisdiction, whether as criminals or as traders. The Córtes of
Tordesillas, in 1401, declared that the greater portion of the
_rufianes_ and malefactors of the kingdom wore the tonsure; when
arrested by the secular officials the spiritual courts demanded them and
enforced their claims with excommunication, after which they freely
discharged the evil doers. This complaint was re-echoed by almost every
subsequent Córtes, with an occasional allusion to the stimulus thus
afforded to the evil propensities of those who were really clerics. The
kings in responding to these representations could only say that they
would apply to the Holy Father for relief, but the relief never
came.[48] The spirit in which these claims of clerical immunity were
advanced as a shield for criminals and the resolute firmness with which
they were met by Ferdinand and Isabella are illustrated by an occurrence
in 1486, in Truxillo, where a man committed a crime and was arrested by
the corregidor. He claimed to wear the tonsure and, as the officials
delayed in handing him over to the ecclesiastical court, some clerics
who were his kinsmen paraded the streets with a cross and proclaimed
that religion was being destroyed. They succeeded thus in arousing a
tumult in which the culprit was liberated. The sovereigns were in
Galicia, but they forthwith despatched troops to the scene of
disturbance; severe punishment was inflicted on the participants in the
riot, and the clerics who had provoked it were deprived of citizenship
and were banished from Spain.[49] Less serious but still abundantly
obnoxious were the advantages which these tonsured laymen possessed in
civil suits by claiming the privilege of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. To
meet this was largely the object of the laws in the _Ordenanzas Reales_
described above, and these were supplemented, in 1519, by an edict of
Charles V forbidding episcopal officials from cognizance of cases where
such so-called clerics engaged in trade sought the spiritual courts as a
defence against civil suits. A similar abuse, by which such clerics in
public office evaded responsibility for wrong-doing by pleading their
clergy, he remedied by reviving an old law of Juan I declaring them
ineligible to office.[50] Thus the royal power in Spain asserted its
authority over the Church after a fashion unknown elsewhere. We shall
see that, so long as it declined to persecute Moors and Jews, Rome could
not compel it to do so. When its policy changed under Isabella it was
inevitable that the machinery of persecution should be under the
control, not of the Church, but of the sovereign. We shall also see
that, when the Inquisition inflicted similar wrongs by the immunities
claimed for its own officials and familiars, the sovereigns customarily
turned a deaf ear to the complaints of the people.

       *       *       *       *       *


Such was the condition of Castile when the death of the miserable Henry
IV, December 12, 1474, cast the responsibility of royalty on his sister
Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon. The power of the crown
was eclipsed; the land was ravaged with interminable war between nobles
who were practically independent; the sentiment of loyalty and
patriotism seemed extinct: deceit and treachery, false oaths--whatever
would serve cupidity and ambition--were universal; justice was bought
and sold; private vengeance was exercised without restraint; there was
no security for life and property. The fabric of society seemed about to
fall in ruins.[51] To evolve order out of this chaos of passion and
lawlessness was a task to test to the uttermost the nerve and capacity
of the most resolute and sagacious. To add to the confusion there was a
disputed succession, although, in 1468, the oath of fidelity had been
taken to Isabella, with the assent of Henry IV, in the Contract of
Perales, by which he, for the second time, acknowledged his reputed
daughter Juana not to be his. He was popularly believed to be impotent,
and when his wife Juana, sister of Affonso V of Portugal, bore him a
daughter, whom he acknowledged and declared to be his heir, her
paternity was maliciously ascribed to Beltran de la Cueva, and she was
known by the opposite party as La Beltraneja. Though Henry had been
forced by his nobles to set aside her claims in favor of his brother
Alfonso in the Declaration of Cabezon, in 1464, and, after Alfonso's
death, in favor of Isabella, in 1468, the latter's marriage, in 1469,
with Ferdinand of Aragon so angered him that he betrothed Juana to
Charles Duke of Guienne, brother of Louis XI of France, and made the
nobles of his faction swear to acknowledge her. At his death he
testified again to her legitimacy and declared her to be his successor
in a will which long remained hidden and finally in 1504 fell under the
control of Ferdinand, who ordered it burnt.[52] There was a powerful
party pledged to support her rights, and they were aided on the one hand
by Affonso of Portugal and on the other by Louis of France, each eager
to profit by dismembering the unhappy land. Some years of war, more
cruel and bloody than even the preceding aimless strife, were required
to dispose of this formidable opposition--years which tried to the
utmost the ability of the young sovereigns and proved to their subjects
that at length they had rulers endowed with kingly qualities. The
decisive victory of Toro, won by Ferdinand over the Portuguese, March 1,
1476, virtually settled the result, although the final treaty was not
signed until 1479. The Beltraneja was given the alternative of marrying
within six months Prince Juan, son of Ferdinand and Isabella, then but
two years old, or of entering the Order of Santa Clara in a Portuguese
house. She chose the latter, but she never ceased to sign herself _Yo la
Reina_, and her pretensions were a frequent source of anxiety. She led a
varied life, sometimes treated as queen, with a court around her, and
sometimes as a nun in her convent, dying at last in 1531, at the age of

Isabella was queen in fact as well as in name. Under the feudal system,
the husband of an heiress was so completely lord of the fief that, in
the Capitulations of Cervera, January 7, 1469, which preceded the
marriage, the Castilians carefully guarded the autonomy of their kingdom
and Ferdinand swore to observe the conditions.[54] Yet, on the death of
Henry IV, he imagined that he could disregard the compact, alleging that
the crown of Castile passed to the nearest male descendant, and that
through his grandfather, Ferdinand of Antequera, brother of Henry III,
he was the lawful heir. The position was, however, too doubtful and
complicated for him to insist on this; a short struggle convinced his
consummate prudence that it was wisdom to yield, and Isabella's wifely
tact facilitated submission. It was agreed that their two names should
appear on all papers, both their heads on all coins, and that there
should be a single seal with the arms of Castile and Aragon. Thereafter
they acted in concert which was rarely disturbed. The strong
individuality which characterized both conduced to harmony, for neither
of them allowed courtiers to gain undue influence. As Pulgar says "The
favorite of the king is the queen, the favorite of the queen is the


Ferdinand, without being a truly great man, was unquestionably the
greatest monarch of an age not prolific in greatness, the only
contemporary whom he did not wholly eclipse being Henry VII of England.
Constant in adversity, not unduly elated in prosperity, there was a
stedfast equipoise in his character which more than compensated for any
lack of brilliancy. Far-seeing and cautious, he took no decisive step
that was not well prepared in advance but, when the time came, he could
strike, promptly and hard. Not naturally cruel, he took no pleasure in
human suffering, but he was pitiless when his policy demanded.
Dissimulation and deceit are too invariable an ingredient of statecraft
for us to censure him severely for the craftiness in which he surpassed
his rivals or for the mendacity in which he was an adept. Cold and
reserved, he preferred to inspire fear rather than to excite affection,
but he was well served and his insight into character gave him the most
useful faculty of a ruler, the ability to choose his instruments and to
get from them the best work which they were capable of performing, while
gratitude for past services never imposed on him any inconvenient
obligations. He was popularly accused of avarice, but the empty treasury
left at his death showed that acquisitiveness with him had been merely a
means to an end.[56] His religious convictions were sincere and moreover
he recognized wisely the invaluable aid which religion could lend to
statesmanship at a time when Latin Christianity was dominant without a
rival. This was especially the case in the ten years' war with Granada,
his conduct of which would alone stamp him as a leader of men. The
fool-hardy defiance of Abu-l-Hacan when, in 1478, he haughtily refused
to resume payment of the tribute which for centuries had been imposed on
Granada, and when, in 1481, he broke the existing truce by surprising
Zahara, was a fortunate occurrence which Ferdinand improved to the
utmost. The unruly Castilian nobles had been reduced to order, but they
chafed under the unaccustomed restraint. By giving their warlike
instincts legitimate employment in a holy cause, he was securing
internal peace; by leading his armies personally, he was winning the
respect of his Castilian subjects who hated him as an Aragonese, and he
was training them to habits of obedience. By making conquests for the
crown of Castile he became naturalized and was no longer a foreigner. It
was more than a hundred years since a King of Castile had led his
chivalry to victory over the infidel, and national pride and religious
enthusiasm were enlisted in winning for him the personal authority
necessary for a sovereign, which had been forfeited since the murder of
Pedro the Cruel had established the bastard line upon the throne. It was
by such means as this, and not by the Inquisition that he started the
movement which converted feudal Spain into an absolute monarchy. His
life's work was seen in the success with which, against heavy odds, he
lifted Spain from her obscurity in Europe to the foremost rank of
Christian powers.

Yet amid the numerous acts of cruelty and duplicity which tarnish the
memory of Ferdinand as a statesman, examination of his correspondence
with his officials of the Inquisition, especially with those employed in
the odious business of confiscating the property of the unhappy victims,
has revealed to me an unexpectedly favorable aspect of his character.
While urging them to diligence and thoroughness, his instructions are
invariably to decide all cases with rectitude and justice and to give no
one cause of complaint. While insisting on the subordination of the
people and the secular officials to the Holy Office, more than once we
find him intervening to check arbitrary action and to correct abuses
and, when cases of peculiar hardship arising from confiscations are
brought to his notice, he frequently grants to widows and orphans a
portion of the forfeited property. All this will come before us more
fully hereafter and a single instance will suffice here to illustrate
his kindly disposition to his subjects. In a letter of October 20, 1502,
he recites that Domingo Muñoz of Calatayna has appealed to him for
relief, representing that his little property was burdened with an
annual _censal_ or ground-rent of two sols eight dineros--part of a
larger one confiscated in the estate of Juan de Buendia, condemned for
heresy--and he orders Juan Royz, his receiver of confiscations at
Saragossa, to release the ground-rent and let Muñoz have his property
unincumbered, giving as a reason that the latter is old and poor.[57] It
shows Ferdinand's reputation among his subjects that such an appeal
should be ventured, and the very triviality of the matter renders it the
more impressive that a monarch, whose ceaseless personal activity was
devoted to the largest affairs of that tumultuous world, should turn
from the complicated treachery of European politics to consider and
grant so humble a prayer.

[Sidenote: _ISABELLA_]

In his successful career as a monarch he was well seconded by his queen.
Without deserving the exaggerated encomiums which have idealized her,
Isabella was a woman exactly adapted to her environment. As we have
seen, the _muger varonil_ was a not uncommon development of the period
in Spain, and Isabella's youth, passed in the midst of civil broils,
with her fate more than once suspended in the balance, had strengthened
and hardened the masculine element in her character. Self-reliant and
possessed of both moral and physical courage, she was prompt and
decided, bearing with ease responsibilities that would have crushed a
weaker nature and admirably fitted to cope with the fierce and turbulent
nobles, who respected neither her station nor her sex and could be
reduced to obedience only by a will superior to their own. She had the
defects of her qualities. She could not have been the queen she was
without sacrifice of womanly softness, and she earned the reputation of
being hard and unforgiving.[58] She could not be merciful when her task
was to reduce to order the wild turmoil and lawlessness which had so
long reigned unchecked in Castile, but in this she shed no blood
wantonly and she knew how to pardon when policy dictated mercy. How she
won the affection of those in whom she confided can be readily
understood from the feminine grace of her letters to her confessor,
Hernando of Talavera.[59] A less praiseworthy attribute of her sex was
her fondness for personal adornment, in which she indulged in spite of a
chronically empty treasury and a people overwhelmed with taxation. We
hear of her magnifying her self-abnegation in receiving the French
ambassador twice in the same gown, while an attaché of the English envoy
says that he never saw her twice in the same attire, and that a single
toilet, with its jewels and appendages must have cost at least 200,000
crowns.[60] She was moreover rigidly tenacious of the royal dignity.
Once when Ferdinand was playing cards with some grandees, the Admiral of
Castile, whose sister was Ferdinand's mother, addressed him repeatedly
as "nephew"; Isabella was undressed in an inner room and heard it; she
hastily gathered a garment around her, put her head through the door and
rebuked him--"Hold! my lord the king has no kindred or friends, he has
servants and vassals."[61] She was deeply and sincerely religious,
placing almost unbounded confidence in her spiritual directors, whom she
selected, not among courtly casuists to soothe her conscience, but from
among the most rigid and unbending churchmen within her reach, and to
this may in part be attributed the fanaticism which led her to make such
havoc among her people. She was scrupulously regular in all church
observances; in addition to frequent prayers she daily recited the hours
like a priest, and her biographer tells us that, in spite of the
pressing cares of state, she seemed to lead a contemplative rather than
an active life.[62] She was naturally just and upright, though, in the
tortuous policy of the time, she had no hesitation in becoming the
accomplice of Ferdinand's frequent duplicity and treachery. With all the
crowded activity of her eventful life, she found time to stimulate the
culture despised by the warlike chivalry around her, and she took a deep
interest in an academy which, at her instance, was opened for the young
nobles of her court by the learned Italian, Peter Martyr of


Isabella recognized that the surest way to curb the disorders which
pervaded her kingdom was the vigorous enforcement of the law and, as
soon as the favorable aspect of the war of the succession gave leisure
for less pressing matters, she set earnestly to work to accomplish it.
The victory of Toro was followed immediately by the Córtes of Madrigal,
April 27, 1476, where far-reaching reforms were enacted, among which the
administration of justice and the vindication of the royal prerogatives
occupied a conspicuous place.[64] It was not long before she gave her
people a practical illustration of her inflexible determination to
enforce these reforms. In 1477 she visited Seville with her court and
presided in public herself over the trial of malefactors. Complaints
came in thick and fast of murders and robberies committed in the bad old
times; the criminals were summarily dispatched, and a great fear fell
upon the whole population, for there was scarce a family or even an
individual who was not compromised. Multitudes fled and Seville bade
fair to be depopulated when, at the supplication of a great crowd,
headed by Enrique de Guzman, Duke of Medina Sidonia, she proclaimed an
amnesty conditioned on the restitution of property, making, however, the
significant exception of heresy.[65]


From Seville she went, accompanied by Ferdinand, to Córdova. There they
executed malefactors, compelled restitution of property, took possession
of the castles of robber hidalgos, and left the land pacified. As
opportunity allowed, in the busy years which followed, Isabella visited
other portions of her dominions, from Valencia to Biscay and Galicia, on
the same errand and, when she could not appear in person, she sent
judges around with full power to represent the crown, the influence of
which was further extended when, in 1480, the royal officers known as
corregidores were appointed in all towns and cities.[66] One notable
case is recorded which impressed the whole nobility with salutary
terror. In 1480 the widow of a scrivener appealed to her against Alvar
Yáñez, a rich caballero of Lugo in Galicia, who, to obtain possession of
a coveted property, caused the scrivener to forge a deed and then
murdered him to insure secrecy. It was probably this which led Ferdinand
and Isabella to send to Galicia Fernando de Acuña as governor with an
armed force, and Garcí López de Chinchilla as corregidor. Yáñez was
arrested and finally confessed and offered to purchase pardon with
40,000 ducats to be applied to the Moorish wars. Isabella's counsellors
advised acceptance of the tempting sum for so holy a cause, but her
inflexible sense of justice rejected it; she had the offender put to
death, but to prove her disinterestedness she waived her claim to his
forfeited estates and gave them to his children. Alvar Yáñez was but a
type of the lawless nobles of Galicia who, for a century, had been
accustomed to slay and spoil without accountability to any one. So
desperate appeared the condition of the land that when, in 1480, the
deputies of the towns assembled to receive Acuña and Chinchilla they
told them that they would have to have powers from the King of Heaven as
well as from the earthly king to punish the evil doers of the land.[67]
The example made of Yáñez brought encouragement, but the work of
restoring order was slow. Even in 1482 the representatives of the towns
of Galicia appealed to the sovereigns, stating that there had long been
neither law nor justice there and begging that a _justizia mayor_ be
appointed, armed with full powers to reduce the land to order. They
especially asked for the destruction of the numerous castles of those
who, having little land and few vassals to support them, lived by
robbery and pillage, and with them they classed the fortified churches
held by prelates. At the same time they represented that homicide had
been so universal that, if all murderers were punished, the greater part
of the land would be ruined, and they suggested that culprits be merely
made to serve at their own expense in the war with Granada.[68] With the
support of the well-disposed, however, the royal power gradually made
itself felt; they lent efficient support to the royal representatives;
forty-six robber castles were razed and fifteen hundred robbers and
murderers fled from the province, which became comparatively peaceful
and orderly--a change confirmed when, in 1486, Ferdinand and Isabella
went thither personally to complete the work. Yet it was not simply by
spasmodic effort that the protection of the laws was secured for the
population. Constant vigilance was exercised to see that the judges were
strict and impartial. In 1485, 1488 and 1490 we hear of searching
investigations made into the action of all the corregidores of the
kingdom to see that they administered justice without fear or favor.
_Juezes de Residencia_, as they were called, armed with almost full
royal authority, were dispatched to all parts of the kingdom, as a
regular system, to investigate and report on the conduct of all royal
officials, from governors down, with power to punish for injustice,
oppression, or corruption, subject always to appeal in larger cases to
the royal council, and the detailed instructions given to them show the
minute care exercised over all details of administration. Bribery, also,
which was almost universal in the courts, was summarily suppressed and
all judges were forbidden to receive presents from suitors.[69] To
maintain constant watchfulness over them a secret service was organized
of trustworthy inspectors who circulated throughout the land in disguise
and furnished reports as to their proceedings and reputation.[70]
Attention, moreover, was paid to the confused jurisprudence of the
period. Since the confirmation of the _Siete Partidas_ of Alfonso X, in
1348, and the issue at the same time of the _Ordenamiento de Alcalá_,
there had been countless laws and edicts published, some of them
conflicting and many that had grown obsolete though still legally in
force. The greatest jurist of the day, Alfonso Diaz de Montalvo, was
employed to gather from these into a code all that were applicable to
existing conditions and further to supplement their deficiencies, and
this code, known as the _Ordenanzas Reales_, was accepted and confirmed
by the Córtes of Toledo in 1480.[71] This reconstruction of Castilian
jurisprudence was completed for the time when, in 1491, Montalvo brought
out an edition of the _Siete Partidas_, noting what provisions had
become obsolete and adding what was necessary of the more modern laws.
The result of all these strenuous labors is seen in the admiring
exclamation of Peter Martyr, in 1492, "Thus we have peace and concord,
hitherto unknown in Spain. Justice, which seems to have abandoned other
lands, pervades these kingdoms."[72] The inestimable benefits resulting
from this are probably due more especially to Isabella.

Yet I have been led to the conviction that her share in the
administration of her kingdom has been exaggerated. The chroniclers of
the period were for the most part Castilians who would naturally seek to
subordinate the action of the Aragonese intruder, and subsequent
writers, in their eagerness to magnify the reputation of Isabella, have
followed the example. In the copious royal correspondence with the
officials of the Inquisition the name of Isabella rarely appears. To
those in Castile as in Aragon Ferdinand mostly writes in the first
person singular, without even using the _pluralis majestatis_; the
receiver of confiscations is _mi receptor_, the royal treasury is _mi
camera e fisco_; the Council of the Inquisition is _mi consejo_. In
spite of the agreement of 1474, the signature _Yo la Reina_ rarely
appears alongside of _Yo el Rey_, and still rarer are Ferdinand's
allusions to _la Serenissima Reina, mi muy cara e muy amada muger_,
while in the occasional letters issued by Isabella during her husband's
absence, she is careful to adduce his authority as that of _el Rey mi
señor_.[73] It is scarce likely that this preponderance of Ferdinand was
confined to directing the affairs of the Holy Office.

There has been a tendency of late to regard the Inquisition as a
political engine for the conversion of Spain from a medieval feudal
monarchy to one of the modern absolute type, but this is an error. The
change effected by Ferdinand and Isabella and confirmed by their
grandson Charles V was almost wholly wrought, as it had been two
centuries earlier in France, by the extension and enforcement of the
royal jurisdiction, superseding that of the feudatories.[74] In Castile
the latter had virtually ceased to be an instrument of good during the
long period of turbulence which preceded the accession of Isabella;
something evidently was needed to fill the gap; the zealous and
efficient administration of justice, which I have described, not only
restored order to the community but went far to exalt the royal power,
and, while it abased the nobles, it reconciled the people to possible
usurpations which were so beneficent. In the consolidation and
maintenance of this no agency was so effective as the institution known
as the _Santa Hermandad_.


Hermandades--brotherhoods or associations for the maintenance of public
peace and private rights--were no new thing. In the troubles of 1282,
caused by the rebellion of Sancho IV against his father, the first idea
of his supporters seems to have been the formation of such
organizations.[75] In these associations, however, the police functions
were subordinated to the political object of supporting the pretensions
of Sancho IV and, recognizing their danger, he dissolved them as soon as
he felt the throne assured to him. After his death, his widow the regent
Doña María de Molina, organized them anew for the protection of her
child, Fernando IV, and again in 1315, when she was a second time regent
in the minority of her grandson, Alfonso XI.[76]

The idea was a fruitful one and speedily came to be recognized as a
potent instrumentality in the struggle with local disorder and violence.
Perhaps the earliest Hermandad of a purely police character, similar to
the later ones, was that entered into in 1302 between Toledo, Talavera
and Villareal to repress the robberies and murders committed by the
_Golfines_ in the district of Xara. Fernando IV not only confirmed the
association but ordered the inhabitants to render it due assistance, and
subsequent royal letters of the same purport were issued in 1303, 1309,
1312 and 1315.[77] In 1386 Juan I framed a general law providing for the
organization and functions of Hermandades, but if any were formed under
it at the time they have left no traces of their activity. In 1418 this
law was adopted as the constitution of one which organized itself in
Santiago, but this accomplished little and, in 1421, the guilds and
confraternities of the city united in another for mutual support and
succor.[78] There was, in fact, at this time, at least nominally, a
general Hermandad, probably organized under the statute of Juan I and
possessing written charters and privileges and customs and revenues,
with full jurisdiction to try and condemn offenders. It commanded little
respect, however, for it complained, in 1418, to Juan II of interference
with its revenues and work, in response to which Juan vigorously
prohibited all royal and local judges and officials from impeding the
Hermandades in any manner. The continuity, nominal at least, of this
with subsequent organizations is shown by the confirmation of this
utterance by Juan II in 1423, by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1485, by
Juana la Loca in 1512 and 1518, by Philip II in 1561, by Philip III in
1601 and by Philip IV in 1621.[79] In the increasing disorder of the
times, however, it was impossible, at that period, to maintain the
efficiency of the body. In 1443 an attempt was made to reconstruct it,
but as soon as it endeavored to repress the lawless nobles and laid
siege to Pedro López de Ayala in Salvatierra its forces were cut to
pieces and dispersed by Pedro Fernández de Velasco.[80] Some twenty
years later, in 1465, when the disorders under Henry IV were
culminating, another effort was made. The suffering people organized and
taxed themselves to raise a force of 1800 horsemen to render the roads
safe, and they endeavored to bring the number up to 3000. It was a
popular movement against the nobles and the king hailed it as the work
of God who was lifting up the humble against the great. He empowered
them to administer justice without appeal except to himself, he told
them that they had well earned the name of _Santa Hermandad_ and he
urged them earnestly to go forward in the good work. The attempt had
considerable success for a time, but it soon languished and was
dissolved for lack of the means required to carry it on.[81] Again, in
1473, there was another endeavor to form a Hermandad, but the anarchical
forces were too dominant for its successful organization.[82]


As soon as the victory of Toro, in March, 1476, gave promise of settled
government, the idea of reviving the Hermandades occurred to Alfonso de
Quintanilla, Contador Mayor, or Chief Auditor, of Ferdinand and
Isabella. With their approval he broached the subject to leading
citizens of the principal towns in Leon and Old Castile; deputies were
sent to meet at Dueñas and the project was debated. So many obstacles
presented themselves that it would have been abandoned but for an
eloquent argument by Quintanilla. His plan was adopted, but so fearful
were the deputies that the taxes necessary for its maintenance might
become permanent that they limited its duration to three years. Under
the impulse of the sovereigns it rapidly took shape and was organized
with the Duke of Villahermosa, natural brother of Ferdinand, at its
head.[83] No time was lost in extending it throughout the kingdoms, in
spite of resistance on the part of those who regarded with well-founded
apprehension not only its efficiency as a means of coercing malefactors
but as a dangerous development of the royal power. Seville, for
instance, recalcitrated and only yielded to a peremptory command from
Isabella in June, 1477.[84] One of the reasons assigned, in 1507, by
Ferdinand for assenting to the demoralizing arrangement under which the
Archbishop of Compostella resigned his see in favor of his natural son,
was that he had received the royal judges and the Hermandad throughout
his province, in opposition to the will of the nobles and gentry.[85]
When, in 1479, Alonso Carrillo and the Marquis of Villena made a final
attempt to urge the King of Portugal to another invasion of Castile, one
of the arguments advanced was the hatred entertained for Ferdinand and
Isabella in consequence of the taxes levied to support the three
thousand horsemen of the Hermandad.[86] In some provinces the resistance
was obstinate. In 1479 we find Isabella writing to the authorities of
Biscay, expressing surprise at the neglect of the royal orders and
threatening condign punishment for further delay, notwithstanding which
repeated commands were requisite, and it was not till 1488 that the
stubborn Biscayans submitted, while soon afterward complaints came from
Guipuzcoa that the local courts neutralized it by admitting appeals from
its sentences.[87] It was in the same year that Ferdinand obtained from
the Córtes of Saragossa assent to the introduction of the Hermandad in
his kingdom of Aragon, but the Aragonese, always jealous of the royal
power, chafed under it for, in December, 1493, Isabella, writing from
Saragossa, expresses a fear that the Córtes may suppress it, though it
is the only means of enforcing justice there, and in the Córtes of
Monçon, in 1510, Ferdinand was obliged to approve a _fuero_ abolishing
it and forbidding for the future anything of the kind to be
established.[88] In 1490 the independent kingdom of Navarre adopted the
system and co-operated with its neighbors by allowing malefactors to be
followed across the border and extraditing them when caught--even
absconding debtors being thus tracked and surrendered.[89] The
institution thus founded was watched with Isabella's customary care. In
1483 complaints arose of bribery and extortion, when she summoned a
convention at Pinto of representatives from all the provinces, where the
guilty were punished and abuses were reformed.[90]

The Santa Hermandad thus formed a mounted military police which covered
the whole kingdom, under the Duke of Villahermosa, who appointed the
captains and summoned the force to any point where trouble was
threatened. Each centre of population elected two alcaldes, one a
gentleman and the other a tax-payer or commoner, and levied a tax to
defray the expense of the organization. The alcaldes selected the
_quadrilleros_, or privates, and held courts which dispensed summary
justice to delinquents, bound by no formalities and required to listen
to no legal pleadings. Their decision was final, save an appeal to the
throne; their jurisdiction extended over all crimes of violence and
theft and they could inflict stripes, mutilation, or death by shooting
with arrows. The quadrillero in pursuit of an offender was required to
follow him for five leagues, raising the hue and cry as he went, and
joined by those of the country through which he passed, who kept up the
hunt until the fugitive was either caught or driven beyond the


Great as were the services of the Hermandad in repressing the turbulence
of the nobles and rendering the roads safe, its cost was a source of
complaint to the communities which defrayed it. This was by no means
small; in 1485 it was computed at 32,000,000 maravedís and subsequently
it increased greatly; it was met by a tax of 18,000 maravedís on every
hundred hearths and the money was not handled by the communities but was
paid to the crown.[92] Nominally the organization was in their hands,
but virtually it was controlled by the sovereigns, and when, in 1498,
Ferdinand and Isabella, with an appearance of generosity, relieved the
taxpayers and assumed to meet the expenses from the royal revenues,
although they left the election of the alcaldes and quadrilleros in the
hands of the local populations, yet the result was inevitable in
subjecting it still more closely to the crown.[93] The institution
became permanent, and its modern development is seen in the _guarda
civil_. None of the reforms of Ferdinand and Isabella was so efficient
in restoring order and none did more to centralize power. It was not
only a rudimentary standing army which could be concentrated speedily to
suppress disorder, but it carried the royal jurisdiction into every
corner of the land and made the royal authority supreme everywhere. It
was practically an alliance between the crown and the people against the
centrifugal forces of feudalism, without which even the policy of
Ferdinand and the iron firmness of Ximenes might have failed to win in
the final struggle. When municipal independence likewise perished in the
defeat of the Comunidades, the only power left standing in Spain was
that of the throne, which thus became absolute and all-pervading. The
new absolutism was embodied in the self-effacing declaration of the
Córtes of Valladolid, in 1523, to Charles V, that the laws and customs
were subject to the king, who could make and revoke them at his
pleasure, for he was the living law.[94] How immense was the revolution
and how speedily accomplished is seen in the contrast between the time
when the Count of Benavente jeered at a royal safe-conduct and the
people of Galicia scarce dared to receive a royal commissioner, and some
sixty years later when, in the unruly Basque provinces, the people of
San Sebastian, in 1536, appealed to the Emperor Charles V to relieve
them from local nuisances, and royal letters were gravely issued
forbidding the butchers of that town from erecting new stalls or
skinning cattle in the streets and restricting the latter operation to
places duly assigned for the purpose.[95] Thus the crown had become
absolute and its interposition could be invoked for the minutest details
of local government. He reads history to little purpose who imagines
that this was the work of the Inquisition.

Another measure of no little importance in establishing the royal
supremacy was the virtual incorporation in the crown of the masterships
of the three great military Orders of Santiago, of Calatrava and of
Alcántara. Under Henry IV a Master of Santiago had been able to keep the
whole kingdom in confusion, and the wealth and power of the others,
although not so great, were sufficient to render their chiefs the equals
of the highest nobles. From Innocent VIII, in 1489, Ferdinand procured a
brief granting him for life the administration of all three; and in her
will Isabella bequeathed to him an annual income of ten millions of
maravedís from their revenues.[96] As Ferdinand's death drew near, the
Orders endeavored to be released from subjection, claiming that they
could be governed only by their own members, but prudent care secured in
time from Leo X the succession in the masterships to Charles V, who,
after Leo's death, made haste to obtain from Adrian VI a bull which
annexed them in perpetuity to the crown.[97]

       *       *       *       *       *

It was impossible that a king so far-seeing and politic as Ferdinand and
a queen so pious as Isabella, when reducing to order the chaos which
they found in Castile, should neglect the interest of the faith on
which, according to medieval belief, all social order was based. There
were in fact burning religious questions which, to sensitive piety,
might seem even more urgent than protection to life and property. To
comprehend the intricacy of the situation will require a somewhat
extended retrospect into the relations between the several races
occupying the Peninsula.



The influences under which human character can be modified, for good or
for evil, are abundantly illustrated in the conversion of the Spaniards
from the most tolerant to the most intolerant nation in Europe.
Apologists may seek to attribute the hatred felt for Jews and Moors and
heretics, in the Spain of the fifteenth and succeeding centuries, to an
inborn peculiarity of the race--a _cosa de España_ which must be
accepted as a fact and requires no explanation,[98] but such facts have
their explanation, and it is the business of the expositor of history to
trace them to their causes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The vicissitudes endured by the Jewish race, from the period when
Christianity became dominant, may well be a subject of pride to the
Hebrew and of shame to the Christian. The annals of mankind afford no
more brilliant instance of steadfastness under adversity, of
unconquerable strength through centuries of hopeless oppression, of
inexhaustible elasticity in recuperating from apparent destruction, and
of conscientious adherence to a faith whose only portion in this life
was contempt and suffering. Nor does the long record of human perversity
present a more damning illustration of the facility with which the evil
passions of man can justify themselves with the pretext of duty, than
the manner in which the Church, assuming to represent Him who died to
redeem mankind, deliberately planted the seeds of intolerance and
persecution and assiduously cultivated the harvest for nearly fifteen
hundred years. It was in vain that Jesus on the cross had said "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do"; it was in vain that St.
Peter was recorded as urging, in excuse for the Crucifixion, "And now,
brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your
rulers"; the Church taught that, short of murder, no punishment, no
suffering, no obloquy was too severe for the descendants of those who
had refused to recognize the Messiah, and had treated him as a rebel
against human and divine authority. Under the canon law the Jew was a
being who had scarce the right to existence and could only enjoy it
under conditions of virtual slavery. As recently as 1581, Gregory XIII
declared that the guilt of the race in rejecting and crucifying Christ
only grows deeper with successive generations, entailing on its members
perpetual servitude, and this authoritative assertion was embodied in an
appendix to the Corpus Juris.[99] When Paramo, about the same period,
sought to justify the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, he had
no difficulty in citing canons to prove that Ferdinand and Isabella
could righteously have seized all their property and have sold their
bodies into slavery.[100] Man is ready enough to oppress and despoil his
fellows and, when taught by his religious guides that justice and
humanity are a sin against God, spoliation and oppression become the
easiest of duties. It is not too much to say that for the infinite
wrongs committed on the Jews during the Middle Ages, and for the
prejudices that are even yet rife in many quarters, the Church is mainly
if not wholly responsible. It is true that occasionally she lifted her
voice in mild remonstrance when some massacre occurred more atrocious
than usual, but these massacres were the direct outcome of the hatred
and contempt which she so zealously inculcated, and she never took steps
by punishment to prevent their repetition. Alonso de Espina merely
repeats the currently received orthodox ethics of the subject when he
tells us that to oppress the Jew is true kindness and piety, for when he
finds that his impiety brings suffering he will be led to the fear of
God and that he who makes another do right is greater in the sight of
God than he who does right himself.[101]


In view of Spanish abhorrence of Jews and Saracens during the last five
or six centuries it is a fact worthy of note that the Spanish nations of
the medieval period were the latest to yield to this impulsion of the
Church. The explanation of this lies partly in the relations between the
several races in the Peninsula and partly in the independent attitude
which Spain maintained towards the Holy See and its indisposition to
submit to the dictation of the Church. To appreciate fully the
transformation which culminated in the establishment of the Inquisition,
and to understand the causes leading to it, will require a brief review
of the position occupied by the Jew and the Saracen towards the Church
and the State.

       *       *       *       *       *


In the primitive Church there would seem to have been a feeling of
equality, if not of cordiality, between Christian and Jew. When it was
deemed necessary, in the Apostolic canons, to forbid bishops and priests
and deacons, as well as laymen, from fasting or celebrating feasts with
Jews, or partaking of their unleavened bread, or giving oil to their
synagogues, or lighting their lamps, this argues that kindly intercourse
between them was only to be restricted in so far as it might lead to
religious fellowship.[102] This kindly intercourse continued but, as the
Church became mostly Gentile in its membership, the prejudices existing
against the Jew in the Gentile world gathered strength until there
becomes manifest a tendency to treat him as an outcast. Early in the
fourth century the council of Elvira, held under the lead of the
uncompromising Hosius of Córdova, forbade marriage between Christians
and Jews, because there could be no society common to the faithful and
the infidel; no farmer was to have his harvest blest by a Jew, nor was
any one even to eat with him.[103] St. Augustin was not quite so rigid,
for while he held it lawful to dissolve marriage between the Christian
and the infidel, he argued that it was inexpedient.[104][105] St.
Ambrose was one of the earliest to teach proscription when he reproved
Theodosius the Great for the favor shown by him to Jews, who slew Christ
and who deny God in denying his Son, and St. John Chrysostom improved on
this by publicly preaching that Christians should hold no intercourse
with Jews, whose souls were the habitations of demons and whose
synagogues were their playgrounds.[106] The antagonism thus stimulated
found its natural expression, in 415, in the turbulent city of
Alexandria, where quarrels arose resulting in the shedding of Christian
blood, when St. Cyril took advantage of the excitement by leading a mob
to the synagogues, of which he took possession, and then abandoned the
property of the Jews to pillage and expelled them from the city, which
they had inhabited since its foundation by Alexander.[107] That under
such impulsion these excesses were common is shown by the frequent
repetition of imperial edicts forbidding the maltreatment of Jews and
the spoiling and burning of their synagogues; they were not allowed to
erect new ones but were to be maintained in possession of those
existing. At the same time the commencement of legal disabilities is
manifested in the reiterated prohibitions of the holding of Christian
slaves by Jews, while confiscation and perpetual exile or death were
threatened against Jews who should convert or circumcise Christians or
marry Christian wives.[108] The Church held it to be a burning disgrace
that a Jew should occupy a position of authority over Christians; in 438
it procured from Theodosius II the enactment of this as a fixed
principle, and we shall see how earnestly it labored to render this a
part of the public law of Christendom.[109] This spirit received a check
from the Arianism of the Gothic conquerors of the Western Empire.
Theodoric ordered the privileges of the Jews to be strictly preserved,
among which was the important one that all quarrels between themselves
should be settled by their own judges, and he sternly repressed all
persecution. When a mob in Rome burned a synagogue he commanded the
punishment of the perpetrators in terms of severe displeasure; when
attempts were made to invade the right of the Jews of Genoa he
intervened effectually, and when in Milan the clergy endeavored to
obtain possession of the synagogue he peremptorily forbade it.[110] So
long as the Wisigoths remained Arian this spirit prevailed throughout
their extensive dominions, although the orthodox were allowed to indulge
their growing uncharitableness. When the council of Agde, in 506,
forbade the faithful to banquet or even to eat with Jews it shows that
social intercourse still existed but that it was condemned by those who
ruled the Church.[111] In the East the same tendency had freer
opportunity of expressing itself in legislation, as when, in 706, the
council of Constantinople forbade Christians to live with Jews or to
bathe with them, to eat their unleavened bread, to consult them as
physicians or to take their medicines.[112]

Gregory the Great was too large-minded to approve of this growing spirit
of intolerance and, when some zealots in Naples attempted to prevent the
Jews from celebrating their feasts, he intervened with a peremptory
prohibition of such interference, arguing that it would not conduce to
their conversion and that they should be led by kindness and not by
force to embrace the faith, all of which was embodied in the canon law
to become conspicuous through its non-observance.[113] In fact, his
repeated enunciation of the precept shows how little it was regarded
even in his own time.[114] When, moreover, large numbers of Jews were
compelled to submit to baptism in southern Gaul he wrote reprovingly to
the Bishops Virgil of Arles and Theodore of Marseilles, but this did not
prevent St. Avitus of Clermont, about the same time, from baptizing
about five hundred, who thus saved their lives from the fanatic fury of
the populace.[115]

These forced conversions in Gothia were the first fruits of the change
of religion of the Wisigoths from Arianism to Catholicism. The
Ostrogoths, Theodoric and Theodatus, had expressly declared that they
could not interfere with the religion of their subjects, for no one can
be forced unwillingly to believe.[116] The Wisigoths, who dominated
southern Gaul and Spain, when adapting the Roman law to suit their
needs, had contented themselves with punishing by confiscation the
Christian who turned Jew, with liberating Christian slaves held by Jews,
and with inflicting the death penalty on Jewish masters who should force
Christian slaves to conversion, besides preserving the law of Theodosius
II prohibiting Jews from holding office or building new synagogues.[117]
This was by no means full toleration, but it was merciful in comparison
with what followed the conversion of the Goths to Catholicism. The
change commenced promptly, though it did not at once reach its full
severity. The third council of Toledo, held in May, 589, to condemn the
Arian heresy and to settle the details of the conversion, adopted canons
which show how free had hitherto been the intercourse between the races.
Jews were forbidden to have Christian wives or concubines or servants,
and all children sprung from such unions were to be baptized; any
Christian slave circumcised or polluted with Jewish rites was to be set
free; no Jew was to hold an office in which he could inflict punishment
on a Christian, and this action was followed by some further
disabilities decreed by the council of Narbonne in December of the same
year.[118] That freedom of discussion continued for some time is
manifested by the audacity of a Jew named Froganis, not long afterwards,
who, as we are told, in the presence of all the nobles of the court,
exalted the synagogue and depreciated the Church; it was easier perhaps
to close his mouth than to confute him, for Aurasius, Bishop of Toledo,
excommunicated him and declared him anathematized by the Father, Son and
Holy Ghost and by all the celestial hierarchy and cohorts.[119]


The greatest churchman of the day, St. Isidor of Seville, whose career
of forty years commenced with the Catholic revolution, did what in him
lay to stimulate and justify persecution. His treatise against the Jews
is not vituperative, as are so many later controversial writings, but he
proves that they are condemned for their fathers' sins to dispersion and
oppression until, at the end of the world, their eyes are to be opened
and they are to believe.[120] That he should have felt called upon to
compose such a work was an evil sign, and still more evil were the
conclusions which he taught. They could not fail of deplorable results,
as was seen when Sisebut ascended the throne in 612 and signalized the
commencement of his reign by a forcible conversion of all the Jews of
the kingdom. What means he adopted we are not told, but of course they
were violent, which St. Isidor mildly reproves, seeing that conversion
ought to be sincere, but which yet he holds to be strictly within the
competence of the Church.[121] The Church in fact was thus brought face
to face with the question whether the forcible propagation of the faith
is lawful. This is so repugnant to the teachings of Christ that it could
scarce be accepted, but, on the other hand, the sacrament of baptism is
indelible, so the convenient doctrine was adopted and became the settled
policy that, while Christianity was not to be spread by force, unwilling
converts were nevertheless Christians; they were not to be permitted to
apostatize and were subject to all the pains and penalties of heresy for
any secret inclination to their own religion.[122] This fruitful
conception led to infinite misery, as we shall see hereafter, and was
the impelling motive which created the Spanish Inquisition.

Whatever may have been the extent and the success of Sisebut's measures,
the Jews soon afterwards reappear, and they and the _conversos_ became
the subject of an unintermittent series of ecclesiastical and secular
legislation which shows that the policy so unfortunately adopted could
only have attained its end by virtual extermination. The anvil bade fair
to wear out the hammer--the constancy of the persecuted exhausted the
ingenuity of the persecutor. With the conversion to Catholicism
ecclesiastics became dominant throughout the Wisigothic territories and
to their influence is attributable the varied series of measures which
occupied the attention of the successive councils of Toledo from 633
until the Saracenic invasion in 711. Every expedient was tried--the
seizure of all Jewish children, to be shut up in monasteries or to be
given to God-fearing Christians; the alternative of expulsion or
conversion, to the enforcement of which all kings at their accession
were to take a solemn oath; the gentle persuasives of shaving,
scourging, confiscation and exile. That the people at large did not
share in the intolerance of their rulers is seen in the prohibitions of
social intercourse, mixed marriages, and the holding of office. The
spectre of proselytism was evoked in justification of these measures as
though the persecuted Jew would seek to incur its dangers even had not
the Talmud declared that "a proselyte is as damaging to Israel as an
ulcer to a healthy body." The enforced conversions thus obtained were
regarded naturally with suspicion and the converts were the subjects of
perpetual animadversion.[123]


Thus the Church had triumphed and the toleration of the Arian Goths had
been converted into persecuting orthodoxy. History repeats itself and,
eight hundred years later, we shall see the same process with the same
results. Toleration was changed into persecution; conversions obtained
by force, or by its equivalent, irresistible pressure, were recognized
as fictitious, and the unfortunate converts were held guilty of the
unpardonable crime of apostasy. Although the Goths did not invent the
Inquisition, they came as near to it as the rudeness of the age and the
looseness of their tottering political organization would permit, by
endeavoring to create through the priesthood a network of supervision
which should attain the same results. The Inquisition was prefigured and

As apparently the Jews could not be exterminated or the Conversos be
trained into willing Christians, the two classes naturally added an
element of discontent to the already unquiet and motley population
consisting of superimposed layers of Goths, Romans and Celtiberians. The
Jews doubtless aided the Gallo-Roman rebellion of Flavius Paulus about
675, for St. Julian of Toledo, in describing its suppression by King
Wamba, denounces Gaul in the bitterest terms, ending with the crowning
reproach that it is a refuge for the blasphemy of the Jews, whom Wamba
banished after his triumph.[124] In spite of the unremitting efforts for
their destruction, they still remained a source of danger to the State.
At the council of Toledo in 694, King Egiza appealed to his prelates to
devise some means by which Judaism should be wiped out, or all Jews be
subjected to the sword of justice and their property be appropriated,
for all efforts to convert them had proved futile and there was danger
that, in conjunction with their brethren in other lands, they would
overthrow Christianity. In its response the council alludes to a
conspiracy by which the Jews had endeavored to occupy the throne and
bring about the ruin of the land, and it decrees that all Jews, with
their wives, children and posterity, shall be reduced to perpetual
servitude, while their property is declared confiscated to the king.
They are to be transferred from their present abodes and be given to
such persons as the king may designate, who shall hold them as slaves so
long as they persevere in their faith, taking from them their children
as they reach the age of seven and marrying them only to Christians.
Such of their Christian slaves as the king may select shall receive a
portion of the confiscated property and continue to pay the taxes
hitherto levied on the Jews.[125]

Doubtless this inhuman measure led to indiscriminate plunder and
infinite misery, but its object was not accomplished. The Jews remained,
and when came the catastrophe of the Saracen conquest they were ready
enough to welcome the Berber invaders. That they were still in Spain is
attributed to Witiza, who reigned from 700 to 710 and who is said to
have recalled them and favored them with privileges greater than those
of the Church, but Witiza, though a favorite target for the abuse of
later annalists, was an excellent prince and the best contemporary
authority says nothing of his favoring the Jews.[126]

[Sidenote: _THE MOZÁRABES_]

If the Jews helped the Moslem, as we may readily believe, both from the
probabilities of the case and the testimony of Spanish and Arab
writers,[127] they did no more than a large portion of the Christians.
To the mass of the population the Goths were merely barbarous masters,
whose yoke they were ready to exchange for that of the Moors, nor were
the Goths themselves united. At the decisive battle of Xeres de la
Frontera, Don Roderic's right and left wings were commanded by Sisebert
and Oppas, the dethroned sons of Witiza, who fled without striking a
blow, for the purpose of causing his defeat. The land was occupied by
the Moors with little resistance, and on terms easy to the conquered. It
is true that, where resistance was made, the higher classes were reduced
to slavery, the lands were divided among the soldiery and one-fifth was
reserved to the State, on which peasants were settled subject to an
impost of one-third of the product, but submission was general under
capitulations which secured to the inhabitants the possession of their
property, subject to the impost of a third, and allowed them the
enjoyment of their laws and religion under native counts and bishops. In
spite of this liberality, vast numbers embraced Mohammedanism, partly
to avoid taxation and partly through conviction that the marvellous
success of the Moslem cause was a proof of its righteousness.[128]

The hardy resolution of the few who preferred exile and independence,
and who found refuge in the mountains of Galicia and Asturias preserved
the Peninsula from total subjection to Islam. During the long struggle
of the Reconquest, the social and religious condition of Spain was
strangely anomalous, presenting a mixture of races and faiths whose
relations, however antagonistic they might be in principle, were, for
the most part, dominated by temporal interests exclusively. Mutual
attrition, so far from inflaming prejudices, led to mutual toleration,
so that fanaticism became reduced to a minimum precisely in that corner
of Christendom where _a priori_ reasoners have been tempted to regard it
as especially violent.

The Saracens long maintained the policy adopted in the conquest and made
no attempt to convert their Christian subjects, just as in the Levantine
provinces the Christians, although oppressed, were allowed to retain
their religion, and in Persia, after the fall of the Sassanids, Parsism
continued to exist for centuries and only died out gradually.[129] In
fact, the condition of the Mozárabes, or subject Christians, under the
caliphs of Córdova was, for the most part, preferable to what it had
been under the Gothic kings. Mozárabes were frequently in command of the
Moslem armies; they formed the royal body-guard and were employed as
secretaries in the highest offices of state. In time they so completely
lost the Latin tongue that it became necessary to translate the
scripture and the canons into Arabic.[130] The Church organization was
maintained, with its hierarchy of prelates, who at times assembled in
councils; there was sufficient intellectual activity for occasional
heresies to spring up and be condemned, like those of Hostegesis and
Migetio in the ninth century, while, half a century earlier, the bull of
Adrian I, addressed to the orthodox bishops of Spain and denouncing the
Adoptianism of Felix of Urgel, which was upheld by Elipandus, Archbishop
of Toledo, shows the freedom of intercourse existing between the
Mozárabes and the rest of Christendom.[131] We hear of S. Eulogio of
Córdova, whose two brothers, Alvar and Isidor, had left Spain and taken
service with the Emperor Louis le Germanique; he set out in 850 to join
them, but was stopped at Pampeluna by war and returned by way of
Saragossa, bringing with him a number of books, including Virgil,
Horace, Juvenal, Porphyry, the epigrams of Aldhelm and the fables of
Avienus.[132] Mixed marriages seem not to have been uncommon and there
were frequent instances of conversion from either faith, but Mozárabic
zealots abused the Moslem tolerance by publicly decrying Islam and
making proselytes, which was forbidden, and a sharp persecution arose
under Abderrhaman II and Mahomet I, in which there were a number of
victims, including San Eulogio, who was martyred in 859.[133]

[Sidenote: _THE MOZÁRABES_]

This persecution gave rise to an incident which illustrates the friendly
intercourse between Christian and Saracen. In 858, Hilduin, Abbot of S.
Germain-des-Prés, under the auspices of Charles le Chauve, sent two
monks to Spain to procure the relics of St. Vincent. On reaching
Languedoc they learned that his body had been carried to Benevento, but
they also heard of the persecution at Córdova and were delighted,
knowing that there must be plenty of relics to be obtained. They
therefore kept on to Barcelona, where Sunifred, the next in command to
the count, commended them to Abdulivar, Prince of Saragossa, with whom
he had intimate relations. From Saragossa they reached Córdova, where
the Mozárabic Bishop Saul received them kindly and assisted them in
obtaining the bodies of St. George and St. Aurelius, except that, as the
head of the latter was lacking, that of St. Natalia was substituted.
With these precious spoils they returned in safety to Paris, by way of
Toledo, Alcalá, Saragossa and Barcelona, to the immense gratification,
we are told, of King Charles.[134] The persecution was but temporary
and, a century later, in 956, we hear of Abderrhaman III sending
Recemund, Bishop of Elvira (Granada), as his ambassador to Otho the
Great at Frankfort, where he persuaded Liutprand of Cremona to write one
of his historical works.[135] When the Cid conquered Valencia, in 1096,
one of the conditions of surrender was that the garrison should be
composed of Mozárabes, and the capitulation was signed by the principal
Christian as well as Moslem citizens.[136]

The number of the Mozárabes of course diminished rapidly in the progress
of reconquest as the Christian territories expanded from Galicia to Leon
and Castile. Early in the twelfth century Alfonso VI, in reducing to
order his extensive acquisitions, experienced much trouble with them;
they are described as being worse than Moors, and he settled the matter
by the decisive expedient of deporting multitudes of them to
Africa.[137] The rapid progress of his arms, however, had so alarmed the
petty kings among whom Andalusia was divided that they had, about 1090,
invited to their assistance the Berbers known as Almoravides, who drove
back Alfonso on the bloody field of Zalaca. Their leader, Jusuf ibn
Techufin, was not content to fight for the benefit of his allies; he
speedily overthrew their feeble dynasties and established himself as
supreme in Moslem Spain. The Almoravides were savage and fanatical; they
could not endure the sight of Christians enjoying freedom of worship,
and bitter persecution speedily followed, until, in 1125, the Mozárabes
invited the aid of Alfonso el Batallador. They sent a roll of their best
warriors, comprising twelve thousand names, and promised that these and
many more would join him. He came and spent fifteen months on Moorish
territory, but made no permanent conquests, and on his departure the
wretched Christians begged him to let them accompany him to escape the
wrath of the Almoravides. Ten thousand of them did so, while of those
who remained large numbers were deported to Africa, where they mostly
perished.[138] The miserable remnant had a breathing spell, for the
atmosphere of Spain seemed unpropitious to fanaticism and the ferocity
of the Berbers speedily softened. We soon find them fraternizing with
Christians. King Ali of Córdova treated the latter well and even
entrusted to a captive noble of Barcelona named Reverter the command of
his armies. His son Techufin followed his example and was regarded as
the especial friend of the Christians, who aided him in his African
wars.[139] Yet this interval of rest was short. In 1146, another Berber
horde, known as Almohades, overthrew the Almoravides and brought a fresh
accession of savage ferocity from the African deserts. Their caliph,
Abd-al-mumin, proclaimed that he would suffer none but true believers in
his dominions; the alternatives offered were death, conversion or
expatriation. Many underwent pretended conversion, others went into
voluntary exile, and others were deported to Africa, after which the
Mozárabes disappear from view.[140]

[Sidenote: _THE MULADÍES_]

Yet it was as impossible for the Almohades to retain their fanaticism as
it had proved for their predecessors. When, in 1228, on the deposition
of the Almohad Miramamolin Al-Abdel, his nephew Yahia was raised to the
throne, his brother Al-Memon-Abo-l-Ola, who was in Spain, claimed the
succession. To obtain the assistance of San Fernando III, who lent him
twelve thousand Christian troops, he agreed to surrender ten frontier
strongholds, to permit the erection of a Christian church in Morocco,
where the Christians should celebrate publicly with ringing of bells,
and to allow freedom of conversion from Islam to Christianity, with
prohibition of the converse. This led to the foundation of an episcopate
of Morocco, of which the first bishop was Fray Aguelo, succeeded by Fray
Lope, both Franciscans.[141] Co-operation of this kind with the
Christians meets us at every step in the annals of the Spanish Saracens.
Aben-al-Ahmar, who founded the last dynasty of Granada, agreed to become
a vassal of San Fernando III, to pay him a tribute of 150,000 doblas per
annum, to furnish a certain number of troops whenever called upon, and
to appear in the Córtes when summoned, like any other ricohome. He aided
Fernando greatly in the capture of Seville, and, in the solemnities
which followed the entry into the city, Fernando bestowed knighthood on
him and granted him the bearing of the Castilian guidon--gules, a band
or, with two serpents, and two crowned lions as supporters--a cognizance
still to be seen in the Alhambra.[142]

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Muladíes_, or Christian converts to Islam, formed another important
portion of the Moorish community. At the conquest, as we have seen,
large numbers of Christians apostatized, slaves to obtain freedom and
freemen to escape taxation. They were looked upon, however, with
suspicion by Arabs and Berbers and were subjected to disabilities which
led to frequent rebellions and murderous reprisals. On the suppression
of a rising in Córdova, in 814, fifteen thousand of them emigrated to
Egypt, where they captured Alexandria and held it until 826, when they
were forced to capitulate and transferred their arms to Candia, founding
a dynasty which lasted for a century and a half. Eight thousand of them
established themselves in Fez, where they held their own and even in the
fourteenth century were distinguishable from the other Moslems. In
Toledo, after several unsuccessful rebellions, the Muladíes became
dominant in 853 and remained independent for eighty years. Together with
the Mozárabes they almost succeeded in founding a kingdom of their own
in the mountains of Ronda, under Omar ben Hafsun, who embraced
Christianity. Indeed, the facility of conversion from one faith to
another was a marked feature of the period and shows how little firmness
of religious conviction existed. The renegade, Ibn Meruan, who founded
an independent state in Merida, taught a mixed faith compounded of both
the great religions. Everywhere the Muladíes were striving for freedom
and establishing petty principalities--in Algarbe, in Priego, in Murcia,
and especially in Aragon, where the Gothic family of the Beni-Cassi
became supreme. After the reduction of Toledo by starvation, in 930,
they become less prominent and gradually merge into the Moslem
population.[143] This was assisted by the fact that they made common
cause with their conquerors against the fanatic Almoravides and
Almohades. The leader of the Andalusians against the latter was a man of
Christian descent, Ibn-Mardanich, King of Valencia and Murcia. He wore
Christian dress and arms, his language was Castilian and his troops were
mostly Castilians, Navarrese and Catalans. To the Christians he was
commonly known as the king Don Lope. Religious differences, in fact,
were of much less importance than political aims, and everywhere, as we
shall see, Christian and Moslem were intermingled in the interminable
civil broils of that tumultuous time. In an attempt on Granada, in 1162,
the principal captains of Ibn-Mardanich were two sons of the Count of
Urgel and a grandson of Alvar Fañez, the favorite lieutenant of the

       *       *       *       *       *


In these alternations of religious indifference and fanaticism, the
position of the Jews under Moslem domination was necessarily exposed to
severe vicissitudes. Their skill as physicians and their unrivalled
talent in administration rendered them a necessity to the conquerors,
whose favor they had gained by the assistance rendered in the invasion,
but ever and anon there would come a burst of intolerance which swept
them into obscurity if not into massacre. When Mahomet I ascended the
throne of Córdova, about 850, we are told that one of his first acts was
the dismissal of all Jewish officials, including presumably R. Hasdai
ben Ishak, who had been physician and vizier to his father, Abderrhaman
II.[145] A century later their wealth was so great that when the Jew
Peliag went to the country palace of Alhakem, the Caliph of Córdova, it
is related that he was accompanied by a retinue of seven hundred
retainers of his race, all richly clad and riding in carriages.[146] How
insecure was their prosperity was proved, in 1066, when Samuel ha Levi
and his son Joseph had been viziers and virtual rulers of Granada for
fifty years. The latter chanced to exile Abu Ishac of Elvira, a noted
theologian and poet, who took revenge in a bitter satire which had
immense popular success. "The Jews reign in Granada; they have divided
between them the city and the provinces, and everywhere one of this
accursed race is in supreme power. They collect the taxes, they dress
magnificently and fare sumptuously, while the true believers are in rags
and wretchedness. The chief of these asses is a fatted ram. Slay him and
his kindred and allies and seize their immense treasures. They have
broken the compact between us and are subject to punishment as
perjurers." We shall see hereafter how ready was the Christian mob to
respond to such appeals; the Moslem was no better; a rising took place
in which Joseph was assassinated in the royal palace, while four
thousand Jews were massacred and their property pillaged.[147] Again
they recuperated themselves, but they suffered with the Christians under
the fierce fanaticism of the Almohades. Indeed, they were exposed to a
fiercer outburst of wrath, for the robbery of the jewels of the Kaaba,
which occurred about 1160, was attributed to Spanish Jews, and
Abd-el-mumin was unsparing in enforcing his orders of conversion.
Numbers were put to death and forty-eight synagogues were burnt. The
Sephardim, or Spanish Jews, lost their most conspicuous doctor when, in
this persecution, Maimonides fled to Egypt.[148] Still they continued to
exist and to prosper, though exposed to destruction at any moment
through the whims of the monarch or the passions of the people. Thus, in
1375, in Granada, two men obstructed a street in a violent altercation
and were vainly adjured to cease in the name of Mahomet, when Isaac
Amoni, the royal physician, who chanced to pass in his carriage,
repeated the order and was obeyed. That a Jew should possess more
influence than the name of the Prophet was unendurable; the people rose
and a massacre ensued.[149]

       *       *       *       *       *


While Saracen Spain was thus a confused medley of races and faiths,
subject to no guiding principle and swayed by the policy or the
prejudices of the moment, the Christian kingdoms were much the same,
except that, during the early Middle Ages, outbursts of fanaticism were
lacking. Brave warriors learned to respect each other, and, as usual, it
was the non-combatants, Christian priests and Moslem faquis, who
retained their virulence. In the fierce struggles of the Reconquest
there is little trace of race or religious hatred. The early ballads
show the Moors regarded as gallant antagonists, against whom there was
no greater animosity than was aroused in the civil strife which filled
the intervals of Moorish warfare.[150] When, in 1149, Ramon Berenger IV
of Barcelona, after a laborious siege, captured the long-coveted town of
Lérida, the terms of surrender assumed the form of a peaceful agreement
by which the Moorish Alcaide Avifelet became the vassal of Ramon
Berenger and they mutually pledged each other fidelity. Avifelet gave up
all his castles, retained certain rights in the territory and Ramon
Berenger promised him fiefs in Barcelona and Gerona.[151] More than
this, the ceaseless civil wars on both sides of the boundary caused each
to have constant recourse to those of hostile faith for aid or shelter,
and the relations which grew up, although transitory and shifting,
became so intricate that little difference between Christian and Moor
could often be recognized by statesmen. Thus mutual toleration could not
fail to establish itself, to the scandal of crusaders, who came to help
the one side, and of the hordes of fresh fanatics who poured over from
Africa to assist the other.

This constant intermingling of Spaniard and Moor meets us at every step
in Spanish history. Perhaps it would be too much to say, with Dozy, that
"a Spanish knight of the Middle Ages fought neither for his country nor
for his religion; he fought, like the Cid, to get something to eat,
whether under a Christian or a Mussulman prince" and "the Cid himself
was rather a Mussulman than a Catholic,"[152] though Philip II
endeavored to have him canonized--but there can be no question that
religious zeal had little to do with the Reconquest. In the adventurous
career of the Cid, Christians and Moslems are seen mingled in both
contending armies, and it is for the most part impossible to detect in
the struggle any interest either of race or religion.[153] This had long
been customary. Towards the end of the ninth century, Bermudo, brother
of Alfonso III, for seven years held Astorga with the aid of the Moors,
to whom he fled for refuge when finally dislodged. About 940 we find a
King Aboiahia, a vassal of Abderrhaman of Córdova, transferring
allegiance to Ramiro II and then returning to his former lord, and some
fifteen years later, when Sancho I was ejected by a conspiracy, he took
refuge with Abderrhaman, by whose aid he regained his kingdom, the
usurper Ordoño, in turn flying to Córdova, where he was hospitably
received.[154] About 990 Bermudo II gave his sister to wife to the
Moorish King of Toledo, resulting in an unexpected miracle. In the
terrible invasion of Almanzor, in 997, which threatened destruction to
the Christians, we are told that he was accompanied by numerous exiled
Christian nobles. Alfonso VI of Castile, when overcome by his brother,
Sancho II, sought asylum, until the death of the latter, in Toledo--a
hospitality which he subsequently repaid by conquering the city and
kingdom.[155] His court was semi-oriental; during his exile he had
become familiar with Arabic; in his prosperity he gathered around him
Saracen poets and sages, and among his numerous successive wives was
Zaida, daughter of Al-Mutamid, King of Seville. His contemporary, Sancho
I of Aragon, was equally given to Moslem culture and habitually signed
his name with Arabic characters.[156]


The co-operation of Christian and Moor continued to the last. In 1270,
when Alfonso X had rendered himself unpopular by releasing Portugal from
vassalage to Leon, his brother, the Infante Felipe and a number of the
more powerful ricosomes conspired against him. Their first thought was
to obtain an alliance with Abu Jusuf, King of Morocco, who gladly
promised them assistance. The prelates of Castile fanned the flame,
hoping in the confusion to gain enlarged privileges. Felipe and his
confederates renounced allegiance to Alfonso, in accordance with the
fuero, and betook themselves to Granada, committing frightful
devastations by the way. Everything promised a disastrous war with the
Moors of both sides of the straits, when, through the intervention of
Queen Violante, concessions were made to the rebellious nobles and peace
was restored.[157] So when, in 1282, Sancho IV revolted against his
father and was supported by all the cities except Seville and by all the
ricosomes save the Master of Calatrava, and was recognized by the Kings
of Granada, Portugal, Aragon and Navarre, Alfonso X in his destitution
sent his crown to Abu Jusuf and asked for a loan on it as a pledge. The
chivalrous Moslem at once sent him 60,000 doblas and followed this by
coming with a large force of horse and foot, whereupon Sancho entered
into alliance with Granada and a war ensued with Christians and Moors on
both sides, till the death of Alfonso settled the question of the
succession.[158] In 1324, Don Juan Manuel was Adelantado de la Frontera;
conceiving some cause of quarrel with his cousin, Alfonso XI, he at once
entered into an alliance with Granada, then at war with Castile, and in
1333 his turbulence rendered Alfonso unable to prevent the capture of
Gibraltar or to recover it when he made the attempt.[159] Pedro the
Cruel, in 1366 and again in 1368, had Moorish troops to aid him in his
struggles with Henry of Trastamara. In the latter year the King of
Granada came to his aid with a force of 87,000 men, and, in the final
battle at Montiel, Pedro had 1500 Moorish horsemen in his army.[160] One
of the complaints formulated against Henry IV, in 1464, was that he was
accompanied by a force of Moors who committed outrages upon

It was the same in Aragon. No knight of the cross earned a more
brilliant reputation for exploits against the infidel than Jaime I, who
acquired by them his title of el _Conquistador_, yet when, in 1260, he
gave his nobles permission to serve in a crusade under Alfonso X, he
excepted the King of Tunis, and on Alfonso's remonstrating with him he
explained that this was because of the love which the King of Tunis bore
him and of the truce existing between them and of the number of his
subjects who were in Tunis with much property, all of whom would be
imperilled.[162] On the accession of Jaime II, in 1291, envoys came to
him from the Kings of Granada and Tremecen to renew the treaties had
with Alfonso III. To the latter Jaime replied, promising freedom of
trade, demanding the annual tribute of 2000 doblas which had been
customary and asking for the next summer a hundred light horse paid for
three months, to aid him against his Christian enemies.[163] As late as
1405, the treaty between Martin of Aragon and his son Martin of Sicily
on the one hand and Mahomet, King of Granada, on the other, not only
guarantees free intercourse and safety to the subjects of each and open
trade in all ports and towns of their respective dominions, but each
party agrees, when called upon, to assist the other, except against
allies--Aragon and Sicily with four or five galleys well armed and
manned and Granada with four or five hundred cavalry.[164]

All these alliances and treaties for freedom of trade and intercourse
were in direct antagonism to the decrees of the Church, which in its
councils ordered priests every Sunday to denounce as excommunicate, or
even liable to be reduced to slavery, all who should sell to Moors iron,
weapons, timber, fittings for ships, bread, wine, animals to eat, ride
or till the ground, or who should serve in their ships as pilots or in
their armies in war upon Christians.[165] It was in vain that Gregory
XI, in 1372, ordered all fautors and receivers of Saracens to be
prosecuted as heretics by the Inquisition, and equally vain was the
deduction drawn by Eymerich from this, that any one who lent aid or
counsel or favor to the Moors was a fautor of heresy, to be punished as
such by the Holy Office.[166] In spite of the thunders of the Church the
traders continued trading and the princes made offensive and defensive
alliances with the infidel.

[Sidenote: _THE MUDÉJARES_]

Nor, with the illustrious example of the Cid before them, had Christian
nobles the slightest hesitation to aid the Moors by taking service with
them. When, in 1279, Alonso Pérez de Guzman, the founder of the great
house of Medina Sidonia, was insulted in the court of Alfonso, he
promptly renounced his allegiance, converted all his property into
money, and raised a troop with which he entered the service of Abu Jusuf
of Morocco. There he remained for eleven years, except a visit to
Seville to marry Doña María Coronel, whom he carried back to Morocco. He
was made captain of all the Christian troops in Abu Jusuf's employ and
aided largely in the war which transferred the sovereignty of that
portion of Africa from the Almohades to the Beni Marin. He accumulated
immense wealth, which by a stratagem he transferred to Spain, where it
purchased the estates on which the greatness of the house was based. The
family historiographer, writing in 1541, feels obliged to explain this
readiness to serve the infidel, so abhorrent to the convictions of the
sixteenth century. He tells us that at that period the Moors, both of
Granada and Africa, were unwarlike and were accustomed to rely upon
Christian troops, and that princes, nobles and knights were constantly
in their service. Henry, brother of Alfonso X, served the King of Tunis
four years and amassed large wealth; Garcí Martínez de Gallegos was
already in the service of Abu Jusuf when Guzman went there; Gonzalo de
Aguilar became a vassal of the King of Granada and fought for him. In
1352, when Pedro the Cruel began to reduce his turbulent nobles to
order, Don Juan de la Cerda, a prince of the blood, went to Morocco for
assistance and, failing to obtain it, remained there and won great
renown by his knightly deeds till he was reconciled to Pedro and
returned to Castile. Examples might be multiplied, but these will
suffice to indicate how few scruples of religion existed among the
Spaniards of the Middle Ages. As Barrantes says, adventurous spirits in
those days took service with the Moors as in his time they sought their
fortunes in the Indies.[167]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is thus easy to understand how, in the progress of the Reconquest,
the Moors of the territory acquired were treated with even greater
forbearance than the Christians had been when Spain was first overrun.
When raids were made or cities were captured by force, there was no
hesitation in putting the inhabitants to the sword or in carrying them
off into slavery,[168] but when capitulations were made or provinces
submitted, the people were allowed to remain, retaining their religion
and property, and becoming known under name of _Mudéjares_.

The enslaved Moor was his master's property, like his cattle, but
entitled to some safeguards of life and limb. Even baptism did not
manumit him unless the owner were a Moor or a Jew.[169] That he was
frequently a man of trained skill and education is seen in the provision
that, if his master confided to him a shop or a ship, the former was
bound to fulfill all contracts entered into by his slave.[170] Thus the
free Castilian, whose business was war, had his trade and commerce to a
considerable extent, as well as his agriculture, carried on by slaves,
and the rest was mostly in the hands of the Jews and the free Moors or
Mudéjares. Labor thus became the badge of races regarded as inferior; it
was beneath the dignity of the freeman, and when, as we shall see
hereafter, the industrious population was expelled by bigotry, the
prosperity of Spain collapsed.

[Sidenote: _THE MUDÉJARES_]

As for the Mudéjares, the practice of allowing them to remain in the
reconquered territories began early. Even in Galicia they were to be
found, and in Leon documents of the tenth century contain many Moorish
names among those who confirm or witness them.[171] The Fuero of Leon,
granted by Alfonso V in 1020, alludes to Moors holding slaves, and the
Berber population there is still represented by the Maragatos, to the
south-west of Astorga--a race perfectly distinct from the Spaniards,
retaining much of their African costume and speaking Castilian
imperfectly, although it is their only language.[172] Fernando I
(1033-65), who rendered the Kings of Toledo and Seville tributary, and
who was besieging Valencia when he died, alternated in his policy
towards the inhabitants of his extensive conquests. In the early part of
his reign he allowed them to remain; then he adopted depopulation, and
finally he returned to his earlier methods.[173] Alfonso VI followed the
more liberal system; when he occupied Toledo, in 1085, he granted a
capitulation to the inhabitants which secured to them their property and
religion, with self-government and the possession of their great
mosque.[174] When, during his absence, the Frenchman, Bernard Abbot of
Sahagun, newly elected to the archbishopric, in concert with his queen,
Constance of Burgundy, suddenly entered the mosque, consecrated it and
placed a bell on its highest minaret, Alfonso was greatly angered. He
hastened to Toledo, threatening to burn both the queen and the
archbishop, and only pardoned them at the intercession of the Moors, who
dreaded possible reprisals after his death. His policy, in fact, was to
render his rule more attractive to the Moslem population than that of
his tributaries, the petty _reyes de taifas_, who were obliged to
oppress their subjects in order to satisfy his exigencies. He even
styled himself _Emperador de los dos cultos_. His tolerant wisdom
justified itself, for, after the coming of the Almoravides, in spite of
the disastrous defeats of Zalaca and Uclés, he was able to hold his own
and even to extend his boundaries, for the native Moors preferred his
domination to that of the savage Berbers.[175]

His successors followed his example, but it was not regarded with favor
by the Church. During the centuries of mental torpor which preceded the
dawn of modern civilization there was little fanaticism. With the
opening of the twelfth century various causes awoke the dormant spirit.
Crusading enthusiasm brought increased religious ardor and the labors of
the schoolmen commenced the reconstruction of theology which was to
render the Church dominant over both worlds. The intellectual and
spiritual movement brought forth heresies which, by the commencement of
the thirteenth century, aroused the Church to the necessity of summoning
all its resources to preserve its supremacy. All this made itself felt,
not only in Albigensian crusades and the establishment of the
Inquisition, but in increased intolerance to Jew and Saracen, in a more
fiery antagonism to all who were not included in the pale of
Christianity. How this worked was seen, in 1212, when, after the
brilliant victory of Las Navas de Tolosa, Alfonso IX advanced to Ubeda,
where 70,000 men had collected, and they offered to become Mudéjares and
to pay him a million of doblas. The terms were acceptable and he agreed
to them, but the clerical chiefs of the crusade, the two archbishops,
Rodrigo of Toledo and Arnaud of Narbonne, objected and forced him to
withdraw his assent. He offered the besieged to let them depart on the
payment of the sum, but they were unable to collect so large an amount
on the spot, and they were put to the sword, except those reserved as
slaves.[176] In the same spirit Innocent IV, in 1248, ordered Jaime I of
Aragon to allow no Saracens to reside in his recently conquered Balearic
Isles except as slaves.[177]

[Sidenote: _THE MUDÉJARES_]

In spite of the opposition of the Church the policy of the _mudéjalato_
was continued until the work of the Reconquest seemed on the point of
completion under San Fernando III. The King of Granada was his vassal,
like any other Castilian noble. He subdued the rest of the land, giving
the local chiefs advantageous terms and allowing them to assume the
title of kings. The Spanish Moors were thus reduced to submission and he
was preparing to carry his arms into Africa at the time of his death, in
1252.[178] That Moorish rule, more or less independent, continued in the
Peninsula for yet two centuries and a half, is attributable solely to
the inveterate turbulence of the Castilian magnates aided by the
disorderly ambition of members of the royal family. During this interval
successive fragments were added to Christian territory, when internal
convulsions allowed opportunities of conquest, and in these the system
which had proved so advantageous was followed. Moor and Jew were
citizens of the realm, regarded as a desirable class of the population,
and entitled to the public peace and security for their property under
the same sanctions as the Catholic.[179] They are enumerated with
Christians in charters granting special exemptions and privileges to
cities, safeguards for fairs and for general trade.[180] Numerous Fueros
which have reached us place all races on the same level, and a charter
of Alfonso X, in 1272, to the city of Murcia, in its regulations as to
the cleansing of irrigating canals, shows that even in petty details
such as these there was no distinction recognized between Christian and
Moor.[181] The safeguards thrown around them are seen in the charter of
1101, granted to the Mozárabes of Toledo by Alfonso VI, permitting them
the use of their ancestral Fuero Juzgo, but penalties under it are only
to be one-fifth, as in the Fuero of Castile "except in cases of theft
and of the murder of Jews and Moors," and in the Fuero of Calatayud,
granted by Alfonso el Batallador, in 1131, the _wergild_ for a Jew or a
Moor is 300 sueldos, the same as for a Christian.[182] Yet the practice
as to this was not strictly uniform, and the conquering race naturally
sought to establish distinctions which should recognize its superiority.
The Fuero of Madrid, in 1202, imposes various disabilities on the
Moors.[183] A law of Alfonso X, who throughout his reign showed himself
favorable to the subject races, emphatically says that, if a Jew strikes
a Christian, he is not to be punished according to the privileges of the
Jews, but as much more severely as a Christian is better than a Jew; so
if a Christian slays a Jew or a Moor he is to be punished according to
the Fuero of the place, and if there is no provision for the case, then
he is to suffer death or banishment or other penalty as the king may see
fit, but the Moor who slays a Christian is to suffer more severely than
a Christian who slays a Moor or a Jew.[184]

In an age of class distinctions this was an inevitable tendency and it
is creditable to Spanish tolerance and humanity that its progress was so
slow. In the violence of the time there was doubtless much arbitrary
oppression, but the Mudéjares knew their rights and had no hesitation in
asserting them, nor does there seem to have been a disposition to deny
them. Thus, in 1387, those of Bustiella complained to Juan I that the
royal tax-collectors were endeavoring to collect from them the Moorish
capitation tax, to which they were not subject, having in lieu thereof
from ancient times paid to the Lords of Biscay twelve hundred maravedís
per annum and being entitled to enjoy all the franchises and liberties
of Biscay, whereupon the king issued an order to the assessors to demand
from them only the agreed sum and no other taxes, and to guarantee to
them all the franchises and liberties, uses and customs of the Lordship
of Biscay.[185] Even more suggestive is a celebrated case occurring as
late as the reign of Henry IV. In 1455 the chaplains of the Capella de
la Cruz of Toledo complained to the king that the tax on all meat
slaughtered in the town had been assigned to the chapel for its
maintenance, but that the Moors had established their own
slaughter-house and refused to pay the tax. Elsewhere than in Spain the
matter would have been referred to an ecclesiastical court with a
consequent decision in favor of the faith, but here it went to the civil
court with the result that, after elaborate argument on both sides, in
1462 the great jurist Alfonso Díaz de Montalvan rendered a decision
recognizing that the Moors could not eat meat slaughtered in the
Christian fashion, that they were entitled to a slaughter-house of their
own, free of tax, but that they must not sell meat to Christians and
must pay the tax on all that they might thus have sold.[186] Trivial as
is this case, it gives us a clear insight into the independence and
self-assertion of the Moorish communities and the readiness of the
courts to protect them in their rights.


The Mudéjares were guaranteed the enjoyment of their own religion and
laws. They had their mosques and schools and, in the earlier times,
magistrates of their own race who decided all questions between
themselves according to their own _zunna_ or law, but suits between
Christian and Moor were sometimes heard by a Christian judge and
sometimes by a mixed bench of both faiths.[187] In the capitulations it
was generally provided that they should be subject only to the taxes
exacted by their previous sovereigns, though in time this was apt to be
disregarded.[188] A privilege granted, in 1254, by Alfonso X to the
inhabitants of Seville, authorizing them to purchase land of Moors
throughout their district, shows that the paternal possessions of the
latter had been undisturbed; they were free to buy and sell real estate,
and although, when the reactionary period commenced, toward the close of
the thirteenth century, Sancho IV granted the petition of the Córtes of
Valladolid in 1293, forbidding Jews and Moors to purchase land of
Christians, the restriction soon became obsolete.[189] Not only was
there no prohibition of their bearing arms, but they were liable to
military service. Exemption from this was a special privilege accorded,
in 1115, at the capitulation of Tudela; in 1263 Jaime I of Aragon
released the Moors of Masones from tribute and military service in
consideration of an annual payment of 1500 _sueldos jaquenses_; in 1283
his son Pedro III, when preparing to resist the invasion of Philippe le
Hardi, summoned his faithful Moors of Valencia to join his armies and,
in the levies made in Murcia in 1385 for the war with Portugal, each
aljama had its assigned quota.[190]


A wise policy would have dictated the mingling of the races as much as
possible, so as to encourage unification and facilitate the efforts at
conversion which were never lost to sight. The _converso_ or baptized
Moor or Jew was the special favorite of the legislator. The Moorish law
which disinherited an apostate was set aside and he was assured of his
share in the paternal estate; the popular tendency to stigmatize him as
a _tornadizo_ or _renegat_ was severely repressed. The Church insisted
that a Moorish captive who sincerely sought baptism should be set free.
Dominicans and Franciscans were empowered to enter all places where Jews
and Moors dwelt, to assemble them to listen to sermons, while the royal
officials were directed to compel the attendance of those who would not
come voluntarily.[191] It is easy now to see that this policy, which
resulted in winning over multitudes to the faith, would have been vastly
more fruitful if the races had been compelled to associate together, and
infinite subsequent misery and misfortune would have been averted, but
this was a stretch of tolerant humanity virtually impossible at the
time. The Church, as will be seen, exerted every effort to keep them
apart, on the humiliating pretext that she would lose more souls than
she would gain, and there was, moreover, sufficient mutual distrust to
render separation desired on both sides. At a very early period of the
Reconquest the policy was adopted of assigning a special quarter of a
captured town to the Moors, and thus the habit was established of
providing a Morería in the larger cities, to which the Mudéjares were
confined. The process is well illustrated by what occurred at Murcia,
when, in 1266, it was definitely reconquered for Alfonso X by Jaime I of
Aragon. He gave half the houses to Aragonese and Catalans and restricted
the Moors to the quarter of the Arrijaca. Alfonso confirmed the
arrangement, dislodging the Christians from among the Moors and building
a wall between them. His decree on the subject recites that this was
done at the prayer of the Moors, who were despoiled and ill-treated by
the Christians, and who desired the protection of a wall, to the
construction of which he devoted one-half of the revenues levied for the
repair of the city walls. It was the same with the Jews, who were not to
dwell among the Christians, but to have their Judería set apart for them
near the Orihuela gate.[192] Besides this segregation from the
Christians in the cities there were smaller towns in which the
population was purely Moorish, where Christians were not allowed to
dwell. That this was regarded as a privilege we can readily imagine, and
it is shown by the confirmation, in 1255, by Alfonso X of an agreement
with the Mudéjares of Moron under which they are to sell their
properties to Christians and remove to Silebar, where they are to build
a castle and houses, to be free of all taxes for three years, their law
is to be administered by their own alcadí and no Christian is to reside
there except the _almojarife_, or tax-gatherer, and his men.[193] All
this tended to perpetuate the separation between the Christian and the
Moor, and a further potent cause is to be found in the horror with which
miscegenation was regarded--at least when the male offender was a Moor.
Intermarriage, of course, was impossible between those of different
faiths and illicit connections were punished in the most savage

In spite of this natural but impolitic segregation, the Mudéjares
gradually became denationalized and assimilated themselves in many ways
to the population by which they were surrounded. In time they forgot
their native language and it became necessary for their learned men to
compile law-books in Castilian for the guidance of their alcadís. Quite
a literature of this kind arose and, even after the final expulsion, as
late as the middle of the seventeenth century, among the refugees in
Tunis, a manual of religious observances was composed in Spanish, the
author of which lamented that even the sacred characters in which the
Korán was written were almost unknown and that the rites of worship were
forgotten or mingled with usages and customs borrowed from the
Christians.[195] The Mudéjares even sympathized with the patriotic
aspirations of their Castilian neighbors, as against their independent
brethren. When, in 1340, Alfonso XI returned in triumph to Seville,
after the overwhelming victory of the Rio Salado, we are told how the
Moors and their women united with the Jews in the rejoicings which
greeted the conqueror.[196] Even more practical was the response to the
appeal of the Infante Fernando, in 1410, when he was besieging
Antequera, one of the bulwarks of Granada, and was in great straits for
money. He wrote "muy afectuosamente" to Seville and Córdova, not only to
the Christians but to the Moorish and Jewish aljamas and, as he was
popular with them, they advanced him what sums they could.[197] The
process of denationalization and fusion with the Christian community was
necessarily slow, but its progress gave gratifying promise of a result,
requiring only wise patience and sympathy, which would have averted
incalculable misfortunes.


In a financial and industrial point of view the Mudéjares formed a most
valuable portion of the population. The revenues derived from them were
among the most reliable resources of the State; assignments on them were
frequently used as the safest and most convenient form of securing
appanages and dowries and incomes for prelates and religious
establishments.[198] To the nobles on whose lands they were settled they
were almost indispensable, for they were skilful agriculturists and the
results of their indefatigable labors brought returns which could be
realized in no other way. That they should be relentlessly exploited was
a matter of course. A fuero granted, in 1371, by the Almirante Ambrosio
de Bocanegra to his Mudéjares of Palma del Rio, not only specifies their
dues and taxes, but prescribes that they shall bake in the seignorial
oven and bathe in the seignorial bath and purchase their necessaries in
the seignorial shops.[199] They were not only admirable husbandmen and
artificers, but distinguished themselves in the higher regions of
science and art. As physicians they ranked with the Jews, and when, in
1345, Ferrant Rodríguez, Prior of the Order of Santiago, built the
Church of Our Lady of Uclés, he assembled "Moorish masters" and good
Christian stone-masons, who constructed it of stone and mortar.[200] The
industry of Spain was to a great extent in their hands. To them the land
owed the introduction of the sugar-cane, cotton, silk, the fig, the
orange and the almond. Their system of irrigation, still maintained to
the present time, was elaborately perfect, and they had built highways
and canals to facilitate intercourse and transportation. Valencia, which
was densely populated by Mudéjares, was regarded as one of the richest
provinces in Europe, producing largely of sugar, oil and wine. In
manufacturing skill they were no less distinguished. Their fabrics of
silk and cotton and linen and wool were exquisite; their potteries and
porcelains were models for the workmen of the rest of Europe; their
leather-work was unsurpassed; their manufactures of metals were eagerly
sought in distant lands, while their architecture manifests their
delicate skill and artistic taste. Marriages were arranged for girls at
11 and boys at 12; dowries were of little account, for a bed and a few
coins were deemed sufficient where all were industrious and
self-supporting, and their rapid increase, like evil weeds, was a
subject of complaint to their Castilian detractors. Ingenious and
laborious, sober and thrifty, a dense population found livelihood in
innumerable trades, in which men, women and children all labored,
producing wealth for themselves and prosperity for the land. In commerce
they were equally successful; they were slaves to their word, their
reputation for probity and honor was universal, and their standing as
merchants was proverbial. There was no beggary among them and quarrels
were rare, differences being for the most part amicably settled without
recourse to their judges.[201]

It is not easy to set limits to the prosperity attainable by the
Peninsula with its natural resources developed by a population combining
the vigor of the Castilian with the industrial capacity of the Moor. All
that was needed was Christian patience and good will to kindle and
encourage kindly feeling between the conquering and the subject race;
time would have done the rest. The infidel, won over to Christianity,
would have become fused with the faithful, and a united people, blessed
with the characteristics of both races, would have been ready to take
the foremost place in the wonderful era of industrial civilization which
was about to open. Unhappily for Spain this was not to be. To the
conscientious churchman of the Middle Ages any compact with the infidel
was a league with Satan; he could not be forcibly brought into the fold,
but it was the plainest of duties to render his position outside so
insupportable that he would take refuge in conversion.


The Church accordingly viewed with repugnance the policy of conciliation
and toleration which had so greatly facilitated the work of the
Reconquest, and it lost no opportunity of exciting popular distrust and
contempt for the Mudéjares. We shall see how great was its success with
respect to the Jews, whose position offered better opportunity for
attack, but it was not without results as respects the Moors. It
discouraged all intercourse between the races and endeavored to keep
them separate. Even the indispensable freedom of ordinary commercial
dealings, which was provided for by the secular rulers, was frowned
upon, and in 1250 the Order of Santiago was obliged to represent to
Innocent IV that it had Moorish vassals, and to supplicate him for
license to buy and sell with them, which he graciously permitted.[202]
The most efficacious means, however, of establishing and perpetuating
the distinction between the races was that Jews and Moors should wear
some peculiar garment or badge by which they should be recognized at
sight. This was not only a mark of inferiority and a stigma, but it
exposed the wearer to insults and outrages, rendering it both
humiliating and dangerous, especially to those, such as muleteers or
merchants, whose avocations rendered travel on the unsafe highways
indispensable. When the Church was aroused from its torpor to combat
infidelity in all its forms, this was one of the measures adopted by the
great council of Lateran in 1216, in a regulation carried into the canon
law, the reason alleged being that it was necessary to prevent
miscegenation.[203] In 1217 Honorius III peremptorily ordered the
enforcement of this decree in Castile, but, two years later, consented
to suspend it, on the remonstrance of San Fernando III, backed by
Rodrigo, Archbishop of Toledo. The king represented that many Jews would
abandon his kingdom rather than wear badges, while the rest would be
driven to plots and conspiracies, and, as the greater part of his
revenues was derived from them, he would be unable to carry out his
enterprises against the Saracens.[204] It was difficult to arouse
intolerance and race hatred in Spain, and, when Gregory IX, about 1233,
and Innocent IV, in 1250, ordered the Castilian prelates to enforce the
Lateran canons, San Fernando quietly disregarded the injunction.[205]
His son, Alfonso X, so far yielded obedience that, in the Partidas, he
ordered, under a penalty of ten gold maravedís or ten lashes, all Jews,
male and female, to wear a badge on the cap, alleging the same reason as
the Lateran council, but he did not extend this to the Moors and, as his
code was not confirmed by the Córtes for nearly a century, the
regulation may be regarded as inoperative.[206] The council of Zamora,
which did so much to stimulate intolerance, in January, 1313, ordered
the badge to be worn, as it was in other lands, and later in the year
the Córtes of Plasencia proposed to obey, but were told by the Infante
Juan, who presided as guardian of Alfonso XI, that he would, after
consultation, do what was for the advantage of the land.[207] In Aragon,
the councils of Tarragona, in 1238 and 1282, vainly ordered the canon to
be obeyed, and it was not until 1300 that the attempt was made with an
ordinance requiring the Mudéjares to wear the hair cut in a peculiar
fashion that should be distinctive.[208] In Castile, at length, Henry
II, in pursuance of the request of the Córtes of Toro in 1371, ordered
all Jews and Moors to wear the badge (a red circle on the left
shoulder), but the injunction had to be frequently repeated and was
slenderly obeyed. Even so, to it may be attributed the frequent murders
which followed of Jews on the highways, the perpetrators of which were
rarely identified.[209]

What was the spirit which the Church thus persistently endeavored to
arouse in Spain may be gathered from a brief of Clement IV, in 1266, to
Jaime I of Aragon, urging him to expel all Mudéjares from his dominions.
He assures the king that his reputation will suffer greatly if, for
temporal advantage, he longer permits such opprobrium of God, such an
infection of Christendom, as proceeds indubitably from the horrible
cohabitation of the Moors, with its detestable horrors and horrid
foulness. By expelling them he will fulfil his vow to God, stop the
mouths of his detractors and prove himself zealous for the faith.[210]
The same temper was shown, in 1278, by Nicholas III, when he scolded
Alfonso X for entering into truces with the Moors, and, by threatening
to deprive him of the share granted to him of the church revenues,
incited him to the disastrous siege of Algeciras, the failure of which
led him to form an alliance with the King of Morocco.[211] Fortunately
this papal zeal for the faith found no Ximenes in Spain to spread it
among the people and to kindle the fires of intolerance. The Spanish
Church of the period appears to have been wholly quiescent. The only
action on record is the trivial one of Arnaldo de Peralta, Bishop of
Valencia, from 1261 to 1273, who forbade, under pain of excommunication,
his clergy from drinking wine in the house of a Jew, provided they
should have heard of or should remember the prohibition; and he further
vaguely threatened with his displeasure any cleric who should knowingly
buy the wine of a Jew, except in case of necessity.[212]


That, in the Confusion which followed the rebellion of Sancho IV against
his father, there may have arisen a desire to limit somewhat the
privileges of Jew and Moor is rendered probable by the legislation of
the Córtes of Valladolid, in 1293, to which allusion has already been
made (p. 63), but the decisive impulse which aroused the Spanish Church
from its indolent indifference and set it earnestly to work in exciting
popular hatred and intolerance, would seem traceable to the council of
Vienne in 1311-12. Among the published canons of the council, the only
one relating to Moors is a complaint that those dwelling in Christian
lands have their priests, called Zabazala, who, from the minarets of
their mosques, at certain hours invoke Mahomet and sound his praises in
a loud voice, and also that they are accustomed to gather around the
grave of one whom they worship as a saint. These practices are denounced
as unendurable, and the princes are ordered to suppress them, with the
alternative of gaining salvation or of enduring punishment which shall
make them serve as a terrifying example.[213] This threat fell upon deaf
ears. In 1329 the council of Tarragona complains of its inobservance and
orders all temporal lords to enforce it within two months, under pain of
interdict and excommunication,[214] and a hundred years later the
council of Tortosa, in 1429, supplicated the King of Aragon and all
prelates and nobles, by the bowels of divine mercy, to enforce the canon
and all other conciliar decrees for the exaltation of the faith and the
humiliation of Jews and Moors, and to cause their observance by their
subjects if they wish to escape the vengeance of God and of the Holy
See. This was equally ineffectual, and it was reserved for Ferdinand and
Isabella, about 1482, to enforce the canon of Vienne with a vigor which
brought a remonstrance from the Grand Turk.[215]


More serious was the effect upon the Jews of the spirit awakened at
Vienne. That council, besides enacting very severe laws against usury,
denounced the privilege accorded in Spain to Jews, whereby Jewish
witnesses were requisite for the conviction of Jewish defendants. It did
not presume to annul this privilege, but forbade all intercourse
between the races wherever it was in force.[216] The Spanish prelates,
in returning from the council in 1312, brought with them these canons
and the spirit of intolerance that dictated them and made haste to give
expression to it at the council of Zamora, in January, 1313, in a number
of canons, the temper of which is so different from the previous
utterances of the Spanish Church that it shows the revolution wrought in
their mode of thinking by intercourse with their brethren from other
lands. Henceforth, in this respect, the Spanish Church emerges from its
isolation and distinguishes itself by even greater ferocity than that
which disgraced the rest of Christendom. The fathers of Zamora invoked
the curse of God and of St. Peter on all who should endeavor to enforce
the existing laws requiring the evidence of Jews to convict Jews. They
denounced the Jews as serpents, who were only to be endured by
Christians because they were human beings, but were to be kept in strict
subjection and servitude, and they sought to reduce this principle to
practice by a series of canons restricting the Jews in every way and
putting an end to all social intercourse between them and
Christians.[217] The friendly mingling of the races, which shows how
little the prejudices of the churchmen were shared by the people at this
period, became a favorite subject of objurgation and required a long
series of efforts to eradicate, but the Church triumphed at last, and
the seeds of envy, hatred and all uncharitableness, which it so
assiduously planted and cultivated, yielded in the end an abundant
harvest of evil. What prepossessions of Christian kindness the prelates
of Zamora felt that they had to overcome are indicated in the final
command that these constitutions should be read publicly in all
churches annually, and that the bishops should compel by excommunication
all secular magistrates to enforce them.[218]

The Spanish Church, thus fairly started in this deplorable direction,
pursued its course with characteristic energy. In 1322 the utterances of
the council of Valladolid reveal how intimate were the customary
relations between Christian and infidel, and how the Church, in place of
taking advantage of this, labored to keep the races asunder. The council
recites that scandals arise and churches are profaned by the prevailing
custom of Moors and Jews attending divine service, wherefore they are to
be expelled before the ceremonies of the mass begin, and all who
endeavor to prevent it are to be excommunicated. The habit of nocturnal
devotional vigils in churches is also said, probably with truth, to be
the source of much evil, and all who bring Moors and Jews to take part
with their voices and instruments are to be expelled. To preserve the
faithful from pollution by Moorish and Jewish superstitions, they are
commanded no more to frequent the weddings and funerals of the infidels.
The absurd and irrational abuse whereby Jews and Moors are placed in
office over Christians is to be extirpated, and all prelates shall
punish it with excommunication. As the malice of Moors and Jews leads
them craftily to put Christians to death, under pretext of curing them
by medicine and surgery and, as the canons forbid Christians from
employing them as physicians, and as these canons are not observed in
consequence of the negligence of the prelates, the latter are ordered to
enforce them strictly with the free use of excommunication.[219]


These last two clauses point to matters which had long been special
grievances of the faithful and which demand a moment's attention. The
superior administrative abilities of the Jews caused them to be
constantly sought for executive positions, to the scandal of all good
Christians. We have seen that under the Goths it was an abuse calling
for constant animadversion. It was one of the leading complaints of
Innocent III against Raymond VI of Toulouse, which he expiated so
cruelly in the Albigensian crusades, and one of the decrees of the
Lateran council was directed against its continuance.[220] In Spain the
sovereigns could not do without them, and we shall have occasion to see
that it became one of the main causes of popular dislike of the
unfortunate race, for the Christian found it hard to bear with
equanimity the domination of the Jew, especially in his ordinary
character of _almojarife_, or tax-collector. As early as 1118, Alfonso
VIII, in the fuero granted to Toledo, promised that no Jew or recent
convert should be placed over the Christians; Alfonso X made the same
concession in the fuero of Alicante, in 1252, except that he reserved
the office of almojarife, and in the Partidas he endeavored to make the
rule general.[221] The same necessity made itself felt with regard to
the function of the physician, for which, during the dark ages, the
learning of Jew and Saracen rendered them almost exclusively fitted.
Zedechias, the Jewish physician of the Emperor Charles the Bald, was
renowned, and tradition handed down his name as that of a skilful
magician.[222] Prince and prelate alike sought comfort in their curative
ministrations, and, as the Church looked askance on the practice of
medicine and surgery by ecclesiastics, unless it were through prayer and
exorcism, they had the field almost to themselves. This had always been
regarded with disfavor by the Church. As early as 706 the council of
Constantinople had ordered the faithful not to take medicine from a Jew,
and this command had been incorporated in the canon law.[223] Another
rule, adopted from the Lateran council of 1216, was that the first duty
of a physician was to care for the soul of the patient rather than for
his body, and to see that he was provided with a confessor--a duty which
the infidel could scarce be expected to recognize.[224] It is therefore
easy to understand why the general abhorrence of the Church for Moor and
Jew should be sharpened with peculiar acerbity in regard to their
functions as physicians; why the council of Valladolid should endeavor
to alarm the people with the assertion that they utilized the position
to slay the faithful, and the council of Salamanca, in 1335, should
renew the sentence of excommunication on all who should employ them in
sickness.[225] Nominally the Church carried its point, and in the
prescriptive laws of 1412 there was embodied a provision imposing a fine
of three hundred maravedís on any Moor or Jew who should visit a
Christian in sickness or administer medicine to him,[226] but the
prohibition was impossible of enforcement. About 1462, the Franciscan,
Alonso de Espina, bitterly complains that there is not a noble or a
prelate but keeps a Jewish devil as a physician, although the zeal of
the Jews in studying medicine is simply to obtain an opportunity of
exercising their malignity upon Christians; for one whom they cure they
slay fifty, and when they are gathered together they boast as to which
has caused the most deaths, for their law commands them to spoil and
slay the faithful.[227] It was but a few years after this that Abiatar
Aben Crescas, chief physician of Juan II of Aragon, the father of
Ferdinand, vindicated Jewish science by successfully relieving his royal
patient of a double cataract and restoring his sight. On September 11,
1469, pronouncing the aspect of the stars to be favorable, he operated
on the right eye; the king, delighted with his recovered vision, ordered
him to proceed with the left, but Abiatar refused, alleging that the
stars had become unfavorable, and it was not until October 12 that he
consented to complete the cure.[228] The friars themselves believed as
little as royalty in the stories which they invented to frighten the
people and create abhorrence of Jewish physicians. In spite of the fact
that Ferdinand and Isabella, in the _Ordenanzas_ of 1480, repeated the
prohibition of their attending Christians, the Dominicans, in 1489,
obtained from Innocent IV permission to employ them, notwithstanding all
ecclesiastical censures, the reason alleged being that in Spain there
were few others.[229]


The prescriptive spirit which dominated the councils of Zamora and
Valladolid was not allowed to die out. That of Tarragona, in 1329,
expressed its horror at the friendly companionship with which Christians
were in the habit of attending the marriages, funerals and circumcisions
of Jews and Moors and even of entering into the bonds of compaternity
with the parents at the latter ceremony, all of which it strictly
forbade for the future.[230] A few years later, in 1337, Arnaldo,
Archbishop of Tarragona, addressed to Benedict XII a letter which is a
significant expression of the objects and methods of the Church. In
spite, he says, of the vow taken by Jaime I when about to conquer
Valencia, that he would not permit any Moors to remain there, the
Christians, led by blind cupidity, allow them to occupy the land,
believing that thus they derive larger revenues--which is an error, as
the Abbot of Poblet has recently demonstrated by expelling the Mudéjares
from the possessions of the abbey. There are said to be forty or fifty
thousand Moorish fighting men in Valencia, which is a source of the
greatest danger, especially now when the Emperor of Morocco is preparing
to aid the King of Granada. Besides, many enormous crimes are committed
by Christians, in consequence of their damnable familiarity and
intercourse with the Moors, who blaspheme the name of Christ and exalt
that of Mahomet. "I have heard," he pursues, "the late Bishop of
Valencia declare, in a public sermon, that in that province the mosques
are more numerous than the churches and that half, or more than half,
the people are ignorant of the Lord's prayer and speak only Moorish. I
therefore pray your clemency to provide an appropriate remedy, which
would seem impossible unless the Moors are wholly expelled and unless
the King of Aragon lends his aid and favor. The nobles would be more
readily brought to assent to this if they were allowed to seize and sell
the persons and property of the Mudéjares as public enemies and
infidels, and the money thus obtained would be of no small service in
defending the kingdom." The Christian prelate, not content with directly
asking the pope to adopt this inhuman proposition, sent a copy of his
letter to Jean de Comminges, Cardinal of Porto, and begged him to urge
the matter with Benedict, and in a second letter to the cardinal he
explained that it would be necessary for the pope to order the king to
expel the Moors; that he would willingly obey as to the crown lands, but
that a papal command was indispensable as to the lands of others. It was
only, he added, the avarice of the Christians which kept the Moors
there.[231] We shall see how, two hundred and seventy years later, an
Archbishop of Valencia aided in bringing about the final catastrophe, by
a still greater display of saintly zeal, backed by precisely the same

This constant pressure on the part of their spiritual guides began to
make an impression on the ruling classes, and repressive legislation
becomes frequent in the Córtes. In those of Soria, in 1380, the
obnoxious prayer against Christians was ordered to be removed from
Jewish prayer-books and its recitation was forbidden under heavy
penalties, while the rabbis were deprived of jurisdiction in criminal
cases between their people. In those of Valladolid, in 1385, Christians
were forbidden to live among Jews, Jews were prohibited to serve as
tax-collectors, their judges were inhibited to act in civil cases
between them and Christians and numerous regulations were adopted to
restrain their oppression of debtors.[232] In 1387, at the Córtes of
Briviesca, Juan I enacted that no Christian should keep in his house a
Jew or Moor, except as a slave, nor converse with one beyond what the
law allowed, under the heavy penalty of 6000 maravedís, and no Jew or
Moor should keep Christians in his house under pain of confiscation of
all property and corporal punishment at the king's pleasure.[233] It
seemed impossible to enforce these laws, and the Church intervened by
assuming jurisdiction over the matter. In 1388 the council of Valencia
required the suspension of labor on Sundays and feast-days, and it
deplored the injury to the bodies and souls of the faithful and the
scandals arising from the habitual intercourse between them and the
infidels. The dwellings of the latter were ordered to be strictly
separated from those of the former; where special quarters had not been
assigned to them, it was ordered to be done forthwith and, within two
months, no Christian should be found dwelling with them nor they with
Christians. If they had trades to work at or merchandise to sell they
could come out during the day, or occupy booths or shops along the
streets, but at night they must return to the place where they kept
their wives and children.[234]

This segregation of the Jews and Moors and their strict confinement to
the Morerías and Juderías were a practical method of separating the
races which was difficult of enforcement. The massacres of 1391 showed
that there were such quarters generally in the larger cities, but
residence therein seems not to have been obligatory, and Jews and Moors
who desired it lived among the Christians. In the restrictive laws of
1412, the first place is given to this matter. Morerías and Juderías are
ordered to be established everywhere, surrounded with a wall having only
one gate. Any one who shall not, in eight days after notice, have
settled therein forfeits all his property and is liable to punishment at
the king's pleasure, and severe penalties are provided for Christian
women who enter them.[235] An effort was made to enforce these
regulations, but it seemed impossible to keep the races apart. In 1480
Ferdinand and Isabella state that the law had not been observed and
order its enforcement, allowing two years for the establishment of the
ghettos, after which no Jew or Moor shall dwell outside of them, under
the established penalties, and no Christian woman be found within
them.[236] The time had passed for laws to be disregarded and this was
carried into effect with the customary vigor of the sovereigns. In
Segovia, for instance, on October 29, 1481, Rodrigo Alvárez Maldonado,
commissioner for the purpose, summoned the representatives of the Jewish
aljama, read to them the Ordenanza, and designated to them the limits of
their Judería. All Christians resident therein were warned to vacate
within the period designated by the law; all Jews of the district were
required to make their abode there within the same time, and all doors
and windows of houses contiguous to the boundaries, on either side,
whether of Jews or Christians, were ordered to be walled up or rendered
impassable. The segregation of the Jews was to be absolute.[237]

       *       *       *       *       *


We shall see in the next chapter how successful were the efforts of the
Church in arousing the greed and fanaticism of the people and in
repressing the kindly fellowship which had so long existed. From this
the Jews were the earliest and greatest sufferers, and it is necessary
here to say only that in the cruel laws which marked the commencement of
the fifteenth century both Moor and Jew were included in the
restrictions designed to humiliate them to the utmost, to render their
lives a burden, to deprive them of the means of livelihood and to
diminish their usefulness to the State. These laws were too severe for
strict and continuous enforcement, but they answered the purpose of
inflicting an ineffaceable stigma upon their victims and of keeping up a
wholesome feeling of antagonism on the part of the population at large.
This was directed principally against the Jews, who were the chief
objects of clerical malignity, and it will be our business to examine
how this was skilfully developed, until it became the proximate cause of
the introduction of the Inquisition and created for it, during its
earliest and busiest years, almost the sole field of its activity.
Meanwhile it may be observed that, in the closing triumph over Granada,
the capitulations accorded by Ferdinand and Isabella were even more
liberal to Jews and Moors than those granted from the eleventh to the
thirteenth century, by such monarchs as Alfonso VI, Ferdinand III,
Alfonso X, and Jaime I. Unless they were deliberately designed as
perfidious traps, they show how little real conscientious conviction lay
behind the elaborately stimulated fanaticism which destroyed the Jews
and Mudéjares.[238]



To appreciate properly the position of the Jews in Spain, it is
requisite first to understand the light in which they were regarded
elsewhere throughout Christendom during the medieval period. It has
already been seen that the Church held the Jew to be a being deprived,
by the guilt of his ancestors, of all natural rights save that of
existence. The privileges accorded to the Jews and the social equality
to which they were admitted under the Carlovingians provoked the
severest animadversions of the churchmen.[239] About 890, Stephen VI
writes to the Archbishop of Narbonne that he has heard with mortal
anxiety that these enemies of God are allowed to hold land and that
Christians dealt with these dogs and even rendered service to them.[240]
It is true that Alexander III maintained the ancient rule that they
could repair their existing synagogues but not build new ones, and
Clement III honored himself by one of the rare human utterances in their
favor, prohibiting their forced conversion, their murder or wounding or
spoliation, their deprivation of religious observances, the exaction of
forced service unless such was customary, or the violation of their
cemeteries in search of treasure, and, moreover, both of these decrees
were embodied by Gregory IX in the canon law.[241] Yet these
prohibitions only point out to us the manner in which popular zeal
applied the principles enunciated by the Church and, when the council of
Paris, in 1212, forbade, under pain of excommunication, Christian
midwives to attend a Jewess in labor, it shows that they were
authoritatively regarded as less entitled than beasts to human

How popular hostility was aroused and strengthened is illustrated in a
letter addressed, in 1208, by Innocent III to the Count of Nevers.
Although, he says, the Jews, against whom the blood of Jesus Christ
cries aloud, are not to be slain, lest Christians should forget the
divine law, yet are they to be scattered as wanderers over the earth,
that their faces may be filled with ignominy and they may seek the name
of Jesus Christ. Blasphemers of the Christian name are not to be
cherished by princes, in oppression of the servants of the Lord, but are
rather to be repressed with servitude, of which they rendered themselves
worthy when they laid sacrilegious hands on Him, who had come to give
them true freedom, and they cried that His blood should be upon them and
their children. Yet when prelates and priests intervene to crush their
malice, they laugh at excommunication and nobles are found who protect
them. The Count of Nevers is said to be a defender of the Jews; if he
does not dread the divine wrath, Innocent threatens to lay hands on him
and punish his disobedience.[243] The Cistercian Cæsarius of
Heisterbach, in his dialogues for the moral instruction of his fellow
monks, tells several stories which illustrate the utter contempt felt
for the feelings and rights of Jews, and in one of them there is an
allusion to the curious popular belief that the Jews had a vile odor,
which they lost in baptism--a belief prolonged, at least in Spain, until
the seventeenth century was well advanced.[244] Even so enlightened a
prelate as Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, in 1416, reproves the sovereigns of
Christendom for their liberality towards the Jews, which he can
attribute only to the vile love of gain; if Jews are allowed to remain,
it should be only as servants to Christians.[245] General prohibitions
of maltreatment availed little when prelate and priest were busy in
inflaming popular aversion and popes were found to threaten any prince
hardy enough to interpose and protect the unfortunate race.


Of course under such impulsion there was scant ceremony in dealing with
these outcasts in any way that religious ardor might suggest. When, in
1009, the Saracens captured Jerusalem and destroyed the church of the
Holy Sepulchre, the rage and indignation of Europe assumed so
threatening a form that multitudes of Jews took refuge in baptism.[246]
When religious exaltation culminated in the Crusades, it seemed to those
who assumed the cross a folly to redeem Palestine while leaving behind
the impious race that had crucified the Lord, and everywhere, in 1096,
the assembling of crusaders was the signal for Jewish massacre. It would
be superfluous to recount in detail the dreary catalogue of wholesale
slaughters which for centuries disgraced Europe, whenever fanaticism or
the disappearance of a child gave rise to stories of the murder rite, or
a blood-stained host suggested sacrilege committed on the sacrament, or
some passing evil, such as an epidemic, aroused the populace to
bloodshed and rapine. The medieval chronicles are full of such terrible
scenes, in which cruelty and greed assumed the cloak of zeal to avenge
God; and when, in rare instances, the authorities protected the
defenceless, it was ascribed to unworthy motives, as in the case of
Johann von Kraichbau, Bishop of Speyer, who, in 1096, not only saved
some Jews but beheaded their assailants and was accused of being heavily
bribed; nor did Frederic Barbarossa and Ludwig of Bavaria escape similar
imputations.[247] It was safer and more profitable to combine piety and
plunder as when, in April, 1182, Philip Augustus ordered all Jews to
leave France by St. John's day, confiscating their landed property and
allowing them to take their personal effects. His grandson, the saintly
Louis, resorted without scruple to replenishing his treasury by
ransoming the Jews and the latter's grandson, Philippe le Bel, was still
more unscrupulous in 1306, when, by a concerted movement, he seized all
the Jews in his dominions, stripped them of property, and banished them
under pain of death. In England King John, in 1210, cast Jews into
prison and tortured them for ransom, and his grandson, Edward I,
followed the example of Philip Augustus so effectually that Jews were
not allowed to return until the time of Cromwell.[248]

Spain remained so long isolated from the movements which agitated the
rest of Christendom that the abhorrence for the Jew, taught by the
Church and reduced to practice in so many ways by the people, was late
in development. In the deluge of the Saracen conquest and in the fierce
struggles of the early Reconquest, the antipathy so savagely expressed
in the Gothic legislation seemed to pass away, possibly because there
could have been but few Jews among the rude mountaineers of Galicia and
Asturias. It is true that the Wisigothic laws, in the Romance version
known as the Fuero Juzgo, remained nominally in force; it is also true
that a law was interpolated in the Fuero, which seems to indicate a
sudden recrudescence of fanaticism after a long interval of comparative
toleration. It provides that if a Jew loyally embraces the faith of
Christ, he shall have license to trade in all things with Christians,
but if he subsequently relapses into Judaism his person and property are
forfeit to the king; Jews persisting in their faith shall not consort
with Christians, but may trade with each other and pay taxes to the
king. Their houses and slaves and lands and orchards and vineyards,
which they may have bought from Christians, even though the purchase be
of old date, are declared confiscated to the king, who may bestow them
on whom he pleases. If any Jew trades in violation of this law he shall
become a slave of the king, with all his property. Christians shall not
trade with Jews; if a noble does so, he shall forfeit three pounds of
gold to the king; on transactions of more than two pounds, the excess is
forfeit to the king, together with three doblas; if the offender is a
commoner, he shall receive three hundred lashes.[249]


The date of this law is uncertain, but it presupposes a considerable
anterior period of toleration, during which Jews had multiplied and had
become possessed of landed wealth. To what extent it may have been
enforced we have no means of knowing, but its observance must only have
been temporary, for such glimpses as we get of the condition of the Jews
up to the fourteenth century are wholly incompatible with the fierce
proscription of the Gothic laws. As the Spanish kingdoms organized
themselves, the Fuero Juzgo for the most part was superseded by a crowd
of local fueros, _cartas-pueblas_ and customs defining the franchises of
each community, and we have seen in the preceding chapter how in these
both Moor and Jew were recognized as sharing in the common rights of
citizenship and how fully the freedom of trade between all classes was
permitted. In 1251 the Fuero Juzgo was formally abrogated in Aragon by
Jaime I, who forbade it to be cited in the courts--a measure which
infers that it had practically become obsolete.[250] In Castile it
lingered somewhat longer and traces of its existence are to be found in
some places until the end of the thirteenth century.[251] These,
however, are not to be construed as referring to the provisions
respecting Jews, which had long been superseded.

In fact, the Jews formed too large and important a portion of the
population to be treated without consideration. The sovereigns, involved
permanently in struggles with the Saracen and with mutinous nobles,
found it necessary to utilize all the resources at their command,
whether in money, intelligence, or military service. In the first two of
these the Jews stood pre-eminent, nor were they remiss in the latter. On
the disastrous field of Zalaca, in 1086, forty thousand Jews are said to
have followed the banner of Alfonso VI, and the slaughter they endured
proved their devotion, while, at the defeat of Ucles in 1108, they
composed nearly the whole left wing of the Castilian host.[252] In 1285
we hear of Jews and Moors aiding the Aragonese in their assaults on the
retreating forces of Philippe le Hardi.[253] As regards money, the
traffic and finance of Spain were largely in their hands, and they
furnished, with the Moors, the readiest source from which to derive
revenue. Every male who had married, or who had reached the age of 20,
paid an annual poll tax of three gold maravedís; there were also a
number of imposts peculiar to them, and, in addition, they shared with
the rest of the population in the complicated and ruinous system of
taxation--the ordinary and extraordinary _servicios_, the _pedidas_ and
_ayudas_, the _sacos_ and _pastos_ and the _alcavalas_. Besides this
they assisted in supporting the municipalities or the lordships and
prelacies under which they lived, with the _tallas_, the _pastos_, the
ninths or elevenths of merchandise and the _peajes_ and _barcajes_, the
_pontazgos_ and _portazgos_, or tolls of various kinds which were
heavier on them than on Christians, and, moreover, the Church received
from them the customary tithes, oblations, and first-fruits.[254] The
revenues from the Jewish aljamas, or communities, were always regarded
as among the surest resources of the crown.

The shrewd intelligence and practical ability of the Jews, moreover,
rendered their services in public affairs almost indispensable. It was
in vain that the council of Rome, in 1078, renewed the old prohibitions
to confide to them functions which would place them in command over
Christians and equally in vain that, in 1081, Gregory VII addressed to
Alfonso VI a vehement remonstrance on the subject, assuring him that to
do so was to oppress the Church of God and exalt the synagogue of Satan,
and that in seeking to please the enemies of Christ he was contemning
Christ himself.[255] In fact, the most glorious centuries of the
Reconquest were those in which the Jews enjoyed the greatest power in
the courts of kings, prelates and nobles, in Castile and Aragon. The
treasuries of the kingdoms were virtually in their hands, and it was
their skill in organizing the supplies that rendered practicable the
enterprises of such monarchs as Alfonso VI and VII, Fernando III and
Jaime I.[256] To treat them as the Goths had done, or as the Church
prescribed, had become a manifest impossibility.


Under such circumstances it was natural that their numbers should
increase until they formed a notable portion of the population. Of this
an estimate can be made from a _repartimiento_, or assessment of taxes,
in 1284, which shows that in Castile they paid a poll tax of 2,561,855
gold maravedís, which at three maravedís per head infers a total of
853,951 married or adult males.[257] This large aggregate was thoroughly
organized. Each aljama or community had its rabbis with a Rabb Mayor at
its head. Then each district, comprising one or more Christian
bishoprics, was presided over by a Rabb Mayor, and, above all, was the
_Gaon_ or _Nassi_, the prince, whose duty it was to see that the laws of
the race, both civil and religious, were observed in their purity.[258]
As we have already seen, all questions between themselves were settled
before their own judges under their own code, and even when a Jew was
prosecuted criminally by the king, he was punishable in accordance with
his own law.[259] So complete was the respect paid to this that their
Sabbaths and other feasts were held inviolate; on these days they could
not be summoned to court or be interfered with except by arrest for
crime. Even polygamy was allowed to them.[260]

While their religion and laws were thus respected, they were required to
respect Christianity. They were not allowed to read or keep books
contrary to their own law or to the Christian law. Proselytism from
Christianity was punishable by death and confiscation, and any insults
offered to God, the Virgin, or the saints, were visited with a fine of
ten maravedís or a hundred lashes.[261] Yet, if we are to believe the
indignant Lucas of Tuy, writing about 1230, these simple restraints were
scarce enforced. The heretic Cathari of Leon, he tells us, were wont to
circumcise themselves in order, under the guise of Jews, to propound
heretical dogmas and dispute with Christians; what they dared not utter
as heretics they could freely disseminate as Jews. The governors and
judges of the cities listened approvingly to heresies put forth by Jews,
who were their friends and familiars, and if any one, inflamed by pious
zeal, angered these Jews, he was treated as if he had touched the apple
of the eye of the ruler; they also taught other Jews to blaspheme Christ
and thus the Catholic faith was perverted.[262]

This represents a laxity of toleration impossible in any other land at
the period, yet the Spanish Jews were not wholly shielded from inroads
of foreign fanaticism. Before the crusading spirit had been organized
for the conquest of the Holy Land, ardent knights sometimes came to wage
war with the Spanish Saracens, and their religious fervor was aggrieved
by the freedom enjoyed by the Jews. About 1068, bands of these strangers
treated them as they had been wont to do at home, slaying and plundering
them without mercy. The Church of Spain was as yet uncontaminated by
race hatred and the bishops interposed to save the victims. For this
they were warmly praised by Alexander II, who denounced the crusaders as
acting either from foolish ignorance or blind cupidity. Those whom they
would slay, he said, were perhaps predestined by God to salvation; he
cited Gregory I to the same effect and pointed out the difference
between Jews and Saracens, the latter of whom make war on Christians and
could justly be assailed.[263] Had the chair of St. Peter always been so
worthily filled, infinite misery might have been averted and the history
of Christendom been spared some of its most repulsive pages.

When the crusading spirit extended to Spain, it sometimes aroused
similar tendencies. In 1108, Archbishop Bernardo of Toledo took the
cross and religious exaltation was ardent. The disastrous rout of Ucles
came and was popularly ascribed to the Jews in the Castilian army,
arousing indignation which manifested itself in a massacre at Toledo and
in the burning of synagogues. Alfonso VI vainly endeavored to detect and
punish those responsible and his death, in 1109, was followed by similar
outrages which remained unavenged.[264] This was a sporadic outburst
which soon exhausted itself. A severer trial came from abroad, when, in
1210, the Legate Arnaud of Narbonne led his crusading hosts to the
assistance of Alfonso IX. Although their zeal for the faith was
exhausted by the capture of Calatrava and few of them remained to share
in the crowning glories of Las Navas de Tolosa, their ardor was
sufficient to prompt an onslaught on the unoffending Jews. The native
nobles sought in vain to protect the victims, who were massacred without
mercy, so that Abravanel declares this to have been one of the bloodiest
persecutions that they had suffered and that more Jews fled from Spain
than Moses led out of Egypt.[265]


This had no permanent influence on the condition of the Spanish Hebrews.
During the long reigns of San Fernando III and Alfonso X of Castile and
of Jaime I of Aragon, covering the greater part of the thirteenth
century, the services which they rendered to the monarchs were repaid
with increasing favor and protection. After Jaime had conquered Minorca
he took, in 1247, all Jews settling there under the royal safeguard and
threatened a fine of a thousand gold pieces for wrong inflicted on any
of them and, in 1250, he required that Jewish as well as Christian
testimony must be furnished in all actions, civil or criminal, brought
by Christians against Jews. So, when in 1306 Philippe le Bel expelled
the Jews from France and those of Majorca feared the same fate, Jaime II
reassured them by pledging the royal faith that they should remain
forever in the land, with full security for person and property, a
pledge confirmed, in 1311, by his son and successor Sancho.[266] In
Castile, when San Fernando conquered Seville, in 1244, he gave to the
Jews a large space in the city, and, in defiance of the canons, he
allotted to them four Moorish mosques to be converted into synagogues,
thus founding the aljama of Seville, destined to a history so
deplorable. Alfonso X, during his whole reign, patronized Jewish men of
learning, whom he employed in translating works of value from Arabic and
Hebrew; he built for them an observatory in Seville, where were made the
records embodied in the Alfonsine Tables; he permitted those of Toledo
to erect the magnificent synagogue now known as Santa María la Blanca,
and Jews fondly relate that the Hebrew school, which he transferred from
Córdova to Toledo, numbered twelve thousand students.[267] He was prompt
to maintain their privileges, and, when the Jews of Burgos complained
that in mixed suits the alcaldes would grant appeals to him when the
Christian suitor was defeated, while refusing them to defeated Jews, he
at once put an end to the discrimination, a decree which Sancho IV
enforced with a penalty of a hundred maravedís when, in 1295, the
complaint was repeated.[268] Yet Alfonso, in his systematic code known
as the Partidas, which was not confirmed by the Córtes until 1348,
allowed himself to be influenced by the teachings of the Church and the
maxims of the imperial jurisprudence. He accepted the doctrine of the
canons that the Jew was merely suffered to live in captivity among
Christians; he was forbidden to speak ill of the Christian faith, and
any attempt at proselytism was punished with death and confiscation. The
murder rite was alluded to as a rumor, but in case it was practised it
was a capital offence and the culprits were to be tried before the king
himself. Jews were ineligible to any office in which they could oppress
Christians; they were forbidden to have Christian servants, and the
purchase of a Christian slave involved the death punishment. They were
not to associate with Christians in eating, drinking, and bathing and
the amour of a Jew with a Christian woman incurred death. While Jewish
physicians might prescribe for Christian patients, the medicine must be
compounded by a Christian, and the wearing of the hateful distinctive
badge was ordered under penalty of ten gold maravedís or of ten lashes.
At the same time Christians were strictly forbidden to commit any wrong
on the person or property of Jews or to interfere in any way with their
religious observances, and no coercion was to be used to induce them to
baptism, for Christ wishes only willing service.[269]


This was prophetic of evil days in the future and the reign of Alfonso
proved to be the culminating point of Jewish prosperity. The capital and
commerce of the land were to a great extent in their hands; they managed
its finances and collected its revenues. King, noble and prelate
entrusted their affairs to Jews, whose influence consequently was felt
everywhere. To precipitate them from this position to the servitude
prescribed by the canons required a prolonged struggle and may be said
to have taken its remote origin in an attempt at their conversion. In
1263 the Dominican Fray Pablo Christiá, a converted Jew, challenged the
greatest rabbi of the day, Moseh aben Najman, to a disputation which was
presided over by Jaime I in his Barcelona palace. Each champion of
course boasted of victory; the king dismissed Nachmanides not only with
honor but with the handsome reward of three hundred pieces of gold, but
he ordered certain Jewish books to be burnt and blasphemous passages in
the Talmud to be expunged.[270] He further issued a decree ordering all
his faithful Jews to assemble and listen reverently to Fray Pablo
whenever he desired to dispute with them, to furnish him with what books
he desired, and to defray his expenses, which they could deduct from
their tribute.[271] Two years later Fray Pablo challenged another
prominent Hebrew, the Rabbi Ben-Astruch, chief of the synagogue of
Gerona, who refused until he had the pledge of King Jaime, and of the
great Dominican St. Ramon de Peñafort, that he should not be held
accountable for what he might utter in debate, but when, at the request
of the Bishop of Gerona, Ben-Astruch wrote out his argument, the frailes
Pablo and Ramon accused him of blasphemy, for it was manifestly
impossible that a Jew could defend his strict monotheism and Messianic
belief without a course of reasoning that would appear blasphemous to
susceptible theologians. The rabbi alleged the royal pledge; Jaime
proposed that he should be banished for two years and his book be burnt,
but this did not satisfy the Dominican frailes and he dismissed the
matter, forbidding the prosecution of the rabbi except before himself.
Appeal seems to have been made to Clement IV, who addressed King Jaime
in wrathful mood, blaming him for the favor shown to Jews and ordering
him to deprive them of office and to depress and trample on them;
Ben-Astruch especially, he said, should be made an example without,
however, mutilating or slaying him.[272] This explosion of papal
indignation fell harmless, but the zeal of the Dominicans had been
inflamed and in laboring for the conversion of the Jews they not
unnaturally aroused antagonism toward those who refused to abandon their
faith. So long before as 1242, Jaime had issued an edict, confirmed by
Innocent IV in 1245, empowering the Mendicant friars to have free access
to Juderías and Morerías, to assemble the inhabitants and compel them to
listen to sermons intended for their conversion.[273] The Dominicans now
availed themselves of this with such vigor and excited such hostility to
the Jews that Jaime was obliged to step forward for their protection. He
assured the aljamas that they were not accountable for what was
contained in their books, unless it was to the dishonor of Christ, the
Virgin and the saints, and all accusations must be submitted to him in
person; their freedom of trade was not to be curtailed; meat slaughtered
by them could be freely exposed for sale in the Juderías, but not
elsewhere; dealing in skins was not to be interfered with; their
synagogues and cemeteries were to be subject to their exclusive control;
their right to receive interest on loans was not to be impaired nor
their power to collect debts; they were not to be compelled to listen to
the friars outside of their Juderías, because otherwise they were liable
to insult and dishonor, nor were the frailes when preaching in the
synagogues to be accompanied by disorderly mobs, but at most by ten
discreet Christians; finally, no novel limitations were to be imposed on
them except by royal command after hearing them in opposition.[274]

These provisions indicate the direction in which Dominican zeal was
striving to curtail the privileges so long enjoyed by the Jews and the
royal intention to protect them against local legislation, which had
doubtless been attempted under this impulsion. They were not remiss in
gratitude, for when, in 1274, Jaime attended the council of Lyons, they
contributed seventy-one thousand _sueldos_ to enable him to appear with
fitting magnificence.[275] The royal protection was speedily needed, for
the tide of persecuting zeal was rising among the clergy and, shortly
after his return from Lyons, on a Good Friday, the ecclesiastics of
Gerona rang the bells, summoned the populace and attacked the Judería,
which was one of the largest and most flourishing in Catalonia. They
would have succeeded in destroying it but for the interposition of
Jaime, who chanced to be in the city and who defended the Jews with
force of arms.[276]


After the death of Jaime, in 1276, the ecclesiastics seem to have
thought that they could safely obey the commands of Clement IV,
especially as Nicholas IV, in 1278, instructed the Dominican general to
depute pious brethren everywhere to convoke the Jews and labor for their
conversion, with the significant addition that lists of those refusing
baptism were to be made out and submitted to him, when he would
determine what was to be done with them.[277] How the frailes
interpreted the papal utterances is indicated in a letter of Pedro III
to Pedro Bishop of Gerona, in April of this same year, 1278, reciting
that he had already appealed repeatedly to him to put an end to the
assaults of the clergy on the Jews, and now he learns that they have
again attacked the Judería, stoning it from the tower of the cathedral
and from their own houses and then assaulting it, laying waste the
gardens and vineyards of the Jews and even destroying their graves and,
when the royal herald stood up to forbid the work, drowning his voice
with yells and derisions. Pedro accuses the bishop of stimulating the
clergy to these outrages and orders him to put a stop to it and punish
the offenders.[278] He was still more energetic when the French crusade
under Philippe le Hardi was advancing to the siege of Gerona, in 1285,
and his Moorish soldiers in the garrison undertook to sack the _Call
Juhich_, or Judería, when he threw himself among them, mace in hand,
struck down a number and finished by hanging several of them.[279] He
offered no impediment, however, to the conversion of the Jews for, in
1279, he ordered his officials to compel them to listen to the
Franciscans, who, in obedience to the commands of the pope, might wish
to preach to them in their synagogues.[280] These intrusions of frailes
into the Juderías inevitably led to trouble, for there is significance
in a letter of Jaime II, April 4, 1305, to his representative in Palma,
alluding to recent scandals, for the future prevention of which he
orders that no priest shall enter the Judería to administer the
sacraments without being accompanied by a secular official. This
precaution was unavailing, for it doubtless was a continuance of such
provocation that led to a disturbance, about 1315, affording to King
Jaime an excuse for confiscating the whole property of the aljama of
Palma and then commuting the penalty to a fine of 95,000 _libras_. The
source of these troubles is suggested by a royal order of 1327 to the
Governor of Majorca, forbidding the baptism of Jewish children under
seven years of age or the forcible baptism of Jews of any age.[281]

During all this period there had been an Inquisition in Aragon which, of
course, could not interfere with Jews as such, for they were beyond its
jurisdiction, but which stood ready to punish more or less veritable
efforts at propagandism or offences of fautorship. The crown had no
objection to using it as a means of extortion, while preventing it from
exterminating or crippling subjects so useful. A diploma of Jaime II,
October 14, 1311, recites that the inquisitor, Fray Juan Llotger, had
learned that the aljamas of Barcelona, Tarragona, Monblanch and
Vilafranca had harbored and fed certain Jewish converts, who had
relapsed to Judaism, as well as others who had come from foreign parts.
He had given Fray Juan the necessary support, enabling him to verify the
accusations on the spot and had received his report to that effect. Now,
therefore, he issues a free and full pardon to the offending aljamas,
with assurance that they shall not be prosecuted either civilly or
criminally, for which grace, on October 10th, they had paid him ten
thousand sueldos. In this case there seems to have been no regular trial
by the Inquisition, the king having superseded it by his action. In
another more serious case he intervened after trial and sentence to
commute the punishment. In 1326 the aljama of Calatayud subjected itself
to the Inquisition by not only receiving back a woman who had been
baptized but by circumcising two Christians. Tried by the inquisitor and
the Bishop of Tarazona it had been found guilty and it had been
sentenced to a fine of twenty thousand sueldos and its members to
confiscation, but King Jaime, by a cédula of February 6, 1326, released
them from the confiscation and all other penalties on payment of the

       *       *       *       *       *


Although Castile was slower than Aragon to receive impulses from abroad,
in the early fourteenth century we begin to find traces of a similar
movement of the Church against the Jews. In 1307 the aljama of Toledo
complained to Fernando IV that the dean and chapter had obtained from
Clement V bulls conferring on them jurisdiction over Jews, in virtue of
which they were enforcing the canons against usury and stripping the
Jewish community of its property. At this time there was no question in
Spain, such as we shall see debated hereafter, of the royal prerogative
to control obnoxious papal letters, and Fernando at once ordered the
chapter to surrender the bulls; all action under them was pronounced
void and restitution in double was threatened for all damage inflicted.
The Jews, he said, were his Jews; they were not to be incapacitated
from paying their taxes and the pope had no power to infringe on the
rights of the crown. He instructed Ferran Nuñez de Pantoja to compel
obedience and, after some offenders had been arrested, the frightened
canons surrendered the bulls and abandoned their promising speculation,
but the affair left behind it enmities which displayed themselves
deplorably afterwards.[283]

In spite of the royal favor and protection, the legislation of the
period commences to manifest a tendency to limit the privileges of the
Jews, showing that popular sentiment was gradually turning against them.
As early as 1286 Sancho IV agreed to deprive them of their special
judges and, though the law was not generally enforced, it indicates the
spirit that called for it and procured its repetition in the Córtes of
Valladolid in 1307.[284] Complaints were loud and numerous of the Jewish
tax-gatherers, and the young Fernando IV was obliged repeatedly to
promise that the revenues should not be farmed out nor their collection
be entrusted to caballeros, ecclesiastics or Jews. The turbulence which
attended his minority and short reign and the minority of his son,
Alfonso XI, afforded a favorable opportunity for the manifestation of
hostility and the royal power was too weak to prevent the curtailment in
various directions of the Jewish privileges.[285] We have seen, in the
preceding chapter, the temper in which the Spanish prelates returned
from the Council of Vienne in 1312 and the proscriptive legislation
enacted by them in the Council of Zamora in 1313 and its successors.
Everything favored the development of this spirit of intolerance, and at
the Córtes of Burgos, in 1315, the regents of the young Alfonso XI
conceded that the Clementine canon, abrogating all laws that permitted
usury, should be enforced, that all mixed actions, civil and criminal,
should be tried by the royal judges, that the evidence of a Jew should
not be received against a Christian while that of a Christian was good
against a Jew, that Jews were not to assume Christian names, Christian
nurses were not to suckle Jews and sumptuary laws were directed against
the luxury of Jewish vestments.[286]

This may be said to mark the commencement of the long struggle which, in
spite of their wonderful powers of resistance, was to end in the
destruction of the Spanish Jews. Throughout the varying phases of the
conflict, the Church, in its efforts to arouse popular hatred, was
powerfully aided by the odium which the Jews themselves excited through
their ostentation, their usury and their functions as public officials.

A strong race is not apt to be an amiable one. The Jews were proud of
their ancient lineage and the purity of their descent from the kings and
heroes of the Old Testament. A man who could trace his ancestry to David
would look with infinite scorn on the hidalgos who boasted of the blood
of Lain Calvo and, if the favor of the monarch rendered safe the
expression of his feelings, his haughtiness was not apt to win friends
among those who repaid his contempt with interest. The Oriental fondness
for display was a grievous offence among the people. The wealth of the
kingdom was, to a great extent, in Jewish hands, affording ample
opportunity of contrast between their magnificence and the poverty of
the Christian multitude, and the lavish extravagance with which they
adorned themselves, their women and their retainers, was well fitted to
excite envy more potent for evil because more wide-spread than enmity
arising from individual wrongs.[287] Shortly before the catastrophe, at
the close of the fifteenth century, Affonso V of Portugal, who was
well-affected towards them, asked the chief rabbi, Joseph-Ibn-Jachia,
why he did not prevent his people from a display provocative of the
assertion that their wealth was derived from robbery of the Christians,
adding that he required no answer, for nothing save spoliation and
massacre would cure them of it.[288]

[Sidenote: _CAUSES OF ENMITY_]

A more practical and far-reaching cause of enmity was the usury, through
which a great portion of their wealth was acquired. The money-lender has
everywhere been an unpopular character and, in the Middle Ages, he was
especially so. When the Church pronounced any interest or any advantage,
direct or indirect, derived from loans to be a sin for which the sinner
could not be admitted to penance without making restitution; when the
justification of taking interest was regarded as a heresy to be punished
as such by the Inquisition, a stigma was placed on the money-lender, his
gains were rendered hazardous, and his calling became one which an
honorable Christian could not follow.[289] Mercantile Italy early
outgrew these dogmas which retarded so greatly all material development
and it managed to reconcile, _per fas et nefas_, the canons with the
practical necessities of business, but elsewhere throughout Europe,
wherever Jews were allowed to exist, the lending of money or goods on
interest inevitably fell, for the most part, into their hands, for they
were governed by their own moral code and were not subject to the
Church. It exhausted all devices to coerce them through their rulers,
but the object aimed at was too incompatible with the necessities of
advancing civilization to have any influence save the indefinite
postponement of relief to the borrower.[290]

The unsavoriness of the calling, its risks and the scarcity of coin
during the Middle Ages, conspired to render the current rates of
interest exorbitantly oppressive. In Aragon the Jews were allowed to
charge 20 per cent. per annum, in Castile 33-1/3,[291] and the constant
repetition of these limitations and the provisions against all manner of
ingenious devices, by fictitious sales and other frauds, to obtain an
illegal increase, show how little the laws were respected in the
grasping avarice with which the Jews speculated on the necessities of
their customers.[292] In 1326 the aljama of Cuenca, considering the
legal rate of 33-1/3 per cent. too low, refused absolutely to lend
either money or wheat for the sowing. This caused great distress and the
town-council entered into negotiations, resulting in an agreement by
which the Jews were authorized to charge 40 per cent.[293] In 1385 the
Córtes of Valladolid describe one cause of the necessity of submitting
to whatever exactions the Jews saw fit to impose, when it says that the
new lords, to whom Henry of Trastamara had granted towns and villages,
were accustomed to imprison their vassals and starve and torture them to
force payment of what they had not got, obliging them to get money from
Jews to whom they gave whatever bonds were demanded.[294] Monarchs as
well as peasants were subject to these impositions. In Navarre, a law of
Felipe III, in 1330, limited the rate of interest to 20 per cent. and we
find this paid by his grandson, Carlos III, in 1399, for a loan of 1000
florins but, in 1401, he paid at the rate of 35 per cent. for a loan of
2000 florins, and in 1402 his queen, Doña Leonor, borrowed 70 florins
from her Jewish physician Abraham at four florins a month, giving him
silver plate as security; finding at the end of twenty-one months that
the interest amounted to 84 florins, she begged a reduction and he
contented himself with 30 florins.[295]

When money could be procured in no other way, when the burgher had to
raise it to pay his taxes or the extortions of his lord and the
husbandman had to procure seed-corn or starve, it is easy to see how all
had to submit to the exactions of the money-lender; how, in spite of
occasional plunder and scaling of debts, the Jews absorbed the floating
capital of the community and how recklessly they aided the frailes in
concentrating popular detestation on themselves. It was in vain that the
Ordenamiento de Alcalá, in 1348, prohibited usury to Moors and Jews as
well as to Christians; it was an inevitable necessity and it continued
to flourish.[296]

[Sidenote: _CAUSES OF ENMITY_]

Equally effective in arousing antipathy were the functions of the Jews
as holders of office and especially as _almojarifes_ and
_recabdores_--farmers of the revenues and collectors of taxes, which
brought them into the closest and most exasperating relations with the
people. In that age of impoverished treasuries and rude financial
expedients, the customary mode of raising funds was by farming out the
revenues to the highest bidder of specific sums; as the profit of the
speculation depended on the amount to be wrung from the people, the
subordinate collectors would be merciless in exaction and indefatigable
in tracing out delinquents, exciting odium which extended to all the
race. It was in vain that the Church repeatedly prohibited the
employment of Jews in public office. Their ability and skill rendered
them indispensable to monarchs, nobles, and prelates, and the complaints
which arose against them on all sides were useless. Thus in the quarrel
between the chapter of Toledo and the great Archbishop Rodrigo, in which
the former appealed to Gregory IX, in 1236, one of the grievances
alleged is that he appointed Jews to be provosts of the common table of
the chapter, thus enabling them to defraud the canons; they even passed
through the church and often entered the chapter-house itself to the
great scandal of all Christians; they collected the tithes and thirds
and governed the vassals and possessions of the Church, greatly
enriching themselves by plundering the patrimony of the Crucified,
wherefore the pope was earnestly prayed to expel the Jews from these
offices and compel them to make restitution.[297]

When prelates such as Archbishop Rodrigo paid so little heed to the
commands of the Church, it is not to be supposed that monarchs were more
obedient or were disposed to forego the advantages derivable from the
services of these accomplished financiers. How these men assisted their
masters while enriching themselves is exemplified by Don Çag de la
Maleha, _almojarife mayor_ to Alfonso X. When the king, in 1257, was
raising an army to subdue Aben-Nothfot, King of Niebla, Don Çag
undertook to defray all the expenses of the campaign in consideration of
the assignment to him of certain taxes, some of which he was still
enjoying in 1272.[298] It was useless for the people who groaned under
the exactions of these efficient officials to protest against their
employment and to extort from the monarchs repeated promises no longer
to employ them. The promises were never kept and, until the reign of
Ferdinand and Isabella, this source of irritation continued. There was,
it is true, one exception, the result of which was not conducive to a
continuance of the experiment. In 1385 the Córtes of Valladolid obtained
from Juan I a decree prohibiting the employment of Jews as
tax-collectors, not only by the king but also by prelates and nobles, in
consequence of which ecclesiastics obtained the collection of the royal
revenues, but when they were called upon to settle they excommunicated
the alcaldes who sought to compel payment, leading to great confusion
and bitterer complaints than ever.[299]

When the Jews thus gave grounds so ample for popular dislike, it says
much for the kindly feeling between the races that the efforts of the
Church to excite a spirit of intolerance made progress so slow. These
took form, as a comprehensive and systematic movement at the Council of
Zamora, in 1313, and its successors, described in the preceding chapter,
but in spite of them Alfonso XI continued to protect his Jewish subjects
and the labors of the good fathers awoke no popular response. In Aragon
a canon of the Council of Lérida, in 1325, forbidding Christians to be
present at Jewish weddings and circumcisions, shows how fruitless as yet
had been the effort to produce mutual alienation.[300]

[Sidenote: _THE BLACK DEATH_]

Navarre had the earliest foretaste of the wrath to come. It was then
under its French princes and, when Charles le Bel died, February 1,
1328, a zealous Franciscan, Fray Pedro Olligoyen, apparently taking
advantage of the interregnum, stirred, with his eloquent preaching, the
people to rise against the Jews, and led them to pillage and slaughter.
The storm burst on the aljama of Estella, March 1st, and rapidly spread
throughout the kingdom. Neither age nor sex was spared and the number of
victims is variously estimated at from six to ten thousand. Queen Jeanne
and her husband Philippe d'Evreux, who succeeded to the throne, caused
Olligoyen to be prosecuted, but the result is not known. They further
speculated on the terrible massacre by imposing heavy fines on Estella
and Viana and by seizing the property of the dead and fugitive Jews, and
they also levied on the ruined aljamas the sum of fifteen thousand
livres to defray their coronation expenses. Thus fatally weakened, the
Jews of Navarre were unable to endure the misfortunes of the long and
disastrous reign of Charles le Mauvais (1350-1387). A general emigration
resulted, to arrest which Charles prohibited the purchase of landed
property from Jews without special royal license. A list of taxables, in
1366, shows only 453 Jewish families and 150 Moorish, not including
Pampeluna, where both races were taxable by the bishop. Although Charles
and his son Charles le Noble (1387-1425) had Jews for almojarifes, it
was in vain that they endeavored to allure the fugitives back by
privileges and exemptions. The aljamas continued to dwindle until the
revenue from them was inconsiderable.[301]

In Castile and Aragon the Black Death caused massacres of Jews, as
elsewhere throughout Europe, though not so wide-spread and terrible. In
Catalonia the troubles commenced at Barcelona and spread to other
places, in spite of the efforts of Pedro IV, both in prevention and
punishment. They had little special religious significance, but were
rather the result of the relaxation of social order in the fearful
disorganization accompanying the pestilence and, after it had passed,
the survivors, Christians, Jews and Mudéjares were for a moment knit
more closely together in the bonds of a common humanity.[302] It is to
the credit of Clement VI that he did what he could to arrest the
fanaticism which, especially in Germany, offered to the Jews the
alternative of death or baptism. Following, as he said, in the footsteps
of Calixtus II, Eugenius III, Alexander III, Clement III, Coelestin
III, Innocent III, Gregory IX, Nicholas III, Honorius IV and Nicholas
IV, he pointed out the absurdity of attributing the plague to the Jews.
They had offered to submit to judicial examination and sentence, besides
which the pestilence raged in lands where there were no Jews. He
therefore ordered all prelates to proclaim to the people assembled for
worship that Jews were not to be beaten, wounded, or slain and that
those who so treated them were subjected to the anathema of the Holy
See. It was a timely warning and worthy of one who spoke in the name of
Christ, but it availed little to overcome the influence of the assiduous
teaching of intolerance through so many centuries.[303]


When Pedro the Cruel ascended the throne of Castile, in 1350, the Jews
might reasonably look forward to a prosperous future, but his reign in
reality proved the turning-point in their fortunes. He surrounded
himself with Jews and confided to them the protection of his person,
while the rebellious faction, headed by Henry of Trastamara, his
illegitimate brother, declared themselves the enemies of the race and
used Pedro's favor for them as a political weapon. He was asserted to be
a Jew, substituted for a girl born of Queen María whose husband,
Alfonso XI, was said to have sworn that he would kill her if she did not
give him a boy. It was also reported that he was no Christian but an
adherent to the Law of Moses and that the government of Castile was
wholly in the hands of Jews. It was not difficult therefore to arouse
clerical hostility, as manifested by Urban V, who denounced him as a
rebel to the Church, a fautor of Jews and Moors, a propagator of
infidelity and a slayer of Christians.[304] Of this the insurgents took
full advantage and demonstrated their piety in the most energetic
manner. When, in 1355, Henry of Trastamara and his brother, the Master
of Santiago, entered Toledo to liberate Queen Blanche, who was confined
in the alcázar, they sacked the smaller Judería and slew its twelve
hundred inmates without sparing sex or age. They also besieged the
principal Judería, which was walled around and defended by Pedro's
followers until his arrival with reinforcements drove off the
assailants.[305] Five years later when, in 1360, Henry of Trastamara
invaded Castile with the aid of Pedro IV of Aragon, on reaching Najara
he ordered a massacre of the Jews and, as Ayala states that this was
done to win popularity, it may be assumed that free license for pillage
was granted. Apparently stimulated by this example the people of Miranda
del Ebro, led by Pero Martínez, son of the precentor and by Pero Sánchez
de Bañuelas, fell upon the Jews of their town, but King Pedro hastened
thither and, as a deterrent example, boiled the one leader and roasted
the other.[306] When at length, in 1366, Henry led into Spain Bertrand
de Guesclin and his hordes of Free Companions, the slaughter of the Jews
was terrible. Multitudes fled and the French chronicler deplores the
number that sought refuge in Paris and preyed upon the people with their
usuries. The aljama of Toledo purchased exemption with a million of
maravedís, raised in ten days, to pay off the mercenaries but, as the
whole land lay for a time at the mercy of the reckless bands, slaughter
and pillage were general. Finally the fratricide at Montiel, in 1369,
deprived the Jews of their protector and left Henry undisputed master of
Castile.[307] What they had to expect from him was indicated by his
levying, June 6, 1369, within three months of his brother's murder,
twenty thousand doblas on the Judería of Toledo and authorizing the sale
at auction, not only of the property of the inmates, but of their
persons into slavery, or their imprisonment in chains with starvation or
torture, until the amount should be raised. It was doubtless to earn
popularity that about the same time he released all Christians and Moors
from obligation to pay debts due to Jews, though he was subsequently
persuaded to rescind this decree, which would have destroyed the ability
of the Jews to pay their imposts.[308]

Yet the Jews were indispensable in the conduct of affairs and Henry was
obliged to employ them, like his predecessors. His _contador mayor_ was
Yuçaf Pichon, a Jew of the highest consideration, who incurred the
enmity of some of the leaders of his people. They accused him to the
king, who demanded of him forty thousand doblas, which sum he paid
within twenty days. With rancor unsatisfied, when Henry died, in 1379,
and his son Juan I came to Burgos to be crowned, they obtained from him
an order to his alguazil to put to death a mischief-making Jew whom they
would designate. Armed with this they took the alguazil to Pichon's
house in the early morning, called him on some pretext from his bed and
pointed him out as the designated person to the alguazil, who killed him
on the spot. Juan was greatly angered; the alguazil was punished with
the loss of a hand, the judge of the Judería of Burgos was put to death
and the Jews of Castile were deprived of jurisdiction over the lives of
their fellows.[309]

We have already seen how the legislation of this period was rapidly
taking a direction unfavorable to the Jews. The accession of the House
of Trastamara had distinctly injured their position, the Church had
freer scope to excite popular prejudice, while their retention as
tax-collectors and their usurious practices afforded ample material for
the stimulation of popular vindicativeness. The condition existed for a
catastrophe, and the man to precipitate it was not lacking. Ferran
Martínez, Archdeacon of Ecija and Official, or judicial representative
of the Archbishop of Seville, Pedro Barroso, was a man of indomitable
firmness and, though without much learning, was highly esteemed for his
unusual devoutness, his solid virtue and his eminent charity--which
latter quality he evinced in founding and supporting the hospital of
Santa María in Seville.[310] Unfortunately he was a fanatic and the Jews
were the object of his remorseless zeal, which his high official
position gave him ample opportunity of gratifying. In his sermons he
denounced them savagely and excited popular passion against them,
keeping them in constant apprehension of an outbreak while, as
ecclesiastical judge, he extended his jurisdiction illegally over them,
to their frequent damage. In conjunction with other episcopal officials
he issued letters to the magistrates of the towns ordering them to expel
the Jews--letters which he sought to enforce by personal visitations.
The aljama of Seville, the largest and richest in Castile, appealed to
the king and, little as Henry of Trastamara loved the Jews, the
threatened loss to his finances led him, in August, 1378, to formally
command Martínez to desist from his incendiary course, nor was this the
first warning, as is shown by allusions to previous letters of the same
import. To this Martínez paid no obedience and the aljama had recourse
to Rome, where it procured bulls for its protection, which Martínez
disregarded as contemptuously as he had the royal mandate. Complaint was
again made to the throne and Juan I, in 1382, repeated his father's
commands to no effect, for another royal letter of 1383 accuses Martínez
of saying in his sermons that he knew the king would regard as a service
any assault or slaying of the Jews and that impunity might be relied
upon. For this he was threatened with punishment that would make an
example of him, but it did not silence him and, in 1388, the frightened
aljama summoned him before the alcaldes and had the three royal letters
read, summoning him to obey them. He replied with insults and, a week
later, put in a formal answer in which he said that he was but obeying
Christ and the laws and that, if he were to execute the laws, he would
tear down the twenty-three synagogues in Seville as they had all been
illegally erected.[311]

[Sidenote: _THE MASSACRES OF 1391_]

The dean and chapter became alarmed and appealed to the king, but Juan,
in place of enforcing his neglected commands, replied that he would look
into the matter; the zeal of the archdeacon was holy, but it must not
be allowed to breed disturbance for, although the Jews were wicked, they
were under the royal protection. This vacillation encouraged Martínez
who labored still more strenuously to inflame the people, newly
prejudiced against the Jews by the murder of Yuçaf Pichon, who had been
greatly beloved by all Seville.[312] No one dared to interfere in their
defence, but Martínez furnished an opportunity of silencing him by
calling in question in his sermons the powers of the pope in certain
matters. He was summoned before an assembly of theologians and doctors,
when he was as defiant of the episcopal authority as of the royal,
rendering himself contumacious and suspect of heresy, wherefore on
August 2, 1389, Archbishop Barroso suspended him both as to jurisdiction
and preaching until his trial should be concluded.[313] This gave the
Jews a breathing-space, but Barroso died, July 7, 1390, followed,
October 9, by Juan I. The chapter must have secretly sympathized with
Martínez, for it elected him one of the provisors of the diocese _sede
vacante_, thus clothing him with increased power, and we hear nothing
more of the trial for heresy.[314]

Juan had left as his successor Henry III, known as _El Doliente_, or the
Invalid, a child of eleven, and quarrels threatening civil war at once
arose over the question of the regency. Martínez now had nothing to fear
and he lost no time in sending, December 8th, to the clergy of the towns
in the diocese, commands under pain of excommunication to tear down
within three hours the synagogues of the enemies of God calling
themselves Jews; the building materials were to be used for the repair
of the churches; if resistance was offered it was to be suppressed by
force and an interdict be laid on the town until the good work was
accomplished.[315] These orders were not universally obeyed but enough
ruin was wrought to lead the frightened aljama of Seville to appeal to
the regency, threatening to leave the land if they could not be
protected from Martínez. The answer to this was prompt and decided. On
December 22d a missive was addressed to the dean and chapter and was
officially read to them, January 10, 1391. It held them responsible for
his acts as they had elected him provisor and had not checked him; he
must be at once removed from office, be forced to abstain from preaching
and to rebuild the ruined synagogues, in default of which they must make
good all damages and incur a fine of a thousand gold doblas each with
other arbitrary punishments. Letters of similar import were addressed at
the same time to Martínez himself. On January 15th the chapter again
assembled and presented its official reply, which deprived Martínez of
the provisorship, forbade him to preach against the Jews and required
him within a year to rebuild all synagogues destroyed by his orders.
Then Martínez arose and protested that neither king nor chapter had
jurisdiction over him and their sentences were null and void. The
synagogues had been destroyed by order of Archbishop Barroso--two of
them in his lifetime--and they had been built illegally without licence.
His defiant answer concluded with a declaration that he repented of
nothing that he had done.[316]

[Sidenote: _THE MASSACRES OF 1391_]

The result justified the dauntless reliance of Martínez on the popular
passion which he had been stimulating for so many years. What answer the
regency made to this denial of its jurisdiction the documents fail to
inform us, but no effective steps were taken to restrain him. His
preaching continued as violent as ever and the Seville mob grew more and
more restless in the prospect of gratifying at once its zeal for the
faith and its thirst for pillage. In March the aspect of affairs was
more alarming than ever; the rabble were feeling their way, with
outrages and insults, and the Judería was in hourly danger of being
sacked. Juan Alonso Guzman, Count of Niebla, the most powerful noble of
Andalusia, was adelantado of the province and alcalde mayor of Seville
and his kinsman, Alvar Pérez de Guzman, was alguazil mayor. On March
15th they seized some of the most turbulent of the crowd and proceeded
to scourge two of them but, in place of awing the populace, this led to
open sedition. The Guzmans were glad to escape with their lives and
popular fury was directed against the Jews, resulting in considerable
bloodshed and plunder, but at length the authorities, aided by the
nobles, prevailed and order was apparently restored. By this time the
agitation was spreading to Córdova, Toledo, Burgos and other places.
Everywhere fanaticism and greed were aroused and the Council of Regency
vainly sent pressing commands to all the large cities, in the hope of
averting the catastrophe. Martínez continued his inflammatory harangues
and sought to turn to the advantage of religion the storm which he had
aroused, by procuring a general forcible conversion of the Jews. The
excitement increased and, on June 9th the tempest broke in a general
rising of the populace against the Judería. Few of its inhabitants
escaped; the number of slain was estimated at four thousand and those of
the survivors who did not succeed in flying only saved their lives by
accepting baptism. Of the three synagogues two were converted into
churches for the Christians who settled in the Jewish quarter and the
third sufficed for the miserable remnant of Israel which slowly gathered
together after the storm had passed.[317]

From Seville the flame spread through the kingdoms of Castile from shore
to shore. In the paralysis of public authority, during the summer and
early autumn of 1391, one city after another followed the example; the
Juderías were sacked, the Jews who would not submit to baptism were
slain and fanaticism and cupidity held their orgies unchecked. The Moors
escaped, for though many wished to include them in the slaughter, they
were restrained by a wholesome fear of reprisals on the Christian
captives in Granada and Africa. The total number of victims was
estimated at fifty thousand, but this is probably an exaggeration. For
this wholesale butchery and its accompanying rapine there was complete
immunity. In Castile there was no attempt made to punish the guilty. It
is true that when Henry attained his majority, in 1395, and came to
Seville, he caused Martínez to be arrested, but the penalty inflicted
must have been trivial, for we are told that it did not affect the high
estimation in which he was held and, on his death in 1404, he bequeathed
valuable possessions to the Hospital of Santa María. The misfortunes of
the aljama of Seville were rendered complete when, in January, 1396,
Henry bestowed on two of his favorites all the houses and lands of the
Jews there and in May he followed this by forbidding that any of those
concerned in the murder and pillage should be harassed with punishment
or fines.[318]

In Aragon there was a king more ready to meet the crisis and the warning
given at Seville was not neglected. Popular excitement was manifesting
itself by assaults, robberies and murders in many places. In the city of
Valencia, which had a large Jewish population, the authorities exerted
themselves to repress these excesses and King Juan I ordered gallows to
be erected in the streets, while a guard made nightly rounds along the
walls of the Judería. These precautions and the presence of the Infante
Martin, who was recruiting for an expedition to Sicily, postponed the
explosion, but it came at last. On Sunday, July 9, 1391, a crowd of
boys, with crosses made of cane and a banner, marched to one of the
gates of the Judería, crying death or baptism for the Jews. By the time
the gate was closed a portion of the boys were inside and those excluded
shouted that the Jews were killing their comrades. Hard by there was a
recruiting station with its group of idle vagabonds, who rushed to the
Judería and the report spread through the city that the Jews were
slaying Christians. The magistrates and the Infante hastened to the
gate, but the frightened Jews kept it closed and thus they were
excluded, while the mob effected entrance from adjoining houses and by
the old rampart below the bridge. The Judería was sacked and several
hundred Jews were slain before the tumult could be suppressed.
Demonstrations were also made on the Morería, but troops were brought up
and the mob was driven back. Some seventy or eighty arrests were made
and the next day a searching investigation as to the vast amount of
plunder led to the recovery of much of it.[319]

[Sidenote: _THE MASSACRES OF 1391_]

This added to the agitation which went on increasing. With August 4th
came the feast of St. Dominic, when the Dominicans were everywhere
conspicuous and active. The next day, as though in concert, the tempest
burst in Toledo and Barcelona--in the former city with fearful massacre
and conflagration. In the latter, despite the warning at Valencia, the
authorities were unprepared when the mob arose and rushed into the
_call_ or Jewry, slaying without mercy. A general demand for baptism
went up and, when the civic forces arrived the slaughter was stopped,
but the plunder continued. Some of the pillagers were arrested, and
among them a few Castilians who, as safe victims, were condemned to
death the next day. Under pretext that this was unjust the mob broke
into the gaol and liberated the prisoners. Then the cry arose to finish
with the Jews, who had taken refuge in the Castillo Nuevo, which was
subjected to a regular siege. Ringing the bells brought in crowds of
peasants eager for disorder and spoil. The Baylía was attacked and the
registers of crown property destroyed, in the hope of evading taxes. On
August 8th the Castillo Nuevo was entered and all Jews who would not
accept baptism were put to the sword; the castle was sacked and the
peasants departed laden with booty. The Judería of Barcelona must have
been small, for the number of slain was estimated at only three

At Palma, the capital of Majorca, some three hundred Jews were put to
death and the rest escaped only by submitting to baptism. The riots
continued for some time and spread to attacks on the public buildings,
until the gentlemen of the city armed themselves and, after a stubborn
conflict, suppressed the disturbance. The chief aljamas of the kingdom
were the appanage of the queen consort and Queen Violante made good her
losses by levying on the island a fine of 150,000 gold florins. The
gentlemen of Palma remonstrated at the hardship of being punished after
putting down the rioters; she reduced the fine to 120,000, swearing by
the life of her unborn child that she would have justice. The fine was
paid and soon afterwards she gave birth to a still-born infant.[321]
Thus in one place after another--Gerona, Lérida, Saragossa--the
subterranean flame burst forth, fed by the infernal passions of
fanaticism, greed and hatred. It seems incredible that, with the royal
power resolved to protect its unhappy subjects, these outrages should
have continued throughout the summer into autumn for, when the local
authorities were determined to suppress these uprisings, as at Murviedro
and Castellon de la Plana, they were able to do so.[322]

If Juan I was unable to prevent the massacres he at least was determined
not to let them pass unpunished; many executions followed and some
commutations for money payments were granted.[323] The aljama of
Barcelona had been a source of much profit to the crown and he strove to
re-establish it in new quarters, offering various privileges and
exemptions to attract newcomers. It was crushed however beyond
resuscitation; but few of its members had escaped by hiding; nearly all
had been slain or baptized and, great as were the franchises offered,
the memory of the catastrophe seems to have outweighed them. In 1395 the
new synagogue was converted into a church or monastery of Trinitarian
monks and the wealthy aljama of Barcelona, with its memories of so many
centuries, ceased to exist.[324] About the year 1400, the city obtained
a privilege which prohibited the formation of a Judería or the residence
of a Jew within its limits. Antipathy to Judaism, as we shall see, was
rapidly increasing and when, in 1425, Alfonso VI confirmed this
privilege he decreed that all Jews then in the city should depart within
sixty days, under penalty of scourging, and thereafter a stay of fifteen
days was the utmost limit allowed for temporary residence.[325]

       *       *       *       *       *


If I have dwelt in what may seem disproportionate length on this _guerra
sacra contra los Judios_, as Villanueva terms these massacres,[326] it
is because they form a turning-point in Spanish history. In the
relations between the races of the Peninsula the old order of things was
closed and the new order, which was to prove so benumbing to material
and intellectual development, was about to open. The immediate results
were not long in becoming apparent. Not only was the prosperity of
Castile and Aragon diminished by the shock to the commerce and industry
so largely in Jewish hands, but the revenues of the crown, the churches
and the nobles, based upon the taxation of the Jews, suffered
enormously. Pious foundations were ruined and bishops had to appeal to
the king for assistance to maintain the services of their cathedrals. Of
the Jews who had escaped, the major portion had only done so by
submitting to baptism and these were no longer subject to the capitation
tax and special imposts which had furnished the surest part of the
income of cities, prelates, nobles and sovereigns.[327] Still the
converted Jews, with their energy and intelligence remained, unfettered
and unhampered in the pursuit of wealth and advancement, which was to
benefit the community as well as themselves. It was reserved for a
further progress in the path now entered to deprive Spain of the
services of her most industrious children.

The most deplorable result of the massacres was that they rendered
inevitable this further progress in the same direction. The Church had
at last succeeded in opening the long-desired chasm between the races.
It had looked on in silence while the Archdeacon of Ecija was bringing
about the catastrophe and pope and prelate uttered no word to stay the
long tragedy of murder and spoliation, which they regarded as an act of
God to bring the stubborn Hebrew into the fold of Christ. Henceforth the
old friendliness between Jew and Christian was, for the most part, a
thing of the past. Fanaticism and intolerance were fairly aroused, to
grow stronger with each generation as fresh wrongs and oppression
widened the abyss between believer and unbeliever and as new preachers
of discord arose to teach the masses that kindness to the Jew was sin
against God. Thus gradually the Spanish character changed until it was
prepared to accept the Inquisition, which, by a necessary reaction,
stimulated the development of bigotry until Spain became what we shall
see it in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

That the Archdeacon of Ecija was in reality the remote founder of the
Inquisition will become evident when we consider the fortunes of the new
class created by the massacres of 1391--that of the converted Jews,
known as New Christians, Marranos or Conversos. Conversion, as we have
seen, was always favored by the laws and the convert was received with a
heartiness of social equality which shows that as yet there was no
antagonism of race but only of religion. The Jew who became a Christian
was eligible to any position in Church or State or to any matrimonial
alliance for which his abilities or character fitted him, but
conversions had hitherto been too rare and the converts, for the most
part, too humble, for them to play any distinctive part in the social
organization. While the massacres, doubtless, were largely owing to the
attractions of disorder and pillage, the religious element in them was
indicated by the fact that everywhere the Jews were offered the
alternative of baptism and that where willingness was shown to embrace
Christianity, slaughter was at once suspended. The pressure was so
fierce and overwhelming that whole communities were baptized, as we have
seen at Barcelona and Palma. At Valencia, an official report, made on
July 14th, five days after the massacre, states that all the Jews,
except a few who were in hiding, had already been baptized; they came
forward demanding baptism in such droves that, in all the churches, the
holy chrism was exhausted and the priests knew not where to get more,
but each morning the _crismera_ would be found miraculously filled, so
that the supply held out, nor was this by any means the only sign that
the whole terrible affair was the mysterious work of Providence to
effect so holy an end. The chiefs of the synagogues were included among
the converts and we can believe the statement, current at the time, that
in Valencia alone the conversions amounted to eleven thousand. Moreover
it was not only in the scenes of massacre that this good work went on.
So startling and relentless was the slaughter that panic destroyed the
unyielding fortitude so often manifested by the Jews under trial. In
many places they did not wait for a rising of the Christians but, at the
first menace, or even in mere anticipation of danger, they came eagerly
forward and clamored to be admitted into the Church. In Aragon the total
number of conversions was reckoned at a hundred thousand and in Castile
as certainly not less and this is probably no great exaggeration.[328]
Neophytes such as these could scarce be expected to prove steadfast in
their new faith.


In this tempest of proselytism the central figure was San Vicente
Ferrer, to the fervor of whose preaching posterity attributed the
popular excitement leading to the massacres.[329] This doubtless does
him an injustice, but the fact that he was on hand in Valencia on the
fatal 9th of July, may perhaps be an indication that the affair was
prearranged. His eloquence was unrivalled; immense crowds assembled to
drink in his words; no matter what was the native language of the
listener, we are told that his Catalan was intelligible to Moor, Greek,
German, Frenchman, Italian and Hungarian, while the virtue which flowed
from him on these occasions healed the infirm and repeatedly restored
the dead to life.[330] Such was the man who, during the prolonged
massacres and subsequently, while the terror which they excited
continued to dominate the unfortunate race, traversed Spain from end to
end, with restless and indefatigable zeal, preaching, baptizing and
numbering his converts by the thousand--on a single day in Toledo he is
said to have converted no less than four thousand. It is to be hoped
that, in some cases at least, he may have restrained the murderous mob,
if only by hiding its victims in the baptismal font.

The Jews slowly recovered themselves from the terrible shock; they
emerged from their concealment and endeavored, with characteristic
dauntless energy, to rebuild their shattered fortunes. Now, however,
with diminished numbers and exhausted wealth, they had to face new
enemies. Not only was Christian fanaticism inflamed and growing even
stronger, but the wholesale baptisms had created the new class of
Conversos, who were thenceforward to become the deadliest opponents of
their former brethren. Many chiefs of the synagogue, learned rabbis and
leaders of their people, had cowered before the storm and had embraced
Christianity. Whether their conversion was sincere or not, they had
broken with the past and, with the keen intelligence of their race, they
could see that a new career was open to them in which energy and
capacity could gratify ambition, unfettered by the limitations
surrounding them in Judaism. That they should hate, with an exceeding
hatred, those who had proved true to the faith amid tribulation was
inevitable. The renegade is apt to be bitterer against those whom he has
abandoned than is the opponent by birthright and, in such a case as
this, consciousness of the contempt felt by the steadfast children of
Israel for the weaklings and worldlings who had apostatized from the
faith of their fathers gave a keener edge to enmity. From early times
the hardest blows endured by Judaism had always been dealt by its
apostate children, whose training had taught them the weakest points to
assail and whose necessity of self-justification led them to attack
these mercilessly. In 1085, Rabbi Samuel of Morocco came from Fez and
was baptized at Toledo, when he wrote a tract[331] to justify himself
which had great currency throughout the middle ages. Rabbi Moses, one of
the most learned Jews of his time, who was converted in 1106, wrote a
dissertation to prove that the Jews had abandoned the laws of Moses
while the Christians were fulfilling them.[332] It was Nicholas de
Rupella, a converted Jew, who started the long crusade against the
Talmud by pointing out, in 1236, to Gregory IX the blasphemies which it
contains against the Savior.[333] We have seen the troubles excited in
Aragon by the disputatious Converso, Fray Pablo Christía, and he was
followed by another Dominican convert, Ramon Martin, in his celebrated
_Pugio Fidei_. In this work, which remained an authority for centuries,
he piled up endless quotations from Jewish writers to prove that the
race was properly reduced to servitude and he stimulated the bitterness
of hatred by arguing that Jews esteemed it meritorious to slay and cheat
and despoil Christians.[334]


The most prominent among the new Conversos was Selemoh Ha-Levi, a rabbi
who had been the most intrepid defender of the faith and rights of his
race. On the eve of the massacres, which perhaps he foresaw, and
influenced by an opportune vision of the Virgin, in 1390, he professed
conversion, taking the name of Pablo de Santa María, and was followed by
his two brothers and five sons, founding a family of commanding
influence. After a course in the University of Paris he entered the
Church, rising to the see of Cartagena and then to that of Burgos, which
he transmitted to his son Alfonso. At the Córtes of Toledo, in 1406, he
so impressed Henry III that he was appointed tutor and governor of the
Infante Juan II, Mayor of Castile and a member of the Royal Council.
When, in the course of the same year, the king died he named Pablo among
those who were to have the conduct and education of Juan during his
minority; when the regent, Fernando of Antequera, left Castile to assume
the crown of Aragon, he appointed Pablo to replace him, and the pope
honored him with the position of legate _a latere_. In 1432, in his
eighty-first year, he wrote his _Scrutinium Scripturarum_ against his
former co-religionists. It is more moderate than is customary in these
controversial writings and seems to have been composed rather as a
justification of his own course.[335]

Another prominent Converso was the Rabbi Jehoshua Ha-Lorqui, who took
the name of Gerónimo de Santafé and founded a family almost as powerful
as the Santa Marías. He too showed his zeal in the book named
_Hebræomastix_, in which he exaggerated the errors of the Jews in the
manner best adapted to excite the execration of Christians. Another
leading Converso family was that of the Caballerías, of which eight
brothers were baptized and one of them, Bonafos, who called himself
Micer Pedro de la Caballería, wrote, in 1464, the _Celo de Cristo contra
los Judíos_ in which he treated them with customary obloquy as the
synagogue of Satan and argues that the hope of Christianity lies in
their ruin.[336] In thus stimulating the spirit of persecuting
fanaticism we shall see how these men sowed the wind and reaped the

Meanwhile the position of the Jews grew constantly more deplorable.
Decimated and impoverished, they were met by a steadily increasing
temper of hatred and oppression. The massacres of 1391 had been followed
by a constant stream of emigration to Granada and Portugal, which
threatened to complete the depopulation of the aljamas and, with the
view of arresting this, Henry III, in 1395, promised them the royal
protection for the future. The worth of that promise was seen in 1406,
when in Córdova the remnant of the Judería was again assailed by the
mob, hundreds of Jews were slain and their houses were sacked and burnt.
It is true that the king ordered the magistrates to punish the guilty
and expressed his displeasure by a fine of twenty-four thousand doblas
on the city, but he had, the year before, in the Córtes of 1405,
assented to a series of laws depriving the Jews at once of property and
of defence, by declaring void all bonds of Christians held by them,
reducing to one-half all debts due to them and requiring a Christian
witness and the debtor's acknowledgement for the other half, annulling
their privileges in the trial of mixed cases and requiring the hateful
red circle to be worn except in travelling, when it could be laid aside
in view of the murders which it invited.[337]

This was cruel enough, yet it was but a foretaste of what was in store.
In 1410, when the Queen-regent Doña Catalina was in Segovia, there was
revealed a sacrilegious attempt by some Jews to maltreat a consecrated
host. The story was that the sacristan of San Fagun had pledged it as
security for a loan--the street in which the bargain was made acquiring
in consequence the name of _Calle del Mal Consejo_. The Jews cast it
repeatedly into a boiling caldron, when it persistently arose and
remained suspended in the air, a miracle which so impressed some of them
that they were converted and carried the form to the Dominican convent
and related the facts. The wafer was piously administered in communion
to a child who died in three days. Doña Catalina instituted a vigorous
investigation which implicated Don Mayr, one of the most prominent Jews
in the kingdom, whose services as physician had prolonged the life of
the late king. He was subjected to torture sufficient to elicit not only
his participation in the sacrilege but also that he had poisoned his
royal master. The convicts were drawn through the streets and quartered,
as were also some others who in revenge had attempted to poison Juan de
Tordesillas, the Bishop of Segovia. The Jewish synagogue was converted
into the church of Corpus Christi and an annual procession still
commemorates the event. San Vicente Ferrer turned it to good account,
for we are told that in 1411 he almost destroyed the remnants of Judaism
in the bishopric.[338]


The affair made an immense impression especially, it would seem, on San
Vicente, convincing him of the advisability of forcing the Jews into the
bosom of the Church by reducing them to despair. At Ayllon, in 1411, he
represented to the regents the necessity of further repressive
legislation and his eloquence was convincing.[339] The _Ordenamiento de
Doña Catalina_, promulgated in 1412 and drawn up by Pablo de Santa María
as Chancellor of Castile, was the result. By this rigorous measure, Jews
and Moors, under savage and ruinous penalties, were not only required to
wear the distinguishing badges, but to dress in coarse stuffs and not to
shave or to cut the hair round. They could not change their abodes and
any nobleman or gentleman receiving them on his lands was heavily fined
and obliged to return them whence they came, while expatriation was
forbidden under pain of slavery. Not only were the higher employments of
farming the revenues, tax-collecting, and practising as physicians and
surgeons forbidden, but any position in the households of the great and
numerous trades, such as those of apothecaries, grocers, farriers,
blacksmiths, peddlers, carpenters, tailors, barbers, and butchers. They
could not carry arms or hire Christians to work in their houses or on
their lands. That they should be forbidden to eat, drink or bathe with
Christians, or be with them in feasts and weddings, or serve as
god-parents was a matter of course under the canon law, but now even
private conversation between the races was prohibited, nor could they
sell provisions to Christians or keep a shop or ordinary for them. It is
perhaps significant that nothing was said about usury. Money-lending was
almost the only occupation remaining open, while the events of the last
twenty years had left little capital wherewith to carry it on and the
laws of 1405 had destroyed all sense of security in making loans. They
were moreover deprived of the guarantees so long enjoyed and were
subjected to the exclusive jurisdiction, civil and criminal, of the
Christians.[340] They were thus debarred from the use of their skill and
experience in the higher pursuits, professional and industrial, and were
condemned to the lowest and rudest forms of labor; in fine, a wall was
built around them from which their only escape was through the baptismal
font. Fernando of Antequera carried the law in all its essentials to
Aragon and King Duarte adopted it in Portugal, so that it ruled the
whole Peninsula except the little kingdom of Navarre where Judaism was
already almost extinct. It is significant that Fernando, in promulgating
it in Majorca, alleged in justification the complaints of the
inquisitors as to the social intercourse between Jews and

While San Vicente and Pablo de Santa María were thus engaged in reducing
to despair the Jews of Castile, the other great Converso, Gerónimo de
Santafé, was laboring in a more legitimate way for their conversion in
Aragon. He had been appointed physician to the Avignonese pope, Benedict
XIII, who had been obliged to cross the Pyrenees, and who, on November
25, 1412, summoned the aljamas of Aragon to send, in the following
January, their most learned rabbis to San Mateo, near Tortosa, for a
disputation with Gerónimo on the proposition that the Messiah had come.
Fourteen rabbis, selected from the synagogues of all Spain, with Vidal
ben Veniste at their head, accepted the challenge. The debate opened,
February 7, 1414, under the presidency of Benedict himself, who warned
them that the truth of Christianity was not to be discussed but only
sixteen propositions put forward by Gerónimo, thus placing them wholly
on the defensive. Despite this disadvantage they held their ground
tenaciously during seventy-nine sessions, prolonged through a term of
twenty-one months. Gerónimo covered himself with glory by his unrivalled
dialectical subtilty and exhaustless stores of learning and his triumph
was shown by his producing a division between his opponents.[342]


During this colloquy, in the summer of 1413, some two hundred Jews of
the synagogues of Saragossa, Calatayud and Alcañiz professed conversion.
In 1414 there was a still more abundant harvest. A hundred and twenty
families of Calatayud, Daroca, Fraga and Barbastro presented themselves
for baptism and these were followed by the whole aljamas of Alcañiz,
Caspe, Maella, Lérida, Tamarit and Alcolea, amounting to about
thirty-five hundred souls. The repressive legislation was accomplishing
its object and hopes were entertained that, with the aid of the inspired
teaching of San Vicente, Judaism would become extinct throughout
Spain.[343] To stimulate the movement by an increase of severity towards
the recalcitrant, Benedict issued his constitution _Etsi doctoribus
gentium_, in which he virtually embodied the Ordenamiento de Doña
Catalina, thus giving to its system of terrible repression the sanction
of Church as well as of State. He further forbade the possession of the
Talmud or of any books contrary to the Christian faith, ordering the
bishops and inquisitors to make semi-annual inquests of the aljamas and
to proceed against all found in possession of such books. No Jew should
even bind a book in which the name of Christ or the Virgin appeared.
Princes were exhorted to grant them no favors or privileges and the
faithful at large were commanded not to rent or sell houses to them or
to hold companionship or conversation with them. Moreover they were
prohibited to exercise usury and thrice a year they were to be preached
to and warned to abandon their errors. The bishops in general were
ordered to see to the strict enforcement of all these provisions and the
execution of the bull was specially confided to Gonzalo, Bishop of
Sigüenza, son of the great Converso, Pablo de Santa María. As the
utterance of the Anti-pope Benedict, this searching and cruel
legislation, designed to reduce the Jews to the lowest depths of poverty
and despair, was current only in the lands of his obedience, but when
his triumphant rival, Martin V, confirmed the charge confided to the
Bishop of Sigüenza he accepted and ratified the act of Benedict.[344]
Nay more; in 1434, Alfonso de Santa María, Bishop of Burgos, another son
of the Converso Pablo, when a delegate to the council of Basle, procured
the passage of a decree in the same sense.[345] The quarrel of the
council with the papacy, it is true, deprived its utterance of
oecumenic authority, but this deficiency was supplied when, in 1442,
Eugenius IV issued a bull which was virtually a repetition of the law of
Doña Catalina and of the constitution of Benedict XIII, while this was
followed, in 1447, by an even more rigorous one of Nicholas V.[346] Thus
all factions of the Church, however much they might wrangle on other
points, cheerfully united in rendering the life of the Jew as miserable
as possible and in forbidding princes to show him favor. This was
symbolized when, in 1418, the legate of Martin V was solemnly received
in Gerona and the populace, with inerring instinct, celebrated the
closing of the great Schism and the reunion of the Church by playfully
sacking the Judería, though the royal officials, blind to the piety of
the demonstration, severely punished the perpetrators.[347]

       *       *       *       *       *

The immediate effect of this policy corresponded to the intentions of
its authors, though its ultimate results can scarce have been foreseen.
The Jews were humiliated and impoverished. Despite their losses by
massacre and conversion, they still formed an important portion of the
population, with training and aptitudes to render service to the State
but, debarred from the pursuits for which they had been fitted, they
were crippled both for their own recuperation and for the benefit of the
public. The economic effect was intensified by the inclusion of the
Mudéjares in the repressive legislation; commerce and manufactures
decayed and many products which Spain had hitherto exported she was now
obliged to import at advanced prices.[348]

[Sidenote: _VICISSITUDES_]

On the other hand the Conversos saw opened to them a career fitted to
stimulate and satisfy ambition. Confident in their powers, with
intellectual training superior to that of the Christians, they aspired
to the highest places in the courts, in the universities, in the Church
and in the State. Wealth and power rendered them eligible suitors and
they entered into matrimonial alliances with the noblest houses in the
land, many of which had been impoverished by the shrinkage of the
revenues derived from their Jewish subjects. Alfonso de Santa María, in
procuring the decree of Basle, was careful to insert in it a
recommendation of marriage between converts and Christians as the surest
means of preserving the purity of the faith, and the advice was
extensively followed. Thus the time soon came when there were few of the
ancient nobility of Spain who were not connected, closely or remotely,
with the Jew. We hear of marriages with Lunas, Mendozas, Villahermosas
and others of the proudest houses.[349] As early as 1449 a petition to
Lope de Barrientos, Bishop of Cuenca, by the Conversos of Toledo,
enumerates all the noblest families of Spain as being of Jewish blood
and among others the Henríquez, from whom the future Ferdinand the
Catholic descended, through his mother Juana Henríquez.[350] It was the
same in the Church, where we have seen the rank attained by the Santa
Marías. Juan de Torquemada, Cardinal of San Sisto, was of Jewish descent
and so, of course, was his nephew, the first inquisitor-general,[351] as
was likewise Diego Deza, the second inquisitor-general, as well as
Hernando de Talavera, Archbishop of Granada. It would be easy to
multiply examples, for in every career the vigor and keenness of the
Jews made them conspicuous and, in embracing Christianity, they seemed
to be opening a new avenue for the development of the race in which it
would become dominant over the Old Christians; in fact, an Italian
nearly contemporary describes them as virtually ruling Spain, while
secretly perverting the faith by their covert adherance to Judaism.[352]
This triumph however was short-lived. Their success showed that thus far
there had been no antagonism of race but only of religion. This speedily
changed; the hatred and contempt which, as apostates, they lavished on
the faithful sons of Israel reacted on themselves. It was impossible to
stimulate popular abhorrence of the Jew without at the same time
stimulating the envy and jealousy excited by the ostentation and
arrogance of the New Christians. What was the use of humiliating and
exterminating the Jew if these upstarts were not only to take his place
in grinding the people as tax-gatherers but were to bear rule in court
and camp and church?

Meanwhile the remnant of the Jews were slowly but indomitably recovering
their position. It was much easier to enact the _Ordenamiento de Doña
Catalina_ than to enforce it and, like much previous legislation, it was
growing obsolete in many respects. In the early days of Juan II, Abrahem
Benaviste was virtually finance minister and, when the Infante Henry of
Aragon seized the king at Tordesillas and carried him off, he justified
the act by saying that it was because the government was in the hands of
Abrahem.[353] In fact there are indications of a reaction in which the
Jews were used as a counterpoise to the menacing growth of Converso
influence. When, in 1442, the cruel bull of Eugenius IV was received,
although it scarce contained more than the laws of 1412 and the bull of
Benedict XIII, Alvaro de Luna, the all-powerful favorite, not only
refused to obey it but proceeded to give legal sanction to the neglect
into which those statutes had fallen. He induced his master to issue the
Pragmática of Arévalo, April 6, 1443, condemning the refusal of many
persons to buy or sell with Jews and Moors or to labor for them in the
fields, under color of a bull of Eugenius IV, published at Toledo during
his absence. Punishment is threatened for these audacities, for the bull
and the laws provide that Jews and Moors and Christians shall dwell
together in harmony and no one is to injure or slay them. It was not
intended to prevent Jews and Moors and Christians from dealing
together, nor that the former should not follow industries base and
servile, such as all manner of mechanical trades, and Christians can
serve them for proper wages and guard their flocks and labor for them in
the fields, and they can prescribe for Christians if the medicines are
compounded by Christians.[354]

Thus a revulsion had taken place in favor of the proscribed race which
threatened to undo the work of Vicente Ferrer and the Conversos. It was
in vain that, in 1451, Nicholas V issued another bull repeating and
confirming that of Eugenius IV.[355] It received no attention and, under
the protection of Alvaro de Luna, the Jews made good use of the
breathing-space to reconstruct their shattered industries and to
demonstrate their utility to the State. The conspiracy which sent Alvaro
to the block, in 1453, was a severe blow but, on the accession of Henry
IV, in 1454, they secured the good-will of his favorites and even
procured the restoration of some old privileges, the most important of
which was the permission to have their own judges. One element in this
was the influence enjoyed by the royal physician Jacob Aben-Nuñez on
whom was conferred the office of Rabb Mayor.[356] In the virtual anarchy
of the period, however, when every noble was a law unto himself, it is
impossible to say how far royal decrees were effective, or to postulate
any general conditions. In 1458, the Constable Velasco orders his
vassals of the town of Haro to observe the law forbidding Christians to
labor for Jews and Moors, but he makes the wise exception that they may
do so when they can find no other work wherewith to support themselves.
Even under these conditions the superior energy of the non-Christian
races was rapidly acquiring for them the most productive lands, if we
may trust a decree of the town of Haro, in 1453, forbidding Christians
to sell their estates to Moors and Jews, for if this were not stopped
the Christians would have no ground to cultivate, as the Moors already
held all the best of the irrigated lands.[357]

[Sidenote: _VICISSITUDES_]

The nobles had seen the disadvantage of the sternly oppressive laws and
disregarded them to their own great benefit, thus raising the envy of
the districts obliged to observe them, for the Córtes of 1462 petitioned
Henry to restore liberty of trade between Christian and Jew, alleging
the inconvenience caused by the restriction and the depopulation of the
crown lands for, as trade was permitted in the lands of the nobles, the
Jews were concentrating there. When further the Córtes asked that Jews
should be permitted to return with their property and trades to the
cities in the royal domains from which they had been expelled, it
indicates that popular aversion was becoming directed to the Conversos
rather than to the Jews.[358] It may be questioned whether it was to
preserve the advantage here indicated or to gain popular favor, that the
revolted nobles, in 1460, demanded of Henry that he should banish from
his kingdoms all Moors and Jews who contaminated religion and corrupted
morals and that, when they deposed him, in 1465, at Avila and elevated
to the throne the child Alfonso, the _Concordia Compromisoria_ which
they dictated, annulled the Pragmática of Arévalo and restored to vigor
the laws of 1412 and the bull of Benedict XIII. This frightened the
Jews, who offered to Henry an immense sum for Gibraltar, where they
proposed to establish a city of refuge, but he refused.[359]

The fright was superfluous for, in the turbulence of the time, the
repressive legislation was speedily becoming obsolete. When the
reforming Council of Aranda, in 1473, made but a single reference to
Jews and Moors and this was merely to forbid them to pursue their
industries publicly on Sundays and feast days, with a threat against the
judges who, through bribery, permitted this desecration, it is fair to
conclude that the law of 1412, if observed at all, was enforced only in
scattered localities.[360] That the restrictions on commercial activity
were obsolete is manifest from a complaint, in 1475, to the sovereigns,
from the Jews of Medina del Pomar, setting forth that they had been
accustomed to purchase in Bilbao, from foreign traders, cloths and other
merchandise which they carried through the kingdom for sale, until
recently the port had restricted all dealings with foreigners to the
resident Jews, whereupon Ferdinand and Isabella ordered these
regulations rescinded unless the authorities could show good reasons
within fifteen days.[361]

With the settlement of affairs under Ferdinand and Isabella the position
of the Jews grew distinctly worse. Although Don Abraham Senior, one of
Isabella's most trusted counsellors, was a Jew, her piety led her to
revive and carry out the repressive policy of San Vicente Ferrer and, in
codifying the royal edicts in the _Ordenanzas Reales_, confirmed by the
Córtes of Toledo in 1480, all the savage legislation of 1412 was
re-enacted, except that relating to mechanical trades, and the vigor of
the government gave assurance that the laws would be enforced, as we
have seen in the matter of the separation of the Juderías.[362]
Ferdinand's assent to this shows that he adopted the policy and, in his
own dominions, by an edict of March 6, 1482, he withdrew all licenses to
Jews to lay aside the dangerous badge when travelling, and he further
prohibited the issuing of such licenses under penalty of a thousand
florins. Another edict of December 15, 1484, recites that at Cella, a
village near Teruel, some Jews had recently taken temporary residence;
as there is no Judería, in order to avoid danger to souls, he orders
them driven out and that none be allowed to remain more than twenty-four
hours under pain of a hundred florins and a hundred lashes.[363]


This recrudescence of oppression probably had an influence on the
people, for there came a revulsion of feeling adverse to the proscribed
race, inflamed by the ceaseless labors of the frailes whose denunciatory
eloquence knew no cessation. Under these circumstances the Jews and
Moors seem to have had recourse to the Roman curia, always ready to
speculate by selling privileges, whether it had power to grant them or
not, and then to withdraw them for a consideration. We shall have ample
occasion to see hereafter prolonged transactions of the kind arising
from the operation of the Inquisition; those with the Jews at this time
seem to have been closed by a _motu proprio_ of May 31, 1484, doubtless
procured from Sixtus IV by pressure from the sovereigns, in which the
pope expresses his displeasure at learning that in Spain, especially in
Andalusia, Christians, Moors and Jews dwell together; that there is no
distinction of vestments, that the Christians act as servants and
nurses, the Moors and Jews as physicians, apothecaries, farmers of
ecclesiastical revenues etc., pretending that they hold papal privileges
to that effect. Any such privileges he withdraws and he orders all
officials, secular and ecclesiastical, to enforce strictly the canonical
decrees respecting the proscribed races.[364] Under these impulses the
municipalities, which, in 1462, had petitioned to have the prescriptive
laws repealed now enforced them with renewed vigor and even exceeded
them, as at Balmaseda, where the Jews were ordered to depart. They
appealed to the throne, representing that they lived in daily fear for
life and property and begged the royal protection, which was duly

Subjected to these perpetual and harassing vicissitudes, the Jews had
greatly declined both in numbers and wealth. An assessment of the
poll-tax, made in 1474, shows that in the dominions of Castile there
were only about twelve thousand families left, or from fifty to sixty
thousand souls, although there were still two hundred and sixteen
separate aljamas. Their weakness and poverty are indicated by the fact
that such communities as those of Seville, Toledo, Córdova, Burgos,
etc., paid much less than inconspicuous places prior to 1391. The aljama
of Ciudad-Real, which had paid, in 1290, a tax of 26,486 maravedís, had
disappeared; the only one left in La Mancha was Almagro, assessed at 800
maravedís.[366] The work of Martínez and San Vicente Ferrer was
accomplishing itself. Popular abhorrence had grown, while the importance
of the Jews as a source of public revenue had fatally diminished. The
end was evidently approaching, but a consideration of its horrors must
be postponed while we glance at the condition of the renegades who had
sought shelter from the storm by adopting the faith of the oppressor.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Conversos, in steadily increasing numbers, had successfully worked
out their destiny, accumulating honors, wealth and popular hatred. In
both Castile and Aragon they filled lucrative and influential positions
in the public service and their preponderance in Church and State was
constantly becoming more marked. In Catalonia, however, they were
regarded with contempt and, though the boast that Catalan blood was
never polluted by inter-mixture is exaggerated, it is not wholly without
foundation. The same is true of Valencia, where intermarriage only
occurred among the rural population. Throughout Spain, moreover, the
farming of all the more important sources of revenue passed into their
hands and thus they inherited the odium as well as the profits of the

The beginning of the end was seen at Toledo where, in 1449, Alvaro de
Luna made a demand on the city for a million maravedís for the defence
of the frontier and it was refused. He ordered the tax-gatherers to
collect it. They were Conversos and when they made the attempt the
citizens arose and sacked and burnt not only their houses but those of
the Conversos in general. The latter organized in self-defence and
endeavored to suppress the disturbance but were defeated, when those who
were wealthy were tortured and immense booty was obtained. In vain Juan
II sought to punish the city; the triumphant citizens, with the
magistrates at their head, organized a court in which the question was
argued whether the Conversos could hold any public office. In spite of
the evident illegality of this and of active opposition led by the
famous Lope de Barrientos, Bishop of Cuenca, it was decided against the
Conversos in a quasi-judicial sentence, known as the
_Sentencia-Estatuto_ which, in the bitterness of its language, reveals
the extreme tension existing between the Old and New Christians. The
Conversos were stigmatized as more than suspect in the faith and as in
reality Jews; they were declared incapable of holding office and of
bearing witness against Old Christians and those who held positions were
ejected.[368] The disturbances spread to Ciudad-Real, where the
principal offices were held by Conversos. The Order of Calatrava, which
had long endeavored to get possession of the city, espoused the side of
the Old Christians; there was considerable fighting in the streets and
for five days the quarter occupied by the Conversos was exposed to
pillage.[369] Thus the hatred which of old had been merely a matter of
religion had become a matter of race. The one could be conjured away by
baptism; the other was indelible and the change was of the most serious
import, exercising for centuries its sinister influence on the fate of
the Peninsula.


The Sentencia-Estatuto threatened to introduce a new principle into
public and canon law, both of which had always upheld the brotherhood of
Christians and had encouraged conversions by prescribing the utmost
favor for converts. Nicholas V was appealed to and responded, September
24, 1449, with a bull declaring that all the faithful are one; that the
laws of Alfonso X and his successors, admitting converts to all the
privileges of Christians, were to be enforced and he commissioned the
Archbishops of Toledo and Seville, the Bishops of Palencia, Avila and
Córdova, and the Abbot of San Fagun to excommunicate all who sought to
invalidate them.[370] More than this seems to have been needed and, in
1450, he formally excommunicated Pedro Sarmiento and his accomplices as
the authors of the Sentencia-Estatuto and again, in 1451, he repeated
his bull of 1449. Finally, in the same year the synods of Vitoria and
Alcalá condemned it and Alfonso de Montalvo, the foremost jurist of the
time, pronounced it to be illegal.[371] It never, in fact, was of
binding force, but the effort made to set it aside shows how dangerous a
menace it was and how it expressed a widespread public opinion. It was
the first fitful gust of the tornado.

Toledo remained the hot-bed of disturbance. In 1461 the martial
Archbishop, Alonso Carrillo commissioned the learned Alonso de Oropesa,
General of the Geronimites to investigate the cause of dissension. He
did so and reported that there were faults on both sides and, at the
request of the archbishop, he proceeded to write his _Lumen ad
Revelationem Gentium_ to prove the unity of the faithful, but, while he
was engaged in this pious labor the inextinguishable feud broke out
afresh.[372] Any chance disturbance might bring this about and the
opportunity was furnished in 1467, when the canons, who enjoyed a
revenue based on the bread of the town of Maqueda, farmed it out to a
Jew. Alvaro Gómez, an alcalde mayor, was lord of Maqueda; his alcaide
beat the Jew and seized the bread for the use of the castle; the canons
promptly imprisoned the alcaide and summoned Gómez to answer. When he
came the quarrel grew bitterer; the Count of Cifuentes, leader of one of
the factions of the city and protector of the Conversos, espoused the
cause of Gómez, while Fernando de la Torre, a leader of the Conversos,
hoping to revenge the defeat of 1449, boasted that he had at command
four thousand well-armed fighting men, being six times more than the
Old Christians could muster. Matters were ripe for an explosion and, on
July 21st, at a conference held in the cathedral, the followers of the
two parties taunted each other beyond endurance; swords were drawn and
blood polluted the sanctuary, though only one man was slain. The canons
proceeded to fortify and garrison the cathedral, which was attacked the
next day. The clergy, galled by the fire of the assailants, to create a
diversion, started a conflagration in the calle de la Chapineria, which
spread until eight streets were destroyed--the richest in Toledo,
crowded with shops full of costly merchandise. The device was
successful; the Conversos were disheartened and lost ground till, on the
29th, Cifuentes and Gómez fled, while Fernando de la Torre and his
brother Alvaro were captured and hanged. The triumphant faction removed
from office all their opponents and revived with additional rigor the
Sentencia-Estatuto. Toledo at the time belonged to the party of the
pretender Alfonso XII but, when the citizens sent to him to confirm what
they had done, he refused and the city soon afterwards transferred its
allegiance to Henry IV.[373] It is quite probable that, in reward for
this, he confirmed the Sentencia-Estatuto for when, about the same time,
Ciudad-Real revolted from Alfonso and adhered to Henry, he granted, July
14, 1468, to that city that thenceforward no Converse should hold
municipal office.[374] In the all-pervading lawlessness such
disturbances as those of Toledo met with neither repression nor
punishment. In 1470 Valladolid saw a similar tumult, in which the Old
Christians and Conversos flew to arms and struggled for mastery. The
former sent for Ferdinand and Isabella who came, but the majority of the
citizens preferred Henry IV and the royal pair were glad to escape.[375]


Everywhere the hatred between the Old Christians and the New was
manifesting itself in this deplorable fashion. In Córdova we are told
that the Conversos were very rich and had bought not only the offices
but the protection of Alonso de Aguilar, whose power and high reputation
commanded universal respect, while the Old Christians ranged themselves
under the Counts of Cabra and the Bishop, Pedro de Córdova y Solier.
Only a spark was needed to produce an explosion and an accident during
a, procession, March 14, 1473, furnished the occasion. With shouts of
_viva la fe de Dios_ the mob arose and pillage, murder and fire were let
loose upon the city. Alonso and his brother Gonsalvo--the future Great
Captain--quelled the riot at the cost of no little bloodshed, but it
burst forth again a few days later and, after a combat lasting
forty-eight hours the Aguilars were forced to take refuge in the alcázar
carrying with them such Conversos and Jews as they could. Then followed
a general sack in which every kind of outrage and cruelty was
perpetrated, until the fury of the mob was exhausted by the lack of
victims. Finally Alonso came to terms with the city authorities, who
banished the Conversos for ever and such poor wretches as had escaped
torch and dagger were thrust forth to be robbed and murdered with
impunity on the highways.[376]

Laborers from the country, who chanced to be in Córdova, carried the
welcome news to neighboring places and the flame passed swiftly through
Andalusia from town to town. Baena was kept quiet by the Count of Cabra,
Palma by Luis Portocarrero, Ecija by Fadrique Manrique and Seville and
Jerez by Juan de Guzman and Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, but elsewhere the
havoc was terrible. At Jaen, the Constable of Castile, Miguel Luis de
Iranzo, was treacherously murdered while kneeling before the altar; his
wife, Teresa de Torres, was barely able to escape, with her children, to
the alcázar, and the Conversos were plundered and dispatched. Only at
Almodovar del Campo do we hear of any justice executed on the assassins,
for there Rodrigo Giron, Master of Calatrava, hanged some of the most
culpable. The king, we are told, when the news was brought to him,
grieved much, but inflicted no punishment.[377]

On the accession of Ferdinand and Isabella, in 1474, a Converso of
Córdova, Anton de Montoro, addressed to them a poem in which he gives a
terrible picture of the murders committed with impunity on his brethren,
whose purity of faith he asserts. Fire and sword had just ravaged the
aljama of Carmona and fresh disasters were threatening at Seville and
Córdova.[378] Dominicans and Franciscans were thundering from the
pulpits and were calling on the faithful to purify the land from the
pollution of Judaism, secret and open. It was commonly asserted and
believed that the Christianity of the Conversos was fictitious, and
fanaticism joined with envy and greed in stimulating the massacres that
had become so frequent. The means adopted to win over the Jewish
converts had not been so gentle as to encourage confidence in the
sincerity of their professions and, rightly or wrongly, they were almost
universally suspected. The energy with which the new sovereigns enforced
respect for the laws speedily put an end to the hideous excesses of the
mob, for we hear of no further massacres, but the abhorrence entertained
for the successful renegades, whose wealth and power were regarded as
obtained by false profession of belief in Christ, was still wide-spread,
though its more violent manifestations were restrained. Wise
forbearance, combined with vigorous maintenance of order, would in time
have brought about reconciliation, to the infinite benefit of Spain, but
at a time when heresy was regarded as the greatest of crimes and unity
of faith as the supreme object of statesmanship, wise forbearance and
toleration were impossible. After suppressing turbulence the sovereigns
therefore felt that there was still a duty before them to vindicate the
faith. Thus, after long hesitation, their policy with regard to the
Conversos was embodied in the Inquisition, introduced towards the end of
1480. The Jewish question required different treatment and it was
solved, once for all, in most decisive fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Inquisition had no jurisdiction over the Jew, unless he rendered
himself amenable to it by some offence against the faith. He was not
baptized; he was not a member of the Church and therefore was incapable
of heresy, which was the object of inquisitional functions. He might,
however, render himself subject to it by proselytism, by seducing
Christians to embrace his errors, and this was constantly alleged
against Jews, although their history shows that, unlike the other great
religions, Judaism has ever been a national faith with no desire to
spread beyond the boundaries of the race. As the chosen people, Israel
has never sought to share its God with the Gentiles. There was more
foundation, probably, in the accusation that the secret perversity of
the Conversos was encouraged by those who had remained steadfast in the
faith, that circumcisions were secretly performed and that contributions
to the synagogues were welcomed.

While the object of the Inquisition was to secure the unity of faith,
its founding destroyed the hope that ultimately the Jews would all be
gathered into the fold of Christ. This had been the justification of the
inhuman laws designed to render existence outside of the Church so
intolerable that baptism would be sought as a relief from endless
injustice, but the awful spectacle of the autos de fe and the miseries
attendant on wholesale confiscations led the Jew to cherish more
resolutely than ever the ancestral faith which served him as shield from
the terrors of the Holy Office and the dreadful fate ever impending over
the Conversos. His conversion could no longer be hoped for and, so long
as he remained in Spain, the faithful would be scandalized by his
presence and the converts would be exposed to the contamination of his
society. The only alternative was his removal.

Isabella tried a partial experiment of this kind in 1480, apparently to
supplement the Inquisition, founded about the same time. Andalusia was
the province where the Jews were most numerous and she commenced by
ordering the expulsion from there of all who would not accept
Christianity and threatening with death any new settlers.[379] We have
no details as to this measure and only know that it was several times
postponed and that it was apparently abandoned.[380] A bull of Sixtus
IV, in 1484, shows us that Jews were still dwelling there undisturbed
and, when the final expulsion took place in 1492, Bernaldez informs us
that from Andalusia eight thousand households embarked at Cadiz, besides
many at Cartagena and the ports of Aragon.[381]

That there was vacillation is highly probable, for policy and fanaticism
were irreconcilable. The war with Granada was calling for large
expenditures, to which the Jews were most useful contributors and the
finances were in the hands of two leading Jews, Abraham Senior and Isaac
Abravanel, to whose skilful management its ultimate success was largely
due. It may be that the threatened expulsion was rather a financial than
a religious measure, adopted with a view of selling suspensions and
exemptions, and this may also perhaps explain a similar course adopted
by Ferdinand when, in May, 1486, he ordered the inquisitors of Aragon to
banish all Jews of Saragossa from the archbishopric of Saragossa and the
bishopric of Albarracin, in the same way as they had been banished from
the sees of Seville, Córdova and Jaen.[382] The sovereigns knew when to
be tolerant and when to give full rein to fanaticism, as was evinced in
their treatment of renegades and Conversos at the capture of Málaga as
contrasted with the liberal terms offered in the capitulations of
Almería and Granada. They were prepared to listen to the counsel of
those who opposed all interference with the Jewish population, in whose
favor there were powerful influences at work. Isabella apparently
hesitated long between statesmanship and her conceptions of duty, while
Torquemada never ceased to urge upon her the service to be rendered to
Christ by clearing her dominions of the descendants of his


There was no lack of effort to inflame public opinion and to excite
still further the hostility so long and so carefully cultivated. A story
had wide circulation that Maestre Ribas Altas, the royal physician, wore
a golden ball attached to a cord around his neck; that Prince Juan,
only son of the sovereigns, begged it of him and managed to open it,
when he found inside a parchment on which was painted a crucifix with
the physician in an indecent attitude; that he was so affected that he
fell sick and, after much persuasion, revealed the cause, adding that he
would not recover until the Jew was burnt, which was accordingly done
and Ferdinand consented to the expulsion of the accursed sect.[384] Then
we are told that, on Good Friday, 1488, some Jews, to avenge an insult,
stoned a rude cross which stood on the hill of Gano near Casar de
Palomero; they were observed and denounced, when the Duke of Alba burnt
the rabbi and several of the culprits; the cross was repaired and
carried in solemn procession to the parish church, where it still
remains an object of popular veneration.[385] It is to this period also
that we may presumably refer the fabrication of a correspondence,
discovered fifty years later among the archives of Toledo by Archbishop
Siliceo, between Chamorro, Prince of the Jews of Spain and Uliff, Prince
of those of Constantinople, in which the latter, replying to a request
for counsel, tells the former "as the king takes your property, make
your sons merchants that they may take the property of the Christians;
as he takes your lives, make your sons physicians and apothecaries, that
they may take Christian lives; as he destroys your synagogues, make your
sons ecclesiastics, that they may destroy the churches; as he vexes you
in other ways, make your sons officials, that they may reduce the
Christians to subjection and take revenge."[386]

The most effective device, however, was a cruel one, carried out by
Torquemada unshrinkingly to the end. In June, 1490, a Converso named
Benito García, on his return from a pilgrimage to Compostella, was
arrested at Astorga on the charge of having a consecrated wafer in his
knapsack. The episcopal vicar, Dr. Pedro de Villada, tortured him
repeatedly till he obtained a confession implicating five other
Conversos and six Jews in a plot to effect a conjuration with a human
heart and a consecrated host, whereby to cause the madness and death of
all Christians, the destruction of Christianity and the triumph of
Judaism. Three of the implicated Jews were dead, but the rest of those
named were promptly arrested and the trial was carried on by the
Inquisition. After another year spent in torturing the accused, there
emerged the story of the crucifixion at La Guardia of a Christian child,
whose heart was cut out for the purpose of the conjuration. The whole
tissue was so evidently the creation of the torture-chamber that it was
impossible to reconcile the discrepancies in the confessions of the
accused, although the very unusual recourse of confronting them was
tried several times; no child had anywhere been missed and no remains
were found on the spot where it was said to have been buried. The
inquisitors finally abandoned the attempt to frame a consistent
narrative and, on November 16, 1491, the accused were executed at Avila;
the three deceased Jews were burned in effigy, the two living ones were
torn with red-hot pincers and the Conversos were "reconciled" and
strangled before burning. The underlying purpose was revealed in the
sentence read at the auto de fe, which was framed so as to bring into
especial prominence the proselyting efforts of the Jews and the
Judaizing propensities of the Conversos and no effort was spared to
produce the widest impression on the people. We happen to know that the
sentence was sent to La Guardia, to be read from the pulpit, and that it
was translated into Catalan and similarly published in Barcelona,
showing that it was thus brought before the whole population--a thing
without parallel in the history of the Inquisition. The cult of the
Saint-Child of La Guardia--_El santo niño de la Guardia_--was promptly
started with miracles and has been kept up to the present day, although
the sanctity of the supposed martyr has never been confirmed by the Holy
See. Torquemada's object was gained for, though it would be too much to
say that this alone won Ferdinand's consent to the expulsion, it
undoubtedly contributed largely to that result. The edict of expulsion,
it is true, makes no direct reference to the case but, in its labored
efforts to magnify the dangers of Jewish proselytism it reflects
distinctly the admissions extorted from the accused by the


With the surrender of Granada in January, 1492, the work of the
Reconquest was accomplished. The Jews had zealously contributed to it
and had done their work too well. With the accession of a rich territory
and an industrious Moorish population and the cessation of the drain of
the war, even Ferdinand might persuade himself that the Jews were no
longer financially indispensable. The popular fanaticism required
constant repression to keep the peace; the operations of the Inquisition
destroyed the hope that gradual conversion would bring about the desired
unity of faith and the only alternative was the removal of those who
could not, without a miraculous change of heart, be expected to
encounter the terrible risks attendant upon baptism. It is easy thus to
understand the motives leading to the measure, without attributing it,
as has been done, to greed for the victims' wealth, for though, as we
shall see, there are abundant evidences of a desire to profit by it, as
a whole it was palpably undesirable financially.

Thus the expulsion of the Jews from all the Spanish dominions came to be
resolved upon. When this was bruited about the court, Abraham Senior and
Abravanel offered a large sum from the aljamas to avert the blow.
Ferdinand was inclined to accept it, but Isabella was firm. The story is
current that, when the offer was under consideration, Torquemada forced
his way into the royal presence and holding aloft a crucifix boldly
addressed the sovereigns: "Behold the crucified whom the wicked Judas
sold for thirty pieces of silver. If you approve that deed, sell him for
a greater sum. I resign my power; nothing shall be imputed to me but you
will answer to God!"[388] Whether this be true or not, the offer was
rejected and, on March 30th, the edict of expulsion was signed, though
apparently there was delay in its promulgation, for it was not published
in Barcelona until May 1st.[389] It gave the entire Jewish population
of Spain until July 31st in which to change their religion or to leave
the country, under penalty of death, which was likewise threatened for
any attempt to return. During the interval they were taken under the
royal protection; they were permitted to sell their effects and carry
the proceeds with them, except that, under a general law, the export of
gold and silver was prohibited.[390]

A supplementary edict of May 14th granted permission to sell lands,
leaving but little time in which to effect such transactions and this
was still more fatally limited in Aragon, where Ferdinand sequestrated
all Jewish property in order to afford claimants and creditors the
opportunity to prove their rights, the courts being ordered to decide
all such cases promptly. Still less excusable was his detaining from all
sales an amount equal to all the charges and taxes which the Jews would
have paid him, thus realizing a full year's revenue from the trifling
sums obtained through forced sales by the unhappy exiles.[391] In
Castile, the inextricable confusion arising from the extensive
commercial transactions of the Jews led to the issue, May 30th, of a
decree addressed to all the officials of the land, ordering all
interested parties to be summoned to appear within twenty days to prove
their claims, which the courts must settle by the middle of July. All
debts falling due prior to the date of departure were to be promptly
paid; if due to Christians by Jews who had not personal effects
sufficient to satisfy them, the creditors were to take land at an
appraised valuation or be paid out of other debts paid by Jews. For
debts falling due subsequently, if due by Jews, the debtors had to pay
at once or furnish adequate security; if due by Christians or Moors, the
creditors were either to leave powers to collect at maturity or to sell
the claims to such purchasers as they could find.[392] These regulations
afford us a glimpse into the complexities arising from the convulsion
thus suddenly precipitated and, as the Jews were almost universally
creditors, we can readily imagine how great were their losses and how
many Christian debtors must have escaped payment.


The sovereigns also shared in the spoils. When the exiles reached the
seaports to embark they found that an export duty of two ducats per head
had been levied upon them, which they were obliged to pay out of their
impoverished store.[393] Moreover, the threat of confiscation for those
who overstayed the time was rigorously enforced and, in some cases at
least, the property thus seized was granted to nobles to compensate
their losses by the banishment of their Jews.[394] All effects left
behind also were seized; in many cases the dangers of the journey, the
prohibition to carry coin and the difficulty of procuring bills of
exchange, led the exiles to make deposits with trustworthy friends to be
remitted to them in their new homes, all of which was seized by the
crown. The amount of this was sufficient to require a regular
organization of officials deputed to hunt up these deposits and other
fragments of property that could be escheated, and we find
correspondence on the subject as late as 1498.[395] Efforts were even
also made to follow exiles and secure their property on the plea that
they had taken with them prohibited articles, and Henry VII of England
and Ferdinand of Naples were appealed to for assistance in cases of this

The terror and distress of the exodus, we are told, were greatly
increased by an edict issued by Torquemada, as inquisitor-general, in
April, forbidding any Christian, after August 9th, from holding any
communication with Jews, or giving them food or shelter, or aiding them
in any way.[397] Such addition to their woes was scarce necessary, for
it would be difficult to exaggerate the misery inflicted on a population
thus suddenly uprooted from a land in which their race was older than
that of their oppressors. Stunned at first by the blow, as soon as they
rallied from the shock, they commenced preparations for departure. An
aged rabbi, Isaac Aboab, with thirty prominent colleagues, was
commissioned to treat with João II of Portugal for refuge in his
dominions. He drove a hard bargain, demanding a cruzado a head for
permission to enter and reside for six months.[398] For those who were
near the coasts, arrangements were made for transhipment by sea, mostly
from Cadiz and Barcelona on the south and Laredo on the north. To the
north-east, Navarre afforded an asylum, by order of Jean d'Albret and
his wife Leonora, although the cities were somewhat recalcitrant.[399]
As the term approached, two days' grace were allowed, bringing it to
August 2d, the 9th of Ab, a day memorable in Jewish annals for its
repeated misfortunes.[400]

The sacrifices entailed on the exiles were enormous. To realize in so
limited a time on every species of property not portable, with means of
transportation so imperfect, was almost impossible and, in a forced sale
of such magnitude, the purchasers had a vast advantage of which they
fully availed themselves. An eye-witness tells us that the Christians
bought their property for a trifle; they went around and found few
buyers, so that they were compelled to give a house for an ass and a
vineyard for a little cloth or linen: in some places the miserable
wretches, unable to get any price, burnt their homes and the aljamas
bestowed the communal property on the cities. Their synagogues they were
not allowed to sell, the Christians taking them and converting them into
churches, wherein to worship a God of justice and love.[401] The
cemeteries, for which they felt peculiar solicitude, were in many places
made over to the cities, on condition of preservation from desecration
and use only for pasturage; where this was not done they were
confiscated and Torquemada obtained a fragment of the spoil by securing,
March 23, 1494, from Ferdinand and Isabella, the grant of that of Avila
for his convent of Santo Tomas.[402]


The resolute constancy displayed in this extremity was admirable. There
were comparatively few renegades and, if Abraham Senior was one of them,
it is urged in extenuation that Isabella, who was loath to lose his
services, threatened, if he persisted in his faith, to adopt still
sharper measures against his people and he, knowing her capacity in this
direction, submitted to baptism; he and his family had for god-parents
the sovereigns and Cardinal González de Mendoza; they assumed the name
of Coronel which long remained distinguished.[403] The frailes exerted
themselves everywhere in preaching, but the converts were few and only
of the lowest class; the Inquisition had changed the situation and San
Vicente Ferrer himself would have found missionary work unfruitful, for
the dread of exile was less than that of the Holy Office and the

There was boundless mutual helpfulness; the rich aided the poor and they
made ready as best they could to face the perils of the unknown future.
Before starting, all the boys and girls over twelve were married. Early
in July the exodus commenced and no better idea of this pilgrimage of
grief can be conveyed than by the simple narrative of the good cura of
Palacios. Disregarding, he says, the wealth they left behind and
confiding in the blind hope that God would lead them to the promised
land, they left their homes, great and small, old and young, on foot, on
horseback, on asses or other beasts or in wagons, some falling, others
rising, some dying, others being born, others falling sick. There was no
Christian who did not pity them; everywhere they were invited to
conversion and some were baptized, but very few, for the rabbis
encouraged them and made the women and children play on the timbrel.
Those who went to Cadiz hoped that God would open a path for them across
the sea; but they stayed there many days, suffering much and many wished
that, they had never been born. From Aragon and Catalonia they put to
sea for Italy or the Moorish lands or whithersoever fortune might drive
them. Most of them had evil fate, robbery and murder by sea and in the
lands of their refuge. This is shown by the fate of those who sailed
from Cadiz. They had to embark in twenty-five ships of which the captain
was Pero Cabron; they sailed for Oran where they found the corsair
Fragoso and his fleet; they promised him ten thousand ducats not to
molest them, to which he agreed, but night came on and they sailed for
Arcilla. (a Spanish settlement in Morocco), where a tempest scattered
them. Sixteen ships put into Cartagena, where a hundred and fifty souls
landed and asked for baptism; then the fleet went to Málaga, where four
hundred more did the same. The rest reached Arcilla and went to Fez.
Multitudes also sailed from Gibraltar to Arcilla, whence they set out
for Fez, under guard of Moors hired for the purpose, but they were
robbed on the journey and their wives and daughters were violated. Many
returned to Arcilla, where the new arrivals, on hearing of this,
remained, forming a large camp. Then they divided into two parties, one
persisting in going to Fez, the other preferring baptism at Arcilla,
where the commandant, the Count of Boron, treated them kindly and the
priests baptized them in squads with sprinklers. The count sent them
back to Spain and, up to 1496, they were returning for baptism--in
Palacios, Bernaldez baptized as many as a hundred, some of them being
rabbis. Those who reached Fez were naked and starving and lousy. The
king, seeing them a burden, permitted them to return and they straggled
back to Arcilla, robbed and murdered on the road, the women violated and
the men often cut open in search of gold thought to be concealed in
their stomachs. Those who remained in Fez built a great Jewry for
themselves of houses of straw; one night it took fire, burning all their
property and fifty or a hundred souls--after which came a pestilence,
carrying off more than four thousand. Ferdinand and Isabella, seeing
that all who could get back returned for baptism, set guards to keep
them out unless they had money to support themselves.[404]

The whole world was pitiless to these wretched outcasts, against whom
every man's hand was raised. Those who sought Portugal utilized the six
months allotted to them by sending a party to Fez to arrange for transit
there; many went and formed part of the luckless band whose misfortunes
we have seen. Others remained, the richer paying the king a hundred
cruzados per household, the poorer eight cruzados a head, while a
thousand, who could pay nothing, were enslaved. These King Manoel
emancipated, on his accession in 1495, but in 1497 he enforced
conversion on all. Then in Lisbon, at Easter, 1506, a New Christian in a
Dominican church, chanced to express a doubt as to a miraculous
crucifix, when he was dragged out by the hair and slain; the Dominicans
harangued the mob, parading the streets with the crucifix and exciting
popular passion till a massacre ensued in which the most revolting
cruelties were perpetrated. It raged for three days and ended only when
no more victims could be found, the number of slain being estimated at
several thousand.[405] The further fate of these refugees we shall have
occasion to trace hereafter.

[Sidenote: _FATE OF THE EXILES_]

In Navarre, where the exiles had been kindly received, the era of
toleration was brief. In 1498, an edict, based on that of Ferdinand and
Isabella, gave them the alternative of baptism or expulsion and, at the
same time, such difficulties were thrown in the way of exile that they
mostly submitted to baptism and remained a discredited class, subjected
to numerous disabilities.[406] Naples, whither numbers flocked, afforded
an inhospitable refuge. In August, 1492, nine caravels arrived there,
loaded with Jews and infected with pestilence, which they communicated
to the city, whence it spread through the kingdom and raged for a year,
causing a mortality of twenty thousand. Then, in the confusion following
the invasion of Charles VIII, in 1495, the people rose against them;
many abandoned their religion to escape slaughter or slavery; many were
carried off to distant lands and sold as slaves; this tribulation lasted
for three years, during which those who were steadfast in the faith were
imprisoned or burnt or exposed to the caprices of the mob.[407] Turkey,
on the whole, proved the most satisfactory refuge, where Bajazet found
them such profitable subjects that he ridiculed the wisdom popularly
ascribed to the Spanish sovereigns who could commit so great an act of
folly. Though exposed to occasional persecution, they continued to
flourish; most of the existing Jews of Turkey in Europe and a large
portion of those of Turkey in Asia, are descendants of the exiles; they
absorbed the older communities and their language is still the Spanish
of the sixteenth century.[408]

When the fate of the exiles was, for the most part, so unendurable, it
was natural that many should seek to return to their native land and, as
we have seen from Bernaldez, large numbers did so. At first this was
tacitly permitted, on condition of conversion, provided they brought
money with them, but the sovereigns finally grew fearful that the purity
of the faith would be impaired and, in 1499, an explanatory edict was
issued, decreeing death and confiscation for any Jew entering Spain,
whether a foreigner or returning exile, even if he asked for baptism,
unless beforehand he sent word that he wished to come for that purpose,
when he was to be baptized at the port of entry and a notarial act was
to be taken. That this savage edict was pitilessly enforced is
manifested by several cases in 1500 and 1501. Moreover, all masters of
Jewish slaves were ordered to send them out of the country within two
months, unless they would submit to baptism.[409] Spain was too holy a
land to be polluted with the presence of a Jew, even in captivity.

In the absence of trustworthy statistics, all estimates of the number of
victims must be more or less a matter of guess-work and consequently
they vary with the impressions or imagination of the annalist. Bernaldez
informs us that Rabbi Mair wrote to Abraham Senior that the sovereigns
had banished 35,000 vassals, that is, 35,000 Jewish households, and he
adds that, of the ten or twelve rabbis whom he baptized on their return,
a very intelligent one, named Zentollo of Vitoria, told him that there
were in Castile more than 30,000 married Jews and 6000 in the kingdoms
of Aragon, making 160,000 souls when the edict was issued, which is
probably as nearly correct an estimate as we can find.[410] With time
the figures grew. Albertino, Inquisitor of Valencia, in 1534, quotes
Reuchlin as computing the number of exiles at 420,000.[411] The cautious
Zurita quotes Bernaldez and adds that others put the total at 400,000,
while Mariana tells us that most authors assert the number of households
to have been 170,000, and some put the total at 800,000 souls; Páramo
quotes the figures of 124,000 households or over 600,000 souls.[412]
Isidore Loeb, after an exhaustive review of all authorities, Jewish and
Christian, reaches the estimate[413]--

  Emigrants,      165,000
  Baptized,        50,000
  Died,            20,000

and this, in view of the diminished number of Jews, as shown by the
Repartimiento of 1474 (p. 125) is probably too large an estimate.


Whatever may have been the number, the sum of human misery was
incomputable. Rabbi Joseph, whose father was one of the exiles,
eloquently describes the sufferings of his race: "For some of them the
Turks killed to take out the gold which they had swallowed to hide it;
some of them hunger and the plague consumed and some of them were cast
naked by the captains on the isles of the sea; and some of them were
sold for men-servants and maid-servants in Genoa and its villages and
some of them were cast into the sea.... For there were among those who
were cast into the isles of the sea upon Provence a Jew and his old
father fainting from hunger, begging bread, for there was no one to
break unto him in a strange country. And the man went and sold his son
for bread to restore the soul of the old man. And it came to pass, when
he returned to his old father, that he found him fallen down dead and he
rent his clothes. And he returned unto the baker to take his son and the
baker would not give him back and he cried out with a loud and bitter
cry for his son and there was none to deliver."[414] Penniless,
friendless and despised they were cast forth into a world which had been
taught that to oppress them was a service to the Redeemer.

Yet such were the convictions of the period, in the fifteenth century
after Christ had died for man, that this crime against humanity met with
nothing but applause among contemporaries. Men might admit that it was
unwise from the point of view of statesmanship and damaging to the
prosperity of the land, but this only enhanced the credit due to the
sovereigns whose piety was equal to the sacrifice. When, in 1495,
Alexander VI granted to them the proud title of Catholic Kings, the
expulsion of the Jews was enumerated among the services to the faith
entitling them to this distinction.[415] Even so liberal and cultured a
thinker as Gian Pico della Mirandola, praises them for it, while he
admits that even Christians were moved to pity by the calamities of the
sufferers, nearly all of whom were consumed by shipwreck, pestilence and
hunger, rendering the destruction equal to that inflicted by Titus and
Hadrian.[416] It is true that Machiavelli, faithful to his general
principles, seeks to find in Ferdinand's participation a political
rather than a religious motive, but even he characterizes the act as a
_pietosa crudeltà_.[417] So far, indeed, was it from being a cruelty, in
the eyes of the theologians of the period, that Ferdinand was held to
have exercised his power mercifully, for Arnaldo Albertino proved by the
canon law that he would have been fully justified in putting them all to
the sword and seizing their property.[418]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Edict of Expulsion proclaimed to the world the policy which in its
continuous development did so much for the abasement of Spain. At the
same time it closed the career of avowed Jews in the Spanish dominions.
Henceforth we shall meet with them as apostate Christians, the occasion
and the victims of the Inquisition.



Much as the Conversos had gained, from a worldly point of view, by their
change of religion, their position, in one respect, as we have seen, was
seriously deteriorated. As Jews they might be despoiled and humiliated,
confined in narrow Jewries and restricted as to their careers and means
of livelihood, but withal they enjoyed complete freedom of faith, in
which they were subjected only to their own rabbis. They were outside of
the Church and the Church claimed no jurisdiction over them in matters
of religion, so long as they did not openly blaspheme Christianity or
seek to make proselytes. As soon, however, as the convert was baptized
he became a member of the Church and for any aberration from orthodoxy
he was amenable to its laws. As the Inquisition had never existed in
Castile and was inactive in Aragon, while the bishops, who held ordinary
jurisdiction over heresy and apostasy, were too turbulent and worldly to
waste thought on the exercise of their authority in such matters, the
Conversos seem never to have recognized the possibility of being held to
account for any secret leaning to the faith which they had ostensibly
abandoned. The circumstances under which the mass of conversions was
effected--threats of massacre or the wearing pressure of inhuman
laws--were not such as to justify confidence in the sincerity of the
neophytes, nor, when baptism was administered indiscriminately to
multitudes, was there a possibility of detailed instruction in the
complicated theology of their new faith. Rabbinical Judaism, moreover,
so entwines itself with every detail of the believer's daily life, and
attaches so much importance to the observances which it enjoins, that it
was impossible for whole communities thus suddenly Christianized, to
abandon the rites and usages which, through so many generations, had
become a part of existence itself. Earnest converts might have brought
up their children as Christians and the grandchildren might have
outgrown the old customs, but the Conversos could not be earnest
converts, and the sacred traditions, handed down by father to son from
the days of the Sanhedrin, were too precious to be set aside. The
_Anusim_, as they were known to their Hebrew brethren, thus were
unwilling Christians, practising what Jewish rites they dared, and it
was held to be the duty of all Jews to bring them back to the true


As soon, therefore, as the Church had gained her new recruits she began
to regard them with a pardonable degree of suspicion, although she seems
to have made no effort to instruct them in her doctrines after hurriedly
baptizing them by the thousand. In 1429 the council of Tortosa
indignantly denounced the unspeakable cruelty of the Conversos who, with
damnable negligence, permit their children to remain in servitude of the
devil by omitting to have them baptized. To remedy this the Ordinaries
were ordered, by the free use of ecclesiastical censures, and by calling
in if necessary the secular arm, to cause all such children to be
baptized within eight days after birth, and all temporal lords were
commanded to lend their aid in this pious work.[420] The outlook,
certainly, was not promising that the coming generation should be free
from the inveterate Jewish errors. How little concealment, indeed, was
thought necessary by the Conversos, so long as they exhibited a nominal
adherence to Catholicism, is plainly shown by the testimony in the early
trials before the Inquisition, where servants and neighbors give ample
evidence as to Jewish observances openly followed. Still more conclusive
is a case occurring, in 1456, in Rosellon, which, although at the time
held in pawn by France, was subject to the Inquisition of Aragon.
Certain Conversos not only persisted in Jewish practices, such as eating
meat in lent, but forced their Christian servants to do likewise, and
when the inquisitor, Fray Mateo de Rapica, with the aid of the Bishop of
Elna, sought to reduce them to conformity, they defiantly published a
defamatory libel upon him and, with the assistance of certain laymen,
afflicted him with injuries and expenses.[421] It was not without cause
that, when Bishop Alfonso de Santa María procured the decree of 1434
from the council of Basle, he included a clause branding as heretics all
Conversos who adhered to Jewish superstitions, directing bishops and
inquisitors to enquire strictly after them and to punish them condignly,
and pronouncing liable to the penalties of fautorship all who support
them in those practices.[422] The decree, of course, proved a dead
letter, but none the less was it the foreshadowing of the Inquisition.
When Nicholas V, in 1449, issued his bull in favor of the Conversos, he
followed the example of the council of Basle, in excepting those who
secretly continued to practise Jewish rites. In the methods commonly
employed to procure conversions the result was inevitable and incurable.

What rendered this especially serious was the success of the Conversos
in obtaining high office in Church and State. Important sees were
occupied by bishops of Jewish blood; the chapters, the monastic orders
and the curacies were full of them; they were prominent in the royal
council and everywhere enjoyed positions of influence. The most powerful
among them--the Santa Marías, the Dávilas and their following--had
turned against the royal favorite Alvaro de Luna and, with the
discontented nobles, were plotting his ruin, when he seems to have
conceived the idea that, if he could introduce the Inquisition in
Castile, he might find in it a weapon wherewith to subdue them. At least
this is the only explanation of an application made to Nicholas V, in
1451, by Juan II, for a delegation of papal inquisitorial power for the
chastisement of Judaizing Christians. The popes had too long vainly
desired to introduce the Inquisition in Castile for Nicholas to neglect
this opportunity. He promptly commissioned the Bishop of Osma, his vicar
general, and the Scholasticus of Salamanca as inquisitors, either by
themselves or through such delegates as they might appoint, to
investigate and punish without appeal all such offenders, to deprive
them of ecclesiastical dignities and benefices and of temporal
possessions, to pronounce them incapable of holding such positions in
future, to imprison and degrade them, and, if the offence required, to
abandon them to the secular arm for burning. Full power was granted to
perform any acts necessary or opportune to the discharge of these duties
and, if resistance were offered, to invoke the aid of the secular power.
All this was within the regular routine of the inquisitorial office, but
there was one clause which showed that the object of the measure was the
destruction of de Luna's enemies, the Converso bishops, for the
commission empowered the appointees to proceed even against bishops--a
faculty never before granted to inquisitors and subsequently, as we
shall see, withheld when the new Inquisition was organized.[423] All
this was the formal establishment of the Inquisition on Castilian soil
and, if circumstances had permitted its development, it would not have
been left for Isabella to introduce the institution. The Inquisition,
however, rested on the secular power for its efficiency. In Spain,
especially, there was little respect for the naked papal authority,
while that of Juan II was too much enfeebled to enable him to establish
so serious an innovation. The New Christians recognized that their
safety depended on de Luna's downfall; the conspiracy against him won
over the nerveless Juan II and, in 1453, he was hurriedly condemned and
executed. Naturally the bull remained inoperative, and, some ten years
later, Alonso de Espina feelingly complains "Some are heretics and
Christian perverts, others are Jews, others Saracens, others devils.
There is no one to investigate the errors of the heretics. The ravening
wolves, O Lord, have entered thy flock, for the shepherds are few; many
are hirelings and as hirelings they care only for shearing and not for
feeding thy sheep."[424]


To Fray Alonso de Espina may be ascribed a large share in hastening the
development of organized persecution in Spain, by inflaming the race
hatred of recent origin which already needed no stimulation. He was a
man of the highest reputation for learning and sanctity and when, early
in his career, he was discouraged by the slender result of his
preaching, a miracle revealed to him the favor of Heaven and induced him
to persevere.[425] In 1453 we find him administering to Alvaro de Luna
the last consolations of religion at his hurried execution, and he
became the confessor of Henry IV.[426] In 1454, when a child was robbed
and murdered at Valladolid and the body was scratched up by dogs, the
Jews were, of course, suspected and confession was obtained by torture.
Alonso happened to be there and aroused much public excitement by his
sermons on the subject, in which he asserted that the Jews had ripped
out the child's heart, had burnt it and, by mingling the ashes with
wine, had made an unholy sacrament, but unfortunately, as he tells us,
bribery of the judges and of King Henry enabled the offenders to
escape.[427] The next year, 1455, as Provincial of the Observantine
Franciscans, he was engaged in an unsuccessful attempt to drive the
Conventuals out of Segovia or to obtain a separate convent for the
Observantines.[428] Thenceforth he seems to have concentrated his
energies on the endeavor to bring about the forced conversion of the
Jews and to introduce the Inquisition as a corrective of the apostasy of
the Conversos. He is usually considered to have himself belonged to the
class of Converso who entertained an inextinguishable hatred for their
former brethren, but there is no evidence of this and the probabilities
are altogether against it.[429]

His _Fortalicium Fidei_ is a deplorable exhibition of the fanatic
passions which finally dominated Spain. He rakes together, from the
chronicles of all Europe, the stories of Jews slaying Christian children
in their unholy rites, of their poisoning wells and fountains, of their
starting conflagrations and of all the other horrors by which a healthy
detestation of the unfortunate race was created and stimulated. The
Jewish law, he tells us, commands them to slay Christians and to
despoil them whenever practicable and they obey it with quenchless
hatred and insatiable thirst for revenge. Thrice a day in their prayers
they repeat "Let there be no hope for Meschudanim (Conversos); may all
heretics and all who speak against Israel be speedily cut off; may the
kingdom of the proud be broken and destroyed and may all our enemies be
crushed and humbled speedily in our days!"[430] But the evil now wrought
by Jews is trifling to that which they will work at the coming of
Antichrist, for they will be his supporters. Alexander the Great shut
them up in the mountains of the Caspian, adjoining the realms of the
Great Khan or monarch of Cathay. There, between the castles of Gog and
Magog, confined by an enchanted wall, they have multiplied until now
they are numerous enough to fill twenty-four kingdoms. When Antichrist
comes they will break loose and rally around him, as likewise will all
the Jews of the Diaspora, for they will regard him as their promised
Messiah and will worship him as their God, and with their united aid he
will overrun the earth. With such eventualities in prospect it is no
wonder that Fray Alonso could convince himself, in opposition to the
canon law, that the forced conversion of the Jews was lawful and
expedient, as well as the baptism of their children without their
consent.[431] When such was the temper in which a man of distinguished
learning and intelligence discussed the relations between Jews and
Christians, we can imagine the character of the sermons in which, from
numerous pulpits, the passions of the people were inflamed against their


If open Judaism thus was abhorrent, still worse was the insidious heresy
of the Conversos who pretended to be Christians and who more or less
openly continued to practise Jewish rites and perverted the faithful by
their influence and example. These abounded on every hand and there was
scarce an effort made to repress or to punish them. The law, from the
earliest times, provided the death penalty for their offence, but there
was none found to enforce it.[432] Fray Alonso dolefully asserts that
they succeeded by their presents in so blinding princes and prelates
that they were never punished and that, when one person accused them,
three would come forward in their favor. He relates an instance of such
an attempt, in 1458 at Formesta, where a barber named Fernando Sánchez
publicly maintained monotheism. Fortunately Bishop Pedro of Palencia had
zeal enough to prosecute him, when his offence was proved and, under
fear of the death penalty, he recanted, but when he was condemned to
imprisonment for life so much sympathy was excited by the unaccustomed
severity that, in accordance with numerous petitions, the sentence was
commuted to ten years' exile. In 1459, at Segovia, a number of Conversos
were by an accident discovered in the synagogue, praying at the feast of
Tabernacles, but nothing seems to have been done with them. At Medina
del Campo, in the same year, Fray Alonso was informed that there were
more than a hundred who denied the truth of the New Testament, but he
could do nothing save preach against them, and subsequently he learned
that in one house there were more than thirty men, at that very time,
laid up in consequence of undergoing circumcision. It is no wonder that
he earnestly advocated the introduction of the Inquisition as the only
cure for this scandalous condition of affairs, that he argued in its
favor with the warmest zeal and answered all objections in a manner
which showed that he was familiar with its workings from a careful study
of the Clementines and of Eymeric's Directorium.[433]

The good Cura de los Palacios is equally emphatic in his testimony as to
the prevalence of Judaism among the Conversos. For the most part, he
says, they continued to be Jews, or rather they were neither Christians
nor Jews but heretics, and this heresy increased and flourished through
the riches and pride of many wise and learned men, bishops and canons
and friars and abbots and financial agents and secretaries of the king
and of the magnates. At the commencement of the reign of Ferdinand and
Isabella this heresy grew so powerful that the clerks were on the point
of preaching the law of Moses. These heretics avoided baptizing their
children and, when they could not prevent it, they washed off the
baptism on returning from the church; they ate meat on fast days and
unleavened bread at Passover, which they observed as well as the
Sabbaths; they had Jews who secretly preached in their houses and rabbis
who slaughtered meat and birds for them; they performed all the Jewish
ceremonies in secret as well as they could and avoided, as far as
possible, receiving the sacrament; they never confessed truly--a
confessor, after hearing one of them, cut off a corner of his garment
saying "Since you have never sinned I want a piece of your clothes as a
relic to cure the sick." Many of them attained to great wealth, for they
had no conscience in usury, saying that they were spoiling the
Egyptians. They assumed airs of superiority, asserting that there was no
better race on earth, nor wiser, nor shrewder, nor more honorable
through their descent from the tribes of Israel.[434]


In fact, when we consider the popular detestation of the Conversos and
the invitation to attack afforded by their Judaizing tendencies, the
postponement in establishing the Inquisition is attributable to the
all-pervading lawlessness of the period and the absence of a strong
central power. The people gratified their hatred by an occasional
massacre, with its accompanying pillage, but among the various factions
of the distracted state no one was strong enough to attempt a systematic
movement provoking the bitterest opposition of a powerful class whose
members occupied confidential positions in the court not alone of the
king but of every noble and prelate. Earnest and untiring as was Fray
Alonso's zeal it therefore was fruitless. In August, 1461, he induced
the heads of the Observantine Franciscans to address the chapter of the
Geronimites urging a union of both bodies in the effort to obtain the
introduction of the Inquisition. The suggestion was favorably received
but the answer was delayed, and the impatient Fray Alonso, with Fray
Fernando de la Plaza and other Observantines, appealed directly to King
Henry, representing the prevalence of the Judaizing heresy throughout
the land and the habitual circumcision of the children of
Conversos.[435] The zeal of Fray Fernando outran his discretion and in
his sermons he declared that he possessed the foreskins of children
thus treated. King Henry sent for him and said that this practice was a
gross insult to the Church, which it was his duty to punish, ordering
him to produce the objects and reveal the names of the culprits. The
fraile could only reply that he had heard it from persons of repute and
authority, but, on being commanded to state their names, refused to do
so, thus tacitly acknowledging that he had no proof. The Conversos were
not slow in taking advantage of his blunder and, to crown the defeat of
the Observantines, the Geronimites changed their views. Their general,
Fray Alonso de Oropesa, who himself had Jewish blood in his veins, was a
man deservedly esteemed; under his impulsion they mounted the pulpit in
defence of the Conversos and the Observantines for the time were
silenced.[436] While the labors of the fiery Fray Alonso were
unquestionably successful in intensifying the bitterness of race hatred,
their only direct result was seen in the Concordia of Medina del Campo
between Henry IV and his revolted nobles in 1464-5. In this an elaborate
clause deplored the spread of the Judaizing heresy; it ordered the
bishops to establish a searching inquisition throughout all lands and
lordships, regardless of franchises and privileges, for the detection
and punishment of the heretics; it pledged the king to support the
measure in every way and to employ the confiscations in the war with the
Moors and it pointed out that the enforcement of this plan would put an
end to the tumults and massacres directed against the suspects.[437]
Under this impulsion some desultory persecution occurred. In the trial
of Beatriz Nuñez, by the Inquisition of Toledo in 1485, witnesses allude
to her husband, Fernando González who, some twenty years before, had
been convicted and reconciled.[438] More detailed is a case occurring at
Llerena in 1467, where, on September 17th, two Conversos, Garcí
Fernández Valency and Pedro Franco de Villareal, were discovered in the
act of performing Jewish ceremonies. The alcalde mayor, Alvaro de
Céspedes, at once seized them and carried them before the episcopal
vicar, Joan Millan. They confessed their Judaism and the vicar at once
sentenced them to be burnt alive, which was executed the same day; two
women compromised in the matter were condemned to other penalties and
the house in which the heresy had been perpetrated was torn down.[439]
In such cases the bishops were merely exercising their imprescriptible
jurisdiction over heresy, but the prelacy of Castile was too much
occupied with worldly affairs to devote any general or sustained energy
to the suppression of Judaizers, and the land was too anarchical for the
royal power to exert any influence in carrying the Concordia into
effect; the Deposition of Avila, which followed in the next year,
plunged everything again into confusion and the only real importance of
the attempt lies in its significance of what was impending when peace
and a strong government should render such a measure feasible. Yet it is
a noteworthy fact that, in all the long series of the Córtes of Castile,
from the earliest times, the proceedings of which have been published in
full, there was no petition for anything approaching an Inquisition. In
the fourteenth century there were many complaints about the Jews and
petitions for restrictive laws, but these diminish in the fifteenth
century and the later Córtes, from 1450 on, are almost free from them.
The fearful disorders of the land gave the procurators or deputies
enough to complain about and they seem to have had no time to waste on
problematical dangers to religion.[440]

       *       *       *       *       *


This was the situation at the accession of Ferdinand and Isabella in
1474. Some years were necessary to settle the question of the
succession, disputed by the unfortunate Beltraneja, and to quell the
unruly nobles. During this period Sixtus IV renewed the attempt to
introduce the papal Inquisition, for, in sending Nicoló Franco to
Castile as legate, he commissioned him with full inquisitorial faculties
to prosecute and punish the false Christians who after baptism persisted
in the observance of Jewish rites.[441] The effort, however, was
fruitless and is interesting chiefly from the evidence which it gives of
the desire of Sixtus to give to Castile the blessing of the Inquisition.
Ferdinand and Isabella, as we have seen, were habitually jealous of
papal encroachments and were anxious to limit rather than to extend the
legatine functions; they did not respond to the papal zeal for the
purity of the faith and even when quiet was to a great extent restored
they took no initiative with regard to a matter which had seemed to Fray
Alonso de Espina so immeasurably important. In his capacity of agitator
he had been succeeded by Fray Alonso de Hojeda, prior of the Dominican
house of San Pablo of Seville, who devoted himself to the destruction of
Judaism, both open as professed by the Jews and concealed as attributed
to the Conversos. The battle of Toro, March 1, 1476, virtually broke up
the party of the Beltraneja, of which the leaders made their peace as
best they could, and the sovereigns could at last undertake the task of
pacifying the land. At the end of July, 1477, Isabella, after capturing
the castle of Trugillo, came, as we have seen, to Seville where she
remained until October, 1478.[442] The presence of the court, with
Conversos filling many of its most important posts, excited Fray Alonso
to greater ardor than ever. It was in vain, however, that he called the
queen's attention to the danger threatening the faith and the State from
the multitude of pretended Christians in high places. She was receiving
faithful service from members of the class accused and she probably was
too much occupied with the business in hand to undertake a task that
could be postponed. It is said that her confessor, Torquemada, at an
earlier period, had induced her to take a vow that, when she should
reach the throne, she would devote her life to the extirpation of heresy
and the supremacy of the Catholic faith, but this may safely be
dismissed as a legend of later date.[443] Be this as it may, all that
was done at the moment was that Pero González de Mendoza, then
Archbishop of Seville, held a synod in which was promulgated a catechism
setting forth the belief and duties of the Christian, which was
published in the churches and hung up for public information in every
parish, while the priests were exhorted to increased vigilance and the
frailes to fresh zeal in making converts.[444] The adoption of such a
device betrays the previous neglect of all instruction of the Marranos
in the new religion imposed on them.

The court left Seville and Hojeda's opportunity seemed to have passed
away. Whatever alacrity the priests may have shown in obeying their
archbishop, nothing was accomplished nor was the increased zeal of the
frailes rewarded with success. There is a story accredited by all
historians of the Inquisition that Hojeda chanced to hear of a meeting
of Jews and Conversos on the night of Good Friday, March 28, 1478, to
celebrate their impious rites and that he hastened with the evidence to
Córdova and laid it before the sovereigns, resulting in the punishment
of the culprits and turning the scale in favor of introducing the
Inquisition, but there is no contemporary evidence of its truth and the
dates are irreconcilable, nor was such an incentive necessary.[445] The
insincerity of the conversion of a large portion of the Marranos was
incontestable; according to the principles universally accepted at the
period it was the duty of the sovereigns to reduce them to conformity;
with the pacification of the land the time had come to attempt this
resolutely and comprehensively and the only question was as to the


It was inevitable that there should have been a prolonged struggle in
the court before the drastic remedy of the Inquisition was adopted. The
efforts of its advocates were directed, not against the despised and
friendless Jews, but against the powerful Conversos, embracing many of
the most trusted counsellors of the sovereigns and men high in station
in the Church, who could not but recognize the danger impending on all
who traced their descent from Israel. There seems at first to have been
a kind of compromise adopted, under which Pedro Fernández de Solis,
Bishop of Cadiz, who was Provisor of Seville, with the Assistente Diego
de Merlo, Fray Alfonso de Hojeda and some other frailes were
commissioned to take charge of the matter, with power to inflict
punishment. This resulted in a report by the commissioners to the
sovereigns that a great portion of the citizens of Seville were infected
with heresy, that it involved men high in station and power, and that it
spread throughout not only Andalusia but Castile, so that it was
incurable save by the organization of the Inquisition.[446] The
Archbishop Mendoza, doubtless disgusted with the failure of his methods
of instruction, joined in these representations and they had a powerful
supporter in Fray Thomas de Torquemada, prior of the Dominican convent
of Santa Cruz in Segovia, who, as confessor of the sovereigns, had much
influence over them and who had long been urging the vigorous
chastisement of heresy.[447] At last the victory was won. Ferdinand and
Isabella resolved to introduce the Inquisition in the Castilian kingdoms
and their ambassadors to the Holy See, the Bishop of Osma and his
brother Diego de Santillan, were ordered to procure the necessary bull
from Sixtus IV.[448] This must have been shrouded in profound secrecy,
for, in July, 1478, while negotiations must have been on foot in Rome,
Ferdinand and Isabella convoked a national synod at Seville which sat
until August 1st. In the propositions laid by the sovereigns before this
body there is no hint that such a measure was desired or proposed and,
in the deliberations of the assembled prelates, there is no indication
that the Church thought any action against the Conversos necessary.[449]
Even as late as 1480, after the procurement of the bull and before its
enforcement, the Córtes of Toledo presented to the sovereigns a detailed
memorial embodying all the measures of reform desired by the people. In
this the separation of Christians from Jews and Moors is asked for, but
there is no request for the prosecution of apostate Conversos.[450]
Evidently there was no knowledge of and no popular demand for the
impending Inquisition.

Sixtus can have been nothing loath to accomplish the introduction of the
Inquisition in Castile, which his predecessors had so frequently and so
vainly attempted and which he had essayed to do a few years previous by
granting the necessary faculties to his legate. If the request of the
Castilian sovereigns, therefore, was not immediately granted it cannot
have been from humanitarian motives as alleged by some modern
apologists, but because Ferdinand and Isabella desired, not the
ordinary papal Inquisition, but one which should be under the royal
control and should pour into the royal treasury the resultant
confiscations. Hitherto the appointment of inquisitors had always been
made by the Provincials of the Dominican or Franciscan Orders according
as the territory belonged to one or to the other, with occasional
interference on the part of the Holy See, from which the commissions
emanated. It was a delegation of the supreme papal authority and had
always been held completely independent of the secular power, but
Ferdinand and Isabella were too jealous of papal interference in the
internal affairs of their kingdoms to permit this, and it is an evidence
of the extreme desire of Sixtus to extend the Inquisition over Castile
that he consented to make so important a concession. There also was
doubtless discussion over the confiscations which the wealth of the
Conversos promised to render large. This was a matter in which there was
no universally recognized practice. In France they enured to the
temporal seigneur. In Italy the custom varied at different times and in
the various states, but the papacy assumed to control it and, in the
fourteenth century, it claimed the whole, to be divided equally between
the Inquisition and the papal camera.[451] The matter was evidently one
to be determined by negotiation, and in this too the sovereigns had
their way, for the confiscations were tacitly abandoned to them. Nothing
was said as to defraying the expenses of the institution, but this was
inferred by the absorption of the confiscations. If it was to be
dependent on the crown the crown must provide for it, and we shall see
hereafter the various devices by which a portion of the burden was
subsequently thrown upon the Church.


The bull as finally issued bears date November 1, 1478, and is a very
simple affair which, on its face, bears no signs of its momentous
influence in moulding the destinies of the Spanish Peninsula. After
reciting the existence in Spain of false Christians and the request of
Ferdinand and Isabella that the pope should provide a remedy, it
authorizes them to appoint three bishops or other suitable men, priests
either regular or secular, over forty years of age, masters or bachelors
in theology or doctors or licentiates of canon law, and to remove and
replace them at pleasure. These are to have the jurisdiction and
faculties of bishops and inquisitors over heretics, their fautors and
receivers.[452] Subsequently Sixtus pronounced the bull to have been
drawn inconsiderately and not in accordance with received practice and
the decrees of his predecessors, which doubtless referred to the power
of appointment and removal lodged in the crown and also to the omission
of the requirement of episcopal concurrence in rendering judgment.[453]
The creation of inquisitors was in itself an invasion of episcopal
jurisdiction, which, from the earliest history of the institution, had
been the source of frequent trouble, and where, as in Spain, many
bishops were of Jewish blood and therefore under suspicion, the question
was more intricate than elsewhere. With respect to this, moreover, it is
observable that the bull did not confer, like that of Nicholas V, in
1451, jurisdiction over bishops in any special derogation of the decree
of Boniface VIII requiring them, when suspected of heresy, to be tried
by the pope.[454] Both of these questions, as we shall see,
subsequently gave rise to considerable discussion.

So far the anti-Semitic party had triumphed, but Isabella's hesitation
to exercise the powers thus obtained shows that the Conversos in her
court did not abandon the struggle and that for nearly two years they
succeeded in keeping the balance even. It is possible also that
Ferdinand was not inclined to a severity of which he could forecast the
economical disadvantages, for as late as January, 1482, a letter from
him to the inquisitors of his kingdom of Valencia manifests a marked
preference for the use of mild and merciful methods.[455] Whatever may
have been the influences at work, it was not until September 17, 1480,
that the momentous step was taken which was to exercise so sinister an
influence on the destinies of Spain. On that day commissions were issued
to two Dominicans, Miguel de Morillo, master of theology, and Juan de
San Martin, bachelor of theology and friar of San Pablo in Seville, who
were emphatically told that any dereliction of duty would entail their
removal, with forfeiture of all their temporalities and
denationalization in the kingdom, thus impressing upon them their
subordination to the crown. Still there were delays. October 9th a royal
order commanded all officials to give them free transportation and
provisions on their way to Seville, where, as in the most infected spot,
operations were to commence. When they reached the city they waited on
the chapter and presented their credentials; the municipal council met
them at the chapter-house door and escorted them to the city hall, where
a formal reception took place and a solemn procession was organized for
the following Sunday. They were thus fairly installed but apparently
they still found difficulties thrown in their way for, on December 27,
it was deemed necessary to issue a royal cédula to the officials
ordering them to render all aid to the inquisitors.[456]


They had not waited for this to organize their tribunal, with Doctor
Juan Ruiz de Medina as assessor and Juan Lopez del Barco, a chaplain of
the queen, as promotor fiscal or prosecuting officer. To these were
added, May 13, 1481, Diego de Merlo, assistente or corregidor of
Seville, and the Licentiate Ferrand Yáñez de Lobon as receivers of
confiscations--an indispensable office in view of the profits of
persecution. All soon found plenty of work. The Conversos of Seville had
not been unmindful of the coming tempest. Many of them had fled to the
lands of the neighboring nobles, in the expectation that feudal
jurisdictions would protect them, even against a spiritual court such as
that of the Inquisition. To prevent this change of domicile a royal
decree ordered that no one should leave any place where inquisitors were
holding their tribunal, but in the general terror this arbitrary command
received scant obedience. A more efficient step was a proclamation
addressed, on January 2, 1481, to the Marquis of Cadiz and other nobles
by the frailes Miguel and Juan. This proved that no error had been made
in the selection of those who were to lay the foundations of the
Inquisition and that a new era had opened for Spain. The two simple
friars spoke with an assured audacity to grandees who had been wont to
treat with their sovereigns on almost equal terms--an audacity which
must have appeared incredible to those to whom it was addressed, but to
which Spain in time became accustomed from the Holy Office. The great
Rodrigo Ponce de Leon and all other nobles were commanded to search
their territories, to seize all strangers and newcomers and to deliver
them within fifteen days at the prison of the Inquisition; to
sequestrate their property and confide it, properly inventoried, to
trustworthy persons who should account for it to the king or to the
inquisitors. In vigorous language they were told that any failure in
obeying these orders would bring upon them excommunication removable
only by the inquisitors or their superiors, with forfeiture of rank and
possessions and the release of their vassals from allegiance and from
all payments due--a release which the inquisitors assumed to grant in
advance, adding that they would prosecute them as fautors, receivers and
defenders of heretics.[457] This portentous utterance was effective: the
number of prisoners was speedily so great that the convent of San Pablo,
which the inquisitors at first occupied, became insufficient and they
obtained permission to establish themselves in the great fortress of
Triana, the stronghold of Seville, of which the immense size and the
gloomy dungeons rendered it appropriate for the work in hand.[458]

[Sidenote: _THE FIRST AUTO DE FE_]

There were other Conversos, however, who imagined that resistance was
preferable to flight. Diego de Susan, one of the leading citizens of
Seville, whose wealth was estimated at ten millions of maravedís,
assembled some of his prominent brethren of Seville, Utrera and Carmona
to deliberate as to their action. The meeting was held in the church of
San Salvador and comprised ecclesiastics of high rank, magistrates and
officials belonging to the threatened class. Civic tumults had been so
customary a resource, when any object was to be gained, that Susan
naturally suggested, in a fiery speech, that they should recruit
faithful men, collect a store of arms, and that the first arrest by the
inquisitors should be the signal of a rising in which the inquisitors
should be slain and thus an emphatic warning be given to deter others
from renewing the attempt. In spite of some faint-heartedness manifested
by one or two of those present, the plan was adopted and steps were
taken to carry it out. When Pedro Fernández Venedera, mayordomo of the
cathedral, one of the conspirators, was arrested, weapons to arm a
hundred men were found in his house, showing how active were the
preparations on foot. The plot would doubtless have been executed and
have led to a massacre, such as we have so often seen in the Spanish
cities, but for a daughter of Diego Susan, whose loveliness had won for
her the name of the _Fermosa Fembra_. She was involved in an intrigue
with a Christian caballero, to whom she revealed the secret and it was
speedily conveyed to the inquisitors.[459]

Nothing could better have suited their purpose. If there had been any
feeling of opposition to them on the part of the authorities it
disappeared and the most important members of the Converso community
were in their power. Diego de Merlo, the assistente of Seville, arrested
at the bidding of the inquisitors the richest and most honorable
Conversos, magistrates and dignitaries, who were confined in San Pablo
and thence transferred to the castle of Triana. The trials were prompt
and at the rendering of sentence a _consulta de fe_ or assembly of
experts was convoked, consisting of lawyers and the provisor of the
bishopric, thus recognizing the necessity of concurrent action on the
part of the episcopal jurisdiction. What justified the sentence of
burning it would be difficult to say. It was not obstinate heresy for
one at least of the victims is stated to have died as a good Christian;
it could not have been the plot, for this, in so far as it was an
ecclesiastical offence, was merely impeding the Inquisition, and even
the assassins of St. Peter Martyr, when they professed repentance, were
admitted to penance. It was a new departure, in disregard of all the
canons, and it gave warning that the New Inquisition of Spain was not to
follow in the footsteps of the Old, but was to mark out for itself a yet
bloodier and more terrible career.[460]

Justice was prompt and the first auto de fe was celebrated February 6,
1481, when six men and women were burnt and the sermon was preached by
Fray Alonso de Hojeda, who now saw the efforts of so many years crowned
with success. He might well say _nunc demittis_, for though a second
auto followed in a few days his eyes were not to rejoice at the holy
spectacle, for the pestilence which was to carry off fifteen thousand of
the people of Seville was now commencing and he was one of the earliest
victims. In the second auto there were only three burnings, Diego de
Susan, Manuel Sauli and Bartolomé de Torralba, three of the wealthiest
and most important citizens of Seville. As though to show that the work
thus begun was to be an enduring one, a _quemadero_, _brasero_, or
burning-place was constructed in the Campo de Tablada, so massively that
its foundations can still be traced. On four pillars at the corners were
erected statues of the prophets in plaster-of-Paris, apparently to
indicate that, although technically the burning was the work of secular
justice, it was performed at the command of religion.[461]

[Sidenote: _THE TERM OF GRACE_]

Further arrests and burnings promptly followed, the wealth and
prominence of the victims proving that here was a tribunal which was no
respecter of persons and that money or favor could avail nothing against
its rigid fanaticism. The flight of the terror-stricken Conversos was
stimulated afresh, but the Inquisition was not thus to be balked of its
prey; flight was forbidden and guards were placed at the gates, where so
many were arrested that no place of confinement sufficiently capacious
for them could be found, yet notwithstanding this great numbers escaped
to the lands of the nobles, to Portugal and to the Moors. The plague now
began to rage with violence, God and man seemed to be uniting for the
destruction of the unhappy Conversos, and they petitioned Diego de Merlo
to allow them to save their lives by leaving the pest-ridden city. The
request was humanely granted to those who could procure passes, on
condition that they should leave their property behind and only take
with them what was necessary for immediate use. Under these regulations
multitudes departed, more than eight thousand finding refuge at
Mairena, Marchena and Palacios. The Marquis of Cadiz, the Duke of Medina
Sidonia and other nobles received them hospitably, but many kept on to
Portugal or to the Moors and some, we are told, even found refuge in
Rome. The inquisitors themselves were obliged to abandon the city, but
their zeal allowed of no respite; they removed their tribunal to
Aracena, where they found ample work to do, burning there twenty-three
men and women, besides the corpses and bones of numerous deceased
heretics, exhumed for the purpose. When the pestilence diminished they
returned to Seville and resumed their work there with unrelaxing
ardor.[462] According to a contemporary, by the fourth of November they
had burnt two hundred and ninety-eight persons and had condemned
seventy-nine to perpetual prison.[463]

As novices, it would seem that the zeal of the inquisitors had plunged
them into the business of arresting and trying suspects without
resorting to the preliminary device, which had been found useful in the
earliest operations of the Holy Office--the Term of Grace. This was a
period, longer or shorter according to the discretion of the
inquisitors, during which those who felt themselves guilty could come
forward and confess, when they would be reconciled to the Church and
subjected to penance, pecuniary and otherwise, severe enough, but
preferable to the stake. One of the conditions was that of stating all
that they knew of other heretics and apostates, which proved an
exceedingly fruitful source of information as, under the general terror,
there was little hesitation in denouncing not only friends and
acquaintances, but the nearest and dearest kindred--parents and children
and brothers and sisters. No better means of detecting the hidden
ramifications of Judaism could be devised and, towards the middle of the
year 1481, the inquisitors adopted it.[464] The mercy thus promised was
scanty, as we shall see hereafter when we come to consider the subject,
but it brought in vast numbers and autos de fe were organized in which
they were paraded as penitents, no less than fifteen hundred being
exhibited in one of these solemnities. It can readily be conceived how
soon the inquisitors were in possession of information inculpating
Conversos in every corner of the land. It was freely asserted that they
were all in reality Jews, who were waiting for God to lead them out of
the worse than Egyptian bondage in which they were held by the
Christians.[465] Thus was demonstrated not only the necessity of the
Inquisition but of its extension throughout Spain. The evil was too
great and its immediate repression too important for the work to be
entrusted to the two friars laboring so zealously in Seville. Permission
had been obtained only for the appointment of three and application was
made to Sixtus IV for additional powers. On this occasion he did not as
before allow the commissions to be granted in the name of the sovereigns
but issued them direct to those nominated to him by them, whereby the
inquisitors held their faculties immediately from the Holy See. Thus by
a brief of February 11, 1482, he commissioned seven--Pedro Ocaño, Pedro
Martínez de Barrio, Alfonso de San Cebriano, Rodrigo Segarra, Thomás de
Torquemada and Bernardo Santa María, all Dominicans.[466] Still more
were required, of whose appointments we have no definite knowledge, to
man the tribunals which were speedily formed at Ciudad-Real, Córdova,
Jaen, and possibly at Segovia.[466a]


The one at Ciudad-Real was intended for the great archiepiscopal
province of Toledo, to which city it was transferred in 1485. The reason
why it was first established at the former place may perhaps be that the
warlike Archbishop Alonso Carrillo, whether through zeal for the faith
or in order to assert his episcopal jurisdiction over heresy and prevent
the intrusion of the papal inquisitors, had appointed before his death,
July 1, 1482, a certain Doctor Thomás as inquisitor in Toledo. To what
extent the latter performed his functions we have no means of knowing,
the only trace of his activity being the production and incorporation,
in the records of subsequent trials by the Inquisition of Ciudad-Real,
of evidence taken by him.[467] Be this as it may the Inquisition of
Ciudad-Real was not organized until the latter half of 1483. It
commenced by issuing an Edict of Grace for thirty days, at the
expiration of which it extended the time for another thirty days.
Meanwhile it was busily employed, throughout October and November, in
making a general inquest and taking testimony from all who would come
forward to give evidence. In the resultant trials the names of some of
the witnesses appear with suspicious frequency and the nature of their
reckless general assertions, without personal knowledge, shows how
flimsy was much of the evidence on which prosecutions were based. That
the inquest was thorough and that every one who knew anything damaging
to a Converso was brought up to state it may be assumed from the trial
of Sancho de Ciudad in which the evidence of no less than thirty-four
witnesses was recorded, some of them testifying to incidents happening
twenty years previous. Much of this moreover indicates the careless
security in which the Conversos had lived and allowed their Jewish
practices to be known to Christian servants and acquaintances with whom
they were in constant intercourse. The first public manifestation of
results seems to have been an auto de fe held November 16th, in the
church of San Pedro, for the reconciliation of penitents who had come
forward during the Term of Grace.[468] Soon after this the trials of
those implicated commenced and were prosecuted with such vigor that, on
February 6, 1484, an auto de fe was held in which four persons were
burnt, followed on the 23d and 24th of the same month by an imposing
solemnity involving the concremation of thirty living men and women and
the bones and effigies of forty who were dead or fugitives.[469] In its
two years of existence the tribunal of Ciudad-Real burnt fifty-two
obstinate heretics, condemned two hundred and twenty fugitives and
reconciled one hundred and eighty-three penitents.[470]

In 1485 the tribunal of Ciudad-Real was transferred to the city of
Toledo where the Conversos were very numerous and wealthy. They
organized a plot to raise a tumult and despatch the inquisitors during
the procession of Corpus Christi (June 2d) but, as in the case of
Seville, it was betrayed and six of the conspirators were hanged, after
which we hear of no further trouble there. Those who were first arrested
confessed that the design extended to seizing the city gates and
cathedral tower and holding the place against the sovereigns.[471]


The inquisitor, Pedro Díaz, had preached the first sermon on May 24th,
and, after the defeat of the conspiracy, the tribunal entered vigorously
on its functions. The customary Term of Grace of forty days was
proclaimed and after some delay we are told that many applied for
reconciliation rather through fear of concremation than through good
will. After the expiration of the forty days, letters of excommunication
were published against all cognizant of heresy who should not denounce
it within sixty days--a term subsequently extended by thirty more.
Another very effectual expedient was adopted by summoning the Jewish
rabbis and requiring them, under penalty of life and property, to place
a major excommunication on their synagogues and not remove it until all
the members should have revealed everything within their knowledge
respecting Judaizing Christians. This was only perfecting a device that
had already been employed elsewhere. In 1484, by a cédula of December
10th, Ferdinand had ordered the magistrates of all the principal towns
in Aragon to compel, by all methods recognized in law, the rabbis and
sacristans of the synagogues and such other Jews as might be named, to
tell the truth as to all that might be asked of them, and in Seville we
are told that a prominent Jew, Judah Ibn-Verga, expatriated himself to
avoid compliance with a similar demand. The quality of the evidence
obtained by such means may be estimated from the fact that when, in the
assembly of Valladolid, in 1488, Ferdinand and Isabella investigated the
affairs of the Inquisition, it was found that many Jews testified
falsely against Conversos in order to encompass their ruin, for which
some of those against which this was proved were lapidated in Toledo.
Whether true or false, the Toledan Inquisition reaped by these methods a
plentiful harvest of important revelations. It is easy, in fact, to
imagine the terror pervading the Converso community and the eagerness
with which the unfortunates would come forward to denounce themselves
and their kindred and friends, especially when, after the expiration of
the ninety days, arrests began and quickly followed each other.[472]

The penitents were allowed to accumulate and at the first auto de fe,
held February 12, 1486, only those of seven parishes--San Vicente, San
Nicolás, San Juan de la leche, Santa Yusta, San Miguel, San Yuste, and
San Lorenzo--were summoned to appear. These amounted to seven hundred
and fifty of both sexes, comprising many of the principal citizens and
persons of quality. The ceremony was painful and humiliating. Bareheaded
and barefooted, except that, in consideration of the intense cold, they
were allowed to wear soles, carrying unlighted candles and surrounded by
a howling mob which had gathered from all the country around, they were
marched in procession through the city to the cathedral, at the portal
of which stood two priests who marked them on the forehead as they
entered with the sign of the cross, saying "Receive the sign of the
cross which you have denied and lost." When inside they were called one
by one before the inquisitors while a statement of their misdeeds was
read. They were fined in one-fifth of all their property for the war
with the Moors; they were subjected to lifelong incapacity to hold
office or to pursue honorable avocations or to wear other than the
coarsest vestments unadorned, under pain of burning for relapse, and
they were required to march in procession on six Fridays, bareheaded and
barefooted, disciplining themselves with hempen cords.[473] The loving
mother Church could not welcome back to her bosom her erring children
without a sharp and wholesome warning, nor did she relax her vigilance,
for this perilous process of confession and reconciliation was so
devised as to furnish many subsequent victims to the stake, as we shall
see hereafter.

The second auto was held on April 2, 1486, where nine hundred penitents
appeared from the parishes of San Roman, San Salvador, San Cristóval,
San Zoil, Sant Andrés and San Pedro. The third auto, on June 11th,
consisted of some seven hundred and fifty from Santa Olalla, San Tomás,
San Martin and Sant Antolin. The city being thus disposed of, the
various archidiaconates of the district were taken in order. That of
Toledo furnished nine hundred penitents on December 10th, when we are
told that they suffered greatly from the cold. On January 15, 1487,
there were about seven hundred from the archidiaconate of Alcaraz and on
March 10th, from those of Talavera, Madrid and Guadalajara about twelve
hundred, some of whom were condemned in addition to wear the sanbenito
for life. While the more or less voluntary penitents were thus treated
there were numerous autos de fe celebrated of a more serious character
in which there were a good many burnings, including not a few _frailes_
and ecclesiastical dignitaries, as well as cases of fugitives and of the
dead, who were burned in effigy and their estates confiscated.[474]


In 1485 a temporary tribunal was set up at Guadalupe, where Ferdinand
and Isabella appointed as inquisitor (under what papal authority does
not appear) Fray Nuño de Arevalo, prior of the Geronimite convent there.
Apparently to guide his inexperience Doctor Francisco de la Fuente was
transferred from Ciudad-Real and, with another colleague, the Licentiate
Pedro Sánchez de la Calancha, they purified the place of heresy with so
much vigor that, within a year, they held in the cemetery before the
doors of the monastery seven autos de fe in which were burnt a heretic
monk, fifty-two Judaizers, forty-eight dead bodies and twenty-five
effigies of fugitives, while sixteen were condemned to perpetual
imprisonment and innumerable others were sent to the galleys or penanced
with the _sanbenito_ for life. These energetic proceedings do not appear
to have made good Christians of those who were spared for, July 13,
1500, Inquisitor-general Deza ordered all the Conversos of Guadalupe to
leave the district and not to return.[475] The same year, 1485, saw a
tribunal assigned to Valladolid, but it must have met with effective
resistance, for in September, 1488, Ferdinand and Isabella were obliged
to visit the city in order to get it into working condition; it
forthwith commenced operations by arresting some prominent citizens and
on June 19, 1489, the first auto de fe was held in which eighteen
persons were burnt alive and the bones of four dead heretics.[476]
Still, the existence of this tribunal would seem to have long remained
uncertain for, as late as December 24, 1498, we find Isabella writing to
a new appointee that she and the inquisitor-general have agreed that the
Inquisition must be placed there and ordering him to prepare to
undertake it, and then on January 22, 1501, telling Inquisitor-general
Deza that she approves of its lodgement in the house of Diego de la
Baeza, where it is to remain for the present; she adds that she and
Ferdinand have written to the Count of Cabra to see that for the future
the inquisitors are well treated.[477] Permanent tribunals were also
established in Llerena and Murcia, of the early records of all of which
we know little. In 1490 a temporary one was organized in Avila by
Torquemada, apparently for the purpose of trying those accused of the
murder of the Santo Niño de la Guardia; it continued active until 1500
and during these ten years there were hung in the church the _insignias
y mantetas_ of seventy-five victims burnt alive, of twenty-six dead and
of one fugitive, besides the sanbenitos of seventy-one reconciled

The various provinces of Castile thus became provided with the machinery
requisite for the extermination of heresy, and at an early period in its
development it was seen that, for the enormous work before it, some more
compact and centralized organization was desirable than had hitherto
been devised. The Inquisition which had been so effective in the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was scattered over Europe; its
judges were appointed by the Dominican or Franciscan provincials, using
a course of procedure and obeying instructions which emanated from the
Holy See. The papacy was the only link between them; the individual
inquisitors were to a great extent independent; they were not subjected
to visitation or inspection and it was, if not impossible, a matter of
difficulty to call them to account for the manner in which they might
discharge their functions. Such was not the conception of Ferdinand and
Isabella who intended the Spanish Inquisition to be a national
institution, strongly organized and owing obedience to the crown much
more than to the Holy See. The measures which they adopted with this
object were conceived with their customary sagacity, and were carried
out with their usual vigor and success.

[Sidenote: _ORGANIZATION_]

At this period they were earnestly engaged in reorganizing the
institutions of Castile, centralizing the administration and reducing to
order the chaos resulting from the virtual anarchy of the preceding
reigns. In effecting this they apportioned, in 1480, with the consent of
the Córtes of Toledo, the affairs of government among four royal
councils, that of administration and justice, known as the Concejo Real
de Castella, that of Finance, or Concejo de Hacienda, the Concejo de
Estado and the Concejo de Aragon, to which was added a special one for
the Hermandades.[479] These met daily in the palace for the despatch of
business and their effect in making the royal power felt in every
quarter of the land and in giving vigor and unity to the management of
the state soon proved the practical value of the device. The Inquisition
was fast looming up as an affair of state of the first importance, while
yet it could scarce be regarded as falling within the scope of either of
the four councils; the sovereigns were too jealous of papal interference
to allow it to drift aimlessly, subject to directions from Rome, and
their uniform policy required that it should be kept as much as possible
under the royal superintendence. That a fifth council should be created
for the purpose was a natural expedient, for which the assent of Sixtus
IV was readily obtained, when it was organized in 1483 under the name of
the _Concejo de la Suprema y General Inquisicion_--a title conveniently
abbreviated to _la Suprema_--with jurisdiction over all matters
connected with the faith. To secure due subordination and discipline
over the whole body it was requisite that the president of this council
should have full control of appointment and dismissal of the individual
inquisitors who, as exercising power delegated directly from the pope,
might otherwise regard with contempt the authority of one who was also
merely a delegate. It thus became necessary to create a new office,
unknown to the older Inquisition--an inquisitor-general who should
preside over the deliberations of the council. The office evidently was
one which would be of immense weight and the future of the institution
depended greatly on the character of its first chief. By the advice of
the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, Pero González de Mendoza, the royal
choice fell on Thomas de Torqemada, the confessor of the sovereigns, who
was one of the seven inquisitors commissioned by the papal letter of
February 11, 1482. The other members of the council were Alonso
Carrillo, Bishop of Mazara (Sicily) and two doctors of laws, Sancho
Velasco de Cuellar and Ponce de Valencia.[480] The exact date of
Torquemada's appointment is not known, as the papal brief conferring it
has not been found, but, as Sixtus created him Inquisitor of Aragon,
Catalonia and Valencia by letters of October 17, 1483, his commission as
Inquisitor-general of Castile was somewhat antecedent.[481]

[Sidenote: _TORQUEMADA_]

The selection of Torquemada justified the wisdom of the sovereigns. Full
of pitiless zeal, he developed the nascent institution with unwearied
assiduity. Rigid and unbending, he would listen to no compromise of what
he deemed to be his duty, and in his sphere he personified the union of
the spiritual and temporal swords which was the ideal of all true
churchmen. Under his guidance the Inquisition rapidly took shape and
extended its organization throughout Spain and was untiring and
remorseless in the pursuit and punishment of the apostates. His labors
won him ample praise from successive popes. Already, in 1484, Sixtus IV
wrote to him that Cardinal Borgia had warmly eulogized him for his
success in prosecuting the good work throughout Castile and Leon, adding
"We have heard this with the greatest pleasure and rejoice exceedingly
that you, who are furnished with both doctrine and authority, have
directed your zeal to these matters which contribute to the praise of
God and the utility of the orthodox faith. We commend you in the Lord
and exhort you, cherished son, to persevere with tireless zeal in aiding
and promoting the cause of the faith, by doing which, as we are assured
you will, you will win our special favor." Twelve years later, Cardinal
Borgia, then pope under the name of Alexander VI, assures him in 1496,
that he cherishes him in the very bowels of affection for his immense
labors in the exaltation of the faith.[482] If we cannot wholly
attribute to him the spirit of ruthless fanaticism which animated the
Inquisition, he at least deserves the credit of stimulating and
rendering it efficient in its work by organizing it and by directing it
with dauntless courage against the suspect however high-placed, until
the shadow of the Holy Office covered the land and no one was so hardy
as not to tremble at its name. The temper in which he discharged his
duties and the absolute and irresponsible control which he exercised
over the subordinate tribunals can be fitly estimated from a single
instance. There was a fully organized Inquisition at Medina, with three
inquisitors, an assessor, a fiscal and other officials, assisted by the
Abbot of Medina as Ordinary. They reconciled some culprits and burnt
others, apparently without referring the cases to him, but when they
found reason to acquit some prisoners they deemed it best to transmit
the papers to him for confirmation. He demurred at this mercy and told
the tribunal to try the accused again when the Licentiate Villalpando
should be there as _visitador_. Some months later Villalpando came
there, the cases were reviewed, the prisoners were tortured, two of them
were reconciled and the rest acquitted, the sentences being duly
published as final. Torquemada on learning this was incensed and
declared that he would burn them all. He had them arrested again and
sent to Valladolid, to be tried outside of their district, where his
threat was doubtless carried into effect.[483] When such was the spirit
infused in the organization at the beginning we need not wonder that
verdicts of acquittal are infrequent in the records of its development.
Yet withal Torquemada's zeal could not wholly extinguish worldliness. We
are told, indeed, that he refused the archbishopric of Seville, that he
wore the humble Dominican habit, that he never tasted flesh nor wore
linen in his garments or used it on his bed, and that he refused to give
a marriage-portion to his indigent sister, whom he would only assist to
enter the order of _beatas_ of St. Dominic. Still, his asceticism did
not prevent him from living in palaces surrounded by a princely retinue
of two hundred and fifty armed familiars and fifty horsemen.[484] Nor
was his persecuting career purely disinterested. Though the rule of his
Dominican Order forbade individual ownership of property and, though his
position as supreme judge should have dictated the utmost reserve in
regard to the financial results of persecution, he had no hesitation in
accumulating large sums from the pecuniary penances inflicted by his
subordinates on the heretics who spontaneously returned to the
faith.[485] It is true that the standards of the age were so low that he
made no secret of this and it is also true that he lavished them on the
splendid monastery of St. Thomas Aquinas which he built at Avila, on
enlarging that of Santa Cruz at Segovia of which he was prior and on
various structures in his native town of Torquemada. Yet amid the
ostentation of his expenditure he lived in perpetual fear, and at his
table he always used the horn of a unicorn which was a sovereign
preservative against poison.[486]


As delegated powers were held to expire with the death of the grantor,
unless otherwise expressly defined, Torquemada's commission required
renewal on the decease of Sixtus IV. Ferdinand and Isabella asked that
the new one should not be limited to the life of the pope, but that the
power should continue, not only during Torquemada's life, but until the
appointment of his successor.[487] The request was not granted and, when
Innocent VIII, by a brief of February 3, 1485, recommissioned Torquemada
it was in the ordinary form. This apparently was not satisfactory, but
the pope was not willing thus to lose all control of the Spanish
Inquisition and a compromise seems to have been reached, for when,
February 6, 1486, Torquemada was appointed Inquisitor-general of
Barcelona and his commission for Spain was renewed, on March 24th of the
same year, it was drawn to continue at the good pleasure of the pope and
of the Holy See, which, without abnegating papal control, rendered
renewals unnecessary.[488] This formula was abandoned in the commissions
of Torquemada's immediate successors, but was subsequently resumed and
continued to be employed through the following centuries.[489]

Torquemada's commission of 1485 contained the important power of
appointing and dismissing inquisitors, but the confirmation of 1486 bore
the significant exception that all those appointed by the pope were
exempted from removal by him, indicating that in the interval he had
attempted to exercise the power and that the resistance to it had
enlisted papal support. In fact, at the conference of Seville, held in
1484 by Torquemada, there were present the two inquisitors of each of
four existing tribunals; from Seville we find Juan de San Martin, one of
the original appointees of 1479, but his colleague, Miguel de Morillo,
has disappeared and is replaced by Juan Ruiz de Medina, who had been
merely assessor, while but a single one, Pero Martínez de Barrio, of the
seven commissioned by Sixtus IV in 1482 appears as representing the
other tribunals--the rest are all new men, doubtless appointees of
Torquemada.[490] There was evidently a bitter quarrel on foot between
Torquemada and the original papal nominees, who held that their powers,
delegated directly from the pope, rendered them independent of him, and,
as usual, the Holy See inclined to one side or to the other in the most
exasperating manner, as opposing interests brought influence to bear.
Complaints against Torquemada were sufficiently numerous and serious to
oblige him thrice to send Fray Alonso Valaja to the papal court to
justify him.[491] He seems to have removed Miguel de Morillo, who
vindicated himself in Rome, for a brief of Innocent VIII, February 23,
1487, appoints him inquisitor of Seville, in complete disregard of the
faculties granted to Torquemada. Then a _motu proprio_ of November 26,
1487, suspends both him and Juan de San Martin and commissions
Torquemada to appoint their successors. Again, a brief of January 7,
1488, appoints Juan Inquisitor of Seville, while subsequent briefs of
the same year are addressed to him concerning the business of his office
as though he were discharging its duties independently of Torquemada,
but his death in 1489 removed him from the scene. The quarrel evidently
continued, and at one time Fray Miguel enjoyed a momentary triumph, for
a papal letter of September 26, 1491, commissions him as
Inquisitor-general of Castile and Aragon, thus placing him on an
equality with Torquemada himself.[492] It would be impossible now to
determine what part the sovereigns may have had in these changes and to
what extent the popes disregarded the authority conferred on them of
appointment and removal. There was a constant struggle on the one hand
to render the Spanish Holy Office national and independent, and on the
other to keep it subject to papal control.


Finally the opposition to Torquemada became so strong that Alexander VI,
in 1494, kindly alleging his great age and infirmities, commissioned
Martin Ponce de Leon, Archbishop of Messina, but resident in Spain,
Iñigo Manrique, Bishop of Córdova, Francisco Sánchez de la Fuente,
Bishop of Avila, and Alonso Suárez de Fuentelsaz, Bishop of Mondonego
and successively of Lugo and Jaen, as inquisitors-general with the same
powers as Torquemada; each was independent and could act by himself and
could even terminate cases commenced by another.[493] It is quite
probable that, to spare his feelings, he was allowed to name his
colleagues as delegates of his powers, for in some instructions issued,
in 1494, by Martin of Messina and Francisco of Avila they describe
themselves as inquisitors-general in all the Spanish realms subdelegated
by the Inquisitor-general Torquemada.[494] He evidently still retained
his pre-eminence and was active to the last, for we have letters from
Ferdinand to him in the first half of 1498 concerning the current
affairs of the Inquisition, in which the Bishop of Lugo declined to
interfere with him. The Instructions of Avila, in 1498, were issued in
his name as inquisitor-general, and the assertion that he resigned two
years before his death, September 16, 1498, is evidently incorrect.[495]
In some respects, however, the Bishop of Avila had special functions
which distinguished him from his colleagues, for he was appointed by
Alexander VI, November 4, 1494, judge of appeals in all matters of faith
and March 30, 1495, he received special faculties to degrade
ecclesiastics condemned by the Inquisition, or to appoint other bishops
for that function.[496] So long as they were in orders clerics were
exempt from secular jurisdiction and it was necessary to degrade them
before they could be delivered to the civil authorities for burning.
Under the canons, this had to be done by their own bishops, who were not
always at hand for the purpose, and who apparently, when present,
sometimes refused or delayed to perform the office, which was a serious
impediment to the business of the Inquisition, as many Judaizing
Conversos were found among clerics.

This multiform headship of the Inquisition continued for some years
until the various incumbents successively died or resigned. Iñigo
Manrique was the first to disappear, dying in 1496, and had no
successor. Then, in 1498, followed the Bishop of Avila, who had been
transferred to Córdova in 1496. In the same year, as we have seen,
Torquemada died, and this time the vacancy was filled by the appointment
as his successor of Diego Deza, then Bishop of Jaen (subsequently, in
1500, of Palencia, and in 1505 Archbishop of Seville) who was
commissioned, November 24, 1498, for Castile, Leon and Granada, and on
September 1, 1499, for all the Spanish kingdoms.[497] In 1500 died
Martin Archbishop of Messina--apparently a defaulter, for, on October
26th of the same year, Ferdinand orders his auditor of the confiscations
to pass in the accounts of Luis de Riva Martin, receiver of Cadiz,
18,000 maravedís due by the archbishop for wheat, hay, etc., which he
forgives to the heirs.[498] From this time forward Deza is reckoned as
the sole inquisitor-general and direct successor of Torquemada, but
Fuentelsaz, Bishop of Jaen, remained in office, for, as late as January
13, 1503, an order for the payment of salaries is signed by Deza and
contains the name of the Bishop of Jaen as also inquisitor-general.[499]
He relinquished the position in 1504 and Deza remained as sole chief of
the Inquisition until, in 1507, he was forced to resign as we shall see


At the time of his retirement the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon had
been separated by the death of Isabella, November 26, 1504. Ferdinand's
experience with his son-in-law, Philip I, and his hope of issue from his
marriage in March, 1506, with Germaine de Foix, in which case the
kingdoms would have remained separate, warned him of the danger of
having his ancestral dominions spiritually subordinated to a Castilian
subject. Before Deza's resignation, therefore, he applied to Julius II
to commission Juan Enguera, Bishop of Vich, with the powers for Aragon
which Deza was exercising. Julius seems to have made some difficulty
about this, for a letter of Ferdinand, from Naples, February 6, 1507, to
his ambassador at Rome, Francisco de Rojas, instructs him to explain
that, since he had abandoned the title of King of Castile, the
jurisdiction was separated and it was necessary and convenient that
there should be an Inquisition for each kingdom.[500] He prevailed and
the appointments of Cardinal Ximenes for Castile and of Bishop Enguera
for Aragon were issued respectively on June 6 and 5, 1507.[501] During
the lifetime of Ximenes the Inquisitions remained disunited, but in
1518, after his death, Charles V caused his former tutor, Cardinal
Adrian of Utrecht, Bishop of Tortosa, who in 1516 had been made
Inquisitor-general of Aragon, to be commissioned also for Castile, after
which there was no further division. During the interval Ferdinand had
acquired Navarre and had annexed it to the crown of Castile, so that the
whole of the Peninsula, with the exception of Portugal, was united under
one organization.[502]

       *       *       *       *       *

Among other powers granted to Torquemada was that of modifying the rules
of the Inquisition to adapt them to the requirements of Spain.[503] The
importance of this concession it would be difficult to exaggerate, as it
rendered the institution virtually self-governing. Thus the Spanish
Inquisition acquired a character of its own, distinguishing it from the
moribund tribunals of the period in other lands. The men who fashioned
it knew perfectly what they wanted and in their hands it assumed the
shape in which it dominated the conscience of every man and was an
object of terror to the whole population. In the exercise of this power
Torquemada assembled the inquisitors in Seville, November 29, 1484,
where, in conjunction with his colleagues of the Suprema, a series of
regulations was agreed upon, known as the _Instruciones de Sevilla_, to
which, in December of the same year and in January, 1485, he added
further rules, issued in his own name under the authority of the
sovereigns. In 1488 another assembly was held, under the supervision of
Ferdinand and Isabella, which issued the _Instruciones de
Valladolid_.[504] In 1498 came the _Instruciones de Avila_--the last in
which Torquemada took part--designed principally to check the abuses
which were rapidly developing, and, for the same purpose, a brief
addition was made at Seville in 1500, by Diego Deza. All these became
known in the tribunals as the _Instruciones Antiguas_.[505] As the
institution became thoroughly organized under the control of the
Suprema, consultation with the subordinate inquisitors was no longer
requisite and regulations were promulgated by it in _cartas acordadas_.
It was difficult, however, to keep the inquisitors strictly in line, and
variations of practice sprang up which, in 1561, the Inquisitor-general
Fernando Valdés endeavored to check by issuing the _Instruciones
Nuevas_. Subsequent regulations were required from time to time, forming
a considerable and somewhat intricate body of jurisprudence, which we
shall have to consider hereafter. At present it is sufficient to
indicate how the Inquisition became an autonomous body--an _imperium in
imperio_--framing its own laws and subject only to the rarely-exercised
authority of the Holy See and the more or less hesitating control of the


At the same time all the resources of the State were placed at its
disposal. When an inquisitor came to assume his functions the officials
took an oath to assist him, to exterminate all whom he might designate
as heretics and to observe and compel the observance by all of the
decretals _Ad abolendum_, _Excommunicamus_, _Ut officium Inquisitionis_
and _Ut Inquisitionis negotium_--the papal legislation of the thirteenth
century which made the state wholly subservient to the Holy Office and
rendered incapable of official position any one suspect in the faith or
who favored heretics.[506] Besides this, all the population was
assembled to listen to a sermon by the inquisitor, after which all were
required to swear on the cross and the gospels to help the Holy Office
and not to impede it in any manner or on any pretext.[507]


It is no wonder that, as this portentous institution spread its wings of
terror over the land, all who felt themselves liable to its
animadversion were disposed to seek safety in flight, no matter at what
sacrifice. That numbers succeeded in this is shown by the statistics of
the early autos de fe, in which the living victims are far outnumbered
by the effigies of the absent. Thus in Ciudad-Real, during the first two
years, fifty-two obstinate heretics were burnt and two hundred and
twenty absentees were condemned.[508] In Barcelona, where the
Inquisition was not established until 1487, the first auto de fe,
celebrated January 25, 1488, showed a list of four living victims to
twelve effigies of fugitives; in a subsequent one of May 23d, the
proportions were three to forty-two; in one of February 9, 1489, three
to thirty-nine; in one of March 24, 1490, they were two to one hundred
and fifty-nine, and in another of June 10, 1491, they were three to one
hundred and thirty-nine.[509] If the object had simply been to purify
the land of heresy and apostasy this would have been accomplished as
well by expatriation as by burning or reconciling, but such was not the
policy which governed the sovereigns, and edicts were issued forbidding
all of Jewish lineage from leaving Spain and imposing a fine of five
hundred florins on ship-masters conveying them away.[510] This was not,
as it might seem to us, wanton cruelty, although it was harsh, inasmuch
as it assumed guilt on mere suspicion. To say nothing of the
confiscations, which were defrauded of the portable property carried
away by the fugitives, we must bear in mind that, to the orthodox of the
period, heresy was a positive crime, nay the greatest of crimes,
punishable as such by laws in force for centuries, and the heretic was
to be prevented from escaping its penalties as much as a murderer or a
thief. The royal edicts were supplemented by the Inquisition, and it is
an illustration of the extension of its jurisdiction over all matters,
relating directly or indirectly to the faith, that, November 8, 1499,
the Archbishop Martin of Messina issued an order, which was published
throughout the realm and was confirmed by Diego Deza, January 15, 1502,
to the effect that no ship-captain or merchant should transport across
seas any New Christian, whether Jewish or Moorish, without a royal
license, under pain of confiscation, of excommunication and of being
held as a fautor and protector of heretics. To render this effective two
days later Archbishop Martin ordered that suitable persons should be
sent to all the sea-ports to arrest all New Christians desiring to cross
the sea and bring them to the Inquisition so that justice should be done
to them, all expenses being defrayed out of the confiscations.[511]
These provisions were not allowed to be a dead-letter, though we are apt
to hear of them rather in cases where, for special reasons, the
penalties were remitted. Thus, July 24, 1499, Ferdinand writes to the
Inquisitors of Barcelona that a ship of Charles de Sant Climent, a
merchant of their city, had brought from Alexandria to Aiguesmortes
certain persons who had fled from Spain. Even this transportation
between foreign ports came within the purview of the law, for Ferdinand
explains that action in this case would be to his disservice, wherefore
if complaint is lodged with them they are to refer it to him or to the
inquisitor-general for instructions. Again, on November 8, 1500, the
king orders the release of the caravel and other property of Diego de la
Mesquita of Seville, which had been seized because he had carried some
New Christians to Naples--the reason for the release being the services
of Diego in the war with Naples and those which he is rendering
elsewhere. A letter from Ferdinand to the King of Portugal, November 7,
1500, recites that recently some New Christians had been arrested in
Milaga, where they were embarking under pretext of going to Rome for the
jubilee. On examination by the Inquisition at Seville they admitted that
they were Jews but said that they had been forced in Portugal to turn
Christians; as this brought them under inquisitorial jurisdiction, the
inquisitors were sending to Portugal for evidence and the king was asked
to protect the envoys and give them facilities for the purpose.[512] The
same determination was manifested to recapture when possible those who
had succeeded in effecting their flight. In 1496 Micer Martin,
inquisitor of Mallorca, heard of some who were in Bugia, a sea-port of
Africa. He forthwith despatched the notary, Lope de Vergara, thither to
seize them, but the misbelieving Moors disregarded his safe-conduct and
threw him and his party into a dungeon where they languished for three
years. He at length was ransomed and, in recompense of his losses and
sufferings, Ferdinand ordered, March 31, 1499, Matheo de Morrano
receiver of Mallorca to pay him two hundred and fifty gold ducats
without requiring of him any itemized statement of his injuries.[513]

       *       *       *       *       *


It shows how strong an impression had already been made by the resolute
character of the sovereigns, and how violent was the antagonism
generally entertained for the Conversos, that so novel and absolute a
tyranny could be imposed on the lately turbulent population of Castile
without resistance, and that so powerful a class as that against which
persecution was directed should have submitted without an effort save
the abortive plots at Seville and Toledo. The indications that have
reached us of opposition to the arbitrary acts of the Inquisition in
making arrests or confiscations are singularly few. In the records of
the town-council of Xeres de la Frontera, under date of August 28, 1482,
there is an entry reciting that there had come to the town a man
carrying a wand and calling himself an alguazil of the Inquisition; he
had seized Gonçalo Caçabé and carried him off without showing his
authority to the local officials, which was characterized as an
atrocious proceeding and the town ought to take steps with the king,
the pope and the Inquisition to have it undone.[514] Doubtless the
summary acts of the Holy Office over-riding all recognized law, created
such feeling in many places as we may gather from a cédula of Ferdinand,
December 15, 1484, forbidding the reception of heretics and ordering
their surrender on demand of the inquisitors, and another of July 8,
1487, commanding that any one bearing orders from the inquisitors of
Toledo is to be allowed to arrest any person, under a penalty of 100,000
maravedís for the rich and confiscation for others,[515] but complaints
were dangerous, for they could be met by threats of punishment for
fautorship of heresy. Still it required considerable time to accustom
the nobles and people to unquestioning submission to a domination so
absolute and so foreign to their experience. As late as the year 1500
there are two royal letters to the Count of Benalcázar reciting that he
had ordered the arrest of a girl of Herrera who had uttered scandals
against the faith; she was in the hands of his alcaide, Gutierre de
Sotomayor, who refused to deliver her when the inquisitor sent for her.
The second letter, after an interval of nineteen days, points out the
gravity of the offence and peremptorily orders the surrender of the
girl. She proved to be a Jewish prophetess whose trial resulted in
bringing to the stake large numbers of her unfortunate disciples. There
is also an anticipation of resistance in a letter, January 12, 1501, to
the Prior of St. John, charging him to see that no impediments are
placed in the way of the receiver of the Inquisition of Jaen in seizing
certain confiscated property at Alcázar de Consuegra.[516] More
indicative of popular repugnance is a letter of October 4, 1502, to the
royal officials of a place not specified, reciting that the people are
endeavoring to have Mosen Salvador Serras, lieutenant of the vicar,
removed because he had spoken well of the Inquisition and had been
charged by the inquisitors with certain duties to perform; they are not
to allow this to be done and are to see that he is not ill-treated.[517]
In 1509 Ferdinand had occasion to remonstrate with the Duke of Alva, in
the case of Alonso de Jaen, a resident of Coria, because, when he was
arrested, an agent of the duke had seized certain cows and sold them
and, when he was condemned and his property confiscated, Alva had
forbidden any one to purchase anything without his permission.
Ferdinand charges him to allow the sale to proceed freely and to account
for the cows, pointing out that he had granted to him a third of the net
proceeds of all confiscations in his estates.[518] This grant of a third
of the confiscations was made to other great nobles and doubtless tended
to reconcile them to the operations of the Inquisition. In this general
acquiescence it is somewhat remarkable that, as late as 1520, when
Charles V ordered Merida to prepare accommodations for a tribunal, the
city remonstrated; everything there was quiet and peaceable, it said,
and it feared a tumult if the Holy Office was established there, while
if merely a visit was made for an inquest it would lend willing aid.
Cardinal Adrian hearkened to the warning in Charles's absence and in a
letter of November 27, 1520, ordered his inquisitors to settle somewhere


At the same time it was inevitable that power so irresponsible would be
frequently and greatly abused, and it is interesting to observe that,
when no resistance was made, Ferdinand was, as a general rule, prompt to
intervene in favor of the oppressed. Thus January 28, 1498, he writes to
the inquisitors-general that recently some officials of the Inquisition
of Valencia went to the barony of Serra to arrest some women who wore
Moorish dress and, as they were not recognized, they were resisted by
the Moors, whereupon the inquisitors proceeded to seize all the Moors of
Serra who chanced to come to Valencia, so that the place was becoming
depopulated. He therefore orders the inquisitors-general to intimate to
their subordinates that they must find some other method whereby the
innocent shall not suffer for the fault of individuals and, not content
with this, he wrote directly to the Inquisitor of Valencia, instructing
him to proceed with much moderation. In another case where opposition
had been provoked he writes, January 18, 1499, "We have your letter and
are much displeased with the maltreatment which you report of the
inquisitor and his officials. It will be attended to duly. But often you
yourselves are the cause of it, for if each of you would attend to his
duties quietly and carefully and injure no one you would be held in good
esteem. Look to this in the future, for it will displease us much if you
do what you ought not, with little foundation." At the same time he
charges the inquisitor not to make arrests without good cause, "for in
such things, besides the charge on your conscience, the Holy Office is
much defamed and its officials despised." So in a letter of August 15,
1500, to the inquisitors of Saragossa, he tells them that he has
received a copy of an edict which they had issued at Calatayud; it is so
sharp that if it is enforced no one can be safe; they must consider such
things carefully or consult him; in the present case they will obey the
instructions sent by the inquisitors-general and must always bear in
mind that the only object of the Inquisition is the salvation of souls.
Again, when the inquisitors of Barcelona imperiously placed the town of
Perpiñan under interdict, in a quarrel arising out of a censal or
ground-rent on Carcella, Ferdinand writes to them, March 5, 1501, that
the town is poor and must be gently treated, especially as it is on the
frontier, and he sends a special envoy to arrange the matter.[520] The
wearing delays, which were one of the most terrible engines of
oppression by the Inquisition, were especially distasteful to him.
January 28, 1498, he writes to an inquisitor about the case of Anton
Rúiz of Teruel, who had been imprisoned for five months without trial
for some remarks made by him to another person about the confiscation of
the property of Jaime de Santangel, though application had been made
repeatedly to have the case despatched. Ferdinand orders that it be
considered at once; the prisoner is either to be discharged on bail or
proper punishment is to be inflicted. So, January 16, 1501, he reminds
inquisitors that he has written to them several times to conclude the
case between the heirs of Mossen Perea and the sons of Anton Rúiz and
deliver sentence; the case has been concluded for some time but the
sentence is withheld; it must be rendered at once or the case must be
either delegated to a competent person or be sent to the Suprema. At the
same time, whenever there was the semblance of opposition to an
injustice, on the part of the secular authorities, he was prompt to
repress it. The action of the Inquisition of Valencia, in confiscating
the property of a certain Valenzuola, excited so much feeling that the
governor, the auditor-general, the royal council and the jurados met to
protest against it and in so doing said some things unpleasing to the
inquisitors, who thereupon complained to Ferdinand. He wrote to the
offenders, March 21, 1499, rebuking them severely; it was none of their
business; if the inquisitors committed an injustice the appeal lay to
the inquisitor-general, who would rectify it; their duty was to aid the
Inquisition and he ordered them to do so in future and not to create
scandal.[521] He was more considerate when the frontier town of Perpiñan
was concerned, for in 1513, when the deputy receiver of confiscations
provoked antagonism by the vigor of his proceedings and the consuls
complained that he had publicly insulted Franco Maler, one of their
number, Ferdinand ordered the inquisitor of Barcelona to investigate the
matter at once and to inflict due punishment.[522]

His whole correspondence shows the untiring interest which he felt in
the institution, not merely as a financial or political instrument, but
as a means of defending and advancing the faith. He was sincerely
bigoted and, when he had witnessed an auto de fe in Valladolid, he
wrote, September 30, 1509, to the inquisitor Juan Alonso de Navia to
express the great pleasure which it had given him as a means of
advancing the honor and glory of God and the exaltation of the Holy
Catholic faith.[523] Inquisitors were in the habit of sending him
reports of the autos celebrated by them, to which he would reply in
terms of high satisfaction, urging them to increased zeal. On one
occasion, in 1512, and on another in 1513, he was so much pleased that
he made a present to the inquisitor of two hundred ducats and ordered
fifteen ducats to be given to the messenger.[524]

       *       *       *       *       *

A quarter of a century elapsed before there was, in the Castilian
kingdoms, any serious resistance to the Inquisition. The trouble which
then occurred was provoked by the excesses of an inquisitor named Lucero
at Córdova, which were brought to light only by the relaxation of
Ferdinand's stern rule during the brief reign of Philip of Austria and
the subsequent interregnum. As this affords us the only opportunity of
obtaining an inside view of what was possible, under the usually
impenetrable mantle of secrecy characteristic of inquisitorial
procedure, it is worthy of investigation in some detail.

Córdova was somewhat unfortunate in its inquisitors; whether more or
less so than other communities it would now be impossible to say.
Lucero's predecessor was Doctor Guiral, Dean of Guadix, who was
transferred from there to Avila, in 1499. Falling under suspicion for
irregularities, a papal brief was procured commissioning the Archbishop
of Toledo to investigate him--and it is noteworthy that, although the
inquisitor-general had full power of appointment, punishment and
dismissal, papal intervention was deemed necessary in this case. The
result showed the ample opportunities offered by the position for
irregular gains and for oppression and injustice. He had received
150,000 maravedís by selling to penitents exemptions from wearing the
sanbenito, or penitential garment. A large amount was secured in various
ways from the receiver of confiscations, who was evidently an accomplice
and who, of course, received his share of the spoils. Pilfering from
sequestrated property yielded something, including ninety-three pearls
of great value. Through his servants he gathered rewards or percentages
offered, as we shall see, for discovering concealed confiscated
property. He pocketed the fines which he imposed on reconciled penitents
and was therefore interested in aggravating them. He negotiated for the
Conversos of Córdova an agreement under which they compounded with
2,200,000 maravedís for confiscations to which they might become liable,
and for this he received from them nearly 100,000, to which he added
50,000 by enabling two of the contributors to cheat their fellows by
escaping payment of their assessments to the common fund. When
transferred to Avila his field of operations was less productive, but he
made what he could by extorting money from the kindred of his prisoners,
and he did not disdain to take ten ducats and an ass from an official of
the prison for some offence committed. As the royal fisc suffered from
his practices he was arrested and tried, but, unfortunately, the
documents at hand do not inform us as to the result.[525]


His successor at Córdova, Diego Rodríguez Lucero, was a criminal of
larger views and bolder type, who presents himself to us as the
incarnation of the evils resultant from the virtually irresponsible
powers lodged in the tribunals. Our first glimpse of him is in 1495,
when he figures as inquisitor of Xeres and the recipient from Ferdinand
and Isabella of a canonry in Cadiz.[526] This shows that he had already
gained the favor of the sovereigns, which increased after his promotion
to Córdova, September 7, 1499, where, by the methods which we shall
presently see, his discoveries of apostate Judaizers were very
impressive. A royal letter of December 11, 1500, cordially thanked him
for the ample details of a recent despatch relating how he was every day
unearthing new heretics; he was urged to spare no effort for their
punishment, especially of those who had relapsed, and to report at once
everything that he did. His zeal scarce required this stimulation and
his lawless methods are indicated by a letter of February 12, 1501, of
Ferdinand and Isabella to their son-in-law Manoel of Portugal,
expatiating on the numerous heretics recently discovered in Córdova, of
whom two heresiarchs, Alfonso Fernández Herrero and Fernando de Córdova
had escaped to Portugal, whither Lucero had despatched his alguazil to
bring them back without waiting to obtain royal letters. This was an
unwarrantable act and, when the alguazil seized the fugitives, Manoel
refused license to extradite them until he should have an opportunity of
seeing the evidence against them. Ferdinand and Isabella declare that
this would be a grievous impediment to the Holy Office and disservice to
God and they affectionately entreat Manoel to surrender the accused for
the honor of God and also to protect from maltreatment the officials who
had aided in their capture.[527]

We may not uncharitably assume that a portion, at least, of the favor
shown to Lucero may have been due to the pecuniary results of his
activity. By this time the confiscations, which at first had contributed
largely to the royal treasury, were considerably diminished and at some
places were scarce defraying the expenses of the tribunals. To this
Córdova was now an exception; that its productiveness was rapidly
growing is manifest from a letter of Ferdinand, March 12, 1501, to the
receiver, Andrés de Medina, stating that he learns that there is much to
be done and authorizing the appointment of two assistants at salaries of
10,000 maravedís and, on January 12 and 13, 1503, orders were drawn on
Córdova for 500,000 maravedís to defray inquisitorial salaries
elsewhere. On the same date we have another illustration of Lucero's
activity in the sudden arrest of four of the official public scriveners.
As they were the depositaries of the papers of their clients, the
sequestration of all their effects produced enormous complications, to
relieve which Ferdinand ordered all private documents to be sorted out
and put in the hands of another scrivener, Luis de Mesa. This shows how
the operations of the Inquisition might at any moment affect the
interests of any man and it illustrates another of the profits of
persecution for, when these delinquents should be burnt or disabled from
holding public office, there would be four vacancies to be eagerly
contended for by those who had money or favor for their


As early as 1501 there is evidence of hostility between Lucero and the
Córdovan authorities. When the receiver of confiscations, accompanied by
Diego de Barrionuevo, scrivener of sequestrations, was holding a public
auction of confiscated property, the alguazil mayor of the city, Gonzalo
de Mayorga, ordered the town-crier, Juan Sánchez, who was crying the
auction, to come with him in order to make certain proclamations. The
scrivener interposed and refused to let Sánchez go; hot words passed in
which Mayorga insulted the Inquisition and finally struck the scrivener
with his wand of office, after which the alcalde mayor of the city,
Diego Rúiz de Zarate, carried him off to prison. The inviolability of
the officials of the Inquisition was vindicated by a royal sentence of
September 6th, in which Mayorga, in addition to the arbitrary penance
to be imposed on him by Lucero, was deprived of his office for life, was
disabled from filling any public position whatever, and was banished
perpetually from Córdova and its district, which he was to leave within
eight days after notification. Zarate was more mercifully treated and
escaped with six months' suspension from office.[529] This severity to
civic officials of high position was a warning to all men that Lucero
was not to be trifled with.

The unwavering support that he received from Ferdinand is largely
explicable by the complicity of Juan Róiz de Calcena, a corrupt and
mercenary official whom we shall frequently meet hereafter. He was
Ferdinand's secretary in inquisitorial affairs, conducting all his
correspondence in such matters, and was also secretary to the Suprema,
and thus was able in great degree to control his master's action,
rendering his participation in the villainies on foot essential to their
success. How these were worked is displayed in a single case which
happens to be described in a memorial from the city of Córdova to Queen
Juana. The Archdeacon of Castro, Juan Muñoz, was a youth of seventeen,
the son of an Old Christian mother and a Converso hidalgo. His benefice
was worth 300,000 maravedís a year and he was a fair subject of
spoliation, for which a plot was organized in 1505. His parents were
involved in his ruin, all three were arrested and convicted and he was
penanced so as to disable him from holding preferment. The spoils were
divided between Cardinal Bernardino Carvajal, for whom bulls had been
procured in advance, Morales the royal treasurer, Lucero and Calcena.
The governor and chapter of Córdova gave the archdeaconry to Diego
Vello, chaplain of the bishop, but the Holy See conveniently refused
confirmation and bestowed it on Morales; Lucero obtained a canonry in
Seville and some benefices in Cuenca, while Calcena received property
estimated at 4,000,000 maravedís--doubtless an exaggerated figure
representing the aggregate of his gains from complicity throughout
Lucero's career.[530]

It was probably in 1501 that the combination was formed which emboldened
Lucero to extend his operations, arresting and condemning nobles and
gentlemen and church dignitaries, many of them Old Christians of
unblemished reputation and _limpios de sangre_. It was easy, by abuse
and threats, or by torture if necessary, to procure from the accused
whatever evidence was necessary to convict, not only themselves but
whomsoever it was desired to ruin. A great fear fell upon the whole
population, for no one could tell where the next blow might fall, as the
circle of denunciation spread through all ranks. Apologists from that
time to this have endeavored to extenuate these proceedings by
suggesting that those compromised endeavored to secure allies by
inculpating in their confessions men of rank and influence, but in view
of Lucero's methods and the extent of his operations such an explanation
is wholly inadequate to overthrow the damning mass of evidence against


His views expanded beyond the narrow bounds of Córdova, and he horrified
the land by gathering evidence of a vast conspiracy, ramifying
throughout Spain, for the purpose of subverting Christianity and
replacing it with Judaism, which required for its suppression the most
comprehensive and pitiless measures. In memorials to Queen Juana the
authorities, ecclesiastic and secular, of Córdova described how he had
certain of his prisoners assiduously instructed in Jewish prayers and
rites so that they could be accurate in the testimony which, by menaces
or torture, he forced them to bear against Old Christians of undoubted
orthodoxy. In this way he proved that there were twenty-five
_profetissas_ who were engaged in traversing the land to convert it to
Judaism, although many of those designated had never in their lives been
outside of the city gates. Accompanying them were fifty distinguished
personages, including ecclesiastics and preachers of note.[532] Of
course, these stories lost nothing in passing from mouth to mouth, and
it was popularly said that some of these prophetesses, in their unholy
errand, travelled as drunken Bacchantes and others were transported on
goats by the powers of hell.[533] A single instance, which happens to
have reached us, illustrates the savage thoroughness with which he
protected the faith from this assault. A certain Bachiller Membreque was
convicted as an apostate Judaizer who had disseminated his doctrines by
preaching. Lists were gathered from witnesses of those who had attended
his sermons and these, to the number of a hundred and seven, were burnt
alive in a single auto de fe.[534] The inquisitorial prisons were filled
with the unfortunates under accusation, as many as four hundred being
thus incarcerated, and large numbers were carried to Toro where, at the
time, Inquisitor-general Deza resided with the Suprema.

The reign of terror thus established was by no means confined to
Córdova. Its effects are energetically described by the Capitan Gonzalo
de Avora, in a letter of July 16, 1507, to the royal secretary Almazan.
After premising that he had represented to Ferdinand, with that
monarch's assent, that there were three things requisite for the good of
the kingdom--to conduct the Inquisition righteously without weakening
it, to wage war with the Moors, and to relieve the burdens of the
people--he proceeds to contrast this with what had been done. "As for
the Inquisition," he says, "the method adopted was to place so much
confidence in the Archbishop of Seville (Deza) and in Lucero and Juan de
la Fuente that they were able to defame the whole kingdom, to destroy,
without God or justice, a great part of it, slaying and robbing and
violating maids and wives to the great dishonor of the Christian
religion.... As for what concerns myself I repeat what I have already
written to you, that the damages which the wicked officials of the
Inquisition have wrought in my land are so many and so great that no
reasonable person on hearing of them would not grieve."[535] When a
horde of rapacious officials, clothed in virtual inviolability, was let
loose upon a defenceless population, such violence and rapine were
inevitable incidents, and the motive of this was explained, by the
Bishop of Córdova and all the authorities of the city, in a petition to
the pope, to be the greed of the inquisitors for the confiscations which
they habitually embezzled.[536]

It was probably in 1505, after the death of Isabella, November 16, 1504,
that the people of Córdova first ventured to complain to Deza. He
offered to send the Archdeacon Torquemada who, with representatives of
the chapter and the magistrates, should make an impartial investigation,
but when the city accepted the proposition he withdrew it. A deputation
consisting of three church dignitaries was then sent to him asking for
the arrest and prosecution of Lucero. He replied that if they would draw
up accusations in legal form he would act as would best tend to God's
service, and, if necessary, would appoint judges to whom they could not
object.[537] This was a manifest evasion, for the evidence was under the
seal of the Inquisition and Deza alone could order an investigation.
Apparently realizing that it was useless to appeal to Ferdinand, whose
ears were closed by Calcena, their next recourse was to Isabella's
daughter and successor, Queen Juana, then in Flanders with her husband
Philip of Austria. Philip was eager to exercise an act of sovereignty in
the kingdom, which Ferdinand was governing in the name of his daughter
and, on September 30, 1505, a cédula bearing the signatures of Philip
and Juana was addressed to Deza, alleging their desire to be present and
participate in the action of the Inquisition and meanwhile suspending it
until their approaching arrival in Castile, under penalty of banishment
and seizure of temporalities for disobedience, at the same time
protesting that their desire was to favor and not to injure the Holy
Office. Although a circular letter to all the grandees announced this
resolution and commanded them to enforce it, no attention was paid to
it. Don Diego de Guevara, Philip's envoy, in fact wrote to him the
following June that his action had produced a bad impression, for the
people were hostile to the Conversos and there was talk of massacres
like that of Lisbon.[538]


The next step of the opponents of Lucero was to recuse Deza as judge and
to interject an appeal to the Holy See, leading to an active contest in
Rome between Ferdinand and his son-in-law. A letter of the former, April
22, 1506, to Juan de Loaysa, agent of the Inquisition in Rome, described
the attempt as an audacious and indecent effort to destroy the
Inquisition which was more necessary than ever. Loaysa was told that he
could render no greater service to God and to the king than by defeating
it; minute instructions were given as to the influences that he must
bring to bear, and he was reminded that Holy Writ permits the use of
craft and cunning to perform the work of God. The extreme anxiety
betrayed in the letter indicates that there was much more involved than
the mere defence of Lucero and Deza; it was with Philip and Juana that
he was wrestling and the stake was the crown of Castile. On the other
hand, Philip, doubtless won by the gold of the Conversos, had fairly
espoused their cause and was laboring to obtain for them a favorable
decision from the pope. His ambassador, Philibert of Utrecht, under date
of June 28th, reported that he had urged Julius II not to reject the
appeal of the Marranos but the politic pontiff replied that he must
reserve his decision until Ferdinand and Philip had met.[539]

Undeterred by the mutterings of the rising storm, Lucero about this time
saw in Isabella's death a chance to strike at a higher quarry than he
had hitherto ventured to aim at. The Geronimite Hernando de Talavera had
won her affectionate veneration as her confessor and, on the conquest of
Granada, in 1492, she had made him archbishop of the province founded
there. He had a Jewish strain in his blood, as was the case in so many
Spanish families; he was in his eightieth year, he was reverenced as the
pattern and exemplar of all Christian virtues and he devoted himself
unsparingly to the welfare of his flock, spending his revenues in
charity and seeking by persuasion and example to win over to the faith
his Moorish subjects. Yet he was not without enemies, for he had been
the active agent in the reclamation by Ferdinand and Isabella, in 1480,
of royal revenues to the amount of thirty millions of maravedís,
alienated by Henry IV to purchase the submission of rebellious nobles
and, although a quarter of a century had passed, it is said that the
vengeful spirit thus aroused was still eager to encompass his ruin.[540]

Whatever may have been Lucero's motive, inquisitorial methods afforded
abundant facilities for its accomplishment. He selected a woman whom he
had tortured on the charge of being a Jewish prophetess and maintaining
a synagogue in her house. He threatened her with further torture unless
she should testify to what she had seen in a room in Talavera's palace
and on her replying that she did not know, he instructed her that an
assembly was held, divided into three classes; in the first was the
archbishop, with the bishops of Almería, Jaen and others; in the second,
the dean and the provisor of Granada, the treasurer, the alcaide and
other officials; in the third the prophetesses, the sister and nieces of
Talavera, Doña María de Peñalosa and others. They agreed to traverse the
kingdom, preaching and prophesying the advent of Elias and the Messiah,
in concert with the prophets who were in the house of Fernan Alvárez of
Toledo, where they were crowned with golden crowns.[541] All this was
duly sworn to by the witness, as dictated to her by the fiscal, and
formed a basis for the prosecution of Talavera and his family, doubtless
supported by ample corroborative evidence, readily obtainable in the
same manner. The occurrence of the name of the Bishop of Jaen suggests a
further political intrigue; he was Alfonso Suárez de Fuentelsaz, the
former colleague of Deza as inquisitor-general and was no doubt known as
inclining to the Flemish party, as he subsequently accepted from Philip
the presidency of the Royal Council.

[Sidenote: _PHILIP AND JUANA_]

Impenetrable secrecy was one of the most cherished principles of
inquisitorial procedure, but Lucero probably desired to prepare the
public for the impending blow and whispers concerning it began to
circulate. Peter Martyr of Anghiera, who was attached to the royal
court, wrote on January 3, 1506, to the Count of Tendilla, Governor of
Granada, that Lucero, by means of witnesses under torture, had succeeded
in imputing Judaism to the archbishop and his whole family and
household; as there was no one more holy than Talavera, he found it
difficult to believe that any one could be found to fabricate such a
charge.[542] The attack commenced by arresting, in the most public and
offensive manner, Talavera's nephew, the dean and the officials of his
church, during divine service and in his presence, evidently with the
purpose of discrediting him. The arrest followed of his sister, his
nieces and his servants, and we can readily conceive the means by which
even his kindred were compelled to give evidence incriminating him, as
we gather from a letter of Ferdinand, June 9, 1506, to his ambassador at
Rome, Francisco de Rojas, in which he says that the testimony against
Talavera is that of his sisters and kindred and servants.[543] Before he
could be arrested and prosecuted, however, special authorization from
the Holy See was requisite, for, by a decree of Boniface VIII,
inquisitors had no direct jurisdiction over bishops. For this,
Ferdinand's intervention was necessary and, after some hesitation, he
consented to make the application. The inculpatory evidence given by
Talavera's family was sent to Rome; Francisco de Rojas procured the
papal commission for his trial and forwarded it, June 3, 1506.[544]

Before it was despatched, however, Ferdinand's position had changed with
the arrival in Spain of his daughter Juana, now Queen of Castile, and
her husband Philip of Austria. Eager to throw off Ferdinand's iron rule
and to win the favor of the new sovereigns, most of the nobles had
flocked to them and with them the Conversos, who hoped to secure a
modification in the rigor of the Inquisition. They had been aroused by
the sufferings of their brethren in Córdova, whose cause was their own,
and they were becoming an element not to be disregarded in the political
situation; they had already secured a hearing in the Roman curia, always
ready, as we shall see hereafter, to welcome appellants with money and
to sacrifice them after payment received; they had obtained from Julius
II commissions transferring from the Inquisition cognizance of certain
cases--commissions which Ferdinand repeatedly asked the pope to withdraw
and doubtless with success, as they do not appear in the course of
events; they had even approached Ferdinand himself, while in Valladolid,
with an offer of a hundred thousand ducats if he would suspend the
Inquisition until the arrival of Juana and Philip. This offer, he says
in a letter of June 9, 1506, to Rojas, he spurned, but we may perhaps
doubt his disinterestedness when he adds that, as Philip has disembarked
and is unfamiliar with Spanish affairs, he had secretly ordered Deza to
suspend the operations of all the tribunals--the motive of which
evidently was to create the belief that Philip was responsible for it.
As for Talavera, he adds, as it would greatly scandalize the new
converts of Granada, if they thought there were errors of faith in him
whom they regarded as so good a Christian, he had concluded to let the
matter rest for the present and would subsequently send
instructions.[545] He evidently had no belief in Lucero's fabricated
evidence, a fact to be borne in mind when we consider his attitude in
the ultimate developments of the affair. This despatch, of course,
reached Rojas too late to prevent the issuing of the commission to try
Talavera, but it explains why that document was suppressed when it
arrived. Deza denied receiving it; it disappeared and Talavera, in his
letter of January 23, 1507, to Ferdinand, manifests much anxiety to know
what had become of it, evidently dreading that it would be opportunely
found when wanted.


By the agreement of Villafáfila, June 27, 1506, Ferdinand bound himself
to abandon Castile to Philip and Juana; he departed for Aragon and
busied himself with preparations for a voyage to Naples, whither he set
sail September 4th. Philip assumed the government and disembarrassed
himself of his wife by shutting her up as unfit to share in the cares of
royalty. He was amenable to the golden arguments of the Conversos and
doubtless had not forgotten the contempt with which had been treated his
order of the previous year to suspend the Inquisition. He therefore
naturally was in no haste to revive its functions. Ferdinand's secretary
Almazan writes to Rojas, July 1st, that the king and the grandees have
imprisoned Juana and no one is allowed to see her; he has in vain sought
to get some prelates to carry letters from her to her father, but no one
ventures to do so; the grandees have done this to partition among
themselves the royal power, the Conversos to free themselves from the
Inquisition, which is now extinct.[546]

The people of Córdova made haste to take advantage of the situation.
They sent a powerful appeal to Philip and Juana, stating that their
previous complaints had been intercepted through Deza's influence and
accusing Lucero of the most arbitrary iniquities.[547] They asked that
all the inquisitorial officials at Córdova and Toro should be removed
and the whole affair be committed to the Bishop of Leon. Philip referred
the matter to the Comendador mayor, Garcilasso de la Vega and to Andrea
di Borgo, ambassador of Maximilian I, two laymen, to the great scandal,
we are told, of all ecclesiastics.[548] The Conversos were triumphant
and the Inquisition succumbed completely. The Suprema, including Deza
himself, hastened to disclaim all responsibility for Lucero's misdeeds
in a letter addressed to the chapter of Córdova, in which it said that
the accusations brought against him seemed incredible, for even
highwaymen, when robbing their victims, spare their lives, while here
not only the property but the lives of the victims were taken and the
honor of their descendants to the tenth generation. But, after hearing
the narrative of the Master of Toro there could no longer be doubt and
to tolerate it would be to approve it. Therefore, the chapter was
instructed to continue to prevent these iniquities, and their majesties
would be asked to apply a remedy and to punish their authors.[549] The
remedy applied was to compel Deza to subdelegate irrevocably to Diego
Ramírez de Guzman, Bishop of Catania and member of the Council of State,
power to supersede Lucero and revise his acts, which was confirmed by a
papal brief placing in Guzman's hands all the papers and prisoners in
Córdova, Toro and Valladolid.[550] Lucero endeavored to anticipate this
by burning all his prisoners so as to get them out of the way, but after
the auto de fe was announced there came orders from the sovereigns which
fortunately prevented the holocaust.[551]

The relief of the sufferers seemed assured, but the situation was
radically changed by the sudden death of Philip, September 25, 1506, for
although Juana was treated nominally as queen, she exercised no
authority. Deza promptly revoked Guzman's commission, of which the papal
confirmation seems not to have been received; he took possession of the
prisoners at Toro and sent the Archdeacon of Torquemada to Córdova to do
the same, but Francisco Osorio, the representative of Guzman, refused to
obey. The people of Córdova were in despair. It was in vain that they
sent delegations to Deza and petitioned the queen to save them. Deza was
immovable and the queen refused to act in this as in everything else.
The chapter, every member of which was an Old Christian, proud of his
_limpieza_, assembled on October 16th to consider the situation. Some of
the most prominent dignitaries of the Church had already been arrested
by Lucero and had been treated by him as Jewish dogs; he had asserted
that all the rest, and most of the nobles and gentlemen of the city and
of other places, were apostates who had converted their houses into
synagogues; in view of the impending peril, it was unanimously resolved
to defend themselves, while the citizens at large declared that they
would sacrifice life and property rather than to submit longer to such
insupportable tyranny.[552]


If the eclipse of the royal authority had enabled Deza to restore Lucero
to power it also afforded opportunity for forcible resistance. The
grandees of Castile were striving to recover the independence enjoyed
under Henry IV, and a condition of anarchy was approaching rapidly. The
two great nobles of Córdova, the Count of Cabra, Lord of Baena and the
Marquis of Priego, Lord of Aguilar and nephew of the Great Captain, were
nothing loath to listen to the entreaties of the citizens, especially as
the marquis had been summoned by Lucero to appear for trial. Meetings
were held in which formal accusations of Lucero and his promotor fiscal,
Juan de Arriola, were laid before Padre Fray Francisco de Cuesta,
comendador of the convent of la Merced, who seems to have assumed the
leadership of the movement. He pronounced judgement, ordering Lucero and
the fiscal to be arrested and their property to be confiscated. Under
the lead of Cabra and Priego the citizens arose to execute the
judgement. On November 9th they broke into the alcázar, where the
Inquisition held its seat, they seized the fiscal and some of the
subordinates and liberated the prisoners, whose recital of their wrongs
excited still more the popular indignation, but no blood was shed and
Lucero saved himself by flight.[553] The whole proceeding appears to
have been orderly: a commission of ecclesiastics and laymen was
appointed, to which the kinsmen and friends of the prisoners gave
security that they should be forthcoming for trial as soon as there
should be a king in the land to administer justice. This engagement was
duly kept and their temporary liberation under bail was justified on the
ground that many of them had been incarcerated for six or seven years
and that all were in danger of perishing by starvation, for they were
penniless, their property having been confiscated and Deza having
ordered the receiver of confiscations not to provide for them.[554]

When the news of this uprising reached Deza he promptly, November 18th,
commissioned his nephew, Pedro Juárez de Deza, Archbishop-elect of the
Indies, to prosecute and punish all concerned, while by his orders the
tribunal of Toledo intercepted and threw into prison Doctor Alonso de
Toro, sent by the city to present its case to the queen. Other envoys,
however, bore instructions to ask for the removal of Deza and the
prosecution of Lucero and his officials, coupled with the intimation
that steps had been taken to convoke all the cities of Andalusia and
Castile to devise measures of protection against the intolerable tyranny
of the Inquisition.[555] This plan seems to have been abandoned but,
early in January, 1507, the Bishop of Córdova, Juan de Daza, in
conjunction with the clerical and secular authorities, sent a solemn
appeal to the pope, asking him to appoint Archbishop Ximenes and the
Bishop of Catania or of Málaga, with full power to investigate and to
act, and this they accompanied, January 10th, with a petition to
Ferdinand, who was still in Naples, to support their request to the
pope.[556] Deza, however, continued to command Ferdinand's unwavering
support and the result was seen in the prompt and uncompromising action
of Julius II. He wrote to Deza that the Jews, pretending to be
Christians, who had dared to rise against the Inquisition, must be
exterminated root and branch; no labor was to be spared to suppress this
pestilence before it should spread, to hunt up all who had participated
in it and to exercise the utmost severity in punishing them, without
appeal, for their crimes.[557]

Thus stimulated and encouraged, Lucero resumed his activity and the
liberated prisoners were surrendered to him. Peter Martyr writes from
the court, March 7, 1507, to Archbishop Talavera, that his sister and
his nephew the Dean of Granada, Francisco Herrera--who had doubtless
been released in the rising of November 9th--had been thrown in prison
in Córdova. Talavera himself, moreover, was put on trial before the
papal nuncio, Giovanni Ruffo, and assessors duly commissioned by the
pope, showing that Ferdinand's scruples as to scandalizing the people of
Granada had vanished in the fierce resolve to vindicate Lucero and that
the missing papal brief had been duly found. Peter Martyr describes his
earnest efforts to convince the judges of Talavera's holy life and
spotless character, to which they replied that all this might be true
but their business was to ascertain the secrets of his heart.[558] By
the time the evidence was sent to Rome, however, his conviction was no
longer desired; the testimony was pronounced to be worthless and Pascual
de la Fuente, Bishop of Burgos, who was in attendance on the curia, was
an earnest witness in his favor.[559] The papal sentence was acquittal
and this apparently carried with it the exoneration of his kindred--but
it came too late. On May 21st Peter Martyr exultingly writes to him that
the dean and his sister with their mother and the rest of his innocent
household had been set free, but already he had gone to a higher
tribunal. On Ascension-day (May 13th) he had walked, bareheaded and
barefooted, in the procession through the streets of Granada, when a
violent fever set in and carried him off the next day. He had
accumulated no treasure, having spent all his revenues on the poor; he
left no provision for his family and the Bishop of Málaga charitably
gave to his sister a house in Granada to shelter her old age. His
reputation for sanctity is seen in the accounts which at once were
circulated, with universal credence of the miracles wrought by him in
curing the sick.[560]


The reaction in favor of the Inquisition, led by Ferdinand and Julius
II, had evidently been short-lived, for the political situation
dominated everything and king and pope found it advisable to yield.
Juana was keeping herself secluded with the corpse of her husband and
was refusing to govern. The rival factions of the two grandfathers of
Charles V, Maximilian I and Ferdinand, each striving for the regency
during his minority, were both desirous of the support of the Conversos
and thus the question of the Córdovan prisoners attained national
importance as one on which all parties took sides. Ximenes, the Duke of
Alva and the Constable of Castile, the heads of Ferdinand's party, held
a conference at Cavia and listened to the complaints against Deza, for
which they promised to find a remedy. The friends of the prisoners,
however, seemed more inclined towards the faction of Maximilian; they
offered money to defray the expenses of troops to be sent to Spain to
resist Ferdinand's return and it was currently rumored that four
thousand men were gathered in a Flemish port ready to embark. It is not
easy to penetrate the secret intrigues culminating in the settlement
which gave the regency to Ferdinand, but Ximenes, who represented him,
took advantage of the situation, with his usual skill, to further his
own ambition, which was to gain the cardinal's hat and Deza's position
as inquisitor-general.[561] For the former of these Ferdinand had made
application as early as November 8, 1505, and had repeated the request
October 30, 1506; it was granted in secret consistory, January 4, 1507,
and was published May 17th.[562] For the latter, the complaints of the
Conversos afforded substantial reasons; we have seen that Córdova had
petitioned the pope to commission Ximenes as its judge and his
appointment would help to pacify the troubles. Ferdinand at length
recognized that Deza's sacrifice was inevitable, and the way was made
easy for him, as he was allowed to resign. On May 18th Ferdinand writes
to Ximenes from Naples that he had received Deza's resignation and had
taken the necessary steps to secure for him the succession; he has two
requests to make--that he shall foster piety and religion by appointing
only the best men and that he shall exercise the utmost care that
nothing shall be allowed to impair Deza's dignity.[563] The commission
as inquisitor-general was duly issued on June 5, 1507.


The hatred excited by Lucero had been too wide-spread and the friends of
the prisoners were too powerful to be satisfied with the mere
substitution of Ximenes for Deza, and there was evidently an
understanding that the matter was not to be dropped. As early as May
1st, Peter Martyr writes that it is reported that the imprisoned
witnesses, corrupted by Lucero, are to be released and that he will
expiate with due punishment his unprecedented crimes.[564] Some such
promise was probably necessary for the pacification of the land, but the
delay in its performance is significant of protection at the
fountain-head of justice. It assumed at first the shape of an action
brought by the chapter and city of Córdova before the pope, charging
Lucero with the evil wrought by his suborning some witnesses and
compelling others by punishment to testify that the plaintiffs were
heretics. Julius II commissioned Fray Francisco de Mayorga as apostolic
judge to try the case, and, on October 17, 1507, he decreed that Lucero
be imprisoned and held to answer at law. Nothing further was done,
however, and the impatient citizens addressed a memorial to Queen Juana,
asking her to send some one to inform himself about it and report to
her.[565] The action of the apostolic judge seems to have been regarded
as a mere formality; the months passed away and it was not until May 18,
1508, that the Suprema took independent cognizance of the matter, when
Ximenes and his colleagues, except Aguirre, all voted that Lucero should
be arrested.[566] Peter Martyr intimates more than once that numbers of
the Suprema were suspected of complicity with Lucero and assures us that
the Council did not act without thorough investigation of numerous
witnesses and interminable masses of documents, revealing an incredible
accumulation of impossible and fantastic accusations contrived to bring
infamy on all Spain.[567]

It was apparently the first time that an inquisitor had been thus
publicly put on trial for official malfeasance and the opportunity was
improved to render the spectacle a solemn one, fitted not only to
satisfy the national interest felt in the case but to magnify the office
of the accused by the scale of the machinery employed to deal with him.
Lucero was carried in chains to Burgos, where the court was in
residence, and was confined in the castle under strict guard. Ximenes
assembled a _Congregacion Católica_, composed of twenty-one members
besides himself, including a large portion of the Royal Council, the
Inquisitor-general of Aragon and other inquisitors, several bishops and
various other dignitaries--in short, an imposing representation of the
piety and learning of the land.[568] After numerous sessions, presided
over by Ximenes, sentence was rendered July 9, 1508, and was published
August 1st, at Valladolid, whither the court had removed, in presence of
Ferdinand and his magnates and a great concourse assembled to lend
solemnity to this restoration of the honor of Castile and Andalusia,
which had been so deeply compromised by the pretended revelations
extorted by Lucero. This weighty verdict declared that there were no
grounds for the asserted existence of synagogues, the preaching of
sermons and the assemblies of missionaries of Judaism or for the
prosecution of those accused. The witnesses--or rather prisoners--were
discharged and everything relating to these fictitious crimes was
ordered to be expunged from the records. To complete the vindication of
the memory of the victims, Ferdinand ordered the rebuilding of the
houses which had been torn down under the provisions of the canon law
requiring the destruction of the conventicles of heresy.[569] By
implication, the acquittal of the prisoners convicted Lucero, but all
this was merely preliminary to his trial.


Ferdinand's hand had been forced; he had been obliged to yield to public
opinion, but his resolve was inflexible to undo as far as he could the
results reached by Ximenes. In October he visited Córdova, where he
rewarded some officials of the tribunal by grants out of the confiscated
estates, which should have been restored when the proceedings were
annulled. It is true that the judge of confiscations, Licenciado
Simancas, was suspended, but in November, 1509, he was ordered to resume
his functions and to act as he had formerly done. We happen to know
that, in 1513, the house of the unfortunate Bachiller Membreque was
still in possession of the Inquisition. There was no relief for those
who had suffered. When the new inquisitor, Diego López de Cortegano,
Archdeacon of Seville, revoked Lucero's sentence on the Licenciado Daza,
who had been penanced and his property confiscated, the purchasers who
had bought it complained to Ferdinand and he expressed his wrath by
promptly dismissing the inquisitor and ordering all the papers in the
case to be sent to the Suprema for review and action. The vacancy thus
created was not easy to fill, for when, in September, 1509, Ferdinand
offered the place to Alonso de Mariana he declined, saying that it would
kill him, but he agreed to take the tribunal of Toledo, and it was not
until February, 1510, that the Licenciado Mondragon was transferred from
Valladolid to take Cortegano's place. In fact, the interests involved in
the confiscations were too many and too powerful for the victims to
obtain justice. Martin Alonso Conchina had been condemned by Lucero to
reconciliation and confiscation; when the pressure was removed he
revoked his confession as having been extorted by threats and fear,
whereupon the confiscated property was placed in sequestration awaiting
the result. Unluckily for him one of the items, a ground-rent of 9000
mrs. a year had been given, in April, 1506, to the unprincipled
secretary Calcena, with the result that one of the new inquisitors,
Andrés Sánchez de Torquemada, promptly arrested Conchina, tried him
again, convicted him and sentenced him to perpetual imprisonment, so
that the confiscation held good and the ground-rent, with all arrears,
was confirmed to Calcena by a royal cédula of December 23, 1509. There
seems to have still been some obstacle to this reaction in the episcopal
Ordinary, Francisco de Simancas, Archdeacon of Córdova for, in February,
1510, Ferdinand wrote to the bishop that, without letting it be known
that the order came from the king, he must be replaced with some one
zealous for the furtherance of justice and, a month later, this command
was peremptorily repeated. It is true that the extravagant wickedness of
Lucero was scarce to be dreaded, but, with a tribunal reconstructed
under such auspices, the people of Córdova could not hope for justice
tempered with mercy and its productive activity is evidenced by the
large drafts made, in 1510, on its receiver of confiscations. We may
assume that Ximenes looked on this with disfavor for, in a letter to
Ferdinand, after his return from the expedition to Oran in 1509, he
supplicates that the decision of the Congregation be maintained for he
has never infringed it and never intends to do so.[570]

As for the author of the evil, Lucero himself, he was sent in chains to
Burgos with some of his accomplices. Ximenes, as inquisitor-general, had
full power, as we have seen, to dismiss and punish them but, for some
occult reason, a papal commission for their trial was applied for. This
caused delay under which Ferdinand chafed, for he wrote, September 30,
1509, to his ambassador complaining that it caused great inconvenience
and ordering him to urge the pope to issue it at once so that it could
be sent by the first courier.[571] When it came, it empowered the
Suprema to try the case and Ferdinand, who warmly espoused Lucero's
cause, expressed his feelings unequivocally in a letter of April 7,
1510--"the prisoners say that they have been long in prison and those
who informed against them have gone to Portugal or other parts, and
others have been burnt or penanced as heretics, showing clearly that
they testified falsely, and they supplicate me to provide that their
trial be by inquisitorial and not by accusatorial process, so that they
shall not be exposed to greater infamy than hitherto by dead or perjured
witnesses, especially as the law provides that the trial be summary and
directed only to reach the truth. There is great compassion for their
long imprisonment and suffering, wherefore I beg and charge you to look
well into the matter and treat it conscientiously and with diligence for
its speedy termination, with which I shall be well pleased."[572]


In spite of this urgency the trial dragged on, much delay being caused
by the difficulty of finding an advocate willing to undertake Lucero's
defence. The Suprema selected the Bachiller de la Torre, but he declined
to serve and Ferdinand, on May 16th, expressed his fear that no one
would assume the duty. July 19th he writes that Lucero complains that he
still has no counsel and he suggests that, if none of the lawyers of the
royal court can be trusted, Doctor Juan de Orduña of Valladolid be
called in and his fees be paid by the Inquisition. The suggestion was
adopted and, on August 20th, Ferdinand wrote personally to Orduña
ordering him to take charge of the defence and see that Lucero suffered
no wrong, and at, the same time, he wrote to the University of
Valladolid to give Orduña the requisite leave of absence. Under this
royal pressure, and considering that the adverse witnesses had been
largely burnt or frightened into flight, it is perhaps rather creditable
to the Suprema that it ventured to dismiss Lucero, without inflicting
further punishment on him. He retired to the Seville canonry, which he
had acquired by the ruin of the Archdeacon of Castro, and there he ended
his days in peace. In 1514, Ferdinand manifested his undiminished
sympathy by a gift of 15,000 mrs. to Juan Carrasco, the former _portero_
of the tribunal of Córdova, to indemnify him for losses and sufferings
which he claimed to have endured in the rising of 1506.[573] Yet before
we utterly condemn him for his share in this nefarious business we
should make allowance for the influence of Lucero's accomplice, his
secretary Calcena, who was always at hand to poison his mind and draft
his letters. To the same malign obsession may doubtless also be
attributed an order of Charles V, in 1519, requiring the Córdovan
authorities to bestow the first vacant scrivenership on Diego Marino,
who had been Lucero's notary.[574]

       *       *       *       *       *

That Lucero was an exceptional monster may well be admitted, but when
such wickedness could be safely perpetrated for years and only be
exposed and ended through the accidental intervention of Philip and
Juana, it may safely be assumed that the temptations of secrecy and
irresponsibility rendered frightful abuses, if not universal at least
frequent. The brief reign of Philip led other sorely vexed communities
to appeal to the sovereigns for relief, and some of their memorials have
been preserved. One from Jaen relates that the tribunal of that city
procured from Lucero a useful witness whom for five years he had kept in
the prison of Córdova to swear to what was wanted. His name was Diego de
Algeciras and, if the petitioners are to be believed, he was, in
addition to being a perjurer, a drunkard, a gambler, a forger and a
clipper of coins. This worthy was brought to Jaen and performed his
functions so satisfactorily that the wealthiest Conversos were soon
imprisoned. Two hundred wretches crowded the filthy gaol and it was
requisite to forbid the rest of the Conversos from leaving the city
without a license. With Diego's assistance and the free use of torture,
on both accused and witnesses, it was not difficult to obtain whatever
evidence was desired. The notary of the tribunal, Antonio de Barcena,
was especially successful in this. On one occasion he locked a young
girl of fifteen in a room, stripped her naked and scourged her until she
consented to bear testimony against her mother. A prisoner was carried
in a chair to the auto de fe with his feet burnt to the bone; he and his
wife were burnt alive and then two of their slaves were imprisoned and
forced to give such evidence as was necessary to justify the execution.
The cells in which the unfortunates were confined in heavy chains were
narrow, dark, humid, filthy and overrun with vermin, while their
sequestrated property was squandered by the officials, so that they
nearly starved in prison while their helpless children starved outside.
Granting that there may be exaggeration in this, the solid substratum of
truth is clear from the fact that the petitioners only asked that the
tribunal be placed under the control of the Bishop of Jaen--that bishop
being Alfonso Suárez de Fuentelsaz, one of Torquemada's inquisitors,
who had risen to be a colleague of Deza. He had not been a merciful
judge, as many of his sentences attest, yet the miserable Conversos of
Jaen were ready to fly to him for relief.[575]


A memorial from Arjona, a considerable town near Jaen, illustrates a
different phase of the subject. It relates that a certain Alvaro de
Escalera of that place conspired with other evil men to report to the
inquisitors of Jaen that there were numerous heretics in Arjona, so that
when confiscations came to be sold they could buy the property cheap. In
due time an inquisitor came with the notary Barcena. No Term of Grace
was given, but the Edict of Faith was published, frightening the
inhabitants with its fulminations unless they testified against their
neighbors. Then a Dominican preached a fiery sermon to the effect that
all Conversos were really Jews, whom it was the duty of Christians to
destroy. The inquisitors then sent for the slaves of the Conversos,
promising them liberty if they would testify against their masters and
assuring them of secrecy. The notary followed by traversing the town
with Escalera and his friends, proclaiming that there was a fine of ten
reales on all who would not come forward with testimony, and the
exaction of the fine from a number had a quickening influence on the
memories of others. Then a house to house canvass was made for evidence;
the women were told that it was impossible that they should not know the
Jewish tendencies of their neighbors; they could give what evidence they
pleased for their names would not be divulged; they were not obliged to
prove it, for the accused had to disprove it. Those who would not talk
were threatened that they would be carried to Jaen and made to accuse
their neighbors, and, in fact, a number were taken and compelled to give
evidence in prison. Then the inquisitors departed with the accumulated
testimony; there was peace in Arjona for three months and the Conversos
recovered from their fright. Suddenly one night there arrived the
notary, the receiver and some officials; they quietly aroused the
regidores and alcaldes and made them collect a force of armed men who
were stationed to guard the walls and gates. When morning came the work
of arresting the suspects was commenced; their property was
sequestrated, their houses locked and their children were turned into
the street, while the officials carried off their prisoners, who were
thrust into the already crowded gaol of Jaen. The confiscations were
auctioned off and those who had plotted the raid had ample opportunity
of speculating in bargains.[576]

Still other methods are detailed in a memorial from Llerena, the seat of
one of the older tribunals with jurisdiction over Extremadura. It stated
that for many years the Inquisition there had found little or nothing to
do, until there came a new judge, the Licenciado Bravo. He was a native
of Fregenal, a town of the province, where he had bitter law-suits and
active enmities; he had had two months' training under Lucero at Córdova
and he came armed with ample evidence gathered there. On his arrival,
without waiting for formalities or further testimony, he made a large
number of arrests and sent to Badajoz where he seized forty more and
brought them to Llerena. They were mostly men of wealth whose fortunes
were attractive objects of spoliation, and Bravo took care of his
kindred by appointing them to positions in which they could appropriate
much of the sequestrated property. The treatment of the prisoners was
most brutal, and when his colleague, Inquisitor Villart, who was not
wholly devoid of compassion, was overheard remonstrating with him and
saying that the death of the captives would be on their souls, Bravo
told him to hold his peace, for he who had placed him there desired that
they should all die off, one by one. The petitioners were quite willing
to be remitted to the tribunal of Seville or to have judges who would
punish the guilty and discharge the innocent, but they earnestly begged,
by the Passion of Christ, that they should not be left to the mercy of
Inquisitor-general Deza. Orders, they said, had been given to him to
mitigate in some degree the sufferings of the people of Jaen, which he
suppressed and replaced with instructions to execute justice. What this
meant we may gather from a last despairing appeal, by the friends of the
prisoners of Jaen, to Queen Juana; a junta of lawyers, they said, had
been assembled, a scaffold of immense proportions was under
construction; their only hope was in her and they entreated her to order
that no auto de fe be held until impartial persons should ascertain the
truth as to the miserable captives.[577] Juana was in no condition to
respond to this agonized prayer, and we may safely assume that greed and
cruelty claimed their victims. These glimpses into the methods of the
tribunals elucidate the statements of the Capitan Avora as to the
desolation spread over the land by the Inquisition.

       *       *       *       *       *

It would seem that these fearful abuses were creating a general feeling
of hostility to the institution and its officials, for Ferdinand deemed
it necessary to issue a proclamation, January 19, 1510, calling upon all
officials, gentlemen and good citizens to furnish inquisitors and their
subordinates with lodgings and supplies at current prices and not to
maltreat or assail them, under penalty of 50,000 maravedís and
punishment at the royal discretion. A month later, February 22d, we find
him writing to the constable of Castile that inquisitors are to visit
the districts of Burgos and Calahorra, and he asks the constable to give
orders that they may not be impeded. Somewhat similar instructions he
gave in March to the provisor and corregidor of Cuenca, when the
inquisitors of Cartagena were preparing to visit that portion of their
district, as though these special interpositions of the royal power were
requisite to ensure their comfort and safety in the discharge of their
regular duties. Even these were sometimes ineffectual as was
experienced, in 1515, by the inquisitor Paradinas of Cartagena, who,
while riding on his mule in the streets of Murcia, was set upon, stabbed
and would have been killed but for assistance, while the assassins
escaped, calling forth from Ferdinand the most emphatic orders for their
arrest and trial.[578]


Yet, however rudely the Inquisition may have been shaken, it was too
firmly rooted in the convictions of the period and too energetically
supported by Ferdinand to be either destroyed or essentially reformed.
When he died, January 23, 1516, his testament, executed the day
previous, laid strenuous injunctions on his grandson and successor
Charles V--"As all other virtues are nothing without faith, by which and
in which we are saved, we command the said illustrious prince, our
grandson, to be always zealous in defending and exalting the Catholic
faith and that he aid, defend and favor the Church of God and labor,
with all his strength, to destroy and extirpate heresy from our kingdoms
and lordships, selecting and appointing throughout them ministers,
God-fearing and of good conscience, who will conduct the Inquisition
justly and properly, for the service of God and the exaltation of the
Catholic faith, and who will also have great zeal for the destruction of
the sect of Mahomet."[579]

With his death, during the absence of his successor, the governing power
was lodged in the hands of Inquisitor-general Ximenes. From the papal
brief of August 18, 1509, alluded to above (p. 178), we may infer that
he had already endeavored to effect a partial reform, by dismissing some
of the more obnoxious inquisitors, and he now made use of his authority
to strike at those who had hitherto been beyond his reach. Aguirre was
one of these and another was the mercenary Calcena, concerning whom he
wrote to Charles, December, 1516, that it was necessary that they should
in future have nothing to do with the Inquisition in view of their foul
excesses. Another removal, of which we chance to have cognizance, was
that of Juan Ortiz de Zarate, the secretary of the Suprema. Whatever
were the failings of the inflexible Ximenes, pecuniary corruption was
abhorrent to him and, during the short term of his supremacy in Castile,
we may feel assured that he showed no mercy to those who sought to coin
into money the blood of the Conversos.[580] With his death, however,
came a speedy return to the bad old ways. Adrian of Utrecht, though
well-intentioned, was weak and confiding. When appointed
Inquisitor-general of Aragon, he had made Calcena, February 12, 1517,
secretary of that Suprema and, after the death of Ximenes we find
Calcena acting, in 1518, as royal secretary of the reunited Inquisition,
a position which he shared with Ugo de Urries, Lord of Ayerbe, another
appointee of Adrian's, who long retained that position under Charles V.
Aguirre had the same good fortune, having been appointed by Adrian to
membership in the Suprema of Aragon and resuming his position in the
reunited Inquisition after the death of Ximenes. His name occurs as
signed to documents as late as 1546, when he seems to be the senior

Ferdinand's dying exhortation to his grandson was needed. Charles V, a
youth of seventeen, was as clay in the hands of the potter, surrounded
by grasping Flemish favorites, whose sole object, as far as concerned
Spain, was to sell their influence to the highest bidder. During the
interval before his coming to take possession of his new dominions, he
fluctuated in accordance with the pressure which happened momentarily to
be strongest. The Spaniards who came to his court gave fearful accounts
of the Inquisition, which they said was ruining Spain, and we are told
that his counsellors were mostly Conversos who had obtained their
positions by purchase.[582] In his prologue to his subsequent abortive
project of reform, Charles says that while in Flanders he received many
complaints about the Inquisition, which he submitted to famous men of
learning and to colleges and universities, and his proposed action was
in accordance with their advice.[583] Ximenes was alive to the danger
and it was doubtless by his impulsion that the Council of Castile wrote
to Charles that the peace of the kingdom and the maintenance of his
authority depended on his support of the Inquisition.[584] A more adroit
manoeuvre was the advantage which he took of the death, June 1, 1516,
of Bishop Mercader, Inquisitor-general of Aragon. It would probably not
have been difficult for him to have reunited the Inquisitions of the two
crowns under his own headship, but he took the more politic course of
urging Charles to nominate his old tutor, Adrian of Utrecht, then in
Spain, as his representative, and to secure for him the succession to
Mercader's see of Tortosa. Charles willingly followed the advice; July
30th he replied that in accordance with it he had written to Rome for
the commission; November 14th Pope Leo commissioned Adrian as
Inquisitor-general of Aragon, and we shall see hereafter how complete
was the ascendancy which he exercised over Charles in favor of the Holy


Meanwhile Charles continued to vacillate. At one time he proposed to
banish from his court all those of Jewish blood, and sent a list of
names in cypher with instructions to report their genealogies, to which
the Suprema of Aragon replied, October 27, 1516, with part of the
information, promising to furnish the rest and expressing great
gratification at his promises of aid and support in all things.[586]
Then there came a rumor that he proposed to abolish the suppression of
the names of witnesses, which was one of the crowning atrocities of
inquisitorial procedure. For this there must have been some foundation
for, March 11, 1517, Ximenes sent to his secretary Ayala a commission as
procurator of the Inquisition at Charles's court, with full power to
resist any attempt to restrict or impede it, and he followed this, March
17th, with a letter to Charles, more vigorous than courtly, telling him
that such a measure would be the destruction of the Inquisition and
would cover his name with infamy; Ferdinand and Isabella, when in
straits for money during the war with Granada, had refused 1,200,000
ducats for such a concession, and Ferdinand had subsequently rejected an
offer of 400,000.[587]


It can readily be imagined that, in spite of the character of Ximenes,
the death of Ferdinand and the uncertainty as to the views of the
distant sovereign had sensibly diminished the awe felt for the
Inquisition. There is an indication of this in a complaint made by the
Suprema, in September, 1517, that, when it moved with the court from
place to place, the alcaldes of the palace refused to furnish mules and
wagons to transport its books and papers and personnel, or, at most,
only did so after all the other departments of the government had been
supplied.[588] There is significance also in a tumult occurring in
Orihuela, in 1517, when the inquisitors of Cartagena made a visitation
there, obliging the Licenciado Salvatierra to invoke the royal
intervention.[589] The Conversos, though decimated and impoverished,
still had money and influence and the abuses which Ximenes had not been
able to eradicate still excited hostility. When Charles, after his
arrival in Spain, in September, 1517, held his first Córtes at
Valladolid in 1518, the deputies petitioned him to take such order that
justice should be done by the Inquisition, so that the wicked alone
should be punished and the innocent not suffer; that the canons and the
common law should be observed; that the inquisitors should be of gentle
blood, of good conscience and repute and of the age required by law,
and, finally, that episcopal Ordinaries should be judges in conformity
with justice.[590] Although drawn in general terms this formal complaint
indicates that the people felt the Holy Office to be an engine of
oppression, for the furtherance of the private ends of the officials,
to the disregard of law and justice. Charles made reply that he would
consult learned and saintly men, with whose advice he would so provide
that injustice should cease and meanwhile he would receive memorials as
to abuses and projects of reform. The deputies made haste to give him
ample information as to the tribulations of his subjects and the injury
resulting to his dominions, and the outcome of the consultations of his
advisers was a series of instructions to the officials of the
Inquisition which, if carried into effect, would have deprived the Holy
Office of much of its efficiency for persecution as well as of its
capacity for injustice. Peter Martyr tells us that the New Christians,
to procure this, gave to the high chancellor, Jean le Sauvage, who was a
thoroughly corrupt man, ten thousand ducats in hand, with a promise of
ten thousand more when it should go into effect, but that, fortunately
for the Inquisition, he fell sick towards the end of May and died early
in July.[591] The Instructions had been finally engrossed and lacked
only the signatures; they were drawn in the names of Charles and Juana
and were addressed not only to the officials of the Inquisition but to
those of the state and secular justice, but nothing more was heard of
them, for the new chancellor, Mercurino di Gattinara, was a man of
different stamp, and Charles as yet was swayed by the influences
surrounding him. The elaborate project is therefore of no interest
except as an acknowledgement, in its provisions for procedure, of the
iniquity of the inquisitorial process as we shall see it hereafter, and,
in its prohibitory clauses, that existing abuses exaggerated in every
way the capacity for evil of the system as practised. Thus it prohibited
that the salaries of the inquisitors should be dependent on the
confiscations and fines which they pronounced, or that grants should be
made to them from confiscated property or benefices of those whom they
condemned, or that sequestrated property should be granted away before
the condemnation of its owners; that inquisitors and officials abusing
their positions should be merely transferred to other places instead of
being duly punished; that those who complained of the tribunals should
be arrested and maltreated; that those who appealed to the Suprema
should be maltreated; that inquisitors should give information to those
seeking grants as to the property of prisoners still under trial; that
prisoners under trial should be debarred from hearing mass and receiving
the sacraments; that those condemned to perpetual prison should be
allowed to die of starvation.[592] The general tenor of these provisions
indicate clearly what a tremendous stimulus to persecution and injustice
was confiscation as a punishment of heresy, how the whole business of
the Inquisition was degraded from its ostensible purpose of purifying
the faith into a vile system of spoliation, and how those engaged in it
were inevitably vitiated by the tempting opportunity of filthy gains.

Although Charles, on the death of his chancellor, dropped the proposed
reform, he seems to have recognized the existence of these evils. When
his Inquisitor-general, Cardinal Adrian, was elevated to the papacy in
1522, he sent from Flanders his chamberlain La Chaulx to congratulate
him before he should leave Spain, and among the envoy's instructions was
the suggestion that he should be careful in his appointments and provide
proper means to prevent the Inquisition from punishing the innocent and
its officials from thinking more about the property of the condemned
than the salvation of their souls--a pious wish but perfectly futile so
long as the methods of the institution were unchanged, and its expenses
were to be met and its officials enriched by fines and


The sufferers had long recognized this and offers had more than once
been vainly made to Ferdinand to compound for the royal right of
confiscation--offers of which we know no details. With the failure of
the comprehensive scheme of reform, this plan was revived and, before
Charles left Spain, May 21, 1520, to assume the title of King of the
Romans, a formal proposition was made to him to the effect that if
justice should be secured in the Inquisition, by appointing judges free
from suspicion who should observe the law, so that the innocent might
live secure and the wicked be punished and the papal ordinances be
obeyed, there were persons who would dare to serve him as follows.
Considering that greed is the parent of all evils; that it is the law of
the Partidas that the property of those having Catholic children should
not be confiscated[594] and further that the royal treasury derived
very little profit from the confiscations, as they were all consumed in
the salaries and costs of the judges and receivers who enriched
themselves, his Majesty could well benefit himself by a composition and
sale of all his rights therein, for himself and his descendants for
ever, obtaining from the pope a bull prohibiting confiscations and
pecuniary penances and fines. If this were done the parties pledged
themselves to provide rents sufficient, with those that Ferdinand had
assigned towards that purpose, to defray all the salaries and costs of
the Inquisition, on a basis to be defined by Charles. Moreover, they
would pay him four hundred thousand ducats--one hundred thousand before
his departure and the balance in three equal annual payments at the fair
of Antwerp in May. Or, if he preferred not to do this in perpetuity, he
could limit the term, for which two hundred thousand ducats would be
paid, in similar four instalments. For the collection of the sum to meet
these engagements there must be letters and provisions such as the
Catholic king gave for the compositions of Andalusia, and it must be
committed in Castile to the Archbishop of Toledo (Cardinal de Croy), and
in Aragon to the Archbishop of Saragossa (Alfonso de Aragon) from whose
decisions there was to be no appeal. But to furnish the necessary
personal security for the fulfilment of this offer, it was significantly
added that it would be necessary for the king and Cardinal Adrian to
give safe-conducts to the parties, protecting them from prosecution by
the Inquisition and these must be issued in the current month of October
so that there might be time to raise the money.[595] It is scarce
necessary to say that this proposition was unsuccessful. Charles was
under the influence of Cardinal Adrian and Adrian was controlled by his
colleagues. It was asking too much of inquisitors that they should agree
to allow themselves to be restricted to the impartial administration of
the cruel laws against heresy, to be content with salaries and forego
the opportunities of peculation. It was also in vain that the Córtes of
Coruña, in 1520, repeated the request of those of Valladolid for a
reform in procedure.[596] Charles sailed for Flanders leaving his
subjects exposed to all the evils under which they had groaned so long.
There were still occasional ebullitions of resistance for, in 1520,
when the tribunal of Cuenca arrested the deputy corregidor it gave rise
to serious troubles and Inquisitor Mariano of Toledo was despatched
thither with his servants and familiars to restore peace, a task which
occupied him for five months.[597]

A still further project for mitigating the rigors of the Inquisition was
laid before Charles in 1520, apparently after his arrival in Flanders.
This proposed no payment, but suggested that the expenses should be
defrayed by the crown, which should wholly withdraw the confiscations
from the control of the inquisitors. With this were connected various
reforms in procedure--revealing the names of witnesses, allowing the
accused to select his advocate and to see his friends and family in
presence of the gaoler, the punishment of false witness by the _talio_,
the support of wife and children during the trial from the sequestrated
property and some others.[598] There would seem also, about 1522, to
have been a further offer to Charles of seven hundred thousand ducats
for the abandonment of confiscation, but it does not appear what
conditions accompanied it.[599] It was all useless. The grasp of the
Inquisition on Spain was too firm and its routine too well established
for modification.

In the revolt of the Comunidades, which followed the departure of
Charles, the affairs of the Inquisition had no participation. Some ten
years later, however, in 1531, the tribunal of Toledo came upon traces
of an attempt to turn the popular movement to account in removing one of
the atrocities of inquisitorial procedure. The treasurer, Alfonso
Gutiérrez, is said to have spent in Rome some twelve thousand ducats in
procuring a papal brief which removed the seal of secrecy from prisons
and witnesses. He endeavored to secure for his scheme the favor of Juan
de Padilla, the popular leader, by a loan of eight hundred ducats on the
pledge of a gold chain, but Padilla, while accepting the loan, prudently
refused to jeopardize his cause by arousing inquisitorial

What Gutiérrez failed to obtain was sought for again from Charles V in
1526. About this time commenced the efforts to subject the Moriscos of
Granada to the Holy Office and apparently in preparation for this
Granada was separated from Córdova and was favored with a tribunal of
its own, transferred thither from Jaen. The frightened inhabitants made
haste to petition Charles to do away with the secrecy which was so
peculiarly provocative of abuses. They pointed out that a judge, if
licentiously disposed, had ample opportunity to work his will with the
maidens and wives brought before him as prisoners and even with those
merely summoned to appear, whose terror betrayed that they would dare to
offer no resistance. In the same way the notaries and other
subordinates, who were frequently unmarried men, had every advantage
with the wives and daughters of the prisoners, eagerly seeking to obtain
some news of the accused, immured _incomunicado_ in the secret prison,
from which no word could escape, and ready, in their despairing anxiety,
to make any sacrifice to learn his fate. Or, if the officials preferred,
they could sell information for money and all this was so generally
understood that these positions were sought by evil-minded men in order
to gratify their propensities. Bad as was this, still worse was the
suppression of the witnesses' names in procuring the conviction of the
innocent while facilitating the escape of the guilty. The memorial
assumes, what was practically the fact, that the only defence of the
accused lay in guessing the names of the adverse witnesses and
discrediting and disabling them for mortal enmity, and it pointed out
how, in diverse ways, this facilitated miscarriage of justice. It did
not confine itself to argument, however, but added that the little
kingdom of Granada would pay fifty thousand ducats for the removal of
secrecy from the procedure and prisons of the Inquisition, and that a
very large sum could be thus obtained from the other provinces of
Spain.[601] The only possible answer to the reasoning of the memorial
was that the faith would suffer by any change, but this always sufficed
and the Inquisition continued to shroud its acts in the impenetrable
darkness which served to cover up iniquity and give ample scope for

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _NAVARRE_]

When Charles had returned to Spain and again held the Córtes at
Valladolid, in 1523, they repeated the petitions of 1518 and 1520,
adding that nothing had been done. They further suggested that
inquisitors should be paid salaries by the king and not draw their pay
from the proceeds of their functions, and that false witnesses should be
punished in accordance with the Laws of Toro. This shows that the old
abuses were felt as acutely as ever, but Charles merely replied that he
had asked the pope to commission as inquisitor-general the Archbishop of
Seville, Manrique, whom he had especially charged to see that justice
was properly administered. Again, in 1525, the Córtes of Toledo
complained of the excesses of the inquisitors and the disorders
committed by the familiars and asked that the secular judges might be
empowered to restrain abuses, but they obtained only a vague promise
that, if abuses existed, he would have them corrected.[602] It required
no little courage for deputies to arraign the Inquisition publicly in
the Córtes, and it is not surprising that the hardihood to do so
disappeared with the recognition of the fruitlessness of remonstrance.

Thus all efforts proved futile to mitigate or ameliorate inquisitorial
methods, and the Holy Office, in its existing form, was firmly
established in Castile for three centuries momentous to the Spanish


When Ferdinand, in 1512, made the easy conquest of Navarre he presumably
no longer had hope of issue by his Queen Germaine, to whom he could
leave the kingdoms of his crown of Aragon. To avoid, therefore, for the
new territory the limitations on sovereignty imposed by the Aragonese
fueros, in the Córtes of Burgos, in 1515, he caused Navarre to be
incorporated with the crown of Castile.[603] Its Inquisition thus
finally became Castilian, although at first it was scarce more than a
branch of that of Saragossa.

When the Castilian invaders under the Duke of Alva occupied Pampeluna
they found there the Dominican friar, Antonio de Maya, armed with a
commission as inquisitor, issued by his provincial and confirmed by the
pope. The office had doubtless been a sinecure under the House of
Albret, but the transfer of the land to the Catholic king gave promise
of its future usefulness, for the little kingdom had served as an asylum
for refugees from the rest of Spain. The good fraile lost no time in
obtaining from Alva permission to exercise his office and in despatching
an envoy to Ferdinand at Logroño to secure the royal confirmation and
suggest the necessity of appointing a staff of salaried officials.
Besides, the episcopal vicar-general of Pampeluna was seeking to
exercise the office, and the king was asked to order him not to
interfere. Ferdinand, with his usual caution, wrote on September 30,
1512, to the Duke of Alva, as captain-general, and to the Bishop of
Majorca as governor, expressing his earnest desire to forward the good
work and desiring information as to the character of Maya; meanwhile, if
the inquisitors of Saragossa sent to claim fugitives, they were to be
promptly surrendered.

[Sidenote: _NAVARRE_]

No further action was taken for a year, during which Fray Maya did what
he could in the absence of assistance. At length a royal letter of
September 26, 1513, to the Marquis of Comares, lieutenant and
captain-general, announced that Inquisitor-general Mercader had
appointed as inquisitors Francisco González de Fresneda, one of the
inquisitors of Saragossa, and Fray Antonio de Maya, to whom the
customary oath of obedience was to be taken; the only other official
designated was Jaime Julian, as _escribano de secuestras_, with a salary
of 2500 sueldos. Further delays, however, occurred and, on December
21st, the king wrote to Fresneda to lose no time in going to Pampeluna
with his officials, where he would find Maya awaiting him. On the 24th a
proclamation announced that Leo X had ordered the continuance of the
Inquisition in all the kingdoms of Spain and especially in that of
Navarre, wherefore in order that dread of loss of property might not
deter those conscious of guilt from coming forward and confessing, the
king granted release from confiscation to all who would confess and
apply for reconciliation within the Term of Grace of thirty days which
the inquisitors would announce. As a preparation for those who should
disregard this mercy, already, on the 22d, Martin Adrian had been
commissioned to the important office of receiver of the confiscations
which were expected to supply the funds for the machinery of persecution
and, on January 1, 1514, he was empowered to pay himself a salary of
6000 sueldos and one of 3000 to Fray Maya. As nothing is said about the
salaries of the other officials, they presumably were carried on the
pay-roll of the tribunal of Saragossa. The process of manning the new
Inquisition was conducted with great deliberation. It was not until July
13, 1514, that receiver Adrian was informed that Bishop Mercader had
appointed Juan de Villena as fiscal, or prosecuting officer, to whom a
salary of 2500 sueldos was to be paid. The close connection of the
tribunal of Pampeluna with that of Aragon is seen in the fact that
Adrian was also notary of the Inquisition of Calatayud and continued in
service there for which he received his accustomed salary. Juan de
Miades, also, the alguazil of Saragossa, was put in charge of the prison
at Pampeluna, for which he was allowed an additional salary of 500
sueldos, until, October 15, 1515, Bernardino del Campo, of Saragossa,
was appointed gaoler at Pampeluna with a salary of 500 sueldos. We also
hear of Miguel Daoyz, notary _del secreto_ of Saragossa acting for the
Inquisition of Pampeluna. This may partly be attributable to Ferdinand's
policy, as expressed, March 23, 1514, in a letter to the Marquis of
Comares, that the officials must not be Navarrese, for he had elsewhere
experienced the disadvantage of employing natives. More urgent, however,
was the pressure of economy, for the Pampeluna Inquisition had
apparently little to do; Navarre had never had a population of Moors and
Jews comparable to that of the southern kingdoms and the refugees there
doubtless hastened their departure as soon as the shadow of the
Inquisition spread over the land, although one of the earliest orders of
Ferdinand to Comares, December 21, 1513, had been to place guards
secretly at all ports and passes to prevent their escape. How little
material existed for the Holy Office is manifested by the fact that the
confiscations did not pay the very moderate expenses and in May, 1515,
it was necessary to transfer from Valencia two hundred ducats to enable
Martin Adrian to meet the necessary charges. In September, 1514, we find
the inquisitors making a visitation of their district and, in the
following month, Fray Maya returned to the seclusion of his convent, but
of the actual work of the tribunal we hear little. It is true that a
letter of the Suprema, October 11, 1516, respecting the collection of a
penance of 300 ducats imposed on Miguel de Sant Jaime shows that
occasionally a lucrative prize was secured, but chances of this kind
must have been few for, in 1521, Cardinal Adrian, in view of the
necessities of the tribunal, ruthlessly cut down the salaries of all the
officials. Its authority cannot have been well assured for, in 1518, the
Viceroy, Duke of Najera, expresses doubts whether a sentence of
sanbenitos, pronounced on Rodrigo de Osca and his wife, of Pampeluna,
can be enforced, in view of their numerous kindred, to which the Suprema
replies by instructing him to see that nothing is allowed to impede it.
Little as it had to do, the business of the tribunal was delayed by its
imperfect organization. In 1519 eight citizens of Pampeluna complained
to the Suprema that, for trifling causes, their fathers and mothers,
wives and brothers, were in the prison of the Inquisition, where three
of them had died and the rest were sick. They had been detained for
seven or eight months, although their cases were finished, awaiting
_consultores_ from Saragossa to vote on them, wherefore the petitioners
asked that decisions be reached without further delay and that, when
discharged, the prisoners should not be ruined by pecuniary penances
greater than their substance, as had occurred on previous occasions. The
Suprema, January 12, 1519, forwarded this petition to the inquisitors
with instructions that, within fifteen days, one of them should bring to
Saragossa all the cases concluded, to be duly voted on, while the
remainder were to be finished as soon as possible and within fifteen
days thereafter to be similarly brought to Saragossa for decision. As in
this letter the Council describes itself as entrusted with the business
of the Inquisition in all the kingdoms and lordships of the crown of
Aragon and Navarre, it shows that the latter still remained subject to
the section of the Suprema pertaining to Aragon.

[Sidenote: _NAVARRE_]

While the tribunal of Pampeluna was thus of little service for its
ostensible objects, it was turned to account politically in the
perturbations which followed the death of Ferdinand, January 23, 1516.
Jean d'Albret, supported by France, naturally made an effort to recover
his dominions, but his ineffective siege of Saint-Jean-Pied-du-Port, and
the defeat and capture of the Marshal of Navarre at Roncesvalles,
speedily put an end to the invasion. It was important for the Spanish
government to ascertain the extent to which assistance had been pledged
to him by his former subjects. The Inquisition was unpopular among them
and would undoubtedly have been overthrown had d'Albret succeeded, so
that an investigation into those concerned in the movement could come
within an elastic definition of its functions, while its methods fitted
it admirably to obtain the information desired. Accordingly a cédula of
April 21, 1516, instructed the inquisitors to spare no effort, in every
way, to discover the names of those engaged in the affair and to obtain
all the information they could about the whole matter. This probably did
not increase the popularity of the Holy Office and the French invasion
of 1521 offered an opportunity, which was not neglected, of expressing
in action the hostility of the people. After the expulsion of the enemy,
reprisals were in order which Cardinal Adrian committed to the Precentor
of Tudela. Apparently he was not sufficiently vigorous in the work for,
in 1523, we find the Suprema stimulating him to greater activity.[604]

Spanish domination being thus assured, the Navarrese tribunal became
useful chiefly as a precaution to prevent the subject kingdom from
continuing to be an asylum for heretics. It had been shifted from
Pampeluna to Estella and thence to Tudela, where, in 1518, the Suprema
instructs the inquisitors to find a suitable building, in order to
relieve the monastery of San Francisco in which the tribunal was
temporarily lodged. Some years later there was talk of returning it to
Pampeluna, but finally it was recognized as having a district inadequate
to its support, while the monarchy felt itself strong enough to
disregard the old boundaries of nationality. At some time prior to 1540,
Calahorra, with a portion of Old Castile, was detached from the enormous
district of Valladolid and was made the seat of a tribunal of which the
jurisdiction extended over Navarre and Biscay. About 1570 this was
transferred to Logroño, on the boundary between Old Castile and Navarre,
and there it remained, as we shall have occasion to see, until the
dissolution of the Holy Office.[605]



The Crown of Aragon comprised the so-called kingdoms of Aragon and
Valencia, the principality of Catalonia, the counties of Rosellon and
Cerdana, and the Balearic Isles, with the outlying dependencies of
Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Although marriage had united the
sovereigns of Castile and Aragon, the particularism born of centuries of
rivalry and frequent war kept the lands jealously apart as separate
nations and Ferdinand ruled individually his ancestral dominions. What
had been accomplished in Castile for the Inquisition had therefore no
effect across the border and the extension of the Spanish organization
there was complicated by the character of the local institutions and the
fact that the papal Inquisition was already in existence there since its
foundation in the middle of the thirteenth century.

Aragon had not undergone the dissolving process of Castilian anarchy
which enabled Ferdinand and Isabella to build up an absolute monarchy on
the ruins of feudalism. Its ancient rights and liberties had been
somewhat curtailed during the tyrannical reigns of Ferdinand of
Antequera and his successors, but enough remained to render the royal
power nominal rather than real and the people were fiercely jealous of
their independence. The Córtes were really representative bodies which
insisted upon the redress of grievances before voting supplies and, if
we may believe the Venetian envoy, Giovanni Soranzo, in 1565, the
ancient formula of the oath of allegiance was still in use: "We, who are
as good as you, swear to you who are no better than we, as to the prince
and heir of our kingdom, on condition that you preserve our liberty and
laws and if you do otherwise we do not swear to you."[606]

In dealing with a people whose liberties were so extensive and whose
jealousy as to their maintenance was so sensitive, Ferdinand was far too
shrewd to provoke opposition by the abrupt introduction of the
Inquisition such as he had forced upon Castile. His first endeavor
naturally was to utilize the institution as it had so long existed.
This, although founded as early as 1238, had sunk into a condition
almost dormant in the spiritual lethargy of the century preceding the
Reformation, and in Aragon, as in the rest of Europe, it appeared to be
on the point of extinction. It is true that, in 1474, Sixtus IV had
ordered Fra Leonardo, the Dominican General, to fill all the tribunals
of the Holy Office and he had complied by appointing Fray Juan as
Inquisitor of Aragon, Fray Jaime for Valencia, Fray Juan for Barcelona
and Fray Francisco Vital for Catalonia, but we have no record of their
activity.[607] So little importance, indeed, was attached to the
functions of the Inquisition that in Valencia, where in 1480 the
Dominicans Cristóbal de Gualbes and Juan Orts were inquisitors, they
held faculties enabling them to act without the concurrence of the
episcopal representative--an unexampled privilege, only explicable on
the assumption that the archbishop declined to be troubled with matters
so trivial. The archbishop at the time was Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia,
papal vice-chancellor, better known as Alexander VI, who speedily woke
up to the speculative value of his episcopal jurisdiction over heresy,
when the fierce persecution, which arose in Andalusia in January, 1481,
with its attendant harvest of fines and compositions, showed that a
similar prospect might be anticipated in his own province. Accordingly a
brief of Sixtus IV, December 4, 1481, addressed to the inquisitors,
withdrew their faculties of independent action and went to the other
extreme by directing them in future to do nothing without the
concurrence of the vicar-general, Mateo Mercader, senior archdeacon of


In reviving and stimulating to activity this papal institution,
Ferdinand was fully resolved to have it subjected to the crown as
completely as in Castile. Hitherto it had been a Dominican province,
with inquisitors holding office at the pleasure of the Dominican
authorities and his first step therefore was to procure, in 1481, from
the Dominican General, Salvo Caseta, a commission to Fray Gaspar Juglar
to appoint and dismiss inquisitors at the royal will and pleasure.[609]
This gave him control over the personnel of the Inquisition, but to
render it completely dependent and at the same time efficient, it was
necessary that the appointees should be well paid and that the pay
should come from the royal treasury. A hundred years earlier, Eymerich,
the Inquisitor of Aragon, had sorrowfully recorded that princes were
unwilling to defray the expenses, because there were no rich heretics
left whose confiscations excited their cupidity; the Church was equally
disinclined, so that, in the absence of regular financial support, the
good work languished.[610] Now, however, greed and fanaticism joined
hands at the prospect of wealthy Conversos to be punished and Ferdinand,
by a rescript of February 17, 1482, provided ample salaries for the
manning of the tribunal of Valencia, with all the necessary
officials.[611] We may reasonably assume that he commenced there in the
anticipation of meeting less obstinate resistance than in the older and
stronger provinces of Aragon and Catalonia. He was, however, not yet
fully satisfied with his control over appointments and he applied to
Sixtus IV for some larger liberty, but the pope, who was beginning to
recognize that the Castilian Inquisition was more royal than papal,
refused, by a brief of January 29, 1482, alleging that to do so would be
to inflict disgrace on the Dominicans to whom it had always been

The reorganized tribunal speedily produced an impression by its
activity. The Conversos became thoroughly alarmed; opposition began to
manifest itself, while the more timid sought safety in flight. A certain
Mossen Luis Masquo, one of the jurats of Valencia, made himself
especially conspicuous in exciting the city against the inquisitors and
in stimulating united action in opposition by the Estates of the
kingdom. A letter to him from Ferdinand, February 8, 1482, censures him
severely for this and vaguely threatens him with the royal wrath for
persistence. Another letter of the same date to the Maestre Racional, or
chief accounting officer of the kingdom, shows that the severity with
which the property of those arrested was seized and sequestrated was
arousing indignation, for it explains the necessity of this so that not
a _diner_ shall be lost; if the inquisitors have not power to do this,
it shall be conferred on them.[613] The Maestre Racional had suggested
that for those who should spontaneously come forward and confess a form
of abjuration and reconciliation might be adopted which should spare
them the humiliation of public penance while still keeping them subject
to the penalties of relapse. To this, after consultation with learned
canonists, Ferdinand assented and sent him the formula agreed upon, with
instructions that it should appear to be the act of the local
authorities and not his--doubtless to prevent his Castilian subjects
from claiming the same exemption from the humiliating penitential
processions in the autos de fe.[614]


Allusions in this correspondence to special cases of arrests and
fugitives and sequestrations show that Ferdinand was succeeding in
moulding the old Inquisition as he desired and that it was actively at
work, when suddenly a halt was called. In the general terror it is
presumable that the Conversos had recourse to the Holy See and furnished
the necessary convincing arguments; it may also be conjectured that
Sixtus was disposed, by throwing obstacles in the way, to secure the
recognition of his profitable but disputed right to entertain appeals
and that he was unwilling, without a struggle, to lose control of the
Inquisition of Aragon as he had done with that of Castile. There are
traces also of the hand of Cardinal Borgia seeking to recover his
episcopal jurisdiction over heresy in Valencia. Whatever may have been
the impelling cause, the first move of Sixtus was to cause the Dominican
General, Salvo Caseta, to withdraw the commission given to Fray Gaspar
Juglar to appoint inquisitors at Ferdinand's dictation. At this the
royal wrath exploded in a letter to the General, April 26, 1482,
threatening the whole Order with the consequences of his displeasure;
Gualbes and Orts had done their duty fearlessly and incorruptibly, while
Fray Francisco Vital--appointed to Catalonia by the Dominican
General--had been taking bribes and had been banished the kingdom; he
will never allow inquisitors to act, except at his pleasure; even with
the royal favor they can accomplish little in the face of popular
opposition and without it they can do nothing; meanwhile Gualbes and
Orts will continue to act. This heated epistle was followed, May 11th,
by one in a calmer mood, asking that Juglar's commission be renewed or
another one be issued, failing which he would obtain papal authority and
overslaugh the Dominican Order.[615]


The next move by Sixtus was the issue, April 18, 1482, of the most
extraordinary bull in the history of the Inquisition--extraordinary
because, for the first time, heresy was declared to be, like any other
crime, entitled to a fair trial and simple justice. We shall have
abundant opportunity to see hereafter how the inquisitorial system,
observed since its foundation in the thirteenth century, presumed the
guilt of the accused on any kind of so-called evidence and was solely
framed to extort a confession by depriving him of the legitimate means
of defence and by the free use of torture. It was also an invariable
rule that sacramental confession of heresy was good only in the forum of
conscience and was no bar to subsequent prosecution. There was brazen
assurance therefore in Sixtus's complaining that, for some time, the
inquisitors of Aragon had been moved not by zeal for the faith but by
cupidity; that many faithful Christians, on the evidence of slaves,
enemies and unfit witnesses, without legitimate proofs, had been thrust
into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as heretics their property
confiscated and their persons relaxed to the secular arm for execution.
In view of the numerous complaints reaching him of this, he ordered that
in future the episcopal vicars should in all cases be called in to act
with the inquisitors; that the names and evidence of accusers and
witnesses should be communicated to the accused, who should be allowed
counsel and that the evidence for the defence and all legitimate
exceptions should be freely admitted; that imprisonment should be in the
episcopal gaols; that for all oppression there should be free appeal to
the Holy See, with suspension of proceedings, under pain of
excommunication removable only by the pope. Moreover, all who had been
guilty of heresy should be permitted to confess secretly to the
inquisitors or episcopal officials, who were required to hear them
promptly and confer absolution, good in both the forum of conscience and
that of justice, without abjuration, on their accepting secret penance,
after which they could no longer be prosecuted for any previous acts, a
certificate being given to them in which the sins confessed were not to
be mentioned, nor were they to be vexed or molested thereafter in any
way--and all this under similar pain of excommunication. The bull was
ordered to be read in all churches and the names of those incurring
censure under it were to be published and the censures enforced if
necessary by invocation of the secular arm; while finally all
proceedings in contravention of these provisions were declared to be
null and void, all exceptions from excommunication were withdrawn and
all conflicting papal decrees were set aside.[616] It is evident that
the Conversos had a hand in framing this measure and they could scarce
have asked for anything more favorable. In fact Ferdinand in December,
1482, writes to Luis Cabanilles, Governor of Valencìa, that he learns
that Gonsalvo de Gonsalvo Royz was concerned in procuring the bull for
the Conversos: he is therefore to be arrested at once and is not to be
released without a royal order, while Luis de Santangel, the royal
_escribano de racion_, will convey orally the king's intentions
concerning him.[617]

In this elaborate and carefully planned decree Sixtus formally threw
down the gage of battle to Ferdinand and announced that he must be
placated in some way if the Inquisition of Aragon was to be allowed to
perform its intended functions. That it was simply a tactical
move--rendered doubly advantageous by liberal Converso payment--and that
he is to be credited with no humanitarian motives, is sufficiently
evident from his subsequent action and also from the fact that the bull
was limited to Aragon and in no way interfered with the Castilian
tribunals. Ferdinand promptly accepted the challenge. He did not await
the publication of the bull but addressed, on May 13th, a haughty and
imperative letter to Sixtus. He had heard, he said, that such
concessions had been made, which he briefly condensed in a manner to
show that his information was accurate, and further that the inquisitors
Gualbes and Orts had been removed, at the instance of the New Christians
who hoped for more pliable successors. He refused to believe that the
pope could have made grants so at variance with his duty but, if he had
thus yielded to the cunning persuasions of the New Christians, he, the
king, did not intend ever to allow them to take effect. If anything had
been conceded it must be revoked; the management of the Inquisition must
be left to him; he must have the appointment of the inquisitors, as only
through his favor could they adequately perform their functions; it was
through lack of this royal power that they had hitherto been corrupted
and had allowed heresy to spread. He therefore asked Sixtus to confirm
Gualbes and Orts and the commission to Gaspar Juglar, or to give a
similar commission to some other Dominican, for he would permit no one
to exercise the office in his dominions except at his pleasure.[618]

Sixtus seems to have allowed five months to elapse before answering this
defiance, but in the meanwhile the Inquisition went on as before.
Ferdinand had formed in Valencia a special council for the Holy Office
and this body ventured to remonstrate with him about the confiscations
and especially the feature of sequestration, by which, as soon as an
arrest was made, the whole property of the accused was seized and held;
this was peculiarly oppressive and the council represented that it
violated the fueros granted by King Jaime and King Alfonso, but
Ferdinand replied, September 11th, that he was resolved that nothing
belonging to him should be lost but should be rigidly collected, while
what belonged to others should not be taken. Another letter of September
6th to the Governor Luis Cabanilles refers to an arrangement of a kind
that became frequent, under which the Conversos agreed to pay a certain
sum as a composition for the confiscations of those who might be proved
to be heretics.[619]


At length, on October 9th, Sixtus replied to Ferdinand in a manner to
show that he was open to accommodation. The new rules, he said, had been
drawn up with the advice of the cardinals deputed for the purpose; they
had scattered in fear of the impending pestilence but, when they should
return to Rome, he would charge them to consider maturely whether the
bull should be amended; meanwhile he suspended it in so far as it
contravened the common law, only charging the inquisitors to observe
strictly the rules of the common law--the "common law" here being an
elastic expression, certain to be construed as the traditional
inquisitorial system.[620] Thus the unfortunate Conversos of Aragon, as
we shall see hereafter were those of Castile, were merely used as pawns
in the pitiless game of king and pope over their despoilment and the
merciful prescriptions of the bull of April 18th were only of service in
showing that, in his subsequent policy, Sixtus sinned against light and
knowledge. What negotiations followed, the documents at hand fail to
reveal, but an understanding was inevitable as soon as the two powers
could agree upon a division of the spoil. It required a twelvemonth to
effect this and in the settlement Ferdinand secured more than he had at
first demanded. It was no longer a question of commissioning a fraile to
appoint inquisitors at his pleasure, but of including in the
organization of the Castilian Inquisition the whole of the Spanish
dominions. On October 17, 1483, the agreement was ratified by a bull
appointing Torquemada as inquisitor of Aragon, Valencia and Catalonia,
with power to appoint subordinates. In this, with characteristic
shamelessness, Sixtus declares that he is only discharging his duty as
pope, while his tender care for the reputation of the Dominicans is
manifested by his omitting to prescribe that the local inquisitors
should be members of that Order, the only qualification required being
that they should be masters in theology.[621]

During the interval, prior to this extension of Torquemada's
jurisdiction, there was an incident showing that Sixtus had yielded the
appointment of inquisitors, while endeavoring to retain the power of
dismissing them. Cristóbal Gualbes, who was acting in Valencia to the
entire satisfaction of Ferdinand, became involved in a bitter quarrel
with the Archdeacon Mercader for whom, as we have seen, Cardinal Borgia
had obtained a papal brief, virtually constituting him an indispensable
member of the tribunal--a power which he doubtless used speculatively to
the profit of Borgia and himself. It is to the interference of Gualbes
with these worthies that we may reasonably attribute the action of
Sixtus, who wrote, May 25, 1483, to Ferdinand and Isabella that the
misdeeds of Gualbes merited heavy punishment, but he contented himself
with removing him and asked them to fill his place with some fitting
person on whom he in advance conferred the necessary powers. He
evidently felt doubtful as to their acquiescence, for he wrote on the
same day to Iñigo Archbishop of Seville, asking him to use his influence
to induce the sovereigns to concur in this.[622] Ferdinand was not
inclined to abandon Gualbes for, in a letter of August 8th, he orders
the Maestre Racional of Valencia to pay to "lo devot religios maestre
Gualbes" forty libras to defray his expenses in coming to the king at
Córdova and in order that he might without delay return to work.[623] In
the final settlement however Gualbes was sacrificed, for when
Torquemada was made Inquisitor-general of Aragon, Sixtus expressly
forbade him from appointing that son of iniquity Cristóbal Gualbes who,
for his demerits, had been interdicted from serving as inquisitor.[624]

       *       *       *       *       *

If Ferdinand imagined that he had overcome the resistance of his
subjects by placing them under the Castilian Inquisition with Torquemada
at its head, he showed less than his usual sagacity. They had been
restive under the revived institution conducted by their own people and
the intense particularism of the Aragonese could not fail to arouse
still stronger opposition to the prospect of subjection to the
domination of a foreigner such as Torquemada, whose sinister reputation
for pitiless zeal gave assurance that the work would be conducted with
greater energy than ever.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

In Castile the introduction of the Inquisition had been done by the
arbitrary power of the crown; in Aragon the consent of the
representatives of the people was felt to be necessary for the change
from the old to the new and a meeting of the Córtes was convoked at
Tarazona for January 15, 1484. Ferdinand and Isabella arrived there on
the 19th and remained until May, when the opening of the campaign
against Granada required their presence elsewhere. Torquemada was there
ready to establish the tribunals; what negotiations were requisite we do
not know, though we hear of his consulting with persons of influence,
and an agreement was reached on April 14th. It was not until May 7th,
however, that Ferdinand issued from Tarazona a cédula addressed to all
the officials throughout his dominions, informing them that with his
assent the pope had established the Inquisition to repress the Judaic
and Mahometan heresies and ordering that the inquisitors and their
ministers should be honored and assisted everywhere under pain of the
royal wrath, of deprivation of office and of ten thousand florins.[625]

Under the plenary powers of Torquemada's commission, steps were taken to
reorganize the Inquisition and adapt it to the active discharge of its
duties. Tribunals were to be established permanently in Valencia,
Saragossa and Barcelona with new men to conduct them. Gualbes was
disposed of by the enmity of Sixtus IV. Orts still figures in an order
for the payment of salaries, April 24, 1484, and, on May 10th,
Ferdinand, writing from Tarazona, says that he is there and will be sent
to Saragossa, but he never appeared at the latter place, though he was
not formally removed from office until February 8, 1486, by Innocent
VIII, when he was styled Inquisitor of Valencia and Lérida.[626]


In the Spring of 1484 Torquemada appointed, for Valencia, Fray Juan de
Epila and Martin Iñigo, but the popular resistance and effervescence
were such that their operations were greatly delayed. The jurats, or
local authorities, prevented the opening of their tribunal and, by the
advice of Miguel Dalman, royal advocate fiscal, presented an appeal to
the Córtes of the kingdom, imploring their intervention. The Córtes had
assembled and all four _brazos_ or Estates united in remonstrances
against the threatened violation of the fueros and privileges of the
land and threw every impediment in the way of the inquisitors. All this
we learn from a series of letters despatched, July 27th, by Ferdinand to
the various officials, from the governor down, in which he gives free
vent to his wrath and indignation, declaring his will to be
unchangeable, threatening with punishment and dismissal all who resist
it and pronouncing as frivolous the argument that the Inquisition was an
invasion of the privileges of the land. At the same time he wrote to the
inquisitors informing them of his proposed measures, instructing them to
perform their duties without fear and cautioning them to observe the
fueros and privileges and to show clemency and mercy, in so far as they
could with a good conscience, to those who confessed their errors and
applied for reconciliation.[627]

Energetic and determined as was the tone of these letters they produced
no effect upon the obstinate Valencians. The Córtes and the city joined
in sending a deputation to the king to remonstrate against the proposed
violation of their rights. The Maestre Racional stood by and did nothing
to remove the dead-lock. Even the Royal Council of Valencia prevented
the inquisitors from opening their tribunal, on the ground that they
were foreigners while, by the fueros, none but natives could exercise
official functions. All this produced another explosion of royal anger
under date of August 31st. Ferdinand roundly scolded his officials and
threatened punishment proportioned to the gravity of the offence; the
reasons alleged by the envoys and the council were brushed aside as
untenable; he ordered the governor to set the inquisitors at work,
without caring what the Córtes might do or what the people might say,
and he exhorted the inquisitors to lose no time in performing their
duties.[628] The struggle continued but at length opposition was broken
down and, on November 7, 1484, the inquisitors were able formally to
assume their functions by preaching their _sermon de la fe_ and
publishing their edicts. Although they were thus in shape to carry on
the business of the tribunal, the usual solemnities were omitted and
they did not venture to exact, from the secular and ecclesiastical
dignitaries, the customary oaths--all of which Ferdinand subsequently
ordered to be performed.[629]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Scarcely had the inquisitors commenced operations when Borgia's
representative, the Archdeacon Mateo Mercader, was the cause of fresh
trouble. Discord arose between him and Juan de Epila which threatened to
have even more serious results than his quarrels with Gualbes, which had
compromised the attempt to revive the old Inquisition. Ferdinand's
patience was exhausted and so serious did he consider the situation that
he despatched his secretary, Antonio Salavert, to Valencia armed with
peremptory orders to Mercader and the governor. The former was required
to make over his episcopal functions to Martí Trigo, another
vicar-general, to surrender the bull of December 4, 1481, delegating to
him inquisitorial powers, and no longer to meddle in any way with the
Holy Office. In case of disobedience, the governor was instructed,
without a moment's delay, to order him under pain of five thousand
florins, to depart within twenty-four hours for the royal court and to
be beyond the frontier of Valencia within six days; if he failed in this
all his temporalities were to be seized to defray the fine and further
contumacy was to be met by banishing him from the kingdom as a
disobedient rebel. The inquisitors were also told no longer to summon
him to their deliberations and not to allow him to take part in their
action.[630] All this was in flagrant violation of the fueros of the
land and independence of the Church and shows what latitude Ferdinand
allowed himself when the Inquisition was concerned. It was successful
however and we hear no more of Mercader, though it was not until
February 8, 1486, that the curia assented to this arbitrary illegality
by withdrawing his commission along with those of the old

Still, Valencia was not disposed to allow to the Inquisition the
untrammelled exercise of its powers or to render to it the assistance
required of all the faithful. The nobles continued for some months to
offer resistance and when this was nominally broken down it continued in
a passive form. To meet it, Ferdinand, in a letter of August 17, 1485,
ordered Mossen Joan Carrasquier, alguazil of the Inquisition, at the
simple bidding of the inquisitors, to arrest and imprison any one, no
matter how high in station. For this he was not to ask the concurrence
of any secular authority, for the whole royal power was committed to him
and all officials, under pain of two thousand gold florins, and other
arbitrary punishment, were required to lend him active assistance. Even
this infraction of the royal oath to respect the liberties of the
subject did not suffice, for another letter of January 23, 1486, states
that the nobles continued to give refuge in their lands to fugitives
from the Inquisition, even to those condemned and burnt in effigy,
wherefore they were summoned, under their allegiance and a penalty of
twenty thousand gold florins, to surrender to the alguazil all whom he
might designate and to aid him in seizing them. About the same time
Ferdinand placed the royal palace of Valencia at the service of the
Inquisition and ordered to be built in it the necessary prisons. His own
officials apparently had by this time been taught obedience for in
March, 1487, he writes to the governor warmly praising their zeal.[632]
To stimulate this, on July 28, 1487, he issued a safe-conduct, taking
under the royal protection all the officials of the Inquisition, their
families and goods; all royal officials, from the highest to the lowest,
were required, under pain of five thousand florins and the king's wrath,
to assist them and to arrest whomsoever they might designate.[633]

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

Still, there were occasional ebullitions of resistance which were met
with prompt and effective measures. In 1488 the Lieutenant-general of
the kingdom ventured to remove by force, from the inquisitorial prison,
a certain Domingo de Santa Cruz, condemned for heresy, and was at once
summoned by Torquemada to answer for his temerity. Ferdinand at the same
time wrote to him severely to come without delay and, that the kingdom
might not be without a governor, sent him a commission in blank to fill
in with the name of a deputy to act during his absence or until the king
should otherwise provide; moreover, all who had assisted in the removal
of the prisoner were to be forthwith arrested by the inquisitors.[634]
So, when in 1497 the notaries of Valencia claimed that the notaries of
the Holy Office had no power to certify documents concerning the sales
of confiscated property and other similar business and summoned them
before the secular authorities, Ferdinand threatened them with severe
punishment, besides the prosecution by the inquisition to which they
were liable for impeding it, for it was not subject to any of the laws
or privileges of the land. He also wrote to the Duke of Segorbe, his
lieutenant-general, to support the Inquisition; the fiscal of the
Suprema presented a _clamosa_ claiming that those guilty of this action
were excommunicate and liable to the penalties for fautorship of heresy,
and the inquisitor-general forwarded this to them with a summons to
appear within fifteen days and defend themselves.[635] The Inquisition
was so sacred that a mere attempt to decide at law a question of
business was a crime involving heavy penalties. Ferdinand's sharp
rebuke, in 1499, when a case of confiscation, involving peculiar
hardship, provoked the royal officials and local magistrates to meet and
draw up a protest in terms unflattering to the tribunal has already been
referred to (p. 189). It was probably one of the results of this that,
on June 28, 1500, the inquisitors summoned all the officials and the
Diputados before them and, when all were assembled, read to them the
apostolic letters and those of the king respecting the tribunal and its
fees and required all present to take the oath of obedience, which was
duly acceded to without objections.[636] The unintermitting pressure of
the throne was thus finally effective and, in spite of its fueros, the
little kingdom was brought under the yoke.

The tribunal had been active and efficient. Already, in June, 1488, a
list of those reconciled under the Edicts of Grace amounted to 983 and,
among these, no less than a hundred women are described as the wives or
daughters of men who had been burnt. Those included in this enumeration
were given assurance that their property would not be subject to
confiscation--unless it had already been sequestrated--and that they
could effect sales and make good titles. Apparently inquisitorial zeal
disregarded this assurance for these penitents applied for and obtained
its confirmation, May 30, 1491.[637] Of course they had been subjected
to heavy fines under the guise of pecuniary penance and we can readily
imagine how large was the sum thus contributed to the coffers of the
Inquisition, to which as yet these fines enured.



The parent state of Aragon proper seemed at first sight to present an
even more arduous problem than Valencia. The people were proud of their
ancient liberty and resolute in its maintenance, through institutions
sedulously organized for that purpose. The Conversos were numerous,
wealthy and powerful, occupying many of the higher offices and
intermarried with the noblest houses and, in the fate of their brethren
of Castile, they had ample warning of what was in store for them. In the
revival of the old Inquisition, Valencia was the scene of action and we
hear little of Gualbes and Orts beyond its boundaries. The acceptance,
however, by the Córtes of Tarazona, in the Spring of 1484, of
Torquemada's jurisdiction, of course included Aragon; he lost no time in
organizing a tribunal in Saragossa, by the appointment, May 4th, as
inquisitors of Fray Gaspar Juglar and of Maestre Pedro Arbués, a canon
of the cathedral, with the necessary subordinates and, by May 11th, the
appointments for a full court were completed, as we learn by an order
for the payment of the salaries.[638] The expense was large but it was
already provided for; Torquemada must himself have employed his leisure
in acting as inquisitor for, on May 10th, an auto de fe was held in the
cathedral in which four persons were penanced and subjected to
confiscation.[639] Gaspar Juglar in this appointment obtained his reward
for the services he had rendered as a nominator of inquisitors, but he
did not long enjoy it; he disappears almost immediately, poisoned, as it
was said, by the Conversos in some _rosquillas_ or sweet cakes.[640] No
time was lost in getting to work. Ferdinand had written from Tarazona,
May 10th, that the Edict of Grace which had been resolved upon was not
to be published, but that proceedings should go on as if it had been
proclaimed and had expired, thus depriving the Conversos of the
opportunity of coming forward for confessing, and explaining the absence
at Saragossa of the long lists of penitents that we find elsewhere.[641]
Thus, although some time must have been required for the members of the
tribunal to assemble, by June 3d it was ready for another auto, held in
the courtyard of the archiepiscopal palace. This time it was not
bloodless, for two men were executed and a woman was burnt in

No more autos were held in Saragossa for eighteen months. Thus far the
people had been passive; they had accepted the action of the Córtes of
Tarazona, apparently under the impression that the new Inquisition would
be as inert as the old had so long been, but, as they awoke to the
reality, an opposition arose which called a halt and Arbués never
celebrated another auto. Not only the Conversos but many of the Old
Christians denounced the Inquisition as contrary to the liberties of the
land. The chief objections urged against it were the secrecy of
procedure and the confiscation of estates and, as these were the veriest
commonplaces of inquisitorial business, it shows how completely the old
institution had been dormant. So many Conversos were lawyers and judges
and high officials that they had abundant opportunity to impede the
action of the tribunal by obtaining injunctions and decisions of the
courts as to confiscations, which they regarded as the most assailable
point, believing that if these could be stopped the whole business would
perish of inanition.[643]

To overcome this resistance, resort was had to the rule compelling all
who held office to take the oath of obedience to the Inquisition. On
September 19th, the royal and local officials were assembled and
solemnly sworn to maintain inviolably the holy Roman Catholic faith, to
employ all their energies against every one of whatever rank, who was a
heretic or suspect of heresy or a fautor of heresy, to denounce any one
whom they might know to be guilty and to appoint to office no one
suspect in the faith or incapacitated by law. A few days later the same
oath was taken by the Governor of Aragon, Juan Francisco de Heredia and
his assessor, Francisco de Santa Fe, son of that Geronimo de Santa Fe
the convert, who had stimulated the popular abhorrence of Judaism.
Other nobles were subsequently required to take the oath, and it was
gradually administered to all the different Estates. Then, in November,
followed Torquemada's assembly of inquisitors at Seville, whose
instructions were duly transmitted to Aragon for observance, although
Aragon had not been represented in the conference. Thus far the tribunal
seems to have had no definite quarters, but it was now settled in some
houses between the cathedral and the archiepiscopal palace, convenient
to the ecclesiastical gaol.[644]

Agitation grew stronger and those who deemed themselves in danger began
to seek safety in flight, whereupon Ferdinand, on November 4th, issued
orders to the authorities of the three kingdoms to adopt whatever means
might be necessary to prevent the departure of all who were not firm in
the faith. The effort proved ineffective, as it was decided to be in
violation of the fueros, but the Inquisition was superior to the fueros
and Ferdinand instructed the inquisitors to issue an edict forbidding
any one to leave the kingdom without their license, under pain of being
held as a relapsed heretic in case of return, and this scandalous
stretch of arbitrary power he sarcastically said that he would enforce
so that the object might be attained without infringing on the liberties
of the kingdom.[645]


The rich Conversos offered large amounts to the sovereigns if they would
forego the confiscations, but the proposition was rejected. A heavy sum
was subscribed to propitiate the curia, but the arrangement by which the
land was subjected to Torquemada was too recent to be changed. The
lieutenant of the Justicia of Aragon, Tristan de la Porta, was urged to
prohibit the Inquisition altogether, but in vain. Then the Four Estates
of the realm were called together to deliberate on a subject which
involved the liberties of the whole land. To forestall their action
Ferdinand, on December 10th, addressed a circular letter to the deputies
and to the leading nobles, entreating them affectionately to favor and
aid the inquisitors of Saragossa and Teruel, but this had no influence
and a solemn embassy was sent to remonstrate with him. To their
representations he answered, disposing of their arguments by assuming
practically that he was only the agent of the Church in enforcing the
well-known principles of the canons. The essence of his answer is
embodied in responding to their demand that the Inquisition be carried
on as in times past, for in any other way it violated the liberties of
the kingdom. "There is no intention" he said "of infringing on the
fueros but rather of enforcing their observance. It is not to be
imagined that vassals so Catholic as those of Aragon would have
demanded, or that kings so Catholic would have granted, fueros and
liberties adverse to the faith and favorable to heresy. If the old
inquisitors had acted conscientiously in accordance with the canons
there would have been no cause for bringing in the new ones, but they
were without conscience and corrupted with bribes. If there are so few
heretics as is now asserted, there should not be such dread of the
Inquisition. It is not to be impeded in sequestrating and confiscating
and other necessary acts, for be assured that no cause or interest,
however great, shall be allowed to interfere with its proceeding in
future as it is now doing."[646]

Meanwhile there had been, at Teruel, a more open resistance to the
Inquisition, in which the inflexible purpose of the monarch to enforce
obedience at any cost was abundantly demonstrated. Simultaneously with
the organization of the Saragossa tribunal, Fray Juan Colivera and
Mossen Martin Navarro were sent to Teruel with their subordinates to
establish one there. Teruel was a fortified city of some importance,
near the Castilian border, the capital of its district, although it was
not elevated into a separate bishopric until 1577. When the reverend
fathers appeared before the gates, the magistrates refused them entrance
and they prudently retired to Cella, a village about four leagues
distant, whence they fulminated an edict excommunicating the magistrates
and casting an interdict on the town. From the venal papal court Teruel
had no difficulty in procuring letters in virtue of which the dean,
Francisco Savistan, and Martin de San Juan, rector of Villaquemada,
absolved the excommunicates and removed the interdict, nor is it likely
that any success attended Ferdinand's order to his son, the Archbishop
of Saragossa, to send to his official at Teruel secret instructions to
seize the two priests and hold them in chains. The town sent a
supplication to him by Juan de la Mata and Micer Jaime Mora, but he only
ordered them to send home a peremptory command to submit, under pain of
such punishment as should serve as a perpetual example. This he also
communicated to the Governor of Aragon, Juan Fernández de Heredia, with
instructions to take it to Teruel and read it to the magistrates, when,
if they did not yield, a formal summons to appear before him was to be
read to each one individually--all of which was doubtless performed
without effect. Ferdinand had also ordered the envoys not to leave the
court, but they fled secretly and his joy was extreme when, six months
later, Juan de la Mata was captured by Juan Garcés de Marzilla.


The next step of the Inquisition was a decree, October 2, 1484,
confiscating to the crown all the offices in Teruel and pronouncing the
incumbents incapable of holding any office of honor or profit--a decree
which Ferdinand proceeded to execute by stopping their salaries. It was
in vain that the Diputados of Aragon interceded with him; he replied
curtly that the people of Teruel had nothing to complain of and were
guilty of madness and outrage. Then the inquisitors took final action,
which was strictly within their competence, by issuing a letter invoking
the aid of the secular arm and summoning the king to enable them to
seize the magistrates and confiscate their property. To this he
responded, February 5, 1485, with an _Executoria invocationis brachii
sæcularis_, addressed to all the officials of Aragon, requiring them and
the nobles to assemble all the horse and foot that they could raise and
put them at the service of the inquisitors, under a captain whom he
would send to take command. Under pain of the royal wrath, deprivation
of office, a fine of twenty thousand gold florins and discretional
penalties, they were ordered to seize all the inhabitants of Teruel and
their property and deliver them to the inquisitors to be punished for
their enormous crimes in such wise as should serve for a lasting
example. The people of Cella, also, were ordered to deliver their castle
to the inquisitors to serve as a prison and to make all repairs
necessary for that purpose. Apparently the response of Aragon to this
summons was unsatisfactory for Ferdinand, in defiance of the fuero which
forbade the introduction of foreign troops into the kingdom, took the
extreme step of calling upon the nobles of Cuenca and other Castilian
districts contiguous to the border, to raise their men and join in the
holy war, while the receiver of confiscations was ordered to sell enough
property to meet the expenses. Whether this formidable array was raised
or not, the documents do not inform us, nor of the circumstances under
which Teruel submitted, but it had braved the royal will as long as it
dared and it could not hold out against the forces of two kingdoms. By
April 15th Ferdinand was in position to appoint Juan Garcés de Marzilla,
the captor of Juan de la Mata, as _assistente_ or governor of Teruel,
with absolute dictatorial powers, and the spirit in which he exercised
them may be gathered from his declaration that he did not intend to
allow fueros or privileges to stand in the way. The lot of the
inhabitants was hard. Ferdinand ordered Marzilla to banish all whom the
inquisitors might designate, thus placing the whole population at their
mercy, and their rule must have been exasperating, for, in January,
1486, Ferdinand reproaches Marzilla because his nephew, who had aided in
the capture of la Mata, had recently attempted to slay the alguazil of
the Inquisition. Presumably the inquisitorial coffers were filled with
the fines and confiscations which could be inflicted at discretion on
the citizens for impeding the Inquisition. During the long struggle
Teruel had been at the disadvantage that the surrounding country
supported the inquisitors, won over through an astute device by which
the inquisitors, while at Cella, had guaranteed, on the payment of
certain sums, the remission of all debts and the release of all censos
or bonds and groundrents, which might be due to heretics who should be
convicted and subjected to confiscation in Teruel. All debtors were thus
eager for the success of the inquisitors and for the punishment of
heresy among the money-lending Conversos of the town.[647]

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile, in Saragossa, the Conversos were growing desperate. All
peaceful means of averting the fate that hung over them had failed and
events at Teruel demonstrated the futility of resistance. The bolder
spirits began to whisper that the only resource left was to kill an
inquisitor or two, when the warning would deter others from incurring
the hazard. They knew that secret informations were on foot gathering
from all sources testimony against them all. Inquisitor Arbués was
almost openly said to be ready to pay for satisfactory evidence, and the
life and fortune of every man was at the mercy of the evil-minded.[648]
Sancho de Paternoy, the Maestre Racional of Aragon, when on trial,
admitted to prejudice against Juan de Anchias, secretary of the
tribunal, because he had enquired of a Jewish tailor whether Paternoy
had a seat in the synagogue.[649] Suspense was becoming insupportable;
the project of assassination gradually took shape and, when the friends
of the Conversos at the royal court were consulted, including
Ferdinand's treasurer Gabriel Sánchez, they approved of it and wrote
that if an inquisitor was murdered it would put an end to the

At first the intention was to make way not only with Pedro Arbués but
with the assessor, Martin de la Raga, and with Micer Pedro Francés, and
a plot was laid to drown the assessor while he was walking by the Ebro,
but he chanced to be accompanied by two gentlemen and it was
abandoned.[651] The whole attention of the conspirators was then
concentrated on Arbués. Maestre Epila, as he was commonly called, was
not a man of any special note, though his selection by Torquemada
indicates that he was reputed to possess the qualities necessary to curb
the recalcitrant Aragonese, and we are told that he was an eloquent
preacher. He possessed the gift of prophecy, if we may believe the story
that he foretold to his colleague Martin García that he would reach the
episcopate, for García, in 1512, became Bishop of Barcelona, but such
foresight is not necessary to explain his reluctance to accept the
inquisitorship, for, although this was always a promising avenue to
promotion, the post was evidently to be an arduous one.[652] His
hesitation was overcome and we have seen how energetically he commenced
his new career, yet the interruptions which supervened had prevented him
from accomplishing much and he fell a victim rather to fear than to


The conspirators were evidently irresolute, for the plot was long in
hatching, but the secret was wonderfully well kept, considering that the
correspondence respecting it was extensive. Rumors however were not
lacking and, as early as January 29, 1485, Ferdinand wrote to the
Governor of Aragon that a conspiracy was on foot and that a large sum
was being raised to embarrass the Inquisition in every way, yet at the
same time he thanked the jurats for their zeal in aiding the
inquisitors.[653] If suspicion was then aroused, it slumbered again and
for six months meetings were held without being discovered. It was
determined to raise fund for hiring assassins and three treasurers were
appointed. Juan de Esperandeu, a currier, known as a desperate man,
whose father had been arrested, undertook to find the bravos and hired
Juan de la Badía for the purpose. In April or May, 1485, an attempt was
made on the house where Arbués lodged, but the men were frightened off
and the matter was postponed for several months. At length, on the night
of September 15th, Esperandeu went to the house of la Badía and wakened
him; together they returned to Esperandeu's, where they found the
latter's servant Vidau Durango, a Frenchman, with Mateo Ram, one of the
leaders of the plot, his squire Tristanico Leonis and three others who
were masked and who remained unknown. They all went to the cathedral and
entered by the chapter door, which was open on account of the service of
matins. Arbués was kneeling in prayer between the high altar and the
choir, where the canons were chanting; he knew that his life was
threatened, for he wore a coat of mail and a steel cap, while a lance
which he carried was leaning against a pillar. La Badía whispered to
Durango "There he is, give it to him!" Durango stole up behind and, with
a back-stroke, clove his neck between his armor. He rose and staggered
towards the choir, followed by la Badía, who pierced him through the
arm, while Mateo Ram was also said to have thrust him through the body.
He fell; the assassins hurried away and the canons, alarmed at the
noise, rushed from the choir and carried him to his house near by, where
surgeons were summoned who pronounced the wounds to be mortal. He lay
for twenty-four hours, repeating, we are told, pious ejaculations, and
died on September 17th, between 1 and 2 A.M. Miracles at once attested
his sanctity. On the night of the murder the holy bell of Villela tolled
without human hands, breaking the bull's pizzle with which the clapper
was secured. His blood, which stained the flagstones of the cathedral,
after drying for two weeks, suddenly liquefied, so that crowds came to
dip in it cloths and scapulars and had to be forcibly driven off when he
was buried on the spot where he fell: when the conspirators were
interrogated by the inquisitors, their mouths became black and their
tongues were parched so that they were unable to speak until water was
given to them. It was popularly believed that when, in their flight,
they reached the boundaries of the kingdom, they became divinely
benumbed until seized by their captors. More credible is the miracle,
reported by Juan de Anchias, that their trials led to the discovery of
innumerable heretics who were duly penanced or burnt.[654] Pecuniarily
the affair had not been costly; the whole outlay had been only six
hundred florins, of which one hundred was paid to the assassin.[655]


Like the murder of Pierre de Castelnau in Languedoc, this crime turned
the scale. Its immediate effect was to cause a revulsion of popular
feeling, which hitherto had been markedly hostile to the Inquisition.
The news of the assassination spread through the city with marvellous
rapidity and before dawn the streets were filled with excited crowds
shouting "Burn the Conversos who have slain the inquisitor!" There was
danger, in the exaltation of feeling, not only that the Conversos would
be massacred but that the Judería and Morería would be sacked. By
daylight the archbishop, Alfonso de Aragon, mounted his horse and
traversed the streets, calming the mob with promises of speedy justice.
A meeting was at once called of all the principal persons in the city,
which resolved itself into a national assembly and empowered all
ecclesiastical and secular officials to proceed against every one
concerned with the utmost vigor and without observing the customs and
fueros of the kingdom.[656] For some days the Conversos continued to
flatter themselves that with money they would disarm Ferdinand's wrath;
they had, they said, the whole court with them and the sympathies of all
the magnates of the land,[657] but they miscalculated his shrewd resolve
to profit to the utmost by their blunder and the consequent weakness of
their friends. The royal anger, indeed, was much dreaded and the
Diputados, a few days later, wrote to the king reporting what had been
done; the criminals had already scattered in flight; the city had
offered a reward of five hundred ducats; the judges had written to
foreign lands to invoke aid in intercepting the fugitives and both city
and kingdom would willingly undergo all labor and expense necessary to
avenge the crime. A proclamation was also issued excommunicating all
having knowledge of the conspiracy who should not within a given time
come forward and reveal what they knew.[658]

It was probably in consequence of the murder that Ferdinand and Isabella
succeeded in obtaining, from Innocent VIII, papal letters of April 3,
1487, ordering all princes and rulers and magistrates to seize and
deliver to the Inquisition of Spain all fugitives who should be
designated to them, thus extending its arms everywhere throughout
Christendom and practically outlawing all refugees; no proof was to be
required, simple requisition sufficed, the surrender was to be made
within thirty days and safe-conduct assured to the frontier, under pain
of excommunication and the penalties for fautorship of heresy.
Fortunately for humanity this atrocious attempt to establish a new
international law by papal absolutism was practically ignored.[659]


There was one case however in which its punitive clauses seem to have
been invoked. Several of the accomplices in the assassination found
refuge in Tudela, a frontier city of Navarre and on January 27, 1486,
Ferdinand wrote to the magistrates there affectionately requesting that,
if the inquisitors should send for the accused, all aid should be
rendered, seeing that he had given orders to obey such requisitions
throughout his own kingdoms. This application was unsuccessful and in
May he repeated it imperiously, threatening war upon them as defenders
of heretics.[660] The condition of the perishing kingdom of Navarre,
under the youthful Catherine and Jean d'Albret, was not such as to
protect it from the insults of a sovereign like Ferdinand and the
inquisitors presumed so far as to instruct Don Juan de Ribera, then in
command of the frontier, to carry the royal threats into execution. That
prudent officer refused to make war upon a friendly state without the
protection of an express order bearing the signatures of Ferdinand and
Isabella, whereupon, on June 30th, the inquisitors complained of him to
the king. He was in Galicia, suppressing a rising of the Count of Lemos
and reducing the lawless nobles to order and from Viso, July 22d, he
replied that he would at once have sent the order but that he had
brought with him all the frontier troops; as soon as his task was
accomplished he would send back forces with orders to Don Juan to make
war on Tudela in such fashion as to compel it to do what was requisite
for the service of God.[661] A letter of the same date to Torquemada
states that the inquisitors have asked for letters of marque and
reprisal against Tudela on account of Luis de Santangel, but this must
be preceded by a _carta requisitoria_, which he instructs Torquemada to
prepare and send to him when he will execute it.[662] It was not until
the end of November that the sovereigns returned to Salamanca and it is
presumable that the campaign against Tudela was postponed until the
Spring. Of course the fugitives had long before sought some safer
asylum, but the papal brief of April 3, 1487, could be enforced against
the magistrates and they endured the humiliation of submitting to the
tribunal of Saragossa. At an auto de fe held March 2, 1488, the alcalde
and eight of the citizens appeared and performed penance.[663]

Ferdinand recognized the opportunity afforded by the assassination of
Arbués and was resolved to make the most of it. Prominent among the
means for this was the stimulation of the popular veneration of the
martyr. On September 29, 1486, his solemn exequies were celebrated with
as much solemnity as those of the holiest saint; a splendid tomb was
built to which his remains were translated, December 8, 1487; a statue
was erected with an inscription by the sovereigns and over it a
bas-relief representing the scene of the murder. During a pestilence, in
1490, the city ordered a silver lamp, fifty ounces in weight, to be
placed before the tomb and another silver lamp to burn day and
night.[664] His cult as a saint was not allowed to await the tardy
recognition of the Holy See.

The conspirators miscalculated when they imagined that his murder would
deter others from taking his place. There was no danger for inquisitors
now in Aragon and the tribunal of Saragossa was promptly remanned and
enlarged for the abundant harvest that was expected.[665] It was not
long in getting to work and on December 28, 1485, an auto was celebrated
in which a man and a woman were burnt.[666] The tribunal was removed to
the royal palace-fortress outside of the walls, known as the Aljafería,
as an evidence that it was under the royal safeguard and Ferdinand
proclaimed that he and his successors took it under their special
protection.[667] Strict orders were sent to the Estates of the kingdom
and to the local officials to suppress summarily all resistance to the
confiscations, which were becoming so extensive that the receiver at
Saragossa had his hands full and was empowered to appoint deputies
throughout the land to attend to the work in their respective

In the prevailing temper pursuit was hot after the murderers of Arbués
and the avengers were soon upon their track. There were some
hair-breadth escapes, and much curious detail, for which space fails us
here, will be found in the _Memoria de diversos Autos_ in the Appendix,
some of it showing that there were powerful secret influences in favor
of individuals. One party, consisting of the chief contriver of the
plot, Juan de Pedro Sánchez and his wife, Gaspar de Santa Cruz and his
wife, Martin de Santangel, García de Moras, Mossen Pedro Mañas and the
two Pedro de Almazan, effected their escape by way of Tudela, for which,
as we have seen, that city was held responsible, and the Lord of
Cadreyta, an ancestor of the Dukes of Alburquerque, was penanced for
giving them shelter and receiving sixty florins in payment.[669]


Although by decree both secular and ecclesiastical courts were empowered
to punish the guilty, the prosecutions seem to have been left altogether
to the Inquisition and it had the satisfaction of burning the effigies
of the fugitives. Many, however, paid the penalty in their persons.
Vidau Durango was soon caught at Lérida, when he made no difficulty in
revealing the details of the plot and the names of the accomplices. The
work of retribution followed and was continued for years. In the auto of
June 30, 1486, Juan de Pedro Sánchez was burnt in effigy; Vidau Durango
was treated mercifully, doubtless in consideration of his
communicativeness; his hands were cut off and nailed to the door of the
Diputacion, or House of Diputados, and it was not until he was dead that
he was dragged to the market-place when he was beheaded and quartered
and the fragments were suspended in the streets. The punishment of Juan
de Esperandeu was more harsh; he was dragged while living to the portal
of the cathedral when his hands were cut off; he was then dragged to the
market-place, beheaded and quartered, as in the case of Durango. On
July 28th Caspar de Santa Cruz and Martin de Santangel were burnt in
effigy and Pedro de Exea, who had contributed to the fund, was burnt
alive. On October 21st, Maria de la Badía was burnt as an accessory. On
December 15th an auto was hastily arranged; Francisco de Santa Fe,
assessor of the Governor of Aragon and son of the great Converso
Jeronimo de Santa Fe, was fatally compromised in the conspiracy;
hopeless of escape he threw himself from the battlement of the tower in
which he was confined and was dashed to pieces and the same day his
remains were burnt and his bones, enclosed in a box, were cast into the
Tagus as though it was feared that they would be venerated as those of a
martyr. Juan de la Badía eluded his tormentors in even more desperate
fashion. An auto was arranged for January 21, 1487, in which he was to
suffer; in his cell the day before he broke in pieces a glass lamp and
swallowed the fragments, which speedily brought the death he craved; the
next day his corpse was dragged and quartered and the hands were cut off
and on the same occasion there were burnt in effigy as accomplices Pedro
de Almazan the elder, Anton Pérez and Pedro de Vera. On March 15th Mateo
Ram, who superintended the murder, had his hands cut off and was then
burnt, with Joan Francés, who was suspected of complicity and the
effigies of three accomplices, Juan Ram, Alonso Sánchez and García de
Moras. August 8th, Luis de Santangel, who was one of the chief
conspirators, was beheaded in the market-place, his head was set upon a
pole and his body was burnt.[670]

Thus the ghastly tragedy went on for years, as the ramifications of the
conspiracy were explored and all who were remotely connected with it
were traced. It was not until 1488 that Juan de la Caballería was placed
on trial, the wife of Caspar de la Caballería having testified that her
husband told her that Juan had offered him five hundred florins to kill
the inquisitor. Juan admitted having learned from Juan de Pedro Sánchez
that there was a fund for the purpose and that he had mentioned it to
Gaspar but concluded that Gaspar had not sufficient resolution for the
deed; he died in gaol in 1490 and his body was burnt in the auto of July
8, 1491, while Gaspar was penanced in that of September 8, 1492.[671] In
this latter auto Sancho de Paternoy, Maestre Racional of Aragon, was
penanced with perpetual imprisonment. His trial had been a prolonged
one; he had been repeatedly tortured and had confessed privity to the
murder and had then retracted wholly, saying that he knew nothing about
it and that he had spent the night of the assassination in the palace of
the archbishop. His guilt was not clear; he had powerful friends,
especially Gabriel Sánchez, Ferdinand's treasurer, and he was punished
on mere suspicion.[672] Any expression of satisfaction at the murder was
an offence to be dearly expiated. Among the crimes for which Pedro
Sánchez was burnt, May 2, 1489, this is enumerated and it was one of the
chief accusations brought against Brianda de Bardaxi, but, though she
admitted it under torture she retracted it afterwards; it could not be
proved against her and she was let off with a fine of a third of her
property and temporary imprisonment.[673] The assassination gave the
Inquisition ample opportunity to make a profound impression and it made
the most of its good fortune.[674]


The Inquisition thus had overcome all resistance and Aragon lay at its
mercy. How that mercy was exercised is seen in the multitude of victims
from among the principal Converso families which were almost
extinguished by the stake or by confiscation. The names of Caballería,
Sánchez, Santangel, Ram and others occur with wearying repetition in the
lists of the autos de fe. Thus of the Santangel, who were descended from
the convert Rabbi Azarías Ginillo, Martin de Santangel escaped to France
and was burnt in effigy; Luis de Santangel, who had been knighted by
Juan II for services in the war with Catalonia, was beheaded and burnt
as we have seen. His cousin, Luis de Santangel, Ferdinand's financial
secretary, who advanced to Isabella the 16,000 or 17,000 ducats to
enable Columbus to discover the New World, was penanced July 17, 1491.
He still continued in the royal service but he must have been condemned
again for, after his death, about 1500, Ferdinand kindly made over his
confiscated property to his children, including a thousand ducats of
composition for the confiscation of Micer Tarancio. There was yet
another Luis de Santangel, who married a daughter of Juan Vidal, also a
victim of the Inquisition, and who finally fled with her to France,
after which he was burnt in effigy. Juan de Santangel was burnt in 1486.
Juan Tomás de Santangel was penanced, August 12, 1487. A brother of Juan
was the Zalmedina de Santangel who fled to France and was burnt in
effigy March 17, 1497. Gabriel de Santangel was condemned in 1495.
Gisperte and Salvador de Santangel were reconciled at Huesca in 1499.
Leonardo de Santangel was burnt at Huesca, July 8, 1489, and his mother
two days afterwards. Violante de Santangel and Simon de Santangel, with
Clara his wife, were reconciled at Huesca. Micer Miguel de Santangel of
Huesca was reconciled March 1, 1489.[675] To estimate properly this
terrible list we must bear in mind that "reconciliation" involved
confiscation and disabilities inflicted on descendants which were almost
equivalent to extinguishing a family. In 1513 Folsona, wife of Alonso de
Santangel, petitioned Ferdinand saying that her husband, Alonso de
Santangel, thirty years before, had fled from the Inquisition and his
property had been confiscated, leaving her in poverty with four young
children; she had withheld eighty libras of his effects and had spent
them; now her conscience impelled her to confess this and to sue for
pardon which the king graciously granted "with our customary clemency
and compassion." One of these four children seems to be an Augustin de
Santangel of Barbastro, son of Alonso, who as late as 1556, obtained
relief from the disabilities consequent on his father's

There was in Aragon no Converso house more powerful than the descendants
of Alazar Usuf and his brothers who took the name of Sánchez and
furnished many officials of rank such as treasurer, bayle, dispensero
mayor, etc. Of these, between 1486 and 1503, there were burnt, in person
or in effigy, Juan de Pedro Sánchez, Micer Alonso Sánchez, Angelina
Sánchez, Brianda Sánchez, Mossen Anton Sánchez, Micer Juan Sánchez, and,
among the Tamarit, with whom they were allied by marriage, Leonor de
Tamarit and her sister Olalía, Valentina de Tamarit and Beatríz de
Tamarit. Of the same family there were penanced Aldonza Sánchez, Anton
Sánchez, Juan de Juan Sánchez, Luis de Juan Sánchez, Juan Sánchez the
jurist, Martin Sánchez, María Sánchez and Pedro Sánchez.[677] It is
unnecessary to multiply examples of what was going on in Spain during
those dreadful years, for Aragon was exceptional only in so far as the
industrious notary, Juan de Anchías, kept and compiled the records that
should attest the indelible stain on descendants. There is something
awful in the hideous coolness with which he summarizes the lists of
victims too numerous to particularize: "The Gómez of Huesca are New
Christians and many of them have been abandoned to the secular arm and
many others have been reconciled"; "The Zaportas and Benetes of Monzon
... many of them have been condemned and abandoned to the secular


[Sidenote: _RESISTANCE_]

Catalonia had of old been even more intractable than her sister kingdoms
and fully as jealous of her ancient rights and liberties. The _Capitols
de Cort_, or fueros granted in the successive Córtes, were ordered to be
systematically arranged and fairly written out in two volumes, one in
Latin and the other in Limosin; these volumes were to be kept in the
Diputacion, secured by chains but open to the public, so that every
citizen might know his rights. Whenever the king or his officials
violated them by edict or act, the Diputados--a standing committee of
the Córtes--were instructed to oppose by every lawful means the invasion
of their liberties until the obnoxious measure should be withdrawn.[679]

Apparently forewarned as to Ferdinand's designs, Catalonia had
manifested her independence by refusing to send representatives to the
Córtes of Tarazona in January, 1484, alleging that it was illegal to
summon them beyond the boundaries of the principality.[680] The Catalans
had thus escaped assenting to the jurisdiction of Torquemada, but this
in no way hindered Ferdinand from sending, May 11th, to Juan de Medina,
his receiver of confiscations at Barcelona, a list of salaries similar
to that drawn up at the same time for Saragossa, although the names of
appointees were left in blank.[681] The citizens met this by sending him
a consulta affirming their rights and meanwhile prevented the old
inquisitors from manifesting any increase of activity. To this Ferdinand
replied from Córdova, August 4th, expressing his extreme
dissatisfaction. They need not, he assured them, be alarmed as to their
privileges and liberties, for the Inquisition will do nothing to violate
them and will use no cruelty but will treat with all clemency those who
return to the faith. Further remonstrance, he adds, will be useless for
it is his unchangeable determination that the Inquisition shall perform
its work and opposition to it will be more offensive to him than any
other disservice.[682]

The Catalans were obdurate to both blandishments and threats. Barcelona
claimed, as a special privilege, derived directly from the Holy See,
that it had a right to an inquisitor of its own and that it could not be
subjected to an inquisitor-general. It already had its inquisitor in the
person of Juan Comte, who apparently gave the people no trouble and
served as a convenient impediment to the extension of Torquemada's
jurisdiction, especially as he held a papal commission. To meet this
obstacle Ferdinand wrote, October 12th, to his ambassador at Rome, that
the inquisitors were not doing their duty, wherefore he earnestly
requested that, at the earliest possible moment, further power be
granted to him and to Isabella and Torquemada to appoint and remove at
pleasure officials who should be full inquisitors and not merely
commissioners, as the franchises of the cities provide that they shall
not be subjected to commissioners.[683] The Catalan Conversos doubtless
understood how to counteract with the curia the king's desires, for nine
months later, July 9, 1485, Ferdinand again wrote to his _auditor
apostólico_ that the Inquisition in Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia was
much impeded by the papal commissions granted to Dominican masters of
theology and other persons, and that he must at once procure a bull
revoking all commissions to act as inquisitors, especially those of Fray
Juan Comte of Barcelona and Archdeacon Mercader of Valencia; Torquemada
must have a fresh appointment for the Aragonese kingdoms and especially
as inquisitor of Barcelona, with faculty to subdelegate his powers.[684]
It is possible that Cardinal Borgia's interest in his Vicar-general
Mercader neutralized the efforts of Ferdinand's agents, for six months
passed away without the request being granted and, in January, 1486, the
king ventured the experiment of sending two appointees of Torquemada,
the Dominicans Juan Franco and Guillen Casells, with an _Executoria pro
Inquisitoribus apud Cataloniam_, addressed to all the officials, who
were ordered under pain of five thousand gold florins to receive and
convey them safely, to aid them in their work, to arrest and imprison in
chains whomsoever they might designate and to inflict due punishment on
all whom they might abandon to the secular arm.[685] This energetic
movement was as fruitless as its predecessors and some weeks later an
order was issued to the inquisitors at Saragossa to reimburse, from the
pecuniary penances in their hands, the expenses of the cleric who had
been sent to Barcelona and also to pay fifty libras each to Esteban
Gago, sent there as alguazil and Jaime Millan as notary, in order to
provide for their support.[686] At the same time Ferdinand expressed the
hope that the Barcelonese tribunal would soon be in working order, and
in this he was not wholly disappointed.


Innocent VIII yielded at last and, by a brief of February 6, 1486, under
pretext that they had been too zealous, he removed all inquisitors
holding papal commissions--in Aragon Juan Colivera, Juan de Epila, Juan
Franco and Guillen Casells, in Valencia Juan Orts and Mateo Mercader and
in Barcelona Juan Comte; he appointed Torquemada as special inquisitor
for Barcelona, with power of subdelegation and, apparently to prepare
for expected resistance, he authorized the Bishops of Córdova and Leon
and the Abbot of St. Emelian of Burgos to suppress all opposition,
especially on the part of Juan Comte, while he expressly set aside the
privileges of the city.[687] In spite of this formidable missive nearly
eighteen months elapsed before Barcelona was reduced to submission, and
Torquemada's final appointee, Alonso de Espina, was able to enter the
city. When at last he succeeded, July 5, 1487, we are told that the
Lieutenant-general of the Principality, the Bishops of Urgel, Tortosa
and Gerona and many gentlemen and citizens sallied forth to greet him,
but there is no mention made of the Diputados, or the local magistracy,
or the canons joining in the reception, and it was not until July 30th
that the municipal officials took the oath of obedience to him.[688]

He probably still found obstacles in his path, for it was not until
December 14th that the first procession of penitents took place,
consisting only of twenty-one men and twenty-nine women, followed, a
week later, by another in which the participants were scourged.[689] The
smallness of these numbers, as the result of five months' work, showed
that the Edict of Grace had met an ungrateful response and the first
public auto, celebrated January 25, 1488, furnished only four living
victims and the effigies of twelve fugitives. As already remarked
elsewhere, the fear spread abroad by the advent of the Inquisition,
after so long a struggle, caused the greater part of those who had
reason for fear to seek safety in flight, in spite of the edicts
forbidding expatriation. During the whole of the year 1488 the number of
burnings amounted only to seven and in 1489 there were but three. It was
doubtless owing to the lukewarmness of the local magistracy that, in the
earlier autos, the sufferers were spared the extreme penalty of
concremation and were mercifully strangled before the pile was
lighted.[690] In fact, a royal cédula of March 15, 1488, ordering
afresh all officials to render aid and support to the Inquisition, under
penalty of two thousand florins, would seem to argue no little slackness
on their part.[691]

The jurisdiction of the tribunal of Barcelona was extensive,
comprehending the dioceses of Barcelona, Tarragona, Vich, Gerona,
Lérida, Urgel and Elna; the inquisitors were industrious and visited
many portions of their territory, for we have record, during the
remainder of the century, of autos de fe held in Tarragona, Gerona,
Perpignan, Balaguer and Lérida, but as late as November 18, 1500,
Ferdinand complains that in Rosellon the Inquisition had not yet been
put fairly in operation and that no effort had been made to secure the


The imperiousness with which the inquisitors exercised their authority
to break the independent spirit of the Catalans is well illustrated by a
trifling but significant incident in 1494. The city of Tarragona had
established a quarantine against Barcelona on account of pestilence. On
June 18th the inquisitor, Antonio de Contreras, with all his officials,
presumably fleeing from the pest, presented himself at the gates and
demanded admittance. The vicar-general of the archbishop, the canons and
the royal and local officials came to meet him and explained the
situation, asking him to remain in some convenient place in the
neighborhood for some days. His reply was to give them the delay of
three Misereres in which to open their gates under pain of major
excommunication and interdict, whereupon they left him, after
interjecting an appeal to the Holy See. He recited the Miserere thrice,
commanded his notary to knock at the gate and then fulminated his
censures, with an additional order that no notary but his own should
make record of the affair. He then withdrew to the neighboring Dominican
convent, whence he sent his excommunication to be affixed to the
town-gates. While at supper, Ciprian Corte, a scrivener, came and served
him with a notice of the appeal to Rome and was seized and confined in
the convent prison. During the night the vicar-general with a crowd of
citizens surrounded the convent in a fashion so threatening that the
scrivener was released. It was not until July 18th that the inquisitor
entered Tarragona, when he suspended the excommunication and interdict
and took testimony as to the affair, banishing a man who said that Vich
had similarly refused to break a quarantine for an inquisitor. Finally,
on September 5th all the dignitaries, ecclesiastical and secular, with
the leading citizens, were assembled in the chapel of the chapter, in
presence of the inquisitor and of Don Juan de Lanuza, the
Lieutenant-general of Catalonia. There they humbly begged for pardon and
absolution and offered to undergo any penance that he might inflict; he
made them swear obedience to him and appointed the following Sunday for
the penance, when they were all obliged to attend mass as penitents,
with lighted candles in their hands, thus incurring an indelible stigma
on themselves and their posterity.[693]

Men who wielded their awful and irresponsible power in this arbitrary
fashion were not to be restrained by law or custom and from their
tyranny there was no appeal save to the king, who was resolved that no
one but himself should check them. He had already, by a cédula of March
26, 1488, forbidden all secular officials, from the lieutenant-general
down, from taking cognizance of anything concerning the subordinates and
familiars of the Holy Office, under penalty of the royal wrath and a
fine of two thousand florins and when, in 1505, the Diputados of
Catalonia were involved in some trifling quarrel with the inquisitors
and represented to Ferdinand that their jurisdiction was in derogation
of the constitution of the land, he sternly replied that the
jurisdiction of the faith and the execution of its sentences pertained
to the Inquisition; that this jurisdiction was supreme over all others
and that there was no fuero or law that could obstruct it.[694] This
fateful declaration became practically engrafted upon Spanish public

It was impossible that such irresponsible power should not be abused and
there speedily commenced a series of complaints from the Catalan
authorities which, as we shall see hereafter, continued with little
intermission until the revolt of 1640. At the present time, however,
Ferdinand showed a disposition to curb the abuses inevitable under the
system and, in letters of August 16th and 20th and September 3, 1502, to
the inquisitors of Barcelona, he enclosed a memorial from the Diputados
of Catalonia, accompanying it with a severe rebuke. The chief source of
complaint that the receiver of confiscations bought up claims and
prosecuted them through the irresistible machinery of the tribunal. In
a sample instance Francí Ballester made over to the receiver for 100
libras a debt of 228 due by Juan de Trillo which was then collected
through the Inquisition. Ferdinand said that he had frequently forbidden
this practice and he ordered the inquisitors to excommunicate the
receiver if he persisted in it. The receiver then contented himself with
a smaller profit and proceeded, in the case of the confiscated estate of
a certain Mahul, to collect from it debts for a commission of ten per
cent., whereby the creditors with the weakest claims got most of the
money. Again Ferdinand prohibited this, September 9th, ordering all
funds to be paid in to the _tabla_ of Barcelona, for equitable
distribution among the creditors and all commissions to be
refunded.[695] At the same time there was no talk of the only effective
way of cutting up these practices by the roots--that of discharging the
knavish receiver. This tenderness for official malfeasance continued
throughout the career of the Inquisition and prevented any effective



Majorca claimed to be a separate and independent kingdom, governed by
its own customs and only united dynastically with Catalonia. In 1439 it
complained that its franchises were violated by the queen-regent when
she summoned citizens to appear before her on the mainland, for they
were entitled to be tried nowhere but at home, and her husband Alfonso V
admitted the justice of this and promised its observance for the
future.[696] The frequent repetition of this privilege shows how highly
it was prized and it rendered necessary a separate tribunal for the
Balearic Isles. This had long been in operation under the old
institution and the inquisitor at this period was Fray Nicolas Merola
who was as inert as his brethren elsewhere. The records of his office
show that under him there were no relaxations; that in 1478 there were
four Judaizers reconciled; in 1480, one; in 1482, two and in 1486, one.
He was probably stimulated to greater energy by the prospect of
removal, for in 1487 the number increased to eight.[697]

It was not until the following year, 1488, that the new Inquisition was
introduced, when Fray Merola was replaced by the doctors Pedro Pérez de
Munebrega and Sancho Martin.[698] Their Edict of Grace was so successful
that three hundred and thirty-eight persons came forward, confessed and
were reconciled, August 18, 1488, in addition to sixteen reconciled,
August 13th, after trial. Evidently the prosperous Converso population
recognized that the new institution was vastly more efficient than the
old. There must undoubtedly have been some popular effervescence, of
which the details have not reached us, for the inquisitors were removed
and replaced by a native, Fray Juan Ramon, but, if the change calmed the
agitation it did not diminish the activity of the tribunal, for the
records of the year 1489 show seven autos in which there were ten
reconciliations, forty-four relaxations in effigy, one of bones exhumed
and six in person. A momentary pause followed, for, in 1490, we find
only the reconciliation of ninety-six penitents, March 26th, under the
Edict of Grace. Then, in 1491, another Edict was published, of which, on
July 10th and 30th, a hundred and thirty-four persons availed
themselves, besides two hundred and ninety of those already reconciled
in 1488 and 1490, who had relapsed and were readmitted as a special
mercy. In addition to these the records of 1491 show numerous autos in
which there were fifty-seven reconciliations, eighteen relaxations in
effigy and eighteen in person. As elsewhere, the delay in introducing
the new Inquisition had given opportunity for flight and for some years
the chief business of the tribunal was the condemnation of fugitives.
Thus, in an auto of May 11, 1493, there were but three relaxations in
person to forty-seven in effigy and, in one of June 14, 1497, there was
no living victim, the bones of one were burnt and the effigies of

As usual these proceedings against the dead and absent were productive
of abundant confiscations and the fears of descendants were thoroughly
aroused lest some aberration of an ancestor should be discovered which
would sweep away their fortunes. This gave rise to the expedient of
compositions, of which we shall see more hereafter, as a sort of
insurance against confiscation. In the present case a letter from
Ferdinand, January 28, 1498, to the inquisitor and the receiver
announces that these people are coming forward with offers and he orders
the officials to make just and reasonable bargains with them and report
to him, when he will decide what is most to his advantage. In this and
other ways the operations of the tribunal were beginning to bring in
more than its expenses, for, February 2, 1499, there is an order given
on the receiver Matheo de Morrano to pay to the receiver of Valencia two
hundred gold ducats to cancel some debts that were pressing on the royal
conscience, followed soon after by other orders to pay four hundred and
fifty ducats to the royal treasury and fifty florins to the nunnery of
Santa Clara of Calatayud. The confiscating zeal of the officials was
stimulated, February 21, 1498, by an allowance to Morrano of three
thousand sueldos, in addition to his salary, in reward of his eminent
services and another, March 2d, of a hundred libras mallorquines to the
notary Pere Prest. It was not always easy to trace the property which
the unfortunates naturally sought to conceal and a liberal offer of
fifty per cent. was made to informers who should reveal or discover

[Sidenote: _DISCONTENT_]

It was as difficult to reconcile the Mallorquins as the Catalans to the
new Inquisition. In 1517 the Suprema was obliged to order the viceroy
not to maltreat the officials or obstruct them in the performance of
their duty, and at the same time, the inquisitors were instructed to
proceed against him if he did not cease to trouble them. Apparently he
did not heed the warning for, in 1518, the inquisitor was formally
commanded to prosecute him. What followed we have no means of knowing,
but apparently the viceroy had full popular sympathy, for soon
afterwards there was a rising, led by the Bishop of Elna, whose parents
had been condemned by the tribunal. The inquisitor fled and the populace
was about to burn the building and the records, when the firmness of the
Bishop of Majorca, at the risk of his life, suppressed the tumult. It
was probably this disturbance that called forth, in 1520, an adjuration
from the Suprema to the viceroy and the ecclesiastical and secular
authorities, not to permit the ill-treatment of the inquisitor and other
officials. It was impossible, however, to preserve the peace and, in
1530, we find the viceroy, his assessor and officials, under
excommunication as the result of a _competencia_ or conflict of
jurisdiction. Even more significant was the imprisonment and trial, in
1534, of the regent or president of the royal high court of justice,
resulting in the imposition, in 1537, of a fine so excessive that the
Suprema ordered its reduction.[701] This was but the beginning and we
shall see hereafter how perpetual were the embroilments of the tribunal
with both the civil and the ecclesiastical authorities.

       *       *       *       *       *

With more or less resistance the new Inquisition was thus imposed on the
various provinces subject to the crown of Aragon. The pretence put
forward to secure its introduction, that it in no way violated the
fueros and liberties of the land, was soon dropped and, as we have seen,
it was boldly pronounced to be superior to all law. For awhile this was
submitted to in silence, but the ever-encroaching arrogance of the
officials, their extension of their jurisdiction over matters
unconnected with the faith and their abuse of their irresponsible
prerogatives aroused opposition which at length found opportunity for
expression. In 1510 the representatives of Aragon, Catalonia and
Valencia were, for the first time, assembled together in the Córtes of
Monzon. They came with effusive enthusiasm, stimulated by the conquest
of Oran and Algiers and the desire to retrieve the disaster of Gerbes
and they voted for Ferdinand the unprecedented _servicio_ or tax-levy of
five hundred thousand libras, obtaining in return the abolition of the
Santa Hermandad.[702] Yet even this enthusiasm did not prevent murmurs
of discontent, and complaints were made that the Inquisition assumed
jurisdiction over cases of usury, blasphemy, bigamy, necromancy and the
like and that the privileges and exemptions enjoyed by the officials led
to their unnecessary multiplication, rendering the tribunals oppressive
to those who bore the burdens of the state. Ferdinand eluded reform by
promising it for the future and the Córtes were dissolved without
positive action.[703] When they next met at Monzon, in 1512, they were
in a less confiding mood and it is probable that popular agitation must
have assumed a threatening aspect, sufficient to compel Ferdinand to
yield to their demands. An elaborate series of articles was drawn up, or
rather two, one for Aragon and the other for Catalonia, nearly identical
in character, which received the royal assent. It is significant that,
with the exception of a clause as to appeals, these articles do not
concern themselves with the prosecution of heresy but are confined to
the excesses with which the tribunals and their underlings afflicted the


The reform demanded by Catalonia embraced thirty-four articles, a few of
which may serve to suggest the abuses that had grown so rankly. An
especial grievance was the multiplication of officials--not only those
engaged in the work of the tribunal but the unsalaried familiars
scattered everywhere and the servants and slaves of all concerned, who
all claimed the _fuero_, or jurisdiction of the Inquisition, with
numerous privileges and exemptions that rendered them a most undesirable
element in society. It was demanded that the number of familiars in
Catalonia should be reduced to thirty-four, whose names should be made
known; that under the guise of servants should be included only those
actually resident with their masters or employers; that no one guilty of
a grave offence should be appointed to office; that the privilege of
carrying arms should be restricted to those who bore commissions, in
default of which they could be disarmed like other citizens; that the
claim to exemption from local taxes and imposts be abandoned; that
officials caught _flagrante delicto_ in crime should be subject to
arrest by secular officials without subjecting the latter to
prosecution; that civil suits should be tried by the court of the
defendant; that the common clause in contracts by which one party
subjected himself to whatever court the other might name should be held
not to include the Inquisition; that the rule forbidding officials to
engage in trade should be enforced; that officials buying claims or
property in litigation should not transfer the cases to the Inquisition,
nor use it to collect their rents; that inquisitors should not issue
safe-conducts except to witnesses coming to testify; that in cases of
confiscation, when the convict had been reputed a good Christian,
parties who had bought property from him, had paid their debts to him or
had redeemed rent-charges, should not lose the property or be obliged to
pay the debts a second time; that the dowry of a Catholic wife should
not be confiscated because her father or husband should be subsequently
convicted of heresy; that possession for thirty years by a good Catholic
should bar confiscation of property formerly owned by those now
convicted of heresy and that the inquisitors should not elude this
prescription of time by deducting periods of war, of minority, of
ignorance of the fisc and other similar devices; that the inquisitors
should withdraw their decree prohibiting all dealings with Conversos,
which was not only a serious restraint of trade but involved much danger
to individuals acting through ignorance. As regards the extension of
jurisdiction over subjects unconnected with heresy, the Inquisition was
not in future to take cognizance of usury, bigamy, blasphemy, and
sorcery except in cases inferring erroneous belief. Remaining under
excommunication for a year involved suspicion of heresy and the Edict of
Faith required the denunciation of all such cases to the Inquisition,
but as there were innumerable decrees of _ipso facto_ excommunications
and others which were privately issued, it was impossible to know who
was or was not under the ban, wherefore the tribunal was not to take
action except in cases where the censure had been publicly announced.
The extent to which the inquisitors had carried their arbitrary
assumption of authority is indicated by an article forbidding them in
the future from interfering with the Diputados of Catalonia or their
officials in matters pertaining to their functions and the rights of the
State and in the imposts of the cities, towns, and villages. The only
reform proposed as to procedure is an article providing that appeals may
lie from the local tribunal to the inquisitor-general and Suprema, with
suspension of sentences until they are heard. But there is a hideous
suggestiveness in the provision that, when perjured testimony has led to
the execution of an innocent man, the inquisitors shall do justice and
shall not prevent the king from punishing the false witnesses.

The independence of the Inquisition, as an _imperium in imperío_, is
exhibited in the fact that its acceptance was deemed necessary to each
individual article, an acceptance expressed by the subscription to each
of _Plau a su Reverendissima senyoria_, the _senyoria_ being that of
Inquisitor-general Enguera. To confirm this he and the inquisitors were
required to swear in a manner exhibiting the profound distrust
entertained of them. The oath was to observe each and every article; it
was to be taken as a public act before a notary of the Inquisition, who
was to attest it officially and deliver it to the president of the
Córtes, and authentic copies were to be supplied at the price of five
sueldos to all demanding them. All future inquisitors, whether general
or local, were to take the same oath on assuming office and all this
was repeated in various formulas so as to leave no loop-hole for
equivocation. Ferdinand also took an oath promising to obtain from the
pope orders that all inquisitors, present and future should observe the
articles and also that, whenever requested by the Córtes, the Diputados
or the councillors of Barcelona, he would issue the necessary letters
and provisions for their enforcement.[704] This was the first of the
agreements which became known as _Concordias_--adjustments between the
popular demands and the claims of the Holy Office. We shall have
frequent occasion to hear of them in the future, for they were often
broken and renewed and fresh sources of quarrel were never lacking. The
present one was not granted without a binding consideration, for the
tribunal of Barcelona was granted six hundred libras a year, secured
upon the public revenues.[705]


If the Catalans distrusted the good faith of king and inquisitor-general
they were not without justification, for the elaborate apparatus of
oaths proved a flimsy restraint on those who would endure no limitation
on their arbitrary and irresponsible authority. At first Ferdinand
manifested a desire to uphold the Concordia and to restrain the
inquisitors who commenced at once to violate it. The city of Perpignan
complained that the prescription of time was disregarded and that the
duplicate payment of old debts was demanded, whereupon Ferdinand wrote,
October 24, 1512, sharply ordering the strict observance of the terms
agreed upon and the revocation of any acts contravening them.[706]
Before long however his policy changed and he sought relief. For
potentates who desired to commit a deliberate breach of faith there was
always the resource of the authority of the Holy See which, among its
miscellaneous attributes, had long assumed that of releasing from
inconvenient engagements those who could command its favor, and
Ferdinand's power in Italy was too great to permit of the refusal of so
trifling a request. Accordingly on April 30, 1513, Leo X issued a _motu
proprio_ dispensing Ferdinand and Bishop Enguera from their oaths to
observe the Concordia of Monzon.[707]

The popular demands, however, had been too emphatically asserted to be
altogether ignored and an attempt was made to satisfy them by a series
of instructions drawn up, under date of August 28, 1514, by Bishop Luis
Mercader of Tortosa, who had succeeded Enguera as inquisitor-general.
These comprised many of the reforms in the Concordia, modified somewhat
to suit inquisitorial views, as, for instance, the number of armed
familiars permitted for Barcelona was twenty-five, with ten each for
other cities. From Valladolid, September 10th, Ferdinand despatched
these instructions by Fernando de Montemayor, Archdeacon of Almazan, who
was going to Barcelona as visitor or inspector of the tribunal. It was
not until December 11th that they were read in Barcelona in presence of
the inquisitors and of representatives of Catalonia. The latter demanded
time for their consideration and a copy was given to them. Another
meeting was held, January 10, 1515, and a third on January 25th, in
which the instructions were published and the inquisitors promised to
obey them. There is no record that the Catalans accepted them as a
fulfilment of the Concordia and, if they were asked to do so, it was
merely as a matter of policy. In a letter of January 4th to the
archdeacon, Ferdinand assumes that the assent of the Catalans was a
matter of indifference; the instructions were to be published without
further parley and no reference to Rome was requisite as the privileges
of the Inquisition were not curtailed by them.[708]

Subsequent Córtes were held at Monzon and Lérida, where the popular
dissatisfaction found expression in further complaints and demands,
leading to some concessions on the part of Ferdinand. The temper of the
people was rising and manifested itself in occasional assaults,
sometimes fatal, on inquisitorial officials, to facilitate the
punishment of which Leo X, by a brief of January 28, 1515, authorized
inquisitors to try such delinquents and hand them over to the secular
arm for execution, without incurring the "irregularity" consequent on
judgements of blood.[709] Ferdinand was too shrewd to provoke his
subjects too far; he recognized that the overbearing arrogance of the
inquisitors and their illegal extension of their authority gave great
offence, even to the well-affected, and he was ready to curb their
petulance. A case occurring in May, 1515, shows how justifiable were the
popular complaints and gave him opportunity to administer a severe
rebuke. It was the law in Aragon that, when the Diputados appointed any
one as lieutenant to the Justicia, if he refused to serve they were to
remove his name from the lists of those eligible to public office. A
certain Micer Manuel, so appointed, refused to serve and to escape the
penalty procured from the inquisitors of Saragossa letters prohibiting,
under pain of excommunication, the Diputados from striking off his name.
This arbitrary interference with public affairs gave great offence and
Ferdinand sharply told the inquisitors not to meddle with matters that
in no way concerned their office; the Diputados were under oath to
execute the law and the letters must be at once revoked.[710] Finally he
recognized that the demands of the Córtes of Monzon had been justified
and that he had done wrong in violating the Concordia of 1512. One of
his latest acts was a cédula of December 24, 1515, announcing to the
inquisitors that he had applied to the Holy See for confirmation of the
agreements made and sworn to in the Córtes of Monzon and Lérida; there
was no doubt that this would speedily be granted, wherefore he straitly
commanded, under pain of forfeiture of office, that the articles must
not be violated in any manner, direct or indirect, but must be observed
to the letter; the inquisitor-general had agreed to this and would swear
to comply with the bull when it should come.[711]


Ferdinand died January 23, 1516, followed in June by Inquisitor-general
Mercader. Leo X probably waited to learn whether the new monarch Charles
desired to continue the policy of his grandfather. It is true that he
had dispensed Ferdinand and Enguera from their oaths in view of the
great offence to God and danger to conscience involved in the observance
of the Concordia, but a word from the monarch was sufficient to overcome
his scruples. What Ferdinand had felt it necessary to concede could not
be withheld when, in the youth and absence of Charles, his
representatives could scarce repress the turbulent elements of civil
discord. Accordingly Leo confirmed all the articles of both the Catalan
and Aragonese Concordias by the bull _Pastoralis officii_, August 1,
1516, in which he declared that the officials of the Inquisition
frequently transgressed the bounds of reason and propriety in their
abuse of their privileges, immunities and exemptions and that their
overgrown numbers reduced almost to nullity the jurisdiction of the
ordinary ecclesiastical and secular courts. This action, he says, is
taken at the especial prayer of King Charles and Queen Juana and all
inquisitors and officials contravening its prescriptions, if they do
not, within three days after summons, revoke their unlawful acts, are
subject to excommunication _latæ sententiæ_, deprivation of office and
perpetual disability for re-employment, _ipso facto_. Moreover the
Archbishops of Saragossa and Tarragona were authorized and required,
whenever called upon by the authorities, to compel the observance of the
bull by ecclesiastical censures and other remedies without appeal,
invoking if necessary the secular arm.[712]

Thus, after four years of struggle, the Concordias of 1512 were
confirmed in the most absolute manner and the relations between the
Inquisition and the people appeared to be permanently settled. The
inquisitors however, as usual, refused to be bound by any limitations.
They claimed, and acted on the claim, that the papal bull of
confirmation was surreptitious and not entitled to obedience and that
both the Concordias and the Instructions of Bishop Mercader were invalid
as being restrictions impeding the jurisdiction of the Holy Office.[713]
On the other hand the people grew more restive and increased their
demands for relief. The occasion presented itself when Charles came to
Spain to assume possession of his mother's dominions. At Córtes held in
Saragossa, May, 1518, he received the allegiance of Aragon and swore to
observe the fueros of the Córtes of Saragossa, Tarazona and Monzon.
Money was soon wanted to supply the reckless liberality with which he
filled the pouches of his greedy Flemings, and towards the end of the
year he summoned another assembly to grant him a _subsidio_. It agreed
to raise 200,000 libras but coupled this with a series of thirty-one
articles, much more advanced than anything hitherto demanded in
Aragon--in fact copied with little change from those agreed to in
Castile by Jean le Sauvage and abandoned in consequence of his
death--articles which revolutionized inquisitorial procedure and
assimilated it to that of the secular criminal courts. Charles, in these
matters was now wholly under the influence of his former tutor and
present inquisitor-general Cardinal Adrian. He wanted the money,
however, and he gave an equivocal consent to the articles; it was, he
said, his will that in each and all the holy canons should be observed,
with the decrees of the Holy See and without attempting anything to the
contrary. If doubts arose the pope should be asked to decide them; if
any one desired to accuse inquisitors or officials, he could do so
before the inquisitor-general, who would call in counsellors and
administer justice, or, if the crime appertained to the secular courts,
he would see that justice was speedy. This declaration, with the
interpretation to be put on each and every article by the pope, he
promised under oath to observe and enforce and he further swore not to
seek dispensation from this oath or to avail himself of it if
obtained.[714] The people were amply justified in distrusting their
rulers, for Charles subsequently instructed the Count of Cifuentes, his
ambassador at Rome, to procure the revocation of the articles and a
dispensation from his oath to observe them.[715]

Charles had thus shuffled off from his shoulders to those of the pope
the responsibility for this grave alteration in inquisitorial procedure
which, by forcing the Holy Office to administer open justice, would have
diminished so greatly its powers of evil. The question was thus
transferred to Rome and the Córtes lost no time in seeking to obtain
from Leo X the confirmation of the articles. A letter requesting this
was procured from Charles and was forwarded to Rome with a copy of the
articles and of Charles's oath, officially authenticated by Juan Prat,
the notary of the Córtes. The papers were sent to Rome by a certain
Diego de las Casas, a Converso of Seville who, as his subsequent history
shows, must have been amply provided with the funds necessary to secure
a favorable hearing.


The situation was one which called for active measures on the part of
the Inquisition. The Córtes dissolved January 17, 1519, and a letter of
the 22d, from the Suprema to the Inquisitor of Calatayud, shows that
already steps had been taken to prosecute all who had endeavored to
influence them against the Inquisition or who had made complaints to
Charles or Adrian.[716] A more effective and bolder scheme was to accuse
Juan Prat of having falsified the series of articles sent to Rome.
Charles had appointed a commission, consisting of the Archbishop of
Saragossa, Cardinal Adrian and Chancellor Gattinara, to consider all
matters connected with the Inquisition; to them Prat had submitted the
articles which they returned to him with a declaration, which must have
been an approval as its character was studiously suppressed in the
subsequent proceedings. Notwithstanding this the Saragossa inquisitors,
Pedro Arbués and Toribio Saldaña promptly reported to Charles, who had
left Saragossa for Barcelona, that Prat had falsified the articles and
Charles, from Igualada, February 4th, replied ordering them to obey the
instructions of Cardinal Adrian and collect evidence as to the
falsifications which they claimed to have discovered. They postponed
action, however, for some weeks until the archbishop had left the city
and did not arrest Prat until March 16th. Their investigation revealed
some trivial irregularities but nothing to invalidate the accuracy of
the articles transmitted to Rome, yet on the 18th they communicated to
the Suprema the results of their labors as though the whole record was
vitiated and Prat had been guilty of falsification. A way thus was
opened to escape from the engagements entered into with the Córtes. A
series of articles was drawn up, signed by Gattinara, which was sent to
Rome as the genuine one and urgent letters were despatched, April 30th,
to all the Roman agents, the pope and four of the cardinals in the
Spanish interest, stating that the official copy was falsified, the
genuine one was that bearing Gattinara's name, the honor of God was
involved and the safety of the Catholic faith and no effort was to be
spared to secure the papal confirmation of the right articles.

To justify this it was necessary that Prat should be convicted and
punished. Apparently fearing that this could not be accomplished in
Saragossa, Cardinal Adrian ordered the inquisitors to send him to
Barcelona for trial, in ignorance that this was in violation of one of
the dearest of the Aragonese privileges forbidding the deportation of
any citizen against his will. This aroused a storm and the leading
officials of Church and State interposed so effectually with the
inquisitors that Prat was allowed to remain in the secret prison of the
Aljafería. The quarrel was now assuming serious proportions; not only
was the kingdom aflame with this attempted violation of its privileges
but it was universally believed that Charles had granted all the demands
of the Córtes in return for the servicio and his interference with the
papal confirmation was bitterly resented. The Diputados summoned the
inquisitors to obey the Concordia of 1512, as confirmed by the bull of
August 1, 1516, while awaiting confirmation of the new Concordia and at
the same time they called the barons and magnates of the realm to a
conference at Fuentes, whence, on May 9th, they sent to Charles a
remonstrance more emphatic than respectful, with an intimation that the
servicio would not be collected until Prat should be released, the
pretext being that the papers relating to it were in his office.

To this Charles responded loftily, May 17th, that for no personal
interest would he neglect his soul and conscience nor, to preserve his
kingdom, would he allow anything against the honor of God and to the
detriment of the Holy Office. Under threat of excommunication and other
severe penalties he ordered the Diputados not to convoke the Estates of
the realm or to send envoys to him; he would comply with the Concordia
and had already asked its confirmation of the pope--the fact being that
he had on May 7th written to Rome--and this he repeated May 29th--to
impede the confirmation of the official Concordia and to urge that of
his own version. There was a rumor that the Estates on May 14th had
resolved to take Prat from the Aljafería by force and to meet this, on
May 17th, he sent the Comendador García de Loaisa to Saragossa with
instructions to arm the Cofradia of San Pedro Martir--an association
connected with the Inquisition--to raise the people and to meet force
with force. The authorities were to be bullied and told that the king
would assert his sovereign authority and that nothing should prevent the
extradition of Prat. In the hands of his ghostly advisers he was
prepared to risk civil war in defence of the abuses of the Inquisition.
There was fear that the inquisitors might be intimidated into releasing
Prat and Cardinal Adrian took the unprecedented step of writing directly
to the gaoler of the Aljafería instructing him to disobey any such


In spite of this assertion of absolutism, Charles's orders were treated
with contempt. The Córtes met at Azuaga, refused to obey his angry
commands to disperse and sent to him Don Sancho de la Caballería with
the unpleasant message that the servicio would be withheld until he
should grant justice to the kingdom. His finances, in the hands of his
Flemish favorites, were in complete disorder. The Emperor Maximilian had
died January 22d and the contest for the succession, against the gold of
Francis I, was expensive. Moreover, in expectation of the servicio,
Chièvres had obtained advances at usurious interest so that the expected
funds were already nearly exhausted and, as soon as the electoral
struggle ended in Charles's nomination, June 28th, there came fresh
demands for funds to prepare for his voyage to assume his new dignity.
Chièvres therefore eagerly sought for some compromise to relieve the
dead-lock, but the Aragonese on the one hand and Cardinal Adrian on the
other were intractable. The high-handed arrest of Prat had fatally
complicated the situation.

Charles yielded in so far as to order that Prat should not be removed
from the kingdom and several tentative propositions were made as to the
trial of Prat which only show how little he and his advisers realized
the true condition of affairs. With wonted Aragonese tenacity the
Diputados adhered to the position that the accuracy of the record should
not be called in question and that the only point to be determined was
whether the Inquisition rightfully had any jurisdiction in the matter.
At the same time, to show that they were not seeking to elude payment of
the servicio they agreed on September 7th to levy it, at the same time
begging Charles to release Prat.

They were probably led to make this concession by a victory which they
had gained in Rome. Both sides had been vigorously at work there, but
the Aragonese had the advantage that Leo X at the moment was incensed
against the Spanish Inquisition because of the insolent insubordination
of the Toledo tribunal in the case of Bernardino Díaz, of which more
hereafter. His own experience showed him of what it was capable and the
request of the Córtes for the confirmation of the Concordia was to a
great extent granted by three briefs, received August 1st, addressed
respectively to the king, to Cardinal Adrian and to the inquisitors of
Saragossa, reducing the Inquisition to the rules of the common law.
Charles did not allow the briefs to be published and, when the Diputados
presented to the inquisitors the one addressed to them, they refused to
obey it without instructions from Adrian, whereupon, on August 8th, the
Diputados applied to Rome for some further remedy.

Although the briefs were thus dormant they became the central point of
the contest. On September 24th, Charles despatched to Rome Lope Hurtado
de Mendoza as a special envoy with long and detailed instructions. He
had been advised, he said that the pope intended to issue a bull
revoking all inquisitorial commissions, save that of Cardinal Adrian;
that in future the bishops with their chapters in each see were to
nominate two persons of whom the inquisitor-general was to select the
fittest and present him to the pope for confirmation; the acts of these
inquisitors were to be judicially investigated every two years, and
their procedure was to conform to the common law and to the canons. The
elaborate arguments which Charles urged against each feature of this
revolutionary plan show that it was not a figment but was seriously
proposed with likelihood of its adoption. Moreover he said that
influences were at work to secure the removal of the _sanbenitos_ of
convicts from the churches, against which he earnestly protested;
Ferdinand had refused three hundred thousand ducats offered to him to
procure this concession. In conclusion Charles declared that no
importunity should shake his determination to make no change in the
Inquisition and he significantly expressed his desire to preserve the
friendship of his Holiness.

What secret influences were at work to effect a complete reversal of
papal policy it would be vain to guess, but Mendoza had scarce time to
reach Rome when he procured a brief of October 12th, addressed to
Cardinal Adrian. In this Sadoleto's choicest Latinity was employed to
cover up the humiliation of conscious wrong-doing, in its effort to
shift the responsibility to the shoulders of others. Charles's letters
and Mendoza's message had enlightened him as to the intentions of the
king with regard to the preservation of the faith and the reform of the
Inquisition. He promised that he would change nothing and would publish
nothing without the assent of the king and the information of the
inquisitor-general, but he dwelt on the complaints that reached him from
all quarters of the avarice and iniquity of the inquisitors; he warned
Adrian that the infamy of the wickedness of his sub-delegates redounded
to the dishonor of the nation and affected both him and the king; he was
responsible and must seek to preserve his own honor and that of the king
by seeing that they desist from the insolence with which they
disregarded the papal mandates and rebelled against the Holy See.


While thus the three briefs were not revoked they were practically
annulled. The indignation of the Aragonese at finding themselves thus
juggled was warm and found expression, January 30, 1520, in
discontinuing the collection of the servicio. Charles was now at Coruña,
preparing for his voyage to Flanders and thither, on February 3d, the
Diputados sent Azor Zapata and Iñigo de Mendoza to procure the
liberation of Prat and to urge Charles to obtain the confirmation of the
Concordia. To liberate Prat without a trial was tacitly to admit the
correctness of his record, yet, on April 21st, Cardinal Adrian issued an
order for the fiscal to discontinue the prosecution and for the
inquisitors to "relax" Prat. This order was presented May 1st to the
inquisitors, but the word "relaxation" was that used in the delivery of
convicts to the secular arm for burning; Prat stoutly refused to accept
it and remained in prison.

Charles embarked May 21st and the rest of the year 1520 was spent in
endeavors by each side to obtain the confirmation of their respective
formulas of the Concordia and in fruitless attempts by Charles to have
the three briefs revoked. Though unpublished and virtually annulled they
were the source of great anxiety to the Inquisition. The correspondence
between Charles and his Roman agents shows perpetual insistance on his
part and perpetual promises and evasions by the pope, sometimes on the
flimsiest pretexts for postponement, the secret of which is probably to
be found in a report by Juan Manuel, the Spanish ambassador, on October
12th, that the pope was promised 46,000 or 47,000 ducats if he could
induce the king to let the briefs stand. Thus it went on throughout the
year and, when Leo died, December 1, 1521, the briefs were still

A year earlier, however, December 1, 1520, he had confirmed the
Concordia, in a bull so carefully drawn as not to commit the Holy See to
either of the contesting versions. It was limited to the promises
embraced in Charles's oath and, as regards the articles, it merely said
that the canons and ordinances and papal decrees should be inviolably
observed, under pain of _ipso facto_ excommunication, dismissal from
office and disability for re-appointment. Either side was consequently
at liberty to put what construction it pleased on the papal utterance.

Charles meanwhile had been growing more and more impatient for the
servicio so long withheld; he had written to Adrian and also to the
inquisitors, ordering that the Concordia of Monzon (1512) and that of
Saragossa, according to his version, should be strictly obeyed, so that
the abuses thus sought to be corrected should cease and the people
should pay the impost. The inquisitors dallied and seem to have asked
him what articles he referred to for he replied, September 17th,
explaining that they were those of Monzon and Saragossa, the latter as
expressed in the paper signed by Adrian and Gattinara. When, therefore,
he received the papal confirmation of December 1st he lost no time in
writing, December 18th, to Adrian and the inquisitors announcing it and
ordering the articles to be rigidly observed without gloss or
interpretation, so that the abuses and disorders prohibited in them may
cease, but he was careful to describe the articles as those agreed upon
at Monzon and lately confirmed at Saragossa in the form adopted by
Adrian and Gattinara.

The Aragonese, on the other hand, adhered to their version. The bull of
confirmation seems to have reached Saragossa through Flanders,
accompanied by a letter from Charles and it was not until January 15,
1521, that the Diputados wrote to Adrian enclosing the royal letter and
a copy of the bull. In obeying it, he conceded the Aragonese version of
the Concordia, though with a bad grace. From Tordesillas, January 28th,
he wrote to the Diputados and the inquisitors that the bull must be
obeyed although it might properly be considered surreptitious, as it
asserted that Charles had sworn to the fictitious articles inserted by
Juan Prat, for which the latter deserved the severest punishment. In
spite of this burst of petulance, however, he practically admitted
Prat's innocence by ordering his liberation and, on February 13, 1521,
the order was carried in triumph by the governor, the Diputados and a
concourse of nobles and citizens to the Aljafería and solemnly presented
to the inquisitors, who asked for copies and, with these in their hands,
said that they would do their duty without swerving from justice and
reason. So well satisfied were the Aragonese that to show their
gratitude they had already, on January 18th, ordered the cities and
towns to pay all current imposts as well as the suspended subsidio
within thirty-five days. It may be added that finally Cardinal Adrian
recognized the innocence of Prat in the most formal manner, in a letter
of April 20th to the inquisitors, imposing silence on the fiscal and
ordering the discharge of Prat and his securities.[717]


Triumph and gratitude were alike misplaced. Cardinal Adrian had followed
his letter of January 28th with another of the 30th to the inquisitors,
instructing them that the papal confirmation must be construed in
accordance with the sacred canons and the decrees of the Holy See, so
that they could continue to administer justice duly and he encouraged
them with an _ayuda de costa_ or gratuity.[718] They went on
imperturbably with their work; not only was the Concordia of Saragossa
never observed but that of Monzon was treated as non-existent and we
shall see hereafter that, towards the close of the century, the
Inquisition coolly asserted that the latter had been invalidated when
Leo X released Ferdinand from his oath to observe it and that the former
had never been confirmed and that there was no trace of either having
ever been observed. The Inquisition, in fact, was invulnerable and
impenetrable. It made its own laws and there was no power in the land,
save that of the crown, that could force it to keep its engagements.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile the obstinacy of the Catalans, which detained the impatient
Charles in Barcelona throughout the year 1519, secured, nominally at
least, the formal confirmation by both Charles and Adrian, of the Monzon
Concordia of 1512 with additions. One of these provided that any one who
entered the service of the Holy Office while liable to a civil or
criminal action, should still be held to answer before his former judge,
and that criminal offences, unconnected with the faith, committed by
officials should be exclusively justiciable in the civil courts. This
struck at the root of one of the most serious abuses--the immunity with
which the Inquisition shielded its criminals--and scarcely less
important to all who had dealings with New Christians was another
article providing that property acquired in good faith, from one reputed
to be a Christian, should be exempt from confiscation in case the
seller should subsequently be convicted, even though the thirty years'
prescription should still exist.[719]

The agreement was reached January 11, 1520, but experience of the
faithlessness of the Inquisition had made the Catalans wary. They were
about to grant a servicio to Charles and they sought a guarantee by
addressing to him a supplication that he should make Cardinal Adrian
swear to the observance of the Concordia of 1512 and the new articles
and that he should procure within four months from the pope a bull of
confirmation, in which the Bishops of Lérida and Barcelona should be
appointed conservators, with full power to enforce the agreement. They
offered to pay two hundred ducats towards the cost of the bull and they
demanded that they should retain twenty thousand libras of the servicio
until the bull should be delivered to the Diputados. The same condition
was attached to a liberal donation of twelve thousand libras which they
made to the Inquisition--probably a part of the bargain. Meanwhile
Charles was to give orders that the inquisitors should be bound by the
articles and, in case of infraction, satisfaction for such violations
should be deducted from the twenty thousand libras. In due time, August
25th, Leo X executed a formal bull of confirmation of the articles of
1512 and 1520 and appointed the Bishops of Lérida and Barcelona as


What was the value of the Concordia thus solemnly agreed to and
liberally paid for, with its papal confirmation and conservators, was
speedily seen when, in 1523, the authorities of Perpignan became
involved in a quarrel with Inquisitor Juan Naverdu over the case of the
wife of Juan Noguer. They complained of an infraction of the Concordia
and applied to the Bishop of Lérida for its enforcement. He appointed
Miguel Roig, a canon of Elna, as the executor of his decision, who
issued letters ordering the inquisitor and his secretary to observe the
Concordia, under pain of excommunication, and to drop the cases which
they were prosecuting. Appeal was also made to Rome and letters were
obtained from Clement VII. Charles, however, intervened and obtained
another brief, January 6, 1524, annulling the previous one and
transferring the matter to Inquisitor-general Manrique. The result was
that nearly all the magistrates of Perpignan--the consuls and jurados
with their lawyers and Miguel Roig--were obliged to swear obedience in
all things to the Inquisition, were exposed to the irredeemable disgrace
of appearing as penitents at the mass and were subjected to fines from
which the Holy Office gathered in the comfortable sum of 1115
ducats.[721] The motto of the Inquisition was _noli me tangere_ and it
administered a sharp lesson to all who might venture, even under papal
authority, to make it conform to its agreements.

It was in vain that the sturdy subjects of the crown of Aragon struggled
and gained concessions, paid for them and fenced them around with all
the precautions held sacred by public law. The inquisitors felt
themselves to be above the law and all the old abuses continued to
flourish as rankly as ever. About this time the Córtes of the three
kingdoms, by command of Charles, addressed to Inquisitor-general
Manrique a series of sixteen grievances, repeating the old
complaints--the extension of jurisdiction over usury, blasphemy, bigamy
and sodomy; the acceptance by the inquisitors of commissions to act as
conservators in secular and ecclesiastical cases and profane matters;
their arresting people for private quarrels and on trivial charges and
insufficient evidence, leaving on them and their descendants an
ineffaceable stain, even though they were discharged without penance;
their multiplication of familiars and concealing their names, appointing
criminals and protecting them in their crimes and finally their
overbearing and insulting attitude in general. In answer to this the
inquisitor-general contented himself with asserting that the laws were
obeyed and asking for specific instances of infraction and the names of
the parties--secure that no one would dare to come forward and expose
himself to the vengeance of the tribunal.[722] Again, in 1528 at the
Córtes of Monzon, we find a repetition of grievances--the abuse of
confiscations, the cognizance of usury and other matters disconnected
with heresy and general inobservance of the articles agreed upon. To the
petition that he remedy these and procure from the inquisitor-general
an order to his subordinates to conform themselves to the Concordias,
Charles returned the equivocating answer "His majesty will see that the
inquisitor-general orders the observance of that which should be
observed, removing abuses if there are any."[723]

The imperial attitude was not such as to discourage the audacity of the
inquisitors and, at the Córtes of Monzon in September, 1533, the
deputies of Aragon presented to Inquisitor-general Manrique, who was
present, two series of grievances. One of these he promptly answered by
characterizing some of the demands as impertinent, scandalous, and
illegal, and others as not worthy of reply. The other series was
referred to Charles and was not answered until December. It commenced by
asking that the Concordia confirmed by Leo X, in 1516, should be
observed, to which the reply was that such action should be taken as
would comport with the service of God and proper exercise of the
Inquisition. The request that the inquisitors confine themselves to
matters of faith was met with the assertion that they did so, except
when under orders from their superiors. To the demand that the dowries
of Catholic wives should not be confiscated, the dry response was that
the laws should be observed. In this cavalier spirit the rest of the
petition was disposed of, and the whole shows how completely the Holy
Office was emancipated from any subjection to the laws which had cost
such struggles to obtain and which had been paid for so largely.[724]


While Manrique and the Suprema were at Monzon, they were called upon to
take action with regard to troubles at Barcelona between the inquisitor,
Fernando de Loazes and the magistrates and Diputados. These had been on
foot for some time. A letter of Charles from Bologna, February 25, 1533,
to Loazes assures him of his sympathy and support and, in September, the
Suprema at Monzon resolved to send a judge thither to prosecute and
punish the offenders for their enormous delinquencies.[725] What were
the merits of the quarrel do not appear, but it was doubtless provoked
by the overbearing arrogance of Loazes for, at the Córtes of Monzon, the
Catalans represented to Charles that the pretensions of the inquisitor
impeded the course of justice in matters involving the _regalías_ or
prerogatives of the crown, and asked to have him prosecuted by the
Bishop of Barcelona. Charles thereupon addressed to Loazes a letter
January 16, 1534, forbidding him in future to interfere with the royal
judges, as no one could claim exemption from the royal jurisdiction. At
the same time he instructed his lieutenant for Aragon, Fadrique de
Portugal, Archbishop of Saragossa, to enforce this mandate. It was not
long before Loazes had the opportunity of manifesting his contempt for
these expressions of the royal will. One of the consuls holding the
admiralty court of Barcelona was hearing a case between two merchants,
Joan Ribas and Gerald Camps: a quarrel ensued between them; Ribas with
his servant Joan Monseny struck Camps in the face and then drawing his
sword, threatened the consul's life. This was a scandalous offence to
the dignity of the crown under whose protection the court was held. By
order of the Archbishop and royal council the culprits were arrested and
thrown in prison, but Ribas was a familiar of the Inquisition and Loazes
presented himself before the archbishop in full court and claimed him.
The letters of Charles V were read and his claim was rejected,
whereupon, on June 13th, he issued a mandate demanding the surrender to
him of Ribas and forbidding all proceedings against him under pain of
excommunication.[726] What was the termination of this special case we
have no means of knowing, but Loazes did not suffer by reason of his
audacity. In 1542 he was made Bishop of Elna, whence he passed by
successive translations through the sees of Lérida, Tortosa and
Tarragona, dying at last, full of years and honors in 1568 as Archbishop
of Valencia.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not worth while at present to pursue these disputes which reveal
the character of the Inquisition and the resistance offered to it by the
comparatively free populations subject to the crown of Aragon. We shall
have ample opportunity hereafter to note the persistant arrogance of the
inquisitors under the royal favor, the restlessness of the people and
the fruitlessness of their struggle for relief from oppression. The Holy
Office had become part of the settled policy of the House of Austria.
The Lutheran revolt had grown to enormous proportions and no measures
seemed too severe that would protect the faith from an enemy even more
insidious and more dangerous than Judaism. The system grew to be an
integral part of the national institutions to be uprooted only by the
cataclysm of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic war. At what cost
to the people this was effected is seen in the boast, in 1638, of a
learned official of the Inquisition that in its favor the monarchs had
succeeded in breaking down the municipal laws and privileges of their
kingdoms, which otherwise would have presented insuperable obstacles to
the extermination of heresy, and he proceeds to enumerate the various
restrictions on the arbitrary power of the secular courts which the
experience of ages had framed for the protection of the citizen from
oppression, all of which had been swept away where the Inquisition was
concerned, leaving the subject to the discretion of the





What gave to the Spanish Inquisition its peculiar and terrible
efficiency were the completeness of its organization and its combination
of the mysterious authority of the Church with the secular power of the
crown. The old Inquisition was purely an ecclesiastical institution,
empowered, it is true, to call upon the State for aid and for the
execution of its sentences, but throughout Christendom the relations
between Church and State were too often antagonistic for its commands
always to receive obedience. In Spain, however, the Inquisition
represented not only the pope but the king; it practically wielded the
two swords--the spiritual and the temporal--and the combination produced
a tyranny, similar in character, but far more minute and all-pervading,
to that which England suffered during the closing years of Henry VIII as
Supreme Head of the Church.

While thus its domination over the people was secure and unvarying, its
relations with the royal power varied with the temperament of the
sovereign. At times it was the instrument of his will; at others it
seemed as though it might almost supplant the monarchy; it was
constantly seeking to extend its awful authority over the other
departments of State, which struggled with varying success to resist its
encroachments, while successive kings, autocratic in theory, sometimes
posed as arbitrators, sometimes vainly endeavored to enforce their
pacificatory commands, but more generally yielded to its domineering

       *       *       *       *       *


When Ferdinand consented to the introduction of the Inquisition, it was
no part of his policy to permit the foundation of an institution which
should be independent of the royal authority. He who sought to forbid in
Spain the residence of papal nuncios and legates was not likely to
welcome the advent of a new swarm of papal delegates, whose power over
life and property would carry unchecked to every corner of the land the
influence of Rome. Accordingly, as we have seen, he conditioned the
admission of the Inquisition on the concession of the power of
appointment and dismissal and he flatly told Sixtus IV that he would
permit none but appointees of his own to exercise the office of
inquisitor. As the institution developed and became more complex he
nominated to the pope the individual to whom the papal delegation as
inquisitor-general should be given and he appointed the members of the
Suprema, which became known as the _Consejo de su Magestad de la Santa
General Inquisicion_. Although the papal commission granted to the
inquisitor-general faculties of subdelegating his powers and appointing
and dismissing his subordinates, thus rendering his action
indispensable, Ferdinand was careful to assert his right to control all
appointments and to assume that at least they were made with his assent
and concurrence. In 1485 the sovereigns had no scruple in appointing at
Guadalupe the inquisitors who made such havoc among the apostates.[728]
August 8, 1500, he writes to the Bishop of Bonavalle that he had
determined to commit to him the office of inquisitor in Sardinia, for
which the commission and subdelegation will be despatched to him by the
inquisitors-general; he can appoint an assessor and notary, but the
other officials will be sent from Spain. A letter of the same date to
the Lieutenant-general of Sardinia announces the appointment by the
inquisitors-general "con nuestra voluntad y consentimiento," which was
the ordinary formula employed, even in such petty cases as when he
advised Pedro Badía, receiver of confiscations at Barcelona, March 13,
1501, that they had appointed Gregorio Zamarado as _portero_ or
apparitor of that tribunal, in place of Guillen Donadou and that he is
to receive the same wages.[729] Although the participation of the
inquisitor-general was indispensable, Ferdinand customarily assumed his
acquiescence as a matter of course; he would make the appointment and
then ask affectionately for the subdelegation of power.[730] As regards
subordinate positions, Torquemada recognized the royal participation
when, in 1485, he instructed inquisitors that they could fill vacancies
temporarily "until the king and I provide for them." As a rule, it may
be said that Ferdinand rarely troubled himself about subordinates, but
had no hesitation in assuming full power when he saw fit, as in writing
to an inquisitor, March 21, 1499, "we order you to appoint, as by these
presents we appoint, Juan de Montiende as fiscal in your tribunal."[731]

If he thus controlled appointments he was equally concerned in
dismissals. We find him writing, April 22, 1498, to an inquisitor of
Saragossa, who had discharged an official at Calatayud, to reinstate
him, as he had done good service with danger to his person, and on
September 19, 1509, ordering Diego López de Cortegano, Inquisitor of
Córdova, to cease his functions at once and return to his
benefice--though this latter order was countersigned by the members of
the Suprema.[732] It would be superfluous to adduce additional examples
of the control thus exercised over the personnel of the Inquisition--a
control which remained inherent in the crown although, as we shall see,
often allowed to become dormant.

In all save spiritual matters, Ferdinand considered the Inquisition to
be merely an instrument to carry out his will, though it must be added
that this arose from his anxiety that it should be perfected in every
way for the work in hand, and there is absolutely no evidence, in his
enormous and confidential correspondence, that he ever used it for
political purposes, even in the stormiest times when struggling with
unruly nobles. Every detail in its organization and working was subject
to his supervision and, amid all the cares of his tortuous policy,
extending throughout Western Europe, and the excitement of his frequent
wars, he devoted the minutest care to its affairs. When, in December
1484, Torquemada issued his supplementary instructions, he was careful
to state that he did so by command of the sovereigns, who ordered them
to be observed. So in subsequent instructions, issued in 1485,
Torquemada orders the inquisitors to write to him and to Ferdinand about
everything that should be reported; the king provides their salaries
promises them rewards; if there is anything that the king ought to
remedy he is to be written to.[733] That, in fact, the was recognized as
controlling the Inquisition is seen in all the efforts of the Córtes,
appealing to him to obtain a modification of its rigors, although, as we
have seen, the Concordia of 1512 was held to require the assent of
Inquisitor-general Enguera to render it binding, with subsequent
confirmation by the pope and though, in later times, the monarchs found
it convenient to throw upon the inquisitor-general the responsibility of
rejecting the demands of their subjects.

Ferdinand was too self-reliant to deem it necessary to assert his power
consistently on all occasions. In a subsequent chapter we shall see that
he submitted to the inconveniences arising from an excommunication
threatened by Torquemada on receivers of confiscations who honored royal
drafts in preference to paying salaries. He had no scruples in making
Torquemada join with him in grants of money or in settling competing
claims on the debts due to a condemned heretic; he sometimes allowed his
cédulas to be countersigned by members of the Suprema, especially in the
later periods; indeed, toward the end of his reign, this became so
habitual that in letters of November 25th and December 10, 1515, he
explained that his orders were to be obeyed although not so
authenticated, because none of the members happened to be at hand; he
sometimes delayed answering applications for instructions until he could
consult the inquisitor-general, but the mere application to him shows
that he was regarded as the ultimate arbiter. In fact, in a case in
which some prisoners named Martínez had appealed to him, he replies to
the inquisitors, September 30, 1498, and March 2, 1499, that the
inquisitors-general send instructions and it is his will that these
should be executed, thus implying that his confirmation was


Whatever participation he might thus allow to the head of the
Inquisition, when he saw fit he asserted his arbitrary control and he by
no means deemed it necessary to communicate with the tribunals through
the inquisitor-general but frequently issued his commands directly. May
14, 1499, he writes to an inquisitor to have a certain confiscated
property sold at an appraised value to Diego de Alcocer, no matter what
instructions he may have from the inquisitors-general or what orders to
the contrary. Even for trifles he took them sharply to task, as when,
May 17, 1511, he vigorously rebuked one for sending Bachiller Vazquez to
him on an affair which could have been as well settled by letter with
much less expense. He was fully aware that the power of the Inquisition
rested on his support and when there was the slightest opposition to his
will he had no hesitation in saying so, as when, in a letter of July 22,
1486, to the inquisitors of Saragossa, he tells them that, although they
have the name, it is to him and to Isabella that the Holy Office owes
its efficiency; without the royal authority they can do little and, as
they recognize his good intentions, they must not interfere with his

These instances illustrate the minute and watchful care which he
exercised over all the details of the Holy Office. Nothing was too
trivial to escape his vigilant attention, and this close supervision was
continued to the end. The receiver of Valencia consults him about a
carpenter's bill of ninety sueldos for repairs on the royal palace
occupied by the tribunal and Ferdinand tells him, May 31, 1515, that he
may pay it this time, but it is not to be a precedent. On January 18th
of the same year he had written to the receiver of Jaen that he learns
that the audience-chamber is ill-furnished and that the vestments for
mass are lacking or worn out, wherefore he orders that what the
inquisitors may purchase shall be paid for.[736]

       *       *       *       *       *

Ferdinand's control over the Inquisition rested not only on the royal
authority, the power of appointment, his own force of character and his
intense interest in its workings, but also on the fact that he held the
purse-strings. He had insisted that the confiscations should enure to
the crown, and he subsequently obtained the pecuniary penances. The
Inquisition had no endowment. One could easily have been provided out of
the immense sums gathered from the victims during the early years of
intense activity but, although some slender provision of the kind was at
times attempted, either the chronic demands of the royal treasury or a
prudent desire to prevent the independence of the institution rendered
these investments fragmentary and wholly inadequate. Thus the expenses
of the tribunals and the salaries of the officials were in his hands.
Nothing could be paid without his authorization and the accounts of the
receivers of confiscations, who acted as treasurers, were scrutinized
with rigid care. He regulated the salary of every official and his
letter-books are full of instructions as to their payment. Besides this,
it was the Spanish custom to supplement inadequate wages with _ayudas de
costa_, or gifts of greater or less amount as the whim of the sovereign
or the deserts of the individual might call for. In time, as we shall
see, this became a regular annual payment, subject to certain conditions
but, under Ferdinand, it was still an uncertainty, dependent upon the
royal favor and the order of the king was requisite in each case, even
including the Suprema and its officials.[737] The crown thus held the
Holy Office at its mercy and the recipients of its bounty could not
resent its control.


Yet in this perpetual activity of Ferdinand in the affairs of the
Inquisition it is to be observed that he confined himself to temporal
matters and abstained from interference with its spiritual jurisdiction.
In his voluminous correspondence, extending, with occasional breaks,
over many years, the exceptions to this only serve to prove the rule. I
have met with but two and these fully justified his interference. In
1508 the leading barons of Aragon complained that the inquisitors were
persecuting the Moors and were endeavoring to coerce them to baptism. As
they had no jurisdiction over infidels, he rebuked them severely,
telling them that conversion through conviction is alone pleasing to God
and that no one is to be baptized except on voluntary application. So,
when some had been converted and had been abandoned by their wives and
children, he ordered the inquisitors to permit the return of the latter
and not to coerce them to baptism.[738] The other case was that of Pedro
de Villacis, receiver of Seville, a man who possessed Ferdinand's
fullest confidence. No name occurs more frequently in the correspondence
and he was entrusted with the management of an enormous and most
complicated composition, in which the New Christians of Seville,
Córdova, Leon, Granada and Jaen agreed to pay eighty thousand ducats as
an assurance against confiscation. While deeply immersed in this the
tribunal of Seville commenced to take testimony against him. On hearing
of this Ferdinand was astounded; he expressed indignation that such
action should be taken without consulting him and ordered all the
original papers to be sent to him for consideration with the Suprema,
pending which and future orders nothing further was to be done.[739]

This was an extreme case. There are others which prove how useless it
was to rely upon the royal favor in hopes of interposition. Thus
Ferdinand's vice-chancellor for Aragon was Alonso de la Caballería, a
son of that Bernabos de la Caballería whose _Çelo de Cristo contra los
Judíos_ has been referred to above (p. 115). The father's orthodox zeal
did not preserve his children from the Inquisition and their names and
those of their kindred frequently occur in the records. Alonso had
already passed through its hands without losing his position. In
December, 1502, his brother Jaime was arrested by the tribunal of
Saragossa, and Alonso ventured to ask Ferdinand's intervention in his
favor and also for himself in case he should be involved and be
subjected to another trial. Ferdinand replied, December 23d, expressing
regret and the hope that all would turn out as he desired; if Alonso's
case comes up again he shall be tried by Deza himself who can be relied
upon to do exact justice. A second application from Alonso brought a
reply, January 3, 1503, reiterating these assurances and promising a
speedy trial for his brother, about whom he writes to the inquisitors.
In effect, a letter to them of the same day alludes, among other
matters, to Jaime's case, with the customary injunctions to conduct it
justly so as not to injure the Inquisition and assuring them that if
they do so they shall not be interfered with. How little the appeal to
Ferdinand benefited the accused is seen in the result that Jaime was
penanced in an auto de fe of March 25, 1504.[740]

In one respect Ferdinand showed favoritism, but he did so in a manner
proving that he recognized that the royal power could not of itself
interfere with the exercise of inquisitorial jurisdiction.
Notwithstanding his settled aversion to papal intervention, he procured
a series of curious briefs to spare those whom he favored from the
disgrace of public reconciliation and penance and their descendants
from disabilities. So many of his trusted officials were of Jewish
lineage that he might well seek to shield them and to retain their
services. Thus, in briefs of February 11, 1484, and January 30, 1485,
Innocent VIII recites that he is informed that some of those involved in
this heresy would gladly return to the faith and abjure if they could be
secretly reconciled, wherefore he confers on the inquisitors faculties,
in conjunction with episcopal representatives, to receive secretly, in
the presence of Ferdinand and Isabella, fifty persons of this kind to
abjuration and reconciliation. A subsequent brief of May 31, 1486,
recites that he learns that the sovereigns cannot always be present on
these occasions, wherefore he grants for fifty more similar power to be
exercised in their absence but with their consent. Then, July 5, 1486,
the same is granted for fifty more, even if testimony has been taken
against them, with the addition of the removal of disabilities and the
stain of infamy in favor of their children and moreover it authorizes
the secret exhumation and burning of fifty bodies--doubtless the parents
of those thus favored. These transactions continued, for there are
similar letters of November 10, 1487, and October 14, 1489, each for
fifty persons and fifty bodies, to be nominated by the king and queen,
and possibly there were subsequent ones that have not reached us.[741]
It was doubtless under letters of this kind that, on January 10, 1489,
Elionor and Isabel Badorch were secretly reconciled in the royal palace
of Barcelona.[742]


These apparently trivial details are of interest as revealing the basis
on which the Inquisition was established and from which it developed.
They also throw light on the character of Ferdinand, whose restless and
incessant activity made itself felt in every department of the
government, enabling his resolute will to break down the forces of
feudalism and lay the foundation of absolute monarchy for his
successors. It would be doing him an injustice, however, to dismiss the
subject without alluding to his anxiety that the Inquisition should be
kept strictly within the lines of absolute justice according to the
standard of the period. Trained in the accepted doctrine of the Church
that heresy was the greatest of crimes, that the heretic had no rights
and that it was a service to God to torture him to death, he was
pitiless and he stimulated the inquisitors to incessant vigilance. He
was no less eager in gathering in every shred of spoil which he could
lawfully claim from the confiscation of the victims, but, in the
distorted ethics of the time, this comported with the strictest equity,
for it was obedience to the canon law which was the expression of the
law of God. There can have been no hypocrisy in his constant
instructions to inquisitors and receivers of confiscations to perform
their functions with rectitude and moderation so that no one should have
cause to complain. This was his general formula to new appointees and is
borne out by his instructions in the innumerable special cases where
appeal was made to him against real or fancied injustice. His abstinence
from intrusion into matters of faith limited such appeals to financial
questions, but these, under the cruel canonical regulations as to
confiscations, were often highly complicated and involved the rights of
innocent third parties. His decisions in such cases are often adverse to
himself and reveal an innate sense of justice wholly unexpected in a
monarch who ranked next to Cesar Borgia in the estimation of
Machiavelli. An instance or two, taken at random out of many, will
illustrate this phase of his character. July 11, 1486, he writes to his
receiver at Saragossa "Fifteen years ago, Jaime de Santangel, recently
burnt, possessed a piece of land in Saragossa and did not pay the
ground-rent on it to García Martinez. By the fuero of Aragon, when such
rent is unpaid for four years the land is forfeited. You are said to
hold the land as part of the confiscated estate of Santangel and for the
above reason it is said to belong to Martínez. You are therefore ordered
to see what is justice and do it to Martínez without delay and if you
have sold the land, the matter must be put into such shape that Martínez
may obtain what is due." In a similar spirit, when Caspar Roig, of
Cagliari, deemed himself aggrieved in a transaction arising out of a
composition for confiscation, Ferdinand writes to the inquisitor of
Sardinia, March 11, 1498, "As it is our will that no one shall suffer
injustice, we refer the case to you, charging you at once to hear the
parties and do what is just, so that the said Gaspar Roig shall suffer
no wrong.... You will see that the said Gaspar Roig shall not again have
to appeal to us for default of justice."[743]

       *       *       *       *       *

It was inevitable that, when this powerful personality was withdrawn,
the royal control over the Inquisition should diminish, especially in
view of the inability of Queen Juana to govern and the absence of the
youthful Charles V. The government of Spain practically devolved upon
Ximenes, who was Inquisitor-general of Castile, while his coadjutor
Adrian speedily obtained the same post in Aragon. After the arrival of
Charles and the death of Ximenes, Adrian became chief of the reunited
Inquisition and his influence over Charles in all matters connected with
it was unbounded. The circumstances therefore were peculiarly propitious
for the development of its practical independence, although
theoretically the supremacy of the crown remained unaltered.


Thus the Suprema, of which we hear little under Ferdinand, at once
assumed his place in regulating all details. The appointing power, even
of receivers, who were secular officials, accountable only to the royal
treasury, passed into its hands. Thus a letter of Ximenes, March 11,
1517, to the receiver of Toledo, states that there are large amounts of
uncollected confiscations, wherefore he is directed to select a proper
person for an assistant and send him to the Suprema to decide as to his
fitness, so that Ximenes may appoint him with its approval.[744] Still,
the nominating power remained technically with the crown and, when
Charles arrived, he was assumed to exercise it as Ferdinand had done,
however little real volition he may have displayed. In a letter of
December 11, 1518, concerning the appointment of Andrés Sánchez de
Torquemada as Inquisitor of Seville, Charles is made to say that, being
satisfied of Torquemada's capacity, he had charged him to accept the
office and that with his assent Adrian had appointed him. In another
case, where an abbot, to whom Adrian had offered the inquisitorship of
Toledo, had declined the office, Charles writes, September 14, 1519,
charging him to accept it.[745] That Adrian could not act alone was
recognized for, after Charles left Spain, in May, 1520, questions arose
on the subject and, by letters patent of September 12th, he formally
empowered Adrian, during his absence, to appoint all inquisitors and
other officials.[746]

Whether formal delegations of the appointing power were subsequently
made does not appear, but practically it continued with the
inquisitor-general, subject to an uncertain co-operation of the Suprema,
whose members countersigned the commissions, while, with the subordinate
positions in the tribunals, the inquisitors were sometimes consulted,
their recommendations received attention and their remonstrances were
heard. The various factors are illustrated in a letter of the Suprema,
August 24, 1544, to the inquisitors of Saragossa who had furnished a
statement of the qualifications of various aspirants for the vacant post
of _notario del juzgado_. In reply the Suprema states that its
secretary, Hieronimo Zurita, had recommended Martin Morales; it had
advised with the inquisitor-general who had appointed him, but it will
bear in mind Bartolomé Malo and will give him something else.[747]

So far as I am aware, Philip II never interfered with this exercise of
the appointing power. That he threw the whole responsibility on the
inquisitor-general and disclaimed any concurrence for himself is
apparent in a series of instructions, May 8, 1595, to the new
inquisitor-general, Geronimo Manrique. He orders him to observe the
utmost care to select fit persons for all positions without favoritism
and, although it is his duty to appoint inquisitors and fiscals, he
should communicate his selections in advance to the Suprema, as his
predecessors had always done, because some of the members may be
acquainted with the parties and prevent errors from being made.[748]
That a supervisory power, however, was still recognized in the crown is
seen in a consulta of June 21, 1600, presented to Philip III, by
Inquisitor-general Guevara, lamenting the unfitness of many of the
inquisitors. With the habitual tenderness manifested to unworthy
officials he did not propose to dismiss them but to make a general
shifting by which the best men should be made the seniors of the
tribunals. To this the king replied with a caution about discrediting
the Inquisition and a suggestion that the parties shifted should be made
to ask for the change; he also called for their names and the reasons,
because he ought to be informed about all the individuals.[749]

This indicated a desire to resume the close watchfulness of Ferdinand
which had long since been forgotten in the turmoil and absences of
Charles V and the secluded labors of Philip II, over despatches and
consultas. A bureaucracy was establishing itself in which the various
departments of the government were becoming more or less independent of
the monarch and Philip for the moment appeared disposed to reassert his
authority, for, in 1603, we are told that he made many appointments of
inquisitors, fiscals, and even of minor officials.[750] If so, he was
too irresolute, feeble, and fitful to carry out a definite line of
policy for when, in 1608, he issued the customary instructions to a new
inquisitor, Sandoval y Rójas, he merely repeated the injunctions of
1595, with the addition that transfers should also be communicated to
the Suprema.[751] Yet in one case he even exceeded Ferdinand by
intervening in a case of faith. When he went to Toledo with his court to
witness the auto de fe of May 10, 1615, he asked to see the sentence of
Juan Cote, penanced for Lutheranism, and made some changes in the
_meritos_, or recital of offences, altered the imprisonment to perpetual
and irremissible and added two hundred lashes. The tribunal consulted
the Suprema, which approved the changes on the supposition that the
inquisitor-general had participated in them, but the day after the auto
Cote was informed that the Suprema had mercifully remitted the


Philip IV, in 1626, on the death of Inquisitor-general Pacheco, asked
the Suprema to suggest the instructions to be given to the new incumbent
and was advised to repeat those of 1608. He virtually admitted the power
of appointment to be vested in that office when, in the same year, the
Córtes of Barbastro petitioned that in Aragon all the officials of the
tribunals should be Aragonese and he replied that he would use his
authority with the inquisitor-general that a certain portion of them
should be so.[753] Notwithstanding his habitual subservience to the
Inquisition, however, he reasserted his prerogative, in 1640, by
appointing the Archdeacon of Vich as Inquisitor of Barcelona and he
followed this, in 1641 and 1642, by several others, even descending to
the secretaryship of Lima which he gave to Domingo de Aroche.[754] This
brought on a struggle, ending in a compromise in which the
inquisitor-general was sacrificed to the Suprema. Papal intervention was
deemed to be necessary and a brief was procured in March, 1643, under
which Philip, by decree of July 2, ordered that in future, in all
vacancies of positions of inquisitor and fiscal, the inquisitor-general
and Suprema should submit to him three names from which to make
selection. The Suprema thus recognized was satisfied, but Sotomayor, the
inquisitor-general, was obstinate. In June, Philip had called for his
resignation, which he offered after some hesitation and expressed his
feelings in a protest presenting a sorry picture of the condition of the
Holy Office. The present disorders, he said, had arisen from the
multiplication of offices, whereby their character had depreciated and,
as the revenues were insufficient for their support, they were led to
improper devices. The Suprema had been powerless for, on various
occasions, the king had rewarded services in other fields by the gifts
of these offices, when no consideration could be given to character, and
he had also been forced to make appointments by commands as imperative
as those of the king--an evident allusion to Olivares.[755]

Sotomayor's successor, Arce y Reynoso, conformed himself to these new
rules and, until his death in 1665, he submitted all appointments and
transfers to the king. Philip survived him but three months and, under
the regency which followed and the reign of the imbecile Carlos II, the
inquisitor-general resumed the power of appointment without
consultation. So completely was the royal supervision forgotten that the
instructions to Inquisitor-general Rocaberti, in 1695, repeat the old
formula of 1608.[756] In this, the injunction of consulting the Suprema
was displeasing to the Holy See, after its intervention in the affair of
Froilan Díaz (of which more hereafter) had caused it to take sides in
the quarrel over the respective powers of the inquisitor-general and the
Suprema. As the commission of the former was a papal grant, it held that
no restriction could be placed on him and, when Vidal Marin was
appointed, Clement XI sent to him August 8, 1705, urgent instructions to
uphold the dignity of his office which had exclusive authority in the

The command was too agreeable not to be obeyed and, from this time, the
unrestricted power of appointment was in the hands of the
inquisitor-general. About 1765, a writer tells us that all salaried
offices were filled by him alone. If the king wished to gratify some one
with a position he would signify his desire to the inquisitor-general
that such person should be borne in mind at the first vacancy and the
royal wish was respected, in the absence of special objection. If such
there were it was reported to the king and his decision was
awaited.[758] With the tendency to assert the prerogative, under Carlos
III, this was called in question, in 1775, when the royal Camara
scrutinized the brief commissioning Felipe Bertran as
inquisitor-general, but the protest was merely formal; the appointing
power remained undisturbed; it survived the Revolution and continued
until the Inquisition was suppressed.[759]

       *       *       *       *       *


Of vastly greater importance was the power of selecting and virtually
dismissing the inquisitor-general and this the crown never lost. In fact
this was essential to its dignity, if not to its safety. Had the
appointment rested with the pope, either the Inquisition would of
necessity have been reduced to insignificance or the kingdom would have
become a dependency of the curia. Had the Suprema possessed the power of
presenting a nominee to the pope, the Inquisition would have become an
independent body rivalling and perhaps in time superseding the monarchy.
Yet, after the death of Ferdinand, Cardinal Adrian, when elected to the
papacy, seemed to imagine that Ferdinand's privilege of nomination had
been merely personal and that it had reverted to him. February 19, 1522,
he wrote to Charles that a successor must be provided; after much
thought he had pitched on the Dominican General but had not determined
to make the appointment without first learning Charles's wishes. If the
Dominican was not satisfactory, Charles could name some one else, for
which purpose he suggested three other prelates. Charles replied from
Brussels, March 29th, assuming the appointment to be in his hands, but
ordered his representative Lachaulx to confer with Adrian. He was in no
haste to reach a decision and it was not until July 13, 1523, that he
instructed his ambassador, the Duke of Sessa, to ask the commission for
Alfonso Manrique, Bishop of Córdova, on whom he had conferred the post
of inquisitor-general and the archbishopric of Seville.[760]

The records afford no indication of any question subsequently arising as
to the power of the crown to select the inquisitor-general. It was
never, however, officially recognized by the popes, whose commissions to
the successive nominees bore the form of a _motu proprio_--the
spontaneous act of the Holy See--by which, without reference to any
request from the sovereign, the recipient was created inquisitor-general
of the Spanish dominions and was invested with all the faculties and
powers requisite for the functions of his office.[761] No objection
seems to have been taken to this until Carlos III exercised a jealous
care over the assertion and maintenance of the regalías against the
assumptions of the curia. The first appointment he had occasion to make
was that of Felipe Bertran, Bishop of Salamanca, after the death of
Inquisitor-general Bonifaz. December 27, 1774, was despatched the
application to the papacy for the commission, carefully framed to avoid
attributing to the latter any share in the selection or appointment and
merely asking for a delegation of faculties, accompanied with
instructions to the ambassador Floridablanca to procure for Bertran a
dispensation from residence at his see during his term of office.
Clement XIV had died, September 22, 1774, and the intrigues arising from
the suppression of the Jesuits delayed the election of Pius VI until
February 15, 1775, but on February 27th the commission and dispensation
were signed. March 25th, Carlos sent the commission to the royal Camara
for examination before its delivery to Bertran and the Camara reported,
April 24th, that its fiscal pronounced it similar to that granted to
Bonifaz in 1755, but that it did not express as it should the royal
nomination and had the form of a _motu proprio_; he also objected to its
granting the power of appointment and further that some of the faculties
included infringed on the royal and episcopal jurisdictions, while the
clauses on censorship conflicted with the royal decrees. Under these
reserves the brief was ordered to be delivered to Bertran; whether or
not a protest was made to the curia does not appear, but if it was it
was ineffective for the same formula was used in the commission issued
to Inquisitor-general Agustin Rubin de Cevallos, February 17, 1784.[762]

       *       *       *       *       *


It may be assumed as a matter of course that the king had no power to
dismiss an inquisitor-general who held his commission at the pleasure of
the pope, but the sovereign had usually abundant means of enforcing a
resignation. Whether that of Alfonso Suárez de Fuentelsaz, in 1504, was
voluntary or coerced is not known, but the case of Cardinal Manrique,
the successor of Adrian, shows that if an inquisitor-general was not
forced to resign he could be virtually shelved. Manrique, as Bishop of
Badajoz, after Isabella's death, had so actively supported the claims of
Philip I that Ferdinand ordered his arrest; he fled to Flanders, where
he entered Charles's service and returned with him to Spain, obtaining
the see of Córdova and ultimately the archbishopric of Seville.[763]
Perhaps he incurred the ill-will of the Empress Isabella soon after his
appointment, for we find him complaining, January 23, 1524, to Charles
that when in Valencia she had ordered the disarmament of the familiars
and the arrest of Micer Artes, a salaried official of the Inquisition,
violations of its privileges for which he asked a remedy.[764] In 1529,
he gave more serious cause of offence. When Charles sailed, July 28th,
to Italy for his coronation, he placed under charge of the empress Doña
Luisa de Acuña, heiress of the Count of Valencia, until her marriage
should be determined. There were three suitors--Manrique's cousin the
Count of Treviño, heir apparent of the Duke of Najera, the Marquis of
Astorga and the Marquis of Mayorga. The empress placed her ward in the
convent of San Domingo el Real of Toledo, where Manrique abused his
authority by introducing his cousin; an altar had been prepared in
advance and the marriage was celebrated on the spot. The empress, justly
incensed, ordered him from the court to his see until the emperor should
return and turned a deaf ear to the representations by the Suprema,
December 12th, of the interference with the holy work of the Inquisition
and the discredit cast upon it. It was probably to this that may be
referred the delay in his elevation to the cardinalate, announced March
22, 1531, after being kept _in petto_ since December 19, 1529. On
Charles's return, in 1533, he was allowed to take his place again, but
he fell into disgrace once more in 1534, when he was sent back to his
see where he died at an advanced age in 1538. Still, this was not
equivalent to dismissal; he continued to exercise his functions and his
signature is appended to documents of the Inquisition at least until
1537.[765] Yet while thus dealing with the inquisitor-general the crown
could exercise no control over the tribunals. The empress was interested
in the case of Fray Francisco Ortiz, arrested April 6, 1529, by the
tribunal of Toledo, and she twice requested the expediting of his trial
for which, October 27, 1530, she alleged reasons of state, but the
tribunal was deaf to her wishes as well as to those of Clement VII who
interposed July 1, 1531, and the sentence was not rendered until April
17, 1532.[766]

There was no occasion for royal interference with Inquisitors-general
Tavera, Loaysa or Valdés. If the latter was forced to resign, in 1566,
it was not by order of Philip II but of Pius V for his part, as we shall
see hereafter, in the prosecution of Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo. So
if Espinosa, in 1572, died in consequence of a reproof from Philip II,
it was not for official misconduct and merely shows the depth of
servility attainable by the courtiers of the period. The reign of the
feeble Philip III however afforded several instances that the royal will
sufficed to create a vacancy. He had scarce mounted on the throne as a
youth of twenty, on the death of Philip II, September 13, 1598, before
he sought to get rid of Inquisitor-general Portocarrero, who had, it is
said, spoken lightly of him, or had incurred the ill-will of the
favorite, the Duke of Lerma. To effect this, a bull was procured from
Clement VIII requiring episcopal residence; Portocarrero was Bishop of
Cuenca, a see reputed to be worth forty thousand ducats a year, but he
preferred to abandon this and made fruitless efforts at Rome to be
permitted to do so. He left Madrid in September, 1599, for Cuenca and
died of grief within a twelve-month, refusing to make a will because, as
he said, he had nothing to leave but debts that would take two years'
revenue of his see to pay.[767] His successor, Cardinal Fernando Niño de
Guevara fared no better. He was in Rome at the time of his appointment
and did not take possession of his office until December 23, 1599, but
already in May, 1600, there were rumors that he was to be superseded by
Sandoval y Rojas, Archbishop of Toledo. Yet, in 1601, he was made
Archbishop of Seville and he sought to purchase Philip's favor by a gift
of forty thousand ducats and nearly all his plate. This was unavailing
and, in January, 1602, he was ordered to reside in his see, when he
dutifully handed in his resignation.[768] Juan de Zuñiga, who succeeded,
had a clause in his commission permitting him to resign the
administration of his see in the hands of the pope, but the precaution
was superfluous for he died, December 20, 1602, after only six weeks'
enjoyment of the office, for which he had sacrificed thirty thousand
ducats a year from his see. He was old and feeble and his death was
attributed to his coming in winter from a warm climate to the rigors of
Valladolid, then the residence of the court.[769]


The question of non-residence was happily solved, for a time at least,
by selecting as the next incumbent Juan Bautista de Azevedo, Bishop of
Valladolid, the seat of the court. He was a person of so little
consequence that the appointment aroused general surprise until it was
recalled that he had been a secretary of Lerma. When the court removed
to Madrid, in 1606, he was obliged to choose between the two dignities
and his resignation of the bishopric was facilitated by granting him a
pension of twelve thousand ducats on the treasury of the Indies, besides
which, as Patriarch of the Indies, he had a salary of eight
thousand.[770] His death soon followed, in 1608, when Sandoval y Rojas,
the uncle of Lerma, obtained the position without sacrificing his
primatial see of Toledo, a dispensation for non-residence being
doubtless easily obtained by such a personage.

Sandoval was succeeded, in 1619, by Fray Luis de Aliaga, a Dominican who
had been Lerma's confessor. In 1608 Lerma transferred him to the king,
over whom his influence steadily increased, although his doubtful
reputation is inferable from the popular attribution to him of the
spurious continuation of Don Quixote, published in 1614 under the name
of Avellaneda--a work of which the buffoonery and indecency are most
unclerical.[771] Though he owed his fortune to Lerma, he joined, in
1618, in causing his patron's downfall in favor of Lerma's nephew, the
Duke of Uceda, and during the rest of Philip's reign Uceda and Aliaga
virtually ruled and misgoverned the land, filling the offices with their
creatures, selling justice and intensifying the financial disorders
which were bringing Spain to its ruin. When Philip IV succeeded to the
throne, March 31, 1621, under tutelage to his favorite Olivares, their
first business was to dismiss all who had been in power under the late
king. The secular officials were easily disposed of, but the papal
commission of the inquisitor-general rendered him independent of the
king; he did not manifest the accommodating disposition of Portocarrero
and Guevara and, as he was not a bishop, he could not be ordered to his
see. It illustrates the anomalous position of the Inquisition, as part
of an absolute government, that for some weeks the question of his
removal was the subject of repeated juntas and consultations, but
finally, April 23d, Philip wrote, ordering him to leave the court within
twenty-four hours, for the Dominican Convent of Huete, where his
superior would give him further instructions. He obeyed, but he refused
the bishopric of Zamora and the continuance of his ecclesiastical
revenues as the price of his resignation. The only method left was to
obtain from Gregory XV the withdrawal of his delegated powers by
representing his unworthiness, his guilty complicity with Uceda and
Osuna and Philip III's reproach to him on his death-bed for misguiding
his soul to perdition. Gregory listened favorably and Aliaga seems to
have recognized the untenableness of his position and to have resigned,
although no evidence of it exists. All we know is that Andrés Pacheco,
Bishop of Cuenca, was appointed as his successor in February, 1622, and
took possession of the office in April. Even after this Aliaga was an
object of apprehension. In June, 1623, he came to Hortaleza, which was
within a league or two of Madrid. Immediately the court was in a
flutter; the king held earnest consultations; his propinquity was
regarded as dangerous and he could not be allowed to return, as he had
asked, to his native Aragon, which was in a chronically inflammable
condition, while in Valencia his brother was archbishop; nor could he be
allowed to leave the kingdom, possessing as he did so intimate a
knowledge of state secrets. There were messages and active
correspondence and finally he was allowed to settle in Guadalajara with
ample means, where his remaining three years of life passed in
obscurity. Llorente tells us that proceedings were commenced against him
for propositions savoring of Lutheranism and materialism, which were
discontinued after his death, a device doubtless adopted to keep him in


Andrés Pacheco, who succeeded him in 1622, prudently resigned his see of
Cuenca and, in spite of his audacious enforcement of inquisitorial
claims, was allowed to hold the office until his death, April 7,
1626.[773] There was no haste in filling the vacancy, for it was not
until August 6th that Olivares replied to the king's order to report in
writing the best persons to fill the office. He named four, covertly
indicating his preference for Cardinal Zapata, who had resigned the
archbishopric of Burgos in 1605 and at the time was governor of that of
Toledo. Philip followed the suggestion by an endorsement on the paper,
which was a singularly informal appointment, remarking at the same time
that the choice should not be made public until his successor at Toledo
was selected.[774] His resignation of the office, in 1632, is commonly
attributed to a request from the king, but this is by no means certain.
He was more than eighty years of age and for some time had been talking
of resigning; already in 1630 the Suprema alludes in a consulta to the
publicity of his intention of relieving himself of the charge. Possibly
at the end some gentle pressure may have been used, but when, September
6, 1632, the commission of his successor arrived, his parting with the
king was in terms of mutual respect and good feeling. His retirement was
softened by continuing to him his full salary and perquisites, amounting
to 1,353,625 mrs. (3620 ducats) which, as the Suprema never had enough
revenue for its desires, was not cordially welcomed.[775]

His successor, the Dominican Fray Antonio de Sotomayor, was Archbishop
of Damascus _in partibus_ and confessor of the king. He was already in
his seventy-seventh year and, when he had held his office for eleven
years, his infirmities and incapacity became more evident to others than
to himself. Early in 1643 the fall of Olivares deprived him of support,
his opposition to the king in the matter of appointments still further
weakened his position and in June he was requested to resign in view of
his advanced age and to preserve his health. He was much disturbed and
consulted friends, who advised him to obey, but he still held on, saying
that they might await his death. Greater pressure was applied to which
he yielded. June 20th he made a formal notarial attestation of his
desire to be relieved on account of his great age and the next day he
sent in an ungracious resignation, followed, on the 24th by one
addressed to the pope. His successor, Diego de Arce y Reynoso, Bishop
of Plasencia, was already on the spot, exercising some of the
functions, but Urban VIII hesitated to confirm the change and required
explanations. It was not until September 18th that the commission of
Arce y Reynoso was expedited and it only reached Madrid November 7th.
Sotomayor was "jubilated" with half his salary of nine thousand ducats,
which he enjoyed for five years longer.[776]

Arce y Reynoso, as we shall see, when embroiled with Rome in the
prosecution of Villanueva, Marquis of Villalva, was obliged to resign
his see of Plasencia, December 2, 1652, in order to retain his
inquisitor-generalship. He continued in office until his death, June 20,
1665, followed by that of Philip, September 16th. During this interval,
Philip gave the appointment to Pascual of Aragon, son of the Duke of
Cardona and serving at the time as Viceroy of Naples. He promptly sailed
for Spain and, though he is said to have resigned without acting, there
are documents of October and November, 1665, which show that he
performed the functions of the office.[777] He obtained the see of
Toledo March 7, 1666, and desired to retain the inquisitor-generalship,
but the Queen-regent, Maria Ana of Austria, compelled him to resign, in
order to fill the place with her confessor and favorite the German
Jesuit, Johann Everardt Nithard.[778]


Nithard, in 1668, boasted that he had had charge of the queen's
conscience for twenty-four years, during which she had kept him
constantly with her. He had thus moulded her character from youth and,
as she was weak and obstinate, he had rendered himself indispensable.
Her selection of him as inquisitor-general provoked lively opposition,
which even reverence for royalty could not repress; protests were
presented, leading to prolonged and heated discussion, but resistance
was in vain.[779] He was appointed October 15, 1666, and speedily became
the ruler of the kingdom which he misgoverned. The general
dissatisfaction thus aroused was stimulated by the jealousy of the
_frailes_, who had been accustomed to see Dominicans as royal
confessors and whose hatred of the Company of Jesus was exacerbated by
his combination of that position with the inquisitor-generalship. He was
accused of filling the Holy Office with Jesuit _calificadores_, under
whose advice he managed it, and with accumulating for himself pensions
amounting to sixty thousand ducats a year. Spain at the time had a
pinchbeck hero in the person of the second Don Juan of Austria, son of
Philip IV by a woman known as la Calderona; he stood high in popular
esteem, for he had the reputation of suppressing the Neapolitan revolt
of 1648 and of ending the Catalan rebellion by the capture of Barcelona
in 1652. Between him and Nithard there inevitably arose hostility which
ripened into the bitterest hatred. To get him out of the country, he was
given command of an expedition about to sail for Flanders; he went to
Coruña but refused to sail; he was ordered to retire to Consuegra,
whither a troop of horse was sent to arrest him, but he had fled to
Catalonia, leaving a letter addressed to the queen in which he said that
the execrable wickedness of Nithard had forced him to provide for his
safety; his refusal to sail had been caused by his desire to remove from
her side that wild beast, so unworthy of his sacred office; he did not
propose to kill him for he did not wish to plunge into perdition a soul
in such evil state, but he would devote himself to relieving the kingdom
of this basilisk, confident that the queen would recognize the service
thus rendered to the king.

This letter and a similar one of November 13th were widely circulated
and inflamed the popular detestation of Nithard. Don Juan stood forward
as the champion of the people against the hated foreigner and continued
to issue inflammatory addresses. Letters came pouring into the court,
from the cities represented in the Córtes, praying the queen to accede
to his demands but, though her councillors wavered, she stood firm.
December 3d she wrote to him to return to Consuegra or to come near to
Madrid, where negotiations could be carried on. While taking advantage
of this he avoided the trap by writing that, as his life was endangered,
her envoy, the Duke of Osuna, had furnished him with a guard of three
companies of horse--about 250 men in all. With this escort he started
from Barcelona by way of Saragossa. It was in vain that orders were sent
from the court to insult him on the road. Everywhere his journey was
like a royal progress. Nobles and peoples gathered to applaud him and,
in Saragossa even the tribunal of the Inquisition bore a part, while the
students carried around the effigy of a Jesuit and burnt it before the
Jesuit house, forcing the rector to witness it from the window.

As he drew near to Madrid with his handful of men, Nithard called on the
nobles of his party to assemble with their armed retainers, but the
Council of Regency prohibited this. Don Juan was in no haste; on
February 9th he reached Junquera, some ten leagues from Madrid and, on
the 22d, he was at Torrejon de Ardoz, about five leagues distant.
Imminent danger was felt that if he advanced the populace would rise and
murder the ministers to whom they attributed their sufferings, and all
idea of resistance was abandoned. Nithard induced the papal nuncio to
see Don Juan, February 24th, and ask further time for negotiation but at
9 P.M. the nuncio returned with word that Nithard must leave Spain at
once. The Royal Council sat until 10 P.M. and reached the same
conclusion. The next day the city was in an uproar; people carried their
valuables to the convents for safe keeping and a mob assembled around
the palace, where the Junto de Gobierno drew up a decree that Nithard
must depart within three hours. It bore that he had supplicated
permission to leave and in granting it the queen, to express her
satisfaction with his services, appointed him ambassador to Germany or
to Rome as he might elect, with retention of all his offices and
salaries. The queen signed this and the Archbishop of Toledo and the
Count of Peñaranda were deputed to carry it to Nithard, who received it
without a trace of emotion and placed himself at their disposal. It was
arranged that they should call for him at 6 P.M. The archbishop and the
Duke of Maqueda came with two coaches and Nithard entered, carrying with
him nothing but his breviary. Thrice, in the streets, the howling mob
threatened an attack, but were deterred by the sight of a cross with
which the archbishop had prudently provided himself. They drove him to
Fuencarral, about two leagues from the city and left him at the house of
the cura. The next day he went to San Agustin, about ten leagues
distant, where he lingered for awhile in the vain hope of recall.


Don Juan fell back to Guadalajara, where terms were agreed upon, the
principal articles being that Nithard should immediately resign all his
offices and never return to Spain and that Diego de Valladares, Don
Juan's special enemy, should have nothing to do in any matter affecting
him. Nithard accordingly went to Rome, but he had no commission to show
and no instructions. He reported this to the Council of State, which
told him to urge the definition by the Holy See of the Immaculate
Conception. The queen endeavored by a subterfuge to obtain for him a
cardinal's hat, which had been promised to Spain, but failed. He still
hoped for a return to his honors, stimulated by the correspondence of
his confidential agent, the Jesuit Salinas, but a letter warning him not
to resign the inquisitor-generalship, for things were tending towards
his return, with a lodging in the queen's palace, chanced to fall into
the hands of the nuncio, who placed it where it would do the most good.
The result was a peremptory order for him to resign in favor of
Valladares, who had been nominated as his successor. When this was
handed to him by San Roman, the Spanish ambassador, he is said to have
fainted and not to have recovered his senses for an hour. The coveted
cardinal's hat was bestowed on Portocarrero, Dean of Toledo, and when
the news of this reached the queen it threw her into a tertian fever.
The Jesuit General Oliva, seeing Nithard thus stripped of his offices
and offended at his arrogance, ordered him to leave Rome and he retired
to a convent, but he was amply provided with funds and, for some years
at least, he was carried on the books of the Suprema and received his
salary regularly. Moreover, in 1672, the queen procured from Clement X
what Clement IX had persistently refused and Nithard was created
Archbishop of Edessa and cardinal.[780]

Valladares had received his appointment September 15, 1669. It was not
until 1677 that he resigned his see of Plasencia and he held the
inquisitor-generalship until his death, January 29, 1695. He was
succeeded by Juan Thomás de Rocaberti, Archbishop of Valencia, for whom
Innocent XII, at the request of Carlos II, granted a dispensation from
residence, conditioned on his making proper provision for the spiritual
and temporal care of his see.[781] He died June 13, 1699, and his
successor, Alfonso Fernández de Aguilar, Cardinal of Córdova, followed
him September 19th, the very day that his commission arrived, after a
brief illness and not without grave suspicions of poison.[782] The
choice then fell on Balthasar de Mendoza y Sandoval, Bishop of Segovia,
who became involved, as we shall see, in a deadly quarrel with his
colleagues of the Suprema over the case of Fray Froilan Díaz. In the
confusion of the concluding months of the disastrous reign of Carlos II,
who died November 1, 1700, Mendoza made the mistake of embracing the
Austrian side; his arbitrary action, in the case of Froilan Díaz, served
as a sufficient excuse for his removal and Philip V, apparently in 1703,
ordered him to return to his see. He is generally said to have resigned
in 1705 but, in the papal commission, March 24, 1705, for his successor
Vidal Marin, Clement XI states that he has seen fit to relieve Mendoza
of the office because his presence is necessary at Segovia.[783] Vidal
Marin served till his death in 1709 and so did his successor
Riva-Herrera, Archbishop of Saragossa, who, however, enjoyed his dignity
for little more than a year.


Philip V had brought to Spain the Gallicanism and the principles of high
royal prerogative which were incompatible with the pretensions of the
curia and the quasi-independence of the Inquisition. With the Bourbons
there opens a new era in the relations between the crown and the Holy
Office. Yet in his first open trial of strength, Philip's fatal
vacillation, under the varying influences of his counsellors, confessors
and wives, left him with a dubious victory. In 1711 he selected as
inquisitor-general Cardinal Giudice, Archbishop of Monreal in Sicily, a
Neapolitan of much ambition and little scruple. The recognition of the
Archduke Charles as King of Spain by Clement XI, in 1709, had caused
relations to be broken off between Madrid and Rome. Philip dismissed the
nuncio, closed the tribunal of the nunciatura and forbade the
transmission of money to Rome. There was talk in the curia of reviving
the medieval methods of reducing disobedient monarchs to submission and
Philip, to prepare for the struggle, ordered, December 12, 1713, the
Council of Castile to draw up a statement of the regalías which would
justify resistance to the demands of the curia and to the jurisdiction
exercised by nuncios. It was a quarrel which had been in progress for a
century and a half, now breaking out fiercely and then smothered, but
none the less bitter. The Council entrusted the task to its fiscal,
Melchor Rafael de Macanaz, a hard-headed lawyer, fully imbued with
convictions of royal prerogative, whose report was, in general and in
detail, thoroughly subversive of Ultramontanism and consequently most
distasteful to the curia.[784] When it was presented to the council,
December 19th, Don Luis Curiel and some others prevented a vote and
asked for copies that they might consider the matter maturely. Copies
were given to each member, consideration was postponed and on February
14, 1714, Molines, the ambassador at Rome, reported that copies had been
sent there by Curiel, Giudice and Belluga, Bishop of Murcia. Although it
was a secret state paper, the curia issued a decree condemning it and,
coupled with it, an old work, Barclay's reply to Bellarmine and a French
defence of the royal prerogative by Le Vayer, attributed to President
Denis Talon. Such a decree could not be published in Spain without
previous submission to the Royal Council, but Giudice was relied upon to
evade this. He was nothing loath, for he had an old quarrel with
Macanaz, who had prevented his obtaining the archbishopric of Toledo,
his enmity being so marked that at one time Philip, to separate them,
had sent Macanaz to France with the title of ambassador extraordinary,
but without functions. At the moment Giudice was ambassador to France
and the decree was sent to him; he declined to act unless assured of the
protection of the courts of Rome and Vienna and, on receiving pledges of
this, he signed it, July 30th as inquisitor-general and sent it to the
Suprema for publication. Four of the members promptly signed it and had
it published at high mass in the churches on August 15th. This created
an immense sensation and exaggerated accounts were circulated of the
errors and heresies contained in the unknown legal argument which
Macanaz had prepared in the strict line of his duty.

When Philip was informed the next day of this audacious proceeding he
called into consultation his confessor Robinet and three other
theologians, who submitted on the 17th an opinion in writing that the
Suprema should be required to suspend the edict and that Giudice should
be dismissed and banished. The Suprema obeyed, excusing itself on the
pretext that it had supposed, as a matter of course, that Giudice had
submitted the edict to the king. He was not satisfied with this and
dismissed three of them, but they refused to surrender their places.
Then he summoned a meeting of the Council of Castile, pointing out that,
if such things were permitted, the kingdom would be reduced to vassalage
under the Dataria and other tribunals of the curia; the Council was not
to separate until every member had recorded his opinion as to the
measures to be taken. Seven of them voted for dismissing and banishing
Giudice, while four showed themselves favorable to the Inquisition.
Meanwhile, on the 17th, Philip had despatched a courier to Paris
summoning Giudice to return and informing Louis XIV of the affair. The
latter, recognizing that the decree was an assault on the French as well
as the Spanish regalías, refused to Giudice a farewell audience and sent
his confessor Le Tellier to tell him that, were he not certain that
Philip would punish him condignly, he would do so himself. When Giudice
reached Bayonne he was met by an order not to enter Spain until the
edict should be revoked. He replied submissively, enclosing his
resignation, whereupon Philip commanded him to return to his
archbishopric--a command which he did not obey. Felipe Antonio Gil de
Taboada was appointed inquisitor-general and, on February 28, 1715, his
commission was despatched from Rome; probably the Suprema interposed
difficulties for he never served; he obtained the post of Governor of
the Council of Castile, to be rewarded subsequently with the
archbishopric of Seville.[785]


Meanwhile there was a court revolution. María Luisa of Savoy, Philip's
wife, died February 11, 1714. The Princesse des Ursins, who had
accompanied her to Spain and had become the most considerable personage
in the kingdom, desired to find a new bride whom she could control.
Giulio Alberoni, an adroit Italian adventurer, was then serving as the
envoy of the Duke of Parma and persuaded her that Elisabeth Farnese, the
daughter of his patron, would be subservient to her, and the match was
arranged. December 11, 1714, Elisabeth reached Pampeluna and found
Alberoni there ready to instruct her as to her course and his teaching
bore speedy fruit. Des Ursins had also hastened to meet the new queen
and was at Idiaguez, not far distant, where she received from the
imperious young woman an order to quit Spain. Alberoni, who was in
league with Giudice and hated Macanaz, painted him to Elisabeth in the
darkest colors and his ruin was resolved upon.

He had been pursuing his duty as Fiscal-general of the Council of
Castile; in July, 1714, he had occasion to make another report on the
notorious evils of the Religious Orders, pointing out the necessity of
their reform and asserting that the pope is not the master of
ecclesiastical property and spiritual profits. Some months later he was
called upon to draw up a complete reform of the Inquisition, suggested
doubtless by the pending conflict, for which an occasion was found in an
insolent invasion of the royal rights by the tribunal of Lima. The
Council of Indies complained that the latter had removed from the
administration of certain properties indebted to the royal treasury the
person appointed by the Chamber of Accounts, on the plea that the owner
was also a debtor to the Inquisition. Philip V thereupon ordered
Macanaz, in conjunction with D. Martin de Miraval, fiscal of the Council
of Indies, to make a report covering all the points on which the Holy
Office should be reformed. The two fiscals presented their report
November 14, 1714, exhaustively reviewing the invasions of the royal
jurisdiction which, as we shall see hereafter, were constant and
audacious, and their recommendations were framed with a view of
rendering the Inquisition an instrument for executing the royal will, to
the subversion of the jealously-guarded principle that laymen should be
wholly excluded from spiritual jurisdiction.[786]

In the reaction wrought by Elisabeth and Alberoni, Macanaz was
necessarily sacrificed. Philip, notoriously uxorious, speedily fell
under the domination of his strong-minded bride and Alberoni became the
all-powerful minister. Giudice, who had been loitering on the borders,
was recalled and, on March 28, 1715, Philip abased himself by signing a
most humiliating paper, evidently drawn up by Giudice, reinstating the
latter and apologizing for his acts on the ground of having been misled
by evil counsel.[787] Alberoni and Giudice, however, were too ambitious
and too unprincipled to remain friends. Their intrigues clashed in Rome,
the one to obtain a cardinal's hat, the other to advance his nephew.
Alberoni had the ear of the queen and speedily undermined his rival.
Giudice was also tutor of the young prince Luis; on July 15, 1716, he
was deprived of the post and ordered to leave the palace and, on the
25th, he was forbidden to enter it. He fell into complete disfavor and
shortly left Spain for Rome, where he placed the imperial arms over his
door. His resignation must have followed speedily for, on January 23,
1717, the tribunal of Barcelona acknowledges receipt of an announcement
from the Suprema that the pope has at last acceded to the reiterated
requests of Cardinal Giudice to be allowed to resign and has appointed
in his place D. Joseph de Molines, as published in a royal decree of
January 9th.[788] Alberoni obtained the coveted cardinalate but his
triumph was transient. He replaced the king's confessor, Father Robinet
with another Jesuit, Father Daubenton, who soon intrigued against him so
successfully and so secretly that the first intimation of his fall was a
royal order, December 5, 1719, to leave Madrid within eight days and
Spain in three weeks. He vainly sought an audience of Philip and was
forced to obey.[789]


Although the episode of Giudice is thus closed, the fate of Macanaz is
too illustrative of inquisitorial methods and of royal weakness to be
passed over without brief mention. He had incurred the undying hatred of
the Inquisition simply in discharge of his duty as an adviser of the
crown, with perhaps an excess of zeal for his master and an intemperate
patriotism that strove to restore its lost glories to Spain. It was
impossible to continue him in his high function while recalling Giudice
and, as a decent cover for banishment, he was allowed, in March, 1715,
to seek the waters of Bagnères for his health, when he departed on an
exile that lasted for thirty-three years to be followed by an
imprisonment of twelve. Giudice promptly commenced a prosecution for
heresy, sufficient proof of which, according to the standards of the
Holy Office, was afforded by his official papers. As he dared not
return, his trial _in absentia_ resulted, as such trials were wont to
do, in conviction, and he seems to have been sentenced to perpetual
exile with confiscation of all his property, including even five hundred
doubloons which the king was sending to him at Pau through a banker of
Saragossa. All his papers and correspondence in the hands of his friends
were seized and his brother, a Dominican fraile, whom the king had
placed in the Suprema, was arrested in the hope of obtaining
incriminating evidence.[790]

Thenceforth he led a life of wandering exile, so peculiar that it is
explicable only by the character of Philip. He was in constant
correspondence with high state officials and was frequently entrusted
with important negotiations. Sometimes he was under salary, but it was
irregularly paid and for the most part he had to struggle with poverty.
When the Infanta María Ana Vitoria was sent back to Spain from France,
in 1725, he was commissioned to attend her to the border and from there
he went as plenipotentiary to the Congress of Cambray, with the
comforting assurance that the king was endeavoring to put an end to the
affair of the Inquisition--an effort apparently frustrated by the
influence of Père Daubenton.[791] It was possibly with a view to
overcome this fatal enmity that he occupied his leisure, between 1734
and 1736, in composing a defence of the Inquisition from the attacks of
Dr. Dellon and the Abbé Du Bos. In this he had nothing but praise for
its kindliness towards its prisoners, its scrupulous care to avoid
injustice, the rectitude of its procedure and the benignity of its
punishments. Beyond these assertions, the defence reduces itself to
showing that, from the time when the Church acquired the power to
persecute, it has persecuted heretics to the death and that the heretics
in their turn have been persecutors--propositions readily proved from
his wide and various stores of learning and sufficient to satisfy a
believer in the _semper et ubique et ab omnibus_.[792] Ten years later,
when Fernando VI ascended the throne in 1746, Macanaz addressed him a
memorial on the measures requisite to relieve the misery of Spain and in
this he superfluously urged the maintenance of the Inquisition in all
its lustre and authority.[793] In spite of all this it was unrelenting
and his entreaties to be allowed to return were fruitless.

In 1747 he was sent to the Congress of Breda where he mismanaged the
negotiations, deceived, it is said, by Lord Sandwich. Relieved and
ordered, in 1748, to present himself to the Viceroy of Navarre at
Pampeluna, after some delay he was carried to Coruña and immured
_incomunicado_ in a casemate of the castle of San Antonio, a prison
known as a place of rigorous confinement. Even the authorities there
compassionated him and, at their intercession, he was removed to an
easier prison and permitted the use of books and writing materials.
Here, during a further captivity of twelve years, the indomitable old
man occupied himself with voluminous commentaries on the _Teatro
crítico_ of Padre Feyjoo and the _España sagrada_ of Florez, with many
other writings and memorials to the king. It was not until the death of
the latter, in 1760, that Elisabeth of Parma, the regent and the cause
of his misfortunes, liberated him with orders to proceed directly to
Murcia. At Leganes he was greeted by his wife and daughter, with whom he
went to Hellin, his birth-place, where he died on the following November
2d, in his ninety-first year.[794]


There is no record of any further exercise of royal control over
inquisitors-general until, in 1761, Clement XIII saw fit to condemn the
Catechism of Mesengui for its alleged Jansenism in denying the authority
of popes over kings. The debate over it in Rome had attracted the
attention of all Europe and the prohibition of the book was regarded as
a general challenge to monarchs. Carlos III had watched the discussion
with much interest, especially as the work was used in the instruction
of his son. He expressed his intention of not permitting the publication
of the prohibition but, by a juggle between the nuncio and the
inquisitor-general, Manuel Quintano Bonifaz, an edict of condemnation
was hastily drawn up of which copies were given to the royal confessor
on the night of August 7th. They did not reach the king at San Ildefonso
until the morning of the 8th, who at once despatched a messenger to
Bonifaz ordering him to suspend the edict and recall any copies that
might have been sent out. Bonifaz replied that copies had already been
delivered to all the churches in Madrid and forwarded to nearly all the
tribunals; to suppress it would cause great scandal, injurious to the
Holy Office, wherefore he deeply deplored that he could not have the
pleasure of obeying the royal mandate. Carlos was incensed but contented
himself with ordering Bonifaz to absent himself from the court; he
obeyed and, in about three weeks, made an humble apology, protesting
that he would forfeit his life rather than fail in the respect due to
the king. Carlos then permitted him to return and resume his functions
and, when the Suprema expressed its gratitude, he significantly warned
it to remember the lesson.[795] He took warning himself and, on January
18, 1762, he issued a pragmática systematizing the examination of all
papal letters before issuing the royal exequatur which permitted their

Carlos III had no further occasion to exercise his prerogatives but it
was otherwise with Carlos IV. His first appointee, Manuel Abad y la
Sierra, Bishop of Astorga, who assumed office May 11, 1793, had but a
short term, for he was requested to resign in the following year. His
successor, Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana, Archbishop of Toledo, who
accepted the post September 12, 1794, was not much more fortunate,
although his enforced resignation, in 1797, was decently concealed under
a mission to convey to Pius VI the offer of a refuge in Majorca. He was
followed by Ramon José de Arce y Reynoso, Archbishop of Saragossa, who
resigned March 22, 1808, four days after the abdication of Carlos IV in
the "tumult of lackeys" at Aranjuez, probably to escape his share of the
popular odium directed against the favorite Godoy.[797] During the
short-lived revival of the Inquisition under the Restoration, its
dependence on the royal power was too great for differences to arise
that would provoke assertions of the prerogative.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _THE SUPREMA_]

The relations of the crown with the Suprema were originally the same as
with the other royal councils. The king appointed and removed at will
although, as the members came to exercise judicial functions, it was
necessary for the inquisitor-general to delegate to them the papal
faculties which alone conferred on them jurisdiction over heresy.
Ferdinand exercised the power of appointment and removal and, as his
orders were requisite for the receivers of confiscations to pay their
salaries, it is scarce likely that anyone had the hardihood to raise a
question.[798] We have seen how he forced the members to accept as a
colleague Aguirre though he was a layman, how Ximenes when governor of
Castile removed him and Adrian reinstated him. The earliest formula of
commission that I have met is of the date of 1546; it bears that it is
granted by the inquisitor-general, who constitutes the appointee a
member and invests him with the necessary faculties, and it is moreover
countersigned by the other members.[799] In this there is no allusion to
any nomination by the king, although the appointment lay in his hands.
In 1573 the Venitian envoy Leonardo Donato so states, adding that the
popes felt very bitterly the fact that they had no participation in it;
they had repeatedly tried to secure the membership of some one dependent
upon them, such as the nuncio, but Philip would not permit it; the
council did nothing without his consent, tacit or expressed.[800] At
some period, not definitely ascertainable, the custom arose of the
inquisitor-general presenting three names from among which the king made
selection. At first the number of members was uncertain, but it came to
be fixed at five, in addition to the inquisitor-general. To these Philip
II added two from the Council of Castile; as these were sometimes
laymen, he finally had scruples of conscience and, in his instructions
to Manrique de Lara, in 1595, he tells him that when there are fitting
ecclesiastics in the Council of Castile they are to be proposed to him
for selection; if there are not, it is to be considered whether a papal
brief should be procured to enable them to act in matters of faith.[801]
These adventitious members came to be known as _consejeros de la tarde_,
as they attended only twice a week and in the afternoon sessions of the
body, where its secular business was disposed of, and thus they took no
share in matters of faith. Their salary was one-third that of the

The royal authority was emphatically asserted when, in 1614, Philip III
ordered that a supernumerary place should be made for his confessor Fray
Aliaga, with precedence over his colleagues and a salary of fifteen
hundred ducats; also that when the royal confessor was a Dominican he
should always have this place and, when he was not, that it should be
given to a Dominican. The Suprema accepted Aliaga but demurred to the
rest, when Lerma peremptorily ordered it to be entered on the records;
there were murmurings followed by submission. After the accession of
Philip IV, he ordered the Council to make out a commission for his
confessor, the Dominican Sotomayor, to which there was ineffectual
opposition.[802] The rule held good. Soon after the Inquisition was
reorganized under the Restoration, Fernando VII, July 10, 1815,
appointed his confessor, Cristóbal de Bencomo, a member to serve without
salary for the time but with the reversion of the first vacancy and all
the honors due to his predecessors; he had the seat next to the dean and
when the latter died, February 16, 1816, he took his position and
salary.[803] Philip V ordered that a seat should always be occupied by a
Jesuit; this of course lapsed with the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767,
after which Carlos III, in 1778, provided that the Religious Orders
should have a representative by turns.[804]

[Sidenote: _THE SUPREMA_]

The royal power of appointment was not uncontested and gave rise to
frequent debates. Philip IV sometimes yielded and sometimes persisted;
occasionally the question was complicated and papal intervention was
hinted at.[805] A decisive struggle came in 1640, in which the Suprema
chose its ground discreetly. It suited Olivares to appoint Antonio de
Aragon, a youthful cleric and the second son of the Duke of Cardona.
Anticipating resistance, Philip announced the nomination imperiously;
Don Antonio must be admitted the next day as he was about to start for
Barcelona and any representations against it could be made subsequently.
The Suprema replied that the inquisitor-general could not make the
appointment and if he did so it would be invalid; Don Antonio was less
than thirty years old; the canons require an inquisitor to be forty,
although Paul III had reduced for Spain, the age to thirty; members of
the Suprema were inquisitors and it was only as such that they sat in
judgement without appeal in cases of faith. To this Philip rejoined that
Olivares would report the efforts he had made to quiet his conscience in
view of the great public good to result from the appointment, wherefore
he expected that possession would be given to Don Antonio without delay.
Matters went so far that the Duchess of Cardona wrote to her son to
abandon the effort but the royal command prevailed; he obtained the
position and in the following year he was made a member of the Council
of State; he was already a member of the Council of Military Orders and
the whole affair gives us a glimpse of how Olivares governed Spain.[806]
Having thus asserted his prerogative, Philip, in 1642 and the early
months of 1643, made four appointments without consultation. The
remonstrances of the Suprema must have been energetic for Philip yielded
and, in a decree of June 26 (or July 2), 1643, he agreed that the old
custom of submitting three names should be renewed, with the innovation
that the Suprema should unite in making the recommendations. Against
this the inquisitor-general protested, but in vain. It was probably to
make an offset to these royal nominees that, November 10, 1643, the
inquisitor-general and Suprema asked that their fiscal should have a
vote, which Philip refused.[807] The rule continued of submitting three
names for selection, but the participation of the Suprema in this seems
to have been dropped. The royal control, moreover asserted itself in the
case of Froilan Díaz when, by decree of November 3, 1704, Philip V
reinstated three members, Antonio Zambrana, Juan Bautista Arzeamendi and
Juan Miguélez, who had been arbitrarily ejected and jubilado by
Inquisitor-general Mendoza, ordering moreover that they should receive
all arrears of salary.[808]

       *       *       *       *       *

While thus the crown continued to exercise the right of selecting the
heads of the Inquisition, its practical control was greatly weakened by
one or two changes which established themselves. Of these perhaps the
most important was the claim of the Suprema to interpose itself between
the king and the tribunals, so that no royal commands to them should be
obeyed unless they should pass through it, thus rendering the
inquisitors subject to itself alone and not to the sovereign. In a
government theoretically absolute this was substituting bureaucracy for
autocracy and, when the example was followed, though at a considerable
distance, by some of the other royal councils, it at times produced
deadlocks which threatened to paralyze all governmental action.

We have seen that, towards the end of Ferdinand's reign, his letters to
the tribunals were sometimes countersigned by members of the Suprema,
but that this was not essential to their validity and, when there was an
attempt to establish such a claim, he was prompt to vindicate his
authority. A royal cédula of October 25, 1512, gave certain instructions
as to the manumission of baptized children of slaves whose owners had
suffered confiscation. There was no question of faith involved, but
when, in 1514, Pedro de Trigueros applied to the inquisitors of Seville
to be set free under it, they refused on the ground that it had not been
signed by the Suprema. He appealed to Ferdinand who promptly ordered the
inquisitors to obey it; if they find Pedro's story to be true they are
to give him a certificate of freedom and meanwhile are to protect him
from his master, who was seeking to send him to the Canaries for
sale.[809] The claim which Ferdinand thus peremptorily rejected was
persistently maintained during the period of confusion which followed
his death. Whether it received positive assent from Charles is more than
doubtful, although the Suprema so asserts in a letter of July 27 1528,
ordering inquisitors to examine whether a certain royal cédula had been
signed by its members, for the kings had ordered that none should be
executed in matters connected with the Inquisition unless thus
authenticated--thus basing the claim on the royal will and not on any
inherent right of the Holy Office.[810] So complete was the autonomy
thus established for the organization that a _carta acordada_ or
circular of instructions May 12, 1562, tells the tribunals that, if an
inquiry from the king comes to them through any other council, they are
to reply that if the king desires the information it will be furnished
to him through the inquisitor-general or the Suprema.[811]

[Sidenote: _THE SUPREMA_]

The far-reaching importance of this principle can scarce be exaggerated.
One of its results will be seen when we come to consider the complaints
and demands of the Córtes and find that _fueros_ directed against
inquisitorial aggressions, in purely civil matters, when agreed to by
the king were invalid without confirmation by the inquisitor-general. A
single instance here will suffice to show the working of this. In 1599
various demands of the Córtes of Barcelona were conceded by Philip III.
One regulated the number of familiars, which Philip promised that he
would induce the inquisitor-general to put into effect, within two
months if possible. Another provided that all officials, save
inquisitors, should be Catalans; he agreed to charge the
inquisitor-general and Suprema to observe this and he would get it
confirmed by the pope. Another was that, in the secular business of the
tribunal, the opinion of the Catalan assessor should govern, because he
would be familiar with the local law; this he accepted and promised, in
so far as it concerned the inquisitor-general and Suprema, to charge
them to give such orders to the tribunal. Another was that commissioners
and familiars should not be "religious," to which his reply was the
same. Another required the inquisitor-general to appoint a resident of
Barcelona to hear appeals in civil cases below five hundred libras;
this he said was just and he would charge the inquisitor-general to do
so. After this, in fulfilment of his plighted word, he addressed the
inquisitor-general in terms almost supplicatory "I charge you greatly
that for your part you condescend and facilitate that what they have
supplicated may be put in execution, in conformity with what I have
conceded and decreed in each of these articles, which will give me
particular contentment." Not the slightest attention was paid to this
request and, on May 6, 1603, Philip repeated it "As until now it is
understood that not a single thing contained in it has been put in
execution and, as I desire that it be enforced, I ask and charge you to
condescend to it and help and facilitate it with the earnestness that I
confidently look for."[812] This second appeal was as fruitless as the
first and the Catalans gained nothing. It is true that, in 1632, the
Barcelona tribunal, in a memorial to Philip IV, asserted that Philip III
had only assented to these articles to get rid of the Catalans and that
he wrote privately to the pope asking him not to confirm them.[813]

This case may have been mere jugglery and collusion, but in general it
by no means followed that royal decrees sent to the Suprema for
transmission were forwarded. If it objected, it would respond by a
consulta arguing their impropriety or illegality, and this would, if
necessary, be repeated three or four times at long intervals until,
perhaps, the matter was forgotten or dropped or some compromise was
reached. The privilege that all instructions must be transmitted through
the Suprema was therefore one of no little importance and it was
insisted upon tenaciously. There was a convenient phrase invented which
we shall often meet--_obedecer y no cumplir_--to obey but not to
execute, which was very serviceable on these occasions. In 1610 the
Suprema argued away a cédula of Philip III as invalid because it had
been despatched through the Council of State and the king was repeatedly
told to his face that the laws required his cédulas to be countersigned
by the Suprema in order to secure their execution. This was done to
Philip IV, in 1634, when he intervened in a quarrel and, in 1681 to
Carlos II when there were difficulties threatened with foreign nations
arising from abuses committed in examining importations in search of
forbidden books.[814] As the questions calling for royal interposition
as a rule affected only the wide secular and not the spiritual
jurisdiction of the Inquisition, this created conditions unendurable in
any well-organized government.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another change which conduced greatly to the independence of the
Inquisition was the control which it acquired over its finances. We have
seen that, under Ferdinand, the confiscations and pecuniary penances
belonged to the crown and that the salaries and expenses were paid by
his orders. The finances of the Inquisition will be discussed hereafter
and meanwhile it suffices to say that, after his death and the exuberant
liberality of Charles to his Flemish favorites during his first
residence in Spain, the diminishing receipts from these sources caused
them to be virtually assigned to defraying the expenses of the
Inquisition and they were no longer regarded as a source of supply to
the royal treasury. Still, the money belonged to the crown and the
Inquisition enjoyed it only under the authority and by virtue of the
bounty of the sovereign.


The growth of control over income and of virtual financial independence
was gradual and irregular. Even Ferdinand, in his watchful care over his
receivers of confiscations, felt the need of some central auditor and it
seemed natural that he should be an official of the Suprema. Accordingly
as early as 1509 we find a "contador general" in that position. In 1517
there are two officers, a contador and a receiver-general and, in 1520,
the two are merged into one.[815] When, in 1513, Bishop Mercader was
made inquisitor-general of Aragon he desired a statement from all
receivers of their receipts and payments and of the property remaining
in their hands and Ferdinand ordered them to comply, alluding to it as
usual on the entrance of a new inquisitor-general.[816] This inevitably
ripened into the transfer to that official of the control over receivers
which Ferdinand had exercised, so that in place of being royal officials
they became virtually officers of the Inquisition and eventually were
designated as treasurers. By 1544 we find the Suprema to be the final
court of revision of all the receivers of the local tribunals, whose
accounts were rendered to it and audited by it.[817]

Still, in theory the money belonged to the crown and its disbursement
could only be made under royal authority. The order for the payment of
the _ayuda de costa_ of the Suprema, July 21, 1517, was drawn in the
name of _la reyna y el rey_--Juana and Charles.[818] After Charles
reached Spain, in September of that year he made grants from the
confiscations with a profusion that threatened to bankrupt the
Inquisition, and if we find Adrian and the Suprema also occasionally
issuing orders for payments it was undoubtedly under powers granted by
Charles.[819] When Charles left Spain, May 20, 1520, he gave Adrian a
general faculty for this purpose, but it seems to have been called in
question, for he found it necessary to send from Brussels, September
12th, a cédula to all receivers confirming it and stating that Adrian's
orders, signed by members of the Suprema, would be received as vouchers
by the auditor-general. Under this the Suprema exercised full authority
over the funds collected by all the receivers and disposed of them at
its pleasure. When Charles returned he presumably resumed control and,
after his marriage with Isabel of Portugal, during his frequent
absences, he left the power in her hands until her death May 1,
1539.[820] When he saw fit, moreover, he claimed and received a share of
the spoils. A letter of Cardinal Manrique, June 17, 1537, shows that a
portion of the proceeds of a certain auto de fe had been paid to him and
another of October 11th, of the same year, addressed to him at the
Córtes of Monzon, reinforces an appeal not to sacrifice the interests of
the Inquisition to the Aragonese demands, with the welcome news that the
receiver of Cuenca had arrived with the ten thousand ducats for which he
had asked from the confiscations of that tribunal.[821]

Charles's hasty departure in November, 1539, to quell the insurrection
of Ghent left matters in some confusion. The Suprema, on March 20, 1540,
wrote to Chancellor Granvelle that cédulas for the salaries, under the
crown of Aragon, were always signed by the emperor and that the
inquisitor-general could not do it; they had sent him a power for
execution similar to that given to Cardinal Adrian but he had refused to
sign it, saying that they could do as under Cardinal Manrique,
forgetting that there had been the empress who always signed the
cédulas, wherefore they ask him to get the emperor to sign the power. He
doubtless did so, for an order, June 12th, on the receiver of Valencia
to send fifteen hundred ducats for the salaries of the Suprema purports
to be by virtue of a special power granted by their majesties. On
Charles's return he again assumed control and when he went to Italy, in
1543, he left Philip as regent, while during the absence of Philip there
were successive regents who signed cédulas as called for by the

Yet, in spite of these formalities, the control of the crown was
becoming scarcely more than nominal. It is true that, in 1537, Cardinal
Manrique declared that he could not increase salaries without the royal
assent but, when the crown undertook any exercise of power, the little
respect paid to its commands is seen in the fate of an application made
in 1544, by Juan Tomás de Prado, notary of the tribunal of Saragossa, to
Prince Philip for an _ayuda de costa_ of three hundred ducats. Philip
ordered his prayer to be granted, but the death of Inquisitor-general
Tavera served as a convenient pretext for disregarding the command. It
was repeated, for the same amount, January 11, 1548, and finally, on
June 4th, Inquisitor-general Valdés authorized the payment of a hundred


To perfect the absolute control of the confiscations, thus gradually
assumed, it was necessary to keep the crown in ignorance of their
amount. Its right to them was incontestable, and the Inquisition
deliberately abused the confidence reposed in it when their collection
was left in its hands. The less the king was allowed to know, the less
likely he was to claim his share and the policy was adopted of deceiving
him. As early as 1560 we have evidence of this in a letter to the
inquisitors of Sicily instructing them, when reporting autos de fe to
the king, to suppress all statements as to the confiscations, but to
report them to the Suprema so that it may determine how far to inform
him. This was doubtless a general mandate to all the tribunals; it was
repeated in instructions of 1561 and we shall see that it became a
settled practice.[824] This systematic concealment was the more
indefensible from the fact that the Inquisition was now obtaining funds
from other sources than confiscations. We shall see hereafter how it
utilized the scare caused by the discovery of Protestantism in
Valladolid and Seville in 1558, with the plea of additional expenses
thus caused, to obtain from Paul IV a levy of a hundred thousand gold
ducats on the revenues of the clergy and the more permanent endowment of
a canonry to be suppressed for its benefit in every cathedral and
collegiate church. A large portion of the inquisitors, moreover already
held canonries and other benefices for which, under a brief of Innocent
VIII, February 11, 1485, they were dispensed for non-residence.[825] The
burden of the Holy Office was thus thrown largely on the ecclesiastical
establishment, which remonstrated and resisted but was compelled to
submit. It could thus look with equanimity on the shrinkage of the
confiscations. In Valencia, an agreement was reached, in 1571, by which
the Moriscos compounded for them with an annual payment to the tribunal
of twenty-five hundred ducats.[826] The Judaizing heretics had been
largely eliminated, especially the more wealthy ones, and it was not
until some years after the conquest of Portugal, in 1580, that the
influx of Portuguese New Christians brought a new and profitable

All this tended to the financial independence of the Inquisition
although the crown by no means abandoned its claim on the confiscations.
A book of receipts given by the royal representative in Valencia for the
proceeds of the confiscations in 1593 shows that, under the financial
pressure of the time, Philip II was reasserting his rights.[827] The
treasury was empty when Philip III succeeded to the throne in 1598 and,
among his expedients to raise money, he ordered the receivers of the
tribunals to send to him all the funds in their hands, promising speedy
repayment. The Suprema had no faith in the royal word and instructed
the tribunals to retain enough to meet their own wants. The obedience of
the tribunals was by no means prompt and the Suprema was obliged to
order Valencia to comply with the royal demand and to furnish an oath
that no money was left.[828]

In the earlier years of Philip IV the tendency of the Inquisition to
emancipate itself from royal control grew rapidly. We shall see
hereafter that when, in 1629, the king called for a statement of
salaries and perquisites the Suprema equivocated and suppressed nearly
all the information required. Still more significant was its attitude
respecting the colonial tribunals, which the king supported under an
annual expenditure of thirty thousand pesos, with the understanding that
this should cease when the confiscations should become sufficient.
These, which had been small at first, rapidly increased in the
seventeenth century and were enormous between 1630 and 1650, when the
whole trading communities of Peru and Mexico were shattered, enabling
the tribunals to make permanent investments that rendered them wealthy,
besides sending heavy remittances to the Suprema, which moreover seized
the goods and credits in Seville of the colonial Judaizers. In addition
to this, in 1627, a prebend in each cathedral was suppressed for the
benefit of the tribunals. Yet the salaries were still demanded of the
royal treasury and the repeated efforts of Philip III and Philip IV,
from 1610 to 1650, to obtain statements of the receipts from
confiscations and pecuniary penances were completely baffled. That was
an inviolable secret which no royal official was allowed to penetrate.
It is true that the colonial tribunals, on their side, adopted the same
policy in concealing, as far as they could, from the Suprema the extent
of their own gains.[829]


Yet, in the ever-increasing distress of the crown, demands were made
upon the Inquisition, as on all other departments of government, demands
which it was forced to meet. Thus, for the ten years, 1632 to 1641
inclusive, an annual sum of 2,007,360 mrs. was required of it, to aid in
defraying the cost of garrisons and fleet, and a statement of October
11, 1642, shows that it had paid the aggregate of 11,583,110 in vellon
and 18,700 in silver, leaving a balance still due of 8,474,790.[830]
Evidently there was good reason for concealing its revenues. In the
frightful confusion of the finances which followed the revolution of
Portugal and the revolt of Catalonia, in 1640, while Spain was
heroically battling for existence against France and its rebellious
subjects, the demands were varied and incessant--sometimes for sums so
small as to reveal the absolute penury of the State--and Philip's
impatient urgency, as he chafed under the dilatoriness of the responses,
shows the desperate emergencies in which he was involved. In 1643 a
royal decree of February 16th ordered all officials to send their silver
plate to the mint, a watch being kept and a report made so as to see
that each sent a quantity proportioned to his station. To a complaint of
delay in performance the Suprema replied that those who had sent in
their silver could get no satisfaction from the mint--the delays were
such that the promptitude required by the king was impossible.[831]

Even more arbitrary was the seizure, in 1644 at Seville, of a remittance
of 8676 ducats in silver, a remittance from the colonial tribunals to
the Suprema. In protesting against this the Suprema, February 29th, gave
a deplorable account of its condition, owing to the demands made upon it
by the king. On the 10th he had called upon it for 16,000 ducats which
it would be wholly unable to raise if deprived of the silver that had
been seized. It was already short in 7,724,843 mrs. of its annual
expenses and the provincial tribunals were short 5,318,000, for it had
impoverished them to meet the royal demands. Last year it had sold a
censo of 18,000 ducats belonging to the tribunal of Saragossa, which was
beseeching its return. It had also given the king 10,000 ducats for the
cavalry and to raise this amount it had taken the sequestrations in the
tribunal of Seville--a sacred deposit--including 20,000 ducats' worth of
wool, the owners of which, having been acquitted, were besieging it for
their money. This dolorous plaint was effective in so far that the
seizure at Seville was credited on account of the demand for 16,000
ducats.[832] How much of it was true we can only guess, for the
Inquisition had means of raising money outside of its judicial
functions. When, in 1640, the king summoned its familiars and officials
to render military service like the nobles, the Suprema arranged that
they should buy themselves off, and from this source was chiefly raised
40,000 ducats expended on two companies of horse, in return for which,
by a cédula of September 2, 1641, the king promised to maintain
inviolate the privileges and exemptions of the familiars and

These instances, out of many, will suffice to show how the crown, in its
days of distress, was recouping itself for abandoning the spoils of the
heretics. In time these special and arbitrary demands were systematized
into an annual requirement of fifty horses, estimated at an outlay of
about 5500 ducats and the raising and equipping of two hundred foot,
costing 8000 ducats. The Suprema was in no wise prompt in meeting these
demands; a cédula of June 24, 1662, tells it that what is due for the
present year as well as the previous arrears, must be paid at once,
otherwise an inventory of its property must be given to the president of
the treasury, who will raise the money on it.[834] Subsequently there
was a feeble attempt to return some of these contributions and, in each
of the years 1673 and 1674, a trifling payment was made of 10,000 reales
vellon, but, in 1676, the Suprema stated to Carlos II that in all it had
furnished for remounts of horses 90,000 ducats vellon and 10,000 in
silver and that its total assistance to the crown had amounted to no
less than 800,000 pesos, equivalent to over 500,000 ducats, to
accomplish which the salaries in many tribunals had been unpaid and
vacancies of necessary offices had remained unfilled.[835] Still, as we
shall have occasion to see, the Suprema always had money, not only for
an undiminished pay-roll but for perquisites and amusements.


The crown could not accept this assistance, however grudgingly rendered,
without a sacrifice of its supremacy and the Inquisition came to treat
with it as with an independent body. About this time the Suprema happens
to mention, in a letter to the tribunal of Lima, that it had lent the
king 40,000 pesos, of which 10,000 came from Peru and 30,000 from Mexico
and that the Count of Medellin had become security for the return of the
loan, as though it were a banker dealing with a merchant.[836] Yet all
parties knew that these colonial remittances were derived from
confiscations, the ownership of which the crown had never relinquished.
This is the more noteworthy because, about this time, the king suddenly
asserted his claims on some large sums which could not be wholly
concealed. In 1678 the tribunal of Majorca unexpectedly made a
successful raid on the whole New Christian population of Palma and, in
the early months of 1679, there were more than two hundred penitents
reconciled. As they constituted the active trading element of the place
the confiscations were enormous and the affair attracted too much
attention to be hidden. As soon as the news came of the arrests, the
king wrote, May 20, 1678, to the viceroy to look carefully to the
sequestrations because, in case of confiscation, the proceeds belonged
to the treasury. The Suprema, however, made him hold his hands off with
direful threats and kept control of the liquidation. After the
condemnations, a consulta of July 5, 1679, shows that 50,000 pesos had
already been paid to the king, but that the Inquisition was resolved to
have its full share. In November the king acceded to a compromise under
which 200,000 pesos were to be used to endow certain tribunals and to
cancel certain loans made to him by the Inquisition--probably those just
alluded to. The balance coming to him was estimated at 250,000 pesos
but, in the handling of the assets and the settlements with creditors,
the property melted away till the Suprema reported that it barely
sufficed to meet the portion assigned to the Inquisition and finally, in
1683, the king had to content himself with 18,000 pesos spent on the
fortifications of Majorca and the payment to him of 2000, which the
Suprema assured him that it advanced at considerable risk to

The secretiveness so carefully observed undoubtedly had its advantages
or it would not have been so persistently claimed as a right. In a
consulta of 1696 the Count of Frigiliana states that, when he was
viceroy of Valencia, he had in vain endeavored to get from the tribunal
a statement of its affairs and he asked the king whether or not the
Inquisition possessed the privilege of rendering no account of its
assets and income.[838] At length the quarrel between Inquisitor-general
Mendoza and his colleagues, in the case of Froilan Díaz, and his
banishment to his see in 1703, gave opportunity for royal intervention
and investigation. The War of Succession had deranged the finances of
the Inquisition and it had appealed to the king for help. He required a
statement of the pay-rolls, investments and revenues of all the
tribunals, which was furnished March 9, 1703, after which, on May 27th,
he issued a decree declaring that he must put an end to the abuses and
disorders which had crept into the administration and disbursement of
its property, in order to relieve the embarrassment of which it
complained. He therefore annulled all commissions and appointments
without obligation of service, granted by the inquisitor-general,
whether within or outside of Spain. The papers of all jubilations, new
places and gratuities created or granted since the time of Valladares
(1695) were to be placed in his hands. In no case thereafter should the
inquisitor-general jubilate any official of the Suprema or local
tribunal without consulting him, and any such act issued without a
previous royal order was declared void. No _ayuda de costa_ or grant
exceeding thirty ducats vellon, for a single term, was to be made
without awaiting his decision and this decree was to be placed in the
hands of all receivers or treasurers for their guidance. It was so
transmitted June 8th, with strict orders for its observance. This was a
resolute assertion of the royal control over the finances of the
Inquisition and it held good, in theory at least, however much it may
have been eluded in practice. About the middle of the eighteenth century
a systematic writer describes it as still in force and states that no
salaries can be increased without the royal approval. It so continued to
the end and, under the Restoration, an order from the king,
countersigned by the Suprema, was requisite for any extraordinary


Philip also reasserted and made good the right of the crown to the
confiscations, by claiming a percentage of the rentals of all
confiscated property, but he listened to appeals from the tribunals and,
in 1710, we hear of Saragossa and Valencia being practically restored to
their enjoyment, a liberality which was doubtless followed with regard
to the others. In 1725 Valencia expressed its fear that the alliance
with Austria against England, France and Prussia would result in its
having to restore the confiscations, and the blow seems to have fallen
for, in 1727, the suprema, in a consulta of December 9th, describing the
poverty of Saragossa, attributes it to the king having taken away the
confiscations which he had granted. With the gradual amelioration in the
Spanish finances, this source of revenue must have been restored, for,
in 1768, the Inquisition is described as enjoying the confiscations
which the pious liberality of the monarchs had bestowed.[840]

       *       *       *       *       *

There were other sources of revenue--rehabilitations or dispensations
from the sanbenito and disabilities, commutations of punishment and the
pecuniary penances known as _penas y penitencias_. All these will be
considered hereafter, but a few words may be said as to the latter in
their relation with the royal authority.

The penitents who were reconciled under Edicts of Grace were not subject
to confiscation, but were punished with fines under the guise of
pecuniary penance, at the discretion of the inquisitor. We have seen
(pp. 169-70) how numerous these were and we can conjecture how large
were the sums thus exacted, for penances of a half or a third of the
penitent's property were not uncommon. Similar fines also usually
accompanied sentences that did not embrace confiscation and formed a
continual although fluctuating source of revenue. Sometimes there were
special officials for their collection but, when this was entrusted to
the receivers of confiscations, they were instructed to keep a separate
account of them, as the two funds were held to be essentially different
and, as a rule, were to be employed for different purposes.

In the earliest Instructions of 1484, these pecuniary penances are said
to be imposed as a _limosna_, or alms, to aid the sovereigns in the
pious work of warring with the Moors, but, in the Instructions issued a
few months later by Torquemada, this is modified by ordering them to be
placed in the hands of a trustworthy person and reports to be made to
him or to the king, in order that they may be spent on the war or in
other pious uses or in paying the salaries of the Inquisition.[841]
Both the destination and the control of these funds were thus left
undetermined and they so continued for some years. In 1486 we find
Ferdinand giving orders for sums from this source for various uses--for
the war with Granada, to pay the salaries of a lay judge, to pay
expenses of a tribunal of the Inquisition, to repay Luis de Santangel
for advances made to tribunals; in one case his tone is apologetic and
he asks Torquemada to confirm the order, in others his command is

This indicates the uncertainty which existed both as to the use and the
control of the pecuniary penances. So long as lasted the war with
Granada, whatever was taken by the crown might be regarded as devoted,
directly or indirectly, to that holy object, but when the conquest was
achieved, in January, 1492, that excuse no longer existed and doubtless
the inquisitors looked with jealousy upon the diversion to secular
objects of the proceeds of their pious labors. The confiscations
unquestionably belonged to the crown, but the penances were spiritual
funds which for centuries had always enured to the Church. There must
have been a sustained effort to withhold them from the royal
acquisitiveness, to which Ferdinand was not disposed to yield, for he
procured from Alexander VI, February 18, 1495, a brief directing the
inquisitors to hold all such moneys subject to the control of the
sovereigns, to be disposed of at their pleasure. Even this was resisted
and Ferdinand and Isabella complained to the pope that they were unable
to compel an accounting of the sums received or to collect the amounts,
to correct which Alexander issued another brief, March 26, 1495,
commissioning Ximenes, then Archbishop of Toledo, to enforce accounting
and payment by excommunication and other censures.[843]


This was equally ineffective. There was a privacy and simplicity in the
imposition and collection of a penance very different from the procedure
of sequestration and confiscation, and Ferdinand, at least for a time,
abandoned the struggle. This is manifested by a clause in the
Instructions of 1498, enjoining on inquisitors not to impose penances
more heavily than justice requires in order to insure the payment of
their salaries,[844] and the principle was formally recognized by
Ferdinand and Isabella in a cédula of January 12, 1499, reciting that,
although they held a papal brief placing at their disposal all moneys
arising from penances, commutations and rehabilitations, yet they grant
to the inquisitors-general all collections from these sources, both in
Castile and Aragon, to be used in paying salaries, disbursements being
made only on their order.[845]

Ferdinand, however, was not disposed to relax, on any point, his control
over the Inquisition and, on April 10th of the same year, we find him
forbidding the levying of penances on the members of a town-council for
fautorship of heresy--doubtless a speculative infliction for some
assumed neglect in arresting suspects. In 1501 his renunciation is
already forgotten and he is making grants from the penances as
absolutely as ever--even empowering Inquisitor-general Deza to use those
of Valencia, to the extent of a hundred ducats a year for the salary of
Jaime de Muchildos, the Roman agent of the Inquisition.[846] So, in
1511, we find him granting to Enguera, Inquisitor-general of Aragon, a
thousand libras out of the penances to defray the expenses of his bulls
for the see of Lérida and authorizing him to pay from them an _ayuda de
costa_ of two hundred ducats to Joan de Gualbes, a member of the
Aragonese Suprema. Then, in 1514, he places all the penances
unreservedly at the disposal of Inquisitor-general Mercader to be
employed on the salaries and other necessary expenses of the Inquisition
of Aragon. This seems to have been final. After his death, instructions
sent to the tribunal of Sicily assume that the inquisitor-general has
sole and absolute control. It was the same in Castile. Instructions
issued by Ximenes, in 1516, direct the receiver-general, who was an
officer of the Suprema, to collect the penances from the receivers of
the tribunals, who were to keep them in a separate account and not to
disburse them without an order from the inquisitor-general. After this
we find the Suprema in full control.[847]

There is virtually no trace of any interference subsequently by the
crown, and the Inquisition found itself in possession of an independent
and by no means inconsiderable source of revenue which it could levy,
almost at will, from those who fell into its hands. The only exception
to this that I have met is that Philip IV, in his financial distress, by
a decree of September 30, 1639, claimed and collected twenty-five per
cent. of fines, but he scrupulously limited this to those inflicted in
cases not connected with the faith--that is, in the exercise of the
royal jurisdiction, civil and criminal, enjoyed by the Inquisition in
matters concerning familiars and other officials.[848]

       *       *       *       *       *


Though, as we have seen, the independence of the Inquisition, as a
self-centered and self-sustaining institution in the State, varied with
the temper and the necessities of the sovereign, there was a time when
it seemed as though it might throw off all subjection and become
dominant. But for the prudence of Ferdinand, in insisting upon the power
of appointment and dismissal, this might have happened in the temper of
the Spanish people, trained to an exaltation of detestation of heresy
which to us may well appear incomprehensible. There is no question that,
under the canon law, kings, like their subjects, were amenable to the
jurisdiction of the Inquisition and that they held their kingdoms on the
tenure not only of their own orthodoxy but of purging their lands of
heresy and heretics. The principles which had been worked so effectually
for the destruction of the Houses of Toulouse and of Hohenstaufen and
under which Pius V released the subjects of Queen Elizabeth from their
allegiance, in 1570, were fully recognized in Spain as vital to the
faith.[849] But beyond this the Spaniards, in the exuberance of their
religious ardor, boasted that their national institutions conditioned
orthodoxy as necessary to their kingship. Even when the seventeenth
century was well advanced, a learned and loyal jurisconsult tells us
that, from the time of the sixth Council of Toledo, in 638, their
monarchs had imposed on themselves the law that, if they fell into
heresy, they were to be excommunicated and exterminated; that Ferdinand,
in 1492, had renewed this law and that he had instituted that most
severe tribunal the Inquisition and had sanctioned that, in view of the
Toledan canon, all kings in future should be subject to it.[850] Even
Spanish loyalty could not have been relied upon to sustain a king
suspect of heresy, against the claims of the Holy Office to try him in
secret, and suspicion of heresy was a very elastic term. Impeding the
Inquisition came within its definition and any effort to curb the
arrogant extension of its powers could readily be so construed, as
Macanaz found to his sorrow. The fact that the Inquisition possessed
such power must have had its influence more than once on the mind of the
sovereign when engaged in debate with his too powerful subject and
perhaps explains what appears to us occasionally a pusillanimous

The monarchs had guarded the Inquisition against all supervision and all
accountability to the other departments of government. Within its own
sphere it was supreme and irresponsible and its sphere, owing to the
exemption from the secular courts accorded to all connected with it in
however remote a degree, covered a large area of civil and criminal
business, besides its proper function of preserving the purity of the
faith. In this self-centered independence it stood alone. Even the
spiritual jurisdiction of the Church, so jealously guarded, had become
subject to the _recurso de fuerza_, which, like the French _appel comme
d'abus_, gave to those who suffered wrong an appeal to the Council of
Castile.[851] But even from this the Inquisition was exempt. A decree of
Prince Philip, in 1553, was its ægis and was constantly invoked. This
was addressed to all the courts and judicial officers of the land and
affirmed, in the most positive terms, the sole and exclusive
jurisdiction of the Inquisition in all matters within its competence,
civil or criminal, concerning the faith or confiscations--and faith was
a convenient term covering the impeding of the Inquisition in all that
it wanted to do. Philip recited that repeated cédulas of Ferdinand and
Isabella and of Charles V had asserted this and now he reaffirmed and
enforced it. No appeals from its tribunals were to be entertained, for
the only appeal lay to the Suprema, which would redress any wrong, for
it, by delegation from the crown and the Holy See, had exclusive
cognizance of such matters. If therefore anything concerning the
Inquisition should be brought before them they must decline to entertain
it and must refer it back to the Holy Office.[852]

The Inquisition was not content to enjoy these favors as a revocable
grace from the crown but, in a consulta of December 22, 1634, it
advanced the claim that this decree was a bargain or compact between two
powers which could not be in any way modified without mutual
consent.[853] This was emphasized in a printed argument in 1642,
asserting that that transaction could only become of binding force by
the consent of both parties--the king and the inquisitor-general--and
the king had no power to change it of his own motion, as it was an
agreement. Even were it admitted to be a concession granted by the
crown, this would make no difference, for a privilege conceded to one
who is not a subject (as the Inquisition in the present case) and
accepted by the latter becomes a contract which the prince cannot


We shall see hereafter the use made of this by the Inquisition in its
daily quarrels with all the other jurisdictions, but a single case may
be cited here to indicate how it utilized this position to render itself
virtually independent. There was a long-standing debate over canonries
in the churches of Antequera, Málaga and the Canaries, which it claimed
to be suppressed for its benefit under the brief of January 7, 1559, but
which the royal Camara asserted to belong to the patronage of the king,
whose rights of appointment were not curtailed by the brief. A suit on
the subject, commenced in 1562, was not yet decided when, about 1611,
the king filled vacancies in Málaga and the Canaries. This provoked a
discussion, during which, without awaiting settlement, the inquisitors
excommunicated the appointees--and an inquisitorial excommunication
could be removed only by him who had fulminated it, by the
inquisitor-general or by the pope. In 1611 the king ordered the
appointees to be absolved and mandates signed by him to that effect were
addressed to the inquisitors of Málaga and the Canaries. The Suprema
complained loudly of this as an unheard of violation of the rights of
the Holy Office and refused obedience. In 1612 it declared that, when
the appointees abandoned the prebends which they had usurped, they
should be absolved and not before. On February 12th, in a consulta to
the king, it argued that its power had always been so great and so
independent of all other bodies in the State that the kings had never
allowed them to interfere with it, directly or indirectly; it determined
for itself everything relating to itself, consulting only with the king
and permitting no interference of any kind. Its determination prevailed
over the weakness of the king who ordered the Camara to desist from its
pretensions and not to despoil the Holy Office.[855]

These somewhat audacious assertions of independence were chiefly
stimulated by the perpetual quarrels arising from the exclusive
jurisdiction, civil and criminal, exercised by the Inquisition over its
thousands of employees and familiars and their families, which kept the
land in confusion. This is a subject which will require detailed
consideration hereafter and is only referred to here because of its
development into the exaggerated pretensions of the Inquisition to
emancipate itself from all control. When Ferdinand granted this _fuero_
it was understood on all hands to be a special deputation of the royal
jurisdiction and as such liable at any time to modification or
revocation. Ferdinand himself, in a cédula of August 18, 1501, alluded
to it as such--the inquisitors enjoyed it just as the corregidors
did.[856] So, in the Concordia of Castile, in 1553, defining the extent
of this jurisdiction, the inquisitors are specially described as holding
it from the king, and Philip II, Philip III and Philip IV repeatedly
alluded to it as held during the royal pleasure.[857] There was no
thought of disputing this until the seventeenth century was well
advanced. The Suprema itself, in papers of 1609, 1619, 1637 and 1639
freely admitted that its temporal jurisdiction was a grant from the
king, while its spiritual was a grant from the pope.[858]

Apparently the earliest departure from this universally conceded
position was made, in 1623, by Portocarrero in an argument on a clash of
jurisdictions in Majorca, wherein he sought to prove that the civil and
criminal jurisdiction of the Inquisition over its subordinates was
ecclesiastical and derived from the pope.[859] About the same time, in
an official paper, a similar claim was advanced, based on the papal
briefs authorizing Torquemada and his successors to appoint, dismiss and
punish their subordinates.[860] These were mere speculations and
attracted no attention at the time. We have just seen that as late as
1639 the Suprema made no claims of the kind but two years later, in
1641, it suddenly adopted them in the most offensive fashion. There was
a _competencia_, or conflict of jurisdiction, between the tribunal of
Valladolid and the chancillería or high royal court; the Council of
Castile had occasion to present several consultas to the king, in one of
which it said that the jurisdiction exercised in the name of the king by
the Inquisition was temporal, secular and precarious and could not be
defended by excommunication. Thereupon the Suprema assembled its
theologians who pronounced these propositions to be false, rash and akin
to heretical error; armed with this opinion the fiscal, or prosecuting
officer, accused the whole Council of Castile, demanded that its
consulta be suppressed and that its authors be prosecuted. Theoretically
there was nothing to prevent such action, which would have rendered the
Inquisition the dominating power in the land, but the Suprema lacked
hardihood; even the habitual subservience of Philip IV was revolted and
he told the inquisitor-general that he had done ill to lend himself to a
question contrary to the sovereignty of the monarch and to the honor of
the highest council of the nation.[861]


In spite of this rebuff, having once asserted the claim that its
temporal jurisdiction was spiritual and not secular, the Inquisition
adhered to it. The prize was worth a struggle, for it would have put the
whole nation at its mercy. It would have deprived the king of powers to
check aggression and to protect his subjects from oppression for, as
Portocarrero had pointed out, although princes have authority to relieve
their subjects when aggrieved by other secular subjects, they have none
when the oppressors are ecclesiastics, exempt by divine law from their
jurisdiction.[862] To win this the Inquisition persisted in its claim.
In 1642, on the occasion of a _competencia_ in Granada, there appeared,
under its authority, a printed argument to prove that the temporal
jurisdiction of the Holy Office was a grant from the Holy See, which had
power to intervene in the internal affairs of States and that it had
merely been acquiesced in and confirmed by the kings.[863] Again, in a
notorious case occurring in Cuenca in 1645, the inquisitors argued that
their temporal jurisdiction was ecclesiastical and papal, with which the
king could not interfere.[864] But the audacity with which these
pretensions were pushed culminated in a consulta presented by the
Suprema, March 31, 1646, to Philip IV, when he was struggling against
the determination of the Córtes of Aragon to curb the excesses of the

In this paper the Suprema asserted that the civil and political
jurisdiction is inferior to the spiritual and ecclesiastical, which can
assume by indirect power whatever is necessary for its conservation and
unimpeded exercise, without being restricted by secular princes. The
royal prerogative is derived from positive human law or the law of
nations; the supreme power of the Inquisition is delegated by the Holy
See for cases of faith with all that is requisite, directly or
indirectly, for its untrammelled enjoyment; this is of divine law and,
as such, is superior to all human law, to which it is in no way subject.
The very least that can be said is that princes are bound to admit this,
and though they have a right to concede no more than is requisite, the
decision as to what is requisite rests with the ecclesiastical
authority, which is based on divine law. Any departure from these
principles, under the novel pretext that the king is master of this
jurisdiction, with power to limit or abrogate, is dangerous for the
conscience and very perilous as leading to the gravest errors.[865] It
would be difficult to enunciate more boldly the theory of theocracy,
with the Inquisition as its delegate and the crown merely the executor
of its decrees.

These pretensions were not realized and the king was not reduced to
insignificance, but his power was seriously trammelled by the
bureaucracy of which the Suprema was the foremost and most aggressive
representative. Its quasi-independence led to emulation by the other
great departments of the State and though their success was not so
marked, it was sufficient in all to render the government incredibly
cumbersome and inefficient and to paralyze its action by wasting its
strength in efforts to keep the peace between the rival and warring
bodies. In these bickerings and dissensions the power of the crown
decreased and the theoretically autocratic monarch found himself unable
to enforce his commands. Philip IV recognized this fatal weakness, but
his efforts to overcome the evil were puerile and inefficient. October
15, 1633, he sent to the Suprema, and presumably to the other councils,
a decree setting forth emphatically that the slackness of obedience and
disregard of the royal commands had been the cause of irreparable damage
to the State and must be checked if the monarchy were to be preserved
from ruin. It was his duty, under God, to prevent this; he had
unavailingly represented it repeatedly to his councillors and now he
proposed to make out a schedule of penalties, to be incurred through
disobedience, scaled according to the gravity of each offence. This was
to be completed within twenty days and he called upon the Suprema to
give him the necessary information that should enable him to tabulate
the matters coming within its sphere of action.


This grotesque measure, calling upon offenders to define their offences
for the purpose of providing condign punishment, was received by the
Suprema with a cool indifference showing how lightly it regarded the
royal indignation. There was nothing, it said in reply, within its
jurisdiction which imperilled the monarchy, for its function was to
preserve the monarchy by preserving the unity of religion. As for
obedience, it was of the highest importance that the royal commands
should be obeyed and the laws provided punishments for all disobedient
vassals. But the canon and imperial laws and those of Spain deprived of
their places judges, who executed royal cédulas issued against justice
and the rights of parties, for it was assumed that such could not be the
royal intention and that they were decreed in ignorance, so that they
were suspended until the prince, better informed, should provide
justice. Therefore when councillors opposed cédulas which would work
great injury to the jurisdiction and immunities of the Holy Office, it
was only to prevent innovation and it was in the discharge of duty that
this was represented to the king. The Suprema therefore prayed him that,
before determining matters proposed by other councils, they should be
submitted to it as heretofore so that, after hearing the reasons of both
sides, he might determine according to his pleasure.[866] Thus with
scarcely veiled contempt the Suprema told him that it would continue to
do as it had done and the very next year, as we have seen, it boldly
informed him that none of his commands respecting the Inquisition would
be obeyed until it should have confirmed them--commands, be it
remembered, that in no case affected its action in matters of faith, for
all the trouble arose from its encroachments on secular affairs.

The character of Philip IV ripened and strengthened under adversity and,
in the exigencies of the struggle with Catalonia and Portugal, he
developed some traits worthy of a sovereign. Although he meekly endured
the insolence of the Suprema in 1646 and labored strenuously with the
Córtes of Aragon to prevent the reform of abuses, he yet, as we have
seen, insisted on the right to supervise appointments. He doubtless
asserted his authority in other ways for the Suprema abated its
pretensions that its civil and criminal jurisdiction was spiritual and
papal. In an elaborate consulta of March 12, 1668, during a long and
dreary contest, in which the tribunal of Majorca was involved, it
repeatedly refers to its enjoying the royal jurisdiction from the king,
showing that it had abandoned the attempt to render itself independent
of the royal authority.[867]


Under the imbecile Carlos II and his incapable ministers, the
domineering arrogance of the Inquisition increased and, as we shall see
hereafter, it successfully eluded a concerted movement, in 1696, of all
the other councils, represented in the Junta Magna, to reduce its
exuberance. With the advent of the House of Bourbon, however, it was
forced to recognize its subordination to the royal will in temporal
matters, in spite of the temporary interference of Elisabeth Farnese in
favor of Inquisitor-general Giudice. We have already seen indications of
this and shall see more; meanwhile a single instance will suffice to
show how imperiously Philip V, under the guidance of Macanaz, could
impose his commands. In 1712 there was an echo of the old quarrel over
the so-called suppressed canonries of Antequera, Málaga and the Canaries
(p. 342). The suit, commenced in 1562, had never been decided and had
long been suspended. The trouble of 1612 had been quieted by allowing
the Inquisition to enjoy the canonries, not as a right, but as a
revocable grant from the crown; excesses committed by the inquisitors in
collecting the fruits led to the resumption of the benefices and then,
by a transaction in 1622, they were restored under the same conditions.
Such was the position when a violent quarrel arose in the Canaries
between the tribunal and the chapter. The former questioned the accuracy
of the accounts rendered to it and demanded the account books. This the
chapter refused but offered to place the books in the accounting room of
the cathedral, allowing the officials of the tribunal free access and
permission to make what copies they desired. There was also a subsidiary
quarrel over the claim that, when the secretary of the tribunal went to
the chapter, he should be entitled to precedence. With their customary
violence the inquisitors publicly excommunicated and fined the dean and
treasurer of the chapter and moreover they took under their protection
the Dominican Joseph Guillen, Prior of San Pedro Martir, who was a
notary of the tribunal. He circulated a defamatory libel on the chapter
which laid a complaint before his superior, the Provincial; the latter
commenced to investigate, when the tribunal inhibited him from all
cognizance of the matter. Then there came a mandate from the Dominican
General to the Provincial, relegating Fray Guillen to a convent and
ordering a president to be appointed for San Pedro Martir, whereupon the
tribunal required the Provincial to surrender this mandate and all
papers concerning the affair, under pain of excommunication and two
hundred ducats. The sub-prior of San Pedro Martir was forced to assemble
the brethren, whom the inquisitors ordered to disobey the commands of
the General and not to acknowledge the president appointed under his
instructions, thus violating the statutes of the great Dominican Order
and the principle of obedience on which it was based. They further
excommunicated the Provincial in the most solemn manner; they took by
force Fray Guillen from the convent and paraded the streets in his
company; the whole community was thrown into confusion and to prevent
recourse to the home authorities they forbade, under heavy penalties,
the departure of any vessel for Teneriffe, through which communication
was had with Spain. In all this there was nothing at variance with the
customary methods of asserting the lawless supremacy of the Inquisition
over the secular and spiritual authorities, but Philip V ordered
Giudice, September 30, 1712, to put an end to these excesses and, on
October 11th, the Suprema reported that it had ordered the inquisitors
to desist. If it did so, they paid no attention to its commands. Then,
June 11, 1713, he addressed a peremptory order to Giudice to revoke all
that had been done in the Canaries, to recall the inquisitors, to
dismiss them and give them no other appointments. The Suprema replied,
July 18th, enclosing an order which it proposed despatching; this
displeased him as not in compliance with his commands and he insisted on
their complete fulfilment. Still there was evasion and delay and when,
in July, 1714, the Canary chapter presented to the tribunal royal orders
requiring the removal of the excommunications and the remission of the
fines, the inquisitors not only refused obedience but commenced
proceedings against the notaries who served them. The Suprema professed
to have sent orders similar to those of the king, but it evidently had
been playing a double game. Philip therefore, November 1, 1714,
addressed the inquisitor-general, holding the Suprema responsible for
the prolonged contumacy of the inquisitors; he ordered it to deliver to
him the originals of all the correspondence on the subject and required
the inquisitor-general to issue an order for the immediate departure
from the islands of the inquisitors and fiscal, without forcing the
governor to expel them, as he had orders to do so in case of
disobedience. Moreover, if the Suprema should not, within fifteen days,
deliver all the documents, so that the king could regulate matters
directly with the tribunal, the old suspended suit would be reopened and
such action would be taken as might be found requisite. This was a tone
wholly different from that to which the Inquisition had been accustomed
under the Hapsburgs; the evasions and delays of the Suprema, which had
so long been successful, proved fruitless. The struggle was prolonged,
but the royal authority prevailed in the end, although, when the
inquisitors reached Spain, in the summer of 1715, Giudice had been
restored to office and Philip weakly permitted them to be provided for
in other tribunals and to curse fresh communities with their lawless

We shall hereafter have occasion to see how, under the House of Bourbon,
with its Gallican ideas as to royal prerogative, the subordination of
the Inquisition became recognized, while its jurisdiction was curtailed
and its influence was diminished.



When the Inquisition, as we have seen, arrogated to itself almost an
equality with the sovereign, it necessarily assumed supremacy over all
other bodies in the State. Spain had been won to the theory, assiduously
taught by the medieval Church, that the highest duty of the civil power
was the maintenance of the faith in its purity and the extermination of
heresy and heretics. The institution to which this duty was confided
therefore enjoyed pre-eminence over all other departments of the State
and the latter were bound, whenever called upon, to lend it whatever aid
was necessary. To refuse to assist it, to criticise it, or even to fail
in demonstrations of due respect to those who performed its awful
functions, were thus offences to be punished at its pleasure.

Allusion has already been made (p. 182) to the oath required of
officials at the founding of the Inquisition, pledging obedience and
assistance, whenever an inquisitor came to a place to set up his
tribunal. This was not enough, for feudalism still disputed jurisdiction
with the crown, and the inquisitor was directed to summon the barons
before him and make them take not only the popular oath but one
promising to allow the Inquisition free course in their lands, failing
which they were to be prosecuted as rebels.[869] As the tribunals became
fixed in their several seats, when a new inquisitor came he brought
royal letters, addressed to all officials, from the viceroy down,
commanding them, under penalty of five thousand florins, to lend him and
his subordinates what aid was necessary and to obey his mandates in
making arrests and executing his sentences, and this was published in a
formal proclamation, with sound of trumpets, by the viceroy or other
royal representative.[870] This was not an empty formality. When, in
1516, the Corregidor of Logroño, the Comendador Barrientos, a knight of
Santiago, ventured to assert that the familiars were not to be assisted
in making an arrest the inquisitors excommunicated him and ordered him
to seek the inquisitor-general and beg for pardon, which was granted
only on condition of his appearance in a public auto de fe, after
hearing mass as a penitent, on his knees and holding a candle, after
which he was to be absolved with stripes and the other humiliations
inflicted on penitents.[871] This was not merely an indignity but a
lasting mark of infamy, extending to the kindred and posterity.


As though this were not sufficient, at a somewhat later period, the
officials of all cities where tribunals were established were required
to take an elaborate oath to the inquisitors, in which they swore to
compel every one within their jurisdiction to hold the Catholic faith,
to persecute all heretics and their adherents, to seize and bring them
before the Inquisition and to denounce them, to commit no public office
to such persons nor to any who were prohibited by the inquisitors, nor
to receive them in their families; to guard all the pre-eminences,
privileges, exemptions and immunities of the inquisitors, their
officials and familiars; to execute all sentences pronounced by the
inquisitors and to be obedient to God, to the Roman Church and to the
inquisitors and their successors.[872] In this, the clause pledging
observance of the privileges and exemptions of the officials was highly
important for, as we shall see hereafter, the privileges claimed by the
Inquisition were the source of perpetual and irritating quarrels with
the royal and local magistrates. It was an innovation of the middle of
the sixteenth century, for Prince Philip, in a letter of December 2,
1553, to the tribunal of Valencia, says that he hears it requires the
royal officials to swear to maintain the privileges, usages and customs
of the Inquisition; this he says is a novelty and, as he does not
approve of innovations, he asks what authority it has for such
requirement. To this the answer was that every year, when the municipal
officials enter upon their duties, they come and take such an oath and
the records showed that this had been observed for a hundred years
without contradiction. This seems to have silenced his objections and
the formula became general. The Valencia Concordia, or agreement of
1554, simply provides that the secular magistrates shall take the
accustomed oath and what that was is doubtless shown by the one taken,
in 1626, by the _almotacen_, or sealer of weights and measures, when he
came to the Inquisition and swore on the cross and the gospels to
observe the articles customarily read to the royal officials and to
guard the privileges of the Holy Office and defend it with all his

Even all this was insufficient to emphasize the universal subordination.
At all autos de fe, which were attended by the highest in the land as
well as by the lowest, and at the annual proclamation of the Edict of
Faith, to which the whole population was summoned, a notary of the
Inquisition held up a cross and addressed the people: "Raise your hands
and let each one say that he swears by God and Santa Maria and this
cross and the words of the holy gospels, that he will favor and defend
and aid the holy Catholic faith and the holy Inquisition, its ministers
and officials, and will manifest and make known each and every heretic,
fautor, defender and receiver of heretics and all disturbers and
impeders of the Holy Office, and that he will not favor, or help, or
conceal them but, as soon as he knows of them, he will denounce them to
the inquisitors; and if he does otherwise that God may treat him as
those who knowingly perjure themselves: Let every one say Amen!"[874]
When the sovereign was present at an auto this general oath did not
suffice and he took a special one. Thus, at the Valladolid auto of May
21, 1559, the Inquisitor-general Valdés administered it to the Regent
Juana and at that of Madrid, in 1632, Inquisitor-general Zapata went to
the window at which Philip IV was seated, with a missal and a cross, on
which the king swore to protect and defend the Catholic faith as long as
he lived and to aid and support the Inquisition--an oath which was then
duly read aloud to the people.[875] Thus the whole nation was bound, in
the most solemn manner, to be obedient to the Inquisition and to submit
to what it might assert to be its privileges.

How purely ministerial were the functions of the public officials in all
that related to the Inquisition, even under Philip V, was illustrated
when, at Barcelona, in an auto de fe, June 28, 1715, a bigamist named
Medrano was sentenced to two hundred lashes to be inflicted on the 30th.
On the 29th word was sent to the public executioner to be ready to
administer them, but the Viceroy, the Marquis of Castel-Rodrigo, forbade
the executioner to act until he should give permission, holding that no
public punishment should be inflicted until he should be officially
notified of the sentence. There were hasty conferences and debates,
lasting to nearly midnight, and it was not until 7 A.M. of the 30th that
the marquis gave way and the sentence was executed. The tribunal
reported the affair to the Suprema, which replied in the name of the
king, diplomatically thanking the marquis and rebuking his legal
adviser, who was told that it was his duty and that of all officials to
be obedient to the Inquisition.[876]

As a perpetual reminder of this subordination, there appears to have
been kept in the royal chancellery the formula of a letter addressed to
all viceroys and captains-general. This recited the invaluable services
of the Inquisition in clearing the land of infinite heretics and
preserving it from the convulsions afflicting other nations, thus
rendering its efficiency one of the chief concerns of the crown.
Therefore the king charges his representatives emphatically to honor and
favor all inquisitors, officials and familiars, giving them all the
necessary aid for which they may ask and enforcing the observance of all
the privileges and exemptions conceded to them by law, concordias, royal
cédulas, use and custom and in any other way, so that the Holy Office
may have the full liberty and authority which it has always enjoyed and
which the king desires it to retain. A copy of this was sent to all the
viceroys in 1603 and, as I have chanced to find it again addressed, in
1652, to the Duke of Montalto, then Viceroy of Valencia, it was
presumably part of the regular instructions furnished to all who were
appointed to these responsible positions.[877]

       *       *       *       *       *


In the interminable conflicts through which the Inquisition established
its enjoyment of the powers thus conferred, the inquisitor was armed,
offensively and defensively, in a manner to give him every advantage. He
could, at any moment, when involved in a struggle with either the
secular or ecclesiastical authorities, disable his opponent with a
sentence of excommunication removable only by the Holy Office or the
pope and, if this did not suffice, he could lay an interdict or even a
_cessatio a divinis_ on cities, until the people, deprived of the
sacraments, would compel submission. It is true that, in 1533, the
Suprema ordered that much discretion should be exercised in the use of
this powerful weapon, on account of the indignation aroused by its
abuse, but we shall have ample opportunity to see how recklessly it was
employed habitually, without regard to the preliminary safeguards
imposed by the canons.[878] On the other hand, the inquisitor was
practically immune. His antagonists were mostly secular authorities who
had no such weapon in their armories and, when he chanced to quarrel
with a prelate, he usually took care to be the first to fulminate an
excommunication, and then unconcernedly disregarded the counter censures
as uttered by one disabled from the exercise of his functions, for the
anathema deprived its subject of all official faculties. It had the
contingent result, moreover, that he who remained under excommunication
for a year could be prosecuted for suspicion of heresy.[879]

There was another provision which rendered it even more formidable as an
antagonist. In matters of faith and all pertaining directly or
indirectly thereto, its jurisdiction was exclusive. In the extensive
field of civil and criminal business, of which it obtained cognizance
through the immunities of its officials and, in the frequent quarrels
arising from questions of ceremony and precedence, no court, whether
secular or spiritual, had power to inhibit any action which it might see
fit to take. By special papal favor, however, it had power to inhibit
their action and thus to cripple them on the spot. This extraordinary
privilege, with power to subdelegate, appears to have been first granted
in the commissions issued, in 1507, to Ximenes and Enguera as
inquisitors-general respectively of Castile and Aragon and was repeated
in those of Luis Mercader and Pedro Juan Poul in 1513.[880] For a
considerable time this clause disappears from the commissions, but,
towards the close of the century, it again finds place, in a more
detailed and absolute form in that granted to Manrique de Lara, after
which it continued in those of his successors to the end. It confers the
power of inhibiting all judges, even of archiepiscopal dignity, under
pecuniary penalties and censures to be enforced by the invocation of the
secular arm and of absolving them after they shall have submitted and
obeyed.[881] This proclaimed to the world that the Inquisition outranked
all other authorities in Church and State and the power was too often
exercised for its existence to be ignored or forgotten. This superiority
found practical expression in the rule that, in the innumerable
conflicts of jurisdiction, all secular and ecclesiastical judges must
answer communications from inquisitors in the form of petition and not
by letter. If they replied to commands and comminations by letter they
were to be fined and proceedings were to be commenced against them and
their messengers, and they were required to withdraw and erase from
their records all such letters which were held to be disrespectful to
the superiority of the Holy Office.[882]


It was an inevitable inference from this that there was no direct appeal
from whatever a tribunal might do except to the Suprema, which, though
it might in secret chide its subordinates for their excesses,
customarily upheld them before the world. The sovereign, it is true, was
the ultimate judge and, in occasional cases, he interposed his authority
with more or less effect, but the ordinary process was through a
_competencia_, a cumbrous procedure through which, as we shall see, the
Inquisition could wrangle for years and virtually, in most cases, deny
all practical relief to the sufferers.

Another weapon of tremendous efficacy was the power of arrest, possessed
at will by inquisitors during the greater portion of the career of the
Inquisition. Even to gratify mere vindictiveness, by simply asserting
that there was a matter of faith, the inquisitor could throw any one
into the secret prison. The civil magistrate might thus abuse his
authority with little damage to the victim, but it was otherwise with
the Inquisition. In the insane estimate placed on _limpieza de sangre_,
or purity of blood, the career of a man and of his descendants was
fatally narrowed by such a stain on his orthodoxy; it mattered little
what was the outcome of the case, the fact of imprisonment was
remembered and handed down through generations while the fact of its
being causeless was forgotten. In the later period, when the Suprema
supervised every act of the tribunals, the opportunities for this were
greatly restricted, but during the more active times the ill-will of an
inquisitor could at any moment inflict this most serious injury and the
power was often recklessly abused in the perpetual conflicts with the
secular authorities. The ability thus to destroy at a word the prospects
in life of any man was a terrible weapon which goes far to explain the
awe with which the inquisitor was regarded by the community.

That the inquisitor should assume to be superior to all other
dignitaries was the natural result of the powers thus concentrated in
him. Páramo asserts that he is the individual of highest authority in
his district, as he represents both pope and king; and the Suprema, in a
consulta addressed to Philip V, in 1713, boasted that its jurisdiction
was so superior that there was not a person in the kingdom exempt from
it.[883] The haughty supremacy which it affected is seen in instructions
issued in 1578 that inquisitors, when the tribunal is sitting, are not
to go forth to receive any one, save the king, the queen or a royal
prince and are not, in an official capacity, to appear in receptions of
prelates or other public assemblies, and this was virtually repeated in
1645, when they were told not to visit the viceroy or the archbishop or
accept their invitations, for such demonstrations were due only to the
person of the king.[884] Exception however, was probably taken to this
for a _carta acordada_ of March 17, 1648, lays down less stringent rules
and specifies for each tribunal, according to the varying customs of
different places, the high officials whom the inquisitor is permitted to
visit on induction into office and on occasions of condolence or

In the social hierarchy the viceroys and captains-general stood next to
the king as representing, in their respective governments, the royal
person. To outrank these exalted personages was not beyond inquisitorial
ambition. In 1588 there was great scandal in Lima, when the inquisitors
claimed precedence over the Count of Villar, the Viceroy of Peru, and
carried their point by excommunicating him, but Philip II, in a cédula
of March 8, 1589, took them severely to task for their arrogance and
added that the viceroy was equally to blame for yielding, as he
represented the royal power. This lesson was ineffectual and some years
later another method was tried of asserting superiority. In 1596, the
Captain-general of Aragon complained to the king that, in the recent
auto de fe, the inquisitors had refused to give him the title of
Excellency. To this Philip replied, February 6, 1597, that it was
unreasonable for them thus to affect equality with his personal
representative; they must either concede to him the title of Excellency
or themselves be treated as _vuestra merced_, in place of _muy ilustres_
or _señoria_, and therefore he could attend the next auto.[886]


This asserted superiority of the Inquisition was very galling to the
bishops, who argued that the Holy Office had been founded only four
hundred years before, as an aid to their jurisdiction, and they resented
bitterly the efforts of the resolute upstarts to claim higher privileges
and precedence. The Inquisition, however, was an organized whole, with
sharp and unsparing methods of enforcing its claims and protected in
every way from assault, while the episcopate was a scattered and
unwieldy body, acting individually and, for the most part, powerless to
defend the officials, through whom it acted, from those who claimed that
everything concerning themselves was a matter of faith of which they had
exclusive cognizance. The serious conflicts over jurisdiction will be
considered in a subsequent chapter; here we are concerned merely with
questions of etiquette and ceremonial. Seen through the perspective of
the centuries, these quarrels, which were conducted with frantic
eagerness, seem trivialities unworthy of record, but their significance
was momentous to the parties concerned, as they involved superiority and
inferiority. The hundred years' quarrel over precedence in Rome, between
the ambassadors of France and Spain, which was not settled until 1661 by
the triumph of France, had a meaning beyond a mere question of ceremony.
In Spain these debates often filled the land with confusion. All parties
were tenacious of what they conceived to be their rights and were ready
to explode in violence on the smallest provocation. The enormous mass of
letters and papers concerning the seats and positions of the inquisitors
and their officials at all public functions--whether seats should be
chairs or benches and whether they were to have canopies, or cushions,
or carpets, shows that these were regarded as matters of the highest
moment, giving rise to envenomed quarrels with the ecclesiastical and
secular dignitaries, requiring for their settlement the interposition of
the royal authority. The inquisitors were constantly arrogating to
themselves external marks of superiority and the others were disputing
it with a vehemence that elevated the most trivial affairs into matters
of national importance, and the attention of the king and the highest
ministers was diverted from affairs of state to pacify obscure quarrels
in every corner of the land.

It would be futile to enter into the details of these multitudinous
squabbles, but one or two subjects in dispute may be mentioned to
illustrate the ingenuity with which the Inquisition pushed its claims to
superiority. Towards the middle of the seventeenth century it demanded
that, when there was an episcopal letter or mandate to be published in
the churches and also an edict or letter of the Inquisition, the latter
should have precedence in the reading. This was naturally regarded as an
effort to show that the inquisitorial jurisdiction was superior to the
episcopal and it led to frequent scandals. In 1645, at Valencia, on
Passion Sunday, a secretary of the tribunal endeavored to read letters
of the inquisitors before one of the archbishop's, but, by the latter's
order, the priest refused to give way, whereupon the inquisitors
arrested him: the matter was carried up to the king, who ordered the
priest to be discharged in such wise that there should be no record of
his prosecution and that his good fame should be restored. Soon after
this, in Saragossa on a feast-day in the cathedral, a priest commenced
to read an archiepiscopal letter, but before he had finished more than a
few lines, a secretary of the Inquisition mounted the other pulpit and
began reading a letter of the Inquisition; the priest was so disturbed
that he stopped, whereupon the archbishop, Juan Cebrian, ordered his
arrest, but he pleaded his surprise and confusion and the archbishop
relented. In 1649 a more determined effort was made by the Saragossa
tribunal. August 15th the parish priest of the cathedral read certain
archiepiscopal letters at the accustomed time and was followed by the
secretary of the Inquisition with others of the inquisitors. Two days
later the priest was summoned before the tribunal and was made to swear
secrecy as to orders given to him. The result showed what were his
instructions, for the next Sunday, having archiepiscopal letters to
read, he waited until the secretary read those of the inquisitors. Some
days later similar secret orders were given to the priest of Nuestra
Señora del Pilar and when, on October 11th, he commenced reading an
archiepiscopal letter, an officer of the Inquisition seized him by the
arm and forced him to read first those of the tribunal. Archbishop
Cebrian addressed memorials to the king, September 7th and 21st and
October 12th asking his protection to preserve the archiepiscopal
jurisdiction; the Council of Aragon presented a consulta supporting him,
on which the wearied monarch made an endorsement, deploring the evil
results of such conflicts and telling the Council to write to the
archbishop not to proceed to extremities but to seek some adjustment
similar to that by which, a short time before, Cardinal Moscoso in
Toledo had caused an inquisitorial letter to be read on a different day,
to which the tribunal must be made to conform.[887]


The persistence with which the Inquisition maintained any claim once
advanced is illustrated by its endeavor to introduce change in the
ritual of the mass favorable to its assumption of superiority. It was
the custom that the celebrant should make a bow to the bishop, if
present, and in his absence, to the Eucharist. In 1635, at Valladolid,
the inquisitors required that when the Edict of Faith was read the bow
should be made to them and, on the refusal of the officiating canon,
they arrested him and the dean who upheld him and held them under heavy
bail. This aroused the whole city and brought a rebuke from the king,
who ordered them to discharge the bail and not to abuse their
jurisdiction. Unabashed by this the effort was made again at
Compostella, in 1639, and duly resisted; the king was again obliged to
examine the question and, after consultation with learned men, decided
that the chapter was in the right and that the inquisitors had the
alternative of absenting themselves from the reading. Two rebuffs such
as this should have sufficed but, in 1643, after careful preparation,
another attempt was made at Córdova, which produced a fearful scandal.
Neither side would yield; the services were interrupted; the inquisitors
endeavored to excommunicate the canons, but the latter raised such a din
with howls and cries, the thunder of the organ, the clangor of bells and
breaking up the seats in the choir, that the fulmination could not be
heard. Even the inquisitors shrank from the storm and left the church
amid hisses, with their caps pulled down to their eyes, but they lost no
time in commencing a prosecution of the canons, who appealed to the
king, in a portentous document covering two hundred and fifty-six folio
pages. Philip and his advisers at the moment had ample occupation, what
with the dismissal of Olivares, the evil tidings from Rocroy and the
rebellions in Catalonia and Portugal, but they had to turn aside to
settle this portentous quarrel. A royal letter of June 16, 1643, ordered
the inquisitors to restore to the canons certain properties which they
had seized and to remove the excommunications, while reference to
similar decisions at Compostella, Granada and Cartagena shows how
obstinate and repeated had been the effort of the Holy Office.
Notwithstanding this the tribunal of Córdova refused obedience to the
royal mandate and a second letter, of September 28th from Saragossa,
where Philip was directing the campaign against Catalonia, was required.
This was couched in peremptory terms; the excommunications must be
removed and, for the future, the Roman ceremonial must be observed,
prescribing that in the absence of the bishop, the reverence must be
made to the sacrament.[888]


While thus steadily endeavoring to encroach on the rights of others, the
Inquisition was supersensitive as to anything that might be reckoned as
an attempt by other bodies to assert superiority, and it vindicated what
it held to be its rights with customary violence. When the funeral
solemnities of Queen Ana, of Austria were celebrated in Seville, in
1580, a bitter quarrel about precedence in seats arose between the
tribunal, the royal Audiencia or high court and the city authorities,
when the former arbitrarily suspended the obsequies until consultation
could be had with Philip II, then in Lisbon, engaged in the absorption
of Portugal. He regulated the position which each of the contending
parties should occupy and the postponed honors were duly rendered.
Matters remained quiescent until a similar function became necessary,
after the death of Philip in 1598. The city spent weeks in costly
preparations and the catafalque erected in the cathedral was regarded as
worthy of that magnificent building. November 29th was fixed for the
ceremonies; on the vigil, the regent, or president judge of the
Audiencia, sent a chair from his house to the place assigned to him, but
the chapter protested so vigorously against the innovation that he was
obliged to remove it. The following morning, when the various bodies
entered the church at half-past nine, the benches assigned to the judges
and their wives were seen to be draped in mourning. This was at once
regarded as an effort on their part to establish pre-eminence and
excited great indignation. The services commenced and during the mass
the inquisitors sent word to the cabildo, or city magistracy, that it
should order the mourning removed. After some demur, the cabildo sent
its procurador mayor, Pedro de Escobar, with a notary and some
alguaziles to the Audiencia, bearing a message to the effect that if the
drapery were not removed, the inquisitors and the church authorities
were agreed that the ceremonies should be suspended. He was told not to
approach and on persisting he and his followers were arrested and thrown
into the public gaol. The inquisitors then sent their secretary with a
message, but he too was kept at a distance when he mounted the steps of
the catafalque and cried out that the tribunal excommunicated the three
judges, Vallejo, Lorenzana and Guerra, if they did not depart. A second
time he came with a message, which he was not allowed to deliver, and
again he mounted the steps to declare all the judges excommunicated and
that they must leave the church in order that the services might
proceed, for the presence of excommunicates was a bar to all public
worship. This was repeated again by the fiscal, when the Audiencia drew
up a paper declaring the acts of the tribunal to be null and void and
ordering it to remove the censure under pain of forfeiting citizenship
and temporalities, but the scrivener sent to serve it was refused a
hearing and on his persisting was threatened with the pillory. The
alcalde of the city endeavored to calm the inquisitors, but Inquisitor
Zapata replied furiously that if St. Paul came from heaven and ordered
them to do otherwise they would refuse if it cost them their souls.

Meanwhile there were similar trouble and complications among the church
authorities. The vicar-general, Pedro Ramírez de Leon, ordered the
services resumed, under pain, for the dean and officiating priest, of
excommunication and of a thousand ducats; the precentor and canons
appealed to the pope, but the vicar-general published them in the choir
as excommunicates. The celebrant, Dr. Negron, was sought for, but he had
prudently disappeared in the confusion and could not be found. It was
now half-past twelve and the canons sent word to the Audiencia that they
were going and it could go. To leave the church, however, would seem
like an admission by the judges that they were excommunicate and they
grimly kept their seats. The cabildo of the city and the tribunal were
not to be outdone and the three hostile groups sat glaring at each other
until four o'clock, when the absurdity of the situation grew too strong
and they silently departed. Meanwhile the candles had been burning until
five hundred ducats' worth of wax was uselessly consumed.

So complicated a quarrel could of course only be straightened out by the
king to whom all parties promptly appealed. The judges proved that they
had not draped their benches as a sign of pre-eminence but had proposed
that the same be done by the cabildo and the tribunal. As far as regards
the latter, the royal decision was manifested in two cédulas of December
22d. One of these told the inquisitors that they had exceeded their
jurisdiction in excommunicating the judges, whom they were to absolve
_ad cautelam_ and they also had to pay for the wasted wax. The other
ominously ordered the inquisitors Blanco and Zapata to appear at the
court within fifteen days and not to depart without licence. At the same
time, on December 21st the suspended obsequies were duly


It will be seen from these cases that the only appeal from inquisitorial
aggression lay to the king and that, even when the inquisitors were
wholly in the wrong and the royal decision was against them, no steps
were taken to keep them within bounds for the future. The altered
position of the Holy Office under the Bourbons was therefore
significantly indicated by a decision of Fernando VI in 1747. At the
celebration in Granada, on September 11th, of his accession, the
chancillería, or great high court of New Castile, observed that the
archbishop occupied a chair covered with taffety, outside of his window
overlooking the plaza, and that the inquisitors had cushions on their
window-sills. It sent messengers to request the removal of these symbols
of pre-eminence and, on receiving a refusal in terms of scant respect,
it stopped the second bull-fight and put an end to the ceremonies. The
matter was referred to the king, when the Suprema, in a memorial of
solemn earnestness, argued that the Inquisition had for centuries been
in the uncontested enjoyment of the privilege of which it was now sought
to be deprived. It was the highest tribunal, not only in Spain but in
the world, as it had charge of the true religion, which is the
foundation of all kingdoms and republics. The time had passed for this
swelling self-assertion. Full discussion was devoted to the momentous
question and, on October 3d, Fernando issued a decree which proclaimed
to Spain that the Holy Office was no longer what it had been. This was
to the effect that, as the chancillería represented the royal
jurisdiction, and thus indirectly the king himself, it was entitled to
pre-eminence in all such celebrations and in those of the royal chapel;
it was justified in its action and thereafter no such signs of dignity
as canopies, cushions, ceremonial chairs and the like should be used in
its presence. In case of attempts to do so, one of the alcaldes del
crimen with his officers should remove them and punish any workmen in
setting them up.[890]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Inquisition and its members were protected in every way from
subjection to local laws and regulations. An edict of Charles V, in
1523, forbade all municipalities or other bodies from adopting statutes
which should in any way curtail their privileges or be adverse to them
and, if any such should be attempted he declared them in advance to be
null and void.[891] This in fact, was only expressing and enforcing the
canon laws enacted in the frenzied efforts to suppress heresy in the
thirteenth century and still in vigor. A constitution of Urban IV
(1261-5) declares invalid the laws of any state or city which impede,
directly or indirectly, the functions of the Inquisition, and the bishop
or inquisitor is empowered to summon the ruler or magistrates to exhibit
such statutes and compel him by censures to revoke or modify them.[892]
While this was designed to prevent the crippling of the Inquisition by
hostile legislation, it inferred a superiority to law and was construed
in the most liberal way, as was seen in a struggle in Valencia which
lasted for nearly two centuries. A police regulation for the improvement
of the market-place ordered the removal of all stands for the display of
goods under the arcades of the houses. One house belonged to the
tribunal; its tenant was the worst offender, and he obstinately kept his
stand and appealed to the tribunal for protection against the law. This
protection was accorded with such vigor in 1603, that the saintly
Archbishop, Juan de Ribera, who was also captain-general, vainly
endeavored to secure obedience to the law. Until the close of the
eighteenth century the tribunal thus successfully defied the Real Junta
de Policia, consisting of the captain-general, the regente and other
high officials. At length, in 1783, Carlos III issued a royal
declaration that no one should be exempt from obedience to orders of
police and good government and that all such cases should be adjudicated
by the ordinary courts without admitting the _competencias_ with which
the Holy Office habitually sought to tire out those who ventured to
withstand its aggressiveness. Under this, in 1791, the nuisance in
Valencia was abated, when the tribunal apologized to the Suprema for
yielding and excused itself in virtue of the royal declaration of 1783.
It had held out as long as it could, but times had changed and even the
Inquisition was forced to respect the law.[893] Madrid had been earlier
relieved from such annoyance, for a royal cédula of 1746, regulating the
police system of the capital, has a clause evidently directed at the
Inquisition for it declares that no exemption, even the most privileged,
shall avail in matters concerning the police, the adornment and the
cleanliness of the city.[894]


The lawlessness thus fostered degenerated into an arbitrary disregard of
the rights of others, leading to a petty tyranny sometimes exercised in
the most arbitrary and capricious manner. Inquisitor Santos of Saragossa
was very friendly with the Licenciado Pedro de Sola, a beneficed priest
of the cathedral, and Juan Sebastian, who were good musicians and who
gathered some musical friends to sing complins with them on Holy
Saturday at Santa Engracia, where the inquisitors spent Holy Week in
retreat. Santos used to send his coach for them and entertain them
handsomely, but when, in 1624, he became Bishop of Solsona, although the
singing continued, the coach and entertainment ceased and the musicians
went unwillingly. Finally, in 1637, some of them stopped going; the
inquisitors sent for them and scolded them which made them all
indignant. Then, in 1638, the secretary Heredia was sent to order them
to go and when the chapel master excused them, with an intimation that
they ought to be paid, Heredia told them the tribunal honored them
sufficiently in calling for them. They did not go and, when Easter was
over, two of them, beneficed priests, were summoned and, after being
kept waiting for three hours, were imprisoned in a filthy little house
occupied by soldiers and were left for twelve hours without bedding,
food or drink. The next day they managed to communicate with the
chapter, but it was afraid to interfere and, after six days of this
confinement, they were brought before the tribunal and informed that
they had the city for a prison, under pain of a hundred ducats, and were
made to swear to present themselves whenever summoned. As they went out
they saw two more brought in--the chapel-master and a priest. At last
the chapter plucked up courage to address a memorial to the king
through the Council of Aragon, which added the suggestion that he should
order the inquisitor-general to see to the release of the musicians and
the prevention of such extortion. May 11th Philip referred this to the
Suprema which, after a month's delay, replied, June 14th, that, desiring
to avoid controversy with the church of Saragossa, it had ordered the
tribunal to pay the musicians in future, to release any that were in
prison and to return whatever fines had been imposed.[895] When petty
tyranny such as this could be practised, especially on the privileged
class of priests, we can appreciate the terrorism surrounding the

       *       *       *       *       *

Another distinction contributed to the supereminence claimed by the
Inquisition--the inviolability which shielded all who were in its
service. From an early period the Church had sought to protect its
members, whose profession was assumed to debar them from the use of
arms, by investing them with a sanctity which should assure their safety
in an age of violence. Throughout the middle ages no canon was more
frequently invoked than _Si quis suadente diabolo_, which provided that
whoever struck a cleric or monk incurred an anathema removable only by
personal appearance before the pope and accepting his sentence.[896]
More than this was asked for by the Inquisition, for the greater portion
of its officials were laymen. They were no more exposed to injury or
insult than those of the secular courts, but it was assumed that there
was a peculiar hatred felt for them and that their functions in
defending the faith entitled them to special security. We shall see
hereafter that the Inquisition obtained jurisdiction in all matters
connected with its officials, but this, while enabling it to give them
special protection, had the limitation that judgements of blood rendered
ecclesiastics pronouncing them "irregular." In cases of heresy this had
long been evaded by a hypocritical plea for mercy, when delivering
convicts to the secular arm for execution, but it was felt that some
special faculties were requisite in dealing with cases of mere assault
or homicide and a _motu proprio_ was procured from Leo X, January 28,
1515, empowering inquisitors to arrest any one, even of the highest
rank, whether lay or clerical, who strikes, beats, mutilates or kills
any minister or official of the Inquisition and to deliver him to the
secular arm for punishment, without incurring irregularity, even if it
results in effusion of blood.[897] The Holy Office thus held in its own
hands the protection of all who served it.

This was rendered still more efficient by subsequent papal action.
Irritated at some resistance offered to the Roman Inquisition, Pius V
published, April 1, 1569, the ferocious bull _Si de protegendis_, under
which any one, of whatever rank, who should threaten, strike or kill an
officer or a witness, who should help a prisoner to escape or make way
with any document or should lend aid or counsel to such act, was to be
delivered to the secular judge for punishment as a heretic--that is to
say, for burning--including confiscation and the infamy of his
children.[898] Although this was intended for Italy, the Spanish
Inquisition speedily assumed the benefit of it; it was sent out October
16th and it was annually published in the vernacular on Holy


Thus all concerned in the business of the Holy Office were hedged around
with an inviolability accorded to no other class of the community. The
inquisitors themselves were additionally protected against
responsibility for their own malfeasance by the received theory that
scandal was more to be dreaded than crime--that there was inherent in
their office such importance to religion that anything was better than
what might bring that office into contempt. Francisco Peña, in treating
of this, quotes the warning of Aquinas as to cardinals and applies it to
the punishment of inquisitors; if scandal has arisen, they may be
punished; otherwise the danger to the reputation of the Holy Office is
greater than that of impunity to the offender.[900] The tenderness, in
fact, with which they were treated, even when scandal had arisen, was a
scandal in itself. Thus, when the reiterated complaints of Barcelona
caused a visitation to be made there, in 1567, by de Soto Salazar, and
his report confirmed the accusations, showing the three inquisitors to
be corrupt, extortionate and unjust, the only penalty imposed, in 1568,
was merely suspension for three years from all office in the
Inquisition. Even this was not enforced, at least with regard to one of
them, Dr. Zurita, for we chance to meet him as inquisitor of Saragossa
in 1570. He does not seem to have reformed, for his transfer thence to
Sardinia, the least desirable of the tribunals, can only have been in
consequence of persistent misconduct.[901] The tribunals naturally
showed the same mercy to their subordinates, whose sole judges they
were, and this retention in office of those whom unfitness was proved
was not the least of the burdens with which the Inquisition afflicted

What rendered this inviolability more aggravating was that it extended
to the servants and slaves of all connected with the Holy Office. About
1540 a deputy corregidor of Murcia, for insulting a servant of the
messenger of the tribunal, was exposed to the infamy of hearing mass as
a penitent.[902] In 1564, we find Dr. Zurita, on circuit through his
district, collecting evidence against Micael Bonet, of Palacio de Vicio,
for caning a servant boy of Benet Modaguer, who held some office in the
Inquisition, and the case was sent to Barcelona for trial, which shows
that it was regarded as serious. So, in 1568, for quarrelling with a
servant of Micer Complada, who styled himself deputy of the abogado
fiscal at Tarragona, the Barcelona tribunal, without verifying
Complada's claims to office, threw into prison Gerónimo Zapata and
Antonio de Urgel and condemned Zapata to a fine of thirty ducats and six
months' exile and Urgel to ten ducats and three months.[903] In Murcia,
Sebastian Gallego, the servant of an inquisitor, quarrelled with a
butcher over some meat, when they exchanged insults. The secular judge
arrested both but the tribunal claimed them, prosecuted the butcher and
banished him from the town.[904] Such cases were of frequent occurrence
and it is easy to conceive how galling was the insolence of despised
class thus enabled to repay the contempt with which it was habitually


When the honor of slaves was thus vindicated inquisitors were not apt to
condone any failure, real or imaginary, in the respect which they held
to be their due, and the offender was made to feel the awful authority
which shrouded the tribunal and its judges. As their powers were largely
discretional, with undefined limits, the manner in which they were
exercised was sometimes eccentric. In 1569, for instance, the Jesuits of
Palermo prepared for representation in their church a tragedy of St.
Catherine and, on October 4th, they gave a private rehearsal to which
were invited the viceroy and principal dignitaries. The inquisitor, Juan
Biserra, came as one of the guests and finding the door closed knocked
repeatedly without announcing himself or demanding admittance. The
janitor, thinking it to be some unauthorized person, paid no attention
to the knocking and Biserra departed, highly incensed. When the Jesuits
heard of it, the rector and principal fathers called on him to
apologize, but, after keeping them waiting for some time he refused to
see them. The public representation was announced for October 8th; the
church was crowded with the nobility awaiting the rising of the curtain,
when a messenger from Biserra notified the Jesuits that he forbade the
performance, under pain of excommunication and other penalties at his
discretion, until after the piece should have been examined and approved
by him. The audience was dismissed and the next day the MS. was sent to
Biserra who submitted it to Dominican censors. Although they returned it
with their approval he discovered in it two objectionable points, so
absurdly trifling as to show that he wanted merely to make a wanton
exhibition of his power. The censors replied to his criticism and he
finally allowed the performance to proceed. We may not unreasonably
assume that this may have been one of the freaks for which Biserra was
suspended in 1572, on the report made of him by the visitor Quintanilla.
Then, with customary tenderness, he was employed in the responsible
post of visitor at Barcelona, where he died soon afterwards.[905]

The sensitiveness to disrespect and the terrorism which its arbitrary
punishment diffused through the community were well illustrated when, in
1617, Fray Diego Vinegas preached the Lenten sermons in the Hospital of
N. Señora de la Gracia of Saragossa. He was a distinguished Benedictine,
who had held high offices in his Order, and his eloquence on this
occasion brought in alms amounting to eight thousand crowns. On January
21st the inquisitors sent him a message to come to them the next day at
2 P.M., to which he replied in writing that he was indisposed and
closely occupied with his sermons; if they wished to order him to preach
the Edict of Faith, he held himself already charged to do so and begged
them to excuse his coming. A second message the same day told him to
come at the same hour another day, when he would be told what was wanted
of him, to which he answered that he would come but that if it was only
to order him to preach the sermon he would return at once to Castile,
without again mounting the pulpit. Whether anything underlay this
somewhat mysterious action does not appear; the significance of the
affair lies in the fact that it at once became a matter of general
public concern. When that same night the governor of the Hospital heard
of it he recognized the injury that would accrue to the institution and
to the whole city and forthwith reported it to the viceroy, who
commissioned the Licentiate Balthasar Navarro to undo the mischief. The
result of his labors was that the inquisitors declared that as Fray
Vinegas pleaded indisposition they would excuse him from preaching the
Edict of Faith. The affair appeared to be settled and Vinegas begged
permission to call on the two inquisitors, Santos and Salcedo, and pay
them the Easter compliments. They graciously acceded and on Easter
Monday he waited on them, exculpated himself, and begged their pardon
for having been prevented by indisposition from preaching the Edict, all
of which they accepted with great courtesy. The community breathed
freer, for some vindication of the honor of the Inquisition had been
expected. The inquisitors however had been consulting the Suprema and
vengeance was at hand. The next day, Tuesday, was the last of the
series of sermons; Vinegas preached successfully to a crowded church
when, on descending from the pulpit, he was arrested by an alguazil of
the Inquisition, dragged through the crowd like a heresiarch attempting
escape, thrown into a coach and carried to the Aljafería. There he was
placed on a bench like a criminal, interrogated as one and then, without
being listened to, was sentenced to perpetual deprivation of the honors
of the Inquisition (preaching at autos, the edicts, etc.) and
reprimanded with the utmost severity. The mark of infamy thus inflicted
was indelible and the scandal was immense. The people flocked in crowds
to the viceroy in the greatest excitement and he had much ado to quiet
them by promising that it should be remedied. Vinegas applied for the
reinstatement of his honor to the Council of Aragon, which replied that
it had no jurisdiction; then he applied to the Suprema, which refused to
hear him. He sent a memorial to the king, who referred it to the Council
of Aragon and he continued his efforts for more than a year but it does
not appear that he ever obtained relief.[906]


As a rule, any criticism of the justice of the Inquisition and any
complaint by one who had passed through its hands were offences to be
punished with more or less severity. To this, however, there was an
exception in a case the singularity of which deserves mention. Perhaps
the most distinguished Franciscan theologian of his day was Miguel de
Medina. He fell under suspicion of Lutheranism, was arrested and tried
and died during trial, May 1, 1578, in the secret prison of Toledo after
four years of detention. Another Franciscan, Francisco Ortiz, espoused
his cause so zealously that, in a public sermon in 1576 he pronounced
the trial to be unjust, for it was the work of a conspiracy among his
brother frailes; the arrest was a mortal sin, as though it were St.
Jerome or St. Augustin, and the inquisitor-general (Espinosa) who had
signed the warrant was in hell unless he had repented; the inquisitors
were ashamed and were seeking to avert the disgrace from themselves,
when they ought to be punishing the perjury of those who had testified.
This was flat blasphemy against the Holy Office, and it is not easy to
understand why the daring fraile escaped, when tried by the tribunal of
Toledo, with a reprimand administered privately in the audience-chamber
and a prohibition to enter Madrid without permission--a sentence which
was duly confirmed by the Suprema.[907] We shall see hereafter that
another Fray Francisco Ortiz, for a similar offence, did not escape so

       *       *       *       *       *

These were the defences thrown around the Inquisition to secure its
effectiveness in its supreme function of maintaining religious unity,
and these were the efforts which it made to secure the recognition of
the supremacy to which it aspired. It was an institution suddenly
introduced into an established ecclesiastical and secular hierarchy,
which regarded the intruder with natural jealousy and dislike and
resented its manifest resolve to use its spiritual authority for their
humiliation. Its arrogant self-assertion led it into frequent mistakes
in which even its royal protectors could not justify it, but it
gradually won its way under the Hapsburgs. The advent of the Bourbons
brought into play a new theory as to the relations between Church and
State and the civil authorities were able in time to vindicate their
equality and independence. We shall have the opportunity of following
this struggle, in which religion was in no way concerned, for the
defence of the faith was a pretext under which the Holy Office sought to
arrogate to itself control over a constantly widening area of secular
affairs, while claiming release from secular obligations.



Before the Revolution introduced the theory of equality, class
privileges were the rule. The public burdens were eluded by those best
able to bear them and were accumulated on the toilers. The mortmain
lands held by the Church were exempt from both taxation and military
service and, though Philip V, in the Concordat of 1737, obtained the
privilege of taxing such as might subsequently be acquired, the repeated
decrees for its enforcement show the impossibility of enforcing it.[908]
The complete immunity of ecclesiastics from taxation was emphatically
asserted by Boniface VIII in the bull _Clericis laicos_ and, although
this was revoked by the Council of Vienne in 1312, care was taken to
enunciate the principle as still in vigor.[909] Yet in the kingdoms of
Aragon they were subject to all imposts on sales, to import and export
dues and other local taxation and, when resistance was offered to this,
Charles V procured from Adrian VI, in 1522, and from Clement VII, in
1524, briefs confirming their liability.[910] _Hidalguia_, or gentle
blood, conferred a multiplicity of privileges, including exemption from
taxation, royal and local, with certain exceptions that were largely
evaded, and the _labrador_--the peasant or commoner--was distinctively
known as a _pechero_ or tax-payer.[911] That in such a social order the
Inquisition should seek for its members all the exemptions that it could
grasp was too natural to excite surprise, though it might occasionally
provoke resistance.

As regards freedom from taxation, the subject is complicated by
questions concerning royal and local imposts, by the varying customs in
the different provinces, and by the distinction between the active
officials of the tribunals, known as _titulados y asalaridos_, and the
more numerous unsalaried ones, who were only called upon occasionally
for service, such as familiars, commissioners, notaries, consultors and
censors. Their rights were loosely defined and were subject to perpetual
variation by conflicting decisions in the contests that were constantly
occurring with the secular authorities, provoked by habitual antagonism
and the frequent imposition of new taxes, raising new questions.
Ferdinand wrote sharply, April 13, 1504, to the town-council of
Barcelona, when it attempted to subject the officials of the tribunal to
the burdens borne by other citizens, in violation of the pre-eminences
and exemptions of the Holy Office, and he warned them to desist, in view
of the judicial measures that would be taken. Yet, in 1508, we find him
writing still more sharply to that tribunal, scolding it because it had
taken from the house of the alguazil of the Bailía a female slave and,
without waiting for formal judgement, had sold her without paying the
royal impost of twenty per cent., a disregard of the regalías not
permitted to them. They had also issued an order on the custom-house to
pass free of duty certain articles for an inquisitor, which was against
all rule for, even if the goods were needed for the support of the
officials, it was a matter for the farmers of the revenue to decide, and
the issuing of such passes would be fruitful of fraud and loss.[912]

[Sidenote: _TAXATION_]

These instances indicate the uncertainties of the questions that were
constantly arising in the intricate system--or lack of system--of
Spanish taxation. To follow the subject in detail would be an endless
and unprofitable task. I have collected a considerable number of more or
less contradictory decisions of this early period, but the only
deductions to be drawn from them are the indefiniteness of the exemption
and the earnestness of the effort made to extend it by the Inquisition.
The matter evidently was one in which there were no recognized rules
and, in 1568, Philip II undertook to regulate it, at least in so far as
concerned royal taxation. He defined for each tribunal the officials who
were to be exempted from all taxes, excise and assessments, and forbade
their exaction under pain of fifty thousand maravedís and punishment at
the royal discretion, but this exemption was granted only during his
good pleasure, so that he retained full control and admitted no
privilege as inherent in the Inquisition. His enumeration moreover
comprised only the _titulados y asalariados_, holding commissions from
the Suprema and in constant service, and omitted the familiars and
others who greatly exceeded them in numbers.[913]

This attempt at settlement left the matter still undefined and
provocative of endless strife. It said nothing as to local taxes; these
and the royal taxes were often indistinguishable, or so combined that
they could not be separated; the unsalaried officials were not
specifically declared to be taxable and were always striving for
exemption, and when, in the growing needs of the monarchy, new taxes
were imposed, there came ever fresh struggles conducted with the
customary violence of the Inquisition. May 10, 1632, the Royal Council
earnestly represented to Philip IV that it had already laid before him
certain excesses of the inquisitors of Cuenca to which he had not seen
fit to reply. Now the corregidor of Cuenca has reported other excesses
requiring immediate remedy, for they have issued an order, under pain of
excommunication and other penalties, that the collector of the excise on
wine, imposed for the pay of the troops, shall not collect it of the
salaried officials of the tribunal although they are laymen and subject
to it. They pretended that they were not liable to the alcavala (tax on
sales) but they were defeated in the suit on this before the Council of
Hacienda. And if this is permitted all the other tribunals will attempt
the same, and with their exemption will come that of their servants and
kindred and connections of all kinds, with frauds and concealment as
usual, resulting in increase of charge to other vassals and damage to
the treasury, for it seems as though the sole object of the inquisitors
is to diminish the royal patrimony.[914] Similar troubles attended the
levying of the _servicio de millones_, an exceedingly unpopular impost
on wine, meat, vinegar and other necessaries.[915]

[Sidenote: _TAXATION_]

When, in 1631, the tax of _media añata_, or half a year's salary levied
on appointees to office, was imposed there was a discussion as to
whether it was applicable to the Inquisition. This was settled in the
affirmative and the Suprema made no objection, for its collection was
taken from the _Sala de Media Añata_ and was given to Gabriel Ortiz de
Sotomayor, appointed by Inquisitor-general Zapata and when he, in the
course of a few years, became Bishop of Badajoz, the business was
intrusted to the inquisitor-general himself. For awhile the payments
were made with some regularity, but, in 1650, an investigation showed
that for a long while it had been quietly allowed to drop and, as it was
in the hands of the inquisitor-general, there were no means of enforcing
an accounting. For a year Arce y Reynoso eluded the efforts of the Sala
de Media Añata to obtain information and finally, May 17, 1651, the king
ordered him peremptorily to pay his own media añata (due since 1643), to
make the other officials do so and to furnish the required information
to the Sala. On receiving this he said there were difficulties in making
ecclesiastics like inquisitors pay, but he would consult the Suprema and
reply in July. July passed away and the Sala again applied to him, when
he replied that, as concerned the familiars and other secular officials,
orders had already been given and collections made, but as to clerics
there were scruples about which he would advise with the king. He failed
to do so and in October the king was urged to repeat his demand for
immediate payment. The outcome of the affair was that ecclesiastics were
exempted and laymen had to pay, while familiars, who had no salaries,
were assessed nine ducats--so Arce y Reynoso succeeded in eluding his
tax. Collection, moreover, from the laymen was not easy and, January 28,
1654, the Suprema issued general instructions to deduct it without
exception from the salaries. This only transferred the indebtedness from
the individuals to the receivers or treasurers of the tribunals, who
seem to have been equally slow to pay and, in 1655, an inquisitor in
each tribunal of Castile and the colonies was designated to collect the
money from the treasurer and remit it at once.[916] It is safe to assume
that the receipts were trivial and the whole business affords an
illustration of the methods by which the revenues of Spain were
frittered away before reaching the treasury. Whether productive or not,
however, the media añata remained until the end a permanent charge upon
the lay officials. In Valencia, in 1790, it had for ten years amounted
to an annual average of ten libras.[917]

With regard to local taxation, contests were renewed at every new impost
with varying success, and a single case will elucidate the character of
these struggles. In 1645 the Córtes of Valencia agreed to furnish for
six years twelve hundred men to garrison Tortosa, reserving the right to
impose whatever duties or excise might be necessary to defray the
expense. In order that the clergy might be included the assent of
Archbishop Aliaga was sought, which he granted with difficulty and only
on condition that, within eight months, a confirmatory papal brief
should be obtained, which was duly accomplished. To meet the charge an
excise, known as the _sisa del corte_ was levied on all goods cut for
garments. The tribunal refused to submit to this and pointed to its
contributions to a loan of twenty thousand ducats made by the
Inquisition to the king in 1642, and to its payment since 1643 of five
per cent. of the salaries for the maintenance of certain mounted men.
The city yielded for a while and then a compromise was made; the
ecclesiastics at the time were paying eighteen deniers on the libra
(7-1/2 per cent.) while the officials of the tribunal were to be taxed
only six deniers (2-1/2 per cent.). To maintain their principle of
exemption, however, for some years they had their garments made in the
name of other ecclesiastics and paid the eighteen deniers, but in 1659
they grew tired of this and paid the six deniers for themselves, first
registering a protest that it was without prejudice to their privileges
and exemptions. This continued until 1668, when suddenly, on June 19th,
the fiscal of the tribunal summoned the collectors of the _sisa del
corte_ to pass freely, within twenty-four hours, the cloth cut for the
garments of Benito Sanguino, the alcalde mayor, under pain of five
hundred ducats. On the 21st the syndics of the city and the collectors
interjected an appeal to the king, in spite of which the next day the
mandate was repeated, this time giving twelve hours for obedience and
adding excommunication to the fine. Another appeal was interposed and
the regent of the Audiencia applied for a _competencia_, or orderly
method of settling disputes, as provided in the Concordia, but
notwithstanding this the next day the excommunications were published
and the names of the collectors were affixed to the doors of the
cathedral as under the anathema of the Church.[918] The final outcome is
of little moment; the interest of the affair lies in its illustration of
the persistence of the Inquisition and the violence of its methods.

In this respect the case is not exceptional. The formularies of the
Inquisition contained a full assortment of arbitrary mandates which it
employed, in place of seeking the legal courses prescribed in the
Concordias, by which the king and the Córtes sought to preserve the
peace. One of these, drawn in the name of the tribunal of Llerena,
addressed to the governor and magistrates, recites that complaint has
been made of the imposition on officials and familiars of a new octroi
on meat and proceeds to assert that, by immemorial custom and royal
cédulas, the commissioned officials are exempted from paying any taxes,
excise, imposts and assessments, whether royal or local or otherwise;
the magistrates are commanded within two hours to desist from the
attempt, under pain of major excommunication and a fine of a hundred
thousand maravedís for the governor or his deputy and of fifty thousand
for subordinates, with the threat, in case of disobedience, of
prosecution with the full rigor of law. Moreover the secretary or notary
of the city is ordered within the two hours to bring to the tribunal and
surrender all papers concerning the assessment on the officials, under
pain of excommunication and ten thousand maravedís.[919] Such were the
peremptory commands habitually employed, the arrogance of which rendered
them especially galling.

[Sidenote: _TAXATION_]

Not only were these fulminations ready for use when the case occurred,
but there were formulas drawn up in advance to prevent any attempted
infraction of the privileges claimed by the officials. Thus this same
collection has one addressed to the corregidor and magistrates of a town
where a fair is to be held, reciting that an official of the tribunal
proposes to send thither a certain number of cattle bearing his brand,
which he swears to be of his own raising and, as he is exempt from
paying alcavala, tolls, ferriages, royal servicio and all other
assessments and dues and, as he fears that there may be an attempt to
impose them, therefore all officials and collectors are ordered, under
pain of major excommunication and two hundred ducats, to abstain from
all such attempts, with threats of further punishment in case of
disobedience.[920] The enormous advantage which the official thus
possessed is plain, as well as the door which it opened to fraud. That
the claim was groundless appears by a memorial presented to the Suprema
in 1623, in response to a call by Inquisitor-general Pacheco on his
colleagues for suggestions as to the better government and improvement
of the Inquisition--a remarkable paper to which reference will
frequently be made hereafter. On this point it states that, in some
tribunals, the officials are exempted from paying the alcavala on the
products of their estates, while in others they are not. In some, a
portion of the officials have dexterously secured exemption, while
others have been compelled to pay, by judicial decision, as there is no
basis for such claims. If there is no right or privilege of exemption,
it is not seen how the officials can conscientiously escape payment, or
how the inquisitors can defend them in evading it, besides the numerous
suits thence arising which occupy the time of the tribunals. To cure
this it is suggested that the king grant exemptions to all, for there
are not more than two or three in each tribunal to be thus
benefited.[921] This suggestion was not adopted, but the claim was
persisted in with its perpetual exasperation and multiplicity of

The large numbers of the unsalaried officials, especially the familiars,
rendered the question of their exemption of considerably greater
importance. They had no claim to it, but they were persistently
endeavoring to establish the right and for the most part they were
supported by the tribunals in the customary arbitrary fashion. In the
futile Concordia of Catalonia in 1599, it was provided that levies and
executions for all taxes and imposts could be made on familiars and
commissioners by the ordinary officers of justice. In the memorial to
Clement VIII asking for the disallowance of this Concordia, the Suprema
proved learnedly, by a series of canons from the fourth Council of
Lateran down, that the cruce-signati (whom it claimed to correspond with
the modern familiars) were exempt. It even had the audacity to cite the
Concordia of 1514, which in reality denied their exemption, and it
assumed with equal untruth that this was the universal custom in
Spain.[922] Yet, in a consulta of December 30, 1633, the Suprema tacitly
excluded the unsalaried officials when it argued that there were not,
exclusive of ecclesiastics, more than two hundred officials in Spain
entitled to the exemption.[923]

[Sidenote: _TAXATION_]

Still, the Inquisition fought the battle for the unsalaried officials
with as much vigor as for the salaried. In 1634 the levying of a few
reales on a familiar of Vicalvero, on the occasion of the voyage to
Barcelona of the Infante Fernando, was resisted with such violence by
the tribunal of Toledo, that finally the king had to intervene,
resulting in the banishment and deprival of temporalities of a clerical
official and the summoning to court of the senior inquisitor.[924] In
1636, Philip IV, to meet the extravagant outlays on the palace of Buen
Retiro, levied a special tax on all the towns of the district of Madrid.
In Vallecas the quota was assessed on the inhabitants, among whom was a
familiar who refused to pay, when the local alcaldes levied upon his
property. He appealed to the Suprema which referred the matter to the
tribunal of Toledo and it arrested the alcaldes and condemned them in
heavy penalties. Then the Alcaldes de Casa y Corte, the highest criminal
court, intervened and arrested the familiar, whereupon the Suprema twice
sent to the _Sala de los Alcaldes_, declaring them to be excommunicated,
but the bearer of the censure was refused audience. On this the Suprema,
with the assent of the Council of Castile, sent a cleric to arrest the
alcaldes and convey them out of the kingdom, and on March 12th, in all
the churches of Madrid, they were published as excommunicate and subject
to all the penalties of the bull _in Coena Domini_.[925] What was the
outcome of this the chronicler fails to inform us, but the Council of
Castile took a different view of the question when, in 1639, one of its
members, Don Antonio Valdés, who had been sent to Extremadura as
commissioner to raise troops, was publicly excommunicated by the
tribunal of Llerena because, in assessing contributions for that
purpose, he had not exempted its officials and familiars. The Council
thereupon appealed to Philip, who ordered the decree expunged from the
records and that a copy of the royal order should be posted in the
secretariate of the tribunal.[926]

Yet it was about this time that the claim in behalf of unsalaried
officials seems to have been abandoned, for, in 1636, 1643 and 1644 the
Suprema issued repeated injunctions that in the existing distress the
royal imposts and taxes must be paid. In 1646 it ordered the tribunal of
Valencia not to defend two familiars in resisting payment and in the
same year the Córtes of Aragon gained a victory which subjected them to
all local charges.[927]

With the advent of the Bourbons the salaried officials found a change in
this as in so much else. In the financial exigencies of the War of
Succession they were subjected to repeated levies. Philip V called upon
them for five per cent. of their salaries and then for ten per cent. to
which they were forced to submit. In 1712 a general tax was laid of a
doubloon per hearth, which was assessed in each community according to
the wealth of the individual. There were no exemptions and appeals were
heard only by the provincial superintendents of the revenue. The sole
concession obtained by the Suprema was that, where officials of the
Inquisition were concerned, the local tribunal could name an assessor to
sit with the superintendent and it warned the tribunals that any
interference with the collection would be repressed with the utmost
severity.[928] Salaries, however, were held to be subject only to
demands from the crown for, when Saragossa in 1727 endeavored to include
them in an assessment for local taxation, Philip, in response to an
appeal from the Suprema, decided that those of the Inquisition, in
common with other tribunals, should be exempt, but that real and
personal property, including trade, belonging to officials, should be
held liable to the tax.[929]

Towards the close of the eighteenth century various documents show that
all ideas of resistance and all pleas of exemption had been abandoned.
The Holy Office submitted to ordinary and extraordinary exactions and
the Suprema warned the tribunals that the assessments were wholly in the
hands of the royal officers and that it had no cognizance of the matter.
The calls were frequent and heavy, as when, in 1794, four per cent. was
levied on all salaries of over eight hundred ducats, and three months
later a demand was made of one-third of the fruits of all benefices and
prebends, which was meekly submitted to and statements were obediently
rendered.[930] Under the Restoration, the Inquisition was less
tractable. In 1818 an incometax was levied and was imposed on all
salaries, including those of the Suprema, which at once prepared for
resistance. There seems to have been a prolonged struggle with a
successful result for, on November 17th, it issued a circular enclosing
a royal order which conceded exemption.[931]

       *       *       *       *       *

The exemption from taxation, which included import and export dues or
merchandise and provisions required for officials and prisoners, led to
the claim of other privileges and to not a few abuses. It was not
confined to sea-ports and frontier towns, for the jealous particularism
of the kingdoms, dynastically united, kept up their antagonistic policy
towards each other and intercourse between them was subjected to
regulations similar to those of foreign trade. The exemption from these,
as well as from the octroi duties of the towns, was a most important
privilege, capable of being turned to account in many ways besides
diminishing the expenses of the officials.

[Sidenote: _CUSTOMS DUTIES_]

We have seen that Ferdinand, in 1508, prohibited the issue of orders to
pass goods free, but nevertheless it continued. When, in 1540, Blas
Ortiz went to take possession of his office as inquisitor of Valencia,
the Suprema furnished him with a pass addressed to all customs officials
permitting him to cross the frontiers with three horses and four
pack-mules; he could be required to swear that what he carried was his
private property and was not for sale, but all further interference was
hidden under pain of excommunication and a hundred ducats.[932] It was
not only on such occasions, however, that the customhouses were thus
eluded. Before the introduction of regular posts, the constant
communications between the tribunals and with the Suprema were carried
by couriers or by muleteers, and the mysterious secrecy which shrouded
all the operations of the Holy Office furnished an excuse for preventing
any risk that these sacred packages should be examined. All bearers of
letters therefore, even when they had loaded mules, were furnished with
passes forbidding, under excommunication and fine, any unpacking or
investigation of what they carried.[933] The facilities thus offered for
contraband trade are obvious and their value can only be appreciated
through a knowledge of the elaborate system of import and export duties
and prohibitions of import and export which characterize the policy of
the period.[934] Complaints were fruitless, for when the Council of
Hacienda issued letters against certain familiars in the Canaries,
detected in importing prohibited goods, Philip II, February 11, 1593,
ordered the letters to be recalled and that no more should be

There were few things concerning which there was more jealousy than the
transfer of grain from one Spanish kingdom to another, and when it was
permitted there were duties, either import or export or perhaps both.
Deficient harvests, in one province or another, were not infrequent and
the tribunals were constantly seeking special relief by obtaining
permits to violate the laws, or by violating the laws without permits.
Many instances of this could be cited, but it will suffice to recount
the experience of the Valencia tribunal in endeavoring to obtain wheat
from Aragon. For this it had special facilities, for the Aragonese
districts of Teruel and Albarracin were subject to it, but, on the other
hand, Aragon was especially firm in prohibiting the exportation of
wheat. In 1522 the tribunal undertook to bring some wheat from Aragon
and threatened the frontier officials with excommunication if they
should interfere. In spite of this they detained it, when the inquisitor
published the censures and imprisoned a guard whom he caught, whereupon
the Aragonese Diputados remonstrated, saying that if the emperor or pope
wanted wheat from Aragon he applied for licence, and begging the
inquisitor to keep within his jurisdiction and release the guard. Then
an accommodation was reached and the tribunal was permitted to bring in
thirty cahizes (about one hundred bushels), on condition of removing any
excommunication that might exist, but it repudiated its side of the
agreement and summoned the officials to appear and receive penance. This
exhausted the patience of the Diputados; they ordered the wheat to be
stopped or, if it had gone forward to be followed and captured with the
mules bearing it; the inquisitor might do what he pleased, but they
would employ all the forces of the kingdom and enforce respect for the
laws. The position in which the inquisitor had placed himself was so
untenable that the inquisitor-general issued an order forbidding
tribunals to take anything out of Aragon in violation of the


The effect of this rebuff was evanescent. The tribunal persisted and by
false pretences established a claim which, in 1591, the Suprema warned
it to use with moderation as the Council of Aragon was making complaint.
As usual no attention was paid to this and, in 1597, Philip II was
compelled to interfere because the tribunal was issuing to excess
letters authorizing the export of wheat from Teruel--an abuse which was
doubtless abundantly profitable.[937] If this brought any amendment it
was transient. On June 16, 1606, the Diputados represented to the
tribunal that they were bound by their oaths of office, under pain of
excommunication, to enforce the laws prohibiting the export of wheat;
that, in spite of these laws, large quantities were carried to Valencia,
to the destruction and total ruin of the land, by individuals armed with
licences issued by the tribunal, wherefore they prayed that no more
licences be issued. No attention was paid to this and on January 8,
1607, they wrote again, stating that the abuse was increasing and that
they must appeal to the king and the Suprema for its suppression. This
brought an answer to the effect that the tribunal was more moderate than
it had previously been and would continue to be so as it would find
convenient, without prejudice to the rights conceded to it by the royal
cédulas and, as it was occupied in the service of God, it could
reasonably exercise those rights. The asserted rights under which it had
so long nullified the laws of Aragon were a conscious fraud for, when it
complained to the Suprema of the interference of the Diputados with its
immemorial privilege and enclosed the royal cédula conferring it, the
Suprema pointed out that this referred only to Castile and not to
Aragon; the complaints of the Diputados had been listened to and all
that could be done was to invoke the good offices of the Saragossa
tribunal to obtain permission to get fifteen hundred bushels per annum.
The Saragossa inquisitors willingly lent their aid, but in vain. They
wrote, June 6, 1608, that they had brought to bear all their influence
on the Diputados who declared that the _fuero_ prohibiting the export of
grain was too strict for them to violate it. A correspondence ensued
with the Suprema which ordered the tribunal, February 8, 1610, to
abstain, as previously ordered, but if, in any year, there should be
special necessity, it might report the quantity required when
instructions would be given. This imposed silence on it until 1618, when
another attempt was made to overcome the obstinacy of the Diputados; it
had abstained, the tribunal said, for some years from issuing licences,
in consequence of the great abuses and excesses of those to whom they
were granted, but now the sterility of the land causes great
inconveniences and it asks that the fruits of its prebends in Aragon and
its rents be invested in wheat allowed to be exported. The Diputados
however wisely refused to open the door; the law to which they had sworn
imposed heavy penalties for its infraction and they were compelled to
refuse. This was probably effectual, as far as concerned Aragon, for we
happen to find the tribunal, in 1631, obtaining from the king licence to
import two hundred and fifty bushels from Castile.[938]



This narrative is instructive in more ways than one. The pretence of
necessity in the service of God was as fraudulent as the claims put
forward. The whole business was purely speculative and the licences were
doubtless sold to the highest bidder through all these years. The
Valencian tribunal was at no time in need of wheat from Aragon or
Castile, for it had ample privileges at home for all its wants and it
was working these local privileges for a profit to some one. Among other
public-spirited acts of Ximenes was the founding, in 1512, of an
_alhondiga_, or public granary, in Toledo so that, as we are told in
1569, in times of scarcity the citizens could procure supplies at
moderate prices.[939] It was probably owing to this that other cities,
including Valencia, formed establishments of the kind, monopolizing the
traffic in wheat, to which the citizens resorted day by day for their
provision. When a loss occurred in the business, from a surplus over the
demand or from spoiling of the grain, it was assessed upon the citizens,
under the name of _pan asegurado_, but, in 1530, the magistrates
relieved the officials of the tribunal from sharing this burden and the
exemption is enumerated, in 1707, as still among its privileges.[940]
Another privilege, which it shared with the viceroy and the archbishop,
was that the baker who served it was the second one allowed every
morning to enter the granary and select a sack of wheat (_trigo fuerte_)
of five and a half bushels and every week a _cahiz_ (3-1/2 bushels) of
_trigo candeal_, without payment save a small tax known as _murs y
valls_--evidently for the maintenance of the city defences. This he
baked and distributed the bread among the officials and to the prison,
in allotted portions, and what was over he sold--showing that the
tribunal not only got its wheat gratuitously but more than it needed, to
somebody's profit. The amount must have been considerable, for the
bakers complained of the unfair competition of the favored baker and, in
1609, the city endeavored to put an end to the abuse, but without
success. The matter slumbered until 1627, when the city obtained a royal
cédula abolishing the privilege of taking the wheat, but obedience to
this was refused because it had been issued without preliminary notice
to the other side and without a junta or conference between the Suprema
and the Council of Aragon. Then the city ordered the baker no longer to
go to the granary for wheat and the aggrieved Suprema complained loudly
to the king, urging him to consider the services to God and the tonsure
of the inquisitors and not to allow these holy labors to be interrupted
by the necessity of going personally to the granary. To this Philip
replied by ordering the fueros to be observed, which was virtually a
confirmation of his cédula, but this seems to have been similarly
disregarded, for, in 1628 we find the city again endeavoring to put an
end to the collateral abuse of the sale of the surplus bread and the
tribunal busily engaged in gathering testimony to prove that this had
publicly been the custom from time immemorial. In proving this, however,
it also proved unconsciously how fraudulent had been the claim that it
had been in need of wheat from Aragon.[941]

This commercial development of the Inquisition led it to utilize its
exemption from taxation and octroi duties by opening shops for the
necessaries of life, causing violent quarrels with the cities whose
revenues were impaired and whose laws were ostentatiously disregarded.
Among a number of cases of this in the records, a series of occurrences
in Saragossa will illustrate this phase of the activity of the Holy
Office. A large part of the local revenues of the city was derived from
a monopoly of wine, meal and provisions and no citizen was allowed to
bring these articles within the gates. The Aljafería, occupied by the
tribunal, was situated a few hundred feet beyond the walls; the
inquisitors assumed that they were not bound by the municipal
regulations; they introduced what they pleased into the town and the
authorities complained that they maintained in the Aljafería a public
meat-market, a tavern and a shop where citizens could purchase freely to
the infinite damage of the public revenues. The Córtes of 1626 demanded
that affairs should be reduced to what they had been prior to the
troubles of 1591, when the Aljafería was garrisoned with soldiers,
giving rise to profitable trade, but the Suprema prevented the royal
confirmation of the acts of the Córtes and the matter was left open.
This led to troubles which came to a head, September 21, 1626, when a
load of wine for the tribunal on entering the city was seized under the
law by the guard and taken to the house of one of the jurados or
town-councillors. At once the inquisitors issued letters demanding its
release under pain of excommunication and a thousand ducats. The jurados
lost no time in forming the _competencia_, which, in accordance with the
existing Concordia, was the method provided for deciding such contests,
but the inquisitors refused to join in it, asserting that there could be
no competencia, as it was a matter of faith and impeding the Inquisition
in the exercise of its functions. They arrested and imprisoned one of
the guards, notwithstanding that he had letters of _manifestacion_ from
the court of the Justicia of Aragon--a species of habeas corpus of the
highest privilege in Aragon, which was traditionally venerated as the
palladium of popular liberty--and the next day they seized three more
who were likewise _manifestados_. The incensed magistrates applied to
the Justicia and to the Diputados, to release by force the prisoners
from the Aljafería and there was prospect of serious disorder. The
Governor of Aragon, however succeeded in getting himself accepted as
umpire by both sides and temporarily quieted them by the compromise that
the wagon, mules and wine should be delivered to him, that the prisoners
should be surrendered through him to the city and that the comminatory
letters should be withdrawn, all this being without prejudice to either
party. He wrote earnestly to the king, pointing out the imminent danger
of an outbreak and the necessity of a decision that should avert such
perils for the future; if the assumption that such questions were
matters of faith were admitted, the inquisitors could refuse all
competencias, which would annul the Concordia and destroy the royal
jurisdiction. The city also addressed him, saying that the inquisitors
had refused to abstain from further action pending his decision and if
these pretensions were admitted they would be unable to pay him the
servicio which had been granted.[942]

[Sidenote: _SALT AND BAKE-OVEN_]

This resulted in a compromise, agreed upon between the Suprema and the
Council of Aragon, under which the city obligated itself to supply the
tribunal with meat, wine and ice. It was impossible however to compel
the Inquisition to observe compacts. Fresh complaints arose, the nature
of which is indicated by a decree of Philip IV, June 17, 1630, requiring
the Suprema to order the inquisitors to keep to the agreement and not to
sell any portion of the provisions furnished and further to stop the
trade carried on in some little houses in the Aljafería where the
municipal supervisors could not inspect them. This resulted in a fresh
agreement of December 7, 1631, under which the city bought for three
thousand crowns the _casa de penitencia_, or prison for penitents, and
engaged to maintain in it shops to the sale of meat and ice to the
inhabitants of the Aljafería at the prices current in the town.[943]

Probably this quieted the matter, but before long the irrepressible
inquisitors started another disturbance. The salt-works of Remolinos and
el Castellon belonged to the royal patrimony and were farmed out under
condition that no other salt should be sold or used in Saragossa and
some other places under heavy fines. To enforce this there were
commissioners empowered to investigate all suspected places, even
churches not being exempt. In 1640 a party in the city was found to be
selling salt and confessed that he obtained it from the gardener of the
Aljafería. The commissioner, Baltasar Peralta, went there with a
scrivener and in the gardener's cottage they found two sacks, one empty,
the other nearly full of salt, with a half-peck measure. They announced
the penalty to the gardener's wife and proceeded to enforce it in the
customary manner by seizing pledges--in the present case, three horses.
The inquisitor, who had doubtless been sent for, came as they were
leading the horses away, forced the surrender of the horses and salt and
told them that they should deem themselves lucky if they were not thrown
in prison. Thereupon the royal advocate-fiscal of Aragon, Adrian de
Sada, reported the case to the king, adding that it was learned that the
coachman of one of the inquisitors was selling salt from the salt-works
of Sobradiel. He pointed out that, if the servants of the Inquisition
could sell salt freely and the royal officials be deterred by threats
from investigation, the revenue would be seriously impaired, for no one
would venture to farm the salt-works, and he asked for instructions
before resorting to proceedings which might disturb the public peace, as
had happened on previous occasions. The matter was referred to the
Council of Aragon, which advised the king to issue imperative commands
that the inquisitors should not obstruct the detection and punishment of
frauds, for their cognizance in no way pertained to the Holy

The Saragossa tribunal had a still more prolonged and bitter dispute
with the city over the bake-oven of the Aljafería. This belonged to the
crown and, at some time prior to 1630, Philip IV made it over to the
tribunal which was pleading poverty. Its use of the privilege soon
brought it into conflict with the city, but a complicated arrangement
respecting it was included in the agreement of December 7, 1631,
requiring the baker to purchase at least seventy bushels of wheat per
month from the public granary, with certain restrictions as to the
places whence he could procure further supplies. In 1649 we chance to
learn that the oven was farmed out for six thousand reales per annum and
in 1663, a lively conflict arose because the tribunal had granted a
lease which was not subject to the restrictions of 1631. Then again, in
1690, the trouble broke out afresh, each side accusing the other of
violating the agreement. All the authorities, from the king and viceroy
down, were invoked to settle it; there were fears of violence but, May
1, 1691, the tribunal reported to the Suprema that a compromise had been
reached on satisfactory terms.[945]

The independent spirit of Aragon caused it to suffer less from the
mercantile enterprises of the Inquisition than the more submissive
temper of Castile. In 1623 there was a flagrant case in Toledo, arising
from a butcher-shop established by the tribunal in violation of the
municipal laws. Its violent methods triumphed and Don Luis de Paredes,
an alcalde de corte, sent thither to settle the matter, was disgraced
for attempting to restrain it. This called forth an energetic protest
from the Council of Castile, which boldly told the king that he should
not shut his eyes to the fact that the inquisitors were extending their
privileges to matters beyond their competence, with such prejudice to
the public weal that they were making themselves superior to the laws,
to the government and to the royal power, trampling on the judges,
seizing the original documents, forcing them to revoke their righteous
acts, arresting their officials and treating them as heretics because
they discharged their duty.[946]


In procuring provisions, whether for consumption or sale, besides the
freedom from local imposts, the Inquisition had the further advantage of
employing coercive methods on unwilling vendors and of disregarding
local regulations and prohibitions. As early as 1533 the Aragonese, at
the Córtes of Monzon, took the alarm and petitioned that the statutes of
the towns, when short of bread-stuffs and provisions, should be binding
on officials of the Inquisition, to which the emperor's reply was the
equivocating one customary when evading confirmation.[947] The
significance of this is manifested by a _carta acordada_ of 1540,
authorizing the tribunals to get wheat in the villages for their
officials and prisoners and, if the local magistrates interfere, to
coerce them with excommunication. Yet inquisitorial zeal in using this
permission sometimes overstepped the bounds and, in this same year, the
Suprema had occasion to rebuke a tribunal which had issued orders to
furnish it with wheat under pain of a hundred lashes, for it was told
that, in rendering such extra-judicial sentences, it was exceeding its
jurisdiction.[948] How bravely the Suprema itself overcame all such
scruples was manifest when laws of maximum prices, and the heavy
discount on the legal-tender spurious vellon coinage, rendered holders
of goods unwilling to part with them at the legal rates. It issued,
February 14, 1626, to its alcalde, Pedro de Salazar, an order to go to
any places in the vicinage and embargo sheep and whatever else he deemed
necessary, sufficient for the maintenance of the households of the
inquisitor-general and of the members and officials, paying therefore at
the rates fixed by law, to effect which he was empowered to call for aid
on all royal justices, who were required to furnish all necessary aid
under penalty of major excommunication _latæ sententiæ_ and five hundred
ducats. So again, on April 11, 1630, Salazar was ordered to go anywhere
in the kingdom and seize six bushels of wheat, in baked bread, for the
same households, paying for it at the established price, and all
officials, secular, ecclesiastical and inquisitorial, were required to
assist him under the same penalties.[949] This was an organized raid on
all the bakeries of Madrid, and Salazar was more scrupulous than the
average official of the time if he did not turn an honest penny by
taking bread on his own account at the legal rate and selling it at the
current one.[950]

The tribunal of Valencia enjoyed another privilege in the important
matter of salt, the royal monopoly of which rendered it so costly to the
ordinary consumer. Every year the tribunal issued an order to the
farmers of the salt-works, commanding them, under pain of
excommunication and fifty ducats, to deliver to the receiver of
confiscations twelve cahizes (about forty-two bushels) of refined salt,
at the price of eight reales the cahiz, and the custom-house officials
were summoned, under the same penalties, to let it pass without
detention or trouble for the service of God. The salt was duly
apportioned among the officials at this trivial price, each inquisitor
getting four bushels down to the messengers who received two-thirds of a
bushel, and even _jubilado_ officials had their portion. When or how
this originated is unknown; in 1644 it seems established as of old date
and it continued until 1710, when the new dynasty brought it to a sudden
conclusion. The Council of Hacienda reported it to the king, as though
it were a novelty just discovered, pointing out that the eight reales
were less than the cost of transport from the works to the magazines;
that the manufacture was a monopoly of the regalías and the price
charged was in no respect a tax or impost, but was regulated by the
necessities of the national defence; that no other tribunal in Spain,
secular or ecclesiastic, made such a demand, while the publication of
censures against royal officials was dangerous in those calamitous
times. This aroused Philip, who ordered a prompt remedy. The Suprema no
longer ventured an opposition or remonstrance, but wrote immediately to
Valencia expressing its surprise; the demand must be withdrawn at once;
if any censures had been published they must be revoked and no such
demonstration should have been made without previous consultation.[951]

It would be superfluous to adduce further examples of the manner in
which the tribunals abused their power for unlawful gains and benefits,
and we can readily conceive the exasperation thus excited, even among
those most zealous in the extermination of heresy.

       *       *       *       *       *


Few of the privileges claimed by the Inquisition gave rise to more
bickering and contention than its demand that all connected with it
should be exempt from the billeting of troops and the furnishing of
_bagages_ or beasts of burden for transportation. The subject is one of
minor importance, but it furnishes so typical an illustration of
inquisitorial methods that it is worthy of examination somewhat in
detail. Under the old monarchy the _yantar_ or _droit de gîte_, or right
to free quarters, was an insufferable burden. Almost every Córtes of
Leon and Castile, from the twelfth century complained of it
energetically, for it was exercised, not only by the royal court in its
incessant peregrinations, but by nobles and others who could enforce it,
and it was accompanied by spoliation of every kind, while the
impressment of beasts of burden was an associated abuse and even the
lands of the Church were not exempt.[952] The more independent Aragonese
were unwilling to submit to it, and a fuero of the Córtes of Aleañiz, in
1436, provided that the courtiers and followers of the king should pay
all Christians in whose houses they lodged.[953] When the Inquisition
was founded and was to a great extent peripatetic, its officials
apparently claimed free quarters, for a clause in the Instructions of
1498 provides that where a tribunal was set up they should pay for their
accommodations and provide their own beds and necessaries.[954] When
travelling, a decree of Ferdinand, October 21, 1500, repeated in 1507,
1516, 1518, 1532, and 1561, provided that they should have gratuitous
lodging and beds, with food at moderate prices.[955] The frequent
repetition of this indicates that it aroused opposition and, in 1601,
when the inquisitor of Valencia was ordered to go at once on a
visitation of Tortosa, he was told not to oppress the city by demanding
free quarters but to lodge decently in a monastery or in the house of
some official.[956]

Furnishing free quarters however was different from enjoying them. The
old abuses gradually disappeared with the settled habitations for kings
and tribunals, but the change in military organization, with standing
armies, gave rise to others which, if more occasional, were also more
oppressive--the billeting of troops. When Louis XIV resorted to the
_dragonnades_--the quartering of dragoons on Huguenot families--as an
effective coercion to conversion, it shows how severe was the
infliction. The rebellion of Catalonia, in 1640, had for its proximate
cause the outrages committed by troops quartered for the winter in
places insufficient for their support, culminating in their burning the
churches of Riu de Arenas and Montiró.[957] The massacre in Saragossa,
December 28, 1705, of the French troops in the service of Philip V, had
the same origin.[958]

As the pay of Spanish armies was habitually in arrears and the
commissariat system imperfect, it can be realized how valuable was the
privilege of exemption from entertaining these uninvited guests and
providing them with transportation when they departed. In the war with
Portugal, in 1666, Galicia suffered so seriously that we are told a
company of cavalry was worth to its captain two thousand ducats in
ransoms, from outrage.[959] That the Inquisition should claim such
exemption was to be expected, for it was one of the privileges of
hidalgos, but the earliest allusion to it that I have met occurs in
1548, when Inquisitor-general Valdés ordered that no billets must be
given on houses occupied by inquisitors or officials, even though not
their own or during their absence, for their clothes were in them.[960]
What authority he had to issue such a command it might be difficult to
say, but it indicates that the exemption was an innovation and, as it
refers only to salaried officials, it infers that the numerous
unsalaried ones were not entitled to the privilege, which is further
proved by the fact that, in the Castilian Concordia of 1553, regulating
the exemptions of familiars, there is no allusion to billeting. The
action of Valdés, however, settled the matter as far as the salaried
officials were concerned and even the Aragonese Córtes of 1646, which
greatly limited the claims of the Inquisition, admitted that they had
the same privileges as hidalgos.[961]


The determination with which this was enforced is seen in a case in
1695, when Inquisitor Sanz y Múñoz of Barcelona threatened with
excommunication and a fine of two hundred libras the town-councillors of
Manlleu if they should assign quarters in a country-house belonging to
the portero of the Inquisition, although it was occupied by a peasant
who worked on the land. The councillors appealed for protection to the
Audiencia, or royal court, which invited the inquisitor to settle the
matter amicably in the prescribed form of a competencia, but he treated
the overture with such contempt that he promptly issued a second
mandate, under the same penalties, and summoned the councillors to
appear before him as having incurred them. The Audiencia made another
attempt at pacification to which he replied that he proposed at once to
declare the councillors as publicly excommunicated. The Diputados of
Catalonia thereupon protested vigorously to the king that, while all the
rest of the people were patriotically united in aiding the war, and the
gentry had voluntarily foregone their privilege of exemption, the
officials and familiars of the Inquisition were exciting tumults and
riots in their efforts to extend exemptions to those who had no

The chief trouble arose with the unsalaried officials, especially the
multitudinous familiars, who had no claim to exemption. The Barcelona
tribunal seems to have started it, for one of the complaints made to de
Soto Salazar, on his visitation of 1567, was that the inquisitors
forbade the quartering of soldiers in the houses of familiars; in his
report he suggested that it should be done when necessary and the
Aragonese Concordia of 1568 followed this idea by prohibiting
inquisitors to support familiars in refusing to receive men assigned to
them when there were no other houses to receive them.[963] There was
evidently no recognized exemption but a steady effort to establish one,
while the familiars complained that the hatred felt for them led to
their being oppressed with billets when others went free. To remedy this
Philip II, in a cédula of February 21, 1576, ordered that no
discrimination should be made against them, but that they should be
placed on an equality with justicias and regidores who were not called
upon to furnish quarters until all other houses were occupied.
Complaints continued and he advanced a step, February 22, 1579, by
decreeing that for three years, in towns of upwards of five hundred
hearths, familiars should be exempt from billeting and furnishing
transportation; in smaller towns, one-half should be exempted and where
there was but one he should be exempt. This was renewed frequently for
three years at a time and as frequently was overlooked, but this made
little difference for we are told by an experienced inquisitor that it
was always assumed to be in force and, when a familiar complained of a
billet, the tribunal would issue a mandate ordering his relief within
three hours under a penalty of 100,000 mrs.; if the exemption was in
force, a copy of the cédula was included in the mandate, if it was not
it still was quoted as existing in the archives of the tribunal.[964]

There were few questions which gave rise to more embroilment than this.
Both sides were unscrupulous; the privilege excited ill-will, it was
evaded by the authorities wherever possible and the tribunals were kept
busy in defending their familiars with customary violence. At length, in
1634, the necessities of the state were pleaded by Philip IV as his
reason for withdrawing all exemptions--a measure which he was obliged to
repeat more than once.[965] It is somewhat remarkable therefore that,
when the Córtes of Aragon, in 1646, succeeded in greatly abridging the
privileges of familiars, they were included with the salaried officials
in the exemption from billets. This did not avail them much for we are
told that, in the changes effected by the Córtes, the terror felt for
the Inquisition was so greatly diminished that there was scant ceremony
in imposing on its officials; that the familiars were singled out to
have two or three soldiers quartered on them and when they complained
the tribunal ventured no more than to instruct its commissioner to use
persuasion.[966] Catalonia was not so fortunate and strife continued
with the usual bitterness. As a frontier province, in war time it was
occupied with troops and there were abundant opportunities for friction.
In 1695 the Diputados complained that, as the only mode of escaping
billets was to become a familiar, many had themselves appointed,
although there was already an innumerable multitude, and that even when
the local magistrates were compelled to receive soldiers, the familiars
refused, in contempt of the royal orders.[967]


The War of Succession brought fresh necessities and the change of
dynasty was unfavorable to the Inquisition in this as in so much else. A
royal decree of February 11, 1706, abolished all exemptions but, as a
favor to the Inquisition, four of its officials were excepted in towns
and twenty in cities that were seats of tribunals. The Suprema accepted
this cheerfully but, when a decree of January 19, 1712, revoked all
exemptions, it remonstrated and was told that, while the king recognized
the claims of the Inquisition to all the privileges granted by his
predecessors, the existing urgency required the withdrawal of all
exemptions and, as the law was absolute, he could make no exceptions.
Although this covered the salaried officials, it seems to have been the
familiars who complained the loudest; possibly now that the tribunals
could no longer protect them they were exposed to special
discrimination. It was a question of money, however, rather than of
hardship, for a system of composition had been developed under which by
paying the _cuartel_ or _utensilio_--an assessment proportioned to the
wealth of the individual--the billet was escaped.[968] When the urgency
of immediate peril was passed these decrees were either withdrawn or
became obsolete. The claim of exemption revived and with it the active
efforts of the tribunals to protect those whose exemptions were
disregarded and to punish the officials who disregarded them.[969]

In 1728 Philip V made a well-intentioned attempt to relieve the
oppression of the poor arising from the numerous classes of officials
who claimed exemption from the common burdens, including the billeting
of troops. As for the familiars, he says, who all claim exemptions and
give rise to disturbances, attacks on the local magistrates, with
excommunications and other penalties, and perpetual competencias, all
this must cease. Yet he admits their exemption and only insists that it
must be confined to the number allowed by the Concordia of 1553; that
limitation had never been observed and the inquisitors had appointed
large numbers in excess of it, in spite of perpetual remonstrance, and
Philip now ordered that tribunals should not issue certificates to more
than the legal number and should not take proceedings against the local
magistrates.[970] As usual the royal orders were disregarded. The
tribunal of Valencia threatened with excommunication and fine the
magistrates of Játiva and San Mateo, at the instance of some familiars
on whom soldiers had been quartered, and, on learning this, Philip
addressed the Suprema in 1729 stating that the records showed that
familiar were entitled to no exemption; even if they were, the tribunal
had exceeded its powers in employing obstreperous methods in defiance of
the royal decrees. There must be no competencia; the Valencia tribunal
must be notified not to exceed its jurisdiction and the Suprema itself
must observe the royal orders. After the delay of a month, the Suprema
forwarded the royal letter to Valencia, sullenly telling the tribunal to
report what could be done and not to act further without orders.[971]

For two centuries the Inquisition had been accustomed to obey or to
disregard the royal decrees at its pleasure and to tyrannize over the
local authorities. The habit was not easily broken and it was hard to
conform itself to the new order of things. A formulary of about 1740
contains a letter to be sent to magistrates granting billets on
familiars, couched in the old arrogant and peremptory terms and
threatening excommunication and a fine of two hundred ducats. Familiars,
it says, are not to furnish quarters and beasts of burden, except in
extreme urgency when no exemptions are permitted, and this it assumes to
be in accordance with the royal decrees, including the latest one of
November 3, 1737.[972] I can find no trace of a decree of 1737 and we
may assume that it was this obstinacy of the Inquisition that induced
Philip, in 1743, to reissue his decree of 1728 with an expression of
regret at its inobservance and the disastrous results which had ensued;
he added that, when the houses of the non-exempt were insufficient for
quartering troops, they could be billeted on hidalgos and nobles.[973]

[Sidenote: _BEARING ARMS_]

The Inquisition still adhered to its claims, but Carlos III taught it to
abandon its comminatory style. When, in 1781, the authorities of
Castellon de la Plana billeted troops on familiars, the Valencia
tribunal adopted the more judicious method of persuading the
captain-general that they were to be classed with hidalgos and he issued
orders to that effect. This did not please Carlos III, who brushed aside
the claim to exemption by a peremptory order that the familiars of
Castellon de la Plana should subject themselves to the local government
in the matters of billets and that there should be no change until he
should issue further commands.[974]

This would seem in principle to abrogate all claims to exemption, but
Spanish tenacity still held fast to what it had claimed and, in 1800,
when José Poris, a familiar of Alcira, complained that the governor had
quartered on him an officer of the regiment of Sagunto, the Valencia
tribunal took measures for his relief.[975] The times were adverse to
privilege, however, and in 1805 the Captain-general of Catalonia sent a
circular to all the towns stating that familiars were not exempt. The
magistrates accordingly compelled them to furnish quarters and beasts of
burden, and, when the tribunal complained to the captain-general and
adduced proofs in support of its claims, he responded with the decrees
of 1729 and 1743, which he assumed to have abrogated the exemption and
he continued to coerce the familiars. The same process was going on in
Valencia and, when that tribunal applied to Barcelona for information
and learned the result, it ordered its familiars to submit under
protest. Then followed a royal cédula of August 20, 1807, limiting
strictly what exemptions were still allowed; the Napoleonic invasion
supervened and under the Restoration I have met with no trace of their

       *       *       *       *       *

Another privilege which occasioned endless debate and contention was the
right of officials and familiars to bear arms, especially prohibited
ones. This was a subject which, during the middle ages, had taxed to the
utmost the civilizing efforts of legislators, while the power assumed by
inquisitors to issue licences to carry arms, in contravention of
municipal statutes, was the source of no little trouble, especially in
Italian cities.[977] The necessity of restriction, for the sake of
public peace, was peculiarly felt in Spain, where the popular temper and
the sensitiveness as to the _pundonor_ were especially provocative of
deadly strife.[978] It would be impossible to enumerate the endless
series of decrees which succeeded each other with confusing rapidity and
the repetition of which, in every variety of form, shows conclusively
how little they were regarded and how little they effected. Particular
energy was directed against _armas alevosas_--treacherous weapons--which
could be concealed about the person. In the Catalan Córtes of 1585,
Philip II denounced arquebuses, fire-locks and more especially the small
ones known as pistols, as unworthy the name of arms, as treacherous
weapons useless in war and provocative of murder, which had caused great
damage in Catalonia and had been prohibited in his other kingdoms. They
were therefore forbidden, not only to be carried but even to be
possessed at home and in secret, and against this no privilege should
avail, whether of the military class or official or familiar of the
Inquisition or by licence of the king or captain-general, under penalty
for those of gentle blood of two years' exile, for plebeians of two
years' galley-service, and for Frenchmen or Gascons of death, without
power of commutation by any authority. Three palms, or twenty-seven
inches of barrel, was the minimum length allowed for fire-arms in
Catalonia and four palms in Castile. Philip IV, in 1663, even prohibited
the manufacture of pistols and deprived of exemptions and fuero those
who carried them, while as for poniards and daggers, Philip V, in 1721,
threatened those who bore them with six years of presidio for nobles and
six years of galleys for commoners.[979]

[Sidenote: _BEARING ARMS_]

These specimens of multitudinous legislation, directed against arms of
all kinds, enable us to appreciate how highly prized was the privilege
of carrying them. In an age of violence it was indispensable for defence
and was equally desired as affording opportunities for offence. That the
Inquisition should claim it for those in its service was inevitable and
it had the excuse, at least during the earlier period, that there was
danger in the arrest and transportation of prisoners and in the enmities
which it provoked, although this latter danger was much less than it
habitually claimed. The old rules, moreover, were well known under which
no local laws were allowed to interfere with such privilege,[980] and
the Inquisition had scarce been established in Valencia when the
question arose through the refusal of the local authorities to allow
its ministers to carry arms. Ferdinand promptly decided the matter in
its favor by an order, March 22, 1486 that licences should be issued to
all whom the inquisitors might name--for the time had not yet come in
which the inquisitors themselves issued licences.[981] Probably
complaints arose as to the abuse of the privilege for the instructions
of 1498, which were principally measures of reform, provided that, in
cities, where bearing arms was forbidden, no official should carry them
except when accompanying an inquisitor or alguazil.[982] As indicated by
this, policy on the subject was unsettled and it so remained for a
while. November 14, 1509, Ferdinand ordered that the ministers of the
Sicilian Inquisition should not be deprived of their arms; June 2, 1510,
he thanked the Valencia tribunal for providing that its officials should
go unarmed, for, by the grace of God, there is no one now who impedes or
resists the Inquisition and, if there were, the royal officials or he in
person will provide for it; then, in about three months, on August 28th,
he wrote to the Governor of Valencia that the salaried officials of the
tribunal, with their servants and forty familiars should enjoy all the
prerogatives of the Holy Office and were not to be deprived of their

We see in all this traces of general popular opposition to exempting
inquisitorial officials from the laws forbidding arms-bearing. This was
stimulated by the difficulty of preventing the exemptions from being
claimed by unauthorized persons without limit, leading Catalonia, in the
Concordia of 1512, to provide that officials bearing arms could be
disarmed, like other citizens, unless they could show a certificate from
the tribunal, and further that the number of familiars for the whole
principality should be reduced to thirty, except in cases of
necessity.[984] Although this Concordia was not observed,
Inquisitor-general Mercader, in his instructions of August 28, 1514,
admitted the necessity of such regulations by prohibiting the issue of
licences to bear arms; by reducing the overgrown number of familiars to
twenty-five in Barcelona and ten each in Perpignan and other towns, by
permitting the disarmament of those who could not exhibit certificates
and by endeavoring to check the fraud of lending these certificates by
requiring them to swear not to do so and keeping lists whereby they
could be identified.[985]

The right of arming its familiars, thus assumed by the Inquisition was
by no means uncontested. We have seen how the Empress Isabella when in
Valencia, in 1524, ordered the arms taken from them and broken, leading
to a protest from Inquisitor-general Manrique, who asserted this to be a
privilege enjoyed since the introduction of the Inquisition. In spite of
this Charles V, by a cédula of August 2, 1539, ordered inquisitors to
prohibit the use of arms by familiars.[986] The matter remained a
subject of contest for some years more. In 1553 there were quarrels
concerning it between the Valencia tribunal and the local authorities,
but the Concordia of 1554 admitted the right unreservedly.[987]

By this time, in fact, it was generally recognized, but this, in place
of removing a cause of discord only intensified and multiplied it. The
right to bear arms could scarce be held to include weapons which were
prohibited to all by general regulations, yet the authorities had no
jurisdiction over familiars to enforce them. Thus when flint-lock
arquebuses were prohibited and the Viceroy of Valencia included
familiars in a proclamation on the subject, in 1562, Philip II called
him to account, telling him that the order must come from the
inquisitors and, in 1575 he repeated this to the Viceroy of
Catalonia.[988] The Suprema might decide that familiars were included in
prohibitory decrees and that inquisitors must issue the necessary
orders, as it did, in 1596, with regard to one respecting daggers and in
1598 to one forbidding fire-locks and pistols at night,[989] but the
tribunals had no police to enforce these orders and, when the secular
authorities undertook to do so, inquisitors were prompt to resent it, in
their customary fashion, as a violation of the immunities of the Holy

[Sidenote: _BEARING ARMS_]

Even more fruitful of trouble was the fact that it was impossible to
make the inquisitors respect the limitations imposed by the Concordias
on the number of familiars and consequently to obey the rule of
furnishing lists of them to the authorities so that they might be known.
Appointments were lavished greatly in excess of all possible needs and
without informing the magistrates--often, indeed, without keeping
records in the archives. The familiar might or might not carry with him
the evidence of his official character but, whether he did so or not,
his arrest or disarmament was violently resented, and the ordinary
citizen when caught offending was apt to claim that he was a familiar in
hopes of being released. How exasperating to the civil authorities was
the situation may be gathered from a case occurring in Barcelona, in
1568. The veguer, on his nightly rounds, arrested Franco Foix, whom he
found armed with a coat of mail, sword, buckler and dagger. The culprit
claimed to be a familiar and the veguer obediently handed him over to
the tribunal. He proved not to be one, but, instead of returning him,
the inquisitors fined him in forty-four reales for their own benefit
(presumably as a penalty for personating an official) and restored to
him his forfeited arms.[990] When the laws were thus openly set at
defiance, conditions were eminently favorable for quarrels, even without
the violent mutual animosity everywhere existing between the tribunals
and the civil authorities; collisions were correspondingly frequent and
were fought to the bitter end.

It would be wearisome to multiply cases illustrating the various phases
of these quarrels which occupied the attention of the king and his
councils in their settlement. A single one will suffice to show the
spirit in which they were conducted on both sides. In 1620, by order of
the tribunal of Valencia, acting in its secular capacity and not in a
matter of faith, the commissioner at Játiva arrested a man and sent him
to Valencia under the customary guard of relays of familiars. One of
these named Juan López, armed with a prohibited flint-lock, was
conveying him, on February 23d, when at Catarroja, about a league from
the city, some armed alguaziles, in the service of Dr. Pedro Juan
Rejaule, a judge on the criminal side of the Audiencia, arrested him,
taking away his weapon and carrying him to Dr. Rejaule's house.
Disregarding his documents, Rejaule told him that he could not be
released without giving bail to present himself to the viceroy and, as
he was unable to furnish it he was handed as a prisoner to the local
magistrates. On learning the event the inquisitors applied to the regent
of the Audiencia who ordered the release of López, which was effected
and Rejaule visited the tribunal, admitted that he had been in error and
promised in future to observe all necessary respect. In spite of this
the inquisitors proceeded to try him for impeding the Inquisition,
ordered him to keep his house as a prison under pain of three hundred
ducats, and threw into the secret prison as though they were heretics,
the four alguaziles who had made the arrest. When notice of this was
served on Rejaule he protested that the inquisitors were not his judges
and that he would appeal, whereupon the additional indignity was
inflicted upon him of posting two guards in his house with orders to
keep him in sight.

[Sidenote: _BEARING ARMS_]

This produced a crisis. The viceroy assembled in his palace all three
_salas_ or branches of the Audiencia, where the matter was fully
discussed and it was resolved to release Rejaule and hold the two guards
as hostages for the imprisoned alguaziles. At 2 A.M. Dr. Morla went with
halberdiers furnished by the viceroy, seized and handcuffed the guards
and brought Rejaule to his brother judges. At the same time a scrivener
of the court had been sent to the inquisitor Salazar with a message from
the viceroy to the effect that, as the offence had not been in a matter
of faith, Rejaule was justiciable only by the king; if the Inquisition
held otherwise a competencia could be formed; the Audiencia had decided
that Rejaule and the alguaziles must be released and the guards be held
until this was done. The scrivener also presented a petition of appeal
to the pope, or to whomsoever was judge, and demanded _apostolos_ or
letters to that effect. To this Salazar replied in writing that the
arrests had been made for matters incident to and dependent upon affairs
of the faith, in which the Inquisition had exclusive jurisdiction and
could admit no competencia; he could say no more as to the cause of the
arrests without violating the secrecy of the Inquisition and incurring
excommunication and he begged the viceroy not to interfere in a matter
concerning so greatly the service of God and the king. At 4 A.M. the
scrivener returned with this reply to where the viceroy and judges were
waiting. At the magic word "faith," however fraudulently employed, all
opposition vanished. By six o'clock Dr. Morla had taken Rejaule back to
his house and had replaced the guards and, at the same time, the
scrivener bore to the inquisitors a note from the viceroy saying that,
as they had certified that it was a matter of faith, the Audiencia had
restored everything to its previous condition and he offered not only
not to impede the Inquisition but to show it all aid and favor.

The case was thus transferred to the court, where the Suprema on one
side and the Council of Aragon on the other, struggled for a favorable
decision from Philip III. The former evidently felt the weakness of the
claim that the faith was involved, but it argued that impeding the
Inquisition in any way conferred jurisdiction on it and Aliaga, in his
double capacity of inquisitor-general and royal confessor, added a
bitter complaint as to the manner in which the Inquisition was abused
and maltreated. To this the king replied that he wished the affair
treated with the customary moderation and mercy of the Holy Office,
especially as it was not directly a matter of faith, and whatever
sentence the Suprema resolved upon for Rejaule and the other inculpated
parties must be submitted to him before publication. Besides, he ordered
a junta of two members each of the Suprema and the Council of Aragon to
be formed and to devise a plan for the avoidance of future contention.
This assumed Rejaule's guilt and awarded the victory to the Suprema, but
it was not satisfied and presented a consulta representing the perilous
condition of the Valencia tribunal, which necessitated the punishment of
the delinquents as a warning, but Philip merely repeated his former

What was Rejaule's fate we have no means of knowing, but his career was
evidently blasted, whatever may have been the so-called mercy exhibited.
As for the perilous position of the tribunal insisted on by the Suprema,
it seems to be set forth in a Petition of the syndic of the College of
Familiars, February 25, 1616, complaining of arrests and ill-treatment
and asking the tribunal to take evidence on the subject. It accordingly
did so, but while the testimony was ample as to the existence of
ill-feeling towards the familiars, in substance it amounted only to
their being deprived at night of daggers and bucklers which were
prohibited weapons, and it does not appear that any action was taken in
consequence. Complaints continued and another petition of October 30,
1626, asked that an envoy be sent to the Suprema, for which the
familiars would defray the cost, for unless some relief was had they
would resign in a body, as their position only exposed them to wrong and
insult and their privileges were set at naught.[992]

The difficulty of enforcing the laws on the people was intensified by
the privileges claimed by the familiars. They were by no means peaceable
folk and the unprivileged class naturally regarded it as a hardship to
be restricted to the use of swords when these gentry were so much more
efficiently armed. The Suprema as a rule supported its satellites. For
ten years, from 1574, it resisted, in Aragon, the enforcement on
familiars of a royal decree against carrying prohibited weapons at
night, although the Concordia of Aragon in 1568 provided that familiars
should obey the laws respecting arms and that inquisitors should not
protect them in violations. Members of all the Royal Councils were
involved in the discussion, as though it were the weightiest affair of
state and it was not until 1584 that the Suprema was induced to issue
the necessary orders, which it was obliged to repeat in 1592.[993]

Another illustration of its attitude occurs with respect to a pragmática
of great severity against the use of fire-arms, issued by Philip III,
March 14, 1613, pronouncing the mere discharge of a weapon to be a
capital offence, whether death ensued or not. It abrogated all
privileges and exemptions and conferred on the royal courts full
jurisdiction in such cases, and all this was accepted and its observance
enjoined by the Suprema. This met with such scant obedience that the
Council of Aragon in a consulta of July 31, 1632, called the king's
attention to the evils existing from the exemption of familiars and
suggested that they should not be permitted to decline the jurisdiction
of the courts for crimes committed with fire-arms. It was doubtless in
consequence of opposition by the Suprema that it was not until September
30, 1633, that Philip IV, in a cédula addressed to the Viceroy of
Valencia, ordered that, with the assent of the Councils of Aragon and of
the Inquisition, the pragmática of 1613 must be strictly observed by
which all exemptions were disallowed and offenders were triable and
punishable by the royal courts; the Inquisition must withdraw from all
pending competencias and the cases be carried to conclusion by the
Audiencia. The Suprema must have consented unwillingly to this, for it
labored with the wavering monarch and, on November 8th, he wrote
withdrawing the cédula and ordering the suspension of all cases before
the Audiencia. A few weeks later he yielded to other influences and
annulled the last letter, but added that his orders of September 30th
must be executed impartially, for the Inquisition complained that it was
enforced only against its officials and in such case he would give it a
free hand again. December 27th the Suprema sent this to the Valencia
tribunal with formal instructions to obey it, but added a confidential
letter saying that efforts would not be relaxed to persuade the king to
remit all such cases back to them; meanwhile an agreement had been
obtained from the Council of Aragon that all sentences by the Audiencia
should be referred to it before execution and the tribunal must watch
them closely and send such reports as would enable the Suprema to obtain
favorable action on them.[994]

For this endless strife, for the habitual disregard of the laws by
familiars, the Suprema was primarily responsible. It was perfectly
acquainted with the innumerable edicts specifying prohibited weapons and
forbidding the carrying of them after night-fall; it acquiesced,
ostensibly at least, in the subjection of these offences to the royal
courts and yet it encouraged familiars in the belief that it had power
to override all laws and could confer licence to violate them. The
formula of commission which it caused to be issued to familiars
contained a clause granting them full liberty to carry arms, offensive
and defensive, publicly and secretly, by day or by night, and ordering
all secular officials to abstain from interference with them, in virtue
of holy obedience and under penalty of excommunication and of fifty
thousand maravedís applicable to the expenses of the Holy Office.[995]
It could not be fuller or more explicit; there are no exceptions as to
the character of arms or allusion to the jurisdiction in these cases
granted by the king to the royal courts. When one branch of the
government thus resolutely placed itself in opposition to the sovereign
and encouraged its subordinates to resist the laws and the constituted
authorities, peace was impossible and conflicts were inevitable. Yet the
illegality of all this was admitted when, in 1634, the familiars of
Valencia held a meeting to assess themselves for a donation to be
offered to the king, in return for a privilege to bear arms, and the
Suprema instructed the tribunal to aid the movement, and again when, in
1638, a fruitless offer was made by them of twelve thousand ducats for
the revocation of legislation on the subject.[996]

[Sidenote: _BEARING ARMS_]

To crown all this, the Suprema, in 1657, reached the audacity of arguing
that the right of familiars to bear arms was imprescriptible and could
not be abrogated by any prince, for it would impede the Inquisition in
the free exercise of its functions, wherefore it denied that any
competencia could be formed in such cases; the secular authorities had
no jurisdiction and there could not even be a discussion about their
claim to interfere.[997] Philip IV had the weakness to submit to these
extravagant claims, in 1658, and to decide that the Suprema alone had
cognizance in such matters. The case in which this occurred was that of
Jaime Espejo, alcaide of the penitential prison of Valencia, arrested
for carrying pistols and it has interest for us because in it the
inquisitor, Don Antonio de Ayala Verganza, argues away all the royal
decrees and pragmáticas as not meaning what they said and proves it by
citing a vast number of cases in which, when carried up to the king, he
overruled his own legislation, invariably deciding in favor of the
Inquisition and against his own jurisdiction. He could sometimes be
brought to issue wholesome general regulations, but, when it came to
their execution, the ever-present dread of interfering with the service
of God overwhelmed him.[998]

Yet Philip promptly reversed himself for, in a despairing effort to put
an end to these interminable quarrels, he was induced to issue a royal
letter, December 23, 1659, declaring that the cognizance of infractions
of the laws respecting prohibited arms lay with the royal jurisdiction
and that no competencias should be formed in these cases. When this
letter was alleged by the royal court, in the case then pending of
Joseph Navarro, a familiar arrested for carrying a pistol, the
Inquisition in reply airily cast aside the pragmática of 1613, and its
confirmation in 1633, by asserting that both before and after those laws
it had always exercised jurisdiction over these cases, as was notorious
to every one--which was all doubtless true. As for the recent letter of
1659, it had not been issued with the assent of the Suprema; being thus
irregularly issued it should not be regarded as valid, until the king
should be supplicated to modify it, and until this was done the accused
should be surrendered to it or he could be released under bail to both
jurisdictions.[999] The vacillating monarch probably yielded again;
whether he did so or not mattered little to the Holy Office, which
regarded his decrees so lightly. The miserable business of quarrelling
over the multiplication of the laws went on and, in 1691, Carlos II
found it necessary again to prohibit the carrying of pistols and _armas
cortas_ and to deprive offenders of their claims to jurisdiction, even
if they were familiars or salaried officials of the Inquisition.[1000]

Several cases in the earlier years of Philip V seem to indicate that
this matter was an exception to the general limitation of the privileges
of the Holy Office and that there was a tendency to admit its
claims.[1001] Their final extinction, however, was not far off. In 1748,
Fernando VI prohibited all officials of tribunals, including the
Inquisition, from carrying cut-and-thrust weapons any kind; exclusive
jurisdiction in the enforcement of this was reserved for the secular
courts and all claims to _fuero_ were abolished. He confirmed and
extended this by proclamations of 1749, 1751 and 1754, with penalties
of six years in the mines for commoners and six years service in
presidio for nobles. In another of 1757 he regretted the non-observance
of these laws and ordered their irremissible enforcement without
privilege of fuero. This legislation was supplemented by Carlos III, in
1761, who included in the prohibition all fire-arms of less than four
palms length of barrel, although he conceded to gentlemen the use of
holster pistols when on horseback but not when on mule-back.[1002] Yet
the Inquisition continued to issue the old form of commissions granting
unlimited license, until the magistrates of Seville and Alcalá la Real
refused to recognize them when, in 1777, it admitted its altered
position by a modification which granted the right to carry
non-prohibited weapons, but only when on duty for the Holy Office, and
contented itself with exhorting the secular authorities not to interfere
with this.[1003]

       *       *       *       *       *


In somewhat ludicrous contrast with the belligerent spirit, indicated by
the earnest desire to carry arms, was the claim that all connected with
the Inquisition were exempt from military service. In its relations with
the State the Holy Office recognized no duties of citizenship; it only
claimed privileges. That the salaried officials, regularly employed in
the tribunals, should enjoy such exemptions was merely in accordance
with old custom, for a law of Juan II, in 1432, specifically released
from the obligation of service nearly all officials, including even
physicians, surgeons and schoolmasters.[1004] That this should apply to
the Inquisition seems to have been assumed as a matter of course in its
early days but, in 1560, the corregidor of Córdova summoned the
officials and familiars to appear in the musters; they all claimed
exemption, when the inquisitor-general upheld the appeal of the
officials but denied that of the familiars. Similar questions arose in
Murcia in 1563 and 1575, in which a similar distinction was drawn.[1005]
In Valencia, the familiars had probably been more successful, for an
article in the Concordia of 1568 provides that they must serve their
turns in guarding the coasts and that inquisitors shall not defend them
in seeking exemptions under pretext of their office.[1006] The same
question arose in Majorca and was settled by a law providing that
familiars refusing to perform guard-duty on their appointed days could
be compelled by the royal officials.[1007] Thus by common consent at
this time salaried officials were exempted while the claims of familiars
were rejected.

In the troubles of the seventeenth century, when the very existence of
Spain was threatened, the question as to officials as well as familiars
came up again and the Suprema sought to protect both classes. In 1636
and 1638, the corregidors of various cities refused to except the
officials when making up the lists for conscription, but Philip IV
decided that they were exempt.[1008] As the danger increased, in 1640,
with the rebellions in Catalonia and Portugal, and the resources of the
kingdom were strained to the utmost, all claims were disregarded. By a
cédula of September 7, 1641, Philip declared this to be a religious war,
as the rebels were allied with nations infected with heresy. Inquisitor
general Sotomayor was required to summon all officials and familiars to
organize and serve and was clothed with power to enforce it. No protest
was made against this, for it was a financial rather than a military
move; arrangements were made to commute service for cash and the Suprema
was thus aided in meeting the royal demands for contributions.[1009]

This was only a temporary truce. Philip, in a letter of February 22,
1644, to Inquisitor-general Arce y Reynoso, reported that the attitude
of the officials had excited much dissatisfaction in Galicia; he
therefore ordered that no exemptions be admitted and no excuses be
received. To this the Suprema responded with bitter complaints that in
Saragossa the lot had fallen on a messenger of the tribunal and the
widow of a notary, who were told that they must furnish substitutes, all
of which was in violation of the privileges of the Inquisition,
crippling it in its pious labors so essential to the faith and reducing
it in popular esteem to a level with other institutions. Unstable as
usual where the Holy Office was concerned, Philip abandoned his position
and admitted that salaried officials were not liable to serve or to
furnish substitutes, which the Suprema promptly conveyed to the
tribunals, cautioning them not to employ excommunication in collisions
with the royal officials until after obtaining its permission.[1010]

Even in this hour of supreme need the liability of familiars was
contested. Philip endeavored to placate the Suprema by assigning them to
garrison duty, but it remonstrated, asserting that the Inquisition could
not perform its functions if wholly deprived of them, and the cause of
religion was higher than any other. It therefore asked that no place
should be left without one, in small towns there should be two and in
larger places four. To this Philip assented, on condition that those
exempted should contribute to those who served, but the Suprema
demurred; every one could avoid service who could pay the assessment, so
this would be giving the familiars no special privileges; there could be
no question that favors shown to the Inquisition would contribute to
success in the war, for experience had demonstrated that the more
sovereigns had fostered it the more fortunate they had been. However
just was the argument it was fruitless; Philip adhered to his decision,
but when the corresponding decrees were issued, the Council of Castile
remonstrated in its turn and the distracted monarch was involved in a
fresh discussion between the two.[1011]


The Suprema carried its point that those exempted should not contribute
to those conscripted and the arrangement remained in force. It was
repeated in a _carta acordada_ of January 14, 1668, and, when, in 1681,
a question arose in Tembleque, the Suprema cautioned the Toledo tribunal
not to issue more letters of exemption than the settlement permitted, in
order to avoid competencias which only serve to render the Holy Office
hateful and to imperil its other privileges.[1012] Carlos III seems to
have been more liberal when, in 1767, he included, in an elaborate list
of those exempt from military service, the ministers and dependents of
the Inquisition who were relieved from billets under the decree of May
26, 1728, which, it will be remembered, granted the privilege to the
number of familiars allowed under the old Concordias. Carlos IV was
more exacting for, in 1800, when regulating the conscription in minute
detail, he granted exemption only to the titular officials and took
special care to exclude familiars and other dependents.[1013] This
continued to the end. September 14, 1818, the Suprema communicated to
the tribunals a decision of the king that, in order to secure exemption
from conscription, it was not necessary to exhibit a royal commission,
but one from the inquisitor-general or Suprema sufficed.[1014] Evidently
the local tribunals were no longer allowed to issue certificates of

       *       *       *       *       *

The right of officials and familiars to hold secular offices raised
questions that caused no little debate. It was evidently of advantage to
the Inquisition that those who were bound to it and enjoyed its
exemptions should be in positions of influence where they could guard
its privileges and promote their extension. On the other hand, for these
very reasons, the people were jealous of office-holding by its ministers
and dreaded to have their local authorities relieved of responsibility
through their claim on the _fuero_ or jurisdiction of the Inquisition.
Had these local positions been elective, popular good sense could have
averted the danger, but they were awarded by lot, the names of those
deemed eligible being placed in a _bolsa_ or bag--a process known as
_insaculacion_--and drawn forth.[1015]

The earliest instance I have met of a refusal to include officials of
the Inquisition among the eligibles occurs in 1503, when Ferdinand wrote
to his Lieutenant-general of Majorca that he was astonished to learn
that the names of Pere Prat, his son Pere Prat, Carman Litra and
Gerónimo Serma had not been insacculated because they held office in the
Inquisition; it should rather be a recommendation; they must not be thus
dishonored and their names must at once be put in the bolsa.[1016]
Doubtless Ferdinand's watchfulness preserved this privilege for
officials during his life, but subsequently popular feeling must have
manifested itself by their exclusion, for, in 1523, Charles V forbade
it in an edict and he followed this by a special pragmática, May 30,
1524, asserting their eligibility to public office in all his dominions
and for all future time, under pain of the royal wrath and of two
thousand florins, but he provided that they should not be entitled to
the jurisdiction of the Inquisition for official malfeasance.[1017]
Notwithstanding this, Philip II was obliged to issue special
instructions on the subject to Sardinia in 1552 and to Navarre in

In this, as in so much else, the Catalans were especially intractable.
Córtes of the three kingdoms of Aragon were held in 1553, in which
Catalonia alone took up the matter and adopted a law, confirmed by
Prince Philip, prescribing that no bayle or his lieutenant, or judge, or
scrivener could be a familiar, nor could he accept office after his term
of service had expired.[1019] This received scant obedience, nor did the
Inquisition pay attention to the clause in the pragmática of 1524
depriving it of cognizance of official malfeasance. One of the
complaints of the royal Audiencia to de Soto Salazar, in his visitation
of the Barcelona tribunal in 1566, was that it assumed jurisdiction in
all such cases. Salazar recommended that this should be forbidden, for
it impeded the proper administration of the towns, and officials could
not be punished for violating local ordinances about bread, vineyards,
meadows, breaking irrigating canals to water their lands, and
multitudinous other derelictions.[1020]


Catalonia refused to accept the Concordia of 1568 and, in 1585, the
Córtes re-enacted the provisions of 1553 in an enlarged form, including
almost all offices, and subjecting violation to a penalty of two hundred
ducats, which was confirmed by Philip II.[1021] This seems to have been
enforced for, in 1586, a memorial from the Bishop of Segovia says that
in Catalonia the names of all officials of the Inquisition were removed
from the lists of eligibles, that commissioners and familiars were
resigning and that every day withdrawals were received from applicants,
so that the tribunal would be crippled and the Córtes could have
contrived nothing more damaging.[1022] The Catalans held good, despite
the earnest efforts of the Holy Office, which declared long afterwards
that this was the severest blow that it had ever received. In the Córtes
of 1599 the battle was renewed after elaborate preparations by the
inquisitors. On June 30th the king presented a series of articles, in
response to those submitted to him by the Córtes, and among them was one
declaring officials and familiars eligible to all offices, but the
Catalans would have none of it. In the elaborate memorial presented to
Clement VIII by the Suprema against the work of the Córtes, it
complained bitterly of the laws of 1553 and 1585 as diminishing notably
the authority of the Inquisition and causing great lack of officials, so
many having ignominiously resigned, while others could not be found to
replace them.[1023]

Again, when the Córtes were about to assemble in 1626, the Barcelona
tribunal implored the Suprema to use its utmost exertions for the repeal
of the law of 1585, for no person of consideration would accept office
and it was obliged to appoint those of low condition, which was fatal to
its authority. The Córtes yielded in so far as to adopt an article
throwing open the offices, provided incumbents were justiciable by the
civil courts for a long series of offences, but the whole legislation of
the Córtes came to naught through lack of the royal confirmation.[1024]
When the question was coming up again in the Córtes of 1632, earnest
appeals were made to the Suprema to have the obnoxious law of 1585
repealed. The condition of the Inquisition in Catalonia was represented
as most deplorable by reason of it. In a memorial to the king it was
stated that in Barcelona there were but four or five familiars, and they
were mechanics, ineligible to public office; there was not a single
advocate of the accused, nor an ecclesiastical consultor, so greedy was
every one for public office. Throughout the principality there was the
same dearth--familiars only in miserable villages, destitute of tempting
positions, and those were of base condition, for in fact the barons
would endure none other in their lands. The Suprema was urged to bring
the matter before the Rota and it submitted the question to its fiscal,
but he wisely reported that, although a favorable result was to be
anticipated, yet it was expedient to set the example of recourse to Rome
which might result in other matters being carried thither with damage to
the jurisdiction of the Holy Office.[1025]

Thus Catalan pertinacity triumphed. When, in 1667, Pedro Momparler,
familiar at Alconer, asked permission to resign, in order to accept the
office of bayle, and his request was referred to the Suprema, it replied
that it should be denied on account of the evil influence of his
example, but it added that if he should renounce his familiarship before
the royal justice for the term of his office, the inquisitors should
pretend ignorance.[1026]


In Majorca, frequent alterations of the law show that it was subject to
active debate and that preponderance shifted from one side to the other.
In 1637 it was decided that none of those connected with the Inquisition
could hold public office; then, in 1643, they were allowed to do so, in
positions where they had not to vote or to give counsel; again, in 1660,
the prohibition was made absolute; then, in 1662, royal letters of
January 11th and March 4th removed the prohibition, provided they would
previously renounce all claim to the jurisdiction of the Inquisition.
These letters afford a remarkable illustration of the vacillation of the
monarch and of the extent to which bureaucracy had crippled his
autocracy--only this time it was the Council of Aragon which imitated
the methods of the Suprema. The latter body was dissatisfied with the
arrangement and addressed to the king a consulta, April 5, 1663, asking
its suspension and that a junta of the two councils should be called to
consider the subject. Philip promptly acceded and, on April 10th,
ordered the Council of Aragon to write to that effect to the viceroy.
The command was not obeyed and, on September 19th, the Suprema asked him
to remedy the omission, whereupon he asked the council to state its
reasons and, on its doing so, he again ordered it, October 3d, to
execute his decree of April 10th. It was still recalcitrant and, on
March 19, 1664, the Suprema represented the delay to the king who the
next day called upon the council to render an exact account of what it
had done, replied that in conformity with his commands it had written on
October 3, 1663, copy of which it enclosed. This proved to be merely
copies of the letters of 1662 which had given rise to the debate,
showing that it had deliberately nullified his orders. In view of all
this the Suprema, July 24, 1664, asked the king to insist on literal
compliance and that a copy of the despatch of the Council of Aragon to
the viceroy should be furnished to it. This proved to be merely a
duplicate of that of October 13, 1663, with the date altered to April 6,
1664. Then the Suprema again asked the king peremptorily to order exact
obedience and he replied that he had done so. Meanwhile the Viceroy and
the inquisitor of Majorca had been playing at cross-purposes in
consequence of the contradictory despatches received by each.[1027] Such
a method of carrying on an organized government seems incredible and,
trivial as was the question at issue, a case such as this throws light
on one of the causes of Spanish decadence. The question itself, after
all this trouble, apparently remained unsettled, for, in 1673, there was
a competencia over Gabriel Berga, a knight of Santiago and a familiar,
when the tribunal contended that he could not renounce its

It would be superfluous to follow out in detail the vicissitudes of this
matter in the other provinces of Spain, where it gave abundant occasion
for quarrels conducted with customary vehemence. It seems to have
settled itself into the rule that officials and familiars were eligible
to public office but that, during their terms of service, they were not
entitled to the jurisdiction of the Inquisition. Such, we are told in
1632, was the practice in Castile, Aragon and Valencia.[1029] Yet still
there were disputes for, about the middle of the seventeenth century, a
formula is given for use when a familiar is prevented from taking
office. This sets forth at much length that, if familiars are refused
office, no one will take the position, which will inflict great
detriment on the faith; it cites the royal cédulas, it sets aside
opposing arguments by showing that for all malfeasance in office the
familiar will be subject to the royal jurisdiction and finally it orders
his immediate induction in his post under penalty of excommunication and
of five hundred ducats; no further notice will be given and all further
action will be published in the halls of the Inquisition, which will be
full legal notice to all parties concerned.[1030] I have met with no
further legislation on the subject and presumably some arrangement of
this kind was in force to the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was highly inconsistent but, at the same time, thoroughly in keeping
with the spirit of the Inquisition in its dealings with the public, that
while it vindicated so energetically the right of its officials to hold
honorable and lucrative posts, it claimed for them the privilege to
refuse to serve in those which were onerous. In the municipalities there
were a certain number of these latter, entailing unremunerative labor
and responsibility which no one could refuse to accept when his name was
drawn from the bolsa. The officials claimed to be insaculated for the
desirable positions but not for the undesirable ones. That such a claim
could be made and sustained is a forcible illustration of the power of
the Inquisition.


There is no allusion to this in the earlier Concordias and no specific
grant that I have been able to find. It seems to have been merely a
gratuitous assumption on the part of the Inquisition, asserted with its
customary persistence. A noteworthy case growing out of it occurred, in
1622, in the town of Lorca (Murcia) where a familiar refused to serve in
the office of collector of the alcavala, or tax on sales, and was
imprisoned for contumacy. The inquisitors of Murcia demanded his
liberation and excommunicated the alcalde mayor for refusing to obey.
This failing, they prepared to arrest him and called upon the corregidor
of Murcia, Pedro de Porres, for assistance. On his refusal they
excommunicated him and then laid an interdict on the city of Murcia. The
citizens appealed to their bishop, Fray Antonio Trejo, who remonstrated
with the tribunal and, finding this unavailing, issued an edict
declaring the interdict invalid. Bishops were not subject to
inquisitorial jurisdiction, even for heresy, without special papal
faculties, but the inquisitor-general, Andres Pacheco, was the most
audacious and inexorable assertor of inquisitorial omnipotence and he
did not hesitate to condemn the episcopal edict, to publish the
condemnation in all the churches, to fine the bishop in eight thousand
ducats and to summon him, under pain of four thousand more, to appear
within twenty days and answer to the action brought against him by the
fiscal as an impeder of the Inquisition. The bishop and chapter sent the
dean and a canon to represent them, but, without a hearing, they were
thrown _incomunicado_ into the secret prison, excommunicated and the
censure published in all the churches. The inquisitors imprisoned the
parish priest of Santa Catalina for disregarding the interdict and the
whole ecclesiastical body of Murcia became involved. Finally, through
the intervention of the king and the pope, the bishop was absolved, but
the Inquisition reaped a rich harvest of fines. Those of the bishop,
dean and some of the canons were kept by the Suprema, while the local
tribunal, in addition to inflicting terms of exile, of from one to eight
years, secured from José Lucas, the episcopal secretary, a thousand
ducats, from Alonso Pedriñan, the fiscal, eight hundred and, from
thirteen other priests and dignitaries of the church, sums ranging from
fifty to one hundred and fifty--in all, an aggregate of 3272

A claim enforced so relentlessly was dangerous to dispute and even the
Aragonese Concordia of 1646, which registered a triumph over the Holy
Office, admitted the right of salaried officials and familiars to
decline onerous offices.[1032] In time, however, there seems to have
come a slight modification of the claim. About 1750 we have the formula
of a mandate, issued at the instance of a familiar, forbidding, under
pain of excommunication and of two hundred ducats, the authorities of a
town from including him among those liable to serve in any of the minor
offices, nor in any of the more important ones until every other
inhabitant has served his turn.[1033]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not difficult to understand the origin of the claim that the
buildings of the Inquisition and the houses of its officials were
sanctuaries into which the officers of justice could not penetrate
without special permission. The asylum afforded to criminals in churches
was an old established practice throughout Europe to which Spain was no
exception. Even as late as 1737 the papal sanction was deemed necessary
to except from this certain crimes, such as murder, highway robbery and
high treason.[1034] Asylum was also afforded by the feudal rights which
debarred royal officers of justice from intruding on lands of nobles,
and the withdrawal of this right in Granada is cited as one of the
causes of the agitation leading to the rebellion of 1568.[1035] In
Aragon this was developed so far that a law of Jaime I, in the Córtes of
Huesca in 1247, which still continued in force, gave to the houses of
infanzones, or gentlemen, the same right of asylum as that possessed by

It is therefore somewhat remarkable that the claim of affording asylum
was not made at the outset by the Inquisition, especially in view of the
importance attached to the secrecy which shrouded all its operations.
Yet, until the middle of the sixteenth century, such claims when made
were authoritatively repudiated. Inquisitor-general Tavera writes,
September 3, 1540, a sharp letter to the inquisitors of Seville saying
that he is informed that recently certain murderers had been received
and protected in the castle of Triana, occupied by the tribunal, and
that the officers of the royal justice had not been allowed to search
for them; the punishment of delinquents should be in no way impeded and
no occasion be given for complaint; the gates of the castle must be kept
shut so that criminals cannot take refuge there.[1037] So, in 1546,
among instructions from the Suprema to the tribunal of Granada, is an
order that no criminals or debtors shall find refuge in the Inquisition,
nor be allowed to sleep there nor between the gates; the janitor must
eject them and, if they will not go, report it to the inquisitors for
proper action.[1038] This shows that the abuse was commencing but that
it was disapproved and the same is seen in the Valencia Concordia of
1554, which says that, as the Inquisition has no privileges as an
asylum, it cannot protect those who take refuge there.[1039]

[Sidenote: _RIGHT OF ASYLUM_]

Evidently the local tribunals were claiming a right which the central
authority disallowed; they were moreover claiming it not only for the
building of the Inquisition but for the houses of officials and
familiars. Among the malfeasances of the Barcelona tribunal, reported in
1567 by de Soto Salazar, were cases of this kind. When the bayle of
Perpignan sought to arrest some culprits they were sheltered by Pedro de
Roca, a familiar, in his house and he resisted the bayle who came with a
posse to arrest them; Roca accused the bayle and his men for this; they
were imprisoned for a long while by the Barcelona inquisitors and were
condemned to fines and exile. So when the bayle of Sens, with a posse,
broke into the house of Vicente Valele, who was merely a temporary
commissioner, to arrest some culprits who had taken refuge there, he
accused them and they were all imprisoned.[1040]

The rapidity with which the abuse developed in Valencia is manifested by
a comparison of the Concordias of 1554 and 1568. The former, as we have
seen, admits that the Inquisition could offer no asylum, while the
latter is obliged to forbid the lower officials and familiars from
putting the arms of the Inquisition on their houses; all such must be
removed and their houses shall not have immunity from the officers of
justice--evidently the officials found profit in harboring thieves and
murderers and the tribunal supported them.[1041] In Barcelona a sort of
compromise was reached by which, on application to the tribunal, one of
its ministers was sent with the officers of justice to enter houses of
officials where criminals had taken refuge, but the Córtes of 1599
complained that this delay afforded time for escape and, in the abortive
Concordia enacted there, a clause provided that this should not be
necessary and that, in case of resistance, houses could be entered. It
shows how slow was the Suprema to assert a right of asylum that, in its
protest to Clement VIII, it accepts this article on the ground that the
Inquisition never has impeded the pursuit and arrest of
malefactors.[1042] In time, however, it overcame these scruples and, in
1632, it issued repeated orders that the officers of justice should not
be allowed to enter the houses of officials. Philip IV countermanded
this, but the Suprema presented a consulta saying that there was no
objection when the pursuit was _flagrante delicto_; prisoners, however,
were frequently confined in the houses of officials and an unlimited
right of entry might be abused to obtain communication with them in
violation of the all-important secrecy of the Holy Office. As usual, the
vacillating monarch yielded and, in 1634, issued a decree restricting
the right of search to cases of hot pursuit.[1043]

It is remarkable that the Aragonese Concordia of 1646, imposed by the
Córtes on Philip, which in so many ways restricted the privileges of the
Inquisition, recognized this doubtful one in the fullest manner. As the
ministers, it says, of so holy an office should enjoy certain honors and
pre-eminence, it orders that they, including familiars, shall have as to
their houses the same privileges as caballeros and hijosdalgo--which, as
we have seen, included the right of asylum.[1044] As regards the
buildings of the Inquisition itself, a scandalous case occurring in 1638
shows how far it had travelled since Tavera rebuked the tribunal of
Seville. In Majorca the Count of Ayamano, at the head of a band of
assassins, committed the sacrilege of escalading the walls of a convent
for the purpose of murdering his wife who had sought refuge there.
Philip ordered every effort made to arrest him and his accomplices, but
he escaped to Barcelona with eight of them and all found asylum in the
Inquisition, in the apartments of his uncle, the Inquisitor Cotoner. It
affords a curious insight into the conditions of the period to see that
this created a situation impenetrable to the highest authorities of the
land. Philip called a junta of two members each of the Suprema and
Council of Aragon to devise how the criminals could be captured without
scandal or quarrel with the Inquisition. The result of their
deliberations seems to be a letter from the Suprema to Cotoner telling
him that, if he wanted to help his nephew, it should be outside and not
inside of the Inquisition, in order to avoid the troubles ensuing on an
attempt of the royal officers to remove him. The imperturbable Cotoner
was not to be scared by this gentle warning and a fortnight later the
Suprema enclosed to him a royal decree telling him that he would see the
untoward results of sheltering his nephew. As complete satisfaction was
demanded he was ordered to report in full all details, including his
motives in harboring one who was put to the ban, especially when the
latter was not a familiar.[1045] Unfortunately we do not know how the
affair ended, but when the Suprema, in place of dismissing Cotoner,
inquired as to his motives, we may assume that the asylum offered by the
Inquisition saved the forfeit life of the criminal by some compromise.

[Sidenote: _RIGHT OF ASYLUM_]

The immunity of the houses of officials became generally recognized,
with the proviso that permission of search would be granted by
inquisitors if special application was made to them, when they preserved
their jurisdiction by sending one of their people to accompany the
officers of justice. An exception which proved the rule however was made
in favor of the administrators of the tax on tobacco, to whom general
letters were given empowering them to search the houses of officials for
contraband tobacco. Even this was argued away by the Suprema in 1728,
when it asserted that semi-proof in advance was necessary to justify
search and full proof to give jurisdiction.[1046]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is evident from the above that the Holy Office, with its claims for
special privileges and exemptions and its methods for enforcing their
recognition, was a very disturbing factor in the body politic. Yet the
greatest source of conflict lay in the exclusive jurisdiction which it
sought to establish over all who were connected with it, not only
between themselves but between them and the rest of the community. This
engrossed so large a portion of its activity and was the cause of such
perpetually recurring trouble that its consideration requires a chapter
to itself.



The principal source of strife between the Inquisition and the other
authorities arose from its claim to exclusive competence in all cases
involving those connected with it and their dependents. This gave rise
to perpetual conflicts, conducted with the utmost tenacity, which filled
the land with confusion and, in many cases, rendered the administration
of justice a mockery. For two centuries the monarchs vainly endeavored
to keep the peace by repeated efforts to define the boundaries between
the rival jurisdictions and the methods of settling their differences.
The tireless efforts, on the one side, of the Holy Office to extend its
authority and increase its emoluments caused it constantly to violate
compacts, while the jealousy of the civil magistracy on the other and
its natural desire to repel intrusion rendered it prompt to use whatever
means lay in its power. The struggle was unequal against the superior
weapons furnished by papal faculties and against the royal favor which
was with the Inquisition, but the conflict was maintained with
marvellous constancy, supported by popular sympathy, and the time of the
king and his advisers was frittered away in deciding a continuous stream
of petty quarrels, growing out of trivial incidents, but assuming
portentous proportions through the violent methods which had aggravated

To understand the claim of the Inquisition to exclusive cognizance of
the cases of its subordinates it is necessary to bear in mind the
benefit of clergy, through which, from the early middle ages, all
clerics were exempted from the jurisdiction of the laity and were
subjected wholly to the spiritual courts. This amounted virtually to
immunity for crime, both because those courts were debarred from
rendering judgements of blood and because of the inevitable favoritism
manifested to those of their own cloth.[1047] As civilization advanced
the disorders caused by a class, thus emboldened in wrong-doing by
impunity, were the source of constant solicitude to rulers and were
deplored by right-thinking churchmen. In this, Spain was no exception.
In a project of instructions drawn up by a Spanish bishop for the
delegates to the Lateran Council in 1512, the crimes and scandals
perpetrated by married clerks and those in the lower orders, through
expectation of immunity, are dwelt upon as reasons for a change; there
were daily conflicts between the spiritual and secular courts, leading
to interdicts cast on cities and some universal legislation by the
Church was desirable.[1048] No such remedy was adopted, and when the
Council of Trent gave promise of reform, the Spanish prelates, in
contrast with the Inquisition, which made every effort to extend its
jurisdiction over offenders, proposed in 1562 to the council that
married clerks wearing secular habits should not enjoy protection from
secular justice.[1049] In 1544, Fernando de Aragon, when Viceroy of
Valencia, declared that his principal trouble lay with the Church, of
which the chief object was to protect evil-doers and liberate them from
his justice, an opinion in which he was heartily seconded by the saintly
Tomás de Vilanova, then recently appointed archbishop.[1050]


Yet the marked aversion in Spain to ecclesiastical encroachment led to
repeated enactments restraining spiritual jurisdiction within strict
limits. In a series of laws, dating from the fourteenth to the sixteenth
century, Henry II, Juan II, Henry IV, Ferdinand and Isabella and Charles
V endeavored by the severest penalties to repress its inevitable
tendency to extend itself, whether by seizure of the persons or property
of the laity or by entertaining cases between laymen. Ferdinand and
Isabella, in 1493, even threatened half confiscation and perpetual exile
from Spain for all who, under any pretext, aided ecclesiastical judges
in taking prisoners from secular officials or who assisted them in any
way.[1051] In addition to this was the _recurso de fuerza_ through which
appeal lay to the royal courts or to the _Sala de Gobierno_ whenever the
spiritual courts refused an appeal or heard secular cases or those in
which laymen were concerned.[1052] It is necessary to bear in mind this
tendency and these restrictions on ecclesiastical jurisdiction to
estimate properly the latitude obtained by the Inquisition in purely
secular affairs.

Whether, at its inception, the Inquisition enjoyed the prerogative of
exclusive cognizance of cases involving its officials it would be
impossible now to say. They were mostly laymen and as such were subject
to the secular courts, while, in the popular opposition elicited by
their proceedings, especially in the Aragonese kingdoms, there might be
anticipated danger that they would be terrorized or prosecuted unless
protected by being reserved for judgement by their own tribunals. The
earliest mandate to this effect that I have met is a cédula of
Ferdinand, March 26, 1488, addressed to all the officers of justice in
Catalonia ordering them, under penalty of two thousand florins and the
royal wrath, to take no cognizance of anything concerning the ministers
and familiars of the Inquisition; all their acts in such cases are
declared invalid, and any one whom they may have arrested is at once to
be transferred to the tribunal, showing that, at least in Catalonia, no
such exemption from secular justice had previously been

Yet in this unlimited decree Ferdinand had overlooked details which
necessarily presented themselves in practice. Was this exemption from
secular jurisdiction confined to the _titulados y asalariados_ or did it
extend to the unsalaried commissioners and familiars, receiving no pay,
pursuing their customary avocations and only called upon for occasional
service? There was also a question about the servants of officials, for
an abuse of the spiritual courts had included those of clerics. Then it
might be asked whether the protection accorded to the person of the
official extended to his property in civil suits, with the wide avenue
thus opened to abuses of many kinds. There was, moreover, a well-settled
principle of law that the accuser or plaintiff must seek the court of
the defendant; if, in violation of this, the official could enjoy what
was known as the active _fuero_ as well as the passive--that is, if he
as plaintiff could bring suit or prosecution before his own
tribunal--his power of offence would be vastly increased, together with
his opportunities for tyrannizing over all around him.

These were questions which had to be decided. It would seem that the
inquisitors construed their powers in the most liberal fashion, giving
rise to abuses which called for repression and a limitation of their
jurisdiction. The reformatory Instructions of 1498, accordingly, order
them not to defend officials and their servants in civil cases and only
officials in criminal actions, a rule repeated in a carta acordada of
May 4th of the same year.[1054] This excluded servants wholly and
deprived officials of the _fuero_ in civil matters, but it was soon
modified by Ferdinand, in a letter of January 12, 1500, to the Catalonia
tribunal, ordering it not to interfere with the royal court in a certain
suit, and expressing the rule that the plaintiff must seek the court of
the defendant.[1055] It was impossible however to restrain inquisitors
from exceeding their jurisdiction and he was obliged, August 20 1502, to
repeat his injunctions to the same tribunal, in consequence of
complaints from the Diputados. The inquisitors were roundly taken to
task for lending themselves to the schemes of the receiver in buying up
debts and claims and then collecting them through the tribunal; they
were told that they must defend none but salaried officials actually in
service; if they are plaintiffs in civil suits they must apply to the
court of the defendants, while if they are defendants the plaintiffs
must seek the tribunal. To evoke other cases, he says, causes great
scandal and will lead to troubles which must be prevented. A fortnight
later he emphasized this about a civil case which they had evoked from
the royal court; they must remit it back and not have to be written to
again as he would not tolerate such proceedings.[1056] Thus familiars
and servants were not entitled to the _fuero_, or inquisitorial
jurisdiction, while salaried officials enjoyed it, active and passive,
in criminal actions and only passive in civil suits.


Unduly favorable as was this to the Inquisition, the tribunals paid no
attention to its limitations; they welcomed all who sought their
judgement seat, and the desire for it of those who had no claim on it
shows that they had a reputation of selling justice. One or two cases
will exemplify this and show how good were the grounds of complaint by
the people. There was a certain Juan de Sant Feliu of Murviedro, whose
father and mother-in-law had been condemned for heresy, and to whom
Ferdinand had kindly granted their confiscations, including the dowry of
his wife. In 1505 the town of Murviedro farmed out to him and his wife
the impost on meat for 11,100 sueldos a year; he died and, in the
settlement of his account, he was found to owe the town a hundred and
fifty libras, which it proceeded to collect from his sons in the court
of the governor. Under pretext that his property had been confiscated
and restored, they appealed in 1511 to the tribunal of Valencia, which
promptly evoked the case and inhibited the court from further action,
whereupon the town complained to Ferdinand who ordered the case remitted
to the governor. Unabashed by this, in 1513, Sant Feliu's heirs on the
same pretext obtained the intervention of the tribunal in another case,
in which Doña Violante de Borja had sued them for 7500 sueldos which she
had entrusted to him to invest in a censo of the town of Murviedro; the
censo had been paid off and he had concealed the fact and kept the
money. Judgement was given against them, when the inquisitors interposed
and prohibited the royal court from further action. Ferdinand expressed
much indignation at their interference with justice in a matter wholly
foreign to their jurisdiction and ordered the prohibition to be
withdrawn. Even more arbitrary was the action, in 1511, of the Majorca
tribunal, when Pedro Tornamirandez sued the heirs of Francisco Ballester
for some cattle and obtained judgement in the court of the royal
lieutenant, whereupon the heirs appealed to the inquisitor who evoked
the case and forbade further proceedings in the secular court. None of
the parties had any connection with the Inquisition and there was not
even the pretext of confiscation; it was a mere wanton interference with
the course of justice, only explicable by some illicit gain, and when
Ferdinand's attention was called to it he ordered the inquisitor to
revoke his action.[1057] If, under Ferdinand's incessant vigilance the
Inquisition thus boldly prostituted its powers, we can appreciate how
well-founded, under his careless successors, were the complaints of
those who suffered under wrongs perpetrated under the pretence of
serving God.

In the Catalan Concordia of 1512 there was an attempt to do away with
some of these abuses and the bull _Pastoralis officii_ of Leo X,
confirming the Concordia, marks another stage in the development of the
_fuero_. No one, he said, could be cited save in his own ordinary court
at the instance of an official or familiar; if it were attempted, all
acts concerning it were invalid and the inquisitors must condemn the
plaintiff in double the expenses and damage; if any official bought
property in suit, or on which a suit was expected, he could be cited
before a court not his own and if he claimed property under seizure by a
secular judge, the latter could disregard all inhibitions issued by
inquisitors; moreover inquisitors should have no cognizance in matters
concerning the private property of officials. While thus striking at
some of the more flagrant abuses of the _fuero_, Leo opened the door to
worse ones by admitting familiars and the commensals or servants of
officials to participation in the immunities of the Inquisition.[1058]
The bull, in fact, is in accordance with the Instructions of 1514, as
issued by Inquisitor-general Mercader, and we shall see how completely
the restrictive clauses were ignored while those admitting familiars and
servants were developed.[1059]


The question as to familiars and servants was not absolutely settled for
some years. It is true that, in 1515 at Logroño, when the corregidor
arrested Martin de Viana, a servant of the secretary Lezana, and refused
to surrender him to the tribunal, he and his deputy and alguazil were
excommunicated and the Suprema on appeal subjected them all to fines and
humiliating penance.[1060] On the other hand, in 1516 at Valladolid,
when Alonso de Torres, servant of Inquisitor Frias, was thrown into the
royal prison, the inquisitor did not reclaim him but procured the
interposition of the Suprema, which ordered him to be released on bail
and then, after nine months had passed without a charge being brought
against him, he procured a royal cédula for the release of his
bondsmen.[1061] Whatever doubts may have existed on the subject were
removed, in 1518, by a cédula of Charles V, reciting that in Jaen the
secular courts assumed cognizance of criminal cases concerning officials
and familiars and their servants, which was contrary to the privileges
of the Holy Office, wherefore he forbade it strictly for the
future.[1062] After this the Inquisition had no hesitation in insisting
on its rights. When, in 1532, the corregidor and officials of Toledo
were excommunicated for punishing the servant of an inquisitor and the
Empress-regent Isabel wrote to the tribunal to absolve them, the Suprema
instructed it not to obey her.[1063] She learned the lesson and, in
1535, when ordering some servants of inquisitors and familiars to be
remitted to the Inquisition, she said it was accustomed to have their
cases, both civil and criminal, and it was her pleasure that this should
be observed.[1064]

The civil authorities were somewhat dilatory in recognizing the immunity
of servants, and cases continued to occur in which the tribunals
vindicated their jurisdiction energetically. About 1565 two officers of
the royal justice in Barcelona arrested a servant of Inquisitor Mexia in
a brothel where he was quarrelling with a woman, for which they were
thrown into the secret prison as though they were heretics and were
banished for three months, while the judge of the royal criminal court,
who had something to do with the matter, was compelled to appear in the
audience-chamber and undergo a reprimand in the presence of the
assembled officials of the tribunal. The virtual immunity for offenders
resulting from the privilege is illustrated by the case, in the same
tribunal, of Pedro Juncar, servant of the receiver, who murdered the
janitor of the Governor of Catalonia; the governor arrested him but was
forced to surrender him to the tribunal, which discharged him with a
sentence of exile for a year or two and costs.[1065] The influence on
social order of conferring immunity on such a class can readily be

The privilege of the fuero was not confined to servants but was extended
in whatever direction the ingenuity and perseverance of the tribunal
could enforce it. Penitents who were fulfilling their terms of penance
were claimed and the claim was confirmed, in 1547, by Prince Philip. In
Valencia and Barcelona the workmen employed on the buildings of the
Inquisition were given nominal appointments under which they claimed
immunity. In Lima the tribunal complained to the viceroy of the arrest
of a bricklayer who was working for it, but it got no satisfaction. In
Barcelona the tribunal granted inhibition with censures on the civil
court, in which the brother of a familiar was suing a merchant on a
protested bill of exchange.[1066]

       *       *       *       *       *


We have seen the limitations imposed by Ferdinand and the bull
_Pastoralis officii_ and the reiteration of the principle that the
plaintiff must seek justice in the court of the defendant. As far as
regards Castile, Charles V had overthrown this in criminal matters for
both officials and familiars. Civil cases remained in a somewhat
undetermined state, especially concerning familiars, the inquisitors
endeavoring to grasp as far as they could both the active and passive
fuero. When, in 1551, complaints came from Valencia that the tribunal
was collecting debts for familiars, Inquisitor-general Valdés wrote that
he did not know how this had come to pass and called for precise
information as to when it had commenced and generally as to the method
observed in the civil cases, active and passive, of familiars, so that
he could answer Prince Philip.[1067] There was a good deal of
uncertainty about the whole subject; the courts were restive and the
situation was becoming strained. In the endeavor to settle it, Charles,
in 1542, reissued his edict of 1518 with a _sobre carta_ emphatically
commanding its strict observance and forbidding the secular courts from
any cognizance of the criminal cases of officials or familiars.[1068]
This did not mend matters. The courts persisted in exercising
jurisdiction over familiars, the _recurso de fuerza_ was freely invoked
and competencias multiplied. Both sides appealed to Charles, who was in
Germany, and this time the opponents of the Inquisition gained the
advantage. Prince Philip, as regent, issued a cédula, May 15, 1545, in
which he described how laymen, subject to the secular courts, obtained
immunity for their crimes on pretext of being familiars; how the
tribunals, in defending them, cast excommunications on the officers of
justice, through which scandals and disquiet were daily increasing, and
the course of justice was impeded. The familiars were in no way entitled
to immunity from the secular courts, as they were not officials,
although a different custom existed in Aragon and the inquisitors
pretended to it in Castile, under the cédula of 1518 and the sobrecédula
of 1542, but these were both irregular, not having been despatched by
the Council and Secretariat of Castile as is customary and necessary.
Therefore in order that delinquent familiars may not remain unpunished
and be induced to commit crimes by the prospect of immunity, the emperor
ordered the matter to be thoroughly discussed and meanwhile the cédulas
of 1518 and 1542 to be suspended, in conformity with which they are
declared to be suspended, inquisitors are ordered no longer to take
cognizance of the cases of familiars and the secular courts are
instructed to prosecute them in accordance with the laws.[1069]

The Inquisition did not acquiesce tamely in this defeat, which was
aggravated by the secular courts interpreting it as giving them
jurisdiction over officials as well as familiars. It protested and
resisted and showed so little obedience that the Córtes of Valladolid,
in 1548, asked that it should be compelled to confine itself to its
proper functions in matters of faith.[1070] Quarrels and recursos de
fuerza continued and finally the whole question was referred to a junta
consisting of two members each from the Suprema and Council of Castile.
The representatives of the Inquisition conceded that it had been in
fault in appointing too many familiars and in claiming for them all the
exemptions of salaried officials; those of the Council admitted that the
courts had erred in interfering with civil and criminal cases properly
appertaining to the Holy Office. Mutual concessions were made, resulting
in what was known as the Concordia of Castile, March 10, 1553--an
agreement which the Inquisition admitted, a century later, that neither
side had observed.[1071]

[Sidenote: _THE LAW IN CASTILE_]

The Concordia was silent as to the salaried officials, thus leaving them
in possession of the active and passive fuero in both civil and criminal
cases. It devoted itself wholly to the familiars who, in this as in so
much else, were the leading source of trouble. After regulating, as we
shall see hereafter, their number and character, it defined that in
civil cases they should be subject wholly to the secular courts. For the
greater crimes, moreover, cognizance was also reserved exclusively to
the courts, the list comprising treason, unnatural crime, sedition,
violating royal safe-conducts, disobedience to royal mandates,
treachery, rape, carrying off women, highway robbery, arson,
house-breaking and crimes of greater magnitude than these, as well as
resistance or formal disrespect to the royal courts. Those who held
office were also amenable to the courts for official malfeasance. This
left only petty offences subject to inquisitorial jurisdiction and for
these familiars were liable to arrest by secular magistrates, subject to
being immediately transferred to the Inquisition. For doubtful cases it
was provided that, when the lay judge and inquisitor could not agree,
there should be no contention, but the evidence was to be sent to the
court of the king, where two members each of the Suprema and Council of
Castile should decide as to the jurisdiction; for this a majority was
required and, in case of equal division of votes, the matter went to the
king for final decision. No appeal from this was allowed and meanwhile
the accused was retained in the prison to which he had been consigned at
arrest.[1072] This process of adjudicating disputes became known as
_competencia_, the details of which will be considered hereafter.

Whatever concession the Inquisition made in thus surrendering a portion
of its jurisdiction over familiars was more than compensated by what was
evidently part of the agreement, the issue on the same day of Philip's
cédula addressed to all judicial bodies forbidding them to entertain
appeals of any kind from the acts of the Holy Office (p. 341). It thus
secured complete autonomy; it was rendered self-judging, responsible to
the king alone, and the populations were surrendered wholly to its

As far as regards Castile, the Concordia of 1553 was final. It is true
that the royal cédula of Aranjuez, April 28, 1583, extended its
principles to the salaried officials, but there is no trace of the
observance of this.[1073] Another point was subjected to a temporary
modification. The absolute denial of justice in allowing inquisitors to
have their civil suits decided by their own tribunals attracted
attention, after nearly a century, and the Suprema, February 18, 1641,
ordered that these cases should be referred to it, when, if it deemed
proper, it would commission the tribunal to hear them, but this slender
restriction seems to have elicited so active an opposition that it was
withdrawn within three months by a counter order of May 14th, restoring
to the inquisitors the power of sitting in judgement on their own
cases.[1074] It is easy to conceive the amount of oppression and wrong
which they could thus inflict.

With these trivial exceptions the Concordia remained the law in Castile.
In 1568 Philip II issued a cédula stating that it had not been observed,
wherefore he ordered strict compliance with it and, as late as 1775
Carlos III treats it as being still in force and to be respected by all
parties.[1075] If Philip, however, expected peace between the rival and
jealous jurisdictions, as the result of the Concordia, he deceived
himself. Both were eager for quarrel and opportunities to gratify
combative instincts were not lacking. The secular courts resented the
intrusion of the Inquisition, which was careful to keep antagonism
active by the insulting arrogance of its methods, whenever a question
arose between them. There was ample field for contention, for not only
were the excepted crimes loosely defined, giving rise to many nice
questions, but the Inquisition acutely argued that before the royal
courts could assume possession of a case the crime must be fully proved,
for the familiar was entitled to the fuero until his guilt was
ascertained, thus keeping in its own hands all the vital parts of the
process and excluding the secular justices.[1076] Then the circle of
excepted cases was enlarged, not only for familiars but for salaried
officials, by various edicts from time to time, as we have seen with
regard to pistols and discharging fire-arms. Another instance was a
cédula of Philip II, in 1566, including among exceptions the violation
of royal pragmáticas, which was put to the test, in 1594, when the
Chancellery of Granada prosecuted a notary of the tribunal for wearing a
larger ruff than was allowed by a sumptuary pragmática; the tribunal
excommunicated the judges but, when the case was carried up to the
Suprema and Council of Castile, the Chancellery was justified.[1077] In
the frenzied efforts to maintain the value of the worthless vellon
coinage, Philip IV, by repeated edicts between 1631 and 1660, deprived
familiars and salaried officials of the fuero in cases of demanding more
than the legal premium for the precious metals or of counterfeiting or
importing base money.[1078] Frauds on the revenue from tobacco also
deprived all offenders of exemptions, by a pragmática of 1719, but it
was difficult to enforce and had to be repeated in 1743, after which at
last Inquisitor-general Prado y Cuesta, in 1747, ordered the tribunals
to obey it.[1079]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Although Navarre was under the crown of Castile, the Concordia of 1553
was not extended to it until 1665, by a royal cédula of May 9th. The
questions which agitated the rest of Spain seem to have rarely presented
themselves there, for we hear little of them in that quarter, although,
in 1564, the tribunal of Logroño complained of the intrusion of the
secular courts on its jurisdiction and there were, as we shall see
hereafter, occasional collisions on the subject of witchcraft, which was
_mixti fori_.[1080]

       *       *       *       *       *

The kingdoms of the Crown of Aragon were the scenes of much greater
trouble than those of Castile, in delimiting the boundaries of the rival
jurisdictions, for they still had institutions which could remonstrate
against abuses and struggle for their removal. We have seen how
recalcitrant they were when the Inquisition was introduced and how
vigorously they struggled against the abuses which followed. In the
Concordias of 1512 and 1520 they secured certain paper guarantees, but
these were brushed aside by the Inquisition with customary ill-faith.
Irritation and hostility became chronic, with the result that they were
denied some of the slender alleviations vouchsafed to Castile, on the
ground that the character of the population and the neighborhood of the
heretics of France rendered it necessary that the Holy Office should be
fortified with greater privileges than in the rest of Spain.

Of the three kingdoms Valencia was the one which gave the least trouble
in this matter. Yet a case occurring in 1540 is highly significant of
the terrorism under which the royal judges discharged their duties. Dr.
Ferrer of Tortosa, one of the judges, appealed to Inquisitor-general
Tavera, representing that in the previous year he had condemned to death
a murderer, who had fully deserved it. Now that the inquisitor had come
his enemies represent that the culprit was a familiar, although he had
never claimed to be one, and it is currently reported that the
inquisitor is about to prosecute him (Ferrer). If he is in fault in the
matter he will cheerfully submit to punishment, but he begs not to be
subjected to the infamy of a trial. To this appeal the Suprema responded
by ordering the inquisitor to send it such evidence as he may gather and
to await a reply before taking action.[1081] It is evident that all
criminal judges lived in an atmosphere of dread lest at any moment the
honest discharge of their functions might precipitate them into a
disastrous conflict with the tribunal. It justifies the complaints of
the Córtes of 1547 and 1553, the latter of which declared that the
inquisitors exceeded their jurisdiction, intervening in many affairs,
both civil and criminal, that had no connection with heresy. This caused
great disturbance of justice and contentions between the jurisdictions,
in which the tribunal assumed to be supreme and to define the limits of
its own power. Great as were these evils they were daily increasing and
were becoming intolerable, wherefore the Córtes prayed that the subject
be investigated and a clear definition be made between the royal
jurisdiction and that of the Inquisition.[1082]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

This resulted in a junta of the members of the Suprema and of the
Council of Aragon, who agreed upon a Concordia, published by Prince
Philip, May 11, 1554. In this he recited that, in consequence of the
great numbers of familiars and their endeavoring to have all their
cases, civil and criminal, tried by the tribunal, which sought to
protect them in this against the claims of the royal judges, there had
arisen many contentions in which the whole of the Audiencia had been
excommunicated. To put an end to this unseemly strife he had caused the
junta to be held, with the result of the following articles, which he
ordered both sides to observe, the royal officials under pain of a
thousand florins, and the inquisitors as they desired to please him and
the emperor. In this the first point was the reduction of the excessive
number of familiars; in the city of Valencia they were not to exceed one
hundred and eighty; in towns of more than a thousand hearths there might
be eight, in those of over five hundred six, in smaller places four,
except that in the coast towns there might be two more. Lists of all
appointees were to be furnished to the magistrates, both to check excess
and to identify individuals. In civil suits they were to enjoy the
passive fuero but not the active; if in contracts they renounced this
privilege the condition held good, while, if the other party agreed to
accept the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, he could not be cited before
it. In criminal cases, the Inquisition had sole cognizance with respect
to officials, their servants and families and to familiars but not to
their wives, children and servants. When contests arose with secular
courts, mild measures were to be used and excommunication be avoided as
far as possible. When a familiar entered into a treaty of peace and
truce, it was to be executed before an inquisitor and, if it contained a
condition of death for violation, the inquisitor, in case of such
violation, was to relax the culprit to the secular arm to be put to
death. Familiars who were in trade were not to enjoy the fuero for
frauds or violations of municipal laws and officials holding public
office were liable to the secular courts for malfeasance therein.[1083]

This would appear to grant to the Inquisition all that it had any excuse
for asking, but it was impossible to bind the inquisitors to any
compact, or to observe any rules. A letter to them from the Suprema, in
September, 1560, reminds them that it had already ordered them, in the
case of Juan Sánchez, to deprive him of his familiarship, to withdraw
their inhibitions and censures, and to remit the affair to the secular
judge, in spite of which they had gone forward and rendered sentence;
now, as Sánchez is not a familiar, they must positively send the case
back to the ordinary courts.[1084] When such persistence in injustice
existed, it is not surprising that, at the Córtes of Monzon, in 1564,
the deputies of Valencia, like those of Aragon and Catalonia, presented
a series of complaints, bearing chiefly on abuses of jurisdiction. We
happen to have a view of the situation by an impartial observer, the
Venetian envoy, Giovanni Soranzo, in his relation of 1565, which is
worth repeating, although we must bear in mind that it was impossible
for a Venetian statesman to give Philip II credit for the honest
fanaticism which underlay his character. After alluding to the
privileges of the Aragonese kingdoms, he proceeds "The king uses every
opportunity to deprive them of these great privileges and, knowing that
there is no easier or more certain method than through the Inquisition,
he is continually increasing its authority. In these last Córtes the
Aragonese prayed that the Inquisition should take cognizance of no cases
save those of religion and said that they grieved greatly that it
embraced infinite things as distant as possible from its jurisdiction
and they presented many cases not pertaining in any way to its duties.
In truth at present the Inquisition interposes in everything, without
respect to any one of whatever rank or position, and we may say
positively that this tribunal is the real master which rules and
dominates all Spain. The king replied that the Inquisition was not to
be discussed in the Córtes, when they all arose and threatened to depart
without finishing any other business, if the king did not wish them to
discuss a matter of so much importance to them. The king quieted them by
promising that, when he returned to Castile, he would listen to their
complaints and would not fail to grant the appropriate relief. But
undoubtedly he did this so that the Córtes should end without a revolt,
his intention being to increase rather than to diminish the importance
of the Inquisition, clearly recognizing it as the means of maintaining
his reputation and of keeping the people in obedience and terror."[1085]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Soranzo's account of the Córtes is not wholly complete. When Philip
promised relief after his return to Castile, the deputies replied that
they did not choose to be convoked in Castile and that they would go no
further with the subsidio which he wanted until they were satisfied. The
sessions were prolonged; the patience of the deputies outwore his own
and he promised that he would have a visitation made of the tribunals of
the three kingdoms and then, in concert with their Diputados, issue a
new series of regulations.[1086] The promise was kept. Francisco de Soto
Salazar, a member of the Suprema, was sent, in 1566, with full powers
and instructions to investigate all abuses, but especially those
connected with jurisdiction in matters not of faith. In Valencia his
attention was particularly called to a practice of appointing deputy
inquisitors and officials and investing them with the privilege of the
fuero as well as mechanics employed on the palace of the Inquisition and
houses of the officials and also to the overgrown number of familiars
and their character.[1087] In Catalonia, especially, he found much to
criticize, as we shall have occasion to see hereafter, for he performed
his mission thoroughly and conscientiously; he listened to all
complaints, investigated them and bore back to the Suprema full reports
which bore hardly on the methods of all the tribunals. Prolonged debates
ensued between the Suprema, the Council of Aragon and the Diputados and
finally, in 1568, a new Concordia was issued. It is significant that it
no longer was a royal decree but bore the shape of instructions from
Inquisitor-general Espinosa and the Suprema to the tribunals, and the
king only appeared in it as communicating it to his representatives and
ordering its observance under pain of a thousand florins, coupled with
commands to favor and reverence the Inquisition and its officials, to
give them all necessary aid and to protect and defend their privileges.

The Concordia thus granted to Valencia confirmed that of 1554 and
ordered its observance, adding a number of special provisions, highly
suggestive of the abuses which had flourished. As affording a view in
some detail of the causes of popular irritation and of the remedies
sought, I subjoin an abstract of the articles bearing on the subject.

     Outside of the city the local magistrates are to have cognizance of
     civil cases of familiars involving less than twelve libras.

     Familiars of other districts settling in Valencia lose the fuero,
     but retain it if the residence is temporary.

     The number of familiars is to be reduced to that provided in 1554,
     weeding out the least desirable.

     They must present themselves with their commissions to the local
     magistrates in order to be entered on the lists, without which they
     forfeit their exemption.

     The provision depriving those in trade of the fuero, for frauds and
     offences committed in their business, which has not been observed,
     is to be enforced.

     Crimes committed prior to appointment are not entitled to the

     No cleric or religious or powerful noble or baron is to be

     Consultors are not to be considered as officials, but only persons
     holding commissions from the inquisitor-general, to whom may be
     added a steward of the prison and two advocates of prisoners.

     In future the servants of officials must really be servants living
     with them and receiving regular wages in order to be protected by
     the inquisitors.

     Inquisitors are not to interfere, at the petition of an official or
     familiar, with the regulations of the college of surgeons.

     Any familiar who is a carpenter and who brings lumber from the
     sierra of Cuenca shall not be protected by the inquisitors, but
     shall be left for judgement to the secular court.

     Outside of cases of heresy inquisitors must not interfere with the
     execution of justice by the royal judges under pretext that
     culprits have committed offences pertaining to them, but in such
     cases the judges shall be notified and allowed to execute justice,
     after which the inquisitors can inflict punishment. In case of
     heresy, however, a prisoner can be demanded, to be returned after
     trial, provided he is not sentenced to relaxation.

     Familiars are not to be protected in the violation of municipal
     regulations, nor, during pestilence, in the refusal to observe the
     regulations for the avoidance of contagion; they must submit for
     inspection the goods which they bring in and the royal judges
     shall not be prevented from imposing the penalties provided in the
     royal pragmática.

     Commissioners shall not form competencias with secular or
     ecclesiastical judges, nor shall their assistants enjoy greater
     privileges than familiars.

     Persons temporarily employed to make arrests, or to read the
     edicts, or as procurators, etc., shall not be defended by the

     As the inquisitorial district of Valencia comprehends Teruel in
     Aragon and Tortosa in Catalonia, those places are not to be
     exempted from the Concordia under the pretext that the Concordia of
     1554 spoke of the kingdom of Valencia.

     The widows of officials, while remaining unmarried, enjoy both
     civil and criminal fuero, but not their children and families as
     has been the case, but widows of familiars are deprived of it and
     are not to be defended by the inquisitors.

     The judge employed by the inquisitors to hear the cases of
     officials and familiars is to be dismissed; such cases are to be
     heard by the inquisitors outside of the regular hours of service
     and for this they are to charge no fees.

     Servants and families of salaried officials are only to have the
     passive fuero in civil cases, like familiars.

     Inquisitors are no longer to defend familiars in matters of the
     apportionment of irrigating waters, injuries to harvests,
     vineyards, pastures, forests, furnishing of lights, licences for
     building, street-cleaning, road-mending and furnishing provisions.

     Inquisitors are not to publish edicts with excommunication for the
     discovery of debts, thefts or other hidden offences committed
     against officials and familiars, nor such edicts against any
     delinquents save in cases of heresy.

     Persons arrested, except for heresy, are not to be confined in the
     secret prison but in the public one, where they can confer with
     their counsel and procurators, and they are to be allowed to hear
     mass and receive the sacraments.

     Familiars holding office are not to be defended for official frauds
     or malfeasance, but the secular authorities are to be freely
     allowed to administer justice.

     Inquisitors shall not give safe-conducts to persons outlawed or
     banished by the royal judges, except in cases of faith and then
     only for the time necessary to appear before them.

     When any official or familiar, in criminal or civil cases not of
     faith, has consented tacitly or explicitly to the secular
     jurisdiction or has pleaded clergy, the inquisitors shall not
     protect him nor inhibit the secular judges. And if any official or
     familiar inherits property in litigation the case shall remain in
     the court where it is pending.

     As familiars in civil cases have only the passive and not the
     active fuero there shall no longer, as heretofore, be artifices
     employed, such as pretended criminal prosecutions and interdicts,
     to obtain cognizance of such cases, but they shall be conducted in
     the court of the defendant.

     When a suit between outsiders has been decided, if any official or
     familiar intervenes to prevent the execution of the decision, on
     the pretext that he is in possession of the property at issue or a
     part of it, the inquisitors shall not support him in it.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

     If an outsider commits a crime while in company with an official or
     familiar, or is an accomplice in a crime committed by an official
     or familiar, the inquisitors shall not have cognizance of his case
     but only of that of the official or familiar.

     When a grave crime has been committed by or against a familiar the
     inquisitors shall not send a judge to take testimony or punish,
     with salary by the day, but shall avoid expense by making a
     commissioner gather the evidence.

     Inquisitors shall no longer enforce contracts of peace and truce
     unless they have been entered into before them or by their order.

     Inquisitors shall not have cognizance of contracts between
     outsiders because of a clause submitting them to the fuero, nor of
     cases of donations or cession to officials or familiars.

     Inquisitors shall not protect widows of officials and familiars in
     refusing to pay imposts and contributions.

     When inquisitors have to summon secular judges before them it must
     be only in cases where it is unavoidable and then only with great

     If a bankrupt is a familiar the inquisitors have cognizance, but
     not in the case of an outsider under pretext that an official or
     familiar is a creditor.

     Familiars shall not make arrests or other execution of justice
     without orders from inquisitors.

     Inquisitors shall not proceed against the priors and officials of
     guilds and confraternities who levy upon a familiar, who is a
     member, for dues under the rules of the association, or when a
     familiar has had the administration of a church or hermitage or
     hospital and is sued for debts or contributions due.[1088]

The other prayers and demands of the Córtes were rejected, but those
which were granted sufficiently indicate the abusive manner in which the
tribunal had extended its jurisdiction, how that jurisdiction was
admittedly used to protect officials and familiars in violations of law,
and how intolerable was the influence on municipal and commercial life
of letting loose on the community a class who were beyond the reach of
justice. We can readily understand the eagerness of the lawless and
unscrupulous to obtain positions which secured for them such privileges
and why it was impossible to restrain inquisitors within the prescribed
limits of their appointing power.

After protracted effort the Valencians had thus obtained promise of
substantial relief, but as usual it was a promise only made to be
broken. How little intention there was of enforcing the reform was
promptly revealed for, when the authorities naturally ordered the new
Concordia to be printed so that the courts and rural magistrates could
be guided by it in their dealings with the officials and familiars, the
inquisitors at once ordered the printers to suspend work and appealed
to the king, who commanded that all copies should be surrendered.[1089]
Although the settlement was permanent and remained in force until the
end, it apparently never was published for general information. At the
moment it was regarded as greatly limiting the secular jurisdiction of
the tribunal, and the worthy Valencian inquisitor, Juan de Rojas, says
that he is ashamed to allude to its depressed and weakened condition,
which has worked great injury to the faith.[1090] His grief was
superfluous; the tribunal was not accustomed to be bound by law and its
methods of enforcing its assumed prerogatives were difficult to resist.
In 1585 the Córtes had a fresh accumulation of grievances which, by
order of the king, the Suprema sent to the inquisitors with orders to
report the method of meeting them most advantageous to the Holy

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

If space permitted abundant cases could be cited to show the justice of
these complaints. In fact, the correspondence between the Suprema and
the tribunal, during the last fifteen years of the sixteenth century, is
largely devoted to cases of competencias arising from crimes of all
descriptions committed by familiars and to the punishments inflicted by
the tribunal, the heaviest of which is the galleys, in two or three
cases. Sometimes the charges are dismissed and as a whole the criminals
seem to have escaped so lightly that prosecution only served to
encourage their lawlessness.[1092] There was no improvement as time went
on and a case occurring in 1632 is worth alluding to as illustrating the
results of the _fuero_ and the spirit in which it was administered by
the tribunal. Don Martin Santis was murdered by pistol shots, while
returning with some Dominican frailes in a coach from the Grao of
Valencia to the city. Four notorious familiars, Pedro Rebert, Joan
Ciurana, Jaime Blau and Calixto Tafalla, were suspected and were
arrested by the Audiencia. The tribunal claimed them, a competencia was
formed and the case came up before the Suprema and the Council of
Aragon. The Marquis of los Velez, the viceroy, took advantage of it to
represent to Philip IV the disorders and scandals caused by the criminal
familiars who were protected by the Inquisition. This paper was referred
to the Council of Aragon which, on July 21st, presented a consulta on
the subject. There is, it says, no peace or safety to be hoped for in
Valencia unless there is reform in the selection of familiars, for there
is no crime committed there in which they are not principals or
accomplices, in the confidence of escape through the intervention of the
tribunal, since there is no one, however guilty he may be of atrocious
crime, who is not speedily seen walking the streets in freedom. In all
disturbances, familiars are recognized as ringleaders and their object
in gaining appointment is only to enjoy immunity for their crimes. In
Valencia, Pedro Revert, Joan Ciurana and Sebastian Adell, all familiars,
are the chief disturbers of the peace. So in Villareal, a place
notorious for murders, Jaime Blau has been the moving spirit. In
Benignamin, where there are constant outbreaks, the leaders of the
factions are Gracian España, Martin Barcela and others, likewise
familiars. It is the same in Orihuela with Juan García de Espejo and
others. Scarce anywhere is there trouble in which familiars are not
concerned and they daily become more insolent through impunity, for the
inquisitors never punish with the requisite severity. One result is that
it is almost impossible to procure evidence against these malefactors,
in consequence of witnesses knowing that they will shortly be released
and will avenge themselves. Justice cannot be administered and still
greater evils are to be anticipated if the king does not provide a
remedy. If it is difficult to revise the Concordia and introduce the
necessary provisions, at least the king can order that these familiars
be dismissed and greater care be exercised in new appointments. All the
viceroys have recognized these impediments to justice, for these people
only seek exemption from the secular courts in order to be free to
commit crimes.

We might imagine much of this to be exaggeration were not its truth
tacitly admitted by the Suprema, when transmitting it to Valencia with
instructions for information on which to base a reply. There is no
rebuke or exhortation to amendment, but the inquisitors are told to act
with the utmost caution and secrecy; to report the number of familiars
in Valencia and how many are unmarried; to give details as to the cases
cited by the Council of Aragon and what punishments were inflicted; what
was the record of those inculpated in the murder of Don Martin Santís;
covertly to obtain statistics of crime in Valencia for the last ten
years, committed by those not exempt, the punishments inflicted by the
royal court and whether these were subsequently remitted; whether, when
familiars were tried by the tribunal, accomplices were prosecuted in
the royal courts, and if so what sentences were pronounced; also to make
secret investigation as to promises made to familiars by the judges to
let them off easily if they would not claim the fuero, and finally to
furnish a list of cases in which the tribunal has punished its officials
for trifling offences. Altogether the effort was evidently much less to
offer a justification than to make a _tu quoque_ rejoinder. Apparently
the statistics asked of the tribunal were unsatisfactory, for there was
no use made of them in the answer presented October 6th, in which, after
seeking to explain away the assertions of the viceroy and Council of
Aragon, the Suprema accused the secular courts and their officials of
perpetual prosecution of familiars, who were arrested on the slightest
suspicion, assumed to be guilty and then forced by cruel treatment to
renounce the fuero. The suggestions for reform were airily brushed
aside. To dismiss delinquent familiars would be almost impossible, in
view of its effect upon their families and kindred. To enquire of the
royal officials as to the character of aspirants for appointment was
inadmissible, as it would admit them to participation in a matter with
which they had nothing to do. The true cure for the troubles would be to
secure the Inquisition in its rights by forbidding the secular courts
from assuming any jurisdiction over familiars. In short it was a
passionate outburst, precluding all hope of amendment, to which the king
replied by telling the Suprema to see that the tribunal did not employ
violent measures against the royal officials, but report to him any
excess for his action. Evidently nothing was to be hoped for from him
and indeed he had written on August 6th to the viceroy that the case
must take its regular course as a competencia and the inquisitors must
not use inhibitory censures or summon the judges to appear before them.
The result was the usual one that the tribunal obtained cognizance of
the case; one, at least, of the accused, Jaime Blau, was found guilty,
for we have his insufficient sentence, condemning him to exile and a
fine of three hundred ducats--a sentence which goes far to explain the
eagerness of the inquisitors to extend their jurisdiction, for they
rarely inflicted corporal punishments on their delinquent officials,
when pecuniary ones were so much more profitable.[1093]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

The same spirit was shown when, in 1649, disturbances between armed
bands led Philip IV to order the Suprema to instruct the inquisitors
that familiars and officials participating in these brawls, or lending
aid to peacebreakers, should not enjoy the fuero and that the tribunal
should not defend them or interfere with the course of justice. Instead
of obeying, the Suprema replied that it suspended the order until the
king should be better informed. It then proceeded with a long argument
to show that the faith would be imperilled by such abridgement of the
privileges of the Holy Office. Besides, these factional contests had
always been customary in Valencia and it was impossible to avoid
favoring one side or the other, for these armed bands demanded whatever
they wanted--money, or food or clothes--and people were forced to give
it at the risk of having their harvests burnt or their throats cut. The
consulta ended with the impudent suggestion that in future it would be
much better for the king, before issuing such decrees, to communicate to
the Suprema the consultas of the other councils on which they were based
so that a junta could be formed and the matter be debated.[1094]

Evidently the Suprema held that this semi-savage state of society should
be encouraged by favoring the factionists and, under such conditions,
amelioration was impossible. Rivalry of jurisdiction paralyzed the law
and there was perpetual friction over the veriest trifles, for the
tribunal was always on the watch to resist the minutest infraction of
its prerogatives or disregard of its dignity. When, in 1702, Jacinto
Nadal, a familiar of Onteniente, received a summons to appear before Don
Pedro Domenech, a criminal judge of the Audiencia, he at once appealed
to the tribunal which sent word, on May 29th, that he had been under
arrest since March 25th and the papers in any charge against him must be
surrendered to it. It turned out that Domenech only wanted him to enter
security for his son and, when this was done, the inquisitors complained
that Nadal had done wrong in going to the judge after appealing to them,
and that Domenech had not treated them with proper respect, so that some
months were required to arrange a truce between them.[1095]

       *       *       *       *       *

Aragon was a source of greater trouble than Valencia. The popular spirit
was more independent, it had resisted the introduction of the
Inquisition until the murder of San Pedro Arbués had rendered further
opposition impossible, it had been cheated of the fruits of the tenacity
of Juan Prat and it possessed an institution peculiar to itself,
designed to limit the encroachments of the sovereign power and well
adapted to restrain the arrogance of anything less formidable than the
mingled spiritual and temporal jurisdiction of the Holy Office.

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

The origin of the court of the Justicia of Aragon was fondly attributed
by the Aragonese to the legendary times of the kingdom of Sobrarve and
there is fair probability in the theory of the latest writer on the
subject that it was derived by the Christians from the conquered
Moors.[1096] In the thirteenth century the Justicia was already judge
between the king and his subjects; every precaution was taken to render
him independent; he was irremovable by the king and even his resignation
was void; he could accept no office from the king; he was not liable to
arrest and in a case of prosecution the Córtes sat in judgement on him;
every person in the kingdom was required to obey his commands, to
respect his decisions and to aid in their enforcement. His court
consisted of his assessors or lieutenants, originally appointed by him,
but subsequently by the king. The Córtes of 1528 increased the number to
five, submitting fifteen names to Charles V, who selected five, while
the rest were placed in a _bolsa_ and drawn as vacancies occurred. They
were virtually the equals of the Justicia, for the assent of a majority
was required in all judgements and all precautions were taken to secure
their independence.[1097] It is true that, in spite of the inviolability
of the Justicia, there were cases on record in which Justicias had been
made way with and that, on the suppression of the rising caused by
Antonio Pérez, in 1591, the Justicia, Juan de Lanuza, was beheaded
without trial, and in the ensuing Córtes of Tarazona the appointment of
both Justicia and lieutenants was surrendered to the king.[1098]
Nevertheless the court of the Justicia was regarded by the Aragonese
with the greatest pride and reverence, as the safeguard of their
liberties and the highest expression of judicial authority existing in
the world; it was the bond that united the state and the foundation of
its tranquillity. When the Justicia authorized the cry of _Contrafuero!
Viva la Libertad y ayuda á la Libertad!_ it summoned every citizen to
sally forth in arms to defend the liberties of the land. Moreover, he
had the power of withholding from execution all papal decrees, and his
authority in ecclesiastical matters in general caused him to be
popularly termed the married pope.[1099]

So far as we are concerned, the power of the court was exercised through
two processes, the _manifestacion_ and the _firma_. The former was a
kind of habeas corpus, under which a person had to be produced before
it, either to be liberated on bail or to be confined in the _carcel de
manifestados_--a special prison over which even the king had no
jurisdiction. The summons of a manifestacion had to be obeyed, even if
the subject were on the gallows with the halter around his neck, or if
it was addressed to the highest secular or spiritual court of the land.
It was a privilege to which every citizen was entitled; when, in 1532,
Charles V sent orders that Don Pedro de Luna should be deprived of it,
he was not obeyed, and a special envoy was sent to him in Germany,
asking the prompt withdrawal of the command as, until the return of the
messenger, the land would be in great suspense. The _firma_ was of
various kinds, but in general it was of the nature of an injunction,
stopping all proceedings and summoning the parties before the court of
the Justicia, where their cases would be determined, and it was
especially useful in preventing arbitrary arrests and seizure of
property. Failure to obey a firma was promptly followed by seizure of
temporalities and, under a fuero of King Martin, it could be served on
the king himself. One was served on Charles V, at Valladolid, and again
one on the papal nuncio and, when the latter disregarded it, his
temporalities were sequestrated. Such a jurisdiction could not fail to
come into collision with the Inquisition, against which its powers were
frequently invoked, and the favorite device of the tribunal, of evading
service by closing its doors, was unavailing, for attaching the firma to
the gates was held to be legal service. In 1561, the Justicia granted a
manifestacion to Don Juan Francés del Ariño, in a case not of faith; the
tribunal prepared to answer by fulminating excommunications, but the
court issued a _monitorio_ against it, when a settlement was reached
which both parties considered satisfactory. In the same year, when the
inquisitors arrested Bartolomé Garate, secretary of the court, it served
a monitorio upon them and, in 1563, it did the same for the censures
issued against Augustin de Morlanes, of the criminal council of the
Audiencia. In 1626, when Pedro Banet, secretary of the tribunal, was
accused of the murder of Juan Domingo Serveto, the action of the
inquisitors led to the issue against them of a firma and monitorio,
under which their temporalities were seized and this was followed by
another firma, prohibiting the use of excommunication.[1100]

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

Under such institutions, animated by such a spirit, it was inevitable
that the extension of the temporal jurisdiction of the Holy Office
should provoke a bitter and prolonged conflict. We have seen the early
struggles of this; how concessions were wrung from monarch and
Inquisition, to be disregarded by them as soon as the momentary pressure
had passed, and how the remonstrances of the Córtes of 1528 and 1533
were contemptuously brushed aside. The grievances were real and the
Suprema knew them to be such, but the policy was invariable of denying
their existence and refusing amendment when asked for by the sufferers.
The temper in which complaints were heard was significantly manifested
when, in 1533, the Córtes of Monzon adopted certain articles and
presented them to Inquisitor-general Manrique and the Suprema, with the
request that they should be adopted. Thereupon Miguel de Galbe, fiscal
of the tribunal of Lérida, addressed to Manrique a formal accusation,
naming four members of the Córtes, who seem to have been the committee
deputed to communicate with the Suprema, asking that they and all who
had advocated the articles should be prosecuted as fautors of heretics
and impeders and disturbers of the Inquisition, while the articles in
question should be publicly torn and burnt as condemned and suspect of
heresy, injurious to the honor of God and prejudicial to the Holy
Office.[1101] Parliamentary discussion had doubtless been warm and
freedom of debate and legislation was contrary to the principles of the
Holy Office. Possibly it was the unpleasant experience of the Suprema on
this occasion that led it to keep away from the Córtes of Monzon in
1537 and to order the inquisitors to do likewise or, if their duties
called them there, to keep silent. Thus, when the Córtes asked the
emperor to make the Inquisition obey the laws, he was able to promise
accordingly and then the Suprema could subsequently argue it away in a

The remedial decree of Prince Philip, in 1545, was limited to Castile,
and Aragon was coolly told that its customs were different. Abuses
continued unchecked and at the Córtes of Monzon, in 1547, a long series
of grievances was presented to the inquisitor-general, as though the
crown had ceased to be a factor. The bull _Pastoralis officii_, by which
Leo X had confirmed the Concordia of 1512, had limited the number of
familiars to ten permanent ones in Saragossa and ten temporary ones
elsewhere as needed, in place of which the number was between five
hundred and a thousand; the bull had prescribed that they should be
married men of good character, in place of which many were bandits and
homicides and of notoriously evil life; the bull had ordered dismissal
for officials and familiars who did not pay their debts or who engaged
in trade, whereas the fuero was held to cover debts contracted and
offences committed prior to appointment; when they became bankrupt they
took refuge with the tribunal and the creditors were unpaid; if they
were creditors of a bankrupt they seized all the assets and others got
nothing; men procured appointments in order to revenge themselves in
safety on their enemies; it was impossible to collect debts of them and
this protection was extended even to women. A woman who claimed that her
father had been a familiar was thus defended from her creditors; the
brother of a notary of the tribunal, who had committed an offence,
caused the aggrieved parties to be arrested and the inquisitors held
them until they were forced to a compromise. How little hope there was
of redress for all this is visible in the contemptuous indifference with
which Inquisitor-general Valdés answered the several articles. As to
bandits and homicides being made familiars, he said the Inquisition had
need of all kinds of officials for its various functions, and as to the
specific complaints the stereotyped answer was that any one deeming
himself aggrieved could appeal to the Suprema and get justice.[1103]

The Concordia of 1553 was applicable to Castile alone and that of 1554
to Valencia. Aragon remained without the slender alleviation provided
for in the latter, for the adjustments of 1512 and 1521 were treated as
non-existent. At the Córtes of 1563-4 the complaints were so vivacious
that, as we have seen, Philip promised investigation which resulted in
the Concordia of 1568. The formula for Aragon was virtually the same as
the combined Valencia Concordias of 1554 and 1568, the evils with which
the two kingdoms were afflicted being virtually the same. As usual,
familiars were the class that excited the bitterest hostility. Their
commissions were all to be called in and then sixty were to be appointed
for Saragossa, while the other towns were assigned from eight to one or
two according to population. Their character was to be closely
scrutinized and all bandits, homicides, criminals, powerful nobles,
frailes and clerics were to be excluded, and no one was to enjoy the
fuero whose name was not on lists presented to the magistrates. They
were to have, in criminal matters, the active and passive fuero but in
civil suits only the passive; it was the same with servants of
officials, while officials themselves had active and passive in both
civil and criminal. The utmost caution and moderation was prescribed in
the employment of inhibitions and excommunications of the royal judges,
and the royal alguazils were not to be arrested save in cases of grave
and notorious infraction of inquisitorial rights.[1104]

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

The Concordia did not bring concord. In 1571 there arose a bitter
dispute between the tribunal and the court of the Justicia, in which
excommunications were freely used and, in December, the Diputados
appealed to Pius V to evoke the case and remove the censures, but he
told them to go to the inquisitor-general. After the death of Pius, the
kingdom insisted with Gregory XIII and, in December, 1572, obtained from
him a brief committing the case to the Suprema or to Ponce de Leon the
new inquisitor-general, but, at the same time, he ordered that some
remedy be found to prevent the inquisitors from abusing the privileges
conceded to them by the canons and the popes.[1105] The next year, 1573,
formal complaints were made by the kingdom of infractions of the
Concordia and, by 1585, aggravation had reached a point that the Córtes
asked for a new concordia. Philip promised to send a person to Saragossa
to gather information as to grievances alleged against certain
inquisitors and officials, after which arrangements were made for the
drafting and acceptance or rejection of a new agreement, but there is no
trace of any resultant understanding.[1106] Quarrelling necessarily
continued with little intermission. In 1613 the removal of the name of
Juan Porquet, a familiar, from _insaculacion_, by the royal commissioner
of Tamarit, gave rise to a great disturbance which was long remembered
and, in 1619, there was a clash between the tribunal and the
captain-general, which caused much scandal, resulting in the governor
being summoned to Madrid, where he was kept for four years.[1107]

Thus it went on until, in 1626, the Córtes were again assembled. It was
known that demands for relief would be made and the Suprema asked Philip
to submit to it whatever articles were proposed, in reply to which he
assured it that there should be no change to its prejudice, but that he
would procure its increase of privilege.[1108] The chief business of the
Córtes was the questions connected with the Inquisition. Philip was not
present and his representative, the Count of Monterrey, did not feel
empowered to grant the demands made. The only absolute action taken was
to adopt as a _fuero_ or law the Concordia of 1568, which hitherto had
only the authority of the orders of the king and inquisitor-general. As
regards reform, it was left to a commission, consisting on one side of
royal appointees and on the other of four delegates named by each of the
four _brazos_ or estates. The commission framed a series of fourteen
articles, by no means radical in their character, but Philip
procrastinated in confirming or rejecting them; the Suprema, in 1627,
appealed to Rome to withhold papal sanction and they were quietly
allowed to drop, on the pretext that the Concordia of 1568, now erected
into law, would suffice to prevent future grounds of complaint. How
futile this was is apparent from a conflict which occurred during the
sitting of the commission. The assessor of the governor, as was his
duty, entered the house of the secretary of the tribunal, _flagrante
delicto_, for a most treacherous murder attributed to him. Although his
obligation to do this was notorious, arrest of subordinates followed on
both sides and the indignant people were with difficulty restrained
from a tumult. The royal officials at once took steps to form a
competencia, in conformity with the Concordia which had just been
erected into a law; this required all proceedings to be suspended but
the inquisitors excommunicated the assessor, refusing to join in the
competencia because, as they asserted, the case was an evident one, thus
assuming that they could set aside all law by merely declaring that a
case was evident.[1109]

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

The Inquisition had never been restrained by the Concordia and now that
it had again baffled the Córtes it was still less inclined to submit to
restraint. Quarrels continued as virulent as before, a single example of
which will illustrate its invincible tendency to extend its jurisdiction
on all possible pretexts. Berenguer de San Vicente of Huesca, in 1534,
had founded in that city the College of Santiago and when, in 1538, the
municipality added an endowment of more than six thousand ducats, he
made the magistrates its patrons. In 1542 he procured from Charles V a
cédula, confirmed by the pope, making the inquisitors of Aragon visitors
or inspectors of the college, during the royal pleasure and so long as
they should perform their functions loyally and well. This supervisory
function they stretched in course of time to bring the college and all
its members under their jurisdiction, although in 1643 it was asserted
that the last visitation had been made in 1624. This power they
exercised in most arbitrary fashion. When an attempt was made to burn
the college and the town offered a reward for the detection of the
incendiary, they interposed with the threat of an interdict and
frightened the citizens into submission. In 1643 a pasquinade against
some of the inhabitants led to the prosecution of the rector of the
college, Dr. Juan Lorenzo Salas, who promptly procured letters from the
tribunal inhibiting further proceedings and demanding all the papers.
The patience of Huesca was exhausted. It declared its position to be
intolerable, for the students appealed to the fuero in all disputes with
the townsmen, and the result of the stimulus thus given to that
turbulent element was driving away the population and every one lived in
apprehension of some terrible event. To gain relief it applied to the
Audiencia for a competencia but was told that this was impossible,
whereupon it obtained from the court of the Justicia a _firma_
prohibiting the inquisitors from acting; they refused to allow it to be
served when it was put on the gate of the Aljaferia with notice that if
answer was not made within thirty days it would be followed with exile
and seizure of temporalities. The Suprema ordered the inquisitors to
answer by excommunicating all concerned. Philip was then in Saragossa,
on his way to Catalonia to put himself at the head of his army, for the
disgrace of Olivares had forced him to govern as well as to reign, but
he was compelled to distract his thoughts with these miserable
squabbles. The Council of Aragon appealed to him to require the
inquisitors to show cause why they should not be deprived of the
visitation and to impose silence on all until he should reach a
decision; the Audiencia rendered an opinion that the court of the
Justicia could not refuse to issue the firma and, if the complainant
insisted on its service, it must be served if the whole power of the
kingdom had to be called upon. On the other hand the Suprema declared
that the service of the firma was unexampled and urged the king to
support the Inquisition in a matter on which depended the ruin or the
preservation of the monarchy, for it would be better to close the Holy
Office than to expose its jurisdiction to such disgrace, while in these
calamitous times favor shown to the Inquisition would placate God and
insure the success of his arms. Philip's reply was long and maundering,
irresolute between his reverence for the Inquisition and his fear of
alienating in his extremity the Aragonese by violating their most
cherished privileges. If Huesca would desist from the service of the
firma he would order the tribunal to form a competencia. Huesca,
however, was intractable; its very existence, it asserted, was at stake
and it begged the king not to interfere with the legal remedies to which
it had been forced and, in conveying this reply to the king, the Council
of Aragon warned him that it could not prevent Huesca from serving the
firma, as this would be a notorious violation of the law on the point
regarded by the kingdom as most essential. Yet, after all, the question
was evaded by the device of appointing as visitor of the college the
inquisitor Juan Llano de Valdés, who succeeded in reaching an agreement
with the city. It would seem that thereafter special visitors were
nominated for, in 1665, we hear of such an appointment issued to
Inquisitor Carlos del Hoya and it may be doubted whether Huesca gained

These disturbances mark the highest point reached by the Inquisition in
Aragon as regards its temporal jurisdiction. How little cause of
complaint it really had, and how Aragon, in spite of its sturdy
independence, had endured greater abuses than those permitted in
Castile, is evinced in a suggestion made by the Suprema, February 11,
1643, in response to a demand from the king to devise some new source of
raising money for the bankrupt treasury. This was that if he would grant
to the familiars of Castile the same privileges of active and passive
fuero enjoyed by those of Aragon, they would cheerfully contribute to a
considerable assessment, with the added advantage of diminishing the
competencias which caused so much trouble and loss of time.[1111] Such a
proposal affords the measure of the wrongs inflicted on society by those
who profited by their exemption from the secular courts, for even the
more limited privileges of the Castilian familiars rendered the position
one to be eagerly sought, in spite of the considerable cost of proving
the condition precedent of _limpieza_, or purity of blood. These evils
were vastly aggravated by the fact, as we shall see hereafter, that the
tribunals never regarded the limitation on numbers prescribed by the
Concordias, but filled the land with these privileged persons who, for
the most part, turned to the best account the protection of the Holy

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

That Aragon should be permanently restive under this adverse
discrimination was inevitable and the time had come when it could
dictate in place of supplicating. Since the Córtes of 1626 twenty years
elapsed before Philip found himself constrained to assemble them again.
The situation was desperate; the Catalan rebellion bade fair to end in
the permanent alienation of the Principality to France, and it was not
wise to impose too severe a strain on the loyalty of Aragon, when the
Córtes met September 20, 1645, for a session of fifteen months. In
preparation for the struggle, the Suprema presented to the king,
September 30th, an elaborately argued memorial in which it told him that
the calamities of the war should lead him to greater zeal in fortifying
the Inquisition with new graces and privileges, so as to win the favor
of God, whose cause they served and from whom alone was relief to be
expected. It was therefore asked that whatever demands on the subject
should be presented should be reserved for discussion with the
inquisitor-general and Suprema.[1112] Philip doubtless made the desired
promise, but the Aragonese had too often found their hopes frustrated in
this manner to submit to it again under existing circumstances.

The Córtes lost no time in presenting their petition on the subject,
which asked for radical reform in all the Aragonese kingdoms. The
jurisdiction of the Inquisition was to be confined to cases of faith and
to civil and criminal actions between its officials. In certain mixed
cases, such as bigamy, unnatural crime, sorcery, solicitation and
censorship it should have jurisdiction cumulative with the appropriate
secular and spiritual courts. A number of minor points were added,
including a demand that all inquisitors and officials should be natives
and it was significantly stated that the petition was presented thus
early in order that it might be granted, so that the Córtes could
proceed more heartily with the servicio that was asked for. This paper
was submitted to the Suprema which replied in a long consulta, March 31,
1646, arguing that the Inquisition had been introduced into Aragon
without law and was independent of all law. It proceeded to demonstrate,
as we have seen (p. 345), that its temporal jurisdiction was inalienable
and that the Concordias were compacts which could not be modified
without its consent. The officials were so abhorred that it would be
impossible for them to perform their duties if they were not thus
protected. If the Córtes should stubbornly insist, the king was urged,
like Charles V in 1518, to remember his soul and his conscience, and to
prefer the loss of part of his dominions rather than consent to anything
contrary to the honor of God and the authority of the Inquisition.[1113]

The policy of the Suprema was to carry the war into Africa, and it
followed this manifesto with another demanding that the court of the
Justicia should be prohibited from issuing firmas and manifestaciones in
cases concerning the Inquisition. Both sides asked for more than they
expected to get and, when the Córtes answered these papers, June 20th,
after numerous citations to disprove the arguments of the Suprema and an
exposition of the hardships caused by the existing system, they opened
the way to a compromise by pointing out that Castile for nearly a
hundred years had enjoyed what Aragon had vainly prayed for, and
concluded by suggesting that the best set