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Title: A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 3
Author: Lea, Henry Charles
Language: English
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                       THE INQUISITION OF SPAIN

                       WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

     volumes, octavo.

     CHURCH._ In three volumes, octavo.

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

     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.

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

     volume, 12mo.

                               A HISTORY

                                OF THE

                         INQUISITION OF SPAIN


                       HENRY CHARLES LEA, LL.D.

                            IN FOUR VOLUMES

                              VOLUME III.

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

                         _All rights reserved_

                            COPYRIGHT, 1907
                       BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

           Set up and electrotyped. Published January. 1907





General Use of Torture in Secular Courts                               1

The Inquisition not exceptionally cruel                                2

More moderate than the Roman Holy Office                               3

Formal Preliminaries to prevent its Abuse                              4

The Threat of Torture                                                  6

Conditions justifying torture                                          7

Torture of Witnesses--Torture _in caput alienum_                      11

No exemptions admitted                                                13

Limitations of Torture                                                14

The Administration of Torture                                         16

Varieties of Torture                                                  18

Severity of Torture                                                   22

Record of Administration                                              24

Confession under Torture must be ratified                             27

Repetition of Torture                                                 28

Endurance without Confession                                          30

Frequency of Use of Torture                                           33

Fees of the Torturer                                                  35


Gradual development of Procedure                                      36

The Audience--The Three Monitions                                     37

The Charges Withheld                                                  39

The Accusation                                                        41

The Advocate for the Defence--His Function                            42

The Curador for Minors                                                50

The Patrones Teólogos                                                 51

Publication of Evidence                                               53

The Defence--Recusation of Judges                                     56

Insanity                                                              58

_Tacha_ and _Abonos_                                                  63

Evidence for the Defence                                              64

The Argument of the Advocate                                          69

Examination of the Accused                                            70

The _Consulta de Fe_                                                  71

Delays                                                                75

Prosecution of the Dead                                               81

of the Absent                                                         86



The two Forms of Sentence                                             93

The Culprit kept in Ignorance                                         94

Appeals                                                               95

Modification of Sentence                                              97

Severity or Benignity                                                 99

Enforcement of the Sentence                                          101

Acquittal                                                            105

Suspension                                                           108

Admission to Bail                                                    111

Compurgation or Wager of Law                                         113

Used by the Inquisition in Doubtful Cases                            114

Formula of Procedure                                                 117


Reprimand                                                            121

Abjuration                                                           123

Exile                                                                126

Razing Houses                                                        128

Spiritual Penances                                                   131

Unusual Penalties                                                    132


The Scourge                                                          135

Vergüenza                                                            138

The Galleys--The Presidio                                            139

Reconciliation                                                       146

The Perpetual Prison                                                 151

Commutations                                                         160

The Sanbenito                                                        162

Its display in Churches                                              164

Disabilities                                                         172

Clerical Offenders                                                   180


Burning for heresy in the Public Law of Europe                       183

Responsibility of the Church                                         184

Conversion before or after Sentence--Strangling before Burning       190

Conditions entailing relaxation--Pertinacity                         195

Denial--the _Negativo_                                               198

Partial confession--the _Diminuto_                                   199

The Dogmatizer or Heresiarch                                         200

Relapse                                                              202

Disappearance of relaxation                                          208


Impressiveness of the _Auto Publico General_                         209

Preparations and Celebration                                         213

The _Auto Particular_ or _Autillo_                                   220

It Replaces the General Public Auto                                  221

Celebration in Churches                                              224

The Auto de fe as a spectacular Entertainment                        227



Neglect of Instruction of coerced Converts                           231

Slenderness of Proof required for Prosecutio                         232

Gradual Disappearance of Judaism                                     234

Influx of Portuguese Judaizers after the Conquest of Portugal        237

Portugal--Treatment of Jewish Refugees                               237

João III resolves to introduce the Inquisition                       238

Struggle in Rome between João and the New Christians                 239

João obtains an unrestricted Inquisition                             253

Activity of the Inquisition                                          259

Tribunal established in Goa but not in Brazil                        261

Organization of the Portuguese Inquisition                           262

Cases of George Buchanan and Damião de Goes                          263

Increased activity after the Spanish Conquest                        265

The General Pardon of 1604                                           267

The Portuguese New Christians in Spain                               270

Active Persecution in Portugal                                       273

Discussions as to Expulsion                                          275

Rebellion of 1640--João IV favors the New Christians                 280

Padre Antonio Vieira S. J. appeals for them to Rome                  284

Innocent XI orders Modifications of Procedure                        289

Unabated Prejudice in Spain--Olivares opposes the Inquisition        290

Dread of Jewish Propaganda--Case of Lope de Vera                     293

Persistent Persecution of Portuguese                                 296

Gradual Obsolescence of Jewish Observances                           300

Restriction of Emigration or Expulsion                               303

Catastrophe of Majorca                                               305

Recrudescence of Persecution after the War of Succession             308

Extinction of Judaism in Spain                                       311

Exclusion of Foreign Jews                                            311

Readmission to Spain under Constitution of 1869                      315


Toleration of the Mudéjares--Capitulations of Granada                317

Talavera and Ximenes in Granada                                      319

Rising of the Moors--Enforced Conversion                             322

Isabella compels Conversion in Castile--Instruction neglected        324

Persecution of the new Converts                                      328

Situation in Granada                                                 331

Oppressive Edict of Philip II in 1567                                334

Rebellion of the Moriscos                                            338

They are deported and scattered--their Prosperity                    339

The Moors under the Crown of Aragon                                  342

Valencia--Coercive Baptism by the Germanía                           346

Investigation as to its Extent and Character                         348

Decision to enforce Adhesion to the Faith                            351

Charles V gives all Moors the Alternative of Exile or Baptism--they
submit                                                               352

The Concordia of 1528 grants them Exemption from the
Inquisition                                                          357

The Inquisition disregards the Agreement                             358

Fines substituted for Confiscation                                   360

Activity of the Inquisition--Case of Don Cosme Abenamir              362

Futile Efforts at Instruction and Conversion                         365

Edicts of Grace--their Failure                                       371

Intermittent Trials of Moderation                                    373

Deplorable Condition of the Moriscos--Emigration forbidden           375

Questions as to Baptism, Marriage, Slaughtering Meat                 380

Dangerous Discontent of the Moriscos                                 382

Ravages of Moorish Corsairs on the Coast                             383

Plots with foreign Powers for a Rising                               384

Plans to avert the Danger--Expulsion resolved on                     388

Its execution in Valencia, September, 1609                           393

Expulsion from Granada and Andalusia in January, 1610                398

simultaneously from Castile                                          399

from Aragon and Catalonia in May, 1610                               401

Final rooting out of the _Moriscos antiguos_                         403

Expulsion delayed in Murcia until January, 1614                      404

Number and Fate of the Exiles                                        406

Squandering of the Confiscations                                     409


Exaggeration of the Protestant Movement in Spain                     411

Pre-Reformation Freedom of Speech--Erasmus                           412

First Efforts of Repression, in 1521                                 413

The Enchiridion of Erasmus--Persecution of Erasmists--of
Catholics                                                            414

Protestant Foreigners                                                421

Native Protestants                                                   423

Dr. Egidio and the Seville Protestants--the Protestant Propaganda    424

The Protestants of Valladolid--General Alarm exploited by
Valdés                                                               429

The Autos de fe of May 21, and October 8, 1559                       437

Prosecutions in Seville--Autos of 1559, 1560, 1562, 1564 and
1565                                                                 442

Native Protestantism crushed--Dread of foreign Propaganda
and Ideas                                                            448

Few scattering cases of native Protestants                           452

Prosecution of Foreigners for real or suspected Protestantism        457

Obstruction of commercial Intercourse--Treaties with England,
Holland and France                                                   462

Exclusion of Foreigners, except in the Army                          472

Conversion of foreign Heretics                                       476


Censorship originally a Function of the State                        480

The Lutheran Revolt leads the Inquisition to assume it in 1521       482

Papal power granted in 1539                                          482

Licences to print issued by the State--Books condemned by the
Inquisition                                                          483

The _Index Librorum Prohibitorum_ or _Expurgandorum_                 484

Examination of all Libraries and Book-shops                          487

Savage law of Philip II in 1558                                      488

Use of the Edict of Faith and of the Confessional                    490

Triviality of Expurgation                                            491

Divergence between the Inquisition and the Holy See                  492

Successive Indexes--of Quiroga, Sandoval, Zapata, Sotomayor,
Vidal Marin, Prado y Cuesta and the Indice Ultimo                    493

Practice of Expurgating Books and Libraries--the Escorial            497

Vigilant Supervision over Book-shops and Libraries--Estates
of the Dead                                                          501

Supervision over Importations and internal Traffic                   504

Impediments to Commerce and Culture                                  508

Precautions against Smuggling--_Visitas de Navíos_                   510

Interference with Commerce--The Case of Bilbao                       513

Become purely financial--Effort to revive them in 1819               519

Licences to read prohibited Books                                    521

Penalties for Disregard of the Censorship                            525

Prohibition of vernacular Bibles                                     527

Various Abuses of Censorship                                         530

Quarrel with Rome over the _Regalistas_--The Inquisition secures
its Independence                                                     533

It turns against the Crown--Carlos III controls its Censorship       539

Censorship directed against the Revolution                           542

Censorship of Morals and Art                                         545

Influence of Censorship                                              548

APPENDIX--Statistics of Offences and Penalties                       551

DOCUMENTS                                                            555


BOOK VI. (Continued).



To the modern mind the judicial use of torture, as a means of
ascertaining truth, is so repellant and illogical that we are apt to
forget that it has, from the most ancient times, been practised by
nearly all civilized nations. With us the device of the jury has
relieved the judge of the responsibility resting upon him in other
systems of jurisprudence. That responsibility had to be met; a decision
had to be reached, even in the most doubtful cases and, where evidence
was defective and conflicting, the use of torture as an expedient to
obtain a confession, or, by its endurance, to indicate innocence, has
seemed, until modern times, after the disuse of compurgation and the
judgements of God, to be the only means of relieving the judicial
conscience. It was admitted to be dangerous and fallacious, to be
employed only with circumspection, but there was nothing to take its

That it should be used by the Inquisition was a matter of course, for
the crime of heresy was often one peculiarly difficult to prove;
confession was sought in all cases and, from the middle of the
thirteenth century, the habitual employment of torture by the Holy
Office had been the most efficient factor in spreading its use
throughout Christendom, at the expense of the obsolescent Barbarian
customs. It is true that Spain was loath to admit the innovation. In
Castile, which rejected the Inquisition, Alfonso X, notwithstanding his
admiration of the Roman law, required that confession must be voluntary
and insisted that, if obtained by torture, it must subsequently be
freely ratified, without threats or pressure.[2] In the kingdoms of
Aragon, which admitted the Inquisition, torture remained illegal, and it
was only by the positive commands of Clement V that it was employed, in
1311, on the Templars.[3] By the time that the Spanish Inquisition was
organized, however, torture in Castile was in daily use by the criminal
courts, and there could be no question as to the propriety of its
employment by the Holy Office. In Aragon, Peña tells us that, although
it was forbidden in secular jurisprudence, it was freely permitted in
matters of faith. Yet its use was jealously watched, for when the aid of
torture was sought in the case of a prisoner accused of the murder of a
familiar, the Córtes of 1646 complained of it as an unprecedented
innovation, which was only prevented by the active intervention of the
diputados and viceroy.[4] Valencia had been less rigid in excluding
torture from its courts, but so limited its use that, in 1684, the
tribunal reported that, in cases of unnatural crime (of which it had
cognizance, subject to the condition of trial by secular process), it no
longer used torture, because the methods permitted by the fueros were so
light that the accused felt no fear of them, and they were useless in
extracting confession.[5]


We shall see that occasionally tribunals abused the use of torture, but
the popular impression that the inquisitorial torture-chamber was the
scene of exceptional refinement in cruelty, of specially ingenious modes
of inflicting agony, and of peculiar persistence in extorting
confessions, is an error due to sensational writers who have exploited
credulity. The system was evil in conception and in execution, but the
Spanish Inquisition, at least, was not responsible for its introduction
and, as a rule, was less cruel than the secular courts in its
application, and confined itself more strictly to a few well-known
methods. In fact, we may reasonably assume that its use of torture was
less frequent, for its scientific system of breaking down resistance, in
its long-drawn procedure, was more effective than the ruder and speedier
practice of the secular courts where, as we are told by Archbishop
Pedro de Castro of Granada, it was notorious that no one confessed
except when overcome by torture.[6]

In this respect, the comparison between the Spanish and the Roman
Inquisition is also eminently in favor of the former. We shall have
occasion presently to see the limitations which it placed on the use of
torture, while in Rome it was the rule that all who confessed or were
convicted in matters of faith were tortured for the further discovery of
the truth and the revelation of accomplices. In addition to this there
were many classes of cases in which torture was employed by Rome to
extort confession and in which it was forbidden in Spain--those
involving mere presumption of heresy, such as solicitation, sorcery,
blasphemy etc. Moreover in Rome the _in arbitrio judicum_ applied not
only to the kind and duration of the torture but also to its
repetition.[7] Spanish writers on practice, therefore, were justified in
claiming for their own tribunals a sparing use of torture unknown in
Italy, while, as regards its severity, the frequency with which in the
trials we find that the accused overcame the torture would indicate that
habitually it was not carried to extremity, as it so frequently was in
the secular courts. No torture-chamber in the Inquisition possessed the
resources of the corregidor who labored for three hours, in 1612, to
obtain from Diego Duke of Estrada confession of a homicide--the water
torture, the mancuerda, the potro, hot irons for the feet, hot bricks
for the stomach and buttocks, garrotillos known as bone-breakers, the
trampa to tear the legs and the bostezo to distend the mouth--and all
this was an every-day matter of criminal justice.[8]

The indirect torture of especially harsh imprisonment was not unknown to
the Inquisition, and was occasionally employed for the purpose of
breaking down obstinacy. It was not, as in the medieval Inquisition,
prescribed as an ordinary resource, but it was at the discretion of the
tribunal and could at any time be brought into play, as in the case of a
pertinacious heretic, in 1512, who was consigned to the most noisome
part of the prison, and afflicted in various ways, in the hope of
enlightening his understanding.[9] In the later period of leisurely
action, protracted imprisonment was frequently resorted to, in the hope
of inducing repentance and conversion, when wearing anxiety and despair
weakened the will as effectually as the sharper agonies of the pulley
and rack. There was also the ingenious device, frequently effective, by
which the fiscal concluded his formal accusation with a demand that, if
necessary, the accused should be tortured until he confessed. This was
unknown in the earlier period, but the Instructions of 1561 recommend
it, giving as a reason its good results, and also that torture requires
a demand from the prosecutor and a notification to the defendant, who is
unprepared for it at this stage of the trial.[10] After this it became
the universal custom in all cases admitting of torture, and the profound
impression produced on the unfortunate prisoner can be readily


Torture itself, however, was regarded as too serious to be left to the
arbitrary temper of a baffled or angry inquisitor, and was preceded by
formalities designed to prevent its abuse. It was the last resort when
the result of a trial left doubts to be satisfied. After the prosecution
and defence had closed, and the consulta de fe had assembled to consider
the sentence, if the evidence was too weak for condemnation while the
innocence of the accused was not clear, it could adopt a vote to torture
and postpone the decision to await the outcome. Even in the ferocity of
the early period this deliberateness was frequently observed, although
in the reckless haste of procedure it was often omitted. Thus, in the
case of Diego García, a priest accused of having said twenty years
before, when a boy, that the sacrament was bread, the consulta held two
meetings, January 18 and 19, 1490, and finally voted torture. There was
no haste however and it was not until February 11th that García was
exposed to the very moderate water-torture of about a quart of water. No
confession was obtained and he was untied, with the protest that he had
not been sufficiently tortured, but it was not repeated and, on February
26th, he was acquitted and restored to his fame and honor, though, with
the curiously perverse inquisitorial logic, he was made to abjure _de
vehementi_ and forbidden to celebrate mass for six months.[11] The vote
of the consulta however was not universal and, in 1518, the Suprema
ordered it to be always observed, but a clause in the Instructions of
1561, reminding inquisitors that they must not inflict torture until
after hearing the defence shows how difficult it was to restrain their
arbitrary action.[12] Even in the early eighteenth century, in reviewing
a summary of cases of Valencia, from 1705 to 1726, the Suprema rebuked
the tribunal for torturing Sebastian Antonio Rodríguez without previous
consultation, but at this period the consulta de fe was becoming
obsolete and everything was centering in the Suprema.[13]

The vote of the consulta was still only preliminary. After it, the
accused was brought into the audience-chamber, where all the inquisitors
and the episcopal Ordinary were required to be present. He was notified
of the decision of the consulta; if he was a _diminuto_, the points in
which his confession had failed to satisfy the evidence were pointed
out; if a _negativo_, no explanations were necessary; if it was on
intention or in _caput alienum_ he was made to understand it. He was
adjured, in the name of God and the Blessed Virgin, to confess fully,
without false evidence as to himself or others and, if this failed to
move him, a formal sentence of torture was signed by all the judges and
read to him. It recited that, in view of the suspicions arising against
him from the evidence, they condemned him to be tortured for such length
of time as they should see fit, in order that he might tell the truth of
what had been testified against him, protesting that, if in the torture
he should die or suffer effusion of blood or mutilation, it should not
be attributed to them, but to him for not telling the truth. If the
torture was to discover accomplices, care was taken to make no allusion
to him and to give him no chance of clearing himself, for he was
assumed to be already convicted.[14]

Even this sentence was not necessarily a finality for, if the accused
offered a new defence, it had to be considered and acted upon before
proceeding further.[15] Moreover he had theoretically a right to appeal
to the inquisitor-general from this, as from all other interlocutory
sentences. This right varied at different times. A ruling by the
Suprema, in 1538, appears to indicate that it was granted as a matter of
right, but the Instructions of 1561 tell inquisitors that, if they feel
scruple, they should grant it, but if satisfied that the sentence is
justified they should refuse the appeal as frivolous and dilatory.[16]
Still the right to ask it was so fully recognized that, if the accused
was not twenty-five years of age and thus a minor, his _curador_ or
guardian was required to be present, in order to interject an appeal if
he saw fit, and I have met with an instance of this in the case of
Angela Pérez, a Morisco slave, before the Toledo tribunal in 1575, where
it was as usual unsuccessful, for the Suprema confirmed the
sentence.[17] Tribunals seem not infrequently to have allowed appeals,
but, with the growing centralization in the Suprema, they became
superfluous and a formula, drawn up in 1690, directs that no attention
be paid to them.[18]

[Sidenote: _CONDITIONS_]

When the indications of guilt were too slender to justify torture, the
consulta de fe sometimes voted to threaten torture.[19] Then the
sentence was formally drawn up and read to the accused, he was taken to
the torture-chamber, stripped and perhaps tied on the _potro_ or
_escalera_, without proceeding further. A curious case of this was that
of Leonor Pérez who, at the age of seventy, was sentenced, May 3, 1634,
in Valladolid, to be placed _in conspectu tormentorum_. When stripped,
on May 10th, the executioner reported marks of previous torture; the
proceedings were suspended and, on May 13th, she admitted that, twenty
years before, she had been tortured in Coimbra. On June 14th the
sentence was again executed, but, before being stripped, she confessed
to some Jewish beliefs and then fainted. A postponement was necessary
and two days later she revoked her confession. The case dragged on and
it was not until August 1, 1637 that she was condemned to abjure _de
vehementi_, to six years of exile, a fine of two hundred ducats, and to
be paraded in _vergüenza_, but we still hear of her as in prison, early
in 1639.[20] It required strong nerves to endure this threat of torture,
with its terrifying formalities and adjurations, and it was frequently

       *       *       *       *       *

The conditions held to justify torture were that the offence charged was
of sufficient gravity, and that the evidence, while not wholly decisive,
was such that the accused should have the opportunity of "purging" it,
by endurance proportionate to its strength. From the inquisitor's point
of view, it was a favor to the accused, as it gave him a chance which
was denied to those whose condemnation was resolved upon. This is
illustrated by a highly significant case in the Toledo tribunal in 1488.
Juan del Rio had lived long in Rome, where he was present in the jubilee
of 1475; by the arts of the courtier he won the favor of Sixtus IV and
returned to Spain about 1483, loaded with benefices--among them a
prebend in the Toledo cathedral--which excited cupidity and enmity. He
was an Old Christian, of pure Biscayan descent, who could not be
suspected of Judaism, but he was a loose and inconsiderate chatterer; in
the Spain which he had left there was much licence, in the Rome where he
had so long sojourned there was more; he could not, on his return,
accommodate himself to the new order of things, and his reckless talk
gave the opportunity of making vacancies of his numerous preferments.
The evidence against him was of the flimsiest; the most serious charge
was that, when a tenant had been unable to pay rent on account of the
Inquisition, he had petulantly wished it at the devil. At a later period
he would have had a chance to purge the evidence by the water-torture,
but this was not permitted him; he was hurried to the stake as a
pertinacious _negativo_, leaving his spoils to those who could grasp

It was a well-accepted maxim of the civil law that torture should not be
employed when the penalty of the crime charged was less severe than the
infliction of torture--an equation of suffering which afforded to the
doctors ample opportunity of defining the unknown quantity. This was
fully accepted by the Inquisition and we are told that torture is not
indicated for propositions merely offensive, rash, scandalous or
blasphemous, or for the assertion that simple fornication is not a
mortal sin, or for heretical blasphemy, or sorcery, or for propositions
arising from ignorance, or for bigamy or solicitation in the
confessional, or for lying under excommunication for a year, or for
other matters which infer only light suspicion of heresy, even though
for some of these offences the punishment was scourging and the galleys.
Torture is freely alluded to as an irreparable injury the use of which
would be unjustifiable in such matters.[22]

[Sidenote: _CONDITIONS_]

This, however, was, like everything else in this nebulous region, open
to considerable laxity in application. When Francisco de Tornamira, a
boy of eighteen and page of the Duke of Pastrana, was tried in 1592, on
the charge of having said that Jews and Moors could be saved if they had
faith in their respective beliefs, he denied and was tortured till he
confessed, and then the triviality of his offence was admitted by
subjecting him only to abjuration _de levi_, to hearing a mass as a
penitent in the audience-chamber, and to a reprimand. The same tribunal
in 1579, tried Stefano Grillen, an Italian, who, in a discussion with
some chance fellow-travellers, maintained that the miracles at the
shrines of Our Lady of Atocha and of la Caridad were wrought by the
Virgin herself and not by her images. He freely confessed but was
tortured--apparently on intention--and was dismissed with the same
trivial punishment as Tornamira.[23] Even more suggestive is the case of
Juan Pereira, a boy of fifteen, tried, in 1646, for Judaism at
Valladolid. The proceedings were dilatory and he gradually became
demented; nothing could be done with him and opinions were divided as to
the reality of his insanity. The Suprema was applied to and sagely
ordered torture to find out. It was administered, April 22, 1648, but
the method of diagnosis was not as successful as its ingenuity deserved
and, in August, he was sent to a hospital for six months, with
instructions to observe him carefully. As his name after this disappears
from the records, he probably died in the hospital.[24] It is evident
that the Inquisition did not take to heart the warning issued by the
Suprema, in 1533, that torture was a very delicate matter.[25]

When we come to inquire as to the character of evidence requiring
torture for its elucidation, we find how illusory were all the attempts
of the legists to lay down absolute rules, and how it all ended in
leaving the matter to the discretion of the tribunal. As confession,
though desired, was not essential to conviction, the _negativo_ who was
convicted on sufficient evidence was not to be tortured, but was to be
relaxed. Even this rule, however, could be set aside at the caprice of
the judge, though he was warned, in such cases, to put on record a
protest that he did not direct the torture against the matters that had
been proved, for the very good reason that endurance of torture might
purge them and nullify the proof.[26] It was impossible to reduce to a
logical formula that which in its essence was illogical, or to frame an
accurate definition of evidence that was insufficient for conviction yet
sufficient for torture. It was easy to say that _semiplena_ evidence
suffices, but what was semiplena? One authority will tell us that a
single witness, even an accomplice, justifies torture, another that
three accomplice witnesses are requisite. One impartial and
unexceptionable witness, again, is sometimes held to require public fame
as an adjuvant, but the records are full of cases in which torture was
employed on the unsupported testimony of a single witness. The weight of
other more or less confirmatory evidence was also keenly debated,
without reaching substantial agreement--whether flight before arrest, or
breaking gaol, or vacillation and equivocation when examined, or even
pallor, was sufficient justification.[27] It is not surprising,
therefore, that, as a practical result, we are told that all these
questions must be left to the discretion of the judge, to be decided in
each individual case.[28] Under such conditions it would be useless to
expect consistency of practice in all tribunals and at all periods. We
have seen above that cases were sometimes suspended because evidence had
not been ratified, yet the Toledo tribunal, in 1584, tortured Lope el
Gordo for that very reason, because the chief witness against him had
not ratified his testimony, and it is satisfactory to add that Lope
endured the torments and thus earned suspension of his case.[29]

The _diminuto_, whose confession did not cover all the adverse evidence,
was, according to rule, to be tortured in order to account for the
deficiency. If he endured without further admission, he was to be
punished on the basis of what he had confessed, but if he did not thus
purge the evidence, he was to be sent to the galleys. This was sometimes
done in mere surplusage, apparently to gratify the curiosity of the
tribunal, as in the Toledo case of Antonio de Andrada, in 1585, who
confessed what was amply sufficient for his punishment, but, as there
were some omissions, was tortured to elucidate them. In the seventeenth
century, however, we are assured that there was much caution used in
torturing diminutos, and that it was not done unless the omitted matters
were such as to call for relaxation. If they concerned accomplices,
however, whom the culprit was suspected of shielding, he was tortured
_in caput alienum_. Retraction or vacillation of confession necessarily
required torture to reconcile the contradiction; this occurred chiefly
with timid persons, frightened by the demand of the fiscal for torture,
and thus led to make admissions which they subsequently recalled, thus
bringing upon themselves what they had sought to avoid.[30] The question
of intention, in the performance of acts in themselves indifferent, was,
as we have seen, the frequent occasion of torture, as there was no other
means known to the jurisprudence of the period, which was bent on
ascertaining the secrets of the offender's mind.

[Sidenote: _WITNESSES_]

Yet it is possible that in some cases, when torture appears to be pure
surplusage, there may have been the kindly intention of contributing to
the salvation of the sufferer, by inducing or confirming his conversion;
for habitual persecution for the greater glory of God induced a state of
mind precluding all rational intellectual processes, where the faith was
concerned. Thus Rojas tells us that there should be no hesitation in the
use of torture, when the salvation of the culprit's soul was involved,
so that he might be reconciled to the Church and undergo penance through
which he might be saved.[31] This reasoning was urged in the case of
Réné Perrault, in 1624, by some of the consultores of the tribunal of
Toledo. His crime of maltreating the Host was public and unquestionable,
but he had varied in his statements as to his faith; the consulta de fe
was unanimous in ordering torture to discover possible accomplices, but
some of the members desired a special additional torture in order to
confirm him in the faith and save his soul.[32]

       *       *       *       *       *

That witnesses should be tortured, in order to obtain or confirm their
testimony, is an abuse which, repulsive as it may seem to us, has been,
with more or less disguise, a practice wherever torture has been used.
It is true that the Roman law prohibited that one who had admitted his
own guilt should be examined as to that of another, and this principle,
adopted in the False Decretals, became a part of the early canon
law.[33] The Inquisition, however, regarded the conviction of a heretic
as only the preliminary to forcing him to denounce his associates; the
earliest papal utterance, in 1252, authorizing its use of torture,
prescribed the employment of this means to discover accomplices and
finally Paul IV and Pius V decreed that all who were convicted and
confessed should, at the discretion of the inquisitors, be tortured for
this purpose.[34] The _question préalable_ or _définitive_, in which the
convict was tortured to make him reveal his associates, became, through
the influence of the Inquisition, a part of the criminal jurisprudence
of all lands in which torture was employed. It was, in reality, the
torture of witnesses, for the criminal's fate had been decided, and he
was thus used only to give testimony against others.

The Spanish Inquisition was, therefore, only following a general
practice when it tortured, _in caput alienum_, those who had confessed
their guilt. No confession was accepted as complete unless it revealed
the names of those whom the penitent knew to be guilty of heretical
acts, if there was reason to suspect that he was not fully discharging
his conscience in this respect, torture was the natural resort. Even the
impenitent or the relapsed, who was doomed to relaxation, was thus to be
tortured and was to be given clearly to understand that it was as a
witness and not as a party, and that his endurance of torture would not
save him from the stake. The Instructions of 1561, however, warn
inquisitors that in these cases much consideration should be exercised
and torture _in caput alienum_ was rather the exception in Spain, than
the rule as in Rome.[35] In the case of the _negativo_, against whom
conclusive evidence was had, and who thus was to be condemned without
torture, the device of torturing him against his presumable accomplices
afforded an opportunity of endeavoring to secure his own confession and
conversion. We have seen this fail, in 1596, in the Mexican case of
Manuel Diaz, nor was it more successful in Lima, in 1639, with Enrique
de Paz y Mello, although the final outcome was different. He
persistently denied through five successive publications of evidence, as
testimony against him accumulated in the trials of his associates. He
was sentenced to relaxation and torture _in caput alienum_; it was
administered with great severity without overcoming his fortitude, and
he persisted through five other publications as fresh evidence was
gathered. Yet at midnight before the auto de fe, in which he was to be
burnt, he weakened. He confessed as to himself and others and his
sentence was modified to reconciliation and the galleys, while good use
was made of his revelations against thirty of his accomplices.[36]

[Sidenote: _NO EXEMPTIONS_]

The torture of witnesses who were not themselves under trial was
permitted when they varied or retracted, or so contradicted other
witnesses that it was deemed necessary thus to ascertain the truth; but
whether clerical witnesses could be so treated was a subject of debate.
As a rule torture in such cases was directed to be moderate, neither
light nor excessive, but when testimony was revoked it could be repeated
up to three inflictions.[37] As we have seen above (Vol. II, p. 537)
slaves testifying in the cases of their masters could always be tortured
if necessary to confirm their evidence. In the prosecution of Juan de la
Caballería, in 1488, as accessory to the murder of San Pedro Arbués, his
slave-girl Lucía gave compromising evidence which she was persuaded to
retract, with the result that she was twice tortured and confirmed

       *       *       *       *       *

Like _majestas_, in heresy there were no privileged classes exempt from
torture. Nobles were subject to it and so were ecclesiastics of all
ranks, but the latter were to be tortured less severely than laymen,
unless the case was very grave, and they were entitled to a clerical
torturer if one could be found to perform the office. As in their
arrest, so in torture the sentence, by a carta acordada of 1633, had to
be submitted to the Suprema for confirmation.[39]

As regards age, there seems to have been none that conferred exemption.
Llorente, indeed, in describing a case in which a woman of ninety was
tortured at Cuenca, says that this was contrary to the orders of the
Suprema which prescribed that the aged should only be placed _in
conspectu tormentorum_,[40] but I have never met with such a rule. In
1540 the Suprema ordered that consideration should be given to the
quality and age of the accused and, if advisable, the torture should be
very moderate, while the Instructions of 1561, which are very full,
impose no limit of age and leave everything to the discretion of the
tribunal.[41] Cases are by no means infrequent in which age combined
with infirmity is given as a reason for omitting torture or inflicting
it with moderation, but age alone offered no exemption. At a Toledo auto
de fe we find Isabel Canese, aged seventy-eight, who promptly confessed
before the torture had proceeded very far, and Isabel de Jaen, aged
eighty who, at the fifth turn of the cords fainted and was revived with
difficulty.[42] In 1607, at Valencia, Jaime Chuleyla, aged seventy-six,
after confessing certain matters, was accused by a new witness of being
an alfaquí; this he denied and was duly tortured.[43]

Not much more respect was paid to youth. In 1607, at Valencia, Isabel
Madalena, a girl of thirteen, who was vaguely accused of Moorish
practices, was tortured, overcame the torture and was penanced with a
hundred lashes. In the same year that tribunal showed more consideration
for Joan de Heredia, a boy of ten or eleven, whom a lying witness
accused of going to a house where Moorish doctrines were taught. On his
steadfast denial, he was sentenced to be placed _in conspectu
tormentorum_, which was carried out in spite of an appeal by his
procurator, but he persisted in asserting his innocence and the case was
suspended.[44] Mental incapacity, short of insanity, was not often
allowed exemption and it is creditable to the Valencia tribunal that
when, about 1710, the Suprema ordered the torture of Joseph Felix, for
intention with regard to certain propositions, it remonstrated and
represented that he was too ignorant to comprehend the object of the

       *       *       *       *       *


It was a universal law that torture should not endanger life or limb
and, although this was often disregarded when the work was under way, it
called for a certain amount of preliminary caution to see that the
patient was in condition promising endurance--caution admitted in theory
but not always observed in practice. When there was doubt, the physician
of the Inquisition was sometimes called in, as in the case of Rodrigo
Pérez, at Toledo, in 1600, who was sick and weak, and the medical
certificate that torture would endanger health and life sufficed to save
him, but the Suprema was not so considerate when, in 1636, it ordered
the Valencia tribunal to torture Joseph Pujal before transferring him to
the hospital, as was done afterwards on account of his illness.[46]
Pregnancy has always been deemed a sufficient reason for at least
postponing the infliction, but the Madrid tribunal, in instructions of
1690, only makes the concession of placing pregnant women on a seat, in
place of binding them on the rack, while applying the exceedingly severe
torture of the _garrote_--sharp cords, two on each arm and two on each
leg, bound around the limb and twisted with a short lever.[47] Hernia
was regarded, at least in the earlier time, as precluding torture, and I
have met with several cases in which it served to exempt the patient
but, in 1662, the official instructions of the Suprema order that no
exceptions be made on that account, save the omission of the _trampazo
vigoroso_, which causes downward strain; in the other tortures a good
strong truss suffices to avert danger and it should always be kept on
hand in readiness for such subjects.[48] In accordance with this the
Madrid tribunal in 1690, orders for hernia cases the use of the seat
provided for pregnant women. As regards women who were suckling, there
seems to have been no established rule. In 1575, when the Valencia
tribunal proposed to torture María Gilo, the physician who was called in
reported that it would expose the child to imminent risk and the purpose
was abandoned. In 1608, however, at Toledo, when the same question arose
in the case of Luisa de Narvaez, the consulta voted in discordia and the
Suprema ordered her to be tortured.[49]

Besides these generalities, there were occasional special cases in which
torture was abandoned in consequence of the condition of the
patient--heart disease, excessive debility, repeated faintings during
the administration and other causes. The physician and the surgeon were
always called in, when the prisoner was stripped, to examine him and
they were kept at hand to be summoned in case of accident. The tribunals
seem to have been more tender-hearted than the Suprema which, in its
instructions of 1662, reproved inquisitors who avoid sentencing to
torture on account of weakness or of a broken arm. This, it says, is not
proper, because it forfeits the opportunity of obtaining confession in
the various preliminaries of reading the sentence, carrying to the
torture-chamber, stripping him and tying him to the trestle; besides,
after commencing, the torture is always to be stopped when the physician
so orders.[50] There was another salutary precaution--that there should
be a proper interval between the last meal and the torture. About 1560,
Inquisitor Cervantes says that the patient is not to have food or drink
on the evening before or on the morning of the infliction and, in 1722,
a writer specifies eight hours for the preliminary fasting.[51]

       *       *       *       *       *


In the administration of torture, all the inquisitors and the episcopal
representative were required to be present, with a notary or secretary
to record the proceedings. No one else save the executioner was allowed
to be present, except when the physician or surgeon was called in. In
the earlier period, there was some trouble in providing an official to
perform the repulsive work. An effort seems to have been made to compel
the minor employees to do it but with doubtful success. Ferdinand, in a
letter of July 22, 1486, to Torquemada, complains that the inquisitors
of Saragossa had employed a torturer because the messengers had refused
to do the work, and he suggests that a messenger be discharged and the
torturer serve in his place without increase of salary; if this cannot
be done the salary should be reduced. No salaried torturer appears in
the pay-rolls; the duties were not constant and doubtless when wanted
proper functionaries were called in and paid--but there is
suggestiveness in a letter of Ferdinand, in 1498, ordering the
restoration of a certain Pedro de Moros, who had been dropped, to serve
as messenger and "for such other duties as the inquisitors might order"
at five hundred sueldos a year.[52] At one time the alcaide of the
prison seems to have been the official torturer for, in 1536, the
Suprema writes to the inquisitors of Navarre that, if their alcaide is
not skilled in the business, they must find some one who is, and not
work the implements themselves, as they seem to have done, for it is not
befitting the dignity of their persons or office.[53] In 1587, at
Valencia, we hear that the messenger and portero served as assistants
and the Suprema ordered the work to be entrusted to a confidential
familiar.[54] Eventually however the tribunals employed the public
executioner of the town, who was skilled in his vocation. When, in 1646,
at Valladolid, Isabel López was ordered to be tortured on November 23d,
the alcaide reported that the public functionary was absent and the time
of his return was uncertain; the torture was necessarily postponed and,
on the 27th, Isabel took it into her head to confess and thus escaped
the infliction.[55] In Madrid, from March to August, 1681, Alonso de
Alcalá, the city executioner, was paid by the tribunal forty-four
ducats, for eleven torturings, at four ducats apiece.[56] It seems
strange that objection should be made to the torturer being disguised
but, in 1524, the Suprema forbade him to wear a mask or to be wrapped in
a sheet; subsequently he was permitted to wear a hood and to change his
garments and, in the seventeenth century, a mask and other disguise were
permissible, if it were thought best that he should not be

At every stage in the preliminaries, after reading the sentence, taking
the prisoner down to the torture-chamber, calling in the executioner,
stripping the prisoner and tying him to the trestle, there was a pause
in which he was solemnly adjured to tell the truth for the love of God,
as the inquisitors did not desire to see him suffer.[58] The exposure of
stripping was not a mere wanton aggravation but was necessary, for the
cords around the thighs and arms, the belt at the waist with cords
passing from it over the shoulders from front to back, required access
to every portion of the body and, at the end of the torture, there was
little of the surface that had not had its due share of agony. Women as
well as men were subjected to this, the slight concession to decency
being the _zaragüelles_ or _paños de la vergüenza_, a kind of
abbreviated bathing-trunks, but the denudation seems to have been
complete before these were put on.[59] The patient was admonished not
to tell falsehoods about himself or others and, during the torture, the
only words to be addressed to him were "Tell the truth." No questions
were to be put and no names mentioned to him, for the reason, as we are
told, that the sufferers in their agonies were ready to say anything
that was in any way suggested, and to bear false-witness against
themselves and others. The executioner was not to speak to the patient,
or make faces at him, or threaten him, and the inquisitors should see
that he so arranged the cords and other devices as not to cause
permanent crippling or breaking of the bones. The work was to proceed
slowly with due intervals between each turn of the _garrotes_ or hoist
in the _garrucha_, or otherwise the effect was lost, and the patient was
apt to overcome the torture.

It was a universal rule that torture could be applied only once, unless
new evidence supervened which required purging, but this restriction was
easily evaded. Though torture could not be repeated, it could be
continued and, when it was over, the patient was told that the
inquisitors were not satisfied, but were obliged to suspend it for the
present, and that it would be resumed at another time, if he did not
tell the whole truth. Thus it could be repeated from time to time as
often as the consulta de fe might deem expedient.[60] The secretary
faithfully recorded all that passed, even to the shrieks of the victim,
his despairing ejaculations and his piteous appeals for mercy or to be
put to death, nor would it be easy to conceive anything more fitted to
excite the deepest compassion than these cold-blooded, matter-of-fact

       *       *       *       *       *

As for the varieties of torture currently employed, it must be borne in
mind that the Inquisition largely depended on the public executioners,
and its methods thus were necessarily identical with those of the
secular courts; while even when its own officials performed the duty,
they would naturally follow the customary routine. The Inquisition thus
had no special refinements of torture and indeed, so far as I have had
opportunity of investigation, it confined itself to a few methods out of
the abundant repertory of the public functionaries.

[Sidenote: _VARIETIES_]

In the earlier period only two tortures were generally in vogue--the
_garrucha_ or pulleys and the water-torture. These are the only ones
alluded to by Pablo García and both of them were old and
well-established forms.[61] The former, known in Italy as the
_strappado_, consisted in tying the patient's hands behind his back and
then, with a cord around his wrists, hoisting him from the floor, with
or without weights to his feet, keeping him suspended as long as was
desired and perhaps occasionally letting him fall a short distance with
a jerk. About 1620 a writer prescribes that the elevating movement
should be slow, for if it is rapid the pain is not lasting; for a time
the patient should be kept at tiptoe, so that his feet scarce touch the
floor; when hoisted he should be held there while the psalm Miserere is
thrice repeated slowly in silence, and he is to be repeatedly admonished
to tell the truth. If this fail he is to be lowered, one of the weights
is to be attached to his feet and he is to be hoisted for the space of
two Misereres, the process being repeated with increasing weights as
often and as long as may be judged expedient.[62]

The water-torture was more complicated. The patient was placed on an
_escalera_ or _potro_--a kind of trestle, with sharp-edged rungs across
it like a ladder. It slanted so that the head was lower than the feet
and, at the lower end was a depression in which the head sank, while an
iron band around the forehead or throat kept it immovable. Sharp cords,
called _cordeles_, which cut into the flesh, attached the arms and legs
to the side of the trestle and others, known as _garrotes_, from sticks
thrust in them and twisted around like a tourniquet till the cords cut
more or less deeply into the flesh, were twined around the upper and
lower arms, the thighs and the calves; a _bostezo_, or iron prong,
distended the mouth, a _toca_, or strip of linen, was thrust down the
throat to conduct water trickling slowly from a _jarra_ or jar, holding
usually a little more than a quart. The patient strangled and gasped and
suffocated and, at intervals, the toca was withdrawn and he was adjured
to tell the truth. The severity of the infliction was measured by the
number of jars consumed, sometimes reaching to six or eight. In 1490, in
the case of the priest Diego García, a single quart satisfied the
inquisitors and he was acquitted.[63] In the Mexican case of Manuel
Díaz, in 1596, the cordeles were applied; then seven garrotes were
twisted around arms and legs, the toca was thrust down his throat and
twelve jarras of a pint each were allowed to drip through it, the toca
being drawn up four times during the operation. In the Toledo case of
Marí Rodríguez, in 1592, the operation was divided, the cordeles being
applied while she was seated on the _banquillo_, and were given eight
turns; she was then transferred to the trestle, and the garrotes were
used, followed by the water; at the second jarra she vomited profusely;
she was untied and fell to the floor. The executioner lifted her up and
put on her chemise; she was told that if she would not tell the truth
the torture would be continued; she protested that she had told the
truth and it was suspended. For nine months she was left in her cell,
then the consulta de fe voted to suspend the case and she was told to be
gone in God's name.[64]

It was probably not long after this that these forms of torture
gradually fell into disuse and were replaced by others which apparently
were regarded as more merciful. In 1646 the Suprema applied to the
tribunal of Córdova for information concerning the garrucha and silla
and for a description of the _trampa_ and _trampazo_ which it used, with
an estimate of their severity. The tribunal replied that the silla had
been abandoned because it could scarce be called a torture and the
garrucha on account of the danger of causing dislocations. For more than
thirty years the tribunal, as well as the secular courts, had
discontinued its use as also the brazier of coals, heated plates of
metal, hot bricks, the toca with seven pints of water, the
_depiñoncillo_, _escarabajo_, _tablillas_, _sueño_ and others. The
methods in use were the cordeles and garrotes, of which there were three
kinds, the _vuelta de trampa_, the _mancuerda_ and stretching the
accused in the _potro_ or rack.

[Sidenote: _VARIETIES_]

The letter proceeds to describe at great length and in much detail these
somewhat complicated processes. In abandoning the pulleys and the
water-jar, the patient gained little. He was adjusted for torment by a
belt or girdle with which he was swung from the ground; his arms were
tied together across his breast and were attached by cords to rings in
the wall. For the trampa or trampazo the ladder in the potro had one of
its rungs removed so as to enable the legs to pass through; another bar
with a sharp edge was set below it and through this narrow opening the
legs were forcibly pulled by means of a cord fastened around the toes
with a turn around the ankle. Each _vuelta_, or turn given to the cord,
gained about three inches; five vueltas were reckoned a most rigorous
torture, and three were the ordinary practice, even with the most
robust. Leaving him stretched in this position, the next step was the
mancuerda, in which a cord was passed around the arms, which the
executioner wound around himself and threw himself backward, casting his
whole weight and pushing with his foot against the potro. The cord, we
are told, would cut through skin and muscle to the bone, while the body
of the patient was stretched as in a rack, between it and the cords at
the feet. The belt or girdle at the waist, subjected to these alternate
forces was forced back and forth and contributed further to the
suffering. This was repeated six or eight times with the mancuerda, on
different parts of the arms, and the patients usually fainted,
especially if they were women.

After this the potro came in play. The patient was released from the
trampa and mancuerda and placed on the eleven sharp rungs of the potro,
his ankles rigidly tied to the sides and his head sinking into a
depression where it was held immovable by a cord across the forehead.
The belt was loosened so that it would slip around. Three cords were
passed around each upper arm, the ends being carried into rings on the
sides of the potro and furnished with garrotes or sticks to twist them
tight; two similar ones were put on each thigh and one on each calf,
making twelve in all. The ends were carried to a _maestra garrote_ by
which the executioner could control all at once. These worked not only
by compression but by travelling around the limbs, carrying away skin
and flesh. Each half round was reckoned a _vuelta_ or turn, six or seven
of which was the maximum, but it was usual not to exceed five, even with
strong men. Formerly the same was done with the cord around the
forehead, but this was abandoned as it was apt to start the eyes from
their sockets. All this, the Cordova tribunal concludes, is very
violent, but it is less so and less dangerous than the abandoned

These remained practically the tortures in use. In 1662 the Suprema, in
ordering the tribunal of Galicia to "continue" the torture of Antonio
Méndez, called upon it to report as to its manner of administering
torture. Its answer of May 13th shows that it was using the mancuerda
and potro, though after a somewhat primitive fashion. To this, by order
of the Suprema, Gonzalo Bravo replied, May 22d with elaborate
instructions, especially as to the trampazo, indicating that
substantially the methods described by Córdova were recognized
officially. Galicia appears to have puzzled over this until September
19th, when it apologized for its lack of experience and asked for
detailed plans and drawings of the form of potro required. It is fairly
presumable from all this that thenceforward these new methods were
adopted in all the tribunals.[65]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _SEVERITY_]

There was and could be no absolute limitation on the severity of
torture. The Instructions of 1561 say that the law recognizes it as
uncertain and dangerous in view of the difference in bodily and mental
strength among men, wherefore no certain rule can be given, but it must
be left to the discretion of judges, to be governed by law, reason and
conscience.[66] All that Gonzalo Bravo can say, in the Instructions of
1662, is that its proper regulation determines the just decision of
cases, and the verification of truth; the discretion and prudence of the
judges must look to this, tempered by the customary compassion of the
Holy Office, in such way that it shall neither exceed nor fall short.
How this discretion was exercised depended wholly on the temper of the
tribunal. One authority tells us that torture should never be prolonged
more than half an hour, but the cases are numerous in which it lasted
for two and even three hours. In that of Antonio López, at Valladolid,
in 1648, it commenced at eight o'clock and continued until eleven,
leaving him with a crippled arm; in a fortnight he endeavored to
strangle himself, and he died within a month.[67] Such cases were by no
means rare. Gabriel Rodríguez, at Valencia, about 1710, was tortured
thrice and condemned to the galleys, but this was commuted on finding
that he was crippled "por la violencia de la tortura."[68] Nor was death
by any means unknown. In 1623, Diego Enríquez, at Valladolid, was
tortured December 13th. In the process an "accident" occurred and he was
carried to his cell. On the 15th the physician reported that he should
be removed to a hospital, which was done with the greatest secrecy and
he died there. There is something hideously suggestive in such a matter
of fact record as that of Blanca Rodríguez Matos, at Valladolid, which
simply says that she was voted to torture, May 21, 1655, and it having
been executed she died the same day; the case was continued against her
fame and memory and, in due course, was suspended, November 19th.[69]

The very large number of cases recorded in which the accused overcame
the torture without confession would argue that it was frequently light.
This is doubtless true to a great extent, but the surprising endurance
sometimes displayed shows that this was not always the case. Thus Tomás
de Leon, at Valladolid, November 5, 1638, was subjected to all the
successive varieties and overcame them, although at the end it was found
that his left arm was broken. So, in 1643, in the same tribunal,
Engracia Rodríguez, a woman sixty years of age, had a toe wrenched off
while in the _balestilla_. Nevertheless the torture proceeded until, in
the first turn of the mancuerda, an arm was broken. It then was stopped
without having extorted a confession, but her fortitude availed her
little, for fresh evidence supervened against her and, some ten months
later, she confessed to Jewish practices. Another of the same group,
Florencia de Leon, endured the balestilla, three turns of the mancuerda
and the potro without confessing, but she did not escape without
reconciliation and prison.[70]

The process and its effects on the patient can best be understood from
the passionless business-like reports of the secretary, in which the
incidents are recorded to enable the consulta de fe to vote
intelligently. They are of various degrees of horror and I select one
which omits the screams and cries of the victim that are usually set
forth. It is a very moderate case of water-torture, carried only to a
single jarra, administered in 1568 by the tribunal of Toledo to Elvira
del Campo, accused of not eating pork and of putting on clean linen on
Saturdays. She admitted the acts but denied heretical intent and was
tortured on intention. On April 6th she was brought before the
inquisitors and episcopal vicar and, after some preliminaries, was told
that it was determined to torture her, and in view of this peril she
should tell the truth, to which she replied that she had done so. The
sentence of torture was then read, when she fell on her knees and begged
to know what they wanted her to say. The report proceeds:

[Sidenote: _REPORTS_]

     She was carried to the torture-chamber and told to tell the truth,
     when she said that she had nothing to say. She was ordered to be
     stripped and again admonished, but was silent. When stripped, she
     said "Señores, I have done all that is said of me and I bear
     false-witness against myself, for I do not want to see myself in
     such trouble; please God, I have done nothing." She was told not to
     bring false testimony against herself but to tell the truth. The
     tying of the arms was commenced; she said "I have told the truth;
     what have I to tell?" She was told to tell the truth and replied "I
     have told the truth and have nothing to tell." One cord was applied
     to the arms and twisted and she was admonished to tell the truth
     but said she had nothing to tell. Then she screamed and said "I
     have done all they say." Told to tell in detail what she had done
     she replied "I have already told the truth." Then she screamed and
     said "Tell me what you want for I don't know what to say." She was
     told to tell what she had done, for she was tortured because she
     had not done so, and another turn of the cord was ordered. She
     cried "Loosen me, Señores and tell me what I have to say: I do not
     know what I have done, O Lord have mercy on me, a sinner!" Another
     turn was given and she said "Loosen me a little that I may remember
     what I have to tell; I don't know what I have done; I did not eat
     pork for it made me sick; I have done everything; loosen me and I
     will tell the truth." Another turn of the cord was ordered, when
     she said "Loosen me and I will tell the truth; I don't know what I
     have to tell--loosen me for the sake of God--tell me what I have to
     say--I did it, I did it--they hurt me Señor--loosen me, loosen me
     and I will tell it." She was told to tell it and said "I don't know
     what I have to tell--Señor I did it--I have nothing to tell--Oh my
     arms! release me and I will tell it." She was asked to tell what
     she did and said "I don't know, I did not eat because I did not
     wish to." She was asked why she did not wish to and replied "Ay!
     loosen me, loosen me--take me from here and I will tell it when I
     am taken away--I say that I did not eat it." She was told to speak
     and said "I did not eat it, I don't know why." Another turn was
     ordered and she said "Señor I did not eat it because I did not wish
     to--release me and I will tell it." She was told to tell what she
     had done contrary to our holy Catholic faith. She said "Take me
     from here and tell me what I have to say--they hurt me--Oh my arms,
     my arms!" which she repeated many times and went on "I don't
     remember--tell me what I have to say--O wretched me!--I will tell
     all that is wanted, Señores--they are breaking my arms--loosen me a
     little--I did everything that is said of me." She was told to tell
     in detail truly what she did. She said "What am I wanted to tell? I
     did everything--loosen me for I don't remember what I have to
     tell--don't you see what a weak woman I am?--Oh! Oh! my arms are
     breaking." More turns were ordered and as they were given she cried
     "Oh! Oh! loosen me for I don't know what I have to say--Oh my
     arms!--I don't know what I have to say--if I did I would tell it."
     The cords were ordered to be tightened when she said "Señores have
     you no pity on a sinful woman?" She was told, yes, if she would
     tell the truth. She said, "Señor tell me, tell me it." The cords
     were tightened again, and she said "I have already said that I did
     it." She was ordered to tell it in detail, to which she said "I
     don't know how to tell it señor, I don't know." Then the cords were
     separated and counted, and there were sixteen turns, and in giving
     the last turn the cord broke.

     She was then ordered to be placed on the potro. She said "Señores,
     why will you not tell me what I have to say? Señor, put me on the
     ground--have I not said that I did it all?" She was told to tell
     it. She said "I don't remember--take me away--I did what the
     witnesses say." She was told to tell in detail what the witnesses
     said. She said "Señor, as I have told you, I do not know for
     certain. I have said that I did all that the witnesses say. Señores
     release me, for I do not remember it." She was told to tell it. She
     said "I do not know it. Oh! Oh! they are tearing me to pieces--I
     have said that I did it--let me go." She was told to tell it. She
     said "Señores, it does not help me to say that I did it and I have
     admitted that what I have done has brought me to this
     suffering--Señor, you know the truth--Señores, for God's sake have
     mercy on me. Oh Señor, take these things from my arms--Señor
     release me, they are killing me." She was tied on the potro with
     the cords, she was admonished to tell the truth and the garrotes
     were ordered to be tightened. She said "Señor do you not see how
     these people are killing me? Señor, I did it--for God's sake let me
     go." She was told to tell it. She said "Señor, remind me of what I
     did not know--Señores have mercy upon me--let me go for God's
     sake--they have no pity on me--I did it--take me from here and I
     will remember what I cannot here." She was told to tell the truth,
     or the cords would be tightened. She said "Remind me of what I have
     to say for I don't know it--I said that I did not want to eat it--I
     know only that I did not want to eat it," and this she repeated
     many times. She was told to tell why she did not want to eat it.
     She said, "For the reason that the witnesses say--I don't know how
     to tell it--miserable that I am that I don't know how to tell it--I
     say I did it and my God how can I tell it?" Then she said that, as
     she did not do it, how could she tell it--"They will not listen to
     me--these people want to kill me--release me and I will tell the
     truth." She was again admonished to tell the truth. She said, "I
     did it, I don't know how I did it--I did it for what the witnesses
     say--let me go--I have lost my senses and I don't know how to tell
     it--loosen me and I will tell the truth." Then she said "Señor, I
     did it, I don't know how I have to tell it, but I tell it as the
     witnesses say--I wish to tell it--take me from here--Señor as the
     witnesses say, so I say and confess it." She was told to declare
     it. She said "I don't know how to say it--I have no memory--Lord,
     you are witness that if I knew how to say anything else I would say
     it. I know nothing more to say than that I did it and God knows
     it." She said many times, "Señores, Señores, nothing helps me. You,
     Lord, hear that I tell the truth and can say no more--they are
     tearing out my soul--order them to loosen me." Then she said, "I do
     not say that I did it--I said no more." Then she said, "Señor, I
     did it to observe that Law." She was asked what Law. She said, "The
     Law that the witnesses say--I declare it all Señor, and don't
     remember what Law it was--O, wretched was the mother that bore me."
     She was asked what was the Law she meant and what was the Law that
     she said the witnesses say. This was asked repeatedly, but she was
     silent and at last said that she did not know. She was told to tell
     the truth or the garrotes would be tightened but she did not
     answer. Another turn was ordered on the garrotes and she was
     admonished to say what Law it was. She said "If I knew what to say
     I would say it. Oh Señor, I don't know what I have to say--Oh! Oh!
     they are killing me--if they would tell me what--Oh, Señores! Oh,
     my heart!" Then she asked why they wished her to tell what she
     could not tell and cried repeatedly "O, miserable me!" Then she
     said "Lord bear witness that they are killing me without my being
     able to confess." She was told that if she wished to tell the truth
     before the water was poured she should do so and discharge her
     conscience. She said that she could not speak and that she was a
     sinner. Then the linen toca was placed [in her throat] and she said
     "Take it away, I am strangling and am sick in the stomach." A jar
     of water was then poured down, after which she was told to tell the
     truth. She clamored for confession, saying that she was dying. She
     was told that the torture would be continued till she told the
     truth and was admonished to tell it, but though she was questioned
     repeatedly she remained silent. Then the inquisitor, seeing her
     exhausted by the torture, ordered it to be suspended.

It is scarce worth while to continue this pitiful detail. Four days were
allowed to elapse, for experience showed that an interval, by stiffening
the limbs, rendered repetition more painful. She was again brought to
the torture-chamber but she broke down when stripped and piteously
begged to have her nakedness covered. The interrogatory went on, when
her replies under torture were more rambling and incoherent than before,
but her limit of endurance was reached and the inquisitors finally had
the satisfaction of eliciting a confession of Judaism and a prayer for
mercy and penance.[71]


It is impossible to read these melancholy records without amazement that
the incoherent and contradictory admissions through which the victim,
in his increasing agonies, sought to devise some statement in
satisfaction of the monotonous command to tell the truth, should have
been regarded by statesmen and lawgivers as possessed of intrinsic
value. The result was a test of endurance and not of veracity. In one
case we find a man of such fibres and nerves that all the efforts of the
torturer fail to elicit aught but denial--the cords may rasp through the
flesh to the bone and limbs be wrenched to the breaking without
affecting his constancy. In another, when a few turns of the garrote
have twisted a single cord into his arm--or even at the mere aspect of
the torture-chamber, with its grimly suggestive machinery--he will yield
and confess all that is wanted as to himself and all the comrades whose
names he can recall in the dizziness of his suffering. Yet, with full
knowledge of this, for centuries the secular and ecclesiastical courts
of the greater part of Christendom persisted in the use of a system
which, in the name of justice, perpetrated an infinite series of

       *       *       *       *       *

Yet, as though still more effectually to deprive the system of all
excuse, the confession obtained at such cost was practically admitted to
be in itself worthless. To legalize it, a ratification was required,
after an interval of at least twenty-four hours, to be freely made,
without threats and apart from the torture-chamber. This was essential
in all jurisdictions, and the formula in the Inquisition was to bring
the prisoner into the audience-chamber, where his confession was read to
him as it had been written down. He was asked whether it was true or
whether he had anything to add or to omit and, under his oath, he was
expected to declare that it was properly recorded, that he had no change
to make and that he ratified it, not through fear of torture, or from
any other cause, but solely because it was the truth. Such ratification
was required even when the confession was made on hearing the sentence
of torture read or when placed _in conspectu tormentorum_.[72] This was
customarily done on the afternoon of the next day, to allow the full
twenty-four hours to expire, but there was sometimes a longer interval.
Thus, in the case of Catalina Hernández, at Toledo, who confessed on
being stripped, July 13, 1541, it was not until the 27th that her
ratification was taken, the inquisitors explaining that press of
business had prevented it earlier.[73]

The declaration in the ratification, that it was not made through fear
of torture was a falsehood, for, in all jurisdictions, a retraction of
the confession called for a repetition of torment, and in fact we
sometimes find that when the confession was made the prisoner was warned
not to retract for, if he did so, the torture would be "continued."[74]
This was possibly to evade a singularly humane provision in the
Instructions of 1484, to the effect that, if the confession is ratified,
the accused is to be duly punished, but if he retracts, in view of the
infamy resulting from the trial, he is to abjure publicly the heresy of
which he is suspect and be subjected to such penance as the inquisitors
may compassionately assign. The mercy of this, however, is considerably
modified by a succeeding clause that it is not to deprive them of the
right to repeat the torture in cases where by law they can and ought to
do so.[75] Still, it was probably the first portion of the provision
that guided the Toledo tribunal, in 1528, in the case of Diego de Uceda,
on trial for Lutheranism. At the sight of the torture-chamber he broke
down and admitted all that the witnesses had testified, but could not
remember what it was. As this was evidently inspired by fear, the
torture went on when, at the first turn of the garrote, he inculpated
himself so eagerly that he was warned not to bear false-witness against
himself. He declared it to be the truth and was untied. Before he was
called upon to ratify, he asked for an audience in which he ascribed his
confession to fear and declared himself ready to die for the faith of
the Church, and a week later he ratified this revocation, saying that he
was out of his senses under the torture. He was not tortured again and
his sentence, some months later, was in accordance with the Instructions
of 1484--to appear in an auto de fe, to abjure _de vehementi_ and to be
fined at the discretion of the inquisitors.[76]

[Sidenote: _REPETITION_]

Such cases, however, were exceptional and the regular practice was to
repeat the torture, when a confession followed by another revocation,
subjected the victim to a third torture.[77] Whether the process could
be carried on indefinitely was a doubtful question which some legists
answered in the negative on the general philosophic assumption that
nature and justice abhorred infinity, but this reasoning, however,
academically conclusive, was not respected in practice when a conviction
was desired. There was one dissuasive from revocation, which was brought
to bear when culprits gave unreasonable trouble, which was the penalty
incurred by _revocantes_. This is illustrated, as also the troublesome
questions which sometimes perplexed the tribunals, by the case of Miguel
de Castro, tried for Judaism, at Valladolid, in 1644. As a negativo, he
was tortured and confessed, after which he ratified, revoked and
ratified again. A process was commenced against him for revoking; he was
tortured again, until an arm was dislocated and he lost two fingers,
during which he confessed and then revoked the confession. He would have
been tortured a third time had not the physician and surgeon declared
him to be unable to endure it. The Suprema ordered him to be relaxed to
the secular arm, if he could not be induced to repent and return to the
Church, when, under the persuasion of two calificadores, he begged for
mercy and confessed as to himself and others. Finally he was sentenced
to reconciliation and irremissible prison and sanbenito, with a hundred
lashes as a special punishment for revocation, which was executed
January 21, 1646.[78]

Some culprits, we are told, cunningly took advantage of the opportunity
of retraction, by confessing at once, as soon as subjected to torture,
then recanting and repeating this process indefinitely, to the no small
disgust of the inquisitors. A writer of the close of the seventeenth
century, who mentions this, shows that the subject was then in an
indeterminate condition, by suggesting as a remedy that they should be
subjected to extraordinary penalties.[79] A case at Cuenca, in 1725, in
which these tactics were successful, indicates that by that time a third
torture was not recognized as lawful. Dr. Diego Matheo López Zapata, as
soon as the torturer was ready to begin, exclaimed that he was ready to
confess, and made a detailed confession of Judaic practices followed for
nearly fifty years. The next day he revoked and, when the torture was
resumed, he repeated his confession, only to revoke it as before. The
tribunal appears to have been powerless and contented itself with making
him appear in an auto de fe as a penitent, with a sanbenito to be
immediately removed, abjuration _de vehementi_ and twenty years' exile
from Cuenca, Murcia and Madrid.[80] At an earlier period he would scarce
have escaped without scourging, galleys and irremissible prison.

       *       *       *       *       *

When torture was administered, without eliciting a confession, the
logical conclusion, if torture proved anything, was that the accused was
innocent. In legal phrase, he had purged the evidence and was entitled
to acquittal.[81] Such, indeed, was the law, but there was a natural
repugnance to being baffled, or to admit that innocence had been so
cruelly persecuted, and excuses were readily found to evade the law. On
such a subject there could be no definite line of practice prescribed,
and the situation is reflected by the Instructions of 1561, which tell
the inquisitor that, in such cases, he must consider the nature of the
evidence, the degree of torture employed, and the age and disposition of
the accused; if it appears that he has fully purged the evidence, he
should be fully acquitted, but if it seems that he has not been
sufficiently tortured he can be required to abjure either for light or
vehement suspicion, or some pecuniary penalty can be imposed, although
this should be done only with great consideration.[82] Thus the matter
was practically left to the discretion of the tribunal, with the implied
admission that, when torture proved unsuccessful, it was merely


The authorities naturally are not wholly at one with regard to the
practical applications of these principles--except that acquittal should
rarely be granted and, in fact, while the records are full of cases in
which torture was overcome, it is somewhat unusual to find the parties
acquitted, or their cases even suspended. About 1600 a writer tells us
that these cases are to be treated with some extraordinary penalty or
with acquittal or suspension, according to the degree of suspicion that
remains, but that Moriscos, however light the suspicion, must appear in
an auto de fe and abjure _de vehementi_ and, if there has been evidence
by single witnesses, they must be sent to the galleys for three years or
more; with other culprits, if the suspicion is light, there may be
acquittal or suspension, but suspension is the more usual. It all
depends upon the degree in which the evidence has been purged by the
torture.[83] As this degree was a matter purely conjectural,
inquisitorial discretion was unlimited.

The rule as to Moriscos is borne out by the Valencia auto de fe of 1607,
in which there appeared sixteen who had overcome the torture, most of
whom were visited with imprisonment, scourging or fines.[84] With their
expulsion in 1609-10, there was no further call for discrimination, and
the general practice is expressed about 1640, by an experienced
inquisitor, who tells us that, when there have been several single
witnesses, the accused who overcomes the torture should be subjected to
some severe extraordinary punishment, such as abjuring _de vehementi_,
with confiscation of half his property, or a heavy fine--the latter
being preferable as it is more easily collected and the culprit endures
it better in order to preserve his credit.[85] That this reflects the
current practice would appear from a Cuenca auto de fe, June 29, 1654.
Don Andrés de Fonseca had been required to abjure _de vehementi_, at
Valladolid in 1628; the evidence of his relapse was strong, but
insufficient for conviction; he endured torture without confessing; then
further evidence supervened and he was again tortured with the same
ill-success; he appeared in the auto as a penitent, abjured _de levi_,
with ten years' exile and a fine of five hundred ducats. Doña Theodora
Paula had overcome the torture and had abjuration de lev, six years'
exile and a fine of three hundred ducats. Doña Isabel de Miranda had
been unsuccessfully tortured and was sentenced to two years' exile and
three hundred ducats. So, after fruitless torture, Doña Isabel Henríquez
had the same punishment, and Manuel Lorenzo Madureyra was sentenced to
abjuration _de vehementi_, ten years' exile and five hundred ducats
fine.[86] It is to the credit of the Valladolid tribunal that, in 1624,
it showed itself more lenient and suspended six cases in which torture
proved fruitless, inflicting no punishment except six years of exile on
María Pérez, who was charged with false-witness.[87]

Perhaps the frequency with which torture was overcome may be partially
explained by bribery of the executioner. This was rendered difficult by
the secrecy surrounding all the operations of the tribunals, yet it was
possible, and the kindred of one who was arrested would naturally seek
to propitiate the minister of justice in case the prisoner should fall
into his hands. At a Valencia auto de fe, in 1594, there appeared
ninety-six Morisco penitents of whom fifty-three had been tortured
without extracting confessions.[88] It may possibly be only a
coincidence that, in 1604, Luis de Jesus, the torturer of the tribunal
was prosecuted for receiving money from Moriscos, but we may readily
imagine that communities, living in perpetual dread of the Inquisition,
might tax themselves to subsidize the executioner regularly.[89] A
similar case occurs in the Córdova auto of June 13, 1723, in which
appeared the executioner, Carlos Felipe, whose offence is discreetly
described as fautorship of heretics and unfaithfulness in their favor,
in the discharge of his office.[90]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _FREQUENCY_]

It is a little remarkable that, although the use of torture was so
frequent and must have been generally known, there appears to have been
a shrinking from admitting it in the sentences publicly read in the
autos de fe, which habitually recited the details of the
trials--possibly attributable, in part at least, to a desire to preserve
secrecy, although it is particularly marked in the early period when
secrecy had not become so rigid as it was subsequently. Indeed, in the
sentence of Juan González Daza, who confessed under torture in 1484, at
Ciudad Real, it is mendaciously asserted that he pertinaciously denied
until he learned that his accomplice, Fernando de Theba, had confessed,
when he did so freely.[91] This continued as a rule, though
occasionally there is less reticence. In one sentence I have found it
alluded to--that of Mari Gómez, at Toledo, in 1551.[92] Sometimes there
is a veiled allusion to it, as though the inquisitors could not conceal
it wholly, but felt a certain shame in admitting it openly. Thus in the
sentence of Elvira del Campo (see p. 24), which gives a very detailed
account of the incidents of the trial, it is stated that, on using "mas
diligencias," with her she admitted the charges, and in the sentence of
Doctor Zapata, in 1725, "cierta diligencia" is alluded to as having been

       *       *       *       *       *

It would of course be impossible to compile statistics of the
torture-chamber, or to form a reasonably accurate estimate of the number
of cases in which it was employed during the career of the Inquisition.
Some fragmentary data, however, can be had, as in the record of the
Toledo tribunal between 1575 and 1610. During this period it tried four
hundred and eleven persons for heretical offences admitting of the use
of torture, and in these it was used once on one hundred and nine, and
twice on eight, besides two cases in which it had to be stopped on
account of the fainting of the patient, and seven in which confession
was obtained before it commenced. There were also five cases in which
the accused was placed in _conspectu tormentorum_.[94] In all, we may
say that here its agency was invoked in about thirty-two per cent. of
heretical prosecutions. This is probably less than the average. In a
number of cases tried by the tribunal of Lima between 1635 and 1639,
nearly all the accused appear to have been tortured, while the report of
the tribunal of Valladolid for 1624 shows that of eleven cases of
Judaism and one of Protestantism, eleven were tortured and, in 1655,
every case of Judaism, nine in number, was subjected to torture.[95]

After all, numbers, however they may impress the imagination, are not
supremely important. They are simply a measure of the greater or less
activity of the tribunals and not of the principles involved. Whenever
there was a doubt to solve, whether as to the sufficiency of the
evidence, the intention of the accused, the completeness with which he
had denounced his associates, or other inscrutable matter, recourse to
torture was a thing of course. In not a few cases, indeed, there seems
to have been an almost infantile confidence in its power as a universal
solvent. About 1710, Fernando Castellon, on trial at Valencia for
Judaism, claimed not to be baptized and was promptly tortured to find
out, but without success.[96] In 1579 the Toledo tribunal had to deal
with Anton Moreno, an aged peasant, accused of entertaining views too
liberal as to salvation; torture seemed the only means of definition
and, between the turns of the garrote, he was made to express his
opinions as to the saving effects of death-bed repentance and the
viaticum on a sinner who had been duly baptized with the water of the
Holy Ghost. There was ghastly ludicrousness in the attempt, under such
persuasion, to ascertain the beliefs of an untutored old man, on these
subtle questions of scholastic theology, ending with the result that he
was adjudged to be worthy only of abjuration _de levi_, with a reprimand
and hearing of a mass in the audience-chamber.[97]

[Sidenote: _FEES_]

As the activity of the Inquisition diminished, in the latter half of the
eighteenth century, the use of torture naturally decreased but, until,
the suppression in 1813, the formal demand for it was preserved in the
accusation presented by the fiscal. One of the early acts of Fernando
VII, on his restoration in 1814, was the issue of a cédula, July 25th,
addressed to all officers of justice, reciting that, in 1798, when the
Royal Council learned that, in the courts of Madrid, the accused were
subjected to the severest pressure to extort confessions, it
investigated the matter and found that thumb-screws and other methods
more or less rigorous were employed, and that this was without authority
of law: consequently on February 5, 1803, the discontinuance of these
was ordered, except fetters to the feet, and at the same time inquiries
made of all courts in the kingdom showed that various kinds of
compulsion were used whereby the innocent were sometimes compelled to
convict themselves falsely. In view of all of this Fernando now ordered
that in future no judge should use any kind of pressure or torment to
obtain confession from the accused or testimony from witnesses, all
usages to the contrary being abolished.[98] This can scarce have
applied to the Inquisition but, under the Restoration, it had little to
do with actual heresy and, before it was thoroughly reorganized, all
doubts were removed by Pius VII. Llorente tells us that the _Gazette de
France_ of April 14, 1816, contained a letter from Rome of March 31st,
stating that the pope had forbidden the use of torture in all tribunals
of the Inquisition, and had ordered that this be communicated to the
ambassadors of France and Portugal.[99] I see no reason for doubting
this, although no such brief appears in the Bullarium of Pius VII, and
we may assume that at last the Spanish Holy Office closed its career
relieved of this disgrace.

       *       *       *       *       *

According to an _arancel_, or fee-list, of 1553, the executioner was
entitled to one real for administering torture, or to half a real if the
infliction was only threatened. In the lay courts the sufferer was
obliged to pay his tormentor, for there is a provision that, if he is
poor, the executioner is to receive nothing and is not allowed to take
his garments in lieu of the money.[100] In the Inquisition where, for
offences justifying torture, arrest was accompanied with sequestration,
the tribunal necessarily took upon itself the payment and, as we have
seen, in 1681, the fee had increased to four ducats. In cases which did
not end with confiscation, the outlay was undoubtedly included among the
costs of the trial charged against the sequestrated estate. In the Roman
Inquisition, where torture was used so much more indiscriminately, a
decision of the Congregation, in 1614, relieved the accused from payment
of the fee.[101]



The procedure of the Inquisition was directed to procuring conviction
rather than justice, and in some respects it bore a resemblance to that
of the confessional. The guilt of the accused was assumed, and he was
treated as a sinner who was expected to seek salvation by unburdening
his conscience and contritely accepting whatever penance might in mercy
be imposed on him. Pressure of all kinds, mental and bodily, was
scientifically brought to bear upon him to induce confession, and his
refusal to confess, in the face of what was considered sufficient
evidence, was treated as hardened and pertinacious impenitence,
aggravating his guilt and rendering him worthy of the severest penalty.

The arrest, as we have seen, was preceded by careful preliminaries.
Evidence was accumulated, in some cases for years, and, when the accused
was thrown into the secret prison, he was to a great extent prejudged.
It was the business of the tribunal, while preserving outward forms of
justice, to bring about either confession or conviction; the defence was
limited and embarrassed in every way and, when the outcome of all this
was doubt, it was settled in the torture-chamber, always with the
reservation that, if suspicion remained, that in itself was a crime
deserving due punishment.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _AUDIENCES_]

In the earliest period there were few formalities and no absolute
_estilo_, or recognized method of procedure. In the enormous work
crowded upon the inexperienced tribunals, the main object was the
despatch of business, and the success attained in this is seen in the
frequent and enormous autos de fe. The records of the trials are hasty
and imperfect, showing that little attention was paid to forms that
might cause delay. The Instructions of 1484 are crude, merely meant to
supplement the traditional system of inquisitorial procedure with such
regulations as should adapt it to the needs of the situation and to the
intentions of Ferdinand and Isabella. They are largely devoted to the
questions of confiscation and the fines accruing under the Edicts of
Grace and, for the rest, they conclude by saying that, as all
circumstances cannot be foreseen and provided for, everything is left to
the discretion of the inquisitors who, in all that is not especially
prescribed, must conform themselves to the law and act according to the
dictates of their consciences for the service of God and the
sovereigns.[102] The result of this discretion was that, in the assembly
of the inquisitors in 1488, a long debate was required to reach the
conclusion that there should be uniformity in the procedure and acts of
all the tribunals, the existing diversity having led to many

It is therefore scarce worth while to examine in detail the simple and
varying forms of this period, except as we shall find them interesting
in comparison with later practice. The desired uniformity was gradually
attained by the Suprema which, under the independent organization of the
Spanish Holy Office, developed an elaborate system of procedure, set
forth in the Instructions of 1561 and furnished, in 1568, with all
necessary formulas in the _Orden de Processar_ of Pablo García. Subject
to such changes as subsequent experience demanded, this remained the
standard to the last and was followed, with more or less exactitude by
the tribunals.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the accused was thrown into the secret prison his case, in the
hurry of the earlier period, was heard and despatched with promptitude,
but subsequently it became the custom for the inquisitors to exercise
their discretion as to when they would call him before them, and we
shall see what exasperating and calculated delays they sometimes
interposed. He could, however, ask for an audience at any time, and it
was an invariable rule to grant such requests, for the reason that he
might have an impulse to repent and confess which might be transitory.
Such audiences, however, did not count in the progress of the case. When
summoned to his first regular audience, he was sworn to tell the truth
in this and all future hearings and to keep silence as to all that he
might see or hear, and as to everything connected with his own affair.
He was made to declare his name, his age, his birthplace, his occupation
and the length of time since his arrest. After these formalities, if the
case was one of heresy, there came an investigation into his genealogy.
This, which accumulated a mass of information as to all infected
families, and facilitated greatly researches into limpieza, was not a
feature of the early trials; in those of from 1530 to 1540, it was still
very informal, but by the middle of the century it had become minute,
extending back to two generations and including all uncles, aunts and
cousins, describing of what race they were, whether any of them had been
tried by the Inquisition and, if so, how punished. The punctilious
observance of this takes a somewhat ludicrous aspect in the trial at
Lima, in 1763, of a Mandingo negro slave for superstitious cures. He was
seventy years of age and had been brought from Guinea when a child, but
was interrogated minutely as to parents and grandparents, uncles and
aunts, and was made to declare that they were all of the race and caste
of negroes, and that none of them had been penanced, reconciled or
punished by the Inquisition.[104] The accused was then interrogated as
to his baptism, confirmation and observance of the rites of religion; he
was made to sign and cross himself, repeat the creed and usual prayers,
and finally to give an account of his past life.

After these preliminaries, of which the results were carefully recorded,
he was asked whether he knew, presumed or suspected the cause of his
arrest. With rare exceptions, the reply was in the negative and then
followed what was known as the first of three monitions. There is no
trace of these in the earliest trials, but toward 1490 an informal
monition makes its appearance and the Instructions of 1498, in requiring
the formal accusation to be presented within ten days after arrest,
prescribed that within that time the necessary admonitions shall be
given.[105] In 1525 a letter of Manrique shows that these monitions then
were three, but they still were negligently observed, and in trials from
that time until 1550 they vary from none to three.[106]


After the Instructions of 1561, the three monitions became the
established rule in cases of heresy, while one sufficed in lighter
matters. The formula was formidable. The accused was told that, in the
Holy Office, no one was arrested without sufficient evidence of his
having done or witnessed something contrary to the faith or to the free
exercise of the Inquisition, so that he must believe that he has been
brought hither on such information. Therefore, by the reverence due to
God and his glorious and blessed Mother, he was admonished and charged
to search his memory and confess the whole truth as to what he feels
himself inculpated, or knows of other persons, without concealment or
false-witness, for in so doing he will discharge his conscience as a
Catholic Christian, he will save his soul and his case will be
despatched with all speed and befitting mercy, but otherwise justice
will be done. At intervals a second and a third monition were given, the
last one ending with the warning that the fiscal desired to present an
accusation against him, and it would be for his benefit, both for the
relief of his conscience and for the favorable and speedy despatch of
his case, if he would tell the truth before its presentation, as thus he
could be treated with the mercy which the Holy Office was wont to show
to good confessors; otherwise he was warned that the fiscal would be
heard and justice would be done.[107]

This brought an exceedingly effectual pressure to bear upon the anxious
prisoner, especially when the system of delay, whether calculated or
merely procrastinating, left him for months, and perhaps years, to lie
in his cell, shut out from the world, brooding over his fate, and
torturing himself with conjectures as to the evidence so confidently
assumed to be conclusive against him. He was simply admonished to
discharge his conscience, being kept in the dark as to the crimes of
which he was accused, and left to search his heart and guess as to what
he had done to bring him before the terrible tribunal. This had the
further utility that in many cases it led to confession of derelictions
unknown to the prosecution, his impassible judges coldly accepting his
revelations and remanding him to his cell with fresh adjurations to
search his memory and clear his conscience.

This cruel device of withholding all knowledge of the charge appears to
have been introduced gradually. In some cases, of about 1530, slight
intimations of the nature of the accusation are given, but by 1540
complete reticence seems to be general. There was no formal instruction
prescribing it, but it became the universal custom, based perhaps on the
principle that the confession, like that to a priest, to be trustworthy
must be spontaneous, showing the change of heart and conversion which
alone could render the culprit worthy of mercy. Yet, towards the end of
its career, under Carlos III and after the Restoration, the Inquisition
occasionally granted an _audiencia de cargos_, in which the accused was
apprized of the charges against him and, in trivial matters, this
frequently took the shape of summoning him under some pretext that would
save his reputation, informing him of the alleged offences and, after
hearing his explanations, determining what course to pursue. Even in so
serious a matter as the celebration of mass by a married layman, the
Santiago tribunal, in 1816, after throwing Angel Sampayo into the secret
prison, gave him an audiencia de cargos before proceeding further.[108]

How systematic reticence sometimes succeeded is indicated by the case of
Angela Pérez, before the Toledo tribunal in 1680. After lying in prison
for eleven months she asked an audience, May 19th, to inquire why she
had been brought to Toledo. She was admonished that she had already been
told that no one was arrested who had not said or done something
contrary to the faith; if she wished to discharge her conscience she
would be heard, and, on her asserting that she had nothing to confess,
she was sent back to her cell with an admonition to think it over and
discharge her conscience. On June 13th she sought another audience, for
the same purpose and with the same result. Then, on June 22d she was
transferred from the _carceles medias_ to the secret prison and, on the
25th, she obtained another audience in which she entreated the
inquisitors, in the name of the Virgin, to bring the charges, but all
that she obtained was to have her genealogy taken and to receive the
first monition. To this she replied that she had nothing to confess and
wanted her case despatched as she had been thirteen months in prison.
The implacable methods of the Inquisition triumphed, however, for the
next day she sought an audience in which she confessed that for eight
years she had observed the Law of Moses.[109]

[Sidenote: _THE ACCUSATION_]

Even more suggestive, though in a different way, is the Mexican case of
the priest Joseph Brunon de Vertiz, who was one of the dupes of some
women pretending to have revelations. They were all arrested and he was
thrown in prison September 9, 1649. In repeated audiences he vainly
sought to learn the charges against him; he fairly grovelled at the feet
of the inquisitors; he made profuse statements of everything concerning
himself and his accomplices; he submitted himself humbly to the Church
and was ready to confess whatever was required of him, but all to no
purpose. The strain proved too great for a mind not overly
well-balanced, and it began to give way. The first symptoms were
complaints of demoniacal possession, followed, after an incarceration of
two years and a half, by his writing a paper full of the wild imaginings
of a disordered brain, in which he denounced the Inquisition as a
congregation of demons and the Jesuits as the most detestable enemies of
God. Then he lay in his cell for more than two years, until, July 23,
1654, he presented another incoherent paper. Finally he died, April 30,
1656, after more than six and a half years of imprisonment, without ever
learning of what he was accused. His body was thrust into unconsecrated
ground and the prosecution was continued against his fame and memory. On
May 11, 1657, the fiscal at last presented an informal accusation for
the purpose of summoning the kindred to defend the case; on October 22,
1659, more than ten years after the arrest, the formal accusation was
presented and, as defence was impracticable, Brunon de Vertiz was
condemned and his effigy was burnt in the auto de fe of November of the
same year.[110]

       *       *       *       *       *

When, in the third monition, the accused was warned that, if he did not
confess, the fiscal would present an accusation, there was implied
deceit for, whether he confessed or not, the trial went on in its
inevitable course. It was usually in the same audience, after he had
replied to the monition, that the fiscal was introduced with the
accusation, to which he swore and then retired. This formidable document
was framed so as to be as terrifying as possible. In cases of heresy it
represented that the accused, being a Christian baptized and confirmed,
disregarding the fear of the justice of God and of the Inquisition, with
great contempt for religion, scandal of the people and condemnation of
his own soul, had been and was a heretic, an impenitent, perjured
negativo and feigned confessor; that he had committed many and most
grievous crimes against the divine majesty and the free exercise of the
Inquisition, and was a fautor and receiver of heretics. Then followed
the recital of the acts developed by the evidence, arranged in articles,
reduplicated and exaggerated and presented in the most odious light.
Besides this he was a perjurer, by refusing to confess in the audiences,
after swearing to tell the truth, from which it was presumable that he
was guilty of other and greater crimes, of which he was now accused
generally and would be specifically in due time. Wherefore the fiscal
prayed that the accused should be found guilty of the crimes recited,
condemning him to confiscation and relaxing his person to the secular
arm and declaring him to have incurred all the other penalties and
disabilities provided by papal letters, instructions of the Holy Office,
and pragmáticas of the kingdoms, executing them with all rigor so as to
serve as a punishment for him and an example to others. After this
followed the terrible clause, known as the _Otrosi_, demanding that he
be tortured as long and as often as might be necessary to force him to
confess the whole truth.

One thoroughly unjustifiable feature of the accusation was that, if
there was evidence of other misdoings of the accused, wholly outside of
the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, they were inserted because, as the
Instructions of 1561 remark, they serve as an aggravation of his
heresies and show his unchristian life, whence may be derived
indications as to matters of faith.[111]

As soon as the accusation was read, it was gone over again, article by
article, and the accused, while still confused by its menaces, taken at
advantage, wholly unprepared and without assistance of any kind, was
required to answer each on the spot, his replies or explanations being
taken down by the secretary as part of the record of the case. After
this he was told to choose an advocate to aid in his defence.

       *       *       *       *       *


The custom of allowing counsel in criminal cases is so comparatively
recent in English law that their admission by the Inquisition may be
regarded as an evidence of desire to render justice. In Spain, however,
it was customary, and defendants too poor to retain them were supplied
at the public expense. In the royal chancellería, as organized by
Ferdinand and Isabella, there were two _abogados de los pobres_.[112] In
the medieval Inquisition, during its earlier centuries, counsel were not
allowed to the accused and it became a settled principle of the canon
law that advocates who undertook the defence of heretics were suspended
from their functions and were perpetually infamous.[113] Towards the
close of the fifteenth century, however, in witchcraft trials, we find
advocates admitted, but under the strict limitations that we shall see
in Spain, and those who showed themselves too zealous in defence of
their clients were subject to excommunication as fautors of heresy.[114]

When the Spanish Inquisition was founded, it was therefore a matter of
course that the accused should be allowed the assistance of trained
lawyers and not only this but of procurators, who attended to the
business of the defence, performing the functions, in some sort, of the
English solicitor, while the _letrado_ represented the barrister and
drew up the argument. In a number of trials at Ciudad Real, in 1483,
there appears to have been considerable freedom of choice, the accused
selecting both advocates and procurators. During the persecution at
Guadalupe, in 1485, the defendants were mostly represented by Doctor de
Villaescusa as advocate and by Juan de Texeda as procurator, and the
arguments in defence were well and forcibly presented.[115] This was in
accordance with the Instructions of 1484, which order that if the
accused shall ask for an advocate and procurator, the inquisitors shall
grant the request, receiving from the advocate an oath to assist him
faithfully, without cavils or malicious delays, but that if, at any
stage of the case, he finds that his client has not justice on his side,
he will help him no longer and report to the inquisitors; if the accused
has property, they shall be paid from it, but if he has none they shall
be paid out of other confiscations, for such are the orders of the
sovereigns.[116] Yet this liberality was nullified by the clause
requiring advocates to betray their clients, thus destroying all
confidence between them and fatally crippling the defence. It was,
however, in accordance with the ethics of the age, and we shall see how
it developed in a manner to render illusory the services of the

It would seem that the tribunals sometimes chafed under these rules and
asserted discretion to disregard them for, in the case of the priest,
Diego García, in 1488, when he was told to select an advocate and a
procurator, the fiscal refused consent, and he had to conduct his own
defence, though, at a subsequent stage of the trial, Diego Tellez
appeared for him.[117] It was possibly in consequence of such cases and
of other impediments to the defence, that the Suprema issued a provision
that all prisoners should be allowed to take a procurator and advocate,
provided they were fitting persons. Also that the children and kindred
of the accused should not be prohibited from consulting as freely as
they pleased with the counsel, and that he should have copies of the
accusation, the depositions of the witnesses and other papers in
conformity with the Instructions.[118] All this, which was demanded by
the simplest demands of justice, became, as we shall see, a dead letter.


That the danger awaiting a too zealous advocate was not purely
hypothetical is seen in the case of Casafranca, deputy of Ferdinand's
treasurer-general of Catalonia, who was burnt in the auto de fe of
January 17, 1505, and his wife in that of June 23d; his father-in-law
had been reconciled and his mother, after condemnation, died in the
secret prison. Francisco Franch, the royal advocate-fiscal, had defended
Casafranca, and the Inquisition prosecuted him for his unsuccessful
attempt to avert his client's fate, although at that time he had risen
to the position of Regent of the royal Chancellery. Ferdinand, who felt
much interest in his behalf, made Inquisitor-general Deza write in his
favor to Francisco Pays de Sotomayor, an inquisitor specially deputed to
hear the case, but this did not save him from bitter humiliation and
dishonor. February 28, 1505, Sotomayor pronounced sentence in which his
offence was described as endeavoring to induce a witness to revoke his
testimony, and as impeding the Inquisition by useless and
procrastinating delays, by which he had incurred excommunication, and
moreover he was guilty of perjury by asserting a false and erroneous
conclusion, for all of which he had humbly begged pardon and mercy.
After obtaining absolution from a priest he was to stand the next day
before the high altar of Santa María de Jesu during mass, with a lighted
candle, in penitential guise, and forfeit all payment for his
services--which would have come out of Casafranca's confiscated estate.
Both he and the fiscal accepted the sentence, but there was delay in his
public penance, for he refused to utter certain words interlined in the
sentence, which he asserted had been inserted since it was read to him.
The fiscal threatened to appeal to the inquisitor-general and demanded
that Franch be detained in prison until the appeal was decided,
whereupon he yielded and the ceremony was performed on March 1st.[119]

When the efforts of counsel in behalf of their clients were thus
effectually discouraged, nothing but the most perfunctory services could
be expected from them, and the inquisitors need apprehend little
trouble. Even this, however, was thought to give the accused too much
chance, and all risk of inconvenient zeal was averted by depriving him
of the right to select his defender and confining the function to one or
two appointees of the tribunal, who could be relied upon to favor the
faith. The first intimation of this policy comes in the memorials of
Jaen and Llerena in 1506, which complain bitterly that the inquisitors
refuse to allow the accused to select their advocates and procurators,
forcing them to take such as they appoint who will do their bidding. The
Jaen memorial describes them as enemies of the people, who desire
arrests to be multiplied, as they charge three thousand maravedís in
every case which, for the two hundred prisoners, amounts to six hundred
thousand.[120] This abuse, probably originating with Lucero, was so
conformable to the tendencies of the Holy Office that it gradually
became the rule. In 1533, one of the petitions of the Córtes of Monzon
was that prisoners should be allowed to select their advocates and
procurators, and to this no direct answer was made.[121] In 1537 the
_abogados de los presos_ were already recognized as officials appointed
by the tribunals. They were exclusively entitled to conduct the defence
and, in 1540, the Suprema, in reply to a petition, said that, if the
party desired a different advocate, it could only be on condition that
he should act in consultation with the official one. Even this poor
privilege was withdrawn for, in 1562, Valdés decreed that the official
counsel should communicate with no other advocate.[122] It is true that,
in 1551, the Suprema had admitted that, if the tribunal had not been
able to find a fitting lawyer for appointment, the accused could select
one, but this was merely yielding to necessity.[123]

The chief qualification for an _abogado de los presos_ was his limpieza
and that of his wife; his subservience to the tribunal was assured by
his dependent position, but, to render this more absolute, about 1580
the Suprema ordered the Lima tribunal--and probably all others--to make
its advocates familiars, an office which bound them to the strictest
obedience.[124] Allowing for natural exaggeration, there is probably
truth in the description given, in 1559, by Antonio Nieto, a prisoner in
Valencia, to his cell-mate Pedro Luis Verga, who, after his first
audience, was felicitating himself on Inquisitor Arteaga's promise to
give him an advocate and a procurator. Nieto told him not to count upon
it for, though the inquisitor might give him an advocate he would give
him nothing good, but a fellow who would do only what the inquisitor
wanted and, if by chance he asked for an advocate or a procurator not of
the Inquisition, they would not serve for, if they went contrary to the
inquisitor's wishes, he would get up some charge of false belief or want
of respect and cast them into prison.[125]


The advocate thus became one of the officials of the tribunal, duly
salaried and working in full accord with the inquisitors. In 1584, we
find him of Valencia petitioning to have a place assigned to him in the
autos de fe, where he could be recognized as such and, at his ease, see
his clients sentenced. The petition was granted and he was allotted the
last place among the salaried and commissioned officers.[126] This
became the established rule, but in time professional dignity was
wounded at thus being relegated to a position inferior to the messengers
and apparitors and gaolers.

In Valladolid and Granada the advocates obtained promotion to outrank
the physicians and surgeons and, in 1670, the Licentiate Juan Márquez,
advocate in the Seville tribunal, addressed to the Suprema a formidable
memorial of seventy-five quarto pages of text and fifteen of index,
representing the slight thus put upon them, and setting forth the
dignity of the legal profession, the respect due to its learning and, as
regards the advocates of prisoners, the confidential position occupied
and the fidelity with which they served the tribunals. It seems never to
have occurred to him to put forward a claim based upon fidelity to their

In fact, the so-called advocate was simply an official instrument for
securing confession and conviction, for which his ostensible position of
friendly adviser gave him peculiar opportunity. No communication between
him and his client was allowed, except in presence of the inquisitors
and of the secretary, who made record of all that passed between them,
thus keeping watch to see that he performed his duty. It is true that he
was sworn to defend the prisoner with all care and diligence and
fidelity, if there was ground for it, and if not to undeceive him, but
his real duty is described as urging the prisoner to confess fully as to
himself and others, and to throw himself upon the mercy of the tribunal,
for by denial he would only prejudice his case and suffer in the
end.[128] How any deviation from this was treated, appears in the case
of Benito Ferrer, in 1621, before the Toledo tribunal. In the
consultation, his advocate Argendona suggested some points of defence
displeasing to the inquisitors, who promptly ordered him out of the
audience-chamber and sent Benito back to his cell to refresh his memory
and discharge his conscience, and two days later Argendona had to put in
the written defence without further opportunity of conference. The
Licentiate Egas had a more accurate conception of his duty, when serving
as advocate for Isabel Reynier, tried, in 1571, for Protestantism in
Toledo. The official record states that, after unavailing efforts to
induce her to confess, he asked whether she had any enemies to disable,
on which he could frame a defence, when she named several, but, as the
Señores Inquisidores wanted to despatch the case, he told her that this
would avail her nothing, for there was no presumption that enmity had
caused false-witness, and he went on to persuade her that she had
already confessed enough to render her case hopeless. The impatience of
the inquisitors was gratified, for the unfortunate woman was sent to the
stake without Egas troubling them by putting in a written defence.[129]

The old rule remained in force forbidding the advocate to defend an
impenitent heretic. It made no difference of course in the result, but
still permission to do so would have saved appearances. Such cases
occasionally occurred, like that of Benito Peñas at Toledo in 1641, a
harmless lunatic with some vague speculative heresies. His advocate,
Juan Díaz Suelto, after a conference in which his client obstinately
rejected his advice to forsake his errors and beg for mercy, reported
that his efforts had been in vain, so that it was necessary for him to
abandon the defence, in order not to incur the censures and other
penalties imposed by the papal briefs, and also for the speedier
despatch of the case.[130] Even as late as 1753, at Valencia, the same
occurred in the trial of a swindling German named Horstmann.[131]


If, even under these shackles, an advocate desired really to defend his
client, he was deprived of the means to do so. Originally, as we have
seen, the kindred and children were allowed freely to communicate with
him, to furnish indispensable assistance and information, and to gather
witnesses, and he was also supplied with copies of the depositions of
the witnesses and other necessary papers. It seems to have been Lucero,
the evil inquisitor of Córdova, who changed all this, for the memorials
of Jaen and Llerena complain bitterly of such denial of justice,
rendering nugatory all the means of defence, and depriving the kindred
of all knowledge of the nature of the accusation.[132] It expedited
business however and facilitated conviction, and its usefulness overcame
all scruples. In 1522 Cardinal Adrian forbade all communication between
the advocate and the children or kinsmen of the accused, and this
prohibition was repeated until it became the invariable rule. In the
same spirit, the only document, that he was allowed to have, was a copy
of the publication of evidence, which was a very different thing from
the original depositions. To repress all initiative on his part he was
prohibited from putting forward any defence save what the accused might
suggest, in their open consultations in the audience-chamber, or to call
for any witnesses whom the latter did not name, and the inquisitors were
instructed to punish any infractions of this rule because they were
troublesome and impeded the course of business.[133] If an advocate was
suspected of undue zeal, the inquisitors had a right to interrogate him
as to the measures taken for the defence, the sources of his information
and other details; the defence in every way was obliged to play _cartes
sur table_, while the fiscal's hand was carefully guarded, and only such
knowledge was permitted as served to confuse and mislead. It would seem
scarce likely, under such regulations, that advocates would be guilty of
really assisting their clients, but to guard against such possible
derelictions of duty, inspectors were ordered, when visiting tribunals,
to inquire whether they defend the accused "maliciously" and employ
cavils for delay and finally, whether or not they are necessary.[134]

At the same time, in its affectation of fairness, the Inquisition
insisted on the accused having counsel. When, in 1565, Pedro Hernández
was tried at Toledo for Calvinism, he confessed at once, professed
conversion and begged for mercy. When told to select an advocate he
refused, until informed that it was imperative for him to have one to
conduct his defence. Of course this was a mere formality for he was duly
burnt in the auto de fe of June 17th.[135] Inquisitors, moreover, were
required to admit all documents offered to them, and to listen to any
one who might have the hardihood to appear in favor of a prisoner.[136]

Simultaneously with the development of restrictions on the advocate, the
disappearance of the procurator completed the system of enabling the
inquisitor to control the defence as well as the prosecution. One of the
latest references to the procurator is a regulation of 1545, which
infers that, if the accused made application, the tribunal would grant
him one, with the reservation that this did not entitle the kindred to
aid in the defence.[137] This jealousy of outside assistance constantly
increased and some tribunals, such as Seville and Córdova, commenced to
refuse admission to procurators, except in prosecutions of the absent
and dead; the kindred might suggest the names of witnesses to the
inquisitor, who would summon and examine them. Finally Inquisitor
Cervantes, when in 1560 he made a report on Barcelona, took the
opportunity of pointing out the disadvantages of such representatives of
the accused; through them, he argued, the case became known, they
anticipate the witnesses before they give evidence, they are able to
identify them and furnish to the accused reasons for disabling them. The
Bishop of Avila, a member of the Suprema, promptly admitted the force of
this, and declared that procurators ought no longer to be allowed. This
opinion prevailed and, in the Instructions of 1561, their admission was
forbidden, although in case of necessity, special powers might be given
to the advocate.[138] They continued, however, to be appointed in trials
of the absent and dead, where it was unavoidable. The Roman Inquisition
did not follow this example of the Spanish and allowed the employment of

[Sidenote: _THE CURADOR_]

Besides the advocate there appears in many trials a personage known as
the _curador_, or guardian, a living evidence of the fatherly care of
the Inquisition toward the helpless. Following the traditions of the
Roman law, Spanish jurisprudence provided that, in suits and actions
involving those who had not attained the full age of twenty-five years,
the assent of a curador, either permanent or temporary _ad hoc_, was
necessary to validate the legal acts of the minor.[140] This provision,
intended for the protection of the youthful and incapable, was retained
in the practice of the Inquisition, because it was necessary to render
valid the various compulsory acts of the accused in the successive steps
of his trial, but in order that it might not by any chance be of value
to him, and to preserve the secrecy of the Holy Office, the custom was
adopted of appointing the advocate or preferably the gaoler, or
messenger, or some other underling of the tribunal to serve as curador.
As it was thus wholly subversive of the object for which the function
was created, there is grotesque cynicism in the pompous formalities
through which the curador was interjected into the proceedings. He took
a solemn oath that he would diligently and faithfully defend his ward,
alleging all that was to his advantage and preventing all that was
injurious, advising with his advocate and doing all that a good guardian
could do for a ward. And, if the latter, through his negligence,
suffered injury, he pledged his person and property to make it good,
giving as security another person (a fellow subordinate) who united with
him in the liability, jointly and severally, renouncing all legal
defence and placing themselves and all their possessions in the hands of
the inquisitors.[141] Being thus a mere formality, or rather a
deception, involving the perjury of those who took the formidable oath,
it may be dismissed from further consideration, except to cite a case
illustrative of the rigid formalism of procedure. In 1638, at
Valladolid, Blanca Enríquez, on trial for Judaism, represented herself
as twenty-two years of age and as usual was given a curador. She
confessed to having been reconciled at Córdova, nine or ten years
before; a vote in discordia carried the case to the Suprema, which
discovered that her previous trial had occurred in 1623, when she was
fifteen and consequently she was now thirty. The curador therefore had
rendered the trial irregular, and the Suprema ordered it to be repeated
from the beginning.[142]

There was another form of assistance allowed to the accused, when the
questions at issue involved nice theological points, beyond the capacity
of the ordinary advocates. Learned doctors were called in as _patrones
teólogos_, to aid the accused, after he had been heard in defence of his
incriminated propositions. In ordinary practice, the propositions and
his answers were read to them; to each one they said whether he had
satisfactorily explained it or not; or whether he ought to retract, or
whatever other conclusion they might reach; then the whole was submitted
to the calificadores, who pronounced their final censure.[143] Nominally
the patrones were selected by the accused but in this, as in everything
else, the Inquisition sought to control the defence. When, in 1574, Fray
Luis de Leon was told that he could have patrones, he named four from
various places. The Valladolid tribunal referred the nominations to the
Suprema, which replied by asking whom it was accustomed to give from
among its calificadores and, on being informed, ordered that the routine
custom should be followed. Fray Luis's protest that he did not want
calificadores, who had already pronounced against him, was set aside;
patrones were not meant to defend the accused in his heresies, but to
undeceive him and tell him what he should believe. It is true that the
Suprema finally receded from this position but, by a juggle continued
for months, Fray Luis was forced to take a man whom he did not want, and
who was only a new and disguised calificador; conference between them
was denied, and the opinion which the patron rendered was withheld from
him.[144] The wisest course for a theologian, in the hands of the
Inquisition, was that adopted by Fray Thomas de Nieba, in 1642, when on
trial at Valladolid for certain conclusions defended by him in
scholastic debate. He refused both advocate and patrones, saying that he
was subject to correction by the Church and by learned theologians, and
he did not propose to defend the inculpated propositions.[145]

       *       *       *       *       *


We have seen that, after the accusation was read and answered, the
prisoner was told to choose an advocate. Possibly two names were
mentioned to him, both equally unknown; more often only a single name.
He was not at liberty to refuse and, on his giving assent, the advocate,
who had been kept in readiness in the antechamber, was called in. The
proceedings up to that point were read to him, and he at once performed
the duty of urging his client to confess. Whether successful or not in
this, he stated that the next thing in order was to conclude; the fiscal
was called in, who similarly announced that he concluded, and the
inquisitors notified both parties of the conclusion. These formalities
being over, the case was formally received to proof. The fiscal asked
that his witnesses be ratified and publication of evidence be made.

Ratification, as we have seen, frequently caused considerable delay,
until the device was invented of ratifying at the time of deposition.
When the evidence was thus in proper shape, the next move was its
so-called publication. This might or might not be the final step of the
prosecution, for it never was precluded from bringing in new evidence,
and there might be half a dozen or more successive publications,
especially when a group of Judaizers were on trial and they broke down
one by one and told what they knew about their associates. The
effectiveness of this is illustrated by the case of Engracia Rodríguez
at Valladolid, in 1643. After her case had apparently reached its end,
the consulta de fe voted her to torture, which was duly administered,
without eliciting a confession. Then from time to time came new
publications of evidence, until her resolution gave way and, at the
seventh publication, eleven months after her torture, she confessed to
Judaism. She probably recognized that her kindred and friends were
yielding, one after another and incriminating her, and that it was
useless to resist longer, with the certainty--of which her advocate
doubtless informed her--that persistence would indubitably end in her
burning alive as an impenitent _negativa_.[146]

As this publication of evidence was the only inkling afforded to the
accused of what was the case against him, and as it was assumed to give
him ample opportunity of defence, it is worth a little special
consideration. We have seen that the pretext of protecting witnesses was
held as justifying the suppression of their names and of all
circumstances that might lead to their identification. Even under the
most rigid construction, this crippled greatly the defence, but rigid
construction of their powers was not common among the tribunals. When
once it was admitted that portions of the evidence could lawfully be
suppressed, the selection of what should be made known became largely

The endeavor to lay down rules for guidance as to this led to an
infinity of instructions, more or less rigid or lax. In 1498, the
Suprema called attention to the evils that had hitherto followed
publication, wherefore in future care must be taken to omit all
circumstances giving a clue to the identity of the witnesses, and this
was repeated in 1499.[147] Yet the glaring injustice of withholding from
the accused a knowledge of details that might enable him to disprove the
charges was recognized, but all instructions forbidding this were framed
with an "if" that virtually authorized the wrong. For instance, the
specification of time and place at which an act was said to have been
performed was indispensable, if the accused were to have a chance of
detecting false swearing, yet such details might possibly lead him to
identify the witness, and these opposing reasons gave rise to a series
of varying orders which indicate how the Suprema vacillated between the
desire to secure the advantage and the consciousness of the wrong. In
1525 it condemned the practice of the Toledo tribunal in omitting time
and place. It was difficult to make the inquisitors observe this and, in
1527, a general order was issued to state the evidence as the witnesses
had given it, neither more nor less. In 1530 it made a concession by
ordering that it should be consulted when there was "inconvenience" in
stating the month or year. Then, in 1532, it laid down the positive rule
that place and time and persons must be stated, for the principle that
the witness must be protected was to be construed as preventing only
direct recognition and not inferential. This was again modified, in
1537, when, while again ordering that all the evidence must be given,
this was qualified by the old injunction to suppress all circumstances
by which the witnesses could be identified. About 1560, some
instructions to Barcelona order that the time should be stated, while
place is to be indicated in such general terms as shall not betray the
witness. Finally, in the definitive Instructions of 1561, time and place
are ordered to be given, but at the same the omission is prescribed of
all that may betray the witness. A caution that no evidence is to be
used that is not in the publication gives a hint of other irregularities
of even a more serious nature.[148]

The publication being a matter of supreme importance, it was the duty of
the inquisitors personally to draw it up, and not entrust it to
subordinates, least of all to the fiscal, who was technically the
prosecutor. Orders to this effect were issued in 1529; they were
repeated in the Instructions of 1561 but, in 1568, the Suprema was
obliged to take the Barcelona tribunal to task for allowing the fiscal
to do it, and a later writer informs us that inquisitors continued to
shirk the labor and threw it upon the secretaries.[149]

The labor was doubtless great, when the witnesses were numerous and
loquacious, and the delicate duty was apt to be recklessly performed by
subordinates, fearful of rebuke if they allowed too much to be known.
The custom was to give the evidence of each witness separately, as
deposed by "a certain person" and, when practicable, to divide it up
into articles, each covering a separate charge or fact. In this process
the elimination of all circumstances that might give a clue to the
identity of the witnesses was easy, and there was little scruple in
misleading the defendant or in omitting whatever might be thought to
weaken the case. In the publication read to Marí Gómez la Sazeda, when
on trial at Toledo in 1544, the evidence of one witness is divided and
represented as given by two, with the object, as noted on the margin, of
preventing her from identifying him.[150] In the case of Gaspar de
Torralva, before the same tribunal in 1531, the publication bears such
notes as "the evidence of the seventh witness omitted," "the evidence of
the eighth witness omitted."[151] There was no possible supervision or
control over this; the discretion of the inquisitors was absolute and
the prisoner was at their mercy.


In many cases the publication was scarce more than a slovenly repetition
of the fiscal's accusation and afforded to the accused no possible aid
in his defence, as in that given to Juan de la Barra, tried for
Lutheranism at Toledo, in 1656.[152] When it was drawn up more
elaborately, it became confusing in the highest degree. One reads the
long array of the assertions, or the conjectures, or the gossip retailed
by twenty-five or thirty witnesses, vaguely set forth as what a "certain
person" said or thought about another certain person, with no
specifications of time or place, and one wonders how the prisoner could
even grasp it sufficiently to form any definite conception of the
character and weight of the evidence against him. And, with his life
perhaps hanging in the balance, he was required to answer all this on
the spot, article by article, and was closely cross-examined on his
replies. That even an innocent man should compromise himself in the
pitfalls thus cunningly laid for him was not unlikely, and yet this
publication of evidence was represented as a special favor granted in
view of the other restrictions imposed on the defence--a favor not
always conceded in the secular courts.[153]

       *       *       *       *       *

After this ordeal was passed the advocate was called in and furnished
with the publication and the answers of the accused. The two conferred
together, under the eye of the inquisitor and pen of the secretary; if
the accused rejected the renewed advice of the advocate to confess and
discharge his conscience, the plan of defence was concerted. What this
was, as a rule, made little difference. When, in 1499, the
inquisitors-general felt it necessary to instruct inquisitors that they
must pay attention to the defences and exceptions alleged by the
accused, it indicates how they were recognized as prosecutors rather
than judges. Yet it was freely admitted that, in view of the limitations
of the defence, they should be most zealous in considering whatever it

The defence was so perfunctory a routine that the systematic writers
mostly dismiss it with the curt observation that its witnesses must be
zealous Christians and in no way connected with the defendant. Simancas,
however, treats it at greater length, and his enumeration of its
possibilities shows how restricted they were. He admits at the start the
legal maxim that it is impossible to prove a negative, which was
virtually, in most cases, the task imposed on the accused. Then he
proceeds to define what the defendant can do. He can call on witnesses
to prove his religious character or to disable for enmity the opposing
witnesses, or to show that at a certain time or place he did not say
what was attributed to him. Then there are general pleas in abatement,
extreme youth, second childishness, insanity, drunkenness, thoughtless
speech, ignorance, jocularity, the pressure of fear under threats, or
intense grief. Or he may recuse the judge, which should be referred to
the Suprema and not to arbiters, who cause much delay.[155]


Recusation of a judge was a right recognized in the traditional
legislation of Spain.[156] It was admitted in the Inquisition and we
have seen, in the cases of Carranza and Villanueva, how little the
accused profited thereby, even when nominally successful. It was a
recourse practically open only to the powerful or to the trained, at
best but a dangerous expedient, and of necessity had to be done at the
commencement of a trial. It evidently was not employed often enough for
a definite form of procedure to have been provided. The Instructions of
1561 require that, if an inquisitor be recused, he must abandon the case
to his colleague; if he has none, or if both are recused, the matter
must await the decision of the Suprema.[157] This would indicate that
the recused judge retired as a matter of course, but the Carranza and
Villanueva cases prove that the objections of the prisoner had to be
demonstrated as legitimate and this is further indicated when the
troublesome Jesuit, Padre Juan Bautista Poza's extravagant Mariolatry
was condemned at Rome and approved in Spain. It took seven years after
his _Elucidarium Deiparæ_ had been placed on the Roman Index, in 1628,
before the Spanish Inquisition could be compelled by the nuncio to
prosecute him for his rebellious defiance. When on trial by the Toledo
tribunal, he recused the Inquisitor Cienfuegos; his reasons were
examined by the Suprema, which consulted the other inquisitors and the
recusation was sustained. How unusual was this proceeding is indicated
by the boast of his triumphant brethren that this was one of the
remarkable events that had occurred in Spain.[158] Yet an incident in
the trial of Fray Luis de Leon shows the advantage taken of any obstacle
to prevent recusation. After two and a half years of seclusion in prison
from the world, he asked to know the names of the existing
inquisitor-general and members of the Suprema, in order that he might
recuse any whom he regarded as inimical, yet this elementary piece of
information was denied, in spite of repeated applications, in which his
counsel joined, showing that the latter was debarred from telling him
what was of public notoriety.[159] Strictly speaking, recusation was not
a defence but merely a preliminary to it, and its rarity renders it of
minor importance.

Of the pleas in abatement enumerated by Simancas, that of youth amounted
to little for, as we have seen, as soon as the age of responsibility was
reached, the offender was liable to punishment, and there was little
mercy shown. In fact, there was a device, when the culprit was below the
age of fourteen, of postponing the sentence until he had attained that


Insanity was of much greater moment. The insane were recognized as
irresponsible and were sent to hospitals. It was not infrequently
pleaded, and the tribunals were constantly on the watch to protect
themselves against deception, yet it was long before definite rules were
adopted with regard to the matter. In the enlightened view taken by the
Inquisition regarding witchcraft, instructions of 1537 indicate a
disposition to regard reputed witches as insane; whenever the
inquisitors considered this to be the case, all acts and words leading
to such conclusion were to be scrupulously detailed in the records.
Barcelona at the time had on hand a witch named Juana Rosquells, whom
the physician and consultors considered to be out of her mind; not
knowing what to do they referred to the Suprema, which ordered her
discharge and somewhat inconsistently required her to be put under
bail.[161] Even more tentative was the case of Toledo, in 1541, of Juan
García, a day-laborer, favored with revelations of the wildest kind. In
his audiences he replied unintelligibly to the questions asked and, when
the case came before the consulta de fe, it summoned him and asked
whether he would take a hundred lashes or confinement in a hospital. He
very sensibly declined both, and the session terminated with a vote that
his sanity be investigated. This was done in the most superficial way,
the consulta de fe when reassembled voted to acquit him, with a warning
that if he persisted in his wild talk he should have a hundred lashes,
whether insane or not. He was accordingly told to be gone in God's

There evidently was as yet no method prescribed for dealing with such
cases and it is somewhat remarkable that the Instructions of 1561 allude
only to those, by no means infrequent, in which prisoners became
demented during trial, and in these it is only ordered that they be
provided with a curador, which infers that the trial was to be
continued.[163] In conformity with this, at Granada, in 1665, a prisoner
who had become insane after confessing, was furnished with a curador
under whose auspices the case was carried to conclusion. He was
condemned as a heretic and his property was confiscated; as he had
confessed and begged for mercy while still in his senses, he was
absolved from censures so that he might enjoy the suffrages of the
Church, while as to the penances requiring sanity for their performance,
such as reconciliation, abjuration, exile, etc., their determination was
postponed till he should regain his reason.[164] When madness occurred
after conviction and sentence, Peña tells us that the execution should
be postponed until the reason is restored, for perhaps the culprit may
repent and he is sufficiently punished by the madness. Even when it is
feigned this should be done, for it is a less evil that the crime should
be unpunished than to destroy his soul by putting him to death
impenitent. In any event confiscation is to be enforced.[165]

When the accused was decided to be insane the plan adopted was to
transfer him to a hospital, but in 1570 the Suprema required to be
consulted before this was done. Hospitals were not always willing to
receive such patients, but they were constrained to do so, as appears by
an order of the Suprema in 1574, in such a case.[166]

The diagnosis of insanity is sufficiently obscure to modern science,
and it is not surprising that the Inquisition experienced difficulty in
protecting itself against attempts at imposition, which were regarded as
frequent. Peña informs us that insanity was always looked upon with
suspicion, as probably fictitious, but he can only suggest that the
gaolers should keep careful watch, and the inquisitors threaten or
employ torture, to which there was no objection, unless there was risk
of death, and which was an effective means of detecting imposture.[167]
There was, in fact, as we have seen, no hesitation in having recourse to
it when other means failed, but it is to the credit of the Inquisition
that it was ready to exhaust all its resources in doubtful cases, to
determine the question of sanity, however much its ultimate conclusions
might be warped by prejudice or preconceptions.

An exceedingly illustrative case was that of Benito Ferrer, a wandering
beggar, wearing priestly garments, arrested in Madrid, August 24, 1621,
by the archiepiscopal police and confined in the spiritual prison. He
was about to be discharged when, on September 20th, while mass was being
celebrated in the oratory, he sprang forward at the elevation of the
Host, snatched it from the hands of the celebrant, crushed it and cast
part of it on the floor, exclaiming "O traitor God, now you shall pay
me!" The sacrilege of course caused the greatest excitement and
indignation. The archiepiscopal court took cognizance of the matter and
was about to discharge Benito as crazy, when the Inquisition claimed him
and sent him to Toledo for trial, with orders to push the case. Before
leaving Madrid he was examined by the commissioner, when he asserted his
entire sanity and explained his act by asserting that the Host was not
consecrated, for the priest and everyone else whom he saw were enchanted


Benito was undoubtedly a monomaniac for, in his subsequent audiences, he
stated that, in 1609, he had been bewitched, since when everyone he met
was a demon, with much other wild talk. His advocate asked for an
investigation into his sanity, which was performed somewhat
perfunctorily with the result that his extravagance was pronounced to be
feigned. Still the consulta de fe, on November 23d, voted in discordia
and the Suprema ordered further examination into his record and
antecedents. Twenty years before, in his native Catalonia, he had
endeavored to enter religion; two convents had refused to receive him
and two others had expelled him after a few months. The tribunals of
Valencia and Barcelona were set to work on these faint traces; the
friars of that time were dead or scattered, but, after six months of
search, two or three were found who vaguely remembered him as a
melancholy person of little sense, who seemed to be possessed. Then
followed further examinations of fellow-prisoners and physicians,
concurring in the belief that his insanity was a fiction, and fruitless
efforts were made to induce him to admit it. Another consulta de fe,
held September 10, 1622, voted unanimously for relaxation, but the
Suprema was not yet satisfied and ordered torture as a last resort. When
the sentence was read to him he simply said that he was ready for what
the Divine Majesty might be pleased to do with him. Then for three hours
he was exposed to the extremity of torment, the blood dripping to the
floor from his lacerated flesh, but, amid his shrieks and groans,
nothing more could be extracted from him than "God suffered more; I am
here to serve his pleasure" and an offer that, if they would give him a
Bible, he would prove them all to be demons. If torture meant anything
as a test, this proved his insanity to be real, but two days later a
consulta de fe unanimously voted his relaxation as an _impenitente
negativo_. Still the Suprema was not satisfied; it thought that the
torture had been insufficient and it ordered him to be confined with
persons of confidence, who should keep strict watch over him.
Accordingly, on November 23d, his cell was changed and he was given as
companions two friars and a physician awaiting trial, duly sworn and
instructed. February 8, 1623, they were examined and pronounced him
sane, but Dr. Antonio Gómez, who examined him, thought him liable to
delusions; many persons, he said were sane in everything but one topic,
on which they were insane. Still the Suprema hesitated and ordered
continued observations, which were prolonged until November 4th, with
the same result, when another consulta de fe unanimously voted for
relaxation. The Suprema could hold out no longer against these repeated
convictions; it confirmed the sentence and he was burnt alive as an
impenitent, January 21, 1624.[168] Erroneous as the conclusion may seem
to us, it was not reached without a prolonged and conscientious
investigation, such as no other tribunal of the period would have given
to such a case, though the archiepiscopal authorities were wiser, when
they promptly recognized Benito's madness.


A nymphomaniac, in 1688, caused the Valencia tribunal an even longer
term of perplexity. Francisca García was arrested, March 28th, as an
_alumbrada_--one of the mystics against whom the Inquisition waged
unrelenting warfare. She frankly admitted her sexual excesses, which she
said were in obedience to the voice of God. During audiences at long
intervals her talk was so irrational that insanity was suspected.
Physicians were called in, who reported that she seemed to suffer from
some mental weakness, and the alcaide said that he could not determine
whether it was weakness or malice. Calificadores were consulted, who
postponed for further decision the question whether she was
hallucinated, crazy, or possessed. So it went on for two years and a
half until, on September 19, 1690, it was resolved to keep her in prison
but that, before presenting the accusation, another consultation with
calificadores should be had. They examined her and reported that she
cried aloud and wept and ejaculated and answered no questions directly,
but still asserted that carnal indulgence was embracing God, so they
reserved their opinions till another time. Eighteen months passed away
and, in March, 1692, she sought an audience in which she threw herself
on the ground and with tears begged to be taught; she knew that she
ought to be content with her husband and, with screams and cries she
declared that she could not resist temptation save with the aid of God.
A consulta de fe was promptly held, and another in January, 1693, which
could only recommend her detention, in view of the evils to be
apprehended if she were allowed to communicate with others. Then two
years and a half more elapsed, with occasional reports from the alcaide
and secretary, to the effect that latterly the poor creature no longer
talked lasciviously, in view of which it was voted, July 1, 1695, that
the accusation should be presented and that calificadores should again
examine her. To the report of this the Suprema replied in vigorous
language, pointing out that this was only recommencing the eternal
round, and that the case promised to be immortal; it ordered that the
prosecution should be promptly carried on in the usual way and the
sentence be submitted for its approbation. Here the record before us
breaks off and the final action is unknown, but it is evident that the
unfortunate woman was to be treated as responsible, the hesitation of
the tribunal having only resulted in her incarceration for more than
seven years in a dungeon (_calabozo_) where, if not insane at first, she
probably became so in the darkness and despair of interminable
confinement.[169] However humane intentions might be, prejudice and
ignorance misled them to cruelty.

It marks a progressive improvement when, in time, it became customary,
on receiving a denunciation, to interrogate the informer whether he knew
if the accused was a drunkard or suffered from any mental disturbance
and, in instructions to commissioners in taking testimony, these
inquiries were directed always to be made. This was a praiseworthy
precaution, and the modern softening of temper produced a marked
improvement in the treatment of the insane. This is well exhibited in
1818, in the case of Pedro Benito Lobariñas, in which the Suprema
ordered the Santiago tribunal to treat him with especial kindness, and
to give him every comfort compatible with his safe-keeping. Confidential
persons, as well as the physicians, are to be admitted to him, who in
friendly talk could form an estimate of his mental condition, while
investigations were also to be made at his place of abode. Still, the
outcome of the case shows the conflict between humanity and extreme
dread of doctrinal error. His offence was simply some "propositions"
and, in view of his sanity in all else, and his experience as a garden
laborer, he was to be handed over to the gardener of some convent so
walled as to prevent his escape, and to forbid his speaking with any
one, so that he might have no chance to disseminate his heresies.[170]

As for the other pleas in abatement, such as intoxication, sudden anger,
thoughtlessness, ignorance, jocularity and the like, they could only be
advanced in minor cases, like blasphemy and propositions not involving
formal heresy. In such matters they were often alleged in extenuation
and were given more or less consideration, according to the temper of
the tribunal, the penalties, not infrequently, being moderated in

       *       *       *       *       *

Defence, when the accused denied the charge, was practically limited to
_tachas_ and _abonos_--the former being the disabling of witnesses by
proving enmity or other disability, the latter being the accumulation
of evidence to prove good character and assiduous religious observance.
The _interrogatorio de indirectas_, to secure testimony disproving or
explaining away specific accusations, was occasionally employed, and
sometimes flaws or contradictions in the incriminating evidence were
exposed, or an alibi might be proved when time and place were specified
in the publication, but these cases were exceptional. In the great mass
of trials on serious charges, no attempt at defence was made except by
_tachas_ and _abonos_. To the latter little attention was usually
vouchsafed, and the struggle, as a rule, was over the former.


In this the defence was heavily handicapped by the suppression of
witnesses' names and the garbling of evidence in the publication to
protect them from recognition. While occasionally the accused could
identify one or two, in general he could only grope blindly and indicate
persons with whom he had quarrelled, in the desperate hope that they
might chance to be those who had given damaging testimony. Slender as
was the prospect of accomplishing this, it was rendered additionally
difficult by the obstructions placed in the way of his obtaining and
presenting his evidence. He was permitted only to furnish the names of
those whom he suspected, with a list of the witnesses on whom he relied
to prove enmity and a series of questions to be put to the latter who,
during the years of his incarceration might have died or disappeared. We
have seen how rigid were the qualifications exacted of witnesses for the
defence, so that the inquisitor exercised his discretion as to whom he
would admit, nor was he bound to put any interrogations which he deemed
irrelevant, or of which he disapproved--indeed, it was held to be the
duty of the inquisitor to expurgate the interrogatories and if, in those
of _tachas_, there was anything affecting the reputation of a married
woman, or the limpieza of a family, it was to be struck out.[171] The
whole matter was absolutely in his hands and he could even refuse to
admit the prisoner to any defence, as in the case of Martin de Jaen, a
Morisco, burnt in the Toledo auto de fe of 1606, or Manuel de Mesones,
penanced in that of 1610, on the ground that what they asked for was
unnecessary or irrelevant.[172] When defence was permitted, neither the
accused nor his advocate had the privilege of examining such witnesses
as were admitted, or of drawing forth all that they might have to tell.
If they were residents of the city, the inquisitor would summon them; if
at a distance, the interrogatories were sent to a commissioner; the
witness, to each bald question, would answer yes or no, or perhaps might
give some vague details or say that he knew nothing, and there the
taking of testimony ended. If inquiries were directed against parties
who had not testified, they were generally suppressed, although the
instructions were to investigate them also, in order more perfectly to
keep the accused in the dark, and it was also suggested that they be
examined personally because, as enemies, they might have additional
damaging testimony to give. When the witnesses for the defence, as
frequently happened, were widely scattered, all this consumed
considerable time, during which the prisoner in his cell was gnawing his
heart in suspense, and when it was finished he was brought into the
audience-chamber, curtly informed that what he had requested had been
duly attended to, and asked if he had anything more to say. Under the
Instructions of 1561, the results of the interrogations were carefully
withheld from him as we have seen above (Vol. II, p. 543).

In this system, in which the burden of proof was thrown upon the
accused, while he was crippled in every way as to the means of proving
innocence, injustice could only be averted by judges acting virtually as
counsel for the defence, in place of which they habitually served as
parties to the prosecution. How it worked can best be understood by a
few instances, with varying results.

In 1494, Diego Sánchez of Zamora was prosecuted for Judaism in the
tribunal of Toledo. He had been trained, from his fourteenth year, in
the cathedral, where he had risen, twenty years before, to the position
of organist and beneficiary. There were but two witnesses against
him--Pedro de Toledo, a chaplain of the archbishop, who testified to
seeing him eat squabs on a Saturday and eggs in Lent and remove fat from
meat. The other was María de Santa Cruz, a servant-girl, burnt for
heresy, who on her way to the _quemadero_, being urged to clear her
conscience by denouncing her accomplices, said that once when he was
sick his father told him that he would not get well unless he sent some
oil to the synagogue, whereupon he sent both oil and candles. She was
beyond the reach of vengeance but, as usual, her name and the
circumstances were suppressed. There is grim comedy in the efforts made
by Sánchez and his advocate to unravel this story. They repeatedly
requested the dead witness to be recalled and re-examined and to have
the date fixed, for Sánchez had once been delirious for some days and it
might have occurred then; a formal series of interrogatories was drawn
up to be put to her, and eight witnesses were to be examined to prove
the truth of the delirium, all of which the inquisitors met with
profound silence. Then, in hopes of discovering all possible enemies who
might have testified, a long series of quarrels was detailed which he
had had with members of his family and others. In this he chanced to
stumble upon María de la Cruz, who had been his servant, but was a thief
and, becoming pregnant, had accused a man-servant of his as the father.
He dismissed them both, but took back the man; the girl fell into evil
courses and was scourged through the streets, which she attributed to
him and repeatedly threatened revenge. He failed to identify Pedro de
Toledo, but he proved an irreproachable career in the cathedral for
twenty-five years, and he escaped with abjuration _de levi_ and
suspension for a year from celebrating mass--enough to dishonor


This hopeless floundering in the effort to rebut evidence of which the
source was so carefully concealed appears still more strongly in the
case of Diego de Uceda, in 1528, before the same tribunal, on a charge
of Lutheranism, founded on a chance talk with a stranger at Cerezo,
while travelling from Burgos to Córdova. The suppression of time and
place and of details, in the publication, threw him on a false scent and
he imagined the accusation to have arisen from a conversation some
nights later at Guadarrama, with the Archpriest of Arjona, and all his
energies were wasted on the attempt to prove that the latter talk was
blameless, leaving the real testimony against him uncontroverted. It was
a game at cross-purposes, in which the inquisitors allowed him to
entangle himself hopelessly. Incidentally, the record affords a vivid
picture of the agony of suspense endured by the prisoner in his cell
during the inevitable delays arising from the method of procedure. He
was chamberlain of Fernando de Córdova, clavero or treasurer of the
Order of Calatrava; as such he had followed the court, and his witnesses
_in abono_ were necessarily scattered. Six months were consumed in
finding them and securing their testimony, during which he sought
repeated audiences, imploring the inquisitors for the love of God to
despatch his case. At one time a second messenger was sent at his
expense, to Burgos and to Valladolid, with long instructions, and he
counted the days that it would take at ten leagues a day, the customary
allowance for foot-couriers. At last he was summoned to an audience and
told that all his witnesses save four had been examined and he could
name others in their place. This he declined; he had produced ample
testimony as to character but of course had failed to rebut the evidence
of the unknown witnesses who had denounced him. As we have already seen,
he was tortured, confessed and revoked and was sentenced to appear in an
auto de fe, to abjure _de vehementi_, with a fine of sixty ducats and
some spiritual penances, leaving him a dishonored and ruined man for a
few careless words to a stranger.[174]

It is to the credit of the tribunals that they seem generally ready to
make all effort necessary to obtain the testimony of the witnesses whom
they admitted. In 1573, the Suprema orders the Barcelona tribunal to
advise a French prisoner so that he could procure from the King of
France a safe-conduct for the persons whom he sends thither to procure
evidence for him, and the receiver is instructed to pay sixty-four
ducats for the expenses of the commission--of course out of the
sequestrated property.[175] In 1682, in the trial at Barcelona of
Margarita Altamira, a worthless woman, she named as a witness a
day-laborer whom she knew only as Isidro. He was hunted for in the city
without success and efforts were made to trace him. In Cardona an Isidro
Giralt was found and examined but proved not to be the man. Then it was
thought that he might be somewhere in the parish of Maya, and the
commissioner of Solsona was ordered to find him and send him and his
wife to Barcelona, but the search was vain and no one of the name could
be found there. Margarita was then asked if she could give any further
indications to aid in finding him: she thought that perhaps María
Barranco might know something, but on investigation María was found to
be dead. Then she mentioned other witnesses who could testify to her
good character, and they were duly summoned and interrogated.[176] All
this was as it should be, but it depended on the temper of the tribunal
and the prisoner had no power to help himself.

This customary defence of disabling the witnesses for enmity, although
it was mostly blind groping to identify them, was sometimes successful.
The most extensive use of the _tacha_ that I have met occurs in the
Toledo case of Gaspar Torralba, in 1531. His prosecution for Lutheranism
was merely an effort to get rid of a troublesome and truculent neighbor,
in the little village of Vayona, near Chinchon. There were thirty-five
witnesses against him, for he was generally hated and feared. In his
defence he enumerated no less than a hundred and fifty-two persons,
including his wife and daughter, as his mortal enemies, and he gave the
reason in each case which amply justified their enmity. In this
comprehensive drag-net he succeeded in catching nearly all of the
adverse witnesses and, in addition, he adduced _abonos_ and _indirectas_
to prove his orthodoxy and regular religious observance. The tribunal
evidently recognized the nature of the accusation; he was admitted to
bail, July 1, 1532, and finally escaped with a moderate penance.[177]
Life must have been scarce worth living in Vayona when he was let loose.

[Sidenote: _THE DEFENCE_]

At Valencia, in 1604, there was quite a group of cases showing
successful disabling of witnesses among Moriscos. Gaspar Alcadi, accused
by two women of saying that he did not believe in Christianity,
identified them and proved enmity, so that his case was suspended. One
woman accused two men, Vicente Sabdon and Fay Vicente and three women,
Angela Bastant, Angela Barday and Gerónima Alamin, but they all
succeeded in fastening it upon her and showing her hostility, with the
result of a suspension of prosecutions. In 1607 there were several more
cases of the same kind.[178] A still more striking instance occurred in
1658, at Valladolid, when a dissolute woman accused three men and
thirteen women of Sanabria as Judaizers. They seem to have found little
difficulty in identifying and disabling her and were all acquitted,
February 1, 1659.[179] In general, however, the records show that the
main recourse of the accused, in seeking to identify and disable
witnesses for enmity, was rarely successful.

       *       *       *       *       *

After the wholesale forcible conversions of Jews and Moors a defence was
sometimes advanced by the accused that he was not baptized and
consequently not a Christian nor subject to the jurisdiction of the
Inquisition. There were subtile questions involved in this, on which
theologians were not wholly in accord, but in practice the main point
turned on whether the fiscal was obliged to prove the baptism. Against
this was urged a decree of Paul IV, in 1556, when some Portuguese in
Italy defended themselves with this plea, and he ordered the
prosecutions to proceed on the ground that, if they had not been
baptized, they would not have been tolerated in Portugal. An old
inquisitor, about 1640 says that in Saragossa he had a case of a Morisco
who advanced such a plea and, on examination of his parish registers, no
record of his baptism could be found, although there were those of his
elder and younger brother. In spite of this, on the strength of the
papal decision, the prosecution went on and his sentence of
reconciliation was confirmed by the Suprema.[180]

       *       *       *       *       *

In all this the function of the advocate was reduced to a minimum. He
was to make no suggestions to his client except to confess; he was not
to advise him to disable any of the witnesses or to name witnesses of
his own. His sole duty, we are told, was to abandon a pertinacious
heretic and to admonish a Christian to tell the truth. If he chanced to
gain outside information, he was not to communicate it to the prisoner
but to the inquisitors and, if any friend or kinsman spoke to him about
the case, he was to say that he knew nothing of it. So, in the written
defence which he was required to present, he could use no information of
his own, for the accused alone could state facts, and the advocate could
only set them forth. He could receive nothing from the prisoner or his
friends, even after the case was ended; the tribunal fixed his fee,
which was paid to him by the receiver.[181]

Under such circumstances the argument which he would frame was not
likely to be of any benefit to his client. If he were young, bright and
ambitious, he might endeavor to impress the tribunal with his ability,
although the strict secrecy imposed deprived him of the incentive which
publicity would give. For the most part, however, he would discharge his
nominal duties with as little waste of energy as possible; he had
nothing to gain by zeal, and would be careful not to offend the
inquisitors and fiscal on whom he was dependent. While, therefore, we
occasionally meet with a careful and well-reasoned argument, presenting
the case of the accused in the most favorable light, and pointing out
the irregularities and illegality and weakness of the evidence, in
general the defence is perfunctory, of no real service to the accused,
while ostensibly giving him the benefit of defence by a trained lawyer
and enabling the tribunal to overrule what might be alleged in his

       *       *       *       *       *


Meanwhile, at each stage of the case, the accused was subjected to
searching examination. By rule, this had to be conducted by the
inquisitors, and if there were two, both were required to be present; as
the Suprema declared, about 1520, this was necessary to enable them to
vote intelligently.[182] The fiscal, very properly, was not allowed to
be present, and the notaries or secretaries were ordered to confine
themselves to their duties in recording and not to interpose questions.
The general instructions for these examinations are praiseworthy. In
1518 the Suprema ordered the avoidance of superfluous questioning, as it
might lead the accused to contradict himself through ignorance and, in
1529, as the result of a visitation of Saragossa, it rebuked the
inquisitors for asking irrelevant questions instead of confining
themselves to the subject matter, as required by the Instructions. The
questions were to be clearly and intelligibly put, and the accused was
to answer them categorically, yes or no. He was not to be deceived or
misled by being made to believe that there was evidence where none
existed, nor was he to be questioned about accomplices, unless there
were sufficient indications concerning them.[183] Unlike the medieval
Inquisition, where every kind of deceit was allowed to entrap the
accused into compromising himself, the final rules, formally expressed
by Pablo García, were that the inquisitors must carefully abstain from
interrogating the prisoner about matters not included or indicated in
the evidence, and from leading him to believe that mere suspicions were
knowledge founded on proof.[184] Yet, with marked inconsistency, the
monitions with which the trials opened, assumed, as we have seen, the
guilt of the prisoner, that ample information existed of it, and that
his confession was wanted for his own salvation.

As a rule, in these earlier audiences, no questions were put except to
ask the accused what he had remembered, and he was left to spontaneous
confession, without a guide as to what was expected of him. Sometimes,
however, in the later periods a special _audiencia de preguntas_ was
ordered, which might last for several days, as in the case of Beatriz
López, at Valladolid, in 1697.[185] Ordinarily the real examinations
began when the accused answered to the accusation, and were continued
after his replies to the publication. At any time, moreover, if he made
admissions or a partial confession, the opportunity was taken, by
skilful questioning, to bring him, step by step, to full acknowledgement
of his offences. In this, leading questions were forbidden. All
examinations were to be searching and thorough and, in 1654, the Suprema
complained that many crimes remained unpunished because of the
carelessness and looseness with which this duty was performed.
Inquisitors in general were, therefore, instructed to repeat their
questions again and again, until every detail of time, place and
circumstance was ascertained.[186]

       *       *       *       *       *

When the prosecution and defence had thus exhausted all their resources,
the latter was required to conclude and the case was pronounced to be
concluded, although the fiscal could open it again, if new evidence
appeared, and the accused could appeal from this as from all other
sentences. It was then ripe for judgement, but the inquisitors were not
authorized to pronounce sentence alone. The necessity for episcopal
concurrence required the intervention of a representative of the bishop
of the prisoner's diocese and, in addition, the rule of the Old
Inquisition was preserved under which some graduates in law and theology
were assembled to deliberate and vote with the others. These were called
consultors and we have seen that they were a recognized portion of the
inquisitorial organization. The whole body formed what was known as the
_consulta de fe_, in whose hands lay the fate of the accused. The number
of consultors was uncertain. In 1488, at Barcelona, we hear of a
consulta in which five masters of theology and five doctors of canon law
were called in, and of another in which there were twelve of each, but
such assemblies were unwieldy and, in 1596, the Suprema restricted the
number to two theologians and three jurists. There was a scandalous
practice allowed by the Instructions of 1561, of having the fiscal
present without a vote, in order to give information--information which
would be apt to expand into argument. Subsequently this seems to have
been confined to some tribunals, but in all he could be called upon to
elucidate any doubtful point, either orally or in writing.[187] No such
privilege was allowed to the accused. Even lawyers who served as
_abogados de los presos_ were declared, in 1538, to be ineligible for
service as consultors.[188]

[Sidenote: _THE CONSULTA DE FE_]

In the imperfect records of the early trials, there is often no allusion
to a consulta de fe, although the sentence generally contains the
customary formula that it has been rendered with the advice of learned
and God-fearing men. Even this is sometimes omitted, but it is probable
that the formality was usually observed although, in the haste of those
terrible days, it was, as a rule, little more than a formality. The
ordinary custom was to assemble a consulta when a sufficient number of
finished cases had accumulated to render an auto de fe desirable, and it
could scarce find time for a conscientious scrutiny of the evidence. How
business was sometimes despatched is seen in the preparations for the
great auto de fe at Ciudad Real, February 23, 1484. Among the victims
were Juan de Fez and his wife, on whom the consulta passed sentence,
January 28th, although Juan had only confessed, under threat of torture,
the day before, and it was not until February 6th that he ratified his
confession, so that the condemnation was pronounced before the case was
finished.[189] Yet discussion was not wholly wanting. In the case of
Diego García, at the consulta held January 18, 1490, eight voted for
torture and three for perpetual prison, but at a meeting next day they
were unanimous for torture, which Diego endured without confession and
thus escaped with moderate penance.[190]

In those early days it was possible, as the records inform us was done,
to read the whole case from beginning to end, for, in those hurried
proceedings, the records were brief. In later times when the documents
of a trial extended perhaps over hundreds--or it might be thousands--of
folios, this was manifestly impossible, and there was submitted to the
consulta only an abstract containing what was deemed important, when of
course it would be within the power of the tribunal to present it in
such fashion as it desired. There was a salutary limitation on this by
the Suprema, in 1560, when it forbade the preparation of these abstracts
by the fiscal, but the necessity for such prohibition is suggestive of
existing abuses.[191] Occasionally the consulta exercised the power of
summoning and examining the accused, as we have seen in the case of Juan
García, in 1541, when there were doubts as to his sanity. It did the
same with Juan Vázquez, at Toledo in 1605, which resulted in dismissing
the case.[192]

Whether, in these assemblies, the consultors had a deliberative or
merely a consultative vote, was a matter of some discussion. In 1515,
Cardinal Adrian, and in 1518 the Suprema, instructed inquisitors that
though they must not render judgement without consulting jurists, they
need not follow their advice, but could consult others and state the
reasons for rejecting the previous opinions.[193] Arnaldo Albertino, on
the contrary, after debating the question at length, decides that, under
the canon law, inquisitors are bound by the majority vote.[194] This
ignored the self-dependent organization of the Spanish Inquisition, and
Rojas asserts positively that the vote of the consultors is consultative
and not decisive.[195] Simancas decides that the true rule is that the
inquisitors are not bound by the opinion of the consultors, although
the question is debated; the Suprema instructed the tribunal of Córdova
that, if the inquisitors and Ordinary are in accord, their opinion
prevails over that of all the consultors, yet in Valladolid, unless
there is a majority, even if the inquisitors and Ordinary agree, there
is _discordia_ and the case is referred to the Suprema.[196] All this
was settled by the Instructions of 1561, which declared that, if the
inquisitors and Ordinary were unanimous, their vote was decisive against
consultors more numerous, but that, whenever there was discordia between
the former, the matter was to be referred to the Suprema and, in
important cases, even when there was unanimity, it was to be consulted
before executing the vote.[197]

[Sidenote: _DELAYS_]

We have seen how the gradual centralization in the Suprema required all
sentences, whether of torture or judgement, to receive its confirmation.
Under this influence the consulta de fe declined in importance, and
tribunals began to neglect the formality of summoning it or even of
appointing consultors. The concurrence of the Ordinary was theoretically
indispensable, but that sufficed, and the Suprema was quite content to
overlook irregularities which marked the diminishing importance of the
tribunals. Thus, in 1717, at Barcelona, in the case of Dr. Estevan
Perpiñan for impeding the Inquisition, the Ordinary could not attend and
the inquisitors voted on it alone; they could not agree on a sentence,
and the Suprema sent the case back with orders to vote on it again, in
conjunction with the Ordinary; they did so, but this time all three
disagreed and the Suprema finally rendered the sentence.[198] It seems
never to have thought of instructing them to call in experts and form a
consulta de fe. Thus the time-honored institution, coeval with the
establishment of the Inquisition in the thirteenth century, came to an
end. In a series of votes of the tribunal of Madrid, extending through
the eighteenth century, there is no indication of consultors being
called in. Sometimes there are two inquisitors with the Ordinary and
sometimes one; sometimes two inquisitors without the Ordinary, and
occasionally, though rarely, a single inquisitor by himself.[199] In the
enumeration of the personnel of all the tribunals, about the middle of
the century, the insignificant one of Majorca had eight consultors,
Granada had four, Córdova three, Valladolid, Cuenca and Santiago one
each and the others had none. The institution was rapidly dying out and
men no longer aspired to the honor of belonging to it. So it was under
the Restoration. In the sentences of the period which I have seen there
is no reference to it save in some pronounced by the Canary tribunal,
which have the clause "without a consultor because it is united in the

Before the Suprema had rendered the tribunals mere agencies for
collecting evidence and attending to the formalities of trials, the
consulta de fe may occasionally have been of service in preventing or
diminishing injustice. Incidents related above show that the consultors
formed opinions of their own, and that the votes were often far from
unanimous. This was encouraged by the routine of voting, in which the
consultors voted first and the senior inquisitor last, although
doubtless, when there had been a preliminary discussion, the views of
the inquisitors had been made known. Occasionally we meet with debates
in which each member of the consults accompanies his vote with an
exposition of his reasons, and sometimes even with elaborate written
opinions, showing a conscientious expenditure of thought and labor.
Unfortunately, doubts and disagreements generally were compromised by
recourse to torture, after which the consulta would be reconvened to
formulate the definitive sentence.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not the least cruel feature of the inquisitorial trial was the
interminable delay to which the victim was commonly exposed. In ordinary
criminal practice, especially in capital cases, the accused may seek
perhaps to postpone the evil day, but in the Inquisition, where he was
denied all communication with the outside world, and was kept in
ignorance as to the progress of his own case, the agony of suspense
concerning himself and those dear to him during dreary months and years
was, in itself, a most severe and protracted punishment. This was
thoroughly understood, not only from the repeated despairing cries of
prisoners to have their cases despatched, but from the habitual promise
of such despatch held out as an inducement for confession. The slow
torture of delay was a well-understood device of the Old Inquisition to
procure confession, when five, ten, or twenty years' interval between
arrest and sentence was not infrequent,[201] but, except in special
cases, this would not seem to be the motive in Spain. It is rather
attributable to callous indifference and the habit of procrastination.
The prisoner was presumably guilty and no good Christian need waste
sympathy on the sufferings, mental and bodily, of a heretic too
pertinacious for confession and conversion.

In Spain, speedy justice was constantly urged on the tribunals as soon
as the mad rush of the early years was over. While this lasted such
urgency was superfluous, for haste was necessitated by the enormous
amount of work to be done, and was stimulated by impatience for the
fines and confiscations, though the formalities of procedure were
cumbrous and there were multitudes of cases jostling each other as they
wore through their several stages. In the great auto de fe at Ciudad
Real, February 23, 1484, where there were seventy-six burnings in person
or in effigy, besides the large number of reconciliations, there could
have been no time wasted on each case. Among those relaxed was Juan
González Daza, whose trial commenced December 1, 1483, when the
inquisitors granted nine days for presenting proof. On December 10th,
the fiscal asked an extension of time in view of his other occupations
and the absence of witnesses, but he was obliged to take an oath that
these were his reasons and not malice. On December 8th evidence for the
defence was already being taken before two deputies of the inquisitors
and, on the 12th, that for the prosecution before two other deputies.
Considering that human life was at stake, the work was most

Possibly this speed soon slackened; whether it did so or not, the
Suprema was dissatisfied, for the Instructions of 1488 ordered that
prisoners should not be worn out in gaol with postponements, and
proceedings must be so prompt as to afford no cause of complaint. This
urgency was repeated in the Instructions of 1498, which fixed a limit of
ten days between arrest and the presentation of the accusation, during
which the three monitions were to be given; after this cases were to be
pushed with all despatch and without awaiting further proof, for this
had led to prolonged detention, causing injury to persons as well as to
property. Again, in 1500, the tribunals were ordered to proceed
summarily and not to permit delays--all these instructions showing that
the procrastination was attributable to the prosecution and not to the

[Sidenote: _DELAYS_]

These instructions received scant obedience and the delays were felt as
a serious grievance by the accused. In 1510 we have a petition to
Ferdinand from five women appealing for a speedy decision of their
cases, which had been "concluded," to which he responded by ordering the
inquisitors to expedite them in accordance with justice.[204] So among
the Aragonese petitions at the Córtes of Monzon, in 1533, is a complaint
that the prisoners of the Inquisition were vexed with the prolonged
delays in giving them the accusation and postponing the publication of
evidence, wherefore the inquisitor-general was prayed to prescribe
briefer terms. To this the reply was merely that provision would be made
for the good administration of justice and the speedy disposition of

If there were any intention of fulfilling this promise it was
resultless. Procrastination was habitual in all Spanish tribunals, as we
learn from the repeated remonstrances of the Castilian Córtes of the
period, which vainly represented that pleaders were impoverished and
exhausted in the vain attempt to obtain justice, and that the gaols
throughout the land were crowded with prisoners.[206] The Inquisition
shared in this indifference to the sufferings of those in its hands;
there were causes of delay in ratifying evidence and looking up the
witnesses for the defence, and it had besides a practice, in all cases
serious enough to appear in an auto de fe, of allowing them to
accumulate until there were enough to render the solemnity impressive.
This abuse was forbidden by the Suprema in 1518, 1532, 1539 and 1540,
but its commands were disregarded.[207] That it was a real grievance is
shown by a summons addressed, in 1534, by the Toledo fiscal to the
Vicar-general Blas Ortiz, reciting that it was four years since the
tribunal had celebrated an auto de fe; its prisoners were suffering much
thereby in person, honor, and property, and the Inquisition was defamed
in consequence. On the part of the accused and their kindred there had
been bitter complaints to the inquisitor-general and Suprema, to the
emperor and royal council, and to persons of influence, and three or
four months ago the Suprema and inquisitor-general had come to Toledo to
see what was the matter and had ordered the cases to be despatched and
an auto de fe to be held. When, however, we learn that the concurrence
of the vicar-general was needed only for the torture of nine persons and
the sentencing of ten, we see how little occupation the tribunal had had
during those four years, rendering the delay inexcusable, while moreover
the effort to shift the blame on Blas Ortiz was transparent for, under
the Clementines, inquisitors were required to wait only nine days for
the Ordinary.[208] The custom of waiting for an auto de fe continued and
if, in 1570, 1571 and 1577, there were repeated orders that the cases of
poor prisoners should be despatched promptly, without holding them for
an auto, this urgency savors more of thrift than of mercy, for it infers
that the rich, who could defray their prison expenses, might

[Sidenote: _DELAYS_]

The provision that the accusation should be presented within ten days
after arrest was repeated in 1518 and seems to have been considered as
still in force in 1594, for its observance is included in
interrogatories prepared for a visitation in that year, but the
Instructions of 1561, while requiring the fiscal to present it within
that limit, give discretion to the inquisitors as to the time of
admitting the prisoner to an audience after his arrest, and prescribe no
definite intervals between the monitions.[210] This discretion was
abused to the utmost and the Suprema seems to have abandoned all effort
to check procrastination, except in special cases which threatened to
become immortal. The tribunals kept their unfortunate prisoners lying
for months before granting the first audience and, as this required no
preparation, its postponement was mere callous indifference without
excuse. In a group of eight cases at Valladolid, in 1647, a year was
allowed to elapse between the arrest and first audience, and subsequent
intervals, varying from one month to eight, before the third monition
which was synchronous with the accusation.[211] When there was this
heartless delay at the commencement of a case, it is not to be supposed
that there would be any alacrity in speeding the subsequent stages of
the cumbrous routine, or any conscientious awakening from the supine
indifference of the tribunals, with their multitude of officials and
diminishing work. I have already alluded to the Mexican case of Joseph
Brunon de Vertiz, in which there was nothing to prevent a regular and
speedy course of action; and a brief abstract of the successive steps of
his trial will show how he was tortured through suspense and anxiety to
death. Between January 25, 1650, and his end on April 30, 1656, he was
but once summoned to an audience and then it was only to ask him whether
he had anything more to say.[212] Similar examples can be cited in the
Peninsula. Gabriel Escobar, a cleric in the lower Orders, was arrested
by the Toledo tribunal in 1607, on a charge of Illuminism and, in 1622,
he died in prison, leaving his trial unfinished.[213] On a similar
charge, Vicente Hernan was arrested in Valencia, September 23, 1592,
and on August 25, 1695, the Suprema took the tribunal to task, because
the accusation had not yet been presented, and pointed out that two
years and a half had elapsed since his last audience, and the case was
no nearer an end than before.[214]

This procrastination continued to the end. A writer, about 1750,
attributes the endless prolongation of the trials to the inefficiency of
the inquisitors, and this again to the meagreness of the salaries, which
prevents the selection of capable men, but the Suprema itself was
frequently to blame by its delay in acting when everything had to be
submitted to its approval. Thus when the Logroño tribunal sent to it,
September 9, 1818, a _sumaria_, on statement of the evidence, against
Fernando de la Hoceja for irreverence to the sacrament, it was not until
June 9, 1819, that it ordered prosecution and, when Valladolid proposed,
November 12, 1818, to grant _audiencias de cargos_ to Lazaro Matilla,
this was not confirmed until June 15, 1819.[215]

       *       *       *       *       *

Prosecution of the absent and of the dead formed, especially in the
earlier period, a large part of the work of the Inquisition. The sudden
development of systematized persecution naturally caused the exodus of
thousands of Conversos, in spite of the arbitrary measures adopted to
prevent their escape, while the details adduced in the trials furnished
evidence against other thousands, who had died in external orthodoxy. It
was no part of the policy of either Church or State to condone the
offences of the fugitive or of the dead. If the faith could not be
vindicated by burning their bodies, it could at least exhume the bones
of the departed for cremation and could symbolically consume with fire
the effigies of those of whom neither the bodies nor the bones could be
had, while the fisc gathered in the confiscations which followed on
condemnation, including the collection of debts and the forfeiting of


In this there was nothing repugnant to the spirit of the age, or of the
Latin systems of jurisprudence. In the spiritual sphere the Church had
long been accustomed to pass judgement on those who had passed to the
judgement-seat of God, and to exhume the remains of any heretic buried
in consecrated ground.[216] The imperial jurisprudence was equally
unforgiving in cases of _majetas_, or treason, in which the dead could
be prosecuted and their estates be confiscated, and the Theodosian Code
extended this to heresy.[217] As recently as 1600, in Scotland, the
bodies of the Earl of Gowrie and his brother were brought into court to
be present at their trial, and were duly sentenced to be hanged,
quartered and gibbeted; in 1609, Robert Logan of Restalrig, three years
after death, was accused of complicity in the Gowrie conspiracy, when
his bones were exhumed to grace the trial in which he was convicted and
his estate was confiscated.[218] As regards fugitives, in the
Continental systems of criminal law it was regarded as absurd to allow
contumacious absence to defeat justice. In Aragon the absentee was
summoned at his domicile to appear within fifteen days, after which he
was reputed contumacious and his trial proceeded, but he had the right,
even after sentence, to return and appeal, on reimbursing to the accuser
his expenses.[219]

The abundant harvest thus provided for the early Inquisition may be
estimated from the statement by a contemporary that, at the Toledo auto
de fe of July 25, 1485, there were burned the effigies of more than four
hundred dead and as many in that of May 25, 1490. The ceremony was
impressive. A great monument, covered with black, was erected in front
of the staging occupied by the inquisitors. The sentence of each culprit
was read and, as his name was called, the monument was opened and an
effigy, arrayed in Jewish grave-clothes, was brought out and condemned
as a heretic. Then a great fire was built in the centre of the plaza,
and all the effigies were consumed, together with the disinterred bones.
After this their names were announced in the cathedral, with a summons
to the heirs to appear, within twenty days, and render an account of
their inheritances which belonged to the king.[220] We might suspect
these figures of exaggeration were there not other evidences of the
magnitude of the work in progress and of the informal haste with which
it was conducted. In 1484, at Ciudad Real, a single proclamation to the
children and heirs, to appear and defend the deceased, contains the
names of sixty-one dead persons on trial and a single sentence condemns
forty-two, with a common enumeration of the Judaizing practices asserted
to be proved against them. In none of these cases did the children and
heirs put in an appearance to defend the memory and fame of the

These reckless and indecent proceedings were based on the Instructions
of 1484, which evidently reflect the current practice in ordering the
prosecution of those who had been dead even for thirty or forty years,
and their property with its fruits to be taken from whomsoever is found
in possession, although a MS. copy contains a clause, omitted in the
printed editions, exempting from confiscation property held in good
faith by good Catholics, for fifty years or more.[222] In view of the
activity at Ciudad Real and Toledo, it seems somewhat superfluous that
Torquemada, in his supplementary Instructions of 1485, deemed it
necessary to warn the tribunals that the prosecution of the living
should not cause them to neglect the dead, so that their bodies may be
disinterred and burnt and their property be seized by the fisc.[223] How
far back the retroactive energy of the tribunals extended may be
gathered from the case of Fernan Sánchez who had been converted about
1416, had lived as a Christian until his death in 1456, and who yet was
disinterred and burnt and his estate confiscated by the tribunal of
Cuenca and Sigüenza, probably about 1525.[224]


Notwithstanding the massing of cases in the citations and sentences, the
formalities of the somewhat cumbrous procedure were duly observed. The
trials were not speedy, but, as large numbers were in progress together,
only the scantiest attention could be paid to each and the result was a
foregone conclusion. A single case will illustrate the process. At
Ciudad Real, August 8, 1484, the fiscal is recorded as appearing and
saying that he desires to proceed against certain deceased persons and
among them Beatris González. He asks the inquisitors to issue their
letters of summons, citation and edict, so that the children, heirs,
kindred and others who wish to defend their bodies and bones, their fame
and property, may appear. The same day the edict is issued, directed to
the representatives of Beatris and two others, some of the kindred
addressed being named and others included under the generalization of
parties interested. The edict recites that the fiscal is about to accuse
Beatris and the others of Judaism, and asks to have them summoned in
defence, wherefore they are cited to appear within thirty days after the
edict is read to them, or before their house-doors, or published in the
public square, or read in the church of San Pedro and affixed to one of
its doors; if they come, they will be heard with the fiscal, and justice
will be rendered; if they do not appear, the fiscal will be heard and
the case will go on without them to the end. The thirty days constituted
three terms of ten days each, at the end of each of which the fiscal
appeared before the inquisitors and accused the _rebeldia_ or contumacy
of the parties cited and, at the end of the third, on September 6th, he
presented the accusation, a copy of which was ordered to be given to the
children, with nine days in which to answer it. At the expiration of
this time, on September 14th, the fiscal accused the further rebeldia
and concluded; the inquisitors received the case to proof and assigned
thirty days for it. On October 20th, the fiscal presented four
witnesses, who were separately and secretly examined by the inquisitors,
the testimony consisting of the usual details of observing the Sabbath
by lighting candles and wearing clean linen, with an intimation of
having chickens killed by decapitation. Then followed an interval, until
January 18, 1485, when the fiscal asked for publication of evidence. The
inquisitors granted this, ordering copies given to him and to the
children if they ask for it, and assigning a term of six days for
concluding. On January 24th the fiscal accuses the persistent rebeldia
and concludes; the inquisitors hold the children to be contumacious and
conclude the case, assigning for sentence the third or any following
day. All this was in preparation for the great auto de fe of March 15th,
where the sentence was read, condemning in mass a large number of the
dead, confiscating their property and ordering their bones to be dug up
and burnt.[225] This was the procedure under which thousands of the dead
were condemned and their properties seized from the existing owners; the
forms of justice were comfortably preserved; no heirs or children
ventured to appear in defence, and the condemnation might as well have
been pronounced at the beginning.

This facility offered temptations to act on insufficient evidence and
occasionally, when persons of importance were concerned, there was a
contest, as at Saragossa where, on March 10, 1491, the fiscal presented
his _clamosa_ against a number of the dead, whose representatives
defended them with persistent energy until December, 1499, when there
were eight condemnations and three acquittals.[226] Some check on the
abuses inevitable to the system was attempted, in the reformatory
Instructions of 1498, which order that no prosecution of the dead is to
be commenced unless there is proof sufficiently complete for
condemnation; the practice of suspending cases where proof is imperfect
is prohibited, in view of the hardship endured by the heirs, who are
unable to marry or to dispose of their property and, under such
circumstances, acquittal is ordered. Procrastination and delay are also
forbidden, and cases must be determined speedily.[227]


Sequestration under these circumstances inflicted great suffering until,
as we have seen, in the Instructions of 1561, it came under the general
prohibition of sequestrating property in the hands of third parties. By
this time, prosecution of the dead had shrunk to an inconsiderable part
of inquisitorial business, and this may possibly account for other
ameliorations in procedure. The preliminary necessity of sufficing proof
was insisted upon; pains were to be taken to ascertain whether there
were descendants, so as to cite them in person; no one who appeared as a
defender was to be refused, even though he might be a prisoner on trial,
who could empower a representative; if no defender appeared, the
inquisitor was to appoint a skilful and sufficient person, who was not
an official of the tribunal.[228] By this time, also, another rule had
established itself which diminished the number of prosecutions--that
they could only lie for formal heresy. Crimes involving suspicion of
heresy, such as fautorship, receiving and defending heretics and many
others, were excluded, for the reason that suspicion, however violent,
was held to be extinguished by death.[229] It was also generally
admitted that stronger proof was required for prosecution of the dead
than of the living because, as Rojas explains it, _semiplena_ or
half-proof, suffices for the latter--apparently alluding to the fact
that the dead could not be tortured.[230]

If they could not be tortured, so neither could they save themselves
from relaxation by confession and abjuration. This naturally resulted in
burning in effigy, except in the case of death during trial, when, if
the prisoner had manifested repentance and sought readmission to the
Church, his effigy was solemnly reconciled in the auto de fe, nor does
this somewhat grotesque ceremony appear to have aroused a sense of
incongruity. Death in prison, as we have seen, was by no means
infrequent and, as the cases when once commenced were continued to the
end, they furnish, during the later period, a considerable portion of
the prosecutions of the dead. Suicide in prison was held to be
confession of guilt and pertinacity.

The sentence pronounced on the dead was even more impressive than that
on the living. It declared him to have lived and died a heretic, his
memory and fame were condemned and his property was confiscated. "And we
order that, on the day of the auto, an effigy representing his person
shall be placed on the scaffold, with a mitre of condemnation and a
sanbenito bearing on one side the insignia of the condemned and on the
other a placard with his name, which effigy, after the reading of this
our sentence, shall be delivered to the secular arm and justice, and his
bones shall be disinterred, if they can be distinguished from those of
faithful Christians, and be delivered to the said justice to be publicly
burnt, in detestation of such great and grievous crimes. And, if there
is any inscription on his tomb, or if his arms are anywhere displayed,
they shall be erased, so that no memory of him shall remain on the face
of the earth, except of our sentence and of the execution which we order
in it. And, that it may the more remain in the memory of the living, we
order that the said sanbenito or one like it, with the said insignia and
name of the condemned, shall be placed in the cathedral or parochial
church of ----, of which he was parishioner, in a prominent place where
it shall remain for ever. Moreover we order that the children and the
grandchildren by the male line, be deprived of all dignities and
benefices and public positions that they possess, and be incapacitated
for others, as well as to ride on horseback and carry arms and wear
silk, camlet and fine cloth, gold, silver and corals and other things
forbidden by the laws."[231]

       *       *       *       *       *

We have already seen how numerous, in the opening years of the
Inquisition, were the trials of absentees, as shown by the burning of
their effigies in the autos de fe. This arose not only from the flight
of those alarmed by the activity of persecution, but also from the
investigation of the records of all who, for years before, had changed
their places of residence or had betaken themselves to the Moors of
Granada or beyond seas. This proportion of the early period was not
maintained after the first hurried rush of expatriation was past, but
still there continued to be many cases. When a Judaizer or Morisco was
arrested, all who had been associated with him recognized the impending
danger and, if there was possibility of concealment or of leaving the
country, prudence counselled absence. The Inquisition sought
energetically to trace those against whom evidence was obtained and, if
it failed, it prosecuted them _in absentia_. In some respects this
procedure differed from that in prosecution of the dead.


The Instructions of 1484 give minute and precise details with regard to
it, pointing out three courses which may be followed. The first is
recommended as the safest and least rigorous and is that furnished by
the canon law in Cap. _Contumaciam_ (Cap. 7, Tit. 2 in Sexto Lib. v)
which provides that, as contumacy renders suspicion vehement, a man who
is suspect in the faith is to be excommunicated, when, if he remains
under the censure for a year, he is to be condemned as a heretic. Under
this process, which conveniently converted suspicion into formal heresy,
justifying condemnation, testimony was superfluous and conviction
certain, so that, although it cost some delay, we can understand the
preference expressed for it. It simply required the party to be
summoned, with the customary monitions, to defend himself in matters of
faith and a special charge of heresy, under pain of excommunication. If
he did not appear, the inquisitor ordered the fiscal to accuse his
contumacy and to demand letters denouncing him as an excommunicate and
then, if he persisted in his contumacy for a year, he was declared a
formal heretic. The citations were made by the customary edicts,
proclaimed and affixed to the church-doors of his domicile, and the
excommunication was published in the churches with the customary

The second method was more speedy and was adapted to cases where the
heresy could be completely proved. The accused was cited by edict to
appear and prove his innocence, with steps similar to those used in
summoning defenders in prosecutions of the dead; when the terms allowed
were passed, if the evidence was conclusive, the absentee could be
condemned without further delay.

The third process was suitable for cases where the evidence, though
incomplete, justified vehement presumption. An edict was issued against
the accused summoning him to appear within a specified time and furnish
canonical purgation, with notice that, if he did not present himself, or
if he failed in his purgation, he would be held as convicted and be
treated accordingly. This was the simplest and speediest, but the
Instructions say that, although rigorous, it was well grounded in law,
and inquisitors, at their discretion, could adopt either of the three
courses as best adapted to the case in hand.[232]

The first of these methods, utilizing the device of contumacy became the
one almost universally employed, when time was of no consequence but, in
the impatient temper of the early period, speedier processes were
preferred. The case of Sancho de Ciudad and Marí Díaz his wife, was
tried by the second process and will serve as an illustration. Sancho
was regidor of Ciudad Real and a well-known citizen. On November 14,
1483, the fiscal represented that many persons defamed for heresy had
fled from the Inquisition, among whom notoriously were Sancho and his
wife, whom he intended to accuse, and he asked the inquisitor, on
receiving due proof, to cite them to appear. Two witnesses then deposed
that it was notorious that they were absent and, as they had departed
about fifteen days before the Inquisition came, it presumably was
through fear. The edict was issued and the case took its course, all
citations and summonses being gravely pronounced before Sancho's house
by a notary as though he were personally on trial. When the case reached
the stage of proof, the fiscal presented thirty-four witnesses--the most
damaging one being Sancho's daughter Catalina, who gave the names of her
brothers and of numerous others accustomed to assemble in her father's
house to participate in Jewish ceremonies. All the formalities of the
trial were observed and duly notified before Sancho's door. By January
22, 1484, the consulta de fe voted for relaxation, which Sancho was duly
summoned to hear read, and it was read in the audience-chamber, January
30th, empowering the authorities of any place, where Sancho and his wife
might be found, to inflict on them the penalties of the law, and
meanwhile, as their persons could not be had, it ordered their effigies
then present, to be subjected to the execution of the said


If there is something grotesque in all this, at least the proceedings
were decently in order and, if Sancho and his wife had cared to risk it,
they could have been heard. How hurried and informal the process
sometimes was is manifested by a case at Guadalupe in 1485. On July 13th
three witnesses were heard as to ten persons who had left that place
from twelve to sixteen years before, and of whom public fame reported
that they had gone to Málaga or to some other Moorish town, and had
turned Jews. On July 21st the fiscal presented his accusation, asking
for sentence without previous citation or other notice, because by law
in such cases and crimes of heresy, when notoriety is proved, nothing
further is required. This was expressly assented to in the sentence,
although it alluded to some kind of citation with three terms, published
in the plaza and affixed to the church-doors, and also to a consulta de
fe, but all this was probably mythical for, in an auto de fe held on
August 1st, seven of the parties were included in one sentence, their
effigies were relaxed to the secular arm and their property was declared
to be confiscated, while judges everywhere were empowered to seize and
proceed against them.[234] Neither of the three methods described in the
Instructions of 1484 could have been employed in the interval of
eighteen days between denunciation and execution, but, as one of the
inquisitors was Francisco de la Fuente, an experienced judge from the
tribunal of Ciudad Real, we must presume that there was nothing
irregular in this quick despatch.

Although in these sentences the condemned is abandoned to any secular
justice for burning, the whole proceeding was merely designed to secure
the confiscations and enhance the solemnities of the autos de fe with
additional comburation of effigies. Its nullity in other respects was
admitted by the rule that, if a culprit who had been burnt in effigy
should return spontaneously, confessing and repenting, he could be
admitted to reconciliation or, if he asserted his innocence, he was to
be heard in his defence. This was decreed by Torquemada, October 10,
1493, with the reservation that it was a matter of grace and did not
affect the confiscation. In 1494 there was a further provision that, if
the condemnation had been the result of false-witness, it was the duty
of the inquisitors to revoke the sentence _ex officio_, without awaiting
the appearance of the convict.[235]

No change of importance was introduced in the procedure by the
Instructions of 1561. In practice, the prosecution for contumacy was the
one ordinarily employed; the second method was sometimes used when the
testimony was complete and the third, summoning the accused to
compurgation, became obsolete. The formula of the sentence, in the first
method, avoids all allusion to the crimes alleged against the accused
and bases the condemnation wholly on his remaining for a year under
excommunication, thus proving himself to be an apostate heretic, the
penalties for which are to be executed on his person, if it can be had
and, in his absence, upon the effigy representing him.[236]

Of course condemnation to the stake was inevitable, when once the
process was commenced, whether there was substantial evidence against
the accused or not. Some authorities held that, whenever he could be
caught, he was to be burnt, but Simancas expresses the considerate
practice of the Inquisition in assuming that he is entitled to a
hearing, whether he presents himself spontaneously or is captured, for
there is no prescription of time against defence; if he comes within a
year he can plead against confiscation, but after the year he can be
heard only as to himself, unless he is manifestly innocent or has been
detained by a just impediment.[237] It may justly be doubted whether any
fugitive was ever burnt for contumacy, and the ordinary practice is seen
in the case of nine Judaizers of Beas, whose arrest was ordered by the
tribunal of Murcia, April 5, 1656. When the warrants reached Beas, April
12, they were found to have departed secretly about the end of February.
Five of them were traced to Málaga and four were reported to have gone
to Pietrabuena, but all efforts to capture them failed and, on July
27th, the fiscal asked for edicts of citation. The regular process in
contumacy followed leisurely, ending in a sentence of relaxation if the
culprits should be found and if not, that their effigies should be
burnt. This was confirmed by the Suprema and was pronounced December 5,
1659, and executed April 13, 1660, in an auto de fe at Seville. Nearly
twenty years later two of the fugitives, Ana Enríquez and her husband
Diego Rodríguez Silva, were arrested at Daimiel. They were tried anew;
the previous records were brought from Murcia and used, as well as
evidence concerning their career during the interval. There was no
thought of executing the former sentence; the consulta de fe voted for
reconciliation with two years of prison and sanbenito, which the Suprema
changed to perpetual irremissible, and it was duly published in an auto
de fe of December 17, 1679.[238]


Dilatory as were the proceedings _in absentia_ in this case, they were
speedy when compared with some others. The Valladolid tribunal issued a
warrant of arrest against the Capitan Enrique Enríquez, June 6, 1650,
but he eluded it. His trial for contumacy dragged on until July 30,
1659, when sentence was rendered, confirmed by the Suprema November 24th
and sent to Seville, to be executed in the auto de fe of April 13,
1660.[239] It would appear that these delays did not please the Suprema
for, in 1666, it called upon the tribunals to report the sentences
agreed upon against the absent and dead and to push forward all
unfinished trials. To this Barcelona replied that it had in hand three
cases of absentees guilty of "propositions," two of bigamy, one of a
fraile who was said to have fled to France in order to embrace
Protestantism, and another of a dead Huguenot--all of which would
indicate that these cases constituted a considerable portion of the
diminishing business of the tribunals. The Suprema thereupon ordered
that if, on examination, prosecution appeared to be called for, the
cases should be followed up closely to a vote in the consulta de fe,
which was to be submitted to it for decision.[240]

Effigies of the dead and absent continued to be one of the attractions
of the autos de fe. In the great Madrid celebration of 1680, the
procession was headed with thirty-four, of which all but two were burnt;
they bore mitres with flames, on their breasts were placards with their
names in large letters and some of them carried chests containing their
bones.[241] At that of Granada, in 1721, there were no living persons
burnt, but there were seven effigies, and the chronicler of the occasion
assures us that the glory of Catholic zeal is acquired as much by
carrying to the flames the dead as the living and, in this case, the
inquisitors, the alguacil mayor and the secretaries bore them in the
procession. Fired by this example, after the sentences were read, the
ministers of the royal chancellería exultingly carried them from the
staging to the brasero where they were burnt.[242] Even as late as 1752,
at Llerena, there were six effigies of fugitives and one of a dead

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be seen from this presentation of facts from the records that
the inquisitorial process, as developed in the Spanish Holy Office, so
far from being the benignant and equitable procedure asserted by its
representatives and re-echoed by modern apologists, was one which
violated every principle of justice. The guilt of the accused was
assumed in advance; the prosecution was favored in every way; the
defence was so crippled as to be scarce more than a pretext, while the
judge, who was in reality the prosecutor, was shielded, by impenetrable
secrecy, from all responsibility except to the Suprema. Many cases cited
above show that the arbitrary power thus conferred was not always
abused, for the individuals were not necessarily as vicious as the
system, but the power existed and its exercise for good or for evil
depended on temperament and temptation.[244]





In the infliction of punishment, the Inquisition differed from secular
courts in one important respect. Public law provided for impenitent
heresy death by fire and confiscation, and visited on the penitent and
on descendants certain disabilities, but apart from these, in its
extensive field of jurisdiction over penitent heresy, suspected heresy
and other offences, the Inquisition had full discretion and was bound by
no rules. It was the only tribunal known to the civilized world which
prescribed penalties and modified them at its will. In this, as in so
much else, it combined the legislative and the executive functions.[245]

       *       *       *       *       *

The culmination of the work of the tribunal was the sentence which
embodied the result of its labors and decided the fate of the accused.
In all cases that appeared in public autos de fe, the sentence was
publicly read, and the opportunity was not lost of impressing on the
minds of the people the lofty duties of the Holy Office and the enormity
of the guilt which merited such chastisement. It afforded an occasion
for the display of power, which was turned to the best account.

There were two forms of sentence--_con meritos_ and _sin meritos_. The
former recited at length the misdeeds of the culprit; the latter was
briefer and merely stated the character of the offence. The consulta de
fe, when it agreed upon a verdict, usually defined which form should be
used, and also whether or not the culprit should appear in a public
auto. This, in itself, was a severe infliction, aggravated by the
reading of a sentence _con meritos_. For lighter cases the sentence was
read in an _auto particular_, in the audience-chamber, of which there
were several varieties, as will be seen hereafter.

The sentence _con meritos_ commenced with a full recital of the details
of the trial, through all the various steps of the cumbrous process,
represented as a suit between the fiscal and the accused, and it
specified the crimes proved against or confessed by the culprit. It was
thus sometimes enormously long. In the famous case of Magdalena de la
Cruz, a fraudulent _beata revelandera_, whose fictitious sanctity and
miracles had deceived all Spain throughout a long career, the reading of
the sentence at Córdova, May 13, 1546, occupied from six in the morning
until four in the afternoon.[246] In the sentence of Don Pablo de Soto,
convicted of bigamy at Lima, in 1761, all the examinations are detailed
at full length, including information volunteered by him concerning
persons and matters in no way connected with the case; the secretary
appears to have copied verbatim the records of the successive audiences,
as though to prolong the shame of the penitent.[247] After these prolix
recitals there followed the verdict "Christi nomine invocato," in which,
if the trial had resulted in conviction, the inquisitors found that the
fiscal had duly proved his charges, wherefore they must declare the
accused guilty of the heresy alleged, with its corresponding

       *       *       *       *       *


As a rule, prisoners were left in ignorance of their fate until, on the
morning of the auto de fe, they were prepared for it by being arrayed in
the insignia which designated their punishments. So jealously were they
kept in the dark that, when the customary proclamation was made of an
auto, fifteen days in advance, with drum and trumpet, the officials were
not allowed to approach the Inquisition, lest the inmates should hear
the sounds and guess what was in preparation. At the great auto of Lima,
in 1639, we are told that, when the proclamation was made, the negro
assistants of the gaoler were shut up in a place where they could not
hear it, so that they might not carry the information to the prisoners,
and the workmen employed in making the mitres, sanbenitos and crosses
were assigned a room in the Inquisition where they could labor unseen,
under an oath of secrecy.[249] The effect of the sudden revelation, when
it came, is indicated in the advice that it was better to give to those
who were to appear their breakfasts in their cells than to wait until
they were all brought together for the procession, for then there was
shame and confusion and suffering, the fathers seeing their sons and the
daughters their mothers in the sanbenitos and other insignia that
designated their punishments.[250] The despair induced by the preceding
long-drawn suspense occasionally found expression, as in the case of
Diego González, who was reconciled for Judaism in the Valladolid auto of
July 25, 1644. On the morning of that day, when the gaoler entered his
cell to give him breakfast, he was found pale and faint, with the blood
flowing freely from a wound in his arm, made with a nail from his
bedstead, under the impression that he was to be burnt, and he had to be
carried to the solemnity in a sedan-chair. Llorente recounts a similar
case, of which he was an eyewitness, in 1791, when a Frenchman named
Michel Maffre des Rieux hanged himself in consequence of being thus kept
in ignorance.[251]

The object of the delay in thus communicating the sentence was to
prevent appeals to the Suprema. We have seen how, in opposing appeals to
Rome, the Inquisition and the monarchs argued that they were wholly
superfluous, in view of the appellate jurisdiction of the
inquisitor-general, who was always prompt to rectify injustice committed
by the tribunals, but this nominal opportunity was rendered for the most
part illusory by this device of withholding knowledge of the sentence
until appeal was impossible. This came about by degrees. Originally it
would seem that the tribunals exercised discretion as to withholding the
sentence until the auto, although exceptions were rare. The Instructions
of 1561, while admitting a right of appeal in some cases, nullified it
by ordering, in such cases, the tribunals to send the proceedings in
advance to the Suprema, without allowing the accused to know of it.[252]
There evidently were contending influences, of justice on one side and
convenience on the other, for in 1568 it was ordered that, in cases not
of heresy, when the penalty was arbitrary, the culprit should be
notified in advance of the auto de fe, and this was extended, in 1573,
by instructions that, in cases admitting appeal, the parties should be
notified in time to enable them to do so. This concession to justice
caused trouble and, on April 11, 1577 the tribunals were ordered to
report on the evils arising from it. Apparently the inquisitors reported
adversely for, on September 18th, they were ordered to return to the
former practice of not notifying culprits prior to the auto de fe.[253]

There was, however, quite an extensive class of cases in which the right
of appeal was not completely cut off by this. These were the more
trivial ones, in which the sentence was rendered in the
audience-chamber, and in these both parties, the culprit and the fiscal,
were required to assent on the spot, when either could appeal, for the
fiscal had the same right as his opponent; it was included, in the
commission issued to fiscals, in the long enumeration of their powers
and duties, and was a right not infrequently exercised.[254] Although
the culprit thus had an opportunity to appeal, he was obliged to act
without advice. In the case of María Cazalla, in Toledo, December 19,
1534, when called upon to assent to her sentence in the
audience-chamber, she asked for delay; then, in the afternoon, she
begged to be allowed to consult her husband or her counsel and, on this
being refused, she accepted the sentence.[255] Still, as public autos
diminished and private _autillos_ multiplied, the opportunity for
appeals became more frequent and were sometimes successful.

[Sidenote: _APPEALS_]

This was more apt to benefit ecclesiastics than laymen for, except in
cases involving degradation, they were never exhibited in public autos;
their sentences were read in the audience-chamber, and they were more
likely than the ordinary culprit to possess the education and
intelligence requisite to profit by the opportunity. Cases of appeal by
them are consequently not infrequent. Fray Lucas de Allende, Guardian of
the Franciscan convent of Madrid, was one of the dupes of Lucrecia de
Leon, an impostor who pretended in dreams to have converse with God and
the saints. He busied himself in writing out her revelations and was
tried at Toledo, where he lay in prison from June, 1590, until April,
1596. He was sentenced to a reprimand and warning not to meddle with
such matters, to accept certain definitions laid down by the tribunal,
and to strict reclusion in a convent for a year. He vigorously protested
that the sentence was absurd and he appealed from it, to which the
fiscal retorted by likewise interjecting an appeal. The Suprema heard
both appeals and decided, July 30, 1596, by confirming the sentence as
to reprimand and warning, and omitting the rest. Even this did not
satisfy the obstinate Franciscan for when read to him, August 2d, he
refused to accept it and appealed to the pope, but, on being warned to
reflect well, he on the same day withdrew this appeal and submitted.
There can be little doubt however that the inquisitors suppressed the
revocation of part of the sentence, for there follows a petition from
him to be allowed to visit his native Villarubia before entering upon
his reclusion, deceit of this kind being perfectly practicable in the
profound secrecy of the tribunals.[256] More successful was the
Geronimite Fray Martin de Cazares, prosecuted in Valladolid for
superstitious curing of the sick and sentenced, in 1655, to reprimand
and four years' exile from certain places. The Suprema had confirmed the
sentence and yet on appeal from him it remitted the exile.[257] By this
time the Suprema was supervising all action of the tribunals and, as it
gradually became the whole Inquisition, appeals grew to be superfluous,
yet the custom of withholding the sentence was persistent.

There was one class of cases, however, in which notification of the
sentence was always made prior to the auto de fe--those in which the
culprit was condemned to relaxation. The object of this was to give him
a chance of saving his soul by confession and conversion; in the earlier
period the notification was short, being only at midnight before the
auto, but this, as we shall see hereafter, was subsequently extended to
three days.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the medieval Inquisition, the inquisitor, when rendering sentence,
always reserved the right to modify it, in the direction either of mercy
or of severity, or to remove it wholly. He could do this, for he was
practically independent and irresponsible to any superior, the only
authority over him being the distant and almost inaccessible Holy See.
The Spanish inquisitor occupied a wholly different position, being held
in strict and constantly increasing subordination to the Suprema and, as
commutations early became a source of large revenue, it is easy to
understand that the tribunals were not permitted to participate in the
proceeds. Already in 1498, the Instructions thus undertook to limit the
power of inquisitors to modify sentences, by ordering that they should
not grant commutations for money or favor or without just cause and,
when such existed, the commutation must be into fasts, almsgiving and
other pious uses; there could be no release from wearing the sanbenito
and the rehabilitation of descendants was reserved for the
inquisitor-general.[258] It was difficult to enforce restrictions which
recognized any right of inquisitors to modify sentences and, in 1513,
Ximenes deprived them of it wholly and concentrated the power in the
hands of the inquisitor-general.[259] It was wholly a matter of finance
and we have seen (Book V, Chap, iii) how it was thenceforth utilized.
The tribunal was recognized to have no power to modify a sentence when
once pronounced; as an experienced writer says, although by common law
inquisitors and Ordinaries can change or mitigate sentences, it is
otherwise under the Instructions which declare that this is reserved for
the inquisitor-general, the reason being that they have exhausted their


In the Indies, where distance rendered application to the Suprema
virtually impossible, the tribunals seem to have retained the power of
modifying sentences, even though they may rarely have exercised it. In
1663 an old woman, known as Isabel de Montoya, tried for sorcery in
Mexico, was sentenced to appear in an auto de fe with the sanbenito, to
receive two hundred lashes and to serve for life in a hospital. In the
audience-chamber, November 5th, the sentence was read to her, in
presence of the fiscal and her advocate. With the assent of the latter,
she begged that the sanbenito and the scourging be omitted; she had only
been an impostor and had had no pact, expressed or implied, with the
demon, and in view of her age and sickness and crippling in the torture
she supplicated mercy. On November 7th the fiscal replied to this,
asking an aggravation of punishment because it proved her to be an
impenitent in denying her pact and intention. November 21st the consulta
de fe assembled and unanimously confirmed its former sentence.

The auto de fe was not celebrated until May 4, 1664; on the 6th she was
duly scourged through the streets and on the 15th she was delivered to
the Hospital del Amor de Dios. Her pitiful prayer, urging age and
sickness, was justified for, on June 17th, a messenger from the hospital
announced her death, and the inquisitors briefly ordered it to bury

       *       *       *       *       *

As regards cruelty, it is impossible to generalize, where in the earlier
periods so much discretion was allowed to the tribunals, and so much
depended on the temper of the inquisitors, who might be stern or humane.
In the case of the obstinate heretic or of the _impenitente negativo_
there was no question; the law of the land and universal public opinion
alike condemned him to the stake but, in the wide sphere of the penitent
heretic and of the numerous offences of which the Inquisition had
cognizance, there was an ample field for the display of severity or
benignity. Against the barbarity of a case like that of Isabel de
Montoya, which had too many parallels, may be set the tendencies of the
Toledo tribunal about 1600. In its reports to the Suprema at that period
there, frequently occur explanatory remarks, as though to apologize for
the mildness of the sentences, which indicate its readiness to temper
its judgements--such expressions as "she was a poor and ignorant woman,"
"she was simple and ignorant," "she was spared heavier penance because
she was only sixteen years old," "she seemed a very simple and a very
good woman," "recent baptism and drunkenness." Occasionally, in bigamy
cases, involving scourging and the galleys according to rule, the
omission of these is justified by the age or weakness of the culprit.
Sometimes, but not often, the suffering which the prisoner has endured
during prolonged imprisonment is taken into consideration, and is
admitted as part of the punishment.[262] This tendency towards mercy
becomes more marked in the period of decadence, when the humanitarian
development of the age made itself felt even in the Inquisition, and it
offers a suggestive contrast to the savage fanaticism of the secular
courts of a land which claimed to be more enlightened than Spain. In
1765 a wooden crucifix on the bridge at Abbeville was mutilated and the
Bishop of Amiens published a _monitoire_ ordering, under pain of
excommunication, any one having knowledge of the matter to denounce the
offender. Duval de Saucourt, a counsellor in the court of Abbeville, who
was inimical to the Abbess of Villancourt, accused her nephew, the
Chevalier de la Barre, a youth of nineteen. The only evidence was that
he had once passed a procession without lifting his hat, that he had
talked against the Eucharist and had sung impious and licentious songs.
He was doubtless irreligious and debauched, and his evil reputation
sufficed, in the court of Abbeville, to justify a sentence of amputating
his tongue and right hand and burning him alive. Appeal was made to the
Parlement of Paris which, by a vote of fifteen to ten, confirmed the
sentence, with the mitigation of beheading before concremation and this
was duly executed, July 1, 1766.[263] The annals of the Spanish
Inquisition offer nothing more hideous than this, and the comparison is
the more instructive in that its penalty for sacrilegiously outraging an
image of Christ, the Virgin or the saints, with aggravating
circumstances, was merely appearance in an auto de fe with the insignia
of a blasphemer, abjuration _de levi_ and a hundred lashes or vergüenza
or exile, according to the character of the offence and of the

The Inquisition boasted that it was no respecter of persons and, in one
point at least, its rules offer a favorable contrast to those of the
secular law. In Spanish law the privileges of gentility were fully
recognized and, for many crimes, the penalties assigned to gentle blood
were much milder than those inflicted on the commonalty. This was
reversed in the Inquisition, where it was prescribed that, in matters of
faith, nobles should be punished more severely than plebeians.[265] This
was doubtless owing to the assumption that they were more intelligently
trained and less exposed to error, besides the fact that their example
was more impressive. On the other hand, however, the clergy, for whom
less excuse could be found, were treated with much greater leniency than
the laity and, far from being utilized as examples, their frailties and
errors were shielded as much as possible from public view, in order not
to diminish popular reverence for the Church.


The penal resources of the Inquisition, as we shall see, were endless.
While, for certain well-defined offences, certain penalties were
customary, the discretion of the consultas de fe was bound by no
definite limitations as to what were known as _penas extraordinarias_,
and they could devise whatever seemed appropriate to special cases.
Infinite gradations and intricate combinations were resorted to in the
effort to fit the penalty to the offence of each individual, and also
doubtless often to secure unanimity in the consulta de fe, so that not
infrequently there are six or eight separate and distinct inflictions in
a single sentence. It would be too much to expect that, in so composite
an institution, during more than three centuries of existence, there
should have been strict consistency in the exercise of this discretional
power, but, making allowance for the infirmities of human nature under
the temptation of irresponsibility, it can scarce be said that it
habitually abused its authority, according to the barbarous standard of
the times, except in the infliction of pecuniary penalties on which its
finances depended, and in the vindication of its authority against all
who dared to question its supremacy. It was callous to the sufferings of
those whom it prejudged as guilty; it devised the most atrocious
formulas of procedure; but, when it had secured confession or
conviction, it was not systematically and ferociously cruel as has so
often been asserted.

       *       *       *       *       *

As regards the enforcement of the sentence, it is to be observed that
the penalties divide themselves into two classes. Some, such as
relaxation, confiscation, fines, scourging, the galleys, reconciliation
and abjuration, were within the power of the tribunal. Others, like
imprisonment, the sanbenito, exile and reclusion, depended to a greater
or less degree on the will or the fears of the penitent. Theoretically,
as we have seen, punishment was regarded as penance, voluntarily
accepted by the penitent for the salvation of his soul, but the
Inquisition, unlike the father confessor, did not rely wholly on the
penitential ardor of the sinner. Punishment retained enough of the
character of penance to justify the theologian in treating its
non-performance as a proof that repentance had been feigned, and that
the offender had relapsed into heresy, the penalty for which, under the
canons, was death by fire without trial. In the earlier time this was
enforced in so far as was possible. Thus, in 1486, at Saragossa, Rodrigo
de Gris, who had been condemned to perpetual imprisonment in a
designated house, with the penalty of relapse for leaving it, escaped
and was burnt in effigy as a relapsed and, in 1487, Cristóval Gelva, to
whom the Hospital of Nuestra Señora de la Gracia was assigned as a
perpetual prison, was burnt in effigy for escaping.[266] This continued
for some time to be the theory but, in practice, while summoning the
fugitive as an impenitent relapsed, to appear for judgement, it was
deemed safer to proceed against him in the ordinary way _in absentia_,
waiting for a year and prosecuting him for contumacy. Such a case
appears to be that of Bartolomé Gallego, who escaped in 1525 from the
penitential prison of Toledo and was condemned to relaxation in effigy,
November 3, 1527.[267] Some forty years later, Pablo García explains
that the suspicion arising from flight, joined with that of remaining
under excommunication for a year, afforded sufficient proof for
declaring the fugitive a relapsed heretic and relaxing his effigy. It
was only when evidence could be had of subsequent acts of heresy that
direct proceedings for relapse were justified, and this was decided in a
case where a fugitive was relaxed in effigy, and the Suprema revoked the
sentence and rescinded the confiscation.[268]


The theory of relapse was evidently giving way. Simancas tells us that,
although supported by high authorities, it is cruel and false and not
founded in law; the fugitive is impenitent, not relapsed; if he returns
or is captured he is to be heard, and if prepared to obey the Church,
his flight only deserves an increase of penalty.[269] How rapidly the
ancient severity was disappearing is manifested by a case in Valencia,
in 1570. Pedro Luis Verga was prosecuted for Protestantism on a vague
accusation that, when studying in Paris in 1555, he had consorted with
the dreaded Juan Pérez and had shared his opinions, for which he was
reconciled and sentenced not to leave the kingdom. He disobeyed and, in
1570, he was heard of in Genoa, giving utterance to heretical opinions.
Now this was a case of relapse, as well as of non-fulfilment of penance,
but he was prosecuted for contumacy as a simple fugitive.[270] It was an
evidence that the old rule had become obsolete when inquisitors
sometimes prescribed in their sentences that the penance was to be
performed under pain of impenitent relapse, as in the case of Juan
Franco, condemned at Toledo, in 1570, to eight years of galleys for
Protestantism, and of Juan Cote, by the same tribunal, in 1615, to
irremissible perpetual prison for the same heresy.[271] Towards the
middle of the seventeenth century, Alberghini gives the various opinions
held on the subject, and concludes that that of Simancas was commonly

Cases of non-fulfilment were not infrequent for, as we shall see, the
discipline of the penitential prisons was exceedingly lax; any penitent
could absent himself and then throw off the sanbenito, which was the
customary accompaniment of imprisonment, but, although this was
canonically relapse, such cases were treated with what in those days
might be considered as mercy. Thus Diego González, reconciled for
Judaism at Valladolid, in 1644, and condemned to prison and habit, was
recognized in 1645, at Medina de Rioseco, without the sanbenito. On
being tried for this, the consulta de fe was not unanimous and the
Suprema sentenced him to a hundred lashes.[273] It was the same with
sentences of exile. In 1667, at Toledo, Francisco López Rodríguez, who
had been reconciled in 1665 and had already been prosecuted for
non-fulfilment of penance, was tried for doing so again, and was
condemned only to a hundred lashes and two years more of exile. So in
1669, Juan López Peatin, for infraction of exile, had only two years
added to the original term.[274]

A curious case, however, in 1606, shows how penitents were expected to
fulfil their penances. Gaspar Godet, a Morisco, had been condemned at
Valencia to reconciliation, a hundred lashes, and perpetual prison, of
which the first eight years were to be passed in the galleys. After five
years' service, his galley was captured by the English, near Lisbon, and
he was set free. He ought strictly to have conveyed himself on board of
another galley to serve out his term, but he seems to have imagined that
he was released from his sentence; he quietly returned to his native
Torre de Llovis and resumed his profession of surgeon. He was, of
course, reported to the tribunal, which seized him in August, 1606, and
condemned him not only to complete his sentence but to undergo a hundred
lashes and to pay a fine of two hundred libras, although the maximum
fine that could legally be imposed on a Morisco was ten ducats.[275]

The renewed activity of the Inquisition, in the early eighteenth
century, seems to have been accompanied with a recrudescence of severity
in these cases. In the Valencia auto de fe of February 24, 1723, Antonio
Rogero was reconciled and condemned to irremissible prison and
sanbenito. He escaped but was captured and, in the auto of March 12,
1724, he was condemned to two hundred lashes and five years of galleys,
after which he was to be returned to prison, but the inquisitor-general
mercifully commuted the scourging and galleys to five years of presidio,
or labor in an African garrison. So, in the Valencia auto of June 25,
1724, Joseph Ventura, of Fez, a Moorish convert, had been reconciled
with three years of prison and sanbenito; he fled, was captured and, in
the auto of July 1, 1725, his prison was made perpetual and
irremissible; again he fled, to be again caught and, in the auto of
September 17, 1725, he was condemned to five years of galleys, after
which he was to be returned to prison.[276]


All these were cases of formal heresy, for relapse in which the
canonical punishment was burning. For offences less heinous, which
inferred only suspicion of heresy, there was an occasional practice of
including in the sentence a penalty for non-fulfilment of the penance.
This was in every respect an arbitrary matter, concerning which no
generalization can be formulated, for it is frequently impossible to
divine why, in a group of similar cases, some sentences should carry
this threat and some should not. This apparently objectless diversity is
markedly exhibited in the auto of May 13, 1565, at Seville, where there
were a large number of penitents thus arbitrarily differentiated. In the
cases where the threat was employed, there was slender indication of
mercy, for where exile for life or for a term of years was imposed, the
penalty for non-fulfilment was that it should be completed in the
galleys. In one case, that of Abel Jocis, for conveying arms to Barbary,
the sentence was merely a prohibition to sail to Barbary, but a
violation of this was visited with the galleys for life.[277] It should
be added, however, for the credit of the Inquisition, that it not
infrequently made threats which it had not the cruelty to execute. Thus
the tribunal of Toledo, on a charge of divination, banished from Spain a
priest named Fernando Betanzas, with a threat of the galleys for
disobedience. Not long afterwards the Bishop of Salamanca found and
arrested him, and the Suprema, December 22, 1636, ordered the tribunal
of Valladolid to investigate the case, after which the Suprema contented
itself with deporting him to Portugal, and warning him that, if he
returned again, he should be sent to the galleys.[278]

The case of the Augustinian Fray Diego Caballero, in 1716, indicates how
non-fulfilment of penance might convert into formal heresy that which
was mere suspicion. For uttering unacceptable propositions, he had been
sentenced by the tribunal of Córdova to reclusion for four years in the
convent of Guadix. He fled from there and continued to repeat his
erroneous utterances, for which the Toledo tribunal pronounced him to be
relapsed in grave crime and sentenced him to abjure _de vehementi_, to
be suspended from his orders for a year, to perpetual deprivation of
preaching, confessing and the right to vote and be voted for, to ten
years' exile from a number of places, to four years' reclusion in a
designated house, where for six months he was to be confined in a cell.
He was also to wear a sanbenito, while his sentence was read in the
audience-chamber, and the next day it was to be read to the assembled
brethren of his Toledo convent, who were to administer to him a circular
discipline, and he was to forfeit half his peculium--and all this under
pain of being held as an impenitent relapsed.[279] What is noteworthy
here is not only the severity of this long accumulation of penalties,
but also the abjuration _de vehementi_ which rendered reincidence in the
abjured errors a matter for the stake.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the medieval Inquisition it may be said that acquittal was virtually
prohibited--a sentence of not proven might possibly be rendered, but
acquittal was an admission of fallibility and was regarded as a bar to
subsequent proceedings in case further evidence was obtained.[280] This
principle was maintained in the Roman Inquisition, although, in the
eighteenth century, exception was made in cases where the adverse
evidence was clearly proved to be fraudulent.[281] The Spanish Holy
Office was not quite so sensitive, and had no hesitation as to repeated
prosecutions, so that to it acquittal was a less serious matter.
Moreover, while sentences of not proven were not unknown, there was an
equivalent device by which the accused could be dismissed without
admitting his innocence--suspending the case and discharging him,
subject to the liability of its being reopened at any time.

The furious zeal of Torquemada rendered acquittal peculiarly distasteful
to him, and we have seen above (Vol. I, p. 175) a case in which he set
aside acquittals at Medina del Campo, and insisted on conviction
although, at his instance, the parties had been tried twice and had been
tortured without confession. This temper on his part could not but
impress itself on his subordinates, and yet we occasionally meet with
acquittals in this early time--acquittals, however, which manifest a
strange mental confusion, and betray the unwillingness to admit the
prosecution of the innocent, for they couple acquittal with punishment.
Thus at Guadalupe, in 1485, in the case of Andrés Alonso of Trogillano,
the sentence recites that the fiscal had not proved his accusation as
fully as he ought, wherefore the inquisitors absolved the accused but,
as the evidence aroused some suspicion in their hearts, for the
satisfaction of their consciences and his, they sentenced him to abjure
_de levi_ and, as some infamy had accrued to him from the accusation,
they removed it and restored him to his former good repute, and lifted
the sequestration on his property. Whereupon he duly abjured _de levi_,
renouncing all manner of heresy, and especially that of which he was
accused, promising to be always obedient to the Church, after which he
was absolved _ad cautelam_ from any excommunication which he might have
incurred, and of all this he asked to have a certificate.[282] All the
acquittals that I have met, of this period, bear this illogical
character, sometimes even requiring abjuration _de vehementi_ and
inflicting penalties for the offence of which the accused is pronounced

[Sidenote: _ACQUITTAL_]

In Barcelona, the Inquisition had been established twelve years before
the first acquittal was granted, and, from such record as we have, it
would appear that there were acquittals of more than one
kind--conditional and unconditional. Thus, in 1499, Jayme Castanyer and
Eufrosina Pometa were acquitted, but were required to abjure publicly on
May 2d, and, on October 5th, Luys Palau was acquitted. In 1500, on
September 18th, four women were acquitted absolutely, two men were
acquitted with penance, and two women and a man were acquitted with
abjuration. Then, on October 5th, the memory and fame of Juan de Ribes
Altes were cleared and, on December 20, 1501, Blanquina Darla was
acquitted absolutely.[283]

In a record of the Toledo tribunal, from 1484 to 1531, there are
eighty-six cases of acquittal, or an average of somewhat less than two
per annum which, in view of the intense activity of the earlier period,
indicates how few escaped when once the Inquisition had laid its hand
upon them. Some of these cases show how long the conditional acquittal
persisted. Thus of those acquitted, Hernando Parral was required to
abjure, and Francisca Ramírez and Catalina beata negra abjured _de
vehementi_. Unless there is a mistake by the scribe, Leonora de la Oliva
of Ciudad Real was acquitted and scourged, October 3, 1521, and again
had the same sentence October 13, 1530. In 1520 Alonso Hernández was
acquitted with public penance and, in 1513, Sancho de Ribera was
acquitted with confiscation. One entry is difficult of
comprehension--that of Inez González, who was voted to acquittal with
reconciliation and confiscation, but the confiscation was remitted.[284]

Practically acquittal amounted only to a sentence of not proven. In the
formula for it, Pablo García calls special attention to the omission of
the word "definitive," pointing out that it is not final, for the case
could be reopened at any time that fresh evidence was obtained--and even
without it, as we have seen in the case of Villanueva. In matters of
faith there was no finality, no _cosa juzgada_, and it was so declared
by Pius V, in the bull _Inter multiplices_, invalidating all letters of
absolution and acquittal issued by inquisitors and other spiritual
judges.[285] In strict accordance with this principle was the rule that
sentences of acquittal of the living were not to be read at the autos de
fe, unless at their especial request, while acquittals of the dead were
read; in either case, the sentence simply stated that he had been
accused of heresy and no details were given; if living he did not appear
at the auto and if dead there was no effigy.[286] All this was in
direct contradiction to the glowing eulogy of Páramo who, as we have
seen, states that the inquisitors used every means to prove the
innocence of the accused and, when they succeeded, took care that he
should go forth like a conqueror crowned with laurel and the palm of
victory.[287] Yet Páramo had some justification in the fact that there
were rare exceptional cases in which the acquitted was thus honored. The
only instance of this that I have met in Spain was that referred to
above (Vol. II, p. 561), where fourteen residents of Cádiz were falsely
accused. In Peru, however, several cases are recorded. In the Lima auto
of 1728 Doctor Agustin Valenciano appeared in the procession on a white
horse, with a palm, and proclamation was made of his innocence. In the
great auto of January 23, 1639, there were seven thus honored after
their three years of incarceration, and in that of October 19, 1749, the
effigy of Don Juan de Loyola, who had died in prison in 1745, headed the
procession, bearing a palm. This last case is perhaps explicable by
Jesuit influence, for he was of the family of St. Ignatius, and further
reparation was made by creating his brother, Don Ignacio de Loyola y
Haro alguazil mayor of the tribunal, while three nephews were made

The reluctance of the tribunals to pronounce a sentence of acquittal is
illustrated in the case of Francisco Marco, tried at Barcelona for
bigamy, in 1718. Unable to prove the charge, which was punishable with
scourging and galleys, the tribunal sentenced him to have his sentence
_con meritos_ read in the audience-chamber, to be reprimanded and
threatened, and to be banished from Barcelona and Madrid for six years.
In the earlier period this sentence would have stood, but by this time
the Suprema was in full control and it expressed great surprise at so
unjust a decision, inflicting so foul a stigma on the accused. It
declared null and void all the acts of the process, it ordered Marco to
be discharged at once, and that the inquisitors should defray out of
their salaries all the cost of his imprisonment.[289]

[Sidenote: _SUSPENSION_]

The indisposition to acquit found expression in the device known as
suspension. When the effort to convict failed, the case could be
suspended, thus leaving matters as they stood; the accused was neither
acquitted nor convicted, the case could at any moment be reopened and
prosecuted to the end, and it hung over the unfortunate victim while it
saved the infallibility of the tribunal. The earliest allusion to it
that I have met occurs in the Instructions of 1498, which show that it
was a usage already established and abused, for it is forbidden in
prosecutions of the dead, except when further evidence is expected, and
acquittal is ordered when the proof is imperfect, because there are many
cases of suspension that inflict hardship through the sequestrations
continuing in force.[290]

Suspension was a convenient resource for a tribunal, unable to convict
yet unwilling to acquit, and desirous to conceal its failure. At first
it was comparatively rare, but in time it became a favorite method of
escaping a decision and, as it gradually, for the most part, replaced
acquittal, in its development it might even remove the stigma; in the
great majority of cases it was practically the end of the matter, and it
was usually accompanied with lifting the sequestration. Some authorities
held that a case could not be entered as suspended, if there was enough
in it to justify a reprimand, or even when the offence was trivial and
the defendant was cautioned not to speak or act in that fashion, but
this rigidity of definition was not observed in practice. When
suspension was decided upon, the accused was not permitted to know it.
He was simply brought into the audience-chamber; if he had been confined
in the secret prison he was put through the customary inquiries as to
what he had seen and heard, and was sworn to secrecy; he was told that
for just reasons he was granted the favor of returning home and that he
must seek to discharge his conscience for his case was still
pending.[291] This mystery served to keep him in suspense, but, after he
found the sequestration or embargo lifted from his property, he could
doubtless fathom its meaning. If he demanded a definite sentence of
conviction or acquittal, he had the right to do so, but I have met with
no instance of this, and few could have been hardy enough thus to tempt
their fate. If he asked for a certificate that he was freely discharged,
or that his case was suspended, it was not to be given, but the Suprema
might grant him one to the effect that he was discharged without penance
or condemnation.[292]

Suspension wholly without penance was, however, unusual, for the
infallibility of the Inquisition was commonly emphasized by accompanying
it with some infliction, more or less severe. The lightest of these was
the reprimand and warning administered when discharging the accused. In
1650 the tribunal of Toledo summarily got rid of quite a number of cases
in this fashion--four on June 18th, two on the 25th and three on the
30th, and those were fortunate who escaped so lightly. About the same
time, Doña Gabriela Ramírez de Guzman, accused of superstitious sorcery,
was not only reprimanded, when her case was suspended, but was banished
for a year from Toledo and Madrid, and the same penance was assigned to
Domingo de Acuña, when his trial for propositions was suspended.[293]
How little incongruity was recognized in this is illustrated by the case
of Martin Mitorovich, at Madrid, in 1801, when one of the inquisitors
voted to suspend the case and confine him for life in the hospital of
Ceuta.[294] In fact, as suspension grew more frequent in the closing
years of the Inquisition, it was often coupled with severe inflictions.
Thus, August 30, 1815, the tribunal of Llerena suspended the case of
María del Carmen Cavallero y Berrocal, but sentenced her to reprimand,
two hundred lashes and three years' seclusion in a hospital; at the same
time, in view of her ingenuous confession, the scourging was suspended
until her amendment should earn its forgiveness, and the same phrases
were used with her accomplice, Nicolás Sánchez Espinal, who was
sentenced to reprimand, certain spiritual exercises and perpetual exile
from the province.[295]


In cases like these, however, suspension had somewhat outgrown its
original purpose of a substitute for acquittal, and was a more than
doubtful mercy, for the case remained unconcluded, though visited with
full penalties, and could at any moment be reopened. That originally it
was merely a convenient device for escaping the admission of having
prosecuted the innocent is manifested by cases of which the records are
full. Thus, in 1607, Francisco Dendolea, a Morisco of Xea, was tried at
Valencia on the evidence of a witness that, when _limosnero_ or almoner
of Xea, he had, under pretext of begging for the poor, used his office
to serve notices of the commencement of the fast of Ramadan and give
other ceremonial instructions. He proved that he never was limosnero
and the charge fell to the ground, but the case was merely suspended.
So, in 1653, Doña Isabel del Castillo was prosecuted for Judaism at
Toledo. She had previously been reconciled at Valladolid, and it was
found that the evidence related to a period prior to the reconciliation.
She of course ought to have been acquitted, but the case was
suspended.[296] Even more self-evident is the case of the Benedictine
Padre Francisco Salvador, tried at Valladolid, in 1640, for sundry
propositions presented in a competition for a professorship. The
consulta de fe voted to suspend the case and the Suprema, in confirming
the sentence, added that a certificate should be given to him that no
offence had been found that would in any way prejudice him.[297]

There was also a kind of imperfect or informal acquittal, which
consisted in admitting the accused to bail at the end of the trial. It
saved the tribunal from the trouble of a decision and of an
acknowledgement that the prosecution had been in error, but it was cruel
to the party involved, as it left him but partly liberated and with the
stigma of heresy. Its working is fairly exemplified by the case of
Petronila de Lucena, tried in 1534, at Toledo on a charge of
Lutheranism. After nearly a year's incarceration, her brother, also
under trial, revoked in the torture the evidence which he had given
against her. There was no other testimony, yet she was not acquitted but
merely released, March 20, 1535, under bail of a hundred thousand
maravedis, to present herself when summoned. The security was furnished
and she was delivered to the bondsmen as her gaolers. On June 27th, she
petitioned for release, for the discharge of the bondsmen and for the
removal of the sequestration, which included some articles of personal
necessity in the hands of the gaoler; she was, she pleaded, poor and an
orphan, she needed the property and wished to be free to dispose of
herself. No notice was taken of this and, sixteen months later, on
October 20, 1536, she applied again; this time an order to lift the
sequestration was issued, but there is no record of her having been
released from subjection to bail. She thus remained under the ban and,
at the age of 25, the two careers open to a Spanish woman--marriage and
the nunnery--were virtually closed to her.[298]

There was yet another kind of acquittal, still more informal, in which
the accused was simply discharged and bade to be gone, without a
sentence, leaving him under the dreadful uncertainty of what might be
his position. An instance of this is the case of Miguel Mezquita, tried
for Lutheranism at Valencia, in 1536. The evidence was of the flimsiest,
and the inquisitors merely ordered him to be released from prison
without making further provision.[299]

The comparative frequency of these various forms of release, in the
earlier period, may be inferred from the record of the Toledo tribunal
from 1484 to 1531, in which there are eighty-six cases of acquittal, to
only four of suspension, four of release under bail, and two of simple
discharge--the latter forms thus being negligible quantities.[300] The
proportions changed rapidly with time, showing how much more in harmony
with the spirit of the institution were the forms which evaded
acknowledgement of error. A record of the same tribunal, from 1575 to
1610, contains an aggregate of eleven hundred and seventy-two cases of
all kinds, in which there were fifty-one acquittals, ninety-eight
suspensions and thirty simple discharges.[301] This tendency continued
with increasing development. A Toledo record from 1648 to 1694,
comprises twelve hundred and five cases, of which but six ended in
acquittal, one in discharge for mistaken identity, and a hundred and
four in suspension, nearly all of the latter coupled with a reprimand in
the audience-chamber--apparently a scolding for having given the
tribunal so much bootless trouble. The suspensions were, in nearly every
case, ordered by the Suprema, as though the inquisitors shrank from the
admission which it involved.[302]

[Sidenote: _COMPURGATION_]

This repugnance existed to the last. In 1806, Don Matias Brabo, an
ex-Agonizante and calificador of the Saragossa tribunal, was tried in
Madrid on the charge of uttering certain propositions; he was acquitted
but, in view of his disorderly life, especially in regard to the sixth
commandment, he was sentenced to a reprimand, to fifteen days of
spiritual exercises, and to make a general confession at such time as he
could do so without disrepute.[303]

The same spirit is seen in the instructions of the Suprema, October 14,
1819, to the Cuenca tribunal, authorizing the arrest and trial of María
Martínez for propositions. In case, it says, the trial shows that she
has not erred in the matters charged, or in anything else, she is to be
reprimanded and warned and told that the tribunal is keeping a watch
over her acts.[304]

There was another kind of suspension, by far the most frequent of all.
It often happened, especially in the later periods, that the _sumaria_,
or collection of evidence against a presumed offender, proved
insufficient to justify prosecution. In such cases it would be quietly
voted to suspension; it was filed away in its place among the records,
ready to be exhumed at any time, when further information might supply
deficiencies and induce active proceedings. Thousands of these abortive
processes reposed in the _secreto_ of the tribunals, the subjects of
which were unconscious of the dangers which had threatened them, or that
their names were on the lists of suspects of the dreaded tribunal. That
they were kept under surveillance is indicated by an occasional note,
such as one respecting a certain Johann Wegelin, a Calvinist--"there is
a sumaria which has been withdrawn because he became insane and returned
to his own country," or in another case "suspended because he died in

       *       *       *       *       *

Yet, taking it as a whole, when we consider that the inquisitorial
system was so framed as to put every temptation in the way of the judges
to condemn, for the sake of confiscations, fines, penances,
dispensations and commutations, it is rather creditable that acquittals
and suspensions should occur in the records even as frequently as we
find them there, though of course we have no means of knowing whether
those who thus escaped were among the wealthy or the poor.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was still another possible form of sentence. The Barbarians who
overthrew the Roman Empire brought with them an ancestral custom, known
as compurgation or, in England, as the Wager of Law, by which a
defendant, in either a civil or criminal action, could maintain his
title or his innocence by taking an oath and bringing a specified number
of men who swore to their belief in its truth. They were known as
conjurators or compurgators and were in no sense witnesses; they
pretended to no knowledge of the facts but only to their confidence in
the veracity of their principal. This crude method of establishing the
truth was maintained in all the lands occupied by the Teutonic tribes
except in Spain, where the Wisigoths early yielded to the influence of
the Roman law. It was eagerly adopted by the clergy, who found in it a
convenient means of escaping from the harsher expedients of the ordeal
or the wager of battle, so that it acquired the name of canonical
purgation.[306] In the thirteenth century, the Inquisition found it used
in the trial of heretics and necessarily included it among the resources
for doubtful cases, although inquisitorial methods were too thorough to
call for its frequent employment.

The Spanish Inquisition naturally inherited compurgation among the other
traditions of the institution. When conviction could not be had by
evidence or torture, and yet the suspicion was too grave to justify
acquittal, it could sentence the accused to undergo compurgation. He
could not demand it, nor could he decline it, though he might appeal
from the sentence; and failure in compurgation was equivalent to
conviction, while success was not acquittal but required abjuration and
penance at the discretion of the tribunal, because, although legally
shown not to be a heretic, the accused had to be punished for

[Sidenote: _COMPURGATION_]

The early Instructions are silent on the subject, and such cases of the
period as I have met indicate that there was no rigidly prescribed
method of procedure, although, in the main, they accord in showing it to
be a kind of trial by jury, after the tribunal had failed to reach a
decision. The general features of the process can be gathered from the
case at Saragossa of Beatriz Beltran, wife of the Juan de la Caballería,
accused of complicity in the murder of San Pedro Arbues, who died in
prison and was relaxed in effigy in the auto of July 8, 1491. She was
put on trial for Judaism in 1489; the evidence against her was by no
means decisive, while the defence discredited the witnesses and proved
by abundant testimony her devotion to the Church, her regular attendance
at mass and confession for more than twenty years, her liberality in the
celebration of masses and her long hours spent in daily prayer. She
could not be tortured in view of her advanced age and severe infirmities
and, on August 9, 1492, the consulta de fe voted unanimously that, as
torture was out of the question, she be sentenced to canonical
purgation, at the judgement of the inquisitors when, if she should purge
herself, she should abjure publicly as vehemently suspect of heresy and
of Judaizing, and should perform penance at the discretion of the
tribunal. The next day the inquisitors pronounced that she was not
convicted but vehemently suspect, wherefore she should purge herself
with twelve conjurators. They were duly selected and a term of three
days was assigned, within which the ceremony should be performed. They
assembled in the Aljafería on August 23d, when the publication of
evidence and the defence were read to them. She was sworn to tell the
truth and was asked whether she had committed these crimes, to which she
replied in the negative and was then removed from the room. The
inquisitors again read the accusatory evidence and the defence, the
compurgators were sworn to tell the truth, and the inquisitors polled
them. The first one, Pedro Monterde, said that he believed Beatriz to
have sworn truly, for he had known her for fifteen years and had always
held her to be a good Christian, the rest unanimously concurred and the
purgation was successful. Then, on September 8th, she appeared in an
auto as a penitent and, on the 17th, she abjured all heresies and
especially those of which she was vehemently suspected, after which the
inquisitors rendered sentence, declaring her to be vehemently suspect of
the crimes which she had abjured and, as these suspicions and crimes
could not be left unpunished, they penanced her with forbidding her to
commit these crimes, with the payment of all costs of her trial, the
taxation of which they reserved to themselves, and with performing such
penance as they might impose on her. The record fails to inform us what
was that penance, but it probably transferred to the tribunal a large
portion of the property that had escaped her husband's

The threat that failure would imply condemnation was by no means an idle
one. About this time, Fray Juan de Madrid was tried before the tribunal
of Toledo; there was much adverse evidence in full detail, and the only
defence lay in disabling the witnesses. This was partially successful,
but enough remained to justify the inquisitors in saying in the sentence
that he could have been condemned on it but that, in benignity and
mercy, he was offered compurgation. He willingly accepted it and named
his compurgators, but half of them refused to sustain his oath of
denial, declaring that through their knowledge of him they held him as
suspect. This was conclusive; he was considered to be convicted of the
charges and the consulta de fe had no hesitation in voting him to
relaxation. In like manner, on February 3, 1503, Jayme Benet was burnt
at Barcelona because he failed in the compurgation enjoined on him.[308]

A change, probably attributable to the growing desire for absolute
secrecy, prescribed by the Instructions of 1500, altered profoundly the
prevailing theory of compurgation, for it prohibited the reading to the
compurgators of the evidence and defence. In their presence the accused
was to deny under oath the charges which were recapitulated by the
inquisitors, and the compurgators were simply to be asked whether they
believed that he swore the truth, and no other questions.[309] There
seems to have been some trouble in abrogating the custom of reading the
evidence, for the prohibition had to be repeated in 1514.[310]

[Sidenote: _COMPURGATION_]

In the project presented to Charles V, in 1520, by the Conversos, with
the object of rendering the inquisitorial process less effective, there
was included a modification of compurgation in such wise as to
facilitate escape.[311] Of course no attention was paid to this, but
that some alteration of the process was required by justice is manifest
from one or two minor reforms soon afterwards. In 1523 it was ordered
that the fiscal should not be present after the compurgators were sworn,
which is suggestive of his influencing them adversely. Still more
essential was a regulation of 1529, forbidding those who had testified
against the accused from serving as his compurgators.[312] Apparently it
was one of the results of suppressing the names of witnesses that the
poor wretch, in his ignorance, would sometimes call upon those to save
him who had been procuring his destruction, and the inquisitors had not
sufficient sense of justice to exclude them, although they had power to
refuse admission to any one supposed to be friendly to him. There was
also a favorable modification of the ancient practice requiring
unanimity on the part of the conjurators, for Simancas tells us that the
inquisitors, when specifying the number to act, could also designate how
many defections would be allowed without prejudicing the result.[313]

Yet by the middle of the century, when Simancas wrote, compurgation was
becoming obsolete. He denounces it as blind, perilous and deceitful, and
says that it especially should not be forced upon those of Jewish or
Moorish descent, for it is equivalent to sending them on the direct road
to the stake, since no one could help thinking ill of them, or at least
doubting their innocence. Besides, nearly all men are now so corrupt,
and Christian charity is so cold, that scarce any one can be found who
will purge another, or who will not have an evil suspicion and interpret
matters for the worst. To defeat the accused it suffices for the
conjurators to say that they do not know, or that they doubt whether he
has told the truth, and who is there who will not feel uncertain when he
knows that no one is exposed to purgation unless he is vehemently

This is echoed by the Instructions of 1561, which indicate how
compurgation was passing out of use by the brief allusion vouchsafed to
it. It is to be performed in accordance with the Instructions, with such
number of compurgators as the consulta de fe may prescribe, but
inquisitors must bear in mind that the malice of men at the present time
renders it perilous, that it is not much in use, and that it must be
employed with the utmost caution.[315]

Still, subsequently to this, Pablo García gives full and curious details
as to procedure, which show how it had become hedged around with
limitations that rendered it a desperate expedient for the accused. The
compurgators had to be Old Christians, zealous for the faith, who had
known the accused for a specified number of years, and were not of kin
or well disposed towards him. He was required to name more than the
number designated, so as to allow for those who might have died or be
absent, showing that he had to act in the solitude of the cell where
perhaps he had been confined for years. When the sentence of
compurgation was announced to him, he was given a certain term in which
to make his selection and, if he allowed this to elapse, he was at the
discretion of the tribunal. No communication with the compurgators was
allowed, and when they were assembled each one was separately and
secretly examined to ascertain whether he lacked any of the necessary
qualifications, what were his relations with the accused, whether he
would give anything to secure his discharge, whether any one had spoken
with him and asked him to serve, or whether he had intimated to any of
the kindred that he was willing to act. While thus carefully guarding
against possible friendship, it is significant that there is no
instruction to inquire into possible enmity.

The ceremony was performed with considerable impressiveness. On the
table of the audience-chamber there were placed with much solemnity a
cross, the gospels, and two lighted candles. The prisoner was brought
in, his list of selections was read to him and he was asked if he
recognized them, to which he assented and said that he presented them as
his compurgators. They were then asked if they wished to serve or not;
if they accepted, a solemn oath was taken by the prisoner to tell the
truth and not to conceal it for fear of death or of loss of property or
of honor or for any other reason. The inquisitors then recited the
charges which created vehement suspicion and asked him, under his oath,
whether he was guilty of them and, after he had answered, he was led
back to his cell. Then, if necessary, the nature of compurgation was
explained to the compurgators and they were sworn to answer truly and
not to deny the truth for hate, or love, or fear, or affection, or other
motive. They were kept apart, without communication with each other, and
each was examined separately and in secret whether he understood what
had passed and whether, in accordance with what he knew of the accused,
he believed that he had told the truth, and after replying he was made
to promise secrecy under pain of excommunication. The answers were
carefully taken down and were signed by the compurgators.[316]

[Sidenote: _COMPURGATION_]

Conducted after this fashion it is easy to understand why compurgation
should be characterized as blind and perilous. The accused had to make
his selection blindly, and the qualifications required of conjurators
almost insured their unfavorable opinion, at a time when the operations
of the Inquisition had caused every man to look upon his neighbor with
suspicion, especially when that neighbor was one whom the tribunal
required to undergo compurgation. Yet, although the Inquisition thus
risked little in subjecting doubtful cases to it, there was ample reason
for allowing it to fall into desuetude. Secrecy had become a cardinal
principle in all inquisitorial proceedings and it was violated by
calling in a dozen laymen to see the prisoner, to hear the charges
against him and to participate in the judgement to be passed upon him.
Besides, it was an acknowledgement that there were cases in which the
assumed omniscience and infallibility of the Holy Office were at fault,
and had to be supplemented by the random opinions of a few men selected
by the accused. As practised for centuries in the ecclesiastical courts,
it had been an easy method for the guilty to escape merited
chastisement; as modified by the Inquisition, it became a pitfall for
the innocent; it was wholly at variance with the inquisitorial process
as developed in Spain and, while its place in the canon law prevented
its formal abolition, the tribunals had exclusive discretion as to its
employment, and that discretion was used to render it obsolete. Still,
it maintained its place as a legal form of procedure. Even as late as
1645, among the interrogatories provided for a visitation, the question
was still retained as to whether the forms of the Instructions were
observed in canonical compurgation, although a writer of the same period
tells us that it is not to be employed because, if the accused overcomes
sufficient torture, he is to be discharged.[317]

In the Roman Inquisition we find compurgation ordered as late as 1590,
in the case of a priest of Piacenza, accused of certain heretical
propositions; the compurgators were to be five beneficed priests of good
character and acquainted with the life of the accused. If the purgation
was successful he was to be proclaimed of good repute as to the faith,
and was to perform salutary penance for the imprudence of his
utterances.[318] By the middle of the seventeenth century, however,
Carena tells us that it had been virtually disused by the Congregation,
as most perilous, fallacious and uncertain.[319]

       *       *       *       *       *

From this brief review of the various characteristics of the sentence,
it will be seen that the Inquisition had at hand formulas adapted to
every possible exigency, in the administration of its extensive and
highly diversified jurisdiction. Until the development of the authority
of the Suprema over the local tribunals, the use made of these formulas
depended on the temperament of the individual inquisitors, shielded as
they were from responsibility by secrecy and by the virtual suppression
of the right of appeal, except in trivial matters. It must be borne in
mind, moreover that, even when their sentences may seem merciful, there
was always behind them the most grievous infliction of an infamy which
affected the honor and the fortunes of a whole lineage.



In the preceding chapter the general penal system of the Inquisition has
been considered, but for its proper comprehension a brief exposition of
its several penalties is requisite. In this it is unnecessary to treat
of confiscation and pecuniary penance which have already been discussed
as constituting the financial basis of the existence of the Holy Office.


Of the minor inflictions, the most nearly universal was the reprimand.
It is naturally absent from the severer sentences of reconciliation and
relaxation but, with these exceptions, scarce any defendant escaped it,
no matter how groundless the accusation was proved to be, or how plainly
his innocence was manifested. The freedom with which it was administered
is evidenced in a phrase of frequent occurrence in the reports of the
Toledo tribunal--"as no offence was proved, he was reprimanded and
warned for the future."[320] We have seen that some strict
constructionists held that reprimand was incompatible with suspension,
but that this principle was universally disregarded. The same authority
asserts that no reprimand was to be administered without a formal
sentence, but cases are numerous in which it is expressly recorded that
the party was reprimanded without a sentence, and sometimes this was by
the special command of the Suprema. In the Valladolid tribunal there
were eight such cases in the year 1641.[321] To scold the defendant was
one of the prerogatives of the inquisitor, from the use of which he
rarely abstained, especially as it afforded the opportunity of
expatiating on the benignity which imposed penalties so incommensurate
with the offences.

The severity of the infliction varied with his temper and power of
invective, but constant practice rendered him skilful in detecting the
sensitive places, and in applying the lash where it would be most keenly
felt. There were those among the victims who regarded this as a severer
penalty than a pecuniary penance, and it is not surprising that it
occasionally drew forth remonstrance and retort, which were promptly
suppressed by the infliction of a fine for the expenses of the
tribunal.[322] No record was made of reprimands, beyond the fact of
their utterance, but there is one which chances to have been preserved
as it seems to have been carefully elaborated and reduced to writing. It
was administered by the Licentiate Juan de Mañozca, who had been
President of the Chancellery of Granada, to an unlucky gentleman
prosecuted for having said that belief in matters of faith was good
breeding. He had made the case worse by arguing, in his defence, that he
could conceive of no word more applicable to the matter than _cortesía_,
and that his long residence at the court had familiarized him with all
the niceties of the Castilian tongue. For this, as a proposition
ill-sounding and savoring of heresy, Mañozca belabored him through ten
closely-written pages of savage ridicule. "In the Andalusian tunny
fishery" he said "there may be seen an infinity of tunnies, the smallest
of them as big as you, and yet not one of them will show the least
particle of salt, although they have lived in the midst of salt." So he
went on, quoting the Scriptures, the classic poets and Plato, to prove
that the unfortunate culprit was an ignoramus, closely approaching a
heretic. Such ignorance was likened to the unfruitful ears of corn
which, according to Christ, are only fit to be swept up and burnt, and
the diatribe concluded with the significant warning that it was the
Inquisition which gathered such worthless stocks and delivered them to
the secular arm, that they might pass through temporal to eternal
flame.[323] Doubtless the culprit was a fool, but his folly merited no
such terrific warning.


Suspicion of heresy, as we have seen, was, in itself, a crime requiring
punishment. In accusations of formal heresy which failed of proof, there
remained, as a rule, at least suspicion, and there was besides a number
of offences which, though not in themselves heretical, were brought
under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition by a more or less forced
assumption that they inferred suspicion of heresy--that no one who
believed rightly as to sacraments and points of doctrine could be guilty
of them. In the Old Inquisition, this suspicion was classified as light,
vehement or violent and these distinctions were retained in the New.
Violent suspicion, however, may be discarded from consideration here,
for it sufficed for condemnation and, in practice, it admitted of no
disproof or explanation for, although theoretically it might be
explained away, this was but a bare possibility. As Peña says, it
created presumption of law, as when a man remained for a year under

The distinction between light and vehement suspicion was somewhat
nebulous. Like everything else in the vague region of morals, it was
incapable of accurate definition, and each case had to be decided on its
own merits, according to the temper of the judges. Alberghini's
attempted test of infrequent or habitual performance of acts inferring
suspicion fails utterly in practice and moreover leaves unsettled the
more important and common class of cases where testimony was
insufficient for conviction and yet too strong for acquittal.[325]
Moreover, suspicion might be modified by exterior circumstances, as when
Miguel Calvo tells us that, with Moriscos, however slender may be the
suspicion, it must be treated as vehement.[326] It was evidently
impossible to prescribe any absolute rule, and it is to the credit of
the Inquisition that it rarely pronounced suspicion to be vehement,
while light suspicion occurs in almost all sentences short of
reconciliation. Thus, in the Toledo record from 1648 to 1794, there are
three hundred and fourteen abjurations _de levi_ and only fifty-one _de
vehementi_--or about an average of one every three years.[327]

Whatever other punishment might be visited on suspicion, abjuration of
heresy in general, and especially of the heresy suspected, was
indispensable. This could be administered either in the
audience-chamber, or in a public auto de fe, and was an impressive
ceremony. In the face of a cross and with his hand on the gospels, the
culprit swore that he accepted the Catholic faith and detested and
anathematized every species of heresy, and especially that of which he
was suspect. He pledged himself always to keep the faith of the Church
and to be obedient to the pope and the papal decrees. He declared that
all who opposed the Catholic faith were worthy of condemnation,
promising never to join them, but to persecute them and denounce them to
prelates and inquisitors. He swore to receive patiently and humbly all
penance imposed on him, and to fulfil it with all his strength. If the
abjuration was for light suspicion, he consented and desired that, if he
failed in any part of this, he should be held as impenitent and he
submitted himself to the correction and severity of the canons, so that
the penalties prescribed in them should be executed on his person, and
finally he called upon the notary to record it and on all present to
serve as witnesses. If the abjuration was for vehement suspicion, he
consented and desired that, if he failed in his promises, he should be
held and considered as a relapsed and suffer the penalties provided for
relapse. This was the difference between abjuration _de levi_ and
abjuration _de vehementi_, so often alluded to above, and it was of no
small import under the canons. After the former, reincidence in the
offence entailed no special penalty; it was at the discretion of the
tribunal merely to repeat the previous sentence, or to aggravate it, as
the case might appear to deserve. But, after the latter, reincidence was
relapse, for which the canons decreed irrevocable burning, _ipso facto_
and without trial. To impress this on the penitent, his abjuration _de
vehementi_ was written out and he was made to sign it. Then, on the next
day after the auto de fe, he was brought into the audience-chamber, it
was read to him and he was warned to observe its conditions for, if he
should again fall into any heresy whatever, he would be treated as a
relapsed without mercy, and it would be the same if he did not perform
the penance imposed.[328]

[Sidenote: _ABJURATION_]

In spite of these impressive formalities, I think it doubtful whether,
after the first furious rush of persecution was past, the extreme
penalty of relaxation, for reincidence after abjuration _de vehementi_,
was customary. As a rule, in the later periods, inquisitors rather
endeavored to avoid relaxation and, while they were callous, they were
not apt to be unnecessarily cruel. I have not happened to meet with such
a case, while I have found more than one in which the canons were not
observed. In fact, a learned writer of the second half of the
seventeenth century argues elaborately, with the citation of many
authorities, to show that reincidence after abjuration _de vehementi_
does not incur the punishment of relapse, despite the penalties
expressed in the formula, and this would appear to have been tacitly
accepted, for a custom arose of specifying in the sentence whether or
not the abjuration should entail the penalty. Thus, in 1725 at Cuenca,
Doctor Zapata, accused of Judaism, was required to abjure _de vehementi_
with liability to relaxation, while in 1794, at Toledo, Damaso José
López de Cruz, for heretical propositions, was sentenced to similar
abjuration without such liability.[329] There was another distinction
between the two forms of abjuration, for those who abjured _de
vehementi_ were subject to the disgrace of appearing in an auto de fe
and of wearing a sanbenito _de media aspa_--or with one band of color
across it, before and behind.[330]

The Instructions of 1561 state that, when there is semi-proof, or such
indications that the accused cannot be acquitted, there are three
remedies, compurgation, torture or abjuration; but this is scarce
correct, for those who succeeded in compurgation were always, and those
who overcame torture were generally, required to abjure. The
Instructions add that abjuration, whether for light or vehement
suspicion, is rather a measure to inspire fear for the future than a
punishment for the past, and therefore it is usually accompanied with
pecuniary penance.[331] In fact, it was only in trifling cases, or in
suspensions, that abjuration was not associated with much severer
penalties. This was inevitable in the large class of offences which, by
a strained construction, inferred suspicion of heresy. In these, when
guilt was proven, it received its appropriate punishment, perhaps of
scourging or the galleys, and the abjuration was a mere formality to
satisfy the artificial ascription of heretical belief. In cases of
suspicion of real heresy, abjuration, whether _de levi_ or _de
vehementi_, was a necessary adjunct to the punishment. Thus in the
Toledo auto of February 7, 1694, Luis de Vargas, for "suspicions of
Judaism," was sentenced to abjure _de levi_, to pay a fine of two
hundred ducats and to be exiled for six years from various places. So,
in 1715, at Toledo, the Carmelite Fray Francisco Martínez de Salazar,
"for crimes vehemently suspect of heresy," appeared in the
audience-chamber with a sanbenito _de media aspa_, in the presence of
twelve priests; he abjured _de vehementi_, was sternly reprimanded and
threatened, and sentenced to a long list of penalties, including
deprivation of functions, reclusion for six years in a convent and a
circular discipline in the Carmelite house of Toledo.[332] On this
composite sentence the consulta de fe had evidently exhausted its
ingenuity, and the abjuration was merely a formal necessity to justify
the rest. Yet, while abjuration in itself can scarce be termed a
punishment it was, even when only _de levi_, an infliction of no little
severity, in consequence of the infamy which it entailed, as we have
seen in the Villanueva case, where the victim and his kindred struggled
for so many years in Rome to have it removed.


[Sidenote: _EXILE_]

Frequent allusions above to exile as occurring in sentences indicate how
customary a feature it was in the penal system of the Inquisition. By
itself, or in combination with other penalties, it was an unfailing
resort in offences that did not incur the graver punishment of
imprisonment. It could be varied indefinitely, to suit the peculiarities
of each case, and the tribunals exercised the widest discretion in its
employment. In its usual form it designated certain places and a fixed
number of leagues around them, which the penitent was forbidden to
enter. The list of proscribed localities as a rule included Madrid, or
rather the royal residences, the seat of the tribunal, the
dwelling-place of the culprit, if this was not comprised in the others,
and any other towns, sometimes amounting to four or five, where he had
been known in his guilty career. Although this was a convenient
resource to the tribunal, it was a somewhat irrational penalty, the
severity of which could hardly be guessed at, for while it might be
scarce more than an inconvenience to one offender, it might be the
destruction of a career to a merchant established in business, or to a
professional man with an assured _clientèle_. Considerations of this
kind, however, rarely influenced the tribunals and, in the Toledan
record of 1575-1610 we find exile included in a hundred and sixty-seven

The length of exile was always specified, and varied from some months to
a life-time, but it usually was a term of a few years. Sometimes it was
divided into two portions, the first _preciso_ or absolute, the second
_voluntario_ or dependent upon the will of the tribunal--apparently as
an incentive to amendment. A variant of this occurs in the case of Diego
de Toro, sentenced for bigamy at Toledo in 1652, to four years of exile
absolutely and four years more which he was to fulfil whenever the
tribunal should see fit to order it, thus holding it over him

It was not often that the Inquisition exercised the power of banishment
from Spain, but it did not hesitate to assume such authority when it saw
fit, and a converse to this was the occasional prohibition to leave
Spain, of which an instance is cited above (p. 102). Another form, in
which the wide discretion of the tribunals was exhibited, was forbidding
the penitent to approach within a specified distance of the sea-coast.
This was not infrequent in sentences on Moriscos, whose relations with
Barbary always excited apprehension, but it is not apparent why the
Valladolid tribunal, in 1659, when sentencing Diego de la Peña for
Jewish tendencies, should have included an inhibition to approach within
eight leagues of any sea-port without a special licence.[334]

Again, we sometimes find a penitent exiled to some particular place for
a term of years, and this is frequently combined with provisions for
keeping him under surveillance. Thus the Valladolid tribunal, in 1659,
sentenced Isabel Rubía and María Martin, for sorcery, to reside for four
years in a place to be designated, where there was an official to whom
they must present themselves monthly and who would report as to their
amendment.[335] This was sometimes a form of commutation for
imprisonment, as in the case of Isabel Núñez, sentenced at Cuenca to
prison and Sanbenito, which was modified to four years' exile at San
Clemente. December 24, 1657, she presented a notarial certificate of her
being there and begged that, as she was 74 years old and very poor and
miserable, she might be released, in honor of the birth of the prince
(Felipe-Prosper) or at least have the place changed to Alcalá,
Guadalajara or Pastrana, where there were people who would help her.
This pitiful petition was simply endorsed to be filed with the papers of
the case, which indicates that it was refused.[336] A more rigorous
example of this, which shows that no limit was placed on the discretion
of the Inquisition, was the banishment for life to the Philippines, in
1802, of two frailes concerned in the imposture of Isabel María Herraiz,
known as the Beata of Cuenca.[337] Conversely, a penitent might be
prohibited to leave a designated place, as when, in 1599, Rodrigo
Ramírez, a Morisco of Yepes, was forbidden for three years to leave
Yepes without licence.[338]

As the ordinary form of exile was easily violated, the sentence, as we
have seen above, was frequently accompanied with a threat of increased
penalties for non-fulfilment. In Toledo this seems ordinarily to be a
doubling of the original term, but frequently it was more severe as, in
1604, at Valencia, the sentence of Bartolomé Posca added to this a
hundred lashes and, in 1607, Francisco Xiner, condemned to five years'
exile, was threatened with three years of galleys.[339] It was probably
to check, in some degree, the facility for evasion that the Suprema, in
1665, required the tribunals to furnish it with a description of the
culprit whenever they pronounced a sentence of exile. As this always
comprised Madrid and, as the capital was likely to attract the homeless
waifs, details which might assist in their identification were


[Sidenote: _RAZING HOUSES_]

In the imperial jurisprudence, houses in which heretics held their
conventicles were forfeited to the Church and this provision was
adopted in the legislation of Alfonso X.[341] When prosecution was
systematized in the thirteenth century, this was modified to tearing
down all houses in which heretics were found, the site remaining forever
accursed and unfit for human habitation. This was accepted by the Church
and found its way into all the lands that admitted the Inquisition.[342]
Aragon adopted it and when, about 1340, the Spiritual Franciscan Fray
Bonanato was burnt, and his disciples were scattered, the building which
they had occupied at Villafranca del Panadés, near Barcelona, was
levelled to the ground.[343]

In the early days of the Spanish Inquisition, the strict enforcement of
the rule would have led to great destruction and serious impairment of
the value of confiscations. It seems therefore to have been reserved for
buildings in which the heretics or apostates had been accustomed to
assemble, and then the king, as the recipient of confiscations, decided
the matter. A letter of Ferdinand, May 23, 1501, to Aliaga his receiver
at Valencia, states that the inquisitors have asked him to decree the
destruction of a house in which a synagogue had been found, to which he
assents with the suggestive addition that the civic authorities must be
ordered to offer no opposition. It turned out that Ferdinand had already
given the house to Juan Pérez, the scrivener of sequestrations,
whereupon he ordered Aliaga to have it appraised and to pay the value to
Pérez.[344] He seems to have offered no opposition to Lucero's
operations in Córdova, where a number of houses were torn down as having
served as synagogues, and he ordered them rebuilt when the Congregacion
Católica assembled at Valladolid, in 1509, pronounced the prosecutions

When the confiscations passed to the Inquisition, financial
considerations apparently got the better of zeal, for when, in 1539, at
Valencia, trials of a number of Judaizers revealed that a crucifix had
been maltreated in a house used for their assemblies, and the tribunal
desired authority for its destruction and the erection of a memorial
chapel, the Suprema replied cautiously with a number of questions as to
value, location and expense, as there were no funds for the purpose,
and it ordered the auto de fe to be held, reserving decision as to the
house.[346] The subsequent proceedings against the convicts, who revoked
their confessions, show that the house was still standing four or five
years later.

There was no such hesitation in the stimulated excitement following the
discovery of Protestantism in high places in 1559. When, in the
Valladolid auto de fe of May 21, the Cazalla family were nearly
exterminated, the house of the mother, Leonor de Vibero, where the
little group used to assemble, was razed, and a pillar was erected on
the spot, with an inscription that can still be read--"During the
pontificate of Paul IV and the reign of Philip II, the Holy Office of
the Inquisition condemned this building of Pedro de Cazalla and Leonor
de Vibero his wife to be torn down and levelled with the ground, since
here the Lutherans assembled to hold meetings against our holy Catholic
faith and the Church of Rome, May 21, 1559." Similarly in the great auto
of Seville, September 24, 1559, the houses of Luis de Alerego and Isabel
de Baena, which had served as Protestant conventicles, were


A thrifty disposition to restrain inconsiderate zeal for obliterating
the receptacles of heresy was manifested by the Suprema, in 1565, when
it forbade the razing of a house unless it belonged to the delinquents
and thus would not have to be paid for.[348] This restriction, however,
was not observed on an occasion which was perhaps the latest as well as
the most conspicuous example of the practice. In the great Madrid auto
of July 4, 1632, which was honored by the presence of Philip IV, among
those who were burnt were Miguel Rodríguez and his wife Isabel Núñez
Alvárez, in whose house not only were held Jewish meetings, but an image
of Christ had been scourged and when it shed blood and thrice spoke to
them they consumed it with fire. Of course it was doomed and on the day
after the execution the Inquisition ordered it to be appraised in order
that the owner might be compensated. He was the Licentiate Barquero, a
highly respected jurist, who protested against its destruction until he
received good security for its value. No time was lost. On the 6th the
Inquisitor Cristóval de Ibarra, accompanied by the Admiral of Castile,
the Duke of Medina de la Torres and other gentlemen, many familiars and
a crowd of workmen, and preceded by a guard of halberdiers with banner
and drums, marched to the spot, where a secretary read a proclamation of
the Toledo tribunal to the effect that it ordered the demolition of the
house where a holy Christ had been scourged and maltreated. Then the
drums beat and the workmen assailed the structure so zealously that by
nine o'clock that night there was not a vestige of it left, the populace
eagerly aiding them in tearing the stones from the walls and carrying
off the timbers. The site was not left, as the canons direct, to be a
receptacle of filth. Money was raised and a Capuchin convent was
erected, known as La Paciencia, in remembrance of the patience with
which Christ had borne the indignities heaped upon him.[349]


It might be presupposed that, in dealing with spiritual offences, and
professing that its main object was the salvation of souls, the
Inquisition would incline rather to spiritual exercises than to
pecuniary and corporal punishments--that it would seek to instruct and
elevate the spirit rather than to afflict the body. Religious
persecution, however, has always preferred the harshness of coercion,
and has held that the surest way to bring conviction to the soul was to
torment the flesh. We need therefore not be surprised to see how
insignificant a place spiritual penances held in the sentences of the
Holy Office, and it would scarce be worth while to consider them except
to note how little was the importance attributed to them by the

Except in trifling cases, which merited no real punishment, such
spiritual penances as we occasionally meet with are conjoined with
material penalties. A man sentenced to imprisonment may perhaps be
required to fast on Fridays for six months or a year, and to recite on
those days a prescribed number of Ave Marias and Paternosters or other
prayers. Pilgrimages to shrines as distant as St. Thomas of Canterbury
or St. James of Compostela, so frequently prescribed in the medieval
Inquisition, were unknown. It is true that the formula of sentence on
the reconciled, condemning them to prison, requires them on Saturdays
to make a pilgrimage to some designated shrine in the vicinity, where on
their knees they must repeat with devotion five Paters, Ave Marias,
Credos and Salve Reginas, but this was not often used in practice.[350]
Clerical offenders, sentenced to reclusion in convents, frequently had
spiritual exercises included among numerous other inflictions. While
this moderation was the rule, occasionally of course the unlimited
discretion of the tribunals made exceptions, as in a singularly
ill-judged penance imposed at Toledo, in 1653, on Gerónima Mendes, a
child ten years of age, convicted of Judaism, who was sentenced to a
month's instruction in the faith and the daily recitation of the rosary
for a year. Seeing that the rosary consists of seventeen Paternosters,
sixteen Gloria Patris, a hundred and fifty-three Ave Marias and the
Apostles' Creed, one can estimate the burden imposed on a child of such
tender years and how little it would conduce to training the youthful
penitent in a love for the faith.[351] Such an infliction however was
exceptional, and it frequently happens, in the reports of the tribunals,
after detailing the material portions of a sentence, that there is a
mere general allusion to "some spiritual penances," which suggests how
slender was the consideration bestowed on them. There is one type of
better promise, not infrequent in the later period, such as a sentence
pronounced at Toledo, in 1777, on Antonio Rubio and Diego González,
condemned for heretical acts and blasphemy, the former to five years'
labor in the arsenal of Cartagena and the latter to three years in the
presidio of Ceuta, both of whom were required, before leaving prison, to
perform fifteen days of spiritual exercises under a director who would
instruct them.[352]

The hearing of mass as a penitent, which was a very frequent infliction,
cannot be classed as a spiritual penance--it was a simple humiliation
and was so intended, especially when performed publicly in church.



A few instances will indicate how the tribunals sometimes used their
wide discretion in adapting to any given case what was deemed an
appropriate penalty. It is true that when Valencia, in 1539, made Fray
Torres, a priest, appear in a public auto de fe, with a bridle in his
mouth and a pannier of straw on his back, the Suprema rebuked it and
forbade such eccentricities for the future.[353] So when, in 1568,
Inquisitor Morales reported that, during his visit to San Sebastian, he
had condemned certain offenders to have sermons preached at their
expense, the Suprema mildly remarked that this was a novelty.[354] In an
auto de fe at Llerena, in 1579, there was a negress named Catalina, the
slave of a man of Zafra. It was doubtless through consideration of his
interests that she was spared the corporal chastisement visited on her
accomplices, but there was a distinct invasion of his rights in a
prohibition to him to sell her without licence from the
inquisitors.[355] In 1607, at Valencia, a single witness accused María
Tubarri, a Morisca midwife, of using Moorish ceremonies in baptising
infants, and of circumcising the males; the proof, against her denial,
was not thought sufficient to justify torture and she was required only
to abjure _de levi_, but she was deprived for life of practising her
profession.[356] There was wisdom, if a trifle arbitrary, in a sentence
at Toledo, in 1685, on Lucas Morales for blasphemy, for it included,
among other penalties, a prohibition to gamble--a sensible provision
against relapse, for gaming was recognized as the most prolific source
of blasphemy.[357]

There was the same latitude in vindictive as in deterrent punishments.
At Valladolid, from 1635 to 1637, there were several Judaizers convicted
of maltreating an image of Christ. The consultors voted for relaxation,
but the Suprema approved the decision of the inquisitors that they
should have the right arm nailed to a stake in the form of a cross,
while their sentences were being read in an auto de fe.[358] Less
symbolical and still more original was a spectacle devised for the
Mexican auto of December 7, 1664, where one of the penitents was
stripped to the waist, while two Indians smeared him with honey and
covered him with feathers, in which guise he was made to stand in the
sun for four hours on the staging.[359] Even recruiting for the army was
not beneath the dignity of the tribunal as when, in 1650, Toledo
condemned Andrés de Herrera Calderon, for blasphemy, to serve for four
years in the campaigns against Portugal and Catalonia, where doubtless
he enriched his vocabulary of expletives.[360]

There evidently was no defined limit to the power of suiting the penalty
to the inquisitorial conception of the offence, and the tribunals made
ample use of their prerogative.




Although at first sight the use of the lash, as a persuasive to correct
religious belief, may appear somewhat incongruous, it must be borne in
mind that, under the euphemy of the discipline, it has always formed a
prominent feature of penance, especially among the monastic orders
where, in the daily or weekly chapters, it was liberally administered
for all infractions of the Rule or other sins, as a preliminary to
absolution. In fact, the touching of the penitent's shoulder with a wand
by the priest in absolution from excommunication, is a symbol of the
discipline which was anciently indispensable. In the Old Inquisition it
was in frequent use, although there it was rendered a matter of
edification, through its infliction by priests during divine service or
in religious processions. That it should form part of the penal
resources of the Spanish Holy Office was therefore natural, although it
lost its penitential aspect and became purely punitive and vindictive.

It was no longer the priest who wielded the discipline with an
indeterminate number of strokes during an indeterminate series of
feast-days. The tribunal prescribed the number of lashes and they were
laid on by the vigorous arm of the public executioner. The penitents who
had to suffer appeared in the auto de fe with halters around their
necks; if there was one knot in the halter, it signified a hundred
lashes, if two, two hundred and so on, one hundred being the unit and
the minimum number. The next day the populace was treated to the
spectacle. Mounted astride of asses, bared to the waist, with halter and
mitre bearing inscription of their offences and a _pié de amigo_ holding
the head erect, they were paraded through the accustomed streets, with a
guard of mounted familiars and a notary or secretary to make record,
while the executioner plied the _penca_, or leather strap, on the naked
flesh, until the tale was complete, and the town-crier proclaimed that
it was by order of the Inquisition for the crimes specified. A clause
in the proclamation, after the great Madrid auto of 1680, forbidding,
under pain of excommunication, any one to throw stones at the penitents,
indicates that the populace had a playful habit of thus manifesting its
detestation of heresy.[361]

In 1568 the Suprema rebuked the Barcelona tribunal for condemning to
public scourging penitents reconciled for heresy. This, it said, was
contrary to the _estilo_ of the Inquisition, and in future the lash was
not to be used unless there was some other crime than heresy.[362] This
indicates how completely the scourge had become punitive and how it was
dissociated from the ancient discipline, but if such regulation existed
it met with scant recognition. All the offences subjected to the
Inquisition were constructively heretical, and there never seems to have
been any discrimination exercised between them. Indeed, we have seen
that the lash was especially indicated for heretics who were tardy or
variable in their confessions, and Judaizers are constantly seen to be
subjected to it.

[Sidenote: _SCOURGING_]

Scourging was a favorite penalty which was lavishly and often
mercilessly employed. In the Saragossa auto of June 6, 1585, out of a
total of seventy-nine penitents, twenty-two were scourged; in that of
Valencia, in 1607, of forty-seven penitents, twenty-four received the
lash.[363] This, however, exceeds the average. The Toledo reports, from
1575 to 1610, present a hundred and thirty-three cases of scourging
which, allowing for a break in the record, give about four per
annum.[364] On the other hand, a collection of autos de fe celebrated
between 1721 and 1727, embracing in all nine hundred and sixty-two
cases, affords two hundred and ninety-seven sentences of scourging, or
about thirty per cent.[365] When we recall that, in the list of
officials reported by Murcia, in 1746, there figures Joseph García
Bentura as _notario de açotaciones_--a notary of scourgings--to keep
record of the stripes, with a salary of about 2500 reales, we realize
how prominent a feature it was in inquisitorial penology.[366] The
brutalizing effect on the populace of these wholesale exhibitions of
flogging, especially of women, can readily be estimated.

The usual number of lashes prescribed was two hundred, though in
occasional cases a hundred sufficed. In the two hundred and ninety-seven
just alluded to, two hundred and ninety were of two hundred lashes and
only seven of one hundred. It was rare that two hundred were exceeded in
any one infliction, though sometimes it was mercilessly duplicated, as
in the Seville auto of September 24, 1559, Martin Fernando Saldrian, a
shepherd, for blasphemy was scourged in Seville and again in his native
town; Alonso Martin of Carmona, for Lutheranism, was scourged in both
Seville and Carmona and Juan de Aragon of Málaga, who had pretended to
be a familiar, was scourged in Málaga and again in the scene of his

Probably two hundred lashes were about the limit of safety, especially
with those enfeebled by prolonged incarceration, for the infliction was
excessively severe. We hear of Margarita Altamira reduced to such
extremity after a scourging that the viaticum was administered to
her.[368] There was no mercy for age or sex. In the Valencia auto of
January 7, 1607, Isabel Madalina Conteri, a Morisca girl of 13, after
overcoming torture, had a hundred lashes, Jayme Chulayla, a Morisco of
76, who had been tortured, had a hundred and the same was administered
to Francisco Marquino, aged 86 for sorcery in treasure-seeking, while
Magdalena Cahet, aged 60, who had escaped torture on account of
heart-disease, was not spared a hundred.[369]

As the eighteenth century advanced there appears to be more readiness to
remit the execution of sentences of scourging on account of age and
infirmities and of "accidentes," which probably mean crippling by
torture. Then there developes a tendency to spare women and finally men;
the sentences continue to be pronounced, but they are remitted by the
inquisitor-general. In 1769, at Toledo, Gerónimo Clos, for bigamy, was
pardoned the two hundred lashes of his sentence, which could not have
been for infirmity, as he was not released from hard labor for five
years in the royal works at Cartagena.[370] From this time scourging may
be regarded as obsolescent and soon to become obsolete. Under the
Restoration, from 1814 to 1820, in the _votos secretos_, there is not a
case in which the lash was inflicted, for when included in the
sentences, it was always remitted by the Suprema.[371]

The clergy, of course, were not subjected to the disgrace of public
scourging. In their cases it took the form known as a circular
discipline, administered in a convent by all the inmates in turn.


Vergüenza, or shame, was the same as scourging, with the lashes omitted.
The culprit, stripped to the waist and with the _pié de amigo_, was
paraded through the streets, with the insignia of his offence, while the
town-crier proclaimed his sentence. It was naturally regarded as less
severe than scourging and was sometimes substituted for the latter, when
the penitent was too aged or feeble to endure the lash. For the beldams
and ruffians who were often its subjects it could have had but few
terrors, but it was greatly dreaded by those of sensitive nature. The
inquisitors took little count of this, when dealing with Judaizers and
Moriscos, who had a keen sense of personal dignity, and Pedraza informs
us that those exposed to it regarded death as a mercy, preferring to die
rather than to endure a life of infamy.[372] To young women the exposure
was especially humiliating, yet, on the whole, it may be regarded as
more humane than the pillory of our forefathers, for the penitent was
not exposed to the missiles of a brutal populace.

Vergüenza was a comparatively infrequent punishment. In the Toledo
reports of 1575-1610 it occurs in but twenty-six sentences, which may be
compared with the hundred and thirty-three scourgings, and the records
of the same tribunal from 1648 to 1794 present but ten vergüenzas to
ninety-two scourgings. In the very severe series of autos de fe between
1721 and 1727, the comparison is thirteen to two hundred and

[Sidenote: _THE GAG--THE GALLEYS_]


The _mordaza_ or gag, as we have seen, was regarded as increasing
greatly the severity of the infliction of which it formed part. It was
sometimes used in scourging and vergüenza, when the so-called penitent
was a hardened blasphemer or likely in some way to create scandal. It
was likewise employed in the autos de fe, on pertinacious and impenitent
heretics of whom it was feared that they might on their way to the stake
produce an impression on those not firm in the faith.[373] Its use was
not frequent, although, in the dread inspired by Protestantism, in 1559,
at the great Seville auto of September 24th, twelve of the victims wore
the mordaza. There were also twelve thus gagged in the Madrid auto of
1680, but these numbers were exceptional.[374]


Enslavement in the galleys, to labor at the oar, would appear to be even
more incongruous than scourging as penance for spiritual offences. It
was a Spanish device, unknown to the elder Inquisition, and had its
origin in the thrifty mind of Ferdinand. We shall presently see how
exercised were the monarch and the Holy Office over the problem
presented by the maintenance of those condemned to the canonical penalty
of perpetual prison, and Ferdinand, whose Sicilian possessions required
a powerful navy, bethought him of the expedient of utilizing his
able-bodied prisoners to man his galleys--the galley propelled by oars
being as yet the equivalent of the modern battle-ship. Galley-service
was recognized as so severe that the old fueros of Aragon forbade it
under heavy penalties, except with the free assent of the individual,
and it was not until the curtailment of ancient privileges, in the
Córtes of Tarazona in 1592, that judges were permitted to use it as a
punishment for robbers.[375] In Castile, the pressure for slaves to man
the galleys is indicated by a royal cédula of November 14, 1502,
commuting the death-sentence of criminals in the secular courts, and
ordering them to be sent to the galleys.[376] It was probably about this
time that Ferdinand turned to the Inquisition, which was bound by no
laws, for relief from overcrowded prisons and undermanned galleys. Even
the callous morality of the age seems to have been shocked at this and,
as usual, the sanction of the Holy See was sought for the iniquity. It
was of course granted, and Alexander VI, in a brief addressed to the
inquisitors, May 26, 1503, recited that Ferdinand and Isabella had
represented to him that those condemned to perpetual prison relapsed
into heresy; that there was a lack of prisons in which they could be
confined without perverting others, and that multiplication of prisons
would lead to dissemination of heresy; that their power to commute
imprisonment into other perpetual punishment had been called into
question, and that they had asked him to provide a remedy. As the chief
solicitude of the inquisitors should be the prevention of relapse, he
therefore empowered them to change the perpetual prison of penitents
into other penalties--deportation to the colonies, or imprisonment in
the royal galleys, where, in perpetual confinement, they might render
enforced service, or to any other perpetual punishment, according to
their quality and offences.[377]

[Sidenote: _THE GALLEYS_]

That full advantage was taken of this there can be no doubt, to the
relief of the prison funds and the facilitation of the conquest of
Naples. We chance to hear of the transfer at Barcelona, January 24,
1505, of nineteen prisoners from the gaol of the Inquisition to the
galleys of Ramon de Cardona, which we may fairly accept as an example of
what was on foot everywhere.[378] In fact, the eagerness of the
tribunals to disembarrass themselves of their prisoners seems to have
led to their discharging on the galleys those in every way unfit for the
service, for the Suprema was obliged, in 1506, to declare that men over
60, clerics and women were exempt from the punishment of the
galleys.[379] Even Ferdinand himself, towards the close of his career,
seems to have shrunk from the responsibility of openly authorizing an
extension of this heartless business for when, in 1513, the Inquisitor
of Sicily asked permission to send to the galleys those condemned to
perpetual prison, Ferdinand threw the decision back on him; to build
prisons will cost much money, he said, but the galleys may deter men
from confessing their heresy; the inquisitor is therefore to think the
matter over and do what he deems best.[380] The conclusion reached is
unknown, but we may reasonably surmise that the Palermo tribunal did not
waste its funds in constructing prisons.

Ferdinand's hesitation seems to have been shared by Charles V for, in
1527, the Suprema ordered that penitents should not be sent to the
galleys but should have other penances.[381] The motive for this humane
provision, however, did not long withstand the more pressing economical
considerations. In 1529, Rodrigo Portuondo, captain-general of the
galleys, was instructed that no one sent to them by the Inquisition
should hold any office or administration, or have charge of the rations,
showing that the prohibition had been rescinded.[382] Apparently the
superior intelligence of the penitents had rendered them more useful as
petty officers and accountants than as slaves of the oar, but this
alleviation of their misery did not satisfy the spirit of persecution
and it was probably to prevent it that the formula of the sentence was
service at the oar without pay--unless, indeed, the penitent was of
gentle blood, in which case he could be sent to serve as a gentleman or
as a soldier.[383]

We have already seen to what profitable account the Inquisition turned
the power which it had assumed to grant dispensations from this
abhorrent servitude, and a case in 1558 indicates how it guarded against
any invasion of its prerogative. Philip II was led to interest himself
in the case of Andrés de Frias, condemned to the galleys, and asked to
have him dispensed from the remainder of his term. To this the Suprema
demurred, saying that the statement of Frias was untrue, for in Rome he
had treacherously stabbed to death the procurator of the Inquisition,
Doctor Puente, after dining with him and promising to sup with him;
moreover the seventeen months which he claimed to have served had not
been as a galley-slave, as required by his sentence. Still, if he would
present himself and manifest repentance there might be opportunity for
the king to show him mercy, but otherwise it would greatly impair the
authority of the Inquisition.[384]

Philip was not given to interceding for those sent to his galleys, for
galley-slaves continued to be in great demand. In 1567 the Venitian
envoy, Antonio Tiepolo, explains the weakness of the Spanish navy by the
fact that its galleys were manned with slaves and _forçats_, who were
not numerous enough to keep many galleys at sea. It would be, he says,
impossible to man them with free-men, as in Venice, for no one would
serve voluntarily, as the ill-treatment of the crews is notorious and
their dying for lack of the necessaries of life.[385] It is true that
there was a curious source of supply, besides the ordinary criminals and
heretics, for the prelates of the religious Orders were accustomed to
condemn their peccant brethren to the galleys, from the same economical
motive that had actuated Ferdinand--to save the expense of maintaining
them in prison.[386] Still, the needs of the armadas were pressing;
Philip turned to the Inquisition for aid, and, in 1567, the Suprema
issued two decrees intended to assist in manning the royal galleys. One
bore that sentences must not be for less than three or four years, for
otherwise the penitents cost the king more than the service he got from
them, and this was enforced by a royal cédula of 1584.[387] The other
suggested--suggestion being equivalent to an order--that sentences to
the galleys could be substituted for those to prison and sanbenito. The
practical deduction drawn from this is expressed by a writer of the
period, who says that, if the accused confesses but does not satisfy the
evidence, he is to be tortured and, if he still fails to satisfy the
evidence, it is customary to send him to the galleys, but this must be
for not less than three years.[388] To appreciate fully this atrocity,
it must be borne in mind that torture could only be used in cases of
doubt where the evidence was defective, so that, besides the torture the
victim was sent to the galleys for suspicion of heresy.

[Sidenote: _THE GALLEYS_]

Even this did not satisfy the royal exigency and a further inexcusable
step was taken. We have seen that tardy and imperfect confessions were
visited with scourging and sometimes with the galleys, while the _buen
confitente_, who confessed promptly and freely, was allured with
promises of special consideration and mercy. Yet, in 1573, the Suprema
issued a carta acordada ordering that Conversos, even when _buen
confitentes_, should be sent to the galleys, and this it repeated in
1591, with injunctions for its enforcement.[389] The name of religion
has not often been more brutally prostituted than in these provisions,
and their success may be measured by a report of the inquisitors of
Saragossa to Philip, of an auto celebrated June 6, 1585, in which they
call his special attention to their zeal in furnishing him with
twenty-nine galley-slaves for six years, besides three left over from a
previous auto--and this in Aragon, which forbade galley-service as a
punishment for the most heinous crimes.[390]

The galley-captains naturally were not punctilious in discharging the
men when their terms had expired, giving rise to perpetual friction. The
sentence ordinarily was to a term of prison or exile, of which the first
three years or more were to be passed at the oar, and this was set forth
in the certificates given to the penitents. The tribunals kept watch
over them, and demanded their return to serve out the rest of their
sentences, but this was not an easy task. The vigilance exercised is
illustrated by a royal cedula addressed to the captain of a galley,
ordering him to release two men whose terms had expired, and warning him
that in future all such persons were to be returned to the tribunal that
had sentenced them.[391] This was followed, in 1568, by general
instructions to Don John of Austria, as Captain-general of the Sea, and
to all captains of galleys, reciting the complaints of the Sicilian
tribunal that its reclamations of its penitents were not complied with,
and ordering their restoration to their tribunals without waiting for
demands.[392] This was ineffectual and, in 1575, we find the Barcelona
tribunal instructed to prosecute the captains who impede the discharge
of those who had served out inquisitorial sentences.[393] The trouble
was perennial and, in 1645, we have a formula of requisition for the
return of the party specified, under pain of excommunication and of five
hundred ducats, and the tribunal of the port where the galleys lie is
requested to see to its execution. A significant note however adds that
this is scantly courteous to such great men as the generals of the
galleys, and that it is better to ask the tribunal of the port to
procure the release by friendly negotiation.[394]

The cases could not have been infrequent in which men, utterly unfit for
the privations and ill-usage of the galley-slave, were condemned to this
hard service, and no doubt many perished in consequence. Yet exemptions
on this ground were reluctantly admitted, if we may judge from a rebuke
administered, in 1665, by the Suprema to the Barcelona tribunal, in a
case where this was asked; the opinions of the physician and surgeon
were insufficient; other professionals must be called in and examination
be made as to the penitent's condition when, if it appears that he is
unfit for the service, the sentence can be commuted to eight years of
exile as proposed.[395] It is a marked expression of the humanitarian
development of the eighteenth century that, even in the fierce
persecution of its first quarter, in 1721 it was ordered that, before
imposing a sentence to the galleys, the delinquent should be examined by
the physician and surgeon and, if incapacitating weakness appeared, it
should be mentioned in the vote of the consulta de fe that, in
consequence of it, the sentence was commuted to irremissible
imprisonment.[396] The succeeding autos show that this bore fruit in
sundry commutations, although the alternative of irremissible prison was
not observed, and less severe penalties were sometimes substituted.[397]

[Sidenote: _THE GALLEYS_]

In the sixty-four autos de fe between 1721 and 1727, of which we possess
details, there were ninety-two sentences to the galleys and seven to
service in the presidios. There was a certain relation between the two.
In the seventeenth century legislation on offences connected with the
coinage, the galleys were provided for commoners and presidio service
for gentlemen and, as the century drew to a close, we find the
Inquisition no longer sending gentlemen to serve as soldiers on the
galleys but to Oran, Ceuta, Gibraltar, Badajoz, Peñon and other royal
works and garrisons.[398] In the eighteenth century Inquisition, the
galleys for all classes were gradually supplanted by the presidio, if we
include in the term enforced labor in the royal dock-yards and arsenals
as well as in the African garrisons. Galleys were disappearing from the
sea and, in the Inquisition, they were superseded by the _bagne_, in its
various forms of hard work. In 1742, the Toledo tribunal condemned
Rafael Nuñez Hernández, for certain errors, to eight years of exile of
which the first five were to be passed serving the king in the
unwholesome quicksilver mines of Almaden, and the last sentences to the
galleys that I have met occur in 1745, when Nicholas Serrano was
condemned at Toledo for bigamy to eight years of service in them, and
Miguel Gutiérrez and Francisco García, at Valladolid, for relapse into
Judaism, to ten years. After this the galleys may be said to be
obsolete, even for bigamy, as is seen in a sentence of the Valencia
tribunal in 1781.[399]

The presidio continued as a punishment under the Restoration, but cases
were so rare that there was question as to the reception of the convicts
in their places of destination. In 1818, the Seville tribunal sentenced
three persons--two for propositions and one for bigamy--to two years'
service in Ceuta or Melilla, and it asked the Suprema to get the
minister of war to issue orders to the governors to receive them. The
Suprema replied that this was the business of the tribunal; it must do
as on former occasions, and if necessary could write to the governors.
The _forçats_ were duly received and, it is pleasant to add that, in six
months, the Suprema humanely remitted the punishment in order that they
might return and support their families. For this an order from the
secretary of the Council of War was required and procured.[400]

For women, the equivalent of the galleys was service without pay in
hospitals, houses of correction and similar institutions. Apparently
these female convicts were not always regarded as desirable inmates and
though, in the pre-revolutionary times, no opposition was ventured,
under the Restoration there was sometimes difficulty in securing their
admission. In 1819 the Seville tribunal appealed to the Suprema,
representing that it had been unable thus to dispose of Juana de Luna,
for the same reasons which it had experienced in the cases of Ana
Barbero and Leonor Macias. The Inquisition inspired no such terror as of
old, for the Suprema could suggest no means of overcoming the
difficulty, and could only instruct the tribunal to devise some method
of executing its sentences.[401]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not to the credit of the Roman Inquisition that it followed the
example of the Spanish and included the galleys in its list of
punishments. Carena, indeed, tells us that it was the most usual of all
and was the customary penalty in a wide variety of offences.[402]


That reconciliation to the Church, which was represented as a loving
mother, eager to welcome back to her bosom her erring children, should
be regarded as a punishment, seems a contradiction in terms, yet so it
was, and the Suprema did not hesitate to speak of those "who had been
condemned to reconciliation."[403] It would not be easy to invent a more
emphatic illustration of the perversion of the spirit of religion by
persecuting fanaticism.

The apostate or the heretic, who had abandoned the Church after
admission through the waters of baptism, could only be reincorporated by
abjuring his errors and applying for reconciliation. In the case of
Conversos, who secretly adhered to the Mosaic or Mahometan law, there
could be no question as to this, nor was there with such heretics as
Protestants. To what extent other errors might constitute formal heresy
requiring reconciliation, or might infer suspicion of heresy, light or
vehement, was a problem for the calificadores, and sometimes was an
intricate one, for the gradations of theological error are infinite and


In the tumultuous proceedings of the early period when, under Edicts of
Grace, penitents came forward by the thousand, confessing their errors
and begging for reconciliation, the ceremony was naturally simple. Under
the Instructions of 1484, the form described by Joan Andrea was to be
used: the inquisitors declared that the penitent had been an apostate
heretic, who had followed the rites and ceremonies of the Jews and had
incurred the penalties of the law but, as he now says that he has been
converted and desires to return to the faith, with a pure heart and
faith unfeigned, and is ready to accept and perform the penances to be
imposed, they must absolve him from the excommunication incurred through
the said crime and must reconcile him to Holy Mother Church, if, as he
says, he is converted to the holy faith truly and without fiction.[404]

No mention is made here of any subsequent ceremonies, although at least
abjuration must probably have followed. When procedure was less hurried
and there had been time for its elaboration, the process became
impressive. The sentence recited that the penitent was admitted to
reconciliation; that as penance he was to appear in an auto de fe,
without girdle or cap, in a penitential habit of yellow cloth, with two
red _aspas_ or bands forming a St. Andrew's cross, and a candle in his
hand when, after his sentence is read, he should publicly abjure the
errors confessed and all other errors and apostasy, after which "we
order him to be absolved and we absolve him from any excommunication
which he has incurred and we unite and reincorporate him in the bosom
and union of the Holy Mother Catholic Church, and we restore him to
participation in the holy sacraments and communion of the faithful"--to
which was appended a recital of the various punishments to which he was
condemned. After the auto de fe was ended, the abjuration was
administered. This was similar to the abjuration _de vehementi_ already
given and in it he consented, in case of relapse, to submit to the
penalties of the canons. On the conclusion of this, he was formally
absolved and the next day his abjuration was read over to him, with a
warning that in case of relapse he would be burnt.[405]

As described in an account of the Madrid auto de fe of 1632, this
ceremony was imposing. The penitents to be reconciled were brought
before the inquisitor-general who was presiding. While they kneeled
before him he read a short catechism, comprising the creed with some
additions, to each question of which they answered "Yes, I believe."
Then the secretary recited the abjuration, in which they followed him.
The inquisitor-general then pronounced the exorcism and the customary
prayers and the royal chapel chanted the Miserere, during which the
chaplains of the Inquisition struck the penitents with rods on the
shoulders. After this the inquisitor-general recited the customary
verses and prayers and the royal chapel sang a hymn, while the black
cloth was removed from the cross, which had been covered as a sign of
mourning, and the inquisitor-general concluded the solemnities with a

Superficially, there is nothing formidable in this reception of a
wandering sheep back into the fold, but the serious aspect of
reconciliation, justifying its characterization as a punishment, lay in
the penalties which were virtually inseparable from it, and were
customarily included in the sentence--imprisonment, sanbenito,
confiscation and disabilities, with occasionally scourging and the
galleys, some of which we have already considered while others will be
treated hereafter. There was further the fact that the canons pardoned
the heretic but once. If, after reconciliation, he was guilty of
reincidence, there was no mercy for him on earth, although the Church in
its kindness, would not close the portals of heaven on him and, if truly
contrite, would admit him to the sacraments, although it would not spare
him the stake.[407] The crucial question of relapse, however, will be
considered in the next chapter and meanwhile it should be said that the
Spanish Inquisition did not always enforce this cruel precept. In the
later period second reconciliations were by no means infrequent, and,
even in the earlier time, men sometimes shrank from the holocausts which
the strict enforcement of the rule would have caused amid a population
terrorized into suddenly forswearing their ancestral faith. In Majorca,
under the Edict of Grace, there were three hundred and thirty-eight
reconciliations, August 18, 1488, followed by ninety-six on March 26,
1490. Soon after this an Edict of Mercy was published, under which there
were reconciled a second time no less than two hundred and eighty-eight
of the previous penitents. One of these, Antonia, wife of Ferrer Pratz
was even reconciled a third time, June 28, 1509. Scattering cases of
second reconciliations can also be found elsewhere.[408]


There was a rule that the reconciled were not to be subjected to
scourging or the galleys, even though they might have deserved them by
varying and revoking confessions, but I cannot find that this was
observed for, in both the earlier and later periods, cases as we have
seen were numerous in which reconciliation was accompanied with these
corporal punishments.[409] On the other hand, although the principle was
absolute that reconciliation carried with it confiscation and perpetual
prison, cases sometimes occur in which these penalties were lightened.
In the Toledo auto of November 30, 1651, there were nine
reconciliations, in which the accompanying punishments were mostly
trivial--in one case the sanbenito was removed immediately on return to
the Inquisition.[410]

It seems almost a travesty on solemn religious observances that effigies
of the dead should be admitted to reconciliation but, as the grave
afforded no refuge from the Inquisition, this was a logical outcome of
the system, when a defunct heretic had recanted and sought
reincorporation with the Church. As he could not be reconciled in person
he had to be reconciled in effigy, especially as the sentence was
necessary to secure confiscation of his estate. The only occasion of
this was the death, during trial, of a prisoner who had confessed,
professed conversion and received sacramental absolution on his
death-bed. His trial would necessarily be continued and result in
reconciliation, and the Inquisition saw no incongruity in parading his
image before the people, and performing with it the solemn farce of
reconciliation. There was a somewhat inexplicable instance in Majorca of
three Judaizers, who had died in prison during their trials, in 1678,
after manifesting the necessary signs of repentance; they were not
included among the two hundred and twelve reconciliations, in the autos
de fe of 1679, but, thirteen years afterwards, their effigies were
reconciled in the auto of July 2, 1691 and no theologian seems to have
asked himself what was their spiritual condition during this prolonged
interval.[411] This reconciliation in effigy, was not, as Llorente
states, an innovation introduced under Philip III, but was practised
from the beginning, for there was an instance of it in Beatrix Sener,
deceased, thus reconciled May 2, 1499, at Barcelona.[412]

Apparently the age of responsibility was the only minimum limit in
reconciliation. In the Madrid Auto of 1632, Catalina Méndez, a child of
12, was reconciled with sanbenito and six months' imprisonment. At
Toledo, in 1659, Beatriz Jorje and Ana Pereira, Portuguese Judaizers
each ten years old, were reconciled; the former had her sanbenito
removed at once; the latter was sentenced to confiscation and four
months of prison.[413]

Reconciliation brought with it one alleviation, for the reconciled, as
penitents, were entitled to the fuero of the Inquisition. This was
derived from the penitential system of the Middle Ages, which deprived
the penitent of bearing arms during the long series of years for which
penance was imposed, and no one could be expected to assume it unless
protected by the Church against his enemies. In this the Inquisition
stood in the place of the Church, and cast its jurisdiction over its
penitents during their term of penance. In 1501, we find a certain Pan
Besante of Teruel, a _reconciliado_, to whom Ferdinand had restored his
confiscated property, complaining to the king that he was persecuted and
maltreated by his debtors and his neighbors, and that the inquisitors,
to whom he had appealed for protection, neglected to aid him, whereupon
Ferdinand promptly ordered them to come to his assistance, to enforce,
by their officials, the payment of his just claims and to punish the
aggressors.[414] So far was this carried that at Granada, in 1654, the
reconciled penitents had an advantage in trade over the faithful, by
claiming exemption from the _alcavala_, or royal tax on sales. When the
citizens complained of this discrimination, the fiscal of the tribunal
admitted that the question was a difficult one; to subject the penitents
to the royal jurisdiction would give rise to great embarrassments, yet
at the same time the inquisitorial jurisdiction ought to be a punishment
and not a reward.[415] That it was a reward we have seen from the
eagerness with which it was claimed by all who could put forward the
slenderest pretext.



Imprisonment for life was the penance imposed by the canons on the
heretic who, under the persuasive methods of persecution, sought
reconciliation to the Church. It was so decreed, indeed, by pope and
emperor before the Inquisition was organized, and that institution
relentlessly enforced the laws. That the Spanish Holy Office should
accept it was a matter of course. Its expense, however, had proved a
source of tribulation in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and it
was none the less so in Spain for, large as were the confiscations and
pecuniary penances, they were squandered as fast as they accrued. In
Torquemada's supplementary Instructions of December, 1484, the receivers
are ordered to provide for the maintenance of the prisons, which shows
that the sovereigns admitted their responsibility,[416] but, in the
chronic financial disorder of the time, no regular provision was made,
either for their establishment or support. It is true that, in 1486, at
the earnest request of the inquisitors of Saragossa, Ferdinand ordered
the receiver to construct a perpetual prison, in accordance with their
desires, but it is safe to assume that he prudently postponed replying
to their inquiry as to the maintenance of the captives.[417] In 1492,
when the tribunal sentenced Brianda de Bardaxí to five years'
imprisonment, it was to the tower of Saliana and this, in a few days,
was changed to the convent of Santo Sepolcro in Saragossa.[418] In fact,
for want of prisons, the custom was general of consigning reconciled
penitents to strongholds, hospitals, convents, or even to their own
houses--the latter presumably being such shelter as friends or kindred
could afford to those who had been stripped by confiscation. The
Instructions of 1488, indeed, authorize inquisitors, in view of the
multitudes condemned to perpetual imprisonment and the lack of prisons,
to designate to the penitents their houses, where they must confine
themselves under the penalties provided by the laws. But this, it was
added, was only meant to be temporary, and the sovereigns were
supplicated to order that, at each tribunal, the receiver should provide
a large enclosure with little huts and a chapel, where the prisoners
could hear mass and could each work at his trade and earn his living,
and thus relieve the Inquisition from heavy burdens, due care being
taken to keep the sexes apart.[419] The only answer to this prayer seems
to have been the device of relieving the prisons for the benefit of the

The laxity of quartering penitents on public institutions or in private
houses led to impracticable rules in the effort to counteract its evils.
An instruction issued about this time by the Suprema orders that no one
be admitted to reconciliation without condemning him to confiscation and
perpetual prison, if he has been a heretic, and those thus condemned
must perform their penance most rigidly, not speaking with any one
except on the days when they go to mass and hear sermons; on other days,
both in going out and in eating, they must show themselves true
penitents, holding no intercourse with wives and children.[420] This
seems to have received scant obedience and, in 1506, the Suprema ordered
that sanbenitos be placed on all prisoners, and that they must not leave
their houses and then, in 1509, it prescribed that perpetual prisons
must be provided. Apparently this was partially successful, for it was
followed by instructions that all who had been or should be condemned
must be placed in them, where they can ply their trades, or their
kindred can supply them with food, or they may beg alms for their
support. Thus, in 1510, Llerena selected two pairs of houses for the
purpose, which Ferdinand ordered the governor of Leon to have appraised.
Cuenca also seems to have obtained a prison, but an inadequate one, for
in 1511 the Suprema authorized the tribunal to permit all the sick, and
all who had been confined for two years, to betake themselves to their
homes. Where such prisons existed the discipline must have been
exceedingly lax for, in 1512, the Suprema issued a general provision
empowering the tribunals to allow the destitute occupants of the
perpetual prisons to go out by turns to beg in the cities, but they must
wear their sanbenitos and return by nightfall, under penalty of relapse,
and this was repeated in 1513. Then the further effort to provide
prisons seems to have been abandoned for, in 1514, Ximenes issued an
order permitting the reconciled to fulfil their penances in their own


This fluctuating policy and the extraordinary laxity which it reveals
were not due to any humanitarian impulses. It was simply a continuous
effort to shirk the responsibility of maintaining those whose property
had been confiscated, and who were required by the canons to be
incarcerated for life. The Inquisition obtained the plunder, it
inflicted on its victims disabilities, which increased enormously the
difficulty of self-support, it rendered them odious to the population by
making them wear the sanbenito, it was in duty bound to provide prisons
where they could be immured and prevented from infecting the community,
but it neglected this duty and virtually told them that they might beg
or starve. That death by starvation, indeed, was not uncommon is
asserted in the project of reform drawn up, in 1518, by order of Charles

Still the tribunals seem to have made some progress in providing
themselves with penitential prisons for, in 1524, the Suprema deemed it
worth while to order that they should be inspected monthly, and the
results be recorded in a book to be kept for that purpose.[422] By no
means all had done so however. Barcelona, which occupied the royal
palace, had found room there, in 1489, for its penitents, and in 1544 we
hear of Gerónimo de Quadras as alcaide, on a salary of fifty ducats, out
of which he was to pay for a person to conduct the prisoners to mass and
to bring them back. Valencia was less advanced, for it could have had no
prison in 1540, when it sentenced three women to keep as a prison such
place as should be designated to them, but in 1546 it secured the
services of Gerónimo de Quadras as alcaide, at a salary of thirty
ducats. In 1550, however, he complained that he had never received his
pay and, in 1554, we find the perpetual prison of Brianda de Garcete
commuted to confinement in her own house, or other designated place,
which would indicate that the attempt to establish a prison had been
abandoned.[423] In 1553, Logroño apparently had none, for it assigned,
to Juan Prebost, Bilbao and two leagues around as a prison, with the
sanbenito.[424] This need not surprise us for, if in some tribunals
there was an attempt to provide a perpetual prison, it was exceptional.
In 1537 the Suprema had formally declared that it would be a novelty to
support the penitents at the cost of the fisc; this could not and ought
not to be done; there was no objection to their performing their
penance in their own homes and the tribunals could arrange it
accordingly. A few months later this was repeated; the reconciled could
be sent to their houses to perform their penance, if they had no other
means of support.[425]

At length the Instructions of 1561 endeavored to introduce some system
in this scandalous state of things. The sentence of reconciliation
condemned the penitent to prison and sanbenito for a specified term,
during which he was to wear the _abito_ publicly over his other
garments; he was to be confined in the perpetual prison, going to mass
and sermon on Sundays and feast days, and on Saturdays performing
certain devotions at a designated shrine.[426] To enforce this
discipline the Instructions stated that, as many tribunals had no
perpetual prison, houses should be bought for the purpose as, without
them there were no means of knowing whether the reconciled performed
their penance. The alcaide should help them in their necessity by giving
them materials to work at their trades and help to support themselves,
and the inquisitors should visit the prison several times a year.[427]
This seems to have been followed by an effort to induce the tribunals to
provide prisons, for, in 1562, Toledo was taken to task for having none.
It not only did not supply the deficiency but demurred to the suggestion
that it should at least furnish a person to see that the penitents
performed their penance, and it was told that for three or four thousand
maravedís of extra pay the portero could attend to this.[428]


In 1570 the Suprema resumed the attempt to bring about this much needed
reform. It told the tribunals that they could rent houses until they
should be able to purchase, and they must appoint proper persons as
alcaides to keep watch over the penitents.[429] The result of this
pressure was gradual. In 1577 the Cistercian convent of Santa Fe, in
Saragossa, made formal complaint to the pope of the number of penitents
quartered upon it, and Cardinal Savelli, the head of the Roman
Inquisition, interposed with the Suprema to relieve it of this
oppression.[430] It was not until 1598 that the Mexican tribunal, nearly
thirty years after its foundation, built a capacious prison adjoining
its own structure.[431] In 1600, for the first time, there is an
allusion in the Toledo record to a "carcel de la peniténcia" and, in
1609, Valencia was busy in erecting one at a cost of 5110 libras; it had
been planned to have three floors, but was economically reduced to
two.[432] Whether all the tribunals yielded to the pressure and
established penitential prisons it would be impossible to say, but they
probably did so, if only in some perfunctory fashion that justified the
appointment of an alcaide. Simultaneously with this there came a change
in the name, and the _carcel perpetua_ was known as the _casa de la
peniténcia_ or _de la misericórdia_.

It does not follow that the establishment of prisons was attended with
any increased strictness of discipline. The Inquisition persistently
refused to accept the burden of supporting its prisoners and left them
to shift for themselves. Where prisons existed there were few penitents
in them, although condemnations to imprisonment were frequent and, in
1641, Philip IV conceived the idea of liberating them all. The Suprema
sent his decree to the tribunals with orders to report whether they had
any prisoners and what were their cases, to which Valencia replied that
it had one, imprisoned for persistent sorcery, whereupon the Suprema
ordered the sentence to be commuted and the prisoner to be

The royal project fell through. All prisons were not as empty as that of
Valencia and a discussion occurring, in 1654, at Granada, to which
allusion has already been made, illustrates the character of the
imprisonment rendered necessary by the refusal to support the prisoners.
They gained their living chiefly by hawking goods around the city; this
at length aroused the shopkeepers, and the corregidor represented to the
tribunal that scandals were occasioned by their entering houses and
committing indecencies; there was loss to the king for, as penitents,
they were not subject to the _alcavala_ and other imposts; thus favored
they undersold the shopkeepers, who had lost half of their trade, while
the penitents grew rich, for they came almost naked from the secret
prison and, in a short time, they were well clothed and enriched. The
tribunal admitted the force of this and, on December 24, 1654, issued an
order that, for two weeks, they might cry their wares through the
streets, but not enter houses, and subsequently be restricted to selling
in shops. At this the prisoners complained bitterly of the deprivation
of a privilege of long standing in all places where there was a
tribunal, for without it they could not earn a living or support their
wives and families. Thereupon the fiscal, Doctor Joseph Francisco Cresco
de Escobar, seeing that both sides would appeal to the Suprema, printed
for its enlightenment a memorial which reveals to us the character of
penitential imprisonment. He states that, in accordance with the
Instructions of 1488, the tribunals had provided penitential prisons,
the one at Granada being of ample capacity for the observance of the
Instructions of 1561. He quotes the canons and conciliar decrees to show
that recanting heretics are to be immured for life, whence he argues
that the prison should be afflictive and penal. Now, however, it is only
nominal; the so-called prisoners go out at all hours of the day, without
restriction, without a companion, without labor save what they
voluntarily undertake, all of which is liberty and not captivity. They
wander at will through the city and suburbs, they amuse themselves at
the houses of their friends, they spend, if they choose, only part of
the night in the prison, which serves them as a comfortable
lodging-house, free of rent. The Instructions require that the alcaide
shall see that they perform their penance, but this has become
impossible, and there are no means of restricting their intercourse with
the faithful. As for their plea that they leave the secret prison broken
in health and stripped of their property, that they have no chance to
learn trades and must support their families by trading, the answer is
that only through the mercy of the Holy Office do they escape burning,
and they should be thankful that their lives are spared; their poverty
is a trifling penalty for their crimes, and their children only share
the punishment of paternal heresy.[434]


With all this laxity, there was a pretence of maintaining the old rigor,
which regarded prison-breaking as relapse, but the real offence lay in
the fugitive throwing off the sanbenito. There seems to have been
little desire to recapture those who absented themselves, for the
formula of the mandate to search for and arrest fugitives only concerns
itself with those who escape from the secret prison and who thus are
still on trial,[435] but when from any cause penitents were returned to
the tribunal, their treatment is exemplified in the case of Juan
González, who escaped from the _casa de la peniténcia_ of Valladolid,
July 3, 1645. His story was that, having gone out to collect some money
due to him, he gambled it away, got drunk, went to sleep under the walls
of the Carmelite convent in the suburbs and, on awaking next morning and
fearing punishment, he wandered away, throwing off the sanbenito and
seeking work. Thus he reached Irun and designed passing into France, but
was recognized by a priest who had seen him in Valladolid; he was handed
over to the commissioner and was passed from familiar to familiar till
he was lodged in the secret prison of Valladolid. The fiscal claimed
that his flight and throwing off the sanbenito proved him to be an
impenitent and pertinacious relapsed into Judaism who must be relaxed;
but his sentence was only two hundred lashes and irremissible

Sentences to imprisonment continued as usual, but growing indifference
as to providing for their execution is indicated by a correspondence
between Barcelona and the Suprema in 1718. At that time the tribunal had
but four cases under trial; it still occupied the ancient royal palace
but, after it had condemned for Judaism María Meneses to irremissible,
and her daughter Catalina de Solis, to perpetual prison, it did not know
what to do with them and applied for instructions. There was, it said,
no penitential prison nor could it find that there ever had been one,
neither was there an alcaide; it possessed no house that could be used
for the purpose, and no official could be spared from his other duties.
The Suprema replied by inquiring whether there was a prison for
familiars in which a room could be used for the women, or whether some
little house near the palace could be had and some official or familiar
could serve as alcaide. The tribunal rejoined negativing the proposed
use of the prison for familiars; it would see whether a house could be
had, but there was no money for the purpose; as for the officials, they
were all fully occupied and no one would take the position without
salary. This the Suprema met with a peremptory order to rent a little
house and appoint an alcaide at the ordinary wages. Under this pressure
some kind of provision must have been made for, in an auto of January
31, 1723, the tribunal condemned four Judaizers to irremissible

During the recrudescence of persecution at this period, the number of
condemnations to imprisonment was large; in the Granada auto of December
21, 1720, there were twenty-seven and, in sixty-four autos between 1721
and 1727, there were seven hundred and forty.[438] How these numerous
prisoners were accommodated it would be difficult to guess, for the
neglect of the penitential prisons was progressive and, in the census of
all the tribunals, about 1750, but three reported to have
alcaides--Córdova, Granada and Murcia.[439] It does not follow that
others had not prisons, but only that they had no prisoners and cared to
have none. For instance, in 1794, when the Suprema inquired of Valencia
whether its prison would suit for the priest Juan Fernández Sotelo,
whose health required a change from the convent where he was recluded,
the tribunal craftily replied that its prison was constructed with cells
and dungeons and that, in the eyes of the people, confinement in it
produced infamy, so that quarters for Sotelo had better be found in some
convent in the suburbs. Apparently it forgot all this when, in 1802, it
complained that the salaries of its secretaries had not been raised in
1795, while that of the alcaide of the penitential prison had been
increased from a hundred and twenty to twenty-two hundred reales,
although he had nothing to do, and enjoyed the use of a house in the
prison as good as those of the inquisitors.[440]


In fact, by this time penitential imprisonment was virtually obsolete.
After the subsidence of the active persecution of Judaism, the Toledo
tribunal which, in 1738, pronounced twelve sentences of prison, did not
utter another until 1756. Then a long interval occurs, of thirty-eight
years, before the next one, which was for heretical propositions.[441]
It would not, perhaps, be safe to say that, in the concluding years of
the Inquisition, this form of punishment was wholly unknown, but no
cases of it have come under my observation.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was the same reduction in the duration of imprisonment as in its
severity, owing presumably to the same economical motive. As we have
seen, the medieval Church recognized only lifelong imprisonment as the
fitting penalty for the heretic who saved his forfeited life by
recantation and, in recognition of this, the penitential prison in Spain
was officially known as the perpetual prison, the sentences being always
for perpetual imprisonment. At a very early period, however, it was
clearly recognized that the literal enforcement of this was a physical
impossibility. Bernaldez tells us that in Seville, up to 1488, there had
been five thousand reconciled and condemned to perpetual imprisonment,
but they were released after four or five years with sanbenitos and
these were subsequently removed to prevent the spread of infamy
throughout the land.[442] At Barcelona the tribunal had scarce been
established, when we find it drawing a distinction in its sentences to
perpetual imprisonment, some being _cum misericordia_ and others _absque
misericordia_--thus anticipating the so-called "irremissible" perpetual
prison--and from the sentences it would appear that "without mercy" was

This inevitable laxity provoked opposition on the part of the more rigid
authorities and, in 1509, while Ximenes was in Oran, there was a
discussion on the subject in the Suprema, when we are told that his
temporary representative, Rojas Archbishop of Granada, stood alone
against the other members.[444] What was the nature of the decision is
not recorded, but it probably favored the laxer view, for Ximenes and
the Suprema, in 1516, deemed it necessary to order that all sentences to
prison and sanbenito must be perpetual, in accordance with the canon
law; if, in any case, the inquisitors thought there should be a
remission it must be left to the discretion of the

The tendency to shorten the term was irresistible; the conservatives had
to yield and, by the middle of the sixteenth century, Simancas tells us
that perpetual prison was customarily defined to be three years, if the
penitent was repentant, while those condemned to irremissible prison
were usually released after eight years.[446] So purely technical did
the term "perpetual prison" become that inquisitors saw nothing
incongruous in such sentences as "perpetual prison for one year" or "for
six months," which are constantly met with, as well as "perpetual
prison" followed by terms of exile. The real infliction was therefore
much less severe than it appears on the records, and when periods longer
than eight years were intended, they were specified, as when Salvador
Razo, for Molinism, was sentenced, in the Granada auto of July 4, 1745,
to ten years, of which the first five were to be spent in the galleys--a
hardship remitted on account of his infirmities.[447]


The terms of imprisonment were frequently shortened, moreover,
sometimes, from humane motives, but more often from financial
considerations, for the dispensing power in this, as in the other
penalties, was a source of profit. Thus Mayor García, a Morisca of
Daimiel, condemned in the Toledo auto of September 21, 1550, to
perpetual prison for six months, on January 13, 1551, petitioned the
tribunal for release "as was customary with others," saying that her
husband would pay what the inquisitors should demand. The matter was
promptly arranged with Inquisitor Alonso Pérez for four ducats, to help
to build the staging for an auto de fe--a somewhat heavy payment for two
months' relief.[448] This dispensing power was the subject of a
prolonged struggle between the tribunals and the Suprema. In the early
period, at Barcelona, the former endeavored to secure it by the device
of discretional sentences, which inquisitors could curtail or extend at
will, and this was recognized in a letter of the Suprema, October 4,
1499, authorizing them, under such sentences, to dispense with the
imprisonment but not with the sanbenito.[449] In 1513, however, Ximenes
forbade this without his consent and the repetition of the order in 1514
and 1516 shows that it was difficult of enforcement.[450] In spite of
this when the Valencia tribunal, February 25, 1540, condemned five
Moriscos to "habit and prison for as long a time as we shall determine,"
the Suprema insisted that, when discretion was specified, it must alone
be that of the inquisitor-general, a mandate that had to be repeated
more than once, even as late as 1592.[451]

The question of this, as of all other commutations, was inevitably
settled, as we have seen, in favor of the inquisitor-general. In many
cases there was no concealment that it was purely an affair of bargain
and sale, but it is pleasant to record that often it was prompted by
humanity. Petitions for abridgement of the penance were numerous and
were usually sent in at the time of the greater feasts, which are
alleged as a reason for mercy, in addition to the misery of the
penitent. As an example of these petitions may be mentioned the case of
Violante Rodríguez who, with her husband Duarte Valentin, was arrested
for Judaism March 15, 1664. After a three years' trial, she was
sentenced at Granada, February 24, 1667, to two years' imprisonment,
while her husband was similarly sentenced at Cuenca. About August 10th
she petitioned for commutation, alleging that she had eight little
children, deprived of both parents. The Suprema promptly sent to Granada
for the details of the case, but the tribunal delayed until October 8th,
when it accompanied its report with the suggestion that she should be
released with spiritual penances after the expiration of the first year,
as she had manifested true repentance. Growing impatient, on December
24th, she again petitioned the Suprema, alluding to her seven children,
thus showing that one had meanwhile died. That she was duly discharged
in February there can be no doubt, and there is no trace in the
correspondence of any pecuniary consideration. Some of the petitions for
release, in truth, were well calculated to inspire compassion, such as
that of Simon Méndez Soto, in 1666, wherein he describes himself as 84
years old, blind, deaf, crippled on both sides with many infirmities and
penniless, and he supplicates release that he may seek for cure.[452]

There would appear to have been no minimum age for imprisonment short of
irresponsibility. The Toledo tribunal condemned for Judaism García son
of Pedro the potter of Aguda, a boy eleven years of age, to perpetual
prison. In the Cuenca auto of June 29, 1654, for the same offence,
Escolástica Gómez, aged 12 and Isavel Díaz Jorje, aged 14 had the same
penalty and, in the Toledo auto of October 30, 1701, José de Leon, a boy
of 16 was sentenced to irremissible prison.[453]


The sanbenito, or penitential garment, was the invariable accompaniment
of reconciliation and prison, constituting together the "carcel y abito"
of the sentences, although it was not exclusively reserved for such
cases. It was not invented by the Spanish Inquisition, even though we
can scarce agree with an enthusiastic writer, who traces its origin to
the Fall, when God made the delinquents put on penitential habits of
skins, corresponding with the _sacos benditos_ now used in the

[Sidenote: _THE SANBENITO_]

The penitential habit of sackcloth sprinkled with ashes, customary in
the early Church, has passed into a proverb. That the penitents of the
Inquisition should be required to wear such a garment was inevitable
and, from the foundation of the institution, in the thirteenth century,
they were distinguished from other penitents by two yellow crosses, one
on the breast and the other on the back. From Eymerich we learn that in
Aragon this garment was like the scapular worn by the religious
Orders.[455] This _saco bendito_ became known as the sanbenito or, more
commonly, _abito_ and was necessarily inherited by the new Inquisition.
In 1486, at the Toledo auto of December 11th, two hundred penitents,
reconciled under the Edict of Grace, were required to wear in public
such a garment for a year, under penalty of relapse.[456] For those
reconciled after trial, the infliction was more severe. In 1490,
Torquemada ordered that they should wear during life a _sanbenitillo_ of
black or gray cloth, eighteen inches long and nine inches wide, like a
small tabard, hanging on breast and back, with a red cross before and
behind, occupying nearly the entire field. This was hung over the outer
garment, and was a conspicuous indication to all beholders of the shame
of the wearer, rendering it a punishment regarded as exceedingly
severe.[457] In 1514, Ximenes changed the cross to an _aspa de San
Andrés_, a St. Andrew's or oblique cross, of which the bars traversed
diagonally the breast and back.[458] Finally the Instructions of 1561
describe the _abito penitencial_ as made of yellow linen or cloth, with
two red _aspas_, although in some parts of Aragon there are particular
customs as to colors which must be observed--referring probably to the
use of green cloth in place of yellow, which seems to have been the case
in Valencia and Sicily.[459] In some tribunals there was also in use,
for those who abjured _de vehementi_, a sanbenito _de media aspa_, or
half cross, consisting of a single diagonal band. Those who were to be
relaxed appeared in the auto de fe in a black sanbenito, on which were
painted flames and sometimes demons thrusting the heretic into
hell.[460] Llorente tells us that abjuration _de levi_ was performed in
a _zamarra_, or yellow sanbenito without aspas, but I have met with no
allusion to its use.[461] The distinction between the sanbenito _de dos
aspas_ and the one _de media aspa_ was maintained, and the former was
understood to indicate that the wearer had been guilty of formal heresy,
that he and his children were subject to the consequent disabilities,
and that he was liable to the stake in case of relapse. The latter was
worn only during the auto de fe, after which it was laid aside.[462]

Although, in the early period, the sanbenito was imposed perpetually,
the expression is to be taken in the same sense as imprisonment. As a
rule, the two were coterminous and the sentences are almost invariably
"habit and prison for two years," or perpetual or irremissible as the
case may be. Where, indeed, the heresy was trivial or technical rather
than real, or the conversion seemed genuine and spontaneous, the
sanbenito was merely a symbol, to be worn only during the auto, or even
for a briefer period, although it none the less left its ineffaceable
stigma. There were gradations suited to every case, as is well
illustrated in the Granada auto of May 27, 1593, where, in three cases,
it was removed after reading the sentence, in two, after returning to
the Inquisition, in two, after twenty-four hours (one of these being the
Licentiate Juan Fernández, who had Judaized for thirty-six years), in
one case it was imposed for two years and in another for three, and
Leonor Fernández had two years of sanbenito and four of prison. It was
even put on the effigy of Doña Inez de Tórres, from which it was removed
after reading the sentence, because she had confessed and died as a
Catholic, with ample signs of contrition.[463] Thus the tribunal could
vary the penalty at its discretion, and was not bound to the rule of
coterminous _abito y carcel_. In the Toledo auto of March 15, 1722, two
girls of 14, Manuela Díaz and María de Mendoza, were sentenced to six
months of prison and two months of sanbenito, while in that of February
24, 1723, Manuel Ximenes had perpetual prison and one year of

From the fact that, in the sentences, the penitents are told that they
are not to go out of their prisons or their houses without the
sanbenito, it is inferable that it was not worn within doors. Discarding
it, as we have seen, was a grave offence, punishable as non-fulfilment
of penance and, in the Edicts of Faith, the denunciation of this, as of
other infractions, was required. There was one occasion, however, in
which this was done on a large scale with impunity, for in the Palermo
rising of 1516 against the Inquisition, there was a universal throwing
off of sanbenitos. When order was restored and the tribunal was
re-established, there was a fruitless effort made to reimpose them. In
1522 the Suprema wrote to Inquisitors Calvete and Cervera calling
attention to this as a great disservice to God and a heavy charge on the
souls of the penitents, who must be compelled to resume them, and all
secular and ecclesiastical authorities were commanded to assist. Then
again, in 1525, Inquisitor-general Manrique insisted on the resumption
of the sanbenitos, but at the same time he cautioned the inquisitors not
to cause scandal or trouble, and we may assume that the attempt was
practically abandoned.[465]

       *       *       *       *       *


Cruel as was the imposition of the sanbenito, it was a punishment
inherited from the elder Inquisition, but Spanish ingenuity invented a
still more cruel use of it to stimulate the detestation of heresy. This
was the preservation of the sanbenitos, with suitable inscriptions,
conspicuously displayed in the churches, thus perpetuating to future
generations the memory of the crime and punishment of the delinquent.
The origin of this may perhaps be traceable to the ceremonies observed
in the early period, when penitents were relieved of the _abito_. As
described, in 1490, at Barcelona, they were assembled in the Inquisition
and preached to by the inquisitor. A fortnight later they gathered in
the parish church of Santa María del Pino and heard mass; then they
marched in procession to the chapel of Our Lady of Monserrat, again
heard mass, offered twelve dineros apiece to the Virgin, and passed the
night, after which their sanbenitos were taken off and hung in a
prominent place near the door.[466] Of course, in the case of those who
were burnt, the sanbenito was hung up at once, and this remained the
rule, as we learn from the Instructions of 1561--the sanbenito of the
reconciled was hung when it was removed, whether during the auto or
after years of prison; that of the relaxed, immediately after the

The custom must have been of gradual growth. There is no allusion to it
in the _Instrucciones antiquas_, nor have I found any indication as to
the time when it became imperative except that, in 1512, there is a
decision of the Suprema expressing the will of the king and the cardinal
that the sanbenitos of the relaxed and reconciled of the Campo de
Calatrava shall be hung in the churches, except those of the reconciled
in the Time of Grace, and that, if any of the latter have been hung,
they are to be removed.[468] This indicates a custom favored by the
authorities, spreading, but as yet subject to question. It had already
passed to Sicily, where one of the incidents of the rising of 1516 was
the tearing down of the sanbenitos in the churches, and so great was the
popular detestation of it that, at the end of the century, it had not
been possible to restore the practice.[469]

It mattered little to the descendants that the sanbenitos of the victims
in the early years had escaped this publicity. The perversity which
inspired it developed into such malignity that, in 1532, the Suprema
ordered the tribunals to make from their records lists of all burnt or
reconciled, even under Edicts of Grace, and to suspend in the churches
whatever sanbenitos were found to be lacking. The inexcusable cruelty of
including the voluntary reconciliados under Edicts of Grace caused this
portion of the order to be revoked in 1538, but, in 1539, this was
declared inapplicable to those which had already been hung--if they had
been removed, they must be replaced. The question was revived, in 1552,
and opinions were divided, but the decision to retain them prevailed.
Meanwhile, in 1548, the Suprema stimulated the tribunals to fill all
vacancies, whether arising from omissions or the surreptitious removal
of old ones, and it ordered the hanging of new ones as soon as the autos
were held, in order to anticipate the complaints and importunities of
the sufferers and their kindred. Then, as though the tribunals were
slack in their duty, in 1555 the order of 1532 was revived and
repeated.[470] The wilful viciousness of this is indicated by the
Instructions of 1561, which point out that, as those reconciled in Time
of Grace are exempt from wearing the sanbenito, so their sanbenitos
ought not to be suspended in the churches.[471]


The object was the cruel one of perpetuating the infamy of the victim
and rendering it as galling as possible to his kindred and descendants.
As the sanbenitos wore out or became illegible with time, they were
replaced, and finally superseded by yellow linen cloths, bearing full
details of the name, lineage, crime and punishment of the culprit.[472]
Originally they were hung in the cathedral of the city of the
Inquisition, but this did not bring the disgrace sufficiently close to
the descendants and, in some places at least, they were ordered to be
transferred to the parish churches of the delinquents, whose infamy was
thus kept alive in the memory of their neighbors. A single instance will
illustrate the spirit actuating this. In 1519 the Suprema ordered this
transfer made by the tribunal of Cuenca, but the command was slackly
obeyed and was repeated in 1529. Then the descendants of Lope de Leon
and Alvar Hernández de Leon, residents of Belmonte, petitioned the
Suprema, saying that the wives of Lope and Alvar had been reconciled;
they were natives of Quintanar, where they had committed their heresy,
and the descendants now begged that the sanbenitos be hung in the church
of Quintanar and not of Belmonte. To this the Suprema replied, April 15,
1529, by instructing the tribunal to hang the sanbenitos in the
residence of the descendants, in a place so public that the
reconciliation of the women should be notorious to all. It is true that
the descendants secured delay until the pressing orders came of 1548,
when, on November 9th the sanbenitos of the women were hung in the
church of Belmonte.[473]

This policy of distribution cannot have been universal for, when the
Toledo cathedral desired to be relieved of the great accumulation of
sanbenitos, the Suprema forbade it, adding that if it was desired to
have them in the parish churches it must be done with new ones, leaving
the originals in the cathedral. At length, in 1538, the inquisitors
Yáñez and Loaysa distributed them among the parish churches, when
Sebastian de Orozco tells us that it caused infinite misery to the
descendants, leading them all or nearly all to change their family
names, so that in Toledo the names actually borne by the Conversos

Change of name was not the only device resorted to by the descendants,
for they were constantly at work removing surreptitiously the evidence
of their infamy. As early as 1518, the Saragossa tribunal was ordered to
prosecute with rigor those who had abstracted them from the Dominican
church.[475] Their zeal was stimulated by the fact that the inquisitors,
in making up the records, included all who had been reconciled under
Edicts of Grace, thus affording legitimate ground of complaint, as shown
by a long-continued struggle at Frejenal. In 1556, Doctor Ramírez,
Inquisitor of Llerena, protested to the Suprema against the efforts of
the people of Frejenal for the removal of the names of those reconciled
in Time of Grace; it would leave but few for, in 1491, there had been
three hundred and fifty-seven reconciliations there, of which three
hundred and fifty-four had been under the Edict. To render ancestral
infamy more accessible to the public, besides the sanbenitos, the names
and details were inscribed on a tablet of parchment. This became torn
and nearly illegible and, on August 23, 1563, it was solemnly replaced
by another, written in large letters, with printer's ink, and varnished
to insure its preservation. The secret warfare waged against this
perpetuation of infamy is described, in 1572, in a deposition of the
familiar Rodrigo Carvajo. The people of the town, he said, were mostly
descendants of Conversos, resorting to perjury and every other means to
conceal their origin. The sacristans were generally Conversos, who
connived at the methods employed to destroy the evidence, and the
sanbenitos were stolen; there used to be five hundred and ninety-nine,
and now there were only ten or a dozen, worn and torn and so placed that
they could not be read, while the tablet with the names was gradually
being defaced and rendered illegible. Thus it continued until 1576, when
Inquisitor Montoyo brought to Frejenal a new set of sanbenitos prepared
from the records, which were duly suspended, and a tablet containing
names and details was placed where all could read it. This list shows
the obstinate persistence with which the names of the spontaneously
reconciled were retained. It contained a hundred and sixty-two relaxed
and four hundred and nine reconciled, all, with very few exceptions, in
the years from 1491 to 1495. There were none between 1499 and 1511, and
none later than 1511.[476] Struggles similar to this were doubtless on
foot in numerous other places.


The churches themselves do not seem to have looked with favor on this
desecration of their sacred precincts. At Cuenca, there was apparently
an attempt to hide the sanbenitos of which the tribunal complained in
1571, when the Suprema ordered it to see that nothing was put before
them, even on feast-days.[477] The parish church of San Salvador, at
Cifuentes, went further and, in 1561, appealed to Pius IV, explaining to
him the Spanish custom, and representing that not only was the
attractiveness of the church marred by the prominence assigned to the
sanbenitos, but that they led to many scandals, all of which would be
prevented if they were removed to some less prominent place or laid away
altogether, but that licence from the Holy See was requisite for this.
The pope gave the required licence, subject to the assent of the
Inquisition to the removal, which of course rendered it
inoperative.[478] The cathedral of Granada was more fortunate for when,
in 1610, Inquisitor-general Sandoval consecrated as archbishop Pedro
González de Mendoza, the latter asked him, as a special favor to his
bride, that she should be relieved of the sanbenitos. Sandoval assented
and the permission came soon after Mendoza had reached Granada. It was
celebrated with great rejoicings and ringing of bells; the sanbenitos of
the Moriscos were transferred to the church of San Salvador, in the
Albaycin, while those of the Judaizers were hung in the church of
Santiago, which was the parish church of the Inquisition.[479] Even when
there was not this open antagonism, there was apt to be neglect which
was practically more damaging. In 1642, the Valencia tribunal learned
that some of those in the cathedral had fallen and were allowed to lie.
It made an investigation and, from the report, it would seem as though
every available spot was thus decorated and that all required attention
for their preservation. The sacristans promised to do what was
necessary, but apparently they had been quite willing to see them

Conscious of this ecclesiastical indifference and of the constant effort
of those interested to make way with the visible records of their
infamy, the Suprema was incessantly active to counteract the results.
The Instructions of 1561 insist imperatively on the duty of hanging the
new sanbenitos and renewing the old, so that the memory of the infamy of
heretics shall be preserved forever, and inquisitors on their
visitations are commanded to see that the parish churches are kept with
unbroken lines of the _mantetas y insinias_ of their culprit
parishioners.[481] Philip II was no less urgent. In his instructions of
1595 to Manrique de Lara, he calls special attention to the subject;
there are sanbenitos now to be hung and others which have never been
hung, apparently through favoritism, for which the inquisitors deserve
rigorous punishment, for this is the severest penalty which the Holy
Office can inflict on heretics and their descendants, and Manrique is to
see that all deficiencies are made good.[482]

In fact, the most pressing business of the inquisitor in visiting his
district was to attend to this. In 1569 the Suprema ordered every one,
before starting, to have full lists made out of the relaxed and
reconciled of the region to be traversed and, in each place, these lists
were to be compared with the existing sanbenitos and all that had
disappeared were to be replaced. In 1600 and 1607 these instructions
were repeated with still greater urgency, as a matter not to be
neglected for a single day, in view of the evils that would
follow.[483] That nothing was to be allowed to interfere with this pious
duty is seen when Valencia had no money wherewith to defray the expense
of renewals and was told to borrow it from the _Depositario de los
pretendientes_--the sacred deposits of those seeking to prove their
limpieza, which were thus used to preserve the muniments that might
destroy their hopes.[484]

How, in fact, the sanbenitos were employed for this purpose is indicated
in a perquisition conducted at Tortosa, in 1577, by the inquisitor, Juan
de Zúñiga. The sanbenitos were carefully examined and lists were made
out, classified firstly into those of which the trials could be
identified and those of which no trace could be found in the records,
and secondly into the penalties inflicted. Then two of the oldest
residents--a notary and a priest--were summoned; the lists were gone
over with them and their evidence was taken as to the descendants of the
culprits, especially whether any had changed their names so as to elude
disabilities. Thus a close watch was kept on them and every care was
taken that the infamy of their ancestors should be lasting.[485]

       *       *       *       *       *


As the seventeenth century wore on, it would seem that the zeal of the
tribunals in the matter of sanbenitos was flagging. A general carta
acordada of February 27, 1657, assumes this, in calling their attention
to the Instructions of 1561 and to subsequent orders of similar import.
As many autos de fe had recently been held, and as it was understood
that, in some places, the sanbenitos had not been hung in the churches,
the tribunals were commanded forthwith to make out lists of the relaxed
and the reconciled, and to have corresponding sanbenitos suspended in
the churches, as well as to renew the old ones which were worn out. In
view of the importance of this to the service of God, a full report in
detail was imperatively required to be furnished within four months.
This may have excited the tribunals to spasmodic activity but, if so,
its influence was but temporary for, in 1691, we find the Suprema
ordering reports as to the length of time that had elapsed since
sanbenitos had ceased to be hung in the churches; lists of deficiencies
were called for; the old sanbenitos were to be examined and statements
were to be rendered as to what were lacking and what had become
illegible, so that the Suprema might take requisite action.[486]

This looks as if the custom had been falling into desuetude, but it was
by no means abandoned and, as late as August 26, 1753, when a deceased
delinquent named Horstmann was burnt in effigy at Valencia, two
sanbenitos were ordered to be suspended, one in the cathedral and one in
the parish church of San Lorenzo.[487] Still the same tribunal
furnishes, in 1783, a refreshing evidence of the decline of intolerant
zeal in the gradual diffusion of enlightenment. The cathedral had been
undergoing restoration, during which the sanbenitos had been carefully
stored in a room of the Inquisition. On the completion of the work, the
tribunal suggested to Inquisitor-general Beltran that it would not
redound to the service of God or of the public to hang them up again, to
which Beltran assented; if the chapter did not ask for them, the
tribunal was not to raise the question, or to do any thing in the matter
and, from an endorsement on the letter, it is to be inferred that the
sanbenitos were allowed to repose undisturbed.[488]

It is not to be supposed that, when the Córtes of Cadiz, February 22,
1813, abolished the Inquisition, it was satisfied to permit the
continued existence of the sanbenitos which perpetuated so many dreadful
memories. A decree of the same day recited that Article 305 of the
Constitution provided that no punishment should extend beyond the
criminal to his family; that the means by which, in public places, the
memory of penalties inflicted by the Inquisition was preserved, brought
infamy on families, and even exposed to evil repute persons of the same
name. Therefore all portraits, pictures, or inscriptions, recording the
punishments imposed by the Inquisition, existing in churches, cloisters,
convents and other places, were to be removed or blotted out within
three days after receipt of the decree.[489]

The condition of Spain was not such as to insure any wide obedience of
this decree, although it is scarce likely that the French armies had
left many sanbenitos hanging in towns occupied by them during the war.
What occurred elsewhere may probably be guessed by the example of
Majorca, when the Constitution of Cadiz was enthusiastically received
and the sanbenitos were removed from the church of San Domingo, but they
were providently stored away and were again hung up after the
Restoration in 1814. In the Revolution of 1820, however, they were torn
down and burnt and the Inquisition was levelled to the ground.[490]

The custom of suspending in the churches the _habitelli_ or sanbenitos
of the reconciled and relaxed seems to have been borrowed by Italy from
Spain, at least in some places. It is to the credit of the Roman
Inquisition that it disapproved this barbarous practice, as appears from
a decree of 1627 ordering them to be removed from the cathedral of
Faenza and to be secretly burnt.[491]


Disabilities have already been considered in their relation to the
finances of the Inquisition, arising from the sale of dispensations, but
they formed too important a portion of the penal system not to require
further treatment in this connection. They differed however from other
punishments in that, although specified in the sentences, they were the
inseparable consequences of condemnation for heresy and thus, in some
sense, self-operative, for the severity of the laws for the suppression
of misbelief was not content with confiscating the property of those
whose lives were spared. The reconciled heretic was not only turned
adrift penniless, but was subjected to restrictions incapacitating him
from earning a livelihood. As this refinement of cruelty could not be
applied to those who were burnt, it was visited on their descendants.

[Sidenote: _DISABILITIES_]

This latter provision was derived from the imperial legislation against
treason, which disabled children of traitors from holding office and
succeeding to collateral estates.[492] Frederic II, in his Ravenna
decree of 1232, made this applicable to the children and grandchildren
of heretics, which was eagerly incorporated into the legislation of
Alexander IV and Honorius IV, although Boniface VIII mitigated it
slightly by exempting grandchildren in the female line.[493] As part of
the canon law this of course governed the Spanish Inquisition and, if
there were those who questioned the justice of punishing orthodox
children for their parents' heresy, they were triumphantly silenced by
Alfonso de Castro, who pointed to Original Sin as an irrefragable proof
that this was in accordance with the law of God.[494]

The application of these restrictions to reconciled penitents apparently
originated with the Council of Béziers, in 1246, which ordered that
penitents should not hold public office, or serve as physicians or
notaries, or wear silk garments or gold and silver ornaments or other
vanities--in short, that their apparel should befit those whose lives
constructively were to be passed in repentance.[495] These provisions
were not carried into the canon law but apparently became traditional in
the Holy Office.

In the Instructions of 1484 there is nothing said as to the disabilities
of descendants, but inquisitors were instructed to order penitents,
after completing their penance, never to hold public office or benefices
or to serve as procurators, tax-collectors, farmers of the revenue,
grocers, apothecaries, physicians, surgeons, bleeders or brokers, thus
prohibiting the professions which they had specially made their own.
Moreover, they were not to wear gold or silver, coral, pearls or other
precious stones or garments of silk or camlet or other finery or to ride
on horse-back or bear arms, and all this during life, under penalty of

There was evidently doubt as to the application of these restrictions to
the descendants of those relaxed, but that there was an effort made in
that direction is shown by their procuring, in 1486, from Innocent VIII,
a brief enabling them to farm the revenues of churches.[497] In the
assembly of inquisitors, in 1488, the matter excited considerable
debate, resulting in instructions that each tribunal in its own district
should enforce, under heavy penalties, the disability of children and
grandchildren to hold any office or dignity that could be considered
public, and the list of prohibited callings was enlarged by including
those of merchants, notaries, scriveners, advocates, farmers of revenues
and some others. The sumptuary restrictions were not extended to them,
for they were not penitents, but they were forbidden to wear the
insignia of any dignity, secular or ecclesiastic.[498] The omission was
made good in a decree issued by Torquemada, April 22, 1494, but it was
so slackly obeyed that when, in 1502, the sovereigns ordered its
enforcement, they allowed a certain time for those affected to become
acquainted with its provisions.[499] Ferdinand himself had had occasion
to recognize the hardship of the rule for, in 1500, the mother of Pero
Rúiz, a member of his royal guard, was condemned and consequently he was
incapacitated from riding and bearing arms. Unwilling to lose him,
Ferdinand wrote to Torquemada for letters of dispensation to be brought
back by the messenger.[500]

We have seen how, in the struggle over the profits of dispensation, the
sovereigns abandoned to the Inquisition the _cosas arbitrarias_, or
sumptuary restrictions, and assumed to themselves, by the pragmáticas of
1501, control over the disability to hold office and to follow certain
professions and trades, which limited so greatly the ability of the
reconciled and of the children and grandchildren of the condemned to
support themselves.[501] A humane exception was made however, in 1502,
under which children reconciled below the age of 14 were exempted from
the operation of the pragmáticas.[502] As these were municipal laws they
were subject to the secular officials, who were ordered to enforce them
under pain of confiscation and loss of office for negligence.

[Sidenote: _DISABILITIES_]

It was easier to publish edicts than to get them executed. The civil
magistrates seem to have paid little attention to the pragmáticas, while
the Inquisition did what it could within its allotted sphere. The
Suprema issued orders to the tribunals to punish with all rigor those
who disregarded the sumptuary restrictions, who were said to be
numerous, in great contempt of the Holy Office. It was probably to
stimulate zeal that, in 1509, it modified the penalty of relapse to a
pecuniary penance, which it authorized the inquisitors to impose at
discretion, bearing in mind the gravity of the case and the wealth of
the offender.[503] The sums thus realized were considerable enough to
tempt the cupidity of the courtiers for, May 9, 1514, we find the king
making over to four of his ushers the penalties levied on the sons of
Alonso Gallo of Toledo, and on April 1st he ordered Vázquez de Busto,
alguazil of Toledo, to collect all the penances of this kind, to pay
one-half to the receiver for the tribunal, and divide the other half
between the fiscal, Martin Ximenes, and a servant of secretary
Calcena.[504] The punishments decreed in the pragmáticas were also
modified to fines, as we learn from a letter of June 20, 1515, dividing
those incurred in Seville between Calcena and Aguirre, after setting
aside one-third for the tribunal, and from another letter of January 8,
1516, bestowing on Fernando de Hoyos, portero of the Cuenca tribunal,
the penalties incurred by the wives of Pedro de Vaguera and of Quiros
and Jayme Boticario, for exercising the profession of apothecary.[505]

At length it was recognized that the Inquisition was the only
instrumentality to be depended upon for the enforcement of the
pragmáticas and Charles V, in a cédula of March 30, 1528, placed the
whole business in its hands. He recited the laws of Ferdinand and
Isabella, with their severe penalties for negligent officials, in spite
of which he was informed that, in many places, they were disregarded,
wherefore he granted to the Inquisition all necessary powers and ordered
it to see to the execution of the law. Possibly there may have been some
opposition by the secular authorities to this invasion of their
jurisdiction, which called for a repetition of the cédula, March 2,
1543. In pursuance of this the Suprema, in cartas acordadas of 1548,
1549 and 1566, called the attention of the tribunals to the number of
persons engaged in prohibited callings or wearing forbidden articles,
and it urged them to be active in detecting and punishing the

The construction of the laws was rigorous. There was a nice question
whether, when a parent was condemned _in absentia_ as contumacious, the
children were subject to the disabilities, for the heresy was
presumptive and not proven. Farinacci held that they were not, for the
absentee, even though burnt in effigy, could always return and prove his
innocence. Peña represents the stricter Spanish view, that the fugitive
was condemned as a heretic and his children were incapacitated. The
matter was threshed out in the case of the son of Antonio Pérez, who was
deprived of a pension on the church of Cuenca. This was the final
decision of the Rota after full argument; it served as a precedent, and
the sentence of the absent contained the same enumeration of
disabilities as that of one who was burnt in person.[507] Some doubts
arose as to whether the pragmáticas prohibited trade in general; all
such points were reserved to the king and when, in 1566, it was proposed
to prosecute some merchants, the Suprema ordered the cases to be
suspended until he should be consulted. It was less cautious when, in
1542, it forbade all reconciled penitents to keep schools, or even to
teach children their letters. A question arose whether the prohibition
to ride on horseback comprehended mules, but Simancas decides it in the
affirmative, and even desires to include vehicles, as it is fitting that
all such persons should walk on foot.[508] Even the limits of the canon
law were disregarded in the panic occasioned by the discovery of
Protestantism in 1559, for in the Seville auto of September 24th, when
Juan Ponce de Leon was burnt, the disabilities of his descendants in the
male line were extended to the fourth generation.[509]

An ecclesiastical career was closed to penitents and their descendants,
who were forbidden to enter holy orders. There was some question raised
whether those who were in orders could obtain or retain benefices, but
it was decided in the negative. The practice, as stated about 1640, was
that on their visitation the inquisitors dealt summarily with cases
concerning the _cosas arbitrarias_ while those which involved the
holding of benefices or public office were sent to the tribunal for
trial.[510] In the Edicts of Faith which they published, denunciations
were invited, and all persons were required to give information as to
any infractions of the laws of which they were cognizant.[511]

[Sidenote: _DISABILITIES_]

As everyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the
Inquisition was a marked man thereafter, and was liable to the suspicion
that he had incurred disabilities--a suspicion apt to grow stronger with
time and to affect his descendants--it became important for those who
were not thus affected to have some evidence of the fact. In the earlier
time the Inquisition was chary about affording this relief, but did not
absolutely refuse it when the sufferer applied to the Suprema. It was
not everyone however who could obtain the intervention of the Suprema;
popular prejudice was strong, and no one knew what took place within the
precincts of the tribunals. Blighted careers were thus numerous.
Escobar, in his work on Limpieza, tells us that, at the origin of the
Inquisition it punished the lightest offences with extreme severity and
this, after the lapse of a century and a half, was still disastrously
affecting the descendants; it was inhuman that a word inadvertently
spoken through levity, or anger, or in jest should bring infamy on the
delinquent and his posterity without limitation of time.[512] The
memorial of 1623, by a member of the Suprema, discusses the same evil.
The writer says that the Inquisition is surrounded by enemies who are
daily multiplied through those afflicted by the tribunals. It is not
merely those who are relaxed or reconciled or compelled to abjure _de
vehementi_, but there are many well-affected Old Christians, punished
with lighter penalties who, if they remain defamed and their posterity
disabled from honors, must necessarily add to the number of enemies and
it is pitiable thus to afflict them for trivial causes.[513]

The tribunals did not cease to afflict the people, but some relief was
afforded by a practice, which gradually came into use, of including, in
a sentence for light offences or of acquittal, a clause declaring that
the party and his descendants were not subject to disabilities and that
he could have a certificate to that effect. Two examples of this,
occurring in Valladolid in 1638 will suffice. In the case of Agustin
López, tried for blasphemy, the consulta de fe could not agree and the
Suprema sentenced him to reprimand and exile, adding that the sentence
should be no bar to offices of honor or in the Inquisition. So a
sentence, acquitting Miguel Rúiz of a charge of sorcery, says that his
imprisonment shall not be an obstacle to him and his children, and that
he shall have a certificate to that effect. That Rúiz had not even been
confined in the secret prison but in the public gaol shows how sensitive
was the popular mind.[514] These certificates _de no obstancia_, as they
were called, would appear, as a rule, not to be issued unless specially
applied for, and yet how important they were to the individual and his
posterity is manifested by a petition presented, January 17, 1818, by
the Licenciate Mariano de Santander y Alvárez setting forth that, twenty
years before, in 1798, his father had been arrested and prosecuted by
the Valladolid tribunal because, in his trade as a bookseller, he had
sold prohibited books. In the final sentence it was declared that his
imprisonment and prosecution did not prejudice him or his descendants in
the enjoyment of their civil rights, but the secrecy of the Inquisition,
and the loss of the certificate given to the father, prevented the
petitioner from furnishing the proofs necessary to his admission as an
advocate in the royal chancellery, wherefore he begged for a proper
testimonial. The Suprema had the statement verified and ordered a
certificate to be duly issued.[515]

From this, as well as from the memorial of 1623, it appears that not
merely reconciliation but even abjuration or lesser penalties inflicted
disabilities, if not as to the _cosas arbitrarias_ at least as to the
attainment of an honorable career. In the closing years of the
Inquisition this sometimes led to a merciful moderation of the sentence,
as in that pronounced, August 27, 1817, on Francisco Mosquera
Villamarino, of Santiago, "Bachiller clasico y Profesor del 6º Cuerpo de
Canones en su Real Universidad," for certain propositions. He escaped
with a reprimand in the audience-chamber and without abjuration, it
being expressly stated that he was treated with this benignity in order
not to prejudice him in his career, though he was warned that the
Inquisition would keep a watch on him.[516]

[Sidenote: _DISABILITIES_]

Popular prejudice, as we have seen, intensified the cruelty of the cruel
laws. How inveterate was this is manifested in the case of Josef Calot
who, in 1791, sought in marriage the daughter of Pablo Bordo, a merchant
of Valencia. The parents refused assent and the lovers eloped. Bordo
brought the matter before the royal Audiencia, showing that Calot was
the great-grandson of Clara Muñoz who, at the age of 19, was reconciled
for Judaism in the Barcelona auto de fe of April 2, 1724, and was
sentenced to irremissible "carcel y abito," though after two years her
husband, Antonio Antonelli, obtained her release. In view of this
descent the Audiencia decided that Bordo's opposition to the marriage
was reasonable and just, thus inflicting an indelible stigma on Calot
and his posterity. In some way the affair reached the Suprema, which
wrote to Valencia for details and, in transmitting them, the inquisitors
added an expression of sympathy for Calot in the dishonor cast upon him;
the punishment of his great-grandmother did not disable him from the
professions, but it would be difficult to restore him to his good fame
without calling in question the justice of the sentence of the
Audiencia.[517] Even the Inquisition did not venture to repair an
injustice caused by its assiduous training of the population in an
unreasoning abhorrence of heresy.

       *       *       *       *       *

The penalty for disregarding the disabilities settled down to the
thrifty one of a fine. As regards those imposed by the pragmáticas, the
Suprema, in 1531, replied to an inquiry from the tribunal of Avila and
Segovia that, although the laws prescribed confiscation for infractions,
yet the practice was to penance culprits in accordance with their wealth
and station and the degree of the offence. So, in respect to the _cosas
arbitrarias_, it decreed in 1536, that although the Instructions of 1484
provided the pain of relapse, they did not require the inquisitors to
condemn the infraction as such, and the practice was to impose pecuniary
and spiritual penances.[518] Cases of prosecution for infraction are not
very numerous in the records, chiefly owing, we may presume, to the
customary sale of rehabilitations; in the tribunal of Toledo they amount
only to ninety-one and of these it is noteworthy that there are only
three posterior to 1586--two in 1600 and one in 1616.[519] When they
occurred, the penalty was at the discretion of the tribunal, and Toledo
exercised this with great moderation, in 1579, when Bernardino de
Aldana, a ribbon-weaver, spontaneously denounced himself. His mother,
Isabel Alvárez, had been burnt by the Cuenca tribunal, yet he had worn a
velvet cap, had carried a sword and had ridden on a mule with a saddle;
he was married and had done this to satisfy his wife and her kindred,
and besides his brother had told him that they had been rehabilitated.
His artless story seems to have moved his judges, for he escaped with a
reprimand and a fine of two ducats.[520] In 1703 the tribunal of Madrid
was more severe with Simon de Andrade, a reconciled penitent, who had
worn the prohibited articles. He was harshly reprimanded, was fined in
fifty ducats, was banished for a year and was required to surrender the
_cosas arbitrarias_, but we are told that he was permitted to keep the
garments which he had on to cover his nakedness, especially as they were
of ordinary cloth.[521]


In a land where theocratic influence was so strong, it was inevitable
that there should be especial favor shown to erring ecclesiastics. The
Church has ever sought to conceal from the public the knowledge of
weaknesses that might diminish veneration for its ministers, and scandal
has been more dreaded than sin. The Inquisition established its
jurisdiction over both the secular and the regular clergy, but it
exercised that jurisdiction in accordance with the general policy of the
Church. Every care was taken to keep clerical offences from public
knowledge, except in cases of formal heresy or of administering the
sacraments by those who held only the lower orders. As a rule, in place
of being confined in the secret prison during trial, they were housed in
some convenient convent, where their presence need excite no surprise.
When convicted, they were not exposed in the public autos de fe, but
their sentences were read in the audience-chamber with closed doors,
though in certain cases a prescribed number of other clerics were
summoned to be present as witnesses; even then they did not wear the
penitential habit as did laymen.[522]


For aggravated offences, the ordinary punishment was reclusion in a
designated convent for a specified term, a penalty which might be
infinitely varied. Perhaps six months or a year was to be passed in a
cell; the culprit was to be last in choir and refectory; he might be
suspended for a term or perpetually from some or all of his functions
and of the right to vote or to be voted for; spiritual penances might be
superadded or, at his entrance, he might be subjected to a _zurra de
rueda_, or circular discipline, in which all the members of the house,
including the lay-brethren, took a hand. All these greater or less
aggravations could be varied or accumulated to meet the exact shades of
guilt. This conventual reclusion was adopted, perhaps, partly for
concealment and partly as a milder form of incarceration, but the mercy
was doubtful if we may trust the story told by Llorente of a Capuchin
guilty of aggravated abuse of the confessional who, when condemned to
five years' reclusion in a convent of his Order, begged to have it
changed to incarceration in the secret prison; he had been, he said,
provincial and guardian, he knew how the brethren treated those thrust
upon them as criminals, and it would cost him his life. His prayer was
refused and his prevision was correct, for he died within three
years.[523] I have met, however, with cases in which the recluded fraile
survived longer terms; as a rule, no doubt, life was not rendered
pleasant, but it depended on circumstances. The Franciscan, Francisco
Ortiz, sentenced to confinement for two years in a cell in the convent
of Torrelaguna, without intercourse with his brethren, refused to leave
his retirement on the expiration of the term and remained there till his
death, twelve years later, the object of veneration to all around
him.[524] There might or might not be sympathy for the penitent and his
treatment naturally corresponded.

When, however, the offence was formal heresy, entailing reconciliation
or relaxation, the cleric was obliged to appear in an auto de fe, like
any other culprit. Cases of the kind were common enough in the early
period, when many Conversos had entered the Church but, after the
thorough weeding out by the Inquisition, they became rare. An essential
preliminary was degradation from the priesthood, which was of two kinds,
verbal and formal--the former sufficing for cases of reconciliation,
while relaxation required the latter. Verbal degradation effaced the
orders, but not the priestly _character_ and, in the later period,
publicity was often avoided by executing the sentence in the
audience-chamber, as in the Toledo cases of Jacinto Vásquez Aranso, a
priest convicted of Judaism and condemned to the galleys, December 4,
1688, and of Buenaventura Frutos, cura of Mocejon, sentenced February
19, 1722.[525] Originally the ministration of a single bishop sufficed
for verbal degradation, while two were required for formal, until
Gregory IX, to facilitate the operations of the Inquisition, decreed
that, in cases of heresy, the bishop of the culprit could perform the
ceremony, in the presence of some abbots and other learned men, and
finally, in 1551, the Council of Trent permitted a single bishop to
officiate in all cases of formal degradation, and his vicar-general in
verbal degradation.[526]

The ceremony of public formal degradation was impressive. The culprit
marched in the procession bearing the mitre and sanbenito of relaxation,
which were removed on the staging in order that he might be seen in his
priestly vestments and tonsure. In the case of Fray Joseph Díaz
Pimiento, a relapsed Judaizer, burnt at the Seville auto de fe of July
25, 1720, we are told that an immense crowd was assembled, for no
degradation had been witnessed there since 1623. The auto was celebrated
in the church of San Pablo but, as soon as Fray Joseph's sentence was
read, he was taken by a number of officials to a scaffold in the Plaza
de San Francisco, where the Bishop of Lycopolis, the assistant of the
archbishop, performed the ceremony. His tongue, the palms of his hands
and finger tips were scraped and rubbed with tow, the tonsure was erased
by cutting his hair and he was deprived of his orders one by one in the
reverse order of their bestowal. He was then handed over to his
superiors of the Mercenarian Order, who stripped him of the habit, after
which the mitre and sanbenito with painted flames were replaced on him
and he was taken to the _juzgado_, or secular court, and delivered to
the deputy Assistente of the city to be formally sentenced and conducted
to the _brasero_.[527]



The condemnation of a human being to a death by fire, as the penalty of
spiritual error, is so abhorrent to the moral sense and so oppugnant to
the teachings of Christ, that modern apologists have naturally sought to
relieve the Church from responsibility for such atrocity. On the surface
a tolerably plausible argument can be made. The ministers of religion,
the spiritual courts, the Inquisition itself rendered no judgements of
blood. Any ecclesiastic who might be concerned in them incurred
"irregularity" requiring a dispensation before he could validly perform
his functions or obtain preferment. The execution of heretics was a
matter purely of secular law and burning them alive is not prescribed in
canon or decretal. The earliest recorded example of concremation is that
administered by Robert the Pious of France to the Cathari of Orleans in
1017, and its embodiment in positive law has not been found earlier than
in the decrees against Waldenses by Pedro II of Aragon in the Council of
Gerona in 1197. In 1231 Frederic II included it in the Sicilian
Constitutions and, in 1238, by his Cremona decree, extended it
throughout the empire, while Alfonso the Wise of Castile, in 1255,
adopted it for Christians who turned Jews or Moors.[528] It thus became
part of the public law of Christendom, not so much from the initiative
of rulers, as from a recognition of what had become a custom through the
spontaneous ferocity of popular fanaticism.

The Inquisition, through whose agency heretics were consigned to the
stake, did not itself condemn them to it, but merely pronounced them to
be heretics of whose conversion no hope was entertained; it cut them off
from the Church, which had nothing further to do with them, and
abandoned or "relaxed" them to the secular arm for due punishment. It
assumed that it condemned the crime and the civil judge the criminal
and, in relaxing him, it adjured the judge to spare his life and not to
spill his blood. This latter was a device invented by Innocent III,
before the Inquisition existed, to preserve from irregularity the
spiritual courts in degrading clerics guilty of forgery and handing them
over to the secular authorities for execution.[529]


This shifting of responsibility to the civil power was not through any
sense that the laws punishing heresy with burning were cruel or unjust,
for the Church taught this to be an act so eminently pious that it
accorded an indulgence to any one who would contribute wood to the pile,
thus assuming the responsibility and expending the Treasure of the
Merits of Christ in stimulating popular ferocity. That this indulgence
was well known in Spain appears in the evidence in the trial of Jan of
Antwerp for Lutheranism at Toledo in 1561.[530] In fact, when Luther
argued that the burning of heretics was contrary to the will of the
Spirit, Leo X included this among his heresies condemned in the bull
_Exsurge Domine_.[531] Consequently the secular power had no choice as
to what it should do with heretics delivered to it; its act was purely
ministerial, and if it listened to the hypocritical plea for mercy, it
was liable to prosecution as a fautor of heresy and to deprivation of
its functions.[532] The Church enforced this by embodying in the canon
law a provision that princes and their officials must punish duly and
promptly all heretics delivered to them by inquisitors, under pain of
excommunication, which became heresy if endured for a year; and
inquisitors were required to proceed against them, but were cautioned to
speak only of executing the laws, without alluding to the death-penalty,
in order to escape irregularity.[533]

As elsewhere, so in Spain. The Inquisition abandoned the unrepentant or
relapsed heretic to the secular arm, which was bound to sentence and
execute him. In the hurried informality of the early period, it seems to
have been indifferent whether the magistrate pronounced a sentence or
not. A contemporary account of the Toledo auto of August 14, 1486,
describes the reading of the sentences of the inquisitors and the
condemned being carried at once to the Vega for execution, where they
were burnt till not a bone remained, without any allusion to the
formality of intervention by the secular power.[534] When, however, the
form of a condemnation by the alcalde was observed, as at Córdova in
1484, he uttered it by virtue of the sentence of the inquisitors, which
rendered unnecessary anything more than condemning the culprit to be
burnt alive, wherefore he ordered the alguazil mayor to carry it into
effect.[535] In the inquisitorial sentences of the period the adjuration
for mercy is generally lacking. In that of Mencia Alonso, condemned at
Guadalupe, November 21, 1485, not only is it absent but the duties of
the secular officials are treated as purely ministerial, for it ends "As
a limb of the devil and accursed and excommunicate, she shall be taken
to the place of burning so that by the secular justice of this town, or
by other laymen, justice shall be executed upon her according to the
custom of these kingdoms."[536]

That the function of the magistrate was not judicial is manifested in
the refusal to communicate the trial to him. When those of Brescia, in
1486, refused to execute the sentences of the inquisitor without seeing
the trials, Innocent VIII ordered the inquisitor to excommunicate them
if they delayed more than six days, no matter what the local laws might
be, for heresy was a purely ecclesiastical crime.[537] In accordance
with this is the assertion of the _Repertorium de Pravitate
Hæreticorum_, printed at Valencia in 1494, that the magistrate has no
right to have the process shown to him that he may judge as to the
justice of the sentence; inquisitors are not to concede any such right,
for his sole duty is to execute it without delay, and if he hesitates he
is subject to deprivation of office and condemnation as a heretic.[538]
This principle was fully admitted by secular jurists themselves.
Torreblanca, who was attached to the royal Chancellery of Granada,
states that the duty of the civil magistrate is purely executive and he
has no right to examine into the merits of a case or to act in a
judicial capacity.[539]


In fact, the secular power could be dispensed with altogether. The
Venetian Signory was not always as prompt as it should be in suppressing
heresy so, to avoid delays and embarrassing questions, the papal nuncio
there, with his fiscal, auditor and other officials, had faculties to
condemn to mutilation and death all heretics without incurring
irregularity or other ecclesiastical penalties, notwithstanding all
canons and decretals to the contrary. Such provisions were issued in
1547 by Paul III and in 1550 by Julius III and were doubtless
customary.[540] Peña reduces this to a general principle for, without
referring to special papal faculties, he asserts that the intervention
of the secular judge is unessential and that, if he is not accessible,
the tribunal can condemn the heretic to death; if accessible he must
execute the sentence if he wishes to escape the heavy penalties of
fautorship and impeding the Inquisition.[541]

There was little danger of such reluctance on the part of secular
officials in Spain, where the oath exacted of them by the Inquisition
obliged them to execute whatever sentences the tribunal might
require.[542] In fact, the only indication I have met with, of possible
hesitation involving punishment, occurs in a mandate, September 5, 1725,
to the Toledo tribunal, directing that, in autos de fe, the first
sentences read should be those of relaxation--thus reversing the usual
order--so that the convicts might be delivered at once to the royal
judge, without permitting delay in the execution of the sentences, under
any pretext, since the tribunal had complete jurisdiction to compel him,
by censures and other penalties, to its exact performance.[543]

The Inquisition regarded the sentence of the magistrate as a mere
perfunctory formality. The doctors had pointed out conclusively that
heresy was a crime over which he had no jurisdiction, and if he were to
assert it he would render illusory the sentence of the bishop or
inquisitor.[544] Consequently, in preparation for an auto de fe, the
tribunal, in advance, gave to the secular authorities a list of the
condemnations so that the sentences might be drawn up and the wood, the
stake and the garrotes be prepared for immediate execution.[545] It is
true that thrift induced a certain amount of equivocation when, in 1579,
the royal alguaziles of Saragossa claimed payment from the confiscations
for their services and for the cost of the wood, and Philip II
emphatically rejected the demand as unexampled, adding that the
inquisitors could not order such payment without irregularity, and that
the executions were in virtue of the sentences of the secular judges and
not of the inquisitors.[546] This, however, was the merest quibble. In
_autos generales_, the magistrates were asked to be present to receive
the convicts and "execute on them the penalties imposed by the canon law
of the kingdom." In _autos particulares_, held in churches which must
not be polluted by judgements of blood, the Suprema pointed out, in a
consulta of April 7, 1690, that the secular judges could wait at a
designated place, when it sufficed that a notary informed them in
writing that "N. has been declared a heretic by sentence of the Holy
Office," simultaneously delivering the convict, when they must accept
this assertion, and without delay execute the sentence, unless they wish
the Holy Office to prosecute them as fautors of heretics and impeders of
its free jurisdiction. At the same time the judges are to continue as
usual to pronounce the formal sentence.[547]

Still, the _estilo_ of the Inquisition required the ghastly comedy of
asking mercy. In the official formula of the sentence the clause
announcing relaxation to the civil magistrate proceeds "whom we ask and
charge most affectionately to treat him benignantly and mercifully." In
sentences of the absent and dead, where the effigy alone was abandoned
to the secular arm, there is no prayer for mercy, as there was no
effusion of blood to create irregularity.[548] In the rigid formalism of
inquisitorial procedure, after the Suprema had established its minute
control, it is safe to assume that this official formula was universally


All this affords ample proof that the avoidance of irregularity was the
only motive that actuated the Inquisition in this matter, but if further
evidence is required it is furnished by the fact that still greater
scruple existed in the exercise of the temporal jurisdiction acquired by
the Spanish Holy Office over all matters concerning its officials,
because such cases were not provided for in the commissions of the
inquisitors-general, from which were delegated the powers of the
tribunals. In 1514 the question arose when Micer Castillo, assessor in
the Saragossa tribunal, was murdered, and two of his assassins, Joan
Uguet and Pere Gasco, were tried and convicted. The inquisitors dared
not deliver them to the secular arm for execution, and various devices
were discussed, but the matter was settled by procuring from Leo X his
motu proprio _Cum sicut accepimus_, January 28, 1515, in which he
granted faculties to the inquisitors to arrest, try and deliver for
punishment to the secular authorities, any one who had struck, mutilated
or slain an official of the Inquisition, even if it entailed effusion of
blood or mutilation or death, without incurring any note of
irregularity.[549] Under this the tribunals acted when such cases arose,
notably in Granada, about 1545, when seven persons were thus
relaxed--six Moriscos and an Old Christian--who, while in prison, killed
the alcaide and his assistant and who were hanged before burning.[550]

In time the cardinals of the Roman Inquisition were beset with similar
scruples and, to relieve their consciences, Pius V, October 9, 1567,
granted a decree empowering them to participate in sentences of blood
without incurring irregularity.[551] This applied only to Italy, but it
was otherwise with the terrible bull _Si de protegendis_, April 1, 1569,
commanding the delivery to the secular arm, for the punishment due to
high treason, of any one maltreating or even threatening an official of
the Inquisition or destroying or altering its records. This was ordered
to be published throughout the world; the Spanish Inquisition claimed
the benefit of it, and had a Castilian version of it published every
year. It made no illusion to irregularity, tacitly assuming that none
was incurred and it was often cited in Spain to that effect.[552] Still,
when in 1579, the Toledo tribunal desired the death-penalty for
Francisco de la Bastida, for personating an official of the Inquisition,
and there was no secular law to that effect, a special brief was
obtained from Gregory XIII empowering it to find him guilty of death and
deliver him to the secular arm for execution without incurring

There seems to have arisen a fresh sense of insecurity about 1605. The
brief of Leo X was well-nigh forgotten; some tribunals had copies of it,
but most of them had not, and the bull _Si de protegendis_ did not
specifically meet cases that arose. Application was therefore made to
Paul V to extend to Spain the 1567 decree of Pius V, which he granted
by a brief of November 29, 1605, repeated in 1607. In this he bestowed
the fullest powers, not only on inquisitors but on all their officials,
in all cases whether of faith or not, coming within their competence, to
participate in sentences of torture, mutilation, or death without
incurring irregularity.[554] This would appear ample enough to remove
all possible scruples and yet subsequently contingencies occasionally
arose which excited debate, or called for papal intervention to quiet
sensitive consciences.[555]

       *       *       *       *       *

In the work of exterminating heresy, the rules which governed the
Spanish Inquisition were more merciless than those framed by its
predecessor. At first, in the medieval tribunals, it was only the
pertinacious and impenitent heretic who was consigned to the stake; he
who recanted and professed conversion, even at the last moment, was
admitted to reconciliation. Then gradually, as it was found that these
enforced conversions were frequently insincere, relapse was regarded as
proof of impenitence and pertinacity and was subjected irremissibly to
the death-penalty, and this included those who had abjured for vehement
suspicion. The treatment is exemplified in the case of Fray Bonato, the
head of a little body of Spiritual Franciscans in Catalonia. He was
pertinacious until the flames had roasted him one side, when his
resolution gave way; he professed conversion and was rescued, but some
years later he was found to be still cherishing his heresies and, in
1335, he was burnt alive.[556]

[Sidenote: _RECANTATION_]

The number of burnings in the Spanish Inquisition, during its first half
century, could never have occurred under the old rules. Indeed, in the
first rush and fury, the case of Juan Chinchilla in 1483 (Vol. II, p.
468) indicates that even frank confession failed to save from the stake
those who had sought reconciliation in a Term of Grace, but had been
prevented by causes beyond their control. Even when rules began to be
framed, the Instructions of 1484 placed the lives of those on trial at
the discretion of the tribunal, for they required that repentance and
asking for reconciliation must be expressed prior to rendering the final
sentence, to entitle the culprit to mercy; while even then, if the
inquisitors considered that the repentance was feigned, and they had not
fair hope of genuine conversion, they were empowered to declare him an
impenitent and relax him to the secular arm--all of which was left to
their consciences.[557]

The rule thus expressed presents two points, the development of which
requires separate consideration. As regards the time of confessing and
begging mercy, which the Instructions limit to the period prior to the
rendering of the sentence, this was extended to the time of reading of
the sentence at the auto de fe. Yet this was grudgingly admitted by the
Instructions of 1561, which say that often when convicts on the staging
profess conversion the inquisitors receive them to reconciliation, but
this ought rarely to be done, for it is a very perilous thing which
should be suspected to come from dread of death rather than from true
repentance.[558] Yet, in spite of this warning, it was customary to
suspend proceedings with those who, at the auto de fe, before the
reading of their sentences, claimed to be penitent. They were remanded
to the Inquisition and, if they confessed fully as to themselves and
others, they were reconciled with appropriate punishment. Such cases
were of constant occurrence; in the Córdova auto of April 12, 1722,
there were four. Even while the sentence was being read, the doubt was
thrown in favor of the culprit, as in the Murcia auto of May 17, 1722,
when Inez Alvárez Pereira, convicted as an impenitent Judaizer, begged
mercy during the reading of her sentence, professed that she wished to
confess and be converted, and was sent back to prison, where she was
reconciled.[559] In fact, in public autos, where there were convicts to
be relaxed, there was always a room arranged under the staging to which
the repentant culprit was at once transferred and one of the inquisitors
descended to take his confession before he should have time to change
his good resolutions. In such cases reconciliation was accompanied with
confiscation, irremissible prison and sanbenito and usually one or two
hundred lashes for tardy confession.[560]

The Instructions of 1561 were justified in claiming that little reliance
was to be placed on conversions thus obtained. For the most part the
awful experience led penitents, who thus escaped, to cherish their
beliefs in secret, but occasionally there was one whose conscience could
not pardon the weakness that led to a betrayal of faith. Diego López
Duro, an humble retailer of tobacco, condemned for Judaism, recanted
while on the staging and was reconciled with imprisonment. In 1700, one
day, when hearing mass, he stood apart from his fellow-prisoners and, in
a loud voice, told the priest that he lied for the Law of Moses was the
only true one. He would have been slain on the spot had he not been
hurried out to save him from popular wrath, but for him there could be
no mercy. The inquisitors labored long to save his soul by inducing him
to recant without success; he was pertinacious to the last and was burnt
alive in the Seville auto of October 28, 1703--one of those martyrs
whose constancy explains why Judaism has been indestructible.[561]


After the reading of the sentence was concluded, recantation did not
avert the death-penalty, as in the elder Inquisition, but it was
modified to garrotting or strangling before burning, for it was received
as a principle that a Christian was not to be burnt alive. This was
recognized at least as early as 1484, when in a Saragossa auto a culprit
is recorded as strangled before burning "porque murio reducido."[562] In
addition to this, the traditions of the Old Inquisition introduced at
first a certain irregularity in practice, and it did not follow that
delivery to the secular arm inevitably inferred execution. In a list of
_quemados y relaxados_ at Ciudad Real, there are several cases, up to
1523, of those who were "relaxed" and yet had penances of various kinds,
showing that they had recanted after delivery to the magistrate and yet
were spared the death-penalty.[563] In fact, it continued for some time
to be a matter of debate, in which opinions were divided, whether a man
who had been returned by the secular judge to the inquisitors, because
he recanted and promised full confession, could be again relaxed for
execution. The older doctors inclined to the merciful view and Simancas
tells us of such a case in Cuenca, which was referred to the Suprema,
when many experts held that the culprit could not be again relaxed, for
he had made a true confession, and the secular arm had renounced its
rights. Even as late as 1640 an inquisitor says that the rigor of
executing a man who repents after delivery to the magistrate is not
customary in Spain.[564]

In this he would seem to be mistaken. I have never met with a case,
later than those alluded to, in which conversion professed after
sentence secured reconciliation. The tendency to rigor was too strong.
The Instructions of 1561 make no allusion to such a possibility, as they
grudgingly allow mercy for earlier confession. Peña forbids it; he
admits that it was the ancient custom, but such conversions are not to
be trusted and experience shows that such penitents are only rendered
worse.[565] It was the universal practice to garrote those who professed
repentance after sentence, and the dreadful alternative of death by
fire, when thus impending so imminently, wrought so many conversions on
the way to the _brasero_, even among those whose resolve had held out
thus far, that burning alive became comparatively infrequent. In the
first three autos held at Barcelona in 1488 and 1489, all the converts
professed a desire to die in the Christian faith and all were strangled
before burning.[566] At the great auto of May 21, 1559, at Valladolid
where Dr. Cazalla and other Protestants suffered, there were fourteen
relaxed in person, of whom only one, the Bachiller Herrezuelo, is
characterized as a pertinacious heretic and consequently burnt alive,
the rest being garrotted as repentant converts.[567] In 1571 there were
hanging, in the parish church of Logroño, 157 sanbenitos, of which 101
were of those reconciled and 56 of those relaxed. Of the latter nine
were in effigy and 47 in person, of whom only four are specified as
burnt alive.[568] The weakness of human nature afforded but rare
examples of those who could stand the final test of fiery martyrdom.

Notwithstanding the practice of executing all who delayed conversion
until after hearing their sentences, there still were those who argued
that they should be admitted to reconciliation, basing their contention
on the ancient rule and on the silence of the Instructions of 1561 on
this point. In 1674 the Suprema felt called upon to quiet the doubts of
the Granada tribunal, by insisting that this rigor had been the
invariable custom of the Holy Office. Still the question was debated
until a carta acordada of May 24, 1699, disposed of it authoritatively.
This declared that, in consequence of existing doubts, the Suprema had
examined the matter carefully, reaching the conclusion that technically
the delivery to the secular arm was coincident with the reading of the
sentence; the Inquisition thus remained without jurisdiction which had
passed to the royal justice for the execution of the sentence.
Therefore, if the convict was not converted before the reading of the
sentence, he was not to have mercy or to be admitted to reconciliation,
even if he begged for it, but the royal justice was to execute and
fulfil the sentence. If the conversion was real and not feigned--the
latter being presumable at such a time--any of the confessors who
assisted the culprit could reconcile him to the church and confess him
sacramentally.[569] Thus his body was irrevocably forfeited, although
his soul might be saved.

After so formal a definition, no arguments in favor of mercy could be
urged. In the sixty-four autos de fe, between 1721 and 1727, there was a
total of seventy-seven cases of relaxation in person. In the relations
it is not always stated distinctly whether the victim was burned alive
or garrotted but, from the details given, the estimate cannot be far
wrong that not over thirteen, or about one in six, endured the severer
punishment. In the Granada auto of January 21, 1722, there were eleven
relaxed, all of whom professed conversion after their sentences were
read, and all were garrotted before burning. So rigid was the
interpretation of the rule that it could not be dispensed with even to
gratify the intense longing for expiation which sometimes possessed the
eleventh hour convert. In the Córdova auto of April 12, 1722, Antonio
Gabriel de Torre Zavallos, relaxed for Judaism, was converted after the
reading of his sentence. At the brasero, with copious tears and signs of
repentance, he loudly proclaimed his Christian faith, praising the mercy
of God and of the Holy Office and demanding to be burnt alive, in order
to offer to God satisfaction for his sins, but this was refused; he was
duly garrotted and "he gave his soul to God to the great consolation and
edification of all the people."[570]

[Sidenote: _PERTINACITY_]

An unpleasant doubt obtrudes itself whether in all cases the preliminary
strangling really relieved the sufferer from death by fire. Spanish
executioners are said to possess such dexterity in manipulating the
garrote that they can prolong the death-agony for hours when they are
not bribed to give a speedy release. In the universal venality of the
period, it is possible that those, whose friends failed to earn the
good-will of the minister of justice, were by no means insensible when
the torch was applied to the faggots. There may have been more than mere
lack of skill in the incident at the Cuenca auto of June 29, 1654, which
gave Bartolomé López the opportunity of displaying his nerve. He had
delayed professing conversion until after the reading of his sentence
and was consequently relaxed for strangulation and burning. At the
brasero, seeing that the executioner, Pedro de Alcalá, bungled in
garrotting Violante Rodríguez and Ana de Guevara, he said to him "Pedro,
if you do not treat me better, you had better burn me alive."[571]

       *       *       *       *       *

According to inquisitorial jurisprudence, there were several causes
which entailed relaxation. The first of these was pertinacity--the
obstinacy which led the heretic or apostate to avow and defend his
errors, and to resist the well-meant effort of his judges to save his
soul by inducing conversion. This heroic temper, which preferred
martyrdom to denying what it believed to be the truth, was not common,
but the annals of the Inquisition are illustrated by cases of unknown
and forgotten victims, whose persistence through torment and persuasion,
to the fiery death at the brasero, ennobles human nature, whether they
were Moslems or Jews, Protestants or Mystics. It was a blind perversity
that refused to see in this aught but hardness of heart, inspired by
Satan, and with empty rhetoric sought to draw a distinction between this
and true martyrdom. Thus Simancas tells us that we should not be
surprised to see heretics sometimes carried rejoicing to the stake. This
is not true alacrity but madness, not patience but fierceness, and there
is wide difference between barbarous fierceness and the modest constancy
of the true martyr. Then there are those who, by certain arts, so benumb
the body that it does not feel torments; there are also those who
deprive the mind of sense, so that they meet death without fear, but
that gentleness and placidity, that sublime humility and humble
sublimity, we see only in the martyrs of Christ.[572]

Yet, to do it justice, the Inquisition--at least after the first fury of
its career was spent--earnestly sought the salvation of its victims,
rather than to send them through temporal to eternal flame. We have seen
that, in the case of those sentenced to relaxation, it advanced the
notification of their fate, in order to enlarge the opportunity of the
ghostly counsellors, whom it deputed to labor with them. Even before
this extension, the Instructions of 1561 order inquisitors to do
everything in their power to induce conversion, so that, if nothing else
can be accomplished, the culprit may not die without the knowledge of
God.[573] During the fortnight previous to an auto de fe those sentenced
to relaxation were to be summoned to repeated audiences, when they were
to be earnestly entreated to confess and recant, with promises of mercy,
and learned theologians were required to be present to aid in the
exhortations.[574] Even prior to the consulta de fe, pious inquisitors
spared no effort to convince the erring of their errors. One relates
how, in 1630, he had to deal with two Protestants, an Englishman and a
Frenchman, who were pertinacious, saying that they had been brought up
in their pretended reformed religion and knew nothing of Catholicism.
Their simplicity went so far as to ask to be allowed to return to their
native lands, or that persons learned in both religions should dispute
before them, so that they might learn which was best for, as they were
illiterate, they could not themselves dispute. The inquisitor set
theologians to work upon them when, after considerable labor, they were
converted; devotional books were given to them, which they eagerly
devoured; the trial was delayed and, by the time the witnesses were
ratified, the heretics were good Catholics.[575]

[Sidenote: _PERTINACITY_]

When three days' notice of impending relaxation was given, the time was
utilized to the utmost. There was a pertinacious heretic to suffer in
the Seville auto of December 10, 1719--a Moorish slave, baptized under
the name of Francisco Andrés, who had renegaded and was persistent when
his sentence was made known to him. Then twelve calificadores--two each
from the Orders of Mercenarians, Minims, Franciscans, Dominicans,
Augustinians and Jesuits--with eight familiars were assigned to his
conversion. They were successful and he escaped with prison and
sanbenito for four years.[576] A remarkable case, at the Seville auto of
July 5, 1722, shows however that, after delivery to the secular arm, the
Inquisition considered that its functions were ended. There were four
pertinacious Jews, two men and two women. Nine calificadores and eleven
familiars labored with them in vain during the three days; they
persisted through the reading of the sentences and were delivered to the
secular magistrate. The two men and the elder of the women succumbed at
the last, professed conversion and were garrotted and burnt. The younger
woman, known as La Almiranta, at the brasero begged audience of the
deputy assistente, told him that she desired to confess and give
evidence as to other Jews and was remanded to the royal prison. Word was
sent to the tribunal, which replied that it had nothing further to do
with her. She was kept until the 7th and, when taken to the brasero was
more pertinacious, than ever, saying that, as her companions had died as
Catholics, they were accursed and that she had pretended to yield in
order that her ashes, which were holy, should not be mingled with
theirs. Of course she had the martyrdom which she craved.[577]

In exceptional cases pertinacity seems to have been allowed the
privilege of preliminary strangulation. At a Valladolid auto of May 29,
1691, there were five pertinacious women condemned for Judaism,
described as being from 24 to 27 years of age and very handsome, who
excited general compassion. On being delivered to the magistrate two of
them weakened, while three persisted in their faith, yet they were all
garrotted before burning.[578]

A large portion of the cases of pertinacity arose from the death in
prison, during trial, of those who did not ask on the death-bed for the
consolations of religion, and who had no opportunity of obtaining mercy
by conversion. Thus in the Granada auto of May 13, 1725, out of seven
burnings in effigy, six were of those who had died in prison.[579]
Suicide in prison was treated harshly, for Simancas tells us that the
suicide is to be condemned as fully convicted and impenitent, even
though he had previously confessed and professed repentance, to which
Rojas adds that, although his effigy is to be burnt, his heirs are
allowed to prove insanity, difficult as that is.[580]

       *       *       *       *       *


The _negativo_--the man who denied his heresy in the face of what was
deemed competent testimony of guilt--was classed as an impenitent
heretic and doomed to relaxation. This was the inevitable logic of the
Inquisition, although it led to the most tragic of all situations--that
of being tortured to death in honor of the faith which the sufferer
held. It was impossible, under the inquisitorial system, to allow a
possible heretic to escape merely because he unflinchingly affirmed his
orthodoxy, and yet when a man asserted it up to the brasero, knowing
that it would not avail him, it was impossible not to recognize in him a
true believer who would not save his body at the expense of falsely
confessing apostasy. Three such there were in the Granada auto of May
27, 1593, burnt as negativos and consequently burnt alive.[581] Such men
were true martyrs, especially as rigid constructionists denied them the
consolations of religion in their last moments. At the Toledo auto of
October 28, 1723, Diego de Quiros was in this position, and a Jesuit who
heard him in sacramental confession was severely censured for doing so
while he persisted in maintaining his innocence. Again the question came
up in the Toledo auto of July 1, 1725. Fernando de Castro was relaxed as
an impenitent negativo and was sentenced to burning alive. On account of
the heat the execution was postponed until the afternoon, and the
convict was meanwhile placed in the public prison. With cries he
earnestly begged for sacramental confession, but the frailes in
attendance declined unless he should admit his heresy, which he
steadfastly refused to do, asserting the witnesses to be perjured, and
the judgement unjust. At this juncture there came a Jesuit father who
yielded to the despairing appeals of the poor wretch and heard him in
confession, whereupon the judge took the responsibility of modifying the
sentence to preliminary strangulation. The frailes loudly rebuked the
Jesuit, and were joined by the public, disappointed of the promised
spectacle of the burning alive of a fellow-creature. Considerable debate
followed and a priest named Candido Múñoz wrote an argument justifying
the Jesuit, but his labor was superfluous for, while his tract was in
the press, the Suprema issued a carta acordada, October 11th, ordering
that in such cases the priest should hear the confession and confer
absolution or not, according to the disposition manifested, but in
future no one but the appointed theologians were to attend the convict
to the last.[582]

Thus it was left to this late date to admit the dying victim to the
sacraments, probably, we may assume, on the doctrine that the blood of
martyrdom is the most efficacious of all sacraments. Such cases could
not have been common, but those must have been numerous in which the
unjustly convicted negativo found his resolution give way at the
approach to the brasero and, in order to escape burning alive and to
obtain the sacraments, falsely confessed to having entertained heresies
which his soul abhorred.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was also the _diminuto_, who made a confession that did not
"satisfy the evidence" and thus was held to be imperfect. A confession
that was not full was regarded as fictitious; it inferred impenitence
and therefore entailed relaxation. We have seen how, under the early
Edicts of Grace, any omissions in the hurried confessions was construed
as rendering them imperfect and subjecting the penitent to prosecution
and relaxation. Especially was imperfect denunciation of accomplices
regarded as _diminucio_; if the accused confessed all that was in
evidence against himself and omitted the acts of accomplices who were
proved to have been with him, or if he named only those who were absent
or dead or already convicted, it was proof of malice and impenitence; he
was not truly converted and was subject to relaxation after torture _in
caput alienum_.[583] The denial of heretical intention in acts
confessed, which was frequent in those against whom Judaic or Moorish
customs were proved, constituted the accused a negativo in the
substantial part of heresy, which is intention, or a diminuto, implying,
according to the common opinion, impenitence and pertinacity involving
relaxation.[584] Thus Hernando de Palma, a Morisco, accused of teaching
and conducting Moorish ceremonies, denied and overcame severe torture,
whereupon the consulta de fe voted for appearance in an auto and
abjuration _de levi_. Ignorant of this, he asked for an audience and
confessed that, for seven or eight years, he had practised some Moorish
rites, without regarding them as contrary to the faith. In this he
persisted and was burnt in the Toledo auto of 1606. Revocation of
confession was similarly impenitence and pertinacity, as in the case of
Manuel Thomas, who confessed to Judaism after the accusation was
presented, then revoked the confession and persisted in the revocation,
for which he was relaxed in the Toledo auto of 1585.[585]

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Reformation plunged the Church into a struggle for life, of
which no man might foretell the result, there arose a demand for sharper
measures of repression. The dogmatizer or heresiarch--he who not only
condemned his own soul to perdition but sought to carry others along
with him, by disseminating his pestiferous doctrines--might recant and
make his peace with God, but not with God's earthly ministers. Simancas
well expresses the hatred intensified by fear, which was aroused by the
teachers of the new doctrines. The heresiarch, he says, the master of
errors, is to be relaxed and, under no circumstances, is to be received
back into the Church. He is unworthy of pardon who has led others into
error, like a murderer who has slain many. He is a crafty homicide, who
daily sheds the blood of souls. He who teaches heresy slays, not with
the sword, but with the poison of his doctrine; he kills not the body
but the soul, not with temporary but with eternal death, wherefore he is
worthy of the severest punishment. And, of all others, the teachers of
the Lutheran heresies are in no way to be pardoned.[586]

[Sidenote: _HERESIARCHS_]

Yet the Church had always professed to welcome to reconciliation its
erring children, who renounced their errors and begged for mercy,
provided they were not relapsed, and the Inquisition from its inception
had acted on this principle. On this were based the powers deputized to
it and when, in 1558 the discovery of the Protestants of Valladolid was
so exploited as to throw Spain into agitation, and it was desired to
make an example of Doctor Agustin Cazalla, some further grant of
faculties was felt to be necessary. Paul IV was nothing loath. In 1555
he had apparently desired to show that Rome was not to be outdone by
Geneva in persecuting rigor and that, if Calvin in 1553 had burnt Servet
for denying the Trinity, he could be equally zealous for the faith. By
the bull _Cum quorundam_ he decreed that all who denied the Trinity, the
divinity of Christ, his conception through the Holy Ghost, his death for
human salvation, or the perpetual virginity of the Virgin, and who did
not confess to inquisitors and abjure their errors within three months,
and all who in future should maintain those heresies, should be treated
as though they were relapsed and as such should be forthwith relaxed to
the secular arm.[587] Having thus extended the catalogue of unpardonable
heresies, he was quite ready to grant the additional powers sought by
the Spanish Inquisition. By a brief of January 4, 1559, he bestowed on
the inquisitor-general and Suprema a faculty to relax all heresiarchs
and other heretics, even though they were not relapsed, and though they
desired to abjure their heresies, when it was believed with
verisimilitude that the abjuration was not sincere but was only to
escape punishment.[588] This was, in fact, no more than the power
assumed in the Instructions of 1484, but under it, as we shall see
hereafter, were relaxed some conspicuous heretics, such as Doctor
Cazalla at Valladolid and Juan Ponce de Leon at Seville, although they
had renounced their errors and sought reconciliation in advance of the
autos de fe.

It thus became a principle in inquisitorial jurisprudence that the
inquisitor-general and Suprema could relax dogmatizers, irrespective of
pertinacity or relapse.[589] This was not confined to Protestants. About
1600, the Suprema had to decide the case of a Morisco alfaquí, accused
of being a teacher of Islam, who confessed to teaching his wife but
denied other proselytism. A consulta presented to the Suprema argued
that, although by law a dogmatizer must be relaxed yet, if he
spontaneously denounces himself and is sincerely repentant, he can be
reconciled, for his conversion and humility serve as an example to those
whom he has misled. In the present case, however, the alfaquí has only
confessed partially and to save himself, wherefore he should be
relaxed--and to this the Suprema assented.[590] Yet this severity had
exceptions. In the Seville auto of July 5, 1722, Pedro de Alpuin,
reconciled with perpetual prison and sanbenito, had five years of
galleys added for being a teacher of the Law of Moses, and even these
were remitted in consideration of his infirmities.[591]

       *       *       *       *       *

Relapse was the most fruitful source of relaxation, at least after the
first rage of the Inquisition had exhausted itself. It has been already
stated that, after reconciliation or abjuration _de vehementi_, any
backsliding was held to indicate that the conversion had been
fictitious, that the culprit was impenitent and pertinacious, and that
he was to be abandoned to the secular arm without hope of mercy. This
was an unvarying principle of the canon law. The Suprema, in a case
brought before it, in 1536, declared that it could not dispense for that
which the law enjoined, and therefore it was powerless to relieve the
relapsed from his punishment.[592] Simancas is equally emphatic--the
relapsed is to be condemned without hope of pardon.[593] In the first
audience of the accused, the inquisitor was required to tell him that,
if he would discharge his conscience, his case would be despatched with
speed and mercy but, if the charge was relapse, the word mercy was to be
omitted because no mercy could be shown.[594] Even prompt and full
confession was of no avail; the law was absolute and implacable.[595]

[Sidenote: _RELAPSE_]

This severity was greatly enhanced by the elastic definition given to
relapse. The reconciled penitent had to walk warily, for any unconscious
return to ancestral habits was sufficient to convict him. About 1500 the
Suprema decreed that penitents communicating with unreconciled heretics
were to be held as relapsed, and all evidence coming before the
tribunals was to be scrutinized for proof that would justify
prosecution--evidently of those who might chance to be incidentally
named in it--and then, if this proved insufficient for conviction, any
admission of the accused, not contained in his former confession, could
be used to condemn him as a fictitious convert.[596] How this was
construed in practice, we learn from Simancas, who says that he is
considered a relapsed who, after abjuring heresy, talks with heretics,
or visits them, or makes presents to them, or favors and communicates
with them, so that he cannot but be held to do it as a consequence of
his heresy.[597] The man who had been reconciled thus lived in unceasing
danger that, at any moment, some acquaintance might be tried and
convicted and his name might occur in the evidence as being on good
terms with him. Safety, indeed, could only be secured by resolutely
isolating himself from his family and his race.

It was the same with those who had only abjured for vehement suspicion.
The Instructions of 1561 declare absolutely that, if they confess or are
convicted, they must be relaxed, for the inquisitors have no power to
reconcile them, although they are not truly but only fictitiously

Still, there were some exceptions. Self-denunciation for relapse, it was
admitted, required relaxation under the law, but it was argued that such
second confession was not really a conviction, for it showed that the
penitent was not incorrigible and should be admitted to mercy.[599] Such
cases must have been exceedingly rare, but we have seen one in that of
Ursule de la Croix (Vol. II, p. 572) where, it will be remembered, a
third self-denunciation was visited with the stake.

Moriscos enjoyed a special exception. The wholesale enforced conversion
of the Moors of Castile in 1502 and of the kingdoms of Aragon in 1525,
filled the land with nominal Christians, whose baptism served no other
purpose than subjecting them to the Inquisition. They were largely
vassals of nobles, to whom their services were indispensable, and to
subject whole populations to the penalties of a relapse which was
inevitable was a prospect that might well stagger the statesman if not
the churchman. In the unsparing rigor of the canon law, escape from this
was to be sought only in Rome and, in March, 1510, Ferdinand asked for a
bull enabling the converts to avoid the penalties of relapse.[600] The
request was doubtless granted and was followed by numerous papal briefs,
issued during the remainder of the century, which bore the shape of
empowering the inquisitors-general to appoint confessors with power to
absolve Morisco penitents with secret absolution and penance, even if
they had relapsed repeatedly, or to proclaim terms of grace, during
which absolution could be had irrespective of relapse, together with
other devices, the futility of all which we shall see hereafter.[601]

This was but one of the many attempts to solve the increasing
difficulties of the Morisco problem, and its only relation to the
general policy of the Inquisition is to prove how easily, when
sufficient motive existed, the unsparing cruelty of the canon law could
be set aside. Under that law, we can readily conceive how large a
portion of the executions were due to relapse. Details are lacking as to
the earlier period of activity, but the later records are sufficient to
indicate how efficient an agent it was in procuring victims. In the
great Madrid auto of 1680, there were eighteen Judaizers relaxed in
person, of whom ten were for relapse, six for pertinacity and two for
denial or imperfect confession.[602] In the terrible Mallorquin autos of
1691, all the relaxed--thirty-eight in person and seven in effigy--were
condemned for relapse, having been reconciled in 1679, and of these only
three were burnt alive as pertinacious.[603] At the Granada auto of
January 31, 1723, of the eleven Judaizers relaxed, all were relapsed; at
that of Cordova, April 23, 1724, seven out of eight were relapsed, and
the same was the case with all of the six relaxed in the Cuenca auto of
July 23, 1724.[604] In these last three autos only one person was
pertinacious; the rest all professed contrition and conversion and would
have escaped with reconciliation instead of strangulation had it not
been for the rigor in the treatment of relapse.

[Sidenote: _RELAPSE_]

A case already alluded to exemplifies this and is worth relating in
some detail, if only for its psychological interest. Fray Joseph Díaz
Pimiento was born in Cuba, of Old Christian parents, in 1687. He was
bred to the Church and his life was an example of the licence pervading
the colonies. He drifted around the shores of the Caribbean, involved in
all kinds of disreputable adventures. In Mexico, he forged a certificate
of baptism in order to obtain ordination under age. In the Dutch colony
of Curaçoa, he professed conversion to Judaism and was circumcised, in
the hope of getting a few hundred dollars from the Jews. After
incredible hardships he fell into the hands of the Inquisition of
Cartagena de las Indias, where he recanted, was reconciled and was sent
to Spain for reclusion in a convent. While confined in the episcopal
prison he broke gaol, but was captured at Xeres, and was put in a
convent, heavily fettered, where he endeavored to get assistance from
some New Christians who were under suspicion, but in this he failed,
although to excite their compassion, he wrote to the commissioner of the
Inquisition that he was a Jew. Then again he escaped and fled to Lisbon,
where he worked for a Dutch ship-master, who promised to carry him to
Holland, whence he could sail for Jamaica. Then a sudden impulse took
possession of him, which carried him to Seville, where he presented
himself to the Inquisition. At first he professed to be a Christian but,
after a few days, he told the alcaide that he was a Jew, and in this he
persisted, stubbornly refusing to make defence. Necessarily, as a
relapsed, he was condemned to relaxation in the auto of July 25, 1720,
and, during the three days prior to the auto, all the learning and piety
of Seville were enlisted in his conversion, while prayers for his soul
were put up in all the churches. Then came another revulsion and, after
two days, he announced that the grace of God had touched him, and that
he was a Christian. But for his relapse, this would have saved him; as
it was, it only obtained for him preliminary strangulation and this he
sought to reject for, at the stake, he begged to be burnt alive in order
to prove that his conversion was the result of conviction and not of
fear. This could not be permitted, and the deputy assistente sentenced
him to be garrotted and burnt, and his ashes scattered as usual. The
pile was fired at 5 P.M.; it took until day-break to reduce the body to
ashes, and it was observed that the customary stench was absent. Then
the Hermandad de la Caridad asked to have the ashes to give them
Christian burial, as he had died a Christian, but the assistente refused
and ordered them to be scattered over the fields, in obedience to the
royal pragmáticas and apostolical constitutions--all of which, we are
told, was done, to the great honor of the holy Catholic faith.[605]

Yet, notwithstanding the canons that prohibited mercy to the relapsed
and withheld, even from the inquisitor-general, the power to pardon,
cases, as has been stated above (p. 148), are not infrequent, in which
the relapsed were admitted to a second reconciliation. Even as early as
1486, we hear of Micer Gonzalo de Santa María, of the great converso
family of Burgos, who was thrice penanced by the Inquisition and who
finally died, not at the stake, but in gaol, under a sentence of
perpetual prison.[606] Some scattering cases of penances subsequent to
reconciliation occur at Barcelona between 1491 and 1502, mingled with
others in which the full penalty of relaxation was inflicted, though no
reasons are alleged for the distinction.[607] In 1511, at Cuenca, Leonor
and Juana Rodríguez who had been reconciled in time of Grace, were
reconciled again for fresh delinquencies.[608] In the later period,
instances of the same benignity occur more frequently, although
accompanied with punishment severe enough to show that the trivial
evidence required to prove persistency was far exceeded. Thus, in the
Toledo auto of December 27, 1654, Gaspar de los Reyes was sentenced, as
a relapsed observer of the Law of Moses, to abjure _de vehementi_, to
six years of galleys and a fine of a thousand ducats, while his wife,
Isabel Rodríguez, and his mother, María López, both relapsed, had the
same sentence, save that exile replaced the galleys and the fine was six
hundred ducats each. A more unusual case was that of Manuel Rodríguez
Moreira, who was relaxed for relapse in the Toledo auto of September 8,
1704, after rejecting an offer of mercy. There is even an instance,
December 8, 1681, of a sentence of reconciliation, _citra p[oe]nam
relapsi_--without the punishment of relapse--but this is explained by
the tender age of the culprit, Diego de Castro, who was but ten years

[Sidenote: _RELAPSE_]

Remembering the prudent intimation given to inquisitors that sometimes
fines were more productive than confiscation, the heavy mulcts
inflicted on the relapsed who were admitted to mercy, suggest that
possibly there may have been financial reasons, in special cases, for
benignity. We have seen the number of executions for relapse in the
Mallorquin autos of 1691. Besides these there were twenty-two cases of
those who had been reconciled in 1679 who were not relaxed but penanced
in various ways, including fines ranging from one to five hundred
libras, and aggregating in all sixty-five hundred libras.[610] It is
difficult not to recognize in this a speculative exercise of rigor or

As the eighteenth century wore on, it would seem that the canonical
penalty of relaxation came to be enforced only on the relapsed who were
pertinacious, or refused to confess and beg for mercy. In the Valladolid
auto of June 13, 1745, there are three illustrative cases. Luis de la
Vega, who had been reconciled in 1701, was relaxed as an impenitent
relapsed, who persisted in denying his guilt. Miguel Gutiérrez,
reconciled in 1699, and Franciso García, reconciled in 1706, were
admitted again to reconciliation, with irremissible prison and
sanbenito, ten years of galleys and two hundred lashes--a somewhat
doubtful mercy but, if the sentence was justifiable, the offence
unquestionably under the canons, called for relaxation.[611]

It was only in formal heresy that relapse entailed relaxation for, as we
have seen, the stake was reserved for heretics. Where heresy was merely
inferential, as in bigamy, blasphemy, solicitation in the confessional,
reading prohibited books, and other offences reserved to the
Inquisition, relapse was treated only as an aggravation, to be punished
with such additional severity as the circumstances might indicate. Even
relapse in the crime of administering the sacraments without being in
orders, which the Roman Inquisition treated as the equivalent of heresy,
was visited in Spain only with the ordinary penalties in somewhat
rigorous measure. Thus Juan Vicente Esquirel y Morales--a man with a
number of aliases who had been a foot-soldier--was penanced for this
offence at Granada in 1727. He persisted in his evil courses and, in the
Córdova auto of March 4, 1731, he was forbidden to wear clerical
garments and was sentenced to two hundred lashes and ten years of

The latter half of the eighteenth century witnessed the gradual
disappearance of relaxation. Llorente tells us that during the reign of
Carlos III (1759-1788) he has found accounts of only ten autos de fe, in
which there were but four cases.[613] Probably the latest instance was
that of Isabel María Herraiz, an impostor known as the _Beata de
Cuenca_, who died in prison without confession and, being thus unable to
recant and beg mercy, was burnt in effigy in 1802.[614] When it came to
relaxing a living fellow-creature, however, the Inquisition by this time
was honestly desirous of escaping the necessity. Padre Miguel Sorano,
cura of Esco in Aragon, was an unmanageable heretic, who discarded
tradition and the fathers and held that Scripture was the sole
authority; purgatory and limbo were human inventions; fees for masses
were simony; tithes were a fraud; the pope was not the vicar of Christ
and his decretals were mere devices to raise money. All this he embodied
in a book which he audaciously submitted to his bishop and other
theologians. Tried by the Saragossa tribunal, he was pertinaciously
impenitent, impervious alike to argument and threats, and there was no
alternative but to vote for relaxation. Then the Suprema ordered fresh
testimony to be sought and renewed efforts at conversion, but all proved
fruitless and again relaxation was voted. As a last resource the Suprema
ordered an investigation into his sanity. All the population of the
vicinage was examined, and one doctor was found to say that some years
before he had been dangerously sick, which might have affected his
brain, and since then he had talked freely of these heretical doctrines.
Taking advantage of this, renewed efforts were made to convert him
without coming to a vote. While this was in progress he was attacked
with mortal illness and, at the end of twenty days, he was told that the
end was near. He merely said that he was in the hands of God; he refused
all the consolations of religion and passed away unrepentant in 1805, to
be buried in unconsecrated ground, when the Suprema ordered the case to
be closed, without proceeding to conviction and burning in effigy.[615]
We shall see that twenty years later the episcopal Inquisition was less



The Act of Faith--the Auto de Fe--was the name by which the Spanish Holy
Office dignified the _Sermo_ of the Old Inquisition. In its full
development it was an elaborate public solemnity, carefully devised to
inspire awe for the mysterious authority of the Inquisition, and to
impress the population with a wholesome abhorrence of heresy, by
representing in so far as it could the tremendous drama of the Day of
Judgement.[616] It was regarded as an eminently pious duty. Ferdinand,
in 1499, congratulating the inquisitors of Saragossa on the reports of
their autos, and the consequent edification of the people, exhorts them
to continue to serve God and to discharge their consciences and his. In
a similar mood Cardinal Adrian, in 1517, urged the tribunal of Sicily to
celebrate one as early as possible for, besides the service to God, it
would greatly edify the people.[617] The old designation of Sermo was
derived from the sermon with which the proceedings commenced--originally
preached by one of the inquisitors, but subsequently by some eloquent
fraile, who dilated on the supreme importance of preserving the faith in
its purity and of exterminating heresy and heretics. To insure a large
attendance, an indulgence, usually of forty days, was granted to all
present at the pious work.

At the height of its power the Inquisition spared no labor or expense to
lend impressiveness to the _auto publico general_, as a demonstration of
its authority and of the success with which it performed its functions.
In the earlier and busier period, the exhibition was simpler, and
confined to the practical work in hand. Thus in the first one celebrated
in Toledo, August 16, 1486, the victims were marched on foot to the
plaza, their hands tied with ropes across the breast, wearing sanbenitos
of yellow linen with their names and the inscription "herege condenado,"
and bearing mitres on their heads. In the plaza they were ranged in
tiers on a staging, while the inquisitors and their officials occupied
another staging opposite. The sentence of each one was read and,
although the culprits were numerous, the affair, commencing at 6 A.M.,
was over by noon, when the convicts were carried to the _brasero_ or
_quemadero_ for burning. Apparently the exhibition consisted only of
those condemned to the stake, to the exclusion of the reconciled or
otherwise penanced.[618] The autos of the period, moreover, were not
confined to the seats of the tribunals. We hear of them in the smaller
towns, and, from a letter of Ferdinand, November 21, 1498, it appears
that the convicts were distributed to their several bishoprics where the
celebration and execution, though on a minor scale, would bring the
terror of the Inquisition and the danger of heresy more directly home to
the people.[619] By 1515, however, we may assume that they were
centralized in the tribunal cities, for a royal cédula of that year
orders the tribunal of Murcia to confine its autos to the city of Murcia
and not to celebrate them in Orihuela.[620] It was evidently desired to
render them more impressive, and this was further accomplished, about
the same time, by requiring all penitents to appear in them for, in
1517, we find the Suprema instructing the tribunal of Navarre that, in
future, abjurations _de levi_ were not to be made privately, but in the
public autos, which were to be celebrated with all solemnity.[621] There
was cruelty in this, for appearance in an auto was in itself a severe
punishment, and we shall see that subsequently _autos particulares_, or
private autos, were instituted which enabled those guilty of lighter
offences to escape without public humiliation.


Thus far autos were held at the discretion of the tribunals, which
celebrated them whenever there was an accumulation of finished trials
requiring relief to the prisons. A consulta de fe would be assembled,
the sentences would be agreed upon, and a day would be appointed. It
probably was not often that any external interference was apprehended,
as at Cuenca, in 1520, where the tribunal had so excited popular passion
by arresting the deputy corregidor, in some collision of jurisdictions,
that it was obliged to procure a royal cédula instructing the
corregidor not to permit the inquisitors to be impeded in the
performance of their functions.[622] Gradually, however, in this, as in
so much else, the Suprema assumed control. A commencement of this is
seen, in 1537, when it ordered that, whenever an auto was proposed, it
should be apprised before any one else, but even the Instructions of
1561 leave as yet the determination with the tribunals.[623] It could
not have been long after this, however, that the permission of the
Suprema became requisite for, in 1585, we find the Inquisitor of Cuenca,
Ximenes de Reynoso, writing, September 3d, for a decision of certain
cases, and for authority to hold an auto, as there were thirty
penitents, many of whom being poor were a charge on the fisc. The
Suprema delayed its answer and, on October 14th, Reynoso sent a special
courier, asking the reply to be returned by him; the auto was necessary
for the benefit of the sick prisoners, as there was a pestilence raging,
and also for the relief of the treasury; it was only by special entreaty
that the receiver had paid the expenses of the last month, saying that
there were no funds. This brought a speedy answer, with the desired
permission.[624] Finally, the customary routine was for the tribunal to
send a list of the cases in readiness and to ask for licence to hold an
auto; if the Suprema approved, it ordered the auto to be celebrated
without delay. Apparently in the active work of the eighteenth century
there was an effort to regain control of the matter, for a carta
acordada of June 5, 1720, orders that no auto be held without advising
the Suprema and awaiting its commands.[625]

As public autos became less frequent, they lost the simplicity of the
earlier period and grew to be imposing demonstrations of the authority
of the Inquisition. Possession was taken of the principal square of the
city, and two vast stagings were erected, one for the penitents and
their ghostly attendants, and the other for the inquisitors with their
officials and all the ecclesiastical and secular authorities, while the
windows of the surrounding houses were filled with the notables of the
place and their families. The participation of prelate and magistrate,
in the processions and spectacle, was compulsory, for though, as a rule,
they were proud to take their places, causes of quarrel were too
frequent and bitter not occasionally to render them unwilling thus to
do honor to their imperious adversaries. In 1486, the local authorities
of Valencia absented themselves from an auto and, when this was reported
to Ferdinand, he rebuked them and ordered them in future always to be
present, for nothing was so important as the service of God.[626]
Similar commands had to be repeated not infrequently. About 1580, a
royal cédula to the viceroy and officials of Majorca instructs them to
lend the weight of their authority to the Inquisition, by accompanying
the inquisitors in the procession to the staging, and then conducting
them back to their palace. In 1588, the President of the Royal Council
of Castile issued a general order to all the judges of the royal courts
to march in the processions and, in 1598, the inquisitors were empowered
to compel by excommunication the attendance of all public

The staging, on great occasions, was elaborate and costly, and the
question of defraying the expense was variously decided. In 1553, we
find the Suprema settling it, in Cuenca, by requiring the city to erect
it, as was customary in Toledo. These two cities and Madrid remained
charged with it, but elsewhere it was paid by the tribunals. At the
great Madrid auto of 1632, Philip IV ordered the city to construct the
staging in conformity with plans drawn by his chief architect, and the
same course was followed in that of 1680, where we have long details of
the complicated structure erected under the superintendence of
commissioners of high rank, who esteemed the duty to be an honor.[628]


It was essential that both inquisitors should be present, and a single
inquisitor was forbidden to celebrate a public auto in the absence of
his colleague. The day selected must be a feast-day--ordinarily a
Sunday--in order to insure a larger attendance. It sometimes chanced,
however, in the eccentricities of spiritual jurisdiction, that the city
lay under an interdict on the day appointed and, in such case, the
Inquisition had to yield. In 1582 the Suprema instructed the tribunals
that, when this occurred, they should endeavor to have the interdict
lifted for the occasion, but, if those who had cast it refused, the
inquisitors must not assume to lift it of their own authority, and must
postpone the auto or do the best they could.[629]

In all other respects the inquisitors were masters of the situation.
Repeated royal cédulas, commencing in 1523, addressed to the authorities
of the cities, made the inquisitors virtual rulers for the time. They
were authorized to erect stagings in the public plazas, to regulate the
police arrangements of the towns, and even to assign to the secular and
clerical officials such seats and precedence as they saw fit. The climax
would appear to be reached when Philip II empowered them to distribute
at their will the windows of the private houses overlooking the scene.
Against this, in 1595, the president and judges of the Audiencia of
Granada protested, begging that house-owners should be allowed to rent
their windows, and pointing out the hardship of a gentleman of high
degree securing the use of a window for his family, and being turned out
because the inquisitors chose to give it to a notary for the use of his
wife. Philip, however, held good, except in so far that he gave the
inquisitors instructions to have special consideration for the houses of
the judges and alcaldes.[630] How the tribunals exercised the police
power thus conferred on them is exemplified in the Seville auto of
September 24, 1559, when they forbade any one, between the preceding
midnight and the close of the solemnity, to carry arms or ride on
horseback in the city, under penalty, for common folk, of a hundred
lashes, and for gentlemen, of forfeiture of the horse or mule, thirty
days of prison, and a fine of fifty thousand maravedís.[631]

       *       *       *       *       *

Numerous relations are extant, in print and in MS., of the great _autos
publicos generales_, giving in more or less detail the elaborate
ceremonial which developed itself, in the effort to render impressive
these crowning manifestations of the piety that regarded, as the highest
service to God, the extermination of those who persisted in worshipping
him according to their own consciences. These show that fashions varied
somewhat with time and place; they give the point of view of the
spectator, and we may preferably take as our guide a memoir of the
seventeenth century showing the internal machinery, according to the
custom of Toledo, drawn up for the instruction of succeeding
inquisitors.[632] The minuteness of the rules prescribed shows what
importance was attached to rendering the spectacle imposing and to
making manifest the subordination of the civil power, while the care
taken to designate the exact place of every man or body of men indicates
how fruitless was the authority granted to the tribunal in these matters
to prevent the inveterate quarrels as to precedence. At the great Madrid
auto of 1632, the Franciscans, indignant at the position assigned to
them in the procession, after lively altercation, retired sullenly to
their convent, for which the Suprema prosecuted them. These undignified
squabbles were so much a matter of course that our author, in describing
the report to be made to the Suprema, assumes that a place must be
reserved in it for them, and for the reasons which governed the tribunal
in its decisions.

When cases sufficient for an auto have accumulated, the tribunal reports
them to the Suprema, which orders it to be held. Then the inquisitors
determine on a feast-day, which should be at least a month off, in order
to give sufficient time for the preparations. Word is then sent to the
corregidor and the dean of the cathedral chapter to convene their
respective bodies at nine o'clock the next morning, to receive a
communication from the Inquisition and, at the appointed hour, some of
the higher officials, with familiars, announce to them and to the bishop
the expected celebration. Then in due time mounted familiars and
notaries, with drums and trumpets and clarions and the standard of the
Inquisition, move in procession through the streets, and at stated
places a bell-man rings a bell and the town crier proclaims "Know all
dwellers in this city that the Holy Office of the Inquisition, for the
glory and honor of God and the exaltation of our holy Catholic faith,
will celebrate a public auto de fe at such a place on such a day."

[Sidenote: _PREPARATIONS_]

No time is lost in making preparation. Commissioners are appointed for
the erection and ornamentation of the staging, and wax is provided for
the candles in the procession of the Green Cross on the evening before
the auto. All the Mendicant Orders and the parish churches are invited
to take part in the procession and the auto. Letters of convocation are
despatched, summoning all familiars, notaries, commissioners,
consultores and calificadores of the district, under penalties and
censures, to come on the day previous to the procession of the Green
Cross.[633] The frailes, who are to assist the condemned during their
last night on earth, are selected and notified. _Corozas_ (conical
mitres, about three quarters of an ell in height) are ordered, with
flames for those who are to be relaxed, and in the ordinary form for
bigamists, sorcerers and false-witnesses; also sanbenitos with flames
for the relaxed, with two aspas for the reconciled, and with one aspa,
behind and before, for those abjuring _de vehementi_; also halters for
the relaxed and for those to be scourged. If there are effigies, they
are made half length, to be carried on poles by porters; if there are
bones, the boxes containing them are black, to be placed at the foot of
those to which they belong; the effigies wear mitres with flames, and
sanbenitos with flames on one side and, on the other, the name,
residence and crime of the culprit.[634] Green crosses are also provided
to be carried by the relaxed, yellow wax candles for the penitents and
bundles of osiers for the reconciliation ceremonies. There must also be
a box for carrying the sentences, of crimson velvet with gold fringe and
a gilt lock and key, while a list of the relaxed and the effigies is
given to the magistrates, so that they may have the sentences ready.
Besides these there is the large green cross to be borne by the
Dominican prior, and the white cross by the mayordomo of the Cofradia,
in the procession of the preceding evening. The standard to be carried
by the fiscal is to be made of crimson damask, richly embroidered on one
side with the royal arms, a green cross rising from the crown, and the
sword and olive-branch to right and left, on the other side a shield
with arms of San Pedro Martir; the staff is to be gilt, ending in a
cross, with pendant cords bearing gold and silver tassels. Elaborate
trappings are to be provided for the mules ridden by the officials, and
silver-plated batons for the familiars who marshal the procession. The
parish church usually supplies the carpets, hangings, and other
adornments of the staging, and the singers for the evening procession
and the reconciliation ceremonies. Then the preacher is
appointed--usually a Dominican calificador--though in Galicia a bishop
is generally selected and, in Madrid, the royal confessor. The day
before the auto, the altar on the staging is decorated, and torches and
candles are arranged around the place where the green cross is to be
set. The inquisitors assign all the windows overlooking the plaza; they
order that no coaches shall traverse the streets, and decide where the
barriers are to be erected; the municipal authorities surrender the city
to them and do whatever they require.


In the evening preceding the auto, the procession of the Green Cross
takes place--a solemn affair in which the standard is borne by a crowd
of familiars and gentlemen; the white cross follows with the religious
Orders, the cross of the parish church with its clergy, the Green Cross
carried by the Dominican prior and his frailes with torches and chanting
the Miserere. The procession winds through the designated streets to the
plaza, where the Green Cross is planted above the altar and is guarded
by Dominicans during the night. The white cross is carried on to the
brasero, where it is guarded by a body, existing in some cities, known
as the soldiers of the Zarza, whose function is to guard the brasero and
plaza and to furnish the wood for the burning.[635] The Inquisition
itself is guarded during the night by soldiers who, before day-break,
arouse the officials by beat of drum. Within the building, the
sanbenitos and insignia are arranged in order and porters are assembled
in readiness to carry the effigies and bones and such penitents as have
been disabled from walking. At 9 P.M. the senior inquisitor, with a
secretary, visits those who are to be relaxed and informs them of their
approaching fate; with each of them he leaves two frailes to guide them.
If any of the pertinacious or negativos are converted, they are to be
heard immediately and their confessions received, when the inquisitors
with the Ordinary determine whether to admit them to reconciliation, and
the same is done with those converted on the staging.

Before dawn mass is celebrated in the audience-chamber, and also at the
altar of the Green Cross. By daylight breakfast is given to all who are
to appear in the auto, and also to the frailes assigned to the
relaxed.[636] They are not taken from their cells till the hour of
forming the procession, when the penitents are ranged along the walls of
the audience-chamber in the order of their marching; all are dressed in
their sanbenitos with the requisite insignia.

The procession starts with the soldiers of the Zarza at its head; then
the cross of the parish church, shrouded in black, with an acolyte who
tolls a bell mournfully at intervals. Then come the penitents, one by
one, each with a familiar on either side; first are the impostors, then
personators of officials of the Inquisition, followed in order by
blasphemers, bigamists, Judaizers, Protestants, the effigies and chests
of bones and finally those to be relaxed, each with two frailes. Mounted
officials follow, then familiars in pairs, the standard of the
Inquisition, and finally the inquisitors bring up the rear. Thus the
procession moves through the designated streets, filled with a densely
packed crowd, kept off by railings, to the plaza, where the culprits are
seated in the same order, the lightest offenders on the lowest benches.

The staging is provided with two pulpits, from which the sentences are
read alternatively. Between them is a bench elevated on two steps, on
which the penitents are brought successively, to sit with their faces to
the tribunal and hear their sentences read; the bench is furnished with
a rail, kindly provided for them to cling to, in case of fainting, for,
with the exception of the relaxed, this is the first definite
announcement to them of their fate. Below the seats of the tribunal
there is a room handsomely fitted up for refreshments, to which the
inquisitors, officials, municipal officers and clergy resort from time
to time, and a similar one is provided for the familiars and persons of
note. To the former is brought any pertinacious convict who may be
converted on the staging previous to hearing his sentence, and there an
inquisitor and secretary take his confession, after which the
inquisitors and Ordinary consider the case: if he is to be admitted to
reconciliation he is sent back to the Inquisition in a coach or chair,
or is replaced on the staging, to return with the rest of the penitents.
If any culprit dies on the staging, if he is condemned to relaxation his
sentence is read, and his body is delivered to the secular arm; if he is
one of those to be reconciled, he is absolved and the parish church
buries him in consecrated ground; if simply one penanced, he is absolved
_ad cautelam_ and the church buries him.

After the preaching of the sermon, a secretary mounts a pulpit and, in a
loud voice, reads the customary oath, elaborately pledging all the
officials and people present to obedience to the Holy Office, and to the
active persecution of heretics and heresy, to which every one responds
Amen! If the king is present, the senior inquisitor goes to his balcony
and, on the cross and gospels, administers to him an oath to defend the
faith, to persecute heretics and to show all necessary favor to the


Then the sentences are read from the alternate pulpits, the alguazil
mayor producing each culprit to hear his sentence. In this there must be
no interruption, as all the sentences must be read, if it lasts till
nightfall, for which torches and torch-bearers must be in
readiness.[638] Although the sentences of the relaxed are left to the
last, yet, if the auto is prolonged into the night they are introduced
earlier, as it is essential that the burning should be executed in broad
day-light. As these sentences are read, the effigies and chests of bones
are ranged on one side of the stage, and the living convicts on the
other. They are then delivered to the secular arm, and the judge who
utters the sentences does so, either on the stage, or at the table of
the secretaries or outside of the staging. If there is a _compañia de la
Zarza_, it marches in squadron into the plaza, when the sentences are
read, and the men discharge their arquebuses. They surround the
condemned and march with them to the brasero, to protect them from the
populace which, in some places, is accustomed to maltreat and even to
kill them, against which the inquisitors give special instructions. The
magistrates provide the asses on which they ride and the wood to burn
them. The frailes in charge attend them to the last breath and exhaust
all effort to bring about their repentance and conversion.

The public solemnities conclude with the ceremonies of abjuration and
reconciliation, after which the alguazil mayor and familiars conduct the
penitents back to the Inquisition, where they have supper and are locked
up, three or four in a cell. The priests of the parish church remove the
black veil from their cross and take it back, while the Dominicans bear
the green cross to the Inquisition, singing psalms and escorted by the
municipal officials. The next morning the reconciled have the terms of
their sentences read over to them; they and the other penitents take the
oath of secrecy, and they are conveyed by the alcaide to the penitential
prison. At ten o'clock the alguazil mayor, with a secretary and
familiars, all mounted, with the public executioner and town-crier, take
out those sentenced to scourging and vergüenza, and the punishment is
duly administered through the customary streets. On their return, those
whose sentences include the galleys are furnished a certificate of their
length of service and are transferred to the royal prison, and with this
concludes the stately ceremony by which the Holy Office, at the height
of its power, impressed its terror on the population.

The place of burning--the quemadero or brasero--as a rule was outside of
the city. With this the tribunal had nothing to do, except that a
secretary and alguazil were present to certify and report as to the
execution of the sentences.[639] Consequently the documents of the
Inquisition furnish no details, but some may be gleaned from a relation
of the Madrid auto of 1632. For this occasion the city had constructed
the brasero beyond the Puerta de Alcalá; as there were seven to be
burnt, it was made fifty feet square, and had the requisite stakes with
garrotes. The confusion and crowd were great, and so also was the fire,
which lasted until eleven o'clock at night, by which time the bodies
were reduced to ashes, so that the memory of the impious might vanish
from the earth.[640] The scattering of the ashes over the fields, or
into running water, was a prescription of old standing, to prevent
disciples of heresiarchs from preserving fragments to be venerated as
relics. This was not an easy matter, for the total calcination of a
human skeleton requires a prolonged intensity of heat not likely to be
maintained where wood was expensive, and the bones found with the
cinders on the site of the old quemadero of Madrid, when, about 1868,
the Calle de Carranza was cut through it, would indicate that part, at
least, of the remains of the victims were allowed to lie where they had

       *       *       *       *       *


The _auto público general_, while looming large in popular imagination,
represented, in truth, but a small part of inquisitorial activity. It
was a solemnity on a grand scale, in which the Holy Office magnified its
importance, but by far the greater number of cases were despatched in
_autos particulares_ or _autillos_, held in churches, or in the
audience-chamber, or anywhere that circumstances might dictate. In the
Toledo record, from 1575 to 1610, there are contained but twelve autos
generales, in which three hundred and eighty-six culprits appeared,
while seven hundred and eighty-six cases were settled in autos
particulares.[641] As stated above, appearance in a public auto was, in
itself, a severe punishment, and the sentence always specified whether
the offender was to be subjected to a humiliation entailing
consequences on him and his family so greatly dreaded that, at a Toledo
auto of December 13, 1627, Juan Nuñez Saravia, a wealthy Portuguese,
vainly offered twelve thousand ducats to escape it.[642] The great
majority of cases deserved no such severity. The jurisdiction of the
Inquisition extended over a wide field; it was, in a certain sense, a
_custos morum_ and took cognizance of a vast number of comparatively
trivial offences--careless speeches, blasphemies, propositions of all
kinds, indecent writings and works of art, sorceries and conjurations
more or less innocent and the like--which it disposed of without
summoning the entire population as spectators. Clerical offenders,
moreover, as we have seen, unless degraded for formal heresy, were
shielded from the scandal of publicity in the audience chamber.

The _auto particular_, or private auto, was often celebrated in a
church, to which the spiritual and civil authorities were not invited,
but where such portion of the public as could find room were at liberty
to be present. More frequently it was held in the _sala_, or
audience-chamber, and here again there was a distinction, for the
sentence defined whether it should be with open doors or closed and, in
the former case, the bell was often tolled in order to invite a curious
crowd of spectators. Even the apartments of the senior inquisitor were
sometimes used in this manner, as when, March 23, 1680, three alguaziles
of the corregidor of Toledo, for maltreating the purveyor of the
tribunal, were sentenced in the apartments to various terms of exile.
When nuns were the culprits, the _autillo_ was customarily performed in
their convent, as in the case, August 8, 1658, of Sor Josefa de
Villegas, for superstitions and sorceries, who was sentenced to various
penances, through the grating of the Augustinian nunnery of San
Torquato, in presence of the nuns and, on February 13, 1685, Sor
Dionisia de Rojas was sentenced in the choir of the Franciscan house of
Santa Isabel, in the presence of the superior and four elderly

As financial distress grew more and more acute, in the seventeenth
century, the tribunals shrank from the heavy expenses attendant on the
elaborate demonstrations of the great public autos which, however
gratifying to their pride, bore too heavily upon their diminishing
resources, exposed as they were to the royal exactions. In Barcelona,
there would seem to have been no public auto between 1627 and the revolt
of 1640; in Valladolid, none between 1644 and 1667. In Toledo one was
held, after prolonged consideration, January 1, 1651, in which the
number of culprits shows that it relieved the prisons of a long
accumulation; it was the last public auto celebrated in Toledo, and
there was none even in a church, between 1656 and 1677.[644] Seville
appears to have been less hampered and celebrated public autos generales
in 1631, 1643, 1648, 1656, and a most impressive one in 1660 at which
less fortunate tribunals unloaded their convicts, for there were seven
relaxations in person, twenty-seven in effigy and fifty-two penitents,
but this appears to be the last of its kind there.[645]


In fact, the public auto would have been abandoned ere this, but for the
rule that judgements of blood must not be rendered in churches. As early
as 1568 the Suprema had decreed that, when there was a relaxation, the
auto must be held in the plaza and not in a church, which was in
accordance with the ancient authorities.[646] When the public autos
became an onerous burden, we can imagine that this led to hesitation in
pronouncing death-sentences for, when this was unavoidable, the convict
became a troublesome personage. A suggestive case was that of Juan
López, condemned to relaxation for Judaism, at Valladolid, in 1633;
after he lay in prison for thirty months with no prospect of getting rid
of him, the Suprema ordered him to be tortured and another vote to be
taken, which resulted, September 1, 1637, in a revised sentence of
reconciliation, with severe punishments.[647] A device less damaging to
the purity of faith was to transfer a convict from one tribunal to
another for execution. Thus when, at Valencia, the Morisco Gerónimo
Buenaventura was condemned for pertinacity, there was no auto in which
to execute the sentence. On November 19, 1635, the Suprema ordered him
to be sent to Valladolid, apparently under the impression that he could
be burnt there but, after two years, Valladolid reported that it had no
public auto in which to despatch him, so, in 1638 the Suprema ordered
his transfer to Saragossa.[648] Whether he met a speedy death there we
have no means of knowing, but there is something peculiarly revolting in
thus sending a poor wretch from one corner of Spain to another, in order
to find some place in which to burn him economically.

When any tribunal managed to celebrate a public auto, it was utilized to
disembarrass the others. Thus the Toledo auto of 1651 had effigies
contributed by Cuenca, Córdova and Seville. In 1655 Santiago celebrated
a public auto, to which Valladolid sent for relaxation one living person
and four effigies, two of the latter having been kept waiting since 1644
and 1648. The consulta de fe of Murcia, on July 18, 1658, voted to relax
nine fugitive Judaizers of Beas, but the formal sentence was delayed
until December 5, 1659, in preparation for the great public auto at
Seville, April 13, 1660, when the effigies were duly cremated.[649] The
imposing Madrid auto of 1680--the last of its kind--was a general gaol
delivery to which all the tribunals contributed their embarrassing

There was no prospect of an improvement in the situation, although it
was supremely humiliating to the Inquisition that it could not afford to
burn those whom it condemned, promptly and on the scene of their
transgressions, under the alternative of exercising a compulsory mercy.
Some relief must be found, and a partial attempt was made, in a carta
acordada of September 4, 1657, permitting effigies to be relaxed at
autos particulares in churches. Toledo promptly availed itself of this
by relaxing, December 9th, eight effigies of fugitives in such an
auto,[650] but the other tribunals seem to have discountenanced the
device. The further step, of overthrowing the traditional prohibition of
uttering sentences of blood in churches, appears to have been under
consideration in 1664, when the Suprema called on the tribunals for
information as to relaxations in person or in effigy in autos
particulares. In reply, Valencia reported that the sentence of Gaspar
López, to be relaxed in effigy, voted in 1641, had never been published,
for lack of an auto, although the corresponding sentence of
confiscation had been executed--which the Suprema pronounced to be
highly irregular.[651]

It required time to familiarise the conscience with so revolutionary a
measure, and the project slumbered for a quarter of a century, but the
pressure to escape the burden of public autos increased, and the Suprema
finally conquered its scruples. A carta acordada, of September 23, 1689,
pointed out that, in view of the diminished resources from confiscations
and of the increased cost of celebrating these public functions with due
solemnity, they were avoided as far as possible, and it was no longer
practicable to reserve for them the relaxed, whose numbers unfortunately
were daily increasing. They had to be fed while lying forgotten in their
cells, after their cases were finished; even the expense of transferring
them from one tribunal to another was considerable, and it was kindly
added that there was risk to their souls in detaining them so long while
in ignorance of their fate. Weighing all this and, in view of the fact
that there were cases of relaxation in churches both before and after
the Instructions of 1561, and that the Council of Constance, sitting in
the cathedral, had condemned Jerome of Prague, the Suprema reached the
conclusion that judgement of relaxation could be rendered in churches,
provided the sentence of the civil magistrate was uttered outside. The
tribunals were therefore instructed that they could relieve themselves
of their convicts in autos particulares in churches, delivering them to
the secular arm outside of the sacred limits. To such autos the civic
and cathedral chapters were not to be invited, and the rule as to time
was to be observed, so that the burning could be performed by


Against this there arose a protest on the part of the secular
magistrates, who felt slighted at not being invited and having seats
allotted to them. To meet this, the Suprema, April 7, 1690, addressed to
the king a consulta deploring the impossibility of celebrating the autos
with the ceremonial and impressiveness of old. But great numbers of
those deserving relaxation had accumulated in most of the tribunals;
there were not funds to maintain them in prison, or to despatch them in
general autos, and to bring them together would excite horror, as
occurred in the auto of 1680. It therefore proposed that the secular
officials be stationed outside of the church, where the convicts could
be delivered to them, but this was not acceptable to the civil
authorities and a compromise was effected, July 20th, designating the
single official who was to represent the secular arm. The tribunal was
to send him a message, appointing time and place; he was to be at the
church door when the procession arrived; he was to follow the
inquisitors, the fiscal and the Ordinary, and have a seat near them and,
after the sentences of relaxation were pronounced, he was to leave the
church for a place agreed upon, where the convicts were to be brought to
him, when he sentenced them and executed the sentences.[653]

Thus came to an end the gorgeous general public autos in which, during
its more prosperous days, the Inquisition had made so profound an
impression on the imaginations of men. Thenceforth, no matter how many
living beings and effigies were consigned to the quemadero, the ceremony
was conducted within the sacred precincts of a church, in a simpler and
more economical fashion. The great autos of Majorca, in 1691, in which
so many unfortunates perished, were held in the church of San Domingo.
Yet still there was elaboration of display. A writer, in 1724, giving an
account of the autos celebrated in Seville since 1719, is vastly more
concerned with enumerating the names of officials and familiars, with
describing the ceremonial and dilating upon the crimson velvet chairs
and cushions and canopies embroidered in gold and silver and the diamond
badges worn by the functionaries, than with the real work of the
tribunal, grim and cruel though it continued to be.[654]

These gauds might gratify the vanity of the Inquisitors, but the old
attractiveness of the imposing public ceremonial had vanished. The
population no longer poured in from all the surrounding district,
camping out in the fields, in the vast crowds described with so much
pride in the relations of the great autos. When we remember the thousand
familiars and officials in Logroño, and the grandees who eagerly
competed for positions of honor in the processions, we can estimate the
change that compelled the complaint of the Seville tribunal, in 1729. It
denounced the luke-warmness of the familiars in accompanying its
processions, whereby it was losing the respect of the people, and
compared unfavorably with the public demonstrations of the Audiencia and
civic authorities. It was with this object that the familiars had been
so greatly increased in numbers and had been favored with so many
privileges and exemptions. Besides the occasional autos, the tribunal
made _salidas_, or processions, on five principal feasts of the year,
and it ordered the Hermandad de San Pedro Martir to nominate eight
familiars, from among whom it would select four, two to accompany it on
the regular salidas and two for the autos, with threats of fine and
imprisonment for neglect of duty.[655]

Yet it would not be safe to conclude from this that fanaticism was
extinct. At the Llerena auto of June 25, 1752, there were six effigies
of fugitives to be burnt and one of a dead woman with her bones. It had
always been the custom to have these borne in the procession and to the
brasero by carriers of the lowest class, drawn from the hospital for
vagrants, who were paid for the service but, on this occasion, it
chanced that none of these could be had. The inquisitors were greatly
exercised and, as a last expedient, they represented to the
Lieutenant-governor, Don Manuel de la Fuente y Dávila, that this was an
exalted religious duty which the noblest might be proud to perform, and
they offered that the officials of the Inquisition would carry the
effigies to the church and then to the secular magistrate, if Don Manuel
and other nobles would bear them thence to the brasero. Don Manuel
assented and his example was followed by the Governor, the Marquis of
Torre Mexia and other nobles; the officials were persuaded to do their
share, and thus, we are told, the old custom, so derogatory to the
sacredness of the function, was successfully discarded. The procession
to the brasero was a triumphal march, to the sound of trumpets, with the
escort of all the troops that could be assembled.[656]


Notwithstanding such occasional bursts of zeal, the glory of the
Inquisition was rapidly departing and, with the extermination of the few
remaining Judaizers, its functions continuously dwindled. In the Toledo
tribunal, the last auto held in a church was on March 7, 1778, for a
single penitent condemned to vergüenza for sorcery. After that, to the
close of the century, it had but nine autillos, all held in the
audience-chamber, sometimes with open and sometimes with closed doors,
and in each of them there was but a single penitent. Five of the cases
were for propositions, two for solicitation in the confessional, one for
bigamy, and one for administering sacraments without priests'
orders.[657] To this had shrunk the activity of a once prominent
tribunal and with this shrinkage the power to impress the popular
imagination with its imposing demonstrations.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is one aspect of the auto de fe which reflects the intensity of
Spanish fanaticism in a most suggestive manner. When the Spaniard
regarded it as a celebration fitted for a day of rejoicing, or as a
spectacular entertainment acceptable to distinguished national guests,
he did so in the conviction that it was the highest exhibition of piety,
and a service to God, glorious to the land which organized it, and
stimulating the devotion of all participants. Probably no autos were
celebrated in honor of Ferdinand and Isabella, for the stern and rapid
work of the period scarce admitted of the pageantry requisite to adapt
the spectacle to royal courtliness, and the Burgundian fashions had not
superseded the ancient Castilian simplicity. None of their successors,
however, of the House of Hapsburg, were without such a testimonial of
pious loyalty. When, in 1528, Charles V passed through Valencia, there
was celebrated in his honor an auto, in which there were thirteen men
and women relaxed in person, besides ten in effigy.[658] In 1560, the
Toledo tribunal contributed an auto, with several relaxations, to the
joyous celebration of the marriage of Philip II with Isabelle de Valois,
daughter of Henry II of France. It was a notable spectacle, for the
royal wedding and the meeting of the Córtes to swear allegiance to the
young Don Carlos brought to Toledo all that was most distinguished in
Spain.[659] When, in February, 1564, Philip was in Barcelona for the
Catalan Córtes, an auto was arranged in his honor, in which there were
eight relaxations in person and numerous condemnations to the galleys.
They were mostly Frenchmen whom Saint-Sulpice, the French ambassador,
had vainly sought to protect.[660]


The accession of Philip III was celebrated by an auto at Toledo, March
6, 1600, in the presence of the king, his queen, Margarita of Austria,
the Duke of Lerma and all the court, where Philip took the oath to
protect and favor the Holy Office. Toledo had but few culprits, as it
had held an auto the year before, but a total of forty-six were
accumulated by drawing upon Córdoba, Granada, Cuenca, Llerena,
Valladolid and Seville. There were but two relaxations in effigy and one
in person--the latter being a Huguenot named Jacques Pinzon, whom the
Granada tribunal had been leisurely endeavoring to wean from his heresy
for a couple of years. He was needed to complete the attraction at
Toledo, and his trial was concluded so hurriedly that the Suprema
ordered his transfer thither before it had received for confirmation the
vote condemning him, so the sentence was made out in blank and sent
after him for the Toledan inquisitors to sign. As he is characterized as
pertinacious he was probably burnt alive.[661] The great auto of Madrid,
in 1632, was held there by the special order of the king, in celebration
of the recovery from confinement of Isabelle de Bourbon, wife of Philip
IV, and was graced with the presence of both and of their son Don
Carlos. There were thirty-seven penitents besides seven relaxations in
person and two in effigy.[662] The revolted Catalans, who had given
themselves to France, took the same means of honoring the Viceroy Condé,
on the eve of his departure for Paris, by an auto celebrated November 7,
1647, in which there were two relaxations in person and two in
effigy.[663] The ostensible purpose of the crowning glory at Madrid,
June 30, 1680, which fitly ended the long series of _autos publicos
generales_, was to honor the marriage of the young Carlos II with Louise
Marie d'Orléans. There were sixty-seven penitents and fifty-one
relaxations, of which nineteen were in person. A _compañia de la Zarza_
was formed, numbering two hundred and fifty members, with Francisco de
Salcedo as captain. On June 28th they were taken to the puerta de
Alcalá, where each man was furnished with a fagot. Then they marched to
the royal palace, where Salcedo took a fagot, specially prepared for the
purpose, and handed it to the Duke of Pastrana, who carried it to the
king. Carlos with his own hands bore it to his queen and exhibited it
and then sent it back by Pastrana with the message that it should be
taken in his name to the brasero and be the first that was thrown upon
the fire.[664] The religious training of the young monarch had evidently
not been neglected. It was an earnest of better things in store for
Spain when, in 1701, Philip V refused to be present at an auto general
proposed to be celebrated in honor of his accession, and the project was

       *       *       *       *       *

We have thus considered the organization of the Inquisition and its
general methods of action. It remains for us to examine the application
of those methods to the various classes of offenders subjected to its
extensive jurisdiction.





As the apostasy of the enforced converts from Judaism was the proximate
cause of the establishment of the Spanish Holy Office, so they continued
to be almost the exclusive object of its energies, until the similar
treatment of the Moors created, in the Moriscos, a class with even
greater claims on its solicitude. The rooting out of the latter,
however, in the early years of the seventeenth century, was so complete
that they virtually disappeared from the records of the tribunals, while
the Jewish New Christians remained, and, for more than another century
provided the major portion of their more serious work.

It had been easy, since 1391, to compel baptism by the alternatives of
exile or death, but it had never been deemed necessary to supplement
this by instruction in the new faith, or by efforts to effect a real
conversion. When Ferdinand and Isabella were aroused to the fact that
the Conversos were Christians only in name, terrorism was the sole
method that suggested itself of accomplishing the great task of securing
the desired unity of faith. So, when the expulsion of 1492, filled the
land with a new multitude of neophytes, there was the same disregard of
the duty of persuasion and instruction. The only utterances on the
subject seem to assume that they would in some way instruct and fortify
themselves in their new religion. When, in 1496, a royal pragmática
forbade them for three years to farm the royal revenues, the reason
alleged was that such occupation would distract them from obtaining due
instruction in Christian doctrine. In 1499, the Suprema ordered that the
Conversos anterior to 1492 should live scattered among Old Christians,
while the recent ones should be separated from their rabbis, living by
themselves in towns and strengthening their faith by punctual attendance
on divine service.[666] It was not until 1500 that it bethought itself
to provide that all the banished Jews who returned, claiming to be
baptized, must exhibit certificates of baptism for themselves and their
children; they must observe the feasts and attend mass and sermons, and
all children, over six years of age, must, within six months, know the
four prayers, the seven mortal sins and the confession of faith.[667]
When the enforced conversion of the Moriscos created an even greater
multitude of nominal Christians, there were a few equally ineffective
instructions issued as to both classes, to which little attention was
paid. The simplicity of belief in the adequacy of these measures was
apparently grounded on faith in the effectiveness of the inquisitorial
process, of which we have incidentally seen so many illustrations during
the early period.

That confidence continued unabated, and the enforcement of uniformity in
this fashion was followed energetically, with only such intermissions as
might arise from the lack of accessible material, or from indolence in
searching for it. Where there was zeal there was little scruple, as
appears from a letter addressed, about 1540, by the tribunal of Llerena
to all the inquisitors of Spain and Portugal. It had arrested twenty-one
persons, in addition to three fugitives and two deceased, on
suspicion--probably because they were on their way to Portugal--and it
now asked to have all the registers of the Peninsula ransacked for
evidence to justify their prosecution.[668] We have had occasion to see
how slender was the proof required for this--the slightest adherence to
any of the ancestral customs of Judaism, whether of religious
significance or not, sufficed, and lists of these observances were
carefully drawn up for the guidance of inquisitors. The more obvious,
such as the avoidance of pork and lard, the removal of fat from meat,
the observance of the Sabbath by changing linen, lighting lamps and
abstaining from work, the killing of fowls by decollation, the keeping
of stated fasts, eating meat in Lent and the like, were known of all
men, and perpetual watch was kept by Old Christians on the households of
Conversos, so that all such lapses were eagerly reported to the
tribunals, as required by the Edicts of Faith. They furnished ample
ground for suspicion, justifying arrest and trial, when inquisitorial
methods insured that no lurking Judaic tendencies could escape


An illustrative case was that of Elvira del Campo, tried at Toledo in
1567. She was of converso descent and was married to Alonso de Moya, a
scrivener of Madridejos, who seems to have been an Old Christian.
According to witnesses who had lived with her as servants, or were her
near neighbors, she went to mass and confession and gave all outward
sign of being a good Christian; she was kind and charitable, but she
would not eat pork and, when she cooked it for the household, she
handled it with a rag so as not to touch it, which she explained by
saying that she had a throat-trouble which made it disagree with her,
and that handling it made her hands smell. There was a little cumulative
evidence about putting on clean linen on Saturdays and not working, but
this was insignificant and the case rested on pork. The chief witnesses
were two of her husband's employees, Pedro de Liano and Alonso Collados,
who lived in the house, and their evidence went much into detail as to
their spying about the kitchen, peeping into cupboards, and watching all
the details of her housekeeping. Liano testified that once he and
Collados talked about her putting a leg of mutton into water to soak
over night, when Collados said he thought there was some Jewish ceremony
in this, and it would please him much to know it, for he would accuse
her to the Inquisition, as he was on bad terms with her. Yet Collados,
before the tribunal, concluded his testimony by saying that he wished
her well for her good treatment of him, that he held her to be a good
Christian, because she went to mass and spoke ill of no one and was very
reserved, rarely leaving her home and talking with but few people.

Elvira was arrested early in July, and at first her trial was pushed
with speed, as she was pregnant, but her confinement, August 31st,
caused a delay of three months. She admitted not eating pork, but
attributed this to medical advice, for a disease communicated to her by
her husband, which she desired to conceal. Little stress was laid on the
other charges and she strenuously asserted her orthodoxy. Of the twelve
witnesses against her she identified six, but her effort to disable them
for enmity failed, except as regarded the two most damaging ones,
Collados and Diego Hernández. Of thirteen witnesses for character,
consisting of ecclesiastics and neighbors, all but one--who professed
ignorance--gave emphatic testimony as to her being a good Christian,
attentive and regular in all religious duties, obedient to the precepts
of the Church, and in no way the object of suspicion. There was
evidently nothing to do but to torture her. This, as we have seen above
(p. 24) was administered twice, and resulted in her stating that when
she was eleven years old her mother had told her not to eat pork and to
observe the Sabbath, and she knew this to be against the Christian
Law--but, as her mother had died when she was eleven years old, we can
not unreasonably doubt its truth. The next day a ratification was
obtained in the shape that her not eating pork, changing her chemise and
observing the Sabbath, were in pursuance of the Law of Moses as taught
her by her mother; she had never mentioned this to anyone, for her
father would have killed her and she feared her husband.

On the strength of this, in the consulta de fe, there was one fanatic
who voted her relaxation, but the rest agreed upon reconciliation with
its disabilities, confiscation and three years of prison and sanbenito,
which were duly imposed in an auto of June 13, 1568, but, in a little
more than six months, the imprisonment was commuted to spiritual
penances, and she was told to go where she chose. Thus, besides the
horrors of her trial, she was beggared and ruined for life, and an
ineffaceable stain was cast upon her kindred and descendants. What
became of the infant born in prison is not recorded, but presumably it
was fortunate enough to die. Trivial as may seem the details of such a
trial, they are not without importance as a sample of what was occupying
the tribunals of all Spain, and they raise the interesting question
whether in truth the inquisitors believed what they assumed in the
public sentence, that they had been laboring to rescue Elvira from the
errors and darkness of her apostasy and to save her soul. The minute
points on which the fate of the accused might depend are illustrated by
the insistence with which they dwell on her abstinence from pork, on her
refusal to eat buttered cakes, on her use of two stewing-pots, and on
the time at which she changed her chemise and baked her bread.[669]


Subjected, on the one hand, to the ceaseless espionage of servants and
neighbors and, on the other, to the pitiless zeal of the tribunals, even
the heroic obstinacy of Judaism, which had triumphed over the countless
miseries of the Dispersion, gradually succumbed to this all-pervading
persecution, so ceaselessly and relentlessly applied. As generation
succeeded generation, with no hope of relief, this unremitting pressure
seemed gradually to be attaining its object. The prosecutions for
Judaism commenced to diminish sensibly. Valencia had a large converso
population and, during the first quarter of the sixteenth century, the
trials averaged between thirty and forty a year. Then came the enforced
baptism of the Moors, who for some time furnished a predominant
contingent. The latter were temporarily released from inquisitorial
jurisdiction in 1540, and, during the three years, 1541, 1542 and 1543,
there was not a single trial for heresy. In 1546 they were again
relieved from the Inquisition and, in the following sixteen years, until
1562, the total number of trials for heresy was but forty-eight--in
fact, in the ten years between 1550 and 1560, there were but two,
showing that Judaism there had almost ceased to be the object of
inquisitorial activity.[670] In Toledo, which included Madrid, during
the sixteen years, 1575-1590 inclusive, there were but twenty-three
cases.[671] In 1565, an auto at Seville presented seventy-four penitents
without one Judaizer, and there were none in a Cuenca auto of 1585 in
which figured twenty-one Moriscos.[672] Even as early as 1558, when the
Suprema was magnifying its services to obtain from Paul IV the grant of
prebends, it admitted that for some years there had been but few
Judaizers found, but it alluded vaguely to some recent discoveries of
them in Murcia, who would soon be punished.[673] In fact, not long
afterward, Paolo Tiepolo, the Venetian envoy, alludes to the arrest in
Murcia of a large number of Jews.[674]

Coincident with this diminution of material for persecution, there seems
to have been a disposition to resort to milder methods, attributable
perhaps to an expectation that Judaism would ere long disappear. In
1567, Pius V, at the request of Philip II, empowered Inquisitor-general
Espinosa, for three years, to have the Judaizing New Christians of
Murcia and Alcaraz absolved, either publicly or privately, with a
salutary and benignant, but not pecuniary, penance; clerics, however,
were not to be habilitated to obtain orders or benefices.[675] There is
a story that Dom João Soares, Bishop of Coimbra, after the Council of
Trent, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, in the course of which, at
Cyprus, he met many Spanish and Portuguese refugees, from whom he
gathered information which he communicated to the tribunal of Llerena,
resulting in the detection of many Judaizers in Extremadura.[676] They
were treated like those of Murcia, for Philip, in 1573, obtained from
Gregory XIII a brief similar to that of 1567, for the benefit of the
Judaizers of the district of Llerena, except that the faculty was
limited to one year.[677] Even greater privileges were granted, in a
brief obtained by Philip, in 1597, to the Judaizers of Ecija and its
district, for not only were they to be absolved like those of Murcia,
but all prisoners under trial were to enjoy the benefit of the pardon,
with no note of infamy on themselves or their descendants, and this time
of grace was to endure for four years.[678] These may not have been the
only instances of such favors, and they indicate a tendency towards an
entire change of policy. That there was hopefulness that the Inquisition
was accomplishing its work is seen in a careful state paper drawn up for
the Suprema, in 1595, by a distinguished prelate, Juan Bautista Pérez,
Bishop of Segorbe, who felt justified in assuming that the baptized Jews
remaining in Spain, after the expulsion of 1492, had now become good
Christians, except one here and there, and that their Law was


In this the good bishop was careful to limit his praise to the
descendants of those who had been baptized a century before, three full
generations having passed under the chastening hands of the Holy Office.
He evidently was aware that a new factor had been injected into the
religious problem--a factor which was to give the Inquisition occupation
for nearly a century and a half more. This was due to the conquest of
Portugal by Philip II, in 1580. Although the union of the two kingdoms
was merely dynastic, and their separate organizations were preserved,
the facility of intercourse which followed led to a large emigration of
New Christians from the poorer to the richer land. They had not been
exposed as long as their Spanish brethren to inquisitorial rigor and,
for the most part, they were crypto-Jews. The fresh justification which
they afforded for the activity of the Inquisition, after the suppression
of spasmodic Protestantism and the expulsion of the Moriscos, and the
part which they played in Spanish Judaism seem to require a brief review
of the curious history of the early Portuguese Inquisition. It also
affords an insight into the relations between the New Christians and the
Holy See, and thus throws a reflected light on the struggles of
Ferdinand and Charles V with the curia.[680]

We have seen (Vol. I, pp. 137, 140) the reception by João II of the
multitudes who flocked to Portugal at the time of the expulsion and
their kindly treatment by King Manoel at his accession in 1495. In
contracting marriage, however, with Isabella, daughter of Ferdinand and
Isabella, the condition was imposed on him of expelling all refugees who
had been condemned by the Spanish Inquisition and, under this impulsion,
seconded by his confessor the Frade Jorje Vogado, he issued a general
edict of expulsion, excepting children under fourteen, who were torn
from their parents--a measure which caused the most deplorable distress,
many of the Jews slaying their offspring rather than surrender them to
be brought up as Christians. By various devices the departure of the
exiled was delayed, until after the time when they incurred the
alternative of slavery, and thus they were coerced to accept baptism. To
temper this, Manoel granted, May 30, 1497, that for twenty years they
should be exempt from persecution; that subsequently all accusations of
Judaism should be brought within twenty days of the acts charged; that
the trial should be conducted under ordinary secular procedure, and that
confiscations should enure to the heirs. Moreover, he promised never to
legislate for them as a distinct race.[681]

This latter pledge was soon broken, by edicts of April 21 and 22, 1499,
forbidding them to leave the kingdom without royal permission and
prohibiting the purchase from them of lands or bills of exchange.
Popular aversion increased and culminated in the awful Lisbon massacre
of 1506. This wrought a revulsion of feeling; in 1507 the restrictive
laws of 1499 were repealed; the New Christians were allowed freely to
trade and to come and go; they were in all things assimilated to the
natives, and were entitled to the common law of the land. In 1512 the
twenty years' exemption was extended to 1534, and although, in 1515, Dom
Manoel applied to Leo X for the introduction of the Inquisition, on the
request being delayed the matter was dropped and was not revived. Until
Manoel's death, in 1521, the New Christians thus enjoyed toleration and
flourished accordingly. They grew rich and prosperous, they intermarried
with the noblest houses, and they largely entered the Church. Externally
their religious observance was unimpeachable, and Portugal naturally
became a haven of refuge for Spanish Conversos, nor is it likely that
the restrictions on such immigration, enacted in 1503, were rigidly


His successor, Dom João III, a youth of 20, was a fanatic of narrow mind
and limited intelligence, but the influence of Manoel's counsellors, who
continued in the direction of affairs, procured, between 1522 and 1524,
the confirmation of the privileges granted by the late king.
Ecclesiastical pressure and popular prejudice, however, made themselves
felt and, in 1524, a secret inquest brought the testimony of parish
priests that the New Christians were suspected of being Christians only
in name.[683] Then João's marriage, in 1525, with Catalina, sister of
Charles V--the only Portuguese queen admitted to a seat in the Council
of State--brought a powerful influence to bear; the growing strength of
these tendencies gradually overcame considerations of plighted faith
and, early in 1531, Dr. Brás Neto, the ambassador at Rome, was
instructed to procure secretly from Clement VII briefs establishing in
Portugal an Inquisition on the Spanish model. We have seen in Spain the
objections of the Holy See to the royal control of the institution and
to the abandonment of all share in the confiscations, and these probably
explain the delays which postponed, until December 17th, the issue of a
brief conferring on the royal nominee, Frade Diogo da Silva, the
requisite faculties as inquisitor-general. This was followed, January
13, 1532 by one ordering him to assume the office; the two reached
Lisbon in February, but it seems to have been feared that their
publication would lead to an immediate exodus of the New Christians, and
they were kept secret until laws could be framed reviving, with
additional rigor, the edicts of 1499, prohibiting, for three years,
departure from the kingdom, the sale of real estate and the negotiation
of bills of exchange. These were issued June 14th, after which there was
a pause, explicable only by the lavish employment of money in both
Lisbon and Rome. The New Christians evidently had obtained knowledge of
the threatened measure; much of the active capital of the kingdom was in
their hands, and the danger called for energetic work and sacrifice. A
fitting emissary to Rome was found in Duarte da Paz, a Converso of no
ordinary ability, energy and audacity; the king was entrusting him with
a mission beyond the borders, under cover of which he made his way to
the papal court, where for ten years he continued to act as agent for
his fellows. Then, in September, there came Marco della Rovere, Bishop
of Sinigaglia, sent as nuncio on this special business, who was speedily
bought by the New Christians, and they probably won over by the same
means the Frade Diogo da Silva, who complicated matters irretrievably by
refusing to accept the office of inquisitor-general. Duarte da Paz also
was not idle, and the confusion became inextricable when, by a brief of
October 17th, Clement VII suspended temporarily the one of the previous
December, and prohibited not only da Silva but all bishops from
proceeding inquisitorially against the New Christians.[684]

As we have seen in Spain, the curia recognized that here was a numerous
and wealthy class of heretics, to whom it could sell protection and
then abandon them, until their fears or their sufferings should produce
a new harvest. This speculation in human agony was all the more
undisguised and lucrative that Portugal was a comparatively feeble
kingdom, which could be treated with much less ceremony than Spain, and
João III a man of wholly different type from Ferdinand or Charles V,
while his invincible determination to have an Inquisition in his realm
prolonged the struggle and rendered especially productive the game of
inclining to either side by turns. This was so self-evident that João
almost openly reproached Clement VII with it, and the committee of
Cardinals entrusted with the conduct of the affair rejoined that
inquisitors were ministers of Satan and inquisitorial procedure a denial
of justice.[685]

João's reproaches were justified when Clement, by a brief of April 7,
1533, granted what was virtually a pardon for all past offences, without
disability to hold office in Church or State, while those defamed for
heresy could justify themselves before the nuncio--a function which he
turned to account for, when recalled in 1536, he was said to have
carried with him to Rome some thirty thousand crowns. João threw
obstacles in the way of the execution of this brief, which called forth
from Clement, in July and October, strenuous orders for its enforcement,
followed by another of December 18th suspending it. It became the
subject of active negotiation and Cardinal Pucci or Santiquatro, the
"protector" of Portugal, suggested that it might be modified and, in the
guise of fines, some twenty or thirty thousand ducats be extorted from
the New Christians, to be divided with the pope. In transmitting this
proposal, Henrique de Meneses, the Portuguese ambassador, added that
nothing could be done in the curia without money, for this was all they
wanted, and that Clement was dissatisfied with João because he had
received nothing from him. Clement, however, who was rapidly approaching
his end, on July 26th, ordered the nuncio to overcome by excommunication
all opposition to the pardon and forbade all prosecution for past
heresies, moved to this, as Santiquatro told Paul III, by his confessor,
who insisted that, as he had received the money of the New Christians,
he was bound to protect them.[686]


Clement died, September 25, 1534, and the struggle was renewed under
Paul III, who referred the matter to a commission, and meanwhile
suspended the pardon-brief but ordered that all prosecutions must cease,
for an active episcopal inquisition had been organized, which continued
its operations in spite of the papal commands. The commission reported
in favor of the pardon-brief and of an Inquisition under limitations,
with appeals to Rome. João refused to accept this, and a lull in the
negotiations occurred, during which the nuncio della Rovere entered into
a contract with the New Christians, dated April 24, 1535, under which
they promised to pay to Paul III thirty thousand ducats if he would
prohibit the Inquisition, confining prosecution to the bishops, who
should be limited to ordinary criminal procedure; smaller sums moreover
were provided for less desirable concessions. The curia honestly
endeavored to earn the money, and made several propositions to João,
which he rejected; then, on November 3d, a bull was solemnly published
in Rome, renewing the pardon-brief, annulling all trials, releasing all
prisoners, recalling all exiles, removing all disabilities, suspending
all confiscations, prohibiting all future prosecutions for past
offences, and enforcing these provisions by excommunication.[687]

In this Rome held that it had fulfilled its part of the bargain, but the
New Christians thought otherwise; they declined to pay the full amount,
and della Rovere was not able--at least so he said--to remit more than
five thousand ducats. This parsimony came at an unfortunate moment.
Charles V was in Rome, radiant with the glory of his Tunisian conquest,
and warmly supporting the demands of his brother-in-law. The result of
this was seen in a brief of May 23, 1536, which constituted an
Inquisition on the Spanish model, except that for three years the forms
of secular law were to be observed, and for ten years confiscations were
to pass to the heirs of the convicts. Diogo da Silva was to be
inquisitor-general, with the right of the king to appoint an associate.
Diogo was solemnly invested with his office, October 5th, and the brief
was published on the 22d.[688]

This probably taught the New Christians a lesson on the subject of
ill-timed economy for a brief of January 9, 1537, addressed to Girolamo
Recanati Capodiferro, a new nuncio appointed for Portugal, gave him
complete appellate power, even to evoking cases on trial and deciding
them, while a supplementary brief of February 7th authorized him to
suspend the Inquisition. His instructions also required him to labor
vigorously for the repeal of the law prohibiting expatriation, and this
was emphasized by a brief of August 31st threatening excommunication and
suspension for any interference with those leaving the kingdom to carry
their grievances and appeals to Rome.[689] These appeals were a source
of large profit to the curia, which sold at round prices absolutions and
exemptions to all applicants; the tribunals threw all possible obstacles
in the way of this traffic and it was important to Rome to keep open the
course of the golden stream. At the moment it was of less interest to
the New Christians, for Capodiferro was as venal as his predecessor and
exploited his large powers to the utmost, selling absolutions and
pardons for what he could get. As João asserted, in a letter of August
4, 1539, his scandalous traffic had rendered the Judaizers so sure of
impunity that they sinned with audacity. While demanding his recall, the
king sought to curb him by appointing his brother Dom Henrique, a young
man of 27, to the vacant post of additional inquisitor-general. Henrique
was Archbishop of Braga, a post which he resigned in favor of Diogo da
Silva, who retired from the inquisitor-generalship, and Henrique
remained, until his death in 1580, at the head of the Inquisition. At
the moment the plan was of little avail, as Capodiferro treated him with
imperious arrogance, and even called in question his powers owing to
defect in age, and Paul III refused to confirm him.[690]


Paul yielded in so far to João's urgency as to promise that Capodiferro
should leave Portugal on November 1st. At the same time, as the three
years were about to expire during which the Inquisition was restricted
to secular procedure, he listened to the supplications of the New
Christians and in the bull _Pastoris æterni_, October 12, 1539, he
modified in many ways the inquisitorial process, so as to limit its
powers of injustice and to provide ample opportunity of appeals to Rome.
A leading clause was that witnesses' names were only to be suppressed
when grave dangers to them were to be apprehended. Through the
treachery of a courier employed by the New Christians, this bull did
not reach Lisbon until December 1st. Capodiferro delayed his departure
until December 15th, and then left Lisbon without publishing it,
because, as Mascarenhas the Portuguese ambassador reported, the New
Christians refused to pay the extortionate price demanded for it.
Mascarenhas intimates that the pope was privy to this, which is not
unlikely, for Capodiferro was received with all favor. He and della
Rovere were placed in charge of the affairs of the Portuguese
Inquisition; he was soon afterwards promoted to the great office of
Datary, and eventually reached the cardinalate. His nunciature had not
proved as profitable as he had expected, for he lost fifteen thousand
cruzados at sea, and brought with him to Rome only as much more. On his
arrival in Portugal he had demanded of the New Christians two thousand
cruzados to start with, and was regularly paid by them eighteen hundred
per annum during his stay, and this in addition to his pardon traffic.
There was nothing unusual in this. In 1554, Julius III, in a moment of
wrathful candor, told the Portuguese ambassador that nuncios were sent
there to enrich themselves as a reward for previous services.[691]

With the return of Capodiferro, after a little diplomatic sparring, Paul
III dropped the whole question for nearly two years. João was quite
content; the three years' limitation to secular procedure had expired,
the bull _Pastoris æterni_ had not been published, the Inquisition had
full swing, and its activity began to rival that of Spain. Its first
auto de fe was celebrated in Lisbon, September 20, 1540, with
twenty-three penitents and no relaxations and was speedily followed by
others.[692] It is not until December 2, 1541 that Christovão de Sousa,
then ambassador, refers to the New Christians who, he says, were
earnestly at work to have another nuncio sent, and he had had a thousand
discussions over it with the pope whose intention was fixed, because so
many were burnt and so many thousands more were in prison. The New
Christians offered to pay eight or ten thousand cruzados to the pope,
and two hundred and fifty a month to the nuncio. At a subsequent
audience, Paul said that the nuncio would have a salary of a hundred
cruzados a month, to which the New Christians could add a hundred and
fifty, thus raising him above the temptation of bribery, to which Sousa
rejoined that this would convert him from their judge to their advocate.
Then, on a later occasion, he read a remonstrance from the king so
vigorous that the pope walked up and down the room, crossing himself and
saying that it was the work of the devil. Sousa replied by dwelling on
the misdeeds of preceding nuncios, and even offered to let the
Inquisition be withdrawn if it would relieve the kingdom from the evil
of a nuncio.[693]


Further discussion was abruptly terminated by an explosion. Miguel da
Silva, Bishop of Viseu and minister of João, a man of high culture, had
been ambassador at Rome in the time of Leo X, and had formed lasting
friendships with the future Clement VII and Paul III. He had recently
fallen into disfavor at court and was about to be arrested, when he fled
and found refuge in Italy. João tried to entice him back with flattering
letters, while employing, as Silva says, bravos to follow and
assassinate him. Paul could wound the king in no more sensitive spot
than by announcing, as he did on December 2, 1541, Silva's appointment
as cardinal. João's rage was unbounded; he promptly deprived the new
cardinal not only of his offices and temporalities, but of his
citizenship, thus rendering him an outlaw and, on January 24, 1542, a
special courier carried to Sousa peremptory orders to leave Rome as soon
as he could present his letters of recall. His report of the manner in
which this abrupt sundering of relations was received indicates that it
gave rise to fears that Portugal was about to withdraw from the Roman

This deprived the New Christians of such aid as they had purchased in
Rome and left Henrique in peaceable possession of the inquisitorship,
which he improved by establishing six tribunals--Lisbon, Evora, Coimbra,
Lamego, Porto and Thomar--of which the first three remained permanent
and the others were subsequently discontinued as superfluous.[695] On
the other hand, Paul III persevered in his intention to inflict another
nuncio on Portugal, and appointed to that post Luigi Lippomano,
coadjutor-bishop of Bergamo. An intercepted letter of Diogo Fernandez,
the Roman agent of the New Christians May 18, 1542, shows the anxiety
with which his coming was awaited and throws light on their relations
with the curia. He is expecting the money with which to pay the thousand
cruzados to the nuncio, who demands it at once, although his orders were
not to pay it until Lippomano was outside the walls of Rome. Every one
is clamoring for money, until he is near losing his senses. He has
agreed to pay a hundred and forty cruzados apiece for the pardons of
Pero de Noronha and Maria Thomaz, which he sends, and asks for an
immediate remittance. Then, on the 19th, he adds that he has that day
been compelled to pay the thousand cruzados to the nuncio; he has raised
the amount by giving security and, though he has disobeyed orders, he
prays that the money be sent, as without it all their labor and expense
would be wasted. A postscript on the 20th alludes to a general pardon
which the pope had agreed to grant at a future time. People, he says,
are wasting their money in getting special letters; the pope prefers
that it should all be done in a general provision, to which all should
contribute, and it is the most important of all things to accomplish. It
would appear from the case of Antonio Fernandez of Coimbra that, when
letters of exemption were obtained, the king promptly banished the
recipients, who then procured fresh letters requiring the king to grant
them safe-conducts and permission to sell their property, real and

João wrote to Lippomano not to come, and he persisted in this against
the entreaties of Charles V. Nevertheless the nuncio set out, and we
hear of him in Aragon in August, where he encountered the Portuguese
treasurer sent to detain him. The latter was fully aware of the payment
of the thousand ducats and of the monthly stipend, as to all of which
the nuncio professed the most innocent ignorance, and he further stated
that the intercepted letters showed that Cardinal Silva was to receive
two hundred and fifty crowns a month to act as "protector" of the Jews.
Nevertheless the treasurer was finally persuaded to write favorably to
his master, and Lippomano resumed his journey towards Valladolid.[697]
João refused to be placated. On learning that the nuncio had reached
Castile he wrote ordering him to advance no further until he should hear
from the pope, to whom, on September 18th, he addressed a vigorous
letter, demanding that no nuncio should be sent to interfere with the
Inquisition; he was not actuated, he said, by greed, for there was no
confiscation, and indeed, from another source we have the assertion that
the maintenance of the Inquisition was costing him ten or eleven
thousand ducats a year.[698]


Lippomano had assured the Portuguese treasurer that he did not come to
interfere with the Inquisition; that his orders were only to see whether
the inquisitors observed justice; if they did not, conscience would
require the pope to make the necessary provisions. His secret
instructions, however, were of a very different tenor. He was told that
he need not hesitate to act with energy, though observing external
courtesy, for Portugal was fatally weakened and approaching ruin; the
king was completely impoverished, oppressed with debt, at home and
abroad, hated by his people, and wholly under the influence of the
friars, while his relations with France and with the emperor were
unfriendly. As for the Infante Henrique, if he was not to be deprived of
the inquisitor-generalship, he must at least seek a dispensation for
lack of age, ask absolution for the past and ratify or annul all the
preceding trials. As for the Inquisition, it would be a most holy thing
to abolish it and commit the jurisdiction to the bishops; the nuncio was
furnished with faculties to do this, or to suspend it, and these he was
to show openly, that it might be known that this was at his discretion.
Meanwhile he could issue letters to all who asked for them, on their
making payment, and even if the price was small the aggregate would be
large, as there were fifty thousand of them. The declaratory bull of
November 13, (_sic_) 1539, suppressed by Capodiferro, was to be
published without consulting the king; it need not be affixed to the
church-doors, but copies could be given to all who asked, so that they
could use it when on trial, and Henrique was to be notified that all
procedure must conform to it; if he protested, he was to be told that
such was the papal will and he could write to the pope if he so chose.
Lippomano was finally told that pressure of all kinds would be brought
to bear on him, but he must be firm and remind them that he had power to
abolish the whole institution. Whatever we may think of João's blind
fanaticism, we cannot wonder at his objection to admitting in his
kingdom an emissary who came to set him at defiance and to upset all his
most cherished plans. On the other hand, a letter in December, from the
spokesman of the New Christians to their Roman agent, remitting to him
two thousand cruzados, depicts their agonized anxiety for the coming of
the nuncio; it will be their salvation and his absence is their
destruction; it is useless to spend money on briefs when there is no one
to enforce them.[699] They might well feel desperate, for the
Inquisition was active and unsparing. At an auto held in Lisbon, October
14, 1542, there appeared a hundred culprits, of whom twenty were relaxed
and João de Mello, in reporting this to the king, complained that it
left the prisons still crowded with those on trial. Nor was this all,
for Herculano gives a terrible picture, full of revolting details, of
the atrocities perpetrated everywhere, such as we have seen set forth in
the memorials of Llerena and Jaen.[700]

Although ignorant of the nuncio's instructions, João persisted in
refusing him admittance, until he should have an answer to his letter of
September 18th. This was long in coming, and Lippomano vainly complained
of the disrespect to the Holy See shown in making him wander from one
tavern to another. For awhile he remained in Salamanca and then, on
false news that he would be received, he went to Badajoz, only to find
the frontier closed to him, and there he was forced to stay, for some
months, hopeless and querulous.[701] Meanwhile, Francisco Botelho, who
had been sent with João's letter, was conferring with the pope, who
blandly assured him that Lippomano's mission was only to notify the king
of the approaching convocation of the Council of Trent. At length it was
arranged that he should confine himself to this, and to such other
matters as the king should permit. A brief to this effect, satisfactory
to the Portuguese agents, was framed and despatched from Rome November
3d. It can scarce have reached Portugal before the early months of 1543
for a letter of João of March 2d mentions its arrival and his
satisfaction at the settlement, in which he hopes that the pope's acts
may correspond with his words. Lippomano, thus shorn of his powers and
with no financial prospect before him, was anxious for his recall, but
he was not permitted to return until the close of 1544; he obeyed the
final instructions and abstained from aiding the New Christians.[702]

Possibly Paul's yielding in this may be explained by a negotiation on
foot early in 1543. Through the Cardinal of Burgos, it was proposed to
João that the pope would concede to Portugal an Inquisition identical
with that of Castile, if, for a term of years, one half of the
confiscations should belong to the Holy See. This cold-blooded offer to
sell out the New Christians shows how purely mercantile had been the
fluctuating protection accorded to them hitherto, and it was met by João
in the same spirit. Protesting that he had never sought for gain in his
efforts to serve God, he instructed his envoy that he might agree to
three years, but must endeavor to reduce the papal share to a
quarter.[703] The attempted bargain came to naught, but Rome was
apprehensive that Portugal might follow the example of England, and João
was propitiated with a renewed offer of a cardinal's hat for the Infante
Henrique. To this he at first replied surlily, that when he had asked
for it, it had been given to Silva, and now that he had not asked, it
did not seem fitting to accept it. Subsequently, however, he assented
and, in December, 1545, Henrique received the honor. Moreover, in
October, 1543, a signal favor was granted to the Inquisition, by a
perpetual brief empowering the officials to enjoy the fruits of
benefices _in absentia_, although, as we have seen, in Spain the grant
was only quinquennial. It is true that this was not wholly gratuitous,
for it cost two hundred and fifty cruzados in addition to the regular
fees of seventy.[704]


The Inquisition was assisted in another way. Through the subsidized
Cardinal of Paris, the Portuguese ambassador, Balthasar de Faria, was
enabled to inspect all papal letters granted to New Christians. In a
letter of February 18, 1544, he describes the use made of this
information, for he opposed each one, and it was fought over bitterly,
the unfortunate pope being assailed on both sides and driven to change
his decisions repeatedly, as the rival influences prevailed.
Information, moreover, was sent in advance to Henrique, so as to enable
him to forestall the papal graces or render them ineffective. Henrique
was instructed to disregard as surreptitious everything that Faria had
not seen, to appeal to the pope and to report to Faria, for this was the
way that the Castilian inquisitors managed. It was a kind of guerrilla
warfare, in the interval of the greater struggles.[705]

One of these conflicts was close at hand. Paul III resolved to send
another nuncio, charged with the duty of wrenching from the king
Cardinal Silva's temporalities and of moderating the severity of the
Inquisition. For this he selected Giovanni Ricci da Montepulciano who,
at the same time, was advanced to the archbishopric of Siponto. Faria
flattered himself that he had succeeded in postponing the nuncio's
departure till the king should be heard from, but in spite of this Ricci
started July 17, 1544.[706] He travelled leisurely and did not reach
Valladolid until November 5th, where he found awaiting him Christovão de
Castro with letters from the king forbidding his admittance. He
succeeded in making de Castro believe that he had no instructions
concerning Silva or the Inquisition that would offend the king, who
accordingly wrote November 28th, cautiously admitting him under these
presumptions. It so chanced however that, before the courier started
with this letter, Lippomano, who was still acting as nuncio, received
and affixed at the church doors a papal brief of September 22d,
inhibiting all inquisitors and ecclesiastical judges from executing any
sentences pronounced on New Christians, or from proceeding to sentence
in any cases, until Ricci should arrive, investigate and report as to
the conduct of the Inquisition, after which the papal pleasure should be
made known. This settled the question; copies of the brief were sent to
de Castro to justify to the Spanish court the absolute refusal to admit
Ricci until João should have an answer to letters demanding explanation
and reparation, despatched by a special courier. At the same time the
brief was obeyed, for there were no more autos after June, 1544, until

Considering all that had occurred during the past ten years, there was
an inexcusable aggravation about all this, which it is difficult to
understand in the absence of information as to the secret working of the
New Christians in Rome, unless it was to convince João that he would
have to pay roundly for the pleasure of persecuting his subjects. He
exhaled his wrath in one or two letters to Balthasar de Faria and, on
January 13, 1545, he despatched Simão da Veiga in hot haste with
instructions to demand the installation of the Inquisition in
satisfaction of the royal grievances; the recent brief must be revoked,
and Ricci must come under the limitations imposed on his predecessor and
must say nothing about Cardinal Silva. A prolix letter to the pope, to
be read in consistory, was free-spoken but not intemperate and,
considering the provocation, was much more moderate than the papal
duplicity had deserved.[708]


This letter remained unanswered for nearly six months, during which
another experiment was tried on João's credulity. Cardinal Sforza, one
of the papal grandsons, wrote in the name of the pope that, if the
nuncio was admitted, all that he asked for the Inquisition would be
conceded, and Cardinal Crescenzio confirmed this verbally. With natural
distrust, however, the king asked to have Paul himself ratify this to
Faria, and then he would admit Ricci. As late as June 22, 1545, he was
writing in this sense, not knowing that on June 16th the pope had
responded to his letter in a brief in which, with exasperating
affectation of benignity, he pardoned João's asperity; against João's
assertions of the wickedness of the New Christians and the mildness of
the Inquisition, he set the constant complaints reaching him of its
cruelty and injustice, and the numerous burnings of the innocent; as it
was under his jurisdiction, he was responsible and he could not forego
the duty of investigating the truth of these conflicting statements;
there was also the spoliation of Cardinal Silva which must be redressed.
The brief closed with the significant threat that, if these matters
were not remedied, he could not expose himself before Almighty God to
the charge of negligence in an affair of such moment.[709]

The devious ways of the papal court are hard to follow. Four days before
the date of this brief, on June 12th, Cardinal Sforza sent to João the
written assurance that was demanded, promising that if he would admit
the nuncio, the pope would grant all that he desired as to the
Inquisition. On receiving this in August, the king at once replied that,
in reliance on the cardinal's assurances, he would permit Ricci to enter
Portugal and he asked to have the necessary bull made out and sent by
Simão da Veiga. At the same time he gave Ricci permission to come,
cautiously adding that it must be under the limitations imposed on
Lippomano. Ricci, detained by sickness, did not arrive until September
9th, and then he was the bearer of the minatory brief of June 16th. That
João was thunderstruck may well be believed and he wrote to his envoys
that he knew not what to say.[710]

The pope sought a compromise, offering to revoke the brief of September
22, 1544, and that, after the nuncio had reported, he would leave
everything in the king's hands, but he refused to carry out the promises
of Cardinal Sforza. No answer was given to this, but the brief of
revocation was made out and reached Ricci, January 18, 1546, accompanied
with one empowering him to act in case he discovered abuses in the
Inquisition, but the only investigation that João would permit was that
he should examine the papers in four or five cases and interrogate the
inquisitor concerning them. The first case submitted was that of a
septuagenarian, burnt some years before. He was one of those who had
been converted by force; he had at once confessed more than had been
testified against him, and had begged for mercy. Ricci asked the
inquisitor, João de Mello, why he had burnt him, as this was not a case
of relapse, to which Mello replied that his repentance was simulated
because he had varied in the three examinations, but on investigating
the record the variations were found to be trifling. Ricci asked for a
copy of the process to send to Rome, and it was promised but not given.
His report was naturally adverse to the Inquisition and the pope,
assuming that the brief of 1536 had established it for ten years only,
notified João that the term had expired: in deference to him it was
prolonged for a year, but he was told that, within that time, the
question as to the New Christians must be definitely settled; it was
suggested that a general pardon could be granted, or that he could
banish them all from his kingdom.[711]

We may fairly assume that, in such a crisis as this, the gold of the New
Christians had not been spared in Lisbon or in Rome. João evidently felt
that the turning-point had come and that some supreme effort must be
made to outbid his subjects. He had not been niggardly, on his side, in
responding to the urgent calls of his ambassadors for liberality towards
the cardinals. Cardinal Farnese, the favorite grandson of Paul III, and
the most influential member of the Sacred College, had a pension from
him of thirty-two hundred cruzados, assigned in 1544 equally on the sees
of Braga and Coimbra to assure its continuance: at a critical moment, in
1545, the arrearages and two years in advance were paid to him, in a
lump sum of thirteen thousand cruzados. So little reserve was there in
these matters that, after the death of Cardinal Santiquatro, the
"protector" of Portugal, João actually suggested the employment of Paul
III as his successor, pointing out the large "propinas" that would enure
to him from certain provisions as to bishops which the king was
soliciting. For these and for the payment to Farnese, he forwarded bills
of exchange for thirty-three thousand cruzados. Julius III was as
mercenary as his predecessor. In 1551 João, in response to a hint that a
present was desirable, sent him a magnificent diamond, valued by the
Roman jewellers at a hundred thousand cruzados. Julius was greatly
pleased and declared that he would make it an heirloom in his family,
but when the next year he intimated that another gift would be
acceptable, João, who was dissatisfied with him at the time, refused to
respond, saying that when the pope acceded to his demands to make
Henrique perpetual legate it would be time to think of giving him
something. This brought Julius to terms; in 1553 the appointment was
made and in 1554 João sent him a brooch.[712]


In such matters it was difficult for subjects to compete with their
monarch. Under the pressure so skilfully applied by Rome, a brilliant
idea occurred to João and, in a letter of February 20, 1546, to
Balthazar de Faria, he suggested that, in return for a free Inquisition,
he would grant to Cardinal Farnese the administration and revenues of
the see of Viseu, which he had been withholding from Cardinal Silva,
thus at once obtaining the object of his desires and gratifying his
rancor against that unfortunate prelate by depriving him of papal
support.[713] This dazzling bribe overcame Paul's scruples as to his
responsibility to the Almighty and his friendship for Silva. The Holy
See has been stained with many examples of nepotism and rapacity, but
its history has furnished few transactions of more shameless effrontery
in sacrificing those whom it was pledged to protect. Still, Paul strove
to maintain some semblance of decency in abandoning the New Christians,
and he advanced a demand that there should be a general pardon for past
offences and the granting of a term during which those desiring to
emigrate could leave Portugal. João was determined to get all that he
could, and a series of intricate negotiations took place, occupying the
whole of 1546 and 1547, in which each side endeavored to outwit the
other with little regard to consistency. Matters were complicated by the
question of the accrued revenues of Viseu, which João was loath to
refund, and which Paul demanded, for the convenient receptacle of the
fabric of St. Peter's. Ignatius Loyola took a hand in the fray and so
did two members of the Council of Trent, Frade Jorje de Santiago, an
inquisitor, and the Carmelite Balthazar Limpo, Bishop of Porto, an
honest and free-spoken fanatic, who was much scandalized by ascertaining
that a brief of safe-conduct had been secretly issued, inviting the
Portuguese New Christians to Italy, with assurance of not being
disturbed on account of their religion. Thus, as the bishop said, those
who had been baptized at birth came and were immediately circumcised and
filled the synagogues under the very eyes of the pope--the inference
being that he desired free emigration from Portugal, in order that Italy
might benefit by the intelligence and industry of the apostates, an
argument which was freely used and was not easy to answer.[714]


In the spring of 1547, as matters seemed to approach a settlement, the
necessary briefs were successively drafted. One of May 11th granted a
general pardon for past offences; all prisoners were to be released, all
confiscations returned, all disabilities removed, and reincidence was
not to incur the penalty of relapse. One of July 1st addressed to
Cardinal Henrique announced to him that the pope had granted the
Inquisition, with full powers of procedure. One of July 5th, to João
informed him that the bearer, Cav. Giovanni Ugolino (a nephew of the
late Cardinal Santiquatro) carried the bull for the Inquisition and
exhorted him to see that the inquisitors exercised their powers with
moderation. Ugolino was also empowered to take possession for Farnese of
the see of Viseu and the other benefices of Silva, and to collect the
arrears of revenue for the fabric of St. Peter's. There were two briefs
of July 15th, one appointing Farnese administrator for life of the see
and the benefices; the other withdrew and annulled all the letters of
exemption from the Inquisition which the New Christians had been for so
many years purchasing at heavy cost. Finally, under date of July 16th,
came the long sought-for bull, _Meditatio cordis,_ instituting for
Portugal a free and untrammelled Inquisition. It declared that the pope,
desiring the rigorous punishment of the atrocious crime of heresy,
revoked all previous limitations on its powers, and conferred on it all
faculties at any time granted to inquisitors. To render effective the
withdrawal of the letters of exemption, it evoked to the pope all cases
pending before other judges than Cardinal Henrique, and committed them
to him and his deputies with full powers. That Paul did not, without
some qualms of conscience, thus abandon the New Christians who had
contributed so liberally to the curia, is suggested by a subsequent
brief of November 15th, in which he told the king that, as he had
granted to Portugal a free Inquisition, he earnestly exhorted him to see
that the inquisitors acted with charity and not with judicial severity,
in consideration of the weakness of the neophytes, for this would be
most gratifying to him.[715]

The pope's anxiety to save appearances is visible in the instructions to
Ugolino. Those from Paul bore that his wishes were that, under the
pardon brief, all prisoners were to be discharged; those who had to
abjure should do so before a notary and not in an auto de fe; that for a
year no one was to be relaxed, no arrests were to be made save for
public and scandalous offences, and prosecutions were to be conducted as
in other crimes, while, if the law prohibiting emigration could not be
repealed, it should be kept quiet for a year--thus hiding for a
twelvemonth his betrayal of the friendless.[716] The instructions from
Farnese were more openly cynical. To disarm João's distrust, he had
agreed not to take possession of Silva's temporalities until the affair
of the Inquisition should be settled, while Ambassador Faria and the
Bishop of Porto had pledged that João should raise no difficulties; it
was on that condition that the pope had granted the Inquisition, in the
confidence that both should be settled together. João was to be
persuaded to accede to the general pardon and graces asked for, in lieu
of the permission to emigrate, for that would enable the pope to answer
the appeals and complaints of the New Christians, by telling them that
these were sufficient. The pope was anxious that, for a year, the
Inquisition should not employ rigor and that procedure be that of
secular law; this was of slender importance but it would seem to them a
great matter. They were also to be told that, as in previous cases, the
pope could have had from them twenty thousand cruzados for the pardon,
while he had granted it without getting a single farthing. It was
further significant that both Ugolino and the nuncio Ricci were warned
to be specially careful to exact nothing from the New Christians.[717]

How João regarded these pleadings for the victims is seen in a letter to
Faria after the settlement. He had accepted, he said, the conditions as
to the Inquisition, knowing that further protests would only bring worse
terms, but he intended that the Inquisition should proceed in the form
conceded by the bull. Those pardoned under the pardon brief, if they
committed heresy during the year, could be arrested and prosecuted at
once, but should not be sentenced or relaxed until after the expiration
of the year. For a year the inquisitors should be directed to proceed
mildly, but, as for treating heresy like other crimes, it would be
unreasonable, because the pope ordered otherwise in the bull itself. As
for the prohibition of emigration, it was not for the service of God to
repeal the law as the pope desired. The pardon should be published and
the prisoners released; those who had to abjure should not so do on a
staging but publicly at the church doors.[718] Thus brutally was brushed
aside the mask under which Paul had sought to disguise his abandonment
of the New Christians.


Since May, 1547, Ugolino waited in daily expectation of orders to start,
but it was not until December 1st that he left Rome with the bulls that
decided the fate of Portugal. It was probably in January, 1548, that he
reached Lisbon, where fresh delays occurred in settling details, and
only on March 24th was the agreement respecting Silva's temporalities
signed; João grumbled at the assignment of the accrued revenues to the
fabric of St. Peter's; he had not agreed to surrender them and did not
intend to do so, but he finally submitted. The pardon was published in
Lisbon, June 10th, the prisons were emptied and the abjurations, we are
told, for the most part were private.[719] Thus, after a contest lasting
through seventeen years, the Inquisition was fastened upon Portugal and,
in reviewing the kaleidoscopic vicissitudes of the struggle, we cannot
trace, in any act of the Holy See, a higher motive than the sordid one
of making, out of human misery, a market for the power of the keys and
selling it to the highest bidder.


The New Christians promptly sought to save a fragment from the wreck, by
obtaining the publication of the names of witnesses, based on the
canonical provision that they were to be suppressed only in the case of
powerful delinquents, who could wreak vengeance on accusers. With this
view they procured from Paul III a brief of January 8, 1549, defining
that New Christians and others could only be deemed powerful men, in
respect to the communication of witnesses' names, provided they were
nobles exercising jurisdiction over vassals, public magistrates, or
officers in the royal palace. There seems to have been some delay in the
publication of this but, when it came to the knowledge of the king, he
sent, August 13, 1550, a copy of it to Julius III, with an urgent
request for its revocation as it would prove the total destruction of
the Inquisition.[720] A long struggle ensued between the Portuguese
ambassadors and the New Christians, in which, for some time, the latter
were successful. Into these details it is not worth while to enter, but
the final incidents are too illustrative of the course of business in
the papal court to be passed over. Paul IV succeeded to the pontificate
May 23, 1555; while yet a cardinal he had expressed opposition to the
brief, and the ambassador, Affonso de Lencastro, with the assistance of
the Grand Inquisitor, Cardinal Alessandrino--the future Pius V--had not
much difficulty in winning him over. The brief of revocation was drafted
and approved and sent to the dataria for despatch. The deputy there
chanced to be a Castilian New Christian and, when the ambassador's
secretary called for the brief, he was told that Paul III had done a
just and holy thing, and that in Portugal the inquisitors wanted to burn
everybody. The brief was withheld and, when complaint was made to the
pope that his datary refused to obey orders, he promised to look into
it. Nothing more could be got from him at the time, and his reckless war
with Philip II gave him ample occupation for the next few years.
Lencastro however continued his efforts until replaced, in April, 1559,
by Lourenço Pirez de Tavora, who brought urgent instructions to procure
the brief of revocation. Peace with Philip was proclaimed April 5, 1559,
but Paul IV, in his 84th year, was broken and was moreover engrossed
with his prosecution of Cardinal Morone. Lencastro and Pirez, however,
labored with the Congregation of the Inquisition which, on July 22,
approved of the revocatory brief. They carried it at once to the pope
and, with the aid of Cardinal Alessandrino, obtained the promise of his
signature. To their dismay they learned the next day that it had not
been signed. Paul had called for his signet-ring, had drawn it from its
bag and was about to append it, when he glanced over the brief; the
preamble did not suit him, for it was not easy to give a reason for
revocation without inferring blame. He laid it aside, and this was
almost his last act, for he died August 18th and for three weeks no
briefs had been expedited. The conclave was prolonged and Pius IV was
not elected till December 26th. Pirez lost no time and, on his visit of
congratulation, January 2, 1560, before the coronation, he urged the
matter on the pope. Cardinal Alessandrino was sent for and gave his
approval. The secretary Aragonia was instructed to draft the brief and
it was, as Pirez thought, the first one signed after the coronation.
Pirez attributed his success to the profound secrecy which kept the
measure from the knowledge of its opponents and, in the midst of his
self-congratulation, he twice solemnly warned Cardinal Henrique to use
his powers with moderation for, under the brief, it would be easy to
burn the New Christians. It was in vain that they sought to obtain its
revocation; their agents and their memorials were alike disregarded, and
the suppression of the names of witnesses became the established
practice in Portugal as in Spain. All hope of relief, moreover, was
extinguished when, in September, Prospero de Santa Croce was sent as
nuncio, Cardinal Henrique was reappointed legate a _latere_, in all
matters concerning the faith, thus cutting off all appeal and all
interference with the Holy Office.[721] The earnest persistence with
which permission to withhold the names of witnesses was sought shows how
great a hindrance to condemnation their publication proved, and this
probably explains the fact that, during the continuance of the
prohibition, the activity of the Inquisition was restricted. A list of
autos de fe, as complete as research could compile, indicates that of
the three established tribunals, Lisbon celebrated no auto prior to
1559, nor Coimbra until 1567. There may be some defect in the archives
to account for this, and they may have been better preserved in Evora,
for there we find autos recorded in 1551, 1552, 1555 and 1560. After
this they became more frequent and increased in severity, but, up to the
time of the conquest by Philip II, in 1580, the whole number of autos
recorded in the three tribunals was only thirty-four, in which there
were a hundred and sixty-nine relaxations in person, fifty-one in effigy
and nineteen hundred and ninety-eight penitents.[722] The insignificant
number of relaxations in effigy, when compared with the multitudes that
figure in the early Spanish autos, would seem to indicate that they were
merely those who escaped from prison or died during trial and that, in
the absence of confiscation, the Portuguese inquisitors were not earnest
in tracing the heresies of ancestors or in following up the records of

The question of confiscation, in fact, had been left by Paul III in the
hands of the king, who found in it a financial resource for his bankrupt
treasury by granting, for a consideration, decennial periods of
exemption--a practice continued by the Regency after João's death.
Probably in 1568, the New Christians hesitated to pay the price
demanded, for a brief of Pius V, dated July 10th of that year, recites
that the last term had expired on June 7th, and that King Sebastian had
not renewed it, finding that it served as an incentive to heresy, and
that he had asked the pope not to listen to appeals. This Pius willingly
promised and withdrew all privileges which the New Christians might
enjoy. Doubtless this induced them to come to terms, for the exemption
was renewed. After this decennium, Sebastian again granted it in his
efforts to provide for his ill-starred African expedition, but Henrique,
on succeeding to the throne, felt his conscience much disturbed at this
concession to apostasy. He applied to Gregory XIII who, by a brief of
October 6, 1579, renewed the one of 1568, and permitted Henrique to
revoke the grant made by Sebastian.[723] As Portugal the next year
passed into the hands of Philip II, we hear nothing more of exemption
from confiscation.

It is somewhat remarkable that João neglected to extend to his colonial
possessions the blessings of the Inquisition. The New Christians had
largely availed themselves of the opportunities presented by the
colonial trade, and had established themselves in Goa and its
dependencies. The comparative freedom there had doubtless encouraged
them to observe less caution than at home, for St. Francis Xavier had
scarce begun his missionary labors when he was scandalized by what he
saw and, on November 30, 1545, he wrote urgently to the king as to the
necessity of an inquisitorial tribunal. No response was made to his
appeal. João died June 11, 1557, leaving the crown to his grandson Dom
Sebastian, a child in his third year, under the regency of the dowager
Queen Catalina, who resigned it, in 1562, in favor of Cardinal Henrique.
The Regency was more mindful of the spiritual needs of the Indies than
the late king and, in March, 1560, Henrique sent to Goa as inquisitor
Aleixo Diaz Falcão who, by the end of the year, founded a tribunal which
in time earned a sinister renown as the most pitiless in
Christendom.[724] When Lourenço Pirez, the ambassador at Rome, learned
through Egypt of this establishment, he expressed to the Regency his
apprehension that this zeal for religion would prove a disservice to God
and to the kingdom, for it would drive to Bassorah and Cairo many who
would aid the enemy in both finance and war.[725] His prevision was
justified more fully than he anticipated for, to the activity of the
tribunal was largely attributable the decay of the once flourishing
Indian possessions of Portugal. After exhausting the New Christians, it
turned its attention to the native Christians, who rewarded so
abundantly the missionary labors of the Jesuits, for Portugal did not
follow the wise example of Spain in exempting native converts from the
Inquisition. It was impossible for these poor folk to abandon completely
the superstitious practices of their ancestors, and any relapse into
these, however trifling, was visited with the rigor with which were
treated similar lapses by the Conversos of the Peninsula. Even Philip II
recognized the impolicy of this and, in 1599, he procured from Clement
VIII a brief empowering the inquisitors to commute the penalties of
relaxation and confiscation for relapse, up to a third relapse but no
further, and the faculty was limited to the term of five years.[726]

It is not a little remarkable that no tribunal was established in
Brazil, although the New Christians who abounded there proved a very
troublesome element, from the encouragement which they gave to the
Dutch in their efforts to obtain a foothold.[727] There was a
commissioner there, but his powers were limited to collecting evidence
and transmitting it with the accused to Lisbon, where they were tried
and punished.[728] It may be worth noting that, in the treaty of 1810
with England, Portugal bound itself never to establish the Inquisition
in its American possessions.[729]

In general, it may be said that the Portuguese Inquisition was modelled
on that of Castile. A series of edicts issued by Dom Sebastian and Dom
Henrique and confirmed by later kings, granted to officials and
familiars the privileges, exemptions and immunities which they enjoyed
in the sister kingdom. This gave rise to similar quarrels and
_competencias_, and to a multiplication of the privileged class even
greater than in Spain. In 1699 we find Dom Pedro II endeavoring to
enforce a decree of 1693, which limited to six hundred and four the
familiars allowed in the larger towns, while small places were to be
reduced to one or two each.[730] The main difference in the organization
of the Inquisitions of the two kingdoms was in the Portuguese officials
known as _deputados_, of whom at least four were appointed by the
inquisitor-general, as assistants to the three inquisitors constituting
each tribunal. They were required to possess qualifications entitling
them to promotion as inquisitors; they performed such duties as might be
assigned to them and, in the consulta de fe, they replaced the Spanish
consultores, with the distinction that they cast decisive and not merely
consultative votes. To render a sentence legal at least five votes were
required besides that of the Ordinary.[731] There was no appeal from a
definitive sentence, for the reason that it was not made known to the
culprit before the auto in which it was pronounced, but all
interlocutory sentences and intermediate proceedings were subject to
appeal, and the Supreme Council came to exercise minute supervision over
every act of the tribunals even earlier than we have seen was the case
in Spain.[732] The minuteness, indeed, of the details prescribed in the
_Regimento_ of Inquisitor-general de Castro, printed in 1640, left
little to the discretion of the inquisitor, and their systematic
arrangement, in an authoritative code of procedure, affords a strong
contrast to the cumbersome and often contradictory _cartas acordadas_,
which lumbered up the _secreto_ of the Spanish tribunals.


Although the object of the Inquisition was the purification of the land
from Judaism, it was not confined to this, and it early proved that it
could exercise its blighting influence on the intellectual development
as well as on the material prosperity of Portugal. Among the learned
foreigners whom André de Gouvêa, at the request of João III, brought to
Portugal, in 1547, to found a college of arts in his University of
Coimbra, was George Buchanan, as professor of Greek. Gouvêa died within
a year, and soon afterwards the foreigners were driven out to be
replaced by Jesuits, who were becoming the dominant power in the land.
The process was a simple one. Buchanan and two others were prosecuted by
the Inquisition and thrown in prison. The accusation against the former
was that he had written a poem against the Franciscans, that he had
spoken disrespectfully of the friars, that he had eaten meat in Lent,
that he had said that St. Augustin's views on the Eucharist were akin to
those condemned by Rome, and generally that he was thought to be
ill-affected towards the Holy See. After incarceration for eighteen
months, he was sentenced to reclusion in a monastery for instruction by
the monks, whom he describes as good-natured enough but wholly ignorant.
On his liberation João offered to retain him, but he took the earliest
opportunity to escape to England.[733]

A still more effective deadening of intellectual aspiration was the
persecution of Damião de Goes, the foremost scholar of Portugal in the
sixteenth century. When a youth of 22, he had been sent to Flanders as
secretary to the Portuguese factory. It was not until 1528 that his
thirst for learning was awakened, he studied Latin, went to Padua, and
speedily made himself known to scholars throughout Europe. In 1545, João
recalled him to Portugal, where rivalry arose between him and Simon
Rodríguez the Jesuit Provincial, who had met him in Padua and now
accused him to the Inquisition for heretical utterances made there nine
years before, the details of which he could not remember, but had a
general impression that they were Lutheran. Nothing came of this and, in
1550, Rodríguez repeated his accusation, with the same result. Goes made
enemies in his literary career and, in 1571, the denunciation of
Rodríguez, made twenty-six years before, was resuscitated. He was now
seventy years old, he had been an invalid for twenty years, and was
scarce able to stand, but he was cast into a dungeon, April 4, 1571,
while his trial dragged on. No further evidence of any account could be
found against him, but he freely confessed that, when he went to
Flanders, he fell into the errors of considering indulgences of little
value, and that general confession sufficed, that after learning Latin
and studying, he had abandoned these errors and had since been strictly
orthodox, at the request of Cardinal Sadoleto he had written to
Melanchthon, in hopes of winning him over, and he had given a letter of
introduction to Luther to Frei Roque de Almeida, whose object was to
acquire a knowledge of the heresy so as to confute it. On this
confession exclusively was based the sentence, which declared him to be
a Lutheran heretic, but considering that it was when he was an ignorant
youth of 21 and that, on learning Latin, he had abandoned his errors, he
was mercifully condemned only to reconciliation, confiscation, and
perpetual prison, the abjuration to be private in view of his quality
and his reputation abroad. The monastery da Batalha was assigned as his
prison, and the certificate of his delivery there is dated December 16,
1572; on the 9th the _juez do fisco_ had already received the
certificate of confiscation. The "perpetual" prison of the Portuguese
Inquisition must have been temporary, like the Spanish, for Goes is said
to have died in his own house, either by apoplexy or killed by his own
servants, at a date which is not known.[734] If forty years of
orthodoxy could not atone for a youthful vacillation on one or two
points of faith, it can readily be estimated how potent an
instrumentality was the Holy Office in stunting the development of
Portuguese intellect.


When, in August, 1578, Cardinal Henrique succeeded to the crown of his
grand-nephew Sebastian, he did not resign the inquisitor-generalship for
fifteen months. He had previously, however, on February 24, 1578, on
account of age and infirmity, procured the appointment as coadjutor,
with the right of succession, of Manoel Bishop of Coimbra, but the
latter disappeared with his sovereign in the disastrous rout of
Alcazar-Quibir, and it was not until December 27, 1579 that, at
Henrique's request, Gregory XIII replaced him with Jorje de Almeida,
Archbishop of Lisbon.[735] Henrique's death soon followed, January 31,
1580, when he passed away, universally detested and only regretted
because, in the rivalry of claimants to the throne, and in the
exhaustion of the land through famine and pestilence, the way was open
to the easy conquest by Philip II. In the reorganization under the
Spanish crown, the Inquisition was not merged with that of Castile, but
was left as an independent institution under the Archbishop of Lisbon,
for Gregory XIII refused the request of Philip II for a brief adding it
to the jurisdiction of the Spanish inquisitor-general.[736] The
nomination, however, accrued to the Spanish crown and, in 1586, on
Almeida's death, the post was given to the Cardinal-Archduke Albrecht of
Austria, who was also Governor of Portugal.[737] With his advent, the
activity of the Inquisition increased. In the twenty years, 1581-1600,
the three tribunals held in all fifty autos de fe. Of these the records
of five are lost, but in the other forty-five there were a hundred and
sixty-two relaxations in person, fifty-nine in effigy, and twenty-nine
hundred and seventy-nine penitents.[738] As the penitents, for the most
part, must have suffered confiscation, we can estimate the severity of
the persecution in a population so limited.

Large as must have been the receipts, from the beginning, derived from
the confiscations of the wealthy New Christians, they were insufficient
to satisfy its exigencies, diverted as they had been by the compositions
paid to the crown. Sebastian, in continuing this practice, satisfied his
conscience by representing to Gregory XIII that the income of the
Inquisition did not exceed 5000 cruzados, which was insufficient for its
support, wherefore the pope granted to it two-thirds of the fruits of
the first prebend falling vacant in each of the Cathedrals of Lisbon,
Evora and Coimbra and one-half of one in each of the other sees of the
kingdom. It is probable that this evoked a sturdy resistance on the part
of the churches, for it was never carried into effect and, when Philip
II became master of Portugal, although the confiscations were no longer
compounded for, he renewed the request, stating that 14,000 cruzados a
year were requisite while the revenues did not exceed 10,000 ducats.
Gregory responded with a brief of June 28, 1583 in which he renewed the
grant, at the same time reducing it to one-half of a prebend in Lisbon,
Evora and Coimbra and one-third in the other sees, nor is it likely
that, under the stern rule of Philip, the grant was allowed to be

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not difficult to apprehend the impulses which led to a wholesale
emigration to Spain of those who felt themselves aliens in the land of
their birth. Under Spanish rule the condition of Portugal was
deplorable, as described, in 1595, by the Venetian envoy Francesco
Vendramini. Lisbon, which had been a rich and populous city, was almost
uninhabited; it formerly owned seven hundred ships, but five hundred had
been captured by the enemy (mostly by the English) and but two hundred
remained. All this was not, he says, displeasing to the king, who
desired to keep them impoverished, because they were unwilling
subjects.[740] Thus the rewards of commercial enterprise were more
promising in Spain, and the emigrant might hope that, in the absence of
knowledge of his antecedents, the danger of persecution would be less.
The immigration thus was large, and before long its effects began to
show themselves in the records of the Spanish Inquisition. Convictions
for Judaism, which had become comparatively few, increased rapidly and,
where the nativity of the delinquents happens to be specified, the term
Portuguese occurs with ominous frequency. In 1593, Toledo had seven
Portuguese on trial but, as there was but a single witness and they did
not confess under torture, their cases were suspended. The next year the
same tribunal held an auto in which appeared five Portuguese in person
and nine effigies were burnt of others, either fugitive or dead.[741] In
1595, at Seville, there was an auto in which were punished eighty-nine
Judaizers, besides four burnt in effigy, and soon afterwards, in
Quintanar del Rey (Cuenca), there were thirty discovered, of whom the
obstinate ones were burnt and the rest were reconciled.[742]

The Portuguese New Christians, both at home and in Spain, were growing
restive under increasing pressure; they were wealthy and could afford to
pay for a respite in the shape of a general pardon for past offences,
including cases on trial. In 1602 negotiations were opened with Philip
III for a papal brief to that effect; Portuguese orthodoxy took the
alarm, and the Archbishops of Lisbon, Braga and Evora hastened to
Valladolid, where the court lay, to present remonstrances. Spanish
piety, to which such transactions were a novelty, was no less exercised,
and direful predictions were made as to the evils that it would bring
upon the land. Philip and his favorite Lerma, however, were desperately
in need of cash, and all scruples were overcome by the dazzling bribe of
1,860,000 ducats to the king, besides fifty thousand cruzados to Lerma,
forty thousand to João de Borja and thirty thousand to Pedro Alvarez
Pereira, members of the Suprema Council, and thirty thousand to its
secretary Fernão de Mattos. The papal brief was issued, August 23, 1604
but, at the last moment, the bargain came near being wrecked by the
demand of the New Christians to have eight years in which to raise the
sum. A threat, however, to suspend the execution of the brief sufficed
to bring them to reason.[743]

It empowered the Portuguese inquisitor-general, the Archbishop of Lisbon
and the papal collector, or any two of them or their deputies, to
reconcile all Portuguese New Christians, whereever they might be
settled, with the injunction only of spiritual penances. It included all
who were on trial, or who had been condemned provided their sentences
had not been published. It released all confiscations that had not been
covered into the fisc, and it gave to the Portuguese in Europe a year
and to those outside of Europe two years, in which to come forward and
avail themselves of its provisions. The reconciliation thus obtained was
not to entail relaxation in case of relapse, and all inquisitors were
forbidden to interfere.[744]

[Sidenote: _THE PARDON OF 1604_]

The brief was received in Valladolid about October 1st, but was not
published in Lisbon until January 16, 1605. A royal cédula, however, was
obtained, prohibiting the publication or execution of any sentences
until this brief should take effect, thus including in its benefits all
Portuguese who were in the hands of the Spanish tribunals, as well as in
those of Portugal.[745] The effect of this was dramatically exhibited
without delay. On October 20th the Seville tribunal announced a great
auto de fe for November 7th. The stagings erected were on an unusually
large scale; on the evening of the 6th took place the procession of the
Green Cross, in which more than five hundred familiars participated; the
people flocked in from the country in numbers beyond the capacity of
the city to accommodate them. At night the confessors were introduced in
the cells of those condemned to relaxation and, after completing all the
preparations for the solemnity, the junior inquisitor, Fernando de
Acebedo, sought his bed about eleven o'clock. Suddenly a courier
arrived, armed with an order to admit him to the inquisitors, wherever
they might be, whether in their houses or their beds, in consulta de fe
or on the staging at the auto. He had left Valladolid at midnight on the
3d and, at break-neck speed, had made the distance to Seville in
seventy-two hours, getting through the closed gates of the towns on the
road, and arriving in time to serve on the inquisitors a royal cédula
forbidding the celebration of the auto. Some there were who held that a
royal decree was not to be obeyed unless rubricated by the Suprema, but
this was an opinion not as yet established and, after a brief
consultation, measures were hurriedly taken to suspend the celebration,
to the blank astonishment of all Seville. Surmises were various, some
explained it by the recent treaty with England, under which Englishmen
in Spain were not to be troubled on account of heresy; others attributed
it to the planets; others thought that among the condemned there was
some one of lofty station and influence, whose friends had been able to
save him, but the suggestion which found the widest acceptance was that
it was due to the Portuguese New Christians, numerous and wealthy, who
had offered large sums, estimated at eight hundred thousand ducats, to
stave it off, and this was supported by the fact that the midnight
horseman, before going to the Inquisition, had stopped at the house of
Etor Autunez, a wealthy Portuguese merchant, who had given him fifty
ducats for his good news.[746]

Under this perdon general, the three tribunals in Portugal liberated
four hundred and ten prisoners simultaneously on January 16, 1605,[747]
and there can be no doubt that the great body of Portuguese Judaizers in
Spain obtained valid absolution for all past sins during the
twelvemonth of its duration, although the Inquisition threw what
obstacles it could in their way. In 1605, at Toledo, Antonio Fernández
Paredes, a Portuguese on trial with three witnesses against him, was
obliged to insist on his right under the pardon, and to argue that his
wife Isabel Díaz had been released at Coimbra in virtue of it, until the
tribunal referred the matter to the Suprema, which ordered his
discharge, although subsequently, during the same year six other
Portuguese were tried and sentenced without any reference being made to
it.[748] Still, the hands of the Inquisition were tied and it lent its
energies to detecting the Portuguese in new delinquencies. It sent out
the brief to the tribunals, April 15th and, on April 20, 1606, it called
their attention to the fact that the year had expired on January 16th,
wherefore they were immediately to examine their records as to the
Portuguese who had been discharged in virtue of the brief and to proceed
against all who had not taken advantage of it as well as against those
who had been guilty of heresy after its expiration.[749] Notwithstanding
this, there must have been for some years a marked interruption of
persecution. A writer remarks, in 1611, that in Seville the Castle of
Triana was used as a penitential prison, for there was no one on trial,
the Judaizers having all been pardoned, the Moriscos expelled and the
Protestants suppressed.[750]

This episode, however could have no permanent influence and its chief
interest lies in its manifestation of the numbers and wealth of the new
class of offenders coming forward to replace the expelled Moriscos in
furnishing material for autos de fe and in stimulating activity with the
prospect of fines and confiscations. After this we hear little of the
old Spanish Conversos; nearly all Judaizers are Portuguese and all
Portuguese are presumably Judaizers--suspects who existed only on
sufferance. In 1625, at Salamanca, the corregidor, in his nightly round,
entered a tavern to arrest a priest who had committed murder. He had
words with a party of Portuguese and forthwith arrested them all,
charging them with being fugitives from the Portuguese Inquisition. He
reported this to the Suprema, which communicated with the tribunal of
Coimbra and they were all sent to it for trial.[751] When, in 1633, an
effort was made to remove the disabilities under which the New
Christians labored, the Licenciate Juan Adan de la Parra, in an argument
against it, urged as his principal reason the obstinacy of the
Portuguese neophytes: even the advocates of the measure admitted that it
would be inapplicable to them, and Parra pointed out the impossibility
of distinguishing between them and the Castilians.[752]


Some efforts were made to check this influx and to prevent transit
through Spain to France and Holland, where the refugees were of material
assistance to the national enemies. In 1567, during the minority of Dom
Sebastian, the old laws were revived forbidding New Christians to leave
the kingdom, or to seek the colonies, or to sell real estate without a
special royal licence. Sebastian subsequently repealed this, but it was
renewed by Philip II, in 1587, and remained at least nominally in force,
though difficult of execution. Partial relief was obtained, in 1601,
when they paid Philip III two hundred thousand ducats for an irrevocable
free permission to go to the colonies of both crowns, and to sell landed
property but, with the faithlessness customary in dealing with the
proscribed race, this irrevocable permission was withdrawn in 1610 and,
in 1611 and 1612, the Suprema forwarded to the viceroy of Goa a royal
provision ordering him to expel all of Jewish blood, to which he refused
obedience, saying that all commerce was in their hands and the colonies
would be ruined by their expulsion.[753]

Another decree of Philip III, April 20, 1619, called the attention of
the inquisitor-general to the evils resulting from the multitudes of
Portuguese passing, with their families and property, to France. All who
could not show a licence under the Portuguese crown to leave that
kingdom were to be seized and their property sequestrated without
further orders, in accordance with which the Suprema promptly issued the
necessary instructions to its commissioners in the sea-ports and
frontier towns.[754] This doubtless led to increased restrictions in
Portugal on emigration, and to it we may probably attribute an eloquent
memorial, without date, from the Portuguese New Christians, asking for
the removal of all limitations. Gentlemen of the noblest houses, they
stated, had intermarried with them, both in Portugal and the colonies,
and they had lavished their substance in the good work of founding
churches, embellishing cofradías, endowing chapels, and liberal
almsgiving. Free permission to enter Spain would work no harm to
religion, for the Inquisition was everywhere, and the benefit arising
from unrestricted intercourse was manifested in the revenues derived
from the frontier towns, which were formerly farmed out for thirteen
millions of maravedís, irregularly paid, and now were farmed for
thirty-six millions, attributable to the spices, perfumes, porcelains,
stuffs and other wares brought in by them. It was the same with the
Spanish manufactures exported through Biscay--the wools and cloths of
Segovia, the silks and other goods. The only objection to free
intercourse was that they might take advantage of it to seek other
prohibited lands, and this was sufficiently answered elsewhere, in
addition to the fact that Portugal had so many ports that emigration
could not be prevented, as two hours sufficed to reach the sea and
embark, while land travel was slow and expensive, and could be stopped
at the frontier towns. The New Christians had greatly enriched the
kingdom and the colonies by their labors. In Brazil, where they could
hold real estate, nearly all the sugar plantations were in their hands,
and these they were constantly increasing, to the great profit of the
colony and of the revenue. As by law they were excluded from all offices
and dignities, commerce was their only resource.[755] Possibly these
representations may have been convincing, for the prohibition was
withdrawn, to be subsequently renewed as we shall see.


If they desired to escape from Portugal, Portugal was quite as anxious
to get rid of them, by extermination or otherwise. The pious intensity
of hatred towards them finds expression, in 1621, in a ferocious work by
Vicente da Costa Mattos, of which the declared object was to drive them
from the land. All the old stories of their malice to Christians were
raked together and set forth as uncontradicted truths. They were enemies
of mankind, wandering like gypsies through the world and living on the
sweat of others. They had possessed themselves of all trade, farming
the lands of individuals and the royal patrimony, with no capital but
industry and lack of conscience. They live only for the perdition of the
world; of old, God punished those who ill-treated them, but now he
punishes those who endure them; the decline of the Spanish kingdoms was
the punishment sent by God for tolerating them. They were all idolators
and sodomites, and wherever they went they infected the land with their
abominations, and were constantly seeking to convert Christians to their
foul belief. Luther commenced by Judaizing; all heretics were either
Jews or descendants of Judaizers, as was seen in England, Germany and
other parts where they flourished; Calvin called himself the Father of
Jews, like many other deniers of the Trinity, and Bucer in his will
declared that Christ was not the Savior promised. Their perverse
obstinacy was sufficiently proved, by the numbers who were every day
burnt, and the still greater numbers who escaped by penance after
conviction.[756] This crazy ebullition of ignorant hate accorded so well
with the prejudices of the time that a second edition was called for in
1633; in 1629 it was translated into Castilian by Fray Diego Gavilan
Vera, and this was reprinted in 1680.

The hatred, indeed, was quenchless which was not satisfied with what the
Inquisition was doing. In 1623 we chance to hear of the tribunal of
Evora arresting a hundred New Christians of the little town of Montemor
o Novo.[757] The autos de fe were frequently conducted on a scale
unknown in contemporary Castile. The tribunal of Coimbra held one,
August 16, 1626, with two hundred and forty-seven penitents and
_relaxados_, another on May 6, 1629, with two hundred and eighteen and
another on August 17, 1631 with two hundred and forty-seven. The
statistics between 1620 and 1640 are not complete, for there were ten
autos of which the details have not been preserved but, even without
these, the fearful aggregate is two hundred and thirty relaxed in
person, a hundred and sixty-one in effigy and forty-nine hundred and
ninety-five penanced--and this is in addition to several hundred
prisoners discharged under two pardons granted in 1627 and 1630, which
no doubt were heavily paid for.[758] Besides these pardons an Edict of
Grace was published in 1622 but, as we have seen, such mercies were
burdened with intolerable conditions, and only sixteen persons came
forward under it--twelve in Lisbon and four in Evora--and all these had
already been testified against.[759] In 1630, the royal confessor
Sotomayor reported that, in interviewing the deputies of the New
Christians, he found that they wanted no more Edicts of Grace; the last
one, they said, had done them no good but much harm, as it brought
infinite denunciations against them and filled the prisons.[760] There
is very likely exaggeration, but nothing more than exaggeration, in the
assertion of Luys de Melo that, in this period, the activity of the
Inquisition had virtually depopulated the cities of Coimbra, Oporto,
Braga, Lamego, Braganza, Evora, Beja and part of Lisbon, and the towns
of Santarem, Tomar, Trancoso, Avero, Guimaraens, Vinais, Villaflor,
Fundan, Montemor o Velho and o Novo and many other places, while the
prisons of the three tribunals were always full and the autos so
frequent that each tribunal celebrated one almost every year. One in
Coimbra occupied two days, there being more than a hundred each day, and
among them professors, canons, priests, curas with cure of souls,
vicars-general, frailes, nuns, knights, including some of the Military
Orders of kin with the highest of the land, and there was even a
discalced Franciscan so pertinacious that he was burnt alive.[761]


Notwithstanding these superhuman exertions the inquisitors complained
that their labors were unavailing; Judaism was steadily increasing; the
misfortunes of the land were attributable to the idolatry of this evil
rabble, and they clamored for more drastic measures. The Supreme
Council, January 17, 1619, addressed to Philip III a consulta urging
that prompt action was necessary in view of the contamination, and of
the infinite sacrileges committed, to the scandal of the faithful. The
king, it said, did not want vassals only, but good vassals, and it
therefore suggested that, when a penitent was condemned to confiscation,
he should also be banished; he would thus be stripped of everything and
would not take wealth to enrich the enemy as now was the case. It also
said that a general visitation was on foot which had already produced
much result; presumably there were many in Madrid who should be
investigated, and the king was asked to order a visitation there. One
member of the council, Mendo de la Mota, went even further, and wanted
banishment for all required to abjure for vehement suspicion. Philip
responded to this with chilling indifference; if those who abjured for
suspicion were banished, they would take their money with them; it was a
doubtful measure and he wished the council to consider it further; as
regarded the Portuguese in Castile, if a list was furnished, with notes
as to grounds for suspicion, he would have them investigated. The list
was duly supplied, but the investigation was not made.[762]

The effort was resumed the next year. On April 30, 1620, the tribunals
of Lisbon and Evora sent to Philip relations of the autos held by them
on the previous September 29th, so that he might see the large numbers
punished on those occasions, and recognize the necessity of more active
measures of repression. Among them were three canons of Coimbra, three
frailes and several lawyers. Six canons of Coimbra, all New Christians,
had been arrested; they were all appointees of the pope, and the king
was prayed to ask him to close the door on all applicants for benefices
of that race; also to order that none should be admitted to the Church,
either as seculars or regulars, and none to public office--which
indicates how little the prohibitory laws were respected.[763]

The youthful Philip IV was scarce more than seated on the throne when,
in 1622, Fernando Mascarenhas, Bishop of Faro, urged him to provide
some remedy for the political dangers apprehended from the New
Christians. It was in evidence, he said, that they were all secretly
Jews and the state was in great peril from them as they were very
numerous. There was no city in which they were not powerful through
their wealth and the important positions held by them, while the danger
of detection and punishment might lead them to cause serious trouble
through alliance with enemies. It was found that they secretly invested
their capital in dealings with the Dutch, and in Dutch commercial
companies and, if they ventured their wealth with these rebels, they
would conspire with them, especially as the Inquisition was pushing them
hard, arresting them all and they had no other remedy.[764] Israel has
rarely had a more flattering tribute to its intellectual superiority
than the fears excited by this remnant surviving through near a century
of pitiless persecution.

Doubtless there were other urgent warnings which have not reached us
and, in 1628, Philip called for a formal expression of opinion from his
Portuguese prelates. By his order they assembled at Tomar and summoned
to their aid all who were most distinguished in the kingdom for learning
and virtue. After prolonged debates they submitted to him a series of
suggestions to which he replied seriatim. In view of the failure of all
previous efforts to abate the evils wrought and threatened by the New
Christians, the remedy they preferred was the thorough expulsion of the
whole race; if this were not practicable, at least those who were
full-blooded Jews, excepting such as could prove their Christianity,
should be banished, and their property be confiscated; as for those of
half or quarter blood, all should go who had been, or who in future
should be reconciled, or sentenced to abjure de vehementi, unless
inquisitors were satisfied of their true repentance and conversion. To
this Philip replied, proposing delay in the case of the full-blooded
Conversos, and assenting to the exile of the reconciled and vehemently
suspect. For the further relief of the kingdom, the bishops proposed
that all who desired could, within a year, irrevocably expatriate
themselves, selling their property and taking with them the proceeds,
but not in jewels or the precious metals. To this the royal answer was
that already there was unrestricted liberty to go, but as evils had
arisen from their return, in future it should be prohibited. The next
suggestion was significant; to check the spread of Judaic infection, by
intermarriage, which was destroying the lustre of the nobility, no dower
in such unions should exceed two thousand cruzados, and the husband
should be disabled from holding positions of honor and dignity. To the
first clause the king assented; to the latter he said that the existing
laws in favor of the nobility should be enforced. To prevent the
constant profanation of the sacraments it was proposed that papal briefs
should be procured prohibiting all entrance into the Church of all who
were New Christians, even in the tenth degree. To this the king promised
to apply for such briefs and meanwhile the bishops should refuse to
install persons bearing dispensations and report to him, and also
represent to the pope the evils attendant on such preferment. The next
suggestion was that the king should ratify and enforce the prohibition
to hold secular offices and dignities, to which he replied that it
should be strictly enforced. Finally, the bishops proposed that the New
Christians should be wholly excluded from trade and commerce or, if this
was not possible, at least from that which concerned the royal revenues,
but to this Philip answered rather curtly that it was none of their

Such were the views of Christian prelates, and even the partial
concessions of the king seemed sufficient to threaten the New Christians
with virtual extinction, but the whole portentous transaction served
only to put on record the extremes to which bigotry could reach. As Luys
de Melo suggestively says, after giving the documents in full, the
orders issued by the king were not executed, and it would be superfluous
to explain the cause of this to any one acquainted with the methods of
government of the period. Yet it had one result, for the New Christians,
in fear of the threatened consequences, paid to King Philip eighty
thousand ducats for the privilege of leaving Portugal and, under this,
some five thousand families emigrated to Castile, besides a countless
number of individual stragglers, so that it would be a wonder to find
any place in Spain not filled with Portuguese Jews.[766] They felt
themselves in perfect safety, for the Castilian tribunals refused to
honor requisitions from those of Portugal.[767] Efforts were also made
to obtain modification of procedure, but in vain. By a cédula of
December 20, 1633, Philip expressed his approbation of the existing
rules and refused all change; moreover, he gave to Inquisitor-general de
Castro all the memorials, petitions and arguments presented to him, thus
furnishing to the Inquisition the names of those upon whom to wreak its

The question of transit to France came up again in 1632, when the
Suprema notified Philip that the commissioner at Pampeluna reported that
troops of Portuguese families were passing into France, many of them
people of wealth, with litters and coaches, and the Inquisition did not
interfere with them, as the last instructions were that they should not
be impeded. The result of this representation was that the orders of
1619 were repeated.[769] Not content with retaining those who wished to
expatriate themselves, when the Admiral of Castile, in 1636, captured
Saint-Jean de Luz, and there were hopes of conquering Guienne, which was
ripe for revolt, the Inquisition took steps to seize the refugees who
might have settled there, though it had no evidence that they were
Judaizers. It assumed that they were apostates and as such not included
in the promises held out to the inhabitants at large, and that anyhow
the cause of the faith was privileged. The king was therefore asked to
order the admiral to send to the border all whom its agents might
designate, so that they could be seized without attracting
attention.[770] It is possible that some victims may thus have been
procured during the brief time in which the Spaniards held their


The refugees, however, mainly bent their steps to Holland, where they
enjoyed free toleration and could work for their own advancement and the
detriment of their oppressors. This was the leading cause of the effort
to prevent emigration, and it was a matter of much concern. Luys de Melo
says that there had passed to Holland more than two thousand families
and, in those rebel states, they had purchased the right to establish
synagogues. Those who publicly Judaized there were the same as those
who, quitting Portugal as _sanbenitados_, published that their
confession of Judaism was under coercion of the Inquisition. Many who
had lived in misery in Portugal were rich in Holland; they paid
contributions to those rebel states, and assisted to maintain their
fleets and armies; they invested largely in the East India Company, and
thus were absorbing a great part of Spanish commerce and, under feigned
names and in vessels of the United Provinces, they did a large trade in
contraband goods.[771] In short, their commercial aptitudes were
impoverishing Spain and enriching her enemies. The writer unconsciously
points out how large a part intolerance played in the decadence of the

Nor was this the only mischief wrought by their hostility to the land
that had driven them forth. In 1634, the Capitan Esteban de Ares
Fonseca, in a memorial to the Suprema, represents the refugees in
Holland as aiding actively the enemies of Spain, and as holding constant
correspondence with spies residing there in the guise of merchants. The
Dutch West India Company, he says, was controlled by Jews, who were
large stockholders, and its chief profits were derived from piracy in
the colonies, especially those of Portugal on the Brazilian coast, where
the New Christians were numerous and were in correspondence with the
enemy. It was two Jews, Nuño Alvarez Franco and Manuel Fernandez Drago,
residents of Bahía, who planned and executed the capture of that place
by the Dutch in 1625. Franco, he adds, now lives in Lisbon as a spy,
under orders from Holland, and his brother Jacob Franco carries
intelligence back and forth disguised as a Fleming of Antwerp. Drago is
still in Bahía; he is a great rabbi and teacher of the Jews, and
moreover is a spy who last year sent word to the Dutch to return there.
The capture of Pernambuco was the work of the Jews of Amsterdam, chief
among whom was Antonio Vaez Henriquez, known as Cohen, who had lived
there, who arranged the plans and accompanied the expedition; he is now
residing in Seville as a merchant, but is nothing but a spy. Last year
he went to Amsterdam with a plan for the capture of Havana, where he has
a correspondent named Manuel de Torres. At present a large fleet of
eighteen sail is fitting out for the relief of Pernambuco, under command
of David Peixoto, a Jew, who proposes to call at Buarcos and penetrate
to Coimbra, where the Inquisition is to be burnt and the prisoners are
to be liberated. It was a Jew of Amsterdam, named Francisco de Campos,
who took the island of Fernando de Noronha; it could readily be
recaptured, as it has a garrison of only thirty-four men with four
cannon. In San Sebastian, there is a Jew named Abraham Ger, who calls
himself Juan Gilles, under Dutch pay; he works much mischief to Spain
and keeps a man named Rafael Mendez, who is constantly travelling back
and forth.[772]

We need not accept all this as literally true, but it had an undoubted
substratum of fact. In 1640, the tribunals of Lima and Cartagena de las
Indias reported that in recent autos de fe it had been discovered that
many Judaizing Portuguese in the colonies had correspondence with the
synagogues in Holland and the Levant, assisting the Dutch and the Turks
with information and money. To verify this, orders were given to open,
on a certain day, all letters addressed to Portuguese throughout Spain.
The information was found to be true; a cypher was discovered, used in
correspondence with the synagogues of Holland, and further, that a
million and a half of money had been pledged from Spain. The matter was
appropriately referred for investigation to the inquisitor-general and
two inquisitors.[773] What was the result, we have no means of knowing,
but we may be reasonably sure that the rumors, which attributed to the
New Christians of Portugal a share in the rebellion of 1640, were not
wholly without foundation.


They certainly benefited at first by the change of masters. It is true
that João IV conciliated the Inquisition by intervening in its favor in
a quarrel which it had, in 1643, with the Jesuits of Evora, and by
attending, with his family and court, two autos de fe held in Lisbon,
April 6, 1642 and June 25, 1645, in one of which there were six
relaxations in person and four in effigy, with seventy-five penitents,
and in the other eleven relaxations in person and two in effigy, with
sixty-one penitents,[774] but this we may assume to have been a matter
of policy rather than of conviction, for his tendencies were towards
liberality. He is even said to have contemplated granting freedom of
conscience and liberty of residence to Jews, but to have been forced to
abandon the purpose by the stubborn resistance of the inquisitor-general
Francisco de Castro, Bishop of Guarda,[775] but this is probably a
Spanish exaggeration of an intention to modify the rigor of
inquisitorial procedure, which he was obliged to forego through the
impossibility of obtaining the requisite papal confirmation.[776]
Spanish influence in Italy sufficed to prevent the Holy See from
recognizing or holding relations with the House of Braganza, until, by
the treaty of Lisbon in 1668, Spain abandoned her futile efforts at
reconquest--a position which resulted in the vacancy of the Portuguese
sees, as the bishops dropped off, until there was but one left,
Francisco de Sotomayor, a Dominican who chanced to be bishop of Targa
_in partibus_ and who was made Bishop of Lamego in 1659.[777]

This impossibility of negotiating with Rome rendered necessary an
indirect method of accomplishing his desire to abolish confiscation,
which he recognized as a serious impediment to commercial credit and
prosperity, especially through the sequestration of property at arrest.
As it was provided by the canons it could only be abrogated by a papal
rescript, and to evade this difficulty, in his decree of February 6,
1649, he disclaimed all intention of interfering with the functions of
the Holy Office, which should continue to include confiscation in its
sentences but, after this declaration, he made to the culprits a free
gift of their forfeited property, which they could dispose of at will,
provided it was in favor of Catholics, and he also abolished
sequestration at arrest. But this was not only a free gift but a binding
contract, under which the merchants engaged to form a trading company to
enrich the country with colonial commerce and to provide, at its own
expense, thirty-six war ships to serve as convoys for the merchantmen,
all of which was impossible so long as the capital of the company was
liable to be imperilled by sequestration and confiscation imposed on the
shareholders. The inquisitor-general was ordered to have this decree
filed in the secreto of the tribunals, and to enforce its observance,
while João obligated himself never to revoke it.[778] The Inquisition
subsequently boasted that it had excommunicated all who advised the king
to this measure, and it actually succeeded in obtaining from Innocent X
a brief of October 25, 1650, thanking God for what it had done and
urging it to persevere.[779] Notwithstanding this, the Companhia da
Bolsa was organized and, through its means, Pernambuco was recovered
from the Dutch. There was flattering prospect of restoring Portuguese
commerce but, when João IV died, in 1656, leaving the kingdom under the
regency of his widow Lucía de Guzman, during the minority of Affonso VI,
the Inquisition not only resumed confiscation but proceeded to collect
the arrears since 1649. Altogether, Padre Vieira tells us, about 1680,
they had gathered in up to that time some twenty-five millions, of which
not more than half a million cruzados reached the royal treasury.[780]


When Bishop de Castro died, in 1653, the attitude of the Holy See
towards Portugal precluded the appointment of a successor, and the
General Council acted from that date until 1672, when D. Pedro de
Lencastre, Archbishop of Side, _in partibus_, was appointed. The lack of
a head seems rather to have stimulated than to have repressed its
energies, and one can scarce comprehend how, after a century of such
earnest work, so small a territory can have furnished so unfailing a
supply of victims. Autos were held in each tribunal nearly every year,
with so copious a number of culprits that occasionally they occupied two
days, and one at Coimbra, in February, 1677, required three days to
despatch its nine personal relaxations and its two hundred and
sixty-four penitents. Peace or war seems to have made no difference.
Evora celebrated an auto, June 23, 1663, with a hundred and forty-two
penitents, although Don John of Austria, with a hostile Spanish army,
was occupying the city.[781]

The explanation of this exhaustless reservoir of material for autos is
to be found in the strictness with which the infection of blood was
reckoned, without limit of generations; all who had the slightest
admixture were reckoned as New Christians and were held to be Jews at
heart. Intermarriages had been frequent, and so large a portion of the
population was thus contaminated that foreigners generally regarded the
Portuguese as all Jews.[782] Thus the field of operation of the
Inquisition was almost unlimited, and every one whom it penanced became
a source of stronger infection. The death of João IV removed what little
restraint he may have ventured to exercise and, in 1662, the oppressed
population, comprising so large a portion of the wealth and intelligence
of the kingdom, made an attempt to purchase alleviation of suffering. A
New Christian named Duarte, who had been penanced, in the name of his
fellows, made a liberal offer of money and troops for the defence of the
land, in return for a general pardon, the publication of witnesses'
names and permission to found a synagogue in which professing Jews might
worship. Considering that in Rome there was a synagogue, there is some
inconsistency in the energetic brief of Alexander VII, February 17,
1663, denouncing the project and urging the Inquisition to resist it to
the utmost.[783] Of course the attempt was abortive. Then, in 1671, the
New Christians were suddenly threatened with a catastrophe. In the
church of Orivellas, a pyx with a consecrated host was stolen. We have
seen with what equanimity the Roman Inquisition regarded this offence,
but in Portugal the whole kingdom was thrown into consternation. The
Regent Pedro and the court put on mourning; an edict ordered that for
some days no one should leave his house, so that everybody might be
compelled to give an account of himself on the fatal night. All efforts
to identify the sacrilegious thief proving fruitless, it was assumed
that the New Christians must be guilty, and the regent signed an edict
banishing them all from Portugal--a measure opposed by the Inquisition,
doubtless because its occupation would be gone. Before the expulsion
could be enforced, however, it happened that a young thief near Coimbra,
named Antonio Ferreira, was arrested, and in his possession was found
the pyx with its contents. The most searching investigation failed to
discover in him a trace of Jewish blood; he was duly burnt and the New
Christians were saved.[784]

After this narrow escape, there came a gleam of promise. Few members of
the Society of Jesus, at that time, were more distinguished than Antonio
Vieira, who had earned the name of the Apostle of Brazil. He had long
regarded the New Christians with compassion and had urged João IV not
only to abolish confiscation but to remove the distinctions between them
and the Old Christians. He had made enemies and the Inquisition readily
undertook his punishment; his writings in favor of the oppressed were
condemned as rash, scandalous, erroneous, savoring of heresy and well
adapted to pervert the ignorant.[785] After three years of
incarceration, he was penanced in the audience-chamber of Coimbra,
December 23, 1667, and his sympathy for the victims of the Holy Office
was sharpened by his experience of its unwholesome prisons, where he
tells us that five unfortunates were not uncommonly herded in a cell
nine feet by eleven, where the only light came from a narrow opening
near the ceiling, where the vessels were changed only once a week, and
all spiritual consolation was denied.[786] Then, in the safe refuge of
Rome, he raised his voice for the relief of the oppressed, in numerous
writings in which he characterized the Holy Office of Portugal as a
tribunal which served only to deprive men of their fortunes, their honor
and their lives, while unable to discriminate between guilt and
innocence; it was known to be holy only in name, while its works were
cruelty and injustice, unworthy of rational beings, although it was
always proclaiming its superior piety.[787]


The Society of Jesus could scarce fail to resent the affront put upon
one of its most distinguished members; it was still a power in Portugal,
and it made its influence felt. The New Christians took heart and, in
1673, they made an organized effort to gain relief. They asked to have
the procedure of the Inquisition modified to that of Rome and, in order
that the new system might have a fair start, that a general pardon be
granted to those under trial.[788] The extent of the considerations
offered for these very moderate concessions shows how desperate was the
condition of the sufferers, for they proposed to place within a year
four thousand troops in India, and then yearly to send twelve hundred
men, or fifteen hundred in case of war, besides an annual payment of
twenty thousand cruzados and various other considerable contributions,
including some important matters which there were reasons for keeping
secret.[789] Against this proposal the Inquisition protested in two
elaborate remonstrances, revealing the temper in which it habitually
exercised its powers. It could find no words too strong to describe the
wickedness of the New Christians, whose invincible adherence to their
errors showed that punishment and not pardon was the only means to be
employed; in place of mitigating the laws they should be sharpened, as
heresy was steadily increasing, and to ask for the Roman procedure was
scandalous, and in itself worthy of punishment. The regent was told that
he had no power to overthrow the laws and he was threatened, on the one
hand, with an uprising of the people, and, on the other, with an appeal
to the pope. In fine, the proposed reform would bring desolation on the
land and result in Portugal becoming a Judea. On the other side, the
arrangement was warmly supported by many ecclesiastics, to which Jesuit
influence doubtless contributed. Not only did the Archbishop of Lisbon
favor it, but also thirty masters and doctors of theology, the
professors of the University of Coimbra, seven ministers of the
Inquisition, and many men of high position among both the regular and
the secular clergy. The regent and his council gave it their approval
and the matter was referred to the pope for his decision.[790]


The debate was thus transferred to Rome where, in 1674, both sides
submitted their arguments to the commission of Cardinals formed for the
purpose. The advocates of the New Christians presented a scathing
indictment of the Inquisition, doubtless one-sided and exaggerated and
yet affording an insight into the abuses inevitable when secret and
irresponsible power fell into unworthy hands. The great mass of victims,
they asserted, were fervent and loyal Christians, who either were burnt
for denying Judaism or obtained reconciliation by falsely confessing. A
case occurring only the year previous, 1673, at Evora, was that of two
nuns, burnt as _negativas_. One of them had lived for forty years in her
nunnery, with unblemished reputation and filling all the official
positions in turn; the confessors who heard her before the auto were
overcome by the fervent piety which she manifested and, when the
procession was formed, she recognized among the penitents her own sister
and nieces, who had saved their lives by denouncing her. She pardoned
them and made a most exemplary end, invoking Christ with her last breath
as the garrote was applied. Indeed, it was the evidence of many
confessors that the greater part of those to whom they ministered at the
autos were true and fervent Christians, and this was confirmed by the
University of Evora, by Padre Manoel Diaz, S. J., confessor of the
crown-prince, and numerous ecclesiastics of high standing.[791]

The trade of false witness was a thriving one, both for gain and the
gratification of enmity. There were regular associations of perjurers,
who made a living by levying black-mail on rich New Christians, accusing
those who refused their demands, so that the unfortunate class lived in
perpetual terror and purchased temporary safety by compliance. The
matter was reduced to a fine art. The accusing witness would give a
fictitious name and address, so that the accused could never recognize
and disable him. Sometimes, indeed, when additional evidence was
necessary, a witness would change his name and garments and give the
required corroborative testimony.[792]

As an illustration of the arbitrary abuse of power, allusion was made to
a notorious case occurring at Evora, in 1643. According to custom, a
student of the Jesuit college was appointed to superintend the market.
The servant of an inquisitor desired to buy a load of honey, in order to
retail it at an advance, but the student interposed, because it had
already been purchased for the use of the college, and would only let
the servant have enough to supply his master's table. For this he was
imprisoned, tried, required to abjure and penanced as unsound in the
faith. When the sentence was read in the presence of a number of
ecclesiastics, the professor of theology, a Jesuit of high standing,
appealed to the Holy See, to which one of the inquisitors replied that
from that holy tribunal the only appeal was to the Holy Trinity, and
the unlucky appellant was gaoled and severely handled. Jesuits were not
accustomed to such treatment; the matter was laid before Urban VIII, who
summoned the inquisitors to appear before him but, in the confusion of
the war with Spain, the affair blew over.[793]

The statements as to confiscation explain the tenacity of the
Inquisition in maintaining its position. The crown supported the
Inquisition and was entitled to the results of its industry, but
obtained little. The sequestrations were in the hands of the tribunals
during the trials, which were protracted for five, ten or twelve years
to the intense distress of the prisoners. During this time the
management of the property was irresponsible; no accounts were rendered
and, of the immense sums received, only occasional trifling payments
were made to the state. The inquisitor-general had authority to make
donations to the inquisitors, and this was liberally exercised in
granting them sums of six, or eight, or even fourteen thousand crowns at
a time. Commerce was most disastrously affected for, when a merchant
with foreign correspondents was arrested and his property was
sequestrated, his foreign consignors or creditors clamored in vain for
the goods or debts belonging to them and, as this was a fate overhanging
every man, Portuguese trade suffered accordingly. In short, while we may
not accept literally the assertion that the Inquisition brought
irreparable ruin upon Portugal, we cannot but regard it as one of the
largely contributing factors to the rapid decadence of the kingdom.[794]

The contest in Rome was stubborn, but the New Christians gradually
gained the advantage and, on October 3, 1674, Clement X, as a
preliminary, issued a brief reciting their complaints, in view of which
he evoked to himself all pending cases and committed them to the Roman
Inquisition, inhibiting further action in Portugal, under pain of
deprivation of office and other penalties, for all officials, including
the inquisitor-general. Coimbra treated this as a general pardon and, on
November 18th, discharged all those under trial, but the other tribunals
seem to have detained their prisoners. It was probably with the object
of releasing them that, in 1676, Innocent XI instructed his nuncio to
permit the inquisitors to finish the trials, but not to inflict
sentences of relaxation, confiscation, or perpetual galleys. If this was
the object, it was unsuccessful. The Inquisition was sullen and
celebrated no auto de fe between the years 1674 and 1682, save three
private ones in the Lisbon audience-chamber, in each of which there was
but a single penitent.[795]

The inquisitorial agents in Rome denied the assertions as to the
arbitrary injustice of procedure and the coercion of good Christians to
confess Judaism by the terrible alternative of relaxation as negativos.
In the conflict of statement, it was proposed that the truth could be
ascertained by the examination of the records, and Innocent consequently
ordered the transmission to Rome of the papers in some specimen cases of
convicted negativos. The inquisitor-general, Verissimo de Lencastre,
Archbishop of Braga, refused obedience, on the ground that it would
reveal the secrets of procedure. The pope naturally pronounced the
reason to be frivolous, and treated this imitation of Arce y Reynoso's
course in the Villanueva affair with greater decision than his
predecessor. After meeting repeated refusals, he peremptorily ordered,
by a brief of December 24, 1678, that, within ten days after notice,
four or five of the prescribed cases should be delivered to the Nuncio
Marcello, under pain of _ipso-facto_ suspension of the
inquisitor-general and all his subordinates; if they continued to act,
the inquisitor-general was interdicted from entering a church, and the
others incurred excommunication removable only by the Holy See, while,
during suspension, the episcopal Ordinaries were restored to their
jurisdiction with full powers. Even this did not break down
inquisitorial contumacy and, on May 27, 1679, another brief formally
suspended them, while letters of the same date to the nuncio instructed
him to prosecute them and report the result. This decisive action at
length brought the partial submission that two processes were sent to
the Portuguese ambassador to be delivered to the pope, but evidently
this was deemed insufficient, for the suspension was not removed until
1681, when a brief of August 22d gave as a reason that the episcopal
Ordinaries, owing to various impediments, had not been able to exercise
jurisdiction and the prisoners were suffering through the delay. The
raising of the suspension, however, was conditioned on the future
observance of numerous modifications of procedure, under threat of
reincidence of the penalties previously prescribed. The New Christians
had especially asked for a change in the rule respecting negativos but
this, as we have seen, was unfortunately an essential part of the system
and their desire was ungratified. The changes granted were of minor
importance, and are interesting only as evidence of some specially
iniquitous practices against which they were directed, and better
treatment of prisoners was enjoined.[796]

Whether these modifications were observed and mitigated the rigor of
procedure; whether the Inquisition was humbled and weakened by its
defeat in the struggle with the papacy, or whether the material for its
autos was becoming exhausted, it would be impossible now to determine,
but there is no question that, after its resumption in 1681, the number
of its victims diminished notably. The renewal of operations was
celebrated by autos de fe held in the early months of 1682, with
processions and illuminations and other demonstrations of rejoicing,
but, in the nineteen years including 1682 and 1700, there were but
fifty-nine relaxed in person, sixty-one in effigy and thirteen hundred
and fifty-one penanced--an aggregate deplorable in itself, yet
encouraging in comparison with its predecessors.[797]

       *       *       *       *       *


From this sketch of the Portuguese Inquisition, we can readily estimate
its efficiency in keeping the Spanish institution supplied with material
as the native stock grew Christianized. Not the least unfortunate effect
of this was its influence in maintaining the prejudice that might
otherwise have subsided, and that consequently became one of race as
much as of religion. The venom which we have seen in the work of da
Costa Mattos was, if possible, exceeded in the _Centinela contra Judíos_
of Padre Fray Francisco de Torrejoncillos, published as late as 1673 and
reprinted in 1728 and 1731. In this popular exposition of Christian
rancor, no story is too wild and unnatural to be unworthy of credence,
if it illustrates the innate and ineradicable depravity of the Jew, and
his quenchless desire to work evil to the Christian. The fables of the
_Fortalicium Fidei_ are repeated as incontestable truths, and new ones
are invented to prove that the virus is as active as ever. It makes no
difference if the Jew is baptized, for this does not change his nature
and his faith, and he remains the same implacable enemy.[798] The same
temper is manifested in a memorial, drawn up about this time by an
inquisitor, in answer to a proposition for moderating the harshness of
inquisitorial procedure. The writer was evidently a man of learning and
culture, but his paper is a bitter tirade against the Jews, insisting
upon their diabolical nature and asserting them to be much worse now
than when they crucified Christ. The evil is in their blood, forcing
them to hate and rage against Christ, the Virgin and all who profess the
Christian faith.[799] Popular beliefs that they had tails, and that they
were distinguishable by a peculiar odor which they exhaled and that, as
physicians, they killed one out of five of their Christian patients,
were persistent outgrowths of the hatred thus inculcated.[800] Even to
call a man a Jew was an offence justiciable by the Inquisition, for
when, in 1646, Padre Boil, a royal preacher, in a sermon stigmatized as
a Jew Fray Enríquez, of his own Mercenarian Order, the tribunal of
Toledo promptly sent for him and, after detaining him for six months,
sentenced him to two years' exile from the court, during which he was
forbidden to preach.[801]

When, about 1632, the New Christians made an effort to procure a removal
of their disabilities, Juan Adan de la Parra who, though an inquisitor
was a poet and a man of culture, opposed it in an elaborate essay,
cautiously couched in Latin, for the matter was too delicate for popular
discussion. He did not pander to vulgar prejudice, but addressed himself
to arguments of state policy, which are a curious illustration of what,
on such a subject, an intelligent man regarded as conclusive. He
deplores the decline of population, of agriculture, of shipping and of
the mechanic arts, which he attributes to the insidious practices of the
Jews, their avoidance of manual labor and their addiction to usury. Look
at Portugal, he says, where this traitorous race stimulated the ardor of
foreign conquest, until it embraced the East and West Indies, and then
cunningly corrupted the native virtue with the wealth and luxury thus
acquired, until they have succeeded in eliminating the heroes and
destroying the heroic spirit which rendered Portugal so formidable. It
is this craving for oriental luxuries, shrewdly stimulated by the New
Christians, which is undermining the robustness of Spanish virtue; the
useful is neglected for the superfluous, and thus agriculture declines.
He scarcely seems to recognize the tribute which he pays to the superior
endowment of the Jew, when he winds up by foretelling that, if the
restrictions and disabilities imposed on the New Christians are removed,
they will acquire such power that they will reduce the Old Christians to

There was some foundation for the fear that the barriers between the
races would be removed. In the exhaustion of Spanish finance, Olivares,
in 1634, opened negotiations with the Jews of Africa and the Levant, and
royal licences were granted for the admission of individuals. In 1641,
relations were resumed; they sent representatives whom he received and
kept with him for a considerable time, silencing the remonstrances of
the Suprema with the assertion that they were there on the service of
the king. It was proposed that they should be allowed to reside in the
suburbs of Madrid, in a separate quarter, with a synagogue, as in Rome.
He won over some members of the Royal Council and some theologians to
his plans, but the Inquisition was inexorable, and Cardinal Monti, the
nuncio, told the king, in public audience, that Olivares must be
dismissed if the harvest of the Lord was to be cleansed of tares and the
risk be averted of ruining the faith of Spain. Incidentally Olivares
interfered with the Inquisition, by demanding the papers in certain
cases; Inquisitor-general Sotomayor refused but, finding himself
powerless to resist, placed the documents at the foot of a crucifix,
whence they were carried to Olivares, who burnt them and released a
number of prisoners. It is even said that he contemplated abolishing the
Inquisition, but Philip IV was too profoundly convinced of its necessity
to both Church and State to entertain the project, and there may well be
truth in the assertion that his quarrel with the Holy Office was
contributory to his downfall. This put an end to all negotiations and,
in 1643, we find the Suprema instructing the Valencia tribunal to forbid
the landing of the Jews who were coming from Oran.[803]

[Sidenote: _PROSELYTISM_]

Some stir was caused, in 1645, by two Jews, Salamon Zaportas and Bale
Zaportas, who presented themselves in Valencia with a royal licence,
dated in 1634, and one from the Marquis of Viana, Governor of Oran. They
applied to the tribunal for permission to attend to their business in
the city and to wear Christian garments, so as not to be mobbed. The
tribunal was puzzled and ordered them not to leave the city under pain
of two hundred pesos, while it consulted the Suprema. The latter
represented to the king the danger impending on the faith from this
disregard of his orders by ministers who issued licences, to which he
responded with instructions to send them back to Oran: the causes
leading to the cédula of 1634 no longer existed; if in future their
coming were considered necessary, the Governor of Oran must report and
await the royal decision and a special licence.[804] There is no reason
to suppose that the venturesome Israelites had anything more important
in view than private business.

One of the most prominent reasons urged for the establishment and
perpetuation of the Inquisition was the zeal of the crypto-Jews in
proselyting and the danger to which the purity of religion was thus
exposed--an argument which served its purpose, however discrediting to
the firmness of Spanish faith. Cases, however, were never cited in
proof, nor could they be, for Judaism is a matter of race as much as of
dogma; the Jews have never sought to convert the Gentiles and, in Spain
of all lands, it was clearly preposterous that men, who could only exist
by concealing their belief, would incur the certainty of detection and
of pitiless punishment, by the unpardonable offence of seeking the
apostasy of their Christian neighbors. What conversions there were were
spontaneous, and these served to intensify the horror of Judaism and to
keep alive the sense of danger arising from the presence of those
suspected of cherishing the ancient faith. Fray Diogo da Assumpçao,
burnt in Lisbon, in 1603, as a convert to the Law of Moses, is said to
have been led to this fatal step by witnessing the constancy in
martyrdom of those who suffered for their belief.[805] A more remarkable
case was that of Lope de Vera, which aroused universal interest
throughout Spain, and pointed the moral that the safety of religion lay
in the ignorance of the faithful, thus justifying the prescience of
Valdés, when he placed on the first Spanish Index a translation of
Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews.[806]

Lope de Vera was the son of a gentleman of San Clemente, of gentle blood
and limpieza. At the age of nineteen he was a student at Salamanca, so
deeply learned in Hebrew and Arabic that, in July, 1638, he competed for
a chair of Hebrew. His studies led him to embrace Judaism and, with the
zeal of a convert, he sought to win over a fellow student, who denounced
him to the Inquisition. There was a second witness, and yet the consulta
de fe of Valladolid was not unanimous in voting his arrest; it had to be
ordered by the Suprema, and was executed June 24, 1639. He freely
admitted the truth of the accusation and much more, but denied
intention, assuming that what he had said was for the sake of argument,
and asserting that he went to confession and communion and carried a
rosary. There was variation and equivocation in his successive
audiences; there was delay and doubt on the part of the Inquisition, and
the trial dragged on. On April 16th and May 23, 1641, he revoked all
that he had confessed and then suddenly, on May 29th, he announced that
he wished to be a Jew and to hold all that the Jews believed, for this
was the truth revealed to them by God, which he would defend with his
life. Hitherto he had believed what the Church taught, but now he
adhered to the Law given by God to Israel; the religion of Rome and all
other religions were false; he had never practised the Jewish
observances but would do so in the future; no one had taught him this,
but God, in his mercy, had brought him to the truth. Learned men were
called in to wean him from his errors, but they declared his pertinacity
to be terrible and that, with his knowledge of Hebrew, he would be most
dangerous. He refused to have an advocate or to make defence, persisting
that he was a Jew and would die for the Law of Moses. On August 8th the
alcaide reported that he had circumcised himself with a bone, and the
physician sent to examine him verified this and reported that he said
he hoped to be burnt alive, for he sought the honor of martyrdom and
would go to paradise.

[Sidenote: _PROSELYTISM_]

Earnest and protracted efforts were made to reclaim him but in vain.
Then he was asked to set forth the Hebrew texts on which he relied, so
that the calificadores could confute them. To enable him to do this he
was furnished, December 23d, with a Bible, paper, ink and a goose-quill,
but the latter he rejected, saying that it was forbidden by the Law of
Moses, and a bronze pen (pluma de bronce) was given to him. Further
conferences followed, and much patience was manifested, until he refused
absolutely to speak in the audiences. The baffled tribunal appealed to
the Suprema, which ordered fifty lashes; he endured them unflinchingly
on June 17, 1642, and maintained his unbroken silence. This was most
obstructive, for his ratification of his confessions was necessary but,
when they and the evidence were read to him, he closed his ears with his
fingers and refused even to listen. It was proposed to torture him, but
the Suprema humanely discarded formalities and ordered the case to be
closed and voted upon. The vote was taken, January 27, 1643, to relax
him with confiscation, but in confirming it the Suprema ordered further
efforts for his conversion. There was no haste in executing the
sentence. In January, 1644, he was still persisting in silence, except
that, when the inquisitors made their weekly visits, he would cry "Viva
la ley de Moisen," after which not another word could be extracted from
him. At length, on June 25, 1644, he was burnt alive, maintaining to the
end his unalterable constancy. The inquisitor Moscoso, in a letter to
the Countess of Monterey, declared that he had never witnessed so ardent
a desire for death, such perfect assurance of salvation, or such
unconquerable firmness. His fate made a profound impression on his
co-religionists. Some years later, Juan Pereira, a youth on trial before
the Valladolid tribunal, referred to him repeatedly and declared that he
had seen him after death, riding on a mule and glistening with the sweat
that was on him when he was taken to the quemadero.[807]

Lope de Vera was a most undesirable convert, for his case could not fail
to arouse afresh the dread of infection and to stimulate the Inquisition
to increased activity. Yet such stimulus was scarce needed, for it was
incessantly vigilant and was troubled with few scruples when on the
track of a suspect. An illustrative case offers itself when, in
September, 1642, the tribunal of Galicia wrote to Valladolid that a
prisoner on trial testified that Antonio López, in Manzaneda de Tribes,
had practised Judaism, and it asked for his arrest. An Antonio López was
readily found in Valladolid and was promptly thrown in prison, September
16th. He denied the accusation; no other testimony could be found
against him and his trial dragged on until, February 3, 1644, there was
a vote _in discordia_. The case went to the Suprema, which ordered
further inquiry to be made of the Galician tribunal, when it was
discovered that the prisoner had never been in Manzaneda. This should
have been conclusive but, when another vote was reached, August 13th, it
was again in discordia, and the Suprema again ordered investigations
which proved fruitless. A third inconclusive vote was taken in 1645, and
then the Suprema ordered the arrest of a second Antonio López, a
painter, who had been discovered in Sanabria. He was arrested in
December, 1645, and easily proved himself to be an Old Christian of
strict observance, but to no purpose, for the blundering consulta de fe
voted in discordia, April 30, 1646, and the Suprema ordered him to be
exposed to threatened torture. He was stripped and bound on the trestle,
but his nerves did not give way and he steadily asserted his orthodoxy.
The resources of the baffled tribunal were now exhausted and, on July
14th, the Suprema ordered the cases to be suspended, when the two
Antonio López were released--not acquitted--after one had been in prison
nearly four years, and the other had been subjected to the agony of
impending torture, merely because they bore a name which chanced to be
mentioned in a distant tribunal as that of a Judaizer. Not quite so hard
was the case of Gaspar Rodríguez, arrested by the tribunal of
Valladolid, October 4, 1648, on the strength of advices from Cuenca, and
discharged October 2, 1649, because it was tardily recognized that he
did not correspond with the description of the real culprit.[808]


How slender was the evidence required when a Portuguese was concerned is
seen in another case at Valladolid. When the inquisitor Pedro Múñoz made
a visitation of Oviedo in 1619-20, two women testified that Lucía Núñez,
a Portuguese settled in Benavente, put on clean chemises on Saturdays.
When, March 5, 1620, the tribunal voted on the cases brought in by
Múñoz, this was suspended, but the Suprema ordered the papers to be
sent to it and, on August 17, 1621, it instructed the tribunal to arrest
Lucía and sequestrate her property. She was accordingly brought to
Valladolid, October 30, 1621, and thrown into the secret prison. On her
first audience, in reply to the ordinary question whether she knew the
cause of her arrest, she said that it was because she changed her linen
on Fridays and Saturdays, as she did every day, for the sake of
cleanliness, especially when she was suckling her children, and she did
not know that she was committing any offence. It was true that she was
born in Portugal, but both her parents were Castilians and Old
Christians. The trial went through its regular course; nothing else
could be found against her and, on March 15, 1622, the consulta de fe
voted to acquit her and lift the sequestration, which was done
accordingly the next day, after nearly five months of

When this kind of work was on foot throughout Spain, it is easy to
realize how the unfortunate Portuguese were tracked, from one refuge to
another, by the implacable vigilance of the Inquisition, with its
net-work of tribunals, in constant correspondence, and its commissioners
and familiars everywhere on the watch. That vigilance was kept alive by
the frequent discovery of communities of Judaizers, more or less
numerous, whose trials revealed the names of abundant accomplices. The
tribunal of Llerena was busy, from 1635 to 1638, with the "complicidad
de Badajoz," a group of Portuguese, whom it had unearthed at Badajoz
and, when the Suprema called for a list of those inculpated by the
prisoners, whom it had not been able to arrest, they amounted to a
hundred and fifty.[810]

In 1647, Juan del Cerro, of Ciudad Rodrigo, was a prisoner in the royal
gaol of Valladolid. Apparently hoping for release, he denounced himself
to the Inquisition and told a story of a congregation of Jews at Ciudad
Rodrigo, which met every Friday in the house of the president, Pablo de
Herrera, paymaster of the army on the Portuguese frontier, when the
ceremony of scourging images of Christ and the Virgin was performed and
then, during Holy week, they were burnt. Numerous arrests were made and
the trials dragged on until 1651; torture was employed, parents and
children, brothers and sisters testified against each other, but there
were no pertinacious impenitents or negativos and none were relaxed.
That Juan del Cerro's story of the outrages on the sacred images was
recognized as fictitious is evident from the suspension of ten of the
cases, including those of the so-called officers of the congregation,
but the tribunal secured a satisfactory number of convictions, as well
as fines amounting to thirty-seven hundred ducats. Juan del Cerro made
nothing by his device for, though he was not prosecuted for
false-witness, when the trials were over in 1651, he was handed back to
the royal court.[811] Toledo was equally active for, in an auto held the
same year, it had thirty-two Judaizers in person and thirty effigies of
fugitives.[812] Nearly the whole of these were Portuguese for, by this
time, Castilian Judaizers were of comparatively rare occurrence. In the
great Seville auto of 1660, out of eighty-one Judaizers, nearly all
Portuguese, a group of thirty-seven were from Osuna and another of eight
from Utrera. There were forty-seven reconciled, seven relaxed in person
and twenty-seven in effigy.[813]

The numerous effigies which figure in the autos indicate those who were
compromised in the confessions of the penitents, and who succeeded for a
time in eluding arrest. As a rule it may be said that this was but a
temporary reprieve from the all-pervading vigilance of the Inquisition.
Sooner or later, it gathered them in despite change of residence and
name, and all the precautions of the hunted against the hunter. This is
well illustrated in the vicissitudes of a colony of Portuguese, some
twenty or thirty in number, in the little town of Beas (Jaen), which
throw a vivid light on the miseries of these unfortunates. They had
succeeded in living there obscurely for ten years or more, supporting
themselves by such industries as they could follow, when some
imprudence, or the watchfulness of some neighbor, drew upon them the
attention of the tribunal of Cuenca, which arrested thirteen of them.
From these the names of nine others were obtained, for whom warrants of
arrest were issued but, when these were sent for execution, in April,
1656, it was found that they had left Beas secretly in February,
abandoning their property. Five of them were traced to Málaga; the other
four were said to have gone to Pietrabuena, but there the track was
lost. All were duly prosecuted in absentia and their effigies formed
part of the Seville auto of 1660.


The party that went towards Portugal was a family group of five--Diego
Rodríguez Silva, his wife Ana Enríquez, her father Antonio Enríquez
Francia, and her brother and sister-in-law, Diego Enríquez and Isabel
Rodríguez. They pushed through without stopping to Rioseco, where they
rested four days and then, hiring a guide, they traversed the mountains
of Portugal, travelling only by night. Settling in Villa Pinhel, they
tried to mend their broken fortunes, Ana Enríquez by keeping a shop and
Diego Rodríguez by turning his hand to whatever he could find to do--at
one time we hear of him as driving a thousand sheep to Lisbon for sale.
Apparently by way of precaution, they appeared spontaneously before the
tribunal of Coimbra, which treated them mercifully, imposing no fines
but ordering them not to leave Pinhel without permission. Misfortune
pursued Diego and, in 1671, he returned to Spain, stopping at Talavera
de la Reina, whence he sent for his wife and children and father-in-law,
telling the rest to remain. He took the name of del Aguila for himself
and de los Rios for his wife, and settled for two years in Seville,
where his father-in-law died. Thence they removed to Daimiel, where the
Inquisition found them at last and arrested them, February 18, 1677,
some seventeen years after they had been burnt in effigy in Seville. As
two or three of the Beas fugitives, who had gone to Málaga, were on
trial at Toledo in 1667, it is probable that none escaped save those who
remained in Portugal. Two years and a half were spent on the trials of
Diego and Ana, ending with a sentence of irremissible prison and
sanbenito. Ana had broken down under this wandering life of incessant
vicissitudes and anxiety; she had become the victim of epilepsy,
melancholia and hypochondria, when her pitiless judges sent her to
prison for life in vindication of a religion of infinite love and

An even more pitiful illustration of the miseries endured by these
unfortunates, under the implacable vigilance of the Inquisition, is
afforded by the case of Isabel, wife of Francisco Palos, of Ciudad
Rodrigo. In 1608, when 22 years of age, she was tried by the Valladolid
tribunal. Subsequently she was tried twice, in 1621 and 1626, at
Llerena, twice at Cuenca, in 1653 and 1655, and finally in 1665 at
Toledo. Altogether, about eighteen years were spent in these trials;
the last one, in which she was thrice tortured, continued until 1670,
when she was in her eighty-fourth year and eluded her tormentors by
dying in prison, to be burnt in effigy with her bones as a

Little colonies of Portuguese, like that of Beas, were frequently
discovered. Simon Múñoz of Pastrana, on trial at Toledo, in 1679, gave
the names of twenty-nine accomplices residing there, nearly all of whom
figured in an auto particular of December 21, 1680. They had long
succeeded in eluding inquisitorial vigilance, for one of them, María
Enríquez, then sixty years old, testified that she had been brought
thither from Lisbon by her parents, when a little child and had always
lived there.[816] A similar group of Portuguese, in the little town of
Berin (Orense) were tried between 1676 and 1678, by the tribunal of
Santiago, and furnished to the Madrid auto of 1680 two victims relaxed
as pertinacious Jews--Baltasar López Cardoso and Feliz López his cousin.
There were more than twenty of them in all, and they had long been
settled there; Antonio López, one of them, said, in 1677, that he was
thirty-two years old and had been born in Berin.[817]

[Sidenote: _DECAY OF JUDAISM_]

It was only by the most stringent caution that existence could be
maintained under these conditions. Gaspar de Campos, one of the Pastrana
group, gives, in his confession, some account of the devices adopted for
concealment. On the Sabbath the mother and girls would sit with reels or
spinning wheels before them and, if any one came in, would pretend to be
at work. On fast days the servant-girl would be sent out on an errand;
during her absence food would be taken out of the olla and plates and
spoons would be greased, they would then go to the house of a neighbor
Jewess and, when the servant followed them, she would be sent back to
get her dinner, telling her that they had dined, and then the neighbor
would do the same. Even in the closest family circle the utmost reserve
was often practised. Children were not allowed to know anything of
Judaism until of an age at which their discretion could be trusted.
Parents, indeed, frequently brought up their children as Catholics, and
left it to others to convert them fortuitously. Pedro Núñez Marques,
tried in Madrid in 1679, testified that he had been inducted into
Judaism in Villaflor (Portugal) by María Pinto, wife of Alvaro de
Morales. After he returned to his father's house, in Torre de Moncorvo,
he hesitated for months to let his parents know of his conversion, At
last, in 1653, he told his mother, when she approved of it and said that
both she and his father, Francisco Núñez Ramos, were Jews. There were
eight children of them; he knew them all to be Jews but could give no
details, except as to three sisters: they all assumed each other to be
so, but each one attended to his own affairs, to earn a living, and to
live with the utmost precaution. As his sister Angela Núñez Marques
expressed it, they all knew each other to be Portuguese; that was
sufficient, and further confidences were superfluous.[818]

As a matter of course, punctilious regard was paid to all Catholic
observances--mass, confession and communion, feast-days and fasts. The
dying were duly shriven and had the viaticum, the dead had Christian
burial in the churches. Living thus scattered in small groups or
isolated families, concealing their secret faith with the utmost care,
and in perpetual dread of betrayal, it is not surprising that
distinctive Jewish observances were gradually reduced to a minimum, and
were becoming to a great degree forgotten. They had no rabbis to keep
them instructed in the countless prescriptions of the Oral Law and the
incidence of days of observance. Circumcision, of course, was out of the
question; it was too compromising and there was no one to perform it,
unless some specially zealous youth might betake himself to France or to
Italy for the purpose. We hear nothing in the trials of abstinence from
pork, or the removal of fat from meat, or the mortuary laying-out of the
dead. There was an attempt to fast on the day of Queen Esther, when that
was known, and perhaps on other days of no special note, as a spiritual
exercise; we hear of washing the hands before meals and giving thanks to
the God of Israel; lamps might be lighted on Friday night, but it
sufficed to light one and let it burn till it went out. The Sabbath was
to be kept by cessation from work, but even this was not always
observed, and the changing of body-linen is rarely alluded to. Angela
Núñez Marques said that Ana de Niebes and María de Murcia had taught
her the Law of Moses and its ceremonies, which were to rest on the
Sabbath and to observe fasts of four and twenty hours without food or
drink, yet, during the twenty years of her residence in Pastrana, she
had kept only fifteen Sabbaths, for fear of discovery by her husband and
servants. Isabel Mendes Correa, who appeared in the Madrid auto of 1680,
when sick some years before, had vowed that, if she recovered, she would
rest on Saturdays and light lamps on Fridays, for she deemed her illness
a punishment for neglecting the Law of Moses. In short, Judaism seems to
have resolved itself into Sabbath-keeping with occasional fasting, and
into hoping to be saved in the Law of Moses and denying Christ and
Christian doctrine.[819]

All this increased the difficulty of detection and vexed the souls of
the inquisitors, in both Spain and Portugal. An exhortation addressed to
the New Christians, in 1640, in Granada, by Maestro Gabriel Rodríguez de
Escabias, denounces them roundly for thus betraying their faith. So at
the Lisbon auto of September 6, 1705, where the sermon was preached by
Diogo da Annunciasam, Archbishop of Cranganor, he commenced by
addressing the sixty-six penitents before him--"Miserable relics of
Judaism! Unhappy fragments of the synagogue! Last remains of Judea!
Scandal of the Catholics and detestable objects of scorn even to the
Jews themselves!... You are the detestable objects of scorn to the Jews,
for you are so ignorant that you cannot observe the very law under which
you live"--a truly Christian welcome to repentant sinners, which was
deemed worthy of perpetuation by the printing-press.[820] Yet in this
duplicity, so reprehensible in inquisitorial eyes, there was promise of
the final success of the work so unremittingly prosecuted for two
centuries. The hammer was gradually wearing away the anvil; only the
marvellous constancy of Judaism had enabled it to maintain itself under
such conditions, and eventually the Portuguese Judaizers were to be
incorporated in the Church as, for the most part, their Spanish brethren
had been already.


Still, the activity of the Inquisition continued to be rewarded with
abundant success, and indeed we may say that but for Judaism it would
have found little to do. In the public autos of Córdova, from 1655 to
1700, out of three hundred and ninety-nine persons and effigies brought
forward, three hundred and twenty-four were for Judaizing. In Toledo,
from 1651 to 1700, there were eight hundred and fifty-five cases tried
of every kind, trivial and important, of which five hundred and
fifty-six were for the same offence. Towards the closing years of the
century, there seems to be a decided falling off in the numbers, as
though vigilance were becoming relaxed, or the efforts of the tribunals
were being crowned with success; but, in a report of pending cases in
Valladolid, made July 8, 1699, out of eighty-five, seventy-eight were
Judaizers.[821] This activity however seems to be largely confined to
Castile, as though the Portuguese had not found the kingdoms of Aragon
attractive. Reports of cases pending in Valencia in 1694-5-6, show in
all but sixteen, among which there is not a single Judaizer.[822] It is
perhaps worthy of passing remark that, in the treaty of 1668, by which
Spain recognized the independence of Portugal, Article 4 provides that
the subjects of each power, in the territories of the other, shall enjoy
the privileges and immunities granted to British subjects by the
treaties of 1630 and 1667.[823] These guaranteed them against
molestation for matters of conscience, so long as they gave no occasion
for scandal, but, from what we have seen above, it does not appear that
the Inquisition of either country paid any attention to this, nor is it
likely that either government complained of infraction.

       *       *       *       *       *

During this period, the laws restricting the emigration of the New
Christians seem to have been mostly in abeyance, but when, in 1666, the
false Messiah, Zabathia Tzevi, appeared in Palestine and drew a large
following of misguided Jews, the Suprema took the alarm. The sea-port
tribunals were warned that some of the Portuguese would seek to join
him, so that if any Portuguese should come and endeavor to embark, they
were to be detained under some pretext, their property was to be seized
and examined and a report be sent to the Suprema. Some four months
later, Barcelona forwarded the testimony taken in the case of four
Portuguese thus detained, when the Suprema ordered their release and
that in future, when the evidence showed that they were not fugitives or
bound for some suspicious place, they should be allowed to proceed. In
this same year a muleteer named Francisco Núñez Redondo was punished at
Toledo as a Judaizer, and for conducting Judaizers out of the country,
the two hundred lashes added, in his sentence to reconciliation and
prison, being evidently the penalty for this special offence.[824] In
1672, there was another similar alarm. The Suprema informed the
tribunals that many families of Portuguese were arranging to pass by way
of Bayonne to France. All the roads and paths were therefore to be
guarded, and all Portuguese who seemed to be seeking to leave the
kingdom were to be seized with their property. Each individual was to be
closely examined, his genealogy taken, his past life recorded, his
destination and the motives of his journey to be stated, with all other
details necessary for a thorough knowledge of his antecedents and
purposes, and this information was to be forwarded to the Suprema with
the opinion of the tribunal. Similar precautions were ordered at the
Mediterranean sea-ports, but the object of this action was not


Valladares, who was inquisitor-general from 1669 to 1695, seems to have
taken a different view of this curiously perverse policy of preventing
the emigration of disaffected apostates. August 12, 1681, he sent, to
some one near the king, an anonymous memorial setting forth the
invincible obstinacy of the Jews; penance and punishment left them as
wicked as before, resulting in many evils, such as the engagement in
noble houses of Jewish wet-nurses, who infect the children with their
milk, the employment by Conversos of young children whom they pervert,
the sacrilege of the sacraments administered to them, and the like. The
remedy for this was the immediate exile of all who were penanced or, if
they were allowed to remain, the branding of them on the forehead with
the arms of the Inquisition. Valladares was probably the author of the
memorial, for he makes this hideous suggestion his own, urging it with
all the authority of the Inquisition, and invoking the judgement of
heaven on his correspondent if he fails to lay the paper before the
king. Carlos sent it to the Suprema for its opinion, and the matter went
no further, but the document is not without interest as a revelation of
the methods which persecutors were willing to adopt to escape from the
consequences of their own acts.[826]

       *       *       *       *       *

Although it was the Portuguese immigration which supplied the apparently
inexhaustible harvest of culprits throughout the seventeenth century,
there was one corner of Spain which escaped the influx and where the old
Conversos continued to cherish their secret faith with little or no
molestation. Allusion has more than once been made above to the Majorca
catastrophe of 1691 and, as an episode of Spanish Judaism, its details
deserve consideration. In the massacre of 1391, some of the Mallorquin
Jews escaped to Barbary, but the majority remained. The governor,
Francisco Sagariga, had been wounded in endeavoring to protect them;
they were won over to conversion by the terror of death, and the promise
of the authorities to give them twenty thousand libras wherewith to pay
their debts,--a promise which seems never to have been fulfilled. They
continued to inhabit the _call_, or Jewish quarter and, although the
aljama came to an end in 1410, its members remained as a separate
community.[827] The conversion was as superficial as was to be
anticipated and though, as nominal Christians, they were not affected by
the expulsion of 1492, when the Inquisition was introduced we have seen,
from the numbers who came in under Edicts of Grace, that they must all
have been Jews at heart for, between 1488 and 1491, there were no less
than five hundred and sixty-eight reconciliations, besides those who, by
special mercy, were reconciled twice. After this, for awhile the
tribunal was fairly active. Between 1489, when it commenced operations,
and 1535 it sentenced a hundred and sixty-four to reconciliation,
ninety-nine to relaxation in person, and four hundred and sixty to
relaxation in effigy, all of whom presumably were Judaizers except, in
1535, five Moriscos who were relaxed.[828] After this, persecution grew
inert, relaxations disappear and reconciliations become few. So
insignificant had the tribunal become that when, in 1549, the offices of
fiscal and receiver fell vacant, Valdés wrote to ask what was the
necessity of filling them.[829] He might well ask the question: between
1552 and 1567 the tribunal had but two reconciliations to show and,
during the remainder of the century, only thirty, together with a single
relaxation, and of these few culprits the majority were not Judaizers.
In the seventeenth century, the record was even slenderer. Engaged, for
the most part as we have seen, in unappeaseable conflicts with the
ecclesiastical authorities, the duties of persecution were neglected,
and heretic and apostate breathed in comparative peace. The
reconciliation of María Díez, September 6, 1579, was followed by a
century in which not a single Judaizer was reconciled, although, in
1675, one from Madrid was relaxed. The inhabitants of the _call_ might
well deem themselves secure, especially as the churchmen were free in
their denunciations of the tribunal. In 1668 the inquisitor complained
to the Suprema that the priests of the episcopal party talked of the
Inquisition as a secret heresy, and that it was a den of robbers which
should be abolished, all of which led to much licence of speech among
the suspected persons who dwelt "in the separate barrio."[830]


From this sense of security there was a rude awakening. In 1677 or 1678
a meeting, held in a garden outside of the city, attracted the
inquisitor's attention. It was designated as a synagogue, and doubtless
there was some imprudence. Secret investigation developed evidence
justifying wholesale arrests, and the prison was soon crowded. The
result appeared in four autos celebrated in 1679, in which there were no
less than two hundred and nineteen reconciliations. There was no spirit
of martyrdom; in all cases it was a first conviction, and when all
confessed and begged for mercy there was no opportunity for relaxation.
A noteworthy feature was the absence of prosecutions of the dead, which
could have been numerous had the tribunal been disposed to take the
trouble, but this is doubtless explicable by the fact that as the whole
community of New Christians was involved, all its property was
confiscated, and there would have been no profit in looking up ancestral
heresies. The confiscations were enormous; the culprits were merchants
and traders and bankers, whose houses and lands, censos and merchandise
and credits were swept away. The sum realized is stated at 1,496,276
pesos, which is probably far below the real value of the assets seized.
We have seen how the king was gradually shouldered out of his share of
the spoils; the tribunal secured a goodly portion with which it rebuilt
the palace of the Inquisition in a style so sumptuous that it passed for
one of the finest in Spain, until it was demolished, in 1822, and its
site converted into a public plaza.[831]

The tribunal ordered all New Christians to dwell in the _call_ and
required them, on all feasts of precept, to attend mass in the cathedral
in a body, preceded by a minister of the Inquisition and in charge of an
alguazil. Impoverished, dishonored and watched, the position became
intolerable. A number resolved to expatriate themselves and secretly
made arrangements with an English ship lying in the harbor to carry them
away. The passage-money was paid and they succeeded in embarking, but
rough weather detained the ship; they had not procured the necessary
licences to leave Spain, they were seized and cast into prison with the
members of their families. This occurred in 1688 and three years were
consumed in their trials. The result was seen in the four autos held in
March, May and July, 1691. For those who had been reconciled in 1679 and
were now convicted of relapse there could be no pardon. A huge brasero,
eighty feet square and eight feet high, with twenty-five stakes, was
prepared on the sea-shore, two miles from the city, in order that the
people might not be incommoded by the stench. In all thirty-seven were
relaxed in person, of whom only three were pertinacious to the last and
were burnt alive. Eight were relaxed in effigy, of whom four were
fugitives and four were dead--three of the latter having died in prison.
There were fifteen reconciliations in person and three in effigy.
Finally there were twenty-four who, although among the reconciled of
1679, escaped with abjuration _de levi_ and fines amounting to
sixty-four hundred libras.[832] This shows that the little community had
already begun to repair its shattered fortunes, and renders it probable
that the confiscations of the relaxed and reconciled rewarded the
tribunal abundantly for its labors. The lesson seems to have been
sufficiently severe to serve its purpose. We hear nothing more of
Judaism in Majorca; during the height of persecution elsewhere, the
tribunal celebrated two autos, May 31, 1722 and July 2, 1724, in which
nine penitents appeared, but none of them were Judaizers.[833] Although
the New Christians were still confined to their separate quarter, in
time, as we have seen, they became thoroughly Catholic.

       *       *       *       *       *

With the opening of the eighteenth century it looked as though the
victory over Judaism had been virtually won. The War of Succession must
of course have interfered with the operations of the Inquisition, but
this does not suffice to explain the marked falling off in the number of
Judaizers in the autos, so far as manifested by the records before me.
In Catalonia, which held out long after the rest of Spain was pacified,
the Inquisition was fairly re-established in 1715, after which, for
three years, the Barcelona tribunal, out of a total of twenty-five
cases, had but three of Jews--a mother and two daughters who had fled
from Seville and had been traced to Catalonia.[834] In Córdova the
records are imperfect but, as far as they go, from 1700 to 1720, they
show but five cases.[835] In Toledo, during the same twenty-one years,
out of a total of eighty-eight trials, only twenty-three were for


The fires of persecution, however, were only slumbering and broke out
again suddenly with renewed fierceness. Possibly this may be
attributable to the discovery in Madrid of an organized synagogue,
composed of twenty families who, since 1707, had been accustomed to meet
for their devotions and, in 1714, had elected a rabbi, whose name they
sent to Leghorn for confirmation. Comparative immunity had brought
recklessness and we are told that they observed the Christian fast-days
with dancing and guitar-playing. Five of them were relaxed in the auto
of April 7, 1720.[837] It was probably this discovery that aroused the
other tribunals to renewed activity, which was abundantly rewarded, for
there seems at this time to have been little concealment by Judaizers.
In the Toledo auto of March 19, 1721, Sebastian Antonio de Paz,
_administrador del tabaco_, is asserted to have married the daughter of
his wife, and Francisco de Mendoza y Rodríguez his first cousin,
"according to the Law of Moses."[838]

For some years this revival of persecution raged with a virulence
rivalling that of the earlier period. In a collection of sixty-four
autos, held between 1721 and 1727, there were in all eight hundred and
sixty-eight cases, of which eight hundred and twenty were for Judaism,
nor did the tribunals err on the side of mercy. There were seventy-five
relaxations in person and seventy-four in effigy, while scourging, the
galleys and imprisonment were lavishly imposed.[839] The geographical
distribution of the culprits is worthy of note. The kingdoms of the
crown of Aragon show few traces of Judaism. Valencia contributed but
twenty cases, Barcelona five, Saragossa one and Majorca none--or
twenty-six in all. Among the tribunals of the crown of Castile, Logroño
held no auto during these years; Santiago furnished only four cases,
while Granada had two hundred and twenty-nine, Seville a hundred and
sixty-seven and Córdova seventy-eight. The years 1722 and 1723 were
those in which persecution was most active, the number diminishing
rapidly afterwards.[840] It still, however, continued at intervals. In
Córdova there were autos in 1728, 1730 and 1731, in which there were in
all twenty-six cases of Judaism; then there was an interval until 1745,
when only two cases occurred.[841] In Toledo, after 1726, there was no
case of Judaism until 1738, when there were fourteen. This seems to
have exhausted the material for prosecution, for until the Toledan
record ends in 1794, there was but a single subsequent case, which
occurred in 1756.[842] In Madrid there were several Jews relaxed in
1732, charged with scourging and burning an image of Christ, in a house
in the calle de las Infantas.[843] In Valladolid, at an auto, June 13,
1745, there was one Judaizer relaxed and four reconciled, while in
Seville, July 4, although there were four Moslems there was not a single
Jew.[844] At Llerena, in 1752, we hear of the relaxation of six effigies
of fugitives and one of a dead woman, which must evidently have been
cases of Judaism.[845]


These scattering details can make no pretension to completeness, and yet
they suffice to show that Judaism at last was substantially rooted out
of Spanish soil, after a continuous struggle of three centuries. How
complete was this eradication is manifested by a summarized list of all
cases of every kind, coming before all the tribunals, from 1780 until
the suppression of the Inquisition in 1820, embracing an aggregate of
over five thousand. In these forty years, the whole number of
prosecutions connected with Judaism was but sixteen, and of these ten
were foreigners who had evaded the laws prohibiting entrance to Jews
while, of the six natives, four were prosecuted for suspicions and
propositions. The latest case was at Córdova, in 1818, of Manuel
Santiago Vivar for Judaizing acts--the final scene in the long tragedy
which had secured uniformity of faith at the cost of so much blood and

       *       *       *       *       *

During this later period, the exclusion of foreign Jews was exercising
the Holy Office much more than the detection of native ones. The savage
law will be remembered by which, in 1499, Ferdinand and Isabella
prohibited the return of the expelled Jews or the entrance of foreigners
under pain of death and confiscation.[847] Although this law was
retained on the statute-book, it probably was not enforced in all its
ferocity, but the maintenance of the exclusion was inevitable when such
unremitting pains were taken to exterminate Judaism. When the _visitas
de navíos_, or examination of all ships arriving at Spanish ports, were
organized, the keeping out of Jews was held in view as much as that of
Lutheran heretics and books; if a Jew were found on board, he was to be
examined; if he admitted baptism he was to be seized and his goods were
to be confiscated; if unbaptized and he made no attempt to land, he was
to be allowed to depart with the ship.[848] Still, the indefatigable
mercantile energy of the Jews and the venality of officials, to a
limited extent, neutralized these precautions. In 1656, the trial at
Murcia of Enrique Pereira, whose domicile was in Lucca and who was
arrested while trading at Beas, shows that there was intercourse between
the Portuguese in Spain and their brethren in Italy; those of Spain
would go by sea to Nice or elsewhere to enjoy freedom of worship, while
Italian Jews came to Spain to trade, in spite of inquisitorial
vigilance.[849] These furtive attempts, with their perils, were but
tantalizing to those who looked with longing on the tempting Spanish
market; licences to come were much more desirable and we have seen that,
in 1634, under Olivares, they were sometimes issued. They were
grudgingly recognized by the tribunals, as in the case mentioned above
in 1645. More unlucky, in 1679, was Samuel de Jacob, who was thrown in
prison, although he held a licence, and we are told that, although those
who held licences could not be prosecuted as heretics, still, if they
blasphemed or derided the faith, they could be chastised with fines,
scourging or the galleys, according to the resultant scandal, while
attempts to proselyte incurred capital punishment.[850] In 1689, special
orders were issued to disregard an agreement which Don Pedro Ronquillo,
under powers from the king, had made with an English Jew, enabling him
to land at any port in Spain.[851]


Such care was exercised to avert any danger of polluting the Spanish
soil by a Jewish foot that when, in 1713, by the treaty of Utrecht,
Gibraltar was ceded to England, it was under the condition that no Jews
or Moors should be permitted to reside there.[852] The inobservance of
this by England was the subject of complaint, but it is not likely that
many intruders risked the dangers that attended an attempt of a foreign
Jew to enter Spain. In January, 1697, Abraham Rodríguez, travelling from
France to Portugal under the name of Antonio Mazedo, was arrested at
Ledesma and brought to the tribunal of Valladolid. Two years and a half
later his trial was still in progress, but, though we do not know the
result, the experience was not such as to invite imitation.[853]

When, in the general relaxation of the eighteenth century, the sternness
of these laws was tacitly abandoned, embarrassing precautions rendered
sojourn uninviting. In 1756, Abraham Salusox, a Jew of Jerusalem,
ventured to Valencia with a lion for sale. The shipmaster reported him
and a familiar was deputed to accompany him day and night, on board and
on shore, never to let him out of his sight or to communicate with any
one. The Count of Almenara bought the lion and Salusox was permitted to
be in the count's house for a few days, until a cage was constructed for
the beast, after which he re-embarked. The same course was followed in
1759, with a Jew who came with merchandise from Gibraltar; a familiar
never left him till his goods were sold and he departed, while his books
and papers were carefully scrutinized to see that they contained nothing
prejudicial. There were others who came in 1761 and 1762, who were
treated in the same fashion. Then, in 1795 a royal order was issued
through the Suprema, to the effect that a Jewish subject of the Bey of
Morocco would come to Valencia and remain for eight or ten days, who was
not to be troubled in any way; the tribunal consequently took no notice
of his coming and going.[854]

These were all the cases that search through the records of Valencia
could find, from 1645 to 1800, and their paucity shows how rarely Jews
braved the dangers of visiting Spain. Those who tried to do so in secret
took the chances of detection. In 1781, Jacobo Pereira landed at Cadiz
under a false name and concealing his faith, but he was found out,
arrested and the Seville tribunal at once commenced his
prosecution.[855] It is true that a royal order of April 25, 1786,
permitted the entrance of Jews who bore licence from the king, but these
were sparingly granted and only on special occasions. The question of
greater liberality came up, in 1797, when the finance minister, Don
Pedro de Varela, as a means of reviving the commerce and industry of
Spain, proposed that Jews might be allowed to establish factories in
Cadiz and other ports, but the Council of ministers rejected the project
as contrary to the laws.[856] Apparently the discussion continued and,
in 1800, the Suprema called on all the tribunals for reports as to their
treatment of Jews seeking admission, and the result appears in a royal
cédula of June 8, 1802, declaring in full force all laws and pragmáticas
theretofore issued, and ordering the rigorous execution of the penalties
therein provided, while any default in lending to the Inquisition due
assistance for this holy purpose was threatened with the royal

The confusion of the Napoleonic wars afforded opportunities for
enterprising Jews, which were not likely to be overlooked, and Fernando
VII deemed it necessary, August 16, 1816, to issue a decree renewing and
confirming the cédula of 1802.[858] It was easier to publish the decree
than to enforce it. The tribunal of Seville, June 12, 1819, represented
to the Suprema its perplexities arising from the influx of Jews at
Algeciras, Cadiz and Seville, who came to the tribunal begging for
baptism. They were indigent beggars and probably fugitive criminals but,
as occasionally there might be one whose object was really salvation, to
deprive him of this would be a heavy burden on the conscience, and
consequently the tribunal asked for instructions.[859] This resulted in
an order of the inquisitor-general, July 10th, to all the tribunals,
insisting on the strict enforcement of the decrees of 1786 and 1802;
such Jews as obtained a royal licence were to be vigilantly watched and,
if the secular officials manifested lack of zeal in coöperation, the
inquisitor-general was to be notified.[860]


At the same time orders were sent, to the commissioners at all the
ports, to observe strictly the old instructions as to the _visitas de
navíos_ and to report as to the current practice. Barcelona replied that
the visits were made only when there were Jews on board. Alicante
reported that the disuse of the visits had led to a rapid immigration of
Jews into Murcia. Cartagena said that no visits were made but that, if
suspicious persons arrived, the custom-house officers notified the
commissioner. Cadiz and Algeciras answered that the health-officer
notified the commissioner of the arrival of Jews, renegades and other
forbidden persons, when he took the necessary steps to avert the evil.
Motril said that visits were made only when there was a Jew on board.
Santiago merely responded that it had the royal decrees of 1786 and 1802
and the recent instructions of the Suprema.[861] Evidently there was
little attention paid to the enforcement of the laws by both the royal
and inquisitorial officials, but the Government was determined to
enforce the exclusion of Jews, and an order was promptly sent to all the
royal officials that no Jew was to be allowed to set foot on Spanish
territory, unless he bore a royal licence; if he had one, he was to
present himself to the Inquisition or its commissioner, so that a record
could be made of him, and the tribunal was instructed to keep him under
strict supervision. The ministry of Gracia y Justicia communicated this,
August 31, 1819, to the Suprema, which in turn forwarded it, September
6th, to all the tribunals with orders for its strict observance.[862]

The Inquisition came to an end a few months after this, but the
prejudices which it had done so much to foster postponed the removal
from the statute-book of the laws representing the fierce intolerance of
the earlier time. In 1848 we are told that, although unrepealed, they
were not enforced and that Jews could travel and trade in Spain without
molestation,[863] but when, in 1854, Constitutional Córtes were
assembled to frame a new constitution, and the German Jews sent Dr.
Ludwig Philipson, Rabbi of Magdeburg, on a mission to procure free
admission of their race, his eloquence was unavailing. It was not until
fifteen years later, when the revolution, which drove Isabella II from
the throne, called for a new organic law, that the Constitution of 1869
proclaimed freedom of belief and guaranteed it to all residents in
Spain, and this was likewise applicable to natives professing other
religions than the Catholic. This principle was preserved in the
Constitution of 1876, which forbade all interference with religious
belief, while not allowing public ceremonies other than those of
Catholicism.[864] It was a remarkable proof of conversion from ancient
error when, in 1883, the Jewish refugees from Russia, sent by the
organizing committees of Germany, were enthusiastically received,
although the experiment ended in disastrous failure.[865] The ancestral
antipathy which they had to encounter was, however, still active, as
expressed by a pious Franciscan, who declared that bringing them was a
sin of moral and political treason, and that they would devour the whole
Spanish nation.[866]



We have seen that, in the progress of the Reconquest, as Moorish
territories were successively won, the inhabitants were largely allowed
to remain, under guarantees for the free enjoyment of their religion and
customs. These Mudéjares, as they were called, formed a most useful
portion of the population, through their industry and skill in the arts
and crafts. When, in 1368, Charles le Mauvais of Navarre granted to the
Mudéjares of Tudela a remission of half their taxes for three years, in
reward of their assistance during his wars, especially in fortification
and engineering, it shows that the conquering race depended on them not
merely for manual labor but for the higher branches of applied
knowledge.[868] As a rule they were faithful in peace and war, during
the long centuries of internal strife between the Christians, and of
struggles with their co-religionists.

It was the Jews against whom was directed the growing intolerance of the
fifteenth century and, in the massacres that occurred, there appears to
have been no hostility manifested against the Mudéjares. When Alfonso de
Borja, Archbishop of Valencia (afterwards Calixtus III), supported by
Cardinal Juan de Torquemada, urged their expulsion on Juan II of Aragon,
although he appointed a term for their exile, he reconsidered the matter
and left them undisturbed.[869] So when, in 1480, Isabella ordered the
expulsion from Andalusia of all Jews who refused baptism and when, in
1486, Ferdinand did the same in Aragon, they both respected the old
capitulations and left the Mudéjares alone.[870] The time-honored policy
was followed in the conquest of Granada, and nothing could be more
liberal than the terms conceded to the cities and districts that
surrendered. The final capitulation of the city of Granada was a solemn
agreement, signed November 25, 1491, in which Ferdinand and Isabella,
for themselves, for their son the Infante Juan and for all their
successors, received the Moors of all places that should come into the
agreement as vassals and natural subjects under the royal protection,
and as such to be honored and respected. Religion, property, freedom to
trade, laws and customs were all guaranteed, and even renegades from
Christianity among them were not to be maltreated, while Christian women
marrying Moors were free to choose their religion. For three years,
those desiring expatriation were to be transported to Barbary at the
royal expense, and refugees in Barbary were allowed to return. When,
after the execution of this agreement, the Moors, with not unnatural
distrust, wanted further guarantees, the sovereigns made a solemn
declaration in which they swore by God that all Moors should have full
liberty to work on their lands, or to go wherever they desired through
the kingdoms, and to maintain their mosques and religious observances as
heretofore, while those who desired to emigrate to Barbary could sell
their property and depart.[871] It was the wise traditional policy of
incorporating the conquered population in the state, on an equal footing
with other subjects, and trusting to time to merge them all into a
common mass, holding one faith and owing allegiance to one country.


Whether it was distrust of Christian good faith that impelled them, or a
natural desire to leave the scene of their defeat, a large portion of
the Granadan Moors, including most of the nobles, promptly availed
themselves of the right of expatriation. Before the year 1492 was out,
it was reported to the sovereigns that the Abencerrages had gone, almost
in a body, and that, in the Alpujarras, few were left save laborers and
officials. The emigration continued and, in 1498, a letter of Ferdinand
indicates that he was inclined to stimulate it.[872] While there might
be good reasons for diminishing the large population of those recently
vanquished, who presumably might cherish hopes of independence and had
not forgotten the bitterness of unsuccessful struggle, this was
accompanied with a readiness to increase the number of Mudéjares, who
had adapted themselves to the situation, and who were regarded as in
every way a desirable element in the community. When Manoel of Portugal
expelled the Moors who refused baptism, Ferdinand and Isabella welcomed
them to Spain. Royal letters were issued, April 20, 1497, permitting
their entrance with all their property, either to settle or in transit
to other lands; they were taken under the royal protection and all
molestation of them was forbidden.[873] Up to this time, at least, there
was no recognition of the political necessity of unity of faith, which
subsequently served as justification for cruel intolerance and unwise

Yet the statesmanship of the day, if not yet prepared to regard unity of
faith as a political necessity, considered it politically advantageous,
while pious zeal inevitably sought the salvation of the multitudes of
souls thus brought under Christian rule. The "third king of Spain,"
González de Mendoza, Cardinal-archbishop of Toledo, and other prelates
at the court urged upon the sovereigns that gratitude to God required
them to give to their new subjects the alternative of baptism or exile.
Ferdinand and Isabella, however, turned a deaf ear to this advice,
either not caring to break the faith so recently pledged, or to provoke
another war; the work of conversion had already been commenced with fair
prospects of success and it could safely be left to time.[874]
Isabella's confessor, the saintly Hernando de Talavera, had been made
Archbishop of Granada; he was devoting his revenues and his tireless
labors to missionary work, inculcating Christianity by example more
potent than precept. He relieved suffering, he preached and he taught
all who would listen to him; he required his assistants to learn Arabic
and he acquired it himself. He won many converts and there was a
flattering prospect that his apostolic methods would bring the mass of
the population into the fold.[875]


The process however was too slow for the impatience that looked for
immediate results. Ferdinand and Isabella were in Granada from July
until November, 1499, and called in Ximenes to the aid of Talavera. His
extraordinary energy and imperious temper soon made themselves felt;
with liberal presents he gained the favor of the principal Moors; he
held conferences with the alfaquíes, whom he induced to instruct their
people and, it is said that, on December 18th, three thousand were
baptized and the mosque of the Albaycin, or Moorish quarter, was
consecrated as the church of San Salvador. The stricter Moslems became
alarmed and endeavored to check the movement by persuasion, whereupon
Ximenes had them imprisoned in chains; he summoned the alfaquíes to
surrender all their religious books, of which five thousand--many of
them priceless specimens of art--were publicly burnt. The situation was
becoming strained; the Moors were restive under the disregard of their
guarantees, and Ximenes grew more and more impetuous. Rupture, under
these conditions was inevitable and Ximenes soon brought it about.
Christian renegades, known as _elches_, were protected under the
capitulations, but he argued that this did not extend to their children
who, if not baptized, ought to have been, and who thus were subject to
the Inquisition. From Inquisitor-general Deza he procured a delegation
of power to deal with them and used it for their arrest. It chanced that
a young daughter of a renegade, thus arrested, while being dragged
through the plaza of Bib-el-Bonut, cried out that she was to be forcibly
baptized in violation of the capitulations. A crowd collected and from
words soon came to blows; the alguazil was slain with a paving-stone,
and his companion escaped only by a Moorish woman conveying him away and
hiding him under a bed. The agitation increased; the Moors flew to arms,
skirmished with the Christians and besieged Ximenes in his house. He had
a guard of two hundred men who defended the place until the morning,
when the Captain-general Tendilla came down from the Alhambra with
troops and drove away the mob. For ten days Talavera, Ximenes and
Tendilla parleyed with the Moors, who urged that they had not risen
against the sovereigns but in defence of the royal faith; that the
officials had violated the capitulations, the observance of which would
restore peace. Then Talavera, with his chaplain and a few unarmed
servants, went to the plaza Bib-el-Bonut, where the Moors kissed the hem
of his garments as of old. Tendilla followed and promised pardon if they
should lay down their arms, as it should be understood that they were
not in revolt, but had only sought to maintain the capitulations, which
should be strictly observed in future. The city became quiet; those who
had slain the alguazil were surrendered, and four of them were hanged;
the Moors cast aside their arms and returned to work.

With such a population, kindness and fair-dealing alone were required to
accomplish the desired result, but the inflexible temper of Ximenes had
been aroused, and he was resolved on the forcible accomplishment of his
purpose. The rumors of the disturbance had greatly alarmed the court at
Seville, and Ximenes was bitterly reproached, but he hurried thither,
gave his own version of the affair, and pointed out that the Moors had
forfeited life and property by rebellion, so that pardon should be
conditioned on accepting baptism or expatriation. With fatal facility
his arguments were accepted; Tendilla's promises were ignored; the
capitulations were cast aside; the Moors were to be taught how little
reliance was to be placed on Christian faith; distrust and hatred were
to be rendered ineradicable, and a religion was to be forced upon them
which could not but be odious, as the visible sign of their subjection.
From this false step sprang the incurable trouble which weakened Spain
until statesmanship could devise no remedy, save the deplorable
expulsion of the most useful and efficient portion of her population. It
was not without reason that the admiring biographer of Ximenes admits
that, so imperious was his temper that he sometimes acted through fury
rather than through prudence, as was seen in the conversion of the
Granadan Moors and in the attempt to conquer Africa.[876]

He returned to Granada, armed with full powers, and offered to the
people the alternative of baptism or punishment, while a royal judge,
sent for the purpose, sharpened their apprehension by executing or
imprisoning the more active of the rioters. The choice was readily made
and they came forward in thousands for the saving waters of baptism.
Instruction in the new faith was impossible, nor was it wanted. When
they asked for it in their own language, and Talavera had the offices
and parts of the gospels printed in Arabic, Ximenes objected; it was, he
said, casting pearls before swine; it was in the nature of the vulgar to
despise what they could understand and to reverence that which was
mysterious and beyond their comprehension. He cared little for
heart-felt conversion so long as he could secure outward conformity. The
number thus rudely inducted into the faith, in the city and the Vega,
was estimated at from fifty to seventy thousand and the process which
converted them could result only in undying hate for the religion thus
forced upon them.[877]

Although no outbreak occurred during this forcible missionary work, the
discontent which it excited was threatening, and Ferdinand returned to
Granada where he made no secret of his displeasure at the imprudent zeal
of Ximenes, especially as it interfered with his designs on Naples.
These had to be postponed to meet the imminent danger at home for,
although emigration had been large, many had taken refuge in the
Alpujarras and were exciting the mountaineers to revolt. To meet this he
wrote, January 27, 1500, to the leading Moors, assuring them that all
reports that they were to be Christianized by force were false, and
pledging the royal faith that not a single compulsory baptism would be
made. To reconcile those who had been baptized and to attract others he
issued, February 27th, a general pardon to all New Christians for crimes
committed prior to baptism and renouncing his claims to
confiscation.[878] Meanwhile he had been engaged in raising an army as
large as though the conquest was to be repeated, and with this he was
engaged, during the rest of the year, in quelling the revolts which
broke out in one place after another, supplementing military operations
with friars despatched through the mountains to instruct the converts.
Massacre and baptism went hand in hand, until the Alpujarras were
pacified and the army was disbanded, January 14, 1501.[879]


Then there came trouble in the Western districts of Ronda and the Sierra
Bermeja, where the mountaineers rose, in dread of enforced conversion.
Another army was raised, which suffered a severe defeat at Caladui. This
brought a pause, during which the insurgents asked to be allowed to
emigrate. Ferdinand drove a hard bargain with them, demanding ten doblas
for the passage-money and requiring those who could not pay this to
remain and submit to baptism. The baptized lowlanders, who had taken to
the mountains, were allowed to return home, surrendering their arms and
suffering confiscation. Large numbers escaped to Africa, but more
remained to curse the faith thus imposed on them. To these New
Christians, as we have seen, expatriation was forbidden. Baptism imposed
an indelible _character_, and incorporation with the Church subjected
them to a jurisdiction which could not be shaken off.

It was vitally important that these New Christians should be interfused
with the rest of the population, with the same rights and privileges, so
that in time they might form a contented whole, but this was not to be.
One wrong always breeds another. The disregard of compacts and the
violent methods of conversion inevitably rendered them objects of
suspicion, and an edict of September 1, 1501 prohibited the new converts
from bearing or possessing arms, publicly or secretly, under penalty,
for a first offence, of confiscation and two months' imprisonment and of
death for a second--an edict which was repeated in 1511 and again in
1515.[880] Not only was this a bitter humiliation but a serious
infliction, at a time when weapons were a necessity for self-protection.
There was however another distinction between the classes favorable to
the New Christians, for it was provided that, for forty years, they
should not be subjected to the Inquisition, in order that they might
have full time to acquire knowledge of their new faith.[881] Yet, like
all other promises, this was made only to be broken. It was thus, in
less than ten years after the capitulation, that the Moors of Granada
found themselves to be Christians in defiance of the pledges so solemnly
given. Such a commencement could have but one result and we shall see
its outcome.

Something might be urged in palliation of this forcible propaganda in
that it was unpremeditated and brought about in the turbulence of a
settlement between hostile races and religions, and that those who
rejected conversion were allowed to depart. All this was lacking in the
next step towards enforcing unity of faith. We have seen how the
Mudéjares of Castile were loyal and contented subjects, living under
compacts centuries old, which guaranteed them the full enjoyment of
their religion and laws. To disturb this and convert them, by a flagrant
breach of faith, into plotting domestic enemies, without even a
colorable pretext, would appear to be an act of madness. Yet it was this
that Isabella was led to do, under the influence of her ghostly
counsellors, among whom Ximenes can probably be reckoned as the most
influential. In bringing about the conversion of Granada, he had cared
for little beyond outward conformity and this could be secured among the
scattered and peaceful Mudéjares, without encountering the risk
attending the attempt among the mountaineers of the Alpujarras, while
subsequently the Inquisition could be depended upon for what might be
lacking in religious conviction. God should no longer be insulted by
infidel rites in Spain, and the land could not fail to be blessed when
thus united in the true faith. Such we may assume to have been the
reasoning which led Isabella to a measure so disastrous. That
Ferdinand's practical sense disapproved of it may be inferred from the
fact that, when he talked of similar action in Aragon, he readily
yielded to the remonstrances of his nobles.

Persuasion, backed by threats, was first essayed. Instructions were sent
to the royal officials that the Mudéjares must adopt Christianity and,
when the corregidor of Córdova replied that force would be necessary,
the sovereigns replied, September 27, 1501, that this was inadmissible,
as it would scandalize them; they were to be told that it was for the
good of their souls and the service of the king and queen and, if this
proved insufficient, they could be informed that they would have to
leave the kingdom, for it was resolved that no infidels should
remain.[882] But four years had elapsed since the refugee Moors from
Portugal had been invited to settle in Castile, and this sudden change
of policy shows what influences had been brought to bear on Isabella
during that brief interval.


This tentative measure seems to have met with success so slender that
more stringent methods were recognized as necessary and, on February 12,
1502, a pragmática was issued, shrewdly framed to give at least the
appearance of voluntary action to the expected conversion. It alluded to
the scandal of permitting infidels to remain after the conversion of
Granada; to the gratitude due to God, which would fitly be shown by the
expulsion of his enemies, and to the protection of the New Christians
from contamination. All Moors were therefore ordered to leave the
kingdoms of Leon and Castile by the end of April, abandoning their
children, the males under fourteen and the females under twelve years of
age, who were to be detained. The exiles were allowed to carry with them
their property, except gold and silver and other prohibited articles.
There was nothing said as to an alternative of baptism, but the
conditions of departure rendered expatriation so difficult that it was
self-evident that there was no intention of losing so valuable a portion
of the population. Under pain of death and confiscation, the exiles were
to sail only from ports of Biscay; they were not allowed to go to
Navarre or the kingdoms of Aragon; as there was war with the Turks and
with the Moors of Africa, they were not to seek refuge with either, but
were told that they might go to Egypt or to any other land that they
might select. They were never to return, nor were Moors ever to be
admitted to the Castilian kingdoms, under penalty of death and
confiscation, and any one harboring them after April was threatened with
confiscation. One exception was made in favor of masters of Moorish
slaves, who were not deprived of them, but they were to be distinguished
by the perpetual wearing of fetters.[883]

The voluntary character of the conversion which ensued is revealed in
the fact that when zealous Moslems, in spite of almost insuperable
obstacles, preferred to risk the perils of emigration they were not
allowed to do so, but were forced to become Christians.[884] During the
brief interval allowed, there was some pretence of preaching and
instruction and, as it neared its end, the Mudéjares were baptized in
masses. A report from Avila, April 24th, to the sovereigns, says that
the whole aljama, consisting of two thousand souls, will be converted
and none will depart.[885] In Badajoz, we are told that the bishop,
Alfonso de Manrique--the future inquisitor-general--won them over by
kindness, so that they were all baptized and took his name of
Manrique.[886] Thus, externally at least, the kingdoms of the crown of
Castile enjoyed unity of faith, but this was not accompanied with the
desirable assimilation of the population. The new converts continued to
form a class apart and came to be known by the distinctive name of

The nominal Christianity thus imposed upon those reared in the tenets of
Islam was only the beginning of the task assumed by the state. The more
difficult labor remained of rendering them true Christians, if the
advantage was to be secured of moulding discordant races into a
homogeneous community, which alone could justify the violent measures
adopted. The unity of faith, which was the ideal at the time of both
churchman and statesman, means more than mere outward conformity; it
means that all should form a united nation, animated with the same
aspirations and the same hopes, here and hereafter, and conscientiously
sharing a common belief. In a land like Spain, populated by diverse
races, this was an object worth many sacrifices; if it could not be
attained, the enforced baptism of a powerful minority only exaggerated
divergence and perpetuated discord.


To secure the desired result by the employment of force, through the
Inquisition, could not fail to intensify abhorrence of a religion which,
while professing universal love and charity, was known only as an excuse
for oppression and cruelty. Yet the only alternative was the slow and
laborious process of disarming the prejudices already aroused, and
winning over the reluctant convert by gentleness and persuasion, by
kindly instruction and demonstration that the truths of Christianity
were not mere theological abstractions, of no vitality in practical
life. We have seen the embodiment of the two methods in Ximenes and
Talavera, and it was the fatal error of those who ruled the destinies of
Spain that they had not patience and self-denial resolutely to follow
the latter. Haltingly and spasmodically they tried to do so, with only
persistence enough to put themselves in the wrong and deprive of
justification the concurrent employment of the easier process of
coercion. From one cause or another, as we shall have occasion to see,
the intermittent and ineffective attempts at persuasion failed
miserably, while the perpetual irritation of persecution led inevitably
to chronic exasperation.

Five years had elapsed since the coercive baptism which, under the
precepts of the church, should have been preceded by competent
understanding of the mysteries of the faith, when Ximenes attained, in
1507, the inquisitor-generalship. One of his earliest acts was a letter
to all the churches prescribing the deportment, in religious matters, of
the New Christians and their children, including regular attendance at
the mass, instruction in the rudiments of the faith, and avoidance of
Judaic and Mahometan rites.[887] Presumably this accomplished little
and, in 1510, Ferdinand addressed all his prelates, pointing out the
neglect of Christian observances by the Conversos, and ordering the
bishops to enforce their presence at mass and to provide for their
instruction, matters to which the parish priests must devote special
attention.[888] The council of Seville, in 1512, responded to this by
calling attention to the number of new converts who greatly needed
religious instruction. The prelates, who were responsible for the
salvation of souls, were ordered to depute for that purpose learned men,
who should specially investigate their manner of life and their
commission of sins pertaining to their old faith. All parish priests
were ordered to make out lists of the converts and see that they
conformed to the mandates of the church, and special lists were to be
compiled of those who had been reconciled by the Inquisition, with
orders to attend mass on Sundays and feast-days, so that their
fulfilment of their sentences could be enforced.[889] From what we know
of the failure of subsequent measures of this kind we may safely assume
that these received little attention from those who would have been
obliged to expend money and labor in their execution.

Simultaneously with his letters of 1510, Ferdinand had applied to Julius
II, representing that, since 1492, there had been converted many Jews
and Moors who, through insufficient instruction, had been led to commit
many heretical crimes; he had ordered their instruction, but it would
be inhuman to visit them with the full rigor of the canons, and he
therefore asked faculties to publish an Edict of Grace, under which
those coming in could be reconciled without confiscation and public
abjuration, so that, in case of relapse, they could escape
relaxation.[890] The conditions appended to Edicts of Grace so reduced
their effectiveness that this has importance only as an indication that
Ferdinand, as we shall see elsewhere, was rather disposed to check
inquisitorial ardor in the prosecution of Moriscos, but he atoned for
this on his death-bed, by a clause in his will commanding his grandson
Charles to appoint inquisitors zealous for the destruction of the sect
of Mahomet.[891] This was superfluous for, as the stock of Judaizers
became reduced, Moriscos supplied their place, and the Inquisition
required curbing rather than stimulation. That Charles recognized this
is seen in various Edicts of Grace issued in their favor, for certain
districts, between 1518 and 1521, edicts which relieved them from
confiscation and the sanbenito but did not protect from relapse or
exempt from denunciation of accomplices.[892]

[Sidenote: _PERSECUTION_]

There was little practical relief to be expected from such measures, but
at least they indicate the conviction of the rulers that it was both
unjust and impolitic to visit with the rigor of the canons those who had
been forced into the Church and had had no spiritual instruction. Still,
the canon law was a positive fact; an elaborate machinery had been
instituted for its enforcement, with no corresponding organization to
render the new religion attractive instead of odious, and a situation
had been created for which there was no radical cure. Alleviation was
the only resource, and this was attempted, although the fluctuating
policy adopted only intensified the evil for the future. In pursuance of
this Cardinal Adrian, August 5, 1521, issued orders that no arrests
should be made except on evidence directly conclusive of heresy, and
even then it must first be submitted to the Suprema. This seems to have
received so little obedience that Archbishop Manrique, April 28, 1524,
repeated it in more decisive fashion. He recited the conversion of the
Moriscos by Ferdinand and Isabella, who promised them graces and
liberties, in pursuance of which Cardinal Adrian had issued many
provisions in their favor, ordering the tribunals not to prosecute them
for trifling causes and, if any were so arrested, they were to be
discharged and their property be returned to them. In spite of this, the
inquisitors continued to arrest them on trivial charges, and on the
evidence of single witnesses. As they were ignorant persons, who could
not readily prove their innocence, these arrests had greatly scandalized
them, and they had petitioned for relief, wherefore the Suprema ordered
inquisitors not to arrest them without conclusive evidence of heresy,
and when there was doubt it was to be consulted. All who were held for
matters not plainly heretical were to have speedy justice, tempered with
such clemency as conscience might permit.[893]

How completely these instructions were ignored is manifest in the trials
of the Moriscos where, as in those of the Judaizers, any adherence to
customs, which for generations had formed part of daily life, was
sufficient for arrest and prosecution. It was not merely the fasting of
the Ramadan, the practice of circumcision, the Guadoc or bath
accompanied with a ritual, or the Taor, another kind of bath used prior
to the Zala, or certain prayers uttered with the face turned to the
East, at sunrise, noon, sunset and night. These were well-defined
religious ceremonies admitting of no explanation, but there were
numerous others, innocent in themselves, which implied suspicion of
heresy, and suspicion was in itself a crime. Under skilful management,
including the free use of torture, arrest for these simple observances
might lead to further confessions, and the opportunity was not to be
lost. Abstinence from pork and wine was amply sufficient to justify
prosecution, and we hear of cases in which staining the nails with
henna, refusal to eat of animals dying a natural death, killing fowls by
decollation, the _zambras_ and _leilas_, or songs and dances used at
merry-makings and nuptials, and even cleanliness, were gravely adduced
as evidences of apostasy.[894]

In pursuance of this policy, elaborate lists of all Moorish customs were
made out for the guidance of inquisitors; abstracts of these were
included in the Edicts of Faith, where every one who had seen or heard
of such things was required under pain of excommunication to denounce
them; the Moriscos were subjected to perpetual espionage, and any
unguarded utterance, which might be construed as inferring heretical
leaning, was liable to be reported and to lead to arrest and probable
punishment. It is true that from these slender indications the
inquisitorial process frequently led up to full confession, but this did
not render the position of the Morisco less intolerable, and constraint
and anxiety contributed largely to intensify his detestation of the
religion which he knew only as the cause of persecution. Bishop Pérez of
Segorbe, in 1595, when enumerating fifteen impediments to the conversion
of the Moriscos, included their fear of the Inquisition and its
punishments which made them hate Christianity.[895] At all events, it
secured outward conformity, at least in Castile, where they were
gradually assimilating themselves to the Old Christians; they had long
since abandoned their national dress and language; they were assiduous
in attendance at mass and vespers, the confessional and the sacrament of
the altar; they participated in processions and interments and were
commonly regarded as Christians, whatever might be the secrets of their

[Sidenote: _GRANADA_]

Doubtless, as time wore on, many were won over and became sincerely
attached to their new faith, but every now and then little communities
of apostates were brought to light. Thus, in 1538, Juan Yañés,
Inquisitor of Toledo, included Daimiel in a visitation. It had a Morisco
population, which had been baptized in 1502, and had apparently been
overlooked so long that it had grown somewhat careless. A woman reported
to Yañés that she had lived with Moriscos for twelve years and had
observed that they did not use pork or wine, on the plea that these
things disagreed with them. This sufficed to start an investigation
which so crowded the secret prison that we hear of nine women confined
in a single cell, and of the hall of the Inquisition being used as a
place of detention. Yet this vigorous work did not extirpate the evil
for, in 1597, the Toledo tribunal was busy with heretics from
Daimiel.[897] More shocking was a case in which María Páez, daughter of
Diego Páez Limpati of Almagro, figured, for she accused all her kindred
and friends. Her father was burnt in 1606, as an impenitent negativo;
her mother, who confessed, was reconciled and imprisoned, and in all
twenty-five Moriscos of Almagro suffered, of whom four were relaxed. In
the Toledo record, from 1575 to 1610, there are a hundred and ninety
cases of Moriscos as against a hundred and seventy-four of Judaizers,
and forty-seven of Protestants, showing that, notwithstanding the influx
of Portuguese, the Moriscos were the most numerous heretics with which
the tribunal had to deal.[898] The old Mudéjares of Castile had fallen
upon evil times, but worse were in store for them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Granada presented a more difficult and dangerous problem, requiring the
most sagacious statesmanship to reconcile political safety with the
demand for unity of faith, yet this delicate situation was treated with
a blundering disregard of common-sense characteristic of Philip II. The
population was almost wholly Morisco, and the country was rugged and
mountainous, offering abundant refuge for the despairing. The so-called
conversion of 1501 had worked no change in their belief. They were
hard-working, moral, honorable in their dealings, and charitable to
their poor, but they were Moslems at heart; if they went to mass, it was
to escape the fine; if they had their children baptized, they forthwith
washed off the chrism and circumcised the males; if they confessed
during Lent, it was merely to obtain the certificate; if they learned
the prayers of the Church, it was in order to get married, after which
they were forgotten with all convenient speed. They had been promised
forty years' exemption from the Inquisition, but they were rendered
disaffected by the abuses of judicial avarice and the insolent
domination of the officials, secular and ecclesiastical.[899]

In 1526 Charles V was in Granada, where, in the name of the Moriscos,
three descendants of the old Moorish kings, Fernando Vinegas, Miguel de
Aragon and Diego López Benexara, appealed to him for protection against
the ill-treatment by the priests, the judges, the alguaziles and other
officials, whereupon he appointed a commission to investigate and
report. Fray Antonio de Guevara, shortly to be Bishop of Guadix, was one
of the commissioners and, in a letter to a friend, he describes the
Moriscos as offering so much that required correction that it had better
be done in secret, rather than by public punishment; they had been so
ill-taught, and the magistrates had so winked at their errors, that
remedying it for the future would be enough without disturbing the
past.[900] This shows the spirit in which the commission performed its
work; the incriminated priests and officials had turned the tables on
their accusers, who were now defendants. The report of the commission
confirmed the complaints of ill-usage, but stated that among the
Moriscos there were not to be found more than seven true Christians.
This was submitted to a junta, presided over by Inquisitor-general
Manrique, and the result was an edict known as that of 1526. It granted
no relief from oppression, but concerned itself with the apostasy of the
Moriscos, which it sought to cure, not by instructing them, but by
rendering their condition still more intolerable. In violation of
promises, the Inquisition of Jaen was transferred to Granada. Amnesty
for past offences was granted, and a term of grace was provided for
those confessing voluntarily, after which the laws against heresy were
to be rigorously enforced, although for some years fines were
substituted for confiscation and time was allowed in which the penitents
could earn them.[901]

[Sidenote: _GRANADA_]

This was supplemented with a series of most vexatious regulations,
prohibiting the use of Arabic and of Moorish garments and of baths;
Christian midwives were to be present at all births; disarmament was
enforced by a rigid inspection of licences; the doors of Moriscos were
to be kept open on feast-days, Fridays, Saturdays and during weddings,
to prevent the use of Moorish ceremonies; schools to train children in
Castilian were to be established at Granada, Guadix and Almería: no
Moorish names were to be used and Moriscos were not to keep _gacis_ or
unbaptized Moors, whether free or slave.[902] This naturally caused
great agitation; the Moriscos held a general assembly and raised eighty
thousand ducats to be offered to Charles for a withdrawal of the edict.
His advisers were doubtless propitiated and, before leaving Granada, he
suspended it during his pleasure and permitted the carrying of a sword
and dagger in the towns and of a lance in the open country. A special
tax, known as _farda_, probably dates from about this period, under
which the use of Moorish garments and language was permitted and, in
1563, we chance to learn that this amounted to twenty thousand ducats
per annum.[903]

It would seem that, for awhile, the Inquisition troubled the Moriscos
but little for, in its first general auto, held in 1529, out of
eighty-nine culprits, while there were seventy-eight for Judaism there
were but three for Mahometanism, and one of these was in effigy.[904]
Still it provoked disquiet and, in 1532, Captain-general Mondéjar
suggested to Charles its suspension, since it had done nothing and could
find nothing against the Moriscos. This was unfortunate, for it
stimulated the tribunal to greater activity against them, leading to
numerous offers on their part to Charles and, after his abdication, to
Philip II, of liberal payments for relief. Charles's necessities
prompted him to listen to these propositions, but the Inquisition
managed to prevent their success, while Philip of course turned a deaf
ear to them. Even Inquisitor-general Valdés, in 1558, during his
disfavor at court, seems to have taken a hand in these negotiations, for
we find him promising a _subsidio_ of a hundred thousand ducats from the
Moriscos of Granada.[905]

The condition of the Moriscos was steadily growing worse, and the
situation in Granada was becoming dangerously explosive. The Inquisition
was more active than ever; all the old oppressions by the priests and
judicial officers continued unchecked, and a new source of intense
irritation was the progressive spoliation of their lands by "judges of
boundaries" who, in the name of the king, deprived them of properties
inherited or purchased--in short, they were _gente sin lengua y sin
fabor_--friendless and defenceless.[906] Then, in 1563, an old order to
present to the captain-general all licences to bear arms was revived
under a penalty of six years of galleys.[907] In 1565 a fresh source of
trouble was created by extending the royal jurisdiction over the lands
of the nobles, in which many Moriscos, who in years past had committed
crimes, had sought asylum. Eager for fees, the notaries and justices
searched the records and made arrests, until there was scarce a Morisco
who did not live in daily fear. Many took to the mountains, joining the
bands of _monfíes_, or outlaws, and committing outrages, while the
measures taken for their suppression only increased the disorder.[908]

The condition of Granada was one which required firmness and
conciliation, but infatuation prevailed in Philip's court, and the
occasion was seized to aggravate irritation beyond endurance. Guerrero,
Archbishop of Granada, in returning from Trent in 1563, had tarried in
Rome, where he lamented to Pius IV that his flock was Christian only in
name. Pius sent by him an urgent message to Philip, reinforced by orders
to his nuncio, the Bishop of Rossano, to the same purport. Guerrero, on
reaching home, assembled a provincial council in 1565, in which he
endeavored to restrain the oppression of the Moriscos by the
ecclesiastics, but his chapter appealed from the conciliar decrees and
the effort was nugatory. He had more success in inducing the bishops to
join in urging upon the king the adoption of measures to prevent the
Moriscos from concealing their apostasy, and he wrote to Philip, begging
him to purify the land from this filthy sect; it could readily, he said,
be found who were really Christians by prohibiting the things through
which their rites were kept from view.[909]

[Sidenote: _GRANADA_]

Philip referred Guerrero's memorial to a junta presided over by Diego de
Espinosa, recently made President of Castile and soon to be
inquisitor-general. It reported that, presuming the Moriscos to be
Christians by baptism, they must be compelled to be so in fact, to which
end they must be required to abandon the language, garments and customs
of Moors, by reviving the edict of 1526, and this was solemnly charged
upon the royal conscience. Philip thereupon consulted privately Dr.
Otadui, professor of theology at Salamanca, and shortly to be Bishop of
Avila, who, in his reply, told the king that, if any of the lords of the
Moriscos should cite the old Castilian proverb "The more Moors the more
profit" he should remember an older and truer one, "The fewer enemies
the better" and combine the two into "The more dead Moors the better,
for there will be fewer enemies"--advice which, we are told, greatly
pleased the monarch, in place of opening his eyes to the policy which
was converting his subjects into his enemies.[910]

A pragmática was speedily framed, embodying the most irritating features
of the edict of 1526, and Pedro de Deza, a member of the Suprema and of
Espinosa's junta, was appointed president of the chancellery of Granada
and sent there, May 4, 1566, under orders to publish and enforce it
without listening to remonstrances. It illustrates Philip's method of
government that Captain-general Mondéjar, although at the court, was not
even apprised of the measure, until an order was conveyed to him through
Espinosa to return to Granada and be present at the publication. He was
captain-general by inheritance, being grandson to the Tendilla placed
there at the conquest; he had lived in Granada from his boyhood, he had
been captain-general for thirty years and was thoroughly familiar with
the situation. He represented that Granada was destitute of troops and
of munitions, and he begged either that the measure be suspended or that
he be furnished with forces to suppress the revolt that he foresaw to be
inevitable. It was in vain; Espinosa curtly told him to go to his post
and mind his own business and, although the Council of War supported
him, he was given only three hundred men to guard the coast, where he
was ordered to reside during certain months and to visit

Deza reached Granada, May 25, 1566, where he at once assembled his court
and had the pragmática printed to be in readiness for publication on
January 1, 1567, the anniversary of the surrender of the city, as though
to create additional exasperation. Its provisions were sufficiently
exasperating in themselves. After three years the use of Arabic was
absolutely prohibited, in speech and writing; so were Moorish garments
after one year for silken and two years for woollen; house doors were to
be kept open on Friday afternoons, feast-days and marriage celebrations;
zambras and leilas, though not contrary to religion, were forbidden on
Fridays and feast-days; the use of henna for staining was to be
abandoned; Moorish names were not to be used; all artificial baths,
public and private, were to be destroyed, and no one in future was to
use them.[912] Provisions for instructing the Moriscos in the faith were
conspicuous by their absence.

All this could only seem to them a wanton interference with habits that
had become a second nature and when, on January 1, 1567, the edict was
published it created indescribable excitement. As an earnest of its
enforcement, all baths were forthwith destroyed, commencing with those
of the king. The aljamas throughout the kingdom consulted with the
leaders of the Albaycin, or Morisco quarter of the city, and it was
agreed that, if relief was not to be had by entreaty, resort must be had
to rebellion, for life was insupportable under such tyranny. Even Deza
recognized the threatening prospect and wrote to the court that
precautions should be taken against a rising; during 1567, he mitigated,
in some degree, the enforcement of the law and inflicted no punishment
under it. The Moriscos appealed to Philip, but, when he referred the
memorial to Espinosa, the latter replied that no suspension could be
considered; religious men had charged the king's conscience, telling him
that he was responsible for the souls of the apostates. In the Council
of State, the Duke of Alva and the Commendador of Alcántara were in
favor of suspension, and the Council suggested the gradual enforcement
of one article a year, but Espinosa and Deza had more influence than
soldiers and statesmen--it was a religious question with which the
latter had nothing to do.[913]

[Sidenote: _GRANADA_]

On January 1, 1568, orders were issued to abandon all Moorish silken
garments, and the priests were instructed to take all Morisco children,
between the ages of three and fifteen, and place them in schools, where
they should learn Castilian and Christian doctrine. This increased the
agitation and a deputation was sent to remonstrate with Deza, who gave
assurances that their children were not to be taken from them, but that
the king was resolved to save their souls and enforce the
pragmática.[914] The naked alternative was before them of submission or

Desperate as rebellion might seem, it was not wholly hopeless. The
Moriscos estimated that they could raise a hundred thousand fighting
men, lamentably deficient in arms, it is true, but hardy and enured to
privation. They counted largely on aid from Barbary, hoping that the
rulers there would not miss the opportunity of striking a deadly blow at
their traditional enemy. Their brethren, too, in Valencia, who were
equally oppressed, might reasonably be expected to rise and throw off
the Spanish yoke. They could not, moreover, be ignorant that the
imposing Spanish monarchy was in reality exhausted--that its internal
strength in no way corresponded with its external appearance. All the
Venetian envoys of the period, in fact, describe the absence of military
resources in Spain, the difficulty of raising troops and the
unfamiliarity with arms of those who made such splendid soldiers when
disciplined and trained. It was in this very year that Antonio Tiepolo,
when commenting on the strange neglect which exposed the southern coast
to the ravages of the Barbary corsairs, expresses apprehension that an
invasion from Africa, supported by the Moriscos, might expose Spain to
the fate which it experienced of old.[915] It had been bled to
exhaustion by Charles V and Philip was continuing the process. As with
men, so was it with money. Charles had left such an accumulation of debt
that Philip, on his accession, seriously contemplated repudiation, and
he staggered under an ever-increasing burden, from which the treasures
of the New World afforded no relief. His revenues were consumed in
advance, and during the rebellion it was with the utmost difficulty that
moderate sums could be furnished for the most pressing necessities. It
was most fortunate for the monarchy that the hopes of the insurgents as
to external aid were disappointed, for a united effort of the Crescent
against the Cross might have changed the destiny of the Peninsula. As it
was, the Moriscos of Valencia were kept quiet; the Sultan held aloof;
the Barbary princes only gave permission for adventurers to go as
volunteers, and some five or six hundred straggled in small bands across
the sea. Yet the resources of Spain were strained to the utmost in
subduing the isolated rebellion thus heedlessly provoked.

Arrangements were made for a rising on Holy Thursday (April 18, 1568),
but the secret was betrayed and the design was postponed. Even this
failed to induce the precaution of placing Granada in a state of defence
and, when the rebellion broke out, December 23d, it found the Christians
wholly unprepared. Mondéjar met the crisis with great vigor and ability.
Raising a hurried force of a few thousand men, he marched out of the
city on January 2, 1569 and, in a difficult winter campaign amid the
mountain snows, by the middle of February he had virtually crushed
resistance. Deza, however, backed by those who thirsted for rapine and
plunder, poisoned the mind of the king; Mondéjar's agreements for the
submission of the insurgents were set aside; Philip sent his
half-brother, Don John of Austria, then an inexperienced youth, to take
command, assisted by a council of war, each member of which had his own
plan of campaign, while no action was to be taken without the approval
of the king. This _opéra bouffe_ method of making war had its natural
result. The rebellion revived and grew stronger than ever, making raids
on the Vega, almost to the gates of the city, in which Don John and his
council were virtually beleaguered.

[Sidenote: _GRANADA_]

The details of the war that ensued do not concern us here except to say
that it was carried on with ferocious greed and cruelty. Military
expeditions were frequently mere slave-hunts, in which the men were
massacred, while women and children were brought in thousands to the
auction-block and were sold to the highest bidders. Nor were the
Moriscos the only sufferers, for the Córtes of 1570 complained bitterly
of the rapine and excesses of the troops on their way to the scene of
action.[916] Hostilities were prolonged until the opening months of 1571
and, when resistance was finally suppressed, Spain was well-nigh
exhausted. The pacification was as ruthless as the prosecution of the
war. In advance, it had been proposed at the court to remove the whole
population to the mountains of Northern Spain, and Deza, the evil genius
of Granada, never lost sight of the suggestion.[917] At his earnest
solicitation it was commenced with the Albaycin, as early as June, 1569.
No distinction was made between loyalists and rebels. The men were shut
up in the churches and then transferred to the great Hospital Real, a
gunshot from the city, where they were divided into gangs, with their
hands tied to ropes like galley-slaves, and were marched off to their
destinations under guard. The women were left for a time in their
houses, to sell their effects and follow. Some seven or eight thousand
were thus disposed of, and even the chroniclers are moved to compassion
in describing the misery and despair of those thus torn from their homes
without warning and hurried off to the unknown. Many died on the road of
weariness, of despair or of starvation, or were slain or robbed and sold
as slaves by those set to protect them. It relieved the Christians of
fear, we are told, but it was deplorable to see the destruction of
prosperity and the vacancy left where had been so much life and

This policy was carried out everywhere, as one district after another
was reduced. Final instructions from Philip to Don John, October 25,
1570, ordered the deportation of all and designated the provinces to
which they were to be taken, some of them as far as Leon and Galicia.
Families were not to be separated; they were to move in bands of fifteen
hundred men, with their women and children, under escort of two hundred
foot and twenty horse, with a commissioner who made lists of those under
his charge, provided them with food and distributed them in their
respective destinations. These orders were carried out. Don John writes,
November 5th, from Guadix to Ruy Gómez, that the number removed from
that district had been large; the last party had been sent off that day
and it was the most unfortunate thing in the world, for there was such a
tempest of wind, rain and snow that the mother would lose her daughter
on the road, the wife her husband and the widow her infant. It cannot be
denied, he added, that the depopulation of a kingdom is the most pitiful
thing that can be imagined. It was more than pitiful in some districts,
where the undisciplined soldiery, entrusted with the task, converted it
into pillage, massacre and the enslavement of the women and
children.[919] Such was the outcome of the pledges given, eighty years
before, by Ferdinand and Isabella, but the object of clearing Granada of
its Morisco population was measurably accomplished. In an auto de fe
celebrated there, in 1593, there appeared eighty-one delinquents
convicted of Judaism and only one charged with Mahometanism.[920]

The sufferings of the exiles did not end with deportation. Leonardo
Donate, the Venetian envoy, who was an eye-witness, tells us that many
perished through miseries and afflictions, which, in fact, was
inevitable under the conditions.[921] Their distribution was entrusted
to a special _Concejo de Poblaciones_, and an elaborate edict, in
twenty-three sections, issued October 6, 1572, specified the regulations
under which they were permitted to exist. These scattered them among
Christians, kept them under close and perpetual surveillance, and
reduced them almost to the status of predial serfs, bound to the soil.
No weapons were permitted, save a pointless knife, and savage
punishments were provided for the enforcement of the prescriptions.
Children were to be brought up, as far as possible, in Christian
families, and were to be taught reading, writing and Christian doctrine.
The pragmática of 1566 was declared to be in force, with added penalties
for the use of Arabic; any one writing or speaking it, even in his own
house, incurred, for a first offence, thirty days' prison in chains, for
a second double, for a third a hundred lashes and four years of
galleys.[922] The severity of this latter provision shocked even the
town-council of Córdova, which had shown itself by no means favorable to
the exiles. It represented to the alcalde that God alone could enable
them to speak a language of which they were ignorant, especially as the
alguaziles were constantly arresting and punishing them, and it begged
that action should be suspended until schools could be organized for
their instruction, but the alcalde replied that he had no choice and
must execute the edict.[923]


In spite of these restrictions on exiles suddenly cast adrift, penniless
in strange places, their indomitable industry and thrift soon carved
out careers which aroused the envious hostility of the indolent
populations among whom they were thrown. Cervantes, in his _Colloquio de
los perros_, stigmatizing them as a slow fever which slew as certainly
as a violent one, gives expression to the feelings with which the
Spaniard, whose only ambition was a position in the army, the Church or
the service of the State, and who was a consumer, looked upon the
producer and grudged him the product of his toil.[924] Already, in 1573,
the Córtes took the alarm and petitioned Philip that they should not be
allowed to act as architects or builders, or to hold public office or
judicial positions.[925] In truth, only ten years after the exile, an
official report complains that the numbers of the deported Moriscos are
increasing, because none go to war or enter religion, and they are so
hard-working that, after coming to Castile ten years before, without
owning a handsbreadth of land, they are now well off and many are rich,
so that, if it continues at the same rate for twenty years, the natives
will be their servants. This grievance only increased with time. In
1587, Martin de Salvatierra, Bishop of Segorbe, in an enumeration of the
evil deeds of the Moriscos, includes the fact that the exiles from
Granada had already become farmers of the royal revenues in Castile,
depositing cash as security in place of giving bondsmen; that there were
individuals worth more than a hundred thousand ducats in Pastrana,
Guadalajara, Salamanca and other places and that, if the king did not
devise some remedy, they would soon greatly surpass the Old Christians
in both numbers and wealth.[926] This jealousy found official utterance
in the Córtes of 1592, which represented to Philip that previous ones
had asked him to remedy the evils of the Granadan exiles scattered
through Castile. Those evils were constantly increasing; they had
obtained possession of trade, and were becoming so rich and powerful
that they controlled the secular and ecclesiastical tribunals and lived
openly in disregard of religion. The response to this was an edict
ordering all magistrates to enforce rigidly the restrictive legislation
of 1572.[927] This effected nothing for, in 1595, the Venetian envoy
describes them as constantly increasing in numbers and wealth, as they
never went to the wars and devoted themselves exclusively to trade.[928]
In 1602, Archbishop Ribera bears the same testimony; they were
hard-working and thrifty, and as they spent little on food or drink or
clothing, they worked for what would not support an Old Christian, so
that they were preferred by employers and consumers; they monopolized
the mechanic arts and commerce, as well as daily labor.[929] The envious
prejudices which thus found expression were a factor not unimportant
among the causes leading to the expulsion.

All the exiles however were not thus peacefully laborious. About 1577,
there arose complaints of seven or eight bands of Moriscos who lived by
robbery and murder and terrorized the districts in which they operated.
There was also a noted centre of lawlessness in Hornachos, near Badajos,
populated by Moriscos. For thirty thousand ducats they bought from
Philip the privilege of bearing arms; they had a regular organization
and a treasury and a mint employing thirteen operatives for the coinage
of counterfeit money, while, by judicious bribery of the courts, they
protected their criminals when caught. In 1586 the Llerena tribunal made
a raid on them with such success that it was obliged to hire houses to
accommodate its prisoners, but the effect of this was temporary and, in
October 1608, an alcalde of the court, Gregorio López Madera, was sent
there to investigate and punish. Alcaldes of the court were noted for
unsparing justice, and Madera did not belie this reputation. His inquest
resulted in finding eighty-three dead bodies in the vicinity; he hanged
ten members of the town-council and its executioner; he sent a hundred
and seventy men to the galleys, scourged a large number, and left the
place peaceful for the short interval before it was depopulated by the

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _ARAGON_]

In the kingdoms of the crown of Aragon the position of the Moriscos was
different from that in Castile. They were mostly vassals of the nobles,
settled on lands of which they held the _dominium utile_, while their
lords owned the _dominium directum_. For these lands they paid tribute
in money, in kind, or in service, and we are told that these imposts
amounted to the double of what could be exacted from Christians.[931] It
is easy to appreciate the old proverb "The more Moors the more profits,"
and also that the nobles were vitally interested in protecting their
vassals from external interference. Their ability to do this was largely
owing to the sturdy independence with which the ancient fueros and
privileges were maintained.

Alarm was taken early for, in 1495, the Córtes of Tortosa obtained from
Ferdinand a fuero that he would never expel or consent to the expulsion
of the Moors of Catalonia and, after the occurrences in Castile, the
Córtes of Barcelona, in 1503, represented the destruction which it would
cause and obtained a repetition of the pledge.[932] At the Córtes of
Monzon, in 1510, he renewed this, with the addition that he would make
no attempt to convert them by force, nor throw any impediment in the way
of their free intercourse with Christians and, to the observance of
this, he took a solemn oath, a repetition of which was exacted of
Charles V, on his accession in 1518.[933] Under these guarantees, both
the Moors and their lords might well imagine themselves secure.

As we have seen, the jurisdiction of the Inquisition did not extend to
the unbaptized, so long as they committed no offences against religion.
It had little scruple however in disregarding its limitations and, in
Valencia as early as 1497, it undertook to prevent the wearing of
Moorish costume and sent officials to Serra to arrest some women for
disobedience. They were not recognized and were maltreated, while the
women were conveyed away. We have seen how the tribunal arbitrarily
avenged itself by arresting all residents of Serra who chanced to come
to Valencia and that, when appeal was made to Ferdinand, he expressed
his displeasure and ordered greater moderation in future--yet the
leaders in the resistance at Serra were imprisoned for three years and
suffered confiscation and banishment, leading to considerable
correspondence in which Ferdinand sought to mitigate the harshness of
the tribunal. He showed the same disposition towards the Moorish aljama
of Fraga, which was concerned in the confiscation of a certain Galceran
de Abella, and also towards the Moors of Saragossa, when involved in
trouble with that tribunal by reason of harboring a female slave who had
escaped from Borja.[934]

After the enforced conversion of the Castilian Moors, the tribunal of
Aragon overstepped its powers by endeavoring, indirectly if not
directly, to compel submission to baptism. The Duke and Duchess of
Cardona, the Count of Ribagorza and other magnates complained, in 1508,
to Ferdinand, who reprimanded the inquisitors sharply for exceeding
their jurisdiction, with much scandal to the Moors and damage to their
lords. No one, he said, should be converted or baptized by force, for
God is served only when confession is heartfelt, nor should any one be
imprisoned for simply telling others not to turn Christian. In future,
no Moor was to be baptized unless he applied for it; any who were
imprisoned for counselling against conversion were to be released at
once, and the papers were to be sent to Inquisitor-general Enguera for
instructions, nor were arrests to be made without his orders. As it was
reported that others had fled in fear of forcible conversion or
imprisonment, steps must be taken to bring them home with full assurance
against violence.[935] In the same spirit, in 1510, when some Moors in
Aragon had been converted, and had consequently been abandoned by their
wives and children, Ferdinand ordered the inquisitors to permit them to
return, and not to exert pressure on them or to baptize them
forcibly.[936] Ferdinand understood his Aragonese subjects and had
learned when to respect their fueros.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

These incidents indicate that there was a movement on foot which
sometimes overstepped the limits of persuasion. There was, in fact, a
process of voluntary conversion, affording hope that in time the
wished-for unity of faith might be accomplished without coercion. A
Catalan alfaquí, named Jacob Tellez, was baptized and brought several
aljamas to embrace Christianity, when Ferdinand to aid him granted him
licence to travel everywhere and to have entrance into all aljamas,
whose members were required to assemble and listen to him.[937] The
Moors of Caspe sought baptism in 1499; in the district of Teruel and
Albarracin, in 1493, a mosque was converted into the church of the
Trinity and, in 1502, the whole population embraced Christianity.[938]
Wholesale conversions such as these were apt to furnish backsliders and,
when the Inquisition undertook to punish those of Teruel and Albarracin,
Charles V interposed, in 1519; he understood, he said, that many of the
children of the Conversos, who had lapsed, desired to return to the
faith, but were deterred through fear of punishment, wherefore he
granted them a term of grace for a year, during which they could come
forward and confess without incurring confiscation, and similar
concessions were made in Tortosa and other cities.[939]

Valencia, which had the largest and densest Moorish population, was also
the scene of considerable proselyting and of vigorous inquisitorial
action. An influential alfaquí, named Abdallah, was converted, took
orders as a priest, under the title of Maestro Mossen Andrés, and
devoted himself to winning over his brethren. He wrote a work
controverting the Koran chapter by chapter, which was printed and
circulated.[940] The little town of Manices must have been converted
almost in mass, for we happen to have a sentence uttered in the church
there, by the inquisitors of Valencia, April 8, 1519, on two hundred and
thirty Moriscos, then present, who had come in under an Edict of Grace,
confessing and abjuring the errors into which they had relapsed. They
were received to reconciliation, apparently without confiscation, and
the penances prescribed were purely spiritual, although in addition they
were subjected to the customary severe disabilities. There must have
been not a little cruel preliminary work for, in the list of these
penitents, no less than thirty-two women are described as the wives or
daughters of men who had been burnt.[941] It is easy for us now to
recognize how powerful an impediment was this method of preserving the
purity of the faith by obstructing the wished-for conversion, for the
Mudéjares who refused baptism could congratulate themselves that they
were not subject to a jurisdiction which visited with such severity the
adherence to ancestral habits that had become a second nature.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

The missionary work thus impeded received an unlooked for impulse from
the insurrection known as the Germanía or Brotherhood, which suddenly
broke out in 1520. This was a revolt of the people against the
oppression of the nobles which, in its peaceful beginning, won the
approval of Charles and of his representative, Cardinal Adrian. It
speedily developed into civil war, in which the nobles had the aid of
their Moorish vassals; these formed a large portion of the forces with
which the Duke of Segorbe won the victories of Oropesa and Almenara,
early in July, 1521, and they constituted a third of the infantry, under
the Viceroy Mendoza, in the disastrous rout of Gandía, July 25. To
cripple the nobles, the leaders of the Germanía conceived the idea of
baptizing by force the Moors, thus giving them the status of Christians
and releasing them from vassalage.[942] Urgelles, the chief captain,
mortally wounded at the siege of Játiva, which surrendered July 14th,
was already busily engaged in compelling the baptism of the Moors in the
places under his control; and his successor, Vicente Peris, who won the
decisive victory of Gandía, adopted the same policy. Full particulars as
to proceedings in the different towns and villages were obtained by a
commission, formed in 1524 to ascertain whether the baptisms were
voluntary or coerced, and the evidence in its report shows that bands of
_Agermanados_ traversed the territory between Valencia and Oliva,
terrorizing the Moors and offering them the alternative of baptism or
death. A few homicides punctuated their commands, and the helpless
infidels flocked to the baptismal font for safety. Of course there was
no pretence of instruction or of ascertaining what the neophytes knew of
the religion thus imposed upon them; they were baptized by sprinkling
them in batches and squads and, when holy water was not at hand, that
from running streams was employed. The only redeeming feature in the
evidence is the frequent allusion to friendly relations between
Christians and Moors and to the refuge and protection willingly given to
the terrified victims, showing how the antagonism of race was gradually
subsiding and how its extinction might have been hopefully anticipated
if matters had been allowed to develop naturally.[943]

Attempts were also made to convert the mosques into churches. In a few
places they were consecrated; in some others only a paper picture of
Christ or the Virgin was hung up, or attached to the door. Occasionally
divine service was performed, which the neophytes attended with more or
less regularity, but their adhesion to their new faith lasted only while
the impression of terror continued. In some places they felt safe to
recur to their old religion in three weeks, in others they remained
nominally Christian for a few months, but everywhere, as soon as they
felt the danger to be passed, they resumed their Moslem rites and
worshipped in their mosques as before. In this, for the most part, they
were encouraged by their lords, who assured them that the coercive
baptism was invalid, and that they were free to revert to their faith.
Others more prudently seized the opportunity to escape to Africa, and it
was estimated that no less than five thousand houses were left vacant,
inferring an emigration of some twenty-five thousand souls.[944]

The suppression of the Germanía, in 1522, enabled the Inquisition to
commence action against those who had been brought under its
jurisdiction by baptism. Inquisitor Churrucca of Valencia entertained no
scruple as to the validity of the sacrament, but there was difficulty in
the fact that the hurried proceedings had precluded the making of
records that would identify individuals. When the officiating priests
had made lists he demanded their surrender and, towards the close of
1523, he was busy in obtaining evidence from eye-witnesses. Some
fragmentary documents show that he was partially successful, and that he
was prosecuting those whom he could prove to be apostates, but there was
no disposition to treat them harshly. It would appear, indeed, that
Cardinal Adrian adopted a policy of toleration which, after his
elevation to the papacy, enabled the advocates of the Moriscos to claim
that they had the benefit of a dispensation.[945]

The situation, in fact, was perplexing. In Castile, enforced conversion
had been universal, under threat of expulsion; all were constructively
baptized and could legally be held to the consequences. In Valencia,
however, the Germanía had occupied but a portion of the territory, and
even there the work had been partial, and so irregularly executed that
identification was impossible save in isolated cases. As soon as the
pressure was removed all had reverted to their pristine belief, and the
sovereign was under a solemn oath that no compulsion should be employed.
The simplest solution that offered was to complete the work and to
convert the whole Moorish population, after securing the assent of the
nobles by conceding that their rights should not be affected, and that
converts should not be permitted to change their domicile.[946]
Missionaries were therefore sent to try the effect of persuasion,
prominent among whom was Fray Antonio de Guevara. In a letter of May 22,
1524, he says that for three years he had labored at the task, doing
nothing but dispute in the aljamas, preach in the Morerías and baptize
in the houses.[947] Well-meant as was this effort, its success was not
commensurate with its merits; the question refused to be solved, and the
claims of the Inquisition to exercise jurisdiction over the so-called
apostates inevitably provoked discussion as to the validity of enforced
baptism, the degree of coercion by the Agermanados, and the sufficiency
of the rite so irregularly performed.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

We have seen above (Vol. I, p. 41) that, when the Goths coerced their
Jewish subjects to baptism, the fourth Council of Toledo enunciated the
principle that, while the act was wrong, the baptism was indelible and
the baptized must be forced to remain in the Church, a principle which
became embodied in the canon law. Still there was a question as to the
degree of coercion and Boniface VIII, while assuming to exempt those
whose coercion was absolute, took care to define that the fear of death
was not such coercion.[948] In the refinement of scholastic theology,
two kinds of coercion were distinguished--conditional or interpretative
and absolute; it was decided that coerced volition is still volition,
and absolute coercion was reduced to the proposition that, if a man tied
hand and foot were baptized while uttering protests, the rite would be
invalid.[949] Such was the received practice of the Church, although a
few schoolmen of high repute denied the validity of the sacrament under
coercion, rather as an academical question, for the Church assumes
consent and compels the so-called convert to the observance of the faith
imposed on him.[950]

It was inevitable that the converts of the Germanía were to be held to
their responsibilities as Christians. Charles V had already resolved on
his policy and had applied to Clement VII to be released from his oath
not to impose Christianity on the Moors, but the proceedings of
Inquisitor Churrucca were exciting murmurs, and a decent show of
preliminary investigation was advisable. Charles at first ordered this
to be done by the Governor of Valencia in conjunction with the
inquisitors and some theologians and jurists, but this was not a
sufficiently authoritative body to justify the far-reaching measures in
contemplation and Manrique suggested, January 23, 1524, the formation of
a junta under his presidency, in view of the opposition of the nobles
and gentry, who dreaded the loss accruing to them from the
Christianization of their vassals.[951] That this was merely to save
appearances is evident from the fact that, when Charles, on February
11th, gave orders for the assembling of the junta, he wrote on the same
day to Germaine, Vice-queen of Valencia, instructing the inquisitors and
vicar-general to take due action with the apostate Moriscos.[952] Nine
days later, Manrique issued a commission to Churrucca and his assessor
Andrés Palacio to make a complete investigation into all the
circumstances of the conversion and backsliding of the Moriscos--a
selection which indicates the foregone conclusion, as they had already
committed themselves on all the questions involved. Two other
commissioners--Martin Sánchez and Juan de Bas--were added to them when,
in November, they started on their work, and meanwhile the inquisitors
had been taking testimony on their own account.[953]

The investigation lasted only from November 4th to the 24th, as the
commission moved from place to place, in the little district between
Alcira and Denia. A hundred and twenty-eight witnesses were interrogated
on a series of questions drawn up by Manrique and their evidence
established beyond doubt that submission to baptism was under the
influence of mortal terror. The report of the commission consisted
simply of the testimony, as taken down by the secretary, but it was
supplemented by a learned argument in scholastic form by the fiscal of
the tribunal, Fernando Loazes, the future Archbishop of Valencia. In
this he made no pretence that the baptism was voluntary. The violence he
admitted to be a crime, for which the actors should be punished, but the
effect was good and should be maintained; it was the way in which God
evokes good out of evil. The Moors had been saved from perdition and
from slavery to the demon and, as this was a public benefit, the
converts must be compelled to adhere to the Catholic faith, and those
who upheld them in apostasy must be prosecuted as fautors and defenders
of heresy. All doctors agree that, when there is danger of infecting the
faith, the prince can compel uniformity or can expel the

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

It was an imposing assemblage to which the report was submitted,
consisting of a reunion of the Councils of Castile, of Aragon, of the
Inquisition, of Military Orders and of Indies, together with eminent
theologians, and it was under the presidency of Manrique.

There evidently was not unanimity, for the discussion occupied
twenty-two days, and some of the theologians, with Jaime Benet, the most
eminent canonist of Spain at their head, denied the validity of the
baptisms. Still, the inevitable conclusion was that, as the neophytes
had made no resistance or complaint, they must adhere to the faith,
willingly or unwillingly. On March 23, 1525, the emperor attended a
meeting, in which Manrique announced to him the decision, which he
confirmed and ordered measures to be taken for its enforcement. In
pursuance of this a royal cédula on April 4th, after reciting the care
bestowed on the question, and the unanimous conclusion reached, declared
the baptized Moors to be Christians, and ordered their children to be
baptized, while churches in which mass had been celebrated were not to
be used as mosques.[955]

It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of this action on the
fate of the Moriscos, for all that followed was its necessary
consequence. Without loss of time an imposing inquisitorial commission
was organized, with Gaspar de Avalos, Bishop of Guadix, at its head, and
a retinue of counsellors and familiars. On May 10th they arrived at
Valencia and, on Sunday the 14th, the bishop in a sermon ordered the
publication of the royal cédula, with an edict granting thirty days
within which apostates could return with security for life and property,
after which they would forfeit both.[956] It could scarce have been
intended to execute this atrocious threat, and no attempt seems to have
been made to do so. The apostates were not easily distinguishable among
their unbaptized brethren, among whom they constituted perhaps ten per
cent., but the commissioners endeavored to identify them, travelling
through the land, making out lists, and confirming all whom they could
discover, as a preliminary to prosecuting the backsliders.[957] Their
numbers suggested moderation, for which papal authority was requisite.
It was obtained, for a brief of Clement VII, June 16, 1525, recites that
Charles had applied to him for a remedy; the multitude of delinquents
called for gentleness and clemency, wherefore they were to be prosecuted
with a benignant asperity; those who should return to the light of
truth, publicly abjure their errors and swear never to relapse, could be
absolved without incurring the customary infamy and disabilities.[958]

Threats and promises availed little. The ten or fifteen thousand
Moriscos, who had passed through the hands of the Agermanados, did not
wait to experience the benignant asperity of the commission, but took
refuge in the Sierra de Bernia, and the nobles, so far from attempting
to dislodge them, favored them, in hopes that their resistance might
lead Charles to abandon his purpose. He had been moved to indignation on
hearing that the magistrates of Valencia had begged the commission not
to ill-treat the Alfaquíes, as the prosperity of the land depended on
the Moors, and he now rebuked the nobles, ordering them to go to their
estates and teach their vassals to be good Christians. Preparations at
length were made to attack the refugees of Bernia, who had held out from
April until August; they surrendered under promise of immunity and were
taken to Murla where they were absolved and kindly treated.[959]

The commission, wearied with its fruitless labors, was about to abandon
the field, when it received a letter from Charles, stating that, as God
had granted him the victory of Pavia, he could evince his gratitude in
no way more effective than by compelling all the infidels in his
dominions to submit to baptism; they were therefore ordered to remain
and to undertake this new conversion, in conjunction with a fresh
colleague, Fray Calcena, afterwards Bishop of Tortosa.[960] We have seen
that, in preparation for this, he had, near the end of 1523 or in the
early part of 1524, applied to Clement VII to absolve him from the oath
taken in 1518 not to expel or make forced conversions, and Clement is
said to have at first refused the request, declaring it to be
scandalous.[961] The persistence of the ambassador, the Duke of Sesa,
however prevailed over Clement's scruples and the brief was issued, May
12, 1524, though for a time it was kept secret.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

It commenced by reciting the papal grief on learning that, in Valencia,
Catalonia and Aragon, Charles had many Moorish subjects, with whom the
faithful could not hold intercourse without danger, and who served as
spies for their brethren in Africa. He was therefore exhorted to order
the inquisitors to preach to them and, in case of obstinacy, he was to
designate a term after which they should be expelled, under pain of
perpetual slavery, to be rigorously enforced. The tithes, which they had
never paid, should in future accrue to their lords, in recompense for
the damage caused by the expulsion, under condition that the lords
should supply the churches with what was requisite for divine service,
while the revenues of the mosques should provide endowments for
benefices. The fateful brief concluded by formally releasing Charles
from his oath of 1518, absolving him from all penalties and censures for
perjury, and granting him whatever dispensation was necessary for the
due execution of the foregoing, and it further conferred on the
inquisitors ample faculties to suppress opposition, notwithstanding all
apostolical constitutions and all laws of the land.[962]

Charles was thus set free to work his will, in despite of oaths and of
laws. Yet for eighteen months he held the brief without using it,
waiting perhaps for the settlement of the question of baptism and for
the agitation in Valencia to subside. At length, on September 13, 1525,
he addressed letters to the nobles, informing them of his irrevocable
resolve not to allow a Moor or an infidel to dwell in his dominions
except as a slave; he recognized that expulsion would affect their
interests, and consequently he urged them to go to their estates and
co-operate with the commissioners in procuring the conversion and
instruction of their vassals. Accompanying this was a brief letter to
the Moors, informing them of the determination to which he had been
inspired by Almighty God that His law should prevail throughout the
land, and of his desire for their salvation, wherefore he exhorted and
commanded them to submit to baptism; if they did so, they should have
the liberties of Christians and good treatment; if they refused, he
would find other means. The next day a proclamation was addressed to the
Moors, emphatically repeating these threats and promises, and forbidding
any interference with conversion or insults to converts, under penalty
of five thousand florins and the royal wrath. The same day a letter to
Queen Germaine tacitly admitted the futility of depriving the Moriscos
of their religion without providing a substitute. He had learned, he
said, that in many villages of the converts there were no priests to
give instruction or to celebrate mass, and he ordered her to see that
they were instructed and ministered to, thriftily adding that, in lands
of royal jurisdiction, care must be taken to reserve the patronage of
the new churches to the crown.[963]

The commissioners, armed with full powers as inquisitors, lost no time
in announcing to the Moors the irrevocable resolve of the emperor, with
a term of grace of eight days, after which they would execute the
decrees. The frightened aljamas deputed twelve alfaquíes to supplicate
of Charles the revocation of the edict. Queen Germaine granted them a
safe-conduct, and they were received at court, carrying with them fifty
thousand ducats to propitiate persons of importance and, although at the
moment they accomplished nothing, eventually, as we shall see, they
secured a Concordia which, as usual, was granted only to be

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Meanwhile, on November 3d, Charles enclosed the papal brief to the
inquisitors, with instructions to enforce it without delay. At the same
time he notified the authorities, secular and ecclesiastical, that it
invalidated all the fueros, privileges and constitutions to which he had
sworn; that he had instructed the Inquisition to enforce it, and that
the local magistrates, under pain of ten thousand florins, must execute
whatever the inquisitors might decree.[965] Having thus made the Moors
understand the fate in store for them, on November 25th he issued a
general decree of expulsion. All those of Valencia were to be out of
Spain by December 31st, and those of Catalonia and Aragon by January 31,
1526. As in 1502, there was no exemption promised for conversion, but
similarly the obstacles thrown in the way of expatriation showed the
real intent of the edict. The Valencians were ordered to register and
obtain passports at Sieteaguas, on the Cuenca frontier, and then plod
their weary way to Coruña, where they were to embark, under pain of
confiscation and slavery, while the nobles were threatened with a fine
of five thousand ducats for each one whom they might retain. At the same
time was published a papal brief ordering, under pain of
excommunication, all Christians to aid in enforcing the imperial
decrees, and all Moors to listen without replying to the teachings of
the Gospel. Still another edict, which ordered that all Moors must be
baptized by December 8th, or be prepared to leave the country, showed by
implication that conversion would relieve from exile. Then the
Inquisition gave notice that it was prepared to act, and it published
tremendous censures, with a penalty of a thousand florins, against all
failing to aid it against those who obstinately resisted the sweetness
of the gospel and the benignant plans of the emperor.[966]

When the alfaquíes reported the failure of their mission, the great bulk
of the Valencian Moors submitted to baptism. Fray Antonio de Guevara,
who was foremost in the work, boasts that he baptized twenty thousand
families, but the Moriscos subsequently asserted that this wholesale
conversion was accomplished by corraling them in pens and scattering
water over them, when some would seek to hide themselves and others
would shout "No water has touched me!" They endured it, they said,
because their alfaquíes assured them that deceit was permissible, and
that they need not believe the religion which they were compelled to
profess.[967] Many hid themselves; some took refuge in Benaguacil which
surrendered, March 27th, after a five weeks' siege, but the Sierra de
Espadan was the scene of a more formidable revolt, which was not subdued
until September 19th, with considerable slaughter. Others again betook
themselves to the Sierra de Bernia, to Guadalete and Confridas, but
these mostly succeeded in escaping to Africa. Thus was Valencia
converted and pacified; the Moriscos, we as may now call them, were
disarmed, the pulpits of their alfaquíes were torn down, their Korans
were burnt, and orders were given to instruct them competently in the
faith--orders, as we shall see, perpetually reissued and never

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

In Aragon, before the edicts, premonitions of the future had aroused
much agitation. The Moors ceased to labor in the fields and shops,
causing great anxiety as to impending famine. The Diputados were called
upon to act and, while preparing to send envoys to Charles, they gave to
the Count of Ribagorza, who chanced to be at the court, a memorial
addressed to him. This appealed to the solemn oaths taken by him and
Ferdinand; it represented that the whole industry and prosperity of the
land rested upon the Moors, who raised the harvests and produced the
manufactures, while the incomes of churches and convents, of benefices
and the gentry, of widows and orphans, were derived from their censos or
loans. They were practically the slaves of their feudal lords, to whom
they were obedient, and they had never been known to pervert a Christian
or cause scandal; they lived at a distance from the coast, so that they
could hold no intercourse with Barbary, and the law punished by
enslavement all attempts to leave the kingdom; their expulsion would
cause ruin while, if converted, they would be enfranchised and enabled
to go abroad. As they had ceased to sow their lands, immediate relief of
their fears was necessary to avert a famine. Ribagorza's influence
procured a brief delay, but Charles's practical reply was a
proclamation, published in Saragossa December 22d, forbidding any Moor
to leave the kingdom, prohibiting all purchases of property from them,
closing their mosques and abolishing their public shambles.[969] This
increased the alarm, and risings occurred in some places, followed by
others after the publication of the edict of expulsion, but they were
not serious. The date of expulsion was postponed until March 15, 1526,
and, as it approached, there were other risings, but they were readily
suppressed; the Moors were disarmed and, as a whole, they submitted to

The whole Morisco population was now at the mercy of the Inquisition,
but every consideration, both of policy and of charity, dictated a
tolerant exercise of power, until they could be instructed and won over
to their new faith. This the Suprema recognized by ordering that they
should be treated with great moderation.[971] Possibly this may explain
the absence of trials for heresy by the Valencia tribunal in 1525 and
1527, but, in the intermediate and subsequent years, there is no
abatement in its activity, which was not only in disobedience of the
commands of the Suprema, but a direct violation of the Concordia, agreed
to January 6, 1526, although not published until 1528.

This Concordia was the result of the labors of the alfaquíes sent to the
court in 1525. It was granted with the consent of Inquisitor-general
Manrique; it was solemnly confirmed by Charles in the Córtes of Monzon,
in 1528, when it was declared to comprehend all the kingdoms of the
crown of Aragon, but when it was published by the Bayle-general of
Valencia, under orders from Charles, Manrique rebuked him for so doing.
Its main provisions are worth reciting if only to show the questions
arising and as an instance of the faithlessness habitually shown to the
Moriscos, for scarce one of the articles favorable to them was observed.

It set forth that the new converts could not at once abandon the Moorish
ceremonies, which they observed rather through habit than with
intention, and that prosecution by the Inquisition would be their total
destruction, wherefore the Inquisition should not proceed against them
for forty years, as had been granted to the Moors of Granada. As for
their garments, they might wear out those existing, but new ones must be
made in the Christian fashion. As most of the men and all the women
could speak only Arabic, they could use it for ten years, during which
time they must learn Castilian or Valencian. New cemeteries were to be
consecrated for them, near the mosques now converted into churches.
Dispensations were to be granted by the legate or the pope for all
existing marriages and betrothals within the prohibited degrees, but
future ones must conform to the canons. To the request that their arms
should be restored to them, the answer was that they should be treated
like other Christians. To the argument that they could not pay the old
tributes and imposts, if they were forbidden to work on feast-days, nor
was it reasonable that they should be prevented from changing domicile,
the equivocal reply was that they should be treated like other
Christians, but without prejudice to third parties. There was also
permission to continue as corporations the old Morerías in royal
territory. All this Charles guaranteed for himself and for Prince
Philip, and ordered its strict observance by all officials, from the
highest to the lowest, under pain of the royal wrath and a fine of three
thousand ducats.[972]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

The Inquisition, however, was a law unto itself and was bound by no
compacts. In a few months after the promulgation of the Concordia, the
Suprema published everywhere a declaration that it referred only to
trivial customs and did not condone the use of Moorish rites and
ceremonies, and that those who performed them or lapsed from the faith
were to be duly prosecuted, to all of which it stated that the emperor
acceded.[973] When, therefore, the Aragonese nobles, in 1529, presented
remonstrances to Charles and to Manrique, the latter replied that it was
their salvation and not their injury that was sought, and that he hoped
that God might lay his hands upon them, so that all would eventuate
well.[974] The hand of God, as laid upon them through the Inquisition,
was not merciful for, in 1531, the Valencia tribunal had fifty-eight
trials for heresy, with some thirty-seven burnings in person, most of
whom presumably were Moriscos. Saragossa was somewhat milder for, in
1530, it reported that in the last auto it had reconciled a number of
Moriscos, commuting confiscation and prison into fines and, in some
cases, to scourging; that the fines had been assigned to a cleric who
should instruct the penitents, but the receiver had refused to surrender
the money, whereupon the Suprema suggested a separate collection of
fines and their payment to instructors.[975] Thus the Inquisition went
imperturbably on its way and, when the Córtes of the three kingdoms
complained that it was notorious that there had been no attempt to
instruct the Moriscos, or to provide churches for them, and that it was
a great abuse to prosecute them as heretics, Cardinal Manrique
unctuously replied that they had been treated with all moderation and
benignity and that, for the future, provision would be made, with the
assent of the emperor, as best comported with the service of God and the
salvation of their souls.[976]

Even more defiantly self-willed was the conduct of the Inquisition with
regard to confiscations. We have seen that these were the property of
the crown and that, when the Inquisition was allowed to retain the
proceeds, it was a concession dependent upon the will of the sovereign.
Yet it sturdily set aside the laws of the land and the commands of the
emperor, and persisted in confiscating the property of its penitents.
The earliest fuero of Valencia, granted by Jaime I after the conquest,
provided that, in capital cases of heresy and treason, allodial lands
and personal property should accrue to the king, while feudal lands and
those held under rent-charge or other service, should revert to the
lord. The new Inquisition disregarded this and, in 1488, the Córtes of
Orihuela demanded its observance, to which Ferdinand assented. Still the
Inquisition persisted and he agreed to the demands of the Córtes of
1510, that he should compound for all lands thus illegally obtained.
This was equally fruitless and, in 1533, the Córtes of Monzon repeated
the complaint; it was the lords and churches that suffered by the
confiscations inflicted on their vassals, and some compromise should be
reached as to past infractions of the fuero. To this the answer was
equivocal; there was no confiscation and, please God, with the efforts
on foot for the instruction of the converts, there would be no necessity
for it in the future but, if there should be, provision would be made to
protect the lords, and meanwhile a commission could decide as to what
would be just for the past.[977]

Charles, in fact, the next year, at Saragossa, issued a pragmática
ordering that, when the new converts incurred confiscation, the property
should be made over to the legal Catholic heirs, without prejudice to
the lords of the delinquents. The Inquisition, however, was equal to the
occasion; it obeyed the law in the letter but not in the spirit, for, in
1547, the Córtes complained to the inquisitor-general that, in lieu of
confiscation, the Saragossa tribunal imposed fines greater than the
wealth of the penitents who, to meet them, were obliged to sell all
their property and impoverish their kindred. To this the contemptuous
answer was returned that if any one was aggrieved he could apply to the
inquisitors or to the Suprema.[978]

In Valencia the contest was more prolonged. The Córtes of 1537
reiterated the old complaints and asked Charles to order the tribunals
to obey the law, which he promised to do. The Suprema rejoined, in a
consulta, that confiscation was the most efficient penalty for the
suppression of heresy; the culprit could escape burning by
reconciliation and, without confiscation, heresy would be unpunished.
The Inquisition accordingly went on confiscating and, in 1542, under
urgent complaints by the Córtes, Charles assented to a law that the
_dominium utile_ of the culprit should revert to the _dominium directum_
of the lord and that the royal officials, under pain of a thousand
florins, should put the lord in possession. The pope seems to have been
appealed to, to make the Inquisition obey, for in a brief of August 2,
1546, which virtually suspended it, he decreed that for ten years, and
during the pleasure of the Holy See, there should be neither fines nor
confiscation in the case of Moriscos.[979]

Royal and papal utterances were alike in vain. In 1547, the Córtes
renewed the complaint of the persistence of the Inquisition and
introduced the new feature of asking that the inquisitor-general should
join in signing the fuero, thus recognizing him as an independent power
in the state. Prince Philip promised to obtain his signature, but it was
not done. Again in 1552 and 1564 the same comedy was acted, but Philip's
promise in the latter year was neutralized by specific instructions of
the Suprema, to the Valencia tribunal, to confiscate Morisco property,
without regarding what the people might say about having a privilege
against confiscation.[980]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

At length a compromise was reached. In 1537 the Córtes had suggested a
payment to the Inquisition of four hundred ducats per annum in return
for Morisco impunity from pecuniary penance, but the Suprema had refused
the proposition as inadequate and as a disservice to God.[981] In 1571,
negotiations were renewed, resulting in a royal cédula of October 12th,
reciting that Inquisitor-general Espinosa had condescended to grant to
the Moriscos of Valencia the articles presented by them. These provided
that, in consideration of an annual payment of fifty thousand sueldos,
or twenty-five hundred ducats, to the tribunal, the property of those
contributing to it should be exempt from confiscation. Warning,
moreover, was taken from the experience of Aragon, and fines were
limited to ten ducats, but the aljamas of the culprits were responsible
for their payment. It rested with the aljamas whether or not to come
into the arrangement, but so many of them did so that thenceforth it was
spoken of commonly as in force throughout Valencia.[982]

This suited the Inquisition as assuring it a settled income; it relieved
the Moriscos from the ever-present dread of pauperism and the miseries
of sequestration, and it gratified the nobles and churches by securing
them from the alienation of their lands and the impoverishment of their
vassals. To the rigid churchman, however, it was a compact with evil and
an encouragement of heresy. Archbishop Ribera of Valencia protested
against it, and Bishop Pérez of Segorbe, in 1595, advocated its
revocation, but Philip II resolved that it should continue during the
period agreed upon for the instruction of the Moriscos.[983]

The tribunal naturally took care to increase its assured income by
exploiting to the fullest its remaining power of inflicting fines, and
it did so with little regard to the limitation. In 1595, the aljamas
complained of these infractions.[984] That such complaint continued to
be justified would appear from the auto de fe of January 7, 1607,
alluded to above (Vol. II, p. 395) where there were twenty fines of ten
ducats each on Moriscos, of whom only eight were reconciled, besides
other fines, one of twenty, one of thirty and one of fifty.

The table in the Appendix shows that, while the activity of the
Inquisition seemed to diminish somewhat after the Concordia, towards the
close of the century it increased greatly, there being two hundred and
ninety-one cases in 1591 and a hundred and seventeen in 1592. The record
furnishing these figures ends with 1592 and we have no means of
ascertaining the work in the years which immediately follow, but the
rigor of persecution continued. In the auto of September 5, 1604, there
were twenty-eight abjurations _de levi_, forty-nine _de vehementi_,
eight reconciliations and two relaxations--all Moriscos, except a
Frenchman penanced for blasphemy. In that of January 7, 1607, there
appeared thirty-three Moriscos, of whom one was relaxed, besides six
whose cases were suspended, and in the trials torture was employed
fifteen times.[985] The fluctuations in the number of cases can be
accounted for by evidence occasionally enabling the tribunal to make a
raid on some Morisco village when, as they were all Moors at heart, the
whole community would be gathered in. Thus, in 1589 and 1590 the little
settlement of Mislata, near Valencia, furnished a hundred cases and we
are told that in the town of Carlet there were two hundred and forty
households that observed the fast of Ramadan.[986]

In fact, as the Moorish faith of the Moriscos was notorious, the whole
population was at the mercy of the Inquisition, and the comparative
moderation shown by the records may perhaps be explained by a system of
secret bribery or compositions whereby immunity was purchased. The
possibility of this is suggested by a case which throws considerable
light upon the manner in which the inquisitorial power was exercised.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

The family of Don Cosme, Don Juan and Don Hernando Abenamir of
Benaguacil ranked among the first of the old Moors of Valencia; the
brothers were rich and influential; they held licences to bear arms, and
Inquisitor Miranda had appointed them familiars--a position which they
resigned at the instance of the Duke of Segorbe, on whose lands they
dwelt, for he said that they had no need of such protection, as they had
only to appeal to him if aggrieved. In May, 1567, during the absence of
Inquisitor Miranda, the fiscal presented to the other inquisitor,
Gerónimo Manrique, a _clamosa_ against the brothers. Their arrest was
voted but, in view of the importance of the case, the Suprema was
consulted, which confirmed the vote and, on July 1st, the warrants were
issued. The accused could not be found; edicts summoning them were
published and, on January 12, 1568, Don Cosme presented himself. It is
his trial that has been preserved, but presumably the others took the
same course, except that Don Hernando's name disappears towards the end,
probably in consequence of death.

At the first audience Don Cosme said that he presumed he had been
baptized when a child, yet he did not consider himself a Christian but a
Moor; he had through life performed Moorish rites and had gone to
confession only to conform with the edicts, but in future he desired to
be a Christian and to do whatever the inquisitors might require. He
offered no defence in the various stages of his trial, but on July 15th,
in consequence of the crowded condition of the secret prison, he was
given the city as a prison on furnishing security in two thousand

Notwithstanding this he visited Madrid where, for seven thousand ducats,
he purchased for himself and his brothers a pardon from the king, the
inquisitor-general and the Suprema, and he also exercised important
influence in securing the Concordia of 1571. His stay in the capital was
prolonged when, after an interval of nearly three years, the tribunal
suddenly revived his case, May 25, 1571 and, on June 6th, it summoned
his bondsmen to produce him within nine days, a term extended to twelve
days on their protesting that it was notorious that he was in Madrid, on
business with the Suprema. This action brought from the Suprema a curt
letter stating that Don Cosme complained that, after compounding his
case, it had been revived, and ordering the tribunal to drop the matter
and explain its motives. This it did and received from the Suprema a
second order to do nothing, but to send the papers and await
instructions. Subsequently Don Cosme returned to Valencia and exhibited
certificates of the pardons for himself and his brothers to Juan de
Rojas, then inquisitor, who told him to go _enhorabuena_, for they were
pardoned and the Inquisition had nothing further to do with them.

Six years passed away when suddenly, without further evidence being
sought for, on September 3, 1577, the Suprema returned to the tribunal
the papers in the cases of Don Cosme and Don Juan, and ordered it to
summon them, examine them, vote on them and report to the Suprema for
its decision. Don Cosme by that time seems to have been impoverished,
and was supporting himself by farming the revenues at Genoves; after
some delay he was brought to the prison, December 24th and his trial was
resumed. At first he refused to be examined, alleging his pardon, but it
was elaborately explained to him that it was not intended to interfere
with it but to render it operative, for which it was necessary for him
to abjure his errors and be reconciled, to which end he must make full
confession as to himself and his accomplices; if he refused, it would
show that he desired to remain in his old errors and under
excommunication. After some fencing, he submitted and described how,
about the age of twelve, his mother had taught him to perform the zala
and fast the Ramadan and to believe in one God; that Santa María was a
virgin and holy, but not the Mother of God; that the Lord Jesus Christ
was a son of God and prophet of God, who had ever spoken truth, and it
was a sin not to believe in what he had uttered, but that Mahomet was
also a prophet of God, whose utterances were to be believed; he had also
been taught to commit no murder, not to covet his neighbor's daughter
and not to bear false witness--all of which would seem to indicate that
there was developing among the Moriscos an intermediate faith which in
time would have become Christian had opportunity been allowed. Don Cosme
further declared that, since his first arrest, he had always been a
Christian and desired to live and die in the faith of Christ; he
repeated all the Christian prayers accurately, in both Latin and
Romance, and wished that he had been born among Christians, as it would
have been better for him, both in body and in soul. This went on, until
February 21, 1578, when he was allowed the city as a prison, under bail,
and on March 26th he was permitted to return home, keeping himself
subject to summons.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Then fifteen months elapsed, until July 17, 1579, his case was voted
upon _in discordia_, requiring its reference to the Suprema which,
October 2d, ordered torture at discretion for Don Cosme and Don Juan.
Preliminary audiences, however, were prescribed in order that they might
discharge their consciences and satisfy the evidence, especially as to
accomplices, giving them to understand that this was necessary to enable
them to enjoy the pardon of 1571. Under this the trial was resumed, but
the record ends before the stage of torture was reached, and the
archivist, Don Julio Melgares Marin, who copied it, assumes that the
case remained suspended. Probably either the two brothers had succeeded
in raising a sum sufficient to satisfy the Suprema, or they were
recognized as too poor to be worth further prosecution.[987]

       *       *       *       *       *

From such a case as this, it can readily be conceived how efficient an
instrument was the Inquisition in exciting and perpetuating among the
Moriscos an abhorrence of the religion imposed on them by force, and
scarce known to them save as an excuse for cruelty and exaction. To some
extent this was recognized by the governing powers. After the wise
toleration had been discarded, which had rendered the Mudéjares
contented subjects, the apostasy of the neophytes was the source of
grave concern in the spiritual field, and their known hostility was the
cause of even greater disquiet in the sphere of statesmanship. For more
than three-quarters of a century it was the subject of a constant series
of efforts and experiments, alternating between moderation and severity.
With an efficient and honest administration, something might have been
accomplished by a consistent policy, but vacillation, incompetence and
greed resulted only in increasing exasperation. The story is long and
intricate and the barest summary must suffice here to indicate its
leading features and the causes of the failure to assimilate the races,
on which depended the peace and prosperity of Spain. We have seen the
mistaken policy adopted in Granada; in Valencia it was less unreasonable
in spirit, but failed miserably in execution.

After the Germanía and the edict of 1525, some futile attempts were made
at missionary work among the so-called converts, but the situation, in
1526, is correctly described by Navigero, the Venetian envoy, who says
that there was so little care about teaching them, priestly gains being
the main object, that they either were as much Moors as before or had no
religion of any kind.[988] It was self-evident that to Christianize a
large population, scattered over the land, for the most part in
exclusive communities, would require a complete organization of parish
churches with schools and all the necessary appliances. A basis for this
existed in the property of the mosques, which Clement VII, in 1524, had
ordered to be converted into churches, and in the tithes, which were
now imposed as a fresh burden upon the converts. These were spoils which
all, who saw a chance for gain, hastened to grasp. To recompense the
lords for the expected loss of tribute from their vassals, who were
promised to be treated in all things like Christians, the tithes were
made over to them, in return for which they were to provide the churches
with what was requisite for divine service, while the revenues of the
mosques were expected to furnish foundations for benefices, the
patronage of which was given to the lords. For this, as we have seen,
the requisite papal authority was procured, but the measure was attacked
in innumerable suits, some of which were carried up to the Roman Rota,
with the consequent interminable delays.[989] In some fashion, two
hundred and thirteen mosques were converted into churches in the
archbishopric of Valencia, fourteen in the see of Tortosa, ten in
Segorbe and fourteen in Orihuela, but the object kept in view was the
revenues, and not the religious training of the Moriscos.[990]

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Nearly ten years passed away with nothing accomplished. A thorough
reorganization was seen to be necessary, and papal faculties were
obtained empowering Cardinal Manrique to provide persons to instruct the
converts, to erect and unite churches, to appoint and dismiss priests,
to regulate tithes and to decide summarily all the suits that were
expected from archbishops, bishops, chapters, abbeys, priests and
secular lords, thus rendering him and his delegates independent of the
bishops who thus far had done nothing.[991] Under this, in 1534,
Manrique despatched commissioners with detailed instructions, including
provisions to be made for a college to be founded for the instruction of
Morisco children, who should in turn instruct their parents.[992] The
scheme, however, though well intended, was wrecked on the money-question
which, to the end, proved an obstacle frustrating all intelligent work
in conversion. The revenues of the mosques, the tithes and first-fruits
seem to disappear--swallowed up by noble and prelate and, although they
derived their incomes in great part from the labor of the Moriscos, it
seemed impossible to wring from them what was necessary to support the
new establishment. In 1544, St. Thomas of Vilanova, then Archbishop of
Valencia, urged the emperor to place zealous and exemplary rectors in
the Morisco villages, with ample salaries to enable them to distribute
alms, but it does not seem to have occurred to him that this was part of
his duty and that of the Church.[993]

Manrique's commissioners established a hundred and ninety rectories,
endowed with the beggarly stipend of thirty crowns a year. It was
impossible to find suitable priests for such livings, and the complaint
was general that they were, for the most part, ignorant and depraved,
creating repulsion rather than attraction to the religion which they
assumed to teach. Many were non-resident and neglected their duties
entirely, or found vicars at still lower salaries to replace them. There
was no one to inspect them or keep them in order. A pension of two
thousand ducats a year had been levied on the archbishopric of Valencia,
to maintain the projected college for Morisco youths, but two-thirds of
this was diverted to the support of the rectories and the rest was made
up from various sources, not always adequate, for some holders of
benefices refused to pay the moderate assessments made on them.[994]

It was in vain that one effort after another was made to remedy these
deficiencies. The indifference of the ecclesiastical authorities, or
their opposition when asked for funds, paralyzed every plan devised. In
1564, the Córtes of Monzon pointed out the failure of all attempts to
instruct the converts, who were punished for their ignorance, and they
made some remedial suggestions. Philip in response assembled a junta
under the presidency of Valdés, the conclusions of which were embodied
in a royal cédula. This confided the instruction of the Moriscos to the
bishops in their several dioceses, who were to appoint proper persons
and keep them under supervision, treating the neophytes with the utmost
kindness, rewarding the good according to their deserts, and appointing
the more prominent among them to familiarships. Archbishop Ayala, on his
return from this junta, called a provincial council, but the bishops
took no action to carry out the provisions of the cédula, contenting
themselves with inflicting heavy fines on those who did not have their
children baptized at birth in the best clothes that they could afford;
on alfaquíes who visited the sick, and on secular officials who
neglected to denounce Moorish observances. The pious hope was expressed
that, by compelling them to attend mass on Ash Wednesday, Maundy
Thursday, Good Friday and All Saints, they might be attracted to
Christian worship, and their salvation was cared for by ordering them on
the death-bed to give something for the benefit of their souls, in
default of which the heirs must at least have three masses sung for

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

This was the spirit in which the prelates conceived their duties towards
those whom clerical pressure had made their spiritual children, and to
whom they owed great part of their revenues. Juan de Ribera who, in
1568, succeeded to the archbishopric of Valencia was a man of different
stamp. He preferred the radical cure of expulsion but, so long as the
Moriscos remained, he recognized the duty of laboring for their
conversion. In 1575 he held a conference with the Bishops of Tortosa and
Orihuela (Segorbe being vacant), when it was agreed that the rectorial
stipends were inadequate, as there were no offerings at the altar, which
led many to abandon their cures, while those who would accept the
position were mostly unfitted, through ignorance and character. It was
therefore resolved to increase the stipends to a hundred crowns. The
king made a contribution, and a sum of seven thousand ducats per annum
(or 7350 libras) was assessed on the bishops and those who enjoyed the
tithes of the Moriscos. Ribera's share of this was thirty-six hundred
ducats, levied on the income of his "table," which was forty thousand
ducats, so that the assessment was 9 per cent. The rest fell upon
ecclesiastics, except a negligible amount to be paid by five laymen. A
brief of June 16, 1576, was obtained from Gregory XIII confirming this
arrangement, and Ribera punctually paid his portion into the _taula_ or
bank of Valencia, but the other churchmen were recalcitrant. The share
of his cathedral chapter was eight hundred libras a year, which it not
only refused to pay but organized a league to contest the whole measure;
the procrastinating resources of litigation were limitless and, in 1597,
Philip sent to Valencia the Licentiate Covarrubias to settle the matter
if possible. For three years he labored, and finally induced the chapter
to obey the papal brief, but on some pretext it refused to abide by the
agreement and the litigation continued. The chapter of Segorbe, although
its portion was only seventy libras a year, threatened to raise a tumult
if it was forced to pay, and sent its treasurer to Rome to work for the
revocation of the brief; in 1604 it procured an inhibition on the
execution of the brief, but finally, in 1606, the matter was decided
against the chapters. By this time their arrearages amounted to a
hundred and fifty thousand crowns, which Philip III forgave them and,
for the few remaining years they paid their assessments. Meanwhile,
Ribera's contribution had gone on accumulating with interest until it
amounted to 157,482 libras 13 s., 11 d. Of this about thirty-two
thousand libras had been expended on the rectories; in 1602, sixty
thousand were devoted to the college for Morisco youths and, in 1606,
thirty-one thousand were given to endow a girl's college; part went for
expenses and, in 1607, a balance of over thirteen thousand was given to
the Collegiate Seminary of Corpus Christi which he had founded.[996]
Thus this well-intended plan came to naught, like all other attempts,
through the covetousness and indifference of those whose duty and
interests alike demanded their earnest co-operation.

What might have been accomplished by zealous Christian prelates can be
gathered from the experience of Feliciano de Figueroa, Bishop of
Segorbe. He had long been Ribera's secretary and was thoroughly familiar
with the question. Promoted to the see of Segorbe, in 1599, he writes,
in 1601, that there were twenty Morisco villages in his diocese; at his
own cost he put resident rectors in them, with _doctrineros_, or
religious teachers, and twelve preachers, supervising the whole work
himself. Already he reports a notable reformation in the adults, while
the children manifested affection and readiness to embrace the faith;
moreover, during the past forty years, many Moorish ceremonies had
fallen into disuse. Again, in 1604, he describes his continued labors
without discouragement, although he complains of the obstacles thrown in
his way by the secular authorities, who aided the alfaquíes in opposing
his efforts.[997]

This alludes to a serious difficulty which aided in bringing about the
catastrophe. The lords of Morisco vassals were actuated by the most
purely selfish motives. Exploiting their dependents to the utmost, they
feared that, if the latter became Christians in fact as well as in name,
they would be unable to extort the imposts and tribute which they
exacted almost at discretion, for the Moriscos were helpless and
defenceless, and the pledges that they should be treated as Christians
were forgotten. The lords therefore discouraged all missionary work and,
as far as they could, protected their vassals against the Inquisition.
When the latter obtained evidence of this interference with conversion,
it did not hesitate to prosecute the highest nobles. In 1570 it
condemned Don Sancho de Cardona, Admiral of Aragon, to abjure _de levi_,
to a fine of two thousand ducats and to reclusion in a convent at the
pleasure of the Suprema--reclusion which proved perpetual, for he died
in the convent of his confinement. He deserved much more if the
testimony was true which asserted that he advised his vassals to appeal
to the king, to the pope, and finally to the Grand Turk to induce him to
threaten to persecute the Christians in his dominions if the Moriscos
were not left in peace, and further that he advised them to rise and
promised to arm them if they would do so. This was not the only case
for, in 1571 the Master of Montesa and two other nobles appeared in an
auto for the same offence and, in 1578, two others were the subjects of
investigation.[998] The lords further made themselves obnoxious by
seeking to protect their vassals from the ceaseless exactions of the
alguaziles set over them to see that they attended mass regularly, and
to fine those who did not, or who worked on feast-days. These gentry
were paid by a half or a third of their collections; their position was
not enviable, threatened as they were both by the lords and the Moriscos
in the remoter districts, and it was impossible to fill the position
with men of fitting character.[999]

       *       *       *       *       *

These spasmodic and fruitless efforts to convert the so-called converts
were accompanied with frequent relaxations of the rigid canons against
heresy, interesting because they infer a dim conception that toleration,
after all, might be a more practical method of winning human souls than
oppression and persecution. Unfortunately, this fluctuating policy was
the most irrational that could be devised. The Moriscos had been so
sedulously taught to abhor Christianity and to distrust their conquerors
that leniency could be regarded only as dictated by fear, and as
affording licence to follow more undisguisedly the practices of their
ancient faith, while the alternations of severity only increased their
hatred of the religion of their oppressors.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

Edicts of Grace were the favorite resort when there was a disposition to
show moderation, but these, as we have seen, were, for the most part,
nugatory, because they were contingent on recorded confessions and the
obligation to denounce accomplices. The recorded confession rendered the
penitent liable to the terrible penalties of relapse and, as the latter
was sure to occur, the Morisco naturally hesitated to incur the
liability. To obviate this objection, the unprecedented concession was
made of suspending the canons concerning relapse. This could be done
only by papal authority and it was repeatedly tried. The earliest
instance seems to be a brief of Clement VII, December 5, 1530,
empowering Manrique to appoint confessors with faculties to absolve
penitents, even if they had relapsed repeatedly, with secret absolution
and penance, and to release them and their descendants from all
penalties, disabilities and confiscation, the reason alleged for this
liberal condonation of apostasy being the lack of priests in the Morisco
districts to instruct the converts in the faith. It was not, however,
until 1535 that Manrique transmitted this to the Valencia tribunal with
orders to execute it, and even then it does not seem to have exercised
much influence on the number of trials, though if honestly put into
operation it would have superseded them.[1000] This policy continued to
be followed spasmodically and grants exonerating from the penalties of
relapse were repeatedly made during the rest of the century.[1001]

There was also, in the Edicts of Grace, the necessity of denouncing
accomplices, which the Moriscos, to their credit, could rarely persuade
themselves to do. Bishop Figueroa of Segorbe pointed this out to Philip
III as a matter of supreme importance, as it required them to accuse
their parents, their wives and their children, which even the secular
laws pretermitted as a matter so horrible to human nature.[1002] Still
it was required by the canon law, and could not be omitted without
special papal authority. Philip II was so convinced of its impolicy
that, when a crucial effort was to be made to test whether the Moriscos
could be converted, as an alternative to expulsion, by an Edict of Grace
on the most favorable terms, he endeavored to have this condition
removed, but Clement VIII, as we have seen (Vol. II, p. 462) while
granting, in 1597, an edict covering relapse and conceding that
confession could be made to the episcopal Ordinaries, insisted that
confession must include full denunciation of the apostasy of

Various causes delayed the publication of the edict until 1599, after
Philip III had succeeded to the throne. Great preparations were made for
it as for a final experiment; rectors, preachers and commissioners were
sent through the land, under detailed instructions from Ribera, who told
them that the work was difficult but not impossible; Ribera's fund was
drawn upon for the colleges; the barons were to found schools for the
instruction of young children, and a _hermandad_ was organized to place
girls in convents or in the families of Old Christians.[1004] The edict
was duly published in Valencia, August 22, 1599; its term was for only
one year, but it was extended to eighteen months. Philip III eagerly
awaited the result, which was conveyed to him in a report of August 22,
1601, by the tribunal. During the eighteen months of the edict, the
inquisitors said, only thirteen persons had come forward to take
advantage of it and these had made such fictitious confessions, and had
so protected their accomplices, that they deserved condemnation rather
than absolution; some of them, indeed, had already been denounced to the
Inquisition, so that they had evidently been impelled by fear rather
than by the desire of conversion. The inquisitors went on to describe
the Moriscos as Moors who would always be Moors and, if the Inquisition
did not convert them, it at least compelled them to sin with less
publicity and thus diminished their evil example.[1005] This failure may
be regarded as virtually deciding the fate of the Moriscos. Archbishop
Ribera emphasized it in two strong memorials addressed to Philip III,
and expulsion came to be recognized as the only solution of the
situation, although the vacillation and irresolution of the court
postponed for some years the execution of the measure.

[Sidenote: _VALENCIA_]

A glance at the tables in the Appendix will show how little influence
the successive Edicts of Grace had on the operations of the Inquisition,
which reaped its harvests irrespective of them. Yet those tables reveal
that, between 1540 and 1563, there were periods during which the
tribunal was idle, at least as to cases of heresy. These intervals
represent some remarkable efforts to try the effect of moderation,
which, although neutralized by lack of coöperative work in winning over
the converts, merit examination as measures without example in the
career of the Spanish Holy Office.

The nobles of Valencia complained forcibly of the disquiet caused among
their vassals by the operations of the Inquisition, and the Córtes
petitioned that thirty or forty years might be allowed for their
instruction during which they should be exempt from prosecution. Charles
assembled a junta of prelates and theologians, which suggested various
plans of moderation and conciliation, from among which he selected that
of granting a term of grace for past offences, allowing them to confess
sacramentally to confessors, and that a period should be provided for
their instruction, during which the Inquisition should not prosecute
them. This period was liberally fixed at twenty-six years, with the
warning that, as they should use or abuse it, it would be extended or
shortened. We have seen the failure to provide them with churches and
instructors, and it is scarce surprising that they commenced to live
openly as Moors, saying that, as they had thirty years in which to do as
they pleased, they would take full advantage of it.[1006] This could not
be permitted, and the effort to convert by toleration came to a speedy
end. The tribunal which had no cases in 1541, 1542 and 1543 resumed
operations and had 79, 37 and 49 in 1544, 1545 and 1546--a portion of
which, however were undoubtedly the Judaizers prosecuted for revoking
confessions (Vol. II, p. 584).

Then, in 1547, came a reversion to a milder policy. A brief dated August
2, 1546, was obtained from Paul III, of so liberal a character that it
virtually superseded the Inquisition, by granting faculties to appoint
confessors with full power to absolve _in utroque foro_--both
sacramentally and judicially--even those who had been condemned by the
Inquisition, and to relieve them and their descendants from all
disabilities.[1007] Unfortunately the faculty to appoint confessors was
conferred on Antonio Ramírez de Haro, who had for some years been acting
as "apostolic commissioner" in Valencia, with extensive powers over
everything relating to the Moriscos, but he had, in 1545, left Valencia,
on a summons, as Bishop of Segovia, to attend the Council of Trent--from
which summons he succeeded in getting himself excused--and had not
subdelegated his authority. According to the Archbishop St. Thomas of
Vilanova, this made little difference, because the brief was
ineffective, inasmuch as it required abjuration _de vehementi_,
entailing relaxation for relapse, to which none of the converts would
expose themselves. He, therefore, suggested that more extensive
faculties should be obtained, to absolve and pardon without legal forms,
seeing that these people had been forcibly converted, that they had
never been instructed, and that their intercourse with Barbary
indisposed them to Christianity.[1008]

What followed is strikingly illustrative of the procrastination and
neglect that rendered Spanish administration so ineffective. The
commission of the Bishop of Segovia superseded both the inquisitorial
and the episcopal jurisdiction, and his absence left everything in
confusion. Archbishop Thomas wrote, April 12, 1547, to Prince Philip
that, since the bishop had gone, the Moriscos had daily become bolder in
performing their Moorish ceremonies, as there was no one to restrain
them; the bishop had left no one to represent him, and no time should be
lost in getting him to subdelegate some one who could come at once.
Promises were made that a person should shortly be sent, but the
habitual mañana postponed it indefinitely. On November 10th, the
archbishop again represented the complete liberty enjoyed by the
Conversos, with no one empowered to correct them, but his
representations were neglected and, in 1551 and 1552, he was still
calling for some one authorized to keep the Moriscos in order. Even
when, in 1551, the Bishop of Segovia, who still retained his commission,
appointed the Inquisitor Gregorio de Miranda as a delegated
commissioner, he granted him no inquisitorial power, and the Valencia
Moriscos remained, for ten years longer, free from persecution.[1009]

[Sidenote: _OPPRESSION_]

This anomalous condition explains why the tables show only a few cases
in 1547, 1548 and 1549, and then an entire cessation up to and including
1562, the former being probably the unfinished work of previous years.
In 1561, Paul IV empowered Valdés to grant faculties to the Archbishop
of Valencia and his Ordinary to reconcile secretly the New Christians:
in those cases which could be judicially proved, the confessions were to
be made before a notary and delivered to the tribunal, where they
remained of record against both the penitent and his accomplices, while
in cases that could not be proved, the penances were to be purely
spiritual.[1010] This fresh experiment indicates a revival of interest
in the Morisco question, to be necessarily followed by a return to the
old methods. In 1562, accordingly, the tribunal began to act in Teruel,
where the town of Xea had the reputation of an asylum for malefactors;
it was exclusively Morisco, no Old Christian being permitted to reside
there. Finally, all restrictions were removed and, in 1563, the
Inquisition was vigorously at work, with sixty-two cases, and held two
autos, in which appeared nine cases from Xea.[1011] After that there was
no further interference with its functions, and it continued to the end
to contribute its share to rendering Christianity odious. What
Archbishop Ayala thought of its influence in this direction is indicated
by his offer, in 1564, to undertake the instruction of the Moriscos at
his own expense, but only on condition that the Inquisition should have
nothing to do with them, except in cases of open and defiant sin.[1012]

       *       *       *       *       *

Even without the aggravation of the Inquisition, the condition of the
Moriscos was deplorable. They had been promised, in return for baptism,
that they should have all the privileges of Christians, but this, like
all other pledges, was made only to be broken. Enforced conversion had
added to their burdens and had brought no compensatory relief--they were
Christians as regards duties and responsibilities, but they remained
Moors in respect to liabilities and inequality before the law. In 1525
the syndics of the aljamas pointed out that, in order to enjoy their
religion, they had been subjected by their lords to many imposts and
servitudes which they could not render as Christians, for they would not
be allowed to work on Sundays and feast-days, wherefore they asked to be
taxed only as Christians. To this it was replied, in the Concordia of
1528, that they should be treated as Christians and that, to avoid
injury to parties, investigation should be made to prevent injustice.
Their lords, however, did not admit this and, in the same year, the
Córtes of Valencia declared that they retained all their rights over
their vassals, who were forbidden to change their domiciles.[1013] The
lords accepted the tithes and the first-fruits as a compensation, but
merely added these fresh burdens on their vassals, who were powerless to

[Sidenote: _EXACTIONS_]

Charles recognized this injustice and his responsibility for it, but he
dared not raise a conflict with the nobles, and he sought to shield
himself behind the awful authority of the Inquisition. He therefore
procured from Clement VII, July 15, 1531, a remarkable brief reciting
that, when the Saracens were converted, the barons and knights, in
compensation for the loss inflicted on them, were empowered to exact
from their vassals the tithes and first-fruits, but they have not only
enjoyed these new imposts but have continued to extort the personal
services and _açofras_[1014] and other demands of the ante-conversion
period. Thus the converts, unable to endure these accumulated burdens,
allege them as justifying their retaining their old customs and
disregarding the Christian feasts and ceremonies. As Charles had asked
him for a remedy, and as he knew nothing of the matter, he committed it
to Manrique with power to hear complaints and render justice, enforcing
his decisions with censures.[1015] The rôle of protector of the Moriscos
was novel for the Inquisition and Manrique kept the brief until January,
1534, when, in sending Fray Antonio de Calcena and Antonio Ramírez de
Haro as commissioners to organize the Morisco churches, he informed them
that the king ordered the Concordia to be enforced; the New Christians
were in all things to be treated like the Old; they were to investigate
secretly and report whether this was the case.[1016] Apparently the
Inquisition shrank from the unaccustomed task; there is no trace of its
intervention in behalf of the oppressed Moriscos, and its only
prosecutions of the nobles were for favoring their vassals against its
persecution. As for the Córtes, their sole efforts were directed to
increase the burdens of the vassals and, in case of their condemnation,
to profit by the confiscations.

Thus they were mercilessly pillaged. Besides the division of the crops,
of which one-third or one-half went to the lord, and besides the tithes
and first-fruits, there were innumerable imposts of all kinds and forced
loans or benevolences. In 1561, one of the numerous consultas on the
Morisco question alludes to the hardship of forcing them to live like
Christians and pay like Moors. The king, it added, ought to relieve them
from these unjust impositions, but it would throw the whole kingdom into
confusion and impede the work of conversion, so the commissioners ought
to see how it could be brought about that they should pay no more than
the Christians. This continued to the end. In 1608, Padre Antonio
Sobrino, S. J., argued that one of the chief obstacles to conversion was
the tyranny of the lords and, in addition to the exactions in money and
kind, he alludes to the forced labors imposed on them, on meagre wages
and still more meagre food, or frequently with no wages.[1017] In fact,
they were virtually _taillables et corvéables à miséricorde_, and their
oppression was tempered only by the ever-present apprehension of
rebellion and, in the coast districts, by the facilities of escape to
Africa. Even their ecclesiastical persecutors were almost moved to pity
by the hopeless misery of their lot, but we are told that there was no
compassion felt for this, as it was generally deemed advisable to keep
them impoverished and in subjection.[1018]

The control of the lords over their vassals was further safe-guarded by
a pragmática of Charles V, in 1541, forbidding the Moriscos of Valencia,
under pain of death and confiscation, from changing either domicile or
lord, and any one accepting them as vassals, without special royal
licence, was fined five hundred florins, or was scourged in default of
the money. Granadan and Castilian Moriscos were threatened with death
for entering Valencia and this, in 1545, was extended to those of
Aragon. This ferocious legislation was repeated in 1563 and 1586.[1019]

Akin to this was the suicidal policy of forbidding the emigration of
those who were recognized as dangerous domestic enemies. This, as we
have seen, was begun by Ferdinand and Isabella and was rigidly persisted
in--partly, no doubt, from a pious scruple of allowing the baptized to
apostatize in Barbary, and partly to protect the lords from the loss of
their vassals. In time this was enforced in Aragon by the Inquisition,
which published edicts to that effect, including the guidance over the
mountains of emigrants by Christians. In the auto of June 6, 1585, the
tribunal punished two who were seeking to leave the country and two who
served as guides, with scourging and the galleys for three men and
scourging and imprisonment for a woman.[1020] Not only was this a
grievous hardship, by depriving the oppressed of all hope of relief, but
it was a fatal error for, if the discontented had been allowed to
expatriate themselves, the remainder could have commanded better
treatment, and the Morisco question which, for half a century,
distracted Spanish statesmanship, might have settled itself without the
desperate expedient of expulsion.

Disarmament was another precaution entailing a grievance which was
keenly felt. We have seen it in Granada, and that in Valencia it was a
prudent preliminary to enforced baptism in 1525. In the Concordia of
1528, the Moriscos asked that their arms be restored to them, and were
told that they would be treated as Old Christians. This promise, like
the rest, was broken. The pragmática of 1541, among its other
restrictions, included that of bearing arms. This was not enforced and,
in 1545, orders were sent to carry it into effect, but the methods
suggested show that it was regarded as a dangerous business, and the
purpose was abandoned. In 1552, St. Thomas of Vilanova urged that it
should be done, and so did Inquisitor Miranda in 1561. Finally, in 1563,
the work was done by a sudden simultaneous action of the lords, when the
inventories compiled show that, in 16,377 Morisco houses, there were
seized 14,930 swords, 3,454 cross-bows and a long list of other weapons,
indicating how industriously the Moriscos had provided


In Aragon, the matter was confided to the Inquisition. The tribunal of
Saragossa issued a decree, November 4, 1559, forbidding the Moriscos
from carrying arms, but the nobles appealed to the Suprema and procured
its indefinite suspension.[1022] The question was revived, in 1590, but
a quarrel with the archbishop on a point of precedence delayed its
consideration, and then the troubles of Antonio Pérez distracted
attention. Finally, in 1593, Philip II ordered the disarmament, the
execution of which was entrusted to the tribunal. Two inquisitors
traversed the land and collected 7,076 swords, 3,783 arquebuses, 489
cross-bows, 1,356 pikes, lances and halberds and large numbers of other
weapons. Knives were permitted, but these increased in size until they
became formidable; after two or three officials of the Inquisition had
been killed with them when making arrests, a royal edict of 1603 limited
them to a third of an ell in length and required them to be
pointless.[1023] The result of these precautions was seen when the edict
of expulsion was enforced and the desperate wretches who essayed a
hopeless resistance were slaughtered.

The growth of the absurd cult of limpieza brought another hardship of no
little moment. At first there was a disposition to exempt Moriscos from
its exclusiveness. When, in 1565, Philip II was trying conciliation he
ordered that leading and influential Moriscos should be appointed as
familiars, and we have seen that Inquisitor Miranda gave commissions to
the brothers Abenamir. Paul IV forbade admission to holy orders to the
descendants of Jews to the fourth generation and, in 1573, Gregory XIII
extended this to the Moriscos, but the Córtes of Monzon, in 1564, had
decreed that those trained in the Morisco college of Valencia should be
allowed to hold benefices and the cure of souls among their people, and
we are told that it graduated some good priests and preachers and
doctors of theology.[1024] Yet in time the exclusion became general, and
throughout Spain no distinction was made between descendants of Jews and
Mudéjares. In a land where a career in office, secular or
ecclesiastical, was the ambition of every man who had a smattering of
education, this barrier condemned to obscurity able men who naturally
devoted their energies to stimulating disaffection and provoking revolt.
Navarrete, as we have seen, even thinks that the necessity of the
expulsion would have been averted but for this; that the Moriscos could
have been Christianized, if they had had the opportunity to identify
themselves with the nation and to share in its public life, in place of
being driven to desperation and to hatred of religion by the indelible
stigma imposed upon them.[1025]

The baptism of Morisco children furnished a perpetual source of
irritation. Rigid regulations were prescribed to ensure the
administration of the sacrament, as it was essential to their salvation
and to rendering them subject to inquisitorial jurisdiction. No Morisco
woman was allowed to act as midwife, but in every village there was a
Christian midwife, carefully selected and instructed. She kept watch on
all pregnant women, under a fine of a hundred reales for every case she
missed. After putting the infant to the breast, her first duty was to
notify the priest and alguazil, after which she was not to leave the
bed-side save for indispensable household duties. The baptism was
performed the same day or the next, and careful registers were kept, so
that identification could be secured. There is doubtless truth in the
universal assertion that, on returning home, the father scraped and
washed the spots touched by the chrism, in the belief that he thereby
effaced the sacrament.[1026]


Marriage was the source of infinite trouble. The Church had prohibited
unions within the fourth degree of kinship and, by inventing spiritual
affinity, it had complicated and enlarged the incestuous area while, by
assuming for the pope the profitable power of selling dispensations, it
admitted that the restriction was purely artificial. Among the Moors,
marriage between first cousins was permitted and, as the Moriscos dwelt
confined in their Morerías, or in small, isolated villages, without
power to change domicile, intermarriage throughout generations had
created such complexity of relationship that unions lawful under the
canon law must have been exceptional. We have seen the question raised
in the Concordia of 1528, with the result that existing marriages and
betrothals were dispensed for, but that future ones must conform to the
canons. This was a virtual impossibility; the rectors sought to make
their subjects purchase dispensations, but we are told that they rarely
did so; that, in some places, they merely told the lord that the parties
were of kin and that, if he made no objection, the marriage would take
place--an indifference for which more than one noble was prosecuted and
publicly penanced.[1027] Under such circumstances, there could have been
no Christian marriage-rites, and the union was legally pure concubinage,
or at best clandestine marriage, which the Council of Trent, in 1563,
pronounced invalid.[1028] It was probably the conciliar definitions that
induced the Córtes of Monzon, in 1564, to petition that facilities
should be afforded for obtaining dispensations from the Commissioner of
the Santa Cruzada, who possessed the requisite faculties, and further
that the offspring of such unions should be legally legitimate. To this
not unreasonable request the bishops of the Council of Valencia, in
1565, replied by threatening excommunication and other penalties on all
marrying within the prohibited degrees, and on all concerned in evasions
of the canons.[1029]

The matter was universally admitted to be of supreme importance, but it
was treated with the customary negligence and procrastination. At
length, in 1587, Philip II represented it to Sixtus V, but he only
obtained a brief, January 25, 1588, granting to the Valencia bishops,
for six months only, faculties to validate such marriages, legitimate
the children and absolve the parents _in utroque foro_, with salutary
penance, for all of which no fees were to be exacted. It is not likely
that the officials took much interest in performing this gratuitous
labor, or that the Moriscos, even if they chanced to hear of the brief,
exposed themselves to the annoyances which it entailed. The last
recorded action in the matter is that Philip, in 1595, resolved to apply
for another brief of the same nature. He doubtless obtained it with the
same nugatory result.[1030]

The Moorish rule, to eat no meat slaughtered by the uncircumcised, was
made the pretext for some troublesome intermeddling. In the Granada
decree of 1526, Charles V forbade all slaughtering by Moriscos, in
places where there was an Old Christian; where there was none, the
priest was to designate a person to perform the office.[1031] Little
attention appears to have been paid to the matter, until Archbishop
Ribera issued an edict prohibiting Moriscos from eating meat that had
not been slaughtered by an Old Christian. This was trespassing on the
jurisdiction of the Inquisition and, in 1579, the Suprema called upon
the Valencia tribunal for a report, including what Bishop Gallo of
Orihuela had done with regard to the same matter. The tribunal replied
that the edict was obeyed, but that the Moriscos would eat no meat
slaughtered by Old Christians, except in a few places, under compulsion
by their lords. The edict ought to be perpetuated, for the refusal to
eat the meat of a Christian butcher was proof of suspicion, requiring
prosecution by the Inquisition. In Orihuela there was doubt whether a
cow killed at Aspe had been properly slaughtered; the Moriscos refused
to eat of it, for which the Murcia tribunal punished a number of them,
leading Bishop Gallo to order that, at Aspe and Nobelda, the butchering
should be done by Old Christians. It was probably this which led to
general legislation forbidding Moriscos to follow the trade of butchers,
or even to kill a fowl for a sick man, a law repeated as late as

       *       *       *       *       *


Subjected to the perpetual exasperation of interference with their
habits and customs, to the oppression of their lords and the persecution
of the Inquisition, denied all opportunity to rise in the social scale,
forbidden to enjoy the faith of their ancestors, while sedulously
trained to hate the religion imposed on them, and despairing of relief
in the future, it is no wonder that the Moriscos were discontented
subjects, eager to throw off the insupportable yoke and to rise against
their oppressors. They were, however, but little more than half a
million of souls, weaponless and untrained, in a population of eight or
ten millions--a negligible quantity in the vigorous days of Ferdinand
and even in the earlier years of Charles V. The Spanish monarchy,
however, had squandered its strength on distant enterprises; even before
the fearful drain in the Netherlands, the exhaustive effort required to
crush the Moriscos of Granada showed that it was already bankrupt in
resources. That episode was a warning which Spanish statesmanship might
well take to heart, and, year by year, the fear grew greater of what
might be the fate of Spain if internal enemies should unite with

There had long been a source of humiliation and annoyance, though not in
itself of danger, in the ravages of Moorish corsairs along the southern
coast, for which the Moriscos were held responsible. Undoubtedly they
aided by conveying information, maintaining relations with Barbary, and
availing themselves of the razzias to escape thither when they could,
but the primary fault lay in the incredible fatuity of a policy, so
preoccupied with foreign ambitions and the fatal Burgundian inheritance,
that it neglected the protection of the Spanish shores, until it became
a proverb that these were the Indies of the Turkish and Moorish

Complaints of these ravages commence with the Christianization of
Granada and continue uninterruptedly for more than a century, while the
measures to guard against these attacks were spasmodic and miserably
insufficient. Boronat gives a list of thirty-three descents, between
1528 and 1584, but this cannot include the innumerable landings from
small vessels to carry away bands of Moriscos and such pillage as could
hastily be gathered--little raids such as that picturesquely described
by Cervantes, with its characteristic feature of the fortified church,
in which the Christians of the sea-coast village defended themselves,
while the Moriscos eagerly hurried to embark.[1033] In the larger
expeditions, the Moriscos sometimes escaped in considerable numbers. In
1559, Dragut carried off twenty-five hundred; in 1570, all those of
Palmera were taken; in 1584, an Algerine fleet removed twenty-three
hundred, and the next year another fleet took away the whole population
of Callosa, all of which was exceedingly damaging to the lords who lost
their vassals.[1034]

These raids were practically unresisted and unavenged, for the coasts
were unguarded by land or sea. Occasionally, as in 1519, we hear of a
few hundred troops sent, when news was received of an expected hostile
fleet: sometimes there were negotiations between the central government
and the exposed provinces to maintain a force on the water, but the
inadequacy of these precautions is illustrated by the bargaining in
1547, when the Catalan Córtes complained of the irreparable damage
inflicted by the Moorish corsairs and asked that six of the Castilian
galleys be sent to winter there. Prince Philip would only promise that
he would do what was suitable, which brought an offer that Catalonia
would equip and man one galley while Valencia promised one or two, and
Philip acceded to the request that the Castilian galleys should
coöperate with them.[1035] Another expedient was based on the assumed
collusion of the Moriscos with the corsairs, and it seemed easier to
exclude them wholly from the coast than to guard it effectually. As
early as 1507 Ferdinand undertook to depopulate it from Gibraltar to
Almería, but the experiment proved a failure.[1036] It was tried again
repeatedly, in various savage laws to prevent Moriscos from travelling
within prescribed distances from the sea, and from holding communication
with the corsairs, but this naturally effected nothing.[1037] In 1604,
the Córtes of Valencia even proposed to enlist the coöperation of the
Moriscos, by suggesting that they should redeem all Christians captured
and enslaved on the Valencian coast, in return for which the rigor of
the Inquisition should be relaxed and their evidence against each other
should not be required, but it is needless to say that the plan was

While this matter of the corsairs was comparatively trivial in itself,
it bore a disproportionately large share in the discussions on the
Morisco question, and undoubtedly had its influence on the final
decision. The result, indeed, showed that there was a connection between
the Moriscos and the corsairs, for one of the benefits derived from the
expulsion was relief to the coasts.[1039] Vastly greater, however, in
the eyes of statesmen, was the impending danger of rebellion, coincident
with attack from Barbary or from the Turk or, in later years, from

[Sidenote: _CONSPIRACIES_]

Even as early as 1512, Peter Martyr, in describing the disturbed
condition of Granada, declared that if some daring pirate leader should
march into the interior, the population would rise and, as Ferdinand was
occupied with the conquest of Navarre, all would go to ruin.[1040] In
1519, there was a scare in Valencia over a report that the Moors of
Algiers were coming to seize the kingdom, in concert with the
Moriscos.[1041] It is somewhat remarkable that, when a conspiracy was
discovered in 1528, the eagerness of the Valencia tribunal to defend its
jurisdiction actually led it to protect the conspirators. The
authorities had arrested Pere de Alba and his mother-in-law Isabel, as
the leaders of the plot. The tribunal claimed them as apostates and,
when they were sent to it for examination, it threw them into its prison
and refused to surrender them, although the viceroy demanded them as
essential to unravelling the details of the conspiracy. Cardinal
Manrique was obliged to despatch a special courier with a letter
expressing his surprise, as the safety of the state was the first
consideration, but even then the tribunal only gave them up with a
warning that they must not be made to suffer in life or limb.[1042]

When Philip II returned to Spain, in 1559, he called for a report on the
Moriscos, and the information submitted to him comprised an account of a
plot with the Turks for an invasion.[1043] In 1565, a number of arrests
were made on charges of treasonable correspondence with the Turk, and it
was public rumor that thirty thousand Moriscos were enrolled, awaiting
only the capture of Malta to rise in aid of an invasion. The French
ambassador, who reported this, subsequently added that the story of the
conspiracy was contradicted, but the Moriscos were so badly treated by
the Inquisition that despair might readily lead them to rise in arms to
aid the Turk.[1044] In 1567, the trial of Gerónimo Roldan, by the
Valencia tribunal, revealed evidence of envoys from the ruler of Algiers
with a letter urging the Moriscos to rise, together with plans to
organize and arm them.[1045] It is true that the rebellion of Granada
showed that there was no such eagerness to invade Spain as was
apprehended, but, on the other hand if, with the aid of five or six
hundred Moors and Turks, the insurgents had taxed to the utmost the
power of the kingdom, what was the prospect if a powerful fleet, holding
command of the sea, should land a heavy force of trained and well-armed
fighting men? During the rebellion, the Venetian envoy, Sigismondo
Cavalli, pointed out that assistance from Barbary would involve the
kingdom in the greatest straits, for there were about six hundred
thousand Moriscos to help an invader. So, in 1575, Lorenzo Priuli,
estimating them at four hundred thousand, described them as the source
of perpetual danger.[1046] The peril constantly increased with time. It
was universally recognized that, through the drain to the colonies, the
external wars, and the growth of the celibate clergy, the Old Christians
were constantly diminishing in numbers, while the Moriscos were rapidly
increasing; the material and especially the military resources of Spain
were becoming gradually exhausted, and Spanish statesmen looked forward
anxiously to the time when, as Fray Bleda tells us, the Moriscos hoped
eventually, to reconquer the land with the aid of the Moors and

[Sidenote: _CONSPIRACIES_]

Nor was this all for, with the pacification of France under the able
control of Henry IV, there loomed before them a new and more dangerous
enemy. Henry had a long debt of vengeance to pay, and was but awaiting
his opportunity. He was in alliance with the Turk and had no
conscientious scruple as to Moslem aid. Even as early as 1583, while as
yet he was only King of Navarre, there was a scare over an asserted
combination between him and the Turk, for an invasion in combination
with the Moriscos, which led the Suprema, in January, 1584, to order
from the Saragossa tribunal a report on all the evidence in the records
as to plots for rebellion.[1048] This was furnished in detail and shows
the incessant vigilance and constant anxieties, since 1565, to which the
disaffection of the Moriscos had given rise, and their correspondence
not only with the Barbary States and the Turk, but with the French
Huguenots. A portion of the evidence was undoubtedly manufactured by the
spies in the pay of the Inquisition, but there was enough of genuine to
show that plots and intrigues were constantly on foot among the
Moriscos. Henry IV was quite ready to utilize their disaffection in
furtherance of his plans for the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy and,
in 1602, he entered into negotiations with them, through the Marshal
Duke de la Force, his governor in Béarn and Navarre. They promised to
raise eighty thousand men and to deliver three cities, one of them a
seaport and, as an earnest of their resolve, they paid to la Force, at
Pau, in 1604 or 1605, a hundred and twenty thousand ducats, but Henry
decided that the moment was not favorable and the plan was

Then, in 1608, there came a fresh alarm through negotiations of the
Valencian Moriscos with Muley Cidan, a pretender to the throne of
Morocco, to whom they promised two hundred thousand men, if he would
bring twenty thousand and seize a seaport, while certain Hollanders
agreed to furnish transportation. Philip III was so impressed with this
that, in sending the report to the Royal Council, he ordered it to
consider the matter to the exclusion of everything else. He admitted the
defenceless condition of Spain; Muley Cidan was its declared enemy;
Sultan Ahmed I had his hands free from the war with Persia and had
suppressed his own rebels; Spain's Italian possessions were exhausted
and ripe for revolt, while at home the Moriscos were impatient for
liberation. The Council was therefore ordered to consider the means of
preserving peace, short of butchering them all.[1050]

This scare passed away; Muley Cidan rejected the Morisco overtures, and
Ahmed sent his fleet against the coasts of Italy. The impression
remained, however; the final impulsion had been given, and thenceforth
the expulsion of the Moriscos was only a question of means and
opportunity. Its execution can scarce be said to have been premature
for, although those of Valencia were deported in the autumn of 1609 and
those of Aragon in the spring of 1610, Henry IV still relied on those
who were left to aid him in his plans for the destruction of Spain. A
part of his design was an invasion by la Force with ten thousand men,
trusting to the coöperation of the Moriscos, with whom negotiations had
been resumed. La Force was in consultation with him, and was in his
carriage on May 14, 1610, when, in the Rue de la Ferronerie, the knife
of Ravaillac gave Spain a respite.[1051] It was evidently supposed that
the expulsion had been imperfect and that Spain was still an easy prey.
The Baron de Salignac, French Ambassador at Constantinople, wrote to
Henry, May 2, 1610, that no matter how many Moriscos had been banished,
enough remained to give the Spaniards trouble; war that elsewhere could
cost a crown would not there cost a maravedí, and when it should begin
Spain would find it more difficult to raise a maravedí than it would be
to raise a doubloon elsewhere.[1052] As events turned out, these were
vain speculations, but they have interest as showing how, in the
estimation of her enemies, Spain had fatally crippled herself by the
mismanagement of her Morisco subjects. To the Spanish statesmen of the
time the situation had become one from which extrication was imperative
at whatever cost.

       *       *       *       *       *

It can readily be believed that the matter had long before awakened the
earnest solicitude of Philip II and his counsellors. As early as 1581,
when in Lisbon consolidating his rule over Portugal, he formed a junta
of his chief advisers to formulate a definite conclusion. That which
they reached was the merciful one of sending to sea all the Moriscos who
would not be catechised or did not desire to remain, embarking them on
worthless ships which were to be scuttled, for it was deemed unwise to
add to the population of Africa; it was resolved that, when the fleet
returned from the Azores, the plan should be executed by Antonio de
Leyva but, when the fleet arrived, it was wanted in Flanders, and the
project was abandoned. When, in 1602, Philip III was informed of this,
he expressed his pleasure because it justified what was then in


As Fray Diego de Chaves, confessor of Philip II, was a member of the
junta, there could have been no conscientious scruples concerning this
wholesale murder. The Church for centuries had taught that death was the
penalty for heresy; this was past discussion and was accepted as a
matter of course, so that anything short of it was a grace
undeserved--slavery, the galleys, the mines, castration, were mercies
for which the culprits should feel grateful. So all theologians taught
and so Fray Bleda learnedly set forth in his hideous book, the _Defensio
Fidei_, which was approved in Rome after careful examination, and was
printed at the expense of Philip III.[1054] Yet, for the honor of
humanity, it must be said that there were a few rare souls who held that
religion should be spread by love and charity--at least we may so assume
from a memorial presented to the Lisbon junta, setting forth that the
proper means of conversion had never yet been tried; that the cure had
failed through the use of violence, for the disease was not incurable
and the fault lay in the methods adopted; Christ had sent forth the
apostles to convert the world by preaching the gospel, and the effort
should be to find teachers of exemplary life, who would preach with love
and gentleness. The memorial recited calmly and temperately the mistakes
that had been made in the use of coercion and the absence of instruction
and persuasion, and it proposed a series of measures which show that the
writer was familiar with the difficulties of the task, the essential
condition of which was that those entrusted with it should persuade
themselves that it was not impossible. The junta contented itself with
proposing that, if the king so desired, the memorial could be sent to
the prelates of Valencia, Aragon and Granada, for examination and
report. It seems to have been so sent, but only two answers are on
record. Archbishop Ribera replied with the alternative of immediate
expulsion or, what would be better, thinning out the Moriscos by
appointing a body of special inquisitors, who should execute speedy
justice, until there should be so few left that they could be expelled
without trouble, thus calmly proposing to burn men and women by the
hundred thousand. A shade less ferocious was the suggestion of the
Inquisitor of Valencia, Ximenez de Reynoso, who favored expulsion to
Newfoundland, under the guard of soldiers, who should receive allotments
of land and vassals, similar to those of the conquistadores in the New
World.[1055] Such an expulsion averted the danger of increasing the
African population and was recommended, with a characteristically savage
addition, by Martin de Salvatierra, Bishop of Segorbe, when, in 1587,
his advice was sought by Philip. He responded by a long and brutal
attack on the Moriscos, and suggested deportation to Newfoundland, where
they would speedily perish, especially if the precaution were taken of
castrating all the males, old and young.[1056]

It is to the credit of Philip II and his counsellors that, after the
failure of the Lisbon project of 1581, they refused to entertain the
inhuman suggestions of their ecclesiastical advisers. The matter
continued to be threshed out, over and over again, in repeated juntas
and councils, in innumerable consultas, and in the system, which Philip
had reduced to perfection, of endless talking and writing, which served
as an excuse for inaction. One device after another was discussed, such
as reducing all the Moriscos to slavery, or sending the able-bodied to
the galleys, but the idea of expulsion gradually forged to the front. In
this confused tangle of prejudice, passion and fanaticism, it is
refreshing to meet with a more statesmanlike view, expressed in a letter
of the royal secretary, Francisco de Idiaquez, October 3, 1594,
concerning a paper, submitted to him by the king, from some zealous but
unpractical person, who argued that the existing scarcity arose from
overpopulation, which would be relieved by the expulsion of the
Moriscos. So far from this being the case, said Idiaquez, Spain had less
inhabitants than for the last two or three centuries. If the presence of
this vile race were as safe as it was profitable, there was not a corner
of land that should not be placed in their hands, for they alone would
bring fertility and plenty by their skill and thrift, which would reduce
the price of provisions and with them that of other products. Cheapness
was not caused by scanty population but by dense, if the people would
work; the high prices were the result of the vice, the idleness, the
luxury and the excessive superfluities indulged in by all classes.[1057]


The panic fear entertained of the Moriscos is reflected in an elaborate
memorial presented to Philip III, on his accession in 1598, by the
Marquis of Velada, who had been his tutor and was his _mayordomo mayor_,
seriously urging Sicilian Vespers to prevent them from adopting the same
expedient.[1058] Yet the simpler solution of allowing the
irreconcilables to depart was not without its advocates, and at one time
came near to adoption. In 1598, Don Martin González de Cellorigo
submitted to Secretary Idiaquez the suggestion that they should be
permitted or required to leave Spain, scattering the rest throughout
Castile, on their abjuring their heresies, and subjecting them to the
restrictions imposed on the exiles from Granada.[1059] Even as late as
1607, the _Junta de Tres_, to which the whole affair of the Moriscos had
been entrusted, in a consulta of January 1st, favored the plan of
allowing all, who would not accept Christianity, to betake themselves to
Barbary, pointing out the futility of the objection that this would
increase the power of the Moors, and this it repeated, October 29th,
adding the suggestion that the Moriscos of Castile should be scattered
and confined to agricultural labor, in all of which Philip signified his

This was too sensible and humane to suit the ecclesiastics, who were
bent on getting rid of the obnoxious apostates by expulsion or
extermination, and Spain was not to be allowed so easy a solution of the
difficulties created by a century of fanaticism and wrong-doing. In the
irresolute and vacillating policy of the court, a final effort was made,
as we have seen, to conciliate and instruct, in the Edict of Grace of
1599, under conditions that rendered it nugatory. Its failure, in 1601,
was followed by the memorials of Archbishop Ribera urging expulsion, and
any subsequent efforts to convert, such as a junta of bishops held in
1608 and 1609, were merely to keep the Moriscos amused and in ignorance
of the more drastic measures proposed, during the years in which Philip
III and his advisers discussed and rediscussed the question, pondered
over details and avoided an irrevocable decision.

When, under pressure of the alarm about Muley Cidan, Philip called upon
his Council of State for an immediate decision, it admitted that there
had been too much delay and that the matter must not be left for the
next generation, for the Christians, through wars and religion and
dissolute lives, were constantly diminishing in numbers, while the
Moriscos, through peace and frugality, were multiplying until in time
they would be the majority. The alternatives of massacre or slavery, or
the galleys, or allowing the discontented to emigrate were barely
alluded to, and expulsion was in the minds of all. The external
relations of Spain rendered the opportunity propitious and it ought not
to be wasted. The work should commence with Valencia, which was the most
dangerous centre, and the other kingdoms could be kept quiet with
assurances that the expulsion was not to go further. The opposition of
the nobles could be bought off by granting them the real and personal
property of their vassals, and preparations should be made to have a
powerful fleet off the coast by the end of Spring, and sufficient forces
on land to crush resistance. As the Inquisition was in the habit of
making many arrests, it could readily seize the influential Moriscos, so
as to deprive the rest of their leadership. This sketched out the plan
eventually followed, and the only partially dissentient voice was that
of the royal confessor, Cardinal Fray Gerónimo Xavierr, who pleaded the
forcible baptism and the futile endeavors to instruct by ministers, many
of whom were of lives so depraved that they wrought harm by their evil
example; he asked that efforts to convert should continue and if, by the
time set for expulsion, there was no prospect of improvement, the
proposed rigor would be justified. A process could then be formed by the
Inquisition as to their apostasy, when they could be condemned for
treason against God, or, if rebellion were proved, for treason against
the king.[1061]

This last suggestion refers to a characteristic scruple. Ribera had
alluded to it in his second memorial, to the effect that expulsion would
be an invasion of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, depriving it of
inflicting the canonical punishments, but this, he suggested, could be
removed by application to the pope.[1062] It was doubtless in view of
this scruple, and to avoid interference by the Inquisition, which was
interested in maintaining the existing situation, that the edict of
expulsion represented the measure as purely secular, caused by the
treasonable correspondence of the Moriscos with the enemies of Spain,
and by the necessity of placating God for their heresies.[1063]

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

Still there were irresolution and delay, and the die was not cast until,
in April, 1609, the Council of State presented a consulta unanimously
agreeing on expulsion and virtually determining that the work should
commence in autumn, the interval being employed in organizing the
militia, bringing troops from Italy, and assembling squadrons to command
the coast. Early in May orders were sent to the viceroys of Sicily,
Naples and Milan to have the galleys in readiness and, at the end of
June, the squadrons were instructed to rendezvous at Majorca on August
15th. Even after this there were evidences of hesitation and
vacillation, but the plan was adhered to.[1064]

Early in August, Don Agustin de Mexia, an officer of high rank, who had
distinguished himself at the siege of Ostend, was sent to Valencia,
ostensibly to inspect the fortifications, but armed with full powers to
carry out the expulsion. He bore a letter from the king to Ribera,
expatiating on the influence which the latter had had in leading him to
a decision. Ribera had obtained more than he had bargained for. His
somewhat selfish theory had been that, by expelling the Moriscos from
the rest of Spain, those of Valencia and Aragon could be controlled, and
he shrank from the loss and misery to be inflicted on his immediate
surroundings. As late as December 19, 1608, he had urged this view in a
letter to the royal secretary, arguing that they were an injury to
Castile and Andalusia, while their removal would be ruin to Valencia and
Aragon, now the most flourishing kingdoms of Spain. The larger cities,
he said, lived on the provisions brought by the Moriscos; the churches,
hospitals, monasteries, brotherhoods, pious bequests, nobles, gentry and
citizens depended on their services and were supported by the censos
charged on their communities; he often wished to die rather than to
witness such destruction.[1065] So, when Mexia reached Valencia, August
20th, and, after conference with the Viceroy Caracena, Ribera was sent
for and read the royal letter, he repeated these arguments and proposed
that all three should join in appeal to the king to commence with
Andalusia. When the conference ended at 4 P.M., he was still firm and
was told that a courier for Madrid would start at midnight when he could
write what he saw fit. On reflection he concluded that the king wanted
obedience, not advice, and he sent to the palace, in time for the
courier, a letter to the king, and word to Mexia and Caracena, setting
forth that the royal resolution came from heaven and he would further it
with all his power. Still, he could not reconcile himself to the
prospect of poverty. On August 23d he wrote to Secretary de Prada
repeating his urgency that commencement be made with Castile and
Andalusia and, on September 3d, he said to Fray Bleda and the Dominican
Prior Alcocer "Padres, we may well in the future have to eat bread and
herbs and to mend our own shoes."[1066]

The secret had been admirably kept, but the mission of Mexia on a duty
so incompatible with his rank caused suspicions which grew from day to
day. The Moriscos commenced to fortify their houses, to cease laboring
and bringing provisions to the city, which suffered in consequence; the
nobles brought their families to town to be prepared for the worst, and
Ribera's action in increasing his guard and laying in stores of victuals
increased the excitement. The _Estamento Militar_, or House of Nobles,
held two or three stormy meetings, in which it was resolved to send a
deputation to the king to represent the ruin which expulsion would bring
upon every class in the kingdom, where eleven millions of ducats were
invested in the censos charged on the Morisco communities. The envoys
went but, when they reached Madrid, they were told by the king that it
was too late, for the edict had been already published in

Everything, in fact, had worked with precision. By September 17th the
fleet, consisting of sixty-two galleys and fourteen galleons, conveying
about eight thousand disciplined troops, had reached their stations at
Alicante, Denia and the Alfaques de Tortosa, and had commenced landing
the men. Possession was taken of the Sierra de Espadan, while Castilian
cavalry guarded the frontiers. When all was in readiness, royal letters
to the Jurados, Diputados and Estamento Militar were read and, on the
22d, the edict was published.

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

The comparative liberality of the terms and the short notice allowed
manifest the sense of weakened power. Under irremissible pain of death,
within three days after publication in the several towns and villages,
all Moriscos were to depart for the port of embarkation designated by a
commissioner. They could take such portable property as they could carry
on their backs; they would find vessels ready to carry them to Barbary
and would be fed on the voyage. During the three days all must remain at
home awaiting the orders of the commissioners and, after that, any one
absent from his domicile could be robbed by the first comer and carried
to a magistrate or be slain if offering resistance. As the king gave to
the lords all real and personal property not carried off, any firing of
houses or harvests or hiding of portable things would be punished by
putting to death all the inhabitants of the place. In order to preserve
the houses, the sugar mills, the rice crop and the irrigating canals,
six per cent. of the Moriscos were allowed to remain. The same
permission was given to those who, for two years, had lived among
Christians without attending the meetings of the aljamas, as well as
those admitted to communion by their priests. Children under four years
of age desiring to stay could do so, with consent of parents or
guardians. Children under six, whose fathers were Old Christians, were
to stay, together with their Morisco mothers: if the father was a
Morisco and the mother an Old Christian, he was to go and children under
six were to stay with their mother. Sheltering fugitives was forbidden,
under pain of six years of galleys, and all soldiers and Old Christians
were strictly forbidden to insult or injure Moriscos by word or deed. As
an evidence of good faith, after every instalment had been carried to
Barbary, ten were allowed to return and report to their fellows what
their treatment had been.[1068]

The publication was followed by days of anxious suspense. The people, we
are told, rejoiced, for they hated both the Moriscos and the nobles, and
there were symptoms of a rising against the latter. The lords grieved
over the ruin of their lands and the religious communities over the loss
of their enormous investments in censos. The Moriscos at first were
inclined to resist and, after vainly offering large sums to the viceroy,
they sought to arm themselves by forging ploughshares and reaping-hooks
into pikes, which with slings were their only weapons.[1069] Then
suddenly their purpose changed. They were awed by the large bodies of
disciplined troops and by the cavalry on the border. A meeting was held
of their alfaquíes and leaders, in which it was agreed that resistance
was hopeless and that, in case of defeat, their children would be
brought up as Christians, while prophecies were talked of which promised
an unexpected blessing. Consequently it was resolved that all should go,
including the six per cent. allowed to remain, and that any one who
stayed should be regarded as an apostate. This had such an effect that
those who had been offering large sums to be included in the six per
cent. now refused to stay, although asked to name their own terms. The
Duke of Gandía, who had an enormous sugar crop and who could get no
other skilled labor to work his mills, vainly offered whatever they
might ask. The only condition they would accept was the free exercise of
their religion; the Duke applied to the viceroy, but Ribera declared it
to be a concession beyond the power of king or pope to grant, for they
were baptized.[1070]

The nobles, for the most part, loyally accepted the situation and aided
in the execution of the decree. The Duke of Gandía who, next to the Duke
of Segorbe, had the largest number of vassals, wrote to the king,
October 9th, that on September 28th the Marquis of Santa Cruz had
embarked for him five thousand of them, whom he desired to be the first,
in order to quiet the apprehensions of the rest as to the safety of the
voyage. To protect and reassure their vassals, a number of the
nobles--the Duke of Gandía, the Marquis of Albaida and
others--accompanied them and saw them safely on shipboard, and the Duke
of Maqueda even sailed with them to Oran, the point of
debarkation.[1071] All, however, were not thus self-sacrificing. Bishop
Balaguer of Orihuela reported, October 31st, that some were retaining
their vassals by threats or by force, and that, unless energetic
commissioners were sent, many would be kept.[1072]

The Moriscos objected to abandoning their personal effects to their
lords and sought to convert what they possessed into money. Gandía and
some others permitted this, but many insisted on their rights and, on
October 1st, the viceroy issued a proclamation forbidding all sales, but
this led to imminent danger of rebellion and was wisely abandoned. The
land became a universal fair in which stock, produce and household gear
were sold at a fraction of their value, and finally were given away. The
Grao or port of Valencia, while the exiles were awaiting fair winds,
became a bazaar, in which exquisite Moorish garments, rare embroideries,
rich gold and silver laces and the like were bought for a song.[1073]

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

As soon as the first shock was over, of abandoning home and possessions,
the prospect of reaching a land, where they could openly profess their
faith and escape paralyzing oppression, stimulated them to intense
eagerness to leave Spain. They contended for places in the first
embarkation, and the commissioners had no trouble in assembling and
leading them to the designated ports. Troops escorted them to protect
them from the savage greed of the Old Christians, who gathered in bands,
robbing and often murdering those whom they encountered. Royal edicts
commanding swift justice were issued, gallows were erected along the
roadsides and executions were numerous, but it was impossible to prevent
outrages. In spite of this the Moriscos pressed forward to the shores.
At Alicante they came with music and song, thanking Allah for the
happiness of returning to the land of their fathers, which suggests how
simple a solution of the question it would have been to permit the
emigration of the discontented. Many, indeed, distrusting the royal
faith, preferred to charter ships and pay for transportation, which was
encouraged by providing elaborate regulations to ensure, as far as
possible, their safe passage and fair treatment. All the Spanish ports
were ordered to send their ships to the Valencia coast, even discharging
those which were loaded, and all arrivals were pressed into service.
Seeing this eagerness, the promise of free passage was broken after the
first embarkation, and the royal galleys charged the same fare as the
private vessels--seventy-five reales per head for all over sixteen and
thirty-five for those younger. In all there were three embarkations,
occupying about three months and including, according to lists kept at
the ports, over a hundred and fifty thousand souls.[1074]

This eagerness to go was, however, not universal. There were many who,
not unreasonably, felt little confidence in the royal faith and
preferred the chances of resistance. Gathering into bands they sought
refuge in two easily defensible positions, one on a peak in the Val del
Aguar, where their numbers were reckoned at from fifteen to twenty-five
thousand, and the other in the Muela de Cortes, where there were said to
be nine thousand. Mexia paid no attention to them, until the business of
embarkation was nearly concluded, when they were readily reduced. In
the Val del Aguar it was a massacre of the weaponless wretches, rather
than a battle; three thousand Moriscos were slain and only one Spaniard,
Bautista Crespo, who was killed by his own firelock. The survivors,
starved, frozen and dying with thirst, surrendered at discretion,
November 28th, and were conducted to the port of embarkation, but many
perished of exhaustion on the road and many women and children were
stolen by the soldiers and sold as slaves, while of those who embarked
but few reached Africa. At the Muela de Cortes they surrendered on
promise of safety to life and property, provided they embarked within
three days, but the soldiery, disappointed at the loss of expected
booty, fell upon them. Only three thousand were brought to the
sea-ports, and more than two thousand scattered among the mountains,
where for a year or two they gave much trouble. They had elected as king
Vicente Turixi, who was tracked to a cave and brought to Valencia, where
he was put to a cruel death, December 18th. He died as a good Christian
and made a most edifying end, for we are told that he had been a most
liberal almsgiver and was devoted to the Virgin and to the religious
Orders.[1075] This ended the only open resistance to the expulsion
throughout Spain.

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

The unexpected ease of the affair in Valencia, regarded as the most
dangerous district, quickened the preparations for the other kingdoms.
Thus far it had been represented as confined exclusively to Valencia,
but the rest felt that their turn was to come, and remonstrances were
showered upon the government, which met them with equivocating denials
and assurances. The mask was gradually thrown off. Towards the end of
October the Marquis of San German was sent to Seville to prepare for the
expulsion from Murcia, Granada and Andalusia. Murcia succeeded in
obtaining a suspension of the decree, which was published for the other
provinces on January 12, 1610, after the galleys and troops had been
brought from Valencia. It gave the exiles thirty days--subsequently
reduced to twenty--after which they were threatened with death and
confiscation without trial or sentence. Their lands were confiscated to
the king, for the service of God and the public, but they were allowed
to sell movable property and carry away the proceeds in merchandise
bought of Spanish subjects, but were forbidden to take bills of
exchange, jewels, bullion or money, beyond what was needed for
transportation. They could take their children with them, provided they
went to Christian lands, which led many to charter vessels, ostensibly
for France, but in reality for Africa. In spite of the reports of the
cruelties perpetrated in Algiers on the Valencia exiles, they are said
to have gone with cheerfulness, and many of them sought Morocco. By
April, Andalusia was reported clear of Moriscos and that a few remained
on the coast of Granada, waiting for vessels. The whole number was
estimated at from eighty to a hundred thousand, besides twenty thousand
who had voluntarily gone in advance. They were reported to have carried
much wealth with them, which is not improbable, as many, especially
those of Seville, were rich and prosperous and held positions of honor.
A significant incident was the desire of Córdova to retain six per cent.
of them and, when this was refused, it petitioned for the retention of
two Morisco saddlers, for the encouragement of horsemanship, especially
as they were old and childless. Apparently there were no Spaniards
capable of making harness.[1076]

Yet, at first, there were some exceptions made. It had been represented
to the king that there were many descendants of Mudéjares, voluntarily
converted prior to the enforced baptism, who were Spaniards in dress,
language and religion, including many _beatas_ and persons vowed to
chastity. Accordingly an order was issued, February 7, 1610, to the
bishops to examine all such cases and report to San German those whom
they found worthy to be retained. This, however, amounted only to a
brief reprieve. Their cases were referred to the Royal Council and those
who did not, within the impossibly brief term of thirty or sixty days,
obtain favorable decisions were hunted like wild beasts and forcibly
carried off.[1077]

Expulsion from Castile had been resolved upon by the Council of State,
September 15, 1609, but was deferred to await the result in Valencia. In
preparation, an attempt was made in October to organize the militia, by
enrolling one in five of the able-bodied men--a measure twice attempted
in vain by Philip II--but it met with resistance which forced its
abandonment, for there was no military ardor in Spain, even for local
service. Then an enumeration of the Moriscos was ordered which, in
conjunction with events in Valencia, aroused much excitement. Appeals to
the court were unanswered, while orders to the magistrates intended to
quiet alarm only increased it. Many commenced to sell their lands, and
this diminution of prospective confiscations was met, towards the end of
October, by prohibiting sales, but they were continued under various

On November 3d, the Count of Salazar was appointed to superintend the
expulsion from Old and New Castile, La Mancha and Extremadura. From
their anxiety to sell their lands he assumed that they mostly would go
voluntarily, and he suggested the granting of permission to emigrate.
This was adopted, and a royal cédula of December 28th allowed them to
leave Spain within thirty days, under the same conditions as those of
Andalusia. Such multitudes arranged to pass through Biscay into France
that the term was extended for thirty days and, on January 19, 1610,
Salazar was sent to Burgos to register them and issue certificates.
Under this arrangement 16,713 persons, of 3,972 families were registered
up to May 1st, when intimations that further admissions to France would
be refused, turned the stream to Cartagena, where 10,642 embarked,
nominally for Christian lands, in order to retain their children.[1079]

The prohibition to carry money or jewels was naturally evaded as far as
possible and, for infractions of it, more than thirty were hanged at
Burgos. There were also at hand obliging Portuguese brokers, who
undertook the transmission of the forbidden valuables and who were
detected and prosecuted. A safer conduit was found through the French
ambassador at Madrid, who received very large sums, to be repaid in
various French cities. His steward was despatched with the documents,
but the Spanish authorities were on the alert; he was arrested at
Buitrago and brought back to Madrid, whereupon the ambassador threatened
that, if the letters were opened, thereafter no Spanish courier should
pass through France without seizure of his papers. After an angry
correspondence, the Spaniards yielded, and the steward was allowed to
resume his journey.[1080]

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

Aragon and Catalonia were next taken in hand. There had been much
disquiet there, which the glozing assurances from the court failed to
allay. The Old Christians began to maltreat the Moriscos, who ceased
their labors and commenced to sell their movables, while their creditors
and holders of censos became alarmed and proceeded to collect their
claims with rigor. Envoys were sent to the king from Aragon with an
elaborate memorial detailing the enormous damage to result from
expulsion, and the impolicy of reducing the diminishing population of
Spain. Philip made fruitless efforts to prevent the mission from coming,
and when it came it was put off with reassuring generalities.[1081]

The edicts for Aragon and Catalonia were the same as that for Valencia,
except in two points. The Catalan one retained children under seven
years of age, whose parents were going to infidel lands, which led them
to make their way through France to Barbary. The other exception,
induced by the expense of the Valencia expulsion, the cost of which had
been swelled to eight hundred thousand ducats, threw upon the exiles all
the charges, not only of the journeys and voyage, but the wages of the
superintending officials and half a real per head as export duty on what
they carried with them, all of which amounted to twenty-four reales at
the Alfaques de Tortosa. The rich were required to pay for the poor, and
the commissioners were unmerciful in their exactions, making them pay
for the water in the brooks and the shade of the trees in their long
summer journeys, besides exacting from them as wages much more than was

The edicts were published simultaneously, in Saragossa and Barcelona, on
May 29, 1610. No resistance was attempted, but there went up a cry of
despair which moved even their persecutors to compassion; they protested
that they were Christians and would die as such, even though torn to
pieces, but it was too late for this, and they were led submissively in
bands of from one to four thousand souls, without guards, although they
suffered severely from the brigandage of the Old Christians. This apathy
of despair was most fortunate for Spain, as resistance would have been
overcome with difficulty. The troops, debarked at the Alfaques de
Tortosa, had not been paid since they left Italy; after vainly clamoring
for their money, they disbanded, leaving none but the officers, who were
fain to gather together such raw recruits as they could find. From
Aragon the number of exiles was estimated at seventy-five thousand and
from Catalonia at fifty thousand.[1083]

France was inundated by the emigration. Henry IV had anticipated it and,
in February, had issued an ordonnance permitting those who would profess
the Catholic faith to settle in the lands beyond the Garonne and
Dordogne, while shipping should be provided for those desiring to sail
for Barbary.[1084] Under this the immigration from Castile had been
taken care of, but his assassination in May threw everything into
confusion, and there was no preparation for the twenty or twenty-five
thousand from Aragon, who passed through Navarre, or sought to make
their way over the mountains. La Force, after some delay, arranged to
admit them in bands of a thousand each, so as not to oppress the
population of the sterile district through which they had to pass, and
thus they struggled on towards Marseilles and other ports where they
hoped to find shipping.[1085]

There was one body, of some fourteen thousand souls, that was refused
admission to France, after they had reached Canfranc, the last Spanish
town on the mountain road over the Pyrenees. They had paid forty
thousand ducats for permission to go to France, besides the export
duties on what they carried, and the expense of the commissioners in
charge of them. Forced to turn back on the long road to the Alfaques, so
many of them sickened and died in the summer heat that it was feared
that they would bring pestilence to the ships.[1086] In short the story
of the exodus from Aragon is one of heartless greed and reckless

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

The dangers which had weighed so heavily on Spanish statesmanship were
thus removed, but fanaticism and race hatred were not yet satisfied, and
it was resolved to root out all traces of the old Moorish population. An
edict of July 10, 1610, banished all Moriscos of Granada, Valencia and
Aragon, who were settled in the Castilian kingdoms, and this was
followed, August 2d, by a similar provision for the kingdoms of Aragon.
These edicts exempted those who had lived as good Christians, but this
was a point difficult to establish, and the claims under it were
multitudinous and embarrassing. To save the trouble of deciding them an
end was put to the matter by banishing all who had thus far been
exempted, including even the _Moriscos antiguos_, descendants of the old
Mudéjares. This was effected by orders of March 22d and May 3, 1611, to
the corregidores, stating that it was for the service of God and the
kingdom that the matter be perfected, wherefore all who had previously
been exempted and all who, after expulsion, had returned, were given two
months to leave the kingdom, under the irrevocable penalty of death and
confiscation, the only exceptions being priests, nuns and the wives of
Old Christians with their children.[1087]

This final rooting-out gave infinite trouble. There was often nothing to
distinguish these Moriscos from Old Christians, in language, dress or
mode of life, and there was no lack of persons to harbor them, whether
from compassion or to have the benefit of their services. Commissioners
were sent to the different provinces with instructions that no
privileges or antiquity should avail them, while the courts were
expressly prohibited from interference; it was added, indeed, that those
who bore the reputation of Old Christians could appeal to the king, but
his representatives soon grew tired of the multitude of perplexing cases
thus thrust upon them. The number thus expelled was computed at about
six thousand, exclusive of young children, who were given to Old
Christians to bring up. The difficulty of effecting this final clearance
was increased by the number of exiles who persisted in returning, in
spite of an edict of September 12, 1612, which consigned them all to the
galleys. The work seemed endless and finally it was confided to the
Count of Salazar. In this he labored long and strenuously. At Almagro he
found more than eight hundred returned exiles, of whom he consigned some
to the galleys, others to the quicksilver mines of Almaden, and the rest
he sent abroad at the expense of the magistrates, who had been remiss
in detecting and punishing them. His greatest trouble, we are told, lay
in deciding the numerous suits of those who claimed that they were not
comprised in the edicts and, to cut matters short, on October 26, 1613,
he issued, in the name of the king, an edict commanding all Moriscos to
leave the kingdom within fifteen days; any person receiving or harboring
them was threatened with confiscation and, as he included in this fiefs,
castles, vassals and royal grants, it shows that nobles were sheltering
them. Finally a reward of ten ducats was offered for information leading
to the capture of a Morisco.[1088] In this insane determination to
purify the land of all trace of Moorish blood, and in the confusion of
the process, many Catholics as sincere as their persecutors must have
been consigned to infidel lands.

The time came at last for the Moriscos of Murcia and the Val de Ricote
to share the fate of their brethren. Influence had been exercised to
procure the suspension of the edict of December 9, 1609, and of a
subsequent one of October 8, 1611, but, after the work was completed
elsewhere, the Duke of Lerma and the royal confessor, Fray Aliaga, sent
investigators who of course reported them to be Christians only in name.
Lerma insisted, Philip yielded, and a cédula of October 6, 1613, ordered
Salazar to enforce the edicts. He was hurried from Madrid, November
20th, with instructions to lose no time and, in January 1614, some
fifteen thousand were deported, although many old people and invalids
were allowed to remain. Many women married Old Christians in order to
obtain exemption, and numerous husbands and wives of honorable birth
entered religion, to the great enrichment of the monasteries, for which
the bishops and the superiors of the Orders cheerfully granted licence.
Early in February, Salazar returned to Madrid with his work
accomplished, although some had escaped to Valencia and had returned on
being driven out from there. In 1615 Salazar reported that he had sent
his assistant Manrique to Murcia to complete the expulsion, but there
were still some Moriscos in Tarragona and the Balearic Isles, and he
knew of others in Sardinia and the Canaries.[1089]

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

For some years yet the effort was continued to discover and eject those
who were concealed among the Old Christians--an effort complicated by
the numbers who persisted in returning after experiencing the
inhospitable reception accorded to them in Africa. They offered
themselves as slaves to those who would receive them, and in this manner
many succeeded in remaining. To prevent this, royal orders were
repeatedly issued, but they were ineffective, and the Royal Council at
length grew tired of reiterating them, so that Bleda, writing in 1618,
deplores the fact that he would die without seeing his land purified of
this evil seed. Total purification, in fact, was impossible. We are told
that, in Valencia, La Mancha, and Granada, there are still communities
which in dress, customs and tendencies may be regarded as Moriscos with
scarce any trace of Christianity, and Padre Boronat ascribes to this
element the growth of modern scepticism and the mingled fanaticism and
superstition which afflict certain portions of Spain.[1090]

However this may be, in so far as the Inquisition was concerned, the
expulsion was a success. In such of its records as I have been able to
examine, the _cosas de Moros_ virtually disappeared, the exceptions
being scarce more than enough to show that vigilance was unrelaxed. For
awhile, it is true, there were Morisco slaves to be looked after. A
letter of March 14, 1616, from the commissioner at Denia, asks for
instructions concerning some baptized Morisco slaves, who had plotted to
escape to Barbary, which shows how carefully they were watched.[1091]
Then the exiles who chanced to be captured in Moorish corsairs, or who
were brought to Spain as slaves, or who were in the royal galleys, were
subject to prosecution as apostates because they had been baptized,
until, in 1629, the Suprema mercifully decreed that they should not be
molested unless they gave occasion for scandal.[1092] The scattering
cases of Mahometanism, which figure in the autos de fe subsequent to the
expulsion, are mostly of Christian renegades, captured at sea, or of
Moorish slaves taken in the perpetual warfare of the Mediterranean, who
were baptized under legislation of 1626, repeated in 1638 and
1712.[1093] Occasionally, however, we hear of a Morisco, such as
Gerónimo Buenaventura--probably one of the children detained in 1609 or
1610--condemned to relaxation by the tribunal of Valencia, transferred
in 1635 to Valladolid and, in 1638 to Saragossa, to be burnt for

Yet, in spite of the sleepless vigilance of the Inquisition, there were
descendants of the Old Moriscos who managed to preserve an organization
for the perpetuation of their faith. In 1727 such a one was discovered
in Granada, so numerous that it furnished forty-five reconciled in an
auto of May 9, 1728, followed by twenty-eight more in that of October
10. They must have been wealthy, for the confiscations proved so
profitable that the Inquisition granted to the chief informer and his
heirs a perpetual pension of a hundred ducats.[1095] Probably one of
these Granadans, escaped to Jaen, was the Ana del Castillo, condemned in
the Córdova auto of March 4, 1731, as a _herege Mahometana_, to
reconciliation, confiscation and irremissible prison.[1096] The latest
allusions to these persistent Moriscos occurs in a report, in 1769, by
the Inquisition to Carlos III, that it had verified the existence, in
Cartagena, of a mosque maintained by New Christians.[1097] Details are
lacking but, if there were prosecutions and convictions, they may safely
be assumed to be the last endured by Moriscos. In the complete record of
the operations of all the tribunals from 1780 to 1820, there is not a
single case of a Morisco and the only Mahometans are renegades.[1098]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

Contemporary estimates of the number of exiles vary from three hundred
thousand to three millions, and the statistics furnished are too
fragmentary to admit of accurate computation.[1099] In modern times
Llorente assumes a total of a million, while Janer estimates at the same
figure the total Morisco population, of whom a hundred thousand perished
or were enslaved, leaving nine hundred thousand exiles. Vicente de la
Fuente reduces the number to a hundred and twenty thousand, while
Danvila y Collado, after a careful comparison of all official
statistics, reaches an estimate of something under five hundred thousand
souls, which Padre Boronat accepts.[1100] This is probably somewhat
under the mark. The nearest approach to a contemporary official
statement is that of Sebastiano Gigli, the Lucchese envoy, August 12,
1610, placing the number at six hundred thousand. This he doubtless
procured at head-quarters, for he adds that the ministers assured him
that it was much greater than they had foreseen.[1101] Considering how
large had been the Mudéjar population and its notorious fecundity, these
figures indicate how many had been Christianized and had merged into the
general mass. One cannot help concluding that with time and reasonable
treatment, there would have been no Morisco question to perplex the
statesmen of Spain.

The fate of the exiles parallelled that of the Jews in 1492, and indeed
was even worse, for they were banished more precipitately, and were
absolutely forbidden to return even as Christians. They were thrust into
the new and strange life before them under most unpromising conditions,
intensified by the inhumanity of their reception in the homes which they
sought. The transit to Africa in the royal ships was doubtless safe
enough, but the masters of the vessels chartered by them had no scruple
in robbing and murdering them, despite the regulations adopted for their
safety. Many who sailed were never accounted for as arriving. It was not
that the Spanish authorities were indifferent. Fonseca relates that in
Barcelona, on December 12, 1609, he witnessed the execution of the
captain and crew of a barque which had sailed with seventy Moriscos.
Falling in with a Neapolitan felucca, the united crews conspired to kill
the passengers and divide the booty, amounting to three thousand ducats.
Under promise of pardon a dissatisfied sailor revealed the crime, when
not only were the Spaniards punished but the Viceroy wrote to Naples
with details that enabled the authorities there to seize and execute the
crew of the felucca.[1102]

In France, la Force no doubt did what he could to minimize the
sufferings of the outcasts, but their hardships were such as to call
forth energetic remonstrances from Ambassador Salignac and from Ahmed I
himself. Cardinal Richelieu tells us that some of the officials
commissioned to superintend their passage were guilty of much thievery
and even permitted murder, but they were punished with such severity
that the outrages ceased.[1103] France, however, was only a place of
transit. Some who passed through sought refuge in Italy, where their
reception was not hospitable. In 1610 and 1611 the Holy See refused to
allow those arriving at Civita Vecchia to remain but, in 1612, some
seventy, who reached Recanati and asked to be allowed to live as
Christians, were permitted to settle at a distance from the coast,
broken up into small parties and under close surveillance.[1104]

Barbary, however, was the destination of the vast majority of the
exiles, whether direct from Spain or by way of France, and their
reception by their fellow religionists was terrible. They were landed at
Oran, whence they had to make their way to the Moorish states; they had
the reputation of bringing money with them and, after the first
embarkation had been safely convoyed by paying heavily for a guard, they
were plundered and slain without mercy, and their women were taken from
them. Even before the year 1609 was out, the Count of Aguilar,
Governor-general of Oran, wrote that, through fear of the Arabs, many
were remaining and were starving; twenty of their principal men had come
to him, professing to be Christians, for they had not known what to
believe until they had seen the abominations of the Moors, and now they
desired to remain and die as Christians. In his perplexity, Aguilar
threw them into prison and applied for instructions. What were given to
him we know not, but there is doubtless truth in the statement of the
Comendador de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes of Oran that, what between
disease and the atrocities of the Arabs, two-thirds of the exiles had
perished. Indeed, the general estimate was that the proportion was at
least three-quarters.[1105]

[Sidenote: _EXPULSION_]

These horrors are heightened by the fact that, in the vigorous
determination to eradicate every vestige of Islam, and in the cruel
haste of the process, many who were really Christians were cast upon
the tender mercies of the infidel. Discrimination was difficult and
doubt was settled adversely. A typical case is furnished in a petition,
November 26, 1609, of Gaspar Galip, a priest and vicar of the general
hospital of Valencia, in favor of his two brothers-in-law, Francisco
Castillo and Vicente de Alcázar. Galip himself was the son of a Morisco
father and Old Christian mother; his sisters were Christians and so were
their husbands and children, two in each family, the latter being even
ignorant that they had Morisco blood. Yet Ribera was pitiless and both
families were deported, doubtless to perish among unbelievers.[1106]
Escolano tells us that in Tunis some of the Castilians continued to hear
mass and to live as Christians, and he prints a letter from a Valencian
in Algiers expressing his determination to persevere in the faith.[1107]
If remorse were possible to those who believed that they were rendering
a service to God, it might have been felt by the prime movers of the
expulsion when they learned that in Tetuan, exiled Moriscos, firm in the
faith, were lapidated or otherwise put to death, because they resolutely
refused to enter the mosques.[1108] These were true martyrs, and the
Church might well have canonized them, in place of beatifying their
persecutor Ribera.[1109]

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the arguments advanced in favor of expulsion was that the
confiscation of Morisco property would bring permanent relief to the
treasury and enable it to discharge the enormous and constantly
increasing indebtedness. Undoubtedly the amounts realized from the
rapacious seizure of the property of the exiles were large. Already, in
October, 1610, the Council of Finance reported that, in Ocana and
Madrid, it had mostly been sold, and that two hundred thousand ducats
had been paid in.[1110] Whatever was the magnitude of the receipts, they
were quickly dissipated to the greedy courtiers who profited by Philip's
reckless prodigality. Sir Francis Cottingham, the English Ambassador, in
letters of March 4th and May 16, 1610, reports that commissioners had
been sent to the provinces to sell the houses and farms of the exiles,
but the king did not propose to lighten the burdens of the state, for he
was dividing the proceeds among his favorites in advance with scandalous
liberality. To Lerma were assigned two hundred and fifty thousand
ducats, to his son, the Duke of Uceda, a hundred thousand, to his
daughter, the Countess of Lemos, fifty thousand and to her husband a
hundred thousand.[1111] We need not be surprised, therefore, to find
Philip, in 1611, when appealing to the Córtes for relief, enumerating,
among the reasons for his poverty, the expulsion of the Moriscos, in
which he had postponed the interest of the treasury to the service of
God and of the state.[1112]

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus, nine hundred years after the overthrow of the Gothic monarchy,
Spain purified her land of the invader by a stroke which Cardinal
Richelieu qualified as the boldest and most barbarous in human
annals.[1113] The yearning for unity of faith was gratified, and the
anxiety as to attack from without was allayed. That the price paid was
heavy is seen in the premature decrepitude which overtook the monarchy
during the rest of the century. The causes of decadence were many, but
not least among them must be reckoned the fierce intolerance which led
to the expatriation of the most economically valuable classes of the



The fate of the little band of Spanish Protestants has, not unnaturally,
excited the earnest sympathy of modern students. Much has been written
about them; their works have been gathered and reprinted with pious
care, and the importance of the reformatory movement has been largely
exaggerated. There never was the slightest real danger that
Protestantism could make such permanent impression on the profound and
unreasoning religious convictions of Spain in the sixteenth century, as
to cause disturbance in the body politic; and the excitement created in
Valladolid and Seville, in 1558 and 1559, was a mere passing episode
leaving no trace in popular beliefs. Yet, coming when it did, it
exercised an enduring influence on the fortunes of the Inquisition, and
on the development of the nation. At the moment, the career of the Holy
Office might almost seem to be drawing to a close, for it had nearly
succeeded in extirpating Judaism from Spain, while the influx of
Portuguese New Christians had not commenced, and its operations against
the Moriscos of Valencia were suspended. The panic, skilfully excited at
the appearance of Lutheranism, raised it to new life and importance and
gave it a claim on the gratitude of the State, which enabled it to
dominate the land during the seventeenth century, while its audacious
action against Carranza showed that no one was so high-placed as to be
beyond its reach. It gained moreover a firmer financial basis than it
had previously enjoyed, while, at the same time, Inquisitor-general
Valdés was saved from banishment and disgrace. Yet more important even
than all this was the dread inspired of heresy, which served as a reason
for isolating Spain from the rest of Europe, excluding all foreign
ideas, arresting the development of culture and of science, and
prolonging medievalism into modern times. This was the true significance
of the little Protestant movement and its repression, and it is this
which deserves the attention of the student rather than the ghastly
dramas of the autos de fe.

Before the Lutheran revolt there was much liberty of thought and speech
allowed throughout Catholic Europe. Neither Erasmus nor popular writers
and preachers had scruple in ridiculing and holding up to detestation
the superstitions of the people, the vices, the greed and the
corruptions of the clergy, and the venality and oppression of the Holy
See. The Franciscan, Thomas Murner, who subsequently became the most
virulent reviler of Luther, castigated the clergy, both regular and
secular, with more vigor if with less skill than Erasmus. Erasmus
himself, in his _Enchiridion Militis Christiani_, or Manual of the
Christian Soldier, did not hesitate to stigmatise, as a new Judaism, the
reliance reposed on external observances, which had supplanted true
piety, causing the teachings of Christ to be neglected--and the
Enchiridion had been approved by Adrian VI, at that time the head of the
University of Louvain.


When, however, it became necessary, in order to cure these universally
admitted evils, to strike at the dogmas of scholastic theology, of which
these evils were the outcome; when Northern Europe was rising almost
unanimously in Luther's support, and when the curia recognized that it
had to deal, not with a mere scholastic debate between monks, but with a
rapidly developing revolution, the necessity was soon felt of a rigid
definition of orthodoxy, while the licence which had been good-naturedly
tolerated, so long as it did not threaten the loss of power and wealth,
became heresy, to be diligently inquired into and relentlessly punished.
Men who esteemed themselves good Catholics, and had no thought of
withdrawing from obedience to the Holy See, found themselves accused of
heresy and liable to its penalties. Prior to the definitions of the
Council of Trent, there was a certain amount of debatable ground, within
which no authoritative decision had as yet rendered the speculations of
the schoolmen articles of faith. Erasmus, for instance, had not been
called to account for asserting that sacramental confession was not of
divine law but, as the conflict grew more desperate, and the Church
found defence of its outworks to be requisite, it became heretical to
question the divine origin of confession, even before the Council had
made it _de fide_. We shall then find the chief sufferers from
inquisitorial action divided into two classes. Before the middle of the
century they largely consist of unconscious heretics--of men who, prior
to the condemnation of Luther, would have been reckoned as undoubtedly
orthodox. After 1550, with some exceptions, like Carranza, they were
those who had knowingly and consciously embraced more or less of the
doctrines of the Reformation. Outside of these another, and by no means
the least numerous class, can be defined of those who incurred more or
less vehement suspicion of heresy through mere carelessness, in the
constantly increasing rigor of external observance. It is doubtless to
the first of these classes that we may refer the earliest victim of
so-called Lutheranism whom I have found recorded--Gonsalvo the Painter
of Monte Alegre in Murcia, a resident in Majorca, relaxed, in 1523, by
that tribunal as a Lutheran. It is inconceivable that Lutheran errors
could have penetrated at that time to Majorca, or that the inquisitor
could have had any clear conception of what they were and, as Gonsalvo
is described as a _negativo_, he doubtless considered himself a good
Catholic and perished because he would not admit himself to be

It was not until 1521 that the curia was aroused to the necessity of
preventing the dissemination in Spain of the new doctrines in the
writings of Luther. The Nuncio Aleander, writing from Worms, February
18th of that year, mentioned that in Flanders Spanish versions of
Luther's books were in press, through the efforts of the Marrani, and
that Charles V had given orders to suppress them.[1115] Acting promptly
on this, Leo X, on March 21st, addressed briefs to the Constable and
Admiral of Castile--the governors in Charles's absence--exhorting them
to prevent the introduction of such works, and Cardinal Adrian lost no
time in ordering, April 7th, the tribunals to seize all the obnoxious
volumes that they could find, an order which he repeated May 7, 1523,
together with instructions to the corregidors to enforce the surrender
of the books to the inquisitors.[1116] Very earnest letters were also
written, April 12 and 13, 1521, to Charles V, by an assembly of
grandees, and by the President and Council of State, urging him to adopt
strong measures to prevent the spread of Lutheranism, which had been
introduced into Spain and threatened to develop.[1117]

[Sidenote: _ERASMISTS_]

These may be regarded as measures rather precautionary than called for
by existing exigencies. So far as the records of the Inquisition have
been searched there is no trace, for some years as yet, of prosecutions
for Lutheranism, save the solitary case above referred to. With the
return of Charles to Spain, in 1522, the influence of Erasmus seemed to
promise a perpetuation of the freedom and even licence of speech, of
which he was the protagonist. The emperor was his admirer and he became
the fashion among courtiers and churchmen pretending to culture. The
Inquisitor-general Manrique openly defended him, and so did the primate,
Alfonso Fonseca, Archbishop of Toledo. His immense reputation, the
immunity conferred on him by the patronage of successive popes against
the vindictiveness of the religious Orders, provoked by his merciless
ridicule, and the futility of condemnations by scholastic faculties,
seemed a guarantee for those who merely echoed the opinions to which he
had given currency so wide. So it continued until, in 1527, a
translation of his Enchiridion was issued by Alonso Fernández de Madrid,
Archdeacon of Alcor. It was dedicated to Archbishop Manrique, who had it
duly examined and authorized its publication; its success was immediate,
and it was universally read. From the standpoint of scholastic theology,
however, it was too vulnerable not to invite attack from the religious
Orders. The pulpits, which they virtually monopolized, resounded with
their denunciations until Manrique felt obliged to interfere. Many
prominent frailes were summoned before the Suprema and sharply reproved
for exciting the people against Erasmus, in defiance of repeated edicts;
if they found errors in the book, they should denounce them to the
Inquisition. The challenge was promptly accepted and, with the
assistance of the English Ambassador, Edward Lee, subsequently
Archbishop of York, a list of twenty-one articles was drawn up, ranging
from Arianism to irreverence towards the Virgin and the denial of
various essentials of sacerdotalism. These were submitted to an assembly
of twenty theologians and nine frailes, who disputed for a month over
the first two articles; the debate promised to be interminable, and
Manrique suspended it, at the same time issuing an absolute prohibition
to write against Erasmus. As we have seen, however, he fell into
disgrace in 1529 and was relegated to his see of Seville; Charles left
Spain the same year, carrying with him some of the most powerful
protectors of the Erasmists, and the inquisitors, who were largely
frailes, were eager to detect the heresy latent in the latitude of
speech which had become common among those who prided themselves on

A typical case of this kind is that of Diego de Uceda, to which allusion
has already been made on other accounts (_supra_, p. 68). He was an
hidalgo of Córdova of unblemished Old Christian stock. Although a
courtier, he was studious and deeply religious, even entertaining
thoughts of entering the Geronimite Order. Greatly admiring Erasmus, the
failure of the effort to condemn him by the Inquisition gave assurance
that his works were approved, and Diego earned some reproof by
constantly quoting his opinions and endeavoring to impress them on
others. In February, 1528, he was journeying from Burgos to Córdova and,
one evening at Corezo, he fell into discussion with a man named Rodrigo
Duran who, with his servant, Juan de Avella, was on his way to Seville
to embark for the West Indies. The talk fell upon confession and then
upon images, in which Diego quoted the views of Erasmus; then upon
miracles, when he expressed disbelief in a story of a Christian slave in
Africa who prayed for deliverance to Our Lady of Guadalupe; his master
overheard him, placed him in a chest, made his own bed on top and slept
there, with the result that next morning the chest was in Guadalupe with
the master inside and the Christian on top. Something also was said
about Luther, whose name got mixed up with that of Erasmus. Duran, on
reaching Toledo, denounced Diego to the tribunal, his serving-man
furnishing the necessary _conteste_, and went on his way to the Indies.
Diego was tracked to Córdova and was sent back as a prisoner to Toledo,
where he vainly protested his orthodoxy and offered submission to the
Church, although his frequent allusions to Erasmus probably did his case
no good. He proved by witnesses that he habitually confessed four times
a year, that he took all indulgences and that he was a man of blameless
life and strong religious convictions, but it was all in vain. I have
already shown how he was tortured, confessed and then revoked, and how
he was condemned to a humiliating penance, July 22, 1529, ruining his
career and leaving an indelible stain on a family that had boasted of
its limpieza.[1119]

[Sidenote: _ERASMISTS_]

The danger impending over Erasmists is still more forcibly illustrated
by the case of one who was regarded as perhaps the foremost among them
in Spain. No man stood higher for learning and culture than Doctor Juan
de Vergara. He had been secretary of Ximenes as Archbishop of Toledo,
and subsequently to Fonseca, who succeeded to the primatial dignity in
1524. Ximenes had made him professor of Philosophy at Alcalá, where he
translated the Wisdom of Solomon for the Complutensian Polyglot, and the
treatises _de Anima_, _de Physica_ and _de Metaphysica_ for the
projected edition of Aristotle. He was an elegant Latin poet, and
Menéndez y Pelayo tells us that he was the father of historical
criticism. He was regarded with favor by Manrique and was a warm
defender of Erasmus in the contest over the Enchiridion.[1120] We shall
have occasion hereafter to treat of the adventures of the _alumbrada_
Francisca Hernández and the men whom she entangled in her toils; among
them was Bernardino de Tovar, also an Erasmist, half-brother of Vergara,
who incurred her enmity by rescuing him from her clutches. To revenge
herself, when on trial in 1530, she accused Vergara of holding all of
Luther's doctrines, except as to confession, and of possessing some of
Luther's works--the latter accusation being true, but when, in 1530,
Manrique ordered the surrender of all such books, Vergara, after some
delay, carried them to the tribunal. Another of Francisca's disciples,
Fray Francisco Ortiz, when on trial, also accused Vergara of denying the
efficacy of indulgences and abusing the University of Paris for
condemning the writings of Erasmus, in which, he said, the Church had
found no heretical errors. The tribunal collected some other evidence
against Vergara and industriously searched for more, even as far as
Flanders. In May, 1533, a willing witness was found in Diego Hernández,
a buffoon of a priest, whom María Cazalla had employed as confessor
until she dismissed him for seducing a nun and asserting that it was no
sin. This worthy produced a list of seventy Lutheran heretics, qualified
according to their degrees of guilt, among whom Vergara figured as _fino
lutherano endiosado_ (mystically abstracted). Whatever hesitation there
may have been in arresting such a man, however, disappeared when it was
found, in April, 1533, that he had been communicating with Tovar in
prison, by bribing the officials. The fiscal presented his clamosa, May
17th, accusing Vergara of being a fautor and defender of heretics, a
defamer of the Inquisition and a corrupter of its officials, and his
arrest and imprisonment followed on June 24th.

This occasioned general surprise. Archbishop Fonseca was deeply moved
and endeavored to obtain his release under bail for fifty thousand
ducats, or to have him confined in a house under guard, but the only
result of his efforts was to lead the tribunal to shut up the windows of
Vergara's cell, converting it into a dungeon and seriously affecting his
health. The trial proceeded through the regular stages. He refused the
services of an advocate and, on January 29, 1534, he presented his
defence, denying nearly all the errors attributed to him and explaining
the rest in a Catholic sense. After this a fresh accusation was
presented based on his friendship for and correspondence with Erasmus,
to whom he had induced Archbishop Fonseca to grant a pension. Fonseca
had died, February 24th, so that his evidence was unattainable, but
Vergara pronounced the story as to the pension to be false, though had
it been true it would have been innocent. Everyone knew that Erasmus had
neither income nor benefice, never having been willing to accept either,
and that he was supported by the liberality of gentlemen who contributed
to him from all parts. Fonseca had only offered him an income if he
would come to reside at Alcalá, an offer which Ximenes had previously
made. It was true that, when Erasmus dedicated to him his edition of St.
Augustin, Fonseca sent him two hundred ducats, scarce enough, in the
case of so large a work, to give the printers their customary
_pour-boire_. Fonseca felt this, and, when he heard of the death of
Archbishop Warham of Canterbury (+ 1532), who was accustomed to
provide liberally for Erasmus, he said that he ought to pay for the
printing of the book, whereupon Vergara wrote that he would send
something, but it was not done. As for corresponding with Erasmus, popes
and kings and the emperor himself were gratified to have letters from
him and, in the printed collections of his epistles, were to be found
his answers to Vergara, showing that the latter had urged him to write
in confutation of Luther.

The day after this defence was presented, there came the most serious
evidence as yet offered against him. This was from another distinguished
Erasmist, then on trial, Alonso de Virués, who testified that, four
years before, in a discussion whether the sacrament worked _ex opere
operato_, Vergara ridiculed it as a fantastic opinion, and further,
that he did not hold as he should, certain pious and Catholic doctrines.
It is true that the Council of Trent had not yet pronounced, as it did
in 1547 (Sess. VII, De Sacramentis, can. viii) the self-operation of the
sacrament to be _de fide_, but the doctrine was coeval with the
development of the sacramental theory in the twelfth century and was
indispensable in vindication of its validity in polluted hands against
the Donatist heresy. To deny it, even in disputation, could not fail to
prejudice Vergara's case, which dragged on, in spite of the efforts of
his friends, and even of the empress, to expedite it. At length, on
December 21, 1535, he was sentenced to appear as a penitent in an auto
de fe, to abjure _de vehementi_, to be recluded in a monastery for a
year irremissibly, and to pay a fine of fifteen hundred ducats. In three
months, however, Manrique charitably transferred him to the cathedral
cloister and, on February 27, 1537, his confinement came to an
end.[1121] He incurred no disabilities; his reputation seems not to have
suffered, for he retained his Toledo canonry and, as we have seen, he
incurred, in 1547, the displeasure of Archbishop Silicio by opposing the
statute of limpieza.

[Sidenote: _ERASMISTS_]

Virués was a similar victim to the revulsion against Erasmus. He was
Benedictine Abbot of San Zoilo, a learned orientalist and the favorite
preacher of Charles V, who had carried him to Germany. Envy of his favor
at court caused his denunciation; isolated passages in his sermons were
cited against him, and he was thrown in prison in 1533. His
incarceration lasted for four years, in spite of Charles's efforts for
his liberation; it was in vain that he pleaded that, some fourteen years
before, Erasmus had been regarded as orthodox, and that he adduced the
arguments which he had used against Melanchthon in the Diet of Ratisbon.
In 1537, he was declared to be suspect of Lutheranism, he was required
to abjure and was recluded in a convent for two years, with suspension
from preaching for two more. Charles was so much interested in him that,
notwithstanding his strenuous objection to papal interference, he
procured from Paul III a brief of May 29, 1538, by which the sentence
was set aside and Virués was declared capable of any preferment, even
episcopal. When Juan de Sarvia, Bishop of Canaries, died in 1542,
Virués was appointed his successor and died in 1545.[1122]

Contemporary with these cases was that of Pedro de Lerma, a member of
one of the leading families of Burgos. He was a canon of the Cathedral
and Abbot of Alcalá, renowned as a preacher and a man of the highest
consideration. He had spent fifty years in the University of Paris,
where the Sorbonne made him dean of its faculty. Happening to read some
of the works of Erasmus, he was so impressed that they influenced his
sermons. He was denounced to the Inquisition, which imprisoned him and,
after a long trial he was required, in 1537, to recant eleven
propositions publicly in all the towns where he had preached, confessing
that he had taught them at the instigation of the devil to propagate
error in the Church. He was so humiliated that he abandoned Spain for
Paris, where he was warmly received as dean of the faculty, and where he
died in 1541. The people of Burgos, we are told, who had regarded him
with the greatest reverence, were so impressed by this that those who
had sent their sons abroad to study at once recalled them.[1123]

This atmosphere of all-pervading suspicion, and this exaggerated
sensitiveness to possible error, exposed everyone to prosecution for the
most innocently unguarded remark. Miguel Mezquita, a gentleman of
Formiche (Teruel) appeared January 19, 1536, before the Valencia
tribunal in obedience to a citation and, under the usual formula of
being told to search his conscience, he intuitively recurred to Erasmus
and related a talk which he had, some five or six years previous, with a
Dominican, in which he had defended the Enchiridion on the ground that
it had been subjected to examination without being condemned. This
however proved not to be the cause of his summons, for Pedro Forrer, a
priest of Teruel, had denounced him as having said that Luther preached
the gospel and was therefore called an evangelist, while the followers
of the pope were called papists, and that Luther was right in
maintaining that Scripture did not say that Christ gave power to St.
Peter, but to all the apostles. Mezquita explained that he had been
several times to Italy and had been sent to Flanders; the priest had
asked him what was said about Luther, and he had merely gratified his
curiosity by repeating what he had heard abroad in common talk. He
earnestly implored to be released, for he had eight children, four of
them studying in Salamanca and, when suddenly carried off from home, he
had left but six sueldos in his house. Fortunately for him, the
inquisitors were not unreasonable and, on January 29th, he was allowed
to return to his family, but the case remained on the records to be
brought up against him should any malevolent neighbor see fit to distort
some careless utterance.[1124]

Mysticism and illuminism, which, about this time, commenced their
development in Spain, furnished another source of accusations of
Lutheranism, due to their common tendency to cast aside the observances
of sacerdotalism and to bring the sinner into direct relations with God,
but this field of inquisitorial activity demands separate consideration.
Meanwhile the above cases will probably suffice to indicate the way in
which Catholics, who had no thought of wandering from the faith, fell
under suspicion of partaking in the new heresies and were consequently
subjected to persecution more or less distressing. It would scarce be
worth while to follow in detail the long succession of those who had
similar experience. The case of Carranza has already been discussed.
Fray Juan de Regla, confessor of Charles V at San Yuste, and one of the
witnesses against Carranza, was imprisoned by the Saragossa tribunal and
was required to abjure eighteen propositions. Fray Francisco de
Villalba, who preached the funeral sermon of Charles V, was denounced
for Lutheranism and was saved only by the protection of Philip II.
Miguel de Medina, one of the theologians of the Council of Trent, was so
orthodox that, in his _Disputatio de Indulgentiis_, he ascribes to
indulgences a virtue so great that without them Christianity would be a
failure, yet this did not prevent his prosecution for defending certain
propositions thought to savor of Lutheranism and, after four years'
detention, he died in prison with his trial unfinished.[1125]

[Sidenote: _LUTHERANISM_]

All these were cases of good Catholics, whose prosecution is
attributable to a hyperæsthesia of orthodoxy. As regards the real
Protestantism, there was necessarily a double duty, one with respect to
its literature and the other to its professors. The former will be
discussed in the next chapter and it suffices here to point out that
although there was as yet no organized censorship of the press, the
possession or reading of any of Luther's books was forbidden, under pain
of excommunication, in 1520, by Leo X, in the bull _Exsurge Domine_, and
this was extended to the works of all his followers in the recension of
the bull _in C[oe]na Domini_ by Adrian VI.[1126] We have seen the flurry
produced, in 1521, by the dread of the introduction of this literature
into Spain, and it would appear that there was a demand for it, or that
the German heretics were endeavoring to create one for, in 1524, we hear
that a ship from Holland for Valencia, captured by the French and
recaptured, was brought into San Sebastian, when two casks of Lutheran
books were found in her cargo, which were publicly burnt. Some eight
months later, three Venetian galeasses brought large quantities of
similar books to a port in Granada, where the corregidor seized and
burnt them and imprisoned the captains and crews.[1127] As yet, however,
there seems to have been no definite penalty, save the papal censures,
for possessing this forbidden literature. We have seen Juan de Vergara
simply surrendering what he had; in 1527 we chance to find a commission,
issued by the Suprema, to absolve a fraile from the excommunication thus
incurred and, in 1528, a similar one for the benefit of the Licenciado
Fray Diego de Astudillo.[1128]

As regards heretics in person, the relations of Spain with the
Netherlands and Germany, at this period, were too intimate for it to
escape their intrusion. The earliest case I have met occurred in 1524,
when a German named Blay Esteve was condemned by the tribunal of
Valencia.[1129] Again the same tribunal, in 1528, tried Cornelis, a
painter of Ghent, for saying that Luther was not a heretic and for
denying the existence of purgatory, the utility of masses, confession
etc. He had not the spirit of martyrdom but pleaded intoxication and
that he had abandoned in Spain the errors which he had entertained in
Flanders; he was sentenced to reconciliation and perpetual prison and,
in the papers of the trial, there is an allusion to the prosecution of
Jacob Torres, apparently another Lutheran. Valencia, in 1529, had
another case in the person of Melchor de Württemberg, who came there by
way of Naples. He preached in the streets, saying that he had searched
the world in vain for a true follower of Christ, and he predicted that
in three years the world would be drowned in blood. He was probably an
Anabaptist and, when on trial, he admitted that he had visited Martin
Luther to learn whether the Lutheran sect possessed the truth. The
tribunal referred the case to the Suprema, which replied that, if he
held any Lutheran errors, justice should be done; if not, the case was
trifling and a hundred lashes would suffice. The papers are imperfect
and we can only gather that he denied Lutheranism and escaped with the


Cases of this kind were doubtless occurring in the various tribunals,
but it was some time as yet before systematic action was taken by the
Inquisition. Clement VII addressed a brief, May 8, 1526, to the
Observantine Franciscans, empowering them to receive all Lutherans
desiring to return to the Church, who were to be reincorporated on
accepting salutary penance, and to be absolved and relieved from all the
penalties decreed by Leo X and by others.[1131] This was evidently
designed for temporary effect in Germany and, although sent to Spain, it
was too subversive of the exclusive jurisdiction of the Inquisition to
be observed there. The earliest action of the Suprema to protect Spain
from the dissemination of the new heresies would seem to be a letter, in
1527, to the provisor of Lugo and to the Dominican provincial and
Franciscan guardian there, about the heretics arriving at the Galician
ports, and ordering them to enquire after Lutheran books, which they
were required to seize.[1132] Coruña was one of the chief ports of
commerce with the northern seas, thus calling for special watchfulness,
and, though a tribunal had recently been provided for Galicia,
apparently on this account, it seems not to have been in working order.
Still the heretics continued to come, and the Suprema issued, April 27,
1531, a _carta acordada_ instructing the tribunals to publish special
Edicts of Faith requiring the denunciation of persons suspected of
holding Lutheran opinions.[1133] Apparently the time had arrived when
some definite position with regard to the growing danger had to be
taken; there seems to have been doubt felt as to the authority of the
Inquisition to deal with it, and as to the policy to be observed towards
these heretics, for a brief was procured, July 15th of the same year,
from Clement VII empowering Manrique and his deputies to proceed against
the followers of Martin Luther, their fautors and defenders, and a
clause to this effect continued subsequently to be included in the
commissions of the inquisitor-general. The brief moreover extended
Manrique's personal jurisdiction, for this heresy, over archbishops and
bishops, although these were not to be arrested and imprisoned;
impenitents were to be relaxed, in accordance with the canons, while
those who sought reconciliation were to be admitted, with due
punishment, and could even be dispensed for irregularity and be relieved
of all disabilities and note of infamy.[1134] There was evidently as yet
a disposition to treat these new heretics with special tenderness.

For some time as yet the labors of the Inquisition, in the suppression
of Lutheranism, were confined to foreigners, the most conspicuous of
whom was Hugo de Celso, a learned Burgundian doctor of both laws and
author of a serviceable _Reportorio de las Leyes_, which saw the light
at Valladolid in 1538 and again at Alcalá in 1540. In 1532 he seems to
have been prosecuted without conviction at Toledo, but fell again under
suspicion and was finally burnt in 1551.[1135] It is true that Queen
Mary of Hungary, sister of Charles V, did not escape suspicion,[1136]
but the earliest undoubted heretic recorded of Spanish blood would seem
to be Francisco de San Roman of Burgos. Engaged, while still a young
man, in business in the Netherlands, his affairs took him to Bremen,
where he was converted and became so ardent a proselyte that, after
various adventures, he undertook to convert Charles V at Ratisbon.
Persisting in the attempt, he was sent in chains to Spain and, as he
refused to recant, there was nothing to do with him save to give him the
fiery death that he courted--the first of the few Spanish martyrs to
Protestantism. Carranza attended him at the stake and urged him to
submit to the Church, but the ferocious crowd pierced him with their
swords--a not infrequent occurrence at the autos de fe. We have no
dates, but an allusion to Charles's expedition to Tunis would seem to
place his career about 1540.[1137]

Nearly at the same time there appeared another, who was classed as a
Lutheran, although he seems to have worked out his heresies
independently. All that we know of Rodrigo de Valero rests on the
unreliable testimony of González de Montes, who describes him as a
wealthy youth of Lebrija, near Seville, suddenly converted from the
vanities of the world to an assiduous study of Scripture and the
conviction that he was a new apostle of Christ. His special heresies are
not recorded, but they led to his trial by the Seville tribunal, which
confiscated his property and discharged him as insane. He continued his
apostolate and, on a second trial, he was condemned to perpetual prison
and sanbenito. Here, in the obligatory Sunday attendance at mass, he
contradicted the priest until, to silence him, he was recluded in a
convent at San Lucar de Barrameda, where he lay until his death.[1138]

[Sidenote: _MODERATION_]

Valero was not without importance, for he was the perverter of Juan Gil,
or Doctor Egidio, the founder of the little Protestant community of
Seville which came, as we shall see, to an untimely end. Egidio was
magistral canon of the cathedral and a man of the highest consideration
for learning and eloquence; indeed, he was nominated by Charles V to the
see of Tortosa, which was vacant from 1548 to 1553. On his post-mortem
trial, in 1559, evidence showed that, as early as 1542, he had preached
to the nuns of Santa Clara on the uselessness of external works, denying
the suffrages of the saints, and stigmatizing image-worship as
idolatry.[1139] A letter of Charles to Valdés, from Brussels, January
25, 1550, shows that Egidio was then on trial in Seville; Charles
ordered Valdés to investigate the case personally in Seville and
consult him before concluding it, all of which must be done speedily for
that church (Tortosa) must be provided with a prelate.[1140]

Charles's solicitude shows that the matter was regarded as important.
Egidio, in fact, was the centre of a little band of Lutherans whom the
Inquisition was eagerly tracking. The Suprema wrote, July 30, 1550, to
Valdés at Seville, urging him to expedite the case, and adding that it
had written to Charles about the arrest of those in Paris and Flanders
implicated with Dr. Egidio, and about Dr. Zapata who had delivered
Lutheran books to Antonio de Guzman.[1141] Yet when Egidio's trial
ended, August 21, 1552, he was treated with singular moderation. He was
obliged publicly to abjure as heretical ten propositions which he
admitted to have uttered, subjecting himself to the penalty of relapse
for reincidence. Eight more propositions he recanted as false and
erroneous, and seven he explained in a Catholic sense--all of these
being more or less Lutheran. He was sentenced to a year's confinement in
the castle of Triana and never to leave Spain; for a year after release
he was not to celebrate mass and for ten years he was suspended from
preaching, confessing and partaking in disputations.[1142] Death in 1556
saved him from a harsher fate, although, as we shall see, his bones were
exhumed and burnt in 1560.

The mildness of the Inquisition shows that thus far there was no alarm
to stimulate severity, nor was there any cause for it. We hear a good
deal of the missionary efforts of the German or other heretics; but up
to this time there is slender trace of such work. The only
indication--and that a very dubious one--that I have met of such
attempts, is the case of Gabriel de Narbonne, before the Valencia
tribunal in 1537. He was a Frenchman, who had learned heresy during four
years spent in Germany and Switzerland. As a wandering mendicant in
Spain, he spoke freely of his beliefs to all whom he met. When arrested,
he confessed fully to all the leading tenets of Lutheranism and begged
mercy; after a year's confinement, under threat of torture, he stated
that he had been sent by the Swiss heretics to Spain as a missionary;
there were three others, one named Beltran, who was likewise in Spain,
one was destined to Venice and the other to Savoy. He had wandered, he
said, on foot for two years through the whole Peninsula, from Catalonia
and Navarre to Lisbon, disseminating his heresies wherever he could find
a listener, especially among the clergy. Had the tribunal believed his
story, he would have been sharply tortured to discover his converts; as
it was, he was merely reconciled with irremissible prison, while his
nephew, another Gabriel de Narbonne, who spontaneously denounced himself
as having been perverted by his uncle, was reconciled with spiritual
penance and forbidden to leave the kingdom.[1143]


It would seem as though the Holy See were desirous to arouse the Spanish
Inquisition to a sense of its inertness in combating these dangerous
innovations for, in 1551, Julius III sent to Inquisitor-general Valdés a
brief empowering him to punish Lutheranism irrespective of the station
of the offender--a wholly superfluous grant, for he already possessed by
his commission all requisite faculties, except as regards bishops, and
the case of Carranza shows that they were not included in the
brief.[1144] If the object was to stimulate, it failed, for the cases of
Lutheranism continued for some time to be few and mostly of foreigners.
The year 1558 may be taken as a turning-point in the history of Spanish
Protestantism and up to that time the industrious researches of Dr.
Ernst Schäfer, into the records of all the tribunals, have only resulted
in finding an aggregate of a hundred and five cases, of which
thirty-nine are of natives and sixty-six of foreigners.[1145] Of course,
in the chaos of archives, no such statistics can be regarded as
complete, but, on the other hand, the tribunals were in the habit of
classing as "Lutheranism" any deviation, even in a minor degree, from
dogma or observance, or any careless speech, such as those of which we
have had examples above. As a whole, the figures are significant of the
slender impression thus far made on Spanish thought by the intense
religious excitement beyond the Pyrenees. A few individuals--mostly
those who had been abroad--are all that can be regarded as really
infected with the new doctrines. Thus far there had been nothing of
organization, of little associations or conventicles, in which those of
common faith assembled for worship, for mutual encouragement or for
planning measures to disseminate their belief, but something of the kind
was beginning to develop in Seville, where the teachings of Rodrigo de
Valero and Dr. Egidio gradually spread through a widening circle. After
Egidio's death, in 1556, the leading figure was Doctor Constantino Ponce
de la Fuente, who was elected by the chapter to the vacant magistral
canonry, and who was a man of the highest consideration, having served
Charles V in Flanders as confessor and chaplain. Another important
personage was Maestro García Arias, known as Doctor Blanco, prior of the
Geronimite house of San Isidro, all the brethren of which became
converts, as well as some of the inmates of the Geronimite nunnery of
Santa Paula. An influential beneficiary of the church of San Vicente
named Francisco de Zafra also joined the group which, although largely
composed of clerics, secular and regular, contained many laymen. We hear
of two rag-pickers, Francisco and Antonio de Cardenas, while there was
also a noble of the highest rank, Don Juan Ponce de Leon, of the great
house of the Dukes of Arcos. Every class of society was represented in
the little band, which numbered altogether over a hundred and twenty,
besides Doctor Juan Pérez de Pineda and Julian Hernández, who had sought
safety in flight, probably about the time of the arrest of Dr.


In 1557, from some cause, suspicion was aroused and the tribunal
commenced a secret investigation, which seems to have reached the ears
of some of the inculpated, and eleven of the Geronimites of San Isidro
sought safety in flight, among whom were two who became
noteworthy--Cipriano de Valera and Cassiodoro de Reina.[1147] This
increased the suspicion and certain writings of Doctor Constantino were
subjected to examination; they had passed current without animadversion
for ten years, but, in 1557, a carta acordada addressed to all the
tribunals called attention to them, followed, January 2, 1558, by a list
of books to be burnt,[1148] to which were added three of his to be
seized but not burnt. Finally the tribunal was able to obtain positive
evidence against individuals. Juan Pérez, in the refuge of Geneva, had
been busy in preparing propagandist works.[1149] To convey them into
Spain was a perilous task, but it was undertaken by Julian Hernández,
who had spent some years in Paris, had then wandered to Scotland and
Germany, and had become a deacon in the Walloon church of Frankfort. The
story that he reached Seville with two large casks of Pérez's Testament,
Psalms and Catechism is probably an exaggeration, but he brought a
supply of them, reaching Seville in July, 1557. The books were deposited
outside the walls and were smuggled in at night, or were brought in by
Don Juan Ponce de Leon in his saddlebags. Julian made a fatal blunder
with a letter and a copy of the _Imajen del Antichristo_, addressed to a
priest, which he delivered to one of the same name who was a good
Catholic. When the latter saw as the frontispiece the pope kneeling to
Satan, and read that good works were useless, he hastened with the
dangerous matter to the Inquisition which made good use of the clue thus
furnished. Don Juan promptly fled to Ecija and Julian to the Sierra
Morena, but they were tracked and brought back on October 7th. Other
arrests speedily followed and the prisons began to fill.[1150] With its
customary unwearied patience, the tribunal traced out all the
ramifications of the heretical conventicle, arresting one after another
as denunciations of accomplices were obtained from prisoners. Dr.
Constantino and his friend Dr. Blanco were not seized until August,
1558, and the first auto de fe was not celebrated until September 24,

Meanwhile, almost simultaneously, a similar association of Protestants
had been discovered at Valladolid, then the residence of the court. An
Italian gentleman, Don Carlos de Seso, said to be the son of the Bishop
of Piacenza, had been converted about 1550, apparently by the writings
of Juan de Valdés. He came to Spain, bringing with him heretical books
and ardently desiring to spread the reformed faith. He settled first in
Logroño, where he made some converts, and then, through the influence of
his wife, Isabel de Castilla, of royal blood and highly esteemed, he was
appointed corregidor of Toro, about 1554. There he converted the
Bachiller Antonio de Herrezuelo and his wife, Leonor de Cisneros, Doña
Ana Enríquez, daughter of Elvira, Marchioness of Alcañizes, Juan de
Ulloa Pereira, Comendador of San Juan, and others of more or less
distinction, while, in Pedrosa, a town lying between Toro and
Valladolid, Pedro de Cazalla, the parish priest, also fell under his
influence and became a missionary in his turn. Among his converts was
his sacristan, Juan Sánchez, whose imprudent zeal greatly alarmed
Cazalla; in 1557, Sánchez left Pedroso for Valladolid, where he entered
the service of Doña Catalina de Hortega, whom he soon converted, and
with her Doña Beatriz de Vivero, a sister of Cazalla. Through them,
seven nuns of the Cistercian house of Nuestra Señora de Belen were
brought to the new faith, but the greatest conquest, about May, 1557,
was made when Beatriz de Vivero and Pedro Cazalla won their brother,
Doctor Agustin de Cazalla. No ecclesiastic was of higher repute or
greater influence with all classes; he was the favorite preacher of
Charles V, who had carried him to Germany in 1543, where possibly his
debates with heretics may have unconsciously undermined his faith. Next
to him among the converts might be ranked the Dominican Fray Domingo de
Rojas, whose reputation for learning and eloquence was of the highest.
He had been a fellow student of Pedro de Cazalla; he had accompanied
Carranza to Trent, in 1552, where he had encountered heretics, and since
then some of his utterances had led his brother Dominicans to entertain
suspicions, but, when Beatriz de Vivero first sought to convert him, he
was firm and even thought of denouncing her. In the autumn of 1557,
however, Agustin Cazalla and Carlos de Seso won him over to heresy and
he, in his turn, brought in his brother, Don Pedro Sarmiento and his
nephew Don Luis de Rojas, heir to the marquisate of Pozo. As in Seville,
the reformers thus included men of the highest consideration, socially
and ecclesiastically, as well as those of the lower classes. Still,
their numbers were few; the wild estimates of five hundred or six
thousand are baseless, for they did not exceed fifty-five or sixty,
wholly without organization, being scattered from Logroño to Zamora,
though the house of Doña Leonor de Vivero, the widowed mother of the
Cazallas, served occasionally as a meeting-place. Of her ten children,
four sons, Agustin and Pedro Cazalla, Francisco and Juan de Vivero, and
two daughters, Beatriz and Costanza, were involved; the rest seem to
have escaped. She herself, after the prosecutions commenced, was only
confined to her house; she speedily died and received Christian burial,
but her bones were subsequently exhumed and burnt. Notwithstanding this,
one of the sons, Gonzalo Pérez de Cazalla, obtained, May 12, 1560, a
dispensation from the _cosas arbitrarias_.[1151]


It was inevitable that such a propaganda should be discovered, and the
only source of surprise is that it should have been carried on for two
or three years without betrayal, but this came at last almost
simultaneously from several sources. In Zamora, Christóbal de Padilla,
steward of the Marchioness of Alcañizes, was unguarded in his talk;
towards Easter of 1558 the publication of the Edict of Faith led to two
denunciations, on which he was arrested by the bishop and thrown into
the public prison. As he was not _incomunicado_ he was able to send word
to his accomplices and Herrezuelo promptly advised Pedro de Cazalla,
with warning that no reliance could be placed on Padilla's reticence.
Even more threatening than this was the inconsiderate zeal of Francisco
de Vivero and his sister Beatriz, in seeking to convert two friends,
Doña Antonia de Branches and Doña Juana de Fonseca. Their confessors
refused absolution and Easter communion unless they would obtain full
information; this they did and the tribunal was speedily in possession
of the names of nearly all the converts, and made arrangements to seize
them all. Despite its profound secrecy, Dr. Cazalla chanced to hear it
said that there were heretics in Valladolid who had been denounced by
Juana de Fonseca. The purport of this was unmistakable and wild
confusion reigned among the little band. Desperate plans of escape were
projected, but the time was too short. Some sought mercy by surrendering
themselves and denouncing their accomplices; others silently awaited
arrest. Only three attempted flight. Fray Domingo de Rojas, disguised in
secular apparel, hastened to Logroño to Carlos de Seso and the two tried
to escape through Navarre; at Pampeluna they secured a pass from the
viceroy, but the agents of the Inquisition were in hot pursuit; they
were recognized and conducted back under guard of twelve familiars and
some mounted officials, which was rather for their protection than to
prevent escape for, wherever they passed, crowds assembled with
demonstrations of burning them. Fray Domingo was in mortal fear lest his
kinsmen should slay him on the road, and it was deemed necessary to
enter Valladolid at night to avoid lapidation by the mob. Of all
concerned, the only one who succeeded in leaving Spain was Juan Sánchez,
who found at Castro de Urdiales a vessel bound for Flanders and he, as
we have seen, was caught a year later and shared the fate of his

Inquisitor-general Valdés, whose disgrace was imminent, promptly took
advantage of the situation to save himself. It is easy for us now to
recognize the absurdity of the fear that a couple of hundred more or
less zealous Protestants, in Seville and Valladolid, could constitute
any real danger to the faith so firmly intrenched and so powerfully
organized in Spain, but, at the moment, no man could know how far the
infection had spread. There was reasonable cause for alarm at the
simultaneous discovery, in places so far apart, of heresy numbering
among its disciples those of high rank in the world and of distinguished
position in the Church. This alarm it was the business of Valdés to
intensify, in order to render himself indispensable, and the most
exaggerated rumors were industriously spread. Abbot Illescas, who was an
eye-witness, treats it as a most terrible conspiracy which, if the
discovery had been postponed for two or three months, would have set all
Spain aflame, resulting in the gravest misfortune that had ever befallen
the land. That hideous stories were circulated is shown by his assertion
that matters too horrible to mention were proved; in the Cazalla house
nocturnal conventicles were held, abominable and Satanic gatherings, in
which Lutheran doctrines were preached.[1153] The legend was
industriously maintained. The Venetian envoy, Leonardo Donato, referring
to the matter, in 1573, says that if it had not been remedied with
speedy punishment, every one believes that the evil weed would have
grown apace and would have infected all Spain, and this, perhaps, was
not one of the least causes that induced Philip II to make peace with
France and return home.[1154] So Inquisitor Páramo, towards the close of
the century, tells us that no one doubts but that a great conflagration
would have resulted had it not been for the vigilance of the Holy Office
and that, in the nocturnal conventicles held in the Cazalla house, the
heretics polluted themselves with horrid wickedness.[1155]


That the government should feel keen anxiety at the unknown proportions
of the portentous discovery was natural. Charles V was nearing his end
in the retirement of Yuste, and Philip was in Flanders, engrossed in
the war with France. His sister, the Infanta Juana, the temporary ruler,
was a woman of very moderate capacity and she and her advisers, in view
of the religious disquiet in France and Germany, might reasonably view
with dread the prospect of civil dissension which in that age was the
usual result of dissidence in faith. The outbreak in Seville had not
excited much attention, but now this one at the court, involving such
personages, portended unknown evils and came just in time to save Valdés
from disgrace, as we have seen above (Vol. II, p. 47). On March 23, 1558
the Princess Juana had written to her father that when he had ordered
the body of his mother Juana to be transferred to Granada, she had
commanded Valdés to accompany it and then to visit his diocese of
Seville; he had endeavored to excuse himself at the moment but promised
to arrange so as to obey shortly. Then, when urged to do so some days
later he raised further difficulties; it made no difference whether the
body was buried then or in September; everybody was endeavoring to drive
him away; troubles with his chapter required his presence at the court
or in Rome; besides, he was occupied with some heresies which had arisen
in Seville and in Murcia, and was busy in endeavoring to get a subsidy
from the Moriscos of Granada. Evidently he was belittling the Seville
heresies, lest they should serve as an excuse for sending him thither
and, when Juana referred his letter to the Council of State, it insisted
that he could be properly obliged to reside in his diocese.[1156]

It can therefore be easily conceived how eagerly he grasped the
opportune explosion in Valladolid and how it was magnified so as to
produce on the court a vastly greater impression than the more dangerous
one in Seville. In a letter of May 12th to Philip, the Suprema briefly
announced the discovery; the heretics were so numerous and the time had
been so short that it could give no details, but it suggestively
insisted on the necessity of the presence of Valdés to urge the matter
forward and it hoped that, with the royal favor, action would be taken
for the salvation of the delinquents and the example and restraint of
others.[1157] As we have seen this produced immediate effect, for
Philip, who had written June 5th that he must be relegated to his see,
on the 14th countermanded the order. Charles had already been induced to
take the same position. As early as April 27th, Juan Vázquez reported to
him the arrest of Dr. Cazalla and the alarming outlook, adding that the
remedy should be speedy and that the inquisitor-general and Suprema were
actively at work.[1158] Charles was thoroughly aroused. He had spent his
strength and his life in combating heresy; it had baffled his policies
and frustrated his ambitions; it had been a thorn in the flesh, rankling
and crippling him at every turn. It had fairly worn him out and driven
him to abdication, and now its spectre broke in upon the repose for
which his wearied soul and exhausted body had longed. He was appalled by
the prospect of a renewal of the struggle, in the only land as yet
preserved from its influence, and his religious zeal was enkindled with
the conviction that only by the enforcement of unity of faith could
public order and even the monarchy itself be maintained.

[Sidenote: _ALARM OF CHARLES V_]

Accordingly, on May 3d, he wrote to Juana asking her most earnestly to
order that Valdés should not leave the court, where his presence was so
necessary. She must give him and the Suprema all the support requisite
to enable them to suppress so great an evil by the rigorous punishment
of the guilty. Had he the bodily strength, he would himself come and
share the labor. Juana sent for Valdés and showed him the letter, which
assured him that he had regained his position, and the work went on of
arresting the heretics, reports of which were duly sent to Charles. The
more he pondered over the situation, the more excited he grew. On May
25th, in a long letter to Juana, he magnified the danger and the urgency
of stern measures. "I do not know," he said, "that in these cases it
will suffice to follow the common law that the guilty of a first offence
can secure pardon by begging mercy and professing conversion for, when
at liberty, they will be free to repeat the offence.... The admission to
mercy was not provided for cases like these for, in addition to their
enormity, from what you write to me, it appears that in another year, if
unchecked, they would have dared to preach in public, thus inferring
their dangerous designs, for it is clear that they could not do so
without organization and armed leaders. It must therefore be seen
whether they can be prosecuted for sedition and disturbance of the
republic, thus incurring the penalty of rebellion without mercy." He
goes on to instance his own cruel edicts in the Netherlands, under which
the pertinacious were burnt alive and the repentant were beheaded, a
policy which he urged Philip to continue and which the latter practised
in England, as though he were its natural king, leading to so many and
such pitiless executions, even of bishops. "There must" he concluded "be
no competencias of jurisdiction over this, for believe me, my daughter,
if this evil be not suppressed at the beginning, I cannot promise that
there will be a king hereafter to do it. So I entreat you, as earnestly
as I can, to do everything possible, for the nature of the case demands
it and, that the necessary action be taken in my name, I order Luis
Quijada to go to you and to talk to such persons as you may

Not satisfied with this, Charles, on the same day, sent to Philip a copy
of this letter and begged him to give orders for the unsparing
punishment of the guilty, for the service of God and the preservation of
the kingdom were at stake. Philip's marginal note on this was to thank
him for what he had done, to ask him to press the matter, and to assure
him that the same would be done from Flanders.[1160] We shall see that
Charles's cruel desire was fulfilled, though it was done
ecclesiastically and not by distorting the secular law.

There followed a brisk correspondence between Valladolid and San Yuste,
Charles burning with impatience and urging speedy action, and Valdés
assuring him that all possible effort was making by the Inquisition in
its crippled condition for want of funds. Philip was kept advised and
wrote to Juana, from his camp near Dourlens, September 6th, expressing
his satisfaction with what had been done; they were not to delay by
communicating with him, who was busy with the war, but were to take
orders from the emperor to whom he had written, asking him to take
charge of the affair.[1161]

Valdés was now master of the situation, both in this and the affair of
Carranza, which hinged upon it to a large extent. To exploit it to the
utmost he addressed, September 9th, to Paul IV a letter in which he
gave a brief account of the development of Lutheranism in Valladolid and
Seville; he dwelt upon the dangers impending, the labors of the
Inquisition and the poverty which crippled its efforts. Adopting the
argument of Charles V, he pointed out that this Lutheranism was a kind
of sedition or tumult, occurring as it did among persons of importance
by birth, religion and wealth, so that there was peril of greater evils
if they were treated with the same benignity as the converts from Islam
and Judaism, who were mostly of low estate and not to be feared.
Lutheranism promised relief from Church burdens, which bore hardly on
the people who would welcome liberation, while tribunals might scruple
to relax persons of quality who would not patiently endure penance and
imprisonment and, from their rank and the influence of their kindred,
great evils might arise, both to religion and the peace of the kingdom.
A papal brief would be highly desirable, therefore, under which the
tribunals, without scruple or fear of irregularity, could and should
relax the guilty from whom danger to the republic might be feared, no
matter what their dignity in Church or State, giving to the inquisitors
full power to employ the rigor required by the situation, even if it
went beyond the limits of the law.[1162] We have seen (Vol. II p. 426)
how successful was this appeal in establishing on a firm basis the
finances of the Inquisition, nor was it less so in obtaining the cruel
power for which Charles V aspired, and also a faculty which enabled
Valdés to destroy Carranza. Allusion has already been made (Vol. II, p.
61; Vol. III, p. 201) to the briefs of January 4 and 7, 1559 by which
Paul IV granted a limited jurisdiction over the episcopal order and
authorized the relaxation of penitents who begged for mercy, when it was
believed that their conversion was not sincere. In both these
directions, as was customary with the Inquisition, the limitation was
disregarded and the grant of power was freely exercised.[1163]


Having obtained authority to set aside the law, the Inquisition was
prepared to impress the people with a sense of the danger of wandering
from the faith. Nothing was spared to enhance the effect of the auto de
fe of Trinity Sunday, May 21, 1559, in which the first portion of the
Valladolid prisoners were to suffer. It was solemnly proclaimed fifteen
days in advance, during which the buildings of the Inquisition were
incessantly patrolled, day and night, by a hundred armed men, and guards
were stationed at the stagings in the Plaza Mayor, for there were rumors
that the prison was to be blown up and that the stagings were to be
fired. Along the line of the procession, palings were set in the middle
of the street, forming an unobstructed path for three to march abreast,
intrusion on which was forbidden under heavy penalties, but this and the
numerous guards were powerless to keep it clear. Every house-front along
the line and around the plaza had its stagings; people flocked in from
thirty and forty leagues around and encamped in the fields; except the
familiars, no one was allowed to ride on horseback or to bear arms,
under pain of death and confiscation.

The procession was headed by the effigy of Leonor de Vivero, who had
died during trial, clad in widow's weeds and bearing a mitre with flames
and appropriate inscription, and followed by a coffin containing her
remains to be duly burnt. Those who were to be relaxed in person
numbered fourteen, of whom one, Gonzalo Baez, was a Portuguese convicted
of Judaism. Those admitted to reconciliation, with penance more or less
severe, were sixteen in number, including an Englishman variously styled
Anthony Graso or Bagor--probably Baker--punished for Protestantism,
like all the rest, excepting Baez. When the procession reached the
plaza, Agustin Cazalla was placed in the highest seat, as the
conspicuous chief of the heresy, and next to him his brother, Francisco
de Vivero. Melchor Cano at once commenced the sermon, which occupied an
hour, and then Valdés and the bishops approached the Princess Juana and
Prince Carlos, who were present, and administered to them the oath to
protect and aid the Inquisition, to which the multitude responded in a
mighty roar, "To the death!" Cazalla, his brother and Alonso Pérez, who
were in orders, were duly degraded from the priesthood, the sentences
were read, those admitted to reconciliation made the necessary
abjurations and those condemned to relaxation were handed over to the
secular arm. Mounted on asses, they were carried to the Plaza de la
Puerta del Campo, where the requisite stakes had been erected, and there
they met their end.[1164] With one exception they were not martyrs in
any true sense of the word, for all but one had recanted, had professed
repentance, had begged for mercy, and had given full information as to
their friends and associates. Under the law, with perhaps two or three
exceptions, who might be regarded as dogmatizers, they would have been
entitled to reconciliation, but the brief of January 4th had placed them
at the mercy of the Inquisition and an example was desired.


Of these there were only two or three who merit special consideration.
Cazalla, on his trial, had at first equivocated and denied that he had
dogmatized, asserting that he had only spoken of these matters to those
already converted. As a rule, all the prisoners eagerly denounced their
associates; he may have been more reticent at first, for he was
sentenced to torture _in caput alienum_, but when stripped he promised
to inform against them fully, which he did, including Carranza among
those who had misled him as to purgatory.[1165] He recanted, professed
conversion and eagerly sought reconciliation. The tribunal insisted on
regarding him as chief of the conventicle and, on the afternoon
preceding the auto, it sent to his cell the prior of the Geronimite
convent of Nuestra Señora de Prado, with one of his monks, Fray Antonio
de la Carrera, to endeavor to extract further information. As officially
reported by Fray Antonio, they found him in a dark cell, loaded with
chains and with a _pié de amigo_ encircling his head. He greeted them
warmly but, when informed of their object, protested that he had nothing
to add to his confessions without bearing false witness against himself
or others. For two hours they labored with him in vain and then told him
that he was condemned to die. In the seclusion of his prison he knew
nothing of the papal brief; he had fully expected to be admitted to
reconciliation, and the announcement came like a thunder-stroke--one
version of the interview states that he fainted and lay insensible for
an hour; another, that he was incredulous, asking whether it could be
possible and whether there was no escape. He was told that he might be
saved if he would make a more complete confession, but he repeated that
he had already told the whole truth. Then he confessed sacramentally and
received absolution, after which he spent the time until morning in
begging mercy of God and thanking God for sending him this affliction
for his salvation; he blessed and praised the Holy Office and all its
ministers, saying that it had been founded, not by the hand of man but
by that of God; he willingly accepted the sentence, which was just and
merited; he did not wish for life and would not accept it for, as he had
misused it in the past, so would it be in the future. All this was
repeated when the usual confessors were admitted to his cell and, when
morning came and the sanbenito was brought, he kissed it, saying that he
put it on with more pleasure than any garment he had ever worn. He
declared that, when opportunity offered in the auto, he would curse and
detest Lutheranism and persuade everyone to do the same, with which
purpose he took his place in the procession.[1166]

So great was his emotional exaltation that he fulfilled this promise
with such exuberance during the auto that he had to be checked. After
the sentences were read and those who were to be relaxed were brought
down, when he reached the lowest step he met his sister, who was
condemned to perpetual prison; they embraced, weeping bitterly and, when
he was dragged away, she fell senseless. On the way to the brasero he
continued to exhort the people and directed his efforts especially to
the heroic Herrezuelo, who had stedfastly refused to abandon his faith
and was to be burnt alive. We might possibly feel some suspicion of the
accuracy of all this, especially as the Inquisition took the unusual
step of having an official report of his behavior drawn up and a briefer
one attested, June 5th, by Simon de Cabezon and Francisco de Rueda, the
notaries who recorded the delivery of the relaxed to the
magistrates.[1167] We have, however, the independent testimony of an
eye-witness, the Abbot Illescas, who tells us that, after the
degradation, Cazalla, with mitre on head and halter around his neck,
shed tears so copiously and loudly expressed his repentance with such
unexampled fervor that all present were satisfied that, through divine
mercy, he was saved. He said and did so many things that everyone was
moved to commiseration. Most of his comrades in death showed resignation
and all retracted publicly, though it was understood that with some this
was rather to escape burning alive than with any good purpose.[1168]

[Sidenote: _SECOND AUTO DE FE_]

It was otherwise with Herrezuelo, the only martyr in the group. He
avowed his faith and resolutely adhered to it, in spite of all effort to
convert him and of the dreadful fate in store for him. On their way to
the brasero, Cazalla wasted on him all his eloquence. He was gagged and
could not reply, but his stoical endurance showed his unyielding
pertinacity. When chained to the stake, a stone thrown at him struck him
in the forehead, covering his face with blood but, as we are told, it
did him no good. Then he was thrust through the belly by a pious
halberdier, but this moved him not and, when the fire was set, he bore
his agony without flinching and, to the general surprise, he thus ended
diabolically.[1169] Illescas, who stood so near that he could watch
every expression, reports that he seemed as impassive as flint but,
though he uttered no complaint and manifested no regret, yet he died
with the strangest sadness in his face, so that it was dreadful to look
upon him as on one who in a brief moment would be in hell with his
comrade and master, Luther.[1170]

Perhaps the most pitiful case of all was that of his young wife, Leonor
de Cisneros. But twenty-three years old, with life opening before her,
she had yielded so promptly to the methods of the Inquisition that she
escaped with perpetual prison. In the weary years of the _casa de la
penitencia_, the burden on her soul grew more and more unendurable and
the example of her martyred husband stood before her in stronger light.
At last she could bear the secret torture no longer; with clear
knowledge of her fate, she confessed her heresy and, in 1567, she was
put on trial again. As a relapsed there could be no mercy for her, but
recantation might at least preserve her from death by fire, and earnest
efforts were made to save her soul. They were unavailing; she declared
that the Holy Spirit had enlightened her and that she would die as her
husband had died, for Christ. Nothing could overcome her resolution and,
on September 28, 1568, she atoned for her weakness of ten years before
and was burnt alive as an obstinate impenitent.[1171]

The remainder of the Valladolid reformers were reserved for another
celebration, October 8th, honored with the presence of Philip II, who
obediently took the customary oath, with bared head and ungloved hand.
It was, if possible, an occasion of greater solemnity than the previous
one. A Flemish official, who was present, estimates the number of
spectators at two hundred thousand and, though he must have been
hardened to such scenes at home, he cannot repress an expression of
sympathy with the sufferers.[1172] Besides a Morisco who was relaxed, a
Judaizer reconciled and two penitents for other offences, there were
twenty-six Protestants. The lesson was the same as in the previous auto,
that few had the ardor of martyrdom. Thirteen had made their peace in
time to secure reconciliation or penance. Even Juana Sánchez, who had
managed to bring with her a pair of scissors and had cut her throat,
recanted before death, but her confession was considered imperfect and
she was burnt in effigy. Of the twelve relaxed in person, five
manifested persistence, but only in two cases did this withstand the
test of fire. Carlos de Seso was unyielding to the end and, when we are
told that he had to be supported by two familiars to enable him to stand
when hearing his sentence, we can guess the severity of torture endured
by him. Juan Sánchez was likewise pertinacious; when the fire was set it
burnt the cord fastening him to the stake; he leaped down and ran in
flames; it was thought that he wanted to confess but, when a confessor
was brought, he refused to listen to him; one account says that the
guards thrust him back into the flames, another, that he looked up and
saw Carlos de Seso calmly burning and himself leaped back into the
blazing pile. Fray Domingo de Rojas presented a brave front and, after
his degradation, addressed the king, asserting his heresies until
dragged away and gagged, but when brought to the stake his heart failed
him; he declared that he wished to die in the faith of Rome and was
garroted. It was the same with Pedro de Cazalla and Pedro de Sotelo, who
were gagged as unrepentant, but were converted at the brasero. Those who
had merited mercy by prompt confession and denunciation of accomplices
were, as a rule, not severely penanced and, in many cases, their
punishment was abbreviated.[1173] There would appear to have been some
especially severe disabilities inflicted on the descendants of Carlos de
Seso, extending to the female line, removable only by the Holy See for,
in 1630, Urban VIII, at the special request of Philip IV, granted to
Caterina de Castilla, grand-daughter of Isabel de Castilla, wife of
Carlos de Seso, a dispensation to hold honors and dignities, secular and

[Sidenote: _SEVILLE AUTO DE FE_]

Thus was exterminated the nascent Protestantism of Valladolid. Meanwhile
the Seville tribunal had been struggling with the mass of work thrown
upon it by the capture of Julian Hernández and Don Juan Ponce de Leon.
So numerous were the arrests that the rule had to be broken which
forbade the confinement of accomplices together and, as the circle
widened, arrests had to be postponed in expectation of an auto de fe
that should empty the cells until, on June 6, 1559, the tribunal asked
for power to requisition houses to serve as prisons. To hasten the work,
early in 1559, Bishop Munebrega of Tarazona, an old inquisitor, was sent
to Seville to aid the tribunal, but he was excessively severe, desiring
to burn everyone; he soon became involved in bickering and recrimination
with the inquisitors Carpio and Gasca, of whom he complained bitterly;
votes in discordia were frequent, appeals to the Suprema were constant
and the work was delayed.[1175] It was not until September 24, 1559,
that an auto could be celebrated. If all Old Castile had poured into
Valladolid, so all Andalusia manifested its religious zeal by crowding
into Seville. Three days in advance the people began to assemble, until
the city could hold no more and they were obliged to sleep in the
fields. The stagings and scaffoldings were on the most extensive scale
and a place was specially provided for the Duchess of Bejar and her
friends, who apparently desired the pleasure of seeing her kinsman, Juan
Ponce de Leon relaxed.[1176] As was so often the case, the solemnities
were somewhat marred by an unseemly contest for precedence, between the
civil and ecclesiastical authorities, which was renewed at the auto of
1560 and was not settled for several years.[1177]

The services of thirty-eight frailes and Jesuits were required to
prepare for their doom those who were to be relaxed. The most prominent
of the victims was Don Juan Ponce de Leon, who had remained hardened,
during his two years of confinement, in the belief that a man of his
rank would not be burnt. He was an ardent Protestant; he had founded in
his lands a sort of church, where worship was conducted in secret; he
had gone to the brasero where, raising his hands to heaven, he had
wished to God that he could be burnt there to ashes, with his wife and
children, in defence of his faith, and he had said that if he had an
income of twenty thousand ducats he would spend it all in evangelizing
Spain but, when he learned his fate that night, he professed conversion;
on the staging, he busied himself in urging his fellow-convicts to
abandon their errors, and he made an exemplary end with tears and
repentance. The next most conspicuous sufferer was the Licenciado Juan
González, a famous preacher. He was of Moorish descent and, when only
twelve years old, had been penanced at Córdova for Moorish errors.
Throughout his trial he had steadily refused to incriminate others and,
during the night, he answered the padres' exhortations with the psalms
of David. On the staging he talked heresy with his two sisters until he
was gagged and all three were burnt. The most interesting victim was
María de Bohorques, aged 26, natural daughter of Pero García de Xeres,
a prominent citizen of Seville. She was a disciple of Cassiodoro de
Reina, highly educated and thoroughly conversant with scripture, in both
its literal and spiritual senses. When the confessors entered her cell
that night, she received them pleasantly and expressed no surprise at
their fateful message. It was in vain that relays of frailes sought her
conversion--Dominicans following Jesuits and Franciscans succeeding to
Carmelites. She met all their arguments with biblical texts, and was the
only one of the condemned who defended her faith. Thus she passed the
night until summoned to the procession. On the staging Ponce de Leon
sought to convert her but she silenced him, saying that it was a time
for meditation on the Savior. She treated the frailes who surrounded her
as troublesome intermeddlers but, at three o'clock, she yielded to their
entreaties, relapsing soon afterwards, however, to her errors, and she
was burnt. Another prominent culprit was Hernando de San Juan, master of
the _Doctrina Christiana_ for children in Seville. He was an obstinate
heretic, who resisted all efforts at conversion. After his sentence was
read, the inquisitors asked whether he persisted in his errors, when he
emphatically answered in the affirmative. Thereupon he was gagged, which
he endured as though thanking God that it was given him to suffer for
His sake. At length, however, he was persuaded by the frailes to escape
burning alive by conversion, but his salvation, we are told, was
uncertain as he had been impenitent until then.[1178]


Altogether, at this auto, there were relaxed in person eighteen
Lutherans, besides the effigy of the fugitive Francisco de Zafra. Two of
these were foreigners--Carlos de Brujas, a Fleming and Antonio Baldie a
Frenchman, master of the ship Unicornio. Evidently full use was made of
the power to execute repentant converts, but whether any persisted to
the end and were burnt alive cannot be gathered with certainty from any
of the relations. The only guide we have is the general assertion of
Illescas that, in this and subsequent autos in Seville, there were forty
or fifty Lutherans executed, of whom four or five suffered themselves to
be burnt alive.[1179] Besides those executed there were eight Lutherans
reconciled, three abjured for vehement suspicion and ten for light
suspicion, making forty in all. Two houses were ordered to be torn down
and sowed with salt--those of Luis de Abrego and Isabel de Baena--which
had been used for meetings. There were also thirty-four culprits for
other offences--fourteen Moriscos of whom three were relaxed, one
Judaizer reconciled, four bigamists, two blasphemers, twelve for holding
fornication not to be a sin, and one false-witness, making a total of
seventy-four and giving the crowd ample entertainment.[1180]

The work went on with unrelaxing vigor, but it was not until December
22, 1560, that another gaol-delivery could be arranged. Of this auto we
have the dry official report, which shows that there were fourteen
relaxations in person and three in effigy, the latter being the deceased
Doctor Egidio and Doctor Constantino, and the fugitive Juan Pérez de
Pineda. There were fifteen reconciled and imprisoned, five abjurations
_de vehementi_ and three de levi, and there was one acquittal, making
forty-one in all, but soon afterwards there were sixteen Spaniards and
twenty-six foreigners discharged as innocent, showing how reckless and
indiscriminating had been the arrests. Whether any of the relaxed
persisted to the end and were burnt alive is not recorded, for the only
remark accompanying the report is that there were no offensive speeches,
because those likely to utter them were duly gagged in advance.[1181]

Of these there were two or three deserving special notice. At the head
of the list of sufferers stood Julian Hernández, who had left his safe
retreat in Frankfort on the desperate errand of evangelizing Spain. He
had lain three years in prison and, if González de Montes is to be
believed, he bore unshrinkingly repeated torture without betraying his
associates and, when carried back to his cell, would inspirit his
fellow-prisoners by chanting along the corridors

    Vencidos van los frayles,
        Vencidos van.
    Corridos van los lobos,
        Corridos van.

Montes adds that he persisted to the end, when, after the faggots were
lighted, a fraile had his gag removed in hopes of his yielding and,
disgusted with his obduracy, cried "Kill him! kill him!" when the guards
thrust their weapons into him. It may be hoped that he was spared the
final agonies, but there are not wanting indications that, towards the
close of his imprisonment, his resolution gave way and that he furnished
evidence against his comrades.[1182]

The one acquittal was that of Doña Juana de Bohorques, wife of Don
Francisco de Vargas and sister of the María de Bohorques who had
perished in the previous auto. She died in prison and it was her fame
and memory that were absolved. González de Montes says that her death
was caused by atrocious torture and the case has, thanks to Llorente,
served as a base for one of the severest accusations against the
Inquisition. In the absence of the documents the truth of the story
cannot be ascertained but, if true, it manifests more readiness to
render a righteous judgment at the cost of self-condemnation than we are
accustomed to attribute to the Inquisition.[1183]


Seville, as the chief commercial centre of Spain, naturally attracted
many merchants and mariners, and this auto furnishes an illustration of
inquisitorial methods in discouraging commerce. Among the relaxed there
were three foreigners--a Frenchman named Bartolomé Fabreo and two
Englishmen, William Bruq (Brooks) and Nicolas Bertoun (Burton or
Britton). Of the two former we know only their fate, but of the latter
we chance to have some details. Burton was a shipmaster or supercargo,
who made no secret of the reformed faith in which he had been trained,
wherefore he was arrested and all the merchandize in his charge was
sequestrated. One of the owners, seeking to recover his property, sent a
young man named John Frampton to reclaim it. After months of delay he
was told that his papers were insufficient, when he went back to London
and returned to Seville with what was needed. More delays ensued and
then he was cast into the secret prison on the charge that a suspicious
book had been found in his baggage--the book being an English
translation of Cato. His trial was protracted, though he made no secret
of his belief; he was tortured until he fainted and, when his endurance
was exhausted, he consented to adopt Catholicism. Burton was more
persistent and was burnt. Frampton, after fourteen months of
confinement, escaped with reconciliation, confiscation and a year of
sanbenito and prison, with orders never to leave Spain. All the goods
under Burton's charge were confiscated; Frampton figured his own loss at
£760 and the whole confiscations at the auto at the enormous sum of
£50,000--doubtless an exaggeration, but the whole affair indicates that
the profitable side of persecution was not lost to sight.[1184]

The next auto was celebrated April 26, 1562, and comprised forty-nine
cases of Lutheranism. There were nine relaxed in person and, as none of
them are described as obstinate, it may be assumed that all were
garrotted. There was one effigy of the dead and fifteen of fugitives. Of
the latter, nine were monks of San Isidro, among whom were Cipriano de
Valera and Cassiodoro de Reina. That the native stock of heretics was
becoming exhausted is seen in the fact that, of the thirty-three persons
figuring in the auto, twenty-one were foreigners, mostly Frenchmen. This
was followed by another auto, October 28th of the same year, in which
there were thirty-nine cases of Lutheranism, of which nine were
relaxations in person and three of fugitives in effigy, none of the
culprits being described as impenitent. There were nine reconciliations,
seventeen abjurations _de vehementi_ and one _de levi_. The number of
ecclesiastics is a noteworthy feature of this auto for, besides the
Prior of San Isidro, Maestro Garcí Arias Blanco, there were four priests
burnt in person and one in effigy, and seven who abjured _de vehementi_.
They contributed largely to the fines levied, amounting to 5050 ducats
and 50,000 maravedís, besides four confiscations of half the property.
It may be remarked, moreover, that the officers and crew of the ship
Angel seem to have fallen victims in a body, for three were burnt, six
were reconciled and four abjured _de vehementi_.[1185] Trading with
Spain was becoming more and more perilous.

The little band of Seville Protestants was thus almost rooted out, and
the succeeding autos show a constantly preponderating number of
foreigners. That of April 19, 1564, only presented six relaxations in
person and one in effigy, of which all the former were of Flemings, and
two abjurations _de vehementi_, both of foreigners.[1186] The next was
celebrated May 13, 1565, in which there were six relaxations in effigy
for Protestantism, the offenders having fled. Of these only two were
Spaniards, one being the last inculpated monk of San Isidro. Of seven
reconciliations, all were of foreigners, six being Flemish or Breton
sailors. Of five abjurations _de vehementi_, three were of Flemings.
There was also a cruel warning against harboring and protecting these
foreign heretics, for two Flemings of Puerto Real, for this offence,
were visited, one with four hundred lashes and the other with two
hundred, besides fines and banishment.[1187]

We have thus virtually reached the end of native Spanish Protestantism,
but the impression produced by the Valladolid and Seville heretics was
still profound. Philip II addressed, November 23, 1563, to the Spanish
bishops, a letter enlarging upon the efforts of the Lutherans to spread
their doctrines throughout Spain. In these perilous times, he says, the
Inquisition must be aided by having everywhere those who will report to
it all suspect of Lutheran or other errors. The bishop is to see to this
and also that preachers shall confine themselves to setting forth
Catholic belief, making no allusions to heresies, even to confute them.
Confessors are to be instructed to charge their penitents to denounce to
the Inquisition all whom they know to entertain these errors. No one is
to be allowed to teach school without a preliminary examination, by both
the ecclesiastical and secular authorities, who must be satisfied with
his character and habits.[1188] It is evident that extraordinary
precautions and universal vigilance were deemed necessary to exclude the
obnoxious doctrines.


Yet these efforts were rewarded with no new discoveries, for Spanish
Protestantism was a mere episode, of no practical moment save as its
repression fortified the Inquisition and led to the segregation of Spain
from the intellectual and industrial movement of the succeeding
centuries. A few sporadic cases may be noted from time to time, but the
persecution of Jew and Morisco had trained the nation too thoroughly in
enthusiastic fanaticism, and the organization of monarchy and Church was
too absolute for there to be any real danger that Protestantism could
obtain a foothold. Yet the danger was deemed so pressing that extreme
measures were justified to protect the land from the intrusion of
foreign ideas. Philip II had lost no time, after his return from
Flanders, in issuing the pragmática of November 22, 1559, by which all
Spanish youth studying abroad were ordered home within four months, and
all Spanish subjects for the future were forbidden to seek foreign lands
for study under penalty, for laymen, of confiscation and perpetual
exile, and for clerics, of forfeiture of temporalities and loss of
citizenship. The only exceptions allowed were the college of Albornoz in
Bologna and those of Rome and Naples, for Spaniards residing in Italy
and that of Coimbra for the professors there.[1189] It would be
difficult to exaggerate the unfortunate influence of this in retarding
Spanish development, yet it was but the first of a series of measures
which, by isolating Spain, crippled its energies in every direction.

The spectre of active proselytism on the part of Protestants abroad was
vigorously conjured up to stimulate vigilance and justify repression.
Undoubtedly the refugees in the Rhinelands and Switzerland were
earnestly desirous of evangelizing their native land, and they labored
industriously to this end, but the difficulties in the way were too
great and the reports as to their efforts were systematically
exaggerated. Carranza, in his defence, dwelt on his exertions in
Flanders to check this traffic, but though he was told of barrels full
of a forged letter of Philip II and of a papal bull, at the Frankfort
fair for shipment to Spain, and of shops in Medina del Campo and Málaga
to which heretic books were sent, the net results of his energy show how
little substratum of fact there was in all this.[1190] The career of
Julian Hernández proves that men who took their lives in their hands
might occasionally bring in a few books, but his fate was not
encouraging. If some times a missionary undertook such work his mission
was apt to be brief. Hughes Bernat of Grenoble landed at Lequeitio
(Biscay) August 10, 1559, on such an errand. On the road to Guadalupe he
fell in with a Minim named Fray Pedro, who pretended inclination to
Lutheranism and led Bernat to unbosom himself as to his plans and hopes,
resulting in his speedy arrest by the tribunal of Toledo, when he boldly
confessed as to himself and was tortured to discover his accomplices.
He was sentenced to relaxation in the auto of September 25, 1560, and as
he is not described as pertinacious, he probably professed conversion
when, for some reason, his sentence was not executed.[1191] In the trial
of Gilles Tibobil (or Bonneville), at Toledo, in 1564, we hear of
Francisco Borgoñon, a French haberdasher who, in his trips from France,
brought with him heretic books, but they were for the benefit of a
little Huguenot colony in Toledo; the number of such Frenchmen and
Flemings in Spain was large and this, rather than projects of
evangelization, probably explains the greater part of the smuggling,
attempted or performed.[1192]


There were constant rumors, however, of propagandism on a larger scale
which served to magnify the importance of the Inquisition and to justify
interference with commerce. In 1566, Don Francisco de Alava, a Spanish
envoy to France, was busy in Montpellier endeavoring to trace the agency
by which heretic books were conveyed to Catalonia, where the number of
Frenchmen was large,[1193] and, in the same year, Margaret of Parma,
from the Netherlands, sent to Philip the absurd statement that thirty
thousand of Calvin's books had been transmitted through Seville,
whereupon the Suprema issued vigorous orders for their seizure.[1194] In
January, 1572, it announced to all the tribunals that the Princess of
Béarn (Jeanne d'Albret) had recently held an assembly of Lutherans, in
which it was resolved to send some of their ministers in disguise to
Spain as missionaries. The utmost vigilance was enjoined to counteract
this effort; all the commissioners were to be warned and prelates be
asked to order all priests and preachers to be on the watch.[1195] In
June, 1578, it sent letters to a number of tribunals, stating that
advices from Valladolid showed that the heretics had printed a New
Testament in Spanish, with a Venetian imprint, and were flooding the
land with copies, and also that the heretic ministers had correspondents
in Spain. Great watchfulness was therefore commanded at all sea-ports
and frontier towns, and all persons found in possession of the
prohibited volume were to be sent to Madrid for trial. A month later,
this scare was renewed on the strength of information from Flanders, but
the records of the Toledo tribunal at this period do not indicate that
these efforts were rewarded with any captures.[1196]

Whatever proselyting zeal Protestantism may have had passed away with
the early years of the seventeenth century. The latest work of the kind
of which we hear is that, in 1603, the Prince of Anhalt introduced into
Seville a number of copies of the Bible of Cipriano de Valera and, when
Catherine, Duchess of Bar, sister of Henry IV, heard of this, she
ordered six hundred copies printed and sent a Huguenot gentleman, named
Hierosme de Taride, to the Duke of la Force at Pau, to learn how to
transmit them to Saragossa, when la Force gave him the names of parties
there who could be trusted to handle them, but the death of the duchess
in 1604 put an end to the project.[1197] The Thirty Years' War gave the
German Protestants ample occupation at home and, after the Peace of
Westphalia, proselytism was out of fashion.

Yet it was a curious episode of the War of Succession that when, in
1706, the Archduke Charles and his English allies seemed for a brief
space to be at the point of success, when all the kingdoms of the Crown
of Aragon had acknowledged him and he even for a time occupied Madrid,
the opportunity was seized to circulate a catechism of Anglican doctrine
in Spanish and other books prejudicial to the faith. The energetic
measures adopted by the Inquisition to meet this assault show the
strength of its apprehension. It ordered the most careful watch to be
kept at all ports and frontier towns. Edicts were to be published
forbidding these and all other works of evil doctrine introduced by
heretics, and inquisitors were told to be energetic in punishing the
guilty, enforcing their sentences by censures, interdicts and cessatio a
divinis when, if these proved futile they were to abandon, in solemn
procession, the disobedient cities, even at the risk of their
lives.[1198] The rising of the Spanish people, in this same year, soon
limited the territory occupied by the Allies; we hear nothing more of
this attempt at conversion under the shadow of the sword and, taken as
a whole, the efforts to evangelize Spain have attracted vastly more
attention than their intrinsic importance deserves.

       *       *       *       *       *


Unsuccessful as were the endeavors to introduce the new doctrines in
Spain, there continued to be occasional cases of Spaniards embracing
them partially or wholly, of which a few examples may be cited. There
was arrested and brought to the Toledo tribunal, December 24, 1562,
Hernando Díaz, a cowherd of San Roman, near Talavera. He was a
simple-minded creature, who had been at times _melancolico_. In the
Sierra Morena there had been much talk among the shepherds of the
Lutheran doctrines made known in the Seville autos. While working there
he had heard of them, they fixed themselves in his wandering mind and,
when the fit was on him, he could not help talking of his
_imaginaciones_ as he called them, although his wife and daughter and
his neighbors, cautioned him against it. At his first audience he freely
admitted having denied the power of pope and priest and asserted that
salvation came by faith and love of God and charity and love of one's
neighbor, and not by the laws of the Church or by indulgences and images
and pilgrimages. The inquisitors treated him kindly, exhorting him to
cast aside these fancies, which he professed willingness to do but could
not control them. Physicians were called in who bled and purged him; he
begged for mercy, but could not conquer his beliefs. This went on for a
couple of months when he announced his conversion through the teaching
of his cell-companion, a priest named Juan Ramírez, who confirmed it,
stating that Díaz had talked like a Lutheran until the feast of the
conversion of St. Paul, when he had read to him from his breviary the
services of the day and had urged his conversion; Díaz had wept and
professed his belief in the Church and Ramírez held him to be sincere.
Thus far the conduct of the case had been eminently humane and
considerate, but when the consulta de fe met, May 17th, two of the
consultors voted for relaxation, while the two inquisitors, the Ordinary
and two others voted for reconciliation, confiscation and irremissible
perpetual prison and sanbenito. At an auto held, September 19th, this
sentence was duly pronounced and, when the city of Toledo was assigned
to him for a prison, he was thrust into the streets to take his chance
of starvation.[1199] The case is not without interest as showing that
the sentences read at the autos might be as effective as the dreaded

A heretic of different calibre was Don Caspar Centellas of Valencia, a
gentleman of birth and culture. During his trial, he evaded the
accusation with skill but, when his counsel drew up for him a defence in
which he was made to recognize the Roman Church and pope as the Church
of God, in which he wished to live and die, he refused to sign it. He
renounced all defence and was obdurate to the arguments of the
theologians, who were repeatedly summoned to convert him; there was
nothing to do but to burn him, which was executed accordingly, September
17, 1564.[1200] His brother, Don Miguel Centellas, Comendador of
Montesa, was likewise exposed to a prolonged trial, but was acquitted in
1567.[1201] Connected with Don Gaspar was Doctor Sigismondo Arquer who,
though not a Spaniard, was a Spanish subject, being from Cagliari. His
trial at Toledo occupied nine years; he was unrepentant to the last and
when, in the auto of June 4, 1571, he was delivered to the secular arm,
a curious debate arose. The official entrusted with the execution of the
sentences declared that, under the law in other offences, there was no
burning alive and he ordered Arquer to be garroted. The pious zeal of
the populace could not endure this ill-timed mercy; a riot occurred in
which Arquer was pierced with halberds and other weapons; fire was
finally set and so, half dead already, he was burnt.[1202]

By this time it was rare to find a native Spaniard tried for
Protestantism, and women virtually disappear as culprits. Moreover, the
cases which are classed in the records as cosas de Luteranos are nearly
all those in which some trifling aberration or careless speech was
qualified by the calificadores as savoring of Lutheranism, so that the
statistics unconsciously exaggerate greatly the prevalence of
Protestantism. Such cases were mostly treated with leniency, as that of
Mosen Monserrat, a beneficed priest of the church of San Salvador,
accused in 1567 of Calvinism,