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From the library of 

Marshall R. Kernochan 









All rights reserved 

I/. 3 

Copyright, 1907 

Set up and electrotyped. Published January, 1907 


OCT 1-1957 


BOOK VI— PRACTICE (Continued). 
Chapter VII — Torture. 


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 — Torinre 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 

Chapter VIII— The Trial. 

Gradual development of Procedure 36 

The Audience— The Three Monitions 37 

The Charges Withheld 39 

The Accusation • • • • ^^ 

The Advocate for the Defence — His Function 42 

The Curador for Minors 50 




The Patrones Teologos 51 

Publication of Evidence 53 

The Defence — Recusation of Judges 56 

Insanity 58 

Tacha and Ahonos 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 


Chapter I — The Sentence. 

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 Ill 

Compurgation or Wager of Law 113 

Used by the Inquisition in Doubtful Cases 114 

Formula of Procedure 117 

Chapter II — Minor Penalties. 

Reprimand 121 

Abjuration 123 

Exile 126 

Razing Houses 128 

Spiritual Penances 131 

Unusual Penalties 132 


Chapter III — Harsher Penalties. 


The Scourge 135 

Vergiienza 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 

Chapter I^' — The Stake. 

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 Diminido 199 

The Dogmatizer or Heresiarch 200 

Relapse 202 

Disappearance of relaxation 208 

Chapter V — The Auto de Fe. 

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 Entertaimiient 227 


Chapter I — Jews. 


Neglect of Instruction of coerced Converts 231 

Slendcrness of Proof required for Prosecution 232 

Gradual Disappearance of Judaism . 234 

Influx of Portuguese Judaizers after the Conquest of Portugal . 237 

Portugal — Treatment of Jewish Refugees 237 

Joao HI resolves to introduce the Inquisition .... 238 

Struggle in Rome between Joao and the New Christians . 239 

Joao 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 Damiao 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— Joao 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 

Chapter II — Moriscos. 

Toleration of the Mudejares — 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 33 1 

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 Germania 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 37 1 

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 wdth 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 

Chapter III — Protestantism. 

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 Propa- 
ganda 424 

The Protestants of Valladolid — General Alarm exploited by 

Valdes 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 Intercom-se — Treaties with England, 

Holland and France 462 

Exclusion of Foreigners, except in the Army 472 

Conversion of foreign Heretics 476 

Chapter IV — Censorship. 

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 Lihrorum 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 Navios .... 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 place.^ 

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 obsoles- 
cent 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, 

^ "Res est fragilis et periculosa et quae veritatem fallit." — L. 1, § 23, Dig. 
XL VIII, xviii. 

VOL. Ill 1 ( 1 ) 


required that confession must be voluntary and insisted that, 
if obtained by torture, it must subsequently be freely ratified, 
without threats or pressure/ 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.^ 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, Pena 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 famil- 
iar, the Cortes of 1646 complained of it as an unprecedented 
innovation, which was only prevented by the active intervention 
of the diputados and viceroy.^ 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.* 

We shall see that occasionally tribunals abused the use of tor- 
ture, 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 

* Partidas, P. in, Tit. xiii, leyes 4, 5. 

2 See " History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages," III, 313, 315. 
' Pegnse Comment. 110 in Eymerici Director. P. in. — Bibl. nacional, MSS., 
Mm., 122. 

*• Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicioii de Valencia, Leg. 61. 


Archbishop Pedro tie Castro of Granada, it was notorious that 
no one confessed except when overcome by torture/ 

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 accomphces. In addition to this there were many classes 
of cases in which tortui^e was employed by Rome to extort con- 
fession and in which it was forbidden in Spain*^those involving 
mere presumption of heresy, such as solicitation, sorcery, blas- 
phemy etc. Moreover in Rome the in arbitrio judicum applied 
not only to the kind and duration of the torture but also to its 
repetition.^ Spanish writers on practice, therefore, were justi- 
fied 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 man- 
cuerda, 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.^ 

* Pedraza, Hist, eccles. de Granada, fol. 275 (Granada, 1638). 

"^ Collectio Decretor. S. Congr. Sti Officii, p. 407 (MS. -penes wc).— Decreta 
Sac. Congr. Sti Officii, p. 569 (Bibl. del R. Archivio di Stato in Roma, Fondo 
camerale, Congr. del S. Officio, vol. 3). — Ristretto cerca li Delitti piu frequent! 
nel S. Officio, p. 18, 148 (MS. ■penes me). — Praxis procedendi, Cap. 18, n. 2, 
3, 5 (Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia). 

^ Vida de Don Diego Duque de Estrada (l\Iem. hist, espanol, XIII, 55-60. 

Estrada relates that, after the torture, he paid the executioner two hundred 
ducats to preserve him from Ijcing crippled. The process was very painful, 
consisting of stretching the limbs and rubbing with an ointment composed of 
equal parts of fat of man, snake, bear, lion, viper and frog, melted over a slow 
fire with oil of sweet almonds, of pericon, camomile, rosado and balsam of the 
East. The treatment was successful. 

For a frightful case of torture in Antwerp, as late as 1792, extending at inter- 
vals over more than a year, see Eugene Hubert, La Torture dans les Pays- 
Bas Autrichiens, pp. 124-9 (Bruxelles, 1897). 


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 enhghtening his 
understanding.^ 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 earUer 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.^ After this it became the univer- 
sal 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 Garcia, 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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Libro 939, fol. 121. 
^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 21 (Arguello, fol. 30) 


not until February lltli that Garcia was exposed to the very- 
moderate water-torture of about a quart of water. No con- 
fession 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 inquisi- 
torial logic, he was made to abjure de vehementi and forbidden 
to celebrate mass for six months/ 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.^ 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 
Rodriguez without previous consultation, but at this period the 
consulta de fe was becoming obsolete and everything was cen- 
tering in the Suprema.^ 

The vote of the consulta was still only prehminary. 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 anegativo, no explana- 
tions were necessary; if it was on intention or in caput alieniim 
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 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 99, n. 25. 
' Ibidem, Leg. 54, n. 356.— Boletin, XXIII, 335-7.— Instrucciones de 1561, 
§ 50 (Arguello, fol. 34). 
^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 3, n, 7, fol. 393. 


chance of clearing himself, for he was assumed to be already 

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.^ 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 ruhng 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.^ 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 
Perez, a Morisco slave, before the Toledo tribunal in 1575, where it 
was as usual unsuccessful, for the Suprema confirmed the sentence.'* 
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.^ 

When the indications of guilt were too slender to justify tor- 
ture, the consulta de fe sometimes voted to threaten torture.® 
Then the sentence was formally drawn up and read to the 
accused, he was taken to the torture-chamber, stripped and per- 
haps tied on the ipotro or escalera, without proceeding further. 
A curious case of this was that of Leonor Perez who, at the age of 
seventy, was sentenced, May 3, 1634, in Valladohd, 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 

' Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 27-8. 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg, 939. fol. 113. — Instrucciones de 
1561, § 50 (Arguello, fol. 34). 

* Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 6). — MSS. of Library of Univ. 
of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib 934. 

^ Simancse Enchirid., Tit. Lii, n. 33. 


the sentence was again executed, but, before being stripped, 
she confessed to some Jewish behefs and then fainted. A post- 
ponement 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 ver- 
giienza, but we still hear of her as in prison, early in 1639.' It 
required strong nerves to endure this threat of torture, with 
its terrifying formaUties and adjurations, and it was frequently 

The conditions held to justify tortvire 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 Hcence, 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 them.^ 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 17, 22, 23. 

- Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 176, n. 679. 


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.^ 

This, however, was, like everything else in this nebulous 
region, open to considerable laxity in application. When Fran- 
cisco 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 respec- 
tive 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 Torna- 
mira.^ Even more suggestive is the case of Juan Pereira, a boy 
of fifteen, tried, in 1646, for Judaism at Valladolid. The pro- 
ceedings 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 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 299, fol. 80 ; Leg. 61. — 
Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 342 
2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, YC, 20. T. I 


for six months, with instructions to observe him carefully. As 
his name after this disappears from the records, he probably 
died in the hospital.^ 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.^ 

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.^ 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 e\ddence 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, with- 
out reaching substantial agreement — whether flight before arrest, 
or breaking gaol, or vacillation and equivocation when exam- 
ined, or even pallor, was sufficient justification.^ It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, that, as a practical result, we are told that 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 36 

2 Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol 110 
Lib. 4). 

^ Elucidationes Sti Officii, 2 21 (Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 244.^ 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80. — Elucida- 
tiones Sancti Officii, § 22 (ubi sup.). — Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, Cap. ii, 
§§ 3, 4; Cap. v, § 4. — Pegnse Comment. 110 in Eymerici Direct. P.m. — Simancse 
de Cath. Institt. Tit. lxv, n. 23-34; Ejusd. Enchirid. Tit. liii, n. 17, 19.— 
Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933. 

10 TORTURE [Book VI 

all these questions must be left to the discretion of the judge, 
to be decided in each individual case.^ Under such conditions 
it would be useless to expect consistency of practice in all tri- 
bunals 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 

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 seven- 
teenth 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. Retrac- 
tion 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.^ 
The question of intention, in the performance of acts in them- 
selves indifferent, was, as we have seen, the frequent occasion 
of torture, as there was no other means known to the jurispru- 
dence of the period, which was bent on ascertaining the secrets 
of the offender's mind. 

^ Archive hist, nacional. Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80. — Pegnae, 
loc. cit. — Simanca? de Cath. Institt., loc. cit. 

2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20. T. I. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80. — MSS. 
of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., Pp, 28; Ibidem, 
V, 377, Cap. ii, ?§ 6, 7; Cap. v. 


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/ This reasoning was urged in 
the case of Rene 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 state- 
ments as to his faith ; the consulta de f e was unanimous in order- 
ing 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.^ 

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 Decre- 
tals, became a part of the early canon law.^ The Inquisition, 
however, regarded the conviction of a heretic as only the prelimi- 
nary 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 lY and Pius V decreed that all who were convicted 
and confessed should, at the discretion of the inquisitors, be tor- 
tured for this purpose.* The question prealable or definitive, 
in which the convict was tortured to make him reveal his asso- 
ciates, became, through the influence of the Inquisition, a part 
of the criminal jurisprudence of all lands in which torture was 

^ Rojas de Hseret., P. I, n. 374. 

2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of HaUe, Yc, 20, T. VI. 

^ Const. 17, Cod. ix, ii. — Pseudo-Julii Epist. ii, Cap. xviii. — Gratiani Decret. 
P. II, Caus. V, q. 3, c. 5. 

* Innocent. P P. IV Bull. Ad extirpanda, ? 26 (Bullar. Roman. 1,91). — Locati 
Opus judiciale Inquisitor, p. 477 (Romae, 1570). 

12 TORTURE [Book VI 

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 alierium, those who had con- 
fessed 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 tor- 
ture in caput alienum was rather the exception in Spain, than 
the rule as in Rome.^ In the case of the negativo, against whom 
conclusive evidence was had, and who thus was to be con- 
demned 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 testi- 
mony 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 pubhcations 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 recon- 
ciliation and the galleys, while good use was made of his reve- 
lations against thirty of his accomplices.^ 

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 

* Praxis procedendi, Cap, 18, n. 16-21 (Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de 
Valencia). — SimancaeEnchirid. Tit. lii, n.31. — Instruccionesde 1561, §45(Argu- 
ello, fol. 33). 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 812, Lima, fol. 20-24. 


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 hght nor excessive, but when testimony 
was revoked it could be repeated up to three inflictions.' 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 Caballeria, in 
1488, as accessory to the murder of San Pedro Arbues, his slave- 
girl Lucia gave compromising evidence which she was persuaded 
to retract, with the result that she was twice tortured and 
confirmed it.^ 

Like majestas, in heresy there were no privileged classes exemipt 
from torture. Nobles were subject to it and so were ecclesiastics 
of all ranks, but the latter were to be tortm'ed 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.^ 

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 con- 
trary to the orders of the Suprema which prescribed that the 
aged should only be placed in conspectu tormentorum,^ 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 fimit 
of age and leave everything to the discretion of the tribunal.^ 
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, 

^ Archivo hi§t. nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 61.— Praxis procedendi, 
Cap. 18, n. 13 (Ibidem). 

' Bibl. Rationale de France, fonds espagnol, n. 81. 

^ Pegnse Comment. 110 in Eymerici Director. P. iii. — Simancte de Cath. 
Institt. Tit. Lxv, n. 50.— MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 218^, p. 269. 

* Llorente, Hist, crlt., Cap. xviii. Art. 1, n. 24. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 110.— Instrucciones de 1561, 
§§ 48-55 (Arguello, fol. 33-4). 

14 TORTURE [Book VI 

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/ In 1607, at 
Valencia, Jaime Chuleyla, aged seventy-six, after confessing cer- 
tain matters, was accused by a new witness of being an alfaqui; 
this he denied and was duly tortured.^ 

Not much more respect was paid to youth. In 1607, at Valen- 
cia, 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.^ 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 FeHx, for intention with regard to certain propositions, 
it remonstrated and represented that he was too ignorant to 
comprehend the object of the torture.* 

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 endur- 
ance — 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 Perez, at 
Toledo, in 1600, who was sick and weak, and the medical certifi- 
cate that torture would endanger health and hfe sufficed to save 
him, but the Suprema was not so considerate when, in 1636, it 
ordered the Valencia tribunal to torture Joseph Pujal before trans- 
ferring him to the hospital, as was done afterwards on account 

' MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

' Archive hist, nacional. Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 74. 

3 Ibidem, Leg. 2, n. 7, fol. 5; n. 10, fol. 37. 79. 

■• Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 3, n. 7, fol. 346. 


of his illness.^ 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.^ 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 sub- 
jects.^ 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 tribu- 
nal proposed to torture Maria 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.* 

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 faint- 
ings during the administration and other causes. The physi- 
cian 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 sa3^s, is 
not proper, because it forfeits the opportunity of obtaining con- 

' MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. — Archivo hist, nacional, 
Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 9, n. 1, fol. 102, 148. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 934. 
3 Ibidem, Lib. 977, fol. 267. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 396. — MSS. of Library 
of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

16 TORTURE [Book VI 

fession 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.^ There was another 
salutary precaution — that there should be a proper interval 
between the last meal and the torture. About 1560, Inc^uisitor 
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 preHminary fasting.^ 

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 proceechngs. 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 provichng 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 iiiKirease 
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.' 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.^ In 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 934. 

' Ibidem, loc. cit. — Praxis procedendi, Cap. 18, n. 29 (Archive hist, nacional, 
Inquisicion de Valencia). 

^ Archive gen. de la C. de Aragon, Regist. 3684, fol. 102. — Archivo de Simancas, 
Inquisicion, Lib. I. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 78, fol. 56. 


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/ Eventually however the tribunals 
employed the public executioner of the town, who was skilled 
in his vocation. When, in 1646, at Valladolid, Isabel Lopez 
was ordered to be tortured on November 23d, the alcaide reported 
that the pubhc 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.^ In Madrid, from March to August, 1681, Alonso 
de Alcala, the city executioner, was paid by the tribunal forty- 
four ducats, for eleven torturings, at four ducats apiece.^ It 
seems strange that objection should be made to the torturer 
being chsguised but, in 1524, the Suprema forbade him to wear a 
mask or to be wrapped in a sheet; subsecjuently he was permitted 
to wear a hood and to change his garments and, in the seventeenth 
century, a mask and other cHsguise were permissible, if it were 
thought best that he should not be recognized.* 

At every stage in the preliminaries, after reading the sentence, 
taking the prisoner down to the torture-chamber, calhng 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.^ 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 por- 
tion 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 shght concession to 
decency being the zaragileUes or panos de la vergiienza, a kind 
of abbreviated bathing-trunks, but the denudation seems to 
have been complete before these were put on.^ The patient 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 5, n. 3, fol. 143. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 35. 

^ Ibidem, Leg. 1480, fol. 13. In the accounts these are mostly described 
discreetly as "diligencias secretas." 

* Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol. 110. — Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, 
Leg. 299, fol. SO. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 934. 

* Thus in the trial of Isabel de Montoya, after she is stripped " luego se le man- 
daron poner los pafios de la vergiienza" (MS. penes me). 

VOL. Ill 2 

18 TORTURE [Book VI 

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 gar- 
rotes 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 consul ta de fe 
might deem expedient.^ 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 reports. 

As for the varieties of torture currently employed, it nmst 
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 oppor- 
tunity of investigation, it confined itself to a few methods out 
of the abundant repertory of the public functionaries. 

In the earlier period only two tortures were generally in vogue — 
the garrucha or pulleys and the water-torture. These are the 

* Instrucciones de 1561, ? 49 (Arguello, fol. 34). — Archivo hist, nacional, Inqui- 
sicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80, 



only ones alluded to by Pablo Garcia and both of them were old 
and well-estabhshed forms/ 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 sus- 
pended 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 admon- 
ished 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 expe- 

The water-torture was more compHcated. The patient was 
placed on an escalcra 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 bosiezo, or iron prong, 
distended the mouth, a toca, or strip of Hnen, was thrust down 
the throat to conduct wat^r 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 with- 
drawn 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 Garcia, a single quart satisfied the inquisitors and he 
was acquitted,^ In the Mexican case of Manuel Diaz, in 1596, 

* Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 29. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80. 
^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 99, n. 25. — In the record 
there is on the margin a rude outline of the escalera, thus I I I I I I I | 

20 TORTURE [Book VI 

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 Marl Rodriguez, in 1592, the operation was 
divided, the cordeles being applied while she was seated on the 
hanquillo, 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.^ 

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 Cordova 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 depinoncillo , 
escarabajo, tablillas, sueno 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. 

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 httle. 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 

* Proceso contra Manuel Diaz; Proceso contra Marf Rodriguez (MSS. penes 


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 posi- 
tion, 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 tlii-ough 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 contrib- 
uted 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 travelhng around the Hmbs, carrying 
away skin and flesh. Each half round was reckoned a imelta 
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 methods. 

These remained practically the tortures in use. In 1662 the 
Suprema, in ordering the tribunal of GaHcia to ''continue" the 
torture of Antonio Mendez, called upon it to report as to its 
manner of administering torture. Its answer of May 13th shows 

22 TORTURE [Book VI 

that it was using the mancuerda and potro, though after a some- 
what primitive fashion. To this, by order of the Suprema, 
Gonzalo Bravo rephed, May 22d with elaborate instructions, 
especially as to the trampazo, indicating that substantially the 
methods described by Cordova were recognized officially. Gahcia 
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 presum- 
able from all this that thenceforward these new methods were 
adopted in all the tribunals.^ 

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.^ All that Gonzalo 
Bravo can say, in the Instructions of 1662, is that its proper 
regulation determines the just decision of cases, and the verifi- 
cation 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 tortm'e 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 Lopez, 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.^ Such cases were by no means 
rare. Gabriel Rodriguez, at Valencia, about 1710, was tor- 

' I owe a copy of the Cordova letter and Galicia correspondence to the kindness 
of the late General Don Vicente Riva Palacio of Mexico. Their existence there 
would indicate that they were sent to all the tribunals. The 1662 instructions 
of the Suprema are in the Simancas archives, Inquisicion, Lib. 934; Lib. 977, 
fol. 267. 

2 Instrucciones de 1561, § 48 (Arguello, fol. 33). 

' Praxis procedendi. Cap. 18, n. 29 (Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de 
Valencia"). — Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 36. 

Paul III when regulating, in 1548, criminal practice in Rome forbade torture 
prolonged for an hour or more, or that it should be interrupted for dinner or 
supper. — PauU PP. Ill Const. Ad onus Apostolicce, § 6 (BuUar. I, 776). 


tured thrice and condemned to the galleys, but this was com- 
muted on finding that he was crippled "por la violencia de la 
tortura,''^ Nor was death by any means unknown. In 1623, 
Diego Enriquez, 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 sugges- 
tive in such a matter of fact record as that of Blanca Rodriguez 
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.^ 

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 Tomas de Leon, at Valla- 
dolid, 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 Rodriguez, a woman sixty years of age, had a toe 
wrenched off while in the halestilla. Nevertheless the torture 
proceeded until, in the first turn of the mancuerda, an arm was 
broken. It then was stopped without having extorted a con- 
fession, 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.^ 

The process and its effects on the patient can best be under- 
stood from the passionless business-like reports of the secretary, 
in which the incidents are recorded to enable the consulta de fe 
to vote intelhgently. 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, 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 3, n. 7, fol. 436. 
^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 2, 40. 
3 Ibidem, Leg. 552, fol. 23, 31. 

24 TOBTUBE [Book VI 

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 tortm'ed on intention. On 
April 6th she was brought before the inquisitors and episcopal 
vicar and, after some preliminaries, was told that it was deter- 
mined 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 

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 "Seiiores, 
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 1 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, Senores 
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 •! 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 M'hat I have to say — I did it, I did it — they hurt me Sefior 
— 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 — Senor 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 'T 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 "Senor 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 

Chap. VII] REPORTS 25 

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, Senores — 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 ever;y1;hing — 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." j\Iore 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 "Senores have you 
no pity on a sinful woman ?" She was told, yes, if she would tell the truth. 
She said, "Seiior 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 senor, 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 "Senores, 
why will you not tell me what I have to say ? Seiior, 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 sav." 
She was told to tell in detail what the witnesses said. She said "Sefior, 
as I have told you, I do not know for certain. I have said that I did all 
that the witnesses say. Senores 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 "Senores, 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 
■ — Sefior, you know the truth — Senores, for God's sake have mercy on 
me. Oh Senor, take these things from my arms — Sefior 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 "Senor do you not see how these people are killing me? Sefior, 
• I did it — for God's sake let me go." She was told to tell it. She said 
"Sefior, remind me of what I did not know — Sefiores have mercy upon me 
^et 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 
"Sefior, 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 — Sefior as the wit- 

2(5 TORTURE [Book VI 

nesses 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, "Seiiores, Seiiores, 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, "Seiior, I did it to observe that Law." She 
was asked what Law. She said, "The Law that the witnesses say — I 
declare it all Senor, 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 Senor, I don't know what I have to say — 
Oh! Oh! thev are' killing me — if they would tell me what — Oh, Seiiores! 
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 
strano-ling 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 

It is scarce worth while to continue this pitiful detail. Four 
days were allowed to elapse, for experience showed that an inter- 
val, 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 inc^uisitors finally 
had the satisfaction of eliciting a confession of Judaism and a 
prayer for mercy and penance.^ 

It is impossible to read these melancholy records without 
amazement that the incoherent and contradictory admissions 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 138. 


through which the victim, in his increasing agonies, sought 
to devise some statement in satisfaction of the monotonous com- 
mand 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 w^e 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 atrocities. 

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} 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 Hernandez, at Toledo, who confessed on 
being stripped, July 13, 1541, it was not until the 27th that her 

1 Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 30. 

28 TOBTUBE [Book VI 

ratification was taken, the inquisitors explaining that press of 
business had prevented it earher/ 

The declaration in the ratification, that it was not made through 
fear of torture was a falsehood, for, in all juiisdictions, a retrac- 
tion 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."^ This was possibly to evade a singu- 
larly 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 resLilting 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 compassion- 
ately assign. The mercy of this, however, is considerably modi- 
fied 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.^ 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.^ 

Such cases, however, were exceptional and the regular practice 
was to repeat the torture, when a confession followed by another 

' Proceso contra Mari Lopez la Salzeda, fol. 7 (MS. penes me). 
' See the case of Manuel Gonzalez, at Guadalupe, in 1485 (Boletin, XXIII, 

' Instracciones de 1484, I 15 (Arguello, fol. 6). 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 112, n. 74, fol. 82-5. 


revocation, subjected the victim to a third torture/ 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 sur- 
geon 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 recon- 
ciliation and irremissible prison and sanbenito, with a hundred 
lashes as a special punishment for revocation, which was 
executed January 21, 1646.^ 

Some culprits, we are told, cunningly took advantage of the 
opportunity of retraction, by confessing at once, as soon as sub- 
jected 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 concUtion, 
by suggesting as a remedy that they should be subjected to 
extraorcUnary penalties.^ 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 Lopez 

1 Simancas (De Cath. Instt. Tit. lxv, n. 81) pronounces decidedly against a 
third torture, though he says that many authorities favor it and I have met 
with such cases, e. g., Manuel Henriquez at Toledo in 1585 (MSS. of Library of 
Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I.). 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 33. 

3 Elucidationes S" Officii, § 22 (Archivo hist, nacional, Leg. 5142, lji^^ 4)^ 

30 TORTURE [Book VI 

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 imme- 
diately removed, abjuration de vehementi and twenty years' exile 
from Cuenca, Murcia and Madrid.^ At an earlier period he would 
scarce have escaped without scourging, galleys and irremissible 

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 evi- 
dence and was entitled to acquittal.^ 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.^ 
Thus the matter was practically left to the discretion of the 
tribunal, with the implied admission that, when torture proved 
unsuccessful, it was merely surplusage. 

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 sus- 

' Bibl. nacional, MSS., Kk, 53. 

" SimancEP de Cath. Instt. Tit. lxv, n. 74-75. — Elucidationes S" Officii, 
P/, 22 (Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^, Lib. 4) 
■^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 54 (Arguello, fol. 34). 


pended. 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 Ught 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.^ 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.^ "With their expulsion in 1609-10, there 
was no further call for discrimination, and the general practice 
is expressed 3,bout 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.^ That this 
reflects the current practice would appear from a Cuenca auto 
de fe, June 29, 1654. Don Andres 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. Doria Theodora Paula had over- 
cojne the torture and had abjuration de levi, six years' exile and 
a fine of three hundred ducats. Doiia Isabel de Miranda had 
been unsuccessfully tortured and was sentenced to two years' 
exile and three hundred ducats. So, after fruitless torture, 
Doila Isabel Henriquez had the same punishment, and Manuel 
Lorenzo Madureyra was sentenced to abjuration de vehementi, 

1 Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 4). 

- Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 13, 14, 16, 
28, 38, 39, 79. 

3 Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, Cap. 4, ? 5. 

32 TORTURE [Book VI 

ten years' exile and five hundred ducats fine/ It is to the 
credit of the \^alladohd 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 
Maria Perez, who was charged with false-witness.^ 

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 extract- 
ing confessions.^ It may possibly be only a coincidence that, 
in 1604, Luis de Jesus, the torturer of the tribunal was prose- 
cuted for receiving money from Moriscos, but we may readily 
imagine that communities, living in perpetual dread of the Inqui- 
sition, might tax themselves to subsidize the executioner regu- 
larly.^ A similar case occurs in the C(5rdova auto of June 13, 
1723, in which appeared the executioner, Carlos Felipe, whose 
offence is discreetly described as fautorship of heretics and un- 
faithfulness in their favor, in the discharge of his office.^ 

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 pub- 
licly 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 Gonzalez 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.'' This continued as a rule, though occa- 

' Bibl. nacional, MSS., S. 294, fol. 375. 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 2, 6. 

^ Danvila y CoUado, Expulsion de los Moriscos, p. 227. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 387. 

5 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

" Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 154, n. 356. 


sionally there is less reticence. In one sentence I have found it 
alluded to — that of Mari Gomez, at Toledo, in 1551/ Some- 
times 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 employed.^ 

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 con- 
fession was obtained before it commenced. There were also 
five cases in which the accused was placed in conspectu tormen- 
torum.^ 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.* 

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 

* Proceso contra Mari Gomez (MS. penes me). 

"^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 138. — Bibl. nacional, 
MSS., Kk, 53. 

3 MSS. of Library of University of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Libro 812, Lima, fol. 20-1 ; Leg. 552. 

VOL. Ill 3 

34 TOBTUBE [Book VI 

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.^ In 1579 the Toledo tribunal had to 
deal with Anton Moreno, an aged peasant, accused of entertain- 
ing 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 repri- 
mand and hearing of a mass in the audience-chamber.^ 

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 cedula, July 25th, addressed to all officers of jus- 
tice, 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 : con- 
sequently 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 com- 
pelled to convict themselves falsely. In view of all of this Fer- 
nando 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 abol- 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 3, n. 7, fol. 443. 
' MSS. of Library of Univ. of HaUe, Yc, 20, T. I. 

Chap. VII] FEES 35 

ished/ This can scarce have applied to the Inquisition but, 
under the Restoration, it had Httle 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 com- 
municated to the ambassadors of France and Portugal.^ 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 reheved 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 pro- 
vision that, if he is poor, the executioner is to receive nothing 
and is not allowed to take his garments in lieu of the money.^ 
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.^ 

1 Cedulas de Fernando VII, n. 78, p. 99 (Valencia, 1814) 

' Llorente, Hist. crit. Cap. xliv, Art. 1, n. 38. 

^ Ordenanzas del concejo Real de su Magestad y los Aranzeles que han de 
guardar los Relatores, etc., fol. xxv (Valladolid, 1556). 

* Deer. Sac. Cong. S« Officii, p. 508 (Bibl. del R. Archivio di State in 
Roma, Fondo Camerale, Congr. del S. Officio, Vol. 3. 



The procedure of the Inquisition was directed to procuring 
conviction rather than justice, and in some respects it bore a 
resemblance to that of tlie 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 prelimi- 
naries. 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 

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 con- 
fiscation 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 pre- 
scribed, must conform themselves to the law and act according 
to the dictates of their consciences for the ser^dce of God and the 
sovereigns.^ 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 embarrassments.^ 

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 Oflftce, developed 
an elaborate system of procedure, set forth in the Instructions of 
1561 and furnished, in 15G8, with all necessary formulas in the 
Or den de Processar of Pablo Garcia. 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 huriy 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 sum- 
moned 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 

1 Instrucciones de 1484, ? 28 (Arguello, fol. 8). SubstantiaUy repeated in the 
supplementary Instructions of 1485, with the addition that, in important mat- 
ters, inquisitors shall apply to the sovereigns for orders.— Arguello, fol. 11-12. 

^ Instrucciones de 1488, § 2 (Arguello, fol. 9). 

38 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

own affair. He was made to declare his name, his age, his birth- 
place, 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 cou- 
sins, 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 super- 
stitious 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.^ 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.^ 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.^ 

After the Instructions of 1561, the three monitions became the 
established rule in cases of heresy, while one sufficed in lighter 

* Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 9. — MSS. of Bibl. nacional de Lima. 

' Instrucciones de 1498, § 3 (Arguello, fol. 12). 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933. — Archive hist, nacional, Inqui- 
sicion de Toledo, Leg. 231, n. 72, fol. 46. — Procesos contra Maria de Parades 
y Marl Serrana (MSS. penes me). 


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 
memoiy and confess the whole truth as to what he feels him- 
self 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 rehef 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 con- 
fessors; otherwise he was warned that the fiscal would be heard 
and justice would be done.^ 

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 he in his cell, shut out from the world, brooding 
over his fate, and torturing himself with conjectures as to the %\\- 
dence 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 reve- 
lations 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 

1 Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 10, 15. 

40 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

was no formal instruction prescribing it, but it became the uni- 
versal 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 Inc|uisition 
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 pre- 
text 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.^ 

How systematic reticence sometimes succeeded is indicated 
by the case of Angela Perez, 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 dis- 
charge 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.^ 

Even more suggestive, though in a different way, is the Mexican 
case of the priest Joseph Brunon de Vertiz, who was one of the 

' Llorente, Hist. crit. Cap. xlii, Art. 1, n. 2. — Archive de Simancas, Inquisi- 
cion. Lib. 890. 

* Proceso contra Angela Perez, fol. 24-31 (MS. penes me). 


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 incar- 
ceration 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 inco- 
herent 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.* 

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 
aucUence, after he had rephed 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 
rehgion, scandal of the people and condemnation of his own soul, 
had been and was a heretic, an impenitent, perjured negativo and 

^ This case, from the MSS. of Daniel Fergusson Esq., is given in greater 
detail in "Chapters from the Rehgious History of Spain," pp. 362-73. 

42 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

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, con- 
demning 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 pragmaticas 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 Oirosi, demanding that he be tortured as long and 
as often as inight be necessary to force him to confess the whole 

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.^ 

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 com- 
paratively recent in English law that their admission by the Inqui- 
sition 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 

' Instrucciones de 1561, ? 18 (Arguello, fol. 29) 


chancelleria, as organized by Ferdinand and Isabella, there were 
two abogados de los pohres} 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? Towards the close 
of the fifteenth centur}-, 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.^ 

When the Spanish Inquisition was founded, it was therefore 
a matter of course that the accused should be allowed the assist- 
ance of trained lawyers and not only this but of procurators, 
who attended to the business of the defence, performing the func- 
tions, in some sort, of the English solicitor, while the letrado 
represented the barrister and drew up the argument. In a num- 
ber of trials at Ciudad Real, in 1483, there appears to have been 
considerable freedom of choice, the accused selecting both advo- 
cates 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.^ 
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.^ Yet 
this liberality was nullified by the clause requiring advocates to 

^ Fuero Real de Espana, Lib. i, Tit. ix, ley 1. — Colmeiro, Cortes de Leon y 
de Castilla, II, 55. 

^ Angeli de Clavasio Summa Angelica, s. v. Hcereticus, ? 20. 

' Malleus Maleficarum, P. iii, Q. 10, 11, 35. — Prierias de Strigimag., Lib. iii, 
cap. 3. 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 133, n. 46; Leg. 140, 
n. 162; Leg. 148, n. 262; Leg. 154, n. 356, 375.— Boletin, XXIII, 295, 306. 

^ Instrucciones de 1484, g 16 (Arguello, fol. 6). 

44 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

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 advocate. 

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 Garcia, 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.^ 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.^ 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 Ferdi- 
nand'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 con- 
demnation, died in the secret prison. Francisco Franch, the 
royal advocate-fiscal, had defended Casafranca, and the Inqui- 
sition 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 pro- 
nounced sentence in which his offence was described as endeavor- 
ing 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 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 99, n. 25. 
^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933, p. 259. 


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 Maria 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 con- 
fiscated 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 Ist.^ 

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 
maravedis in every case which, for the two hundred prisoners, 
amounts to six hundred thousand.^ This abuse, probably origi- 
nating 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 Cortes of Monzon was that prisoners should 
be allowed to select their advocates and procurators, and to this 
no direct answer was made.^ 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 

' Carbonell de Gestis Hceret. (Coll. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 
167, 169, 171, 213). 

- Archivo de Simancas, Patronato Real, Inquisicion, Leg. unico, fol. 43, 44. 
^ Ibidem, Inquisicion de Barcelona, Cortes, Leg. 17, fol. 47, 48. 

46 THE TRIAL [Book YI 

1540, the Suprema, in reply to a petition, said tliat, 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, Valdes decreed that the 
official counsel should communicate with no other advocate.^ It 
is true that, in 1551, the Suprema had admitted that, if the tri- 
bunal had not been able to find a fitting lawyer for appointment, 
the accused could select one, but this was merely yielding to 

The chief qualification for an ahogado 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.^ 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.^ 

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.^ 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. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 98. 

2 Ibidem, fol. 19. 

3 MSS. of Bibl. nacional de Lima, Protocolo 223, Expediente 5270. 
* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 377. 

^ Ibidem, Leg. 5, n. 1, fol. 81. 


In Yalladolid and Granada the advocates obtained promotion 
to outrank the physicians and surgeons and, in 1670, the Licen- 
tiate Juan Marquez, 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 clients.^ 

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.^ 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 unavaihng 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 Seiiores Inquisidores wanted to despatch the 
case, he told her that this would avail her nothing, for there was 

1 Memorial juridico que por los Abogados de Presos, etc. (Bodleian Library, 
Arch Seld, i. 23). 

^ Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 6) 

48 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

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/ 

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 occm'red, like that of Benito Pefias at 
Toledo in 1641, a harmless lunatic with some vague speculative 
heresies. His advocate, Juan Diaz 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,^ Even as late as 1753, at Valencia, the same occurred in 
the trial of a swindling German named Horstmann.^ 

If, even under these shackles, an advocate desired really to 
defend his client, he was deprived of the means to do so. Origi- 
nally, as we have seen, the kindred and children were allowed 
freely to communicate with him, to furnish indispensable assist- 
ance and information, and to gather witnesses, and he v/as also 
supplied with copies of the depositions of the witnesses and other 
necessary papers. It seems to have been Lucero, the evil inquis- 
itor of Cordova, 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.* 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 docu- 
ment, that he was allowed to have, was a copy of the pubhcation 
of evidence, which was a very different thing from the original 

» MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. Ill, X.— Cf. Schiifer, Beitrage, 
II, 231. 
2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. VI. 
^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 30, fol. 38. 
* Archivo de Simancas, Patronato Real, Inquisicion, Leg. unico, fol. 43, 44. 


depositions. To repress all initiative on his part he was pro- 
hibited 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 busi- 
ness.^ If an advocate was suspected of undue zeal, the inquis- 
itors 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.^ 

At the same time, in its affectation of fairness, the Inquisition 
insisted on the accused having counsel. When, in 1565, Pedro 
Hernandez 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 impera- 
tive 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.^ Inquisitors, moreover, were required to admit all 
documents offered to them, and to hsten to any one who might 
have the hardihood to appear in favor of a prisoner.* 

Simultaneously with the development of restrictions on the 
advocate, the disappearance of the procurator completed the sys- 
tem 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 reserva- 
tion that this cHd not entitle the kindred to aid in the defence.^ 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 98, 103. — Pablo Garcia, 
Orden de Processar, fol. 24. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion de Canarias, Exptes de Visitas, Leg. 250, 
Lib. I, fol. 8; Lib. in, fol. 3. 

3 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. VIII. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 98, 99. ^ Ibid. fol. 98. 

VQL. in 4 

50 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

This jealousy of outside assistance constantly increased and some 
tribunals, such as Seville and Cordova, 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.^ 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 procurators.^ 

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.^ 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, 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Visitas de Barcelona, Leg. 15, fol. 2. — 
Instrucciones de 1561, ? 35 (Arguello, fol. 31-2). 

' Decret. Sac. Congr. Sti Officii, p. 496 (Bibl. del R. Archiviodi State in Roma, 
Fondo camerale, Congr. del S. Officio, Vol. 3). 

3 Partidas, P. vi. Tit. xvi, leyes 12, 13, 14. — Hugo de Celso, Reportorio de 
las Leyes, s, v. Curador (Alcald, 1540). 


there is grotesque cynicism in the pompous formaHties 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 sub- 
ordinate) 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 inciuisitors.^ 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 for- 
malism of procedure. In 1638, at Valladohd, Blanca Enriquez, 
on trial for Judaism, represented herself as twenty-tw^o years of 
age and as usual was given a curador. She confessed to having 
been reconciled at Cordova, nine or ten years before; a vote in 
discordia carried the case to the Suprema, which discovered that 
her pre\nous 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.^ 

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 teologos, 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 

* Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 19. 

2 Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 23. 

For the custom of appointing as curador the advocate or a subordinate official 
see Praxis procedendi cap. 9, n. 4 (Arch. hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia). — 
Arch, de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 6). — Arch. hist, nacional, Inq. de 
Toledo, Leg. 110, n. 31; Leg. 112, n. 64.— The object of the appointment of 
the curador is frankly admitted by Pablo Garcia (Orden de Processar, fol. 14). 

Yet it is of this travesty of justice that a recent apologist tells us that, if the 
accused was less than 25 years of age, the tribunal selected for him, from 
among the most eminent advocates of the city, one to assist him throughout 
the trial. — L'Abb6 L.-A. Gaffre, Inquisition et Inquisitions p. 105 (Paris, 

52 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

it or not; or whether he ought to retract, or whatever other con- 
clusion they might reach; then the whole was submitted to the 
calificadores, who pronounced their final censure/ Nominally 
the patrones were selected by the accused but in this, as in every- 
thing 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 califi- 
cadores, 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 shoLild 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.^ The wisest 
course for a theologian, in the hands of the Incjuisition, was that 
adopted by Fray Thomas de Nieba, in 1G42, 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 theolo- 
gians, and he did not propose to defend the inculpated proposi- 

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 ante- 
chamber, 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 

^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 77-8. 

^ Proceso contra Fray Luis de Leon (Col. de Documentos, X. 564-5; XI. 12-49). 

' Archive de Siraancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 29. 


notifietl both parties of the conclusion. These formahties 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 Rodriguez at A^alladolid, 
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 
pubhcations 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 pelding, 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 persist- 
ence would indubitably end in her burning alive as an impenitent 

As this pubHcation 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 wit- 
nesses 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. Wlien once it was admitted that portions of the 
evidence could lawfully be suppressed, the selection of what should 
be made known became largely cUscretional. 

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 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 31. 

54 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

circumstances giving a clue to the identity of the witnesses, and 
this was repeated in 1499/ Yet the glaring injustice of with- 
holding 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 indispen- 
sable, 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 vaiying 
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 omit- 
ting 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 pub- 
lication gives a hint of other irregularities of even a more serious 

The publication being a matter of supreme importance, it was 
the duty of the inquisitors personally to draw it up, and not en- 
trust it to subordinates, least of all to the fiscal, who was tech- 
nically the prosecutor. Orders to this effect were issued in 1529; 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 100, 101, 102; Visitas de 
Barcelona, Leg. 15, fol. 2. — Llorente, Anales, II. 303. — Instrucciones de 1561, §§ 
31, 32, 34 (Arguello, fol. 31). 


they were repeated in the Instructions of 1561 but, in 1568, the 
Suprema was obUged 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 

The labor was doubtless great, when the witnesses were numerous 
and loquacious, and the delicate duty was apt to be recklessly per- 
formed 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 httle scruple in misleading the defendant or in 
omitting whatever might be thought to weaken the case. In 
the publication read to Mari Gomez la Sazeda, when on trial at 
Toledo in 1544, the evidence of one witness is divided and repre- 
sented as given by two, with the object, as noted on the margin, 
of preventing her from identifying him.' In the case of Caspar 
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.''^ 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 fi seal'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.^ 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 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 101; Visitas de Barcelona, 
Leg. 15, fol. 20.— Instrucciones de 1561, ? 32 (Arguello, fol. 31).— MSS. of Royal 
Library of Copenhagen, 218'', p. 376. 

^ Proceso contra Marf Gomez la Sazeda, fol. 55 (^IS. 'penes me). 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 112, n. 71, fol. 52. 

* Ibidem, Leg. Ill, fol. 47. 

56 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

against him. And, with his hfe 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.^ 

After this ordeal was passed the advocate was called in and 
furnished with the pubhcation 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 neces- 
sary 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 presented.^ 

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 

' Praxis procedendi, cap. 15, n. 1 (Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de 

When, in 1601, Maximilian I of Bavaria consulted the legal faculty of Padua 
concerning witchcraft trials, one of his questions was whether a copy of the 
evidence should be given to the accused, or whether it should be stated to him 
by the judge and he be required to answer on the spot, as thus the truth might 
be better discovered. To this the answer was emphatic. All authorities unan- 
imously required the accused to be furnished with a copy and to be allowed a 
competent time to answer. Nowhere in the law was to be found an exception 
to this, even in the most atrocious crimes; the right of defence was a natural 
right of which the accused could not be deprived. The force of this, however, 
was somewhat weakened by an admission that it was in the power of a monarch 
to limit the defence. — Marc. Anton. Peregrini Consilium de Sagis, n. 144-50 
(Diversi Tractatus, Colon. Agripp. 1629) 

2 Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933. — Praxis procedendi, Cap. 16, 
n. 1 iubi sup.). 


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 nmch delay .^ 

Recusation of a judge was a right recognized in the traditional 
legislation of Spain.^ 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.^ This would indicate that the recused 
judge retired as a matter of course, but the Carranza and Villa- 
nueva 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 Elvcidarivm Deiparce had been 
placed on the Roman Index, in 1628, before the Spanish Inqui- 
sition 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 

* Simancae Enchirid. Tit. XLVii. 

2 Fuero Juzgo, Lib. ii, Tit. i, ley 22.— Fuero Real, Lib. i, Tit. vii, ley 9.— Par- 
tidas, P. Ill, Tit. iv, ley 22. 

3 Instrucciones de 1561, 'i 52 (Arguello, fol. 34). 

58 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

one of the remarkable events that had occurred in Spain/ 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.^ 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 punish- 
ment, and there was little mercy shown. In fact, there was a 
device, when the culprit was below the age of fourteen, of post- 
poning the sentence until he had attained that age.^ 

Insanity was of much greater moment. The insane were recog- 
nized 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 witch- 
craft, 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 physi- 
cian 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.* Even more tentative was the case of Toledo, in 1541, 
of Juan Garcia, 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 

* Cartas de Jesuitas (Mem. hist, espanol, XV, 112). 

* Proceso contra Fr. Luis de Leon (Col. de Documentos, X, 567; XI, 23, 29). 
^ Arch. hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80 

* Archivo de Simancas, Lib. 78, fol. 145, 146. 


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 accord- 
ingly told to be gone in God's name.^ 

There evidently was as yet no method prescribed for dealing 
with such cases and it is somewhat remarkable that the Instruc- 
tions 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.^' 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.^ When madness 
occurred after conviction and sentence, Pena 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.^ 

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 

The diagnosis of insanity is sufficiently obscure to modern 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 114, n. 14, 

^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 60 (Arguello, fol. 35). 

3 Elucidationes Sti Officii, ? 57 (Archivo de Alcald, Hacienda, Leg. 544% Lib 4). 

* Pegnse Comment. 22 in Eymerici Director. P. iii. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol 92. 

go THE TRIAL [Book VI 

science, and it is not surprising that the Inquisition experienced 
difficulty in protecting itself against attempts at imposition, which 
were regarded as frequent, Pefia 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 wliich there 
was no objection, unless there was risk of death, and which was 
an effective means of detecting impostm-e/ 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 con- 
clusions might be warped by prejucUce 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 arcliiepiscopal pohce 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 "0 traitor God, now you shall pay me!" The 
sacrilege of course caused the greatest excitement and indig- 
nation. 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 com- 
missioner, 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 demons. 

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 reUgion; two convents had refused to receive him and two 

1 Pegna, loc cit. 


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 phy- 
sicians, concurring in the behef 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 sei-ve 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 insuffi- 
cient and it ordered him to be confined with persons of confi- 
dence, who should keep strict watch over him. Accordingly, on 
November 23d, his cell was changed and he was given as com- 
panions two friars and a physician awaiting trial, duly sworn 
and instructed. February 8, 1623, they were examined and 
pronounced him sane, but Dr. Antonio Gomez, 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.^ Erroneous 
as the conclusion may seem to us, it was not reached without a 
prolonged and conscientious investigation, such as no other tri- 
bunal of the period would have given to such a case, though the 

* MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. X. 

62 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

archiepiscopal authorities were wiser, when they promptly recog- 
nized Benito's madness. 

A nymphomaniac, in 1688, caused the Valencia tribunal an 
even longer term of perplexity. Francisca Garcia 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 aucUences 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 w^as resolved to keep 
her in prison but that, before presenting the accusation, another 
consultation with calificadores should he 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 com- 
municate 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 confine- 
ment/ 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 precavition, 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 Lobariiias, 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. Confi- 
dential 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.^ 

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 consequence. 

Defence, when the accused denied the charge, was practically 
limited to tachas and ahonos — the former being the disabling 
of witnesses by proving enmity or other disability, the latter 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 15; Leg. 12, n. 2, 
fol. 126. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 890. 

g4 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

being the accumulation of evidence to prove good character and 
assiduous religious observance. The intcrrogatorio de indirectas, 
to secure testimony disproving or explaining away specific accu- 
sations, was occasionally employed, and sometimes flaws or con- 
tradictions in the incriminating evidence were exposed, or an 
alibi mio-ht 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 

In this the defence was heavily handicapped by the suppression 
of witnesses' names and the garbhng of evidence in the publi- 
cation 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 exer- 
cised 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 inquis- 
itor 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.^ 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.^ When defence was 
permitted, neither the accused nor his advocate had the privilege 

* Archive de AlcaM, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 6). 
2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 


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 Instruc- 
tions 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 Sanchez of Zamora was prosecuted for Judaism 
in the tribunal of Toledo. He had been trained, from his four- 
teenth 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 Sat- 
urday and eggs in Lent and remove fat from meat. The other 
was Maria 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 Sanchez and his advocate to unravel this 

66 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

story. They repeatedly requested the dead witness to be 
recalled and re-examined and to have the date fixed, for San- 
chez 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 Maria 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 cathe- 
dral for twenty-five years, and he escaped with abjuration de levi 
and suspension for a year from celebrating mass — enough to 
dishonor him.^ 

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 Cor- 
dova. 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 
Cordova, clavero or treasurer of the Order of Calatrava; as such 
he had followed the court, and his witnesses in abono were neces- 
sarily scattered. Six months were consumed in finding them 
and securing their testimony, during which he sought repeated 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 183, n. 779. 


audiences, imploring the inquisitors for the love of God to des- 
patch his case. At one time a second messenger was sent at 
his expense, to Burgos and to ValladoHd, 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 sum- 
moned 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 charac- 
ter 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 dishon- 
ored and ruined man for a few careless words to a stranger.^ 

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.^ 
In 1682, in the trial at Barcelona of Margarita Altamira, a worth- 
less 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 Maria Barranco might 
know something, but on investigation Maria was found to be 
dead. Then she mentioned other witnesses who could testify 
to her good character, and they were duly summoned and inter- 

1 Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 112, n. 74, fol. 53. 

2 Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 82, fol. 75, 76.— In 1574, however, 
in a similar case, the tribunal is ordered not to send to France.— Ibidem, fol, 

68 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

rogated.^ All this was as it should be, but it depended on the 
temper of the tribunal and the prisoner had no power to help 

This customary defence of disabUng the witnesses for enmity, 
although it was mostly blind groping to identify them, was some- 
times successful. The most extensive use of the tacha that I 
have met occurs in the Toledo case of Caspar 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 obser- 
vance. The tribunal evidently recognized the nature of the accu- 
sation; he was admitted to bail, July 1, 1532, and finally escaped 
with a moderate penance.^ Life must have been scarce worth 
living in Vayona when he was let loose. 

At Valencia, in 1604, there was quite a group of cases showing 
successful disabhng of witnesses among Moriscos. Caspar Alcadi, 
accused by two women of saying that he did not believe in Chris- 
tianity, 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 Ceronima Alamin, but they all succeeded in fastening 
it upon her and showing her hostility, with the result of a sus- 
pension of prosecutions. In 1607 there were several more cases 
of the same kind.^ A still more striking instance occurred in 
1658, at Valladohd, 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." In general, however, 
the records show that the main recourse of the accused, in 

» Proceso contra Marfa Altamira, fol. 175, 178, ISO sqq (MSS. of Am. Philos. 

2 Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 112, n. 71, fol. 66-72. 
^ Ibidem, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 7, fol. 10; n. 10, fol. 79. 
* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 41. 


seeking to identify and disable witnesses for enmity, was rarely 

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.^ 

In all this the function of the advocate was reduced to a mini- 
mum. 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 advo- 
cate 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.^ 

Under such circumstances the argument which he would frame 
was not likely to be of any benefit to his cHent. If he were young, 
bright and ambitious, he might endeavor to impress the tribunal 

* Thomds Sanchez, In Praecepta Decalogi, Lib. ii, Cap. vii, n. 36. — Simancas 
de Cath. Institt. Tit. xxxi, n. 5.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, Cap. ii, § 18. 
^ Archive de Alcald, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 6). 



with his abihty, although the strict secrecy imposed deprived 
him of the incentive which pubhcity 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 favor. 

Meanwhile, at each stage of the case, the accused was sub- 
jected 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.^ The fiscal, very 
properly, was not allowed to be present, and the notaries or secre- 
taries were ordered to confine themselves to their duties in record- 
ing 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 beheve that there 
was evidence where none existed, nor was he to be questioned 
about accomplices, unless there were sufficient indications con- 
cerning them.^ Unlike the medieval Inquisition, where every 
kind of deceit was allowed to entrap the accused into compro- 
mising himself, the final rules, formally expressed by Pablo Gar- 
cia, were that the inquisitors must carefully abstain from inter- 
rogating the prisoner about matters not included or indicated 

1 Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 72, fol. 76. 
' Ibidem, Lib. 76, fol. 227; Lib. 939, fol. 72, 95, 96. 


in the evidence, and from leading him to beheve that mere sus- 
picions were knowledge founded on proof/ 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 

As a rule, in these earher 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 Lopez, at Valladolid, 
in 1697.^ Ordinarily the real examinations began when the 
accused answered to the accusation, and were continued after his 
replies to the pubHcation. 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 acknowl- 
edgement of his offences. In this, leading questions were for- 
bidden. 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.^ 

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 judge- 
ment, but the inquisitors were not authorized to pronounce sen- 
tence 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 

* Pablo Garcfa, Orden de Processar, fol. 13. 
^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 52 

^ Praxis procedendi, Cap. 8, n. 4 (Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Val- 
encia). — Ibidem, Leg. 10, n. 2, fol. 36. 


portion of the inquisitorial organization. The whole body formed 
what was known as the consuUa 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.' No such privilege was allowed to the accused. 
Even lawyers who served as ahogados de los presos were declared, 
in 1538, to be ineligible for service as consultors.^ 

In the imperfect records of the early trials, there is often no 
allusion to a consulta de fe, although the sentence generally con- 
tains 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 accu- 
mulated to render an auto de fe desirable, and it could scarce 
find time for a conscientious scrutiny of the evidence. How busi- 
ness 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 Feb- 
ruary 6th that he ratified his confession, so that the condemnation 
was pronounced before the case was finished.^ Yet discussion 

' Carbonell de Gestis Hceret. (Col. de Documentos de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 
12, 27).— Instrucciones de 1561, ? 4 (Arguello, fol. 32).— MSS.of Royal Library 
of Copenhagen, 213 fol., p. 160; 218^ p. 397. 

When a similar abuse sprang up in the criminal courts of Catalonia, the fiscal 
was emphatically forbidden to be present at the voting of the judges. — Con- 
stitucions en la Cort en lany M D iii (Barcelona, 1540). 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 104. — Ahogados del fisco 
however, were competent to serve. 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg, 148, n. 267. 


was not wholly wanting. In the case of Diego Garcia, at the 
consulta held January IS, 1490, eight voted for torture and three 
for perpetual prison, but at a meeting next day they were unani- 
mous for torture, which Diego endured without confession and 
thus escaped with moderate penance.^ 

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 proceecUngs, the records were brief. In later times when 
the documents of a trial extended perhaps over hunch-eds — or it 
might be thousands — of folios, this was manifestly impossible, 
and there was submitted to the consulta only an abstract con- 
taining 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." Occasionally the consulta exercised the power 
of summoning and examining the accused, as we have seen in 
the case of Juan Garcia, in 1541, when there were doubts as to 
his sanity. It did the same with Juan A'azcjuez, at Toledo in 1605, 
which resulted in dismissing the case.^ 

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, the}^ need not follow their advice, but could 
consult others and state the reasons for rejecting the previous 
opinions.* Arnaldo Albertino, on the contrary, after debating 
the question at length, decides that, under the canon law, inquisi- 
tors are bound by the majority vote.^ This ignored the self- 
dependent organization of the wSpanish Inquisition, and Rojas 
asserts positively that the vote of the consultors is consultative 
and not decisive.^ Simancas decides that the true rule is that the 
inquisitors are not bound by the opinion of the consultors, although 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 99, n. 25. 
^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 40 (Arguello, fol. 32). — Archivo de Simancas, Inqui- 
sicion, Lib. 939, foL 68. 

3 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 104. 

^ Amald. Albert, de Agnoscendis Assert ionibus, Q. xx^^, n. 13, 15. 

" Rojas de Hieret. P. I, n. 409, 422-3. 

74 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

the question is debated; the Suprema instructed the tribunal of 
Cordova 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/ 
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/ 
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 Perpinan 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.^ 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 Inqui- 
sition 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. Some- 
times there are two inquisitors with the Ordinary and sometimes 
one; sometimes two inquisitors without the Ordinary, and occa- 
sionally, though rarely, a single inquisitor by himself.* 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, Cordova three, Valladolid, Cuenca and San- 

* SimanciB de Cath. Institt. Tit. xli, n. 11, 14. 

* Instrucciones de 1561, ? 66 (Arguello, fol. 36). 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Sala 39, Leg. 4, fol. 71. 
^ Ibidem, Lib. 877, fol. 96. 

Chap. VIII] DELAYS 76 

tiago one each and the others had none. The institution was 
rapidly dying out and men no longer aspired to the honor of be- 
longing 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 vmited in the Ordinary."^ 

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 pre- 
venting 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 consulta accompanies his vote with an exposition 
of his reasons, and sometimes even with elaborate written opin- 
ions, showing a conscientious expenditure of thought and labor. 
Unfortunately, doubts and disagreements generally were com- 
promised 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 ac- 
cused 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 under- 
stood, 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,^ but, 
except in special cases, this would not seem to be the motive in 
Spain. It is rather attributable to callous indifference and the 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 890. 

' History of Inquisition of the Middle Ages, I, 419. 

76 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

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 formal- 
ities 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 
Gonzalez Daza, whose trial commenced December 1, 1483, when 
the inquisitors granted nine days for presenting proof. On Decem- 
ber 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 expeditious.^ 

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 com- 
plaint. This urgency was repeated in the Instructions of 1498, 
which fixed a limit of ten days between arrest and the presenta- 
tion 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 pro- 
crastination was attributable to the prosecution and not to the 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 140, n. 162. — Cf. Leg. 
148, n. 267; Leg. 154, n. 356. 

' Instrucciones de 1488, ?3; de 1498. ? 3 (Arguello, fol. 9, 12).— Instruccionesde 
1500, I 6 (Vol. I, p. 580). 

Chap. VIII] BELAYS 77 

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.^ So among the Aragonese petitions at 
the Cortes 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 dispo- 
sition of cases.^ 

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 
Cortes 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 pris- 
oners.^ The Inquisition shared in this indifference to the suffer- 
ings 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.^ That it v^as a real grievance is shown by a 
summons addressed, in 1534, by the Toledo fiscal to the Vicar- 
general Bias Ortiz, reciting that it was four years since the tribu- 
nal 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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 3, fol. 89. 

* Ibidem, Inquisicion de Barcelona, Cortes, Leg. 17, fol. 47, 48. 

3 Colmeiro, Cortes de Leon y de Castilla, II, 217, 234, 248, 264, 273-4. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 125. 

78 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

de fe to be held. When, however, we learn that the concurrence 
of the vicar-general was needed only for the torture of nine per- 
sons and the sentencing of ten, we see how httle occupation the 
tribunal had had during those four years, rendering the delay 
inexcusable, while moreover the effort to shift the blame on Bias 
Ortiz was transparent for, under the Clementines, inquisitors were 
required to wait only nine days for the Ordinary/ 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 linger.^ 
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 in- 
cluded 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.^ 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 tri- 
bunals 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 moni- 
tion which was synchronous with the accusation.* When there 

' MSS. of Public Library of Toledo, Sala 5, Estante 11, Tab. 3. 
' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 82, fol. 171; Lib. 939, fol. 125; Lib. 
942, fol. 29; Lib. 979, fol. 38. 

' Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol. 97.— Ibidem, Canarias, Exptes de Visitas, Leg. 250, 
Lib. 1, fol. 6.— Instrucciones de 1561, §g 13, 15, 18 (Arguello, fol. 29). 
* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 38. These cases are 

1st Audience 2nd Audience 3rd Audience 

Jan. 14, 1648 Jan. 25, 1648 May 20. 1648 

9, " 

" 13, " 

" 15, " 

" 27. " 

., 27, " 

" 22, " 

9, " 


Acacio Bautillo 

Jan. 24, 1647 

Ant. Rodriguez del Cano . 

" 18, " 

Caspar Rodriguez del Cano " 25, " 

Juan de Isla .... 

'• 24, " 

Francisco de Herrera . 

" 26, " 

Caspar de Herrera 

•• 25, '• 

Miguel Vftzquez 

•■ 28, " 

Antonio de Espinosa . 

. " 18, " 

" 25, " 

June 4, 

Feb. 10, " 

May 16. 

Jan. 25. " 

July 8, 

Feb. 1, •■ 

7, ' 

1, ■' 

May 16, ' 

Jan. 27, " 

Nov. 16, ' 

•■ 24, " 

Feb. 17, * 

Chap. VIII] DELAYS 79 

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.^ Similar exam- 
ples 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.^ On a similar charge, Vicente Hernan was 

^ 1649, Sept. 9. Arrest of Joseph Brunon de Vertiz. 

Oct. 5 to Nov. 12. Numerous audiences. 

Nov. 22. Audience at his request. 

" 23 to Dec. 4. Five audiences on the inventory of his papers 
and effects. 

1650, Jan. 25. Audience to ratify his confessions. 
Feb 8. Audience at his request. 


Mar. 23. 

June 9. 

Aug. 17. 

1651, Jan. 9, 

1652, April 19. 
May 11. Inquisitors \asit the cells 

" 27. Audience at his request. 

1654, July 23. 

1655, Aug. 14. Summoned to audience to ask if he has more to say, 

1656, April 26. Asks an audience in his cell as he is sick. 

" 27. Audience granted by mistake. 

" 30. His death. 

1657, May 11. The fiscal presents the accusation. 

1658, June 1. Citation to kindred issued. 
Nov. 3. Citation pubHshed in Vera Cruz. 
Dec. 10. His brother's procurator appears. 

1659, Mar. 3. The fiscal asks that the procurator be sworn. 
Oct. 22. Procurator and advocate sworn — defence abandoned. 
Nov. — Auto de fe in which he is burnt in effigy. 

(MSS. of David Fergusson Esq.) 
' Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 114, n. 13. 

80 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

arrested in Valencia, September 23, 1592, and on August 25, 
1695, the Suprema took the tribunal to task, because the accusa- 
tion 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.^ 

This procrastination continued to the end, A writer, about 
1750, attributes the endless prolongation of the trials to the ineffi- 
ciency 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 Logrono 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.^ 

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 arbi- 
trary 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 hot 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 effi- 
gies 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 for- 
feiting of alienations. 

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 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 12, n. 2, fol. 126. 

^ Bibl. nacional, MSS., Mm, 130. — Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 890. 


the remains of any heretic buried in consecrated ground/ The 
imperial jurisprudence was equally unforgiving in cases of maje- 
tas, or treason, in which the dead could be prosecuted and their 
estates be confiscated, and the Theodosian Code extended this to 
heresy.^ 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.^ As regards fugitives, 
in the Continental systems of criminal law it was regarded as 
absurd to allow contumacious absence to defeat justice. In Ara- 
gon 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/ 

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 monu- 
ment, 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.^ We might suspect these figures of exag- 

» Innocent. PP. Ill Regest ix, 213.— Cap. 12, Tit. xxviii, Extra, Lib. in.— 
Cap. 2, Tit. 1, in Sexto Lib. v 

' Institt. IV, 18.— Digest, xlviii, iv, 11,— Cod. ix, 8.— Cod. Theodos. i, v, 4. 

3 See an interesting paper by George Neilson Esq. (Legal Lore, London, 
1897, p. 224) on the trial of the dead for high treason in England and Scotland. 

* Fueros de Aragon, fol. 158, 204 (Zaragoza, 1624).— Observ-antia; Regni 
Aragonum, Lib, viii, De Contumacia, ? .5,— Ordinacions del Regne de Mallorca, 
p. 224. — Ferrer, Methodus procedendi, fol. 49'' 

* Relacion de la Inquisicion Toledona (Boletin, XI, 301, 304-6). 

VOL. Ill 6 

82 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

geration 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, con- 
tains 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 dead/ 

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.^ 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' 
How far back the retroactive energy of the tribunals extended 
may be gathered from the case of Fernan Sanchez 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 con- 
fiscated by the tribunal of Cuenca and Sigiienza, probably about 

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 

* Ramon de Santa Maria (Boletin, XXII, 190-3, 204, 368-71). 

' Instrucciones de 1484, § 20 (Arguello, fol. 7). — Archivo de Simancas, Inqui- 
sicion, Lib. 933. 

' See Vol. I, Appendix, p. 577. 

* Proceso contra Luis de Leon (Col. de Documentos, X, 150-1). See Vol. T, 
p. 546, for the period in which Sigiienza was conjoined with the tribunal of 


8, 1484, the fiscal is recorded as appearing and saying that he 
desires to proceed against certain deceased persons and among 
them Beatris Gonzalez. 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 Juda- 
ism, 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 reheldia or contumacy of the parties cited and, at 
the end of the third, on September 6th, he presented the accusa- 
tion, 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 wit- 
nesses, who were separately and secretly examined by the inquis- 
itors, the testimony consisting of the usual details of observing 
the Sabbath by fighting 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, order- 
ing 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 inquis- 
itors 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 

34 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

dug up and burnt/ This was the procedure under which thou- 
sands 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.^ 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 circum- 
stances, acquittal is ordered. Procrastination and delay are also 
forbidden, and cases must be determined speedily.^ 

Sequestration under these circumstances inflicted great suffer- 
ing 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.^ By this time, also, another 
rule had established itself which diminished the number of 
prosecutions — that they could only lie for formal heresy. Crimes 

• Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 137, n. 98; Leg. 165, 
n. 551, 

' Bibliotheque nationale de France, fonds espagnol, 76, 77, 93. 
^ Instrucciones de 1498, § 4 (Arguello, fol. 12). 

* Instrucciones de 1561, U 61-3 (Arguello, fol. 35). 


involving suspicion of lieresy, 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/ 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 tor- 

If they could not be tortured, so neither could they save them- 
selves from relaxation by confession and abjuration. This natur- 
ally 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 impres- 
sive 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 bear- 
ing 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 griev- 
ous 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, 

1 SimancEB de Cath. Institt., Tit. xviii, n. 13.— Pegnse Comment. 92 in Eymerici 
Direct., P. in. — Praxis procedendi, Cap. 7, n. 9 (Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion 
de Valencia). 

^ Rojas de Hajret. P. n, n. 30-31.— Simancse, op.- cit., Tit. xviii, n. 12.— Pegna, 
uhi sup. — Sousae Aphoris. Inquisit. Lib ii, Cap. 50, n. 11. 



that it may the more remain in the memory of the hving, we order 
that the said sanbenito or one hke it, with the said insignia and 
name of the condemned, shall be placed in the cathedral or paro- 
chial 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."' 

We have already seen how numerous, in the opening years of 
the Inquisition, were the trials of absentees, as shown by the burn- 
ing 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 pro- 
portion 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, justi- 
fying 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 

' Pablo Garcfa, Orden de Processar, fol. 67-8, 


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 chm-ch-doors of his domicile, and the excom- 
munication was pubhshed 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 simi- 
lar 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.^ 

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 Man' Diaz 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 repre- 
sented 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 

^ Instrucciones de 1484, § 19 (Arguello, fol. 7). 

38 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

presumably was through fear. The edict was issued and the case 
took its course, all citations and summonses being gravely pro- 
nounced 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 f e 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 penalties.^ 
If there is something grotesque in all this, at least the proceed- 
ings were decently in order and, if Sancho and his wife had cared 
to risk it, they could have been heard. How hurried and infor- 
mal the process sometimes was is manifested by a case at Guada- 
lupe 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 Malaga 
or to some other Moorish town, and had turned Jews. On July 
21st the fiscal presented his accusation, asking for sentence with- 
out 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 every- 
where were empowered to seize and proceed against them.^ 
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 

1 Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 139, n. 145. 

2 Ibidem, Leg. 177, n. 702. 


was Francisco de la Fuente, an experienced judge from the tri- 
bunal 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, con- 
fessing 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.^ 

No change of importance was introduced in the procedure by 
the Instructions of 1561. In practice, the prosecution for con- 
tumacy 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 condem- 
nation wholly on his remaining for a year under excommunica- 
tion, 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.^ 

Of course condemnation to the stake was inevitable, when once 
the process was commenced, whether there was substantial evi- 
dence 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 spon- 
taneously or is captured, for there is no prescription of time against 
defence; if he comes within a year he can plead against confis- 
cation, but after the year he can be heard only as to himself. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 979, fol. 39; Lib. 933. 
' Ibidem, Lib. 979. foL 37.— Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 
10). — Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 53-4. 

90 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

unless he is manifestly innocent or has been detained by a just 
impediment/ 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 Malaga 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 Enriquez and 
her husband Diego Rochiguez 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 dur- 
ing 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 per- 
petual irremissible, and it was duly published in an auto de fe of 
December 17, 1679.' 

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 
Enriquez, 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.' 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 

1 Miguel Calvo (Archive de AlcaM, Hacienda, Leg. 544^, Lib. 4).— Simancse de 
Cath. Institt. Tit. ii, n. 20, 21. 

' Proceso contra Diego Rodriguez Silva, fol. 27-34; Proceso contra Ana 
Enrfquez, fol. 158 (MSS. penes me). 

3 Archivo de Simancas, Liquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 43. 


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 tribimals. The Suprema there- 
upon 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 

Effigies of the dead and absent continued to be one of the attrac- 
tions of the autos de fe. In the great Madrid celebration of 1680, 
the procession was headed with thirty-foui-, 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.' 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 
Cathohc zeal is acquired as much by cariying to the flames the 
dead as the living and, in this case, the inciuisitors, 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 chancelleria exultingly carried them from the staging 
to the brasero where they were burnt. ^ 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 
responsibihty except to the Suprema. Many cases cited above 
show that the arbitrary power thus conferred was not always 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 11, n. 2, fol. 122. — 
Libro XIII de Cartas, fol. 184 (MSS. of Am. Philos. Society). 

^ Olmo, Relacion del Auto, etc., pp. 101-2. 
2 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

* Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 9). 

92 THE TRIAL [Book VI 

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/ 

* Llorente (Hist. crft. Cap. xliv, Art. 1, n. 38, 39, 40) quotes from the Gazette 
de France an account of a reform in the procedure of the Roman Inquisition in 
1816, assimilating it to that of the secular courts, a reform which was to be 
extended to the Inquisition everywhere. There is no trace of such action in 
the BuUarium of Pius VII or in the Collectio Lacensis. If it was enforced in 
Italy, the Spanish Holy Office paid no attention to it 





In the infliction of punishment, the Inquisition differed from 
secular courts in one important respect. PubHc 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.^ 

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 meri- 
tos. 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 

1 In the Appendix will be found some fragmentary statistics illustrating the 
comparative frequency of the various punishments inflicted by the Inquisition. 


94 T^^ SENTENCE [Book VII 

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 Cordova, 
May 13, 1546, occupied from six in the morning until four in 
the afternoon.^ In the sentence of Don Pablo de Soto, con- 
victed 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.^ 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 penalties.^ 

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, 

* Bibl. nationale de France, fonds espagnol, 354, fol. 248-69. 

^ MSS. of Bibl. nacional de Lima. 

' See Appendix for a specimen of the conclusion of a sentence. 


sanbenitos and crosses were assigned a room in the Inquisition 
where they could labor unseen, under an oath of secrecy/ The 
effect of the sudden revelation, when it came, is indicated in the 
advice that it was better to give to those wdio 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.^ The despair induced by the 
preceding long-drawn suspense occasionally found expression, as 
in the case of Diego Gonzalez, 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 IMaffre des Rieux hanged himself in consequence 
of being thus kept in ignorance.^ 

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 b}^ 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 with- 
holding the sentence until the auto, although exceptions were 
rare. The Instructions of 15G1, 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.^ There evidently were con- 
tending influences, of justice on one side and convenience on 
the other, for in 1568 it was ordered that, in cases not of heresy, 

* Medina, Historia de la Inquisicion de Lima, II, lOS, 109 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 979, fol. 40. 

' Ibidem, Legajo 552, fol. 33. — Llorente, Hist. crft. Cap. ix, Art. xv. 

•* Instrucciones de 1561, ? 51 (Arguello, fol. 54). 


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.^ 

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.^ Although the culprit thus had an oppor- 
tunity to appeal, he was obliged to act without advice. In the 
case of Maria 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.^ Still, as pubhc autos diminished 
and private autillos multiphed, the opportunity for appeals be- 
came more frequent and were sometimes successful. 

This was more apt to benefit ecclesiastics than laymen for, 
except in cases involving degradation, they were never exhibited 
in pubhc autos ; their sentences were read in the audience-cham- 
ber, 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 in- 
frequent. 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 

J Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 112; Lib. 979, fol. 31, 38. 

' Ibidem, Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 187. 

s Melgares Marin, Procedimientos de la Inquisicion, II, 153, 

Chap. I] APPEALS 97 

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 pro- 
tested that the sentence was absurd and he appealed from 
it, to which the fiscal retorted by hkewise 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 sup- 
pressed 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.^ 
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.^ B}^ 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 here- 
after, was subsequently extended to three days. 

In the medieval Inquisition, the inquisitor, when rendering sen- 
tence, 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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 428. 
For a brief account of Lucrecia de Leon see the author's " Chapters from the 
ReHgious History of Spain," p. 359. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol, 40 

VOL. Ill 7 


Holy See. The Spanish mquisitor occupied a wholly different 
position, being held in strict and constantly increasing subordi- 
nation 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. Aheady in 1498, 
the Instructions thus undertook to limit the power of inquisitors 
to modify sentences, by ordering that they should not grant com- 
mutations 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.^ 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.^ It was wholly a matter of finance and 
we have seen (Book v, Chap, ni) how it was thenceforth utiHzed. 
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 powers.^ 

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 aggra- 
vation of punishment because it proved her to be an impenitent 
in denying her pact and intention. November 21st the consulta 
de f e assembled and • unanimously confirmed its former sentence. 

' Instrucciones de 1498, § 6 (Arguello, fol. 12-13). 

^ Llorente, Anales, II, 31. 

^ Elucidationes Sti Officii, I 27 (Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg 544^, Lib. 4). 


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 her/ 

As regards cruelty, it is impossible to generahze, where in the 
earher periods so much discretion was allowed to the tribunals, 
and so much depended on the temper of the inquisitors, who might 
be stern or hmnane. In the case of the obstinate heretic or of the 
impenitente negativo there was no question ; the law of the land and 
universal pubhc opinion ahke 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 hke 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 drunk- 
enness." 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 pimishment.^ Tliis tendency towards mercy becomes more 
marked in the period of decadence, when the humanitarian devel- 
opment 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 

* Proceso contra Isabel de Montoya, fol. 318-26, 342-5, 348 (MS. -penes me). 
^ MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

100 ^^^ SENTENCE [Book VII 

to denounce the offender. Duval de Saueourt, 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 
suno- 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 wliich, by a vote of fifteen to ten, confirmed the sentence, 
with the mitigation of beheading before concremation and tliis was 
duly executed, July 1, 1766.' The annals of the Spanish Inqui- 
sition offer nothing more liideous than this, and the comparison 
is the more instructive in that its penalty for sacrilegiously out- 
raging 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 vergiienza or exile, according to the character of the offence and 
of the culprit.^ 

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 com- 
monalty. This was reversed in the Inquisition, where it was 
prescrilDed that, in matters of faith, nobles should be punished more 
severely than plebeians.^ This was doubtless owing to the assump- 
tion that they were more inteUigently 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 mucli greater leniency than the 
laity and, far from being utihzed as examples, their frailties and 
errors were shielded as much as possible from pubhc 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 

^ Biographie universelle, s. v. Barre. — L'Oiseleur, Les Crimes et les Peines, 
p. 232 (Paris, 1863). 

^ Elucidationes Sti Officii, § 41 (Archive de Alcald, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ Lib. 4). 
s Ibidem, § 32 


by no definite limitations as to what were known as jpenas extra- 
ordinarias, and they could devise whatever seemed appropriate 
to special cases. Infinite gradations and intricate combinations 
were resorted to in the efi'ort 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 tliis discretional power, but, making allowance 
for the infirmities of human nature under the temptation of irre- 
sponsibihty, it can scarce be said that it habitually abused its author- 
ity, 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 for- 
mulas of procedure; but, when it had secured confession or convic- 
tion, 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, recon- 
ciliation 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, volimtarily 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 theolo- 
gian in treating its non-performance as a proof that repentance 
had been feigned, and that the ofi"ender had relapsed into heresy, 
the penalty for which, under the canons, was death by fire without 
trial. In the earlier time this w^as enforced in so far as was pos- 
sible. 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, Cristoval Gelva, to whom the 
Hospital of Nuestra Seiiora de la Gracia was assigned as a per- 


petual prison, was burnt in efRgy for escaping,^ 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 Bartolome Gallego, who escaped 
in 1525 from the penitential prison of Toledo and was condemned 
to relaxation in effigy, November 3, 1527.^ Some forty years 
later, Pablo Garcia 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.^ 

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 pre- 
pared to obey the Church, liis flight only deserves an increase of 
penalty.^ 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 
Perez 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-fulfil- 
ment of penance, but he was prosecuted for contumacy as a simple 
fugitive.^ 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 imder 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 

* MS, Memoria de diversos Autos (Appendix to Vol. 1). 

^ D. Manuel Serrano y Sans (Revista de Archivos, April, 1902, p. 254). 
^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 61, 63. 

* Simancse de Cath. Instt. Tit xvi, n. 24-5. 

' Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 377. 


same heresy/ Towards the middle of the seventeenth centur}^, 
Alberghini gives the various opinions held on the subject, and 
concludes that that of Simancas was commonly accepted.^ 

Cases of non-fulfilment w^re not infrequent for, as we shall see, 
the discipline of the penitential prisons was exceedingly lax; any 
penitent could absent himself and then tln^ow off the sanbenito, 
wliich w^as the customary accompaniment of imprisonment, but, 
although tliis was canonically relapse, such cases were treated with 
what in those days might be considered as mercy. Thus Diego 
Gonzalez, reconciled for Judaism at Valladohd, in 1644, and con- 
demned 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.^ It was the same with sentences of exile. 
In 1667, at Toledo, Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, who had been 
reconciled in 1665 and had already been prosecuted for non-ful- 
filment of penance, was tried for doing so again, and w^as con- 
demned only to a hundred lashes and two years more of exile. 
So in 1669, Juan Lopez Peatin, for infraction of exile, had only 
tw^o years added to the original term/ 

A curious case, how^ever, in 1606, shows how penitents were 
expected to fulfil their penances. Caspar Godet, a Morisco, had 
been condemned at A^alencia to reconciliation, a hundred lashes, 
and perpetual prison, of which the first eight years were to be passed 
in the galleys. After five j-ears' servdce, his galley was captured 
by the Enghsh, 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 himdred 
lashes and to pay a fine of two hundred libras, although the 
maximum fine that could legally be imposed on a Morisco was ten 

The renewed activity of the Inquisition, in the early eighteenth 

» MSS of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. Ill, IX. 

2 Alberghini, Manualis Qualificator. Cap. xxxiij. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 33. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

* Ibidem, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, fol. 79. 


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 irre- 
missible 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 Afri- 
can 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 captm-ed 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.^ 

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.^ 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, 

» Royal Library of Borlin, Qt. 9548. 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 787 


December 22, 1636, ordered the tribunal of A'alladolid to investi- 
gate the case, after which the Suprema contented itself with deport- 
ing him to Portugal, and warning him that, if he returned again, 
he should be sent to the galleys.^ 

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 imacceptable 
propositions, he had been sentenced by the tribunal of Cordova 
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 tribmial pronomiced him to be relapsed in grave crime 
and sentenced him to abjure cle vehementi, to be suspended from 
his orders for a year, to perpetual deprivation of preaching, con- 
fessing 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 assem- 
bled 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.^ 
What is noteworthy here is not only the severity of this long accu- 
mulation 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 evi- 
dence was obtained,^ 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.* The Spanish Holy Office was not quite so sensitive, 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 22. 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

Carena (Tract, de Off. S. Inquisit, P. ii. Tit. xvii, n. 9) mentions a case in 
which the tribunal of Murcia condemned to the galleys a priest who cele- 
brated mass while under suspension by the Holy See. 

' See the Author's Inquisition of the Middle Ages, I, 453; III, 513. 

* Collect. Decretor. S. Congr. Sti Officii, p. 353. — Ristretto cerca li delitti 
pill frequenti nel S. Officio, p. 162 (MSS. penes me). 


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 liim, subject to 
the Uability of its being reopened at any time. 

The furious zeal of Torquemada rendered acquittal pecuHarly 
distasteful to liim, 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 acc|uittals in this early time — 
acquittals, however, which manifest a strange mental confusion, 
and betray the unwillingness to admit the prosecution of the inno- 
cent, for they couple acquittal with punishment. Thus at Guada- 
lupe, in 1485, in the case of Andres Alonso of Trogillano, the sen- 
tence 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.^ 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 innocent. 

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 

1 Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 132, n. 39; Leg. 183, n. 779. 

Chap. I] ACQUITTAL 107 

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.^ 

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 Ramirez and Cata- 
hna beata negra abjured de vehementi. Unless there is a mistake 
by the scribe, Leonora de la Ohva of Ciudad Real was acquitted 
and scourged, October 3, 1521, and again had the same sentence 
October 13, 1530. In 1520 Alonso Hernandez was acquitted with 
public penance and, in 1513, Sancho de Ribera was acquitted 
with confiscation. One entry is difficult of comprehension— that 
of Inez Gonzalez, who was voted to acquittal with reconciliation 
and confiscation, but the confiscation was remitted.^ 

Practically acquittal amounted only to a sentence of not proven. 
In the formula for it, Pablo Garcia 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 Villa- 
nueva. In matters of faith there was no finality, no cosa jnzgada, 
and it was so declared by Pius V, in the buU Inter midtiplices, 
invalidating all letters of absolution and acquittal issued by in- 
quisitors and other spiritual judges.^ 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 

1 Carbonell de Gestis Hsereticor. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 
144, 145, 147, 149). 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 262. 

' Pablo Garcfa, Orden de Processar, fol 41. — Cap. 10, Tit. iii in Septimo Lib. 
V. Notwithstanding Pablo Garcia' s formula, the sentence of acquittal of Jan 
of Antwerp, tried at Toledo for Lutheranism in 1561, asserts itself to be difpn- 
itiva. — Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 110, n. 31, fol. 30. 


was no effigy/ All this was in direct contradiction to the glowing 
eulogy of Paramo 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.^ Yet Paramo 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 vSpain was that referred to above 
(Vol. II, p. 561), where fourteen residents of Cadiz 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 incar- 
ceration, 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 tribmial, while three nephews 
were made famiUars.^ 

The reluctance of the tribunals to pronounce a sentence of acquit- 
tal 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 Barce- 
lona 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.^ 

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 

1 Pablo Garcfa, loc. cit. — Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 979, fol. 20. 
^ Paramo, p. 269. 

3 Palma, Ailales de la Inquisicion de Lima, pp. 19, 38, 140 (Madrid, 1898) . 
* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Sala 39, Leg. 4, fol. 71. 

Chap. I] SUSPENSION 109 

neither acquitted nor convicted, the case could at any moment 
be reopened and prosecuted to the end, and it hung over the unfor- 
tunate victim while it saved the infallibiUty of the tribunal. The 
earUest allusion to it that I have met occurs in the Instructions of 
1498, which show that it was a usage already estabhshed 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.^ 

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 Ufting the 
sequestration. Some authorities held that a case could not be 
entered as suspended, if there was enough in it to justify a repri- 
mand, 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 w^as sworn to secrecy; 
he was told that for just reasons he was granted the favor of return- 
ing home and that he must seek to discharge his conscience for 
his case was still pending.^ 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 Suj^rema 
might grant him one to the effect that he was discharged without 
penance or condemnation.^ 

Suspension wholly without penance was, however, unusual, 

1 Instnicciones de 1498, ? 4 (Arguello, fol. 12) 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 80 

' MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 21Sb, p. 339. 


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 hghtly. About the same time. Dona 
Gabriela Ramirez 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 Acuna, when his trial for 
propositions was suspended.' How httle incongruity was recog- 
nized 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.^ In fact, 
as suspension grew more frequent in the closing years of the Inqui- 
sition, it was often coupled with severe inflictions. Thus, August 
30, 1815, the tribunal of Llerena suspended the case of Maria 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, Nicolas 
Sanchez Espinal, who was sentenced to reprimand, certain spirit- 
ual exercises and perpetual exile from the province.^ 

In cases like these, however, suspension had somewhat out- 
grown 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 mani- 
fested by cases of which the records are full. Thus, in 1607, Fran- 
cisco Dendolea, a Morisco of Xea, was tried at A^alencia 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 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 
^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 877, fol. 228. 
' Ibidem, Lib. 890, fol. 12. 


was limosnero and the charge fell to the ground, but the case 
was merely suspended. So, in 1653, Dona 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.' 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 prejutlicehim.^ 
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.^ 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 79; Inqui- 
sicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 3, 2G. 

' Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. Ill, n. 46, fol. 30-4. 


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 

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.^ 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, con- 
tains 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.^ This tendency con- 
tinued 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.* 

This repugnance existed to the last. In 1806, Don Matias 
Brabo, an ex-Agonizante and cahficador of the Saragossa tri- 
bunal, 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.^ 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 31 

' Ibidem, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 262. 

» MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1 

6 Ibidem, Leg. 498, fol. 259. 


The same spirit is seen in the instructions of the Suprema, October 
14, 1819, to the Cuenca tribunal, authorizing the arrest and trial 
of Marfa Martinez 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/ 

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 infor- 
mation 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 respect- 
ing 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 1802."' 

Yet, taking it as a whole, when we consider that the inquisi- 
torial 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 Bar- 
barians 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 conjura- 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 890. 
^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 100 
VOL. Ill 8 


tors or compurgators and were in no sense witnesses; they pre- 
tended 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.^ In the thir- 
teenth 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 
or 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 dechne 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 " suspicion." 

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 tri- 
bunal 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 Caballeria, accused of compHcity 
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 

* It is still employed in ecclesiastical cases as a mode of proof. In November, 
1904, a dispensation to dissolve a marriage was granted on proof of its non- 
consummation, by the oath of the parties, supported "dal testimonio di settima 
mano." — II Consulente Ecclesiastico, Gennaio, 1905, p. 8 


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 Aljaferfa on August 
23d, when the publication of e\^dence 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 nega- 
tive 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 Septem- 
ber 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 sen- 
tence, 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 paj^ment of all costs of her trial, 
the taxation of which they reserved to themselves, and with per- 
forming such penance as they might impose on her. The record 
fails to inform us what was that penance, but it probably trans- 
ferred to the tribunal a large portion of the property that had 
escaped her husband's confiscation.^ 

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 evi- 

' Bibl. nationale de France, fonds espagnol SO, fol. 346-52. 

Two cases in Barcelona, in 1488, with somewhat different details, will be 
found in Carbonell de Gestis Hcereticor. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, 
XXVIII, 26-7, 123-35). 


dence 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 Feb- 
ruary 3, 1503, Jayme Benet was burnt at Barcelona because he 
failed in the compurgation enjoined on him.^ 

A change, probably attributable to the growing desire for abso- 
lute secrecy, prescribed by the Instructions of 1500, altered pro- 
foundly 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.^ There seems to have been some 
trouble in abrogating the custom of reading the evidence, for the 
prohibition had to be repeated in 1514.^ 

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.^ 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.^ Apparently it was one of the results 
of suppressing the names of witnesses that the poor wretch, in his 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 164, n. 531. — Carbonell, 
op. cit., p. 154. 

' Instrucciones de 1500, ? 8 (Vol. I, Appendix, p. 580). — Arguello, fol. 14. 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 102. 

*■ Archives de FEtat, Bruxelles, Registre sur le faict des heresies, etc., fol. 
652-6 (kindly communicated by Professor Paul Fredericq). 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 68, 87. 


ignorance, would sometimes call upon those to save him who had 
been procuring his destruction, and the inquisitors had not suffi- 
cient 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 with- 
out prejudicing the result/ 

Yet by the middle of the century, when Simancas wrote, com- 
purgation 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 equiva- 
lent to sending them on the direct road to the stake, since no one 
could help thinking ill of them, or at least doubting their inno- 
cence. 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 suspected.^ 

This is echoed by the Instructions of 1561, which indicate how 
compurgation was passing out of use by the brief allusion vouch- 
safed to it. It is to be performed in accordance with the Instruc- 
tions, 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.^ 

Still, subsequently to this, Pablo Garcia 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 

' Simancse de Cath. Institt. Tit. lvi, n. 15. 

2 Ibidem, n. 12, 31. 

3 Instrucciones de 1561, § 47 (Arguello, fol. 33). 


that he had to act in the soHtude 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 com- 
purgators 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 com- 

Conducted after this fashion it is easy to understand why com- 
purgation should be characterized as blind and perilous. The 

^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 69-72. 


accused had to make his selection bhndly, and the quahfications 
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 allow- 
ing 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 aboli- 
tion, the tribunals had exclusive discretion as to its employment, 
and that discretion was used to render it obsolete. Still, it main- 
tained 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 Instruc- 
tions were observed in canonical compurgation, although a writer 
of the same period tells us that it is not to be employed be- 
cause, if the accused overcomes sufficient torture, he is to be 

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 bene- 
ficed 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.^ By the middle of the 

1 Modo de Proceder, fol 62 (Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 122).— Archive de AlcaM, 
Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 4). 

' Decret. Sac. Congr. Sti Officii, p. 43 (Bibl. del R. Archivio di Stato in Roma, 
Fondo camerale, Congr. del S. Officio, Vol. 3) 

]^20 2'^^ SENTENCE [Book VII 

seventeenth century, however, Carena tells us that it had been 
virtually disused by the Congregation, as most perilous, falla- 
cious and uncertain/ 

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 diversihed jurisdiction. Until the devel- 
opment of the authority of the Suprema over the local tribunals, 
the use made of these fornmlas depended on the temperament 
of the individual inquisitors, shielded as they were from respon- 
sibility 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 

» Carenee Tract, de Off. S. Inquisit. p. 388 (Ed. Lugduni, 1669). 



In the preceding chapter the general penal system of the Inqui- 
sition 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 accusa- 
tion was proved to be, or how plainly his innocence was mani- 
fested. 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.''^ We have seen that some strict con- 
structionists held that reprimand was incompatible with suspen- 
sion, 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.^ To scold the defendant was one of the pre- 
rogatives of the inquisitor, from the use of which he rarely ab- 

1 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I.— "Y no resultando culpa 
fuele reprehendido y advertido para adelante." 

' Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Le^;. 299, fol. 80. — MSS. of 
Library of Univ. of Halle, loc. cit. — Archivo de Simancas, Inqui.sicion, Leg. 552, 
fol. 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 22, 28, 29 



stained, 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 re- 
garded 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.^ 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 wTiting. It was administered 
by the Licentiate Juan de Maiiozca, 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 
cortesia, 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, Mahozca be- 
labored 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 unfortu- 
nate 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 deliv- 
ered them to the secular arm, that they might pass through 
temporal to eternal flame.^ Doubtless the culprit was a fool, but 
his folly merited no such terrific warning. 

> MSS. of Library of Univ. of Toledo, Yc, 20, T. I. 

' Repreension de un Inquisidor a un Reo (MSS. of Bodleian Library, Arch. S, 



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 them- 
selves heretical, were brought under the jurisdiction of the Inqui- 
sition by a more or less forced assumption that they inferred 
suspicion of heresy— that no one who believed rightly as to sacra- 
ments and points of doctrine could be guilty of them. In the 
Old Inquisition, this suspicion was classified as hght, vehement 
or violent and these distinctions were retained in the New. Vio- 
lent 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 Peha says, 
it created presumption of law, as when a man remained for a year 
under excommunication.^ 

The distinction between hght and vehement suspicion was some- 
what 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.^ 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 vehe- 
ment.^ It was evidently impossible to prescribe any absolute 
rule, and it is to the credit of the Inquisition that it rarely pro- 
nounced suspicion to be vehement, while light suspicion occurs 
in almost all sentences short of reconcihation. 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.* 

» Eymerici Director. P. ii, Q. Iv, n. 16.— Pegnse Comment. 80 in loc 

^ Alberghini, Manualis Qualificator. Cap. xv, n. 1-3. 

3 Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 4). 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 


Whatever other punishment might be visited on suspicion, 
abjuration of heresy in general, and especially of the heresy sus- 
pected, 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 condenmation, 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 he held as impeni- 
tent 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 abjura- 
tion 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.^ 
In spite of these impressive formalities, I think it doubtful 

^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 38-9. — Archive hist, nacional, Inquisi- 
cion de Toledo, Leg. 49S. — Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, lab. 939, fol. 118. 


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 punish- 
ment 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 Jose 
Lopez de Cruz, for heretical propositions, was sentenced to similar 
abjuration without such liability,^ 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.^ 

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.^ 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 

' Bibl. nacional, MSS., Pp, 28, Q. 4; Ibidem Kk, 53. — Archive hist, nacional, 
Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

2 Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, Cap. ii, ? 9. 

^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 46 (Arguello, fol. 33). 


the artificial ascription of lieretical 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 
Martinez 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 Car- 
melite house of Toledo.^ 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 conse- 
quence 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. 


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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

Chap. II] EXILE 127 

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 clientele. Considera- 
tions 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 sentences. 

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 var- 
iant 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 indefinitely.^ 

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 infre- 
quent in sentences on Moriscos, whose relations with Barbary 
always excited apprehension, but it is not apparent why the ^'alla- 
dolid tribunal, in 1659, when sentencing Diego de la Pefia for 
Jewish tendencies, should have included an inhibition to approach 
within eight leagues of any sea-port without a special hcence.^ 

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 Valla- 
dohd tribunal, in 1659, sentenced Isabel Rubia and Maria 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.^ This 
was sometimes a form of commutation for imprisonment, as in 
the case of Isabel Nufiez, sentenced at Cuenca to prison and 

' Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 
^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 41. 
' Ibidem, fol. 42. 


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 Alcala, 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/ 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 Phihppines, in 1802, of two frailes 
concerned in the imposture of Isabel Maria Plerraiz, known as 
the Beata of Cuenca,^ Conversely, a penitent might be prohibited 
to leave a designated place, as when, in 1599, Rodrigo Ramirez, 
a Morisco of Yepes, was forbidden for three years to leave Yepes 
without licence.^ 

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 Barto- 
lome Posca added to this a hundred lashes and, in 1607, Francisco 
Xiner, condemned to five years' exile, was threatened with three 
years of galleys.* 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 useful.* 


In the imperial jurisprudence, houses in which heretics held 
their conventicles were forfeited to the Church and this provision 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 1183, fol. 6. 
' Llorente, Hist, crit., Cap. xliii, Art. iv, n. 1. 
3 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. — Ibidem, Inquisicion 
de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 1, 7, 41, 42. 
6 Libro XIII de Cartas, fol. 38 (MSS. of Am. Philos. Society). 


was adopted in the legislation of Alfonso X.^ 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.^ Aragon adopted it and when, 
about 1340, the Spiritual Franciscan Fray Bonanato w^as burnt, 
and his disciples were scattered, the building which they had 
occupied at Villafranca del Panades, near Barcelona, was levelled 
to the ground.^ 

In the early days of the Spanish Inciuisition, the strict enforce- 
ment 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 w^hich the heretics or apos- 
tates 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 Perez, the scrivener of seques- 
trations, whereupon he ordered Aliaga to have it appraised and 
to pay the value to Perez.* He seems to have ofTered no opposition 
to Lucero's operations in Cordova, where a number of houses 
were torn down as having served as synagogues, and he ordered 
them rebuilt when the Congregacion Catolica assembled at Val- 
ladoHd, in 1509, pronounced the prosecutions fictitious.^ 

When the confiscations passed to the Inquisition, financial con- 
siderations apparently got the better of zeal, for when, in 1539, 
at Valencia, trials of a number of Judaizers revealed that a cruci- 
fix 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 num- 
ber of questions as to value, location and expense, as there were 

1 Constt. V, VIII, ? 3, Cod. i, v. — Siete Partidas, P. vii, Tit. xxxvi, ley 5. 
^ Alexand. PP. IV, Bull Ad extirpanda, §21.— Huillard Breholles,Hist. Diplom. 
Frid. II, T. IV, pp. 299-300.— Pegna; Comment. 92 in Eymerici Director. P. in. 
^ Eymerici Director. P. ii, Q. 11. 
* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 1. 
^ Llorente, Anales, I, 359. 

VOL. Ill 9 


no funds for the purpose, and it ordered the auto de f e to be held, 
reserving decision as to the house/ 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 follow- 
ing 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 \lbero, 
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 Phihp II, 
the Holy OfRce 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 obliter- 
ating 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.^ 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 Rodriguez and his wife Isabel Nunez Alvc4rez, 
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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 7§, fol. 235. 

^ Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 121. — Pegnse Comment. 92 in Eymerici Director. 
P. III. — Ed. Bohmer, Francisca Hemdndez, p. 228. — Archivo de Simancas, 
Hacienda, Leg. 25, fol. 2. 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib, 939, fol. 19. 


Cristoval 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 work- 
men 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 carrjdng off the 
timbers. The site was not left, as the canons direct, to be a recep- 
tacle 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.^ 


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 coer- 
cion, and has held that the surest way to bring conviction to the 
soul was to torment the fiesh. We need therefore not be sm'prised 
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 attrib- 
uted to them by the tribunals. 

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 3^ear, 
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 un- 
known. It is true that the formula of sentence on the reconciled. 

* Auto de la Fe celebrada en Madrid, esto ano de 1632 (Bodleian Library, 
Arch. Seld. I, 1). — Llorente, Hist. crit. Cap. xxxviii, Art. 1, n. 7. 


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/ 
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 Gero- 
nima 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 con- 
sists of seventeen Paternosters, sixteen Gloria Patris, a hundred 
and fifty-three Ave Marias and the Apostles' Creed, one can esti- 
mate 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.^ Such an infliction however was exceptional, and it 
frequently happens, in the reports of the tribimals, 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 sen- 
tence pronounced at Toledo, in 1777, on Antonio Rubio and Diego 
Gonzalez, condemned for heretical acts and blasphemy, the former 
to five years' labor in the arsenal of Cartagena and the latter to 
three y^ars 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.^ 

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 

^ Pablo Garcia^ Orden de Processar^ fol. 34. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

^ Ibidem. 


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/ So w^hen, in 1568, Inquisitor Morales reported that, 
during his visit to San Sebastian, he had condemned certain offen- 
ders to have sermons preached at their expense, the Suprema 
mildly remarked that this was a novelty,^ 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 in- 
quisitors.^ In 1607, at Valencia, a single witness accused Maria 
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.* There was wisdom, if a trifle arbi- 
trary, 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 prohfic source of blasphemy.^ 

There was the same latitude in vindictive as in deterrent pun- 
ishments. At Valladolid, from 1635 to 1637, there w^ere 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.^ Less symbolical and still more 
original was a spectacle devised for the Mexican auto of Decem- 
ber 7, 1664, where one of the penitents was stripped to the waist, 
while two Indians smeared him with honey and covered him with 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 78, fol. 332. 

2 Ibidem, Lib. 81, fol. 27. 

3 Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 121. 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 44. 
^ Ibidem, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

« Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 5-52, fol. 17, 22.— At this period autos 
de fe were not frequent and, at the close of 1638, the culprits were still awaiting 


feathers, in which guise he was made to stand in the sun for four 
hours on the staging/ Even recruiting for the army was not 
beneath the dignity of tlie tribunal as when, in 1650, Toledo 
condemned Andres 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.^ 

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. 

* Obregon, Mexico viejo, 1* Serie, p. 186 (Mexico, 1891). 
' Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 




Although at first sight the use of the lash, as a persuasive 
to correct rehgious behef, may appear somewhat incongruous, it 
must be borne in mind that, under the euphemy of the disciphne, 
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 absolu- 
tion from excommunication, is a symbol of the discipline which 
was anciently indispensable. In the Old Incjuisition it was in 
frequent use, although there it was rendered a matter of edifi- 
cation, 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 vin- 

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 inscrip- 
tion of their offences and a pie 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 pro- 
claimed 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/ 

In 1568 the Suprema rebuked the Barcelona tribunal for con- 
demning to public scourging penitehts 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.^ This indicates how completely the scom'ge 
had become punitive and how it was dissociated from the ancient 
discipline, but if such regulation existed it met with scant recog- 
nition. All the offences subjected to the Inquisition were con- 
structively 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. 

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.^ 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.^ 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.^ When 

* Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 41. — Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion 
de Valencia, Leg. 31, fol. 2. — Bibl. nationale de France, fonds espagnol, 354, fol. 
242. — Bodleian Library, Arch. Seld. I. 1. — Olmo, Relacion del Auto, pp. 294-5. 

The Roman Inquisition was more merciful. Not only was scourging much 
lighter than in Spain and less frequently prescribed but, by a decree of Feb. 23, 
1641, it was commuted when the offender had sisters, daughters or grandchil- 
dren of respectable position. It was also spared to women who had husbands 
or marriageable daughters. — Collectio Decretor. S. Congr. Sti Officii, p. 358; 
Ristretto cerca li Delitti piii frequenti nel S. Offizio, p. 53 (MSS. penes me). 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Visitas de Barcelona, Leg. 15, fol. 20. 

^ Danvila y CoUado, Expulsion de los Moriscos, pp. 208-16. — Archivo hist, 
nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10. 

^ MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20. T. L 

« Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

Chap. Ill] SCOURGING 137 

we recall that, in the list of officials reported by Murcia, in 1746, 
there figures Joseph Garcia Bentura as rjotario de agotaciones — 
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/ The brutahzing 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 Malaga, who had pretended 
to be a familiar, was scourged in Malaga and again in the scene 
of his cft'ence.^ 

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 Alta- 
mira reduced to such extremity after a scourging that the viaticum 
was administered to her.^ 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.^ 

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 

* See Appendix to Vol. II. 

' Archivo de Simancas, Hacienda, Leg. 25, fol. 2. 

' Proceso contra Margarita Altamira, fol. 40 (MSS. of Am. Philos. Society). 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion deValencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 37, 54, 55, 74. 


1769, at Toledo, Geronimo 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/ 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.^ 

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. 


Vergiienza, or shame, was the same as scourging, with the lashes 
omitted. The culprit, stripped to the waist and with the pie 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 some- 
times 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.^ 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. 

Vergiienza 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 vergiienzas 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 ninety-seven. 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 890. 

* Pedraza, Hist, eccles. de Granada, P, iv. Cap. 129 (Granada, 1638). 

Chap. Ill] THE Q AG— THE GALLEYS 139 


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 vergiienza, 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.^ Its use was not frecjuent, 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.^ 


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 individ- 
ual, and it was not until the curtailment of ancient privileges, 
in the Cortes of Tarazona in 1592, that judges were permitted to 
use it as a punishment for robbers.^ In Castile, the pressure for 
slaves to man the galleys is indicated by a royal cedula of November 
14, 1502, commuting the death-sentence of criminals in the secular 

1 Simancse de Cath. Instt. Tit. xlviii, n. 6. — Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, 
fol. 31. 

^ Arehivo de Simancas, Hacienda, Leg. 25. — Olmo, Relacion del Auto, p. 104. 
3 Fueros de Aragon, fol. 164, 204, 220, 238 (Zaragoza, 1624). 


courts, and ordering them to be sent to the galleys/ 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 sohcitude of the inquisitors should be 
the prevention of relapse, he therefore empowered them to change 
the perpetual prison of penitents into other penalties— deporta- 
tion 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.^ 

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 Inqui- 
sition to the galleys of Ramon de Cardona, which we may fairly 
accept as an example of what was on foot everywhere.^ 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.* 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 

' Archive de Se\dlla, Seccion primera, Carpeta v, n. 41 (Sevilla, 1860). 
^ Bulario de la Orden de Santiajro, Lib. II, fol. 130.— Archive hist, nacienal, 
Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 16, fol. 292. 

3 Carbonell de Gest. Haret. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 166). 
* MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 218^ p. 187. 

Chap. Ill] THE GALLEYS 141 

prison, Ferdinand threw the decision back on him; to build pris- 
ons 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/ The conclu- 
sion reached is unknown, but we may reasonably surmise that 
the Palermo tribunal did not waste its funds in constructing 

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.^ 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.^ Apparently the superior intel- 
ligence of the penitents had rendered them more useful as petty 
officers and accountants than as slaves of the oar, but this allevia- 
tion 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 he sent to serve as a gentle- 
man or as a soldier.^ 

AVe have already seen to what profitable account the Inqui- 
sition 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 Andres 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 treach- 
erously 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 galle3^-slave, as required by his sentence. Still, 
if he would present himself and manifest repentance there might 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 3, fol. 238. 
2 Ibidem, Lib. 76, fol. 71. 

^ Mem. historico espanol, VI, 501. 

* Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 41. — MSS. of Librarj- of Univ. of 
Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 


be opportunity for the king to show him mercy, but otherwise 
it would greatly impair the authority of the Inquisition/ 

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 formats, 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.^ 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 main- 
taining them in prison.^ 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 cedula of 1584.* 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.^ 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. 

Even this did not satisfy the royal exigency and a further inex- 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 228. 

' Relazioni Venete, Serle I, T. V, p. 140. 

3 Bleda? Defensio Fidei, p. 310. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 119; Lib. 962, fol. 2,5. — 
Elucidationes Sti Officii, ? 6 (Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^, Lib. 4). — 
Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 5, n. 1, fol. 65, 66. 

' MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 218b, p. 187. — Archive hist, nacional, 
Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 299, fel. 80. 

Chap. Ill] THE GALLEYS 143 

cusable step was taken. We have seen that tardy and imperfect 
confessions were visited with scourging and sometimes with the 
galleys, while the huen confitente, who confessed promptly and 
freely, was allured with promises of special consideration and 
mercy. Yet, in 1573, the Suprema issued a carta acordada order- 
ing that Conversos, even when buen confitentes, should be sent to 
the galleys, and this it repeated in 1591, with injunctions for its 
enforcement.^ 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 punish- 
ment for the most heinous crimes.^ 

The galley-captains naturalty were not punctilious in discharg- 
ing 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 tribmial that had sentenced them.' 
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 order- 
ing their restoration to their tribunals without waiting for de- 
mands.* This was ineffectual and, in 1575, we find the Barce- 
lona tribunal instructed to prosecute the captains who impede 
the discharge of those who had served out inquisitorial sentences.^ 
The trouble was perennial and, in 1645, we have a formula of 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inqmsicion de Valencia, Leg. 5, n. 1, fol. 285, 329. 
=> Bibl. nacional, MSS., PV, 3, n. 20. 
^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 10, fol. 1. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 10, fol. 5. — Franchina, Breve Rapporto 
del Trib. della S. S. Inq. di Sicilia, p. 189. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 82, fol. 148. 


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 

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 insuffi- 
cient; other professionals must be called in and examination be 
made as to the penitent's conchtion when, if it appears that he 
is unfit for the service, the sentence can be commuted to eight 
years of exile as proposed.^ 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 incapaci- 
tating 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.^ 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.^ 

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 rela- 
tion 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 gen- 
tlemen to serve as soldiers on the galleys but to Oran, Ceuta, 

^ Modo de Proceder, fol. 72 (Bibl. nacional, MSS., D. 122). 
^ Libro XIII de Cartas, fol. 116 (MSS. of Am. Phil. Society). 
' MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 218b, p. 187. 
* Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

Chap. Ill] THE GALLEYS 145 

Gibraltar, Badajoz, Penon and other royal works and garrisons.^ 
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 hagne, 
in its various forms of hard work. In 1742, the Toledo tribunal 
condemned Rafael Nuilez Hernandez, 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, w^hen 
Nicholas Serrano was condemned at Toledo for bigamy to eight 
years of service in them, and Miguel Gutierrez and Francisco 
Garcia, at ValladoUd, 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.^ 

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' servdce in Ceuta or Melilla, and it asked 
the Suprema to get the minister of war to issue orders to the gover- 
nors 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 WTite to the governors. The forgats were duly 
received and, it is pleasant to add that, in six months, the Suprema 
humanely remittecl 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.' 

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 some- 
times difficulty in securing their admission. In 1819 the Seville 
tribunal appealed to the Suprema, representing that it had been 

1 Autos acordados, Lib. v, Tit. xxi, Auto 13. — Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisi- 
cion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, loc. cit.; Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 16, n. 5, fol. 50. — 
Royal Library of Berlin, Qt., 9548. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 435'. 

VOL. Ill 10 


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/ 

It is not to the credit of the Roman Inquisition that it followed 
the example of the Spanish and included the galleys in its hst 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.^ 


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 contra- 
diction in terms, yet so it was, and the Suprema did not hesitate 
to speak of those ''who had been condemned to reconcihation."^ 
It would not be easy to invent a more emphatic illustration of the 
perversion of the spirit of rehgion 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 reconcil- 
iation. 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 reconcilia- 
tion, 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, confess- 
ing their errors and begging for reconciliation, the ceremony 
was naturally simple. Under the Instructions of 1484, the form 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 435'. 

= Carena3 de Officio SS. Inquisit. P. iii, Tit. xiii, ? 3. 

' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 942, fol. 15 — " Los avitos de las per- 
sonas que en tal aiito se condenaron a reconciliacion." — Cf. Elucidationes Sanctj 
Officii I 57 (Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 244', Lib. 4), 


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/ 

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 peni- 
tent 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 asyas or bands forming a 
St. Andrew's cross, and a candle in his hand when, after his sen- 
tence 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 punish- 
ments 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.^ 

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, com- 
prising the creed with some additions, to each question of which 
they answered "Yes, I beheve." Then the secretary recited the 
abjuration, in which they followed him. The inquisitor-general 

1 Instmcciones de 1484, ? 10 (Arguello, fol. 10). 
^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 33-36, 


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 hymn.^ 

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.^ 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 else- 

^ Archive de AlcaM, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 6). 

' Cap. 4 in Sexto, v, ii. — S. Th. Aquin. Summffi Sec. Sec. Q. xi, Art. 4. 
' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 595. — Cf. D. Manuel Serrano y Sans, 
Revista de Archives, Abril, 1902, p. 259. 


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 earher and later periods, 
cases as we have seen were numerous in which reconciliation was 
accompanied with these corporal punishments/ On the other 
hand, although the principle was absolute that reconciliation car- 
ried 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 

It seems almost a travesty on solemn religious observances that 
efligies 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 sacra- 
mental 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 per- 
forming 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 mani- 
festing 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 concUtion during 
this prolonged interval.^ 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 

^ MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 218b, p. 336.— MSS. of Library of 
Univ. of Halle, Yc. 20, T. I.— Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

' Rojas de Hfpret. P. i, n. 115-16.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 194, fol. 267. 
* Garau, La Fee triunfante, pp. 113-14. 


of it in Beatrix Sener, deceased, thus reconciled May 2, 1499, 
at Barcelona/ 

Apparently the age of responsibility was the only minimum 
limit in reconciliation. In the Madrid Auto of 1632, Catalina 
Mendez, 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 recon- 
ciled; the former had her sanbenito removed at once; the latter 
was sentenced to confiscation and four months of prison.^ 

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 ex- 
pected 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 juriscUction 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 inquisi- 
tors, 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.^ So far was this carried 
that at Granada, in 1654, the reconciled penitents had an advan- 
tage 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.* 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. 

' Llorente, Hist. crit. Cap. xxxviii, Art. 1, n. 15. — Carbonell de Gest. Heeret. 
(Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 146). 

' Relacion del Auto de 1632 (Bodleian Library, Arch. Seld. i, 1). — Archive 
hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 1. 

* Ibidem, Inquisicion de Granada, Expedientes varies, Leg. 2, 



Imprisonment for life was the penance imposed by the canons 
on the heretic who, under the persuasive methods of persecution, 
sought reconcihation 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 sup- 
plementary Instructions of December, 1484, the receivers are 
ordered to provide for the maintenance of the prisons, which 
shows that the sovereigns admitted their responsibility,^ 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 Sara- 
gossa, 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.^ In 1492, when the tribunal sen- 
tenced Brianda de Bardaxi 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.^ 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 

* Vol. I, Appendix, p. 575. — Arguello, fol. 19. 

2 Archive gen. de la C. de Aragon, Regist. 3684, fol. 102. See Vol I, p. 567. 

^ Bibliotheque nationale de France, fonds espagnol, SO, fol, 168-9. 


at his trade and earn his Hving, antl thus relieve the Inquisition 
from heavy burdens, due care being taken to keep the sexes apart/ 
The only answer to this prayer seems to have been the device of 
relieving the prisons for the benefit of the galleys. 

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 condemn- 
ing 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.^ 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 perpet- 
ual prisons must be provided. Apparently this was partially suc- 
cessful, 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 homes. ^ 

This fluctuating poHcy and the extraordinary laxity which it 

' Instrucciones de 1498, ? 14 (Arguello, fol. 11). Cf. Archive de Simancas, 
Inquisicion, Lib. 933. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicien, Lib. 933. 

3 Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol. 9G, 116, 114; Lib. 933; Lib. 3, fol. 57. 


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 V. 
Stin 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.^ 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 Geronimo 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. "\'alencia 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 Geronimo 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 estabUsh a prison had been abandoned.^ In 1553, 
Logrono apparently had none, for it assigned, to Juan Prebost, 
Bilbao and two leagues around as a prison, with the sanbenito.^ 
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 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 90. 

^ Ibidem, Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 137, 202, 218.— Archive hist, nacional, Inqui- 
sicion de Valencia, Leg. 382. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 217, 


their penance in their own homes and the tribunals could arrange 
it accordingly. A few months later this was repeated; the recon- 
ciled could be sent to their houses to perform their penance, if 
they had no other means of support/ 

At length the Instructions of 1561 endeavored to introduce some 
system in this scandalous state of things. The sentence of recon- 
ciliation condemned the penitent to prison and sanbenito for a 
specified term, during which he was to wear the cibito 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.^ 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 mater- 
ials to work at their trades and help to support themselves, and 
the inquisitors should visit the prison several times a year.^ 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 maravedis of extra pay the portero 
could attend to this.^ 

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.^ 
The result of this pressure was gradual. In 1577 the Cistercian 
convent of vSanta 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." It was not until 1598 
that the Mexican tribunal, nearly thirty years after its foundation, 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 116, 119. 
' Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 34. 

3 Instrucciones de 1561, ?? 79, 80 (Arguello, fol. 38). 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 116. 

" MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 213 fol., p. Ill, 141. 
" Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 108, n. 38. 


built a capacious prison adjoining its own structure.^ In 1600, 
for the first time, there is an allusion in the Toledo record to 
a "carcel de la penitencia" 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.^ 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 
penitencia or de la miser icordia. 

It does not follow that the establishment of prisons was attended 
with any increased strictness of discipline. The Inquisition per- 
sistently refused to accept the burden of supporting its prisoners 
and left them to shift for themselves. W here 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 dis- 

The royal project fell through. All prisons were not as empty 
as that of A^alencia 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 occa- 
sioned 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 

* Obregon, Mexico viejo, le Serie, p. 193. 

2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I.— MSS. of Elkan N. Adler 

Valencia alread}^ had a prison of some sort, of evil repute, as set forth by Fray 
Nicolas del Rio, in 1606, in a memorial to the Suprema. The prisoners are all 
Moors, who live there in the full enjoyment of their religion; all women there 
become debauched, so that they can no longer be placed in it. — Boronat, Los 
Moriscos espanoles, II, 449. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 9, n. 2, fol. 71, 78. 


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 tri- 
bunal 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 Instruc- 
tions 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.^ 

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 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion de Granada, Expedientes varios, Leg. 2. 


to have been little desire to recapture those who absented them- 
selves, 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/ but when from any cause 
penitents were returned to the tribunal, their treatment is exem- 
plified in the case of Juan Gonzalez, who escaped from the casa 
de la penitencia of Valladolid, Jul}^ 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 famiUar to familiar till he was lodged in the secret 
prison of Valladolid. The fiscal claimed that his flight and throw- 
ing off the sanbenito proved him to be an impenitent and perti- 
nacious relapsed into Judaism who must be relaxed, but his sen- 
tence was only two hundred lashes and irremissible prison.^ 

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 Maria Meneses to irremissible, and her daughter 
Catalina de Soils, 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 possessetl 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 

> Modo de Proceder, fol. 74 (Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 122). 
^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 552, fol. 33. 


the Suprema met with a peremptory order to rent a little house 
and appoint an alcaide at the ordinary wages. Under this pres- 
sure some kind of provision must have been made for, in an auto 
of January 31, 1723, the tribunal condemned four Judaizers to 
irremissible prison/ 

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 .^ How these numerous prisoners were accom- 
modated it would be difficult to guess, for the neglect of the peni- 
tential prisons was progressive and, in the census of all the tri- 
bunals, about 1750, but three reported to have alcaides— Cordova, 
Granada and Murcia.^ It does not follow that others had not 
prisons, but only that they had no prisoners and cared to have 
none. For instance, in 1791, when the Suprema inquired of 
Valencia whether its prison would suit for the priest Juan Fer- 
nandez 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/ 

In fact, by this time penitential imprisonment was virtually 
obsolete. After the subsidence of the active persecution of Juda- 
ism, the Toledo tribunal which, in 1738, pronounced twelve sen- 
tences 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.^ It would not, perhaps, be safe 
to say that, in the concluding years of the Inquisition, this form 

'Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Sala 39, Leg. 4, fol. 80.— Royal Library of 
Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

"^ Bibl. nacional, MSS., Bb, 122.— Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

3 Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion de Corte, Leg. 359, fol. 1. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 4, n. 3, fol. 84, 260. 

^ Ibidem, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. I, 


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 per- 
petual prison, the sentences being always for perpetual imprison- 
ment. 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 vv^ere released after four or five jTars with sanbenitos and 
these were subsequently removed to prevent the spread of infamy 
throughout the land.^ 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 "irre- 
missible" perpetual prison — and from the sentences it would 
appear that "without mercy" was exceptional.^ 

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.^ 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 inquisitor-general.^ 

The tendency to shorten the term was irresistible ; the conserv- 
atives had to yield and, by the middle of the sixteenth century, 
Simancas tells us that perpetual prison was customarily defined to 

* Historia de los Reyes Catolicos, cap. xliv. 

* Carbonell de Gest. Hferet. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 14, 
18-19, 33, 35, 62).— Manuel de novells Ardits, III, 69, 70. 

^ Bibl. nacional, MSS., G, 61, fol. 208. 

"* Archivo de Simancas. Inquisicion, Lib. 933, 


be three years, if the penitent was repentant, while those condemned 
to irremissible prison were usually released after eight years/ 
So purely technical did the term "perpetual prison" become that 
inquisitors saw nothing incongruous in such sentences as ''per- 
petual prison for one year" or "for six months," which are con- 
stantly 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.^ 

The terms of imprisonment were frequently shortened, more- 
over, 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 Garcia, a 
Morisca of Daimiel, condemned in the Toledo aiito 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 v/ith Inquisitor Alonso 
Perez for four ducats, to help to build the staging for an auto 
de fe— a somewhat heavy payment for two months' relief.^ This 
dispensing power was the subject of a prolonged struggle between 
the tribunals and the Suprema. In the early period, at Barce- 
lona, the former endeavored to secure it by the device of discre- 
tional 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." 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.^ 
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 discre- 

> Simancce de Cath. Instt. Tit. xvi, n. 21, 22. 

2 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

3 Proceso contra Mayor Garcia, fol xx (MS. penes me). 
* Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933. 

6 Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol. 115; Lib. 933. 


tion 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/ 

The question of this, as of all other commutations, was inevit- 
ably 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 Molante Rodriguez 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 sug- 
gestion that she should be released with spiritual penances after 
the expiration of the first year, as she had manifested true repen- 
tance. 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 cor- 
respondence of any pecuniary consideration. Some of the petitions 
for release, in truth, were well calculated to inspire compassion, 
such as that of Simon Mendez 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.^ 

There would appear to have been no minimum age for imprison- 
ment short of irresponsibility. The Toledo tribunal condemned 
for Judaism Garcia 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, Escolastica Gomez, aged 12 and Isavel 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 382; Leg. 5, n. 1, fol. 352. 
2 Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Leg. 1183, fol. 14, 30. See Appendix 
for a specimen of a letter of commutation. 

VOL. Ill 11 


Diaz Jorje, aged 14 had the same penalty and, in the Toledo auto 
of October 30, 1701, Jose de Leon, a boy of 16 was sentenced to 
irremissible prison/ 


The sanbenito, or penitential garment, was the invariable accom- 
paniment of reconcihation 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 Inqui- 
sition, even though we can scarce agree with an enthusiastic writer, 
who traces its origin to the Fall, when God made the dehnquents 
put on penitential habits of skins, corresponding with the sacos 
henditos now used in the tribunals.^ 

The penitential habit of sackcloth sprinkled with ashes, cus- 
tomary 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 insti- 
tution, in the thirteenth century, they were cUstinguished 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 rehgious Orders.^ 
This saco hendito became known as the sanbenito or, more com- 
monly, abito and was necessarily inherited by the new Inquisition. 
In 1486, at the Toledo auto of December 11th, two hundred peni- 
tents, reconciled under the Edict of Grace, were required to wear 
in public such a garment for a year, under penalty of relapse.* 
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 con- 

> Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 262, n. 4; Ibidem, Leg. 1.— 
Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 294, fol. 375. 

^ Trasmiera, Vida de Pedro Arbues, p. 44 (Madrid, 1664). 

' Eymerici Director. P. in, n. 175. Notwithstanding this ancient use in Aragon, 
the inquisitors of Saragossa reported, in 1530, to the Suprema that it had never 
been the custom there for the reconciled to wear the sanbenito, to which the 
Suprema replied that it was the general practice of the Inquisition and that 
Aragon must conform to it. — Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 76, fol. 312. 

* Relacion de la Inquisicion Toledana (Boletin, XI, 303). 

Chap. Ill] THE SANBENITO 163 

spicuous indication to all beholders of the shame of the wearer, 
rendering it a punishment regarded as exceedingly severe/ In 
1514, Ximenes changed the cross to an aspa de San Andres, a St. 
Andrew's or oblique cross, of which the bars traversed diagonally 
the breast and back.^ Finally the Instructions of 1561 describe 
the ahito penitencial as made of yellow hnen 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.^ 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.* 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.^ 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.^ 
Although, in the early period, the sanbenito was imposed per- 
petually, the expression is to be taken in the same sense as imprison- 
ment. 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 grada- 
tions suited to every case, as is well illustrated in the Granada auto 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 117. 

2 MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 21Sb, p. 256. 

3 Instrucciones de 1561, ? 41 (Arguello, fol. 33-4).— Archivo hist, nacional, 
Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 30, 31, 375, 382. 

* Paramo, p. 42. 
^ Llorente, Afiales, II, 39. 

8 Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 294, fol. 375; Bb, 122.— MSS. of Royal Library of 
Copenhagen, 218b, p. 327, 


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 
Fernandez, who had Judaized for thirty-six years), in one case it 
was imposed for two years and in another for three, and Leonor 
Fernandez had two years of sanbenito and four of prison. It 
was even put on the effigy of Doiia Inez de Torres, from which 
it was removed after reading the sentence, because she had con- 
fessed and died as a Cathohc, with ample signs of contrition/ 
Thus the tribunal could vary the penalty at its discretion, and 
was not bound to the rule of coterminous ahito y carcel. In the 
Toledo auto of March 15, 1722, two girls of 14, Manuela Diaz and 
Maria 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 sanbenito.^ 
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. Dis- 
carding it, as we have seen, was a grave offence, punishable as 
non-fulfilment of penance and, in the Edicts of Faith, the denun- 
ciation 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 Inqui- 
sition, 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 vSuprema 
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.^ 

Cruel as was the imposition of the sanbenito, it was a punish- 
ment inherited from the elder Inquisition, but Spanish ingenuity 
invented a still more cruel use of it to stimulate the detestation of 

* Bibl. nacional, MSS., G, 50, fol. 248-9. 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib, 936; Lib. 73, fol. 315. 


heresy. This was the preservation of the sanbenitos, with suitable 
inscriptions, conspicuously displayed in the churches, thus perpet- 
uating to future generations the memory of the crime and punish- 
ment 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 Maria 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.^ 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 re- 
moved, whether during the auto or after years of prison; that of 
the relaxed, immediately after the auto.^ 

The custom must have been of gradual growth. There is no 
allusion to it in the Instnicciones 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.^ 
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.'' 

It mattered little to the descendants that the sanbenitos of the 
victims in the early years had escaped this publicity. The per- 
versity 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 

1 Carbonell de Gest. Hirret. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 50-1). 

2 Instrucciones de 1561, ? 81 (Arguello, fol. 38). 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 117. 
* Paramo, pp. 42-3, 203. 


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 inap- 
plicable 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 tri- 
bunals 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.^ 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 

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.^ 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 mem- 
ory 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 Hernandez 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 

» Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 942, fol. 15, 20; Lib. 939, fol. 117. 

* Instrucciones de 1561, ? 81 (Arguello, fol. 38). 

3 Pdramo, pp. 42-3.— Llorente, Afiales, II, 41.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 121. 


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 descend- 
ants 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.^ 

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 Yaiiez and Loaysa distributed them 
among the parish chmxhes, 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 disappeared.^ 

Change of name was not the only device resorted to by the 
descendants, for they were constantly at work removing surrep- 
titiously 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.^ 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 Ra- 
mirez, Incjuisitor 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 per- 
petuation of infamy is described, in 1572, in a deposition of the 

' Proceso contra Fray Luis de Leon (Col. de Doc. ined., x, 165-8). 
' Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 72, fol. 30; Lib. 939, fol. 117. — Boletin, 
XI, 309. 

3 Boletin, XV, 340. 


familiar Rodrigo Carvajo. The people of the town, he said, were 
mostly descendants of Converses, resorting to perjury and every 
other means to conceal their origin. The sacristans were generally 
Converses, who connived at the methods employed to destroy 
the evidence, and the sanbenitos were stolen; there used to be 
five hunched 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 con- 
taining 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 hun- 
dred 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.^ 
Struggles similar to this were doubtless on foot in numerous other 

The churches themselves do not seem to have looked with favor 
on tliis desecration of their sacred precincts. At Cuenca, there 
was apparently an attempt to hide the sanbenitos of which the 
tribmial complained in 1571, when the Suprema ordered it to 
see that nothing was put before them, even on feast-days.^ 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 Hcence 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.^ The cathedral of Granada was more fortunate for 
when, in 1610, Inquisitor-general Sandoval consecrated as arch- 
bishop Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza, the latter asked him, as a 
special favor to his bride, that she should be relieved of the san- 
benitos. Sandoval assented and the permission came soon after 

* Archive de Alcald, Hacienda, n. 18. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 117. 

^ Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. Ill, fol. 8G. 


Mendoza had reached Granada. It was celebrated with great 
rejoicings and ringing of bells; the sanbenitos of the Moriscos 
were transferred to the chiirch of San Salvador, in the Albaycin, 
while those of the Judaizers were hung in the church of Santiago, 
which was the parish chui'ch of the Inquisition/ 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 wiUing to see them disappear.^ 

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 for- 
ever, 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.^ 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 hmig, 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.^ 

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 
aU 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 

^ Pedraza, Hist, eccles. de Granada, Lib. iv, cap. 37. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 2, fol. 89. 

3 Instrucciones de 1561, ? 81 (Arguello, fol. 38). 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 272. 


that would follow.* That nothing was to be allowed to interfere 
with this pious duty is seen when Valencia had no money where- 
with 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.^ 

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 Zuniga. The sanbenitos were carefully exam- 
ined 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.' 

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 sub- 
sequent orders of similar import. As many autos de fe had recently 
been held, and as it was understood that, in some places, the san- 
benitos 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 himg 
in the churches; lists of deficiencies were called for; the old san- 
benitos were to be examined and statements were to be rendered 

» Archivo de Simancas Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 144; Lib. 942, fol. 20. 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 11, n. 1, fol. 65. 

' Ibidem, Leg. 98. 


as to what were lacking and what had become illegible, so that 
the Suprema might take requisite action/ 

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.^ 
Still the same tribunal furnishes, in 1783, a refreshing evidence of 
the decline of intolerant zeal in the gradual diffusion of enlighten- 
ment. 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.^ 

It is not to be supposed that, when the Cortes of Cadiz, Feb- 
ruary 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. There- 
fore all portraits, pictures, or inscriptions, recording the punish- 
ments 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.* 

1 Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Valencia, Leg. 10, n. 2, fol. 41, 117. 

2 Ibidem, Leg. 30, fol. 40. ' Ibidem, Leg. 16, n. 5, fol. 54. 

* Coleccion de Ids Decretos de las Cortes generales etc., II, 219 (Madrid, 1820). 

The allusion in this to cuadros and pinturas refers to a custom, not officially 
recognized, by which exuberant pietistic malignity supplemented the sanbenitos 
with portraits and pictures bearing the names of the sufferers. For a florid 
description of this see "Voyage en Espagne par M. le Marquis de Langle," II, 
78 (Londres, 1786). 

This somewhat notorious work was burnt by order of the Parle ment in 1788. 
Its author was jLTome-Charlemagne Fleuriau and it ran through six editions 
between 1785 and 1803. 


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 re- 
moved from the church of San Domingo, but they were provi- 
dently 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/ 

The custom of suspending in the churches the habiteUi or san- 
benitos 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.^ 


Disabilities have already been considered in their relation to 
the finances of the Inquisition, arising from the sale of dispensa- 
tions, 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 condem- 
nation for heresy and thus, in some sense, self-operative, for the 
severity of the laws for the suppression of misbelief was not con- 
tent 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 
Uvelihood, As this refinement of cruelty could not be applied to 
those who were burnt, it was visited on their descendants. 

This latter provision was derived from the imperial legislation 
against treason, which disabled children of traitors from holding 
office and succeeding to collateral estates.^ Frederic II, in his 
Ravenna decree of 1232, made this applicable to the children 
and grandchildren of heretics, which was eagerly incorporated 

* Taronji, Estado religiose etc. de Mallorca, p. 257. 

' Collectio Decretor. S. Congr. Sti Officii p. 205 (MS. penes me). 

^ Const. 5, Cod. x, viii. 


into the legislation of Alexander IV and Honorius IV, although 
Boniface VIII mitigated it slightly by exempting grandchildren 
in the female line/ As part of the canon law this of com-se gov- 
erned the Spanish Inquisition and, if there were those who ques- 
tioned 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.^ 

The application of these restrictions to reconciled penitents 
apparently originated with the Council of Beziers, 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 repent- 
ance.^ 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 dis- 
abilities 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 spe- 
cially made their owm. 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 relapse.^ 

There was evidently doubt as to the application of these restric- 
tions 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.^ 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 cUsability of children and grandchildren to hold any office or 

1 Huillard-BrehoUes, Hist. Diplom. Frid. II, T. T\\ p. 302.— Cap. 2, § 2 and 
Cap. 5, in Sexto, v, iii. — Cap. 5 Septimi Decret. v, iii. 

^ Alph. de Castro de justa Hseret. Punit. Lib. 11, cap. 10, 11. 

3 Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246, Concil. de Modo procedendi cap. 28 (Harduin. 
VII, 420). 

* Instrucciones de 1484, § 6 (Arguello, fol. 4). — Archivo de Simancas, Inqui- 
sicion, Lib. 933. 

^ Llorente, Afiales, I, 113. 


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/ 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.^ Ferdinand himself had 
had occasion to recognize the hardship of the rule for, in 1500, 
the mother of Pero Ruiz, a member of his royal guard, was con- 
demned and consequently he was incapacitated from riding and 
bearing arms. Unwilling to lose him, Ferdinand wrote to Tor- 
quemada for letters of dispensation to be brought back by the 

We have seen how, in the struggle over the profits of dispensa- 
tion, the sovereigns abandoned to the Inquisition the cosas arhi- 
trarias, or sumptuary restrictions, and assumed to themselves, 
by the pragmaticas of 1501, control over the disabihty to hold 
office and to follow certain professions and trades, which hmited 
so greatly the ability of the reconciled and of the children and 
grandchildren of the condemned to support themselves."* A hu- 
mane exception was made however, in 1502, under which children 
reconciled below the age of 14 were exempted from the operation 
of the pragmaticas.^ 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. 

It was easier to publish edicts than to get them executed. The 
civil magistrates seem to have paid little attention to the prag- 
maticas, 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 modi- 

' Instrucciones de 1488, ? 11 (Arguello, fol. 10). 
' Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 115. 
' Ibidem, Lib. 1. 

^ Ibidem, Lib. 933, p. 143. As printed in the Nueva Recop. Lib. viii. Tit. iii, 
leyes 3, 4, there are some clauses omitted. 
" Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol. 108, 115. 

Chap. Ill] DISABILITIES 175 

fied the penalty of relapse to a pecuniary penance, which it author- 
ized the inquisitors to impose at discretion, bearing in mind the 
gravity of the case and the wealth of the offender.^ The sums 
thus realized were considerable enough to tempt the cupidity of 
the coui'tiers 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 A^azquez 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.^ 
The punishments decreed in the pragmaticas were also modified 
to fines, as we learn from a letter of June 20, 1515, dividing those 
inciu'red 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.^ 

At length it was recognized that the Inquisition was the only 
instrumentality to be depended upon for the enforcement of the 
pragmaticas and Charles V, in a cedula 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 cedula, 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 
calhngs or wearing forbidden articles, and it urged them to be 
active in detecting and punishing the offenders.* 

The construction of the laws was rigorous. There was a nice 
question whether, when a parent was condemned iii absentia as 
contumacious, the children were subject to the disabilities, for 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 933. 
2 Ibidem, Lib. 3, fol. 374, 380. 

' Ibidem, fol. 419, 445. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 927, fol. 676; Lib. 79, fol. 18; Lib. 
939, fol. 108. 


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. Peha 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 Perez, 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 pre- 
cedent, and the sentence of the absent contained the same enumera- 
tion of disabilities as that of one who was burnt in person.^ Some 
doubts arose as to whether the pragmaticas 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 peni- 
tents to keep schools, or even to teach children their letters. A 
question arose whether the prohibition to ride on horseback com- 
prehended 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.^ Even the limits of the canon law were 
disregarded in the panic occasioned by the discovery of Protes- 
tantism 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.^ 

An ecclesiastical career was closed to penitents and their descend- 
ants, 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." In the Edicts of Faith which they 
published, denunciations were invited, and all persons were re- 
quired to give information as to any infractions of the laws of 
which they were cognizant.^ 

1 Farinacci de Hseresi, Q. 191, n. 56, 68.— Pegnse Comment. 164 in Eymerici 
Director. P. iii,— Bibl. nacional, MSS. V, 377. 

2 Archivo de Simancas, Inquisicion, Lib. 939, fol. 109, 115. — Simancse de 
Cath. Instt. Tit. xlvii, n. 25, 26. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Hacienda, Leg. 25, fol. 1. 
* Bibl. nacional, MSS , V, 377, cap. 26. 
"• Ibidem, D, 118, p. 148. 

Chap. Ill] DISABILITIES 177 

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; pop- 
ular prejudice was strong, and no one knew what took place within 
the precincts of the tribunals. Blighted careers were thus numer- 
ous. 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 limi- 
tation of time.^ The memorial of 1623, by a member of the Sup- 
rema, 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 penal- 
ties 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.^ 

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 Lopez, tried for blasphemy, the consults 
de fe could not agree and the Suprema sentenced him to repri- 
mand and exile, adding that the sentence should be no bar to 
offices of honor or in the Inquisition. So a sentence, acquitting 
Miguel Ruiz of a charge of sorcery, says that his imprisonment 
shall not be an obstacle to him and his children, and that he shall 

* Escobar a Cairo de Puritate, P. ii, Q. iv, § 3, n. 48. 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 24. 

VOL. Ill 12 


have a certificate to that effect. That Ruiz had not even been 
confined in the secret prison but in the pubUc gaol shows how 
sensitive was the popular mind/ These certificates de no ohstancia, 
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 
Alvarez 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 enjoy- 
ment 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 advo- 
cate 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.^ 

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 Fran- 
cisco Mosquera Villamarino, of Santiago, "Bachiller clasico y 
Profesor del 6° Cuerpo de Canones en su Real Universidad, " for 
certain propositions. He escaped with a reprimand in the audi- 
ence-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.^ 

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 
Mufioz who, at the age of 19, was reconciled for Judaism in the 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 23. 

^ Ibidem, Registro de Genealogias, n. 916, fol. 61. (See Appendix.) 

' Ibidem, Inq., Lib. S90. 


Barcelona auto de fe of April 2, 1724, and was sentenced to irre- 
missible ''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-grand- 
mother 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.* Even the Inquisi- 
tion 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 pragmaticas, 
the Suprema, in 1531, rephed to an inquiry from the tribunal 
of Avila and Segovia that, although the laws prescribed confis- 
cation 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 arhitrarias, 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.^ 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.^ When they occurred, the penalty was at the discre- 
tion of the tribunal, and Toledo exercised this with great modera- 
tion, in 1579, when Bernardino de Aldana, a ribbon-weaver, 
spontaneously denounced himself. His mother, Isabel Alvarez, 
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 ; 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 4, n. 3, fol. 27. 
' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 109. 

' Catalogo de las causas seguidas ante el tribunal de Toledo, pp. 131-40 (Madrid, 


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 
rehabihtated. His artless story seems to have moved his judges, 
for he escaped with a reprimand and a fine of two ducats/ 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.^ 


In a land where theocratic influence was so strong, it was inevit- 
able that there should be especial favor shown to erring ecclesi- 
astics. 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 con- 
venient 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.^ 

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 

1 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 896, fol. 1. 

» MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 218b, p. 334. 


all of his functions and of the right to vote or to be voted for; 
sph'itual penances might be superadded or, at his entrance, he 
might be subjected to a ziirra 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 conven- 
tual reclusion was adopted, perhaps, partly for concealment and 
partly as a milder form of incarceration, but the mercy was doubt- 
ful 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.^ I have met, however, with cases 
in which the recluded fraile survived longer terms; as a rule, no 
doubt, life w^as not rendered pleasant, but it depended on circum- 
stances. The Franciscan, Francisco Ortiz, sentenced to confine- 
ment 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.^ There 
might or might not be sympathy for the penitent and his treat- 
ment naturally corresponded. 

When, however, the offence was formal heresy, entailing recon- 
ciliation 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 Chm-ch 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 Vasquez Aranso, a priest convicted 
of Judaism and condemned to the galleys, December 4, 1688, and 

' Llorente, Hist, cr.'t. Cap. xxviii, Art. ii, n. 10. 
^ Bohmer, Francisca Hernandez, pp. 174-5. 


of Buenaventura Frutos, cura of Mocejon, sentenced February 19, 
1722/ Originally the ministration of a single bishop sufficed for 
verbal degradation, while two were required for formal, until 
Gregory IX, to facihtate 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.^ 

The ceremony of public formal degradation was impressive. 
The culprit marched in the procession bearing the mitre and san- 
benito 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 Diaz 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 wit- 
nessed 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 hrasero} ■ 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

2 Cap. 1, Tit. ii; Cap. 2, Tit. ix in Sexto, Lib. v — C. Trident. Sess. xiii, De 
Reform, cap. 4. 

3 Archivo de AlcaU, Hacienda, Leg. 473.— BibL nacional, MSS., R, 128. p. 
35. — Archivo municipal de Sevilla, Seccion especial, Siglo XVIII, Letra A, Tom. 
4, n. 54. 



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 Inqui- 
sition 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, antl 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.^ It thus became part of the public law of Christen- 
dom, not so much from the initiative of rulers, as from a recog- 
nition 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 pro- 
nounced 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 con- 

^ C. Gerundens. ann. 1197 (Aguirre, V, 102-3).— Constitt. Sicular. Lib I, Tit. 
1.— Huillard-BrehoUes, Hist. Diplom. Frid. II, Tom. V, p. 201.— Fuero Real 
de Espaiia, Lib. iv, Tit. 1, ley 1. 


184 THE STAKE [Book VII 

demned 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/ 

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 con- 
tribute 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 Luther- 
anism at Toledo in 1561.^ 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 

' Gloss. Hostiensis in Cap. ad abolendam n. 14 (Eymerici Director. P. ii). — 
Cap. 27, Tit. 40, Extra, Lib. v. 

The attitude of the Cliurch is defined in these canons: 

" A cleric shall not sentence to death or mutilation, under pain of deprivation 
of honor and benefice." — Cap. 5, Tit. 50, Extra, Lib. iii (Alex. III). 

" No cleric shall utter or dictate a sentence of blood, or exercise capital juris- 
diction, or be present where it is exercised. Nor shall a cleric write or dictate 
letters concerning judgements of blood. Nor shall a subdeacon, deacon or 
priest practise surgery involving cutting or cautery." — Ibid. Cap. 9 (Concil. 
Lateran. IV). 

The German prince-bishops, who had haute et basse justice, did not invest their 
judges with power to pronounce sentences of blood, but procured commissions 
for them from the emperor, as otherwise they were deemed blood-guilty and were 
deprived of their office. The secular priiices were under no such obligation. — 
Schwabenspiegel Cap. cxi (Senckenberg, Corp. Jur. Geniian, II, 140). — See also 
Schwabisches Lehenrecht cap. xvii (Ibid. II, 17, 18). 

A cleric uttering a sentence of blood, causing mutilation or death, becomes 
irregular and, on this account, although he does not ipso jure forfeit his bene- 
fices, yet he is to be deprived of them by the Ordinary or forced to resign 
them. — Thesaurus, De Poenis ecclesiasticis, s. v. Judicis laid munus, cap. 2. — 
Cf. Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, s. v. Irregular itas, Art. i, n. 11 ; Art. ii. 

' Formulary of the Papal Penitentiary, Rubr. xlii (Philadelphia, 1892). — 
Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 110, n. 31, fol. 4. — A commen- 
tator of the seventeenth century argues that clerics who seek to gain this 
indulgence become irregular if the wood they bring actually aids in burning 
the heretic. — Jac. a Graffiis Decis. aureee Casuum Conscientiae P ii. Lib. ii, 
Cap. 19, n. 3. 


Domine} Consequently the secular power had no choice as to 
what it should do with heretics delivered to it; its act was pui-ely 
ministerial, and if it listened to the hypocritical plea for mercy, 
it was liable to prosecution as a fautor of heresy and to depriva- 
tion of its f mictions.^ 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 inqui- 
sitors, under pain of excommimication, which became heresy if 
endured for a year; and inquisitors were rec^uired to proceed 
against them, but were cautioned to speak only of executing the 
laws, without alluding to the death-penalty, in order to escape 

As elsewhere, so in Spain. The Inc[uisition abandoned the 
unrepentant or relapsed heretic to the secular arm, which was 
bound to sentence and execute him. In the hm^ried informality 
of the early period, it seems to have been indifferent whether the 
magistrate pronomiced a sentence or not. A contemporary ac- 
count 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 w^re burnt till 
not a bone remained, without any allusion to the formality of 
intervention by the secular power.* When, however, the form of a 
condemnation by the alcalde was observed, as at Cordova in 1484, 
he uttered it by virtue of the sentence of the inquisitors, which 
rendered unnecessary anything more than condemning the culprit 
to be bm-nt alive, wherefore he ordered the alguazil mayor to carry 
it into effect.^ 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 

1 Bullar. Roman. I, 611. 

' Astesani SumniEe de Casibus Conscientia?, Lib. i. Tit. Iviii. Art. 4. 

= Cap. 18, Tit. ii in Sexto, Lib. v. 

* Relacion de la Inquisicion Toledana (Boletin, XI, 300). 

5 Boletin, V, 404. 

° Archive hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 132, n. 31. 

186 THE STAKE [Book VII 

That the function of the magistrate was not judicial is mani- 
fested 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.^ In accordance with this is the asser- 
tion of the Repertorium de Pravitate Hareticorum, 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.^ This 
principle was fully admitted by secular jurists themselves. Torre- 
blanca, 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.^ 

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.* Peiia reduces this to a general 
principle for, without referring to special papal faculties, he asserts 

1 Innocent, PP. VIII, Bull. Dilectus Jilius, 30 Sept. 1486 (Pegnse Append, 
ad Eymerici Direct, p. 84). 

' Mich. Alberti Repertorium, s. vv. Communicare § Sed an quando; Executio 
§ Qualiter. 

^ Torreblanca, Epitome Delictorum, sive de Magia, Lib. Ill, cap. xxix, n. 15-17. 
" Et eo jure utimur quia potestates saeculares in tali casu sunt meri executores." 
See also Vol. I, p. 603, in the proclamation of the civil power, on the arrival of 
an inquisitor, the clauses requiring secular officials to inflict " las debidas j^enas 
cada y quando por el dicho venerable inquisidor sera declarado." 

* Fontana, Documenta Vaticana, pp. 137, 145 (Rome, 1892). The Roman 
Inquisition made no pretence that its judgements were not final; it assumed that 
it sentenced to mutilation and death, and in this it claimed that those concerned 
were immune from the canonical irregularity. — CoUectio Decretor S. Congr. 
Sti Officii, p. 219 (MS. penes me). 


that the intervention of the secuhar 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 

There was little danger of such reluctance on the part of secular 
officials in Spain, where the oath exacted of them by the Inqui- 
sition obliged them to execute whatever sentences the tribunal 
might require.^ 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 execu- 
tion of the sentences, under any pretext, since the tribunal had 
complete jurisdiction to compel him, by censures and other penal- 
ties, to its exact performance.^ 

The Inquisition regarded the sentence of the magistrate as a 
mere perfunctory formality. The doctors had pointed out con- 
clusively that heresy was a crime over which he had no juris- 
diction, and if he were to assert it he would render illusory the 
sentence of the bishop or inquisitor.* Consequently, in prepara- 
tion 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.^ 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 

^ Pegnse Comment. 48 in Eymerici Director. P. 11. In view of the unvarying 
practice of the Church for nearly six himdred years, it requires hardihood for a 
writer, in 1902, to argue that the civil magistrate and not the Inquisition was 
responsible for the burning of heretics. — Razon y Fe, T. IV, p. 358 (Madrid, 1902). 

^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 74. 

' MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 213 fol., p. 126.—" En ellos las primeras 
causas que deben leerse son las de relaxados, para que incontinenti puedan entre- 
garse al juez real sin permitirle dilacion con pretexto alguno en la execuzion de 
la sentencia; pues siempre queda al tribunal juri^diccion segura para obligarle 
por censuras y otras penas a su puntual cumplimiento." 

* Am. Albertini de Agnoscendis Assertionibus Q. xxv, n. 44-5. 

^ Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg, 473. — Olmo, Relacion del Auto, p. 287. 

138 THE STAKE [Book VII 

order such payment without irregularity, and that the executions 
were in virtue of the sentences of the secular judges and not of 
the inquisitors/ 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.^ 

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 benig- 
nantly 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.' 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 followed. 

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 juris- 
diction acquired by the Spanish Holy Office over all matters con- 
cerning its officials, because such cases were not provided for in 
the commissions of the inquisitors-general, from which were dele- 
gated 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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 257. 

^ Ibidem, Lib. 42, fol. 291, 293, 308. 

' Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 32, 54, 59, 68. 



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/ 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.^ 

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 incm-ring irregularity.^ 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 pubhshed through- 
out the world; the Spanish Inquisition claimed the benefit of it, 
and had a CastiHan 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."* 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 fiom 
Gregory XIII empowering it to find him guilty of death and deliver 
him to the secular arm for execution without incm-ring irregularity.^ 
There seems to have arisen a fresh sense of insecm'ity 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 Y to extend to Spain the 1567 decree 

' Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. I de Copias, fol. 139. — Archive de 
Simancas, Inq., Lib. 3, fol. 323, 456; Lib. 927, fol. 349. 

2 Ibidem, Lib. 922, fol. 682. 

' Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. IV, fol. 169. 

* BuUar. Roman. II, 298.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 118, p. 82.— Archivo de 
Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 1049. — Archivo de Simancas, Inq. Lib. 939, fol. 63. 

^ Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Libro III, fol. 156. 



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 sen- 
tences of torture, mutilation, or death without incurring irregu- 
larity/ 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.^ 

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 insin- 
cere, 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 perti- 
nacious until the flames had roasted him one side, when his reso- 
lution 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.^ 

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 Instruc- 
tions 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 sen- 

• Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 922, fol. 685.— Bulario de la Orden de Santi- 
ago, Lib. IV, fol. 169-70. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 42, fol. 246,255-7; Lib. 17, fol. 70; Lib. 25, 
fol. 156. 

^ Eymerici Director. P. ii, Q. xi. 


tence, to entitle the culprit to mercy; while even then, if the inqui- 
sitors 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/ 

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.^ 
Yet, in spite of this warning, it was customary to suspend proceed- 
ings 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 Cordova 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 Alvc4rez Pereira, convicted as an impeni- 
tent 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.^ 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.* 

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, 

^ Instrucciones de 1484, § 12 (Arguello, fol. 5). 
^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 44 (Arguello, fol. 33). 
3 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt, 9548. 
^ Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 3. 

192 THE STAKE [Book VII 

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 Lopez 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 perti- 
nacious 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.^ 

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.''" 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.'' In fact, it continued for some 
time to be a matter of debate, in which opinions were divided, 
whether a man who had been retm'ned 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 

' MSS. del Archive municipal de Sevilla, Seccion especial, Siglo XVIII, Letra 
A., T. 4, n. 53. 

^ See Vol. I, Appendix, p. 593. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 262. 


who repents after delivery to the magistrate is not customary in 

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 reconcihation. 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. 
Peria 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.^ 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.^ At the great auto of May 21, 1559, at Valladohd 
where Dr. Cazalla and other Protestants suffered, there were four- 
teen relaxed in person, of whom only one, the Bachiller Herre- 
zuelo, is characterized as a pertinacious heretic and consequently 
burnt alive, the rest being garrotted as repentant converts.^ In 
1571 there were hanging, in the parish church of Logrofio, 157 
sanbenitos, of which 101 were of those reconciled and 56 of those 
relaxed. Of the latter nine were in efhgy and 47 in person, of 
whom only four are specified as burnt alive.^ 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 con- 
version 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 

* Simancsp de Cath. Instt. Tit xlvii, n. 73. — Archive de Simancas, Patronato 
Real, Inq., Leg. linico, fol. 13.— Bibl. nacional, ]\ISS., V, 377, Cap. iii, § 5. 

^ Pegnte Commentt. 36, 46, in EjTnerici Direct. P. 11. 

3 Carbonell op. cit. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 13, 15, 29). 

^ Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 153, fol. 95. This was the rule also in the Roman 
Inquisition. Del Bene tells us that strictly according to law the convicted heretic 
is to be burnt alive, but that "among Christians this is not followed, unless he 
is pertinacious, in which case there is no reason why he should not be burnt 
alive." — De Officio S. Inquisitionis, II, 113 (Romse, 1666). 

^ D. N. Herqueta (Boletin, XLV, 424-33). 
VOL. Ill 13. 

194 THE STAKE [Book VII 

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 con- 
sequence 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.^ Thus his body was irrevocably for- 
feited, 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 Gra- 
nada 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 Cordova auto of April 12, 1722, 
Antonio Gabriel de Torre Zavallos, relaxed for Judaism, was con- 
verted 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 satis- 
faction for his sins, but this was refused; he was duly garrotted 
and "he gave his soul to God to the great consolation and edifi- 
cation of all the people."^ 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 10 n. 2, fol 136. 
2 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 


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 Bartolome Lopez 
the opportunity of displaying his nerve. He had delayed profess- 
ing conversion until after the reading of his sentence and was con- 
sequently relaxed for strangulation and burning. At the brasero, 
seeing that the executioner, Pedro de Alcala, bungled in garrotting 
Violante Rodriguez and Ana de Guevara, he said to him " Pedro, 
if you do not treat me better, you had better burn me alive."* 

According to incjuisitorial jurisprudence, there were several 
causes which entailed relaxation. The first of these was perti- 
nacity — 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.^ 

' Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 294, fol. 375. * Simancae Enchirid. Tit. xxxi, n. 3. 

196 THE STAKE [Book VII 

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 relax- 
ation, 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.^ 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.' 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 Enghshman 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.^ 

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 Andres, who 
had renegaded and was persistent when his sentence was made 
known to him. Then twelve cahficadores — two each from the 
Orders of Mercenarians, Minims, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augus- 
tinians and Jesuits — with eight familiars were assigned to his 
conversion. They were successful and he escaped with prison 

* Instrucciones de 1561, § 43 (Arguello, fol. 33). 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 979, fol. 40; Lib. 876, fol. 105b. 

3 Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, Cap. 10. 


and sanbenito for four years/ 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, tw^o 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 magis- 
trate. 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 
auchence 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 tribimal, 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 jdeld in order 
that her ashes, which were holy, should not be mingled wdth theirs. 
Of com'se she had the martyrdom which she craved.^ 

In exceptional cases pertinacit}^ seems to have been allowed 
the privilege of preliminary strangulation. At a ^"alladolid 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 

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 bm-nings in efhgy, six were of those w^ho 
had checl in prison.* 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 con- 
fessed and professed repentance, to which Rojas adds that, 

1 Bibl. nacional, MSS., R, 128. 

^ Ibidem, R, 118, p. 35. 

3 Ibidem, Pp, 67-10, fol. 101. 

* Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

198 THE STAKE [Book VII 

although his efhgy is to be burnt, his heirs are allowed to prove 
insanity, difficult as that is/ 

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 ahve.^ 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 main- 
taining 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 after- 
noon, and the convict was meanwhile placed in the pubhc 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 pubUc, disappointed of the promised spectacle of 
the burning alive of a fellow-creature. Considerable debate fol- 
lowed and a priest named Candido Miinoz wrote an argument 
justifying the Jesuit, but his labor was superfluous for, while his 

' Simanca; Enchirid. Tit. lxii, n. 10.— Rojas de Hseret. P ii, n. 183-4. 
2 Bibl. nacional, MSS., G, 54, fol. 249. 


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 dis- 
position manifested, but in future no one but the appointed theo- 
logians were to attend the convict to the last.^ 

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 nmst 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 ahve and to obtain the sacraments, 
falsely confessed to having entertained heresies which his soul 

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 sub- 
jecting 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? 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 nega- 
tivo in the substantial part of heresy, which is intention, or a dimi- 
nuto, implying, according to the common opinion, impenitence 
and pertinacity involving relaxation.^ Thus Hernando de Palma, 
a Morisco, accused of teaching and conducting Moorish ceremonies, 
denied and overcame severe torture, whereupon the consulta de fe 

^ Candido Miinoz, Question theologico-moral acerca del Reo de fe, etc. (Madridi 
1725).— MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 21Sb, p. 361. 
' Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, Cap. iii, § 6. 
^ Arcliivo de Alcald, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 10). 

200 ^^-^ STAKE [Book VII 

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 regard- 
ing 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 pre- 
sented, then revoked the confession and persisted in the revocation, 
for which he was relaxed in the Toledo auto of 1585.^ 

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 here- 
siarch — 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 tempo- 
rary 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.^ 

Yet the Chm'ch had always professed to welcome to reconcilia- 
tion its erring children, who renounced their errors and begged 
for mercy, provided they were not relapsed, and the Incjuisition 
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 

» MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

^ Simancffi de Cath. Instt. Tit. xlvii, n. 60-63; Enchirid. Tit. lix. 


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 Cu77i 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 abjm-e 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/ Having thus extended the catalogue of unpardon- 
able heresies, he was quite ready to grant the additional powers 
sought by the Spanish Inciuisition. 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.^ 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 conspic- 
uous 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, irre- 
spective of pertinacity or relapse.^ This was not confined to 
Protestants. About 1600, the Suprema had to decide the case of 
a Morisco alfaqui, accused of being a teacher of Islam, who con- 
fessed to teaching his wife but denied other proselytism. A con- 
sulta presented to the Suprema argued that, although by law a 

^ Bullar. Roman, I, 821. — On the plea that such heretics claimed exemption 
from this on the ground of ignorance, Clement VIII, February 3, 1603, renewed 
and confirmed in perpetuity the act of Paul r\^. — BuUar. Ill, 160. 

Although the Spanish Inquisition preserved these decrees in its collections 
it does not seem to have acted on them. In 1568 there were two cases in 
Valencia of heretics who, among other errors, denied the virginity of the Virgin. 
One of these was a Gascon, Bernat de Vidosa, who was reconciled with only reclu- 
sion in a monastery ; the other was Pedro Sobrino, a fisherman of Naples, more 
severely treated with ten years of galleys. — Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de 
Valencia, Leg. 31. 

2 Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. Ill, fol. 63. — Bibl. nacional, MSS., R, 
90, p. 252.— Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 930, fol. 26. 

3 Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol, 119.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., V, 377, 
Cap. ix, § 3. — Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 4). 

202 THE STAKE [Book VII 

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 alfaqui has only 
confessed partially and to save himself, wherefore he should be 
relaxed— and to this the Suprema assented/ 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.^ 

Relapse was the most fruitful som'ce 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.^ 
Simancas is equally emphatic — the relapsed is to be condemned 
without hope of pardon.* 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.^ Even prompt and full con- 
fession was of no avail; the law was absolute and implacable." 

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 suflScient 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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 937, fol. 199. 

2 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 121. 

* Simancre de Cath. Instt. Tit. lvii, n. 3. 

^ Pablo Garcia, Orden de Processar, fol. 11. 

« Miguel Calvo (Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ Lib. 4). 

Chap. H] RELAPSE 203 

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/ 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.^ 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 occm* 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 

It was the same wdth those who had only ab jinked for vehement 
suspicion. The Instructions of 1561 declare absolutely that, if 
they confess or are convicted, they must be relaxed, for the inqui- 
sitors have no power to reconcile them, although they are not 
truly but only fictitiously relapsed.^ 

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.^ Such cases must have been exceedingly 
rare, 1)ut we have seen one in that of Ursule de la Croix (Vol. II, 
p. 572) where, it will l^e 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 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 933. 

' Simancse loc. cit., n. 4. 

^ Instrucciones de 1561, § 41 (Argiiello, fol. 33). 

* Elucidationes S. Officii, § 23 (Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ Lib. 4). — 
Alphonsi de Castro de justa Hteret. Punitione Lib. ii, cap. 2. — Bibl. nacional, 
MSS. V, 377, Cap. ix, § 1. 

204 THE STAKE [Book VII 

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/ 
The request was doubtless granted and was followed by numerous 
papal briefs, issued during the remainder of the century, which 
l3ore 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.^ 

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.^ In 
the terrible Mallorquin autos of 1691, all the relaxed — thirty-eight 
in person and seven in effigy — were condemned for relapse, hav- 
ing been reconciled in 1679, and of these only three were burnt 
alive as pertinacious.* 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.^ 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. 

A case already alluded to exempHfies this and is worth relating 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 3, fol. 72. 

' Ibidem, Lib. 926, fol. 49, 53, 57, 63, 67.— Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, 
Lib. II, fol. 79; Lib. Ill, fol. 88, 109.— Archive de Alcald, Hacienda, Leg. 1049. 
^ Olmo, Relacion del Auto, pp. 252-62. 

* Garau, La Fee triunfante, pp. 65-112. 
5 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

Chap. IV] RELAPSE 205 

in some detail, if only for its psychological interest. Fray Joseph 
Diaz Pimiento was born in Cuba, of Old Christian parents, in 1687. 
He was bred to the Chui'ch and his life w^as 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 Curagoa, he pro- 
fessed conversion to Judaism and w^as 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, w^here 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. Neces- 
sarily, 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 enhsted 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 bm-nt 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 

206 ^^E STAKE [Book VII 

scattered over the fields, in obedience to the royal pragmaticas and 
apostolical constitutions — all of which, we are told, was done, to 
the great honor of the holy Catholic faith/ 

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 Maria, 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.^ 
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.^ In 1511, at Cuenca, 
Leonor and Juana Rodriguez who had been reconciled in time of 
Grace, were reconciled again for fresh delinquencies.* 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, Caspar 
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 Rodriguez, and his 
mother, Maria Lopez, 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 Rodriguez Mo- 
reira, 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 
poenam 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 old.^ 

Remembering the prudent intimation given to inquisitors that 
sometimes fines were more productive than confiscation, the heavy 

^ MSS. del Archive Municipal de Sevilla, Seccion especial, Siglo XVIII, Letra 
A, Tom. 4, n. 54.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., R, 128. 

^ Libro Verde de Aragon (Revista de Espafia, CVI, 254). 

3 Carbonell, op. at. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 62, 141, 152). 

* Proceso contra Fray Luis de Leon (Col. de Doc. ined, X, 158-61). 

'' Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

Chap. IV] RELAPSE 207 

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 exe- 
cutions 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 hbras, and aggre- 
gating in all sixty-five hundred hbras.^ It is difficult not to recog- 
nize in this a speculative exercise of rigor or mercy. 

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 recon- 
ciled in 1701, was relaxed as an impenitent relapsed, who persisted 
in denying his guilt. Miguel Gutierrez, reconciled in 1699, and 
Franciso Garcia, reconciled in 1706, were admitted again to recon- 
ciliation, 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.^ 

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, solici- 
tation in the ponfessional, 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 Cordova auto of March 4, 1731, he was 
forbidden to wear clerical garments and was sentenced to two 
hundred lashes and ten years of galleys.^ 

1 Garau, La Fee Triunfante, pp. 39-42, 114-22. 
^ Royal Library of Berlin, Qt., 9548. 

^ Elucidationes S. Officii, § 19 (Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544,=^ Lib. 4). 
— Matute y Luquin, Autos de Fe de Cordova, p. 270. 

208 THE STAKE [Book VII 

The latter half of the eighteenth century witnessed the gradual 
disappearance of relaxation, Llorente tells us that dui'ing the 
reign of Carlos III (1759-1788) he has found accounts of only ten 
autos de fe, in which there were but four cases/ Probably the 
latest instance was that of Isabel Maria Herraiz, an impostor 
known as the Beata de Cuenca, who died in prison without con- 
fession and, being thus unable to recant and beg mercy, was 
burnt in effigy in 1802.^ 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.^ We shall see that twenty years later the episcopal 
Inquisition was less merciful. 

' Llorente, Hist, crit., Cap. xlii, Art. i. n. 14. 
' Ibidem, Cap. xliii, Art. iv, n. 1. 
^ Ibidem, Cap. xuii, Art. iv, n. 4. 



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 tre- 
mendous drama of the Day of Judgement.^ 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.^ 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 extermi- 
nating heresy and heretics. To insure a large attendance, an indul- 
gence, usually of forty days, was granted to all present at the pious 

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 

^ Paramo, p. 597. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq. Lib. I: Lib. 933, p. 551. 
VOL. Ill 14 ( 209 ) 


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.^ 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.' By 
1515, however, we may assume that they were centralized in the 
tribunal cities, for a royal ccklula of that year orders the tribunal 
of Murcia to confine its autos to the city of Murcia and not to cele- 
brate them in Orihuela.^ 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 futvne, abjurations de levi were not to be made privately, 
but in the public autos, which were to be celebrated with all 
solemnity.* There was cruelty in this, for appearance in an auto 
was in itself a severe punishment, and we shall see that subse- 
quently autos particidares, or private autos, were instituted which 
enabled those guilty of Ughter offences to escape without pubHc 

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 cedula instructing the corregidor 

* Relacion de la Inquisicion Toleduna (Boletin, IX, 300). 
' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. I, 

3 Ibidem, Lib. 979, fol. 38. 

* Ibidem, Lib. 72, fol. 73. 


not to permit the inquisitors to be impeded in the performance 
of their functions/ 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 pro- 
posed, it should be apprised before any one else, but even the 
Instructions of 1561 leave as yet the determination with the tri- 
bunals.^ 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, Septem- 
ber 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.^ 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 

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 

» Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 4, fol. 9; Lib. 5, fol. 24, 29. 

2 Ibidem, Lib. 939, fol. 121.— Instrucciones de 1561, § 77 (Arguello, fol. 37). 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 1157, fol. 154, 155. 

* MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 213 fol., p. 128. 

212 THE A UTO DE FE [Book VII 

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/ Similar commands had to be repeated not infrequently. 
About 1580, a royal cedula to the viceroy and officials of Majorca 
instructs them to lend the weight of their authority to the Inqui- 
sition, 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 ex- 
communication the attendance of all public officials.^ 

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.^ 

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 juris- 
diction, 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 

* Archive gen. de la C. de Aragon, Regist. 3684, fol. 91. 

» Archive de Sunancas, Inq., Lib. 10, fol. 2; Lib. 926, fol. 326-50; Lib. 937, 
fol. 222; Lib. 939, fol. 126— MSS. of Royal Library of Copenhagen, 213 fol, p. 126- 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 123. — Archivo de Alcala, Hacienda, 
Leg. 473. — Juan Gomez de Mora, Auto de la Fe celebrado en Madrid este ano 
de 1632, §§4, 5.— Olmo, Relacion del Auto, pp. 30-44. 


to lift it of their own authority, and must postpone the auto or 
do the best they could/ 

In all other respects the inquisitors were masters of the situa- 
tion. Repeated royal cedulas, 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 pre- 
cedence 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 seeming 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 considera- 
tion for the houses- of the judges and alcaldes.^ 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 maravedis.^ 

Numerous relations are extant, in print and in MS., of the great 
autos publicos generaJes, giving in more or less detail the elaborate 
ceremonial which developed itself, in the effort to render im- 
pressive 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 maj^ prefer- 
ably take as our guide a memoir of the seventeenth century 
showing the internal machinery, according to the custom of Toledo, 

1 Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 123. 

2 Ibidem, Lib. 926, fol. 313-25. 
' Ibidem, Hacienda, Leg. 25. 


drawn up for the instruction of succeeding inquisitors.^ The min- 
uteness 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 fruit- 
less 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 tri- 
bunal 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 prepara- 
tions. 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 Inquisi- 
tion and, at the appointed hour, some of the higher officials, with 
familiars, announce to them and to the bishop the expected cele- 
bration. Then in due time mounted familiars and notaries, with 
drums and trumpets and clarions and the standard of the Inqui- 
sition, 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 om* holy Catholic 
faith, will celebrate a public auto de fe at such a place on such a 

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 

' Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 473. 


previous to the procession of the Green Cross/ The frailes, who 
are to assist the condemned during their last night on earth, are 
selected and notified. Corozas (conical mitres, about three quar- 
ters 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 veheinenti; also halters for the relaxed 
and for those to be scom-ged. 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.^ Green crosses are also pro- 
vided 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 

' In the Logrono auto of November 7, 1610, there marched in the procession 
a thousand famiUars, commissioners and notaries. In that of Barcelona, June 
21, 1627, there were five or six hundred famihars and alguaziles. — Auto de fe 
celebrado in Logrono, 7 y 8 de Xoviembre, 1610 (Logrono, 1610). — Parets, Sucesos 
de Cataluna (Mem. hist, espaiiol, XX, 20). 

^ In the early autos, where there were large nmnbers of the dead and absent, 
an economical though somewhat grotesque device was that of statues dwplicatce — 
effigies with Janus faces, one before and the other behind. At Barcelona, 
January 25, 14S8, there were five married couples thus represented by five 
effigies and, on May 23d, of the same year, twent}' effigies were made to do duty 
for forty-two fugitives, while, on February 9, 1489, ten effigies served for thirty- 
nine absentees. — Carbonell, op. cit. (Col. de Doc. de la C. de Aragon, XXVIII, 
13, 15, 30). 

As regards the corozas or mitres, the Roman Inquisition, with a finer sense 
of what was fitting, forbade their use in 1596, as derogatory to the episcopal 
dignity, which was distinguished by the use of mitres. — Deer. S. Congr. Sti 
Officii, p. 458 (Bibl. del R. Archivo di Stato in Roma, Fondo camerale, Congr. 
del S. Officio, Vol. 3). 


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. Elab- 
orate trappings are to be provided for the mules ridden by the 
officials, and silver-plated batons for the f amihars Vv^ho marshal the 
procession. The parish church usually supplies the carpets, hang- 
ings, 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 what- 
ever 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 rehgious Orders, the cross of the parish chvu-ch 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.^ The Inqui- 
sition itself is guarded during the night by soldiers who, before 
day-break, arouse the officials by beat of drum. Within the build- 
ing, 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 perti- 
nacious or negativos are converted, they are to be heard imme- 

' The procession of the cruz verde was not universal. It was practised in ^^alla- 
dolid, Toledo, Murcia and probably some others. — Archivo de Simancas, Inq., 
Lib. 979, fol. 40. 


diately and their confessions received, when the inquisitors with 
the Ordinary determine whether to admit them to reconcihation, 
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.^ 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 

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, Protes- 
tants, 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 sen- 
tences 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 

1 The cost of these meals was scrutinized. In 1571 the Suprema ordered Lo- 
groiio not to spend more than twelve ducats on the breakfast. A carta acordada 
of January 25, 1574, refers to the heavy expenses for collation and breakfast 
given to inquisitors and officials, confessors and penitents. In future they are 
to be confined to confessors and penitents; if the inquisitors and officials want 
meals it must be at their own expense, and evidence of this must accompany the 
reports of the autos. — Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 82, fol. 9 ; Lib. 942, fol. 39. 

218 THE A UTO DE FE [Book VII 

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 Ordi- 
nary consider the case : if he is to be achnitted to reconciUation 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 pledg- 
ing 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 Inquisition.^ 

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 

1 The royal oath, taken by the young Carlos II, at the Madrid auto of 1680, 
with one hand on the cross and the other on the gospels, was as follows. The 
inquisitor-general said " Vuestra Magestad jura y promete por su fe y palabra 
real, que como verdadero y Catolico Rey, puesto par la iiiano de Dios, de- 
fenderd con todo su poder la Fe Catolica que tiene y cree la santa madre Iglesia 
Apostolica de Koma y la conservacion y aumento della, y que persiguira y man- 
dara, perseguir A los Hereges y Apostatas contrarios della, y que mandara dar 
y dara el favor y ayuda necess^ario para el Santo Oficio de la Inquisicion y 
ministros dello, para que los hereges perturbadores de nuestra Religion Cristiana 
sean prendidos y castigados confonne a los dercchos y sacros canoncs, sin que aya 
omision de parte? de Vuestra Magestad ni excepcion de persona alguna de qual- 
quier calidad que sea." To this the king replied " Assi lo juro y prometo por mi 
fee y palabra Real." (Olmo, Relacion del Auto, p. 125.) Such an oath was 
administered to the prince Don Carlos at the Valladolid auto of May 21, 1559 
(Gachard, Don Carlos, I, 47 ) ; also to Philip II at that of October 8, 1559 
(Cabrera, Vida de Felipe II, Lib. v, cap. 3) ; also to Philip III at that of Toledo, 
March 6, 1600 (MSS. of Library of University of Halle., Yc, 20, T. VIII), and 
to Philip IV at the Madrid auto of 1632 (Mora, Auto de la Fee, § 27). 



be in readiness/ 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 compania 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 con- 

The pubHc solemnities conclude with the ceremonies of abjura- 
tion and reconciliation, after which the alguazil mayor and fami- 
liars conduct the penitents back to the Inquisition, Mdiere 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 vergiienza, 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 

' At the great Logrono auto of Nov. 7-8, 1610, where there were fifty-three 
culprits, inchiding twenty-nine witches, the sentences were so long that the day 
was consumed with the eleven cases of relaxation. The second day was occupied 
from dawn till nightfall; some of the sentences had to be curtailed, and the recon- 
ciliations were performed after dark. — Auto de Fe de Logrono (Logrono, 1611; 
Madrid, 1S20). 


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.^ 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 Alcala ; 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. ^ 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 indi- 
cate that part, at least, of the remains of the victims were allowed 
to lie where they had perished. 

The auto publico general, while looming large in popular imagi- 
nation, 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 auchence-chamber, or anywhere that circum- 
stances 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.^ As stated 
above, appearance in a public auto was, in itself, a severe punish- 
ment, and the sentence always specified whether the offender was 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 221. 

' Mora, Auto de la Fee de 1632, § 44. 

3 MSS. of Library of Univ. of HaUe, Yc, 20, T. I. 


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 Nunez Saravia, a wealthy Portuguese, vainly 
offered twelve thousand ducats to escape it/ The great majority 
of cases deserved no such severity. The jurisdiction of the Inqui- 
sition extended over a wide field; it was, in a certain sense, a 
custos morum and took cognizance of a vast number of compara- 
tively trivial offences — careless speeches, blasphemies, propositions 
of all kinds, indecent writings and works of art, sorceries and con- 
jurations 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 

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 dis- 
tinction, 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 apart- 
ments 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 sen- 
tenced 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 sisters.* 

As financial distress grew more and more acute, in the seven- 
teenth 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 

' Ant. Rodriguez Villa, La Corte y Monarquia de Espana, p. 238. 
' Archivo hist, nacional, Inquisicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

222 I'HE A UTO DE FE [Book VII 

upon their diminishing resources, exposed as they were to the 
royal exactions. In Barcelona, there would seem to have been no 
pubhc 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 accumula- 
tion; it was the last public auto celebrated in Toledo, and there was 
none even in a church, between 1656 and 1677/ Seville appears 
to have been less hampered and celebrated public autos generales 
in 1631, 1643, 164S, 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,^ 
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 authori- 
ties.^ 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 Jvian Lopez, 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.^ 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 
Geronimo 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, appar- 

' Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. — Archivo de Simancas, 
Gracia y Justicia, Inq., Leg. 621, fol. 171. 

^ Relacion historica de la Juder.'a de Sevilla, pp. 85 sqq. (Sevilla, 1S49). 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 937, fol. 123. — A commentator on this cites 
Azpilcueta and Pena to prove that in Rome autos that included relaxations 
were held in churches and also that, in 1611, at Cuenca an auto comprehending 
four relaxations was held in a church by order of the Suprema. — Bibl. nacional, 
MSS., V, 377, Cap. iii, § 2. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inq,, Leg. 552, fol. 17, 22, 2,3, 


ently under the impression that he could be burnt there but, after 
two years, Valladohd reported that it had no pubhc auto in which 
to despatch him, so, in 1638 the Suprema ordered his transfer to 
Saragossa/ 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, Cordova 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 Mucria, 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.^ 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 Inc{uisition 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,^ but the 
other tribunals seem to have discountenanced the device. The 
further step, of overthrowing the traditional prohibition of utter- 
ing 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 par- 
ticulares. In reply, Valencia reported that the sentence of Gaspar 
Lopez, to be relaxed in effigy, voted in 1641, had never been pub- 
lished, for lack of an auto, although the corresponding sentence of 

' Archive de Simancas, loc. cit. 

■ Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. — Archive de Simancas, Inq., 

Leg. 552, fol. 40. — Proceso contra Diego Rodriguez Silba, fol. 32-4 (MS. penes me). 

^ Archive de Simauoas, laq., Lib, 42, fol, 389, — Archivo hist, nacional, ubiswp. 

224 THE A UTO DE FE [Book VII 

confiscation had been executed— which the Suprema pronounced 
to be highly irregular/ 

It required time to familiarise the conscience with so revolu- 
tionary 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 pubHc 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 relaxa- 
tion 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, pro- 
vided 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 daylight.^ 

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 accu- 
mulated in most of the tribunals ; there were not funds to maintain 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 11, n. 1, fol. 220, 230, 240. 

* Archive de Simancas, Lib. 42, fol, 239. Whether through design or careless- 
ness, this was not sent to the Valencia tribunal until October 14, 1699, when it 
was enclosed in a letter saying that as it had not been forwarded at the time it 
was now sent for their instruction. — Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, 
Leg. 10, n. 2, fol. 138, 


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 compro- 
mise 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 
chm'ch for a place agreed upon, where the convicts were to be 
brought to him, when he sentenced them and executed the sen- 

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 imfortunates 
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 function- 
aries, than with the real work of the tribunal, grim and cruel though 
it continued to be.^ 

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 
distrct, 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 Logroiio, and 
the grandees who eagerly competed for positions of honor in the 
processions, we can estimate the change that compelled the com- 
plaint of the Seville tribunal, in 1729. It denounced the luke- 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 42, fol. 291, 308. 

2 Bibl. nacional, MSS., R, 128. 

VOL. Ill 15 

226 THE A UTO DE FE [Book VII 

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 authori- 
ties. It was with this object that the familiars had been so greatly 
increased in numbers and had been favored with so many privi- 
leges 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.' 

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 Davila, that this was an exalted religious duty which the 
noblest might be proud to perform, and they offered that the offi- 
cials 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 

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 vergiienza for 
sorcery. After that, to the close of the century, it had but nine 
autillos, all held in the audience-chamber, sometimes with open 

> Archive de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 9). 
^ Ibidem. 


and sometimes with closetl doors, and in each of them there was 
but a single penitent. Five of the cases w^ere for propositions, 
two for soHcitation in the confessional, one for bigamy, and one 
for administering sacraments without priests' orders.^ 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 courtU- 
ness, and the Burgimdian fashions had not superseded the ancient 
Castilian simplicity. None of their successors, however, of the 
House of Hapsbm'g, 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 efhgy.^ In 
1560, the Toledo tribunal contributed an auto, with several relaxa- 
tions, 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 
Cortes to swear allegiance to the young Don Carlos brought to 
Toledo all that was most distinguished in Spain. ^ When, in Feb- 
ruary, 1564, Philip was in Barcelona for the Catalan Cortes, an 
auto was arranged in his honor, in which there were eight relaxa- 
tions in person and numerous condemnations to the galleys. 
They were mostly Frenchmen whom Saint-Sulpice, the French 
ambassador, had vainly sought to protect.^ 

The accession of Philip III w^as celebrated by an auto at Toledo, 
March 6, 1600, in the presence of the king, his queen, Margarita 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

* Danvila y Collado, Expulsion de los Moriscos, p 106. 
3 Llorente, Hist, cri't., Cap. xxiv, Art. 1, n. 2. 

* Gachard, Don Carlos et Phihppe II, I, 106-7. 



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 Cordoba, Granada, 
Cuenca, Llerena, Valladolid and Seville. There were but two 
relaxations in effigy and one in person— the latter being a Hugue- 
not 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 .^ 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."* The revolted Catalans, who had given themselves to 
France, took the same means of honoring the Viceroy Conde, on 
the eve of his departure for Paris, by an auto celebrated Novem- 
ber 7, 1647, in which there were two relaxations in person and 
two in effigy.' The ostensible purpose of the crowning glory at 
Madrid, June 30, 1680, which fitly ended the long series of autos 
puhlicos generales, was to honor the marriage of the young Carlos 
II with Louise Marie d'Orleans. There were sixty-seven peni- 
tents and fifty-one relaxations, of which nineteen were in person. 
A compania 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 Alcala, 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 

» MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I; Tom. VIII. 

2 Moro, Auto de la Fee (Madrid, 1632). 

' Parets, Sucesos de Cataluna (Mem. hist, espanol, XXIV, 297). 


upon the fire/ The reUgious training of the young monarch had 
evidently not been neglected. It was an earnest of better things 
in store for Spain when, in 1701, PhiHp V refused to be present at 
an auto general proposed to be celebrated in honor of his accession, 
and the project was abandoned.^ 

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. 

' Olmo, Relacion del Auto, p. 47. 

^ Llorente, Hist. cn't. Cap. xl, Art. 1, n. 3. — Vicente de la Fuente, Hist, ecle- 
sidstica de Espana, III, 378. — " Preparose un auto de fe para obsequiar al Rey, 
pues habian llegado los autos d ser un obligado de todas las fiestas regias, como 
los toros y los fuegos artificiales. Felipe V se nego por primera vez il concurrir 
d ellos; mas adelante se le vio asistir d uno (1720)." 





As the apostasy of the enforced converts from Judaism was the 
proximate cause of the estabhshment 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 centmy provided the major portion of 
their more serious work. 

It had been easy, since 1391, to compel baptism by the alter- 
natives 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 rhethod that suggested itself of accom- 
phshing 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 per- 
suasion and instruction. The only utterances on the subject seem 
to assume that they would in some way instruct and fortify them- 
selves in their new religion. When, in 1496, a royal pragmatica 
forbade them for three years to farm the royal revenues, the reason 
alleged was that such occupation would distract therefrom obtain- 
ing 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.^ It was not 

^ Amador de los Rios, Hist, de los Judios, III, 381-3. 


232 JEWS [Book VIII 

until 1500 that it bethought itself to provide that all the banished 
Jews who returned, claiming to be baptized, must exhibit certifi- 
cates 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, witliin six months, know the four 
prayers, the seven mortal sins and the confession of faith/ When 
the enforced conversion of the Moriscos created an even greater 
multitude of nominal Christians, there were a few equally ineffec- 
tive 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 addi- 
tion 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.^ 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 detection. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 108. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 389. 


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 Inqui- 
sition, 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 her she identified 
six, but her effort to disable them for enmity failed, except as 
regarded the two most damaging ones, Collados and Diego Her- 
nandez. Of thirteen witnesses for character, consisting of eccle- 
siastics 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 evi- 

234 JEWS [Book VIII 

dently 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 observ- 
ing 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 recon- 
ciliation 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.^ 

Subjected, on the one hand, to the ceaseless espionage of ser- 
vants and neighbors and, on the other, to the pitiless zeal of the 
tribunals, even the heroic obstinacy of Judaism, which had tri- 
umphed 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 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 128. For illustration of the 
trivial evidence which justified prosecution for Judaism see Vol. II, p. 566. 


to be attaining its object. The prosecutions for Judaism com- 
menced to diminish sensibly. Valencia had a large converse 
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.^ In 
Toledo, which included Madrid, during the sixteen years, 1575- 
1590 inclusive, there were but tw^enty-three cases.^ In 1565, an 
auto at Seville presented seventy-four penitents without one Juda- 
izer, and there were none in a Cuenca auto of 1585 in which figured 
twenty-one Moriscos.^ 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 dis- 
coveries of them in Murcia, who would soon be punished.* In 
fact, not long afterward, Paolo Tiepolo, the Venetian envoy, 
alludes to the arrest in Mm*cia of a large number of Jews.^ 

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 pubUcly or privately, with a salutary and benignant, but 
not pecuniary, penance; clerics, however, were not to be habili- 
tated to obtain orders or benefices.*' There is a story that Dom 
Joao Soares, Bishop of Coimbra, after the Council of Trent, made 

1 Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 98. 

2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

3 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 787; Leg. 1157, fol. 155. 
* Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 177. 

5 Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. V, p. 19. 

8 Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. Ill, fol. 109, 111.— Archivo de Siman- 
cas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 129.— Archivo de Alcald, Hacienda, Leg. 1049. 

236 JEWS [Book VIII 

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 Extre- 
madura/ 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.^ 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 them- 
selves or their descendants, and this time of grace was to endure 
for four years.^ 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 Perez, 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 forgotten/ 

In this the good bishop was careful to limit his praise to the 
descendants of those who had been baptized a century before, 

1 Vicente da Costa Mattos, Breve Discurso contra a Perfidia do Judaismo, 
fol. 100 (Lisboa, 1623). 

* Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. IV, fol. 5. — Archivo de Simancas, 
Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 127. 

3 Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. IV, fol. 130. 

The district of Galicia would seem to be an exception to this, probably arising 
from the lateness of the organization of the tribunal of Santiago. Jews there 
had been quite numerous, wealthy and respected, and there had not been time 
to enforce their conversion or extennination. The severity of the tribunal 
earned for it the reputation of the most cruel in Spain and, pitiless as was that 
of Portugal, many Galician Conversos took refuge there. Towards the close 
of the century Inquisitor Pedro Perez Gamarra acquired for himself an infamous 
distinction by his relentless activity, and the archbishop and chapter protested 
publicly against the proceedings of the tribunal. Its rapacity was rewarded 
with abundant confiscations. We hear of Mendez of Valdeorras, whose estate 
was reckoned at more than 40,000 ducats, of that of Antonia de Saravia at 
233,707 reales and of Marcial Pereira at 363,444.— Benito F. Alonso, Los Judios 
en Orense, pp. 8, 26, 28-30, 32 (Orense, 1904). 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 205, fol. 3. 


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 rehgious 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, antl 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 inquisi- 
torial 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. ^ 

We have seen (Vol. I, pp. 137, 140) the reception by Joao II 
of the multitudes who flocked to Portugal at the time of the expul- 
sion 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 
expelHng 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 perse- 

^ Ample authentic material exists for this in the twelve volumes of the Corpo 
Diplomatico Portuguez (Lisboa, 1862-1902) — material of which Herculano had 
skilfully utilized a portion in his classical Da Origem e Estabelecimento da Inqui- 
sicao em Portugal (Lisboa, 1854). Some gaps in this have been filled by A. 
Ronchini, in his Giovanni III di Portogallo, il Cardinal Silva e I'lnquisizione 
(Modena, 1879). 

238 JEWS [Book VIII 

cution; 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/ 

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 Inqui- 
sition, on the request being delayed the matter was dropped and 
was not revived. Until Manoel's death, in 1521, the New Chris- 
tians thus enjoyed toleration and flourished accordingly. They 
grew rich and prosperous, they intermarried with the noblest 
houses, and they largely entered the Chm-ch. 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 observed.^ 

His successor, Dom Joao III, a youth of 20, was a fanatic of 
narrow mind and hmited 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.^ Then Joao'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 

* Osorii de Rebus Emmanuelis Lib. I.— Monteiro, Historia da S. Inquisi9ao 
de Portugal, Liv. II, c. 43.— Amador de los Rios, III, 358, 360, 614-15.— Her- 
culano, I, 113-14, 116-18, 124-30. 

2 Herculano, I, 133, 153-4, 158-9, 164-8. 

' Herculano, I, 179, 189-90. 


these tendencies gradually overcame considerations of plighted 
faith and, early in 1531, Dr. Bras Neto, the ambassador at Rome, 
was instructed to procure secretly from Clement VII briefs estab- 
lishing 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 Feb- 
ruary, 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, expHcable 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 busi- 
ness, 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 
ofl&ce 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.^ 

As we have seen in Spain, the curia recognized that here was 
a numerous and wealthy class of heretics, to whom it could sell 

1 Herculano, I, 228-86.— Corpo Diplomatico, II, 335, 338, 409, 410.— Anno 
historico Portuguez, I, 253 (Lisboa, 1744). 

240 JEWS [Book VIII 

protection and then abandon them, until their fears or their suffer- 
ings should produce a new harvest. This speculation in human 
agony was all the more imdisguised and lucrative that Portugal 
was a comparatively feeble kingdom, which could be treated with 
much less ceremony than Spain, and Joao 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 inchning 
to either side by turns. This was so self-evident that Joao 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,^ 

Joao'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 nun- 
cio — 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. Joao threw obstacles in the way of the exe- 
cution 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 trans- 
mitting this proposal, Henrique de Meneses, the Portuguese ambas- 
sador, added that nothing could be clone in the curia without 
money, for this was all they wanted, and that Clement was dis- 
satisfied with Joao 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 con- 
fessor, who insisted that, as he had received the money of the 
New Christians, he was bound to protect them.^ 

Clement died, September 25, 1534, and the struggle was renewed 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, III, 1, 11, 29, 47, 64, 75. 

2 Corpo Diplomatico, II, 430, 452; III, 76, 82, 124. 


under Paul III, who referred the matter to a commission, and 
meanwhile suspended the pardon-brief but ordered that all pro- 
secutions 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. Joao 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 conces- 
sions. The curia honestly endeavored to earn the money, and 
made several propositions to Joao, which he rejected; then, on 
November 3d, a bull was solemnly pubhshed in Rome, renewing 
the pardon-brief, annulling all trials, releasing all prisoners, recall- 
ing all exiles, removing all disabilities, suspending all confis- 
cations, prohibiting all future prosecutions for past offences, and 
enforcing these provisions by excommunication.^ 

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 Inquisi- 
tion 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 oflfice, October 
5th, and the brief was published on the 22d.^ 

This probably taught the New Christians a lesson on the sub- 
ject of ill-timed economy for a brief of January 9, 1537, addressed 

1 Ibidem, III, 117, 121, 125, 166, 169, 171, 177, 181, 190, 206, 210, 218, 220, 
228, 249-50, 252, 254, 275, 290-4. The bull of Paul III, embodying the previous 
one of Clement VII, is in the Bullarium, I, 712. 

2 Herculano, II, 146-62.— Corpo Diplomatico, III, 283, 286, 288, 290, 302, 
332; XI, 358. 

VOL. Ill 16 



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 suspen- 
sion for any interference with those leaving the kingdom to carry 
their grievances and appeals to Rome.' These appeals were a 
source of large profit to the curia, which sold at round prices abso- 
lutions 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 mo- 
ment 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 Joao 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 inquisi- 
tor-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.^ 

Paul yielded in so far to Joao'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 procedm'e, he Hstened 
to the supplications of the New Christians and in the bull Pastoris 
ceterni, October 12, 1539, he modified in many ways the inquisi- 
torial 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 

Corpo Diplomatico, III, 348, 353, 354, 358, 402. 
Herculano, II, 200-5. — Corpo Diplomatico, IV, 8, 11, 95. 


of a courier employed by the New Christians, this bull did not 
reach Lisbon until December 1st. Capodiferro delayed his depart- 
ure 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.^ 

With the return of Capodiferro, after a little diplomatic sparring, 
Paul III dropped the whole question for nearly two years. Joao 
was quite content; the three years' limitation to secular procedure 
had expired, the bull Pastoris cpterni 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, Sep- 
tember 20, 1540, with twenty-three penitents and no relaxations 
and was speedily followed by others.^ It is not until December 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, IV, 128-33, 134, 148, 158, 172-8, 186, 188, 195, 200, 
205, 206, 271-6; V, 165; A'lII, 294, 295. The Portuguese cruzado was nearly 
the equivalent of the Spanish ducat. 

^ Historia dos principaes Actos e Procedimentos da Inquisicao de Portugal, 
p. 256 (Lisboa, 1S45). 

In this year 1540 occurred the curious episode of the False Nuncio, Juan 
Perez de Saavedra, a skilful forger and impostor, who presented himself with 
forged papal briefs, lived in great state in Lisbon for three months, and traversed 
the land for three more, collecting large sums, after the manner of nuncios. 
The Spanish Inquisition got upon his track; he was decoyed to the border, 
seized on Portuguese soil, January 23, 1541, and conveyed to Madrid. For 
this daring imposition he paid with nineteen years of galleys. He assumed the 
credit of introducing the Inquisition in Portugal, and this secondary imposture 
had currency nearly to our own times. — Llorente, Hist. crit. Cap. xvi, Art. iii. 

244 JEWS [Book VIII 

2, 1541 that Christovao 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 temp- 
tation 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 Inqui- 
sition be withdrawn if it would relieve the kingdom from the evil 
of a nuncio.^ 

Further discussion was abruptly terminated by an explosion. 
Miguel da Silva, Bishop of Viseu and minister of Joao, 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. 
Joao tried to entice him back with flattering letters, while employ- 
ing, 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. 
Joao's rage was unbounded; he promptly deprived the new car- 
dinal 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 

n. 1-21.— Pdramo, pp. 227-32.— lUescas, Hist. Pontifical, Lib. vi, cap. iv.— 
Ant. de Sousa, Aphorismi Inquisit.; De Origine Inquisit. § 6. — Feyjoo, Theatre 
critico, T. VI, Disc. iii. — Hemdndez, Verdadera Origen de la Inquisicion de 
Portugal (Madrid, 1789). 

Salazar de Mendoza (Chronica de el Cardenal Don Juan de Tavera, pp. 119- 
21) puts Saavedra's gains at 300,000 ducats and states that Paul III released 
him from the galleys by a special brief. 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, IV, 381, 404-5, 422-5 


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 obedience/ 

This deprived the New Christians of such aid as they had pur- 
chased 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 subse- 
c|uently discontinued as superfluous.^ On the other hand, Paul 
HI persevered in his intention to inflict another nuncio on Por- 
tugal, 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 cmia. 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 imtil 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 amomit 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 futm'e 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 personal.^ 

Joao wrote to Lippomano not to come, and he persisted in this 

1 Herculano, II, 304-17, 332-40.— Ciaconii Vitt. Poutiff., Ill, 675.— Corpo 
Diplomat ico, IV, 388, 392, 399; V, 41, 54; XI, 388, 472, 473, 496. 

2 Herculano, III, 8-9. 

' Corpo Diplomatico, V, 34, 70, 83, 114. 

246 JEWS [Book VIII 

against the entreaties of Charles V. Nevertheless the nuncio set 
out, and we hear of him in Aragon in August, where he encoun- 
tered 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 inter- 
cepted letters showed that Cardinal Silva was to receive two hun- 
dred 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 Valla- 
dolid.^ Joao 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.^ 

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 

' Ronchini, pp. 6-12.— Herculano, III, 64-5. 

' Corpo Diplomatico, V, 90, 96, 98, 104-5, 113, 115-16, 117-20. 


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 pubhshed 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 proced- 
ure 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, bvit he must be firm and remind 
them that he had power to abolish the whole institution. What- 
ever we may think of Joao's bhnd 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 spokes- 
man 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.^ 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 Joao 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 every- 
where, such as we have seen set forth in the memorials of Llerena 
and Jaen.^ 

Although ignorant of the' nuncio's instructions, Joao persisted 
in refusing him admittance, until he should have an answer to 
his letter of September 18th. This was long in coming, and Lippo- 
mano 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.^ Meanwhile, Francisco Botelho, who had been 

» Ronchini, p. 11.— Corpo Diplomatico, V, 134, 135, 140, 145, 149, 152, 164. 

* Herculano, III, 116-199. 

3 Ronchini, pp. 16, 17, 20, 23. 



sent with Joao'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 Joao 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.' 

Possibly Paul's yielding in this may be explained by a nego- 
tiation on foot early in 1543. Through the Cardinal of Burgos, 
it was proposed to Joao 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 pm-ely 
mercantile had been the fluctuating protection accorded to them 
hitherto, and it was met by Joao 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.^ The attempted 
bargain came to naught, but Rome was apprehensive that Portu- 
gal might follow the example of England, and Joao was propiti- 
ated 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.^ 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, V, 169-71, 179, 184, 187. 

2 Ibidem, V, 176. 

^ Ibidem, V, 186, 196, 222, 506— Ronchini, p. 24. 


The Inquisition was assisted in another way. Through the 
subsidized Cardinal of Paris, the Portuguese ambassador, Bal- 
thasar 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 Henric|ue, 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 Castihan inquisitors managed. It was a kind of guerrilla 
warfare, in the interval of the greater struggles.^ 

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.^ 
He travelled leisurely and did not reach ValladoHd until Novem- 
ber 5th, where he found awaiting him Christovao 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 pre- 
sumptions. It so chanced however that, before the courier started 
with this letter, Lippomano, who was still acting as nuncio, re- 
ceived and affixed at the church doors a papal brief of September 
22d, inhibiting all inquisitors and ecclesiastical judges from exe- 
cuting 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 coui't the absolute refusal to admit Ricci until 

» Corpo Diplomatico, V, 225, 273, 281-2. 
== Ibidem, V, 291 ; XI, 503.— Ronchini, p. 26. 

250 JEWS [Book VIII 

Joao 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 1548.' 

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 work- 
ing of the New Christians in Rome, unless it was to convince Joao 
that he would have to pay roundly for the pleasure of persecuting 
his subjects. He exhaled his wrath in one or two letters to Bal- 
thasar de Faria and, on January 13, 1545, he despatched Simao 
da Veiga in hot haste with instructions to demand the installa- 
tion of the Inquisition in satisfaction of the royal grievances; the 
recent brief must be revoked, and Ricci must come mider the 
limitations imposed on his predecessor and must say nothing about 
Cardinal Silva. A prolix letter to the pope, to be read in consis- 
tory, was free-spoken but not intemperate and, considering the 
provocation, was much more moderate than the papal duplicity 
had deserved.^ 

This letter remained unanswered for nearly six months, dming 
which another experiment was tried on Joao's credulity. Car- 
chnal 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 benig- 
nity, he pardoned Joao's asperity; against Joao'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 respon.sible and he could 
not forego the duty of investigating the truth of these conflicting 
statements; there was also the spoHation of Cardinal Silva which 
must be redressed. The brief closed with the significant threat 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, V, 306, 308, 311, 315, 317; XI, 507.— Archive de Siman- 
cas, Patroiiato Real, Inquisicion, Leg. unico, fol. 34, — Historia dos principaes 
Actos, p. 256. 

2 Corpo Diplomatico, V, 320, 321, 324, 330, 344. 


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/ 

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 Joao 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 carchnal's assur- 
ances, he would permit Ricci to enter Portugal and he asked to 
have the necessary bull made out and sent by Simao da Veiga. 
At the same time he gave Ricci permission to come, cautiously 
adding that it must be under the limitations imposed on Lippo- 
mano. Ricci, detained by sickness, did not arrive until September 
9th, and then he was the bearer of the minatory brief of June 
16th. That Joao was thunderstruck may well be believed and he 
wrote to his envoys that he knew not what to say.^ 

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 Joao would permit was that he should examine 
the papers in four or five cases and interrogate the inquisitor con- 
cerning them. The first case submitted was that of a septua- 
genarian, 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, Joao 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 Joao that 

» Corpo Diplomatico, V, 405, 434, 442.— Raynald. Annal. arm. 1545, n. 58. 
2 Corpo Diplomatico, V, 448, 451, 453, 460, 470. 



the term had expired: m 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/ 

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. 
Joao 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 hberality towards the cardinals. Cardinal 
Farnese, the favorite grandson of Paul III, and the most influ- 
ential 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, Joao 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 Joao, 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 heir- 
loom in his family, but when the next year he intimated that 
another gift would be acceptable, Joao, 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 
Juhus to terms; in 1553 the appointment was made and in 1554 
Joao sent him a brooch.^ 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 23, 42.— Ronchini, pp. 31-2. 

' Corpo Diplomatico, V, 361, 391, 398, 399; VII, 32, 51-3, 204, 216, 241, 327; 
VIII, 111. 

After Joao's death, the regency, in 1562, in return for a favor, sent to Pius 
IV a couple of rings, to which he loftily replied that he did not desire such gifts, 


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 Joao 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 adminis- 
tration and revenues of the see of Viseu, which he had been with- 
holding 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/ 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 sacri- 
ficing 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. Joao was 
determined to get all that he could, and a series of intricate nego- 
tiations took place, occupying the whole of 1546 and 1547, inwhich 
each side endeavored to outwit the other with little regard to con- 
sistency. Matters were complicated by the question of the accrued 
revenues of Viseu, which Joao 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 syna- 
gogues 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 apos- 

but he had previously had them appraised and found that they were of little 
value. There was some indignation felt in the papal palace and Alvaro de Cas- 
tro, in reporting it, dwelt on the importance of keeping the pope well-disposed, — ■ 
Ibidem, X, 19, 20, 21. 

' Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 23. 

254 JEWS [Book VIII 

tates, an argument which was freely used and was not easy to 


In the spring of 1547, as matters seemed to approach a settle- 
ment, 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 iulv 1st addressed to Cardinal Henrique announced to 
him that the pope had granted the Inquisition, with full powers 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 95, 101, 105-25, 139, 141, 144, 170-5, 176-77, 180, 
183, 186, 198-208.— Ronchini, pp. 37-8.— Stewart Rose, St. Ignatius Loyola 
and the early Jesuits, p. 406 (New York, 1891).— Gothein, Ignatius von Loyola 
und die Gegenreformation, p. 611 (Halle, 1895). 

It was freely stated that Julius III continued the practice and sold, for a 
thousand cruz'ados a year, licence to seventy heads of families who had been 
baptized in Portugal to Judaize in Ancona, a privilege of which two hundred 
took advantage, with their wives and children.— Corpo Diplomatico, Vil, 378. 

The facts of this curious episode are that Paul III issued letters of safe-conduct 
to foreign merchants in Ancona, including both Turks and Jews. Then, Febru- 
ary 21, 1547, in an elaborate brief, specially favoring the New Christians of 
Portu"-al, he promised that, for all accusations of heresy or apostasy, they should 
be subject exclusively to the pope in person, all judges and inquisitors being 
forbidden to prosecute them. Feeling their position uncertain, they bargained 
with the local authorities that, for five years, they should be undisturbed and 
that any one prosecuted should have free pennission to depart. In 1552 they 
presented these articles to Julius III for confirmation, which he gave by a brief 
of December 6th, forbidding judges and inquisitors to molest them. Paul IV, 
however, April 30, 1556 withdrew this and ordered their prosecution, even if 
they denied under torture their baptism, as it was notorious that for eighty 
years no Hebrew could live in Portugal except as a Christian. This was at the 
instance of Cardinal Caraffa and his other nephews, who thereupon seized the 
persons and property of the Jews, who arranged a compromise for 50,000 
ducats, but were unable to raise the money in the time specified, whereupon the 
Caraffas held the property, estimated at 300,000 ducats. A contemporary 
states that more than eighty of them were burnt or sent to the galleys. — Collect. 
Decret. S. Congr. Sti Officii, s. v. Judaizantes (MS. penes me).- — Decret S. Congr. 
Sti Officii, pp. 327, 334-6 (Bibl. del R. Archivio di Stato in Roma, Fondo 
Camerale, Congr. del S. Officio, Vol. 3), — Bibl. nationale de France, fonds 
italien, 430, fol. 109. 

During the first half of the seventeenth century, the popes earnestly endeav- 
ored to force Venice to exclude the Portuguese refugees, when the decrees of 
Paul III and Julius III were persistently quoted in their favor. The inquisitors 
in all Italian cities were urged to active work against them, but they seem to 
have been favored by the local authorities. Those of and Leghorn were 
especially liberal. — Collect. Decret. loc. cit. — Albizzi, Riposta all'Historia dalla 
S. Inquisizione del R. P. Paolo Servita, pp. 194-212. 


of procedure. One of July 5th, to Joao 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 modera- 
tion. 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 annul- 
led 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, Meditotio cordis, instituting for Portugal a free and untram- 
melled Inquisition. It declared that the pope, desiring the rigor- 
ous 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 with- 
drawal of the letters of exemption, it evoked to the pope all cases 
pending before other judges than Cardinal Henrique, and com- 
mitted 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 cm-ia, 
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 

The pope's anxiety to save appearances is visible in the instruc- 
tions 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 f e ; 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.^ The instructions from Farnese were more openly 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, ^'I, 152, 159, 160, 163, 164, 166, 210.— Raj-nald. Annal. 
ann. 1547, n. 131, 132. 

- Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 220. 

256 JEWS [Book VIII 

cynical. To disarm Joao's distrust, he had agreed not to take 
possession of Silva's temporahties until the affair of the Inquisition 
should be settled, while Ambassador Faria and the Bishop of 
Porto had pledged that Joao 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. Joao 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 signi- 
ficant that both Ugolino and the nuncio Ricci were warned to be 
specially careful to exact nothing from the New Christians.^ 

How Joao 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 sen- 
tenced 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 prohibi- 
tion 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.^ 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 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 219-21. 
» Ibidem, VI, 250-2. 


in settling details, and only on March 24th was the agreement 
respecting Silva's temporalities signed; Joao grmnbled 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/ Thus, after a contest lasting 
through seventeen years, the Inquisition was fastened upon Por- 
tugal and, in reviewing the kaleidescopic vicissitudes of the strug- 
gle, 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 ven- 
geance 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 com- 
munication of witnesses' names, provided they were nobles exer- 
cising 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 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 248-9.— Ronchini, p. 41. 

There is some satisfaction in knowing that Cardinal Famese made but httle 
out of this wretched business. The death of his grandfatlier, in November, 
1549, deprived him of influence and, in 1550, Joao had tlie effrontery to demand 
his resignation of the see of Viseu. Famese interposed difficulties but, in 1552, 
Gonsalvo Pinheiro was installed in his place. Soon afterwards, in September 
1552, we hear of his taking refuge in his legation of Avignon, partly for safety 
and partly on account of his necessities. — Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 422, 423 ; VII, 
151, 165, 174, 184. 

Joao's malignity towards Cardinal Silva was unquenchable. On the accession 
of Julius III, he heard that the new pope felt compassion for Silva and he in- 
structed his ambassador to tell him that any honor or grace conferred on Silva 
would be regarded as an injury. By this time Silva was reduced to penury 
and the ambassador out of compassion forbore to deliver the message, when 
Joao angrily repeated his instructions with additional emphasis. In spite of 
this Julius wrote, some three years later, asking Joao to pardon Silva, who was 
borne down with age and infirmities. Joao left the letter unanswered for eight 
months, until March, 1554, and then wrote with studied evasiveness. Silva 
died in June, 1556.— Corpo Diplomatico, VI, 389; VII, 25, 244, 330. 
VOL. Ill 17 

258 JEWS [Book VIII 

request for its revocation as it would prove the total destruction 
of the Inquisition/ A long struggle ensued between the Portu- 
guese 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 diffi- 
culty 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 ambas- 
sador'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 Lourengo 
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 more- 
over engrossed with his prosecution of Cardinal Morone. Len- 
castro 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 pre- 
amble 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 Ales- 
sandrino was sent for and gave his approval. The secretary Ara- 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, V, 391, 392; VIII, 291. 


gonia 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 profoimd secrecy which kept the measui'e from 
the knowledge of its opponents and, in the midst of his self-con- 
gratulation, 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, Pros- 
pero 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.^ 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 pro- 
hibition, 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.^ The insignificant number 

' Corpo Diplomatico, VII, 49, 255, 291, 336, 437, 458, 479; VIII, 82, 94, 108, 
142, 150, 161, 181, 185, 195, 197, 205, 225, 239, 275, 289, 296, 310, 460, 466, 
475, 476, 491; IX, 40, 81, 120, 125, 150. 

^ Historia dos principaes actos, etc., pp. 256-9, 292-5, 312-13 

The numbers in the respective tribunals are — 


In person. In effigy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 37 2 270 

Evora 87 12 1023 

Coimbra 45 37 705 

169 51 1998 

The interesting list of autos, from which I have summarized this and succeed- 
ing tables, is probably based on the compilation from the records made about 

260 JETVS [Book VIII 

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 inquisi- 
tors were not earnest in tracing the heresies of ancestors or in 
following up the records of fugitives. 

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 treasiu-y by granting, for a consideration, decennial 
periods of exemption — a practice continued by the Regency after 
Joao'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 re- 
newed. After this decennium, Sebastian again granted it in his 
efforts to provide for his ill-starred African expedition, but Hen- 
rique, on succeeding to the throne, felt his conscience much dis- 
turbed 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.^ 
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 Joao 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, 

1767, by Diogo Barbosa Machado, of which there are copies in the Public 
Library of Coimbra. See Professor R. J. H. Gottheil, in Jewish Quarterly 
Review, October, 1901, pp. 90-1. 

These hsts are probably defective for the early years. A contemporary, 
writing in 1564, states that for a nvimber of years there had been burnt annually 
from twenty to forty persons and two hundred penanced. — Bibl. nationale de 
France, fonds italien 430, fol. 109. 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, IX, 150; X, 315, 546, 556. 


1545, he wrote urgently to the king as to the necessity of an 
inquisitorial tribunal. No response was made to his appeal. 
Joao 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 Falcao who, by 
the end of the year, founded a tribunal which in time earned a 
sinister renown as the most pitiless in Christendom.^ When Lou- 
rengo 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.^ His prevision 
was justified more fully than he anticipated for, to the activity 
of the tribunal was lai;gely 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 w^ere 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. ^ 
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 

^ Sousa, Aphor. Inquis., De Origine, § 6. — The Relation de V hiquisition de 
Goa by Dr. C. Dellon (Paris, 1688) giving an account of his sufferings there, 
is well known. It has been translated into Portuguese, with copious notes and 
documents, by Miguel Vicente d'Abreu (Nova-Goa, 1866), to whom we shall 
have occasion to refer. 

' Corpo Diplomatico, IX, 112. 

^ Ibidem, XII, 77. A similar brief was issued by Urban VIII, April 22, 
162.5 (Ibid. p. 246) but, as it makes no reference to any preceding act, the pre- 
sumption is that these were sporadic and not continuous grants of power. 

262 JEWS [Book VIII 

gave to the Dutch in their efforts to obtain a foothold.* There was 
a commissioner there, but his powers were limited to collectmg 
evidence and transmitting it with the accused to Lisbon, where 
they were tried and punished.' It may be worth noting that, m 
the treaty of 1810 with England, Portugal bound itself never to 
estabhsh the Inquisition in its American possessions.' 

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." 
The main difference in the organization of the Inquisitions of 
the two kingdoms was in the Portuguese officials known as depu- 
tados, 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 quafifications 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 deci- 
sive and not merely consultative votes. To render a sentence 
legal at least five votes were required besides that of the Ordinary.^ 
There was no appeal from a definitive sentence, for the reason 
that it was not made known to the culprit before the auto in 

* For these forgotten struggles see some elaborate papers by the Rev. George 
Edmundson in the English Historical Review for 1899 and 1900. 

^ In the Lisbon auto of March 14, 1723, there are few Judaizers and all are 
residents of Portugal. In that of October 10, 1723, the Judaizers are numerous 
and a large portion of them are from Brazil. Evidently a fleet had arrived 
during the interval. — Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

In 1618, however, we hear of an inquisitor sent from Portugal to Brazil, whose 
operations speedily drove numerous New Christians to seek refuge in Spanish 
territory. — J T. Medina, La Inquisicion en las Provincias del Plata, pp. 155-61 
(Santiago de Chile, 1900). ' Miguel Vicente d'Abreu, p. 115. 

* Did. Guerreiro Camacho de Aboym, De Privilegiis Familiarum etc., pp. 12- 
18, 21 (Ulyssipone, 1759). 

^ Francisco de Castro, Regimento do Santo Officio da Inquisigao dos Reynos 
de Portugal, Liv. i, Tit. i, § 1; Tit. iii, §§ 13, 14; Tit. v, § 6; Liv. ii, Tit. ii, § 13 
(Lisboa, 1G40). — Sousa Aphor. Inq. Lib. i. Cap. i, n. 14. 


which it was pronoimcfd, 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/ 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 intel- 
lectual development as well as on the material prosperity of 
Portugal. Among the learned foreigners whom Andre de Gou- 
vea, at the request of Joao III, brought to Portugal, in 1547, to 
found a college of arts in his University of Coimbra, was George 
Buchanan, as professor of Greek. Gouvea 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 accu- 
sation 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 Joao offered to retain him, 
but he took the earliest opportunity to escape to England.^ 

^ De Castro, Regimento, Liv. ii, Tit. xxiii. 

^ Georgii Buchanani Vita ab ipso scripta. — Lopez de Mendonpa, Damiao de 
Goes e a Inquisifao de Portugal, p. 21 (Lisboa, 1859). 

The poem on the Franciscans was written at the request of James V of Scot- 
land. It forced Buchanan to leave the country and, before venturing to Portugal, 
he made his excuses for it to King Joao. A brief extract will show its temper : — 
At nunc posteritas, vera pietate relicta, 
Degenerem qusestum sordesque secuta, caducas 
Cogit opes, ficta et sub rellfgione pudendos 
Occultat mores et, fama innixa parcntum, 
Seducit stolidum pietatis imagine vulgus. 



A still more effective deadening of intellectual aspiration was 
the persecution of Damiao de Goes, the foremost scholar of Por- 
tugal 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 schol- 
ars throughout Europe. In 1545, Joao recalled him to Portugal, 
where rivalry arose between him and Simon Rodriguez 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, Rodriguez repeated his accusation, with the 
same result. Goes made enemies in his literary career and, in 
1571, the denunciation of Rodriguez, 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 Flan- 
ders, 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 con- 
sidering 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 reconcihation, 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 Decem- 
ber 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.^ If forty years of orthodoxy could not atone for a youth- 
ful vacillation on one or two points of faith, it can reaclily 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 inqui- 
sitor-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.^ 
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 bpief adding it to the jurisdiction of the Spanish inquisitor- 
general.^ The nomination, however, accrued to the Spanish crown 
and, in 1586, on Almeida's death, the post was given to the Car- 
dinal-Archduke Albrecht of Austria, who was also Governor of 
Portugal.* With his advent, the activity of the Inquisition in- 
creased. 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 relaxa- 
tions in person, fifty-nine in effigy, and twenty-nine hundred and 

' MendonQa, Damiao de Goes e a Inquisi9ao de Portugal. 

^ Corpo Diplomatico, X, 537, .569. 

' Llorente, Hist. crit. Cap. xix, Art. iii, n. 6. 

* Corpo Diplomatico, XII, 23. As Cardinal Albrecht was only 25 years of 
age a special derogation of the minimum rule was necessary in his case. More 
remarkable is the fact that his commission granted him jurisdiction over bishops 

When Albrecht left Portugal, the commission of his successor, Antonio Bishop 
of Elvas July 12, 1596, contained no such provision; it enlarged his jurisdiction 
however from simple heresy to sorcery and divination and the censorship of the 
press. — Ibidem, p. 70. 



seventy-nine penitents.^ As the penitents, for the most part, must 
have suffered confiscation, we can estimate the severity of the 
persecution in a population so hmitecl. 

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 king- 
dom. 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 briej 
of June 28, 1583 in which he renewed the grant, at the same time 
reducing it to one-haff 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 nugatory.^ 

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 

> Historia dos principaes Actos, pp. 258-61, 294-7, 312-15. 
The numbers in the respective tribunals are — 

In person. In e£Bgy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 29 6 559 

Evora 98 16 1384 

Coimbra 35 37 1036 

162 59 2979 

^ Corpo Diplomatico, XII, 14. 


this was not, he says, displeasing to the king, who desired to keep 
them impoverished, because they were unwilhng subjects/ 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 com- 
paratively 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.' In 1595, at Seville, there was an auto in which were pun- 
ished eighty-nine Judaizers, besides four burnt in effigy, and soon 
afterwards, in Quintanar del Key (Cuenca), there were thirty dis- 
covered, of whom the obstinate ones were burnt and the rest were 

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 nego- 
tiations 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 ValladoHd, where the court 
lay, to present remonstrances. Spanish piety, to which such tran- 
sactions were a novelty, was no less exercised, and direful pre- 
dictions 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 cruza- 
dos to Lerma, forty thousand to Joao de Borja and thirty thousand 
to Pedro Alvarez Pereira, members of the Suprema Council, and 
thirty thousand to its secretary Fernao 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 

1 Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. V, p. 449. 

2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 
* Pdramo, p. 304. * 

268 JEWS [Book VIIl 

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/ 

It empowered the Portuguese inquisitor-general, the Arch- 
bishop of Lisbon and the papal collector, or any two of them or 
their deputies, to reconcile all Portuguese New Christians, where- 
ever 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.^ 

The brief was received in Valladolid about October 1st, but was 
not published in Lisbon until January 16, 1605. A royal ccdula, 
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.^ 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 

* Cabrera, Relaciones, pp. 135, 141, 152, 227, 229.— Historia dos principaes 
Actos, p. 261. 

The wealth of the Portuguese New Christians rendered such a payment an 
easy matter. In the memorial praying for pardon they admitted themselves 
to be worth eighty millions of ducats and, when Juan Nunez Correa made an 
assessment among them, it was on the basis of seventy five millions. — Verdades 
Catholicas contra Ficciones Judaicas § 9 (MSS. of Bodleian Library, Arch Seld 
A, Subt. 17). 

This is a memorial by Luys de Melo, dean of the Chapter of Braga, written 
in 1652, when he was a refugee in the Spanish court. He had probably been 
involved in the conspiracy against the Braganza dynasty, for which the Arch- 
bishop of Braga, Sebastian de Noronha, was executed in 1641. His paper is 
bitter against the New Christians but, as we shall have occasion to see, it con- 
tains much that throws light on the subject. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 119. — Corpo Diplomatico Portu- 
gues, XII, 121 

^ Cabrera, Relaciones, pp. 230-1. 

Chap I] THE PABDON OF 1 604 269 

flocked in from the country in numbers bej'ond 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 inqui- 
sitor, Fernando de Acebedo, sought his bed about eleven o'clock. 
Suddenly a cornier arrived, armed with an order to admit him 
to the inquisitors, wherever they might be, w^hether 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 cedula f orbid- 
chng the celebration of the auto. Some there were who held that a 
royal decree was not to be obeyed unless rubricated by the Supre- 
ma, but this w^as 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 ac- 
count 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.^ 

Under this perdon general, the three tribunals in Portugal liber- / 
ated four hundred and ten prisoners simultaneously on January ^ 
16, 1605,^ and there can be no doubt that the great body of Por- 
tuguese Judaizers in Spain obtained valid absolution for all past 

^ MSS. of Arcliivo municipal de Sevilla, Secciou especial, Siglo XVIII, Letra 
A, Tomo 4. 

A quarter of a centur}' later, in an argument against granting a similar 
pardon, we are told that the displeasure ot God was not delayed for, on the 
very day when this auto was postponed, the silver fleet under Don Luis de 
Cordova was destroyed, inflicting an irreparable loss on Spain. — MSS. of 
E. N. Adler (Re\aie des Etudes Juives, No 99, p. 56). 

' Historia dos principaes actos, pp. 261, 297, 315. 



sins during the twelvemonth of its duration, although the Inqui- 
sition threw what obstacles it could in their way. In 1605, at 
Toledo, Antonio Fernandez 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 Diaz had been re- 
leased 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/ 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.^ 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 peniten- 
tial prison, for there was no one on trial, the Judaizers having 
all been pardoned, the Moriscos expelled and the Protestants 

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.* When, in 1633, 

> MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 
^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 942, fol. 60. 
^ Revista de Archives, Marzo, 1903, p. 216. 
* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 6. 


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 obsti- 
nacy of the Portuguese neophytes ; even the advocates of the mea- 
sure admitted that it would be inapplicable to them, and Parra 
pointed out the impossibility of distinguishing between them and 
the Castilians/ 

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, dur- 
ing the minority of Dom Sebastian, the old laws were revived for- 
bidding New Christians to leave the kingdom, or to seek the colo- 
nies, 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.^ 

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 seques- 
trated without further orders, in accordance with which the Su- 
prema promptly issued the necessary instructions to its commis- 
sioners in the sea-ports and frontier towns.^ This doubtless led 
to increased restrictions in Portugal on emigration, and to it we 
may probably attribute an eloquent memorial, without date, from 

' Pro Cautione Christiana, § 1 (MSS. of Bodleian Library, Arch Seld, 130). 

2 Luys de Melo, Verdades Catholicas, § 4.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 
257, n. 68. 

3 Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 6, n. 2, fol. 281, 341, 342.— Bibl. 
nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 250, n. 66. 

272 JEWS [Book VIII 

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 cofradias, 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 reve- 
nues derived from the frontier towns, which were formerly farmed 
out for thirteen milhons of maravedis, irregularly paid, and now 
were farmed for thirty-six millions, attributal^le 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.^ 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 

» Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 257, n. 68. 


the lands of individuals and the royal patrimony, with no capi- 
tal 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 abomi- 
nations, 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 num- 
bers who escaped by penance after conviction.^ This crazy ebul- 
lition 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 cjuenchless 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.^ 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 fear- 
ful aggregate is tw^o' hundred and thirty relaxed in person, a hun- 
dred 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 

1 Breve Discurso contra a heretica perfidia do Judaismo, fol. 67, 172 (Lisboa, 


2 Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 812, Lima, fol. 17.— In 1628 we find five 
refugees from Montemor earning their livelihood at Huelva. — lb. fol. 18. 

VOL. Ill 18 

274 JEWS [Book VIII 

no doubt were heavily paid for.* Besides these pardons an Edict 
of Grace was pubHshed in 1622 but, as we have seen, such mercies 
were burdened with intolerable conditions, and only sixteen per- 
sons came forward under it — twelve in Lisbon and four in Evora — 
and all these had already been testified against.^ In 1630, the 
royal confessor Sotomayor reported that, in interviewing the depu- 
ties 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.^ 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, Laniego, Bra- 
ganza, 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/ 

» Historia dos principaes Actos, pp. 262-7, 298-301, 316-21. 
The statistics of the respective tribunals are : — 

In person. In effigy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 75 51 1231 

Evora 73 56 1891 

Coimbra 82 54 1873 

230 161 4995 

The pardons of 1627 and 1630 are indicated by the discharge of all the prisoners 
in the three Inquisitions (Ibidem, pp. 265, 299, 301, 319). These pardons were 
bitterly fought over. See the documents printed by E. N. Adler in Revue des 
Etudes Juives, No. 97, p. 66; No. 99, p. 54; No. 100, pp. 212, 216; No. 101, p. 99. 

^ Bibl. nationale de France, fonds italien, 1260, fol. 1, i, § 11. 

' See Adler's Documents, Revue des Etudes Juives, No. 100, p. 231 

* Lviys de Melo, Verdades Catholicas, § 4. This statement is confirmed by a 
memorial of the New Christians, who complain that there is scarce a town that 
is not depopulated; a single arrest suffices to bring about the imprisonment of 
ail the people. — Adler's Documents (Revue des Etudes Juives, No, 97, p. 63). 


Notwithstanding these superhuman exertions the inquisitors 
complained that their labors were imavailing; 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 com- 
mitted, 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 doubt- 
ful measure and he wished the council to consider it further; as 
regarded the Portuguese in Castile, if a hst was furnished, with 
notes as to grounds for suspicion, he would have them investi- 
gated. The list was duly supplied, but the investigation was not 

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 Chm"ch, 
either as seculars or regulars, and none to .public office — which 
indicates how little the prohibitory laws were respected.^ 

The youthful Philip IV was scarce more than seated on the 
throne when, in 1622, Fernando Mascarenhas, Bishop of Faro, 

' Verdades Catholicas, § 5. — See Appendix. 
=> Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 250, n. 66. 

276 JEWS [Book VIII 

urged him to provide some remedy for the poHtical dangers appre- 
hended 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 impor- 
tant 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.^ 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 assem- 
bled at Tomar and summoned to their aid all who were most 
distinguished in the kingdom for learning and virtue. After pro- 
longed 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 Chris- 
tianity, 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 inqviisitors 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 sug- 
gestion was significant; to check the spread of Judaic infection, 

' Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 250, n. 66. 


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 repre- 
sent 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 business.^ 

Such were the views of Christian prelates, and even the partial 
concessions of the king seemed sufficient to threaten the New Chris- 
tians with virtual extinction, but the whole portentous trans- 
action 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 exe- 
cuted, 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.^ They 

1 Verdades Catholicas, § 6. The suggestions of the bishops, and especially 
the expulsion of the New Christians, were the subject of much debate and long 
consultas. See Adler's Documents in Revue des Etudes Juives, No. 97, p. 67; 
No. 100, p. 217; No. 101, pp. 98, 115; No. 102, p. 251. 

2 Verdades, § 7. There is probably an error as to the payment for permission 
to emigrate. The New Christians in a memorial state that to obtain it they took 
240,000 ducats of government loans, and they complain bitterly of the obstacles 
thrown in the way of their leaving the kingdom. — Adler's Documents (Revue des 
Etudes Juives, No. 97, pp. 58-63; No. 100, pp. 224, 228). 



felt themselves in perfect safety, for the Castilian tribunals refused 
to honor requisitions from those of Portugal/ Efforts were also 
made to obtain modification of procedure, but in vain. By a 
cedula 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 fm'nishing to the Inquisition 
the names of those upon whom to wreak its vengeance.' 

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 instruc- 
tions were that they should not be impeded. The result of this 
representation was that the orders of 1619 were repeated.' 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." It is possible that some victims 

* Verdades, ibidem, § 7, — It is remarkable that, at this period, there was no 
arrangement for extradition between the two institutions under the same crown. 
We have seen (Vol. I, p. 253) the concordia entered into in 1544, which continued 
in force at least until 1580. Subsequently it fell into abeyance and, in 1637, we 
find the Suprema asking the tribunals what was their custom (Arch. hist, nac, 
Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 9, n. 1, fol. 295). This was evidently in preparation for 
an agreement made in 1638 for mutual extradition. The rebeUion of 1640 of 
course put an end to it, but after the independence of Portugal was recognized, 
it was revived in 1669, though consultation with the Suprema was prescribed 
before surrendering persons claimed. All information asked for was to be freely- 
exchanged, especially as regarded limpieza (Ibidem, Leg. 10, n. 2, fol. 78). 

2 Bibl. nationale de France, fonds italien, 1260, fol. 1, i, §§ 11, 30; ii, §§ 5, 31; 
fonds latin, 12930, fol. 131. 

3 Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 20, fol. 150.— MSS. of Royal Library of 
Copenhagen, 218b p. 240. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 21, fol. 67. 


may thus have been procured during the brief time in which the 
Spaniards held their advantage. 

The refugees, however, mainly bent their steps to Holland, where 
they enjoyed free toleration and could work for their own ad- 
vancement 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 sanhenitados, 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 Com- 
pany, 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.^ 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 state. 

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, Nuilo Alvarez Franco and Manuel Fernandez 
Drago, residents of Bahia, 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 Bahia; 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 

1 Verdades Catholicas, § 4, n. 4. 



was the work of the Jews of Amsterdam, chief among whom was 
Antonio Vaez Henriquez, known as Cohen, who had hved there, 
who arranged the plans and accompanied the expethtion; 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 re- 
captured, 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.^ 

We need not accept all this as literally true, but it had an un- 
doubted 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.^ 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 Joao 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 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 49, fol. 45. 

^ Pellicer, Avisos historicos (Semanario erudite, XXXI, 123). 


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/ 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,^ but this is probably a 
Spanish exaggeration of an intention to modify the rigor of inqui- 
sitorial procedure, which he was obliged to forego through the 
impossibility of obtaining the requisite papal confirmation.^ Span- 
ish influence in Italy sufficed to prevent the Holy See from recog- 
nizing 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.^ 

This impossibility of negotiating with Rome rendered necessary 
an indirect method of accomplishing his desire to abolish confis- 
cation, 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, 

1 Corpo Diplomatico, XII, 360, 412, 416. — Historia dos principaes Actos, pp 
268-71, 300-1, 320-1. 

There was some falling off in the work of the tribunals during the decade 1641- 
50. The aggregates are : — 

In person. In effigy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 37 14 341 

Evora 5 9 632 

Coimbra 8 36 143 

50 59 1116 

^ PeUicer, Avisos historicos (Semanario enidito, XXXII, 66, 188). — Llorente, 
-^^Hist. crit.. Cap. xix, Art. iii, n. 7. 

"^ ^ Antonio de Vieira, S. J., asserts this in a letter to the Regent Pedro. — Relafao 
exactissima, p. 140 (Veneza, 1750). 

* Gams, Series Episcoporum, p. 102. — Anno historico Portuguez, II, 557. — 
Coleccion de Tratados de Paz; Felipe IV, Parte VII, pp. 485, 650. 

2g2 JEWS [Book VIII 

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 Joao obligated himself never to 
revoke it.^ 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.^ Notwithstanding this, the Companhia da Bolsa 
was organized and, through its means, Pernambuco was recovered 
from the Dutch. There was flattering prospect of restoring Por- 
tuguese commerce but, when Joao IV died, in 1656, leaving the 
kingdom under the regency of his widow Lucia de Guzman, during 
the minority of Affonso VI, the Inquisition not only resumed 
confiscation but proceeded to collect the arrears since 1649. Alto- 
gether, 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.^ 

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 

' Printed in the " Noticias reconditas y posthumas del Procedimiento de las 
Inquisiciones de Espaila y Portugal," pp. 1-8 (Villafranca, 1722). 

^ Bibl. nationale de France, fends latin, 12930, fol. 11. Under this, Padre 
Antonio Vieira, S. J., must have been excommunicated for, in the Public Library 
of Evora there is a MS. entitled " Eazoes que o Padre Antonio Vieira representou 
a D. Joao 4 a favor dos christaos no^^os para se Ihes perdoar a confisfao dos bens 
sendo sentenceados no Santo Officio " — Prof. Gottheil in Jewish Quarterly Review, 
Oct., 1901, p. 89. 

^ Relapao exactissima, p. 93 (Veneza, 1750). 


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 compre- 
hend 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 peni- 
tents. 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.^ 

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.^ 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 Joao IV removed what little restraint he may have 
ventured to exercise and, in 1662, the oppressed population, com- 
prising so large a portion of the wealth and intelligence of the 
kingdom, made an attempt to pui'chase 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 pub- 
lication 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 

1 Historia dos principaes Actos, pp. 270-5, 300-3, 320-5. 
For the years 1651-1673 the statistics are: — 

In person. In effigy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 68 18 868 

Evora 54 41 2201 

Coimbra 62 — 1724 

184 59 4793 

* Padre Vieira, Discurso demonstrativo, p 121 (Veneza, 1750), 

2g4 JEWS [Book VIII 

energetic brief of Alexander VII, February 17, 1663, denouncing 
the project and urging the Inquisition to resist it to the utmost.^ 
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.^ 

After this narrow escape, there came a gleam of promise. Few 
members of the Society of Jesus, at that time, were more chstin- 
guished 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 Joao IV not only to abolish confisca- 
tion 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.^ After three years of 
incarceration, he was penanced in the audience-chamber of Coim- 
bra, 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 uncom- 
monly 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 

* Bibl. nationale de France, fonds latin, 12930, fol. 108. 

2 Ibidem, fonds italien, 1241, fol. 76. 

' J. Mendes dos Remedies, Os Judeus em Portugal, I, 347-52 (Coimbra, 1895). 


denied.' 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.^ 

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 modi- 
fied 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. ^ 
The extent of the considerations offered for these very moderate 

^ In the Lisbon auto of May 10, 1682, the acquittals were read of eight victims 
who were pronounced iimocent, after perishing in prison (Bodleian Library, 
Arch Seld. A, Subt. 16). In one at Coimljra, February 4, 1685, there were fifteen 
effigies burnt of prisoners who had died during trial. — Historia dos principaes 
Actos, p. 327. 

^ I see no reason to doubt that the " Noticias reconditas y posthumas del Pro- 
cedimiento de las Inquisicioncs de Espana y Portugal con sus presos. En Villa- 
franca, 1722" is an elaborate statement drawn up by Vieira for Innocent XL 
It appeared again under the title of " Relapao exactissima . ... do Procedi- 
mento das Inquisifois de Portugal. Presentada a o Papa Ignocencio XI pello P. 
Antonio Vieira, Da Companhia de Jesus. En Veneza con Licenpa do Santo 
Officio ]\IDCCL." It is no more bitter than his other writings on the subject, 
and its somewhat florid style is natural to so popular a preacher. 

The author of the "Authentic Memoirs concerning the Portuguese Inquisition" 
(London, 1761 and 1769) gives on p. 47 a translation of a passage of this work 
which he says he made from a well-attested MS. in Portugal. There were, he 
adds, several copies in the handwriting of Vieira, and also in that of a secretary 
of the Inquisition who fled to Venice. 

The Venice edition contains also two shorter papers by Vieira, one entitled 
"Discurso Demonstrativo," addressed to a friend, and the other "Discurso 
Segundo," addressed to the Regent Dom Pedro. They bear internal evidence 
of genuineness and the latter is included in the list of De Backer (Bibliotheque 
des Ecrivains de la Compagnie de Jesus, Y, 761-2), together with other MS. 
works of his in favor of the New Christians. A number of such MSS. are pre- 
served in the Public Library of Evora. — Prof. Gottheil in Jewish Quarterly 
Review, October, 1901, p. 89. 

^ Bibl. nationals de France, fonds italien, 1241, fol. 44. 

These official papers relating to the discussion in Rome were brought to Paris 
by Cardinal d'Estrees, at that time ambassador to the papal court. 

286 JEWS [Book VIII 

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/ 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 invin- 
cible 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 increas- 
ing, 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.^ 

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 

* Bibl. nationale de France, fonds italien, 1260, fol. 34. 

2 Ibidem, No. 1260, fol. 1, i, §§ 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 24, 34, 36; fol. 34; No. 
1241, fol. 34. 

Chap. 1] rOETUGUESE JEWS 287 

nuns, burnt as negativas. One of them had lived for forty years 
in her nunnery, witli 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 neices, 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.^ 

The trade of false witness was a thriving one, both for gain and 
the gratification of enmity. There were regular associations of 
perjm'ers, who made a living by levying black-mail on rich New 
Christians, accusing those who refused their demands, so that the 
unfortvmate class lived in perpetual terror and purchased tem- 
porary safety by compliance. The matter was reduced to a fine 
art. The accusing witness would give a fictitious name and ad- 
dress, 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.^ 

As an illustration of the arbitrary abuse of power, allusion was 
made to a notorious case occurring at Evora, in 1643. Accord- 
ing 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 w^as 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 w^hich one of the inquisitors replied that from 

» Bibl. nationale de France, fonds italien, 1241, fol. 12, 22, 24, 30, 33. 

Vieira, in his letter to the Regent Pedro, asserts that of a hundred negatives 
burnt there was not a single one guilty, and that this must continue so long as 
the procedure remained unchanged. — Discurso segimdo, pp. 136-7. 

^ Bibl. nationale de France, fonds italien, 1241, fol. 8, 9, 23. 

238 J^WS [Book VIII 

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/ 

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 tri- 
bunals 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 disas- 
trously affected for, when a merchant with foreign correspondents 
was arrested and his property was sequestrated, his foreign con- 
signors or creditors clamored in vain for the goods or debts belong- 
ing to them and, as this was a fate overhanging every man, Portu- 
guese trade suffered accordingly. In short, while we may not 
accept literally the assertion that the Inquisition brought irre- 
parable ruin upon Portugal, we cannot but regard it as one of the 
largely contributing factors to the rapid decadence of the kingdom.^ 

The contest in Rome was stubborn, but the New Christians grad- 
ually 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 Portu- 
gal, 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 relaxa- 
tion, confiscation, or perpetual galleys. If this was the object, 

Bibl. Rationale de France, fonds italien, 1241, fol. 127. 
Ibidem, fol. 42, 81, 159. 


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/ 

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 relaxa- 
tion 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 procedm-e. 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 pre- 
decessor. After meeting repeated refusals, he peremptorily order- 
ed, 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 b}^ 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 insuflEicient, 
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 futm'e obser- 
vance 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 

' BuUar. Roman. XI, 102, 198. — Historia dos principaes Actos, pp. 274, 324. 

290 JEWS [Book VIII 

negatives 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/ 
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 no- 
tably. 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 
incluchng 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.^ 

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 conse- 
quently 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 Judios 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 

> Bullar. Roman. XI, 102, 198, 260; VII, 38.— Discurso demonstrative, p. 116. 
' Historia dos principaes Actos, pp. 275-9, 303-5, 325-9. 
The statistics are as follows: — 


In person. In efRgy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 12 12 422 

Evora 8 IS 366 

Coimbra 39 31 563 

59 61 1351 


of the Fortalicium Fidci 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 im- 
placable enemy/ The same temper is manifested in a memorial, 
drawn up about this time by an inquisitor, in answer to a propo- 
sition 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 
cUabolical 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.^ 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.^ 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 Enriquez, 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 

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 

^ Centinela contra Judios, puesto en la Torre de la Iglesia, Barcelona, 1731. 

* BibL nacional, MSS., D, 118, fol. 227. 

^ Feyjoo, Theatre, T. VII, Discurso v, § vi. — Englishmen were long reputed 
to have tails, in punishment for the murder of Thomas Becket. 

* Cartas de Jesuitas (Mem. hist, espanol, XVIII, 237, 255, 371). 

292 JEWS [Book VIII 

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 neglec- 
ted 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 subjection/ 

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 remon- 
strances 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 au(hence, 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 demand- 
ing the papers in certain cases; Inquisitor-general Sotomayor 
refused but, finding himself powerless to resist, placed the docu- 
ments 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 nego- 

' Juan Adan de la Parra, Pro Cautione Christiana, fol. 31-2, 34, 38 (Matriti, 


tiations and, in 1643, we find the Suprema instructing the Valencia 
tribunal to forbid the landing of the Jews who were coming from 

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 gar- 
ments, 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 hcences, to which he respon- 
ded with instructions to send them back to Oran: the causes 
leading to the cedula of 1634 no longer existed; if in future their 
coming were considered necessary, the Governor of Oran nuist 
report and await the royal decision and a special hcence.^ There 
is no reason to suppose that the venturesome Israelites had any- 
thing more important in view than private business. 

One of the most prominent reasons m'ged 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 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 punish- 
ment, 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 
Assumpgao, burnt in Lisbon, in 1603, as a convert to the Law 

1 Cartas de Jesuitas (Mem. hist, espanol, XIII, 85).— Historia de Felipe IV, 
Lib. VI (Coleccion de Documentos, LXXVII, 380).— Adolfo de Castro, Olivares 
y el Rey Felipe IV, pp. 133-4 (Cadiz, 1846).— Amador de los Rios, III, 546-7.— 
Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 9, n. 2, fol. 224. 

2 Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 4, n. 3, fol. 222.— For the docu- 
ment containing the royal decision I am indebted to Elkan N. Adler Esq. 



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.^ 
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 Valdes, when he placed on the first 
Spanish Index a translation of Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews.^ 
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 stu- 
dent 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 Inquisi- 
tion. There was a second witness, and yet the consulta de fe of 
VaUadolid 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 con- 
fessed 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 

* Amador de los Rios, III, 521. 

^ Reusch, Die Indices des sechszehnten Jahrhunderts, pp. 235, 436. 


reported that he said he hoped to be burnt ahve, for he sought the 
honor of martyrdom and would go to parachse. 

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 unflinch- 
ingly 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 confis- 
cation, 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 deMoisen," 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.* 

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 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 26, 28, 29, 31, 36. — Cartas de Jesuitas 
(Mem. hist, espanol, XVII, 419, 493). — Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, IX, 744 
(La Haye, 1716). — PelHcer, Avisos historicos (Semanario enidito, XXXIII, 210). 

296 JEWS [Book VIII 

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 Lopez, 
in Manzaneda de Tribes, had practised Judaism, and it asked for 
his arrest. An Antonio Lopez 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 m 
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 Lopez, 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 ortho- 
doxy. 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 Lopez 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 Rodriguez, arrested by the tribunal of Valladohd, 
October 4, 1648, on the strength of advices from Cuenca, and cUs- 
charged October 2, 1649, because it was tardily recognized that 
he did not correspond with the description of the real culprit.^ 

How slender was the evidence required when a Portuguese was 
concerned is seen in another case at Valladolid. When the inqui- 
sitor Pedro Muhoz made a visitation of Oviedo in 1619-20, two 
women testified that Lucia Niifiez, a Portuguese settled in Bena- 
vente, put on clean chemises on Saturdays. When, March 5, 
1620, the tribunal voted on the cases brought in by Munoz, this 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 33, 37. 


was suspended, but the Suprema ordered the papers to be sent 
to it and, on August 17, 1621, it instructed the tribunal to arrest 
Lucia 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 Satui'days, 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 hft the sequestration, which was done accordingly the 
next clay, after nearly five months of incarceration.^ 

When this kind of work was on foot throughout Spain, it is 
easy to reahze how the unfortunate Portuguese were tracked, from 
one refuge to another, by the implacable vigilance of the Inqui- 
sition, 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 com- 
munities 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 "compHcidad de Badajoz," 
a group of Portuguese, whom it had miearthed 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 .^ 

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 Inciuisition 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 bm'nt. Numerous arrests were made and 
the trials dragged on until 1651; torture was employed, parents 
and children, brothers and sisters testified against each other, 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 1. 

^ Ibidem, Lib. 812, Llerena, fol. 2-7. Cf. Ibidem, Cuenca, fol. 1-11 ; Lima, fol. 
1 sqq. 

298 JEWS [Book VIII 

but there were no pertinacious impenitents or negatives 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.^ Toledo 
was equally active for, in an auto held the same year, it had thirty 
two Judaizers in person and thirty effigies of fugitives.^ Nearly 
the whole of these were Portviguese 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 Portu- 
guese, 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.^ 

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 thems 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 them- 
selves by such industries as they could follow, when some impru- 
dence, 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 Malaga; the other four were said to have 
gone to Pietrabuena, but there the track was lost. All were duly 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg, 552, fol. 38. 
^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 
^ Relacion hi.st6rica de la Juderia de Sevilla, pp. 94-.S (Sevilla, 1849). 


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 Rodriguez Silva, his wife Ana Enriquez, her father 
Antonio Enriquez Francia, and her brother and sister-in-law, 
Diego Enriquez and Isabel Rodriguez. They pushed through 
without stopping to Rioseco, where they rested four days and then, 
hiring a guide, they traversed the mountains of Portugal, travel- 
ling only by night. Settling in Villa Pinhel, they tried to mend 
their broken fortunes, Ana Enriquez by keeping a shop and Diego 
Rodriguez 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 spon- 
taneously 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, Feb- 
ruary 18, 1677, some seventeen years after they had been burnt 
in efhgy in Seville. As two or three of the Beas fugitives, who had 
gone to Malaga, 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 charity.^ 

An even more pitiful illustration of the miseries endured by 
these unfortunates, under the implacable vigilance of the Inqui- 
sition, 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 

• Procesos contra Diego Rodriguez Silva y Ana Enriquez (MSS. penes me). 

30O JEWS [Book VIII 

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 dijunta} 

Little colonies of Portuguese, like that of Beas, were frequently 
discovered. Simon Muiioz 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, Maria Enriquez, 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.^ A similar group 
of Portuguese, in the little town of Berin (Orense) were tried be- 
tween 1676 and 1678, by the tribunal of Santiago, and furnished 
to the Madrid auto of 1680 two victims relaxed as pertinacious 
Jews— Baltasar Lopez Cardoso and FeUz Lopez his cousin. There 
were more than twenty of them in all, and they had long been 
settled there; Antonio Lopez, one of them, said, in 1677, that he 
was thirty-two years old and had been born in Berin.^ 

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 neigh- 
bor would do the same. Even in the closest family circle the ut- 
most reserve was often practised. Children were not allowed to 
know anything of Judaism until of an age at which their discre- 
tion could be trusted. Parents, indeed, frequently brought up 
their children as Catholics, and left it to others to convert them 

1 Catd,logo de las causas seguidas ante el tribunal de Toledo, p. 212 (Madrid, 

^ Proceso contra Angela Perez (MS. penes vie). 

' Proceso contra Angela NUnez Marques (MS. penes me). Angela's brother, 
Doctor Geronimo Ntinez Marques, was reconciled in the Madrid auto of 1680, 
where he is described as " Medico de familia de su Magestad." — Olmo, Relacion, 
p. 209. 


fortuitously. Pedro Nunez Marques, tried in Madrid in 1679, 
testified that he had been inducted into Judaism in Villaflor (Por- 
tugal) by Maria Pinto, wife of Alvaro de Morales. After he re- 
turned 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 Nufiez 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 Nunez Marques expressed it, they all knew each 
other to be Portuguese; that was sufficient, and further confidences 
were superfluous.^ 

As a matter of course, punctilious regard was paid to all Catho- 
lic 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 scat- 
tered 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 ral^bis 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 ques- 
tion; 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 Nuilez Marques said that Ana de Niebes and Maria de 

* Proceso contra Angela Nunez Marques (MS. penes me). — Angela was No. 17 
of the Madrid auto of 1680 (Olmo, p. 211). 

302 JEWS [Book VIII 

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.^ 

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 Rodriguez 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 ! LTnhappy 
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 repen- 
tant sinners, which was deemed worthy of perpetuation by the 
printing-press.^ Yet in this duplicity, so reprehensible in inquis- 
itorial 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 Juda- 

* Ubi sup. (MSS. penes me). 

^ Exortacion al Herege, fol. 6 (Bodleian Library, Arch Seld. 130). — Sermam do 
Auto da fe em 6 de Setembro do anno de 1705, p. 5 (Lisboa, 1705). This scnnon 
was translated by Moses Mocatta, together with a reply to it by Carlos Vero, 
London, 1845. 


ism it would have found little to do. In the public autos of 
Cordova, from 1655 to 1700, out of three hundred and ninety-nine 
persons and effigies brought forward, three hundred and twenty- 
four wTre 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 vigi- 
lance 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.^ This activity however seems to be largely con- 
fined to Castile, as though the Portuguese had not found the king- 
doms 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 Judaizcr.^ 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.^ 
These guaranteed them against molestation for matters of con- 
science, 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 

* Matute y Luquin, Autos de fe de Cordova. — Archivo hist, nacional, Inqui- 
sicion de Toledo, Leg. 1. — Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552. 
^ Archivo hist, nacional, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 1. 
' Coleccion de Tratados de Paz; Carlos II, Parte I, p. 306. 

304 JEWS [Book VIll 

and that in future, when the evidence showed that they were not 
fugitives or bound for some suspicious place, they should be al- 
lowed to proceed. In this same year a muleteer named Francisco 
Nunez 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 o4Tence/ 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 ante- 
cedents and purposes, and this information was to be forwarded 
to the Suprema with the opinion of the tribunal. Similar pre- 
cautions were ordered at the Mediterranean sea-ports, but the 
object of this action was not stated.^ 

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 anony- 
mous 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 prob- 
ably the author of the memorial, for he makes this hideous sug- 
gestion 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 

' Libro XIII de Cartas, fol. 158, 191 (MSS. of Am. Phil. Society).— Archive 
hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 11, n. 2, fol. 117; Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 
* Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg, 10, n. 2, fel. 89. 


document is not without interest as a revelation of the methods 
which persecutors were willing to adopt to escape from the conse- 
quences of their own acts/ 

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 con- 
sideration. In the massacre of 1391, some of the Mallorquin 
Jews escaped to Barbary, but the majority remained. The gover- 
nor, 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.^ 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.^ After this, persecution grew inert, relaxations 
chsappear and reconciliations become few. So insignificant had 
the tribunal become that when, in 1549, the offices of fiscal and 
receiver fell vacant, Valdes wrote to ask what was the necessity 
of filling them.' He might well ask the question : between 1552 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq.. Lib. 49, fol. 345. 
2 Gabriel Llabres (Boletin, XL, 152-4). 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 595, fol. 1. 

* Ibidem, Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 177. 
VOL. Ill 20 

306 JEWS [Book VIII 

and 1567 the tribunal had but two reconciUations 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 Maria 
Diez, 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 chm-chmen 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 Hcence of speech among the suspected persons who dwelt 
"in the separate barrio."^ 

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 syna- 
gogue, and doubtless there was some imprudence. Secret inves- 
tigation 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 enor- 
mous; 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 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 25, fol. 89. 


share of the spoils; the tribunal secured a goodly portion with 
which it rebuilt the palace of the Inquisition in a style so sump- 
tuous that it passed for one of the finest in Spain, until it \^as 
demolished, in 1822, and its site converted into a pubhc plaza.^ 
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 expatri- 
ate 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 famihes. 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 reconcihations 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.^ This shows 
that the little community had already begun to repair its shat- 
tered 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 Ma- 
jorca; during the height of persecution elsewhere, the tribunal 
celebrated two autos, May 31, 1722 and July 2, 1724, in which 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 595, fol. 1 ; Lib. 69, fol. 69. — Taronji, Estado 
Social etc. de la Isla de Mallorca, pp. 241-2. 

2 Garau, La Fee triunfante, pp. 30-45, 49-50, 65-78, 11 1-22.— Archive de 
Simancas, Inq., Lib. 68, fol. 258. 

308 JEWS [Book VIII 

nine penitents appeared, but none of them were Judaizers.^ 
Although the New Christians were still confined to their separate 
quarter, in time, as we have seen, they became thoroughly- 

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 mani- 
fested by the records before me. In Catalonia, which held out 
long after the rest of Spain was pacified, the Inquisition was fairly 
re-estabhshed 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.^ In Cordova the records are imperfect 
but, as far as they go, from 1700 to 1720, they show but five cases.^ 
In Toledo, during the same twenty-one years, out of a total of 
eighty-eight trials, only twenty-three were for Judaism.^ 

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.'^ It was probably this discovery that aroused the other 

1 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Sala 39, Leg. 4, fol. 15, 23, 71. 
^ Matute y Luquin, Autos de fe de Cordova, pp. 212-16. 
* Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

In Portugal there was greater activity. The list of autos in the " Historia dos 
principaes Actos," pp. 278-81, 304-7, 328-31, shows for the twenty years, 1701-20, 


In person. In effigy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 26 14 961 

Evora 2 458 

Coimbra 11 10 707 

37 26 2126 

5 Bibl. nacional, MSS., Bb, 123. 


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 tahaco, is asserted to have 
married the daughter of his wife, and Francisco de Mendoza y 
Rodriguez his first cousin, "according to the Law of Moses."^ 

For some years this revival of persecution raged with a viru- 
lence rivalhng 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.^ 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, Logrofio held 
no auto during these years; Santiago furnished only four cases, 
while Granada had two hundred and twenty-nine, Seville a hun- 
dred and sixty-seven and Cordova seventy-eight. The years 1722 
and 1723 were those in which persecution was most active, the 
number diminishing rapidly afterwards.^ It still, however, con- 
tinued at intervals. In Cordova 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 occur- 
red/ In ToleclO; after 1726, there was no case of Judaism until 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

2 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

The summary of penalties is : — 

Relaxation in person . 75 

Scourging 191 

" effigy. . 74 

Galleys 49 

Reconciliation . . . 595 

Exile 73 

Confiscation .... 782 

Abjuration de levi ... 24 

Prison and sanbenito . 597 

" de vehementi . 23 

^ The distribution of the cases was:— 

In 1721 .... 57 

In 1725 .... 89 

1722 .... 252 

1726 .... 24 

1723 .... 224 

1727 .... 17 

1724 .... 157 

It is probable that the year 1727 is 

not complete in this collection. — 

Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

* Matute y Liiquin, op. cit., pp. 253- 





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/ 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.' 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.' 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.* 

1 Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Toledo, Leg. 1. 

2 Bibl. nacional, MSS., S, 294, fol. 375. 

3 Royal Library of Berlin, Qt. 9548. 

* ArcMvo de Alcala, Hacienda, Leg. 544^ (Lib. 9). 

The Inquisition of Portugal continued active. For the years 1721 to 1794, the 
last recorded, the statistics are (Historia dos principaes Actos, pp. 280-91, 306-11 

332-9) :— 


In person. In eflBgy. Penanced. 

Lisbon 131 17 1543 

Evora 8 3 735 

Coimbra 1210 

139 20 3488 

In this the superior energy and ferocity of the Lisbon tribunal is noteworthy ; 
it relaxed no less than 66 persons in the years 1732-42. The last burning was 
of the unfortunate Padre Malagrida, in 1761 but, as late as 1760, Evora burnt 
four culprits. 

As far as can be ascertained the total record of the Portuguese Inquisition, up 
to 1794, is 1175 relaxed in person, 633 in efBgy and 29,590 penanced. The pro- 
portion of New Christians among these is impossible of ascertainment, but towards 
the last it diminished considerably, and, as in Spain, the jurisdiction included 
superstitious sorcery, blasphemy, bigamy, etc. 

Under the ministry of the Marquis of Pombal, Dom Jose, April 8, 1768, deprived 
the Inquisition of censorship and, by successive edicts of May 2, 1768, June 16, 
1773 and December, 1774, all distinctions between Old and New Christians were 
removed. An order of February 10, 1774, abolished the Inquisition of Goa, 
but the death of Dom Jose, in 1777, and the succession of Maria I drove Pombal 
from power, and it was revived in 1779, to be finally suppressed in 1812 
(Vicente d'Abreu, pp. 6-7, 267-72, 274). In Portugal it was extinguished by 
the revolution of 1820. 

In 1774 a new Regimento was issued by the inquisitor-general. Cardinal da 
Cunha, in the preface of which the Jesuits are accused of having perverted the 
forms of procedure, causing all the evils with which it had afflicted the land. 
The new code removed many of the abuses of the old and King Jose, in the decree 


These scattering details can make no pretension to complete- 
ness, and yet they suffice to show that Judaism at last was sub- 
stantially rooted out of Spanish soil, after a continuous struggle 
of three centuries. How complete was this eradication is mani- 
fested by a summarized list of all cases of every kind, coming 
before all the tribunals, from 1780 until the suppression of the 
Inquisition in 1S20, 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 proposi- 
tions. The latest case was at Cordova, in 1818, of Manuel San- 
tiago 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 suffering.^ 

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.^ 
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 navios, or exami- 

approving it, repeated the accusation of the Jesuits, holding them responsible 
for the ferocious and sanguinary corruptions, incompatible with the principles 
of natural reason and religion, which had rendered the Inquisition a horror to 
all Europe and had created within the monarchy an independent and autocratic 
body of ecclesiastics. — Regimento do Santo Officio da Inquisifao, pp. 3 sqq. 
31, 37, 39, 42, 55, 62-3, 71, 89, 144-5, 149, 154-5 (Lisboa, 1774). 

English versions of both Regimentos — that of 1640 and that of 1774 — are given 
by da Costa Pereira Furtado de Mendonja in the Narrative of his Persecutions 
(London, 1811), He lay for three years, 1802 to 1805, in the prison of the Lisbon 
tribunal and, if his account is to be relied upon, the reforms of Pombal had already 
become obsolete. 

^ Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 100. 

In 1783 Inquisitor-general Beltran instructed the tribunals that no one was 
to be arrested for Judaism without first submitting to him all the papers. At 
the same time he called for reports of all cases of Judaism there pending, to which 
Valencia replied that it had none. — Ibidem, Cartas del Consejo, Leg 16, n. 5, 
fol. 59; Leg. 4, n. 2, fol. 136. 

' Novis. Recop., Lib. xii, T. i, ley 4. 

312 JEWS [Book VIII 

nation 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.^ 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 else- 
where to enjoy freedom of worship, while Italian Jews came to 
Spain to trade, in spite of inquisitorial vigilance.^ 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 grudg- 
ingly 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.^ In 1689, special orders were issued to dis- 
regard 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. ^ 

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 con- 
dition that no Jews or Moors should be permitted to reside there.^ 
The inobservance of this by England was the subject of com- 
plaint, but it is not likely that many intruders risked the dangers 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 1473. 
^ Proceso contra Diego Rodriguez Silva (MS. penes me). 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 11, n. 3, fol. 183. — Bibl. nacional, 
MSS., V, 377, cap. xxii. 

^ Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 10, n. 2, fol. 112, 
" De Lamberty, Memoires pour servir, VIII, 379. 


that attended an attempt of a foreign Jew to enter Spain. In 
January, 1697, Abraham Rodriguez, travelhng 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 

When, in the general relaxation of the eighteenth century, the 
sternness of these laws was tacitly abandoned, embarrassing pre- 
cautions 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 accom- 
pany 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.^ 

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.^ 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 hberality came up, in 1797, 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 552, fol. 52. 

2 Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 4, n. 3, fol. 222. 

' Ibidem, Leg. 100. 

314 JEWS [Book VIII 

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/ 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 cedula of June 8, 1802, declaring in full force all laws and 
pragmaticas theretofore issued, and ordering the rigorous exe- 
cution of the penalties therein provided, while any default in 
lending to the Inquisition due assistance for this holy purpose 
was threatened with the royal indignation.^ 

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 cedula of 1802.^ 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 indi- 
gent 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 con- 
sequently the tribunal asked for instructions.* 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 cooperation, 
the inquisitor-general was to be notified.^ 

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 
navios 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- 

1 Amador de los Rios, III, 552-3. 

^ Novis. Recop., Lib. xii, Tit. i, ley 5. 

^ Amador de los Rios, III, 557. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 435^. 

^ MS. penes me. 


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.* 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 
vSuprema, which in turn forwarded it, September 6th, to all the 
tribunals with orders for its strict observance.^ 

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,^ but when, in 
1854, Constitutional Cortes were assembled to frame a new con- 
stitution, 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 resi- 
dents in Spain, and this was likewise applicable to natives pro- 
fessing 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.^ It was a remarkable proof of conver- 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Leg. 1473. 
^ Ibidem, Lib. 559. 
^ Lindo's History of the Jews, p. 377. 

* Amador de los Rios, III, 561-2. — Paredes, Curse de Derecho polftico, p. 666 
(Madrid, 1883). 

316 JEWS [Book VIII 

sion 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 disas- 
trous failure/ The ancestral antipathy which they had to encoun- 
ter was, however, still active, as expressed by a pious Franciscan, 
who declared that bringing them was a sin of moral and politi- 
cal treason, and that they would devour the whole Spanish 

' Elkan N, Adler, in Jewish Quarterly Review, April, 1901, p. 392. 

^ P. Angel Tineo Heredia, Los Judios en Espaila, pp. 44, 48 (Madrid, 1881). 



We have seen that, in the progress of the Reconquest, as Moor- 
ish territories were successively won, the inhabitants were largely 
allowed to remain, under guarantees for the free enjoyment of 
their religion and customs. These Mudejares, 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 Mudejares of Tudela a 
remission of half their taxes for three years, in reward of their 
assistance during his w^ars, especially in fortification and engineer- 
ing, it shows that the conquering race depended on them not 
merely for manual labor but for the higher branches of applied 
knowledge.- As a rule they were faithful in peace and war, dur- 
ing 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 intoler- 
ance of the fifteenth century and, in the massacres that occurred, 
there appears to have been no hostility manifested against the 
Mudejares. When Alfonso de Borja, Archbishop of Valencia 
(afterwards Calixtus III), supported by Cardinal Juan de Tor- 
quemada, urged their expulsion on Juan II of Aragon, although 
he appointed a term for their exile, he reconsidered the matter 
and left them undisturbed.^ So when, in 1480, Isabella ordered 
the expulsion from Andalusia of all Jews who refused baptism and 

^ The long-drawn tragedy of the Moriscos can only be outlined within the 
compass of a chapter and I must refer the reader, who desires greater detail, to 
my "Moriscos of Spain, their Conversion and Expulsion" (Philadelphia 1901). 
Since that volume was issued Padre Pascual Boronat y Barrachina has published 
two octavo volumes on the subject — " Los Moriscos espanoles y su Expulsion" 
(Valencia, 1901) in which his industry has accumulated a very copious mass of 
original documents; of these I have here freely availed myself. 

^ Yanguas y Miranda, Diccionario de Antigiiedades del Reino de Navarra 
II, 433 (Pamplona, 1840). 

2 Fray Jayme Bleda, Coronica de los Moros, p. 877 (Valencia, 161S). 

( 317 ) 


when, in 1486, Ferdinand did the game in Aragon, they both 
respected the old capitulations and left the Mudejares alone.^ 
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. Rehgion, property, freedom 
to trade, laws and customs w^re 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 trans- 
ported to Barbary at the royal expense, and refugees in Barbary 
were allowed to return. When, after the execution of this agree- 
ment, 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 observ- 
ances as heretofore, while those who desired to emigrate to 
Barbary could sell their property and depart.^ 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 Alpu- 
j arras, few were left save laborers and officials. The emigration 

' Pulgar, Cronica de los Reyes Catolicas, ii, Ixxvii. — Archive gen. de la C. 
de Aragon, Regist. 3684, fol. 96.— Padre Fidel Fita (Boletin, XV, 323-5, 327, 
328, 330; XXIII, 431). 

^ Ferndndez y Gonzdlez, p. 421. — Coleccion de Documentos, VIII, 411. — 
Mannol Carvajal, Rebelion y Castigo de los IMoriscos de Granada, pp. 146-50 
(Biblioteca de Autores espanoles, Tom. XXI). 


continued and, in 1498, a letter of Ferdinand indicates that he was 
inclined to stimulate it/ A\'hile 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 accom- 
panied with a readiness to increase the number of Mudejares, 
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 bap- 
tism, 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.^ 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 statesmanship. 

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," Gonzalez de Mendoza, Cardinal-archbishop 
of Toledo, and other prelates at the court urged upon the sover- 
eigns 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.^ 
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 

1 Coleccion de Documentos, XI, 569; XIV, 496.— Janer, Condicion social de 
los Moriscos, p. 127. 

^ Printed in Appendix to the author's "Moriscos," p. 403. 

3 Marmol Carvajal, p. 153. — Salazar de Mendoza, Cronica del gran Cardenal 
de Espana, p. 251 (Toledo, 1625). 


many converts and there was a flattering prospect that his apostolic 
methods would bring the mass of the population into the fold.^ 
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 alfa- 
quies, 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 
alfaqufes to surrender all their religious books, of which five 
thousand — many of them priceless specimens of art — were pub- 
licly burnt. The situation was becoming strained; the Moors 
were restive under the disregard of their guarantees, and Ximenes 
grew more and more impetuous. R,upture, 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 procm'ed 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 capitula- 
tions. A crowd collected and from words soon came to blows; 
the alguazil was slain with a paving-stone, and his com- 
panion 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 

' Marmol Carvajol, p. 152. — Pedraza, Hist, eccles. de Granada, fol. 174, 186-7. 


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 prom- 
ised 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 sm-rendered, 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 prop- 
erty by rebellion, so that pardon should be conditioned on accept- 
ing 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/ 

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 

^ Gomesii de Rebus gestis a Francisco Ximenio, Lib. iv, fol. 65; Lib. v, fol. 12S', 
Lib. VII, fol. 219. 

VOL. Ill 21 


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.^ 

Although no outbreak occurred during this forcible missionary 
work, the discontent which it excited was threatening, and Ferdi- 
nand returned to Granada where he made no secret of his displeas- 
ure 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 Alpuj arras 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.^ 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 Alpuj arras were pacified and the army was dis- 
banded, January 14, 1501.^ 

^ The principal authority for all this is Marmol Carvajal (Rcbelion y Castigo, 
pp. 153-6), but there are also accounts by Gomez (De Rebus gestis, Lib. ir, fol. 
30-33) ; Zurita (Hist, del Rey Hernando, Lib. iii, cap. xliv) ; Galindez de Carvajal 
(Coleccion de Docum. XVIII, 296) ; Bernaldez (Hist, de los Reyes Catholicos, p. 
145); Pedraza (Hist, ecles. de Granada, fol. 193, 196). 

^ Clemencin, Elogio de la Reina Isabel, pp. 291-3 (Madrid, 1821). — Archive 
de Simancas, Patronato Real, Inq., Leg. unico, fol. 26. 

^ Zurita, Galindez de Carvajal, Marmol Carvajal, Bernaldez, ubi sup. 


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, diu-ing 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 in- 
corporation 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.^^ 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 Inqui- 
sition, in order that they might have full time to acquire knowledge 
of their new faith.^ 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 

* Nueva Recop. Lib. viir, Tit. ii, ley 8. 

^ When, or on what terms, this exemption was granted to the Moriscos of 
Granada I have been unable to ascertain, but it is referred to repeatedly in sub- 
sequent documents as a matter of common knowledge. 

324 MOBISCOS [Book VIIl 

Something might be urged in palhation of this forcible prop- 
aganda 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 Mudejares of Castile were loyal and 
contented subjects, hving 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 Isa- 
bella 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 
secm-ed among the scattered and peaceful Mudejares, without 
encountering the risk attending the attempt among the mountain- 
eers of the Alpuj arras, while subsequently the Inquisition could 
be depended upon for what might be lacking in religious con- 
viction. 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 Mudejares must adopt 
Christianity and, when the corregidor of Cordova replied that 
force would be necessary, the sovereigns rephed, 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.^ 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. 

* Boronat, Los Moriscos espanoles, I, 113. 



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 pragmatica 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 fom'teen 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 confis- 
cation, and any one harboring them after April w^as 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.^ 

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 Chris- 
tians.^ During the brief interval allowed, there was some pretence 
of preaching and instruction and, as it neared its end, the Mude- 
jares were baptized in masses. A report from Avila, April 24th, 
to the sovereigns, says that the whole aljama, consisting of two 

» Nueva Recop., Lib. viii, Tit. ii, ley 4.— Cf. Femdndez y Gonzdlez. p. 219. 

2 Galindez de Carvajal (Col. de Documentos, XVIII, 301-4). Zurita, while 
quoting Carvajal, disputes this, but admits that the conversion was not volun- 
tary. — Hist, del Rey Hernando, Lib. iv, cap. 54, 


thousand souls, will be converted and none will depart/ 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.^ 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 Moriscos. 

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 hke 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 alter- 
native was the slow and laborious process of chsarmingthe preju- 
dices already aroused, and winning over the reluctant convert 
by gentleness and persuasion, by kindly instruction and demon- 
stration 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 per- 
sistence enough to put themselves in the wrong and deprive of 

1 Col. de Documentos, XXXVI, 447. 

^ Bravo, Catdlogo de los Obispos de Cordova, I, 411 (Cordova, 1788). 


justification the concurrent employment of tlie 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 com- 
petent 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 rudi- 
ments of the faith, and avoidance of Judaic and Mahometan 
rites.^ Presumably this accomplished little and, in 1510, Ferdi- 
nand addressed all his prelates, pointing out the neglect of Chris- 
tian 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.^ 
The council of Seville, in 1512, responded to this by caUing atten- 
tion 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.^ 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 w^ho, through insufficient instruction, had 
been led to commit many heretical crimes; he had ordered their 

^ Gomesii de Rebus gestis Lib. iii, fol. 77. 

^ Danvila y Collado, Expulsion, p. 74. 

3 ConcU. Hispalens., ann. 1512, Cap. 2 (Aguirre, V, 363). 


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 abjm'ation, so that, in case of 
relapse, they could escape relaxation/ 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 chsposed to check inqmsitorial 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.^ 
This was superfluous for, as the stock of Judaizers became reduced, 
Moriscos supphed their place, and the Inquisition required curb- 
ing 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 reheved them from confis- 
cation and the sanbenito but did not protect from relapse or 
exempt from denunciation of accomplices.^ 

There was little practical relief to be expected from such meas- 
ures, 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 spir- 
itual 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 attract- 
ive 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 Man- 
rique, 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 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 3, fol. 72. 
2 Mariana, Hist, de Espaiia, Ed. 1796, Tom. IX, Append, p. Ivi. 
' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 4, fol. 97; Lib. 9, fol. 2, 13, 29; Lib. 940 fol. 
69, 131, 185. 


Cardinal Adrian had issued many provisions in their favor, order- 
ing 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 scan- 
daHzed 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 con- 
sulted. All who were held for matters not plainly heretical were 
to have speedy justice, tempered with such clemency as conscience 
might permit.^ 

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 admit- 
ting 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 fm-ther 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 zamhras and leilas, or songs and dances 
used at merry-makings and nuptials, and even cleanliness, were 
gravely adduced as evidences of apostasy.^ 

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 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 89. — Danvila y Collado, p. 98. 

2 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I.— Bibl. nacional, MSS., D, 
111, fol. 127; PV, 3, n. 20. — Procesos contra Man Serrana, Mari Naranja, Mari 
Gomez la Sazeda (MSS. penes me). 

330 MOEISaOS [Book VIII 

seen or heard of such things was required under pain of excom- 
munication 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 fuh confession, but this did not render the position of 
the Morisco less intolerable, and constraint and anxiety contrib- 
uted largely to intensify his detestation of the religion which he 
knew only as the cause of persecution. Bishop Perez of Segorbe, 
in 1595, when enumerating fifteen impediments to the conver- 
sion of the Moriscos, included their fear of the Inquisition and 
its punishments which made them hate Christianity.^ 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 con- 
fessional 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 hearts.^ 

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 Yahes, 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 Yafies 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 dis- 
agreed 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.^ More shocking was a case in which Maria Paez, daugh- 
ter of Diego Paez Limpati of Almagro, figured, for she accused 
all her kindred and friends. Her father was burnt in 1606, as 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 205, fol. 3. 

^ Bleda, Coronica, p. 905. 

3 MSS. penes me.— MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 

Chap. II] GRANADA 33I 

an impenitent negative ; 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 Moris- 
cos 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/ The old Mudejares 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 charac- 
teristic 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 Chm'ch, 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 ecclesias- 

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 Lopez 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 

1 MSS. of Library of Univ. of Halle, Yc, 20, T. I. 
^ Pedraza, Hist, ecles. de Granada, fol. 23G-8. 


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/ This shows the spirit in which the commission per- 
formed 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 echct 
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 rigor- 
ously enforced, although for some years fines were substituted 
for confiscation and time was allowed in which the penitents could 
earn them.^ 

This was supplemented with a series of most vexatious regula- 
tions, 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 estab- 
lished at Granada, Guadix and Almeria: no Moorish names were 
to be used and Moriscos were not to keep gacis or unbaptized Moors, 
whether free or slave.^ 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 

^ Sandoval, Hist, de Carlos V, Lib. xiv, cap. 18. — Guevara, Epistolas famil- 
iares p. 543. 

^ Sandoval, uhi sup. — Dormer, Anales de Aragon, Lib. ii, cap. vii. — Archivo de 
Simancas, Lib. 926, fol. 80. 

' Dormer, ubi sup. — Bleda, Coronica, p. 566. — Marmol Carvajal, p. 158. — 
Nueva Recop., Lib. viii, Tit. ii, leyes 13, 15, 17. 

Chap. II] GBANADA 333 

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/ 

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 Mahometaniam, and one of these was in 
effigy.' Still it provoked disquiet and, in 1532, Captain-general 
Mondejar 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 Inquis- 
itor-general Valdes, in 1558, during his disfavor at court, seems 
to have taken a hand in these negotiations, for we find him prom- 
ising a suhsidio of a hundred thousand ducats from the Moriscos 
of Granada.^ 

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.^ 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.^ 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 

* Dormer, Bleda, Marmol Carvajal, loc. cit. — Relazioni Venete, Serie I, Tom. 
V, p. 37. 

^ Rule, History of the Inquisition, I, 172 (London, 1874). , 

3 Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 80-2, 8G-7.— Gachard, Retraite et 
Mort de Charles-quint, II, 356. 

* Mendoza, Guerra de Granada, p. 71 (Bibl. de Autores espanoles, T. XXI). 
^ Danvila y CoUado, Expulsion, p. 172. 


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 monfies, or outlaws, and com- 
mitting outrages, while the measures taken for their suppression 
only increased the disorder.^ 

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 Ros- 
sano, to the same purport. Guerrero, on reaching home, assem- 
bled a provincial council in 1565, in wdiich 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 fomid who were really Christians by prohibiting the 
things through which their rites were kept from view.^ 

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 

1 Marmol Carvajal, p. 160.— Cabrera, Felipe Segundo, pp. 293, 429 (Madrid, 
1619). — Memoria de Mondejar, pp. 14-16 (Morel-Fatio, L'Espagne an xvie et 
xviie Siecle). — Mendoza, p. 71. — Pedraza, fol. 239. 

2 Cabrera, p. 393.— Pedraza, fol. 238. 

Chap. II] GRANADA 335 

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 

A pragmatica was speedily framed, embodying the most irri- 
tating 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 
Mondejar, 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 fm-nished 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 Coimcil of A\ar supported 
him, he was given only three hundred men to guard the coast, 
where he was ordered to reside dming certain months and to 
visit frecjuently.^ 

Deza reached Granada, May 25, 1566, where he at once assem- 
bled his court and had the pragmatica printed to be in readiness 
for pubhcation on January 1, 1567, the anniversary of the sur- 
render 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 

1 Cabrera, pp. 394, 466.— Pedraza, fol. 238-9. 

2 Memoria de Mondejar (Morel-Fatio, p. 17).— Marmol Cai^^ajal, p. 167.— 
Cabrera, p. 465.— Pedraza, fol. 239. 


baths, public and private, were to be destroyed, and no one in 
future was to use them/ 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 excite- 
ment. 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 Albay- 
cin, 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 rebelhon, 
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 Alcantara 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.^ 

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 remon- 
strate with Deza, who gave assurances that their children were 
not to be taken from them, but that the king was resolved to save 

* Marmol Carvajal, pp. 161-2. — Pedraza, fol. 239. 

This prohibition of bathing, even by Christians, is a curious illustration of the 
civilization of the period. It had degenerated since the Fuero of Teruel, granted 
in 1176, by Alfonso II of Aragon, which prescribed that the public bath should 
be used by men on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, by women on Mondays 
and Wednesdays, and by Jews and Moors on Fridays. On Sundays the bath 
was closed and no water was heated. — Forum Turolii: Transcripcion de Fran- 
cisco Aznar y Navarro, p. 142 (Zaragoza, 1905). 

^ Marmol Carvajal, pp. 166, 168. — Cabrera, p. 465. — Pedraza, fol. 240. 

Chap. II] GRANADA 337 

their souls and enforce the pragmatica.^ The naked alternative 
was before them of submission or rebellion. 

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 oppor- 
tunity 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.^ 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 mon- 
archy that the hopes of the insurgents as to external aid were 

^ Marmol Carvajal, p. 167. — Pedraza, fol. 241. 

^ Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. V, p. 145. 

The Cortes of 1570 petitioned Philip to repeal the prohibition of using arque- 
buses in the chase, pointing out that the war in Granada had shown the scarcity 
of the weapon in Spain and the lack of men that could use it. They also 
referred to the difficulty experienced in arming the levies and suggested that the 
cities and towns should be permitted to provide armories at their own cost under 
such restrictions as the king might prescribe. To these petitions the royal 
replies were equivocal. It is all liighly significant of the suspicions entertained 
by the monarch as to the loyalty of his subjects. — Cortes de Cordova del ano 
de setenta, fol. 6, 12 (Alcala, 1575). 

VOL. Ill 22 


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 

Arrangements were made for a rising on Holy Thursday (April 
18, 1568), but the secret was betrayed and the design was post- 
poned. 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. 
Mondejar 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; Mondejar's 
agreements for the submission of the insurgents were set aside; 
Philip sent his half-brother, Don John of Austria, then an inex- 
perienced 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 
opera houffe 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. 

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 Cortes 
of 1570 complained bitterly of the rapine and excesses of the troops 
on their way to the scene of action.^ Hostilities were prolonged 
until the opening months of 1571 and, when resistance was finally 
suppressed, Spain was well-nigh exhausted. The pacification 

^ Cortes de Cordova del ano de setenta, fol. 13 (Alcala, 1575). 



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.^ At his earnest soli- 
citation 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 hm-ried 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 industry.' 

This policy was carried out everywhere, as one district after 
another was reduced. Final instructions from Phihp to Don 
John, October 25, 1570, ordered the deportation of all and desig- 
nated 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 Gomez, 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 

^ Depeches de M. de Fourquevaux, I, 354 (Paris, 1S96). 
2 Mamiol Carvajal, p. 277.— Mendoza, p. 92. 


districts, where the undisciplined soldiery, entrusted with the 
task, converted it into pillage, massacre and the enslavement of 
the women and children/ 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 measur- 
ably accomplished. In an auto de fe celebrated there, in 1593, 
there appeared eighty-one delinquents convicted of Judaism and 
only one charged with Mahometanism.^ 

The sufferings of the exiles did not end with deportation. 
Leonardo Donato, 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.^ Their distribution 
was entrusted to a special Concejo de Pohlaciones, 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 per- 
petual 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 prag- 
matica 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, 
fro a second double, for a third a hundred lashes and four years 
of galleys.^ The severity of this latter provision shocked even 
the town-council of Cordova, 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.^ 

In spite of these restrictions on exiles suddenly cast adrift, 
penniless in strange places, their indomitable industry and thrift 

» Marmol Carvajal, pp. 341, 364.— Col. de Documentos, XXVIII, 156. 

2 Bibl. nacional, MSS., G. 50, fol. 240. 

3 Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. VI, p. 407. 
* Nueva Recop., Lib. viii, Tit. ii, ley 22. 

^ Janer, p. 256. 


soon carved out careers which aroused the envious hostility of the 
indolent populations among whom they were thrown. Cervantes, 
in his CoUoquio 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/ Already, in 1573, the Cortes took the 
alarm and petitioned Philip that they should not be allowed to 
act as architects or builders, or to hold pubHc office or judicial 
positions.^ 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 secu- 
rity in place of giving bondsmen; that there were individuals 
worth more than a hundred thousand ducats in Pastrana, Guada- 
lajara, 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.^ This jealousy found 
official utterance in the Cortes 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 magis- 
trates to enforce rigidly the restrictive legislation of 1572." This 
effected nothing for, in 1595, the Venetian envoy describes them 

1 Obras de Cer\-antes, p. 242 (Ed. Ribadeneyra). 

2 Cortes de Madrid del auo de setenta y tres, Peticion 9G (AlcaM, 1575). 

3 Janer, p. 272.— Boronat, I, 626. 

* Janer, p. 270.— Bleda, Coronica, p. 905.— Nueva Recop., Lib. viii, Tit. ii, 

ley 24. 


as constantly increasing in numbers and wealth, as they never 
went to the wars and devoted themselves exclusively to trade.^ 
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. ^ The envious prejudices which thus found expres- 
sion 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 hved 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 l^ribery 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 Lopez 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 expulsion.^ 

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 

^ Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. V, p. 451. 

^ Ximenez, Vida de Ribera, p. 379. 

' Janer, p. 272. — Boronat, I, 318. — Bleda, Cor6nica, p. 921. — Guadalajara 
y Xavierr, Expulsion de los Moriscos, fol. 122-3 (Pamplona, 1613). — Cabrera, 
Relaciones, p. 355. 



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/ 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 Cortes 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 
occiirrences in Castile, the Cortes of Barcelona, in 1503, represented 
the destruction which it would cause and obtained a repetition of 
the pledge." At the Cortes 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.^ Under these guarantees, both the Moors 
and their lords might well imagine themselves secure. 

As we have seen, the jmisdiction 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 pre- 
vent the wearing of Moorish costume and sent officials to Serra 
to arrest some women for disobedience. They were not recog- 
nized and were maltreated, while the women were conveyed away. 
We have seen how the tribunal arbitrarily avenged itself by arrest- 
ing all residents of Serra who chanced to come to Valencia and 
that, when appeal was made to Ferdinand, he expressed his dis- 
pleasure 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 harsh- 

^ Sandoval, Lib. xii, § xx\dii. 

^ Dan Vila y CoUado, pp. 75, 76.— Constitutions y altres Drets de Cathalunya, 
p. 34 (Barcelona, 1688). 

2 Femdndez y Gonzdlez, p. 441.— Bleda, Coronica, p. 641; Ejusd. Defeusio 
Fidei, p. 156. 


ness of the tribunal. He showed the same disposition towards 
the Moorish aljama of Fraga, which was concerned in the con- 
fiscation 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 

After the enforced conversion of the CastiHan Moors, the tri- 
bunal 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 inquis- 
itors 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 con- 
fession is heartfelt, nor should any one be imprisoned for simply 
telHng others not to turn Christian. In future, no Moor was to 
be baptized unless he appHed for it; any who were imprisoned for 
counselhng 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 wdthout 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.^ 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.^ Ferdinand understood his 
Aragonese subjects and had learned when to respect their fueros. 

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 alfaqui, named Jacob Tellez, was 
baptized and brought several al jamas to embrace Christianity, 
when Ferdinand to aid him granted him licence to travel every- 
where and to have entrance into all al jamas, whose members were 
required to assemble and listen to him.* The Moors of Caspe 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 1. 
2 Ibidem, Lib. 926, fol. 76. 
» Ibidem, Lib. 3, fol. 132. 
* Ibidem, Lib. 3, fol. 245. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 345 

sought baptism in 1499 ; in the district of Teruel and Albarracin, 
in 1493, a mosque was converted into the chmxh of the Trinity 
and, in 1502, the whole population embraced Christianity/ 
Wholesale conversions such as these were apt to furnish back- 
sliders and, when the Inquisition undertook to punish those of 
Teruel and Albarracin, Charles V interposed, in 1519; he under- 
stood, 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? 

Valencia, which had the largest and densest Moorish population, 
was also the scene of considerable proselyting and of vigorous 
inquisitorial action. An influential alfaqui, named Abdallah, 
was converted, took orders as a priest, under the title of Maestro 
Mossen Andres, and devoted himself to winning over his brethren. 
He wrote a work controverting the Koran chapter by chapter, 
which was printed and circulated.^ The little town of Manices 
must have been converted almost in mass, for we happen to have 
a sentence uttered in the chvuch there, by the inquisitors of Valen- 
cia, April 8, 1519, on two hundred and thirty Moriscos, then pres- 
ent, who had come in under an Edict of Grace, confessing and 
abjuring the errors into which they had relapsed. They were 
received to reconciUation, 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 Hst 
of these penitents, no less than thirty-two women are described 
as the wives or daughters of men who had been bui'nt,^ It is 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 1.— Miifioz, Diario Turolense, ann. 1502 
(Boletin, 1895, p. 10). 

2 Ibidem, Lib. 14, fol. 80; Lib. 940, fol. 69, 131, 185. 

3 This work was subsequently prohibited. Nevertheless Salvatierra, Bishop 
of Segorbe, in 1587 asked Philip II to permit its reprinting for the benefit of 
priests laboring among the Moriscos.— Boronat, I, 614. 

* Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 98. 

In the Appendix will be found a table of all the cases of heresy tried by the 
Valencia tribunal from 1455 to 1592. In the fifteenth century the culprits must 
have been almost exclusively Judaizers. Then in time Moriscos were mingled 
with them, but the blanks in the fifth, sixth and seventh decades, during which 
the Moriscos, as we shall see, were exempted from the Inquisition, show that 


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 Mudejares 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. 

The missionary work thus impeded received an unlooked for 
impulse from the insurrection known as the Germania or Brother- 
hood, 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 repre- 
sentative. 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 Gandia, July 25. To cripple 
the nobles, the leaders of the Germania conceived the idea of 
baptizing by force the Moors, thus giving them the status of 
Christians and releasing them from vassalage.^ Urgelles, the 
chief captain, mortally wounded at. the siege of Jativa, 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 Gandia, 
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; 

Judaizers had virtually disappeared, except those punished in 1544, 1545 and 
1546, for retraction of confession (See Vol. II, p. 584). 

There is also an imperfect table of the cases of relaxation. An examination 
of these tables will show the varying activity of the Inquisition of the period. 

' Danvila y CoUado, La Germania de Valencia, pp. 146, 471. — Pet. Mart. 
Angler. Lib. xxxiii, Epp. 659-61. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 347 

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 grad- 
ually subsiding and how its extinction might have been hopefully 
anticipated if matters had been allowed to develop naturally/ 

Attempts were also made to convert the mosques into churches. 
In a few places they were consecrated; in some others only a 
paper pictm-e 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 w^eeks, 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.^ 

The suppression of the Germania, in 1522, enabled the Inqui- 
sition to commence action against those who had been brought 
under its jurisdiction by baptism. Inquisitor Churrucca of Val- 
encia 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 individ- 
uals. 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 docu- 
ments show that he was partially successful, and that he was 
prosecuting those whom he could prove to be apostates, but there 
was no cUsposition to treat them harshly. It would appear, indeed, 

^ MS. Informacio super Conversione Sarracenoruin. — I possess the original 

^ MS. Infomiacio. — Danvila y CoUado, Germania, p. 184. 


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/ 

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 Germania had occupied 
but a portion of the territory, and even there the work had been 
partial, and so irregularly executed that identification was impos- 
sible save in isolated cases. As soon as the pressure was removed 
all had reverted to their pristine behef , 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 concecUng that their rights should not be affected, 
and that converts should not be permitted to change their domi- 
cile.^ Missionaries were therefore sent to try the effect of persua- 
sion, 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 al jamas, 
preach in the Morerias and baptize in the houses.^ 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 jm*isdiction 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. 

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 bap- 
tism was indelible and the baptized must be forced to remain in 
the Church, a principle which became emboched 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 abso- 
lute, took care to define that the fear of death was not such 

* MS. Informacio. — Danvila, Germania, pp. 473, 474. — Archive hist, nacional, 
Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 299, fol. 400. — Loazes, Tractatus super nova paganorum 
Regni Valentise Conversione, col. 12 (Valentiae, 1525) 

' Danvila y Collado, Germania, p. 489. 

^ Guevara, Epistolas familiares, pp. 639-42. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 349 

coercion/ 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 w^re baptized wdiile uttering protests, the 
rite would be invalid.^ Such was the received practice of the 
Church, although a few schoolmen of high repute denied the 
validity of the sacrament mider coercion, rather as an academi- 
cal question, for the Church assmnes consent and compels the 
so-called convert to the observance of the faith imposed on him.^ 
It was inevitable that the converts of the Germania were to be 
held to their responsibilities as Christians. Charles V had already 
resolved on his poUcy and had apphed to Clement VII to be 
released from his oath not to impose Christianity on the Moors, 
but the proceedings of Inquisitor ChvuTucca were exciting murmurs, 
and a decent show of preHminary 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 suflnciently 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.* 
That this was merely to save appearances is evident from the fact 

> Cap. 13 in Sexto, Lib. v, Tit. ii. 

^ Hostiensis Aurese SummiE Lib. iii, de Baptismo § 11; Lib. v, de Judseis § 5.— 
S. Th. Aquinat. Summse P. iii, Q. Ixviii, Art, 8 ad 4; Q. Ixix, Art. 9 ad 1.— S. 
Bonaventura in IV Sentt. Dist. iv, P. 1, art. 2, Q. 1.— S. Antoninse Summse 
P. II, Tit. xii, Cap. 2, § 1.— Summa Sylvestrina s. v. Baptismus iv, § 10. 

3 Albertus Magnus in IV" Sentt., Dist. vi. Art. 10.— Duns Scotus in IV Sentt. 
Dist. IV, Q. 4, 5.— Summa Angelica s. v. Baptismus vi, §§6, 12. 

The facility with which, in this matter, the Church adapted its theories to 
accomplished facts is well exhibited by Cardinal Toletus (Summse Casuum Con- 
scientia; Lib. ii, cap. xxi). After explaining that, in adult baptism, three pre- 
requisites are necessary-— intention, faith and sorrow for sins committed— he 
proceeds "Hsc autem non eodem modo sunt necessaria. Intentio namque 
ita est necessaria ut si desit actualis vel virtualis, non sit baptismus. Unde 
fit ut qui renuens invitus baptizatur, non sit vere baptizatus; si tamen interius 
consensit, quamvis metu et vi, tunc baptizatus est et recepit characterem, sed 
non gratiam; cogendusque est ut maneat in fide Christiana." Thus the coerced 
convert was burdened with the responsibilities of baptism while denied its spir- 
itual benefits. 

* Archive de Simancas, Inq., Sala 40, Lib. 4, fol. 97. 


that, when Charles, on February 11th, gave orders for the assem- 
bhng 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/ Nine days later, 
Manrique issued a commission to Churrucca and his assessor 
Andres Palacio to make a complete investigation into all the cir- 
cumstances of the conversion and backsHding 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 Sanchez 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.^ 

The investigation lasted only from November 4th to the 24th, 
as the commission moved from place to place, in the little cUstrict 
between Alcira and Denia. A hundred and twenty-eight wit- 
nesses 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 vio- 
lence 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 Cathohc 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 unbelievers.^ 

It was an imposing assemblage to which the report was sub- 
mitted, 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. 

* Danvila y CoUado, Expulsion, p. 88. 

^ MS. Informacio. 

3 Loazes, Tractatus, col. 1, 17, 45, 60-1, 62. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 35^ 

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 
measm-es to be taken for its enforcement. In pursuance of this 
a royal cedula on April 4th, after reciting the care bestowed on 
the question, and the mianimous 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.^ 

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 Caspar de Avalos, Bishop of 
Guadix, at its head, and a retinue of counsellors and familiars. 
On May 10th they arrived at Valencia and, on Simday the 14th, 
the bishop in a sermon ordered the publication of the royal cedula, 
with an edict granting thirty days within which apostates could 
retiu-n with security for life and property, after which they would 
forfeit both." 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.^ 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 appHed to 
him for a remedy; the multitude of delinquents called for gentle- 
ness and clemency, wherefore they were to be prosecuted with a 

^ Sandoval, Lib. xiii, § xxviii. — Sayas, Anales de Aragon, cap. cxxvii. — 
Danvila y Collado, Expulsion, pp. 90-1. 

^ Sandoval, Sayas, loc. cit. — Bleda, Coronica, p. 647. 

' Fonseca, Giusto Scacciamento, p. 11 (Roma, 1611). — Bleda, loc. cit. — Ejusd. 
Defensio Fidei, p. 123. 


benignant asperity ; those who should return to the hght of truth, 
pubhcly abjure their errors and swear never to relapse, could be 
absolved without incurring the customary infamy and disabilities.^ 

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 commis- 
sion, 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 Alfa- 
quies, 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.^ 

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,^ We have seen that, in preparation for this, 
he had, near the end of 1523 or in the early part of 1524, apphed 
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.^ The 
persistence of the ambassador, the Duke of Sesa, however pre- 
vailed over Clement's scruples and the brief was issued. May 12, 
1524, though for a time it was kept secret. 

It commenced by reciting the papal grief on learning that, in 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 47. — Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, 
Lib. II, fol. 58. 

^ Sandoval, loc. cit. — Sayas, loc. cit. — Danvila y Collado, pp. 92-3. — Boronat, 
I, 141. 

^ Sayas, loc. cit. 

* Llorente, Anales, II, 287. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 353 

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 concUtion that the lords should supply 
the churches with what was requisite for divine service, while 
the revenues of the mosques should provide endowments for bene- 
fices. The fateful brief concluded by formally releasing Charles 
from his oath of 1518, absolving him from all penalties and cen- 
sures for perjury, and granting him w^hatever dispensation was 
necessary for the due execution of the foregoing, and it further 
conferred on the inqmsitors ample faculties to suppress opposition, 
notwithstanding all apostohcal constitutions and all laws of the 

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, inform- 
ing 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 com- 
missioners in procuring the conversion and instruction of their 
vassals. Accompanjang 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 Hberties of Christians and good treatment; if they 
refused, he would find other means. The next day a proclama- 
tion was addressed to the Moors, emphatically repeating these 
threats and promises, and forbidding any interference with con- 
version or insults to converts, under penalty of five thousand 

' Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 927, fol. 285.— Bledse Defensio Fidei, pp. 

VOL. in 23 


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.^ 

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 al jamas deputed 
twelve alfaquies to supphcate 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 accomphshed nothing, eventually, as we shall see, they 
secured a ConcorcUa which, as usual, was granted only to be 

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 eccle- 
siastical, that it invalidated all the fueros, privileges and consti- 
tutions to which he had sworn ; that he had instructed the Inqui- 
sition to enforce it, and that the local magistrates, under pain of 
ten thousand florins, must execute whatever the inquisitors might 
decree,^ 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 con- 
version, but similarly the obstacles thrown in the way of expa- 
triation 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 Corufia, where 
they were to embark, under pain of confiscation and slavery, while 

* Danvila y Collado, pp. 94-8. — Fernandez y Gonzdlez, p. 443. — Sayas, cap. 

^ Sayas, loc. cit. — Danvila, pp. 97-8. 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 927, fol. 285.— Boronat, I, 403. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 355 

the nobles were threatened with a fine of five thousand ducats 
for each one whom they might retain. At the same time was 
pubhshed a papal brief ordering, under pain of excommunication, 
all Christians to aid in enforcing the imperial decrees, and all 
Moors to hsten 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.^ 

When the alfaquies 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 subse- 
quently asserted that this wholesale conversion was accomplished 
by corrajing 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 alfaquies assured them that deceit was permissible, and that 
they need not believe the religion which they were compelled to 
profess.^ Many hid themselves; some took refuge in Benaguacil 

1 Sayas, cap. cxxvii.— Llorente, Anales, II, 296.— Danvila, p. 99. 

Boronat asserts (I, 157) that the greater part of the A'alencian Moors embarked 
at Comna, while large numbers, from the rest of Spain, went to France by way 
of Biscay, but he cites no authority and the documents and contemporary 
writers are silent as to any such exodus, while statistics and the course of events 
show that, except those who escaped to Barbarj^ practically the whole Moorish 
population was retained. 

■" Guevara, Epistolas famihares, p. 543.— Archive de Simancas, Inq. dc Valencia, 

Leg. 205, fol. 3. 

Bleda (Defensio Fidei, p. 125) says that Guevara exaggerates and that in 1573 
there were in Valencia only 19,801 Morisco families. 

It is not easv to determine the Morisco population of Valencia. A detailed 
list of the whole kingdom, dated 1520 (but which Padre Boronat thinks was 
corrected up to 1550) gives a total of 52,689 hearths of Old Christians and 31,815 
of New Christians. In 1582 Ximenez de Reinosso, Valencian Inquisitor, esti- 
mated the Morisco population at from 19,000 to 20,000 families. About 1601, 
Fehciano de Figueroa, Bishop of Segorbe, assumed that there were 460 Morisco 
settlements, comprising 28,000 hearths and 120,000 souls in aU.— Boronat, I, 
428-42, 596; II, 431. 


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 escap- 
ing to Africa. Thus was Valencia converted and pacified; the 
Moriscos, we as may now call them, were disarmed, the pulpits of 
their alfaquies 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 antl never executed.^ 
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 inter- 
course 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.^ 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 expul- 

' Sandoval, Lib. xiii, § xxix. — Dormer, Lib. ii, cap. viii, ix. — Bleda, Coronica, 
p. 649. 
^ Sayas, cap. cxxx. — Dormer, Lib, ii, cap. i. 



sioii 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 baptism.^ 

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.^ 
Possibly this may explain the absence of trials for heresy by the 
Valencia tribimal 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 mitil 1528. 

This Concordia was the result of the labors of the alfaquies 
sent to the com't in 1525. It was granted with the consent of 
Inquisitor-general Manrique ; it was solemnly confirmed by Charles 
in the Cortes of Monzon, in 1528, when it w^as declared to compre- 
hend 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 provi- 
sions 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 w^ar 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. Dis- 
pensations 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 

' Sandoval, Lib. xiii, § xxviii. — Dormer, loc. cit. 
^ Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 108. 


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 hke other Christians, but without 
prejudice to third parties. There was also permission to continue 
as corporations the old Morerias in royal territory. All this Charles 
guaranteed for himself and for Prince Phihp, 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.^ 

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.^ 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 hopetl that God 
might lay his hands upon them, so that all would eventuate well.^ 
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 presumaljly were Moriscos. Saragossa was somewhat 
milder for, in 1530, it reported that in the last auto it had recon- 
ciled 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." Thus the Inquisition went imperturbably on its 
way and, when the Cortes 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 

1 Boronat, I, 423-8. 

2 Ibidem, I, 162-5. 

^ Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 70, fol. 183. 
* Ibidem, fol. 312. 



abuse to prosecute them as heretics, Cardinal Manrique unct- 
uously repUed 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/ 

Even more defiantly self-willed was the conduct of the Inqui- 
sition 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 con- 
fiscating 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, allocUal 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 Cortes of 
Orihuela demanded its observance, to which Ferdinand assented. 
Still the Inquisition persisted and he agreed to the demands of 
the Cortes of 1510, that he should compound for all lands thus 
illegally obtained. This was ecpally fruitless and, in 1533, the 
Cortes 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 con- 
fiscation and, please God, with the efTorts on foot for the instruc- 
tion 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.^ 

Charles, in fact, the next year, at Saragossa, issued a pragma- 
tica 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 Cortes complained to the 
inquisitor-general that, in lieu of confiscation, the Saragossa tri- 

> Archive de Simancas, Patronato Real, Inq., Leg. unico, fol. 38, 39. 

^ Col. de Documentos, XVIII, 106-13.— Archive de Simancas, loc. cit., fol. 37. 


bunal imposed fines greater than the wealth of the penitents who, 
to meet them, were obhged 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/ 

In Valencia the contest was more prolonged. The Cortes 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 confiscat- 
ing and, in 1542, under urgent complaints by the Cortes, 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 vir- 
tually suspended it, he decreed that for ten years, and during the 
pleasure of the Holy See, there should be neither fines nor confis- 
cation in the case of Moriscos.^ 

Royal and papal utterances were alike in vain. In 1547, the 
Cortes 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.^ 

At length a compromise was reached. In 1537 the Cortes had 
suggested a payment to the Inquisition of four hundred ducats 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 939, fol. 9; Lib. 922, fol. 15. 

' Ibidem, Inquisicion, Lib. 78, fol. 192; Patronato Real, Inq.,Leg. unico, fol. 
37, 38.— Col. de Documentos, XVIII, 114, 116.— Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, 
Lib. HI, fol. 33. 

3 Col. de Documentos, XVIII, 119-24.— Bleda? Defensio Fidei, pp. 333-6.— 
Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 16, fol. 187. 

Chap II] VALENCIA 3gl 

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/ In 1571, negotiations were renewed, result- 
ing in a royal cedula 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 tw^enty-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 al jamas of the culprits 
w^ere responsible for their payment. It rested with the al jamas 
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 ^^alencia? 

This suited the Inciuisition 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 
chiu"ches by seeming them from the alienation of their lands and 
the impoverishment of their vassals. To the rigid churchman, 
however, it w^as a compact with evil and an encouragement of 
heresy. Archbishop Ribera of Valencia protested against it, and 
Bishop Perez 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.^ 

The tribunal naturally took care to increase its assured income 
by exploiting to the fullest its remaining power of inflicting fines, 
and it chd so with little regard to the limitation. In 1595, the 
al jamas complained of these infractions.^ 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) w^here there 
were twenty fines of ten ducats each on Moriscos, of w^hom only 
eight were reconciled, besides other fines, one of twenty, one of 
thirty and one of fifty. 

' Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 922, fol. 15. 

2 Danvila y CoUado, pp. 183-88.— Cf. Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, 
Cartas del Consejo, Leg. 5, n. 1, fol. 107. 

3 Archivo de Simancas, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 205, fol. 3.— Danvila y CoUado, 
p. 228. 

* Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 5, n. 2, fol. 14, 15. 


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 centm-y 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 immecUately follow, but the rigor of persecution continued. 
In the auto of September 5, 1604, there were twenty-eight abjura- 
tions de levi, forty-nine de vehementi, eight reconcihations 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.^ The fluctuations in the number of cases can be accounted 
for by evidence occasionally enabhng 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 

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 w^hich throws considerable light upon the manner in 
which the inquisitorial power was exercised. 

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 ]\Iay, 1567, during the absence of Inquisitor 
Miranda, the fiscal presented to the other inquisitor, Geronimo 

» Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 2, n. 10, fol. 79.— Danvila y 
Collado, p. 263. 
' Ibidem, Leg. 98, 99. 



Manrique, a damosa against the brothers. Their arrest was voted 
but, ill 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 conse- 
ciuence 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 secm'ity in two thousand ducats. 

NotwithstancUng this he visited Madrid where, for seven thou- 
sand 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 inter- 
val 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 par- 
dons for himself and his brothers to Juan de Rojas, then in- 
quisitor, 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 suddenl)^, 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 neces- 
sary for him to abjm'e 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 sub- 
mitted 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 Maria 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 beheve 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. 

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 under- 
stand that this was necessary to enable them to enjoy the par- 
don of 1571. Under this the trial was resumed, but the record 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 355 

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 suc- 
ceeded in raising a sum sufficient to satisfy the Suprema, or they 
were recognized as too poor to be worth further prosecution/ 

From such a case as this, it can readily be conceived how effi- 
cient 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 dis- 
carded, which had rendered the Mudejares contented subjects, 
the apostasy of the neophytes was the som'ce 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 vacilla- 
tion, incompetence and greed resulted only in increasing exas- 
peration. The story is long and intricate and the barest summary 
must suffice here to indicate its leading features and the causes of 
the failm-e to assimilate the races, on which depended the peace 
and prosperity of Spain. We have seen the mistaken policy 
adopted in Granada; in ^^alencia it was less unreasonable in 
spirit, but failed miserably in execution. 

After the Germania 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.^" 
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 Clem ent VII, in 1524, had ordered 

1 Boronat, I, 540-69. 

2 Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, I, 208. 


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 Hke Chris- 
tians, the tithes were made over to them, in retm-n for which they 
were to provide the chm-ches with what was reciuisite for divine 
service, while the revenues of the mosques were expected to fur- 
nish foundations for benefices, the patronage of which was given 
to the lords. For this, as we have seen, the requisite papal author- 
ity was procured, but the measiu-e was attacked in innumerable 
suits, some of which were carried up to the Roman Rota, with the 
consequent interminable delays.^ In some fashion, two hundred 
and thirteen mosques were converted into churches in the arch- 
bishopric of Valencia, fourteen in the see of Tortosa, ten in Segorbe 
and fourteen in Orihuela, but the object kept in view was the reve- 
nues, and not the religious training of the Moriscos.^ 

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 sum- 
marily all the suits that were expected from archbishops, bishops, 
chapters, abbeys, priests and secular lords, thus rendering him and 
his tlelegates independent of the bishops who thus far had done 
nothing.' Under this, in 1534, Manrique despatched commis- 
sioners 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." 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 

* Sayas, cap. ex. — Dormer, Lib. ii, cap. i. 

2 Danvila y Collado, p. 116.— Bleda- Defensio Fidei, p. 190. 
5 Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. ii, fol. 94, 96, 105. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 77, fol. 227. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 367 

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 liim that tliis was part of 
his duty and that of the Church/ 

Manric^ue's commissioners estabhshed a hmidred 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.^ 

It was in vain that one effort after another was made to remedy 
these deficiencies. The indifference of the ecclesiastical authori- 
ties, or their opposition when asked for funds, paralyzed every 
plan devised. In 1564, the Cortes 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 
Valdes, the conclusions of which were embodied in a royal cedula. 
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 ut- 
most 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 provin- 
cial council, but the bishops took no action to carry out the pro- 
visions of the cedula, 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 alfaquies who visited 
the sick, and on secular officials who neglected to denounce Moorish 
observances. The pious hope was expressed that, by compelling 

1 Col. de Documentos, T. V, p. 81. 

2 Ibidem, T. V, pp. 92, 93, 102-7. 


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 them.^ 
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 recog- 
nized 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, wdiich 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 neg- 
ligible amount to be paid by five laymen. A brief of June 16, 
1576, was obtained from Gregory XIII confirming this arrange- 
ment, and Ribera punctually paid his portion into the taida 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 liti- 
gation were Hmitless 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 

1 Danvila y Collado, pp. 167-71.— Boronat, I, 238.— Bleda; Defensio Fidei, p. 
192.— Aguirre, Concil. Hispan. V, 415, 419, 432. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 339 

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 
amoimted 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 
accmnulating with interest until it amounted to 157,482 libras 
13 s., 11 d. Of this about thirty-two thousand Hbras 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.^ 
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 pre- 
lates 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 dodrineros, 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 alfaquies 
in opposing his efforts.^ 

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 Moris- 
cos were helpless and defenceless, and the pledges that they should 

» Boronat, II, 45-6, 69-71, 169, 435, 438, 478, 683, 
' Ibidem, II, 436, 440-3. 
VOL. Ill 24 


be treated as Christians were forgotten. The lords therefore dis- 
couraged all missionary work and, as far as they could, protected 
their vassals against the Inquisition. When the latter obtained 
evidence of this interference mth conversion, it did not hesitate 
to prosecute the highest nobles. In 1570 it condemned Don 
Sancho de Cardona, Admiral of Ai-agon, 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.^ 
The lords further made themselves obnoxious by seeking to pro- 
tect 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.^ 

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 concep- 
tion that toleration, after all, might be a more practical method of 
winning human souls than oppression and persecution. Unfor- 
tunately, 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. 

1 Dan Vila y Collado, pp. 126, 129, 181, 183, 194.— Boronat, I, 443-69, 569. 
' Archive de Simancas, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 205, fol. 3. 

Chap. II] VALE^'CIA 371 

Edicts of Grace were the favorite resort when there was a dispo- 
sition to show moderation, but these, as we have seen, were, for 
the most part, nugatory, because they were contingent on recorded 
confessions and the obhgation to denomice accomphces. The 
recorded confession rendered the penitent hable to the terrible 
penalties of relapse and, as the latter was sure to occur, the Morisco 
naturally hesitated to incur the hability. To obviate this objec- 
tion, the unprecedented concession was made of suspending the 
canons concerning relapse. This could be done only by papal au- 
thority and it was repeatedly tried. The earliest instance seems 
to be a brief of Clement VII, December 5, 1530, empowering 
Manrique to ajjpoint 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 A^alencia 
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.^ 
This policy continued to be followed spasmodically and grants 
exonerating from the penalties of relapse were repeatedly made 
during the rest of the century.^ 

There was also, in the Edicts of Grace, the necessity of denounc- 
ing accomplices, which the Moriscos, to their credit, could rarely 
persuade themselves to do. Bishop Figueroa of Segorbe pointed 
this out to PhiUp III as a matter of supreme importance, as it 
required them to accuse their parents, their wives and their chil- 
dren, which even the secular laws pretermitted as a matter so 
horrible to human nature.' 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 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 57, 80.— Bulario de la Orden de 
Santiago, Lib. ii, fol. 79. 

2 Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 926, fol. 49, 53, 59, 63, 67.— Bulario, Lib. 
Ill, fol. 51, 85, 88, 109; Lib. iv, fol. 24, 103.— Archivo de AlcaM, Hacienda, 
Leg. 1049.— Boronat, I, 495, 

3 Boronat, II, 439. 


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 confes- 
sion could be made to the episcopal Ordinaries, insisted that con- 
fession must include full denmiciation of the apostasy of others/ 

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 instruc- 
tions 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 con- 
vents or in the families of Old Christians.^ 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 con- 
demnation rather than absolution; some of them, indeed, had 
already been denounced to the Inquisition, so that they had evi- 
dently been impelled by fear rather than by the desire of conver- 
sion. 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.^ 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. 

A glance at the tables in the Appendix will show how little influ- 
ence the successive Edicts of Grace had on the operations of the 
Inquisition, which reaped its harvests irrespective of them. Yet 

^ Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. iv, fol. 128. — Archive de Simancas, 
Inq., Lib. 926, foL 71. 

^ Boronat, I, 669; II, 8. — Escolano, Decada primera dc la Historia de Valencia, 
II, 1783-97 (Valencia, 1610-11). 

3 Archivo hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 5, fol. 185, 186, 220, 295, 297-99. 

Chap. II] VALENCIA 373 

those tables reveal that, between 1540 and 1563, there were 
periods during w^hich 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 cooperative work in winning over the converts, merit exami- 
nation 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 Cortes 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 theolo- 
gians, which suggested various plans of moderation and concilia- 
tion, 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 in- 
struction, during which the Inquisition should not prosecute them. 
This period was hberally 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 advan- 
tage of it.' 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 confes- 
sions (Vol. II, p. 584). A u • f 

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 grant- 
ing faculties to appoint confessors with full power to absolve 
in utroque /oro— both sacramentally and judicially— even those 
who had been condemned by the Inquisition, and to relieve them 
and their descendants from all disabilities.^ Unfortunately the 
faculty to appoint confessors was conferred on Antonio Ramirez 
de Haro, who had for some years been acting as ''apostohc com- 

1 Danvila y CoUado, p. 130. 

2 Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. in, fol. 33. 


missioner" 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 Arch- 
bishop 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.'^ 

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 
mahana postponed it indefinitely. On November 10th, the arch- 
bishop again represented the complete liberty enjoyed by the 
Conversos, with no one empowered to correct them, but his repre- 
sentations 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.^ 

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 unfin- 
ished work of previous years. In 1561, Paul IV empowered 

1 Col. de Documentos, T. V, p. 104. 
' Ibidem, pp. 100, 101, 107, 108, 122. 



Valdes 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/ 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 Inciuisition was vigorously at work, with sixty- 
two cases, and held two autos, in which appeared nine cases from 
Xea.^ After that there was no further interference with its func- 
tions, and it continued to the end to contribute its share to ren- 
dering 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 ]\Ioriscos 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.^ 

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 al jamas 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, 

1 Archive de Simancas, Sala 40, Lib. iv, fol. 262. 

' Danvila y Collado, pp. 164, 167. — Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, 
Leg. 98. 

3 Discorso de la Vida de D. Martin de Ayala (Revista critica de Historia y 
Literatura, 1902, p. 375). 



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 Cortes of Valencia declared that they 
retained all their rights over their vassals, who were forbidden to 
change their domiciles.' 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 resist. 

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 remark- 
able 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 agofras^ 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.^ The role 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 Anto- 
nio Ramirez 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.* 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 

1 Donner, Lib. ii, cap. i. — Danvila y Collado, pp. 101, 105. 

' The zofres or zofras were imposts or excise paid by the Mudejares in addition 
to the division of crops. It remained a grievance to the last. — Ximenez, Vida de 
Ribera, pp. 362, 444. 

^ Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. i de copias, fol. 118. 

* Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 77, fol. 227. 

Chap. II] EXACTIONS 377 

the Cortes, their sole efforts were directed to increase the bui'dens 
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 hard- 
ship of forcing them to live like Christians and pay like Moors. 
The king, it added, ought to relieve them from these unjust impo- 
sitions, 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 im- 
posed on them, on meagre wages and still more meagre food, or 
frequently with no wages.^ In fact, they were virtually taillables 
et corveahles a misericorde, 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 eccle- 
siastical 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.^ 

The control of the lords over their vassals was further safe- 
guarded by a pragmatica 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 theni as 
vassals, without special royal licence, was fined five hundred florins, 
or was scourged in default of the money. Granadan and Cas- 
tihan Moriscos were threatened with death for entering A^alencia 
and this, in 1545, was extended to those of Aragon. This ferocious 
legislation was repeated in 1563 and 1586.^ 

1 Boronat, I, 531 ; II, 147. 

2 Bleda, Coronica, p. 1030; Defensio Fidei, pp. 47, 51.— Fonseca, Giusto Scac- 

ciamento, p. 65. 

^ Danvila y CoUado, pp, 128, 133, 211.-Boletm, Abril 1887, p. 288.-Boronat, 

I, 469. 


Akin to this was the suicidal pohcy 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 emi- 
grants 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.^ 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 com- 
manded 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 
pragmatica 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 hst of other weapons, indicating how industriously 
the Moriscos had provided themselves.^ 

1 Archive de Simancas, Inq., Bala 40, Lib. iv, fol. 263. — Bibl. nacional, MSS., 
PV, 3, n. 20. 

2 Danvila y Collado, p. 127.— Col. de Documentos, V, 88, 102, 123. — Janer, 
Condicion social de los Moriscos, p. 342. — Boronat, I, 233.— Danvila, in Boletin, 
Abril, 1877, pp. 276-306. 



In Aragon, the matter was confided to the Inquisition. The 
tribunal of Saragossa issued a decree, November 4, 1559, forbidding 
the ]\Ioriscos from carrying arms, but the nobles appealed to the 
Suprema and procured its indefinite suspension/ 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 Perez 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 for- 
midable; 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.^ The result of these precautions was seen when the 
edict of expulsion w^as enforced and the desperate wretches who 
essayed a hopeless resistance were slaughtered. 

The growth of the absurd cult of hmpieza 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 trymg conciliation he ordered that leading and influential 
Moriscos should be appointed as familiars, and we have seen that 
Inquisitor Miranda gave conmiissions 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 Cortes 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.^ Yet in time the exclusion became 
general, and throughout Spain no distinction was made between 
descendants of Jews and Mudejares. 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 

^ Guadalajara y Xavierr, Expulsion de los Moriscos, fol. 62. — Archive de Siman- 
cas, Inq., Lib. 13, fol. 372.— Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. VI, p. 407. 

^ Archivo de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 940, fol. 296. — Guadalajara y Xavierr, fol. 
64. — Lanuza, Historias de Aragon, II, 417 (Zaragoza, 1622). 

3 Bledaj Defensio Fidei, p. 372.— Fonseca, p. 377. 


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 Christian- 
ized, 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.^ 

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 sal- 
vation 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.^ 

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 
Morerias, 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 

^ Navarrete, Conservacion de Monarquias, pp. 51-3 (Madrid, 1626). 
^ Bleda, Coronica, pp. 951-2. 


must conform to the canons. This was a virtual impossibiUty; 
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 pen- 
anced/ Under such circumstances, there could have been no 
Christian marriage-rites, and the union was legally pure concu- 
binage, or at best clandestine marriage, which the Council of 
Trent, in 1563, pronounced invalid.^ It was probably the conciliar 
definitions that induced the Cortes of Monzon, in 1564, to petition 
that facilities should be afforded for obtaining dispensations from 
the Commissioner of the Santa Cruzada, who possessed the requi- 
site 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 excom- 
munication and other penalties on all marrying within the pro- 
hibited degrees, and on all concerned in evasions of the canons.^ 

The matter was universally admitted to be of supreme impor- 
tance, but it was treated with the customary negligence and pro- 
crastination. 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 
utroqiie 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.* 

The Moorish rule, to eat no meat slaughtered by the uncircum- 
cised, 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 

1 Fonseca, p. 72.— Cf. Bleda, op. cit., p. 905. 

2 C. Trident. Sess. xxiv, de Reform. Matrim. C. 1. 

5 Danvila y Collado, p. 169.— Aguirre, Concil. Hispan. V, 418. 

* Bulario de la Orden de Santiago, Lib. iv, fol. 101, 102.— Boronat, I, 661. 


there was none, the priest was to designate a person to perform 
the office/ 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, inclutUng what Bishop Gallo of Orihuela had 
done with regard to the same matter. The tribunal replied that 
the edict was obeyed, l^ut 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 1595.=^ 

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 Moris- 
cos were discontented subjects, eager to throw off the insupport- 
able yoke and to rise against their oppressors. They were, how- 
ever, 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 

' Nueva Recop., Lib. viii, Tit. ii, ley 13, cap. ix. 

2 Boronat, I, 589.— Bleda; Defensio Fidei, pp. 57, 42t;l.— Dnvila, p. 230. 


bankrupt in resources. That episode was a warning which Span- 
ish 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 external. 

There had long been a som'ce 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 respon- 
sible. Undoubtedly they aided by conveying information, main- 
taining 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 sea-rovers. 

Complaints of these ravages commence with the Christianiza- 
tion 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 gath- 
ered — little raids such as that picturesquely described by Cer- 
vantes, 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.^ 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 exceed- 
ingly damaging to the lords who lost their vassals.^ 

These raids w^ere 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 be- 
tween the central government and the exposed provinces to main- 

1 Boronat, I, 208-12.— Escolano, II, 1746-68, 1798-1810.— Persiles y Sigis- 
munda, Lib. ii, cap. xi. 

' Danvila y CoUado, pp. 161, 182, 205, 207. 


tain a force on the water, but the inadequacy of these precautions 
• is illustrated by the bargaining in 1547, when the Catalan Cortefe 
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 gaheys should cooperate 
with them/ Another expedient was based on the assumed col- 
lusion 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 Almeria, but the experiment proved a failure." It 
was tried again repeatedly, in various savage laws to prevent 
Moriscos from travelling within prescribed distances from the 
sea, and from holding commvmication with the corsairs, but this 
naturally effected nothing.^ In 1604, the Cortes of Valencia even 
proposed to enlist the cooperation 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 Inqui- 
sition 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.^ 
Vastly greater, however, in the eyes of statesmen, was the impend- 
ing danger of rebellion, coincident with attack from Barbary or 
from the Turk or, in later years, from France. 

Even as early as 1512, Peter Martyr, in describing the disturbed 

* Boronat, I, 207. — Constitutions en la Cort de Barcelona en lany 1520; en 
lany 1547 (Barcelona, 1520, 1548). 

2 Pet. Mart. Angler. Epist. 499.— Mariana, Hist, de Espafia, IX, 217 (Ed. 1796). 

3 Danvila y Collado, pp. 109-12, 118, 129, 132, 210.— Nueva Rccop., Lib. viii, 
Tit. ii, ley 20.— Archive de Simancas, Inq., Lib. 940, fol. 69, 184.— Boronat, I, 
471, 499. 

* Fonseca, pp. 341, 343, ^ Guadalajara y Xavierr, fol. 160-3, 


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/ 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.^ 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 exami- 
nation, 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 sm-prise, 
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.^ 

When Philip II retiuned 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.* In 1565, a 
number of arrests were made on charges of treasonable corre- 
spondence with the Turk, and it was public rumor that thirty 
thousand Moriscos were enrolled, aw^aiting 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.^ In 1567, the trial of 
Geronimo 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.^ 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 

^ Pet. Mart. Angler., Epist. 499. ' Escolano, II, 1448. 

3 Boronat, I, 179. ' Danvila y CoUado, p. 158. 

^ D^pcches de M. de Fourquevaux, I, 8, 13. 
8 Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Leg. 30. 
VOL. Ill 25 


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 king- 
dom 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.' 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 num- 
bers, 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 Turks.^ 

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 Moris- 
cos, 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 rebelUon.^ 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 Inqui- 
sition, but there was enough of genuine to show that plots and 
intrigues were constantly on foot among the Moriscos. Henry 

1 Relazioni Venete, Serie I, T. VI, pp. 165, 241. 

2 Bledfe Defensio Fidei, pp. 272, 276, 285. 

3 Archive hist, nacional, Inq. de Valencia, Cartas del Consejo, Leg. 5, fol. 192. 



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 Beam and Navarre. They promised 
to raise eighty thousand men and to dehver 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 postponed/ 

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 pre- 
serving peace, short of butchering them all.^ 

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 cooperation 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.^ It was evidently 

» Memoires du Due de la Force, I, 217-20, 339-45 (Paris, 1843).— Escolano, II, 
2 Janer, p. 274. ^ Memoires de la Force, I, 217, 221-2. 


supposed that the expulsion had been imperfect and that Spain 
was still an easy prey. The Baron de Salignac, French Ambas- 
sador 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 maravedi, and when it should begin 
Spain would find it more difficult to raise a maravedi than it 
would be to raise a doubloon elsewhere/ 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 comisellors. 
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 contemplation.^ 

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 grate- 
ful. 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 ex- 

> Ambassade en Turquie de Jean de Gontaut-Biron, Baron de Salignac, II, 
353 (Paris, 1889). 

== Danvila y CoUado, pp. 250-4, 



pense of Philip III} 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