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The history of Frey Tomas de Torquemada is the 
history of the establishment of the Modern Inquisition. 
It is not so much the history of a man as of an abstract 
genius presiding over a gigantic and cruel engine of 
its own perfecting. Of this engine we may examine 
for ourselves to-day the details of the complex 
machinery. Through the records that survive we 
may observe its cold, smooth action, and trace in 
this the awful intelligence of its architect. But of 
that architect himself we are permitted to catch no 
more than an occasional and fleeting glimpse. It is 
only in the rarest and briefest moments that he stands 
clearly before us, revealed as a man of flesh and 

We see him, now fervidly urging a reluctant queen 
to do her duty by her God and unsheathe the sword 
of persecution, now harshly threatening his sovereigns 
with the wrath of Heaven when they are in danger 
of relenting in the wielding of that same sword. But 
in the main he must be studied, not in his actions, 
but in his enactments — the emanations of his relentless 
spirit. In these he is to be seen devoutly com- 
passing evil in the perfervid quest of good. 

Untouched by worldly ambitions, he seems at 
once superhuman and less than human. Dauntless 
amid execrations, unmoved by plaudits, sublimely dis- 


6 Preface 

dainful of temporal weal, in nothing is he so admirable 
as in the unfaltering self-abnegation with which he 
devotes himself to the service of his God, in nothing 
so terrible and tragically deplorable as in the actual 
service which he renders. 

" His history," says Prescott, " may be thought to 
prove that of all human infirmities there is none 
productive of more extensive mischief to society than 

To this day — four centuries after his passing — 
Spain still bears the imprint of his pitiless work, 
and none may deny the truth of Rosseuw St. Hilaire's 
indictment that, after Philip II, Torquemada was the 
man who did most harm to the land that gave him 

The materials for this history have been gathered 
from the sources cited in the appended bibliography, 
to all of which the author acknowledges his profound 
indebtedness. In particular, however, are his thanks 
due — as must be the thanks of all men who engage in 
studies of the Spanish Inquisition — to the voluminous, 
succinct, and enormously comprehensive works of 
Juan Antonio Llorente, a historian of unimpugned 
honesty and authority, who wrote under circumstances 
peculiarly advantageous and with qualifications pecu- 
liarly full. 

Juan Antonio Llorente was born at Logrono in 
1756, and he was ordained priest in 1779, after a 
university course of Roman and Canon law which 
enabled him to obtain a place among the lawyers 
of the Supreme Council of Castile — i.e. the Council 
of the Inquisition. Having graduated as a Doctor of 

Preface 7 

Canon Law, he discharged the duties of Vicar-General 
to the Bishop of Calahorra, and later on became the 
Commissary of the Holy Office in Logrono — for which 
it was necessary that he should prove that he was of 
11 clean blood," undefiled by the taint of Jew or Moor 
or heretic. 

In 1789 he was appointed Secretary-General to 
the Holy Office, an appointment which took him to 
Madrid, where he was well received by the King, who 
gave him a canonry of Calahorra. 

A profound student of sociological questions, with 
leanings towards rationalism, he provoked a certain 
degree of mistrust, and when the Liberal party fell 
from power and dragged with it many of those who 
had held offices of consequence, the young priest 
found himself not only deposed, but forced to meet 
certain minor charges, which resulted in his being sent 
into retreat in a convent for a month as a penance. 

Thereafter he concerned himself with educational 
matters until the coming of Bonaparte's eagles into 
Spain. When that invasion took place, he hailed the 
French as the saviours of his country, and as a con- 
sequence found himself a member of the Assembly of 
Notables convoked by Murat to reform the Spanish 
Government. But most important of all, from our 
point of view, is the fact that when the Inquisition 
was abolished, in 1809, he accepted the charge of 
going through its vast archives, and he spent two 
years and employed a number of amanuenses in 
copying or making extracts of all that he considered 
of account. 

He held various offices of importance under the 
French Government, so that when this was finally 
expelled from Spain, he, too, was forced to go. He 

8 Preface 

sought refuge in Paris, and there he wrote his famous 
" Historia Critica de la Inquisicion de Espafia," the 
crystallization of his vast researches. 

It was a very daring thing to have done, and, 
thanks to the royalist and clerical Government, he was 
not suffered to remain long unpunished. He was in- 
hibited from hearing confession or celebrating Mass — 
practically unfrocked — and forbidden to teach the 
Castilian language in private schools. He hit back 
by publishing " The Political Portrait of the Popes," 
which earned him orders to leave France immediately. 
He set out in December of 1822 to return to Spain, 
and died a few days after reaching Madrid, killed by 
the rigours of the journey at his advanced age. 

Although his " Critical History " displays at times 
a certain vehemence, in the main it is concerned with 
the sober transcription of the musty records he was 
privileged to explore. 

The Spanish Inquisition has been the subject of 
much unrestrained and exaggerated writing, express- 
ing points of view that are diametrically opposed. 
From such authors as Garcia Rodrigo, who laud its 
work of purification, misrepresent its scope, and de- 
plore (in our own times) the extinction of that terrible 
tribunal, it is a far cry indeed to such writers as 
Dr. Rule, who dip their pens in the gall of an in- 
tolerance as virulent as that which they attack. 

The author has sought here to hold a course that 
is unencumbered by religious partisanship, treating 
purely as a phase of history the institution for which 
Torquemada was so largely responsible. He has not 
written in the Catholic interest, or the Protestant 
interest, or the Jewish interest. He holds the view 

Preface 9 

that on the score of intolerance it is not for Christians 
to cast a stone at Jews, nor Jews at Christians, nor 
yet Christians of one sect at Christians of another. 
Each will find in his own history more than enough 
to answer for at the bar of Humanity. And when 
achievement is measured by opportunity, each will 
discover that he is entitled to fling at the others no 
reproaches which the others are not entitled to fling 
at him. 

If the Spanish Inquisition is here shown as a 
ruthless engine of destruction whose wheels drip the 
blood of mangled generations, yet it is very far from 
being implied that religious persecution is an offence 
peculiar to the Church of Rome. 

" She persecuted to the full extent of the power 
of her clergy, and that power was very great. The 
persecution of which every Protestant church was 
guilty was measured by the same rule, but clerical 
influence in Protestant countries was comparatively 

Thus Lecky, whom we quote lest any should be 
tempted to use anything in these pages as a weapon 
of unchristian Christian partisanship. Let any such 
remember that against Torquemada, who was un- 
fortunately well served by opportunity, may be set the 
bloody-minded John Knox, who, fortunately for 
humanity, was not ; let him ponder the slaughter of 
Presbyterians, Puritans, and Roman Catholics under 
Elizabeth ; let him call to mind the persecutions of 
the Anabaptists under Edward VI, and the Ana- 
baptists' own clamour for the blood of all who were 
not re-baptized. 




LISHED ...... 29 










1 2 Contents 

















xxii. the trial of yuce franco (continued) 3 1 7 



NINO ...... 346 

Contents 13 





MADA 377 

bibliography 395 

index 397 


frey tom as de torquemada . . Frontispiece 

From a Painting attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 



From the Painting by Berruguete. 


From the Painting in the Prado Gallery, attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 

From a Fresco in the Church of the Sacro Speco, Subiaco. 


From a Painting in the Prado Gallery, attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 


From Colmenar's " Delices d'Espagne." 


From the Painting in the Prado Gallery attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 



From Colmenar's " Delices d'Espagne." 


From Limborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 


From Lhnborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 


1 6 List of Illustrations 



From I,imborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 

From I«imborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 


From Iyimborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 


From Iyimborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 


From Colmenar's " Ddlices d'Espagne." 




In an endeavour to trace the Inquisition to its source 
it is not necessary to go as far back into antiquity 
as went Paramo ; nor yet is it possible to agree with 
him that God Himself was the first inquisitor, that 
the first "Act of Faith" was executed upon Adam 
and Eve, and that their expulsion from Eden is a 
proper precedent for the confiscation of the property 
of heretics. 1 

Nevertheless, it is necessary to go very far back 
indeed ; for it is in the very dawn of Christianity 
that the beginnings of this organization are to be 

There is no more lamentable lesson to be culled 
from history than that contained in her inability to 
furnish a single instance of a religion accepted with 
unquestioning sincerity and fervour which did not, 
out of those very qualities, beget intolerance. It 
would seem that only when a faith has been diluted 
by certain general elements of doubt, that only when 
a certain degree of indifference has crept into the 
observance of a prevailing cult, does it become pos- 
sible for the members of that cult to bear themselves 
complacently towards the members of another. Until 
this comes to pass, intolerance is the very breath of 

1 Paramo, " De Origine et Progressu Sanctae Inquisitionis," p. 588. 
2 17 

1 8 Torquemada 

religion, and — when the power is present — this intoler- 
ance never fails to express itself in persecution. 

Deplorable as this is in all religions, in none is it so 
utterly anomalous as in Christianity, which is established 
upon tenets of charity, patience, and forbearance, and 
which has for cardinal guidance its Founder's sublime 
admonition — " Love one another ! " 

From the earliest days of its history, persecution 
has unfailingly signalized the spread of Christianity, 
until to the thoughtful observer Christianity must 
afford the grimmest, the saddest — indeed, the most 
tragic — of all the paradoxes that go to make up the 
history of civilized man. 

Its benign gospel of love has been thundered forth 
in malign hatred ; its divine lesson of patience and 
forbearance has been taught in murderous impatience 
and bloodthirsty intolerance ; its mild tenets of mercy 
and compassion have been ferociously expounded with 
fire and sword and rack ; its precepts of humility have 
been inculcated with a pride and arrogance as harsh 
as any that the world has known. 

It is impossible to deny that at almost any time in 
the history of Christianity the enlightened pagan of 
the second century would have been justified of his 
stinging gibe — c< Behold how these Christians love 
one another ! " 

It may even be said of the earliest Christians that 
it was largely through their own intolerance of the 
opinions and beliefs of others that they brought upon 
themselves the persecutions to which through three 
centuries they were intermittently subjected. Certain 
it is that they were the first to disturb the toleration 
which in polytheistic Rome was accorded to all re- 
ligions. They might have pursued their cult unmolested 
so long as they accorded the same liberty to others. 
But by the vehemence with which they denounced 
false all creeds but their own, they offended the 
zealous worshippers of other gods, and so disturbed 
the peace of the community ; by denying obedience 

Early Persecutions 19 

to the state in which they dwelt, by refusing to bear 
arms for the Empire on the plea of "Nolo militare ; 
militia mea est ad Dominum ! " they provoked the 
resentment of the law. When driven, by the begin- 
nings of persecution, to assemble and celebrate their 
rites in secret, this very secrecy became the cause 
of further and sharper proceedings against them. 
Their mysteriousness evoked suspicion, and surmise 
sprang up to explain it. Very soon there was levelled 
against them the charge from which hardly any cult 
that celebrates in secret has been exempt. It was 
put abroad that they practised abominations, and that 
they engaged in the ritual murder of infants. Public 
opinion, ever credulous where evil is the subject, was 
still further inflamed against them, and fresh and 
greater disorders were the result. Thus they came 
to be denounced for atheism, insubordination, and 
subversion of public order. 

The severity dealt out to them by a state hitherto 
indifferent — through the agnosticism prevalent in the 
ruling classes — to the religious opinions of its citizens, 
was dictated by the desire to suppress an element that 
had become socially perturbative, rather than by any 
vindictiveness or intolerance towards this new cult out 
of Syria. 

Under Claudius we see the Nazarenes expelled 
from Rome as disturbers of the public peace ; under 
Nero and Domitian we see them, denounced as hostes 
publict, suffering their first great persecution. But 
that persecution on purely religious grounds was 
repugnant to the Roman is shown by the conduct of 
Nerva, who forbade delations and oppressions on the 
score of belief, and recalled the Christians who had 
been banished. His successor, the just and wise 
Trajan, provoked perhaps by the fierce insurrection of 
the Jews which occurred in his reign, moved against 
the Nazarenes at first, but later on afforded them 
complete toleration. Similarly were they unmolested 
by the accomplished Adrian, who, indeed, so far 

20 Torquemada 

approved of their creed as to have notions of including 
Christ in the Roman Pantheon ; and they were left in 
peace by his successor Antoninus, notwithstanding 
that the last was so attached to the faith of his 
country and to the service of the gods as to have 
earned for himself the surname of Pius. 

With the accession of the philosopher-emperor 
Marcus Aurelius, who was rendered hostile to the new 
doctrine not only by his own stoical convictions, but 
also because politically he viewed the Christians with 
disfavour, came the next great persecution ; and per- 
secution was their portion thereafter for some sixty 
years, under four reigns, until the accession of 
Alexander Severus in the third decade of the third 
century of the Christian era. 

. Alexander's mother, Julia Mannea, is believed to 
have been instructed in the new doctrine by 
Origen, the Alexandrian, although her conversion to 
Christianity and her ideas upon it do not appear to 
be greatly in advance of those of Adrian, for she is said 
to have included an image of Christ in the group of 
beneficent deities set up in her lararium} 

1 Possibly the images of the Saviour prevalent in the third century 
may have contributed to the apparent fitness of this. For at this epoch — 
and for some three hundred years after — these images embodied the 
Greek ideas of divinity ; they represented Christ as a youth of superb 
grace and beauty, and they appear largely to have been founded upon 
the conceptions of Orpheus. Indeed, in one representation which has 
survived, we see Him as a beardless adolescent, seated upon a mountain, 
grasping an instrument with whose music he has charmed the wild 
beasts assembled below. Another picture in the catacombs (included in 
the illustrations of Didron's " Iconographie Chretienne "), representing Him 
as the Good Shepherd, depicts a vigorous youth, beardless and with short 
hair, in a tunic descending to the knees ; His left hand supporting a lamb 
which is placed across His shoulders, His right holding a shepherd's pipe. 

That such pictures were not accepted as portraits by the fathers, 
but merely as idealistic representations, is clear from the disputes which 
arose in the second century (and were still alive in the eighteenth) 
on the subject of Christ's personal appearance. St. Justin argued that to 
render His sacrifice more touching He must have put on the most 
abject of human shapes ; and St. Cyril, also holding this view, uncom- 
promisingly pronounced Him "the ugliest of the sons of men." But others, 
imbued with the old Greek notions that beauty was in itself a mark of 
divinity, protested : " If He is not beautiful, then He is not God." 

St. Augustine formally states that no knowledge existed in his day 

Early Persecutions 21 

For twenty years the Christians now knew peace 
and enjoyed the fullest liberty. Upon that followed 
a period of severe oppression, initiated by Decius, 
continued by Valerian and Aurelian, and reaching 
something of a climax under Diocletian, in the dawn 
of the fourth century, when the Christians endured the 
cruellest and most ferocious of all these persecutions. 
But the end of their sufferings was at hand, and with 
the accession of Constantine in 312 a new era began 
for Christianity. Constantine, upheld by the Christians 
as their saviour, in admitting the inevitable predomi- 
nance which the new religion had obtained in rather 
less than three hundred years, was compelled to 
recognize the rights of its votaries not only to exist- 
ence but to authority. 

Legends surround the history of this emperor. The 
most popular relates how, when he was marching 
against Maxentius, his rival for the throne, despond- 
ing in the consciousness of his own inferior force, 
there appeared at sunset a fiery cross in the heavens 
with the inscription EN TOTTO NIKA — in this sign 
you conquer. And it is claimed that as a consequence 

(the fourth century) of the features of either the Saviour or His Mother . 
11 Nam et ipsius Dominicae facies carnis, innumerabilium cogitationum 
diversitate variatur et fingitur, quae tamen una erat, quaecumque erat. . . . 
Neque enim novimus faciem Virginis Mariae. Nee novimus omnino, nee 
credimus" (" De Trinitate," lib. viii. cap. 4). 

It is clear, therefore, that the two miraculous portraits were not known 
in St. Augustine's time— i.e. the Veronica, or the Holy Face (which is 
preserved at St. Peter's, Rome), and another portrait of similar origin, 
which it was alleged Christ had, Himself, impressed upon a cloth and 
sent to Abgarus, Prince of Edessa (as related by St. John of Damascus, 
in the eighth century). To preserve it, Abgarus glued the cloth upon 
wood, and thus it came later to Constantinople and thence to Rome, 
where it is still believed to be treasured in the Church of St. Sylvester in 

These portraits, and still more a letter purporting to have been 
written to the Roman Senate by Lentulus (who was pro-consul in Judea 
before Herod) and believed to have been forged to combat the generally 
repugnant theory that Christ was ugly and deformed ("sine decore et 
specie "), supply the materials for the representations with which we are 
to-day familiar. That letter contained the following description : 

" At this time there appeared a man who is still living and who is gifted 
with great power. His name is Jesus Christ. His disciples call him the 
Son of God ; others consider him a mighty prophet. ... He is tall of 

22 Torquemada 

of this portent, whose injunction he obeyed, he sought 
instruction in Christianity, was baptized and made 
public avowal of that faith. Others maintain that he 
was reared in Christianity by his mother, St. Helena 
— she who made an expedition to the Holy Land to 
recover the true cross, and who is said to have 
built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem ; 
whilst others still assert that Constantine did not 
receive baptism until at the point of death, and that 
throughout his life, whilst undoubtedly favouring 
Christians, he continued in the pagan religion in 
which he had been educated by his father. 

The truth probably lies midway. During the 
early years of his reign Constantine not only pursued 

stature and his countenance is severe and full of power, so that to look 
upon him is to love and to fear him. The hair of his head is of the 
colour of wine ; as far as the roots of the ears it is dull and straight, but 
from the ears to the shoulders it is curled and glossy ; from the shoulders 
it falls over the back, divided into two parts, after the manner of the 
Nazarenes. His brow is pure and level; his countenance is without 
blemish and delicately tinted ; his expression is gentle and gracious ; his 
nose and mouth are of perfect beauty ; his beard is copious, of the colour 
of his hair, and forked. His eyes are blue and extremely bright. His 
face is of marvellous grace and majesty. None has ever seen him laugh, 
but rather weeping. Erect of body, he has long, straight hands and 
beautiful arms. In speech he is grave and weighty, and sparing of words. 
He is the most beautiful of the sons of men (Pulcherrimus vultu inter 
homines satos)." 

It is clear, however, that there was no knowledge either of this de- 
scription or of the miraculous portraits mentioned as late as the fourth 
and fifth centuries, during which Christ continued to be represented as the 
lithe, beardless adolescent. And it is no doubt by these representations 
that Michelangelo was inspired to present Christ in "The Last Judgment " 
in a manner so unusual and startling to modern eyes. 

Similarly there were no portraits of the Virgin Mary, and it is fairly 
established that none came into existence until after the Council of 
Ephesus, and that some seven pictures attributed to St. Luke — four of 
which are in Rome — are the work of an eleventh-century Florentine 
painter named Luca. 

Whilst on the subject it may be added that the crucifix, as the emblem 
of Christianity, was not introduced until the seventh century, when it was 
established by the Quinisexte Council at Constantinople. Its nature 
rendered its earlier adoption dangerous, if not impossible ; since — as the 
familiar Roman gallows — it was liable to provoke the scorn and derision 
of the people. 

For further information on this f ibject see Emeric-David, " Histoire de 
la Peinture," A. N. Didron, " Iconographie Chretienne," and Marangoni, 
14 Istoria della Capella di Sancta Sanctorum." 

Early Persecutions 23 

a middle course, according religious liberty to all sects, 
but, himself, whilst leaning strongly towards Chris- 
tianity, retained his imperial dignity of High-priest of 
the polytheistic Roman cult, and the title u Pontifex 
Maximus," which later — together with so much else of 
pagan origin — was appropriated by the Christians and 
bestowed upon their chief bishop. But in 313-14 
he refused to celebrate the ludi seculares, and in 330 
he issued an edict forbidding temple-worship, whilst 
the Christian Council of Nicaea, in 325, was held 
undoubtedly under his auspices. 

From the very moment that the new religion found 
itself recognized and invested not only with civil rights 
but actually with power, from the very moment that 
the Christian could rear his head and go openly and 
unafraid abroad, from that very moment do we find 
him engaging in persecutions against the votaries 
of other cults — against pagan, Jew, and heretic. For 
although Christianity was but in the beginning of 
the fourth century of its existence, not only had 
it spread irresistibly and mightily in spite of the 
repressive measures against it, but it was already 
beginning to know dismemberment and divisions in 
its own body. Indeed, it has been computed that the 
number of schisms in the fourth century amounted to 
no less than ninety. 

Of these the most famous is that of Arius, a 
priest of Alexandria, who denied that Christ was God 
Incarnate, accounting Him no more than divinely 
inspired, the first and the highest of the sons of 
men. Although already denounced by the Synod that 
met at Alexandria in 321, so great had been the 
spread of this doctrine that the (Ecumenical Council 
of Nicaea was convoked especially to deal with it. 
It was then condemned as heretical, and the Articles 
of Faith were defined and set down in the Nicene 
Creed, which is recited to this day. 

Other famous heresies were the Manichaean, the 
Gnostic, the Adamite, the Severist, and the Donatist ; 

24 Torquemada 

and to these were soon to be added, amongst others, 
the Pelagian and the Priscilliantist. 

Perhaps the Manichaeans' chief claim to celebrity 
lies in the fact that the great St. Augustine of 
Tagaste, when he abandoned the disorders of his 
youth, entered Christianity through this sect, which 
professed a form of it vitiated by Sun-worship and 

The other heresies — with the exception of the 
Pelagian — were, in the main, equally fantastic. The 
Gnostic heresy, with its many subdivisions, was made 
up of mysticism and magic, and founded upon Zoro- 
astrian notions of dualism, of the two powers of good 
and evil, light and darkness. To the power of evil it 
attributed all creation save man, whose soul was ac- 
counted of divine substance. The Adamites claimed to 
be in the state of original innocency of Adam before 
the fall ; they demanded purity in their followers, re- 
jected marriage, which they urged could never have 
come into existence but for sin, and they expelled from 
their Church all sinners against their tenets, even as 
Adam and Eve had been expelled from Eden. The 
Severists denied the resurrection of the flesh, would 
not accept the acts of the apostles, and carried purity 
to fantastic lengths. The Soldiers of Florinus denied 
the Last Judgment, and held it as an undeniable truth 
that the resurrection of the flesh lay entirely in re- 

The Pelagians were the followers of Pelagius, a 
British monk who settled in Rome towards the year 
400, and his heresy at least was founded upon rational 
grounds. He denied the doctrine of original sin, 
maintained that every human being was born in a 
state of innocency, and that his perseverance in virtue 
depended upon himself. He found numerous followers, 
and for twenty years the conflict raged between 
Pelagians and the Church, until Pope Zosimus de- 
clared against them and banished Pelagius from Rome. 

From Constantine onwards Christianity steadily 

Early Persecutions 25 

maintains her ascendancy, and her earliest assertion 
of her power is to bare the sword of persecution, 
oblivious of the lofty protests against it which she, 
herself, had uttered, the broad and noble advocacy 
of tolerance which she had urged in the days of her 
own affliction. We find Optatus urging the massacre 
of the Donatists — who claimed that theirs was the 
true Church — and Constantine threatening with the 
stake any Jew who should affront a Christian and 
any Christian who should become a Jew. We find 
him demolishing the churches of the Arians and 
Donatists, banishing their priests and forbidding under 
pain of death the propagation of their doctrines. 

The power of Christianity suffered one slight 
check thereafter, under the tolerant rule of Julian 
the Apostate, who reopened the pagan temples and 
restored the cult of the old gods ; but it rose again to 
be finally and firmly established under Theodosius 
in 380. 

Now we see the pagan temples not only closed, 
but razed to the ground, the images broken and swept 
away, their worship, and even private sacrifice, for- 
bidden under pain of death. From Libanius we may 
gather something of the desolation which this spread 
among the pagan peasant-folk. Residing at a distance 
from the great centres where doctrines were being 
expounded, they found themselves bereft of the old 
gods and without knowledge of the new. Their plight 
is a far more pathetic one than that of the Arians, 
Manichaeans, Donatists, and all other heretics against 
whom there was a similar enactment. 

It is now, at this early date, that for the first 
time we come across the title " Inquisitor of the Faith," 
in the first law 1 promulgated to render death the 
penalty of heresy. It is now that we find the great 
Augustine of Tagaste — the mightiest genius that the 
Church has brought forth — denouncing religious 
liberty with the question, " Quid est enim pejor, mors 

1 IX. of the Theodosian Code. 

26 Torquemada 

animae quam libertas erroris ? " ! and strenuously urging 
the death of heretics on the ground that it is a 
merciful measure, since it must result in the saving 
of others from the damnation consequent upon their 
being led into error. Similarly he applauded those 
decrees of death against any one pursuing the poly- 
theism that but a few generations earlier had been the 
official religion of the Roman Empire. 

It was Augustine — of whom it has been truly said 
that " no man since the days of the Apostles has 
infused into the Church a larger measure of his 
spirit " — in his enormous fervour, and with the over- 
whelming arguments inspired by his stupendous in- 
tellect, who laid down the principles that governed 
persecution, and were cited in justification of it for 
nearly 1,500 years after his day. " He was," says 
Lecky, " the most staunch and enthusiastic defender 
of all those doctrines that grow out of the habits of 
mind that lead to persecution." 2 

So far, however much persecution may have been 
inspired by the Church, its actual execution had rested 
entirely and solely with the civil authorities ; and this 
aloofness, indeed, is urged upon the clergy by St. 
Augustine. But already before the close of the 
fourth century we find ecclesiastics themselves directly 
engaged in causing the death of heretics. 

Priscillian, a Spanish theologian, was led by St. 
Paul's " Know ye not that ye are the temple of God ? " to 
seek to render himself by purity a worthy dwelling. He 
preached from that text a doctrine of stern asceticism, 
and forbade the marriage of the clergy. This at the 
time was optional, 3 and by proclaiming it to be Christ's 

1 Epist. clxvi. 

3 " History of Rationalism in Europe," vol. ii. p. 8. 

3 The decretal of Siricius, five years after the execution of Priscillian, 
strictly enjoined celibacy on all in holy orders above the rank of a sub- 
deacon, and dissolved all marriages of the clergy existing at the time. 
Leo the Great, in the middle of the fifth century, further extended the 
rule so as to include the sub-deacons hitherto excepted. This was 
largely the cause of the split that occurred between the Greek and Latin 

Early Persecutions 27 

law he laid himself open to a charge of heresy. He 
was accused of magic and licentiousness, excommuni- 
cated in 380 and burnt alive, together with several of 
his companions, by order of two Christian bishops. 
He has been described as the first martyr burnt by a 
Spanish Inquisition. 1 

It must be added that the deed excited the pro- 
foundest indignation on the part of the clergy against 
those bishops who had been responsible for it, and 
St. Martin of Tours hotly denounced the act. But 
this indignation was not provoked by the fact that 
men had suffered death for heresy, but by the circum- 
stance that ecclesiastics had procured the execution. 
For it was part of the pure teaching of the early 
Church that under no circumstances — not as judge, 
soldier, or executioner — should a Christian render 
himself the instrument of the death of a fellow- 
creature ; and it was partly through their rigid 
obedience to this precept that the Christians had first 
drawn attention to themselves and aroused the re- 
sentment of the Roman government, as we have seen. 
Now, whilst at no time after the Church's accession to 
power was this teaching observed with any degree of 
strictness, yet there were limits to the extent to which 
it might be neglected, and that limit, it was considered, 
had been exceeded by those prelates responsible for 
the death of the Priscilliantists. 

The point, apparently trivial at present, has been 
insisted upon here, in view of the important and 
curious part which it was destined to play in the pro- 
cedure of the Inquisition. 

The Church had now come to identify herself with 
the State. She had strengthened her organizations ; 
she had permeated the State with her influences, until 
it may almost be said that the State had lost its 
capacity for independent existence, and had become 
her instrument. The civil laws were based upon her 
spiritual laws ; the standard of morality was founded 

1 See E. C. H. Bahut, " Priscillian et le Priscilliantisme." 

28 Torquemada 

upon her doctrines ; the development of the arts — of 
painting, sculpture, literature, and music — became 
such as was best adapted for her service, and, cramped 
thereby into confines far too narrow, was partly- 
arrested for a time ; sciences and crafts were stimu- 
lated only by her needs and curbed by her principles ; 
the very recreation of the people was governed by her 

And yet, whilst influencing the State in its every 
ramification so profoundly that State and Church 
appeared welded into one disintegrable whole, she 
kept herself independent, unfettered, and autonomous. 
So that when that great Empire of the West upon 
which she had seemed to lean was laid in ruins by the 
invading barbarians, she continued upright, unshaken 
by that tremendous cataclysm. She remained to 
conquer the barbarian far more subtly and completely 
than he had conquered. Her conquest lay in bringing 
him to look upon her as the natural inheritor of fallen 
Rome. Soon she entered upon that splendid heritage, 
claiming for her own the world-supremacy that Rome 
had boasted, and assuming dominion over the new 
nations that were building upon the ruins of the 
shattered empire. 



For some seven centuries after the fall of the Roman 
Empire persecutions for heresy were very rare and 
very slight. This, however, cannot be attributed to 
mercy. Although some of the old heresies survived, 
yet they were so sapped of their vitality that they were 
no longer openly flaunted in defiance of the mother- 
Church, but were practised in such obscurity as, in the 
main, to escape observation. 

Fresh schisms, on the other hand, do not appear 
to have sprung up during that spell. Largely this 
would be due to the clear formulation of the Catholic 
theology by the various oecumenical councils held in 
the years that followed upon the Christian emancipation, 
and by the intellectual breadth of these doctrines, 
which were entirely adequate and all-sufficient to the 
intellectual capacity of the time. But this state of 
things could only have endured at the cost of arresting 
man's intellectual progress. A certain restraint and 
curb undoubtedly was exerted, but definitely to check 
the imaginative and reasoning faculties of man has 
never been within the power of any creed, and never 
can be. It was in vain that the Church sought to 
coerce thought and to stifle the learning that struck at 
her very foundations and discovered the error of the 
cosmic and historical conceptions upon which her 
theology was based ; in vain that she entrenched 
herself within her doctrines, and adhered rigidly to the 
form she had adopted. 


30 Torqucmada 

Upon this uncompromising rigidity of the Catholic 
Church much censure has been poured. The present 
aim is a cold survey of certain features of history, and 
in such a task all polemical matters should be avoided. 
Yet it may be permissible to say a word here to 
elucidate rather than to defend an attitude that has 
been unduly abused. 

It is admitted that the unyielding policy of the 
Church was one that militated seriously against intel- 
lectual evolution, and on that account it is to be 
deplored. But let the unbiassed mind consider for a 
moment the alternative. The admission of error is 
the commencement of disruption. Where one error 
is admitted, a thread is drawn from a weft whose 
threads are interdependent for the stability of the 
whole. Who has yielded once has set up a pre- 
cedent that will be urged against him to make him 
yield again, and yet again, until he shall have yielded 
all, and, having nothing left, must suffer an imper- 
ceptible effacement. 

When all is considered, there is an indisputable 
dignity in the attitude of a Church which, claiming 
that what she teaches rests not upon human knowledge 
but upon divine inspiration, refuses to cede one jot 
of her doctrines to man's discoveries ; holding — and 
incontestably, so long as the premise is admitted — 
that however certain may appear the truths which 
human subtlety has disclosed, however false may 
appear the doctrines to which she owes her being, it 
still remains that the former are human and the latter 
divine of origin. Between the two she proudly holds 
that there is no disputing ; that error possible to man 
is impossible to divinity ; that man's perception of 
error in the divine tenets of the Church is no more 
than the manifestation of his own liability to err. 

The Church of Rome realized that either she must 
be entirely, or entirely cease to be. And it is matter 
for unprejudiced consideration whether the spectacle 
of her immobility is not more dignified than would 

The Inquisition Canonically Established 31 

have been that of her yielding up her divinities one by 
one to the expanding humanities, and thus gradually 
undergoing a course of dismemberment which must in 
the end remove her last claim to existence. In the 
attitude she assumed she remained the absolute mistress 
of her votaries ; had she departed from it she must 
have become their abject servant. 

Dr. Rule invites his readers to notice attentively 
that " no Church but that of Rome ever had an 
Inquisition." ' But he neglects to carry the con- 
sideration to its logical conclusion, and to add that in 
no Christian Church but that of Rome could an 
Inquisition be possible. For it would be impossible 
to offend heretically against any Church that accommo- 
dates itself to new habits of thought in a measure 
as these occur, and gives way step by step before the 
onslaught of learning. 2 

The Church of Rome presented her immutable 
formularies, her unchangeable doctrines to the world. 
11 This," she announced, " is my teaching. By this I 
hold. This you must accept without reservations, in 
its entirety, or you are no child of mine." 

With that there could be no cavil. Had she but 
added the admission of man's liberty to accept or reject 
her teaching, had she but left man free to confess or 
not her doctrines as his conscience and intelligence 
directed, all would have been well. Unfortunately 
she accounted it her duty to go further ; she used 
coercion and compulsion to such an extent that she 
imbued her children with the spirit of the eighteenth- 
century Jacobin, exclaiming, " Be my brother, or I 
kill you ! " 

Unable by intellectual means to stem the intel- 
lectual secession from her ranks, she had recourse to 

1 " History of the Inquisition," vol. i. p. 14. 

2 And yet Dr. Rule's statement is perilously akin to a truth untruly 
told, for the persecuting spirit, which is the impugnable quality of the 
Holy Office, has been present in other churches than that of Rome — vide 
the Elizabethan persecution of all who were not members of the Anglican 

32 Torquemada 

physical measures, and revived the fiercely coercive 
methods of the first centuries. 

A serious heretical outbreak had been occurring 
in Southern France. There, it would seem, all the 
schisms that had disturbed the Church since her 
foundation were gathered together — Arians, Mani- 
chseans, and Gnostics — to which were added certain 
more recent sects, such as the Cathars, the Waldenses, 
and the Boni Homines, or Good People. 

These new-comers deserve a word of explanation. 

The Cathars, like the Gnostics, were dualists ; 
indeed, their creed was little more than a development 
of Gnosticism. They believed that the earth was the 
only hell or purgatory, that it was given over to the 
power of the devil, and that human bodies were no 
more than the prisons of the angel spirits that fell with 
Lucifer. In heaven their celestial bodies still awaited 
them, but they could not resume these until they had 
worked out their expiation. To accomplish this a man 
must die reconciled with God ; failing that, another 
earthly existence awaited him in the body of man or 
beast, according to his deserts. It will be seen that, 
saving for abundant Christian elements introduced 
into this faith, it was little more than a revival of 
metempsychosis, the oldest and most fascinating of 
intelligent beliefs. 

The Waldenses, or Vaudois, with whom were 
allied the Good People, were the earliest Protestants, 
as we understand the term. They claimed for every 
man the right to interpret the Bible and to celebrate 
the sacraments of the Church without the need of 
being in holy orders. Further, they denied that the 
Roman Church was the Church of Christ. 

These sects were known collectively as the 
Albigenses, so called because the Council of Lombers, 
convoked to pronounce their condemnation, had been 
held in the Diocese of Albi in 1165. 

Pope Innocent III made an attempt to convert 
them ; with this aim in view he sent two monks, Peter 

Photo by Anderson. 

From the Painting by Berrnguete. 


The Inquisition Canonically Established 33 

de Castelnau and one Rodolfe, to restore order amongst 
them and induce them to return to submission. But 
when they murdered one of his legates the Holy 
Father had recourse to those other less legitimate 
measures of combating liberty of conscience. He 
ordered the King of France, the nobles and clergy 
of the kingdom, to assume the crusader's cross, and 
to proceed to the extirpation of the Albigensian 
heretics, whom he described as a worse danger to 
Christendom than the Saracens ; and he armed them 
for the fray with the same spiritual weapons that 
John VIII had bestowed upon those who went to 
war in Palestine in the ninth century. Upon all who 
might die in the service of the Church he pronounced 
a plenary indulgence. 

It is not the present aim to follow the history of 
the horrible strife that ensued — the massacres, pillages, 
burnings that took place in the course of the war 
between the Albigenses under Raymond of Toulouse 
and the Crusaders under Simon de Montfort. For 
over twenty years did that war drag on, and in the 
course of it the original grounds of the quarrel were 
forgotten ; it passed into a struggle for supremacy 
between North and South, and thus, properly speaking, 
out of the history of the Inquisition. 1 

Now, for all that the title " Inquisitor of the Faith" 
was first bestowed by the Theodosian Code, and for 
all that persecutions against heretics and others had 
been afoot since an even earlier date than that of 
Theodosius, Innocent III is to be considered the 
founder of the Holy Inquisition as an integral part 
of the Church. For it is under his jurisdiction that 
the faculty of persecuting heretics, which hitherto had 
belonged entirely to the secular arm, is now conferred 
upon the clergy. He dispatched two Cistercian 
monks as inquisitors into France and Spain, to engage 
in the work of extirpating heretics ; and he strictly 
enjoined all princes, nobles and prelates to afford every 

1 See C. Douais, " Les Heietiques du Midi au XIII e Siecle." 

34 Torquemada 

assistance to these emissaries, and to further them 
in every way in the work they were sent to do. 1 

Himself, personally, Pope Innocent directed his 
attention to the Paterini — a sect which rebelled against 
the celibacy imposed upon the clergy — who were gain- 
ing ground in Italy. He invoked the secular arm to 
assist him in their apprehension, imprisonment, and 
banishment, in seizing their possessions, which were 
confiscated, and in razing their houses to the ground. 

In 1209 he assembled a council at Avignon, under 
the presidency of his legates, wherein by his directions 
it was ordained that every bishop should select such of 
his subjects, counts, castellans, and knights as might 
seem to him proper, and swear them to undertake 
the extermination of all excommunicated heretics. 

" And to the end that the bishop may be the 
better enabled to purge his diocese of heretical 
pravity, let him swear one priest and two, three or 
more laymen of good repute in every parish to report 
to the bishop himself, and to the governors of cities 
or to the lords and bailiffs of places, the existence 
of any heretics or abettors of heresy wherever found, 
to the end that these may be punished according to 
the canonical and legal dispensations, in all cases 
suffering forfeiture of property. And should the said 
governors and others be negligent or reluctant in the 
execution of this divine service, let their persons 
be severally excommunicated, and their territories 
placed under the interdict of the Church." 2 

In the year 12 15 Pope Innocent held a further 
council at the Lateran in which he extended the field 
of ecclesiastical activity in persecution. He issued an 
injunction to all rulers, " as they desired to be esteemed 
faithful, to swear a public oath that they would labour 
zealously to exterminate from their dominions all those 
who were denounced as heretics by the Church." 3 

1 Eymericus, " Directorium Inquisitorum," p. 58. 

a Concilium Avenionense, a.d. 1209. 

3 Eymericus, " Directorium Inquisitorum," p. 60. 

The Inquisition Canonically Established 35 

This injunction was backed by a bull which 
menaced with excommunication and forfeiture of 
jurisdiction any prince who should fail to extirpate 
heretics from his dominions — so that at one stroke 
the Pope asserted his power to an extent that denied 
liberty of conscience to people and independence to 

And meanwhile every heretic against the Holy 
Catholic and Orthodox Faith, as accepted by the 
fathers assembled in the Church of St. John, was ex- 
communicate, and there followed these provisions : 

11 When condemned, the secular powers, or their 
representatives, being present, they shall be delivered 
to these for punishment, the clerics being previously 
degraded from their orders. The property of laymen 
shall be confiscated ; that of clerics bestowed upon 
their churches. Persons marked with suspicion only 
shall, unless they can clear themselves, be smitten 
with the sword of anathema, and shunned by all. If 
they persist for a year in excommunication, they shall 
be condemned as heretics. 

" Secular powers must be moved or led, or at need 
compelled by ecclesiastical censure, to make public 
oath for the defence of the faith, as they themselves 
desire to be esteemed faithful, undertaking to labour 
with all their power to extirpate from their dominions 
those whom the Church shall denounce as heretics." * 

The excommunication that was to wait upon dis- 
obedience was no empty threat, nor yet was it 
concerned alone with the spiritual part of man. The 
Pope's anathema imposed the same penalties upon 
those against whom it was launched as the Druid's 
curse had imposed of old. 2 

Persons under the ban of the Church might hold 
no office, nor claim any of the ordinary rights of 
citizenship, or, indeed, of existence. In sickness 01 

1 " Concilium Lateranense IV," a.d. 12 15. 

* See Caesar, "De Bello Gallico," p i3..1ibca vi \ 

36 Torquemada 

distress none might show them charity under pain of 
incurring the same curse, nor after death should their 
bodies be given Christian burial. 

By these provisions and injunctions the Inquisition 
may be said to have entered upon the second stage of 
its evolution, and to have assumed a strictly ecclesi- 
astical character — in short, to be canonically estab- 

It was Pope Innocent III who placed in the hands 
of the Church this terrible weapon of persecution, and 
who, by the awful severity of his own attitude towards 
liberty of conscience, of thought, and of expression, 
afforded to fanaticism and religious intolerance an 
example that was to be their merciless guide through 
centuries to come. 



11 If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and 
give to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven ; 
and come and follow Me!' 

The contrast between the condition thus enjoined 
by the Founder of Christianity and the worldly position 
occupied by His Vicar on earth was now fast ap- 
proaching the climax which was to become absolute 
with the era of the Renaissance. 

From the simple folk foregathering in Rome in 
the middle of the first century to discuss and to guide 
one another in the practice of the new doctrine of love 
and humility, conveyed by word of mouth from the 
East, in all its pristine simplicity, unburdened as yet 
by theological complexities, unfettered by formularies, 
it is a far cry indeed to the proud curial Christians of 
the Rome of Pope Innocent III. 

The successor of Peter, the poor fisherman of 
Galilee, was enthroned with a splendour outrivalling 
that of any other earthly potentate. Temporally he 
was lord of considerable dominions ; spiritually he 
claimed empire over the entire Christian world, and 
maintained his supremacy with the thunderbolts of 
anathema which he had forged himself. His glittering 
court was thronged with rustling, scarlet prelates, with 
patricians in cloth of gold and silver, captains in steel, 
mincing fops and stately senators. He was arrayed in 
garments woven of the very finest fleece, crowned with 
the triple diadem of white peacock feathers within 


3 8 Torquemada 

three flaming circlets of precious stones. On his 
coronation kings served him upon the knee at table ; 
throughout his reign princes and patricians were his 

From the steps of the Lateran on the day of his 
accession he would fling a handful of money to the 
Roman crowd, exclaiming : " Gold and silver are not 
for me. What I have I give to thee." 

Yet his riches were vast, their sources almost in- 
exhaustible. The luxury in which he lived and 
moved was the most sumptuous that wealth could 
command and art and artifice produce. 

Nor was this ecclesiastical magnificence confined 
to Rome and the Papal Court. Gradually it had 
come to permeate the entire body clerical until it had 
affected even the monastic orders. From the sim- 
plicity of their beginnings these orders had developed 
into baronial institutions. The fathers presided in 
noble abbeys over wide tracts of arable and vineyard 
which they owned and cultivated, and over rural 
districts and parishes, which they governed and taxed 
as feudal lords rather than served as priests. 

So arrogant and aristocratic was become the spirit 
of a clergy whose mission was to preach the sublimest 
and most ideal of democratic doctrines, that the Church 
seemed no longer within the reach of plebeian and 
peasant-folk. It was fast becoming an institution of 
patricians for patricians. 

How long this state of things might have endured, 
what results might have attended its endurance, it 
were perhaps idle to speculate. That a change was 
wrought, that provision was made for the lowly and 
the poor, is due to the advent of two men as similar in 
much as in much else they were dissimilar. They met 
in Rome at the foot of the pontifical throne. 

Either might have been the founder of a religion 
had he not found already in the world an ideal religion 
which he could serve. Both were men born into easy 
circumstances of life ; one, Francesco Bernardone, was 

The Order of St Dominic 39 

the son of a wealthy merchant of Assisi ; the other, 
Domingo de Guzman, of Calahorra, was a nobleman 
of Spain. 

To-day the Church includes them in her Calendar 
as St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic. They are 
the resplendent twain whom Dante beheld together 
in his " Paradise" : 

" L' un fu tutto serafico in ardore, 
L' altro per sapienza in terra fue 
Di cherubica luce un splendore." * 

St. Francis — through the sweetness and tenderness 
that emanated from his poetic, mystic nature, the most 
lovable of all the saints — came from his native Assisi 
to implore the Father of Fathers to permit him to 
band together into an order the barefoot companions 
he had already gained, to the end that they should 
practise Christ's injunction of poverty and self-abnega- 
tion, and minister to the afflicted. 

St. Dominic — and our concern is more with him — 
had been chosen for his eloquence and learning to 
accompany the Bishop of Osma upon an inquisitorial 
journey into Southern France. There he had wit- 
nessed the fierce carnage that was toward. He had 
preached to the heretics at Toulouse, and the burning, 
passionate eloquence of his oratory had made converts 
of many of those who were prepared to resist the 
cruel arguments of fire and steel. 

In the ardour of his zeal he had flung aside his 
rank and the ease and dignity it afforded him. Like 
St. Francis he went barefoot, embracing poverty and 
self-denial ; yet, less mystical, less tender, entirely prac- 
tical where the propagation of the Faith was concerned, 
he had exulted in the bloody victories that Simon de 
Montfort had won over the heretical Albigenses. 

Yet, if he gloried in the end achieved — conceiving 
it the supremest of all human ends — he must have 
been touched with regret for the means employed. 

* " Paradiso," C. xi. v. 37-39. 

40 Torquemada 

He has been termed a fierce and cruel zealot. 
But ferocity and cruelty do not go hand in hand with 
such lowly humility as undoubtedly was his. And 
the very object of his mission to Rome permits, if it 
does not point to, a very different conclusion. He 
went deploring the bloodshed he had witnessed, 
however greatly he may have prized the fruits of it. 
Inspired by the success that had attended his oratory, 
he aimed at providing other and gentler means by 
which in the first instance to seek the attainment of 
the same ends. He went to implore Pope Innocent's 
leave to found an order of preachers who in poverty 
and lowliness should go abroad to win back to the 
Roman fold the sheep that had strayed into heretical 

Pope Innocent considered the simultaneous requests 
of both these men — requests which, springing from the 
same passionate fervour in both, yet came by different, 
if similar, channels to a sort of unity in the end. 

He perceived the services which such men as 
these might render to the Church, endowed as they 
were with the magnetic power of creating followings, 
of inflaming hearts, and replenishing the flickering 
lamp of public zeal. 

He detected no heresy, no irony, in the cult of 
pauperdom which they would go forth to preach under 
the sanction and charter of the luxurious, aristocratic, 
curial court. 

But there existed another obstacle to his granting 
them their prayers. So numerous already were the 
monastic orders that a Council of the Lateran had 
decreed that no more should be created. Favouring 
these petitioners, however, he was applying himself to 
the surmounting of the difficulty when death took him. 

Thus the burden of solving this problem was thrust 
upon his successor, Honorius III. And it is said that 
the new pope was spurred to discover a solution by 
a dream — which has been made the subject of a 

The Order of St Dominic 4 1 

fresco by Bennozzo Gozzoli — in which he beheld this 
saintly pair supporting with their hands the tottering 

Since he could not establish them and their fol- 
lowers as monastic fathers, he had recourse to creating 
brotherhoods for them. These brotherhoods, he affi- 
liated to the order of St. Augustine, the Dominicans 
as friars-preachers {fratres predicatores) and the Fran- 
ciscans as friars-minors {fratres minores). 

Thus were launched these two mendicant orders, 
which by the enormous following they were so soon 
to win, were destined to become one of the greatest 
means of power of the Roman Church. 

In the lifetime of their founders the fundamental 
laws of poverty were observed in all their intended 
purity. But soon thereafter, being men under their 
rough habits, and susceptible to the ambition that 
is man's, upon the acquisition of power followed 
the acquisition of wealth. Their founders had accom- 
plished a renascence of the original spirit of 
Christianity. But soon this began to undergo modi- 
fication, and to respond to worldly influences, until the 
history of the friars-mendicant repeats and mirrors 
the history of Christianity itself. In a measure as 
they spread through Christendom, so they acquired 
convents, lands, and property as they went. The 
personal poverty of each brother remained, it is true ; 
they still went abroad barefoot and coarsely garbed, 
u without staft^ or bag, or bread, or money," as their 
rule decreed. Individually they kept the vow of pri- 
vation ; but considered collectively their poverty 
" remained outside the convent gate," as Gregorovius 
says, echoing what Dante had said before him. 1 

1 " Ma il suo peculio di nuova vivanda 
E' fatto ghiotto si, ch' esser non puote 
Che per diversi salti non si spanda ; 

" E quanto le sue pecore remote 
E vagabonde piu da esso vanno, 
Piu tornano all' ovil di latte vote." 

Dante, " Paradiso," C xi. v. 124-9. 

4 2 Torquemada 

For the service of the Church the friars-mendicant 
became a splendid army, and an army, moreover, 
whose maintenance made no draught upon the pon- 
tifical treasury, since, by virtue of their mendicancy, 
the orders were entirely self-supporting. And whilst 
both orders, magnificently organized, grew extremely 
powerful, the Dominicans became formidable through 
their control of that Inquisition whose early stirrings 
had inspired St. Dominic to his task. 

His aim had been to found a preaching order whose 
special mission should be the overthrow of heresy 
wherever found. The brethren were to combat it, 
employing their eloquence on the one hand to induce 
the heretic to abjure his error, on the other to inflame 
the faithful against him, so that terror should accom- 
plish what might not be possible to persuasion. 

It may be that this mission which they had made 
specially their own, as their founder ordained, pecu- 
liarly fitted the Dominicans to assume the government 
of an ecclesiastical establishment whose aim was 
identical. It was this order of St. Dominic that was 
to erect the grim edifice of the Holy Office, and to 
develop and assume entire control of the terrible 
machinery of the Inquisition. Their persuasion was 
to be the ghastly persuasion of the rack ; their elo- 
quence was to be the burning eloquence of the tongues 
of material flame that should lick their agonizing 
victims out of existence. And all for the love of 
Christ ! 

Although it might be difficult to show — as has 
been attempted — that Domingo de Guzman himself 
was actually the first ordained Inquisitor, nevertheless 
as early as 1224, within three years of his death, the 
Inquisition in Italy and elsewhere was already entirely 
in the hands of the Dominicans. This is shown by 
a constitution promulgated at Padua in February of 
that year by the Emperor Frederic II. It contains 
the following announcement ; 

The Order of St Dominic 43 

11 Be it known to all that we have received under 
our special protection the preaching friars of the order 
of preachers, sent into our Empire on business of the 
Faith against heretics, and likewise all who may lend 
them assistance — as much in going as in abiding and 
returning — save such as are already prescribed ; and 
it is our wish that all should give them favour and 
assistance ; wherefore we order our subjects to receive 
benignly any of the said friars whenever and wherever 
they may arrive, keeping them secure from the enmity 
of heretics, assisting them in every way to accomplish 
their ministry regarding the business of the Faith. . . . 
And we do not doubt that you will render homage 
to God and our Empire by collaborating with the said 
friars to deliver our Empire from the new and unusual 
infamy of heretical pravity." l 

The constitution decreed that heretics when so 
condemned by the Church and delivered over to the 
secular arm should be condignly punished ; that if 
any, through the fear of death, should desire to return 
to the faith, he should receive the penance that might 
be imposed canonically and be imprisoned for life ; 
that if in any part of the Empire heretics should be 
discovered by the inquisitors or by other zealous 
Catholics, the civil powers should be under the obliga- 
tion of effecting their arrest at the request of the said 
inquisitors or other Catholics, and of holding them in 
safe custody until excommunicated by the Church, 
when they should be burnt ; that the same punishment 
should be suffered by fautores — i.e. those guilty of 
concealing or defending heretics ; that fugitives be 
sought for, and that converts from the same heresy 
be employed to discover them. 

Odious as was this last enactment, there was yet 
worse contained in the Emperor's constitution. It was 
decreed that " the sin of lese-Majestd divine being, as 
it is, greater than that of lese-Majestd humaine, and 

1 Limborch, " Historia Inquisitionis," lib. i. cap. 12, 

44 Torquemada 

God being the avenger of the sins of the fathers on 
the children, to the end that these may not imitate 
the sins of those, the descendants of heretics to the 
second generation shall be deemed incapable of honours 
or of holding any public office — excepting the innocent 
children who shall denounce the iniquity of their 
fathers? 1 

The barbarous provision here given in italics calls 
for no comment. 

Within four years of issuing that harsh procla- 
mation against all rebels from the sway of Rome, 
Frederic himself, in rebellion against the pontiff's 
temporal sway, was to feel the lash of excommunica- 
tion. But with that we have no concern. After his 
reconciliation with the Pope he renewed the con- 
stitution of 1224, adding a provision concerning 
blasphemers, who, in common with heretics of what- 
ever sect, should suffer death by fire ; yet if the 
bishops should desire to save any such, this could 
only be done subject to the offender's being deprived 
of his tongue, so that never again should he blaspheme 

In the year 1227 Ugolino Conti, who had been a 
friend of Dominic and of Francis, ascended the papal 
throne under the style of Gregory IX. 

It was this pontiff who, carrying forward the 
work that had been undertaken in that direction by 
Innocent III, gave the Inquisition a stable form. 
He definitely placed the control of it in the hands of 
the Dominican friars, giving them, where necessary, the 
assistance of the Franciscans. But the participation 
of the latter in the business of that terrible tribunal is 
so slight as to be insignificant. 

Gregory's bull, given in " Raynaldus," 2 is one of 
excommunication against all heretics. 

Further, it ordains that all condemned by the 

1 Limborch, " Historia Inquisitionis," lib. i, cap. 12. 
* 1331, N. 14, 16-17. 

The Order of St. Dominic 45 

Church shall be delivered to the secular arm for 
punishment, all clerics so delivered being first degraded 
from their orders ; that should any wish to abjure 
his heresy and return to the Church, penance shall be 
imposed upon him, and he shall suffer perpetual im- 
prisonment. Abettors, concealers, and defenders of 
heretics are similarly excommunicated ; and if any 
such shall neglect to procure absolution within one 
year, he shall be accounted infamous, and shall be 
neither eligible for any public office nor the elector of 
any other, nor act as witness, testator, inheritor, nor 
have power to seek justice when wronged. If a judge, 
no proceedings shall be laid before him, and his sen- 
tences, where passed, shall be null and void ; if an 
advocate, he shall not have faculty to plead ; if a notary, 
his deeds shall be void ; if a cleric, he shall be deposed 
from his office and benefices. 

Similarly, the ban of excommunication shall fall 
upon those who hold traffic with any who are excom- 
municated, and they shall further be punished with 
other penalties. 

Those who are under suspicion of heresy, unless 
they see to it that they overcome the suspicion either 
by canonical purgation or otherwise according to the 
quality of the person and the motives for the suspicion, 
shall be excommunicated, and if they do not give 
condign satisfaction within one year, they shall be 
deemed heretics. Their claims or appeals shall not 
then be admitted, nor shall judges, advocates, or 
notaries exercise their functions in favour of them ; 
priests shall refuse to administer the sacraments to 
them and to admit their alms or oblations, and so 
shall the Templars and Hospitallers and other regular 
orders, under pain of loss of office, from which naught 
can save them but a mandate from the Holy See. 

Should any give Christian burial to one who has 
died under excommunication, he shall himself incur 
excommunication, from which he shall not be delivered 
until with his own hands he shall have exhumed the 

4 6 Torquemada 

corpse, and so disposed that the place may never again 
be used for sepulture. 

Should any know of the existence of heretics or of 
any who practise secret conventicles or whose ways 
of living are uncommon, they are bound under pain of 
excommunication to divulge the same to their confessor 
or other by whom they believe it will come to the 
knowledge of their prelate. 

Children of heretics and of the abettors or con- 
cealers of heretics shall be deprived until the second 
generation of holding any public office or benefice. 

To the provisions of this bull, additions were made 
by the civil governor of Rome, as representing the 
secular arm whose concern it would be to inflict the 
punishments regarding which the Church refrained 
from being explicit — confining herself to the promise 
that they should be " condign." 

He provided that: those arrested should be de- 
tained in prison until condemned by the Church, when, 
after eight days, they should be punished. 

Their property should be confiscated, one-third 
going to the delator, one-third to the judge who should 
pronounce sentence, and one-third to repair the walls 
of Rome, or otherwise as might be considered. 

The dwellings of heretics or of any who should 
consciously have entertained heretics should be razed 
to the ground. 

If any man should have knowledge of the existence 
of heretics and fail to denounce them he should be fined 
the sum of 20 livres. Should he lack the means to 
pay, he was to be banished until he could find them. 

Abettors and concealers of heretics should for the 
first offence suffer confiscation of one-third of their 
property, to be applied to keeping the walls of Rome 
in repair. If the offence were repeated, then they 
should be banished for ever. 

All who were elected senators must swear before 
taking office that they would observe all laws against 
heretics ; and were any to refuse this oath his acts as 

The Order of St. Domfnlc 47 

senator would be null and void and none should be 
obliged to follow or obey him, whilst those who might 
have sworn obedience to him were absolved of their 
oath. Should a senator accept this oath but afterwards 
refuse or neglect to respect its terms, he must incur the 
penalties of perjury, suffer a fine of 200 silver marks, 
to be applied to the repairing of the walls, and be- 
come ineligible for any public office. 

Two years later — in 1233 — at a Council held at 
Beziers, the papal legate, Gaultier of Tournai, elabo- 
rated these canons by the following provisions : 

" All magistrates, nobles, vassals, and others shall 
diligently seek to discover, apprehend, and punish 
heretics wherever found. Every parish in which a 
heretic is discovered shall pay as a penalty for having 
harboured him one silver mark to the person who shall 
have discovered him. All houses in which heretics 
may have preached shall be demolished and the pro- 
perty confiscated, and fire shall be set to all caves and 
other hiding-places where heretics are alleged to be 
concealed. All the property of heretics shall be con- 
fiscated, and their children shall inherit nothing. Their 
abettors, concealers, or defenders shall be dealt with 
in the same manner. Any persons suspected of heresy 
must make public profession of faith upon oath, under 
pain of suffering as heretics ; they shall be compelled 
to attend divine service on every feast-day, and all 
who are reconciled to the Church shall wear as a dis- 
tinguishing badge two crosses externally on their 
garments — one on the breast, the other on the back — 
both of yellow cloth, three fingers in width, the vertical 
limb measuring 2\ hands, the horizontal one 2 hands. 1 
If a hood is worn, this must bear a third cross — all 
under pain of being deemed heretics and suffering 
confiscation of property." 2 

These enactments by their uncompromising harsh- 

1 Or, say, I J ft. by I, ft. 

1 Llorente, " Historia Critica," i. p. 135. Raynaldus 1233. 

4 8 Torquemada 

ness abundantly reveal the extent to which heretics 
were execrated by the Church in her intolerance and 
her firm determination to extirpate them. They also 
reveal something of the far-reaching, pitiless, priestly 
subtlety and craft which were to render so terrible 
this tribunal. 

The provisions for the punishment of those who 
should be moved by Christian charity to succour any 
of the persecuted were devised to the end that terror 
should stifle all such compassion ; whilst the decree 
that the children of convicted heretics should suffer 
disinheritance and become ineligible for any honour- 
able appointment was calculatedly introduced to forge 
a further weapon out of parental love. Where a man 
might readily, himself, have endured martyrdom for 
his convictions, he would be made to pause before 
including his children in the same sacrifice, before 
suffering them to go destitute and branded. 

In the eyes of the Church the end in view could 
not fail to justify any means that might be employed. 
The extirpation of heresy was a consummation so 
very fervently to be desired that any steps — almost 
any sin — would be condonable if conducive to that 

It has been argued that this crusade against heresy 
was political, a campaign waged by the Church to 
protect herself from the onslaught of liberty of thought, 
which was threatening her overthrow. Such no doubt 
had been the case in earlier centuries ; but it was 
so no longer. Roman Catholicism had grown and 
spread like a mighty tree, until her shadow lay across 
the face of Europe and her roots were thrust far and 
wide into the soil. These had taken too firm a hold, 
they were too full of vigour, to permit that the 
withering of an occasional branch should give her 
concern for the vitality of the growth itself. She 
had no such concern. However abominable, how- 
ever feral, however unchristian even, may have been 
the institution of the Holy Office, it is difficult to 

Photo by Lacoste. 

From the Painting in the Prado Gallery, attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 

The Order of St Dominic 49 

think that the spirit in which it was founded was 
other than pure and disinterested. 

It may seem bitterly ironical that men should 
have been found who in the name of the meek and 
compassionate Christ relentlessly racked and burnt 
their fellow-creatures. It was — bitterly, deplorably, 
tragically ironical. But they were not conscious of 
the irony. In what they did they were sincere — as 
sincere as St. Augustine when he urged the extermina- 
tion of heretics ; and none can call in question his 
sincerity or the purity of his motives. 

To understand their attitude it is but necessary to 
consider the absolute belief that was the Catholics' in 
what Lecky calls "the doctrine of exclusive salvation." 
Starting from the premise that the Church of Rome 
is the true and only Church of Christ, they held that 
no salvation was possible for any man who was not 
a member of it. Nor could ignorance — however 
absolute — of the true faith be urged as an excuse 
for error, any more than may ignorance of the law 
be pleaded in the worldly courts to-day. Thus, not 
only did they account irrevocably damned those who 
schismatically deserted from the Church, and those 
who like Jew and Moslem remained deliberately out- 
side its walls, but similarly — such was man's indifferently 
flattering conception of divine justice and divine 
intelligence — the savages who had never so much as 
heard the name of Christ, and the very babe who died 
before his heritage of Original Sin could be washed 
away by the baptismal waters. Indeed, fathers of the 
Church had waged heated wars of controversy con- 
cerning the precise moment at which pre-natal life 
sets in, and, consequently, damnation is incurred by 
the soul of the foetus should it perish in the womb. 

When it is considered that such doctrines were 
held dogmatically, it will be realized that in the sight 
of the Church — whose business was the salvation of 
souls — there could be no sin so intolerable, so execrable, 
as heresy. It will be realized how it happened that 

50 Torquemada 

the Church could consider those of her children who 
were guilty of such crimes as murder, rape, adultery, 
and the sin of the Cities of the Plain, with the tolerance 
of an indulgent parent, whilst rising up in intolerant 
wrath to smite the heretic whose life might be a model 
of pure conduct. The former were guilty of only the 
sins of weak humanity ; and sinners who have the faith 
may seek forgiveness, and find it in contrition. But 
heresy was not merely the worst of sins, as some have 
held. In the eyes of the Church it transcended the 
realm of sin — it was infinitely worse than sin, because 
it represented a state that was entirely hopeless, a state 
not to be redeemed or mitigated by good actions or 
purity of life. 

Taking this view of heresy, the Church accounted 
it her duty to stamp out this awful soul-pestilence so 
as to prevent its spreading ; and she had St. Augus- 
tine's word for it that it was merciful to be merciless 
in the attainment of that object. When viewed, as it 
were, from within, there is nothing illogical in the atti- 
tude of the Church towards heresy. What is illogical 
is the conception of God that is involved in the doctrine 
of exclusive salvation. 

Even if we survey the case of Galileo — one of the 
most illustrious prisoners ever arraigned before the 
tribunal of the Holy Office — we have no just cause to 
suppose that, in demanding his retraction of the theory 
of the earth's movement round the sun, the inquisitors 
were inspired by any motives beyond the fear lest the 
spread of a notion — honestly deemed by them to be 
an illusion — should disturb man's faith in the Biblical 
teaching with which it was in conflict. 



Llorente agrees with the earlier writers on the 
subject in considering the Spanish Inquisition as an 
institution distinct from that which had been estab- 
lished to deal with the Albigenses and their coevals 
in heresy. It is distinct only in that it represents a 
further development of the organization launched by 
Innocent III and perfected by Gregory IX. 

Before entering upon the consideration of this 
Modern Inquisition — as it is called — it will perhaps be 
well to take a survey of the Spain of the Catholic 
Sovereigns — Ferdinand and Isabella — in whose reign 
that tribunal was set up in Castile. 

For seven hundred years, with varying fortune and 
in varying degree, the Saracen had lorded it in the 

First had come Berber Tarik, in 711, to overthrow 
the Visigothic Kingdom of Roderic, to spread the 
Moslem dominion as far as the mountains in the north 
and east and west from sea to sea. When the Berber 
tribe, the Syrians, and the Arabs had fallen to 
wrangling among themselves, Abdurrahman the 
Omayyad crossed from Africa to found the inde- 
pendent amirate, which in the tenth century became 
the Caliphate of Cordova. 

Meanwhile the Christians had been consolidating 
their forces in the mountain fastnesses of the north to 
which they had been driven, and under Alfonso I 


52 Torquemada 

they founded the Kingdom of Galicia. Thence, 
gradually but irresistibly, presenting a bold front to 
the Moorish conqueror, they forced their way down 
into the plains of Leon and Castile, so that by the 
following century they had driven the Saracens south 
of the Tagus. Following up their advantage, they 
continued to press them, intent upon driving them into 
the sea, and they might have succeeded but for the 
coming of Yusuf ben Techufin, who checked the 
Christian conquest, hurled them back across the Tagus, 
and, master of the country to the south of it, founded 
there the Empire of the Almoravides. 

After these came the Almohades — the followers of 
the Mahdi — and the land rang for half a century with 
the clash of battle between Cross and Crescent, 
Castile, Leon, Aragon, and the new-born Kingdom 
of Portugal striving side by side to crush the common 
foe at Navas de Tolosa. 

In 1236 Leon and Castile — now united into one 
kingdom — in alliance with Aragon, wrested Cordova 
from the Moors ; in 1248 Seville was conquered, and 
in 1265 Diego of Aragon drove the Saracen from 
Murcia, and thereby reduced the Moslem occupation 
to Granada and a line of Mediterranean seaboard 
about Cadiz, in which they remained until Ferdinand 
of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, by virtue of their 
marriage, had united the two crowns on the death (in 
1474) of Henry IV, Isabella's brother. 

Ferdinand brought, with Aragon, Sicily, Sardinia, 
and Naples ; Isabella brought, with Castile, Leon 
and the rest of the Spanish territory, saving Granada 
and that portion of the coast still in Moorish hands. 
And thus was founded, by the welding of these 
several principalities into one single state, that mighty 
Kingdom of Spain which Columbus was so soon to 
enrich by a new world. 

But though founded by this marriage, this kingdom 
still required consolidating and subjecting. Genera- 

Isabella the Catholic 53 

tions of misrule in Castile, culminating in the lax 
reigns of John II and Henry IV, had permitted the 
spread of a lawlessness so utter that its like was not 
to be found in any other state at that time. Anarchy 
was paramount mistress of the land, and Pulgar has 
left us a striking picture of the impossible conditions 
that prevailed. 

° In those days," he writes, "justice suffered, and 
was not to be done upon the malefactors who 
plundered and tyrannized in townships and on the 
highways. None paid debts who did not want to do 
so ; none was restrained from committing any crime, 
and none dreamed of obedience or subjection to a 
superior. What with present and past wars, people 
were so accustomed to turbulence that he who did not 
do violence to others was held to be a man of no 

11 Citizens, peasants, and men of peace were not 
masters of their own property, nor could they have 
recourse to any for redress of the wrongs they suffered 
at the hands of governors of fortresses and other 
thieves and robbers. Every man would gladly have 
engaged to give the half of his property if at that price 
he might have purchased security and peace for 
himself and his family. Often there was talk in towns 
and villages of forming brotherhoods to remedy all 
these evils. But a leader was wanting who should have 
at heart the justice and tranquillity of the Kingdom." 1 

The nobility, as may be conceived — and, indeed, 
as Pulgar clearly indicates — were not only tainted 
with the general lawlessness, but were themselves the 
chief offenders, each man a law unto himself, a 
tyrannical, extortionate ruler of his vassals, lord of life 
and death, unscrupulously abusing his power, little 
better than a highway robber, caring nothing for the 
monarchy so long as the monarchy left him undis- 
turbed, ready to rebel against it should it attempt to 
curtail his brigandage. 

1 Pulgar, " Chronica," Part II. cap. li. 

54 Torquemada 

To crush these and other unruly elements in the 
state, to resolve into order the chaos that had invaded 
every quarter of the kingdom, was the task which at 
the outset the young Queen perceived awaiting her — 
a task that must have daunted any mind less virile, 
any spirit less vigorous. 

And there were other and more pressing matters 
demanding her instant attention if she were to retain 
her seat upon this almost bankrupt throne of Castile 
which she had inherited from her brother. 

Alfonso V of Portugal was in arms, invading her 
frontiers to dispute, on his niece Juana's behalf, 
Isabella's right. 

Henry IV had left no legitimate issue, but his wife 
Juana of Portugal had brought forth in wedlock a 
daughter of whom she pretended that he was the 
father, whilst the King of Portugal, to serve interests 
of his own, recognized the girl as his legitimate niece. 
Public opinion, however, hesitated so little to proclaim 
her bastardy that it had named her La Beltraneja, 
after Beltran de la Cueva who notoriously had been 
her mother's lover. And what Beltran de la Cueva, 
himself, thought about it, may be inferred from the 
circumstance that in the ensuing struggle he was 
found fighting for the honour of Castile under the 
banner of Queen Isabella. 

The war demanded all the attention and resources 
of the Catholic Monarchs, and Isabella's own share 
in these labours was conspicuous. They resulted in 
the rout of the Portuguese supporters of the pre- 
tender at Toro in 1476. By that victory Isabella was 
securely seated upon her throne and became joint 
ruler with Ferdinand of Castile and Aragon. 

She was twenty-five years of age at the time, a 
fair, shapely woman of middle height, with a clear 
complexion, eyes between green and blue, and a 
gracious, winsome countenance remarkable for its 
habitual serenity. Such, indeed, was her self-control, 
Pulgar tells us, that not only did she carefully conceal 

Isabella the Catholic 55 

her an^er when it was aroused, but even in childbirth 
she could " dissemble her feelings, betraying no 
sign or expression of the pain to which all women are 
subject." He adds that she was very ceremonious in 
dress and equipage, that she was deliberate of gesture, 
quick-witted, and ready of tongue, and that in the 
midst of the labour of government — and very arduous 
labour, as shall be seen — she found time to learn Latin, 
so that she could understand all that was said in that 

11 She was a zealous Catholic and very charitable, 
yet in her judgments she inclined rather to rigour than 
to mercy. She listened to counsel, but acted chiefly 
upon her own opinions. Of a rare fidelity to her word, 
she never failed to fulfil that to which she had pledged 
herself, save where compelled by stress of circumstance. 
She was reproached, together with her husband, of 
being wanting in generosity, because, seeing the royal 
patrimony diminished by the alienation of fiefs and 
castles, she was always very careful of such con- 

14 ' Kings,' she was wont to say, ' should preserve 
with care their dominions, because in alienating them 
they lose at once the money necessary to make them- 
selves beloved and the power to make themselves 
feared.'" 1 

Such is the portrait that Pulgar has left us, and 
considering that he is writing of a sovereign, it would 
be no more than reasonable to suspect flattery and 
that curious, undiscriminating enthusiasm which never 
fails to create panegyrists when it is a question of 
depicting a prince, however inept, to his contempo- 
raries. But if Pulgar has erred in this instance, it 
has been on the side of moderation in his portrayal of 
this gifted, high-spirited woman. 

Her actions speak more eloquently of her character 
than can the pen of any chronicler, and it is in the 
deeds of princes that we must seek their true natures, 

1 Pulgar, M Cronica," II. cap. iv. 

56 Torquemada 

not in what may have been written of them in their 
own day. The deeds of Isabella's life — with one dark 
exception that is the subject of this history — more 
than bear out all that Pulgar and others have set down 
in praise of her. 

No sooner had she overthrown those who came 
from abroad to dispute her right to the crown than 
she turned her attention to the subjugation of those 
who disputed her authority at home. In this herculean 
labour she had the assistance of Alonzo de Quintanilla, 
her chancellor, and Juan Ortega, the King's sacristan. 
These men proposed to organize at their own risk one 
of those brotherhoods which Pulgar mentions as having 
been so ardently desired by the country for its pro- 
tection from those who preyed upon it. This herman- 
dad was to act under royal sanction and guidance, 
with the object of procuring peace and protection of 
property in the kingdom. Isabella readily approved 
the proposal, and the brotherhood was immediately 
founded, a tax to support it being levied upon those 
in whose interest it was established, and very willingly 
paid by them. 

Splendidly organized, this association, half military, 
half civil, so effectively discharged the functions for 
which it was created, that twenty years later — in 1498 
— it was possible to abolish it, and to replace it by a 
much simpler and less costly system of police which 
then sufficed to preserve the order that had been 

Further to subject the turbulent and insubordinate 
nobility, Isabella employed methods similar to those 
adopted in like case by her neighbour, Louis XI 
of France. She bestowed the offices of state upon 
men of merit without regard to birth, which hitherto 
had been accounted the only qualification. The career 
of the law was thrown open to the burgher classes, 
and every office under the crown was made accessible 
to lawyers, who thus became the staunch friends of the 

Isabella the Catholic 57 

If the nobles did not dare to revolt, at least they 
protested in the strongest terms against these two 
innovations that so materially affected and weakened 
their prestige. They represented in particular that 
the institution of the hermandad was the manifestation 
of a want of confidence in the " faithful nobility," and 
they implored that four members of their order should 
be appointed by the Catholic Sovereigns to form a 
council of supreme direction of the affairs of State, 
as under the late King Henry IV. 

To this the Catholic Sovereigns replied that the 
hermandad was a tutelary institution which was very 
welcome to the country, and which it was their 
pleasure to maintain. As for the offices of State, it 
was for the sovereigns to appoint such men as they 
considered best qualified to hold them. The nobles, 
they added, were free to remain at Court or to with- 
draw to their own domains, as they might see fit ; but 
as for the sovereigns, themselves, as long as it should 
please God to preserve them in the high position in 
which He had deigned to place them, it should be 
their care not to imitate the monarch who was cited to 
them as an example, and not to become puppets in the 
hands of their " faithful nobility." 

That answer gave the nobles pause. It led them 
to perceive that a change had taken place, and that 
the lawless days of Henry IV were at an end. To 
have made them realize this was something. But 
there was more to be done before they would under- 
stand that they must submit to the altered conditions, 
and Isabella pursued the policy she had adopted with 
an unswerving directness, as the following story from 
Pulgar's Chronicle bears witness : 

A quarrel had broken out in the Queen's palace at 
Valladolid between Don Fadrique Enriquez (son of 
the Admiral of Castile) and Don Ramiro de Guzman. 
Knowledge of it reached the Queen, and she ordered 
both disputants to hold themselves under arrest in 

5 8 Torquemada 

their own quarters until she should provide that judg- 
ment be given between them by the Courts. Fadrique, 
however, signified his contempt of the royal mandate 
by disobeying it and continuing at large. Learning 
this, Isabella gave the more obedient Guzman his 
liberty, and the assurance of her word that he should 
suffer no harm. 

A few days later he was riding peacefully through 
the street, secure in the Queen's safe-conduct, when he 
was set upon by three masked horsemen of the house- 
hold of Fadrique and severely beaten. No sooner did 
the Queen hear of this further affront to her authority 
than she got to horse, and rode through torrential rain 
from Valladolid to the Admiral's castle at Simancas. 
In fact, in such haste did she set out that she rode 
alone, without waiting for an escort. This, however, 
followed presently, but did not come up with her save 
under the very walls of the Admiral's fortress. 

She summoned the Admiral, and commanded him 
to deliver up his rebellious son to her justice, and 
when Don Alonso Enriquez protested that his son was 
not there, she bade her followers search the castle 
from battlements to dungeons. The search, however, 
proved fruitless, and Isabella returned empty-handed 
and indignant to Valladolid. Arrived there, she took 
to her bed, and to those who came to seek news of her 
health, she replied : " My body aches with the blows 
delivered yesterday against my safa-conduct by Don 

The Admiral, trembling before the royal wrath, 
resolved to deliver up his son and cast him upon 
the mercy of the Queen. So the Constable of 
Castile — Fadrique's uncle — undertook the office of 
intercessor. He went with Don Fadrin^e to Valla- 
dolid, and imploring Isabella to consiuer that the 
young man was but in his twentieth year and that 
he had sinned through the rashness of youth, begged 
her to do upon him the justice she might wish or the 
mercy that was due. 

Isabella the Catholic 59 

The Queen, however, was not to be moved to 
mercy for offences that set her royal authority in 
contempt. She was inexorable. She refused to see 
the offender, and submitted him to the indignity of 
being taken to prison through the streets of the city 
by an alcalde. After a spell of confinement there she 
banished him to Sicily, prohibiting his return to Spain 
under pain of severest punishment. 

It happened, however, that Don Ramirode Guzman 
did not consider his honour sufficiently avenged by his 
enemy's exile. One night, when the Court was at 
Medina del Campo, he ambushed himself in his turn 
with some followers of his own, and attacked the 
Admiral, to return him the blows received from his 
son. From this indignity the Admiral was saved by 
his escort. But when Isabella heard of the affair, she 
treated Guzman as a rebel, seized his castles in Leon 
and Castile, as she would have seized his person, but 
that to escape her anger he fled to Portugal for shelter. 1 

No less determined was her conduct in the matter 
of the Grand-Mastership of Santiago. 

There were in Spain three religio-military orders : 
the Knights of Alcantara, the celibate Knights of 
Calatrava — who were the successors of the Knights 
Templars — and the Knights of Santiago. This last 
order had been founded for the purpose of affording 
protection to the pilgrims who came into Spain to 
visit the shrine at Compostella of St. James the 
Apostle, who is alleged to have been the first to bear 
the message of Christianity into the Iberian Peninsula. 2 
These pilgrimages, chiefly from France, were a great 
source of revenue to the country, and it became of 
importance to ensure their immunity from the pre- 
datory hordes that infested the highways. Further, 

1 Pulgar, " Cronica," II. cap c. 

* The Jesuit Mariana is among those who doubt the story of St. James's 
visit to Spain and the presence of his body at Compostella, but he con- 
siders that "it is not desirable to disturb with such disputes the devotion 
of the people." — " Hist. General de Espafla." 

60 Torquemada 

the Knights of Santiago had found employment for 
their arms in the crusade waged on Spanish soil 
against the Moors, in token whereof they wore the 
Crusader's cross in red upon their white cloaks. They 
acquired great power and wealth, possessing castles 
and convents in every part of Spain, so that the office 
of Grand Master of the Order was one of great weight 
and importance — too great, in the opinion of Isabella, 
to be in the hands of a subject. 

This opinion she boldly manifested in 1476, when 
the death of Don Rodrigo Manrique left the office vacant. 
She took horse, as was her custom, and rode to Huete, 
where the Chapter of the Order was assembled upon the 
business of the necessary election, and she frankly urged 
that to an office so exalted it was not fitting that any 
but the King should be elected. 

The proposal was not received with satisfaction. 
Ferdinand was an Aragonese, and despite the union of 
the two kingdoms which must be completed when he 
should succeed to the throne of Aragon, he was still 
looked upon as a foreigner by the Castilians. Under 
Isabella's insistence, however, a compromise was 
effected. The Chapter consented to elect Ferdinand 
to the office of Grand-Master on condition that he 
should nominate a gentleman of Castile to act as his 
deputy for the discharge of the duties of the position. 
This was done, and Alonso de Cardenas — a loyal 
servant of the Sovereigns — was chosen as the royal 
deputy. Thus Isabella established it that the appoint- 
ment of Grand-Master of the Order of Santiago 
should be a royal prerogative. 

Even more strikingly than in either of the instances 
cited does the Queen's resolute, spirited nature manifest 
itself in her manner of dealing with a revolt that took 
place in Segovia at the commencement of her reign. 

During the war with Portugal the Catholic Sove- 
reigns had entrusted their eldest daughter, the Princess 
Isabella, to the care of Andres de Cabrera, the Seneschal 

Isabella the Catholic 61 

of the Castle of Segovia, and his wife, Beatriz de 

Cabrera, a man of stern and rigid equity, had 
occasion to depose his lieutenant, Alonso Maldonado, 
from his office, conferring this upon his own brother- 
in-law, Pedro de Bobadilla. Maldonado conspired to 
avenge himself. He begged Bobadilla's permission to 
remove some stones that were in the castle, upon the 
pretext that he required them for his own house, and 
he sent some men of his own to fetch them. These 
men, who were secretly armed, having gained admis- 
sion, stabbed the sentry and seized the person of 
Bobadilla, whilst Maldonado, with other of his people, 
took possession of the castle itself. The inmates of 
the Alcazar, hearing the uproar, fled to the Homenaje 
Tower, taking with them the Infanta, who was five 
years of age at the time. Fortified in this, they defied 
Maldonado when he attacked it. Finding it impreg- 
nable, the rebel ordered Bobadilla to be brought 
forward, and threatened the besieged that unless they 
admitted him he would put the prisoner to death. 

To this threat Cabreras dignified reply was that 
Maldonado must do as he pleased, but the gates would 
not be opened to him. 

By this time a multitude of the townspeople had 
gathered there, alarmed by the disturbance and armed 
for any emergency. To these Maldonado cunningly 
represented that what he was about was being done in 
their interests against the overbearing tyranny of the 
Governor, and he invited them to join hands with him 
in the cause of liberty to complete the work he had 
so excellently begun. The populace largely took sides 
with him, so that Segovia was flung into a state of 
war. There was constant fighting in the streets, and 
the gates were in the hands of the rebels, with the 
exception of that of St. John, which was held for 

It is believed that it was Maria de Bobadilla her- 
self who, stealing undetected from the Alcazar, escaped 

62 Torquemada 

from Segovia and bore to the Queen the news of what 
was taking place, and the consequent peril of the royal 

Upon learning this, Isabella instantly repaired to 
Segovia. The leaders of the rebellion had news of 
her approach, but dared not carry their insubordination 
to the length of closing the gates against her. They 
went so far, however, as to ride out to meet her and 
to attempt to deny admittance to her followers ; and 
her counsellors, seeing the humour of the populace, 
urged her to be prudent and to accede to their wishes. 
But her proud spirit flared up under that cautious 

" Learn," she cried, " that I am Queen of Castile, 
that this city is mine, and that no conditions are to be 
imposed upon me before I enter it. I shall enter, 
then, and with me all those whom I may judge neces- 
sary for my service." 

With that she ordered her escort forward, and 
entered the city by a gate that was held by her 
partisans, and so won through to the Alcazar. 

Thither flocked the infuriated mob, and thundered 
at the gates, demanding admission. 

The Queen, notwithstanding the remonstrances of 
the Cardinal of Spain and the Count of Benavente, 
who were with her, ordered the gates to be thrown 
open and as many admitted as the place would hold. 
The populace surged into the courtyard, clamouring 
for the Seneschal. To meet them came the slight, 
fair young queen, alone and fearless, and when in their 
astonishment they had fallen silent — 

" People of Segovia," she calmly addressed them, 
" what do you seek ? " 

Dominated by her serenity, awed by her majesty, 
their fury fell from them. Humbly now they urged 
their grievance against Cabrera, accusing him of 
oppression, and imploring of the Queen's grace his 

Instantly she promised them that their request 

Isabella the Catholic 63 

should be granted ; whereupon the revulsion was 
complete, and the mob that but a few moments earlier 
had been yelling threats and execrations now raised 
their voices loyally to acclaim her. 

She commanded them to return to their homes and 
their labours, and to leave the administration of justice 
in her hands, sending her their ambassadors to prefer 
their complaint against Cabrera, which she would in- 

As she commanded so it was done, and when she 
had examined the accusations against the Seneschal 
and satisfied herself that they were groundless, she 
announced him free from guilt and reinstated him in 
his office, the conquered people bowing submissively 
to her ruling. 1 

In 1477 Isabella moved into Andalusia, in which 
province, as elsewhere, law and order had ceased to 
exist. She entered Seville with the proclaimed inten- 
tion of demanding an account of the guilty. But at 
the very rumour of her approach and the business 
upon which she came, some thousands of the inhabit- 
ants whose consciences were uneasy made haste to 
depart the city. 

Alarmed by this depopulation, the Sevillans im- 
plored the Queen to sheathe the sword of justice, 
representing that after the bloody affrays that for 
years had been afflicting the district there was scarcely 
a family in which some member was not answerable to 
the law. 

Isabella, gentle and merciful by nature — which 
renders her association with the Inquisition the more 
deplorable — lent an ear to these representations, and 
granted an amnesty for all crimes committed since the 
death of Henry IV. But she was not so lenient with 
those who had prostituted the justice which they 
administered in her name. Informed of the judges 
who were making a trade and extortion of their judg- 

1 Colmenares, " Historia de Segovia," cap. xxxiv, §§ xii and xiii ; Pulgar, 
" Cronica," II. cap. lix. 

64 Torquemada 

ments, she punished them by deposition, and herself 
fixed the scale of legal costs to be observed in future. 

Finding a mass of impending law-suits which the 
misrule of the past years had put upon the province, 
she directed her attention to clearing up this Augean 
stable. Every Friday, attended by her Council, she 
sat in the great hall of the Alcazar of Seville to hear 
the plaints of the most humble of her subjects ; and 
so earnestly and vigorously did she go to work that in 
two months she had disposed of litigations that might 
have dragged on for years. 

Upon her accession she had found the royal 
treasury exhausted by the inept administration of the 
last two reigns and the prodigal, reckless grants that 
Henry IV and Juan II had made to the nobles. 
This condition of things had seriously embarrassed 
the Catholic Sovereigns, and they had been driven to 
various expedients to raise the requisite funds for the 
war with Portugal. Now that the war was at an end, 
they found themselves without the means necessary to 
maintain the royal state. 

Isabella made a close investigation of the grants 
that had been made by her brother and father, and 
she cancelled all those that were the fruit of caprice 
and wantonness, restoring to the Crown the revenues 
that had been recklessly alienated and the taxes that 
the country had hitherto paid to none but the bandits 
who oppressed it. 

Similarly she found the public credit entirely 
ruined. Under the late king such had been the laxity, 
that in three years no less than 150 public mints had 
been authorized, and this permitted such abuses that 
a point had been reached where it almost seemed that 
every Spaniard minted his own money, or that, as 
Rosseeuw St. Hilaire puts it, "coining was the country's 
chief industry." 

She reduced the number of mints to five, and 
exercised the severest control over their output, 


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Isabella the Catholic 65 

thereby liberating trade from the fear of fraud that 
had been stifling it. An increased and steadily in- 
creasing prosperity was the almost immediate result 
of this wise measure. 

Having restored order in the country, she turned 
her attention to the Court, applied herself to the 
purification of its morals, and set about converting it 
from the disgusting licence that had prevailed in her 
brother's time. 

Herself of a rigid chastity, she exacted the same 
purity of conduct in all the women who approached 
her, and she submitted the noble damsels brought up 
at her Court to the very strictest surveillance. Loving 
the King very sincerely, she was notoriously inclined 
to jealousy : let him but look too assiduously upon any 
lady of her train, and Isabella found a way to remove 
her from the Court. She saw to it that the pages 
who were in waiting upon her should be given a 
good education, that thus they might avoid the idleness 
which unfailingly leads to waste of character and to 
immorality. Finally, according to Bernaldez, 1 she ex- 
tended her moral reforms to the convents, which were 
no less in need of them than the Court, and she cor- 
rected and punished the great depravity that was 
permeating all conventual orders. 2 

There is no chronicler of her reign who does not 
dilate upon her great piety. Bernaldez compares her 
to St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, 3 

1 Cap. cc. Bernaldez was the parish priest of Palacios at the time 
of the Queen's death. He has left us a rather intimate history of the 
Catholic Sovereigns, fairly rich in vivid detail. 

* " Hizo corrigir y castigar la gran disolucion y dishonestidad que 
habian en sus reinos cuando comenzo de reinar entre los frailes y monjas 
de todas las ordenes, y fizo encerrar las monjas de muchos monasterios 
que vivianmuy dishonestas, asi en Castilla como en los reynos de Aragon 
y Cataluna." — Bernaldez, " Historia de los Reyes Catolicos," cap. cc. 

3 St. Helena's memory was prominently before the public attention 
just then, owing to the discovery in Rome of a silver box containing 
what was alleged to be the label that had been hung upon the Cross. 
Its recovery from the Holy Land was, of course, attributed to St. Helena, 
and it was supposed that it had been brought by her to Rome. 


66 Torquemada 

and describes her as very devoted to the Holy Faith 
and very obedient to Holy Church. Bernaldez, of 
course, was writing after the establishment of the 
Inquisition, of which he, in common with other con- 
temporary and subsequent chroniclers, very warmly 
approved ; and he may have been very largely in- 
fluenced by consideration of the support which she 
had unfortunately lent to its introduction into Castile. 
But that her piety was extreme and sincere we infer 
from the moment that we see her, after the battle 
of Toro, which definitely gave her the crown, going 
barefoot to church to a service of thanksgiving. 

Yet, however ardent her piety, it would not carry 
her the length of recognizing in the Pope the temporal 
over-lord of Castile. 

From the thirteenth century the power of the 
Church had been increasing in Spain under the dogma 
of the spiritual sovereignty of Rome over all the 
Catholic churches of the world. The clergy had amassed 
enormous wealth with that facility so peculiarly their 
own when the occasion is afforded them, and to this 
end they had abused the reckless, foolish liberality of 
Isabella's predecessors. 

Lucius Marinseus informs us that the incomes of 
the four archbishoprics — Toledo, Santiago, Seville, 
and Granada — amounted to 134,000 ducats, 1 whilst 
those of the twenty bishoprics came to some 250,000 

Surrounded as she was by priestly counsellors 
whom she respected, she nevertheless manifested 
plainly her impatience of the clerical usurpation of the 
rights of the Crown. The chief of these abuses was 
no doubt that practised by the Pontiff himself, in 
conferring upon foreigners the highest and richest 
benefices of the Church of Spain, ignoring that it 
was the prerogative of the Crown to name the bishops 

1 The ducat was worth Js. 6d. of our present money, with fully five 
times the purchasing power of that sum ; so that, roughly, this would be 
equivalent to-day to ^200,000. 

Isabella the Catholic 67 

— always subject to papal confirmation. That 
Isabella, devout and priest-surrounded as she was, 
should have dared to oppose the Holy See and the 
terrible Pope Sixtus IV, as fearlessly as she had 
opposed her predatory nobles, is perhaps the highest 
proof that history can yield of her strength of 

Her smouldering indignation flared out when the 
Pope, ignoring her nomination of her chaplain, Alonzo 
de Burgos, to the vacant bishopric of Cuenca, ap- 
pointed his own nephew, Raffaele Riario, Cardinal of 
San Sisto, to that vacant see. 

Twice already had she sought the pontiff's con- 
firmation of nominees of her own for other benefices — 
the Archbishopric of Saragoza and the Bishopric of 
Tarragona — and on each occasion her nominee had 
been set aside in favour of a creature of the Pope's. 
But this third contemptuous disregard of her pre- 
rogative was more than her patience could endure. 
The Catholic Sovereigns refused to ratify the appoint- 
ment of Riario, and begged the Pope — submissively 
at first — to cancel it. 

But the harsh, overbearing Sixtus returned an 
answer characteristic of his arrogant nature. It was 
his, he announced, to distribute at his pleasure all the 
benefices of Christendom ; and he condescended to 
explain that the power which it had pleased God to 
confer upon him on earth could not be limited by 
any will but his own, and that it was governed only 
by the interests of the Catholic Faith, of which he 
was the sole arbiter. 

But his stubbornness met a stubbornness as great. 
The Catholic Sovereigns replied by withdrawing 
their ambassador from the Papal Court, and issuing 
an injunction to all Spanish subjects to leave Rome. 

Matters were becoming strained ; an open rupture 
impended between Spain and the Vatican. But the 
Sovereigns had notified the Pope that it was their 
intention to summon a general council of the Church 

68 Torquemada 

to settle the matter in dispute, and no Pope of those 
days could contemplate with equanimity a general 
council assembled for the purpose of sitting in judg- 
ment upon his decrees. Whatever the result, since 
at these councils the papal authority was questioned, 
it must follow that thereafter that authority would be 
impaired. Therefore this was the stock threat em- 
ployed to bring a recalcitrant pontiff to a reasonable 
frame of mind. 

It made Sixtus realize the strength of purpose that 
was opposed to him ; and, knowing as he did that this 
resoluteness backed an undeniable right which he had 
violated, he perceived that he dared carry insistence 
no further. So, despite his earlier assertion that the 
power which he held from God could be limited by 
no will but his own and governed by no consideration 
but that of the interests of the Faith, he gave way 

The three royal nominees were duly confirmed in 
the vacant sees, and Sixtus gave an undertaking that 
in future he would make no appointments to the 
benefices of Spain save of such ecclesiastics as the 
Catholic Sovereigns should nominate. 1 

It is to be added that in acting upon this signal 
victory which she had won, Isabella used the faculty 
it gave her with such pious wisdom, sincerity, and 
discretion that had the Pope but followed her example 
in the appointment of dignitaries, it would have con- 
tributed to the greater honour and glory of the 
Church. For she sternly opposed the granting of 
benefices upon any grounds but those of absolute 

Having won her way in this, she was the better 
able to curb the predatory habits of her clergy by 
edicts that limited their power to proper clerical confines. 

" It is amazing," comments Pulgar, " that a woman 
should have been able, single-handed and in so little 

1 Salazar de Mendoza, " Cronica del Gran Cardenal," I. cap. lii. 

Isabella the Catholic 69 

time, by her judgment and perseverance to accomplish 
what many men and great kings had been unable to 
do in many years." 

u Properly to judge the notable improvements," 
says Rosseeuw St. Hilaire, 1 "which this reign effected 
in industry and agriculture, it would be necessary to 
follow year by year the table of ordinances issued by 
the Catholic Sovereigns. It would be seen that in 
many things the genius of the founders of the Castilian 
Monarchy forestalled the work of centuries. The 
happy results of these reforms were soon experienced 
everywhere : the highways were purged of male- 
factors, new roads of communication were opened up, 
rivers were bridged, consular tribunals established 
in commercial centres, consulates created in Flanders, 
England, France, and Italy ; with maritime commerce 
expanding daily and in a measure with the progress 
of industry, new buildings sprang up in every city, 
and the population rapidly increased. All announced 
a new era of regeneration in Castile. Contemporary 
writers, struck by these prodigies, exalt with one voice 
this glorious reign which opens new destinies to 

It is certain that in no other country in Europe 
at this date were the laws so well maintained and the 
rights of the individual so well protected. Justice 
was rigorously done, there were no longer arbitrary 
imprisonments and sequestrations, whilst the unequal 
and capricious taxation of the past was abolished for 
all time. 

" Such," says Marinaeus, "was the strict justice 
meted out to each in this happy reign that all men, 
nobles and knights, traders and husbandmen, rich and 
poor, masters and servants, were treated alike and 
received equally their share of it." 

Where so much was good, where so much stout 

1 "Histoire d'Espagne," torn. v. p. 432. 

7° Torquemada 

service was done to the cause of progress and civiliza- 
tion, it is the more deplorable to find in this reign the 
one evil thing that is now to be considered — so evil 
that it must be held to counterbalance and stultify all 
the excellences of Isabella's sway. 

The particular praise which so far we have heard 
their contemporaries bestowing upon the Catholic 
Sovereigns, is a praise which every man in every age 
must echo. 

But there was praise as loud upon another score, 
as universally uttered by every contemporary and many 
subsequent historians, some no doubt because they 
were sincere in the deadly bigotry that inspired it, 
others because they did not dare to express themselves 
in different terms. 

u By her," cries Bernaldez, as a climax to his 
summing-up of her many virtues and wise provisions, 
" was burnt and destroyed the most evil and abominable 
Mosaic, Talmudic, Jewish heresy." 

And Mariana, the historian, accounts the introduc- 
tion of the Inquisition into Spain the most glorious 
feature of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. He 
is setting it above all the moral splendours of that day 
when he exclaims : 

" Still better and happier fortune for Spain was the 
establishment in Castile at about this time of a new 
and holy tribunal of severe and grave judges for the 
purpose of inquiring into and punishing heretical 
pravity and apostasy. . . ." l 

It would be unjust to suppose that there is a 
man to be found to-day in the Church of Rome, of 
which the Spanish Inquisition was a deplorable and 
integral part, who can turn with us in other than regret 
to consider this black shadow that lies across one of 
the brightest pages of history. 

i " Historia General de Espafia," lib. xxiv. cap. xvii. 



You have seen the Catholic Sovereigns instilling order 
into that distracted land of Spain, enforcing submissive- 
ness to the law, instituting a system of police for the 
repression of brigandage, curtailing the depredations 
of the nobles, checking the abuses and usurpations of 
the clergy, restoring public credit, and generally quell- 
ing all the elements of unrest that had afflicted the 

But one gravely disturbing element still remained 
in the bitter rancour prevailing between Christian 
and Jew. 

" Some clerics and many laymen," says Pulgar, 1 
" informed the Sovereigns that there were in the King- 
dom many Christians of Jewish extraction who were 
Judaizing 2 again and holding Jewish rites in their 
houses, and who neither believed the Catholic Faith 
nor performed the Catholic duties. They implored 
the Sovereigns, as they were Christian princes, to 
punish that detestable error, because if left unpunished 
it might so spread that our Holy Catholic Faith must 
receive great harm." 

Exactly to realize the position at the time, and 
the force behind the arguments employed to induce 

1 M Chronica de los Reyes Catholicos," Pt. II. cap. Ixxvi. 

1 To Judaize (Judaizar) was to embrace the Mosaic law, and the term 
was applied particularly to the relapse of those who had been converted 
to Christianity. 


72 Torquemada 

the Catholic Sovereigns to complete the ordering of 
the kingdom by the repression of the re-Judaizing, or 
apostasy, of the New-Christians — as the baptized Jews 
and their descendants were termed — it is necessary 
to take at least a brief retrospective survey of the 
history of the Israelites in Spain. 

At what period the Jews first appeared in the 
peninsula it is not easy to determine with accuracy. 

Salazar de Mendoza and other ancient historians, 
who base their writings upon the work of Tomas 
Tamayo de Vargas, put forward views upon this 
subject that are curious rather than important. 

They assert that the Kingdom of Spain was 
founded by Tubal, the son of Japhet, who had Europe 
for his portion when the division was made among the 
sons of Noah. Hence it was called Tubalia, and later 
on Sepharad by the Jews, and Hesperida by the 
Greeks. They hold that the first Jews in the Iberian 
Peninsula were probably those who came with Nebu- 
chadnezzar II, King of Chaldea, and that he brought 
with him, in addition to Chaldeans and Persians, ten 
tribes of Israel, who peopled Toledo, 1 and built there 
the most beautiful synagogue that had been theirs 
since the temple of Solomon. This synagogue, 
Mendoza states, afterwards became the Convent of 
Santa Maria la Blanca (a statement which the archi- 
tecture of Santa Maria la Blanca very flatly contradicts). 
He further informs us that they built another syna- 
gogue at Zamora, and that those who worshipped 
there always prided themselves — his point of view, 
of course, is narrowly Christian — that to them had 
been addressed St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. 

They founded a university at Lucena (near 
Cordova), and schools where the law was taught, 
so that the holy Jewish religion spread rapidly, and 
was observed throughout Spain until the coming of 

1 Toledo, Mendoza tells us, was founded by Hercules, who sailed to 
Spain in the ship Argo. 

The Jews in Spain 73 

Our Lord into the world. Then, in 37 a.d., the 
Apostle St. James came to preach the new gospel 
in Iberia, " so that Spain was the first land after 
Judea to receive the holy law of grace." Following 
the writings of Vargas, he goes so far as to say : 
1 'and although to many it has seemed apocryphal 
that the Toledo Jews wrote to denounce the Passion 
of Our Lord, the assertion is not without good 
foundation." 1 

Amador de los Rios is probably correct in his 
opinion that the Jews made their first appearance 
in Spain during the Visigothic dominion, after the 
fall of Jerusalem ; and scarcely had they settled in 
the peninsula when they began to experience the 
bitterness of persecution. But after they had been 
delivered from this by the Saracen invaders, to whom 
by race and creed they were fairly sympathetic, they 
enjoyed — alike under Moslem and Christian rule — a 
season of prosperity in Spain, which endured until 
the close of the thirteenth century. And this not- 
withstanding the undercurrent of mutual contempt and 
hatred, of Christian for Jew and Jew for Christian, 
that was invincible in an age of strong religious feeling. 

To the Christian every Jew he encountered was 
his natural and hereditary enemy, a descendant of 
those who had crucified the Saviour ; therefore he was 

1 Tomas Tamayo de Vargas maintains that the Jews in Toledo at the 
time of the Crucifixion sent a letter of warning and disapproval to their 
brethren in Jerusalem. This letter — which it is alleged was translated 
into Castilian when Toledo fell into the hands of Alfonso VI— the his- 
torian quotes. Amador de los Rios, in his able and exhaustive history 
of the Jews in Spain, pronounces the document to have been manu- 
factured to impose upon the credulity of the ignorant, since to any one 
acquainted with the growth and development of the Castilian language 
a glance is sufficient to prove its apocryphal character. 

It is in this letter that the legend of the Jewish incursion into Spain 
after the fall of Babylon has its roots. It concludes with the following 
statement: "... You know that it is certain your temple must soon be 
destroyed, for which reason our forefathers, upon issuing from the 
Babylonian captivity, would not return to Jerusalem, but with Pyrrhus 
for their captain — sent by Cyrus, who gave them many riches taken from 
Babylon in the year 69 of the captivity — they came to Toledo and built 
here a great aljama." 

74 Torquemada 

an object of execration, a man upon whom it must 
be meritorious to avenge the world's greatest crime 
which had been perpetrated by his forbears. 

The Jew, on the other hand, held the Christian in 
a contempt as thorough. From the standpoint of his 
own pure and unadulterated monotheism, he looked 
scornfully upon a religion that must appear to him no 
better than an adaptation of polytheism, developed 
upon the doctrines of one whom the Jews had rejected 
as an impostor who had attempted to usurp the place 
of the promised Messiah. To the truly devout Jew 
of those days the Christian religion can have been 
little better than a blasphemy. Nor was that the only 
source of his contempt. Looking back upon his own 
splendid ancestry, upon the antiquity of his race 
and the high order of its culture — the fruit of 
centuries of intellectual evolution — what but scorn 
could he entertain for these Spaniards of yesterday's 
hatching, who were just emerging from the slough 
of barbarism ? 

It is clear that mutual esteem between the races 
was out of all question in an age of strong religious 
prejudices. Toleration, however, was possible, and 
the Jew applied himself to win it. To this end he 
employed at once the vices and the virtues of the 
unfortunate, which centuries of tribulation had rendered 
inherent in him. 

Armed with a stoicism that was almost pitiful, he 
donned a mask of indifference to confront expressed 
hatred and contempt ; to violence he opposed cunning 
and the long-suffering patience that is so peculiarly 
his own — the patience that is allied with a high order 
of intelligence ; the patience which, interpreted into 
" an infinite capacity for taking pains," has been 
urged as the definition of genius, and is the secret 
of the Jew's success wherever he is established. 

In the cohesion in a foreign land of this people 
that cannot keep together as a nation, and in their 
extraordinary commercial acuteness, lies the strength 

The Jews in Spain 75 

of the Jews. They grew wealthy by their industry 
and thrift, until they were in a position to purchase 
those privileges which in Christendom are the birth- 
right of every Christian. Their numbers, too, made 
it difficult in Spain to treat them with contumely ; for 
upon the reasoned estimate of Amador de los Rios * 
there were close upon a million Jews in Castile at the 
end of the thirteenth century. 

They formed by their solidarity — as they always 
do — an i7nperium in imperio, a state of their own 
within the state ; they had their own language and 
customs ; they were governed by their own laws, 
which were enforced by their Rabbis and chiefs, and 
they pursued their own religion unmolested, for even 
the observation of the Sabbath was respected by the 
Castilians. Thus they came to create for themselves 
in a foreign country a simulacrum of their own 
native land. 

It is true that they were afflicted from time to time 
by sporadic, local persecutions ; but in the main they 
enjoyed a tolerance and religious liberty which the 
poor harried Albigenses beyond the Pyrenees might 
well have envied. For the Church, which had already 
established the Inquisition, was very far — for reasons 
that shall be considered in the next chapter — from 
instigating any persecution of the Children of Israel. 
Thus, Honorius III, whilst carrying forward the 
policy of Innocent III, and enjoining the extirpation 
of heretics in Southern France and elsewhere, con- 
firmed (November 7, 12 17) the privileges accorded to 
the Jews by his predecessors upon the throne of St. 
Peter. These were that no Jew should be constrained 
to receive baptism ; that should he incline to embrace 
the Christian Faith he must be received in it with 
love and benevolence ; that his feasts and religious 
ceremonies must be respected by Christians ; that 
the whipping or stoning of Jews be forbidden and 
punished ; that their burial-places be held sacred. 

* "Historia de los Judios en Espana," vol. i. pp. 28, 29, 

7 6 Torquemada 

And when King Ferdinand III — afterwards 
canonized — wrested Seville from the Moors (1224), he 
made over one of the best districts of the city to the 
Jews, and gave them the four mosques contained in it 
that they might convert them into synagogues. 

The only restraint placed upon them by the law 
was that they must refrain, under pain of death, from 
attempting to proselytize among Christians, and that 
they must show respect for the Christian religion. 

These were the halcyon days of Hebrew prosperity 
in Spain. Their distinguished abilities were recog- 
nized, and they won to many positions of importance 
in the government. The finances of the kingdom 
were in their control, and Castile prospered under 
their ableadministrationofitscommerce. Alfonso VI 1 1, 
in whose reign it is estimated there were 12,000 Jews 
in Toledo alone, employed a Jew as his treasurer, and 
did not disdain to take a Jewess for his mistress — an 
interesting little fact in view of the law that was so 
soon to be promulgated on that subject. 

Hardly less than their value to the nation's com- 
merce were their services to science, art, and literature. 
They excelled particularly in medicine and chemistry, 
and the most skilful doctors and surgeons of the 
Middle Ages were men of their race. 

In the middle of the thirteenth century a change 
unfortunately set in, and this external harmony so 
laboriously established was disturbed by an excrescence 
of the real feelings that had never ceased to underlie 
it. Largely the Jews were themselves to blame. 
Deluded by the religious liberty that was conceded 
them, by the dignities to which men of their faith 
had climbed, and by the prosperity which they had 
attained, they failed to perceive that their accumulated 
wealth was in itself a menace to their safety. 

Emboldened by the consideration shown them, 
they committed the imprudence of giving a free rein 
to their Oriental taste for splendour ; they surrounded 

The Jews in Spain 77 

themselves with luxury, and permitted themselves an 
ostentatious magnificence in their raiment and equi- 
pages, and thus proclaimed the wealth they had 
been amassing through generations of comparative 

Had they confined themselves to this strictly per- 
sonal display all might yet have been well. But being 
dressed and housed in princely fashion, they put on 
princely ways. They grew haughty and arrogant with 
the horrible arrogance of wealth. They allowed their 
disdain of the less affluent Christians to transpire in 
their contemptuous bearing towards them, and being 
unchecked in this it was but another step to abuse the 
privileges which they enjoyed. 

Their parade of wealth had provoked envy — the 
most dangerous and maleficent of the passions implanted 
in the human heart. Their arrogance and cavalier 
bearing stirred that envy into activity. 

Questions arose touching the sources of their 
wealth. It was propounded against them that their 
usurious practices had ruined many of the Christians 
whom they now dared to spurn. And although usury 
had been sanctioned and it had been proclaimed lawful 
for them to charge a rate of interest as high as 40 per 
centum, it was suddenly remembered that usury had in 
all times been uncompromisingly condemned by the 
Church — and by the term usury the Church then 
understood any interest, however slight, paid upon 
borrowed money. 

Fanaticism began to stir uneasily in its slumber, 
and presently, under the spur of greed, it roused itself 
and reared its horrid head. Public feeling against 
the Israelites was increased by the fact that they had 
practically acquired control of the ever-unpopular 
offices for the collection of taxes. 

The populace grew menacing. Evil tales con- 
cerning them were put about, and they were accused, 
among other ritual abominations, of practising human 

78 Torqucmada 

Whether there was any real ground for the accusa- 
tion is one of those historical mysteries that baffle the 
student. On the one hand it seems impossible to 
collect sufficient data to establish any single one of the 
many specific accusations made ; whilst on the other 
hand, in view of the persistence with which the charge 
crops up in different countries and at different epochs, 1 
it would be presumptuous to dismiss it as groundless. 

The first official recognition of the accusation is to 
be found in the code known as the Partidas, promul- 
gated by Alfonso XI (1256-1263), which contains the 
following clause : 

" As we hear that in some places the Jews on Good 
Friday make a mocking commemoration of the Passion 
of Our Lord Jesus Christ, stealing boys and crucifying 
them, or making waxen images and crucifying these 
when boys are not procurable, we order that should it 
become known that hereafter, in any part of our realm, 
such a thing is done, all those whom it is ascertained 
are connected with the deed shall be arrested and 
brought before the King. And when he shall have 
satisfied himself of the truth of the charge he shall have 
them put to death, as many as they may be." 2 

Llorente mentions four specific cases of ritual 
murder, to which he appears to attach credit : 

1250. — A choir-boy of the Metropolitan Church of 
Zaragoza, named Domingo de Val, crucified by Jews. 
He was afterwards canonized and worshipped at 
Zaragoza as a martyr. 

1452. — A boy crucified by Jews at Valladolid. 

1454. — A boy from the lordship of the Marquess 
of Almarza, near Zamora, crucified. His heart was 
afterwards burnt and the ashes were consumed in wine 
by the Jews who attended the ceremony. The body 

1 A case is at present before the Russian law courts, arising out of a 
charge of this nature urged by an officer of police. 
* Rios, " Hist, de los Judios," i. cap. x. 

The Jews in Spain 79 

was afterwards discovered by a dog, and this led to 
the arrest of the culprits and their conviction. 

1468. — At Sepulveda, in the Bishopric of Segovia, 
a boy was taken on the Thursday of Holy Week, and 
on Good Friday he was crowned with thorns, whipped, 
and finally crucified. The Bishop, D. Juan Arias, 
having received intelligence of this crime, instituted 
an inquiry which resulted in the arrest of several men, 
who, being convicted, were put to death. 

Llorente gives as his authority for the third and 
fourth cases the " Fortalicium Fidei " of Espina — by 
no means an authority to be unquestioningly accepted. 
For the second he mentions no authority whatever ; 
whilst for fuller information upon the first he refers 
his readers to the " Historia de Santo Domingo de 
Val," which is of no more authority than most works 
of this class. 1 But the canonization of this victim 
gives rise to thought ; for it was never the way of the 
Church of Rome to proceed recklessly and without due 
evidence in such matters. Even if it were, however, 
it would be necessary in this case to show a motive for 
such recklessness. The only motive possible would 
be the desire to create justification for a persecution 
of the Jews. But, as has been said — and as shall 
presently be made abundantly clear — it never was 
the aim of the Church of Rome to engage in such 
persecution or to incite to it. 

The famous case of the crucifixion of the " Holy 
Infant ' of La Gardia, whose trial was directed by 
Torquemada himself, shall be considered in its proper 

As is well known, the practice of human sacrifice is 
an extremely old one ; and it has been associated in 
varying forms with many widely different cults. The 
earliest absolutely historical instance of Jews resort- 
ing to it is probably that quoted by Dr. J. G. Frazer 
(in " The Golden Bough") from the " Historia 

1 See also Torrejoncillo's " Centinela contra Judios." 

80 Torquemada 

Ecclesiastica" of Socrates. The scholiast relates 
how in 416, at Imnestar in Syria, a company of Jews 
during one of their festivals fell to deriding Christians 
and their Christ. At the height of their frenzy they 
seized a boy, bound him to a cross, and hung him up. 
A brawl was the result, and the authorities intervened 
to make the Jews pay dearly for their crime. 

Amador de los Rios, in dealing with the spread 
of this charge against the Spanish Hebrews in the 
thirteenth century, attributes it to the subject's having 
been made the theme of an exceedingly dramatic 
narrative poem in the " Milagros de Nuestra Senora " 
by Gonzalo de Berceo. At the same time he does 
not go so far as to urge that the story upon which the 
ballad was founded may not have had its roots in fact. 
On the contrary, he suggests that such may have been 
the case, and having chronicled the persistence of the 
accusation, he refrains from expressing any definite 
opinion on the subject, hesitating either to accept, or 
to dismiss as idle calumnies, these charges of ritual 

From the able arguments that have been put 
forward on this same subject by Frazer and Wend- 
land, it is to be concluded that in any case the 
Christians were mistaken in assuming that these 
alleged crucifixions held at the Feast of Purim — 
whether of human beings or of effigies — were in- 
tended as a mockery of the Passion of the Redeemer. 
Their origin is a far more ancient one, involving a 
rite of which the Sacrifice of Golgotha may itself have 
been an individual celebration — the commemoration 
of the hanging of Haman — which, again, was the 
continuation of a ritual practised by the Babylonians 
and acquired from them by the Jews during their 
captivity. 1 

Whatever may be the truth of this matter of ritual 

1 This engrossing subject is exhaustively treated with great force and 
suggestiveness by J. G. Frazer in "The Golden Bough," bk. iii. cap. iii. f 
and also by P. Wendland in " Jesus als Saturnalien-Konig." 

Photo Ly Lacoste. 

From a Painting in the l'rado Gallery, attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 


The Jews in Spain 81 

murder, there is no doubt that these rumours were 
diligently spread to inflame the popular mind against 
the Jews. 

Fanatical monks — ignoring the papal injunctions 
of forbearance and toleration towards the Children of 
Israel — went forth through Castile preaching the iniquity 
of the Jews and God's wrath to fall upon the land that 
harboured them. Thus incited, and perceiving profit 
in the business, the faithful rose to destroy them. 
Massacres and pillages were the inevitable result, 
although as a rule the authorities were prompt to inter- 
vene and repress the populace's combined fanaticism 
and quest for plunder. 

But when in 1342 the Black Death spread over 
Europe, the Dominicans and others renewed their 
denunciations, and led men to believe the Jews 
responsible for the pestilence that afflicted the land. 
In Germany they were ruthlessly given to choose 
between death and baptism, and they suffered horribly 
until Pope Clement VI stepped in to save them. He 
besought the Emperor to restrain his murderers ; and 
finding that his pleadings lacked effect, he launched 
the thunderbolts of excommunication against all who 
should continue to engage in the persecution of the 

Stricken with terror before that awful menace of 
the Church, the faithful paused in the carnage, and 
the voice of denunciation fell silent. 

Thus, for a season, they won a little measure of 
peace. But throughout the fourteenth century spurts 
of persecution broke out here and there, and massacres 
took place in Castile, Aragon, and Navarre. The 
authorities, too, with the precedent of the Partidas 
before them, whilst not going the length of sanctioning, 
or even permitting violence where they could repress 
it, yet practised upon the Jews the most flagrant and 
cruel injustices. Of these the worst instance is that 
of the tax of 20,000 gold dobles levied upon the 


82 Torquemada 

aljamas of Toledo by Henry II on his accession in 
1369. To realize this sum he ordered the public sale 
not only of the property of the Jews, but actually 
of their persons into slavery, as is to be seen by his 
decree. 1 

The persecutions with which they were visited 
were chiefly procured by the monks, who went abroad 
preaching against them, fomenting the hatred of the 
Christians against a people who were largely their 
creditors. Even where the religious incentive was 
insufficient, the easy way of wiping out debts which 
this gratification of their piety afforded proved irre- 
sistible to a people whose flagrant immorality — in 
every sense of the term — went hand in hand with 
their perfervid devoutness. 

These persecutions, as we have said, the authorities 
made haste to quell. But there arose presently a 
rabid fanatic who proved altogether irrepressible. 
His name was Hernando Martinez. He was a 
Dominican friar, and Canon of Ecija. Of his sincerity 
there can be no doubt ; and their sincerity is the 
most terrible thing about such men, blinding them 
to the point of utter madness. He was ready to suffer 
any martyrdom sooner than be silent in a cause in 
which he considered it his sacred duty to give tongue. 
About this sacred duty he went forth, screaming his 
denunciations of the Jews, frenziedly inciting the mob 
to rise up and destroy this accursed race, these enemies 
of God, these crucifiers of the Saviour. Indeed, he 
could not have shown a more fierce and frothing hatred 
of them had they been the very men who at the throne 
of Pilate had clamoured for the blood of Christ — and 
for whose pardon the gentle Redeemer had prayed 
in His expiring moments : a matter this which escaped 
the attention of the Archdeacon of Ecija, being — like 
many another — too full of piety to find room for 
Christianity in his soul. 

1 The decree is quoted by Amador de los Rios in " Historia de los 
Judios de Espafia y Portugal," vol. ii. p. 571. 

The Jews in Spain 83 

Appeals against him were made to the Archbishop 
of Seville, whose official, or representative, he was. 
He was ordered by his Archbishop to desist, and when 
in flagrant disobedience to his superior he continued to 
preach his gospel of blood and hatred, appeals were 
made to the King, and even to the Pope ; and by- 
King and Pope was he commanded to cease his 
inflammatory sermons. 

But he defied them all alike. In his fanatical fury 
he carried his contumacy so far as to call in question 
the papal authority, and to declare illicit the sanction 
given by the popes for the erection and preservation 
of synagogues. This was perilously akin to heresy. 
Men had been sent to the stake for less, and Hernando 
Martinez must have been utterly mad if he conceived 
that the Church would permit him to continue the 
diffusion of such doctrines. 

He was brought before the episcopal court to 
answer for his words. He answered defiantly — told 
them that the breath of God was in him, and that it 
was not for men to stop his mouth. 

Thereupon Don Pedro Barroso — the archbishop — 
ordered that he should stand his trial for contumacy 
and heresy, and meanwhile suspended him from all 
jurisdiction and all duties as archiepiscopal official. 

It happened, however, that Barroso died shortly 
thereafter, before the trial could take place ; and 
Martinez contrived to get himself elected by the 
Chapter to the position of one of the provisors of the 
diocese pending the appointment of a successor to 
Barroso. Thus he resumed his power and the faculty 
to preach ; and he used it so ruthlessly that in De- 
cember of 1390 several synagogues in Seville were 
laid in ruins by the mob acting in obedience to his 

The Jews appealed to the King for protection, and 
the authorities, now thoroughly roused, ordered that 
Martinez be deposed from his office and forbidden to 
preach, and that the demolished synagogues be rebuilt 

84 Torquemada 

by the Chapter which had made itself responsible by 
electing him. 

But Martinez, ever defiant, disregarded both King 
and Chapter. He pursued his bloodthirsty mission, 
stirring up a populace that was but too ready to per- 
ceive — through his arguments — a way to perform an 
act that must be pleasing to God whilst enriching 
itself at the same time. What populace could have 
been proof against such reasoning ? 

Finally, in the summer of 1391, the whole country 
was ablaze with fanatical persecution. The fierce 
flames broke out first in Seville, under the assiduous 
fanning of the deposed archdeacon. 

Three years before, in view of the harm that it 
was urged the Jews were doing to religion by their 
free intermingling with Christians, King John I had 
ordered them to live apart in districts appointed for 
them, which came to be known as Juderias (Jewries 
or ghettos). It was commanded that the Christians 
should not enter these, and that for purposes of trade 
the Jews should come to the public markets and there 
erect tents, but they must own no house or domicile 
beyond the precincts of the Juderias, and they must 
withdraw to these at nightfall. 

Into the Juderia of Seville the mob now penetrated, 
wrought by Martinez to a pitch of frenzy almost 
equal to his own. They went armed, and they put 
the place to sack and slaughter, butchering its every 
tenant without discrimination or pity for age or sex. 
The number of the slain has been estimated at some 
four thousand, men, women, and children. 1 

From Seville the conflagration spread to the other 
cities of Spain, and what had happened there happened 
in Burgos, Valencia, Toledo, and Cordova, and further 
in Aragon, Cataluna, and Navarre, whilst the streets 
of Barcelona are said to have run with the blood of 
immolated Jews. 

Into the Jewry of every town went the infuriated 

1 See Ortiz de Zuniga, " Anales de Sevilla," under ano 1391. 

The Jews in Spain 85 

mob to force Christ — as these Christians understood 
Him — upon the inhabitants ; to offer the terror- 
stricken Jews the choice between steel and water — 
death and baptism. 

So mighty and violent was the outbreak that the 
authorities were powerless to quell it, and where they 
attempted to do so with any degree of determination 
they were themselves caught in the fury of the 
populace. Nor did the slaughter cease until the 
Christians were glutted, and some fifty thousand Jews 
had perished. 

The churches were now filled with Jews who 
came clamouring for baptism, having perceived that 
through its waters lay the way to temporal as well as 
to spiritual life, and having in most cases — in the 
abject state of terror to which they had been reduced 
— more concern for the former than for the latter. 
Llorente estimates the number of baptized at over a 
million, and this number was considerably swelled by 
the conversions effected by St. Vincent Ferrer, who 
came forth upon his mission to the Jews in the early 
years of the fifteenth century, and who induced 
thousands to enter the fold of Christianity by his 
eloquence and by the marvels which it is said he 

The fury of the mob having spent itself, peace 
was gradually restored, and little by little those Jews 
who had remained faithful to their religion and yet 
survived began to come forth from their hiding-places, 
to assemble, and, with the amazing, invincible patience 
and pertinacity of their race, to build up once more 
the edifice that had been demolished. 

But if the sword of persecution was sheathed, the 
spirit that had guided it was still abroad, and the Jews 
were made to experience further repressive measures. 
Under decrees of 141 2-1 3 they lost most of the few 
privileges that the late king had left them. 

It was ordained by these that henceforth no 

86 Torquemada 

Jew should occupy the position of a judge even in a 
Hebrew court, nor should any Jew be permitted to 
bear witness. All synagogues were to be closed or 
converted into Christian temples, with the exception 
of one in every town in which Jews should be 
established. They were forbidden to continue the 
practice of the professions of medicine, surgery, and 
chemistry, in which they had specialised with such 
good results to the community. They were no longer 
to occupy the offices of tax-collectors, and all com- 
merce with Christians was forbidden them. They 
must neither buy nor sell in trade with Christians, nor 
eat with them, nor use their baths, nor send their 
^lildren to the same schools. The ghetto was ordered 
to be walled round, so as to be enclosed and cut off 
from the rest of the city, and they were forbidden 
to issue from it. Intercourse between a Jew and a 
Christian woman was forbidden under pain of death 
by burning, even though the woman were a prostitute. 
They were forbidden to shave, and compelled to 
allow their beards and hair to grow, in addition to 
which they were ordered to wear as a distinguishing 
mark a circle of red cloth upon the shoulder of their 
gabardines. They were further compelled to hear 
three sermons annually from a Christian preacher, 
whose aim it was to pour abuse and contumely upon 
them, to inveigh against their accursed race and creed, 
to assure them of the certainty of the damnation that 
awaited them, and to exalt before them the excellences 
of the Catholic religion (based, be it remembered, that 
we may fully savour the irony, upon Faith, Hope, and 
Charity). 1 

When King John I had established the Juderias 
in 1388, curtailing at the same time the privileges 
which until then the Jews had enjoyed — at least by 
paying for them — there had been many who, finding 
the restraint imposed upon them altogether intolerable, 
had abandoned the faith of their fathers and embraced 

1 See Rosseeuw St. Hilaire, " Hist. d'Espagne," liv. xix. chap. 1. 

The Jews in Spain 87 

Christianity. Those who held the affairs of this 
world in esteem had sought baptism, and whilst many 
in doing so had entirely broken with the past — and 
often, as is the way of converts, become zealots in 
their observance of the faith embraced — many others, 
whilst outwardly complying with the obligations of the 
Christian religion, continued in secret to observe the 
law of Moses and their Jewish rites. Similarly these 
further decrees against their liberty had the effect of 
causing still more numerous conversions to Christi- 

These converts were termed " New-Christians " 
by the Spaniards. By those of their own race who 
had remained faithful they were called "marranos" 
— a contemptuous epithet derived from Maran-atha> 
("The Lord is coming"), but supposed by the 
Christians to signify " accursed." It came into general 
use before very long. 

These New-Christians, as a consequence of their 
conversion, gained not merely the privileges recently 
lost to them as Jews, but found themselves upon a 
footing of absolute equality with the Old-Christians ; 
every profession was open to them, and by applying 
themselves to these with all their energy and in- 
telligence, they found themselves before very long in 
possession of some of the highest offices in the land. 

But in the meanwhile the rigour of the decrees 
of 1 4 1 2 came to be considerably relaxed ; a degree 
of liberty and of intermingling with Christians was 
permitted to the Jews, and many of the offices which 
they had occupied of old came once more under their 
control, chiefly those concerned with commerce and 
finance and the farming of the taxes. Under the 
deplorable rule of Henry IV the nobles, whose slave 
lie was, demanded that he should " expel from his 
service and States the Jews who, exploiting public 
misery, have contrived to return to the appointments 
of tax-gatherers." 

The weak King agreed, but neglected to execute 

88 Torquemada 

his promise ; it was presently forgotten, and the 
Jewish section of the community was allowed to 
continue under the conditions of ease we have 
described. Under these conditions was it found by 
Ferdinand and Isabella upon their accession, nor does 
it appear that they paid any particular attention to it 
until invited to do so by the " clerics and laymen ' 
who, as Pulgar 1 tells us, represented to them that in 
the re-Judaizings that were taking place was matter for 
their jurisdiction. 

1 " Chronica," II. cap. lxxvi. 



It must clearly be understood that so far the Inquisi- 
tion, which for some three centuries already had been 
very active in Italy and Southern France, had not 
reached Castile. 

Even as recently as 1474, when Pope Sixtus IV 
had ordered the Dominicans to set up the Inquisition 
in Spain, and whilst in obedience to that command 
inquisitors were appointed in Aragon, Valencia, Cataluna, 
and Navarre, it was not held necessary to make any 
appointment in Castile, where no heresy of any account 
could be perceived. Trials of such offences against 
the Faith as might occur were conducted by the bishops, 
who were fully empowered to deal with them ; and 
such offences being rare, the necessity for a special 
tribunal did not suggest itself, nor did the Pope press 
the matter, desirous though he might be to see the 
Inquisition universally established. 

There was, of course, a large Hebrew population, 
and also a considerable number of Moslems, in the 
peninsula. But these did not come within the juris- 
diction of any ecclesiastical court. The Inquisition 
itself could take no cognizance of them, as they did not 
offend against the Faith. 

Explanation is perhaps necessary. We touch here 
upon a point on which the religious persecution known 
as the Inquisition compares favourably with any other 
religious persecution in history, and in common justice 
this point should not — as but too frequently has been 


90 Torquemada 

the case — be obscured. There is too little to be urged 
in favour of this tribunal so terribly inequitable in its 
practices that we can afford to slur over the one feature 
of its constitution that is invested with a degree of 

Whatever may have been the case in the course of 
civil and popular persecutions, whatever may have been 
done by a frenzied populace at the instigation of odd 
fanatical preachers acting without the authority of their 
superiors in giving rein to the fierce bigotry they had 
nurtured in their souls, the Church herself, it must be 
clearly understood, neither urged nor sanctioned the 
persecution of those born into any religion that was 
not in itself a heresy of the Roman Faith. The tribunal 
of the Inquisition was established solely — and moved 
solely — to deal with those who apostatized or seceded 
from the ranks of the Roman Church, precisely as an 
army deals with deserting soldiers. Fanatical, horribly 
narrow, cruelly bigoted as was the spirit of the Inqui- 
sition, yet the inquisitors confined their prosecutions to 
apostates, to the adulterers of a faith whose purity and 
incorruptibility they had made it their mission to 

If the Church repressed liberty of conscience, if she 
stifled rationalism and crushed independence of thought, 
she did so only where her own children were concerned 
— those who had been born into the Catholic Faith or 
who had embraced it in conversion. With those born 
into any other independent religion she had no concern. 
To Jew, Moslem, Buddhist, and Pagan, and to the 
savages of the New World, when it came presently 
to be discovered, she accorded the fullest religious 

To appreciate this, it is but necessary to consider 
such enactments as those of Honorius III for the 
protection of the Jews, of Clement VI, who threatened 
their persecutors with excommunication, and the action 
of Pope and Archbishop in the case of the inflamma- 
tory sermons of Hernando Martinez. It is sufficient 

The NeW'Christians 91 

to consider that when the Jews were driven out of 
Spain — as shall presently be seen — they actually found 
a refuge in Rome itself, and were received with kindli- 
ness by Pope Alexander VI (Roderigo Borgia), which 
in itself is one of the oddest ironies that ecclesiastical 
history can offer. 

And if this is not sufficient, let us for a moment 
consider the immunity and comparative peace enjoyed 
by the Jews who dwelt in Rome itself, in their district 
of Trastevere. 

They were a recognized section of the community 
in the Papal City. On his coronation procession each 
Pope would pause near the Campo de' Fiori to receive 
the company of Jews that came, headed by the Rabbi, 
to pay homage to their sovereign — precisely as their 
ancestors had come to pay homage to the emperor. 

To the Vicar of Christ the Rabbi would now 
proffer the rolls of the Pentateuch, swathed in a cloth. 
The Pope would take them into his hands, to show 
that he respected the law contained in them, and 
would then put them behind him, to signify that this 
law now belonged to the past. From behind the 
Pontiff the Rabbi would receive back his sacred 
scriptures, and depart with his escort, usually accom- 
panied by the jeers, insults, and vituperations of the 
Roman populace. 1 

It will be understood, then, that the Inquisition's 
establishment in Spain was not urged for the purpose 
of persecuting the Jews. It had no concern with 
Jews, if w r e confine the term purely to its religious 
meaning, signifying the observers of the law of Moses. 
Its concern was entirely with the apostasy of those who, 
although of the Jewish race, had become Christians by 
conversion. By the subsequent secret re-Judaizings, 
or return of these New-Christians to the religion of 
their fathers (which they had abandoned out of 
material considerations), they came within the jurisdic- 
tion of the Inquisition, and rendered themselves liable 

1 See Gregorovius, " Geschichte der Stadt Rom," bk. ix. cap. ii. 

9 2 Torquemada 

to prosecution as heretics, a prosecution which could 
never have overtaken them had they but continued in 
their original faith. 

There is no denying that many of those who had 
been baptized against their will, as the only means of 
saving their lives when the fury of the Christian mob 
was unleashed against them, had remained Jews at 
heart, had continued in secret to practise the Jewish 
rites, and were exerting themselves to bring back to 
the fold of Israel their apostate brethren. Others, 
however, upon receiving baptism may have determined 
to keep the law to which they now pledged them- 
selves and to persevere honestly in Christianity. Yet 
many of the old Jewish observances were become 
habitual with them : the trained — almost the hereditary 
— repugnance to certain meats, the observance of 
certain feast days, and several minor domestic laws 
that are part of the Jewish code, were too deeply 
implanted in them to be plucked up by the roots 
at the first attempt. Time was required in which they 
could settle into Christian habits ; two or three genera- 
tions might be necessary in some families before these 
habits came to be perfectly acquired and the old ones 
to be entirely obliterated. Had those who urged the 
Sovereigns to introduce the Inquisition into Castile, 
or had the Sovereigns themselves but perceived this 
and exercised the necessary and reasonable patience 
in the matter, Spain might have been spared the 
horrors that took root in her soil and sapped the 
vigour and intellectual energy of her children, so that 
in her case decadence pressed swift and close upon 
the very heels of supreme achievement. 

Execrable as is the memory of the Inquisition to 
all the world, to none should be it so execrable as 
to Spain, since the evil that it wrought recoiled entirely 
upon herself. 

It was on the occasion of Isabella's first visit to 
Seville — that punitive visit already mentioned — that 

The NeW'Christians 93 

the establishment of the Holy Office in Spain was 
first proposed to her. The King was at the time 
in Estremadura upon the business of fortifying his 
frontiers against Portugal. 

The proposal came from Alonso de Ojeda, the 
Prior of the Dominicans of Seville, a man who 
enjoyed great credit and was reputed saintly (" vir 
pius ac sanctus," Paramo calls him). 

Seeing her zeal to put down lawlessness and to 
purify and restore order to the country, Ojeda urged 
upon her notice the spread of the detestable Judaizing 
movement that was toward. He laid stress upon the 
hypocrisy that had underlain so many of the con- 
versions of the Jews. He pointed out — with some 
degree of justice — that these men had made a mock 
of the Holy Church, had defiled her sacraments, and 
had perpetrated the most abominable sacrilege by their 
pretended acceptance of the Christian faith. He 
urged that not only must this be punished, but that 
the havoc which these Judaizers were working among 
the more faithful New-Christians, and the proselytizing 
which they went so far as to attempt among Old- 
Christians, must be checked. 

To carry out this urgently-required purification, he 
implored the Queen to establish the Inquisition. 1 

There was a speciousness, and even a justice, in 
his arguments which must have impressed that pious 
lady. But her piety, intense as it was, did not carry 
her to the lengths required of her by her priestly 
counsellor. The balance of her splendid mind was 
singularly true. She perceived that here was matter 
that called for a remedy ; but she perceived also the 
fanaticism inspiring the friar who stood before her, 
and realized how his fanaticism must exaggerate the 

She was aware also of the extreme malevolence of 
which the New-Christians were the object. By their 
conversion they might have deflected the religious 

1 Pulgar, " Chronica," II. cap. lxxvi. 

94 Torquemada 

hostility of the Castilians ; but the more deeply-rooted 
racial antagonism remained. It not only remained, 
but it was quickened by the envy which these New- 
Christians were exciting. The energy and intelligence 
inherent in men of their race were serving them now, as 
they had served them before, to their undoing. There 
were no offices of eminence in which New-Christians 
were not to be found ; there were none in which they 
did not outnumber the Old-Christians — the pure- 
blooded Castilians. 

This the Queen knew, for she was herself sur- 
rounded by converts and the descendants of converts. 
Several of her counsellors, her three secretaries — one 
of whom was that chronicler, Pulgar, whose record of 
the situation has been quoted — and her very treasurer 
were all New-Christians. 1 

These men Isabella knew intimately, and esteemed. 
Judging the New-Christians generally by those in her 
immediate service, she was naturally led to discount 
Ojeda's imputations against them. She perceived the 
source of these imputations, and she must have taken 
into consideration the ineradicable bitterness of the 
popular feeling against Jews and the intensity of a 
prejudice which extended — as we have said — to the 
New-Christians to such an extent that they continued 
to be known as " Judios," notwithstanding their con- 
version, so that often in contemporary chronicles it is 
difficult to determine to which class the writer is 

We have said that, in spite of conversions, the 
racial hostility remained. The Christian attitude 

1 In "Claros Varones de Espafia," Pulgar says that even in the veins 
of her sometime confessor, Frey Juan de Torquemada, Cardinal of San 
Sisto, there was a strain of Jewish blood. But the authority is insufficient, 
and Pulgar, himself a New-Christian, is perhaps anxious to include as 
many illustrious men of his day as possible In the New-Chrtsti in ranks. 
Zurita, on the other hand, says that the Cardinal's nephew, Fr. Thomas 
de Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, was of "clean blood" — de limjiia 
linaje (lib. xx. cap. xlix.). The term " clean" in this connection arose out 
of the popular conception that the blood of a Jew was a dark-hued fluid, 
distinguishable from the bright red blood of the Christian. 

The New-Christians 95 

towards the Hebrew had not changed in the hundred 
years that were sped since, under the incitings of the 
Archdeacon of Ecija, the mob had risen up and 
massacred them. They were the descendants of the 
crucifiers always. 

A vestige of this feeling lingers to this day in the 
peninsula. In the vocabulary of the Portuguese 
lower orders, and even of the indifferently educated, 
there is no such word as "cruel." "Jew' is the 
term that has entirely usurped its functions, and as an 
injunction against cruelty to man or beast, u Don't be 
a Jew ! " (Nao seja jttdeu /) is still the only phrase. 

No conception of what was the popular feeling at 
the time can be conveyed more adequately than by a 
translation of the passage from Bernaldez concerning 
the manners and customs of the Jews. Bernaldez 
was a priest, and therefore, to some extent, an 
educated man — as in the main his history bears 
witness — yet a piece of writing so ludicrously stupid 
and detestably malicious as this passage can only have 
emanated from a mind in which bigotry had destroyed 
all sense of proportion. 

The only historical value of the passage lies in the 
deplorable fact that undoubtedly it may be accepted 
as a faithful mirror of the prejudice that existed in 
Isabella's day. 

It runs : 

14 Just as heretics and Jews have always fled from 
Christian doctrines, so they have always fled from 
Christian customs. They are great drinkers and 
gluttons, who never lose the Jewish habit of eating 
garbage of onions and garlic fried in oil, and of meat 
stewed in oil, which they use instead of lard ; and oil 
with meat is a thing that smells very badly, so that 
their houses and doorways stink vilely of that garbage ; 
and they have the peculiar smell of Jews in conse- 
quence of their food and of the fact that they are not 
baptized. And although some have been baptized, 

9 6 Torquemada 

yet the virtue of the baptism having been annulled by 
their credulity [i.e. their adherence to their own faith] 
and by their Judaizing, they stink like Jews. They 
will not eat pork save under compulsion. They eat 
meat in Lent and on the eve of feast days. . . . 
They keep the Passover and the Sabbath as best they 
can. They send oil to the synagogues for the lamps. 
Jews come to preach to them in their houses secretly — 
especially to the women, very secretly They have 
Rabbis to slaughter their beasts and poultry. They 
eat unleavened bread in the Jewish season. They 
perform all their Jewish rites as much in secret as 
possible, and women as well as men seek whenever 
possible to avoid the sacraments of Holy Church. . . . 
They never confess truthfully, and it happened that a 
priest, once confessing one of these, cut a fragment of 
cloth from his garment, saying : ' As you have never 
sinned, let me have this as a relic to heal the sick.' . . . 
Not without reason did Our Lord call them generatio 
prava et adultera. They do not believe that God 
rewards virginity and chastity, and all their endeavour 
is to multiply. And in the days of the strength of this 
heresy many monasteries were violated by their mer- 
chants and wealthy men, and many professed nuns 
were ravished and derided, they not believing in or 
fearing excommunication, but rather doing this to 
vituperate Jesus Christ and the Church. Commonly 
swindling people by many wiles and cheats, as in 
buying and selling, they have no conscience where 
Christians are concerned. Never would they under- 
take agriculture, ploughing or tilling or raising cattle, 
nor have they ever taught their children any office but 
that of sitting down to earn enough to eat by as little 
labour as possible. Many of them have raised up 
great estates in a few years, not being sparing of 
their thieving and usury, maintaining that they earn 
it from their enemies. . . ." l 

1 Bernaldez, " Historia de los Reyes Catholicos," cap. xliii : " Modo de 
vivir de los Judios." 

The NeW'Christians 97 

This atrocious tissue of misrepresentation would be 
utterly negligible and contemptible were it not for the 
fact — as has been said — that it was written in good 
faith (the good faith of a bigot) and reflects what was 
currently believed, fostered by the envy which is 
plainly revealed when Bernaldez alludes to the occupa- 
tions of the Jews and the New-Christians — all of whom 
he assumes to be false to the faith they have embraced. 

Isabella must have been conscious of this feeling, 
and she must have rated it at its proper value. She 
had received in 1474 a very pitiful narrative poem of 
the New-Christian Anton Montoro, which painted 
with terrible vividness a slaughter of the conversos 
and implored justice upon the assassins, protesting 
the innocence of the New-Christians and the sincerity 
of their conversions. Her gentle nature must have 
been moved to compassion by that lament, and her 
acute mind must have perceived the evil passions 
and the envy that were stirring under the fair cloak 
of saintly zeal. 

All these considerations being weighed, she resisted 
the representations of Ojeda. 

But weightier than any may have been the re- 
flection of the power which the tribunal of the 
Inquisition must place in the hands of the clergy. 
Already and very bravely she had expressed her 
resentment of clerical usurpation of royal rights in 
Spain, and to repress it she had not hesitated to 
front the Pope himself. If she acceded now to Ojeda's 
request, she would be permitting the priesthood to set 
up a court which, not being subject to any temporal 
law, must alienate from her some portion of that 
sovereignty which so jealously she guarded. 

Thus she came to dismiss the petition of the 
Dominican, and there can be little doubt when all the 
circumstances are considered — as presently they shall 
be — that in this she had the entire support of the 
Cardinal of Spain, Don Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza, 
Archbishop of Seville, who was with her at the time. 

98 Torquemada 

Ojeda withdrew, baffled, but by no means resigned. 
He awaited a more favourable season, what time he 
kept the popular feeling in a state of ferment. And 
no sooner had Ferdinand come to rejoin his Queen 
in Seville than the Dominican renewed his importuni- 

He hoped to find an ally in the King. Moreover 
he was now supported by Fr. Filippo de' Barberi, the 
Sicilian Inquisitor. The latter had newly arrived in 
Spain, where he came to seek at the hands of the 
Catholic Sovereigns — who were rulers of Sicily — the 
confirmation of an ancient decree promulgated in 1223 
by the Emperor Frederic II. By virtue of this 
decree one-third of the confiscated property of heretics 
became the perquisite of the Inquisition ; and it also 
ordained that the governors of all districts should 
afford protection to the inquisitors and assistance in 
their work of prosecuting heretics and any Jew who 
might have contracted marriage with a Christian. 

These privileges the Sovereigns duly confirmed, 
accounting it their duty to do so since they related to 
the Inquisition as established by Honorius III. But 
not on that account did Isabella yet lean towards the 
introduction of the tribunal into Castile. 

It happened, however, that to the arguments of 
Ojeda and Barberi were added the persuasions of the 
papal legate a latere at the court of Castile — Nicolao 
Franco, Bishop of Trevisa — who conceived, no doubt, 
that the institution of the Inquisition here would be 
pleasing to Pope Sixtus IV, since it must increase the 
authority of the Church in Spain. 

To Ferdinand it is probable that the suggestion 
was not without allurement, since it must have offered 
him a way at once to gratify the piety that was his, 
and — out of the confiscations that must ensue from the 
prosecution of so very wealthy a section of the com- 
munity — to replenish the almost exhausted coffers of 
the treasury. When the way of conscience is also the 
way of profit, there is little difficulty in following it. 

The NeW'Christians 99 

But, after all, though joint sovereign of Spain and 
paramount in Aragon, Ferdinand had not in Castile 
the power of Isabella. It was her kingdom when all 
was said, and although his position there was by no 
means that of a simple prince-consort, yet he was bound 
by law and by policy to remain submissive to her will. 
In view of her attitude, he could do little more than 
add his own to the persuasions of the three priestly 
advocates, and amongst them they so pressed Isabella 
that she gave way to the extent of a compromise. 

She consented that steps should be taken not only 
to check the Judaizing of the New-Christians, but also 
to effect conversions among the Jews themselves ; and 
she entrusted the difficult task of enforcing the obser- 
vance of the Christian faith and the Catholic dogmas 
to the Cardinal of Spain — than whom, from a Christian 
and humanitarian point of view, no man of his day 
could have been more desirable, which is as much as 
to say that from the point of view of his Catholic 
contemporaries no man could have been less so. 

Isabella's announcement of her determination in 
the matter must have come as something of a shock to 
Ojeda, who conceived himself on the way to prevail 
with her. This concession to his wishes was far from 
being the concession that he sought, since it passed 
over the heads of the preaching friars, who had 
made such work — by their own methods — their special 

The Queen, however, had decided, and there was 
no more to be said. The Cardinal of Spain went 
about his task in that sincere Christian spirit and with 
that zeal for truth and justice that is associated with 
his name. He compiled for the purpose of his mission 
an instruccidn, which has not survived, but which Ortiz 
de Zufiiga l and Pulgar 2 inform us was in the form of 
a catechism. 

In this "he indicates," says Pulgar, u the duties of 

1 "Anales," lib. xii. afio 1478. 
1 "Chronica," II. cap. lxxvii. 

ioo Torquemada 

the true Christian from the day of his birth, in the 
sacrament of baptism as in all other sacraments which 
it is his obligation to receive, as well as what he should 
be taught, what believe and what perform as a faithful 
Christian at all times and on all days until the day of 
his death." 

Mariana, Zurita, and other historians, upon the 
word of Paramo 1 and of Salazar de Mendoza, have 
ventured to ascribe the establishment of the Inquisition 
in Castile to the Cardinal of Spain. Their object in 
so doing has been to heap honour and glory upon 
his name and memory ; for in their opinion he could 
have had no greater claim than this to the gratitude 
and reverence of humanity. But the justice of a less 
bigoted age demands that truth shall prevail in this 
respect, and that his memory be deprived of that very 
questionable honour. The Cardinal's contemporaries 
do not justify what Paramo claims for him. And, to 
reduce the argument to its lowest plane, it would have 
been extremely unlikely that Cardinal Mendoza should 
advocate the establishment of a court that must deprive 
him and the other Spanish bishops of the jurisdiction 
in causas de Fi hitherto vested in themselves. 

The Primate pursued, then, the task imposed upon 
him, causing his " catechism " to be expounded and 
taught by all parish priests in all pulpits and schools. 

But however zealous his methods, they were not 
the methods desired by Ojeda and the papal legate. 
The Dominican, vexed by the turn of events, and 
determined to return to the assault as soon as ever 
occasion offered, cast about him for fresh arguments 
that should prevail with the Sovereigns. 

And then there befell an incident in Seville to 
supply his fanatical needs and place in his hands the 
very weapon that he sought. 

1 " De Origine et Progressu Sanctae Inquisitionis," lib. ii. tit. ii. 
cap. iii. 

The NeW'Christians 101 

A young nobleman of the famous house of Guzman 
had engaged in an amorous intrigue with the daughter 
of a New-Christian. In the pursuit of this amour he 
repaired secretly to her father's house on the night 
of Thursday in Holy Week of that year 1478, and 
was admitted by the girl. But the lovers being 
disturbed by voices in the house, Guzman was driven 
to conceal himself. From his concealment he over- 
heard the conversation of several Judaizers who were 
being entertained by the father of his mistress. He 
heard them vehemently denying the divinity of Christ 
and as vehemently blaspheming His name and the 
Holy Faith. 

Having quitted the house, he went straight to the 
Prior of the Dominicans to relate what he had over- 
heard and to denounce the blasphemers. 

This young Castilian is so very interesting a type 
that a slight digression to consider him more closely 
may be permitted. It is of assistance to understand 
the mental attitude, the crass complacency of the 
bigot. He knew that the highest virtue that a Christian 
could practise was the virtue of chastity, and, con- 
versely, that the worst offence against God into which 
he could fall was that of unchastity. Or at least he 
had been taught these things, and he accepted them in 
a sub-conscious, automatic sort of way. Yet since the 
sin was his own, it gave his consciousness no uneasi- 
ness that he should perpetrate it, that he should slink 
like a thief into the house of this New-Christian to 
debauch his daughter. But let him hear this New- 
Christian or his friends express opinions of disbelief 
in this God whom he believed in and — by his own 
lights — insulted, and behold him outraged in all his 
feelings against those unspeakable fellows. Behold 
him running hot-foot to Prior Ojeda to relate with 
horror the tale of this vileness that he had overheard, 
so little concerned about the vileness through which 
he himself had acquired his knowledge that he makes 
no effort to conceal it. And, apparently, the Dominican, 

102 Torquemada 

in a like horror at the New-Christians' offence against 
a God in whom they do not believe, accounts of little 
moment the Castilian's offence against the God in 
whom he does believe. 

It is a nice illumination of the contrast between the 
theory and the practice of Christianity. 

Upon the young man's information Ojeda in- 
stituted an inquiry, and six Judaizers were arrested. 
They confessed their guilt, and begged to be recon- 
ciled to the Church. As the Inquisition had not yet 
been established, with its terrible decree against 
" relapsos," 1 their prayer was granted, after the fulfil- 
ment of the penance imposed. 2 

With the tale of this " execrable wickedness " 
Ojeda repaired at once to Cordova, whither the 
Sovereigns had by now withdrawn. The story would 
lose nothing in its repetition by this pious and saintly 
man, and he was in a position to add to it that the 
good folk of Seville were almost in revolt from 
indignation at that happening in their midst. 

Having shown thus how urgently it was required, 
he once more implored the Sovereigns to establish the 
Inquisition. And it is not to be doubted that his 
petition would be backed by that of the legate Franco, 
who was at the Court. 

Yet Isabella still showed repugnance, still hesitated 
to consent to the extreme course advocated. 

But at this moment, according to Llorente, 3 another 
advocate appears upon the scene to plead the cause 
of the Faith — a figure in the white habit and black 
cloak of the Dominican Brotherhood, a man in his 
fifty-eighth year, tall and gaunt and stooping slightly 
at the shoulders, mild-eyed, of a cast of countenance 
that is gentle, noble, and benign. 

This is Frey Tomas de Torquemada, Prior of the 

1 The "relapsos" — of whom we shall hear more presently — were 
those who, having been converted to Christianity, were guilty of relapsing 
into Judaism. 

3 Paramo, " De Origine," lib. ii. tit. ii. cap. iii. ; Zuniga, " Anales," 1477. 

3 " Anales/' cap. ii. 10, 

The NeW'Christians 103 

Dominican Convent of Holy Cross of Segovia, the 
nephew of the late illustrious Juan de Torquemada, 
Cardinal of San Sisto. 

His influence with the Queen is vast ; his eloquence 
fiery ; his mental energy compelling. Ojeda looks on, 
and his hopes grow confident at last. 



If ever a name held the omen of a man's life, that 
name is Torquemada. To such an extraordinary- 
degree is it instinct with the suggestion of the 
machinery of fire and torture over which he was 
destined to preside, that it almost seems a fictitious 
name, a nom de guerre, a grim invention, compounded 
of the Latin torque and the Spanish quemada, to fit 
the man who was to hold the office of Grand 

It was derived from the northern town of 
Torquemada (the Turre Cremata of the Romans), 
where the illustrious family had its beginnings. This 
family first sprang into historical distinction with the 
knighting by Alfonso XI of Lope Alonso de Tor- 
quemada (Hijodalgo a los Fueros de Castillo), and 
thereafter was maintained in prominence by several 
members who held more or less distinguished offices. 
But the most illustrious bearer of the name was the 
cultured Dominican Juan de Torquemada (Lope 
Alonso's great-grandson), who was raised to the purple 
with the title of Cardinal of San Sisto. He was one 
of the most learned, eminent, and respected theologians 
of his age, an upholder of the dogma of the Immaculate 
Conception, and the most ardent champion since 
Thomas Aquinas of the doctrine of papal infallibility. 
He enriched theological literature by several works, 
the best known of which is his " Meditations." 

Fr. Tomas de Torquemada was the son of the 


The Prior of Holy Cross 105 

Cardinal's only brother, Pero Fernandez de Torque- 
mada. He was born at Valladolid in 1420, and after 
a scholastic career of some distinction — if Garcia 
Rodrigo is to be believed in this particular 1 — he 
followed in his uncle's footsteps, soliciting the habit 
of the Order of St. Dominic, which he assumed in 
the Convent of St. Paul of Valladolid upon completing 
his studies of philosophy and divinity, and receiving 
a doctor's degree. 

He filled with distinction the chair of canon law 
and theology, and in the fullness of time was elected 
Prior of the Convent of Santa Cruz of Segovia. He 
so distinguished himself in the discharge of the duties 
of this office by his piety, his learning, and his zeal, 
that he was repeatedly re-elected, there being at the 
time no rule of the order to inhibit it. Such was the 
austerity of his character that he never ate meat, or 
used linen either in his clothing or on his bed. 2 He 
observed the rule of poverty imposed by his order so 
rigorously that he was unable to provide his only 
sister with an endowment suitable to her station, and 
could allow her no more than would permit her to 
live as a nun under the rule of the tertiary order of 
St. Dominic. 

At what epoch the Prior of Holy Cross first 
became the confessor of the Infanta Isabella it is not 
now possible to ascertain. Jaime Bleda tells us that 
in the fulfilment of this office he had extracted from 
her, during her youth at the Court of her brother 
King Henry IV, a promise that should she ever come 
to the throne she would devote her life to the extir- 
pation of heresy from her realm. 3 

This may be dismissed as one of those popular 

1 " Historia Verdadera de la Inquisicion," by D. F. J. G. Rodrigo, 
vol. ii. p. in. This history is to be read with the greatest caution. It 
is an attempt to justify the Inquisition and to combat Llorente's writings; 
in his endeavours to achieve this object the author is a little reckless and 
negligent of exactitude. 

1 Paramo, p. 157, and Hernando de Castillo in "Historia de Santo 
Domingo y de su Orden," part iii. cap. lxxiv. 

3 " Coronica de los Moros de Espafia," p. 879. 

106 Torquemada 

fictions that arise concerning the intimate affairs of 
princes, for it cannot be said that it is borne out by 
the circumstances under consideration. 

Isabella's reluctance to proceed to extreme — or 
even vigorous — measures against those of her subjects 
accused of Judaizing is admitted by every serious 
student of her reign, however opinions may vary dS 
to the motives that swayed her in this course. 

There remains, however, out of Bleda's anecdote, 
the fact that Torquemada had been Isabella's confessor 
in early years — which in itself bears out the statement 
that the Dominican had achieved distinction. It 
follows by virtue of his having occupied this office 
that he must have acquired over the mind of a woman 
so devout a considerable ascendancy where matters 
connected with the Faith were concerned. 

This influence he came now to exert. 

To support it he brought an indubitable sincerity 
and disinterestedness of motives ; he brought a re- 
putation for sanctity derived from the rigid purity 
of his life and the stern asceticism which he practised 
— a reputation which could not fail to act upon the 
imagination of a woman of Isabella's pious tempera- 
ment ; and, finally, he brought the dominant, masterful 
personality and the burning eloquence that were his 

When all this is taken into account it is not surpris- 
ing that the Queen's resistance, weakened already by 
the onslaughts of Ojeda and his associates, the King 
and the papal legate, should at last have broken down ; 
and that under the compelling persuasion of the Prior 
of Holy Cross she should reluctantly have con- 
sented to the establishment of the Holy Office in her 

Thus it befell that by order of the Catholic Sove- 
reigns their Orator at the Pontifical Court, D. Francisco 
de Santillana, applied to Sixtus IV for a bull that 
should empower Ferdinand and Isabella to set up the 

The Prior of Holy Cross 107 

tribunal of the Inquisition in Castile, to enable them — 
as Bernaldez puts it — to proceed to the extirpation of 
heresy " by the way of fire " — por via del fuego. 

This bull was duly granted under date of Novem- 
ber 7, 1478. 

It gave the Sovereigns the faculty of electing three 
bishops or archbishops or other God-fearing and up- 
right priests, regular or secular, of over forty years ot 
age, who must be masters or bachelors of divinity and 
doctors or licentiates of canon law, to make inquisition 
throughout the kingdom against heretics, apostates, and 
their abettors. 

His Holiness accorded to the men so elected the 
requisite jurisdiction to proceed according to law and 
custom, and he further empowered the Sovereigns to 
annul such nominations as they might make and to 
replace their nominees as they saw fit. 1 

The Sovereigns were in Cordova when the bull 
reached them in the following month of December. 
But they did not at once proceed to act upon it. 
Before doing so, Isabella made one last effort to repress 
the Judaizing and apostatizing movement by the 
gentler measures concerted with the Cardinal of Spain 
in 1477. 

To the task of continuing with increased vigour 
the teachings of the " catechism " drawn up by 
Mendoza she now appointed Diego Alonso de Solis, 
Bishop of Cadiz, D. Diego de Merlo, Coadjutor of 
Seville, and Alonso de Ojeda, to whom these royal 
orders must have been a fresh source of disappoint- 
ment and chagrin. 

Torquemada, we must assume, had withdrawn 
once more to his convent of Segovia, and perhaps the 
removal of his stern influence enabled the Queen to 
make this last effort to avoid the course to which he 
had all but constrained her. 

Having concluded these arrangements, the Sove- 
reigns repaired to Toledo. There, in the spring of 

1 Llorente, "Anales," cap. ii. § 14. 

108 Torquemada 

the year 1480, the Cortes assembled to make oath of 
fealty to the infant Prince of Asturias to whom Isabella 
had given birth in June of 1478. Whilst this oath 
was the chief motive of the assembly, it was by no 
means the only business with which it had to deal. 
Many other matters received attention ; amongst 
them the necessity for remedying the evils arising out 
of the commerce between Christians and Jews was 
seriously considered. 

It was decreed that the old laws concerning the 
Jews, which lately had been falling into partial desue- 
tude, should be re-enforced, particularly those which 
prescribed that all Jews should wear the distinguishing 
badge of the circlet of red cloth on the shoulders of 
their gabardines ; that they should keep strictly to 
their Juderias, always retiring to these at nightfall ; 
that walls to enclose these Juderias should be erected 
wherever they might still be wanting, and that no Jew 
should practise as a doctor, surgeon, apothecary, or 

Beyond that, however, the Cortes did not go ; and 
the institution of the Inquisition to deal with Judaizers 
was not so much as mentioned, which circumstance 
Llorente accepts as a further proof of the Queen's 
antipathy to the Holy Office. 

Coming at a time when the Jews were once more 
beginning to taste the sweets of freedom, there can be 
little doubt that these provisions, which thrust them 
back into bondage and ignominy, must have been 
extremely galling to them. It is possible that these 
measures against the men of his race spurred a New- 
Christian to the rash step of publishing a pamphlet in 
which he criticized and censured the royal action in 
the matter. Carried away by his feelings, the writer — 
intentionally or not — fell into heresy in the course of 
his writings, to which the Jeronymite monk, Hernando 
de Talavera, published a reply. 

Rodrigo 1 assumes that this heretical pamphlet put 

1 " Historic Verdadera," ii. p. 71. 


The Prior of Holy Cross 109 

an end to the Queen's patience. It may very well have 
been the case, or at least it may have afforded Ferdinand 
and the others who desired the Inquisition a final 
argument whereby to overcome what reluctance still 
lingered with her. 

Be that as it may, it was very soon after this — 
September 27, 1480 — that the Sovereigns, who at the 
time were at Medina del Campo, acted at last upon 
the papal bull which had now been in their hands for 
nearly two years, and delegated their faculty of giving 
inquisitors to Castile to the Cardinal of Spain and 
Fr. Tomas de Torquemada. 

Mendoza and Torquemada proceeded at once to 
carry out the task entrusted to them, and appointed as 
inquisitors of the faith for Seville — where Judaizing 
was represented to be most flagrant — the Dominican 
friars Juan de San Martino and Miguel Morillo. The 
latter was the Provincial of the Dominicans of Aragon, 
and was already a person of experience in such matters, 
having acted as inquisitor in Rousillon. To assist 
them in the discharge of their office, the secular priest 
Juan Ruiz de Medina, a doctor of canon law, and Juan 
Lopez de Barco, one of the Queen's chaplains, were 
appointed, the former to the position of assessor, the 
latter to that of fiscal. 

It is necessary, in view of the much that has been 
written, and although the danger be incurred of labour- 
ing the point, to examine more closely the attitude of 
the Sovereigns towards the tribunal which they now 

Isabella's zeal, both pious and political, urged her, 
as has been said, to proceed in such a way as should 
set a term to the unrest arising out of the public feeling 
against Judaizers and apostatizing Moriscoes (baptized 
Moors). Ferdinand not only shared her feelings, but 
pious zeal in him went to the lengths of bigotry, and 
he aimed essentially at a political unity that should be 
inseparably allied and interwoven with religious unity. 

no Torquemada 

Isabella would have laboured slowly, preferring, 
even at the sacrifice of time, to achieve her ends by 
gentle means and the exercise of that patience which 
was so very necessary if good results were to be 
obtained. Ferdinand, perhaps less pitiful, perhaps — 
to do him full justice — less hopeful of the power of 
argument and indoctrination, lending an ear to the 
priestly assertion " contra negantes veritatis nulla est 
disputatio," would have proceeded at once to the intro- 
duction into Castile of the stern repressive measures 
already being exerted in his native Aragon. 

On the score of their different attitudes the 
Sovereigns might have found themselves in conflict, 
but that in this matter they had a ground of common 
interest. Both were agreed that in no case should 
Spain be brought under the ecclesiastical sway which 
the establishment of the usual form of Inquisition must 
set up. If this were to be — as usual hitherto — under 
pontifical control, its officers would be appointed by 
the Pope, or, vicariously, by the Dominican provincials, 
and a proportion of the confiscations consequent 
upon conviction would be gathered into the pontifical 

For all his bigotry and his desire to see the Holy 
Office instituted in Castile, Ferdinand was as averse 
as Isabella to its introduction in a form that must 
restore the clerical usurpations they had been at such 
pains to repress. 

If Isabella admitted the Inquisition as a last means 
of quelling the disturbing elements in her kingdom, it 
must be an Inquisition on lines entirely different from 
those which hitherto had obtained elsewhere. The 
appointment of its officers must no more rest with 
the Pope than the bestowal of Spanish benefices. It 
must be the prerogative of the Sovereigns themselves, 
and it must carry with it the power to depose and 
replace, where necessary, such inquisitors as they 
might appoint. Further, Rome must have no share 
in the property confiscated from Spanish subjects. 

The Prior of Holy Cross in 

the disposal of this being entirely controlled by the 

It has been argued that here was the cause of all 
Isabella's hesitancy: that greed and statecraft were 
the mainsprings of her conduct in the matter, and 
that humanitarian considerations had no part in it ; 
that the bull had been applied for earlier than has 
been generally supposed, and that the delay had 
resulted from the Pope's disinclination to grant any 
such terms as were demanded. 

The latter statement may not be without foundation. 
But to say deliberately that no humanitarian consider- 
ations governed the Queen's conduct is to say a 
great deal more than the circumstances warrant. To 
establish this hypothesis it would be necessary to 
advance some adequate reason for her reluctance to 
act upon the bull when once it was in her hands. 
For the bull of November 1478 conceded all that 
the Sovereigns demanded, all that they desired. Yet 
Isabella allowed nearly two years to pass before 
proceeding to exercise the faculties conferred by it, 
and during that time Cardinal Mendoza and his co- 
operators diligently pursued the work of effecting 
conversions by means of his " catechism." 

The conclusion that this was dictated by 
humane considerations on the part of the Queen 
is the only one that appears reasonable, nor is any 
alternative put forward to account for the delay of 
nearly two years. 

When the Cardinal of Spain and the Prior of 
Holy Cross, acting jointly on behalf of the Sovereigns, 
appointed the first inquisitors for Castile, they in- 
structed these to set up a tribunal in Seville, which of 
all the cities of Spain was the one where Judaizing 
was alleged to be most flagrantly conducted. 1 

1 Mendoza, " Monarquia de Espafia," iii. p. 336. Bleda says that there 
were 100,000 apostates in that diocese 1" Coronica de los Moros,'' 
p. 880). 

1 1 2 Tor quemada 

The Sovereigns issued on October 9 a command 
to all loyal subjects to afford the two inquisitors every 
assistance they might require on their journey to 
Seville and all facilities there for carrying out their 

The subjects, however, were so little loyal on this 
occasion that upon the arrival of the inquisitors at 
Seville, these found a reception of all solemnity await- 
ing them and every respect accorded to them, but 
no assistance. To such an extent was this withheld 
that they found it quite impossible to set about the 
business upon which they came. They complained 
of this state of things to the King, and as a result 
he sent special orders on December 27 to the Co- 
adjutor of Seville and the civil authorities of the 
district, commanding them to lend the inquisitors 
every support. 

In consequence of this they were at last enabled 
to establish their court and proceed to the business 
upon which they came. 1 

The very rumour of their approach had filled the 
New-Christians with anxiety, and a glimpse of the 
gloomy funereal pageant — the white-robed, black- 
hooded inquisitors, with their attendant familiars and 
barefoot friars, the procession headed by a Dominican 
carrying the white cross — on its way to the Convent 
of St. Paul, where they took up their quarters, was 
enough to put to flight some thousands of those who 
had cause to fear that they might become the objects 
of the attention of that fearful court. 

These fugitives sought refuge in the feudal lord- 
ships of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, of the formidable 
Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marquis of Cadiz, and of 
the Count of Arcos. 

But in all ages it had been the way of the Inqui- 
sition not only to suspect readily, but to allow suspicion 
to usurp the place that elsewhere is reserved for proof. 
And so they proceeded to construe into evidence of 

1 Zuniga, " Anales," lib. xii. afio 1480 

The Prior of Holy Cross 113 

guilt this flight of the timorous, as is shown by the 
edict they published on January 2 of 1481. 

In this — having set forth their appointment by 
the Sovereigns, and the terms of the bull under which 
such appointment had been made — they announced 
that, inasmuch as it had come to their knowledge 
that many persons had departed out of Seville in 
fear of prosecution upon grounds of heretical pravity, 
they commanded the Marquess of Cadiz, the Count 
of Arcos, and the other nobles of the Kingdom of 
Castile, that within fifteen days of the publication 
of this edict they should make an exact account of 
the persons of both sexes that had sought refuge 
in their lordships or jurisdictions ; that they should 
arrest all these and bring them safely to the prison 
of the Inquisition in Seville, confiscating their pro- 
perty and placing this together with an inventory 
in the hands of some person of trust, to be held by 
them at the disposal of the inquisitors ; that none 
should dare to shelter any fugitive, but comply exactly 
with the terms of this edict under pain of greater 
excommunication and the other penalties by law 
established against abettors of heretics, amongst which 
penalties was that of the annulment of their dignities 
and offices, their subjects and vassals being absolved 
of all vassalage and subjection ; and the inquisitors 
reserved to themselves and their superiors the power 
of absolution from the ecclesiastical censure incurred 
by all who might fail to obey the terms of this edict. 




The stern purpose of the inquisitors and the severity 
with which they intended to proceed were plainly 
revealed by that edict of January 2, 148 1. The 
harsh injustice that lay in its call upon the authorities 
to arrest men and women merely because they had 
departed from Seville before departure was in any way 
forbidden is typical of the flagrantly arbitrary methods 
of the Inquisition. That it should have struck terror 
into the New-Christians who had remained in Seville, 
and that it should have moved them to take measures 
to protect themselves against a court in which justice 
seemed little likely to be observed, and to whose cruel 
mercies the most innocent might find himself exposed 
at any moment, is not surprising — particularly when it 
is considered how great was the number of New- 
Christians who occupied positions of eminence in 

A group of these prominent citizens assembled at 
the invitation of Diego de Susan, one of the wealthiest 
and most influential men of Seville, whose fortune 
was estimated at ten million maravedis. They came 
together to consider what measures should be taken 
for the defence of themselves, their persons and 
property, from the unscrupulous activities of this 
tribunal, and they determined that if necessary they 
would resort to force. 

Among those who entered into this conspiracy 
were some ecclesiastics, and several who held office 


The Holy Office in Seville 115 

under the Crown, such as the Governor of Triana, 
Juan Fernandez Abolafio, the Captain of Justice and 
farmer of the royal customs, his brother Fernandez 
the licentiate, Bartolome Torralba, and the wealthy 
and well-connected Manuel Sauli. 

Susan addressed them. He reminded them that they 
were the principal citizens of Seville, that they were 
wealthy not only in property but in the good-will of 
the people, and that it but required resolution and 
solidarity on their part to enable them to prevail 
against the inquisitors in the event of these friars 
making any attempt upon them. 

All concurring, it was concerted that each of the 
conspirators should engage himself to provide a pro- 
portion of the men, arms, and money and what else 
might be necessary for their purpose. 

But Susan to his undoing had a daughter. This 
girl, whose beauty was so extraordinary that she was 
surnamed la hermosa fembra, had taken a Castilian 
lover. What motives may have actuated her, what 
part the lover may have played in these, does not 
transpire. All that is known is that she betrayed the 
conspiracy to the inquisitors — " impiously violating 
the natural laws engraved by God's finger upon the 
human heart." 

Susan and his unfortunate confederates were seized 
as a consequence of that infamous delation ; they were 
lodged in the cells of the Convent of St. Paul, which 
meanwhile did duty as a prison, and brought to trial 
before the Court of the Holy Office sitting in the 
convent. 1 

1 Bernaldez, cap. xliv. ; Garcia Rodrigo, i. cap. xx. ; Amador de los 
Rios, " Historia de los Judios," lib. iii. cap. v. 

Amador de los Rios adds in a foot-note, on the score of this girl : 
" Don Reginaldo Rubino, Bishop of Tiberiades, informed of the delation 
and of the state of la Fermosa Fembra, contrived that she should enter one 
of the convents of the city to take the veil. But dominated by her sensual 
passions, she quitted the convent without professing, and bore several 
children. Her beauty having been dissipated by age, want overtook the 
unnatural daughter of the millionaire Diego de Susan, and in the end she 
died under the protection of a grocer. In her will she disposed that her 
skull should be placed over the doorway of the house in which she had 

1 1 6 Torquemada 

They were tried for heresy and apostasy, of 
course ; since upon no other grounds was it possible 
for the Holy Office to deal with them. It is un- 
fortunate that Llorente should have unearthed no 
record of this trial — one of the first held by the In- 
quisition in Castile — and that nothing should be known 
of what took place beyond the fact that Susan, Sauli, 
Bartolome' Torralba, and the brothers Fernandez were 
found guilty of the alleged offence of apostasy and 
were delivered up to the secular arm for punishment. 

Garcia Rodrigo has devoted a couple of pages of 
his " Historia Verdadera " to an elaborate piece 
of fiction in which he asserts that these men were 
persistent in their error in spite of the strenuous 
efforts made to save them. He invests the fanatical 
Ojeda with the character of an angel of mercy, and 
represents him hovering round the condemned, ex- 
horting them, almost with tears, to abjure their error, 
and he assures us that although the Dominican per- 
severed in his charitable efforts up to the last moment, 
all was vain. 

There is not a grain of evidence to support the 
statement, nor does Garcia Rodrigo pretend to advance 
any. As a matter of fact, Bernaldez, the only avail- 
able authority who mentions Susan's end, tells us 
specifically that he died a Christian. And when it is 
considered that Bernaldez is an ardent admirer and 
champion of the Inquisition, such a pronouncement 
from his pen is sufficient to convict the inquisitors 
Morillo and San Martin of having proceeded in a 
manner that was vindictive and ultra vires. For at 
this epoch it was not yet decreed that those who had 
relapsed (relapsos) should suffer capital punishment 
unless they persisted in their apostasy — as Rodrigo, 
obviously for the purpose of justifying the inquisitors, 
unwarrantably asserts did Susan and his confederates. 

pursued her evil life as an example and in punishment of her sins. This 
house is situated in the Calle de Ataud, opposite to its entrance from the 
direction of the Alcazar, and there the skull of la Fermosa Fembra has 
continued until our own times." 


The Holy Office in Seville 117 

Llorente considers the blood-lust of the in- 
quisitors established by these merciless convictions, 
urging that it is incredible that all the prisoners should 
have refused to recant and to submit themselves to 
penance — even assuming that they were actually 
guilty of apostasy as alleged. For when all is con- 
sidered it must remain extremely doubtful whether they 
had Judaized at all, and it is not improbable — from 
what we see of the spirit that actuated the inquisitors — 
that Morillo and San Martin may have construed 
the action of those men into an offence against the 
Faith for the purpose of bringing them within the 
jurisdiction of the Holy Office. 

They were condemned to be the chief actors in 
the first Auto de Fe that was held in Seville. This 
took place on February 6. 1 

There was about this Auto comparatively little of 
that pomp and ceremonial, that ghastly theatricality 
that was presently to distinguish these proceedings. 
But the essentials were already present. 

Susan and his fellows were led forth barefoot, in 
the ignominious, yellow penitential sack, a candle in 
the hand of each. Hemmed about by halberdiers, they 
were paraded through the streets of a city in which 
they had won the goodwill and respect of all, to be 
gazed upon by a people whose eyes must have been 
filled with horror and dismay. To head the procession 
went a black-robed Dominican holding aloft the green 
cross of the Inquisition, now swathed in a veil of 
crape ; behind him, walking two by two, came the 
familiars of the Holy Office, members of the Con- 
fraternity of St. Peter the Martyr ; next followed the 
doomed men amid their guards ; and last came the 
inquisitors with their attendants and a considerable 
body of Dominicans from the Convent of St. Paul, 
headed by their prior, the fanatical Ojeda. 

1 Llorente says "January 6," an obvious mistake considering that the 
inquisitors published their first edict on the 2nd of that month, and that 
Susan's offence was subsequent to that publication. 

1 1 8 Torquemada 

The procession headed for the Cathedral, where 
the sufferers were taken to hear Mass and forced to 
listen to a sermon framed for the occasion which was 
preached by Ojeda, and must have increased the 
exquisite torment of their protracted agony. Thence 
they were conducted — once more processionally — out 
of the city to the meadows of Tablada. There they 
were attached to the stakes that had been erected, 
fire was set to the faggots, and thus they perished 
miserably, to the greater honour and glory of the 
Catholic Apostolic Church. 1 

Ojeda may have looked with satisfaction upon 
that holocaust, upon those cruel flames which more 
than any man in Spain he had been instrumental in 
kindling, and which being kindled would continue to 
cast their lurid glow over that fair land for close 
upon four centuries. It was the first burning that 
Ojeda witnessed, and it was the last. His own hour 
was at hand. His mission, whatever ends it had to 
serve in the eternal scheme of things, was completed 
there on the meadows of Tablada, and he might now 
depart. A few days later he lay dead, stricken down 
by the plague that was ravaging the south of Spain, 
and sought him out for one of its first victims. 

And from the pulpits of Seville the Dominicans 
thundered forth declarations that this pestilence was a 
visitation of God upon an unfaithful city. They never 
paused to consider that if that were indeed the case 
either God's aim must be singularly untrue since the 
shafts of His wrath overtook such faithful servants as 
Ojeda, or else . . . 

But an incapacity to conduct its reasonings to a 
logical conclusion, and an utter want of any sense of 
proportion, are the main factors in all fanaticism. 

Lest they should themselves be stricken by these 
bolts of pestilence launched against the unfaithful, 
behold next the inquisitors scuttling out of Seville ! 
They go in quest of more salubrious districts, and, 

1 See Garcia Rodrigo, vol. i. cap. xx. 

The Holy Office in Seville 119 

presumably upon the assumption that these — since 
they remain healthy — are escaping divine attention, 
the Dominicans zealously proceed to light their fires 
that they may repair this heavenly oversight. 1 

But that villegiahira of theirs did not take place 
until they had transacted a deal more of their horrible 
business in Seville. Great had been the results of the 
edict of January 2. The nobles, not daring to run 
the risk of the threatened ecclesiastical censure, 
proceeded to effect the arrests demanded, and gangs 
of pinioned captives were brought daily into the city 
from the surrounding country districts where they had 
sought shelter. And in the city itself the familiars 
of the Holy Office were busily effecting the capture 
of suspects and of those against whom, either out of 
bigotry or malice, delations had been made. 

So numerous were the arrests that by the middle 
of the month of January already the capacity of the 
Convent of St. Paul was strained to its utmost, and 
the inquisitors were compelled to remove themselves, 
their tribunal and their prison to the ampler quarters 
of the Castle of Triana, accorded to them by the 
Sovereigns in response to their request for it. 2 

The edict of January 2 was soon succeeded by a 
second one, known as the " Edict of Grace." This 
exhorted all who were guilty of apostasy to come 
forward voluntarily within a term appointed, to confess 
their sins and be reconciled to the Church. It assured 
them that if they did this with real contrition and a 
firm purpose of amendment, they should receive abso- 
lution and suffer no confiscation of property. And it 
concluded with a warning that if they allowed the 
term of grace to expire without taking advantage of it, 
and they should afterwards be accused by others, they 
would be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of the law. 

1 Bernaldez tells us (cap. xliv.) that in the town of Aracena alone, 
where the Inquisitors sought refuge from the pestilence, they set up a 
tribunal and burnt twenty-three persons alive in addition to the number of 
bodies they exhumed for the purpose. 

* Bernaldez, cap. xliv. ; Zuniga, M Anales," lib. xii. ano 1481. 

1 20 Torquemada 

Amador de los Rios is of opinion that Cardinal 
Mendoza was " instrumental ' in having this edict 
published, in which case it would hardly be too much 
to assume that he was the instrument of Isabella in 
the matter. Nor is it too much to assume that the 
inspiration was purely merciful, and that there was no 
thought in the mind of either Queen or Cardinal of the 
edict's being turned, as it was, to treacherous account. 

The response was immediate. It is estimated that 
not less than 20,000 conversos who had been guilty of 
Judaizing came forward to avail themselves of its 
promise of amnesty and to secure absolution for their 
infidelity to the religion they had embraced. They 
discovered to their horror that they had walked into a 
trap as cruel as any that smooth-faced, benign-voiced 
priestcraft had ever devised. 

The inquisitors had thought well to saddle the 
promised absolution and immunity from punishment 
with a condition which they had not published, a 
condition which they had secretly reserved to spring 
it now upon these self-convicted apostates at their 
mercy. They pointed out with infernal subtlety that 
the edict provided that the contrition of the self- 
accused must be sincere, and that of this sincerity the 
penitents must give the only proof possible by dis- 
closing the names of all Judaizers known to them. 

The demand was an infamy ; for not even under 
the seal of private confession is a priest authorized to 
impose upon a penitent as a condition of absolution 
that he shall divulge the name even of an accomplice 
or a partner in guilt. Yet here it was demanded of 
these that they should go much further, and denounce 
such sinners as they knew ; and the demand was 
framed in such specious terms — as the only proof 
they could offer of the sincerity of their own contrition 
— that none dared have taxed the inquisitors with 
malpractice or with subverting the ends and purpose 
of this edict they had been forced to publish. 

The wretched apostates found themselves between 

The Holy Office in Seville 121 

the sword and the wall. Either they must perpetrate 
the infamy of betraying those of their race whom they 
knew to be Judaizers, or they must submit not only to 
the cruel death by fire, but to the destitution of their 
children as a consequence of the confiscation of their 
property. Most of them gave way, and purchased 
their reconciliation at the price of betrayal. And there 
were men like Bernaldez, the parish priest of Palacios, 
who applauded this procedure of the Holy Office. " A 
very glorious thing " (muy hazanosa cosd), he exclaims, 
" was the reconciliation of these people, as thus 
by their confessions were discovered all that were 
Judaizers, and in Seville knowledge was obtained of 
Judaizers in Toledo, Cordova, and Burgos." 1 

Upon the expiry of the term of grace a further 
edict was published by Morillo and San Martin, in 
which they now commanded, under pain of mortal 
sin and greater excommunication, with its attendant 
penalties, the discovery of all persons known to be 
engaged in Judaizing practices. 

And that there should be no excuse offered by any 
on the score of ignorance of such practices, these 
were published in thirty-seven articles appended to 
the edict, articles whose malign comprehensiveness 
left no man secure. 

They set forth the following signs by which 
New-Christians guilty of Judaizing might be recog- 

I. Any who await the Messiah, or say that he 
has not yet come, and that he will come to 
lead them out of captivity into the promised 

II. Any who after baptism have returned expressly 
to the Mosaic faith. 

1 M 

Historia de los Reyes Catolicos," cap. xlir. 

122 Torquemada 

III. Any who declare that the law of Moses is as 
good as that of Jesus Christ and as efficient 
for salvation. 

IV. Any who keep the Sabbath in honour of the 
law of Moses — of which the proof is afforded 
by their assuming clean shirts and more decent 
garments than on other days, and clean covers 
on the table, as well as by their refraining from 
lighting fires and from engaging in all work 
from Friday evening. 

V. Any who strip the tallow or fat from meats 
that they are to eat and purify it by washing in 
water, bleeding it, or extracting the glandule 
from the leg of lambs or other animals slaugh- 
tered for food, 

VI. Any who cut the throats of animals or poultry 
that are intended for food, first testing the 
knife on their finger-nail, covering the blood 
with earth, and uttering certain words that are 
customary among Jews. 

VII. Any who eat meat in Lent and on other days 
on which it is forbidden by Holy Church. 

VIII. Any who keep the great fast of the Jews 
known by different names, or the fast of 
Chiphurim or Quipur in the tenth Hebrew 
month — whereof the proof shall be their having 
gone barefoot during the period of the said 
fast, as is the custom of the Jews, their having 
said Jewish prayers, or asked pardon one of 
another, or fathers having laid hands upon the 
heads of their children without making the sign 
of the Cross or saying anything but " By God 
and by me be thou blessed." 

The Holy Office in Seville 123 

IX and X. Any who keep the fast of Queen Esther, 
which is observed by the Jews in memory and 
imitation of what they did in captivity in the 
reign of Ahasuerus, or the fast of Rebeaso. 

XI. Any who shall keep other fasts peculiar to the 
Jews, such as those of Monday and Thursday, 
of which the proof shall be : their not eating 
on such days until after the appearance of the 
first evening star ; their having abstained from 
meat ; their having washed on the previous 
day or cut their nails or the points of their 
hair, keeping or burning these ; their reciting 
certain Jewish prayers, raising or lowering 
their heads with their faces to the wall, after 
washing their hands in water or in earth ; their 
dressing themselves in sackcloth and girding 
themselves with cords or strips of leather. 

XII, XIII, and XIV concern any who keep the 
Paschal seasons ; which is to be discovered by 
their setting up green boughs, inviting to table 
and sending presents of comestibles, and the 
keeping of the feast of candles. 

XV to XIX concern any who observe Hebrew table- 
customs : whether they bless their viands 
according to the Jewish custom, whether they 
drink " lawful ' wine — i.e. wine that has been 
pressed by Jews — and eat meat that has been 
slaughtered by Jews. 

XX. Any who recite the Psalms of David with- 
out concluding with the versicle " Gloria Patri 
et Filio et Spiritu Sancto." 

XXI. Any woman who abstains from going to 
church for forty days after delivery of child, 
out of reverence for the law of Moses. 

1 24 Torquemada 

XXII to XXVI concern any who circumcise their 

children, give them Hebrew names, or 
after baptism cause their heads to be 
shaven where anointed with the sacred 
oil, or any who cause their children to be 
washed on the seventh day after birth in 
a basin in which, in addition to the water, 
they have placed gold and silver, pearls, 
wheat, barley, and other things. 

XXVII. Any who are married in the Jewish 

XXVIII. Any who hold the Ruaya — which is a 
valedictory supper before setting out upon 
a long journey. 

XXIX and XXX. Any who carry Hebrew relics or 

make burnt-offerings of bread. 

XXXI. Any who in articulo mortis have turned 
or been turned with their faces to the 
wall to die in this attitude. 

XXXII. Any who wash a corpse in warm water or 
shave it according to the Jewish custom, 
and otherwise dress it for the grave as 
is prescribed by the Mosaic law. 

XXXIII to XXXVI concern Jewish expressions of 

mourning, such as the abstaining from 
meat, the spilling of water from the jars 
in the dwelling of the deceased, etc. 

XXXVII. Any who bury their dead in virgin soil or 
in a Jewish cemetery. 1 

Reference has already been made to the inherent 
character of many Jewish customs, which even the 
most sincere of New-Christians retained despite them- 

1 See Llorente, " Historia Critica," torn. i. p. 256 et seq. 


The Holy Office in Seville 125 

selves ; these customs, being racial rather than religious, 
were very far from signifying Judaic apostasy, since 
they contained nothing that was directly opposed to 
the Christian teaching. In the list published by the 
Seville inquisitors it will be seen that such customs 
were deliberately included as evidences of apostasy. 

Consider Articles IV, V, and VII, concerning the 
assumption of clean linen on Saturdays and the strip- 
ping of fat from beef and mutton, which nowise 
offend against the Christian faith, and might well be 
the perpetuation of customs acquired before baptism 
was received. 

Even more flagrant is Article XXXI, which lays 
it down as evidence of Judaizing that a man shall turn 
his face to the wall when at the point of death ; but 
most flagrant of all is Article XXVIII, concerning the 
valedictory meal partaken of before setting out upon 
a journey, for it is a custom that at all times has been 
as much in vogue among Christians as among men of 
any other religion. 

Clearly not a New-Christian in Seville was safe 
from the delations of the malevolent, since such 
ridiculously slight grounds of suspicion were set forth 
by the tribunal. So extravagant and absurd are some 
of these articles that one is forced to agree with 
Llorente, that in formulating them the inquisitors 
proceeded with deliberate malice. He contends that 
deliberately they cast a wide net that by their heavy 
draught they should satisfy the Queen that she had 
heard no more than the truth as to the extent to which 
Judaizing was rampant in Castile, and the urgent 
need there was for the introduction of the Inquisition. 

Whether in this they proceeded according to in- 
structions received from Torquemada or Ojeda does 
not transpire, but there can be little doubt that the 
results obtained must have been in accordance with 
the wishes of both, since they justified to the Queen 
the representations these friars had so insistently 
made to her. 

126 Torquemada 

And the system of espionage which the inquisitors 
set up to increase their haul of victims was as sly and 
cunning as anything in the history of spying. Conceive 
the astuteness of the friar who climbed to the roof 
of the Convent of St. Paul on Saturday mornings 
to observe and note the houses of New-Christians 
from whose chimneys no smoke was to be seen issuing, 
that he might lay the information thus obtained 
before the tribunal, which would proceed to arrest the 
inhabitants upon a strong suspicion that they were 
Judaizers who would not desecrate the Sabbath by 
lighting fires. 1 

" What," asks Llorente, " could be expected of a 
tribunal that began in this way ?" And he at once 
supplies the answer : "That which happened — neither 
more nor less." 

With the methods of procedure that obtained in 
the trials conducted by these inquisitors we need not 
just now concern ourselves. For the moment it is 
enough to say that to the vices inherent in such a 
judicial system must be added, in the case of the first 
inquisitors of Seville, a zeal — not only to convict, but 
actually to be burning heretics — so ferociously excessive 
as to proclaim that they were gratifying their hatred 
of these Jews. 

This upon the word of that sober chronicler Pulgar, 
who, whilst in general terms approving the introduction 
of the Inquisition, as has been seen, denounces in 
the following particular terms the practices of Morillo 
and San Martin : " In the manner in which they 
conducted their proceedings they showed that they 
held those people in hatred." 2 

The Auto of February 6 was followed by 
another on March 26, at which seventeen victims 
were burnt on the fields of Tablada. And now 
that the fires were lighted, the inquisitors saw to 

1 Fidel Fita in " Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia," xxiii. 

p. 37o. 

3 "Chronica," part ii. cap. lxxvii. 

The Holy Office in Seville 127 

it that they were well supplied with human fuel. 
Burnings followed one another at such a rate 
that by the month of November — upon the word 
of Llorente — 298 condemned had been sent to the 
flames in the town of Seville alone, whilst 79 others 
by reconciling themselves to the Church secured the 
commutation of their sentence to one of perpetual 

Mariana, the historian who gave thanks to God 
for the introduction of the Inquisition into Castile, 
informs us with flagrant calm that the number of 
Judaizers burnt in the Archbishopric during that year 
1 48 1 amounted to 8,000, whilst some 17,000 were 
submitted to penance. 

In addition to those burnt alive, many who had 
fled the country were burnt in effigy, having been 
tried and found guilty during an absence described 
as contumacious. And similarly the court went 
through the horrible farce of sitting in judgment 
upon many who were dead, and, having convicted 
them, it dug up their bones and flung these to the 

Such was the prodigious activity of the Holy 
Office, and to such an extent did its holocausts 
promise to continue, that the Governor of Seville 
ordered the erection on the fields of Tablada of a 
permanent platform of stone of vast proportions known 
as the Quemadero, or Burning-place. It was adorned 
by figures of the four Prophets. At each of its four 
corners towered one of these colossal statues of plaster, 
and Llorente tells us that they were not merely for 
ornament. He says that they were hollow and so 
contrived that a condemned person might be placed 
in each and so die by slow fire. 1 

1 This, however, is a statement in which a misconception seems 
obvious. If the statues were of plaster (and it is Llorente himself who 
says so) they would not have stood the heat of furnaces placed beneath 
them. Moreover, since death in such ovens would have been more 
lingering and painful than at the stake, it is difficult to think upon what 
possible grounds, where all were equally guilty, any of the condemned 

128 Torquemada 

This Quemaderc remained standing, a monument 
to religious intolerance and fanatical cruelty, until the 
soldiers of Napoleon demolished it in the nineteenth 
century. 1 

So ruthless were Morillo and San Martin, and so 
negligent of equity or even the observance of the 
ordinary rules of judicial procedure, that in the end 
we find the Pope himself — in January of 1482 — 
addressing a letter of protest to the Sovereigns. 

The first edict commanding the nobles to arrest all 
those who had fled from Seville had had the effect of 
driving many of these fugitive New-Christians farther 
afield in their quest for safety. Some had escaped 
into Portugal, others had crossed the Mediterranean 
and sought shelter in Morocco, whilst others still had 
taken their courage in both hands and sought sanctuary 
in Rome itself, at the very feet of the Pontiff Other 
fugitives followed presently, when the tribunal had 
already inaugurated its terrible work ; and these came 
clamouring their grievances and protesting that in 
spite of their innocence they dared no longer remain 
in a State where no New-Christian was safe from the 
hatred and injustice shown by the inquisitors to men 

should have been relegated to this further degree of torment, or — con- 
versely — those who died at the stake should have been spared it. Besides, 
it is to be remembered that it was desired, and held desirable, that the 
victims should suffer in full view of the faithful. But the mistake which 
has crept in can be indicated. What Bernaldez actually says is : " Ficieron 
facer aquel quemadero en Tablado con aquellos quatro profetas de yeso 
en queIos quemaban." The " en que " may refer either to the Quemadero 
generally or to the statues in particular. But there can be little doubt 
that it refers to the Quemadero, and that Llorente was mistaken in 
assuming it to refer to the statues. 

A curious instance of adapting the shape of a fact so that it will fit 
the idea to be conveyed is afforded in this connection by Dr. Rule, who 
calmly alters the substance of the statues, translating yeso as " limestone." 
" Hist, of the Inquisition," vol. i. p. 134. 

1 Garcia Rodrigo tells us that the architect of this elaborate altar of 
intolerance was a New-Christian of such zeal that he found employment 
in the Holy Office as one of its receivers, but that being discovered in 
Judaizing practices he was himself burnt on the Quemadero he had 
erected. No authority is furnished for the story, nor does Llorante 
mention it, and one is inclined to place it in the category of fables such 
as that which relates how the first head to be shorn off by the guillotine 
was that of its inventor, Dr. Guillotin. 

Photo by Lncosle. 

Prom the Painting in the Prado Gallery attributed to Miguel Zittoz. 


The Holy Office in Seville 129 

of their race. Therefore they were driven to seek 
from Christ's Vicar the protection to which all Christians 
and true Catholics were entitled at his hands. 

They informed the Pontiff of the methods that 
were being pursued ; they set forth how the inquisitors 
in their eagerness to secure convictions proceeded 
entirely upon their own initiative and without the con- 
currence of the assessor and diocesan ordinary, as had 
been prescribed ; how they were departing from all 
legal form, imprisoning unjustly, torturing cruelly and 
unduly, and falsely stigmatizing innocent men as formal 
heretics, thereafter delivering them to the secular arm 
for punishment, in addition to confiscating their pro- 
perty so that their children were left in want and under 
the brand of infamy. 

The Pope gave ear to these plaints, convinced him- 
self of their truth, and made his protest to Ferdinand 
and Isabella. He announced in his brief that he 
would have deprived the inquisitors of their office but 
that he was restrained by consideration for the Sove- 
reigns who had appointed them ; nevertheless, he was 
sending them a brief of admonition, and should they 
again give cause for complaint he would be constrained 
to depose them. In the meantime he revoked the 
faculty given the Sovereigns of appointing inquisitors, 
protesting that when conceding this he had not suffi- 
ciently considered that already there were inquisitors 
in the Sovereigns' dominions and that the General of 
the Dominicans and the Spanish provincials of that 
order had the right to make such appointments. The 
bull that he had granted was therefore in opposition to 
that right, and would never have been granted had the 
matter been sufficiently considered. 1 

1 Paramo, " De Origine," p. 133. Llorente quotes this brief from 
Lumbreras, adding that the original is in the royal library. See his 
" Memoria Histonca," p. 260. 



The Sovereigns appear to have submitted without 
protest to this papal interference and to the revocation 
of the faculty bestowed upon them of nominating the 
inquisitors in their kingdom. This submission was 
hardly to have been expected from their earlier atti- 
tude, but there are two reasons, either or both of which 
may possibly account for it. 

It will be remembered that there was a considerable 
number of New-Christians about the Court and in 
immediate attendance upon the Queen, one of whom 
was her secretary Pulgar. What view Pulgar took of 
the Seville proceedings we know, and it is not too 
much to assume that his view was the view of all 
Christians of Jewish extraction. These New-Christians 
and others may very well have urged upon the notice 
of the Sovereigns the cruelties and injustices that were 
being practised, drawing their attention to the decree 
that made innocent children suffer for the offences of 
which their parents had been convicted — a decree 
which, hideous enough when the parents were actually 
guilty, became unspeakably hideous when that guilt 
was no more than presumed. 

In view of such representations the Sovereigns 
may have found the papal rebuke unanswerable and 
the Pope's action justified. 

Then, again, they may have taken into considera- 
tion the projected war upon Granada, the last province 
of the peninsula remaining in Moorish hands. Funds 


The Supreme Council 131 

were urgently required for this campaign, and the con- 
fiscations that were daily being effected by the Holy 
Office were rapidly supplying these — for the early 
victims of the Inquisition, as we know, were persons of 
great wealth and distinction. 1 

Now the papal brief, whilst it cancelled the royal 
prerogative of appointing inquisitors, did not attempt 
to divert the course of this stream of confiscated pro- 
perty, nor, indeed, made any mention of the matter. 
So that they may have hesitated to oppose themselves 
to measures which they recognized as just and which 
continued to supply them with the means for what 
they looked upon as a righteous ciusade. 

Bigotry and acquisitiveness were again joining 
forces, and, united, they must prove, as ever, 

But on February 11, 1482, the Roman Curia 
issued another brief addressed to the Sovereigns, 
wherein — entirely ignoring what already had been 
written — it was announced that the General of the 
Dominicans, Fr. Alonso de Cebrian, having repre- 
sented to the Pope the need to multiply the number 
of inquisitors in Spain, his Holiness had resolved to 
appoint the said Fr. Alonso and seven other Domini- 
cans to conduct the affairs of the Holy Office in that 
kingdom, commanding them to exercise their ministry 
in conjunction with the diocesan ordinary and in accord- 
ance with the terms set forth in the briefs that were 
being addressed to them. 2 

One of the eight Dominicans mentioned by the 
Pope was Fr. Tomas de Torquemada, who by now 
was become confessor to the King and to the Cardinal 
of Spain. 

This brief, following so rapidly upon that which 
revoked the Sovereigns' power, may have caused 
Ferdinand and Isabella to look upon it as the second 

1 "... e fueron aplicados todos sus bienes para la Camara del Rev y 
de la Reyna, los cuales fueron en gran cantidad." — Pulgar, "Cronica r w 
cap. xcv. 

2 Paramo, " De Origine," p. 136. 

13 2 Torquemada 

move in an intrigue whose aim was to strengthen the 
ecclesiastical arm in Spain to the detriment of the 
royal authority. 

On April 17 Sixtus sent the promised instructions 
to the inquisitors of Aragon, Catalufia, Valencia, 
and Mallorca. These indicated a procedure in matters 
of faith so contrary to common law, that no sooner did 
the inquisitors attempt to carry them into execution 
than there was an uproar which afforded Ferdinand 
grounds upon which to indite a protest to the Holy 

A reply came in the following October. Sixtus 
wrote that the briefs of last April had been drawn up 
after conference with several members of the Sacred 
College ; that these cardinals were now absent from 
Rome, but that on their return the matter should be 
further considered. Meanwhile, however, in view of 
the results that had attended those briefs, he was 
informing the inquisitors that they were exempt from 
acting upon the terms set forth in them and instructing 
them to proceed, as formerly, in co-operation with the 
diocesan ordinaries. 

But in the meantime, for all the Pope's protest 
against the excessive severity of the Seville tribunal, 
this severity continued so undiminished, not only in 
Seville but also in the districts under the jurisdiction 
of other inquisitors, that there was a continuous emigra- 
tion from Spain of the wealthy New-Christian families. 
Many of these repaired to Rome to appeal to the 
Pontifical Courts and to procure there an absolution 
which should accord them immunity from the Spanish 
tribunals of the Holy Office. 

But even when this absolution was procured a large 
number of these emigrants never thought of returning 
to Spain, considering it wiser to settle in a country in 
which they were in less danger of persecution. 

Although it is certain that the Sovereigns can have 
had no prevision of what actually was to happen as 
a. consequence — though not in their own day, nor for 

The Supreme Council 133 

some time afterwards — although they may have been 
very far from foreseeing that by driving out these 
energetic, industrious, intelligent men they were de- 
priving the country of the financially able, wealth- 
producing element of the community — still they did 
undoubtedly perceive what was immediately before 
them ; and they began to fear the possibility of their 
country's being drained of its present wealth if these 
emigrations were to continue. 

So Isabella wrote to the Pope entreating him to 
establish a court of appeal in Spain, and thus dispose 
that proceedings started within the kingdom could 
there be carried to their conclusion without the need 
for these appeals to Rome. To this the Pope replied 
in affectionate terms on February 23, 1483, promising 
to give the matter every consideration. 1 

Shortly thereafter he held a conference of the 
Spanish Cardinals, the principal of whom in wealth, 
importance, and distinction was Roderigo Borgia, 
Cardinal of Valencia. At this conference several pro- 
visions were agreed upon, and these were embodied 
in the briefs dispatched from the Vatican on May 25 

The first of these was to the Sovereigns. It con- 
tained a gracious assent to their petition, and exhorted 
them to be zealous in this matter of the Faith, reminding 
them that Jehu had consolidated his kingdom by the 
destruction of idolatry, and that the Sovereigns would 
meet with the same good fortune, as already God was 
giving them many victories over the Moors to reward 
their piety and the purity of their faith. 

The second was to Inigo Manrique, Archbishop of 
Seville (having succeeded in this see to the Cardinal 
of Spain, who was now Archbishop of Toledo), 
appointing him judge of appeal in Causas de Fd. 

The remaining briefs were addressed to the Arch- 
bishop of Toledo and the other Spanish archbishops, 
commanding them, to the end that the functions of the 

1 See letter quoted in Appendix to Llorente's " Meraoria Historica." 

134 Torquemada 

Inquisition should be discharged with integrity, that 
in the event of there being in their ecclesiastical 
provinces any bishops who were of Jewish descent, 
they should suavely admonish these not to intervene 
in person in the proceedings of the Holy Office, but to 
allow themselves to be represented by their principal 
officials, provisors, and diocesan vicars-general — 
always provided that none of these was of Jewish 

This decree was natural enough, and there was 
some occasion for it, considering the number of 
Spanish families of Jewish consanguinity as a conse- 
quence of marriages between Christians and conversos 
— many of these marriages having been contracted 
between Castilians of good birth and the daughters of 
wealthy baptized Jews. It is a decree that entirely 
contradicts Pulgar's assertion that Torquemada was of 
Jewish extraction. 

The appointment of Manrique as judge of appeal 
was a very brief one, nor did it work satisfactorily and 
accomplish what the Queen desired. In the following 
August came another papal brief, stating that, not- 
withstanding that appointment, fugitive New-Christians 
from the Archbishopric of Seville continued to arrive 
in Rome and to make their appeals to the Apostolic 
Courts, protesting that they dared not address these 
to the appointed tribunal in Seville, for fear of being 
treated with excessive rigour. 

Many stated that, by virtue of the ban against 
them for having left the city, they were fearful of being 
flung into prison unheard. Many, again, had already 
been tried during their absence and burnt in effigy, 
and they were apprehensive that if they returned their 
appeals would be refused a hearing, and they would be 
sent at once to the flames in execution of the sentence 
already pronounced against them. 

Therefore the Pope now ordered Manrique to 
admit to reconciliation all who might seek it, in despite 
of any judgment or sentence already passed upon them. 

The Supreme Council 135 

Had these commands prevailed, the destruction 
wrought by the Inquisition would have been con- 
siderably reduced, since none could have suffered but 
the persistent apostate. The brief, however, does not 
appear to have been even dispatched. No sooner was 
its merciful decree indited than it was regretted and 
retracted. Eleven days later Sixtus wrote to Ferdinand 
acquainting him with the terms of that brief which had 
been intended for Manrique, but explaining that these 
had not been sufficiently considered, and that, there- 
fore, he was retaining it whilst fresh measures were 

The position must have been growing intolerable 
to the Sovereigns, for the Holy Office in Spain, 
directed in this fashion from Rome, was governed by 
unstable and ever-shifting elements that were eminently 
disturbing to the State — particularly now that the 
Inquisition was growing rapidly in importance. There- 
fore Isabella wrote again, imploring the Holy Father 
to give that institution a settled form. To this the 
Pope acceded, perhaps himself aware of the necessity 
for the thing requested. A head was necessary for 
the consolidated institution it was now proposed to 
form, and Frey Tomas de Torquemada, from what 
was known of his life, his character, and his ability, 
was judged to be the man to fill this important office. 
Accordingly he was recommended to Sixtus by the 
Sovereigns, and he received his appointment from the 
Pope, first as Grand Inquisitor for Castile, and soon 
after (by the bull of October 17, 1483) his jurisdiction 
was extended to include Aragon ; so that he found 
himself at the head of the Holy Office in Spain, and 
invested with the fullest powers. It was his to elect, 
depose, and replace subaltern inquisitors at his will, 
and the jurisdiction of all those he appointed was 
subject to and dependent upon himself. 1 

Llorente says of him : " The result accredited the 

1 The bull of nomination is quoted in full by Paramo, " De Origine," 
P. 137. 

136 Torquemada 

election. It seemed almost impossible that there 
should be another man so capable of executing the 
intentions of King Ferdinand to multiply confiscations, 
the intentions of the Roman Curia to propagate its 
jurisdiction and pecuniary maxims, and the intentions 
of the projectors of the Inquisition and its Autos de 
F6 to inspire terror." 1 

With his elevation to that important position — a 
position whose importance his own energy and deter- 
mination were to increase until his power in the land 
should almost rival that of the Sovereigns themselves 
— the Spanish Inquisition enters now upon a new 
phase. Under the jurisdiction and control of that 
stern-souled, mild-eyed ascetic, the entire character of 
the Holy Office is transformed. 

Immediately upon his appointment he set about 
reconstituting it so that it should be in harmony with 
the wishes of the Sovereigns. To assist him he 
appointed as his assessors the jurisconsults Juan 
Gutierrez de Lachaves and Tristan de Medina, and 
he proceeded to establish four permanent tribunals : 
one in Seville, under Morillo and San Martin, whom 
he left undisturbed in their office, but subject to the 
new rules which he laid down for the transaction of 
affairs ; one in Cordova, under Pedro Martinez de 
Barrio and Anton Ruiz Morales, with Fr. Martin de 
Caso as assessor ; one in Jaen, under Juan Garcia 
de Cafias and Fr. Juan de Yarza ; and one in Villa 
Real, 2 which shortly afterwards was transferred to 
Toledo, under Francisco Sanchez de la Fuente and 
Pedro Dias de Costana. 

In addition to these he appointed other inquisitors 
who, without being attached to any permanent tribunal, 
were to proceed wherever he should direct them as 
occasion arose to set up temporary courts. 

In Toledo, Valladolid, Avila, Segovia, and other 
cities there were inquisitors already of the Pope's 

1 " Hist. Critica," torn. i. art. i. §. 2. 
8 Afterwards Ciudad Real. 

The Supreme Council 137 

appointing. Some of these failed to show the complete 
submission to his orders which Torquemada demanded, 
with the result that they were promptly deposed and 
their places filled by others whom he nominated. 
Those who manifested obedience to his rule he 
confirmed in their appointments, but usually he sent 
a nominee of his own to act in conjunction with them. 

Torquemada himself remained at Court ; for now 
that the Inquisition was established upon its new 
footing it became necessary that he should be in 
constant communication with the Sovereigns for whom 
he acted. Consultations were necessary on the score 
of the measures to be taken for the administration 
of what was rapidly become a corporation of great 
importance in the realm. From this it presently 
resulted that to the four royal councils already in 
existence for the conduct of the affairs of the kingdom, 
a fifth was added especially to deal with inquisitorial 
matters. Whether the suggestion emanated from the 
Sovereigns or from Torquemada, there are no means 
of ascertaining, nor does it greatly signify. 

This Supreme Council of the Inquisition was 
established in 1484. It consisted of three royal 
councillors : Alonso Carillo, Bishop of Mazzara, 
Sancho Velasquez de Cuellar, and Poncio de Valencia, 
all doctors of laws, and of Torquemada's two assessors. 
To preside over this "Suprema" — as the council 
came to be called — Torquemada was appointed, thus 
enormously increasing the power and influence which 
already he wielded. 

The three royal councillors had a definite vote in 
all matters that appertained to the jurisdiction of the 
Sovereigns ; but in all matters of spiritual jurisdiction, 
which was vested entirely in the Grand Inquisitor by 
the papal bull, their votes were merely consultative — 
amounting to no more than an expression of opinion. 

It was Torquemada's desire that his subordinates 
should act with absolute uniformity in the discharge of 
the duties entrusted to them, and that the courts of 

138 Torquemada 

the Holy Office throughout Spain should one and all 
be identical in their methods of procedure, the instru- 
ments of his will and the expression of his conceptions. 
With this end in view he summoned the inquisitors by 
him appointed to the Tribunals of Seville, Cordova, 
Jaen, and Villa Real to confer with him and his asses- 
sors and the royal councillors. 

The assembly took place in Seville on October 29, 
and its business was the formulation of the first 
instructions of Torquemada for the guidance of all 

In the library of the British Museum there is a 
vellum-bound copy of the edition of this code, which 
was subsequently published at Madrid in 1576. 1 It 
contains, in addition to Torquemada's articles of 1484 
and subsequent years, others added by his successors, 
and there are marginal notes giving the authorship of 
each. The work is partly printed, partly in manuscript, 
and a considerable number of pages remain in blank, 
that further instructions may be filled in as the need 
occurs. The printed matter is frequently underscored 
by the pen of one or another of the inquisitors 
through whose hands this copy passed during its active 

The twenty-eight articles compiled by Torquemada 
at the assembly of 1484, and constituting his first 
" Instructions for the Governance of the Holy Office," 
demand a chapter to themselves. 

1 " Copilacion de las Instrucciones hechas, etc." Press-mark C. 61. e. 6. 



The first manual for the use of inquisitors was 
probably written somewhere about 1320. It was 
the work of the Dominican friar Bernard Gui — 
14 Practica Inquisitionis Heretice Pravitatis — Bernardo 
Guidonis, Ordinis Fratrum Predicatorum " — and it 
summarised the experience gathered during a hundred 
years by the inquisitors of Southern France. 

It is divided into five parts. The first three are 
directly concerned with procedure, and the formulae 
are given for every occasion — citation, arrest, pardon, 
commutation, and sentence — with the fullest par- 
ticulars for the guidance of inquisitors. The fourth 
part treats of the powers vested in the tribunal of 
the Inquisition, and cites the authorities — ix. the 
decrees of pontiffs and of councils. The fifth part 
surveys and defines the various heretical sects of 
Gui's day, gives particulars of the doctrines, rites, 
and ceremonies by which each one may be known, 
and lays down methods by which heretical guile may 
be circumvented in examination. 

The work was used by French inquisitors in 
general and those of Toulouse in particular, and it 
is more than probable that it inspired Nicolaus Eymeric 
to compile his voluminous " Directorium Inquisitorum" 
towards the middle of the fourteenth century. 

Nicolaus Eymeric was Grand Inquisitor of Aragon, 
and he prepared his directory, or manual of pro- 


140 Torquemada 

cedure, as a guide for his confreres in the business 
of prosecuting those guilty of heretical pravity. 

The work circulated freely in its manuscript form, 
and it was one of the first to be printed in Barcelona 
upon the introduction of the printing-press, so that 
in Torquemadas day copies were widely diffused, 
and were in the hands of all inquisitors in the world. 

The bulk of the " Directorium " is little more than 
a compilation. It is divided into three parts. The 
first lays down the chief Articles of the Christian 
Faith ; the second is a collection of the decretals, 
bulls, and briefs of the popes upon the subject of 
heretics and heresies, and the decision of the various 
councils held to determine matters connected with 
heretics and their abettors, sorcerers, excommunicates, 
Jews and infidels ; the third part, which is Eymeric's 
own contribution to the subject, deals with the manner 
in which trials should be conducted, and gives a 
detailed list of the offences that come under the 
jurisdiction of the Holy Office. 

It may be well before proceeding further to give 
a resume of the grounds upon which the Inquisition 
instituted proceedings, as set forth in the "Directorium." 

All heretics in general are subject to the anim- 
adversions of the Holy Office ; but there are, in 
addition, certain offenders who, whilst not exactly guilty 
of heresy, nevertheless render themselves justiciable 
by the Inquisition. These are : 

Blasphemers who in blaspheming say that which 
is contrary to the Christian Faith. Thus, he who 
says, " The season is so bad that God Himself could 
not give us good weather," sins upon a matter of 

Sorcerers and Diviners, when in their sorceries 
they perform that which is in the nature of heresy — 
such as re-baptizing infants, burning incense to a skull, 
etc. But if they confine their sorceries to foretelling 

The Jurisprudence of the Holy Office 141 

the future by chiromancy or palmistry, by drawing the 
short straw, or consulting the astrolabe, they are guilty 
of simple sorcery, and it is for the secular courts to 
prosecute them. 

Amongst the latter are to be placed those who 
administer love-philtres to women. 

Devil-worshippers : Those who invoke devils. 
These are to be divided into three classes : 

(a) Those who worship the devil, sacrificing 
to him, prostrating themselves, singing prayers 
and fasting, burning incense or lighting candles 
in his honour. 

(J?) Those who confine themselves to offering 
a Dulie or Hyperdttlie cult to Satan, introducing 
the names of devils into the litanies. 

(c) Those who invoke the devil by tracing 
magic figures, placing an infant in a circle, using 
a sword, a bed, or a mirror, etc. 

In general it is easy to recognize those who have 
dealings with devils on account of their ferocious 
aspect and terrible air. 

The invocation in any of the three manners cited 
is always a heresy. But if the devil should only be 
asked to do things that are of his office — such as to 
tempt a woman to the sin of luxury — provided that 
this is done without adoration or prayer, but in terms 
of command, there are authors who hold that in such 
cases the person so proceeding is not guilty of heresy. 

Amongst those who invoke devils are astrologers 
and alchymists, who when they do not succeed in 
making the discoveries they seek never fail to have 
recourse to the devil, sacrificing to him and in- 
voking him expressly or tacitly. 

Jews and Infidels : The first when they sin 
against their religion in any of the articles of faith 
that are the same with them as with us — i.e. that are 
common alike to Jew and to Christian — or when they 

142 Torquemada 

attack dogmas that are, similarly, common to both 

As for infidels, the Church and the Pope, and 
consequently the Inquisition, may punish them when 
they sin against the laws of nature — the only laws 
they know. 

Jews and infidels who attempt to pervert Christians 
are also regarded as abettors or fautores. 

In spite of the prohibition to succour a heretic, 
a man would not be regarded as an abettor who gave 
food to a heretic dying of hunger, since it is possible 
that if spared the latter might yet come to be converted. 

Excommunicates who remain in excommunication 
during a whole year, by which are to be understood 
not merely those who are excommunicate as heretics, 
or abettors of heretics, but excommunicate upon any 
grounds whatsoever. In fact, the indifference to 
excommunication renders them suspect of heresy. 

Apostates. — Apostate Christians who become Jews 
or Mohammedans (these religions not being heresies), 
even though they should have apostatized through 
fear of death. The fear of torture or death not being 
one that can touch a person who is firm in the Faith, 
no apostasy is to be excused upon such grounds. 1 

With the " Directorium " of Eymeric before him, 
Torquemada set to work to draw up the first articles 
of his famous code. Additions were to be made to 
it later, as the need for such additions came to be 
shown by experience ; but no subsequent addition 
was of the importance of these original twenty-eight 
articles. They may be said to have given the juris- 
prudence of the Spanish Inquisition a settled form, 
which continued practically unchanged for over three 
hundred years after Torquemada's death. 

A survey of these articles and of the passages from 
Eymeric that have a bearing upon them, together with 

1 Eymeric, " Directorium," pars iii. Qusest. xli. et seq. 

The Jurisprudence of the Holy Office 143 

some of the annotations of the scholiast Francesco 
Pegna, 1 should serve to convey some notion of the 
jurisprudence of the Holy Office and of the extra- 
ordinary spirit that inspired and governed it — a spirit 
at once crafty and stupid, subtle and obvious, saintly 
and diabolical, consistent in nothing — not even in 
cruelty, for in its warped and dreadful way it accounted 
itself merciful, and not only represented but believed 
that its aims were charitable. It practised its abomi- 
nations of cruelty out of love for the human race, 
to save the human race from eternal damnation ; and 
whilst it wept on the one hand over the wretched 
heretic it flung to the flames, it exulted on the other 
in the thought that by burning one who was smitten 
with the pestilence of heresy it saved perhaps a 
hundred from infection and from purging that infec- 
tion in an eternity of hell-fire. 

They are rash who see hypocrisy in the priestly 
code that is to follow. Hypocrites there may have 
been, there must have been, and many ; such a system 
was a very hotbed of hypocrisy. Yet the system itself 
was not hypocritical. It was sincere, dreadfully, 
tragically, ardently sincere, with the most hopeless, 
intolerable, and stupid of all sincerity — the sincerity 
of fanaticism, which destroys all sense of proportion, 
and distorts man's intellectual vision until with an easy 
conscience he makes of guile and craft and falsehood 
the principles that shall enable him to do what he 
conceives to be his duty by his fellow-man. 

The doctrine of exclusive salvation was the source 
of all this evil. But that doctrine was firmly and 
sincerely held. Torquemada or any other inquisitor 
might have uttered the words which an inspired poet 
has caused to fall from the lips of Philip II. : 

" The blood and sweat of heretics at the stake 
Is God's best dew upon the barren field." 2 

1 The compendious tome including these very ample annotations and 
commentaries was published first in Rome, 1585. 
' Tennyson's u Queen Mary," Act V. sc. i. 

H4 Torquemada 

And he would have uttered them with a calm and 
firm conviction, assured that he did no more than 
proclaim an obvious truth which might serve him as a 
guide to do his duty by man and God. For all that 
he did he could find a commandment in the Scriptures. 
Was burning the proper death for heretics? He 
answered the question out of the very mouth of Christ, 
as you shall see. Should a heretic's property be 
confiscated ? Eymeric and Paramo point to the 
expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden as a conse- 
quence of their disobedience — the first of all heresies — 
and ask you what was that but confiscation. Is it 
proper to impose a garment of shame upon those 
convicted of lesser heresies, or upon penitents who are 
reconciled ? Paramo will answer you that Adam and 
Eve wore skins after their fall, and implies that this is 
a proper precedent for the infamous sanbenito. 

And so on : Moses, David, John the Baptist, and 
the gentle Saviour Himself are made to afford reason 
for this course and for that, as the need arises, and 
each reason is more grotesque than the other, until 
you are stunned by the blows of these clumsy argu- 
ments. You cease to wonder that the translation of 
the Bible was forbidden, that its study was inhibited. 
If those who were learned in theology could interpret 
it so extravagantly, what might not the unlearned 
achieve ? 

But let us pass on to the consideration of Tor- 
quemadas code. 

Article I 

Whenever inquisitors are appointed to a diocese, city, 
village, or other place which hitherto has had no inquisitors, 
they shall — after having presented the warrants by which 
they are empowered to the prelate of the principal church 
and to the governor of the district — summon by proclamation 
all the people and convoke the clergy. They shall appoint 
a Sunday or holiday upon which all are to assemble in the 
cathedral or principal church to hear a sermon of the Faith. 

They shall contrive that this sermon is delivered by a 



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The First "Instructions" of Torquemada HS 

good preacher or by one of the actual inquisitors, as they 
deem best. Its aim shall be to expound the capacity in which 
they are there, their powers, and their intentions. 

Upon the conclusion of this sermon the inquisitors shall 
order all faithful Christians to come forward and make oath 
upon the Cross and the Gospels to favour the Holy Inqui- 
sition and its ministers, and to offer them no impediment 
directly or indirectly in the prosecution of their mission. 

This oath shall be specially imposed upon the governors 
or other justiciaries of the place, and it shall be witnessed by 
the notaries of the inquisitors. 

Article II 

After the conclusion of the said sermon the inquisitors 
shall order to be read and published an admonition with 
censures against those who are rebellious or who contest the 
power of the Holy Office. 

Article III 

After the conclusion of the said sermon the inquisitors 
shall publish an edict granting a term of grace, of thirty or 
forty days — as they may deem proper — so that all persons 
who have fallen into the sin of heresy or apostasy, who have 
observed Jewish rites or any other that are contrary to the 
Christian Religion, may come forward to confess their sins, 
assured that if they do so with a sincere penitence, divulging 
all that is known to them or that they remember, not only of 
their own sins but also of the sins of others, they shall be 
received with charity. 

They shall be subjected to a salutary penance, but they 
shall not suffer death, imprisonment, or confiscation of their 
property, nor shall they in any way be mulcted unless the 
inquisitors, in consideration of the quality of the penitents and 
of the sins they confess, should think well to impose some 
pecuniary penance upon them. 

Concerning this grace and mercy that their Highnesses 
consider well to accord to those who are reconciled, the 
Sovereigns order the delivery of letters-patent, bearing the 
royal seal, whose tenor shall be included in the published 

It is sufficiently plain, from the terms of this 
article, that the edict of grace was published by royal 


H6 Torquemada 

command, and that it was not, as Garcia Rodrigo 
represents it, a merciful dispensation spontaneously 
emanating from the Holy Office. 

Article IV 

Self-delators shall present their confessions in writing to 
the inquisitors and their notaries with two or three witnesses 
who shall be officers of the Inquisition or other upright 

Upon receipt of this confession by the inquisitors, let the 
oath be administered to the penitents in legal form, not only 
concerning the matters confessed but concerning others that 
may be known to them and upon which they may be ques- 
tioned. Let them be asked how long it is since they Judaized 
or otherwise sinned against the Faith, and how long it is since 
they abandoned their false beliefs, repented, and ceased to 
observe those ceremonies. Next let them be examined upon 
the circumstances of the matters confessed, that the inquisitors 
may satisfy themselves that these confessions are true. 
Especially let them be questioned as to what prayers they 
recite, where they recite them, and with whom they have 
been in the habit of assembling to hear the law of Moses 

Article V 

Self-delators who seek reconciliation to Holy Mother 
Church shall be required publicly to abjure their errors, and 
penance shall publicly be imposed upon them at the dis- 
cretion of the inquisitors, using mercy and kindness as far 
as it is possible for them to do so with an easy conscience. 

The inquisitors shall admit none to secret penance and 
recantation unless his sin shall have been so secret that none 
else knows or could know of it save his confessor ; such a 
one all inquisitors may reconcile and absolve in secret. 

Llorente says that the admission to secret penance 
was a source of much gold to the Roman Curia, as 
thousands appealed to the Pope offering a secret 
confession and firm purpose of amendment if secretly 
absolved, for which a papal brief was necessary. 

A word must here be said on the score of abjura- 

The First "Instructions" of Torquemada 147 

tion. It was the amende provided by Eymeric 1 for 
those who by their speech or conduct should have 
fallen into suspicion of heresy ; those, for instance, 
who abstained from the sacraments imposed by Mother 
Church being liable to this suspicion. 

There were three degrees of suspicion into which 
a man might fall : light, vehement, and violent. The 
abjuration required was practically the same in all 
three cases, but the punishment imposed upon the 
abjurer varied according to the degree. This ab- 
juration must be publicly made in church before the 
assembled people, the suspects being placed — like all 
penitents or convicts of heresy — upon a raised plat- 
form in full view of the assembled faithful. The 
inquisitor would read out the Articles of the Christian 
Faith, and a list of the principal errors against it, 
laying particular stress upon those errors of whi:h 
the penitents were suspected, and which they were 
required to abjure with both hands upon the Gospels, 
and according to the formula laid down by Eymeric. 

Those who are suspected lightly {leviter) are ad- 
monished that should they again fall into error they 
will be abandoned to the secular arm for punishment. 
With that admonition, and the imposition of a penance 
which may take the form of fasts, prayers, or pilgrim- 
ages, they are dismissed. 

Those suspected vehemently (vekementer) are 
similarly admonished, but in addition they may be 
sent to prison for a time, whereafter they must undergo 
a heavy penance, such as standing on certain days 
at the door of the principal church or near the altar 
during the celebration of Mass holding a candle — 
but not wearing a sanbenito, as, properly speaking, 
they are not heretics — or they may be sent upon a 

He who is violently suspected (violenter) shall be 
absolved of the excommunication incurred, but as his 
crime may not go unpunished, and to the end that 

1 See Eymeric, " Directorium," pars iii. p. 315 et seq. 

148 Tcrqucmada 

he may suffer less severely in the next world, he is 
sentenced to a term of imprisonment, whereafter he 
shall be condemned to stand at the church door during 
the great feasts of the year wearing the penitential 
scapulary known as the sanbenito, that all may be 
made aware of his infamy. 

After passing sentence, the inquisitor shall admonish 
the penitent in these terms : 

" My dear Son, be patient and do not despair ; if 
we observe in you the signs of contrition we shall 
soften your penance ; but beware of departing from 
what we have prescribed for you ; should you do so 
you shall be punished as an impenitent heretic." 

The punishment for the impenitent was, of course, 
the fire. 

The inquisitor shall conclude the ceremony by 
granting an indulgence of forty days to all who have 
attended it and an indulgence of three years to 
those who shall have taken part in it. 

The sentence of prison, with its bread-and-water 
diet, might be relaxed ; but never that of the sanbenito, 
which is considered by Eymeric — and inquisitors 
generally — as the most salutary of penances for him 
that undergoes it and the most edifying to the public 

The self-delators admitted by Torquemada to 
abjuration were treated as suspects of the first degree — 

Article VI 

Inasmuch as heretics and apostates (although they return 
to the Catholic Faith and become reconciled) are infamous at 
law, and inasmuch as they must perform their penances 
with humility and sorrow for having lapsed into error, the 
inquisitors shall order them not to hold any public office 
or ecclesiastical benefice, and they shall not be lawyers or 
brokers, apothecaries, surgeons or physicians, nor shall they 
wear gold or silver, coral, pearls, precious stones or other 
ornaments, nor dress in silk or camlett, nor go on horseback 
nor carry weapons all their lives, under pain of being deemed 

The First " Instructions " of Torqucmada 149 

relapsed {relapsos) into heresy, as must all be considered who 
after reconciliation do not carry out the penances imposed 
upon them. 

This decree was no more than the revival of the 
enactment made a century and a half earlier by 
Alfonso XI in the code known as the Partidas, which 
had mercifully been allowed to fall into desuetude. It 
was, Llorente tell us, a considerable source of wealth 
to the Roman Curia. Frequent appeals for " rehabili- 
tation " were made in consequence, and accorded under 
an apostolic brief whose heavy charges the appellants 
were required to defray. 

Torquemada mercifully stops short of ordering the 
self-delators to wear the sanbenito. Even so, how- 
ever, by decreeing that they must wear no garments 
of silk or wool, and therefore none but the very 
plainest raiment, unadorned by any precious metal or 
jewel — not to mention the prohibition to use weapons 
or go on horseback — he imposed upon them a garb 
that was only some degrees removed from the peni- 
tential sack and served the same purpose of marking 
them out for infamy. 

The wearing of the sanbenito, too, was a custom 
that had fallen somewhat into desuetude. But the 
ascetic Torquemada was not the man to allow a form 
of penance accounted so very salutary to continue 
neglected. He revived and extended the use of it, 
adding innovations of his own, so that it came to be 
imposed not only upon condemned heretics, but upon 
the reconciled — other than self-delators — and upon sus- 
pects, who were required to wear it during the abjuration 

This odious garment, its origin and history, shall 
presently be more fully considered. 

Article VII 

As the crime of heresy is a very heinous one, it is desired 
that the reconciled may realize by the penances imposed 

1 50 Torquemada 

upon them how gravely they have offended and sinned 
against Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, as it is our aim to 
treat them very mercifully and kindly, pardoning them from 
the pain of fire and perpetual imprisonment, and leaving 
them all their property should they, as has been said, come 
to confess their errors within the appointed time of grace, 
the inquisitors shall, in addition to the penances imposed 
upon the said reconciled, order them to bestow as alms a 
certain portion of their property, according to the position 
of the penitent and the gravity of the crimes confessed. 
These pecuniary penances shall be applied for the Holy War 
which the most serene Sovereigns are making upon the 
Moors of Granada, enemies of our Holy Catholic Faith, and 
to other pious works that may be undertaken. For just as 
the said heretics and apostates have offended against Our 
Lord and His Holy Faith, so, after re-incorporation in the 
Church, it is just that they should bear pecuniary penances 
for the defence of the Holy Faith. 

These pecuniary penances shall be at the discretion of the 
inquisitors ; but they shall be guided by the tariff given 
them by the Reverend Father Prior of Holy Cross (i.e. by 

It was no inconsiderable proportion of their pro- 
perty that was required of them, as may be seen from 
the penance of "alms" for the war against Granada 
imposed upon those who were reconciled in Toledo 
two years later ; one-fifth of their property being 
demanded. 1 

Article VIII 

Should any person guilty of the said crime of heresy fail 
to present himself within the appointed period of grace, but 
come forward voluntarily after its expiry and make his 
confession in due form before having been arrested or cited 
by the inquisitors, or before the inquisitors shall have re- 
ceived testimony against him, such person shall be received 
to abjuration and reconciliation in the same manner as 
those who presented themselves during the term of the said 
edict, and he shall be submitted to penances at the discretion 
of the inquisitors. But such penances shall not be pecuniary 

1 See Fidel Fita in " Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia, M 
vol. xi. p. 296. 

The First " Instructions " of Torquemada 151 

because his property is confiscate [so that his admission to 
abjuration is not quite npon the same terms]. 

But if at the time of his coming to confess and seek 
reconciliation, the inquisitors should already be informed by 
witnesses of his heresy or apostasy, or should already have 
cited him to appear before the Court to answer the charge, 
in such a case the inquisitor shall receive the penitent to 
reconciliation — if he entirely confesses his own errors and 
what he knows of the errors of others — and shall impose 
upon him heavier penances than upon the former, even up to 
perpetual imprisonment should the case demand it. 

This is merely one of those quibbles that permeate 
this jurisprudence. The article in this last respect 
is so framed as to make it appear that under such 
circumstances the inquisitors would be acting more 
mercifully than against an accused heretic ; but the 
latitude of punishment is such that they need display 
no such mercy — perpetual imprisonment being the 
punishment prescribed for any heretic (who is not 
11 relapsed ") seeking reconciliation. 

But no persons who shall come to confess after expiry of 
the period of grace shall be subjected to pecuniary penances 
— unless their Highnesses should mercifully condescend to 
remit all or portion of the confiscation incurred by those so 

This last clause seems rather in the nature of 
a provision against any merciful weakness on the 
Sovereigns' part. 

Article IX 

If any children of heretics having fallen into the sin of 
heresy by indoctrination of their parents, and being under 
twenty years of age, should come to seek reconciliation and 
to confess the errors they know of themselves, their parents 
and any other persons, even though they should come after 
the expiry of the term of grace, the inquisitors shall receive 
them kindly, imposing penances lighter than upon others in 
like case, and they shall contrive that these children be tutored 
in the Faith and the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, 
as they are to be excused upon the grounds of age and 

152 Torquemada 

They are not, however, to be excused to the extent 
of enjoying any of their parents' property. That is 
confiscate by virtue of the parents' heresy ; and by 
virtue of that same heresy on the part of their parents 
these children and their own children must remain 
under the ban of infamy, inhibited from wearing gold 
or silver, etc., and from holding any office under the 
crown or any ecclesiastical benefice. It seems almost 
ironical to talk of imposing light penances upon 
wretches who are automatically subject to such 
penalties as these. But by that " light penance " 
Llorente conceives would be meant their wearing a 
sanbenito for a couple of years, appearing in it at 
Mass and being paraded in it in processions. 

Article X 

Persons guilty of heresy and apostasy, by the fact of their 
having fallen into these sins, incur the loss of all their 
property and the administration of it, counting from the 
day when first they offended, and their said property is 
confiscate to their Highnesses' treasury. But in the matter 
of ecclesiastical pains in the case of those reconciled, the 
inquisitors in pronouncing upon them shall declare them to 
be heretics, apostates, or observers of the rites and cere- 
monies of the Jews ; but that since they seek conversion with 
a pure heart and true faith, and they are ready to bear 
the penances that may be imposed, they shall be absolved 
and reconciled to Holy Mother Church. 

The object of this article is really to make the act 
of confiscation retrospective where necessary, so as to 
circumvent any who should attempt, by alienation 
of his property, to avoid its confiscation. Since the 
confiscation was incurred upon the date of the first 
offence against the Faith, the inquisitors were to 
trace any property that might subsequently have 
been disposed of by the delinquent, and even should 
it have gone to the paying of debts or the endowment 
of a daughter married to one who was an old and 
" clean " Christian, the Holy Office must seize and 
confiscate it to the Royal Treasury. 

The First "Instructions" of Torquemada 153 

Article XI 

If any heretic or apostate who shall have been arrested 
upon information laid against him should say that he desires 
reconciliation and confess all his faults, what Jewish cere- 
monies he may have observed, and what is known to him 
of the faults of others, entirely and without reservations, 
the inquisitors shall admit him to reconciliation subject to 
perpetual imprisonment as by law prescribed. But should 
the inquisitors, in conjunction with the diocesan ordinary, 
in view of the contrition of the offender and the quality of 
his confession, think well to commute this penance to another 
lighter one, they shall have faculty so to do. 

It seems that this should take place chiefly if the heretic 
at the first sitting of the court, or upon his first appearance 
before it, without awaiting the declaration of his offences, 
should announce his desire to confess and abjure ; and such 
confession should be made before there is any publication of 
witnesses or of the matters urged by them against him. 

Article XII 

Should the prosecution of an accused have been conducted 
to the point of the publication of witnesses and their depo- 
sitions, but should he then confess his faults and beg to be 
admitted to reconciliation, desiring formally to abjure his 
errors, the inquisitors shall receive him to the said reconcilia- 
tion subject to perpetual imprisonment, to which they shall 
sentence him — save if in view of his contrition and other 
attendant circumstances the inquisitors should have cause to 
consider that the reconciliation of such a heretic is simulated ; 
in such case they must declare him an impenitent heretic and 
abandon him to the secular arm : all of which is left to the 
conscience of the inquisitors. 

" Abandonment to the secular arm " is, as shall 
presently be considered, the ecclesiastical equivalent 
to a sentence of death by fire. 

The term a publication of witnesses " must not be 
accepted literally. What it really meant will become 
clear upon reading Article XVI, which was specially 
framed by Torquemada to modify and limit this 
time-honoured custom of civil and ecclesiastical courts. 

1 54 Torquemada 

Article XIII 

If any of those who are reconciled during the period of 
grace or after its expiry should fail to confess all their own 
sins and all that they know of the sins of others, especially in 
grave cases, and should such omission arise not from forget- 
fulness but from malice, as may afterwards be proved by 
witnesses, since it is clear that the said reconciled have 
perjured themselves, and it must be presumed that their 
reconciliation was simulated, although they may have been 
absolved let them be proceeded against as impenitent heretics 
as soon as the said fiction and perjury are discovered. 

Similarly if any person reconciled at the time of the edict 
of grace or afterwards, shall boast himself in public in such 
a manner that this can be proved, saying that he did not 
commit the sins to which he confessed, he must be deemed 
impenitent and a simulated convert, and the inquisitors shall 
proceed against him as if he were not reconciled. 

Article XIV 

If any, upon being denounced and convicted of the sin of 
heresy, shall deny and persist in his denial until sentence is 
passed, and the said crime shall have been proved against 
him, although the accused should confess the Catholic Faith 
and assert that he has always been and is a Christian, the 
inquisitors must declare him a heretic and so sentence him, 
for juridically the crime is proved, and by refusing to confess 
his error the convict does not permit the Church to absolve 
him and use him mercifully. 

But in such cases the inquisitors should proceed with 
great care in their examination of the witnesses, closely cross- 
questioning them, gathering information on the score of their 
characters, and ascertaining whether there exist motives why 
they should depone out of hatred or ill-will towards the 

Article XV 

If the said crime of heresy or apostasy is half- proven 
{semipleiiamente provado) the inquisitors may deliberate 
upon putting the accused to the torture, and if under torture 
he should confess his sin, he must ratify his confession on 
one of the following three days. If he does so ratify he shall 
be punished as convicted of heresy ; if he does not ratify, but 
revokes his confession as the crime is neither fully proved 

The First u Instructions " of Torqucmada 155 

nor yet disproved, the inquisitors must order, on account of 
the infamy and presumption of guilt of the accused, that 
he should publicly abjure his error ; or the inquisitors may 
repeat the torture. 

There is nothing in this article that may be con- 
sidered as a departure from or an enlargement upon 
any of the rules laid down by Eymeric in his 
" Directorium," as we shall see when we come to 
deal with this gruesome subject of torture. 

It is urged by apologists that, when all is said, the 
torture to which the inquisitors had recourse, and, 
similarly, the punishment of death by fire, were not 
peculiarly ecclesiastical institutions ; that they were 
the ordinary civil methods of dealing with offenders, 
and that in adopting them the Church had simply con- 
formed, as was her custom, with that which was by 
law prescribed. 

It is quite true that originally these were the 
methods by which the secular tribunals proceeded 
against those who sinned against the Faith. But it 
must also be borne in mind that if the civil authorities 
so proceeded they implicitly obeyed the bull " ad 
extirpanda " of Sixtus IV, which imposed this duty 
upon them under pain of excommunication. 

Owing to the inconvenience that attended this 
procedure in so far as torture and questions upon 
matters of Faith were concerned, it was later ac- 
counted desirable that the inquisitors themselves 
should take charge of it. They were enjoined, how- 
ever, to see to it that there should be no shedding of 
blood or loss of life, since it was against the Christian 
maxims that a priest should be guilty of such things. 
So that when by misadventure it happened that blood 
was shed or a patient died under the hands of the 
torturers, the inquisitor conducting the examination 
became guilty of an irregularity. For this he must 
seek absolution at the hands of a brother cleric ; and 
the inquisitors were informed — to make matters easier 
for them and to spare them anxieties in this matter — 

156 Torquemada 

that they had the right to absolve one another under 
such circumstances. 

But even if we fully admit that the use of torture — 
and similarly of fire — had been secular institutions of 
which the Church had simply availed herself as the 
only methods that commended themselves in such an 
age, it must still be held against the inquisitors that 
these methods were by no means tempered or softened 
in their priestly hands. 

Article XVI 

It being held that the publication of the names of witnesses 
who depone upon the crime of heresy might result in great 
harm and danger to the persons and property of the said 
witnesses — since it is known that many have been wounded 
and killed by heretics — it is resolved that the accused shall not 
be supplied with a copy of the depositions against him, but 
that he shall be informed of what is declared in them, whilst 
such circumstances as might lead to the identification of the 
deponents shall be withheld. 

But the inquisitors must, when proof has been obtained 
from the examination of the witnesses, publish these deposi- 
tions, withholding always the names and such circumstances 
as might enable the accused to learn the identity of the 
witnesses ; and the inquisitors may give the accused a 
copy of the publication in such form [i.e. truncated] if he 
requires it. 

If the accused should demand the services of an advocate, 
he shall be supplied. The advocate must make formal oath 
that he will faithfully assist the accused, but that if at any 
stage of the pleadings he shall realize that justice is not on 
his side, he shall at once cease to assist the delinquent and 
shall inform the inquisitors of the circumstance. 

The accused shall pay out of his own property, if he have 
any, the services of the advocate ; if he have no property, then 
the advocate shall be paid out of other confiscations, such 
being the pleasure of their Highnesses. 

It is extremely doubtful if a more flagrant departure 
from all the laws of equity would be possible than that 
which is embodied in Torquemada's enactment on the 
subject of witnesses. 

The First " Instructions " of Torquemada 157 

The notion of an accused hearing nothing of what 
is deposed against him, of his not even being informed 
of the full extent of such depositions nor yet confronted 
with his accusers, is beyond a doubt one of the most 
monstrously unjust features of this tribunal. And by 
taking the fullest advantage of that enactment and 
reducing the proceedings to a secrecy such as was 
never known in any court, the inquisitors were able to 
inspire a terror which was even greater than that 
occasioned by the fires they fed with human fuel at 
their frequent Autos. 

Torquemada based this enactment upon the caution 
laid down by Eymeric on the score of divulging the 
names of witnesses. But Eymeric went no further 
than to say that these names should be suppressed 
where a possibility of danger to the delators lay in 
their being divulged. The accused, however, might 
have the full record of the proceedings read to him, 
and he might infer for himself who were his accusers. 
There was no question in Eymeric of any truncations. 

Torquemada's aim is perfectly clear. It was not 
based, as is said in the article, upon concern for any 
danger that the delators might incur. For, after all, it 
shall be made plain before we conclude the survey of 
inquisitorial jurisprudence, that the wounding or even 
the death of those witnesses would be regarded (pro- 
fessedly, at least) as an enviable thing ; they would be 
suffering for the Faith, and thus qualifying for the 
immortal crown of martyrdom. Rather was Torque- 
mada's object to remove all fear that might trammel 
delators and stifle delations. The delator must be 
protected solely to the end that other delators might 
come forward with confidence to inform against secret 
heretics and apostates, so that the activities of the 
Holy Office should suffer no curtailment. 

Trasmiera, a later inquisitor, in the course of an 
eulogium of secrecy, speaks of it as " the pole upon 
which the government of the Inquisition is balanced, 
calling for the veneration of the faithful ; it facilitates 

158 Torquemada 

the delations of witnesses, and it is the support and 
foundation of this tribunal ; once deprived of it, the 

architecture of the edifice must undoubtedly give 

" 1 

The clause relating to advocates is founded upon 

the ancient ecclesiastical law which forbade an advocate 

to plead for heretics. His being enlisted under the 

present clause would clearly serve to increase the peril 

of the accused. 

Article XVII 

The inquisitors shall, themselves, examine the witnesses, 
and not leave such examinations to their notaries or others, 
unless a witness should be ill or unable to come before 
the inquisitor and the inquisitor similarly unable to go to the 
witness, in which case he may send the ordinary ecclesiastical 
judge of the district with another upright person and a notary 
to take the depositions. 

Article XVIII * 

When any person is put to the torture the inquisitors and 
the ordinary should be present — or, at least, some of them. 

1 "Vidade Arbu6s," p. 56. 

It is interesting to turn to modern writers who defend this secrecy — 
such, for instance, as the Rev. Sidney Smith, S.J., whose good faith there 
is no cause to doubt. He writes as follows: "To pass over the question 
of injury often done to the reputation of third parties, it has occasionally 
been forced on public attention that crimes cannot be put down because 
witnesses know that by giving evidence they expose themselves to great 
risks, the accused having powerful friends to execute vengeance in their 
behalf. This was exactly the case with the Inquisition. The Marranos 
had great power through their wealth, position, and secret bonds of alliance 
with the unconverted Jews. These would certainly have endeavoured to 
neutralize the efforts of the Holy Office had the trials been open. Torque- 
mada, in his statutes of 1484, gives expressly this defence of secrecy, etc." 
— "The Spanish Inquisition," p 17, in ••Historical Papers." 

The argument is specious, and it is fundamentally true. But when it 
is considered that the delator, so carefully screened from all danger, was 
protected entirely at the experseof the accused, it becomes clear that such 
a procedure must argue a reckless eagerness to accumulate convictions. 
It suffices to reflect that, whilst all the aiguments advanced to justify this 
secrecy could with equal justice have been urged by the contemporary 
civil courts of Europe, it is impossible to point to a single one that had 
recourse to so inequitable a measure. The inquisitorial point of view may 
be appreciated, even with a certain sympathy, by the extremely tolerant. 
It cannot be justified. 

The First "Instructions" of Torquemada 159 

But when this is for any reason impossible, then the person 
entrusted to question should be a learned and faithful man 
{Jiombre entendido yfiel). 

Article XIX 

The absent accused shall be cited by public edict affixed 
to the door of the church of the district to which he belongs, 
and after thirty days' grace the inquisitors may proceed to try 
him as contumaciously absent. If there is sufficient evidence 
of his guilt, sentence may be passed upon him. Or, if evidence 
is insufficient, he may be branded a suspect and commanded 
— as is due of suspects — to present himself for canonical purga- 
tion. Should he fail to do so within the time appointed, his 
guilt must be presumed. 

Proceedings against the absent may be taken in any of 
the following three ways : 

(1) In accordance with the chapter "Cum contumatia de 
hereticis," citing the accused to appear and defend himself 
upon certain matters concerning the Faith and certain sins of 
heresy, under pain of excommunication ; if he does not re- 
spond, he shall be denounced as a rebel, and if he persists 
in this rebellion for one year he shall be declared a formal 
heretic. This is the safest and least rigorous course to adopt. 

(2) Should it seem to the inquisitors that a crime against 
any absent can be established, let him be cited by edict to 
come and prove his innocence within thirty days — or a longer 
period may be conceded if such is necessary to permit him to 
return from wherever he may be known to be. And he shall 
be cited at every stage of the proceedings until the passing of 
sentence, when, should he still be absent, let him be accused of 
rebellion, and should the crime be proved he may be condemned 
in his absence without further delay. 

(3) If in the course of inquisitorial proceedings there is 
presumption of heresy against an absent person (although the 
crime is not clearly proved) the inquisitors may summon him 
by edict commanding him to appear within a given time to 
clear himself canonically of the said error, on the undemand- 
ing that should he fail to appear, or, appearing, should fail to 
clear himself, he shall be deemed convicted and the inquisitors 
shall proceed to act as by law prescribed. 

The inquisitors, being learned and discriminating, will 
belect the course that seems most certain and is most practic- 
sale under the particular circumstances of the case. 

1 60 Torquemada 

Any person condemned as contumacious became 
an outlaw, whom it was lawful for any man to kill. 

Canonical Purgation, which is mentioned in this 
article, differs considerably from Abjuration, and the 
difference must be indicated. 

It is applicable only to those who are accused by 
the public voice — i.e. who have acquired the " reputa- 
tion " of heresy— without yet having been detected in 
any act or speech that might cause them to be suspected 
of heresy in any of the defined degrees of such sus- 

It almost amounts to a distinction without a differ- 
ence, and is an excellent instance of the almost laboured 
equity in which this tribunal indulged in matters of de- 
tail whilst flagrantly outraging equity in the main issues. 

For Canonical Purgation, says Eymeric, 1 the 
accused must find a certain number of sureties or 
compurgatores, the number required being governed 
by the gravity of the (alleged) offence. They must be 
persons of integrity and of the same station in life as 
the accused, with whom they must have been acquainted 
for some years. The accused shall make oath upon 
the Gospels that he has never held or taught the 
heresies stated, and the compurgatores shall swear to 
their belief that this is the truth. This Purgation 
must be made in all cities where the accused has been 

The accused shall be given a certain time in which 
to find his compurgatores ', and should he fail to find the 
number required he shall at once be convicted and 
condemned as a heretic. 

And Pegna adds, in his commentary upon this, that 
any who shall be found guilty of heresy after having once 
been in this position is to be regarded asa" relapso' 
and delivered to the secular arm. For this reason he 
enjoins that Canonical Purgation should not lightly be 
ordered, as it is so largely dependent upon the will of 
third parties. 

1 " Directorium,'' pars iii. p. 312, 

The First " Instructions " of Torquemada 1 6 1 

Eymeric adds, further, that sometimes Canonical 
Purgation may be ordered to those who are defamed 
by the public voice but who are not in the hands of 
the inquisitors. Should they refuse to surrender, the 
inquisitors shall proceed to excommunicate them, and 
if they persist in their excommunication for one year 
they shall be deemed heretics, and subject to the 
penalties entailed by such a sentence. 

Article XX 

If any writings or trials should bring to light the heresy 
of a person deceased, let proceedings be taken against him 
— even though forty years shall have elapsed since the offence — 
let the fiscal accuse him before the tribunal, and if he should 
be found guilty the body must be exhumed. 

His children or heirs may appear to defend him ; but 
should they fail to appear, or, appearing, fail to establish his 
innocence, sentence shall be passed upon him and his property 

It will, of course, be obvious that since no good 
or useful purpose could be served by instituting pro- 
ceedings against the dead, nothing but cupidity can 
have inspired so barbarous a decree as this. The 
avowed object of the Inquisition — and very loudly 
and insistently avowed — was the uprooting of heresies 
to prevent their spread, and the inquisitors maintained 
that it was a painful necessity thrust upon them by 
their duty to God to destroy those who persisted in 
heresy, lest these, by their teaching and example, 
should contaminate and imperil the souls of others. 
Thus the Inquisition justified itself, and removed all 
doubt as to the purity of its motives. 

But how should this justification apply to the trial 
of the dead — even though they should have been dead 
for over forty years ? 

The provision, however, was not Torquemada's own. 
He followed in the footsteps of earlier inquisitors. 
He found his precedent in the 120th question pro- 
pounded by Eymeric — " Confiscatio bonorum hseretici 


1 62 Torquemada 

fieri potest post ejus mortem/' In this the author of 
the " Directorium" lays it down that although in civil law 
legal action against a criminal ceases with his death, 
such is not to be the case where heresy is concerned, 
on account of the enormity of the crime. (It may 
seem that, had he been quite honest, he would have said, 
" on account of the profits that may accrue from 
the prosecution.") 

Heretics, he pursues, may be proceeded against 
after their death, and, if convicted, their property may 
be confiscated — and this within forty years of their 
decease — depriving the heirs of all enjoyment of it, 
even though the third generation should be in 

All that Torquemada did was to extend the term 
of procedure beyond the forty years to which Eymeric 
had limited it. 

And to the foregoing Eymeric adds that, should 
the heirs at any time have acquired knowledge that 
the deceased was a heretic, they shall be censured for 
having acted in bad faith and kept the matter secret ! 
By this he actually puts it upon men to come forward 
voluntarily and accuse their dead fathers or grand- 
fathers of heretical practices, to the end that they 
themselves may be rendered destitute and infamous 
to the extent of being incapacitated from holding any 
public office or following any honourable profession — 
and this though they themselves should be the most 
faithful of Catholics, untouched by the faintest breath 
of suspicion ! 

It is beyond words a monstrous and inequitable 
enactment. Yet, like all else, they can justify it. If 
there is one thing in which the inquisitors were truly 
admirable, it is in the deftness with which they could 
justify and reconcile with their conscience the most 
inhuman practice. They would answer questions as 
to the lawfulness of this proceeding by urging that 
they did it with the greatest reluctance, but that their 
duty demanded it to the end that the living should 

The First " Instructions " of Torquemada 163 

beware how they failed in fidelity to the Faith, lest 
punishment should overtake them in their descendants 
after they themselves had passed beyond the reach of 
human justice. Thus would they represent the act as 
salutary and to the advantage of the Faith. And 
since there is at least a scintilla of truth in this, who 
shall say that they did not tranquillize their con- 
sciences and delude themselves that the confiscations 
were a mere incident which nowise swayed their 
judgment ? 

That proceedings against persons deceased were 
by no means rare is shown by the frequent records of 
corpses burnt — one of the purposes for which they 
were exhumed ; the other being that they must cease 
to defile consecrated ground. 

Article XXI 

The Sovereigns desiring that inquisition be made alike 
in the domains of the nobles as in the lands under the 
Crown, inquisitors shall proceed to effect these, and shall 
require the lords of such domains to make oath to comply 
with all that the law ordains, and to lend all assistance to 
the inquisitors. Should they decline to do so, they shall be 
proceeded against as by law established. 

Article XXII 

Should heretics who are delivered to the secular arm 
leave children who are minors and unmarried, the inquisitors 
shall provide and ordain that they be cared for and reared by 
some persons who will instruct them in our Holy Faith. 
The inquisitors shall prepare a memorial of such orphans and 
the circumstances of each, to the end that of the royal bounty 
alms may be provided to the extent necessary, this being the 
wish of the Sovereigns when the children are good Christians, 
especially in the case of girls, who should receive a dower 
sufficient to enable them to marry or enter a convent. 

Llorente tells us that although he went through 
very many records of old proceedings of the Inquisition, 

164 Torquemada 

in no single instance did he discover a record of any 
such provision in favour of the child of a condemned 
heretic. 1 

Harsh as were the decrees of the Inquisition in all 
things, in nothing were they so harsh as in the enact- 
ments concerning the children of heretics. However 
innocent themselves of the heresy for which their 
parents or grandparents might have suffered, not only 
must they go destitute, but further they must be 
prevented from ever extricating themselves appreciably 
from that condition, being inhibited — to the second 
generation — from holding any office under the Crown, 
or any ecclesiastical benefice, and from following any 
honourable or lucrative profession. And, as if that 
were not in itself sufficient, they were further con- 
demned to wear the outward signs of infamy, to go 
dressed in serge, without weapons or ornaments, and 
never ride on horseback, under pain of worse befalling 
them. One of the inevitable results of this barbarous 
decree was the extinction of many good Spanish 
families of Jewish blood in the last decade of the 
fifteenth century. 

This the inquisitors understood to be the literal 
application to practical life of the gentle and merciful 
precepts of the sweet Christ in Whose name they 

Eymeric and his commentator Pegna make clear, 
between them, the inquisitorial point of view. The 
author of the " Directorium " tells us that commisera- 
tion for the children of heretics who are reduced to 
mendicity must not be allowed to soften this severity, 
since by all laws, human and divine, it is prescribed 
that the children must suffer for the sins of the 
fathers. 2 

The scholiast expounds at length the justice of this 
measure. He says that there have been authors, such 
as Hostiensis, who pretend that it lacks the equity of 

1 "Historia Critica," vol. ii. p. 15. 
1 Pars iii. quaest. cxiv. and cxv. 

The First "Instructions" of Torquemada 165 

the ancient laws, which admitted Catholic children to 
inheritance. But he assures us that they are wrong in 
holding such views, that there is no injustice in the 
provision, and that it is salutary, since the fear of it is 
calculated to influence parents and to turn them — out 
of love for their offspring — from the great crime of 

To minds less dulled by bigotry it must have been 
clear that by this, as, for that matter, by many other 
of their decrees, all that was achieved was to put a 
premium upon hypocrisy. 

Another consideration that escaped their notice — 
being, as they were, capable of perceiving one thing 
only at a time — was that if this precious measure was 
prescribed by all laws, human and divine, it should 
have been unavoidable. Yet they themselves provided 
the means of avoiding it — as we know — for the child 
vile enough to lay information of his parents' heresy. 
By what laws, human or divine, did they dare to 
encourage such an infamy ? By no law but their own 
— a law whose chief aim, it is obvious at every turn, 
was to swell the number of convictions. 

What opinion was held of children who informed 
against their parents to avert the awful fate that 
awaited them should their parents' heresy be dis- 
covered by others, is apparent in the case of the 
daughter of Diego de Susan — who, very possibly, was 
actuated by just such motives. 

Article XXIII 

Should any heretic or apostate who has been reconciled 
within the term of grace be relieved by their Highnesses from 
the punishment of confiscation of his property, it is to be 
understood that such relief applies only to that property 
which by their own sin was lost to them. It does not extend 
to property which the person reconciled shall have the right 
to inherit from another who shall have suffered confiscation. 
This to the end that a person so pardoned shall not be in 
better case than a pure Catholic heir. 

1 66 Torquemada 

Article XXIV 

As the King and Queen in their clemency have ordained 
that the Christian slaves of heretics shall be freed, and even 
when the heretic is reconciled and immune from confiscation, 
this immunity shall not extend to his slaves ; these shall be 
manumitted in any case, to the greater honour and glory of 
our Holy Faith. 

Article XXV 

Inquisitors and assessors and other officers of the Inqui- 
sition, such as fiscal advocates, constables, notaries, and ushers, 
must excuse themselves from receiving gifts from any who 
may have or may come to have affairs with the Inquisition, 
or from others on their behalf; and the Father Prior of Holy 
Cross orders them not to receive any such gifts under pain of 
excommunication, of being deprived of office under the 
Inquisition and compelled to make restitution and repay to 
twice the value of what they may have received. 

Eymeric's " Directorium " permitted the reception 
of gifts by inquisitors, provided that these gifts were 
not too considerable, but he enjoined inquisitors not to 
show too much avidity — not, it would seem, on account 
of the sin that lurks in avidity, but so as not to give 
scandal to the laity. 1 

Article XXVI 

Inquisitors shall endeavour to work harmoniously together ; 
the honour of the office they hold demands this, and incon- 
veniences might result from discords amongst them. Should 
any inquisitor be acting in the place of the diocesan ordinary, 
let him not on that account presume that he enjoys pre- 
eminence over his colleagues. If any difference should arise 
between inquisitors and they be unable themselves to adjust 
it, let them keep the matter secret until they can lay it before 
the Prior of Holy Cross, who, as their superior, will decide it 
as he considers best. 

Article XXVII 

Inquisitors shall endeavour to contrive that their officers 
treat one another well and dwell in harmony and honourably. 

1 Se« M Directorium," pan iii. p. 387. 

The First u Instructions M of Torquemada 167 

Should any officer commit an excess, let them punish him 
charitably, and should they be unable to cause an officer to 
fulfil his duty, let them advise the Prior of Holy Cross thereof, 
and he will at once deprive such a one of his office and make 
such an appointment as may seem best for the service of Our 
Lord and their Highnesses. 

Article XXVIII 

Should any matter arise for which provision has not been 
made by this code, the inquisitors shall proceed as by law 
prescribed, it being left to them to dispose as their con- 
sciences show them to be best for the service of God and their 

To these twenty-eight articles Torquemada was to 
make further additions — in January of the following 
year, in October of 1488 and in May of 1498. We 
shall indicate to them, but for the moment it is sufficient 
to say that — saving some of those of 1498 — they are 
of secondary importance, being mainly in the nature of 
corollaries upon those we have dealt with, and chiefly 
concerned with the internal governance of the Inqui- 
sition rather than with its relations to the outside 




No complete notion of the jurisprudence of the Holy 
Office can be formed without taking a glance at this 
tribunal at work and observing the methods upon 
which it proceeded in its dealings with those who were 
arraigned before it. 

Its scope has already been considered, and also 
the offences that came within its pitiless jurisdiction 
at the time of Torquemada's appointment to the 
mighty office of Grand Inquisitor and President of 
the Suprema. It remains to be added that in his 
endeavours to cast an ever-wider net he sought to 
increase the jurisdiction of the Inquisition beyond 
matters immediately concerned with the Faith and to 
include certain offences whose connection with it was 
only constructive. 

Whether he succeeded to the full extent of his 
aims we do not know. But we do know that he 
contrived that bigamy should become the concern of 
the Holy Office, contending that it was primarily an 
offence against the laws of God and a defilement of 
the Sacrament of Marriage. Adultery, which is no 
less an offence against that sacrament, and which is 
not punishable by civil law, he passed over ; but he 
contrived that sodomy should be brought for the first 
time within inquisitorial jurisdiction and that those 
convicted of it should be burnt alive. 

Himself a man of the most rigid chastity, he must 


The Mode of Procedure 169 

have been moved to anger by the unchastity so preva- 
lent among the clergy. It was, however, beyond his 
power to deal with it without special authority from 
Rome, and he would have been bold indeed to have 
sought such authority at the hands of that flagrant 
paterfamilias Giovanni Battista Cibo, who occupied 
the Chair of St. Peter with the title of Pope Inno- 
cent VIII. 

The most scandalous form of this unchastity was 
that known as " solicitation " — solicitatio ad turpia — 
or the abuse of the confessional for the purpose of 
seducing female penitents. It was a matter that greatly 
vexed the Church as a body, since it placed a terrible 
weapon in the hands of her enemies and detractors. 
It was admittedly rampant, and it is more than probable 
that it was directly responsible for the institution of 
the confessional-box — enforced in the sixteenth century 
— which effectively separated confessor from penitent, 
and left them to communicate through a grille. 

The matter, like all other offences of the clergy, 
was entirely within the jurisdiction of the bishops, 
who would vigorously have resisted any attempts on 
the part of Torquemada to encroach further upon 
their province. So the Church was left to combat 
that evil as best she might ; and, with the exception of 
an odd bishop who assumed a stern attitude and dealt 
with it as became his own dignity and the honour of 
the priesthood, the utmost lenience appears to have 
prevailed, 1 as we may judge by the penances imposed 
upon convicted offenders. 

The perils and temptations to which a priest was 
exposed in the course of the intimate communications 
that must pass between him and his penitents were 
given full recognition and allowed full weight in the 
balance against the offence itself. 

Later on, however, this matter which Torquemada 
had considered beyond his power was actually thrust 
within the jurisdiction of the Inquisition by a Church 

1 See Llorente's " Historia Critica," I. cap. xxviii. 

170 Torquemada 

resolved, for the very sake of its existence, that the 
evil should cease. 

Vexatious as this crime of " solicitation " had 
always been, it became most urgently and perilously 
so after the Reformation, when it provided those 
who denounced the confessional with an apparently 
unanswerable reason for their denunciations. It was 
wisely thought that the methods of the Holy Office 
were best calculated to deal with it, and the matter 
was relegated to the inquisitors. The defilement of 
the sacrament was the link that connected solicitation 
with heresy. Moreover, in some cases there might 
be heresy of a more positive kind ; as when, for 
instance, the priest assured the penitent that her 
consent was not a sin. And the woman accusing a 
priest of solicitation before the Holy Office was 
always questioned closely upon this particular point. 

In the later editions of the " Cartilla," or Manual 
for the guidance of Inquisitors — all of which publications 
were issued by the private press of the Inquisition — 
are to be found under the heading " Causas de 
Solicitacion " instructions for the examination of a 
woman who denounces a priest upon these grounds. 1 

Even so, however, it could not be in the interests 
of the Church to parade these offenders, and thus 
expose the sore places in her own body. 

Limborch urges that delinquents be sent to the 
galleys, or even delivered to the secular arm. But 

1 " Las delaciones sobre solicitacion en el confessionario se deben 
recibir con gran cuidado, haciendo que la denunciante declare todas las 
circunstancias siguientes : 

" En que dia, hora y en que confessionario, si fu6 antes de la con- 
fession 6 despues, 6 ella mediante ; si estaba de rodillas y se avia ya 
persignado, 6 si simulaba confession, que palabras la dijo el confessor, 
6 que acciones ejecuttf, poniendo las palabras como ellas se dixeron ; 
quantas veces sucedi6, y si despues la absolvi6, si alguna persona lo pude 
oir 6 entender, 6 si ella se lo ha dicho a alguien, y si sabe que el dicho 
confessor 6 otro aya solicitado a otras, 6 si ella ha sido solicitada por otro. 
Y declare la edad y senas personales del dicho confessor, y tambien en 
caso de aver pasado tiempo del delito, porque no lo ha delatado antes al 
Santo Oficio, y si sabe la residencia del dicho confessor." 

" Orden de Procesar, 3 ' compiled by Fr. P. Garcia, published by the 
Press of the Holy Office, Valencia, 1736. 

The Mode of Procedure 17 1 

for that — as Llorente points out — it would have been 
necessary to include them in an Auto de Fe\ of which 
there could be no question on account of the scandal 
which must ensue in view of the character of the 
offence. This is very true, and none can doubt the 
desirability of avoiding publicity for such a matter, 
or suppose that the Church was in the least blame- 
worthy for so proceeding. At the same time, how- 
ever justifiable we may account this secrecy, it is 
almost impossible to justify the lenience of the 
sentences that were passed. It is above all extra- 
ordinary that the usual punishment did not even go 
so far as to unfrock these offenders. The inquisitors 
confined themselves to depriving the convicted priest 
of the faculty of hearing confessions in future, and 
imposed a penance of some years' residence in the 
seclusion of a convent. 

It is possible, however, that this punishment was 
heavier than may at first appear. For — to their credit 
be it said — the regulars into whose convent the 
penanced cleric was sent undertook that this penance 
should be anything but easy. 

This comes to light in the course of a case of which 
Llorente cites the full particulars from the records he 
unearthed. 1 

It is the case of a Capuchin brother tried in the 
eighteenth century by the Grand Inquisitor Rubin 
de Cevallos ; and as much in the quality and extent 
of the offence as in the brazenly ingenious defence 
set up by the friar, the record reads like one of the 
least translatable stories from Boccaccio's " Decameron." 
He was sentenced to go into retreat for five years 
in a convent of his order ; and so great a dread did 
that sentence strike into the Capuchin that he besought 
of the inquisitors the mercy of being allowed to serve 
the sentence in one of the dungeons of the Inquisition. 
Questioned as to his reasons for a request that sounded 
so extraordinary, he protested that he knew too well 

1 " Historia Critica," I. cap. xxviii. 

172 Torquemada 

the burden his brethren were wont to impose upon 
a friar penanced as was he. 

His petition was dismissed, the Grand Inquisitor 
refusing to alter the sentence ; and Llorente adds that 
the Capuchin died three years later in the convent to 
which he was sent. 

How far the crime was rampant when the Inquisi- 
tion was entrusted with its prosecution may be gathered 
from the statistics given by H. C. Lea. 1 It appears 
from these that in the city of Toledo alone, during 
the first thirty-five years that the matter was in the 
hands of the Holy Office, fifty-two sentences were 
passed upon priests found guilty of " solicitation," and 
it is not to be supposed, as Lea very shrewdly observes, 
that delations were forthcoming in more than a pro- 
portion of the cases that occurred, or that more than 
a proportion of these delations could lead to con- 
viction — since, to avert scandal as much as possible, 
no action would be taken save where the indications 
of guilt were very clear. 

This view is certainly supported by the injunction of 
caution and the other instructions in the Manual under 
the heading " Causas de Solicitaciones," already cited. 

Finally on this subject, Llorente's statistics show 
that the offenders were chiefly friars ; the proportion 
of secular priests convicted being only one in ten. 
This does not, however, signify greater chastity on 
the part of secular priests. Llorente offers the obvious 
explanation — an explanation too obvious to need re- 
peating here. 2 

Another offence that came later to be added to 
those within the jurisdiction of the Holy Office was 
that of usury. But in Torquemada's day neither this 
nor solicitation was allowed to be the concern of the 

1 " History of the Spanish Inquisition," vol. iv. p. 135. 
9 " Historia Critica," I. cap. xxviii, 

The Mode of Procedure 173 

In its methods of procedure the tribunal of the 
Holy Office under the zealous rule of the Prior of 
Holy Cross followed closely upon the lines laid down 
by Eymeric. Indeed in the " Cartilla " or " Manual' 
that was issued later for the use of inquisitors — of 
which several editions are in existence to-day — these 
rules taken bodily from the " Directorium " were 
incorporated as a supplement to the code promulgated 
by Torquemada, consisting of the articles already 
considered and of others to be added later. 

These methods we will now consider. 

The accused was brought before the tribunal sitting 
in the audience-chamber of the Holy Office — or Holy 
House (Casa Santa) as the premises of the Inquisition 
came to be styled. 

The court was composed of at least one of the 
inquisitors delegated by Torquemada, the diocesan 
ordinary, the fiscal advocate, and a notary to take 
down all that might transpire. They were seated 
about a table upon which stood a tall crucifix, be- 
tween two candles, and the Gospels upon which the 
accused was to be sworn. 

The oath being administered, the prisoner was 
asked his name, birthplace, particulars of his family, 
and the diocese in which he resided. Next he was 
vaguely questioned as to whether he had heard speak 
of such matters as those upon which he was accused. 1 

Pegna warns inquisitors against being too precise 
in their questions, lest they should suggest answers 
to the accused. 2 Another reason for this vagueness 
was that being precisely questioned the accused might 
in his answers confine himself to the matter of those 
questions, whilst where the inquiry was conducted 
in vague, general terms, he might in his reply betray 
matters or persons hitherto unsuspected. 

Obviously with the same end in view, the scholiast 

1 Eymeric, pars iii. p. 286 — " Modus interrogandi reum accustum." 
> «• Directorum," pars. iii. Schol. xix. 

174 Torquemada 

suggests that the accused be asked whether he knows 
why he has been arrested, and whom he suspects 
of having accused him ; whilst as a means of instantly 
testing whether he is an observer of his Catholic duties 
the inquisitors are instructed to ask him who is his con- 
fessor and when he was last at confession. The answer 
of one who was secretly an apostate, or even who had 
neglected to comply with his religious duties as pre- 
scribed, must necessarily be enormously incriminating. 
It would justify violent suspicion of heresy against him, 
which has already been considered, together with its 

Pegna further enjoins inquisitors to be careful that 
they do not afford the accused any means of evading 
their questions, and not to be imposed upon by protes- 
tations or tears, heretics being, he assures them, of 
an extreme cunning in dissembling their errors. 

Eymeric specifies ten different methods employed 
by heretics to trick inquisitors. These are not of any 
real importance, nor do they leave us in the least 
convinced that any such ruses were actually employed. 
They are obviously based upon an intimate ac- 
quaintance with priestly guile rather than upon any 
experience of the craftiness of actual heretics. They 
may, in short, be said to be just such ruses as the 
inquisitors themselves might employ if they found 
the tables turned upon themselves and the heretic 
sitting in the seat of justice. 

He urges the inquisitors to meet guile with guile : 
" ut clavus clavo retundatur." He justifies recourse 
to hypocrisy and even to falsehood, telling the in- 
quisitors that thus they will be in a position to say : 
" Cum essem astutus dolo vos cepi," and to the ten 
evasive methods which he asserts are adopted by 
heretics, he bids their paternities oppose ten specified 
rules by which to capture and entrap them. 

These rules and Pegna's commentaries upon them 
are worth attention for the sake of the intimate glimpse 
they afford us of the mediaeval ecclesiastical mind. 

The Mode of Procedure i?5 

The accused is to be compelled by repeated ex- 
aminations to return clear and precise answers to the 
questions asked. 

If the accused heretic is resolved not to confess 
his fault, the inquisitor should address him with great 
sweetness (blande et mansuete), giving him to under- 
stand that all is already known to the court, speaking 
as follows : 

" Look now, I pity you who are so deluded in 
your credulity, and whose soul is being lost ; you are 
at fault, but the greater fault lies with him who has 
instructed you in these things. Do not, then, take 
the sin of others upon yourself, and do not make 
yourself out a master in matters in which you have 
been no more than a pupil. Confess the truth to me, 
because, as you see, I already know the whole affair. 
And so that you may not lose your reputation, and 
that I may shortly liberate and pardon you and you 
may go your ways home, tell me who has led you — 
you who knew no evil — into this error." 

By similar kind words (bona verba), always imper- 
turbable (sine turbatione), let the inquisitor proceed, 
assuming the main fact to be true and confining his 
questions to the circumstances. 

Pegna adds another formula, which he says was 
employed by Fr. Ivonet. Thus : 

11 Do not fear to confess all. You will have thought 
they were good men who taught you so-and-so ; you 
lent ear to them freely in that belief, etc. . . . You 
have behaved with credulous simplicity towards people 
whom you believed good and of whom you knew no 
evil. It might very well happen to much wiser men 
than you to be so mistaken." l 

Thus was the wretch coaxed to self-betrayal, 
caressed and stroked by the velvet glove that muffled 
and dissembled the iron hand within. 

In the case of a heretic against whom the 
witnesses have not supplied matter for complete 

1 Schol. xxvii (pars iii.). 

176 Torquemada 

conviction, let him be brought before the inquisitor 
and let the inquisitor question him at random. 
When the accused shall have denied something 
(quando negat hoc vel illud) that has been put to 
him, let the inquisitor take up the minutes of the 
preceding examinations, turn the leaves and say : 

" It is clear that you conceal the truth ; cease to 
employ dissimulation." 

Thus the accused may suppose that he is con- 
victed, and that the minutes supply proof against him. 

Or let the inquisitor hold a document in his hand, 
and when the accused denies, let him feign astonishment 
and exclaim : 

" How can you deny such a thing? Is it not clear 
to me?" He will then peruse his document anew, 
making changes, and then reading once more, let him 
say, " I was right! Speak, then, since you perceive 
that I know." 

The inquisitor must be careful not to enter into 
any details that might betray his ignorance to the 
accused. Let him keep to generalities. 

If the accused persists in his denial, the inquisitor 
may tell him that he is about to set out upon a journey 
and that he doesn't know when he will be returning. 
Thus : 

11 Look now, I pity you, and I wanted you to tell 
me the truth, for I am anxious to expedite the affair 
and yourself. But since you are obstinate in refusing 
to confess, I must leave you in prison and in irons 
until I return ; and I am sorry, because I do not know 
when I shall return." 

If the accused persists in denial, let the inquisitors 
multiply examinations and questions ; then either the 
accused will confess, or (becoming confused) will con- 
tradict himself. If he contradicts himself that will 
suffice to put him to torture, that thus the truth may 
be extracted from his mouth. But frequent interroga- 
tions should not be employed save with one of extreme 
stubbornness, because to frequent questions upon the 

The Mode of Procedure 177 

same matter it is easy to obtain variable answers ; there 
is hardly anybody who would not be surprised into 
a contradiction. 

Here we have a glimpse of the extraordinary 
flexibility of the inquisitorial conscience. The letter 
of the law must ever be observed in all proceedings ; 
but its spirit must by all means be circumvented 
where it is expedient to do so. Certain conditions, 
presently to be examined, must be present before an 
accused could be put to torture. One of these was 
that under examination he should contradict himself. 
This rule they scrupulously observed ; but they had 
no qualms on the score of bringing about the requisite 
condition by a trick — of compelling the accused to 
contradict himself by repeated questions upon the 
same subject. And Eymeric himself admits that 
hardly anybody could avoid varying in his answers 
under such a test. 

It may be uncharitable to suppose that the last 
paragraph of this rule is intended as a hint rather 
than as the warning it pretends to be. But it is a 
suspicion which the further consideration of the in- 
quisitorial conscience must inspire in every thoughtful 
mind. It is so much of a piece with the inquisitors' 
extraordinary attitude towards the letter of the law to 
proceed in that way. 

If the accused still persists in denial, the in- 
quisitor should now soften his conduct ; let him 
contrive that the prisoner has better food, and that 
worthy people visit him and win his confidence ; these 
shall then advise him to confess, promise that the 
inquisitor will pardon him {faciet sibi gratiam), and 
that they themselves will act as mediators. 

The inquisitor himself may in the end go bo far as 
to join them, and promise to accord grace {i.e. pardon) 
to the accused, and grant him this grace in effect, 
since all is grace that is done in the conversion of 
heretics ; penances being themselves graces and re- 


178 Torquemada 

medies. When the accused, having confessed his 
crime, demands the promised " grace," let him be 
answered in general terms that he shall receive even 
more than he could ask, so that the whole truth may 
be discovered and the heretic converted 1 — "and his 
soul saved, at least," adds Pegna. 2 

Thoroughly to appreciate the deliberate duplicity 
here practised, it is necessary to take into account the 
double or even treble meaning of the term grace — 
" gratia " — employed by Eymeric, and having in 
Spanish {i.e. its equivalent "gracia") precisely the 
same meanings as in Latin. 

Although not so popularly used in these various 
meanings, the English term " grace " can also signify 
(a) the prerogative of mercy exercised as a complete 
pardon, (b) the same prerogative exercised to relieve 
part of the penalty incurred, or (c) a state of acceptance 
with God. 

The accused was deliberately led to suppose that 
u gratia " was employed in the sense of a complete 
pardon. It remained with the inquisitor to quiet his 
conscience for this suggestio falsi by preferring the 
letter to the spirit of his promise ; he would enlighten 
the accused that by " grace " no more was meant than 
a remission of part of the penalty incurred (an in- 
significant remission usually), or even that all that 
he had in mind was the grace of divine favour into 
which his soul would enter — so that this might be 
saved at least, as Pegna explains. 

Pegna has a good deal more to say on the same 
subject, and all of it is extremely interesting. 

He propounds the questions : " May an inquisitor 
employ this ruse to discover the truth ? If he enters 
into such a promise is he not obliged to keep it ? ' By 
this latter question he means, of course, the promise 
to pardon which the prisoner was given to understand 
was made him. 

1 " Directorium," iii. p. 293. 
8 Schol. xxix. (lib. iii.). 

The Mode of Procedure 179 

He proceeds to tell us that Dr. Cuchalon decided 
the first of these questions by approving the use of 
dissimulation, justifying it by the instance of Solomon's 
judgment between the mothers. 

It really seems as if there is nothing that theo- 
logians cannot justify by inversion, subversion, or 
perversion of some precedent (more or less apocryphal 
in itself) to suit their ends. 

The scholiast himself agrees with the reverend 
doctor, and considers that although jurisconsults may 
disapprove of such methods in civil courts, it is quite 
fit and proper to use them in the courts of the Holy 
Office ; explaining that the inquisitor has ampler 
powers than the civil judge [which seems to be an 
extraordinary reason for justifying his abuse of them]. 

Thus, Pegna pursues, in this edifying treatise upon 
the uses of hypocrisy, provided that the inquisitor does 
not promise the offender absolute impunity, he may 
always promise him " grace " (which by the offender 
is taken to signify " absolute impunity ") and keep his 
promise by diminishing somewhat the canonical pains 
that depend upon himself. 

In actual practice this would mean that a heretic 
who has incurred the stake may be promised pardon 
if he will confess to the sins of which it is necessary 
to convict him before he can be burnt. And when, 
having confessed and delivered himself into the hands 
of the inquisitor, he claims his pardon, he is to be 
satisfied with the answer that the pardon meant was 
pardon for his sins — absolution, that his soul may be 
saved when they burn his body. 

On the score of the second question propounded 
by the scholiast — " If the inquisitor enters into such a 
promise is he not obliged to keep it ? " — he answers it 
by telling us that many theologians do not consider 
there is any such obligation on the part of the 
inquisitor. This attitude they explain by urging that 
such a fraud is salutary and for the public good ; and, 
further, that if it is licit to extract the truth by torture, 

1 80 Torquemada 

it is surely much more so to accomplish it by dis- 
simulation — verbis fictis. 

This is the general but by no means the universal 
opinion, we gather. There are some writers who are 
opposed to it. And now the scholiast becomes more 
extraordinary still. Hear him : 

" These two divergent opinions may be reconciled 
by considering that whatever promises the inquisitors 
make, they are not to be understood to apply to 
anything beyond the penalties whose rigour the 
Inquisition has the right to lessen — namely, canonical 
penances, and not those by law prescribed." 

He writes this knowing that these promises are 
understood by the prisoner to mean something very 
different — that the prisoner is desired so to understand 
them, made so to understand them. 

The honesty of Pegna's reasoning is not to be 
suspected. He is not an apologist of the Holy Office 
writing for the world in general, and employing bad 
arguments perforce because he must make the best of 
the only ones available, even though he should lapse 
into suspicion of bad faith. He is writing, as a pre- 
ceptor, for the private eye of the inquisitor. There- 
fore we can only conclude that these learned casuists 
who plunge into such profundities of thought and 
pursue such labyrinthine courses of reasoning had 
utterly failed to grasp the elementary moral fact that 
falsehood does not lie in the word uttered, but in the 
idea conveyed. 

" However little," he continues, in the course of 
polishing this gem of casuistry, " may be the remission 
granted by the inquisitor, it will always be sufficient to 
fulfil his promise." 

You see what a stickler he is for the letter of the 
law. You shall see a good deal more of the same sort 
of thing before we have gone much further. 

But here the scholiast begins to labour. His 
conscience is stirring ; possibly a ray of doubt pene- 

The Mode of Procedure 181 

trates his gloomy confidence that right is wrong and 
wrong is right. And so, we fancy, to quiet these 
uneasy stirrings comes the last paragraph on this 
subject : 

11 However, for greater safety of conscience, 
inquisitors should make no promises save in very 
general terms, and never promise more than they can 
fulfil." ! 

There is one more of Eymeric's ruses for combating 
the guile of stubborn heretics : 

Let the inquisitor obtain an accomplice of the 
accused, or else a person esteemed by the latter and 
in the inquisitor's confidence, and engage him to talk 
often to the accused and extract his secret from him. 
If necessary, let this person pretend to be of the same 
heretical sect, to have abjured through fear, and to 
have declared all to the inquisitor. 

Then one evening, when the accused shall have 
gained confidence in this visitor, let the latter 
remain until he can say that it is too late to return 
home and that he will spend the night in the prison. 
Let persons be suitably placed to hear the conversation 
of the accused and if possible a notary to take down 
in writing the confessions of the heretic, who should 
now be drawn by the spy into relating all that he has 

Upon this subject Pegna moralizes 8 for the benefit 
of the spy, pointing out how the latter may go about 
his very turpid task without involving himself in 
falsehood or besmirching in the least the delicate, 
sensitive soul that we naturally suppose must animate 

"Be it noted that the spy, simulating friendship 
and seeking to draw from the accused a confession of 
his crime, may very well pretend to be of the sect of 

1 See " Directorium," iii. Schol. xxix. 
• " Directorium," iii. Schol. xxvi. 

1 82 Torquemada 

the accused, but n [mark the warning] u he must not 
say so, because in saying so he would at least commit 
a venial sin, and we know that such must not be 
committed upon any grounds whatever." 

Thus the scholiast. He makes it perfectly clear 
that a man may simulate friendship for another for 
the purpose of betraying that other to his death ; that 
to make that betrayal more certain he may even 
pretend to hold the same religious convictions ; all 
this may he do and yet commit no sin — not even a 
venial sin — so long as he does not actually clothe his 
pretence in words. What a store the casuist sets by 
words ! 

It is just such an argument as Caiaphas might 
have employed with Judas Iscariot one evening in 

It is a cherished thesis with apologists of the 
Holy Office that in its judicial proceedings it did 
neither more nor less than what was being done in 
its day in the civil courts ; that if its methods were 
barbarous — if they shock us now — we are to remember 
that they were the perfectly ordinary judicial methods 
of their time. 

But there was no secular court in Europe in the 
fifteenth century — steeped as that century was in 
dissimulation and bad faith — that would not have 
scorned to have made such dishonourable and dis- 
honouring methods as these an acknowledged, 
regular and integral part of its procedure. 

Pegna himself reveals the fact, when he finds it 
necessary further to justify these practices precisely 
because they were not in use in the civil courts : 

" Perchance the authority of Aristoteles — who out 
of the bosom of Paganism condemned all manner of 
dissimulation — may be opposed to us, as well as that 
of the jurisconsults who disapprove of artifices of 
which judges may make use to extract the truth. 
But there are two forms of artifice : one addressed 

The Mode of Procedure 183 

to an evil end, which must not be permitted ; the 
other aiming at discovering truth, which none could 
blame." l 

When confession has been obtained it would be 
idle, Eymeric points out, to grant the delinquent a 
defence. " For although in civil courts the confession 
of a crime does not suffice without proof, it suffices 
here." The reason advanced for this is as specious 
as any in the " Directorium " : " Heresy being a sin 
of the soul, confession may be the only evidence 

Where an advocate was granted to conduct the 
defence of an accused, we have seen in Art. XVI 
of Torquemada's " Instructions " that he was under the 
obligation to relinquish such defence the moment he 
realized the guilt of his client, since by canon law an 
advocate was forbidden to plead for a heretic in any 
court, civil or ecclesiastical, or in any cause whatso- 
ever — whether connected with heresy or any other 

On the subject of witnesses, it should be added to 
what already has been said in the previous chapter 
that the Inquisition, whilst admitting the testimony 
of any man, even though he should be excommunicate 
or a heretic, so long as such testimony was adverse to 
the accused, refused to admit witnesses for the defence 
who were themselves tainted with heresy. 

Since to bear witness in defence of a person 
charged with heresy might result in the witness 
himself becoming suspect, it will be understood that 
witnesses for the defence were not easily procured by 
the accused. 

1 Schol. xxvi. lib. iii. 



Eymeric's cold-blooded directions for leading an 
accused who refused to confess into contradictions 
that should justify his being put to torture have 
already been considered. 

The inquisitors could not proceed to employ the 
question — as the torture was euphemistically called — 
save under certain circumstances prescribed by law ; 
and the strict letter of the law, as you have seen, and 
as you shall see further, was a thing inviolable to 
these very subtle judges. 

These circumstances, as expounded by Eymeric in 
his " Directorium," * are (a) the inconsistence of the 
accused's replies upon matters of detail whilst denying 
the main fact ; (&) the existence of semi-plenal proof 
of his offence. 

This semi-plenal proof is considered forthcoming — 

(a) When an accused is " reputed " to be a 
heretic and there is but one witness against him 
who can depone to having seen or heard him do 
or say that which is against the Faith. (Two 
witnesses were by law required to establish his 

(b) When in the absence of witnesses there 
are grounds for vehement or violent suspicion. 

(c) When there is no evil " reputation " 

1 Pars iii. quaest. lxi. 

The Audience of Torment 185 

attaching to the accused, but one witness against 
him and grounds for vehement or violent sus- 
picion — i.e. not actual suspicion but indications 
of it ; a suspicion of suspicion, as it were. The 
distinction is most elusively fine. 

The scholiast Pegna adds in his commentaries that 
this combination of " reputation " (or grounds for 
suspicion) and one witness is not necessary to justify 
submitting the accused to the question — 

[a) When to evil reputation are added evil 
morals, which lead easily to heresy — thus those 
who are incontinent and very greatly addicted to 
women persuade themselves that this incontinence 
is not in itself a sin. (Such an opinion if pro- 
claimed would amount to heresy, therefore one 
who acts as if he held it lays himself open to 
suspicion of heresy.) 

(6) When the accused who has incurred evil 
reputation shall have fled. (The circumstance of 
his flight is accepted as evidence of evil con- 
science.) 1 

Eymeric further enjoins that the question shall 
be employed only when all other means of obtaining 
the truth shall have failed, and he recommends the 
use of exhortation, gentleness, and ruse to draw the 
truth from the prisoner. 2 

He observes that, after all, not even the torture 
can be depended upon always to extract the truth. 
There are weak men who under the first torments 
confess even what they have not done ; and there are 
others so stubborn and vigorous that they can suffer 
the greatest pains ; there are those who having already 
undergone torture are able to endure it with greater 
fortitude, knowing how to adapt themselves to it ; and 
there are others still who, by having recourse to 

1 Schol. cxviii. ; lib. Hi. 

1 " Dtrectorium," pars iii. p. 313 et seq. 

1 86 Torquemada 

sorcery, remain almost insensible to the pain and 
would die before divulging anything. 

These last, he warns inquisitors, use passages 
from the Gospel curiously inscribed upon virgin 
parchment, intermingling in these the names of angels 
that are unknown, designs of circles, and magic 
characters. These charms they bear about their 

" I don't yet know/' he confesses, " what remedies 
are available against these sorceries ; but it will be 
well to strip and closely to examine the patient before 
putting him to the question." 

He recommends that when the accused has been 
sentenced to torture, and whilst the executioners are 
making ready to perform it, the inquisitor should con- 
tinually endeavour to induce the accused to confess. 
The torturers should strip him with precipitation, but 
with a sorrowful air and almost as if troubled for him 
{quasi turbati). When stripped, he should be taken 
aside and once more exhorted to confess. His life 
may be promised him, provided that the crime of 
which he is accused is not such as to make it forfeit. 

If all proves vain the inquisitor shall proceed to 
the question, beginning by interrogating him upon the 
more trivial matters of which he is accused, as he 
would naturally acknowledge these more readily (and 
when acknowledged they can be made the stepping- 
stones to more), the notary being at hand to write 
down all that is asked and answered. 

If he persists in his denials he is to be shown 
further implements of torture, and assured that he will 
have to undergo them all unless he speaks the truth. 

If he still denies, the question may be continued 
on the second or third day, but not repeated. 

Here again we have them observing the letter and 
flagrantly violating the spirit of the law. Torture 
must not be repeated because it is by law forbidden 
to put an accused to the question more than once, 
unless in the meantime fresh evidence has been 

The Audience of Torment 187 

forthcoming ; but it is not forbidden to continue it — 
not forbidden because those who formulated that law 
never dreamt of such a quibble being raised. 

It is almost incredible that men should juggle with 
words in this way. But here is the passage itself: 

" Ad continuandum non ad iterandum, quia iterari 
non debent, nisi novis supervenientibus indiciis, sed 
continuari non prohibentur." 

Lest they should be in danger of having to repeat 
the torture, they took care to suspend it as soon as the 
patient was at the limit of his endurance, and merely 
resumed or continued it two or three days later, to 
suspend again and continue again as often as they 
might deem necessary. 

That it can have made no difference to the wretched 
patient whether they described the procedure by one 
verb or the other does not appear to have weighed 
with them. There was a difference — an important 
verbal difference. 

Upon this point the apologist Garcia Rodrigo, in 
his " Historia Verdadera de la Inquisicion," very 
daringly draws attention to the meekness of the courts 
of the Inquisition as compared with the civil tribunals. 
He contrasts the methods of the two, and to make out 
a case in favour of the former, to prove to us that 
those who preached a gospel of mercy knew also how 
to practise mercy, he tells us, rather disingenuously, 
that whilst in civil courts a prisoner might be ordered 
three times to the torture, in the courts of the Inqui- 
sition this could not be imposed upon him more than 
once — its rules forbidding repetition. 

He does not consider it worth while to add that the 
" Directorium " in which he found that rule points out, 
as we have seen, how it may be circumvented 

It is much easier to set up a case for the other side, 
to show that the greater mercy in the matter of torture 
was practised by the secular courts. In these, for 
instance, a nobleman was immune from torture. Not 

1 88 Torquemada 

so in the courts of the Inquisition, which proceeded, 
no doubt, upon the grounds that all are equals in the 
sight of God. No exception was made there in favour 
of any man. And in Aragon, where the torture 
was never applied in civil trials, it was none the less 
resorted to by the inquisitors. 

When the accused shall have endured torture with- 
out confessing, the inquisitors may order his re ease 
by sentence, stating that after careful examination they 
are unable to find anything against him on the score 
of the crime of which he is accused — which, of course, 
is no acquittal, since he may at any time be re-arrested 
and put upon his trial once more. 

In his commentaries Pegna tells us 1 that there are 
five degrees of torture. He does not mention them 
in detail, saying that they are sufficiently well known 
to all. These five degrees are given in Limborch. 2 

The first four are not so much torture as terror — or 
mental torture ; it is only in the fifth degree that this 
becomes physical. The conception is of an almost 
fiendish subtlety ; and yet its aim, we must believe, 
was merciful, since they accounted it more merciful to 
torture and terrify the mind than to bruise the flesh. 

Eymeric's directions are the basis of this, although 
Eymeric himself does not break up the procedure into 
degrees. These are : 

(i) The threat of torture. 

(2) Being conducted to the torture-chamber and 

shown the implements and their functions. 

(3) Stripping and preparing for the ordeal. 

(4) Laying and binding upon the engine. 

(5) The actual torture. 

The actual torture was of various kinds, any of 
which the inquisitor might employ as he considered 
most suitable and effective, but Pegna admonishes him 

1 Schol. cxviii. ; lib. iii. 

* " Historia Inquisitionis," p. 332. 

The Audience of Torment 189 

not to resort to unusual ones. Marsilius, the scholiast 
informs us, mentions fourteen different varieties, and 
adds that he had imagined others, such as that of 
depriving a prisoner of sleep. In this he appears to 
have received the approval of other authors, but he 
does not receive Pegna's. Even the scholiast is 
shocked at an ecclesiastic's fertility of invention in this 
branch, and confesses that such researches are better 
suited to executioners than theologians. 

It must be admitted that the records show none of 
that fiendish invention which is so widely believed to 
have been exercised. The cruel subtleties of the 
inquisitors were spiritual rather than physical, and we 
have just seen Pegna's censure of an inquisitor who 
gave his attention to the devising of novel and ingenious 

It is very clear, from the records we have, that the 
Holy Office must have been content to depend upon 
the engines already in existence, or, rather, upon a 
limited number of the most efficacious. There were 
exceptions, of course. The torture of fire — which 
consisted in toasting the feet of the patient after anoint- 
ing them with fat — appears upon rare occasions to 
have been employed ; and a barbarous piece of super- 
erogative cruelty was practised at a great Auto de ¥6 
held at Valladolid in 1636: ten Jews convicted of 
having whipped a crucifix were made to stand with 
one hand nailed to an arm of a St. Andrew's cross 
whilst sentence of death was being read to them. 

As a rule, however, both in torturing and in punish- 
ing the inquisitors avoided novelties. For the question 
they usually resorted to one of three methods : the 
rack ; the gar rue Aa, which is the torture of the hoist, 
the tratta di corda of the Italians; and the escalera, 
or potro, or ladder, or water torture. 

The inquisitors attended in person — as prescribed 
by Torquemada — to question the patient, accompanied 
by their notary, who wrote down in fullest detail an 
account of the proceedings. 

190 Torquemada 

The hoist was the simplest of all engines ; it con- 
sisted of no more than a rope running through a pulley 
attached to the ceiling of the torture-chamber. 

The patient's wrists were pinioned behind him, and 
one end of the rope was attached to them. Slowly 
then the executioners drew upon the other end, 
gradually raising the patient's arms behind him as far 
as they would go, backwards and upwards, and continu- 
ing until they brought him to tip -toe and then slowly 
off the ground altogether, so that the whole weight of 
his body was thrown upon his straining arms. 

At this point he was again questioned and desired 
to confess the truth. 

If he refused to speak, or if he spoke to no such 
purpose as his questioners desired, he was hoisted 
towards the ceiling, then allowed to drop a few feet, 
his fall being suddenly arrested by a jerk that almost 
threw his arms out of their sockets. Again was the 
question put, and if he continued stubborn he was 
given a further drop, and so on until he had come to 
the ground once more, or until he had confessed. If 
he reached the ground without confessing, weights 
were now attached to his feet, thus increasing the 
severity of the torture, which was resumed. And so it 
continued. The weights were increased, the drops 
were lengthened — or else he might be left hanging — 
until confession was extracted, or until with dislocated 
shoulders the patient had reached the limit of his 
endurance. 1 

In the latter case the torture might be suspended, 
as we have seen, to be continued two or three days 
later, when the prisoner should sufficiently have 

The notary made a scrupulous record of the 
audiencia — the weights attached, the number of hoists 
endured, the questions asked and the answers delivered. 

1 See, inter alia, Melgares Marin, ••Procedimientos de la Inquisition," 
i. p. 253. This author says that sometimes the patient would be left 
hanging for as long as three hours. 

The Audience of Torment 191 

The potro, or water-torture, was more complex, 
far more cruel, and appears to have been greatly 
favoured by the Holy Office. 

The patient was placed upon a short narrow 
engine, in the shape of a ladder, and this was slanted 
a little so that his head was below the level of his feet, 
for reasons that will soon be apparent. His head was 
now secured by a metal or leather band which held it 
rigidly in position, whilst his arms and legs were lashed 
to the sides of the ladder so tightly that any movement 
on his part must cause the whipcord to cut into his 

In addition to these bindings garrotes were applied 
to his thighs and legs and arms. This was a length 
of cord tied firmly about a limb — upon occasion round 
the whole torso over the arms ; a stick was thrust 
between the cord and the flesh, and by twisting this 
stick a tourniquet was formed ; first strangury, then 
the most agonizing pain was thus occasioned, whilst if 
the twisting was carried far enough the cords would 
sink through nerve and sinew until they reached the 

The mouth of the patient was now distended and 
held so by a prong of iron — called a bostezo. His 
nostrils were plugged, and a long strip of linen was 
placed across his jaws, and carried deep into his throat 
by the weight of water poured into his gaping mouth. 
Down this toca — as the strip was called — water con- 
tinued to be slowly poured. As this water filtered 
through the cloth, the patient was subjected to all the 
torments of suffocation, the more cruel because he was 
driven by his instincts to make futile efforts to ease 
his condition. He would constantly exert himself to 
swallow the water, hoping thus to clear the way for a 
little air to pass into his bursting lungs. A little would 
and did pass in — just enough to keep him alive and 
conscious, but not enough to mitigate the horrible 
sufferings of asphyxiation, for the cloth was always 
wet and constantly charged with water. 

1 91 Torquemada 

From time to time the toca was brought up, and 
the gasping wretch would be invited to confess. 
Further to combat stubbornness on his part, and also, 
it would seem, to revive him when he was failing, the 
executioners would give an agonizing turn or two to 
the garrotes upon his — or her — limbs ; for the Holy 
Office did not discriminate between the sexes in these 

To prevent the vomiting which any form of 
torture might produce, and the potro in particular, the 
inquisitors, with their never-failing attention to detail, 
provided that no patient should be given food for 
eight hours before the question was applied. The 
notary present at this audiencia de tormento was 
required to set down, in addition to questions asked 
and answers returned, the fullest details of the torture 
applied, and particularly how many jars of water were 
administered, these being the measure of the severity 
of the ordeal. 1 

The rack is too well-known to need describing 
here, having in its time been used in all European 
countries. Cruel as it was, it was perhaps one of 
the least cruel engines of torture that have been 

It was required by law that any confession ex- 
tracted under torture should afterwards be ratified by 
the prisoner. This was one of the prescriptions 
of Alfonso XI in the Partidas code. It recognizes 
that a man might be driven by pain to say that 
which is not true, and therefore it forbids the courts 
to accept as evidence what might be declared under 

Therefore on one of the three days after the 
question had been applied — as soon, presumably, as 
the prisoner was sufficiently recovered to attend — the 
prisoner was brought once more into the audience- 

1 See Melgares Marin, " Procedimientos," i. p. 256. 

The Audience of Torment 193 

His confession, reduced to writing by the notary, 
was placed before him, and he was invited to sign 
it — the act being necessary to convert that confession 
into admissible evidence. If he signed, the pro- 
ceedings now ran swiftly and uninterruptedly to their 
end. If he refused to sign, repudiating the statements 
made, the inquisitors proceeded upon the lines laid 
down by Torquemada in Article XV of his " Instruc- 
tions " to meet the case. 

Pegna warns inquisitors against delinquents who 
feign madness to avoid the torture. They should not, 
he says, delay on that account, for the torture may be 
the best means of ascertaining whether the madness 
is real or simulated. 1 

Finally let it be added upon this gruesome subject 
that it was not only the accused who was liable to be 
put to the question. A witness suspected of false- 
hood, or one who had lapsed into contradictions in the 
course of his evidence, might be put to torture in 
caput alienum? 

1 Schol. cxviii. lib. iii. 

2 M Directorium," pars iii. quaest. lxxiii. 





The comparatively light sentences imposed upon those 
who came forward to abjure heresies which they were 
suspected of harbouring, and upon those who submitted 
to canonical purgation to cleanse them of " evil 
reputation," have already been considered. 

It remains to be seen how the Holy Office dealt 
with negativos — i.e. those who persisted in refusal 
to confess a first offence of heresy or apostasy after 
their guilt had been established to the satisfaction of 
the court — and with relapsos — i.e. those who were 
convicted of having relapsed into error after once 
having been penanced and pardoned. 

Offenders in either of these two classes were to 
be abandoned to the secular arm — the ecclesiastical 
euphemism for death by fire. The same fate also 
awaited impenitent heretics and contumacious heretics. 

He who after having been convicted by sufficient 
witnesses persisted in denying his guilt should, says 
Eymeric, be abandoned to the secular arm upon the 
ground that he who denies a crime which has been 
proved against him is obviously impenitent. 1 

The impenitence is by no means obvious. It is 
possible, after all, that the accused might deny because 
he was innocent and a good Catholic. And whilst, 
as we shall see, this possibility is not altogether 
ignored, yet it is given very secondary consideration. 

1 " Directorium," pars ii. qusest. xxxiv. 


The Secular Arm 195 

It was the inquisitor's business to assume the guilt of 
any one brought before him. 

It is true, however, that Eymeric urges the inquisi- 
tors to proceed very carefully in the examination of 
the witnesses against such a man ; he recommends 
them to give the accused time in which to resolve 
himself to confess, and to employ every possible means 
to obtain such confession. 

He counsels them to confine the prisoner in an 
uncomfortable dungeon, fettered hand and foot ; there 
to visit him frequently and exhort him to confess. 
Should he ultimately do so, he is to be treated as a 
penitent heretic 1 — in other words he is to escape the 
fire but suffer perpetual imprisonment. 

The term perpetual imprisonment, or perpetual 
immuration, is not to be accepted too literally. It 
lay at the discretion of the inquisitors to modify and 
commute part of such sentences, and this discretion 
they exercised so far as the imprisonment was con- 
cerned. But the confiscation of the prisoner's property 
and the infamy attaching to himself, his children, and 
his grandchildren — by far the heavier part of the 
punishment — could not in any way be commuted. 

However tardily confession might come from the 
negativo, the inquisitors must accept and recognize it. 
Even if he were already bound to the stake, and, at 
last, being taken with the fear of death, he turned to 
the friar who never left him until the faggots were 
blazing, admitted his guilt and offered to abjure his 
heresy, his life would be spared. And this for all 
that they recognized that a confession in such extremes 
was wrung from him by " the fear of death rather than 
any love of truth." 

It must naturally occur to any one that, conducted 
in secret as were the examinations of the witnesses, 
and no opportunity being afforded the accused of 
demolishing the evidence offered against him, since he 
was rarely informed of its extent, many a good Catholic, 

1 " Directorium," iii. p. 338. 

196 Torquemada 

or, at least, many a man innocent of all heretical 
practices, must have gone to his death as a ncgativo. 
For the methods of the Holy Office opened the door 
extraordinarily wide to malevolence; and human nature 
being such as it is — and such as it was in the fifteenth 
century — it is not to be supposed that malevolence 
never seized the chance, that it never slunk in through 
that gaping door to vent itself in such close and 
sheltered secrecy — to strike in the back, in the dark, 
with almost perfect immunity to itself, at the man 
who was hated, or envied, or whom it was desired to 

It was not sufficient for the prisoner to protest 
his innocence. He must prove it categorically. An 
innocent man might be unable to furnish categorical 
proof; witnesses for the defence were extremely 
difficult to obtain by one who was charged with heresy ; 
it was a dangerous thing to testify in favour of such a 
man ; should his conviction none the less follow, the 
witness for the defence might find himself prosecuted 
as a befriender, or faut 'or \ of heretics. Yet, even when 
testimony for the defence was obtained, the judges 
leaned upon principle to the side of the accusers ; and 
since they considered it their mission to convict rather 
than to judge, they would always assume that the 
accusers were better informed than the defenders. 

Therefore this danger of death to the innocent 
existed. The inquisitors themselves did not lose sight 
of it, for they lost sight of nothing. But how did 
they provide for it ? Pegna has a great deal to say 
upon the subject. He tells us that some authorities 
pretend that when a negativus protests that he staunchly 
believes all that is taught by the Roman Catholic 
Church such a man should not be abandoned to the 
secular arm. 

But this is an argument mentioned by the scholiast 
merely that he may demolish it. It is indefensible, he 
says with confidence ; and, as indefensible, it is almost 
universally rejected. 

The Secular Arm 197 

Torquemada most certainly did not favour it. 
He lays it down clearly in Art. XXIV of his first 
" Instrucciones " that a negativo must be deemed 
an impenitent heretic, however much he may pro- 
test his Catholicism. The accused will not satisfy 
the Church, which demands confession of his fault 
solely that she may pardon it ; and she cannot pardon 
it until it is confessed. That is the inquisitorial view 
of the matter. 

It is evident that the danger of occasionally burning 
an innocent man did not perturb the inquisitorial mind. 
In fact, Pegna reveals to the full the equanimity with 
which it could contemplate such an accident. 

11 After all," says he, " should an innocent person 
be unjustly condemned, he should not complain of the 
sentence of the Church, which was founded upon 
sufficient proof, and which cannot judge of what is 
hidden. If false witnesses condemned him, he should 
receive the sentence with resignation, and rejoice in 
dying for the truth." 1 

He is also, we are to suppose, to rejoice with the 
same lightheartedness at the prospect of his children's 
destitution and infamy. 

Anything, it seems, is possible to argument, and 
the craziest argument may be convincing to him who 
employs it. Pegna makes this abundantly clear. 

An innocent man might be tempted to save his 
life by a falsehood, by making the desired confession ; 
and many a man may so have escaped burning. This 
also the scholiast duly weighs. He propounds the 
question whether a man convicted by false witnesses 
is justified in saving his life by a confession of crimes 
which he has not committed. 2 

He contends that, reputation being an external 
good, each is at liberty to sacrifice it to avoid torments 

1 " Sed si fortassis per iniquos testis est convictus, ferat id aequo 
animo ac lastatur quod pro veritatem patiatur." " Directorium," pars iii. 
Schol. ixvi. 

' Schol. lxviii. pars iii. 

198 Torquemada 

that are hurtful, or to save his life, which is the most 
precious of all possessions. 

In this contention the scholiast lacks his usual 
speciousness. He has entirely overlooked that whether 
an innocent man confesses or not, whether he is burnt 
or sent to perpetual imprisonment, his reputation is 
equally blasted. The inquisitors see to that. His 
silence is interpreted as impenitence. 

But it is evident that Pegna himself is not quite 
satisfied with what he urges. He vacillates a little. 
Strong swimmer though he is, these swirling waters 
of casuistry begin to give him trouble. He seems 
here to turn in an attempt to regain the shore. " Who 
thus accuses himself," he concludes, " commits a venial 
sin against the love which he owes himself and a false- 
hood in confessing a crime which he has not committed. 
This falsehood is particularly criminal when uttered to 
a judge who examines juridically, for it then becomes 
a mortal sin. And even though it were no more than 
venial, it would not be permitted to commit it for the 
sake of avoiding death or torture." 

" Therefore," he sums up, " however hard it may 
seem for an innocent man condemned as a negativus 
to die under such circumstances, his confessor must 
exhort him not to accuse himself falsely, reminding 
him that if he suffers death with resignation he will 
obtain the martyr's immortal crown." 

In short, to burn at the stake for crimes never 
committed is a boon, a privilege, a glory to be enjoyed 
with a profound gratitude towards the inquisitors who 
vouchsafed it. One cannot help a pang of regret at 
the thought that the scholiast himself should have been 
denied that glory. 

A person was considered relapsus — relapsed into 
heresy — not only if, as in the case of the self-delator 
who availed himself of the edict of grace, he had once 
been pardoned an avowed heresy, but if he had 
once abjured a heresy of which he had been suspected 

The Secular Arm 199 

either vehemently or violently. And it was of no 
account whether the heresy of which he was now 
convicted was that particular one of which formerly 
he had been suspected, or an entirely fresh one. 
Moreover, to convict as a relapsed heretic one who 
had already abjured, it was sufficient to show that he 
held intercourse with heretics. 

Further, a person would be dealt with as relapsus 
in the event of formal proof appearing that he had 
actually committed the heresy which he had abjured 
as suspect, although his conduct since abjuration 
might have been entirely blameless. For it was 
argued that these fresh proofs, although acquired 
after abjuration, revealed the person's real guilt, and 
showed that he had been judged too leniently in 
being allowed to abjure merely upon suspicion. 1 

In fact, it was held that he had acted in bad faith 
towards the inquisitors ; that he had neglected to 
confess his sin when he was given the opportunity ; 
that he had attempted to defraud the treasury of his 
property, which was due to it by confiscation. Since 
he had not made an open and complete confession, it 
was argued that he was clearly an impenitent heretic, 
for whom there could be no mercy — or only a very 
slight one, as we shall see. 

Canonical purgation entailed the same sequel as 
abjuration for one against whom proofs of heresy were 
afterwards forthcoming. Thus, to quote an instance 
given by Pegna : if a man should be suspected of 
thinking that heretics should be tolerated, and if after 
being canonically purged of the offence against the 
Faith contained in that sentiment of which he was 
suspected, it should be proved against him that his 
acts or words had actually expressed that sentiment, 
he must be considered a relapsed heretic. 

Torquemada further decreed that any who after 
reconciliation should fail to fulfil the penance imposed 
upon him, or any part of it, must be deemed re- 

1 Eymeric, lib. ii. ; quaest. lviii. and Pegna, lib. ii. ; Schol. lxiv. 

200 Torquemada 

lapsed. The argument, obviously, was that a neglect 
of this penance showed a want of proper contrition, 
which could only be explained in one way. 

A relapsed heretic, once his guilt was thoroughly 
established, must be " abandoned to the secular arm," 
and this notwithstanding any repentance he might 
manifest or any promises he might make for the future. 
" Sine audientia quacumque" says Eymeric. 1 " In 
effect," adds his commentator, "it is enough that 
such people should once have defrauded the Church 
by false confession " 2 — a statement this, diametrically 
opposed to the injunction of the Founder of Christianity 
on the score of forgiveness. 

All the mercy they vouchsafed a relapsed heretic 
who confessed and expressed repentance was the mercy 
of being strangled at the stake before his body was burnt. 

Eymeric instructs inquisitors to see that the prisoner 
is visited and entertained on the subject of contempt 
for this world, the miseries of this life and the joys of 
Paradise. He should be given to understand that 
there is no hope of his escaping temporal death, and 
he should be induced to put the affairs of his conscience 
in order. He is to be accorded the sacraments of 
Penitence and the Eucharist if he solicits them with 
humility. Further, the inquisitor is advised not to 
visit him personally, lest the sight of him should excite 
the sin of anger in the doomed man, and so turn him 
from the sentiments of patience and penance which 
are to be inspired in him. 

It would seem at least that the inquisitors had no 
delusions as to the sentiments which the sight of them 
inspired in their victims, just as it seems that they 
were able to endure these with Christian resignation 
— perhaps even with that sense of martyrdom of him 
who accounts himself misunderstood or misjudged. 

After some days thus employed in preparing the 
prisoner for death, the inquisitor should advise the 

1 Lib. iii. p. 331. 2 Lib, ii. Schol. lxiv. 

The Secular Arm 201 

secular justices of the day and hour and place when 
and where he would abandon to them a heretic. At 
the same time an announcement should be made to 
the people inviting them to attend, as the inquisitor is 
to preach a sermon of the Faith, and those who are 
present will gain the usual indulgences. 1 

It is not necessary at present to enter into par- 
ticulars of the dread ceremonial, the ghastly, almost 
theatrical, solemnities that went to compose the 
greatest horror that has sprung from the womb of 
Christianity : the Auto de Fe. 

11 An Asiatic," says Voltaire, " arriving in Madrid 
on the day of an Auto de Fe, would doubt whether 
here was a festival, a religious celebration, a sacrifice, 
or a massacre. It is all of these. They reproach 
Montezuma with sacrificing human captives to God. 
What would he have said had he witnessed an Auto 
de Fe ? " 2 

Occasion to enter into these details will occur later. 
We are more concerned at the moment with the words 
of the inquisitors than with their acts, and it is neces- 
sary on the subject of the laws that governed the Auto 
de Fe to touch upon quite the most extraordinary of 
all the quibbles by means of which the Holy Office 
avoided — in the letter — committing an irregularity. 

Nothing in the whole of its jurisprudence savours 
more rankly of hypocrisy than this matter of abandon- 
ing a heretic to the secular arm. It is the very last 
word in that science which it is the fashion to call 
" Jesuitism," but which we think might quite as aptly 
and justly be termed " Dominicanism." Yet it would 
be very rash to say that these men were prompted by 
conscious hypocrisy. Such is certainly not the infer- 
ence to be drawn from their jurisprudence. Stupidity 
— the stupidity of the man of one idea, of the man who 
is able to perceive but one thing at a time — was, rather 
than hypocrisy, responsible for what they did. 

1 Eymeric, lib. iii. p. 331. 

3 See " Essai sur les Moeurs," 

202 Torquemada 

They were imbued with a passion for formality, 
for procedure that should be scrupulously correct, 
scrupulously in accordance with the letter of the law ; 
and they justified their circumvention, their perversion 
of its spirit, with crazy arguments that must at least 
have been convincing to themselves, obfuscated as 
they were by the fanaticism that bubbled through their 
extraordinary intelligences. 

We say that these arguments must have been con- 
vincing to themselves, because we find them in books 
that were never intended to be perused by any but 
inquisitors and ecclesiastics. Since these books were 
never meant to be placed before the world, no suspicion 
can attach to them of having deliberately and hypo- 
critically resorted to sophistries for the purpose of 
hoodwinking the lay mind. 

It was themselves they hoodwinked — by the argu- 
ments they themselves conceived — and although it is 
undeniable that they practised a deception which must 
provoke the scorn of every thoughtful man, yet it 
must be remembered that this deception was the self- 
deception that lies in wait for every fanatic, whatever 
the subject of his fanaticism. By staring too long and 
too intently at one object, that object itself becomes 
blurred and indistinct. 

" Ecclesia abhorret a sanguine!* 

That was the principle that governed them. Con- 
ceive it ! 

The tenet that a Christian must not be guilty of 
shedding blood or causing the death of a fellow-creature 
has been touched upon more than once in these pages. 
It has been seen how in the very dawn of Christianity 
the Christian's refusal to bear arms in the service of 
the State gave rise to friction with the Roman authori- 
ties, and, being construed into insubordination, was 
one of the causes of the persecutions to which Chris- 
tians were subjected in the first and second centuries. 
As time went on, under stress of the necessities of this 
world, the Christian was forced to abandon that fine 

The Secular Arm 203 

and loftily humanitarian ideal. Soon he had not only 
abandoned it under pressure of expediency, but he had 
forgotten it altogether ; so that he donned the cross of 
the crusader, and went forth sword in hand, exultantly, 
to shed the blood of the infidel in the name of that 
tender Founder Whose disciple had brought to Rome 
the great Message of Forbearance. 

But however much it might be accounted justifiable 
and even necessary for the Christian layman to wield 
the sword, the priest still continued under the prohibi- 
tion to shed blood or compass the death of any man. 
And if a priest lay under such an injunction, so must 
a tribunal that was controlled by priests. 

Therefore it follows that not only was it admittedly 
illicit for the inquisitor to pass a capital sentence, to 
send a man to his death, but even to be in any way a 
party to such an act. 

This was the letter of the law, and, happen what 
might, that letter must suffer no violence. Nor did it. 
When the accused was found guilty of heresy, when 
he was impenitent, or relapsed, the inquisitor was 
careful that the sentence he passed contained no single 
word that could render him responsible for the delin- 
quent's death. Far from it. The inquisitors earnestly 
implored the secular justiciaries to whom they aban- 
doned him not to do him any hurt whatever. 

But consider the actual formula of the sentence as 
prescribed by Eymeric. It concluded thus : 

u The Church of God can do no more for you, 
since you have already abused its goodness. . . . 
Therefore we cast you out from the Church, and 
we abandon you to the secular justice, beseeching 
it none the less, and earnestly, so to moderate its 
sentence that it may deal with you without shedding 
your blood or putting you in danger of death." l 

1 "Rogamus tamen et efficaciter dictam curiam saecularem quod, 
circa te, citra sanguinis effusionem et mortis periculum sententiam suam 
moderetur.''— " Directorium," pars iii. — " Forma Ferendi Sententiam," 
P- 549. 

204 Torquemada 

They were careful not so much as to say that they 
delivered him to the secular arm ; for delivery sug- 
gests activity in a matter in which they must remain 
absolutely passive. They merely abandoned him. 
Pilate-like, they washed their hands of him. If the 
secular justiciaries chose to bear him away and burn 
him at the stake in spite of their " earnest interces- 
sions " to the contrary, that was the secular justiciaries' 

Thus was the letter of the law most scrupulously 
observed, and the inquisitor displayed in his inter- 
cession on the heretic's behalf the benignity proper 
to his sacerdotal office. His conscience was entirely 
at peace. 

For the rest, he knew, of course, that there was 
a bull of Innocent IV, known as "ad extirpanda," 
which compelled the secular justiciaries, under pain 
of greater excommunication, and of being themselves 
prosecuted as heretics and fautores, to put to death 
within a term of not more than five days any convicted 
heretic taken within their jurisdiction. 

Francesco Pegna recommends inquisitors to be 
careful not to omit the intercession on the prisoner's 
behalf, lest they should render themselves guilty of an 
irregularity. At the same time he raises the interest- 
ing question whether an inquisitor can reconcile this 
intercession with his conscience — not, as you might 
suppose, upon the score of the dissimulation it entails ; 
but purely on the ground that it is most strictly for- 
bidden to intercede on behalf of heretics ; to do so, 
indeed, is to incur suspicion of being a befriender of 
heretics — an offence as punishable as heresy itself. 

This question he has no difficulty in answering. 
Thus : 

"In truth it would not be permitted to employ 
for a heretic an intercession that would be of any 
advantage to him, or which tended to hinder the 
justice which is to be executed upon his crime, but 
only an intercession whose aim it is to relieve 

The Secular Arm 205 

the inquisitor of the irregularity he might otherwise 

He goes on to say that when the heretic has been 
abandoned to the secular justiciaries, the latter must 
pronounce their own sentence and conduct him to 
the place of execution, permitting him to be accom- 
panied by pious men, who will pray for him and not 
leave him until he shall have delivered up his soul. 
And he reminds the inquisitors — though it hardly 
seems necessary — that should the magistrates delay in 
putting to death a heretic who has been abandoned 
to them, they must be regarded as fautores and 
themselves prosecuted. 

Innocent IV, as we have seen, allowed the magis- 
trates a term of five days in which to do their duty 
in this matter, and in Italy it was usual to take the 
heretics back to prison after sentence, and bring th m 
forth again upon a week-day — always within the pre- 
scribed term — to be burnt. In Spain, however, the 
custom was that the magistrates having pronounced 
their own sentence — as soon as the heretic was 
abandoned to them — should immediately proceed to 
execute it. 

According to some authorities the sentence, by 
which was meant the Auto de F6 generally, should 
not take place in church. Pegna agrees with these, 
but not upon the score of the desecration of sanctuary, 
which was their reason. He agrees because in a large 
open space higher scaffolds can be erected for the 
Auto, and greater multitudes can assemble to witness 
this uplifting spectacle of the triumph of the Faith. 
On the same grounds does he belittle those who 
maintain that heretics should not be put to death on 
Sundays. He considers it quite the best day of the 
week, and excellent the Spanish custom that appoints 
it for the Auto, " for," he says, " it is good that large 
multitudes should attend, so that fear may turn them 
from evil ways ; the spectacle being one that inspires 

206 Torquemada 

the attendance with terror and presents a fearful image 
of the last judgment." 

That it is expedient to put heretics to death 
no pious authority has ever ventured to dispute. 
But there have been differences of opinion on the 
subject of the means by which this should be done. 
The scholiast is entirely on the side of the large 
majority that considers fire the proper instrument, 
and actually cites the Saviour's own authority 
for this : " If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth 
as a branch that is withered ; and men gather them, 
and cast them into the fire, and they are burned " 
(John xv. 6). 

If the accused should happen to be a cleric, he 
must be unfrocked and degraded by a bishop before 
being arrayed in the hideous sanbenito and abandoned 
to the secular arm, whilst those convicted of con- 
tumacy were — if still absent at the time of the 
sentence — to be burnt in effigy pending their capture, 
when, without further trial, they would be burnt alive. 

In effigy also were burnt those convicted after 
death, these effigies being cast into the flames together 
with the remains of the dead man, which were exhumed 
for the purpose. 

Reference has several times been made here to 
the sanbenitOy which was imposed upon all whom the 
Holy Office found guilty of heresy, whether reconciled 
or abandoned, and also upon those who were suspected 
in the degree violenter. 

In this garment they attended the Auto de Fe\ 
and went to execution if they were abandoned ; or 
they might be required to wear it for varying periods 
after reconciliation, and in some instances for as long 
as they lived, to advertise their infamy. 

It was the perversion into a garb of shame and 
disgrace of the penitential garment originally pre- 
scribed by St. Dominic ; for whereas once it — or, 

The Secular Arm 207 

rather, that from which it was derived — had been 
worn even by princes as an outward mark of con- 
trition for the sins into which they had fallen, it was 
now imposed that it might subject its wearer to 
opprobrium and contempt. 

St. Dominic's instructions were that it should 
be a sackcloth habit, of the kind worn by his own 
brotherhood, and that its colour might be at the 
discretion of the wearer so long as it was sombre. 
As it had ever been the custom of the Church to 
bless the " sack ' or tunic worn by members of 
religious confraternities or by those upon whom it 
had been imposed as a penance, such a garment was 
called a saco bendito, which in course of time was con- 
tracted into sanbenito, though also known by its proper 
Spanish name of zamarra. 

When the crusade against the Albigensian heretics 
was at its height in Southern France, not only did the 
crusaders wear the cross upon their garments, but all 
faithful Catholics assumed it for their protection ; for 
— as on the night of the St. Bartholomew, some four 
centuries later — no man's life was safe if he did not 
display that device. St. Dominic desired that the 
penitent should enjoy the same protection, but so that 
his penance should still be proclaimed, he was ordered 
to wear two crosses, one on each breast. 

Later, when the wars of religion had ceased, and 
the general wearing of the cross was abandoned, the 
Council of Toulouse decreed, in 1229, that these 
penitential crosses should be yellow, whilst the Council 
of Beziers, four years later, going further into the 
matter, ordained that they should be two and a half 
hands long (vertical) by two hands wide (horizontal), 
and that they should be made of cloth of the width of 
three fingers. Instead of being worn upon the breast, 
as hitherto, they were now placed one on the breast 
and one on the back, with a third on the hood or veil 
if hood or veil were worn. 

For abettors of heresy the following solemn 

208 Torquemada 

penance was enjoined by the Council of Tarragona in 
1242 : 

"On All Saints', on the First Sunday in Advent, on 
the feasts of Christmas, the Circumcision, the Epi- 
phany, St. Mary of February (Purification), St. Mary 
of March, and all Sundays in Lent, the penitents shall 
go to the Cathedral to take part in the procession. 
They shall be dressed only in their shirts, barefoot, 
their arms crossed, and they shall be whipped in the 
procession by the bishop or parish priest. Similarly 
shall they repair to the Cathedral on Ash Wednesday 
in their shirts, barefoot, their arms crossed, and submit 
to banishment from church for all Lent ; so that 
during that season they must remain at the church 
door and hear the service thence. On Thursday in 
Holy Week they shall come to the church to be recon- 
ciled in accordance with the canonical provisions, it 
being understood that this penance of remaining out 
of the church through Lent and of being whipped in 
procession on the days appointed shall be performed 
yearly for the remainder of the penitents' lives." 

At first, and down to Eymeric's day, the sanbenito 
preserved its original form — a tunic similar to that 
worn by the members of regular orders. But in the 
fourteenth century it was altered to a scapulary or 
tabard, with an opening at the top through which the 
head was passed ; it was to be of the full width of the 
body, and to descend no lower than the knees, lest it 
should too closely resemble the scapulary which the 
regulars wore in addition to their tunic. Soon after 
it was resolved that it should be of yellow sackcloth, 
and that the crosses should be red. 

Once this stage was reached, it may be said that 
the transition from a garment solely of penitence into 
a garment chiefly of shame and infamy was complete. 

We have said that the imposition of the sanbenito 
had been falling into desuetude during the fifteenth 
century. But for Torquemada it might indeed have 

The Secular Arm 209 

become entirely obsolete. It happened, however, that 
the Prior of Holy Cross perceived the virtues of it, 
the salutary results to be obtained from parading the 
victims of the Holy Office in that hideous garb. 
Therefore he revived it, and strongly enjoined its use 
by all offenders save those against whom there was no 
more than evil reputation, and who submitted them- 
selves to be purged of this canonically. 

It was not, however, until the famous Ximenes de 
Cisneros, who became Grand Inquisitor some ten 
years after Torquemada's death — that the sanbenito 
attained its full development, the form which it was 
to preserve until the extinction of the Inquisition. 

Cisneros substituted for the ordinary rectangular 
cross worn on back and breast of the sanbenito an 
aspa, or St. Andrew's cross, and he otherwise dis- 
posed that the sanbenito might proclaim the offence 
and sentence of its wearer. Three varieties were 
devised for those who were abjuring a heresy of 
which they had incurred suspicion : the suspect of the 
degree leviter wore a perfectly plain sanbenito with- 
out any cross or other device ; the suspect vehementer 
wore upon back and breast one arm only of the 
St. Andrew's cross ; the suspect violenter was made to 
wear the full cross. 

Those actually convicted of heresy wore in addition 
to the sanbenito a tall mitre, or pyramidal cap, made of 
cardboard and covered with yellow sackcloth ; and that 
their precise condition might be distinguished, the 
following differentiations were prescribed : the heretic 
who repented before the passing of sentence, and 
who — not being a relapsed — was not to die by fire, 
bore upon the breast and back of his sanbenito and 
upon the front and back of his coroza, as the mitre 
was called, a full St. Andrew's cross ; the relapsed 
heretic who had repented before the Auto bore, in 
addition to the crosses, the device of a bust upon 
burning faggots on the nether part of his sanbenito ; 
further his sanbenito and coroza were flecked with 

210 Torquemada 

tongues of flame, which pointed downwards to signify 
that he was not to die by fire, although his body was 
to be burnt. He had deserved the charity of being 
strangled at the stake before the faggots were ignited. 
And this mercy, be it added, the Holy Office con- 
ceded to any heretic who at the eleventh hour 
confessed his guilt and desired to make his peace 
with the Church and die, as it were, upon her loving 
bosom. To this end the condemned was accompanied 
from the Auto to the stake by two friars, who never 
ceased to exhort him to make confession, save his 
body from the temporal torment of physical fire, and 
his soul from the eternal torment of spiritual fire. 

Finally, the impenitent heretic bore the same 
devices as the relapsed penitent, but in his case the 
tongues of flame pointed upwards to show that he was 
to die by them, and his sanbenito was further daubed 
with crude paintings of devils — horrible, grotesque 
caricatures — to advertise the spirits ruling over his soul. 

Something should by now have been gathered of 
the spirit of the Inquisition as reflected in the pages 
of Eymeric and his commentator Pegna in that 
14 Directorium " upon which such copious draught has 
been made for these chapters upon the Jurisprudence 
of the Holy Office. It is worth while, before pro- 
ceeding, to cite another author's views upon Justice 
and Mercy as understood by the Inquisition, and to 
consider an illuminating passage from the pen of 
Garcia de Trasmiera. 

This Trasmiera — to whom reference has been 
made already — was an Aragonese, an inquisitor who 
lived in the seventeenth century — nearly two hundred 
years after the epoch with which we are here concerned. 
We might go to a score of other sources, from Paramo 
downwards, for very similar sentiments, and the only 
reason for choosing this particular passage from 
Trasmiera is that it is almost in the nature of an 

The Secular Arm 211 

He seems to summarize the very arguments with 
which Torquemada and his delegates convinced them- 
selves not merely of the righteousness, but of the 
inevitability — if they were to do their duty by God 
and man, and fulfil the destinies for which they had 
been sent into this world — of the task to which they 
had set their hands. 

11 These two virtues of Mercy and Justice," says 
the Aragonese writer, with all the authority of an 
Evangelist, " are so closely united in God, although 
we imperfectly judge them to be opposed, that Divine 
Wisdom but avails Itself of the one, the more gloriously 
to exercise the other. The most proper effect of the 
Divine Mercy, none doubts, is the salvation of souls, 
and who can doubt that what in this court of the 
Inquisition appears to be rigour of Justice is really 
medicine prescribed by Mercy for the good of the 
delinquents? Just as it would be a barbarous judg- 
ment to attribute to cruelty on the part of the surgeon 
the cautery of fire which he employs to destroy the 
contagious cancer of the patient, so it would be crass 
ignorance to suppose that these laws which appear to 
be severities are prescribed for any purpose other than 
that which governs the surgeon in curing his patient, 
or a father in punishing his child. Says the Holy 
Ghost : ' Who does not use the rod hates the child,' 
and elsewhere : ' God punishes whom He loves.' ,51 

Could perversity of interpretation go further ? In 
Rome, in Torquemada's day, the Father of Christianity 
was granting absolutions, commuting the punishment 
of hanging to pecuniary penances where such penances 
were solicited, and justifying such commutation by 
reminding Christianity that God does not desire the 
death of a sinner, but rather that he should live and 
be converted. 

It would seem as if Inquisitor and Pontiff did not 
see eye to eye in this matter of Mercy and Justice. 
To the credit of the Pontiff be it said. 

1 " Vida de Arbu6s," p. 57. 

2 1 2 Torquemada 

Trasmiera, echoing the inquisitorial casuistry of 
centuries, holds that the rigour of Justice is prescribed 
by Mercy for the good of the delinquents. The 
impenitent Judaizer was sent to the stake. How 
could that redound to his good in this world or the 
next ? We could admit a certain logical consumma- 
tion of their arguments if the inquisitors had confined 
themselves to burning those who repented, or those 
who were innocent even ; by burning these whilst 
they were in a state of grace they would have ensured 
their salvation by abstracting them from all perils of 
future sin. But to burn the impenitent upon such 
grounds as they themselves urged, believing, as they 
did, that just as surely as his mortal part was burnt 
there at the stake, just so surely would his immortal 
part burn through all eternity in hell — that was, clearly, 
by their own lights, to perpetrate the murder of his 



There is no difficulty in believing Llorente's 
statement — based upon extracts from contemporary 
chronicles — to the effect that the Inquisition was not 
looked upon with favour in Castile. It was impossible 
that a civilized and enlightened people should view 
with equanimity the institution of a tribunal whose 
methods, however based fundamentally upon those 
of the civil courts, were in the details of their practice 
so opposed to all conceptions of equity. 

In no Catholic country does the cherishing of a 
fervent faith, in itself, imply respect for the clergy. 
Nor, for that matter, does the respect of any religion 
in itself signify respect for those who administer it. It 
appears to do so; it is even prescribed that it should ; 
but in point of fact it seldom does, other than 
with simple peasant classes. The ministers, after all, 
are men ; but by virtue of their office they labour 
under disadvantages greater than the ordinary man's. 
When they display the failings to which all men are 
subject, these failings wear a much graver aspect by 
virtue of the office they hold and the greater purity 
which that office implies. Holiness is looked upon 
as the priest's trade, and it is expected that he should 
conduct that trade honestly, as any layman conducts 
the affairs by which he earns his livelihood. The only 
test of honesty in the priest, of whatever denomina- 
tion, lies in his own conduct ; and when this falls 
short of that high standard in which he claims to deal, 


214 Torquemada 

he earns a contempt akin to that which overtakes the 
trader who defrauds his creditors. It is remembered 
then, to his disadvantage, that under his cassock the 
cleric is a man, and so subject to all the faults that are 
man's heritage. But it happens that in addition to 
these he is subject to other failings that are peculiarly 
of the cassock, failings which the world has never been 
slow to discern in him. The worst of these is the 
ecclesiastical arrogance, the sacerdotal pride which has 
been manifested by priests of all cults, but which in 
none is so intolerable as in the Christian, who expounds 
a gospel of humility and self-abnegation. He is akin 
to a feudal tyrant who grinds the faces of his serfs 
whilst he lectures them upon the glories of democracy. 

Of such priests Spain of the fifteenth century had 
an abundant share. She knew them and mistrusted 
them, and hence she mistrusted any organization of 
theirs which should transcend the strict limits of their 

Now, the tribunal of the Inquisition laid itself 
peculiarly open to this mistrust in consequence of the 
secrecy of its proceedings — a secrecy, as we know, 
greatly increased by the enactments of Torquemada. 
Its trials were not conducted in open court ; the 
examination of witnesses took place in secret and 
under the veil of anonymity, so that the world had 
no assurance of the honesty of the proceedings. When 
it happened that a man was arrested, the world, as a 
rule, knew him no more until he came forth, candle in 
hand, arrayed in a sanbenito to play his tragic part in 
an Auto. 

By virtue of this secrecy the Inquisition had in- 
vested itself with a power far greater, more subtle, and 
farther-reaching than that of any civil court. The 
might of the Grand Inquisitor was almost boundless, 
and he was unanswerable to any temporal authority for 
the arbitrariness with which he exercised it. Rivalling 
the sovereign power in much, in much else the Grand 
Inquisitor's went above and beyond it, for not even the 

Pedro Arbu6s de Epila 215 

King himself could interfere in matters of the Faith 
with one who held his office directly from the Pope. 

The net which Torquemada cast was of the very 
widest ; the meshes of that net were of the closest, 
so that no man, however humble, could account him- 
self safe ; its threads were of the strongest, so that 
no man, however powerful, could be sure of breaking 
through were he once brought within its scope. 

What, then, but terror could Torquemada and his 
grim machinery inspire ? It is not difficult to believe 
the sometime secretary of the Inquisition when he 
assures us that the Holy Office was not favourably 
viewed in Spain. The marvel is that whilst the 
Castilians were chilled by awe into inactivity and meek 
submission, it should have remained for Aragon, 
which already had known an inquisition for a century, 
to rise up in rebellion. 

And yet what may seem at first glance a reason why 
Aragon should have submitted to Torquemada's rule 
in matters of the Faith, may be the very reason of its 
rash and futile rebellion. For a hundred years already 
the court of the Holy Office had been operating there ; 
but its operations, never vigorous, had become otiose. 
In this inactive form Aragon had suffered it to con- 
tinue. But of a sudden it was roused from that lethargy 
by Torquemada. It was bidden to enforce its stern 
decrees and other sterner decrees which he added to 
those already in existence, and to follow the course of 
arbitrary procedure which he laid down. Never wel- 
come in Aragon, it now became intolerable. The 
New-Christians, who knew the fate of their Castilian 
brethren, went with fear in their countenances, and 
despair and its fierce courage in their hearts. 

In the spring of 1484 Ferdinand held his Cortes 
at Tarragona. He was attended on the occasion by 
Torquemada, and he seized the opportunity to present 
to his kingdom the gaunt Prior of Holy Cross, its 
pontifically-appointed Grand Inquisitor. 

Torquemada's activity matched his boundless zeal. 

2 1 6 Torquemada 

At once he convened a council composed of the Vice- 
Chancellor of Aragon, Alonso de Caballeria — himself 
a New-Christian — the Royal Councillor Alonso 
Carillo, and some doctors of canon law, that they 
might decide upon the course to be adopted in Aragon 
to the end that the Inquisition might be conducted 
with absolute uniformity there, as in Castile. This 
done, he proceeded to appoint inquisitors to the Arch- 
bishopric of Zaragoza, and his choice fell upon Frey 
Gaspar Yuglar and Frey Pedro Arbues de Epila, Master 
of Theology and Canon of the Metropolitan Church 
of Zaragoza. 

After the publication of the u Instructions" drawn 
up that same year in Seville, Torquemada further 
appointed to the Holy Office of Zaragoza a fiscal 
advocate, an apparitor, notaries, and receivers, where- 
upon that office began immediately to exercise its 
functions under the new system. 

At once the courage of despair roused the New- 
Christians to opposition. Amongst them were many 
who held high positions at court, persons of great 
influence and esteem, and these immediately deter- 
mined to send a deputation to the Vatican and another 
to the Sovereigns to voice their protests against the 
institution of this tribunal in Aragon, and to beseech 
that it be abolished, or at least curtailed in its powers 
and inhibited from proceeding to confiscation, which 
was contrary to the law of the land. 

This last was a shrewd request, based no doubt 
upon the conviction that, deprived of the confiscations 
upon which it battened, the tribunal must languish and 
very soon return to its former inoperative condition. 

Nor were the conversos the only ones to denounce 
the procedure of the Holy Office. Zurita records that 
many of the principal nobles of Aragon rebelled against 
it, protesting that it was against the liberties of the 
kingdom to confiscate the property of men who were 
never allowed to learn the names of those who bore 
witness against them. 

Pedro Arbues de Epila 217 

As well might they have appealed against death — 
for death itself was not more irresistible or inexorable 
than Torquemada. All the fruit borne by their labours 
was that those who had lent their names to the petition 
were ultimately prosecuted as hinderers of the Holy 
Office. But this did not immediately happen. 

In the meanwhile Torquemada's delegates, Arbues 
and Yuglar, went about the business entrusted to them 
with that imperturbability which the " Directorium " 
enjoins. They published their edicts, ordered arrests, 
carried out confiscations, and proceeded with such 
thoroughness that it was not long before Zaragoza 
began to present the same lurid, ghastly spectacles 
that were to be witnessed in the chief cities of Castile. 

In the following May (1485) they celebrated with 
great solemnity the first Auto de Fe, penancing many 
and burning some. This was followed by a second 
Auto in June. 

The despair and irritation of the New-Christians 
mounted higher at these spectacles. It is believed 
to have reached its climax with the sudden arrest of 
Leonardi Eli, one of the most influential, wealthy, and 
respected conversos of Zaragoza. 

Those who had put the petition afoot, abandoning 
now all hope of obtaining any response either from 
the Sovereigns or from Rome, met to concert other 
measures. Their leader was a man of influence named 
Juan Pedro Sanchez. He had four brothers in in- 
fluential positions at Court, who had lent their services 
in the matter of the petition to the Sovereigns. 

A meeting took place in the house of one Luis 
de Santangel, and Sanchez urged a desperate remedy 
for their desperate ills. They must strike terror into 
their terrorizers. He proposed no less than the 
slaughter of the inquisitors, urging with confidence 
that if they were slain no others would dare to fill 
their places. In this he seems to have underestimated 
the character of Torquemada. 

The proposal was adopted, an oath of secrecy was 

2 1 8 Torquemada 

pledged, plans were laid, measures were taken, and 
funds were collected to enable these plans to be exe- 
cuted. Six assassins were chosen, among whom were 
Juan de Abadia and his Gascon servant Vidal de 
Uranso, and Juan de Esperandeu. This last was 
the son of a converso then lying in the prisons of the 
Inquisition, whose property had already been con- 
fiscated ; so that he was driven by the added spur 
of personal revenge. There was, too, the further 
incentive of a sum of five hundred florins promised 
by the conspirators to the slayer of Arbu^s, and 
deposited by them for that purpose with Juan Pedro 
Sanchez. 1 

Several early attempts to execute this project were 
baffled by circumstances. It would seem, moreover, 
that Arbu6s had received some warning of what was 
in store for him — or else he was simply conscious of 
the general hatred he had incurred — for he exercised 
the greatest prudence, took to wearing body armour, 
and was careful not to expose himself in any way ; all 
of which does not suggest in him that eagerness for 
the martyr's crown with which his biographer Trasmiera 
would have us believe that he was imbued. 

At last, however, the assassins found their oppor- 
tunity. Late on the night of September 15 of that 
year, 1485, they penetrated into the Metropolitan 
Church to lie in wait for their victims when these 
should come to the midnight office imposed by the 
rule of their order. 

Juan de Abadia, with his Gascon servant Uranso 
and another, entered by the main door. Esperandeu 
and his companions gained admittance through the 

About the pillars of the vast church, in the gloom 
that was scarcely relieved by the altar-lamp, they 
waited silently, " like bloody wolves," says Trasmiera, 
" for the coming of that gentle lamb." 

Towards midnight there was a stir overhead ; 

1 Llorente, " Anales," vol. i. p. 116. 

Pedro Arbu£s de Epila 219 

lights beat faintly upon the darkness ; the canons 
were assembling for matins in the choir. 

A note of the organ boomed through the silence, 
and then Arbues entered the church from the cloisters. 

It seemed that even now chance did not favour 
them, for Arbues came alone, and their aim was to 
take both the inquisitors. 

The dominican was on his way to join his brethren 
in the choir. He carried a lantern in one hand and 
a long bludgeon in the other. Nor did his precautions 
end in this. He wore a shirt of mail under his white 
habit, and there was a steel lining to his black velvet 
skull-cap. He must indeed have gone in fear, that 
he could not trust himself to matins save armed at 
all points. 

He crossed the nave on his way to the staircase lead- 
ing to the choir. But as he reached the pulpit on the 
left he halted and knelt to offer up the prescribed prayer 
in adoration of the Sanctissimum Sacramentum. He 
set the lantern down upon the ground beside him, 
and leant his club against a pillar. 

Now was the assassins' opportunity. He was at 
their mercy. And although to strike now was to 
leave half their task undone, they must have resolved 
that rather than postpone the matter again in the 
hope of slaying both inquisitors, they had better take 
the one that was delivered up to them. 

The chanting overhead muffled the sound of their 
steps as they crept up behind Arbues, out of the black- 
ness into the faint wheel of yellow light cast by his 

Esperandeu was the first to strike, and he struck 
clumsily, doing no more than wound the inquisitor in 
the left arm. But swift upon that blow followed 
another from Uranso — a blow so violent that it 
smashed part of the steel cap, and, presumably 
glancing off, opened a wound in the inquisitor's neck, 
which is believed to have been the real cause of his 

220 Torquemada 

It did not, however, at that moment incapacitate 
him. He staggered up, and turned to the staircase 
that led to the choir. But now Esperandeu returned 
to the assault, and drove at the Dominican so furiously 
with his sword that, despite the shirt of mail with 
which Arbu^s was protected, the blade went through 
him from side to side. 

The inquisitor fell, and lay still. The organ 
ceased abruptly, and the assassins fled. 

There was confusion now in the choir. Down 
the stairs came the friars with their lanterns, to 
discover the unconscious and bleeding inquisitor. 
They took him up and carried him to bed. He died 
forty-eight hours later at midnight on Saturday, 
September 17, 1485. 1 

By morning all the town had heard of the deed, 
and the effect which it produced was very different 
from that for which its perpetrators had hoped. The 
Old-Christians, some moved by religious zeal, some 
by a sense of justice, snatched up weapons and went 
forth to the cry of " To the fire with the conversos ! " 

The populace — an uncertain quantity, ever ready 
to be swayed by the first voice that is loud enough, 
to follow the first leader who points the way — took 
up the cry, and soon Zaragoza was in turmoil. 
Through every street rang the clamours of the multi- 
tude, which threatened to offer up one of those heca- 
tombs in which fire disputes with steel the horrid 
laurel of the day. 

The uproar penetrated to the Palace of Alfonso 
of Aragon, the seventeen-year-old Archbishop of 
Zaragoza. It roused that bastard of Catholic Ferdinand 
from his slumbers. A high-spirited lad, he summoned 
the grandees of the city and the officers of justice, 
and rode out at their head to meet and quell the 
rioters. But only by a promise that the fullest justice 
should be done upon the murderers did he succeed 

1 Zurita, " Anales," lib. xx. cap. lxv. ; Amador de los Rios, " Historia 
Social," lib. iii. p. 262 ; Garcia de Trasmiera, " Vida de Pedro Arbues." 

Pedro Arbues de Epila 221 

in dispersing them and restoring order to that dis- 
tracted city. 

11 Divine Justice," says Trasmiera, " permitted the 
deed, but not its impunity." 

Rash indeed had been the action of the New- 
Christians, and terrible was the penalty exacted, 
terrible the price they were made to pay for the life 
they had taken. In conceiving that they could intimi- 
date by such an act a man of Torquemada's mettle, 
they displayed a lamentable want of judgment, as 
was speedily proved. To fill the place of the dead 
inquisitor, and to set about the stern business of 
avenging him, Torquemada instantly dispatched to 
Zaragoza Fr. Juan Col vera, Fr. Pedro de Monterubio, 
and Dr. Alonso de Alarcon. For the greater security 
of themselves and their prisoners, these delegates set 
up their tribunal in the royal alcazar of the Castle of 
Aljaferia, and proceeded to institute an active search 
for the culprits. Several were seized, amongst whom 
was Abadia's servant, Vidal de Uranso. He was put to 
the question, and an admission of his own guilt extracted 
from him. He was tortured further in the endeavour 
to wring from him the names of his associates in the 
deed, and finally he was promised " grace " if he 
would divulge them. 

At this price the unfortunate Gascon consented to 
speak, betraying all whom he had known to be in the 
plot and all whom he had known to sympathize with 
it. And Llorente, who saw the records of the pro- 
ceedings, tells us that when Uranso claimed the 
promised grace, he was benignly answered that he 
should receive the grace of not having his hands 
hacked off — as must the others — before being hanged, 
drawn, and quartered. 

Amongst those taken were Juan de Abadia, Juan 
de Esperandeu, and Luis de Santangel. 

Esperandeu and Uranso suffered together at the 
Auto of June 30, i486 — the seventh held in Zaragoza 

222 Torquemada 

that year. Esperandeu was dragged through the city 
on a hurdle, his hands were hacked off on the steps of 
the Cathedral, whereafter he was hanged, drawn, and 
quartered. Five other conspirators suffered in the 
same Auto, being abandoned to the secular arm and 
burnt alive. Two others, who had escaped, were 
burnt in effigy, and one of these was that Juan Pedro 
Sanchez who had been the leading spirit in the affair. 
And together with these living men and the grotesque 
effigies of straw arrayed in sanbenito and coroza they 
burnt the corpse of Juan de i\badia. He had cheated 
in part the Justice of the Holy Office. He had com- 
mitted suicide in prison by eating a glass lamp. 1 

Autos succeeded one another at such a rate now in 
Zaraofoza that no less than fourteen were held in that 
year 1 486 ; 42 persons were burnt alive, 1 4 in effigy, and 
134 were penanced in varying degrees from perpetual 
imprisonment to public whippings. And to the end 
that the publicity of these Autos might be increased 
and the salutary lesson inculcated by them might be 
as far-reaching as possible, Torquemada ordered that 
a fortnight before the holding of each it should be 
announced by public proclamation, with great solemnity 
and parade of mounted familiars of the Holy Office — 
a matter which upon this precedent became customary 
throughout Spain. 

In his allusion to these Autos Trasmiera 2 advances 
one of the usual sophistries employed by the Inquisition 
to justify its constant claim that its proceedings were 
dictated by mercy. 

He assures us that it was a happiness (dicha) for 
the culprits to die so soon, and he explains that to 
have allowed them to live would have shown a greater 
rigour of justice — " as witnesseth Cain, upon whom 
God placed a sign ordering that none should kill him 
since by the prolongation of his life, his nature being 
what it was, he must commit more sins, and thus more 

1 Llorente, " Anales," vol. i. p. 181. 
3 " Vida de Arbu6s," p. 82. 

Pedro Arbu£s de Epila 223 

surely deserve greater degrees of punishment in his 
eternal damnation." 

It is a priest who puts forward this blasphemous 
assertion that God desires the damnation of a sinner, 
and suggests that by burning that sinner betimes, God 
is to be cheated — at least in part — of His unspeakable 
purpose. It serves excellently to show to what des- 
perate shifts of argument men could be urged in the 
attempt to justify the practices of the Holy Office. 

With precisely the same degree of authority does 
he assure us that all the murderers died penitent — in 
consequence of the affectionate prayers offered up for 
them by Arbu^s in the hour of his death. 

Vidal de Uranso's confession had yielded up to the 
inquisitors the names not only of participators in the 
murder of Arbu£s, but of those who were believed by 
the Gascon to be in sympathy with the deed. By 
pursuing the methods peculiarly their own to cause a 
prosecution to spread like an oil-stain, slowly and 
surely covering an ever-widening area, the inquisitors 
were able to cause the indictment of many whose 
connection with the crime was of the remotest, and of 
others who, moved by a very Christian pity, had 
afforded shelter to New-Christians fleeing in terror 
before the blind vengeance of the Holy Office. Among 
the latter many were prosecuted where there was 
no proof that the fugitives they had sheltered were 
Judaizers or unfaithful. It is believed that sheer panic 
had driven many perfectly innocent New-Christians to 
depart from a city where no New-Christian might 
account himself secure. But in consequence of the 
clause introduced by the merciless Torquemada into his 
u Instructions," a man's flight was in itself a sufficient 
reason for the presumption of his guilt. 

A reign of terror was established in Zaragoza. 
The tribunal of that city became one of the busiest in 
Spain, and it is computed that altogether some two 
hundred victims paid in one way and another for the 
death of Pedro Arbu^s, so that there was hardly a 

224 Torquemada 

family, noble or simple, that was not plunged into 
mourning by the Justice of the Faith. 

Amongst those against whom proceedings were 
instituted were men of the very first importance in 
the kingdom. One of these was that Alonso de 
Caballeria, Vice-Chancellor of Aragon, who had been 
prominent in the council summoned by Torquemada 
to determine the details of the introduction of the 
Inquisition into Aragon. Nor did they confine their 
attention to New-Christians. Amongst those they 
summoned to render to the Holy Office an account 
of their deeds we find no less a person than Don Jaime 
de Navarre, known as the Infante of Navarre or the 
Infante of Tudela, the son of the Queen of Navarre, 
and King Ferdinand's own nephew. 

A fugitive New-Christian coming to Tudela cast 
himself upon the mercy of the prince, and found 
shelter in Navarre for a few days until he could escape 
into France. The inquisitors, whom nothing escaped, 
had knowledge of this, and such was their might and 
arrogance that they did not hesitate to arrest the 
Infante in the capital of his mother's independent 
kingdom. They haled this prince of the blood-royal 
to Zaragoza to stand his trial upon the charge of 
hindering the Holy Office. They cast him into 
prison, and subjected him to the humiliating penance 
of being whipped round the Metropolitan Church by 
two priests in the presence of his bastard cousin, the 
seventeen-year old Archbishop, Alfonso of Aragon. 
Thereafter he was made to stand penitentially, candle 
in hand, in view of all during High Mass, before he 
could earn absolution of the ecclesiastical censure he 
had incurred. 

Alonso de Caballeria is one of the few men in 
history who was able successfully to defy and withstand 
the terrible power of that sacerdotal court. 

This Vice-Chancellor was a man of great ability, 
the son of a wealthy baptized Hebrew nobleman, 

Pedro Arbu£s de Epila 225 

whose name had been Bonafos, but who had changed 
this to Caballeria upon receiving baptism, in accord- 
ance with the prevailing custom. He was arrested 
not only upon the charge of having given shelter to 
fugitives, but also upon suspicion of being, himself, 
a Judaizer. 

Presuming upon his high position, and also upon 
the great esteem in which he was held by his king, 
Caballeria showed the Inquisition an intrepid coun- 
tenance. He refused to recognize the authority of the 
court and of Torquemada himself, appealing to the 
Pope, and including in his appeal a strong complaint 
of the conduct of the inquisitors. 

This appeal was of such a character and the man's 
own position was so strong that on August 28, 1488, 
Innocent VIII dispatched a brief inhibiting the in- 
quisitors from proceeding further against the Vice- 
Chancellor, and avocating to himself the case. But 
such was Torquemada's arrogance by now that he 
was no longer to be intimidated by papal briefs. 
Under his directions the inquisitors of Zaragoza 
replied that the allegations contained in Caballeria's 
appeal were false. The Pope, however, was insistent, 
and he compelled the Holy Office to bow to his will 
and supreme authority. On October 20 of that yeai 
the minutes of the case were forwarded to the Vatican 
As a result of their perusal His Holiness must have 
absolved Caballeria, for not only was he delivered 
of the peril in which he had stood, but he continued 
to rise steadily in honour and consequence until he 
became Chief Judge and head of the Hermandad of 
Aragon. 1 

Llorente informs us 2 that he perused the records 
of some thirty trials in connection with the Arbues 
affair, and that the publication of any one of them 

1 Llorente, "Memoria Historica," p. 112, and " Historia Critica," vol. i. 
p. 205. 

1 " Historia Critica," vol. ii. cap. vi. 


226 Torquemada 

would suffice to render the Inquisition detested, were 
it not sufficiently detested already in all civilized 
countries, including Spain. 

He mentions, however, two cases of interest and 
importance, 1 to show how arbitrary was the spirit of 
the Inquisition, and how far-reaching its arm. 

Juan Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the affair, having 
fled to Toulouse, was, as we have seen, sentenced as 
contumacious and burnt in effigy pending the seizure 
of his person. 

In Toulouse at this time there was a student named 
Antonio Agustin, a member of an illustrious family of 
Aragon and a man destined to rise to great dignity 
and honour. Under the impulse of fanaticism, and 
acting in conjunction with several other Spaniards in 
Toulouse, he petitioned for the arrest of Sanchez. 
When this had been effected, he indited a letter to the 
inquisitors of Aragon, and forwarded it to his brother 
Pedro in Zaragoza for delivery. 

Pedro, however, first discussed the matter with 
Guillerme Sanchez, brother of the fugitive, and three 
friends, and all were opposed to Agustin's purpose. 
They decided not to deliver the letter, and they wrote 
to Agustin begging him to withdraw his plea against 
Sanchez and consent to the fugitive's being restored 
to liberty. 

Agustin was persuaded, and replied informing his 
brother that he had done as they had requested. Once 
Pedro Agustin in Zaragoza was assured of this, he 
delivered the letters to the inquisitors — though why he 
should have done so is not by any means clear. 
Possibly he conceived that this was the wisest course 
to pursue, lest it should afterwards transpire that he 
had suppressed such a communication. But from what 
follows it will be seen how ill-advised he was. 

The Holy Office having received the letters, and 
supposing Juan Pedro Sanchez still under arrest in 
Toulouse, ordered him to be brought to Zaragoza. 

1 "Historia Critica," vol. ii. cap. vi. 

Pedro Arbu6s de Epila 227 

The courts of Toulouse replied that he had already 
been released and that his whereabouts were now 

The inquisitors inquired into the matter with that 
terrible thoroughness of which they commanded the 
means. They controlled the most wonderful police 
system that the world has ever seen. A vast civilian 
army was enrolled in the service of the Holy Office, 
as members of the tertiary order of St. Dominic. 
These were the lay brothers of the family, and as the 
position conferred upon those who held it certain signal 
benefits, of which immunity from taxation was one, 1 
it will be understood that their number had to be 
limited, so very considerable were the applications for 

Originally this had been a penitential order, but 
very quickly it came to be known as the Militia Christi, 
and its members as familiars of the Holy Office — i.e. 
part of the family of St. Dominic. They dressed in 
black, and wore the white cross of St. Dominic upon 
their doublets and cloaks, and they were made to join 
the Confraternity of St. Peter Martyr. The inquisitors 
seldom went abroad without an escort of these armed 

In the ranks of the Militia Christi were to be found 
men of all professions, dignities, and callings. They 
formed the secret police of the Inquisition, they were 
the eyes and ears of the Holy Office, ubiquitous in 
every stratum of social life. 

Through these agents the inquisitors were not long 
in ascertaining what had taken place in the matter of 
Juan Pedro Sanchez, and soon the five friends were 
under arrest and forced to answer the serious charge 
of hindering the Holy Office. 

They were paraded in public in the Auto of 
May 6, 1487, as suspects — leviter — of Judaizing ; they 

1 Another advantage was that any member of this confraternity was 
entitled to plead benefit of clergy, so that no civil court could take pro- 
ceedings against him. 

228 Torquemada 

were penanced to stand in full view of the people, 
candle in hand and wearing the sanbenito, during 
Mass, and they were thereafter disqualified from hold- 
ing any office or benefice or pursuing any honourable 
profession during the good pleasure of the inquisitors. 

As it was, they escaped lightly. That they were 
suspected leviter of Judaizing, shows us how easily that 
suspicion might be incurred. It was purely construc- 
tive in this instance — an inference to be drawn from 
the fact that they had befriended a Judaizer who was 
under sentence. 

The other case is far more horrible. It shows in 
operation Torquemada' s decree regarding the children 
of heretics, and reveals in the fullest measure its appal- 
ling inhumanity. 

Another who had fled to Toulouse, fearing implica- 
tion in the affair of the murder of Arbu^s, was one 
Gaspar de Santa Cruz. It happened that he died 
there, after having been sentenced as contumacious 
and burnt in effigy at Zaragoza. It came to the ears 
of the inquisitors that he had been assisted in his 
flight by his son ; and not content with the heavy 
punishment of infamy that must fall automatically upon 
that son for sins that were not his own, not content 
with having reduced him to destitution by confiscating 
his inheritance and by disqualifying him from office, 
benefice, or honourable employment, they now seized 
his person and indicted him for hindering. 

Arrayed in a yellow sanbenito, this son, who had 
discharged by his father the sacrosanct duty which 
nature and humanity impose, was exhibited to scorn in 
an Auto, and further penanced by being compelled tc 
come before the court of the Holy Office and testify 
to his father's contumacious flight. Nor did that 
ghoulish tribunal count itself satisfied even then. It 
was further imposed upon him that he must repair to 
Toulouse, exhume his father's remains, and publicly 
burn them, returning to Zaragoza with a properly 

Pedro Arbu£s de Epila 229 

attested report of the performance, when he should 
receive absolution of the censures incurred. 

Santa Cruz carried out that barbarous command, as 
the only means of saving his liberty and perhaps his 
life. For it is certain that had he refused, it would 
have been argued that he had rejected the offered 
means of reconciliation with the Church he had so 
grievously offended, and he would have been prose- 
cuted as impenitent ; whilst had he availed himself of 
the only alternative and fled, he must have been 
sentenced as contumacious and would have gone to 
the stake if he were ever taken. 

From the hour of his death Pedro Arbu^s de Epila 
was looked upon as a saint and martyr, the notion 
being carefully fostered by the members of his order 
in the minds of the faithful. 

And, as is usual in such cases, miraculous manifes- 
tations of his sanctity are alleged to have begun in the 
very hour of his death. Trasmiera tells us that the 
bells rang of themselves when he died, and he opines 
that this serves to approve their use in a time when 
Luther and others were condemning them as vain. 

The blood of the inquisitor, we learn from the 
same source, boiled upon the stones of the church 
where it had fallen, and continued to do so for a fort- 
night afterwards ; whilst on any of the twelve days 
immediately following the night of his murder, a 
handkerchief pressed to the stones upon which his 
blood had been shed, when removed, was found to be 

These, says Trasmiera, were miracles of which all 
were witnesses. There is much more of the same kind — 
including an account of the inquisitor's apparitions after 
death, as testified by Mosen Blanco, to whom the ghost 
appeared, and with whom it conversed at length — to 
be found in Trasmiera's " Vida y Muerte del Venerable 
Inquisidor, Pedro Arbu^s." 

The sword with which he was slain was preserved 

230 Torquemada 

in the Metropolitan Church of Zaragoza, a relic sancti- 
fied by the blood that had embrued it. 

He was buried in the same church, and on the spot 
where he fell Isabella raised a beautiful monument to 
his memory in 1487. Part of its inscription ran : 
" Happy Zaragoza ! Rejoice that here is buried he 
who is the glory of the martyrs." 

He was beatified two hundred years later by 
Alexander VII, largely in consequence of the efforts 
of the Spanish inquisitors, who perceived what an 
added prestige it would give their order if one of its 
members were worshipped as a martyr. His canoniza- 
tion followed in the nineteenth century. It was effected 
by Pope Pius IX, and was the subject of much derisory 
comment in the Rome of that day, which had just 
broken the shackles of clerical government that had 
trammelled it for some fifteen hundred years. 



The intrepid but ineffectual resistance offered by 
Zaragoza to the Inquisition was emulated by the 
principal cities of Aragon ; one and all protested 
against the institution of this tribunal under the new 
form which Torquemada had given it. 

But nowhere was resistance of the least avail 
against the iron purpose of the Grand Inquisitor, 
armed with the entire force of civil justice to con- 
strain the people into submission to the ecclesiastical 

Teruel had been thrown into open revolt by the 
proposal to appoint inquisitors there ; and so fierce 
and determined was the armed resistance, that not 
until the King's troops made their appearance in the 
streets of that city, in March 1485, were order and 
obedience restored. 

In Valencia, too, there was a vigorous opposition 
led by the nobles, and throughout Cataluna the resist- 
ance was so resolute that it was not until two years 
later that the Sovereigns were able to reduce the 
people to submission. 

Barcelona urged an ancient right to appoint her 
own inquisitors, and refused persistently and angrily 
to recognize the authority of Torquemada or his dele- 
gates, in spite of any bulls that might have been issued 
by Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII. Nor was this city's 
obstinacy conquered until 1487, after Pope Innocent 


232 Torquemada 

had issued his second bull, confirming Torquemada in 
the office of Grand Inquisitor of Castile, Leon, Aragon, 
and Valencia, and further extending his jurisdiction so 
that it included all the Spains — in which bull he for- 
mally cancelled the ancient rights of Barcelona to 
appoint her own inquisitors. 

It should be sufficiently clear from this that, not- 
withstanding the racial antipathy between Spaniard 
and Jew, notwithstanding the religious spirit so very 
ardent in the people of Spain, serving to aggravate 
beyond all reason that hatred of the Israelite, the 
Inquisition — as Torquemada understood and controlled 
it — was very far from being desired by them. That 
this grim institution should have contrived so firmly 
to establish itself upon Spanish soil and to wield 
there a power such as it wielded in no other Catholic 
country of Europe, was due entirely to the brothers 
of St. Dominic and the fanaticism of Torquemada 
playing upon the bigotry and acquisitiveness of the 

Assailants of the Roman Church have urged that 
the Inquisition was a religious institution. Defenders 
of that same Church, in their endeavour to shift so 
terrible a burden from her shoulders, have sought to 
show that the Inquisition was a political machine. It 
was neither, and at the same time it was both. But 
chiefly and primarily it was just a clerical weapon. 
And clericalism in the Iberian Peninsula, pervaded by 
the spirit of Torquemada, converted that institution 
into an instrument far more dreadful and oppressive 
than was its character in Italy, or France, or any other 
Roman Catholic country of the world in which the 
Holy Office held jurisdiction. 

In Spain it had set up in the evening of the 
fifteenth century an absolute reign of terror, de- 
priving men of all liberty of conscience and of speech 
and spreading a network of espionage over the face of 
the land. 

Torquemada's Further " Instructions " 233 

And in the meantime, practice having brought to 
light certain shortcomings in the decrees which he had 
already issued, Torquemada added a further eleven 
articles in 1485. In the main, however, these are 
concerned with the internal affairs of the Holy Office 
rather than with its attitude towards offenders. 

Articles I and 1 1 provide for the payment of officers 
of the Inquisition, and decree that no officer shall 
receive gifts of any nature under pain of instant 

Article III disposes that the inquisitors shall keep 
a permanent agent in Rome, who shall be skilled in 
the law, so that he may attend to matters appertaining 
to the Holy Office. 

From this it is to be inferred that appeals to the 
Vatican continued to be numerous, notwithstanding 
the provisions made by the Pope to constitute Tor- 
quemada the supreme arbiter in matters of the Faith. 

Articles V to XI are entirely concerned with de- 
tails relating to confiscations. These would be of no 
particular interest, but that they serve to show how 
vast by now was the business of confiscation, since the 
manner of conducting it and disposing of confiscated 
property should demand so many decrees to govern it. 

Article IV is the only one that may be said to con- 
cern the actual jurisprudence of the Holy Office. 
This is intended not so much to soften the rigour as 
to remove the inconveniences that might arise out of 
Article X of the " Instructions" of 1484. 

By that article it was decreed that confiscation 
should be retrospective — i.e. that a heretic's property 
should be confiscate not from the day of the discovery 
of his heresy, but from the date of the offence itself. 
So that any property that might in the meantime have 
been alienated — whether in the ordinary way of 
commerce or otherwise — must be considered as the 
property of the Holy Office, and was to be seized by 
the Holy Office, no matter into whose hands it might 
meanwhile have passed. 

234 Torquemada 

Such a decree, as will be seen, was proving a 
serious hindrance to trade ; for it became unsafe to 
purchase anything from any one, since should either 
party to the transaction subsequently be discovered to 
have fallen into the sin of heresy prior to that trans- 
action, the other would be stripped of the acquired 
property, and might be subjected to the entire loss. 
Moreover, as proceedings were taken against the dead, 
and as there was no limit imposed upon the retro- 
spection allowed to inquisitors, no man could account 
himself safe from confiscations incurred through the 
sin of some other from whom he or his forbears had 
acquired the property. 

The vagueness of this article urgently demanded 
amending, and this was the purpose of Article IV of 
the " Instructions "of 1485. It decreed that all contracts 
concluded before 1479 should be accounted valid, 
although it might come to be discovered against either 
of the contracting parties that he was guilty of heresy 
at the time of such contract. 

This is the only instance in which we find 
Torquemada promulgating a decree to soften the 
rigour of any previous enactment, and it is very clear 
that it is a decree dictated not by clemency but by 

In the event of fraud, or of any one being a party 
to a fraud to abuse the privilege conferred by this 
article, Torquemada provided that the offender, if 
reconciled, should receive a hundred lashes and be 
branded on the face with a hot iron ; whilst, if not 
reconciled — even though he should be a good Catholic 
— he must suffer confiscation of all his property. 1 

To justify the punishment of branding on the face, 
the case of Cain is urged as a proper precedent, and 
so modern a historian as Garcia Rodrigo does not 
hesitate to put this seriously forward. 

1 See " Instrucciones hechas en 1485, etc.," in the " Copilacion de las 

» " Historia Verdadera," vol. iii. p. 165. 

Torquemada's Further " Instructions " 235 

Three years later — in 1488 — Torquemada found it 
necessary to add a further fifteen articles to his " In- 
structions," and we may anticipate a little by briefly 
surveying their provisions at this stage. 

Complaints to Rome of the injustices and the 
excessive rigour of the inquisitors — a constant feature 
of Torquemada's Grand-Inquisitorship — had by that 
time become so numerous that the Pope found it 
necessary to order Torquemada to re-edit what 
Amador de los Rios very aptly terms his " Code of 
Terror." ! 

The chief ground of these complaints had con- 
cerned the delays that so commonly occurred in 
bringing an accused to trial. When a prisoner's 
acquittal ultimately chanced to take place, it was 
after a long term of imprisonment for which there 
was no compensation or redress ; and when the 
person so treated was a man of position and influ- 
ence, it is natural that he would protest strongly 
against the treatment to which he had been subjected 
before it was discovered that no charge could be 
sustained against him. The real reason of these 
delays must not be supposed to lie in dilatoriness or 
sluggishness on the part of the inquisitors. Indeed, 
the excessive dispatch with which they conducted 
the affairs of their tribunal is a matter to the scandal 
of which Llorente draws attention more than once — 
and particularly in the course of chronicling the fact 
that in the year of its introduction into Toledo this 
court dealt — as we shall see — with no less than some 
3,300 cases, 27 of the accused being burnt and the 
remainder penanced in various degrees. He protests 
with reason that it is utterly impossible that at such a 
rate of procedure evidence can properly have been 
sifted and any sort of justice done. 

Where delays took place they were the result of 
the extreme reluctance on the part of the Holy Office 
to allow any to go free upon whom its talons had once 

1 " Historia de los Judios," vol. iii. p. 272, 

236 Torquemada 

fastened. Thus, when even the slight degree or 
evidence necessary to enable the inquisitors to convict 
was lacking, they would delay in the daily hope that 
such evidence might be forthcoming, and by repeated 
examinations they would meanwhile seek to force the 
unfortunate prisoner into contradictions that should 
justify them in resorting to torture. 

In view of the explicit pontifical command, Tor- 
quemada was compelled to amend this state of things, 
at least in theory, by decreeing (Article III) that there 
should be no delays in proceeding to trial through 
lack of proof. Where proof was lacking, the accused 
should at once be restored to liberty, since he could 
at any time — when fresh proof was forthcoming — be 

Similarly, with a view of expediting trials, he 
ordered (Article IV) that since in all the courts of the 
Inquisition there were not the necessary lawyers, 
henceforth, when a case was completed, the dossier 
of the proceedings should be sent to the Grand 
Inquisitor himself, and he would then submit it to 
the lawyers of the Suprema, who would advise 
upon it. 

But he amply made up for what softening of 
rigour might be contained in these articles by the 
greater severity enjoined in some of the other decrees 
which he embodied in these " Instructions" of 1488. 

Finding that the inquisitors of Aragon had been 
departing from certain of his enactments of 1484, 
diluting them with the weaker rules that had obtained 
under the old Inquisition in that kingdom, he com- 
manded that all inquisitors should proceed in strict 
obedience to the statutes contained in the past " In- 

He provided (Article V) that the inquisitors should 
themselves visit the prisons once in every fortnight, 
but that no outsiders should be permitted to com- 
municate with the prisoners, save of course the priests 
who would go to comfort them. To the end that a 

Torquemada's Further "Instructions" 237 

still greater secrecy should be observed in the trials, he 
commanded (Article VI) that when the depositions of 
the witnesses were being taken none should be present 
other than those who were by law absolutely necessary ; 
and he enjoined (Article VI I) the safe and secret custody 
of all documents relating to the cases tried. 

We are left to gather that the harshness of his 
enactment concerning the children of heretics had 
been tempered a little by a natural humane pity which 
did not at all commend itself to the pitiless Grand 
Inquisitor ; for we now find him (Article XI) enjoining 
inquisitors to take care that the decree forbidding 
those unfortunates the use of gold and silver and fine 
garments, and disqualifying them from honourable 
employment, should be rigorously enforced. 

He provided (Article XIII) that all the expenses of 
the Holy Office — which must have been enormous by 
now, considering to what vast proportions he had 
developed that organization — should be defrayed out 
of confiscated property before this was surrendered to 
the Royal treasury ; and further (Article XV), that all 
appointed notaries, fiscals, and constables should dis- 
charge their functions in person and not by deputy. 

The most interesting of these statutes of 1488, in 
consequence of the information it conveys on the 
subject of the activities of the Inquisition and the 
enormous scale of the prosecutions upon which it was 
engaged, is contained in Article XIV. The prisons of 
Spain were becoming so crowded, and the expense 
of maintaining the prisoners was imposing so heavy 
a tax upon the Holy Office, that it had become 
urgently necessary to make some fresh provision that 
would relieve this burden. Therefore, as this article 
sets forth, Torquemada enjoined the Sovereigns to 
order the building in every district of the Inquisition 
of a quadrangular enclosure of small houses (casillas) 
for the residence of those sentenced to the penance of 
imprisonment. These houses were to be so contrived 
that the penitents might pursue in them their business 

238 Torquemada 

or trade and earn their own livelihood, thus relieving 
the Inquisition of the heavy expense of supporting 
them. Each of these quadrangular penitentiaries — for 
this is the origin of the term — was to be equipped with 
its own chapel. 1 

1 See " Instrucciones hechas en 1488, etc.," in " Copilacion de las 



Llorente, the historian of the Spanish Inquisition, 
and M. Fidel Fita, the distinguished contributor to 
the " Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia," 
both had access to and both made use of a record left 
by the licentiate Sebastian de Orozco, an eyewitness 
of the establishment of the Inquisition in Toledo. 
This has been printed verbatim by M. Fidel Fita. 1 

The details afforded by Orozco are so circum- 
stantial that it is worth while to follow them closely, 
since they may be said to afford a typical picture of 
what was happening not only in the city with which 
they are concerned, but throughout the whole of 

It was in May of the year 1485 that the In- 
quisition was first set up in Toledo, that noble city 
erected upon a rock that rises sheer from the swirling 
waters of the Tagus, and is crowned by the royal palace 
which still bears the Moorish name of Alcazar. It was 
transferred thither, by Torquemada's orders, from 
Villa Real, where it had been operating for some 

11 To the end that our Infinite Redeemer Jesus 
Christ be praised in all that He does, and for the 
greater power of His Holy Catholic Faith," writes 
Orozco, " know all who shall come after us that in the 
year 1485, in the month of May, the Holy Inquisition 

1 " Boletin de la Real Academia," xi p. 296 et seq., which see, and also 
Llorente, " Anales," ii. xio et seq. 


24° Torquemada 

against heretical pravity was sent to this very noble 
City of Toledo by our very enlightened Sovereigns, 
Don Fernando and Donna Isabella. ... Of this 
Inquisition were administrators Vasco Ramirez de 
Ribera, Archdeacon of Talavera, and Pedro Dias de 
la Costana, Licentiate of Theology, and with them 
one of the Queen's Chaplains as fiscal and prosecutor, 
and one Juan de Alfaro, a patrician of Seville, as chief 
constable (alguazil), and two notaries." 

The licentiate Pedro Dias de la Costana preached 
to the people on the third day of Pentecost (Tuesday, 
May 24), notifying them of the papal bull under which 
the inquisitors were acting and of the power vested in 
these inquisitors to deal with matters of heresy ; pro- 
nouncing greater excommunication against any who 
by word or deed or counsel should dare to oppose the 
Inquisition in the execution of its duty. 

At the conclusion of his announcement the 
Gospels and a crucifix were brought, and upon these 
all were required to make solemn oath of their desire 
to serve God and the Sovereigns, to uphold the 
Catholic Faith, and to defend and shelter the ad- 
ministrators of the Holy Inquisition. 

Lastly the licentiate published the usual edict of 
grace for self-delators. He summons all Judaizers to 
return to the Faith and become reconciled to the 
Church within a term of forty days, as set forth by 
the edict itself, which by his orders was nailed to the 
door of the Cathedral. 

A week elapsed without any response to this 
summons. The conversos of Toledo had been pre- 
paring to resist the introduction of the Inquisition to 
their city, and under the guidance of one De la Torre 
and some others they had already matured their plans 
and laid down the lines which this resistance was to 

The plot was — according to Orozco, who, you will 
have gathered, was an ardent partisan of the Holy 
Office — that on the feast of Corpus Christi, which fell 

The Inquisition in Toledo 241 

that year on June 2, the conspirators should be armed to 
lie in wait for the procession, falling upon it as it was 
advancing through the streets, and slaying the in- 
quisitors and their defenders. That done, they were 
to seize the gates of the city and hold Toledo against 
the King. 

The fine strategic position of the city might have 
lent itself to so daring a scheme, and presumably the 
aim of the New-Christians would have been to hold it 
rebelliously until accorded terms of capitulation that 
should guarantee the immunity of the rebels from 
all punishment, and the immunity of Toledo itself 
from the jurisdiction of the Holy Office. But, on the 
whole, it was so very crack-brained a conspiracy that 
we are more than justified in doubting whether it ever 
had any real existence. 

" It pleased our Redeemer," says Orozco, " that 
this conspiracy was discovered on the eve of Corpus 
Christi." He does not satisfy our curiosity as to how 
the discovery was made, and the omission increases 
our doubts. 

The details, we are told, were derived from several 
of the plotters who were arrested on that day by the 
Corregidor of Toledo, Gomes Manrique. In view 
of the information thus obtained, Manrique proceeded 
to capture De la Torre and four of his friends One of 
these captives, a cobbler named Lope Mauri^o, the 
Corregidor hanged out of hand on the morning of the 
festival, before the procession had issued from the 
Cathedral. The act may have been intended as a 
deterrent to any who still entertained the notion of put- 
ting the plot into execution. 

The procession passed offwithout any disturbances ; 
and having hanged another of his prisoners Manrique 
subjected the remainder to heavy fines, whereby they 
escaped far more lightly than if they had been tried 
by the court of the Holy Office. Fortunately for them- 
selves, it was deemed that their offence was one that 
came within the jurisdiction of the secular courts. 


242 Torquemada 

Soon thereafter, possibly because they now realized 
that they had nothing left to hope for, self-delators began 
to come before the inquisitors to solicit reconciliation. 

But when the term of the edict had expired, it 
was found that the indefatigable Torquemada had 
prepared a second one to supplement it. He ordered 
the publication of an entirely fresh measure, command- 
ing that all who knew of any heretics, apostates, or 
Judaizers, must, under pain of excommunication and 
of being deemed heretics themselves, divulge to the 
inquisitors the names of such offenders within a term 
of sixty days. 

There was already in existence an enactment of 
the Inquisition, which instead of offering, as in all 
times has been done by secular tribunals, a reward 
for the apprehension of fugitives from justice, imposed 
upon those who neglected spontaneously to set about 
that catchpoll work when the occasion arose, a fine 
of 500 ducats in addition to excommunicating them. 
But Torquemada's fresh measure went even beyond 
that. Nor did it end with the edict we have men- 
tioned. When the sixty days expired, he ordered 
the prolongation of the term by another thirty days — 
not only in Toledo, but also in Seville, where he had 
commanded the publication of the same edict — and 
now came the cruellest measure of all. He commanded 
the inquisitors to summon the Rabbis of the syna- 
gogues and to compel them to swear according to 
the Mosaic Law that they would denounce to the 
inquisitors any baptized Jew whom they found return- 
ing to the Jewish cult, and he made it a capital offence 
for any Rabbi to keep such a matter secret. 

Not even now did he consider that he had carried 
far enough this infamous measure of persecution. He 
ordained that the Rabbis should publish in their 
synagogues an edict of excommunication by the 
Mosaic Law against all Jews who should fail to 
give information to the inquisitors of any Judaizing 
whereof they might have knowledge. 

The Inquisition in Toledo 243 

In this decree we catch a glimpse of the intensity 
of the fanatical, contemptuous hatred in which Torque- 
mada held the Israelites. For nothing short of blended 
hatred and contempt could have inspired him so to 
trample upon the feelings of their priests, and to compel 
them under pain of death to a course in which they 
must immolate their self-respect, violate their con- 
sciences, and render themselves odious in the esteem 
of every right-thinking Jew. 

By this unspeakable enactment the very Jews 
themselves were pressed into the secret service of 
the Inquisition, and compelled by the fear of spiritual 
and physical consequences to turn informers against 
their brethren. 

11 Many," says Orozco, who no doubt considered 
it a measure as laudable as it was fiendishly astute, 
"were the men and women who came to bear 

Arrests commenced at once, and were carried on 
with an unprecedented activity revealed by the records 
of the Autos that were held, which Orozco has 
preserved for us. 

And already fire had been set to the faggots piled 
at the stake of Toledo, for the first victims had soon 
fallen into the eager hands of the Inquisitors of the 

These were three men and their three wives, 
natives of Villa Real, who had fled thence when first 
the inquisitors had set up their tribunal there. They 
reached Valencia safely, purchased there a yawl, 
equipped it, and set sail. They were on the seas for 
five days, when, of course, "it pleased God to send 
a contrary wind, which blew them back into the port 
from which they had set out " — and thus into the 
hands of the benign inquisitors, so solicitous for the 
salvation of their souls. They were arrested upon 
landing, and brought to Toledo, whither the tribunal 
had meanwhile been transferred. They were tried ; 
their flight confirmed their guilt ; and so — Christi 

244 Torquemada 

nomine invocato — they were burnt by order of the 

As a result of the self-delations the first great 
Auto de F6 was he-Id in Toledo on the first Sunday 
in Lent (February 12), i486. The reconciled of seven 
parishes, numbering some 750 men and women, were 
taken in procession and submitted to the penance 
known as verguenza — or "shame" — which, however 
humiliating to the Christian, was so hurtful to the 
pride of the Jew (and no less to that of the Moor) 
that he would almost have preferred death itself. It 
consisted in being paraded through the streets, men 
and women alike, bareheaded, barefooted, and naked 
to the waist. 

At the head of the procession, preceded by the 
white cross, and walking two by two, went a section 
of the Confraternity of St. Peter the Martyr — the 
familiars of the Holy Office — dressed in black, with 
the white cross of St. Dominic displayed upon their 
cloaks. After them followed the horde of half-naked 
penitents, cruel physical discomfort being added to 
their mental torture, for the weather was so raw and 
cold that it had been considered expedient to provide 
them with sandals, lest they should have found it 
impossible to walk. 

In his hand each carried a candle of green wax — 
unlighted, to signify that as yet the light of the Faith 
did not illumine his soul. Anon, when they should 
have been admitted to reconciliation and absolution, 
these candles would be lighted, to signify that the light 
of the Faith had once more entered their hearts — 
light being the symbol of the Faith, just as "light' 
and " faith " have become almost convertible terms. 

Orozco informs us that among the penitents were 
many of the principal citizens of Toledo, many persons 
of eminence and honour, who must deeply have felt 
their shame at being paraded in this fashion through 
crowded streets, that they might afford a salutary 

The Inquisition in Toledo 245 

spectacle to the multitude which had assembled in 
Toledo from all the surrounding country districts. To 
ensure this good attendance the Auto had been pro- 
claimed far and wide a fortnight before it was held. 

The chronicler of these events tells us that many 
and loud were the lamentations of these unfortunates. 
But it is very plain that their condition did not move 
his pity, for he expresses the opinion that their grief 
was rather at the dishonour they were suffering than — 
as it should have been — because they had offended 

The procession wound its way through the principal 
streets of the city, and came at last to the Cathedral. 
At the main doors stood two chaplains, who with 
their thumbs made the sign of the cross on the brow 
of each penitent in turn, accompanying the action by 
the formula : " Receive the Sign of the Cross which 
you denied, and which, being deluded, you lost." 

Within the Cathedral two large scaffolds had been 
erected. The penitents were led to one of these, where 
the reverend inquisitors waited to receive them. On 
the other an altar had been raised, surmounted by the 
green cross of the Inquisition, and as soon as all the 
penitents were assembled, the crowd of holiday-makers 
being closely packed about the scaffolds, Mass was 
celebrated and a sermon of the Faith was preached. 

This being at an end, the notary of the Holy 
Office rose and called over the long roll of the 
penitents, each answering to his name and hearing 
his particular offence read out to him. Thereafter the 
penance was announced. They were to be whipped 
in procession on each of the following six Fridays, 
being naked to the waist, bareheaded and barefooted ; 
they were to fast on each of those six Fridays, and 
they were disqualified for the rest of their lives from 
holding office, benefice, or honourable employment, 
and from using gold, silver, precious stones, or fine 
fabrics in their apparel. 

They were warned that if they relapsed into error, 

246 Torquemada 

or failed to perform any part of the penance imposed, 
they would be deemed impenitent heretics and aban- 
doned to the secular arm ; and upon that grim warning 
they were dismissed. 

On each of the following six Fridays of Lent they 
were taken in procession from the Church of San 
Pedro Martir to a different shrine on each occasion, 
and when at last they had completed this humiliating 
penance it was further ordained that they should give 
11 alms " to the extent of one-fifth of the value of their 
property, to be applied to the holy war against the 
infidels of Granada. 

Scarcely are the penitents of this Auto disposed of 
— the last procession took place on March 23 — than the 
second Auto was held. 

This occurred on the second Sunday in April, and 
486 men and women were penanced on this occasion, 
the procedure and the penance imposed being the 

At Whitsuntide of that year a sermon of the Faith 
was preached by the inquisitor Costana, whereafter an 
edict was publicly read and nailed to the Cathedral 
door, summoning all who had fled to surrender them- 
selves to the Holy Office within ninety days, under 
pain of being sentenced as contumaciously absent. 
Among those cited there were, we learn, several 
clerics, including three Jeronymite friars. 

Finally, on the second Sunday in June — the nth 
of that month — we have the last Auto within the period 
of grace. In this the penitents of four parishes, 
numbering some 750 persons, were conducted to 
reconciliation under precisely the same conditions as 
had already been observed in the two previous Autos. 



The Inquisition of Toledo had now to deal with 
heretics who must be considered impenitent, since 
they had not availed themselves of the benign leniency 
of the Church and spontaneously sought the recon- 
ciliation offered. From this moment the proceedings 
assume a far more sinister character. 

The first Auto under these altered conditions was 
held on August 16, i486. Among the accused 
brought up for sentence were twenty men and five 
women, whose offences doomed them to be abandoned 
to the secular arm, and one of these was no less a 
personage than the Regidor — or Governor — of Toledo, 
a Knight-Commander of the Order of Santiago. 

They were brought forth from the prison of the 
Inquisition at a little before six o'clock on that summer 
morning, arrayed in the yellow sanbenito and coroza. 
Each sanbenito bore an inscription announcing the 
name of the wearer and the nature of his offences 
against the Faith, and they were smeared in addition 
with grotesque red images of dragons and devils. A 
rope was round the neck of each prisoner, and his 
hands were pinioned with the other end of it. In 
his hands, thus bound, he carried the unlighted candle 
of green wax. 

Thus they were led in procession through the 
streets, the precession being headed as usual by a 
posse of familiars of the Confraternity of St. Peter 
the Martyr — the Soldiers of the Faith — and preceded 


248 Torquemada 

now by the green cross of the Inquisition, which was 
shrouded in a mourning veil of black crape. 

The green cross did not merely symbolize, by its 
colour, constancy and eternity, but it was fashioned 
as if of freshly-cut boughs, to represent living wood, 
the emblem of the true faith in contradistinction to the 
withered branches that are to be flung into the fire. 1 

Following the Soldiers of the Faith, under a 
canopy of scarlet and gold, borne by four acolytes 
and preceded by a bell-ringer, came the priest who 
was to celebrate the Mass, in the crimson chasuble 
prescribed by the liturgy for these dread solemnities. 
He bore the Host, and as he advanced the multitude 
sank down upon their knees, beating their breasts to 
the clang of the bell. 

Behind the canopy walked another posse of 
familiars, and after these again followed the doomed 
prisoners, each attended by two Dominican brothers 
in their white cassocks and black cloaks, fervently 
exhorting those who had not yet confessed to do so 
even at this late hour. 

The constables of the Holy Office and the men-at- 
arms of the secular authorities flanked this section 
of the procession, shouldering their glittering halberts. 

They were closely followed by a group of men 
who bore aloft, swinging from long green poles, the 
effigies of those who were to be sentenced as con- 
tumaciously absent — horribly grotesque mannequins 
of straw with painted faces and bituminous eyes, 
tricked out in the sanbenitos and corozas that should 
have adorned the originals had not these remained 
fortunately at large. 

Next, mounted upon mules in trailing funereal 
trappings, rode the reverend inquisitors, attended 
by a group of mounted gentlemen in black, the white 
cross upon their breasts announcing them as familiars 
of the Holy Office, the officers of the tribunal. 

1 "Quia si in virido ligno haec faciunt, in arido quid fid?" (Luke 
xxiii. 31). See Garcia Rodrigo, " Hist. Verdadera," i. p. 373. 

Autos de Fe 249 

They were immediately preceded by the banner 
of the Inquisition, displaying in an oval medallion 
upon a sable ground the green cross between an 
olive-branch (dexter) and a naked sword (sinister). 
The olive-branch, emblem of peace, symbolized the 
readiness of the Inquisition to deal mercifully with 
those who by true repentance and confession were 
disposed to reconcile themselves with Holy Mother 
Church. The mercy of which so much parade was 
made might consist, as we know, of strangulation 
before burning, or, at best, of perpetual imprisonment, 
the confiscation of property, and infamy extending to 
the children and grandchildren of the condemned. 

The sword, on the other hand, announced the 
alternative. Garcia Rodrigo says that it proclaimed 
the Inquisition's tardiness to smite. If so, it is a 
curious symbol to have chosen for such a purpose ; 
but in any case the tardiness is hardly perceptible to 
the lay vision. 

The procession was closed by the secular justiciary 
and his alguaziles. 

In this order that grim cortege advanced to the 
Cathedral Square. Here two great scaffolds were 
draped in black for the ceremony — blasphemously 
called an Act of Faith. 

The prisoners were conducted to one of these 
scaffolds and accommodated upon the benches that 
rose from it in tiers, the highest being always reserved 
for those who were to be abandoned to the secular 
arm — to the end, we suppose, that they should be fully 
in the view of the multitude below. Each of the 
accused sat between two Dominican friars. The poles 
bearing the effigies were placed so that they flanked 
the benches. 

On the other scaffold, on which an altar had been 
raised and chairs set for the inquisitors, these now 
made their appearance, accompanied by the notaries 
and fiscal and attended by their familiars. 

The shrouded green cross was placed upon the 

250 Torquemada 

altar, the tapers were lighted, the thurible kindled, and 
as a cloud of incense ascended and spread its sweetly 
pungent odour the Mass began. 

At the conclusion a sermon of the Faith was 
preached, wherein the sins of the accused were de- 
nounced, and those who had incurred the penalty of 
being abandoned to the secular arm were exhorted 
fervently to repent and make their peace with Holy 
Mother Church that they might save their souls from 
the damnation into which, otherwise, it was the 
Inquisition's business to hurry them. 

As the preacher ceased, the notaries of the Holy 
Office of Toledo proceeded to the business of reading 
out the crime of each accused, dwelling in detail upon 
the particular form which his Judaizing was known to 
have taken. As the name of each was called, he was 
brought forward, and placed upon a stool, 1 whilst the 
reading of the lengthy sentence took place. 

It requires no great imaginative effort to form a 
mental picture of these proceedings, and of the poor 
livid wretch, horror-stricken and bathed in the sweat 
of abject terror which that long-drawn agony must 
have extorted from the stoutest, sitting there, perhaps 
half-dazed already by the merciful hand of Nature, in 
the glaring August sun, under the stare of a thousand 
eyes, some pitiful, some hateful, some greedy of the 
offered spectacle. Or it might be some poor half- 
swooning woman, steadied by the attendant Domini- 
cans, who seek to support her fainting courage, to 
mitigate her unutterable anguish with comfortless 
words that hold out the promise of pitiless mercy. 

And all this, Chris ti nomine invocato I 

The reading of the sentence is at an end. It con- 
cludes with the formula that the Church, being unable 
to do more for the offender, casts him out and abandons 
him to the secular arm. Lastly comes the mockery 
of that intercession, efficaciter — to preserve the inquisi- 
tors from irregularity — that the secular justice shall 

* Later on a cage was substituted for the stool. 

Autos de Fe 251 

so deal with him that his blood may not be shed, and 
that he may suffer no hurt in life or limb. 

Thereupon the doomed wretch is removed from 
the scaffold ; the algnaziles of the secular justiciary 
seize him ; the Regidor mutters a few brief words of 
sentence, and he is thrust upon an ass and hurried 
away, out of the city to the burning-place of La Dehesa. 

A white cross has been raised in this field, where 
twenty-five stakes are planted with the faggots piled 
under each, and a mob of morbid sightseers surges, 
impatient to have the spectacle begin. 

The condemned is bound to the stake, and the 
Dominicans still continue their exhortations. They 
flaunt a crucifix before his dazed, staring eyes, and 
they call upon him to repent, confess, and save his 
soul from Eternal Hell. They do not leave him until 
the fire is crackling and the first cruel little tongues of 
bluish flame dart up through the faggots to lick the 
soles of his naked feet. 

If he has confessed, wrought upon by spiritual or 
physical terror, the Dominican makes a sign, and the 
executioner steps behind the stake and rapidly strangles 
the doomed man. If his physical fears have not 
sufficed to conquer his religious convictions, if he 
remains firm in his purpose to die lingeringly, horribly, 
a martyr for the faith that he believes to be the only 
true one, the Dominican withdraws at last, baffled by 
this " wicked stubbornness, " and the wretch is left to 
endure the terrible agony of death by slow fire. 

Meanwhile, under that limpid sky — Christi nomine 
invocato — the ferocious work of the Faith goes on ; 
accused succeeds accused to hear his or her sentence 
read, until the last of the twenty-five victims has been 
surrendered to the tireless arm of the secular justice. 
In the meadows of La Dehesa there is such a blaze of 
the fires of the Faith, that it might almost seem that 
the Christians have been avenging upon their enemies 
those human torches which an enemy of Christianity is 
alleged to have lighted once in Rome. 

252 Torquemada 

Six mortal hours, Orozco informs us, were consumed 
in that ghastly business, 1 for the Court of the Holy 
Office must in all things proceed with stately and 
pompous leisureliness, with that calm equanimity 
enjoined by the " Directorium " — simpliciter et de piano 
— lest by haste it should fall into the unpardonable 
offence of irregularity. 

Not until noon did the proceedings conclude with 
the hurrying away to La Dehesa of the last of those 

The inquisitors and their followers descended at 
length from their scaffold, and withdrew to the Casa 
Santa to rest them from these arduous labours of 
propagating Christianity. 

There was more to be done upon the morrow — very 
important business, demanding an entirely different 
ceremonial, wherefore it had been set apart and allotted 
a day to itself. 

The accused on this occasion were only two, but 
they were two clerics. One was the parish priest of 
Talavera; the other occupied the distinguished position 
of a royal chaplain. Both had been found guilty of 
Judaizing. They were conducted to the Auto in full 
canonicals, as if about to celebrate Mass, each carrying 
his veiled chalice. Led to the scaffold of the con- 
demned, they found themselves confronted from the 
other scaffold not only by the inquisitors and their 
attendants and familiars, but further by the Bishop, who 
was attended by two Jeronymites — the Abbot of the 
Convent of St. Bernard and the Prior of the Convent 
of Sisla. 

The notary of the Holy Office read out the crimes 
of the accused, and pronounced them cast out from 
the Church. Thereupon each was brought in turn 
before the Bishop, who proceeded to degrade him, 
since the law could not without sacrilege lay violent 
hands upon an ecclesiastic. 

Beginning by depriving each of his chalice, the 

1 See " Boletin," xi. p. 310 et seq. 

Autos de F6 253 

Bishop passed on to divest the priestly offender of 
his chasuble ; stole, maniple, and alb were removed 
in succession, the Bishop pronouncing the prescribed 
formula for each stage of the degradation, and defacing 
the tonsure by clipping away a portion of the surround- 
ing fringe of hair. 

At last the doomed clerics stood stripped of all 
insignia of their office. And now the sanbenito — that 
chasuble of infamy — was flung upon the shoulders of 
each ; their heads were crowned with the tragically 
grotesque coroza, a rope was put about each neck, and 
their hands were pinioned. The sentence was fulfilled 
at last by their being abandoned to the secular 
authorities, who seized them and bore them away 
to the stake. 

On Sunday, October 16, a proclamation was read 
in the Cathedral, pronouncing several deceased persons 
to have been heretics, and setting forth that, although 
dead themselves, their reputations lived as those of 
Christians. Therefore it became necessary to publish 
their heresy, and their heirs were summoned to appear 
within twenty days and render to the inquisitors an 
account of their inheritances, from the enjoyment of 
which they were disqualified, since all property that 
had belonged to the deceased was, by virtue of 
Torquemada's decree, confiscate to the royal treasury. 

On December 1 o 900 persons were admitted to public 
reconciliation. They were self-delators from remote 
country districts who had responded to a recent edict 
of grace published in those districts. 

The notary announced the forms of Judaizing of 
which each had been guilty and proclaimed it as their 
intention henceforth to live and die in the faith of 
Christ. He then read out the Articles of Faith, and 
they were required to say %i I believe " after each, and 
lastly to make oath upon the Gospels and the crucifix 
never again to fall into the error of Judaism, to de- 

254 Torquemada 

nounce any whom they knew to be Judaizers, and 
ever to favour and uphold the Holy Inquisition and 
the Holy Catholic faith. 

The penance imposed was that they should be 
scourged in procession for seven Fridays, and there- 
after on the first Friday of every month for a year. 
This in their own districts. In addition, they were 
required to come to Toledo and be scourged in pro- 
cession on the Feast of St. Mary of August and on 
the Thursday of Holy Week. Two hundred of them 
were further ordered to wear a sanbenito over their 
ordinary garments for a year from that date, and never 
to appear in public without it under pain of being 
deemed impenitent and punished as relapsed. 

Another 700 came to be reconciled on January 15, 
1487, and yet another 1,200 on March 10. These 
last, Orozco says, were from the districts of Talavera, 
Madrid, and Guadalajara ; and he adds that some 
amongst them were penanced to the extent of being 
condemned to wear the sanbenito for the remainder of 
their lives. 

In the Auto of May 7 fourteen men and nine women 
were burnt. Amongst the former was a Canon of 
Toledo who was accused of horrible heresies, and who, 
writes Orozco, had confessed under torture to abomin- 
able subversions of thewords of the Mass. Instead of the 
prescribed formula of the consecration, he had stated 
that he was in the habit of uttering the absurd and 
almost meaningless gibberish — u Sus Periquete, que 
mira la gente." 

On the following day there was held a supple- 
mentary Auto, especially for the purpose of dealing 
with deceased and fugitive heretics, conducted with a 
ceremony of an unusual and singularly theatrical order, 
which is not so much typical — as are the other Autos 
described — of what was taking place throughout Spain, 
as indicative of a morbid inventiveness on the part of 
the Toledan inquisitors. 

On the scaffold usually occupied by the accused a 

Autos de Fe 255 

sepulchral monument of wood had been erected and 
draped in black. As each accused was cited by the 
notary, the familiars opened the monument and drew 
out the effigy of the dead man dressed in the grave- 
clothes peculiar to the Jews. 

To this dummy of straw the detailed account of his 
crimes and the sentence of the court whereby he was 
condemned as a heretic were solemnly read out. When 
all the condemnations had thus been proclaimed, the 
effigies were flung into a bonfire that had been kindled 
in the square ; and together with the effigies went the 
bones of the deceased, which had been exhumed to 
that end. 

After that the next Auto of importance was held 
on July 25, 1488, when twenty men and seventeen 
women were sent to the stake, with a supplementary 
Auto upon the morrow in which they burnt the effigies 
of over a hundred dead and fugitive heretics. 

And so it goes on, as recorded by the licentiate 
Sebastian Orozco, and cited by Llorente 1 and Fidel 
Fita. 2 From now onwards the burnings increase in 
number. Indeed, all edicts of grace having expired, 
and no new ones being permissible, sentencing to the 
flames — through the medium of the secular arm — and 
to perpetual imprisonment becomes the chief business 
of the Inquisition in Toledo and elsewhere. 

The sanbenitos of the burnt were preserved in the 
churches of the parishes where they had lived. They 
were hung in these churches as banners won in battle 
are hung — trophies of victory over heresy. 

1 See " Anales" under the dates given. 

* " Boletin de la Academia, etc.," vol. xi. p. 296 et seq. 



During that first year of the Inquisition's establish- 
ment in Toledo, twenty-seven persons there convicted 
of Judaizing were burnt and 3,300 were penanced. 
And what was taking place in Toledo was taking 
place in every other important city in Spain. 

Numerous now and vehement were the protests 
against the terrible and excessive rigour of Torque- 
mada. Already, upon the death of Pope Sixtus IV, 
a vigorous attempt had been made by some Spaniards 
of eminence to procure the deposition of the Prior of 
Holy Cross from the office of Grand Inquisitor. It 
was argued that as his appointment had been made 
by Sixtus, so it was automatically determined by that 
Pope's decease. But whatever hopes may have been 
founded upon such an argument were very quickly 
overthrown. Innocent VIII, as we have already seen, 
not only confirmed Torquemada in his office, but con- 
siderably increased his powers and the scope of his 

Indeed, not only was he given jurisdiction over all 
the Spains, but Innocent's bull of April 3, 1847, motu 
proprioy commanded all Catholic princes that, upon 
being requested by the Grand Inquisitor so to do, 
they should arrest any fugitives he might indicate and 
send them captive to the Inquisition under pain of 
excommunication. 1 

1 Lumbreras, quoted by Llorente, " Anales," i. p. 132. The bull is 
quoted in full by M. Fidel Fita, " Boletin," xvi. p. 315. 


Torquemada and the Jews 257 

Notwithstanding the threat by which it was backed, 
this command from the Vatican appears to have been 
generally disregarded by the Governments of Europe. 1 

That such a bull should have been solicited gives 
us yet another glimpse of the terrible rancour against 
the Jews which fanaticism had kindled in the soul of 
Torquemada. Had his aim been merely, as expressed, 
to weed the tares of heresy from the Catholic soil of 
Spain, the self-imposed exile of those wretched fugitives 
would fully have satisfied him, and he would not have 
thought it necessary to hound them out of such shelter 
as they had found abroad that he might have the 
satisfaction of hurling them into the bonfire he had 

His position being so greatly strengthened by the 
wider and ampler powers accorded to him by the new 
Pontiff, Torquemada gave a still freer rein to the 
terrible severity of his nature, and thus occasioned 
those frequent and very urgent appeals to the 

Many New-Christians who secretly practised Jewish 
rites, being repelled from taking advantage of the edict 
of grace by the necessity it imposed of undergoing the 
horrible verguenza already described, applied now to 
the Pontiff for secret absolution. This required special 
briefs. Special briefs brought money into the papal 
coffers, and procured converts to the Faith. Two 
better reasons for granting these requests it would 
have been impossible to have urged, and so the Curia 

But the result of this curial interference with the 
autonomous jurisdiction of the Holy Office in Spain 
was to provoke the resentment of Torquemada. 
Wrangles ensued between the Grand Inquisitor and 
the Pontifical Court — wrangles which may be likened 
to those of two lawyers over a wealthy client. 

Torquemada arrogantly demanded that this Roman 
protection of heretics should not only cease in future 

1 Llorente, " Historia Critica," torn, ii. p. 118, 

258 Torquemada 

but be withdrawn where already it had been granted 
in the past, and his demand had the full support of 
Catholic Ferdinand, who did not at all relish the 
spectacle of the gold of his subjects being poured into 
any treasury other than his own. Rome, having mean- 
while pocketed the fees, was disposed to be amenable 
to the representations of the Catholic Sovereigns and 
their Grand Inquisitor ; and the Pope proceeded 
flagrantly to cancel the briefs of dispensation that had 
been granted. 

There was an outcry from the swindled victims. 
They protested appealingly to the Pope that they had 
confessed their sins against the Faith, and that absolu- 
tion had been granted them. Very rightly they urged 
that this absolution could not now be rescinded — for 
not even the Pope had power to do so much — and 
they argued that, being in a state of grace, they could 
not now be prosecuted for heresy. 

But they overlooked the retrospective power which 
— however unjustifiable by canon or any other law — 
the Inquisition had arrogated to itself. By virtue of 
this, as we have seen, the inquisitors could take pro- 
ceedings even against one who had died in a state of 
grace, at peace with Holy Mother Church, if it were 
shown that an offence of heresy committed at some 
stage of his life had not been expiated in a manner 
that the Holy Office accounted condign. 

These protests of the unfortunate Judaizers, who 
by their own action had achieved — as they now realized 
— no more than self-betrayal, were met by the priestly 
answer that their sins had been absolved in the tribunal 
of conscience only, and that it still remained for them 
to seek temporal absolution in the tribunal of the Holy 
Office. This temporal absolution would accord them, 
as we know — and as they knew — the right to live in 
perpetual imprisonment after the confiscation of their 
property and the destitution and infamy of their 

The answer, crafty and sophistical as it was, did 

Torqucmada and the Jews 259 

not suffice to silence the protests. Clamorously these 
continued, and the Pope, unable to turn a deaf ear 
upon them, fearful lest a scandal should ensue, effected 
a sort of compromise. With the royal concurrence, 
Innocent VIII issued several bulls, each commanding 
the Catholic Sovereigns to admit fifty persons to secret 
absolution with immunity from punishment. These 
secret absolutions were purchased at a high price, and 
they were granted upon the condition that in the event 
of the re-Judaizing of a person so absolved, he would 
be treated as relapsed, the secret absolution being then 

These absolutions were particularly useful in the 
case of persons deceased, several of whom, at the peti- 
tion of the heirs, were included among the secretly 
reconciled — the inheritance being thereby secured from 

Altogether Pope Innocent granted four of these 
bulls in i486. 1 In the last one issued he left it at the 
discretion of the Sovereigns to indicate those who 
should be admitted to this grace, and they were per- 
mitted to include the names even of persons against 
whom proceedings had already been initiated. 

With what degree of equanimity Torquemada 
viewed these bulls of absolution we do not know. But 
very soon we shall see him vexed by papal interference 
of a fresh character. 

Simoniacal practices were never more rampant in 
Rome than under the rule of Innocent VIII. His 
greed was notorious and scandalous, and a number of 
alert baptized Jews bethought them that this might be 
turned to account. They slyly submitted to the Holy 
Father that although they were good Catholics, such 
was the harshness of the Grand Inquisitor towards 
men of their blood that they lived in constant dread 
and anxiety lest the mere circumstance of their having 
originally been Jews should be accounted a sufficient 
reason to bring them under suspicion or should lay 

1 Lumbreras, quoted by Llorente, " Anales," vol. i. p. ill. 

260 Torquemada 

them open to the machinations of malevolent enemies. 
Hence they implored his Holiness to grant them the 
privilege of exclusion from inquisitorial jurisdiction. 

At a price this immunity was to be obtained ; and 
soon others, seeing the success that had attended the 
efforts of the originators of this crafty idea, were 
following their example and setting a drag upon the 
swift wheels of Torquemada's justice. 

That it stirred him to righteous anger is not to be 
doubted, however subservient and injured the tone in 
which he addressed his protest to the Pontiff. 

Innocent replied by a brief of November 27, 1487, 
that whenever the Grand Inquisitor found occasion to 
proceed against one so privileged, he should inform 
the Apostolic Court of all that might exist against the 
accused, so that his Holiness should determine whether 
the privilege was to be respected. 1 

It follows inevitably that if there was heresy, or the 
suspicion of it, the Pope must allow the justice of the 
Holy Office to run its course. So that the Jews who 
had purchased immunity must have realized that they 
were dealing with one who understood the science of 
economics (and the guile to be practised in it) even 
better than did they, famous as they have always been 
for clear-sightedness in such matters. 

Meanwhile, with the power that was vested in him, 
Torquemada was amassing great wealth from the pro- 
portion of the confiscations that fell to his share. But 
whatever his faults may have been, he was perfectly 
consistent in them, just as he was perfectly, terribly 

Into the sin of pride he may have fallen. We see 
signs of it. And, indeed, it is difficult to conceive of 
a man climbing from the obscurity of the monastic cell 
to the fierce glare of his despotic eminence and re- 
maining humble at heart. Humble he did remain; but 
with that aggressive humility which is one of pride's 
1 Lumbreras, quoted by Llorente in " Anales," vol. i. p, 138. 

Torquemada and the Jews 261 

worst forms and akin to self-righteousness — the sin 
most dreaded by those who strive after sanctity. 

We know that he unswervingly followed the stern 
path of asceticism prescribed by the founder of his 
order. He never ate meat ; his bed was a plank ; his 
flesh never knew the contact of linen ; his garments 
were the white woollen habit and the black mantle of 
the Dominican. Dignities he might have had, but he 
disdained them. Paramo says 1 that Isabella sought 
to force them upon him, and that, in particular, she 
would have procured his appointment to the Arch- 
bishopric of Seville when this was vacated by the 
Cardinal of Spain. But he was content to remain the 
Prior of Holy Cross of Segovia, as he had been when 
he was haled from his convent to direct the affairs of 
the Holy Office in Spain. The only outward pomp 
he permitted himself was that whenever now he went 
abroad he was attended by an escort of fifty mounted 
familiars and two hundred men on foot. This escort 
Llorente admits 2 was imposed by the Sovereigns. It 
is possible, as is suggested, that it was to defend him 
from his enemies, since the death of Arbu^s had 
shown to what lengths the New-Christians were 
prepared to go. But it is more probable that this 
escort was accepted as an outward sign of the dignity 
of his office, and perhaps also to serve the terrorizing 
purpose which Torquemada considered so very 

That he practised the contempt for worldly riches 
which he preached is beyond all doubt. We cannot 
discover that any of the wealth that accrued to him 
was put to any worldly uses or went in any way to 
benefit any member of his family. Indeed, we have 
already seen him refusing suitably to dower his sister, 
allowing her no more than the pittance necessary to 
enable her to enter a convent of the Tertiary Order 
of St. Dominic. 3 

1 "De Origine," p. 276. » "Historia Critica," torn. ii. p. 146. 

3 Paramo, "De Origine," p. 157. 

262 Torquemada 

He employed the riches which his office brought 
him entirely to the greater honour and glory of the 
religion which he served with such terrible zeal. He 
spent it lavishly upon such works as the rebuilding 
of the Dominican Convent of Segovia, together with 
the contiguous church and offices. He built the 
principal church of his family's native town of Tor- 
quemada and half of the great bridge over the River 
Pisuerga. 1 

Fidel Fita quotes an interesting letter of Tor- 
quemada's, dated August 17, 1490, in which he 
thanks the gentry of Torquemada for having sent 
him a sumpter-mule, but rather seems to rebuke 
the gift. 

" To me," he writes, " it was not, nor is necessary 
to send such things ; and it is certain that I should 
have sent back the gift but that it might have 
offended you ; for I, praised be our Lord, possess 
nine sumpter-mules, which suffice me." 2 

In sending the gift they had asked him for 
assistance towards the work being carried out in the 
church of Santa Ollala, the contribution he had 
already made not having proved sufficient. He 
replies regretting that he can do nothing at the 
moment, as he is not with the Court, but promises 
that upon his return thither he will do the necessary 
with the Sovereigns so as to be able to send them the 
further funds they require. 3 

As early as 1482 he began to build at Avila the 
church and monastery of St. Thomas. This pleasant 
little country town, packed within its narrow red walls 
and flanked with towers so that it presents the appear- 
ance of a formidable castle, stands upon rising ground 
in the fertile plain that is watered by the River Adaja. 
Torquemada built his magnificent monastery beyond 
the walls, upon the site of a humbler edifice that had 

1 See H. del Castillo, " Historia General de Santo Domingo." 

9 u Boletin de la Academia," vol. xxiii. p. 413. 

8 Castillo, M Historia de Sto. Domingo," pt. i. p. 486. 

Torquemada and the Jews 262 

been erected by the pious D. Maria de Avila. It was 
completed by the year 1493, and what moneys came 
to him thereafter appear to have gone to the endow- 
ment of this vast convent — a place of handsome, 
spacious, cloistered courts and splendid galleries — 
which became at once his chief residence, tribunal, 
and prison. 1 

Again his fanatical hatred of the Israelites displays 
itself in the condition he laid down — and whose 
endorsement he obtained from Pope Alexander VI — 
that no descendant of Jew or Moor should ever be 
admitted to these walls, upon which he engraved the 
legend : 


In this monastery the amplest provisions were 
made, not only for the tribunal of the Inquisition, but 
also for the incarceration of its prisoners. 

Garcia Rodrigo, anxious to refute the widespread 
belief that the prisons of the Inquisition were 
unhealthy subterranean dungeons, draws attention to 
the airy, sunny chambers here set apart for prisoners. 8 
It is true enough in this instance, as transpires from 
certain records that are presently to be considered. 4 
But it is not true in general, and it almost seems a 
little disingenuous of Garcia Rodrigo to put forward 
a striking exception as an instance of the rule that 

Whatever the simplicity of Torquemada's life, and 
whatever his personal humility, it would be idle to 
pretend that he was not imbued with the pride and 
arrogance of his office, swollen by the increase of 
power accorded him, until in matters of the Faith he 
did not hesitate to dictate to the Sovereigns them- 
selves, and to reproach them almost to the point of 

1 Ariz, M Historia de Avila," vol. i. p. 46. 

3 Paramo, " De Origine," p. 158. 

" " Historia Verdadera," vol. ii. p. 115. 

4 The case of the " Santo Niflo of La Guardia." 

264 Torquemada 

menace when they were slow to act as he dictated, 
whilst it was dangerous for any under Sovereign 
rank to come into conflict with the Grand Inquisitor. 

As an instance of this, the case of the Captain- 
General of Valencia may be cited. The Inquisition 
of Valencia had arrested, upon a charge of hindering 
the Holy Office, one Domingo de Santa Cruz, whose 
particular offence, in the Captain-General's view, came 
rather within the jurisdiction of the military courts. 
Acting upon this opinion, he ordered his troops to 
take the accused from the prison of the Holy Office, 
employing force to that end if necessary. 

The inquisitors of Valencia complained of this 
action to the Suprema, whereupon Torquemada im- 
periously ordered the Captain-General to appear 
before that council and render an account of what he 
had done. He was supported in this by the King, 
who wrote commanding the offender and all who had 
aided him in procuring the release of Santa Cruz to 
submit themselves to arrest by the officers of the 

Not daring to resist, that high dignitary was 
compelled humbly to sue for absolution of the ecclesi- 
astical censure incurred, and he must have counted 
himself fortunate that Torquemada did not subject 
him to a public humiliation akin to that undergone by 
the Infante of Navarre. 

The brilliant and illustrious young Italian, Giovanni 
Pico, Count of Mirandola, had a near escape of falling 
into the hands of the dread inquisitor. When Pico 
fled from Italy before the blaze of ecclesiastical wrath 
which his writings had kindled, Pope Innocent issued a 
bull, December 16, 1487, to Ferdinand and Isabella, 
setting forth that be believed the Count of Mirandola 
had gone to Spain with the intention of teaching in 
the universities of that country the evil doctrines 
which he had already published in Rome, notwith- 
standing that, having been convinced of their error, 
he had abjured them. (Another case of the " e put 

Torquemada and the Jews 265 

si muove" of Galileo.) And since Pico was noble, 
gentle, and handsome, amiable and eloquent of speech 
{Pseudopropheta est ; dulcia loquitur et ad modicum 
placet), there was great danger that an ear might be 
lent to his teachings. Wherefore his Holiness begged 
the Sovereigns that in the event of his suspicions 
concerning Pico's intentions being verified, their high- 
nesses should arrest the Count, to the end that the 
fear of corporal pains might deter him where the fear 
of spiritual ones had proved insufficient. 

The Sovereigns delivered this bull to Torquemada 
that he might act upon it. But Pico, getting wind of 
the reception that awaited him, and having sufficient 
knowledge of the Grand Inquisitor's uncompromising 
methods to be alarmed at the prospect, took refuge 
in France, where he wrote the apologia of his 
Catholicism, which he dedicated to Lorenzo de ' 
Medici. 1 

We have said, on the subject of the Inquisition's 
introduction into Spain, that to an extent and after a 
manner this must be considered the most justifiable — 
by which we are to be taken to mean the least un- 
justifiable — of religious persecutions, inasmuch as it 
had no concern save with deserters from the fold of 
the Roman Church. Liberty was accorded to all 
religions that were not looked upon as heretical — 
i.e. that were not in themselves secessions from 
Roman Catholicism — and Jew and Moslem had nothing 
to fear from the Holy Office. It was only when, after 
having received baptism, they reverted to their original 
cults, that they rendered themselves liable to prosecu- 
tion, being then looked upon as heretics, or, more 
properly speaking, as apostates. 

But this point of view, which satisfied the Roman 
See, did not at all satisfy the Prior of Holy Cross. 
His bitter, fanatical hatred of the Israelites — almost 
rivalling that of the Dean of Ecija in the fourteenth 

1 Fidel Fita in " Boletin," vol. xvi. p. 315. 

z66 Torquemada 

century — urged him to violate this poor remnant of 
equity, drove him to overstep the last boundary of 
apparent justice, and carry the religious war into the 
region of complete and terrible intolerance. 

The reason he advanced was that as long as 
the Jews remained undisturbed in the Peninsula, so 
long would a united Christian Spain be impossible. 
Despite penances, imprisonments, and burnings, the 
Judaizing movement went on. New-Christians were 
seduced back into the error of the Mosaic Law, whilst 
conversion amongst the Jews was checked by respect 
for the feelings of those who remained true to their 
ancient faith. Nor did the Hebrew offences against 
Christianity end there. There were the indignities 
to which holy things were subjected at their hands. 
There were criminal sacrileges in which — according 
to Torquemada — they vented their hatred of the Holy 
Christian Faith. 

Such, for instance, was the outrage upon the 
crucifix at Casar de Palomero in 1488. 

On Holy Thursday of that year, in this village of 
the diocese of Coria, several Jews, instead of being at 
home with closed doors at such a season, as the 
Christian law demanded, were making merry in an 
orchard, to the great scandal of a man named Juan 
Caletrido, who there detected them. 

The spy, moved to horror at the mere thought of 
these descendants of the crucifiers daring to be at play 
upon such a day as that, went to inform several others 
of what he had witnessed. A party of young Spaniards, 
but too ready to combine the performance of a 
meritorious act with the time-honoured sport of Jew- 
baiting, invaded the privacy of the orchard, set upon 
the Jews, and compelled them to withdraw into their 

Smarting under this indignity — for, when all is said, 
they had been more or less private in their orchard, 
and they had intended no offence by their slight 
evasion of the strict letter of the law — they related 

Torquemada and the Jews 267 

the event to other members of the synagogue, in- 
cluding the Rabbi. 

From what ensued it seems plain that they must 
there and then have determined to avenge the honour 
of their race, which they conceived had been affronted. 
Llorente, basing himself upon the chronicler 
Velasquez and the scurrilous anti-Jewish writings of 
Torrejoncillo, supposes that their aim was to repeat 
as nearly as possible the Passion of the Nazarene 
upon one of His Images. That, indeed, may have been 
the prejudiced view of the Grand Inquisitor. 

But it is far more likely that, to spite these Christians 
who had added this insult to the constant humiliations 
they were putting upon the Israelites, the latter should 
simply have resolved to smash one of the public sym- 
bols of Christianity. The details of what took place 
do not justify the supposition that their intentions went 
any deeper. 

On the morrow, which was Good Friday, the 
circumstance of the day contributing perhaps to the 
more popular version of the story, whilst the Christians 
were in church for the service of the Passion, a party 
of Jews repaired to an open space known as Puerto 
del Gamo, where stood a large wooden crucifix. This 
image they shattered and overthrew. 

It is alleged that before finally breaking it they 
had indulged in elaborate insult, " doing and saying 
all that their rage dictated against the Nazarene." 

An Old-Christian, named Hernan Bravo, having 
watched them, ran to bear the tale of their sacrilegious 
deed. The Christians poured tumultuously out of 
church, and fell upon the Jews. Three of the latter 
were stoned to death on the spot ; two others, one 
of whom was a lad of thirteen, suffered each the loss 
of his right hand ; whilst the Rabbi Juan, being taken 
as an inciter, was put to the question with a view 
to inducing him to confess. But he denied so stoutly 
the things he was required to admit, and the inquisitors 
tortured so determinedly, that he died upon the rack 

268 Torquemada 

— an irregularity this for which each inquisitor re- 
sponsible would have to seek absolution at the hands 
of the other. 

All those who took part in the sacrilege suffered 
confiscation of their property, whilst the pieces of the 
crucifix, which had become peculiarly sanctified by 
the affair, were gathered up and conveyed to the 
Church of Casar, where, upon being repaired, the 
image was given the place of honour. 1 

It is extremely likely that the story of this outrage, 
exaggerated as we have seen, would be one of the 
arguments employed by Torquemada when first he 
began to urge upon the attention of the Sovereigns 
the desirability of the expulsion of the Jews. He 
would cite it as a flagrant instance of the Jewish 
hatred of Christianity, which gave rise to his com- 
plaint and which he contended rendered a united 
Spain impossible as long as this accursed race con- 
tinued to defile the land. Further, there can be 
very little doubt that it would serve to revive and 
to lend colour to the old stories of ritual murder 
practised by the Jews and provided for by one of 
the enactments in the " Partidas " code of Alfonso XI. 

The reluctance of the Sovereigns to lend an ear 
to any such arguments is abundantly apparent. Not 
Ferdinand in all his bigotry could be blind to the fact 
that the chief trades of the country were in the hands 
of the Israelites, and to the inevitable loss to Spanish 
commerce, then so flourishing, which must ensue on 
their banishment. Of their ability in matters of finance 
he had practical and beneficial experience, and the 
admirable equipment of his army in the present cam- 
paign against the Moors of Granada was entirely due 
to the arrangements he had made with Jewish con- 
tractors. Moreover, there was this war itself to engage 
the attention of the Sovereigns, and so it was not 
possible to lend at the moment more than an in- 

1 Llorente, "Anales," vol. i. p. 168, and Torrejoncillo, "Centinela 
contra Judios." 

Torquemada and the Jews 269 

different attention to the fierce pleadings of the Grand 

Suddenly, however, in 1490 an event came to light, 
to throw into extraordinary prominence the practice of 
ritual murder of which the Jews were suspected, and 
to confirm and intensify the general belief in the stories 
that were current upon that subject. This was the 
crucifixion at La Guardia, in the province of La Mancha, 
of a boy of four years of age, known to history as 
" the Holy Child of La Guardia." 

A stronger argument than this afforded him for 
the furtherance of his aims Torquemada could not 
have desired. And it is probably this circumstance that 
has led so many writers to advance the opinion that he 
fabricated the whole story and engineered the sub- 
stantiation of a charge that so very opportunely placed 
an added weapon in his hands. 

Until some thirty years ago all our knowledge of 
the affair was derived from the rather vague " Testi- 
monio ' preserved in the sanctuary of the martyred 
child, and a little history of the " Santo Nino," by 
Martinez Moreno, published in Madrid in 1786. This 
last — like Lope da Vega's drama upon the same 
subject — was based upon a "Memoria" prepared 
by Damiano de Vegas of La Guardia in 1544, at a 
time when people were still living who remembered 
the incident, including the brother of a sacristan who 
was implicated in the affair. 1 

Martinez Moreno's narrative is a queer jumble of 
possible fact and obvious fiction, which in itself may 
be responsible for the opinion that the whole story 
was an invention of Torquemada's to forward his own 

But in 1887 the distinguished and painstaking 
M. Fidel Fita published in the " Boletin de la Real 
Academia de la Historia' the full record, which he 
had unearthed, of the proceedings ag st Yuce (or 
Jose) Franco, one of the incriminated Jews. 

1 Fidel Fita in " Boletin," vol. xi p. 160. 

270 Torquemada 

A good deal still remains unexplained, and must 
so remain until the records of the trials of the other 
accused are brought to light. It may perhaps be well 
to suspend a final judgment until then. Meanwhile, 
however, a survey of the discovered record should 
incline us to the opinion that, if the story is an in- 
vention, it is one for which those who were accused 
of the crime are responsible — an unlikely contingency, 
as we shall hope to show — and in no case can the 
inventor have been Frey Tomas de Torquemada. 



The extravagant story related by Martinez Moreno, 
the parish priest of La Guardia, in his little book on 
the Santo Nino, is derived, as we have said, partly 
from the "Testimonio "and partly from the " Memoria" 
by de Vegas ; further, it embodies all those legendary, 
supernatural details with which the popular imagi- 
nation had embellished the theme. 

Either it is one of those deliberate frauds known 
as M pious," or else it is the production of an intensely 
foolish mind. When we consider that the author was 
a doctor of divinity and an inquisitor himself, we prefer 
to incline to the former alternative. 

This mixture of fact and fiction sets forth how a 
party of Jews from the townships of Quintana, Ten- 
bleque, and La Guardia, having witnessed an Auto de 
F6 in Toledo, were so filled with rage and fury, not 
only against the Holy Tribunal, but against all 
Christians in general, that they conspired together 
to encompass a complete annihilation of the Faithful. 

Amongst them was one Benito Garcia, a wool- 
comber of Las Mesuras, who was something of a 
traveller, and who had learnt upon his travels of a 
piece of sorcery attempted in France for the destruc- 
tion of the Christians, which had miscarried owing to 
a deception practised upon the sorcerers. 

The story is worth repeating for the sake of the 
light it throws upon the credulity of the simple folk of 
Spain in such matters, a credulity which in remote 


27 2 Torquemada 

districts of the peninsula is almost as vigorous to-day 
as it was in Moreno's century. 

The warlocks, in that earlier instance of which 
Benito had knowledge, were alleged to be a party of 
Jews who had fled from Spain on the first institution 
of the Inquisition in Seville in 1482. They had 
repaired to France bent upon the destruction of all 
Christians, to the end that the Children of Israel 
might become lords of the land, and that the Law 
of Moses might prevail. For the sorcery to which 
they proposed to resort they required a consecrated 
wafer and the heart of a Christian child. These were 
to be reduced to ashes to the accompaniment of certain 
incantations, and scattered in the rivers of the country, 
with the result that all Christians who drank the waters 
must go mad and die. 

Having obtained the wafer, they now approached 
an impoverished Christian with a large family, and 
tempted him with money to sell them the heart of one 
of his numerous children. The Christian, of course, 
repudiated the monstrous proposal. But his wife, 
who combined cunning with cupidity, drove with the 
Jews the bargain to which her husband refused to be 
a party, and having killed a pig she sold them the 
heart of the animal under obviously false pretences. 

As a consequence, the enchantment which the 
deluded Jews proceeded to carry out had no such 
effect as was desired and expected. 

Armed with his full knowledge of what had hap- 
pened, Benito now proposed to his friends that they 
should have recourse to the same enchantment in 
Spain, making sure, however, that the heart employed 
was that of a Christian boy. He promised them that 
by this means, not only the inquisitors, but all the 
Christians would be destroyed, and the Israelites would 
remain undisputed lords of Spain. 

Amongst those who joined him in the plot was a 
man named Juan Franco, of a family of carriers of 
La Guardia. This man went with Benito to Toledo 

Photo by Donal.l Macbeth. 

From I.imborch's " Historia Inquisitionis." 


The Legend of the Santo Nino 273 

on the Feast of the Assumption, intent upon finding a 
child for their purpose. They drove there in a cart, 
which they left outside the city while they went 
separately about their quest. 

Franco found what he sought in one of the door- 
ways of the Cathedral, known as the Puerta del Perdon 
— the door, adds Moreno, through which the Virgin 
entered the church when she came from heaven to 
honour with the chasuble her votary St. Ildefonso. 
The Jew beheld in this doorway a very beautiful child 
of three or four years of age, the son of Alonso de 
Pasamontes. His mother was near at hand, but she 
was conveniently blind — i.e. conveniently for the 
development of Moreno's story, this blindness serving 
not only the purpose of rendering the child's un- 
detected abduction easily possible, but also that of 
affording the martyred infant scope for the first 
miraculous manifestation of his sanctity. 

Juan Franco lured the boy away with the offer of 
sweetmeats. He regained his cart with his victim, 
concealed the latter therein, and so returned to 
La Guardia. There he kept the child closely and 
safely until Passion Week of the following year, or, 
rather, until the season of the Passover, when the 
eleven Jews — six of whom had received Christian 
baptism — assembled in La Guardia. They took the 
child by night to a cave in the hills above the river, 
and there they compelled him to play the protagonist 
part in a detailed parody of the Passion, scourging him, 
crowning him with thorns, and finally nailing him to a 

On the subject of the scourging, Moreno tells us 
that the Jews carefully counted the number of lashes, 
aiming in this, as in all other details, at the greatest 
historical fidelity. But when the child had borne with- 
out murmuring upwards of hve thousand strokes, he 
suddenly began to cry. One of the Jews — finding, we 
are to suppose, that this weeping required explanation 
— asked him : lt Boy, why are you crying ? " 


274 Torqucmada 

To this the boy replied that he was crying because 
he had received five lashes more than his Divine 

" So that," says this doctor of divinity quite soberly, 
"if the lashes received by Christ numbered 5,495, as 
computed by Lodulfo Cartujano in his * In Vita Christi,' 
those received by the Holy Child Christoval were 

5-500." 1 

He mentions here the child's name as " Christoval," 
to which he informs us that it was changed from 
" Juan," to the end that the former might more aptly 
express the manner of his death. There is no doubt 
that some such consideration weighed when the child 
was given that suggestive name ; but the real reason 
for it was that no name was known (for the identity ot 
the boy did not transpire), and it was necessary to 
supply him with one by which he might be worshipped. 

When he was crucified, his side was opened by one 
of the Jews, who began to rummage 2 for the child's 
heart. He failed to find it, and he was suddenly 
checked by the child's question — " What do you seek, 
Jew ? If you seek my heart, you are in error to 
seek it on that side ; seek on the other, and you will 
find it." 

In the very moment of his death, Moreno tells us, 
the Santo Nino performed his first miracle. His 
mother, who had been blind from birth, received the 
gift of sight in the instant that her child expired. 3 

This interpolation appears to be entirely Moreno's 
own, and it is one of the justifications of our assump- 
tion that the work is to be placed in the category of 
pious frauds. But he is, of course, mistaken, by his 
own narrative, in announcing this as the first of the 

1 " Historia del Santo Nino," p. 40. 

8 " Rummage " is the only word that does justice to the original : 
"Eljudio andaba buscando el corazon, revolviendo las entrafias con su 
mano carniciera, y no lo hallando, le pergunto : ' Que buscas, Judio? Si 
buscas el corazon yerras buscandolo en esa parte, buscalo al otro lado y 
lo incontraras.' " — " Historia del Santo Nino," p. 50. 

3 " Historia del Santo Nino," p. 95. 

The Legend of the Santo Nifio 275 

child's miracles. He overlooks the miracle entailed 
in the capacity to count displayed by a boy of four 
years of age, and the further miracle of the speech 
addressed by the crucified infant to the Jew who had 
opened his side. 

Benito Garcia was given the heart, together with 
a consecrated wafer which had been stolen by the 
sacristan of the Church of Sta. Maria de La Guardia, 
and with these he departed to seek out the mage who 
was to perform the enchantment. It happened, how- 
ever, that in passing through Astorga, Benito — who 
was himself a converso — pretending that he was a 
faithful Catholic, repaired to church, and, kneeling 
there, the more thoroughly to perform this comedy of 
devoutness, he pulled out a Prayer Book, between 
the leaves of which the consecrated wafer had been 

A good Christian kneeling some little way behind 
him was startled to see a resplendent effluence of light 
from the book. Naturally he concluded that he was 
in the presence of a miracle, and that this stranger 
was some very holy man. Filled with reverent 
interest, he followed the Jew to the inn where he 
was lodged, and then went straight to the father 
inquisitors to inform them of the portent he had 
witnessed, that they might investigate it. 

The inquisitors sent their familiars to find the man, 
and at sight of them Benito fell into terror, " so that 
his very face manifested how great was his crime." 
He was at once arrested, and taken before the 
inquisitors for examination. There he immediately 
confessed the whole affair. 

Upon being desired to surrender the heart, he 
produced the box in which it had been placed, but 
upon opening the cloth that had been wrapped round 
it, the heart was discovered to have miraculously 

Yet another miracle mentioned by Moreno is that 
when the inquisitors opened the grave where it was 

276 Torqucmada 

said that the infant had been buried, they found the 
place empty, and the Doctor considers that since the 
child had suffered all the bitterness of the Saviour's 
Passion, it was God's will that he should also know 
the glories of the Resurrection, and that his body had 
been assoomed into heaven. 

The " Testimonio" from the archives of the 
parochial church of La Guardia, printed on tablets 
preserved in the Sanctuary of the Santo Nino, is 
quoted by Moreno, 1 and runs as follows : 

" We, Pedro de Tapia, Alonso Doriga and Matheo 
Vazquez, secretaries of the Council of the Holy and 
General Inquisition, witness to all who may see this 
that by certain proceedings taken by the Holy Office 
in the year 1491, the Most Reverend Frey Tomas de 
Torquemada being Inquisitor-General in the Kingdoms 
of Spain, and the inquisitors and judges by him de- 
puted in the City of Avila being the Very Reverend 
Dr. D. Pedro de Villada, Abbot of San Marcial and 
San Millan in the Churches of Leon and Burgos, the 
Licentiate Juan Lopez de Cigales, Canon of the 
Church of Cuenca, and Frey Fernando de Santo 
Domingo of the Order of Preachers, inquisitors as is 
said against heretical pravity, and with power and 
special commission from the Very Reverend D. Pedro 
(Gonzalez de Mendoza, Cardinal of Santa Cruz, Arch- 
bishop of Toledo, Primate of Spain, Grand Chancellor 
of Castile, and Bishop of Siguenza. 

" It transpires that the said inquisitors proceeding 
against certain Jews and some New-Christians con- 
verted from Jews, of the neighbourhood of La Guardia, 
Quintanar, and Tenbleque, ascertained that amongst 
other crimes by these committed was that : one of the 
said Jews and one of the newly-converted being in 
Toledo and witnessing a burning that was being done 
by the Holy Office in that city, they were cast down 

1 " Historia del Santo Nino," p. 98 et seq. 

The Legend of the Santo Nino 277 

by this execution of justice. The Jew said to the 
convert that he feared the great harm that might 
come and did come to them from the Holy Inquisition, 
and having treated of various matters germane to this 
subject, the Jew said that if they could obtain the 
heart of a Christian boy all could be remedied. And 
so, after his wide practice in this matter, the Jew from 
the neighbourhood of Quintanar undertook to procure 
a Christian boy for the said purpose. 

"And it was agreed that the said New-Christian 
should go to Quintanar as soon as bidden by the Jew ; 
and upon this understanding each of the aforesaid left 
the City of Toledo and returned to his own district. 

u A few days later the said Jew summoned the 
New-Christian to come to him in the village of 
Tenbleque, where he awaited him in his father's 
house. There they foregathered, and agreed upon a 
day when they should meet at Quintanar, whither the 
New-Christian now returned, and informed, as he had 
agreed, a brother of his own, who like himself was 
also a New-Christian, and he related fully all that had 
been arranged, his brother being of the same mind. 

11 The better to execute their accursed project, 
they arranged a place to which the child should be 
brought, and what was to be done — that this should 
be in a cave near La Guardia, on the road to Ocafia, 
on the right-hand side. And thus to execute the 
matter, the said New-Christian went to Quintanar on 
the day arranged together with the said Jew. 

"The better to dissemble, he went to a tavern, 
where presently he was able to communicate with the 
Jew, and as a result of what passed between them, 
the New-Christian went out to await him on the road 
to Villa Palomas in a ravine, where presently he was 
joined by the said Jew on an ass with the child before 
him — of the age of three or four years. 

11 They went on together, and arrived after night- 
fall at the said cave, whither came, as was arranged, 
the brother of the New-Christian, and with him other 

278 Torquemada 

newly-converted Jews, with whom it appears that the 
aforesaid matter had been treated. 

" Being all assembled in the cave, they lighted a 
candle of yellow wax, and so that the light should not 
be seen they hung a cloak over the mouth of the cave. 
They seized the boy, whom the said Jew had taken 
from the Puerta del Perdon in Toledo — which boy 
was named Juan, son of Alonso Pasamontes and of 
Juana La Guindera. The said New-Christians now 
made a cross out of the timbers of a ladder which had 
been brought from a mill. They threw a rope round 
the boy's neck and they set him on the cross, and with 
another rope they tied his legs and arms, and they 
nailed his feet and hands to the cross with nails. 

" Being thus placed (puesto), one of the New- 
Christians from the neighbourhood of La Guardia 
bled the child, opening the veins of his arms with a 
knife, and he caught the blood that flowed in a cauldron ; 
and with a rope in which they had tied knots some 
whipped him, whilst others set a crown of thorns upon 
his head. They struck him, spat upon him, and used 
opprobrious words to him, pretending that what they 
were saying to the said child was addressed to the 
Person of Christ. And whilst they whipped him, they 
said : ' Betrayer, trickster, who, when you preached, 
preached falsehood against the Law of God and Moses ; 
now you shall pay here for what you said then. You 
thought to destroy us and to exalt yourself. But we 
shall destroy you' And further : ' Crucify this be- 
trayer who once announced himself King, who was to 
destroy our temple . . .' etc. etc. 1 

" After the ill-treatment and vituperation, one of 
the New-Christians from La Guardia opened the left 
side of the child with a knife and drew out his heart, 
upon which he threw some salt ; and so the child 
expired upon the cross. All of which was done in 
mockery of the Passion of Christ ; and some of the 

1 There is a great deal more of this, but the alleged insults become too 
obscene for translation. 

The Legend of the Santo Nino 279 

New-Christians took the body of the child and buried 
it in a vineyard near Sta. Maria de Pera. 

" A few days later the said Jew and New- 
Christians met again in the cave and attempted 
certain enchantments and conjurations with the heart 
of the child and a consecrated Host obtained through 
a sacristan who was a New-Christian. This con- 
ization and experiment they performed with the 
intention that the inquisitors of heretical pravity and 
all other Christians should enrage and die raging 
(rabiendo), and the Law of Jesus Christ our Redeemer 
should be entirely destroyed and superseded by the 
Law of Moses. 

" When they saw that the said experiment did not 
operate nor had the result they hoped, they assembled 
again elsewhere, and having treated of all that they 
desired to effect, by common consent one of them was 
sent with the heart of the said child and the consecrated 
Host to the Aljama of Zamora, which they accounted 
the principal Aljama in Castile, to the end that certain 
Jews there, known to be wise men, should with the 
said heart and Host perform the said experiment and 
sorcery that the Christians might enrage and die, 
and thus accomplish what they so ardently desired. 

" And for the greater ascertaining of the crime and 
demonstration of the truth, the said inquisitors having 
arrested some of the said offenders, New-Christians 
and Jews, they set the accused face to face, so that 
in the confession of their crimes there was con- 
formity, and these confessions consisted of what has 
been here set down. In addition other further steps 
were taken to verify the places where the crimes were 
committed and the place where the child was buried ; 
and they took one of the principal accused to the 
place where the child was buried, and there they 
found signs and demonstration of the truth of all. 1 
Some of the said accused, and some already deceased, 

1 But they did not find the body — a circumstance which appears to 
be here slurred over. 

280 Torquemada 

being prosecuted, they were sentenced and abandoned 
to the secular arm, all that we have set down being 
in accordance with the records of the proceedings to 
which we refer. 

" The said ' Testimonio ' written upon three sheets 
bearing our rubrics, we the said secretaries deliver by 
request of the Procurator-General of the village of 
La Guardia, by order of the Very Illustrious Senores 
of His Majesty's Council of the Holy Inquisition in 
the City of Madrid in the Diocese of Toledo, on the 
19th day of September of the year of the birth of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, 1569. 

" Alonso de Doriga = Nee auro frangenda fides. 
Matheo Vazquez = In cujus fide fcedera con- 

Pedro de Tapia." 

This "Testimonio" does not afford us the name 
of any one of the offenders — presumably that the holy 
place in which the tablets were exposed should not 
be desecrated. When it is compared with the account 
left by Moreno and the discrepancies between the two 
become apparent, when, further, the extravagances of 
Moreno's story are considered, it is not surprising that 
the conclusion should have been reached that the 
whole affair was trumped up to forward that campaign 
against the Jews to which Torquemada was employing 
his enormous energies. 

But the records of the trial of Yuce* Franco dis- 
covered by Fidel Fita throw a very different light 
upon the matter. And whilst we know that Torque- 
mada did avail himself to the utmost of this affair of 
the Santo Nino to encompass the banishment of the 
Jews from Spain, we must consider all notion that 
he himself simply invented the story to that end as 
completely dispelled by the evidence that is now 
to be examined. 

From the records of the trial of Yuc£ Franco 

The Legend of the Santo Nifio 281 

we are to-day not only able very largely to re- 
construct the event, but also to present a complete 
instance of the application of the jurisprudence of 
the Inquisition. Indeed, had the archives of the 
Holy Office been ransacked for an entirely typical 
prosecution, embodying all the features peculiar to 
that terrible court, no better instance than this could 
have been forthcoming. 



In May or June of 1490— -the time of year being 
approximately determined by the events that follow — 
a baptized Jew of Las Mesuras named Benito Garcia 
put up at an inn in the northern village of Astorga. 
He was an elderly man of some sixty years of age, a 
wool-comber by trade and a considerable traveller in 
the course of his trading. 

In the common-room of the tavern where he sat 
at table were several men of Astorga, who, either in a 
drunken frolic or because they were thieves, went 
through the contents of his knapsack, and discovered 
in it some herbs and a communion wafer, which they 
at once assumed to be consecrated (and which it was 
grossest sacrilege for a layman so much as to touch). 

Uproar followed the announcement of the dis- 
covery. With cries of " Sacrilege ! " these thieving 
drunkards fell upon the Jew. They beat him. They 
flung a rope about his neck, dragged him from the 
inn and haled him into the presence of the Provisor 
of Astorga, Dr. Pedro de Villada. The reverend 
doctor discharged there the functions of an agent of 
the Holy Office. He was fully experienced in in- 
quisitorial affairs, and he was upon the eve of being 
promoted to the dignity of inquisitor in the court of 

Villada received the wafer, heard the accusation, 
and took a short way with Benito when the latter 
refused to explain himself. He ordered him two 


The Arrest of Yuci Franco 283 

hundred lashes, and finding the man still obdurate 
after this punishment, he submitted him to the water- 
torture. Under this the wretched fellow at last 
betrayed himself. Of precisely what he said we have 
no record taken at the time ; but we have his own 
word for it — as reported afterwards by Yuc6 Franco 
to whom he uttered it — that " he had said more than 
he knew, and enough to burn him." l 

Having, as is clear, obtained from him an 
admission of his own guilt, Villada now proceeded, 
as prescribed by the " Directorium," to induce him to 
incriminate others. We know the methods usually 
employed ; from these and from what follows it is 
quite reasonable to assume that recourse was had to 
them now. 

Following Eymeric's instructions, Villada would, 
no doubt, admonish him with extreme kindness, 
professing to cast no blame upon Benito himself but 
rather upon those evil ones who had seduced him into 
error, and he would exhort the prisoner to save 
himself by showing a true penitence, pointing out that 
the only proof of his penitence he could advance would 
be a frank and free delation of those who had led him 
so grievously astray. 

From the occasional glimpses of this Benito Garcia 
vouchsafed us in the records of the trial of Yuce* 
Franco, we perceive a rather reckless personality, 
of a certain grim, sardonic humour, gleams of which 
actually pierce through the dehumanization of the legal 
documents to ensnare our sympathy. 

He is imbued with contempt for these Christians 
whose religion he embraced forty years ago, in what 
he accounts a weak moment of his youth, and from 
which he secretly seceded again some five years before 

1 Fidel Fita in " Boletin de la Real Academia," vol. xi. p. 35. " Mas 
de lo que sabia " is the actual and rather ambiguous phrase. It may mean 
either that he had related more than was known to him at the time of the 
torture — i.e. more than was actually true ; or that he had said more than 
he knew — i.e. more than he could recall — now, at the time of his conver- 
sation with Yuc6 Franco. 

284 Torquemada 

his arrest. He is weighed down by remorse for 
having been false to the Jewish faith in which he was 
born ; he believes himself overtaken by the curse 
which his father launched upon him when he took 
that apostatizing step ; he is out of all conceit with 
Christianity ; since seeing the bonfires of the Faith he 
has come to the conclusion that as a religion it is an 
utter failure ; it has been his habit to sneer at Jews 
who were inclining to Christianity. 

" Get yourselves baptized," was the gibe he 
flung at them, " and go and see how they burn the 
New-Christians." 1 

In the prison of Avila — when he gets there — his 
one professed aim is to die in the faith of his fathers. 

But it would seem that when first taken in the 
toils of the Inquisition, and having experienced in his 
own person the horrors of its methods, he realizes 
the sweetness of life, and eagerly avails himself of the 
false loophole so alluringly exposed by the reverend 

In his examination of June 6 he betrays to 
Villada the course of his re-Judaizing. He relates 
that five years ago, whilst in talk with one Juan de 
Ocana, a converso whom he believes to be a Jew at 
heart under an exterior of Christianity, the latter had 
urged him to return to the Jewish faith, saying that 
Christ and the Virgin were myths, and that there is 
no true law but that of Moses. Lending an ear to 
these persuasions, Benito had done many Jewish 
things, such as not going to church (although he 
whipped his children when they stayed away, lest 
their absence should betray his own apostasy) nor 
observing holy-days, eating meat on Fridays and 
fast-days at the house of Mos6 Franco and Yuce* 
Franco — Jews of the neighbourhood of Tenbleque — 
and wherever else he could eat it without being 
detected. Indeed, for the past five years, he admits, 

1 See this upon his own word, as related in Yuc6 Franco's depositions 
(*• Boletin," xi. p. 35 et seq.) and admitted by himself. 

The Arrest of Yuc£ Franco 285 

he has been a Jew at heart, and if during that time 
he did not more completely observe Jewish rites and 
practices, it was because he dared not for fear of 
being discovered ; whilst all the Christian acts he had 
performed had been merely a simulation, that he might 
appear to be a Christian still. The confessions he 
had made to the priest of La Guardia had been false 
ones, and he had never gone to Communion — 
" believing that the Corpus Christi was all a farce 
(creyendo que todo era bur la el Corpus Christi)!' He 
even added that whenever he saw the Viaticum carried 
through the streets, it was his habit to spit and to 
make higas (a gesture of contempt). 1 

In these last particulars his confession is of an 
extreme frankness, and we can only suppose that he 
is merely repeating what the torture had already 
extracted from him. Completely to elucidate the 
matter as it concerns Benito Garcia, we should require 
to be in possession of the full records of his own trial 
(which have not yet been discovered), whereas at 
present we have to depend upon odd documents from 
that dossier which are introduced in Yuce* Franco's as 
relating to the latter. 

Questioned more closely concerning these Jews he 
has mentioned — Mose* and Yuce" Franco — Benito states 
that they lived with their father, £a Franco, at Ten- 
bleque, that he was in the habit of visiting them upon 
matters of business, and that he had frequently eaten 
meat at their house on Fridays and Saturdays and 
other forbidden days, and had often given them money 
to purchase oil for the synagogue lamps. 

We know that, as a consequence of these confessions, 
Qa Franco, an old man of eighty years of age, and his 
son Yuce\ a lad of twenty who was a cobbler by 
trade, were arrested on July 1, 1489, for proselytizing 
practices — i.e. for having induced Benito Garcia to 
abandon the Christian faith to which he had been 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 60. 

286 Torquemada 

Ca's other son, Mose\ was either dead at the time 
or else he died very shortly after arrest and before 
being brought to trial. 

Juan de Ocana, too, was arrested upon the same 

They were taken to Segovia, and thrown into the 
prison of the Holy Office in that city. In this prison 
Yuce* Franco fell so seriously ill that he believed him- 
self at the point of death. 

A physician named Antonio de Avila, who spoke 
either Hebrew or the jargon of Hebrew and Romance 
that was current among the Jews of the Peninsula, 
went to attend to the sick youth. Yuce" implored this 
doctor to beseech the inquisitors to send a Jew to 
pray with him and to prepare him for death — " que 
le dixiese las cosas que disen los Judios quando se 
quieren morirT 

The physician, who, like all the family of the 
Inquisition, was himself a spy, duly conveyed the 
request to the inquisitors. They seized the chance to 
put into practice one of the instructions advanced by 
Eymeric. They sent a Dominican, one Frey Alonso 
Enriquez, disguised as a Jew, to minister to the 
supposed moribund. The friar had a fluent command 
of the language spoken by the Jews of Spain. He 
introduced himself to the lad as a Rabbi named 
Abraham, and completely imposed upon him and won 
his confidence. 

He pressed Yuce" to confide in him, and in his 
manner of doing so he proceeded along the crafty lines 
advocated by the " Directorium." 

Eymeric, as will be remembered, enjoins that when 
a prisoner is examined, the precise accusation against 
him should not be disclosed ; rather he should be 
questioned as to why he conceives that he has been 
arrested and by whom he supposes himself to have 
been accused, with the object of perhaps discovering 
further and hitherto unsuspected matters against him. 
Against Yuce" Franco and the other prisoners there 

The Arrest of Yuc£ Franco 287 

was at this stage no charge beyond that — serious 
enough in itself — of having induced Benito Garcia to 
re-Judaize. But the disguised friar now pressed him 
with probing questions, asking him what he had done 
to get himself arrested. 

Yuce — who did not yet know what was the charge 
— entirely duped, and believing that his visitor was a 
Rabbi of his own faith, replied that M he had been 
arrested on account of the mita of a nahar, which had 
been after the manner of Otohays." * 

We have left the Hebrew words untranslated to illus- 
trate the unintelligibility of the phrase to the general. 

Mita means "killing," nahar means "a boy," 
whilst Otohays — literally " that man " — is startling 
because it is identical with the term used in St. Luke 
(xxiii. 4) and in the Acts of the Apostles (v. 28) to 
designate Christ. 

Yuce begged the false Rabbi Abraham to go to 
the Chief Rabbi of the Synagogue of Segovia, 2 a man 
of very considerable importance and influence, and to 
inform him of this fact, but otherwise to keep the 
matter very secret. 

The Dominican repaired to the inquisitors who 
had sent him with this very startling piece of informa- 
tion, which was corroborated by the physician, who had 
remained well within earshot during the entire interview. 

By order of the inquisitors Frey Alfonso Enriquez 
returned to Yuen's prison a few days later to attempt 
to elicit from the young Jew further particulars of the 
matter to which he had alluded. But the lad — pro- 
bably considerably recovered by now, and therefore 
more alert — evinced the greatest mistrust of the 
physician Avila, who was hovering near them, and 
would not utter another word on the subject. 8 

1 " . . . estava alii sobre una mita de nahar que avido sido como de 
la manera de Otohays." 

' See Loeb in " Kevue des Etudes Juives," vol. xv. p. 218. 

3 This is not only in the depositions of Frey Alfonso Enrquez and the 
physician Avila (" Boletin," xi. pp. 56 and 57), but it is also admitted and 
corroborated in detail by Yuc6 Franco himself in his examination of 
September 16, 1491 {ibid. p. 58). 

288 Torquemada 

The matter was of such gravity that we are quite 
safe in assuming — and we have evidence to warrant 
the assumption — that it was instantly communicated 
to Torquemada, who at the time was at his convent of 
Segovia, practically upon the spot. 

We know — as will presently transpire — that it was 
by order of Torquemada that Yuce* Franco and the 
others came to be in the prison of the Holy Office at 
Segovia, instead of in that of the extremely active 
Inquisition of Toledo, within whose jurisdiction the 
accused dwelt and the crime had been committed. 
We are unable to give an absolutely authentic reason 
for this. But we gather that the examination of 
Qa Franco, or of Ocana, or perhaps of Benito himself 
— who had said " more than he knew " — must have 
yielded disclosures of such a nature that upon learning 
them the Grand Inquisitor had desired that the trial 
should be conducted immediately under his own 

The Sovereigns, who had been in Andalusia since 
May of the previous year, about the war upon Granada, 
now wrote to Torquemada — in July 1490 — bidding 
him join them there. 

From Segovia the Grand Inquisitor replied, urging 
very pressing business to which he proposed to give 
his personal attention, wherefore he begged them 
to permit him to postpone his response to their 
summons. 1 

He quitted Segovia at about this time to repair to 
Avila, where the work upon the church and monastery 
of St. Thomas was well advanced ; so well advanced, 
indeed, that already he was able to take up his resi- 
dence in the monastery. 

We may assume that the pressing business he had 
urged to the Sovereigns as an excuse for postponing 
his journey into Andalusia was the business of inquir- 
ing into the alleged crimes of these Hebrew prisoners. 

1 " Boletin," vol. xxiii. p. 413. 

The Arrest of Yuc£ Franco 289 

For we know that he had intended having them 
brought before himself at Avila, but that being unable 
to dispose of the matter before the end of August or 
to postpone beyond that time his departure to rejoin 
the Court, he was compelled to entrust the matter to 
his delegates — the Dominican Frey Fernando de 
Santo Domingo, and the sometime Provisor of Astorga, 
Dr. Pedro de Villada, with whom, no doubt, he would 
leave — as he says himself — the fullest instructions. 

So much we are justified in assuming from the 
tenor of the following letter, which he delivered to 
them under date of August 27, to serve them as their 
warrant to remove the prisoners from Segovia and 
bring them to Avila for trial. 

He wrote as follows : 

11 We, Frey Tomas de Torquemada, Prior of the 
Monastery of Holy Cross of Segovia, of the Order 
of Preachers, Confessor and Councillor to the King 
and Queen, our Sovereign lords, Inquisitor-General 
of heretical pravity and apostasy in the Kingdoms of 
Castile and Aragon and all other Dominions of their 
Highnesses, so deputed by the Holy Apostolic See, 

Make known to you, 
Reverend and Devout Fathers, D. Pedro de Villada, 
Doctor of Canon Law . . . Juan Lopes de Cigales, 
Licentiate of Holy Theology . . . and to you, Frey 
Fernando de Santo Domingo . . . Inquisitors of 
heretical pravity in the said City and Bishopric of 

That we, by certain and legitimate 
information received, ordered the arrest of the persons 
and bodies of Alonso Franco, Lope Franco, Garcia 
Franco, and Juan Franco of the neighbourhood of 
La Guardia in the Archbishopric of Toledo, and of 
Yuce Franco, a Jew of the neighbourhood of Tenbleque, 
and of Mose Abenamias, a Jew of the City of Zamora, 
and of Juan de Ocafia and Benito Garcia, of the neigh- 
bourhood of the said place of La Guardia, and the 


290 Torquemada 

sequestration of all their property for having practised 
heresy and apostasy and for having perpetrated certain 
deeds, crimes, and offences against our Holy Catholic 
Faith, and we ordered them to be taken to and 
held in the prison of the Holy Inquisition of the 
City of Segovia until their cases should be fully 
known to and decided by us or by such person or 
persons to whom we consign them upon being so 

" But inasmuch as we are now occupied with other 
and arduous matters, and therefore may not personally 
acquaint ourselves with the said cases or with any one 
of them, trusting in the legality, learning, experience, 
and sound conscience of you, the said Reverend Father 
Inquisitors and of each of you, and that you are such 
persons as will well and faithfully discharge what we 
entrust to you by these presents we commit to you, 
the said Reverend Father Inquisitors, and to each of 
you, in solidum, the said proceedings against and trials 
of the aforementioned and of any of them, whether 
they may have been participators or accessories before 
or after the fact of the said crimes and offences in any 
way committed against our Holy Catholic Faith, and 
likewise of the abettors, counsellors, defenders, con- 
cealers, those who had knowledge of the facts and 
offenders of whatsoever degree, to the end that con- 
cerning them you may receive and obtain any informa- 
tion from any part of the said Kingdoms, and seize 
and examine any witness, and inquire, learn, proceed, 
imprison, sentence, and abandon to the secular arm 
such as you may find guilty, absolve and liberate 
those without guilt, and do concerning them all things 
and any thing that we ourselves should do being 
present. . . . 

11 And by these presents we order the Father 
Inquisitors of the City of Segovia and each and any 
of them in whose power are the said prisoners to 
deliver them immediately in safe custody to you. 

" Given in the Monastery of St. Thomas of the 

The Arrest of Yuc£ Franco 291 

said Order of Preachers, which is beyond and near the 
walls of the said City of Avila." 1 

At what stage of the affair the four brothers Franco 
of La Guardia — Alonso, Lope, Garcia, and Juan — had 
been arrested, and upon whose information, we do not 
know. But we do know — for the dossier of Yuen's 
trial is complete — that they were not betrayed by 

That their names had been divulged is a confirma- 
tion of the surmise that the examinations of Ocafia, 
or (^a Franco, or even Benito Garcia, had already 
yielded further information on the subject of the affair 
of La Guardia. 

It must be understood that the record of any 
examination of these prisoners in which the name of 
Yuce* Franco was not mentioned would find no place 
in the dossier of the latter's trial. 

The four Francos of La Guardia were brothers, as 
we have said ; but they were nowise related to the 
Francos of Tenbleque — Ca and Yuce\ They were 
dealers in cereals — possibly millers — as we shall see, 
and they owned a number of carts which they appear 
to have further employed in a carrier's business. 
They were baptized Jews, as is already made clear 
in Torquemada's letter by the fact that he does not 
describe them — as he does the others — as Jews. 

All concerned in the affair, with the exception of 
one Ribera, who does not at present enter into con- 
sideration, were men drawn from a humble class of 
life — a class which through ignorance has always been 
credulous and prone to belief in sorcery and enchant- 

A curious circumstance is the omission in Torque- 
mada's letter of all mention of the octogenarian (^a 
Franco, whom we know to have been already under 

Having thus entrusted the conduct of tke affair to 

1 " Boletin,'' xi. p. 9. 

292 Torquemada 

his subordinates, the Grand Inquisitor set out to join 
the Sovereigns in Andalusia. 

The prisoners were soon afterwards brought to 
Avila, secrecy being so well observed that each re- 
mained in ignorance of the arrest of the others. But 
before being transferred from Segovia Yuce* was taken 
before the Holy Office there for examination on 
October 27 and 28. And from the nature of the 
questions — as revealed by the depositions made — we 
are left to assume that the inquisitors aimed at further 
incriminating the Francos of La Guardia, proceeding 
upon information extracted from them, or else obtained 
from one of the other prisoners. 

In answer to the questions set him, Yuce* Franco 
deponed that some three years earlier he had gone to 
La Guardia to buy wheat for the unleavened bread of 
the Passover from Alonso Franco, having been told 
that the latter had wheat of good quality for sale. He 
sought Alonso in the market, and thence accompanied 
him to his house. Talking as they went, Alonso 
asked him why they made this unleavened bread, to 
which Yuc6 replied that it was to commemorate God's 
deliverance of the Children of Israel out of Egypt. 

The question may certainly seem an odd one from 
a man who had been born a Jew. But it should be 
remembered that ignorance and lack of education 
might easily account for it. 

Yuce" further deponed that in the pursuit of this 
conversation Alonso not only betrayed nostalgic lean- 
ings towards his original faith, but actually admitted 
that together with some of his brothers he had crucified 
a boy one Good Friday in the manner that the Jews 
had crucified Christ. 

Continuing, he said that Alonso had asked him 
whether the Paschal lamb eaten by the Jews at the 
time of leaving Egypt had been terefa (slaughtered 
and bled in the Jewish manner), to which Yuce* had 
replied that it had not, as at that time the Law had not 
yet been made. 

The Arrest of Yuc6 Franco 293 

These replies were construed by the inquisitors 
into admissions of proselytizing on the part of Yuce\ 
and when subsequently at Avila (January 10, 1491) 
he was reminded of what he had said at Segovia con- 
cerning what had passed between Alonso Franco and 
himself, and asked whether he could remember anything 
further, he confirmed all that he had already deponed, 
but could only add a question on the subject of 
circumcision which had been addressed to him by 
Alonso. 1 

The fiscal advocate, or prosecutor of the tribunal, 
prepared his case against Yuce Franco, and on 
December 17, 1490, he came before the court at the 
audience of vespers to open the prosecution. 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 29. 



The Fiscal, D. Alonso de Guevara, announces to their 
Reverend Paternities that his denunciation of Yuce* 
Franco is prepared, and he solicits them to order the 
prisoner to be brought into the audience-chamber 
that he may hear it read. 

The apparitor of the court introduces the accused 
into the presence of the inquisitors and their notary, 
to whom Guevara now hands his formal accusation. 
This the notary proceeds to read. Thus : 

" Most Reverend and Virtuous Sirs, — I, Alonso 
de Guevara, Bachelor of Law, Fiscal Prosecutor of 
the Holy Inquisition in this City and Diocese of 
Avila, appear before your Reverend Paternities in 
the manner by law prescribed, to denounce Yuce* 
Franco, Jew, of the neighbourhood of Tenbleque, 
who is present. 

" Not content that, in common with all other Jews, 
he is humanely permitted to abide and converse with 
the faithful and Catholic Christians, he did induce and 
attract some Christians to his accursed Law with false 
and deceptive doctrines and suggestions, telling them 
that the Law of Moses is the true one, in which there 
is salvation, and that the Law of Jesus Christ is a false 
and fictitious Law never imposed or decreed by God. 

" And with infidel and depraved soul he went with 
some others to crucify a Christian boy, one Good 
Friday, almost in the manner and with that hatred 


The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 295 

and cruelty with which the Jews, his ancestors, cruci- 
fied our Redeemer Jesus Christ, mocking and spitting 
upon him, striking and wounding him with the aim 
of vituperating and deriding our Holy Catholic Faith 
and the Passion of our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

u Item, he contrived, as principal, together with 
others, to obtain a consecrated Host to be outraged 
and mocked in vituperation and contempt of our Holy 
Catholic Faith, and because amongst the other Jews 
— accomplices in the said crime — there were certain 
sorcerers who on the day of their Passover of unleavened 
bread were to commit enchantments with the said Host 
and the heart of a Christian boy. And if this were 
done, as said, all Christians were to enrage and die. 
The intention moving them was that the Law of Moses 
should be more widely kept and honoured, its rites 
and precepts and ceremonies more freely solemnized, 
that the Christian Religion should perish and be 
subverted, and that they, themselves, should become 
possessed of all the property of the Catholic and 
Faithful Christians, and there should be none to 
interfere with their perverse errors, and their genera- 
tion should grow and multiply upon the earth, that 
of the Faithful Christians being entirely extirpated. 

" Item, he committed other crimes concerning the 
Holy Office of the Holy Inquisition, as I shall state 
and allege in the course of these proceedings as far 
as I may consider necessary. 

u Wherefore I beg you, Reverend Sirs, that you 
pronounce the said Yuce" Franco, for the said crimes, 
to be a malefactor, abettor of heretics, and a subverter 
and destroyer of the Catholic and Christian Law ; and 
that he shall be deemed to have fallen into and incurred 
all the penalties and censures prescribed by canon and 
civil law for those who commit these crimes, and the 
confiscation and loss of all his property, which shall be 
applied to the royal treasury, and that he may be 
abandoned to the secular arm and justice that it may 
do with him as by law befits with a malefactor, an 

296 Torquemada 

abettor of heretics, and an extirpator of the Catholic 
Faith. , . . 

4 'Wherefore I petition your Reverences to proceed 
against the said Yuce* Franco simpliciter et de piano 
et sine estrepitu judicii, as runs the formula prescribed 
by law in such cases, 1 to the end that justice may be 

11 And I swear to God on this Cross on which I set 
my hand, that this petition and denunciation which 
I bring against Yuce Franco I do not bring maliciously, 
but because I believe him to have committed all that 
I have stated, and to the end that justice may be done 
and the wicked and the abettors of heretics be punished, 
that the good men may be known and that our Holy 
Catholic Faith may be exalted." 2 

It will be seen presently that at this stage of the 
proceedings Yuc6 had not the slightest suspicion that 
the pretended Rabbi Abraham who had visited him 
in his prison of Segovia when he lay sick was other 
than he had announced himself. Nor did the accusa- 
tion afford him the least hint that any of his associates 
had been taken, or that Benito Garcia had been 
examined under torture. So carefully had they 
managed things that he was not even aware of the 
arrest of his old father. 

Therefore it must have come as something of a 
shock to him to hear this matter of the crucifixion of 
the child at La Guardia included in the indictment. 
Nevertheless he unhesitatingly pronounced the denun- 
ciation to be the " greatest falsehood in the world." 

Guevdra answered this denial by petitioning the 
court to receive the proofs which he was prepared 
to present. 

Being asked whether in the preparation of his 
defence he would require the services of counsel, 
Yuce* replied in the affirmative, and the tribunal 

1 By Eymeric in the " Directorium." 

2 " Boletin," vol. xi. p. 13. 


The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 297 

appointed as his attorney the Bachelor Sane,, 1 and 
as his advocate Juan de Pantigoso. The usual form 
of oath was imposed upon these lawyers, and Yuce* 
empowered them to act for him within the narrow 
limitations imposed by the Holy Office, which afforded 
them no opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses 
for the prosecution or even to be present at their 

The notary of the court was ordered to supply the 
defendant with a copy of the indictment, and Yuce was 
allowed a term of nine days within which to prepare 
his answer. 

Five days later the accused successfully petitions 
the court that to the advocate appointed him be added 
one Martin Vazquez, to whom he gives the necessary 
powers. And it is this same Martin Vazquez who on 
that very day — December 22, 1490 — presents to the 
court the written repudiation of the indictment, pre- 
pared by the Bachelor Sane, in his client's name. 

The advocate begins by respectfully submitting 
that this court has no jurisdiction over his client on 
the score of the crimes alleged against him, since their 
Paternities are inquisitors appointed — Auctoritate 
Apostolica — for the Diocese of Avila only, and only 
over persons of that diocese. Yuce* is of the Diocese 
of Toledo, where there are inquisitors of heretical 
pravity, before whom he is ready to appear to answer 
any charges. Therefore his case should have been 
referred to that court of Toledo, and their Paternities 
should never have received Guevara's denunciation. 

He proceeds to reprove their Paternities for having 
done so upon sounder grounds, when he protests that 
the accusation is too vague and general and obscure. 
It does not state place or year or month or day or 
hour in which, or persons with whom, it is alleged 
that his client committed the crimes set forth. 

Further, he objects that since his client is a Jew, 

1 Such is the consistent but obviously inaccurate spelling of the name. 

298 Torquemada 

he cannot with justice be accused of having fallen into 
the crime of heresy or apostasy ; and therefore it is 
not right that — as may be done in the case of a 
heretic — the full expression and elucidation of what 
is charged against him should be withheld, since thus 
it is impossible for his client to defend himself, not 
knowing what precisely are the charges made. 

The advocate very rightly denounces it as against 
all equity that the Fiscal should thus prejudice Yuce" 
without particularizing his accusation, and he warns 
their Paternities that it may prove hurtful to their 
consciences if, as a result of Guevara's generalizations, 
Yuce" should come to suffer and die undefended. 

It is very unsatisfactory equity which says to a 
man, " You are accused of such-and-such crimes. 
Prove your innocence of them, or we punish you." 
But it is not equity at all that can say, " You are 
accused of something ; no matter what. Prove to 
us that you are innocent of all the offences for which 
this tribunal may proceed against you, or we find you 
guilty and send you to death." 

This, however, was precisely the method of the 
Holy Office, and being aware of it, the advocate is 
forced to confess that in a case of heresy secretly 
committed the Inquisition may admit an accusation 
that does not specify time or place of the alleged 

But this, he insists, does not apply to his client, 
who, being a Jew and not having a baptized soul, 
may not truly be denounced as a heretic. He appeals 
to the consciences of the inquisitors not to admit the 
accusation, and finally he threatens that if they do so, 
he will lodge a complaint where by right he may. 

From all this it appears that so completely — as 
completely as his client — is the advocate in ignorance 
of the mainsprings of the prosecution that he does 
not even know that the trial has been ordered by 
Torquemada, himself, to take place in Avila. That 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 299 

warrant-letter of the Grand Inquisitor's has not been 
divulged to the defendant, lest in learning the names 
of his fellow-accused he should learn too much, be 
put upon his guard, and equipped to set up a tenable 

But in any case, and to be on the safe side, the 
advocate offers a categorical and eloquent denial of 
every count in the Fiscal's indictment. 

He scoffs at the absurdity of accusing Yuce" Franco 
of seeking to seduce Christians into embracing the 
Law of Moses. He urges the lad's youth, his station 
in life, his general ignorance (even of that same Law 
of Moses by which he lives), and the fact that he 
has to work hard to make a living by his cobbler's 
trade ; and he adduces that his client has neither 
the time nor the knowledge necessary to attempt any 
such proselytizing as that with which he is charged. 

He declares that if at any time Yuc6 did expound 
any part of the Mosaic Law in answer to questions 
addressed to him (this being obviously inspired by 
Yuen's recollection of the statements he has made 
under examination concerning Alonso Franco) he did 
so simply and frankly, with no thought of prosely- 
tizing, nor could it so be construed. In fact, save 
for the answers returned by him to questions asked 
by Alonso Franco, the lad does not remember ever 
to have done even so much, which would have been 
no real offence in any case. 

Full and formal, too, is the denial of Yuc6's 
participation in the crucifixion of any boy, and of 
having procured or attempted to procure a Host. 
The advocate ridicules the notion of this cobbler-lad 
being a sorcerer, or having knowledge of, or interest 
in, sorcery. 

Finally — burrowing ever in the dark, and seeking 
to undermine possibilities, since he is given no facts 
that he may demolish — he suggests that the deposi- 
tions received against Yuce" are perhaps susceptible 
of being interpreted in different ways, and may refer 

300 Torquemada 

equally to good or evil, and that since he is accused 
and arrested the things he has, himself, deponed {i.e. 
concerning Alonso Franco's Judaizing tendencies) 
should be interpreted in his favour, and not against 

Therefore he petitions their Reverend Paternities 
to order the witnesses to declare with whom, where, 
when, and how Yuce* committed these things which 
are deponed against him. Failing that, he begs them 
to declare his client acquitted, to release him, restor- 
ing him his good fame and all property that may 
have been confiscated by order of their Paternities or 
any other judges of the Inquisition. 1 

The court commanded the notary to prepare a 
copy of this plea, and to deliver it to the Fiscal, who 
was instructed to reply to it within three days. And 
they further commanded that at the time of the 
delivery of the said reply, Yuce* Franco should again 
be brought before them that he might learn what 
was determined concerning him. 

The only matter of interest in the next sitting 2 — 
and this from the point of view of the illustration 
which these proceedings afford us of inquisitorial 
methods — is the Fiscal's repudiation of any obligation on 
his part to precise the time or place of the crimes with 
which Yuce* Franco is accused, and his insistence that, 
in spite of all that has been advanced by the defendant, 
the case must be considered one of heresy. 

The court evidently takes the same view, for it 
commands both parties to the action to proceed to 
advance proof of their respective contentions within 
thirty days. Meanwhile, to clear up the matter of 
the venue, the court communicates with the Cardinal 
of Spain. The Primate very promptly grants the 
requisite permission to transfer the action to Avila 
from his own Archbishopric of Toledo within whose 

* " Boletin," xi. p. 16. ■ " Boletin," xi. p. 21. 

The Trial of YucS Franco 301 

jurisdiction it had lain. This was the merest formality ; 
for considering the explicit commands in the matter 
left by the supreme arbiter, Torquemada, the 
Cardinal could hardly have proceeded otherwise. 

The methods now adopted by the Fiscal to obtain 
the proofs which he requires, or at least to build a 
more complete and overwhelming case — for we cannot 
but suppose that already he had sufficient material 
upon which to have obtained a conviction — are 
eminently typical. 

We know that Qa Franco, Benito Garcia, Juan de 
Ocafia, and the four Francos of La Guardia were all 
at this time in the hands of the inquisitors ; and it is 
not to be doubted that these men would be under- 
going constant examination. But it is obvious, from 
the absence in the dossier with which we are con- 
cerned of any document relating to this particular 
period, that no avowals were made by his fellow- 
prisoners to increase the incrimination of Yuce. 

Without wishing to set up too many hypotheses to 
bridge the lacunce that result from the absence of the 
records of the proceedings against the other accused, 
we would tentatively suggest that in preparing that 
portion of his denunciation relating to the crucifixion 
of the child, Guevara had simply adapted details 
extracted from Benito to Yuen's vague admission in 
the prison of Segovia. This conclusion is emi- 
nently justifiable. It is based upon the fact that 
Guevara altogether overstepped the limits of any 
evidence brought to light in the whole course of the 
proceedings when he said that Yuce* u contrived as 
principal ... to obtain a consecrated Host." Further 
it is based upon the circumstance already mentioned 
that if in any deposition of Benito or of any other 
of the accused, Yuen's slightest participation in the 
affair of La Guardia had been mentioned, such a 
deposition — or at least the respective extract from 
it — must have found a place in the dossier of his 

302 Torquemada 

trial. And we know that no such document is 

Still further, we have the fact that the month 
prescribed by the court for the submission of proof 
was allowed to expire and another month after that, 
and still Guevara had no proofs to lay before their 
Reverend Paternities, beyond the depositions we have 
already seen. Meanwhile, Yuc£ continued to languish 
in prison. 

And here the following question suggests itself: 
In view of the admission made by Yuc6 to the false 
Rabbi in Segovia, why was he not closely and directly 
questioned upon that matter ? and in the event of his 
withholding details, why was he not put to torture as 
by law prescribed ? 

Instead of that direct method of procedure, he was 
left in complete ignorance of his self-betrayal and of 
the source whence the inquisitors had derived their 
knowledge of his association with the affair of La 

The only answer that suggests itself is that 
Torquemada desired the matter to be very fully 
elucidated, that the net should be very fully and 
carefully spread — as we shall see — so that nothing 
and no one should escape. And yet this answer is 
hardly entirely satisfactory. 

If Guevara allowed months to pass without being 
able to lay the required proofs of Yuce's guilt before 
the court, on the other hand Yuce" himself had been 
similarly unable to supply his counsel with any proof 
of his innocence — as indeed was impossible in the 
absence of all particulars of the charges against him. 

Thus for a season the case remains in suspense. 

Attempts to extract incriminating evidence from 
the other prisoners having meanwhile failed by 
ordinary judicial methods, the tribunal now has re- 
course to other means. Having failed to compel or 
induce the prisoners into betraying one another, 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 3°3 

the inquisitors now seek to lure them into self- 

A well-known scheme is employed. 

Benito is moved into a chamber immediately under 
Yuen's. To while away the tedium of his imprisonment, 
and with a light-heartedness that is a little startling in 
a man in his desperate position, Yuc6 sits by his window 
thrumming a viol or guitar one day towards the end of 
March or in early April. The instrument may have 
been left with him by the gaoler who was in the plot. 

What was no doubt expected comes to pass. 
Yuen's music is abruptly interrupted by a voice from 
below, which asks : 

" Can you give me a needle, Jew ?" 

Yuce" replies that he has no needle other than a 
cobbler's. 1 

The speaker is Benito Garcia, and it is certain 
that spies have been set to overhear what passes. 
We know that their conversation took place through 
a hole in the floor contrived by the gaoler, who was 
acting upon the instructions of the inquisitors. 2 

Yuce is very circumspect in all that he says ; but 
Benito is entirely reckless during those first days of 
their intercourse. And yet, whilst he admits that he 
considers himself lost already through what " that dog 
of a doctor" (by which he means the Reverend In- 
quisitor, Dr. Villada) extracted from him under torture 
in Astorga, he shows himself at other times not 
without hope of regaining his freedom. 

He mentions a man named Pena, who is the 
Alcalde of La Guardia. This man, he says, is in- 
terested in him, and has — or so Benito fancies — 
influence at Court which he would exert on Benito's 
behalf did he but know of the latter's position. 

At another time he vows that, if ever he gets out 
of prison, he will quit Spain and take himself off to 
Judea. He is convinced that all this trouble has come 
upon him as a punishment for having abandoned the 

1 " Boletin," xi. p 32. * Ibid p ^ 

304 Torquemada 

Law of Moses and denied the true God to embrace the 
religion of the Begotten God (Dios Paridd). 

But apart from these, there are no lamentations 
from him ; more usually he is sardonic in his griev- 
ances, as when he complains that all he got in 
return for the money he gave for the souls in 
purgatory were the fleas and lice that all but devoured 
him alive in the prison of Astorga ; or that all the 
recompense he enjoyed for having presented the 
Church with a holy-water font was to be subjected 
to the water-torture by " that dog of a doctor in 

He vows that he will die a Jew, though he should 
be burnt alive. He inveighs bitterly against the 
inquisitors, dubbing them Antichrists, and Torquemada 
the greatest Antichrist of all ; and he alludes derisively 
to what he terms the frauds and buffooneries of the 

It was from Benito that Yuce\ to his surprise, 
received news of his father's arrest and of the fact that 
Qa Franco lies in that same prison of Avila. He was 
informed of this during their first talk, when Benito 
reproved his music. 

u Don't thrum that guitar," Benito had said, u but 
take pity on your father who is here and whom the 
inquisitors have promised to burn." 1 

In the course of another later conversation between 
the prisoners Yuce* asks Benito what has brought 
about the latter's arrest. And when Benito has related 
the happening in the inn at Astorga, Yuc6 questions 
him on the subject of the consecrated wafer — and his 
questions certainly betray the fact that the young Jew 
had previous knowledge of it and generally of the 
affair that was afoot. He becomes so importunate in 
his questions that Benito — perhaps finding them 
awkward to answer without betraying the extent to 
which he has incriminated his associates — sharply bids 
Yuce" to leave the matter alone, assuring him at the 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 32 etseq. 

Photo by Donal I Macbeth. 

Prom [jmborch's " Historia Enquisitionis." 

The Trial of YucS Franco 3°5 

same time that he has never mentioned Yuce's name 
to the inquisitors. 

At first glance this statement appears untrue. But 
it is obvious that Benito means that he has never 
mentioned Yuen's name in connection with the Host 
or in any other way that could incriminate him. And 
in this he is truthful enough as far as he knows, for he 
could not suppose that what he had said about his own 
offences against the Faith committed in Yuce's house 
at Tenbleque could in any way be construed against 
the lad or his father. 

Passing on to other matters, they refer to a certain 
widow of La Guardia, of whom Benito says that he 
knows her to be a Judaizer, because she never ate 
anything containing lard or ham, and he has frequently 
seen her eat adafinas (the Jewish food prepared on the 
Friday for the Sabbath) and drink Caser wine. 1 

In the dossier of Yuce Franco there are no depo- 
sitions of the spy set to overhear his conversations with 
Benito. But it is probable that some such depositions 
will be found in the record of the trial of the latter, 
where they must belong, since from the frankness 
which he used he incriminated himself to an extra- 
ordinary degree and Yuce not at all. And it is not to 
be doubted that the inquisitors made use of information 
thus obtained when they came to examine Yuce Franco 
on April 9 and 10 2 and in a subsequent examination 
of August i, 3 when they drew from him a deposition 
which embodies all the foregoing. 

On the margin of the last of these depositions 
there is a note drawing attention to what was said 
by Benito concerning the widow of La Guardia, 
which shows that the inquisitors do not intend that 
this piece of chance information shall be wasted. 

Acting no doubt upon the report of the spy, and 
having at last obtained information upon which they 
could go to work, the inquisitors, Villada and Lopes, 
accompanied by their notary, pay Yuc6 Franco a 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 46. ■ Ibid. p. 32. ■ Ibid. p. 46. 


3°6 Torquemada 

surprise visit in his cell on the morning of Saturday, 
April 9. Having obtained his ratification of what he 
has already deponed at Segovia and in this prison of 
Avila, they draw from him by vague and subtle 
questionings the following additions to those admis- 
sions : 

About three years ago he was told by a Hebrew 
physician, named Yuc6 Tazarte, since deceased, that 
the latter had begged Benito Garcia to obtain him a 
consecrated wafer, and that Benito had stolen the keys 
of the church of La Guardia and so contrived to 
obtain a Host ; that in consequence of that theft, 
Benito was arrested — upon suspicion, we suppose — 
two years ago last Christmas (i.e. 1488), and detained 
in prison for two days. 

Tazarte told Yuce - that the wafer was required " to 
make a cord with certain knots," which cord, together 
with a letter, Tazarte gave the witness for delivery to 
the Rabbi Peres of Toledo, with which request Yuce 
had complied. 

But beyond this, he adds, he has no knowledge of 
what became of the Host, nor did Tazarte tell him ; 
and that not only Tazarte, but also Benito Garcia, 
Mose Franco — his own brother, since deceased — and 
Alonso Franco of La Guardia, were mixed up in the 
affair, according to what had been related by Mose* to 
his wife Jamila. In this last particular he presently 
corrected himself : it was not, he says upon reflection, 
to Jamila that Mose* had related this, but to Yuce 

It is a curious statement, and would no doubt be 
made in answer to the trend of the questions set him 
as to what he knew of a certain Host that had been 
used for purposes of magic. And there is reason to 
believe that — as we shall see presently — Yuce" was 
deliberately lying, in the hope of putting the inquisitors 
off the scent of the real affair. 

But it is noteworthy that in this, as in other 
depositions, he is careful to betray no Jews whom 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 307 

his evidence can hurt. His brother and Tazarte are 
dead ; Alonso and Benito Garcia are already under 
arrest, and the latter has admitted to Yuce that he has 
already said enough to burn him. Moreover, they 
are Christians — having received baptism — and their 
betrayal cannot be to Yuce* as serious a matter as 
would that of a faithful Jew. Particularly is this 
emphasized by his retraction of what he had said 
concerning the slight connection of his sister-in-law 
Jamila with the affair, having perhaps bethought him 
that even so little might incriminate her — as un- 
doubtedly it would have done. 

The inquisitors withdraw, obviously dissatisfied, 
and later on that same day they order Yuce* to be 
brought before them in the audience-chamber. There 
they recommence their questions, and they succeed 
in extracting from him a considerable portion of what 
passed between him and Benito in prison — matters 
of which, beyond all doubt, they would be already 
fully informed. 

Twice on the following day, which was Sunday, was 
he haled before their Reverend Paternities. At the 
first audience his statement of yesterday is read over 
to him, and when he has ratified it he is again pressed 
with stealthy questions to add a little more of what 
passed in those conversations with Benito. But in 
the course of the second examination on that Sunday, 
Yuce* is at last induced or betrayed into supplying 
the inquisitors with information nearer their require- 

He says that four years ago he was told by his 
brother Mose* that the latter, with Tazarte, Alonso 
Franco, Juan Franco, Garcia Franco, and Benito 
Garcia had obtained a consecrated wafer, and that by 
certain incantations they were to contrive that the 
justice of the Christians and the inquisitors should 
not have power to touch them. Mose* invited him to 
join in the affair, but he refused to do so, having no 
inclination, and being, moreover, on his way to Murcia 

3°8 Torquemada 

at the time. And he knows, from what Mose* told 
him, that about two years ago the same men repeated 
the same enchantment with the same Host. 1 

We do not know whether Yuce is now left in peace 
for a whole month, but we cannot suppose it. And 
we have to explain the absence of any report of an 
examination during that period by the assumption 
that whatever examinations did take place were 
entirely fruitless and brought no fresh particulars to 
light. As the dossier does not anywhere contain a 
single record of a fruitless examination, this assump- 
tion — although we admit its negative character — does 
not seem unreasonable. 

Anyway, on May 7 it is Yuce himself who begs to 
be taken before the inquisitors to tell them that he 
remembers having asked Mose* where he and his asso- 
ciates assembled to do what they did, so that the wives 
of the latter — who were Christian women — should 
have no knowledge of the affair, and Mose* had 
answered him that they assembled in the caves 
between Dosbarrios and La Guardia, on the road to 
Ocafia. 2 

It is difficult to suppose such a statement to be 
entirely spontaneous as following upon depositions 
made a month earlier. Much rather does it appear to 
be the result of some fruitless questionings such as we 
suggest may have taken place in the interval. Simi- 
larly we assume that the examinations steadily continue, 
but another month passes before we get the next 
recorded one, and this — on June g 3 — contains a really 
important admission. 

He says that he doesrit remember whether he has 
mentioned that some four years ago, being ill at 
Tenbleque and the physician Tazarte having come to 
bleed him, he overheard a conversation between his 
brother and Tazarte, from which he learnt that the 
latter, together with the Francos of La Guardia, had 
performed an enchantment with a Host and the heart 

1 "Boletin," xi. pp. 30-38. % Ibid. 3 Ibid. p. 31. 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 309 

of a Christian boy, by virtue of which the inquisitors 
could take no proceedings against them in any way, 
or, if they did, the inquisitors themselves would die. 

His statement that he doesn't remember whether 
he had mentioned a matter of so grave a character is 
either a foolish attempt to simulate guilelessness, or 
else, in itself, it suggests a bewildered state of mind 
resulting from the multiplication of examinations in 



which this matter of the heart of a Christian boy — 
contained, as we know, in Guevara's indictment — has 
been persistently thrust forward. 

He is asked whether he heard tell whence they 
procured the Host, and where they killed the boy to 
obtain the heart. But he denies having overheard 
anything, or having otherwise obtained any knowledge 
of these particulars. 

We have seen Eymeric's prescription for visiting 
a prisoner and assuring him that the inquisitors will 
pardon him if he makes a frank and full confession of 
his crime and of all that is known to him of the crimes 
of others. Although it is not positively indicated, 

310 Torquemada 

there is reason to suppose from what follows that this 
course was now being pursued in the case of Yuce* 
Franco. To play the part of the necessary mediator, 
the inquisitors have at hand the gaoler who must have 
been on friendly terms with the prisoner, having con- 
trived for him a means of communication with Benito 
at the time when the latter had occupied the cell 
immediately beneath Yuce's. That Benito no longer 
occupies this cell may safely be assumed ; for having 
served his turn, he would of course be removed 

Whatever the steps that were taken to bring it 
about, on July 19 — a little over a year after his arrest 
— Yuc£ is brought before Villada and Lopes, 1 at his 
own request, for the purpose of making certain 
additions to what he has already deponed. 

He begins by begging their Paternities to forgive 
him for not having earlier confessed all that he knew, 
protesting that such is now his intention, provided 
that they will pass him their word assuring him of 
pardon and immunity for himself and his father for all 
errors committed. 2 

It certainly seems that without previous assurance 
that some such consideration was intended towards 
him, he would never have ventured to prefer a request 
of this nature, at once incriminating — since it admitted 
his possession of knowledge hitherto withheld — and 
impudent in its assumption that such information would 
be purchased at the price he named. 

The inquisitors benignly answered him that they 
agreed to do so upon the understanding that in all he 
should tell them the entire truth, and they warned him 
that they would soon be able more or less to perceive 
whether he was telling the truth. 3 

1 u Boletin," xi. p. 39. 

8 " E que lo diesen palabra e seguro de perd<5n e seguridad de todos 
sus errores e de su persona e de su padre." 

3 "Que les plasia con tanto que en todo dixiese enteramente la 
verdad, porque ellos bien conoscerian poco mas 6 menos si la diria." 

The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 311 

(This pretence of being already fully informed is 
the ruse counselled by Eymericto persuade the person 
under examination of the futility of resorting to 

Reassured by this answer, and deluded no doubt 
by the apparent promise of pardon conditional upon a 
full confession, Yuce begins by offering, as an apology 
for his past silence upon the matters he is about to 
relate, the statement that this has been due to an oath 
which he swore not to divulge anything until he should 
have been in prison for a year. 

Thereupon he is sworn in the Jewish manner to 
speak the entire truth without fraud or evasions or 
concealment of anything known by him to concern 
the Holy Office of the Inquisition, and he addresses 
himself to the task of amplifying and rectifying what 
he has previously said. 

His confession is that once some three years ago 
he had been in a cave situated a little way back from 
the road that runs from La Guardia to Dosbarrios, 
on the right-hand side as you go towards the latter 
place, and midway between the two villages. There 
were present, in addition to himself, his father, 
<^a Franco, his brother Mose, since deceased, the 
physician Yuce Tazarte and one David Perejon — 
both deceased — Benito Garcia, Juan de Ocana, and 
the four Francos of La Guardia — Juan, Alonso, Lope, 
and Garcia. 

Alonso Franco had shown him a heart, which he 
said had been cut out of a Christian boy, and from 
its condition Yuce" judged that this had been lately 
done. Further, Alonso had shown him a wafer, 
which he said was consecrated. This wafer and the 
heart Alonso enclosed together in a wooden box 
which he delivered to Tazarte, and the latter took 
these things apart, saying that he went to per- 
form an enchantment so that the inquisitors could 
not hurt any of them, or, if they attempted to do 
so, they must themselves go mad and die within a year. 

312 Torquemada 

At this point the inquisitors interpolate two 
questions : 

11 Does he know whence the Host was obtained ? ' 

" Does he know whether they sacrificed any boy 
to procure the heart ? " 

His answer to the first is in the negative — he has 
no knowledge. 

To the second question he replies that he re- 
members hearing Alonso Franco state that he and 
some of his brothers crucified a Christian boy whose 
heart this was. 

Resuming his statement, he says that some two years 
ago all the above-mentioned assembled again between 
La Guardia and Tenbleque, and that on this occasion 
it was agreed to send a consecrated wafer to Mos6 
Abenamias of Zamora, and that such a Host was 
delivered to Benito Garcia enclosed in parchment 
tied with red silk. This, Benito was to take to 
Abenamias, together with a letter which had first 
been written in Hebrew, but which — lest this should 
excite suspicion in the event of the letters being 
discovered — was replaced by another one written in 

The interpretation to place upon this seems to be 
that, doubts having arisen as to the efficacy of the 
enchantments performed by Tazarte, it was deemed 
expedient to have recourse to a magician of greater 
repute, and to send a consecrated wafer to Abenamias 
in Zamora, that he might accomplish with it the 
desired sorcery. 

The inquisitors press Yuce" to say whether he 
knows if Benito did actually deliver the wafer to 
Abenamias. He replies that he doesn't know what 
Benito did with it ; but that he has been told by 
Benito [in the course of their conversations in the 
prison of Avila] that he went upon a journey to 
Santiago, and that in passing through Astorga he was 

The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 313 

arrested by order of Dr. Villada, who was the provisor 
there at the time. 

As for the heart, he doesn't know what happened 
to it ; but he believes that it remained in the pos- 
session of Tazarte, who performed his enchantments 
with it. 

Questioned as to who was the leading spirit in the 
affair, he replies that Tazarte invited him together 
with his father and his brother Mos6, and that they 
all went together to the cave, whilst he believes that 
the Christians (i.e. Ocana, the Francos, and Benito 
Garcia) and David Perejon from La Guardia were 
also summoned by Tazarte. 

Finally he is asked whether Tazarte received any 
money for his sorceries, and whether Benito Garcia 
was paid to convey the Host to Zamora ; and he 
answers that money was given by Alonso Franco to 
Tazarte, and that Benito too would be paid for his 

From a ratification on the next day (July 20) of 
a confession made by the octogenarian (^a Franco, 
it becomes clear that immediately upon dismissing 
Yuce, his father was introduced into the audience- 
chamber for examination. 

The inquisitors are now possessed of the infor- 
mation that (^a was present in the cave when Alonso 
Franco produced the heart of a Christian child. 
Working upon this and upon the other details 
obtained from Yuce, they would now be able, by 
a clever parade of these — and a seemingly intentional 
reticence as to the rest — convincingly to feign the 
fullest and completest knowledge of the affair. Thus 
does the " Directorium " enjoin the inquisitor to 
conduct his examination. 

Believing that all is betrayed, and that further 
concealment will, therefore, be worse than useless, 
Qa at last speaks out. He not only confirms all 
that his son has already admitted, but he adds a 

314 Torquemada 

great deal more. He confesses that he himself, his 
two sons and the other Jews and Christians men- 
tioned, assembled in a cave on the right-hand side of 
the road that runs from La Guardia to Dosbarrios, 
and he says that some of them brought thither a 
Christian boy who was there crucified upon two 
timbers rectangularly crossed, to which they bound 
him. Before proceeding to do this, the boy was 
stripped by the Christians, who whipped and other- 
wise vituperated him. 

He protests that he, himself, took no part in this 
beyond being present and witnessing all that was done. 
Pressed as to what part was taken by his son Yuce\ he 
admits that he saw the latter give the boy a light push 
or blow. 

It is to this mention of Yuc£ that we owe the inclusion 
in the present dossier of this extract from £a's ratifica- 
tion of his confession, which reveals to us so clearly 
the method pursued by the tribunal. 

(^a is removed, and Yuce is forthwith brought 
back again. Questions recommence, shaped now 
upon the further information gained, and betraying 
enough of the extent of that information to compel 
Yuce to amplify his admissions. 

No doubt they would question him directly upon 
the matter of the crucifixion of the boy, insisting upon 
this — now the main charge — and depending upon 
Yuen's replies to supply them with further details than 
they already possess, so as to enable them to probe 
still deeper. 

Unable to persist in denial in the face of so much 
obvious knowledge on the part of his questioners, 
Yuce admits having witnessed the actual crucifixion 
in the cave some three or four years ago. He says 
(as his father had said) that it was the Christians who 
crucified the child, and that they whipped him, struck 
him, spat upon him, and crowned him with thorns. 

So far he merely confirms what is already known. 
But now he adds to the sum of that knowledge. He 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 315 

states that Alonso Franco opened the veins of the 
boy's arms and left him to bleed for over half an hour, 
gathering the blood in a cauldron and a jar ; that 
Juan Franco drew a Bohemian knife {i.e. a curved 
knife) and thrust it into the boy's side, and that Garcia 
Franco took out the heart and sprinkled it with salt. 

He admits that all who were present took part 
in what was done, and he is able to indicate the 
precise part played by each, with the exception of his 
father : he doesn't remember having seen his father 
do anything beyond just standing there while all this 
was going on ; and Yuce reminds the inquisitors that 
his father is a very old man of over eighty years of 
age, whose sight is so feeble that he couldn't so much 
as see clearly what was being done. 

When the child was dead, he continues, they took 
him down from the cross. (They untied him, he says.) 
Juan Franco seized his arms, and Garcia Franco his 
legs, and thus they bore him out of the cave. Yuce* 
didn't see where they took him, but he heard Juan 
Franco and Garcia Franco informing Tazarte that they 
had buried him in a ravine by the river Escorchon. 

The heart remained in the possession of Alonso 
until their next meeting in the cave, when he gave it, 
together with the consecrated wafer, to Tazarte. 

11 Did this," they ask him, M take place by day or 
by night ? " 

11 By night," he answers, " by the light of candles 
of white wax ; and a cloak was hung over the mouth 
of the cave that the light might not be seen outside." 

He is desired to say when precisely was this ; but 
all that he can answer is that he thinks it was in Lent, 
just before Easter, three or four years ago. 

They ask whether he had heard any rumours of 
the loss of a child at about that time in that district, 
and he says that he heard rumours of a child lost in 
Lillo and another in La Guardia ; the latter had gone 
to a vineyard with his uncle, and had never been 
seen again. But he adds that, in any case, the 

316 Torquemada 

Francos came and went between La Guardia and 
Murcia, and that on one of their journeys they might 
easily have found a child and carried it off, because 
they had sardine barrels in their carts, and some of 
those would be empty — by which he means that they 
could have concealed the child in one of these barrels. 

Urged to give still further details, he protests that 
he can remember no more at present, but promises 
to inform the court if he does succeed in recalling 
anything else. 

He is dismissed upon that with an injunction from 
Dr. Villada — which may have been backed by a 
promise or a threat — to reflect and to confess all 
that he knows to be the business of the Holy Office 
concerning himself or any others. 



It is not difficult to conjecture with what fresh energies 
the court — armed with such information as it now 
possessed — proceeded to re-examine the other seven 
prisoners accused of complicity in the crime of La 
Guardia, pressing each with the particular share he 
was himself alleged to have borne in the affair, and 
continuing to play off one accused against another. 

It is regrettable that the records of these pro- 
ceedings should not at present be available, so that all 
conjecture might be dispensed with in reconstructing 
step by step this extraordinary case. And it is to be 
hoped that M. Fidel Fita's expectations that these 
records will ultimately be brought to light may come 
to be realized. 

A week later, on July 28, Yuce* is again brought 
into the audience-chamber for further examination. 
But he has nothing more to add on the subject of 
the actual crime. All that he has contrived to re- 
member in the interval are scraps of conversation that 
took place when the culprits assembled — on that later 
occasion — for the purpose of sending the consecrated 
wafer to Abenamias. Nevertheless, what he says is, 
from the point of view of the inquisitors, as damaging 
to those who uttered the things which he repeats as 
their actual participation in the crucifixion of the boy, 
and it is hardly less damaging to Yuce - himself, since it 
shows him to have been &fautor y or abettor of heretics 


3i 8 Torquemada 

— a circumstance which he may very well entirely have 
failed to appreciate. 

He depones that Alonso Franco had said that the 
letter they were dispatching to Abenamias was better 
than the letters and bulls [of indulgence] that came from 
Rome and were offered for sale. Ocafia agreed by 
launching an imprecation upon all who should spend 
money on such bulls, denouncing such things as sheer 
humbug (todo es burla), and protesting that there is no 
saviour other than God. But Garcia Franco reproved 
him with the reminder that it was good policy to buy 
one now and then, as it gave them the appearance of 
being good Catholics. 

On this same subject of appearances, Alonso grum- 
bled at the trouble to which they were put by the 
fact of their being married to Old-Christian women 
who would not even permit the circumcision of their 

Three days later Yuce" has remembered that it was 
Benito who crowned the child with thorns. He is 
again questioned as to what he knows about the boy, 
and he admits having heard Tazarte say that the 
child was obtained " from a place whence it would 
never be missed." 

They press him further on the subject, but he can 
only repeat what he has already said — that as the 
Francos travel a great deal with their carts, they may 
have found the boy on one of their journeys. 

As no more is to be extracted from him on the 
subject, they now change the line of examination, and 
seek information concerning other Judaizing practices 
of the Francos of La Guardia, asking Yuce what he 
knows upon this matter. 

He answers that about six years ago the Francos, 
to his own knowledge, kept the Feast of the Taber- 
nacles and gave the beggar Perejon money to buy a 
trumpet which was to be sounded on the seventh day 
of the feast, as is proper. He knows, further, that 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 3 l 9 

they sit down to meat prepared in the Jewish manner, 
over which they utter Jewish prayers — the Berakd and 
the Hamofi — and that they are believed to have kept 
the great fast and to give money for the purchase of 
oil for the synagogue. 1 

Asked further to explain the oath of secrecy which 
he says was imposed upon him and to which he has 
said that his past silence has been due, he states that 
all were solemnly sworn by Tazarte that under no 
circumstances would they utter a word of what was 
done in the cave between Dosbarrios and La Guardia 
until they should have been one year in the prison 
of the Inquisition, and that even should the torture 
betray them into infidelity to their oath, they must 
refuse to ratify afterwards, and deny what they might 
have divulged. 

M. Isidore Loeb clung so tenaciously to the theory 
that the affair of the " Santo Nino " was trumped up 
by Torquemada that he would not permit his con- 
victions to be shaken by the revelations contained in 
these records of Yuce's trial when they came to light. 
He fastens upon this statement of Yuen's and denounces 
such an oath as a flagrant absurdity, concluding thence 
that here, as elsewhere, Yuc6 is lying. 2 

M. Loeb's criticisms of this dossier are worthy of 
too much attention to be lightly passed over, and we 
shall return presently to the consideration of them. 

In the meanwhile we may permit ourselves a 
digression here to consider just this point upon which 
he bases so much argument for the purpose of proving 
false the rest of the story. 

If we were to agree with M. Loeb that Yuce" is 
lying in this instance, that would still prove nothing as 
to the rest — and it would be very far from proving 
that Torquemada is the inventor of the whole affair. 
Assuming that this tale of an oath of silence to endure 

1 "Boletin," xi. p. 26. 

* " Revue des Etudes Juives," vol. xv. p. 232. 

320 Torquemada 

for one year after arrest is a falsehood, it may very 
well be urged that it is employed by Yuc6 in the 
hope that it will excuse his having hitherto withheld 
information and that it will induce the inquisitors to 
deal leniently with him for that same silence. Let it 
be observed that he prefaces his confession with that 
excuse at the time of asking the inquisitors to give 
him an undertaking that they will pardon him if he 
divulges all that he knows. 

But is he really lying ? 

It seems to us that in arriving at this conclusion, 
M. Loeb has either overlooked or else not sufficiently 
weighed the following statement in Yuen's confession : 
" Yucd Tazarte . . . went to perform an enchantment 
so that the inquisitors could not hurt any of them, or 
if they attempted to do so they must, themselves, go mad 
and die within a year." This means, of course, within 
a year of attempting to hurt any of them, which again 
means within a year of the arrest of any of them. 

Now, the fact of our not believing to-day in the 
efficacy of Tazarte's incantations and in the power of 
his magic spells with the heart and the Host to 
accomplish the things he promised, is no reason to 
suppose that Tazarte himself was not firmly persuaded 
that his enchantments would take effect. Indeed, he 
and his associates must firmly have believed it, or they 
would never have gone the length of imperilling their 
lives in so dangerous a business. 

Tazarte's belief was that these sorceries would 
invest them all with an immunity from inquisitorial 
persecution, and that should any inquisitors attempt 
to violate that immunity, such inquisitors must go mad 
and die within a year of arresting any of Tazarte's 
associates. Therefore in the event of arrest, all that 
would be necessary to procure ultimate deliverance 
would be stubbornly to withhold from the inquisitors 
all information on the subject of this enchantment 
until the period within which it was to work should 
have expired. 

The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 321 

When this is sufficiently considered, it seems to us 
that such an oath as Yuc£ says was imposed by 
Tazarte becomes not only likely but absolutely inevit- 
able. Some such oath must have been imposed to 
ensure the efficacy of the enchantment in the event of 
the arrest of any of them. 

It is difficult to think that Tazarte was a mere 
charlatan performing this business with his tongue in 
his cheek for the sake of the money he could extract 
from his dupes ; difficult, because he was dealing with 
comparatively poor people, from whom the remuneration 
to be obtained would be out of all proportion to the 
risk incurred. But even if we proceed upon that 
assumption, are we not to conclude that, being a 
deliberate charlatan, Tazarte would be at great pains 
to appear sincere and to impose an oath which he must 
have imposed if he were sincere ? 

It is rather singular and it seems to ask some 
explanation, which it is not in our power to afford, 
that not until now do the inquisitors make any use 
of that grave admission of Yuen's to the supposed 
Rabbi Abraham in Segovia. It is true that it was 
extremely vague, but in Qa's admissions of July 19 — 
if not before — they had obtained the connecting link 

But not until September 16, when they pay Yuce* 
a visit in his cell, do they touch upon the matter. 
They then ask him whether he recollects having talked 
when under arrest in Segovia, upon matters concerning 
the Inquisition, and with whom. 

His answer certainly seems to show that even now 
he has no suspicion that the " Rabbi Abraham" was 
an emissary of the Holy Office. He says that being 
sick in prison and believing that he was about to die, 
he asked the physician who tended him to beg the 
inquisitors to allow him to be visited by a Jew to pray 
with him, and his further admissions as to what passed 
between himself and the u Rabbi " entirely corroborate 


322 Torquemada 

the depositions of Frey Alonso Enriquez and the phy- 
sician Antonio de Avila. 

The inquisitors ask him to explain the three Hebrew 
words he used on that occasion : mita, nahar> and 
Otohays. He replies that they referred to the cruci- 
fixion of the boy, as related by him in his confession. 1 

At this stage it would almost seem to transpire 
that Benito's admissions under torture at Astorga, 
when, as he has said, he admitted enough to burn him, 
must have been confined to matters concerning the 
Host found upon him, and that until now he has said 
nothing about the crucifixion of the boy. 

This assumption is one that deepens the mysterious 
parts of the affair rather than elucidates them, for 
it leaves us without the faintest indication of how 
the Fiscal Guevdra was able to incorporate in his 
indictment nine months ago the particulars of 
" enchantments with the said Host and heart of a 
Christian boy." 

From what Benito has said to Yuce* in prison we 
might be justified in supposing that the former is the 
delator ; but in view of the turn now taken by the pro- 
ceedings this supposition seems to become untenable. 
It is of course possiblethat theparticulars in question may 
have been wrung out of one of the other prisoners, or 
it is possible that Benito himself may have confessed 
and afterwards refused to ratify. But beyond indi- 
cating these possibilities we cannot go. 

The fact remains that on September 24 the 
inquisitors found it necessary to put Benito Garcia to 
torture that they might obtain his evidence relating to 
the crucifixion. 

And on the rack he confesses that he and 
Yuc6 Franco and the others crucified a boy in one 
of the caves on the road to Villapalomas on a cross 
made of a beam and the axle of a cart lashed together 
with a rope of hemp ; that first they tied the boy to 
the cross and then nailed his hands and feet to it ; and 

1 " Boletin," xi. 52. 

The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 323 

that as the boy was screaming they strangled or stifled 
him (/o ahogaron) ; that all was done at night, by the 
light of a candle which Benito himself had procured 
from Santa Maria de la Pera ; that the mouth of the 
cave was covered with a cloak, so that the light should 
not be seen outside ; that the boy was whipped 
with a strap and crowned with thorns — all in mockery 
and vituperation of our Lord Jesus Christ ; and that 
they took the body away and buried it in a vineyard 
near Santa Maria de la Pera. 1 

There are some slight discrepancies between the 
details of the affair afforded by Benito and those given 
by Yuce\ The latter has not mentioned that the 
child's hands and feet were nailed to the cross ; 
according to him they were merely tied. Nor has 
he said that the boy was strangled ; his statement 
seems to be that the child was bled to death, as a 
consequence of opening the veins of his arms — a matter 
which Benito does not mention. But on the score 
of the strangling, it is possible that by the word 
employed — ahogaron — Benito merely means that the 
boy's cries were stifled, a detail which would be con- 
firmed by Yuce's statement that the child was gagged. 

The prisoners are evidently permitted to learn 
that Benito has been tortured. Very possibly they 
are given the information to the end that it may strike 
terror into them and so induce them to betray them- 
selves without more ado. But it does not seem that 
they are very greatly frightened by the prospect of 
having to undergo the same suffering, if we are to 
judge by Garcia Franco. This prisoner is permitted 
on the following day (which is Sunday), by contrivance 
of the Holy Office, to get into communication with 
Yuce. In the course of their conversation Garcia 
strongly urges a policy of denial under torture, should 
they be subjected to it, 2 from which it seems plain 

* " Boletin," xi. p. 55. 

* Ibid. p. 50. 

324 Torquemada 

that'he has no notion of the extent to which Yuc6's 
tongue has been loosened already. 

On the following Wednesday it is Juan Franco's 
turn to be put to the torture. 

Under it he gives a general confirmation of what 
has already been extracted from the others. He 
confesses that he and Yuce Franco and the other 
Christians and Jews crucified a boy in the cave of 
Carre Ocana, which is on the right going from La 
Guardia to Ocana ; that they crucified him on a cross 
made of two beams of olive-wood lashed together by 
a rope of hemp ; that they whipped him with a rope ; 
and that Yuce was present when the deponent 
himself cut out the boy's heart — as is more fully 
contained in the deponent's confession (of which, 
again, this is no more than an extract relating to 
Yuen's share in the crime). He states that an en- 
chantment was performed with the heart, so that the 
Inquisition might not proceed against them. 

This confession was duly ratified upon the 
morrow. 1 

On the Friday of the same week they torture 
Juan de Ocana and extract from him a confession 
that is, in the main, in agreement with those already 
obtained. He relates how he and the others crucified 
a boy in the caves of Carre Ocana ; that they whipped 
him with ropes when he was crucified ; that they cut 
out his heart and caught his blood in a cauldron ; that 
it was night and that they had a light ; and that when 
they took the body down they buried it near Santa 
Maria de la Pera, as fully set forth in his confession. 2 

As a consequence of his having in the course of 
this confession spoken of the Host that was sent to 
Zamora for delivery to Abenamias, Ocana is questioned 
again — on October 11 — touching this particular. He 
is asked how he knows that this was done. He 
replies that he heard Alonso Franco and the Jews — 
t,e. £a Franco and his sons (Yuce" and Mos6), Tazarte 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 52. 2 Ibid, 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 3 2 5 

and Perejon — say that such was the intention, but he 
doesn't know whether the Host was actually delivered 
or otherwise disposed of. 

The persistence with which this apparently trivial 
question arises — particularly when it is remembered 
that the inquisitors were, themselves, in possession 
of the Host found upon Benito at the time of his 
arrest — leads us to suppose that they were probing 
to discover whether this consecrated wafer was the 
identical one dispatched upon the occasion to which 
the confessions refer. Considering the lapse of time 
between the dispatch of that wafer and Benito's arrest, 
they may reasonably have been concluding that the 
Host found upon the latter relates to some similar, 
later affair. Such an impression is confirmed by the 
fact that no letter — such as was addressed to Abenamias 
— had been discovered upon Benito. 

The question again crops up in an examination to 
which Yuce* is submitted on that same day. 

" Did any of the Jews or Christians," he is asked, 
"go to Zamora to Abenamias in this matter?" 

He answers precisely as he has answered before : 
that he doesn't know what became of the Host beyond 
the fact that he saw them dispatching it together with 
a letter to the said Abenamias, as deponed, and that 
all were present when this took place. 

They seek to learn who was the instigator of the 
affair, but Yuce cannot answer with certainty on that 
point. What he knows he tells them — that Tazarte 
meeting him when he was on his way to Murcia, the 
physician asked him would he join in a matter to be 
performed with a consecrated wafer to ensure that the 
Inquisition could not harm the Christians in question. 
Before they met to crucify the boy, Tazarte told the 
deponent and his brother Mose" that he had arranged 
for it ; and although Yuc£ protests that he had no 
inclination to have anything to do with the affair, he 
and his brother allowed themselves in the end to be 
persuaded to be present, and they went with Tazarte 

3^6 Torquemada 

that same night to the cave. There they were 
joined by the Christians, who brought the child with 

So far, it will be seen, the evidence collected from 
Yuen's fellow-prisoners, whilst admitting that he had 
been present in the cave when the boy was crucified — 
an admission in itself grave enough and quite sufficient 
to procure his being abandoned to the secular arm — 
did not charge him with any active participation in the 
proceedings. In his own depositions Yuce* had insisted 
that he and his father had been no more than spectators 
and that they had gone to the cave more or less in 
ignorance, as if hardly understanding what they were 
to witness. 

Moreover before relating the happenings in that 
cave of Carre Ocana, Yuce* had made a sort of bargain 
with the inquisitors that his confession should not be 
used against himself or his father. And it is note- 
worthy that the other Jews whom he incriminated were 
all dead, and that he suppressed the name of the only 
surviving Jew — Hernando de Ribera — who had taken 
part in the affair. Of betraying the New-Christians 
he would, as we have already said, have less concern, as 
these by their apostasy must have become more or less 
contemptible in the sight of a faithful Jew. 

Whether the inquisitors conceived that in view of 
his passivity in the matter, combined with the promise 
they had made him before obtaining his confession, 
they were not justified in proceeding to extremes with 
him, we do not know. It is difficult to suppose any 
such hesitation on their part. Whatever their object, 
it is fairly clear that they did not account themselves 
satisfied yet, and for the purpose of probing this matter 
to the very bottom they now adopted a fresh method 
of procedure which appears particularly to aim at the 
further incrimination of Yuce\ 

Just as the court was in the habit of suppressing 
evidence entirely or in part, or the names of witnesses, 

The Trial of Yuce Franco 3^7 

when this course best served its purposes, so, when 
the depositions were obtained from co-accused, there 
must obviously come a moment when the publication 
of the evidence and of the witnesses by confrontation 
must further the aims of the tribunal. 

The anger aroused in each prisoner by the discovery 
that his betrayer is one of his associates must spur 
him to reprisals, and drive him to admit anything he 
may hitherto have concealed. There is, of course, 
the danger that he may be urged to embark upon 
inventions to damage in his turn the man who has 
destroyed him. But inquisitorial justice was not 
deterred by any such consideration. Pegna — as we 
have seen — tells us plainly enough that the point of 
view of the Holy Office was that it was better that an 
innocent man should perish than that a guilty one 
should escape. 

In pursuit of this policy, then, Benito Garcia is 
brought before the inquisitors on October 12, and he 
is asked whether in the matter of the crucifixion and 
the Host he will repeat in the presence of any of the 
participators in the crime what he has already deponed. 
He replies in the affirmative. Thereupon he is taken 
out. Yuce* Franco is introduced and asked the same 
question with the same result. Benito is brought in 
again, and, the two being confronted, each repeats in 
the presence of the other the confession he has already 

They are now asked whether they will repeat these 
statements once more, in the presence of Juan de 
Ocafia, and they announce themselves ready to do 
so. They are removed. Ocafia is introduced, and 
having similarly obtained his agreement to repeat 
before others whom he has accused of complicity what 
he has already confessed, the inquisitors order the 
other two to be brought back. 

The notary records that they actually manifest 
pleasure at seeing one another. 

Ocafia now repeats his confession, and Yuce" and 

328 Torquemada 

Benito again go over theirs. The three agree one 
with the other, and it is now further elicited that 
it was six months after the crucifixion, more or less, 
when they assembled between Tenbleque and La 
Guardia to give Benito the letter and the Host which 
he was to convey to Abenamias in Zamora. 

On October 17 there is another confrontation — of 
Juan Franco with Ca and Yuce Franco. In this each 
repeats what he has already confessed, which we now 
learn for the first time. Juan Franco admits that it 
was he himself who opened the boy's side and took 
out his heart, and in this as in other particulars the 
depositions agree one with another. 

Juan Franco goes on to say that they next met in 
the cave some time after the crucifixion, and that his 
brother Alonso brought the heart and the Host in a 
box which he gave to Tazarte, who withdrew with 
them to a corner of the cave to carry out his enchant- 
ments. Later on they assembled between Tenbleque 
and La Guardia — at a place which, according to this 
witness, was called Sorrostros — and gave Benito a 
letter to take to Zamora, this letter being tied with 
a coloured thread. 

So far he is completely in accord with the other 
deponents ; but now there occurs a startling dis- 
crepancy. He says that at this last meeting (which, 
we are told, took place some six months after the 
crucifixion), in addition to the consecrated wafer and 
the letter for Abenamias, they also gave Benito the 
heart to take to Zamora. 

Now all the other depositions lead us to suppose 
that the heart and the first wafer were employed — 
presumably consumed in some way — by Tazarte in 
the enchantment performed at the first meeting after 
the crucifixion, and that as doubts afterwards arose 
touching the efficacy of the spells performed by the 
physician, another Host was obtained some six months 
later, which they forwarded to Zamora. 

The Trial of Yucd Franco 329 

Is the explanation the simple one that Juan Franco 
is mistaken on the subject of the heart ? It seems 
possible, because he adds that he did not actually see 
the Host (on this particular occasion), but that he 
understood that it was given to Benito. Similarly he 
may have understood — erroneously taking it for 
granted — that the heart accompanied it. 

And now you may see the confrontation bearing 
fruit, and yielding the results which we must suppose 
are sought by the inquisitors — the further incrimina- 
tion of Yuce Franco. 

Juan de Ocana is examined again on October 20 
and questioned as to Yuce s participation in the crime. 
He now adds to his former confession that Yuc6 and 
the others used great vituperations to the child, which 
vituperations were really aimed at Jesus Christ ; he 
cites the expressions, and in the main they are those 
we have already quoted from the Testimonio 1 ; these, 
he says, were used by £a Franco and his two sons. 
He says that they all whipped the boy, and that it was 
Yuce himself who drew blood from the arms of the 
victim with a knife. 

" Whence was the child ? " they ask him. 

He replies that it was the dead Jew Mose* Franco 
who had brought the boy from Quintanar to Ten- 
bleque on a donkey, and that, according to Mose's 
story, he was the son of Alonso Martin of Quintanar. 2 
From Tenbleque several of them, amongst whom 
were Yuce and his father, brought him on the donkey 
to the cave where he was crucified, and it was Yuce" 
who went to summon the brothers Franco of La 
Guardia, Benito Garcia, and the witness himself. 

So that from having been a more or less passive 
spectator of the scene, Yuce is suddenly — by what we 

1 Which was framed upon the sentence ultimately passed. 

3 All this is contradicted by Juan Franco's later confession that he 
himself procured the child from Toledo, and brought him to the cave. 
The name of the child's father is as much a fiction as the rest of this 
vindictive deposition. 

33° Torquemada 

are justified in accounting the vindictiveness of Ocana 
— thrust into the position of one of the chief actors, 
indeed, almost one of the instigators of the crime. 

On the same day Benito Garcia is re-examined. 
His former depositions are read over to him, and he is 
asked if he has anything to add to them. He has to 
add, he finds, that Yuce* — whom he has hardly men- 
tioned hitherto — had whipped and struck the boy, and 
that he was an active participant in all that was done, 
his avowed aim being the destruction of Christianity, 
which he spoke of as buffoonery and idolatry. 

On the morrow Ocana is brought back to ratify his 
statements of yesterday. He is asked if he has any- 
thing to add that concerns the participation of Yuce\ 
and his answer is so very much in the terms of the 
latest additions made by Benito that one is left won- 
dering whether, departing from their usual custom, 
the inquisitors put their questions in a precise and 
definite form — founded upon what Benito has said — 
and obtained affirmative replies from Ocana. For 
Ocana, too, remembers that Yuce* said that Christianity 
was all buffoonery and that Christians were idolaters. 



It might now be said that, thanks to the patient efforts 
which the inquisitors themselves have been exerting 
for close upon a year, the prosecutor is at last 
furnished with the evidence necessary to support his 
original charge against Yuce* Franco. 

To this end he appears before the court on that 
same October 21, 1 491, to present in proof of his 
denunciation the entire dossier, as taken down by the 
notary of the tribunal. He begs that Yuce* be brought 
into the audience-chamber to hear the additions which 
he has to make to the original charge. These ad- 
ditions are the matters lately extracted from Ocana 
and Benito Garcia : that Yuce used vituperative words 
to the child when he was being crucified, and that 
these vituperations were really aimed at our Lord 
Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Faith ; that he 
struck the boy many times, and that he drew blood 
from the boy's arm with a penknife. Wherefore, he 
begs the inquisitors to abandon the prisoner to the 
secular arm, as is right and proper. 1 

He does not, however, add that Yuce°s brother 
had procured the child, and that Yuce* was one of 
those who brought him to the cave and who summoned 
the Francos to attend — an omission which shows the 
credit attached to Ocana's statement and its lack of 

Yuce s answer is a denial of all that is alleged and 

1 "Boletin," xi. p. 24. 

33 2 Torquemada 

added by the Fiscal, the lad protesting that he never 
did or said anything beyond what he has, himself, 

Guevara, thereupon, petitions the court to permit 
him to submit his proofs of the matters of which he 
accuses the prisoner, and the court having accorded 
him this petition, he puts in as evidence the entire 
dossier from which we have drawn these pages on the 
subject. 1 

Five days later both parties are again before the 
court, Guevara now petitioning their Reverend 
Paternities to pass to the publication of witnesses, 
that the trial may be brought to its conclusion. 
Dr. Villada announces his readiness to do so, but 
accords the defendants three days within which to 
lodge any objection to any of the matter contained in 
the depositions. 

Yuce begs through his advocate that copies be 
given him of all the depositions of those who were 
present at the crucifixion, with the name of each 
hostile witness and a statement of the day, month, 
year, and place in which anything alleged against him 
is said to have taken place. 

But Guevara immediately objects, urging that in 
the copies of the depositions to be given defendant, 
no names shall appear of any of the witnesses who 
had deponed, and no circumstances shall be included 
which might enable Yuce" to conjecture the names. 
It seems a purely formal objection ; for after the con- 
frontations there have been it appears to serve very 
little purpose. But some purpose it does serve, 
because those confrontations after all were limited 
to Ocana and Benito, and from the moment that it 
was not considered necessary to proceed to confronta- 
tion with any of the other prisoners it would seem 
that they had needed no such spur to drive them into 
depositions hostile to Yuce\ 

However, the reverend inquisitor replies loftily 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 26. 

The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 333 

enough that he will do what justice demands, and he 
orders the notary to deliver to Yuce* copies of all the 
depositions against him. But from Yuce's advocate's 
plea on October 29 — upon the expiry of the three days 
appointed — it is plain that the particulars claimed have 
been withheld. 

From the fact that the advocate Sane has drawn 
up so strong an objection on behalf of his client, it is 
perfectly clear that even at this date Yuce's guilt of 
heresy cannot be considered as established. If that 
were the case, San£, in obedience to the oath imposed 
upon him when entrusted with the defence, would 
have been compelled to lay down his brief and 

Yuce denies all the allegations against him which 
charge him with having taken any active part in the 
crucifixion of the boy, and he protests that he is 
unable properly to defend himself because the copies 
of the depositions supplied him do not mention time 
or place of the alleged offences nor yet the names of 
the witnesses by whom these allegations are made. 
Upon the assumption, however, that these deponents 
are Benito Garcia, Juan Franco, and Juan de Ocafia, 
he proceeds to answer the charges as best he can. 

This answer consists of a repudiation of those 
depositions as inadmissible upon the grounds that 
they do not agree one with another, and that each 
refers to a separate circumstance, no two confirming 
any one particular accusation, and all being contrary 
to what the same witnesses had stated in confrontation 
with the defendant, when each had acknowledged 
that Yuce s relation of the events was the true one. 
Hence it is established that on one or the other of 
these occasions they must have lied, from which it 
follows that they are perjured and unworthy of faith. 

Further, he claims that they may not be admitted 
as witnesses because they were, themselves, parti- 
cipators in the crime committed. Finally, he declares 
that their implication of himself is an act of spite and 

334 Torquemada 

vengeance upon him. It is his full and faithful con- 
fession which has placed the inquisitors in possession 
of the facts of the case and the names of the offenders, 
and the latter are determined that since they them- 
selves must die, Yuce shall die with them — out of 
which malice and enmity they have accused him. 

Upon these grounds, and insisting that he has told 
them the utter and complete truth, and that he himself 
was no more than a witness of the events, and in no 
way a participator, Yuce bases his defence, and begs 
that the depositions should cease to weigh against him. 1 

Guevara's answer, if it inclines to the grotesque, is 
quite typical, and is certainly more to the taste of the 

He denies that the witnesses are inspired by any 
such animosity as Yuce suggests, and he asserts that 
they have deponed "with devout zeal of faith, and to 
deliver their souls from peril." And amongst these, 
be it remembered, was Benito Garcia, who conceived 
that the worst thing he had ever done in his life had 
been to get himself baptized a Christian, and who con- 
tinued firm in his resolve to die a Jew at all costs. Only 
at the very stake itself — as we shall see — did he recant 
again, that he might earn the mercy of strangulation. 
Yet Guevara does not hesitate to say — what he must 
know to be untrue — that these men have confessed 
" with devout zeal of faith." 

On these grounds Guevara urges that the de- 
positions must be admitted as made in good faith and 
as proof; and since the said Yuce Franco would not 
spontaneously confess all that he had done, their 
Reverend Paternities should put him to the question 
of torture, as by law prescribed in such circumstances as 
the present . 2 

The court agrees with its Fiscal and proceeds to 
draw up a list of fifteen questions to be put to the 
accused. 8 

With this list the inquisitors Villada and Santo 

* " Boletin," xi. p. 72. 2 Ibid. p. 78. 8 Ibid, p. 80. 

The Trial of Yuc* Franco 335 

Domingo, accompanied by their notary, go down into 
the prisons of the Inquisition on November 2, and 
order Yuce* Franco to be brought before them. 

" Very lovingly and humanely ' they admonish 
him to tell the whole truth of the things known to 
him that are the business of the Holy Office, and 
particularly in answer to the questions they have pre- 
pared. These questions being summed up amount to 
the following : Whence was the child that was cruci- 
fied ? Whose child was it ? Who brought it to the 
cave ? Who first set on foot this affair ? 

They promise him that if he makes truthful answer 
they will use him as mercifully as the law and their 
consciences permit. 

Yuc6 has cause to mistrust any such promises. 
His first confession was made three months ago under 
a promise of pardon, and he has every reason to 
suppose that it has been the ruin of him. 

He says, however, that being in the cave on the 
occasion when they foregathered there for the enchant- 
ment — about fourteen days after the crucifixion — he 
heard Tazarte inquire whence was the child, and Juan 
Franco replied before all that it was from a place 
whence it would never be missed, " as stated in his 

(When last asked this question — at the time of 
making his confession — he had attributed these words 
to Tazarte.) 

He protests that he can remember no more than 
he has already confessed. 

Their Reverend Paternities deplore his stubborn- 
ness. They tell him that since he will not speak the 
entire truth of what he knows — as they have proof — 
they must proceed to other measures. They summon 
Diego Martin, the torturer, and into his hands they 
deliver the prisoner, with orders to take him to the 
torture-chamber, strip him naked, and bind him to 
the escaiera — intending, if necessary, to proceed to the 

336 Torquemada 

This is done, and Yuc£ is stretched naked and 
cruelly bound with ropes that bite into his flesh as 
a foretaste of the garrote by which his torments will 
commence. The inquisitors enter — possibly after a 
delay sufficient to allow the mental torture of anticipa- 
tion to terrorize the patient into a more amenable 
frame of mind. 

Again they admonish him for his own sake to 
speak what he knows, and they even point out to him 
that it is his duty as a God-fearing Jew to speak the 
truth. Again they promise to deal mercifully with 
him if he will answer their questions fully and truth- 
fully ; and lastly they protest that if his blood is shed 
in the course of what is to follow, or should he suffer 
any other harm, or mutilation of limb, or even death, 
the blame must fall entirely upon himself and nowise 
upon their reverences. 

Fully intimidated by this skilful accumulation of 
terrorizing agents, Yuce* implores them to repeat their 
questions, which he will do his best to answer. 

" Whence," they ask him again, " was the boy who 
was crucified at La Guardia ? " 

" Juan Franco," he replies, " brought him from 
Toledo." He adds that Juan Franco announced this 
before them all, and told them that he had kept the 
child concealed in La Hos de La Guardia for a day 
before bringing him to the cave to be crucified. 

What is not to be explained is why Yuce should 
have waited until he was strapped to the escalera before 
making this statement. Why did he not make it when 
the question was asked him at his last examination — 
if not in his original confession? It cannot be pre- 
tended that he was endeavouring to screen Juan 
Franco, because he has very amply betrayed him in 
other ways. Is the explanation that under fear of 
torture he felt the need to invent an answer likely to 
satisfy the inquisitors? It can hardly be that, because 
Juan Franco himself is to admit — as we shall see — the 
truth of this detail. It only remains to be supposed 

Photo by Donald Macbeth. 

From LJmborch's " Historia Inquisitionis.' 


The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 337 

that the lively fear of torture had sharpened the young 
Jew's memory. But that again seems hardly satisfac- 
tory as an explanation. 

" Where," they ask him next, " is La Hos?' 

11 It is," he replies, " a meadow by the River 
Algodor," and he goes on to explain that Juan Franco 
had told them all that he had taken a load of wheat to 
Toledo to sell, and that, having sold it, he went to an 
inn, and later on he found the boy in a doorway and 
coaxed him away with nudgados (a sweetmeat com- 
posed of flour, honey, and nuts — nougat). Thus he 
got him into his cart and brought him to La Guardia. 

Yuce" doesn't know who were the child's parents, 
nor in what street of Toledo he was taken by Juan 
Franco, as the latter did not mention those particulars. 

11 Who were the first to propose the affair ? Did 
the Jews engage the Christians in it, or the Christians 
engage the Jews ? " 

He answers that the Francos of La Guardia, 
fearing the Inquisition, performed an enchantment 
in the first instance with a consecrated wafer, as 
he has already confessed (October u), and then 
repaired to Tazarte asking him to do something 
more efficacious, as the sorcery with the wafer had 
had no result. Tazarte agreed, and bade them pro- 
cure a Christian boy for the purpose. When Juan 
Franco brought him, it was decided to cut out his 
heart, that with this heart and a wafer a stronger 
enchantment might be performed. 

" Why was he done to death by crucifixion rather 
than in any other way ?" 

Yuce" believes that the crucifixion was preferred in 
vituperation of Jesus Christ. But again he protests 
that his own share was no more than he has confessed 

" What were the particular vituperations used to 
the child, and by whom ? " 

His answer to this question incriminates all those 
who were present at the affair ; the vituperations 


33^ Torquemada 

which he tells the inquisitors were employed were 
rather indecent, and include a scurrilous version of 
the Incarnation which would, no doubt, be current 
at the time among Jews and other enemies of 
Christianity in Spain and elsewhere — a story, it is 
needless to add, entirely idle and foolish, and rather 
the obvious thing to be conceived in those days against 
any historical character who might be detested. 

He says that Tazarte was the leader in all the 
vituperations (which sounds likely enough, as Tazarte 
was the celebrant), that the others uttered them after 
him, and he admits that he himself said some of the 
things which he has mentioned, but he doesn't enter 
into particulars. 

" For what purpose were the heart and the Host 
required, and what good purpose was expected to be 
served by these sorceries ? " 

He replies that these things were done to the end 
that the inquisitors or any others who should aim at 
molesting these Christians concerned should die of 

" What advantage did the Jews look to gain ? " 

He states that Tazarte had assured them that as 
a consequence of the enchantment all Christians in 
the land must either perish or become Jews, so that 
the Law of Moses should triumph and prevail. 

11 To whom were the heart and the Host to be 
delivered for the said enchantment ? " 

" To Mose Abenamias at Zamora." 

" Was Abenamias himself to perform the enchant- 
ment ? " 

" No ; he was to give orders for its performance to 
a wizard of Zamora." 

" Does he, or do any of the others, know the said 
wizard, and what is his name ?" 

He cannot answer the question, beyond telling them 
that he had heard Tazarte say that he knew Abenamias 
and the wizard, and that he had been to school with 
the latter. 

The Trial of Yuc£ Franco 339 

" How many times did they assemble to decide 
upon the crucifixion ? " 

He knows that all (with the exception of himself) 
assembled in the same cave to perform an enchant- 
ment with a Host on an occasion previous to that of 
the boy's crucifixion. He knows this because he was 
invited to the gathering ; he did not wish to go, and 
so stayed away, but he was told afterwards by the 
others what had been done. 

" What Christians does he know to have kept the 
Sabbath, the Passover, and to have performed Jewish 
rites ? " 

He says that Benito once came to their house at 
Tenbleque and spent a Sabbath with them, doing no 
work, eating adafinas and drinking Caser wine ; and 
that he came upon another occasion and asked them 
when was the fast of Tisabeaf (the eve of Purim), and 
that he believes that, being informed of this, he kept 
that fast. 

He can remember no others, excepting one Diego 
de Ayllon and three of his daughters and a son, all 
of whom kept the Sabbath and observed the law of 
Moses in secret ; and the widow of one Juan de 
Origuela, deceased, who sometimes kept Jewish fasts ; 
and Juan Vermejo of Tenbleque, whom he knows 
once to have kept the great fast. 

These names are duly noted on the margin of the 
notary's document as matters of importance which 
need inquiring into. 

" Whence was the wafer procured, and how does 
he know that it was consecrated ? " 

He answers that when they assembled, a fortnight 
after the crucifixion, he heard Alonso Franco say that 
he had taken it from the monstrance in the Church 
of Romeral, replacing it by an unconsecrated wafer. 

11 Was this the wafer given to Tazarte with the 
heart ? " 

He believes so, but he is not sure, nor does he 
know what became of it. 

34° Torquemada 

"Who brought the other wafer given to Benito, 
and whence was it obtained ? " 

Alonso brought it, and said that he had obtained 
it in the church of La Guardia, and that it was 
consecrated. But Yuc6 doesn't know if anyone gave 
it to him. 1 

This confession Yuce" ratified two days later, adding 
now that Juan and Garcia Franco together had brought 
the boy, and that one had remained at La Hos with 
him whilst the other had come to La Guardia. 
Further, he adds that the letter to Abenamias at 
Zamora bore six signatures — Tazarte's, Alonso Franco's, 
Benito Garcia's, Yuce* Franco's own, his brother's, and 
one other which he can't recall. 2 

We have already indicated that a mystery attaches 
to this letter. What has become of it ? We are told 
that Benito bore it together with the Host. How 
does it happen that it was not taken together with the 
Host when he was arrested at the inn at Astorga? 
Possibly it was. But in that case, and since it bore 
Yuce°s signature, why is it not included in the dossier, 
and why can we find no trace of any use having been 
made of it by the inquisitors ? The only plausible 
explanation — and it may be forthcoming when the 
dossiers of the other accused are discovered — is that 
the Host found upon Benito Garcia was not the one 
sent with the letter by his hand some time in 1487 
or 1488. 

On November 3 the octogenarian Qa is examined 
in the torture-chamber, strapped, as was his son, to 
the escalera. But the mere fear of torture is not 
sufficient to loosen the tongue of this aged Jew. He 
resists their questions, and will add nothing to what 
he has confessed, until the executioner has submitted 
him to that frightful torment and given him one jar of 
water. He then affords them, at last, the further 
information they require, telling them the precise 
vituperations that were addressed to the crucified boy, 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 80. » Ibid. p. 87. 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 341 

and admitting that this was done in mockery of the 
Passion of Jesus Christ. He says that Tazarte 
uttered the insults, and that the others — first the 
Jews, and after them the Christians — repeated them. 
Further, he confesses that the child was crucified and 
the sorceries performed that the inquisitors and all 
Christians should enrage and die. 1 

On the same day Juan Franco was tied to the 
escalera, beyond which it was not necessary to proceed 
with him, for he there satisfied the inquisitors by 
confessing to the vituperations employed against the 
crucified boy. 2 

On the 4th further confirmation of this is obtained 
from Juan de Ocana, who confesses to the vitupera- 
tions, and says that they were first uttered by the 
Jews, who then compelled the Christians to repeat 
them. He does not remember the terms used, nor 
would he ever have known them but for the Jews. 3 

Benito is next examined, and warned by the in- 
quisitors to answer truthfully, as the truth is already 
fully known to them. He admits that many vitu- 
perations were used ; he cites them, and in the main 
they agree with what has already been deponed. 

11 Who," he is asked, " were the first to utter these 
things ? " 

He replies that £a Franco, his sons, and Tazarte 
(i.e. the Jews) were the first, and that he and the 
other Christians repeated them afterwards. 

Lastly, on November 5, Alonso Franco affords 
the fullest confirmation to all this that has been 
confessed by the other accused. 4 

The trial is now rapidly drawing to a close. On 
the 7th Yuc6 is again before the court, and — sinister 
feature — this time he comes alone. His counsel has 
vanished, in acknowledgment of the fact that it is 
no longer tenable with his duty to God that he should 
continue to defend one of whose " heresy " he is 

1 "Boletin," xi. p. 91. 3 Ibid. p. 90. 

1 Ibid. p. 91. « Ibid. p. 89. 

34 2 Torquemada 

himself convinced. Yuce* himself, in view of this, 
must realize that he is lost, and must abandon his 
last shred of hope. 

Guevara, the prosecutor, is there, and Dr. Villada 
announces that additional proof is now before the 
court. He orders copies of the latest depositions, 
obtained in the torture-chamber, to be delivered to 
the defendant, and he accords the latter three days 
within which he must lodge any objection to anything 
contained in them. 

But Yuce* does not require so long. He realizes 
that all is lost, and he forthwith confesses that what 
has been deponed by the witnesses against him con- 
cerning the vituperations he used is true with certain 
exceptions, and these were the most blasphemous and 

Upon that the fiscal Guevara formally petitions 
the court to pass sentence. The inquisitor Santo 
Domingo declares the trial to be at an end, and 
dismisses both parties, requiring them to come before 
the court again in three days' time to hear the 
sentence. 1 

Yet, before proceeding to this, on the 14th day 
of that month of November, the inquisitors ordered 
all the prisoners (with the exception of Juan Franco) 
to be introduced together into the audience-chamber. 
There, in the presence of his co-accused, each was 
bidden to recite what he had already confessed, this 
being done with the aim of obtaining a greater 
unanimity upon details. 

Last of all, Juan Franco is brought in, and he 
now admits that it is true that he brought the boy from 
Toledo, that they had crucified him as he has con- 
fessed, that he himself had opened the boy's side and 
taken out his heart, and that his brother Alonso had 
opened the veins of the child's arms, etc. — all as 
confessed — and further that it is true that he and his 
brother Alfonso had afterwards buried their victim. 

1 " Boletin, * xi. p. 97. 

The Trial of Yuce Franco H3 

He now corroborates Benito's statement that on 
the day they stole the child he and Benito went to- 
gether to Toledo, and that they agreed that one 
should seek in one quarter of the city whilst the 
other sought in another. And further, he says that 
he found the child in the doorway — known as the 
Puerta del Perdon — of the cathedral, as he has already 
stated in his confession (which is not before us). 1 

On the next day Guevara appears before the inqui- 
sitors to petition that in view of what has been deponed 
against the deceased Mose" Franco, Yuce" Tazarte, and 
David Perejon, their Paternities should order it to be 
recorded ad perpetuam rei memoriam^ to enable the 
execution of the deceased in effigy, the confiscation of 
their property, and the infamy of their heirs. 

That is on November 15. On the 16th the last 
scene of this protracted trial is played in the market- 
square of Avila. 

There, near the church of St. Peter, the scaffolds 
have been erected for the Auto de Fe\ On one, in 
their hideous yellow sanbenitos, are grouped the eight 
prisoners and the three effigies. On the other are 
the inquisitors, Dr. Pedro de Villada and Frey Antonio 
de Santo Domingo, with all the personnel of the Holy 
Office, their notaries, the fiscal Guevara, familiars, and 
apparitors. Round the scaffolds thronged the greater 
part of the inhabitants of Avila and many who had 
come in from the surrounding country districts, whence 
it is clear that the Auto had been announced some 
days before. The popular feeling against the Jews 
runs high, and it is an angry, turbulent mob that 
witnesses the Auto. Avila, indeed, is in uproar, and 
no Jew dare show himself abroad without risk of 
being insulted or assaulted in the street. 2 

The sentences are read by the notary Antonio 
Goncales, commencing with a very full narrative of 
the crimes of each of the accused, which we need not 
render here as it is a summary of all that has been 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 94. » Ibid. p. 421. 

344 Torquemada 

gone through and practically a repetition of the matter 
contained in the '* Testimonio." 

They are sentenced all to be abandoned to the 
secular arm of the Corregidor Don Alvaro de Sant' 
Estiban, who, advised some days before, is in attend- 
ance with his lieutenants and alguaziles. 

The usual exhortation being duly pronounced, they 
are seized by the men of the Corregidor and led away 
out of the city to the burning-place. The inquisitors 
order their notaries to accompany the doomed men, 
that they may record their final confessions at the 

In Yuen's dossier are included not only his own con- 
fession — made at the last moment — but also Benito 
Garcias, Juan de Ocana's, and Juan Franco's, all 
recorded by the notary Goncales. Further, this dossier 
contains a letter written on the morrow of the event 
by the same notary of the Holy Office to the authori- 
ties of La Guardia, accompanying a relation of the 
crime and the sentences pronounced, for publication in 
La Guardia, where the offences were committed. 

From this we learn that Benito, in spite of his 
protestations that he would die a Jew betide what might, 
accepted at the stake the spiritual comforts of the 
Church, and thus earned the mercy of being strangled 
before the faggots were fired. 1 

Similarly Juan de Ocafiaand Juan Franco accepted 
the ministrations of the attendant friars and returned 
to the Church from which they had secretly seceded. 
But the Jews — the stalwart old man of over eighty 
and his son — held staunchly to their faith, and refused 
to avoid by apostasy any part of the agony prepared 
them. Wherefore, in a spite that seems almost satanic, 
their flesh was torn with red-hot pincers before they 
were consumed over slow fires. 

" They refused," writes the reverend notary, " to 
call upon God or the Virgin Mary or to make so 
much as a sign of the Cross. Do not pray for them," 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 113. 

The Trial of Yuc6 Franco 345 

he concludes, impatiently it seems to us, H for they are 
buried in Hell/' 

Finally, the notary begs the authorities of La 
Guardia not to permit that the place where Juan 
Franco said that the Holy Child was buried should be 
ploughed over, but to see that it is left intact. 
Their Highnesses and the Cardinal of Spain, he adds, 
may desire to visit it, and he prays that God " may 
reveal to us the bones of the infant." It is expedient 
to mark the spot, he concludes, because, in view of the 
merits of such a place, he hopes that it may please God 
that the earth of it will work miracles. 

The sentence is sent, it should be added, with 
order that it shall be read from the pulpit of La 
Guardia on the following Sunday, and this under pain 
of excommunication. 

In Avila the popular feeling against the Jews as a 
consequence of this affair was so bitter that their lives 
were not safe, and it is on record that one was stoned 
to death in the streets. It became necessary for the 
Aljama of that city to petition the Sovereigns for 
protection, and M. Fidel Fita quotes a royal letter com- 
manding such protection to be extended, with threats 
of rigour against any who should molest them. 1 

1 " Boletin," xi. p. 421. 



The evidence given by Yuce" Franco as to whence 
the consecrated wafers had been obtained is hearsay 
evidence, and very vague even then. But it would 
appear that from Benito Garcia or Alfonso Franco the 
inquisitors have been able to obtain something more 
definite, for whilst the trial of the eight accused has 
been drawing to a close, the familiars of the Holy 
Office have been about the apprehension of the 
sacristan of the church of La Guardia. 

On November 18, 1491 — two days after the Auto 
— this sacristan is brought before the court at Avila, 
and admonished to tell the truth of this matter, being 
promised mercy if he will do so. 

He states that about two years ago his uncle, 
Alonso Franco, besought him on two separate occa- 
sions to let him have two consecrated wafers, 
promising him a cloak and money and much else 
if he would so. Ultimately, in response to these 
requests, and in accordance with the instructions he 
received from Alonso, he delivered a consecrated 
wafer to Benito Garcia, who came for it on the other's 

He remembers that it was winter-time, but he 
cannot recall the day or even the month. He explains 
that he took the Host from the pyx in the sanctuary 
of the Church of Santa Maria, having obtained the 
keys from the earthenware pot in which they were 
kept. He says that he begged Benito to tell him 


Epilogue to the Affair of the Santo Nino 347 

what it was wanted for, but that he could not induce 
him to say. He was assured, however, that no harm 
was intended. 

He is able to fix the date more closely by re- 
membering that the Francos were arrested about five 
months later. 

Under further examination he declares that he 
believes in the True Presence, and always did, and 
that when he urged this upon Alfonso Franco and 
Benito Garcia they admitted that his act was a sin, 
but they assured him that it was not a heresy, and that 
no heresy was involved, and that for the sin his 
confessor would absolve him. 1 

One man who is alleged to have had a share in 
the affair of La Guardia escaped all mention at the 
time in the depositions of the accused, and was, 
consequently, entirely overlooked. This was one 
Hernando de Ribera, a man of a station in life very 
much above that of the others, and it is said that in 
consequence of this to him had been assigned the 
aristocratic role of Pilate in that parody of the 

Not until nearly thirty years later was he arrested, 
self-betrayed, it is said, the man having boasted of 
his share in that affair. He was convicted of that 
crime, and also of flagrant Judaizing, for in the mean- 
while he had accepted baptism to avoid expulsion 
from Spain when the decree of banishment of all 
Jews was published. 

Now, whilst the publication by M. Fidel Fita of 
the records of the trial of Yuc6 Franco has shed a 
good deal of light upon the affair, it is not to be denied 
that much still remains to be explained, and that until 
such explanations are forthcoming — until the records 
of the proceedings against Yuen's co-accused are 
brought to light and we are able to compare them 

1 M Boletin," xii. p. 169. 

348 Torquemada 

one with another — the affair of the Holy Infant of 
La Guardia must to a certain extent continue in the 
category of historic mysteries. 

Meanwhile, however, in spite of the glaring con- 
tradictions contained in the evidence at present 
available, in spite of the incongruities which refuse 
to fit into the general scheme, we cannot hold that 
M. Loeb is justified of his conclusion that the Holy 
Infant of La Guardia — and consequently the crime 
with which we have dealt — never had any real 
existence. 1 

M. Loeb makes a twofold contention : 

(a) If the crime of La Guardia ever did take 
place, then upon the evidence itself, it was not 
ritual murder at all, but a case of sorcery in which 
Christians were concerned as well as Jews. 

(b) No such crime ever did take place. 

He bases his somewhat daring final conclusion 
upon three premises : 

{a) The depositions of the witnesses, obtained 
under torture or the threat of it, are full of contra- 
dictions, of improbabilities, and of facts materially 

(&) The judges made no inquest to discover 
the truth. 

(c) The Inquisition is unable to fix the date of 
the crime ; it did not verify the disappearance or 
discover the remains of any child. 

The first of these premises is the most worthy of 
attention. The other two appear to us to overlook 
the fact that our present knowledge is confined to the 
record of the trial of one of the accused, and this one a 
youth who was guilty of participating in the crime in a 
comparatively minor degree. 

No one is in a position to say that the judges made 
no inquest to discover the truth. All that we know is 

1 M Revue des Etudes Juives," vol. xv. p. 232. 

Epilogue to the Affair of the Santo Nino 349 

that it does not transpire from Yuce's trial that any 
such efforts were made. But then such efforts may 
not so much concern Yuen's trial as the trials of some 
of the ringleaders, and it is very possible that the 
records of the latter may divulge some such inquest. 
It is more than possible. The compiler of the resume 
of seven of the trials distinctly shows that this was 
done. 1 He cites the fact that when Juan Franco had 
confessed that he and his brother Alonso buried the 
boy, the inquisitors took him to the place where he 
stated that the body had been inhumed, and made him 
point out the exact spot, " and they discovered the 
truth and demonstration of all this." 2 

This, of course, does not mean that the body was 
found. It simply means — as we are told — that the 
place indicated by Juan Franco presented the appear- 
ance of having lately served the purpose of a grave. 
The failure to find the body is undoubtedly one of the 
unexplained mysteries of this affair. But it does not 
justify the statement that no inquest was made — a 
statement which in itself implies that the inquisitors 
knew the whole story to be false, and therefore 
deliberately avoided inquiries which should expose 
that falseness. 

The vagueness and confusion that appear to exist 
on the subject of the date when the crime was 
committed certainly call for comment. 

The contradictions on this score appear to be 
flagrant, and it is impossible to reconcile the date 
of the crucifixion with that of Benito Garcia's arrest 
in Astorga. It seems to be established by Yuce" that 
the crucifixion took place at the end of Lent 1488 ; 
and he and others tell us that about six months later 
they all assembled again to dispatch the Host to 
Zamora by the hand of Benito. Yet Benito is 
arrested in Astorga in May or June of 1490 — more 
than eighteen months after setting out for Zamora — 

1 See u Boletin," xiii. p. 113. 

• " Y se hall6 la verdad y demonstracion de todo ello." 

35° Torquemada 

and the wafer is still in his possession, undelivered. 
That is what seems to be established. But it is 
possible that a very simple explanation may dispose 
of this discrepancy. We are not justified by our 
present knowledge in saying that the inquisitors were 
unable to dispose of it. We may not assume that 
there is not, in the records of the trials of the other 
accused, matter that will clear up this question. 

The date supplied by the sacristan, for instance, 
does not seem to be so very inconsistent with that 
of the event in the inn at Astorga. He said, it will 
be remembered, that he had delivered the wafer to 
Benito some five months before the arrest of the 
Francos. This tends strongly to confirm the im- 
pression we have already formed that the wafer 
discovered upon Benito at the time of his arrest 
was not the one that he had set out to take to 
Zamora some two years earlier. The Host, together 
with the letter for Abenamias, may very well have 
reached its destination. If this is admitted — and 
there is nothing in the evidence to forbid its admit- 
tance — much that is irreconcilable in the depositions 
at once disappears. 

M. Loeb, of course, has proceeded upon the 
assumption that it is pretended that the Host dis- 
patched from La Guardia in 1488 and the Host 
found upon Benito at Astorga in 1490 are one and 
the same. It may appear to be the obvious thing 
to assume. Yet it is a hasty assumption, which 
nothing in the evidence before us will justify. 

As for the other discrepancies which M. Loeb 
points out, when all is said, they refer to matters of 
detail, upon which mistakes are not impossible. 

Benito states that the child's hands and feet were 
nailed to the cross in addition to being tied, whilst 
Yuce makes no mention of nails. 

According to the statements ofYuc^and of Juan 
Franco, it is the latter's brother who opened the veins 
in the boy's arms, whereas Ocana said that this was 

Epilogue to the Affair of the Santo Nino 351 

done by Yuce. We have already drawn attention to 
the circumstances under which Ocafia so accused 
Yuce, and we have suggested the vindictiveness that 
may have inspired him. 

Juan Franco confessed that he himself cut open 
the boy's side and drew out the heart, whilst Yuen's 
statement was to the effect that Juan had opened the 
wound and Garcia Franco had torn out the heart. 

Mainly the evidence seems to say that the child 
bled to death. Yet Benito states that he was stran- 
gled (?), and Yuce" in one of his statements says that 
they gagged him because he was crying. We have 
already suggested that by the expression " lo ako- 
garon" so much as "strangling" may not necessarily 
have been meant. 

These are, after all, the principal discrepancies ; 
and it is to be remembered that these men were 
referring to things done at least two years before ; 
that confusion on the score of particulars is not 
only possible but more or less inevitable ; and that, 
despite contradictions in these details, the main facts 
stated are always the same in the depositions of each. 
M. Loeb more than suggests that this unanimity was 
contrived by the inquisitors. He puts it forward as 
more than probable that the prisoners were left alone 
together on the occasions of the confrontations, to the 
end that they might agree upon the same tale. 

There is not the slightest warrant for such an 
assumption. In the records the notary very clearly 
states that the inquisitors were present throughout 
those confrontations, and it is of importance to re- 
member that these records were not prepared for 
publication, but were to be consigned to the secret 
archives of the Inquisition — so that any notion of a 
fraud having been deliberately perpetrated may once 
for all be dismissed as entirely idle. 

But even were it not the recorded fact that the 
inquisitors were present at the confrontations, and that 

35^ Torqucmada 

the prisoners were afforded no opportunity of coming 
to any understanding, it would still be extremely 
difficult to believe that they should have come to 
an understanding to get themselves all burnt. 

M. Loeb's attempt to make this appear reasonable 
is the least convincing thing in a very able but quite 
unconvincing article. It certainly seems to display 
his own want of confidence in the general acceptance 
of such a situation. 

" We could understand," he says, " that guilty men 
should come to an understanding to deny the crime 
committed, or to attenuate the fault, or to cast it upon 
others. But what should be the meaning of an under- 
standing whose object, as would be the case here, is to 
make truthful avowals of a real crime ? The accused 
would be taking unnecessary trouble. But all is 
explained if, on the contrary, they prepared confes- 
sions of a crime that was never committed." 

M. Loeb has vitiated his argument by the absolute 
assumption that an understanding did take place. 
This we cannot admit upon the evidence before us. 
But if we do, is the position materially altered ? 
M. Loeb says that " all is explained if they prepared 
confessions of a crime that was never committed." 
To our mind, nothing is explained by such a procedure. 
What possible object could have induced them to come 
to an understanding to make an uncommitted crime 
the subject of a unanimous confession that must 
infallibly send them to the stake? What possible 
advantage could they hope to derive from a falsehood 
of that description ? 

One of the chief obstacles to the rejection of the 
story as a fabrication is Yucd's confession to " the Rabbi 
Abraham " in the prison of Segovia. M. Loeb recog- 
nizes it, and although he makes a determined attempt 
to overcome it, his arguments are too arbitrary and 
do not materially affect the point even if they are 

But if M. Loeb is entirely unconvincing in his 

Epilogue to the Affair of the Santo Nino 353 

attempts to prove that the crucifixion of the boy is a 
fable, nothing could be more convincing than his first 
contention : that even if we account the story true 
as contained in Yuen's dossier, the deed is not to be 
looked upon as ritual murder, but purely as an opera- 
tion in magic. 

It is a conclusion with which you must come to 
agree, although at first glance you may be tempted to 
form the opinion that the crucifixion of the child served 
both purposes. Some such opinion had been formed 
by the inquisitors when they asked why the boy had 
been crucified rather than put to death in some other 
fashion, since his heart was all that was required for 
the enchantment. 

The answer was that crucifixion was chosen in 
derision and vituperation of the Passion of Jesus 
Christ. But this is a very different thing from ritual 
murder or " the hanging of Hainan." If we turn to 
the actual vituperative phrases employed, 1 we find the 
expression of a desire to wound the Redeemer Him- 
self, through that form of magic, common in all ages, 
known as envoutement. Instead of the waxen or 
wooden effigy usually employed, a living body is used 
in this case. For the rest the immolation of a child 
plays its part in the magic ritual of other than Jews. 
We need mention but the notorious instance of the 
Black Masses celebrated by the infamous Abb6 
Gribourg in the eighteenth century. 

There seems, indeed, no doubt at all that we are 
justified in rejecting the theory that the crucifixion of 
the Holy Child of La Guardia is to be accepted as an 
instance of Jewish ritual murder. So far we can 
accompany M. Loeb, but no farther. We cannot say 
with him that no such crime was ever committed. To 
convince us of that it would be necessary to show that 
the whole of the dossier we have considered is a forgery 
to serve the purposes of Torquemada. And this we 
have proof that it is not. Had it been that, had it 

1 See the phrases quoted in the M Testimonio." 


354 Torquemada 

been manufactured for popular consumption, it would 
not have lain concealed for four centuries in the secret 
archives of the Inquisition. 

That Torquemada exploited the matter and turned 
it to the fullest account is admitted. But this merely 
shows him to be an opportunist ; it is very far from 
proving him a forger. The very sentence was couched 
in terms calculated to excite — as it did — popular in- 
dignation against the Jews. Nor did the publication 
of the sentence end in La Guardia, whither copies 
were sent. We may infer that Torquemada scattered 
those copies broadcast through Spain, since we actually 
find a Catalan translation which was specially prepared 
for publication in Barcelona. 

The cult of the Holy Child of La Guardia sprang 
up at once, and developed rapidly. Numerous shrines 
were set up in his honour, the first and chief of these 
being on the site of the house of Juan Franco, which 
had been razed to the ground. Here an altar was 
erected in the cellar of the house, on the spot where 
it was believed that the child's sufferings had begun ; it 
was surmounted by a figure of a child pinioned to a 

Over this subterranean shrine a church sprang 
rapidly into existence. 

Another hermitage was erected near Santa Maria 
de Pera, on the spot where the child was alleged to 
have been buried, and yet another in the cave where 
he was believed to have suffered crucifixion. " In all 
times since," says Moreno, 1 " the three sanctuaries have 
been frequented by those who come to pray to the 
Nino as to a saint." 

The first of these sanctuaries was erected by 1 501 — 
at which date records of it are to be found. It was called 
the Sanctuary of the Holy Innocent, and Moreno adds 
that this has always received the approval of Popes 
and Bishops, and that plenary and partial indul- 

1 ■• Historia del Martirio," p. 83. 

Epilogue to the Affair of the Santo Niiio 355 

gences have been granted to the faithful visiting these 

The people of La Guardia elected him their patron 
saint, and a fast was appointed for the eve of his feast- 
day, which at first was March 25, but was afterwards 
changed to September 25. Moreno includes in his 
book the prayers prescribed and a litany to the Nino. 1 

But it is not without a certain significance that 
Rome — ever cautious, as we have already had occasion 
to say, in the matter of canonization — has not yet 
recognized the Holy Child of La Guardia as one of 
the saints of the Church. 

Yepes chronicles four miracles performed by the 
child after his death, beginning with his mother's 
obtaining sight. All these, with other very interesting 
and purely romantic details, are to be found in that 
piously fraudulent work — the " Life of the Holy Child," 
by Martinez Moreno. 

t " Historia," p. 146. 



It was, as we have already suggested, the very 
opportuneness with which the trial and sentence ot 
those concerned in the affair of La Guardia came to 
afford Torquemada an additional argument to plead 
with the Sovereigns his case against the Jews, which 
has led so many historians — prior to M. Fidel Fita's 
discovery — to reject the story as an invention. Another 
reason to discredit it lay in the circumstance that it 
was circulated in Spain together with a number of 
other stories that were obviously false and obviously 
invented expressly for the purpose of defaming the 
Jews and exciting popular indignation against them. 

Meanwhile Ferdinand and Isabella pressed 
triumphantly forward on their conquering progress 
through Andalusia. Lucena, Coin, Ronda, and scores 
of other Moorish strongholds in the southern hills 
had fallen before the irresistible arms of the Christians ; 
and the Sovereigns, aided by Jewish gold — not merely 
the gold extorted by confiscations, but moneys volun- 
tarily contributed by their Hebrew subjects — pushed 
on to the reduction of Malaga, as the prelude to the 
leaguer of Granada itself, the last bulwark of Islam 
in Spain. This fell on January 2, 1492, and with it 
fell the Moslem dominion, which had endured in the 
peninsula, with varying fortunes, for nearly 800 years. 

It might well have seemed to the Catholic 
Sovereigns that the conquest ot Spain and the 


The Edict of Banishment 357 

victory there of Christianity were at last accomplished, 
had not Torquemada been at their elbow to point out 
that the triumph of the Cross would never be complete 
in that land as long as the Jews continued to be 
numbered among its inhabitants. 

He protested that the evils resulting from inter- 
course between Christian and Jew were notorious and 
unconquerable. He declared that in spite of the 
Inquisition, and in spite of all other measures that 
had been taken to keep Christian and Jew apart, 
the evil persisted and was as rampant as ever. He 
urged that the Jews continued unabatedly to pervert 
the Christians, and that they must so continue as long 
as they were tolerated to remain in the peninsula. 
Particularly was this notorious in the case of the 
Marranos or New-Christians, to whom the Israelites 
gave no peace until — by indoctrination or by the 
scorn and abuse they heaped upon them — they had 
seduced them back into error. 

And in proof of what he urged he was able to 
point to the affair of La Guardia, to the outrage to 
the crucifix at Casar de Palomero, and to other matters 
of a kindred nature that had lately been brought to 

He called upon the Sovereigns to redeem the 
promise they had made to give consideration to this 
matter — a consideration which, in answer to his 
earlier pleadings, they had postponed until the war 
against Granada should have been brought to its 

In the meantime the Jews themselves had fought 
strenuously against the banishment with which they 
saw themselves threatened. Eloquent had been their 
appeals to the Sovereigns. And the Sovereigns could 
hardly turn a deaf ear to the intercessions of subjects 
to whom they owed so much. For was it not the very 
Jews who had supplied the Spanish crown with the 
sinews for this campaign against the enemies of the 
Cross ? Was it not owing to wonderful Hebrew ad- 

35** Torquemada 

ministration — an administration gratefully surrendered 
to them — that the army of the Cross was equipped, 
maintained, and paid out of moneys that the Jews 
themselves had provided ? 

They found means to bring this to the attention of 
the Sovereigns, as a proof of the loyalty of their devo- 
tion, as a proof of their value to the Spanish nation. 
And the Sovereigns had other experiences of the 
loyalty and affection which had ever been manifested 
towards them by their long-suffering Hebrew subjects. 
When, for instance, their son, the Infante Don Juan 
was proclaimed in Aragon, after the Cortes of Toledo, 
the Jews had been foremost in the jubilant and loving 
receptions that everywhere met their Highnesses in 
the course of their progress through the kingdom of 
Ferdinand. Whilst the Spaniards were content to 
greet their Sovereigns with acclamations, the Jews 
went to meet them with valuable gifts. 1 Bernaldez 
tells us 2 of the splendid offering made to their High- 
nesses by the Aljama of Zaragoza. It consisted ot 
twelve calves, twelve lambs, and a curious and very 
beautiful service of silver borne by twelve Jews, a rich 
silver cup full of gold castellanos 3 and a jar of silver 
— "all of which the Sovereigns received and prized, 
returning many thanks." 

Loyalty so tangibly manifested, of which this is 
but an instance, must have some weight in the scales 
against fanaticism ; further, it seems impossible that 
the Sovereigns should have been altogether blind to 
the possible jeopardizing of the industrial prosperity of 
the kingdom if those chiefly responsible for it were 
driven out. 

So they had put off their decision in the matter, 
urging that the present war demanded their full atten- 
tion. But now that the conquest of Granada was 
accomplished, they were forced to look the matter in 

1 Amador de los Rios, " Historia de los Judios," vol. iii. p. 292. 

* " Cronica," cap. xlvi. 

8 The castellauo was worth 480 maravedjs. 

The Edict of Banishment 359 

the face. For Torquemada was giving them no peace. 
Hard-driven by his fanatical hatred of the Israelites, 
the Grand Inquisitor had resolved upon his course 
and was determined that nothing should turn him 

Constantly were his arguments — all founded upon 
the love of Christ — poured into the ears of the Sove- 
reigns, and to prove the soundness of these arguments 
he was able to bring forward concrete facts — or, at 
least, matters upon which the courts of the Inquisition 
had pronounced — prominent among which would be 
the affair of La Guardia. 

And what Torquemada was doing by the Sove- 
reigns ; the brethren of his order were doing by Spain. 
Popular indignation against the Jews, so easy to arouse, 
already inflamed by the outrage at Casar de Palomero 
and the crucifixion at La Guardia, was further and 
unscrupulously excited by false stories that were set 
in circulation. It was even alleged that the illness of 
the Prince Don Juan was the result of Hebrew infamy, 
and to explain this a foolish, wicked story was invented, 
put about and universally accepted. 

Llorente quotes this story from the " Anonymo de 
Zaragoza." 1 It is to the effect that the prince coveted 
a golden pomander-ball worn by his physician, who 
was of a Jewish family, and this gewgaw the physician 
ended by relinquishing to his patient. One day, moved 
by youthful curiosity, the boy wished to see what the 
pomander contained. Opening it, he discovered an 
indecent and blasphemous picture, insulting to the 
divinity of Christ. The sight of it inspired the prince- 
ling with such horror and grief that he fell sick. Nor 
would he divulge the origin of his illness until the 
instances of his father succeeded in drawing the secret 
from him, whereupon " it was resolved to take pro- 
ceedings against the physician and to sentence him to 
the fire." 

This trivial, scurrilous, and obviously untruthful 

1 " Anales," vol, i. p. 199, 

360 Torquemada 

story would not be worth repeating did it not serve 
the purpose of showing the sort of rumours that 
were being propagated to the hurt of the Israelites. 

Another story that was circulated alleged that in 
Valencia there had also been an attempt by a number 
of Jews to crucify a Christian boy. This is recorded 
in that scurrilous, infamous publication, " Centinela 
contra Judios," by Frey Francisco de Torrejoncillo. 
We have already referred to it more than once. It 
was first printed in 1676, and is the book of a friar 
of the Order of St. Francis, a disgraceful work which 
proves its author to have been as barefaced as he was 
barefooted. It is a collection of stupid lies and forgeries, 
and, it is scarcely an exaggeration to add, obscenities ; 
it may be another instance of those frauds termed 
pious, but it is scarcely to the credit of a Church exercis- 
ing, by means of the " Index Expurgatorius,"a censor- 
ship of the press — to have permitted the circulation 
of a work of this order from the pen of a churchman. 

This, however, is by the way. 

The story here to be recorded is taken, Torrejon- 
cillo tells us, from the " Sermon de la Cruz " by Frey 
Felipe de Salazar. 1 On a Good Friday evening a youth 
who was in a street of Valencia observed several men 
entering a house. Considering this to be strange — 
although no suspicious circumstance is mentioned — he 
approached the door and listened. He heard them 
say, " There seems to be some one at the door." 
Fearing that a brawl might be the result if he were 
discovered there when they opened, he drew his sword 
and fled. (How the drawing of his sword was calcu- 
lated to assist his flight the author does not think it 
worth while to inform us.) As he was running he 
came upon a patrol, which seized him, demanding to 
know whither he was hurrying in this fashion with a 
naked sword in his hand. He related what he had 
witnessed, whereupon the officer, not only for the 
purpose of testing the truth of the story but also that 

1 See " Centinela," p. 153. 

The Edict of Banishment 361 

he might ascertain to what end so many men should be 
assembling, went to the house and knocked. 

The door was opened by a Jew, who began to make 
obvious excuses to him. Suddenly the officer heard 
a child's voice within the house, crying, u These men 
want to crucify me." 

The Jews were taken, the house demolished, and 
on the site of it was built the Church of Santa Cruz. 

In this collection of lies and forgeries are included 
the •' letter of Christ to Abgarus," another letter of 
Pontius Pilate to Tiberius dilating upon the miracles 
of the Saviour, and a letter from the Jews of Con- 
stantinople to those of Toledo, which played an 
important part in this anti-semitic campaign. 

It was the Cardinal- Archbishop Juan Martinez 
Siliceo who was alleged to have discovered this letter 
in Toledo. We are to suppose that he also found in 
Toledo the letter to the Jews of Constantinople to 
which this is a reply, for the chroniclers are able 
to supply us with the texts of both, 1 a circumstance 
which no one at the time appears to have considered 

The letter to Constantinople ran as follows : 

11 The Jews of Spain to The Jews of 

" Honoured Jews, health and grace. — Know that 
the King of Spain compels us to become Christians, 
deprives us of property and of life, destroys our 
synagogues and otherwise oppresses us, so that we 
are uncertain what to do. 

11 By the Law of Moses we beseech you to 
assemble, and to send us with all speed the declaration 
made in your assembly. 

" Chamarro, Prince of the Jews of Spain." 

1 See Llorente, u Anales," vol. i. p. 196, and * Centinela," p. 86. 

362 Torquemada 

To this the answer received from Constantinople 
was in the following terms : 

" The Jews of Constantinople to The Jews 

of Spain 

" Beloved Brethren in Moses, — We have your 
letter in which you tell us of the travail and suffering 
you are enduring there. . . . The opinion of the 
Rabbis is that since the King of Spain attempts to 
make you Christians, you should become Christians ; 
since he deprives you of your goods and property, you 
should make your children merchants, that they may 
deprive the Christians of theirs ; since you say that 
they deprive you of your lives, make your sons 
apothecaries and physicians to deprive the Christians 
of theirs ; since they destroy your synagogues, make 
your sons clerics that they may destroy the Christian 
temples ; since you say that you suffer other wrongs, 
make your sons enter public offices that thus they may 
render the Christians subject to them. 

" Do not depart from these orders, and you will 
see that from oppressed you will come to be held of 
great account. 

" Husee, Prince of the Jews of Constantinople." 

The matter of these letters — so very obviously 
forged — was freely circulated. Being accepted, public 
indignation was suddenly increased by fear. Imagina- 
tions were stimulated, and stories based upon these 
injunctions of Prince Husee became current, nothing 
being ever too flagrant for popular consumption. It 
was related that a Jewish physician in Toledo carried 
poison in one of his finger-nails, and that with this he 
touched the tongues of the patients he visited, thus 
killing them. Of another physician it was reported 
that he deliberately poisoned the wounds he was 

The Edict of Banishment 363 

desired to heal. 1 And that there were many other 
such stories current is beyond all doubt. 

What use, if any, Torquemada made of those forged 
letters and the stories that were their offspring, we do 
not know. But it would be strange if the circulation 
and acceptance of such matters displeased him, since 
they were plainly calculated to forward his aims and 
compel the Sovereigns to lend an ear to his insistent 
denunciations of the Jews. 

Incessantly he preached the need for religious 
unity in a united Spain. Indeed, Spain, he urged, 
never could be united, never could deserve the bless- 
ing of Heaven, until all men in that land were the 
children of God, true believers in the Holy Roman 
Catholic Apostolic Faith. God had greatly favoured 
Ferdinand and Isabella, the friar continued. He had 
collected the various elements of the peninsula into one 
mighty kingdom,which He had subjected to their sceptre. 
Let them fuse those elements into a solid whole, re- 
jecting all those who resist this fusion — and this for 
the honour and glory of God and of their own kingdom. 

Before this terrific gospel of Religious Unity 
nothing could stand. Humanitarian considerations, 
principles of equity, indebtedness and gratitude are 
mere trifles to be swept away by that hurricane of 
religious argument. 

The Sovereigns found themselves face to face 
with an issue of such a magnitude that no temporal 
considerations could be allowed to weigh. And to the 
pressure of Torquemada's fierce arguments was added 
now the pressure of public opinion, cunningly excited 
by his lieutenants. To the voice of God from the lips 
of the Grand Inquisitor was added now the vox poptui 
— the voice of God from the lips of the people. 

And so clamorous was this popular voice, so insist- 
ent were the accusations which it levelled against the 
Israelites, of ritual infamies and of seducing back to 

1 See " Centinela/' p. 152. 

364 Torquemada 

the Law of Moses their apostate brethren, that the 
Jews were warned of the storm that was about to break 
over their luckless heads. 

Torquemada's demand was that they must receive 
baptism or go. 

The Sovereigns hesitated still. In Isabella perhaps 
the voice of humanity was too strong to be entirely 
stifled by the dictates of bigotry. 

But Torquemada's strength of purpose was the 
greater and more irresistible by virtue of its purity 
and singleness of aim. Obviously he was no self- 
seeker. Obviously he had no worldly ends to serve. 
What he demanded, he demanded in the name of the 
religion which he served — solely for the greater honour 
and glory of his God ; and to sovereigns of the temper 
of Ferdinand and Isabella demands so inspired are not 
easily resisted. 

And although it was clear that he sought no worldly 
advantage for himself, he did not scruple to use the 
prospect of the Sovereigns' worldly advantage as a 
weapon to combat their reluctance ; he did not hesitate 
to dangle before their eyes temporal advantages that 
must result from the banishment of the Israelites. 
To arguments upon religious grounds he added argu- 
ments of worldly expediency, arguments which cannot 
have failed of effect upon the acquisitive nature of 
the King. 

Never, urged the Grand Inquisitor, would Spain 
know tranquillity whilst she harboured Jews. They 
were predatory ; they were untrustworthy ; their sole 
objective was the satisfaction of their pecuniary interest 
— the only interest they knew ; and their acquisitive- 
ness would always dispose them to serve any enemy 
of the crown so that it should profit them to do so. 1 

But Torquemada was not the only advocate before 
the royal court. The Jews were there, too, pleading 
on their own behalf, with an eloquence that seemed for 
a moment on the point of prevailing — for the seductive 

1 Llorente, u Anales," vol. i. p. 182. 

The Edict of Banishment 3^5 

chink of gold was persuasively intermingled with their 

They urged their past services to the crown, and 
promised even greater services in the future ; they 
swore that henceforth they would be more observant 
of the harsh laws formulated by Alfonso XI — that 
they would keep to their ghettos as prescribed, with- 
drawing to them at nightfall, and abstaining rigorously 
from all such intercourse with Christians as was by 
law forbidden. Last and most eloquent argument of 
all, they offered through Abraham Seneor and Isaac 
Abarbanel — the two Jews who had undertaken and 
so admirably effected the equipment of the Castilian 
army for the campaign against Granada — that in 
addition to giving this undertaking they would sub- 
scribe 30,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war 
against the Moslem. 

Ferdinand's hesitation was increased by this offer. 
Ever in need of money as the Sovereigns were, the 
consideration of this gold not only tempted them, but 
it would undoubtedly have conquered them had not 
Torquemada been at hand. But for his violent inter- 
vention it is more than probable that the cruel edict 
of banishment would never have been promulgated. 

The Dominican, learning what was afoot, thrust 
himself into their Highnesses' presence to denounce 
their hesitation, and to put upon it the name which in 
his opinion it deserved. 

It is not difficult to picture him in that supreme 
moment. It is one of those rare occasions on which 
this being whom we have compared to a Deus ex 
machina, a cold stern spirit ruling and guiding the 
terrible organization of the Inquisition which he has 
himself established, steps forth in the flesh, a living, 
throbbing man. 

You behold him pale, a little breathless in the 
excitement and anger by which he is possessed. His 
deep-set eyes glow sombrely with the fever ot 
fanatical zeal and indignation. He draws his lean 

366 Torquemada 

old frame erect. In his shrivelled, sinewy old hands 
he flaunts aloft a crucifix. 

It is an intense moment. Everything contributes 
to it : the long-drawn duel between religion and 
humanity, between clericalism and Christianity, of 
which this is at last the climax ; and nothing so 
much as the figure offered by the Jews. This thirty 
thousand is unfortunately reminiscent. It permits 
the Prior of Holy Cross to draw a very daring 

11 Judas," he cries, "once sold the Son of God for 
thirty pieces. Your Highnesses think to sell Him 
again for thirty thousand. Here you have Him. 
Sell Him, then, but acquit me of all share in the 

And, crashing the crucifix upon the table before 
their startled Highnesses, he abruptly leaves the 
chamber. 1 

Thus Torquemada conquered. 

The edict of expulsion was signed at Granada on 
March 31 of that year 1492 — that glorious year in 
which Spain finally completed the erection of her 
monarchy upon the ruins of the old Visigothic 
kingdom, and in which the navigator Columbus laid a 
new world at the foot of the throne of the Catholic 
Sovereigns. 2 

1 Paramo, " De Origine," p. 143 ; Llorente," Historia Critica," ii. p. 114. 
* The edict is quoted in full in Appendix IV. of Amador de los Rios' 
" Historia de los Judios." 



It was solemnly declared in the edict of expulsion 
that this decree was promulgated solely in obedience 
to the pressing need to cut off at the roots, once 
for all time, the evils arising out ot the intercourse 
between Christians and Jews, since all other efforts 
hitherto undertaken with the same intent had proved 
fruitless. 1 

By this edict all Jews of any age and either sex 
who should refuse to receive baptism must quit Spain 
within three months, and never return, under pain 
of death and the confiscation of their property. 

The cruelty of this expatriation calls for little 
exposition. Spain was the motherland of these Jews. 
For centuries it had been the home of their ancestors, 
and they held it in the affection implanted in the heart 
of each of us for the country which is his own. They 
must depart out of it, into exile in some foreign land, 
and the only terms upon which they could obtain im- 
munity from that harsh decree was by the sacrifice of 
something dearer still, something as dear to them as 
honour itself. They must be false to the faith of 
their fathers and forswear the God of Israel. 

That was the choice forced upon the Children of 
Judah — the choice which the arrogant Christian 
Church had been forcing upon all men from the 

1 See the text of the edict in Rios' " Historia de los Judios," Ap- 
pendix IV. 


368 Torquemada 

moment that she had found herself mistress of the 
power to do so. 

It was decreed that after the expiry of the three 
months allowed them in which to settle their affairs 
and be gone no Christian would be suffered to befriend 
or assist them, to give them food or shelter, under 
pain of being called to account as an abettor of 

Until their departure the persons and property 
of the exiled were nominally under the protection 
of the Sovereigns. They were permitted to dis- 
pose of what property they possessed, and to take 
the proceeds with them in bills of exchange 1 or in 
merchandise, but not in gold, which it was forbidden 
to carry out of the country. 

Little greater would have been the injury done 
them if their property had been confiscated outright. 
For being compelled to dispose of it at such short 
notice, and the buyers knowing that it must be sold, 
and eager to take advantage of these forced sales, 
what chance had the Jews of realizing anything that 
should approach its value ? How could they avoid 
the pitiless Christian exploitation of their miserable 
position ? 

" The Christians obtained," says Bernaldez, u much 
property and many very rich houses and estates for 
little money ; the Jews went about offering these, and 
could not find any buyers, so that they were forced 
to barter here a house for an ass, there a vineyard 
for a piece of cloth." 2 

From just this passage in the chronicle of an 
author whose detestation of the Jews we have earlier 
considered may be conceived how terrible was their 
distress, and how mercilessly was advantage taken 
of it by the Christians. 

1 Amador de los Rios (iii. p. 310) very reasonably questions their 
being permitted to take money in bills of exchange, although the state- 
ment is contained in Bernaldez' rt Chronicle," and is mentioned by other 

3 «• Historia," torn. i. cap. ex. 

Photo try uonuui uiut-ocm 

From Mmborch's " Historia Inquisitionis " 


The Exodus from Spain 369 


Amador de los Rios adds that entire ghettos 
entered into the sacrifice, and that, the Jews being 
utterly unable to dispose of such communal property, 
they were forced to make gifts of it to the municipali- 
ties that had shown them so little pity. 1 

Torquemada in his great zeal for the Faith was 
not content to leave matters there. His chief aim, 
after all, was not the expulsion of the Jews, but their 
conversion and the effacement of their creed. As a 
means to that end was it that he had wrung the edict 
of banishment from the Sovereigns. 

Upon this campaign of conversion he now sent 
forth his army of Dominicans. He published an 
edict, with the royal sanction, in which he exhorted 
the Israelites to receive baptism, laying stress upon 
the fact that those who should do so before the expiry 
of the three months appointed for their emigration 
would be entitled to remain. 

In every city, in every village, in every hamlet, 
in churches, in market-places, and at street-corners 
his black-and-white Dominicans sought by exhortation 
and argument to induce the Jews to receive the 
waters of baptism, thereby securing their well-being 
and prosperity in this world and their eternal salva- 
tion in the next. The preachers penetrated to the 
very synagogues in their zeal, and exerted themselves 
even in the Jewish temples, by the promises they 
held out of temporal advantage, to lead the Jews 
into the fold of Christianity. No place was sacred 
from the friars-preachers. In Segovia, when the 
hour of departure approached, the Jews spent three 
days in their cemetery weeping over the graves of 
their dead, which they were abandoning. And there 
were zealous Dominicans who intruded upon that 
sorrow, and seized the opportunity to preach conver- 
sion to that piteous assembly. 2 

But the response to all these sermons was only 

1 " Historia de los Judios," vol. iii. p. 311. 

1 Colmenares, M Hist. Segovia," cap. xxxv. § ix. 


37° Torquemada 

slight. If Torquemada's friars were preaching Chris- 
tianity on the one hand, and attempting by argument 
and bribery to induce the Hebrews to embrace it, the 
Rabbis, on the other, were no less energetic in their 
efforts to encourage the Israelites to stand firm in 
their fidelity to their God, to resist the temptations of 
corruption, and to remember that even as God had 
delivered them out of Egypt and led them into the 
Land of Plenty, so in leading them out of Spain 
would He see that His children did not suffer loss of 
honour or of worldly goods. 

Whether the Israelites believed or not, the great 
body of them remained staunch, and sooner than 
accept ease and advancement at the price of baptism, 
they firmly envisaged exile and the loss of their 
property, which the royal decree inspired by Torque- 
mada rendered inevitable. 

Bernaldez tells us that, notwithstanding the law 
against taking gold out of Spain, many of the exiles 
did take it in large quantities concealed about them — 
which is extremely probable. Not quite so probable 
is the common rumour which he reports, that they 
reduced many gold ducats to pellets with their teeth, 
and then swallowed them upon arriving at seaports or 
other places where they were to be searched, thus 
carrying the gold away in their stomachs. The 
women in particular, he says, were great offenders in 
this respect, and — again reporting the voice of common 
rumour — he informs us that some women contrived to 
swallow as many as thirty ducats each. 1 

The story of this swallowed gold evidently got 
abroad, to add to their affliction ; and we are told that 
some who sailed from Cadiz to Fez, and who fell into 
the hands of Moors upon landing on the coast of 
Barbary, were not only plundered of their belongings, 
but were in several cases ripped open by these 
brigands in their quest for gold. 2 

1 " Historia," torn. i. cap. ex. 

■ Llorente, M Anales," vol. i. p. 190. 

The Exodus from Spain 371 

Within the little period of three months appointed 
them, the Israelites sold or bartered what they could, 
and abandoned that for which they found no buyers. 
All boys and girls of the age of twelve or more they 
married, so that each nubile female should set out 
under the protection of a husband. 1 

The exodus from Spain began in the first week in 
July of 1492. Those amongst the exiles who were 
wealthy supported their poorer brethren, in pursuance 
of the custom that had ever prevailed in their ghettos. 
Many who had been very wealthy and masters of 
thriving trades abandoned their prosperity, and trust- 
ing to what Bernaldez terms " the vain hope of 
their blindness," they took the harsh road into banish- 

The parish priest of Palacios has left us a vivid 
picture of this emigration. 2 It is a picture over which 
Christianity must weep in shame. 

On foot, on horseback, on donkeys, in carts, young 
and old, stalwart and feeble, healthy and ailing, some 
dying and some being born, and many falling by the 
way, they formed forlorn processions toiling onwards 
in the heat and dust of that July. On every road that 
led out of the country — on those that went southwards 
to the sea, or westwards to Portugal, or eastwards to 
Navarre — these straggling human droves were to be 
met, and they presented a spectacle so desolate that 
there was no Christian who did not pity them. 

Succour them none dared, by virtue of the decree 
of the Grand Inquisitor; but on every hand they were 
exhorted to accept baptism and thus set a term upon 
their tribulations. And some, unable to endure more 
in their utter exhaustion and hopelessness, gave way 
and forswore the God of Israel. 

But these were comparatively few. The Rabbis 
were at hand to encourage and stimulate them. The 
women and the young men were bidden to sing as 

1 Bernaldez, " Historia," torn. i. p. 339. 
1 •' Historia," torn. i. cap. ex. 

37 2 Torquemada 

they marched, and timbrels were sounded to hearten 
these wretched multitudes. 

The Andalusians made for Cadiz, where it was 
their intention to take ship. Those of Aragon also 
turned towards the coast, repairing to Cartagena ; 
whilst many Catalans sailed for Italy, where — singular 
anomaly ! — a Catalan Pope (Roderigo Borgia) was to 
afford them shelter and protection in the very heart of 
the system that was oppressing and persecuting them. 

Of those who arrived at Cadiz, Bernaldez says that 
at sight of the sea there was great clamour amongst 
them. Their imaginations fired by the recent sermons 
of the Rabbis, in which they had been likened to their 
forefathers departing out of the Egyptian captivity, 
they confidently expected to behold here a repetition 
of the miracle of the Red Sea, and that the waters 
would separate to allow them a dry-shod passage into 

Those who went westwards were permitted by 
King John of Portugal to enter his kingdom and 
abide there for six months upon payment of a small 
tax of one cruzado each. 1 Of these many settled in 
Portugal and engaged there in trade, which they were 
permitted to do subject to a tribute of ioo cruzados 
levied on each family. 

It is no part of our present task to follow the 
Israelites into exile and observe the miserable fate 
that overtook so many of them, alike at the hands ot 
the followers of the gentle Christ and at those of the 
Children of the Prophet. Many sages and rabbis 
were amongst those who abandoned Spain, and in 
their number was Isahak Aboab, the last Prince of 
the Castilian Jews, and Isaac Abarbanel, the some- 
time farmer of the royal taxes. 

" The expulsion," writes this last, " was accom- 
panied by pillage on land and sea ; and amongst those 
who, stricken and sorrowful, set out for foreign lands, 

1 The cruzado is of the value of a florin, but with the purchasing power 
then of at least five times that sum. 

The Exodus from Spain 373 

was I. With great trouble I contrived to reach 
Naples, but I was unable to find any repose there in 
consequence of the French invasion. The French 
were masters of the city, the very inhabitants having 
abandoned their Government. All rose against our 
congregation, expelling rich and poor, men and 
women, fathers and sons of the Children of Zion, 
and reducing them to the greatest ruin and misery. 
Several abandoned their religion, fearing lest their 
blood should be shed as water, or that they might be 
sold into slavery ; for men and women, young and 
old, were being carried off in ships without pity for 
their lamentations, compelled to abandon their Law 
and continue in captivity." 

France and England received some of the exiles, 
others went to settle in the Far East. Most wretched, 
perhaps, were those who landed on the coast of Africa 
and attempted by way of the desert to reach Fez, 
where there was a Jewish colony. They were beset 
by a horde of plundering tribesmen, who pillaged them 
of their belongings, treated them with the utmost 
cruelty and inhumanity, ravished their women under 
their very eyes, and left them stripped and utterly 
broken. Their sufferings had reached the limit of 
their endurance. The survivors sought baptism at 
the first Christian settlement they reached, and many 
of these returned to their native Spain, having thus 
qualified themselves for readmission. 

There were many otherwise who, similarly unable 
to endure the hardships which they met abroad, broke 
down at last, accepted baptism and returned, or else 
returned clamouring for the baptism that should 
enable them to dwell in peace in the land of their 

For three years, says Bernaldez, there was a con- 
stant stream of returning Jews, who having abandoned 
all for their faith, had now abandoned their faith itself, 
and came back to make a fresh start. They were 
baptized in groups, all at once, by the sprinkling of 

374 Torquemada 

hyssop over them. 1 Bernaldez himself baptized a 
hundred of them at Palacios, and from what he beheld, 
" I considered fulfilled," he writes, " the prophecy of 
David — * Covertentur ad vesperam et famen patiuntur 
ut canes et circundabunt civitatem.' M 

The priest of Palacios estimates at 36,000 the 
Jewish families that accepted banishment, 2 which 
would represent some 200,000 souls. But Salazar de 
Mendoza and Zurita set the total exiles at twice 
that number, 3 whilst Mariana carries it as high as 
8oo,ooo. 4 More reliable perhaps than any of these 
is the estimate left by the Jewish writers, who say 
that in the year 5252 of the Creation 300,000 Jews 
left Spain, the land in which their forbears had dwelt 
for close upon 2,000 years. 6 

These figures bring home to us the gravity ot the 
step taken by the Sovereigns when they consented to 
the banishment of the Jews ; and if anything had been 
wanting to make us appreciate the irresistible quality 
of Torquemada and of the fanaticism for which he 
stood, these figures would supply it. 

The proposed expulsion must fully have been dis- 
cussed in council before the edict was promulgated ; 6 
and it must have been obvious that Spain could not 
fail to be left materially the poorer if some 40,000 
industrious families were driven out. It is unthink- 
able that king or councillor should not have raised the 
question of the inexpediency, of the positive danger 
attaching to such a measure. Yet certain it is that 
neither councillor nor king could stand against the 
stern, uncompromising friar, in whom they saw the 
representative of a God that was not to be trifled 

1 " Historia," torn. i. p. 344. 
1 Ibid. p. 338. 

3 Zurita, " Anales," lib. i. cap. iv.; Salazar de Mendoza, " Monarquia de 
Espana," iii. p. 338. 

4 " Historia," lib. xxvi. cap. i. 

5 See Amador de los Rios, " Historia de los Judios,' vol. iii. p. 316. 

6 Paramo states that it was. See " De Origine," p. 143, and also 
Salazar de Mendoza, " Monarquia de Espana," iii. p. 337. 

The Exodus from Spain 375 

with — a God whom their conceptions transformed 
into some vindictive pagan deity. 

Torquemada's crucifix so dramatically flung into 
the scales had definitely settled the question. 

The Sultan Bajazet, who welcomed and sheltered 
not a few of the fugitives in Turkey, was overcome 
with amazement at this blunder of statecraft, so that 
he is reported to have asked whether this king were 
seriously to be taken for a great statesman who 
impoverished his kingdom to enrich another's. 

What the Grand Turk perceived so readily, priest- 
ridden Ferdinand dared not perceive. 

In banishing Jew and Moslem from her soil — for 
the Moor was soon to follow, though temporarily per- 
mitted to remain by virtue of the terms of the capitula- 
tion of Granada — Spain banished her merchants and 
financiers on the one hand, and her agriculturists and 
artisans on the other ; in short, she banished her 
workers, the productive section of her community. 
It is accounted by many that she did so with the fullest 
consciousness of the consequences — an act of heroic 
sacrifice to principle and to religious convictions. And 
it may be that she accounted herself God-rewarded by 
the gift of a new world for this sacrifice to God. 

The arts, the industries, manufactures, agriculture, 
and commerce have been bewailing for four hundred 
years the lack of hands to serve them. The New 
World proved but an illusory and transient compen- 
sation. Its gold could not furnish Spain with the 
workers that she lacked. On the contrary, it increased 
that lack. The New World repaid herself with interest 
for what she gave. In return for the gifts she poured 
into the lap of Spain she took to herself the very 
children of Spain, luring them overseas with the 
fabulous tales of riches easily to be acquired. Driven 
by this greed of gold, multitudes of families emigrated 
to increase the depopulation of their country. And 
when, in the course of time, those children of Spain in 
the New World had grown to a sufficient strength to 

376 Torquemada 

claim their emancipation, they threw off the yoke of 
the motherland and distributed among themselves her 
vast possessions. They left her bare indeed, who by 
her own act was without home-resources, to realize 
perhaps at last what manner of service had been 
rendered her by the Prior of Holy Cross. 

The Moors of Granada, meanwhile, had obtained 
from Ferdinand a promise that the Inquisition should 
not be set up in Granada within the following forty 
years, nor yet any prosecution instituted of Moriscoes 
(baptized Moslems) for the observance of Mohamme- 
dan customs. 

The term, however, set too great a strain upon 
priestly patience. In 1526 — long before the expiry of 
the period marked — the Holy Office crept slyly into 
Granada upon the pretext that it was requisite to 
watch the many suspected Marranos who had gone to 
reside there in the shelter of the immunity enjoyed by 
the Moriscoes. That it was the merest pretext is 
shown by the circumstance that already, as early as 
1505, the Holy Office of Cordova had been moving 
in Granada and instituting there, when occasion arose, 
proceedings against Judaizers. 



The expulsion of the Jews may be considered the 
supreme and crowning work of Torquemada's life. 
It marks the high meridian of his achievement. 
Hereafter his career dwindles gradually in importance 
in a measure as it sinks slowly to its setting. 

In Rome, meanwhile, in that year 1492, a new 
Pontiff — Roderigo Borgia — had ascended the throne 
of St. Peter under the title of Alexander VI, and from 
this Pontiffs hands Torquemada received his con- 
firmation in the great office which he held — a confirma- 
tion which, being couched in the otiose terms of 
affection not uncommon in papal bulls, seems to have 
led many to believe that Alexander viewed Tor- 
quemada and the Holy Office of Spain with particular 
fondness. As a matter of fact, this Pope's attempts 
to curb the excessive rigour of the Grand Inquisitor 
were less lethargic — we dare not say more energetic — 
than those exerted by Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII ; 
and it was Alexander VI who, weary of complaints, 
finally contrived the retirement of the Prior of Holy 

But that was not yet. Before that came to pass, 
the scandals of secret absolutions sold and sub- 
sequently rescinded by the Holy See were now 
repeated. Vigorous appeals were made to the Holy 
Father against the procedure of the Grand Inquisitor, 
and the Holy Father, acting upon the advice of the 


37^ Torquemada 

Apostolic Court, dispatched his briefs of absolution. 
Torquemada, incensed once more by this fresh inter- 
ference with his jurisdiction, made his appeal to the 
Sovereigns, and jointly with them laid his protests 
before the Pope, who complacently cancelled the 
briefs that had been paid for — or rather that part of 
the absolution which concerned the temporal courts. 
For the moneys received it could be shown that full 
value had been given, since these absolutions still 
held good in the tribunal of conscience. We are 
familiar by this time with the argument. 

Torquemada's enemies in Spain were increasing 
now at an alarming rate. But, secure in the royal 
protection, this old man steadily and ruthlessly 
advanced along the path of intolerance, undismayed 
by ill-will. Conscious of the hatred he provoked, he 
may have gloried in the maledictions hurled against 
him by the persecuted, conceiving that the male- 
volence of the infidel would render his deeds the 
more acceptable in the sight of his God. But what- 
ever the equanimity with which he may have confronted 
spiritual hostility, he took his measures to secure him- 
self from its temporal manifestations. That he went 
in dread of attack is evinced not only by the fact that 
he was never seen abroad without his numerous escort 
of armed familiars, but further by the circumstance 
that he never sat down to dine without a horn of 
unicorn upon his table as a charm against poison. 1 

So arbitrarily and arrogantly did he widen the 
sphere of autocratic jurisdiction accorded him that 
soon he was usurping the functions of the civil courts, 
thereby provoking a still deeper resentment. He 
conducted the business of the Holy Office in such a 
manner that all other courts of the kingdom became 
subservient to it, and where the magistrates, resenting 
these encroachments, attempted to withstand him, or 
even to question his authority, they were — as had 

1 Paramo, "De Origine," p. 156. 

The Last "Instructions" of Torquemada 379 

happened in the case of the Captain-General of 
Valencia — promptly charged with lack of zeal and 
even impeached as hinderers of the Holy Office. They 
were compelled to submit to humiliating penances, 
which in the case of magistrates entailed a total loss 
of dignity and prestige. And such was the ascendancy 
this man had gained by now that complaints or 
appeals to the Sovereigns were useless. 

Meanwhile, however, and by his own act, his 
enemies at home had found two powerful mediators 
with the Pope, two powerful advocates to plead their 
cause before the Apostolic Court. These were Juan 
Arias Davila, Bishop of Segovia, and Pedro de Aranda, 
Bishop of Calahorra. 

Torquemada's frenzied intolerance of men of Jewish 
blood was by no means confined to those who practised 
the Law of Moses. It extended to those who had 
accepted baptism and to their descendants, and it kept 
alive his mistrust of them. 

Very markedly is this exhibited in the proceedings 
he instituted against the two bishops mentioned, not- 
withstanding the Papal decree which inhibited in- 
quisitors from proceeding against prelates save by 
special pontifical authority. 

The Bishop of Segovia — Juan Arias Davila — was 
the grandson of a Jew who had received baptism in 
the reign of Henry IV, and had held an honourable 
position at the court of that king by whom he had 
been ennobled. Considering the ecclesiastical eminence 
attained by his grandson — now a very old man — one 
would imagine that the latter should have been secure 
from inquisitorial attacks on the score of alleged 
offences committed by his ancestor against the Faith. 
But the terrible Torquemada contrived to rake up 
some matters against the long-deceased converso, 
accused him of having re-Judaized before his death, 
and instituted proceedings which must have resulted in 
the destitution, degradation and infamy of the bishop, 
his descendant. 

380 Torquemada 

" It sufficed," says Llorente on this subject, 1 " that 
a deceased Jew should have been fortunate and wealthy 
to seek cause of suspicion upon his faith and religion, 
such was the ill-will against those of Jewish blood, 
such the desire to mortify them, and such the covetous- 
ness to absorb their property." 

To these proceedings Davila set up a stout resist- 
ance and made appeal to the Pope, whereupon Torque- 
mada experienced his first serious check. The Pope 
ordered him to stick to the letter of the law, and to 
lay the matter before the Apostolic Court, as was due. 
Thither went the Bishop also, to defend his grand- 
father's bones from the accusation lodged. He was 
well received by the Pontiff, who ultimately gave 
him the victory over Torquemada, for when the 
case was tried his father's memory was cleared of all 
guilt. 2 

In the meanwhile, however, Davila had not only 
received a very kindly welcome at the Vatican, but, 
pending his trial, he was given a position of honour, 
and he was associated with Cardinal Borgia of Monreale 
(Alexander's nephew) when the latter went as papal 
legate to Naples, to crown Alfonso II of Aragon. 3 

Less fortunate was Pedro de Aranda, the other 
accused Bishop. In his case, too, the proceedings 
instituted were based upon the alleged Judaizing of his 
deceased father — a Jew who had been baptized in the 
time of St. Vincent Ferrer. 

His case was tried at Valladolid, but the inquisitors 
and the diocesan ordinary disagreed in their findings, 
and in 1493 the Bishop, accompanied by his bastard 
son Alfonso Solares, set out for Rome, to present in 
person his appeal to the Pontiff Him, too, the Pope 
received with the utmost kindliness. His Holiness 
issued a brief inhibiting the inquisitors, and relegating 

1 " Historia Critica," torn. ii. p. 125. 

* Colmenares, " Hist Segovia," cap. xxxv., and Paramo, " De Origine," 
lib. ii. cap. iv. Paramo says that the Bishop had " causa propria " as well 
as the defence of his grandfather's bones to take him to Rome. 

8 Burchard, " Diarium " (Thuasne Ed.), ii. p. 163. 

The Last " Instructions " of Torquemada 381 

the case to the Bishop of Cordova and the Prior of 
the Benedictines of Valladolid. 

The case being tried by them, a verdict entirely 
favourable to the Bishop was obtained, and his father's 
memory was acquitted of the charge preferred against 
it. But the tribulations of the living son were not 
permitted to end there. Torquemada would not suffer 
that his prey should escape so easily. 

Already in 1488 the Bishop had been defamed by 
a suspicion of judaizing, and the Grand Inquisitor now 
pressed that he should be called to answer to that 
charge, forwarding the indictment under seal to Rome. 

Pending the solution of the matter by the Apostolic 
Court, Alexander not only treated Aranda well, but 
heaped honours and favours upon him and his son. 
The Bishop was sent to Venice as papal legate, he 
was appointed Master of the Sacred Palace, whilst 
upon his offspring was conferred the position of 
apostolic prothonotary. 1 

But despite the papal favour which he enjoyed, and 
notwithstanding the fact that he called upwards of a 
hundred witnesses to testify in his defence, he was 
found guilty. It is said that his own witnesses helped 
to bring about his conviction. The Pontifical Court 
was obliged to sentence him to loss of all ecclesiastical 
dignities and benefices, to degrade him and reduce 
him to the lay estate, whereafter he was imprisoned in 
Sant' Angelo, and there he died a few years later. 2 

Notwithstanding the sentence of the Apostolic 
Court, Llorente finds it impossible to believe that 
Aranda was really guilty of Judaizing. M It seems in- 
credible that it should have been so, considering that 
he had preserved the reputation of good Catholic for 
so long and with such applause that the Queen Donna 
Isabella should have named him President of the 
Council of Castile. His celebrating the Synodal 

1 Burchard, "Diarium" (Thuasne Ed.), ii. pp. 409 and 494. 
* Limborch, lib. xiv. cap. 41; Llorente, "Historia Critica/' torn. ii. 
p. 126; Burchard, "Diarium," ii. 494, iii. 13 — . 

382 Torquemada 

Council in his bishopric argues zeal for the purity of 
religion and its dogmas. That the witnesses called 
should have deponed to any words or actions of his 
that were contrary to this does not signify as much as 
may at first appear, for we know, from a multitude of 
instances, that to fast on Sunday, to abstain from work 
on Saturday, to refuse to eat pork, to dislike the blood 
of animals, and other similar matters, sufficed as grounds 
upon which to declare a man a Judaizing heretic, and 
this notwithstanding that, as any one knows to-day, 
these are circumstances not at all at issue with a firm 
adherence to the Catholic dogmas." 1 

His sentence, however, was not pronounced until 
1498. Until then he enjoyed, as we have seen, great 
favour at the Papal Court. Taking advantage of this, 
he and the Bishop of Segovia not only acted as 
mediators to lay their countrymen's grievances against 
Torquemada before the Pope, but, in their very natural 
resentment at the injustice of the prosecutions instituted 
against themselves, they went so far as to urge the 
Pope to depose the Grand Inquisitor from his office. 
And Llorente — who states this upon the authority of 
Lumbreras — adds that these petitions would, of them- 
selves, have prevailed but for the royal protection 
which Torquemada continued to enjoy. 2 

But the complaints of the Grand Inquisitor's abuse 
of his power continued to pour into Rome. They 
multiplied to such an extent, they were of such a 
nature, and they were presented by Spaniards of such 
eminence at the court of the Spanish Pontiff, that thrice 
was Torquemada forced to send an advocate to defend 

1 Llorente, " Hist. Critica," ii. p. 126. It was alleged against Aranda 
that in the course of his Judaizing, when praying he would always say 
'•Gloria Patri " purposely omitting the " Filio et Spiritu Sancto," that he 
took food before celebrating Mass, that he ate meat on Good Fridays and 
other days of abstinence, that he denied the efficacy of indulgences, and 
did not believe in Hell or Purgatory, and much else. See Burchard, 
"Diarium," iii. p. 14. 

■ " Anales," torn. i. p. 214. 

The Last " Instructions " of Torquemada 383 

him before the Holy See. 1 And in the end Alexander 
considered it necessary to take measures to circumvent 
the royal protection which continued to oppose the 
deposition of the Prior of Holy Cross. 

Since to depose him were too aggressive a course 
to adopt towards the Sovereigns, with whom the 
Pontiff desired to preserve the friendliest relations, at 
least Torquemada's power must be curtailed. And so, 
by a brief of June 23, 1494, indited with all the craft 
and diplomacy of which Roderigo Borgia was a master, 
a brief in which he assures the Grand Inquisitor that 
" he cherishes him in the very bowels of affection for 
his great labours in the exaltation of the Faith," and 
charged with tender solicitude for Torquemada's failing 
health, the Pontiff puts forward these infirmities as a 
reason for assuming him no longer equal to discharge 
single-handed the heavy duties of his office. Therefore 
His Holiness considers it desirable to appoint him 
assistants who will lighten the labour of his declining 

The assistants appointed by Alexander were 
Martin Ponce de Leon, a Castilian nobleman who 
was Archbishop of Messina, Don Inigo Manrique, 
Bishop of Cordova (nephew of the prelate of the 
same name who was Archbishop of Seville), Don 
Francisco Sanchez de la Fuente, Bishop of Avila, 
sometime Dean of Toledo and Councillor of the 
Suprema, and Don Alonso Suarez de Fuentelsaz, 
Bishop of Mondonedo, who had also held the 
position of inquisitor. 

These assistants were equipped by the Pontiff 
with the amplest powers — powers as ample as 
Torquemada's own — so that they were in no sense 
subservient to the Prior of Holy Cross. The term 
" assistant ' was a papal euphuism, serving thinly to 
veil the fact that Torquemada's autocratic rule was 
virtually at an end. 

Such was the absolute equality of the authority 

1 Paramo, " De Origine," p. 156. 

3 $4 Torquemada 

of each of the five Grand Inquisitors now in existence, 
that it was explicitly set forth that any one of them 
had power singly to determine any matter, or singly 
to conclude any case that might have been initiated 
by one of the other four. 1 

But of the four assistants appointed only two 
accepted office jointly with Torquemada. These 
were the Bishop of Avila and the Archbishop of 
Messina, who at once took up their duties. 

The Pope went a step further on November 4 
following, when by a supplementary brief he appointed 
Sanchez de la Fuente (Bishop of Avila) to be Judge 
of Appeal in cases of the Faith. And from now 
onwards it is to Sanchez de la Fuente that the Pope 
addresses his briefs concerning the conduct of the 
affairs of the Holy Office. It was to him personally 
that Alexander gave orders that when a bishop was 
unable or unwilling to perform upon an offending 
cleric of his diocese the ceremony of degradation, 
this should be undertaken by the Bishop of Avila 
himself, or else by a bishop by him appointed. 

Thus it would seem that Torquemada had virtually 
been superseded, and that Sanchez de la Fuente had 
been rendered his superior. If so, that superiority 
cannot have been more than nominal. In spite ot 
it, Torquemada remained the guiding spirit of the 
Holy Office in Spain, the supreme arbiter and law- 
giver, as we shall see when we come to consider his 
last " Instructions," published in 1498. 

In spite of these measures taken by the Pope with 
a view to softening inquisitorial severity and bringing 
it within more reasonable bounds, complaints to Rome 
seem to have continued unabatedly. 

Far from restricting inquisitorial jurisdiction — as 
was intended — the appointment of these assistant 
Grand Inquisitors appears to have widened it. They 
now went so far as themselves to sell and dispose 

1 Lumbreras, quoted by Llorente, " Anales," torn. i. p. 215. 





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The Last "Instructions" of Torquemada 385 

of confiscated property — a matter which hitherto had 
been conducted by the officers of the royal treasury. 
And this was more than Ferdinand could stomach. 
Where humanitarian considerations, where arguments 
of political expediency had failed to curb his bigotry, 
acquisitiveness seems easily to have carried the victory. 
So that at last we see the King himself turning in 
appeal to the Pope against this despotism of a court 
upon which he had conferred the power to become 
mightier than himself in his own kingdom. 

The response to his appeal was the bull of 
February 1495, commanding the inquisitors under 
pain of excommunication to desist from their course, 
and never to resort to it again save under royal 
sanction. The power to proceed against inquisitors 
in case of fraud or irregularity in this matter was 
vested in the famous Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros. 1 

This man, who has been called the Richelieu of 
Spain, had risen from very humble beginnings, as a 
barefoot friar-mendicant, to the very splendid eminence 
of Primate of Spain — in which office he had just 
succeeded Cardinal Mendoza, who died in that year 


In the following year Torquemada made his exit 
from the Court, where for a decade he had been a 
figure of an importance second only to that of the 
Sovereigns themselves. 

Crippled by gout, he withdrew to his monastery 
at Avila. 2 There he now dwelt in retirement, an 
emaciated old man in his seventy-sixth year, debilitated 
and racked with bodily infirmities, but with all his 
vigour and energy of mind unimpaired, his severity 
as uncompromising as of old, his conscience entirely 
at peace in the conviction that he had given of his best 
— indeed, his all — to the service of his God. 

But even now his retirement can have been little 

1 Llorente, " Anales," torn. i. p. 222. 
* Paramo, " De Origine," p. 159. 


386 Torquemada 

more than physical. His attention continued focussed 
upon the Inquisition and engrossed by it. To the last 
do we find him actively directing the procedure of that 
tribunal of the Faith. 

In the spring of 1498 he summoned the principal 
inquisitors of the kingdom to the monastery of St. 
Thomas of Avila, to the end that with himself they 
might concert the promulgation of further decrees to 
check abuses which had crept into the administration 
of the justice of the Holy Office, proving inadequate 
his enactments of 1484, 1485, and 1488. 

These, the fourth " Instructions" of Torquemada, 
were published on May 25, 1498. They contain a 
good deal that seems calculated to soften the rigour 
of the earlier decrees, yet much of this is more or less 

Let us very briefly consider the sixteen articles of 
which they consist. 

The first three provide : (I) that of the two inquisi- 
tors appointed to each court one shall be a jurist and 
the other a theologian, and that they shall not proceed 
other than jointly to decree prison, torture, or publica- 
tion of witnesses; (II) that the inquisitors shall not 
permit their officers to bear weapons in those places 
where the bearing of weapons is forbidden ; (III) that 
no one shall be arrested save upon sufficient proof of 
his guilt, and that all cases be disposed of with dispatch 
and not delayed in the hope of discovering increased 
justification to sentence. 

This last clause merely repeats an earlier one that 
we have already seen, and from this repetition we are 
led to suppose that the former expression of the same 
command had not received proper attention and obedi- 
ence. The stipulation that no arrest should be made 
save where there was sufficient proof of guilt is not as 
generous as it sounds. It is dependent upon what the 
inquisitors would consider "sufficient proof"; this is 
revealed by the jurisprudence of the Holy Office: 
the accusation of a spiteful or malevolent person, or 

The Last " Instructions " of Torquemada 387 

a delation wrung from some wretch under torture, 
would be accounted "sufficient proof" to justify the 
arrest and its sequel. To abolish the inequitable 
character of this it would have been necessary to have 
rescinded the decree which accounted " semiplenal 
proof" sufficient ground for taking action. 

Very merciful in its terms is Article IV, which 
sets forth that in proceedings against the dead the 
inquisitors must absolve promptly where complete 
proof of crime is not forthcoming, and not delay in the 
hope of obtaining further proof, as legal delays are 
very injurious to the children, who are unable to con- 
tract marriage whilst such matters are sub judice. But 
it comes a little late in the day. It comes when the 
great harvest from the wealthy dead has been safely 
garnered. Besides, no conditions imposed could 
mitigate the horrible rigour of the enactment to 
exhume and burn the bones of the dead together 
with their effigies, and to reduce the children or grand- 
children to destitution and infamy, even when the 
person convicted was known to have died penitent 
and comforted by the sacraments of the Church — in 
consequence of which, by their own Faith, the inquisi- 
tors believed him to be saved. 

Article V provides that when the tribunal shall 
be short of money for salary, no further pecuniary 
penances be imposed than would be the case if the 
court had funds in hand. 

Conceive, if you can, the notions of equity prevail- 
ing in a tribunal which needed to have it decreed that 
fines were to be governed by the offence committed, 
and not by the court's need of money at the time ! 

Similarly illumining is Article VI, which sets forth 
that imprisonment or other corporal penances must not 
be commuted to fines, and that only the inquisitors- 
general shall have power to dispense an offender from 
wearing the sanbenito and to rehabilitate the children 
of heretics so that they shall have liberty in the matters 
of apparel and employment. 

388 Torquemada 

As Llorente points out, 1 the very existence of this 
decree shows of what abuses of power the inquisitors 
were guilty for the purpose of increasing their already 
considerable profit. 

Article VII is thoroughly imbued with the inquisi- 
torial spirit of mercilessness. It warns inquisitors to be 
cautious in the matter of admitting to reconciliation 
those who confess their fault after arrest, since, con- 
sidering how many years have passed since the 
institution of the Inquisition, the contumacy of such 
offenders may be taken as established. 

On the subject of Article VIII, which enjoins in- 
quisitors to punish false witnesses with public pains, 
Llorente is particularly interesting in a commentary : 

" Properly to understand this article, it is necessary 
to realize that there were two ways of being a false 
witness : one by calumniating, another by denying 
knowledge of heretical words or deeds upon which a 
person might be questioned in the course of proceedings 
against an accused. I have seen many records of 
proceedings against those of this second class, but 
very rarely (rarissima vez) any against those of the 
first. Nor could it be easy to prove that a calumniator 
has borne false witness, for the unfortunate accused 
would have to guess his identity, and though he were 
to guess correctly the court would not admit it." 2 

Article IX provides that in no tribunal shall there 
be two persons who are related or one who is the 
servant of another, even though their respective offices 
should be entirely different and separate. 

Articles X, XI, and XVI are calculated to increase 
the secrecy of inquisitorial proceedings. The first 
makes provision for the secret custody of all docu- 
ments and for punishing any notary who shall betray 
his trust ; the second enacts that a notary must not 
receive the depositions of witnesses save in the pre- 
sence of the inquisitor ; the last decrees that after the 

1 " Historia Critica," torn. ii. p. yj, 
* Ibid. ii. p. 78. 

The Last "Instructions" of Torquemada 389 

witnesses shall have been sworn by the inquisitors in 
the presence of the fiscal, the latter must withdraw so 
as not to be present when the delations are made. 

The remaining four articles are concerned with 
such matters as the setting up of courts of the 
Inquisition where these have not yet been estab- 
lished, the submission of difficult questions that may 
arise to the Suprema for decision, the provision of 
separate prisons for women and for men, and the 
stipulation that officers of the court shall work six 
hours daily. 

In addition to the foregoing sixteen articles, he 
promulgated in that same year special instructions 
concerning the personnel of the Holy Office. They 
speak for themselves, and very vividly suggest the 
abuses they were framed to suppress. 

For governors of prisons and constables he decreed 
that they must permit no one to visit the prisoners 
with the exception of the persons appointed to bear 
them food, and that these must be bound by oath to 
preserve the "secrecy" inviolate, and to examine all 
food to ascertain that no written matter is concealed 
in it. Food, it is added, shall be conveyed to the 
prisoners by persons specially appointed for that duty, 
and never by a constable or gaoler. 

All officers are to be sworn to preserve inviolate 
secrecy upon all things they may see or hear. 

Receivers are commanded that in the event of the 
acquittal of a person whose property has been seques- 
tered, they must restore the property according to the 
inventory drawn up at the time of effecting the 
sequestration — but if there are debts to be satisfied 
by such a person, these may be paid by order of the 
inquisitors without awaiting the consent of the debtor. 

If amongst confiscated property there should be 
any that is in litigation, the matter is to be judicially 
decided ; and if it is found that any property which 
should have formed part of a confiscation shall have 

390 Torquemada 

passed into the hands of third parties, action is to be 
taken to recover it. 

Confiscated property is to be sold after thirty days, 
and the receivers are not to purchase any under pain 
of greater excommunication and a fine of ioo ducats. 
Each receiver is authorized to give vouchers for pro- 
perty up to the value of 300,000 maravedis. 

For the inquisitors themselves it is provided that 
upon assuming office they shall be bound by oath 
to discharge their duties well and faithfully and to 
observe the secrecy ; that no inquisitor or officer of 
the Inquisition shall receive any gift of whatsoever 
nature from a prisoner, under pain of loss of office and 
a fine of twice the value of the gift plus 100,000 
maravedis, whilst any who shall have knowledge of 
such matter and fail to divulge it shall be subject to 
the same penalty. 

Inquisitors are to make oath never to be alone with 
a prisoner, and neither an inquisitor nor any officer of 
the court shall hold two offices or receive two salaries. 
Lastly, in any district where the Inquisition's tribunal 
is established, the inquisitors must pay for their own 
lodgings, and must never receive any hospitality from 

We have seen Torquemada's efforts strained to 
obtain the fullest possible control over subjects of 
inquisitorial jurisdiction in Spain, and to establish 
himself the sole arbiter in matters concerning heresies 
there committed. And we have seen his frequent 
conflicts with Rome in consequence of what he 
accounted undue interference on the part of the Holy 
See in affairs which he considered purely within his 
own province. Despite repeated protests which had 
resulted in the annulment of absolutions granted by 
the Apostolic Court, the Holy See had ever continued 
to receive those who fled thither from Spain in quest 
of a reconciliation that was procurable in Rome upon 

1 See "Copilacion de las Instrucciones," under date. 

The Last " Instructions ' of Torquemada 391 

terms far easier than were accorded by Torquemada's 

Never, however, had the fugitives to Rome been 
so numerous as they were now in the reign of 
Alexander VI. Never before had so many Judaizers 
— who were liable, if discovered in Spain, to perpetual 
prison or the fire — sought at the hands of the Pontiff 
the absolution which, subject to penitence and penance, 
the Holy Father was willing and ready to accord 

On July 29, 1498, an Auto de F6 was held in 
Rome in the vast square before St. Peter's, when 
180 Spanish Judaizers came to be reconciled to the 
Church. 1 

It is worth while to take a glance at this, and to 
mark the difference between the Act of Faith in the 
very heart of Christendom, and the spectacles pro- 
vided under the same title by Spanish bigotry and 

There were present the Governor of Rome, Juan 
de Cartagena, the Spanish Orator at the Vatican, the 
Apostolic auditors, and the Master of the Sacred 
Palace, whilst the Pope himself surveyed the scene 
from the balcony above the steps of St. Peter's. 

The penitents received the sanbenitos, which were 
put on over their ordinary garments, and arrayed in 
these they entered St. Peter's. There all were assembled 
and reconciled, whereafter they were taken in pro- 
cession to the Church of Santa Maria della Minerva. 
In this temple they put off their sanbenitos, and each 
one withdrew to his home without further bearing the 
insignia of shame and infamy. 2 

1 This is the figure given by Burchard, and is the most authoritative 
(" Diarium," ii. 492). Llorente says "250," and Sanuto ("Diario," i. 
col. 1029) "zercha 300 marram." 

* Llorente, " Anales," torn. i. p. 238; Burchard, "Diarium," ii. pp. 491-2. 
Sanuto the Venetian diarist reports the matter from letters received 
from Rome with a sarcasm entirely characteristic : "The Pontiff sent some 
300 marranos in penitence to the Minerva, dressed in yellow, candle in 
hand : this was their public penance ; the secret one would be of their 
money. . . .'' (" Diario," i. col. 1029). 

39 2 Torquemada 

The view taken by Torquemada of a Pope who so 
little understood what the former considered to be the 
duties of Christ's earthly Vicar is to be gathered from 
the attitude of the Sovereigns in the matter of these 
reconciliations, and their protests — protests which, 
beyond doubt, would be inspired by the Grand 

Alexander advised the Sovereigns in reply — by a 
brief of October 5 — that in according these absolutions 
one of the pains imposed upon the penanced was that 
they must never return to Spain without the special 
sanction of the Catholic Sovereigns. 1 

In this manner, clearly, there was no infringement 
by the Pontiff of the power relegated to the Spanish 
inquisitors, since as long as the penitents remained 
abroad they were beyond the jurisdiction of the Holy 
Office of Spain. As for the prohibition to return being 
a part of the penance imposed, it was surely super- 
erogative, for we cannot think that any of those who 
had so fortunately obtained absolution would easily 
incur the risk of coming within reach of the talons 
of a court that would disregard, or else find a way 
to cancel or circumvent, the Roman reconciliation. 

But by the time the brief reached Spain, Frey 
Tomas de Torquemada, the arch-enemy of the Jews, 
had breathed his last in his beautiful monastery of 
St. Thomas at Avila. 

He passed away in peace, laying down the burden 
of life and sinking to sleep with the relief and thank- 
fulness of the husbandman at the end of a day of 
diligent, arduous, and conscientious toil. His honesty 
of purpose, his integrity, his utter devotion to the task 
he had taken up are to be weighed in the balance of 
historic judgment against the evil that he wrought 
so ardently in the unfaltering conviction that his work 
was good. 

His name has been execrated and revered at once. 

1 Lumbreras, quoted by Llorente, " Anales," torn. i. p. 238. 

The Last " Instructions " of Torquemada 393 

He has been vituperated as a fiend of cruelty, and all 
but worshipped as a saint ; and there is bias in both 
judgments — both are no better than gratifications of 

Perhaps Prescott is nearest the truth when he 
says that " Torquemada's zeal was of so extraordinary 
a character that it may almost shelter itself under the 
name of insanity." 1 

Garcia Rodrigo speaks of the barbarians of the 
nineteenth century who desecrated the monastery of 
St. Thomas, and whose " revolutionary hammers" 
smashed so many of the sepulchral and other marbles. 
He turns the medal about for us when he pours 
his fierce invective upon anti-religious fanaticism 
and speaks of these broken marbles as evidences 
of " perversity, intolerance, and want of enlighten- 
ment." 2 

The anti-religious fanaticism and intolerance must 
be admitted. But it must be admitted that they are 
the inevitable fruits that fanaticism and intolerance 
produce. Men reap as they sow. And what but 
thistles shall be yielded by the seed of thistles ? 

The same author inveighs against the political 
fanaticism of Spanish Liberalism, which in the hour 
of reaction sought fiercely for the bones of the first 
Grand Inquisitor. He denounces it indignantly for 
disturbing the peace of sepulture. In the main we 
share his feelings ; and yet can we avoid perceiving 
here a measure of retributive justice ? Can we fail to 
see in this fanatical act the vengeance of humanity for 
the almost obscene violation of a thousand graves by 
that same Grand Inquisitor's fanaticism ? 

1 " History of Ferdinand and Isabella," vol. i. p. 286. 

Llorente estimates the number of Torquemada's victims at 8,800 burnt, 
6,500 burnt in effigy, and 90,000 penanced in various degrees. These 
figures, however, are unreliable and undoubtedly exaggerated, although 
they are in themselves a correction of his earlier estimate, which fixes the 
number of burnt at upwards of 10,000 — an estimate flagrantly preferred by 
Dr. Rule and other partisan writers on the subject. 

2 " Hist. Verdadera," vol. ii, p. 113. 

394 Torqucmada 

He was laid to rest in the chapel of his monastery, 
and his tomb bore the following simple inscription : 





But his work survived him. His spirit — through 
his enactments — continued for three centuries after his 
death to be the guiding spirit of the Inquisition, 
executor of the stern testament he left inscribed upon 
the walls of his monastery — 

* Paramo, " De Origine," p. 159. 



Ariz, Luys : " Historia de Avila." Alcala, 1607. 

Babut, Charles E. : * Priscillian et le Priscilliantisme." Paris, 

Bernaldez, Andres : " Historia de los Reyes Catolicos." 1870. 
Bleda, Jaime : " Coronica de los Moros de Espana." Valencia, 

Burchard, Johannes : " Diarium sive Rerum Urbanarum 

Commentarii " (Ed. Thuasne). Paris. 
Castillo, Hernando del : " Historia General de Santo Do- 
mingo." Valladolid, 1612. 
Colmenar, Juan Alvarez de : " Delices d'Espagne." Leyden, 

Colmenares, Diego de : u Historia de Segovia." Madrid, 1640. 
" Copilacion de las Instrucciones hechas, etc." Madrid, 1576. 
Didron, A. N. : " Iconographie Chr6tienne." Paris, 1835. 
Douais, C. : " Les Heretiques du Midi au XIII Siecle." 
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vols, v., vi., ix., xv., xvi., xvii., and xviii. 
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dami, 1692. 
Llorente, Juan Antonio: "Anales de la Inquisicion de 

Espana." Madrid, 181 2. 
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de Espana." Madrid, 1822. 
Llorente, Juan Antonio : " Memoria Historica." Madrid, 

18 1 2. 
Loeb, Isidore : in " Revue des Etudes Juives," vols, xv., xviii., 

xix., and xx. 


39^ Bibliography 

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Marineo, L. : " Cronica d'Aragon." Valencia, 1524. 
Mendoza, Salazar de : " Cronica de el Gran Cardinal." 

Toledo, 1625. 
Mendoza, Salazar de : " Monarquia de Espafia." Madrid, 

Moreno, Martin Martinez : " Historia del Martirio del Santo 

Nino de La Guardia." Madrid, 1786. 
Paramo, Ludovicus a : " De Origine et Progressu Sanctae 

Inquisitionis." Madrid, 1598. 
Pulgar, Hernando del : " Chronica de los Reyes Catholicos." 

Valencia, 1780. 
Pulgar, Hernando del : " Claros Varones de Castilla." 

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y Portugal." Madrid, 1875. 
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la Inquisition." Madrid, 1877. 
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de Arbu6s." Madrid, 1664. 
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Zurita, Geronimo : " Anales de la Corona de Aragon." 

Madrid, 1852. 


Abadia, Juan de — conspires 
against Inquisition, 218 ; ar- 
rested, 221 ; commits suicide, 

Abarbanel, Isaac — 365 ; on suf- 
ferings of the Jews, 372 

Abdurrahman the Omayyad — 
founds Amirate of Cordova, 51 

Abenamias, Mose — in affair of La 
Gardia, 289 ; consecrated wafer 
sent to, 312, 325, 338 ; letter to, 

Abgarus of Edessa — recipient of 

portrait of Christ, 21 
Abjuration — 146 
Abolafio, Juan Fernandez — con- 
spires, 115 ; burnt, 116 
Adrian — approves Christianity, 20 
Agustin, Antonio — denounces J. 

P. Sanchez, 226 
Agustin, Pedro — procures release 

of Sanchez, 226 ; arrested, 227 
Alarcon, Dr. Alonso de — sent to 

Zaragoza, 221 
Albigenses — 32 
Alcantara, Knights of — 59 
Alexander Severus — 20 
Alexander VI, Pope — confirms 

Torquemada in office, 377 ; cur- 
tails power of Torquemada, 383 ; 

bull of, 385 ; fugitives to Rome 

under, 391 
Alfaro, Juan de — constable of 

Holy Office, 240 
Alfonso I — founds Kingdom of 

Galicia, 51 
Alfonso V of Portugal — invades 

Spain, 54 
Alfonso VIII — Jews under, 76 
Alfonso XI — promulgates " Par- 

tidas," 78 
Alfonso of Aragon — in Zaragoza 

riots, 220 ; at penance of Infante 

of Navarre, 224 

Almoravides — empire of, 52 

Antoninus Pius — tolerates Chris- 
tians, 20 

Aranda, Pedro de — Bishop of 
Calahorra, 379 ; prosecuted by 
Torquemada, 380 ; convicted at 
Rome, 381 

Arbues de Epila, Fr. Pedro — 
213 ; appointed inquisitor in 
Zaragoza, 216; murdered, 219 
et seq. ; avenged by Inquisition 
223 ; miracles and sanctity of, 
229 ; canonized, 230 

Arcos, Count of — New-Christians 
shelter in dominions of, 112 

Arias Davila, Juan (Bishop of 
Segovia) — inquires into case of 
ritual murder, 79 ; prosecuted by 
Torquemada, 379 ; protected by 
Pope, 380 

Arius — heresy of, 23 

Augustine, St. — Manichaean, 24 ; 
denounces religious liberty, 25 
et seq. 

Aurelian, 21 

Autos de Fe" — the first in Seville, 
1 16 et seq. ; the second, ib., 126 ; 
Voltaire on, 201 ; where to 
be held, 205 ; in Toledo, 244 ; 
described, 247 et seq. ; cere- 
monial with clerics, 252 ; cere- 
monial with deceased, 254 ; in 
Rome, 391 

Avila — Monastery of St. Thomas 
built by Torquemada, 262 ; Auto 
de Fe in, 343 ; feeling against 
Jews, 344 

Avila, Antonio de — attends Yuce 
Franco, 286 

Bajazet, Sultan — on banishment 

of Jews from Spain, 375 
Barcelona — resists Torquemada's 

authority, 231 




Barco, Lopez de — 109 
Barroso, Pedro (Archbishop of 

Seville) — suspends Martinez, 83 
Beltraneja.La — bastard daughter 

of Juana of Portugal, 54 
Berber Tarik — invades Peninsula, 

Bernaldez, Anders — on Isabella's 
moral reforms, 65 ; on introduc- 
tion of Inquisition, 70 ; on Jews, 
95 ; on Susan, 116 ; on Quema- 
dero, 128 ; on banishment of 
Jews, 368, 370 ; baptizes Jews, 

Bernardone, Francesco — goes to 

Rome, 39 

Bobadilla, Beatriz de — 61 ; es- 
capes from Segovia, 62 

Bobadilla, Pedro de — seized by 
Maldonado, 61 

Borgia, Rodrigo — Cardinal of Va- 
lencia, 133 ; becomes Pope, 377 
(see Alexander VI.) 

Borgia of Monreale — Cardinal, 

Caballeri a, Alonso de — in council 
of Tarragona, 216 ; prosecuted by 
Inquisition, 224 ; appeals to the 
Pope, 225 

Cabrera, Andres de — Seneschal 
of Segovia, 60 ; conspired against, 
61 ; rescued by Isabella, 63 

Calatrava, Knights of — 59 

Caletrido, Juan — spies upon Jews, 

Canonical Purgation — 160 

Carillo, Alonso — councillor of 
Suprema, 137 ; in council of 
Tarragona, 216 

Casar de Palomero — outrage upon 
crucifix at, 266 

Cathars — 32 

Cebrian, Fr. Alonso de — ap- 
pointed inquisitor by Pope, 131 

" Centinela contra Judios " — 360 

Chamarro, Prince — alleged letter 
of, 361 

Claudius — expels Nazarenes from 
Rome, 19 

Clement VI, Pope — excommuni- 
cates persecutors of Jews, 81 

Columbus, Christopher — discov- 
ers New World, 52 

Colvera, Fr. Juan — sent to Zara- 
goza, 221 

Constantine — supported by Chris- 
tians, 21 ; embraces Christian 
Faith, 22 

Cordova — tribunal established by 

Torquemada, 136 
Coroza — for convicts of heresy, 

Cortes — consider Jewish question, 

208 ; held at Tarragona, 2 1 5 

Deceased — proceedings against, 

Decius — 21 

Diego of Aragon — defeats Sara- 
cens, 52 

Diocletian — 2 1 

Dominic, St. — see Guzman 

Domitian — persecutes Christians, 

Ecija, Canon of — see Martinez, 

Effigies burnt — 248 

Eli, Leonardo — arrested, 217 

Enriquez, Fr. Alonso — sent to 
Yuce Franco, 286 

Enriquez, Fadrique — his quarrel 
with Guzman, 57 ; disobeys Isa- 
bella, 58 ; banished, 59 

Esperandeu, Juan de — conspires 
against Inquisition, 218 ; mur- 
ders Arbues, 219 ; arrest and 
execution of, 221, 222 

Eymeric, Nicolaus — " Dire:to- 
rium " of, 139; quoted, 144 et 
seq. ; on abjuration, 148 ; on 
canonical purgation, 160 ; on 
children of heretics, 164 ; en- 
joins guile, 174 ; on torture, 184 ; 
on relapsos, 200 

Familiars of the Holy Office — 

Ferdinand of Aragon — marries 
Isabella, 52 ; elected Grand- 
Master of Santiago, 60 ; favours 
Inquisition, 98, 109 ; attitude 
examined, 1 10 ; protests to Pope, 
132 ; holds Cortes at Tarragona, 
215 ; reluctant to expel Jews, 
268 ; in conquest of Granada, 
356 ; unable to resist Torque- 
mada, 364 ; rebuked by Torque- 
mada, 367 ; appeals against in- 
quisitorial despotism, 385 

Fita, Fidel — publishes dossier of 
Yuce Franco's trial, 269 

Francis of Assisi, St. — see Ber- 

Franco, Alonso — arrested, 289, 
307 ; incriminated by Yuce 
Franco, 31 5 ; obtained conse- 



crated wafer, 340 ; confirms con- 
fessions made, 341 ; burnt, 344 
Franco, Ca — arrested, 285 ; ex- 
amined, 313 ; admissions of, 
314 ; confrontation of, 328 ; 
further incriminated by Ocafia, 
329 ; tortured, 340 ; burnt, 

Franco, Garcia — arrested, 289, 

307 ; incriminated by Yuce 

Franco, 315; communicates with 

Yuce Franco, 323 ; burnt, 344 

Franco, Juan — in Legend of Santo 
Nino, 272 ; arrested, 289, 307 ; 
incriminated by Yuce Franco, 
315; tortured, 324; confronta- 
tion of, 328 ; further admissions 
of, 328 ; bound on rack, 341 ; 
admits that he procured boy in 
Toledo, 342 ; burnt, 344 

Franco, Lope — arrested, 289; 
burnt, 344 

Franco, Mose — 284 ; deceased, 
286, 307, 325 

Franco, Nicolao — Legate a latere, 


Franco, Yuce — arrested, 285 ; ill 
in prison, 286 ; lured to betray 
himself, 287 ; examined at Se- 
govia, 292 ; at Avila, 293 ; in- 
dictment of, 294 ; denies accusa- 
tions, 296 ; defended, 297 ; un- 
able to prove innocence, 302 ; 
placed in communication with 
Benito Garcia, 303 ; learns of his 
father's arrest. 304 ; examined 
in prison, 306 ; confessions of, 
308 ; promised pardon, 310 ; 
admits attending enchantment, 
311 ; further examined, 312; 
admits witnessing crucifixion, 
314 ; further admissions of, 318 ; 
explains statement made in Se- 
govia, 322 ; confrontation of, 
327 ; further incriminated by 
Ocaha, 329, 330 ; incriminated 
by Benito Garcia, 330 ; denies 
taking part in crucifixion, 332 ; 
repudiates charges, 333 ; im- 
pugns witnesses, 334 ; questions 
asked him, 333 ; confessions upon 
the rack, 336 ; ratifies, 340 ; 
abandoned by his advocate, 341 ; 
burnt, 344 

Frazer, Dr. J. G. — on ritual mur- 
der, 79 

Frederic II, Emperor — and the 
friars preachers, 43 ; excom- 
municated, 44 

Garcia, Benito — in Legend of 
Santo Nino, 271 etseq. ; arrestof, 
282 ; tortured, 283 ; confesses to 
Judaizing, 284 ; placed in com- 
munication with Yuce Franco, 
303 ; inveighs against Inquisi- 
tors, 304 ; incriminated by Yuce 
Franco, 318 ; tortured, 322 ; 
confrontation of, 327 ; incrimi- 
nates Yuce Franco, 330 ; further 
admissions of, 341 ; burnt, 344 

Granada — funds for war against, 
150; conquered, 356; Holy 
Office established in, 376 

Gregory IX, Pope — gives stable 
form to Inquisition, 44 et seq. 

Gribourg, Abbe — 353 

Guevara, Alonso de — accuses 
Yuce Franco, 294 ; furnished 
with evidence, 331 ; submits 
proofs, 332 ; petitions torture 
of Yuce Franco, 334 ; petitions 
sentence, 342 ; at Auto de Fe, 

Gui, Fr. Bernard — his manual, 


Guzman, Domingo de (St. Do- 
minic), goes to Rome, 38 ; and 
the Albigensian heretics, 39 ; 
founds order of preachers, 40 et 
seq. ; first ordained inquisitor, 
42 ; penitential garb prescribed 
by, 206 

Guzman, Ramiro de — hi9 quarrel 
with Enriquez, 57 ; offends Isa- 
bella, 59 

Henry II — sells Jews into slavery, 

Henry IV — his character, 53 
Holy Office — see Inquisition. 
Honorius III, Pope — creates the 

brotherhoods of St. Dominic and 

St. Francis, 41 ; protects Jews, 75 
Hussee, Prince — alleged letter of, 


Innocent III, Pope — and the Al 
bigensian heretics, 32 ; founds 
Inquisition, 33 et seq. ; papal 
luxury in his day, 37 

Innocent VIII, Pope — inhibits 
proceedings against Caballeria, 
22 5 ; confirms Torquemada in his 
office, 232 ; cancels briefs of ab- 
solution, 258 ; issues bulls of ab- 
solution, 259 ; simony of, 259 ; 
bull of concerning Pico dalla Mi- 
randola, 264 



Inquisition — founded, 33 ; not 
concerned with Jews, 89 et seq. ; 
proposed to Isabella, 92 ; estab- 
lished in Spain, 106 ; inaugu- 
rated in Seville, 112 ; espionage 
by, 126 ; confiscations by, 141 ; 
unstable form of, 135 ; cupidity 
of, 161 ; methods of procedure, 
173 et seq. ; tortures employed 
by, 184 et seq. ; employs secular 
arm, 194 et seq. ; not favoured 
in Castile, 213 ; power of, 214 ; 
system of police, 227 ; religious 
and political institution, 232 ; ex- 
penses of, 237; activity of , ib. ; set 
up in Toledo, 239 ; banner of, 249 

Isabella the Catholic — 51 ; mar- 
ries Ferdinand of Aragon, 52 ; in 
war with Portugal, 54 ; Pulgar's 
portrait of, 54 ; founds Herman- 
dad, 56 ; attitude towards the 
nobles, 57 et seq. ; banishes En- 
riquez, 59 ; contrives Ferdinand's 
election to Grand-Mastership of 
Santiago, 60 ; quells riot in Se- 
govia, 62 ; restores order in 
Seville, 63 ; revokes grants, 64 ; 
controls mints, ib. ; purifies 
court and convents, 65 ; goes 
barefoot to thanksgiving-service, 
66 ; suppresses clerical usurpa- 
tions, ib. ; urged to deal with Ju- 
daizers, 88 ; Inquisition proposed 
to her, 92 ; rejects proposal, 97 ; 
seeks conversion of Jews, 99 ; 
influenced by Torquemada, 106 ; 
last efforts of to avoid Inquisition, 
107 ; her antipathy to the Inqui- 
sition, 108 ; her patience ex- 
hausted, 109 ; attitude towards 
Inquisition, no; petitions Pope 
to establish court of appeal in 
Spain, 133 ; petitions Pope to give 
the Inquisition a settled form, 
135 ; in conquest of Granada, 
356 ; unable to resist Torque- 
mada, 364 ; rebuked by Tor- 
quemada, 366 

Isabella, The Infanta — at Se- 
govia, 60 

Jaen — tribunal established at by 

Torquemada, 136 
Jaime de Navarre — penanced by 

Inquisition, 224 
James the Apostle, St. — shrine 

at Compostella, 59 ; his mission 

to Iberia, 73 
Jesus Christ — iconography of, 20 ; 

cited as authority for the burning 
of heretics, 206 
Jews in Spain — 71 et seq. ; atti- 
tude of Christians towards, 73 ; 
their attitude towards Christians, 
74 ; their numbers in thirteenth 
century, 75 ; control finances, 76 ; 
their wealth and arrogance, 77 ; 
accusations against, 78 ; charged 
with ritual murder, 79 ; mas- 
sacred, 81 ; sold into slavery 
82 ; synagogues demolished, 83 
massacred throughout Spain, 84 
driven to accept baptism, 85 
their privileges forfeited 86 ; laws 
against them relaxed, 87 ; toler- 
ated in Rome, 91 ; old repressive 
laws revived, 108 ; when subject 
to inquisitorial jurisdiction, 141 ; 
shatter a crucifix, 267 ; popular 
feeling against, 356 ; finance war 
of Granada, 356 ; their expulsion 
urged by Torquemada, 357 ; they 
plead with the Sovereigns, 358 ; 
Dominicans preach against them, 
359; letterof, 361 ; calumniated, 
363 ; appeals of, 365 ; banished, 
^67 et seq. ; exploited, 368 ; 
attempts to convert them, 369 ; 
encouraged by their rabbis, 370 ; 
exodus from Spain, 371 ; their 
sufferings, 372 ; apostates, 373 
Juan, Prince — illness of, 359 
Judaizers — 93 ; discovered. 10 1 : 

in Seville, 109, in 

edict of 

grace" to, 120; trapped, 121 ; 
signs by which known, 121 et 
seq. ; seek absolution in Rome, 
132 ; number convicted in To- 
ledo, 256 ; Auto of in Rome, 391 

Lachaves, Juan Gutierrez de — 
appointed assessor, 136 ; coun- 
cillor of the Suprema, 137 
La Gardia, The Holy Child of — 
crucn d, 269 ; legend of, 271 et 
seq. ; " Testimonio " quoted, 276 ; 
paternity of, 329 ; why crucified, 
337 ; evidence considered, 346 et 
seq. ; discrepancies in evidence, 
3 50 et seq. ; an operation in magic, 
353 ,* worship of, 354 
La Gardia, Sacristan of — arres- 
ted, 346 
Lea, H. C. — on " solicitation," 172 
Lecky, W. E. H. — on persecution, 9 
Llorente, J. A. — sketch of career, 
6 et seq. ; on ritual murder, 78 ; 
on blood-lust of inquisitors, 117 ; 



on Quemadero, 127 ; on Torque- 
mada, 136; on "solicitation," 
171 ; on trials in Zaragoza, 225 ; 
on case of Aranda, 381 ; on false 
witnesses, 388 
Loeb, Isidore — his theory on the 
affair of La Gardia, 319, 348 

Maldonado, Alonso — conspires 
against Cabrera, 61 

Manrique, Gomez — arrests Toledo 
conspirators, 241 

Manrique, Inigo — appointed to 
assist Torquemada, 383 

Marin^eus, Lucius — on Isabella's 
reforms, 69 

Martin, Alonso, reputed father of 
" Santo Nino," 329 

Martinez, Hernando, Canon of 
Ecija, denounces Jews, 82 ; de- 
fies authority, 83 ; causes mas- 
sacre in Seville, 84 

Medina, Juan Ruiz de — 109 

Medina Sidonia, Duke of — New- 
Christians shelter in his do- 
minions, 112 

Medina, Tristan de — appointed 
assessor, 1 36 ; councillor of the 
Suprema, 137 

Mendoza, Pedro Gonzalez de — 
Primate of Spain, 97 ; entrusted 
with conversion of Jews, 99 ; 
introduction of Inquisition as- 
cribed to, 100 ; delegated to ap- 
point inquisitors in Castile, 109 ; 

. instrumental in the proclamation 
of the " edict of grace," 120 

Mendoza, Salazar de — on founda- 
tion of Kingdom of Spain, 72 ; 
ascribes introduction of Inquisi- 
tion to Cardinal Mendoza, 100 

Merlo, Diego de — charged with 
conversion of Jews, 107 

Mili tia Chris ti — 2 2 7 

Monterubio, Fr. Pedro de — sent 
to Zaragoza, 221 

Montfort, Simon de — 33 

Moors — see Moslem 

Moreno, Martinez — his " Historia 
del Santo Niilo," 269 ; on miracles 
of " Nifto," 355 

Morillo, Fr. Miguel — inquisitor 
in Seville, 109 ; vindictive pro- 
cedure of, 116; his hatred of the 
Jews, 126; Pope protests against 
his rigour, 128; confirmed in office 
by Torquemada, 136 

Moriscoes — immunity enjoyed by, 


Moslem — in Peninsula, 89 ; ban- 
ished, 375 ; in Granada, 376 

Negat/vos — 194 ; deemed impeni- 
tent, 197 

Nero — persecutes Christians, 19 

New-Christians — 87 ; objects of 
malevolence, 93 ; in offices of 
eminence, 94 ; fly from Seville, 
112 ; terrorized, 114 ; their peril, 
125 ; seek refuge in Rome, 128 ; 
complain to Pope, 129 ; in 
Aragon, 215 ; appeal against tri- 
bunal of Zaragoza, 216 ; their 
despair, 217 ; their panic in 
Zaragoza, 223 ; seek secret ab- 
solutions, 257 ; swindled, 258 

NicjEA — Council of, 23 

Ocana, Juan de — incriminated by 
Benito Garcia, 284 ; arrested, 
286 ; incriminated by Yuce 
Franco, 318; tortured, 324 ; con- 
frontation of, 327 ; further in- 
criminates Yuce and Ca Franco, 
3 2 9> 33° '> further admissions of, 
341 ; burnt, 344 

Ojeda, Fr. Alonso de — urges 
establishment of Inquisition, 93 ; 
resisted by Isabella, 97 ; renews 
efforts, 98 ; supplied with fresh 
argument, 10 1 ; charged with con- 
version of Jews, 107 ; at burning 
of Susan, 117; dies of plague, 1 1 8 

Optatus — urges massacre of the 
Donatists, 25 

Orozco, Sebastian de — 239 ; on 
plot in Toledo, 241 ; on first 
Auto de Fe in Toledo, 244 

Ortega, Juan — organizes Herman- 
dad, 56 

Pantigoso, Juan de — Yuc6 
Franco's advocate, 297 

Paramo, Ludovicus X — on source 
of Inquisition, 17 ; ascribes to 
Mendoza introduction of In- 
quisition to Castile, 100 

Pecuniary Penances, 150 

Pegna, Francesco, the scholiast, 
143 ; on canonical purgation, 
160 ; on children of heretics, 164 ; 
on examination of accused, 173 ; 
enjoins guile, 174 et seq. ; his 
honesty, 180; on torture, 185; 
on execution of innocent men, 
197 ; on formal intercession, 204 ; 
on Auto de Fe, 205 

Pelagius — heresy of, 24 



Penitentiaries — ordered by Tor- 
quemada, 237 

Perejon, David — in affair of La 
Gardia, 318, 325 

Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni 
— eludes Inquisition, 264 

Pius IX, Pope — canonizes Arbue9, 

Priscillian — burnt, 27 

Pulgar, Hernando del — on state 
of Castile, 53 ; on Isabella's re- 
forms, 69 ; on judaizing, 71 ; 
a New-Christian, 94 ; on Men- 
doza's catechism, 100 

Quemadero — built, 127 ; demolished 
by Bonaparte's soldiers, 128 

Quintanilla, Alonso de — Isa- 
bella's chancellor, 56 

Raymond of Toulouse — 33 

Relapsos — 149, 194 ; denned, 198 

Riario, Raffaele, 67 

Ribera, Hernando de — in affair 
of La Gardia, 291, 326; con- 
victed, 347 

Rios, Amador de los — on first ap- 
pearance of Jews in Spain, 73 ; 
on Jewish community in thir- 
teenth century, 75 ; on ritual 
murder, 80 ; on Susan's daughter 
115; on banishment of Jews, 369 

Ritual Murder — charges of, 78 
et seq. 

Rodrigo, F. J. Garcia — 8 ; on 
Susan's conspiracy, 116; on 
Quemadero, 128 ; on torture, 187; 
on prisons, 263 ; on fanaticism, 

Rule, Dr. W. H.— -8, 31 ; on 

Quemadero, 128 

St. Hilaire, Rosseeuw— on Tor- 
quemada, 6 ; on Isabella's re- 
forms, 69 

St. Peter the Martyr — Confra- 
ternity of, 117, 227 

Sanbenito — revived by Torque - 
mada, 149 ; its origin and history, 
206 et seq. ; considered salutary 
by Torquemada, 209 ; its various 
forms, 209 ; preserved after 
Autos de Fe, 255 

Sanc — Yuc6 Franco's attorney, 
297 ; abandons case, 341 

Sanchez de la Fuente, Francisco 
— appointed assistant to Torque- 
mada, 383 

Sanchez, Guillerme — procures 

his brother's release, 226 ; ar- 
rested, 227 

Sanchez, Juan Pedro — conspires 
against Inquisition, 217 ; burnt 
in effigy, 222 ; arrested in Tou- 
louse, 226 ; released, 226 ; his 
befrienders arrested, 227 

San Martino, Fr. Juan de — in- 
quisitor in Seville, 109 ; vindic- 
tive procedure of, 116 ; hatred of 
Jews, 126 ; Pope protests against 
rigour of, 128 ; confirmed in office 
by Torquemada, 136 

Santa Cruz, Gaspar de — escapes 
to Toulouse, 228 ; amends im- 
posed upon his son, 228 

Santangel, Luis de — conspires 
against Inquisition, 217 ; arrested, 

Santiago — Knights of, 59 ; Grand- 
Mastership of, 60 

Santillana, Francisco de — 106 

Santo Domingo, Fr. Fernando 
de — delegated to try affair of La 
Gardia, 289 ; at Auto de Fe, 343 

Santo Nino — see La Gardia, Holy 
Child of 

Sauli, Manuel — conspires, 115; 
burnt, 116 

Secret Absolutions — 257 ; bulls 
of, 251 

Secular Arm — euphemistic expres- 
sion, 194 ; abandonment to, 204 

Segovia — riots in, 6b 

Seneor, Abraham — 365 

Seville — visited by Isabella, 63 
judaizing in, 109, in ; Inqui- 
sition established in, 1 14 et seq. ; 
first burnings in, 118 ; numerous 
arrests in, 119 ; number burnt in, 
127 ; permanent tribunal estab- 
lished in by Torquemada, 1 36 

Siliceo, Cardinal Juan Martinez 
— discovers Jewish letter, 361 

Sixtus IV, Pope — opposed by 
Isabella, 67 ; orders Inquisition, 
89 ; grants bull for establishment 
of Inquisition in Castile, 107 ; 
protests against rigour of Seville 
inquisitors, 128 ; revokes right of 
Sovereigns to appoint inquisitors, 
129 ; appoints inquisitors, 131 ; 
letter of to Isabella, 133 

Solares, Alfonso, 380 

" Solicitation " — sin of, 169 

Solis, Alonso de — charged with 
conversion of Jews, 107 

Suarez de Fuentelsaz, Alonso— 
appointed assistant to Torque- 



mada, 383 ; virtually supersedes 

Torquemada, 384 
Suprema, Council of — 137 
Susan, Diego de — conspiracy of, 

114 ; betrayed by his daughter, 

115 ; burnt, n6etseq. 

Tablada — meadows of, 118; per- 
manent burning platform erected 
there, 127 

Tazarte, Yuce — procures conse- 
crated wafer, 306 ; enchantment 
performed by, 308 ; his sorceries 
examined, 320 

Teruel — in revolt, 231 

Toledo — tribunal established in, 
136, 239; plot against Inquisi- 
tion in, 240 ; activity of Inqui- 
sition in, 243 ; first Auto de F6 
in, 244 ; second Auto in 246 ; 
secular arm, 247 ; burning-place 
of, 251 ; further Autos in, 252 
et seq. ; Judaizers convicted in, 

Torquemada, Fr. Juan de (Car- 
dinal of San Sisto) — 94, 104 

Torquemada, Lope Alonso de — 

Torquemada, Pero Fernandez 
de — 105 

Torquemada, Fr. TomXs de — 
advocates Inquisition, 102 ; his 
name and family, 104 ; Prior of 
Santa Cruz, 105 ; Isabella's con- 
fessor, 105 ; influence with Isa- 
bella, 106 ; asceticism of, 106 ; 
withdraws to Segovia, 107 ; dele- 
gated to appoint inquisitors in 
Castile, 109 ; appointed inquisitor 
bv Pope, 131 ; created Grand- 
Inquisitor of Spain, 135 ; recon- 
stitutes the Holy Office, 136 ; 
president of the Suprema, 137 ; 
assembles his subaltern inquisi- 
tors, 138 ; formulates his code, 
142 ; the articles of his first " in- 
structions," 144 et seq. ; revives 
sanbenito, 149 and 209 ; decrees 
"secrecy," 157; on prosecution 
of the dead, 161 ; seeks to extend 
inquisitorial jurisdiction, 168 ; on 
negativos, 197 ; on relapsos, 200 ; 
his power, 214 ; stirs Aragonese 
tribunal into activity, 215 ; con- 
venes council at Tarragona, 216; 
delegates Arbues and Yuglar, 
217 ; his action on murder of Ar- 
bues, 221 ; orders proclamation 
of Autos, 222 ; attempts to with- 

stand papal authority, 225 ; re- 
sisted in Aragon, 231 ; his decrees 
of 1485, 233 ; ordered by Pope to 
re-edit his " code of terror," 235 ; 
his decrees of 1488, 236 ; orders 
building of penitentiaries, 237 ; 
renders delation compulsory, 242; 
his fanatical hatred of Jews, 243 ; 
complaints of his rigour, 256 ; 
resents papal interference, 257 
protests to Pope, 260 ; his wealth, 
260 ; his character, 261 ; treat- 
ment of his sister, 261 ; builds 
Monastery of St. Thomas, 262 ; 
fanaticism of, 263 ; arrogance of, 
264 ; violates equity, 266 ; urges 
expulsion of Jews, 268 ; accused 
of inventing affair of La Gardia, 
269 ; intends to direct trial of 
Y. Franco, 288 ; entrusts this to 
his delegates, 289 ; goes to An- 
dalusia, 292 ; in connection with 
affair of La Gardia, 353 ; ex- 
ploits the affair, 354, 356 ; advo- 
cates banishment of Jews, 357, 
363 ; purity of his aims, 364 ; 
rebukes Sovereigns, 366 ; desires 
conversion of Jews, 369 ; irre- 
sistible, 374 ; his service to 
Spain, 376 ; confirmed in office 
by Alexander VI., 377 ; protests 
against papal briefs, 378 ; his 
enemies increasing, ib. ; ascend- 
ancy of , 379; prosecutes bishops, 
380 ; appeals to Pope against 
him, 382; his power curtailed, 
383 ; virtually superseded, 384 ; 
crippled by gout, 385 ; last " in- 
structions " of, 386 et seq. ; his 
death, 392 ; his epitaph, 394 

Torralba, Bartolome — conspires, 
115 ; burnt, 116 

Torre, De la — conspires, 240 ; 
arrested, 241 

Torrejoncillo, Fr. Francisco 
de — scurrilous publication of, 
^ 36b 

Torture — by inquisitors, 155 ; 
when employed, 184 et seq. ; the 
five degrees of, 188 ; engines em- 
ployed, 189 et seq. ; ratification 
of confession, 192 

Trasmiera, Diego Garcia de — in 
praise of "secrecy," 157; on 
Mercy and Justice, 211 ; on mur- 
der of Arbues, 221 ; on Autos de 
Fe, 222 

Triana, Castle of — prison of the 
Inquisition, 119 



Uranso, Vidal de — conspires 
against Inquisition, 218 ; mur- 
ders Arbues, 219 ; put to torture, 
221 ; his confession betrays all 
sympathizers, 222 

Val, Domingo de — crucified by 

Jews, 78 
Valencia — resists Inquisition, 231 ; 

attempted crucifixion in, 360 
Valencia, Poncio de — councillor 

of Suprema, 137 
Valencia, Captain-General of — 

humiliated, 264 
Valerian — 21 
Vaudois — see Waldenses 
Vazquez, Martin — Yuce Franco's 

advocate, 297 
Vegas, Damiano de — his " Me- 

moria " of the Santo Nino, 269 


Villada, Dr. Pedro de — Provisor 
of Astorga, 282 ; examines Ben- 
ito Garcia, 283 ; delegated to 
try affair of La Gardia, 289 ; 
visits Yuce Franco in prison, 306 ; 

enjoins Yuce Franco to make full 
confession, 316 ; at Auto de Fe, 

Villa Real — tribunal established 

in by Torquemada, 1 36 
Vincent Ferrer, St. — converts 

Jews, 85 
Voltaire — on Auto de Fe, 201 

Waldenses — 32 

Wendland, P. — on ritual murder, 


Yusuf Ben Techufin — defeats 
Christians, 52 

Zamarra — see Sanbenito 
Zaragoza — Inquisition established 

in, 216 ; first Auto held in, 217 ; 

riot in, 220 ; Autos during i486 

in 222 ; reign of terror in, 223 
Zosimus, Pope — banishes Pela- 

gius, 24 

Primed in Great Britain by Hazell, Watson A Vinet/, Ld^ 
London and Ayleabury. 

P 30