the First Week of Lent
Click here to join the effort!
The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
Court for the punishment of heretics and infidels, established as early as the reigns of the emperors Theodosius and Justinian, though not under that name. Little was heard of this institution until the beginning of the thirteenth century, when, in consequence of the spread of the heretical sect of the Albigenses, it was established in various cities of southern France. Its management was then given into the hands of the Dominicans and Franciscans, of the mendicant orders of friars, who, being severed from all worldly ties, were sure to show themselves pitiless in the persecution of heretics and infidels. Having their time fully occupied with the Albigenses, the inquisitors at first left the Jews unmolested, contenting themselves with occasional autos da fé of Jewish books that had been denounced as heretical. But when the dissenters became more rare, the Inquisition began to persecute backsliding converts from Judaism and Jews who attempted to proselytize. The converts were especially the object of the rigor of the Inquisition from the promulgation, in 1268, of the papal bull "Turbato Corde." In 1274 Bertrand de la Roche was appointed inquisitor of Judaizing Christians in Provence, and in 1285 William of Auxerre was nominated inquisitor forheretics and apostatizing Jews. About 1276 several backsliding converts were burned by order of Nicolas III.; thirteen Jews were burned as heretics in 1288 at Troyes; and at the auto da fé held at Paris March 31, 1310, a converted Jew who had returned to Judaism also died at the stake.
About the same time as in southern France the Inquisition was introduced into Aragon. In 1233 Pope Gregory X. commissioned the Archbishop of Tarragona to appoint inquisitors; and by the fourteenth century there was a grand inquisitor in Aragon. In 1359, when some Jews who had returned to Judaism after conversion fled from Provence to Spain, King Pedro IV. of Aragon empowered the inquisitor Bernard du Puy to sentence them wherever found. One of the most prominent personages of the Aragonese Inquisition was the grand inquisitor or inquisitor-general Nicolas Eymeric. He sentenced the Jew Astruc da Piera, accused of sorcery, to imprisonment for life; and Ramon de Tarrega, a Jew who accepted baptism and became a Dominican, and whose philosophic works Eymeric stigmatized as heretical, he kept imprisoned for two years, until compelled by Pope Gregory XI. to liberate him.
The New Inquisition.
The New or Spanish Inquisition, introduced into the united kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre by Ferdinand V. and Isabella the Catholic, was directed chiefly against converted Jews and against Jews and Moors. During the cruel persecutions of 1391 many thousands of Jewish families accepted baptism in order to save their lives. These converts, called "Conversos," "Neo-Christians" ("Christaõs Novos"). or "Maranos," preserved their love for Judaism, and secretly observed the Jewish law and Jewish customs. Many of these families by their high positions at court and by alliances with the nobility excited the envy and hatred of the fanatics, especially of the clergy. After several unavailing attempts to introduce the Inquisition made successively, from the reign of Juan II., by the Bishop of Osma, Alfonso de Espina, and by Niccolo Franco, nuncio of Sixtus IV. at the Spanish court, the Dominicans applied to the young queen Isabella. Alfonso de Hojeda and the papal nuncio exerted all their energies, and succeeded in 1478 in obtaining from Sixtus IV. a bull authorizing Ferdinand and Isabella to choose sundry archbishops, bishops, and other persons, both clericals and laymen, for the purpose of conducting investigations in matters of faith. The king readily gave his consent to a scheme which promised to satisfy his cupidity, while the queen hesitated to sanction its establishment in Castile. It was early in Sept., 1480, that Isabella, urged by Alfonso de Hojeda, Diego de Marlo, Pedro de Solis, and other ecclesiastical dignitaries, finally affixed her signature to the document which established the Inquisition in her dominions. On Sept. 27, 1480, two Dominicans, Juan de San Martin and Miguel de Morillo, were appointed the first inquisitors.
The newly appointed inquisitors together with their assistant, Dr. Juan Ruiz de Medina, and with Diego Merlo, went first to Seville, where the feeling aroused was divided. The "good" Christians and the populace gave the visitors a ceremonious reception; but many nobles, several of whom had intermarried with the Maranos, were terrified at the new arrivals. A number of prominent and wealthy Maranos of Seville, Utrera, Carmona, Lorca, and other places, including Diego de Susán, father of the beautiful Susanna; Benadeva, father of the canon of the same name; Abolafia "el Perfumado," farmer of the royal taxes; Pedro Fernandez Cansino; Alfonso Fernandez de Lorca, Juan del Monte, Juan de Xerez, and his father Alvaro de Sepulveda the Elder, and many others, convened and agreed to oppose the inquisitors. They intended to distribute arms and to win over the people by bribes. An old Jew of their number encouraged them. The conspiracy, however, was betrayed and suppressed in its inception (details of this "Conjurados de Sevilla" are given in Fita, "La España Hebræa," I. 71-77, 184-196).
First Seizure of Maranos.
Many Maranos, on receiving news of the introduction of the Inquisition, went with all their possessions to Cadiz, in the hope of finding protection there; but the inquisitors addressed (Jan. 2, 1481) an edict to Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marquis of Cadiz, and to all dukes, counts, grand masters of orders, and knights, as well as to the alcaldes of the cities of Seville, Cordova, Jerez de la Frontera, Toledo, and others in Castile, ordering them to seize and give up all Maranos hidden among them, and to confiscate their property. All persons who refused to obey this edict were to be punished by excommunication and by forfeiture of their property, offices, and dignities (Fita, c. p. 77). The bands of fugitive Maranos were very numerous; in the territory of the Marquis of Cadiz alone there were 8,000, who were transported to Seville and delivered to the Inquisition. Even during the early days of 1481 many of the wealthiest, most prominent, and learned Maranos, municipal councilors, physicians, etc., had been apprehended, and it had been deemed necessary to transfer the tribunal to the castle of Triana near Seville.
This tribunal, the object of fear and terror for nearly 300 years, began its work; and on Feb. 6, 1481, the first auto da fé at Seville was held with a solemn procession on the Tablada. Six men and women were burned at the stake, probably the same persons whom Alfonso de Hojeda had accused of desecrating an image of Jesus. This zealous Dominican preached at this first auto da fé; but he did not live to see a second one, as he was one of the first victims of the plague which was then raging in Andalusia. A few days later three of the wealthiest and most prominent men of Seville, Diego de Susán (a "gran rabi," with a fortune of 10,000,000 maravedis), Manuel Sauli, and Bartolome de Torralba, mounted the "quemadero," as the stake was called. Many other members of the conspiracy mentioned above were burned soon after: Pedro Fernandez Benadeva; Pedro Fernandez Cansino and Gabriel de Zamora, the two last-named being municipal councilors of Seville; Abolafia "el Perfumado," reputed to be a scholar; Medina el Barbudo, meat commissary at Seville; the municipal councilor Pedro de Jaen and his son Juan del Monte; Aleman Poca Sangre, progenitor of the Alemanes; the wealthybrothers Aldafes, who had been living in the castle of Triana; Alvaro de Sepulveda the Elder and his son Juan de Xerez; and others from Utrera and Carmona. The immense wealth of all the condemned was seized by the royal treasury. At Seville there was at least one auto da fé every month; 17 Maranos were burned on March 26, 1481; many more, a few weeks later; and by the following November nearly 300 had perished at the stake, while 79 were condemned to imprisonment for life. The Inquisition held office also at Cordova and in the archbishopric of Cadiz, where many Jewish heretics, mostly wealthy persons, were burned during the same year.
The Inquisition, in order to set a trap for the unhappy victims, issued a dispensation and called upon all Maranos guilty of observing Jewish customs to appear voluntarily before the court, promising the repentants absolution and enjoyment of their life and property. Many appeared, but they did not obtain absolution, until, under the seal of secrecy and under oath, they had betrayed the name, occupation, dwelling, and mode of life of each of the persons they knew to be Judaizers, or had heard described as such. A large number of unfortunates were thus entrapped by the Inquisition. On the lapse of this decree all those who had been betrayed were summoned to appear before the tribunal within three days. Those that did not attend voluntarily were dragged from their houses to the prisons of the Inquisition. Then a law was issued, indicating in thirty-seven articles the signs by which backsliding Maranos might be recognized. These signs were enumerated as follows:
Signs of Judaism.
If they celebrate the Sabbath, wear a clean shirt or better garments, spread a clean tablecloth, light no fire, eat the food ["ani"] which has been cooked overnight in the oven, or perform no work on that day; if they eat meat during Lent; if they take neither meat nor drink on the Day of Atonement, go barefoot, or ask forgiveness of another on that day; if they celebrate the Passover with unleavened bread, or eat bitter herbs; if on the Feast of Tabernacles they use green branches or send fruit as gifts to friends; if they marry according to Jewish customs or take Jewish names; if they circumcise their boys or observe the "hadas" [a Babylonian superstition], that is, celebrate the seventh night after the birth of a child by filling a vessel with water, throwing in gold, silver, pearls, and grain, and then bathing the child while certain prayers are recited; if they throw a piece of dough in the stove before baking; if they wash their hands before praying, bless a cup of wine before meals and pass it round among the people at table; if they pronounce blessings while slaughtering poultry, cover the blood with earth, separate the veins from meat, soak the flesh in water before cooking, and cleanse it from blood; if they eat no pork, hare, rabbits, or eels; if, soon after baptizing a child, they wash with water the spot touched by the oil; give Old Testament names to their children, or bless the children by the laying on of hands; if the women do not attend church within forty days after confinement; if the dying turn toward the wall; if they wash a corpse with warm water; if they recite the Psalms without adding at the end: "Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," etc.
It was easy for the Inquisition, with this mode of procedure, to entrap more and more Maranos. From Seville, the only permanent tribunal, it sent its officers to Cordova, Jerez de la Frontera, and Ecija, in order to track the fugitives and especially to confiscate their property. The two inquisitors at Seville were so cruel that complaints were made to Sixtus IV., who addressed a brief (Jan. 29, 1482) to the royal couple, amending the bull of Nov. 1, 1478, and expressing his dissatisfaction. He declared that but for consideration for their majesties he would depose Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin. He refused a request to appoint inquisitors for the other countries of the united kingdom; nevertheless, hardly two weeks later (Feb. 11, 1482) he appointed Vicar-General Alfonso de San Capriani inquisitor-general for the kingdoms of Castile and Leon, and seven other clericals, including Thomas de Torquemada (Turrecremata) as inquisitors.
Ferdinand and Isabella gave no heed to the pope's urgent recommendation to treat the Maranos more humanely; and they still more strongly disapproved his giving absolution to heretics condemned by the tribunal. Upon this subject Queen Isabella addressed an autograph letter to Sixtus IV., which he answered at length (Feb. 23, 1483). While recognizing her piety, he hinted that the queen was urged to proceed so rigorously against the Maranos "by ambition and greed for earthly possessions, rather than by zeal for the faith and true fear of God." Still, he made many concessions. Although, as he expressly says in the bull of May 25, 1483, he was the only power to whom final appeal could be made in matters of faith, yet, at the request of the Spanish sovereigns, he appointed the Archbisbop of Seville, Inigo Manrique, judge of appeals for Spain. This, however, did not prevent the vacillating pope from issuing a few months later (Aug. 2) the bull "Ad Futuram Rei Memoriam," in which he commanded that all Maranos who had repented at Rome and had done penance should no longer be persecutedby the Inquisition. The fact that he had permitted as many copies as possible to be made of this bull did not prevent him from repealing it eleven days later (Aug. 13). By way of further concession to the royal couple the pope appointed as officials of the Inquisition only clericals of pure Christian descent and orthodox Catholics in no degree related to Maranos.
Thomas de Torquemada.
On Oct. 17, 1483, Thomas de Torquemada, then sixty-three years of age and prior of a monastery at Segovia, his native city, was appointed inquisitor-general. His chief endeavor was to make the Inquisition more effective. Tribunals were established in quick succession at Cordova, Jaen, and Ciudad Real. At Cordova, seat of the oldest tribunal next to Seville, the first inquisitors were Pedro Martinez de Barrio and Alvar Gonzalez; and one of the first to be condemned was Pedro Fernandez de Alcaudete, treasurer of a church (Ad. de Castro, "Judios en España," p. 118; "Boletin Acad. Hist." 5:401 et seq.). The first inquisitors at Jaen were Juan Garcia de Canas, chaplain to their majesties, and Juan de Yarca, prior of a monastery at Toledo. The tribunal at Ciudad Real, whose first inquisitors were Pedro Diaz de Costana and Francisco Sanchez de la Fuente, existed only two years. From Feb. 6, 1484, to May 6, 1485, ten autos da fé were held in that city, the largest being celebrated Feb. 23-24, 1484, and March 15, 1485. On Feb. 23 about 26 Maranos of either sex suffered at the stake, among them Alvaro de Belmonte, Pero Çarça, Maestre Fernando (known as "el Licenciado de Cordova"), and Maria Gonsales la Pampana. Juan Gonsales Pampana, husband of the last-named, was burned in effigy on the following day together with 41 others, some of whom, like him, had fled, and some of whom had died. On March 15, 1485, not less than 8 were burned alive and 54 in effigy. One of the former was Juan Gonsales Escogido, who was reputed to be a rabbi and "Confesor de los Confesos" (Process of Maria Gonsales la Pampana and of Juan G. Escogido, published, after the acts of the Inquisition, in "Boletin Acad. Hist." 20:485 et seq., 22:189 et seq.). In May, 1485, the tribunal of Ciudad Real was transferred to Toledo.
Conditions of Confession.
In order to give more uniformity and stability to the tribunal, Torquemada drafted an inquisitorial constitution, "Compilacion de las Instrucciones," containing twenty-eight articles, to which several additions were subsequently made. It provided for a respite of thirty or forty days for those accused of Judaizing, and that all who voluntarily confessed within that time should, on payment of a small fine and on making presents to the state treasury, remain in possession of their property. They had to make their confession in writing before the inquisitors and several witnesses, conscientiously answering all questions addressedto them concerning the time and duration of their Judaizing. Thereupon followed the public recantation, which could be made in secret only in rare cases. Those that confessed only after the expiration of the respite were punished by having their property confiscated or by imprisonment for life ("carcel perpetuo") according to the gravity of the offense. Maranos under twenty years of age who admitted that they were obliged by their parents, relations, or other persons to observe Jewish ceremonies were not subject to confiscation of their property, but were compelled to wear for a certain length of time the sanbenito (see AUTO DA FÉ). Those that confessed after the publication of the testimony, but before sentence was pronounced, were admitted to "reconciliation," but were sentenced to imprisonment for life, while those that concealed part of their guilt were condemned to the stake. If a suspected Marano could not be convicted of apostasy he was to be tortured; if he confessed on the rack, he was condemned to death as a Judaizer; but if he recanted his confession or resorted to untruths, he was again subjected to torture.
The prisons of the Inquisition—which, with the instruments of torture, still exist in some cities in Spain, as in Saragossa—were small, dark, damp apartments, often underground. The food of the captives, furnished at their own cost, was both meager and poor; and their only beverage was water. Complaining aloud, crying, or whimpering was rigorously repressed. The punishment inflicted by the Inquisition was imprisonment, either for a stated time or for life, or death by fire. If impenitent the condemned was tied to the stake and burned alive; if penitent he was strangled before being placed on the pile. Flight was considered equivalent to a confession or to a relapse ("relapso") to Judaism. The property of the fugitive was confiscated, and he himself was burned in effigy ("Compilacion de las Instrucciones del Oficio de la S. Inquisicion," Madrid, 1667; Llorente, c. 1:175 et seq.; "R. E. J." 11:91 et seq.).
In Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia.
With Torquemada the Inquisition was introduced into Catalonia (Oct. 17, 1483); as to Valencia, it had existed there since 1420, the inquisitor being the Dominican Juan Cristobal de Gualbes (Galves). In Aragon the Inquisition could be instituted only with the consent of the Cortes; and its introduction according to the new organization was determined (April, 1484) only after violent debates. Gaspar Juglar, and Pedro Arbues, canon of the metropolitan church of Saragossa, were appointed inquisitors for Aragon, and Pedro d'Epila and Martin Iñigo for Valencia. On May 10, 1484, the first auto da fé at Saragossa was held under the presidency of Maestre Julian, who, according to Lea, is identical with Gaspar Juglar. He was soon after poisoned by the Conversos or Maranos.
Death of Pedro Arbues.
There was violent opposition to the Inquisition throughout Aragon as well as in Catalonia; not only the Conversos and persons descended from Conversos or connected with them by marriage, but Christians also considered the Inquisition as destructive of their liberties. There was so much opposition that the assembled Cortes determined to send a deputation to protest to the king, who remained inflexible, even refusing the enormous sum which the Maranos offered to induce him to revoke the decree confiscating their property. The Maranos in despair then assassinated the inquisitor Arbues. When the murder became known, the populace proceeded to the ghetto in order to kill the Jews and Maranos, and a fearful massacre would have followed had not the young Archbishop Alfonso de Aragon appeared in time to pacify the people.
This conspiracy incited the Inquisition to horrible activity. Between Dec. 15, 1485, and the beginning of the sixteenth century one or two autos da fé were held nearly every month at Saragossa. Especial severity was exercised toward the instigators of and participants in the conspiracy. Juan de Esperanden first had his hands chopped off, and was then dragged with Vidal de Urango to the market-place, and beheaded. Both were quartered and finally burned June 30, 1486. On Dec. 15 a similar fate befell the scholarly Francisco de S. Fé (a descendant of Jerome de S. Fé), who was held in high esteem by the governor of Aragon. Juan de la Abadia, who had attempted suicide, was dragged through the streets, quartered, and burned Jan. 21, 1487. Four weeks later the Jesuit Juan Martinez de Rueden, in whose possession anti-Christian books in Hebrew were found, was burned; and on April 10, 1492, his relative, the widow of Antonio de Rueda of Catalayud, who had kept the Sabbath and had regularly eaten "ḥamyn" ("potagium vocatum ḥamyn"= or "shalet"), met a similar fate. Gaspar de S. Cruce and Juan Pedro Sanchez, who had escaped to Toulouse, were burned in effigy. During the last fifteen years of the fifteenth century more than fifty autos da fé were held at Saragossa, and during the year in which the Jews were expelled from Spain not less than nine were celebrated there; hundreds of members of the most wealthy and prominent families—those of Sanchez, Caballeria, Santangel, Paternoy, Monfort, Ram, Almaçan, and Clemente—were either burned or sentenced to imprisonment for life (Henry C. Lea, "The Martyrdom of S. Pedro Arbues," New York, 1889; Rios, "Hist." 3:615-634; "R. E. J." 11:84 et seq.).
The Maranos of Toledo likewise resisted the introduction of the Inquisition; and several of them conspired to kill the inquisitor. In May, 1485, the inquisitors Pero Diaz de la Costana and Vasco Ramirez de Ribera entered Toledo. On June 2 an attack was made on one of them; but he was protected by the populace, who, falling upon the conspirators, De la Torre and his four companions, strangled and hanged them. The inquisitors granted a respite of forty days to the Maranos, which was extended to seventy, in order to afford them the opportunity to give themselves up voluntarily to the Inquisition. At the same time they called together the rabbis, and demanded from them, under oath and on pain of dire punishment, that they pronounce the great excommunication upon all the Jews, and that they recall it only after the Jews had denounced all Maranos following Jewish customs. Some frightenedJews are said to have betrayed their coreligionists; others, poor, degraded, and filled with hatred against the apostates, denounced them as Judaizers, giving false testimony. Eight or more of these false witnesses were tortured with hot irons at the command of Queen Isabella (Pulgar, "Cron. de los Reyes Catolicos," , 51:100; "Boletin Acad. Hist." 11:297, 23:407).
There was no lack of victims. On Feb. 12, 1486, occurred the first auto da fé in Toledo in the presence of a large concourse of the people of the city and of the surrounding country. On this day 750 persons were received into the Church; on April 2, 900; on June 11, 750. On Aug. 16 of the same year, 25 persons, including Alfonso Cota and other prominent men, were burned alive; on the following day the pastor of Talavera and a cleric, both of whom were adherents of Judaism, were burned; and on Oct. 15 several hundred deceased persons, whose property had been confiscated by the state, were burned in effigy. At an auto da fé held Dec. 10 following, 950 persons received absolution. On Jan. 15 and March 10, 1487, 1,900 Judaizers were readmitted to the Church. On May 7, 23 persons, including a canon, were burned alive; on July 25, 1488, 37 persons, and two days later 6 Judaizing clericals, shared the same fate. On May 24, 1490, 21 persons suffered at the stake, and 11 were sentenced to imprisonment for life. At a great auto da fé on the following day the bones of 400 Judaizers and many Hebrew books formed the pile for a woman who wished to die as a Jewess, and who expired with the word "Adonai" on her lips. On July 25, 1492, eight days before the expulsion, 5 Maranos were led to the stake, and many others were condemned to imprisonment for life. At an especially large auto da fé held July 30, 1494, 16 persons from Guadalajara, Alcalá de Henares, and Toledo were burned, and 30 were condemned to life imprisonment. In 1496 three autos da fé were held, and in the following year two. All the condemned persons were of course deprived of their property (on Toledo see "Boletin Acad. Hist." 11:285 et seq., 20:462).
Before the end of the fifteenth century there were nearly a dozen tribunals in Spain. The one at Guadalupe, province of Estremadura, was established as early as that at Toledo; many Maranos were living there; and the inquisitor, Nuno de Arevato, proceeded rigorously against them. The tribunal existed there for a few years only; but during that time, beginning with 1485, seven autos da fé were held, at which 52 Judaizers were burned alive, 25 were burned in effigy together with the bones of 46 deceased persons, 16 were condemned to imprisonment for life, and many were sentenced to wear the sanbenito, and were deprived of their property.
Opposition in Catalonia.
The Catalonian cities, too, stubbornly opposed the newly organized Inquisition; and in 1486 there were riots at Teruel, Lerida, Barcelona, and Valencia, during which the tribunals were destroyed. It was not until 1487 that the inquisitor-general Torquemada was able to appoint Alfonso de Espina of Huesca inquisitor of Barcelona. De Espina began his activity on Jan. 25, 1488, with a solemn auto da fé, the first victim being the royal official Santa Fé, a descendant of a well-known Jew-hater, Jerome de Santa Fé. On May 2, 1489, the wife of Jacob Monfort, the former Catalonian treasurer, was burned in effigy; and on March 5 and 23, 1490, Louis Ribelles, a surgeon of Falces, together with his children and his daughter-in-law, was condemned to imprisonment for life; his wife Constancia was burned on March 12 at Tarracona, where a large auto da fé was held on July 18, 1489; and on March 24, 1490, Gabriel Miro (magister in artibus et medicina), his wife Blanquina, the wealthy Gaspar de la Cavalleria, and his wife were burned in effigy. Simon de Santangel and his wife, whom their own son denounced to the Inquisition at Huesca as Judaizers, were burned on July 30, 1490, at Lerida.
Conforming Jews Involved.
In Catalonia the activity of the Inquisition was restricted to a few autos da fé held at Barcelona and some other cities; and the number of victims was limited. The Inquisition was all the more active in Old Castile, where Ferdinand and Isabella, with Torquemada, did their utmost, not to confirm the Maranos in their new faith, but to destroy them and to deprive them of their property. On June 19, 1488, the tribunal of Valladolid held its first auto da fé, at which 18 persons who had openly confessed Judaism were burned alive. The first inquisitors at Segovia were Dr. de Mora and the licentiate De Cañas; and the first victim to be publicly burned was Gonzalo de Cuellar, whose property to the amount of 393,000 maravedis was confiscated by the state treasury. Involved in the process against him were his Jewish relatives, Don Moses de Cuellar, the latter's son Rabbi Abraham and his brother, of Buytrago, as well as Juan (Chalfon) Conbiador (= "changer") and Isaac Herrera, both of Segovia ("Boletin Acad. Hist." 23:323 et seq.). At Avila the first victims were the Francos, who were accused of having murdered the child La Guardia. Between 1490 and the end of the century more than 100 persons were burned at Avila as "Judios" or Judaizers, the majority being natives of Avila, with a few from Arevalo, Oropesa, and Almeda; 70 were punished otherwise (see lists of the condemned in Fita, c. 1:51 et seq.).
Torquemada accused even bishops who were of Jewish descent, as Juan Arias Davila, Bishop of Segovia, and Pedro de Aranda, Bishop of Calahorra. During his term of fifteen years he condemned more than 8,000 Jews and Maranos to be burned alive, and more than 6,000 in effigy. His successor, the scholarly Dominican Diego Deza, the friend and patron of Columbus, was equally cruel, condemning many Maranos. On Feb. 22, 1501, a great auto da fé was held at Toledo, at which 38 persons were burned, all of them from Herrera. On the following day 67 women of Herrera and Alcocen were burned at Toledo; a few days previously about 90 Maranos of Chillon were burned at Cordova; and on March 30, 1501, 9 persons were burned at Toledo, while 56 young men and 87 young women were condemned to life imprisonment. In July of the same year 45 persons were burned at Seville, among them a young woman 25 years of age, who was considered a scholar and who read the Bible with her fellowsufferers ("Boletin Acad. Hist." 307 et seq.; "R. E. J." 37:268, 38:275). Diego Deza, of Jewish descent on his mother's side, despite his cruelty to the Jews, was himself accused of Judaizing. As he was continually ill, Juan, Bishop of Vigue, was appointed grand inquisitor of Aragon, and Francisco de Ximenes, Archbishop of Toledo, was appointed grand inquisitor of Castile, even during Deza's lifetime.
Diego Rodriguez Lucero.
Deza's most pliable tool was Diego Rodriguez Lucero, the inquisitor of Cordova, who enjoyed the special favor of Ferdinand and Isabella. For his espionage and confiscations he received from them "ayudas de Costa" to the value of 20,000 and 25,000 maravedis. He was a monster of cruelty and committed so many atrocities that Gonzalo de Avora wrote to the royal secretary Almazan on July 16, 1507. "Deza, Lucero, and Juan de la Fuente have dishonored all provinces; they have no regard either for God or for justice; they kill, steal, and dishonor girls and women to the disgrace of the Christian religion." In order to curry favor with King Ferdinand, Lucero brought accusations against all persons suspected of being of Jewish blood, regardless of their station in life, and extorted confession on the rack. One of these victims was the young Archdeacon de Castro, whose mother was of an old Christian family, while his father was a Marano; his revenues, amounting to 300,000 maravedis, were divided among Lucero, Cardinal Carvajal, the royal treasurer, and the king's secretary. A bachelor of divinity, Membreque by name, was accused of having publicly preached on the doctrines of Judaism, whereupon Lucero procured a list of the persons who had listened to his sermon, and all of them, 107 in number, were burned alive.
Attempts to Check Lucero.
No one was sure of his life. The prisons were crowded, and large numbers of prisoners were taken to Toro, the seat of the supreme council of the Inquisition. Lucero's principal object was the confiscation of property, as the Bishop of Cordova and many dignitaries of the city stated in a complaint against him which they sent to the pope. The most prominent persons of Cordova requested the inquisitor-general Deza to depose Lucero; and an appeal was made to Queen Juana and her husband, Philip of Austria, who then lived in Flanders. On Sept. 30, 1505, Philip and Juana addressed a cedula to Deza, in which they sharply criticized Lucero's proceedings and suspended the Inquisition until their arrival in Spain. Though this missive was disregarded, Philip's coming filled the Maranos with new hope. At Rome they had bought the Curia; and they had offered 100,000 ducats to King Ferdinand during his sojourn at Valladolid if he would suspend the Inquisition until the arrival of the young couple. At first matters looked very bright for their attempts, and Lucero's conduct was the object of an investigation. Unfortunately, Philip died suddenly, and Lucero, now emboldened, asserted that most of the knights and nobles of Cordova and other cities were Judaizers, and had synagogues in their houses. The highest dignitaries were treated by him like "Jewish dogs." He accused the pious Hernando de Talavera, Archbishop of Granada, who had Jewish blood in his veins, and his whole family, of Judaizing. His relatives were imprisoned, and he himself, who once had been the confessor of Queen Isabella, was compelled with many other converts to go barefoot and bareheaded in procession through the streets of Granada. The exposure brought on an attack of fever, and he died five days later.
Ferdinand, who reascended the throne after Philip's death, was obliged to dismiss Deza, in order to stem the movement against the Inquisition at Cordova; and Ximenes, Archbishop of Toledo, was appointed inquisitor-general in his place (June, 1507). The supreme council of the Inquisition, headed by Ximenes, decided in May, 1508, to imprison Lucero; and he was taken in chains to Burgos and confined in the castle there. The "Congregacion Catolica," consisting of the most pious and learned bishops and other high ecclesiastics of the whole country, was commissioned to investigate the charges against Lucero, and at a solemn session held at Valladolid Aug. 1, 1508, it gave orders for the liberation of all those imprisoned on the charge of Judaizing (Henry C. Lea, "Lucero, the Inquisitor," in "Am. Hist. Review," 2:611-626; Rios, "Hist." 3:483 et seq.).
Attitude of Charles V.
The grand inquisitor Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros was not more tolerant toward the Maranos than his predecessor had been; he caused many to be burned and many thousands to be punished by forcing them to perform various acts as penance. A few years after his death the victims of incessant persecution, profiting by the opposition of Castile to the young Charles I. (afterward Emperor Charles V.), sent a deputation, consisting of the most prominent Maranos, to King Charles in Flanders, requesting him to restrict the powers of the Inquisition and to have testimony heard in public. As an inducement to the king they offered him a very large sum, said to have amounted to 800,000 gold thalers. In order to win over the Curia, Gutierrez sent his nephew, Luis Gutierrez, to Rome, where other converts, among them Diego de las Casas and Bernaldino Diez, were working for them. The tolerant Pope Leo X. granted them a bull such as they desired, and which some persons claim to have seen in a Spanish translation. As soon as Charles heard of the intended bull, he made every effort to prevent its publication. He sent word to Leo X. by his envoy Lope Hurtado de Mendoza that the complaints of the converts as well as the expostulations of a few Spanish prelates and of misinformed or interested persons deserved no credit, and that the inquisitor-general for Castile, Adrian, formerly Bishop of Tortosa, who had been appointed May 4, 1518, was much more inclined to moderation than to severity. Furthermore, he stated that the converts had sent a complaint to him against the servants of the Inquisition, and had offered to him, as formerly to his grandfather, a large sum to restrain the tribunal. Moreover, Charles affirmed that under no conditions would he allow a bull restraining the Inquisition to be published in his kingdom. The pope acceded to Charles's demand, issuing thebrief of Oct. 12, 1519; and the Inquisition pursued its course unchecked ("Boletin Acad. Hist." 33:307 et seq.; "R. E. J." 37:269 et seq.). Nevertheless, Charles would have restrained the Inquisition in his dominions had not his chancellor Selvagio, who advocated the plan, died. After his death Charles became an ardent protector of the Inquisition. Down to 1538 there were tribunals at Seville, Cordova, Jaen, Toledo, Valladolid, Calahorra, Llerena, Saragossa, Valencia, Barcelona, Cuenca, Granada, Tudela, and at Palma in the Balearic Isles, where the first auto da fé was held in 1506, and 22 Judaizers were burned in effigy. Several Jews were burned alive in 1509 and 1510, and 62 Judaizers were burned in effigy in the following year.
Under the Philips.
The cruel Philip II. favored the Inquisition. One of his grand inquisitors was Fernando de Valdes, formerly Archbishop of Seville, who was unsurpassed for his cruelty. The Cortes in vain repeatedly remonstrated against the terrible abuses of the tribunals and demanded that they be restricted. Philip III. was very weak, and during his reign the Inquisition proceeded still more shamelessly after the unsuccessful attempt of the Duke de Olivares to check it. Under this king as well as under his successor, Philip IV., Jews were burned throughout the realm; every tribunal held at least one great auto da fé each year. The largest number occurred in Andalusia, at Seville, Granada, and Cordova. The fanatical populace gathered in greater multitudes at the autos than at theaters and bull-fights. Every auto was like a great popular festival, to which the knights and representatives of neighboring cities were solemnly invited, the windows of the houses nearest to the quemadero being reserved for them. Great autos were held at Cordova on Dec. 3, 1625; May 3, 1655; and June 29, 1665. Among the large number burned at the first of these was Manuel Lopez, who obstinately resisted all attempts at conversion. At the last-mentioned auto the city spent, according to the bills preserved in the municipal archives, not less than 392,616 maravedis for food served to the inquisitors and their servants, the dignitaries, knights and invited guests. The auto lasted from seven in the morning till nine at night; and 55 Judaizers were burned, 3 of them alive. In addition 16 were burned in effigy. Under Philip IV. a tribunal was instituted at Madrid, the new capital, and on July 4, 1632, the first auto was held for Judaizers in celebration of the delivery of Elizabeth of Bourbon. One of the largest autos at Madrid took place on June 30, 1680, in the presence of King Charles II. and his young wife. In the previous year, between May 6 and May 28, five autos had been held at Palma, at which 210 "Chuetas" (or Maranos) were condemned to imprisonment for life; and on May 6, 1691, 25 Chuetas were burned there.
Philip V. took the Inquisition under his especial care. During the forty-six years of his reign it celebrated its greatest triumphs. Every tribunal held one and sometimes two or three autos a year for Judaizers. In 1722 three autos were held at Seville, and two each at Murcia and Cuenca; in 1723 three were held at Granada, and two each at Valladolid, Toledo, and Cuenca. During the reign of Philip V. 1,564 persons were burned alive and 782 in effigy, and 11,730 were sentenced to various punishments, ranging from imprisonment for six months to imprisonment for life. Nine-tenths of this number were accused of Judaizing.
Under Ferdinand VI. and Charles III. the power of the Inquisition was more and more restricted. Judaizers were no longer burned; and the terrible auto da fé became less frequent. King Joseph Bonaparte abrogated the Inquisition in 1808, and the Cortes condemned it in 1813; but, to the astonishment of both nations and rulers, Ferdinand VII. reinstituted it. Not until 1834 did the tribunals of the Inquisition disappear completely from Spain; in 1835 its property was devoted to the payment of the public debt. Through the Inquisition Spain was depopulated and impoverished.
After the discovery of the New World, Spain introduced the Inquisition into her American colonies, and proceeded against the Maranos and Jews who had sought refuge there. One of the first to be condemned by the Inquisition at New Española was Diego Caballero, the son of Neo-Christians from Barrameda. The Inquisition was introduced into Mexico in 1571; and three years later the first auto da fé was held. Between 1574 and 1593 nine autos were held there. At one held Dec. 8, 1596, 60 persons appeared in the sanbenito, and more than 100 at the auto of March 25, 1602. In 1608 Jorge de Almeida was excommunicated "in contumaciam," and in 1645 the young Gabriel de Granada was sentenced (Cyrus Adler, in "Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." 4:29 et seq.; "Trial of Gabriel de Granada," ed. C. Adler, ib. No. ). In 1646 and the following years autos continued to be held in Mexico; at the first two of these, 71 persons, mostly Judaizers, appeared; at the auto of March 13, 1648, 48 persons, among them Anna Xuarez; and in 1649 many Judaizers were either readmitted to the Church or burned in effigy. In 1659 Diego Diaz and Francisco Botello suffered at the stake as faithful Jews (A. de Castro, "Historia de los Judios en España," p. 214; Puigblanch, "Inquisition Unveiled," p. 106).
There were also tribunals at Lima and Carthagena. One of the first victims at Lima, about 1581, was the physician Juan Alvarez of Zafra, who, together with his wife, children, and father, was burned as a confessor of Judaism. A few years later a similar fate befell Manuel Lopez, also called "Luis Coronado." A great auto da fé was held at Lima Jan. 23, 1639. Of the 63 Judaizers who then appeared 11 (and these were the wealthiest) were burned. Among the martyrs for Judaism on that day were the physician Francisco Meldonado de Silva, also called "Eli Nazareno," and Diego Lopez de Fonseca. At the same time the physician Thomas (Isaac) Tremiño (Trebiño) de Sobremonte was burned at Lima, or, according to another source, at Mexico. In all, 129 autos da fé were held in America; and in the period between 1581 and 1776, 59 persons were burned alive, and 18 in effigy.
Introduction into Portugal.
The Inquisition was not introduced into Portugal until after many struggles. John III. (1521-57), possessed of the most intense hatred for the Neo-Christians, began to intrigue for its establishment in his dominions. He was supported in his schemes by Queen Catherine, a granddaughter of Isabella the Catholic, and especially by a converted Jew named Henrique Nunes, who represented to the king that the greater part of the Neo-Christians were still Jews at heart, and who strongly urged the institution of the tribunal.
A further stimulus to the introduction of the Inquisition was the appearance of the adventurer David Reubeni, who, after circumcision, called himself Solomon Molko (Malcho) and the young Portuguese visionary Diogo Pires, who was so powerfully influenced by Molko. The Maranos, trusting in the Messianic redemption proclaimed by Molko, ventured in their enthusiasm to rescue a few women from the clutches of the Spanish Inquisition. Enraged at this, Selayo, the inquisitor of Badajoz, wrote to the king (March 30, 1528), beseeching him to follow the example of the neighboring country and to extirpate the Neo-Christian heretics, root and branch. At the same time, the Maranos in Gouvea were falsely accused of having desecrated an image of the Virgin and were subjected to other groundless charges. The king, influenced by these facts as well as by the continued urging of the young queen and of "other powerful lords," as stated in a memorial of the Neo-Christians to the pope, was finally induced to adopt the plan for the introduction of the Inquisition. But Jews were burned in Portugal even before the introduction of the Inquisition. To the great delight of the populace, who arranged for a bull-fight to celebrate the event, the Bishop of Ceuta, a former Franciscan, caused five Maranos who had observed the Mosaic law to be publicly burned in Olivença, which town belonged to his diocese.
John III. Seeks to Introduce It.
The king, in spite of the dissuasion of the noble Bishop Fernando Continho of Silves and of Diogo Pinheiro of Funchal, applied to the pope for permission to introduce the Holy Office. In the spring of 1531 the king commissioned Bras Neto, his ambassador at the Curia, to obtain from Pope Clement VII. as quickly and secretly as possible a bull to this effect. At first Bras Neto encountered great opposition; for Cardinal Lorenço Pucci openly declared that King John's chief aim was, as had been that of Ferdinand and Isabella, to get possession of the Maranos' property. Pucci, however, died shortly after, and the bull "Cum ad Nihil Magis," which gratified King John's wishes, was obtained (Dec. 17, 1531). At the suggestion of Affonso, the Franciscan Diogo da Silva, confessor of King John, was appointed grand inquisitor.
Restraining the Neo-Christians.
But it was a far cry from the papal decree to the actual establishment of the Inquisition. Da Silva, who had been appointed grand inquisitor, refused to accept the position, which he detested. In the meanwhile the Neo-Christians, who were kept informed of the progress of affairs by friends in Rome, made preparations to emigrate, although a law issued by John on June 14, 1532, sought to make it impossible for them to leave the country. Ẹvery one who should aid or abet the Maranos in their attempt to escape was to be punished with confiscation of property, and any owner of a vessel and any captain who should transport them were to be sentenced to death.
"Bulle de Perdon" of 1533.
As it seemed to the Neo-Christians that they were destined to be killed, they determined to adopt the most extreme measures and to turn to Rome for protection. They sent to that city the talented Marano Duarte de Paz, who obtained first the suspension of the bull, then (Oct. 17, 1532) its abrogation, and finally (April 7, 1533) the bull of pardon ("Bulle de Perdon"). In this the pope pointed out that those who had been baptized by force were not to be regarded as members of the Church, and hence not as heretics; but that, on the other hand, those who had been voluntarily brought into the Church by their parents were to be regarded as Christians, and even if they had nevertheless been educated as Jews were to be treated with consideration and won over to Christianity through kindness and love.
According to this bull all Neo-Christians shared in the edict of pardon and were to be enabled to leave the country with their property. Disregarding the threats of ban and excommunication, John prevented the publication of the bull; and he employed every means to have it repealed. He sent D. Henriquez de Menezes as ambassador extraordinary to Rome. With the aid of Cardinal Santiquatro, Menezes finally succeeded in having the matter investigated by a new commission, consisting of Cardinals Campeggio and De Cesis, in whose knowledge and integrity the pope had full confidence, of Santiquatro and of the Portuguese ambassador. As a result of their report Clement issued a new and much more energetic brief (April 2, 1534), and a few months later (July 26) another brief to the nuncio in Lisbon, ordering him to publish the bull of April 7, 1533, without delay and to effect the liberation of all imprisoned Maranos.
Under Clement's successor, Paul III., a friend to the Jews, the struggle concerning the Inquisition in Portugal was continued. King John, in whose interest the Spanish ambassador at Rome, Count de Cifuentas, and Cardinal Santiquatro were active, left no means untried to induce the pope to repeal the bull of his predecessor. At the same time the representatives of the Neo-Christians, Duarte de Paz and Diogo Rodriguez Pinto (who joined De Paz later), were not idle. Paul decided in Nov. (3 or 26), 1534, that for the present the "Bulle de Perdon" should not be published. He then submitted the matter for further careful investigation to a commission consisting of theologians and jurists, among whom were Cardinals Hieronymo Ghenucci, author of a work in defense of the Neo-Christians, and Jacobo Simonetta, one of the most learned men in the Curia. The majority of this commission expressed itself in favor of the Neo-Christians. At the same time the papal nuncio in Lisbon informed the Curia that the "Bulle de Perdon" had been published throughout the land, but that the king not only refused to liberate those imprisoned for their religious belief, but had made new arrests and had renewed(June 14, 1535) for three years the law of July 14, 1532, prohibiting emigration.
With John, as with his father Manuel, the chief concern was the property of the Maranos; and for this reason neither father nor son wished them to leave the country. The former desired to baptize them; the latter, to burn them. Knowing this, the pope issued the humane brief of July 20, 1535, in which every one, on pain of excommunication, was forbidden to hinder the emigration of the Maranos. Soon after the issue of this brief the pope made a proposition to King John—it is said on the advice of Diogo Rodriguez Pinto—to grant pardon to all Neo-Christians, even to those imprisoned, and to permit them to leave the country within a year. In case he did this, the pope would permit the king to introduce the Inquisition in the way he desired. John, however, would listen to no concessions of this sort.
Bull of Oct. 12, 1535.
Tired of these endless negotiations, Paul issued (Oct. 12, 1535) a new and decisive bull, similar to the "Bulle de Perdon" of April 7, 1533, in which he suppressed all suits brought against the Neo-Christians, canceled every confiscation of their property, and annulled all sentences against them without regard to place of residence or to any avowals made by them. In short, he declared all Neo-Christians of Portugal to be free. This bull was published in all parts of the country, the king being unable to prevent it. The whole Christian population of Portugal feared the anger of Rome. John, and still more eagerly the Infante Affonso, hastened to liberate the imprisoned Maranos, especially those who had a recommendation from Rome ("Bullar. Roman." ed. Cherubim, 1:712 et seq.; Herculano, "Da Origem . . . da lnquisição," 2:143 et seq.).
It was said that the pope was willing to sanction the institution of a tribunal for matters of faith on the following conditions: namely, that the Inquisition should not be an independent institution; that the evidence of servants, low persons, or convicts should not be received; that the testimony of witnesses should not be kept, secret; that the prisons should be kept open; that suits should not be brought against deceased persons; that the property of heretics should not fall to the state treasury, but to the heirs of the condemned; and that appeal to the Curia should be permitted (Sousa, "Annæs," p. 459; Herculano, c. 2:107 et seq.). The hatred of the king toward the Maranos and his greed were too great to permit him to assent to any such conditions. In order to attain his end he turned to his brother-in-law, Emperor Charles V., to secure his intervention with the pope. Accordingly, when Charles entered Rome (April, 1536) as victor over the Turks, he asked the pope as a special favor to grant John's demand. Paul, however, refused, saying that the Maranos of Portugal, who had been forcibly baptized, could not be regarded as Christians.
Bull of May 23, 1536.
Meanwhile Duarte de Paz had been disposed of—not without the knowledge or the connivance of King John—and unfortunately the enormous sums which he had promised the Roman Curia could not be raised by the Neo-Christians. In vain did the nuncio Della Ruvere negotiate with the rich Maranos in Evora; he also put himself in communication with the wealthy Diogo Mendes, who had already made so many pecuniary sacrifices for the sake of his fellow sufferers. Paul could not long withstand the violent demands of the emperor. The Portuguese ambassador at Rome, Alvare Mendes de Vasconcellos, pressed for a settlement of the affair; and on May 23, 1536, the pope issued a bull in which the establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal was definitely announced and by which the bulls of April 7, 1533, and Oct. 12, 1535, were wholly repealed (Aboab, "Nomologia o Discursos Legales," p. 293, the text of which is followed by Manasseh b. Israel, "Humble Addresses," p. 15, in Lucien Wolf, "Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell," p. 95; Sousa, c. p. 397; idem. "Provas," 2:713 et seq.). Paul III., however, imposed, for the first three years, the conditions that the procedure customary in civil courts should be observed; that the names of the accusers and witnesses should not be concealed from the unfortunate Neo-Christians; and that during the first ten years the property of the condemned should be secured to their nearest relatives. John ostensibly acceded to these conditions.
Before the Inquisition began its activity, the humane inquisitor-general Diogo da Silva, who had been recommended by Paul, promulgated a manifesto in which all Maranos were required within thirty days to make a complete confession of faith, under promise of full pardon. Before the thirty days had expired two of the most influential Neo-Christians of Lisbon, Jorge Leaõ and Nuño Henriquez, entered into negotiations with the Infante Louis, the king's brother, for an extension of this period to one year. All the representations, however, of the Infante and the advice of the most important statesmen were disregarded by the king. Thereupon, the "representatives of the Jewish nation," as they are called in documents of the time, appealed from the pope "ignorant of the true state of affairs," as they put it, to the pope whom they would acquaint with the real facts; and they tried to get from him a repeal of the bull of May 23. They declared openly:
"If your Holiness should disregard the petitions and the tears of the Jewish nation, which we do not indeed expect, we hereby swear before God and before your Holiness with loud lamentations, and we solemnly declare before the whole world, that, since no place has been found where we have been admitted among Christians and since we, our honor, our children, our flesh and blood, have been persecuted; though we have tried to abstain from Judaism, if hereafter tyranny does not cease, we will do that which not one of us would otherwise have thought of; namely, we will return to our Mosaic religion and will abandon Christianity, through the teachings of which we have been forced to take this step.
"We solemnly declare this, in the face of the cruelty to which we are sacrificed; we will make use of the right assured to us by your Holiness, by the cardinal protector, and by the ambassadors of Portugal, and we will all leave our old homes to seek safety and protection among less cruel peoples"
The Maranos were aided considerably in their struggle against the Inquisition by the nuncio Della Ruvere, who pictured the cruel procedure of King John in the darkest colors, and succeeded in persuading the pope to entrust the bull of May 23, 1536,to a commission for investigation. This commission consisted of Cardinal Ghinucci, Jacobacio, and Cardinal Simoneta. A new nuncio, Hieronymo Ricenati Capodiferro, was sent to Portugal with directions to protect the Neo-Christians and to see that the king punctiliously fulfilled his agreement. In consequence of complaints from Maranos concerning the inhuman treatment to which they were subjected, a brief was issued (Feb., 1537), in which the pope called upon the king, under pain of excommunication, no longer to oppose the emigration of Neo-Christians. It also authorized every one to give the accused help and support. Capodiferro, who was not proof against gifts of money, liberated the Maranos from the dungeons of the Inquisition and helped them to escape to Turkey and to Barbary. In spite of a grand inquisitor and all the machinery for persecution, the efforts of the nuncio practically put a check upon the Inquisition, and the Neo-Christians for a short time enjoyed repose, from which they were aroused by a remarkable incident.
The Lisbon Placard.
In Feb., 1539, placards were found on the doors of the cathedrals and churches of Lisbon, with the words: "The Messiah has not come. Jesus was not the true Messiah." The king and Capodiferro offered rewards of 10,000 (or 5,000) crusados for the discovery of the author of this proclamation. The Maranos, in order to divert suspicion from themselves and to escape the popular fury, posted the following proclamation on the cathedral door: "I, the author, am neither Spaniard nor Portuguese, but an Englishman; and if instead of 10,000 you should offer 20,000 escudos, you would not discover my name." Nevertheless the author was detected in the person of a Marano by the name of Manuel da Costa. Stretched on the rack he confessed everything; and after both his hands had been cut off he was publicly burned in Lisbon. The mild treatment of the Neo-Christians again ceased. The weak and lenient Diogo da Silva was removed; the Cardinal-Infante Henrique, a brother of the king, was appointed grand inquisitor; and the fanatical John of Mello and the immoral John Soares were made inquisitors. In order to win over the Curia, King John sent as ambassador to Rome the unprincipled Pedro Mascarenhas, who, by means of money gifts and promises, enlisted the cardinals on his side. Only the pope remained immovable.
Bull of Oct. 12, 1539.
He insisted on the recall of the newly appointed inquisitor-general, and, influenced by reports concerning the cruelty of the tribunal, he issued a new bull Oct. 12, 1539, ordaining that the names of the accuser and of the witnesses be told to the accused; that false witnesses be punished; that no one be arraigned on the ground of statements made on the rack; that a commutation of punishment to a loss of property be not allowed without the consent of the condemned; and that appeal to Rome be always permitted.
This bull remained a dead letter, and John carried on his work with the greatest energy. In a communication to his ambassador, Mascarenhas, he offered to renounce all claim to the property of the condemned for ten full years, if the pope would grant the Portuguese Inquisition the same independence which that of Spain possessed. Scarcely had the ambassador given this letter to the pope, when Hector Antonio, brother of Diogo Antonio, who had come directly from Portugal, brought a complaint concerning the inhuman procedure of the Cardinal-Infante.
First Portuguese Auto da Fé.
The bull of Oct. 12, 1539, was never published. D. Henrique, who was hated by the pope, remained grand inquisitor; and the Holy Office developed an ever greater activity. The first tribunals were established in Lisbon, Evora, and Coimbra. The tribunal in Lisbon, the first inquisitor of which was John of Mello, celebrated its first public auto da fé Oct. 23, 1541. Among those burned was Gonçalo Bandara, a shoemaker who had proclaimed himself a prophet. A few months later the tribunal in Evora, the authority of which extended over Alemtejo and Algave, held its first auto da fé. There the first to suffer death at the stake were David Reubeni and Luis Dias, who had called himself the Messiah and who had imposed upon many Neo-Christians, among them the body-physician of D. Affonso, brother of the Cardinal-Infante.
The prisons of the Inquisition filled rapidly, and pyres burned in many places. The Maranos, bitterly disappointed in their expectations, tried only to limit the power of the tribunal and to have another nuncio sent to Portugal for their protection. To these ends they placed large sums at the disposal of their representative in Rome, Diogo Fernandez Neto. Neto had gained a powerful supporter in Cardinal Parisio, who during his residence in Bologna in the second and third sessions of the "Consil pro Christianis Noviter Conversis" had demonstrated "by reason and law, that considering they [the Jews] were forced to accept baptism and were not converted willingly, they had not fallen, nor do they fall, under any censure" (Aboab, c. p. 93; Manasseh ben Israel, c. p. 96). Although Neto had offered to make the pope a present of 10,000 crusados and to give the nuncio 250 crusados every month, and although the pope was strongly urged to take the step by Cardinals Parisio and Carpi, it was only after a stormy debate between the pontiff and the Portuguese minister De Sousa that the pope resolved to appoint a new nuncio. He chose Luis Lippomano, Bishop of Bergamo. Lippomano had not yet reached Lisbon when a remarkable incident occurred, which was exploited by King John to his own advantage. Letters were seized which seriously compromised the agents of the Maranos, the new nuncio, and even the pope himself.
The situation of the Maranos was now hopeless. The hands of the nuncio were tied: he could do nothing for them. Their agent, Neto, languished in prison; the majority of the cardinals, with P. Caraffa (the future Pope Paul IV.) at their head, sided with the king. The Neo-Christians, who had nothing more to lose, then sent to Rome new agents who by large gifts succeeded in winning back many cardinals to their cause. In order to refute the false reports of the Portuguese court and its agents, they in 1544 caused a comprehensive memorial to be preparedat Rome and given to the vice-chancellor, Alexander Farnese, who was friendly to the Jews and was at that time the most influential personage in the Curia.
This memorial, provided with forty-four supplements and containing an enumeration of all the trials and persecutions that the Maranos had suffered from their enforced baptism in 1493 up to the time of the memorial, exists in manuscript ("Symmicta Lusitania," , ), in the Bibliotheca da Ajuda and in the Borghesi library at Rome. Herculano, c. 3:109 et seq., gives several extracts from it.
Cruelties Perpetrated at Lisbon.
The tribunals proceeded with the greatest cruelty even before the Inquisition was sanctioned. The court at Lisbon, to which all the other courts of the country were subordinate, was presided over by the inquisitor-general John of Mello, the most implacable enemy of the Neo-Christians. The unfortunates, who languished in underground dungeons, had their limbs wrenched off; they were bastinadoed; the soles of their feet were cut open, the cuts were smeared with butter; and their bodies were then held over the flames. The inquisitor in Coimbra was the former bishop of S. Thomas, a Dominican who hated the Neo-Christians with inhuman hatred; and his nephew, a lad of sixteen who could not even write, was his secretary. A rich Marano from Porto, Simon Alvares, who had settled in Coimbra with his wife and children, was imprisoned by the Inquisition after nine years' residence in the city. His little daughter, scarcely ten years old, was placed in front of a brazier of glowing coals and was told that if she did not at once confess that her parents had struck a crucifix in Porto, her hands would be burned off immediately. In her utter fright the innocent child confessed. Alvares and his wife were burned.
Bull of Aug. 22, 1546.
The activity of the Inquisition in Coimbra quickly spread over the province of Beira. It sent its agents to Trancoso, of which the richest inhabitants were Neo-Christians, most of whom fled to the mountains. Thirty-five persons, the old and sick, who had been unable to escape, were arrested and thrown into the prisons of the Inquisition. The first inquisitor in Evora was Pedro Alvares de Paredes, a Castilian who had been inquisitor in Llerena, but had been dismissed on account of various irregularities. He possessed a rare faculty for extorting avowals from the accused. He forged letters and read forged decisions to the prisoners, and by this means forced his victims to admit what he demanded of them. In Lamego, the home of many Maranos, the Inquisition was introduced toward the end of 1542, to the indescribable joy of the populace. At the sight of the officers of the Inquisition the Neo-Christians were filled with such terror that most of them fled to Tras-os-Montes, but they were brought back to Lamego. A little later Porto also received a tribunal. The bishop of the diocese, Balthasar Limpo, a Carmelite, was the inquisitor, and he waged a war of complete extermination against the Neo-Christians. Criminals and prostitutes were hired to testify against them. A veritable monster was a certain Francisco-Gil, who went about his business of capturing Maranos very craftily. The number of imprisoned Neo-Christians became so large that the jails of the Inquisition could not hold them. In Lisbon the Estaõs, situated on the Rocio place, and several public buildings were utilized as prisons. Seven or eight girls and women were often stretched on the rack in one day. The description which the above-mentioned memorial of the Neo-Christians gives of the cruel procedure of the Portuguese Inquisition in the early years of its unnatural existence wholly agrees with the account of S. Usque in his "Consolaçam," p. 202a. But the efforts of the Neo-Christians finally proved effective. Paul III. once more opposed the deeds of violence and excesses of the Portuguese Inquisition. In place of the weak Lippomano he appointed a new nuncio, Cardinal Ricci de Monte Policiano. King John, however, allowed the new nuncio to enter Lisbon only after a long interchange of communications between the Portuguese court and the Curia (Sept., 1545). The decisiveness of Ricci, who sternly rebuked the Cardinal-Infante, the king, and the prelates for the inhuman procedure of the inquisitors, caused the fight between John and the Curia to be renewed, and fresh cause for strife was furnished by the bull of Aug. 22, 1546, which prolonged that of May 23, 1536, for a twelve month and prohibited the confiscation of the property of Neo-Christians for ten more years. The king, although at first not a little angered over this bull, became in the end more submissive. Four of the most prominent Maranos were entrusted by him with a commission to define the conditions under which their fellow believers and sufferers would submit to a religious tribunal. They prepared a document, presented to the king in Jan., 1547, in which they demanded that the long-decreed pardon should be put into effect; that the severe procedure of the Inquisition should be mitigated; and that the names of accusers and witnesses should be communicated to the accused.
Memorial of the Neo-Christians, Jan., 1547.
"If we should be granted peace," it says, "all Neo-Christians who are now in the country would stay here and those also who are wandering in Galicia and Castile, and many of those who have already settled in Flanders, Italy, and other lands would return; they would establish business houses and resuscitate the commerce, which is now prostrate. . . . The severity of the Spanish Inquisition ought not to be taken as a model. The Portuguese resolve to leave home more quickly; it would be in vain to forbid them to emigrate. Experience has shown how readily they abandon property and everything else and with what fearlessness they defy every danger in order to escape from their birthplace. Without moderation and tolerance few of us will remain in the country. Even in Castile we are not ill treated until we have been found guilty of some crime. . . . To this extent our fellow believers exposed themselves to the dangers of the inquisition and nevertheless how many escaped from Spain? At present those who flee from Portugal are hospitably received in the different Christian states and are protected with especial privileges, which we formerly did not dare to expect. This, Sire, is our attitude."
Submission of the Curia.
This plan proposed by the Neo-Christians was laid before the inquisitors for approval; but they would hear of no concessions. In order to bring the question to a final settlement the Curia resolved to proclaim a general pardon for all Maranos who should publicly confess their adherence to Judaism, and at the same time to order the king to grant thema year in which to take their free departure from the kingdom. But to these proposals John would not agree on any conditions. The pope, unable to hold out any longer, finally submitted, although with a heavy heart. Ugolino, a nephew of Cardinal Santiquatro, was sent as commissioner extraordinary to transmit three bulls—(1) for the institution of the Inquisition, (2) the one of pardon (May 15, 1547), and (3) that suspending the privileges granted—to the king and, according to his instructions, to the "chefes da nação," the representatives of the Neo-Christians. (All of these bulls—dated before July, 1547—are preserved in manuscript in the national archives at Lisbon.) This ended the twenty years' struggle. The Inquisition in Portugal had been held in check by the expenditure of enormous sums by the Neo-Christians; and the king finally bought it from Rome by means of still greater sums. As a reward for the cardinals' efforts, several of them received rich preferments and considerable pensions. Cardinal Farnese, the last to be won over by the king, received the bishopric of Visen, which was taken away from Miguel da Silva; and Santi-quatro was given an annual pension of 1,500 crusados.
Recantation of Neo-Christians, 1548.
On July 10, 1548, the pardon was published in the Cathedral of Lisbon, and soon afterward the general recantation of the Neo-Christians took place in front of the Church of the Hospitalers. The prisons of the tribunals in Lisbon, Evora, and Coimbra were emptied for a time; and the activity of the tribunals of Porto, Lamego, and Thomar came to an end forever. About 1,800 persons were set free (Herculano, "Da Origem." 3:304 et seq.; "Historia da Inquisição," p. 5; Aboab, c. p. 293; "Münchener Gelehr. Anzeiger," 1847. No. 79).
After a few years the Inquisition resumed its operations. The Neo-Christians were remorselessly arrested and stretched upon the rack. They enjoyed a short respite during the reign of Sebastian, who allowed them, in return for the enormous sum of 225,000 ducats, to leave the country, and released them for ten years from confiscation of their property. Much more cruel was the procedure of the Cardinal-Infante Henrique, who caused many Maranos to be burned to death. Under his rule they were so sorely oppressed that they complained to the pope, although in vain.
General Pardon of 1604.
After the death of D. Henrique, Portugal fell under Spanish rule, and the Inquisition celebrated its greatest triumphs. On Aug. 3, 1603, a grand auto da fé was held on the Praça Ribeiro in Lisbon, in presence of the viceroy. The Franeiscan Diego de la Assencion, who had been convinced of the truths of Judaism by reading the Bible, was burned, together with Thomar Barocas and other persons who sacrificed themselves for their faith. A year later Philip III., in return for the payment of a large sum, interceded with Pope Clement VIII. in behalf of the Maranos; and in a bull dated Aug. 23, 1604, the pope granted a general pardon. As soon as the bull reached Lisbon an auto da fé of 155 persons was arranged; but the accused acknowledged their fault, and were set free (Jan. 16, 1605). Under Philip IV., Lisbon, Evora, and Coimbra had at least one auto da fé every year. At one which was celebrated in Lisbon May 5, 1624, the deacon ("diaconus") Antonio Homom, who had led divine service and preached in a synagogue in Lisbon, was burned. After an auto da fé had been held in Evora on April 1, and one in Lisbon on Sept. 2, 1629, a law was passed (Nov. 17 of that year) permitting Neo-Christians to emigrate without hindrance.
Renewed Activity Under John IV.
King John IV., of the house of Braganza, after the liberation of Portugal from Spanish rule, had, it was claimed, the earnest intention of granting liberty to the Maranos and of stopping the Inquisition (1640); but he was prevented from so doing by the grand inquisitor Francisco da Costa. According to another opinion, the Neo-Christians offered the king a large sum of money if he would suspend the tribunal; but he decided in the negative. However this may have been, the Maranos continued to be tortured, garroted, or burned. On April 2, 1642, two very rich Neo-Christians accused of professing Judaism were burned in the presence of the queen; and on Dec. 15 (22), 1647, Isaac de Castro Tartas, a philosopher, was also burned with five other Neo-Christians, while 60 were condemned to lifelong imprisonment or other punishments. On Dec. 1, 1652, the Portuguese consul-general and author Manuel Fernandes de Villa-Real suffered death by fire in Lisbon, and on Dec. 15, 1658, 90 Neo-Christians appeared at an auto da fé, of whom 6 were burned because they kept the Jewish festivals and would not cat swine's flesh. But, as the English consul Maynard wrote to Thurloe, the secretary of state in London, "their greatest crime was the possession of wealth" ("Collection of State Papers," 7:567). Two years later (Oct. 17, 1660), at an auto da fé in Lisbon, many Neo-Christians were burned at the stake; and on Oct. 26, 1664, no less than 237 persons appeared at an auto in Coimbra.
Attempt to Restrain the Tribunal.
An attempt to break the power of the tribunal was made at this time by the learned Jesuit Antonio Vieira, who was employed in the state service under John IV., and who exercised great influence over King Pedro, whose tutor he was. For some unknown reason Vieira was degraded by the Inquisition in Coimbra and condemned to prison. Set free after six months' imprisonment, he went to Rome (1669) with the intention of revenging himself on the tribunal. The Jesuit provincial of Malabar, Balthasar da Costa, during his stay in Lisbon undertook to pave the way for Vieira. In a conference with the prince regent Da Costa suggested the means by which Portugal might reconquer India. He advised the prince regent to obtain a general pardon for the Neo-Christians, who would then gladly give him the sums necessary for carrying on the war. The Neo-Christians also were not idle. They put themselves in communication with Manuel Fernandes, the father confessor of Pedro, and came to an agreement withhim, of which the chief point was that the Inquisition should no longer keep them in prison nor condemn them. On the advice of Manuel Fernandes, in order to give the matter more authority, the opinions of theologians and of the Jesuits at the University of Coimbra and other colleges were obtained (1673). All spoke in favor of the Neo-Christians. Thereupon, Manuel Fernandes, at the desire of the prince regent, placed the matter before the pope in a document composed by himself; and the Neo-Christians, in accordance with the pontiff's wish, sent a representative to Rome, where Vieira was displaying great activity in their behalf. Their representative was Francisco de Azevedo, who placed abundant means at the disposal of the Jesuits and truthfully described the inhuman procedure of the Inquisition. In the light of these events, Pope Clement X. issued a bull Oct. 3, 1674, which suspended the activity of the Portuguese Inquisition and strictly prohibited every condemnation or confiscation of property.
Scarcely had this bull become known through the papal nuncio in Lisbon, when the inquisitors and a considerable portion of the Cortes, which had just assembled, urged Pedro to repress the pretensions of the Neo-Christians; and the regent insisted that everything should be restored to "its former state." To this, however, the nuncio could not and would not agree. Dissensions again arose between the Portuguese court and the Curia. The new inquisitor-general Verissimo de Alemcastro, appointed by Innocent XI., Clement's successor, refused to obey the papal command. Thereupon, the pope ordered the nuncio to proclaim again the bull of Oct. 3, 1674, and commanded the inquisitor-general to hand over to the nuncio within ten days all the documents of the tribunals. After long negotiations the Inquisition resumed its activity on the strength of the bull of Aug. 22, 1681; and on May 10, 1682, an auto da fé was held in Lisbon, the first of the new series, and the largest and most horrible in the whole history of the Portuguese Inquisition. The cruelty of the Inquisition is shown by a law of Aug. 5, 1683, according to which children of seven years and upward were to be taken away from all those who had once been placed before a tribunal (Manuel Thomaz, "Leis Extra vagantes do Reino de Portugal," p. 188; Kayserling, "Gesch. der Juden in Portugal." pp. 355 et seq.).
In the Eighteenth Century.
Even in the eighteenth century backsliding Neo-Christians were burned at the stake in Portugal. In Lisbon, Evora, and Coimbra there were autos in 1701, 1704, and in the following years. At one held in Lisbon Sept. 6, 1705, 60 persons appeared as professors of Judaism, and the Bishop of Cranganor made a speech in which he shamefully attacked Judaism. His accusations were refuted by David Nieto, haham of London. On June 30, 1706, six Judaizers were burned in Lisbon; and on July 9, 1713, an auto da fé was celebrated in that city, at which the inquisitor Francisco Pedroso, in a speech which appeared in print, launched forth into a dogmatic admonition against Jewish faithlessness. At the same time the condemnation of a nun who was accused of being a secret Jewess was the occasion of a veritable revolt among the nuns. The tribunal in Coimbra organized an auto da fé June 17, 1718, at which more than 60 Maranos, all of them from Braganza, were condemned, and some of them, e.g., Manuel Rodriguez de Carvalho and Isabella Mendes, accused of desecrating the host, were strangled and then burned (Ross, "Dissertatio Philos. Qua Inquisitionis Iniquitas Evincitur," Marburg, 1737). An apothecary from Braganza, Francisco Diaz, met a like fate in Coimbra. March 14, 1723. On Sept. 1, 1739, 4 men and 8 women were condemned to death by burning, and 35 Judaizers were condemned to imprisonment for life.
The power of the Inquisition was broken by King Joseph. In 1751 he issued a decree to the effect that before trial the prosecutors of the tribunal must inform the accused of the charge against him, and of the names of the witnesses, that the accused should be free to choose his own counsel, that no verdict should be rendered without the approval of the government, and that no further auto should be held. During the great earthquake which destroyed Lisbon (Nov. 1, 1755), the building in which the proceedings of the Inquisition took place fell to the ground. A theater now occupies the site. The Inquisition was completely abolished on March 31, 1821.
In the Portuguese Colonies.
The Portuguese carried the Inquisition to their transoceanic possessions. The wealth acquired by the many Maranos who sought protection there opened up a new field for its activity, and as early as 1555 the Jesuit Belchior Carneiro tried to crush such colonists. Its chief seat was at Goa, in South India, and its first grand inquisitor, the archbishop Gaspar de Leaõ, who issued a proclamation"to the people of Israel" Sept. 29, 1565. In Brazil the Inquisition raged more fiercely than the famine or the plague. A trace of Jewish blood was considered the greatest crime. All Maranos who were found in the Portuguese colonies or on ships bound thither had to be sent back to Portugal; and if no ship was returning at the time, they were taken to Goa and held captive there until a vessel set sail for Portugal. At the auto da fé held at Lisbon on Dec. 15, 1649, 5 Judaizers of Pernambuco were burned. At Rio de Janeiro the Inquisition began its persecution of the Maranos in 1702, when Bishop Francisco da S. Jeronimo of Evora was made governor. From Rio shiploads of Maranos were sent every year to Lisbon and handed over to the Inquisition, or the reverse was the case, and Maranos in Portugal were sentenced to several years' exile in Brazil. Among those who suffered death at the stake were Therese Paes de Jesus (1720), seventy-five years old, wife of Francisco Mendes Simoẽs; Manuel Lopez de Carvalho of Bahia (1726); John Thomas de Castro (1729); and the wife of Francisco Pereira (1731). Many Maranos born at Rio de Janeiro and living there, among them Joseph Gomez de Paredes, an "estudiante de gramatica," twenty-four years of age, together with his elder brother and his sister, twenty years old, were sentenced to imprisonment for life at the auto da fé held at Lisbon Oct. 10, 1723.
At Rome the Inquisition was first invested with the power which became so fateful to the Roman Jews by the bull "Turbato Corde," issued by Pope Clement IV. July 26, 1267, and confirmed by Gregory X., Nicolas III., and Nicolas IV. It was directed chiefly against the neophytes who returned to Judaism, and also against those Jews who had seduced the neophytes and confirmed them in their purpose. In 1299 the Jews of Rome complained to Pope Boniface VIII. that the inquisitors concealed from them the names of their accusers and of the witnesses; and the pope thereupon protected the Jews, being unwilling that they should be subjected to injustice and oppression.
The later Inquisition began under Pope Paul III., who at the beginning of his reign had protected the Spanish and Portuguese Maranos and had permitted them free sojourn in Rome. In April, 1542, he instituted the "Congregatio Sancti Officii," consisting of six cardinals; and on Sept. 4 of the same year the Franciscan Cornelio of Montalcino, who had embraced Judaism, was burned at Rome by the pontiff's order. The inflexible Pietro Caraffa, Pope Paul IV., who lived only for the Holy Office, made the Italian Inquisition the peer of the Spanish in cruelty. On April 30, 1556, he decreed that all Jews or Maranos arriving from Portugal should be immediately burned; and in the following May, 24 persons, among them seven old men—Simon ibn Menahem, Joseph Oheb, Joseph Papo, Abraham Cohen, Samuel Guascon, Abraham Falcon, and Abrahamd'España—together with Solomon Yaḥya Jacob Mozo, Moses Pazo, Solomon Pinto, Solomon Aguades, Abraham Lobo, David Reuben, and the pious Donna Majora were publicly burned at Ancona (Joseph ha-Kohen, "'Emek ha-Bakah," pp. 116 et seq.; "R. E. J." 31:222 et seq.). After the death of Paul IV. there was a riot in Rome, during which the tribunal of the Inquisition was stormed, the officials mal-treated, the documents burned, and the prisons forcibly opened. Pius V. strengthened the tribunal; and Gregory XIII. gave to it new powers over the Jews. On Feb. 9, 1583, Rome witnessed the burning of a Jew, the Marano Joseph Saralbo, born in Portugal, who openly confessed Judaism at Ferrara. The Inquisition likewise had unlimited power under Paul V., Gregory XV., and Clement XI., although the Jews did not suffer from it then.
In France, the Inquisition, which had been abolished, was again instituted by Pius VII. (Aug., 1814), though against Jewish books and not against Jews.
In Sicily the Inquisition at an early date directed its activity chiefly against the Jews. Emperor Frederick II., who was not friendly to them, although he gathered Jewish scholars at his court, granted the Inquisition in Sicily in 1224 one-third of the property confiscated from the Jews. Pope Clement VI. gave orders in 1344 to his legate in Naples to punish all Jewish apostates severely; and in 1355 Innocent VI. exhorted Francisco da Messina to perform his duties rigorously. The Jews, persecuted by the Inquisition and deprived of their property, appealed in 1375 to the king, who thereupon commanded the inquisitors to keep the captives in the royal prisons only, to require civil judges to take part in the prosecution, and to grant to the condemned the right to appeal. In 1449 Pope Nicolas V. appointed Matteo da Reggio inquisitor, directing him to put to death Jews guilty of apostasy after baptism—then of very frequent occurrence. In 1451 Curio Lugardi, inquisitor of Palermo, compelled the Jews, by virtue of the decree promulgated by Frederick II. in 1224, to provide once a year for the service of the inquisitor and for his official traveling expenses. Even before the introduction of the Inquisition into Spain the above-mentioned law of 1224 was confirmed, at the request of the Sicilian inquisitor, Philip de Barbieri, by Isabella the Catholic at Seville (Sept. 2, 1477) and by Ferdinand of Aragon at Jerez de la Frontera (Oct. 18, 1477). The Inquisition in Sicily, having its chief seat at Palermo, was under the jurisdiction of the inquisitor-general of Spain, and was modeled after the Holy Office in that country. During its existence more than 200 persons were burned alive, and 279 in effigy, while more than 300 individuals were subjected to various lesser punishments. On March 30, 1782, Ferdinand IV., amid the great rejoicing of the Jewish population, abolished the institution.
- There is as yet no history of the Inquisition having especial reference to Judaizers; such a work, which would be highly desirable, could be prepared only after a thorough examination of the records of the Inquisition. These are to be found at Madrid, Simancas, Seville, and Cordova, at Lisbon, Coimbra, and Evora.
- In addition to the sources mentioned in the text and in the article Auto da Fé, see Javier G. Rodrigo, Historia Verdadera de la Inquisicion, Madrid, 1876 et seq.;
- R. E. J. 15:263, 18:231 et seq., 43:126 et seq.;
- E. N. Adler, in J. Q. R 14:698;
- Cardozo de Bethencourt, ib. 15:251 et seq., 16:135 et seq.
- See also South and Central America.
These files are public domain.
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Judaizers'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tje/​j/judaizers.html. 1901.