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The Spanish Inquisition

The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition, was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms.  According to modern estimates, around 150,000 were prosecuted for various offenses during the three-century duration of the Spanish Inquisition, out of which between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed.

The Inquisition was originally intended to identify heretics among those who converted from Judaism and Islam to Catholicism. The regulation of the faith of newly converted Catholics was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1502 ordering Muslims and Jews to convert to Catholicism or leave Castile. The Inquisition was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II.

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