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Tomas de Torquemada, Man Most Responsible for Spanish Inquisition Dies, 1498

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: September 16th, 1498

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#onthisday, Tomas de Torquemada, first Grand Inquisitor and individual most responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, dies.

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Responsible for creating and transforming the Spanish Inquisition into a powerful set of tribunals, Torquemada was convinced that Jews, Muslims and converts from any religion were a threat to the purity of the Church and Spanish society.

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Ironically, he himself was a descendant of conversos, i.e. Jews forced to convert to Christianity.

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Torquemada had a close relationship to the throne as advisor to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella which allowed him to influence the policies of the monarchy.

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When he shared his "fears" with them, they agreed and the Inquisition began with Torquemada in charge.

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As Grand Inquisitor, he set up tribunals across Spain and increased the number of offenses which fell under the jurisdiction of these tribunals.

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He also authorized torture as a form of interrogation for anyone under suspicion of having committed a "crime." During his 15-year tenure as Grand Inquisitor, approximately 2,000 people were burned at the stake.

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Torquemada’s hate for Jews led to their expulsion in 1492.

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He convinced King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that the Inquisition was not sufficient to ensure that Spainards remained true to Christianity, the only perfect way to ensure that is to kick out the Jews so that no one will be tempted by their "deviant" ways.

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They listened and then Edict of Expulsion was issued on March 31, 1492. Towards the end of his life Pope Alexander VI appointed four inquisitors to work under Torquemada.

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This was both due to his old age but also due to numerous complaints which had been received against him. Their job was to ensure that he did not abuse his power.

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By the time he died #onthisday, the Inquisition had already taken the lives of many and had become a large part of everyday life in Spain and anywhere the Spanish Kingdom was in the world.

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The Inquisition would continue to try and convict thousands more for hundreds of years across nearly every continent.

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Text Source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tomas-de-Torquemada

Image Source: Public Domain

✍: @rebeccaroth01

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#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#spanishinquisition

#torquemada#otdjh#goodriddance

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