Torquemada, Tomás de


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Torquemada, Tomás de

(tōmäs` dā tôrkāmä`thä), 1420–98, Spanish churchman and inquisitor. A Dominican, he became confessor to Ferdinand II and Isabella I and in 1483 was appointed inquisitor general of Castile and Aragón, charged with the centralization of the Spanish InquisitionInquisition
, tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church established for the investigation of heresy. The Medieval Inquisition

In the early Middle Ages investigation of heresy was a duty of the bishops.
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. He was largely instrumental in bringing about the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. His great authority was contested by colleagues and was diminished in some measure by the pope, but he remained preeminent until his death. Torquemada owes his reputation for cruelty to the harsh rules of procedure that he devised for the Inquisition and to the rigor with which he had them enforced.

Torquemada, Tomás de

 

Born c. 1420 in Valladolid; died Sept. 16, 1498, in Ávila. Head of the Spanish Inquisition.

Torquemada, a Dominican monk, was the confessor of Queen Isabella. He was appointed grand inquisitor of Castile and Aragon in 1483 and also of Valencia and Catalonia in 1486. As grand inquisitor, he was responsible for drawing up the code and judicial procedure of the Inquisition and for establishing its various tribunals. Known for his extreme cruelty, he made common use of the auto-da-fé, condemning more than 10,000 persons to death by that method.

Torquemada initiated the persecution of Muslims and Jews in Spain. In 1492 he succeeded in having the Jews expelled.

Torquemada, Tomás de

(1420–1498) head of Spanish Inquisition; instrumental in expelling Jews from Spain (1492). [Span. Hist.: Wigoder, 600]
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