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Roman Inquisition

The Roman Inquisition, formally the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church, during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes relating to religious doctrine or alternative religious doctrine or alternative religious beliefs. In the period after the Medieval Inquisition, it was one of three different manifestations of the wider Catholic Inquisition along with the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. Like other iterations of the Inquisition, the Roman Inquisition was responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of committing offenses relating to heresy, including Protestantism, immorality, blasphemy and witchcraft, as well as for censorship of printed literature. After 1567, with the execution of Pietro Carnesecchi, an leading heretic, the Holy Office moved to broaden concerns beyond that of theological matters, such as love magic, witchcraft and cultural morality.

However, the treatment was more disciplinary than punitive. The tribunals of the Roman Inquisition covered most of the Italian peninsula as well as Malta and existed in isolated pockets of papal jurisdiction in other parts of Europe, including Avignon, a papal enclave within the territory of France; the Roman Inquisition, was more bureaucratic and focused on pre-emptive control in addition to the reactive judicial prosecution experienced under other iterations. The pope appointed one cardinal to preside over meetings of the Congregation. Though referred to in historical literature as Grand Inquisitors, the role was different from the formally appointed Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. There were ten other cardinals who were members of the Congregation, as well as a prelate and two assistants all chosen from the Dominican Order; the Holy Office had an international group of consultants. The congregation, in turn, presided over the activity of local tribunals; the Roman Inquisition began in 1542 as part of the Catholic Church's Counter-Reformation against the spread of Protestantism, but it represented a less harsh affair than the established Spanish Inquisition.

In 1588, Pope Sixtus V established 15 congregations of the Roman Curia of which the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition was one. In 1908, the congregation was renamed the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and in 1965 it was renamed again and is now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. While the Roman Inquisition was designed to combat the spread of Protestantism in Italy, the institution outlived that original purpose and the system of tribunals lasted until the mid 18th century, when pre-unification Italian states began to suppress the local inquisitions eliminating the power of the church to prosecute heretical crimes. Nicolaus Copernicus published a formulated model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, in 1543; the book was dedicated to Pope Paul III, known for his interests in astronomy. In 1616, the Roman Inquisition's consultants judged the proposition that the sun is immobile and at the center of the universe and that the Earth moves around it, to be "foolish and absurd in philosophy" and that the first was "formally heretical" while the second was "at least erroneous in faith".

This assessment led to Copernicus's On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres being placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Galileo Galilei revised the Copernican theories and was admonished for his views on heliocentrism in 1615; the Roman Inquisition concluded that his theory could only be supported as a possibility, not as an established fact. Galileo defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point, he was tried by the Inquisition in 1633. Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to recant, the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, he spent the rest of his life under house arrest at his villa in Arcetri near Florence. Among the subjects of this Inquisition were Franciscus Patricius, Giordano Bruno, Tommaso Campanella, Gerolamo Cardano, Cesare Cremonini. Of these, only Bruno was executed, the last by the Roman Inquisition.

Campanella was implicated in a conspiracy to drive the Spanish from Naples and Sicily and was imprisoned for twenty-seven years in various Neapolitan fortresses. He was released from the Castel Nuovo in 1626, through Pope Urban VIII, who interceded on his behalf with Philip IV of Spain; the miller Domenico Scandella was burned at the stake on the orders of Pope Clement VIII in 1599 for his belief that God was created from chaos. The Inquisition concerned itself with the Benandanti in the Friuli region, but considered them a lesser danger than the Protestant Reformation and only handed out light sentences. 17th century traveler and author, John Bargrave, gave an account of his interactions with the Roman Inquisition. Arriving in the city of Reggio, Bargrave was stopped by the city guard who inspected his books on suspicion some may have been on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum

Reginald Blair

Sir Reginald Blair, 1st Baronet was a British politician. He served as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1912 to 1922, from 1935 to 1945. Blair was born in Glasgow in 1881, he was educated at Kelvinside Glasgow University, after which he became an accountant. Blair was married, had a son Malcolm Reginald Blair, who died on 31 May 1940, aged 33, while in active service in World War II. Blair was first elected to Parliament in a by-election in the Bow and Bromley constituency on 26 November 1912; the by-election was caused by George Lansbury, the Labour MP, taking the Chiltern Hundreds, a way of resigning from the House of Commons. Lansbury caused the by-election to highlight the issue of women’s suffrage, but the Labour Party did not endorse him as their candidate so he stood as an independent on a platform of "Votes for Women". Labour did not stand a candidate, Blair won the by-election by a majority of 751 votes. For the first two years of World War I, Blair served with the British Expeditionary Force and was Mentioned in Despatches.

From 1916 to 1918, he served as a field cashier with the temporary rank of Major. Reginald Blair held his seat in the 1918 general election, but was defeated in 1922 by Lansbury, who remained Bow and Bromley’s MP until his death in 1940. Following his election defeat, Blair was knighted, became the Chairman of the Racehorse Betting Control Board. In the 1935 general election, Reginald Blair was elected as MP for Hendon, succeeding the Conservative Philip Cunliffe-Lister. On 19 June 1945, he was created a baronet, of Harrow Weald in the County of Middlesex, his Hendon seat was abolished for the 1945 general election, he retired. Reginald Blair died in 1962, aged 80, was buried in Harrow Cemetery in Harrow, London; the baronetcy became extinct on his death. Specific GeneralLeigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, compiled and edited by F. W. S. Craig Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume III 1919–1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Reginald Blair

Edwin Norris

Edwin Norris was a British philologist and intrepid orientalist who wrote or compiled numerous works on the languages of Asia and Africa. Norris was born in Taunton, England, on 24 October 1795 and served as a Clerk for the East India House and was an assistant secretary in the Royal Asiatic Society during the 1830s, he translated and annotated the Cornish language manuscript from the Middle Ages known as the'three plays of the Ordinalia', one of the most important relics of the Celtic dialect of Cornish: it is one of the more recognized aspects of his work. E. Norris worked on Assyrian culture with major contributions, he deciphered the Assyrian lion weights from Nineveh and he discovered the weight measurement system of this civilisation and established conversions in 1853 and started the Assyrian Dictionary. This uncompleted work is one of his more well known works outside Cornwall and considered a landmark in the history of cuneiform; the work was meant to further the study of the cuneiform inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia but was unfinished at the time of his death in 1872.

Outline of a Vocabulary of a Few of the Principal Languages of Western and Central Africa. London: John W. Parker, West Strand. 1841. Grammar of the Bornu or Kanuri Language. London: Harrison & Sons, St. Martin's Lane. 1853. The Ancient Cornish Drama. 2 vols. Oxford: University Press. 1859. Sketch of Cornish Grammar. Oxford: University Press. 1859. Assyrian Dictionary: intended to further the study of the cuneiform inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia. 3 parts. London: Williams & Norgate. 1868–72