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 and to replace the Medieval Inquisition and it became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Christian Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. The Inquisition was originally intended primarily to ensure the orthodoxy of those who converted from Judaism, the regulation of the faith of the newly converted was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1502 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert or leave Spain. The Inquisition was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II, the Spanish Inquisition is often stated in popular literature and history as an example of Catholic intolerance and repression. Modern historians have tended to question earlier accounts concerning the severity of the Inquisition, Henry Kamen asserts that the myth of the all-powerful, torture-mad inquisition is largely an invention of nineteenth century Protestant authors with an agenda to discredit the Papacy. Although records are incomplete, about 150,000 persons were charged with crimes by the Inquisition and about 3,000 were executed. The Inquisition was created through papal bull, Ad Abolendam, issued at the end of the century by Pope Lucius III as a way to combat the Albigensian heresy in southern France. There were a number of tribunals of the Papal Inquisition in various European kingdoms during the Middle Ages. In the Kingdom of Aragon, a tribunal of the Papal Inquisition was established by the statute of Excommunicamus of Pope Gregory IX, in 1232, during the era of the Albigensian heresy. With time, its importance was diluted, and, by the middle of the fifteenth century, there was never a tribunal of the Papal Inquisition in Castile. Members of the episcopate were charged with surveillance of the faithful, during the Middle Ages, in Castile, little attention was paid to heresy by the Catholic ruling class. Jews and Muslims were tolerated and generally allowed to follow their traditional laws, however, by law, they were considered inferior to Catholics and were subject to discriminatory legislation. The Spanish Inquisition can be seen as an answer to the nature of Spanish society following the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Moors. After invading in 711, large areas of the Iberian Peninsula were ruled by Muslims until 1250, when they were restricted to Granada, which fell in 1492. However, the Reconquista did not result in the expulsion of Muslims from Spain, since they. The Jews, who had previously thrived under Muslim rule, now suffered similar maltreatment, however, as Henry Kamen notes, so-called convivencia was always a relationship between unequals. Despite their legal inequality, there was a tradition of Jewish service to the crown of Aragon and Jews occupied many important posts. Castile itself had an unofficial rabbi, ferdinands father John II named the Jewish Abiathar Crescas to be Court Astronomer
The burning of a 16th-century Dutch Anabaptist, Anneken Hendriks, who was charged with heresy
A 1508 woodcut of the Inquisition
Inquisition Scene by Francisco Goya. The Spanish Inquisition was still in force in the late eighteenth century, but much reduced in power.