Records of the Spanish Inquisition: Translated from the Original Manuscripts

Records of the Spanish Inquisition: Translated from the Original Manuscripts

by Andrew Dickson White
     
 

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PREFACE

The manner in which the originals of the following work came into the hands of the translator may be described in a few words. These papers are a part of the Records of the Inquisition of Barcelona, and were obtained during the revolution which broke out at Cadiz in 1819.

The province of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital, was one of the

Overview

PREFACE

The manner in which the originals of the following work came into the hands of the translator may be described in a few words. These papers are a part of the Records of the Inquisition of Barcelona, and were obtained during the revolution which broke out at Cadiz in 1819.

The province of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital, was one of the most forward and zealous to embrace the cause of freedom. Its inhabitants have, in all times, been distinguished for their daring and determined spirit, and their ardent love of liberty. The revolution moved with rapid strides from the Isle of Leon to the Ebro. On the twenty-eighth of February, 1820, the governor of Tarragona received a summons to repair immediately to Madrid, and in a few days the insurrection burst out in the former place. On the fourteenth of March, two days after this, it exploded at Barcelona.

The first movement of the revolutionary party was to depose the Captain General of the province. This office was then held by Castañas, a royalist. His predecessor was General Villacampa, an officer of some distinction, who had been deprived of the captain-generalship, and banished to Mataró, a small town on the coast, for his attachment to liberal principles. Castañas was forced to resign, and Villacampa was conducted in triumph from his place of banishment to Barcelona, and reinstated in his dignity by the populace.

The government of the city being revolutionized, their next thoughts were directed to the Inquisition, the great engine of priestly oppression, and the object of dread and detestation to the friends of liberty, both political and religious. The vast and gloomy piles of this tribunal, which covered a spot of more than ten times the extent of the Massachusetts State Prison, had been too long the terror of the oppressed and restless Catalonians to escape distinguished notice on this occasion. The populace demanded, with loud cries, of the Captain General, that the Inquisitorial Palace should be thrown open. What answer was given by Villacampa to this demand, does not appear. A body of twenty thousand persons rushed to the Inquisition, stormed at the gates, and demanded admittance. Those within told them to wait a few minutes and the gates should be opened. This interval they improved to make their escape, and in a short time the populace, growing impatient, burst the gates and rushed in.

Every part of the premises was immediately filled. The dungeons were broken open; the prisoners released, and the papers cast out at the windows. For several days these were thrown in great numbers about the streets of the city, and a small portion of them, after passing through various hands, came into the possession of a gentleman of this city, who at that period was travelling in Spain. These papers were forwarded to Boston in 1820.

It was thought that a publication of these documents would be received with much interest and satisfaction by the community, as nothing of the kind has ever before seen the light. There are indeed some authentic and well written compilations relating to this subject, as well as a few narratives given by persons who have been imprisoned in the dungeons of the Holy Office; but a copious and minute detail of the forms and proceedings observed in the trials and investigations of the Inquisitorial Tribunal, such as is afforded in the following pages, has never, till this moment, existed in print. Should the Holy Office again rear its head in Spain, perhaps the Fiscal and Calificadores might do the publisher and Translator of this work the honor to take some notice of their labors. It is to be hoped, however, that these most illustrious and apostolical Señores may not very soon have occasion to obtain for either of us any such notoriety.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781494272142
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
11/24/2013
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)

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