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Today in Jewish History - May 23 / Iyar 29

1536 May 23, PORTUGAL

Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III, acting upon the petition of King John III, issued a Bull providing for the establishment of an Inquisition based on the Spanish archetype to begin in 1539. The first inquisitor was John de Mello a doctor of Papal law. The first grand inquisitor was Diogo da Silva but he was soon asked to resign being considered "too weak". In 1544, after numerous bribes, it was again postponed for three years but reestablished permanently in 1547. The last Auto da Fe in Portugal was held in October 1791. Over the years (until 1821) there were more then 40,000 recorded cases tried before the Portuguese Inquisition, with 30,000 condemnations (though many of these were reconciled).


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