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e-Journal of Portuguese History

versão On-line ISSN 1645-6432

e-JPH vol.13 no.1 Porto  2015

 

ARTICLES

Between the Inquisition and the king: the favorites and the secretaries of State (1580-1736)* 

Ana Isabel López-Salazar1 

1  Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain and CIDEHUS-University of Évora, Portugal. E-mail: ailopezsalazar@hotmail.com

 

To Rafael Valladares, who knows so much about favorites

 

ABSTRACT

The integration of Portugal in the Hispanic Monarchy caused a problem in the communication between the Portuguese Inquisition and the Crown, at the time located in Madrid. To prevent the constant intervention of the Council of Portugal and the viceroys in the matters of the Holy Office, the Inquisition tried to establish several ways to communicate directly with the king. The most original was the integration of the favorites and the secretaries of State in the inquisitorial institution. After the Restoration, the secretaries of State conserved the position of secretaries of the Holy Office until 1736, demonstrating the efficiency of certain institutional innovations of the Philippine period.

Keywords: Portugal, Hispanic Monarchy, Inquisition, Favorite, Secretary of State.

 

RESUMO

A agregação de Portugal à Monarquia Hispânica gerou um problema na comunicação entre a Inquisição portuguesa e a Coroa, na altura sediada em Madrid. Para evitar a constante intervenção do Conselho de Portugal e dos vice-reis nas questões do Santo Ofício, a Inquisição tentou estabelecer vias de comunicação direta com o monarca. A mais original foi a integração dos validos e dos secretários de Estado na própria instituição inquisitorial. Após a Restauração, os secretários de Estado continuaram a desempenhar o cargo de secretários do Santo Ofício até 1736, o que demonstra a eficácia de algumas inovações institucionais da época filipina.

Palavras-chave: Portugal, Monarquia Hispânica, Inquisição, Valido, Secretário de Estado.

 

1. Introduction

The physical separation between the king and the kingdom was one of the most visible aspects of Portugal's integration into the Hispanic Monarchy. In fact, as Fernando Bouza pointed out several years ago, Habsburg Portugal was built on the basis of the king's absence (Bouza 1994: 81). This circumstance had direct consequences in the communication established between the different Portuguese councils, tribunals and corporations and the sovereign.2  To compensate for his absence, two new institutions were created: the viceroyalty (or, in its absence, the council of governors) and the Council of Portugal in Madrid. After the return of Filipe II to Madrid, in 1583, all the kingdom's affairs were to be managed and solved through these two channels.

One of the institutions that found it most difficult to adjust to this system of political communication with the Crown was the Inquisition. This happened for several reasons. Its mixed nature as an apostolic tribunal that was simultaneously dependent on the Crown placed it in an ambiguous position within the Monarchy's institutional system. Furthermore, the fact that it was impossible to communicate directly with the king was an entirely new issue for the Portuguese Holy Office that, for obvious reasons, had never been raised before. We need only remind ourselves that the General Inquisitor Dom Henrique, who had ruled the Holy Office for forty years (between 1539 and 1578), had also been the kingdom's regent (1562-1568) and king (1578-1580). It is reasonable to believe that, in his time, the need to create institutional channels of communication between the inquisitorial power and the royal power was never raised because they were both concentrated in one single individual – who held the position of regent or king – or because there might have been informal channels of communication between the General Inquisitor and his nephew, King Sebastião. As the General Inquisitor Dom Francisco de Castro wrote many years later:

before this Crown was united to that of Castile, the general inquisitors reported their matters directly to the kings, who answered them immediately without the need for a written consulta.3 

Before moving forward, it is important to specify the matters and issues that the general inquisitors were duty bound to report to the kings. As stated by the General Council itself in the late sixteenth century, there were two main matters that the Inquisition had to discuss with the Crown. One was the government of the Holy Office, and the other was the request for favors for the tribunal's ministers.4 To these I would add at least three other matters. First of all, I should like to recall the problem of the New Christians, i.e. the criticism that they leveled against the tribunal's procedure and the petitions that they filed in Madrid, asking the Crown to grant them various favors. Undoubtedly, this was the issue that eventually gave rise to most of the problems and correspondence between the Inquisition and the monarchy. Secondly, the Crown was required to intervene whenever there were conflicts between the Holy Office and other institutions. Finally, the Inquisition was also required to discuss all matters relating to the properties confiscated from individuals who were found guilty of displaying heresy towards the monarchy. However, I have deliberately decided to set aside all matters relating to the confiscations, because this subject – not being associated with faith or with the way in which the tribunal was governed – raises specific issues. 5 

After 1583, when Filipe II returned to Madrid, and especially after 1593, when Cardinal Albert did the same, the Inquisition had to learn how to interact with the governors and viceroys, as well as with the Council of Portugal. During the Iberian Union, in most cases, the resolution of matters relating to the Inquisition passed through the normal channels – the viceroy and the Council. However, it is also true that the Holy Office sought alternative ways to break the double wall represented by the viceroys and the Council of Portugal. The aspiration to finding a way to communicate directly with the king, without resorting to any sort of intermediaries, emerged in the early seventeenth century. In order to achieve this, the Holy Office resorted to various expedients, such as placing an agent at the Court and sending inquisitors and deputies to Valladolid and Madrid (Bethencourt 1997: 163). But, undoubtedly, the most original method was the official integration of favorites – Lerma and Olivares – and Secretaries of State – Matos and Soares – into the circuit of communication between the Holy Office and the Crown. The fact that the Inquisition decided to integrate the favorite into the tribunal leads us to question and reassess the idea – widely disseminated by historiography – that the Holy Office had an open conflict with Lerma and Olivares during the reigns of Filipe III and Filipe IV. In other words, it is true that, first Lerma, and later Olivares, tried to control the Inquisition and supported some of the claims of the New Christians. However, their relationship with the Portuguese Holy Office cannot be seen only, and in a Manichaean way, as conflictive. The Inquisition also knew how to take advantage of the new circumstances created by the emergence of favoritism, as proven by the official integration of Lerma and Olivares into its own institutional structure. As we shall see in the following pages, the efficiency of this expedient was actually limited and did not prevent the governors, the viceroys and the Council of Portugal from intervening in the affairs of the Holy Office and mediating the communication between the Inquisition and the Crown. However, despite its failure, this resource shows the ability of the Portuguese tribunal to adjust itself to a new era. Furthermore, regarding the specific case that concerns us here, it also shows that, on many occasions, the institutional changes tested under the Iberian Union survived well beyond December 1, 1640.

 

2. The ordinary channels of governance: the viceroys and the Council of Portugal.

In 1632, in an instruction sent to the secretary Diogo Soares, the General Inquisitor Dom Francisco de Castro stated that, upon returning to Castile, Filipe II had ordered:

that the general inquisitors report all their matters to him in writing, sending the documents to Dom Cristóvão de Moura, the Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo, who would hand them over to His Majesty so that he could deal with them without the intervention of any other minister or tribunal; this procedure was so scrupulously followed that, when the committee chaired by His Majesty King Filipe II [III], while he was still Prince, met to deal with all the affairs relating to the Monarchy, he always reserved the ones regarding the inquisitions to himself for as long as he lived.6 

If what Castro was saying was true, the way in which inquisitorial matters should be solved had been perfectly defined at the beginning of the Iberian Union, in 1583. They would remain beyond the control of the viceroys and the Council of Portugal and pass directly through the most important of the monarchy's ministers – Moura, during the reign of Filipe II; Lerma and Uceda, during the reign of Filipe III; or Zúñiga and Olivares, during the reign of Filipe IV. This was the way in which the Holy Office itself recreated the system in 1632, and this was the genealogy that legitimized the role intended for Olivares to play. Let us see how much truth there is behind this reconstruction.

Despite the fact that, according to Castro, the kings solved the matters of the Holy Office without the intervention of any ministers or tribunals, the truth is that the Council of Portugal constantly interfered in all types of matters relating to the Inquisition. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that, in 1605, the new General Inquisitor Dom Pedro de Castilho wondered which of the secretariats of the Council of Portugal was responsible for dealing with these matters.7  This doubt disappeared in 1607, when the four secretariats of the Council of Portugal were merged into two: the secretariat of State, chaired by Fernão de Matos, and the secretaria das Mercês, dealing with the favors to be granted as repayment of services to the Crown, managed by Francisco de Almeida.

Like the viceroys, the Council of Portugal consulted with the monarch over the names of the individuals who were eligible for the position of general inquisitor.8  In 1623, when the General Inquisitor Dom Fernão Martins Mascarenhas was accused of committing irregularities while governing the Inquisition, the Council of Portugal studied the measures that could be taken to remove him from his position.9 The Council further examined the letters sent to the king by the General Inquisitor, the General Council and the district tribunals.10  It also analyzed the petitions for favors filed by the Inquisition, its ministers, and officials.11  Additionally, the Council was responsible for examining all the disputes caused by the privileges granted to the ministers, officials and familiares of the Inquisition, although it did not solve them.12  It also analyzed matters that, despite their relating, in principle, exclusively to the Holy Office, had given rise to conflicts between different institutions or powers and, for that reason, the king was the one who should decide what was to be done. Let us just take a look at a single, but rather significant, example, since it proves that even the sentences passed by the Inquisition were likely to be examined by the Council of Portugal. In 1608, the tribunal of Lisbon indicted Miguel de Lacerda, a priest from the diocese of Lisbon who, in previous years, had written a report in favor of granting a general pardon for Judaizers. The sentence passed by the Holy Office banned him from preaching. However, some time later, the Archbishop of Lisbon – whose conflicting relationship with the General Inquisitor Castilho was well known – asked the Pope to lift this suspension. Faced with what he considered to be an attack on the authority of the Holy Office, the General Inquisitor decided to turn to the Crown. The Council of Portugal examined not only the letter written by Castilho, but also the sentence passed by the tribunal of Lisbon, and decided that this pardon should not be granted (López-Salazar 2010: 137-143). 13  Finally, the Council of Portugal, like other councils and committees (juntas), intervened in matters relating to the New Christians. So, this institution examined all the letters and reports written by the Inquisition regarding the behavior of the conversos and about possible ways of eliminating Judaism from Portugal.14 

On the other hand, the viceroys and governors were also constantly intervening in the affairs of the Holy Office. In fact, the relationship between the Inquisition and the king's representatives in Lisbon was simultaneously ambiguous and paradoxical. As I have mentioned, the latter suggested the names of the clergymen who were eligible for the position of general inquisitor to the king. Furthermore, on some occasions, the monarchs resorted to the viceroys and governors to communicate their orders to the Inquisition; the Holy Office obeyed them, hardly ever questioning the channel through which these commands reached it.15  Let us take just one example of a royal order communicated to the General Council by the viceroy. In 1615, Filipe III, fearing that certain books published in England would manage to enter Portugal, ordered the viceroy Dom Miguel de Castro to entrust the deputies (members) of the General Council with the task of searching for them and confiscating them.16 

Nevertheless, the Holy Office tried, as far as it could, to establish a different relationship with the viceroys from the one that these had with the other tribunals and councils of the kingdom. In other words, the Inquisition was willing to accept that the king's orders might be communicated by the viceroy, but not that the viceroy should seek to place himself on a superior level to that of the Holy Office, or that the General Council might stand on equal terms with the other tribunals. This explains why the Holy Office refused to present itself as a tribunal before the viceroys and governors in Lisbon. Ultimately, its intention was to always make it clear that the General Council of the Holy Office was not like the other Portuguese tribunals, and therefore was not subordinate to the king's alter ego in Portugal.

But problems began to emerge during the reign of Filipe II. In 1597, the monarch ordered the governors to summon the General Inquisitor, Dom António Matos de Noronha, and the General Council, so that they could study possible ways of eliminating Judaism. Because of the Holy Office's refusal to present itself as a tribunal before the governors of the kingdom, Filipe II decided that they could not summon the General Inquisitor and the Council, since this was the Pope's tribunal and did not depend on viceroys or governors.17  The issue was raised again in 1600, when the new viceroy Dom Cristóvão de Moura arrived in Lisbon. This was a particularly difficult moment for the Holy Office because, due to pressures from the Crown, the General Inquisitor was not living in Lisbon, but in his bishopric, in Elvas. Furthermore, the petition filed by the conversos asking for a general pardon to be granted was gaining in strength. Shortly after arriving in Lisbon, the Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo, perhaps due to a lack of knowledge about the practice that was being followed at that time, announced to the General Council that it should present itself before him, as other Portuguese tribunals did. The deputies were quick to react. They warned the Bishop of Elvas about the inconveniences that could result from the fact that the viceroy considered the Inquisition to be similar to the other councils.18 Nevertheless, despite this opposition, a few months later, in December 1600, the Council obeyed a new order from the viceroy. This happened because Filipe III had ordered Moura to discuss with the deputies the problems relating to the unsatisfactory collection and sale of the properties confiscated from the heretics. The Council responded to the viceroy's call, leading to criticisms from the new General Inquisitor, Dom Jorge de Ataíde (Bethencourt 1997: 163).19  So, when, in June 1601, Moura ordered the Council to present itself before him again, the deputies refused to do so, and reminded him that, according to what had been established by the kings, the General Council should communicate with the viceroy in writing and not by presenting itself before him as a tribunal because

[the king], in order to favor and honor the ministers of the Holy Office, wished to make an exception for this Council, so that it would not be subject to the same obligations as the other ones.20 

If we set aside this conflict of hierarchies, the truth is that the matters regarding the Holy Office went through the same channels as those relating to other institutions that existed in the kingdom. In other words, they were handled by the Council of Portugal, and the viceroys and governors also had their say. Therefore, there seems to be a contradiction between this reality and Castro's statement – the one that opened this section – in which he mentions that the kings solved matters relating to the Holy Office “without the intervention of any minister or tribunal” other than the favorite, who had been appointed to deal with these affairs. I shall therefore attempt to clarify exactly when and how inquisitorial affairs were removed from the ordinary circuit of governance, and, of all the matters dealt with by the Holy Office, exactly which were the ones that remained out of the hands of the viceroys and the Council of Portugal.

 

3. The system of political communication before the royal provision of 1608: Moura's role.

Regarding the communication between the Holy Office and the Crown, as well as other matters, the period of Cardinal-Archduke Albert was an interim because he – the nephew of Filipe II – held the positions of both viceroy and General Inquisitor. The situation began to change in August 1593, when he returned to Madrid. At that time, he left Dom António Matos de Noronha, the Bishop of Elvas, as president of the General Council and remained personally responsible for answering, from the Court, the consultas sent by the Portuguese Inquisition. Furthermore, in Madrid, the Archduke became president of the so-called Junta de Gobierno (Government Committee). This institution had been created by Filipe II to help him govern the monarchy. Its tasks included coordinating the activities of the other councils, reviewing their consultas and enforcing royal orders (Feros 2002: 68-71).

After the Archduke left for Madrid, the different shapes that the communication between the Holy Office and the Crown could take began to emerge. On the one hand, the General Council took advantage of the presence of the general inquisitor, both in the Court and in the highest government institution within the monarchy, in order to obtain a channel of direct access to the king. So, through the Archduke, the Holy Office was able to maintain daily communication with the monarch.21  Also, the Council resorted to Archduke Albert to try to lead the king to confirm the privileges of the familiares and to grant new revenues, in order to increase the always insufficient income of the Holy Office.22 Furthermore, it asked Filipe II, through his nephew, to grant favors to the ministers and officials of the Inquisition.23  Finally, the Holy Office also resorted to the General Inquisitor to discuss with the king the matters relating to confiscated properties; as I have already mentioned, these matters required constant communication between them.24 

Nevertheless, over the two years during which the General Inquisitor remained in Madrid, other channels of communication were already being tested between the Crown and the Holy Office. The orders from the king to the Inquisition began arriving, not only via the Archduke, but also via the governors of the kingdom. And, in fact, the Holy Office always obeyed them, because it was not a matter of acknowledging the viceroy's or the governors' supremacy, but simply of accepting the arrival of orders from the king via his representatives. In October 1593, shortly after the Archduke had returned to Madrid, the king resorted to his governors in Lisbon to ask the Inquisition for a detailed list of the institution's revenue and expenditure. Without raising any doubts about the channel through which the royal order had arrived, the Holy Office obeyed the command and delivered the information to the governors so that they could send it to the monarch.25  The following year, the Crown resorted to its representatives in Lisbon to communicate its orders to the Inquisition again. So, they sent for the Bishop of Elvas, who was the president of the General Council at the time, to inform him that the monarch wished to have a list of all the conversos indicted by the Inquisition since 1580. However, this time, the Council allowed itself to warn the Archduke that it did not believe this was the most appropriate mechanism for the king to communicate his orders to the Inquisition, given that the institution still had a General Inquisitor:

but we remind Your Highness that it seems more convenient that, when His Majesty sends anything to this Council or to the Inquisitions, it should arrive by order of Your Highness and not by the governors.26 

Be that as it may, I believe that, until Archduke Albert left for Flanders, the problem created for the Holy Office by the fact that there was no one at the Court appointed to deal with the Crown about the matters that affected the Inquisition had not been clearly raised. As is known, in 1595, Filipe II appointed Cardinal Albert as governor and captain-general of the Low Countries. That was when the General Council realized that, as soon as the Archduke left Madrid, the Inquisition would lose its channel of direct access to the monarch. It would be left helpless, according to the words of the deputies themselves: “it is something that this Council deeply regrets because the Holy Office will be left without Your Highness' assistance, protection and favor”.27  So, the deputies asked the Archduke to appoint someone to be responsible for dealing with the king, in Madrid, on behalf of the Holy Office.28  As far as I know, this was the first time that this expedient – which would be frequently used by the Inquisition between the early seventeenth century and the end of the Iberian Union – was suggested. However, the new governor left for Flanders without appointing anyone. So, what then were the means used by the tribunal to reach the monarch?

Let us return to the instruction written in 1632 by order of the General Inquisitor Dom Francisco de Castro to the secretary Diogo Soares. According to this document, in 1583, Filipe II had requested the Inquisition to communicate with him through Dom Cristóvão de Moura. Of course, according to what has been said so far, it seems rather unlikely that Filipe II would have expressly appointed Moura to deal with these issues. My doubts are based on two reasons. First of all, the words in the instruction suggest that, in 1583, Moura was already performing the role that would be fulfilled by Lerma after 1608 and by Olivares from 1632 onwards. Obviously, this was an interpretation devised by the Holy Office in 1608, when, in order to institutionalize the role played by the Duke of Lerma, the General Inquisitor Dom Pedro de Castilho decided to draw up a genealogy for the new position that was being created at the time.29  Secondly, there were clear differences between Moura, Lerma and Olivares as far as the communication they established with the general inquisitors and the Holy Office was concerned. So, while the role played by Lerma and Olivares was more than evident, and even supported by express commissions issued by the Portuguese general inquisitors, the activity of the Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo regarding these matters remained less visible. In Moura's case, there is no knowledge of his having received a similar commission to the one that the General Inquisitor Dom Pedro de Castilho gave to the Duke of Lerma in 1608, or the one that Dom Francisco de Castro signed for Olivares in 1632. Now, the fact that he did not have an official commission does not mean that he did not perform the same tasks as those for which Lerma and Olivares would later be responsible. In fact, Santiago Martínez has recently pointed out that “Moura may be perfectly characterized as the immediate precursor of the favoritism established by the Duke of Lerma, for whom Moura was always an inspiring model” (Martínez Hernández 2010: 30). Regarding the specific case that concerns us here, this observation seems to be confirmed.

It is quite clear that the Holy Office resorted to Dom Cristóvão de Moura in order to send documents and consultas to Filipe II. However, contrary to what the Inquisition itself believed, Dom Cristóvão's intervention in these matters did not begin in 1583, but mostly after Archduke Albert had left for Flanders. It was precisely from 1595 onwards, when the Archduke left the Court, that Moura's control over the Councils and the Junta de Gobierno was reinforced. Furthermore, from 1596 onwards, he was in charge of communicating the monarch's orders to the different ministers and institutions (Martínez Hernández 2010: 25). In this context, he was already acting as the Portuguese Holy Office's interlocutor. So, for example, in May 1596, the General Council sent him a couple of letters written by the inquisitors from Évora, which reported the auto-da-fé they had celebrated. Moura had to deliver one of these letters to the monarch and forward the other one to Flanders, to Archduke Albert.30  That same year, the General Inquisitor Dom António Matos de Noronha wished to send the monarch a brief issued by Clement VIII as a result of the criticisms leveled by the New Christians against the Portuguese inquisitorial procedure. Noronha forwarded the copy of the brief together with other documents to Moura, and he was the one responsible for delivering everything to Filipe II.31 Furthermore, in the 1590s, anyone who wished to obtain royal favors sought the intercession of the future Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo. The Holy Office did not escape this practice and, through Dom Cristóvão, tried to obtain favors for the tribunal's ministers. In fact, the Inquisition was fully aware that it needed Moura's protection at the Court. As the General Council said to him in 1596, “we ask Your Lordship if you could please remember to honor and favor the affairs and ministers of the Holy Office, as we know you always do”. 32 

One might think that, after the death of Filipe II, the Duke of Lerma would centralize all communication with the Portuguese Holy Office. However, this was not the case and, in fact, the consolidation of Lerma as a core element of the communication between the Holy Office and the Crown did not happen until after the general pardon was granted to the conversos, and the government of the General Inquisitor Dom Pedro de Castilho began. We should not forget that the years between Filipe III's ascension to the throne and the publication of the general pardon, in January 1605, were marked by a deep crisis in the Holy Office. During that period, there were four general inquisitors, several committees (juntas) assembled in Valladolid to address the reformation of the tribunal, the Crown tried to intervene in the management of the confiscated properties, the celebration of autos-da-fé was suspended on several occasions, the Holy See asserted its rights as a court of appeal, and the issue of the reformation of the Portuguese inquisitorial procedure was raised (López-Salazar 2010: 15-113).

During that complicated period, the Crown resorted to different individuals to communicate its orders to the Inquisition. It is indeed rather curious that one of these was the president of the Council of Castile. At the end of 1598, the possibility of granting a general pardon for the crimes of Judaism to the New Christians was discussed at the Court. At that point, Filipe III ordered the General Council to send him a list of all the conversos arrested by the Holy Office. The royal order was communicated to the Portuguese Inquisition by Dom Rodrigo Vázquez de Arce, the then president of the Council of Castile:

[the king] has ordered me to write to Your Lordship [Matos de Noronha] on his behalf, asking Your Lordship to send, as soon as possible, a detailed list of the New Christians who have been arrested and reported to the Holy Office, mentioning their fate and that of their properties. 33 

At the same time, and as had already happened before, other royal orders reached the Holy Office via the viceroy Dom Cristóvão de Moura. So, for example, in December 1601, Moura ordered the General Council, on behalf of the king, to suspend the celebrations of autos-da-fé.34  In February 1602, Moura asked the Council to write a document stating the foundations on which its jurisdiction was based, so that he could forward this to the monarch.35  And, in May that year, when Filipe III reauthorized the celebration of autos-da-fé, he communicated his decision to the General Council via the viceroy.36 Furthermore, in September 1602, Moura was responsible for communicating to the Council, on behalf of Filipe III, that the Pope had appointed Dom Alexandre de Bragança as general inquisitor. The laborious wording of the Council's secretary is, in itself, representative of the number of institutions and individuals that could mediate the communication between the Holy Office and the Crown:

His Lordship the Marquis and Viceroy ordered this Council to be informed that His Majesty had written to him so that he, on his behalf, would tell us that His Holiness, upon his request, had appointed His Lordship Dom Alexandre as General Inquisitor of this Kingdom.37 

On the other hand, almost unexpectedly, the Inquisition found an agent in the Court through whom it could file its petitions to the monarch. Early in 1600, Filipe III chose Dom Jorge de Ataíde for the position of general inquisitor. He was the first chaplain and a member of the Council of Portugal in Madrid. However, Ataíde did not accept the position and it was Dom António Matos de Noronha, secluded in the bishopric of Elvas, who held this post during the rest of the year. The fact that Ataíde neither immediately accepted nor renounced the position allowed the Holy Office to rely on his support to confront the pressures of the conversos within the Court.38  Furthermore, it also resorted to the first chaplain to try to obtain ecclesiastical benefices for the ministers and officials of the Holy Office from the monarch.39 

As concerns increased about the negotiations between the conversos and the Crown, the presence of an agent of the Holy Office at the Court to defend the Inquisition's interests became increasingly necessary. Thus, the General Council decided to send Bartolomeu da Fonseca – one of its members – to the Court, and he remained in Valladolid from March 1602 until the end of 1604. He was joined, between March and December 1604, by Dom Pedro de Castilho, who had been chosen by the Crown to occupy the position of general inquisitor in Portugal.40  There, the experienced bishop learned in situthe mechanism followed at the Court for dealing with inquisitorial matters, and forged political alliances with the favorite and with the secretary of State of the Council of Portugal. Undoubtedly, these alliances eventually became very useful for the Inquisition when the time came to redesign its system of communication with the Crown.

 

4. The integration of the favorites: the commission granted to Lerma in 1608 and its consequences.

In my opinion, the Inquisition took a long time to ask the monarchy for the matters of the Holy Office to be handled directly by the king, thus avoiding the usual channels of governance and communication between the Portuguese institutions, tribunals and councils and the Crown. In this respect, the period during which Dom Pedro de Castilho stayed in Valladolid is essential for understanding the subsequent evolution of the relationships between the Portuguese Inquisition, the Crown and the favorite. At the Court, Castilho was responsible for dealing with all matters relating to the Holy Office, together with Dom Pedro Franqueza – the Count of Villalonga – and the Duke of Lerma. It was a particularly important moment, because the Court was discussing not only the possibility of granting a general pardon to the New Christians, but also the reformation of the Portuguese Inquisition and the management of the properties confiscated from people who had been convicted of heresy.41 

During the months that Castilho spent in Valladolid, the orders from the Crown to the Inquisition were communicated by Franqueza and Lerma to the general inquisitor, who, in turn, was responsible for communicating them to the General Council of Lisbon. To begin with, it was the Duke of Lerma himself who informed Castilho that the king was appointing him as general inquisitor.42  Furthermore, in June 1604, Franqueza told Dom Pedro that the celebrations of autos-da-fé should be suspended until the general inquisitor returned to Lisbon.43  Although Castilho obeyed and wrote to the General Council asking it to do so, he simultaneously tried to get Filipe III to revoke that order. In his opinion, he had no jurisdiction to suspend the autos-da-fé because he still had not received the papal brief that appointed him as general inquisitor. So, he sent a note to the Duke of Lerma stating the reasons why the autos-da-fé should not be suspended. The favorite informed the monarch and communicated the king's answer to Castilho.44  The general inquisitor also resorted to Lerma to express to Filipe III the doubts that the Portuguese Inquisition had about the punishment of the English heretics.45 Furthermore, through Franqueza, he sent the king a memorial from the General Council that expressed its opposition to the proposal made by the committee (junta) assembled in 1603, which sought to replace the deputies with consultants in the tribunals of the Portuguese Inquisition.46  And, finally, in September 1604, when the brief with the general pardon granted to the conversos by Pope Clement VIII arrived in Valladolid, it was Franqueza himself who delivered it to Dom Pedro de Castilho.47  The other copy of the brief was only officially delivered to Castilho via the Council of Portugal in December.48 

On the other hand, this was also perhaps the moment when the friendship between Castilho and Fernão de Matos – the secretary of the Council of Portugal – was forged. Matos knew how to earn the general inquisitor's trust. Thus, when the latter returned to Lisbon, he entrusted him with some of the affairs of the Holy Office, so that he would remain responsible for dealing with them at the Court.49 This relationship of trust would eventually bring about a significant institutional change, as we shall see later on.

During the year he spent in Valladolid, Dom Pedro de Castilho almost certainly obtained an extensive and valuable knowledge of the administrative intricacies and informal mechanisms of political communication within the Court. Neither his predecessors in the position of general inquisitor (Dom António Matos de Noronha and the inexperienced Dom Alexandre de Bragança) nor his successors had this direct experience of what life was like at the Court at the time when the emergence of the favorite had changed the traditional system of governance. It is true that Dom António Matos de Noronha had lived in Madrid between 1581 – when he entered the Supreme Council of the Spanish Inquisition – and 1592 – when he was appointed Bishop of Elvas. However, this was a very different moment as far as the government of the Hispanic Monarchy was concerned, and, for that reason, despite the fact that he had resided at the Court, I do not believe that Matos de Noronha had the same experience as Castilho regarding the implications of the favorite's role. Initially, as Antonio Feros and Santiago Martínez have pointed out, despite his success in his Portuguese endeavour, Dom Cristóvão de Moura had to divide the king's favor and privanza with other ministers, such as Don Juan de Idiáquez, Don Juan de Zúñiga and the Count of Chinchón. Moura's leading position only became consolidated after the death of Zúñiga, in 1586, and the creation of the Junta de Noche (a special committee), in 1587-1588. Thus, in the 1590s, when Moura's privanza reached its prime, Matos de Noronha was no longer at the Court (Feros 1997: 25, 29; Martínez Hernández 2010: 23). On the contrary, when Castilho was living in Valladolid, the regime of the Duke of Lerma was enjoying its greatest splendor.

From 1605 onwards, Dom Pedro de Castilho implemented a process to recover the power and prestige of the Portuguese Inquisition. He ordered inspections to be carried out at the district tribunals, strengthened the inquisitorial jurisdiction in mixti fori crimes, expanded the General Council, increased the institution's income and strengthened the general inquisitor's control over the confiscated properties (López-Salazar 2010: 115-208). In this context, it was only logical that, at the same time, the general inquisitor would try to redesign the system of communication between the Inquisition and the Crown, in order to prevent individuals and ministers who did not belong to the institution, and were beyond the control of the general inquisitor himself, from intervening in these matters.50 

So, a few months after arriving in Lisbon, Dom Pedro de Castilho was already asking the monarch to ensure that the matters relating to the Holy Office would only be dealt with by the ministers of the Inquisition or by individuals who had been specially appointed to do so:

I ask Your Majesty to prevent the matters of the Inquisition from being dealt with by anyone other than its ministers or individuals specifically chosen by Your Majesty to do that.51 

From then on, this became the aspiration of the successive general inquisitors until the end of the Iberian Union. However, it was still unclear who these individuals specifically appointed to deal with the king about the matters of the Holy Office would be. It seems obvious that the general inquisitor was aware of the three ministers to whom it would be wise for him to resort. One was Lerma, of course; another was Fernão de Matos, the secretary of the Council of Portugal; and the third was Dom Pedro Franqueza, the Count of Villalonga, who was also the secretary of the State Council.52  As I have mentioned, during Castilho's stay in Valladolid, the orders from the Crown were communicated to him by both Lerma and Franqueza. When Castilho left the Court, he entrusted various affairs of the Holy Office to both Fernão de Matos and Pedro Franqueza.53  And, in 1605, when he sent Gonçalo Carreiro to Valladolid as an agent of the Inquisition, Castilho wrote letters of recommendation not only to all the members of the Council of Portugal, logically, but also to the Count of Villalonga.

I believe that, until 1607, Castilho considered Franqueza to be a better channel of access to Lerma than Fernão de Matos. Of course, this is only an assumption, but there is some evidence that leads me to have this opinion. In the autumn of 1605, there was a rumor that the conversos were asking for a new general pardon, this time with the goal of saving the re-offenders from being punished. Logically, the general inquisitor was against this new favor, and therefore he wrote a letter to Lerma, in which he stated the reasons why the pardon should not be granted. Castilho sent this letter to Pedro Franqueza, including a copy for the latter, and the secretary of State was responsible for delivering it to the favorite.54  Even matters relating to the collaboration between the two Iberian Inquisitions were likely to go through Franqueza, given that he held the position of secretary of the Supreme Council of the Spanish Inquisition. So, in 1606, at a time when Castilho needed the collaboration of the Supreme Council to arrest a Portuguese man, he turned to Franqueza, calling him the “Chief Secretary of the Inquisition”.55  And, at the end of 1606, Franqueza assured the general inquisitor that, “in matters that regard the Inquisition, I always did what I could and I will keep on doing so in the future, particularly since Your Honorable Eminence heads this institution in that kingdom”.56  Actually, he was not able to do much more for the Inquisition because, only a month after writing the above lines, the Count of Villalonga was arrested on corruption charges.

If the general inquisitor wished to remove the control that the Council of Portugal and the viceroys had over the Holy Office, it would be necessary to create alternative channels of political communication and provide them with some degree of institutional legitimacy. This occurred from 1608 onwards, in a context in which the Duke of Lerma sought to strengthen his regime within the Hispanic Monarchy, after being shaken by the fall of the secretaries Alonso Ramírez de Prado, in December 1606, and Pedro Franqueza, in January 1607. It was precisely in 1608 – while Lerma was seeking to strengthen his power after the crisis of 1607 – that Castilho decided to redefine the relationships with the favorite and institutionalize the role that the latter had been playing for years.

In March 1608, Dom Pedro de Castilho explained to Filipe III that the monarchs had always reserved the matters of the Holy Office to themselves so that they could discuss them directly with the general inquisitors. When that was not possible, because of the distance, they appointed someone at the Court to handle them. According to Castilho, Dom Cristóvão de Moura had played this role during the reign of Filipe II. So, the general inquisitor was asking the monarch if, from then on, the Duke of Lerma could be responsible for dealing with the king about all matters relating to the Holy Office. The goal was to maintain the necessary secrecy and prevent other institutions or individuals from intervening in these affairs. At the same time, Dom Pedro asked Lerma to solve these matters without resorting to any secretary, except for Fernão de Matos. Filipe III agreed and, on 21 April 1608, issued a royal provision that reserved all the affairs relating to the Holy Office to himself and prevented them from being handled by any Council, tribunal or committee (junta ). According to this document, the general inquisitor should provide him with all the information through the Duke of Lerma, to whom he would send letters and consultas via the secretary Fernão de Matos. On that same day, the general inquisitor signed an order in which he entrusted the Duke of Lerma with the responsibility of dealing with the king about matters relating to the Portuguese Inquisition (Bethencourt 1997: 163).57 

As far as I know, no other institution of the Hispanic Monarchy ever resorted to such an original expedient: integrating the favorite into the institution itself so that, through him, it could deal with the king – something that, ultimately and actually, implied dealing with the favorite. The system no longer implied that the royal orders should arrive at the Holy Office through the favorite or that the favorite should examine the correspondence and consultas sent by the Inquisition to the monarch. The Portuguese general inquisitor went a step further. He had integrated the favorite into the institution itself so that, through him, he could reach the king.

The role played by Fernão de Matos within this circuit grew over the years and he became an increasingly important link in the communication between the general inquisitor and the king.58  This was a result of the close personal relationship that existed between Castilho and Matos, which was to materialize in the protection given by the former to the latter. In 1611, the general inquisitor decided to institutionalize Matos' role. Up to that moment, Fernão de Matos was simply the Portuguese secretary of State and dealt with the matters relating to the Holy Office as a result of the royal provision issued by Filipe III and the commission given by Castilho to Lerma in April 1608. In April 1611, Castilho appointed him as secretary of the Inquisition, and he even assigned him a salary.59  For the first time in the history of the Portuguese Holy Office, a secretary of State became, simultaneously, the secretary of the Inquisition. This institutional innovation did not disappear with the Restoration; instead, as we shall see, it managed to survive until the early nineteenth century.60 

Partly, the integration of the favorite and the secretary of State into the Holy Office made it possible to remove the control of the Council of Portugal over inquisitorial matters and that was something completely new. Up to that moment, the king had always answered the consultas of the General Council with letters sent to the general inquisitor. These letters were signed by the king and by the Council of Portugal's semanero – the counselor who, each week, signed all the documents issued by the Council of Portugal. After the royal provision issued in April 1608, the system changed. Both the letters from the general inquisitor and the consultas from the Council were now sent to Lerma via the secretary Fernão de Matos. The favorite discussed these matters with the monarch and, according to his decisions, Lerma ordered Matos to write a reply addressed to the general inquisitor. The secretary wrote it and sent it to the king so that he would sign it, all this without the intervention of any other minister. As Fernão de Matos once said, while delivering one of these letters to be signed by the king:

I am sending you the letter I have written as a reply from Your Majesty to the general inquisitor so that, if Your Majesty approves the resolution, it may be signed and sent via the ordinary courier. It is not signed by the semanero [of the Council of Portugal] as required by the ordinance, because the matters of the Inquisition are usually solved exclusively by Your Majesty and the Duke of Lerma and, therefore, if Your Majesty wishes to sign it, you should approve it in order to keep it safe.61 

However, we should not deceive ourselves. Castilho was not entirely able to prevent the Council of Portugal from intervening in matters relating to the Holy Office. There seems to be no doubt that most of the inquisitorial matters were solved within the closed circle formed by Castilho, Matos, Lerma and Filipe III. In fact, between mid-1608 and mid-1610, the letters sent by the king to the general inquisitors did not pass through the Council of Portugal.62  However, the Council still intervened in numerous matters relating to the Holy Office and everything seems to indicate that this interference became increasingly stronger from 1610 onwards. I get the feeling that it was Fernão de Matos himself who determined the matters that should be analyzed by the Council of Portugal. So, for example, in March 1611, Matos informed Castilho that he had decided that the Council of Portugal should examine the letter written by the general inquisitor about Miguel de Lacerda, whom I have already mentioned. Therefore, the secretary was informing him that the king's answer should pass through the normal channels. And that is what happened: the letter from Filipe III to Castilho regarding this issue passed through the Council and was signed by its semanero who, in this case, was the Duke of Villahermosa.63  On other occasions, it was the king himself who forwarded the correspondence of the Holy Office to the Council, so that it would be answered through that channel. This was the case in August 1611, when Lerma, acting under the king's orders, sent the Council of Portugal a letter regarding the auto-da-fé written by the inquisitors from the tribunal of Lisbon, so that it could examine and answer it.64 

The king's representatives in Lisbon were not left out of matters relating to the Holy Office either, partly because the Inquisition itself was not interested in this happening. So, for example, in 1609, Dom Pedro de Castilho sought the support of the viceroy Dom Cristóvão de Moura in his conflict with the Archbishop of Lisbon, due to the issue of jurisdiction over bigamy. Castilho explained to Moura the reasons why the Inquisition should have private jurisdiction over this crime, and the Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo wrote a letter to the king supporting the claims of the Holy Office.65 

Ultimately, it seemed impossible to ensure that “all the affairs and matters of the Inquisition” remained completely beyond the control of the councils, committees and ministers of the Monarchy, except for Lerma and Matos.66  So, in practice, it was necessary to introduce a few changes to what had been established in the royal provisions issued by Filipe III in April 1608.

 

5. The adjustments to the system created in 1608: from “all matters” to a single matter.

All those who had been involved in the creation of the system implemented in 1608 – the one established by the royal provisions according to which Filipe III reserved the matters relating to the Holy Office to himself and prevented them from being discussed by any council or any minister, except for the Duke of Lerma – disappeared between 1614 and 1618. In 1614, Fernão de Matos left the Council of Portugal, and his position as secretary of State was transferred to his nephew, Francisco de Lucena (Luxán 1988: 255). In practice, he kept on performing the role of secretary of the Portuguese Inquisition at the Court just like his uncle, but it took several years before he was officially appointed by the Portuguese general inquisitor.67  A year later, the extremely experienced Dom Pedro de Castilho died. Dom Fernão Martins Mascarenhas, who succeeded him in the position of general inquisitor, would be confronted with much more pressing problems than the intervention of the Council of Portugal in the affairs of the Holy Office. On the other hand, the regime of the Duke of Lerma, which had been brutally shaken in 1607, fell into a state of crisis in 1611, and, in a much more pronounced way, in 1615 (Feros 2002: 377, 410-411, 420-421). The alternative to Lerma, represented by the Duke of Uceda and Friar Luis de Aliaga – the royal confessor – became increasingly stronger until the Cardinal-Duke was finally dismissed from the Court, in October 1618.

We know that, after the fall of Lerma, and upon a request made by Martins Mascarenhas himself, the Duke of Uceda was chosen to maintain the communication between the Crown and the Portuguese general inquisitor. From 1621 onwards, after the death of Filipe III, Dom Baltasar de Zúñiga began playing that role. In other words, in principle, the system was working exactly as Castilho had designed it to do in 1608, despite the fact that, unlike Lerma, neither Uceda nor Zúñiga had an official commission given to them by the general inquisitor. In fact, that commission was not necessary. As the General Inquisitor Mascarenhas said in 1621:

Lately, after the Cardinal-Duke left the Court, His Majesty, may God bless him, ordered me to discuss those matters with the Cardinal-Duke's son, the Duke of Uceda, and that is how things were done. I implore Your Majesty to allow me, from now on, to discuss such matters with Dom Baltasar de Zúñiga, who, due to his blood, virtues, age and experience, and being such a dignified royal minister, shall treat them with the appropriate secrecy and purity. 68 

So, at least theoretically, the successive favorites never ceased to be responsible for the affairs of the Portuguese Holy Office. However, in practice, the system devised by Castilho had begun to crumble before the death of the general inquisitor. Since mid-1610, most of the letters from the king to the general inquisitor had been signed again by a member of the Council of Portugal.69  From March 1615 onwards, after the death of Castilho, almost all the letters from the king to the Inquisition passed through the Council of Portugal again, given that they were signed by its semanero and, from 1616 onwards, by its president. This happened not only in the case of missives about matters relating to confiscated properties or conflicts between the Inquisition and other institutions, but also in the case of letters that dealt with matters that had an exclusively inquisitorial nature. So, for example, the letter from Filipe IV to Mascarenhas, in which he suggested the appointment of one of the Jesuits responsible for baptizing slaves as a commissioner of the Holy Office for the coast of Guinea, as well as another one in which the king ordered the general inquisitor to grant inquisitorial jurisdiction to the Bishop of Brazil, were both signed by the Duke of Villahermosa, the president of the Council of Portugal.70 

Furthermore, the Council of Portugal intervened in matters relating to the internal governance of the Holy Office. The General Inquisitor Dom Fernão Martins Mascarenhas, who held this position between 1616 and 1628, was accused, on several occasions, of protecting the conversos and selling positions within the Holy Office through one of his servants. The Council of Portugal discussed, on several occasions, the means that could be used to remove him from his post or, at least, to separate him from his servant.71  Furthermore, strangely enough, there were times when it was the general inquisitor himself who decided to resort to the Council of Portugal. This was the case in 1612, when he was trying to get the monarch to change the income he had granted to the Holy Office. Castilho sent the petition to the secretary Francisco de Almeida, so that it could be examined by the Council of Portugal, but he did not forget to write to Lerma at the same time, asking him to support his claim. In this case, the general inquisitor's choice was completely logical, because Francisco de Almeida was the secretary of finance and of “graces and favors”, and the matter in question had nothing to do with faith or with the governance of the Holy Office. In fact, the Council of Portugal was also responsible for examining the consultas of the Council of Finance relating to this issue.72 

Furthermore, the Crown again began resorting to the viceroys to communicate its orders to the Inquisition. I mention just two examples out of many others. In 1618, under the king's command, the Count of Salinas, who was the viceroy at the time, entrusted the general inquisitor and the Council with the task of examining the possibility of banishing all the New Christians who had been reconciled by the Holy Office. The tribunal was to deliver the consulta to Salinas so that he could forward it to the monarch.73  A few years later, in 1621, Filipe IV entrusted Salinas with the task of informing the general inquisitor about the royal decision to create an inquisitorial tribunal in Brazil.74 

As we can see, it is difficult to reconcile this practice with the statement that “all the affairs and matters that might, in any way, relate to the Holy Office” had to be discussed directly with the Crown without the involvement of other councils or ministers, except for the favorite. First of all, it seems unlikely that the King would have been willing to accept that a provision could limit his ability to consult with whomever he wished, even if he had signed it himself. No royal provision could limit the Crown's own authority. Furthermore, other than matters of faith or internal governance, most matters relating to the Inquisition also involved other institutions and, in that case, it was almost impossible to bypass the Council of Portugal and the viceroys. And, as we have seen, the viceroys and the Council also intervened in matters relating to persecutions for heresy, censorship and the governance of the tribunal. So, after all, what matters were actually being directly managed by the Crown? In practice, it was only one: the appointment of deputies to the General Council.

According to the instruction (Regimiento) of the General Council, issued in 1570, the general inquisitor was to inform the monarch whenever he chose a clergyman to hold a position in the Council (Bethencourt 1997: 102). The general inquisitor would only be able to sign the letter of appointment after the king's approval. As far as I know, there aren't any letters from the monarch to the successive general inquisitors about this issue that are also signed by a member of the Council of Portugal. Nor am I aware of the existence of consultas from the Council of Portugal regarding the proposals made by the general inquisitors about who should hold vacant positions.75  This is because – probably since 1583, and surely from 1608 onwards – the Council of Portugal was not involved in the appointment of deputies to the General Council.

I do not know how Archduke Albert and Matos de Noronha consulted with the king on the appointment of deputies to the Council during the 1580s and the 1590s. Many years later, in 1624, the Council of Portugal stated that, before the royal provisions issued in 1608, it had been involved in these matters. I do not have any information to confirm this statement, which was made at a time when the Council was seeking to interfere – within the Court – in the process of appointing deputies to the General Council and, in order to do so, it looked for precedents on which to base its intentions. However, it seems unlikely that the choices made by Archduke Albert were examined by the Council of Portugal. In fact, later on, the interventions of the Council or of different committees (juntas) in this matter were always justified by the fact that the monarchs wanted the general inquisitors to suggest three individuals for each vacant position as deputy. Given that, during the reign of Filipe II, no doubts were raised about the competence of the general inquisitors to suggest just one individual, it seems unlikely that the Council of Portugal received the consultas from the general inquisitor that dealt with these appointments.76 

Between 1598 and 1610, the composition of the General Council remained stable. Since, in the meantime, Filipe III issued the royal provision of 1608, I was able to ascertain that the Council of Portugal was not involved in the appointments that were made from then until 1640.77  In 1610, Dom Pedro de Castilho asked the monarch to accept the appointment of two of the inquisitors from the tribunal of Lisbon as deputies to the Council. Since Filipe III approved this proposal, Fernão de Matos wrote a letter of confirmation that was signed by the king and did not pass through the Council of Portugal. 78  A few years later, in 1614, it was the new secretary Lucena who delivered to Lerma and Filipe III the letters written by Castilho and relating to the appointment of Friar Manuel Coelho as deputy to the General Council, without the involvement of the Council of Portugal.79  The last appointment of deputies occurring during the reign of Filipe III took place in 1617. Dom Fernão Martins Mascarenhas proposed three clergymen for the three positions that were vacant on the Council and the king approved his choice. Filipe III ordered Lucena to write a letter of confirmation to the general inquisitor, bearing in mind that “this should not pass through the Council”.80 

During the reign of Filipe IV, there was an attempt to change the usual way in which, up to then, deputies were appointed to the General Council. Above all, the Crown wanted the general inquisitors to suggest three individuals for each position, so that the king could choose one of them (Pulido Serrano 2007: 119-120). In August 1623, Filipe IV ordered a committee (junta), headed by the president of the Council of Castile, to examine a consulta from the Council of Portugal regarding this matter. The committee's consulta reflects the transcendence achieved by the royal provision issued in 1608, which removed the control that the Council of Portugal had over inquisitorial matters:

In spite of the order established by the letter of the Duke of Lerma, during the reign of the king, our Lord, may God bless Him, in order to prevent these appointments from being sent to the Council of Portugal as before (as the consulta says), but only to the secretary Fernando de Matos, they should never be sent to any secretary, because it is neither convenient nor decent that this Council, nor the matters of the Inquisition that are kept away from such an important tribunal as the Council of Portugal, be sent to its secretary.81 

According to this committee, Filipe IV was responsible for ordering the general inquisitors to suggest three individuals for each vacant position on the Council, and these proposals were to be examined by the Council of Portugal. Filipe IV ordered Dom Fernão Martins Mascarenhas to suggest three people for each position as deputy and to send these proposals to the Council of Portugal. However, perhaps due to the good offices of the deputy Sebastião de Matos de Noronha, who had been in the Court since 1624, this royal resolution had no effect.82  So, the general inquisitors continued to submit to Filipe IV a single name for each vacant position on the Council. And the monarch continued to reply to theseconsultas from the general inquisitor directly, without the involvement of the Council of Portugal.

 

6. The consolidation of the system: the appointment of Olivares.

What has been said so far suggests that the royal provisions issued in 1608 had only been fully respected in regard to the appointment of deputies to the General Council. The Council of Portugal at the Court was involved in all the other affairs of the Holy Office. And, although it did not examine the appointments of deputies, this institution did discuss the convenience of this practice and suggested changes. In 1633, the Holy Office itself explained this difference between theory and practice as follows:

The practice that was always followed implied that the Kings of this Kingdom reserved to themselves the affairs of the Holy Office that should be reported to their royal persons, ordering that they should not be dealt with by other Tribunals, and appointing the person they trusted the most to pass that information on to Their Lordships the General Inquisitors; and since there have been some changes in their resolution over the last few years, due to their failure to consider or inform the ministers…83 

The Inquisition had to wait for the right moment to get Filipe IV to sign a royal provision similar to the one that Filipe III had issued in 1608. That moment came in the 1630s, when the great debates that had taken place during the previous decade about the governance of the Holy Office, the reformation of the tribunal, the change of the inquisitorial procedure and the inspections at the juízo do fisco had come to an end. In that context, the Council of Portugal and the numerous committees (juntas) made up of Spanish and Portuguese ministers had analyzed the procedures of the Portuguese Holy Office and the desirability of its reformation (Pulido Serrano 2002: 67-105). For example, in 1627, Filipe IV ordered the Holy Office to banish the reconciled from Portugal and to grant an edict of grace to the New Christians. The Inquisition was against these measures and João Álvares Brandão, who was a deputy of the General Council at the time, sent a memorandum to the monarch opposing these new provisions. Brandão forwarded it to the counselor Mendo da Mota de Valadares and the document was examined by the Council of Portugal.84  This institution also examined a memorandum by Dom Miguel de Castro – a deputy of the General Council who was at the Court at the time – regarding the inconvenience caused by the suspension of the celebration of autos-da-fé.85 

1627 and 1628 were probably the most difficult years for the Holy Office. In November 1627, Filipe IV ordered three secular judges to conduct inspections in the juízos do fisco of Lisbon, Coimbra and Évora, something that was considered by the General Inquisitor Mascarenhas to be an attack against his jurisdiction. That month, the monarch also ordered the suspension of the celebration of autos-da-fé. And, in March 1628, after the death of Mascarenhas, the king sent a letter to the General Council that contained new provisions regarding inquisitorial procedures.86  However, in 1629, the situation of the Holy Office changed. The king appointed Dom Francisco de Castro – the Bishop of Guarda – as general inquisitor, and entrusted him with the task of carrying out inspections in the three district tribunals in order to find out if the complaints of the conversos against inquisitorial procedures and the ministers of the Holy Office were true. Furthermore, he granted him the power to supervise inspections of the juízos do fisco of those three districts.

The letter sent by Filipe IV to Francisco de Castro, in which he entrusted him with the task of conducting inspections in the tribunals, is highly revealing of the change that occurred in the communication between the Crown and the general inquisitor from 1629 onwards. The document did not pass through the Council of Portugal, because it was supposed to remain secret and, for that reason, it was only signed by the monarch and by the protonotario Jerónimo de Villanueva:

Since the subject of this instruction is so important and has to remain as secret as possible, it was sent in this manner; only the matters regarding confiscated properties passed through the Council of Portugal, because these do not have to be secret, and because there are jurisdictional reasons that oblige them to pass through the normal channels.87 

In compliance with the monarch's orders, between 1630 and 1632, Dom Francisco de Castro conducted personal inspections at the three district tribunals. Before then, no other Portuguese general inquisitor had ever performed this task. The result was as expected: the complaints made by the conversos were unfounded; the inquisitorial procedures were fair; and the ministers of the Inquisition, with very few exceptions, were scrupulously fulfilling their duties. With the support provided by the fact that he had faithfully followed the king's orders, Dom Francisco de Castro was able to implement a process to restore the inquisitorial power from 1632 onwards. In January 1633, Filipe IV approved the procedures of the Holy Office and ordered that all the memoranda with complaints against the tribunal should be sent to the general inquisitor instead of being examined at the Court, as had been the case until then. Furthermore, the king stipulated that all the privileges granted to the Inquisition and its ministers should be preserved. And, in March 1633, he confirmed that the general inquisitor should only suggest a single clergyman for each vacant position on the General Council.88 

In this context, Dom Francisco de Castro decided to clearly define the system through which inquisitorial matters were to be dealt with. In order to do this, he recovered the royal provision issued in 1608, restoring the position of secretary of the Holy Office in Madrid and the commission given by the general inquisitor to the favorite. First of all, in July 1632, he appointed Diogo Soares – the secretary of State of the Council of Portugal – as secretary of the Holy Office.89  A few months later, Castro asked Filipe IV to reserve the affairs of the Holy Office to himself, preventing them from being discussed in any council or tribunal. The general inquisitor reminded the monarch that Filipe II and Filipe III had chosen the “most trustworthy minister” to discuss these matters with them directly. So, Filipe II had chosen Castelo Rodrigo, and Filipe III had chosen Lerma. Thus, the general inquisitor implored the monarch to choose the Count-Duke of Olivares to perform this role.90 

Pleased with the behavior of the general inquisitor during the inspections conducted in the three inquisitorial tribunals, the Count-Duke of Olivares asked the king to accede to what Castro was proposing. So, on November 13, 1632, Filipe IV issued a royal provision according to which he reserved all affairs relating to the Holy Office to himself. The general inquisitor was to inform the monarch through the Count-Duke of Olivares, to whom he would send letters and documents via the secretary Diogo Soares. And the king would reply to the Inquisition through the same channel, without the intervention of any other minister or tribunal.91  On that same day, Dom Francisco de Castro signed a commission for the Count-Duke of Olivares, allowing him to discuss the matters of the Portuguese Inquisition with the king on his behalf (López-Salazar 2011: 221). Apparently, the general inquisitor issued the following commission:

because it is certain that if the matters of the Inquisition pass through his hands they will be treated with the appropriate authority, decency and secrecy and, being under his protection, he will present them to His Majesty, so that they shall be dealt with, receiving all the favor they deserve. 92 

Dom Francisco de Castro's maneuver was masterful. He was integrating the monarch's favorite into the Holy Office; this was the same person who, over the previous years, had been paying a great deal of attention to the New Christians in their struggle against the Portuguese Inquisition. Through Diogo Soares and Olivares, Castro intended to bypass the Council of Portugal and deal directly with the monarch. However, it was necessary to prevent this system from failing, as had occurred with the one devised by Castilho in 1608. In order to do this, Dom Francisco de Castro wrote an instruction to the secretary of the Holy Office in Madrid.93  According to this instruction, the secretary should deliver all the documents forwarded by the Portuguese Inquisition to the favorite, so that Olivares could hand them over to the king. The letters from the king to the general inquisitor should be written by Soares and signed by the king, without the involvement of any other minister. The aim was to prevent the Council of Portugal or its president from dealing with this correspondence. Furthermore, the secretary would be responsible for informing the general inquisitor if the Council of Portugal intervened in any affairs relating to the Inquisition.

The path chosen by the Inquisition to get the king to approve and confirm this instruction for the secretary was rather curious. The Holy Office forwarded it to Dom Miguel de Castro, a deputy of the General Council who was at the Court at the time. Dom Miguel asked the monarch to order the royal confessor's committee (junta) to examine the document. In other words, the instruction had been written as a result of the royal order, according to which the king reserved all the matters relating to the Holy Office to himself, “preventing any other Council or committee from handling them”.94  And this instruction would be forwarded, upon the request of a deputy of the General Council, to the royal confessor's committee, which met to deal with “the matters relating to that kingdom's [Portugal] Inquisitions”.95  The situation becomes even more paradoxical if we consider that, at that time, Friar Antonio de Sotomayor – Filipe IV's confessor – was the Spanish General Inquisitor. The fears of the Portuguese Inquisition regarding its possible subordination to the Spanish Holy Office are known, as well as the care taken by the former, during the entire Iberian Union, to place itself on an equal footing with the latter. So, why was it not concerned with the fact that a document relating to its internal governance was going to be examined by a committee chaired by the Spanish General Inquisitor?

It is worth questioning if, based on such confused principles, the system that Castro intended to build actually managed to prevent the matters of the Holy Office from again being handled by other Councils or committees (juntas). The small number of consultas from the Council of Portugal and the lack of organization of the archive of the General Council of the Holy Office for the period after 1632 provide us with very limited information. On the one hand, it is true that the king continued to reply on the sidelines to the consultas sent by the general inquisitor regarding the appointment of deputies to the General Council. These consultas never passed through the Council of Portugal.96  But it is also true that the royal confessor, Friar Antonio de Sotomayor, continued to intervene in matters relating to the Tribunal of the Holy Office. So, in September 1640, a committee (junta) that included Sotomayor and Dom Pedro Pacheco, a counselor of the Spanish Supreme Council, examined a memorandum written by a man called Francisco da Costa, who was complaining about the way in which the inquisitors in Lisbon had acted. And, shortly afterwards, in December of the same year, Filipe IV forwarded two other memoranda against the Portuguese Inquisition to Sotomayor.97  Admittedly, it seems that the rules set out by Filipe IV in the royal provision issued in November 1632 were not being strictly met.

 

7. From the Restoration to 1736: the survival of the system.

Theoretically, the Restoration should have implied the return of the kingdom to a traditional system of government, after the institutional innovations tested during the Habsburg era. The monarch would again be placed in Lisbon and the kingdom's Parliament (Cortes) would be summoned once more. In this context, the traditional system of communication between the monarchy and the Holy Office could also be restored. And if it was not the traditional system, at least it would be the one that the Inquisition had nostalgically evoked over the sixty years of the Iberian Union. It would be based on verbal communication between the general inquisitor and the king, without the need for writtenconsultas.

In fact, the Restoration allowed the general inquisitor and the Council to discuss the most important matters directly with the king. This happened several times during the years of conflict between the Tribunal and the Crown, caused by the 1649 decree that exempted the conversos from the punishment of having their properties confiscated. As is known, the decree was published on February 9, 1649. On February 6, the general inquisitor and the Council presented themselves before King João IV. Then, the king read them the draft of the decree and all the deputies of the Council gave their opinion about this favor. However, we should bear in mind that this system of verbal communication between the Inquisition and the monarch was only used at specific moments and for very exceptional reasons. The daily communications between the general inquisitor or the General Council and the king were still based on written consultas, to which the king replied on the sidelines.

It is worth questioning what happened to the two institutional innovations introduced by the Habsburgs, i.e. the position of secretary of the Holy Office at the Court and the commission given by the general inquisitor to the monarch's favorite. First of all, until the Liberal Revolution and the extinction of the Holy Office, the secretaries of State continued to play the role of secretaries of the Inquisition, except for the period between 1736 and 1783. The position of secretary of State and secretary of the Holy Office was still useful because, as I have mentioned, the personal meetings with the king had a truly exceptional nature and most of the consultas sent by the Holy Office to the monarch were made in writing. Therefore, it was still useful that the secretary of State was also the secretary of the Holy Office, so that, as a minister of the Inquisition, he could hand these documents over to the king. He was the one who received the consultas sent by the General Council to the king and had the responsibility of communicating the king's decrees and orders to the Holy Office.

After the coup of December 1, the secretary of State Francisco de Lucena also became secretary of the Holy Office in order to deliver the papers that were sent by the Holy Office to King João IV. At least as far as I know, Lucena did not receive an official letter of appointment from the Holy Office, but only a document with the salary that he was going to receive.98  Perhaps this was due to the fact that Francisco de Lucena had held that position between 1614 and 1631, while he was simultaneously the secretary of State of the Council of Portugal in Madrid. As is known, Francisco de Lucena fell into disgrace and, on April 23, 1643, was executed for the crimes of lèse-majesté and treason. On that same day, the General Inquisitor Dom Francisco de Castro signed a letter in which he assigned a salary to Pedro Vieira da Silva, the new secretary of State, for handling the affairs of the Inquisition. This document suggests that Vieira da Silva, who did not receive an official letter of appointment as secretary of the Holy Office either, had already been performing this role since April 1642.99  A few months later, King João IV decided to divide the secretariat into two: a secretariat of State and a secretariat of “Mercies” (Graces and Favors). According to the decree that divided the secretariat into two, the appointments to inquisitorial positions were to be dealt with by the secretariat of State. As we know, these positions were those of general inquisitor and deputy of the General Council. In this way, the Crown was officially endorsing the intervention of the secretary of State in matters relating to the Inquisition, at least as far as the appointment of the tribunal's most important ministers was concerned.100 

As far as I know, neither Lucena nor Vieira da Silva were given an official letter of appointment like the ones that Fernão de Matos and Diogo Soares had received during the Iberian Union. This did not happen until 1662 when António de Sousa de Macedo entered the secretariat of State as a result of the palatial coup that had brought an end to the regency of Dona Luisa de Guzmán and established the personal government of King Afonso VI. At the time, the General Council, which ruled the Inquisition, decided to also appoint him to the position of secretary of the Holy Office and, in order to do this, wrote a letter that was very similar to the one that Matos had received in 1611.101  The reason for this appointment had remained unchanged over those fifty years: preventing the matters of the Holy Office from being dealt with by other tribunals and councils.

Although, as I have mentioned, the position of secretary of State and of the Inquisition survived until the extinction of the Holy Office, the same did not happen with the second institutional innovation introduced during the Iberian Union: the commission granted by the general inquisitor to the “most trustworthy minister”, which allowed him to discuss the affairs of the Holy Office with the king. We should remember that this commission had been justified by the absence of the monarch, and by the fact that it was impossible for the king to discuss such matters directly with the general inquisitor. Now, the problem of the king's absence had disappeared, because the Court had returned to Lisbon. So, the general inquisitor's need to appoint a favorite who would deal directly with the king on his behalf had also disappeared. It should also be added that there was a widespread rejection of the favorite's role during the first years after the Portuguese Restoration. The existence of a favorite minister was naturally identified with Olivares and, therefore, with the tyranny of the Habsburg government (Réis Torgal 1981-1982: II, 129-130; Dantas 2012: 174-176). On the other hand, in Portugal, the reality of favoritism was different. As Nuno Monteiro pointed out, referring to the reign of King Pedro II and the early years of the reign of King João V, the secretaries of State were not favorites in the classic sense of the word (Monteiro 2001: 971). However, it is also true that, as André Costa says, the kings' favorites were sometimes the secretaries of State themselves (Costa 2008: 216-217). This was the case, for example, with Francisco de Lucena and Pedro Vieira da Silva during the reign of King João IV. So, given that they were simultaneously secretaries of State and of the Holy Office, it was not necessary for them to have a commission from the general inquisitor similar to the ones that Lerma and Olivares had received.

Logically, the situation changed during the short-lived government of Dom Luís de Vasconcelos e Sousa, the Count of Castelo Melhor. After the palatial conspiracy that brought an end to the regency of Dona Luisa de Guzmán in June 1662, the reign of King Afonso VI began, together with the favoritism of Castelo Melhor. To legitimize and institutionalize his role in the government of the monarchy, Afonso VI appointed him as escrivão da puridade in July 1662. On March 12, 1663, the king signed the instruction for the position of escrivão da puridade. According to this document, the appointments to positions within the Inquisition – i.e. general inquisitor and deputies – were to pass through the hands of Castelo Melhor. But there was more: he would receive all the consultas from all the tribunals and councils and, after examining them, he would inform the monarch.102  Obviously, this instruction went against the Holy Office's old aspiration of having all its matters dealt with exclusively by ministers of the Inquisition. So, although the General Council did not grant him a commission similar to the ones received by Lerma and Olivares, it did assign him a salary in October 1666.103  This therefore implied institutionalizing and legitimizing Castelo Melhor's role before the Holy Office.

The favoritism enjoyed by Castelo Melhor was only a brief experience, and the position of escrivão da puridade disappeared with his fall. So, from then on, and until 1736, the successive secretaries of State were also appointed as secretaries of the Inquisition. This was the case with Francisco Correia de Lacerda, Friar Manuel Pereira, Mendo de Foios Pereira, António Pereira da Silva, and Diogo de Mendonça Corte Real.104  All of these were responsible for receiving the letters and consultas sent by the Holy Office to the king and for communicating the king's orders and decrees to the Inquisition.

The situation changed again in 1736. This was the year when Diogo de Mendonça Corte Real died; he had been simultaneously responsible for three secretariats – State, “Mercies” and Royal Signature. On June 28, 1736, the secretariats of State were reformed, although, as Nuno Monteiro has pointed out, they were only turned into actual ministries from the mid-eighteenth century onwards (Monteiro 2001: 985). One month earlier, in May, Pedro Mota e Silva had received a letter of appointment from Cardinal da Cunha, the general inquisitor, similar to the ones that had been sent to his predecessors as secretary of State. However, times had changed and King João V did not allow this appointment to come into effect.105  So, at least at that point, the position of secretary of State and of the Holy Office had disappeared. Nevertheless, the communication between the Inquisition and the Crown was still being mediated by the secretary of State Mota e Silva. He was responsible for delivering the consultasfrom the tribunal to the king and for forwarding them to the Holy Office once the king had replied to them.

From then on, the documents of the Holy Office were still being handled by the secretaries of State, despite the fact that they had not been appointed as secretaries of the Inquisition. The position of “minister and secretary for the affairs of the Holy Office that are taken up to His Royal Highness” only reappeared in the late eighteenth century. This position was granted to the secretary of State for the affairs of the realm, the Viscount of Vila Nova de Cerveira, in 1783. He would be succeeded by Dom Fernando José de Portugal e Castro – the Marquis of Aguiar – in 1816, and by Tomás António de Vila Nova Portugal, in 1818. However, the role that was now reappearing was not the one performed by Fernão de Matos, Diogo Soares or António de Sousa de Macedo, to mention just a few secretaries of State who had also been secretaries of the Holy Office. The genealogy that was outlined in the provisions issued in 1783, 1816 and 1818 did not start with Diogo de Mendonça Corte Real, the last secretary of State and of the Holy Office, but with the Count of Castelo Melhor. Perhaps that was the natural consequence of the emergence of the ministerial regime in 1736.106 

The last secretary of State and of the Holy Office was Tomás António de Vila Nova Portugal. Curiously enough, his appointment happened at a moment when the monarch was absent again, this time in Brazil. His letter of appointment, issued in 1818, repeated the commonplace that established that the affairs of the Holy Office should not be handled by any council or tribunal, but presented directly to the monarch via the secretary.107  The letter from the general inquisitor to King João VI, in which he asked him to accept this appointment, could not be more illustrative of the decadence of the Tribunal, which was now considered only as a “repartição do Santo Officio” (a sub-department of the Holy Office). Three years later, the Inquisition was abolished.

 

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NOTES

*  Abbreviations: AJCJ (Armário Jesuítico e Cartório dos Jesuítas); ANTT (Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, Lisbon), AGS (Archivo General de Simancas), AHN (Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid), BA (Biblioteca da Ajuda, Lisbon), BNP (Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal), BPE (Biblioteca Pública de Évora), CG (Conselho Geral), E (Estado), FG (Fundo Geral), IL (Inquisição de Lisboa); SP (Secretarías Provinciales), TSO (Tribunal do Santo Ofício). This work was developed within the scope of the following research projects: EurocoreCODE/001/2009, HAR2012-37583, PTDC/HIS-HIS/118227/2010 and UID/HIS/00057/2013. I would like to thank Bernardo García García and Rafael Valladares for all the assistance the provided.

2  According to António Manuel Hespanha, the Iberian Union was characterized by the implementation of new ways to institutionalize the political communication between the Crown and its peripheral institutions, as well as by the creation of a new balance between a government led by Councils and a government led by special committees (juntas) and officials, such as secretaries of State and favorites (Hespanha 1989).

3  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 353, fol. 3v.

4  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 129, fol. 221r-222v.

5  As a tribunal, the juízo do fisco, responsible for the confiscation of properties that belonged to people condemned for heresy, was independent from the Holy Office, despite its being, to some extent, subordinated to the general inquisitor. By law, the confiscated properties belonged to the Crown and, although they were managed by the general inquisitor, the king could decide what to do with this money. Furthermore, the monarch was the one who had to appoint the judges and prosecutors of thejuízo do fisco, although the general inquisitor was the one who chose and suggested the names of these individuals to the king. Finally, the contadores examined the accounts of the treasurers of thejuízo do fisco, which were reviewed at the Casa dos Contos, and the king ordered this tribunal to be inspected by judges who did not belong to the Holy Office.

6  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 353, fol. 3r-6r.

7  Castilho did not know if matters relating to the Inquisition were handled by the secretariat run by João Brandão Soares or by the one run by Fernão de Matos. According to Luxán, in 1605, Fernão de Matos had moved to the secretariat of State from the secretariat responsible for ecclesiastical matters, and Brandão Soares had moved to the latter (Luxán 1988: 200). On the contrary, according to André Costa, João Brandão Soares was the one who managed the secretariat of State between 1605 and 1607, and Fernão de Matos only entered it in 1607 (Costa 2008: 128). ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 132r-132v.

8  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1464, fol. 70r. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1480, fol. 445r-445v.

9  AHN, E, lib. 728, n. 18. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1467, fol. 247r. 248v.

10  So, for example, in 1602, when Filipe III appointed Dom Alexandre de Bragança as general inquisitor, the General Council wrote to the monarch to thank him for his choice. This letter, in which the deputies exalted the new general inquisitor to the point of being ridiculous, was seen and examined by the Council of Portugal. A few years later, in 1611, by order of the monarch, the Council examined the letter from the tribunal of Lisbon that reported the celebration of an auto-da-fé. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1480, fol. 447r-448v. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1484, fol. 218r-219r.

11  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1456, fol. 69v & 106r-107r. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1480, fol. 445r-445v. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1481, fol. 22r-23v.

12  However, as mentioned here, these matters were not decided by the Council of Portugal; instead, they were forwarded to the authority that was competent to deal with each case – either the Casa da Suplicação, the Council of Finance, or the committees made up of two judges from the Desembargo do Paço and two members of the General Council.

13  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1481, fol. 51r-53r.

14  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1511, fol. 118r-118v.

15  In the following pages, I will provide a few examples of orders from the Crown that were communicated to the Inquisition by viceroys and governors.

16  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 23 [portarias].

17  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 72r-73r.

18  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 323, fol. 38r-38v.

19  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 365, fol. 17r. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 130, fol. 54r-54v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 83v-84v.

20  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 82.

21  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 28r-29r, 57v-58r.

22  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 4v, 9r-9v, 50v-51r, 63r-63v, 80v-81v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 129, fol. 195r-195v.

23  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 7v-8r, 17r-17v, 21r, 74r, 77v-78v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 129, fol. 186r-187v, 221r-222v.

24  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 66r-66v.

25  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 130, fol. 19r-19v.

26  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 54r-54v, 57r-57v.

27  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 80v-81v.

28  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 129, fol. 221r-222v.

29  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 136v.

30  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 62v-63r. Despite the fact that Archduke Albert had been appointed as governor of Flanders in 1595, Clement VIII did not issue the brief of the appointment of Dom António Matos de Noronha as general inquisitor until 1596. So, in August 1595, before leaving for Flanders, Archduke Albert had extended Matos de Noronha's powers, after appointing him president of the General Council in 1593.

31  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 71r-71v.

32  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 62v-63r.

33  ANTT, TSO, CG, maço 10, n. 3.

34  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 1r [ordens do governo]. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 95r-96r.

35  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 6 [portarias].

36  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 3 [portarias]. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 365, fol. 23v.

37  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 365, fol. 26r.

38  Pope Clement VIII issued the brief appointing Dom Jorge de Ataíde as general inquisitor in February 1600. However, the brief with which Clement VIII removed Matos de Noronha from his position as general inquisitor was not sent to Lisbon until January 1601. So, throughout 1600, the Bishop of Elvas continued to hold that position. Ataíde never accepted the position of general inquisitor and, in 1602, Clement VIII replaced him with Dom Alexandre de Bragança. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 86r-86v, 210r-210v.

39  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 99, fol. 84v-85r, 90r-90v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 118v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 369, fol. 95r-96r.

40  Dom Alexandre de Bragança held the position of general inquisitor between October 1602 and October 1603. Dom Pedro de Castilho arrived in Madrid in December 1603, but only moved to Valladolid in March 1604.

41  Two committees assembled to analyze these matters – one in 1603 and the other in 1604 – and Bartolomeu da Fonseca, a deputy of the General Council, attended them both. Furthermore, Dom Pedro de Castilho was already able to take part in the committee meeting that began in July 1604.

42  BA, cód. 51-VIII-11, fol. 76r.

43  “The Count of Vila Longa told me that Your Majesty's will and order is to suspend these autos [da fé], and dispatches without my assistance”. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 22 [cartas].

44  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 130, fol. 89r-89v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 22 [cartas].

45  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 22 [cartas]. We should remember that, at this particular point, there were peace negotiations taking place between the Hispanic Monarchy and England. Finally, the treaty, signed in London on 28 August 1604, established that: “to allow a secure trade, both by Land, and by Sea, His Serene Highness the King of Spain and the Archdukes shall make sure that, for the aforementioned reason of conscience, they shall not be disturbed or troubled, against the rights of trade, as long as no outrage is caused”, ABREU Y BERTODANO, José Antonio: Colección de los tratados de paz de España. Reynado de Phelipe III, parte I, Madrid, 1740, p. 264.

46  BA, cód. 51-VIII-10, fol. 38r-38v.

47  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 130, fol. 99r.

48  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1491, fol. 77r-77v.

49  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 131r.

50  Being aware of the importance of having someone in Valladolid who would be responsible for the matters of the Holy Office, shortly after arriving in Lisbon and taking office as general inquisitor, Castilho decided to create the position of agent of the Holy Office at the Court. By creating this position, the Portuguese Inquisition resorted to a practice that was often used at the time by the most important noble dynasties, such as the Bragança and Medina Sidonia families, and by other ecclesiastical institutions (Cunha 2000: 286-288; Salas 2006). However, this role, fulfilled by the canon Gonçalo Carreiro, did not last long and eventually proved to be rather ineffective.

51  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 133r.

52  In fact, in 1604, Fernão de Matos had already warned Castilho: “Your Lordship should remember to write to him [to Lerma] as I have mentioned many times because, ultimately, this is how all important matters should be negotiated”. BA, cód. 51-VIII-13, fol. 48r-49v.

53  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 132r-132v.

54  BA, cód. 51-VIII-10, fol. 28r. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 133v-134r.

55  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 136r.

56  BA, cód. 51-VIII-10, fol. 2r.

57  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 92, fol. 136v-137r, 139r-139v. BA, cód. 51-VIII-11, fol. 181r. BA, cód. 51-VIII-20, fol. 69r-69v.

58  Furthermore, from 1609 onwards, Fernão de Matos held both the position of secretary of State and that of ecclesiastical counselor of the Council of Portugal (Luxán 1986: 227).

59  The letter of appointment of Fernão de Matos is dated 15 April 1609. However, this is an error made by the person who copied it into the book of appointments of the General Council. Matos was appointed as secretary of the Holy Office in April 1611. On that same day, Dom Pedro de Castilho signed another document that granted him a salary. In this document, the date is correct. Furthermore, on the following day, April 16, 1611, Castilho wrote to the Duke of Lerma and to Filipe II to inform them that Matos had officially been appointed as secretary of the Holy Office. Although there were rumors that the secretary of State was not of pure blood, Matos was appointed as secretary of the Holy Office without any previous information regarding the purity of his blood. These doubts emerged again in mid-1614 and, for that reason, Matos himself requested that investigations be undertaken to confirm the purity of his blood. Unsurprisingly, the result of this information was favorable to the secretary, and Dom Pedro de Castilho signed an official document declaring that Fernão de Matos was an Old Christian. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 136, fol. 97r-97v. ANTT, TSO, IL. liv. 128, fol. 83r-83v. BA, cód. 51-VIII-20, fol. 71r. BA, cód. 51-VIII-13, fol. 13r-13v, 80r-81v. BNP, FG, cód. 1537, fol. 17r-17v.

60  I do not believe that the considerations made by André Costa about the relationship between the secretariat of State and the Inquisition are entirely accurate. According to Costa, “in the late 16th century, the Secretariat of the Inquisition, which had been directly dependent on the general inquisitor, began to be controlled by the Secretary of State” (Costa 2008: 244). I do not know what information was used to support this statement, which, on the other hand, does not make much sense. There was never just one secretariat of the Inquisition and, admittedly, it was never controlled by the secretary of State. As is known, each district tribunal had one or several notaries and the General Council had its own secretary. Until the extinction of the Holy Office, all of them were always appointed by the general inquisitor. I also disagree with André Costa's interpretation when he says that the creation of the position of secretary of the Portuguese Inquisition in Madrid was due to the efforts made by Filipe II (I of Portugal) to shape the Portuguese Inquisition according to the Spanish model (Costa 2008: 207). This position was not created during the reign of Filipe II, but during the reign of Filipe III. Furthermore, as I mention, it was a result of the general inquisitor's will to remove the control of the Council of Portugal over inquisitorial matters. The initiative came from the general inquisitor himself, and not from the Crown. Finally, we should not forget the interest that Fernão de Matos had in this matter, given that being officially appointed by the general inquisitor would help silence the rumors about his lack of pure blood.

61  BPE, cód. CV / 2-9, fol. 421r-421v.

62  The only exception is a letter sent in January 1609 by Filipe III to Castilho, and to other Portuguese ministers, regarding the possibility of revoking the authorization given to the New Christians to leave the kingdom. However, it is only natural that, for this reason, the letter followed the same path as the ones sent to other Portuguese ministers, since this was neither an inquisitorial matter nor a matter specifically relating to the Holy Office. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 51 [cartas].

63  Matos also decided that the Council of Portugal should examine the letter written by Dom Pedro de Castilho regarding the privilege of non residendo in ecclesiastical benefices that had been granted to the ministers of the Holy Office. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1481, fol. 51r-52r. BA, cód. 51-VIII-13, fol. 28r-29v, 63r-65v. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 64 [cartas].

64  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1484, fol. 218r-219r.

65  BA, cód. 49-IV-16, fol. 48r.

66  AHN, E, lib. 728, n. 19.

67  I was not able to find the letter of appointment of Francisco de Lucena to the post of secretary of the Holy Office, but only a letter from the general inquisitor, dated October 24, in which he assigned him an annual salary of 80,000 réis (ANTT, TSO, IL. liv. 128, fol. 121v). That document said that he had been appointed as secretary of the Holy Office. As, in 2011, I had no knowledge of the existence of this document, I considered that Lucena had never been officially appointed (López-Salazar 2011: 220). In fact, it is rather curious that he was not appointed as secretary of the Holy Office until 1624, even though he had entered the secretariat of State in 1614, and, from that point on, had become responsible for the correspondence exchanged with the general inquisitor.

68  ANTT, TSO, CG, Papéis Avulsos, maço 4, n. 1808.

69  In these cases, the letters that were signed by the semanero did not involve matters of faith, but matters relating to confiscated properties, favors granted to the ministers of the Inquisition, the intervention of the secular justice in the punishment of people condemned for sodomy, conflicts between the general inquisitor and the Archbishop of Lisbon, etc. The letters that were not signed by the semanero involved strictly inquisitorial matters, such as trials, autos-da-fé or the appointment of deputies to the General Council (Pereira 1993: 49-73).

70  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 145, 147 [cartas].

71  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 216, fol. 142.

72  BA, cód. 51-VIII-13, fol. 68r-69v. BA, cód. 51-VIII-20, fol. 74r.

73  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 109 [cartas]. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 33 [portarias].

74  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 88, fol. 24 [portarias].

75  However, we should bear in mind that most of the consultas of the Council of Portugal have been lost.

76  AHN, E, lib. 728, n. 17.

77  Although, officially, the general inquisitor should send his proposal to the monarch through the secretary and the favorite, without the involvement of any Council or minister in this matter, the king could logically obtain information about the competence of clergymen before approving their appointment. For this purpose, he sometimes asked the viceroy or the royal confessor for such information.

78  BPE, cód. CV / 2-9, fol. 421r-421v.

79  This specific case allows us to confirm our theory that only the letters from the general inquisitors that dealt with the appointment of deputies to the General Council were taken up directly by the Crown, without passing through the Council. The appointment of Friar Manuel Coelho was the result of a favor granted by Filipe III to the Dominican Order in 1614, which offered it a perpetual seat on the Supreme Council of the Spanish Inquisition and on the General Council of the Portuguese Holy Office. The then General Inquisitor Castilho was against this favor and explained to the monarch the reasons why it should not be granted. Therefore these reasons did in fact get to be examined by the Council of Portugal. As is known, Filipe III refused to revoke the favor and Dom Pedro had to appoint the Dominican Friar Manuel Coelho as a deputy. As mentioned here, the letter written by the general inquisitor to the king, in which he suggested the name of the Dominican friar to take office as deputy, did not pass through the Council of Portugal. BA, cód. 51-VIII-13, fol. 13r-13v, 143r-144v, 312r-314r.

80  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 216, fol. 34-35.

81  AHN, E, lib. 728, n. 17.

82  ANTT, AJCJ, liv. 18, maço 2, n. 2.

83  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 235, fol. 155r.

84  ANTT, TSO, CG, maço 11, n. 13.

85  ANTT, TSO, CG, maço 11, n. 10, n. 11.

86  In this context, the so-called Junta de Tomar was also summoned and met at the Convent of Christ between May and August 1629. Almost all of the kingdom's bishops and some theologians and jurists – professors from the Universities of Coimbra and Évora – were present. The purpose of this meeting was to study the problem of Judaism in Portugal (Azevedo 1989: 194-201).

87  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 235, fol. 10r-13r.

88  Decreto (March 13, 1633), published in Silva, José Justino de Andrade e: Collecção Chronologica da Legislação Portugueza. 1627-1633, Lisbon, Imprensa de J. J. A. Silva, 1855, pp. 307-308.

89  The general inquisitor assigned Diogo Soares an annual salary of 80,000 réis. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 136, fol. 139r-139v.

90  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 235, fol. 156r-156v.

91  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 136, fol. 141v-142v.

92  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 136, fol. 142v-143v.

93  ANTT, TSO, CG. Liv. 353, fol. 3r-6r. The title of the instruction reveals the role played by Diogo Soares, who was, simultaneously, the secretary of the Council of Portugal and of the Holy Office: Regimento e instrucção pera o secretario de estado e inquisiçam que assite na corte de Madrid pella coroa de Portugal.

94  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 353, fol. 6r-6v.

95  ANTT, TSO, CG, maço 9, n. 9.

96  The Council of Portugal was eliminated in 1639 and replaced with a committee made up of Spanish and Portuguese ministers.

97  AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1583, fol. 635. AGS, SP, Portugal, lib. 1580, fol. 643r-646.

98  This document said that Lucena was the “secretary of State and also of the Holy Office”. However, it was not possible to find a letter of appointment. ANTT, TSO, IL, liv. 128, fol. 175v.

99  ANTT, TSO, IL, liv. 128, fol. 178v-179r.

100  Alvará (November 29, 1643), published in Silva, José Justino de Andrade e: Collecção Chronologica da Legislação Portugueza. 1640-1647, Lisbon, Imprensa de J. J. A. Silva, 1856, pp. 226-227.

101  Regarding the error in the date that appears in the letter of appointment of Fernão de Matos, see note 59 above.

102  Regimento do escrivão da puridade , published in Silva, José Justino de Andrade e: Collecção Chronologica da Legislação Portugueza. 1657-1674, Lisbon, Imprensa de J. J. A. Silva, 1856, pp. 83-85.

103  ANTT, TSO, IL, liv. 129, fol. 11r.

104  Francisco Correia de Lacerda was appointed as secretary of the Holy Office on September 20, 1669; Friar Manuel Pereira on February 18, 1682; Mendo de Fóios Pereira on August 19, 1686; Dom António Pereira da Silva on April 13, 1704; Diogo de Mendonça Corte Real on May 12, 1707. ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 136, fol. 174v, 195v-196r, 201v-202r, 222v, 224v. However, Dom Tomás de Almeida – who took office as secretary of State from January 1705 until after the acclamation of King João V, in January 1707 – was not granted the title of secretary of the Holy Office, and he did not receive a salary.

105  ANTT. TSO. CG. Liv. 137. Fol. 27r.

106  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 137, fol. 113v, 182r-182v, 191r-191v.

107  ANTT, TSO, CG, liv. 137, fol. 191r-191v.

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