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Tomás de Torquemada
Tomás de Torquemada
Born October 14, 1420
Died September 16, 1498 (aged 77)
Ávila, Kingdom of Castile
Occupation Grand Inquisitor
  • Don Pedro Ferdinando, lord of Torquemada (father)
Relatives Juan de Torquemada (cardinal) (uncle)

Tomás de Torquemada OP (October 14, 1420 – September 16, 1498) was a Castilian Dominican friar and first Grand Inquisitor in Spain's movement to homogenize religious practices with those of the Catholic Church in the late 15th century, otherwise known as the Spanish Inquisition, which resulted in the expulsion from Spain of thousands of people of Jewish and Muslim faith and heritage.

Mainly because of persecution, Muslims and Jews in Spain at that time found it socially, politically, and economically expedient to convert to Catholicism (see Converso, Morisco, and Marrano). The existence of superficial converts (i.e., Crypto-Jews) was perceived by the Spanish monarchs of that time (King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella) as a threat to the religious and social life of Spain. This led Torquemada, who himself had converso ancestors, to be one of the chief supporters of the Alhambra Decree that expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492.

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