By Thomas O’Connor (auth.)
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Additional info for Irish Voices from the Spanish Inquisition: Migrants, Converts and Brokers in Early Modern Iberia
These instructions brought legal clarity and procedural consistency to the treatment of Protestant vassals of the king of England, and would remain in force until the dissolution of the Inquisition in the early nineteenth century. England and Spain were frequently at war after 1604 but the old confessional edge was blunted. During time of war, Protestant vassals of the English king could find themselves at the sharp end of inquisitorial procedure, but in peacetime there was nothing to fear except inconvenience and some ritual humiliation.
This The European Context for Irish Migrant Mobility 23 was a public affront to religion, which would certainly have triggered an inquisitorial prosecution had it been committed by an Irish or English merchant or his boy in Seville. Exceptions were made, however, for the ambassador’s servants and, yet again, the Inquisition found its hands tied. Confident of the king’s support, Chaloner took these jousts with the Inquisition in his stride. On occasion he also deployed his own persuasive powers to allay inquisitorial doubts and suspicions.
13 The crackdown was successful, not only in weeding out putative Spanish Protestants but also in demonstrating, once again, the efficiency of the Inquisition as the royal instrument par excellence of religious uniformity. 14 To keep heresy in check, however, it was also necessary to control the ingress of foreigners and their potentially pernicious ideas and books. 16 This was not an entirely clinical exercise. It was the practice of the Holy Office to confiscate not only the property of the individual charged with heresy but also that of the entire ship in which he had sailed.