16 September, 1498: Tomas de Torquemada (b.1420), Dominican friar and the first Spanish Inquisitor General, dies. He burned over 2,000 victims, tortured thousands more, and in some areas, burnt at the stake as many as 40 percent of those accused. He was closely associated with the religious policies of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I of Spain. His legacy will always be marred by the violence and barbaric methods used to ‘protect’ the faith.
Inquisition is broadly used, to refer to things related to judgment of heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. It can mean an ecclesiastical tribunal or institution from the Roman Catholic Church for combating or suppressing heresy, or the trial of an individual accused of heresy. Inquisitor General is the lead official of an Inquisition.