Familiars and officials

Inquisitions depended on a dedicated staff and volunteers to effectively carry out their duties. These officials' mandates and corresponding privileges were laid out in documents which reveal much about the sorts of individuals employed in various functions, the manner in which they went about their tasks, and the ways in which they were perceived by contemporaries. A discussion of these documents, including certificates of familiares and books of privileges, can be found in the essay.

Essay: "Introduction to inquisition familiars and officials"

Like all powerful institutions, inquisitions functioned in the final analysis thanks to the efforts of individuals. These ranged from a more or less centralized leadership to local judge-inquisitors, advisors, jailers and armed associates who carried out the bulk of a tribunal’s day-to-day activities. Each had their own reasons for taking… [Read the complete essay]

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Familiatura del santo oficio de Jaume Anthoni Aguilar.
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Familiatura del santo ofici... Valencia: 1569. Inquisition 94

Spanish. Printed certificate filled in by hand, naming Iayme Aguilar a familiar of the inquisition. Contains signatures.

"Nos los inquisidores..." [incipit].
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"Nos los inquisidores..." [... Granada: 1704. Inquisition 110

Spanish. Printed certificate with ornate printed border, filled in by hand, naming Marcos de la Bandera a notary of the inquisition. Mention is made of his blood purity (limpieza). Contains signatures; wax seal is missing.

Privilegios, y Confirmaciones de la Santa Hermandad vieja de Ciudad Real.
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Privilegios, y Confirmacion... Ciudad Real: 1725. Inquisition 319

Spanish. Collection of privileges relating to the Santa Hermandad confraternity. Contains illustration at start; signature and wax seal at end.