The Inquisition was instituted in Spain by the Catholic Church in the late Middle Ages, with the mission of searching out those defined by the Church as "heretics", extracting from them confessions - often by torture - and handing over the recalcitrant ones to execution by the secular authorities, often carried out by burning at the stake ("Auto de Fe").
The Inquisition existed in various forms in various European countries, considerably differing from one place to another and from one time to another in the scope and severity of its actions. The Spanish Inquisition became particularly known, partially due to being especially powerful and long-lasting, partly because its activity provided abundant material for the propaganda of Spain's enemies. Part of the reason for the Spanish Inquisition persisting longer than the ones in other countries was its being not only a Church organization but also an instrument of the central government in Spain to increase its power.
In modern times, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Spanish Inquisition in The Two Georges Edit
The Holy Alliance Inquisitors and the Russian Okhrana were proverbial bywords for crossing the line in police work. Thomas Bushell of the Royal American Mounted Police, who disliked torture and used it only as a last resort to obtain vital information, conjured up images of these archetypes when playing the second half of the "nice guy, tough guy" duo.
The Grand Inquisitor was based in Madrid.
Spanish Inquisition in Ruled BritanniaEdit