The Inquisition was established in Portugal in 1536. From the beginning, the pope authorized the Portuguese king to choose the General Inquisitor, who was granted authority by the pope to pursue and punish crimes of heresy. This article investigates the Portuguese General Inquisitors during the seventeenth century in order to establish their social background, politics, ecclesiastical careers, and links with the Crown. The aim is to discover the relationships they had with the Crown and to understand how far they managed to preserve the autonomy of the Inquisition in relation to the Crown and the Holy See.

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