ALTHOUGH a tribunal has existed for more than three hundred years in Spain, invested with the power of prosecuting heretics, no correct history of its origin, establishment, and progress has been written. Writers of many countries have spoken of Inquisitions established in different parts of the world, where the Roman Catholic faith is the religion of the state, and yet not one is worthy of confidence. The work of M. Lavallée, entitled the "History of the Inquisitions of Italy, Spain, and Portugal," and published in 1809, has only added to the historical errors of the authors who preceded him. The Spanish and Portuguese writers on the same subject deserve no higher credit; and have not detailed, with accuracy, the circumstances which led to the establishment of this dreadful tribunal. These writers even differ in their statements of the period of its origin, and place it between the years 1477 and 1484. One affirms, with confidence, that the latter date is the true one, because in that year the regulations of the tribunal were enacted; another decides that it originated in 1483, because in that year Thomas Torquemada was appointed inquisitor-general by the Pope. The inquisition of Spain was not a new tribunal created by Ferdinand V. and Isabella, the queen of Castile, but only a reform and extension of the ancient tribunal, which had existed from the thirteenth century.