The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition, was a tribunal established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the medieval inquisition which was under papal control. The Inquisition worked in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of recent converts, especially Jews, Muslims and others. Various motives have been proposed for the monarchs' decision to found the Inquisition, such as increasing political authority, weakening opposition, suppressing conversos, and profiting from confiscation of the property of convicted heretics. The new body was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy. It was not definitively abolished until 1833, during the reign of Isabella II.
The Spanish Inquisition was a consistent enemy of the time-displaced town of Grantville. Grantville in turn, found the Inquisition distasteful. At the Battle of the Wartburg, American leaders were pleased to have an opportunity to burn members of the Spanish Inquisition alive with napalm.
During Spain's invasion of the Netherlands, the Inquisition were strictly forbidden by Don Fernando to execute any heretics, including Jews. This was enforced in The Hague when Don Fernando executed three Inquisitors for objecting to those orders.
The Inquisition's rivalry intensified in 1634, when the Inquisition took center stage at the trial of Galileo Galilei, who was pardoned by Pope Urban VIII. The Italian Inquisition was attacked by the Spanish after Urban VIII was overthrown by Spanish Cardinal Gaspar Borja y Velasco. Members of the privy council of both the Holy Roman Emperor and the Elector of Bavaria were also part of the Inquisition.