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Tomás de Torquemada, 15th-century Spanish Dominican friar and Grand Inquisitor.

An inquisitor was an official (usually with judicial or investigative functions) in an Inquisition; an organization or program intended to eliminate heresy and other things contrary to the doctrine or teachings of the Catholic faith. Literally, an inquisitor is one who "searches out" or "inquires" (Latin inquirere < quaerere, "to seek").


Inquisitors were agents of the Medieval Inquisition established by the Roman Catholic Church, and of the subsequent Spanish Inquisition, Portuguese Inquisition and Roman Inquisition.

The chief inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition was the Grand Inquisitor, though the Roman Inquisition had a Secretary-General who was sometimes styled with the same title.

Prominent inquisitors

Some of the more well-known inquisitors throughout history include:

See also