The Moors and the Moriscoes no less occupied the attention of the Inquisition at that time; and all that has been said on the subject of the Jews may be applied to them with some modifications. They were also an abhorred race—a race which had been contended with for eight centuries. When they retained their religion, the Moors inspired hatred; when they abjured it, mistrust; the popes interested themselves in their favor also in a peculiar manner. We ought to remark a bull issued in 1530, which is expressed in language quite evangelical: it is there said that the ignorance of these nations is one of the principal causes of their faults and errors; the first thing to be done to render their conversion solid and sincere was, according to the recommendation contained in this bull, to endeavor to enlighten their minds with sound doctrine.
It will be said that the Pope granted to Charles V the bull which released him from the oath taken in the Cortes of Saragossa in the year 1519, an oath by which he had engaged not to make any change with respect to the Moors; whereby, it is said, the Emperor was enabled to complete their expulsion. But we must observe that the Pope for a long time resisted that concession; and that if he at length complied with the wishes of the Emperor, it was only because he thought that the expulsion of the Moors was indispensable to secure the tranquillity of the kingdom. Whether this was true or not, the Emperor, and not the Pope, was the better judge; the latter, placed at a great distance, could not know the real state of things in detail. Moreover, it was not the Spanish monarch alone who thought so; it is related that Francis I, when a prisoner at Madrid, one day conversing with Charles V, told him that tranquillity would never be established in Spain if the Moors and Moriscoes were not expelled.
The brief reign of Richard III, 1483-1485, left for historians one subject of dispute which even to our own day has not been finally determined—his alleged murder of his nephews, King Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, sons of Edward IV. These princes at the supposed time of their death were about thirteen and nine years of age respectively.
Before his usurpation Richard III, last of the Plantagenet line, was known as the Duke of Gloucester. He served in the Wars of the Roses, and on the death of Edward IV, April, 1483, he seized the young Edward V and caused himself to be proclaimed protector. He then caused his parliament to set the two princes aside as illegitimate, and they were imprisoned in the Tower of London. On June 26, 1483, Richard assumed the crown, and soon after the death of the princes was publicly announced.
In Gairdner’s discussion we have the results of the best historical inquiries concerning this most important question of Richard’s career.