The King of Spain who bore this title was one of the greatest bigots of his time. He had no sooner ascended the throne in 1814, than he reestablished the Inquisition, which had been abolished by his predecessor, prescribed the exercise of Freemasonry, and ordered the Closing of all the Lodges, under the heaviest penalties. In September following, twenty-five persons, among whom were several distinguished noblemen, were arrested as "suspected of Freemasonry." On March 30, 1818, a still more rigorous edict was issued, by which those convicted of being Freemasons were subjected to the most severe punishments, such as banishment to India and confiscation of goods, or sometimes death by a cruel form of execution. But the subsequent Revolution of 1820 and the abolition of the Inquisition removed these blots from the Spanish records.
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