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Llorente, Juan Antonio

LLORENTE, JUAN ANTONIO (1756-1823), Spanish historian, was born on the 30th of March 1756 at Rincon de Soto in Aragon. He studied at the university of Saragossa, and, having been ordained priest, became vicar-general to the bishop of Calahorra in 1782. In 1785 he became commissary of the Holy Office at Logrono, and in 1789 its general secretary at Madrid. In the crisis of 1808 Llorente identified himself with the Bonapartists, and was engaged for a few years in superintending the execution of the decree for the suppression of the monastic orders, and in examining the archives of the Inquisition. On the return of King Ferdinand VII. to Spain in 1814 he withdrew to France, where he published his great work, Hisloria critica de la inquisition de Espana (Paris, 1815-1817). Translated into English, French, German, Dutch and Italian, it attracted much attention in Europe, and involved its author in considerable persecution, which, on the publication of his Portraits politiques des popes in 1822, culminated in a peremptory order to quit France. He died at Madrid on the 5th of February 1823. Both the personal character and the literary accuracy of Llorente have been assailed, but although he was not an exact historian there is no doubt that he made an honest use of documents relating to the Inquisition which are no longer extant.

The English translation of the Historia (London, 1826) is abridged. Llorente also wrote Memorial para la historia de la revolucion espanola (Paris, 1814-1816), translated into French (Paris, 1815- 1819); Noticias historical sobre las Ires provincias va congadas (Madrid, 1806-1808); an autobiography, Noticia biografica (Paris, 1818), and other works.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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