1490. Toledo. This is a most important case, the
circumstances of which have been clarified for us by
W. T. Walsh in his interesting book on Isabella of
Spain, 1931 (Sheed & Ward), in which he devotes
pp. 441 to 468 to his researches on this Ritual Murder
charge. Had it not been for Mr. Walsh, I might have
been influenced by the Jewish Encyclopedia's
statement (1903, Vol. II1, p. 262) that "Modern
historians even deny that a child had disappeared at
all" in this case! Strenuous efforts were made by
Loeb and H. C. Lea to clear the Jews from guilt of
this murder; as also by Abbe Vacandard. Walsh
shows that on 17th October, 1490, a Jew named
Yuce confessed to having been present at the
crucifixion of a boy called Christopher at La Guardian
near Toledo. He made this confession without the
"aid" of any torture; he was not even threatened with
that for one year after his confession. On 19th July,
1491, Yuce was promised immunity from punishment
for himself and described the whole crucifixion and
gave the names of his accomplices. On 25th October,
1491, a jury of seven noted Renaissance scholars
who occupied the Chairs at Salamanca University
examined the case and were unanimous in finding
Yuce guilty. Not until after this did Yuce undergo
torture. This torture was applied to make him say for
what reason the boy Christopher had been crucified
instead of being killed in any other way; but no
"leading" questions were employed in the
examination. After this, the case went before a second
jury of five learned men of Avila, who considered the
evidence concerning Yuce's accomplices, who had
been arrested and under examination; they
unanimously declared them guilty. Eight Jews (some
of them Marranos. or pretended converts to
Christianity) were executed.

Writing of the efforts made to discredit the trials in
this case, Walsh says (p. 464): "Must we assume that
they (the two learned juries) were all murderous
fanatics, willing to sacrifice innocent men, and that
Dr. Leob, Dr. Lea, and on the Catholic side the
somewhat too credulous Abbe Vacandard were better
qualified to weigh the evidence after the lapse of four

Walsh is not an "anti-semite." He is a historian, and
has not suggested that ritual murder is part or any
official Jewish ceremony. But he says: "The historian,
far from being obliged to make wholesale vindication
of all Jews accused of murder, is free, in fact, bound
to consider each individual case upon its merits."

Walsh states (p. 441) that this case of Ritual Murder
was "one of the chief factors, if not the decisive one,
in the decision of Fernando and Isabel" (for the
expulsion of the Jews from Spain). He shows that the
complete record of testimony in the trial of one of the
accused has been available since it was published in
1887 in the Bulletin of the Royal Academy at Madrid
(Vol. XI, pp. 7-160), from the original manuscript.
(This was, of course, before the Red revolution!)

Walsh charges Lea, the pro-Jewish author, of
intellectual dishonesty (p. 628) in writing in his
Inquisition in Spain decrying the influential men who
were jurors in this case.

"If the Inquisitors sent eight men to a shameful death
without being convinced beyond a reasonable doubt
of their guilt, the honest verdict of history cannot
shrink from finding not only Torquemada and his
judges, but King Fernando and Queen Isabel,
Cardinal Mendoza and several of the most illustrious
professors of Salamanca University guilty of
complicity in one of the most brutal judicial murders
on record?" (Walsh, p. 442.)

Those who shrink from charging the Jews with the
practice of Ritual Murder thereby condemn some of
the finest characters on the stage of European history.

Finally, we must record that the murdered boy was
canonised as St. Christopher on the authority of Pope
Pius VII.