MARTINEZ, FERRANT °, archdeacon of Écija, one of the leading anti-Jewish agitators in Castile during the last quarter of the 14th century. Preaching in public in *Seville, Martínez demanded that the 23 synagogues in the town should be destroyed and the Jews confined to their own quarter. As vicar-general of the archbishop of Seville, he secured the right of jurisdiction over the Jews of the town and its environs and demanded their expulsion from Écija and other rural districts. In 1378 the Jewish community of Seville appealed to King Henry ii of Castile, but his letter to the archdeacon commanding him to desist was ignored. The Jews turned to his successor John i in 1382 but John's edict of 1383 also did not deter Martínez. In 1388 the Jewish community of Seville finally resolved to summon the archdeacon before the supreme court of the crown. In his defense, Martínez claimed that his actions were beneficial to Church and crown and that he had acted with the consent of his superior, the archbishop. Due to the intervention of Queen Leonora in favor of the archdeacon, little resulted from the trial. Even the archbishop of Seville's prompt removal of Martínez from office was fruitless, for after the deaths of King John and the archbishop in 1390 the archdeacon was reinstated to his former position. Immediately after his reinstatement, he ordered that all synagogues within his jurisdiction be destroyed. The intervention of King Henry iii, who demanded that Martínez rebuild the synagogues and resign from office, went unheeded. As a result of his continued activities, riots broke out throughout Castile in 1391 and spread rapidly to Aragon. In the ensuing destruction and massacres, many Jews were forced to accept baptism. In 1395 Martínez was imprisoned on the order of the king, but he was soon released; after his death the people revered him as a saint.
Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), 699ff.; 2 (1936), 210ff., 231ff., 244ff.; Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), index s.v.Ferrant Martinez.