Time Line of Anglo-Portuguese Relations

  • 1783

    A group of English merchants rents a property in Rua do Alecrim as premises for a British Club (“Assembleia dos Ingleses”). Among the signatories of the rental agreement are the Stephen brothers of Marinha Grande glass factory. In 1789 a large party in honor of King Jorge III was held here with 600 guests. The Club survived the French invasions and went on into the XIX century.

  • 1787

    The aesthete and much quoted William Beckford first comes out to Portugal. Subsquently he lived in Portugal form 1793 to 1796 and from 1798-1799. He wrote “Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha” in 1835 and "Sketches of Spain and Portugal” in 1834.

  • 1790

    Gerard de Visme, a British merchant in Lisbon of Huguenot descent, rented and rebuilt the quinta of Monserrate in Sintra in the neo-gothic taste which was new to Portugal. Beckford lived here and the quinta was visited by Byron in 1809. Sir Francis Cook (a textile fortune) acquired the property in 1856 and works of reconstruction were completed in 1869. Sir Francis was later given the title of Visconde de Monserrate. The family sold the quinta in 1946.

  • 1790

    Present Factory House opened in Oporto designed by John Whitehead. He was British consul in Oporto for close to fifty years.

  • 1793

    Treaty between D.Maria I of Portugal and George III to mutually protect trade against the French.

  • 1796

    The romantic author Robert Southey first comes out to Portugal. Later he lived here between 1800 and 1801. He published “Letters from Spain and Portugal” in 1797. Southey tried to write but never completed a History of Portugal.

  • 1797

    Sea battle off Cape St. Vicent in the Algarve against the Spanish and the French fleets. The British fleet was commanded by Jervis, who became (1801) the 1st Viscount St.Vicent. Nelson greatly distinguished himself in this battle.

  • 1803

    Duque of Sussex (1773-1843) 6th son of George III lives in Lisbon for several years (1800-1804) at the Palácio das Necessidades. He collected bibles and introduced Freemasonry into Portugal and its recognition by English masonry. His brother, the Duke of Kent, father of the future Queen Victoria, visited him in Lisbon in 1802 when he was Governor of Gibraltar.

  • 1803

    Lord Strangford, an Irish peer, is Minister in Lisbon and is known for his literary efforts having translated “Poems from the Portuguese of Luis de Camões”. Was also involved in the diplomatic aspects of the Peninsular War.

  • 1807

    Napoleon instructs Portugal to close its ports to Britain’s shipping, confiscate British merchandise, arrest British subjects in Portugal and declare war on England. The Government tried to prevaricate and French troops invaded led by Junot (1771-1813). It was what is described as the 1st invasion and took place along the Tagus Valley. Junot was rewarded by Napoleon with the title of Duke of Abrantes.