Time Line of Anglo-Portuguese Relations

  • 1809

    A commercial treaty is signed in Rio de Janeiro between Portugal and Britain represented by Lord Strangford.

  • 1810

    The 3rd invasion of Portugal. The French (The Army of Portugal) were led by Marshall Massena with Ney (1769-1815) and Junot (1771-1813) as his subordinates. There were important clashes at Côa and Almeida is taken after being blown up by accident.

  • 1810

    An important battle is fought at Bussaco in September and the French’s assaults were beaten back. There were 1252 Allied losses – exactly split between Portuguese and British. The Allies are however outflanked forcing Wellington to retreat towards Coimbra and Lisbon.

  • 1810

    A treaty signed in Rio de Janeiro promising mutual support against hostile acts, indemnifying British subjects for losses regarding the 1807 happenings and for the first time refers to the gradual abolition of slavery.

  • 1811

    The magnificent Portuguese dinner service (Serviço da Victória) is designed by Domingos de Sequeira, made in Lisbon at the military workshop and given to the Duke of Wellington as a sign of gratitude of the Portuguese nation. It can be seen in Apsley House. It was completed in 1816 and sent to London the same year.

  • 1811

    After Buçaco, Wellington falls behind the Lines of Torres Vedras which were in fact three lines north of Lisbon (the third one round the mouth of the Tagus) which had been built at speed and secrecy overseen by Sir Richard Fletcher (1768-1813), a Royal Engineer. The many forts were manned by Portuguese militia and ordenanças leaving the regular troops to intervene when needed. Massena has no idea of the existence of these lines. After spending the winter before them with increasing problems of supplies he retired first to Santarém and then left Portugal. The Tagus was defended by the Royal Navy so that no attempt to outflank the lines could be made.

  • 1812

    The Anglo-Portuguese army advances into Spain after taking and looting Badajoz. Battle of Salamanca.

  • 1812

    The future Duke of Wellington is made Duque da Victória in Portugal and Marquis of Torres Vedras. In 1809 he had received the title in Portugal of Visconde do Vimeiro.

  • 1812

    D. Pedro de Sousa Holstein (1781-1850) 1st Duke of Palmela was Portuguese envoy to the Court of St. James 1812-1817, 1825-1828 and 1838-1841. An able and important diplomat he represented Portugal in the Congress of Viena. He was active in politics for the constitutional cause during the liberal wars (1828-1834) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister. He was a friend of the Prince Regent and was invited to Brighton Pavillion. He was also a friend of Beckford and was present at the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838.

  • 1813

    Battle of Victoria where the Anglo-Portuguese troops are victorious and King Joseph’s (1768-1844) (Napoleon’s brother) baggage train is captured including Joseph’s silver chamber pot.