the British Community Council, Lisbon

The British Community Council, Lisbon

Umbrella entity for organisations
with links to the British Community
in and around Lisbon


The British Historical Society of Portugal

The British Historical Society of Portugal is a Society with about 250 members and has as its object to recover, preserve and collate as much as possible of the history of the British in Portugal, and to promote interest in the History of Anglo-Portuguese relations.

Contact Information

British Historical Society
St. Julian's School,
Quinta Nova,
2766-601 Carcavelos.

Phone: Library: (00351) 21 458 5336 (Mondays 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.)

Email: info@bhsportugal.org

Website: www.bhsportugal.org

Full Description

The British Historical Society of Portugal (BHSP) was created in 1974 and has functioned ever since. It succeeded the Historical Association Lisbon Branch which opened in 1937 and had very much the same objectives as the present Society. It was then linked to the Historical Association in the U.K. The first Council was presided by Mrs. Jayne and lasted until 1954 publishing an Annual Report and Reviews almost every year including the war years. This Association organized lectures, visits and excursions, indeed their activity was very much like what goes on today with the BHSP. As stated the BHSP was created in 1974 and Mr. R.J.E. Price was its first chairman. H.M. Ambassador became its Patron, a tradition which continues to this day . The full income for 1974 was 13.366$50 (€ 66) and expenses 10.306$50 (€ 51). Today (2008) the income was € 7963 and expenses € 7040! Its headquarters were always in “British homes”, firstly in the Colégio dos Inglesinhos in the Bairro Alto, then in the Scottish Church in Rua da Arriaga and now at St. Julian’s School in Carcavelos and we wish to thank all these institutions for their hospitality. Over all these years the BHSP has organized lectures, visits and trips which have always attracted many of its members. It has collated many archives and papers of demised British Institutions in Portugal such as the Lisbon Ladies Club and the English College which are available to research students. The library and these archives are open usually once a week but other visits can be arranged by contacting the Hon. Librarian.

Every year since 1974 an Annual Report including articles of Anglo-Portuguese historical interest has been published and other publications often sponsored, have also been edited and can be obtained at the BHSP as can be seen on this website. You will also find on this website an index by author, title and subject of all the articles which have appeared.

The BHSP also tries to register the history and memories of British families in Portugal publishing articles on these various families and a booklet (kindly sponsored by BP) on Eyewitness Accounts of the 1974-1976 Revolution has recently been produced.

The Peninsular War of course figures large in BHSP’s (and indeed in the Historical Association’s before) activities regarding visits, lectures, articles and excursions. Presently because of the bicentenary of the various invasions of Portugal by Napoleonic troops (1807, 1810 and 1811) interest in this historical epoch has, of course, grown and the BHSP has created a special sub-committee headed by BHSP’s Hon. Vice-Chairman Clive Gilbert which organizes visits and talks to the many mainly British institutions (regiments, universities and societies) which come out to Portugal at this time.

In 2006 a branch in Oporto was opened. The Algarve has the Algarve Archeological Society which is of course independent of the BHSP but with whom we maintain many contacts.

The BHSP depends entirely on the voluntary and enthusiastic support of its members and many give many hours of work and thought to its success. May it continue so for many years to come.