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The British Historical Society of Portugal (BHSP) was founded in 1974, succeeding the Historical Association - Lisbon Branch, which functioned uninterrupted from 1937 to 1954. The ‘Headquarters’ and Library of the BHSP have always been located in British institutions, firstly at the Colégio dos Inglesinhos in the Bairro Alto, then at the Scottish Church in Rua da Arriaga, and since 1998 at St. Julian’s School, in Carcavelos.


The BHSP continues the tradition of the Historical Association of organising lectures, visits, and excursions, and of publishing historical booklets and an Annual Report, which contains articles of interest for members and researchers alike. In addition to housing a sizeable collection of books of Anglo-Portuguese historical interest, the Library has collected and classified many archives and documents of bygone British institutions and personalities in Portugal, such as the Lisbon Ladies Club, the English College, and the former Private Secretary to the last King of Portugal – D. Manuel II. Another major role of the BHSP is to record the history and memories of well-established British families in Portugal, through the publication of articles and booklets, which include ones on Eyewitness Accounts of the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and of the 1974-1976 Revolution.


Having been partly fought on Portuguese soil, the Peninsular War figures large in the BHSP’s research, publications, and activities. Stimulated by the Bicentenary of 1807 to 1814, the BHSP decided to offer guided battlefield tours for members and visiting members in 2006, serving individuals and groups ranging from historians, researchers, families, local municipalities, and serving and retired members of the British and Portuguese Armed Forces.


A branch of the BHSP was opened in Oporto in 2006, which continues to flourish under local leadership. The BHSP regularly cooperates through the exchange research and speakers with other similar organisations in both Portugal and Britain, including:

  • The Algarve Archaeological Society,
  • The Algarve History Association,
  • The Anglo-Portuguese Society,
  • The Friends of the British Cemetery in Elvas,
  • The Friends of The Lines of Torres Vedras,
  • PILT (Plataforma Intermunicipal para as Linhas de Torres Vedras),
  • The Royal British Club,
  • Universidade Católica (Instituto de Estudos Políticos), and
  • Universidade Nova (Área de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses)


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

 

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