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Report of talk by Jorge Martins Ribeiro on The Role played by the British Community in Trade, Politics and Social Life from the Late-18th to the mid-19th Century



On the evening of 30 November, 33 members and guests attended the British Club [OCLTC] Porto (photo below) to hear an excellent and comprehensive talk given by Jorge Martins Ribeiro (photo left), a history professor at the Dept. of Arts and Humanities, Porto University. He is also a researcher at CITCEM (Centro de Investigação Transdisciplinária de Cultura, Espaço e Memória).


Alan Dawber introduced the speaker (photos below) and took the opportunity to thank people for supporting the Society during the past year, in which there had been six talks and two visits to places of historical significance. He also invited suggestions for future events and thanked Janice Bain and Maria Martins for their invaluable assistance and support throughout the past two years.


The title of the talk by Prof. Ribeiro was: "The Role played by the British Community in Trade, Politics and Social Life from the Late-18th to the mid-19th Century". The speaker was well qualified in this area, having done his PhD thesis on Portuguese-American relationships (1776-1822) and his MA dissertation on the Porto-British Community during the French invasions (1807 - 11). He has articles on these topics, published in several languages, both in Portugal and abroad. 


Due to traffic difficulties, we started a little late, but there was a good attendance and all enjoyed the lecture, which was very wide-ranging.  From the trade treaty of 1353, we ranged through the Treaties of Tagilde, London and Windsor, John of Gaunt and the birth of Henry the Navigator to King João I and Phillipa of Lancaster (John's daughter) in Porto, to set the scene, and then concentrated on the main subjects of the talk. Notwithstanding this, the Peninsular Wars were referred to at some length (1807-11), with suitably interesting Powerpoint slides.


Our speaker was presented with a good bottle of Dona Ferreira port for his troubles, as well as being invited to the ensuing dinner. He enjoyed the occasion as much as we did. 


There was little time for questions, but people approached Jorge Ribeiro afterwards to ask questions or seek clarifications. A pleasant 3-course dinner was then enjoyed by 15 people in the Long Room adjoining the main restaurant.  As always, the staff were helpful, obliging, and attentive to our needs.