Dear Members,


Our latest Newsletter has a nautical theme.  The first of our two main articles looks at an 1814 battle between three Royal Navy ships and an American privateer in the harbour of Horta, on Faial island in the Azores. This battle became part of American folk history in the 19th  century because of its assumed impact on subsequent events. It also has an interesting connection with the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the USA. The second article explores the role of Portugal in the British use of convicts to settle New South Wales. It is interesting to learn that, starting in 1787, more than half of the British convict convoys sailed to Sydney via Rio de Janeiro, where they received a good reception.


There is also an Antipodean connection in our “Did You Know?” section, which tells the often-amusing story of the first Australian Consul to Portuguese Timor after WW2.


Now that lockdown has been eased, we are beginning to tentatively explore the possibility of organising some outdoors events. The first will be on Friday June 26th, repeated on June 27th and will involve a walking tour of Lisbon to explore the haunts of WW2 Spies. Indoor meetings remain problematic, however, and for this reason we have postponed our Annual General Meeting.


The next Newsletter will appear at the end of July, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the death of António de Oliveira Salazar.


Edward Godfrey, Chairman

NEWS see more News here

MAY 20, 2020

Museums are re-opening

With the relaxation of some lockdown regulations, most museums re-opened during the week beginning 18 May. Here are a few suggestions.


MAY 14, 2020

Videos from the 1940s

Silent films from the early 1940s in Lisbon

EVENTS see more Events here

JUNE 1, 2020

Menus of the Royal Family

Memories of the trip to Vila Viçosa


JUNE 26, 2020

WW2 Spies in Lisbon Walking Tour

A guided visit to the haunts of Allied and Axis spies in downtown Lisbon

ARTICLES see more Articles here

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance and the Settlement of Australia

Author: Curtis Stewart



Year: 2020

Subject Matter: Portugal overseas


The Battle of Fayal

Author: Curtis Stewart



Year: 2020

Subject Matter: Military other than Peninsular War


Did you know?

Did you know that the Portuguese Government wanted to make the British, Lambeth-born, WWI pilot, Charles Eaton, a Commander of the Military Order of Christ (Comendador da Ordem Militar de Cristo) for his work in Portuguese Timor, but that this was vetoed by the Australian Government?


As a member of the Royal Flying Corps from 1917, Eaton was twice captured behind enemy lines and twice escaped. After the War he moved to Australia and came to prominence for his work in finding lost aviators in Central Australia, for which he was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC). The outbreak of WWII saw him as commanding officer of the RAAF in Darwin and he was awarded an OBE in 1941.


Although Portugal was neutral in WW2, Australia, against the wishes of the Portuguese Government, sent troops to Timor in late 1941 to forestall a possible Japanese occupation. This possibly had the opposite effect because Japan invaded in February 1942. Eaton became Commanding Officer of No. 79 Wing, which, among other roles, carried out bombing missions over the whole of Timor and the Lesser Sunda islands. He would frequently join the missions. At the end of the War he was selected as the Australian Consul in Portuguese Timor, a fact that he attributed to his being the only applicant with any knowledge of the region. To build the new consulate eleven builders and all building materials were to be ferried to Dili from Darwin on the ship carrying Eaton.  However, the vessel was delayed and Eaton came to be known as the “hitchhiking” Consul when he hitched a ride on a British destroyer. He stayed with the Governor, Oscar Freire de Vasconcelos Ruas, while the consulate was under construction. 


Conditions in Timor were not easy. Shipping from Portugal was irregular and the colony ran out of flour and sugar. Portuguese Government officers regarded it as a punishment posting. Shipping and planes from Darwin were also unreliable. The Governor requested Eaton to support the rehabilitation of the colony, including the airport. Eaton had to keep quiet about the fact that he had previously bombed Timor, including destroying churches used by the Japanese as munitions dumps. The rehabilitation work involved Eaton in considerable travel, often at great personal risk, as the roads were poor. Moreover, Governor Ruas commandeered the Portuguese Air Force’s only DH-82 Tiger Moth in Timor and requested Charles to fly him around.  


In late August 1947, Eaton was suddenly transferred to Batavia (Jakarta) as Australia’s representative to the UN Security Council’s Commission investigating the Netherland-Indonesia conflict. In September he was appointed Consul-General to the Netherlands East Indies. The Portuguese Government offered to appoint him as a Commander of the Military Order of Christ (Comendador da Ordem Militar de Cristo), ‘in recognition of his useful co-operation in securing all necessary facilities in connection with reconstruction and development of Timor’. The Australian Government declined permission for him to accept the decoration, probably because he was still a serving Government officer. However, he received further British awards, as well as the Knights Cross of the Oranji Nassau with Swords, from the Netherlands.


(The photo shows Eaton, his son, and Oscar Freire de Vasconcelos Ruas on the Eatons' arrival in Dili)


Read more about Eaton in Portuguese Timor here


Read the Wikipedia page on Charles Eaton here

Every Quarter the BHSP Newsletter will share a fact of historic or cultural interest related to Britain or Portugal. If you know of any such a fact or facts related to Anglo Portuguese relations, please send the information in good time to the BHSP Librarian at

50 Years Ago

As we gradually recover from measures of confinement, we take a nostalgic look at what was going on in the Lisbon, Estoril and the Algarve areas during the summer of 1970. As always, these items appeared in the Anglo-Portuguese News.


Royal British Club Derby Day Lunch

The Royal British Club organized a Derby Day Lunch on the 3rd June, which was presided over by the Vice-President, Mr. A.G. Battle, H.M. Consul-General in Lisbon. The Guest of Honour was Miss P. Findlay, the well-known horsewoman, who gave a charming and interesting talk about horses, and related some amusing episodes of her horse-riding career.

After the lunch, the draw was made for the horses for the Club’s Derby Day sweepstake. Most members and guests stayed on to hear the B.B.C radio commentary on the race.

Although he did not win in the Sweepstake, Mr. B.E. Dawson, a current member of the BHSP, drew a horse and won 50 Escudos.


Royal British Club – Sandwich Bar

The Royal British Club is pleased to announce the inauguration of its new Sandwich Bar service on Monday 29th June where members and their guests will be most welcome. Rua da Estrela 8, Lisbon 2.



The Estoril-Sol Hotel and Eng. Eduardo Anahory are to be congratulated on the “Floating Swimming Pool” designed by the latter and now lying some 300 m. off the main Estoril beach. Far from the madding crowd, in short.

It is a huge floating platform 30x20m with a 20x10m opening in the middle, which is the “Seapool”, a rectangle of sea with nylon mesh sides and bottom. The platform is made of floating sections and there is a handrail all round. There is also a snack bar, together with changing rooms and toilet.

Bathers are ferried across in motor boats. The charge for using the “Sea Pool” is, we understand, 40 esc. for ladies (men 50 esc.) during the weekend, and 30 esc. for ladies (men 40 esc.) on ordinary days. The whole thing is, of course, securely anchored.



J. van de AA, writing from Armação de Pera in the Algarve, informs us that a team of Moroccans have set themselves up in the Casino where they now dispense Moroccan dishes. As a gimmick they also brought two camels with them but that was too much for the local Câmara. The animals have now been sold to the Lisbon Zoo.






One hundred years ago

The Kendall Cup was first presented in 1920 by Mr Clarence Kendall in memory of his cousin, Douglas Rawes, a celebrated local cricketer in Porto, who lost his life after the second Battle of Ypres in 1915. The cup is awarded to the victors of the annual cricket match between Lisbon and Porto. The forthcoming Annual Report will have more information about cricket in Porto.



Every Quarter you will find in your BHSP Newsletter a selection of key events that happened 50 years ago or more. If you know of upcoming events related to Anglo Portuguese relations please send the information in good time to the BHSP Librarian at



What is the linguistic connection between Portugal and this picture?

The answer to the quiz can be found at the end of the Members' News section.

Appeal to families

When sorting through your attics and/or cupboards, you might come across letters, diaries, articles, postcards, or videos related to Anglo-Portuguese relations that you think would be of interest to the BHSP and its Members. Please contact our Librarian to discuss the matter further on All objects handed over to the BHSP Library will be logged either for further reference by researchers, for recovery at a later date or to be listed as a permanent donation (with the relevant documents) to the BHSP.

Members' News

The Council regrets to announce that longstanding member Frederico Roquette passed away in May and offers its heartfelt condolences to Julette.


Because of COVID-19 the Annual General Meeting has been postponed. More information will be provided in the next Newsletter


Please note that the Library remains closed until further notice.


Answer to Quiz.

The use in English of the word Mandarin to refer to a high-level Chinese bureaucrat comes from the Portuguese Mandarim, which was used in one of the earliest Portuguese reports about China, believed to have been written and sent in 1524. It was also used in Castanheda's História do descobrimento e conquista da Índia pelos portugueses in 1559 or thereabouts. Subsequently, the Italian Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci, who arrived in Macau in 1582, reported the use of the word.


Its origin was thought by many to be related to mandar (to command), which has Latin origins. However, there is now general agreement that it was borrowed by the Portuguese in China from a Malay word with origins in the Sanskrit word, mantri, meaning councillor or minister.


In the first half of the 16th century the Portuguese Discoverers travelled to far corners of the world and left a legacy of Portuguese words being adopted in other peoples’ languages. Perhaps most examples come from the Indonesian language, as can be seen in this amusing video to be found in our VIDEOS section.





We would be delighted to hear about items of news from members, however insignificant it may be. Of especial interest is news about books or articles that have been published by Members, or visits to historical sites or exhibitions of interest.



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Carcavelos, September, 2018


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