1st Edition

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance and the English Merchants in Portugal 1654–1810

By L.M.E. Shaw Copyright 1998

    The alliance made between Cromwell and John IV in 1654, cemented by the Articles of Marriage between Charles II and Catherine of Braganza in 1661 lasted for 156 years. Together, they provided a guarantee of Portugal’s independence and formed a framework for an expansion of trade between England, Portugal and its overseas possessions. The Inquisition had ruined the ’New Christians’ (Sephardic Jews) who had been Portugal’s principal middlemen, enabling the English merchants to play a dominant role in that expansion once they had overcome their French and Dutch rivals. They held that position until Pombal succeeded by 1770 in breaking the hold which foreigners had established over Portuguese commerce. This book is the result of many years of research into Portuguese and British archival sources. It interweaves politics, economics, religion and commerce to portray what life was like for English merchants in Portugal in the period.

    Contents: Foreword; Part 1, Commercial and Political Background: Introduction; Anglo-Portuguese relations 1654-1810, commercial and social factors; Survey of British trade with Portugal 1654-1810; Part 2, The Organisation of the British Community: Consuls and Consuls General; The factory - its structure and role; Part 3, The 1654 Treaty in Practice: Article 25 and the half custom; Justice and the conservator; Taxes, the secret article and allied matters; The Brazil trade; The corn trade; The Oporto wine trade; Seamen and shipping; Religious problems in Anglo-Portuguese relations; Conclusions; Index.


    L.M.E. Shaw

    '...impeccably-researched analysis of the British community in Portugal...This volume provides a compelling account of the tribulations and ultimate strengthening of this enduring alliance during the Age of Reason, and will surely motivate the reader to investigate other periods...' British Bulletin of Publications '...a very useful survey...' Journal of Economic History '... a book that promises to delight scholars and students alike.' International Journal of Maritime History