Image: Thetford, UK.
Over 800 years ago one of the world’s oldest alliances was first set up between Portugal and England: in 1308, the time of King Don Dinis of Portugal (Rei Lavrador: Farmer King) and England’s King Edward II. The alliance was formalized in 1373 by treaty.
Strong friendly relations go back even further to 1147 when Afonso I requested the help of some passing English crusaders (on their way to the Holy Land as part of the Second Crusades) led by Hervey Glanville, Constable of Suffolk, to help expel the Moors at the ‘Siege of Lisbon’. This timely intervention, successfully resulting in the end of Muslim-held Lisbon, cemented the friendship between the two countries – leading to manifold links between the East Anglian region and Portuguese-speaking people and communities.
Almost a millennium later, now in 2017, our small heritage project explores this many centuries old history, the interplay between the two countries, inter-migration, the personal stories, and of course the cultural and social exchanges between the world’s oldest allies – and we look to record and document Portuguese traditions and migrant history right up to the present day.