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Kenneth Henry Lionel Light

D. JOÃO E SEU AMOR PELO BRASIL

  D. JOÃO (1) E SEU AMOR PELO BRASIL Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, associado efetivo, titular da cadeira n.º 1, patrono Albino José da Siqueira A vida do nosso príncipe regente, rei e imperador titular não foi nada fácil. No entanto, as suas duas maiores façanhas. por ter sido o único monarca que conseguiu driblar o homem mais poderoso da sua época, Napoleão, e ao mesmo tempo por ter mantido unida a sua colônia de tamanho continental que foi o Brasil, mostram que, sem dúvida nenhuma, foi um homem sortudo ou então, uma pessoa calma, ponderada, estrategista e inteligente. Após muitos estudos por parte de historiadores, resultando na bem coordenada celebração do bi-centenário da transferência da família real e corte para o Rio de Janeiro, em 2008, não temos mais dúvidas: a figura de D. João, até então uma caricatura do que deveria ser um monarca, mudou e para sempre. Entendemos melhor o seu caráter, os seus pontos fracos e também os fortes. Após esta reavaliação ficou mais clara a sua participação em influenciar o futuro do Brasil, que vem a ser o nosso presente. Somos grandes devedores da sua capacidade, inteligência e visão. Segundo filho da Rainha D. Maria (2), a sua infância foi relativamente calma e até pacata pois o irmão mais velho, José(3), estava sendo preparado para um dia assumir os deveres e responsabilidades de administrar o Império Português. (1) D. João, 1767-1826, 27º Rei de Portugal. (2) D. Maria I, 1734-1816, 26ª Rainha de Portugal. (3) D. José Francisco Xavier, 1761-1788. Herdou a religiosidade da mãe e logo se entregou aos prazeres do canto gregoriano e o convívio com os monges. Hoje, é difícil acreditar mas, naquela época, Portugal era repleto de conventos. Marcus Cheke (4), biógrafo da Princesa Carlota Joaquina, escreveu que nada menos do que trezentos mil, de uma população de três milhões, estavam ligados aos cento e oitenta conventos e mosteiros então existentes. Mas o destino muitas vezes prega o inesperado, e assim foi. Sucumbido pela varíola seu irmão, em 1788, veio a falecer. D. João poderia ainda esperar uma longa vida em segundo plano pois sua mãe só morreria de velhice em 1816. Mas, não foi o caso. Os problemas resultantes de casamentos entre primos, como também entre sobrinhas e tios, logo veio à tona. D. Maria começou a apresentar sinais de instabilidade mental e, em 1785, aos 25 anos de idade, […] Read More

THE TRANSFER OF THE PORTUGUESE CAPITAL AND COURT TO RIO DE JANEIRO – 1807-1808

  THE TRANSFER OF THE PORTUGUESE CAPITAL AND COURT TO RIO DE JANEIRO 1807-1808 Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, associado efetivo, titular da cadeira n.º 1, patrono Albino José da Siqueira 2008 will go down in Brazilian history for 2 special reasons: the bicentenary of the transfer of the Portuguese court and capital to Rio de Janeiro and the year that saw a major change to the Prince Regent’s image. Following the severe losses suffered at Trafalgar, Napoleon decided, in 1806, that: if his ships were to be blockaded in their ports, then he would prevent British goods from entering France and all countries under his control. This was critical news for Britain, as she depended on exports for her economic strength needed, for instance, to sustain the expensive war against the French Emperor. It must have been obvious to the Portuguese State Council – made up of intelligent and experienced men – that sooner or later Napoleon would be making demands on her: to close the one remaining gap in his Continental commercial shield. Portugal, at that time, was ruled by the Prince Regent D. João, as his mother – the Queen – had become insane. As Portugal was an absolute monarchy, the State Council had but advisory powers. In July 1807, preparations began for a possible journey to Brazil. Ordering the return to the Tagus, those ships patrolling near the straits of Gibraltar against pirates; sending orders to the Viceroy in Brazil, prohibiting the departure of merchant ships – D. João was foreseeing the French invasion, Negotiating an agreement with Britain: to provide an escort, as Portuguese war ships would be transformed into passenger ships and so could not defend themselves if attacked. These careful and lengthy preparations are not compatible with the word ‘flight’, so often used; it was a deliberate, well-conceived strategy that met with total success. The crossing of her frontier by French and Spanish troops, the blockade of Lisbon by a British squadron and the news from Paris, quoting what Napoleon would do to his family, left him without options. On November 29 1807, he set sail for Brazil with his family and court. The studies completed by the author, during the last 15 years, have enabled historians – after 200 years – to have access to original documentation that finally unravel details of the voyage. Discovery of the log books of those British ships […] Read More

TRANSFERÊNCIA DA CAPITAL E DA CORTE PORTUGUESAS PARA O RIO DE JANEIRO – 1807-1808 (A)

  A TRANSFERÊNCIA DA CAPITAL E DA CORTE PORTUGUESAS PARA O RIO DE JANEIRO – 1807-1808 Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, associado efetivo, titular da cadeira n.º 1, patrono Albino José da Siqueira Quando a história do Brasil for escrita, o ano de 2008 será lembrado particularmente por dois motivos: o bicentenário da transferência da capital e da corte portuguesas para o Rio de Janeiro, e o ano que registrou uma significativa mudança na imagem do príncipe regente D. João. Após as severas perdas sofridas na batalha de Trafalgar, Napoleão decidiu em 1806 que, se seus navios continuassem sendo bloqueados nos seus próprios portos, ele então impediria a entrada de manufaturados ingleses na França e em todos os territórios sob o seu domínio. Para a Inglaterra, esta notícia foi crítica, pois ela dependia da exportação para manter a sua saúde econômica, necessária, por exemplo, para custear a dispendiosa guerra contra o Imperador francês. Deveria ter sido bastante óbvio para o Conselho de Estado Português – composto de homens inteligentes e bem preparados – que mais cedo ou mais tarde, Napoleão o pressionaria para fechar a última brecha no seu escudo comercial do Continente. Naquela época, reinava em Portugal, o Príncipe regente D. João – no lugar de sua mãe, a Rainha D. Maria I, que tinha se tornado incapaz. Como Portugal era uma monarquia absoluta, o papel do Conselho era meramente aconselhador. Em julho de 1807, deu-se início aos preparativos para uma possível jornada ao Brasil: chamando de volta para o Tejo os seus navios que estavam patrulhando o estreito de Gibraltar contra piratas; enviando ordens ao Vice-Rei proibindo a partida de qualquer navio mercante – D. João estava prevendo a invasão de seu país pelos franceses; negociando um tratado com a Inglaterra, para a mesma providenciar uma escolta, pois a esquadra de guerra portuguesa seria transformada em uma esquadra de navios de passageiros e, sendo assim, não teriam condições de se defenderem caso fossem atacados. Estes cuidados e preparos demorados, não são condizentes com o uso da palavra ‘fuga’, tantas vezes usada por historiadores; foi uma estratégia propositada, bem concebida, e que obteve total sucesso. A invasão de suas fronteiras pelos exércitos da França e da Espanha, o bloqueio de Lisboa por um esquadrão britânico e a notícia, chegada de Paris, citando o destino que Napoleão tinha reservado para a sua família, deixaram D. João sem opções. No dia 29 […] Read More

TRAFALGAR

  TRAFALGAR Kenneth Light Nelson Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. This month it will be 200 years since that fateful day when the Royal Navy faced the combined navies of France and Spain, at Trafalgar. This was an event that would have long-lasting repercussions – For France – that was forced to abandon, for the moment at any rate, her plans to invade Britain; For Britain, in addition to avoiding invasion, domination of the seas placed her in a position to eventually face Bonaparte on land – to be able to land troops in Portugal and maintain them continuously supplied by sea. In spite of the Continental blockade, imposed by Bonaparte, England would continue her foreign trade through large scale smuggling and open new markets for her goods, as happened in 1808, in Brazil. For Portugal, two years later invaded by Bonaparte, she would be able to call on her ally to escort her court as it made its way to Brazil. For Brazil – the coming of the royal family was her birth, as a nation. In 1815 her status changed from colony to full nation. A decade later, she would become an independent empire. I am therefore very happy, this evening, to share my knowledge of this event with you. SLIDE A I have divided this presentation into three parts. First the Political scenario, in 1803, followed by the Personal scenario of the battle’s hero – Nelson and, finally, the Battle of Trafalgar. I calculate that this presentation will last some 45 minutes. SLIDE P1 01 Part 1 – The Political Scenario Following a short interlude, war with France was resumed, in 1803. On the Continent, Bonaparte had had total success in defeating all the armies that had tried to contain his ambition to dominate the whole of Europe. Only Russia and England stood in his way. Russia, protected by her immense army, the long communication lines essential to reach her most important cities and her harsh winter weather. England, on the other hand, protected by the fact that she was an island. Invasion of England has always been extremely difficult – Romans and Danes and, more recently, Normans, in 1066, were the only ones to succeed. England watched, with increasing apprehension, as Bonaparte prepared for invasion. A very short distance away, just across the channel, invading forces began to gather. Along the French, Belgian and Dutch coastline […] Read More

TRAFALGAR

  TRAFALGAR Kenneth Henry Lionel Light Almirante Nelson Este mês, vai completar 200 anos desde aquele dia profético quando a Marinha Real Inglesa enfrentou as frotas da França e da Espanha, em Trafalgar. Esse foi um evento de repercussão duradoura. Para a França – que se veria forçada a abandonar, pelo menos por enquanto, seus planos de invadir a Grã-Bretanha. Para a Grã-Bretanha – que além de evitar a invasão do seu país, a dominação dos mares a colocaria numa posição de poder enfrentar no futuro, Bonaparte em terra. Desembarcaria tropas em Portugal e as manteria continuamente supridas por via marítima. A Inglaterra, apesar do bloqueio continental imposto por Napoleão, não só continuaria a exportar através do contrabando em larga escala, como viria a abrir novos mercados como foi feito no Brasil, em 1808. Para Portugal – dois anos mais tarde invadida por tropas francesas, o domínio do mar permitiria o comboio com segurança da família real para o Brasil. Para o Brasil – a vinda da família real foi o seu nascimento como país, pois em 1815 foi incorporado à coroa de Portugal e, uma década mais tarde, tornou-se um império independente. Estou portanto muito contente, já que estudo esta matéria, em poder compartilhar meus conhecimentos com os senhores. Essa apresentação será feita em 3 partes: Primeiro, o cenário político em 1803, depois, a vida particular de Nelson e, finalmente, a batalha. Calculo que essa apresentação levará 45 minutos. 1.O Cenário Político Depois de um intervalo de um ano, a Guerra com a França se reiniciou em 1803. No continente, Bonaparte teve absoluto sucesso ao derrotar todos os exércitos que tinham tentado conter suas ambições de dominar a Europa. Somente a Rússia e a Inglaterra impediram a realização do seu sonho. A Rússia por causa do seu exército numeroso, as longas distâncias para chegar às suas cidades mais importantes e o seu clima de inverno severo. A Inglaterra, por outro lado, era protegida por ser uma ilha. A invasão da Inglaterra sempre foi extremamente difícil. Os Romanos e os Dinamarqueses o conseguiram e, mais recentemente, os Normandos em 1066. Enquanto Bonaparte preparava a invasão, a Inglaterra observava com crescente apreensão. Do outro lado do canal, a menos de 30km de distância, estavam sendo preparadas as forças invasoras. Na costa de França, Bélgica e Holanda, novos portos como também 2.400 embarcações estavam sendo construídas. Tudo para atravessar o exército de […] Read More

SIDNEY SMITH – THE HEROIC SAILOR

  SIDNEY SMITH…..THE HEROIC SAILOR Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, Associado Titular, Cadeira n.º 1 – Patrono Albino José de Siqueira Brazilian historians have heard of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith principally and, almost exclusively, because of his participation in the journey of the Royal Family of Portugal to Brazil, in 1807-08. During that period he led the squadron that kept station off the coast of Portugal. Subsequent to the arrival of the Royal Family, he became the first commander-in-chief, during two years, of the naval base established in Rio de Janeiro. Whilst in Brazil he became interested in helping D. Carlota Joaquina in her ambition to rule a country of her own – Argentina. Abundant correspondence in the Imperial Museum, from him in French and from her in Spanish, testifies to this ambition. But this period of a little over two years was, perhaps, the quietest in his agitated life. A national hero in England whilst still alive, his accomplishments were the theme for many productions in the variety theatres of that time. His name was sung and recited in verse, in numerous pamphlets published in London, and distributed throughout the land. No other naval commander, with the exception of Nelson killed at the Battle of Trafalgar, received so much glory so soon. Yet, whilst the hero Nelson was recognized as such on a scale never before or afterwards seen, the same did not happen to Sidney Smith. Nelson was remembered by a statue on a majestic pedestal in one of London’s most important squares. His mortal remains were buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral – a rare honour. His funeral procession was led by the six royal dukes and thirty two admirals! As he had no legitimate descendents, the honours and pecuniary reward went to his brother, William; in addition to being created an earl, he was given £99,000 to buy a suitable estate and an annual pension of £5,000 in perpetuity. These values today would be £4 million and £200,000 respectively. England was slow to officially recognize Sidney Smith’s triumphs. Other countries – Portugal, the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Two Sicilies and Sweden – recognized his contribution and decorated him. Only in 1838, at the age of 74 and two years before his death, the young Queen Victoria made him Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath – at last he was an English knight!! The last few […] Read More

SIDNEY SMITH – UM MARINHEIRO HERÓI

  SIDNEY SMITH – UM MARINHEIRO HERÓI Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, Associado Titular, Cadeira n.º 1 – Patrono Albino José de Siqueira   Historiadores brasileiros conhecem Sir Sidney Smith principalmente, e quase que exclusivamente, pela sua participação na jornada da Família Real Portuguesa ao Brasil, em 1807-8, porque nesta época ele comandava o esquadrão da costa de Portugal. Foi também, logo após a chegada da família real, e durante dois anos, comandante da base naval inglesa estabelecida por ele no Rio de Janeiro. Enquanto no Brasil, ele se empenhou em ajudar D. Carlota Joaquina nas suas pretensões de conquistar um território próprio para reinar, no caso, a Argentina. Volumosa correspondência dele para ela em francês e dela para ele em espanhol, atesta esta ambição segundo pesquisa realizada no arquivo do Museu Imperial. Este período de pouco mais de dois anos, foi talvez, o período mais calmo da sua vida tumultuada. Herói nacional na Inglaterra, enquanto ainda vivo, suas façanhas serviam de tema para os teatros de variedade da época. Seu nome era cantado e recitado em verso nos inúmeros panfletos impressos em Londres e distribuídos por todo o país. Nenhum outro comandante naval, à exceção de Nelson morto na batalha de Trafalgar, teve tanta glória, tão cedo. No entanto, enquanto o herói Nelson teve um reconhecimento talvez nunca antes nem depois superado, o mesmo não aconteceu com Sidney Smith. Vejamos, Nelson foi lembrado com uma estátua, num majestoso pedestal, colocado numa das principais praças de Londres. Seus restos mortais foram enterrados na catedral de S. Paulo – uma distinção reservada a poucos – após uma procissão liderada pelos 6 duques da família real e por 32 almirantes! Como não tinha descendente legítimo, seu irmão William recebeu as honras e a recompensa pecuniária: um marquesado, £99,000 para comprar uma propriedade e uma pensão anual de £5,000 em perpetuidade. Em valores atuais, isso significaria US$ 6 milhões e US$350.000 respectivamente! A Inglaterra tardou em reconhecer oficialmente os feitos de Sidney Smith, embora governos estrangeiros (Portugal, o Império Otomano, as Duas Sicílias e a Suécia) reconheceram a sua contribuição e condecoraram-no. Somente em 1838, portanto com 74 anos e 2 anos antes de falecer, recebeu da jovem Rainha Vitória o merecido título da Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Banho – finalmente, tornou-se um sir inglês. Morreu em Paris, onde viveu os últimos anos de sua vida, e foi enterrado numa sepultura simples no cemitério […] Read More

JOURNEY OF THE ROYAL FAMILY TO BRAZIL, 1807-1808

  THE JOURNEY OF THE ROYAL FAMILY TO BRAZIL, 1807-1808 Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, Associado Titular, Cadeira n.º 1 – Patrono Albino José de Siqueira Next November we will be celebrating the 194th anniversary of one of the most important events in Luso-Brazilian History: the voyage of the Prince Regent d. João, his court, and all those that found room in one of the 36 ships that sailed to Brazil. Perhaps a total of some 12.000 to 15.000 Portuguese. The wise decision of this great statesman, that was d. João, had positive results for Portugal, Brazil and England. Only France was to lament the event. Contrary to what happened to other countries conquered by Bonaparte, this decision would save the very essence of the Portuguese nation- her royal family and court – the royal family survived unscathed, maintained their kingdom and even prospered in their rich colony. The presence of the Portuguese monarchy in Brazil accelerated her development; once the kingdom of Portugal, Algarves and Brazil had been created, in 1815, independence would become inevitable. England, after several months of blockading the Tagus, would attack the French troops on Portuguese territory and, after defeating them, would continue until the final battle that took place at Waterloo. The opening of Brazilian ports by d. João, soon after his arrival at Salvador, would bring substantial benefits to that country. Due to the lack of documentation, details of this important voyage were, until recently, totally unknown. Now all this has changed, following the discovery in the Public Records Office, in London, of the log books of all those ships that blockaded the Tagus during November 1807 and those that escorted the Portuguese fleet on its journey. Also found where the reports of the captains of these ships. These log books, many times written during severe storms at sea, reflect the English language in use at that time and the unique colloquialism used by the British Navy. The task of unravelling their contents took five years and, even though slanted towards events that occurred to the British ships, they are practically the only detailed documentation that has survived. In 1995, on completing this research, I arranged to have it published. Copies can be found in libraries, universities, including the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and museums in Portugal, Brazil, United States, England and Spain; specially in those centres where Luso-Brasilian History is studied. In 1807, […] Read More

PORTUGUESE AND BRITISH NAVIES, 1750-1815

  THE PORTUGUESE AND BRITISH NAVIES, 1750-1815 Kenneth Henry Lionel Light, Associado Titular, Cadeira n.º 1 – Patrono Albino José de Siqueira The period covered is one in which important events that had a significant and permanennt impact on history, ocurred; the Napoleonic war (1793-1815), the independence of America and, especially for Portugal and Brazil, the journey of the Royal Family in 1807/08. The two Navies had, during this period, an active and very often fundamental part to play. This paper discusses their principal activities, then describes and comments on the men, the ships and the men aboard their ships. It will not come as a surprise to learn that the responsibilities of the two Navies were very similar: 1. Actions deriving from war – the capture or destruction of enemy vessels, the transportation of troops, blockade of ports, interception and inspection of merchant vessels and amphibious operations. During the periods of conflict activities were so intense that during the 27 years of the Napoleonic war Britain lost 166 vessels, including 5 line-of-battle ships. In compensation she captured 1,201 vessels, including 159 line-of-battle ships and 330 frigates. Portugal, in turn, lost the frigate Minerva near Sri Lanka in 1809. 2. Escort merchant vessels, defending them from the enemy and from pirates. The North African coast as far as Tripoli was a haven of Barbary pirates. A Portuguese squadron, using Gibraltar as their temporary base, permanently patrolled this region. Every year the convoy of merchant vessels (80 or more in number), heading for India and Brazil, would be escorted as far as the Atlantic Isles; beyond it was highly unlikely to meet pirates, until reaching the Brazilian coast. At a previously agreed date, a squadron would be sent to cruise off Madeira and, after picking up the convoy, escort it to the safety of the Tagus. In the East, Britain was fully occupied defending vessels belonging to the East India Company. The region was so dangerous that, in addition to an escort, the vessels had to be armed. 3. Transport dignitaries to their posts and deportees to their place of banishment. The unique example, during this period, was the journey of the Royal Family of Portugal to Brazil. 4. Transport valuables for the Crown. The Portuguese line-of-battle ships that escorted the convoy of merchant vessels, when necessary, continnued their journey all the way to Brazil. In 1769, for example, the line-of-battle […] Read More

THE JOURNEY OF THE ROYAL FAMILY TO BRAZIL, 1807-1808

  Next November we will be celebrating the 194th anniversary of one of the most important events in Luso-Brazilian History: the voyage of the Prince Regent d. João, his court, and all those that found room in one of the 36 ships that sailed to Brazil. Perhaps a total of some 12.000 to 15.000 Portuguese. The wise decision of this great statesman, that was d. João, had positive results for Portugal, Brazil and England. Only France was to lament the event. Contrary to what happened to other countries conquered by Bonaparte, this decision would save the very essence of the Portuguese nation- her royal family and court – the royal family survived unscathed, maintained their kingdom and even prospered in their rich colony. The presence of the Portuguese monarchy in Brazil accelerated her development; once the kingdom of Portugal, Algarves and Brazil had been created, in 1815, independence would become inevitable. England, after several months of blockading the Tagus, would attack the French troops on Portuguese territory and, after defeating them, would continue until the final battle that took place at Waterloo. The opening of Brazilian ports by d. João, soon after his arrival at Salvador, would bring substantial benefits to that country. Due to the lack of documentation, details of this important voyage were, until recently, totally unknown. Now all this has changed, following the discovery in the Public Records Office, in London, of the log books of all those ships that blockaded the Tagus during November 1807 and those that escorted the Portuguese fleet on its journey. Also found where the reports of the captains of these ships. These log books, many times written during severe storms at sea, reflect the English language in use at that time and the unique colloquialism used by the British Navy. The task of unravelling their contents took five years and, even though slanted towards events that occurred to the British ships, they are practically the only detailed documentation that has survived. In 1995, on completing this research, I arranged to have it published. Copies can be found in libraries, universities, including the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and museums in Portugal, Brazil, United States, England and Spain; specially in those centres where Luso-Brasilian History is studied. In 1807, with the exception of England, France had managed to defeated all her enemies. France had been frustrated in her attempt to invade England as, […] Read More