Keyword: Factory House
Common name (also British Association House) for a historically significant building in the Gregorian style in the Portuguese port city Postage . It was purchased in 1790 by British trading houses in Port-consul John Whitehead (a predecessor building was built in 1727 elsewhere). It is the only surviving "trading post" in the once "factors" (HandelskommissionÃ¤re) on foreign territory negotiated and concluded their business. The trading post in the British wine merchants regularly taken influenced in a decisive way the business of Port . The foundation stone for the port wine boom was already completed in 1703 and as Methuen Treaty established designated contract, the special tariff concessions for the importation of Portuguese wines in England envisaged. The British were thus also entails an absolute monopoly of the port wine trade.
In the numerous meetings of the factors without involvement of the Portuguese authorities have agreed the price, what more and more violent side of the Portuguese has been criticized. To break the monopoly by the Portuguese Prime Minister Marques de Pombal (1699-1782) in 1756, the foundation of the "Douro Wine Company" (or "Real Companhia Velha") was initiated. Because of the British business practices occurred in February 1757 unrest and riots throughout the city of Porto, who were oppressed by 3,000 soldiers. Pombal was responsible for the incidents in the first place, the factors and reacted against the British and their sympathizers with harsh penalties. It came to confiscation of property and imprisonment, 26 factory members were exiled to Africa and India. The monopoly of the British was now complete. The new building was then, as already mentioned in 1790 with respect.
In 1806 the building because of the historical role of the British in the port wine trade "from this day forward and forever to the consul of the British nation and its society and their heirs" was awarded. During the Napoleonic wars were the French in Portugal one, 1807-1811, therefore the Factory House was temporarily closed. Already in 1810 the English King George III had. (1738-1820) and the Portuguese royal family in the person of Prince Regent signed a trade agreement, which Portugal did not allow more British factories. Therefore, the trading post was disbanded and replaced by the "British Association" shall be replaced. Members are recruited exclusively from the British port wine trading houses.
Among the many rooms of the house is a columned entrance hall with monumental stairs, and card room, lounge, dance hall, library and ballroom. It also has an Anglican church, a cricket and tennis club, and the oldest British school outside England. It serves today as an exclusive men's club and meeting place for the remaining British port wine trade organizations. This now "only" generate a third of sales. Traditionally, the "Wednesday-Lunch" during the dinner but today mainly Portuguese (as managing director of UK firms) and discuss the wine industry.