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Grand Hall of the University of Porto - Portrait Gallery

Luís Woodhouse
Mathematician, university teacher, director of the FCUP and Vice-rector of U.Porto

Portrait by Júlio Ramos
Retrato de Luís Woodhouse, pintado por Júlio Ramos / Portrait of Luís Woodhouse, painted by Júlio Ramos

Biography of Luís Woodhouse (1857-1927)

Luís Inácio Woodhouse was born in Porto on 31 July 1857. He was the son of Roberto Guilherme Woodhouse Barreto de Lencastre (1826-1876), first president of the Porto Catholic Association (elected in 1872, re-elected in 1873, and until his death he remained honorary president of this association) and of D. Isabel Emília de Sousa Vahia de Morais Madureira, Viscountess of Balsemão. He had a brother, Roberto Woodhouse de Lencastre, who died in 1889.

Luís Woodhouse graduated at the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Coimbra between 1876 and 1881 and was a teacher at the Industrial and Trade Institute of Porto, at the the Polytechnic Academy of Porto and the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto.
At the Polytechnic Academy he taught the 2nd chair - Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus, Calculus of differences and variations, and was appointed permanent teacher by decree of 5 June and royal writ of 18 October 1884, taking up office on 10 June of the same year.
He also taught the 1st chair – Analytic Geometry, Superior Algebra, Trigonometry, appointed by decree of 23 September 1885. After the creation of the University of Porto, Luís Woodhouse transferred to the Department of Mathematics of the Faculty of Sciences, where, in 1918, he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Mathematical Sciences.

Besides being a reputed teacher, he performed various functions and held various posts at the University of Porto, for e.g., he represented the FCUP teachers (appointed in 1912), interim treasurer (appointed in 1912) and Vice-rector (took up office on 24 July 1926), and at the Faculty of Sciences where he was interim director [1922-1926] and effective director (appointed in March 1926, in mid-December of that year he was replaced by Professor José Alves Bonifácio for health reasons).

Luís Woodhouse was a corresponding member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences (elected in 1926), member of the Institute of Coimbra, director of the Royal Wine Company of the North of Portugal, owner of the Convent of Convento dos Trinos Descalços de Mirandela. He wrote numerous scientific works. A good friend of Francisco Gomes Teixeira, he died on 13 March 1927. The funeral procession left the Church of Trindade and gathered teachers and students of the University of Porto, public individuals and many anonymous people. Aurélio Pinheiro, vicar of the Order of Trindade, presided over the funeral acts. The speeches were delivered by Vitorino Laranjeira, José Alves Bonifácio, Leonardo Coimbra, the Minister of Education, Alfredo Magalhães, and the student António Amaral Guimarães. Luís Woodhouse was buried in the Prado do Repouso Cemetery. A year after his death, on 17 March 1928, the Academic Association of Porto promoted a pilgrimage to his grave and a formal sitting at the Association.

In 1935 the Faculty of Sciences named a room in the historical building of the University after him and in 1937 the Porto City Council named a street in the parish of Paranhos after Luís Woodhouse.

Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2012. Scientific Review by Jorge Fernandes Alves (FLUP)

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