'File E9. Philby's Mission to Bin Sa'ud'

IOR/R/15/2/38

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The record is made up of 1 file (121 folios). It was created in 13 Nov 1917-26 Jul 1918. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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Content

This file contains correspondence between British officials at Bahrain, Bushire, Baghdad and Kuwait, and Harry St John Philby, as well as ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin ‘Abdullāh Āl Suwaylim, Amir of al-Qaṭīf. The file concerns Philby and Robert Edward John Hamilton's 1917/1918 mission to ‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd (Ibn Sa‘ūd) at Riyadh.

The object of Philby and Hamilton's mission was to discuss Ibn Sa‘ūd's relations with Sharīf Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī of Mecca, Ibn Rashīd of Ḥā’il and the Āl Ṣabāḥ family of Kuwait. The file contains correspondence between the Captain Percy Gordon Loch, Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain, and Philby detailing the arrangements and progress of the trip to Najd and onward journey to Taif (for example. folio 7, 9-17. 39-49, 60-63), including a report on his first impressions of Ibn Sa‘ūd (folios 23-28) and details of an interview with Aḥmad Thāniyān (folios 30-32). There is also a memorandum by F Cunliffe Owens, deputed as a military expert on the mission, concerning military possibilities in Najd (folios 53-55).

In 1918, there is correspondence concerning Philby's meeting with Ibn Sa‘ūd in Hasa (al-Aḥsā’) (folios 76-78) and his return to Najd (folios 80-84, 107-114 and 120). There are deails within the correspondence concerning Ibn Sa‘ūd's dispute with Sharīf Ḥusayn of Mecca at al-Khurmah, the Kuwait blockade and the progress of the Mesopotamian Campaign (folios 92-98). In addition, there are also correspondence concerning the retrievel of Philby's lost baggage and supplying him with tobacco and a copy of Charles Doughty's Arabia Deserta (folios 79 and 115).

Extent and format
1 file (121 folios)
Arrangement

This file is arranged approximately in chronological order.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: This file has an uncircled foliation number in the top right hand corner or the centre of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
Type
Archival file

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity.
Access conditions

Unrestricted

Archive reference
IOR/R/15/2/38
Former external reference(s)
Confidential file: E/9

History of this record

Date(s)
13 Nov 1917-26 Jul 1918 (CE, Gregorian)

Related material

Related primary sources

Archival material relating to Philby's visit to Ibn Saud is held by the Middle East Centre Archive, St Anthony's College, Oxford, in the Harry St John Philby Collection (see http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/mec/MEChandlists/Philby-Collection.pdf [accessed 28 May 2013])

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'File E9. Philby's Mission to Bin Sa'ud', British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/38, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/node/9589> [accessed 21 June 2024]

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