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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎8r] (15/58)

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The record is made up of 29 folios. It was created in 13 Apr 1863. It was written in English. 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.


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highest perfection. In sliort, universal opulence and extensive commerce, a refined
luxurv, politeness in the men, and gallantry in the women, united all their
attractions to make this city the seat of pleasure.
" An English traveller, Ralph Filch, who visited this island, describes it
" Ormuz is an island in circuit about five and twenty or thirty miles, and is
the driest island in the World, for there is nothing growing on it, but only salt;
for the water, wood, or victuals, and all things necessary, come out of Persia,
which is about twelve miles from thence. All thereabout is very fruitful, from
whence all kinds of victuals are sent into Ormuz. The Portuguese have a castle
here which standeth near unto the sea, wherein there is a Captain for the king of
Portugal, having under him a convenient number of soldiers, whereof some part
remain in the castle, and some in the town. In this town are merchants of all
nations, and many Moors and Gentiles. There is a very great trade of all sorts
of spices, drugs, silk, cloth of silk, fine tapestry of Persia, great store of pearls,
which come from the isle of Bahrein, and are the best pearls of all others, and
many horses of Persia, which serve all India."
74. That the island instead of the present Port, was, at that time, made the
entrepot, was due probably to the circumstance that, a foreign settlement of
merchants preferred to sustain the cost of a double landing-and shipment, rather
than run the risk to property and person, incident to a residence on the main land.
75. When, however. Shah Abbas, a Sovereign, whose Serais for the accom
modation of trade, are among the noblest and most enduring architectural struc
tures in Persia, turned his keen commercial eye towards the Gulf; he put his
finger on its entrance; preferred the mainland to the island; established a Port;
and gave it his own name. It is possible we may have put a finger down too.
76. As to the Customs of Bunder Abbass, they are lumped in the farm with its
inland revenues for 16,000 Tomans per annum; of which 10,000 may represent
Customs. The farm has some thirteen years yet to run, and the terms of the
Treaty including it, are hostile to the intrusion of foreigners; and afford Persia
consiclerable room for interference. The Sultan of Muscat in turn farms both the
Muscat and Abbass Customs to a Bunya for 95,000 Tomans; of which, perhaps,
20,000 Tomans may represent Abbass dues; but on the whole the trade of the
Muscat State is in a partially transition condition, owing to the division of the
Imaumship into the two separate Sultanuts of Zanzibar and Muscat, under the arbi-
trement of the late Earl Canning. The web and woof of the home trade is, of
course, for the moment, rent asunder; and commerce takes time to re-adjust
itself along new groves, under altered circumstances.
77. The small town of Kishm, on the southern end of the island of that
name, is another Port, farmed from Persia by Muscat. Its principal export is
salt, which it sends eastwards. Its imports are mainly for consumption on the
island. Perhaps a sulphur and saltpetre trade might succeed at Kishm.
78. The islet of Angaum, on the sea-side of Kishm, might be a convenient
point for a coal depdt. The Sound is always calm on one side, with a channel of
6 or 7 fathoms; but it should be borne in mind that, this islet, like Kishm itself,
may revert to Persia a few years hence; and that Persia is jealous of any footing
whatsoever being gained on her territory by an European.
79. My suggestion is, that, in developing the trade of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , we
keep as free as may be convenient of dependence upon foreign States. I believe
we can do so whether Ave regard our trade, our Telegraph, or our coal stations.
80. Before crossing to the other side of the Gulf, it may be well to turn a
general glance over Persian trade, considered as a whole; and as it may be expec
ted to develop.
81. The greatest consumers in Persia, area for area, are to be found within
an obtuse angled triangle, of which a line drawn from Tabreez on the West, along
the southern shore of the Caspian to Meshed on the East, would form the base ;
and of which lines drawn from Meshed and Tabreez respectively, to Ispahan,

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Report from Pelly to the Chief Secretary to Government in the Political Department, Bombay, compiled in Bushire 13 April 1863.

The report details the tribes, trade and resources of the Gulf Littoral which is divided into seven areas according to their political administration. The report also includes a list of detailed statements of imports and exports at Bushire.

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29 folios
Physical characteristics

Item foliated in the front top right hand corner of each folio with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎8r] (15/58), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/48, ff 1-29, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 January 2020]

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