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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎11v] (22/58)

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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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Abootliabee, Shargali and Ras-ul-ldiyma may contain 3,000 households. Those
of Amulgavine, Ejman, Debaye 1200 or so; the lesser settlements at Khan,
Heyrah, Fasht 600. I append for more detailed information, as to resources, a
statement of the number of inhabitants, vessels, houses and datetrees of the
115. But the richest of the Maritime Arab States, is Bahrein; which island
is, in part, fertile, and well watered. It is also singularly picturesque for this
unfinished part of the world. The Sheikhs of Bahrein enjoy a revenue of some
two lacs of rupees levied on the land, or on boats engaged in the Pearl fishery,
whither this State may send some 1200 boats annually. The gross trade may be
28 lacs of rupees, dependant principally on pearls. ISTo Custom dues are levied;
but society has suffered many convulsions to the retardment and even falling off
of population. The principal exports are pearls, dried-fruits and dates. About
3,50,000 Crowns worth of pearls are annually collected by craft belonging to
Bahrein; and something more than this quantity is brought from other part of
the Gulf for sale. The imports are mainly from India: rice, cotton, piece-goods,
and spices. Of these, one fourth may be consumed in Bahrein; and the remain
der be re-exported to other Ports, in the Gulf.
116. The Chief of Bahrein possesses a greater number of craft than any
*12 Bnglas not trading. Otlici. Arao Sheikh
25 Buglas of large size trading with India. round the Gulf. His
12 Batteels ditto ditto. Marine has been quot-
1000 or 1200 Boats Pearl fishing. ed as per margin.* It
Ilns statement relates to the Sheikh, not the whole of Bahrein. ^ asserted that the
trade of this island was greater 30 years ago than it now is.
117. Forty miles to the northward of Bahrein commence the Ports of the
5th class namely, those acknowledging Suzerainty of Turkey; but practically
independent. Kateef the first of these, is the Port of the Wahabee Ruler or more
strictly of the Nejd Arabs, whose chief town of Rais, near Durayah, lies 11 days
march westward, in the interior of Arabia. The present ruler of Neid is the
Ameer rysul, highly reputed for his stern, effective, and just authority. Ivateef,
however, is considered unhealthy; and is not frequented by the Arabs coming
down for exchange towards the coast. These stop at Lahsa, distant some ten
fursacs from Kateef, and rather inland. Lahsa itself is healthy, and produces a
large quantity of dates, stated to be equal in quality with those of Busreh. Few
dates, however, find their way to the sea; unless for a small portion sent to
Bahrein, which is distant from Ojair the old, but now abandoned Port of Lahsa,
only 14 miles.
118. It is this Nejd power, occupying the wide centre of Adnan Arabia, and
composed of Komadie or only partially stationary Arab tribes; some now in revolt,
and some now used for quelling revolt, that threatens or dominates all round the
shore line from the back of the Euphrates and Shat-ul-Arab, down along the pirate
coast above described, and thence round Cape Mussendom along Muscat, Oman,
to Ras-ul-Had, on the Aden line.
119. It was a Cazee or Moollah of Busreh, named Wahab who, (or whose
son) permeating these tribes with the metamorphic agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. of a religious
idea, fused them into an aggressive mass, which cropping out along the shore
lines of Muscat, and the western coast 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. , compelled all
these subdued tribes into plunder and piracy. Hence the once notorious
appearance of the maritime Arabs as pirates; hence our expeditions to the
West coast of the Gulf ;and hence the Ras-ul-khymas and Beni-Boo-Alis, blending
with our colors. An Arab Sheikh endeavoured to explain to me the nature of
this unenduring Wahabee power, by likening it to the agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. of Lord Clive, in
conquering India with a sepoy army. The leading tenets of Wahab's faith seem
to have been those common to Prophets, to proclaim himself and the Unity of the
Creator, and kill or plunder his immortal creatures.
120. I confess that during my recent journey to Koweit, I was much im
pressed by the Arab character: I found in it, an applombe, sound sense, thought-
Pearls, dried
dates bullion, of
which some 8 Lacs
Rs. worth of pearls
may first reach
Bahrein from the
other Ports.
Principally from
India rice, cotton,
cloths, calicoes,
and spices of
which ^ may be
consumed in Bah
rein, and | re-ex
16 Lacs rupees.
12 Lacs rupees.
28 Lacs rupees.

About this item


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 [‎11v] (22/58), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/48, ff 1-29, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 7 December 2019]

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