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Minute by Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay, on the power of the Wahabees in Central Arabia [‎2r] (3/4)

The record is made up of 1 file (2 folios). It was created in 09 Oct 1865. 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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of the tribute His Highness pays to them, that the Government of India will
learn with regret, and surprize that its subjects have been murdered and plundered
in a large town under His Highness' flag without any effectual attempt on His
Highness' part to punish his own rebellious subjects, or to expel hostile invaders. 1
would point out to His Highness that the occasion is one which imperatively calls
upon him to imitate the example of his illustrious father, to set his finances in
order, to conciliate and revive the spirit of his feudatory tribes, to re-organize
his military and naval forces, and to repel by force, if negotiation fail, the insolent
aggressions of his Wahabee neighbours.
I would not by any means lead him to lean on our aid in accomplishing
these objects, but I would assure him of our intention scrupulously to fulfil our
Treaty obligations, and of our desire to give him every reasonable support, not
only moral but material, in any well-directed efforts he may make to re-establish
his authority.
There can be no doubt that His Highness' power, if properly exerted, is
ample to effect all that is required. I would aid him with munitions, and, if j?
absolutely necessary, with assistance in money, and with the presence of such
ships of Her Majesty's naval forces in these Seas as the Commander-in-Chief may
think best calculated to be of use in aiding the Imaum to re-establish His
Highness' authority in Soor or any other place on the seaboard, of which his
rebellious subjects or the Wahabee enemy may have deprived him.
Colonel Pelly may be expected to return from his leave by the in-coming
Mail, and I would propose to send him to Muscat, in the first instance, before he
proceeds to Bushire, with such instructions as the Governor General may approve.
With this view these proceedings should be at once reported to the Governor
General, and early instructions should be solicited. Copies should be sent to the
Secretary of State.
(Signed) H. B. E. FRERE.

About this item


The minute by Sir Bartle Frere summarises the history of the Wahabee [Wahabi] power in Central Asia, checks to their power about forty-five years ago and more recent incidents which are a cause for concern.

Frere refers to visits made by William Palgrave and Lewis Pelly to the Wahabee Capital, and potential reasons for their regrowth including the frailties of the ruler of Muscat and the lack of a British naval presence in the Gulf.

He goes on to highlight potential threats that the Wahabees could pose to British interests including the reviving of piracy, impeding trade and their interference with telegraphic communications, and to make suggestions on steps the British Government may wish to take, primarily through His Highness the Imaum [Iman] of Muscat rather than through direct interventions

Extent and format
1 file (2 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: The report has been foliated in the front top right corner of each page with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.

The report also contains original pagination in the top centre of both sides of each page, numbering 1-3

Written in
English in Latin script
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Minute by Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay, on the power of the Wahabees in Central Arabia [‎2r] (3/4), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/63, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 16 November 2019]

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