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'Notes on the statements made in William Gifford Palgrave's book Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia' [‎1v] (2/48)

The record is made up of 1 file (22 folios). It was created in 1866. 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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The statements were originally intended to form Appendix 12 of Colonel Pelly's Riyadh report No.57 dated 15 May 1866 and were produced following a request from the British Government for Pelly to go through William Gifford Palgrave's book and verify the truth, or otherwise, of accusations, assertions and claims made by Palgrave about the places he visited and people he met.

The principal statements that Pelly addressed were as follows:

  • That the native agent Non-British agents affiliated with the British Government. at Shargah [Sharjah], an Armenian named Hajee Yacoob, was encouraging the slave trade whilst operating as a representative of the British Government. This claim was refuted by Pelly firstly as Hajee Yacoob was a musselman, secondly as he had recovered more slaves than 'any other man in the Gulf' and thirdly as succesive residents considered him to be a most energetic and reliable man who was not as Palgrave supposed responsible for the suppression of slavery in Shargeh but was in fact the arbitrator of the maritime truce there.
  • That Palgrave and his companion had travelled openly as Christians and been welcomed as such. Whereas Pelly had witness testimonies, including from his agent at Muscat, that Palgrave had disguised himself as a mussulman and used assumed names in order to travel and had even been seen worshipping in mosques.
  • Claims as to the extent of the territories of Oman, that Bahrein and Qatar (amongst other places) paid tribute to Oman, that Said Saeed [Thuwaini bin Said] divided his territories up between his three sons in his will, alleged tensions between these sons and claims relating to Said Soulem [Salim II bin Thuwaini], son of Said Saeed, being a young boy. Several of these claims such as the extent of Oman's territories and the way in which they were divided up following Said Saeed's death were refuted through treaties and agreements that already existed such as Lord Canning's of 1861 which separated Muscat and Zanzibar, and a loan agreement of 1856 in which Persia agreed to lease some places to Oman. The remaining claims were refuted by Pelly's personal and detailed knowledge of Muscat and through Said Torki [Turki bin Said],son of Said Saeed who was a guest of Pelly's in Bushire at the time of his writing the responses to the statements, including that Said Soulem was actually a grown man, not a young boy, and had recently been accused of murdering his father,

Also included in the file are a draft version of the statements and a copy of the witness statement of Mr Rozario, agent at Muscat, regarding Mr Palgrave passing himself off there as a mussulman called Aboo Mahmood and that he had observed him attending mosques and outwardly observing the fast.

Extent and format
1 file (22 folios)
Physical characteristics

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

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Notes on the statements made in William Gifford Palgrave's book Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia' [‎1v] (2/48), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/60, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 March 2020]

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