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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2462] (979/1262)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (1165 pages). It was created in 1915. 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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addressees may be informed | and the letters are not returned to India as
unclaimed until the expiry of a month.
Servioe A mail line very similar to that between Bushehr and Tehran existed
from 1S64 ; or earlier, until about 1880 between Baghdad and Tehran;
Tehran ^ ^ passed through Kirmanshah and Hamadan, and the principal stage
1864-1907. was Kirmanshah, corresponding in some respects to Shiraz upon the
Bushehr-Tehran line. Between Baghdad and Kirmanshah (210 miles)
the mail was carried by footmen, and between Kirmanshah and Tehran
(290 miles) by a mounted couriers belonging to the establishment of the
British Legation in Persia. At the beginning of 1870, as on the
Bushehr-Tehran line, postage at Indian rates between Baghdad and
Tehran was imposed; but letters forwarded by the British Legation
at Tehran and those exchanged between a Persian Princes and N otables
residing at Tehran and Baghdad ^ were carried free. Some 25 years
later the ' British Haghdad-Tehran line was abolished; and since then
correspondence by this route has been carried on, within the Turkish
frontier, exclusively by the Turkish Post Office. In 1904, nevertheless,
the British Consul at Kirmanshah having pointed out that communication
with India was more rapid through Baghdad than through Tehran, it was
ordered that correspondence for Kirmanshah should in future be sent via
Baghdad unless specially superscribed for transmission via Tehran.
The " Desert 33 or u Dromedary 33 post from Baghdad to Damascus
and Bairut, which existed before the installation of any regular post office
at Baghdad, was never incorporated with the Indian postal system ; but
it survived the development of modern postal arrangements for a time,
• and its later history calls for notice. In 1818 the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. at
Baghdad, by whom the line was managed, was permitted to levy
" postage 33 at fixed rates on articles sent by it; and a grant of lis. 200
a month was sanctioned by the Government of India to supplement the
receipts from this source, and to enable the line to be efficiently worked.
In 1868 the mails by the desert route were carried on camels over the
500 miles between Baghdad and Damascus and by special horsemen over
the 100 miles between Damascus and Bairut; they reached Syria on the
average in 9 days, Egypt in 13 or 14, and Europe—via Egypt and
Smyrna—in 24 to 27 days; and the monthly cost of the service was Ks.
489. In 1869 the Ottoman authorities demanded that the Baghdad
mails should be conveyed between Damascus and Bairut on a line then
lately established by means of a subsidised French diligence ; but the
British Consulate at Damascus, in view of the unreliability of the new
Turkish post, preferred the old arrangement, and it was for some time
maintained. In 1881, in the course of a campaign which they
had then begun to wage against the British mail service m
Turkey, the Ottoman Government established a camel post of their
own between Baghdad and Damascus ; it ran side by side with the
British consular post and carried letters at a loss at Union rates.
Already in 1871 ? the Government of India, for purely financial reasons,
had withdrawn their subsidy; and, partly for this reason and partly
because of the competition of the Turkish camel post ; the Baghdad-
Bairut line fell into difficulties : its finances by 1885 had sunk to a low
ebb. In July 1886 the British desert line was finally abolished; and

About this item


This volume is Volume I, Part II (Historical) of the Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , ’Omān and Central Arabia (Government of India: 1915), compiled by John Gordon Lorimer and completed for press by Captain L Birdwood.

Part II contains an 'Introduction' (pages i-iii) written by Birdwood in Simla, dated 10 October 1914, 'Table of Chapters, Annexures, Appendices and Genealogical Tables' (pags v-viii), and 'Detailed Table of Contents' (ix-cxxx). These are also found in Volume I, Part IA of the Gazetteer (IOR/L/PS/20/C91/1).

Part II consists of three chapters:

  • 'Chapter X. History of ’Arabistān' (pages 1625-1775);
  • 'Chapter XI. History of the Persian Coast and Islands' (pages 1776-2149);
  • 'Chapter XII. History of Persian Makrān' (pages 2150-2203).

The chapters are followed by nineteen appendices:

Extent and format
1 volume (1165 pages)

Volume I, Part II is arranged into chapters that are sub-divided into numbered periods covering, for example, the reign of a ruler or regime of a Viceroy, or are arbitrarily based on outstanding land-marks in the history of the region. Each period has been sub-divided into subject headings, each of which has been lettered. The appendices are sub-divided into lettered subject headings and also contain numbered annexures, as well as charts. Both the chapters and appendices have further subject headings that appear in the right and left margins of the page. Footnotes appear occasionally througout the volume at the bottom of the page which provide further details and references. A 'Detailed Table of Contents' for Part II and the Appendices is on pages cii-cxxx.

Physical characteristics

The foliation sequence is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio. It begins on the first folio with text, on number 879, and ends on the last folio with text, on number 1503.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2462] (979/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 July 2024]

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