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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2557] (1074/1262)

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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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Gradual development of the traffic^ 1881-91,
/ t/i
lei top
No large or systematic trade, however, as yet existed in the Gulf;
and for several years no marked symptoms of expansion were observable.
In 1881 a consignment of breech-loading rifles and ammunition was
imported by French merchants at Muhammareh; it was at first seized
by the local authorities, but was subsequently returned and sold off by
the owners at very low prices.
At Bushehr the pioneers of the traffic were Messrs. A. and T. J.
Malcolm, a Persian Armenian firm under British protection. Messrs.
Malcolm began to import arms in 1884, and they were followed by
Messrs. Fracis, Times and Co., a Parsi and English house, whose
first agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. was established at Bushehr in 1887.
On the East Coast of Africa the arms trade was an auxiliary of the
slave trade, and a blow was struck at it in the General Act of the
Brussels Conference of 2nd of July 1890, which was formally adopted
by Great Britain on the 2nd of April 1892. The contraction of the
African market compelled manufacturers and exporters to seek another
outlet for their goods, and the unfortunate result was the diversion of
the African arms trade to the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , which, lying altogether
above the 20th parallel of north latitude, was not subject to the arms
clauses of the Brussels Act. The diversion must have begun before the
final closure of the African field; for we find that permission to tranship
1,477 guns, 44 pistols and 82,050 bullets at Zanzibar for Bahrain was
refused by the Indian authorities at Bombay as early as 1888.
The importation of arms at Masqat was now considerable, and the
possibility of their introduction thence into the Native States of 'Western
India was discussed; but inquiry revealed no real danger, and a slight
supervision to be exercised over the trade by the British Political Agen
at Masqat was regarded as a sufficient safeguard for the time being
Attention was directed at the same time to facilities which were alleged
to exist for the importation of arms and ammunition through Gwadar
and Bandar 'Abbas into Afghanistan and the Indian frontier tract; and
the facts were investigated by Sir Robert Sandeman Agent to the
Governor-General in Baluchistan, under the orders of the Government
of India.
It was found that a number of guns and pistols were being imported
at Gwadar and Chahbar, and to a lesser extent at Ormarah, from
Masqat; but these were mostly smooth-bores of_ little value, received
at Masqat from Zanzibar and said to be of American manufacture, and
the number of them imported at Gwadar was only about 300 per annum.
The existence of any regular trade with Afghanistan was not established,
the dealers at this time confining their operations to Southern Balu
chistan ; but it was shown that some of the arms found their way
inland as far as Kharan. There was also a considerable importation of
lead, gunpowder and percussion caps on the Makran coast, chiefly from
ment at
mareh and
Diversion of
the African
arms trade by
the Brussels
of the trade
at Gwadar,

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' [‎2557] (1074/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 November 2023]

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