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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2563] (1080/1262)

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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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In 1895, when an attack on Bahrain by Arabs of the mainland was
threatened^ there were not a hundred rifles in the principality, and
the weakness of his position was forcibly brought home to the ruler of
the islands. On the 21st of January 1896 the Shaikh issued an ambigu
ous proclamation, forbidding the importation of firearms into Bahrain
under penalty of a fine (or special customs duty) equal to one-fourth the
value of the arms ; but, immediately afterwards, he granted a special ex
emption or monopoly in favour of his Wazir Minister. 'Abdur Hahman-bin-
'Abdul Wahhab. This concession was for the life of the grantee and
W included a special stipulation that arms should not be sold to inhabit-
P ants of Bahrain, Qatar, or the Arab coast except the coast of ' Oman; but
iit 1 its principal provision was one designed to secure a supply of arms to
the Shaikh, by which the concessionaire undertook to pay an annual
royalty of 30 Martini rifles and 6,000 cartridges in addition to customs
duty in kind at the rate of three rifles in every hundred and 200
cartridges per rifle.
The Wazir Minister. without delay transferred his concession to Agha Muham
mad Rahim, a respectable Arab merchant who was also political repre
sentative of the British Government in the islands ; and he in his turn,
on certain conditions as to division of profits, passed it on to the now
entirely Parsi firm of Fracis, Times & Co., a house of doubtful
reputation, whose profits from the Gulf arms trade were supposed to
have amounted by the middle of 1897 to not less than £40,000.
This firm, as already mentioned, had established their first agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. in
the Gulf at Bushehr in 1887, and one of the partners took up his residence
at that place in 1891; in 1895 they opened an agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. under Agha Mu
hammad Rahim in Bahrain, and in 1896 another under Damodar Dhar-
amsi at Masqat. In July 1896, after the creation of the Bahrain mono
poly, Messrs. Fracis, Times & Co. sought to obtain a letter of recom
mendation from the British Resident at Bushehr to the Shaikh of
Bahrain ; bui - as they failed to give an assurance^ that they would refrain
from the traffic in arms, the British Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. withheld its good offices.
Want of official countenance, however, did not deter the firm from
establishing a business ; and, under the concession obtained by them, the
jaiiuarms trade at Bahrain increased with phenomenal rapidity, the value of the
jessionof' imports rising trom Rs. x4,850 m 1894-95 and Rs. 95,400 in 1S95-
Ibeen^ 96 to Rs. 1,42,880 in 1896-97 and Rs. 4,67,790 in _ 1897-98.
tigWi 1 On several occasions shipments were made from Bahrain to Bushehr and
even to Masqat ; but the majority of the arms disposed, of at Bahrain
were sold to visitors from Bandar ' Abbas, Lingeh, Tahiri, Kangun,
Bushehr and Muhammareh on the Persian side of the Gulf, to purchasers
from Kuwait, Najd, and ' Oman on the Arabian side, and even, m defi
ance of the terms of the concession, to natives of Bahrain and Qatar.
Til# A p r ii X897, the Shaikh became alarmed at the growth of the trade
I and the Wazir Minister. intimated to Agha Muhammad Rahim that operations
must be discontinued for four months. A little later a rupture occurred
between Agha Muhammad Eahim and Messrs. Fraeis, Times & Co. over
J the division of profits ; and in January 1898 the Shaikh, either m co n-
# « neotion with this dispute or because the concession was being mtnnged
ibetrfl by the sale of arms in Bahrain, attached the whole stock of the firm,
>rso^ amounting' to 3,667 rifles and 637,500 cartridges. His action
171 A
Monopoly of
the arms
trade estab
lished in
established by
Fracis, Times
& Co.^ 1895-
of their stock
by the Shaikh,

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' [‎2563] (1080/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 8 December 2023]

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