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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2629] (1146/1262)

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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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io us to know that, since Your Excellency's happy decision to accept an extension of
your term of office (a decision which has been received by all classes of His Majesty the
King-Emperor's subjects with lively satisfaotion), the first great act of policy which
Tour Excellency has undertaken has been this most auspicious tour in the Gulfs of
'Oman and Persia.
Accustomed, as the races peopling these shores are, to take impressions from out
ward appearances, we cannot but feel confident that this happy undertaking will prove
to be an epoch-making event in the progress and enhancement of British prestige and
influence. It will serve, too, as an abiding demonstration to the inhabitants of the
littoral that the preponderating influence of Great Britain in these waters is no
shadowy or remote force but a lively and dignified reality, and that the Viceroy of the
King-Emperor, who holds benevolent sway over the millions of the vast continent of
British India, watches with no less zeal and keen interest the welfare of His Most
Gracious Majesty's subjects scattered all over the Gulf.
Except to give Your Excellencies a respectful and hearty welcome and to give ex
pression to our loyalty and devotion to the Great Government whose subjects we are,
we have little cause to trespass on Your Excellency's time, and, so far as our own local
and particular needs and circumstances are concerned, have an encouraging tale to tell.
We enjoy in Masqat the rights and privileges of the most favoured nation; our
interests are carefully guarded by our Consular authorities ; and we experience complete
toleiation in matters of religion. There is an absence of unnecessary litigation amongst
us British subjects ; and justice is readily and promptly obtainable in the Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent.
In matters connected with our dealings! with the natives of 'Oman, while we are
aecustomed to receive a courteous hearing from His Highness, neverthless we often ex
perience difficulty in obtaining relief; and this is partly owing, no doubt, to the unset
tled state of the interior. In this latter connection we make bold to explain to Your
Excellency that whereas, considering the degree of enlightenment among the Bedouin
Arabs, inter-tribal strife and turbulence are within the nature of things, and when
they are limited to the interior of the country do not immediately affect our welfare
any more than that of other peaceable members of the community, nevertheless, when
as is sometimes the case, the scene of the strife is transferred to the coast ports, or
their immediate neighbourhood, our commercial interests do immediately suffer, and
we are put to anxiety for the safety of the lives and properties of our fellow-subjects.
For, as Your Excellency is aware, in many of the coast towns of 'Oman (often far
removed from the capital) small communities of British Indian subjects reside, in
whose hands all the local trade is centred, and who, in however humble a capacity^ are
the pioneers of British Indian commerce in these waters. Thanks to the vigilant
activity of successive Political Agents, and men-of-war, at seasons of unrest, there is
perhaps little actual danger to the lives and properties of these our fellow-subjects ;
but the detriment to their trading operations and ours is great, and we venture to hope
that Your Excellency's Government will see its way, either by strengthening tha
hands of the Euler, or by active interference on the coast, where necesuary for^ the
preservation of British interests, to take measures which will deter the nnmly tribes
men of 'Oman from disturbing the commerce of the country by their dissensions.
In matters of commerce generally we continue to prosper, and, though during the
last few years signs have not been wanting of foreign competition, Indian imports
rule the market.
There is one depressing factor, however, of comparatively recent growth to which
we make bold to draw Your Excellency's benevolent attention, and that is the de
moralising fluctuations in the silver exchange.
Since the closing of the Indian mints in 1898, and the consequent fall in the
price of silver, the local dollar exchange has not ceased to exhibit remarkable fluctu
ations, which greatly prejudice and impede the local import trade, from the fact that
the currency value of the rupee is fixed, and that of the Masqat dollar is not. We
therefore humbly commend the matter to Your Excellency's wise consideration, in the
hope that, in co -operation with the Local Government, some means may be devised of
bringing about a better state of things.
In conclusion,- we beg to reiterate our welcome and to assure you that this visit
of Your Excellency and your gifted consort will be a landmark in the history of
Masqat, and will live green in our memories ; and it is our earnest prayer to the

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' [‎2629] (1146/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 5 December 2023]

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