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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2630] (1147/1262)

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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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Supreme Being, in whose hands the destinies of us all lie, to vouchsafe to Yout
Excelleucy a continuance of bodily health and strength to enable you to render further
great services to the Empire, and to bind fresh laurels on your brow.
His Excellency replied in the following terms
Lord Curzon's Gentlemen^li is with much pleasure hat 1 have received the loyal and well-
speech. composed address which has just been read, and that on crossing the sea from India
to the shores of another country I find a large and prosperous community of the
subjects of His Majesty the King-Emperor existing and plying their trade here in
conditions of security and contentment. I have made some attempt to ascertain
the number of British Indian subjects who are thus to be found in Masqat and the
other ports of 'Oman, and I find that they amount to no fewer than 1,300 persons,
the majority of whom came originally, or come now, from the opposite shores of Sind
and Kathiawar. The fact that these two coasts face each other at so inconsiderable
a distance, and the well-known aptitudes of the particular communities that you
represent, sufficiently explain the close mercantile connections that have grown np
during the last century between Masqat and India, and leave one ^ in no surprise
at the commercial predominance of Great Britain in the trade and shipping of this
Gentlemen, the political stake of one country in another is sometimes measured
by its commercial interests, but does not always lend itself readily to precise or
mathematical definition. On the other hand, the commercial stake is more easily
reduced to figures and calculations the effect of which is not open to dispute. I will
take for instance the time in which I have been connected with the Government of
India, namely, the last five years. When I find that during that period the British
proportion of trade with the port of Masqat has averaged 84 per cent., and that of
the total number of steamers that have entered and cleared from this port in the
same time the average British percentage in each year has^ been 97, I am satisfied
that the predominance of Great Britain in the mercantile interests of the State is
supreme and incontestable, and I realise that in addressing you I am receiving a body
of gentlemen who represent a not unimportant outpost of British commercial enter
prise in the East, and whose labours have contributed, and still contribute, in no small
degree to the material welfare of 'Oman.
I am glad to hear from you that in the pursuit of these peaceful avocations your
interests are safeguarded by the successive Political Agents—and by none I am sure
more diligently than by Major Cox—who have been sent here to represent the
Government of Indian that you obtain justice; that you abstain from litigation ;
and that you enjoy complete religious tolerance. These conditions are all favourable
to the success of your operations, and they leave you with little ground for complaints
In one paragraph of your address you have spoken of tbe disturbances that
sometimes spring up in the interior, and which occasionally travel down to the coast
ports and affect the security of the places in which you reside, The British Govern
ment have never embroiled themselves in this internal strife, which appears to be a
hereditary legacy in 'Oman. But undoubtedly if it were to reach a point that
seriously menaced the interests or imperilled the lives and property of British subjects
lawfully trading upon the coast, we should feel called upon to intervene for their
protection, and by no one, 1 am sure, would such intervention be more loyally wel
comed, or more cordially assisted, than by His Highness.
You have referred in your address to the depreciation in the local exchange.
This is a matter which I will take into consideration.
Gentlemen, I am obliged for the kind words in which you have welcomed me to
Masqat. I understand that among those who present the address are representatives of
other communities, such as the Portuguese of Goa, who enjoy British protection in this
State. To all of you I wish a continuance of the conditions under which your trade
exists and flourishes in 'Oman, and I rejoice that there has been presented to me the
opportunity, while I am head of the Government of India, of testifying the interest
which I feel in this outlying colony of Indian influence and trade.
It only remains for me to thank you for presenting your address in a specimen of
sliver work so characteristic of the tastes and customs of the locality. It will always
be a memento to me of this agreeable meeting on the occasion of my present visit to

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' [‎2630] (1147/1262), 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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