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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Agency and Muscat Political Agency for the year 1883-84.’ [‎46v] (32/166)

The record is made up of 1 volume (87 folios). It was created in 1884. It was written in English. 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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ADMINISTRATION REPORT OF THE PERSIAN GULF The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. POLITICAL
T, i « 0 in Muscat but in the meantime Saood had released his prisoners
^ - ivai of the B t a d f ood
withdrew his pretensions and exculpated himself by saymg he had only acted m self-defence.
The quelling of this rebellion and the restoration of tranquillity was attributed solely to
the pion.pt support afforded to Speed's authority by the British Government, which encouraged
and brouo-ht forward Sa^eed^s friends, while it effectually checked and dismayed the insurgents.
His rule In recent years had led, it was said, to the formation of a very unfavuorable esti
mate of the situation of Sa^eed, and it was clear that British influence alone had prevented
his immediate downfall. Sa^eed returned from Zanzibar on the 10th September 1833, and^
after appointing Saood to Rostak on condition of his giving up Barka, solicited aid in re-
covering Khor Fakan and Dibba, but this was refused by Government, and he was advised
to remain at home in future and protect his Arabian dominions. Sa^eed when starting from
Zanzibar had ordered Hamud-bin-Ahmed, the Wali of Zanzibar, to reduce Magdesho with
the Mombasa fleet. Hamud accordingly bombarded and sacked that town, which then sub
mitted. Abdulla -bin-Surveylime was killed on this occasion. His old loes, the W ahabees^
had by this time again turned their attention towards 'Oman, and much anxiety was created
in Sa'eed's mind by their attitude. He was not in a position to offer any effectual resistance
to their encroachments, and, under the advice of the British authorities, deemed it his best
policy to enter into friendly relations with them. He accordingly agreed to pay them an
annual subsidy of 5,000 dollars on condition of the integrity of his dominions being respected.
A stipulation was also made that each party should assist the other in quelling rebellions in
their respective countries, but this latter engagement was considered impolitic and was dis
approved of by the British as leading to possible embarrassments.
The arrival at Muscat at this time of the United States sloop-of-war Peacock with
Mr. Roberts, who had been appointed Plenipotentiary to negociate a treaty of amity and com
merce with the kingdom of 'Oman, was a notable event in the life of Sa'eed. The growing
importance of Muscat and Zanzibar as commercial depots had begun to attract foreign mer
chants, and improvements in the customs regulations soon became a necessity. The chief part
of the trade and customs farm was still, as it had been for centuries, in the hands of Indian
traders, whose position was well known and assured, and in whose favour no cause had arisen
for England to interfere. The American merchants, however, were in a different position.
They had only begun to trade at Zanzibar some ten or twelve years before, and the heavy
exactions and constant annoyances to which they were subjected by the Customs House
farmer and Indian traders, who were jealous of interlopers, compelled them to make representa
tions to their Governments, which thus took the lead in entering into engagements with 'Oman
to remove grievances and place its commerce on a secure and satisfactory basis.
The treaty which was concluded in September 1833 was of a comprehensive character
and well considered in its details, and formed the prototype on which the English and French
treaties were subsequently drafted.
Sa'eed's engagements with foreign powers had heretofore been confined to conventions
with British India and French colonies, and it was with unconcealed pride and gratification
that he now for the first time found himself placed on a level with the rulers of civilised
States, and, though the capitulations he had bound himself to observe complicated his foreign
relations, the treaty, as he probably foresaw and understood, had the effect of raising his
position and increasing the trade and prosperity of his country.
It was not in accordance with Sa'eed's character that he should allow the opportunity to
slip without intriguing to gain some advantage for himself, and, as the conquest of Mombasa
was the matter now uppermost in his mind, he offered to allow the Americans to erect fac
tories where they pleased, at Zanzibar or on the East African coast, on condition of their
rendering him armed assistance in the prosecution of his plans. It does not appear that the
United States Government reciprocated Sa'eeds' views, nor is it likely they would have con
sented to engage in such an enterprise, but the news of the proposal was received in India
with the reverse of pleasure, and Her Majesty's ship Imogene was soon despatched to observe
the state of affairs. Captain Hart reached Zanzibar in 1834 and was able, not only to frustrate
the proposed scheme, but to obtain Sa'eed's consent to the negociation of a similar treaty with
England.
To return to Africa: Sa'eed had no sooner quitted Zanzibar in August 1832 than a rup
ture broke out at Mombasa, the result of which was the restoration of Mezeni independence
Sa'eed had instructed the Wali of Pemba, Nasir-bin-Sultan El Meskeri, a bitter enemy of the
Mezemt, to proceed to Mombasa and assume the Waliship from Salim. In this demand he

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Content

Administration Report on the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. 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. and Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for the year 1883-84, by Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Charles Ross, 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. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , published by Authority by the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta [Kolkata]. A copy of a letter from Ross to Charles Grant, Secretary to the Government of India (Foreign Department), dated 17 July 1884, is included in the report (folio 33), the original of which submitted the report to Government, under the following headings:

Part 1 ( General Report ), written by Ross (folios 34-39), containing summaries of local political affairs, and incidents or events of particular note for: Oman and the Pirate Coast; Bahrain; Nejd, El-Hasa [Al-Hasa] and El-Katr [Qatar]; Fars, including Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh] and Bunder Abbass [Bandar-e ʻAbbās], and the coast between Bushire and Bandar-e Lengeh; Persian Arabistan; Persian Beloochistan [Baluchistan] and Gwadur; and Bassidore. The report also contains summaries of changes in official personnel (referred to as political establishment); British naval movements in the Gulf; and a summary of meteorological events observed at the Bushire observatory. Appendix A contains tabulated and graphical meteorological data for the year, supplied by the Bushire observatory.

Part 2 ( Administration Report of the Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for the year 1883-84 ), submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Barrett Miles, Her Britannic Majesty’s Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. and Consul at Muscat, dated 9 June 1884 (folios 40-50), containing a summary of affairs at Muscat, including raids and fighting around Muscat in October 1884, between rebel forces and those allied to the Sultan of Muscat. The report also records changes to British official personnel at Muscat, and notes recent shipwrecks on the Muscat coast. Appendix A is a biographical sketch, written by Miles, of Sayyid Sa'eed-bin-Sultan, the Imam of Muscat.

Part 3 ( Report on Trade for the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. for 1883 , folios 50-105), comprising a short summary of the year’s trade, and followed by two appendices, labelled A and B, but arranged in reverse order: B) Supplementary notes on the care and culture of date trees and fruit, written by A. R. Hakim, Assistant to 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. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. ; A) tabulated data on trade, including data on imports and exports into and out of the Gulf ports of Bushire, Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh], Bunder Abbass [Bandar-e ʻAbbās], Bahrain and the Arab (Oman) coast. An index to the trade tables can be found at folios 53-54.

Part 4 (

[at Muscat]), submitted by Miles, dated 9 June 1884 (folios 105-12), comprising a short summary of the year’s trade at Muscat, and an appendix containing tabulated data on imports and exports at Muscat (listed by commodity), and the nationality and average tonnage of vessels visiting Muscat.

Extent and format
1 volume (87 folios)
Arrangement

The report is arranged into four numbered parts, with lettered appendices containing further reports and statistical data after each. Two appendices following part two of the report are labelled in reverse order (B then A, instead of A then B).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: There is a foliation sequence, which 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, on number 32, and ends on the last folio, on number 112.

Pagination: The volume contains an original typed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Agency and Muscat Political Agency for the year 1883-84.’ [‎46v] (32/166), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/45, No 198, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023580328.0x000022> [accessed 21 April 2024]

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