‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency for 1884-85.’ [17v] (30/130)
The record is made up of 1 volume (63 folios). It was created in 1885. 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.
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ADMINISTEATION EEPOET OF THE PEES IAN GULF POLITICAL
fishery, about fire days' voyage from tbe Island of Hormuz. and had also taken Kateef, an island h.ld ongmally
by the Kin^ of Hormuz on the Arabian coast. , , „ £)o1o . a l sf) o-rpaf
"In this country of Benjaber there are ^any horses which the farmers breed for sale there^
abundance of wheat, millet, and barley, and great flocks and herds, and there are many who hunt w th falcon
about the size of our goshawks and take by their aid gazelles, smaller than ours, training very sw.ft hounds
to assist the falcons in catching the prey."
Previous to the departure of the fleet from Muscat, the first open rupture took place
between the chief Captain and Captain Joa6 daNova of the Flor de la Mar. Albuquerque
had information that daNova intended to desert him here and slip away to India, an e
therefore summoned him to his ship, and convened a council. DaNova did not deny the chaige ,
and the officers having supported Albuquerque, daNova submitted and was 01 eie to con mue
with the fleet under severe penalty.
Passing- the Deymanieth islands the fleet anchored in due course off Sohar. A message
was immediately despatched by the Governor to Albuquerque informing him that the city
belonged to the King of Hormuz, and intimating that if he landed he would meet with a differ
ent reception from what the other towns on the coast had given him; at the same time the
messenger pointed to the troops on shore, where as much display and parade weie being made
as possible. Albuquerque replied shortly that the Governor had better re-consider lus detei-
mination and own allegiance to Portugal, otherwise the fortress would assuredly be taken fiom
him in the morning. The sight of the imposing force of infantry and cavalry on shore had a
pacific effect on the other captains in the fleet, but Albuquerque knew his strength better,
and, as soon as the messenger had gone, commenced his preparations for the attack. All was
ready by noon the next day, and the boats were about to shove off, when a deputation from the
town arrived and stated that the Governor had just dismissed a force of 7,000 men which had
been sent by the Benjaber to his aid, and that as the King of Hormuz had not sent the succours
he had promised, the Governor was ready to submit to the King of Portugal, and to deliver up
the fort. Albuquerque said he was glad that the Governor had changed his mind, and intimated
that he would accept the submission of the town on condition of its paying a yearly tribute.
The envoys, alarmed at the preparations they had seen on board, agreed to this, and having con
cluded a convention, returned to the Governor. Due arrangements having been made, the Portu
guese standard was carried to the fort in state and hoisted on the highest tower under a salute.
Ou seeing the strength of the place, Albuquerque was inclined at first to retain possession
of it, as he would thereby gain complete command of the Oman coast, but on second thoughts
he decided to entrust the fort to the Governor for the present, and accordingly placed him in
charge, appointing the yearly tribute fixed for the town for the payment of the Arab garrison.
A written acknowledgment of allegiance to the King of Portugal was then executed by the
Governor, and a guarantee of protection was' given by Albuquerque in return ; and matters
having thus been adjusted, Albuquerque weighed the next morning and steered his course for
Khor Fakan. The inhabitants of this place had received news of the fleet's approach by a
boat from Sohar, and made a great display of horse and foot on the beach, hoping to deter the
Portuguese from attack by mere bravado. This continued the whole of the first dav ; and as
Albuquerque received no message or offer of submission from the Governor, he determined to
attack early the following morning, and made his signal two hours after midnight. After
clearing the beach by the guns in the boats, the troops landed and marched up pursuing the
Arabs, who hastily retired to the gates of the fort. As they entered pell mell, some of the
Portuguese, headed by Albuquerque's nephew Noronha, managed to press in with them, and
being soon supported by Albuquerque himself, found themselves, after a long and stubborn
fight, in possession of the town and fortress, which were occupied and guarded. One of the
elders of the town, who was too old and infirm to escape, and had concealed himself in a cellar
was captured and brought before Albuquerque, to whom he gave important information
respecting the kingdom of Hormuz. He also gave Albuquerque a Persian history of Alexander
and in consideration of this was honourably treated and released. Some days were" spent in
getting provisions and water on board, the prisoners being used as slaves in this work; and
meanwhile the Arabs made repeated attempts to regain possession of the town, but without
As the fleet had approached Khor Fakan, the Portuguese had observed several vessels
sailing away in the direction of Cape Mussendom, and they now learned that these dows
contained the Hindu traders from Cutch, escaping with their property : very little boot
consequently was found in the town, much to the disappointment of the victors Numero/
captives, however, were taken, who appear to have been released with the customary mutilation
of ears and noses.
About this item
Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. and Muscat Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. for the year 1884-85, published by Authority by the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta [Kolkata]. A copy of a letter from 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 Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , to Henry Mortimer Durand, Secretary to the Government of India (Foreign Department), dated 18 May 1885, is included in the report (folio 5), the original of which submitted the report to Government, under the following headings:
Part 1 ( General Summary ), written by Ross, dated 30 April 1885 (folios 6-11), 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; Persian Arabistan; Persian Baluchistan; and Bassidore. The report also records a marked increase in the slave trade to the Gulf from Africa; summaries of changes in official personnel; 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 British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. for the year 1884-85 ), 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 (folios 12-23), containing a summary of affairs at Muscat, and an additional short report on the revival of the slave trade between Muscat and Zanzibar, a likely result, suggests Miles, of the departure of HMS London from Zanzibar. Appendix A is a report of Miles’s visit to Ras Fartak. Appendix B is an historical sketch, also written by Miles, on the Portuguese in Eastern Arabia.
Part 3 ( Report on Trade for the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. for 1884 ), written by Ross and dated April 1885 (folios 24-59), comprising a short summary of the year’s trade, with notes on: grain; opium; cotton; tobacco; imported goods; the increase in piece goods; sugar; the activities of European firms in the Gulf; steamers; the Dutch Commercial Treaty; trade routes; naphtha springs; and pearl fishing. Appendix A comprises tabulated data on import, exports and revenue, in 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 25-26.
Part 4 (Trade [at Muscat]), submitted by Miles (folios 59-66), 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 (63 folios)
The report is arranged into four numbered parts, with lettered appendices containing further reports and statistical data after each part.
- Physical characteristics
Condition: Some tears and holes in the paper, but not sufficient to impair legibility. Fold-out at f 10.
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 4, and ends on the last folio, on number 66.
Pagination: The volume contains an original typed pagination sequence.
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- IOR/V/23/47, No 207
- ‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency for 1884-85.’
- front, 3v:67r, back
- East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office, or other British Government Department
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- Open Government Licence