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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency for 1884-85.’ [‎18r] (31/130)

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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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9,Q
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. FOE 1884-85.
Khor Fakan is described by Albuquerque as being situate at the foot of a very high
mountain and almost impregnable on the land side. It was a large town with many Baman
merchants, and was a dependency o£ Hormnz. The climate was temperate and healthy, and
there was extensive cultivation o£ wheat and millet, with oranges, limes, dates, plantains, ant
fio-s. The harbour was good, being protected by two small islets. Horses were extensively
exported hence to India and the interior belonged to Benjaber like the other parts.
Khor Fakan was the last scene of Albuquerque's exploits on the Oman coast, and he
had as little compassion on this as on former places. The town was set on fire and destroyed,
and the conquistador, elated by his victories, and confident in bis strength, signalled to the fleet
and made his way direct to Hormuz.
The capture of Hormnz was the principal object of Albuquerque's expedition as before
remarked, and his operations and exploits here were characterised by the same distingnisbed
ability valour, and success that had marked his previous career. Owing, however, to the disaffec
tion of bis officers and the desertion of two of his ships, he was compelled to retire before the
finish had been put to his conquest by the completion of the fort which was to overawe the
fnwn He sailed away to Soeotra, where his arrival was most opportune, tor he found the gam-
son in great distress from famine and the enmity of the natives. He soon put affairs in order
there - and bis fleet having been increased by two ships that bad arrived from Portugal to join
him he weio-hed from Soke on the 15tb of August 1508 to return to Hormuz, intending on the
Wiv'to reduce the city of Kilhat in retaliation for the assistance rendered by it to the King of
Hm-muz^ in^ violation of agreement, during the war. On anchoring off Kilhat, Albuquerque
sent his nephew Noronha in a boat to reconnoitre. Near the shore Noronha met an ra
bringing presents from the Governor, on which lie turned hack and accompanied the man to the
flic Ship where Albuquerque questioned the Arab as to the Governor s name and the force at
hir disposal Having elicited the required Information, Albuquerque despatched Noronha to
the shore again to see the Governor, Sherif-ul-Dm, and if possible to entice him on board
which Noronha endeavoured to do by representing Albuquerque as an officer who had just arrived
from Portugal with reinforcements to support Albuquerque at Hormuz. Shenf - U ' m w '
polite, and offered the new commander a hospitable reception on shore, if it pleased him to land,
hut he was too wary to trust himself on board a Portuguese ship.
On his nephew's return from his ineffective mission, Albuquerque made prepnrations to attack
the towp which is situated on a declivity under a high and steep cliff. The struggle for the
■ ' f the place did not last long. The Persians, terror-stricken by the vigorous onslaught
^"n in confusion out of the town, and Sberif-ul Din was obliged
tire to the beb-bts behind the city, from whence be watched the proceedings of the n-
aders Albuquerque, having posted guards on the gates and ramparts against surprise gave th e
V I " ■ t nhrnder whereon the vigilant Sherif-ul-Dm, after three days, seeing the Portuguese
place ovei o p deemed it a fitting opportunity to attempt to regain the town. Fol-
dispersed acSy made a descent from'the hills, and tried to force one of the
'T It fetX ^rd posted 'here was driven back, but having speedily rallied the men,
S i I th the Persians and after a valiant fight, routed them before Albuquerque could come
closed with the P , town and ti . aasportinsr on board all the provisions and
to their assistance ., b * i t to the flames, making a point of destroying the
valuables be could co , q ie | o£ the inhabitants. Albuquerque's description of this
'r,: ssiw- '\r'i:TX
before, ^ ^ Lre^hat no cut or squared stones are to be found at the
architecture. m y ^ and aoubt i ess thl s m0 s q ,ie also, were
Grof itesCe and 001^ The destruction of it, however, has been so complete that no ves-
Arab -W W the
Albuqueique eie 0 . f ul D;n an( J w ho had until now been detained on board the
presents fromthe . GoV f" d;t;on o£ aff^s at Hormnz, and the man was dismissed with gifts,
flag-ship, respecting the ^ shipping in the creek, and after consultation with his
He then gave ordeis 0 „„„ with the expedition. The fleet accordingly sailed the follow-
officers resol ved to P r0Cee a at T e y wee, where he anchored for two days, and which Albuquerque
ing day, and bavin w ^ ^ ^ form;ng . on the shore a
Xs—dt pTlm trees, eonfinned his voyage up the gulf towards Hormuz
lake snnoun y f tei . m i n ated in the destruction of Kilbat, and a lull succeeded
the stomfufvtl 1 of tie conquistador, whose path along the Arab coast bad been marked by

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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 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 The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , 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 East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. 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 The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. 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)
Arrangement

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.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency for 1884-85.’ [‎18r] (31/130), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/47, No 207, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023600941.0x000021> [accessed 17 April 2024]

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