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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency for 1884-85.’ [‎20r] (35/130)

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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QQ
EESIDENCY AND MUSCAT POLITICAL AGENCY An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. FOE 1884-85.
the inhabitants and sacked the town, set it on fire, much to the surprise and indignation of
their General, Dom Luiz, who, being on board his vessel, had not been kept informed ot what
had occurred.
The Arabs, who had not been present at, or partakers in, the plunder, were not unnaturally
enrao-ed with Dom Luiz for what they considered a breach of faith on his part, but he made
what reparation he could by giving up to them the captives and some of the loot ^ and fina y
having declared Sohar independent of Hormuz, he appointed Sheikh Husein-bin-Saeed
Governor on behalf of Portugal under a convention. After leaving a Portuguese scrivener as
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. to note the revenues and expenses of the place. Bom Luiz weighed with his
fleet and set sail for Hormuz. In 1526 another revolt occurred at Muscat and Kilhat, both
of which were at this time still subordinate to Hormu?;.
These disturbances were due. it is said, like the former ones, to the oppression and exactions
of the Portuguese, and chiefly of Diogo deMello, the then commandant of Hormuz. The
provisional Viceroy at Goa, Lopo Vaz deSampayo, accordingly proceeded to the Gulf in May
1527 with five ships, and by promising to redress wrongs and to punish Captain deMello, suc
ceeded in pacifying the coast without having recourse to coercion. Dom Lopo took the
opportunity of increasing the garrison at Muscat and of ordering the erection of the uge
nile of buildings to be used as a factory An East India Company trading post. , and which, as usual in those days, comprised the jov-
ernors' residence, soldiers' barracks, warehouses, and chapel. This factory An East India Company trading post. appears to have been
completed about four years later. In later days it has served as a residence tor the Seyyids or
Lords of Oman, and though now somewhat dilapidated, is still a fine budding, and one of the
chief monuments of the Portuguese occupation on this coast. Among the Arabs it letams e
name of Gareza, a corruption ot the Portuguese " Egreja, " a church.
Dom Nuno da Cunha, who succeeded Lopo Vaz de Sampayo as tenth Viceroy, made a tour
of the Portuguese possessions soon after his assumption of office, and on his way to Hormuz
anchored at Kilhat on the 10th May 1529, where he met Captain Aires de S. da Magalhaes
who had been despatched from India with a tusta and two bngantmes to cruise against the
pirates.
The factor of Kilhat at this time was Gomes Ferreira, servant of the Duke of Braganza,
and he appears to have caused a good deal ot ill-feeling against the Portuguese among the
Arabs by his arbitrary conduct aud extortion. They therefore seized the opportunity to lay
their complaints before the Governor General, who thereupon issued a manifesto that
come to redress grievances and wonld enquire into disputes, the result being that several
Portuo-uese officials who had wronged the natives were degraded and removed to Hormuz.
This policy of justice and integrity on da Cunha's part gave great satisfaction to the people
and had a very salutary effect in reducing the insolence ot the Portuguese officers and impro -
in" their relations with the people, but unfortunately the good done was but transitory.
" Nine days later daCunha was at Muscat where he was also engaged in putting aftaus
in order. The Governor, Sheikh Rashid, nt once implored his protection against Ren, Sheiee
the Kind's Wazir Minister. at Hormuz, who had tried to murder him in revenge for the death of his
brother "lleis Delamir Shah. DaCunha, who had been informed of Rashid s former servic ,
promised him his protection and subsequently took him with him to Honnnz where he obtamed
his appointment as Wazir Minister. in place of Reis Shereef, who was despatched to Lisbon in nons
answer for his alleged crimes before the King.
The current ot affairs on the Arab and Persian coasts appears to have flowed on now for
some years with tranquillity, during which period Sohar and Kilhat, and perhaps othei places,
were occupied, fortified, and garrisoned.
The system adopted by the Portuguese in these places was to retain their political supre
macy by holding the citadel or fort which overawed and commanded the town, but they did not
interfere with the internal administration, and the people were left to govern themselves in
respects as they pleased, even in the towns which had Portuguese garrisons.
For some forty years the all-powerful Turks had striven spasmodically to destroy the
i PArfno-ql in the East but they do not appear to have extended
growing power J th M 15 ic, when tour Turkish galliots, after destroy-
theii ^pm^tions to^h^Persutn^Gnlt ^ ^ y ^ ^ ^ ^
iron shot ot a prodigious size into the place and causing terrible consternation, but not mnc
TnlshToeeedings in having ottered their town and built a castle there, and to implore the
i
J

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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 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.’ [‎20r] (35/130), 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_100023600941.0x000025> [accessed 17 April 2024]

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