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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎269v] (12/150)

The record is made up of 1 volume (60 folios). It was created in 1900. 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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4
ADMINISTRATION REPORT ON THE PERSIAN GULF The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. POLITICAL
subsidy for the previous month was paid by Captain Cox, in consequence of
His Ilifjhness's improved relations with the British authorities, and the difficul
ties which he was experiencing for want of ready money to meet urgent calls
upon him. I visited Maskat in December, and was able to recommend the
prospective renewal of the subsidy which has been in consequence sanctioned
by the Government of India, There have been constant negotiations going on
between Her Majesty's Government and that of the French Republic with the
object of deciding a site for a French coal-shed in Maskat harbour. This
point is still unsettled.
The question of the right of certain Maskat dhows to fly the French flag
has also formed the subject of much enquiry and discussion of late. No
definite arrangement has, however, yet been arrived at, and it is not unlikely
that the flag of the French Republic is used to protect those engaged in the
slave trade, as well as in the traffic in arms. There has been a considerable
importation of nrms into Maskat during the past year, and there is reason for
thinking that they are imported thence to Bunder Abbas and other places in
Persia as well as to Koweit and various other ports on the Arab side of the
Gulf. It has not, up to the present, been found possible to entirely put an end
to this traffic, but the measures taken two years ago have undoubtedly reduced
it to a very great extent.
Maskat and the neighbouring districts have suffered greatly from the
ravages of cholera, and there has also been some plague, the first reported cases
of which occurred in April 1S99. They were imported, and the disease at that
time could gain no foothold in the place. Recently, however, it has re
appeared, and it looks as if it would establish itself on the Oman Coast. Every
effort has been made by the British authorities to assist the Sultan in dealing
with this important matter, and it is to be hoped that the efforts being made
will prove successful. Cholera appears to have been brought to Maskat from
Gwadur, where it was virulent in July and the beginning of August. There is
considerable trade between the two places, and it was not likely that Maskat
would eventually escape, though at first it did so. Unlike plague, an outbreak
of cholera is, as a rule, sudden and spreads with rapidity from the first, and
reports show that the epidemic in Maskat, Mutrah, and the surrounding
districts in the interior, was, from the first, a severe one. About 500 deaths
are reported to have occurred at Maskat and Mutrah, and it is said that some
thousands have perished in the interior. The exact number will, of course,
never be known.
3.—OMAN—PIRATE COAST.
I was able to visit this portion of my political charge during the winter,
and, after interviewing Sheikh Ahmed bin Thani, a brother of the notorious
Sheikh Jasim, at El-Wakra, a town close to El-Obeyd, the Turkish head
quarters on the El-Hasa peninsula, I went to Shargah and subsequently met
the Chiefs of Shargah, Debay, Ras-el-Khyma, and Um-el-Kowain.
I did not see the Chief of Abu Thabi as he was ill at the time, but met
his sons, and Wazir Minister. , or Secretary, with whom I discussed various pending
cases in which Abu Thabi is concerned.
The most important question pending at present on the Arab Coast is con
nected with the expulsion of the Persians from Lingah by Sheikh Muhammad,
which was mentioned in last year's report, and the subsequent re-capture of
the place by the Darya Bogi. Sheikh Muhammad, and his principal adviser,
Saiyid Yusuf, effected their escape and took refuge with their Jowasimi kins
men. The Persian Government declare that a fresh descent on Lingah is
contemplated by these Arabs, and they have asked us to arrange for the
surrender of Sheikh Muhammad and his followers. There is nothing to show
that any such intentions exist at present, but the Jowasimi Arab Sheikhs
complain that, after the re-capture of Lingah, much property of theirs, which
had nothing to do with Sheikh Muhammad, was confiscated by the Barya Begi,
The matter is still under consideration.
A curious case has arisen on this Coast in consequence of the discovery of
a pearl of great value in one of the pearl banks near Kumzar. It appears that
it was sold by the finders for much less than it realized subsequently, and

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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 Muskat [Muscat] Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for 1899-1900, published by the Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India (Calcutta), forming part of the Selections from the Records of the Government of India, Foreign Department, and based on reports sent to Government by 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. and the 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. at Muscat.

The report is divided up into a number of sections and subsections, as follows:

Part 1, is a General Summary (folios 268-71) written by 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. , Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm John Meade:

  • Section 1: entitled General , includes: a report on the year’s rainfall and harvest; the Governorship of Bushire; public peace and tranquillity in and around Bushire; public health and measures to restrict cholera and the plague in the Gulf; Persian currency; customs house arrangements in Bushire; compensation claims; and the Resident’s tours through the region during the year;
  • 2: Oman – Muscat: including: a change in personnel, with the role of 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. being taken over by Captain Percy Zachariah Cox from Major Christopher George Forbes Fagan; the Sultan of Muscat’s finances; French proposals to construct a coal depot in Muscat; use of the French flag by Muscat vessels; association of the French flag with the arms and slave trades; the impact of cholera and plague in the region;
  • 3. Oman – Pirate coast, including: a list of the those shaikhs in the region who have met with the Resident in the past year; Arab-Persian relations over Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh], and the expulsion of Persians from that port; the discovery of a large pearl at Kumzār and its subsequent sale for a lower-than-expected price; the prevalence of smallpox on the Arab coast;
  • 4. Bahrain, including: the wounding of two British-Indian subjects; difficulties discharging cargoes in Bahrain; and the death of Aga Muhummad Rahim, the Native News Agent in Bahrain;
  • 5. El-Nejd, with no report due to the recommendation that no one be deputed to travel there;
  • 6. Koweit [Kuwait]: no particulars reported;
  • 7. Persian Arabistan: the navigation of the Kārūn river, and opening up of river and land routes for trade;
  • 8. Fars and Persian coast: Bandar-e Lengeh in Persian hands; the arrival of the British Vice-Consul for Bunder Abbas [Bandar-e ʻAbbās];
  • 9. Persian Baluchistan: delays in compensation claims against the murder of Mowladad Khan; a change in the Directorship of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Telegraphs Department; rumours of a revolt against the Shah in Persian Baluchistan;
  • 10. Slave Trade: numbers of slave captured and manumitted during the year;
  • 11. Piracy: cases of piracy reported during the year, with details of where and against whom they were committed;
  • 12. Navy: details of the movements of British naval vessels (Sphinx, Lapwing and Pigeon) and significant foreign vessels, including Russian warship Gilyak;
  • 13. Official Changes: changes in British personnel;
  • 14. Changes among foreign representatives, with particular reference to German, French and Dutch representatives.

An appendix to part 1 (folios 272-75) includes statistical tables comprising meteorological data for the region; dispensaries in Bushire and data for the numbers of patients, diseases, surgical operations and income and expenditure of the 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. dispensary.

Part 2 (folios 276-78) is a separate report from the Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. , written by Cox, with reports on events in Muscat, Rostak [Rustāq], Sohar, Soor [Sur], and Dhofar [Z̧ufār], including: accidental shootings by Wahabee [ Wahhābī A follower of the Islamic reform movement known as Wahhabism; also used to refer to the people and territories ruled by the Al-Saud family. ] tribesmen; the appearance in Muscat of cholera and the plague; British and foreign naval movements in Muscat; and a statistical overview of manumission applications heard at the agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. .

Appendix A to Part 2 (folios 278v-85) is a detailed report with statistical data on the cholera epidemic in Muscat and Oman, written by the Lieutenant-Colonel Atmaram Sadashiv Jayakar, Chief Surgeon at Muscat. Jayakar’s report contains historical data on outbreaks of cholera in Muscat, symptoms of the disease, mortality statistics, treatment and its results, preventative and sanitation measures. Civil hospital and dispensary statistics follow on folios 285v-287v.

Part 3 (folios 288) is a trade report of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. for 1899, written by Meade. Its appendices (folios 289-328) comprise tables showing the value of all goods imported and exported to and from various parts of the Gulf region, and the numbers of vessels (with figures on tonnage) of various nationalities plying their trade in the region in each port.

Part 4 (folios 329-30) is a separate trade report with statistical data for Muscat for 1899-1900.

Part 5 (folios 331-35) is a trade report for Mohammerah [Khorramshahr] and the Kārūn river for the year 1899.

Extent and format
1 volume (60 folios)
Arrangement

The report is arranged into a number of sections and subsections, with statistic data in tabular format directly following written sections. There is a contents page at the front of the report (f. 267) which lists the report’s contents in alphabetically ascending order, and refers to the report’s own pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎269v] (12/150), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/77, No 379, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023626792.0x00000e> [accessed 14 April 2024]

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