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‘Report on the administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency for the years 1876-77.’ [‎56r] (110/125)

The record is made up of 57 folios. It was created in 1877. 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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AND MUSCAT POLITICAL AGENCY An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. FOR THE YEAH 187G-77. 97
is full of date groves and large patches of cultivated land. All the
hills and greater portion of the plain in and around Muscat are devoid
of vegetation. The surface soil in the town is composed chiefly of
sand and limestone, whilst the subsoil is formed of detritus below which
the conglomerate exists. In the valley of Tuyan the surface soil,
excepting in the cultivated patches, is composed principally of detritus,
the subsoil being formed principally of the conglomerate. Herbage and
date trees are limited to the few small patches of cultivated land in
Tuyan, whilst no brushwood exists either in or near Muscat. From the
colour and nature of the rocks, and from the composition of the surface
soil, it will be readily seen how great is their power for absorbing and
retaining heat, and how slowly the beat is radiated from them, especially
during the summer months.
Climate. —The climate of Muscat may be considered to be extreme
and equable, that whilst the amplitude of the yearly fluctuation is great,
the non-periodic variations are very slight, in which respect it is an
exception to the general rule of an extreme climate being at the same
time an excessive one. The reason of this is that during the greater
part of the year the temperature runs high or low according to the season,
gradually and steadily, without any special conditions, such as clouds,
rain, evaporation and great and rapid radiation from the earth, to
influence its normal course. In the months of June and July, how
ever, when the hot, dry wind blows occasionaly from the west, there
is a rapid change of temperature in a few minutes, the difference some
times amounting to as many as 15° of Fahr.
The solar thermometer indicates an annual variation of about SB'S
deg. of F., the highest mean point between 170 and 175° F. being generally
reached in the month of September or October, and the lowest mean
point between 145° and 150° F. in the month of January or February.
The diurnal variation is slight, excepting when the sky is cloudy and the
direct rays of the sun have little or no efPect on the thermometer. The
effects of this excessive heat of the solar rays on the human body can
not be easily estimated, as with it generally exist two other conditions
which may seem to have a neutralizing influence. The highest tem
perature in the sun has always been registered with a hot dry wind,
when the rapid movement and constant change of air surrounding the
body, and the rapid evaporation from the surface must to a certain ex
tent counterbalance the pernicious effects likely to follow an exposure
to such a high temperature. The Sedee and other boatmen who ply their
canoes between Muscat and Muttrah, fully exposed to the direct rays of
the sun, with hardly any protection to their heads or backs, have not been
known to suffer from insolatio, nor am I inclined to believe that the mild
cases of fever which present themselves at the hospital during the hot
season are essentially different from those of a malarial nature; in some
the cold stage is absent, but this is not a very uncommon occurrence even
in marked cases of ague, and quinine acts as beneficially in them as in
the case of malaria. These cases are not to be confounded with another
class of cases with almost the same febrile symptoms, but which occur
principally during the prevalence of the hot and dry winds; this I am in
clined to look upon as a premonitory stage of insolatio, and I have found
small and repeated doses of quinine o£ great service during this stage.
N

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Content

Administration report of 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 1876-77, published by Authority at the Foreign Department Press, Calcutta [Kolkata], 1877, and forming part of the Selections from the Records of the Government of India, Foreign Department (no. 138). The administration report is based on reports sent by the Officiating 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 William Francis Prideaux) 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 (Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Barrett Miles) to the Government of India. The report is preceded by a copy of a letter sent by Prideaux to Thomas Henry Thornton, Officiating Secretary to the Government of India, dated 15 June 1877, which enclosed the submission of the original reports to the Government of India (folio 8).

The report is organised in a number of sections and subsections, as follows:

Part I: Administration Report for 1876-77 – General (folios 8-10) signed by Prideaux, and arranged under subheadings as follows: 1. Oman; Petty independent chiefdoms (2. Oman Coast); 3. Bahrain [referred to as Bahrein throughout]; 4. Nejd [Najd]; 5. Bassidore [Bāsa‘īdū]; 6. Persian Coast; 7. Government of Fars; Bushire (Dashtee, Bunder Abbass [Bandar-e ʻAbbās], postal, judicial); Establishment (political, medical, naval); slave trade.

Part II: Administration Report for 1876-77 – Memorandum showing the number of Returns accompanying the Trade Report 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. , Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. (folios 11-45), comprising thirty statistical tables containing data on the import and export of commodities into and out of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. during the official year 1875-76. The tables contain data for Arabia, Persia and Turkey in Asia, and specifically data on vessels and trade at Bushire, Bandar-e ʻAbbās, Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh], Bahrain and the Arab coast. There is an index of the statistical tables on folio 11.

Part III: Administration report of the Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. , Muscat, for the year 1876-76 (folios 45-48), prepared 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. The report is arranged under the following headings: political; resources and trade (production, agriculture, industries, fisheries, trade).

Part IV, prepared by Miles (folios 49-55) comprises six statistical tables containing trade data relating to Muscat: average tonnage of vessels entering and leaving the port of Muscat; imports and exports, listed by commodity; and contrasted statements on vessels and imported goods.

Part V, Medical Topography of Muscat (folios 55-62), by the Muscat Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. Surgeon, Atmarim Sadashiv Jayakar. Jayakar’s report is arranged under the following headings: geology; climate; water supply; food; sanitation; population; dwellings and streets; prevailing diseases; malaria and malarial fevers; typhoid fever; smallpox and measles; cholera; dysentery; scurvy; rheumatism; phthisis pulmonalis; bronchitis; purumonia; organic diseases of the heart; dyspepsia, colic and diarrhoea; hoemorrhoides [haemorrhoids]; diseases of the liver; hypertrophy; diseases of the kidney and bladder; diseases of the brain and insanity; diseases of the eye; diseases of the skin; leprosy; ulcers; dracunculus; venereal diseases; syphilis.

Extent and format
57 folios
Arrangement

The report is arranged into five parts (I-V). Part I is arranged into numbered sections (1-7) and numbered paragraphs (1-35). Part II is arranged into numbered tables (1-30). Part III is arranged by subject headings and subheadings, part IV by lettered tables (A-F), and part V by suhheadings. There is a contents page at the front of the report (folios 6-7), which lists the report’s contents by part and major headings, and refers to the report’s internal pagination sequence.

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 1, and ends on the last folio on number 62.

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 the years 1876-77.’ [‎56r] (110/125), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/29, No 138, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023676263.0x000071> [accessed 17 April 2024]

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