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'Memorandum by the Rev. G. P. Badger on the Pretensions of Persia in Beloochistan and Mekran, drawn up with especial reference to her Claim to Gwadur and Charbar' [‎2v] (4/20)

The record is made up of 1 file (10 folios). It was created in Dec 1863. 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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Muscat dynasty, having rebelled against his father,’ repaired to the Khan of Khelat
and sought his aid in dethroning him. The Khan, wishing to have a friendly
power possessed of a naval force to protect his coast, and foreseeing that Sultan
would eventually succeed to the Muscat sovereignty, so far volunteered his
assistance as to give him, in perpetuity, the town and fort of Gwadur, the only
attached condition being that he should always defend the place against the enemies
of Khelat. Considering the unimportance of Gwadur at the time, and the Khan’s
inability, from want of ships, to guard it from attack, there is no improbability in
this story, and several of the facts on which it is founded are corroborated by
contemporary Arabian historians. It will, doubtless, be easy for the present Khan
to dispute this statement, or to set aside the prescriptive right of undisputed posses
sion by the successive rulers of Muscat for upwards of a century, and he may further
deem himself justified in establishing his claim by force ; but I am at a loss to
perceive how such success would benefit him permanently, or prove of any
advantage to the furtherance of the telegraph scheme. Seyyed Thoweynee would
certainly oppose any attempt of the kind, and, although it is probable that he
would be unable to resist a determined land attack by the Khan’s army, one of his
ships of war would suffice to blockade the port, and to cut off all communication
with the sea, thereby stopping effectually all trade, and doing serious injury to the
Khan’s inland territories.
“ On the whole, therefore, it appears to me that the influence of our Agent at
Khelat would be best used in dissuading the Khan from any such enterprise. His
abstinence therefrom will prevent complications most detrimental to the growing
trade of those parts, will entail on himself no damage, and will leave him and us
with a friendly ally at Gwadur, whose good offices may be relied on in any matter
wherein British interests are concerned. I found that Seyyed Thoweynee was
well aware of the attack which the Khan meditated against Gwadur in 1857, and
he seemed to know, moreover, that that Chief had not relinquished the idea of
seizing it. But the Khan is represented as hesitating to carry out his purpose,
owing to the urgent expostulations of his kinsman the Jam of Beyla, who is
reported to have frequently dissuaded him from the undertaking, on the ground
that it would be a violation of the promise made by his grandfather to Seyyed
Sultan. I have been also assured that the Beloochees at Gwadur are quite satisfied
with the Muscat rule ; for Seyyed Thoweynee levies no taxes from them, and with
a view of feeling themselves more safe from an attack by the Khan, they have
urged His Highness to build a wall round the town, and he has promised to accede
to the request as soon as possible.”
I find, on referring to the Arabic chronicles of the time, that the dispute
between Imaum Ahmed, the Sovereign of Muscat, and his two sons, Sultan and
Seif, commenced about the year 1760, and continued, with occasional intervals of
reconciliation, until the death of their father in 1774. If, as is averred, Gwadur
was made over to Seyyed Sultan at that period, the place has been a dependency
of Muscat for about a century. Seyyed Sultan succeeded his brother in 1797, and
in the course of the following year took Charbar on the coast of Mekran, and the
islands of Hormuz and Kishm 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. .
I note, under this head, that the question raised respecting the sovereignty of
Gwadur has reference solely to the alleged claims of the Khan of Khelat, and that
the idea of Persia having a right to the place has never, to my knowledge, been
dreamt of by any of the Native States, unless it be by the Persians themselves.
With regard to Major Green’s proposition respecting the disposal of Gwadur,
Major Goldsmid remarks:—“ Kindly look at the
Letter to Mr. Stewart, Kurrachee, u argument in re Gwadur, paras. 5 to 7 of Major
13th Apn 1861. u Green’s letter, and again in para. 8. It seems to
“ me that a Khelat view of the case has been taken in fixing the nature of the
“ tenure, and an illogical view with reference to future adjustment.
“ If, indeed, Gwadur be wrongfully held by the Imaum, why are we to admit
his right and purchase the place at all ? And for what? For Khelat, whose right
we declare it to be.
“ I was speaking to Agha Mohammed Bakir, Agha Khan’s brother, on the
subject a few mornings ago. ... He says the revenues of Gwadur are the
Imaum’s, and suggests, that if Government want the use of the port as a telegraph
station, or for any other purpose, they have only to offer the Imaum some 3,000
dollars a year, and he would be delighted to give it up. Gwadur Bunder, as a
British port, would, he says, realize more than treble the sum.”

About this item


This file consists of a memorandum by George Percy Badger (scholar and missionary) concerning Persian claims in Beloochistan [Baluchistan] and Mekran [Makran], particularly Gwadel or Gwadur [Gwādar] and Charbar [Chābahār]. It contains the following: a history of Persian encroachments in Beloochistan; a table outlining the political divisions of the maritime provinces of Mekran, and their respective governments; an assessment of Persia's jurisdiction on the Mekran Coast; details of the sovereignty of Gwadur; a discussion of hostilities between Persia and the Sultan of Muscat over Bunder Abbas [Bandar-e ʻAbbās] and other dependencies; a summary of the 1856 treaty between Persia and Muscat. A map depicting the political geography of Mekran is included on folio 5.

The appendices include:

  • a translation of the treaty between His late Highness Seyyed Saeed [Āl Bū Sa‘īd, Sayyid Thuwaynī bin Sa‘īd] and the Persian Government, relating to Bunder Abbas, etc., dated 1856;
  • a report by Lieutenant-Colonel Frederic John Goldsmid on the claims of Persia, Khelat [Kalat], and Muscat, to sovereign rights on the Mekran Coast;
  • extracts from Lieutenant-Colonel Goldsmid's diaries on defining boundaries and districts;
  • a memorandum on Western Mekran by Lieutenant-Colonel Goldsmid.
Extent and format
1 file (10 folios)

This file consists of a single memorandum (f 1-5), with appendices at the back (f 6-10).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 10; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Pagination: the file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Memorandum by the Rev. G. P. Badger on the Pretensions of Persia in Beloochistan and Mekran, drawn up with especial reference to her Claim to Gwadur and Charbar' [‎2v] (4/20), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/C68, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 October 2019]

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