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'File A/4 Rules governing manumission of slaves' [‎23r] (49/66)

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The record is made up of 1 file (32 folios). It was created in 22 May 1926-12 Apr 1950. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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*■> "VN
It is perfectly true that oar tractios do not permit
as to intar fare in domastir* slavary unloss there is good
reason to suppose that the slaves are being treated harshly.
In fart we ^an only imterfere on these grounds ‘in the Qatar
feriinsula and not on the Irucial ^oast. The fact that .we
do not interfere in domestir slavary in latnr or on the
Trurial ^oast does noi mean that we recognize slavery.
If we refuse to grant a manumission ^ rrtifinate to a man
on the -‘rounds that hi is a domesuir> slave it amounts to
our eondoning the praeftiee. dvery rase that arises should
be rarefully enquired into to make quite sure that the indi
vidual concerned was :.n fart a slave and has not previously
been issued with a maiimmission rertifirate or that he has not
now applied for a manumission rertifirate for some nefarious
purpose. If the enquiries are satisfactory then he is
c ertixir ate.
entitled to rereive a
Q r 7 A A

About this item


The file is comprised of extracts of correspondence and official notices, all referring to the manumission of slaves 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. . The contents of the file appear to have been compiled by staff at the Bahrain Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. over a number of years for reference purposes on how to deal with manumission cases.

There is a printed copy of the 1913 manumission guidelines on folios 3-5, as well as the 1938 guidelines which superseded them (folios 19-20). There are also numerous extracts from specific manumission cases, letters and memorandums, all clarifying particular aspects of slavery in the Gulf region, for example, how to treat domestic slaves (folio 7), the 'mortgaging' of individuals (folio 8), the mistaken assumption that manumission certificate holders become quasi-British subjects (folio 10B), and British policy towards domestic slaves from Qatar (folio 23).

Extent and format
1 file (32 folios)

The file's correspondence has been arranged in rough chronological order, beginning with the earliest items at the front, to the latest items at the rear. There is a page of office notes at the end of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The main foliation sequence begins on the front cover and terminates at the back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and can be found in the top-right of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. A second foliation sequence runs between ff 3-27; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled and can be found in the same position as the main sequence. Foliation errors: 10A and 10B.

Condition: ff 3-5 bear insect damage, although not enough to impair the legibility of the text.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File A/4 Rules governing manumission of slaves' [‎23r] (49/66), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/1843, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 October 2019]

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