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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎74v] (149/220)

The record is made up of 1 file (110 folios). It was created in 27 Aug 1893-19 Dec 1918. It was written in English and French. 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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<5?. Relations between Najd and Kuwait.
As I have already remarked Lieut.-Col. R. E. A. Hamilton, Political
Agent at Kuwait, had been at Riyadh for some three weeks prior to the arrival
of the Mission. He had left Kuwait about the beginning of October in pur
suit of a large Shammar caravan, which had obtained supplies and set out for
Hail during his temporary absence at Baghdad. The caravan escaped and
Colonel Hamilton passed on into the Qasim, where Ibn Saud’s eldest son,
Turki, a lad of about 19, w T as commanding the Najd forces, threatening Jabal
Shammar, and thence travelled to Riyadh.
On the arrival of the Mission at Riyadh, Colonel Hamilton and I had
many opportunities of discussing all questions, which formed a bone of con
tention between Ibn Sand and Shaikh Salim of Kuwait, and, at my request,
he remained at Riyadh to give the Mission the benefit of his experience and
advice until a definite settlement of the outstanding difficulties between the
two rulers was arrived at, namely, till December 5th, when he returned to
It was indeed clear from the first that one of these questions—the Ajman
problem—was of primary importance and that, both on military and on poli
tical grounds, the Mission could scarcely hope for success in its main task of
inducing Ibn Saud to undertake serious military operations against Ibn Rashid
and Jabal Shammar, unless and until this problem was satisfactorily disposed
of. At the same time it was satisfactory to note in the course of our constant
and lengthy interviews wih Ibn Saud that he was disposed to come more than
half way to meet us in the settlement of the minor questions,—namely the
establishment of an effectual blockade of Hail and the right of taxing the
Awazim tribe,—if we could settle the major problem to his satisfaction. This
was the easier for us inasmuch as—assuming the hostility of the Ajman
tribe towards Ibn Saud to be as virulent and uncompromising as his towards
them—military considerations alone rendered it imperative to remove the tribe
from any position, from which they might be able to threaten his flank or
•communications in the event of his mobilising for hostilities against Hail.
Before proceeding to a discussion of these various problems it will not be
out of place to attempt a brief sketch of the relations existing between the
houses of Ibn Saud and Ibn Subah up to this point.
During the last two decades of the 19th Century, when the Wahhabi
dominions bowed to the rule of Ibn Rashid, the scattered remnants of the
Saud dynasty sojourned in exile in the various ports of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.
Coast. Abdul Rahman, the youngest son of the great Faisal Ibn Saud, after
-an abortive attempt to re-establish himself in the land of his fathers, sought
and was readily granted refuge and hospitality in the town of Kuwait, where
he and his family of growing sons lived under the protection, first of Muham
mad and then of Mubarak Ibn Subah, awaiting the turn of fortune, which
would surely come. Mubarak, ascending the throne of Kuwait by the murder
of his brother, soon came to be recognised as a power to be reckoned with in
Arabia. An astute politician and diplomat, he was the equal of the great
Sadun and less powerful only than Muhammad Ibn Rashid, then ruler of the
whole of Central Arabia. The rivalry of these three resulted naturally in
constant fighting, and Mubarak’s wise statesmanship saw in the exiled family
of Saud a prospective source of strength in his contests with his rivals and
especially with Ibn Rashid.
At the beginning of the present Century, i.e., in the Spring of 1901
Mubarak, having entered into alliance with Sadun and accompanied bv a Najdi
force under the Imam Abdul Rahman Ibn Saud, went forth to fight out the
issue with Abdul Aziz ibn Rashid, who had hut recently ascended the throne
left vacant by the death of the great Muhammad. Simultaneously Abdul
Aziz Ibn Saud the present ruler of Najd, marched with a force of 1,500 men
to lay siege to Riyadh.
c . x Mu !iu ra H an< ? allies encamped at Tarafiya, while the Shammar lay at
Sant. Ihe battle of Sanf, so-called though fought at Tarafiya, was one of
the decisive battles of Badawin history. Mubarak, defeated after a bloody
struggle, fled with the remnants of his force and Abdul Aziz, hastily raising
the siege of Riyadh hastened back to Kuwait, but Abdul Aziz Ibn Rashid
sealed Jus own fate by the use he made of his victory, which he followed up
by ferodous visitations on the towns and villages of Sudair and other parts
•of JN ajd. l
The following year Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, with a following of only H
men, recovered Riyadh by a characteristically daring coup de wain and/in £
lev years, the old frontiers of the Wahhabi dominions in Central Arabia wer€
restored Abdul Aziz ibn Rashid met his end in battle with Ibn Saud at
Raudhat al Muhanna in 1908 and the positions of Ibn Rashid and Ibn Saud
m Central Arabia were reversed.
This sudden reversal of fortune and the vigorous and rapid establishmei
of a stable government in IS a]d by its young ruler could not have been alt.
gether palatable to Mubarak, who doubtless hoped to increase his own pow<

About this item


The file contains correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to Middle Eastern affairs and a few other miscellaneous matters. The majority of the file concerns discussions of and proposals for the post-war settlement of Near Eastern territories, including Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula. The basis of these discussions was the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.

Other matters covered by the papers include events in Siam [Thailand] and Burmah [Myanmar] and the colonial rivalry in the region between France and Britain, the Baghdad Railway, and relations with Ibn Saud in Arabia, including a report on the 1917-18 mission to Najd by Harry St John Philby (folios 67-98).

Folios 99-110 are six maps with accompanying notes that show the various proposed territorial settlements and spheres of influence in the Near East and one showing Britain's global colonial possessions.

Memoranda and correspondence comes from officials at the Foreign Office and 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. . Other correspondents include French and Italian government officials.

Extent and format
1 file (110 folios)

The file is arranged in roughly chronological order, from the front to the back.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front of the envelope with 1, and terminates at the inside back last page with 110, 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 and French in Latin script
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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎74v] (149/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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