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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎85v] (171/220)

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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Khurma holds its own, as there seems good reason to believe it will, there is-
little danger of a far-reaching extension of Wahhabi activities, but I am con
vinced that the defeat of Khalid Ibn Luwai will be a signal for the storm.
15. The Khurma Episode.
W hen I passed through the little village of Khurma, situated in the lower
reaches of the Wadi A seasonal or intermittent watercourse, or the valley in which it flows. Subai, in December, 1917, on my way to Taif, I became
aware of the existence of trouble, but the manoeuvrings of the Subai and
Buqum tribes had little in them to indicate that a storm was brewing in that
quarter which was destined to form, as it were, the Leit-motiv of Central
Arabian politics. The circumstances that the Buqum were acting under the
command of the Amir of Turaba, official representative of the King of the
Hijaz, alone differentiated the operations I saw from the eternal outridings
of Ataiba, Harb and Qahtan in the vast steppe country of the west.
According to such information as I was able to collect in Central Arabia,
Khurma, having, like the rest of Arabia, formed part of the great Wahhabi
Empire and having received from Saud himself dispensation from the obliga
tion to pay taxes to the Central treasury, had settled down under its Ashraf
headmen, who exercised a time-honoured overlordship over the Subai owners
and negro cultivators of the palm groves of the village, to the enjoyment of
practical autonomy under the vague suzerainty of Kajd. At a later period,
it passed under the similarly vague suzerainty of Turkey, and Ottoman author-
1 i" "I 18 ’ d / )ll f btless > exercised, on behalf of the Sultan, bv his representative, %.
the Sharif of Mecca. During the last decades of the 19th Century, however,
when the whole ofNajd acknowledged the sway of Ibn Kashid, there appears,
to be reason for believing that Muhammad Ibn Kashid extorted from the Turk-
ish authorities a substantial recognition of his authority and the acceptance of
tiie line of V\ adi Aqiq as the boundary between his own territories and the
area of elective lurkish domination namely, the Hijaz. By this arrangement
Khurma must have been included by implication in the territories of Ibn
Kaslnd on whose expulsion from Najd, at the beginning of the present cen
tury, ibn Saud resumed su;ay over the territories of his ancestors.
nM£ T he important facts of the case are, firstly, that, so’ far as I have been
able to ascertain, Khurma was always m the past too insignificant, either to
form a bone of contention between the authorities concerned or to be men
tioned specifically m any public agreement; secondly, that it always remained
m enjoyment °f virtual autonomy and independence; and, lastly, that it was
W ( fP end ® nt . on in virtue of its allegiance to the’
a ihabi faith. M ith that allegiance no attempt appears ever to have been,
made to interfere, and I see no reason for questioning the correctness of Tim
Saud s statement that Shara Law has always been administered rK^rma
for the benefit of its inhabitants by ecclesiastical officials of Dm \Y 1 i k*
persnasi 011 , of whom the Qadhi, actually in office at the^resenrtime suc 1
least 50 years a e ^. W ’ “ ’ 0 "' ed h “ to Faisal Ibn Sand at
writte^bt Sh7rifiL™tTi^e^l^^'rtHbTl ^ '
Luwaf thWJf the\etl 0 y Pl a e pp 0 ( finS U S i ^ 'sLL^aHd Ibn
*» fe” t ‘hi:.
attack on the Subai encanmmeTit wTimVi j ■ .i , ’ I'Bo, with an
forces with the loss of ro^r/’an^ two^l^a^
way and S^n at^nttSnT * he ^*7 BadaW “
the ostentatious announcement of th^ victor? o be th . e , ef ? ect of
on the dour spirits of the fanatiril Wabl >'• * * e over i be infidel
of a mid-summer Eamdhan WahhaJ18 ’ ^ *he painful rigours
importanW^hba'bi s^ftTenJ??"™ a Ghat GW*'’ u” T??’ through the
without delay to tile call for as^ist-mce bt l ’ lnhah 'tants responded
tonmrds the scene of action. Riyadh clamoutTtow?? ^th'thfsh”'*?”^
advocacy of ^'imam ii'XrUmSrms^
but Ibn Saud making ^
versatrons wrth me, resisted the pressure brought to bet? on h‘m “r^alledX

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 [‎85v] (171/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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