Author:C.R. Low ISBN: (10) 1-85207-336-5 Published: 1992 Paper: Printed on acid free paper Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish See sample pages:
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Low´s work has never been surpassed as a history of the maritime arm of India´s foreign policy. First published in 1877, it was out of print for many years, but it has remained the basis for studies of campaigns and exploration wherever the Bombay Marine operated, in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Laccadives, Maldives and west coast of India, the Andamans, Java and Burma.
This is a facsimile reprint of the two-volume 1877 edition. It is an important information source for British naval activity in the Gulf in the early and mid-19th century, when British relations with the Gulf shaikhdoms were being consolidated. ‘Many episodes …’ (in the author´s words) ‘are, for the first time disentombed from musty records and despatches, and brought before the public in the form of a connected narrative. Of such a nature are many passages in the early history of the Service, such as the operations against the Joasmi pirates and, generally, in the Persian Gulf, against the Beni-Boo-Ali Arabs…’. Included are detailed accounts of the hydrographic surveys by the Indian Navy, including the surveys of the Persian Gulf.
C. R. Low, a retired officer, compiled his monumental History fourteen years after the Indian Navy was precipitately disbanded in 1863 in the military reorganisation which followed the 1858 India Act. Much of the East India Company archives in London for the Bombay Marine and Indian Navy had been destroyed in the move from East India House to Whitehall after 1861, and Low had the advantage, as no one since, of the fresh recollections of retired officers.
Low´s work has never been surpassed, nor even approached, as a history of the maritime arm of India´s foreign policy in the first half of the nineteenth century. Though many years out of print, it has remained the basis for academic studies of campaigns and exploration wherever the Bombay Marine operated, in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea, the Laccadives, Maldives and west coast of India, the Andamans, Java and Burma.
The History of the Indian Navy serves particularly as an important source of information for the history of the British presence in the Gulf. For over two centuries the Bombay Marine effectively was the British presence, acting as police force, mail carrier, explorer, ethnographer, surveyor, and (when necessary) strike force. Sir James Elphinstone paid tribute in the Commons in 1862: ´The officers had an intimate knowledge of the usages and customs of the tribes of the Persian Gulf, and were by that means, and by the semi-diplomatic character which they possessed, enabled to preserve the peace of the country´.
The historical style may now seem dated, but the comprehensiveness of Low´s narrative preserves the freshness of his work over 115 years. This reprint makes available again a basic guide for continuing research in political and administrative archives in London, Bombay and the Gulf into the administration of British operations in the Gulf in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Contents Outline Some references pertaining to the Gulf region
1600-1622 First appearance of East India Company in the Gulf Capture of Ormuz; expulsion of Portuguese
1623-1698 Position of East India Company in the Persian Gul
1699-1754 Depredations of the Arab pirates
1759-1790 The Bombay Marine at the siege of Bussorah
1722-1795 Lieutenant McCluer´s Survey of the Persian Gulf
1797-1820; The Joasim Pirates their origin and early history; Their defeat of the Imaum of Muscat; Capture of Ras-ul-Khymah; Final pacification of the Joasmis, and signature of the Treaty of the 8th January, 1820
1820-1824 Engagements between British forces and the Beni-Boo-Ali at Sohar (Oman)
1804-1828 Marine surveys, including the Red Sea, the East Coast of Africa and the Persian Gulf
1831-1838 Action between the East India Company sloop-of-war ´Elphinstone´ and a piratical Beni-Yas squadron
1828-1838 The travels of Lieutenants Wellsted, Whitelock and others in Oman and along the Arabian coast
1838-1845 The capture of Aden
1854-1857 Boat action at El Kateef; British relations with Imaum of Muscat; Bombardment of Bushire in the Persian War
1848-1863 Survey of the Persian Gulf by Lieutenants Constable and Stiffe; Journeys in Central Arabia of Lieutenant Dawes and Colonel Pelly