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Instructions for the Guidance of Her Majesty's Ships of War Employed in the Suppression of the Slave Trade.
London: for Her Majesty's Stationery Office by Harrison and Sons,, 1892. 2 volumes, octavo (236 × 150 mm). Contemporary black half calf; dark blue cloth sides, vol. I morocco-grain and vol. II watered; spines gilt in compartments, raised bands, buff endpapers, edges speckled red. Occasional blind-stamps of the Barbados Corporation. Slightly rubbed overall, extremities bumped, vol. II sunned along head of front board, spotting to endleaves of vol. I, a few pages finger-marked in the margins not affecting text. A very good copy. Rare first edition of this handbook for British sailors, published in light of the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference of 1889-1890 and in the same year as the Exclusive Agreement, the last in a series of 19th-century treaties agreed between the various Gulf shaykhdoms and the British, for whom the suppression of slavery and piracy provided a useful pretext for the protection of Indian shipping routes. Reproduced here in full are the texts in each treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Gulf shaykhdoms from 1820 to 1847. The first agreement is the General Treaty with the Friendly Arabs, signed at Ra's al-Khaymah in 1820 (p. 144). Arab signatories include "Sheik Shakbool", that is Tahnun b. Shakhbut, shaykh of the Bani Yas and ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1818 to 1833, "Sultan bin Sugger", or Sultan bin Saqr al-Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah, and the "Sheik of Dubey", who in later agreements is named explicitly as Maktum b. Bati, who announced the independence of Dubai from Abu Dhabi in 1833 and founded the Maktum dynasty. The treaty binds the Arab shaykhdoms to aid the British against piracy in the Gulf, illustrating that the British, despite their naval supremacy, found their interests genuinely threatened by the activities of Arab sailors in the region. A further set of agreements, signed in 1838, with the chief of Abu Dhabi now known as "Khaleefa ben Shakbool", gives the British the right to detain and search any ships entering their ports which are suspected of carrying slaves. The final set of treaties, agreed with the various Gulf shaykhs over the course of 1847, including the chief of Bahrain, Muhammad b. Khalifah b. Subman, gives licence to British cruisers to seize any ships suspected of involvement in the slave trade. A rare and valuable source for the emergence of the modern Gulf states, this one of 500 copies printed, a printed issue-slip tipped in at the title page of volume I appearing to indicate that a maximum of 250 copies were actually issued in the first instance, with just six copies now traced in libraries worldwide.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2016-05-23           Check availability:      Biblio    

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