Islands and Maritime Boundaries of the Gulf 1798–1960

ISBN: (13) 978-1-85207-275-9   Extent: 20 volumes, 13,500 pages, including 2 map boxes
Editor: R. Schofield   Published: 1990
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
See sample pages: not available

This work is the single most important reference source for tracing the origins of contemporary maritime disputes in the Gulf - coverage includes Warba, Bubiyan, Hawar, Halul, Tamb, Abu Musa; in fact over 290 islands are indexed. It records the development of the continental shelf boundaries of the Gulf, the importance of the islands in determining baselines and oil concession boundaries, evolving state practice and Anglo-American negotiations, and explores Anglo-Arab, Anglo-Persian and Perso-Arab relations. The collection contains facsimiles of letters, reports, memoranda, sketches, charts and maps from a wide range of sources housed in the British Library (Oriental and India Office Collections) and the Public Record Office. This collection was researched and edited by Richard Schofield, who has written widely on the territorial problems of the Gulf region.


The islands of the Gulf are notable neither for their size nor their variety. Other than Bahrain, a detailed survey of which is available in Archive Editions’ publication the Records of Bahrain 1820-1960, and the Iranian island of Qishm, they are small, predominantly uninhabited and exhibit little variation in topography and vegetation. The majority of islands are situated close to the shores of the Gulf. Despite such distinctly modest natural endowments, these islands have experienced a long and turbulent history.

The islands of the Gulf have long been a lure to competing European colonial powers
For most of the sixteenth century the Portuguese occupied the islands - Qishm, Hormuz, Larak and Henjam - lining the northern shores of the entrance to the Gulf. With British assistance the Persians expelled the Portuguese in 1620. In the mid-seventeenth century during the period of the Anglo- Dutch wars in Europe, Qishm was attacked by Dutch forces, while over a century later a Dutch garrison was expelled from Kharg island by Persian forces from Bushire. The mid- eighteenth century also saw the French capture the British East India Company´s factory at Bandar Abbas. Throughout the nineteenth century Britain, having apparently seen off these sporadic challenges to her supremacy, was able to control Gulf affairs through the maintenance of peace at sea. After Britain´s suppression of Qasimi overtures towards regional hegemony in 1820, a garrison was stationed on Qishm island. Though this did not last for long, permanent naval facilities had been established almost unnoticed at Basidu, on the western tip of the island, by the mid-1820s. This presence served to preserve the maritime peace, to which the states of the Gulf littoral had committed themselves in treaties with Britain of 1820, 1843 and 1853. During the mid-nineteenth century Britain had also occupied Kharg Island to remonstrate against Persia´s actions at the height of the Herat crisis. The Bushire Residency was also moved to Kharg when local conditions on the Persian Coast threatened dangerously.

The islands of the Gulf have long been disputed by the local seafaring powers in the Gulf
Ever since their occupation in the late eighteenth century by the Al Khalifah, whose control survives to this day, the Bahrain islands have been claimed at various intervals by Persia, Muscat and the Ottoman Porte. Aside from this example (which is not covered in the collection), the first Perso-Arab dispute over the islands of the Gulf occurred over the island dependencies of Bandar Abbas - Qishm, Hormuz, Larak and Henjam. For seventy years until 1868 these islands were intermittently controlled by the Muscati Sultan, who leased them from the Persian Government. The long-standing Perso-Arab dispute over the middle Lower Gulf islands of Tamb and Abu Musa essentially arose in 1887 when a Persian party placed a flagstaff on Sirri island further north. In 1904 the Persians, who had claimed sovereignty over all the islands in the Gulf as early as 1844, placed flagstaffs on Tamb and Abu Musa - judged by Britain to respectively belong to the Shaikhs of Ras al Khaimah and Sharjah.
During the nineteenth-century Britain´s geographic knowledge of the waters, islands and coastline of the Gulf was increased considerably
In 1818 Captain Robert Taylor, Assistant Political Agent in Turkish Arabia, published his notes on the islands and shorelines of the Gulf. Twelve years later in 1830 (approx.) Indian Navy Captain George Barnes Bruck´s classic survey - A Memoir descriptive of the Navigation of the Gulf of Persia - was printed. The detailed findings of this report were updated by the Admiralty in 1864 to constitute the first edition of the Persian Gulf Pilot. With the appearance of J. G. Lorimer´s epic Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia in 1908, Britain´s geographic knowledge of the region had evolved almost completely.
Strategic location of the Gulf islands
Control of access to the Gulf had long been an all-consuming British preoccupation. In the first decade of the twentieth century her presence at Basidu was augmented by the development of a British telegraphic and coaling station at Henjam while the Blue Ensign was hoisted at Sheep Island on the Musandam Peninsula on the southern shores of the Strait of Hormuz. Viceroy Curzon was particularly determined at this stage to preserve the Gulf as a British Lake and eliminate the growing threats perceived from Germany, Russia, France and the Ottoman Porte to her omnipotency there. The strategic role of the Gulf islands remains as important today as it ever was. This is underlined in no uncertain terms by the tragic Kuwait crisis of August 1990. Iraq´s failure to secure a lease of the islands of Warba and Bubiyan was probably a prominent factor in their decision to invade Kuwait, for control of the islands is necessary for full sovereignty to be exercised over the Khor Abdullah, the vital waterway linking the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr in the Khor Zubair with the Gulf. The dispute over these islands can be traced back to Ottoman times.
The economic importance of the Gulf islands before oil
Disputes over the sovereignty of the Gulf islands and imperial rivalries in the Gulf were accentuated at the turn of the twentieth century by vigorous European competition to secure possession of the red oxide deposits of the Lower Gulf islands. Germany´s acquisition of the Abu Musa concession in particular preoccupied Britain´s energies. As access to the pearl banks of the Gulf was a common right of all Arabs, whatever their nationality, their exploitation did little to raise the indeterminate status of many islands. One of the most productive pearl banks was situated just off Halul island.

The evolving importance of the Gulf islands in Britain´s imperial link with India and their navigational function

In the first decade of the twentieth-century, the Persian telegraph line was extended to Henjam while on various occasions in the 1920s the incorporation of various islands into the Imperial Air Route was actively considered by the British Government, whether for use as landing grounds or purely as fuel-storage dumps. The various islands, reefs and shoals of the Gulf naturally played a vital navigational role. When the British India Government assumed responsibility for the lighting and buoying of the Gulf immediately prior to the Great War their proposals for updating the system involved the placing of beacons and the stationing of lights on many of these features. As Britain generally notified the respective sovereigns of these islands that such developments were to take place, their international status often came into sharp focus.

The role of the Gulf islands in Anglo-Persian relations
The right to control the foreign relations of her protege states on the southern Gulf littoral had been granted Britain in treaties of 1892, 1899 (for Kuwait) and 1916 (for Qatar) Persia´s claims to Bahrain, Tamb and Abu Musa dominated the seemingly endless Anglo-Persian negotiations of the late 1920s and early 1930s. While no resolution to these issues was reached, Britain´s decision to abandon Basidu and Henjam in 1935, long a source of interdepartmental friction, ushered in an improved phase in Anglo-Persian relations.

Oil and the Gulf islands
While nearly all disputes over the sovereignty of the Gulf islands before the mid-1930s had been between Britain (on behalf of her protégé states) and Persia, the scramble for oil from the mid 1930s onwards but most importantly in the post-war era led to intra-Arab disputes over sovereignty, generally between those states who had awarded their concessions to American and British oil companies. Before this time there was frequently no record or any Arab or Persian claim ever having been entered to many of the Gulf islands. The incentives to establish sovereignty over such islands of undetermined status now grew dramatically as the various states of the Gulf littoral were eager to maximise the maritime concession areas they could offer the major oil companies for the exploitation of the Gulf seabed´s vast hydrocarbon deposits. As Sir Rupert Hay stated in 1954, one year after his retirement as Political Resident on the Persian Gulf.
Before oil was discovered, many of these rocks and sandbanks were ownerless - the resort of a few stray fisher-folk and cormorants. Recently however there has been great competition to prove ownership and, as in the case of such islands it is often impossible to prove any constructive act of sovereignty in the past; there was at one time an epidemic of establishing on them markers with inscriptions asserting ownership. These were usually removed as soon as they had been put up. Attempts have also been made to convert shoals which appear only at low tide, into islands by erecting cairns on them. (Hay, ´The Persian Gulf States and their Boundary Problems´, Geographical Journal no. 120 (1954), p, 431).
With the grant of oil concessions, the central Gulf islands of Farsi, Arabi, Harqus were disputed between three parties - Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Britain´s 1939 ruling that the Hawar group, lying just off the western Qatar coast, belonged to Bahrain set in motion a territorial dispute which remains active today.
The role of islands in the definition of the Gulf´s territorial waters and continental shelf boundaries
The evolution of the political geography of the Gulf seabed was accelerated considerably by the issue in late May 1949 of two Royal Pronouncements by the Saudi Government respectively extending national territorial waters to six miles and establishing ownership over the resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf beyond her territorial waters. Claims to six-mile territorial waters in the Gulf were nothing new, following similar Ottoman and Persian decrees of 1914 and 1934. By 1960 all states of the Gulf littoral not under British protection had extended such limits to 12 miles, while Britain would only recognise limits of 3 miles for her protégés. The Saudi continental shelf proclamation produced a more instant reaction from neighbouring states however. In June 1949 virtually identical decrees were issued by Britain on behalf of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Trucial Coast states. The role of islands in determining continental shelf boundaries and access to resources thus suddenly came into play. Islands were considered, to varying degrees, in the post war formulation of the Gulf´s various concession area agreements which crudely defined the seabed resource boundaries of each littoral state. Islands whose sovereignty was agreed were not always given full effect when continental shelf boundaries were allocated. The problem was that in the narrow waters of the Gulf, concession areas frequently overlapped. The position was complicated further when the ownership of these islands was disputed by two or more parties. A British policy towards jurisdiction over the Gulf waters gradually evolved after frequent interdepartmental meetings and discussions with the Americans, in which such issues as the precise definition of an island, whether such a feature was natural or artificial, and what was the territorial effect of an island, were addressed. In 1958 Bahrain and Arabia agreed the region´s first maritime boundary delimitation.


These 12000 pages of primary source material provide a comprehensive collection of documents detailing the turbulent history of the Gulf waters and islands (excluding Bahrain), their international status, strategic location, economic importance, involvement in imperial intrigues and their role in Anglo-Arab, Anglo-Persian and Perso-Arab relations. The collection records the development of the continental shelf boundaries of the Gulf, the importance of islands in determining baselines and oil concession boundaries, evolving state practice and Anglo-American negotiations. Recent history has again proved the theory of the importance of island sovereignty as the long-running dispute over the islands of Warba and Bubiyan was undoubtedly a factor in Iraq´s tragic decision to invade Kuwait in August 1990.
The collection contains facsimiles of letters, treaties, reports, memoranda, sketches, charts and maps from a wide range of sources housed at the India Office Library and Records and the Public Record Office, London.


Volumes 1-3: The Gulf Islands in the nineteenth-century
Volume 1: 1798-1835

  • Summary of the East India Company´s contacts with the Gulf islands and international intrigues: Hormuz, Qishm, Kharg, 1600-1800
  • Imam of Muscat seizes Bandar Abbas and island dependencies of Qishm and Hormuz; Anglo-Muscati Treaty of 1798
  • Projected occupation of Kharg Island, 1808-1809
  • Captain Robert Taylor´s Notes on the Gulf, 1818
  • British Naval Expedition against Qawasim tribe of Trucial Coast from Qishm island, 1819
  • Britain´s arrangements for maintaining security in the Gulf; consideration of Qais, Qishm and Kharg islands as possible naval bases, 1819-1820
  • Withdrawal of British detachment from Qishm, 1822-1823
  • Reports on islands of Qais and settlement of Basidu on Qishm, 1822
  • Memoir descriptive of the Navigation of the Gulf of Persia by Captain C B Brucks, 1830
  • Maritime Truce and the Restriction of Maritime War, 1835
Volume 2: 1836-1864
  • Horsburgh´s directions for sailing in the Gulf, 1836
  • Sketch of islands at entrance to Gulf, 1838
  • British occupation of Kharg island, 1839
  • Removal of British Residency to Kharg, 1839
  • Reports on island of Failakah, 1839
  • British evacuation of Kharg island, 1841-1842
  • Lar and Shiraz Garrisons invade Kharg, 1842-1843
  • Maritime Truce, 1843
  • Fortification of Kharg and Shaikh Shuaib islands, 1844
  • Incidents off Sir Abu Nuair island, 1843
  • Disturbances at Bandar Abbas, Qishm and Hormuz, 1846-1847
  • Treaty of Maritime Peace in Perpetuity, 1853
  • Perso-Muscati talks on Bandar Abbas question, 1853
  • Capture of slaves at Qishm island, 1853
  • Culmination of Perso-Muscati negotiations in 1856
  • Treaty over Bandar Abbas and island dependencies
  • Hydrography of the Gulf, 1856
  • Extracts from First Edition of Persian Gulf Pilot, 1864
Volume 3: 1867-1899
  • Revocation and renewal of Muscati Ruler´s lease of Bandar Abbas, Qishm and Hormuz, 1867-1868
  • Telegraph station at Henjam and questions of sovereignty, 1865-1868
  • Muscati capture and Persian recapture of Bandar Abbas and island dependencies, 1869
  • Lapse of Bandar Abbas lease, 1869
  • Unsuccessful efforts of Muscati Ruler to renew lease, 1871-1872
  • Ottoman jurisdiction along western Gulf littoral, 1879-1881
  • Islands of Tamb, Abu Musa and Sir Abu Nuair, disputes over ownership, 1871-1892
  • Claims to Qais and Tamb islands, 1880
  • Admiralty report on defences and trade of Gulf, 1883
  • British extra-territorial jurisdiction in the Gulf, 1844-1905
  • Persian occupation of Sirri Island, 1887
  • Admiralty report on Basidu, 1888
  • French claim to Kharg island 1889
  • Memo on Qishm, Hormuz, Henjam and Larak, 1899
Volumes 4-6: The Gulf Islands, 1900-1920
Volume 4: 1901-1913

  • Henjam affairs; status of islands at head of Gulf; British reoccupation of telegraph office and extension of Persian telegraph line to Henjam via Qishm, 1901-1913
  • Piracies off Arabian coast and within Persian territorial waters; actions taken by Britain to suppress piracy, 1903-1913
  • British flagstaffs in the Gulf and the search for a naval base; Musandam, Telegraph and Sheep islands, Elphinstone inlet, Qishm, Larak and Hormuz, 1903-1908
  • Admiralty intelligence report on the resources and coastal defences of the Gulf, 1903
  • Russian and German rivalry in Gulf waters, 1903
  • Replacement of Arab flag by Persian flag and guard on islands of Tamb and Abu Musa; Sirri island, 1904
  • Précis of correspondence on international rivalry and British policy in the Gulf, 1872-1905
  • Grant of French flag to Muscat dhows, 1906
  • Extracts from J G Lorimer´s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf Oman and Central Arabia on the Gulf waters, islands and reefs, 1908
Volume 5: 1903-1924
  • Proposals for further naval surveys of Gulf, 1911-1915
  • Proposals for construction of coaling station at Henjam, 1911-1922
  • Defence of the entrance to the Gulf; Larak, Qishm, Henjam and Hormuz: Khor Kuwai, 1913
  • Proposed lease of Larak, Henjam and Qishm to Britain, 1914
  • Persian claims to Tamb, Abu Musa and Sirri at time of peace conferences, 1918
  • Ottoman claims to the Gulf waters and along Arabian littoral
  • Surveys of Khor Abdullah and Warba island, 1904
  • Evidence of Kuwaiti ownership of Warba and Bubiyan idands, 1905-1908
  • Further correspondence respecting thc rights of the Shaikh of Kuwait to the islands of Warba and Bubiyan, 1909-1910
  • Turkish aggression in the Gulf; claims to Zakhnuniyah island; status of Hawar island, 1908-1911
  • Military report on the North-West Gulf region, 1911
  • Ottoman proposals to strengthen garrison on Bubiyan island, 1912
  • Negotiations culminating in the Anglo-Turkish Agreement of 29 July 1913; status of Warba and Bubiyan islands, the Libainat islands and Zakhnuniyah island, 1912-1913
  • Ottoman legislation concerning belligerent warships in territorial waters and the extension of territorial waters to six miles, 1914
  • Lighting and buoying in the Gulf
  • Report of conference held at Admiralty, proposals for Fasht ad-Dibal, Kubbar island, 1908
  • Report of Committee of Enquiry on Lighting and Buoying of the Gulf, 1909
  • Supplementary report by D W Hood, 1909
  • Memoranda on the Lighting and Buoying of the Gulf, 1911
  • General discussions, 1911-1912
  • Shaikh Shuaib, Tamb, Larak, Quoin, Henjam islands; beacons and buoys
  • Projected lights for Henjam, Shaikh Shuaib, 1915-1924
Volume 6: 1904-1920: Economic importance and development of the Gulf waters and islands
  • Pearl fisheries of the Gulf, 1904-1913
  • Sponge fisheries of the Gulf, 1905-1908
  • Red Oxide on Abu Musa; the Wönckhaus dispute; British and German memoranda, 1907-1911
  • Abu Musa Red Oxide concession, 1912-1920
  • Dispute over the Hormuz island Red Oxide concession, 1907-1920
  • Competition for Red Oxide concession on the island of Sirri, 1908-1909
Volumes 7-9: The Gulf Islands, 1920-1935
Volume 7: 1920-1930

  • Red Oxide on Hormuz island, 1920
  • Red Oxide on Abu Musa and Hormuz islands, 1921-1923
  • Deportation of agitators arrested in Iraq to Henjam, 1922
  • Withdrawal of Indian Guard from Qishm, 1922
  • Post-war schemes for lighting and buoying in Gulf, 1922
  • Exchange of Notes confirming Kuwait-Iraq boundary and Kuwaiti ownership of Warba and Bubiyan, 1923
  • Persian claim to islands of Tamb and Abu Musa, 1923
  • Reduction in British troop garrisons at Qishm and Henjam, 1923
  • Future of Henjam coaling station, 1924
  • Persian presence on Abu Musa, 1926
  • Status of Basidu and Henjam, 1927
  • Précis of correspondence relating to British position at Basidu and Henjam, 1821-1926
  • Warba and Bubiyan, 1927
  • Incident at Tamb island; Persian claim to Tamb and Abu Musa, 1928
  • Persian policy towards Henjam and Basidu, Farur island; Henjam incident, 1928
  • Anglo-Persian negotiations; status of Gulf islands: Abu Musa, Tamb, Henjam, Farsi, Arabi, Harqus, Qran and Halul, 1928
  • Political control in the Gulf, India Office memo, 1928
  • Quarantine control in the Gulf, India Office memo, 1928
  • British position at Basidu, India Office memo, 1928
  • British position at Henjam, India Office memo, 1928
  • Status of certain islands in the Gulf, India Office memo, 1928
  • Lighting and Buoying in the Gulf, India Office memo, 1928
  • Wireless and telegraphs in the Gulf, India Office memo, 1928
  • Consideration of Jinnah, Jazirat Abu Ali and other Hasa islands as emergency landing-grounds, 1930
  • Proposal to place fuel storage dumps on Sir Beni Yas island, 1930

Volume 8: 1930-1932

  • Alleged hoisting of British flag at Abu Musa, 1930
  • Warships article in draft Anglo-Persian treaty; Admiralty hold out for visiting rights to Kharg island, 1930
  • Negotiations towards Henjam protocol and flight of Sharjah slaves to Henjam, 1930
  • Proposed lease of Tamb to Persia from Ras al Khaimah, 1931
  • Interest of oil companies in Farsi, Arabi, Harqus and Qran islands, 1931
  • Unsatisfactory state of Anglo-Persian relations, 1931
  • Unsuitability of Abu Musa island as airbase, 1931
  • Lighting and Buoying services in the Gulf, 1930-1931
  • Persian attitude towards British naval depot at Henjam, 1931
  • Admiralty-Foreign Office dispute over Gulf policy, 1931-1934
  • Navy proposals to survey Farur, Qais, Hinderabi, Shaikh Shuaib and Sirri, 1931
  • Dispute over island of Tamb and Abu Musa, 1932
  • Development of policy towards Henjam, 1932
  • Progress of Anglo-Persian General Treaty negotiations, 1932
  • British position at Basidu, 1932
  • Kuwaiti-Iraqi Exchange of Notes confirming boundary and Kuwaiti ownership over Warba and Bubiyan, 1932
Volume 9: 1933-1935

  • Incidents in Kuwaiti territorial waters, 1933
  • Dispute over sovereignty of Tamb and Abu Musa, 1933
  • Submission of Basidu dispute to the Law Officers, 1933
  • Arrest of Persian Mudir of Customs at Basidu, 1933
  • Consideration of alternative sites to Henjam for location of British naval base in the Gulf, 1933
  • Incidents at and Persian claims to the islands of Tamb and Abu Musa, 1934
  • Red Oxide concessions on Abu Musa, Hormuz, Larak and Qishm, 1934
  • Persian press articles on Basidu, 1934
  • Anglo-Persian treaty and the islands question, 1934
  • Admiralty finally concur in FO plan to evacuate Henjam and Basidu, 1934
  • Extension of Persian territorial waters to six miles, 1934
  • Evacuation of British Basidu and Henjam, 1935

Volumes 10-12: The Gulf Islands, 1936-1947
Volume 10: 1935-1937

  • Consideration of Kuwait-Iraq frontier and the sovereignty of Warba and Bubiyan, 1935
  • Seizure by Iran of Ras al Khaimah dhow at Sirri, 1935-1936
  • Proposals to hand over lighting and buoying service of Gulf to Persian Government; lights on Farsi and Qais islands, 1935
  • Suggestions for settlement of disputes over Tamb, Abu Musa and Sirri islands and other Anglo-Persian issues, 1935
  • Reorganization of telegraph and wireless cables system in the Gulf, 1935
  • Activities of Shaikh of Ras al Khaimah at Tamb, 1935
  • New agreements to exploit iron oxide at Tamb and Abu Musa, 1935
  • Smuggling between Kuwait and Iraq and infringement of Kuwaiti territorial waters, 1936
  • Definition of Bahrain offshore oil concession - Additional Area and status of Hawar island, 1936
  • Abu Musa Oxide, 1936-1937
  • Status of certain islands in the Gulf - Farsi, Arabi, Harqus, Halul, Qran, Shurawa, Dalmah, Sir Beni Yas, Sir Abu Nuair, Dalmah, Fasht ad Dibal and Hawar, 1936-1937
  • Lighting and Buoying in the Gulf: proposals to place lights at Stiffe Bank, Qais island: Shah Allum shoal, 1936-1937
  • Seizure of Arab dhows by Persian authorities, 1937
  • Intention of Persian Government to take over lighting and buoying of the Gulf, 1937

Volume 11: 1938-1944

  • Construction of Iraqi port on the Khor Zubair: problems of Iraqi access to the Gulf, 1938-1944
  • British policy towards protection of Arab pearl fisheries in Arab territorial waters, 1938
  • Resumption of negotiations for Bahrain Additional Area; its territorial extent; sovereignty of Hawar island, 1938
  • Consideration of sovereignty of Farsi, Arabi, Harqus, Qran, Al Qurain and the Libainat islands, 1938
  • Oil companies enquire as to status of Sirri, the Farurs, Tambs and Abu Musa, 1938
  • Oil concessions for Kuwait outside Kuwaiti territorial waters, 1939
  • Status of islands in the Gulf; Libainat islands; British award of Hawar to Bahrain; final negotiations for Additional Area concession, 1939-1940
  • Lighting and buoying in the Gulf; Shah Allum shoal, Kubbar island; Qais island, 1940
  • Fasht Bu Saafa and Fasht Ashira: BAPCOs programme of operations in Bahrain Additional Area, 1942
  • Proposals to remove lightship from Stiffe Bank to Shah Allum Shoal, 1944
  • Oil in territorial waters off Persian Coast, 1944
  • Max Thornburg´s observations on Hawar, 1944
Volume 12: 1945-1947
  • Value of Kharg island to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1945
  • Consideration of Shaikh of Kuwait´s offshore rights after issue of Truman Proclamation, 1945
  • Ownership of Halul, Farsi, Arabi and Harqus, 1946
  • Correspondence surrounding deed of gift from Bahrain of Umm as Sabaan to Max Thornburg of CALTEX, 1946
  • Oil development in extra-territorial waters of the Gulf, jurisdiction over the subsoil beneath the sea: consideration of, 1946
  • Lighting and buoying in the Gulf, Shah Allum Shoal; beacons on Farsi, Arabi, Harqus, Kubbar and Auhah, 1946-1947
  • Persian interference with Kuwaiti sailing craft, 1947
  • Bahrain-Qatar seabed; operations of BAPCO in Hawar islands, Continental Shelf frontiers and Fasht ad Dibal and the Jarada shoal, 1946-1947
  • Drilling operations in the submarine areas of the Gulf; Continental Shelf questions; Fasht ad Dibal and the Jarada shoal, limits of Hawar group; Janan island and British decision concerning the Bahrain-Qatar seabed, 1947

Volumes 13-18: The Gulf Islands and the development of limits to maritime jurisdiction, 1948-1960
  • Dispute between Iran and Trucial States of Ras al Khaimah and Sharjah over sovereignty of the islands of Tamb and Abu Musa, 1948-1949
  • Correspondence with Kuwait on the northern Gulf islands of Qaru, Kubbar and Umm al Maradim, 1949
  • Saudi, Kuwaiti and Iranian claims to Farsi and Arabi islands, 1949-1950
  • Admiralty suggestions for median and lateral jurisdictional lines for the Gulf seabed, 1948-1949
  • Royal pronouncement concerning the policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with respect to the subsoil and seabed areas in the Persian Gulf contiguous to the coasts of Saudi Arabia, 1949
  • Royal Decree concerning the territorial waters of Saudi Arabia, 1949
  • Declarations issued by Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Trucial States on the territorial extent of their seabed jurisdiction, 1949
  • Continuing dispute over the 1947 Qatar-Bahrain seabed award and the status of Fasht ad Dibal and the Jarada shoal, 1949-1951
  • Territorial extent of offshore oil concessions granted by Ruler of Qatar to Superior Oil company and Shaikh of Kuwait to the American Independent Oil Company, 1949
  • Territorial extent of offshore oil concession granted by Ruler of Dubai to Superior Oil Company, 1950
  • Provisional continental shelf allocations for Trucial Coast states, 1949-1955
  • Fasht Bu Saafa and the Bahrain-Saudi seabed, 1949-1952
  • Evolving British policy towards islands, territorial waters and the continental shelf, 1949-1960
  • Umm al Qaiwain seabed concession, 1951
  • Acquisition of Qatar offshore concession by Shell and directions from FO as to "safe" operating limits, 1952
  • Qatari-Abu Dhabi dispute over the sovereignty of Halul and Shurawa islands, 1953-1960
  • Problems caused when Shell wish to drill up to western limit of Qatar offshore concession area: Qatar-Bahrain seabed boundary, 1955
  • Conflicting claims to seabed, shoals and islands in the Gulf between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Persia, 1955
  • Claims by Ruler of Kuwait to sovereignty over the seabed off Kuwait, 1955
  • Attempts to secure Kuwait-Iraq agreement for the modification of the boundary at Um Qasr on the Khor Zubair; problems of access to the Gulf and the islands of Warba and Bubiyan, 1955-1957
  • Sovereignty of Failakah, Kubbar, Qaru, Farsi, Arabi and Harqus islands, 1956
  • Claims by Iran to islands in the Gulf: Tamb, Abu Musa, Farsi and Arabi, 1957
  • Anglo-American talks on the division of the Gulf seabed, 1957-1958
  • The first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, 1958
  • Conclusion of treaty delimiting seabed boundary between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, 1958
  • Further international and interdepartmental discussions on the division of the seabed of the Gulf, 1958
  • Exchange of Notes between Britain and Iran on Farsi and Arabi islands, 1958-1959
  • Grant by Kuwait to Japanese company of exploration concession for northern seabed of Saudi-Kuwait Neutral Zone, 1958
  • Territorial waters of the Jarada shoal, 1959
  • Further Anglo-US talks on the Gulf seabed, 1959-1960
  • Extension of Iraqi and Iranian territorial waters to 12 miles, 1958-1959
Volumes 19-20 Maps of the Islands And Maritime Boundaries of the Gulf, 1798-1960


Volumes 19-20 Maps of the Islands And Maritime Boundaries of the Gulf, 1798-1960
Approximately thirty maps have been selected from the archives housed at the Public Record Office, India Office, British Library and the Royal Geographical Society.
Volume 19: Maps 1-11
Map 1 Eastern sheet of the Chart of the Persian Gulf after the trigonometrical surveys of Captain G.B. Brucks made by order of the East India Company, 1830
Map 2 Western sheet of the Chart of the Persian Gulf after the trigonometrical surveys of Captain G.B. Brucks made by order of the East India Company, 1830
Map 3 Southern sheet of the first Admiralty Chart (2837a) of the Persian Gulf, 1860 with corrections to 1864-1865
Map 4 Northern sheet of the first Admiralty Chart (2837b) of the Persian Gulf, 1860 with corrections to 1864-1865
Map 5 Map to show limits of Kuwait and adjacent country, 1913: shows Red and Green lines of the unratified Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 29 July 1913: map is copy of the original (Annex No. 5 in the 1913 Convention) drawn up by the Foreign Office Research Department in May 1954
Map 6 Map showing the islands in the north, west and southern Gulf whose sovereignty is disputed, prepared from information collected by the British authorities in the Persian Gulf, November-December 1937
Map 7 Map showing difference of opinion between the Foreign Office and the Government of India over where the Iraq-Kuwait land boundary should terminate on the Khor Zubair south of Umm Qasr, 1940-1943
Map 8 Map showing alignment of Britain´s December 1947 Bahrain-Qatar seabed award showing the Hawar islands and the Dibal and Jarada shoals
Map 9 Map prepared by S.W. Boggs, Office of the Geographer at the State Department showing tentative boundary proposals for the Persian Gulf seabed based upon median line division, 1948
Map 10 Map illustrating British Government´s suggestion for the division of the Gulf seabed, showing median line, land frontiers and lateral lines and the 10 and 20 fathom lines, 1949
Map 11 Map illustrating British Government´s suggestion for the division of the Gulf seabed, showing median line, land frontiers and lateral lines and the 10 and 20 fathom lines: also shows approximate operating area of the Qatar seabed concession, granted to the Superior Oil Company in August 1949
Volume 20: Maps 12-23
Map 12 Sketches of the Dibal and Jarada shoals on the Bahrain-Qatar seabed after naval survey of 1951
Map 13 Map of the Qatar seabed concession 1952: shows alignment of Britain´s Bahrain-Qatar seabed boundary award, the provisional territorial extent of Qatari maritime jurisdiction and the safe operating limits communicated to the Shell Oil Company in 1952
Map 14 Map illustrating proposed median lines for the Bahrain-Saudi Arabia seabed boundary, 1953
Map 15 Map illustrating Kuwaiti territorial waters, 1953
Map 16 Admiralty proposals for possible lines of delimitation of the Kuwaiti seabed/offshore concession, January 1953
Map 17 Further Admiralty proposals for the delimitation of the Kuwaiti seabed/offshore concession, October 1953
Map 18 Further Admiralty proposals for the delimitation of the Kuwaiti seabed/offshore concession, December 1953
Map 19 Proposal for the Saudi-Bahrain seabed boundary as shown on a Saudi Arabian chart of 1954
Map 20 Map of the Saudi-Bahrain seabed showing various proposals and suggestions for boundary delimitation: printed by the Foreign Office Research Department, July 1954
Map 21 Map showing northernmost section of the proposed Saudi-Bahrain seabed delimitation terminating at Fasht Bu Saafa, Foreign Office, 1955
Map 22 Map showing proposed Saudi-Bahrain seabed delimitation, Foreign Office, 1955
Map 23 Map showing position of Halul Island in relation to Qatari and Abu Dhabi seabed concession areas, 1956