The Pirate Coast.

Belgrave, Charles.

Book ID: 15047


8vo. xii, 200 pp., photographs, hard back binding in torn d/w, biblio, index, copy inside clean & in very good condition, Librairie du Liban, second impression, 1972.


2nd impression, of this study of piracy by Sir Charles Dalrymple Belgrave KBE (9 December 1894 – 28 February 1969). He was a British citizen and advisor to the rulers of Bahrain from 1926 until 1957, as “Chief Administrator” or “adviserate”. He first served under Shaikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa (1872–1942), and subsequently under Shaikh Salman ibn Hamad Al-Khalifa (1895–1961). In Bahrain, he was commonly referred to as Al Mustashar (Arabic: المستشار), “the Advisor”. To his family and friends, he was known as “Carol”. He is credited with being the first westerner to promote the term “Arabian Gulf”. Amongst his many achievements in Bahrain, Belgrave was responsible for the establishment of a system of civil and criminal courts, a functioning and well trained police service, general and widely available education, municipal authorities and political support for the exploration for oil. It was largely the energy of Belgrave in support of the search for oil that put Bahrain ahead of other gulf states in being the first to discover oil in 1932. Belgrave understood the importance of trade and was the driving force behind the creation of the ‘Bab Al Bahrain’ (Gateway to Bahrain) structure at the entrance to the market area adjacent to the dhow landing jetties (now all reclaimed land). Belgrave is widely reported as having been a well-known and popular figure regularly seen riding his horse, wearing a topee (pith) hat, and visiting markets and public gathering places to listen to the views and aspirations of Bahrainis. His office, the ‘Advisory’, remains to this day as the old home of Bahrain’s courts and justice system.
Following his dramatic exit from Bahraini affairs, Belgrave turned to writing, with this work published only a few years before his death. Belgrave (1894-1969) has been described as “a complex character who had a profound influence, and. of his significance there can be no doubt” (Rich, 95).

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