To the IMAUM of MUSCAT;* same Date. (16th January.)

YOUR pleasing letter, by Ghous Mahommed Khân, has been received. He has also represented to us, verbally, the sentiments of regard and union which you entertain for us, and the knowledge whereof has proved highly gratifying to us.

In consideration of the friendship subsisting between us, we have, at this time, remitted half the amount of the duties heretofore levied in our ports on your ships and Dows, and have, accordingly, issued the necessary orders to this effect, to the governors of all our sea-ports: do you, therefore, continue constantly to send your ships and Dows, laden with merchandize, to our ports. Particulars will be stated to you by Meer Kâzim.

Whereas there is a strict order in force at [all] our sea-ports, forbid­ding the sale of rice to any merchants coming from Portuguese, English, &c. ports, the latter have, on account of the great scarcity of grain [in their own countries], adopted the contrivance of sending other mer­chants, in the character of Muscat traders, with money, for the purpose of making purchases of rice, &c. at our ports. We have, in conse­quence, sent positive directions to the persons in authority at all our ports, to consider as Muscat merchants such only as shall produce a passport, or certificate, under the seal and signature of the superinten­dants of our factory there. To merchants, furnished with such certificate, rice will be sold,* without any excuse [or evasion]. Let, then, that person of eminent rank likewise give orders to the merchants of Muscat proceeding to our ports, to provide themselves with the pre­scribed passports, for which we have strictly commanded the superinten­dants of our factory not to demand any fees.


The remission of duties granted in favour of Mâo Saith was four-tenths. The remission of one-half, mentioned in the present letter, applies, I conclude, exclu­sively to the ships and merchandize belonging immediately to the Imaum, who, like Tippoo, was the chief merchant of his state; but a much more intelligent and enlightened one, I apprehend, than the Sultan.