Jeffrey Black | Middle East Diaries

Grievously Maltreated: en route to Aden, 19th March 2008
March 19, 2008, 7:06 pm
Filed under: Yemen

I’ve been digging around in the informational jumble sale that is the interweb, for some nuggets on Aden, a deep-water port that was once one of the British Empire’s most useful possessions. All good colonial jaunts begin with a sense of righteous grievance – after all, one can’t just wade in and take over. Not the done thing. Hence:

In 1837 a ship under British colors was wrecked near Aden, and
the crew and passengers grievously maltreated by the Arabs. An
explanation of the outrage being demanded by the Bombay
government, the sultan undertook to make compensation for the
plunder of the vessel, and also agreed to sell his town and port
to the English. Captain Haines of the Indian navy was sent to
complete these arrangements, but the sultan’s son refused to
fulfil the promises that his father had made. A combined naval
and miltary force was thereupon despatched, and the place was
captured and annexed to British India on the 16th of January

From the very helpful and fittingly outdated


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[…] extant form is the work of a yet more distant power: The British. The casus belli that allowed them annex the city seems flimsy from a distance, but the motivation certainly was […]

Pingback by Comings, Goings and the Left Behind: Aden, 21st March 2008 « Jeffrey Black | Middle East Diaries

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