Created by Fakhri Almosawi

Belgrave's Diaries

Charles Dalrymple Belgrave (1894–1969) was a British citizen and adviser to the rulers of Bahrain from 1926 until 1957. He first served under Shaikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa (1872–1942), and subsequently under Shaikh Salman ibn Hamad Al-Khalifa (1895–1961). In the early 1920s the British in Bahrain were concerned to secure the political stability of the island. In 1923 Shaikh Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa, nearly 80 years old, was induced to hand over power to his son Shaikh Hamad. After a succession of Political Agents it became apparent that a permanent administrator should be found who would ensure some political continuity. Shaikh Hamad agreed to appoint a Personal Adviser employed by himself and not by the British Government, who would help him to modernise the state. There were no readily available candidates and the post was advertised in The Times in August 1925. It is not known how many applicants there were, but after interviews Charles Belgrave was appointed with an annual salary of £720 – enough for him to get married on. During the war he had served with the Frontiers Districts Administration Camel Corps and had spent two years in the oasis of Siwa. At the time of his appointment he was on leave after two years in the Colonial Service in Tanganyika. He brushed up his Arabic at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and arrived in Bahrain in March 1926, to remain there until 1957. In Bahrain, he was commonly referred to as Al Mustashar (Arabic: المستشار‎), "the Advisor". To his family and friends, he was known as "Carol". Note: He was the first known British politician to suggest to the British parliament and Arab rulers to change the geographical name of the Persian Gulf to "arabian gulf".