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Afghanistan 1600-1747: Sources in the India Office Records


 Chronology 1600-1747

Ahmad Shah Durrani

Ahmad Shah Durrani, First Ruler of the Saddozai dynasty, 1747-73. ©The British Library Board [Add Or 2685]


1600East India Company established
1613First factory (trading post) set up at Surat on the west (Malabar) coast of India
1616-23EIC factories set up in Persia
1646-58Unsuccessful campaigns of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jehan, against Balkh
1648Conflicts over Kandahar between the Mughals and Persians until it becomes a Persian city and province
1713Revolt in Kandahar against the Persians; Mir Wais, a Ghilzai, proclaimed ruler
1716Revolt in Herat against the Persians; Assadullah, a Saddozai Abdali, becomes ruler of the province
1720Mahmud, son of the deceased Mir Wais, invades Persia; is proclaimed Shah over an area of Persia extending westwards as far as Isfahan
1725Mahmud dies; succeeded in Persia by his cousin, Mir Ashraf, and in Kandahar by his brother, Husain
1730Mir Ashraf and the Ghilzais expelled from Persia by Nadir Quli Khan
1731-39Nadir Shah conquers Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and the Punjab
1732Nadir Quli Khan becomes Nadir Shah of Persia
1739Nadir Shah conquers and sacks Delhi
1747Nadir Shah assassinated, Ahmad Shah Durrani elected leader of the independent nation of the Afghans at Kandahar


Documents on Afghanistan in the India Office Records of the early period of the East India Company are likely to be sparse. Occasional references may be found in the following series.

[IOR: E] General correspondence

E/3 Original correspondence, 1600-1709

Much of the early seventeenth century correspondence has been published in F.C.Danvers & W.Foster, Letters received by the East India Company from its servants in the East, 1602-1617, 6 vols London, 1896-1902 and W.Foster & C.Fawcett, The English factories in India. Old Series, 1618-1669, 13 vols 1906-1925, New Series, 1670-1684, 4 vols 1936-55.

E/4 Correspondence with India, 1703-1858

[IOR: G] Factory records

G/3 Bombay, 1669-1704

G/29 Persia and Persian Gulf, c 1620-1822
Bandar 'Abbas Consultations and Letters contain mentions of the Ghilzai invasion of and rule in Persia, the Afghan campaign of Nadir Shah, and Perso-Afghan relations after the establishment of the Durrani monarchy.

G/36 Surat, 1616-1804
The Persian factories were originally administratively subordinate to Surat until Bombay became the principal west coast settlement of the English in 1687

G/40 Miscellaneous, 1608-1834

[IOR: P] Proceedings of the Government of India and of the Presidencies and provinces

Bombay Public Proceedings, 1704-1822