The Surah of the Horses

Scope and Content

The Surah of the Horses

Written in imitation of a Surah of the Qur'an, almost certainly by a European at Baghdad in 1882-1883, probably by General William Tweedie, given his interest in the Arab horse and familiarity with colloquial Arabic. Copied in Arabic and English by Tweedie. Sub-title is 'a warning to those buying race-horses from the Beduin', explaining the purpose of the Surah. Gives list of sub-tribes of the great 'Unaizah tribe, and a list of the clans of one of the sub-tribes, as-Siba'ah, and mentions the horses of the clan Ukmasah and sub-tribe of Irwalah as being famous throughout the whole tribe.

List of colours of Arab horses in English and Arabic in the inside cover.

f4 in English: 'There are three things that make the Arab race-horse, namely I. Blood, II. Early work, III. Conformation etc.'

Administrative / Biographical History

General William Tweedie (1836-1908) was the son of Rev William King Tweedie, an alumnus of St Andrews University. He served in the Bengal Staff Corps, was Political Resident in Turkish Arabia and H.M.'s Consul-General at Baghdad. He wrote The Arabian Horse, his Country and People, with Portraits of Typical or Famous Arabians and Other Illustrations (1894), a study of the Arabian horse and the Arab people, written while in Baghdad between 1885-1891.

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Part of the Tweedie Collection, catalogued by DM Dunlop.


Call number used to be ms msPJ7839.S8

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.