Photograph of the meeting of King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud and Shaikh Mubarak taken by Captain William Shakespear

Scope and Content

[Copy] photograph of the meeting of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud and Shaikh Mubarak al-Sabah in Kuwait, 1 Mar 1910, taken by the Political Agent, Captain William Shakespear.

Front row:

Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud

Turki bin Abdul Aziz (young boy)

Shaikh Mubarak al Sabah

? son of Abdul Aziz

Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman al Saud

Back row:

Hamad al Mubarak al Sabah (standing behind Ibn Saud and Turki)

? possibly Mubarak's son Nasir

Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman al Saud (standing behind Muhammad al Saud)

Administrative / Biographical History

William Henry Irvine Shakespear (1878-1915), diplomat and explorer, was born at Multan (now Pakistan) into a family working in the Indian forestry service. He was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, King William's College (Isle of Man) and Sandhurst. He served in the Indian army for six years, was transferred to the political department of the Indian government, and was then appointed consul at Bandar-e'-Abbas and assistant to the political agent in the Persian gulf in 1904. He was appointed political agent in Kuwait in 1909, and held the position until 1914.

Shakespear met Ibn Sa'ud for the first time on the last day of Feb 1910 at the palace of Shaikh Mubarak of Kuwait, where he took the first recorded photograph of Abdul Aziz Inb Saud. The meeting took place in Thaj, eastern Arabia.

Further details on the diplomatic relationship between Shakespear and Ibn Saud are available in 'Captain Shakespear: a portrait', H Winstone (1976) and 'The birth of Saudi Arabia: the story of the rise of the House of Sa'ud', G Troeller (1976).

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Acquisition Information

Given to the Arab World Documentation Unit anonymously in 2005, and transferred to Special Collections in 2005.

Other Finding Aids

Single item only.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 24 May 2006.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Related Material

A travel journal of Shakespear is held at the British Library (MS Eur A230). Other papers are held at the Royal Geographical Society.

Location of Originals

Original negative possibly held at the Royal Geographical Society.


A photograph very similar but not exactly identical to the photograph held at Exeter is reproduced as plate 9, 'Captain Shakespear: a portrait' (see AdminHistory field).