Murdered Sultan Seyyid Hamad bin Thuwaini Al-Busaid 1893 Zanzibar

Sultan of Zanzibar Abdul Hamid 1893

 Rare original photo of the Sultan of Zanzibar Seyyid Hamad bin Thuwaini Al-Busaid (ruled 1893-1896)  The Sultan sits on a chair wearing a Saidi Khanjar, a sword and wooden slippers.

Sultan Hamad was pro British, but he was succeeded by Khalid bin Barghash Al-Busaid (1874 – 1927) who was anti-British ( but pro-German).

Another image of this photo has been printed in Ref 1, the catalogue describing the Winterton Africana collection page 138 album 73 item 27.

Photographer unknown. Size of photo 14 by 22 cm

  Antique photo Sultan Hamid Zanzibar 1893

  Sultan of Zanzibar Abdul Hamid bin Thuwaini Al-Busaid  (ruled 1893-1896)

In August 1896, Britain and Zanzibar fought a 38-minute war (killing 500 defenders) the shortest in recorded history, after Khalid bin Barghash had taken power after Hamid bin Thuwaini's death (poisoned?) . The British had wanted Hamoud bin Mohammed to become Sultan, believing that he would be much easier to work with. The British gave Khalid an hour to vacate the Sultan's palace in Stone Town. Khalid failed to do so, and instead assembled an army of 2,800 men to fight the British. The British launched an attack on the palace and other locations around the city. Khalid retreated (to the German consulate) and went to German East Africa.  Hamoud was then installed as Sultan.

History of Sultan of Zanzibar Seyyid Hamad bin Thuwaini Al-Busaid

Sayyid Hamad bin Thuwaini Al-Busaid, GCSI, (1857 - August 25, 1896) was the fifth Sultan of Zanzibar. He ruled Zanzibar from March 5, 1893 to August 25, 1896. He was married to a cousin, Sayyida Turkia bint Turki al-Said, daughter of Turki bin Said, Sultan of Muscat and Oman. 

Hamid died suddenly at 11.40 am on 25 August 1896 and was almost certainly poisoned by his cousin Khalid bin Barghash who proclaimed himself the new sultan and held the position for three days before being replaced by the British government after the 40 minute long Anglo-Zanzibar War (shortest war ever)


1.  This photo is also found in the album Reise Erinnerungen page   in the Winterton collection. North Western University USA.138 Album 73 photo 27 (1880-1896)