Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 1 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian

Persian translation of al-Farāʾiḍ al-Sharīfiyyah


1 copy of Tarjumah-ʼi Farāʾiz̤-i sharīfīyah by Muḥammad Qāsim ibn Muḥammad Dāʾim Bardavānī 

Language(s): Persian

Persian translation of the Arabic commentary al-Farāʾiḍ al-sharīfiyyah fī sharḥ al-sirājiyyah by al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī.

This manuscript includes the lengthy translator's preface in which it is stated that he completed his translation from the Arabic original on 10th Dhū 'l-Ḥijjah 1189 AH, which corresponds to February 1st 1776 AD. The translator writes that the translation was undertaken thanks to the generosity and culture of Warren Hastings (Governor-General of Bengal, 1774-85) who employed him to do the task. Bardavānī refers to him using his Persian honorific, ʿImād al-Dīn Bahādur Jalādat-Jang, rather than his English name. Jones, who received this manuscript copy as a gift from Hastings, wrote his name in English above it on f5v.

On every page which is not taken up with the textblock, Jones has made considerable notes and annotations. These include a series of Sanskrit paragraphs (one of which he says is from the Veda) (ff.a-c), a series of family trees which represent specific cases found inside the work (ff. f-h), a Biblical conversation between Moses and God (f.j), a title page (f.l) on which he has also written some points of Persian grammar and that this manuscript was a gift from Warren Hastings to Sir William Jones. On f1r, there is then a list of female and male names which are presumably mentioned in the text. After the Moses quotation, he signs his name in Arabic and Sanskrit.

After the textblock, Jones has written out more mathematical equations of cases from the text. He has also written out a section of Piero Soderini's (d.1552) speech to the senate of Florence in Italian about governance and liberty.

Explicit: و بر مولا از نبودن برادر وارث میکردد تقسیم نموده شد
Incipit: جمیع ستایش ثابت است مر خدای را که پرورکار عالمهاست

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Very thin cream woven paper with gilded floral illumination on every folio.
Extent: ff. ix+306+ix
Dimensions (leaf): 320 × 220 mm.
Dimensions (written): 220 × 115 mm.

Perso-Arabic numerals in pen. The translator's note and the textblock are foliated separately.


The manuscript is in excellent condition. Any damage that is visible has been repaired and supports and guards have been added to prevent any further damage.


Uniform layout of one fully justified column consisting of nine lines per page


Large and beautiful calligraphic nastaʿlīq script in black ink


Every page is illuminated around the border with a large gilded floral design. The textbox margin is also gilded.

Both the translator's preface and the textblock itself begin with a blue and gold illuminated headpiece inside the first of which Jones has written his name.


Jones has heavily annotated this addition with marginal notes on nearly every page. These mostly consist of highlighting (with curly brackets or star symbols), translating words (into both English and Latin) or writing out the metre of a poem. He also makes copious numerical notations, expressing the sums in the text in mathematical form.

At the end of the main textblock, Jones has written "read four times with great attention, 22nd February 1793". He had peviously commented that he had read the text three times, but this is crossed out.


Standard India Office half leather binding with wine-coloured marbled end papers.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 1776 - 1785 CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

Presented to Jones by Warren Hastings, presumably before his departure from India in 1785. .

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. According to Wilkis, this manuscript was gifted to the Royal Society by Lady Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p. 1 no. I


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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