Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 58 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Sharḥ-i Qaṣīdat-i Burdah

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: بدانکه ناظم این قصیدۀ سعیده که چشم بلاغت بلطافت او ندیده
Explicit: تلخ کامان عدادت
Colophon: و از میانه این شرح است که در وقت درماندگی جفنی اصل جفو صورب است وافتتاحش بعد از نماز جمعه ماه محرم سنه عشرین وتسعمایه بود در ایام متبرک عاشورا و اختتامش در صاح شنبه شیزدهم ماه مذکور امید که منظور نظر هر کس افتد مظفر و منصور کردد از پی مقصود خواحه مقهور نکردد هو الله علم بالصواب کسب فرموص قبله حققه مرزام مر دل رحماند ص سلم الله تعا لعزت و حرمت مرفوم کردید بدستخط فقیر حقیر محمد غیور قادری محمد بایزیدی 22 محرم شد مطاب سنه جلوس عالمگیر در بلده دلهی.  

Denison Ross and Brown have misunderstood the dating and authorship in the colophon. The manuscript is dated to the year of the coronation of ʿĀlamgīr Shāh, not 920AH. This is the date in which the original text was completed. This makes the date 22nd Muḥarram 1070AH. This would also make Muḥammad Ghayūr Qādirī (Muḥammad Bāyazīdī) the scribe, rather than the original author; indeed, the name provided by Denison Ross and Browne is only traceable to their catalogue of Jones's collection and cannot be traced to any other extant commentaries of the Burdah.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Heavily worm-damaged and laminated brown woven paper.
Extent: ff.ii+77+v
Dimensions (leaf): 210 × 150 mm.
Dimensions (written): 135 × 70 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Supports and guards. Some discolouration.



Rough black-ink nastaʿlīq.



On f1r, Jones has written a title page: "A Commentary on the BURDAH, W. Jones". Through the manuscript there are very occasional marginal notes in the scribal hand.


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

Accompanying Material


Origin: 22_Muḥarram_1070 AH; 9 October 1659 CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. This manuscript was presented 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.53 no. LVIII


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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