Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 664 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library


1 copy of Mulakhkhaṣ al-tavārīkh by Farzand ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī Mungīrī

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

History of Timurid or Mughal India updated with accounts of the English East India Company by the Farzand ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī Mungīrī, abridging the history prepared by Mawlavī ʿAbd al-Karīm (connected with the Company’s dār al-inshāʾ) entitled Zubdat al-tavārīkh, itself an iqtibās or selection made from the more voluminous history, the Siyar al-mutaʾakhkhirīn, by Sayyid Ghulām Ḥusayn Khān Ṭabāṭabāʾī (b. 1727), who completed his work in dār al-amārat Kalkattah (Calcutta/Kolkata), Tuesday, 10 Ṣafar 1243/4 September 1827, and presented through the aegis of the secretary for the Company’s dār al-inshāʾ, Andrew Sterling, to the Governor-General, the first Earl [William Pitt] Amherst of Arakan (in office 1823-8).

Farzand ʿAlī praises the Siyar al-mutaʾakhkhirīn as an unparalleled history of India’s rulers, but was encouraged to make succinct selections at the request of the Company’s officers.

The chronicle commences after a preface and introduction with accounts of Tamerlane continued down to RY 23 of Emperor Shāh ʿĀlam, organised into three daftar (ff. 6r-98v; 102r-189v; 193r-288r), concluding with an account of the rout of the British in their former colony of America, but without a formal conclusion.

Dated colophon (f. 288r): completed by Shaykh Bahādur ʿAlī in the bāzār of the ḥalvāʾī or confectioner Imdād (?) [in the vicinity of] the kūchah of Mīr ʿĀshiq, Shāhjahānābād, 7 Shavvāl in RY 1 of Emperor Bahādur Shāh II, 1254/24 December 1838.

Each daftar begins with a list of subject headings.

Rough nastaʿlīq on course, but thin Oriental paper.

Lacking original covers.

Loose folded paper wrapper (ledger, probably from an Acquittance Roll, dated September 1830, Calcutta), upper portion missing, watermarked (Harris 1829); torn, stained, and incomplete.

Folios mostly unbound; wormholes, chalk deposits, cropped, light water stains, creased and stained edges, powdered chalk interspersed throughout.

Condition fragile.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 288 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 290 × 165 mm.



Origin: 7_Shavval_1254 AH; 24 December 1838 CE Shāhjahānābād ; India, Delhi Shahjahanabad

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased by the Government of India at sale organised by Delhi Prize Agents, 1859; administrative deposit India Office Library, 1876


Government of India


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Funding of Cataloguing



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