Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 151 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The second of four volumes of the Siyar al-Mutaʼakhkhirīn (Review of Modern Times), with Persian MS 150, an unrelated volume added to complete the set, but uniform with 152, and 153. The author, Ghulām Husain Khān Ṭabaṭāḅāī (b. 1727 or 8) , a son of Patna Vice-Regent Sayyid ‘Alī Khān and cousin of ‘Alīvardī Khān, Nawwab of Bengal (b. 1676 r. 1740–1756), composed this text in circa 1780–1784, and dedicated it to Governor-General of Bengal, Warren Hastings. A general history of India, it spans the death of the Mughal Emperor ‘Alamgīr I in 1707 until 1195 AH (1781 CE). Since the author relates many eyewitness accounts, historians regard it as a preeminent 18th-century source.
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): سراج الدوله بعد فراغ از مراسم تعزیت بر هند ایالت جلوس نموده قلیلی از .
Explicit: برگ ۲۵۶ر (folio 256a): اسدالله خان و غیره افواج متعنیه باشد اسد الله خان و شیر علیخان و غیره افواج قطع منازل نموده بشیخ هست الیه جماعداران دیگر در میدان سوتی ملحق شوند.
Colophon: No colophon
Language(s): Persian

'Nota-Manus' (pseudonym of M. Raymond, a. k. a. Haji Mustapha, d. 1791) published an English translation of the first volume in 1789, but apparently died before completing the entire work. Colonel John Briggs (d. 1875) later revised and expanded it for the Oriental Translation Fund, published in 1832.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of paper probably handmade in India, with endleaves of the same. Laid lines ~ 1mm apart; no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 266 folios (ff. x + 266 + ii)
Dimensions (leaf): 244 × 162 mm.
Dimensions (written): 193 × 102 mm.

Foliated in Hindu-Arabic numerals on the upper centres of the a sides by the scribe in red ink.


Partly foliated in modern pencilled Arabic numerals starting with the table of contents on the upper-left corners on on the first 10 folios then every 10th folio of the a sides.

Note that this record follows the original Hindu-Arabic numerals.


catchwords thoughout on the lower left corners of the b sides.


In good condition. Bound a bit tight. White salts on the exterior leather due to prolonged exposure to moisture.


Written in 1 column with 14 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in a clear nasta‘līq hand in black with subheaders in red.

Table of Contents: given on the fifth to tenths flyleaves (va–xa).
Bookplates: The left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/E’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 373’.


Sewn all-along on five cords frayed and put down on the second to the first and last flyleaves. Twined Islamic-style chevron endbands are missing (but present on the related volumes), edges coloured yellow. Bound in a British-Indian hybrid style, tight-backed in full red-brown goatskin leather over pasteboards without a flap (Type III binding as per Déroche), with five raised bands and uneven squares at the edges.. Internal doublures of the smooth red goatskin leather, the excess width of which is put down on the first and last flyleaves, and decorated with a strips of paper with serrated zig-zag cuts adhered over top. Titled "SEIR. AL. MÓTAKHERĪN VOL. II in gold on the spine, uniformly with the other volumes. Headcaps repaired in similar goatskin leather.

251 × 166 × 33 mm.

Good condition, although exterior scuffed.


Origin: Probably Northern India; late 18th-early 19th century CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly part of the collection of the Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death London antiquarian dealer Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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