Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 152 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The third 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 151, 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): بود که باقر علیخان را استظباری بقوت شوکت آصف جاهی متخقق است.
Explicit: برگ ۲۶۶ر (folio 266a): ایزد تعالی او را و چنین بزرگان را سلامت نگاهدارد که باعث نزول برکات الهی و یادگاراسلاف کرام‌ند.
Colophon: No colophon

'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.

Language(s): Persian

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. iii + 266 + iv)
Dimensions (leaf): 246 × 162 mm.
Dimensions (written): 190 × 101 mm.

Foliated in Hindu-Arabic numerals on the upper centres of the a sides by the scribe in red ink starting with the text proper, but omits the preceding table of contents.


Modern foliation in pencilled Arabic numerals starting with the second folio of the table of contents, then on the upper-left corners on every 10th folio of the a sides, followed in this record.


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 ink with subheaders in red.

Table of Contents: copied in another hand on the initial the fourth to ninth flyleaves (ff. ivb–ixb).
Bookplates: The left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/E’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 374’.


Sewn all-along on five cords that are 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. III in gold on the spine, uniformly with the other volumes.

252 × 171 × 32 mm.

In good condition, but exterior scuffed.


Origin: Probably India; late 18th to early 19th century.

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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