Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 153 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The fourth 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 152. 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.. This volume ends at 20 Muḥarram 1195 AH (16 January 1781 CE).
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱ر (folio 1a): روز سه شنبه بیست و یکم محرم تقارب فی بین رویداده و مالکار ارمنی و سمر و بر شارع صفوف آرا و اسد الله خاندست راست ایشان بحمعیت هشت نه هزارسوار و ده دوازدهه هزار پیاده بفروشکوه تمام استاد و در جنب هر دو فوج مذکورشیر علی خان بجمعیت دو سه هزار کس جا گرف..
Explicit: برگ ۲۶۲ر (folio 262a): و شفق تم الکلام في هذا المقام یوم الاحد است و عشرین من المحرم في سنه خمس و تسعین من المائه الثانیه بعد الالف من الهجره المقدسه علی صاحبهما السلام و الطیبه تمام شد.
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 thin, cross-grained ivory-coloured paper handmade in India, with endleaves of the same. Laid lines ~ 1mm apart; no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 262 folios (ff. x + 262 + ii)
Dimensions (leaf): 248 × 161 mm.
Dimensions (written): 194 × 98 mm.

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


Modern foliation in pencilled Arabic numerals starting with the table of contents on the upper-left corners on 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. 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.


Copied in clear nasta‘līq script in black ink with subheaders and emendations in red.

Bookplates: TheLeft pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/E’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 375’.


Sewn all-along on five cords that are frayed and put down on the second to the first and last flyleaves. Edges coloured yellow, with twined Islamic-style chevron endbands worked at head and tail. Bound in the Indian subcontinent in a British-Indian hybrid style, tight-backed in full, smooth brownish-red 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, with the excess width put down on the first and last flyleaves as hinges, covered with serrated, zig-zag cut paper strips adhered over top. Titled "SEIR. AL. MÓTAKHERĪN VOL. IV in gold on the spine, uniformly with the other volumes. Headcaps repaired in similar goatskin leather.

253 × 162 × 33 mm.

In good condition. Some scuffing on the exterior.


Origin: Probably India; late 18th to 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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