Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 356 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The second of three volumes of poetical English translations from Persian by British poet, orientalist, and painter, Charles Fox (1749–1809), together with Persian MS 355 and 357. After his death, his friend Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832) apparently obtained disparate notes by Fox and had them uniformly bound up as a set. Many entries contain references to the manuscripts that Fox studied with occasional dates. This volume continues with a metrical English translations of the Sāqīnāmah by Ḥāfiẓ and ends with extracts from the ‘Ajāyib al-Makhluqāt.
Author and Translator: Fox, Charles 1749–1809
Incipit: (beginning) Folio 1a: ساقي نامه خواجه حافظ
Saky Nameh... of Khojeh Hafiz
When Destiny Unsheaths the Sword of Death...
Explicit: Folio 142a: Ms Mar 24 1803. From the Geraib al Moclucat... and to thy wishes naught shall be denied.
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): English and Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Various laid and wove papers handmade in Britain.
Extent: 142 folios, 3 flyleaves (ff. i + 126 + ii) Variant quires and singletons of different sizes
Foliation: Partly foliated in Arabic numerals, from left to right on the upper-right corners of the b sides of every ten leaves.


Variant quires and singletons await analysis. No Catchwords.


Text in good condition.


Written in 1 column with variant lines throughout.


Written in a range of clear and hasty hands by Charles Fox .

Additions: Bookplates: The Left pastedown bears the ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ bookplate with shelfmark ‘1/K’ and ‘Bland MSS No. 576’ with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘356’ written aside.


Contents probably arranged by Rev. Adam Clarke and uniformly bound as a set for him shortly before his death, together with Persian MS 358 and 359.

Oversewn on three recessed cords with wove paper watermarked ‘J. Whatman 1831, manufactured by the Whatman Paper Mill in Maidstone, Kent, then owned and operated by William Balston (1759–1849) added as endpapers at beginning and end.

Spine panels paletted with single fillets, with the title of the set, volume number, and poets' names tooled with handle letters in the second to fifth panels down, respectively.

197 × 130 × 32 mm.

Binding in fair but stable condition, with spine surface cracked, board edges and joints abraded, with the upper headcap missing, and the lower one broken, and corners bumped. Opening to the gutter margins restricted due to oversewing.


Origin: Completed by Charles Fox (1749–1809), in either Bristol; and/or Bath; items variously dated to the late 18th and early 19th century CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired at the sale of Fox's library by Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832), who likely arranged them and bound them into their present form. After Clarke's death, his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke (d. 1855) inherited the volumes and describes them in a catalogue published in 1835.

The next year on 20 June 1836, Clarke's son auctioned his father's collection through the London firm of Sotheby & Son where someone named ‘Cochran’ purchased it for £2 11 shillings, probably either John George Cochrane (1780–1852) or John Cochran (fl. ca. 1826–1844).

Probably thereafter sold by Cochran to scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts in 1866 to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880).

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 handlist by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023 with reference to the volume in hand.


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.


    W. P. Courteney and P. Carter, 'Charles Fox 1740?–1809' Oxford National Dictionary of Bibliography 24 May 2007). Accessed: 19 Apr. 2023.
    J. B. B. Clarke, A Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of the European and Asiatic Manuscripts in the Library of the late Dr. Adam Clarke, F.S.A., M.R.I.A. (London: J. Murrary, 1835), pp. 97–98, no. CCXXIII.
    Paul Kaufman, ‘Charles Fox: An Early Interpreter of Persian Poetry’ Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1835), pp. 79-86.
    Sotheby and Son, Catalogue of the Highly Interesting and Valuable Collection of European and Asiatic Manuscripts of the late Dr. Adam Clarke, F.S.A., M.R.I.A. (London: [Printed by Compton and Richie], 1836), p. 82, no. 594.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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