Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 360 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The first of three volumes of extracts of various Persian poems, together with Persian MS 361 and 362, neatly copied by British painter, orientalist, and poet, Charles Fox (1749–1809). It compiles together various extract of prose and poetry that he copied out, in this case, from leftt-to-right from folios 1 to 51 a sides, but then he transcribed the Tārīkh-i Kashmīr of Mullā Muḥammad Ḥusayn in reverse, from right-to-left on folios 85 to 55 b sides. According to anote in the second volume, Fox copied poems out as a gift for his friend, Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832), who later had them lavishly bound and decorated.
Incipit: (basmala) folio 1a:
Explicit: برگ ۵۵پ (folio 55b): کو هیج ذکر مناثین(؟) چون مست غمت * چون هست غمت ذکر چه غم دارم من.
Colophon: No true colophon, but one entry on folio 4a dated 22 Oct 1797 and another on 7a the same year.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Various laid and wove papers handmade in Britain.
Extent: 87 folios, 6 flyleaves (ff. iii + 87 + iii)
Dimensions (leaf): 160 × 96 cm.
Written dimensions vary.
Foliation: Partly foliated in Arabic numerals, from left to right on the upper-right corners of the b sides of every ten leaves, opposite to the text direction.


Variant quires and singletons await analysis.


Written in 1 column with variant numbers of lines. Hand-ruled by Charles Fox in various formats.
Occasional folios bound in upside-down.


Written in clear, neat taḥrīrī-nasta‘līq by Charles Fox.


Margins: Double-ruled in red throughout by Charles Fox.

Inscriptions: The first right folio b side (f. ib) numbered ‘94/3’, possibly pertains to bookseller William Straker , and folio 87b) numbered ‘286’, which corresponds with Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke's 1835 catalogue entry.
Bookplates: The Left pastedown bears the ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ bookplate with shelfmark ‘2/K’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 580’ with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘360’ written aside.


Probably uniformly rebound as a deluxe set for former owners Rev. Adam Clarke, as his son Jospeh Butterworth Bulmer Clarke's 1835 catalogue describes them as ‘bound in Morocco’.

Evidently oversewn on 4 raised cords laced into pasteboards. Made endpapers of predominantly green 'Spanish' waved-patterned marbled endpapers adhered to added at Edges trimmed then finely sprinkled with red earth and polished. Prefabricated headbands of rolled black cloth adhered to head and tail. Covered in full dark hunter green coloured goatskin leather.

162 × 104 × 21 mm.

Binding in good condition, with slight abrasion in the joints by the bands and headcaps and lower corners exposed.


Origin: Completed by Charles Fox (1749–1809), in Bristol; between 1797 and 1800 CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired at the sale of Fox's library by Methodist minister Rev. Adam Clarke (1762–1832) after whose 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 bookseller William Straker (fl. 1831–1856) purchased it for £7 1 shilling.

Probably sold by Straker 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), p. 211, no. 286.
    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. 12, no. 88.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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