Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 432 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An isolated, incomplete initial portion of the first volume of the Siyar al-Mutaʼakhkhirīn (Review of Modern Times). 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, the first part derives from earlier sources, while the second commences with the death of the Mughal Emperor ‘Alamgīr I in 1707. This volume ends in 1721, when the forces of Niẓām al-Mulk (b. 1671, r. 1724–1748) vanquished and killed Dilāvar ‘Alī Khān.
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): سپاس بیقیاس و ستایش سرمدی اساس نثار بار گاه عظمت و جلال‌ دادار بیهمالی است.
Explicit: برگ ۵۲پ (folio 52b): گاه آزاده همراه بردن بادشاه و رفتن بر دو برادر بالتفاتی به تنبه نظام الملک میشد و فرستادن بادشاه ...
Colophon: No colophon. Text ends abruptly, with a catch-word underneath that indicates the end is missing.

'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, buff-coloured paper, handmade in India, with laid lines >1mm apart and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 52 folios (ff. i + 52 + iii).
Dimensions (leaf): 280 × 168 mm.
Dimensions (written): 222 × 106 mm.

Foliated in Hindu-Arabic numerals on the upper-right corners of the a sides by the scribe in black ink.


Erroneous modern pencilled Arabic folio number of 53 written on the b side of 52b.

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


5IV(48)1II(52)Catchwords thoughout on the lower left corners of the b sides.


In fair condition, with historical repairs to the edges and lower corners of the pages.


Written in a single column with 19 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Copied in a clear nasta‘līq hand in black with subheaders and emendations in red.

  • Inscription: right flyleaf (f. ia) describes the work and states the name of former owner George William Hamilton in Persian, probably in the hand of his assistant Muhīn Dās: ‘ تاریخ ندا بعد از رحلت عالمگیر بادشاه آنچه روداد. کرنیل جارج ولیم هملتن صاحب بهادر. ’.
  • Bookplates: left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/C’, and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 349’.


Probably rebound a hybrid British-Indian style for former owner Colonel George William Hamilton while he served as Commissioner of Multan in the 1850s. Sewn all-along on a single support, without endbands. Covered in full red-brown goatskin leather over pasteboards, tight-backed, and without a flap (Type III binding as per Déroche), with squares at the edges, and defined exterior joints. Internal doublures of red and black schrotel-patterned marbled paper made in Europe over a yellow paper substrate, with heavy-weight, cross-grained paper flyleaves, handmade in India.

Boards simply decorated with single and double ruled lines in yellow.

288 × 177 × 10 mm.

Extensive adhesive in the gutters prevents some areas from fully opening, especially folios 46–52 at the end.


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

Provenance and Acquisition

Acquired by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, ultimately as Commissioner of Delhi. During his tenure, he amassed a collection of more than a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts, from which the British Museum selected 352 volumes after his death, now held in the British Library.

In 1868, Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) purchased the remainder.

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

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands 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, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish in 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 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.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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