Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 433 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This isolated third and final volume of the Siyar al-Mutaʼakhkhirīn (Review of Modern Times), appears likely completed in early 19th-century India. 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, which relates events after the death of the Mughal Emperor ‘Alamgīr I in 1707 until 26 Muḥarram 1195 AH (22 Jan. 1781 CE). Since the author relates many eyewitness accounts, historians regard it as a preeminent 18th-century source.
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): ذکر احوال عظیم‌آباد و جنگیدن مجر کرنک با اتفاق راجه رام نراین و راجه راج بلبه با بادشاه راجه و مونس ‌الدین و شکست خوردن بادشاه....
Explicit: برگ ۳۴۵پ (folio 245b): یوم الاحد سته و عشرین من المحرم فی سنه خمس وتسعين من المائة الثانيه بعد الالف من الهجره المقدسة علي صاحبها السلام والتحية.
Colophon: No colophon.

In his handlist, Michael Kerney interpreted a notation dated 1239 AH (CE) (1823–24 CE) inscribed underneath the explicit as the date of the volume's completion. However, the unrelated hand merely suggests it provides terminus ante quem for the volume's completion, not the actual date. the scribe likely copied it from the exemplar text

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock comprised of sized and polished cross-grained buff-coloured paper, probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~ 1.5 mm between laid lines and few discernible chain lines.
Extent: 252 folios (ff. i + 252 + i).
Dimensions (leaf): 230 × 148 mm.
Dimensions (written): 183 × 100 mm.

Foliated in Hindu-Arabic numerals on the upper-centres of the a sides in black ink until 1–50.


Pencilled Arabic folio numbers on the upper-left corners of the b sides when catalogued, with 62Aa omitted, hence thereafter off by 1.


Undetermined. Catchwords thoughout on the lower-left corners of the b sides.


In fair condition. Historical repairs at the beginning and end.


Written in 1 column with 16 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


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

  • Table of Contents: folios 246 to 251.
  • Inscription:Below the explicit on 244b someone hastily scribbled a notation in illegible shikastah hand.
  • Bookplates: The left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘2/I’, and ‘Hamilton MSS no. 350’.


Sewn at four stations on cord supports laced or frayed out onto the pasteboards, with twined chevron endbands in red and white at head and tail. Covered in a hybrid British-Indian style binding in full, tight backed, smooth black goatskin leather with squares at the edges, and without a flap (type III binding per Déroche). Doublures of smooth red goatskin leather

Boards spattered with a pink-red colour, but not the spine, and further decorated with stamped green paper onlays with a scalloped central mandorla, detached pendants, and corners featuring floral designs. and double and single ruled lines in yellow along the perimeters, connecting the corners, and the central motifs.

240 × 161 × 35 mm.

In fair condition. Abrasion to the exterior.


Origin: Probably India; before 1239 AH (1823 CE) based upon a notation underneath the explicit.

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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