Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 772 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts

Two concise works on the modern history of Bengal


Summary of Contents: This volume contains two works concerning Bengal history. The first features the first and third parts of of the Vaqāyi‘-i Mahābat Jang (History of Mahābat Jang, composed by Shāh Muḥammad Vafā' (fl. 18th c.) of ‘Azīmābād (Patna), which recounts the wars in Bengal that occurred in 1156 AH (1743–44 CE) and 1161 AH (1748–49 CE). A second treatise follows, probably an abridged initial portion of the ‘Ibrat i Arbāb i Baṣar (Lessons of the Lords of Vision) by Rāi Balkund (fl. 18th c.).
1. folios 1b–31b
Scribe: Ibrāhīm Ḥusayn Husnī
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): وقایع فتح بنگله برسم اجمال ۱۱۵۶ دانهرام (؟) مخلفان از عون ایزد بهمبال(؟) ۱۱۵۶...
Colophon: برگ ۱۸ر (folio 18a): وقایع بهاسکری تثنیف شاه محمد وفا بخط بسیربط(؟) ابراهیم حسین حسنی بتاریخ بیست و دیم جماوی الا[و]لی سنه ۱۲۴۲ هجری.
Explicit: برگ  ۳۱پ (folio 31b): ...الهی کواکب فیروی این والا سر طوار دایما در صغیر دیار و اعدای بهروزی این کامکا ابد مسطر و ذکر داناد
Colophon: برگ  ۳۱پ (folio 31b): تمام شد وقایه شمشیر خانی تصنیف شاه محمد وفا.
Colophon: Two colophons, the first on folio 18a, completed 22 Jumādá I 1242 AH (22 Dec. 1826 CE) the scribe identifies himself as Ibrāhīm Ḥusayn Husnī

Misidentified as San‘at-i Zād al-Qavāfī (Provisions for Rhyming) on the flyleaf and spine label. In the colophons, the scribe entitles the first part Vaqāyi‘ Bhaskarī (History of Bhaskarī) and the third part Vaqāyi‘-i Shamshīr Khānī (History of Shamshīr Khān).

Language(s): Persian
2. folios 32a–45b
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۳۲ر (folio 32a): ای فریقه افسون کوکیه اقبال.
Explicit: برگ  ۴۵پ (folio 45b): ...و گل‌ها از چمن گلزار عبرت چند الحمد لله الحاکم القابض عبرت ارباب بصر بعنی این نامه با اداهای جادوانه طراز جاودانه یافت
Colophon: برگ  ۳۱پ (folio 31b): تمام شد نسخهٔ عبرت ارباب بصر تصنیف رای بالکند شهور تخلص.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of thin-weight, flocked, cross-grained, eggshell-coloured paper handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~10 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 45 folios, 1 flyleaf (ff. i + 46).
Dimensions (leaf): 258 × 158 mm.
Dimensions (written): 215 × 105 mm.
Foliation: Pencilled arabic numerals added to the upper-left corners of the a sides by the cataloguer.


Primarily quaternions throughout 5IV(40)1III(45). Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides.


Text in excellent condition.


Written in 1 column with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with subheaders in red by Ibrāhīm Ḥusayn Husnī.

  • The right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears a misidentified title for the work, and the name of former owner Colonel George William Hamilton likely in the hand of his assistant Muhīn Dās.
  • Folio 1a also inscribed with same misidentified title in another hand.
Bookplates: Left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘2/E’, and ‘Hamilton MSS No. 689’.


Probably bound Delhifor former owner Colonel George William Hamilton after his appointment as Commissioner in 1863.

Sewn on a single flat tape support in the centre, machine-mde wove endpaper added at the front only, then edges trimmed, but endbands omitted. Covers hemmed in red goatskin leather, faced with British-made 'Spanish' patterned marbled paper.

Octagonal paper label bears the titles of the two works.

267 × 166 × 12 mm.

Handle binding with caution. Vertical breaks in the leather on the spine, and abrasion to the edges; headcaps wanting.


Origin: Probably completed by Ibrāhīm Ḥusayn Husnī in Indian subcontinent; 22 Jumādá I 1242 AH (22 Dec. 1826 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi. He acquired over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts, from which the British Museum selected 352, now held in the British Library.

Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) purchased the remainder of Hamilton's collection in 1868.

Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) purchased the remainder of Hamilton's collection in 1868.

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, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 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.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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