Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 795 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: A late-17th-century complete copy of the Mas̲navī by Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī transcribed in India.
Incipit: (beginning) :(folio 1b) برگ ۱پ بشنو از نی چون حکایت میکند * و ز جدأیها شکایت میکند
Explicit: برگ ۲۸۸ر (folio 288a): قصه کوته کن یک دلهای کباب * ختم کن و الله اعلم بالصواب
Colophon: برگ ۲۸۸ر (folio 288a): تمام شد مثنوی مولوی معنوی بتاریخ دویم شهر ذو القعد سنه ۳۲ جلوس حضرت بادشاه عالمگیر سنه
Colophon: Signed twice by the scribe at the end of book five 235b, first in 1098 AH (1686–87 CE) and again on 2 Ẕū-l-Qa‘dah (7 Aug. 1690 CE)‘the 32nd year of year of the Emperor ‘Alamgīr's reign’.
Language(s): Persian
Title: Book One
Title: دفتر الاوّل
Title: Daftar-i Avval
Title: Book Two
Title: دفتر دوّم
Title: Daftar-i Duvvum
Title: Book Three
Title: دفتر ثالث
Title: Daftar-i S̱ālis̱
Title: Book Four
Title: دفتر چهادم
Title: Daftar-i Chahārum
Title: Book Five
Title: دفتر خامس
Title: Daftar-i Khāmis
Title: Book Six
Title: مجلد شیشم
Title: Mujallad-i Shīshum

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Written on medium-weight, straw coloured, cross-grained paper handmade in India, with ~1.5 mm. between laid lines and few disciernible chain lines, lightly externally sized and polished.
Extent: 288 folios (ff. i + 288 + i).
Dimensions (leaf): 281 × 185 mm.
Dimensions (written): 203 × 122 mm.

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


Primarily quaternions throughout, although later repairs altered the quires. Catchwords present at the lower-left corners of the b sides.


Handle with caution. In fair condition, with repairs to the fore-edge and gutters.


Written in 1 to 4 columns with 25 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Primarily written in nasta‘līq script in black ink with subheaders in red.

  • The right flyleaf verso (f. ib) bears the number ‘377’
  • The left flyleaf verso (f. iib) inscribed with the initials ‘H. H. W.’of former owner Horace Hayman Wilson in black ink with another inscription underneath in the hand of Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford in pencil:

    ‘Djelal ud-deen, written AH 1101 AD 1689. (from Mr. Horace Hayman Wilson's Libr. 576 pp. £3-3-0’


  • Left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘1/D’, and an earlier Lindesiana label ‘Persian MS 795’ with the numbers ‘1’ and ‘9’ crossed out.


Resewn on five recessed cords, with European-style front bead decorative endbands in yellow and red silk threads at head and tail. Rebound in half calfskin leather with Shell-patterned marbled paper sides. Endpapers watermarked with an heart-shaped East India Company insignia, dated 1820 and countermarked ‘J Whatman Balston & Co. 1820’, manufactured by William Balston, (1759–1849) in Maidstone, Kent.

Surviving spine fragment of the spine palleted with quatrefoil decorative roll with double fillet lines either side, with single fillet lines on the boards.

287 × 194 × 41 mm.

In fair condition.


Two Anglo-Persian rectangular black seal impressions of former owner Charles Boddam (1762–1811) on folios 1a and 288a, intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script, stacked in three lines, on a floral ground, double-ruled, dated 1200 AH (1785–86 CE): ‘ امیر الدوله عماد الملک چارلس بادم بهادر مظفر جنگ ۱۲۰۰ ’ Amīr al-Dawlah ‘Imād al-Mulk Chārils Bādam Bahādur Muẓaffar Jang, 1200 13 × 18 mm.

Accompanying Material

Leather spine fragments placed in an archival envelope.


Origin: Completed in the Indian subcontinent; 2 Ẕū-l-Qa‘d[ah] [1100 AH (18 Aug. 1689)], in the 32nd regnal year of ‘Ālamgīr I (b. 1618, r. 1658–1707). Note that another hand wrote an incorrect date of 1101 AHprior records supplied an incorrect date of 1101 AH (1690–91 CE)

Provenance and Acquisition

Previously owned by East India company magistrate Charles Boddam (1762–1811), as per his Anglo-Persian seal impressions on folios 1a and 288a.

Subsequently acquired by orientalist and University of Oxford Professor of Sanskrit Horace Hayman Wilson (1786–1860).

After Wilson's death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold several of his oriental manuscripts to to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880), including this volume on 19 March 1863.

Subsequently 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. Identification of provenance based on manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s.

Dating information from Kerney, Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume, and in consultation with Dr Ursula Sims-Williams (Lead Curator for Persian, British Library) regarding Boddam's seal impression.


The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute


Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.