Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 898 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The last part of three complete volumes, bound in two (together with Persian MS 897), of the Siyar al-Mutaʼakhkhirīn (Review of Modern Times), a general history of India after the death of the Mughal Emperor ‘Alamgīr I in 1707 until 1195 AH (1781 CE). The author, Ghulām Husain Khān Ṭabaṭāḅāī, 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. This second volume commences with the ‘Ālamgīr's death in 1707 then continues until 1195 AH (1781 CE).
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): سپاس بیقیاس و ستایش سر اساس نثار بیار گاه عزت و عظمت و جلال‌ دادار بیهمالیست.
Explicit: برگ ۴۷۸ر (folio 478a): سنه خمس وتسعين من المائة الثانيه عشرة من الهجره المقدسة النبوية علي صاحبها السلام والتحية.
Colophon: برگ ۴۷۸ر (folio 478a): در سنه یکهزار و دوصد و بیست و چهار هجری صورت انجام و پیرایه یافت.
Colophon: 1224 AH (1809–10 CE)

'Nota-Manus' (pseudonym of M. Raymond, a. k. a. 'Haji Mustapha', d. 1791) translated the first volume into English in 1789, but apparently died before completing it. 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: Medium-weight, straight-grained ivory-coloured English handmade paper, with >1mm between the laid lines and ~26 mm between chain lines, with a Britannia watermark countermarked ‘J. Whatman 1808 manufactured by the Whatman Paper Mill in Maidstone, Kent then owned and operated by William Balston (1759–1849). Folios 257–258 replaced with English handmade paper watermarked with Britannia and countermarked ‘Budgen and Willmott 1811 of Kent papermakers Thomas Budgen and Charles Willmott, with chain lines 26 mm and laid lines ~1mm apart. Folios 405–412 replaced with English handmade paper watermarked with Britannia and countermarked C. Brenchley 1812 watermarks, with chain lines 25 mm and laid lines >1mm apart.
Extent: 478 folios (ff. i + 478 + i)
Dimensions (leaf): 311 × 194 mm.
Dimensions (written): 258 × 155 mm.

Incomplete foliation in Hindu-Arabic numerals inscribed on the upper-right corners of the b sides in black ink on on folios 1b to 280b that duplicate folio numbers 194 and 255.


Foliation in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-right corners of the a sides by the cataloguer.


Possibly binions throughout. Catchwords thoughout on the lower left corners of the b sides.


In good condition, with however the binding is somewhat tight and doesn't open to the gutters.


Written in a single column with 22 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


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

Folios 257–258 and 405–412 replaced, written in a different nasta‘līq script in black ink, possibly the same hand that wrote several marginal notes.

  • Inscription:folio 305b ‘1st vol. 304 leaves Vol. 1 is very rare 3/? £2-10-0.’
  • Bookplates: the left paste-down bears the ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ bookplate with shelf mark ‘2/B’, and earlier class mark ‘Persian 103–104’.


Sewn at three stations, probably on sawn-in cord supports laced or frayed out onto the pasteboards. Edges finely speckled in blue and black. Folded striped red and white fabric stuck-on endbands applied at head and tail. Covered in an British-style, tight backed binding in full British tan coloured calfskin leather, with a smooth spine and defined joints, untitled and untooled. Endleaves of comparatively heavy English handmade paper, >1mm between laid lines and 30 mm between chain lines.

Calf boards spattered and marbled to the book by the binder after covering.

322 × 199 × 71 mm.

Binding in good condition but restricted opening to the gutter margin.


Origin: 1224 AH (1809–10 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

Acquired by 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 catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume.


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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