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Baillie, John, of Leys, 1772-1833 (Member of Parliament, and East India Company Official)



  • Existence: 1772 - 1833


Hailing from Inverness, John Baillie of Leys entered the Bengal army of the East India Company in 1790 C.E., reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1814. His competence as a linguist led to his appointment as Professor of Arabic and Persian and of “Mohammedan Law” at Fort William College, Calcutta, from 1801-1807, during which time he published a Course of Lectures on Arabic Grammar (1801), and An Entire and Correct Edition of the Five Books upon Arabic Grammar (1802-1805). He also fought during the second Anglo-Maratha War 1803-1805, and held teh position of Political Officer at Bundelkhand 1804-1806. In 1807 he was appointed British Resident (Political Agent) at the court of the Sa‘adat ‘Alī Khān, Nawwāb of Awadh (reigned 1798 – 1814), at Lucknow. He held this position for eight years.

On his retirement and return to Britain in 1816 he became a Member of Parliament, first for Heddon in England 1820-1830, and then for Inverness, Scotland, 1830-1833. He was also a Director of the East India Company at various times between 1823 and 1833. When Baillie died in London in 1833 his substantial manuscript collecion was overlooked. It was rediscovered there six years later by Duncan Forbes, Professor of Oriental Languages at King's College London, and subsequently returned to Baillie’s family in Scotland.

His grandson John B. Baillie of Leys bequeathed his grandfather's collection of 166 mainly Arabic and Persian manuscripts to the University Library in 1876. They are also listed in M. Hukk’s A descriptive catalogue of the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library (1925).

Found in 167 Collections and/or Records:

Or Ms 41: المختصر في علم المعاني al-Mukhtaṣar fī 'ilm al-ma'ānī, 1109 A.H., 1600 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 41
Scope and Contents

A treatise on rhetoric by the celebrated Mullā Sa'd al-Dīn Mas'ūd b. 'Umar, commonly known "al-Taftāzānī " (d. 791 or 792 A.H., 1388 or 1389 C.E.).

Dates: 1109 A.H.; 1600 C.E.

Or Ms 42: انوار الربیع في انواع البدیع Anwār al-rabī' fī anwā' al-badī', 1113 A.H., 1701 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 42
Scope and Contents

This is a commentary upon the Badi'iyyah of 'Alī Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Madanī b. Aḥmad Niẓam al-Dīn al-Ḥusaynī al-Ḥasanī by the author himself, who wrote it in India in 1077 A.H. (1666 C.E.).

Dates: 1113 A.H.; 1701 C.E.

Or Ms 43: قصیدة دعبل خزاعي Qaṣīdat Di'bil Khuzā'ī, undated copy (original text featured in a composition from the 10th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 43
Scope and Contents

This qaṣīdah, which consists of 133 lines in praise of the descendants of the Prophet, was copied from the history of al-Ṭabarī. It is stated that Abū al-Salṭ al-Harawī was probably the author of the qaṣīdah, who had dictated it to al-Ṭabarī.

Dates: undated copy (original text featured in a composition from the 10th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 44: شرح لامیة العجم Sharḥ lāmiyat al-'ajam, 979 A.H., 1571 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 44
Scope and Contents

This is an elaborate commentary by Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn Khalīl ibn Aybak Ṣafadī, upon the Lāmiyat al-'Ajam of the celebrated poet Abū Ismā'il al-Ḥusain b. 'Alī b. Muḥammad b. 'Abd al-Ṣamad al-Iṣfahānī al-Madanī, commonly known as "al-Tughrā'ī " (d. 515 A.H., 1121 C.E.).

Dates: 979 A.H.; 1571 C.E.

Or Ms 45: قصیدة البردة مترجمة Qaṣīdat al-Burdah mutarjamah, 962 A.H., 1564 C.E,

Identifier: Or Ms 45
Scope and Contents

This qaṣīdah, written in praise of the Prophet Muḥammad after the battle fought at Badr, consists of 176 couplets. The Persian translation under each line, inscribed in red ink, is also in verse and rhymes with the Arabic verse. The author of the Arabic original was Muḥammad b. Sa'īd al Būṣīrī (d. 694, 696, or 697 A.H., 1294, 1296, or 1297 C.E.).

Dates: 962 A.H.; 1564 C.E,

Or Ms 46: دیوان المتنبي Dīwān al-Mutanabbī, 1261 A.H., 1843 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 46
Scope and Contents

A complete collection of the poems in alphabetical order of the celebrated Abū al-Ṭayyib Aḥmad b. Ḥusayn al-Mutanabbī (d. 354 A.H., 965 C.E.).

Dates: 1261 A.H.; 1843 C.E.

Or Ms 47: دیوان شهاب الدین الموسی Dīwān Shihāb al-Dīn al-Mūsá, 1139 A.H., 1726 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 47
Scope and Contents

The collected poetry of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Mūsá (d.1087 A.H, 1676 C.E.), arranged by his son after his death.

Dates: 1139 A.H.; 1726 C.E.
f. 278r [Please click twice to see more pictures]
f. 278r [Please click twice to see more pi...

Or Ms 48: سلافة العصر في محاسن اعیان العصر Sulāfat al-'aṣr fī maḥāsin a'yān al-'aṣr, 1082 A.H., 1671 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 48
Scope and Contents

A collection of verses. The author is 'Alī Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Madanī b. Aḥmad Niẓām al-Dīn al-Ḥusaynī al-Ḥasanī, (also known as ʻAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Maʻṣūm), who accompanied his father to Hyderabad, and died at Shiraz in 1117 A.H., 1705 C.E..

Dates: 1082 A.H.; 1671 C.E.

Or Ms 49: مقامات البدیعي Maqāmāt al-Badī'ī, undated copy (original text composed 10th-11th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 49
Scope and Contents

A collection of forty maqāmahs (discourses) and three additional novelettes, compiled by Badī' al-Zamān b. Ḥusayn, better known as "al-Hamadānī" d. 398 A.H. 1008 C.E.

Dates: undated copy (original text composed 10th-11th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 50: مقامات الحریري Maqāmāt al-Ḥarīrī, undated copy (original text composed 11th-12th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 50
Scope and Contents

These are the ever popular stories of Abū Muḥammad al-Qāsim b. 'Alī al-Harīrī (d. 516 A.H., 1122 C.E.), who was the most famous prose-writer of his time.

Dates: undated copy (original text composed 11th-12th cent. C.E.)