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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 81: عمل صالح ʻAmal-i Ṣāliḥ, 1224 A.H., 1809 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 81
Scope and Contents

A history of the Mughal Emperor Shāhjahān's life and reign, and containing a short history of his predecessors, beginning with Tīmūr. On the flyleaf the work is entitled "lkhtiṣar-i Shāh Jahān-nāmah."

Dates: 1224 A.H.; 1809 C.E.

Or Ms 82: وقائع حیدرآباد Vaqa'i' Ḥaydarābād, undated copy (original text composed 17th-18th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 82
Scope and Contents A diary of the siege and conquest of Golkundah, near Hyderabad, by the Mughal Emperor 'Alamgīr in 1107 A.H. (1695 C.E.). It was compiled by Mīrzā Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad, who was descended from a Persian family of physicians in Dehli. He was Comptroller of the Royal Kitchen, and received the title of Ni'mat Khān from the same Emperor 'Alamgīr and near the end of the reign, on account of his constant attendance upon that monarch, he received the title of "Muqarrab Khān". Ni'mat Khān wrote several...
Dates: undated copy (original text composed 17th-18th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 83: دستور العمل سررشتجات Dastūr al-'amal-i-sarrishtajāt, undated copy (original text composed 17th-18th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 83
Scope and Contents

A collection of useful instructions and tables for the education of those who work in the revenue offices. It gives a fair insight into the sort of departmental work carried on during the times of the Mughal sovereignty. Copies of a few farmāns (decrees) and dispatches of the Premiers have also been added. The author is Uday-Chand of Salīmābād (Bengal), who compiled it during the reign of the Emperor Awrangzīb.

Dates: undated copy (original text composed 17th-18th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 84: عالم آرای عبّاسی 'Alam-ārā-yi 'Abbāsī, undated

Identifier: Or Ms 84
Scope and Contents

A complete copy of the history of the life and reign of the Safavid Shāh 'Abbās I, "'Abbās the Great" (1571-1629 C.E.).

Dates: undated

Or Ms 85: تحفة العالم Tuḥfat al-'Ālam, 1222 A.H., 1807 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 85
Scope and Contents A descriptive account of the city of Shustar, to which is appended a story of the life and travels of the author, 'Abd al-Laṭīf b. Abī Ṭālib b. Nūr al-Dīn b. Ni'mat-allāh al-Ḥusayn al-Mūsavī al-Shūstarī. The author compiled this work in India, dedicated to, and named it after, the Sayyid Abū al-Qāsim b. Sayyid Raz̤ī-al-Dīn, entitled Mīr 'Alam Khān (d.1223 A.H., 1808 C.E.), the Prime Minister of Hyderabad (see fol. 1a). The historical part of this work is based upon the work of Sayyid...
Dates: 1222 A.H.; 1807 C.E.

Or Ms 86: فوائد صفویه Fawā'id-i Ṣafaviyyah, 1223 A.H., 1808 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 86
Scope and Contents This is only the fifth maqālah (chapter) of the Fawā'id-i Ṣafaviyyah, a history of the Safavid dynasty of Persia, which was originally written, according to the chronogram in 1211 A.H. (1796 C.E.), and dedicated to Abū al-Fatḥ Sulṭān Muḥammad Mīrzā Khān Bahādur, the last of the Safavid dynasty, who lived as an exile at Lucknow and received a pension from the East India Company. The author is Abu al-Ḥasan b. Ibrāhīm Qazvīnī, who had come over to his royal...
Dates: 1223 A.H.; 1808 C.E.

Or Ms 87: ظهوریهٔ صفویه Ẓuhuriyya-i Ṣafaviyyah, 1222 A.H., 1807 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 87
Scope and Contents A treatise on the rise and rule of the Wahābīs in Najaf Ashraf, containing a few prophecies connected with their expulsion from that region and the restoration of the holy places to the descendants of the martyrs. The author probably is Abū al-Fatḥ Sulṭān Muḥammad Ṣafavī (see Or Ms 86). At the end there is given a copy of a letter complaining that the practice of grave-worship among the people was not in accordance with the laws of Islam. The letter, which is addressed to Sulṭān Fatḥ-'Alī...
Dates: 1222 A.H.; 1807 C.E.

Or Ms 88: تذکرهٔ طاهر نصیر آبادی Taẕkirah-i Ṭāhir-i Naṣīrābādī, 1118 A.H., 1706 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 88
Scope and Contents

Notices on the Persian poets, who flourished in the eleventh century A.H.. It was compiled in 1083 A.H. (1672 C.E.), and enlarged six years to nine years later by Muḥammad Ṭāhir Naṣīrābādī, who dedicated it to Shāh Sulaymān Ṣafavī of Persia.

Dates: 1118 A.H.; 1706 C.E.

Or Ms 89: احوال اولادو جائداد سید احمد ساندوی Aḥwāl-i Aulād-u Ja'idād-i Sayyid Aḥmad Sāndwī, 1230 A.H., 1814 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 89
Scope and Contents

This work was compiled by 'Alī Naqī Khān, under instructions from the Governor-General of India, to clear up certain complications which had arisen in regard to the disposal of the estate in Oudh in the possession of the descendants of Sayyid Aḥmad Sāndwī.

Dates: 1230 A.H.; 1814 C.E.

Or Ms 90: مسیر طالبی Masīr-i Ṭālibī, [1219 A.H.], [1804 C.E.]

Identifier: Or Ms 90
Scope and Contents An account of the travels in Europe, 1213-1218 A.H. (1798-1803 C.E.), of Mīrzā Abū Ṭalib Khān b. Hājjī Muḥammad Beg Khān Hindī Isfahānī (d. 1220 or 1221 A.H., 1805-1806 C.E.) written by himself. The author, who was a Turk by descent, was born and brought up at Lucknow. Mukhtar al-Dawlah, the Prime Minister of Nawwāb Āṣif al-Dawlah, had appointed him 'Amal-dār of Etāwah and several other districts, but after the death of his patron he was superseded in his military command and pensioned....
Dates: [1219 A.H.]; [1804 C.E.]