Skip to main content

Binning, Robert Blair Munro, 1814-1891 (Linguist; East India Company Official, Madras Civil Service)



  • Existence: 1814 - 1891


Robert Blair Munro Binning was the third son of David Monro of Softlaw (who by deed of entail assumed the surname and arms of Binning), by his second wife Isabella Blair. Binning had a career as an administrator in the East India Company Service in Madras. He was an enthusiastic linguist in Arabic, Persian and Hindi, in the pursuance of which he collected many manuscripts and other examples of the use of these languages, and published A grammar, with a selection of dialogues and familiar phrases, and a short vocabulary in modern Arabic, edited by Fletcher Hayes, in 1849. He travelled in the Cape of Good Hope, the Levant, Arabian peninsula and Egypt in 1845-1847, but had to quit his post for health reasons in 1850. For the next two years he travelled again, in Ceylon [Sri Lanka] and Persia [Iran], which he described in his published Journal of two years' travel in Persia, Ceylon, etc., (2 volumes, London: 1857). Binning bequethed his substantial book and manuscript collection to New College, Edinburgh, and Edinburgh University Library.

Found in 13 Collections and/or Records:

Or Ms 151: القرآن al-Qur’ān, undated

Identifier: Or Ms 151
Scope and Contents

A complete copy of the Qur'an. Written in extremely small but clear script.

First two pages richly illuminated in gold and colour.

Dates: undated
[Please click twice to see the full volume]
[Please click twice to see the full volume...

Or Ms 161: الآثار الباقيه عن القرون الخاليه al-Āthār al-bāqiyah ‘an al-qurūn al-khāliyah, 707 A.H., 1307 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 161
Scope and Contents This important work by the Persian polymath Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, who is better known as Abū Rayḥān "al-Bīrūnī" al-Khwārazmī (d. 440 A.H., 1048 C.E.) was written originally in circa 390 A.H. (1000 A.D.). The manuscript has a distinct multi-ethnic and multi-confessional flavour. Al-Bīrūnī, who calculated on the basis of measurements he took in the Punjab plain that the world was round, describes the systems of calculating time used by the known races of the world, and their associated...
Dates: 707 A.H.; 1307 C.E.

Or Ms 205: واقعات بابری Vāqiʻāt-i Bāburī, undated (original text compiled 16th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 205
Scope and Contents

These are the memoirs of Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad "Bābur" Barlās Turk, the conqueror and first Mughal Emperor of India (r. 932-937 A.H., 1526-1530 C.E.), written by himself originally in Chaghatārī Turkī, and rendered subsequently into Persian at the request of his grandson, Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (949-1014 A.H. / 1542-1605 C.E.), by Mirzā ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Khān (d. 1036 A.H.,1626-1627 C.E.), son of Bayram-Khān. This translation was commenced in 998 A.H., 1590 C.E.

Dates: undated (original text compiled 16th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 284: کلّيات سعدی Kulliyyāt-i Sa‘dī, 1065 A.H., 1654 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 284
Scope and Contents

The complete works of one of the most celebrated of Persian poets Sa'dī of Shiraz, 606-691 A.H. (1210-1291-2 C.E.).

The titles and frontispieces are illuminated, illuminated lines round the pages.

Dates: 1065 A.H.; 1654 C.E.

Or Ms 287: بوستان و گلستان با تصویر Būstān va Gulistān (bā taṣvīr), undated copy (original text composed 13th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 287
Scope and Contents This fine manuscript contains: the complete Būstān of the famous Persian poet Sa‘dī (d. circa 690 A.H., 1291 C.E.), written on the margins and beginning in the usual manner. And, in the centre of the pages, his complete Gulistān, which begins with the preface. It features illuminated frontispieces, gold frames, and is illustrated with seven portraits in the Persian style of the 9th century A.H. (15th cent. C.E.). The binding...
Dates: undated copy (original text composed 13th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 319: قصهٔ شاه و گل Qissah-yi Shāh-u Gul, 1118 A.H., 1706 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 319
Scope and Contents

The love-story of Akbar-Shāh (r. 1806-1835 C.E.), a descendant of Tīmūr (d. 1405 C.E.), with Gul-i Surkh.

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

Or Ms 337: منشئات رنجهور داس Munshaʼāt-i Ranjhūr-Dās, undated

Identifier: Or Ms 337
Scope and Contents

An incomplete collection of letters written by Ranjhūr-Dās (fl. 1732), also called Ranchūr-Dās, son of Ranjīt-Rā who was a Kāyath of Jawnpur. The author states in the preface that he made the selection for his younger son, Rādha-Kishn. The letters are followed by a work apparently on grammar, but with no clear beginning or end.

Dates: undated

Or Ms 359: قواعد فارسی Qawā‘id-i Fārsī, undated copy (earliest version compiled 18th-19th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 359
Scope and Contents

A short treatise on grammar by Rawshan ‘Alī Anṣārī of Jawnpur (d. circa 1225 A.H., 1810 C.E.), who was a professor in the College at Fort William, Calcutta (Kolkata). In the introduction it is stated that the author compiled this work for his son Faz̤l ‘Alī.

Dates: undated copy (earliest version compiled 18th-19th cent. C.E.)
f. 5v-6r [Please click twice to see the full volume]
f. 5v-6r [Please click twice to see the fu...

Or Ms 373: قطعات خوش خط Qiṭ‘āt-i khūshkhaṭṭ, undated

Identifier: Or Ms 373
Scope and Contents This is a muraqqa' (album) containing valuable specimens of Persian penmanship in a variety of scripts: nasta‘līq, naskh, rayḥān, tawqī‘, muḥaqqaq, riqā‘, and thuluth. They are pasted, large ones in the centre and small ones...
Dates: undated
f. 16v [Please click twice to see the full volume]
f. 16v [Please click twice to see the full...

Or Ms 374: تصاوير Taṣāwīr, undated

Identifier: Or Ms 374
Scope and Contents The contents of this volume are: Nineteen (16 3/4 in. by 11 1/4 in.) and ten (13 1/4 in. by 9 1/4 in.) portraits carefully drawn, with seven (13 1/4 in. by 9 1/4 in.) good specimens of caligraphy (one by Fāʼiqq). The paintings are by Indian artists, two are in the Persian style, and have been pasted on gold sprinkled paper. The subjects of the pictures include Mughal Emperors and Princes (including Bābar and ‘Ālamgīr and Mirzā Jawān-Bakht, who died at Rangun in exile with his father...
Dates: undated

Additional filters:

Archival Object 12
Collection 1
Illuminated manuscripts 6
Compilation manuscripts 4
Persian poetry 3
Art, South Asian 2
Arabic language 1