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Muir, Sir William, 1819-1905 (Knight; Scottish Orientalist and Principal of the University of Edinburgh)



  • Existence: 1819-1905

William Muir was born in Glasgow in 1819. He was educated at Kilmarnock Academy and then at Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities. After his university education he gained a post with the East India Company in the North-West Provinces of India. He entered the Bengal Civil Service in 1837 and became Secretary to the Governor of the North-West Provinces at Agra. His work, particularly during the Sepoy Mutiny (when he was in charge of the Intelligence Department) and his experience, influence, and writing on the history of Islam, led to his appointment in 1868 as Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Provinces. He had been created Knight Commander of the Star of India in 1867. Between 1874 and 1876 Muir was Financial Minister to the Government of India, and from 1876 to 1885 he was a Member of the Council of the Secretary of State for India. On leaving India he joined the Council of India in London but resigned on his appointment as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University in 1885. During his term of office, the University underwent many changes as a result of the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1889. Muir resigned in 1903 because of ill health and died at Dean Park House in Edinburgh on 11 July 1905.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Letters of Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Lord Roberts of Kandahar

Identifier: Coll-1170
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of, at shelfmark E2009.12, an autograph letter signed 'Roberts' to 'Dear Sir', and marked 'Private'. It is a 3-page letter, headed (embossed) Royal Hospital, Dublin, and dated 18 February 1896. In it, he declines to stand as the Liberal Unionist candidate for the Lord Rectorship of Edinburgh University. He states that, 'The conclusion I have come to, and in which I have reason to believe that the military authorities concur, is that it would be undesirable for an...
Dates: 1896

Or Ms 155: أنوار التنزيل وأسرار التأويل Anwār al-tanzīl wa asrār al-taʼwīl, undated (extant by 16th cent. C.E.)

Identifier: Or Ms 155
Scope and Contents A complete copy of the well-known commentary upon the Qur'an of al-Bayḍāwī (Naṣīr al-Dīn ‘Abd-Allāh b. ‘Umar). This copy has numerous notes transcribed on the margins. The names of the surahs (chapters) are written on the left top corner of each page.
Frontispiece illuminated with gold.
Dates: undated (extant by 16th cent. C.E.)

Or Ms 162: طبقات الكبير Ṭabaqāt al-Kabīr, undated

Identifier: Or Ms 162
Scope and Contents The first juzʼ or volume of the larger history of the Prophet Muḥammad and the several classes of his companions, their successors, and traditionists by Abū Muḥammad b. Sa‘d, who was secretary to the celebrated Al-Wāqidī, and was himself one of the earliest and most eminent historians. He died at Baghdad, at the age of 62, 230 A.H. (844 C.E.), when the work was still unfinished, but it was continued and brought down to 238 A.H. (852 C.E.) by his disciple, Abū...
Dates: undated

Or Ms 163: تاريخ الخلفاء للسيوطى Tāʼrīkh al-khulafāʼ li-al-Suyūṭī, 1258 A.H., 1842 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 163
Scope and Contents This is a history of the caliphs by Jalāl al-Dīn Suyūṭī b. ‘Abd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr, who was a most prolific writer of Egypt and died 911 A.H., 1505 C.E.
Dates: 1258 A.H.; 1842 C.E.

Or Ms 166: اخبار مکّه Akhbār Makkah, 890 A.H., 1485 C.E.

Identifier: Or Ms 166
Scope and Contents A history from the earliest times of Makkah (Mecca), the birth place of Prophet Muḥammad. It was compiled by al-Imām Abiī al-Walīd Muḥammad b. 'Abd-allāh b. Abī al-Walīd Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. al-Walīd al-Ghassanī al-Azraqī al-Makkī (d. 244 A.H., 858 C.E.).
From the present copy the first leaf is unfortunately missing, but for the title and date of transcription see fol. 89b and the colophon.
Dates: 890 A.H.; 1485 C.E.

The Agra Correspondence and Papers of Sir William Muir

Identifier: Coll-1037
Scope and Contents The Agra Correspondence of Sir William Muir consists of original manuscripts and typed transcripts relating to his career in the North-West Provinces of India, but in this case pertaining to 1857. The papers in the collection include letters to his wife from 1840 to 1895, letters of congratulations on the Muir's golden wedding, letters relating to the period 1813 to 1902, press cuttings, documents and theAnnual reports. Miss Taylor's orphanage for Moslem and Druse girls, Beyrout, and other...
Dates: 1813-1902