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Any money collected was forwarded to the Rájah who had engaged the band, after deducting any balance that might be due. Whatever they had gained was divided, and the share of any man killed was set apart and sent to his widow at Mau. For eight months these plundering expeditions continued, and when the month of June came, they all returned to Mau. Owing to the rank of 'Ain Khán's family and his own relationship to them, Yásín Khán had great affection for Muhammad Khán. Yasín Khán was an Ustarzai Bangash, a native of Mau, and a relation of Muhammad Khán's mother. One day while besieging Orchha,* on the Datiya frontier, Yásín Khán was killed by a shot from a villager's gun. The Patháns then chose as their leader Shádi Khán, Bangash, of Mau, Yásín Khán's maternal uncle. Soon after, Muhammad Khán having quarrelled with Shádi Khán, left him, and with his seventeen followers. sought employment on his own account. Gradually all the Mau Paṭháns joined Muhammad Khán's standard. They went from the service of one Rájah to another, and in this manner many years were passed in the Dakhin and Bundelkhand.
Bundelkhand politics during the second half of the seventeenth century seem to be unusually obscure, and as I have not been able to verify them from other sources, I only give for what they are worth the one or two stories, relating to this early part of Muhammad Khán's career, which appear to have some sort of historical character. One is that when the Rájah of Datiya died, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Pirthi Singh, who at once set to work to turn out his brother, Rám Chand. The latter called in Muhammad Khán on the promise of a large sum of money, and with his aid Pirthi Singh was defeated, the Rájah being killed by Muhammad Khán's own hand. The Pathans had hardly reached Mau with their plunder when an emergent call for succour was received from Madár Sháh of Sipri† and Jalaun. He reported that Muhammad Amín Khán, with more than forty thousand imperial troops, was coming to overwhelm him. Muhammad Khán, hastily collecting all the men he had ready, marched to the Rájah's aid; but, before his arrival, the Rájah had already been forced to seek safety in flight. There were, however, several encounters between Muhammad Khán and Muhammad Amin Khán before a final peace was concluded.
The usual routine of these free-booting expeditions was for the leader to put himself at the head of from five hundred to a thousand men of his own and other clans. Muhammad Khán had by his boldness and bravery gained such a reputation, that all the Rájahs of the country trembled at his name. If he saw a village, town, or city weakly defended, he surrounded it, and sent to the headmen for his black mail (nazaráná). If one or two thousand rupees were forwarded, he went away-otherwise the place was
*Gazetteer, N. W. P. I, 554. On the Betwa, 142 miles S. E. of Agra.
attacked and plundered. There was sometimes stiff fighting on these occasions, and stories are told of twelve and twenty men having been killed by Muhammad Khán's own hand in the assault on some rich fort. The reward was sometimes plunder to the value of four or five lakhs of rupees.
Once in those days, Muhammad Khán, at the head of three hundred horsemen, made an attack on a fort, at the instigation of some Rájah. He first tried an assault but failed, and then had recourse to besieging, with no better result. The men inside made a valiant defence. Now, it so bappened, that on one side of the fort was a large and deep piece of water. The Rájah, thinking that no one could attack him on that side, had left it quite unguarded. One night, at midnight, Muhammad Khán, taking with him several active men well armed, went into the tank and swam across to the foot (fazil) of the fort wall. Climbing up by the aid of a tree they then jumped down into the fort. The Rájah was asleep close by; roused by their arrival, he got up and fled, calling upon his followers for aid. To save his life, he tried to hide in a room, but Muhammad Khán followed him into it and slew him. Meanwhile so many of the zamindars had collected, that all Muhammad Khán's companions were killed, and the door of the room was shut upon him. Muhammad Khán, after commending himself to God, fixed his shield into the shelf, and raised a beam by applying his head. He thus got through to the open air, with his ears all bleeding. When he had pushed half his body through the roof, the Rájah's women, whose apartments were close by, renewed hostilities by hurling at him their rice-pestles and brass vessels. This attack put him still more out of breath, but brushing the women aside, he clambered off the roof down the wall by the aid of the same tree. Then, swimming across the lake, he regained his camp. Next morning the zamindars evacuated the fort, paid up their money and made Muhammad Khán an offering, touching his feet humbly and saying, "Khán jiu, tum manai náhin, deotá ho, tumhari sanmukh ke "ham náhin hain." In his old age, the Nawáb Sahib was fond of telling this story, saying, that though he had many a time been wounded, no pain had ever equalled that of pushing aside the rafters of that roof, and during an east wind the pain still troubled him.
Hitherto Muhammad Khán had been little more than a petty freebooter, and having reached the age of forty-five, there seemed every likeli hood that he would so remain during the rest of his career. Chance, however, called him to higher honours on a wider stage, to which we now propose to follow him.
Muhammad Khán enters the Imperial service.
In February, 1712, (Muharram 1124, H.) Bahádur Sháh, successor of 'Alamgir Aurangzeb, died after a reign of five years. A struggle for the
succession then commenced between his sons. The victory remained with Mu'izz-ud-dín, who ascended the throne in June, 1712, under the title of Jahándár Sháh.
One of his brothers, 'Azím-us-shán, disputed the throne with Jahándár Sháh, but receiving a defeat retreated and was drowned in the river Ráví. 'Azim-us-shán had, however, on his departure from his government of Bengal, left at Rájmahal a son named Mirza Jalál-ud-din Farrukhsiyar. This son determined to avenge his father. First he succeeded in persuading Husain 'Ali Khán, Súbahdár of Bihár, to espouse his cause. They were afterwards joined by 'Abdullah Khán, the elder brother of Husain 'Ali Khán, who held the Súbah of Allahábád.
Husain 'Ali Khán and Farrukhsiyar had not yet reached Allahábád on their march from Patna 'Azímábád, when Sayyad 'Abd-ul Ghaffár Khán Gardezi, sent by Jahándár Sháh at the head of ten to twelve thousand men, attacked ’Abdullah Khán at Allahábád. ’Abdullah Khán withdrew to the fort and sent one of his younger brothers to meet the enemy in the field. On cries arising that 'Abd-ul Ghaffár Khán was dead, his troops turned and fled.
On hearing of this defeat, Jahándar Sháh sent off his son, 'Azz-ud-dín, with fifty thousand men under Khwája Ahsán Khán. ’Azz-ud-dín had marched from Agra and had reached Khajwah,* when hearing that Husain 'Ali Khán and Farrukhsiyar had joined 'Abdullah Khán, he halted and began to entrench himself. Farrukhsiyar advanced on him with 'Abdullah Khán in the vanguard, batteries were prepared, and an artillery fight went on from sunset till the third watch of the night. Losing heart, the prince 'Azzud-din and his Commander-in-Chief fled a little before day-break; and finding they were deserted by their leaders, the army dispersed. The camp and its contents fell into the hands of Farrukhsiyar.
From Khajwah letters were sent in all directions, calling for aid from all noted chiefs and partizan leaders; among others a royal "Shukka" and a letter from the Sayyad brothers were sent to Muhammad Khán, who was then in Gohad territory with a force of eight or nine thousand men. Sáhib Ráe Káyath, who had been his secretary from 1105 H (Aug. 1693-Aug. 1694) + was sent to find out which side was most likely to succeed. On receiving his report, Muhammad Khán marched and joined Farrukhsiyar at Khajwah with twelve thousand men.‡
*In the Fathpur district, on the Grand Trunk Road, some twenty-one miles northwest of Fathpur.
+ This date seems impossible, it is, however, that given in the "Lauh."
The "Life of Háfiz Rahmat Khán" (p. 32) says he had only twenty-five men. This is not consistent with the rewards conferred on him for his services and the number in the text is more likely to be correct, seeing that Muhammad Khán had been leading a predatory life with success for over twenty years.
e contending Emperors at length met on the field of Samogar, nine miles east of Agra, in the parganah of Fathábád,* where the decisive battle was fought on the 14th Zi'lhajj, 1124, H. (1st January, 1713). Though there is no mention of him in the standard histories such as the “Siyar-ul Mutákharín,”† there can be no doubt that Muhammad Khán bore himself bravely in the van under the immediate eye of Sayyad 'Abdullahı Khán. One of his lieutenants, Sher Muhammad Khán, lost his life. Jahándár Sháh quitted the field near sunset, and after a time his chief supporter, Zúlfiķár Khán, also withdrew. Victory thus declared itself for Farrukhsiyar.
On the 15th Zi'lhajj, the day after the battle, Chín Kilich Khán, 'Abd-us Samad Khán, and Muhammad Amin Khán were presented by Sayyad 'Abdullah Khán, and made their submission. 'Abdullah Khán, with Lutfullah Khán and other nobles, was sent on to prepare the way at Delhi. A week afterwards Farrukhsiyar set out for the capital. On the 14th Muharram 1125 H. (30th January 1713), the new Emperor halted at Bárahpul near the city. Honours and rewards were distributed. Among others, Muhammad Khán was presented by the Sayyad brothers. He was invested with a dress of honour and received an elephant, a horse, a palki, a shield, a sword with jewelled hilt, a jewelled aigrette, a turban ornament (jigha), a fish ensign, kettle-drums and standards, besides assignments of revenue. At the same time he was raised to the rank of a Commander of four thousand. From that day he was styled Nawáb.
The following parganahs, all in Bundelkhand, were assigned to Muhammad Khán for the support of his troops.
3. Kálpi.T 4. Kúnch.**
* Proc. B. A. S., for August, 1870, p. 252.
†The author of the "Siyar-ul Mutákharin" seems to have borne a grudge against Muhammad Khán, his name is omitted wherever possible, if he is named, it is only to depreciate him, nor is he ever accorded the simplest title, with which, as usual in native historians, men no more distinguished than he, are lavishly indulged. Grant Duff (p. 351) remarks on this author's prejudice against Afgháns. In one passage (Sul-M. Translation of 1789, Vol. III, p. 240,) he denounces them heartily as all bad.
→ See Muhammad Khán's biography in the Táríkh-i-Muzaffari under the year 1156 H.
§ Gaz. N. W. P. I, 423. A town in Parg. Moth, Jhansi District, 42 m. N. of Jhansi.
Gaz. N. W. P. I, 392. A parganah and town, formerly in the Datiya state but ceded to the Mahrattas in 1748. It is now in the district of Jhansi, and the town, on the Pahúj, is 24 m. from Jhansi.
T Gaz. N. W. P. I, 474. A town and parganah in the Jalaun district. The town is on the right bank of the Jamna.
** Gaz. N. W. P. I, 505. A town and parganah in the Jalaun district. The town is 42 m. from Kálpi. Kúnch was a mahál of Sirkár Irichh.
The following men were deputed to manage these maháls-Daler Khán, chela, was posted to Kúnch, Seondah, and Maudah; Ahmad Khán, Warakzai, to Irichh and Bhánder; Pír Khán, paternal uncle of the Bibi Sáhiba, Nawáb Muhammad Khán’s principal wife, to Kálpí; Shujat Khán, Ghilzai, to Síprí and Jalaun.
Muhammad Khán founds Káimganj, Muhamdábád, and Farrukhábád.
In the first year of Farrukhsiyar's reign, Muhammad Khán was despatched on two expeditions against the Rajah of Anupshahr and Rajah Meḍá. The first named was speedily reduced to submission; and the latter having been made a prisoner, was sent to the Emperor by the hands of Dáúd Khán, chela.
Muhammad Khán then obtained leave to return to his home, where he began to found a town a little south-west of Mau, within the lands of Chaloli, Mau-Rashídábád, Kuberpur and Subhánpur, and to it he gave the name of Káimganj in honour of his eldest son Káim Khán. It is now a place of considerable trade, it had 10,323 inhabitants in 1872, and is the head quarters of the tahsil. It is 21 miles north-west of Farrukhábád.
In the same year the fort and town of Muhamdábád, 14 miles southwest of Farrukhábád were founded, portions of five villages: (1), Kilmápúr; (2), Kabírpúr; (3), Rohila; (4), Muhammadpur, and (5) Takipúr having been taken for the purpose. Tradition gives the following reason for selecting this site.|| Before the first Muhammadan invasion a group of twenty-seven villages had been given by the Rajah of Khor (now known as Shamshábád) to Kharowah Káyaths in his service. Before Muhammad Khán had risen to fame, and was still little more than a common trooper, he tried to persuade Har Parshád, kanúngo, to record him as the jágírdár of a village on the Kálí in Tappa 'Azimnagar (now in the Et District). The kanungo refused to do so without superior order. When Muhammad Khán rose to power, he recollected this; and selecting the high mound in the Kayath's land known as "Kal ká kheṛa", built on it the fort
*Gaz. N. W. P. I, 582. A town and parganah in tahsili Girwán of the Bánda district. The town is 11 m. from Bánda.
+ Gaz. N. W. P. I, 545. A town and parganah in the Hamirpur District. The town is 20 m. from Hamirpur.
In the Gwáliar state, some 60 miles north of Sironj in the Tonk state, and about 55 m. west of Jhansi.
§ Gaz. N. W. P. I, 433. A parganah, tahsil, and town in the district of Jalaun. || Kálí Ráe's "Fatehgarhnámah,” p. 117.