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Accession of Ahmad Sháh.
I. of that
Muhammad Sháh died in 1161 H. and on the 2nd Jamadi year (19th April 1748), was succeeded by his son Ahmad Shah. Soon after, Safdar Jang was appointed wazír in place of 'Itimad-ud-daula, Kamr-uddín Khán, killed in the fighting against Ahmad Sháh Durráni. Now Safdar Jang, who was a deadly enemy of the Bangash family, caused a farmán to be sent calling Káim Khán to court. Kám Khán in his reply told the Emperor not to place reliance on Safdar Jang, who was his, Ķáim Khán's, hereditary enemy. The Emperor and the Wazir were enraged. The Wazir laid plans of revenge in consultation with Jáwed Khán. Accordingly a farmán was prepared telling Ķáim Khán that an important work was confided to him, that many of the Maháls of Bareli and Murádábád, recovered with his aid in the late Emperor's time, had again been usurped by Sa'dullah Khán, son of 'Ali Muhammad Khán Rohela. This territory was therefore made over to him, Ķáim Khán, with orders to march and occupy it. This furmán was sent by a relation of the Wazír's, Sher Jang, son of Sayádat Khán, the elder brother of the late Burhán-ul-Mulk Sadat Khán. On the 4th Shawwal 1161 H. (16th Sept. 1748), the messenger was within one or two kos of Farrukhábád, and hearing of his approach Nawáb Káim Khán caused a Bári to be erected near the 'Idgáh. Then he proceeded in state to the spot surrounded by nobles on elephants. First the farmán was read, then making his obeisance, the Nawáb put on the accompanying dress of investiture. With kettle-drums beating he returned to the fort, where the chief men, money-lenders, and officials presented gifts of money, and offered their congratulations.
The principal leaders were then sent for to be consulted. Chief among them was Mahmúd Khán Afrídi, the Bakhshi, with his brothers. These all voted for immediate war, but the Nawab seems to have been reluctant to attack his fellow Paṭháns. Shuja't Khán Ghilzai, who had formerly exchanged turbans with the late 'Ali Muhammad Khán Rohela, Yáķut Khán Khán Bahádur, Shansher Khán, Mukím Khán, Islám Khán, Kamál Khán and Sardár Khán, chelas, represented to the Nawab that the Rohelas were not his enemies, and if some one was sent across the Ganges, Sa'dullah Khán might be persuaded to attend. As a compromise Ma'zum Khán, brother of Mahmud Khán Bakhshi, was despatched with a small retinue to Anwalaht with three robes of investiture for the three sons of 'Ali Muhammad Khán. His orders were to invest them with the succession, but as usual to confis
* For the name sec 'Amad-us-Sa'dat, p. 44, line 15, where a doubt is suggested, but the despatch of some furmán is proved by the statements of Hisám-ud-din, an eyewitness.
In the Barcli district, twenty-one miles S. W. of Bareli,
made, the Nawab would march in person.
cate to the Emperor's use all the moveable property. If any difficulty was It is suggested that the three accepted investiture at the band However that may be, Maʼzum
When Ma'zum Khán reported his want of success, Mahmúd Khán declared that by the return of the khilats, a disgrace had been inflicted, which could only be wiped out by an immediate march upon Anwalah. For many days the matter was discussed with Shuja't Khán Ghilzai and the chelas. Shuja't Khán still wished to avoid hostilities. But Mahmúd Khán, thirsting for territory and plunder, charged Shuja't Khán with acting the go-between in favour of the other side; alluding to the fact that he and 'Ali Muhammad Khán had exchanged turbans.* Stung by this insult, Shujat Khán exclaimed, "In the name of God the Great, the Compassionate, bring out the flag and I shall be the first in the fray." That day the coffers of the treasure were unsealed, the flag set up, and the artillery brought out.
Meanwhile orders had been issued offering service to noted leaders of mercenaries and to neighbouring zamindárs, such as Rájah Kusal Singh of Rúrú,† Rájah Hindu Singh of Chachendi, and the Rájah of Shiú
*The "Gulistán-i-Rahmat" tells us that after 'Ali Muhammad Khán was captured and taken to Delhi, Háfiz Rahmat Khán and his relations for six months sought a shelter with Shuja't Khán Ghilzai at Kádirganj.
† Rúrú, in parganah Bidhúna, lies some thirty miles east of the town of Etawah (Gaz. IV. 469). It was the chief place of a taluka belonging to a family of Sengar Thákurs, whose head has always borne the title of Rájah (id. IV. 299). The story goes. that when Kusal Singh reached home, his mother asked him for news of the battle-field, and out of affection began to shampoo him. When he told her that "Bhai Káim (brother Káim) was slain," she exclaimed that he was no son of hers, and could never have been in the fight. When the Rájah had bathed, he went to the cooking-place to eat his food. Then the Ráni called to the slave girl di cheri, kabardár rasoi meņ lohá na ján páwe, Rájah lohá se bahut darat hai. The story concludes dramatically by saying the Rájah then and there committed suicide, by swallowing the diamond out of his ring. But the sober truth seems to be that he lived for many years, and died about 1786 A. D. (Gaz. IV. 299).
Chachendi (or Sachendi) lies in parganah Jájmau of the Cawnpur district, fourteen miles south-west of Cawnpur, on the Kálpi road. From a manuscript kindly lent me by Mr. F. N. Wright, C. S. (through the good offices of Mr. Atkinson, C. S.) I learn that Hindú Singh, son of Har Singh Deo, son of Kharakjít Deo, was a Chándel Thákur of Bihári on the banks of the Ganges. After a quarrel with Rájah Indarjít of Shiúrájpúr, he left his home, and took service with the Ráo of Sapihi in parganah Jájmau, a minor branch of the Shiúrájpúr house. After a time Hindú Singh set up on his own account, raised an army, built forts at Bihnor and Chachendi, and having acquired a large territory took the title of Rájah. IIe was contemporary with Rájahs Mándhátá and Hindúpat of Shiúrájpúr.
ájpúr,* In answer to the appeal they joined Káim Khán with some twenty thousand men. Several Mahratta leaders, then Názims of Kálpi, were also entertained and brought to Farrukhábád by Ja'far Khán, chela, Názim of parganah Akbarpur.† Sheikh Farhatullah of Lakhnau, out of enmity to Sa'dat Khán and Safdar Jang, also joined with his force.
The Rohelas were much dismayed at the prospect of attack. To avert it if possible, they drew up a petition and sent it with the veil of 'Ali Muhammad Khán's widow by the hand of Sayyad Ma'sum. Their petition was to this effect: "When the father of this orphan, i. e., Sa'dullah
Khán, died, he relied on none but God and you; if you wish to take "this territory, be it so; send here Shuja't Khan and Shamsher Khán "and Khán Bahadur, we will accompany them to your presence ; în exchange "for our father's lands, we will conquer by our swords some of the country "held by Safdar Jang further to the east." When the holy man came before the Nawáb in open darbár, he threw down the wrapper of Sa'dullah Khán's mother at the Nawáb's feet. Then he held aloft a Ķuraʼn and said, "O Nawáb! head of this clan, by this holy book, by regard for this helpless 'faqir, and the unprotected owner of this veil, I adjure you to have mercy on this race and slay not the defenceless, for the Book says 'Peace is a good work both to saints and the Prophet', accept then my prayer.”
Having heard the Sayyad's words, the Nawáb turned towards Mahmúd Khán Bakhshi, and to him confided the whole discussion. This man at heart wished nought but harm and dissension. He replied "You are a "Sayyad and a Pírzáda, what know you of worldly affairs, why do you in"terfere ?" Several remarks to the same effect having passed, the Sayyad saw that no favourable impression had been produced. Repeating the denunciations of God and his prophet against the proud-minded, he told all those then present that the displeasure of God and the Prophet would fall upon them. He then took his way back to the town of Anwalah, where he reported to the Rohelas and warned them to prepare at once for war. Accordingly, the Rohela leaders at the head of some twenty-five thousand men§ set up their tents in the groves near Dauri Rasúlpúr, not far from the town of Budáon, and there prayed night and day to God.
* On the Grand Trunk Road in the Cawnpur district, some twenty-one miles north west of Cawnpur. I supposed this Gangá Singh to be the same as the one mentioned with the other Rájahs afterwards, but he does not appear in Mr. Wright's MS. list. The Shiúrájpúr Rájahs were Chándels, and the Ráj was founded by Shiú Ráj Deo, who is said to have migrated from Kanauj about 1336 A. D.
+ Now in the Cawnpur district.
The Life of H. R. K. says Sayyad Ahmad, alias Sháhji Miyán, was sent, and the 'Amád-us-Sa’dat, p. 44, tells us he was Sayyad Maʼzum's father.
§ 'Amád-us-Sa'dat, p. 45, says 40,000 foot and 7000 horse.
Káim Khán and Mahmúd Khán Bakhshi now determined to march. They had fifty thousand horse and foot paid direct by the State, besides the contingents of two hundred brothers, dependents and chiefs of the Bangash clan, all provided with elephants, and each vieing with the other in the completeness of his preparations. These served at their own expense. There were further the contingents of the Rájahs already mentioned. Nawáb Ahmad Khán, too, who on account of differences with his elder brother caused by Mahmúd Khán Bukhshi, had lived for two years at Delhi, hearing of the intended campaign, took leave of the Emperor on some pretext, and by rapid marches joined his brother's ariny. There were two hundred large cannon, besides swivel guns, and chádur, and camel-guns attached to the howdahs of the elephants, as used by Europeans,* with abundance of lead and powder.
The army marched on the 2nd Zi'l Hajj 1161,† (12th Nov. 1748), and by stages reached the Ganges at Kádirganj, about forty-three miles northwest of Farrukhábád, where it crossed by a bridge of boats into the Budáon district. Shamsher Khán and Khán Bahádur were sent on in advance, and cutting a way quickly past Auseth and other villages, they prepared the Nawáb's encampment at the edge of the water. Daily skirmishing parties, armed with bows and arrows or muskets, were sent out from the Nawab's army. Meanwhile the angel of death had visited the camp of Káim Khán, fear and destruction never left it, all whether old or young were depressed and agitated. The whole of the night of the 11th Zi'l Hajj (21st November 1748) they wore out on their prayer-carpets interceding for a favourable answer to their prayers.
On the other side the Rohelas, having given up all hope of escape, had begun to form an entrenchment round their camp, close to the village of
* Or "under charge of a European," Mataʼna-i-farangi.
†There seems some conflict as to the correct year of Káim Khán's death. In the MS. of Hisám-ud-din, tho 3rd year (1163-4 II.) has been written first, then crossed out, and the figure 1 substituted. His poctical táríkhs yield 1161, 1162, and 1163, H. The only other contemporary authority I know for 1162 H. is the Tabsírat-un-Názirín, from which probably the author of the Miftah, p. 497, copied that year. The Fatehgarh Náma, a modern work has the same year. On the other hand, the Khizána 'Amirah, the Siyar' ul-Muta' kharin and the Táríkh-i-Muzaffari all agree in naming Ahmad Shah's first year (1161 H.) The Life of IIáfiz Rahmat Khán, Wali-ullah, the Lauh-i-Tárikh, and Dow, all follow the above and fix the year 1161 H. The Ma'asir-ul- Umra, without naming the year, loads one to infer that it was 1161 H., while tho Akhbár-i-Muhabbat in one place has 1161 H. and in another 1163 H. The year 1163 H. cannot bo admitted, as then the date of Naval Rác's death, which is not disputed, would fall before instead of after Káim Khán's death. I would decide in favour of 1161 H. as having the most ovidence in its favour. The date I make out to be the 12th Zi'l Hajj, though somo books give the 10th, and somo the 15th of that month.
Dauri Rasúlpúr, four miles south-east of the town of Budáon. On the morning of Monday the 12th Zi'l Hajj* (22nd Nov. 1748), Ķáim Khán gave the order for battle. Putting on his war attire, he rode out on his elephant followed by fifteen of his brothers,† and the principal leaders and relations of Mahmúd Khán Bakhshi, namely, Maʼzúm Khán, 'Azím Khán, Yusúf Khán, Sa’dat Khán, Salibat Khán, Ahmad Khán and others, besides the friendly Rájáhs.
The chelas, Shamsher Khán, Makim Khán, Islám Khán, Jafar Khán, Rustam Khán, Kamál Khán, Khán Bahádur Khan, were sent on as an advanced guard. They advanced rapidly towards the grove of mango trees. where were posted the Rohela leaders, Háfiz Rahmat Khán, Donḍe Khán, Fath Khán, and others. Shamsher Khán made his attack at the south corner of the bágh, and putting its defenders to the sword captured their guns. Some of the Rohelas, who had climbed the trees unperceived by the other side, suddenly poured down arrows and balls like as if the heavens had fallen to the earth. Several of the bullets struck the chain armour of Khán Bahádur Khán, and an arrow grazed Shamsher Khán upon the forehead. Many of the men were killed. After this Ķáim Khán and the leading men arrived with their elephants to re-inforce the first attack. A discharge of arrows and musketry was delivered, and then their men drawing their swords put many of the Rohelas to death.
At the very moment of the contest at the south corner, Ma'zúm Khán, brother of Mahmúd Khán, Manavvar Khán, and Námdár Khán, brother of 'Izzat Khán, advanced against Sa'dullah Khán, who was in position at the north corner of the same bágh. They fought their way close up to Sa’dullah Khán. Manavvar Khán had in his hand an iron mace (gurz). He had raised it to fell Sadullah Khán, when Mazúm Khán cried out “ Brother, take him alive," and at the same time drove his own elephant forward, intending to throw his cloth (chadar), made into a noose, over Sa'dullah Khán's head, thus dragging him from the one elephant on to the other. Sa'dullah Khán crouched down in his howdah, and the noose missed him. Just at this moment Mullá Sardár Khán Bakhshi with some horsemen and matchlockmen rushed up from his battery, which was to the south of the bágh, and the whole of the Bangash leaders and their elephants came under fire. Mazúm Khán, ’Azim Khán, Salabat Khán, Jalál Khán and other Afrídi leaders were killed.
*Wali-ullah and the Siyar-ul-Muta'kharin give the date, 15th Zi'l Hajj.
+ The brothers with their number in the list of Muhammad Khán's sons (p. 350852) were Ahmad Khán, No. 2, ’Abd-un-nabi Khán, No. 6, Husain Khán, No. 7, Fakhruddin Khán, No. 8, Murtazza Khán, No. 4, Imám Khán, No. 11, Bahádur Khán, No. 15, Hádidád Khán, No. 14, Ismail Khán, No. 9, Karím-dád Khán, No. 10, Khúda-bandah Khán, No. 12, Sháải Khán, No. 16, Mansur’Ali Khán, No. 13, Manavvar Khán, No. 18.