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up in this Agrah rising were Rūp Lāl, Kāyath, brother of Hira Lal, the diwān of Sher Afgan Khan, Panipati, and one Himmat, a hazārī, or officer of garrison artillery. But there can be no doubt that the prime mover was Mitr Sen, a Nāgar Brahman.1

This Mitr Sen resided in the fort of Agrah, in the employ of Prince Neküsiyar. He had some knowledge of physic. Through this means, and money-lending, he acquired considerable influence among the hazārīs and Baksariyahs forming the garrison. When, a few months before this time Ḥusain 'Ali Khan passed through Agrah, on his way from the Dakhin to Dihli, Mitr Sen, introduced by some of the Bakhshi's attendants and some fellow-Brahmans, obtained access to the audiencehall, and thus became known by sight to the Mir Bakhshi.3

Some of the Sayyad's old wounds having opened afresh and given him trouble, Mitr Sen offered his services as surgeon, and in this way obtained private speech with Husain 'Ali Khan. From some of the Mir Bakhshi's intimates he had wormed out the secret that Farrukhsiyar would soon be dethroned. This inspired him with the idea that Nekusiyar might be proposed as a candidate for the vacant throne. The artillery officers entered into the plan. Mitr Sen thereupon, without gaining over any great noble, or even consulting Nekūsiyar, made overtures in the prince's name to Husain 'Ali Khān. The latter, enraged that his secret intention should have been divined, directed that Mitr Sen should no longer be admitted to his presence.“

Mitr Sen made his escape. He is supposed to have gone now to Rajah Jai Singh at Amber, where conditions were agreed on with him, and a letter addressed by Rajah Jai Singh to Rājah Chabelah Rām, governor of Allahābād, was made over to him. It was also believed that Mitr Sen visited Nizam-ul-mulk when he passed through Agrah, but from him no definite answer was obtained. The secret of this interview was not kept; and it was the receipt of a report about it that

1 Muḥammad Qāsim, Lāhorī, 267, styles him a Tiwārī. which is a sub-division

of the Gaur Brahmans. Kamwar Khan, 180, Burhān-ul-fatuḥ, 167a.

2 Hazārī (literally, “having a thousand") is the name for a captain of artillery. Sometimes they are called by the Turkish word minkbāshi, "head of one thousand." Baksariyah means a footsoldier or militia man. Apparently the name is derived from Baksar on the Ganges, a fort in parganah Bhojpur of Subah Bahār, if we are to trust Rão Chatarman, Chahār gulshan, fol. 1276, who in an itinerary from Bareli to Patnah enters "Baksar, original home of the Baksarīyahs.”

3 I doubt if Agrah can be the right place of meeting, for Husain ‘Ali Khān does not seem to have passed through it on his way to Dibli. I tell the story as Khāfi Khan does: the rest of the facts are probably correct.

✦ Khāfi Khān, II, 825.

led to the appointment of Samandar Khan, a man of high rank, as a new commander in the fort.1

When Samandar Khan reached Gão-ghat on the Jamnah, a few miles north-west of Agrah, he called upon the garrison and all the establishments to come out to greet him and escort him into the fort. Instead of obeying this order, the garrison after a consultation returned word that their pay for three years was due, that they did not know who was now emperor, that they were not acquainted with any qila'hdār of the name of Samandar Khan. Mitr Sen was in the plot. On the 29th Jamādī II, (18th May, 1719), Nekūsiyar and his two nephews were brought out by the soldiers; the former was placed on a throne and homage was paid to him as emperor. Coin was issued in his name with the inscription:

Ba zar zad sikkah sāḥib-qirānī

Shāh Nekūsiyar, Taimūr-i-ṣānī.

"On gold struck coin the Lord of the Fortunate Conjunction,
"The Emperor Nekūsiyar, a second Taimūr.?'

Mitr Sen was raised to the rank of commander of 7,000 horse with the title of Rajah Birbal and the office of wazir. One kror and eighty lakhs of rupees were withdrawn from the treasure-house and distributed among the garrison. The next day Nekusiyar with two nephews was brought to an open buildings over the main gate, a royal umbrella being held over his head. With both hands the prince made reassuring gestures. in the direction of the crowd, which had assembled in the open space below the gate, while Mitr Sen, now become Rajah Birbal, poured gold over his head. Soon men hurried to the fort from all directions and offered to enlist. Blacksmiths, bullet-founders, and other artisans were brought into the fort, and a new koṭwal, or chief police officer, was placed in charge of the city on behalf of the pretender.4

Hostilities were commenced by the garrison firing upon the mansion (known as that of Islam Khan) occupied by Ghairat Khan, the new nazim of the province. This house was in a very exposed position, to the west of and almost immediately under the fort. Ghairat Khan,

1 Samandar Khan's rank was 3000, 2000 horse, Shiu Dās, fol. 27a.

* Khăfĩ Khãn, II, 825. Ṣāḥib-i-qirān is one of the titles of Taimūr, the founder of the dynasty. In the British Museum collection there is no coin with this distich. The one assigned to Nekusiyar ("Catalogue," p. 197) is hardly likely to be his; it is more probably an abnormal issue of Muḥammad Shah's coinage. The same objection applies to those in Rodgers, p. 209.

3 It is called a bangalah, i.e., four pillars supporting a roof.

4 Shiū Dās, 27, Khāfi Khăn, II, 827.

most of whose men were dispersed in the subah for the purpose of bringing in revenue, wished to abandon the house. He was, however, dissuaded by his officers, Sanjar Khan and Shamsher Khan, Wālāshāhis. He therefore maintained his position, recalled his horsemen, and proceeded to enlist more troops. The facts were reported to the Wazir at Dihli.1


As soon as a camel-rider had brought the news to Dihli, Rājah Bhim Singh, Hāḍā, and Curaman Jat, the latter of whom had been for some time a sort of prisoner at large, were hurried off to reinforce the Nägim. With them went Haidar Quli Khan, 'Iwaz Khan and Asad 'Ali Khan. The sons of Şafi Khan and his brother, Islām Khān, were arrested and sent to prison, their jāgīrs being also confiscated. The Sayyad brothers held a consultation, and it was decided that one or the other must proceed to Agrah at the head of an army. The duty was undertaken by Husain 'Ali Khan. On the 7th Rajab 1131 H. (25th May, 1719) he marched to Barahpulah, south of the city, and there began to collect his men and make other preparations. A letter was written to Ghairat Khan assuring him of the speedy arrival of the Amir-ul-umarā.3


Nekusiyar's partisans, instead of coming out and taking advantage of Ghairat Khan's weakness, clung to the shelter of the fort walls. They lost in this way their only chance of striking a vigorous blow for their new master. In two or three days Ghairat Khan had recovered from his surprize, and his troops began to pour in to his succour. was soon at the head of four or five thousand men, and able to take the offensive. His right-hand man at this difficult moment was Ḥaidar Quli Khan. This officer having fallen into disgrace for his oppressive



1 There is a copy of the report in Shiū Das, 28a; see also id. 27a and Khāfiī Khan, II, 828.

2 According to Kām Rāj, ‘Ibratnāmah, 68a, Curaman now received a gift of the country twenty days' journey in length and breadth, extending from the Bārahpulah bridge outside Dihli to the borders of Gwaliyār. This means that he was appointed to be rähdär or road-guardian of this extent of country.

8 There is a copy of the letter in Shiū Das, fol. 28b.

↳ In 1126 H. (1714-15) Ḥaidar Quli Khān, Isfarāinī, was made dīvān of the Dakhin, and all appointments and removals were left to him. Nizām-ul-mulk, then nāzim, did not get on with him, Burhān, 165a, Khāfĩ Khân, II, 740. He reached court on return from the Dakhin on the 6th Zü,l Qa'dah 1127H. (2nd November, 1715), Kāmwar Khan, 158. He was appointed to Bandar Sūrat on the 3rd Muḥarram 1128H (28th December, 1715), id, 161, and made favjdār of Sorath, 21st Sha'bān 1128 H. (9th August, 1716), id., 166; he was sent for to court on the 22nd Rajab 1130H (20th June 1718) ið, 179.

measures, had not long before passed through Agrah on his way from Aḥmadābād to Dihli, where a very hostile reception awaited him. On arriving at Akbarābād he propitiated Ghairat Khan so effectively that through him he gained the good offices of Ratn Cand, the wazir's chief advisor. As soon as the disturbance broke out at Agrah, he was sent off in great haste from Dihli to the assistance of Ghairat Khān. In a short time the activity he displayed in the operations at Agrah so won for him the good opinion of HḤusain 'Ali Khan, that he made an intimate friend of him, and finally obtained his pardon from Qutb-ul-mulk, the wazîr.1

Meanwhile the rebellion had made no progress: it had not spread outside the walls of the fort. Rajah Jai Singh had, indeed, come out several stages from Amber as far as Todah Tank, but before declaring himself further, he awaited news from Nizam-ul-mulk and Chabelah Ram. From a letter which fell afterwards into Husain 'Ali Khān's hands, it would appear that Nizām-ul-mulk gave no encouragement ; while Chabelah Ram was detained in his province by the revolt of Jasan Singh, a zamīndār of Kalpi, who was encouraged to resist by messages from the wazir conveyed through Muḥammad Khan, Bangash. Meanwhile, although unable to make any impression on the fort, Ghairat Khan held his own. Curaman, Jāţ, had managed to collect men of his own tribe, the chief leaders being Gobind Singh, Jāṭ, and the sons of Nandā, Jāṭ. Sayyad Ḥasan Khan from Gwaliyār and the Rājah of Bhadāwar had also joined the besiegers. There was some fighting, but Şafi Khan, owing to the arrest at Dihli of his children and brother, was dejected, and did not act with much vigour. Still, some sorties were attempted. One night the Jat and other peasant levies made an attack on the camp. Suddenly a store-house for the grain and grass which had been brought in from the surrounding country, was set on fire, but before the flames reached any height, heavy rain began to fall, and little damage was done. Deserters from the besieging force began to make their way into the fort. One day four of them were caught. Haidar Quli Khan condemned them to be blown away from guns in the presence of the whole army. From that time Haidar Quli Khān in person took the roll-call of the army, and further desertions ceased.*

1 Kháfi Khan, II, 823, 824, 828.

2 This must mean the Todah about sixty miles east of Jaipur and eighty miles south-west of Agrah.

3 For the providential escape of one of these men, see Khafi Khān, II, 834. ♦ Siwāniḥ-i-khizrī, and Mḥd. Qāsim, Lāhorī, 269.

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Letters in the name of Nekūsīyar came to the two Sayyads and other high-placed nobles, such as Muḥammad Amin Khan, offering terms, if they would accept him as emperor. The letters said: "What "new-born child is this that has been placed on the throne of Hindu"stan? Never before has anyone thought, or even dreamt, of passing over an elder for a younger heir. As for the seizure, imprisonment, "and death of Muḥammad Farrukhsiyar, those events had been decreed "by the Eternal. Let them (i.e., the Sayyads) wrapping the head "of shame in the skirt of humbleness, make due submission. No "revenge will be taken, but all their rank and dignities will be main"tained as before." Qutb-ul-mulk, always ready to take the easiest way out of a difficulty, proposed to make terms with Nekūsīyar and bring him to Dihli. Husain 'Ali Khan, on the other hand, looking on the Agrah revolt as a sort of personal insult, would hear of no compromise. For a long time Qutb-ul-mulk was not satisfied, and even after his brother had moved out to Barahpulah, visited him there several times with the object of persuading him to accept Nekāsiyar's proposal.1

Qutb-ul-mulk argued that they had no quarrel with the prince, why should they meet him with force? Why not seat him on the throne? Even if he should try to form a party among the nobles, he, Qutb-ul-mulk, saw no one from whom any danger need be anticipated. Ḥusain 'Ali Khan could not be moved from his own ideas. "If Āgrah were a fort of steel set in an encircling ocean, he would with one blow 'from his finger strike it down, so that beyond a little mud and dust, "no sign of it should be left on earth." Who were these "crows," these few wretches, who had dared to interfere with their designs! All haste must be made to suppress the outbreak by force.2


During the few months that he was Emperor, Rafi'-ud-darajat was completely in the power of the two Sayyads. Until this time, the emperors, however much they might leave state affairs in the hands of a minister or favourite, retained complete control over their own palace and person, and no man could be prevented from access to them. Ultimate power resided in their hands, and they could at any time transfer authority from one minister to another. In this reign all this was

1 Muḥammad Qasim, Lahori, 270.

2 Mḥd. Qāsim, Lāhorī, 272, 273, Anonymous History, B. M. Oriental MS. No. 1747.

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