1198 A. H.
[26th November, 1783—13th November, 1784.]

IN this year Khwajá ’Ainu’ddín was removed from Bareli on Mr. Bristow’s complaint, for the ruin he was there working, and Rája Surat Singh was appointed in his stead. He went there from Sarwár and died after a lapse of a year and a few months. Then Rája Jagan Náth, who had been sent as his assistant and deputy, on account of the close of the civil courts, was appointed principal, and the foundations of pros­perity were laid in that province, but the unfor­tunate subjects of the Wazír who trusted in him were again involved in calamity, for in 1200 A. H. Haidar Beg dismissed Rajá Jagan Náth and merged the dis­trict in that of Jhao L’al. Jhao Lal’s náib was Bhagwándás, whose father was the notorious Bálak Rám, a relative of Jhao Lal’s. This Bhagwán Dás acted so immoderately that he was killed by a collec­tor. The province was then made over to Mirza Mahdi and became excessively impoverished. The effects of his oppression extended even beyond the málgu­zárs to others, in the form of house-taxes and corn-tax, and even went as far as taking a tenth of their thread from women who worked spinning wheels, so that his tyranny became a proverb. Rája Jagan Náth was placed under surveillance on a charge of false accounts, and after the death of Haidar Beg Khán was rigorously imprisoned through the malignity of Tikait Rai. He died of a broken heart in 1207 A. H., and was thus freed from the fear of tyrants.

In this year occurred the dismissal of Mr. Bristow and the appointment of Major Palmer to succeed him. This came about as follows. During the whole of Mr. Bristow’s, tenure of office, Major Palmer stayed at Lucknow and exposed all Haidar Beg Khán’s lies to the Governor. For this reason the Governor, having now recovered power, explained to the Council how the Wazír’s affairs were daily becoming worse, and how Haidar Beg was laying the blame on the Com­pany’s gomáshtas, and said that it seemed advisable, in order to test him, to remove the Resident and gomáshtas from Lucknow, and to leave Major Palmer there as the Governor’s agent. Hence Mr. Bristow was dismissed and Ismá’íl Beg Shúrah, who has been connected with every Resident from the days of the late Nawáb until now, as his postal agent, had not courage enough to remain at Lucknow and went with Mr. Bristow to Calcutta. For this reason he destroyed the accounts of two years, and besides this he took a vast sum out of the collections of Allahabad on his way down country. He died not long afterwards in the neighbourhood of Calcutta. After his heaping up, with an utter disregard of the sufferings of men, a fortune, which is believed to have been many lakhs of rupees, his children are now reaping the reward of their father’s sins and are living in extreme poverty and distress. Ismá’íl’s money was in deposit with other people, and any one who held money when he died, misappropriated it.

I also determined to leave Lucknow at the same time with Mr. Bristow, but Haidar Beg Khán became very importunate, wrote a letter with his own hand before the open Qurán, expressing his satisfaction with me, and professing himself clear with me, and sorry for his illtreatment of me, and declaring good intentions toward me for the future, and gave it to me. Although I knew of old the laxity of his promises, yet, reflecting on my want of employment and the lack of interest in me shown by the English, I considered it best to accept his professions, and I remained for some years waiting for something to turn up, and proved to all my innocence and his faithlessness.

Another event of this year was the visit of Gover­nor Hastings to Lucknow. The Wazír went to Bena­res to meet him and put him up in his Diwán-kháná, which is known as the Imárat Báoli, and entertained him as an esteemed guest. While the Governor was at Lucknow, there arose a famine and high prices pre­vailed such as men had not heard of for hundreds of years. Thousands of people died daily of inanition, and the heaps of corpses which accumulated in the suburbs caused a stench in the whole cìty. In this distress some English people who were residing at Lucknow, showed great sympathy for the famine-stricken poor, each of them provided food and medical attendance for five hundred or a thousand helpless people while the famine lasted, and then sent them home. Haidar Beg used daily to give out a thousand rupees by Governor Hastings’ command, to be divided out to the infirm sufferers, but as the distributors were avaricious men, needy slaves and commandants of Haidar Beg’s regiments, they abused the trust and used to appropriate more than half to themselves. And so great was the disorder they allowed at distri­bution, that heads, hands and other limbs of applicants for relief were hurt, nay lives were actually lost in the scramble. Besides this, if a young girl who could talk well and had a pleasant voice met their view in the crowd, they hurried her to Haidar Beg Khán’s haram; and indeed most of Haidar Beg’s children are by these girls. It must be said that, if their master is so heedless in the treatment of the creatures of God, that he is bent on the gratification of lust even in the midst of such distress and cohabits with such persons, it is not to be wondered at if his servants are avaricious of money. Haidar Beg Khán was, from the com­mencement of his career, given to distributing money in such ways that the hands and feet and heads of the poor were broken, for he had a thorough belief in the sayings of astrologers, and these men used sometimes to weigh him in a balance and get the equal of his weight in silver, copper and clothes, and sometimes they ordered him to distribute coppers to the poor, and sometimes also when he was himself in fear for any reason, he used to do the same. To this day one result of Haidar Beg’s folly is seen in Lucknow, sur­viving as a memento of him. A number of professional beggars, who post themselves at particular places, have taken to demand false charity such as he used to give, and hundreds of persons in every street of the city pull the hands and clothes of respectable passers-by, so that it is difficult to go along the road, for if any­thing be given they drag the donor from his vehicle or horse, and the strong among them kick and thump the weak and take their share, and if nothing is given, they indulge in every abuse that comes to their tongues. Any one who has been in Lucknow and felt the hands or tongues of these rascals, knows that there can be no greater evil than almsgiving of this kind.

During this period Prince Jawán Bakht fled from Sháhjahánábád and came to Lucknow. The Governor and Wazír went to receive him and treated him with the usual ceremony. A pension of three lakhs per annum was assigned to him. As he had a political connection with the Wazír, a close intimacy also sprang up between them, but this intimacy was destroyed by the prince’s youthful follies, one of which was his marriage with two women of the town, and so the prince elected to reside at Benares: but after the quarrel between Ismá’íl Beg and Ghulám Qádir, and the departure of the Patel, the prince came with Lord Cornwallis up to the suburbs of Lucknow and went on towards Sháhjahánábád without entering Lucknow. Before he arrived at Delhi, a large gathering formed round him, and if he had been of the right stuff he could have snatched the empire. But he was swayed by the ease he had tasted at Benares, and after visit­ing his father, he brought away his family to Akbará­bád on pretence of managing that Subah, and hurried straight from there to Lucknow. As the Wazír did not on this occasion come out to meet him or show him any respect, he went again to Benares, where he died soon afterwards of cholera. This happened at the end of Sha’bán 1202 A. H. His pension was about to be discontinued on account of his misconduct already men­tioned, but, owing to the humanity of Lord Cornwallis, it was spread over his wives and children.

Another of the events of this period was the banish­ment of Mirza Hasan, a young Mughal retainer of this Government, a provident and experienced man, who was at this time superintendent of the Wazír’s domestic offices, nay, his very soul and tongue. The reason of this was as follows:—Mirza Hasan reduced the expenses in every department of the Wazír’s household, fixed a monthly salary for his servants, and put an end to their indolence and the oppressions they committed on the Wazír’s subjects. He placed trust­worthy harkáras over the dároghas, and stopped the habitual embezzlement and theft practiced in all departments. His economy in all his arrangements was so great that, if detailed, it would be deemed exagger­ated. If they wanted one straw from the Wazír’s garden, offering even a gold-mohar for it, they could not get it. Accordingly, the dároghas and their ’amla, among whom was Maulavi Fazl Azím, Sarbaráhkár of the Báwarchikhána, conspired to get rid of him. The Maulavi complained against him to Hasan Raza Khán, and, as Haidar Beg was angry with him for dunning him for money for the Wazírs expenses, the two carried tales about him to the Governor. The Governor merely said to tell the Wazír that men of this class were not fit to be entertained by him in his personal service. Haidar Beg retailed this in an exaggerated form to the Wazír, and the Wazír, although be held him dearer than life because of his meanness, at once gave orders for his banishment from the city. The unfortunate man was not allowed time to draw breath, retired to Kálpi, and died there after a few years. Governor Hastings, who was fully aware of Haidar Beg’s faults, and had intended in this visit to procure his dismissal and to set the Wazír’s affairs straight, was compelled to go to England to settle some urgent matters, and was unable to carry out his designs. So, seconding Major Palmer’s efforts, he exerted himself to have Haidar Beg Khán made permanent, and left for Calcutta. Next year he sailed for England.