1210 A. H.
[18th July, 1795—6th July, 1796.]

IN this year Tikait Rai was set aside and Jhao L’al stepped into the post of Náib without khila’at or for­mality. The reason is that, as Tikait Rai had neither presence nor ability, and was, moreover, excessively fond of boys, he commanded no respect, and the peculation, disorder, and greed, which had been common before, became worse than ever. All the officials were beard­less youths, and each of his companions vied with the other in independence, and Tikait Rai was guilty of great excesses in grants of villages, land, daily stipends to Brahmins, and in bestowing gifts, and monthly allowances of thousands of rupees upon these young lads. Baijnáth and Dhanpat Rai amassed lakhs of rupees on the pretence of interest. In this way, the revenues of maháls were concealed, and they carried on the business of the Government by loans bearing interest, and bonds for these loans were taken in the name of the English, and most mahájans of the city as well as they divided the profits, until eventually thirty lakhs of rupees interest per annum was acknowledged as an item of expense. Hulás Rai and Nirmal Dás misappropriated vast sums out of the income of the maháls under their managemenat. Besides this, all these except Nirmal Das, who was a humane and dignified man, turned the people against themselves by their habit of bad language and idle talk. This evil habit became confirmed, and they came to practise not upon the poor alone, but even with respectable people. Accordingly the Wazír’s and Mr. Cherry’s servants were kept running for twenty days to the treasury to draw their instalments, and received abuse from the officials. Frequent complaints of this reached the Wazír and Mr. Cherry. Tikait Rai apologized, but there was no improvement, until at last a dis­pute arose between Baijnáth and Hulás Rai. Jhao L’al was informed of all their secrets by Bálak Ram, who was a close friend of Hulás Rai. Baijnáth and Dhanpat Rai, claiming all the country as security for the payment of the loans, suspended the payment of the instalments due to the Wazír and the English and all the expenses of the State. Tikait Rai, thinking it advisable to forestall inquiry, addressed the Governor, Sir John Shore, and represented that the sole cause of all this was the Wazír’s prodigality, and asked the Council for a letter of advice to the address of the Wazír and a note to Mr. Cherry, directing him to use his influence to limit the Wazír’s expenditure. The Governor complied with his application, and Mr. Cherry asked him for a schedule of account. As all that Tikait Rai wanted was that thirty or forty lakhs of rupees should be cut off the Wazír’s and his servants’ expenditure and devoted to the payment of the yearly interest, and was quite regardless of the waste by his own protègés and his personal prodigality, Mr. Cherry did not obtain a satisfactory reply. He therefore resolved to take advantge of the appeal made by Tikait Rai to the Governor for reduction of the Wazír’s expenses, to create a breach between Tikait Rai and the Wazír, and obtain through the Wazír the control of expenditure, and of the revenue on the following plan; that Hasan Raza Khán should be Bakhshi, Bahráj* Khazánchi, and some one else Díwán, and the Wazír himself general superintendent. He fancied that, as the Wazír could not exercise supervision, that duty would be entrusted to him, and that these three appointments would be nominal, while he would be in a position to direct everything. But at this point some prudent persons told him that it was inadvisable to support the Wazír, though it was proper to create the breach proposed: that, as Tikait Rai would have no refuge but in the English, he would have to bow to the yoke, and he (Mr. Cherry) would obtain the mastery without resistance, and could then gradually remodel every department. This advice was good, but Mr. Cherry, deeming it proper to side with the Wazír, because of his incapacity, asked the Council for permission to adopt this course, and although Mr. Cooper was against this proposal, the Governor, for heaven knows what reason, gave his consent. Jhao L’al and Bachhráj counselled the Wazír to humour Mr. Cherry for the time, avail himself of his assistance to remove Tikait Rai, take the reins into his own hands, and that they would then baffle Mr. Cherry.

All these now aided Mr. Cherry to set Tikait Rai aside, and each cherished in his heart designs to defeat the intentions of the others. Thus Jhao L’al, relying on his intimacy with the Wazír, hoped to become Náib himself. Bachhráj thought that, as the Wazír would not be content with Mr. Cherry’s control after Tikait Rai’s removal, the choice would fall on Tafaz­zul Husen Khán. Hasan Raza Khán and Mirza Ja’far fancied that they would, through the appoint­ment of Bakhshi, be practically Náib. They were wholly ignorant of Mr. Cherry’s object, who had not laid his plans to gratify their designs. Accordingly, if Mr. Cherry’s counsels resulted in upsetting Jhao L’al, he would have had afterwards to dispose of these two and of Bachhráj; and they would then have attributed all they did to Jhao L’al in order to clear them­selves.

In short, after the removal of Tikait Rai and the disclosure of Mr. Cherry’s aims, Bachhráj, being disap­pointed in his expectation of Tafazzul Husen Khán’s appointment and his own designs of supremacy, which he had hoped to secure for his own ends in the trea­sury, was compelled to support Jhao L’al. Hasan Raza Khán, having no one else to rely upon, clung to Mr. Cherry, and Jhao L’al, who desired the ruin of both Bachhráj and Tafazzul Husen Khán, took the same side for the time to suit his own purposes. They kept Mr. Cherry in play for a while, until he gradually unveiled his purposes. When he disclosed his plans, the Wazir said: “I am a man of my word, and I am attending to the affairs of my State. Jhao L’al is the medium through whom I carry out my orders. If any important difficulty arises I shall of course con­sult you.” Mr. Cherry now saw how matters were, and thought himself compelled to support Tikait Rai. Now some persons pointed out to Mr. Cherry that this was a foolish resolve; that he should put forward the claims of the mahájans, for the delay in paying which the English were blamed, and call on the Wazír to settle them; and that, as the payment of these claims in one lump was impossible, the appointment of Tikait Rai as Díwán would necessarily ensue. At the begin­ning of this trouble I had told Mr. Cherry that this was the first case of the kind he had had to deal with, and that I had seen two or three such crises before; that the Wazír, Jhao L’al, and Bachhráj would certainly not place themselves in his hands; that it would be best for him, when the Wazír’s interests made him dependent on him, to employ two or three persons of tried honesty and experience in the routine of the Wazír’s affairs, and begin his reforms through them; but not to trust matters to the promises of the Wazír, Jhao L’al, or Bachhráj. Mr. Cherry replied: “The Marhattas are notorious for their craft and cunning, and I have managed them. I must be left to deal with these who are nothing to them, and see what the result will be. After the result of my endeavours to win the Wazír’s consent, which will be that the thread of administration will come into my hands, everything that I wish will be carried out.” In short, Mr. Cherry, having inspected three years’ accounts of Tikait Rai’s, said to the Wazír that the excellence of Tikait Rai’s administration was apparent from these papers and the imputation of embezzle­ment was altogether wrong; that it was advisable to appoint him Díwán, and Hasan Raja Khán Bakhshi; that Jhao L’al should be maintained in his old post and Bachhráj hold the treasury. The Wazír replied: “How can the suspicion of Tikait Rai’s dishonesty, which you had said was proved, be removed by these false documents of his and your cursory examination of them? He was removed on the condition that no efforts for his restoration should be made on your part.” Owing to this rupture between the Wazír and Mr. Cherry, a long altercation ensued and they ceased to visit each other. As it was impossible to bring the Wazír to his senses without strong measures and threats, and it was inadvisable to maintain Mr. Cherry near the Wazír in such a dispute, the Governor removed Mr. Cherry, and sent to Lucknow Mr. Lumsden, who was agent at Benares, and he wrote to the Wazír that he had removed Mr. Cherry as he desired to maintain the Wazír’s dignity, and that he hoped the Wazír would not permit Jhao L’al to have any share in the Náib’s duties, as he was a turbulent spirit. The Wazír and Jhao L’al, construing this into a confession of weakness on the Governor’s part, outwardly complied with his wishes, but secretly acted in direct opposition to them. It must be understood that this rupture between the Wazír and Mr. Cherry arose from a stub­bornness on the Wazír’s part, to which Bachhráj had prompted him by means of Tafazzul Husen Khán and his own gomashta, Shimbhu Náth, and he incited the Wazír by deceitful words to believe that he could rely on the temper of the Governor and the Council for the attainment of his ends. Had it not been for this, the Wazír would not have dared to oppose Mr. Cherry, and the affair would not have been so prolonged. Stranger than this, after Mr. Cherry’s removal, Bachh­ráj, although he had gained his end, began to aspire to the distinction of Náib, and he cultivated the friend­ship of Jhao L’al, and became an enemy of Tafazzul Husen Khán under whose shield he had been living for fifteen years. Notwithstanding all these machina­tions, he has outridden every danger and is waiting for his chance to come.

In this year Burhánu’l Mulk’s daughter died. She was a chaste and magnanimous woman. She passed her whole life in the enjoyment of authority and wealth, but not one act did she ever commit inconsistent with her greatness. They say that before her birth the footsteps of Burhánu’l Mulk were dogged by poverty, but that from her birth good fortune began to attend upon his family, and the breezes of prosperity to blow from the bounty of heaven. When Nawáb Safdar Jang was defeated by Ahmad Khán Bangash, she was at Sháhjahánábád. Jáwed Khán Mudáru’l Mahámm, meditated some outrage to her. The lady prepared with her servants to resist him and succeeded in blunting the fangs of his cupidity. On Safdar Jang’s return she gave all her treasures as a thank-offering for his safety, and bestowed robes of honor, magnificent equipments and accoutrements on all her husband’s servants who had shared his dangers. After this she had no private funds left, but she subsisted contentedly during her son’s lifetime on the jágír, yielding about a lakh and a half a year, which the Emperor had conferred on her, and coveted nothing from the domains or treasury of her son. Although the late Nawáb adopted many pretences in the endeavour to supplement her income, his devices failed: and so, when she died, she left not more than ten or fifteen lakhs of rupees, cash and goods, which she had saved up for a pilgrimage to Mecca. But the Wazír, fancying that she must have left a vast fortune, subjected her retainers to many tortures. There is a custom of sitting in mourning for forty days at the place of death, universally observed by all Muslim women in India. The Wazír did not allow the mourners for the Begam to observe this ceremony. He dragged within one week from her house old ladies in waiting of Safdar Jang’s time, and Muharram Ali Khán and Matbu’ Ali Khán, who had each lived for sixty or seventy years in the enjoyment of the highest respect, and had been accustomed to be treated with honour, and in whose presence the late Nawáb had always behaved courteously; placed fetters on their feet and made them walk through the streets of Faizábád; and on base sus­picion beat them and degraded them. When nothing was extorted by this means, they were all brought to Lucknow. At last he was satisfied by confiscating all their personal properties, and this detestable proceed­ing, which disgusted everybody, ended. The only riches that he found, beyond the treasure at first dis­closed, was the good fame of the departed lady.

Another of the events of this year was the visit of the (Governor) General to Cawnpore. The explana­tion of this was that the officers of the brigades had addressed the Council at Calcutta regarding their rank and salaries. The Governor came up by dák to Cawnpore and settled the points in dispute. The Wazír sent Jhao L’al, on the pretext of an escort with Wazír Ali, to receive and entertain the Governor at Cawnpore, and he invited him to visit Lucknow. The Governor, after he had settled this business, came to Lucknow, while the dispute with Mr. Cherry was in progress, and gave some advice. He returned to Calcutta as quickly as he had come.