1190 A. H.
[21st February, 1776—8th February, 1777.]

IN the beginning of this year occurred the removal of the two Goshains and the appointment of Zainu’l-Abdín Khán to the administration of the Duáb. At this time Ghátampúr, Akbarpúr-Bírbar, and Akbar­púr-Sháhpúr, Rasúlábád, Sikandra Biláspur, and Pha­phúnd, parganas of the Duáb yielding 15 or 16 lakhs, were made over to me by Zainu’l Abdín Kbán. The Goshains were ordered to conquer the remaining por­tions of the Kalpi division and support their troops thereon. Anúpgír, who was the elder brother, regarded this gift, which involved the subjugation of a foreign territory and the collection of its revenues, as his death warrant, and so went off in disgust with most of his followers and joined the camp of Zulfiqár­u’d Daulah. Umraogir remained with two or three thousand cavalry.

Another event of this year was the flight of Muhammad Bashír Khán. He was staying in Najíbábád in the Bareli province, when an order came to the other officers in camp to arrest him. The Habshi regi­ment first of all proceeded to take him. When they had got near Muhammad Bashír Khán’s tent he got notice and thought what he could do. Then Mír Bahádur Ali, one of the Bárhá Saiyads, and Abdu’r Rahmán Khán, a Qandhári Afghan, came in to him. They were under obligations to him, and among his intimate friends. Mír Bahádur Ali said: “Mount your horse and post as quick as possible across the Ganges into the Emperor’s jurisdiction. Meanwhile Abdu’r Rahmán Khán and I will keep the regiments engaged.” Muhammad Bashír Khán did so, and Mír Bahádur Ali, turning to Abdu’r Rahmán Khán, said: “Now is the opportunity to show true friendship and to stake life in return for kindness.” The Khán con­curred, but said he had no weapon, and the Saiyad replied: “I have both Afghan sword and dagger. One is enough for me. Take which you please.” Abdu’r Rahmán took the sword and went out at one side. Mír Bahádur Ali, with the Afghan dagger, kept the regiment in play at the critical moment and fell fighting. Muhammad Bashír Khán, gaining time to cross the Ganges, fled to Muhammad Iraj Khán. His baggage and all his property which remained unlooted were confiscated. After this Surat Sing was appointed to the government of Bareli.

The facts connected with the disbanding of the Najíb battalions are as follows: - These battalions had been employed by the Goshains to subdue the territories on the other side of the Jumna. The news of the disgrace and dismissal of the Goshains reached them. They crossed the river and came up to the camp to demand their pay. All that time Jhao La’l, Tapar Chand, and Basant, accusing Mukhtáru’d Daulah of treachery in giving Benares and the control of the army divisions to the English, turned Asafu’d-Daulah against him and were seeking to ruin him. Therefore Asafu’d Daulah, knowing that Mukhtáru’d-Daulah had but few troops and supporters, and that he could not resist these regiments, and that he would be either disgraced or killed, appointed him to drive them off. Mukhtáru’d Daulah, seeing through this device, desired to pour oil on the troubled waters and pacify the excited regiments and gain them over to himself, but he could not succeed owing to the intrigues of these three men and the incitements of the matchlock regiments, who were in league with them. They refused to listen to Mukhtáru’d Daulah and drew up in line of battle. Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s force was likely be defeated, but some of their leaders were killed and the survivors fled. After this, when the teachery of Jhao L’al and Tapar Chand had come to light, the Nawáb Wazír arrested both and handed them over to Mukhtáru’d Daulah: and they remained in confinement until Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s death.

Another important event which happened during this expedition was the murder of Mukhtáru’d Daulah and Basant. After the imprisonment of Jaho L’al and Tapar Chand, Basant, losing all faith in Asafú’d Daulah, began to think of his own safety. At this time Mirza Sa’ádat Ali, who was in the camp denuded of all rank, acting on the suggestion of Tafazzul Husen Khán, employed as his tool Ajab Khán Afghan, a daring character of those days, an acquaintance of Tafazzul Husen Khán’s, and a friend of Basant’s, and through him began a conspiracy with Basant. After a deal of negotiation it was settled that Basant should put Asafú’d Daulah and Mukhtáru’d Daulah out of the way; that Sa’ádat Ali should succeed his brother, and Basant become his minister of war and finance; and that Ajab Khán should guarantee the death of both. Accordingly one day, when the Wazír was complain­ing in Basant’s presence about Mukhtáru’d Daulah, Basant, catching at the opportunity, obtained a kind of permission to kill him, and, resolving to kill them both, prepared a banquet with treacherous designs, and invited them both to it. Mukhtáru’d Daulah, who, notwithstanding the loss of his trusted officers and troops, was confident in his reliance on the English, showed himself reckless and incautious, and, being ignorant of the snare, went to the entertainment. The Wazír, although he was unaware of Basant’s intention as to himself, made some excuse. Basant, being disconcerted at his denial, went to him three times at midday, and, expatiating on the splendour of his preparations and the amusements provided, pressed him to attend; but he could not succeed, for the Wazír’s time had not come. Accordingly Basant, putting off his murder to another day, gave the signal for the murder of Mukhtár-ud Daulah to Fazl Ali and Tálib Ali, friends of Ajab Khán, and to two others. Mukh­táru’d Daulah at this hour, on account of the great heat of the sun, dismissing his servants and followers to his tent, went down himself to an underground apartment and began to listen to music, when sud­denly Mír Fazl Ali, stepping forward a couple of paces, killed him with a succession of rapid blows. Thereupon Basant sent word to Mirza Sa’ádat Ali and the Goshain, who were among his accomplices, and told them he was going to the Darbár to kill the Wazír, and that they should mount their horses and come up with their supporters. He also ordered his two divi­sions to come up with guns. He then set out for the Wazír’s tent with two regiments which were present. A wall had been drawn round the Wazír’s tents because he was given to long sleeping, and one door had been left in the wall. This door had then been closed because of the murder which had been announced; and hence Basant did not obtain admittance unchallenged. The Wazír sent out word to him to come in alone. As he knew that the Wazír had no knowledge of his designs on him, and the murder of Mukh­táru’d Daulah had been committed with his approval, he did not hesitate to go in alone, and taking with him Baḍe Mirza, a strong man, a relative of his own, who was under him dárogha of the Wazír’s Díwán Khána, and a slave who was a second Baḍe Mirza in strength, he went into the Wazír’s presence and made a sign to the officers of the two regiments to enter the Díwán Khána after him on a pretence which had been agreed on. When Basant came before the Wazír, the latter reflected that if Basant remained alive, his complicity in the murder of Mukhtáru’d Daulah would become known and give rise to inquiries by the English, and he therefore gave the signal to some ten or fifteen men near him to despatch Basant, and Nawáz Sing, one of the Rájas on duty, dealt him a blow with a sword and felled him to the ground. Baḍe Mirza and the slave were stupefied and were unable to check Nawáz Sing. But when Nawáz Sing, after inflicting some more unnecessary blows on the corpse, placed his booted foot on its head, the blood of resentment boiled within Baḍe Mirza’s heart and he drew his sword and killed him. Then the attendants of the Wazír one and all attacked Baḍe Mirza and the slave, but not finding themselves fit to face them, ran into corners. Baḍe Mirza then going forward to the Wazír, as he had no evil intentions, said, “I have done this deed out of my regard for Basant and I have no disloyal intention. I shall now leave this place only on condition that orders are given that no one shall kill me.” The Wazír pledged his word. Baḍe Mirza left and went to his home. The two regiments that were prepared to enter, seeing Basant’s head before them, dispersed. Mirza Sa’ádat Ali, com­ing up at this moment with some armed cavalry, was, like the regiments, unable to venture in, and, learning the fate of Basant, went off in despair to the tents of the Gosháin for assistance. The Gosháin, admitting that their plans had completely failed, gave him a swift mare and bade him fly. So Mirza Sa’ádat Ali, flying forthwith from the army with Tafazzul Husen Khán, Baḍe Mirza, and the slave and some others, rested not till they had reached the Emperer’s territory. An hour later the two divisions came up and demanded retribution for the murder of Basant and to be allowed to plunder Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s tents. Yusuf Ali Khán, dárogha of Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s artillery, faith ful to the deceased, put forward some guns and Mughal gunners to check them. The Wazír, notwithstanding the remonstrances of those near him, summoned up courage, went to the divisions, and by distributing presents to the officers, endeavoured to conciliate them. The tumult of the troops subsided. Anwar Ali Khán, who was Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s Khwájasará and adviser, and without whom he would have been unequal to the duties demanded of him by the Wazír, conveyed his corpse to the suburbs of Etáwah and burying it there, lived a broken-hearted recluse. The officers of the army buried Basant’s corpse with imposing ceremony and maintained crowds at his grave for many days after, and kept a cook and distributed food to the poor.

Another event was the appointment of Latáfat Ali Khán as the Wazír’s agent at the Emperor’s Court. It came about in this way. The late Nawáb, leaving him and his troops in the province of Bareli, assigned him maháls yielding fifteen lakhs of rupees, for the support of his troops. After Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s death, the Wazír, when he made up his mind to return to Luck­now, resolved to select a man who should remain with a fitting retinue at the Emperor’s Court. Latáfat Ali Khán, who hoped to place himself beyond the reach of misfortune by removing himself to a distance from the Wazír, managed by bribery and intrigue to obtain this post. Having spent some years under the protection of Zulfiqáru’d Daulah, he was, in 1195 A. H., dismissed, and his jagír resumed. He and his cavalry entered the service of Zulfiqáru’d Daulah. On the death of the latter he thought himself safe, but Muhammad Beg Khán Hamdáni, getting him into his power by some stratagem, put his eyes out at the order of Mirza Shafi, Khán. He is now dragging out a miserable existence in that neighbourhood.

Other events of this year were the appointment of Muhammad Iraj Khán as Náib and his death soon after, and then the offer of the appointment to, and the refusal of it by, Hasan Raza Khán and Haidar Beg Khán Kábuli. The office of Náib may be said to have remained vacant for some time after Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s death, and Rája Jagannáth Díwán conducted the administration under the instructions of Mr. Bristow. The Wazír wrote a friendly letter sum­moning Muhammad Iraj Khán, who, because he had no confidence in the Wazír, wrote to Mr. Bristow that if he sent for him on his own responsibility, he would come, and if not, not. Mr. Bristow reassured him. Muhammad Iraj Khán came with Muhammad Bashír Khán to the banks of the Ganges opposite Bangarmau. Here the ferrymen, at the instigation of Muhammad Iraj Khán, forbade Muhammad Bashír Khán to cross, and he returned to Etáwah. Muham­mad Iraj Khán crossed and was invested with the dignity and duties of Náib Wazír. During the whole term of Iraj Khán’s office, Muhammad Bashír Khán remained at Etáwah. Afterwards, through the efforts of Mirza Hasan Raza Khán, he obtained permission to cross into Oudh. Not long afterwards he was attacked by cataract and retired into private life on the income of the jágír which had been assigned him. He is still alive in Lucknow. Further, Muham­mad Iraj Khán, when he was in power, fearing that on him should be avenged Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s death, removed Saiyad Mu’azzaz Khán from Allahábád, as well his elder brother Saiyad Muhammad Khán, who was a dismissed Náib of the Subáh, and he imprisoned all the relatives and protegés of Mukhtáru’d Daulah, and as long as he lived, his sole object was their perse­cution. Afterwards, when Mr. Bristow said something to him in their favor, he replied “According to the agreement which has been ratified between our two powers, you have no right to interfere in the affairs of this State. Drop this subject. If you do not, you will have to furnish an explanation to our agent through the Council in Calcutta.” Mr. Bristow, when he heard this answer, regretted much having summoned him, and became silent. Muhammad Iraj Khán was seized by dropsy about this time and died, and his lying swagger ceased.

Among the events of Muhammad Iraj Khán’s administration was the disbanding of the remaining regiments of the old divisions. This happened thus. The Wazír, on his return from Etáwah, gave commands to English officers in the regiments in Basant’s camp and left them behind. The commandants and subor­dinate officers, who were habitually disobedient and had received hints from the Wazír’s officials to be disobedient, evinced unwillingness to carry out orders. Accordingly the arrangement did not work. Some regiments which were in the neighbourhood of Etáwah and attached to the force cantoned at Farrukhábád mutinied, imprisoned their officers, extorted their pay from them, and went off with their muskets and guns and joined Najaf Khán’s camp; some other regiments in that quarter dispersed, leaving their equipments behind. Their commandants, who came to Lucknow, were blown from the guns. These events caused great alarm to the English officers who were in command of them. Indeed, many of them during this émeute were looted in their flight and were killed by the zamíndárs of the Duáb. One of them, Major IIowe, took refuge with me in Phaphúnd, remained for some days, and was conveyed to a place of safety. After that the English officers enlisted new recruits instead of the mutineers and raised their regiments to full strength. The general command of them was given to Colonel Gower.

The nine or ten thousand troops who were with Mahbúb Ali Khán in Koráh were also disbanded. After the mutiny of the other regiments, the Wazír suspected these also and detached an English officer secretly to disarm them. This officer, with four regi­ments disguised as travellers, came within a short dis­tance of Mahbub Ali Khán’s camp, aud obtained an interview with him; and then, drawing out his men at night, ordered an assault, advanced close up to the camp and suddenly opened fire with musketry and cannon. As Mahbúb resided in the city and the camp was without officers and no one was prepared except the sentries on guard, the whole body being taken by sur­prise took to flight. Their equipments and valuables were plundered by the scoundrels of the camp, and Mahbúb, seeing nothing left but to submit, went to Lucknow. On his arrival a jágír was assigned to him for his support, and he spent some years in comfort. This jágír was eventually resumed and he then moved with some others to Sháhjahánábád. From this he went after some years to Makka and died there. The chakla of Korah was given, on Haidar Beg Khán’s recommendation, to Almás Ali Khán. Through the oppressions of his náib Basti Ram the revenue fell from twenty lakhs to six or seven. Finally, after Iraj Khán’s death, Mirza Hasan Raza Khán, already men­tioned, who had by this time become a public and pri­vate friend of the Wazír, and a channel of communi­cation between the Wazír and Mr. Bristow, was appointed to fill the post of Náib, but inasmuch as he was without administrative experience, Mr. Bris­tow recommended that another person who had prac­tical experience should be selected and made his coadjutor. Hereupon Ismá’íl Beg Shurah, a vagrant from the bazárs of Irán, and hence utterly with­out faith or honesty, or a thought either for the public good or his master’s welfare, who was at this time Mr. Bristow’s factotum and one of his confidants, actuated by the hope of some imaginary gain, instead of which he reaped loss and ruin, recom­mended Haidar Beg Khán Kábuli to Mr. Bristow. Mr. Bristow was deceived by his plausibility, flattery, and misrepresentations—arts in which he was a master— and the dignity of Náib-i-Kull was conferred on Hasan Raza Khán, and that of Náib-i-Mulk on Haidar Beg Khán. Tikait Rai was appointed by Hasan Raza Khán peshkár and superintendent of accounts. As Rája Jagannáth had previously been confirmed in the appointment of Díwán, Haidar Beg Khán did not consider himself his equal, and referred most of his papers to Tikait Rai, Hence the clerks became undisciplined, and Tikait Rai obtained complete control. This Tikait Rai was a villager’s son, and in the time of the láte Nawáb was a servant on Rs. 15 a month of Khush Nazar Khwájasará, who was tahvíldár of the jewel house. While in this employment he was guilty of embezzlement, and was imprisoned during the life of the late Nawáb, but after his death was released and became servant of Akbar Ali Khán, dárogah of Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s Díwán Khána, and thus became acquainted with Anwar Ali Khán, who was Mukhtáru’d Daulah’s factotum; then, becoming familiar with him by his buffoonery and tale-bearing, he began to meddle with every one’s affairs, and because he had rendered some little service to Hasan Raza Khán, he was now raised to this dignity.

At the end of this year Mr. Bristow was removed and Mr. Middleton was appointed a second time to Lucknow, and notwithstanding the obligations which have been mentioned under which Haidar Beg Khán lay to Mr. Bristow, he caused him much annoyance at the time of his departure. This unworthy conduct of Haidar Beg Khán’s was not with a view to extort any gain, but was the outcome of his natural disposi­tion, for whoever treated him well he returned him evil. This statement is proved by the cases of the Nawáb Begam, Bahár Ali Khán, Murtaza Khán, Saiyad Muhammad Khán, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Bristow, and Major Palmer, who were all his benefactors, and their cases will be stated. The treatment with which he requited the help he received from Tafaz­zul Hasan Khán arose from a cause which will be detailed.