Hafiz Rehmut Khan was born in the latter end of the reign of Buhadoor Shah, and was four years old when his father, Shah Alum Khan, was basely murdered by Daood Khan, in the commencement of the reign of the Emperor Furokhsére. In his fifth year he commenced the perusal of the koran under the tuition of Hafiz Mahomed Janna, and at the age of ten years had, in addition to the koran, read many learned works.

Ullee Mahomed Khan had repeatedly invited Hafiz Rehmut Khan to visit Kutheir, and the fame of his increasing power after the battle of Jânset, induced him now to accept the invitation. The produce of the sale of his father’s property left at Delhi, had been remitted to him by Mullik Shadee Khan, and with it he pur­chased some horses in Budukshân, and disposed of them at Delhi on his route to Kutheir. At Owlah, Hafiz Rehmut was received by Ullee Mahomed Khan with the greatest respect, and the Afghans vied with each other in paying him attention. One day, when in the bath, Ullee Mahomed addressed Hafiz Rehmut in the following terms: “Daood Khan caused your father, Shah Alum Khan, to be murdered; and although I am not his son, yet as he adopted me, and made me heir to all his property, I am anxious to release him from your claim to retaliation in a future state.” Then laying his sword at the feet of Hafiz, he continued: “If kisás* be your desire, take my life—if deeyut* will satisfy you, I am ready to pay whatever sum you require; but if you neither require kisâs nor deeyut, grant me your free pardon for the blood which has been shed.” To which Hafiz replied, that as Ullee Mahomed was not descended from Daood, he could not claim kisâs, and considered it beneath him to accept the price of blood. He concluded by assuring Ullee Mahomed of his readiness to grant the pardon solicited, adding, that he should never have visited Ullee Mahomed, had he not known his innocence of any partici­pation in the foul crime. From this time a strict inti­macy subsisted between Ullee Mahomed and Hafiz Rehmut; but after a lapse of three years, the latter quitted Kutheir, taking with him a letter from Mullik Shadee Khan, directing his brother to give his daughter in marriage to Hafiz, and the nuptials were accordingly celebrated with great pomp at Hafiz’s own village, Sha­hamutpore, where he continued to reside.

After some years Hafiz Rehmut paid a second visit to Ullee Mahomed at Owlah, and was again received by him with distinguished honours. It happened that Ullee Mahomed, dissatisfied with the conduct of two of his jemadars, had ordered them to be shot: the sentence appearing to Hafiz unjust, he remonstrated against its execution, which so irritated the chief that he made use of some harsh language to Hafiz, which induced the latter to threaten an appeal to the sword; and fearing that with so violent a character as Ullee Mahomed this breach could not be made up, he prepared to return home. Ullee Mahomed, however, had learned to appreciate the value of so firm a friend, and so judicious an adviser as Hafiz Rehmut, and could not without regret contemplate his departure; he therefore intreated him to remain, and at length by the intervention of mutual friends the quarrel was made up on certain con­ditions: after which Hafiz was rendered independent by the cession of twelve villages, and the appointment of a number of russaladars* to attend him whenever their services might be required.

As Hafiz Rehmut now considered himself settled in Kutheir, he took advantage of the tranquillity which existed after the return of Nadir Shah from Hindoostan, to send for his family from Shahamutpore, and a proper escort being despatched, his mother, wife, and a sister three years younger than himself, arrived in safety at Owlah.

By this time the power of Ullee Mahomed Khan had greatly increased by the acquisition of large farms in Ritcha and the adjoining pergunnahs; and the jag­heerdars being dissatisfied with his conduct towards them, laid their complaints before the Emperor Mahomed Shah, who sent Rajah Hurnund with fifty thou­sand horse and foot, to expel Ullee Mahomed from Kutheir. This army arrived at Mooradabad, whence the Rajah issued orders to Abdool Nubbee Khan, the Aumil of Bareilly and Shahabad, to join him with all possible expedition. Abdool Nubbee advised the Rajah not to be in haste to give battle, as he had received from Ullee Mahomed repeated proposals for an amicable adjustment of the present differences, and doubted not that on his arrival every thing would be settled to the Rajah’s satisfaction: but Hurnund refused to listen to this advice, and declared his intention of expelling the whole of the Afghans from the country. With this determination, and accompanied by Dillér Khan (the brother of Abdool Nubbee), the Rajah marched from Mooradabad, and Ullee Mahomed having advanced from Owlah at the head of twelve thousand men, the two armies encamped within three koss of each other, at the villages of Dâl and Jâree, on the banks of the Urrul Nuddee. On the following morning, Ullee Mahomed sent in advance four thousand chosen men under the command of Hafiz Rehmut. Doondee Khan com­manded the right wing, consisting of two thousand men, and Pâinda Khan commanded the left wing, while Ullee Mahomed and the other surdars took post in the centre. Rajah Hurnund (who was in the habit of drinking intoxicating liquors, and amusing himself with dancing girls) though repeatedly urged by Dillér Khan to mount his horse, and place himself at the head of his troops, delayed till the advance under Hafiz Rehmut had penetrated his camp and made good their way to his tent; and he was just seated in his saddle when a rocket struck him in the breast and killed him on the spot. Mootee loll, the Rajah’s son, endeavoured to recover the day, but was soon numbered among the slain, and the whole of the Rajah’s troops then took to flight, except a small band under Dillér Khan, who perished sword in hand. Abdool Nubbee on hearing of the Rajah’s defeat, and the death of his brother Dillér Khan, vowed not to survive him, and with only five hundred followers pro­ceeded towards the scene of action: but most of these men knowing the desperate enterprise on which he was engaged, forsook him on the way, and on reaching the field he could only number fifty men. Ullee Mahomed was conversing with his surdars, and the troops were engaged in plundering the Rajah’s camp, when Abdool Nubbee made his appearance, and seeing such a small party, no idea of an attack was entertained, consequently many of Ullee Mahomed’s followers were laid low before Abdool Nubbee was slain.

The plunder of Rajah Hurnund’s own tent was taken by Ullee Mahomed, who after returning thanks for the victory, despatched his Aumils to Mooradabad, Sumbul, Shahabad, and Shahjehanpore, and the several per­gunnahs dependent on Bareilly; but did not take pos­session of the town itself till some time afterwards; when having obtained a sunnud from the king, he was pro­claimed Hâkim of Kutheir. Under the orders of Ullee Mahomed, the pergunnah of Pillibheet was wrested from Daisput Bunjarra by Pâinda Khan, and added to the jaghire of Hafiz Rehmut.

Two years after the defeat of Rajah Hurnund, Doolee Chund, a relation of the Rajah of Kumaoon, (who, for some offence had been punished with the loss of his nose, ears, and hands, by Rajah Kullian Chund, the son of Rajah Débee Chund), solicited the aid of Ullee Mahomed Khan: who glad of an opportunity to avenge the murder of his patron Daood Khan, readily complied with Doolee Chund’s request. The army assembled for this expedition was placed under the command of Hafiz Rehmut, Doondé Khan, Pâinda Khan, and Bukshee Surdar Khan; and Doolee Chund accompanied them to point out the best route. The troops advanced to Roodurpore, where an action took place, in which the Rajah’s forces being defeated, fled for refuge to the Fort of Burrokhuree. Hafiz Rehmut left an Aumil at Roodurpore, and then continued his march to Burrokhuree, where the Afghans were again victorious, and the Rajah’s troops then fled to Almorah. Bukshee Surdar Khan being of an advanced age, found himself unequal to the fatigue of ascending the hills, and remained at Burrokhuree, while the army under Hafiz Rehmut proceeded on its route: and notwith­standing that the Rajah had adopted numberless mea­sures to increase the natural difficulties of the country, and to retard the progress of the invaders, by the zealous exertions of the troops these were all sur­mounted, and the town of Almorah invested, when the Rajah fled to Gurhwal, and the province of Kumaoon was taken possession of by the Afghans. This event occurred in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Mahomed Shah, and the year 1154 of the Hejiree. The Mahomedans destroyed all the images of the infidels, melted down their gold and silver ornaments, and slew cows in their streets.

Ullee Mahomed Khan being highly delighted at the successful result of this expedition, sent splendid presents to Hafiz Rehmut; and after four months, himself visited his new conquest, when he made liberal donations to the troops.

After some time Rajah Kullian Chund, aided by the Rajah of Gurhwal, made an attempt to recover his country, and Ullee Mahomed marched from Almorah to give him battle; but on seeing the Mahomedan army, the infidels took to flight, and the Afghans plundered their camp. The conquest of Sirinuggur was proposed, but Ullee Mahomed was induced to relinquish this attempt, on the Rajah’s consenting to acknowledge himself a vassal, to pay an annual tribute of sixty thousand rupees, and engaging not to afford protection to Rajah Kullian Chund.

The province of Kutheir requiring the presence of the governor, only a few months were passed by Ullee Mahomed at Almorah; he then gave Kumaoon to a relation of Kullian Chund’s, and leaving only a small force in the Fort of Burrokhuree, returned home.

In the twenty-sixth year of the reign of Mahomed Shah (1155 Hejiree) that monarch, at the instigation of the Nuwab Abdool Munsoor Khan Sufdur Jung, assembled a large army for the expulsion of the Afghans from Kutheir, and on hearing of this, Ullee Mahomed Khan proposed to take refuge at Almorah, but was dissuaded from this measure by the Nuwab Kaim Khan (son of Mahomed Khan Bungish), who urged that his departure would infallibly prove the loss of the country. His advice was taken, and Ullee Mahomed remained at Owlah until the royal army had crossed the Ganges and encamped at Sumbul, when he threw himself into the Fort of Bungurh, five koss distant from Owlah, and which for a distance of two koss is surrounded by jungle: from thence he sent letters to Kaim Khan, and to the Vizier Kummurood-deen Khan, setting forth that it was not his intention to offer any resistance to the mandates of the king, and intreating that he might be admitted to the royal presence; but Sufdur Jung and others of his party had so inflamed the king’s mind, that all the exertions of the vizier in his behalf were insuffi­cient to obtain for him the honour of an audience. Sufdur Jung and Kaim Khan advanced with their contingents to the skirts of the jungle, and during several days skirmishes took place between them and the Afghans, but the royal army was too numerous to be opposed in the field, and the Afghan sirdars dismayed at their situation, either retired to their homes, or went over to the king; among the latter was Pâinda Khan; and Ullee Mahomed finding it useless to hold out, delivered himself up to his monarch, who out of regard to the vizier granted his pardon, and placed Ullee Mahomed under his charge. Mahomed Shah appointed Budur Islam Khan, and Fureed-ood-deen Khan (the son of Azmut-oolla Khan) Aumils of Kutheir, and then returned with his army to Delhi, taking Ullee Mahomed Khan in his suite.

In about six months Ullee Mahomed’s prospects again brightened, and the vizier having promised to obtain for him a command in Sirhind, he directed Hafiz Rehmut to assemble his forces and proceed to Delhi. Seven thousand horse and foot were soon collected, and at the head of these Hafiz entered the imperial city, but five months more elapsed ere the appointment passed the royal signet. Ullee Mahomed Khan was then introduced to the presence by the vizier, was deco­rated with a khelat (or dress of honour), and appointed Aumil of Sirhind, for which place he set out in the twenty-eighth year of his majesty’s reign, leaving his sons Fyzoolla Khan and Abdoolla Khan at Delhi, as hostages for his future good conduct.

On reaching Sirhind, Ullee Mahomed summoned the refractory Zemeendars, Bhalha Jaut, Bharra-mull of Roypore, Roygulla, Nigahee-mull chief of Joutpore, and others to attend him, and to pay the arrears of revenue due from them, on pain of expulsion from their estates; to which summons they indignantly answered, that they were a different class of people from those whom he had subjugated in Kutheir; that if he were disposed to follow the example of his predecessors in office, they would make a reasonable settlement, but if not, they were ready to meet him in the field. Ullee Mahomed Khan was so enraged at this message, that he would immediately have marched against them in person, but was persuaded to permit Hafiz Rehmut to make the first trial of strength with them: accordingly Hafiz, accompanied by Doondé Khan and other Russaladars, at the head of three thousand horse and foot marched to Roypore to attack Bharra-mull, who had assembled about twelve thousand men to oppose him. The Afghans divided into four parties and surrounded the village, while Hafiz in person attacked the fort with five hundred chosen men. The simultaneous attack of these five divisions so distracted the villagers that they left the gate open, and the fort being entered by the Afghans, Bharra-mull’s followers were defeated with a great slaughter. The plunder found in the fort was considerable, and two thousand five hundred persons were made prisoners.

Jumâl Khan Malléree with five hundred men having joined Hafiz Rehmut, the combined force marched to Joutpore and defeated the forces of Nigahee Mull, taking him prisoner: when the arrear of revenue, amount­ing to sixty-five thousand rupees, was immediately dis­charged.

Roygulla, the principal Zemeendar, being in possession of a strong fortress, the force under Hafiz was consider­ably increased ere he proceeded to attack it. While the Afghans were yet distant a day’s march, Roygulla took to flight, leaving the defence of the fort to his brother Mukhun, who held out for two days, but sur­rendered when preparations were made for a storm. Roygulla, on hearing of this disaster, consented to pay the arrear demanded, of one million thirty thousand rupees, besides giving up to the captors the treasure found in the fort. After these examples Ullee Mahomed found no difficulty in realizing the revenue of the province.

In the thirtieth year of the reign of Mahomed Shah, Ahmed Shah Douranee, (who after the murder of Nadir Shah had established himself in the government of Kandahar, marched towards Hindoostan; he was opposed by the governor of Lahore, Shahneewaz Khan, but soon took possession of the city, when the governor fled to Delhi. The emperor was at this time confined by indisposition, and as it was necessary immediately to oppose the advance of the Shah, the royal army was placed under the command of the prince Ahmed (son of Mahomed Shah), who marched from Delhi in the month of Mohurrum, 1161 Hejiree, attended by the Vizier Kummur-ood-deen Khan, Sufdur Sung, Salabut Khan, and Eeshree Sing, the son of Jyesing, the Kuchwahar prince.

As Ullee Mahomed Khan was at this time at the head of twenty thousand men in the province of Sirhind, Mahomed Shah suspected that he might be induced to join the Douranee; and to guard against such an event, he appointed him to the government of Kutheir; for which province he immediately set out.

Ahmed Shah was not insensible to the advantages which might be derived from the accession of Ullee Mahomed Khan’s force to his cause, and had endeavoured to seduce him from his allegiance by the offer of the Vizarut; but though urged by many of his sirdars to accept the offer, he remained faithful to his sovereign.

The royal army having advanced to Sirhind, the Vizier Kummur-ood-deen Khan placed Abdoolla and Fyzoolla, the two sons of Ullee Mahomed Khan, and all his valuable property in the fort at that place; and encamped about ten koss to the northward, near to the village of Mannoopore. After three days skirmishing, Ahmed Shah left the main body of his forces in front of the royal army, and himself with six thousand horse made a forced march to Sirhind, which he surrounded, took the fort, and carried off the whole of the vizier’s property, and Abdoolla and Fyzoolla Khan; and having effected this object, rejoined his army.

On the 22d of the month of Rubbee-ool-uwul, while the vizier was at his devotions in his tent, he was killed by a cannon shot. The troops on this occasion became disheartened; Eeshree Sing with all the Rajpoots quitted the army, and returned to Jyenugur; and the defection would have been general, had not Moyin-ool-moolk (commonly called Meer Munnoo), the son of the late vizier, forgotten for the time his own grief in the distracted state of the army, and led them on to battle. In this attack he had the advantage of the Douranees, and the prospect of a decisive victory, but unfortunately was wounded and carried off the field.

On the 26th of the month the Douranees made an attack on the royal camp; but a magazine of their rockets exploded, whereby so many of their men were killed, that they were induced to retreat.

Ahmed Shah’s force did not now exceed fifteen thou­sand men, and the royal army, notwithstanding deser­tions, still amounting to ninety thousand, the Douranee perceived that no impression could be made this year; he therefore on the 29th of Rubbee-ool-uwul 1161 Hejiree, broke up his camp and returned to Kandahar; nor did the prince deem it expedient to pursue him. The gallantry of Moyin-ool-moolk was rewarded with the government of Mooltân and Lahore, and the prince led back the royal army to Delhi; but on the 27th of Rubbee-oos-sanee, a few days before his arrival, Mahomed Shah had breathed his last, after a reign of thirty years and two months.

On the 1st of Jemad-ool-uwul, 1161 Hejiree, the prince was proclaimed king by the title of Ahmed Shah, and the office of vizier being vacant by the death of Kummur-ood-deen Khan, his second son Intizam-ood-dowla, Khan Khânân, and the Nuwab Abdool-munsoor Khan Sufdur Jung were candidates for the succession. The latter wrote to Ullee Mahomed Khan, requesting him to bury in oblivion their former disputes, and to aid him in the present juncture, promising that in the event of his succeeding to the vizarut, he would do for Ullee Mahomed infinitely more than had been done by his friend the late vizier.

As Ullee Mahomed Khan had lost his hearing, and was besides afflicted with a complication of disorders which baffled the skill of his physicians, he was unable to proceed to Delhi in person, and therefore despatched Hafiz Rehmut with one thousand horse, instructing him to exert himself in behalf of Sufdur Jung.

Intizam-ood-dowla had laid a plan to obtain admit­tance to the royal presence, and at the same time to surround the palace with his troops, amounting to five thousand men, in order to prevent the introduction of Sufdur Jung; but Hafiz Rehmut and Sufdur Jung determined to unite their forces to prevent the execution of this project, as Sufdur Jung felt assured that if he could succeed in gaining admission to the palace, the interest of the king’s mother, and the eunuch Javeid Khan, would secure to him the honour of the vizarut. At an early hour Hafiz with his thousand horse went to Sufdur Jung’s camp, whence their combined force pro­ceeded to the palace; and although Intizam-ood-dowla’s troops were already assembled there, no opposition was offered. Sufdur Jung being introduced to the king by Javeid Khan, was honoured with a khelat and appointed vizier. Three days after this, he introduced Hafiz Rehmut to the Emperor, who granted him permission to use the nobut; and the object of his embassy being accomplished, he returned to Kutheir, bearing a letter of thanks from Sufdur Jung to Ullee Mahomed Khan.

About a month after the return of Hafiz Rehmut, Ullee Mahomed Khan, perceiving that he had not long to live, assembled his principal surdars, and pointed out to them the necessity of a chief being selected, expatiat­ing largely on the consequences which might result from delaying this measure till after his decease. Some of the surdars proposed that as Abdoolla and Fyzoolla were still prisoners with the Douranee, their younger brother Saadoolla Khan should succeed his father; and promised their faithful observance of his orders notwith­standing his youth; but Ullee Mahomed answered that neither Abdoolla nor Fyzoolla were calculated for the situation, and that such a boy as Saadoolla was quite out of the question; adding, that the only person whom he knew capable of governing the Afghans was Hafiz Rehmut Khan; and accordingly he laid his turban at the feet of Hafiz, and nominated him his successor. Hafiz took up the turban and placed it on the head of Saadoolla Khan, saying that he was his surdar, to whom he would at all times afford such aid as his youth might render necessary. Two days after this conference (viz. on the 3d of Shuwâl, in the year 1161 of the Hejiree, and in the first year of the reign of Ahmed Shah), Ullee Mahomed Khan was translated to the regions of the blessed, and his earthly remains were interred at Owlah; where a splendid tomb is erected to his memory.

Hafiz Rehmut Khan was forty years of age when he became ruler of Kutheir; his conduct had secured to him the regard of all the principal surdars, and they cheerfully presented to him their nuzzurs, and acknowledged him as their chief.