Only two months had elapsed from the death of Ullee Mahomed Khan, when, at the suggestion of the Nuwab Abdool munsoor Khan, Sufdur Jung, the Emperor Ahmed Shah appointed Koottub-ood-deen Khan (grand­son of Azmut-oolla Khan) Soobah of Kutheir. Hafiz Rehmut warned the new governor that he would not allow him to take possession of his appointment, and advised his return to Delhi; but, though unattended by any considerable force, he ventured to cross the Ganges, when Doondé Khan with a party of Afghans attacked and slew him. Sufdur Jung’s enmity to the Afghans was increased by this event, and he determined to make Kaim Khan, the nuwab of Furrukhabad, the instrument of his vengeance, by appointing him successor to Kootub-ood-deen; observing that if he should be slain, there would be one Afghan less; and that if he succeeded, the province would again become subject to the king.

Kaim Khan would gladly have declined the honour, but not daring to disobey the king’s mandate, he pre­pared to enter on his new office: anxious, however, to avoid a breach with Hafiz, he despatched Mouzzum Khan to Owlah, to notify to him the appointment, and to request his permission to assume the government without opposition, adding that if he refused, the aid of the king’s troops must be called in. To this message Hafiz replied, that as the Afghans had conquered the country when the king could not, he would acknowledge no master but the king; and that as Kaim Khan well knew his appointment to have originated with the Vizier, who had taken all power out of the king’s hands, it would be proper for him at once to decline the office. Mouzzum Khan then attempted to carry his point by threats, but was soon silenced and dismissed from Owlah; whence he proceeded to Delhi, where he and his brother Muhmood Khan, so misrepresented the conduct of Hafiz, that Kaim Khan was directed to attack him without delay.

The troops of Kaim Khan crossed the Ganges at Furrukhabad, and Hafiz Rehmut advanced from Owlah to meet them. When the two armies were near each other, Hafiz deputed Syyud Ahmed (commonly called “Shahjie Meea”), with two other persons of equal sanctity, to turn Kaim Khan from his purpose; and he would have complied if the consent of Mahmood Khan could have been obtained; but with him all persuasions were unavailing; he said that he had determined to subdue the Afghans, and that this was a cause in which holy men had no business to meddle. Shahjie Meea became angry at this language, and in a prophetic strain foretold the death of Muhmood and Kaim Khan, and the defeat of their army; then desired Hafiz to proceed to action in full confidence of success.

On the following morning, being the 12th of Zilhaije, in the year 1161 of the Hejiree, Muhmood Khan and Kaim Khan, at the head of sixty thousand horse and foot, with four hundred elephants and a large train of artillery, attacked Hafiz Rehmut, whose whole force did not exceed twenty-five thousand men. The action took place in the village of Doomree, two koss south­east of Buddawun, and in the first onset vast numbers of the Afghans were killed by the enemy’s guns, when Doondé Khan dismounting from his horse, led them on to the charge, and carried every thing before him. Muhmood Khan brought up a reinforcement to oppose Doondé Khan, when Hafiz, seeing that he was likely to be overpowered, rushed into the thick of the action. Kaim Khan advanced with the elephants, but was shot, as were most of those mounted in the howdahs. Muh­mood Khan though severely wounded, endeavoured to recover the day, but becoming faint from loss of blood, he was carried off the field, and died: and the troops having lost their leader took to flight. In the heat of the action, Mouzzum Khan made an attempt to seize the person of Saadoolla Khan, who was mounted on an elephant in the rear, with Syyud Hussun in the khúwas.* Mouzzum Khan made a cut at the Syyud with his sabre, but being unable to reach him, called to a soldier to shoot him: the man fired, but by a sudden turn of the elephant the ball lodged in Mouzzum Khan’s body.

Kaim Khan’s mahout* drove his elephant from the field with the intention of conveying the body of his master to Furrukhabad, but was pursued and overtaken by two troopers named Zyn Khan and Bairam Khan, who after dividing the jewels, severed the head from the body, and carried it in triumph to Hafiz. The body was by his order placed in a palanquin, covered with shawls, and despatched to Furrukhabad. Hafiz then took possession of Kaim Khan’s tent, and having returned thanks for the victory, divided the plunder of the camp.

The pergunnahs of Buddawun, Mehrabad, Ooshyt, and Purumnuggur, east of the Ganges, then apper­taining to the Nuwabs of Furrukhabad, were now annexed by Hafiz to his own domain, while the widow of Kaim Khan was permitted to retain the pergun­nahs west of the river.

Mahomed Khan Bungish, father of this Kaim Khan, was with only twenty-five horsemen, entertained in the service of Furrokhsére, when that monarch advanced from Bengal to attack Moiz-ood-deen the usurper of the throne of Delhi; and as he behaved with great gal­lantry in the battle fought on that occasion, the emperor gave him the command of a thousand men, which was at subsequent periods increased to five and seven thousand; besides the forces placed under the command of his sons and other relatives, amounting in all to fifty-two thousand: whence he obtained the appel­lation of “Bâoun Huzaree.” In the year 1143 of the Hejiree he was appointed Soobah of Malwa, and defeated Mulhar Rao Holkar and Girdhur Buhadoor at Oojein, of which city he took possession. In 1145 he was superseded by Rajah Suwye Jyesing; and when in 1151 Nadir Shah entered Delhi, the ladies of the royal house were committed to his charge in the fort of Selimgurh: nor would he ever wait on Nadir Shah, though repeatedly summoned to his presence. At his death, he strongly advised his son not to quarrel with his brethren in Kutheir; but Kaim Khan disregarded this advice, and the consequences have been related. Kaim Khan had succeeded to the rank and estates of his father, was called by the endearing appellation of “son of the king,” and was even admitted to the presence of the widow of Mahomed Shah, who was a daughter of the emperor Furrokhsére.

Hafiz Rehmut having appointed Futteh Khan Khan­saman, to the office of Aumil of Buddawun and Ooshyt, and sent other Aumils to Mehrabad and Purumnuggur, was anxious to annex to his province the tract of country lying at the foot of the hills near the Surjoo or Gogra river; for this purpose he proceeded to Pillibheet, and there assembled a force which was dispatched to Subna under the command of an experienced officer named Sheikh Kubbeer, who succeeded in reducing the Zemeendars to subjection, and put several in confinement, at the same time that he gave every encouragement to the Ryyuts to remain in their villages. After a few days Hafiz went to Subna, when he released the Zemeendars and re-established them in their villages. Sheikh Kubbeer continued his march to Khyreegur, which pergunnah is bounded on the west by the Gogra river, and was at that time held by Rajpoots and Bun­jarras who had collected a body of ten thousand men to oppose his progress; but having succeeded in crossing the river, Sheikh Kubbeer soon dispersed this undisci­plined rabble, and entered the town of Khyreegur: from thence he advanced to the eastward, and having crossed the Courialla and Karnaul rivers, he encamped outside the forest which surrounds the fort of Bhurta­pore, where the Hindoos had taken post. Being acquainted with the mazes of the forest, they made several successful sallies on the Afghans, but the perseverance of Sheikh Kubbeer overcame every obstacle; the fort was stormed, and the whole of the garrison put to the sword.

In Sejowlee, Dhurmapore and Singuleea, Sheikh Kubbeer also established the authority of Hafiz, and having settled the amount of the revenue to be paid by the landholders, he left Ikhtiar Khan, as Aumil of Khy­reegur, and returned with his troops to Subna. Although Khyreegur is a very rich country, and famous for the production of a superior kind of rice, yet the climate is exceedingly unhealthy, and the army of Sheikh Kubbeer had suffered so much from sickness, that Hafiz Rehmut was obliged to assemble fresh troops to complete his undertaking. The pergunnahs of Mulwara and Muj­hiallee still remained in the hands of the Bunjarras, and towards them the new levies directed their course, and soon made themselves masters of the former.

The pergunnah of Mujhiallee was subject to the Rajah of Dôtee, and the town was the grand mart for the barter and sale of the produce of the hills. At this time a vast number of merchants were assembled there, and when Sheikh Kubbeer entered the town, the whole of the people fled, leaving him in possession of a valuable booty, from which he made a selection to present to Hafiz Rehmut, and divided the remainder among his troops.

As the Rajah of Dôtee had in the first instance been made sensible of the power of the Afghans by their conquest of Almorah, and now personally felt it in their conquest of the pergunnah of Mujhiallee, he sent vakeels to Hafiz at Subna, to ascertain the amount which he would demand as the tribute for that pergunnah; and terms having been agreed on, a sunnud was granted to the Rajah. Every thing being now settled to the satis­faction of Hafiz, he returned to Pillibheet after an absence of four months.

The death of Kaim Khan was almost as gratifying news to the vizier Sufdur Jung, as would have been his victory over Hafiz Rehmut, and no sooner did he hear of the event than he marched to Furrukhabad to seize his property. Outside the city he was met by the sons of the late Nuwab, whom he immediately put under restraint, and subsequently imprisoned them in the fort of Allahabad. Sufdur Jung then confined all the females of the family, seized their money, and stripped them of their jewels. In a few days Nuwul-roy arrived from Lucnow, and Sufdur Jung left him to collect all that remained to be plundered, while he returned to his post at Delhi. Ahmed Khan, the younger brother of the late Kaim Khan, who had hitherto resided at court, on hearing of Sufdur Jung’s conduct to his nephews, considered himself no longer safe at Delhi, and fled to Mow.

Nuwul-roy, in obedience to the orders of Sufdur Jung, collected all the property which he could find, and then returned to Lucnow, taking with him as his prisoner the mother of Kaim Khan. Saheb-roy, a Moo­tusuddee, who had been in the service of Mahomed Khan Bungish, and who was now employed by Nuwul-roy, pitying the unfortunate situation of his late master’s widow, who was exposed to the greatest indig­nities, laid a plan for her release; and one night when Nuwul-roy was in a state of intoxication, took to him a petition from the Begum, soliciting his permission to proceed to Furrukhabad for a few days, to which request Nuwul-roy gave his assent; and having so far succeeded in his object, he placed the Begum in a covered carriage, and desired her servants to proceed with all possible expedition: which order they so well obeyed, that by the following evening they reached the town of Mow. Nuwul-roy on recovering from his debauch, discovered the trick which had been passed on him, but as he could not overtake the Begum, he wrote an account of her escape to Sufdur Jung, omitting all that would have been to his own discredit; but the vizier admitted no excuse, and ordered him immediately to return to Furrukhabad, and to seize her person. Such an order could not long remain concealed from persons so deeply interested as Ahmed Khan and his relations, and who indeed were prepared to expect that Sufdur Jung would not allow the Begum to remain quietly at Furrukhabad. As Nuwul-roy was obliged to pass through the town of Mow, on his way from Lucnow, they determined to way-lay him on his march; Ahmed Khan, with the aid of Rôstum Khan Afreedee, collected a sufficient quantity of arms for their party, and at three koss distance from Mow they awaited his arrival: they there attacked and drove off his followers, surrounded Nuwul-roy’s elephant, and cut him to pieces; after which Ahmed Khan proceeded to Furrukhabad, and took pos­session of his paternal property.

Sufdur Jung’s rage at this event knew no bounds; and to revenge himself on the Afghans of Mow and Furrukhabad, he assembled the royal army under Ishâk Khan; four thousand men under Futteh Ullee Khan; and called in to his aid, Soorujmull Jhaut with thirty thousand horse and foot; and, with a large train of artillery, this overwhelming force moved from Shahjehanabad.

Ahmed Khan and the Afghans of Mow felt that their very existence depended on their conduct in this juncture; and having assembled all the forces they could muster, they applied for aid to Hafiz Rehmut Khan, who shocked at the disgrace to which the family had been exposed by Sufdur Jung, readily acceded to their request, and dispatched to their assistance Wur Khan, Purmool Khan, and other surdars, promising to join them in person, if the strength of Sufdur Jung’s army should render such a measure necessary.

When Sufdur Jung learned that Hafiz had joined the cause of the Furrukhabad Pathâns, he made forced marches in hopes of reaching the city, before the arrival of the reinforcement from Kutheir: and Ahmed Khan, deeming it unwise to allow Sufdur Jung to enter into the heart of his country, marched out to meet him at the head of fifteen thousand men. His spies having brought to him correct information of the disposition of Sufdur Jung’s force, Ahmed Khan divided his troops into two bodies; the one under Rôstum Khan was directed to attack Soorujmull, while Ahmed Khan in command of the other attacked Sufdur Jung.

The Jhauts under Soorujmull being so superior in numbers, overpowered Rôstum Khan, and in a short time news was brought to Ahmed Khan of his defeat and death; his presence of mind, however, did not forsake him in this extremity, but desiring the messenger to be silent, he gave out to his troops that Rôstum Khan, although opposed to a superior force, had succeeded in defeating Soorujmull, adding, that unless they now exerted themselves, their character would be lost. Cheered by this news, his division made a desperate attack on the royal army, and Ishâk Khan was slain, when the Afghans took possession of the field train. The wind being very high, the dust was for some time so great, that Ahmed Khan could not discern what part of the army remained to be opposed; but when it subsided, Sufdur Jung was discovered, mounted on an elephant at a little distance. The Afghans immediately rushed forward, and a shot striking Sufdur Jung in the neck, he fell back in his howdah, and the mahout drove his elephant off the field. The troops supposing the Vizier to be slain, took to flight; and Soorujmull, who had hitherto been vic­torious, hearing that Sufdur Jung was slain, and having no personal interest in the contest, considered it useless to continue the action, and drew off his men. This action took place between Patiallee and Suhawur, on the 22d of Shuwâl, in the year 1163 of the Hejiree.

Ahmed Khan having returned thanks for this signal victory, took possession of the enemy’s camp, in which was found an immense plunder, which was divided on the spot. On dismissing the Afghans with suitable presents, Ahmed Khan communicated to Hafiz his intention to take possession of the provinces of Oude and Allahabad, and requested Hafiz to assist him in the execution of his purpose; accordingly Sheikh Kubbeer, Purmool Khan, and other surdars, with their respective contin­gents, marched to Shahabad and Khyrabad, of which purgunnahs they took quiet possession.

Ahmed Khan dispatched his son Muhmood to invade the province of Oude, while he with a large army invaded Allahabad; On his route he met little opposition, but as the fort of Allahabad could only be taken by regular approaches, he was obliged to sit down before it. Sufdur Jung had nearly recovered from his wound, when he heard of this invasion of his territory, and he in revenge sent orders to the Killadar of Allahabad to put to death the five sons of Kaim Khan; which cruel mandate was obeyed. The vizier also again determined to attack Ahmed Khan, and called in the aid of a Mahratta force, which advanced to Etawah, and in the month of Jemad-ool-uwul, in the year 1164 of the Hejiree, defeated Azum Khan (the brother of Ahmed Khan) and Shadil Khan, and obliged them to fly from their post to Furrukhabad. This unexpected event compelled Ahmed Khan to raise the seige of Allahabad, and directing his son Muhmood to quit Lucnow, and join him on the road, he hastened back to Furrukhabad. Sufdur Jung in the mean time assembled his own forces; through the interest of the eunuch Javeid Khan, he obtained a field train and a supply of ammunition from the royal arsenal, though the king’s army was not permitted to accompany him; and he marched from Delhi, and joined the Mahrattas.

Saadoolla Khan, fired with youthful ardour, [and urged on by Buhadoor Khan a Chéla of his late father’s,] at the head of about twelve thousand men, marched from Owlah to the aid of Ahmed Khan, nor could the rhetoric of Hafiz dissuade him from the rash enterprize. After three days Saadoolla made his re-appearance at Owlah without an attendant, and reported that the moment his troops had crossed the Ganges, they were attacked by the Mahrattas, and dispersed with great slaughter. Buhadoor Khan Chéla* was among the killed, and Saadoolla seeing that the day was lost, hastily recrossed the river, and rode without halting to Owlah. Ahmed Khan also, finding himself unable to oppose the com­bined forces of the Mahrattas and Sufdur Jung, fled to Owlah, taking with him all the females of his family, and accompanied by the sirdars of Mow and Furrukh­abad. Sufdur Jung then entered the city, and began to prepare boats for crossing the army into Kutheir.

As the Mahratta force amounted to eighty-thousand horse, and the army of Sufdur Jung to not less than fifty-thousand, it was evident that the troops in Kutheir were insufficient to offer any serious opposition: and the Mahratta horse being in the habit of making forced marches of twenty koss in a day, it became necessary to guard against a sudden surprise at Owlah; and Hafiz Rehmut dispatched the sirdars with their families to Kasheepore, and then followed with his own family.

The approach of the rains, however, induced the vizier to postpone his attack on Kutheir until the cold sea­son, as the Mahrattas deemed it inexpedient to enter at such a time the country of an enemy, which being inter­sected by numerous rivers would impede their progress; or in case of a defeat, render a retreat impracticable.

At the commencement of the rains Hafiz Rehmut with the sirdars and their families returned to Owlah, and there passed four months; at the expiration of which period Sufdur Jung constructed three bridges of boats on the Ganges for crossing his army. Twenty-five thousand Mahrattas had crossed at the Ghaut of Koomrole, and more were still crossing when Hafiz advanced to oppose them. For several days skirmishes took place, and the Mahrattas finding that no more could be crossed there, prepared two other bridges higher up the river; and determined on sending a body of their best horse to plunder Owlah, and seize the families of the chiefs, conceiving that the sirdars would immediately return to attempt the rescue of their women, and that the main body without its leaders would be easily defeated. The Afghans on learning this, at once decided on returning to Owlah, and there making a stand; and the vizier hoping to be before them, pressed on and overtook them on the road, when a battle ensued, in which great numbers were slain on both sides; nor could either party claim the victory; but Hafiz pro­ceeded that evening five koss further on his way to Owlah, and Sufdur Jung did not deem it prudent to pursue him.

On reaching Owlah, Hafiz collected all the riches of the place, and the families of the chiefs, and placing them in the centre of the army, marched to Chilkeea which is at the foot of the Kumaoon hills, not easily accessible, and surrounded by a thick forest. The women and children were accommodated in the village, and batteries were erected outside the forest in front of the army. Sufdur Jung and Mulhar Rao having left Aumils in Owlah and Bareilly, advanced to the skirts of the forest, and there encamped. Daily skirmishes took place between the advanced posts; but as the forest was thick, the Mahrattas rarely ventured to enter it; and when they did so, being unacquainted with the paths, their parties generally fell into the hands of the Afghans. Sufdur Jung perceiving that in this sort of warfare he was not likely to gain any advantage, erected batteries opposite to those of Hafiz; and in this state the armies remained opposed to each other for four months, during which time though the sword had done little, sick­ness had thinned the ranks of the combined army; and the Mahrattas weary of a contest in which no plunder could be gained, and suffering from disease in a climate pecu­liarly unhealthy, were importunate with their chief Mulhar Rao, to lead them back. The affairs of Oude had fallen into confusion after the death of Nuwul-roy, and by the subsequent invasion of the province, which made Sufdur Jung also desirous to have his hands dis­engaged; his resolution to treat with Hafiz was further confirmed by the advance of Ahmed Shah Douranee, who by this time had reached Lahore; and the interest of all parties thus uniting to bring about a speedy adjustment of their quarrel, Mulhar Rao invited Hafiz Rehmut to a conference, when a treaty was signed, highly favourable to the latter; and the restitution of Ahmed Khan’s paternal estates was one of the stipu­lations.

After four days, Sufdur Jung commenced his march to Lucnow, and as a particular favour requested Hafiz to accompany him to Shahjehanpore, leaving his army to follow at leisure. The Afghan sirdars strongly dis­suaded him from complying with this request, but he chose to assent. The vizier took every opportunity of paying respect and attention to Hafiz; several hours of each day they passed together, and from that time the vizier addressed Hafiz by the title of brother. Unwill­ing to part with so pleasing a companion, the vizier prevailed on Hafiz to proceed as far as Mohaun (seven koss from Lucnow), where Hafiz having received several arzees from his Aumils, pointing out the necessity of his speedy return, quitted the vizier’s camp. On taking leave, Sufdur Jung presented him with a rich khelat, a string of large pearls, a diamond sirpéch and aigrette of great value, a splendid sword and shield, an elephant with a silver howdah, a horse with silver trappings; and obtained for him a sunnud from the king for the per­gunnahs of Subna and Purumnuggur, which were granted in jaghire to his family.

The return of Hafiz to Owlah excited a general rejoicing. To his judicious arrangements the Afghans were indebted for the happy issue of a contest which at its commencement augured so unfavourably: to which may be added, the well known duplicity of Sufdur Jung, which made them anxious for the safety of their ruler, so long as he remained in the vizier’s camp.

External tranquillity being restored, Hafiz Rehmut directed his attention to the management of the revenues and police of his country, particularly to the pergun­nahs of Mehrabad and Jelalabad, where a military force was requisite to subdue several refractory zemeendars.

Hitherto Hafiz Rehmut Khan in governing Kutheir had only considered himself as fulfilling the promise made to Ullee Mahomed Khan; but as Saadoolla Khan was now arrived at years of discretion, and as Hafiz was anxious to devote to spiritual exercises a greater por­tion of time than was consistent with his duties as ruler of the country, he wished to transfer the reins of government to Saadoolla; but found him so dissipated a character, that the whole charge of the revenue, and the management of the troops still devolved on Hafiz. In order, however, to secure a greater degree of leisure than he had yet enjoyed, Hafiz appointed one of his Russala­dars, Aumil of each pergunnah: seven lacs of rupees in cash, and several rich pergunnahs, were set apart for the expenses of Saadoolla Khan: the pergunnahs of Sum­bul, Mooradabad, Thakoor-dwara, and Kasheepore were given to Doondee Khan for himself and his forces, amounting to twelve thousand horse and foot: some villages in the vicinity of Owlah and Kote Sahlbân were allotted to Bukshee Surdar Khan; and other estates were made over to Futteh Khan Khansuman, Sheikh Kubbeer, Moolla Bâz Khan, and the different sirdars.