In the latter end of the year 1164 of the Hejiree, Abdoolla Khan and Fyzoolla Khan (the sons of Ullee Mahomed Khan), who had been taken prisoners at Sirhind by Ahmed Shah Douranee, obtained their release, and returned to Kutheir. Hafiz Rehmut Khan offered to resign the government to Abdoolla Khan, but his want of experience disqualified him for the situation, and the sirdars refused to acknowledge him as their chief. Abdoolla, however, unconscious of his own deficiencies, attributed his rejection to a want of sincerity on the part of Hafiz, and instigated Kootub Shah to poison him. The attempt was repeated several times without success, as intimation of the plot had been given to Hafiz, who took no notice of it, in the hope that Abdoollah would in time discover the injustice of his suspicions: an attempt to murder his brother Fyzoolla, however, convinced Hafiz that the young man could not be reclaimed, and he consequently found it necessary to relinquish all communication with him.

Some short time after this, Abdoola Khan, pretend­ing urgent business, requested an interview with Hafiz Rehmut Khan, and concealed a number of armed men in the house to murder him on his entrance. Accom­panied by Doondee Khan, Bukshee Surdar Khan, and Abdool Sitar Khan, Hafiz waited on Abdoolla, and found him surrounded by six of his myrmidons, but none ventured to attack; Hafiz, who had heard of the plot, charged Abdoolla with his treachery, ordered him to quit the country immediately, and seized his servants. The sirdars would have executed these men without delay, but Hafiz contented himself with expelling them from Kutheir.

Abdoollah Khan went from Owlah to Furrukhabad, where having experienced much distress for several months, Ahmed Khan interceded for him, and he was permitted to return. The town of Oojanee, with lands to the amount of four lacs of rupees per annum, were allotted for his support; and there he resided till his death, which was occasioned by the bite of a snake. His jaghire then descended to his son, Nusur-oolla Khan.

To Fyzoolla Khan, Hafiz Rehmut had given the per­gunnah of Shahabad, yielding three lacs of rupees per annum; four thousand horse and foot were appointed to attend him, and his residence was fixed at Rampore, but he generally lived with Hafiz in the fort of Bareilly.

As Pillibheet was the original jaghire of Hafiz Rehmut Khan, he now turned his attention to the improvement of that town; sent all the females of his family to reside there (except one, who with his eldest son, Enayit Khan, was accommodated in the fort of Bareilly), and erected a new Muhl Serai,* Deewan Aum,* and Deewan Khas;* changing the name from Pillibheet to Hafizabad.

Sufdur Jung having settled the affairs of Oude, returned to Delhi, and as he and Javeid Khan had quar­relled about the preparations required for his attack on the Nuwab of Furrukhabad above related,* Sufdur Jung invited the eunuch to an entertainment at his house, and there treacherously murdered him. The Emperor was so enraged at this outrage, that he dismissed Sufdur Jung from the office of vizier, and appointed Intizâm-ood-dowla in his stead: made Imâd-ool-moolk, Ghazee-ood-deen Khan (son of Firôze Jung, and grand­son of Nizam-ool-moolk), an Ameer of the empire, and ordered them to attack the ex-minister. Sufdur Jung deemed it inexpedient to remain longer in the imperial city, and therefore pitched his camp at a short distance from Delhi, and prepared for battle. Daily skirmishes occurred between his followers and the royal troops; but he did not dare unaided to venture on a pitched battle, and therefore solicited the assistance of Hafiz Rehmut, who marched from Kutheir at the head of forty thousand men. At the town of Hoppur he was met by Meer Moonakib, Rajah Débee-dutt, and the eunuch Bussunt Khan, who brought a furmân from the king, ordering him to join the royal standard, and not to unite himself with the rebel Sufdur Jung. Hafiz Rehmut answered that he was engaged to assist the ex-vizier, and that were he to obey the commands of the king, his character would suffer. This answer being communicated to his majesty, a second furmân was issued, admitting the plea urged by Hafiz for declining to act against Sufdur Jung, but commanding him on his allegiance to return to his own country: this order he did not dare to disobey, and therefore wrote to Sufdur Jung, informing him that he was obliged to return to Kutheir, as the king’s interference rendered his junction impossible.

When Hafiz prepared to return, the king’s vakeels offered large sums of money to the sirdars to induce them to engage in his majesty’s service; but with the exception of Nujeeb Khan, who commanded one hundred horse, none accepted the bribe: however, when the pri­vate soldiers saw that large rewards were bestowed on these deserters, many more joined Nujeeb Khan’s stan­dard; and he took away with him altogether about two thousand men. In the battle of Kotela which occurred soon afterwards (where Indur-geer Goosein commanded Sufdur Jung’s forces), Nujeeb Khan behaved with great gallantry, slaying with his own hand the Goosein; for which conduct his majesty rewarded him with the per­gunnahs of Suharunpore, Booria, and all the villages of Barrah, in jagheer: and Sufdur Jung being now con­vinced that he could not make head against the royal army, and that he had no chance of being restored to the vizarut, returned to Oude.*

Although Intizam-ood-dowla held the office of vizier, yet Imâd-ool-moolk, Ghazee-ood-deen Khan, had obtained so much influence at court, that nothing was done with­out his consent; and on some occasion having been thwarted by the king, he threw both him and his mother into prison, put out the eyes of the former, and raised to the throne Azeez-ood-deen (son of Moiz-ood-deen, and grandson of Buhadoor Shah), who was proclaimed king by the title of Alumgeer Sânee (or the second) on the 10th of the month Shâbân, in the year 1167 of the Hejiree. Imâd-ool-moolk then usurped the vizarut, and retained all power in his own hands.

On the 17th of Zilhaije, in the year 1167 Hejiree, the Nuwab Sufdur Jung died from the effects of a tumour, called in surgery a carbuncle, and was succeeded by his son Jelâl-ood-deen Hyder, who assumed the title of Shooja-ood-dowla.

When Nujeeb Khan quitted Hafiz Rehmut at Hoppur, he gave out that he did so with the permission of his father-in-law, Doondee Khan; and as Hafiz was anxious to do away the impression that he had broken his faith with Sufdur Jung, he wrote to Doondee Khan, that his conduct on this occasion had caused a breach between them, which could not be forgiven; and that he must prepare to defend his actions by his sword. Doon­dee Khan disclaimed all knowledge of Nujeeb Khan’s intentions, and declared that he had never been consulted; but Hafiz deeming it highly improbable that Nujeeb Khan would have dared to disobey his orders, unless assured of support from Doondee Khan, discredited these assertions, and commenced his march to Bissowlee. Doondee Khan was sincerely attached to Hafiz Rehmut, and to convince him of his integrity, he quitted his house with only a few servants and Bukshee Surdar Khan, and met Hafiz at Owlah, when the frankness of his manner at once dispelled all doubts, and the two friends embraced as usual.

About this period, the new town of Hafizgunje, eight koss from Bareilly, and ten koss from Hafizâbâd, was built: travellers having experienced great inconvenience from the want of a halting place on that road.

In the year 1169 of the Hejiree, Moyin-ool-moolk, commonly called Meer Munnoo, having been killed by a fall from his horse, the government of Lâhore was entrusted to his widow; but Imâd-ool-moolk was offended that he had not been consulted on the occasion, and in the year 1170, on pretence of completing his marriage with the daughter of Meer Munnoo, to whom he was betrothed, he marched towards Lahore, accompanied by the prince Allee Gohur, afterwards better known by the title of Shah Allum. On his arrival at Loodhiana, and after having received his bride, he dispatched Adeena Bég Khan, Ibâd-oolla Khan, a Cashmirian, and Syyud Jumeel-ood-deen Khan Ruffeh-ool-dowla, to Lahore, forty koss distant, which they travelled in one night, and having seized Meer Munnoo’s widow, they put her in confinement. Adeena Bég Khan was then appointed governor of Lahore, for which he agreed to pay annually thirty lacs of rupees, and Imâd-ool-moolk having effected his object, returned to Delhi.

Ahmed Shah Douranee no sooner heard of the vizier’s conduct than he marched from Kandahar to Lahore, to seize Adeena Bég Khan; but that officer on the approach of the Shah, made his escape to Hànsi, and the Douranee pursued his route to Delhi. At the interces­sion of his mother-in-law, Ahmed Shah pardoned Imâd-ool-moolk, and for an annual payment confirmed him in the office of Vizier.

When Hafiz Rehmut heard of Ahmed Shah’s arrival at Delhi, he sent an arzee by his vakeel Yakoob Ullee Khan; and the vakeel being admitted to the royal presence, received a khelat and was dismissed with an order to Hafiz to join the army, which, under the com­mand of Imâd-ool-moolk, had been sent to realise the péshcush* due from Shooja-ood-dowla for the provinces of Oude and Allahabad; and after effecting this object, to attend his majesty. In obedience to the orders of the Shah, Hafiz assembled his army, and prepared to join Imâd-ool-moolk as soon as he crossed the Ganges.

The demand of a péshcush for the province of Oude had never before been made; but the Douranee’s demands for cash since his arrival at Delhi had been so frequent, that the plunder of the inhabitants of that city no longer sufficed to answer them, and the vizier therefore sug­gested this measure to gain favour with the Shah; well knowing that if Shooja-ood-dowla should resist, the demand would be enforced by the sword, and then his personal enmity to Sufdur Jung would be gratified in the degradation of his son.

Imâd-ool-moolk was accompanied on this expedition by the princes Hidayut Buksh, and Mirza Bâbur (son and son-in-law of Alumgeer Sânee), also by Jân Bâz Khan Bungish, one of the Douranee’s sirdars; and on arriving at Furruckhabad, Ahmed Khan offered to the princes suitable presents of tents, horses, shawls, &c. After halting a few days, the army crossed the Ganges, and Shooja-ood-dowla advanced to the western frontier of his dominions, and encamped in Sândee and Pâlee. Shooja-ood-dowla wrote to Hafiz Rehmut, reminding him of the friendship which had subsisted between him and Sufdur Jung, and intreating that he would not join a man who had brought down on him the king’s dis­pleasure, merely to gratify his private resentment: to which Hafiz answered that he did not dare to disobey the orders of the Shah, but that on joining Imâd-ool-moolk he would spare no pains to prevent his resorting to hostilities: accordingly, when Shooja-ood-dowla’s vakeels waited on Imâd-ool-moolk, Hafiz used his utmost persuasions to effect an amicable adjustment; but as the vizier was actuated by private pique, he demanded a sum of money far beyond the power of Shooja-ood-dowla to pay.

The two armies being encamped near to each other, daily petty affairs occurred between the advanced posts; and Hafiz fearing that the repetition of these might lead to a general action, privately instructed Saadoolla Khan to go to the camp of Shooja-ood-dowla, and on his behalf to propose terms to Imâd-ool-moolk, whereby Hafiz would be better enabled to interfere: accordingly Saadoolla joined Shooja-ood-dowla, and exchanged turbans with him, at which Hafiz pretended to be offended; but represented to the vizier that his youth and inexperience must plead his excuse: and as it appeared from Saadoolla’s letter that Shooja-ood-dowlah was willing to pay as his péshcush, as large a sum as he could afford; if the vizier rejected the offer, he should return to Kutheir, and state to the Shah his reasons for so doing, since his orders were only to interfere in case of non-payment. As Imâd-ool-moolk, unassisted, was not equal to the attack of Shooja-ood-dowla’s camp, he was compelled to accept the terms proposed: and it was agreed that five lacs of rupees should be paid imme­diately, and a further sum by instalments. This business being settled, Imâd-ool-moolk and the princes returned to Furrukhabad, and Shooja-ood-dowla to Lucnow, on the 9th of Shuwal, in the year 1170 of the Hejiree. Hafiz Rehmut was preparing to join the Shah at Delhi, when intelligence was brought to him that a plague had broken out in the Shah’s army after the massacre at Muttra, in consequence of which he had precipitately quitted Agra, and was retracing his steps to Kandahar. In passing through Delhi, the Shah was met by Alumgeer Sânee and Nujeeb Khan, who represented to him the misconduct of Imâd-ool-moolk; when the Douranee created Nujeeb Khan an ameer of the empire, and authorised the king to dismiss Imâd-ool-moolk from the vizarut. Nujeeb Khan being now invested with power, took possession of the house which Imâd-ool-moolk occupied, and turned out the females of his family; which indignity so enraged the Vizier, that to avenge himself on Nujeeb Khan, he invited Ragoonat Rao (brother of Ballajee Rao) and Mulhar Rao Holkar, with their forces from the Dukhun; and when they were near at hand, Imâd-ool-moolk marched from Furrukhabad, and joined the Mahrattas near Delhi. During twenty-five days repeated actions took place between the Mahrattas and the royal army, in which the former being generally successful, Nujeeb Khan offered a bribe to Mulhar Rao to secede from the con­federacy, which being accepted, a treaty was set on foot; and it was finally agreed that Nujeeb Khan should be confirmed in his jagheer, and that Imâd-ool-moolk should be reinstated in his office of Vizier.

The Vizier, jealous of the prince Allee Gohur, who had entertained a small body of armed men for the pro­tection of his person, wished to prevail on the king to insist on his residing within the palace, and failing in this object, took every opportunity of distressing him; at length, he with an armed force surrounded his house with the intention of seizing his person, when the prince gallantly cut his way through the assailants and escaped to Bareilly. Hafiz Rehmut Khan being at this time at Nanikmutta, the prince was received with due honours by Enayit Khan; and on his departure was presented with several elephants and horses, and every necessary for his journey to Bengal.

Enayit Khan being at this time twelve years of age, it appeared to his father advisable to make arrangements for his nuptials; and he selected for his wife a daughter of the late Ullee Mahomed Khan. This marriage was celebrated with great pomp at Bareilly; the whole town being illuminated, and the shops decorated with flowers on the occasion.

Although Imad-ool-moolk had agreed to the treaty signed at Delhi, to secure his restoration to the vizarut, he was not of a disposition so soon to forgive the insult offered to his family by Nujeeb Khan (now having the title of Nujeeb-ood-dowla), and in 1772 Hejiree, soon after the departure of Allee Gohur from Delhi, the Vizier again called in the aid of the Mahrattas under Dut­too and Jungoo, with the intention of expelling Nujeeb-ood-dowla from his jagheer. On the arrival of the Mah­rattas at Delhi, Nujeeb-ood-dowla entrenched himself at Sookurtâl, on the banks of the Ganges, and solicited aid from Hafiz Rehmut Khan. Hafiz conceiving his own troops insufficient to oppose the Mahrattas, requested Shooja-ood-dowla to join him, and the combined force marched from Bareilly, in Jemad-ool-awul, 1173 Hejiree. On reaching Hussunpore, intelligence was brought that the Mahrattas had made a bridge of boats on the Ganges, near to Sookurtâl, for the purpose of crossing into Kutheir, and Bukshee Surdar Khan with four thousand picked men was sent in advance to oppose them, while two other russaladars were directed to follow as expedi­tiously as possible. The Bukshee* arrived at Subulgurh by forced marches, but finding that a large body of the Mahrattas had already crossed, he took post in the fort of that place, and on the arrival of the other russaladars, he attacked the enemy and compelled them to recross the Ganges. The main body of the army proceeded to the bank of the river opposite Sookurtal, and there encamped, as the whole of the boats had been secured by the Mahrattas, and the river was not fordable.

While Imâd-ool-moolk was making his approaches to attack Sookurtal, he heard that the Douranee was again on his march towards Hindoostan, and foreseeing that the aid of Hafiz Rehmut and Shooja-ood-dowla would defeat his plans against Nujeeb-ood-dowla, he only wanted the plausible pretext for breaking up his camp, which this news afforded him. The Mahrattas recrossed the Jumna at Karnaul, and advanced towards Sirhind to oppose the Shah, while Imâd-ool-moolk returned to Delhi, put to death the Emperor Alumgeer Sânee, and Intizam-ood-dowla (the uncle of his wife), and raised to the throne Mohee-oos-soonut, the son of prince Kâm­buksh, and grandson of Aurungzebe, on the 8th of the month Rubbee-ool-sanee, in the year 1173 of the Hejiree: after which the vizier set out for Sirhind to join Duttoo and Jungoo.

When the Shah entered the Dooâb, Hafiz Rehmut crossed the Ganges to meet him, and was most graciously received; they then proceeded together to Delhi, and crossed the Jumna at Vizierabad. Duttoo and Jungoo attempted to oppose the passage of the Shah’s troops, but some Shooturnâls* being brought to the bank of the river, a heavy fire was opened on the Mahrattas, and Duttoo being shot, Jungoo took to flight. The Douranee horse, which were accustomed to swim rivers, received orders each to take an Afghan foot soldier behind him, and to cross the Jumna, as no boats were pro­curable. A considerable body of men thus landed on the opposite bank and pursued the Mahrattas, but the slaughter was not great, as the Shah ordered them not to follow beyond Delhi. The vizier did not deem it prudent to trust himself a second time in the hands of the Shah; he therefore accompanied Jungoo, and after­wards took refuge with Soorujmull Jhaut, the Rajah of Bhurtpore.

On the following evening the Shah and Hafiz Rehmut entered Delhi, and as soon as the army could be assembled, they proceeded to Méwat, where the vakeels of the Jyenuggur Rajah brought the péshcush, and at the same time gave intelligence that the Mahrattas had changed their route, and were proceeding eastward, with the intention of invading Rohilkund.

Hafiz was exceedingly anxious to be permitted to pursue the Mahrattas, but the Shah directed him to come on leisurely with the infantry, while he with the horse undertook this expedition. At the head of ten thousand horse accustomed to long marches, the Shah overtook the Mahrattas at Dholkote and Kankurra, and defeated them with great slaughter: he then recrossed the Jumna, took possession of Coel, which had hitherto been held by the Jhauts, and encamped his army in that neigh­bourhood for the rainy season.

Soorujmull, the Rajah of Bhurtpore, omitted to send to the Shah the péshcush due for his country, and Hafiz Rehmut was dispatched to demand it. On his return to Coel, he was treated with a distinction never before shewn to a subject; and being admitted to a familiar intercourse with the king, he took every opportunity of mentioning the Nuwab of Oude in favourable terms, and ultimately obtained a furmân directing him to join the royal standard. Shooja-ood-dowla with five thousand men soon afterwards arrived at Coel; and Ahmed Khan having come from Furrukhabad, both were introduced by Hafiz to the Shah on the 4th of Zilhaije, in the year 1173 of the Hejiree.