To KÛTBÛL MÛLK; same Date. (21st July.)

DIRECTING him to circulate among the Musulman inhabitants of that place [meaning Adoni] the mandates containing the arguments, expla­nations, and statements;* and also to transmit [copies of] the same to Hyderabad and Aurungabad.


There can be no doubt, that the documents referred to in this brief entry, or memorandum, under the designation of arguments, &c. are the circular letter and proclamation inserted at page 291, and which the Sultan appears to have been anxious to disseminate, wherever there was any chance of their procuring him partizans, or of inducing Musulman adventurers to repair to his standard. We shall, accordingly, presently see him transmitting the same persuasions to the ex­tremities of Hindostan, in which quarter, however, his success was not likely to keep pace with his wishes, (whatever might be the case in the dominions of his immediate neighbours); inasmuch as the contest for power between Mâdhâjee Sain­deah and the Moghul chieftains of Hindostan had not yet terminated; and because, while that contest continued, the inducements to the Musulmans to emigrate from thence were not so strong as they subsequently became, upon the complete establishment of the Mahrattah authority throughout the provinces lying between the Chumbul and the Ganges. But even in this last conjuncture, when there did not any longer exist, to the northward of the Toombuddra, a single Mahommedan leader, capable of affording employment to the scattered bands of Moghuls and Patans, who were now left without a master, the Sultan would not appear to have obtained any material accession of strength from the side of Hindostan: the chief reason of which, most probably, was, that there was no access to Mysore, excepting by countries in the possession of his enemies, or of states jealous of his power, who were not likely to have permitted any bodies of armed men to pass through their territories, for the purpose of reinforcing his armies. If, therefore, he received, at the period alluded to, any recruits at all from this quarter, it could only be such straggling individuals as might, from their insignificance, be enabled to proceed unnoticed.

The Kûtbûlmûlk,* to whom the foregoing letter is addressed, is the same per­son elsewhere called Kûtbûddeen Khân, which last is a name by no means uncom­mon among Musulmans. Kûtbûlmûlk, on the other hand, is a title; and one, indeed, of considerable eminence, the affix of ulmûlk to a title denoting the highest that is, in general, bestowed. I say, in general, because it was rarely that any title of a superior degree was conferred by the court of Dehli. Sometimes we meet with ulmumâlik added to, or substituted for ulmûlk, of which it is the plural; and this would appear to have been a step higher than what was denoted by the same term in the singular number.

The usual gradation of titles is in the following ascending scale. 1, Behâdûr;* 2, Jung;* 3, Uddowlah;* and 4, Ulmûlk;* which the reader may, if he pleases, fancy to resemble, 1, Baronet; 2, Baron; 3, Viscount; 4, Earl. The addition of Khân was also considered as an honorary distinction, and is still occasionally bestowed, as such, by the imperial and some of the pseudo courts. It is, how­ever, in such very general use, as a component part of proper names, among the Mahommedans, and particularly those of the Patan or Afghan tribes, that it is not always easy to distinguish, when it occurs, in what sense it is meant to be applied, that is, whether as a title or a proper name.

The first title generally conferred is that of Behâdûr, then Jung, afterwards Ud­dowlah, and lastly Ulmûlk. On some occasions, however, all four are bestowed at once. At least such has been the practice since the decline of the Moghul empire: but there is reason to believe that, in its more flourishing days, these distinctions were less lavishly distributed than has been latterly the case. They have, at all times, been conferred by patent, and were never considered hereditary.

Such are the titles ordinarily granted by the imperial court; but the Soubahs of the Decan, as if ambitious of surrounding themselves with superior splendor, have added to them the more eminent distinction of ul Omra; or rather extended the application of this title, which, I believe, was usally restricted by the emperors to the single individual occasionally elevated to the rank of Emirûl Omra, or “lord “of lords.” At the court of Hyderabad, however, we meet with Aazumûl Omra, “grandest of lords;” Shumsûl Omra, “the sun of lords;” Tâjûl Omra, “the “crown of lords,” &c.

I have no where been able to discover any clear or distinct proof, that Tippoo Sultan ever conferred titles of any sort upon his subjects; and yet there are some passages in the correspondence, which would seem, in some degree, to authorize such a belief. In a letter, for instance, to Râjah Râm Chundur, “he directs him “always to affix his title seal* to his Urzies.” We meet also with one dispatch addressed to a Mûlâim Jung; and another to a Shaikh Abdûl Mûlk, Kilaadâr of Houscottah. With respect, however, to the former of these titles, there is reason to suspect that it was no other than a ludicrous one, or kind of nick-name, since it signifies “gentle, or soft, in battle,” and appears to have belonged to the leader of the Sultan’s musical band. Besides these titled persons, it is certain that there was an officer of considerable distinction in the Sultan’s service, called Bubr Jung, or “the tiger of war:” and Mahommed Riza, another commander of rank, who was killed at the battle of Sedaseer, was also known, to Europeans at least, by the title of the Binky Nabob. It is proper to observe, however, that though Bubr Jung is, on one or two occasions, spoken of by the Sultan under that title, Ma­hommed Riza is no where mentioned, in the official documents, by the appellation of the Binky Nabob.

It is possible, that the different persons here mentioned, including Kûtbûl Mûlk, may have been in possession of the titles by which they were distinguished, at the time of their becoming subjects of the Sultan, or of his father: and, indeed, on no other supposition can the matter be satisfactorily explained; since, if the Sultan had ever bestowed titles, it is natural to conclude, that he would have decorated his principal servants with them: whereas the fact is, that not one of these, nor even a single individual of his own family, would ever appear to have received any dis­tinctions of the kind in question.

It remains to be considered, what could be the reason of the Sultan’s abstaining, during a reign of sixteen years, from assuming a privilege, so freely exercised by the Soubah of the Decan and other upstart rulers, and generally deemed an essen­tial appendage of sovereignty. It could not be, that he entertained any doubts of his right to bestow titles of honour; since there are abundant proofs that he was never under the influence of any scruple respecting the authority of the imperial court, none of whose nominal vassals showed so little deference to it as he did. His conduct, therefore, in the instance under examination, is, perhaps, to be re­ferred solely to that jealousy or mistrust, which formed a prominent feature of his character. He was, probably, afraid of making his servants too great; and might think the splendor of a titled retinue, more calculated to eclipse, than to exalt his own personal importance. Titles of honour might breed in those, on whom they were conferred, ambitious wishes and views, which would not otherwise be excited: they would also give the possessors of them too much consequence with the people, and thus might prove a source of various evils, more or less dangerous to his authority. The history of the rise of his own father’s power would tend to confirm the prudence of this reasoning: which in a mind, naturally prone to suspicion, as that of the Sultan was, may easily be conceived to have led to the conclusion, that “his security would be best promoted by the political insignificance of his agents.”