After Mír Núr Muhammad Khán’s death all the Balóch

Dispute between Mírs Husain Alí Khán and Mír Shahdád Khán.

chiefs acknowledged Mír Muhammad Nasír Khán as their head, as he was a very good man and a person of literary pursuits and princely habits.

In the very next month a dispute arose between the late Mír’s sons Mír Husain Alí Khán and Mír Shahdád Khán, about their father’s legacy. The dispute was about to pass from words to arms. At the instigation of Ahmad Khán Lighárí Mír Sóbdár Khán took the side of Mír Husain Alí Khán, and Mír Nasír Khán espoused the cause of Mír Shahdád Khán. As there was no probability of settling the matter otherwise, Mír Nasír Khán sent Ákhúnd Bachal, one of his chief courtiers, to Colonel Outram, the Resident, requesting him to interfere as an umpire and settle the matter between the two brothers. Accordingly the Colonel came and soon brought about reconciliation between them and settled the dispute.

In 1257 A.H. (1841 A.D.) Colonel Outram went on

Cholera in Sind.

sick leave to Egypt and his assistant Captain Mylne acted for him. In Rabíussání of the next year, 1258 A.H. (1842 A.D.) cholera broke out at Haidarábád, and from there it spread throughout the province of Sind. All the Mírs with their families, except Mírs Husain Alí Khán and Sóbdár Khán and their sons, who went to live at Aghímání, left Haidar­ábád and went to Miánah, where they remained for 3 months. In Jamádissání they came back to the fort of Haidarábád.

About the close of Shuabán of the same year (September

Sir Charles Napier appointed as Resident.

1842 A.D.) Sir Charles Napier being appointed as the Resident of Sind, left Púnah* and came to Sind. From Karáchi he came to Haidarábád by a steamer. On his arrival, at the Residency the Mírs sent their men to welcome him. In the afternoon, he came to visit Mír Nasír Khán. Mír Abbás Alí Khán with a few other nobles was sent to receive him at a short distance from the fort and to bring him in. Next he visited Mír Sóbdár Khán and then returned to the Residency. After three days he left for Sakhar. At the latter place he saw all the Mírs of that part. In the month of Ramazan, Captain Mylne, Assistant Resident went to Bombay and in the next month Captain Stanley came in his place. On the 18th of the same month he visited Mír Nasír Khán to get his sanction to a fresh treaty for which he had been sent by Sir Charles Napier. The terms of the treaty were (1) that the coin of Sind should bear the name of the King of England on one side; (2) that the Mírs should cede to the British Government Karáchi, Shikárpur, Sabzalkót, Umarkót and all the land attached to these towns; (3) and that a slip of land 100 yards in width, along both the banks of the river be given to the British Government. The Mír did not agree to the terms of the treaty and refused to sign it.* The Captain, therefore immediately left for Bombay by a steamer.

About that time, Mír Alí Murad Khán of Khairpur,

Disagreement between Mír Alí Murád Khán and Mír Rustam Khán and the flight of the latter.

with the secret help of Sir Charles Napier, openly declared his enmity against his eldest brother Mír Rustam Khán, and put him to flight to seek shelter, in his old age, in the sandy deserts of Thar. It would appear that after the division of the late Mír Suhrab Khán’s country among his children, the other Mírs entertained a dislike towards Mír Alí Murad Khán and wanted to molest him. The latter therefore thought it proper to save himself by attaching himself to Sir Charles.

At the close of Zíkaad 1258 A.H. (1842 A.D.) Colonel

Disagreement between Mír Sóbdár Khán and the other Mírs of Haidarábád.

Outram, the former Resident arrived at Haidarábád, but he did not alight from the steamer. The Mírs sent presents to him. The Colonel accepted the presents of Mír Sóbdár Khán, but rejected those of Mír Nasir Khán and other Mírs. The latter, therefore, got grieved at this and understood that Mír Sóbdár Khán was behaving in the same way as Mír Alí Murád Khán was doing at Khairpur under the guidance of Sir Charles Napier and they feared that Mír Sóbdár Khán wanted to cause them similar harm. This heightened the enmity between the two Mírs.

About the close of Zilhajj of the same year, Mír Nasír

Disagreement between the Mírs and Sir Charles Napier.

Khán and Mír Muhammad Hasan, the nephew and the son of Mír Rustam Khán, came to Haidarábád from Kóhírah, asking help from Mír Muhammad Nasír Khán for Mír Rustam Khán. On the 2nd of Muharram 1259 A.H. (1843 A.D.) Mír Rustam Khán himself, with his other sons and brothers arrived. All the Mírs, except Mír Sóbdár Khán and Mír Shahdád Khán went out to receive him and brought him into the fort of Haidarábád.* Shortly after this Mírzá Khusróbeg, Yúsif Khizmatgár and Ghulám Alí Nizámání were sent as envoys to Sir Charles Napier, whose camp was near Sehwán then. They delivered the message of the Mírs, stating that they were ready to accept the terms of the last treaty, but their wish was that at first Mír Rustam Khán should get back his right, through the intercession of the General. During the conversation that ensued with Sir Charles, Mírzá Khusróbeg was bold enough to tell him in strong terms that the Mírs of Haidarábád had been much grieved to hear of the treatment of Mír Rustam Khán, and that the Balóches had taken the matter so much to heart that if the English people should come to Haidarábád, they would draw swords at them. “And the fighting of the Balóches,” said he, “is not a trivial thing. You should be sure that Sind is not a cold pudding that you would eat so easily.” These words coming from an envoy, exasperated the General beyond measure. He refused to have any more conversation with the envoys. “I am also for war,” said Sir Charles, “let us see how the swords of the Balóches resist the volleys of muskets and guns.” He said the next day he would send Colonel Outram by a steamer to Haidarábád to hear from the Mírs direct what they had to say.

On the 6th of Muharram, Colonel Outram, Lieutenant Brown and a few other officers with about 150 soldiers arrived at Naoábád, where the British camp and Residency were. The next day Colonel Outram and the other officers came to visit the Mírs. They were received at the bungalow of Mír Nasír Khán. After a long discussion, the Mírs promised to sign the treaty after the 10th of Muharram was over. The officers then went back to their camp in the evening. On the 12th, Colonel Outram and Lieuten­ant Brown again went to Mír Nasír Khán to have the treaty signed and sealed, as promised. Mír Nasír Khán said that his seal was with Muhammad Khán son of Lukmán Talpur, and that of Mír Shahdád Khán was with his Mukhtiárkár Muhammad Khán Lighárí, and the next day they would take the seals from their confidential attendants and fix them to the document of treaty. The officers therefore went back to return the next day.

During the following night Ghulám Muhammad and Yakhtiar Khán Laghárís induced Mír Nasír Khán to change his views in regard to the English. Mírs Ghulám Sháh Sháhwáni and Khán Muhammad Mánikáni, who were the chief advisers of the Mír, advised him to declare war against the English General, while Ákhund Bachal and Nawáb Muhammad Khán Talpur, entreated the Mír to keep peace with the English and give up any idea of war. But as fate would have it, Mír Nasír Khán was inclined to fight with the English and to refuse to sign the treaty.

The next day Colonel Outram* sent the document in question with a confidential subordinate of his to the Mír. Ghulám Muhammad Lighárí snatched the same from his hands and tore it to pieces. The man went back disap­pointed to the Colonel.

It may be noted here that during this discussion Mír Shahdád Khán wisely stood aloof from giving any opinion or taking any side. While Mírs Sóbdár Khán and Mír Muhammad Khán displayed duplicity by joining the Balóches on one side and the English on the other.*

At last on 14th of the same month, in the afternoon,

The Balóshes attack the English camp and residency at Haidarábád.*

Mír Muhammad Nasír Khán and Mír Husain Alí Khán came out of the fort in order to attack the English camp and Residency. They encamped in a garden about 2 miles from Haidarábád. About 8000 Balóches, some on wretched horses, others with useless arms, gathered about the place, and beating the drum of war marched towards the river. When they arrived near the English camp, Captain Harding was directed to fire a volley at them. The result was that the Balóches withdrew to a long dis­tance, halting under bábul trees, standing in clusters there. Nawáb Ahmad Khán Lighárí now sent a messenger to Mír Shahdád Khán telling him that he with his brothers and kinsmen was going to fight with the English and asking him to come and join the main body. While Mír Shahdád was wavering on the point, Mír Ján Muhammad Khán’s message arrived that he and the Nawáb were on their way to the river and that Mír Shahdád Khán must join them, in the name of family honour and the word of God. Mír Shahdád Khán, therefore, was obliged to get ready and taking a few cannons with him started for the riverside.

Meanwhile Colonel Outram and other European officers seeing that it was no longer safe to stop in the residency, picked up the necessary and valuable things with them and moved to the two steamers lying along the bank. Immediately the Balóches poured in on the empty camp, plundering the place, setting fire to the old tents and houses and taking away a large heap of bread and other articles which had been left behind as unnecessary. While they were thus busy, balls fired from the guns in the steamers began to shower upon them. Mashhadí a Persian cook of Mír Nasír Khán was directed to fire a cannon. The balls fell on the steamer and nearly destroyed them. A little before sunset the two steamers were at last seen moving away up the stream, to the north, in the direction of Sehwán, where General Napier’s camp was. Then the Balóches returned to their homes, and Mír Shahdád went and joined Mír Nasír Khán who was then in Kháthri. The next morning the two Mírs with their forces came to Miání* and encamped there.

A little before noon information was received that the

The battle of Miání and the defeat of the Mírs of Haidarábád.*

English army had left Halah on the previous night and were moving for­ward. In the evening a report came that they had arrived at Muta-allawí (Matiárí), and were to leave that place the next morning, and that they were about 5000 men and had 12 guns with them. On getting this news Mír Nasír Khán sent word to Ghulám Muhammad and Yakhtiár Lighárís and Ghulám Sháh and Jan Muhammad Tálpurs, who were the leaders of the Balóch forces, to get ready and to send a reconnoitring party to advance and check them. But the zeal of the Balóches began to slacken and they openly refused to advance. Mír Nasír Khán repented very much at having depended on such fickle people and having acted according to their inclina­tion. “These Balóches,” said he, “have done to me, what the Kúfís did to Imám Husain.” That whole night was spent in conversation and close consultation as to what to do to avert the impending calamity. When the sun rose the next morning, Mír Nasír Khán prepared for battle and adjusted his arms on his person. His example was followed by Mír Shahdád Khán, Mír Husain Alí Khán, Mír Rustam Khán and other chiefs. Taking 17000 men and 11 guns with them the Mírs advanced to the old Phuleli, where they arrayed the army to meet the English. Soon some spies informed them that the English army was in sight, and forthwith the Balóch gunners began to throw bombs in the direction of the enemy. Just about that time three English officers on fleet horses were seen reconnoitring close to the Balóch army and going back to join their main force. The English now began to respond with their guns, and soon a general fight ensued, which did not last long; for the Balóches were put to flight and they did not rest till they had reached the town of Haidarábád. This battle took place on Friday the 17th of Muharram 1259 A.H. (1843 A.D). In the afternoon, about the time of Friday prayers, Mír Husain Alí Khán was the first to return to the fort, and about an hour after, Mír Nasír Khán, Mír Shahdád Khán, together with the Mírs of Khairpúr also arrived.

General Napier, after securing the booty left behind by

Surrender of the Mírs, and secession of Mír Sóbdár Khán.

the Balóches encamped at the very place, where the camp of the Balóches had stood. Fearing lest some Baló­ches should have concealed themselves in the hunting-grounds of Miání close by, a search was made, but no sign of the Balóches was found there.

During the night, that followed, Mír Sóbdár Khán sent some trays of sweetmeats and other presents to General Napier, through Munshí Áwatrái, who had held out hopes to that Mír of reaping the same advantage from the friendship with the English, as Mír Alí Murád Khán of Khairpur had done.* As the night was dark and the watchman of the English camp could not be made to distinguish between a friend and a foe from among the Balóches, the Munshí returned disappointed. That night there was all confusion in the town of Haidarábád. It was expected that the next day the English troops would come and plunder the place. So the people began to migrate with all the valuables and necessary articles they could carry with them. The same was the case with the occupants of the fort. The next morning, Mír Sóbdár Khán openly sent Munshí Áwatrái* and Músá Armaní (Armenian) to the English General expressing a desire to have an interview with him. The General’s reply was that, before anything else could be done Mírs Nasír Khán, Shahdád Khán and Husain Alí Khán should surrender to him or else he would besiege the fort and raze it to the ground by cannonade and would not be responsible for what worse might happen thereby. Mír Sóbdár Khán sent the two men to deliver the General’s message to Mír Nasír Khán. The latter had no alternative. Taking both of his nephews with him he rode to the English camp, accompanied by 7 or 8 men. When this party drew near the camp, Colonel Outram came out of the tents and after exchanging salutations took the three Mírs into his own tent. After a few minutes, General Napier and Colonel Pattle entered the same tent. The Mírs opened the belts of their swords and placed the weapons before the General, who received them and again tied the same with his own hands on the waists of the Mírs. He them told them that he was sending his report to the Governor General, Lord Ellenborough, at Calcutta, and would act according to the orders received from him. “Till then,” he said, “the Mírs might remain in their camp on the bank of the Indus.” As Mír Husain Alí Khán was very young, the General, following the suggestion of Colonel Outram, permitted him to return to the fort. The next day (19th of the month) Sir Charles Napier moved his army to his camp at Naóábád. The two Mírs were lodged in the garden, now called Mír Muhammad Khan’s garden, and a guard of 1st Brandesbury regiment under Lieut. Johnson, was sent over them. Lieut. Brown, the General’s Secretary, was asked to look after the comfort and wants of the Mírs.

On the 21st of the same month, Captain Pelly intimated

The Mírs are made prison­ers and the fort of Haidarábád is taken.

to the Mírs that some officers would go into the fort during the day and raise the British flag on the tower. About 2 p.m., Colonel Pattle with a party of 12th Bombay Infantry and 9th Bengal Cavalry and two guns entered the fort. At the same time a cavalcade of Jacob’s Horse came to the town to keep peace there, and Lieut. Mollison went to the Kótwálí and removed the officers of the Mírs and took charge of it.

Colonel Pattle first came to the bungalow of Mír Sóbdár Khán in the fort and then went to the tower and unfurled the British flag. Next he wanted to have the keys of the fort and treasures. The gates had already been secured by a guard and communication stopped. In about three days all the treasures, open or buried, were taken possession of by Colonel Macpherson and two other officers, who were deputed to do that duty. Of all the Mírs, Mír Nasír Khán’s valuables were the most that fell into the hands of the English, for unlike the other Mírs, he had had no opportunity of removing any part of his property.

On the 26th of the month Captain Brown took away Mír Mír Muhammad Khán on an elephant to the English camp to join the other Mírs. And on the 1st of the next month (Saffar) Mír Sóbdár Khán also was taken away in a palankin, from the fort, in which only the young Mírs were now left behind. On the 3rd of the month Major Wright, of the 12th Bombay Infantry was appointed to relieve Colonel Pattle and remain in charge of the fort.

On this very date, in the evening, a comet appeared in the heavens. Its head was to the west and its tail to the east. It remained for about a month and then gradually disappeared. The people considered it very unlucky and attributed the loss of Sind out of the hands of the Mírs, to its inauspicious influence.

On the 22nd of Saffar 1259 A.H. (1843 A.D.) Sir

Battle of Dabbah and the defeat of Mir Sher Muham­mad Khán.*

Charles Napier prepared to march against Mír Sher Muhammad Khán of Mírpur. Heavy showers of rain prevented him from leaving the place, that day. The next day, he started and met the Mír’s forces at the village of Dabbah about 4 miles to the east of Haidarábád. Here, a severe battle took place, which ended in the defeat of Mír Sher Muhammad. Hósh Muhammad Habashí (Abyssinian)* who was one of the chief followers of Mír Sóbdár Khán and was a brave soldier, was killed in this battle. Mír Sher Muhammad Khán fled to Mírpur, being pursued by General Napier. Arriving at Mírpur, the Mír hurriedly carried some necessary baggage with him and left for the Púnjab, to take refuge with Shersing, the Sikh ruler. His first halt was near Sehwán, where he put a ditch round the camp on three sides, leaving the westside, along which the river flowed. He appointed his brother Mír Sháh Muhammad Khán to watch the baggage left behind the camp. Colonel Wright, who was then at Seh­wán, made an attack on Mír Sher Muhammad. The three or four hundred Balóches, under Mír Sháh Muhammad Khán were put to flight and Mír Sháh Muhammad himself was taken prisoner. Colonel Wright immediately sent him to Haidarábád. All the Mírs, who had been captured, were now removed from the English camp to a steamer, which was pushed off to about the middle of the stream and there anchored. It remained there till, after the battle of Dabbah, the whole country from Umarkót to Haidarábád came into the complete possession of the English conquerors and their posts were established everywhere. Then the Mírs were again landed in the camp.

A court-martial was then held to decide the fate of

Three men hanged by a court-martial.

three men, who had been charged with murder. One of them, Muhammad son of Dittah, was alleged to have killed a Pársí and the two others were Balóches, who had murdered Captain Ennis. The burden of these murders was laid by Sir Charles on the head of Mír Shahdád Khán. The first prisoner was hanged by the neck near the fort-gate, and the last two, below the fort-hill.*