(11) Mirzá Fredún Beg.*

Mirzá Fredún Beg (whose original name was Sydney, for he belonged to a Christian family) was born in 1814 A.D. at Sakaz, near Tiflis, the capital of Georgia. When Nádir Shah’s successor Muhammad Khán invaded Georgia, Mirzá Fredún Beg’s father with his band of frontier tribesmen fought on the side of Heracleus, the ruler of Georgia. In the bloody battle of Tiflis, Heracleus was defeated and about 15,000 persons were captured and brought to Persia. Mirzá Fredún Beg’s father with his wife and two sons, John and Sydney, were among the captives. Soon after, a Russian army coming to Georgia to help Heracleus’ son Gurgín Khán, Muhammad Khán again invaded Georgia, and defeated the Russians and Georgians at the battle of Urus. During this latter confusion, Mirzá Fredún Beg’s father, with his eldest son John, managed to escape and join Gurgín Khán and they were killed in the battle. His wife fearing disgrace, consequent on her husband’s treacherous escape, committed suicide by poison, leaving behind her younger son Sydney, named Fredún Beg by the Persians, who was hardly 10 years old then. An influential Sayyed of Tabríz named Murtazá Sháh took the boy under his protection and brought him to Tabríz, and then to Isphán, where he learnt the Koran and some Persian books. About this time one of H. H. Mír Karam Alí Khan’s ambassadors coming to the court of Fateh Alí Sháh, the Sháh of Persia, and happening to see the boy and like him, took him away for the Mír, who was very fond of Georgian boys, having already adopted Mirzá Khusró Beg as his son, who too had come to Sind from Georgia under similar circumstances. Mirza Fredun Beg lived with Mirzá Khusró Beg, who married him to one of his own daughters and thenceforth they lived together as members of the same family. Mirzá Fredún Beg died on 21st January 1871, leaving seven sons and two daughters. The writer is his third son.*