Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

H I S T O R Y

OF THE

R 0 H I L L A S.*

IT
appears, that about the

year 1720, Bisharut Khan, and Daoud Khan, of the tribe of Rohillas, accompanied by a small number of their needy and adventurous countrymen came into Hindoftan in quest of military service. They were first entertained by a Madar Saha, the Hindoo chief of Scrouly, ť who, by robbery and predatory excursions, maintained a large party of banditti. In the plunder of an adjacent village, Daoud Khan

* This appellation, I have been informed, is derived from Rob, a word in the Afghan language signifying a hill or mountain ; and is the name allo of a certain tract of territory, the native country of the Rohillas, situated between Pelhour and Cabul. + A small town in the north-west quarter of Rohilcund.

captured

captured a youth of the Jatt fest, * whom he adopted, and brought up in the Mahometan faith, by the name of Ali Mahomet; and though he had children born to him in mariiage, Daoud Khan distinguished this boy by pre-eminent niarks of pareittal affection. Madar Salla assigned to the body of Rohillas, which soon increased, certain landst for their maintenance. Goolareah and some other villages, were given to Bisharut Khan; and Daoud Khan obtained Burneah and Beouly. I

Whilst the Rohillas were yet in this limited state, Shah Alum Khan, an Afghan Mollah, s visited his countrymen in India and it is said that he had particular claims of friendship on Daoud Khan, being either the adoptive father of that chief, or having afforded him in his youth the means of subsistence. In whatever relation the Mollah stood to Daoud Khan, it is allowed that he was, hospitably treated at Beouly; and on returning to Afghanistan, was furnished with a sum of money for defraying the expences of his journey. Shah Alum came a second time to Kuthair,ll where

[ocr errors]

* This sect, a numerous and powerful one in the northern parts of India, is claffed in the fourth, or Sooder, tribe of the Hindoos.

+ The Rohilla officers who stood next in authority to those chiefs, were Caim Khan, Shadie Khan, Permaul Khan, Sultan Khan, and Azum Khan Dhunghiah.

1 Villages fituated in the districts of Sullausee, a division of Rohilcund, which lies 40 computed miles to the westward of Bareily. - See Rennel's map.

§ Mollah is an appellation given to those who are skilled in the religious doctrine and laws of Mahomet.

| The original name of a part of Rohilcund, previously to the period of the Rohilla ccnquest, and ftill adopted in the public registers of the country,

he

he again experienced the generosity of Daoud Khan ; but on going back to his country, he was killed, and his effects were plundered. It has been said, that this assassination was committed at the instigation of Daoud Khan, in revenge of some haughty expressions of the Mollah to that chief. I have been wholly prompted to make this mention of Alum Khan, from his being the father of Hafiz Rhamut, who in latter times became so conspicuous and unfor

tunate.

The Rohillas, quarrelling with Madar Saha, retired from his country, and associating themselves with Chand Khan, the chief of Bareily, * they jointly entered into the service of Azmuth Khan, the Governor of Moradabad. They did not remain long at. tached to this officer, but moving towards the northern mountains they made incursions into the territory of the Rajah of Cum. maioun. Chand Khan had previously refused to proceed on this expedition with the Rohillas, who after various success, were wholly worsted. The Rohillas had penetrated into the interior country, but being surrounded on all sides by the mountaineers, who cut off their supply of provision, they were compelled to submit to disgraceful terms of releasement. The persons of Daoud

* Bareily, a spacious well built town, in the centre of Rohilcund. See Rennel's map. + A town formerly of great note, situate in the northern part of Rohilcund. See

i I A spacious tract of mountainous country, subject to a Hindoo Chief; and for. ming the north-east boundary of Rohilound.

Khan,

Rennel's map.

Khan,' and 'Ali Mahomet, were delivered to the Rajah, who put the former to death; and the like fate would have awaited 'the son, had he not made his escape. The Rohillas say, that Daoud Khan was not surrendered to the chief of Cummaioun, but slain by a party of mountaineers, who had attacked him by surprize. The Rohilla party after this disaster withdrew to Beouly and Burneah, where they had, antecedently to the Cummaioun expedition, lodged their families; and in a short space of time it is seen, that they seized on the districts of Madar Saha, their first master, who fell in one of the desultory actions that followed this invasion. Ali Mahomet, after the death of Daoud Khan, had been declared chief * of the party; nor did he, though then a youth, seem unworthy of the charge. He was brave, enterprizing, and never failed to improve the occasions of advancing his power and enlarging his territory. -- An eunuch who resided at Munounah, † and managed the affairs of thofe .omrahs of the court who held granted lands in Kuthair, had incited Ali Mahomet, from some motive of resentment, to invade the possessions of the chief of Owlah ; which were soon reduced by the Rohillas, and ultimately an.

• Mahomet Khan, the son of Daoud Khan, either from being superseded in his father's affection by Ali Mahomet, or at the period of Daoud Khan's death, being excluded by the Rohilla officers from the succession, retired to Furruckabad, where he was received into the Bunglish family. It is mentioned also in a manuscript which I have seen, that at the time of his father's death, Mahomet Khan was an infant, and that he remained some years in the family of Ali Mahomet. + A town in Rohilcund.

« PreviousContinue »