« PreviousContinue »
nexed to their territory. Ali Mahomet found, which he had sought for, a pretext to quarrel with the eunuch, whom he engaged,” and slew in a pitched battle; the success of which, invested him with the estates of the nobles, and a large booty. Ali Mahomet, chiefly by the assistance of the Vizier Kummer ud Dein, not only made his peace at court, but obtained a commission for colle&ting the revenue of the pension lands, which it is said he punétually remitted.-F From this period, may be dated the first important establishment of the Rohilla power in Rohilcund : a name by which they distinguished the Kuthair distrićts, and their other territories on the east side of the Ganges. Azmut Ulla Khan; being removed from the government of Moradabad, Hunund, an Hindoo officer of note, was ordered to proceed to that place, and exterminate the government of the Rohillas. It appears, that Omdut Ul Mulck,5 a powerful omrah at the court of Mahomet Shah, advised and promoted this measure, in revenge of the death of the eunuch, who had been his agent in the management of an extensive Jaguir,
* The battle in which the eunuch was slain, happened in 1727. + An act of such avowed rebellion, committed within almost the precinóts of the court, marks an epocha of the decline of the Mogul Empire, and conspicuously shews, that the power and vigor which had rendered its arms invincible under Acbar, and Aurungzebe, no longer existed. t In some papers recording Rohilla history, it is mentioned, that Azmut Ullah was forcibly deprived of his Government by Ali Mahomet. § This officer was also known by the name of Amir Khan.
Vol. I. O which * This event happened A. D. 1740, the year after Nadir Shah's invasion of India.
which he held in the distrićts of Munounah and Owlah. The
forces of Hunund were encountered by the Rohillas under the command of Ali Mahomet,” and wholly defeated. Hunund, together with his son, fell in battle ; and the distrićts of Moradabad, with those of Bareily, were seized on by Ali Mahomet.—About this time Azim Khan Dungheah, a Rohilla who had been employed in the service of the zemindar of Peleabeat, F joined Ali Mahomet; whom it is said he urged to invade the possessions of his late master. The Rohilla, who embraced with eagerness every opportunity of extending his conquests, and acquiring plunder, attacked the Hindoo, and drove him from his residence. After the death of Hunund, it is mentioned, though without any accurate detail of facts, and a total omission of date, that Meer Munnoo, the son of the Vizier Kummer ud Dein, was sent into Rohilcund with an army to compel Ali Mahomet to account for the Rohilcund revenue, and to restore the artillery which had been attached to the troops of Hunund. Ali Mahomet met Meer Munnoo. at a passage of the Ganges near Daranaghur, where an adjustment was effected; and the daughter of the Rohilla, it is also said
given to Meer Munnoo's brother in marriage. No other dates are affixed to the arrival of Hafiz, Rhamut Khan” in India, than that he joined his countrymen during the administration of Ali Mahomet ; who being desirous of effacing any resentment that he might harbour for the murder of Alum Khan, quickly advanced this chief to an important station. Dhoondy Khan, a nephew of Alum Khan, who probably came to Rohilcund about the same period, was also much favored by Ali Mahomet. Aćtuated more perhaps by the desire of conquest, than retaliating former disgrace, Ali Mahomet invaded Cummaioun, which he over-run, and compelled the chief to take refuge in the Serinagur country. He amassed a large booty in this expedition, which was concluded by the exaction of an annual tribute ; and Rohilla troops were stationed in the forts of Cashipour and Rooderpour, dependencies of Cummaioun, which he kept possession of, to record, it is said, the revenge that had been taken for the murder of his father. - . . . . Ali Mahomet, who resided chiefly at Owlah, established throughout his territory a permanent system of government, which though occasionally rigorous, afforded a general protećtion to the lower class of people. Surdar Khan, who had approved himself in many ačtions a brave soldier, was appointed to the command of the army ; and certain lands were granted him for his maintenance. Futtah Khan,” with a comformable donation, was created the public treasurer, and keeper of the household stores. Peleabeat and Bareily were given to Hafiz Rhamut ; and Moradabad, to Dhoondy Khan. Ali Mahomet seems to have held the imperial authority at this period in a low degree of estimation, for he openly seized on some valuable commodities, which the Governor of Bengal had dispatched, by the road of Rohilcund, to court, for the use of the King. Setting also at defiance the power of Sufdah Jung, the Subahdar of Oude, he plundered a large quantity of valuable timber that had been cut down for his use in the northern parts of Rohilcund. Sufdar Jung, who had ever been inimical to the late Conquerors of Kuthair, acquired a sufficient influence over Mahomet. Shah,+ to induce that Prince to attack Ali Mahomet. The Rohillas were secretly supported by the Vizier Kummer ud Dein, who, bore an inveterate hatred to the Subahdar of Oude ; and who, in the usage of the courtiers of that day, strengthened his party by every powerful connection that he could procure.
+ A town in the north east quarter of Rohilcund, near the foot of a woody range of hills.-Wide Rennel's map.
f A town on the bank of the Ganges, in the north west quarter of Rohilcund.— Sec Rennel's map.
affixed • Hafiz Rhamut, some documents say, first came into India in the charaćter of a
* Futtah Khan, originally a Hindoo, was adopted by Ali Mahomet. The usage of male adoption prevails even in Mahometan families where there are many sons.
+ Sufdar Jung chiefly persuaded Mahomet Shah to undertake this expedition, by a stipulation of paying one lack of rupees for every marching, and half a lack for every halting day, of the Imperial army, until its arrival in Rohilcund.
The The King entered Rohilcund with a great force,” and without coming to an engagement, possessed himself of the open country. Ali Mahomet, aware of his inability to resist the King's army, and feeling perhaps a reluctance to face his Sovereign in the field, had retired into the woods of Banghur, F the skirts of which were defended by a chain of forts that had been erected by the Rohillas at a former period. Ali Mahomet maintained this post for some time, but having no hope of relief, and being scantily supplied with provisions, he surrendered himself into the hands of the King ; and at the intercession of Kummer ud Dein, was pardoned.
The power of the Rohillas was now annihilated in Rohilcund, and all their officers and principal people were removed to Dehli. This remarkable event, which happened in the year 1745, shews that Ali Mahomet must have been essentially aided by the distraćted state of the empire, during the Persian invasion, in the increase and establishment of his dominion. It appears that he remained about a year at Dehli, under the immediate protećtion of the Vizier, when at that nobleman’s recommendation, he was ap
pointed the military governor of Sirhend, and ordered to reduce the
* During the campaign of Mahomet Shah in Rohilcund, he gave to the Shote river the name of Yaa Wuffadar, or faithful friend, from the great conveniences derived by his army from this stream, whose waters are salubrious, and flow in a beautifully winding course
+ These woods lie between Owlah and Rampore.—Wide Rennel's map