Bhai Lal Singh
The Kythal family
The Kythal family was of so much importance in the Cis-Satlej States, and their history is so closely connected with that of Pattiala, that a sketch of it is essential here. The genealogy of the family is as follows :—
The Kythal family have the same origin as the Phulkian. Gurbuksh Singh, the founder of the Chiefship, was the son of Bhai Ramdyal, who had a great reputation as a saint. The son was a fine soldier and an able man, but he had little of the saint about him, and thought more of annexing territory than of religion. He was a great friend of Raja Ala Singh of Pattiala, and they made many expeditions together, and he helped the Raja out of more than one difficulty. The possessions of Gurbuksh Singh were divided among his sons ; but they soon increased them. Desu Singh captured Kythal from some Afghans, Bhikh Baksh Khan and Nihmat Khan, and, with his brother Budha Singh, seized Thanesar, though the town and fort were afterwards taken from them by Sirdar Bhanga Singh, the fiercest and most feared of all the Cis-Satlej chiefs. When Desu Singh died in 1781, Lal Singh was in confinement as a rebel against his father, and Behal Singh, the elder son, did all he could to keep his brother in prison ; but he contrived to escape, killed his elder brother and took possession all the estates of his father, which he much enlarged by new acquisition. Lal Singh was, at the time of the British advance northwards, in 1809, the most powerful Cis-Satlej Chief, after the Raja of Pattiala. He was a very' able man, though utterly untrustworthy, and so violent and unscrupulous that the English authorities had the greatest difficulty in persuading him to maintain
[Page-52]: anything like order. In 1819, the Government allowed him to succeed to the share of the estate held by Mai Bhagbari, the widow of his first cousin Karam Singh. Partab Singh the elder son and then the younger son, Udai succeeded, but on the death of the latter without issue in 1843, the whole of the Kythal estate lapsed to Government, with the exception of that portion which had been acquired by the founder of the family, Bhai Gurbuksh Singh, and to which the collaterals of the Arnowli branch were permitted to succeed.
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