The Rajas of the Punjab by Lepel H. Griffin/The History of the Jhind State
|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.), Jaipur|
Printed by the Punjab Printing Company, Limited, Lahore 1870
The History of the Jhind State
- 1 The origin of the family of Jhind
- 2 Alam Singh, the eldest son of Sukhchen
- 3 The family of Gajpat Singh
- 4 Jhind attacked by the Governor of Dehli
- 5 Raja Bhag Singh
- 6 He joins General Ochterlony
- 7 His excesses and their result
- 8 The draft will by which the elder son was dispossessed
- 9 The helpless State of Raja Bhag Singh
- 10 Pratab Singh flies from Jhind to Balawali
- 11 The death of Raja Bhag Singh, 1819
- 12 Raja Sangat Singh installed
- 13 The collateral relatives and the law of escheat
- 14 Division of the ancestral state by the Phulkian Chiefs
- 15 The installation of Raja Sarup Singh AD 1837
- 16 The action of the Raja of Jhind during the war of 1845-46
- 17 His rewards
- 18 Exchange of Dadri villages for others in Hissar
- 19 The precedence of Jhind and Nabha
- 20 The question of precedence
- 21 Ragbhir Singh his successor
- 22 The family of Raja Raghbir Singh
The origin of the family of Jhind
Until the time of Chaudhri Phul (Sidhu - Jat clan), the history of the Pattiala and the Jhind families are the same, and there is no occasion to repeat here what has already been recorded regarding it.* (See:The Rajas of the Punjab by Lepel H. Griffin/The History of the Patiala State)
Tilokha, the eldest son of Phul, had two sons, Gurditta and Sukhchen, from the elder of whom has descended the Nabha family, and from the younger the Chiefs of Jhind, Badrukhan and Bazidpur. Tilokha succeeded his father as Chaudhri, but although he thus became the head of the family, he was not a man of any energy, and made no attempt to increase his share of the estate. Sukhchen, the second son, was a simple zamindar, and nothing worthy of record is known of him, except his marriage to Agan, the daughter of Chuhr Singh, a Bhullar Jat of Mandi, who bore him three sons, Alam Singh, Gajpat Singh and Bulaki Singh. He founded several new villages, one of which, called after his own name, he gave to his youngest son Bulaki Singh ; and a second, Balanwali, to Alam Singh. After having made his division of his estate, he continued to reside with his second son Gajpat Singh, at the ancestral village of Phul, where he died, aged seventy-five, in the year 1758.
* Anie, pp. 2-9
The following is the genealogy of the Jhind family (as pictured).
It is with Gajpat Singh that Jhind history is specially concerned, and the briefest notice is required of the other sons of Sukhchen.
Alam Singh, the eldest son of Sukhchen
Alam Singh, the eldest, was a brave soldier, and distinguished himself in many fights With the Imperial troops.
After the conquest of Sirhind, in 1763, he took possession of a considerable tract of country, but was killed the following year by a fall from his
horse. He left no children, though he had married three times. His first wife was of a Gill family of Cholia Chubara, his second the daughter of Man zamindar of Maur Saboki, and the last a girl, Mala by name, whom he had induced to elope from the house of her Either a Dhaliwal zamindar.
Bulaki Singh, the youngest son of Sukhchen, was the ancestor of the Dialpuria Sirdars, of whom a notice has been already given in the chapter on the Minor Phulkian Houses.* He died in 1785.
Gajpat Singh, the " second son, was born about the year 1783 and grow up a fine handsome youth, well skilled in all military exercises. He lived with his father at Phul, till the latter's death, assisting him against his rival and brother Gurditta, in whose time commenced the feud between the Jhind and Nabha houses, which is even now hardly healed. The great subject of dispute was the possession of Rampura Phul, the ancestral village, which each branch of the family naturally desired to own, and to which Chaudhri Gurditta's claims, as head of the Phulkian house, were perhaps the stronger. It was at the instigation of Gurditta, that, in 1743, when Gajpat Singh was five years old, both he and his mother Agan were captured by the Imperial troops and carried prisoners to Dehli as hostages for Sukhchen, who had fallen into arrears with his revenue collections, and who contrived to escape the troops sent to seize him. The mother and child were fortunate enough to soon escape through the fidelity and courage of one
* Vide ante p. 307.
of Agan's slave girls, who disguised her mistress in her own dress and remained behind in her place in the prison.
The family of Gajpat Singh
Gajpat Singh married, in 1754, one of the widows of his brother Alam Singh, and succeeded to his estate of Balawanli. This wife bore him one daughter, Begama. Previous to this he had married the daughter of Kishan Singh of Monshia, of whom were born four children, Mehr Singh, Bhag Singh, Bhup Singh, and a daughter Raj Kour, who was married to Sirdar Mahan Singh Sukarchakia and became the mother of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore.
His conquests and misfortunes:
Gajpat Singh joined the Sikh army in 1768, when Zin Khan the Afghan Governor of Sirhind was defeated and slain ; and he then seized a large tract of country, including the districts of Jhind and Safidon, overrunning Panipat and Karnal, but he was not sufficiently strong to hold them. Yet, in spite of this rebellion, he did not deny altogether the authority of the Dehli Court. He remained, as before, a Malguzdr of Dehli, paying revenue to the Emperors; and, in 1767, having fallen a lakh and a half into arrears, he was taken prisoner by Najib Khan, the Muhammadan Governor, and carried to Dehli, where he remained a prisoner for three years, only obtaining release by leaving his son, Mehr Singh, as a hostage for the punctual payment of what was due. He then returned to Jhind, where, after great difficulties and delay, collecting three lakhs of Rupees he carried them to Dehli and not only freed his son, but obtained the title
He obtains the title of Raja AD 1768:
of Raja, under a Royal Firman or grant.* From this time Gajpat Singh assumed the style of an independent prince, and coined money in his own capital.†
The marriage of Raj Kor to Sirdar Mahan Singh:
In 1774, the marriage of Sirdar Mahan Singh Sukarchakia was celebrated with Raj Kour, the daughter of Raja Gajpat Singh, at Bhadra Khan, then the capital of Jhind. The Gujranwala Chief came with a large retinue, and all the Phulkian Chiefs were assembled in honor of the occasion. A trifling incident which occurred during the festivities was the cause of a serious quarrel between Nabha and Jhind. The Sirdar of the former State, Hamir Singh, had a valuable grass preserve or "Bir" in the neighbourhood of Bhadra Khan, in which the Baratis or attendants of the bridegroom, were permitted to cut grass for their horses. But no
* This Firman is dated 25th Shawal 1185 A. H. (A. D. 1772) under the Seal of the Emperor Shah Alam.
† The right of coining 18 a privilege which belongs to independent Chiefs alone, as the term “independent” is technically used in Indian politics.
The following Information regarding the Mints in the three Phalkian States of Pattiaia, Nabha and Jhind, was collected by Major General B. G. Taylor, C. B., C. S. I., Agent to the Lieutenant Governor Cis-Satlej States, at the request of the Foreign Secretary to the Government of India. The only other recognized mints in the States in political dependence on the Punjab Government are in Maler Kotla and Kashmir.
I. Political condition.— No trace is ascertainable of any communication having been held with this office regarding the Mint. The Pattiaia authorities have alluded to an application made, on the occasion of Lord Dalhousie holding a Durbar at Pinjor in 1851, by the Pattiaia Government for permission to remodel the Pattiaia State Mint. To this the Pattiaia Officers say no definite answer was given, and they presume that the record must be in this office, but I have had it searched for without success.
The Mint of Pattiaia is said to have been established by the order of Ahmad Shah Durani, when the Patiala State was ruled by Maharaja Amar Singh, this would have been about 100 years ago; in fact, in another place in the Pattila reports, Sambat 1820 (A. D., 1763 ) is mentioned as the year
sooner had they commenced operations than Yakub Khan, the Agent of Hamir Singh, more zealous than hospitable, attacked them and a fight was the result, of which no notice was taken till after ceremony and departure of the bridegroom.
The quarrel with Nabha:
Raja Gajpat Singh then resolved to avenge the insult, and feigning to be at the point of death, sent to his cousin of Nabha requesting him to come and see him before he died. The unsuspecting Sirdar arrived in haste, with Yakub Khan, and to his great surprise was arrested and placed in confinement, while his officer was put to death. The Raja then sent a force against Imloh and Bhidson, two strong places in Nabha terri-
II. The nature, title and character of the coinage.- The Pattiala rupee is known as the Rajah Shahi rapee ; it is three-fourths of an inch in circumference, and weighs 11-1/4 mashas : it is of pure silver. The coin is really five ruttees less in weight than the British Government rupee, but the amount of actual silver in each is the same, and consequently the Pattiala rupees fetches the full 16 annas, but is subjected some times to arbitrary discount by the shrafhs in British territory, and its value also fluctuates with the value of silver in the markets; fetching in this way some times more than the 16 annas.
The Pattiala Gold-Mohur weighs 10-3/4 mashas, and is of pure gold.
No copper coin is struck in Pattiala.
The inscription on the gold and silver coin is the same : it runs—
- "Hukm shud az Qadir-i-bechun ba Ahmad Badshah
- Sikha zan bar sim-o-zar az ouj-i-mahi ta ba Mah :
- Jahu Meimunut Manus zarb Sirhind,"
The translation of which is : “ The order of God, the peerless, to Ahmad Badshah : Strike coin on silver and gold from earth to heaven," (this is the real meaning of the passage ; the actual words are “ from the height of the fishes back to the moon”) " in the presence, favored of high fortune “ ( here would follow the date ) " the Sirhind coinage."
No alteration has ever been made in the inscription : certain alterations are made in the marks to mark the reign of each Chief.
Thus, Maharaja Amar Singh's rupee is distinguished by the representation of a Kulffi ( small aigrette plume ) ; Maharaja Sahib Singh's by that of a Saif, (or two edged sword) ; Maharaja Karam Singh’s had a Shamsher ( bent sabre ) on his coin ; Maharaja Narindar Singh’s coin had a Katta (or straight sword) as his distinguish mark.
The present Maharajah's rupee is distinguished by a dagger.
The inscription being long, and the coin small, only a small portion of the inscription finds on each coin
tory, and attacked Sangrur, which was defended for four months by Sirdarni Deso, wife of Hamir Singh. At length, seeing her cause desperate, she begged the Raja of Pattiala to interfere. This Chief, who had encourage, the attack in the first place, hoping to weaken both Jhind and Nabha and consequently increase his own power, had no wish to see the former become too powerful, and interposed with other Sikh Sirdars, compelling Raja Gajpat Singh to restore Imloh and Bhadson and release Hamir Singh. Sangrur was retained and has ever since been included in the Jhind territory.
Jhind attacked by the Governor of Dehli
The next year Rahim Dad Khan, Governor of by Hansi, was sent against Jhind by the Dehli Governor Nawab Majad-ul-dowla Abdulahd Khan, and Raja Bhag Singh summoned to his assistance the Phulkian Chiefs.
II. The annual out-turn of the establishment, and the value of the coinage as compared with that of the British Government, — The annual out- turn is in fact evidently uncertain ; the striking of the coin being only capriciously carried out on especial occasions, or when actually wanted.
The officials report that the Pattiala Mint could strike 2,000 coins per diem, if necessary ; always supposing that there be sufficient grist for the mill.
The value, with reference to British Government coin, has been given above in replying to question No. II.
IV. The process of manufacture, and any particulars as to the artificers employed. — The Mint is supervised by a Superintendent, a Mohurrir, two Testers, one Weigher, 10 Blacksmiths, two Coiners, four Refiners of Metal, and one Engraver.
The Metals are refined carefully, and thus brought up to the standard of the gold and silver kept as specimens in the Mint ; the metal is tested and then coined.
The chief implements are anvils, hammers, scales, dies, pincers, vices, &c.
V. The arrangements for receiving bullions and the charges (if any) levied for its conversion into Coin.— Metal brought by private individuals is coined at the following rates : —
Silver, 1 rupee 1 anna for 100 coins, of which the State dues amount to 10-1/2 annas, and 6-1/2 go to the establishment.
Raja Amar Singh of Pattiala, who sent a force under Diwan Nanun Mal, Sirdar Hamir Singh of Nabha with the Bhais of Kythal assembled for its defence, and compelled the Khan to raise the siege and give them battle, in which he was defeated and killed. Trophies of this victory are still preserved at Jhind, and the tomb of the Khan is to be seen within the principal gate.
The conquest to the south:
After this, Gajpat Singh, accompanied by the Pattiala detachment, made an expedition against Lalpur in Rohtak, and obtained, as his share of the conquered country, the district of Kohana. But Zalita Khan, the son of the Rohilla Chief Najib-ud-dowlah, (Najib Khan), marched with Ghulam Kadir against the allied Chiefs with so strong a force that they saw it was hopeless to resist, and, at an interview at Jhind, the Raja was compelled to
Gold 24 Rs. Per 100 coins
State.... 17 Rs 2-1/2 anas
Establishment dues,.... 1 Rs 2 anas
Miscellaneous expenses, 5 Rs 11-1/2 anas
VI. The currency is principally confined to the area of the State, but there are a good many Pattiala rupees about in the neighbouring districts, but not probably beyond the limits of the civil Division.
I. Political conditions etc.- The Jhind Mint would seem to have been established at the same time as that of Pattiala, as the inscription is exactly the same. There does not appear to have been any correspondence with this Agency or the British Government regarding its continuance or conditions.
II. Nature, title, and character of the coinage, The rupee is called the " Jhindia ; " it is 11-1/4 mashas in weight.
The inscription is, as in the case of the Patiala Rajah Shai rupee,
- "Hukm shud az Qadir-i-bechun ba Ahmad Badshah
- Sikha zan bar sim-o-zar az ouj-i-mahi ta ba Mah"
The the third sentence which appears on the Pattiala coin is omitted in the Jhind inscription.
Translation of the inscription has been given above.
III. The out-turn is quite uncertain; on the occasion of marriages large sums are coined, but otherwise only the actual quantity considered
give up A portion of Kohana, though he was allowed to retain certain villages known as Panjgiran, and Pattiala had also to abandon a great part of its conquests in Hisar, Rohtak and Karnal.*
The relation of Raja with Pattiala:
Raja Gajpat Singh Was a constant ally of the the Pattiala Chief and accompanied him on many of his expeditions. He Joined in the attack on Sirdar Hari Singh of Sialba ; aided in subduing Prince Himmat Singh, who had risen in revolt against his brother Raja Amar Singh; and, in 1780, marched with a force composed of Pattiala and Jhind troops to Meerat, were the Sikhs were defeated by Mirza Shafi Beg, Gajpat Singh being taken prisoner, and only released on payment of a heavy ransom.
necessary is struck. The value of the coin is said to be about 12 annas, but I have been unable to procure a specimen in Ambala, and the shrafs in our markets know little about this coin.
IV. Process of manufacture, etc— The only point noted is, that the die is entrusted to the care of the State Treasurer, the process of manufacture and arrangements of the workshops, &c, is not noticed.
V. The arrangements for the receipt of bullion, — Bullion has never been tendered for coining at the Jhind Mint, so no rates for conversion have been fixed.
VI. The general area of currency- Only Within the State of Nabha.
I. Political conditions etc— This Mint appears to have been established under Sikh rule ; there has never been any correspondence on the subject with the British Government.
II- Nature, title, and character of the coinage. — The rupee is called the “Nabha” rupee; its full weight is 11-1/4 mashas, of which 10 mashas 4-1/4 ruttees is pure silver. It is thus 5 ruttees in actual weight, and 2-1/2 ruttees in pure silver less than the British Government rupee.
Gold Mohurs are occasionally struck by the Nabha Government for its own use. The weight of the Mohor is 9-3/4 mashas, and it is of pure gold.
The description on both coins is the same, viz :—
- "Deg, teg-0-fatah nasrat be dirang;
- Yaft az Nanak Guru Govind Singh.
- Julus meimunat manue Sirkar Nabha, samhai 1911."
The above may be rendered :—
- "Food, sword, and victory, were promptly obtained from Nanak by Gurd Govind Sing."
* Vide ante p. 44.
When Sahib Singh succeeded his father at Pattiala, Raja Gajpat Singh did his best to restore order, and assisted Diwan Nanun Mal to put down the rebellion of Sirdar Mahan Singh who had proclaimed himself independent at Bhawanigarh. He also in person marched against Ala Singh of Talwandi, who had thrown off the authority of Pattiala.
Death of Raja Gajpat Singh and his eldest son, Mehar Singh, with the extinction of this branch of family:
In 1786, while engaged in an expedition against refractory villages in the neighbourhood of Ambala, with Diwan Nanun Mal and Bibi Rajindar, sister of the Raja of Pattiala, he fell ill with fever and was carried to Sufidon, where he died, aged fifty-one. His eldest son, Mehr Singh, died in A. D. 1780, leaving, one son, Hari Singh, who was put in possession of Safidon by Raja Gajpat Singh.
In the above, food is expressed in the couplet by the word deg, signifying the large cooking-pan in use among the Sikhs; but I have found it very difficult to introduce pot or pan into the English rendering ; the spirit of the expression is “abundance, “
III. The out-turn of the establishment, value, etc. The Nabha officials have not noticed the out-turn, but I know that as in the other States, money is only coined on grand occasions, or where there is supposed to be need of it ; so that no rule can be fixed.
The value is exactly 15 annas.
IV. The Mint establishment consists of one Superintendent, one Tester, one Smelter, a silver-smith, and a black-smith.
The silver is carefully refined in presence of the Superintendent, who sees the metal brought up to the proper standard.
V. Silver has often been received from without for coining. Gold has never been tendered.
The mint duty for coining is 14 annas per hundred rupees, which is distributed as follows :—
- To Silversmith....4-3/4 annas percent
- Smelter....2 annas percent
- Blacksmith....1/4 annas percent
- Tester....1 annas percent
- Superintendent....3/4 annas percent
- State dues....5-1/4 annas percent
VI. General area of the currency. — These rupees find their way into the neighbouring markets, but not to any great extent
But he was of dissipated habits, and in a state of intoxication fell from the roof of his house and was killed. This was in 1791, when he was only eighteen years of age. He left a daughter, Chand Kour, who was married to Fatah Singh, the son of Sirdar Bhanga Singh, the powerful Chief of Thanesar. After her husband's death, she, with his mother Mai Jiah, and another widow, Rattan Kour, succeeded to the estate which fell entirely into her possession in 1844, and was held by her in independent right till her death in 1850, when it lapsed to the British Government. The widow of Hari Singh, Dya Kour, retained, till her death, the district of Khanna, which had been given to her by her father-in-law, when it also lapsed.
The fort of Jhind built:
The town of Jhind was much enlarged by Raja Gajpat Singh, who built a large brick fort on its northern side, but at no time was it a place of much strength.
Raja Bhag Singh
The possessions of Gajpat Singh were divided between his sons, Bhag Singh and Bhup Singh, the latter taking the estate of Badrukhan, and the elder, Jhind and Sufidon, with the title of Raja.
His expeditions and wars:
Bhag Singh was twenty-one years old when he became Chief. Much of his history has been given in the history of Pattiala, with which he was generally allied.
In 1786, the districts of Gohana and Khar Khodah, were conferred upon him in jagir by the Emperor Shah Alam, and, in 1794, he joined the Pattiala army under Rani Sahib Kour in the attack on the Mahratta Generals, Anta Rao or Amba Bao, and Lachman Rao, at Rajgarh near Ambala, when a night
Attack was made on the enemy's camp with great success. In the next year the Raja lost Karnal, which was captured by the Mahrattas and made over to George Thomas, who had been of good service in beating back the Sikhs who had crossed the Jamna in force and threatened Saharanpur.
The wars and conquests of Thomas have been related in the history of Pattiala, and the expeditions which he undertook against Jhind and Sufidon in 1798 and 1799.* Supported by kinsmen and neighbours, Raja Bhag Singh was fortunate enough to repulse his enemy, and in 1801, he went to Dehli in company with other Chiefs to ask General Perron, Commanding the Northern Divisions of the Mahratta army, for assistance to crush the the adventurer whose resistance at Hansi, on the southern border of the Jhind State, was perpetual menace to all the Sikh Chiefs in the neighbourhood.
Thomas expelled from the Punjab:
The expedition against Thomas in which Raja Bhag Singh personally joined was successful, and he was driven from Hansi and compelled to seek an asylum in British territory.
Raja Bhag Singh makes friends with the British and joins General Lake, AD 1803:
Raja Bhag Singh was the first of all the great Cis-Satlej Chiefs to seek an alliance with the British Government. Immediately after the battle of Dehli, on the 11th September 1803, he made advances to the British General, which were favorably received; he then joined the English camp and his title to the estate of Gohana and Khar Khodah, in the neighbourhood of Dehli, was upheld by General Lake, who writes of Bhag Singh as
* Ante pp. 81—88.
a friend and ally.* Bhai Lal Singh of Kythal, who had great influence with the Jhind Raja, induced him to declare thus early for the English. He was a remarkably acute man, and saw clearly which would eventually prove the winning side ; on this side be determined to be himself, and induced his friend to be equally wise. After having made their submission, they returned to their respective territories, but in January 1805, after the defeat of the hostile Sikhs by Colonel Burn, they thought that active service would prove more advantageous to their interests, and joined the British army with a large detachment. For several months the Raja remained with the General. His services were not important, but his influence had a good effect, and on one occasion, he, with Bhai Lal Singh, held Saharanpur while Colonel Ochterlony was in pursuit of the Mahratta.†
At length the Sikh Chiefs were tired of a fruitless struggle, and accepting a general amnesty, peace was restored on the North West Frontier.
Raja Bhag Singh joined Lord Lake in his Pursuit of Jaswant Rai Holkar in 1805, accompanying him as far as the Bias, whence he was deputed to Lahore as an envoy to his nephew, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, to warn him of the approach of the English General and against espousing the hopeless cause of Holkar, who was then in the last
* A Sanad from Lord Lake, dated the 26tb September 1808, informing the officers of the Shahajahanabad Suba or Division that paragana Kharkhauda Sonipat has been confirmed to Raja Bhag Singh.
A Sanad from Lord Lake, dated 7th March 1804, informing the officers of the Shahjahanabad Suba, that Parganahs Gohana, Faridpur, and Barsat, have been allowed to Bhai Lal Singh and Raja Bhag Singh.
† Colonel Burn to Colonel Ochterlony, dated 7th, 13th, and 24th, February, and 8th, 18th, and 27th March 1805.
extremities. An agent of Bhai Lal Singh accompanied him, and the mission was conducted entirely to the General's satisfaction. It is probable that Bhag Singh was able to exert considerable influence with his nephew in favor of the English, and at any rate the negotiations, which had been commenced, were broken off, and Holkar was compelled to leave the Punjab.
The grants made to him in reward for service:
Raja Bhag Singh returned with Lord Lake to Dehli, and received the grant of the pargannah of Bawanah immediately to the south-west of Panipat, as a reward for his services : it was a life grant in the name of Kour Partab Singh. Hansi had first been given him, but at his own request this district was exchanged for Bawanah. The villages of Mamrezpur and Nihana Kalan were also granted him in Jagir.*
The disputes between Pattiala, Nabha and Jhind, and the struggle for supremacy at the Pattiala Court between the parties of the Raja and his wife, ending in the mediation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh have been described in the history of Pattiala. † Raja Bhag Singh gained in territory by his nephew's visit; and during the expedition of 1806 he received from the Maharaja the following estates: — Ludhiana, consisting of 24 villages, worth Rs.
* A Sanad from Lord Lake, dated 15th March 1806, allowing Parganah Bawanah to Kour Partab Singh, son of Raja Bhag Sngh, on a life tenure.
A sanad from Lord Lake, dated 19th March 1806, allowing the village of Mamrezpar to Raja Bhag Singh, in jagir on a life tenure.
A sanad from Lord Lake at 20th March 1806, informing the officers of Parganah Khar Khodah that the village of Nihana Kalan formerly enjoyed by Raja Bhag Singh, on payment of Rs. 1200 is granted to him in Jagir for life.
† ante pp 92—104.
15,380 a year ; 24 villages of Jhandiala, from the same family, worth Rs. 4370 ; two villages of Kot, and two of Jagraon, worth Rs. 2,000 a year ; all taken from the Rani of Rai Alyas of the Mahammadan Rajput family of Raikot ; while from the widow of Miah Ghos he acquired two villages of the Basia District. During the expedition of the following year, the Maharaja gave him three villages of Ghumgrana, conquered from Gujar Singh of Raipur, and 27 villages of Morinda in Sirhind, conquered from the son of Dharam Singh, and all together worth Rs. 19,255, a year. *
Survey of the Jhind territory:
in April 1807, Raja Bhag Singh readily consented to the survey of his country by Lieutenant F. White, and did all he could to make the expedition successful,† A Survey in Sikh territory was not then so common-place a proceeding as at present, for the people were both ignorant and suspicious and generally imagined that a survey of their country was only a preliminary to its annexation, and two years later, in Pattiala, Lieutenant White's party was attacked and nearly destroy. †† But Raja Bhag Singh was not altogether superior to the prejudices of his country-men. He was well disposed to the English and a faithful ally, but he had not entire confidence in his new friends, and it was through his advice that Maharaja Ranjit Singh did not trust himself
* statement of the conquest of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1806, 1807 and 1808, prepared by Sir D. Ochterlony, vide Appendix A. Archibald Seaton, Resident Dehli, Circular of 1st November 1806. Gosha-i-Punjab, p. 571. Archibald Seton to Genral Dickens, 20th August 1807.
† Resident at Dehli to Lieutenant White, 26th, 28th, of April, 25th of May 1807.
†† Captain White to Resident Dehli, 24th and 25th December 1809. Vide ante p. 133.
in British territory. This Chief, in the spring of 1808, much wished to visit the sacred fair of Hurdwar, on the Ganges. He sent Sirdar Mohr Singh Lamba and Sirdar Bishan Singh to Dehli to obtain the permission of the Resident, and, at Hurdwar, all arrangements for his reception, including an escort of three thousand follower, were made. But, at the last moment, Raja Bhag Singh dissuaded him from the idea. He declared that the Envoys, Mohr Singh and Bishan Singh, were playing him false ; that they were converting all their wealth into notes and Government paper at Dehli, intending to leave the Punjab for Benares ; that their declarations of the security with which the Maharaja would make the journey were untrustworthy, and that he could not travel with any safety unless accompanied by his whole army. The design of visiting Hurdwar was consequently abandoned. There is no knowing on what grounds Bhag Singh considered the Maharaja's servants untrustworthy, but there was probably some season for his belief, since Sirdar Mohr Singh left the Punjab for Benares a year or two later, contrary to the wish and orders of his master.*
The Hardwar fair:
Raja Bhag Singh himself visited Hurdwar, and, after the fair† went to Lahore, where he remained in attendance
* Letter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to Resident Dehli of 6th August 1808. Resident Dehli to Magistrate Saharanpur, 18th and 32nd March. Circular of Resident 20th March 1808. To C. Metcalfe Esquire, 32nd March, and 2nd April 1808. Gosha-i-Punjab, p. 580. Punjab Chiefs, p. 544.
† Mr. Metcalfe to Resident Dehli 10th April 1808. An extract from this letter may not be without interest, as this was the first large festival at Hurdwar under the management of the British, and the description is not unlike that given of the Great Fair held sixty years later in March 1867.
on Ranjit Singh, and accompanied him in the Cis-Satlej campaign of 1808, undertaken while Mr. Metcalfe, the British Envoy, was with the Sikh camp.*
The Siege of Ghumgrana:
At the beginning of 1808, Raja Bhag Singh with Bhai Lal Singh, the Nabha Raja and a Pattiala contingent, attacked the strong fort of Ghumgrana, owned by Gujar Singh, son of the famous Tara Singh Gheba, who had lately died. The siege proceeded for some time, till Ranjit Singh raised it by a message ordering the besiegers to desist. The Maharaja did not take this course in the interests of the owner, but sent a force of his own against the fort, took it without resistance, and gave it to one of his favorites,
Raja Rajgan Sahib Singh of Patila, Raja Bhag Singh, Sandar Bhai Lal Singh, and Sirdar Gardit Singh, were the principal Sikh Chieftains that came to the Mela; and though not charged with any prescribed duty with respect to these, I thought that the nature of my situation called on me to pay them every suitable attention, with particular reference to the distinguished rank of Raja Rajgan Sahib Singh. All the Sikhs who attended the mela in great numbers, behaved with perfect propriety, and the Chiefs did not express any objection to the application to their own followers of the general prohibition against carrying arms into the place when the mela was held.
“Amongst the innumerable crowds that were assembled at Hardwar there did not take place the slightest disturbance, and the perfect good order that was preserved had a surprising effect upon the multitude. It is not within the line of my duty to dwell on this subject, but I cannot refrain from remarking that the conduct of the vast numbers that came from all quarters was most gratifying to the feelings of an Englishman. Their prayers for the prosperity of the British Government were most fervent ; the respect shown to an Englishman whenever he appeared struck us all as far exceeding anything that we had met with before; their expressions of admiration at the whole arrangement of the mela were unbounded, and they repaid the care bestowed for their comfort with an evidently heartfelt gratitude. I am afraid to attempt to describe what at the place manifest to all, lest yon should suspect that the gratification excited by the universal joy might be carrying me into fields of romance, but I am satisfied that the loud praises and thanks giving of the honest multitude proceeded from the sincere effusions of their hearts; and I am confident that the reports, which they will carry to their distant homes, will considerable extent the fame and reputation of the British Government.”
* C. Metcalfe Esq., to Resident at Dehli, October 1st 1808.
Karam Singh of Nagla. Raja Bhag Singh still retained some of the villages which he had seized in its neighbourhood, and though Karam Singh represented to the Maharaja that they were necessary to the completeness of his jagir, yet the latter did not like to compel his uncle to restore villages, to which, when all were robbers, he had as good a right as any one else. A bitter feud between Raja Bhag Singh and Sirdar Karam Singh was the consequence, and perpetual fighting and bloodshed between the rivals took place around Ghumgrana. The British Envoy had himself an opportunity of observing the state of affairs, for, on one occasion, when he was taking his evening ride in the vicinity of the fort, he was fired upon from one of Bhag Singh's villages, whose defenders believed his escort to be their enemies.*
The ransom of Maler Kotla:
Raja Bhag Singh was one of the Chiefs who were securities for the ransom of Maler Kotla, from which, in October 1808, Ranjit Singh demanded the tribute of a lakh of rupees. Only Rs. 27,000 were at once forthcoming, and for the balance, Pattiala, Nabha, Jhind and Kythal, became security, receiving from Maler Kotla, Jamalpura and other territory in pledge. By the treaty of Lahore the conquests of Ranjit Singh during his last campaign to the south of the Satlej had to be restored, and Jhind, with the other Chiefs, was compelled to resign the lands given by Maler Kotla, and the Maharaja, after some negotiation, absolved them from the necessity of paying the sum for which they had become sureties. †
* Envoy to Labore to Secretary to Government 20th November 1808.
† Mr. C. Metcalfe to Government of India 26th October 1808, and Resident Dehli to Government, lOth Angust and 16th August 1809.
The feelings of Raja Bhag Singh towards the chief of Lahore and his intrigues:
Raja Bhag Singh's confidence in the moderation of his nephew was very much shaken by the unprovoked attack on Maler Kotla, and he perceived that his own possessions would be safe only so long as they were not coveted by his dangerous relation. He accordingly turned to his friends the English with whom he had maintained the most amicable relations, prompted by his adviser Bhai Lal Singh. The Resident at Dehli had addressed, on the 21st November, a letter to the Raja, informing him that although the British Government was not prepared actively to interfere, yet that the Governor General had written to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and expressed a hope that the Cis-Satlej Chiefs, the friends and allies of the English, would be left unmolested by him. In reply, the Raja declared his unalterable feelings of friendship for the British Government, and his confidence that, under its protection, his power and honor would be secure. The Resident again wrote in general terms, for the idea of a protectorate of the Cis-Satlej States was not yet matured, that the Government had no wish save the perpetuity of the rule of the Sikh Chiefs, and had full confidence in their assurances of good- will.*
The Raja continued to address the Resident and solicit his good offices in his favor, and a translation of a portion of one of his letters will show the mistrust which the Chiefs had began to entertain of Ranjit Singh.
His letter to the Resident to Delhi:
"I have lately received two letters from you, containing assurances of kindness and calculated to
* Letter of Raja Bhag Singh to Resident of 3rd December, and reply of Resident, 4th December 1808.
"tranquillize my mind The perusal of these letters has inspired me with confidence, and filled me with gratitude : may the Almighty reward you.
“The state of matters in this quarter is as follows : — Previously to the receipt of your letters, Raja Sahib Singh had, with a view to his own safety, made an arrangement for meeting Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and he accordingly proceeded, by successive marches, to the camp of the Maharaja, and a meeting took place. In conformity to the custom of interchanging turbans, which is established among Sikh Chiefs, the Maharaja and Raja Sahib Singh, exchauged theirs, and seemingly settled everything. But in truth, we four Sardars* are inwardly the same as ever, and adhere to the same sentiments to-wards the British Government which we left and expressed on the first day of our being dependant upon it, and which all repeated to you when we visited you, and explained the particulars of our situation. This will doubtless he present to your recollection. Under every circumstance, we trust that it is the intention of the British Government to secure and protect us four Sardars. As Sardar Ranjit Singh is now preparing to cross the Satlej, it is probable that he will soon cross that river. Raja Sahib Singh will take leave at Laknow and return to Pattiala, and Bhai Lal Singh and myself, after accompanying Ranjit Singh to the other side of the Satlej, will return to Pattiala, and after consulting together with respect to everything, we will communicate the whole of the result to your, in detail "
Bhag Singh visits Mr. Seton, the resident:
The next month, Maharaja Ranjit Singh having returned to Lahore, Raja Bhag Singh set out for Dehli to have an interview with Mr. Seton, the Resident. He reached Karnal, and from thence he wrote announcing his arrival and requesting permission to proceed. But, at this time, General Ochterlony was advancing with a strong force to the Satlej, to strengthen, by his propinquity, the arguments of Mr. Metcalfe, the Envoy at Lahore, whose tedious negotiations seemed still far from any satisfactory conclusion, and the Resident, thinking Bhag Singh's presence with the English force would have a good effect, advised him to join it, which he at once did with his troops, overtaking the General at Buria.*
The reason which induced this action on the Bhag Singh, was that he had heard that an agent of the Lahore Maharaja was on his way to Pattiala, to summon him, Jaswant Singh of Nabha, and Cheyn Singh, the confidential agent of the Pattiaja Chief, to Lahore. To a journey to Lahore Bhag Singh had at this time a strong and natural objection. He was an independent Chief and at liberty to make such friends as pleased him ; but his conscience told him that his conduct to Ranjit Singh, who had always treated him with the greatest consideration and had much enlarged his territories, was somewhat questionable, and he had no wish, at present, to meet him. The Lahore agent, accordingly, on his arrival to Pattiala, found Bhag Singh absent, and this was an excuse for
* Letters from Raja Bhag Singh to Resident Dehli, 13th and 25th January 1809.
Resident to Raja Bhag Singh, 15th Jannary, and to Government of India, 15th January 1809.
Maharaja Sahib Singh to decline to send his own agent, an excuse of which he was ready enough to avail himself.*
He joins General Ochterlony
Raja Bhag Singh was received by General Ochterlony with great kindness, and the information which he was able to give with regard to the disposition of the several Sikh Chiefs was of much value. All of them were, according to the Raja, disposed to welcome the English and joyfully accept their protection, though one or two, like Sirdar Jodh Singh of Kalsia, were under too heavy obligations to Ranjit Singh to come forward at once and declare against him. It was explained to the Raja that the restitution of conquests during the late campaign must in justice be enforced against the friends of the British as against the Maharaja; with which the Raja fully agreed, the more readily that he would by this act of justice lose no more than territory worth Rs. 4,000 a year, which had been taken from Rani Dya Kour and conferred upon him.†
And marches with him to Ludhiana:
The Raja continued with General Ochterlony till his arrival at Ludhiana, at which place the detachment was ordered to halt, and acted as a mutual friend in the negotiations which were necessary between the General and the Lahore agent On the 10th of February, at Ghumgrana, he received a confidential message from the General, stating that the following
* Resident to Government of India, dated 18th and 19th January 1809. Vide ante p. 24
† Resident Dehli to Government dated 25th January. Raja Bhag Singh to Resident dated 25th January. Government of India to Resident dated 13th and 27th February 1809. Sir D. Ochterlony to Government of India, dated 20th January 1809.
He assists in the negotiations:
Day he would have to march to Ludhiana, which the Lahore troops, in spite of the Maharaja's promises, had not yet evacuated, and asked him, as a friend of both parties, to take such measures as he judged best to prevent the occurrence of hostilities, which would be the result, should the Sikhs not cross the river without delay. The Raja urged the General to halt, but this he at first refused, as he had received direct orders to advance, and expressed his belief that Sirdar Gainda Singh, in command at Ludhiana, would evacuate the fort at his approach, in accordance with the promises of the Maharaja. The Lahore agents who were in camp, denied that their master had ever made any promise of the kind, and the assertion, though evidently made only to delay the advance, so staggered the General, that he consented to march to Sirnawal instead of Ludhiana, and there await further orders from General St. Leger, then Commanding the army in the field.* The conduct of General Ochterlony was severely censured by Government in attending to the Lahore agents rather than to their direct orders, but in the advice given by Raja Bhag Singh there was nothing of treachery, and only a weak desire to maintain such friendship as was possible with both sides.
The arrival at Ludhiana, AD 1806:
The detachment arrived at Ludhiana on the 19th of February. This town, well situated on the river Satlej and commanding the principal northern road, had been for only two years in possession of Raja Bhag Singh,
* Colonel Ochterlony to General St. Leger, dated 10th February 1809. Government to Colonel Ochterlony, dated 30th January and 30th March 1809. Colonel Ochterlony to Government dated 14th February 1809, and to Resident Dehli dated 27th January 1809.
and was one of the advantages he had gained from his connection with Ranjit Singh. He was not, however, unwilling to give it up to the English who desired to form there a permanent cantonment, hoping to obtain in exchange the pargannah of Karnal, which had once been in his family. He addressed the Government to this effect, stating that he would not be able to collect the revenues of the forty-one villages round Ludhiana, having lost possession of the fort, and praying that these should be taken by Government, giving him in exchange the pargannah of Karnal, with the right to collect the duties, or, if this were impossible, the pargannah of Panipat. If the revenue of the latter should exceed that of Ludhiana, which was Rs. 17,800, he offered the pargannah of Jhandiala in lieu of the excess. *
General Ochterlony supports his application:
General Ochterlony, who had evidently a strong liking for the Raja, strongly supported his application, writing to the following effect : —
“It would be unjust in me were I to withhold on this occasion an expression of the earnest desire I feel to effect the wishes of the Raja, not merely from a conviction that the loss of the fort will occasion a considerable decrease, if not entire loss of the collections of the Taluqa Ludhiana, but because he has in this, and every other instance, acted with an openness and candour which reflects an honor on his character, showing himself grateful for the benefits derived from the British Government Without affecting to disguise a very warm interest in the fate of his nephew Raja Ranjit Singh, at the same
* Letter of Raja Bhag Singh to the Resident Dehli, 25th February 1809.
" time manifesting a readiness to comply with every request which could be considered of importance, beyond even my most sanguine expectations, — as I certainly was prepared for a little hesitation if not a request for a short delay when I informed him that His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief had directed the interior of the fort to be immediately cleared and levelled ; — and it was most satisfactory to me to observe that without hinting at the request he had before personally urged, he gave an immediate and cheerful acquiescence, observing only that he had experienced too much of British liberality to fear any ultimate loss." *
The reasons in favour of the exchange:
The Karnal pargannah, which was in a very turbulent condition, and which rerequired strong measures to kept its inhabitants in order, had already been conferred on Muhammad Khan, a Patan of the Mandil tribe. The Government acknowledged the services of Bhag Singh, and would have been glad to restore, by an act of justice, the district of Ludhiana to the family of Rai Alyas ; but considered that there was no obligation to reinstate the latter at the hazard of other political interests. Compensation for the absolute loss sustained by Bhag Singh in the cantonment of British troops at Ludhiana was all that was necessary, for he, commendable as his conduct had been, had sacrificed no interest for which he would not receive an equivalent, while, in common with other Sikh Chiefs, he had derived the solicited benefit of British protection.
* General Ochterlony to Resident, 25 February 1809.
An obligation to restore Ludhiana to its former Muhammadan owners could be only maintained With great danger and imprudence.
" To pursue the dictates of abstract justice and benevolence wrote the Governor General by the indiscriminate redress of grievances beyond, the admitted limits of our authority and control, would be to adopt a system of conduct of which the political inconvenience and embarrassment would not be compensated by the credit which might attend it."
The Government consequently declined to entertain the Karnal proposal, but allowed Raja Bhag Singh fair compensation, although it was observed that this was the less necessary, as the occupation of the military post of Ludhiana was only intended to be temporary, and that consequently the fort and the ground at present occupied by the British detachment would revert to “that Chief." * The Military station of Ludhiana has, nevertheless, been retained from that day to this,†
* Resident at Dehli to Government, 24th February and 3rd of March. Government of India to Colonel Ochterlony, 3rd April 1809, and to Resident of Dehli of the same date. Resident Dehli to Colonel Ochterlony, 24th February, 4th and 10th March, and let April 1809.
† Lndhiana is a town of small intrinsic value as a military poet, and, in 1868, only 800 Native troops were stationed there, with sixty British artillery men in the fort of Philor on the opposite bank of the Satlej. When the English first occupied Ludhiana, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who seemed to know better than the Government that the occupation would not be temporary, directed his General, Diwan Mokham Chand, to build the fort of Philor on the opposite bank on the site of an Imperial Serai.
That the Government had no intention of retaining Lndhiana as a Military Station when it was first occupied, is evident from the despatch above quoted, and also from former despatches of the 18th of March 1809, from the Governor General in Council to Colonel Ochterlony and Lieutenant General Hewett, the Commander-in-Chief. The right to advance to the Satlej at any time could not, however, be surrendered, and this
A second attempt of Raja to obtain Karnal:
Raja Bhag Singh was not at all pleased with the refusal of the Government to allow him Karnal, which, as an old possession of his father's, he much desired to regain, and the next year made another attempt to possess himself of the coveted territory.
The Estate of Dharampur:
Bhara Singh, the jagirdar of Dharampur, or in Karnal, a valuable estate worth Rs. 12,000 a year, died early in 1810, and the Raja at once claimed to resume the property. He pleaded that the whole pargannah had belonged to his father, Gajpat Singh, and that the estate in question had continued in the family, though in the name of Bhara Singh, one of its dependants ; and in support of the claim he produced a petition from Bhara Singh to Lord Lake, to the effect that the petitioner had long entertained 50 horse for the service of the rulers of Dehli, in consideration of which he had held in jaidad, Moranah and four other villages in Karnal, and had, moreover.
was one of the reasons that Ranjit Singh was not pressed to relinquish the Cis-Satlej conquests of 1806, 1807.
Ludhiana remained a Political Agency till the close of the first Sikh war, generally in charge of an Assistant Agent. Sir David Ochterlony and Sir C. Wade being the only officers with the full powers of Agents.
- 1808 to 1815, Sir David Ochterlony.
- 1815 „ 1816, Captain Brown.
- 1816 „ 1823, Captain W. Murray.
- 1823 „ 1838, Sir C. Wade.
- 1838 „ 1839, Captain E. Robinson.
- 1839 „ 1840, Lieutenant J. D. Cunningham.
- 1840 „ 1841, Mr. H. Vansittart.
- 1841 „ 1842, Mr. P. Melvill.
- 1842, Captain C. Mills.
- 1842 to 1843, Mr. H. Greathed.
- 1843 „ 1844, Captain C. Mills.
- 1844, do. & Abbott.
- 1844 to 1845, do. C. Mills.
- 1845 „ 1846, do. E. Lake.
enjoyed a pension of Rs. 189, per mensem for the confirmation of which he solicited a Sanad.
The order of Lord Lake:
This petition was endorsed by Lord Lake as follows : —
- “On consideration of service and fidelity, the arrangement which prevailed in time of M. Perron, is hereby continued.”
Now it is evident that Lord Lake could not have bound himself to more than He was cognizant of; and his endorsement could thus be only considered as granting that which was solicited on the face of the petition, Viz., the continuance to Bhara Singh of the possession of the estate in question so long as he should furnish the 50 horsemen ; find, indeed, jaidad grant is scarcely capable of any other construction. Besides, Raja Bhag Singh, by subsequent admissions, destroyed his own case. It may have been quite true that Dharampur was held by him after the loss of the rest of Karnal, but he also stated that it has been twice wrested from him by the Mahrattas, find that, after this second occupation, it was restored by George Thomas at the time that he received Karnal in jaidad. Now it is notorious that Thomas received Karnal in 1795, both as a reward for his successful opposition to the Sikhs at Saharanpur and to enable him to maintain a force to act against them in conjunction into the Mahrattas. It is impossible that he should have allowed Raja Bhag Singh to retain the villages, unless he was an ally of the Mahrattas, and he was on the contrary, in opposition to them. But even dmitting that these villages did not revert to the Mahrattas, yet their right to dispose of them was admitted by
Bhag Singh himself, since he did not deny the grant under which Bhara Singh held them, but, on the contrary, identified, by date and description, his own grant with that of Sindhia of the 23rd of April 1800, about which time Bhag Singh asserted that he bestowed the villages on Bhara Singh, when George Thomas invested Jhind in 1799. The service of the body of horse, moreover, as specified in the grant, was not due to Bhag Singh, but to the Mahrattas, and the pension was paid by them.
The claims of Raja rejected:
The Government were satisfied that the Raja possessed no title whatever to the estate, and seeing no reason for alienating it in his favour, directed it to be resumed.*
The attitude of Raja of Pattiala:
During all the troubles which came on the Pattiala family t in the imbecility of the Maljaraja, the Regency, and the intrigues and quarrels among the young Prince ; Raja Bhag Singh showed himself the best friend of the house. He was not a man of ability or force of character sufficient to restore order and save the State from the worst evils of misgovernment and anarchy ; but what he could do he did, and was almost the only disinterested adviser Pattiala could consult.††
His excesses and their result
But his health was now fast breaking. Like most of the Sikhs Chiefs he was a man of dissipated habits and a hard drinker. Finding that his excesses endangered his
* Resident Delhi to Mr. Fraser 28th June. Mr. Fraser to Resident 8th March and 17th April 1810. Resident to Government 32nd Aagut and 10th September. Government to Resident 18th October 1811,
† Vide pp. 135—138.
†† General Ochterlony to Government of India 12th July 1811, 3rd April 1813.
life, he was induced to give up drinking for a short time, but the habit was too confirmed to be abandoned, and the result of resuming it was a paralytic stroke, in March 1813, which deprived him of speech and almost of the power of motion. There was no doubt that his illness would have a fatal termination, and it became necessary to think of his successor.*
The draft will by which the elder son was dispossessed
About a year before, when the Political Agent was at Pattiala, the Raja had given Draft Will, containing the arrangements which he desired to take effect at his death. By this he left to his younger son, Partab Singh, the Fort and district of Jhind, and declared him his successor, leaving to the elder son, Fatah Singh, only the districts of Sangrur and Basia, with a request to the British Government that he might continue to hold the jagirs he enjoyed from them for life. When the Raja made this will he was in sound health, both of body and mind, and it was the expression of his deliberate intention and wishes. He had no particular cause of complaint against Prince Fatah Singh, but the younger son was his favourite, the child of a woman to whom he had been much attached and who had long been dead.
The Agent tried to induce the Raja to change his determination. He pointed out that certain ill-feeling and disputes must be the result between the brothers, and that the State would suffer thereby, while the British Government was strongly in favour of the rule of promogeniture ; but the
* Sir D. Ochterlony to Government, 20th April 1813.
Raja’s arguments in its favour:
Raja had set his heart on the arrangement. He urged that the father had the right of nominating his own successor and bequeathing his lands as he pleased. That he was, himself, a second son, and had been preferred by his father, and that the custom of the Jhind family was not in opposition to the disposition he had made. The contents of the will, which the Raja then made over to Sir David Ochterlony, he desired to be kept secret, and it was only after his paralytic attack that the Agent forwarded it to the Resident at Dehli for transmission to the Government of India.* The secret had now become known, and Prince Fatah Singh with Jaishi Ram and Shadi Ram, the very men who had been privy to the will, were now intriguing to set it aside, for Partab Singh was universally disliked, and very few, save his immediate followers and favourites, regarded his succession without apprehension.
The refusal of the Government to sanction the proposed arrangement:
The Governor General was unwilling to sanction the Raja's will, considering that there was no proved custom in the Jhind family of an elder son being superseded by a younger.
The despatch of the Governor General:
" Whatever doubt the Governor General might entertain the despatched continued with respect to the justice or propriety of Opposing the will of Bhag Singh, if there were good reasons to suppose that it was warranted by the laws and usages of his tribe and family, His Lordship in Council can have no hesitation, under the contrary impression which exists
* General Ochterlony to Government 2lst April 1813.
"in his mind, in refusing to afford the countenance of the British Government to an arrangement which is, in this Lordship's estimation, no less unjust in its principle than likely to be pernicious in its effects. You are authorized therefore to declare to the parties concerned, and to the surviving friends of the family, after the death of Bhag Singh, that the succession of Kour Partab Singh cannot be recognized by the British Government. You are authorized, moreover, to employ the influence of the name and authority of Government in support of the claims of the elder son to the Raj, and to the possessions generally of Bhag Singh, or rather to that superior portion of them, which, by the terms of the Will, has, together with the Raj, been bequeathed to the second son, signifying at the same time, that care will be taken to secure to Partab Singh a suitable provision, as well as to see the bequest to the younger son duly carried into effect. Your own judgment and local knowledge will suggest to you the most proper means of rendering the influence of Government most effectual in sustaining the rights of the eldest son, without invoking the necessity of its authoritative interposition, which the Governor General in Council will be desirous of avoiding, and which ought on no account to be resorted to without the express sanction of Government ; and it will no doubt occur to you that the aid and cooperation of Bhai Lal Singh and other friends of the family, will be profitably employed for the purpose. It may be expected that their discernment will perceive the many advantages attending a fixed and definite rule of accession, and, unless they are misled by
" some personal interest of their own, that they will be disposed to support the retentions of the elder son of Bhag Singh, in preference to up holding the provisions of a will Which appears to have been dictated Only by the caprice or Injustice of the testator. It is superfluous to observe that in communicating on this subject with Bhai Lal Singh and others, it will be proper carefully to avoid anything that can be construed into an admission of their right to interfere in the regulation of the succession or management of the affairs of the family. A just and Simple arrangement would be, either to reverse the provisions of the will in favor of the eldest and second son, or to assign to the latter other lands equal in value to those designated in the will as the provision of the elders" *
The grants made by the British Government to the Raja:
Regarding the Jagirs granted by the British Government to the Raja, and which he desired to be confirmed to his elder son during his life, the Governor General reserved his opinion.
These grants were four in number : first was Gohana and Faridpur, situated to the south west of Barwanah, and granted, in 1804, to Raja Bhag Singh and Bhai Lal Singh jointly, in recognition of their services against the Mahrattas.
Barwanah was granted to Bhag Singh in 1806, in the name of his son Partab Singh ; Kharkhoda and Mumrezpur in the Hansi purgannah were granted him in Jagir in March 1806, having formerly been held by him on istimrari† tenure.
* Government of India to Colonel Ochterlony, 15th May 1813.
† On fixed rates.
These Jagirs, which were situated in the midst of British territory, had been placed under efficient police supervision in 1810, the inhabitants of the Karnal pargannah having at that time a bad reputation for violence and lawlessness.*
It was decided by the Government that these grants were merely life grants, and should be resumed at the death of Bhag Singh; and, moreover, that the provision made for Partab Singh was so ample, that he was not entitled to any new grant either in land or money on account of those resumed.†
The estate held in co-parcenary with Bhai Lal Singh:
With regard to the estate held, in co-parcenary with Bhai Lal Singh, it was clear that it was not intended to be granted for their joint lives, with benefit of survivorship, nor indeed, did this appear to be the view of the Chiefs themselves, and the Raja's share was consequently resumed on his death.††
The helpless State of Raja Bhag Singh
Raja Bhag Singh lingered in a paralytic state for many months. His intellect did not appear to suffer very much, but he was practically incapable of business, and it became necessary to make arrangements for carrying on the administration of the State. At this time the family of the Raja consisted of three sons and two wives. Fatah Singh, the eldest son, was Separated from his father who had a dislike to him, and it was thus almost impossible for him to act as Regent during
* Resident Delhi to Mr. Fraser 30th January 1810.
† Resident Dehli to Government of India, 18th June 1813. Government of India to Resident, 9th July 1818.
†† Sir D. Ochterlony to Government, 16th July 1817. Government to Sir D. Ochterlony 9th July 1818.
the Raja's illness. The second son, Partab Singh, whom the Raja desired to succeed him, had been declared by the British Government incompetent for succession, and it was manifestly undesirable to entrust him with even temporary power. The third son, Mehtab Singh, was still very young. The objection to the Regency of the eldest son applied equally to that of his mother, who was also disliked by the Raja and lived separate from him on a portion of the territory assigned for her maintenance. The mother of Partab Singh had long been dead, and Rani Sobrahi, the mother of Mehtab Singh, seemed the person against whose appointment as Regent the fewest objections could be urged. The Raja was not opposed to this arrangement and the Ministers desired it.
Rani Sobrahi appointed Regent AD 1814:
This lady was, accordingly, with the sanction of Government, appointed Regent. She engaged to respect and advance the wishes of the British Government with regard to the succession, and to abstain from any interference with the eldest son or his mother, who were to be permitted to resided on their estates, without molestation, during the remainder of the reign of Raja Bhag Singh.* Sir David Ochterlony was directed to proceed to Jhind, and himself superintend the new arrangements.† The Rani was installed in the presence of the Raja, Bhai Lal Singh, and all the confidential servants of the State, and the Raja, by most unmistakable signs, showed his full concurrence in the measure.††
* Resident to Secretary to Government 28th November. Resident to Colonel Ochterlony, 29th November. Colonel Ochterlony to Resident 15th October, and Government to Resident 23rd December 1813.
† Resident to Sir D. Ochterlony, 2nd February 1814.
†† Sir D. Ochterlony to Resident 29th August 1814. Government to Resident 4th March 1814.
The dissatisfaction of Prince Partab Singh:
But Prince Partab Singh was thoroughly dissatisfied. He had for long believed that on the death of his father the power would become his, and the present arrangements convinced him that he was intended to be excluded. He intrigued against the Regent, raised troops secretly, and, in June 1814, the Rani wrote that there could be no doubt that he meditated rebellion and that her life was no longer safe. The Prince was warned that the consequence of rebellion would be only to lose him the provision which would otherwise be made for him, and that he could not hope successfully to oppose the measures which had been determined on by Government.
He rebels, captures Jhind, and murders the Regent:
But, he would accept no warming, and, on the 23rd of August, took the fort of Jhind by surprise, and put to death the Rani, Munshi Jaishi Ram her principal adviser, the Commandant of the Fort, and many other persons.*
The action of the British authorities:
The Agent of the Governor General at once wrote to the officer in command at Karnal to hold himself in readiness to march at once to Jhind, on receipt of orders from the Resident of of Dehli, and the force at Hansi was also directed to move to Jhind, if the Prince, as anticipated, should attempt resistance. Sir Charles Metcalfe, the Resident, took instant action, and issued the following memorandum of instructions for the re-establishment of a legitimate Government at Jhind.†
* Sir D. Ochterlony to Government 3rd July 1814, and 24th August 1814.
† Sir D. Ochterlony to Lient Colonel Thompson, Commanding at Karnal, 26th August 1814, and to Sir C. Metcalfe of same date.
The memorandum of instruction for the re-establishment of a legitimate Government at Jhind:
" In consequence of the imbecility of Raja Bhag Singh, a provisional Government was lately established at Jhind under the authority of His Excellency the Governor General in Council. The Rani Sobrahi was placed in the management of affairs, though the Government was carried on in the name of the Raja as before.
“This arrangement was at the time judged most advisable for several reasons.
“The Raja's eldest son and lawful successor was not appointed to the management of affairs because he was known to be obnoxious to the Raja. A similar reason operated against the appointment of the Rani, the mother of the eldest son.
" The Raja's second son could not be appointed because it was known that the Raja wished to establish the succession in favor of the second son to the exclusion of the eldest. The same consideration would have prevailed against the Rani, the mother of the second son, had she been living.
" Rani Sobrahi, the mother of a third son, a youth since dead, from whose claims no apprehensions were entertained, was appointed to the Regency, under the idea that this arrangement united a sufficient degree of security for the succession of the eldest son, with a suitably degree of attention to the feelings of the Raja, more than any other that could be adopted.
" The second son, Kour Partab Singh, has now murdered the Rani, and her Chief Minister, and the Commandant of the Fort of Jhind and others.
He has obtained possession of the fort, and has usurped the Government.
" The Raja has been an unresisting or a willing instrument in the hands of Kour Partab Singh in these atrocious transactions.
“It is now necessary to subvert the usurped authority of Kour Partab Singh, and to re-establish a legitimate Government under the protection of the British Power,
" The following arrangements are therefore to be effected : —
" 1st. Kour Fatah Singh, the eldest son of Raja Bhag Singh, to be appointed to the entire management of affairs ; but the Government to be carried on in the name of his father the Raja.
“2nd. Suitable arrangements to be made for the dignity and comfort of the Raja, who, in every respect but the exercise of power with which he is not to be trusted, is to be considered and treated as heretofore.
“ 3rd. Kour Partab Singh, and the most notorious of his accomplices in the late murders, to be seized and sent in confinement to Dehli to await the orders of His Excellency the Governor General.
“It is most desirable that these arrangements should be accomplished without opposition, but if opposition be attempted, it must be defeated by the most prompt, decisive and energetic measures.
“Raja Bhag Singh, the eldest son Kour Fatah Singh, and the second son Kour Partab Singh, will be severally desired to wait on Colonel Arnold and Mr. Fraser. All the officers of the Jhind Government, Civil and Military, will also be ordered to put
" themselves under the orders of Colonel Arnold and " Mr. Fraser. I fall these requisitions be complied with, the arrangements prescribed will probably be carried into full effect without resistance.
“Kour Fatah Singh resides on his own estate at a distance from Jhind, and to that circumstance is probably indebted for his safety during the late murders. He will no doubt attend in conformity to the summons, and will also be directed to collect his adherents.
" The conduct of the Raja may probably depend on the will of Partab Singh, and may, therefore, as well as that of Partab Singh's be considered doubtful. Yet if there are about the Raja's person any Of those Councilors who have advised him hitherto during his connection with the British Government, it is to be expected that he will comply with the requisition, and submit without resistance to the arrangements prescribed.
" It is even possible that Partab Singh may do the same, though it is perhaps more probable that he will either determine to resist or endeavour to effect his escape.
" In the former case his opposition must be overcome by the most decisive measures, as before mentioned, whether it be supported or disavowed by the Raja. In the latter case the escape of Partab Singh will facilitate the unresisted accomplishment of the arrangements in view, but every exertion must be made to apprehend him and his accomplices.
“It has already been stated that Kour Fatah Singh is obnoxious to the Raja. It is therefore to be apprehended that the Raja will never be reconciled to the Regency of Fatah Singh. The most
“desirable arrangement is that the Raja should be reconciled to the eldest son, and should continue to reside at Jhind, and that Fatah Singh should treat the Raja with the utmost respect and attention. If this arrangement be impracticable owing to the Raja's strong aversion for his eldest son, the Raja may in that case be allowed to choose another place of residence, and such arrangement, as may be requisite can afterwards be adopted to make the remainder of his life easy and comfortable.
" It will be advisable to recommend Fatah Singh to employ in the transaction of the affairs of his Government the the old and faithful servants of his family, accustomed to business against whom there may not be any objection founded on participation in the recent atrocities.
" The utmost promptitude in the execution of the arrangements proposed is desirable. A detachment should advance at soon as possible to Jhind. No time should be lost in negotiation. But the first appearance of an inclination to resist should be followed on our part by the most decisive measures, consistent with the maxims of military prudence, on which point Colonel Arnold will be the sole judge.
" All the arrangements prescribed are of course to be understood to be subject to the revision of His Excellency the Governor General."
The Prince tries to implicate Raja in the murder:
An attempt was made by Partab Singh to persuade the world that the murder of Munshi Jaishi Ram and the Rani had been directed by the Raja himself, and was the punishment for, an intrigue which dishonored the family, but of this
there was no shadow of proof, and the fact of so many other persons interested in the continuance of the Regency being murdered at the same time sufficiently explained the reasons for the crime.
Pratab Singh flies from Jhind to Balawali
Prince Fatah Singh now took charge of the administration, and Partab Singh, knowing that British troops were marching from all sides against him, left Jhind and retired to Balawali, a fort in the wild country about Bhatinda. The zemindars of Balawali were a turbulent race, and Partab Singh had no difficulty in persuading them to adopt his cause. But he was at once followed by several troops of English cavalry who were directed to surround Balawali and prevent Partab Singh's escape, until a force, composed of five companies of infantry and three guns, which marched from Ludhiana on the 30th September, should arrive.
Then he crossed the Satlej and Joins Phula Singh Akali:
The Prince saw that it was dangerous to remain at Balawali, where his capture Was Certain, and, the day after he had entered the fort, he abandoned it, carrying off fifteen or twenty thousand rupees with other valuables that had been lodged there ; and after a long and circuitous march, crossed the Satlej at Makhowal, with forty followers, and joined Phula Singh Akali who was in force on the opposite bank.*
This famous outlaw † had taken up his residence at Nandpur Makhowal and defied the whole power of the Sikhs to expel him. He had with
* Sir D. Ochterlony to Resident Dehli 30th September 1814. Sir G. Clerk to Agent Governor General 20th March 1836.
† Phula Singh was the leader of the Akalis of the Amritsar temple, who attacked Mr. Metcalfe’s party in 1809, and also Lieutenant
him about seven hundred horse and two guns. With this man Partab Singh remained for two months, then persuading him to cross the Satlej and actively assist him at Balawali, which remained in open rebellion against the Raja of Jhind. When it became known that Phula Singh had crossed the Satlej, the Agent at Ludhiana wrote without delay to Raja Jaswant Singh of Nabha and the Khans of Maler Kotla, directing them to combine their forces and attack him, though such was the veneration in which Phula Singh was held by the Sikhs that there appeared little chance of the Nabha troops loyally acting against him, and Maler Kotla was not sufficiently strong to act alone.*
Partab Singh reaches Balawali, but Phula Singh compelled to retire:
Balawali, at this time, was invested by Pattiala troops, and was almost pared to Surrender, when its defenders heard of the approach of Phula Singh. They at once broke off negotiations, while Partab Singh went in advance and with a few men threw himself into the fort. Seven hundred of the Pattiala troops marched to intercept Phula Singh, who was unable to relieve the fort, and retired
While on survey duty, and, who, for his numerous crimes, had been outlawed by Ranjit Singh on demand of the British Government.
Vide ante p. 128, 132—84.
* Phula Singh had, as an Akali, (a Sikh ascetic class), great influence with his countrymen. The Maharaja tried for years, with half sincerity to capture him, and the English drove him from place to place, but could never seize him. At this very time, when Partab Singh joined him at Makhowal, the Maharaja had sent the most positive orders for the Philor troops to drive him out of his territories. The garrison was accordingly marched against him, but when they approached, Phula Singh sent to ask them if they would kill their Guru, (spiritual teacher). The Sikhs would not molest him ; and the whole force was kept out some two months to prevent his plundering, marching where be marched, more like a guard of honor than anything else. Numberless stories of the same kind can be told of Phula Singh, who was a very remarkable man. He was a robber and an outlaw, but he was nevertheless a splendid soldier, and a brave, enthusiastic man. He made friends with Ranjit Singh later, and won for him the great battle of Teri, in which he was killed, in 1823.
toward the Satlej, taking refuge in a village belonging to two Sirdars, Dip Singh and Bir Singh, who reproached the troops for attempting to offer violence to a poor fakir and their Guru. The Pattiala General did not know what to do in this emergency, and wrote to the Political Agent, who warned the Sirdars against protecting an outlaw whom all the Cis-Satlej Chiefs had been ordered to expel from their territories. The Chiefs of Nabha and Kythal were directed to send their forces to Balawali to co-operate with those of Pattiala, as the latter were afraid of the odium that would ever afterwards attach itself to them should they be the only assailants of Prince Partab Singh.
The fort of Balawali at last surrendered and Pratap Singh taken prisoner:
The Pattiala authorities wished a British force to be sent to Balawali, but this was unnecessary, for the garrison was reduced to great straits and the fort surrendered on the 28th of January. Prince Partab Singh was taken prisoner, but was placed under merely nominal restraint, and declared his intention of proceeding to Dehli to throw himself on the protection of the British Government. His ally, Phula Singh, was more fortunate. He marched to Mokatsar, in the Firozpur district, and there levied contributions, and being joined by Sirdar Nihal Singh Attariwala, gave battle to the Philor garrison, which he defeated with a loss of three hundred killed and wounded, the Akali not losing more than fifty men. The Maharaja was much annoyed at this affair, and thinking Phula Singh might be made useful if he took him into his service, invited him to Lahore, where he declined to go, demanding that Mokatsar, which was a sacred place of pilgrimage
among the Sikhs, should be given him for his residence.*
Pratap Singh seeks an asylum at Lahore in vain:
Pratab Singh fled to Lahore, but Maharaja Ranjit Singh refused to shelter a murderer, and gave him up to the English authorities who placed him in confinement at Dehli.
His death at Delhi AD 1816:
He died at Delhi in June 1816, and the estate of Barwana, which was granted in his name, lapsed to Government.† Partab Singh married two wives, Bhagbari, the daughter of Kirpal Singh of Shamghar, and the daughter of Sadha Singh, Kakar of Philor, but neither bore him any children.
Death of Prince Mehtab Singh:
His younger brother, Mehtab Singh, died a few mouths before him, when only sixteen years of age.
Prince Fatah Singh as Regent:
The administration of Jhind was now carried with tolerable tranquility. Prince Fatah Singh acting as Regent, and Raja Bhag Singh haying no other son, did not oppose an arrangement which was nevertheless distasteful to him.
The disputes regarding the villages Dabri and Danauli:
In 1817, a case, which gave rise to voluminous correspondence, but which requires only the briefest mention, occurred, regarding the villages of Dabri and Danouli. Twelve years after the British Government had been established at Dehli, and some time after it had taken Hissar from Abdul Samad Khan, Mr. Fraser, the Revenue Officer, discovered that two villages called Dabri and Danouli, were in the ancient register of the pargannah of Muhim. He
* Captain Birch to Secretary to Government, 7th, 11th, 16th, 17th, December 1814, and 28th January 1815,
† Sir P. Ochterlony to Resident Dehli, 31st August 1816.
found them ten miles distant from any other villages of that pargannah, surrounded by Jhind lands, and, on his own authority, placed them under attachment. The Raja pleaded that these villages were his ; that they formed part of the conquests of his father Gajpat Singh, which had been maintained and confirmed to him both by the British and the Mahrattas.
The villages are surrendered to Raja of Jhind:
His zamindars had tilled the lands of these villages; and had always made use of the waste attached to them for the pasturage of their cattle. There was little doubt that the claim of the Raja was good, and that set up for the British Government by a too enthusiastic officer was abandoned.*
The death of Raja Bhag Singh, 1819
Raja Bhag Singh died in 1819, and was succeeded by his son Fatah Singh.
He had married three wives :
- first, Dya Kour, daughter of Bakhsu Singh of Bari Mansa, the mother of Fatah Singh ;
- secondly, Sada Kour, the daughter of Pakhar Singh of Jodhpur Subake, who bore him Partab Singh ; and,
- lastly, Subrahi, from a zamindar family of Kaleki, the mother of Mehtab Singh, and who was murdered by Prince Partab Singh.
The reign of Raja Fatah Singh uneventful:
The reign of Raja Fatah Singh was very short and quite uneventful. He died on 3rd of February 1822, at his residence of Sangrur, aged thirty-three, leaving one son, Raja Sangat Singh, eleven years of age, the child of his second wife
* Sir D. Ochteriony to Resident Dehli, 27th April 1817. Letter from Resident to Sir D. Octerloiiy, enclosing Mr. Fraser’s report. Captain Birch to General Ochterlony, enclosing letter from Raja Bhag Singh, dated 36th December 1816.
Sahib Kour, daughter of Khushhil Singh of Bournewala. His first wife Khem Kour, daughter of Sirdar Didar Singh, bore him no children.
No special arrangements were made by the British Government with regard to the Jhind administration, but the officers of that State were directed to carry on the Government in the ordinary Manner.*
Raja Sangat Singh installed
The installation of the young Raja took place on the 30th July 1822, at Jhind, in the presence of all the Phulkian Chiefs, and Captain Ross, the Deputy Superintendent, who presented the usual Khillat of investiture on the part of the British Government.†
His marriage :
In April 1824, the young Chiefs was married to Sabha Kour, daughter of Sirdar Ranjit Singh of Shahabad, with great pomp, Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was not able to attend himself, sending a deputation headed by Sirdar Baisahka Singh, Captain Murray, the Deputy Superintendent attending on behalf of the British Government.††
* Captain Ross to Secretary to Government, dated 7th February and 2nd March 1822, and Secretary to Government to Mr. A. Ross, Agent Governor General, dated 16th March 1822.
† Captain Ross to Agent Governor General dated 9th August 1822. Agent Governor General to Captain Ross 22nd May 1822, and Secretary to Government to A. Boss Esq., dated 4th May 1822.
The Khillats presented to Raja Fatah Singh and Raja Sangat Singh, on their respective installations, were composed of the following articles : — A string of pearls ; a jigha (worn in the turban ) ; a Sirpesh (Ditto) ; a pair of shawls ; one square shawl ; one piece of Kinkhab ; one piece of Gulbadan ; a turban ; two pieces of Srisaf cloth ; an elephant ; a Horse, a jewelled crupper saddle ; girths and elephants trappings.
†† Gaptain Murray to C. Elliott, Esquire, Agent to Governor General, April 1824.
The confusion into which the Jhind Administration felled:
The usual results which a minority produces in Native States, soon began to show themselves in Jhind. The affairs of the Raja fell into the utmost confusion ; the territory was ill-managed, the people discontented, and no attention was paid to the remonstrances of the British authorities regarding grievances that he was called upon to redress. To such a point did this recklessness proceed, that the Political Agent at length recommended that the monthly and quarterly cash payments received by the Raja, on account of the Ludhiana cantonments and for the Sayer and Abkari duties thereof, should be suspended until the Raja should satisfy all just claims pending against his territory and subjects.*
The Raja visits Amritsar and Lahore:
In 1826, Raja Sangat Singh paid a visit to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was met at Amritsar by some, Sirdars of the Court, and conducted with honor to Lahore where the Maharaja received him very kindly, and on the festival of the Holi, made his officials present nazrs to him. Ranjit Singh invited the Raja to accompany him to Jowala Mukhi, a place of pilgrimage in the Kangra Hills, and he consented to go as far as Dinanagar where he waited for the Maharaja's return, when he received the grant of a jagir in the Jalandhar Doab.
In 1827, he again visited Lahore.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh seems to have taken a great liking for him, and gave him many presents, one of which brought him into some trouble with the British Government. Antiana
* Captain Murray to Agent Governor General dated 3rd October 1824.
The village of Antiana given to Bhag Singh by the Maharaja:
was an estate held by Sirdar Ram Singh, on the south side of the Satlej, claimed by Ranjit Singh as a dependency of Lahore, but the claim to which had not been admitted. This village Raja Sangat Singh suddenly attacked and took from the rightful owner who complained to the Agent of the Governor General. The Raja was called upon for an explanation, and, in reply, produced a grant from Ranjit Singh of the village in question, with two others, named Rajnana and Joghal, in exchange for a nazrana of Rs. 30,000, a female riding elephant, and a horse. The conduct of Ranjit Singh in granting a village which did not belong to him was not remarkable.
But the British Government insist on its surrender:
But that of Raja Sangat Singh, while under the protection of the British Government, in accepting or purchasing villages from a foreign power, was most reprehensible. He Was consequently directed to restore the villages without delay, and received a severe rebuke for entering, without the knowledge or permission of the Government, into negotiations with Lahore. The Raja had no choice but to obey, and surrendered Antiana to Ram Singh, on which he was allowed to retain the other two villages.*
The jagir grants of the Maharaja of 1826-27:
The case of the jagirs Trans-Sutlej, which Raja Sangat Singh had received during his Visits to Lahore in 1826 and 1827, was also discussed. The annual revenue derived from these was estimated at Rs. 25,500; from some the owners had been ousted to make way
* Sir E. Colebrooke to Secretary to Government, 12th Jane 1838. Secretary to Government to Sir E. Colebrooke, 3rd July 1828. Sir E. Colebrooke to Captain Murray, 29th July 1828.
for the new master, and others had been already held by the Maharaja’s officers on military tenure. The first was Rai Majara, consisting of twelve villages, worth Rs. 13,000, which was given to Raja Sangat Singh at Dinanagar in 1826; Mahrampur, consisting of six villages, valued at Rs. 6,000 ; Musapur, one village, worth Rs. 4,500 ; and an assignment of Rs. 200 a year from a jagir, Trans-Satlej, held by Sirdar Dewa Singh, all given during Sangat Singh's visit to Lahore in 1827.*
Principals regarding Foreign grants:
The Government did not consider it necessary enforce the relinquishment of these jagirs on this occasion, but to foreign grants, laid down the fundamental principle that the circumstance of the alliance with the protected Chiefs required them to abstain from all connection or intercourse with foreign Princes and Governments, excepting such as should be of a purely complimentary nature, without the knowledge and sanction of the British authorities. The jagirs already granted were not directed to be returned, for the reason that it did not appear that the practice had ever been carried, or was likely to be carried, so far as to cause any practical inconvenience, but should such result, action would at once be taken to compel adherence to the principle which had been laid down.†
The Raja again opens negotiations with Lahore:
No sooner had this case been settled, than Raja Sangat Singh again opened negations with Lahore without the sanction of Government. The question related to
* Captain C. Wade to Sir E. Colebrooke, 5th August 1828.
† Secretary to Government to Sir E. Colebrooke, 18th July 1828. Sir E. Colebrooke to Government, 23rd and 24th June 1828. Captain Wade to Sir E. Colebrooke of 14th August, aud Sir E. Colebrooke to Captain Wade of 19th August 1828.
six villages held in joint-proprietorship to the south of the Satlej, by the Maharaja and Sangat Singh, and which the latter desired to possess altogether, farming the Maharaja's share. There was, of course, no particular objection to this proposition in itself. The evils of divided authority were apparent, but it would have been more objectionable and liable to still greater abuse, if the Raja should farm the portion of the estate belonging to the Maharaja, and the latter should retain the Civil and Criminal jurisdiction, which he declined altogether to resign ; and under these circumstances Sangat Singh was compelled to abandon the idea of farming the share held by Lahore.*
Cis-Satlej Rajas all had agents at Lahore:
It was almost impossible to prevent the Cis-Satlej Chiefs carrying on independent negotiations with Lahore, when almost every one of them had agents and vakils at that Court. Those of the Nabha and Jhind Rajas were generally in attendance, while the Maharaja of Pattiala had a recognized agent residing at Lahore, and it was seriously contemplated to require all those parties who were accustomed to communicate directly with Maharaja Ranjit Singh to recall their agents altogether ; but this idea was never carried into execution.
The mismanagement at Jhind increases and the Raja deserts his capital:
The mismanagement of Jhind continued to increase, and the worst of the ill-managed States on the border. The Raja deserted his capital altogether as a residence, and went to
* Captain C. Wade to Sir B. Colebrooke, 17th February 1829. Sir E. Colebrooke to Captain Wade of 10th February, and to Captain Murray 27th March 1829. Captain Murray to Resident 7th February 1829.
live at a town some eighty miles distant, from which he was only recalled by the action of Captain Murray in sending a native official to carry on the Jhind administration. But no sooner was this officer recalled, than Sangat Singh again left his capital, and did not re-visit it for years. Remonstances were vainly addressed to the Raja, and Diwan Singh, his principal adviser, was able to persuade him that matters could be so arranged as to satisfy the British authorities without any trouble on his own part. Outrages were committed on British subjects for which no redress could be obtained, and the demoralization of the State was extreme.* Nor were the persons of British officers themselves safe, and, in March 1833, Lieutenant Talbot, of the 8th Regiment Native Infantry, was attacked in Jhind territory by robbers, and subjected to personal outrage, as well as heavy pecuniary loss.† Compensation was indeed procured for the loss of property, but the Jhind authorities were unable to bring the offenders to the punishment they deserved.
Raja Sangat Singh visits Lahore in AD 1834:
The detention of British subjects in confinement without just cause by the Jhind authorities was, in 1834, reported to Government by the Governor General’s Agent, and the particular grievances complained of were redressed, but the general inefficiency and oppression of the administration remained the same.†† A short time afterwards, the Raja left on
* Mr. W. Fraser, Agent to Governor General, to Mr. Clerk 20th April 1832, and Mr. G. Clerk to Mr. Fraser dated 28th May 1882.
† Political Agent to Agent to Governor General, 22nd March 1833, and to Lieutenant Talbot of the same date.
†† Agent Governor General to Mr. Clerk 17th July and 23rd August. Mr. Clerk to Agent Governor General 19th August 1834.
a visit to Lahore, to be present at the Dusehra festival, to which he had been specially invited by Ranjit Singh, with whom he seemed more anxious to remain on good terms than with the English Government, to whom this visit gave just cause of dissatisfaction, occurring so soon after the censure which had been passed on the Raja for his unauthorized negotiations with the Lahore Court. *
Sudden death of Raja Sangat Singh AD 1834:
But an unexpected close was brought to Raja Sangat Singh's extravagance and mis-government. On the 2nd of November he was at Basia in perfect health, though intoxicated, as usual, before evening. The next morning he complained of feeling unwell, and, becoming rapidly worse, was advised by his followers to leave Basia and return to Sangrur. He at once set out in his palanquin, but died before he had passed the gate of Basia.†
The evil results of minorities in Native States:
At the time of his death, Sangat Singh was only twenty-three years of age. Left, by the death of his father, the heir to a large principality while still a child, he had naturally, and, indeed, necessarily fallen into the hands of men who found their interest in debauching his mind and encouraging his lowest passions and worst extravagances. The history of long minorities in Native States is ever the same. The Ministers to whom the administration is confided, think only of themselves and their personal gain and advancement : honesty, loyalty, devotion, and truth are unknown ; and the young Prince, who is one day to exercise independent power and to whom
* Mr. G. Clerk to Mr. W. Eraser 25th October 1834. † Mr. G. Clerk to Mr. W. Fraser 6th November 1834.
a whole people must look for their only hope of justice, is abandoned to prostitutes, fiddlers and buffoons ; till, at eighteen, with a body enfeebled by debauchery, and incapable of ever giving an heir to his State ; with an intellect untrained and neglected, and a morality which would disgrace a brothel ; he is useless for any purpose on the earth save to fill the pockets of his greedy favorites ; to squander the wealth which his ancestors had laboriously amassed by their energy and courage ; and to drag in the dirt a name which was once illustrious.
The character of Sangat Singh:
The natural faults of Raja Sangat Singh's character were carefully encouraged by his ministers for their own ends. His father, Raja Fatah Singh, had left a large quantity of treasure which had been still further increased by Sahib Kour, while Regent for her son. But it was all squandered by Sangat Singh in a thousand extravagances, more especially in his expeditions to Lahore ; and for some time before his death, he found the money he required, and for which the legitimate revenue of his country would not suffice, in repeated extortions from all classes of his subjects ; administrative duties were altogether neglected; life and property became insecure ; while the most faithful servants of the State sought, in British territory, an asylum where they might be secure from the molestations and oppressions of the Raja and his minister Diwan Singh. *
The extinction of direct line of Jhind Chiefs:
Sangat Singh left no son. He had married three times : first, to Subhan Kour, daughter of Sirdar Ranjit Singh of Shihabad ; secondly, to Sukhan, daughter of
* Mr. G. Clerk to Mr. W. Fraser 2nd November 1832.
Sirdar Jiun Singh Dhaliwal, and, lastly, to Nand Kour, the daughter of Dulla Singh of Tibba.
The collateral relatives and the law of escheat
The nearest relations of the deceased Chief were three second cousins : Sarup Singh, Sukha Singh and Bhagwan Singh, the Sirdars of Badrukhan and Bazidpur, who had for long been separated from the Jhind branch of the family. The principality, according to Sikh custom, might justly have been treated as an escheat and have been annexed to the British dominions, for in Sikh States the right of collaterals to succeed did not obtain. But for some time no action was taken, either by Government or the collateral relations of the deceased Chief, and Mai Sahib Kour, the mother of Sangat Singh and Regent during his minority, carried on the administration.
Cis-Satlej Chiefs refuse to pay tribute...
Four years before the death of the Baja, the Political Agent had been directed by the Government to Sound the principal Chiefs and ascertain if they were willing to pay tribute, on the understanding that should they not do so the Government would take advantage of all lapses as the only means of reimbursing itself for the expenses incurred in protecting the States between the Satlej and the Jamna.
The Political Agent accordingly held conversations with the Pattiala, Jhind, Nabha and Kythal representatives, pointing out to them that although the Chiefs had full liberty to adopt the suggestion or reject it, the consequences of non-payment of tribute might justly cause some apprehension as to the permanency of those estates to which there were no direct heirs. The examples of Jhind and Kythal
were, at the time, before the eyes of the Chiefs, who met at Dhodan, a village situated on their common frontiers, to discuss the matter. But no conclusion was arrived at. Two of the Chiefs thought it desirable to revise their relations with the British Government, but they were overruled by others, who, with true Sikh recklessness, preferred the easy terms which they enjoyed in the present, to a more secure future which involved some present sacrifice. The time very shortly came when they bitterly regretted not having accepted the terms offered them, when their power was materially reduced by the lapse of Kythal and the partial lapse of Jhind.
The decision regarding Jhind postponed:
The intention of the British Government at first was Undoubtedly to annex the whole State of Jhind. The Governor General, in January 1835, directed that as the descendants of Hamir Singh (the Nabha house), and Bhup Singh ( the Bazidpur and Badrukhan house ), had been separately provided for, they had no claims whatever to the Chiefship ; whether the widows of the deceased Raja were entitled to a life interest was a point reserved for future consideration and report In the meantime, Rani Sahib Kour was to continue to act as Regent, and, in case the claims set up by the widows were disallowed, the whole State would be sequestered, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore being directed to advance any claims he might desire for estates conferred by him on Raja Bhag Singh.*
* Mr. Fraser, Agent to Governor General, to Secretary to Government, dated 7th and 9th of November, and 5th December 1834, and 6th January 1835. Secretary to Government to Agent to Governor General, dated 21st January 1885.
The claims of the widows.
The claims of the widows were conflicting and numerous. By ordinary Sikh law the widows of the deceased Chief would succeed to his estates, but there were many reasons which made such a succession, in the case of Jhind, objectionable in the extreme. The three widows of the late Chief, Rani Subha Kour, Nand Kour and Sukhan were all very young, the eldest being only twenty-three years of age. This latter claimed to succeed to the whole estate, as being the senior, while the two younger asserted their claims to an equal partition. But the evils attending female rule were so great and notorious, that it was felt that the entire disorganization of the State would be the result were it now permitted. In smaller estates, widows of mature age had, on the death of their husbands, succeeded and carried on the administration with credit ; but the case was different in the case of a large principality like Jhind, which could only with the utmost danger be entrusted to the hands of three young women, little more than children, who would, without doubt, be entirely in the hands of designing favorites, who would use the authority of the Ranis for interested ends, while the honor of the family could not be safe with women whose passions or caprice would be subject to no practical restraint.
The widows of Raja Fatah Singh:
Besides the widows of the late Chief, two of his father's widows also advanced their claims to succession. Sahib Kour was the elder of these, and the mother of Raja Sangat Singh, during whose minority she had carried on the administration with considerable ability. Khem Kour was the junior widow, who
claimed an equal share with Sahib Kour, who, on her part, claimed the whole. Neither of these ladies had any legal right whatever.*
Claim of Rani Baghbari widow of Prince Pratap Singh:
Rani Baghbari was the senior widow of Prince Partab Singh, who put in a claim as being the widow of Raja Bhag Singh's favorite son, in whose favor he had executed a will, assigning to him the Raj. But the claim of this lady was quite invalid, as Partab Singh had never succeeded his father, and the widow could have no right to claim through him.†
That of the Raja of Nabha:
The Raja of Nabha advanced a claim as the descendant, with the Jhind house, from a common ancestor ; but this claim was at once disallowed, for his branch of the family had separated from that of Jhind previous to the founding of the principality by Raja Gajpat Singh.
The Raja advanced in support of his claim, the decision of Government in re the Kakrala estate, which had been adjudged to escheat to the Bhai of Kythal in preference to the other branches of the Bhaikian family.§ He also urged the importance of transferring the charge of so important an estate as that of Jhind to a State possessing the authority and the means requisite to the due administration of such extensive territories, in preference to adopting, as their sovereign
* Mr. G Clerk (o Agent Governor General, dated 20th February, 12th March, and 4th June 183^. Agent Governor General to Mr. Clerk dated 2nd February and 14th May 1838.
† Agent Governor General to Secretary to Government, dated 7th July 1836 and Secretary to Government to Agent Governor General dated 27th July 1836.
§ Secretary to Government to Agent Governor General, dated 4th April and 4tfa May 1822.
a less influential member of the family, Mid expressed his readiness to tender a nazrana of four lakhs of rupees on the recognition of his title to inherit. But the claims of the Nabha Raja were too mythical to be substantiated by any payment of nazrana. *
The remaining claimants: Chiefs of of Bazidpur and Badrukhan:
The only remaining claimants were the Chiefs of Bazidpur and Badrukhan, Sir-dar Sarup Singh and Sukha Singh, and to explain their position, it is necessary to trace back a short way the history of this branch of the Jhind family.
The founder of the Badrukhan family :
Sirdar Bhup Singh was the third son of Raja Gajpat Singh of Jhind. He was a brave man, but not gifted with any particular intelligence, and lost more territory by his imbecility than his courage ever enabled him to gain. Raja Bhag Singh succeeded his father as Chief of Jhind, while the estates of Badrukhan and Bazidpur went to Bhup Singh. The latter had two sons, Karam Singh, by his first wife, the daughter of Arbel Singh of Kaleki ; and Basawa Singh, by his second wife, the daughter
The rebellion of his son Karam Singh:
Gajju Singh of Ralla. Karam Singh was a man of bad character. He quarrelled with his father ; and, taking up arms against him, wrested from him the estate of Badrukhan. The dispossessed Chief called to his assistance some of his Phulkian relations and recovered the estate, yet he did not punish his son by entirely disinheriting him, but made over to him, for his maintenance, the village of Muhammadpur. But, with this, Karam Singh was not content, and seized, by force, Bazidpur, which he was not able to retain,
* Political Agent to Agent Governor General, dated 24th June 1836.
and, crossing the Satlej, took service with Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore.
Division of the ancestral state by the Phulkian Chiefs
On the death of Bhup Singh his territories were divided between his sons by the Phulkian Rajas, who assigned to the younger son, Basawa Singh, the largest and best estate of Badrukhan, and to the elder, Bazidpur, of far less value, as a punishment for his disobedience and rebellion. Sirdar Bhup Singh received his share in 1789, from which time he was considered as an independent Chief, altogether separate from the Jhind house ; and, as such, he was always treated by the British Government. After his death, his sons Karam Singh and Basawa Singh were similarly treated as independent.*
Karm Singh, on his father's death, returned to Bazidpur, where he died in 1818, leaving one son, Sarup Singh, who claimed to succeed to the principality of Jhind.
Sarup Singh had the best prima-facie claim: If the right of collateral succession were admited by Government, the claim of Sarup Singh appeared good. He was the son of Karam Singh, the elder of Bhup Singh's children, and as such had a preferential right to Sukha Singh, who was of the younger branch, the rule of primogeniture having been affirmed by Government to prevail in Jhind. †
* Political Agent, Mr. G. Clerk, to Agent Governor General, dated 6th November 1834 and 23rd March 1836. Secretary to Government to Agent Governor General, dated 6th January 1836.
† The question of the right of collaterals to succeed has been discussed, with special reference to the Jhind case, in a treatise on "The Sikh Law of Inheritance to Chiefship", by the author of the present work.
The claim of Sardar Sukha Singh...
Sirdar Sukha Singh based his claim mainly on the alleged fact that Karam Singh had been disinherited and disowned by his father and that consequently he was incompetent to succeed ; and secondly, on an alleged custom in the Jhind family by which the estate ordinarily passed to the second son. This latter objection was of little importance. It will be remembered that Raja Bhag Singh urged the same custom when he desired to obtain sanction for the will he had made in favor of his second son, but the Government declined to acknowledge it, nor had it any real existence. In the case of Sukha Singh, moreover, the argument was peculiarly unfortunate, for he had a younger brother, Bhagwan Singh, whose rights would naturally be stronger than his own.
The disinheritance of Karam Singh:
With regard to the disinheritance of Karam Singh, which his son Sarup Singh denied, there can be no doubt that Sirdar Bhup Singh viewed the unnatural and rebellious conduct of his son with extreme displeasure, and, during the latter years of his life, would never receive him. This feeling was shared by the other members of his family, for, on Karam Singh's death, at Bazidpur,on his return from the Punjab, none of the Phulkian Chiefs paid the usual visit of condolence, a ceremony never omitted among allied houses, while they all sent deputations and paid the highest respect to the family of his brother Sirdar Basawa Singh, on his death, a few years later. This feeling was shown still more strongly in the disposition of the territory after Bhup Singh's death, when the Rajas, believing that the British Government
were anxious that it should be equally divided among the sons, endeavoured to give the partition that appearance, while, in reality, they allotted to the younger son a far more valuable share, that of Budrukhan, of which Karam Singh ever afterwards tried vainly to possess himself.
The funeral rites which, among Hindus and Sikhs alike, are considered of the utmost importance, were undoubtedly performed by Sirdar Basawa Singh alone, and on this point Sukha Singh laid great stress Karam Singh, it is true, came to his father's funeral, but was excluded from all participation in the ceremonies. On the death of Raja Sangat Singh of Jhind, Sirdar Sukha Singh again performed the customary rites ; but this was easily explained in a case of death so unexpected as that of the Raja's, and in a climate where cremation must take place so soon after death. Sirdar Sarup Singh being at a distance was unable to be present, and, apart from other right, the personal superintendence of the funeral ceremonies could not confer a title to inherit. * The claim of Sarup Singh was accordingly held to be good as against that of Sukha Singh, and his disinheritance not to have been complete, for, at all events, by the decree of the Phulkian Rajas, he was in possession of a large share of his father's territory.
* Petition of Sirdar Samp Singh. Mr. G. Cleric to Agent to Governor General, 15th Jane, 4th July, 9th December 1836. Petition of Sirdar Sukha Singh with Secretary to Government's letter 10th April 1839. Mr. G. Clerk to Agent Governor General 23rd October 1835. Petition of Sarup Singh with Secretary to Governments letter to Agent Governor General 6th January and 27th July 1S36. Agent Governor General to Mr. Clerk 10th August 24th October, and 2lst November 1836.
The principal on which Jind territory was to be disposed off:
The right of Sirdar Sarup Singh of Bazidpur having been admitted by the British Government, the question arose, what principle should be held to govern the disposition of the several portions of the territory. This territory consisted of three distinct portions : that which was possessed by Raja Gajpat Singh, the founder of the family, through whom Sarup Singh claimed, and which comprised the districts of Jhind and Sufidon, the best portion of the territory ; secondly, the grants made by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore to the Jhind Chief previous to the treaty of 1809, including Ludhiana, Basia, Morinda, &c; and, lastly, certain grants made by the Maharaja subsequent to that treaty.
Sarup Singh asserts right to the whole territory:
Sarup Singh urged that his claim to succeed being admitted, he was entitled to inherit the whole territory, including ancient and modern acquisitions, both old and recent grants : he urged this partly on the ground that, as regarded collateral succession, the Phulkian family was different in its position from others, and this was, no doubt, true, though not in the manner that Sarup Singh intended it.
The nature of tenure of Phulkian Chiefs in the days of Empire.
The Rajas of Pattiala, Nabha and Jhind, and the Bhais of Kythal, were all malgujars, or tributaries, of the Dehli Emperors. They had joined with other Sikhs in predatory incursions into Dehli territory, and had forcibly taken possession of country which the Muhammadan rulers were too feeble to retain ; but they, nevertheless, remained nominally, and as far as payment of tribute was concerned, actually the subjects of the Emperors ;
and when this tribute fell into arrears, they were compelled, by force of arms, to make it good, in the same way as other contumacious zamindars. They were not, and never had been independent, and the British Government, which had assumed towards them precisely the same position that the Dehli Government had held, was entitled to the benefit of all escheats in return for its protection and as a compensation for the non-payment of tribute which it did not demand.
Hindu law as applied to Sikh inheritance:
Sarup Singh pleaded Hindu law and the authority of the Shastras in support of his claim, but these laws applied to personal and private property alone. Besides the Sikhs had abandoned the Hindu faith, and with it the system of law which is the basis of that faith and which was inseparable from it. For a hundred and fifty years they had been governed, as far as Chiefships were concerned, by another code altogether, and it was as reasonable for them to refer to Manu and the Shastras as the source of legal authority, as it would have been for Muhammadans, who had embraced Sikhism, to appeal to the Shara. The Phulkian Chiefs, more-over, had, only a few years before the death of Raja Sangat Singh of Jhind, declined the Government proposal to surrender all right to escheats in favour of a fixed tribute.
The principality of Jhind was a legitimate escheat to the Government:
They preferred a present to a future good, and would have had no just cause for complaint had the Government decided to treat the whole principality of Jhind as a legitimate escheat. They certainly had no just cause for complaint in the decision which gave to Sirdar Sarup Singh the Chiefship, the title of Raja, and the possessions which had
been held by the ancestor from whom he derived his claim, which constituted the most valuable portion of the territory, resuming all later grants and acquisitions, excepting those which had been conferred by the Government of Lahore subsequent to the treaty of 1809, which justly reverted to the original donor. Raja Bhag Singh had conquered no new territory, and everything which he obtained, beyond what he inherited from his his father, was by direct grant from the Maharaja of Lahore, or the British Government.*
Grants made by Lahore Government:
With reference to the Lahore grants, Maharaja Ranjit Singh asserted his right to Succeed to all the estates which he had granted to Jhind both previous and subsequent to the treaty, but his right to the former the Government declined to allow. He, like Sarup Singh, fell back upon the Hindu Law of inheritance which he had never respected, but which, had it been in force, would have had no bearing on the question at issue. The Sikh Chiefs who claimed British protection were not, it is true, exempted necessarily from all dependence on the ruler of Lahore. Those who were at that time avowedly dependent upon Ranjit Singh in respect to any portion of the lands in their possession, did not necessarily find their relations with that Chief altered by the treaty, which only provided that the
* Mr. G. R. Clerk to Agent Governor General, 26th February, 23rd July 1835. Agent Governor General to Mr. Clerk, 30th December 1835. Secretary to Government of India to Agent Governor General 7th July, 9th September and 16th December 1835. Petitions of Sarup Singh to Governor General, 21 at August and 5th November 1835. Letter of Sarup Sinch to Mr. Clerk 6th May 1835. Mr. Metcalfe to Captain Murray, 13th January 1826. Mr. Secretary Edmonstone to Sir D. Ochterlony 14th July 1810. Political Agent Ludiana to Political Agent Ambala, 15th and 25th of November 1834. Political Agent Ambala to Mr. Fraser, Agent Governor General, 29th December 1834.
Maharaja should not commit or suffer any encroachment on the possessions or rights of the chiefs in his vicinity of the territory conferred by him on the left bank of the Satlej. But grants, absolutely ceded without conditions, were held on a different tenure. The Maharaja could not claim, as lord paramount, any escheats south of the Satlej, and neither Hindu nor Sikh law warranted a donor resuming a gift on the death, without heir, of the donee.
The opinion of the Governor General as to Lahore grants:
In the letter of the Governor General to the Maharaja of the 15th of June, he Stated:
“the jagirs, which were held by the late Raja’s family before the treaty of friendship was concluded between yourself and the British Government, through my agency, may, as observed by you, be considered with reference to that treaty, but in respect to those given after the treaty, I agree with you that you have a right to resume them.
The term jagir, used in these letters, was meant to signify such grants as were made by superior to an inferior on conditions of dependence, and did not refer to unconditional grants. But the term was of a somewhat ambiguous signification, and since the Maharaja had understood, or pretended that he understood it to apply to grants of whatever character they might be, the Governor General was unwilling to dispute the point.
The grants previous to the treaty of 1803:
In the Maharaja's first communication with the British Government, he had only asserted his claim to the grants made to the Raja of Jhind previous to the treaty of of 1809, and it was only subsequently that he claimed all the estates granted both before and after
that treaty, even hinting that he was entitled to the entire territory possessed by the late Raja in virtue of the law of inheritance. To this last claim the Agent to the Governor General, in his letter to the Maharaja of the 1st February 1836, replied “It is hardly necessary for me to remind Your Highness that though you may be distantly allied to the late Chief, yet the succession to principalities is not governed, either in law or usage, by the ordinary rules of inheritance which are applicable to the property of individuals." *
Those subsequent to that treaty to be resumed by Lahore:
The correspondence regarding the Jhind succession was long continued, and the principle was at length laid down that the Maharraja of Lahore should resume the grants made subsequent to the treaty of 1809 ; that the new Raja should succeed alone to the acquisitions of Raja Gajpat Singh ; and that the remaining territory, including Ludhiana, should lapse to the British Government. This decision, which, as far as Sarup Singh and the Lahore Maharaja were concerned, was liberal in the extreme, was conveyed in the following resolution of the Governor General, dated 10th January 1837.†
The final decision of the Government of India:
“ 3. His Lordship in Council regrets to find that it is almost impracticable to lay down any general rules for succession to property in the Sikh States. The
* Secretary to Government of India to Agent Governor General, dated 8th July 1835, to Captain Wade, Political Agent, dated 1st February, 11th April and 4th July 1836. Agent Governor General to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, dated 8th July 1885 Mr. G. Clerk to Agent Governor General, dated 23rd July 1885.
Secretary Government of India to Government Nortii Western Provinces, dated 4th July 1836.
† Agent Governor General to Mr. Clerk, Political Agent, dated 11 th February 1887.
“information now furnished, so far from affording any new light on the subject, tends only to confirm the remark contained in Captain Murray's paper on the rules and customs of the Sikhs to the effect that the rules of succession to landed property in the Sikh States are arbitrary, and are variously modified in accordance to the usages, the interests and prejudices of different families, nor is it practicable to reduce the anomalous system to a fixed and leading principle.’
" 4. I am desired to observe that the Governor General in Council cannot concur in the opinion expressed by the Agent at Dehli in the 11th paragraph of his letter dated the 9th ultimo, that the claims of the widows in the case of the Jhind succession would appear to be strengthened by the facts recorded in the precedents cited. It is true that in nine of those cases where brothers succeeded, they married the widows of the last possessors, but it by no means follows that the succession was in virtue of such marriage. It by no means follows that the succession would not have taken place without such ceremony, till less that the widows could have succeeded to the prejudice of the male heir, had no such ceremony been performed.
“5. When authorities are so conflicting, and the practice so unsettled as they appear to be in the tract of country referred to. His Lordship in Council is of opinion that it is proper and expedient that some general principle should, when practicable, be established by the British Government, and every consideration of usage, justice and policy seems to require that as regards the four principal Chiefehips of Pattiala, Jhind, Kythal
“ and Nabha, the rule ought to be that the estate should devolve entire to the nearest male heir according to the Hindu Law, and to the exclusion of the females With regard to all the other Sikh estates, the custom of the family must be ascertained in each instance by the best evidence procurable.
“6. Applying the above principle to the case of Jhind, Sarup Singh would unquestionably appear to have the best claim, but he can have no right to succeed to more than was possessed by his great-grandfather Gajpat Singh, through whom he derives his title.”
With this decision the new Raja was not content, the other Phulkian Chiefs uniting with him in urging that it should be reconsidered, and the whole territory possessed by Raja Bhag Singh surrendered. But the Government declined to reopen the question, and informed the Raja that he had obtained everything that could be considered his due.* The disposition of the territory, the estates which were made over to Lahore, those given to Raja Sarup Singh, and those resumed by the British Government, are shown in the following table, t which was, however, modified later in one or two particulars : —
* Sir G. Metcalfe to Mr. G. Clerk, Political Agent, dated 15th Jane 1837, and 2nd January 1838. Letter from Raja Sarup Singh to Sir C. Metcalfe, 25th November 1837, and Sir C. Metcalfe to Raja, 16th December 1837.
† This sketch, which is not altogether accurate, was drawn up in the office of Mr. Bushby, in February 1837.
Statement of the Jhind possessions
The ruling of the court of Directors:
In November 1837, the Court of Directors, to whom the final arrangements regarding the Jhind succession had been referred, ruled that all portions of the territory which had been acquired since Gajpat Singh's time, otherwise than by grant from Ranjit Singh or from the British Government or its predecessors, might be considered to belong justly to the new Raja.
" If any portion" the despatch went on to say, “was acquired otherwise, as for instance by conquest, we cannot perceive on what grounds it can lapse to Government, such possessions, we should conceive, ought to pass to the next heir, Sarup Singh, as private property, under similar circumstances, would do ; and the fact that territory may so pass is proved by numerous instances ( produced by the agents of the four Phulkian Chiefs) where territory, not derived from the common ancestor, but acquired since his death, has passed to a collateral heir."*
This ruling did not affect the decision which had placed Sarup Singh in possession of all the territories held by the extinct
Kour and Sahib Kour, especially, in many petitions dwelt upon their grievances, and those of the other Ranis. They complained that they were treated with the greatest harshness and indignity ; that the privacy of the female apartments was invaded ; and the old and faithful servants of the family expelled and their possessions confiscated. They begged that a fresh enquiry might be made into their claims, when the intrigues which had been practiced by the allied Rajas, and the injustice which had been done to helpless women, unable from their position to protect themselves, would be brought to light.*
The complaints of the Ranis had little foundation, their real object being the revival of their claims to the territory, which were inadmissible, and the Raja was only assured that the Governor General would be glad to hear that these ladies had no ground for complaint.†
The territory which the Government gained by escheat:
Of the territory acquired by the English as an escheat from Jhind, the district of Ludhiana was the most important, yielding a revenue of about Rs. 85,000, the remaining acquisitions together yielding a like amount.
The installation of Raja Sarup Singh AD 1837
Raja Sarup Singh was formally installed in the presence of all the Phulkian Chiefs and the British Agent, in April A. D. 1837.§ The long dispute regarding
* Two long petitions from Ranis Sahib Kour and Subha Kour of Jhind to Mr. Clerk, Political Agent, 23rd August 1837.
† Agent Governor General Dehli to Secretary to Government, dated 16th February 1838, and Secretary Government to Agent Governor General 3rd March 1838.
§ Letter of Governor General to Raja, dated 19th June, 1837, and Lieutenant Governor N. W. P. to Raja, 3lst July 1837.
the succession had not been without its evil effects on the more restless and turbulent of the Jhind people.
The revolt of Balawali :
The Balawali ilaqua rose in rebellion early in 1836. The inhabitants of this place, situated near Bhatinda, about one hundred miles to the west of Ambala, had always been notorious for their wild and independent character, and it was they, who, in 1815, when Prince Partab Singh had fled from Hansi, under the pretense of supporting his claims, rebelled against the Jhind Government and were only reduced to obedience when Sir David Ochterlony had marched against them with a strong force. Under Jhind they had done exactly as they pleased, and had paid no revenue whatever ; but after the death of Raja Sangat Singh, the administration of Balawali came into the hands of the British Government, and the people were called upon to pay revenue. They had preferred what they seemed to consider a prescriptive right to a light assessment ; and, taking all the circumstance of the case into consideration, it was thought advisable to make only the most moderate demand from them. But this did not satisfy them. They attacked Mr. Edgeworth, when passing through their country, possibly at the instigation of the Akalis who resorted to Gurusar, a sacred place of pilgrimage of the Sikhs in their immediate neighbourhood, and then rose in revolt, apparently believing that their wild and barren country would secure them from any attack by British troops, whom the authorities would be unwilling to move into camp at the commencement of the hot season.
The leaders of the rebellion:
The leader of the insurrection was Gulab Singh, Gil, a resident of Balawali, formerly a Risaldar in the Jhind
army ; and a large number of Jhind troopers joined the insurgents. These soldiers should long before have been paid up and dismissed, and this course was urged upon Mai Sahib Kour, in September 1835, when Regent ; but she refused to take action in the matter, and the consequence was that the country was filled with discontented men, half starving and with no means of subsistence save violence and robbery. The insurrection was encouraged by Mai Sul Rai, widow of Prince Partab Singh, whose brother Dal Singh was one of its leaders ; and the inhabitants of the Bhai-Chakian villages also lent their assistance. Great efforts were made by the insurgents to bring over to their side the Maharajkian Sikhs, as turbulent and independent as those of Balawali, but they were too cautious to join in what they considered a hopeless undertaking. The insurrection was of short duration, for the rebels had no place of any strength in their possession. The fort of Balawali, which was of burnt brick laid in mud, had never been of much strength and it had not been repaired since the refractory zamindars were expelled from it in 1815. On the night of the 17th of March, the rebels surprised it and the Thannah, but a strong body of troops was sent against them and completely routed them. Dal Singh, Lukha Singh and Mai Sul Rai were taken prisoners Gulab Singh was killed in action, and Desu Singh, another of the leaders, stabbed himself when about to be apprehended. A number of prisoners were taken and sent to Ambala for trial, and a detachment was stationed at Balawali and retained there until tranquility was completely restored.*
* Assistant Political Agent to Mr. Clerk, 19th March. Mr. Clerk to Agent Governor General Dehli, 20th March, 9th May, and 8th of July.
The esceat of Kythal and the action of Raja of Jhind:
Raja Sarup Singh did not abandon hope of obtaining the whole of the possessions which had been held by his predecessors, and several times addressed the Government without success. The escheat of Kythal, in March 1843, furnished him with another argument, for although the lapse of this territory was made on the principle which had regulated the Jhind succession, viz., that a collateral descendant should inherit so much only of the territory as was possessed by the ancestor from whom he derived his claim ; yet, on a former occasion, the Kakrila estate, which was a portion of Kythal, had been allowed to pass collaterally without regard to any such considerations : and, accordingly, both Raja Sarup Singh and Maharaja Karam Singh of Pattiala tried their best to obtain a recognition of the full right of succession of the second cousin of the late Bhai of Kythal, believing that if this were once allowed, the right of Sarup Singh to the whole of the Jhind territory would be likewise admitted.* In this expectation, however, they were disappointed. The Government had made in the Jhind succession case quite as many concessions as they considered just, and on the same principle Kythal was resumed. The three Phulkian Rajas intrigued against this decision as long as was possible, and their sympathy and secret advice encouraged a rebellion at Kythal, which was only put down after some bloodshed. Yet, when the insurrection had fairly broken out, they gave every assistance in suppressing it, and
1886. Agent Governor General Dehli to Political Agent, 6th July 1837. Mr. Clerk to Sir C. Metcalfe, 10th November 1835.
* Maharaja Karam Singh to Agent Governor General, 29th September 1844, Raja Sarup Singh to Agent Governor General, 5th October 1844.
their troops captured and dispersed several parties of the rebels.*
Jhind obtains a portion of the Kythal territory by exchange:
Of the resumed Kythal territory, a pargannah, Mahala Gabda, was given to the Raja of Jhind, in exchange for a portion of Sufidon, the former consisting of 23 villages, worth Rs. 30,042 a year, and the latter consisting of 38 villages, worth Rs 33,380. The difference was calculated on the eventual lapse of rent-free lands, the quality of soil and the depth of water, in which particulars Mahala was more fortunate than Sufidon. The village of Sufidon itself was excluded from the transfer, as it was a place of pilgrimage, and a favorite hunting seat of the Raja of Jhind, containing, moreover, the cenotaphs of the family.†
The case of village of Bains:
One of the villages which had come into the possession of the British Government, with the Jhind territory, was Bains, which Raja Bhag Singh had given to Jamadar Khushhal Singh, one of the most powerful Chiefs of Lahore. The village had been allowed to remain with the Jamadar by Raja Fatah Singh and was confirmed to him by Raja Sangat Singh. In July 1844 the Jamadar died, and the village was resumed. The grant was a special one to the Jamadar ; the British Government were not bound to maintain it after his death ; and Khushhal Singh had been so
* Mr. Clerk to Government of India, 30th March. Mr. Greathed, Secretary of Legation to Mr. Clerk, 27th March, and to Raja Sarup Singh, 24th March. Mr. Clerk to Government of India, 8th April. Mr. Greatbed to Mr. Clerk, 29th March. Mr. Clerk to Government, 25th April. Maharaja of Pattiala to Mr. Clerk, 18th April 1843. Raja of Jhind to Governor General, 5th October 1844.
† Major H. Lawrence, Assistant Envoy, to Mr. Clerk, 11th May 1843, and 9th July 1843. Colonel Richmond to Government North Western Provinces, 1st August 1843.
much disliked by Raja Hira Singh, the Prime Minister of Lahore, that the greater portion of his jagirs were resumed on his death. But, for all this, the resumption was looked upon by the Lahore Government as an unfriendly act.
The irritable state of the Sikh Nation:
At this time the Sikhs were in a very excited and suspicious frame of mind, and were particularly jealous of any interference with their presumed possessions. The case of the village of Mourah, in Nabha territory, which had been resumed from Lahore, was of a similar nature, and, in both instances, the Lahore Government considered the action of the English to be inspired by hostile intentions and to prove a desire to annex more of their territory when a convenient opportunity should offer itself.*
The action of the Raja of Jhind during the war of 1845-46
The attitude of the principal Cis-Satlej Chiefs, immediately previous to the war of 1845 has been described in the Pattiala history.† The Jhind Raja was at this time a partisan of Pattiala and a bitter enemy of Raja Devindar Singh of Nabha, who treated him with studied contempt, affecting to consider him as of an inferior branch of the family, and refusing to allow any title of honor to be accorded him. The conduct of the Jhind Raja had strengthened this ill-feeling, for he had gained the support of Devindar Singh to his claim to the Jhind territory by promising to cede to him the district of Sangrur, a promise which he refused to keep after his claims had been acknowledged by the Government. It was thus only to be expected
* Agent Governor General to Secretary to Government, 31th July 1844 and 4th August 1844.
† vide ante p. 199— 203.
that, when war broke out, Pattiala and Jhind should be found on one side, and Nabha on the other.*
The feelings towards English Government:
The Raja of Jhind was undoubtedly well disposed towards the English Government from whom he has received the most generous treatment, and the recognition of a claim which could hardly be said to have any legal existence. But he was not altogether content. He had received so much that he thought himself entitled to receive all ; and never ceased to hope that the course of events would make it possible for him to acquire the whole of the possessions held by former Chiefs. The general feeling of suspicion and dislike to the English which had been so carefully encouraged by the Lahore Government, and the unfortunate termination of the first Kabul expedition, which had shaken the belief of the natives of India in the fortune of the English, had not been without their effect upon Sarup Singh ; and, in 1845, his conduct gave very serious dissatisfaction to the Lieutenant Governor of the North Western Provinces when travelling through the Jhind territory, and he also insulted Mr. Metcalfe of Dehli in such a manner as to call for a special communication on the subject from the Agent to the Governor General.†
Services during the campaign of 1845-46:
Early in the month of November 1845, Raja Sarup Singh was called upon to send 150 camels for the use of the Sirhind Division ; but this, in spite of promises and repeated
* Agent Governor General to Secretary to Government 26th April 1845. Major H. Lawrence to Government of India 18th September 1846.
† Report of Mr. B. Cost to Major Mackeson, 7th March 1846.
orders, he neglected to do, and the result was great inconvenience to the troops when called upon to march. A fine of Rs. 10,000 was levied upon him by Major Broadfoot, which was realized in the following year. After this warning the conduct of the Raja was quite satisfactory. The exertions of his people in providing supplies and carriage were great ; his contingent served with the British troops ; and a detachment of it, which accompanied the Pattiala contingent to Ghumgrana, under Captain Hay, was highly praised by that officer for its steady conduct and discipline.* Still later, a detachment accompanied the expedition to Kashmir, where Imamuddin Khan, the Governor, was in revolt against Maharaja Gulab Singh.
For these services the Governor General remitted the fine of Rs. 10,000, and sanctioned the grant of lands not exceeding in value Rs. 3,000 a year, as a mark of the satisfaction of Government at his conduct, and double allowances were granted to the troops who had served with the Kashmir force.†
Sanad granted to the Raja after war:
After the war, excise and transit duties were abolished in the Jhind territory, The British Government engaging never to demand from the Raja or his successors tribute or revenue, or commutation in lieu of troops, or otherwise ; and the Raja, on his part, engaging to aid the Government with all his troops in the
* Major Mackeson to Government, 27th July 1846. Murasilas from Agent Governor General dated 11th December 1845, 2nd February, 25th March, 1846, complimenting the Raja ou the services and discipline of his men.
t Government of India 17th December 1846, to Agent Governor General, and Agent Governor General to Government 11th December 1846. Commissioner Cis-Satlej to Raja dated 17tb March 1849.
event of war, to maintain the Military roads and to suppress Sati, slave-dealing and infanticide in his territories. In consideration of the abolition of transit duties, a further grant of lands, worth Rs. 1,000 a year, was given to the Raja in the recent Lahore conquests.*
As to the other Phulkian Chiefs, a Sanad was granted after the war to the Raja of Jhind, † confirming to him his ancestral possessions, and containing assurances of renewed protection, so long as he might continue to serve the Government loyally.
* Letter from the Governor General to Raja Jhind dated 13th February 1847, and from Agent Governor General 16th February, informing the Raja that the example he had set in abolishing duties was an excellent one, and should be notified in the Government Gazette.
† Sunud to the Rajah of Jhind dated 22nd September 1847.
The Right Honorable the Governor General having resolved to bestow certain lands on the Rajah of Jhind as a mark of consideration for his attachment and services to the British during the late war with the Lahore State, and the Rajah of Jhind having requested that he may at the same time receive a renewed assurance of protection and guarantee of his rights in his former possessions, the Governor General is pleased to confer this assurance in the form of a Sunud or Grant as follows, in order that the Maharajah and his successors after him, may, with perfect confidence, continue to exercise the same rights and authority in his possessions as heretofore.
The Maharajah's ancient hereditary estates, according to annexed Schedule, shall continue for ever in the possession of himself and his successors, with all Government rights thereto belonging of Police jurisdiction and collection of revenue as heretofore. The Maharajah's Chaharumians, feudatories, adherents and dependents, will continue bound in their adherence and obligations to the Rajah as heretofore. His Highness will exert himself to do justice, and to promote the welfare and happiness of his subjects, while they, on their part, considering the Rajah as their true and rightful lord, must obey him and his successors accordingly, and pay the revenue punctually, and be always zealous to promote the cultivation of their lands, and to testify their loyalty and obedience. The Maharajah has relinquished for himself and his successors for ever all right to levy excise and transit duties, which have been abolished throughout the Jhind territory. His Highness also binds himself and his successors to the suppression of Suttee, Infanticide, and slave-dealing within his territories. If unknown to the Maharajah's authorities, any persons should be guilty of these acts, the Maharajah's authorities will, on conviction, punish them with such severity as to deter others. The British Government will never demand from the
The second Sikh war of 1849:
When the second Sikh war broke out, Raja Sarup Singh was anxious to prove his devotion to the Government and offered to lead his troops, in person, to Lahore, to join the English army. His services were declined, as they were not needed, but he was warmly thanked for the offer and the loyalty that had prompted it.*
Jhind after the annexation of the Punjab:
After the annexation of the Punjab, the Raja of Jhind was one of the few Chiefs permitted to retain independent powers, with the exception of the right of capital punishment, which was conceded to him after the mutiny. He showed himself deserving of the privileges granted him, endeavouring to reform his administration after the English model, and to adopt the English system of Revenue and Police. Like most reforms, those instituted by the Raja were not altogether popular, especially among the wild tribes on the border.
Revolt of border villages:
The peasants of Sujuarah, a village on
Maharaja and his successors and their dependents above named, anything in the way of tribute or revenue or commutation in lieu of troops or otherwise, for the reason that His Highness will ever continue as heretofore sincerely devoted to the service and interests of the British. The British authorities will not entertain complaints of the Maharaja’s subjects or dependents, or interfere with the Maharajah’s authority. Should an enemy approach from any quarter to this side of Beas or Sutlej, for the purpose of conquering this country, the Rajah will join the British army with his forces, and exert himself in expelling the enemy and act under discipline and obedience, and in time of war place the resources of his country at the disposal of the British Government. His Higliness engages to have made and to keep in repair through his own officers, the Military roads through his territory for the passage of British troops from Umballa and other stations to Ferozepoor, of a width and elevation to be determined on by the Engineer Officer charged with the duty of laying down the roads. His Highness will also appoint encamping grounds for British troops at the different stages, which shall be marked off, so that there be no claims made hereafter on account of damaged crops.
* Commissioner Ambala to Raja, 5th June 1848. From Mr. F. Currie, Resident Lahore, to Raja, dated 31st July and 24th November 1848. Commissioner Ambala to Raja 1st September 1848.
the Rohtak boundary, rose in revolt, killing the Tehsildar who had been sent to measure the cultivated area of villages, with a view to making a settlement and to mark off the surplus waste lands into separate estates. They then called together the villagers of the neighbourhood, belonging to the same clan, and threw up entrenchments, arming and provisioning themselves for a siege.
The Raja’s energetic action:
The Raja marched against the insurgents with all his available force, but before attacking them, by the advice of the British Government, he issued a proclamation granting a free pardon to all concerned except the leaders of the revolt, if they would retire quietly to their homes. This proclamation, and the presence of a strong force, had the desired effect, the greater majority of the insurgents dispersed, their leaders, finding themselves deserted, fled, and the revolt was brought to an end without the loss of a single life. *
The mutiny of 1857:
When the mutiny broke out in May 1857, Raja Sarup Singh was not behind the Maharaja of Pattiala in active loyalty. When news reached him at Sangrur of the revolt at Dehli, he at once collected all his troops, and by forced marches reached Karnal on the 18th, where he undertook the defence of the City and Cantonments,† His contingent did not exceed 800 men, but it was orderly and well disciplined, and
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, Nos. 68 and 90, dated 28th March, 26th April 1854. Government Punjab to Government of India, Nos. 306 and 396, dated 22nd April, 20th May. To Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, Nos. 346 and 442, dated 15tU April, 13th May 1854. †t Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Raja, 14th May, Mr. Montgomery, Judicial Commissioner, dated 16th May. Chief Commissioner 17th May. Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, dated 19th, 20th, 23rd and 26th May 1857.
its presence at Karnal gave confidence and secured that station from plunder. From Karnal the Raja sent a detachment to secure the bridge of boats at Bhagpat, twenty miles north of Delhi, enabling the Meerat force to cross the Jamna and join Sir H. Barnard's column. The town of Panipat, which was in a most excited state, was restored to order, and the Jhind force marched in advance of the British column, the post of honor, recovering Sumbhalka and Rai, securing the road, and collecting supplies for the army.
Raja Sarup Singh’s services in the field:
On the 7th of June, Raja Sarup Singh joined the British camp at Alipur, and the following day the battle of Badli Serai was fought, in which the Jhind troops behaved well and were complimented on the field by the Commander-in-Chief, who sent one of the captured guns to the Raja as a present. On the 19 th of June the Jhind troops aided in repulsing the Nasirabad force which attacked the camp, and, on the 21st, were sent to Bhagpat to repair the bridge of boats which had been destroyed. In three days the bridge was completed, but had to be again destroyed as the mutineers attacked the Raja in overwhelming numbers, compelling him to retire. The Raja had now to return to his own territories where the rebels of the Hansi, Hissar and Rohtak districts had incited Jhind villages to revolt. The disturbance was soon quelled by the energy of Sarup Singh, who then employed himself in raising recruits and purchasing horses for the British force before Dehli ; returning to the camp on the 9th of September.
The assault of Delhi:
The Jhind force, under Commandant Khan Singh, took a prominent part In the assault of the City, scaling
the walls side by side with English troops, and of their number several were killed and wounded.
Raja Sarup Singh was the only Chief who was present with the army before Dehli, In this he was more fortunate, though not more loyal or courageous, than the Maharaja of Pattiala and the Raja of Kapurthalla, both of whom desired to join the besieging force ; but their presence was considered more useful elsewhere.
Rohtak made over to the Raja temporarily:
The administration of the district of Rohtak was made over to the Raja of Jhind during the most disturbed period, and the headmen of villages and the zamindars, were directed to pay their revenue to him, his receipt being sufficient acknowledgment of payment.*
The services subsequent to fall of the Delhi:
After the fall of Dehli, Sarup Singh returned to Sufidon. He left 25 men for service at the Larsowli Tehsil, and the same number at Dehli; sent a detachment of 200 men with General VanCortlandt to Hansi, and 110 men, under the command of Commandant Khan Singh, to Jhajjar, with Colonel R. Lawrence. Besides these, 250 Jhind troops remained stationed at Rohtak, and 50 at Gohana about 20 miles to the north.†
The great value of these services:
The services of Raja Sarup Singh were thus of the most valuable kind. The Commissary General, Colonel Thom-
* Proclamation of Commissioner of Dehli dated 26th July 1857. Letter to Raja of same date.
† Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government Punjab, dated 3rd March 1858. Government Punjab to Government of India, No. 202 dated 13th April 1858. Chief Commissioner to Raja, 1st June 1857. From Colonel Dunsford 29th July ; from the Viceroy, dated 12th August ; Commander-in-Chief, dated 27th September 1857; from the Viceroy dated 2nd June 1858.
son, C. B., * declared that but for the timely supplies furnished by him, the quantity of stores would have been, at first, insufficient for the troops. General Wilson, in his despatch of the 22nd of September, announcing the fall of Delhi, beings "prominently to notice the admirable service performed by the Jhind Raja and his troops, who are said not only to have discharged harassing duties in the constant escort of convoys, but to have aided the General on more than one occasion in the field ; and, finally, to have participated in the capture and assault of Dehli.” The Governor General, in his notification of the 5th November 1857, declared that the steady support of the Raja of Jhind called for the marked thanks of the Government
But Raja Sarup Singh received rewards more substantial than mere thanks. It was at first proposed to grant him an estate of about Rs. 50,000 a year near his own territory; but, for the same reason as influenced the grant to Pattiala, it was subsequently thought desirable to assign him a portion of the confiscated Jhajjar territory. This was, however, situated a long way from Jhind, and would have been difficult for the Raja, whose means were limited, to control, and, finally, the Dadri territory, 575 square miles in extent, which had been confiscated on account of the rebellion of its Nawab,† was conferred upon him. This territory, situated about 20 miles due south of Jhind, and between the estates of Jhajjar and Loharu, was worth about Rs. 1,03,000 per
* No. 51 dated 17th Jane from Colonel Thomson, G. B. † Chief Commissioner to Government of India, No. 128—12 B. dated 9th April 1858.
annum, though it was capable of great improvement, and at the present time brings in a much larger revenue. Thirteen villages in the Kularan sub-district, conveniently situated near Sangrur, and valued at Rs. 13,813 per annum, were also ceded to the Raja in perpetuity. These villages were, Bhaiapura, Alampur, Balamgarh, Kularan, Dodura, Rotli, Rangloi, Dharamgarh, Buzurg, Saipura, Mani, Kakralah and Shahpur.
His salute and honorary title increased:
As a memorial of his services before Dehli, the confiscated house of the rebel Shahzadah Mirza Abu Bakr, situated in that city, and valued at Rs. 6,000, was bestowed on the Raja ; whose salute was raised to eleven guns ; the number of trays of presents presented to him in Viceregal Durbars was increased from eleven to fifteen, and the honorary title “Farzana dilband rāsikh-ul-itikād Raja Sarup Singh Buhādar wāli Jhind” was conferred upon him. *
Two villages were held by kinsmen of the Raja, Badrukhan and Bumhamwadi, an isolated plot of land near Sangrur, nominally in the Thanesar district, but really 80 miles distant from Thanesar. The Raja had a great desire to become possessed of these villages, which were large and valuable, being worth Rs. 5,171 a year. This revenue was enjoyed by jagirdars, the Chiefs of Badrukhan, who were willing to come
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, No. 65 dated 3rd March 1858 to Chief Commissioner. Statement of the Raja of Jhind dated 15th January 1858. Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Chief Commissioner No. 89, dated 20th March. Commissioner Dehli to Chief Commissioner No. 84 dated 17th March. Chief Commissioner to Government of India No. 32 dated 13th April. Government of India to Chief Commissioner No. 1549 A. dated 2nd June 1858. Government of India to Government Punjab, No. 5260 dated 18th December 1859.
under Jhind jurisdiction, but there was some objection to the villages being transferred, the Raja having been already amply rewarded. The Badrukhan Sirdars were, however, allowed Police jurisdiction in their village, subject to British control.*
Two years later, Raja Sarup Singh proposed purchase the interest of Government in these villages. This only consisted of the commutation tax of Rs. 643-14-0, which the Raja was willing to redeem at twenty or twenty-five years' purchase. The transfer, on payment of 20 years purchase, viz.: Rs. 12,877-8- 0, was permitted by the Government as an exceptional case, and the Badrukhan Chiefs have since 1867 been feudatories of Jhind.†
Scattered Dadri villages in British territory surrendered:
There were 14 villages, Chang, Mithathal; Bamla, Naorangabad, Bhund, Rankouli, Aon, Bas, Ranela, Saifal, Khairari, Jawa, Bijna, and Changrour, belonging to the Dadri territory but scattered in the Rohtak and Jhajjar districts. The first nine of these had been administered by the District Officer of Rohtak, both as regarded the collection of revenue and criminal jurisdiction, for varying periods, one village having been so administered since 1858, and three since 1853. The criminal jurisdiction of the ninth village, Saifal, had, since 1845, been vested in the Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak, though the Nawab of Dadri had collected
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States Nos. 89 and 264 dated 20th March and 14th September 1858 to Chief Commissioner. Chief Commissioner to Commissioner Cis-Satlej States dated 25th September 1858.
† Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Panjab Government No. 131 dated 23rd May 1861. Punjab Government to Government of India No. 311 dated 30th May. Government of India to Punjab Government No. 3265 dated 22nd June. Despatch of the Secretary of State, No. 122 dated 31st October 1861.
the revenue, and the four last villages, both in fiscal and criminal administration, had been subordinate to the Nawab.
For the convenience of both States, and to preserve a satisfactory boundary, a transfer was proposed of these villages to the British Government, in exchange for others of equal value in the Budhwara and Kanoudh Pargannas of the Jhajjar district. The revenue of the Dadri villages, amounted to Rs. 10,641, and the transferred villages made over to the Raja, viz.: Churkli, Nanda, Tiwali, Siswala, Pachobah Kalan, Pachobah Khurd, and Todhi, were worth Rs. 10,850 a year. The Raja was perfectly satisfied with the transfer, which was approved by the Government of India and carried into effect.*
Exchange of Government lands for outlying Jhind lands:
In 1861, several villages of the Jhind territory were exchanged for others of equal value belonging to the Government. There was a district belonging to the Raja, almost surrounded by lands of Hissar, consisting of 12 villages, Banbhori, Bhadakhera, Byanakhera, Panihari, Dhad, Sursanah, Sohnah, Jandlanah, Khurk Punia, Gyanpur, Kapron and Khurkuri, which were inconvenient to manage and the exchange of which for others nearer his principal town of Sangrur was much desired by Raja Sarup Singh, while their transfer would render the boundary
* Secretary to Government Punjab, No. 1016 dated 28th December 1858, and No. 193, dated 17th February 1859 to Commissioner Cis-Satlej States. Commissioner Hissar to Government Punjab, Nos. 102, 103, and 132 dated 29th June and 13th August 1859.
Government Punjab to Commissioner Hissar, No. 895 and 975 dated 8th and 22nd August.
Government Punjab to Government of India, No. 601 dated 30th August Government of India to Government Punjab, No. 5728, dated 19th September 1859.
line more regular. The Government consented, in exchange for these, assessed at Rs. 8,366, to give twelve villages of the Kularan pargannah, part of which had been already granted to Jhind after the mutiny. The villages assigned to Jhind from the autumn harvest of I86l, were Nagri, Chupki, Mundawala, Lotki, Dhunela, Osmanpur, Siparheri, Murori, Murdanheri, Murlanwala and Nunhera,, valued at Rs. 8,345 a year.*
The paper of requests:
The Raja of Jhind joined with the Maharaja Pattiala and the Raja of Nabha in submitting to Government a paper of requests for regulating the succession to their Chiefships, and soliciting certain favors, a detailed account of which, with the orders of Government thereon, has already been given.†
The Sanad of May 1860:
He also received a new Sanad§ granting him full sovereignty in his new and acquired possessions, embodying the additional privileges which had been conceded
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, No. 57 dated 7th March 1861. Government Punjab to Government of India No. 172 dated 14th March. Government of India to Government Punjab, No. 1454, dated 28th March 1861.
† Vide ante, pp. 244-255.
§ Translation of the Sanud given to the Raja of Jhind by His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor General, dated Simla, 5th May 1860.
Since the establishment of British authority in India, the present Raja of Jhind and his predecessors have always been steady in their allegiance. They have frequently received rewards for their fidelity in the accession of fresh honors, dignity, and territory. More recently the present Ruler of Jhind has surpassed the former achievements of his race, by the constancy and courage he evinced during the mutiny of 1857-58. In memo of this unswerving and conspicuous loyalty, His Excellency the viceroy and Governor General of India, has conferred additional honors and territory upon the Raja for himself and his heirs for ever, and has graciously acceded to the Raja’s desire to receive a Sannd or Grant under the hand and seal of the Viceroy, guaranteeing to the Raja the free and unreserved possession of his ancient territories, as well as of those tracts bestowed on the Raja and his predecessors at various times by the British Government.
to him and the arrangements which had been made for the administration of the State in the event of a minority or the death of the Chief without having appointed a successor, and to this Sanad a schedule of the territory belonging to him was annexed
The Sanad of adoption:
A special Sanad was moreover granted, confirming, in almost the same terms used in the Sanad granted to Nabha
Clause 1.— The Raja and his heirs for ever will exercise fall sovereignty over his ancestral and acquired dominions according to the annexed list. All the rights, privileges, and prerogatives which the Raja enjoys in his hereditary territories he will equally enjoy in his acquired territories. All feudatories and dependants of every degree will be bound to render obedience to him throughout his dominions.
Clause 2.— Except as provided in Clause 3, the British Government will never demand from the Raja, or any of his successors, or from any of his feudatories, relations, or dependants, any tribute on account of revenue, service, or any other plea.
Clause 3.— The British Government cordially desires to see the noble house of Jhind perpetuated, and in this spirit, confers upon the Raja and his heirs for ever, whenever male issue may foil, the right of adopting a successor from among the descendants of the Phulkian family. If however, at any time any Raja of Jhind should die without male issue and without adopting a successor, it will still be open to the Maharaja of Pattiala and the Raja of Nabha, in concert with the Commissioner or Political Agent of the British Government, to select a successor from among the Phulkeean family ; but in that case a nuzzurana or fine, equal to one-third of the gross annual revenue of the Jhind State, shall be paid to the British Government.
Clause 4.— In 1847 the British Government empowered the Raja to inflict capital punishment, after reference to the Commissioner. It now removes the restriction imposed by this reference, and invests the Raja with absolute power of life and death over his own subjects. With regard to British subjects committing crime, and apprehended in his territory, the Raja will be guided by the rules contained in the despatch of the Honourable the Court of Directors to the Madras Government, No. 3 dated 1st June 1836. The Rajah will exert himself to execute justice, and to promote the happiness and welfare of his people. He engages to prohibit Suttee, Slavery, and Female Infanticide, throughout his territorie8, and to punish, with the utmost rigor, those who are found guilty of any of these crimes.
Clause 5.— The Rajah will never fail in his loyalty and devotion to the sovereign of Great Britain.
Clause 6.— If any force hostile to the British Government should appear in the neighbourhood, the Rajah will co-operate with the British Government and oppose the enemy. He will exert himself to the utmost of his resources in providing carriage and supplies for the British troops, according to the requisitions he may receive.
and Pattiala, the right of adoption in case of failure of male heirs.*
Part of Jhajjar transferred to Jhind:
The circumstances under which a portion of the Jhajjar district was assigned to Raja Sarup Singh has been re-
Clause 7. The British Government will not receive any complaints from any of the subjects of the Raja, whether Maafeedars, Jagheerdars, relatives, dependents, servants, or other classes.
Clause 8. The British Government will respect the household and family arrangements of the Raja, and abstain from any interference therein.
Clause 9. The Rajah, as heretofore, will furnish at current rates, through the agency of his own officers, the necessary materials required for the construction of Rail-roads, Railway stations, and Imperial roads and bridges. He will also freely give the land required for the construction of Railroads and Imperial lines of road.
Clause 10. The Rajah and his successors &c., will always pursue the same course of fidelity and devotion to the British Government, and the Government will always be ready to uphold the honor and dignity of the Raja and his house.
Shedule of Territories belonging to the Raja of Jhind:
- 4. Purgunnah Balewallee.
- 6. Purgunnah Bazeedpoor, with Mouzah Laloda.
- 7. A share in the village of Bhai Rupa.
- Mouzah Dolumwalla (now in Purgunnah Jhind ).
- Mouzah Borada - Now in Purgunnah Sufidun. Granted by sunud, dated 22nd September 1847, signed by Viscount Hardinge, Governor General.
- Mouzah Busseinee - Do
- Mouzah Khatla - Do
- Purgunnah Dadree, 14 villages of Porgannah Koolaram. - By letter from Secretary to Government of India, dated 2nd June 1858, No. 1549 A.
To Farzand dilband rasikul-itakad Dowlut-i-Englishia Raja Sarup Singh Buhadur of Jhind, dated 5th March 1862.
Her Majesty being desirous that the Governments of the several Princes and Chiefs of India who now govern their own territories should be perpetuated, and that the representation and dignity of their House should be continued, I hereby, in fulfilment of this desire, repeat to you the assurance which I communicated to you in the Sunud under my signature, dated 5th May 1860, that, on failure of natural heirs, the perpetuation of your
lated.* Nineteen villages, adjoining his new estate of Dadri, were assigned to him on payment of a Nazarana of Rs. 4,20,000, and for these a separate Sanad was granted.†
Exchange of Dadri villages for others in Hissar
When the Dadri district was made over to the Raja of Jhind, the villages were overlooked which were not at the time of its confiscation under the direct control of the Nawab. From his not being able to manage them, as well as from many of them having been mixed up with Rohtak villages, their administration, in Police and Revenue matters, had been conducted by the British authorities, while the revenue was family by your adoption of an heir from the Phoolkean house will be in accordance with the wishes of the paramount power, and will be gladly recogized and confirmed ; and that if at any time any Raja of Jhind should die without male issue, and without adopting a successor, it will be open to the Maharajah of Pattiala and the Rajah of Nabha, in concert with the Commissioner or Political Agent of the British Government, to select a successor from among the Phoolkean family ; but in that case a Nuzzuranah or fine, equal to one-third of the gross annual revenue of the Jheend State, shall be paid to the British Government.
Be assured that nothing shall disturb the engagement thus made to you, so long as your House is loyal to the Crown and faithful to the conditions of the treaties, grants or engagements which record its obligation to the British Government
* ante p. 247— 258.
† Translation of a sanad on grant of portion of the purgana of Boodwanah District Jhujjar, bestowed on the Rajah of Jheend by His Excellency Earl Canning, G, C. B., Viceroy and Governor General of India.
Whereas the devotion and loyalty of the Rajah of Jheend and of his ancestors have always been conspicuous since the establishment of British supremacy in India, His Excellency, the Viceroy and Governor General being desirous of marking his high appreciation of these qualities, has been pleased to bestow upon the Raja portions of Purgunnah Boodwanah, of the district of Jhajjar, containing nineteen villages, according to vernacular list annexed, assessed at a yearly revenue of (Eighteen thousand five hundred and twenty Rupees ) 18,520 Rupees, and to accept from the Rajah a " Nuzznranah “ of ( Rupees 3,70,004, ) three lakhs seventy thousand and four. It is accordingly ordained as follows :—
Article 1.— The territory above mentioned is conferred upon the Rajah of Jheend and his heirs for ever.
paid to the Nawab. The Raja requested that these villages might be made over to him or villages of equal value elsewhere. The Government held that although the Raja had obtained land of the full estimated value, yet that it was intended that the Dadri territory should be made over to him in its integrity, without any exact calculation of the value; and that the villages in question had consequently formed part of the grant. But considerations of convenience with reference to District administrative arrangements, made it advisable to give the Raja villages of equal value in Hissar, and this was accordingly arranged to his complete satisfaction.* The only question of importance regarding the new territory made over to the Cis-Satlej Chiefs, had reference to their right to resume rent-free grants, or Mafias at their pleasure. The question was first raised by the attachment of the jagir of one Hakim Kasim Ali Khan of Jhajjar, situated in the pargannah of Dadri. The Raja of Jhind considered this man a rebel, but several high officials of Government thought this opinion mistaken, and that the Hakim was deserving of protection for services which he had rendered. He owned
Article 2.— The Rajah and his successors will exercise the same rights, privileges, and prerogatives in this newly acquired territory as he at present enjoys in his ancestral possessions, according to the terms of the Sanad, dated 5th May 1860, and signed by his Excellency Earl Canning, Viceroy and Governor General of India.
Article 3.— The Rajah and his successors will continue to maintain the same loyal relations with the British Government, and to fulfill the same obligations with regard to this newly acquired territory, as were imposed on him by the terms of the Sunud, dated 5th May 1860, relating to the Rajahs ancestral possessions.
Letter of the Viceroy to the Rajah, dated 5th January 1861 .
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, Nos. 166 and 50, dated 14th December 1858 and 10th February 1859, Government Punjab to Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, Nos. 1016 dated 28th December 1858 and 193, dated 17th February 1859.
eleven villages, which were asserted to have been in possession of his family for five generations, long anterior to the advent of the Muhanunadan Chiefs now dispossessed by the Sikhs.
The origin of the rights of these freeholders:
In favor of the rights of jagirdars and maafi holdors, it could be urged that, in the original grants to the Muhammadan rulers of the Jhajjar territory, dated 4th May 1806, the rights of all rent-free tenures were especially exempted from the control of the Chiefs.* Unless therefore any special rights had been granted to the Sikh Rajas with the new territory, they could only be presumed to possess the same rights and powers as were enjoyed by their Muhammadan predecessors. There was a precedent for this view in the case of the Raja of Faridkot, to whom certain portions of the old Lahore territory in the Firozpur district were made over ; the rights of all holders of rent-free lands being reserved, not only jagirdars holding villages but the holders of mere patches of land. The rights all were investigated, and all were taken under British protections.
On the other side of the question was the independence which the Cis-Satlej Rajas in hereditary territory, resume. and the right they certainly possessed to resume rent-free grants. When the new territory was granted to them no hint was given that their powers would be more limited in the new territory than in the old, and the presumption was not that the Chiefs merely succeeded to the rights
* There is assigned to you the undermentioned lands as a jaidad for a Risaleh, and as a Jagir for yoar support. The undermentioned lands, together with the land revenue and customs, with an exception to such gardens and ayma jaghiri punarth and rent-free lands as have always been assigned”.
formerly possessed by the Muhammadan Nawabs, who were unable to resume, but that, as the grants were made without reservation or limitation of power, they had full right to resume at their pleasure. Besides arguments drawn from the manner of the grant, there was the extreme impolicy of interference. Were all the rent-free holdings to be taken under British protection, were appeals from every petty jagirdar to lie to British officers, such an amount of irritation would be felt, and justly felt, by the Rajas, as would go far to neutralize the feelings of gratitude and loyalty which the grants made to them had created. In addition to this, there was no reason for interference : native Governments were far more liberal in the matter of rent-free grants than the British Government had ever been, and there was no reason to believe that the grantees would suffer by being left under their control.
This view of the case was taken by Government and full powers were allowed to the Chiefs in their newly acquired territory, and the British authorities were directed to exercise no interference, except in extreme cases and then only by influence and advice.*
The Home Government took a somewhat different view of the case from the Government of India, holding that as the original grants to the Muhammadan Nawabs had contained an express stipulation
* Commissioner Hissar to Government No. 79 dated 14th May No. 129 and 146, 8th and 31 August 1859.
Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government No. 142 dated 23rd May. Government Punjab to Government of India No. 562 dated 18th August Government of India to Government Panjab No. 5590 dated 14th September 1859.
securing the holders of rent-free lands and villages from arbitrary interference, the forfeiture of the territory and its grants to Sikh Chiefs made no difference in the position of freeholders, who had the same claim to have their tenures secured from arbitrary resumption that was recognized when the jagirs were granted in 1803 — 1805. The transfer to the Sikh Chiefs made this difference only, that they were not required to proceed for the resumption of invalid tenures in the ordinary Courts, but should, before dispossessing any of the guaranteed free holders, satisfy the Political Officer of the grounds of their action.*
The Phulkian Chiefs Were much disconcerted by this decision, and the Maharaja of Pattiala and the Rajas of Jhind and Nabha jointly protested against the ruling and requested its reconsideration.
The circumstances of the case had much changed since the order of the 14 th September 1859 had been passed. The Chiefs had objected to the interference, limited to influence and advice, of the Political Officer, and Lord Canning, in the Sanads granted on the 5th of May 1860, had yielded the point, and had entered a clause to the effect that “the British Government will not receive any complaints from any of the subjects of the Maharaja (or Raja ) whether maafidars, jagirdars, relatives, dependants, servants or other classes."
Moreover, in the Sanads granted on the 4th of
* Despatch of the Secretary of State, No. 28 dated 15th November 1861. Government of India to Government Punjab, No. 24 dated 11th January 1862. Government Punjab to Commissioner Gis-Satlej States No. 112 dated 15th February 1862.
January 1861, conferring the new Jhajjar territory, it was expressly provided that the Chiefs and their successors should exercise the same rights, privileges, and prerogatives in their newly acquired possessions as they enjoyed in their ancestral possessions, according to the Sanad dated 5th May 1860.
The Chiefs were thus naturally disturbed when a new restriction was proposed to be inserted in their Sanads. They knew but of one authority, the Viceroy, who, in the name of Her Majesty, had granted these documents, and they considered that if one condition could be set aside, all might at any time be cancelled. The Sanad of the 5th of May 1860 was looked upon by the Chiefs as inviolable ; their record of rights, duties and privileges, and they were naturally anxious when any order of Government seemed to question its sacred character.
There can be no doubt that in a certain way good faith of the British Government had been pledged to the minor jagirdars. The guarantee given them in 1803 had been general, but it had been acted upon till 1858, and there was no reason that their position under the Sikh Rajas should be different than under the Muhammadan Nawabs, except that in the one case it had been guaranteed by express stipulation, and in the other that no stipulation had been recorded. In any case, there was good reason to protect the freeholders, in 1803, from the Muhammadan Chiefs of Jhajjar and Dadri, mere adventurers, who came over to Lord Lake during the Mahratta war and were rewarded for their services with grants of land. There was little or no reason to protect them, in
1860, from the Cis-Satlej Rajas/Princes of position and respectability, whose system of administration had been brought into close conformity with that of the British Government and to whom the protectorate over the freeholders might reasonably be ceded.*
The Secretary of State, after a the case and acknowledging the great importance of maintaining the validity and integrity of Viceregal Sanads, virtually cancelled the order of the 15th November 1861, and the terms of the Sanads of 1860 were upheld in their integrity, though it was considered matter for regret that in the grants to the several Rajas provision had not been made for the maintenance of existing rights in the land.†§
The precedence of Jhind and Nabha
When Lord Canning visited the Punjab, in 1860, the question of the order of precedence of Jhind and Nabha in Viceregal Durbars, which had long been a subject of dispute, required decision. At the Durbar held by Lord Dalhousie at Pinjor, in 1851, the order of
* Letter from Mabaraja of Patiala and Raja of Jhind and Nabha, dated 5th June 1862. Commissioner Cis-Satlej States Nos. 178 and 180, dated 9th and 10th June 1862. Government Punjab to Government of India No. 430 dated 31st July. Government of India No. 910, dated 30th September 1863 and 174 dated 13th April 1863.
† Despatch of Secretary of State, No. 9, dated 9th February 1863.
§ Kasim Ali Khan obtained no redress. He had indeed suffered no injury. He had made extravagant claims on the peasants of his jagir, who had bitterly complained and requested the Raja to fix cash payments, which he had done in a just and satisfactory manner. As to the loyalty of the Hakim, of which he loudly boasted, he was known to have been one of the principal advisers of the rebel Nawab of Jhaijar, and remained with him to the last, till after the fall of Delhi, when the Chief was executed for his treason. Government Punjab to Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, dated 25th February 1861. Government Punjab No. 539, dated 27th September. Government of India, No. 589 dated 7th October 1864.
the Ghiefs was determined by Mr. Edmonstone, the then Commissioner of the Cis-Satlej States: 1 Pattiala, 2 Nabha, 3 Jhind, and this decision was a source of great annoyance to the Raja of the last named State and was hardly supported by former precedent.*
The ralative claims of two Chiefs:
With reference to the position of the Chiefs, the decision was by no means easy. Both were descended from the same ancestor, were addressed by the same formula, entitled to the same khillat and the same salute, and presented nazrs of equal value.
Nabha was the representative of the elder branch, and the office of Chaudhri has been hereditary in his branch of the family.
In 1860, Jhind possessed an income of Rs. 3,25,000, and Nabha, Rs. 3,75,000 ; and, previous to the first Sikh war, the latter had probably a fair claim to take precedence. But in 1845-46, the Raja of Jhind furnished supplies and showed loyalty
* The earliest record of Viceregal Durbars is of 1828. In that year the Cis-Satlej Ghiefs had an interview with the Governor General at Manimajra. Patliala was received first : then the three next Chiefs were received together, named in the following order-
- 1. Bhai Udey Singh of Kythal;
- 2. Raja Sangat Singh of Jhind ;
- 3. Raja Jaswant Singh of Nabha.
In 1839, the Chiefs were received at different places by the Governor General : the Raja of Jhind first, at Dehli ; the Maharaja of Pattiala at Burnala; and the Raja of Nabha at Dhanowla, in their respective territories In 1848, at Sunam, in Pattiala territory, the Maharaja was first received, then the Raja of Jhind, and, thirdly, Nabha, who was late for the interview.
In 1846, after the battle of Subraon, only the Pattiala and Jhind Chiefs were received ; the Raja of Nabha being at the time under the displeasure of Government. Lastly came the Durbar at Pinjor in 1851, when Jhind was received after Nabha, though no reasons were given for the order laid down. The precedents appear thus to be of doubtful value, and hardly to support the claim of either Chief so indisputably as to render a decision founded upon them easy.
to Government, and was rewarded with a grant of villages worth Rs. 4000 or Rs. 5,000 a year. The Raja of Nabha behaved badly, was deposed, and one-fourth of his territory was confiscated.
In 1857, both Chiefs did equally Well, but the Raja of Jhind had greater opportunities of distinction, and served in person at the siege of Dehli.
There had, besides, been no break in his loyally. He was the first of the Cis-Satlej Chiefs to join Lord Lake in 1804, some time before the Nabha Chief made any advances towards the English, and he had been ever since a faithful ally.
The decision in favour of Jhind:
The Government justly took these good services into consideration and assigned to the Raja of Jhind precedence in the Durbar of 1860. It was, nevertheless, distinctly stated, that the order was only given as it was necessary for one Chief or the other to take precedence. The two Rajas were considered as precisely equal in dignity, and were regarded by Government with equal favor.*
The Raja of Nabha remonstrates:
This decision gave considerable dissatisfaction to the Raja of Nabha, and he remonstrated against it. But the Government saw no reason to alter the conclusions at which they had arrived. The Raja then desired to submit a memorial to the Secretary of State, paying for a reconsideration of the case ; but, while arrangements were being made with this object, the Raja died, and though his successor desired
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government, No. 2, dated 6th January 1860. Government Punjab to Government of India, No. 29 dated 10th January. Supreme Government to Government Punjab, No. 114 dated 16th January.
to continue the agitation, nothing further was done.*
On the 26th January 1864, Raja Sarup Singh died of severe dysentery, from which he had been suffering for several months. He was at the time residing at his country seat of Bazidpur, near Pattiala, and had been attended occasionally by an English Doctor. But the Raja had unfortunately a superstitious belief
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States No. 102 dated 23rd April 1862. Government of India to Government Punjab, Nos. 38 and 440 and 612, dated 30th January, 10th and 27th May 1862. Government of India No. 631, dated 2lst September 1863. Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government, No. 239 dated 6th October 1863 and 409 dated 30th November 1866. Government to Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, No. 1100 dated 16th December 1666.
The question of precedence
The question of precedence is one which is felt by native gentlemen to be of the highest importance. But several questions are still in doubt as to the relative positions of the Chiefs, principally arising from the fact that they have never all met in one Durbar, while contradictory rulings have been occasionally given. It may be interesting to give what is believed to be a correct list of the order of the Chiefs of the Punjab, showing the population of their territory, their revenue, and the salute to which they are entitled : —
|1.||Maharaja of Kashmir||64,00,000||15,00,000||19 guns.|
|2.||Ditto Pattiala||40,00,000||17,00,000||17 guns.|
|3.||Nawab of Bahawalpur||14,43,174||3,64,582||17 guns.|
|4.||Raja of Jhind||7,00,000||3,11,000||11 guns.|
|6.||Ditto Nabha||7,00,000||2,76,000||11 guns.|
|6.||Ditto Kapurthalla||5,77,000||2,12,721||11 guns.|
|7.||Ditto Mandi||3,00,000||1,39,259||11 guns.|
|8.||Ditto Sirmur (Nahan)||1,00,000||75,596||11 guns.|
|9.||Ditto Bilaspur (Kahlur)||70,000||66,848||11 guns.|
|11.||Ditto Hindur (Nalagarh)||60,000||49,678|
|13.||Nawab of Malerkotla||2,00,000||46,200||9 guns.|
|14.||Raja of Faridkot||75,000||51,000||11 guns.|
|16.||Ditto Chamba||1,64,000||1,20,000||11 guns.|
|17.||Sirdar of Kalsia||1,30,000||62,000|
|18.||Nawab of Patodi||92,000||6,600|
|21.||Rana of Bhagal||35,000||22,350|
|25.||Rana of Mailog||8,000||7,358|
|29.||Rai of Kunihar||3,000||1,906|
|30.||Rana of Mangal||1,000||917|
|31.||Thakar of Bija||2,000||981|
|34.||Thakar Of Taroch||2,500||3,082|
This list cannot be considered conclusive as regards the relative position of the group 8-20, and group 21— 34. The latter are the minor Hill Chiefs of Simla, and have never met the former in Durbar. Should they meet, it is not improbable that Bhagal and Jubal might receive a step in rank.
The position of Pattiala and Bahawalpur is that observed at the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh in 1870, the only time that these Chiefs have met on any occasion of State ceremony. But the order then fixed was not intended to be necessarily final. The Nawab of Bahawalpur was a child of ten years of age, and the question of his relative precedence will be considered later. On the one hand, his revenue, and the population of his State, is much below that of Pattiala, on the other, his territory is four times as extensive, and his independence has been more complete.
The next State about which any doubt exists, is Mandi. A Durbar for certain Hill Chiefs was held at Simla on the 4th May 1847, at which they were introduced in the following order :— 1 Nabha, 2 Hindur, 3, Bussahir, 4 Bilaspur, 5, Mandi, 6 Suket
The order was subsequently altered aft Lord Elgin's Durbar, dated 30th May 1863, when the four principal Hill Chiefs were introduced as follows:1 Nahan, 2 Bilaspur, 3 Bussahir, 4 Hindur. The Raja of Mandi was not present as this Durbar, but his position would probably have been reconsidered. At the time of the first Durbar, Mandi had only just come under British control, being one of the Lahore feudatories taken over with the Jalandhar Doab in 1846, the Mandi Sanad being dated the 24th October of that year. The revenue and population of the State was then imperfectly known, and the order of the Durbar of 1847 appears not to have been intended as final, from the changes subsequently
men who had done such signal service to the British Government and whose prolonged life would have been of so much benefit to the Punjab, should pass away together. But, of these three Chief, the Raja of Jhind was perhaps the most distinguished in person and presence he was eminently princely, and the stalwart Sikh race could hardly show a taller or stronger man. Glad in armour, as he loved to be, at the head of his troops, there was perhaps no other Prince in India who bore himself so gallantly and looked so true a soldier. In character he was honest and just, and though his pride and restlessness led him to quarrel with his neighbours, yet the British Government has never had an ally more true and loyal in heart than Raja Sarup Singh, who served it from affection and not from fear. He was naturally disappointed at the decision of Government, which allowed him to inherit only a portion of the Jhind territories, yet he never permitted this decision to embitter his feelings or to influence his loyalty.*
His nomination to the Star of India:
Raja Sarup Singh had been nominated a Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India, in September 1863, made.
By population, revenue and salute, Mandi would seem entitled to the seventh place, but these considerations alone do not determine precedence, and the position of Mandi in the list most be held as doubtful, should he ever meet the Simla Hill Chiefs in Durbar.
The position of the Simla Hill States given in the foregoing list, is that observed at the Durbar of Lord Canning in May 1860 : with the exception of Bhagal, the Rana of which estate does not appear ever to have attended any Durbar. Indeed, in 1861, at the time of Lord Dalhousie’s Durbar, and at Lord Canning's in 1860, there was no Chief, the territory having escheated to Government in 1849, and only being restored in 1861. At the date of Lord Elgin's Durbar in 1863, the Rana was only four years old, which accounts for his non-attendance.
* Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government, No. 20 dated 27th January 1864. Government Punjab to Government of India No. 45, dated 80th January, Government of India to Government Punjab. No. 177 dated 20th February. Despatch of Secretary of State No. 38, dated 16th July 1864.
but he was too ill to visit Ambala to be invested, and died before the honor to which he had been designated could be bestowed.*
Ragbhir Singh his successor
Ragbhir Singh, the son and heir of Raja Sarup Singh, was in every way worthy of his father. He was, at this time, about thirty years of age, and had been thoroughly trained in judicial and administrative matters in which the late Raja was an excellent teacher ; for he had kept his territory in excellent order, and had been eminently just in his dealings with his subjects.
The installation of the new Chief took place on the 31st of March 1864, in presence of Sir Herbert Edwardes the Agent of the Lieutenant Governor ; the Maharaja of Pattiala ; the Raja of Nabha, the Nawab of Malerkotla, and many other Chiefs.†
The revolt of Dadri:
The new Raja had scarcely taken his seat on the "gaddi" than a rebellion broke out in the newly acquired territory of Dadri, to test his energy and determination.§
The administration of late Nawab of Dadri :
The Nawab of Dadri had been, as a ruler, incompetent and entirely in the hands of his servants. He was accustomed to farm the revenue collections to the headmen of villages, sometimes for Rs. 80,000, sometimes for a lakh of rupees or a little more, while they doubled
* Letter of Sir Herbert Edwardes, Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, to Raja, dated 26th September 1863.
† Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government Nos. 54 and 84 dated 4th and dist March 1864.
§ Commissioner Cis-Satlej States to Government No. 111—866, dated 6th May. Commissioner Hissar to Government, No. 31 dated 2nd May. Inspector General of Police to Government, dated 5th May.
the amount by extortion and oppression.
That of Raja of Jind:
When the Raja of Jhind took possession, a complete change was wrought in the system, a regular settlement was made after the English method, and the assessment was raised to rather above two lakhs of rupees. Raja Sarup Singh was notoriously fond of money and the new assessment was not a light one, but it was not oppressive. The British Government has adopted the policy of light assessment- a wise policy if not carried to a point where the revenue is sacrificed to sentimentality — but it cannot be expected that Native States will follow the example thus set. There is not a single State in India where the ruler does not take a far larger share of the produce of the land than the British Government, and it is natural that the border villages of native States should make unfavorable comparisons between their own condition and the prosperity enjoyed under British rule. But Raja Sarup Singh, although avaricious, was a wise ruler and popular, except in the neighbourhood of the town of Jhind where he was much disliked. He esteemed the people of Jhind the worst of his subjects, and lived away from them as much as he could, and often said that, in 1857, they were quite ready to rise against him if they had the opportunity. The assessment of Dadri, though far higher than would have been fixed by British officers, was not oppressive, nor was it as much as the sum really taken from the people under the Nawabs, though it was nominally more heavy.
The instigators of the rebellion:
The real exciters of discontent is Dadri were headmen of villages, who found all their gains at an end and them-
selves reduced to the position of simple lumberdars. Besides these, Hakim Kasim Ali Khan, who has before been mentioned as a malcontent on account of the Raja having made a cash assessment of his jagir, instigated the revolt ; the Loharu State was favorable and help was promised from the Rajput border.
During the life time of Raja Sarup Singh the discontented villages did not dare to stir, but, on his death, above 50 villages broke into open revolt, the Police Station of Badrah was captured, and the Thanadar placed in confinement, while rude entrenchments were thrown up round some of the villages; arms and ammunition were received from the neighbouring territory of Sheikhawatti, Loharu and Khetri, and the famous Sheikhawatti robbers were summoned to help on promise of plunder and pay.
The energy of Raja:
The Dadri people had made a great mistake when they fancied that the new Raja was less energetic than his father. Immediately on hearing of the rebellion, he left Jhind with two Regiments of Infantry, 1,500 strong, 350 Horse, and 4 guns, and marched to Dadri, which he reached on the 8th of May. He did not ask Pattiala or Nabha for the assistance which they were quite willing to give ; and politely declined the presence of a British officer in his camp, as he imagined that it might seem that he was unable to meet and overcome the first difficulty which he had experienced after ascending the throne.
He attacks the rebels and destroys their villages:
On the 14th of May, the Raja, at day-break attacked the village of Charki, about 4 miles south west of Dadri, where
some 1,500 or 2,000 of the rebellious Jats had collected and entrenched themselves. They had been repeatedly warned, and several days had been allowed them to come in and make their submission, but they declared their determination to resist the Raja's authority to the last But when the attack really took place, and the guns opened on the village, the insurgents broke at once, and, in their flighty a good many were overtaken and cut up. The village was then burnt, and the Raja, the same day, marched against another, Mankind, six miles distant, which was captured and destroyed. The village of Jhanju was the last place at which the rebels made a stand, but it was taken by storm on the 16th of May, with a few casualties on both sides. It shared the fate of the two other villages, and the insurgents, finding their cause hopeless, fled to Rajputana territory and the rebellion was over.
And restores order:
The Raja was as merciful after his success as he had been energetic in action. He only punished the ring-leaders of the revolt, permitting the zamindars to return to Dadri territory and rebuild their ruined villages, and order has ever since been maintained in this part of the Jhind dominions.*
The family of Raja Raghbir Singh
Raja Raghbir Singh married, as his first wife, the daughter of Jowahir Singh, Chaudhri of Dadri. She bore him one son and a daughter. The former, Balbir Singh, is now fourteen years of age, and the girl was married to Sirdar Bishan Singh Kalsia in April 1865,
* Agent Lieutenant Governor Cis-Satlej States, Nos. 113, 115, 121, 126, 127, 129, 134, dated 9th, 11th, I3th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 23rd of May 1864.
Government Punjab to Agent Cis-Satlej States, No. 360 dated 12th May, and No. 383, dated 23rd May. Commissioner Hissar to Commissioner Cis-Satlej States, demi-officials of 16th, 17th, and 19th May 1864.
when wedding gifts to the value of Rs. 3000 were presented on the part of the British Government.*
The Raja married a second time in the family of Dhyan Singh, Gil, of Rajamajra, but there has been no issue of this marriage.
The principal residence of Raja Raghbir Singh is at Sangrur, but he does not neglect the administration of the distant parts of his estate. He is a man of excellent judgment and great honesty, and during the late minorities in Pattiala and Nabha, his advice has always been good, even if his young relatives have not always cared to follow it. The Raja is a keen sportsman and a brave soldier, and his little army of 1,500 men is in a state of great efficiency.
The revenue, area and population of Jhind State:
The Jhind territory is 1,236 square miles in extent with a population of about 3,50,000. The revenue has rapidly increased of late years, and is now between six and seven lakhs of rupees a year,
* vide ante, p.261
The neota or marriage present is quite optional ; there are very few precedents in favour of its being made, and it is only given as a token of the special favour of Government.
Agent Lieutenant Governor, No. 119, dated 14th April 1865 to Government Punjab. Government Punjab to Agent No, 425 dated 2nd May 1865.