BENARES

GENEALOGY

Raja Mansa Ram, Zamindar of Kaswar, educ. privately. One of four brothers and a member of the Gautam subcaste of Bhuinhar Brahmins from Titharia (Gangapur), near Benares. Entered the service of Rustam Ali Khan, the Nazim of Benares. He grew immensely rich, acquired half the village of Utaria and gradually amassed a large private estate. Appointed as Nazim of Benares by Nawab Burhan ul-Mulk of Oudh, and engaged for the revenues of the sarkars of Benares, Jaunpur, Ghazipur and Chunar on behalf of his elder son, 9th June 1738. He d. at Gangpur, 1739, having had issue, two sons:
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1738 - 1770 Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Balwant Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Kaswar, elder son of Raja Mansar Ram, Zamindar of Kaswar, educ. privately. Engaged for the revenues of the sarkars of Benares, Jaunpur, Ghazipur and Chunar and granted the title of Raja Bahadur (all obtained by his father for him), by sanad of the Emperor of Delhi, 9th June 1738. Succeeded his father in the office of Nazim of Benares, and confirmed in his titles and possessions by a new grant, 1739. Constructed a fort and established his capital at Gangapur, but later transferred his seat to Ramnagar. Expelled the Nawab of Oudh's agent and allied himself with his Bangash enemies in 1751, in an attempt to establish an independent principality. Fled to Mirzapur when the Nawab invaded his estates in March 1752, but submitted and restored by him shortly afterwards. Acquired Kera Mangraur from the Naib-subedar of Bihar in 1754, but later secured it as a revenue-free grant from Alamgir II. Pbtained half the revenues of Bhadohi as jagir in 1755. Joined Alam Shah and Shuja ud-Daula in their invasion of Bengal in 1763, then joined the British camp with the Emperor after the Battle of Buxar. His zamindari was subsequently transferred by the Emperor to British suzerainty in 1764, but the HEIC refused to accept the territory ad handed it over to Oudh with certain conditions guaranteeing the estates to the Raja 16th August 1765. m. (first) Rani Gulab Kanwar Sahiba. m. (second) Rani Bishan Kanwar Sahiba, a Rajput lady, previously his mistress. He d. at Ramnagar Fort, Benares, 23rd August 1770, having had issue, two sons and one daughter:
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1770 - 1781 Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Chait Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Benares, elder son of Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Balwant Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Gangapur, by his second wife, Rani Bishan Kanwar Sahiba, educ. privately. Recognised as Heir Apparent by the British authorities, 1765. At his father's death in 1770, the Nawab of Oudh wished to resume the zamindari, but the British authorities prevailed upon him to recognise Chait Singh. He was subsequently granted a sanad confirming his succession under a special British guarantee, 6th September 1773. Transferred to British suzerainty by treaty, 21st May 1775. Confirmed in his zamindari, his titles and honours by a sanad from the HEIC, 15th April 1776. He refused to comply with the engagements requiring the contribution of cavalry and maintenance grants for battalions of sepoys, and began corresponding with the company's enemies. For this, he was placed under arrest within his house in September 1781, pending an interview with the Governor-General, Warren Hastings. He escaped with some of his troops and appealed for assistance from other rulers, but they went unheeded, his troops easily defeated in skirmishes and the rebellion crushed. The zamindari was confiscated and given over to his nephew, 14th September 1781. He then escaped again to Oudh and later to Gwalior, where the Maharaja Scindia granted him the enjoyment of the Deogir jagir, until deprived of it by Sardar Ambaji Inglia. m. (first) … m. (second) at Gwalior, ca. 1790, a daughter of Thakur Kishen Singh, of Benares. m. (third) at Gwalior, a former dancer who d. before 1811. He d. at Gwalior, 29th March 1810, having had issue, three sons:
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1781 - 1794 Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Mahipat Narayan Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Benares, elder son of Thakur Sri Digvijay Singh, of Narhan, by his wife, Rani Padma Kanwar Sahiba, daughter of Raja Sri Balwant Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Gangapur, educ. privately. Proclaimed ruler on the deposition of his uncle, on agreeing to raise the revenue contribution to 40 lakhs p.a. and to dispense justice, 14th September 1781. Formally installed by the Governor-General, Warren Hastings, in person at Ramnagar Fort, Benares, 28th September 1781. He turned over the civil and criminal administration of the four sarkars which had been entrusted to his government to the HEIC, retaining the family domains under his direct control, receiving in compensation Rs 1 lakh p.a., 27th October 1794. m. Rani Gulab Kanwar Sahiba. He d. at Ramnagar Fort, Benares, 12th September 1795, having had issue, three sons:
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1795 - 1835 Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Udit Narayan Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Benares. b. at Benares, 1770, eldest surviving son of Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Mahipat Narayan Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Benares, educ. privately. Succeeded on the death of his father, 12th September 1795. Confirmed as administrator and magistrate within the Family Domains. Granted a sanad confirming him in his possessions, 30th September 1796. He memorialised the government asking for the annulment of the 1794 agreement, but this led to a detailed new enquiry into the administration of the Family Dominions. However, the administration was found wanting and unearthed a multitude of grievances and abuses, which led to the appointment of a a government superintendent to oversee the administration in 1828. m. Rani Nand Kunwarba Sahiba, daughter of Babu Bhagwan Singh, of Majhwar. He d.s.p. at Ramnagar Fort, Benares, 4th April 1835 (succ. by his nephew and adopted son):
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