(Dar ul-Insha)

The Rohilla (or Barech) Dynasty


1719 - 1748 Nawab ‘Ali Muhammad Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Katehir (i.e Rohilkand). b. before 14th April 1706, as Syed Muhammad ‘Ali, from Barha, in Muzaffarnagar district, educ. privately. Adopted as ghulam or chela of by Sardar Daud Khan, the Rohilla commander, at the age of six. Seized the town of Aonla from the Katehria chief, and later led an Imperial expedition against the Barha sayyids of Jansath, in Muzaffarnargar. Rewarded by Emperor Muhammad Shah in 1737 by a grant of the hereditary title of Nawab ‘Ali Muhammad Khan Bahadur, an Imperial mansab of 5,000 zat and 5,000 sowar, and the territory of Katehr in jagir. He overthrew the Imperial governors of Moradabad and Bareilly and secured full control of most of Rohilkhand 1741. He then invaded Kumaon and established control over most of the Terai 1744. Thereby incurring the jealousy of Nawab Safdar Jang. Dispossessed by him with the help of the Raja of Kumaon and exiled to Delhi 1746, remaining a prisoner there for six months. Appointed as Subedar (Imperial Governor) of Sirhind 1746. Joined Ahmad Shah Durrani when he invaded India and entered Sirhind in January 1748, then returned to Rohilkhand and recovered all his former territories. m. a daughter of Yamin ul-Mulk, ‘Izz ud-Daula, Nawab Azmatu’llah Khan Bahadur, Diler Jang, sometime Faujdar of Moradabad. He d. at Aonla, Barelly, 15th September 1748 (bur. there) (succ. by his second son), having had issue, six sons and several daughters, including:
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1754 - 1794 Nawab Faizu’llah ‘Ali Khan Bahadur, Mustaid Jang, Nawab of Rampur. b. before 3rd June 1734, second son of Nawab ‘Ali Muhammad Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Katehir, educ. privately. Taken to Kandahar, in Afghanistan by Nadir Shah. Succeeded in absentia on the death of his father in joint possession of Aonla, 15th September 1748. His territories in India being administered by Nawab Hafiz Rahmat Khan as Regent. Freed and permitted to return to his possessions in 1752. Received Rampur and the pargana of Chachait, in the Bareilly district, as his share at the third partition of Nawab ‘Ali Muhammad Khan’s territories, 1754. Forced to evacuate Rampur and retreat into the Terai in 1759, following the Maratha invasion of his territories. Returned with the help of Shuja ud-Daula of Oudh and drove them across the Ganges. Joined Ahmad Shah Durrani and fought on his side at the Battle of Panipat. Granted Shikohabad in reward for his services, 1761. Forced to retreat to Aonla in 1774, and then further towards Laldhang, when the Nawab Wazir of Oudh invaded Rohilkand and killed Nawab Hafiz Rahmat Khan at Miranpur Katra. Concluded a treaty of settlement with the Nawab Wazir on 25th October 1774 (under British guarantee) by which he received a huge jagir out of the territories formerly controlled by Nawabs Hafiz Rahmat Khan and Dunde Khan. Established his capital at Rampur in 1778, after receiving a guarantee of possession for that place by the HEIC. m. several wives, including a sister of Bahadur Khan. He d. from an infected carbuncle on his back, at the Qila-i-Mualla, Rampur, 18th July 1794 (bur. there at the Imambara), having had issue, nine sons and three daughters:
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1794 Nawab Muhammad ‘Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur. b. 1751, eldest son of Nawab Faizu’llah ‘Ali Khan Bahadur, Mustaid Jang, Nawab of Rampur, by his wife, a sister of Bahadur Khan, educ. privately. Succeeded on the death of his father, 28th July 1794. Installed on the musnaid, at the Qila-i-Mualla, Rampur, 24th July 1794 (recognised by the Nawab Wazir of Oudh). Deposed by the leaders of his clan in favour of his younger half-brother “as the hearts of the leaders of the clan were estranged from him on account of his unbridled tongue and his want of valour”, 14th August 1794. Wounded during the encounter, taken prisoner, but given safe conduct to Dungapur, 17th August 1794. m. a daughter of his uncle, Nawab ‘Abdu’llah Khan Bahadur, of Budaun. He d. as a prisoner (shot in his sleep), at Dungarpur, 20th September 1794 (bur. Madarsa muhalla), having had issue, an only son:
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1794 ‘Ali Jah, Amir ul-Umara, Nasir ul-Mulk, Mukhlis ud-Daula, Nawab Haji Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur, Mustaid Jang, Nawab of Rampur. b. before 11th July 1763, fourth son of Nawab Faizu’llah ‘Ali Khan Bahadur, Mustaid Jang, Nawab of Rampur, by his wife, a sister of Bahadur Khan, educ. privately. Deputy to his elder brother and Bakshi (Paymaster-General) of the army 1784-1793. Chosen as ruler by the elders of his family and leaders of his clan, in preference to his elder brother, 14th August 1794. Ascended the musnaid on the same day, at the Qila-i-Mualla, Rampur. Deposed by the British and the Nawab Nazim of Oudh, 24th October 1794. Attempted to give battle but failed in his bid, and fled from the field 30th October 1794. Imprisoned at Chunar until the payment of blood money, then granted a pension of Rs 1,500 per mensum, given a residence in Benares and his personal properties restored to him. These, he settled on his wife and children, then went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Granted the personal titles of ‘Ali Jah, Mukhlis ud-Daula, Nasir ul-Mulk, Amir ul-Umara, and Mustaid Jang. However, after returning to Bombay, he journeyed to Jaipur where the Maharaja supposedly offered him the Shekhowatee country, yielding Rs 3 lachs p.a. He then summoned 500 Afghans from Rampur, but the Jaipur ruler withdrew his offer, forcing Ghulam Muhammad to flee in distress to Nagore, Bikanir, Bahawalpur, Multan, and Peshawar, 100 of his followers died from the intense cold. He then went over to Kabul to seek aid from Shah Zaman, who merely gave him a document addressed to the Nawab Wazir of Oudh and to the British. He returned to Hindustan, but on reaching Nadaun and hearing of the death of Asaf ud-Daula, he settled peacefully there and the government resumed his pension payments. He d. at Nadaun, near Kangra, Punjab, 16th February 1823, having had issue, six sons:
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continued on the next page.
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Copyright©Christopher Buyers, March 2004 - December 2014