d. 1874 Husam al-Dawlah Timur Mirza.

The Baz-nama-yi Nasiri, a Persian treatise on falconry; online

. (page 1 of 19)
Online Libraryd. 1874 Husam al-Dawlah Timur MirzaThe Baz-nama-yi Nasiri, a Persian treatise on falconry; → online text (page 1 of 19)
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Governor-General of Kirman


Perslw Baluchistan

In Memory


Certain Days not Unpleasant when we Met in the







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The author of tliis work was Husdm" 'd-Daidali Taymur Mirza/
one of the nineteen sons of Husayn 'All Mirza,' Farmdn-Farmd ,
the Governor of tho Province of Fiirs, and one of the sons of
Fath ^AlT Shfih, QfijAr.

On the death of Path 'All Sliali, in A.H. 1250 (A.D. 18:34),

general confusion prevailed : the claimants to the Crown were

many. The details of these claims and the actions of the various

aspirants to establish them are exceedingly complicated and

difficult to follow. The old ZiU" 's-Sult/in first mounted the throne

at Teheran. His nephew the young Muhammad Mlrza was then

Governor of Tabrlz_, and his troops had not been paid for some

time. However, receiving pecuniary support from the English

ambassador, and moral support from the Russian, he marched on

Teheran (pntting out the eyes of a brother or two eii route), and

was met by the army (hastily paid up to date, and even in advance) ,

of the ZiW^ 's-Snltpn. The moving spirit in Muhammad MlrziVs army

appears to have Ijeen an Englishman named Lynch, wlio, nominally

in command of the artillery, virtually managed what cannot be better

described than as " the whole show." Tho camp ot t lie Zill" 'a-Sidhln

awoke in the morning to discover that, during the night, their

General had gone over to the enemy ; and that j\lr. Lynch, having

pointed four big guns at their camp, was haranguing them from

his position, and exhorting them to go home. His arguments

appeared reasonable. Part of the Zill" 'n-SHlfoiis anny crossed

over to !Mi'. Lynch, and part returned home. " Li a moment,

this fine army was disbanded, scattered like the stars of the Great

Bear, every man going to his own place."

Muhammed ]MJrza now entered Teheran without the slightest
opposition, and his uncle the Zill" 's-Sulf/hi, " in the greatest
despondency,'' placed the crown on his head and handed him the
state jewels. .Muhammad Shah (no longer Mirza) then proceeded to

' MJr:-! after (not before) a name signifies Prince.

h 1

xii translator's introduction

despatch the Zill" 's-Sultdn and most of liis uncles and brothers
to the dreaded fortress of Ardabil.

Shaykh 'Ah" Mirza, ShayMi" H-MulLih, '' though he had none of
the requisites of sovereignty except a band of music/' was another
prince that made an even more feeble bid for the throne. He was
then Governor of Tfiy Sarkan. Royal governors, in Persia, have
bands that play in the evening ; but a morning band is a prerogative
of the Shah. 8haykh 'All Mirza ordered his band to play in the
morning as well as in the evening, and thought that by so doing he
had become Shah. However, on receiving the unexpected news
that Muhammad Shah was in Teheran, he tendered his submission,
and was soon packed off to join the "caravan " at ArdabTl.

Haydar Quli Mlrza, SJhih lyhtiydr, another royal prince, also
made a burlesque attempt to obtain sovereignty. His own
adherents split into two parties, quarrelled amongst themselves,
and then at a moment's notice turned him out of the city of which
he was Governor. On his way to Isfahan he fell off his horse, and
was carried into that city in a prostrate condition. Once or twice,
after this, he flits across the page of history as a fugitive from the
wrath of Muhammad Shah.

It must not be supposed that all this time the Farmdn-Farma, the
father of our author and the eldest living son of the late Fath 'Ali
Shah, was idle. He seems to have been popular in Fars, for Sbiraz
was kind enough to offer him the crown of Persia. He induced his
brother the Shnjd'" 's-Saltanah, the Governor of Kirman, to have
coins struck in his name there, and also the Khutjjah read in his name
at the Friday prayers. He further sat on a throne in Shiraz. A few
days later, news of the arrival of Muhammad Shah in Teheran
and of the abdication of the ZiW 's-Sulf/hi, reached him. The
Shnjd> 's-SaUajiah, who had arrived at Shiraz from Kirman, was
then placed in conmiand of an army, and under him were two of
the Farmdn-Farmd's sons, Najaf Qull Mirzfi in command of the
Cavalry, and Biza QuIl Mlrza in command of the Infantry. The
destination of the army appears to have been Isfahan, the inhabi-
tants of which, it was hoped, would declare for the Farmdn-Farvid.
The season was winter. The second march was commenced in a
storm of snoAv and rain. The plains became a lake : the hill
passes were blocked by snow : men and horses died : guns sank
in the mud: property was lost. ,_Rations, too^ ran short, and

translator's introduction xiii

the country had lately been visited hy locusts. Even proper
guides were wanting. P>ut worst of all, one march fn mii Isfahan,
^\r. Lynch was discovered blocking- the way. In the night, three of
Ml'. Jjynch's artillerymen "deserted" to the Shira/ camp, and
tampered wirh its artillery. In the skirinish next morning, all the
artillery horses of the Shn-az camp went hoijily over to Mr. livncli.
The rcMuainder of the Shiraz army scattered and disappeared, got
entangled in the mountains, and i-etraced its steps to iind Mr. Lynch
with some artillei-y blocking one path, and a ^Fr. ^" Shir " —
aj)parently another Lnglishinan — blocking another.

The Shiraz Comniander-iu-Chief, with his two nephews, and
presumal)ly a i-emnant o\' the army, eventually slnid< hack into
Shiraz, in a miserable plight from hunger and exhaustion. A
grand Council was then held, and everybody talked, and the
Farmdn-Fiiniiif listened to all in turn. One thing seems (piite
certain^ no one did anything. Strange rumours now began to
reach Shiraz of weird Turkish troops that spoke no Persian, and
were commanded by an nl)i(|uitous Englishman. The merchants,
panic-stricken, fled with their property. The city people revolted,
and seized some towers; while the troops, of coui'se, deserted to
the other side. A faithful eunuch then informed the Farmdn-
Farmtl that he had met some of the city i)eo])le on their way to
seize the gates, and that a plan had been concocted for cajituiang
the Farm a V- Farm (^ with all his relations, adding that the delay of
one minuUi meant the loss of everything. Still the Farrndn-Farmd
shilly-.shallied : still he maintained his attitude of keeping " one
foot in the stirrup and one on the ground," giving ear, first to the
advice of his son to flee, and then to the advice of his brother the
Shiij(7'" s-SaUannh to stay. The re.-ult was, that the two elder
jn-inces were taken. 'I'he Farmdji-Farmd was deported to Teheran,
where he was honourably treated but s]ieedily died. The Shaj
s-SaUcinah Vins carried to Teheran, deprivtd of his sii^-ht en route,
and then sent to enliven the family party at Ardabil. Tli(> princes,
Najaf Quli Mirza, Kiza Quli Mirza, Taymur ^Nlirza the author of
this Baz-Kama, with Nawab l.lajiya the mother of Najaf QuiT
Mirza, and three more princes, brothers or half-brothers, narrowly
effected their escape, and a month later reached I^aghdad in safety.

At tliat time relations between the English and Persian Courts
were extremely friendly. The eldest prince, Kiza C^)uli Mirza, with

xiv translator's introduction

his brothers Najaf Qull Mlrza^ and Taymur Mirza our autlior,
started for England to obtain the mediation of William IV., reaching
Loudon via Damascus and Beyrout in the summer of 1836. Their
journey from Damascus to Bej'rout was as feckless and mismanaged
as their expedition to Isfahan.

For four months the princes were a popular feature of London
Society, and during that time succeeded in losing their hearts
several times. Then, as they had obtained the object of their
journey, Lord Palmerston having arranged matters to their satis-
faction, they returned to Baghdad and exile.

Xajaf QulT Mlrza wrote an account in Persian of the events that
occurred on the death of their grandfather Fath 'All Shall, and of
their own adventures in consequence, and he also kept a diary of
their tour to England and back.

As'ad Ya'qTib Khaijijdi,^ a Syrian Christian who had accompanied
the princes to Europe as Dragoman, secured this MS, in Baghdad ;
but on his journey back to Syria he was held up by Bedouins and
deprived of that portion of the MS. that treated of the actual flight
of the princes from Shiraz and of the arrest of their father — the
illiterate Arabs mistaking these pages for the Holy Qur'an. The
remainder of the journal was translated by him into English, and
under the title of a " -Journal of a Residence in England and of a
Journey from and to Syria, of their Royal Highnesses Reeza Koolee
Meerza, Najaf Koolee Meerza, and Taymoor Meerza of Persia,'^ was
printed in London for private circulation only. The present tragi-
comic page of Persian history has been compiled, partly from this
narrative, and partly from Persian sources.

Some twenty-eight years after the bid for sovereignty, and
fourteen years after the death of their cousin Muhammad Shah, the
two princes Riza Qull Mirza and Taymur Mirza started from
Baghidad to revisit their native land. Who knows what secret
hopes they cherished, what dreams they dreamt of royal favour ?
In a few j^athetic words, our author, in his Preface, informs us that,
at the second stage of their journey, the truth of the sacred text,
' And ye know not in what land death shall overtake you,' was
forcibly revealed to him : his brother suddenly sickened and died.

^ In his translation of the Journal he transliterates his name
Asaad Y. Kayat. Khayydt is a comniou family name amongst Syrian

TRANSLATOk's introduction XV

Tayimir Mii-zn \v:is well r(.'ri.'ivL'cl by Nasii" \l-I)iii Slifili, wiiose
coustnui companion he became in all s]iortinii, the Divinely-aided, a King
and the son of Kinofs ; ami wlicn the t'aiiu' of tlic .lustice and the
echo oi' till' Clemcncv of ihis jicci-less Monarch sju'cad and rc-
sonndod tlirouo-hout the world, nay reached even to the high
oratories uf Heaven's Donus 1, your humble slave, with R!^

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Online Libraryd. 1874 Husam al-Dawlah Timur MirzaThe Baz-nama-yi Nasiri, a Persian treatise on falconry; → online text (page 1 of 19)