Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

The Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 online

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son Fartab Singh a Member of the Council. Mai Chand
Kaur was to remain Regent until the birth of Sahib Kaur's
child, when other arrangements were to be made. This
agreement was signed by Bajas Dhian Singh and Gulab
Singh, Sardar Lahna Singh Majithia, Atar Singh Sindhan-
walia, Fateh Singh Man, Mangal Siogh Sindha, Tej
Singh, Sham Siogh Atariwala, Dhana Singh Malwai,
Jamadar Ehushal Singh, Bhais Ram Singh and Gurmukh
Singh, Fakir Azizudin, Diwan Dina Nath and Shekh Ghulam
Mohaiudin. Both parties, cajoled by Raja Dhian Singh,
were fully represented in the deed ; and Prince Sher Singh
seeing resistance hopeless, and not understanding the policy
of the Raja, retired to Batala, where he waited his opportunity
for action.

The counsellors of the Mai were not long in discovering
their weakness. The Raja scarcely ever attended Darbar,
but spent his time in hunting and shooting ; while day by day
the coimtry grew more unquiet, the roads became insecure,
crime largely increased and the outlying frontier districts
were preparing to rebel. Dhian Singh had now convinced
himself that the Government could not be carried on without
him ; but he wished to convince the counsellors of the Mai of
the same fact, and accordingly on the 2nd January 1841 he
left for Jamu. Ruin now fast came on the Gt)vemment.
The army began to mutiny ; the Generals would not obey
orders ; and one week after the Raja's departure expresses
were sent off by Mai Ohand Kaur and Bhai Ram Singh by
the hand of Misar Lai Singh, Fateh Singh Man and others,
urging him to return without delay. On the 13th January
Ajit Singh Sindhanwalia left Lahore under pretence of
retiring to his village of Raja Sansi before the arrival of

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Dliian Singh ; but he instead travelled to Ludhiana with
a message from Chand Kaur to the Agent of the Governor-
General, but failed to obtain an interview.

On the 14th Lahore was taken by surprise by the arrival
of Sher Singh at Shalamar, six miles from the city. The
Prince had been sounding the army, and found it generally
well disposed towards him ; the French Generals had promised
him their support ; and he accordingly prepared to try his
fortune during the absence of Raja Dhian Singh in Jamu. On
his arrival at Shalamar, an officer belonging to one of General
Gulab Singh's battalions waited upon him and begged him
to proceed to their lines. The Prince accepted the invitation
and marched to the Begampur lines, where he encamped amid
Gulab Singh Povindia's battalions under a general salute.

The garrison of the fort had not been idle. With the
Mai in the fort were Bajas Gulab Singh and Hira Singh,
and Sardars Atar Singh Sindhanwalia, Mangal Singh Sindhu
and Ghulam Mohaiudin. Reinforcements were called in :
three battalions of Amir Singh Man and the artillery of
Lahna Singh Majithia. Guns were posted at all the city
gates, and the troops of Raja Suchet Singh and the Cbariari
Horse were marched from Shahdara and drawn up in front
of the fort. Camel messengers were also sent off to summon
Raja Dhian Singh with all speed.

During the 15th a large proportion of the army went over
vto the Prince, and on the morning of the 16th he had with him
twenty-six thousand foot, eight thousand horse and forty-five
guns. He then marched in great state, accompanied by
Generals Ventiura, Court and many Sikh Sardars to Lahore, and
entered by the Taxali gate without opposition. At the Pad-
shahi Mosque Colonel Dhonkal Singh delivered up to him the
magazine stored there, and in a short time he was in possession
of the whole city. He then summoned the fort to surrender.
But Gulab Singh had resolved to defend it. The garrison now

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consisted of about three thousand men, principally hill troops
of the Raja, and upon them the treasure of Ohand Kaur was
lavishly spent. Gulab Singh went round to every post and
inspected the defences, encouraging the men by presents and
promises. The attack began by the discharge of fourteen
double-shotted guns against the Hazuri Bagh gate of the fort.
The gate was blown in, and the besiegers, headed by a mob of
fanatical Akalis, charged through the opening with shouts
of triumph. But the besieged had two guns loaded with
grape just behind the gate, and these were now fired with
such terrible effect that the enemy were driven back in
confusion and with great loss. The gate was then barricaded,
and the fort opened fire upon the Hazuri Bagh. The Dogra
soldiers were first-rate marksmen ; and Sher Singh lost so
many men that on the morning of the 17th he withdrew
from the Hazuri Bagh to the Fadshahi Mosque. During the
night of the 16th, the assailants had kept up a heavy fire
from fifty pieces of cannon and howitzers, and had brought
down a considerable portion of the southern wall. The
party of the Mai now began to think of their own safety.
Bhai Ram Singh waited on the Prince and was well
received ; and the next day Jamadar Khushal Singh and
his nephew Tej Singh, who had been most profuse in their
professions of devotion to the Mai, tendered their allegiance
to Sher Singh.

Baja Gulab Singh was again summoned to surrender. He
asked for a truce till the arrival of his brother, who was
hastening back to Lahore. This was refused ; and he then
swore that, as a Rajput, he would defend the fort to the last.
Firing was then resumed, and was continued throughout
the day. In the evening Raja Dhian Singh and Suchet
Singh arrived from Jamu and encamped outside the city. The
latter visited Sher Singh, and reported that Dhian Singh
would attend the next day. Accordingly, on the morning

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of the 18th, the Raja and the Prince met. The firmer
expressed his regret at the hasty conduct of Sher Singh, and
recommended immediate negotiation being opened with the
defenders of the fort. Raja Gulab Singh was glad enough to
treat, and his brother obtained for him favourable terms.
The garrison were allowed to retire with their arms and all
the honours of war, Mai Chand Kaur renouncing her
pretentions to the Regency and receiving the grant of a large
jagir at Kadiali near Jamu. These terms being arranged.
Raja Gulab Singh marched out of the fort at midnight on
the 19th and encamped on the plain in front of it : Sardar
Atar Singh Sindhanwalia followed and encamped at Shah
Bilawal. The next morning the Prince with an immense
procession went to review the artillery and thank them for
their services, and then proceeded to the fort, where he took
seat on the throne while all the artillery saluted. Mai Chand
Kaur was at this time in the Saman Burj in charge of the
high priest Bikrama Singh.

The city of Lahore now became a prey to anarchy
and license. The soldiery could not be restrained, and
plundered the houses of friends and foes alike. Jamadar
Khushal Singh very nearly fell a victim to their fury ; and
others peculiarly obnoxious were Raja Gulab Singh, General
Court, Sardar Mahomed Sultan Khan and Lahna Singh
Majithia. The camp of the last-named Chief was plundered,
and the army proposed to attack that of Gulab Singh ; but
he had been reinforced, and set off for Jamu with an
inmiense amount of treasure, and accompanied by Jamadar
Khushal Singh, who found Lahore no longer safe. The house
of General Court was attacked by three regiments of his
own battalion, and he fled for protection to General Ventura,
who had to use his artillery to protect himself and his friend.
The munshis and writers were hated by the army for their
extortion and fraud, and were hunted down in all directions and

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killed. The life of no mau was safe who admitted that he oould
write, or whose fingers showed that he was used to hold
the pen. In these terrible days every man gratified his private
revenge : officers were killed by their men ; shopkeepers by their
debtors ; and all the horrors of a storm had fallen upon the
imhappy city. It was many days before the troops were
pacified, and the license which they then enjoyed they never
forgot ; from that time they grew more and more mutinous
and reckless, till neither King nor Minister could restrain

The State installation of Sher Singh as Maharaja did not
take place till the 27th. The tikay or mark of Bajaship,
was imprinted on his forehead by Baba Bikrama Singh,
who also presented the khilats of investiture to the Maharaja,
to Prince Partab Singh as Heir-apparent, and to Raja Dhian
Singh as Minister. AU the Chiefs and Sardars were present
and tendered their allegiance to the new Sovereign, and for
Rani Chand Kaur the game was played out.

During these events Raja Dhian Singh and Raja Gulab
Singh appeared to take different sides ; but there is every
reason to believe that they always maintained the closest
alliance between themselves. One brother adopted the cause
of Sher Singh, and the other that of the Rani, in order that,
whichever was successful, their own power and wealth might
be secured. Raja Dhian Singh's conduct was such that his
most devoted adherents were sometimes doubtful which party
he really favoured ; but although prepared for any emergency,
he had a definite policy. He left Lahore for Jamu, hoping
that Prince Sher Singh would in his absence make an effort
to win the throne. He desired his success ; but wished to be
absent from Lahore, as he should have been compromised
by the failure of the Prince, and it would have been indecent
to have openly joined him while the Minister of Chand Kaur.
Boti supposing Sher Singh too timid or too wanting in energy

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for the effort, Dluan Singh's absence from Lahore would
still be advantageous to him. It would finally convince
the weak government of Bani Cband Kaur that the Raja's
help was necessary to their existence ; and he would have
been recalled with full powers, and would have been able to
put Sher Singh aside as no longer necessary to his personal
ambition. The army was also devoted to the Raja, without
whose aid Sher Singh could never hope to reign. But this
project almost failed through the precipitance of Sher Singh.
He knew Dhian Singh sufficiently to fear and distrust him,
and hoped to gain power without his assistance at alL For
this reason he attacked the fort immediately the army had
come over to his side. Raja Dhian Singh at Jamu, and Raja
Gulab Singh in the fort, had never anticipated this. Both
knew that if the Prince should succeed without their help
their influence would be destroyed, and for this reason
Gulab Singh tried to obtain a respite from hostilities till his
brother should arrive ; and when this was refused determined
to defend the fort to the last. He was, too, in the presence
of danger brave as a lion ; and though he always preferred
intrig\ie to violence, yet, when intrigue had failed, there was
no more skilful or gaUant warrior than he, and he considered
that in honour he could not yield the fort without a struggle.
There was another reason which induced him to defend the
fort. This was the immense wealth which it contained ; and
a great portion of which, in money and jewels,* he carried
away with him to Jamu. But putting Gulab Singh, his
policy, his bravery and his avarice aside, that the fort was
defended in the interest of Dhian Singh and not of Chand

* It has been ttated that when Sher Singh entered the fort Golab Singh presented
to him the Koh-i-nor diamond, which he aaserted he had preaerred. This is not
oorreot. The Maharaja, on gaining the fort, was in great alarm at not finding the
famous diamond, and both he and his Ministers believed that Qnlab Singh had
carried it off, as no donbt he wonld have done had he been able. But abont a
fortnight later Misar Beli Bam discovered it at Fatehgarh, the ancestral Triage
of Bani Ohand Eaor, whither that lady had tent it with many other erown jewels.

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Kaur is clear from Raja Hira Singh being present witliin it,
and one of its ablest defenders being Sultan Mahomed Khan
Barakzaij a devoted follower of the Raja.

There is little more to tell of Bani Chand Kaur. Baja
Gulab Singh proposed to take both her and Bani Sahib Kaur
with him to Jamu ; but this Sher Singh would not allow.
He did not wish to put weapons into the hands of his enemy.
She was ordered to leave the Saman Burj and retire to her
house in the oitj, and here she carried on her intrigues with
the Chiefs and the army. Sardar Ajit Singh Sindhanwalia
she sent to Calcutta to plead her cause with the Governor-
General, and her emissaries were busily employed all over
the country. In October 1841 Sardar Atar Singh proceeded
at her invitation from Thanesar to Firozpur, where he waited
for a favourable opportunity to enter the Panjab. In the
interest of the Mai were at this time about twelve thousand of
the army and sonie powerful Chiefs ; but as Sher Singh grew
unpopular from his inability to comply with the demands of
the troops, the influence of the Mai increased, and in April
1842 the army generally was favourable to her cause.

Maharaja Sher Singh now perceived that so long as this
ambitious and scheming woman lived he could not be secure,
and resolved on her destruction. Baja Dhian Singh equally
desired her death. It is true that she was at the head of a
party which his countenance could at any time render
formidable should Sher Singh desire to get rid of him; but
he saw that this was an improbable contingency, and that
the Maharaja was convinced that, however much he disliked
his Minister, he was unable to carry on the Government
without him. He thus agreed to the death of the Rani, which
he believed would free him from the fear of the hated

Early in June 1842 Sher Singh, with most of the
Chiefs and a large force, marched to Wazirabad, Raja Dhian

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Singh remaining behind in Lahore. Chand Kaur had been
ordered to take up her quarters again in the fort, of which
Mian Singh was in charge; and on the 12th of June her
slave girls, who had received their orders, attempted to kill
her by mixing poison in a beverage which they offered her.
She tasted it and threw it away ; and the girls then, fearing
their design was discovered, fell upon her with stones,
fractured her skull and left her for dead. Raja Dhian Singh
attended his victim immediately and had her wounds dressed.
Fakir Nurudin thought at one time there was some hope
of her life ; but she never recovered her senses, and died
within two days. The assassins were heavily ironed ; and it
is said that when threatened with mutilation they accused
Dhian Singh openly of having instigated the murder, and of
Laving promised them great rewards for effecting it. Their
fate is unknown ; but it is supposed they were made away
with by order of the Raja.

Ghanda Singh, the brother of Rani Chand Kaur, held
the Kanhya estates until the accession of Sher Singh. They
had been much improved by Nao Nahal Singh who had sent
to Fatehgarh much of his treasure which, with that
accumulated by Chand Eaur, was seized by Sher Singh in
February 1841. Kesra Singh and his mother were taken
to Lahore, and were only released on the intercession of
Chand Eaur, whom Sher Singh at that time hoped to marry.
Jagirs of the .value of Rs. 60,000 were left to Chanda Singh,
Rs. 45,000 of which were resumed after the murder of the
Rani, when her large estates near Jamu fell into the hands of
Raja Gulab Singh.

The misfortunes of the family were not yet ended.
When Hira Singh rose to power he confiscated the whole of
the remaining estates of Chanda Singh, the reason given
being that he had illuminated his house on hearing of the
death of Raja Dhian Singh. Whether the story was true or

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false^ it is certain that in the Raja's death Chanda Singh had
every reason for joy.

When Sardar Jawahir Singh became Minister, he
restored to the family a jagir worth Rs. 3,060 at Talwandi
and Eotli, which Kesra Singh enjoyed until his death in
1870. His son Ikbal Singh and his nephew Sarup Singh
are now the sole representatives of the family. The former
resides at Sangalpur in the Amritsar district. They jointly
hold jagirs and mafis in Amritsar yielding Rs. 640 per

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BamcUkt Singh.

Sahib Singh. Ban Singh.

Nadhan Singh Stijaa Singh Mai Hit Singh. Jaimal Singh.
n.1839. ».1878. Singh. " |


Jairala Singh AlaStagh FAWnAB Suiw Mahtab Hirabingh Wa«il Singh,
n. 184«. D. 1888. ». 1818. Singh ». J ^^
! I ». I Lai Singh.

Hamam Bhagwau Udham Sant Singh Balwant Arjan Singh Snjan Singh

Singh Singh Singh n. 1886. Singh i. 186S. b. 18667^

B.1878. 1.1863. n. 1^4. I B.l^.

Gnrdayal Singh Hardaval Singh

Bt 1863. !• 1886.

The Panjhatlia family, of Tawar Rajput origin, claim to
have descended from Raja Dalip or Deblu, the wise and just
Prince, who, before Alexander had invaded India or Vikramajit
had ascended the throne of Malwa, founded and ruled over
the city of Dehli.* In the reign of Aurangzeb, Rai Sahjran,
an ancestor of Sardar Nadhan Singh, emigrated to the
Fanjab and settled at Chawa Chada iu the Jhilam district,
where he lived for some fifteen years, and then removed to
Amritsar, where his son Rai Than Wada founded the village
which is still known by his name.

Dulcha Singh was the first of the family to become
a Sikh, and entered the service of Raja Ranjit Deo of Jamu,
who gave him a jagir, and posted him with some troops to
guard the frontier, where he was killed in an engagement
with the Sikhs. His son Ramdat Singh joined the Sukar -
chakia Confederacy under Sardar Mahan Singh, who gave
him the command of two hundred horsemen. He was killed

* Indraprasta, which is sapposed to have stood on the site of the present oitj of
Dehli, was the capital of the Pandas, made over, according to the Mahabharat, to
Tudisbtira by his Kara cousin Dharyodhan. Dehlu, who is said to hnye foanded the
modem Dehli and to haye reigned there foar years, from 844 to 840 B.C., was
defeated and taken prisoner by Phnr, Baju of Kamaon, whom Hindu tradition idenfeifiet
with Forns, the opponent of Alexander.

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in the battle of Manchar near Ramnagar, when Mahan Singh
was defeated by the Chatas under Ghnlam Mahomed Khan.
His eldest son^ Sahib Singh, was killed a few years later
fighting against the same tribe. Ram Singh joined Ranjit
Singh about 1798, and received a jagir of Chaparwal in the
Bialkot district. In 1807 he was one of the first in the
storming of Naraingarh, and was wounded in four places.
He shortly afterwards fell into disgrace ; and his jagirs, with
the exception of the hereditary possession of Than Wada,
were resumed.

Sardar Nadhan Singh entered the Ghorcharas on Rs. 4
a day, and served in several campaigns. In the fiercely con-
tested battle of Teri, 1823, he greatly distinguished himself ;
he was several times wounded, and his horse was killed under
him ; and the Maharaja rewarded him with a grant of fourteen
villages in the Gurdaspur district, worth about Rs. 14,000.
Gujar Singh and Mul Singh also received appointments in
General Court's brigade. Nadhan Singh accompanied the
mission sent by the Lahore Gt)vemment to Lord WilKam
Bentinck at Simla in 1831, and three years later he joined
Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa and Prince Nao Nahal Singh in
the Peshawar expedition. He served throughout the
campaign till 1837, when the death of Hari Singh and retreat
of the Afghan army brought it to a close ; and two years later
he himself died, worn out before his time. Nadhan Singh
won the name Panjhatha^ meaning * five handed,' by his
valour. In every battle he was among the first to advance
and the last to retreat ; and his body was so covered with the
marks of his courage that it was said that there was left no
place which the hand could cover without a wound.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh died the same year as Nadhan
Singh, and the estates were confirmed to his son Jawala Singh
by the new monarch Elharak Singh ; Ala Singh being made
commandant in the artillery* Jawala Singh was killed at

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Sobraon in 1846, and was succeeded in his jagirs by Faujdar
Bingli ; but one year later Raja Lai Singh confiscated the
whole estate, with the exception of three villages in the
Gurdaspur district, worth Bs. 2,500. Both Faujdar Singh and
his brother joined the rebels in 1848, and the remaining
jagirs were consequently resumed.

Faujdar Singh was in 1858 appointed Thanadar of
Kahnuwan, but was discharged at the time of the general re«
ductions in the Police force. He has lately been invested
with the Zaildarship of twenty-eight villages in the Gurdaspur
district. In 1859 he gave information to the Commis-
sioner of Amritsar which led to the discovery of a criminal
correspondence between Maharani Jindan, then resident in
Nipal, and some disappointed persons in Lahore and Amritsar ;
and for this act of loyalty he received a present of Rs. 500 from
Gk)verament. He is now a Deputy Lispector of Police in the
Muzafargarh district.

Sujan Singh died in 1860. During the detention of
Major George Lawrence and family by Sardar Ghatar Siogh
in 1849 he did his best to assist them, and on the return of
peace received a small pension of Rs. 144 as an acknowledg*
ment of his services. The widow of Jawala Singh received a
pension from Government of Rs. 120 until her death in 1872.

The family is now in poor circumstances. Faujdar Singh
has a mafi of five ghumaos in Mauza Dhanada, Tahsil Raya,
Sialkot ; and he owns land yielding Rs. 100 per annum in
Mouza Panja Ohohan, Tahsil Shakargarh, Gurdaspur, where
he has his home.

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Jodh Singh.

Kartar Singh Sant Singh
D. 1840. B.


Klutralc Singh.

y^tiftT Sinsrh


Sham Singh Prem Singh
n.l84l. B.

Hon SoiOB

Chfttor Singh
B. 1681.

Gaja Singh joined the Kanhya Confederacy under Sardar
Jai Singh about the year 1765, and having done good service
received frora his leader eight villages in jagir, worth Rs.
4,000. Jodh Singh was a child at the time of his father's
death ; but Sardar Jai Singh treated him with liberality, and on
his reaching maturity confirmed to him his father's possessions.
When Sardar Jai Singh died, his daughter-in-law Sada Kaur
succeeded to the command of the Confederacy, and to her Jodh
Singh transferred his allegiance ; and until her imprisonment
by Ranjit Singh in 1821 he remained in her service, assisting
in the administration of her large and scattered estates. The
blow struck by the Maharaja, in the imprisonment of Sada Kaur
and the confiscation of her possessions, was so sudden that little
resistance was offered by the Kanhya Chiefs. The fort of
Atalgarh indeed held out for some time, defended by a woman^
one of the Rani*s slaves, and Jodh Singh, stung by a reproach
of the Maharaja's uttered in open Darbar, threw himself into
the little fort of Nanga, near Jamu, which he defended for
several days, but was at length compelled to surrender, and
was heavily fined and thrown into prison, where he remained
some months in charge of Hukma Singh Chinmi. The next
year, 1822, he was sent as Thanadar to Attock, and for four
years held charge of the fort. He was then recalled to

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Lahore, and i^eived a jagir in the Sbakargarh district, xvith
a third share in the village of Chashma, subject to the
service of thirty-five sowars. He was placed under the
orders of Sardar Atar Singh Sindhanwalia, with whom be
served until the degradation of that powerful house. When
Raja Hira Singh became Minister, Sardar Jodh Singh was
posted to the Raja*s own regiment, the Dera Khas. In the
many revolutions which took place between this time and
the annexation of the Panjab, the modest estates of Jodh
Singh were untouched. Although an old man, he served
with Sardar Ranjodh Singh Majithia during the Satlaj
Campaign with bis contingent, and at the close of the war
retired to his estate at Chashma, hoping to end his days in
peace. But the Multan rebellion broke out ; and his grandson,
Kharak Singh, who had long served under Sardar Sher Singh
Atariwala, and who was with Sardar Chatar Singh in Hazara
when the insurrection began, joined the rebels and, marching

Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 4 of 29)