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Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

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

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collect the revenue. The Maharaja then told Abdul Samad
that he must either accept a jagir in another part of the
country or take the contract himself. He accepted the latter
alternative as the lesser evil of the two, though it proved to be
the greater ; for two years afterwards, from his own care-



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MULTAN DISTRICT. 9S

leesness and the dishonesty of Iiis agents, he fell two lakhs of
rupees into arrears, and not being able to pay, his whole
property was seized and his jagir sequestered. An allowance
of Rs. 3,200 was, however, paid him, which he held tiU his
death in 1850. The British Government gave his sons a
pension of Bs. 1,400 ; but the younger, Ohulam Mohaiudin, was
thrown from his carriage and killed in 1860, and Rs. 700 of
the pension was resumed. The allowance was again increased
to Rs. 1,000 in November 1860.

Sadik Mahomed Ehan was bom in 1814. When sixteen
years of age he was placed in conmiand of ten sowars on Rs.
1,200 per annum by Diwan Sawan Mai, Governor of Multan.
He accompanied the Diwan on his expedition in 1833 against
I ^ the Gurchani, Lisbari, Laghari and Kbosa tribes wben they

1 j made their incursion into Dajal and Khanpur, and fought in

N the skirmish at the Eala Pahar. After this he was thought

• worthy of an independent command, and was sent with forty

horsemen to Harapa, and later received charge of the Bakas
of Eamalia and Sayadwala. In 1838 he again had to march
against his first enemies the Gurchanis and Lisharis, who had
descended upon the plains and were ravaging the country, and
drove them back to the hills with considerable loss. In
November 1843 he attacked and defeated the Khosa tribe
which had taken advantage of the anarchy succeeding the
murder of Maharaja Sher Singh to plunder the Sayadwala,
Satgarha and Haveli districts. In September 1844 Diwan
Sawan Mai was assassinated, and his son and successor,
Mulraj, dent Sadik Mahomed back to Kamalia with full
civil and military powers. In 1845 he was sent against
Fateh Khan Tiwana, who had murdered Painda Khan
Khajakzai with his son Sakandar Khan, and Ashak Mahomed
Khan Alizai, father of Ghulam Hasan Khan, ambassador at
the Court of Kabul, and had forcibly seized the government
of the province of Dera Ismail Khan. He was soon, howevert



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96 THE PANJAB CHIEFS.

compelled to return to his own district, where at the time
of the Satlaj Campaign the Mahomedan tribes, Kharals and
Fatianas, had risen in revolt. Karam Narain, brother of
Diwan Mulraj, was with the force of Sadik Mahomed ; and
the tribes were dispersed with the loss of many of their
number, including Walidad, elder brother of Bahawal Fatiana,
who was imprisoned for life for rebellion in 1857.

When the rebellion broke out at Multan in April 1 848,
and Mulraj had summoned all his officers to swear fidelity
to him on their respective Scriptures, Sadik Mahomed
Khan, with his father, refused to take the oath, and at
the first opportunity went over to Bdwardes, with
whom he served faithfully throughout the war. His local
knowledge was invaluable to the Engineer and Quarter-
master General's Departments, and Majors Napier and
Becher and Major-Qeneral Whish bore the warmest
testimony to his valuable and zealous services. But the
loyalty of Sadik Mahomed did not spring so much from love
to the Lahore Government, or to the British, as from dislike to
Diwan Mulraj. This Governor was of a very different
character from his father ; and though not without ability, was
\ avaricious and suspicious. His confidence he only gave to

Hindus, and consequently the Pathans in his employ all forsook
him when a convenient opportunity offered. Sadik Mahomed
\ Khan at the close of the war received a pension of Rs. 2,000,
^vbesides khilats and valuable presents and a garden at Multan,
jtod retired with his well-won honours from active service.

\ On the first outbreak of the Mutiny of 1857 he was at
Lahore, and offered his services to Government. An order had
been already sent to Multan for him to raise one hundred sowars
for active service ; but, owing to his absence, these men were
raised by fiaji Ghulam Mustafa Khan. On his return south
he accompanied Colonel Hamilton in the expedition against
the Gogaira insurgents. He was present in the action that



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MULTAN DISTRICT. 97

ensued, and was useful in preparing rafts, by which the force
crossed the Ravi at Thali. In 1860 he was made assessor of
Income Tax at Multan, and performed his duties with intel-
ligence and honesty. In exchange for his pension he obtained
the Mahomed Khan-wala garden in perpetuity, and a life jagir
at Lutf abad and Kot Malik, and a well in Bahawalpur, worth
together Rs. 2,937. When the income tax assessment was
completed he was appointed Tahsildar of Shujabad, and
continued to serve until 1868, when he resigned his appoint-
ment. He and his son Ashak Mahomed and his cousin Ghulam
Kadar setout on a lengthened journey to Arabia and Turkey
in 1865. They were received everywhere as distinguished
guests, and returned after an absence of sixteen months,
deUghted with all they had seen. Sadik Mahomed left
the service heavily in debt, and died in 1883. He had
made a distribution of his property to his sons, giving
a double share to Ashak Mahomed, the favourite, now
the recognized head of the family. On him also devolved the
honor of liquidating his father's debts. The family jagir was
valued at Bs. 3,320 under the recent assessment ; and of this,
Rs. 1,555 were released to Ashak Mahomed, while allowances,
aggregating Rs. 444, were passed to the ladies of the family.
j Ashak Mahomed was for a short time Naib-Tahsildar in Multan,

I but resigned in order to look after his family affairs. He was

appointed a member of the Municipal Committee in 1878
r '' and of the District Committee in 1883. He is a Viceregal

' Darbari. His cousin Ghulam Hasain Khan was for some

years a Tahsildar in Dera Ghazi Khan, and is still serving on
the Frontier.



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\



\



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SIALKOT DISTRICT.



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SABDAB BIOHPAL SINGH SINDHU, OF SIBANWALI.



DABGAH BINGE.



Lai Bingh. T«J Qiand.

Ghmsita.



.1



I I

Bani ishAr Kaiir, Huigml Bincb Hnkam Bixkgh HaUm Stngb

II. )IftbM»jft Kbank b. 1864. b. 1836. i». 1846.

Bingh I J

0.1840. BioxvixBnrftS i T

_ J .. B.1860. Gandft Bingh Dew* Singh

Twodftoghten. aw,v^ ' «. v b.18«. b. 18877

Bbibdeo Singh
B.187S.

The ancestor of this family is said to have been one
Hasain, a Sindhu Jat, who about the year 1500 A.D. founded
the village of Hasan wala in the Gujranwala district. The
village of Siranwali (the Place of Heads) in the Pasrur par-
gana of the Sialkot district is also said to have been founded
by him at the place where he overcame the powerful Karaya
tribe, and, having out off the heads of the slain, collected them
in a heap and took his bath over them. But this blood-
thirsty exploit was probably invented later to account for the
name of the village. Siranwali, at any rate, passed out of the
hands of the family ; and Dargah, who first became a Sikh,
had through poverty to leave the Sialkot district for
Gurdaspur, where he became a sowar in the troop of Jaimal
Singh Fatehgarhia, His son Lai Singh succeeded him, but
being a man of some ability he rose to the command of
one hundred horsemen.

The beauty of Ishar Kaur, the daughter of Lai Singh,
was celebrated in the Sialkot district ; and in 1815, when
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was travelling in that direction, Lai
Singh brought the girl to him, and she was sent to the royal
zanana at Lahore. Two months later, however, Ranjit Singh



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lot THE PANJAB CHIEFS.

sent her to his son Prince Kharak Singh, who married her
by ehadar-dalna at Amritsar. Lai Singh died soon after this,
but the young Mangal Singh, his son, profited by ^the royal
connection. When he first came to Court he was but a rude
Jat peasant; and it is said that the Maharaja told the
attendants to change his countey garments for those
fashionable at Court. Mangal Singh had never wompajamas
(the tight Sikh trousers), and, to the great amusement of the
courtiers, attempted to put both legs into that portion of the
garment which nature and the tailor had intended for but
one. But Mangal Singh, though no courtier, was a clever
young man, and rapidly rose to favour^ at Court. Prince
Kharak Singh gave to him the jagirs of Thalur and Khita,
worth Rs. 5,000, and the charge of the Ilaka of Chunian in
the Lahore district. The Prince was so pleased with the
adroitness of Mangal Singh in this appointment, that in
1820, with the Maharaja's approbation, he made him manager
of all his affairs, civil and military, and conferred upon him a
jagir of Rs. 19,000 with the title of Sardar. Mangal Singh
recovered the old family village of Siranwali, which had till
this time been in possession of Sardar Sham Singh Atariwala.
For some years Mangal Singh remained in high favour, receiv-
ing large additions to his jagirs and attending Prince Kharak
Singh in all his expeditions and campaigns. But in the year
1834 Sardar Chet Singh Bajwa, who had married Chand Kaur,
the niece of Sardar Mangal Singh, and whom he himself had in-
troduced to the notice of Kharak Singh, was appointed to the
management of the Prince's affairs in the room of Mangal
Singh. The latter, however, did not suffer in fortune by the
change, as Kharak Singh gave him new jagirs, which with
those already in his possession amounted in value to Bs.
2,61,250, of which Rs. 62,750 were personal, and the balance
for service of seven hundred and eighty sowars, thirty
zamburas and two guns.



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SIALKOT DISTRICT. 103

Chet Singh's elevation was the cause of his destruction.
During Banjit Singh's reign he remained chief favourite of
the Prince, and his power was very great ; for Kharak Singh
was a weak man, and a favourite could influence him as he
chose ; but after the death of Ranjit Singh and the accession
of Kharak Singh, the Sardars, whose jealousy Chet Singh
had aroused, determined to destroy him. Raja Dhian Singh
and Prince Nao Nahal Singh were the leaders of the
conspiracy; and the imfortunate favourite was murdered
openly in the palace, and almost in the presence of his royal
master.

In 1834, when Chet Singh was first taken into favour,
Sardar Mangal Singh was sent to the Multan district to
keep the wild Mazari tribe in order ; but although he was
as energetic as any of his predecessors, he was imable to
restore the frontier to any degree of quiet.

In November 1840 Maharaja Kharak Singh died, and
Rani Ishar Kaur was burnt as a 8ati upon the funeral pile.
It was asserted at the time, and there is every reason to
believe truly, that this lady was not a voluntary victim ; that
she was urged and, indeed, compelled to bum, and that it was
Raja Dhian Singh who was the contriver of the tragedy.
Great jealousy had always existed between Ishar Kaur and
Chand Kaur, the principal wife of Kharak Singh ; and the
influence of this Rani was also used to induce her rival to
become a Sati.

Mangal Singh hoped that he might obtain some share of
power at this time. His position as brother-in-law of the
late Maharaja, and the great wealth which he had amassed
dming many years of service, gave him some reason to believe
that he might, with Prince Sher Singh, be able to form some
stable government; but Raja Dhian Singh, having got rid of
Sardar Chet Singh, had no intention of permitting another
rival to obtain power^ and Mangal Singh fell gradually into



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104 THE PANJAB CHIEFS.

the back ground. Some time later Maharaja Sher Singh
resumed all Mangal Singh's original jagirs, except Rs. 37,000,
but granted him new ones to the value of Rs. 1,24,500 at
Sahiwal and Bankal Chimi. He held these up to 1846, when
Raja Lai Singh seized them, leaving the Sardar only Rs. 86,000
of the old jagirs, and granting Rs. 36,000 new, subject to the
service of one hundred and twenty sowars. This reduction
was the more unjust, as Sardar Mangal Singh, after the death
of Kharak Singh, had not meddled with politics ; and the reason
of the confiscation was evident, as the jagirs were given by Lai
Singh to his brother Misar Amir Chand. In some measure to
make up for his loss, Major Lawrence, the Resident, caused him
to be appointed Adalati, or Chief Justice, of the Rachna Doab.
In this appointment he gave little satisfaction. He was a
plain soldier, and judicial work in no way suited him. When
the rebellion broke out in 1848 he was at Wazirabad, and
was placed in charge of the ferries. According to his own
account, he was taken prisoner by Raja Sher Singh when
opposing the passage of the rebel force, and kept under
restraint imtil just before the battle of Ramnagar, when he
effected his escape and joined Major Nicholson, under whose
orders he remained till the close of the campaign. The
conduct of Sardar Mangal Singh appeared suspicious to the
authorities, and after annexation only a cash pension of Rs.
12,000 was allowed to him for life. But it must in fairness
be remembered that no treason was ever proved against the
Si^ar ; that he joined the British at a critical time ; and that
he was employed in procuring supplies and on other service
for the British army up to the very end of the war. Sardar
Mangal Singh died in Jxme 1864.

He left four widows, for each of whom an annual pension
of Rs, 200 was fixed by the Government. These have all
since died. His only son Richpal Singh was taken under the
Court of Wards until he attained his majority in 1868. In



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SiAtXOT DISTRICT. tof

1870 Sardar Ricbpal Singli married the niece of Rani Jind
Kaur^ widow of Prince Kaslimira Singh, and in 1875 a son
was bom and named Shibdeo Singh.

The Sardar began early to take an interest in public affairs,
and in 1884 was nominated President of the District Board.
He thus enjoys the distinction of being the first gentleman
unconnected with the Government service gazetted to an
appointment of this kind. In the same year he was entrusted
with civil and criminal powers as an Honorary Magistrate
over a circle of two hundred and fifty villages, with his
Court at Siranwali.

Sardar Bichpal Singh has fully justified the confidence
which has been placed in him. He is modest and
impretending; but his influence for good is non^ the less widely
extended over the district as befits his high descent. His
manner and bearing are courteous to a degree.



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xo6 THE PAHJAB CHIEFS.

SABDAB MANGAL SDfQH, WADALA, SINDHU.



OTTSDIT A ILUi.
S, Diwaa Singlu



8.B]uun8ingh NadhAik Bintili. Saltan Singlu Gnlabginfj^

IfalSinfffa Jodh Singh* DesaSingli

B.180e. I B.im^

BiBhanSingh |

B. less, Dewa Sinfl^

B.1864.



& Tek Singh Fateh Singh Kishan Singh S. Sahib Singh
S. 18M. B.1880. D.lSeir S.188ir^
» I



I



8« Jawala Kngh laanan mngn i ^j

»-|®®- ■•18W« 8.1CiV0ALSur«B Baghel Singh

B.Shibdeo Singh Shamaher Singh b.18». b. 1817.

B.187e. B.1W8. i !■



Thakar Singh Hakim

! s. 1880. , Singh

I j I J B. 1858*

Gopal Singh Bnndar Isbar Singh I \

B.1866. Singh B. 187S. Bohan Singh Hira Singh

B. 1M8. s. 1865. B. imT

The Sindhu tribe is of Rajput origin and claims descent
from the Raghubansi Solar Branch. Although there is a
tradition that Sindhu, its founder, came from Ghazni in
Afghanistan, the original home of the tribe was undoubtedly
in the north-west of Rajputana. Their chief settlements at
the present day are in the Manjba. Lahore and Amritsar
have numerous Sindhu villages. There are many in Gurdas-
pur, ninety in Gujranwala, fifty in Sialkot, and a few in
Qujrat. Further north the tribe is not found.

Sindhu first settled in the Taran Taran pargana of the
Ajnritsar district. Many years after his death his descendant
Mochal emigrated to Sialkot, where, close to Daska, he
founded a village to which he gave his own name. Some
generations later, one of his descendants, named Gaju, founded
close to Mochal another village which, as he was the eldest
of the family, he named Wadala (Fanjabi ijoada^ great).

The family first emerged from obscurity during the
Moghal ascendenoyi when one Durga Mai was appointed



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SIALKOT DISTRIOT. 107

Chaudliri over the neighbouring villages. The office was
hereditary, and came in course of time to be held by his
grandson, who was the first of this branch of the tribe to
embrace the Sikh faith. Diwan Singh imtil the day of his
death kept up his allegiance to the Moghal throne, and
received as a reward for his services three villages of his
Uaka in proprietary right.

He left one son, under whom the history of the family
took a new course. Shortly after his father^s death Sardar
Mahtab Singh perceived that the old empire was on the wane,
and determined to strike out a new course for himself. He
began by appropriating the revenue of the fifty-two villages
in his charge, and thereby strengthening his position at
Wadala. He soon realized, however, that he could not stand
alone, so he offered his own and his retainers* services to
two of the leaders of the great Bhaugi Confederacy, Sardars
Ganda Singh and Jhanda Singh. He was allowed to
retain the revenue of the villages, but was bound down to
supply his new masters with a small body of troops. In the
meantime, his third son. Sultan Singh, had married a relative
of Sardar Bhag Singh Malodha. On the strength of this
relationship, and the connection it gave him with Mahan Singh,
the father of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and elated no doubt
by a rapid increase of power, Sardar Mahtab Singh began to
intrigue on his own account. This excited the apprehensions
of Mahan Singh, who summoned him to a family gathering at
Gujranwala. He set out with great pomp and ceremony at
the head of five hundred men ; but on the day after his
arrival he was entrapped, after the fashion of the times, and
put in close confinement. A large force was sent to subdue
Wadala, but the four sons showed a bold front ; and after a
little desultory fighting, an arrangement was come to by
which the young men secured their father's release on
payment of a fine of Bs. 1,25,000. As all the money was



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ro8 THE PAI9JAB CHIEFS.

not foribcoming at onee, Sultan Singb, whose marriage
was partly the cause of the disturbance, was given up as a
hostage. On Mahan Singh's death an attempt was made to
evade payment of the balance, but with no result. Suhan
Singh was released only after the whole fine had been realised.

Previous to this there had been bad blood between Sham
Singh and Nadhan Singh; and on the death of their father,
the feud which his strong hand had kept under broke out.
Their neighbours were not slow to take advantage of this,
and Nadhan Singh Hatu and Bhag Singh Ahluwalia
began to encroach on the Wadala estates* Meanwhile
Banjit Singh invaded the district. He found Nadhan Singh
master of Wadala and Mochal, and defeated him in 1809 in
a pitched battle at Daska. Nadhan Singh Hatu fled to
Kashmir, where Tek Singh, the eldest son of Sham Singh,
had preceded him ; and Wadala was banded over to Kharak
Singh. Both uncle and nephew took service under Ata
Mahomed Khan, the Grovemor of Kashmir ; but the old family
quarrel was still kept up.

When Ata Mahomed Khan refused to obey the invitation
of Dost Mahomed Khan to visit Kabul, and thus recognize
the Amir's sovereignty over Kashmir, measures were taken
by the Amir, in conjunction with the Sikhs, to bring him to
reason. These came to a successful issue in 1813, when
Diwan Mohkam Chand and Fateh Khan drove Ata Mahomed
out of the country. On this, Tek Singh, with such members
of his family and clan as had been following his fortunes,
went over to the Diwan and accompanied him on his return
march to Lahore, where he was given a command by the
Maharaja and proprietary rights over three villages in
Hushiarpur. He deputed his younger brother to look after
the latter, and went on service to Attock. From that time,
until his death in 1844, he was constantly employed on one
or other of the petty wars and campaigns which the E^halsa



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SIALKOr DISTRICT. f#9

found it necessary to engage in to keep their role from
falling to pieces.

In return for Tek Singh's services his uncles were
confirmed in possession of a small portion of the original
family estates^ to which tbey had returned shortly after
the establishing of Ranjit Singh's rule over the Sialkot
district. None of these men, and none of their children,
took any active part in the constant succession of hostilities
which only ended with the British occupation. The ad-
venturous and pushing spirit of the race seemed to be inherited
only by the children of Sardar Sham Singh,

Sardar Fateh Singh died in Hushiarpur in 1830 leaving
no issue, and Eishan Singh succeeded to the management of
the jagir villages. On his death in 1862 the jagir lapsed to
Government, but the family still hold land in the district.
He left two daughters, both of whom have since died.

Sardar Sahib Singh was a soldier like his eldest brother,
and served in the Bara Ghorchara, but he did not enjoy the
same opportunities of distinction as Tek Singh. He died
in 1881.

Jawala Singh and Mahan Singh were with their father
when the latter died in Kashmir. General Mian Singh, the
Governor, provided for the elder, and the younger was given
a commission in the Sher Dil regiment. When the Governor
was murdered by his own troops, Jawala Singh narrowly
escaped with his life. He joined the force that arrived to
quell the rebellion ; and when order was restored gave up
his commission and returned to Wadala, where he remained
looking after the private property inherited from his father.
This was confiscated for bis rebellion during the Second
Sikh War. Sardar Jawala Singh died in 1883 leaving one
son, a boy of five years of age.

Sardar Mahan Singh was given a commission in the
Sher Dil regiment when only ten years of age. He served



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110 THE PANJAB CHIEFS.

with them until 1855, when he retired on a pension of Bs. 20
per mensem. On the outbreak of the Mutiny at Mirat he
offered his services, and was gazetted as Subadar and Wardi
Major of the Banda Military Police. He distinguished
himself by his gallantry during the rebellion, and was twice
severely woimded in personal encounters with the rebels. As
a reward he was granted a pension of Bs. 120 and the rights
of two wells in Mochal.

On the death of Sahib Singh the Government resumed
three-fourths of his jagir, the remaining fourth being divided
between his two sons. The elder, Sardar Mangal Singh, did
not accept Grovemment service, but he has always rendered
loyal assistance to the district officials. Two of his sons are in
the army. Gopal Singh is a Jamadar in the 12th Bengal
Cavalry, and Sundar Singh recently entered the 18th Bengal
Cavalry. Sahib Singh's yoimger son, Sardar Baghel Singh,
has had a distinguished career. When the Mutiny broke out
in May 1857 Baghel Singh, in response to a call from the
Deputy Commissioner, came to Sialkot with two hundred
men, and was appointed a Subadar in the Police ; and after
training his men for a month at Sialkot, and despatching most
of them to Dehli, he returned to Wadala for more recruits.
While there he heard of the revolt of the 9th July in
cantonments. He at once set out alone for Sialkot, and
reached the fort with some little difficulty. He accompanied
Lieutenant MacMahon to Bhiko Chak, and rendered valuable
assistance in watching the disaffected villages in the district.
A year afterwards he joined the Oudh Military Police, and on
the reduction of that force in 1861 he was appointed an Inspec-
tor of Police in the Panjab. During his twelve years of service
in this capacity he developed into a most capable and
efficient civil officer, while his hereditary military instinct
manifested itself on more than one occasion. In 1873 he
was selected for the appointment of Assistant Superintendent



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SIALKOT DISTRICT. in

in the Andamans. Soon after he joined he was given the
charge of the Police of the island in addition to his judicial
and political duties. He retired in 1884 on a well-earned
pension^ having in the previous year received from the
Viceroy the title of Rai Bahadar in recognition of his
hoDourable career. His emoluments comprise the hereditary



Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 8 of 29)