We present a rare collection of " THE KINGDOM OF THE PUNJAB - ITS RULERS AND CHIEFS", originally written by Sir John W. McQueen in 1894 and it remained in obscurity until 1994, when it was unearthed by Ajeet Singh Bagha & Nirmal Singh Mhay Mahi Mukandpuri, who gave their book the new name of "UNSEEN FACES AND UNTOLD CASES - HEROES & VILLAINS OF SIKH RULE". We present their research with thanks.


On scarlet roadside we stand with our eyes fixed on the sombre attic window which opens not! Our sweet mistress named Lost History lifts not her veil! Time moves not in gear reverse! Providence grants not serendipity to capture scenes past! Our doleful ditty draws not response from La Belle Dame Sans Merci! In vain we await a silver lining in cloudless sable! Wrench grows! Heart yearns for union with merry mermaid!
Lo! Firmament splits! Down descends blithe spirit carrying in its trail comment serene penned by McQueen.
While the Stars twinkle on the firmament, non-sparkling Voids separate them from one another. While Hawks soar in high sky, Snakes lie cramped in dingy crevices of the world.
History is a record of collision of Titans and Pigmies, Swans and Ravens, Good Samaritans and Heroes, Blood-Donors and BloodSuckers, Saviours and Killers, Healers and Cutthroats, and Sacha Patshahs i.e. True Kings and Jhutha Patshahs i.e. FalseKings.
As soon as Villains transform themselves into Heroes, global chaos will transform into soothing cosmos.
But the long-awaited promised Millennium thus far remains a vain dream.
No alchemist provides the philosopher's stone, which would gild the iron shoes of sheep that graze pastures on slopes of valleys verdant and broad.
Pages of history outpour more blood than salubrious herbal essence. Villains outnumber Heroes.
We should love to inhale the part of history, which breathes healthful fragrance.
In his Ramkali ki Vaar (M5) preserved in Guru Granth Sahib, the third Guru Amardas makes a rhapsodic assertion:
'' Babanian kahanian put sput karen!"
(Tales of glorious ancestors transform sons into dutiful sons!)
It would seem that the discovery and joyous reading of pure part of history would necessitate the expunction of the villainous part of it. To arise as heroes, more than anything else we must know the history of heroes but it is also necessary to know the negative performance of villains in the past so that we should be able to eschew ugly deeds which people execrated in the past and which they will execrate in the future too.
In our effort to sublimate our lives, while we should select, accept and pick the gold in history, we should identify and reject the dross.
Richard Wilson warns in the Preface to Lives of Great Men published in 1911 in London that (as a binding onus on him) a great biographer rivets attention on the 'crowded hour of glorious life' which won for a man or woman a name to be remembered. In life there are great moments and small moments. Maximum benefit accrues from concentration on momentous moments of lives of great men.
Sir John W. McQueen's work is free from rigmarole.
McQueen named his work The Kingdom of The Punjab - Its Rulers and Chiefs. However, we have changed the title to Heroes and Villains of Sikh Rule.
While creation of history is an arduous pursuit, preservation of history is a rewarding job. If we do not learn lessons contained in available annals, we shall be condemned to repeat the calamities, which we suffered in the past. Our apathy to history incapacitates our visualisation and orientation of forthcoming events. Study of past situations equips us to find mutatis mutandis remedies to our present problems.
Loss of history due to negligence or accident or prejudice remains a serious disadvantage.
Sir John W. McQueen completed this work in 1894. Then his manuscript compilation comprising biographical matter and pictorial representations slumbered in some niche for full sixteen years. In the meantime McQueen passed away. On 1st May 1910 General Charles Pollard contributed a short Foreword to late McQueen's work.
On 13th February 1994 we walked into the London's elfin grotto known as National Army Museum where we fumbled for and found amid fervent jubilation McQueen's treasure chest.
From 1894 to 1994 teams of scholars from India came to United Kingdom, watched half-naked men and women strolling and bathing on sun-lit beaches, delivered tall speeches in lofty halls hired for them by seekers of fame and glory and returned to their native country to tell their fellows the tales of 'research' picked by them from domed British vaults. We wonder why the Providence reserved for us to unearth and present to the world scholars the rare historical monument which had been bequeathed by McQueen for detectives and diviners who would sniff at scrolls buried very deep in valleys weird and enchanted.

O Cleo, on scarlet roadside we stand with gaze focused on sombre attic window! O beloved Muse, lead us to the treasure-troves buried under groves on brinks of rills or in burrows drilled in old hills. Amen!!

Golden Temple during the 19th century

Amritsar, the sacred city of the Sikhs, though boasting no great antiquity, is most picturesque and striking.
The Sikhs may be described as dissenters from Hinduism bound together by military ties: much of the ceremonial and formalism of Brahmanism is rejected, including the most typical dogma of all, the worship of caste.The sect owes its origin to Guru Nanak Shah, who preached this reformation towards the end of fifteenth century. Their rulers, who eventually combined the functions of military chief and spiritual leader, were called Gurus (Teachers) of whom the tenth was the last.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Sikhs formed themselves into Misls (Confederacies), each (Misl functioning) under control of a Sardar (or Chief)- These confederacies practically controlled the whole of Panjab. But some hundred years
later all these Confederacies fell under the rule of the famous Ranjit Singh, who died in 1839.-
After (Maharaja Ranjit Singh's) death, a rapid succession of weak and incompetent rulers followed, accompanied with much disorder, intrigue and considerable fighting between different faction and parties.
The Sikh army now guided by its own self-elected Military Councils became a law unto itself, and believing itself invincible determined on attacking the British, driving them out of their northern possessions, and capturing and plundering Delhi, against the old Muhammedan King (Bahadur Shah Zafar) and people whom they owed a deep and dead religious enmity.
In December 1845, the Sikh army crossed the Satluj, and commenced the hard fought Satluj Campaign. Finally, the British victory at Sabraon in 1846, followed by that of Gujrat in 1849 resulted in the (British) annexation of the Panjab.
Amritsar is a comparatively modem city, having been founded in 1574 by Guru Ram Das. The chief attraction is the famous Golden Temple built by (Guru) Ram Das (Guru Arjan -editor.) in the middle of the lake (variously known as (Amritsar, Amritsarovar, Sudhasar and Sudhasarovar term meaning) the Pool of Immortality."
Perhaps no temple in India possesses so striking and beautiful a situation as this remarkable and sacred temple of the Sikhs. In the dazzling sunshine, this beautiful sanctuary, with its burnished copper gilt roof, shines like gold, while the lake is bordered with palaces of wealthy Sikh chieftains with a background of shady groves gardens. From the mass of greenery stand out, white and dazzling, soaring minarets, pinnacles and towers, while the many coloured throngs of pilgrims on the terraces of the lake and the marble causeway enliven the scene. The temple is reached by an arched causeway inlaid with cornelians, agates and other stones. The Golden Temple stands on a platform in the middle of the lake: it is a small building, and not of the slightest architectural merit, but owing to the richness of its decoration and the unique charm surroundings, it is (part of) one of the most attractive (complexes) in India.
In the Temple sits the Chief Priest surrounded by a large number of white robed priests, who sit round a large silken sheet piled with roses. The Chief Priest chants a verse from the Granth, the Sikh Bible. The other priests, musicians and devotees chant the alternative verses, while all the worshippers file slowly past the Chief Priest in a reverent manner, sing and throw into the silken sheet roses and other flowers as well as money from the smallest copper to silver and gold pieces and occasionally jewellery. The whole ceremony is so simple yet impressive that a visitor leaves the Golden Temple with a feeling that he has not been looking at a sight, but at a reverent act of worship.

Another view of the Temple in the 19/20th centuries

The present Grandeur of the Golden Temple or Harimandir Sahib


In the respectable virtues, he had no part, but in their default he was still great. He was great because he possessed, in an extraordinary degree, the qualities without which the highest success cannot be attained. ... To the highest courage he added a perseverance which no obstacles could exhaust, and he did not fail in his undertakings, because he never admitted the possibility of failure.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was born in 1780. At the age of eleven, on the death of his father Sardar Mahan Singh, Ranjit Singh became the nominal chief of the Sukarchakia Misl. When sixteen, he killed his mother for infidelity to the memory of his father.
In 1797, at the age of seventeen, he assumed the leadership of Sukarchakia Misl, and soon showed his military qualification and great aptitude for command by leading his men, first against his Muhammedan neighbours, and afterwards, as his followers increased, against some of the weaker Sikh Misls.
When Shah Zaman of Kabul invaded the Panjab for the last time, he appointed Ranjit Singh, in 1799, as the Governor of Lahore. (Maharaja Ranjit Singh had captured Lahore on 7th July 1799, therefore the 'appointment' by Shah Zaman is wrong - Ed,) Ranjit Singh soon firmly established his authority in that city and its neighbourhood: and in 1801, having assumed the title of Maharaja, proceeded by force and craft gradually to subdue the Sikh Misls north of Satluj. By degrees, he extended his rule all over the Panjab, and the Himalayan Mountains bordering it, including Kashmir and Ladakh, as well as to the foot of the mountains on the Afghan border.
Ranjit Singh's reign was a long campaign in consolidating his power of which it is impossible to give any account here.
Ranjit Singh was a far-seeing man who never wavered in his loyalty to the Treaty he made with the British Government, well comprehending its great power, and fully trusting that as long as he abided by the terms of the Treaty, the British Government would also do so and would not interfere with him.
Although short of stature and disfigured by smallpox by the loss of one eye, Ranjit Singh was an ideal soldier, strong, aware, active, courageous and enduring, an excellent horseman, keen sportsman and an accomplished swordsman.
He was quite uneducated, could neither read nor write, but had a marvellous memory.
Ranjit Singh had an unusually large share of the weaknesses and vices in human nature.
Ranjit Singh was selfish, false and avaricious; grossly superstitious, shamelessly and openly drunken and debauched.
In the respectable virtues, he had no part, but in their default he was still great. He was great because he possessed, in an extraordinary degree, the qualities, without which the highest success cannot be attained.
Ranjit Singh was a born ruler with the natural genius of command: men obeyed him by instinct because they had no power to disobey him.
To the highest courage he added a perseverance which no obstacles could exhaust, and he did not fail in his undertakings, because he never admitted the possibility of failure.
He possessed the faculty of choosing his subordinates well and wisely, and consequently he was, in a corrupt and violent age, wonderfully well served.
His natural avarice and rapacity were tempered by his appreciation of the advantages of generosity in rewarding good services. With all his rapacity, Ranjit Singh was not cruel or bloodthirsty, and after a victory or capture of a fortress he treated the vanquished with leniency and kindness. To cite an instance of his rapacity, by means of most unscrupulous methods, he compelled the fugitive King of Kabul Shah Shuja, then his guest at Lahore, to give to him the celebrated Koh-i-Nur diamond.
Although sharing in full the course vices of his time, he yet ruled the country, which his military genius had conquered with a vigour of will and ability, in such way as placed him in the first rank of the statesmen of the century.
The six years, which followed Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, were a period of storm and anarchy, in which assassination was the rule and the weak were trampled under foot.
The Kingdom founded in violence, treachery and blood did not long survive its founder. Created by the military and administrative genius of one man, it crumpled into powder when the spirit, which had given it life, was withdrawn.
The death of Ranjit Singh, in fact, was followed by a series of crimes and tragedies such as had rarely paralleled in history, save in the darkest days of downfall of Rome, or in the early days of the French Revolution.
At Ranjit Singh's funeral obsequies, one of his wives and three ladies of his zenana of the rank of Rani were burnt with him.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh married eighteen wives, nine by the orthodox ceremonial, and nine by the simpler rite of throwing the sheet. The Maharaja had many reputed sons, but only one legitimate one, Kharak Singh, who succeeded him.


In his work 'Ranjit Singh' Khushwant Singh quotes Lieutenant Bennett's English translation of Shah Shuja's autobiography containing the deposed Afghan King's personal evidence to the effect that privation of necessaries of life, occasional placement of Lahore Durbar guards around his abode and interdiction on his visiting his zenana comprised the measures resorted to by Ranjit Singh to coerce him to part with Koh-i-Nur.
Cf. A. S. Baaghaa's Panjabi work Mahabali Ranjeet Singh:
On 27th June 1839, the crest-fallen Ranjit Singh lay on bed. Bhai Gobind Ram whispered into his ears: "O bread-giver, pronounce Ram, Ram, Ram." Ranjit Singh's lips moved twice. A third effort to invoke Ram bore no fruit. The swan fluttered away from the elemental cage. Dolorous shrieks arose from zenana. The Maharanis pulled their hair and beat their heads on walls. The sun sank down the western horizon. Despondency lurked in the air. Sikh hymnists hummed verses of Guru Granth: Brahmans, on their part, pronounced Gita's text. On 28th June 1839, Kharak Singh put on dhoti round his waist and poured gangajal on his dead father. Ranjit Singh's spouse Hardevi reminded Vizier Dhian Singh of his pledge that he would accompany his master in his journey to the next world. Clad in new garments, Dhian Singh ran to his master's pyre. Kharak Singh put his turban.
on Dhian Singh's feet and said: "Please do not die, because at this distressful hour, we have none else who can steer ashore the governmental barge."
While Maharani Gaddan walked to her dead husband's pyre, she begged Dhian Singh to stand by Kharak Singh for a year. She told him that thereafter he would be at liberty to itinerate to holy places. Gaddan sat in the centre of the pyre. She placed Ranjit Singh's head on her thighs. Gaddan, Hardevi and two more Maharanis formed the inner ring of Satis. Seven handmaids sat behind them on the pyre. Maharani Gaddan placed Dhian Singh's hand on Ranjit Singh's breast. "Remain faithful to Kharak Singh," she said. She spoke out to Kharak Singh: "Abide by Dhian Singh's counsel." Kharak Singh set the pyre aflame. Maulvi Ahmad Bakhsh Chishti' Yakdil' reports that at that time the clouds sent down soft shower as send-off to the fairies who burnt on pyre. Two pigeons descended from sky and joined the dead Maharaja's partners in their fervent homage to the Lion of Panjab.
Fourteen creatures comprising one man, eleven women and two pigeons were together consumed by tongues of fire, which arose heavenward. McQueen wrongfully reduces the self-immolators to a mere pentad.
Waheeduddin, op. cit., basing his information on heirloom record, makes no secret of it that Ranjit Singh's exploits on bed involved as many as forty-six women comprising regular wives, widows, handmaids and concubines.
In his work, A History of the Sikh People, Gopal Singh observes that the British writers perhaps conspiratorially denigrated Ranjit Singh's sons as illegitimate and that some modern Hindu and Sikh scribes followed suit. Jagjiwan Mohan Walia quotes Foreign Consultations Record preserved in National Archives of India while he observes in his work, Parties and Politics at Sikh Court: 1799-1849, that in 1827 Kharak Singh wrote a letter to the Governor of Bombay Mountsruart Elphinstone, soliciting British government support against Prince Sher Singh in his candidature for inheriting Maharaja Ranjit Singh's power and pelf. Jagjiwan Mohan Walia affirms that in the aforesaid letter Kharak Singh declared that Sher Singh and Tara Singh were not real sons of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The letter was signed by Kharak Singh's son Nau Nihal Singh also. Thus the scandalous infamy of Ranjit Singh's sons sprouted from the ambitious rivalry of Kharak Singh and Sher Singh each of whom wanted to steal march on other to seize Lahore throne. Each got the coveted lofty status only to lose the same in miserable premature demise.
Towards the end of 1826, Maharaja Ranjit Singh became seriously ill. Of course, the matter of his father's recovery was of no higher concern to Kharak Singh than his own installation as the Ruler of Lahore in the event of his father's malady assuming mortal proportions. This explains the background of the aforesaid correspondence addressed by Kharak Singh to Elphinstone in regard to the formers pre-emptive claim to sovereign monarchy of Lahore on the ground of his supposed
half-brothers Sher Singh and Tara Singh having not been born in lawful wedlock.
The pure mind scans merit rather than birth as the succession criterion. Guru Nanak chose his devotee Angad as his successor because the latter rather than the formers sons mirrored the
The psyche and ethos of Guru Nanak. Literally, the term Angad means one born of limb' i.e. son. In Guru Nanak's logic, the son is born of the father's spirit rather than his physical frame.
The ideal son would not clamour for patrimony: nor does ideal dad deny privileges to the dutiful son.
Unfortunately, the reigning family of Lahore failed to imbibe the principles of Guru Nanak. The inevitable result was that they indulged in internecine spite and ruined themselves.


Maharani Jindan, the mother of Dalip Singh, was the daughter of a common trooper in the service of Ranjit Singh.'
Jindan attracted the attention of the old Maharaja, as a clever mimic and dancer, and was taken into his zenana, where her open intrigues caused astonishment in the Court of Lahore.
A menial servant, Gullu, a water-carrier, was generally accepted as the father of Dalip Singh: at any rate, the father was not Ranjit Singh who was paralysed several years before the birth of the child nor did he ever marry Jindan by formal or informal marriage.
In the wild anarchy which succeeded the murder of Maharaja Sher Singh, Jindan, with her last professed lover, Raja Lal Singh played a conspicuous and infamous part, and they both were in a great measure the cause of the Satluj War, and the ruin of the Sikh Kingdom.
In 1848, before the annexation of the Panjab, Jindan banished to Hindustan, on account of the prominent part she took in a conspiracy against the British Resident. She was eventually allowed to go to England, where her son Dalip Singh had been provided with a home.
Jindan died in England in 1863, aged 46.


Jindan was born in 1817 in a village about three miles to southwest of Gujranwala in present Pakistan. Her father named Manna Singh Aulakh was actually Maharaja Ranjit Singh's kennel-keeper, later raised as chamberlain.

Manna Singh Aulakh was a humorist in Lahore Durbar. When Jindan was eleven years old, Aulakh, waggishly and suppliantly, suggested to Maharaja Ranjit Singh that he wondered whether his darling daughter would in due course blossom into an exuberant decoration-piece worthy of adorning that mighty monarch's bedchamber.
Jindan dextrously developed her innate potential for growing into an adept nautch-girl. Her voluptuous exterior made her the focus of many a longing eye.
We learn from Memoirs of Alexander Gardner, that Ranjit Singh took Jindan into his harem where the little beauty used to gambol, and frolic and tease and captivated the Maharaja in a way that smote the real wives with jealousy. In 1830, with the object of calming the jealousy of his wives, the Maharaja sent Jindan, then thirteen, to her godfather at Amritsar where her amorous glances and coquettish pranks continued attracting lustful attentions of no small number of erotic truants.
At long last, Jindan's godfather begged of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the permission for escorting the wayward damsel back to Lahore.
Contrary to Sir John McQueen's observation that Ranjit Singh never married Jindan formally or informal ly, the work Flashman and the Mountain of Light, based on The Flashman Papers 1845-1846, and edited and arranged by George MacDonald Fraser, affirms that in 1835 Jindan went through a form of marriage with Ranjit Singh.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh had first paralytic attack in July 1835. In December 1838, amid festive entertainment of the British Governor-General of India, Lord Auckland, during the latter's visit to Lahore, the Maharaja was gripped by a second paralytic attack.
The Flashman s Papers referred to above suggest that Jindan's exuberant charms possibly turned the smouldering sexual ash within Ranjit Singh into a virile storm and that on this count Dalip Singh was probably a legitimate son of the Lion of Panjab.

The motive of the conspiracy alluded to by McQueen was the murder of the British Resident at Lahore Lt. Col. Hen Lawrence and his henchmen. The plan, which had the secret, and hence non-provable sanction of Jindan, aborted because of its unfortunate leakage. In August 1847, Maharani Jindan was removed to Shekhupura Fort. In May 1848, accompanied by pro-British hostile escort she left that fort, crossed the Satluj to Firozpur and moved to Banaras Fort to rot in confinement. In April 1849 she was taken to Chunar Fort. From there Jindan escaped out in the guise of a seamstress. After that her journey in the false appearance of a Bairagan terminated on her entry in Nepal where her request for asylum elicited a warm response. There she lived in Khatmandu on the bank of the Rill known as Vegmati while scenes of lost glory recurrently flashed on her inner screen. Towards the end of 1860, Dalip Singh specially journeyed to India to bring his mother to England. Dalip Singh's erstwhile Tutor and Guardian, Sir John Login, secured a house for Maharani Jindan on Lancaster Gate in London. Login himself lived in the house then called No. 1 Round-the-Corner. This was only one house between Login's residence and the house procured by him for Jindan. In mid-1862, Jindan occupied Abingdon House in Kensington in London where she lived till death. In this connection, the work entitled 'The Tablet', dated back to 10th April 1875, and preserved in London's Colindale Library provides the following information on its page 454:
... the mansion was occupied by the widow of a ce-devant Indian potentate of high rank, with her Hindoo servants and retainers. A local rumour, which we are unable to confirm or contradict, says that during the residence of the Ranee at Abingdon House, it was the scene of Hindoo religious ceremonies, and even of sacrifices, that were practised by the inmates. It this was really the case, the lustration which the house and grounds must have undergone, it being now devoted to Christian uses, must have sufficiently purged away all taints of diabolic fraud and pagan superstition.

The publication Survey of London, Volume XLll, Greater lLondon Council, 1986 refers to The Tablet, reproduces a partof its above extract and adds that in 1720 the site of Abingdon House was acquired by Sir Isaac Newton, that in c. 1838 a tenant of some standing, named the Fourteenth Lord Teynham resided there, that in 1861-62 Mamaduke Wyvill, M.P., was tenant in it and that at one stage, perhaps after Wyvill, the house was occupied by the widow of a ce-divant Indian potentate.

The exact date of Jindan's death is 1st August 1863. George MacDonald Fraser is wrong while he observes op. cit. p. 370 that Dalip Singh took his mother's ashes to India: he took her dead body to India, not her ashes. After Jindan's death, her dead body was stored in a vault in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. In mid-February 1864, the body was exhumed for taking it to India. There it was cremated at Nasik whereafter the ashes were scattered on the waters of Godavri. After her banishment from Panjab, Jindan, alive or dead, was denied return to Punjab.

McQueen s account omits some quite important events. He does not notice that on Dalip Singh's coronation in September 1843, Jindan and her brother Jawahar Singh arose as Joint Regents to him. Nor does he mention Jindan's dismissal as Regent towards the end of 1846.


Kharak Singh, the only legitimate son of Ranjit Singh, succeeded his father as Maharaja in 1839.

Under the influence of Sardar Chet Singh, a court favourite, the late (Maharaja Ranjit Singh's) Minister, Raja Dhian Singh, was ignored and insulted, and a plan made to assassinate him. But this coming to the Minister's knowledge, he resolutely formed a Coalition with some Chiefs and Maharaja Kharak Singh's only son, a capable youth of fiery and ambitious temper. They circulated a rumour that Kharak Singh contemplated submission to the British Government when the Sikh army would be disbanded. This powerfully appealed to the soldiery, who consequently looked upon the Maharaja as a traitor to his country.

The Minister, with his adherents, entered the palace before sunrise, cut down the Royal Guards, penetrated to the private apartments and killed the obnoxious favourite (Chet Singh) in the presence of his Master (Kharak Singh).

After a reign of three months, Kharak Singh was deposed, and his son Prince Nau Nihal Singh placed on the throne.

The deposed Maharaja died the following year, not without suspicion of poisoning, and his son (Nau Nihal Singh), while returning from his father's obsequies, mysteriously met his death by what is called an accident.
The designing Minister Raja Dhian Singh now outwardly supported the claim of the Queen Mother Chand Kaur to govern as Regent (to the child which late Nau Nihal Singh's pregnant widow would deliver), but secretly he inspired Prince Sher Singh advance his claim to throne as a reputed and acknowledged son of Ranjit Singh.


In conformity with Maharaja Ranjit Singh's wish, Kharak Singh was anointed as his successor on 21 st June 1839 six days before the formers death.

Chet Singh was a Bajwa Jat. He was a close relative of Kharak Singh's brother-in-law Mangal Singh Sandhu. While he was obstinate, fastidious, avaricious and arrogant, he was much less shrewd and much less wily than Raja Dhian Singh whom he wished to supersede through sycophantic and panegyric acting before Kharak Singh. Bajwa oft resorted to boastful threats as means to cow down his rival Dhian Singh.

On 8th October 1839, during night Dhian Singh and his adherents, namely, his two brothers Gulab Singh and Suchet Singh, Prince Nau Nihal Singh whose counsel his father Kharak Singh had, of late, been apathetically disparaging, Treasurer Lal Singh, Col. Alexander Gardner, Suchet Singh's Adviser Rai Kesri Singh and the leading Sandhanwalia Sardars entered the royal palace for soiling their hands with the blood of Bajwa whose influence on the mentally retarded Kharak Singh was foiling every attempt of Prince Nau Nihal Singh to retract him from fallacious policy.

As yet Nau Nihal Singh was at the most a self-appointed Regent and by no means a de jure Maharaja. In native accounts his name is invariably prefixed by Kanwar i.e. Prince.

Kharak Singh died on 5th November 1840. While Nau Nihal Singh and Gulab Singh's son Udham Singh walked back together after the antam ardas or last prayer at the cremation of dead body of Kharak Singh, the archway under which they walked gave way. The impinge of stones which pelted down killed Udham Singh on the spot and wounded Prince Nau Nihal Singh above his right ear. The Prince staggered down, made an effort to rise and demanded water. Nau Nihal Singh was carried into the palace. In vain the Prince's sad and furious mother beat the fort gateway which Dhian Singh kept shut on Nau Nihal Singh's kith and kin.
The contemporaneous evidence preserved in Memoirs of Alexander Gardner and in Dr. J. M. Honigberger's Thirty-Five Years in the East, H. Bailliere, London, leads us to conclude that what the collapse of archway failed to attain was achieved by Dhian Singh's recourse to homicide. The Kanwar met death while on way to investiture as Maharaja! None demanded or ordered enquiry into the grievous tragedy. Dhian Singh's uncharitable refusal to admit Nau Nihal Singh's mother Chand Kaur to the palace to enable her to tend her wounded son is in itself an adequate evidence of his sinister motive. At the same time Chand Kaur's failure to storm the gate to gain access to her son proves her utter resourcelessness.


Chand Kaur, daughter of Sardar Jaimal Singh Kanhaiya of Fatehgarh near Gurdaspur, married Maharaja (then Kanwar or Prince) Kharak Singh in 1812. The marriage was celebrated with great splendour, and General (Sir David) Ochterlony attended the ceremony.
In 1821 Maharani Chand Kaur gave birth to her son Nau Nihal Singh.
On the deaths of her husband Kharak Singh and her son Nau Nihal Singh, both on 5th November 1840, Chand Kaur laid claim to Sikh crown.
Chand Kaur's claim was supported by the powerful Sandhanwalia Sardars, and also by, as she thought, Raja Dhian Singh, the Prime Minister, who was, however, only deceiving her, as he was actually working at that time on behalf of Prince Sher Singh.
The Minister's elder brother Raja Gulab Singh, with his troops fought for Chand Kaur, and held the Fortress of Lahore against Prince Sher Singh and the Sikh army during five days' hard fighting.
[On its surrender (i.e. surrender of Fortress) Chand Kaur renounced her claim to the Sikh throne.
The Dogra brothers. Rajas Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh Apparently often espoused opposite sides, but they were secretly forking in unison, for their armies were common. (Their inner motive was advancement of themselves and their kindred to wealth and power, at all hazards)
In 1842 Maharani Chand Kaur was murdered by her own slave girls to whom she had been inordinately cruel. They beat her to death with their own slippers. Dhian Singh and Sher Singh are believed to have instigated the slave girls, by giving them money and promising them further rewards, to kill their mistress, whom it was well known they hated.
The slave girls were, however, made prisoners. The hands of two of them were cut off. One was released in consideration of her giving a large sum of money as the ransom of her life. The fourth, however, managed to effect her escape.
Prince Sher Singh had at one time wished to marry Chand Kaur, principally for political reasons and her great wealth, but she had rejected his proposals with disdain. His enmity was further greatly aroused against her by Dhian Singh telling him that Chand Kaur had declared that he (i.e. Sher Singh) was either a fool or a madman to suppose that she, the daughter of the great Jaimal Singh of the famous House of Kanhaiyas, would ever think of allying herself with him, the son of a washerman.
This last allusion was to the fact that Maharani Mehtab Kaur, one of Ranjit Singh's wives, and the reputed mother of Sher Singh had never had any children, but had purchased two boys, one of them Sher Singh from poor parents, and had passed them off as twins she had borne Ranjit Singh, hoping thereby to retain her influence over the great Maharaja.

Through the mediation of Dhian Singh, Gulab Singh extracted a word from Sher Singh that in the event of evacuation of the stronghold, his army would take away with impunity the personal effects of Chand Kaur entrusted in his custody. In The Founding of Kashmir State, Alien & Unwin, London, 1953, K. M. Panikkar bears out that a convoy of sixteen bullock-carts carrying silver and gold coins and five hundred horses each laden with a bagful of sovereigns emerged out of the Lahore Citadel and headed for Jammu. With this wherewithal Gulab Singh later purchased Kashmir from the British. Verily it was a colossal pilferage of Royal Treasury.
Chand Kaur expired in June 1842. The trio of the accomplices in the plot, which consummated in her death, comprised Dhian Singh, Gulab Singh and Sher Singh. Hungry hyenas lurk and vicious vermin crawl, while godmen watch and wonder. But Chand Kaur had little virtue on her part to place her above Sher Singh. She had a large share of arrogance. She was peevish and snobbish. She had appended a tall title to her name. She called herself Malika Muqaddas or Pious Queen.



Nau Nihal Singh, the son of Maharaja Kharak Singh was a handsome, vicious and ambitious youth, who was entirely guided by the crafty Minister Raja Dhian Singh.
On the deposition and imprisonment of his father, Nau Nihal Singh was proclaimed Maharaja.
Nau Nihal Singh seldom saw his imprisoned father, but when he did so, it was only to threaten and abuse him.
When his father's death was announced to him, instead of being affected by it, he seemed to think that now the day of his rejoicing and happiness had arrived and calmly gave orders for the cremation of his father's corpse.
This ceremony was performed in an open space opposite the mausoleum of Ranjit Singh. On its completion Nau Nihal Singh, taking the hand of Mian Uttam Singh, son of Raja Gulab Singh and nephew of the Minister Raja Dhian Singh, started at the head of the returning funeral procession to proceed through a deep arched gateway.
As they were emerging from the gateway, a crash was heard: beams, stones and tiles fell from above, and the two young men were struck to the ground.
Mian Uttam Singh was killed on the spot, but the young Maharaja was picked up senseless, placed on a litter and conveyed to an apartment in the adjacent Lahore Fort by Dhian Singh, who allowed no one to see or attend upon him except himself and two of his immediate followers. Then it was that the infamous Dhian Singh had him smothered: at least the Sikhs and others came to think so.
At first it was given out to the Sikh Sardars, that Nau Nihal Singh was likely to do well, was only wounded and for a time insensible.
Shortly afterwards Dhian Singh visited Nau Nihal Singh's mother, and told her that her son had died about half an hour after his removal to the Fort.
Dhian Singh then convened an Assembly of some of the principal Sikh chiefs and told them the same story, and advised that the Maharaja's death should not be made public fora few days, when it should be decided whether Nau Nihal Singh's mother Maharani Chand Kaur, or Prince Sher Singh, a reputed son of Ranjit Singh, should be selected to rule.
Dhian Singh had promised Chand Kaur during his interview with her that she should reign, but his great object was to ensure her silence and gain time, until the arrival of Sher Singh to whom he had privately written to lose no time in coming to Lahore.
On Sher Singh's arrival the death of Maharaja Nau Nihal Singh was publicly made known, and after much intriguing and some very severe fighting Raja Gulab Singh, who was supporting Chand Kaur's claim and maintaining the Citadel of Lahore against the Sikh army, surrendered the Citadel to Sher Singh, who became the Maharaja of Panjab.

As observed in Maharaja Kharak Singh- during the period from de facto deposition of Kharak Singh to his death, Nau Nihal Singh may be more correctly designated as a self-appointed Regent rather than a full-fledged Maharaja.
The real name of Gulab Singh's son who was mortally struck under impact of crashed masonry was Udham Singh.


Within eighteen hours of murderous assaults on Maharaja Sher Singh. his twelve-year-old son Partap Singh and Vizier Dhian Singh, the Sikh soldiery killed the killers.

When Maharani Mahtab Kaur had been married to Ranjit Singh for more than ten years without bearing him any children, it was given out soon after Ranjit Singh's departure from Lahore on his cis-Satluj campaign of 1807 that the Maharani was pregnant.
On the Maharaja's return, his wife presented him with Sher Singh and Tara Singh as her twin sons.
But Ranjit Singh was not deceived: he knew his wife was barren and had bought the children to pass them off as his own, and had once before for the same purpose purchased one which had died. It, however, suited him to acknowledge these children as his own, and they were always treated as his sons and bore the title of Shahzada (meaning) Prince.
Sher Singh succeeded Nau Nihal Singh in 1841.
Sher Singh was a brave but stupid man, had seen much service with the Sikh army and was popular with the soldiers, with whose aid he was subsequently able to establish himself on the Sikh throne, after compelling Raja Gulab Singh to surrender the Citadel o Lahore.
Shortly after the succession of Sher Singh intrigues and a most mutinous spirit became rampant in the Sikh army, and the Maharaja and his Government soon lost all control over it.
The military administration was conducted by Panchayats of Councils of five delegates per Regiment elected by their comrades, who demanded increase of pay, dismissal of all officers obnoxious to them etc. On their demands being refused they murdered many officers, and plundered Lahore. At last, tired of their own excesses, they modified their requests and tranquillity was restored, but discipline and subordination in the army had entirely ceased.
Maharaja Sher Singh, on all occasions, expressed himself favourable to the British, scrupulously adhering to Ranjit Singh's policy regarding them. It was solely owing to him, that the British army, returning from Afghanistan in 1842, was allowed undisputed passage through Panjab, though many of the Sikh chiefs were anxious to attack it, as they thought that the potent spell of victory, so long attached to the British arms had been broken at Kabul, and by the policy of evacuating Afghanistan.
About two years after Sher Singh's accession, he was assassinated on 15 September 1843 by the Sandhanwalia Sardars Ajit Singh and his Uncle Lehna Singh.
Immediately after the completion of the foul murder, they with their followers proceeded towards Lahore three miles distant.
On their way they met Raja Dhian Singh, who had instigated them to kill Sher Singh. They, having killed the Maharaja, insisted on Raja's going back to his house (and pretended that there) they wished to tell him (in detail) what had occurred, and (that there they wanted) to consult him as to what steps should now be taken (to consolidate gains to mutual advantage).
As the Sandhanwalia Sardars and their followers far outnumbered the few men with Dhian Singh, he was forced to comply, but no sooner had they dismounted at his house and gone inside with him than they murdered him and some of his followers.
Dhian Singh's son Raja Hira Singh, having escaped when his father was killed, rode at once to the large Sikh (army) camp in the neighbourhood of Lahore, made a stirring speech to the soldiers, telling them of the murders of their Maharaja, and of his father Dhian Singh by the Sandhanwalia Sardars Ajit Singh and Lehna Singh, whom he declared traitors (to the Lahore Durbar) and friends
of the British. He also said that their pay would be increased, and that he would moreover reward them with largesse from his own and his father's funds.
The soldiery at once responded to Hira Singh's speech, marched on Lahore Fort, stormed and took it that evening, killing Sardars Ajit Singh and Lehna Singh and exterminating their followers. Thus within eighteen hours these men met the just punishment for crimes they had committed that day.


Sher Singh's service with Sikh army alluded to by Sir John W. McQueen included his occupation of Jahangiria Fort, dislodging the Barakzai half-brothers Dost Muhammad Khan and Jabbar Khan from their entrenched positions near that fort, inflicting severe defeat on the Muslim fanatic Sayyad Ahmad Barelvi in 1829, snatching from him Peshawar and exhorting the Sikh army to despatch him in the jaws of death in the engagement fought in May 1831 at Balakot in Hazara area.
The British diplomat Alexander Burnes was murdered in Kabul on 2nd November 1841.
After that event, Dost Muhammad Khan's son Akbar Khan slaughtered Governor-General Lord Auckland's Political Adviser Sir William Macnaghten while both were in conference. The Treaty of Evacuation was signed on 2nd January 1842. Four days later, British soldiery 16,000 strong budged away from the camping grounds. Out of them Dr. Brydon alone reached Jalalabad to narrate the vicissitudes of the journey. Subsequent events included Shah Shuja's murder by his nephew in April 1842, Akbar Khans' reverses in two battles with General Pollock, the fall of Ghazni, the British capture of Kabul on 16th September 1842, the British bombardment of Kabul Bazar as the only resort to conceal British plight, evacuation of Kabul on 12th October 1842 and retirement of British army via Khyber Pass.
In his poetic work Vijay Vinod in mixed Hindi-Panjabi-Urdu authored in 1844 and published by Shiromani Gurdwara
Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar in 1950 as part of Prachin Jangname, ed. Shamsher Singh Ashok, Gwal reports that in the Baradari (near) Shah Bilawal, (three miles from suburbs of Lahore), Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia told Maharaja Sher Singh that he had secured a London-made double-barrelled firearm. When Maharaja Sher Singh advanced his hand to receive the weapon, Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia pressed its trigger while his soldier standing behind him beheaded the Maharaja. To the foregoing Gwal's version Pandit Debi Prasad adds in his Urdu work Tarikh-i-Panjab, Bareli, 1850 that Ajit Singh laughed while in loud voice he told Maharaja Sher Singh ensconced in chair reclining on cushion: "This double-barrelled (rifle) has been purchased for fourteen hundred (rupees), but I shall sell it not even for three thousand (rupees)."
In the meanwhile, (in the nearby Tej Singh's Garden), Lehna Singh Sandhanwalia killed (Maharaja Sher Singh's twelve-year-old son) Prince Partap Singh.
Gwal, op cit., records that Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia endeavoured to descend from the fort but the rope held by him snapped. While he fell on ground, the sepoys rushed on him and chopped his head. Gwal further reports that the trunks of the dead Lehna Singh and Ajit Singh were hung in Lahore respectively on Masti Gate and Dilli Gate.


He was without any force of character, vain and weak, liked society and being noticed and made much of, entertained largely and was famous for his shooting parties.

After the Satluj Campaign, when the British army reached Lahore in March 1846, Dalip Singh, a child of nine years, was the titular Maharaja of the Panjab, and as it was convenient to accept the status quo and a Ruler being required for the country, which the British Government had then no desire to annex or permanently occupy, the reputed child of Maharani Jindan and the water-carrier Gullu was confirmed on the throne of the Lion of Panjab.
Fortune, with her ever turning wheel, must have laughed at the transformation.
After the general outbreak of the Sikhs in 1848 all over the Panjab, which led to Second Sikh War, Dalip Singh was deposed on 29th March 1849, and sent to Fatehgarh in Hindustan, and subsequently in 1851 to England.
Dalip Singh was well educated, and brought up as an English gentleman, moved in the best society in town and country, was provided with a large, fine Estate, and Mansion in Norfolk, and had a liberal income granted him by the Government of India.'
Dalip Singh was without any force of character, vain and weak, liked society and being no'iced and made much of, entertained largely and was famous for his shooting parties. He interested himself in his Norfolk Estate, and was very particular in preserving game. Also Dalip Singh rented for many years some excellent grouse moors in Scotland. He was a most keen sportsman and a first class shot.
Dalip Singh was very extravagant, and though the Government of India once came to his assistance, he thought it would continue to do so, and so made no attempt towards reducing his expenditure.
In 1861, Dalip Singh went to India for a few months with the hope that his presence in that country might move Government to give him a large income or a lumpsum to pay his debts, but this plan had no immediate result.
In 1864 Dalip Singh married an Abyssinian lady by whom he had a son Prince Victor Dalip Singh, who on his father's death, succeeded to what was left of Maharaja Dalip Singh's property, but not to his title.
Maharaja Dalip Singh died in 1890.


In his Panjabi work Mahan Kosh, Bhai Kahan Singh writes that Maharaja Dalip Singh was born in February 1837, but he points out that some writers give the Maharaja's date of birth as 4th September 1838. The author of the Parties and Politics at the Sikh Court: 1799-1849, reports on page 127 of that work that Dalip Singh was born in 1838. The author of The Khalsa Raj, New Delhi, 1985 observes on pages 183 and 184 of that work that following the murders of Maharaja Sher Singh and his son Partap Singh on 15th September 1843, the five-year-old son of the late Maharaja Ranjit Singh was raised to the throne.Thus Dalip Singh was five years old in September 1843 whence we conclude that he was born in September 1838.
Maharaja Dalip Singh's journey to Fatehgarh in present Uttar Pardesh in India commenced in April 1849. He sailed for England on 19th April 1854.
Based on the information supplied by Dalip Singh himself, an Editorial of Moscow Gazette published in September 1887 revealed that Dalip Singh was treacherously deprived of his Kingdom and was not permitted to receive education at Cambridge or Oxford lest his innate genius should develop and grow.
Dalip Singh's Abyssinian wife Bamba Muller bore him three sons Victor Dalip Singh, Frederick Dalip Singh and Albert Edward Dalip Singh, respectively born in 1866,1868 and 1879. The couple had three daughters Bamba Jindan, Katherine and Sophia Alexandra born respectively, in 1869, 1871 and 1874. Bamba Muller passed away on 18th September 1887. On 21st May 1889, in Paris, Dalip Singh married A. D. Wetherill. Dalip Singh's children died issueless.
Maharaja Dalip Singh died as a paralytic patient like his real or supposed father Ranjit Singh. On 22nd 1893, in his apartment in Grand Hotel in Paris he encountered death while lost in slumber. His dead body was removed to England to be buried in the church graveyard in his estate in Suffolk. There he rests in the grave while the Sikh simpletons continue visiting it and calling it Samadh. Grave is translatable in Panjabi as Qabar, not as Samadh. Samadh is a monument erected in memory of a deceased Hindu or Sikh saint, warrior, martyr or potentate.


There are perhaps no characters in Panjab History more repulsive than Rajas Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh: their splendid talents and undoubted bravery only rendered more conspicuous their immorality, atrocious cruelty, treachery, avarice and unscrupulous ambition.

Sometime previous to his death, Ranjit Singh had taken into special favour his Prime Minister Dhian Singh's family consisting of his two brothers Gulab Singh and Suchet Singh and his son Hira Singh, upon all of whom he conferred the title of Raja with princely fiefs for their maintenance.
The three Dogra brothers, poor but of good family, entered the Sikh service as troopers.
Handsome and well educated, they soon attracted (Maharaja's)attention by their ability, determination and bravery, and rapidly rose to high positions, where their influence in public affairs became paramount, but not being Sikhs, they were looked on with jealousy by the (Sikh) chiefs.
They played deeply in the intriguing game of that time, being it on gaining power, wealth and independence. There are perhaps no characters in Panjab History more repulsive than Rajas Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh: their splendid its and undoubted bravery only rendered more conspicuous their immorality, atrocious cruelty, treachery, avarice and unscrupulous ambition.
"The eldest of the brothers Raja Gulab Singh was generally employed on military duties, and it was he who commanded the Dogra troops in the defence of the Citadel of Lahore (when Sher Singh entered Lahore on 14th January 1841 in a bid to Lahore Fort from Gulab Singh).
Raja Gulab Singh held the Citadel with some two thousand and ten guns, and some twelve hundred Sikh Infantry: the latter could not, however, be trusted, but he kept them overawed in the places they occupied in the Fort with four loaded guns pointed at them and four hundred Dogra Infantry in advantageous positions overlooking them.
Prince Sher Singh advanced to take the Fort with all (available) troops in the neighbourhood of Lahore, numbering some fifty thousand and (carrying varied) arms. They marched during night, occupied the city, and as day dawned, entirely surrounded the Fort with a deep line of densely wedged men brought close up to the (Fort) walls.
Sher Singh's guns were so numerous that they formed one connected battery round the Fort. Twelve guns were placed opposite Western Gate (of Fort) and six opposite its Eastern Gate.
Calmly and silently the besieged viewed these formidable preparations for the assault.
Suddenly the entire circle of guns, some two hundred in number, opened fire of blank cartridges in expectation of terrifying the defenders.
At length the firing ceased, and the guns opposite the (aforesaid) two (Fort) Gates fired a crashing ilium of a bull with canister of grape placed over the beast, which utterly destroyed the Gates, and the Sikh columns headed by fanatical Akalis dashed forward for assault.
Gulab Singh had howitzers placed, close to the Gates and commanding them and the inward ascent from them, four guns heavily charged with grape, which were fired into the dense crowd of assailants, killing great numbers and driving back the rest.
This success at both Gates, and the promptitude with which the Dogras lining the (Fort) walls without waiting for orders poured a rapid fire of musketry upon the confused masses below, soon clearing the besiegers from their proximity to the (Fort) walls and Gates:
they had to retire to a more respectable distance, deserting many of their guns.
For five days the Sikh troops (outside the Fort) maintained heavy fire, making several breaches, but not daring an assault.
On fifth day Raja Dhian Singh with some Dogra troops arrived at Shahdara on the opposite side of Ravi some three miles from the Fort.
Prince Sher Singh went to Dhian Singh and begged him to arrange matters between him and Gulab Singh so that the latter should surrender the fort. This was done, and the Dogras marched out with all honours of war, taking with them their entire property as well as much treasure.
After the murder of Sher Singh and that of Raja Dhian Singh by the Sandhanwalia Sardars, Gulab Singh became for a time the most important person in Lahore State, and his services to the British during the Satluj Campaign were such that he was granted the independent sovereignty of the Province of Kashmir on the payment of a million sterling.
Gulab Singh ruled Kashmir for many years with an iron hand
In 1857 during the crisis of Indian Mutiny Gulab Singh aided the British Government with a strong Contingent of his troops.
Gulab Singh died (in August 1857).


In 1818 Dhian Singh replaced Jamadar Khushal Singh as Chamberlain and was created Raja. In 1822 Gulab Singh and Hira Singh were created Rajas. In 1828 Dhian Singh received the title of Raja-i-Rajgan and was raised as Prime Minister.
According to a manuscript in Hindustani preserved in the British Library in London vide Accession Number Or. 1733 Raja Dhian Singh, Raja Gulab Singh, Raja Suchet Singh and Raja Hira Singh were, respectively, granted Jammu, Akhnur, Ram Nagar and Jasrota as fiefs.
Dhian Singh and Gulab Singh entered Ranjit Singh's service as troopers in 1811. Two years later they summoned Suchet Singh for joining them at Lahore.
In enumerating the virtues and vices of Gulab Singh, Sir John W. McQueen literally repeats the version preserved in H. Lepel Griffin's work Ranjit Singh except that he adds the word immorality in the list.
Griffin and McQueen do not lie when they describe Gulab Singh as avaricious. In July 1840 Maharaja Kharak Singh rebuked Gulab Singh for his removal to Jammu the property and money from Minawar Fort and other forts in Minawar region.
We may present as an instance of Gulab Singh's military prowess his valorous participation in the siege of Multan in 1818, which elicited applause of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Governor-General Lord Dalhousie's letter dated 18th February 1849 to Sir Henry Lawrence referred to in Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha's Panjabi work Mahan Kosh contains following comment on Gulab Singh's conduct:
... regarding Goolab Singh, you disclaim being his admirer, and urge your desire to make the best of a crooked character, I give you the fullest credit for both assurances.

In his work Life of Lord John Lawrence, R. Bosworth Smith refers to Gulab Singh as an unscrupulous villain (who secured Kashmir by paying to the British Indian Government) down at once in the hard cash) which he had stolen from the Lahore Durbar.
Gulab Singh actually ruled Kashmir for less than eleven years. Under unofficial secret instructions of the Prime Minister of Lahore Misar Lal Singh, the Governor of Kashmir Imad-ud-Din delayed delivery of possession of Kashmir to Gulab Singh who sough British help to coerce Imad-ud-Din to quit Kashmir valley. At long last on 23rd October 1846 Imad-ud-Din moved out of the capital of Kashmir. Gulab Singh entered the capital of valley as de facto ruler of Kashmir on the 9th November 1846 at the hour recommended by the astrologers as auspicious. Kashmir had been transferred to Gulab Singh by provisions of the Treaty concluded at Amritsar on the 16th March 1846. A gap of eight months spanned between Gulab Singh's de jure title to Kashmir and its de facto control by him.
Gulab Singh undertook to send two thousand soldiers as aid to his erstwhile British benefactors, but before they departed, death gripped him. His successor fulfilled the promise earlier made by Gulab Singh.


Raja Dhian Singh, the second brother, was, during Ranjit Singh's life and until he was murdered in 1843, the most conspicuous and powerful of the three Dogra brothers, and was virtually Prime Minister for some time.
When the deposed Maharaja Kharak Singh died, not without suspicion of poisoning, and his son Nau Nihal Singh met his death by what was called an accident, the designing Prime Minister supported the Queen Mother Chand Kaur in her claim to govern on the ground that her deceased son's widow was enceinte. Also at the same time he inspired Prince Sher Singh to advance his claim to the throne, as a son acknowledged by Ranjit Singh.
An armed contest commenced between the two claimants.
The Prince appealed to the army, secured its aid by lavish promises, and made a dash at the Capital, when Queen Mother with a Dogra force under Raja Gulab Singh retired into Lahore Citadel and stoutly defended it for five days, during which time some thousands were killed and the City of Lahore plundered.
The clever Dogras, while apparently taking opposite sides, but actually (and secretly) working in unison, actively participated on both sides and secured much wealth.
Maharaja Sher Singh confirmed Dhian Singh in his appointment of Prime Minister.
Though Sher Singh never trusted Dhian Singh but fear could not govern the Panjab without Dhian Singh's help and guidance.
On the day when Sher Singh and Dhian Singh were assassinated by the Sindhanwalia Sardars Ajit Singh and Lehna Singh and their followers, Dhian Singh's son Raja Hira Singh appealed to the Sikh army to avenge their deaths: this was carried out at once by attacking and exterminating the Sandhanwalias in Lahore Fort.
The young Raja Hira Singh brought the head of his father's murderer to the widow, a noble Rajputni dame, who was waiting by her husband's body. Placing his father's warrior plume on the son's turban, she said: "My mind is now at perfect peace. Let the funeral be prepared, and I will follow my Lord in his journey to the next world. When I see your father, I will tell him that you acted as a brave and dutiful son".1


Dhian Singh held position of Prime Minister for fifteen years from 1828 to his death in 1843.
Sir John W. McQueen rightly dubs Dhian Singh as the Prime Minister. When Dhian Singh received from Jamraud Hari Singh Nalwa's message asking for reinforcement for fighting to a finish the engagement with the Afghans, he did not immediately confide the matter to Ranjit Singh. Nalwa fell dead on 30th April 1837. Timely despatch of reinforcement to Jamraud would have perhaps forestalled death of Nalwa. But Dhian Singh was jealous of Nalwa and wanted quick terminus to the life of that brave General. Dhian Singh's role in the matter elicited utmost wrath of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
We learn from the Hindustani manuscript preserved in the British Library in London vide Accession Number Or. 1733 that Dhian Singh seized gold and silver from Lama Guru and drove him to China. The same document further reveals that Dhian Singh snatched silver from the domes and terraces of Thakurdwaras.
We further learn from the aforesaid document that the Minawar Fort near Jammu contained a big treasure. Whenever Maharaja Ranjit Singh encamped near Jammu, he expressed a desire to
see Minawar Fort. Dhian Singh apparently appreciated the idea but later he would find some excuse to take the Maharaja elsewhere.
Comparisons are odious! While Maharaja Ranjit Singh enriched
holy places, his Vizier Dhian Singh looted them.


Suchet Singh, the third brother of the Jammu Dogra family, was the handsomest man in the Sikh army and a splendid figure at Court, where he was remarkable for his debaucheries.
Suchet Singh had been a special favourite of Ranjit Singh and had free access to the royal zenana, and fully availed himself of the opportunities to carry on intrigues with some of its fair inmates, more (particularly), it is said, latterly with Maharani Jindan.
Suchet Singh had little of ability of his brothers Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh, and played altogether quite a subordinate part in lahore politics.
He was an exceedingly brave and dashy soldier and a sabreur noted for his horsemanship and skill at arms.
(Following Dhian Singh's murder on 15th September 1843,) Suchet Singh's nephew Raja Hira Singh was (raised as) Prime Minister to Maharani Jindan who thenceforward acted as Queen Mother and Co-) Regent (with her brother Jawahar Singh) for her son Dalip Singh.
Suchet Singh was a lover of Maharani Jindan, who on her part turned his affection and bade him aspire to Wazarat (or Viziership) which she promised to bestow on him should he succeed in having Prime Minister Hira Singh deposed. Jindan (on her part) disliked Hira Singh on account of his strong control in State matters.
When Sher Singh and Dhian Singh were murdered (on 15th September 1843), Raja Gulab Singh was not at Lahore. He went there some months afterwards in order to carry with him to Jammu a large quantity of money, jewels and other property he had at Lahore and also to consult and to come to an understanding with his nephew Raja Hira Singh as to how State and other matters were to be managed by them to their mutual advantage.
Raja Gulab Singh persuaded his brother Suchet Singh, over whom he had great influence, to return with him (from Lahore) to Jammu, and after a time further persuaded him that as he had no son, he should adopt a son of his as heir to his Estate and wealth. Suchet Singh adopted Gulab Singh's third son as his heir.
Shortly after this the Sikh troops at Lahore demanded an increase of pay etceteras and on the Prime Minister's rejecting their demands surrounded his house with clamorous mobs and on the third day threatened him with deposition or death, unless he complied.
In the meanwhile news of this and also a request from Sikh Regiments to Suchet Singh to come to them quickly reached Jammu. This (solicitation) he hastened to avail himself of, as he perceived (therein) an opportunity it would give him to win over with lavish promises all Sikh troops, and with their aid to depose Hira Singh.
Suchet Singh therefore without delay started for Lahore with such troops as he had with him at Jammu.
He arrived at a ferry on the Ravi seven miles from Lahore on the evening of the day when Hira Singh had won over the Sikh troops by giving in to their demands.
Leaving the main portion of his troops on the north bank, Suchet Singh crossed over to the south bank with some three hundred and fifty men, and occupied (an old Mosque) and ground near it not far from the ferry.
Suchet Singh had hardly done so, when messengers from the four Regiments, which had invited him to come to Lahore arrived and told him what had happened, and advised him to return at once to Jammu, as it was now impossible for them to help him in any way.
He later heard from his nephew, the Prime Minister, that he was marching upon him with the Khalsa army and threatened him with destruction, unless he went back at once to Jammu.
But the Dogra, rash as he was brave, remained on quietly in the old Mosque where he was resting, but his party of about three hundred and fifty men, who had crossed the river with him, rapidly dwindled to forty-six before morning, when they were surrounded by some ten thousand Sikh troops under Hira Singh with fifty-six pieces of Artillery, which opened fire on the Mosque and after a little time all of the Sikh troops advanced en masse to (launch) attack.
When they had approached to within a hundred yards (from Mosque), Suchet Singh and his handful of heroes, swords in hands, rushed upon a thick mass of their enemies, and so fierce and desperate was their assault, that they actually broke through and drove back a great number.
But their desperate valour availed not the devoted band so fearfully overmatched!
Raja Suchet Singh and forty-two of the brave band were lying dead on the field: four fell badly wounded, of whom only one survived.
Thus fell the gallant Suchet Singh and his staunch band of Dogras, performing prodigies of valour: the names and deeds of some are still famous in the Sikh Story as well as Dogra Story.
The total loss of the attacking Khalsa force is said to be about one hundred and sixty killed and wounded.
When the handsome Raja Suchet Singh was killed at Lahore, his ten wives and some three hundred unmarried ladies of his zenana committed Sati, some at Lahore, some at Ram Nagar where his head was brought and others at Jammu or at their homes.


Gulab Singh reached Lahore on 10th November 1843. Hira Singh hated his uncle Suchet Singh because the latter had soft corner for the holy man Baba Bir Singh of Naurangabad who had a quite enormous following among Sikhs. Suchet Singh respected Baba Bir Singh while Hira Singh discerned in the latter a potential danger to his pelf. Gulab Singh utilised his visit to Lahore for rapprochement between Hira Singh and Suchet Singh for ensuring Dogra Group's unity, which was being eroded constantly by the sinister advice to Hira Singh by his wily and crooked Mashir-i-khas, or Special Counsellor named Jalla. Having failed to retract the uncle and nephew from their pernicious course, Gulab Singh chose the other alternative of keeping the two recalcitrants at a distance. He advised Suchet Singh to accompany him to Jammu. On 4th December 1843 Gulab Singh and Suchet Singh left Lahore for Jammu.
On arrival at Jammu, Gulab Singh prevailed upon Suchet Singh to adopt the former's son Ranbir Singh. Suchet Singh did the needful.
Among the wounded persons who gasped on the battlefield lay Suchet Singh's Counsellor Rai Kesari Singh who asked for water. A sardonic smile played on the latter's lips when Hira Singh told him that rather than marching down to plain he should have preferred stay in the mountains where there is no dearth of cold potable water. Perhaps a drop of water would have lengthened Rai Kesari Singh's lease of life. However, the practice of denying water to one's son going to battle against odds, and pouring water into the mouths of the foes wounded on the field, dating back to the days of Guru Gobind Singh, elicited no appreciation from the hard vetch named Hira Singh. Rai Kesari Singh had already slain twenty enemies when he sustained serious wound and fell aground. The battle took place on 27th March 1844


Sardar Chatar Singh was the head of the younger branch of the Atari family, who (towered over) Sidhu Jats, the best blood of the Majha. He took no share in politics during the reign of Ranjit Singh, but his family possessed great influence at Court, and in 1843 his daughter Tej Kaur was betrothed to Maharaja Dalip Singh.
In 1846 he was appointed to succeed his son Sardar Sher Singh as Governor of Peshawar, but his rule was no purer than that of his son. The corrupt politics, that both indulged in, astonished even the Lahore officials, but the family was too powerful to be lightly offended, and too nearly connected with Maharaja (Dalip Singh) to be passed over.
Chatar Singh was transferred from Peshawar to the Governorship (of the region) between the Indus and Jehlam Rivers and Sher Singh was received in the Lahore State Council and a little later got the title of Raja. This honour had been recommended for bestowal on Sardar Chatar Singh, but at the last moment he requested that instead his son be given it, and his wish was granted.
When Multan Outbreak occurred in April 1848, Chatar Singh Was in Hazara. His troops were notoriously disaffected towards lahore Government: this disaffection he shared and encouraged. At first Chatar Singh had only two thousand men, but he rapidly increased their number, and sent them to his son Sher Singh for his aid and also to Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu, and encouraging him in his actions, also to Amir Dost Muhammad Khan.
Chatar Singh raised levies in Peshawar and in his own districts, and used all means in his power to make his rebellion as formidable as possible. After taking Attock Fort on 2nd January 1849, Chatar Singh marched from Hazara with a considerable force to join his son's army, which he did (on 16th January 1849) three days after the Battle of Chillianwala.
On 21st February 1849 was fought the decisive, and for the British the brilliant and memorable Battle of Gujrat with the united Sikh and Afghan army of some sixty thousand men, which was completely defeated by Lord Gough with the heavy loss of men and fifty-three guns. This was virtually the end of Panjab Campaign. The victory was followed up with vigour, and at Rawalpindi, on the 14th March 1849, Chatar Singh and Sher Singh with what remained of Sikh army, some sixteen thousand men, laid down their arms.
After this, Sardar Chatar Singh and Raja Sher Singh were sent as prisoners, first to Allahabad (Fort) and then to Calcutta. Their Estates were confiscated, but they were granted fitting allowances.
In January 1854, they were released from confinement and allowed to choose their places of residence within certain limits. Also their allowances were considerably increased. Chatar Singh chose to remain in Calcutta where he died early in 1858.


The plain territory between Rivers Bias and Ravi is known as Majha.
The British authorities did not let the betrothal mature into marriage. At long last Tej Kaur was got married to Janmeja Singh Gill of Mariwala. She gave birth to two sons.
In Allahabad Fort, Chatar Singh and Sher Singh were not permitted to sleep outside their cells. They perspired while they slumbered during nights
Actually Chatar Singh died in Calcutta on 18th January 1856.


He was an able and spirited man who ruled that difficult district to the satisfaction of Lahore Government.
Sher Singh Atariwala was Sardar Chatar Singh Atariwala's eldest son.
In 1844 Sardar Sher Singh was appointed Governor of Peshawar.
He was an able and spirited man who ruled that difficult district to the satisfaction of Lahore Government.
Sher Singh Atariwala successfully put down a Yusafzai insurrection, but his administration though vigorous was usually corrupt. He was moved to Lahore and made a Member of the State Council and shortly afterwards given the title of Raja.
In April 1848 occurred the Multan Outbreak and Diwan Mul Raj stood forth as a rebel against the Lahore Government. Sher Singh was sent to Multan with a Sikh force, which joined Lt. (Herbert) Edwardes near Multan Fort on 6th July. Although the Sikh army was disposed to mutiny, Sher Singh had sufficient influence over it to keep it tolerably under control, and on 20th July (1848) it co-operated with Edwardes' force with energy and success.
On 18th August (1848), General Whish, with a British force, reached the neighbourhood of Multan and was joined by the troops under Edwardes and Sher Singh Atariwala.
On the following day news was received of the rebellion of Sardar Chatar Singh and his army in Hazara. Although Sher Singh constantly received letters from his father to join him, he and some of his Sardars did their utmost to suppress the spirit of mutiny among their men, and even got them to take part in the operations before fall of Multan.
However, on 14th September (1848), Sher Singh's whole camp rose in mutiny. His and his Sardars' lives were threatened, and at last in desperation, he went over to the side of rebels and marched with his force to Multan, when he had to camp outside the walls of the Fort and City. Mul Raj distrusted him, and refused him admittance into either.
This defection of Sher Singh's large force compelled General Whish to raise the siege of Multan for a time, until reinforcements in men and siege guns should reach him.
Finding Mul Raj distrusting him, Sher Singh decided enjoining his father at Hazara. Mul Raj, to hasten his departure, advanced him a considerable sum of money, and Sher Singh with some five thousand men marched from Multan.
On 22nd November (1848), Sher Singh's force received a check at Ramnagar from the British army under Lord Gough.
On 3rd December (1848), Sir Joseph Thackwell attacked Sher Singh's position at Sadullapur. The action was indecisive, but on the night of 3rd December Sher Singh retreated towards the Jehlam, and took up a position at Chillianwala, where on the 13th January 1849 the British army under Lord Gough attacked him. The account of this battle, little creditable to the British, has often been written. It has been called a victory (by Sikhs), but neither the (British) Generals nor their soldiery ever considered they had been defeated. Both sides fought well, but the hero of the day was Jawahar Singh, the son of the famous Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa, who led the Sikh cavalry charge that had so great influence on the result of the battle.
Six weeks later on 21st February 1949 Sher Singh aided by hiS father's and Dost Muhammad's forces fought the Battle of Gujrat. His army was decisively routed with heavy losses in men, guns and material. This was their last battle of the war, for a few days later the whole Sikh army gave up their arms at Rawalpindi and dispersed to their homes.
After that Sher Singh was placed under surveillance at his home but being discovered plotting treason was sent a prisoner (to Allahabad Fort and later) to Calcutta. His property was confiscated, but he was granted an allowance.
In January 1854, Sher Singh's conduct having been irreproachable since the annexation of the Panjab, he was released.
Sher Singh volunteered his services in Burmese, Persian and Southall campaigns, but they were not accepted.
At the outbreak of the great Indian Mutiny, Sher Singh Atariwala supported the British authorities as far as it lay in his power and sheltered in his house several British residents of the place.
Raja Sher Singh Atariwala died in exile in 1858 far from his own country at the sacred city of Banaras by waters of the Holy Ganges.


Chatar Singh had five sons and one daughter.
Sher Singh passed away on 7th May 1858.


Tej Singh was the son of a Brahman of Meerut District, and was brought to the notice of Ranjit Singh by his uncle Jamadar Khushal Singh, the Chamberlain.
The uncle and nephew became Sikhs, and in 1819 Tej Singh, who was a soldier, was promoted to the rank of General.
Tej Singh saw much service in Kashmir, Punchh, Dera Ismail Khan, with Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the famous battle at Tehri in Yusafzai (tract), and in a number of fights on the Peshawar border under General Budh Singh, and later on in Hazara.
He was Governor of Peshawar, when the Prime Minister Raja Lal Singh summoned him to Lahore in October 1845, when the war against the British was declared and he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Khalsa army.
On 15th December 1845 Tej Singh joined his Division of the army, and when Raja Lal Singh was defeated at Mudki and afterwards at Firozshah, on 22nd December, Tej Singh advanced against the British army, which was completely exhausted and almost without ammunition. He drove in the British Cavalry parties, failed in the half-hearted attack made at Firozshah and on the British force advancing, he retired from the field, and crossed to Sabraon on the Satluj twenty-five miles north-east of Firozpur, where he joined Lal Singh's defeated army. The united Sikh armies made great entrenchment on the south of the river, and spent six weeks strengthening their position with all their forces and guns.

On the 1Oth of February 1846 was fought the Battle of Sabraon but Tej Singh had so little to do with it that a description of it would be out of place.
After the British annexation of Lahore, Tej Singh was summoned to that city and confirmed in his appointment of Commander-in-Chief, and to him and Lal Singh, now Vizier, were entrusted the new arrangements about the army.
The conduct of Sardar Tej Singh, both before and after the Satluj Campaign, has been misrepresented.
In the first place the Sardar was averse to the war and delayed as long as he could in joining the army, which conduct may prove (his) cowardice or disinclination for war, but which ultimately did not savour of treachery.
But it has been said that Tej Singh's conduct at Firozshah was inconsistent with any other supposition than that he was a traitor and designed the success of the British.
Had Tej Singh attacked the British army vigorously and with all his force, when it was exhausted after the conflict with Lal Singh and almost without ammunition, it must have been annihilated. The result would certainly have been disastrous for our army, but Tej Singh was not aware of the state of extreme exhaustion of the British force. All he saw were the routed troops of Lal Singh flying to the fords of the Satluj, a sight from which he might argue rather the strength than the weakness of the British.
But he did not retire from the field without making any effort to retrieve the disaster of the preceding day.
But even supposing he had done less, he had no influence with the Khalsa army, where Military Councils always decided when to fight and when to retire.
Tej Singh was a weak, timid and vacillating creature but was no traitor. He had neither the courage nor sufficient ability to influence an insane Sikh army, but he did not, like Lal Singh first excite the troops to madness, and then betray them to destruction.
After the conclusion of peace in 1846, Raja Tej Singh had plenty to do in disbanding the old army and enlisting new troops, besides leading a force into Kashmir to reduce the Governor of that Province who had rebelled.
During the Sikh rebellion of 1848-49, Raja remained loyal to Government.
Tej Singh was wealthy, had been created Raja of Sialkot and the (Governing) Council, and was raised high above the whole Sikh aristocracy: so a resolution would have only injured him.
Tej Singh was obnoxious to most of the Sikh Sardars, who regarded him an upstart and impostor. Trash in (Governing) Council and ridiculous in the field, his ascendancy irritated them beyond expression.
In the Indian Mutiny of 1857, he was of much assistance to the Government in raising horsemen, and was rewarded for his loyalty.
Raja Tej Singh died in December 1862.


The following version preserved by J. D. Cunningham in his A History of the Sikhs does not absolve him from traitorship:
The second wing of their army approached in battle-array
…This reserve was commanded by Tej Singh; he had been
urged by his zealous and sincere soldiery to fall upon the
English at daybreak, but his object was to have the dreaded
army of the Khalsa overcome and dispersed and he delayed
until Lal Singh's force was everywhere put to flight, and
his opponents had again ranged themselves round their

The rebel Governor's name was Imad-ud-Din.


His character was a compound of many conflicting qualities: crunching and mean to his superiors, he was silent and suspicious with the equals; poised, superstitious and arrogant with his inferiors; and subtle and deceitful to all.

In the old age of Maharaja Ranjit Singh there was one person whom he specially took into his favour and loved him like a son from his birth. This was Hira Singh, the son of Raja Dhian Singh.
Ranjit Singh could hardly bear the boy out of his sight, and from infancy he was sedulously taught to call the monarch Father.
As Hira Singh approached manhood, the army also yielded its affection to the Maharaja's favourite, and so it came to pass that the senile love of the old monarch, aided by the inclination of a powerful army, suggested a dream of greatness to his father and uncle, the powerful Dogra brothers, and led to the successive deeds of violence by which it seemed likely that their ambitious design might be accomplished.
The dream was that Hira Singh, the heir of their family, or at least the most promising of the rising generation, might gradually succeed to the throne of Ranjit Singh. Those, whom it would be necessary to sweep away, were the male members of the Maharaja's family, and all ministers, advisers and chiefs who refused to join the Dogra party.
At the time of the death of Raja Dhian Singh, Hira Singh appealed to the army in the neighbourhood of Lahore, and exhorted them to avenge his father's death, and also that of Maharaja Sher Singh on their murderers, Sardar Ajit Singh and Lehna Singh and
their followers, and he held forth lavish promises of reward from his father's treasuries. The murderers were destroyed to a man.
The army then elected Dalip Singh, the infant son of Ranjit Singh, as Maharaja, and (installed) Hira Singh as Prime Minister, in place of his father. Hira Singh appeared all-powerful, but he had still more powerful enemies, and found a mentor in the person of the Pandit Jalla, a man of the most repulsive character and of a most tyrannical and ambitious spirit. He had been a tutor to Hira Singh in his boyhood and the latter, being still a youth was entirely in his hands. Hira Singh was indeed a poor copy of his father, whom he in vain attempted to follow. His character was a compound of many conflicting qualities: crunching and mean to his superiors, he was silent and suspicious with the equals; poised, superstitious and arrogant with his inferiors; and subtle and deceitful to all.
No sooner was Hira Singh in power than his actions, under the guidance of Pandit Jalla, without whom he seemed unable to act, caused the greatest dissatisfaction in the army and intrigues were specially afoot, having for their object, Pandit Jalla's downfall and death. The leading spirit in this movement was Sardar Jawahar Singh, the brother of Jindan, the mother of Dalip Singh.
The hatred against Pandit Jalla rapidly increased, and loud demands were addressed to Hira Singh to give him up, to which the Prime Minister refused to comply, and so turned the vengeance of the army against himself.
They both fled with some men to Shahdara, were pursued, and after a running fight were caught and slain: their heads were cut off and paraded through Lahore City.
The (Sikh) army was responsible for the death of Pandit Jalla. In fact Hira Singh's death was caused by his mistaken loyalty to his tutor and he showed the courage of his race in his end. With Hira Singh was killed Sohan Singh, a son of Gulab Singh. His father thus led for vengeance on the Sikh nation, which had killed so many members of his family.
Gulab Singh therefore determined to ally himself with the British and to leave the Sikhs to their doom.
The Sikh army especially hated him for his having killed thousands of their number in the attack on him in Lahore Citadel.


At the time of Ranjit Singh's death Hira Singh was twenty-one. On 3rd February 1836 Maharaja Ranjit Singh conferred the title of Farzand-i-Khas (meaning Special Son) on Raja Hira Singh.
We learn from the Hindustani manuscript preserved in British Library in London vide Accession Number Or. 1733 already referred to in this work in the foot-notes of Chapters 8 and 9 that the charitable monuments issued from Lahore Durbar contained the following words: Barai mazid iqbal-i-Sarkar-i-Wala o tandrusti-i-Barkhurdar Asar-Iqbal Raja Hira Singh muafKardah shud..... The English translation of this Persian phrase is : For the enhanced glory of His Excellency and for the good health of sonny, the monument of grandeur, Raja Hira Singh, is hereby granted gratis .......
. Ajeet Singh Baaghaa's work Mahabali Ranjit Singh preserves the following glimpse of the disgrace, which attended the severed heads of Hira Singh and Pandit Jalla:
The Sikhs brought to Lahore the heads of Hira Singh and his kind guide and sentinel. They hung his head at Lohari Gate. For some days Jalla's head was paraded from house to house and from shop to shop. The women uttered carol sonorous and joyous:
Great Gods mill ground after all! From Yama s home lecher had a call!
At last Jalla's head was thrown to dogs. After some time his head was removed from Lohari Gate and hurled in a ditch. Some days later a man retrieved it from there and placed it in a cell in Gulab Singh's palace in Lahore. After a year and a quarter Gulab Singh came to Lahore. He opened the door of the cell. Young ones of a parrot warbled music in the skull:
Great God's mill ground after all! From Yama s home lecher had a call!


The Lahore Government had few servants as able as Ralia Ram and his son Sahib Dial and had none as honest.

Misar Ralia Ram was of a respectable Brahman family, and had received an unusually good education. He was well acquainted with Sanskrit, Persian and Physical Science.
He was placed in charge of Amritsar District, and showed great courage in the suppression of decoity and highway robbery.
Ranjit Singh was so pleased with his zeal that in 1812 he made him Chief of the Department of Customs. At this time neither Kashmir nor Multan nor the Derajat had been conquered, but as each was acquired, it was placed under his management.
Before Ralia Ram was appointed, there had been no regular system of collecting the Customs: each chief got as much out of merchants passing through his territory as he could.
Ralia Ram largely increased the revenue from Salt Mines of Pind Dadan Khan, and introduced the present system.
In August 1846 both Ralia Ram and his son Sahib Dial were appointed to revise the system of Imposts, and the Department of Customs for the whole country was placed under them. The chief burden of the new arrangement fell upon Sahib Dial, for his father was now an old man, and the greatest credit is due to Sahib Dial for the zeal and ability with which he carried out the system.
Through the Panjab War in 1848-49 Ralia Ram did important work.
Both Ralia Ram and Sahib Dial were rich men. No one who ever held the farm of Salt Mines failed to grow rich, for the Contractor
paid a certain sum to Government annually and might sell as he pleased, at his own time and place. In the hands of so able a man as Ralia Ram the Salt Contract was a certain source of wealth, while he in no way forgot his duty to the State in regard to his personal interest.
The Lahore Government had few servants as able as Ralia Ram and Sahib Dial, and it had none as honest. They were, in the last corrupt days of the Administration, almost the only men, who manfully supported it, and faithfully did their duty: and they had the wisdom to understand and support the enlightened policy of the British Resident, the only policy that could have saved the country from the evils that afterwards came upon it.
In 1849 both Ralia Ram and Sahib Dial left the Panjab on a pilgrimage to the holy cities.
Ralia Ram who had been made Diwan by the Sikh Government in 1847, was in 1851 (when he was still on pilgrimage) created a Raja (by the Successor-Government i.e. British Government), and Sahib Dyal (who was back to Panjab in 1851 also) received the same title
Never were honours farther merited.
Raja Ralia Ram never returned to Panjab. He died at Banaras in 1864.


Sahib Dial was a worthy son of his father Ralia Ram, with whose work he was associated as has already been mentioned: he bore as high a character for honesty and ability as did his father.
Sahib Dial first entered the Sikh service as Munshi in the Customs under his father.
In 1832 he was transferred to the office of the Paymaster of the regular army.
In 1839 he was made Chief of the Customs at Jalandhar, and held this appointment till the close of the Satluj Campaign.
In 1846, under the Sikh Durbar appointed by the British, the whole Customs Department of the country was placed under the Superintendents Ralia Ram and Sahib Dial, while the chief work was done by the latter, whose father was an old man.
In June 1848, three months before the Multan Outbreak, a large number of disaffected men, under a holy leader (Bhai Maharaj Singh) set out from Jhang to join the rebel Mul Raj at Multan. None of the Sikh troops would attempt his arrest, but Sahib Dial, being Kardar of Jhang where population was Muhammedan, attacked him vigorously with the Muhammedan Chief's followers, and drove him into the swollen Chanab: more than half were drowned, and those that escaped the storm and flood were taken to Lahore as prisoners.
Again, when Raja Sher Singh marched from Multan, Sahib Dial seized upwards of nine thousand mules, camels and bullocks
belonging to the Raja, and this materially checked the advance of the rebel army.
In November (1848), Sahib Dial was selected by the (British) Resident to accompany him to the headquarters of the British army on the part of (Sikh) Durbar. In the performance of his (pro-British duty, he showed the greatest intelligence and grab. He provided excellent information of the movements of enemy (i.e. the Sikh soldiery), and kept the (British) army well supplied with provision
Afterwards he proceeded to join Col. Taylor in obtaining the submission of the principal rebels, and was useful in discovering the rebels.
In 1849 Sahib Dial along with his father left the Panjab on pilgrimage to the holy cities, and did not return till 1851.
He received the title of Raja, which was well deserved.
During the Mutiny of 1857 Raja Sahib Dial, by his advice an actions, showed his loyalty (to the British) and received an addition; (annual) grant of jagir worth two thousand rupees in perpetuity.
In 1864 Sahib Dial was appointed a Member of the Legislate Council of Lahore.
He was much esteemed by the British Officers, who knew him well and also by the natives of the country.


The family of Raja Dina Nath came originally from Kashmir, where in the reign of (the Mughal King) Shah Jahan, some members of it held offices relating to court affairs.
Dina Nath, whose father had a subordinate appointment at Delhi, came to the Panjab in 1815 and obtained a berth in the Estate Office at Lahore.
He first attracted Ranjit Singh's notice in 1818 by the great rapidity and clearness with which he did some important work entrusted to him.
Among the men who rose to power during the later days of the Maharaja's life, no one was more remarkable than Raja Dina Nath.
He was well and happily styled Talleyrand of the Panjab and his life and character bore a strong resemblance to those of the European statesmen.
Revolutions in which his friends and patrons perished passed him by: in the midst of bloodshed and assassination his life was never endangered. While confiscation and judicial robbery were the rule of the State, his wealth and power continually increased.
His sagacity and far-sightedness were such that when to other eyes the political sky was clear, he could perceive the signs of coming storm, which warned him to desert a losing party, or a falling friend.

Honest men do not survive many revolutions, and the Raja's falseness was the means to his success.
He was patriotic, but his love of country was subordinate to self.
He hated the English bitterly, for they were stronger than he or his country, but his interest compelled him to serve, like Samson, the Philistines he hated.
He was not without his notions of fidelity, and would stand by a friend, as long as he could do so with safety to himself. Even when he deserted him it was more from thoughts of danger to his wealth and influence than from personal fear, for, Raja Dina Nath was physically brave, and also possessed moral courage in an eminent degree, though it did not lead him to do right regardless of consequences.
He possessed immense local knowledge and vast capacity for work; but his desire of keeping power in his own hands had an evil effect on the progress of (State) business.
He was an accomplished man of the world, courteous and considerate; well educated though nothing of a scholar; and in conversation with Europeans he would express himself with a boldness and apparent candour that were as pleasant, as they are unusual in Asiatics.
It was only in 1834 that Raja Dina Nath was made Finance Minister for which his qualifications were exceedingly high, but Maharaja (Ranjit Singh) had for many years reposed confidence in him, and he was on all occasions of importance, one of his most talented advisers.
After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, he retained great influence with the chiefs and the army, and on British occupation of Lahore was appointed to the Council of Regency, of which he was the most able and useful member.
Although his position as the Head of Financial Department gave him many opportunities of enriching himself at the public expense, I of which there is every reason to believe he availed himself, he still worked more disinterestedly than others, and was of great service to the Resident of Lahore.

With his clear head and business-like habits, it would have been almost impossible to disentangle the Darbar Accountancy, and after the annexation of the Panjab, Dina Nath's aid in Revenue and Jagir matters was almost as valuable as before.
At the time of revolt of Sikh army in 1848, it was asserted by some that Raja Dina Nath was a traitor at heart, that he himself had encouraged the rising, and that had he not been a wealthy man with houses and gardens and many lakhs of rupees in Lahore, convenient for confiscation, he would have joined the rebels without hesitation, but these stories were perhaps invented by his enemies. Certain it is that on being recalled to Lahore, he zealously carried out the wishes of the British authorities in counteracting their (i.e. the rebels' anti-British) schemes.
After the annexation of the Panjab, Raja Dina Nath was confirmed in all of his jagirs, worth Rs. 46,460, which he held till his death in 1857.


The most conspicuous figure in the eyes of the foreigners visiting the Court of Maharaja (Ranjit Singh) was his Foreign Minister Faquir Aziz-ud-Din. His father Ghulam Muhaiy-ud-Din was a clever medical practitioner.
In 1799 the principal Lahore physician, with whom Aziz-ud-Din was staying, placed the youth in attendance on Ranjit Singh, when that Chief soon after his capture of Lahore was suffering from ophthalmia. The skill and attention of the young doctor won the Chief's regard.
Aziz-ud-Din received a grant of several villages, was appointed Personal Physician to the Maharaja, and as Ranjit Singh's territories increased, the wealth and estates of Aziz-ud-Din also increased.
It was his wise influence in 1808 which prevented Ranjit Singh from declaring war with the British when they first curbed his power by confining his conquests to the north of the Satluj.
The Maharaja was so convinced of the wisdom of Aziz-ud-Din's advice on this occasion that he never undertook any serious operations without consulting him.
In all matters connected with the Europeans and the English Government Aziz-ud-Din was specially employed, and to his enlightened and liberal counsels it may be attributed that throughout
his long reign the Maharaja maintained such close friendship with the English Government.
Aziz-ud-Din was occasionally employed on military service, and whenever it was necessary to send a special embassy, as to Lord William Bentinck in 1831, and to Amir Dost Muhammad in 1835, the Faquir was always selected and was always equal to the emergency.
The elaborately polished manners of Faquir Aziz-ud-Din, and his exaggeration of flattery and compliment struck the foreigners the more strangely at so rough and rude a Court as that of Lahore.
He was one of the ablest and certainly the most honest of all the courtiers of Ranjit Singh.
Faquir Aziz-ud-Din died in 1845 just before the crushing defeats of the First Sikh War. With dying breath he protested against the march of Sikh army to Satluj, performing, though in vain, his last service to both the English and the Lahore States.
The younger brothers of Aziz-ud-Din, namely, Imam-ud-Dir and Nur-ud-Din, were both important members of the Maharaja'; Court, though their position was not so conspicuous as that of their elder brother.


His advice was generally sound, disinterested, and well considered.
Faquir Nur-ud-Din possessed neither the ability nor the courage of his elder brother, the famous Minister Faquir Aziz-ud-Din, whom in many points he much resembled.
From 1810 to 1818 Maharaja Ranjit Singh employed him in many civil capacities, in charge of Districts etc. when his duties were multifarious and responsible, and he acquitted himself well. He was then transferred to Lahore and was thenceforward generally employed (on matters) about Court.
Nur-ud-Din was associated with his brother in the conduct of negotiations with the British Government. Both were lovers of the English and earnestly desirous that the two States of India and Lahore should live on the most friendly terms.
After the War of 1846, when Raja Lal Singh (re-appointed as Prime Minister) was deposed for treason (by way of instructing the Governor of Kashmir, Imam-ud-Din to resist (the transfer of Kashmir to Gulab Singh ratified by the Sikh-British Treaty signed on 9th March, 1846), Nur-ud-Din was appointed a Member of the Council of Regency to carry on the administration till the majority of the infant Maharaja Dalip Singh. (The newly constituted Council of Regency supplanted Maharani Jindan who had been Regent since coronation of her minor son Dalip Singh in September 1843).
His advice was generally sound, disinterested and well considered. He was well rewarded for his services. He died in 1852. Nur-ud-Din was known at Court as Khalifa Sahib, a title given by the people to any one particularly honoured and revered by them. Nur-ud-Din especially enjoyed a general respect in the country.


This portrait has been captioned as of S Hari Singh Nalwa. But the similarities in the other paintings of the Sardar do not match with this one. Personally I think this is not the portrait of S Hari Singh Nalwa. Look in the 'Warriors' section for more details on this great of the greatest warriors. (Kanwal)

The most famous of the fighting chiefs, and the one to whom Maharaja Ranjit Singh was most attached, was Hari Singh Nalwa, who was born, like Ranjit Singh himself, at the town of Gujranwala.
He was not only the bravest but also the most skilful of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Generals, and was employed to command all the expeditions of exceptional difficulty.
He was chiefly instrumental in the capture of Multan in 1818, and in the following year he commanded a Division of the army invading Kashmir, of which country he was afterwards appointed Governor: but his talents did not lie in the direction of administration, and he became so unpopular that the Maharaja was compelled to recall him.1
After this he was chiefly employed on the Panjab Frontier, and in 1836 he was ordered to build a fort at Jamrod to command the entrance of the Khyber Pass. This work was soon finished. It was of no great strength, but was sufficient to overawe the Afridis, and annoy any force marching from Kabul.
Amir Dost Muhammad (Khan) was furious and determined to take up the challenge thus thrown before his mountain Gateway. He detached from Jalalabad a force of 7000 horse and 2000 matchlock men with 18 guns under his son Muhammad Akbar Khan
accompanied by his other three sons and joined by some 20,000 tribesmen.
They arrived in April 1837 before Jamrod, then unprovisioned, and garrisoned by only 800 Sikhs.
Hari Singh was ill with fever at Peshawar and made no sign, and the siege was set for six days, when the walls were breached so that the cavalry might charge them.
For some days the hostile forces lay opposite each other, neither wishing to attack, for Hari Singh had in the meantime mustered his forces.
At length Hari Singh decided on battle.
His advance was at first irresistible and the Afghans broke and fled: but the Sikhs carried pursuit too far, and were overwhelmed by a charge of Afghan horse.
Seeing that a desperate effort alone could retrieve the fortunes of the day, Hari Singh rode to the front with his principal chiefs and by his presence and example encouraged the Sikhs to stand.
The day might have been won, but Hari Singh fell, mortally wounded by two bullets and his men, disheartened, fell back under the walls of Jamrod and waited for reinforcements.
Thus fell the gallant Hari Singh, the General of the Khalsa and the most dashing of Ranjit Singh's chiefs.
Hari Singh had acquired as an officer in command of troops in the field and in quarters, as well as a Governor of large districts an immense number of estates and great wealth, but he had no sooner fallen in battle with the Afghans than the ungrateful and unscrupulous Ranjit Singh seized all of his large estates and left his widow and four sons to comparative poverty.
Twelve years later, his second son, Jawahar Singh, distinguished himself by leading the dashing Sikh cavalry charge against the British cavalry at Chillianwala.


Dewan Chand Sharma records in his work Kashmir under the Sikhs, Seema Publications, Delhi, 1983 that Hari Singh Nalwa
took over as Governor of Kashmir on 24th August 1820. In 1822, Lahore Durbar called him back for employment at Afghan border.
Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa had four sons, Jawahar Singh and Gurdit Singh from his senior wife and Arjan Singh and Panjab Singh from his second wife. Internecine dispute between the two sets of half-brothers provided to Lahore Durbar the justification for drastic truncation of the big estates bequeathed to his sons by Hari Singh Nalwa. As a result of colossal confiscation of Hari Singh's estate, the annual income from them amounting to Rs. 8,53,000 in the days of Hari Singh dwindled after his death to Rs. 19,600. Sir John W. McQueen has not noticed the foregoing background, which led to the posthumous shrinkage of Hari Singh Nalwa's estates.


The two principal families in the Panjab, highest in rank and possessing the widest influence were the Ahluwalias, whose possessions were entirely in the Jalandhar Doab, and the Sandhanwalias, who were supreme among Sikh families between the Satluj and the Indus.
Nearly related to the Sandhanwalia family was the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh himself, who belonged to a collateral branch, and it was in a great measure owing to this connection, that the Sandhanwalia Sardars obtained so large a share of influence and power.
In Ranjit Singh's time and / or in that of his successors, five members of this family were distinguished as soldiers, and two of their number perpetrated the treacherous murders of Maharaja Sher Singh and Raja Dhian Singh on the same date i.e. the 15th September, 1843.
Sardar Atar Singh Sandhanwalia was the chief of the family both by age and ability, and after the death of General Hari Singh Nalwa, who was killed at the Khyber, Atar Singh Sandhanwalia was called the Champion of the Panjab.
Sardar Atar Singh Sandhanwalia's younger brother Sardar Budh Singh Sandhanwalia was one of the bravest and most skilful of the Sikh Generals. He died in 1827.
Sardar Atar Singh Sandhanwalia's youngest brother Sardar Lehna Singh Sandhanwalia saw much service in the Peshawar border and elsewhere. He was a man of energy but illiterate and debauched.
Lehna Singh Sandhanwalia and his nephew Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia and their followers were concerned in the murders of Maharaja Sher Singh and Raja Dhian Singh.
Sardar Budh Singh Sandhanwalia's son Sardar Shamsher Sandhanwalia was a gallant and trustworthy soldier and averse to politics vide .
Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia was brave but also headstrong and rash.
When Maharaja Kharak Singh and his son Nau Nihal Singh died, the widow of Kharak Singh, Maharani Chand Kaur, laid claim to the throne. She was opposed by Ranjit Singh's reputed son Sher Singh and supported by Raja Dhian Singh.
After a great delay, caused by intrigues, and a hard fighting, Sher Singh became Maharaja.
Sardar Atar Singh Sandhanwalia, Sardar Lehna Singh Sandhanwalia and Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia, who supported Rani Chand Kaur, fled from the Panjab but after a time the two latter returned, when Sher Singh imprisoned them and deprived them of their jagirs.
After six months they were released and their jagirs restored.
They appeared to be very grateful to the Maharaja and the Prime Minister, but when they had fully established themselves in favour, they began their intrigues, telling the Prime Minister that the Maharaja wanted to get rid of him, and on the other hand telling Sher Singh that they had been asked by Dhian Singh to murder him. They offered, however, to murder Dhian Singh if given a written order to protect themselves. This they obtained and also received permission to go to their estates to bring up their soldiers and followers to carry out the design. They showed the written order to Dhian Singh and he believed that it was their purpose to bring their followers to murder the Maharaja which was part of their plot.
On the return of the Sandhanwalia Sardars, it was arranged that the Maharaja should inspect their troops, six hundred strong. Sher Singh, however, did not inspect them at the appointed time: so Lehna Singh Sandhanwalia and Ajit Singh Sandhanwalia went with their men, to his favourite home, three miles from Lahore, and taunted him in jocular manner for keeping them waiting. They had armed themselves with two magnificent double-barrelled guns. When they came up close to Sher Singh, Ajit Singh, who was carrying his gun in his hands, suddenly fired the contents into the Maharaja's body and the cuts of a sabre finally ended the life of Sher Singh. They killed several of his followers, Lehna Singh killing the young prince Partap Singh, and Ajit Singh entering into the harem, and murdering all of Maharaja's women.


The account of Lehna Singh is given in above chapter .
It is well worthy to record the gallant conduct of a Lehna Singh's follower. Ran Singh, faithful unto death, and the chivalry of the attacking Sikhs.
The fight being over in Lahore Fort, a search was made for Lehna Singh, who had disappeared from the fight, and was not found among the dead. He was soon discovered in a dark and secret subterranean cell to which, with a broken thigh, he had retired the night before. He was attended by one faithful follower, who defended his master to the last, but all in vain.
The name of this gallant man was Ran Singh, a strong and large-bodied Sikh of about fifty. On being recognised as he stood, sword in hand, at the entrance of his master's retreat, he was repeatedly entreated, both by Lehna Singh and his enemies, to sheath his weapon and make his escape while he could do so. But he disdainfully refused to avail himself of forbearance of the enemy, requesting only that they should not fire on him but attack only with their swords and the Sikhs knowing him, and admiring his bravery, actually complied with the request.

They rushed on him with their swords, and after killing thirteen of them, he himself fell, covered with wounds. His dying petition was, only, that they would not kill his master, and to this request they also promised compliance.
But some bad spirit among them shot Lehna Singh from behind, exclaiming as he did so, "Are we going to lose ten thousand rupees?" But this man was immediately killed by his own comrades. They, however, cut off the head of the fallen chief, and sent it to Hira Singh, who doubtless gave them the stipulated reward.


Sardar Budh Singh Sandhanwalia began as a soldier early and soon rose to high command. He was in command of a portion of the Sikh army at (Tibba) Teeree near Nowshehra in the Peshawar valley. It was a most critical contest and decided, once for all, whether the Sikhs or Afghans should rule in Peshawar.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, on the left bank of River Indus won a severe battle against the Yusufzais, and Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa and Budh Singh Sandhanwalia defeated the Afghan army, which returned through Khyber.
In 1825 Ranjit Singh was dangerously ill at Amritsar. Budh Singh, who was sure that on the death of the Maharaja, the whole country would again be divided under different chiefs, determined to provide (territory) for himself. He endeavoured to take Gobind Garh Fort at Amritsar by surprise, but the Commandant declined to open the Fort Gates at night, even to the Maharaja himself, though a forged order was produced.
So the plot failed: and the Maharaja recovering, and hearing the story, thought change of air on the Attock border advisable to Budh Singh. Here he did excellent service. At Akora he fought Sayyad Ahmed Shah (Barelvi) and defeated him, but lost 500 men. The next day he advanced to Jahangiria to be joined by large reinforcements surrounded by the Sayyad's army in overwhelmingnumber, but Budh Singh suddenly led his men out, and after a severe fight defeated the enemy with great slaughter.
The Sayyad took refuge in Yusufzai hills, and did not return to take the field for two years.
After this success Sardar Budh Singh returned to Lahore where he was received with all honours, but a few months later in 1827 he died of cholera.
The Maharaja wrote a letter to his family expressing his grief (over his death), and his regret that so brave a man should have died in his bed.
Sardar Budh Singh Sandhanwalia was one of the best and most skilful of the Sikh Generals.


... he swore on the Granth, never to leave the battle defeated.

Sardar Sham Singh Atari, who was killed at Sabraon, was one of the noblest and best of the Sikhs.
He had denounced the war with the British, and well foresaw what its termination must be. But he resolved to fight for the Khalsa, and on the night before Sabraon he swore on the Granth, never to leave the battle defeated.
In the morning he dressed himself in white, and having mounted his white mare, addressed his men, begging them, as true sons of the Khalsa, to die rather than yield.
During the first part of the battle, he was everywhere present, urging the Sikhs to fight bravely and it was not till he saw that was lost that he spurred forward against the 50th Regiment, waving his sword and calling on his men to follow him.
Some fifty of them obeyed his call, but were driven into the River Satluj, and Sham Singh fell dead from his horse, pierced with seven bullets.
After the battle his servant begged permission to search for his body. The old Sardar, conspicuous by his white dress and long white beard, was discovered where the dead lay thickest.
His servant placed his body on a raft and swam with it across the river, but it was not until the third day that it reached his home at Atari.
His widow, who knew his resolution not to survive defeat, had already burnt herself with clothes, which the Sardar had worn onwhich marks the spot, where it took place, is still standing outside the walls of Atari.
From this it will be noticed that the British Government had no difficulty in putting an end to the practice of Sati, but it was difficult to put an end to another fearful crime of female infanticide.
This latter custom in the time of Guru Gobind Singh and upto the time of British annexation of the Panjab was very prevalent, especially in higher castes, such as the Rajpoots,who had greatest difficulty in disposing of their daughters. As an example may be mentioned the Rajput house to which Maharaja Gulab Singh belonged: the practice was invariable.
No marriage of a daughter is known to have taken place in the family until 1871, when Maharaja Gulab Singh's grand-daughter was married to the son of ancient Jaswal House.
Despite prohibition of Guru Gobind Singh, the practice of infanticide long remained common among the Sikhs, and even today there are parts of the Panjab, where, especially in sacerdotal Sikh families, the practice is suspected to prevail, but as a rule it may be said, that British influence has put an end to this cowardly and infamous crime throughout the Panjab.
The murder of the infant which was performed with all due ceremony, was done as follows: a piece ofgur (raw sugar) was put into the infant's mouth, which was then stuffed with cotton thread, a doggerel rhyme being chanted:
(Gur kha te sut kattl Apja te munda ghatt!!)
This may be roughly translated thus:
Eat gur and spin thread!
But go, and send a boy instead!!


Sardar Shamsher Singh, a son of the famous General Budh Singh, was recalled from Peshawar, and placed in command of a Brigade of Regulars, which he commanded throughout the Satluj Campaign of 1845-46.
In 1846, he was appointed a Member of the Council of Regency. I
In February 1848, the (British) Resident at Lahore deputed! Shamsher Singh to the districts about Amritsar, known as Majha, placing under him Civil and Military establishments. This tract o| country was infested with robbers, chiefly disbanded soldiers, and the Sardar acting with considerable energy, restored it to some degree of quiet.
Previous to this he had served some time at Bannu under Lieutenant Edwardes.
On the outbreak of rebellion of Multan, Shamsher Singh was sent down there in command of one Division of the Sikh army. He warned Edwardes of the disaffected state of the troops and did his best to keep them faithful (to the British).
The mutiny at last took him by surprise, and he was carried off by Raja Sher Singh (Atariwala) into Multan, where, before the whole Durbar, he refused to join the rebel cause, and declared that he owed obedience to Maharaja (Dalip Singh) only.
The next morning on 15th September 1848, he succeeded in making his escape, on foot, from (Raja) Sher Singh (Atariwala's) camp, leaving behind him all his tents and elephants: on the road he was intercepted by two of the rebels but he shot one, and the other took flight.
After his return to Multan, he rendered good assistance 'to General Whish in furnishing information of movements of Ram Singh, son of Shama, Vizier of Nurpur (State), who was in open rebellion (against the British).
After Annexation, the personal jagirs of Sardar Shamsher Singh, amounting to Rs. 40,250 per annum were upheld.
During Mutiny in 1857, Shamsher Singh raised troops of 125 horsemen (for helping the British).
Shamsher Singh was made Magistrate in his own jagir and a month later his jurisdiction was extended to Dacoity.


It has been in a great measure owing to his influence and example, that the cause of female education has been so widely systematically taken up in Amritsar.

There are two men of this name, and as the accompanying potraits provide no clue of race and family of either, (available) short accounts of both are entered herewith.
In 1834 Sardar Mangal Singh Ramgarhia was sent to Peshawar to command 400 foot and 110 Sawars of the old Ramgarhia class. There, under Sardar Tej Singh and Sardar Hari Singh (Nalwa), he did good service, and fought in the famous Battle of Jamrod in April 1837, where the gallant Hari Singh was killed.
During the reign of (Maharaja) Sher Singh, he was employed in Suket, Mandi and Kullu, and remained there till the close of Satluj War in 1846.
During the Second Sikh War, Sardar Mangal Singh did excellent service in guarding the roads, and in maintaining order in Amritsar and Gurdaspur Districts.
In 1862, on the retirement of Sardar Jodh Singh, Sadar Mangal Singh was appointed Manager of the affairs of the Sikh Temple of Amritsar. His appointment, which was of some difficulty, was filled by the Sardar with tact and ability. In the same year he was appointed Honorary Magistrate of Amritsar.
Sardar Mangal Singh was a man of education and liberal ideas.
It has been in a great measure owing to his influence and example, that the cause of female education has been so widely systematically taken up in Amritsar.
(Mangal Singh Ramgarhia was son of Jodh Singh Ramgarhia and grandson of famed Jassa Singh Ramgarhia.)


.Though no Courtier, Sardar Mangal Singh was a clever man and he rapidly rose to favours at Court.
Prince Kharak Singh gave to him jagirs worth five thousand rupees, and the charge of Chunian in Lahore District.
The Prince was so pleased with the activities of Mangal Singh in this appointment that in 1820, with (Maharaja) Ranjit Singh's approbation, he made him Manager of his all Civil and Military affairs.
After the death of Kharak Singh, Sardar Mangal Singh did not meddle with politics, and gradually fell into background.
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 conduct, he was taken prisoner by Raja Sher Singh (Atariwala), when opposing the passage of the rebel force and kept under restraint till just before the Battle of Ramnagar, when he effected his escape and joined Major Nicholson under whose orders he remained till the close of Campaign.
The conduct of Sardar Mangal Singh appeared suspicious to the authorities, and, after Annexation, only a cash pension of twelve thousand rupees was allowed him for life.
But it must in fairness be remembered, that no treason was ever proved against the Sardar, that he joined the British at a critical time and that he was employed in procuring supplies and resources for the British army upto the very end of War.
Sardar Mangal Singh died in 1864.



The Akalis were an unmitigated nuisance and danger during Maharaja Ranjit Singh 's reign, and more than once they attempted (termination of) his life.

Opposite the Golden Temple of Amritsar stands the Temple of the Akalis, which, at the present day, exhibits more of the original character of the Sikhs as established by their founder (Guru) Gobind Singh than that is to be met among the common Sikhs.
Since the days of Ranjit Singh the Akalis have greatly degenerated and are to be found mixed with men of such low castes as Mazhabis, a practice which their distinguished Chief now continued: a true Akali of the original Jat stock is now to be rarely met with except at different Akali Bungas such as at Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Anandpur.
The real Akali was bold, free and in particular haughty and audacious to those who dared to call or think themselves his superiors. He chose to strive to win the character of a friend to the poor and an enemy of the vile and powerful. He was a fanatic in religion and followed strictly all the rules laid down for his guidance by the great Guru Gobind Singh.
He made no scruple of seizing or demanding from a friend whatever he required, but he was equally ready to over-repay an obligation. He cared little for wealth, but was content with the mere accessories of existence. He was regardless of life and willingly exposed his self to danger at the call of duty or religion.
The Akalis were dreaded by the Sikh Chief (Ranjit Singh) for their fanaticism and turbulence, and they often levied offering byforce. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was afraid to interfere too closely with them, for though little better than drunken stooges (of Guru), they were supposed by the Sikhs to possess a semi-sacred character, and were, moreover, useful when sober desperate deeds were to be done, which the rank and file of the army might have declined.
In 1809 the Akalis nearly embroiled the Maharaja with the English by their fanatical attack on Metcalfe's Muslim escort. The steadiness with which the escort repulsed the raging mob of Akalis made great impression on Ranjit Singh, and he determined to train and discipline his troops on the European pattern.
The reckless valour of the Akalis or Nihangs turned many a wavering Sikh fight with victory. They were identical in character, and in manner of their onslaught with the Ghazis of Afghanistan and Sudan, whose fierce and terrible attack shakes the heroes of all but the steadiest and most trained troops. But the Sikh soldiers of God drew their courage more from drink and maddening drugs, than from the disciples of religious enthusiasm, which inspires the wild children of Islam.
The Akalis were an unmitigated nuisance and danger during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign, and more than once they attempted (termination of) his life.
Their insolent swagger and hatred of Europeans made them so obvious during the early years of British rule in Panjab that the visits to the Golden Temple of Amritsar, where the Akal Bunga formed their headquarters, were always attended by the Priest.
The Akali dress is peculiar. The men wear the checkered clothes, bangles on the wrists and quoits of steel on their blue conical turbans, together with miniature daggers and an iron chain.
Their headquarters used to be at (Sri) Amritsar (Sahib), when they assumed the direction of religious ceremonies, and the duty of working the Council of Khalsa.
They were married priests, political rather than religious, and their Order is dwindling away, numbering only 547 at the last census.
Their present headquarters are said to be at (Sri) Anandpur (Sahib) in Hoshiarpur District (in Panjab).
They still pride themselves upon the purity with which they preserve the original ordinances of their religion, rejecting all Hindu rites even in their marriage ceremonies.


1. Guru Nanak founded Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh created the Order of the Khalsa. In between, Guru Arjan conceived the necessity of and Guru Har Gobind completed what the Sikhs originally called Akal Bunga and later named it Akal Takht. Bunga is the Panjabized form of the Persian word Bungah which according to the Persian-English Dictionary compiled by S. Haim means Institution or Establishment. In his Panjabi work Mahan Kosh, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha does record that Bungah is a Persian word but he maintains that this word means abode.
2. Academically Sikhism rejects caste divisions. We do not quite accept Sir John W. McQueen's view that because from the days of Ranj it Singh the Mazhabis outnumbered Jats in Akali ranks, the change is interpretable as Akali degeneration.
3. On the occasion of the Muharram anniversary, the Akalis prevented the procession of Shia Muslims of Charles Metcalfe's escort from closely approaching the Holy Durbar Sahib in Amritsar which caused the scuffle.
It was not the superior Muslim performance in the aforesaid combat which inspired Ranj it Singh to train his troops on the European pattern. We learn from Diwan Amar Nath's Persian work Zafar Namah-i-Ranjit Singh that Ranjit Singh haD Europeanized his army as early as in 1803.
4. The Nihangs love to swill the intoxicating hemp which they call Sukhnidhan meaning Treasure of Comfort.


Throughout the reign of (Maharaja) Sher Singh, Bhai Gurmukh Singh intrigued against Raja Dhian Singh, and joined with the Sandhanwalias in conspiracy against the Raja' s life.

Bhai Gurmukh Singh was the son of (Giani) Sant Singh, the Guardian of the sacred Temple of the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar.
(Giani) Sant Singh had been a soldier as well as a priest. He served with the army on several occasions with great credit.
When (Giani) Sant Singh gave up worldly affairs and devoted himself to the reading and expounding of the Sikh scriptures, he sent his son Gurmukh Singh to (Maharaja Ranjit Singh's) court.
The youth soon became as great a favourite (of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) as his father had been, although his influence was never equal to that of his enemy and rival Bhai Ram Singh.
When Sher Singh became Maharaja, he did not forget the services of Gurmukh Singh, whom he treated with great consideration and gave large jagirs. But the real power was kept by the Prime Minister Dhian Singh in his own hands. Though Maharaja Sher Singh hated Dhian Singh, and knew his unpopularity with the nation, he could not get rid of him. He, however, played off Bhai Gurmukh Singh against Dhian Singh, and the Bhai, from his religious character, and long friendship with the Maharaja could not be excluded from the latter's presence.
But otherwise the contest between the statesman and the priest, was most unequal. Gurmukh Singh was supported by no powerful party and was without character or ability, while Raja Dhian Singh was the ablest man of his day, subtle, plausible and cautious, though held even to audacity in attacking and destroying his declared enemies.
Throughout the reign of (Maharaja) Sher Singh, Bhai Gurmukh Singh intrigued against Raja Dhian Singh, and joined with the Sandhanwalias in the conspiracy against Raja Dhian Singh's life.
When the murdered Prime Minister Dhian Singh's son, Raja Hira Singh, rose to power, he, at the instigation of Bhai Ram Singh and Misar Lal Singh, arrested Bhai Gurmukh Singh with his friend Misar Beli Ram, the Treasurer, and made them over for custody to Saikh Imam-ud-Din Khan, by whom they were put to death.2
Bhai Ram Singh was a far abler man than his rival Gurmukh Singh, but of no higher character. Both were unscrupulous and scheming and both made religion a cloak for their ambition and intrigue.
1. Bhai Ram Singh was one of the grandsons of the holy personage Bhai Basti Ram (1708-1802). On an occasion Ajeet Singh Baaghaa accompanied by the author of Plato and the True Enlightener of Soul, Bhai Dharmanant Singh, called at Bhai Ram Singh's grandson Principal Inder Singh. In the brief parley which ensued Sardar Inder Singh dwelt upon the sanctity of his ancestor Bhai Basti Ram and observed amid rhapsodic wonder that whatever he was he owed to the spiritiaul glory of Bhai Basti Ram.
2. From the Hindustani manuscript preserved in London's British Library vide Accession Number Or. 1733 we learn that hounds let loose on Beli Ram buried waist-deep in ground devoured his upper half body.


Fateh Singh Kalianwala entered the service of Ranjit Singh in about 1798 and rose very rapidly in the favour of his master.
He was a brave and skilful soldier, and had ability and great influence.
He was with the Maharaja when he captured Lahore and (also when he) took Amritsar from the Bhangi and Ramgarhia confederacies and also at the defeat of Jodh Singh of Wazirabad.
It was, in a great measure, owing to Kalianwala's advice that in 1805 Ranjit Singh gave no response to Jaswant Rao Hulkar's cause against British Government.
On one occasion, at Wazirabad, Maharaja Ranjit Singh told Fateh Singh Kalianwala to draw his troops (in the army) on one side so that he might judge their number. When this order was given, (i.e. when Fateh Singh's adherents in the army were asked to move towards him and the rest of the soldiery was asked to cross towards Maharaja,) the whole army went over to the Great Chief Kalianwala, and Ranjit Singh, to his rage and chagrin, found himself almost deserted.

Ranjit Singh never forgot the aforesaid incident: nor he forgave the Chief who had too much influence with the army.
Many of the chief barons were proud to fight beneath Fateh Singh's command.
In 1807 Ranjit Singh beseiged Narain Garh Fort. For fifteen days it held out, but Ranjit Singh became very impatient at delay, and (in ironic bid) told Fateh Singh, who was in immediate command, that he was fond of remaining by Maharaja than of leading the troops in the field. Piqued at this, Fateh Singh assailed the fort, but was repulsed and mortally wounded.
Ranjit Singh came to the tent of the dying Sardar who is said to have advised the Maharaja never to raise another Jat Sikh to the highest office in the State. It is doubtful whether such advice was ever given, but the Maharaja appears to have acted upon some such principle for which his Officers and Generals were Jat Sikhs: in the Council he rather gave his confidence to Brahmans, Rajputs and some Muhammedans.
Fateh Singh left his son behind him and Ranjit Singh might have resumed all of his jagirs, but feeling some remorse for the Sardar's death, he sent Mit Singh, with a khilat for the widow (of the deceased) to ask her to nominate her husband's heir, who should be recognized.
Dhanna Singh and Dal Singh were the two favourites of Fateh Singh, but the latter having bribed Mit Singh with five thousand rupees on the night of his arrival at (Fateh Singh's native place known as Kalian), Mit Singh told the widow that although she might nominate any of the two, but Ranjit Singh would recognise Dal Singh only, and he was accordingly selected.
1. Jodh Singh of Wazirabad and his brother Dal Singh were maternal uncles of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's father Mahan Singh.




... after the death of Hari Singh Nalwa at the battle which was fought at the mouth of Khyber Pass, Atar Singh, who, for his strength and courage, was considered the Champion of the Khalsa, became the Commander-in-Chief on the Peshawar border (and held that position) till 1840.

Sardar Atar Singh was a Chief of the most powerful family in the Panjab i.e. the one to which Maharaja Ranjit Singh himself belonged.
The Sandhanwalias were a turbulent race and Atar Singh, his brother Lehna Singh and nephew Ajit Singh were all conspicuous by the intrigues which preceded and followed the death of Ranjit Singh.
Both Atar Singh and his brother Budh Singh, who was a famous General who died twelve years before Ranjit Singh's demise, saw much service in different parts of Panjab, especially in Peshawar valley, and after the death ofHari Singh Nalwa at the battle which was fought at the mouth of Khyber Pass, Atar Singh, who, for his strength and courage, was considreed the Champion of the Khalsa, became the Commander-in-Chief on the Peshawar border (which position he held) till 1840.
Sardar Atar Singh supported Chand Kaur's party against Prince Sher Singh and the Prime Minister Raja Dhian Singh, and left his estates when they came into power. With a large following, he encamped in the (British)-protected Sikh States south of the Satluj and, unlike Lehna Singh and Ajit Singh did not return (to the Panjab Kingdom), because he did not trust Maharaja Sher singh and his Prime Minister Raja Dhian Singh, though Atar Singh must have known of the intention of Lehna Singh and Ajit Singh to murder the Maharaja and his Prime Minister. He continued stationed south of theSatluj.
The Prime Minister Hira Singh believed Atar Singh to be privy in the conspiracy (which culminated in mortal attack on Raja Dhian Singh) and determined on his destruction: with this object he caused letters to be forged, purporting to be from the chiefs and leaders of the army, and sent to Atar Singh, urging him to return to Panjab, recover his influence and destroy Prime Minister. He also sent forged letters to Baba Bir Singh, a Guru much respected by the Sikhs, begging him to use his influence with the Sardars to effect the requisite return. This ruse was successful and Atar Singh crossed the Satluj with his followers and joined the camp of Baba.
The Sikh army would not, however, attack the camp of the Holy Guru, and Hira Singh had recourse to further deceit in assuring the troops that Atar Singh had allied himself with the British who were, even then, ready to cross the Satluj and seize the Panjab and that if the army marched against him, he would probably return to Sikh States south of Satluj without offering any resistance. The troops, thereupon, marched from Lahore and all turned as Hira Singh hoped.
By treachery, a triumph was excited, and before the Sikh soldiers were aware (that Hira Singh had inveigled them for personal and not Panthic cause), they were engaged in a regular fight with the Sandhanwalia's force. The camp of Baba was stormed and he was killed by a round shot.
The late Maharaja Ranjit Singh's son Prince Kashmira Singh was killed fighting gallantly.
Atar Singh was shot by Sardar Gulab Singh Kalaudia. The tragedy took place in May 1844.


Chet Singh's elevation was the cause of his destruction.
During Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign, he remained the chief favourite of Prince Kharak Singh and his influence was very great, but after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the accession of Kharak Singh to the throne, the Sardars whose jealousy Chet Singh had aroused, determined to destroy him.
Raja Dhian Singh, then Prime Minister and Prince Nau Nihal Singh were the leaders of the conspiracy (against Chet Singh) and the unfortunate favourite was murdered in the palace almost in the presence of his Master.
Raja Dhian Singh and his two brothers, Raja Gulab Singh and Suchet Singh, with several Sardars, went into the fort at night and forced their way into Maharaja Kharak Singh's bedchamber in the palace.
Alarmed by the noise, and fearing danger, Chet Singh hid himself in a dark chamber to the rear of the Monarch's apartment.
Maharaja Kharak Singh was surprised and bound and feared death, which would certainly have been his fate but for the presence of his son Nau Nihal Singh and the instructions of the latter's mother Chand Kaur, who had stipulated that nobody should appear before the Maharaja.
After search, Chet Singh was discovered in a corner with a drawn sword held in both hands but without the power to use it, and trembling with fear, the coward wept and cried like a child for mercy.While he was dragged into the presence of Raja Dhian Singh, the latter, with his own hand, twice drove a long knife into his body and the unfortunate favourite was literally hacked to pieces by the infuriated assassins.
Afterwards Maharaja Kharak Singh was confined in the fort and Prince Nau Nihal Singh was proclaimed (de facto) Maharaja: the old sovereign was declared an enemy to the State and incapable of holding the reins of Government.



In the later years of (reign of) Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Hukam Singh saw much service as a young Sikh Sardar.
When Maharaja Sher Singh came to the throne, he, having crowned him well, employed him and added eagerly to his personal estates.
He was present in the Shah Bilawal Garden when Maharaja Sher Singh was assassinated by the Sandhanwalias and in the struggle, was severely wounded in the shoulder
Little is known of Hukam Singh during the two following years when he appears to have lived retired life
He was killed at the Battle of Sabraon in February 1846.


Sardar Ranjodh Singh was a General in the (Sikh) army at the commencement of the Satluj Campaign and was quite prepared for a war with the English.
He moved to Philaur his troops consisting of ten thousand infantry and some regular cavalry with sixty guns and on 17th January 1846 crossed the Satluj, intending to proceed to Ludhiana to capture, if possible, the siege train which was on its way to the headquarters of the British army at Baddowal.
On 21st January 1846, he intercepted the force of Sir Harry Smith, who was marching to Ludhiana and, more from exhaustion of the British troops than from any display of gallantry on his part, captured almost all the baggage of the army.
This affair much encouraged his troops, who had been joined by a fresh force at Aliwal on 28th January 1846.
Ranjodh Singh's Generalship was as contemptible as that of Raja Lal Singh and his cowardice as conspicuous as that of Raj Tej Singh: but he was not a traitor. He had no confidential agent in the British Camp as Raja Lal Singh had: nor did he, like the latter secretly wish for the triumph of the British.
During the Outbreak at Multan in 1848, he was detected in treasonable correspondence and was placed in confinement. He was released at the close of war. The Lahore Darbar confiscated jagir but granted him a pension of three thousand rupees per annum.



On the murder of Raja Hira Singh, Maharani Jindan appointed as Vizier, her brother Sardar Jawahar Singh, an ambitious, unscrupulous, drunken and debauched man.
Jindan's first object was to employ Sikh army against Raja Gulab Singh to whom they bore a grudge and hoped to rob him of his vast treasures.
After some severe fighting at Jammu, Gulab Singh, conscious that from a military point of view, he was powerless, determined to trust to intrigue and assuring them that he was but the servant of the Khalsa, placed himself unreservedly in the hands of the Army Council.
He was brought to Lahore, virtually a prisoner, and used his opportunities to conciliate the army and turn their hostility against Jawahar Singh: after paying a fine of some thirty lakh rupees, Gulab Singh cleverly persuaded the soldiers to permit him to return to Jammu.
Ranjit Singh's son Pashaura Singh now revolted a second time and as it seemed likely that the troops would depose the boy Maharaja Dalip Singh in favour of Pashaura Singh, the latter was murdered by Raja Chatar Singh and Sardar Fateh Khan Tiwana, it was believed, by Jawahar Singh's orders.
The army, in consequence, was much enraged against Jawahar Singh and sent him word that he was no longer Vizier.
The Army, after deliberating for fifteen days, summoned him on 21 st September 1845.
He came on elephant, holding his nephew, the young Maharaja,
in his arms. Maharani Jindan accompanied on another elephant.
Jawahar Singh had four hundred horsemen as escort and two lakh
loads of rupees for bribes.
As soon as the cavalcade left the fort, an ominous silence pervaded the army: one hundred and eighty guns were fired but so stern was the discipline that no sound was heard (in the army ranks). In the trampling of the escort, after the salute died away, Dalip Singh was received with royal honours, but the procession was stopped as it reached the centre (i.e. between the fort and the army). The escort moved away and a battalion marched up and surrounded the elephants. Then the Members of the Army Council came forward and forcing the Maharani away, ordered Jawahar Singh to dismount. He, however, attempted to parley, when a tall Sikh, striking him in the face, removed Dalip Singh from his arms. A soldier, who had presumably received orders, mounted the ladder and stabbed Jawahar Singh with the bayonet, when he was dispatched with many wounds.
The army offered Premiership to Raja Gulab Singh but that
astute Raja would not accept it, remarking that he desired to live
more than six months.
The appointment was then nominally bestowed on Maharani Jindan's favourite Lal Singh.

Sir John W. McQueen does not refer to the first revolt of Prince Pashaura Singh. In fact, Gulab Singh presented a forged letter in Lahore Durbar in support of his allegation that Prince; Pashaura Singh and Kashmira Singh had asked for British protection. In the face of repeated expeditions sent out to seize Pashaura Singh's jagir in Sialkot, the two brothers resisted the onslaught thrust against them, but finally surrendered. They were arrested but were released under army pressure. Fed up with Gulab Singh's motivated malicious campaign against them they decided to seek refuge with their friend Raja Suchet Singh who, in the meanwhile, mortally fell on the battlefield at Lahore while battling with Hira Singh's soldiery. That happened on 27th March 1844. The Princes were left with no option other than fleeing to Baba Bir Singh's headquarters at Naurangabad.



Sardar Desa Singh of noble Majithia house died in 1832 and was succeeded in all of his estates by his eldest son Lehna Singh who first served with credit in the Multan Campaign of 1818 and soon became known for ability and learning.
He was a skilful mechanist and an original inventor. He made improved Sikh ordnance and some very beautiful guns manufactured by him were taken in the Satluj Campaign. Amongst other things, he invented a clock, which showed the time, the day of the month and the changes of the moon. He was fond of astronomy and mathematics and was master of several languages.
As an administrator he was very popular. The poor were never oppressed by him. His assessments were moderate and his decisions were fast. As a statesman he may be said to have been the only honest man in Lahore. Fraud and corruption were supreme, but the hands of Lehna Singh were always clean: surrounded by the most unscrupulous schemers, he preserved his honesty unsullied.
Had a man of reputation and administrative ability of Lehna Singh Majithia taken the lead in 1845, the great trouble which came upon his country might have been averted.
But he was no true patriot. He did not understand that the religion of a statesman and indeed of every honest man is to stand by his country in the time of danger, sharing her grief and if need be, falling with herself.
Lehna Singh had one great fault, which shipwrecked all of his virtues. He was timid and superstitious and was ever ready, at the approach of danger, to move off to Hardwar to bathe, or to Banaras to feed a crowd of hungry Brahmans. He did so just before the Satluj Campaign of 1845, and when the Panjab Campaign of 1848 commenced, he left Governorship of Amritsar early in 1849. He returned to Panjab in 1851, and after two years went to Banaras, where he died on 25th July 1854.
Lehna Singh's brother Sardar Ranjodh Singh commanded the Sikh army at the Battle of Baddowal on 21 st January 1846 and lost, through timidity, a great chance of doing the British army a considerable damage. Later he was bitterly defeated by Sir Harry Smith (at Aliwal on 28th January 1846).
There is a well-known saying in the country to the effect that three families in Panjab viz. Atariwalas, Mans and Majithias have possessed the greatest number of remarkable men. Atariwalas are brave and fearless: Mans are handsome, gallant and true: Majithias are knave and timid!


Diwan Sawan Mall, whose ability was well known to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was appointed Governor of half of the province of Multan and in 1829, he was made Governor of the whole of it.
The tract of the country, which then came under the rule of Sawan Mall, was very extensive and comprised the districts of Multan, Dehra Ghazi Khan, Laiya and part of Jhang. It was at that time almost a desert, having been the scene of rapine and war for many years. Life and property were insecure and population, which had once been numerous and wealthy, had become scanty and unfortunate.
But under the new administration a great change was brought. By offers of land and protection, Diwan Sawan Mall had induced many of the inhabitants of neighbouring districts to settle in that province. In Multan District alone he excavated canals to the length of three hundred miles. He fostered commerce and acted in every way as a wise and beneficent ruler.
During the reign of the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Sawan Mall was little disturbed. Ranjit Singh saw the gradual increase of the Diwan's power, but he knew that during his reign he would not rebel, and as the tribute was paid with the greatest regularity, there was no cause of complaint.
When Raja Dhian Singh was assassinated by Sandhanwalias, Diwan Sawan Mall was deprived of the most able of his friends.
During the preceding years, Diwan Sawan Mall had been strengthening himself at Multan, and there is every reason to believe that he intended, at some favourable opportunity, to throw off allegiance to Lahore, and to declare his independence. It was with this intention that he expended so much money and labour upon his fort at Multan, so that it was all but impregnable to a native force.
On 16th September 1840, at his morning Durbar, a soldier who had been caught thieving, was brought up before the Diwan for trial. After inquiry, the prisoner was remanded and placed in antechamber, with a guard over him. As the Diwan was holding court, the prisoner fired at him with a pistol. The assassin was at once cut down, and Sawan Mall died a few days later.
Sawan Mall was the best of all Sikh Governors.
During the later years of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's life, and during those of his successors, the Diwan was practically irresponsible, yet his great power was in no way abused (by him).
It is true that he amassed great wealth but it was not wrongfully acquired from people by cruelty and oppression.
It was a common saying in the country that Multan was pleased with Sawan i.e. the Month of Rain and Laiya with Karam i.e. kindness while Jhang was desolated by Mula which is an Insect which destroys corn. The allusion, of course, was to Governor of Multan Sawan Mall; Karam Narain, his second son, Kardar of Laiya; and Mul Raj, his eldest son, Kardar of Jhang.


In 1840 Diwan Mul Raj succeeded his father Sawan Mall as Governor of Multan. He was no great ruler. He had, in fact, declared that he was anxious to retire into private life, since the difficulty of raising the revenue demanded by Lahore (Government) was more than he was capable of coping with.
It must be understood that his offer of resignation was purely voluntary, but there is no doubt that he thought that his services could not be spared and a lower amount of revenue would be demanded.
His resignation was, however, accepted, and Sardar Kahan Singh was appointed in his place in cooperation with two English officers Vans Agnew and Lt. Anderson.
Agnew, Anderson and Kahan Singh marched from Lahore with an escort of fourteen hundred Sikh infantry, seven cavalry and a Gurkha battalion with six guns and encamped in April 1848 at Idgah, half a mile from the Fort of Multan.
Next morning the English officers and Kahan Singh, with some of their escort, accompanied Mul Raj into the fort and discussed the arrangements (for transfer of charge of Governorship from Mul Raj to Kahan Singh).
While they were on way back to Idgah, one of the soldiers of Mul Raj, at the bridge over the ditch of the fort, struck and wounded Vans Agnew. Evidently it was a signal for attack on the party (comprising the English officers, Kahan Singh and their escort).

Mul Raj rode off to his own residence whilst no sooner was Anderson attacked than the Gorkha escort rescued him: Kahan Singh rescued Vans Agnew, putting him on his own elephant. Both officers were brought into their own encampment where their wounds were dressed.
Agnew immediately despatched a report to the Resident at Lahore and sent off a message to Lt. Herbert Edwardes and to General Cortlandt, an officer of the Sikh service at Bannu.
In the meantime, at Multan itself, Mul Raj sent his emissaries to Idgah to inform Agnew that his people would not allow him to resign, and that he could give the Englishmen no help: at the same time he ordered (the Englishmen's) escort to desert to him and to place himself at the head of revolt.
In the evening some of the soldiers and the town rabble mobbed the Idgah, took Kahan Singh prisoner and murdered the two English officers.
The die was cast!
All troops joined Mul Raj who forthwith proceeded to strengthen the fort and obtain further troops.
The gallant Edwardes took the initiative and as he knew that the Sikh troops in Derajat were not to be trusted, he called on the Pathan Chief of the district to rally round him against Sikhs whom the said Chief hated. This kept the Khalsa troops quiet.
Edwardes' first object was to prevent Mul Raj from sending any force to Derajat to get the Sikh troops there to join him.
At that time Edwardes was at Dera Fateh Khan with his Pathan levies.
On 16th May 1848, three hundred men whom Edwardes had stationed at Laia, across the Indus, attacked and defeated four hundred men sent by Mul Raj.
Edwardes had just written to the Resident at Lahore, that if the Chief of Bahawalpur would cross the Satluj and move up the River Chanab, he would be able to join him, and that together they might drive out Mul Raj.
Later on, the Baloch Chief of Khosa turned the Sikhs out of Mangrota and Dera Ghazi Khan and enabled Edwardes and Cortlandt to cross the Indus on 10th June 1848 and to advance tojoin the Bahawalpur troops, who had crossed the Satluj, and were advancing up the right bank of the Chanab.
On 18th June 1848, Edwardes managed to cross the Chanab, while the Bahawalpur troops were attacked by eight thousand Sikhs at Kaneri, and Edwardes and Cortlandt arrived most opportunely to win the victory.
On 1 st July 1848 another pitched battle was fought and won at Suddusam.
After this, the (British) troops took up a strong position at Surajkund, which they entrenched.
On 5th July 1848, much to Edwardes' annoyance and anger due to delayed arrival of Raja Sher Singh Atariwala, the latter joined the former with some five thousand troops from Lahore.
For two months, these Muhammedan and Sikh forces, though mutually hating each other, kept the enemy in check till the arrival of the British troops under General Whish.
On 4th September 1848, Edwardes was also joined by General Cureton with six guns and twelve hundred men. He fought throughout the Campaign.
Battling broke out first at Jehlam.
The (British) Resident at Lahore proposed that the force of British regiments, with siege guns, should move against Multan. The Commander-in-Chief, Lord Gough, observed that he had not sufficient troops at hand in the event of the outbreak spreading throughout the Panjab and that it would be difficult to collect the necessary troops in the hot weather, and that at that time of the year it was not desirable to despatch British troops (who were sensitive to summer heat).
It is true that the Sikh Durbar proceeded to put down the revolted Governor with their own General Whish's force consisting of seven thousand regulars of all arms, Lt. Edwardes' seven thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry and Sher Singh's six thousand soldiers of all arms with thirty-two siege guns and one hundred and sixty-one field guns.
On 6th September 1848 the united force moved forward close to Multan where there was severe fighting. General Whish's two columns stormed and captured the two positions held by the enemy.
The result was thirty-one killed and two hundred wounded (on our side). The enemy left five hundred dead on the ground.
Notwithstanding our success, on the morning of 14th September 1848 Sher Singh and his troops went over to the enemy.
After this desertion, General Whish felt that he was not strong enough to take Multan until he was reinforced. On 16th September 1848, the army returned to Surajkund where it was reinforced towards the end of December 1848.
In the meanwhile, on 9th October 1848, Raja Sher Singh left Multan to join (his father) Sardar Chatar Singh Atariwala who was at that time north of the Jehlam.
The Bombay force, when it arrived, added to the British army five thousand and five hundred men, thirty siege guns and thirty field guns.
On 27th October 1848 the British force, in three columns, marched forward in a semi-circle, from south-west to north-east, driving the enemy back.
The operation was thoroughly successful.
During the following three days and nights breaching batteries opened fire on the Khuni Burj and the Delhi Gate (in Multan).
On the 30 October 1848, large magazine on the South Gate of the fort was blown up. The explosion was of so terrific character that it silenced the entire siege: every man in the force had to pause and take breath after so tremendous a surprise.
The whole earth shook for miles round the fort and the atmosphere was darkened for hours by a dense cloud which hung like a mantle over the city. The scenes of carnage presented within the town after the explosion are said to have been fearful. The principal houses and temples were destroyed totally or partially, and it was ascertained that two hundred human beings were instantaneously killed besides a vast number wounded through the falling houses and fragmants.
On 2nd January 1849, the breaches having been reported practicable, the Bengal Column was ordered to assault Delhi Gate and the Bombay Column (was directed to attack) the Khuni Burj. The Native Column headed by the Bombay Fusiliers, after a score of gallant struggle, caused the breaches, and the Bengal Column,finding their trench utterly impragnable, turned to the left and volleyed over the Khuni Burj. There was desperately hard fighting for both columns, but by evening the town was entirely in our possession.
The enemy fought bravely.
The greatest struggle occurred round the Khuni Burj where the slaughter was heaviest.
The city fell, but the fort remained in the hands of Mul Raj who seeing the success of the besiegers, closed its gates, so splitting out those Sikhs who tried to hold the city, while keeping back with him in the fort four thousand picked men.
Fresh batteries were erected on both sides of the fort, and terrific cannonade was maintained for fifteen days.
But on 22nd January 1849, Mul Raj surrendered at discretion.
He was taken to Lahore, charged with complicity in the murder of Vans Agnew and Anderson and found guilty.
Amid excruciating circumstances, he spent in confinement the remainder of his life, which was prolonged only for a short time.
During the siege, we lost one thousand, one hundred and fifty-three killed or wounded, while thirteen officers died and fifty-one were wounded.


His probity was well-known, his learning was considerable and he was ever ready to assist in the improvement and establishment of (Lahore) City.
The brother of Dina Nath, Diwan Ayudhia Parshad, was summoned to Lahore by his father Diwan Ganga Ram, and received, through his interest, in 1820, the Paymastership of Fauj Khas or Special Brigade under General Ventura, an Italian, consisting of four Regiments of infantry and two Regiments of Cavalry.
On the death of his father, he was created Diwan. He continued to serve with Fauj Khas and when General Ventura was absent on leave in Europe, he commanded the whole force. So ably did he do this that General Ventura wrote of him in these terms: "On the two occasions, when I have been absent in Europe, Ayudhia Parshad has held the command of the Life Guards of Maharaja. On my return from Europe, I have found the troops in as good condition as if I had been present myself."
In 1830, Ayudhia Parshad was sent to Multan to meet Lt. (Alexander) Bumes, who brought, from the King of England, a present of cart horses and a carriage for Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Ayudhia Parshad saw much service in the field in Fauj Khas.
When at the end of 1843, General Ventura, disgusted with the misfeasance of the troops, and clearly foreseeing the problems coming on the country, finally left the Panjab, Diwan Ayudhia Parshad wa: appointed to the command of the Brigade, which he held till the close of Satluj Campaign.

When he tendered his resignation, which was accepted, he left the corps with which he had seen service for nearly six years.
In April 1849, the Diwan was appointed to take charge of the young Maharaja, Dalip Singh, in conjunction with Dr. Logan. He accompanied the Prince to Fatehgarh, when he remained in attendance upon him till September 1851. Then, the Maharaja being about to leave for England, he returned to Panjab, and gave up public life.
Dr. Logan has given the highest testimony to the Diwan for upright and honourable conduct while with the Maharaja at Fatehgarh.
After the treaty of 1846, making over the hill country between the Ravi and the Indus to Maharaja Gulab Singh, Ayudhia Parshad was appointed Commissioner in conjunction with Captain Abbott to mark the boundary line of Lahore and Jammu territories. The work, which was by no means easy, occupied two years till 1848.
During all this time, his conduct gave greatest satisfaction to the authorities, and he showed greatest courtesy and attention to the British Commissioner Captain Abbott, later General Sir James Abbott, who was the famous traveller in Central Asia, who released several hundred Russian prisoners at Khiva before the Afghan Campaign in 1839, and also in 1845, in Hazara, opposed Sardar Chatar Singh Atariwala with levies of Pathans in that district: in late years the station Abbotabad was named after Abbott.
In 1862 Ayudhia Parshad was appointed Honorary Magistrate of Lahore City and in this position he gave satifaction (to his superiors).
His probity was well-known, his learning was considerable and he was ever ready to assist in the improvement and establishment of (Lahore) City.
Ayudhia Parshad was much liked and respected by the British officers who knew him at Lahore.


Diwan Kidar Nath (above)was Diwan Dina Nath's brother.

For many years he was a servant of Lahore State.

He received the title of Diwan from Maharaja Dalip Singh.

On the (British) annexation of Panjab, he received from the British Government a life pension of Rs. 6000/-.

He died in 1859.

Pandit Jalla

Pandit Jalla, a Brahman, was a man of most repulsive character and of a most tyrannical and ambitious spirit. Pandit Jalla had been tutor to Raja Hira Singh in his youth. No sooner was Hira Singh in power than his actions, owing to influence of Jalla, caused much dissatisfaction.
The leading spirit amongst the malcontents was Sardar Jawahar Singh. Early in March 1844, he and his sister Maharani Jindan sent an invitation to Raja Suchet Singh to come to Lahore, promising that the army would welcome him, and (conjecturing) that he could supplant Hira Singh as Vizier. In an evil moment for himself, the gallant Suchet Singh started, and with a small force reached the neighbourhood of Lahore.
Pandit Jalla knew that the success of Suchet Singh would, for private reasons, mean death to himself, and so he persuaded Hira Singh to promise pay raise to the army. This would, for the moment, make Hira Singh very popular, and as the Pandit feared that Hira Singh might come to an understanding with the Pandit's enemy (Suchet Singh), he prophesied to Hira Singh that he would be murdered and produced a horoscope in which it was foretold that Hira Singh or Suchet Singh would fall the next day. (To avert mortal danger to him,) Hira Singh then ordered the army to advance and killed Suchet Singh and his small force.
Still the hatred towards Pandit Jalla rapidly increased. Repeated demands were addressed to Raja Hira Singh to part with Jalla, but the Raja refused to comply and so turned the influence of army against him. Hira Singh and Jalla fled with some followers and the running fight of some miles ensued in which they and most of their followers were slain. The heads of Hira Singh and Pandit Jalla were paraded through the streets of Lahore.


Pandit Madhusudan was a great scholar, and there was no other Pandit in Lahore who had so extensive an acquaintance with Sanskrit literature.
In 1808, Madhusudan was appointed a Muharar (or Amanuensis) to the Maharaja, and (also) Chief Durbar Pandit, both of which offices he held till Annexation.
He was a favouri'.e of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who, in 1824 appointed his son Radha Kishan, a Tutor to the young Raja Hira Singh whose (later) life, mean, sensual and untrue, did not certainly say much for his education.
Pandit Madhusudan died in 1863.



One of the most conspicuous figures at Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court was Jamadar Khushal Singh. He was the son of a Brahman shopkeeper in Meerut Division. At the age of seventeen, he came to Lahore to seek his fortune, and was taken into a regiment on five rupees a month.
He soon made friendship with the Maharaja's Chamberlain and was placed on the personal guard of Ranjit Singh. Here, by his vigilance, aided by his good looks and soldierly daring, he attracted the favourable notice of Maharaja.
The story told by his family is to the effect, that one night Ranjit Singh went out in disguise, and on his rerun to the palace was stopped by Khushal, who was on guard, and he detained his Master in the watch house till morning. The vigilance pleased the Maharaja so much, that he kept Khushal by him as a personal attendant.
However this may be, it is certain, that he rose daily in his Master's good favour till in 1811 he was appointed Chamberlain with the title of Jamadar. The appointment was one of importance. The Chamberlain was master of ceremonies, regulated the processions and superintended the Durbar. It was through him alone that any individual, however high his rank, could obtain a private interview with the Maharaja, although the daily Durbar was open to all men of (royal) family and official importance.
Five years after Khushal arrived at Lahore, he was baptized as a Sikh, and after this grew rapidly in favour. He soon became very wealthy, as he used his influence with his Master to obtain bribes and contributions from all attending the court.
He was employed on various military duties, and in 1832 was appointed Governor of Kashmir, under Prince Sher Singh, when the (governmental) oppression converted a year of severity into one of famine.
Khushal Singh was not a man of ability and although the Maharaja was attracted by his good looks in the first instance, the accompanying portrait taken late in his life shows him a course, vulgar man far inferior to the handsome Sikh soldiers. He was unpopular at court, and showed himself something of a tyrant.
Jamadar Khushal Singh died in 1844, having missed not little in the policies during the last three years of his life.


In the early part of Ranjit Singh's career, there was no such thing as money payment for the army, but (there was) soldiers record instead. It was considered ignoble to take money payment, and a money soldier was held in contempt.
It was in 1809, when Mr. Metcalfe was deputed to Amritsar that Ranjit Singh first set his mind upon disciplined and regular soldiers. It so happened that an attack was made on Metcalfe's escort by some of undoubted Akalis, who though much outnumbered the sepoys, were boldly beat off. Ranjit Singh was not too slow to leave the lesson taught, and he looked about to find any one, who could instruct his troops in drill. Dhaunkal Singh appealed to the Maharaja that he knew the bayonet exercise, and he was immediately employed.
The old troops took umbrage and resisted the innovation and the idea of money payment too proved uninviting.
Ranjit Singh, who was not the man to be turned aside from his purpose, just gave purses and presents, with his own hands, to each of those who learned (the new art). The sight of money was, too, made for the remainder of the army, who, (with passage of time) no longer held aloof from the new discipline and regular payment.
Ranjit Singh attempted as a further innovation to introduce the sepoy's cap instead of turban. This the army would not stand but mutinied. The wise Maharaja bided his time, and told the Sikhs that he would never enforce caps on his own faith and nation. Shortly afterwards when a regiment of Gorkhas were to receive their pay,he ordered three battalions of Sikhs to surround them, and secure a promise from them that they would wear caps. On Gorkhas having received pay, the three Sikh battalions marched down on them as they had been forewarned. Gorkhas halted and cried: "Let us pass or we open fire. You would not wear the caps." Upon this the Sikhs ran up and embraced the Gorkhas and a great fraternization followed. Still Ranjit Singh, though obliged to overlook these acts, did not swerve from his puropse and he managed to effect his end adroitly by ordering the Drill Instructor Dhaunkal Singh to wear a cap himself and to enlist only such men as recruits who were willing to promise to wear the cap. Dhaunkal Singh managed to do so and, by degrees, cap became accepted in the army and Dhaunkal Singh became a Colonel.


Faquir Imam-ud-Din played a subordinate part to his brother Faquir Aziz-ud-Din.
During the quarter portion of Ranjit Singh's reign, Imam-ud-Din was the custodian of the celebrated Fortress Gobind Garh at Amritsar and the Governor of the country immediately surrounding it.
He led the force sent to reduce the fort of Mai Sada Kaur at Kalanaur and also served in one or two other campaigns.
Imam-ud-Din died in 1844.


(McQueen has not given any detail about Akali Natha Singh.)
— Editor


Nihang Phoola Singh, an Akali of the Jat caste, first distinguished himself as the leader of the attack on Metcalfe's escort in 1809 at Amritsar.
Soon after the successful termination of this exploit, he and some of his comrades forced themselves into the presence of Ranjit Singh and, in a very turbulent manner, demanded the slaughter of the British Guards, and his return after a long interview with Maharaja, induced the young Akali and his followers to lay aside their desire for British blood, and Maharaja dismissed them with presents and sent them away in good houses.
As an acknowledged Chief of Akalis, Phoola Singh served the country as a freebooter, but he was noted as much for his kindness and forbearance towards the poor, as for his ravages upon the rich.
The fame of Phoola Singh's exploits soon reached the ears of Ranjit Singh who, however, did not proceed to extremities, but generally remonstrated with him on his conduct, gave him presents and persuaded him and his followers to take service with him, without insisting on the enforcement of regular military discipline. Thus it happened that in most of the battles which Ranjit Singh fought with his Afghan foes, the tide of battle was turned in his favour by the daring and impetuous onslaught of some of these desperate spirits.
On many occasions, as at Multan and in Kashmir, Phoola Singh displayed great daring, but here we have space only to relate his gallant death in the battle of (Tibba) Teeree in the Peshawar valley in 1823. At first victory appeared declared against the Sikhs. They had been repulsed in several attacks and were beginning to retire from field, when Ranjit Singh, to his great surprise, saw the black banner of Phoola Singh and five hundred Akalis moving to the attack. Ranjit Singh had himself seen Phoola Singh struck down from his horse by a musket-ball which shattered his knee-cap: he was borne to the rear, utterly disabled, but there Phoola Singh was seated on an elephant, actually leading his little band to the assault.
The Afghans waited not for the attack, but rushed down the hill to become the assailants. The Akalis dismounted from their horses, shouting their war-cry Wahiguru ji ki Fateh while the Afghans (uttered) their cry Allah, Allah! The horses set at liberty returned from battle or, alarmed by the tumult, rushed forward wildly into the ranks of the enemy and caused confusion among the Aghans. The Akalis followed to the attack sword in hand: (in the meanwhile) Phoola Singh received a second bullet wound, and his mahout, who had already received three wounds, became terrified and hesitated to advance. Phoola Singh drew the pistol and shot the man through the head and, with the point of his sword urged the elephant towards the enemy. He had not, however, advanced much further, when another bullet entered his forehead and he fell back dead. The death of their leader so infuriated the Akalis, who were now barely one hundred and fifty strong, that their desperate resolution carried the assault, and in the end made a way for the best of the fighters of Sikh army into the midst of the enemy's position, and dislodged the Pathans from their strong post with great slaughter.
The heroism of the Akali chief elicited the applause of both Sikhs and Pathans, and the tomb erected over his ashes, although watched and tended by Akalis, has become a place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs, Hindus and Muhammedans alike. He was cremated on the spot where he fell. The tomb stands opposite the cantonment of Noshehra on the bank of River Kabul.



Shaikh Ghulam Muhaiy-ud-Din, when very young, attracted the attention of the celebrated General Diwan Muhkam Chand's son, Moti Ram, who placed the Shaikh in attendance on his second son Shiv Dial whose two brothers, Ram Dial and Kirpa Ram, also favoured the young man and advanced his interests.
In 1827 Shaikh Ghulam Muhaiy-ud-Din accompanied his patron Kirpa Ram to Kashmir, where the latter had been appointed Governor. The Shaikh became the Sole Agent for Kirpa Ram, and he exercised his power with great cruelty and tyranny.
In 1831, through the ruses of Raja Dhian Singh, Kirpa Ram was recalled (from Kashmir). Ghulam Muhaiy-ud-Din was also summoned to Lahore where he was fined and imprisoned. But later in the same year he again proceeded to Kashmir as Agent for Prince Sher Singh, who had been nominated to succeed Kirpa Ram. The Shaikh was again called back to Lahore and fined. He remained out of employment till Sher Singh ascended the throne.
When the news of the murder of General Mian Singh, Governor of Kashmir, reached Sher Singh, Shaikh Muhaiy-ud-Din was appointed to succeed him. The Muhammedan troops had revolted, the hill Rajas were all up in arms and the Sikhs found that they had to make their most difficult conquest over again.
In the meantime Kashmir had been entirely overrun by the insurgents, and Ghulam Muhaiy-ud-Din became shut in the fort of Hari Parbat.
The force of Gulab Singh Pahuvindia at length advanced into the valley, and after some hard fighting the insurgents were defeated.
In February 1845 Shaikh Ghulam Muhaiy-ud-Din tried to open negotiations with the English government to which he tendered his allegiance. His proposals were rejected, and soon afterwards he died, it is believed, from poison, and his son Imam-ud-Din Khan, who was in Kashmir at that time, succeeded him as Governor.



Imam-ud-Din was Governor of Kashmir, when the province was made over to Maharaja Gulab Singh by the treaty of 16th March 1846.
This transfer was not popular at Lahore, and to the Prime Minsiter Raja Lal Singh, it was particularly distasteful, for Gulab Singh had always been his rival and enemy. He clandestinely sent instructions to Imam-ud-Din to (disregard offical orders and to) oppose Maharaja Gulab Singh, and instructed the troops to obey the Governor implicitly. Imam-ud-Din was very sick (at the new development), and he understood that the success of Maharaja Gulab Singh signified not only the end of his exaction but also the rigid execution of his accounts by his declared enemies.
It is possible that Imam-ud-Din, misunderstanding the motive of the British government, imagined that by the payment of a large sum of ready money, he might be allowed to retake Kashmir as Viceroy (under the British government of India), and with this object he was ready to carry out the instructions of Raja Lal Singh. He made a prolonged resistance, showing his own power and resources. But, irrespective of the reason of his conduct, he disregarded the peremptory (official) orders of the Lahore Durbar to evacuate the province. It was not until the army had reached the border of Kashmir valley, that Imam-ud-Din, seeing further opposition useless, came to Colonel Henry Lawrence's camp at Thana and surrendered himself. (To Lawrence) he gave two letters and (content) of his address to the troops serving under him, in obedience to which he had acted (towards resisting surrender of Kashmir to Gulab Singh). The authenticity of both letters and the address were fully proved, and Lal Singh was convicted of deliberate treason, was deposedfrom Prime Ministership, and banished to Agra. Imam-ud-Din, though a willing party to treason, was, (however,) pardoned, and his Lahore estates, which with his other property in that city, had been confiscated, were restored to him.
The government's aforesaid treatment seems to have made a favourable impression on Imam-ud-Din (so that) in 1848, when almost all were traitors to the (British Indian) government, he remained faithful, though great efforts were made by the leaders of the rebellion to gain him to their side. In June 1848, with two thousand newly raised troops, he marched to Multan to cooperate with the force of Lt. (now Sir) Herbert Edwardes. Both he and his men rallied well and distinguished themselves in several actions with the rebels.
When peace was restored, Imam-ud-Din received, as a reward for his services, the title ofAman-ul-Ummat, and a cash pension of Rs. 11,600 for life and a jagir of (annual income of) Rs. 8,400 were conferred on him.
In 1857 he raised, under the order of Government two troops of cavalry for service at Delhi.
He died in March 1859.


When Taimur Shah, King of Kabul, marched to Multan in 1779 with a large army, and recovered it from the Sikhs after a siege of forty days, he appointed Muzaffar Khan, a Saddozai, as Governor with the title of Nemat. Muzaffar Khan's precedessors had settled here for some five generations, and he was the fourth Governor in the family with the title o Nemat.
The new Governor was an an energetic and able man and improved the province during his long reign. He had not, however, much time to bestow on works of peace till his death in 1818, for he was engaged in constant war with the Sikhs and his Muhammedan neighbours. In 1802,1806 and 1807 Ranjit Singh came down against Multan, and Muzaffar Khan escaped on these occasions only by paying large exaction, and on the last occasion the town was nearly captured. In 1807, Muzaffar Khan, tired of constant war, made over the Governorship to his eldest son Sar Afraz, and set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
He returned about the close of 1808 and soon after this Elphistone visited Multan on his way to the court of Shah Shuja at Peshawar. (At Multan) he was hospitably received, and extended dawat that he may be placed under British protection, but the British envoy had no authority to accept his allegiance, and Muzaffar Khan then opened correspondence with the Governor General at Calcutta, expressing his desire to be on good terms with the English.
In 1810, Diwan Muhkam Chand, the great Sikh General, was employed to take Multan. Ranjit Singh was himself present, but to his utter disgust, the attack failed, and the Maharaja had to retire from Multan after receiving the sum of thirty thousand rupees from Muzaffar Khan.
In February 1816, Multan was again besieged, and in a sudden assault, Akali Phoola Singh, drunk and maddened with hemp, led a storming party of fanatics like himself and captured the outworks of the Citadel.
In 1818 Ranjit Singh sent, under Misar Diwan Chand an army of 25,000 men against Multan. The Nawab had a garrison of only 2,000 men and the Citadel was not provided for a siege: but he made a defence, the like of which the Sikhs had never seen before.
The siege commenced in February. The Sikhs made assaults, but they were repulsed on one occasion with the loss of 1800 men. The gates were blown up, but the garrison rebutted them, throwing up mounds of earth on which they fought hand to hand with the Sikhs. The defenders were reduced to some 300 men, most of them of the tribe of Muzaffar Khan, the rest having been either killed or gone over to the enemy.
At length, on June 2, an Akali by the name of Sadhu Singh, determined to surpass the feat of Phoola Singh in 1816, rushed with a few desperate followers into an outwork of the fort, and taking the Afghans by surprise, captured it.
The Sikh forces, seeing this success, advanced the assaults, and mounted the breach at the Khan Garh Gate.
The old Nawab with his eight sons, and all who reamined on the garrison, stood swords in hand, resolved to fight to death. So many fell beneath the Afghan swords that the Sikhs drew back and opened fire on the little party with their match-locks.
"Come on like men," shouted the Afghans, "and let us fall in fair fight," and this was the invitation the Sikhs did not care to accept. There died the white-bearded Muzaffar Khan, scorning to accept quarter, and there died his five sons. His second son was severely wounded and two others were taken prisoners. Diwan Ram Dial took the eldest Sar Afraz Khan upon his elephant and conducted him with all honour to his own tent.
Few of the garrison escaped with their lives and the whole city was given over to plunder.
Multan remained in the hands of Sikhs upto 22nd January 1849 when it was taken by the British.



Sardar Fateh Khan, Chief of the Barakzais, was a man of great importance, and, in fact, acted the part of a King-Maker under the three Amirs, to whom he was Vizier.
Fateh Khan was suddenly seized by Prince Kamran and some Afghan chiefs, who blinded him and tortured him to death by slowly hacking off his limbs.
For many years, Fateh Khan had placed one of his eleven half-brothers in the chief positions in the cities of Kabul, Qandharand Peshawar. When the news of the brutal murder of Fateh Khan came, the Afghans rose and forced (Shah) Mahmud and his son Kamran to flee to Herat. The late Fateh Khan's brother at Kabul, Azim Khan, assumed the nominal rule, and was succeeded after his death by the well-known Dost Muhammad Khan.
The four brothers at Peshwar, Yar Muhammad Khan, Sultan Muhammad Khan, Sa'id Muhammad Khan and Pir Muhammad Khan, some of them born of one mother, ruled portion of the districts of Peshawar and Kohat. They obeyed the Kabul ruler to a certain extent, and afterward (they subordinated themselves to) Ranjit Singh, when he conquered Peshawar. Yar Muhammad Khan retained his title as Governor. For many years the Barakzai brothers dividedtheir allegiance between Kabul and Lahore, (posing loyalty to whichever party had the upper hand at the time). There was constant fighting between the Afghans and the Sikhs, but as a rule, the party in power received their revenue from the local Governor. As an instance of Ranjit Singh's unscrupulous methods for tenacity of purpose, the following story is typical.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh ordered Yar Muhammad Khan to present him with a famous mare called Laili, and when the latter declined to do so, the Maharaja sent an army under General Budh Singh to seize her, but when the General reached Peshawar, he was informed that Laili was dead.
On Budh Singh's return to Lahore, it was ascertained that this story was false, and another force under Prince Kharak Singh was sent up to bring the mare or to replace Yar Muhammad Khan if he refused to part with her. Considering that his honour was involved, Yar Muhammad Khan fled to the hills, with the men surrounding the mare. On 8th March 1827 Kharak Singh retired from Peshawar, leaving Sultan Muhammad Khan as Governor, but Yar Muhammad returned, and drove out his brother before the Sikh army had reached Attock.
After this, General Ventura was sent up with a fresh expedition to obtain the mare, and while Yar Muhammad Khan was hesitating as to his reply, Khalifa Sayyad Ahmad (Barelvi) descended from the hills and managed the villages north of Peshawar, and Yar Muhammad Khan was killed in the fighting which ensued. General Ventura then defeated Sayyad Ahmad (Barelvi), and encamping before Peshawar demanded the animal from Sultan Muhammad Khan, but the latter tried subterfuge as his brother (had earlier done), and it was not until he was taken prisoner by General Ventura, that the mare was handed over to the Sikhs.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh acknowledged in later years that Laili had cost him 12,000 men and sixty lakhs of rupees, but there is a suspicion that he was outwitted by the Afghan, and (it is doubtful whether), after all, he got possession of the original mare. Certain it is that no horse in the history has ever been the cause of so much trouble and the death of so many brave men.
The powerful Chief of the Barakzai clan Payandah Khan had twenty-one sons from eight wives. Out of them Yar Muhammad Khan had four full brothers, namely, Ata Muhammad Khan, Sultan Muhammad Khan, Sa'id Muhammad Khan and Pir Muhammad Khan. Dost Muhammad Khan had one full brother named Amir Muhammad Khan. Fateh Khan had two full brothers named Taimur Quli Khan and Muhammad Azim Khan. In 1800 Shah Mahmud seized his half-brother Shah Zaman's throne with the help of Payandah Khan's eldest son Fateh Khan.



Sardar Sutlan Muhammad Khan was a brother of Sardar Yar Muhammad Khan of whom an account is given in the preceding pages. He was a half-brother of Amir Dost Muhammad Khan of Kabul, and there was no one of his race and family more noted for treachery and intrigue than he.
After the Sikh army under Kharak Singh had driven back Yar Muhammad Khan out of Peshawar, they retained Sultan Muhammad Khan as Governor. On hearing this, Yar Muhammad Khan returned and displaced his brother.
About three years later, (the soldiery of Khalifa) Sayyad Ahmad (Barelvi) killed Yar Muhammad Khan. Barelvi captured Peshawar which he managed to hold for a year whereafter General Ventura arrived with a Sikh army to take possession of it.
Sardar Sultan Muhammad Khan having given up (to Ranjit Singh) his late brother's famous Laili, he was appointed Governor of Peshawar a second time, on which (development) the Sikh army retired from (Peshawar) valley.
In 1838, Sultan Muhammad Khan was found intriguing with Afghans, and the Sikhs being now much stronger in cis-Indus area, they crossed that river into the (Peshawar) valley, deported Sultan Muhammad Khan to Lahore, and deprived him of \\\sjagir and private estates. He was kept a prisoner at Lahore until the end of the Satluj Campaign of 1846, when at the suggestion of the British Agent Major Henry Lawrence, the Sikh Durbar had him releasedand had his private estates restored to him in order that he might be able to give assistance to George Lawrence, who was the British Officer (stationed) at Peshawar to look after the Sikh Governor and the Sikh troops there.
After the Outbreak at Multan in 1848, Sardar Chatar Singh, commanding the Sikh troops in Hazara, raised the standard of revolt (against the British), and moved part of his troops to Peshawar to get the soldiers there to join him, when it was intended to make over the whole of the Peshawar valley to Amir Dost Muhammad Khan (as an inducement to elicit his support against the British).
On 31st October 1848, the Sikh troops at Peshawar mutinied (against the British), and Major George Lawrence and Lt. Bowrie, with the greatest difficulty, escaped to Herat, where they joined Mrs. Lawrence and family, who were living in Sultan Muhammad Khan's home there. Previous to the departure of Mrs. George Lawrence and her children (to Herat), Sutlan Muhammad Khan had sworn on the Quran, in the most solemn manner, to provide for the safety of Major George Lawrence, his wife and the British officers attached to the Residency, but on Sardar Chatar Singh's arrival at Peshawar, the treacherous Sultan Muhammad Khan ordered his son, who was the Governor of Kohat, to bring Lawrence and his party back to Peshawar, where he handed them over to Chatar Singh. From Peshawar, they marched with Sikh troops, were (apparently) treated well, and given up at Rawalpindi to the Sikhs who murdered them shortly after the Battle of Gujrat.
Lord Dalhousie's only condition of peace was the immediate surrender of the Sikh army, who were to return to their homes after having given up their arms. The only person who escaped as per Governor General's proclamation was Sardar Sultan Muhammad Khan, whose base treachery in giving up Major George Lawrence and his party to the Sikhs elicited Governor General's remarks that he considered him unworthy of mercy. Before the British army could arrive at Peshawar, Sultan Muhammad Khan fled to Kabul, where he died some years afterward, having been deprived of all his land and private property at Peshawar.


Nawab Sar Afraz Khan was the eldest son of the gallant old Nawab Muzaffar Khan who died, with five of his eight sons, at the taking of Multan.
Sar Afraz Khan was carried prisoner to Lahore by Diwan Chand and was well received by Maharaja (Ranjit Singh) who gave him a jagir at Sharakpur and Naulakha, afterwards commuted by the British Government for a pension.
At first Sar Afraz Khan was rigorously guarded at Lahore, and when the Maharaja's position was secure at Multan, he was allowed perfect liberty and was always addressed by Ranjit Singh with respect and friendship.
In 1848 no influence was useful to the British Government in inducing the Multani Pathans to abandon the cause of Mul Raj, which, however, they did not need much pressing to do.
At the (time of) Annexation the Nawab had a JAGIR and a large pension granted him.
Sar Afraz Khan died on 12th March 1851.



Nawab Sa'id Muhammad Khan was the third (in order of seniority of age) among the four Barakzai brothers, all of whom bore the title Sardar: the two eldest ruled in the Peshawar valley at different periods.
Nawab Sa'id Muhammad Khan, for years, held charge of District Hashtnagar of which he collected the revenue, and remitted the same to the Afghan Governor of Peshawar i.e. one of his eldest brothers or to the Sikh Governor after them.
Sa'id Muhammad Khan ruled as Magistrate in District Hashtnagar, and kept order with his guards and posts on the Isapur border, and on the lower border of Herat and on the post of Momand border.
Sa'id Muhammad Khan was an innocent man and (was) utterly without ambition, but he was a brave man, who was present in many a border fight and in several engagements with the Sikhs.
When Sayyad Ahmad (Barelvi) defeated and killed his brother Yar Muhammad Khan at Isapur, Nawab Sa'id Muhammad Khan was driven out of Hashtnagar: but on his brother Sultan Muhammad Khan having defeated Sayyad Ahmad (Barelvi) and (having) become Governor of Peshawar, Nawab Sa'id Muhammad Khan again had charge of Hashtnagar.



Nawab Mahammad Akbar Khan was the favourite son of Amir Dost Muhammad Khan of Kabul.
Muhammad Akbar Khan was the treacherous murderer of the British envoy, Sir William Macnaghten, whom he received with his (British) staff (apparently) to meet him and his chiefs some 300 yards from the British cantonment: no sooner had they dismounted at the place of conference than the three officers on the (envoy's) staff were seized and carried off on a horse-back by Akbar Khan's different trusted chiefs to a distant yard, surrounded by their rescuers.
Two Captains, Lawrence and Mackenzie, reached into safety, while Major Trevor's horse stumbling, he was shot down and killed by angry mob.
In the meanwhile Muhammad Akbar had seized the envoy by the arm, calling, "Follow me." But Sir William Macnaghten resisted and a cry being raised that the British troops were coming, Muhammad Akbar shot the envoy and rode away.
There is no doubt that Muhammad Akbar had not deliberately planned the murder. But his hands were forced by the resistance made by the envoy. Muhammad Akbar was anxious to take the envoy and his staff prisoners and having them in his power, he could compel the British force to retire from Afghanistan.
On 5th January (1842) General Elphinstone having agreed to return to India, left Kabul with 4,000 troops and 8,000 men. From the moment they started on their march, they were harassed by the Afghans from Khurd Kabul to Jalalabad and no threat from Akbar Khan or his chiefs could restrain the tribesmen from cutting off all stragglers.
A great number of European officers and men as well as women and children were made prisoners on the march. Akbar Khan insistedon their being made over to him and he kept them imprisoned for eight and a half months till General Pollock reached Kabul. Akbar Khan's object in doing so was to keep them as hostages for the safety of his father, as well as his wife and children the latter being in British hands.
Sometime after this, Muhammad Akbar Khan besieged General Sale in Jalalabad and in the beginning of April (1842), three days before General Pollock's army reached there, Sale sallied out and dispersed the Afghans in open plain.
Akbar Khan's efforts to check General Pollock's advance on Kabul were fruitless, and his own selected officers in charge of the British were bringing him back to Kabul when an escort under Richard Shakespeare effected the release of the prisoners.
Muhammad Akbar Khan died in February 1847 at Jalalabad, presumably poisoned by his doctor.


In 1821 Maharaja Ranjit Singh marched in person on Mankhera, a very strong, large walled town, with a cordon of twelve forts in the middle of the desert between the Chenab and the Indus.
The assistants of the chief of Mitha Tiwana, Qadir Yar Khan, and his two sons, Khuda Bakhsh and Fateh Khan and their sepoys were ever great and the Maharaja was so struck with their handsome, manly appearance, their bold bearing and their gallant fighting, that he enlisted some sixty of them as his body-guards, which was first of all commanded by the elder brother Khuda Bakhsh and later by his brother Fateh Khan.
After a time Raja Dhian Singh, the Prime Minister, who recognised Fateh Khan's courage and unscrupulousness, thought that he would make a useful employee of him and took him into favour and gave him different appointments, in each case increasing his advantages and giving him opportunities of extorting money until Fateh Khan became very rich.
He was employed at times beyond the Indus, at Bannu, Swat and Kohat where he ruled with a rod of iron.
The future of Fateh Khan seemed assured, when one day his friend and patron Raja Dhian Singh and Maharaja Sher Singh fell by the Sandhanwalias. Fateh Khan who till that moment had been hiding close by the side of the doomed Minsiter, seeing that something
was wrong, dropped behind the cavalcade and so arrived at the gate of the fort in time to be shut out from the scene of murder. Fateh Khan prudently retraced his steps and concealed himself in the city until the death of the Sandhanwalias made it safe for him to reappear.
Raja Hira Singh, the son of the murdered Prime Minister, openly accused Fateh Khan of being an accomplice in the conspiracy and put a price on his head. There was no reason to believe the charge made for by the Raja's death. Fateh Khan could gain nothing and might lose all.
He escaped in disguise from Lahore and fled to his native area, whither he was followed by a force sent to arrest him.
He then crossed the Indus to Bannu, and when the Sikh troops retired, he recrossed the Indus and called the Muhammedans to arms and soon gathering a large following, he scoured the cavalry and defeated several troops sent against him.
When, at length, Hira Singh fell from power, Fateh Khan hurried to Lahore, where he knew that he would be well received by the new Prime Minsiter Sardar Jawahar Singh, whose battles he had fought against the late administration. He was not disappointed. Jawahar Singh made him ruler of Mitha Tiwana country and portions of Jehlam and Rawalpindi and also the whole of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu. But Jawahar Singh had not given Fateh Khan the power and the position for working.
The Prime Minister had a dangerous rival in the person of Prince Pashaura Singh, the reputed son of Ranjit Singh, more generally regarded as the best man to sit on the throne. Pashaura Singh had gained possession of the fort of Attock, and Fateh Khan and Sardar Chatar Singh Atariwala were ordered to march against him. They found it difficult to take the fort of Attock by assault: so they proceeded to negotiate with Pashaura Singh, promising to escort him to Lahore if he would give up the fort. To these terms he agreed and two days afterwards, they seized and strangled him and cast his body into the Indus.
After this treacherous murder, Fateh Khan took up the governorship of Dera Ismail Khan. He had the chiefs of Tonk called to his Durbar, had them suddenly seized and they and their retainers were cut to pieces.

After a time, the Multanis and other Pathans rose against him and drove him across the Indus.
Fateh Khan was summoned to Lahore by the new Prime Minister Lal Singh who had succeeded Fateh Khans' friend Jawahar Singh. Lal Singh found a large sum of money deficient in the assets (obtainable from him). As he refused to pay (the amount recoverable from him), he was confined. (Later), he was released from imprisonment sometime after the British army occupied Lahore.
After the Multan rebellion of 1848, Lt. (Herbert) Edwardes thought that he would be of use on the frontier and proposed that he should be sent to Bannu of which he had previously held charge.
The Sikh force at Bannu was (already) thoroughly disaffected. The appointment of Fateh Khan increased the dissatisfaction, and on receiving the news of Raja Sher Singh Atariwala's rebellion at Multan, the Sikhs rose in mutiny, and drove Fateh Khan out of the town. He entered the fort.
Fateh Khan might have held the fort, but there was no water supply. The defenders were soon reduced to the last extremity and were compelled to surrender Fateh Khan. The Sikhs would never have given him quarter, even if he had designed to ask for it. (Under these circumstances), Fateh Khan was shot at the gateway of the fort.
The more the character of Fateh Khan is regarded, the more he will appear unworthy of our admiration. He was brave indeed, but what is courage unless allied with generosity and hallow? What was that courage worth, which could murder Prince Pashaura Singh in cold blood and could have the gallant chief of Tonk done to destruction? It was only in times, when might was right and honesty was professed by none, that such men as Fateh Khan could become distinguished! He was proud, treacherous and a ready tool for the commission of any crime. There is no virtue that can be claimed for himself a superior liberality, which was generally indulged, not at his own expense, but at that of the State.
Fateh Khan died defending the fort entrusted to him, but his honourable end to a life of violence and bloodshed, should not induce men to forget or to extenuate his many crimes!