Mainpuri

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History

Early History Musalman Invasion Rapri
Bhongaon Formation of Jaunpur Kingdom Rajput Rebellions
Fall of Saiyid Dyansty Akbar's Reorganization Sikandar Lodi
Babar Internal Disorder The Lodis
Nawab of Farrukhabad Attack on Shikohabad The Maraths
Holkar At Mainpuri Arrival of News at Mainpuri The English
Scene at Treasury Preparations for Defence Mutiny of 9th N.I.
State of the Disorder The District Abandoned Ahmad Khan
Adventure of Hodson Murder of Majot Hayes The Mutiny
Raja of Mainpuri Restroration of Authority  

Early History  ( Back to Menu ): The materials for a history of Mainpuri are exeedingly scanty,and can, indeed, scareely be said to exit till after the Musalman invasion when references to places within its borders are occasionally to be met within the pages of historians. But villages and towns, afford abundant evidance, in the coins and fragments of masonry and broken pottery which they contain, that these sites have been continuosly inhabited by civilised communities from a very remote antiquity. At Parham General Cunningham found coins of various periods from that of the satraps Rajubul and his son Sandasa, while Buddhist remains dating from the early centuries of the Christians era are common. But the only historical facts to be gleaned from the testimony of these mute memorials are the continuity of civilization in the region now comprised in the Mainpuri district and a knowledge of the kingdoms to which it at different times belonged. After part of the Gupta empire Mainpuri was included in Harsha's kingdom of Kanauj,and continued for several centuries to be attached to that capital.

Musalman Invasion  ( Back to Menu ) : In 1018 A.D. Mahmud of Ghazni,after sacking undefended Muttra,mareched across Mainpuri on his way to the capture of Kanauj,but no opposition seems to have been offered to his advance,and the district then continude no twon of sufficient wealth or sanentity to attract either the conquerer's greed or his fanaticism. the alliance made by Rajyapala of Kanauj and killed its king,leaving to his descendents a considerably diminished dominion. In 1090 this was wrested from them by the Gaharwar Raja Chandradeva,whose line continued on the throne until they,like the rest of Northern India,were over whelmed in the torrent of a fresh Musalman invasion. In 1194 Shahab-ud-din Ghori,who had in the previouse year defeated and slain Prithiraj,the Chauhan prince of Dehli,marched against Jai Chand of Kanauj. The armies met at Chandwara on the Jamna,just outside the Mainpuri border,and the Hindu chief was routed and killed. From this time onwards Mainpuri continued to be a Musalman ependencythough parts of it were held by Hindu chief who from time to time rebelled against the central government.The Musalman conquest crushed a multitude of petty induprincipalities and turned adrift numbers of clans to seek new homes remote from the intolerable shadow of the new regime.It was at this period,according to the legends of the house,that the Chauhans migrated from Delhi southwards,establishing them selves in Mainpuri and spreading over the adjoining districts. With them came the Mathuriay Chaubes,the Kachwahaa,the Dhakaras,and others,while the wild and inaccessible ravines along the Jamna afforded a fitting refuge to the turbulent and unruly Ahirs who swarmed in vast numbers in to the western parganas.Here in a region covered with jungle and almost impenetrable,they were always a serious nuisance to the inperial government,and even as late as the region of Shahjahan the country round Shikohabad was notorious for the dacoits who sheltered in the dense forests of scrub and dhak.

Rapri  ( Back to Menu ) : But the two important local divisions of the territory which now makes up the Mainpuri district were the fiefs of Rapri and Bhongaon,or Bhuingawanw as it was then called,which divided betbeen them the entire political and fiscal administration of the lefft bank of the Jamna in pargana Shikohabad,is said to have been founded by Rao Zorawar Singh,locally known as Rapar Sen,who made it the head of a petty kingdom comprising the ravines of the Jamna and country now included in the neighbouring parganas of Shikohabad,Mustafabad,Ghiror and Barnahal.After the defeat of Jai Chand in 1194 the vicorious army marched southwards against the raja of Rapri and defeated him at a spot about 3 miles to the north-east of his capital. In commemoration of the victory the name of the small village where the battle was fought was changed from Karkha to Fatehpur,a title which it preserved to the present day.Rapri became then ceforward the headquarters of an ikta or fief and continued to be seat of government for several centuries under successive Musalman ruler.

Bhongaon  ( Back to Menu ) : Bhongaon on the other hand, seems to have retained its Hindu rules without interruption, though they were probably in at least nominal subjection to the holders of some Musalman fief, perhaps that of Kannauj. The first distinct mention of the raj in the first half of the 15th century describes the Raja as holding also Patiali in what is now the Etah district and Kampila in Farrukhabad and apparently subordinate only to the emperor at Delhi. The most likely supposition is that the boundaries of the various fiefs depended largely on the vigour and ambition of their possessors and that so long as the imperial authority was not openly flouted these were allowed a considerable latitude in extending their spheres of influence. Mainpuri was in all probability included in the grant* of " all the territories of Bhongaon, Koil, Jalesar and Gwalior" made in 1259 to Sher Khan, the nephew of Ulugh Khan, the noble who afterwards became emperor under the title Ghiyas-ud-din. In 1312 Malik Kafur, the back to Delhi with the booty of plundered Malabar and Dhur Samundar , and founded there the mosque which still stands with its dedicatory inscription. This runs as follows: " The building of this noble work took place by the grace of God and the assistance of the Almighty and the favour of the Lord, during the time of the reign of the second Alexander, Ala-ud-dunya waddin, who is distinguished by the kindness of the Lord of worlds, Abdul Muzafar Muhammad Shah, the king, the helper of the commander of the faithful, and during the Governorship of the mean slaves of His Majesty, Kafur, the Royal, May God accept it from them and may God give them an excellent reward! In the middle of the blessed month of Ramzan ( may God increase its honour! ) of the year 711". From this it would appear that Malik Kafur, in addition to his many other dignities and possessions, had received also the fief of Rapri, and that he considered it of sufficient importance to be worthy of selection as a site for a memorial building. Until the end of the century no more is heard of the district. In 1392 Bir Bhan,* the muqaddam of Bhongaon, Joined Narsingh, the Tomar chief of Gwalior, and Sarvadharan of Etawah, in a rebellion against Muhammad Shah Tughlaq, but the revolt was crushed and the country of the rebels laid waste.

Formation of Jaunpur Kingdom ( Back to Menu ) : Evidently the whole of this portion of the Daub was now in a very disturbed and insecure state, for the Emperor had found it necessary some few years before to make Jalesar, in the Etah district, his headquarters in order to be able to exercise a more efficient control, and, when recalled to Delhi at the end of 1392 on account of troubles in the north, was obliged to send an army under Mukarrab-ul-Mulk to keep order at Jalesar. Nor was the precaution unnecessary. No sooner had the Emperor gone than the Rajput clans once broke out into open rebellion headed again by Bir Bahan and Sarvadharan. Mukarrab-ul-Mulk, who was dispatched against the insurgents, tried conciliatory methods, and by lavish promises and engagements induced the chiefs to surrender and accompany him to Kanauj, where he treacherously put them to death with the exception of Sarvadharan, who escaped. But this dishonest victory was of no lasting benefit. On the death of Muhammad Shah in January 1394 and the accession of his youngest son Mahmud Shah, " owing to the turbulence of the base infidels the affairs of the fiefs of Hindustan had fallen into such confusion" that it was found necessary to divide up the empire and appoint a viceroy to govern the eastern provinces under the title of Maliku-sh Sharq, or King of the East, with authority over all Hindustan from Kanauj to Bihar. This was the beginning of the Jaunpur kingdom which was to prove hereafter such a thron in the side of the Delhi empire. The first act of Khwaja-I-Jahan, the new viceroy, on proceeding to his charge was to " chastise the rebels of Etawah, Kol, Kahura-Kanil, and the environs of Jaunpur," after which he went on to Jaunpur, where he gradually consolidated his power. Hence forward Mainpuri, like the rest of the Daub, becomes a sort of debateable land on which the various pretenders to the throne of Delhi fought out their claims. The year 1394 ended with two rival kings, one at Delhi and other at Firozabad, with daily skirmishes taking place between their adherents. This continued till 1398, when a third aspirant, in the person of Iqubal Khan, entered the arena, and by a combination of violence and treachery established himself as virtual sovereign at Delhi while professing to restore Muhammad Shah, who was, however, a mere puppet in his hands. But the new regime had only lasted a few months when the invasion of Timur drove both king and minister to take refuse in flight. The whole Duab was laid waste with fiew and sword, and in the next year, 1399, after the invador’s return to Samarkand, pestilence and famine visited the ravaged land. Another period of anarchy followed. Nusrat Shah, the old pretender, once more made head against Iqbal Khan, and the holders of outlying fiefs set up as independent princes, Malik Mubarak, the adopted son of the viceroy of the East, taking the title of Sultan Mubarak Shah. The Hindu chiefs of Mainpuri and Etawah were not likely to lose such an opportunity to assert their independence, but were again unsuccessful, being defeated in 1400 by Iqbal Khan at Patiali in the Etah district. The fugitives were hunted all across Mainpuri up to the Etawah border. Iqbal Khan now marched against Mubarak Shah, but after the armies had lain facing on another on opposite sides of the Ganges for two months both departed home without bloodshed. Next year (1401) Iqbal Khan returned to Kanauj with the titular Emperor Muhammad Shah, who resented his humiliating position and took an early opportunity of leaving his too powerful minister and going over to the Jaunpur army. Here, however, he was coldly received, and so proceeded to Kanauj, where he established himself and was left in peace by both parties, who, as before, returned to their homes without a battle. Another rising of the irrepressible Rajputs in 1404 ended with the siege and capitulation of etawah, after which Iqbal Khan made an attempt on Kanauj, but without success. In the following year he was killed in the Punjab, and Muhammad was invited back to Delhi, Kanauj soon after falling into the hands of Ibrahim Shah, who had succeeded his brother Mubarak Shah as King of Jaunpur.

Rajpoot Rebellions ( Back to Menu ) : After several years of turmoil and confusion Khizr Khan the Saiyid succeeded in 1414 to Muhammad and sent his general Taj-ul_Mulk to pacify Hindustan. Rapri was still in the hands of a Musalman amir, Hasan Khan, who with his brother Malik Hamza hastened to wait upon the Empror’s representative. But the rest of the neighbouring Duab was evidently as insubordinate as ever and Taj-ul_Mulk had to wrest Jalesar from the infidels of Chandawar in order to restore it to Musalman control, while the way in which the same infields are recorded as having "bowed their necks to the yoke of obedience" and paid in their taxes, clearly indicates that this submission was an unaccustomed thing. Taj-ul_Mulk returned to Delhi by way of Etawah, "chastising the infidels", presumably the Rajputs of Mainpuri and Etaweah, as he went. But the Thakur clans were not easily to be tamed. By 1420 they were again in rebellion, and another punitive expedition under Taj-ul_Mulk had to be dispatched against them. After crushing the revolt in Aligarh, the imperial troops marched to Mainpuri, where they destroyed the village of Delhi, or Dihuli, in Barnahal, described as "the strongest place in the possession of the infidels", and then as now the headquarters of a colony of Bais Rajputs. The Etawah chief was soon forced to submit, and after laying waste Chandawar and its neighbourhood the army proceeded into Rohilkhand.

Fall of Saiyid Dynasty  ( Back to Menu ) : In 1426 the Jaunpur king, Ibrahim Shah made another attempt on Delhi, but was defeated in a pitched battle to the west of the Jamna and his force retreated by Rapri to their own country, being followed by the enemy as far as Batesar. The new Amir of Rapri, Qutb Khan, son of Hasan Khan, would seem to have made common cause with the Chauhans, Rathors and Bhadaurias in the rebellions which occurred, year after year, at this time, for in 1429-30 the fief was taken from him by Mubarak Shah, the seccessor of Khizr Khan, and given to his uncle, Malik Hamza, who had wisely attached himself to the imperial interests. On the death of Mubarak’s successor Muhammad, however, and the accession of Ala-ud-din in 1444, Qutb Khan was once more in possession of Rapri, to which were also attached the fiefs of Chandawar and Etawah. At the same time Rai Partab held Bhogaon, Patiali, and Kampil. The latter was evidently a personage of some note, for we find him among the first consulted by Ala-ud-din, who,though titular Lord of the World, was actually master only of Delhi and its environs,as to the bestmeans of strengthening his position. The father of the Empperor's Wazir, Hamid Khan, had, some years before, carried off the wife of Rai Pratab and plundered his estates. The Rajput chief,implacable in his vendetta, offered his assistance but demanded as the price of it the death of Hamid Khan. Ala-ud-din unwisely embraced the injured husband's cause and gave orders for Hamid Khan's execution, but the Wazir escaped and seizing Delhi offered it to Bahlol the Lodhi. Ala-ud-din retired to Budaun, and soon after resigned his crown to Bahlol, who in 1450 assumed the imperial title. Thus the rape of the Chauhanin Rani of Bhongaon was the cause of the down fall of the Saiyid dynasty.

The Lodis  ( Back to Menu ) : With the accession of Bahlol the truce with Jaunpur which had continued through the last year of the Saiyids came to an end, and Mahmud, who had succeeded Ibrahim, marched on Delhi, but was defeated. Bahlol then proceded to establish his power firmly, and with this object made a progress through his dominions, visiting the various fiefs whose governors had, during his predecessor's feeble reign, become practically independent. Some wereconfirmed in their authority, some were dispossessed, and all were compelled to recognize his suzerainty. Rai Pratab,"chief of the zamindars in those parts,was confirmed in his possession of Bhuinganw." At Rapri,Qutb Khan attempted resistance,but his fort was speedily captured,and he then submitted,where upon he also was confirmed in his Jagirs. In the meanwhile,Mahmud of Jaunpur,at the instigation of Malika Jahan,the chief lady of his harem,who was related to the deposed Emperor Ala-ud-din,advanced with a considerable force against Bahlol and encamped near Etawah. After an indecisive engagement,by the good office of Rai Partab and Qutn Khan,a treaty of peace was made, the principal provisions of whch were that Bahlol should keep the territories which had belonged to Mibarak Shah,while Mahmud should be left in possession of these formerly held by Ibrahim of Jaunpur. The latter was also to hand over Shamsabad to one Rai Karan,son of the Rai of Gwalior.the last condition was not observed nad Bahlol had to expel the Jaunpur governor from Shamsabad by force of arms.* Mahmud,regardless of the treaty,at once marched on Shamsabad and some skirmishing ensued,in the course of which Qutb Khan Lodi,the cousin of Bahlol,was taken prisoner. The war was terminated by the death of Mahmud and another peace was made on the old terms. Once more,however,a woman was the cause of war.This time it was the chief lady of Bahlol's harem,who wa Qutb Khan's sister.She sent a message to the Sultan,bitterly reproaching him with his supineness in allowing her brother to remain a captive,and threatening to kill herself unless he were relesed. Bahlol at once set out against Muhammad Shah,thesuccessor of Mahmud,who,equally ready to resume hostilities,without loss of time attacked Shamsabad and occupied it. This success alarmed Rai Partab,who hastened to abandon the cause oh Bahlol and go over to the victorious party of Muhammad Shah. the latter crossed the Mainpuri district by forced marches until he reached Sarseni near Rapri,where Bahlol was encamped. Some fighting took place between the two armies,but a disastrous night manoeuvre,which resulted in the capture of one of Muhammad Shah's brothers and the headlong fight of another back to Jaunpur,compelled that prince to beat a retreat to Kanauj.

Here he found that Husain Khan,the brother who had fled from Rapri, had been proclaimed king in his absence by the queen-mother in revenge for the murder of another of her sons by his orders. A battle followed between the brother in which Muhammad Shah was defeated,and after his subsequent murder peace was once more nade between the two kingdoms,Qutb Khan Lodi being released in exchange for Jalal Khan the Jaunpur prince,and Rai Partab again returning to his old allegiance. But neither the new peace nor the renewed loyalty was desined to endure.Shamabad was once more the stumbling-block. Bahlol again drove out the Jaunpur governor,renstating his own nominee,Rai Karan. Almost immediately afterward Rai Oartab's son,Narsingh deo,was murdered by Darya Khan,a cousin of Bahlol.In revenge for this deed the Bhongaon chief conspired body to the Sharqi Monarch*. Weakened by the defeetions Bahlol had to retire to Delhi. When he was summoned to Multan by news of trouble in the Punjab. Befor he had gone far he was recalled in haste to meet a fresh invasion by the Jaunpur Army,and,after a bloody but indeeisive action lasting seven days,one more truee was made for three years .The history of the next few years in one of the continule renewal and breaking of truees with equal diserdit to either party,but with gradualy inereasing advantage to Sultan Bahlol,who in 1483 dealt his enemy a severe blow by falling upon him as he was marching unsuspiciusly off after concluding yet another treaty. by this treachery Baholal took many priseners,among other Malika Jahan,the chief wife off Husain Khan.and also got possession of several of the Jaunpur parganas.Husain Khan truned at rapari and faeed his enemy, but a battle was averted by the onelusion of the usual truee. This time it was Husain Khan who broke his word,ineited there to by his wife,who, though honourably treated and quiekly returned to her husband,had not forgiven Bahlol for the insult of her captivity. A desperate battle was fought at Sonhar in Etah. Husain Khan was routed and fled to Rapri,Whither he was followed by Bahlol. In another sanguinary engagement Husain Khan was onee more defeated and driven in flight aeross the Jamuna. Losing many of his wives and children in the passage of the river. Bahlol proceeded to occupy Etawah and than advanced against Jaunpur,which he captured. eventually driving Husain Khan in to Bihar(1479).The Jaunpur Kingdom thus ceased to have an independent exitstence, but Bahlol, instead of dividing it up into separete fifes, conferred it as a whole on his son, Barbak Khan, an act which was destined to cause trouble to Delhi in the furture . At the same time he portioned out the rest of his dominious among his sons. Nizam Shah, afterwards called Sikandar, was nominated his heir and successor and recevied Delhi and several districts in the Duab; to Alam Khan were allotted Karra and Manikpur ; to his garndson Azam Humayun Lucknow and Kalpi ; and Babraich to Muhammad Farmuli ; while Khan Jahan, a relative and one of his oldest offcers, obtained Budan.*

Sikander Lodhi  ( Back to Menu ) : Until Bahlol's deth in 1488 the Duab enjoyed a period of unwanted peace , but with the accession of Sikander the old disorders broke out anew . Many of the nobles regarded Azam Humayun as the rightful heir, and the new Emperor's two brothers Alam Khan and Barbak Shah espoused their nephew's cause. The former fortified himself at Rapri , but was soon compelled to take refuge in flight , and Rapri was made over to Khan and Jahan, or Khan-Khanan Lohani as he sometimes called, who remained consistently loyal to his new master . Sikandar then proceeded to Etawah , where he spent the rainy season. Here a reconeiliation was effected with Alam Khan, and , in order to detach him from Azam Humayun's interests, Etawah was conferred upon him as a fief. After a successful campaign against Biana, which had rebelled , Sikandar had to meet an attack made by Barbak Shah. The latter was defeated in a battle at Kanauj and compelled to surrender at Budhan, whither he had fled. The emperro, with a clemency most unusual at the period , not only forgave him but replaced hin on the throne. Barbak , however , proved unever to keep order in his rising of the insubordinate Bachgoti Rajputs, was called to Jaunpur to put down a second , he abandoned the effort to maintain his brother on the throne, and in1494 Barbak was sent in chains to Delhi . This was the end of Jaunpur kingdom, after an independent existence for a century , and for many years to come Mainpuri and the surrounding Duab , in ceasing to be the lattle ground of the two kingdoms , cease to interest the chroniclers . One more attempt was, however , made in 1518 on the accession of Sikandar's son Ibrahim by the latter's brother Jalal to set up an independent monarchy at Jaunpur . But on the Emperor's marching to Kanauj his rival's forces melted away and he was soon after taken prisoner and privately executed.

Babar  ( Back to Menu ) : It was the Amir of Rapri, Khan, who was mainly responsible for this easy conquest, as it was owing to his remons trances that the supporters of Jalal abandoned his cause and went over to Ibrahim Shah.* But the latter's cruel and suspicious temper soon gave his partissans reason for regretting their choise , and his reign was disturbed by continual revolts and and invasions , and when in 1526he was defeated and slain by Babar at Panipat , there was no longer an empire , but a mere aggregation of petty principalities. The governors of the various fiefs all asserted their claims to independence and declined to submit to Babar as resolutely as they had refused obedience to Ibrahim . Rapri was held by Husain Khan Lohani, Etawah by Qutab Khan, and Kanauj and the wole country beyond the Ganges by the Afghan Farmulis . The latter are described by Babar as particularly bold and contumacious. They even advanced against Agra and fortified themselves at an unnamed point in the Mainpuri district, three marrches distant from Kanauj . An expedition under prince Humayun reduced the Afghans to order , but when in 1527 Babar was threatened by the Rajput confederacy at Biana , his troops and governor were obliged to abandon Kanauj , while Husain Khan once more occuiped Rapri , Qutab Khan scized Chandawar , and the whole Duab broke out into insurrection .The very day after his great victory at Sikri Babar despatched an army into the Duab . which without difficulty restored order. But in 1528 , while the Emperor was the Chanderi, his lieutenants were attacked in Oudh and driven back to Kanauj and from there compelled to fall back on Rapri. No sooner had Chanderi fallen than Babar hastened to their assistance . Crossing the Yamna just below its junction with the chambal , he advanced on Kanauj , the enemy fleeing before him in everi direction . On the Ganges , beyond Kanauj , they made a stand , but were utterly defeated, nothing but a whim of the conqueror's for delaying forther action till the anniversary of the victory of Sikri saving them from complete destruction by giving them for escape . The power of the Afghans was now broken and their fiefs were redistributed.

Internal disorder  ( Back to Menu ) : Henceforwards Rapri ceases to be mentioned as a seprate administrative division of the empire and its territorries seem to have been merged in those Etawah to the south and Firozabad to the north . On the accession of Humayun in 1530 civil strife again broke out, and Kanauj and its neighbourhood were constantly the theatre of war . The embarrassments of the supreme goverment were evidently the opportunity of the unruly Rajput clans of Mainpuri , and from occasional hints it is clear that the whole countryside was in a most disturbed condition. After Humayun's defeat by Sher at Kanauj in 1540 he fled with a small following towards Agra through the district . " When they reached the village of Bhuigaon , the peasants , who were in the habbit of plundering a defeated army, stooped up the road and one of them wounded Mirza Yadgar with an arrow."* But under the iron rule of Sher Shah during the next five years these disorders ceased. even the intractable Ahirs and Mewatis in the Yamna region were compelled to submit by having 1,200 horsemen quartered on their villages, and so complete was the order that prevailed throughout Hindustan that "a decrepit old woman might place a basket full of gold ornament over her head and go on a journey , and no theif or robber whould come near her , for fear of the punishments which Sher Shah inflicted." But the other princes of the house of Sur had little of the talent or the energy of the founder of their line , and when Akbar succeeded his restored father in 1556 the empire was once more rent with dissensions between the nobles and a prey to internal anarchy . An intersting light is thrown on the condition of the country bu the account of Akbar's adventure at Paraunkh in pargana Bewar with the local Bais Rajputs in 1562. The Empror was on his way to Sakit on a hunting expedition when a Brahman complained to him that dacoits from that region had murderd his son and plundered all his property . Akbar at once resolved to punish the offence , and advanced with his Elephant and retinue to the village Paraunkh in Bewar where the dacoits had taken refuge . The number of men with the imperial camp amounted to only a few hundred with 200 elephants, while the dacoits were said to number four thousand . Nevertheless Akbar ordered the village to be attacked , himself leading the assault. A desperate hand-to-hand conflict ensued lasting several hours, and it was only setting fire to the village that the dacoits were ultimately overcome.

Akbar’s reorganization  ( Back to Menu ) : In Akbar’s great reorganization of his empire, the tract of country which is now the Mainpuri district was all included in the subah of Agra, and divided between the sarkars of Agra and Kannuj. These sarkars were further subdivided, for revenue purposes, into mahals, on each of which a certain fixed sum was assessed and from which a certain contingent of troops was levied. One of these mahals was Rapri in the sarkar of Agra, mentioned as possessing a brick fort. It comprised the existing pargans of Ghiror. Mustafabad and Shikohabad and its cultivated area was 477,201 bighas, on which 1,35,08,035 dams of revenue were paid. The population consisted mainly of Chauhans, who had to supply a contingent of 200 cavalry and 4,000 infantry to the imperial army. The mahal of Etawah, in the same sarkar, included the two Mainpuri paragnas of Karahal and Barnahal , but what proportion of the total 284,106 bighas of cultivation they accounted ofr there are no means of knowing. The chief castes were Chauhan and Bhadauriya Brahmans, and the whole mahal was liable for 1,07,39,325 dams and a contingent of 2,000 cavalry and 15,000 infantry. The rest of the district was within the Kannuj sarkar. Bhongaon, noted for its fort and a neighbouring " tank called Somnat full of water extremely sweet", paid 45,77,010 dams on 3,37,105 bighas of cultivation, and could be called upon to furnish 1,000 horsemen and 10,000 foot from its Chauhan population. Alipur patti, assessed at 11,53,632 dams on 38,418 bighas, ws chiefly inhabited by Rajputs, and their contingent was 20 horse and 500 foot. Sauj, now divided between Karhal and Mainpuri, was the home of the Dhakara clan of Rajputs, evidently a warlike rather than a cultivating race, as, though the area of their mahal was 64,070 bighas, or nearly twice as great as Alipur patti, its revenue was only 12,00,000 dams, and they were expected to supply 200 cavalry and 3,000 infantry. The mahal of Kuraoli 40,445 bighas in area, paid 14,09,988 dams and furnished 20 horsemen only, and 1,000 foot. The landholders were Rajputs.

Nawab of Farrukhabad ( Back to Menu ) : Under the rule of Akabar and his successors Jahangir and Shahjahan, Mainpuri and its neighbourhood enjoyed a long period of quiet, which continued unbroken during the long reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707), though the rest of the empire was now suffering from the inroads of the Marathas. It was at this time that a house was founded which was destined to play a very important part in the history of the empire and of this part of the Daub. Born about 1665, Muhammad Khan was the son of a Bangash Afghan who had settled a few years before at Man Rashidabad in what is now the Farrukhabad district. Early in life he took to the profession of arms and was for many years a mercenary freebooter in the service of various Rajas of Bundelkhand. His courage and ability soon gained him a considerable reputaion and in 1712 he was recognized as an ally whose favour was worth courting. In that year Bahadur Shah, the successor of Aurangabad, died, and after a struggle among his sons the throne was secured by Jahandar Shah. But it was soon claimed by his nephew Farrukhsiyar, who supported by the subedars of Behar and Allahabad, defeated Jahandar Shah’s son Azz-ud-din at Khajuha in the Fatehpur district. After the victory he was joined by Muhammad Khan with 12000 men and a second battle was fought at Samogar in the Agra district, resulting in the complete success of Farrukhsiyar, who rewarded his latest supporter with various honours and grants of land in Bundelkhand and Farrukhabad. In 1702 he received further advancement and rewards at the hands of Muhammad Shah, and though during the remainder of his long life he experienced various ups and downs of fortune and court favour, at his death in 1743 his possessions were popularly stated to embrace the whole Ganges-Jamna Diab from Koil in the north to Kora in the south, and certainly included practically the entire district of Mainpuri. It was in 1737, a few years before Muhammad Khan’s death, that the Maratha inroads first penetrated to his part of the Duab. In that year a large force under Baji Rao, after defeating the raja of Bhadawar, crossed the Jamna near Rapri and laid siege to Shikohabad. The governer, Lalji Khatri, saved the town from destruction by the payment of a large sum of money, and the invaders , after burning the neibouring towns of Firozabad and Itmadpur, were routed by Burhan-ul-Mulk and driven back with heavy loss across the Yamuna.

Ahmad Khan  ( Back to Menu ) : In 1748 Muhammad Shah was succeeded by his son Ahmad Shah, who shortly afterwards appointed Safdar Jang Durrani invasions of Nadir Shah in 1739 and Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1748 had severly shaken the stability of the central government and given to the provincial governors a dangerous degree od power. One of the most influential of these was Ali Muhammad in Rohilkhand, and the new wajir, who had already quarreled with him, looked with apprehension on his growing prestige. With Qaim Khan, the son of Muhammad Khan, he had also a hereditary feud, and he determined to set his two enemies at one another’s throats, being certain to be himself the gainer whatever the event. Accordingly on the death od Ali Muhammad in 1749, after an abortive attempt to overthrow his successor by other means, an imperial farman was issued to Qaim Khan conferring on him the mahals of Bareilly and Moradabad wrongfully usurped by Sadullah Khan, the son of Ali Muhammad. Qaim Khan fell into the trap laid for him and set out to the conquest of his new territories with a large force, but at Kadirganj on the Ganges in the Etah district he was defeated by the Rohillas under Hafiz Rahmat Khan and killed. Safdar Jang at ones attempted to seize Farrukhabad and the other Bangash parganas, but Ahmad Khan, the son of Qaim Khan, collected his adherents and in 1750 defeated the Wajir’s General Nawab Rae at Khuaganj, and the Wajit soon afterwards near Patiali. Had the ambition and enterprise of Ahmad Khan been equal to his personal courage there is little doubt that he might now have pushed on to Delhi and made himself master of the Emperor’s person and virtual sovereign. He was, however, far too easy-going in disposition to embark on such a scheme and contented himself with the recovery of his family’s former territories and the recognition of his title to them from the Emperor. The administration pf the various parganas was given to his brothers and relations, Shikohabad, which included Sakit, Kuraoli and Alikhera, going to Azim Khan, and Bhongaon and Bewar to the Majhle Nawab, Shadi Khan was sent to occupy Kora, but was opposed and defeated by Ali Quli Khan, the deputy in the Allahabad Subah. Ahmad Khan’s reluctance to move was overcome by the insistence of his counselors and he was persuaded to advance on Allahabad in person. While he was besieging that town the wajir had had time to recover from his defeat and had called in the Marathas to his assistance. The approach of the united armies towards Farrukhabad obliged Ahmad Khan to raise the siege of Allahabad, and after some discussion he dicided to return to protect his own home. But the discouragement produced by this retreat proved too much for his mercenaries and they melted away until when he reached Fatehgarh he had too small a force to attempt to do more than hold the fort. After a month’s siege a Rohilla army under Sadullah Khan and Bahadur Khan came down to his assistance, but was defeated by the Marathas, and Ahmad Khan then fled through Rohilkhand to Kumaon, where he remained till 1752, when a fresh invasion of India by Ahmad Shah Durrani made Safdar Jang and the Marathas anxious for pease. It was agreed that Rohilkhand and Farrukhabad should be evacuated on condition that Ahmad Khan took over the debt of thirty lakhs of rupees due from Safdar Jang to the Marathas as pay for their services, ceding as security for the debt sixteen and a half of the thirty three mahals comprised in his territories. The management of the whole remained in the hands of Ahmad Khan, who paid the surplus revenue, after deducting the cost of management and the pay of the troops, to two Marathas agents stationed at Kanauj and Aliganj. Payments continued to be made till the battle of Panipat in 1761, when the Marathas left Hindustan for a time.

The Marathas  ( Back to Menu ) : No list is given of the parganas ceded to the Marathas, but they certainly included Shikohabad, Karhal and Barnahal, for in 1754 these are stated to have been taken from them by Hafiz Rahmat Khan, the Rohillah. In same year Safdar Jang died and was succeeded by his son Shuja-ud-daula as Nawab of Oudh, while Ghazi-ud-din Imad-ul-Mulk became Wajir. In the meanwhile the Marathas had been recovering their lost ground in the North and in 1759 they invaded Rohilkhand, easily driving Hafiz Rahmat and the Rohillahs before them. The latter applied for help to Shuja-ud-daula, who realizing better than his father where the real danger to the empire lay, marched to their assistance from Oudh and defeated the Marathas in a battle on the Ganges. The battle of panipat two years later, in which Ahmad Shah Durrani was supported by both Shuja-ud-daula and the Rohillas, broke the Maratha power and freed Hindustan from them for some years to come. Ahmad Khan recovered his ceded parganas with the exception of Shikohabad and Etawah, the possession of which was confirmed to Hafiz Rahmat.

The English (Back to Menu): In 1764 Shuja-ud-daula first came in conflict with the English and was defeated at Buxar, and in the following year he met General Carnac’s force near Jajmau and suffered another reverse. Reduced to extremity he threw himself on his enemy’s generosity and proceeding almost unattended to the English camp was honourably received. On the arrival of Clive in August a treaty of alliance was entered into. The whole of his former dominions were rstored to Shuja-ud-daula with the exception of Kora and Allahabad, which were reserved for Emperor Shah Alam as a royal demensne and the English were bound to assist him to the utmost of their ability if he was attacked. On his part the Wajir undertook to pay 50 lakhs of rupees to the English Government, and the Emperor formally assigned to the Company the right of collecting the revenues of Bengal, Behar and Orrisa in consideration of an annual payment of 26 lakhs. Clive’s object was the maintenance of a friendly buffer state on the border of the English territories as a barrier against the perpetual inroads of the Marathas. But though Shuja-ud-daula was willing enough to co-operate against what he recognized to be the common enemy, the feeble Emperor, who had set his heart on being restored to Delhi, was quite indifferent, and when in 1771 the Marathas, who were now in possession on the capital, opened negotiations with him, he aceeded eagerly to all their demands and conditions and in December of that year returned to Delhi as their vassal. The Marathas at once recommended their incursions into Rohilkhand. The Wazir appealed to the English for help, and a brigade under Sir Robert Barker was dispatched into Oudh. After a good deal of intrigue a reciprocal treaty was entered into between the Wajir, the Rohillas and the English for mutual assistance against the Marathas, while the Rohillas bound themselves to pay 40 lakhs of rupees to the Wajir for his services. In 1772 the Marathas, who had now thrown off all pretence of respect for the Emperor, compelled him to give them a grant of provinces of Kora and Allahabad which had been assigned to him by the English, and again entered Rohilkhand, but were expelled by Sir Robert Barker’s brigade. In the following year it was decided that the Emperor had by his own act surrendered all title to Kora and Allahabad and these districts were accordingly conferred on Shuja-ud-daula. The Duab parganas in the Etawah and Mainpuri district, formerly acquired by Hafiz Rahmat Khan, had been recovered in 1771 by the Marathas and were still held by their garrisons. The opportunity seemed to the addition of this region, so in 1774 he advanced upon Etawah. No opposition was made by the Marathas, who withdraw their troops from the Duab, and from this time forward the Mainpuri parganas continued to form part of the domains of the Nawab Wajir of Oudh, and were with them ceded to the British by the treaty of 1801.

Attack on Shikohabad  ( Back to Menu ) : Mainpuri became the head quarters of the civil administration and small cantonments were established there and at Shikohabad. In 1803 the great confederacy of the Marathas under Dulat Rao Sindhia and the Central Indian Chiefs assumed such threatening proportion that a simultaneous Campaign against them was organized in Northern India and the Deccan, and in August Lord Lake advanced through Kannuj and Mainpuri to attack General Perron at Aligharh. While the British force was engaged at Aligarh a body of 5,000 Maratha horse under M. Fleury, one of General Perron’s lieutenants, suddenly appeared before Shikohabad and made a fierce attack on the cantonment, which was commanded by Lt.-Col. Cunningham. The whole force at that officer’s disposal consisted of 5 companies of Native Infantry and 1 gun, but the little garrison made so determined a resistance that after an engagement lasting ten hours the enemy was repulsed with heavy loss. Two days later, however, the attack was renewed and after several hours, resistance the British commander, who was himself wounded as well as four of his officers, was obliged to capitulate. The only condition exacted was that the troops should not again be employed against Sindha during the campaign and the garrison marched out with all the honours of war, taking its one gun with it. The Marathas then burnt and pillaged the contonment. Immediately on receiving the news of the attack on Shikohabad Lord Lake dispatched a detachment of cavalry under Col. Macan to its relief, but the enemy, declining an engagement, retired precipitately across the Yamuna.

Holker at Mainpuri  ( Back to Menu ) : In November of the following year Holkar, in his fight from Farrukhabad where his army had been surprised and over whelmed by Lord Lake, passed through Mainpuri, and in revenge for his defet attacked the cantonment and fire the outlaying houses of the English resident. But Captian White with three companies of provincial militia and one gun made good his defence until the arrival of the British cavalry under Captain Skinner, who had been sent in pursuit from Farrukhabad. The enemy then abandoned the attack and continued their flight across the Jamuna.

The Mutiny  ( Back to Menu ) : At the beginning of 1857, Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Harvey, the Commissioner of the Agra division, was on tour in the Mainpuri district when his attention was drawn to a mysterious distribution of chapatis which was being carried on with astonishing rapidity. Nothing could be elicited from their bearers, who appeared to know no more of the purport of the symbols than that on receipt of a cake five more where to be prepared and forwarded without delay to villages further in advance along the line of the Grand Trunk Road where they could be called for. In this manner the cakes traveled often over 160 or 200 miles in a night. Mr. Harevy saw some which had that morning been delivered on the Etawah side of Mainpuri. On the following day he heard of them at the extremity of Etah and Aligarh. Enquiries were made as to the meaning of this mysterious movement,but beyond a conjectural tracing of its source to Bundelkhand or Nagpur and the fact it that was generally acknowleged to be of Hindu origin, the recipients being for the most part Hindus, nothing was discovered. In January the sullen demeanour of the Commander in Chief’s escort through Muttra and Bhartpur was noticed and commented on, but these seem to have been the only indications of the coming storm, and they were not heeded at the time.

Arrival of News at Mainpuri  ( Back to Menu ) : On the 11th of May a broken telegraphic message announcing the mutiny of the 3rd cavalry at Meerut reached Agra, and on the following day the tidings arrived at Mainpuri. A consultation was held, and it was decided to send away the women and children to Agra, but only one family actually left. Rao Bhawani Singh, the uncle of the Raja of Mainpuri and claimant to the raj, volunteered to raise a body of Chauhan Thakurs, and with his assistance Mr. John Power, the Magistrate, began to enlist a force with which he hoped to resist any attack by mutinous sepoys. The garrison of Mainpuri consisted of a detachment of the 9th Native Infantry, the remainder of the crops being quartered at Aligarh. Late on the night of the 22nd Rao Bhawani Singh awoke Mr. Cocks, the Commissioner, with the news that the 9th had broken into open mutiny at Alifarh, and murdered their officers, and that they had sent an express to their brethren at Mainpuri bidding them follow their example. Mansur Ali, the tahsildar of Bhongaon, rode in with the same intelligence almost directly afterwards, and warned Mr. Power that the Mainpuri detachment was not to be trusted. Arrangements were at once made for the removal of the ladies and children to Agra, where they arrived safely escorted for the first stage by Mr. James power, the assistant magistrate, and afterwards by a sowar, Sheikh Amin-ud-din. Messrs. Cocks and power then proceeded to the house of Lieutenant Crawford, who commanded the station, and it was arranged that the detachment should be taken out of their lines and marched to Bhongaon. Lieutenant DeKantzow was sent on it advance with the main body and Lieutenant Crawford followed him after leaving a small guard at the treasury and quarter-guard. A council was then held at Mr. Power’s house, consisting of Rao Bhawani Singh, Mr. Cocks, Dr. Waston, the Revd. Mr. Kellner and the Jail Darogah. The Rao said he could answer for the loyalty of his followers, but could not undertake to assemble them till the evenihg. The Darogah was convinced that the Jail guard, consisting of 50 welldrilled sepoys, would certainly imitate the conduct of the regular troops.

Mutiny of the 9th N.I.  ( Back to Menu ) : By this time it was about four in the morning and the Magistrate had only just retired to rest when Lieutenant Crawford galloped in and reported that his men had broken into open mutiny, and after refusing to obey his orders, had first at him with their muskets; adding that he believed Lieutenant DeKantzow to have been killed. He gave it as his opinion when the question was put to him, that nothing more could be attempted and declared his own intention of riding off to Agra. In this opinion Mr. Cocks concurred, and the sepoys now approaching the station, firing off their muskets and shouting, he and Mr. Power, however, desperate as was the position, was not the man to despair. He still hoped that Lieutenant DeKantzow might have escaped, as Lieutenant Crawford had not actually seen him fall, and resolved to do what he could to prevent the outbreak from spreading to the city. With this object he proceeded to the bridge over the Isan on the Grand Trunk Road, accompanied by his brother, Mr. James Power, who had just returned from escorting the ladies on the first and most danderous stage of their journey. At the bridge they were joined by Rao Bhawani Singh with a small force of horse and foot and by Dr. Watson with Sergeants Mitchell, Scott and Montgomery of the Road and canal departments, and Mr. MeGlone, a dlerk in the Magistrate’s office. Here they took up their position, in the hope of keeping the high road open and of preventing a junction between the mutineers and the bad characters of the city. In the meantime the sepoys had returned to the station, firing into and plundering the house of Sergeant Montgomery and Dr. Watson as they passed and then breaking open and looting the magazine of the rearguard, from which they carried off all the ammunition. Lieutenant DeKantzow was forced to accompany them as their prisoner, and while the rearguard was being plundered his life was in the greatest danger.

Scene at Treasury  ( Back to Menu ) : " The men fired at random," writes Mr. Power in his report of the 25th May, ‘and muskets were levelled at him, but where dashed aside by some of the better disposed , who remembered perhaps, even in that moment of madness, the kind and generous disposition of their brave young officer. Lieutenant DeKantzow stood up before his men; he showed the utmost coolness and presence of mind; he urged them to reflect on the lawlessness of their acts, and evinced the utmost indifference to his own life, in his zeal to make the sepoys return to their duty. The men turned from the rearguard to the kutcherry , dragging Lieutenant DeKantzow with them. They were met at the treasuryby my jail guard, who were prepared to oppose them and fire on them; but Mr. DeKantzow prevented them for firing , and his order has certainly prevented an immense loss of life. A fearful scene here occurred . The spoys tried to force open the iron gates of the treasury and opposed by the jail guard and some of the jail officials; the latter rallied round Lieutenant DeKantzow and did their best to assist him ; but they , through behaving excellently , wer only a band of twenty or thirty (if so many ) and poorly armed against the infuriated sepoys , who were well and completely armed and in full force . It is impossible to describe accurately continuation of the scene of the disturbance at the treasury . Left by his superior officers, unaided by the presence of any European, jostled with cruel and insulting violance, buffetted by the hands of men who had received innumerable kindnesses from him , and who had obeyed him , but a few hours before, with crawling servility , Lieutenant DeKantzow stood for three dreary hours against the rebels, at the imminent peril of his life . It was till long after Lieutenant DeKantzow had been thus situated at the treasury, that I learnt of his being there . I was anxious, with all my heart , to help him , but was deterred from going by the urgent advice of Rao Bhawani Singh, who informed me that it was impossible to face the sepoys with the small force at my disposal, and I recevied at this time a brief not from Lieutenant DeKantzow himself, by a treasury emissary I sent in search of him, desiring me not ot come to the teasury , as the sepoys were getting quieter, and that my presence would only make metters worse , as the beasts were yelling for my life. At this time the most signal service was done by Rao Bhawani Singh, who went alone to the rebels , volunteering to use his own influence and persuasion to make them retire . He succeeded ably in his efforts ; drew off and then accompanied the rabels to the lines , where, after a space of time , they broke open and looted the bella-of-arms and quarter guard , carrying off, it is supposed, Rs. 6,000 in money , and all the armes ,etc.,they found of use to them. I had returned, with the Europeans with me, to the Raja of Mainpuri's fort on the departure of Rao Bhawani Singh , according to his advice , and shortly after the sepoys left the traesury, Lieutenant DeKantzow joined me, and I again took possession of the kutcherry. I found on my return , the whole of Malkahana looted , the sepoys having helped themselves to swords, iron-bound sticks , etc.,Which had accumulated during ages past. The staples of the stout iron doors of the treasury had alone given way but the doors themselves stood firm."

Preparations for defence  ( Back to Menu ) : The treasure, which amounted to three lakh of rupee , was placed in the Raja of Mainpuri's forts, under the charge of Rao Bhawani Singh , and Mr. Power then took up his position in the court-house and prepared to stand a siege. The garrison consisted of the officers who had met at the bridge , with the adition of Lieutenant DeKantzow and Messrs. Donovan and Richards , from the jail and the treasury . The same days (May 23d) news caame in of the outbreak at Fatehgarh, that Etah had fallen, that Etawah had been sacked and that Europeans had been murderd on the Grand Trunk Road , "Without, I hope , being considered an alarmist ," reported Mr. Power on the 25th , " I may venture to say our position is not pleasent : but we stand well prepared ", and unable , even at such a moment, to resist the temptation to poke fun at the High Court, whose latest circulars on the subject of the weding of files had evidently not with his apporbation, he continues , " all the Foujdarry (criminal court) records have been taken up to the roof of the kutcherry , and being placed behind its railings from an excellent breast work . This mater had batter be reported to the Sudder (the High Court) ;but at same time it may be mentioned that the Foujdarry record room at Mynpoory has undergone a thorough purification by the purpose to which its content have been applied, I may also mention , for thr Sudder's information , that a good stout Khana Jungee misl ( judicial record of a case of affray)prepared after the Sudder's last and most approved fashion , and thickened with false evidance , is an excellent article of defence, and has, by experiment , been found to be bullet proof." Old guns were also collected and mounted, and other arms received from Agra, while the defences of the building were further strengthened by the digging of a wide, deep ditch round it. The Zaminadars of the district remained loyal, offers of help coming in to the Magistrate from all quarters, and it was in a spirit if the most cheerful resolution that the district officers addressed themselves to the hopeless task of restoring order and preserving some semblance of government. But the position of Mainpuri rendered this impossible. Laying on the highroad of to Agra and Delhi, it was the focus on which converged the rebles of the Jhansi division, and of Kanpur, Farrukhabad and Gwalior, on their way to the great mutineer rendezvous at Delhi. There seems to have been little or no real disaffection in the district or city, and it not been for these contaminating influences and the defection of the Raja of Mainpuri, the head of the great Chauhan tribe, the district would very probably have remained loyal. Even as it was, the towns people of Mainpuri, after their European officers had been driven from their posts by the military advance of an armed body of disciplined mutineers, drove off the Jhansi rebles with considerable loss when they attacked the town, and in Shikohabad the Ahirs, formerly the most insubordinate subject of the Government, attacked and defeated the rebel Raja Tej Singh when his troops came into their pargana. On the 29th May, Major Hayes, Military Secretary ot Sir H. Lawrence, and Caption Carey of the 17th N.I., joined the garrison. The former had come by forced marches from Lucknow to be under the orders of the Lieutenant-Governor, and had under his command three or four troops of an Oudh Irregular Regiment, with Captain Carey, Lieutenant Barbor of the 20th N.I. and Mr. Fayrer, a volunteer. Major Hayes had intended ordering his force to Fatehgarh, whither he had proceeded from Gursahaiganj, but being dissuaded from doing so by Colonel Smith of the 10th N.I. and Mr. Probyn, the Magistrate, at the instance of the troopers of the 10th N.I., had sent orders to Lieutenant Barbor to march to Bhongaon on the 30th May and meet him at Kuraoli on the 31st. The troopers arrived at Bhongaon on the 30th, but their behaviour was so mutinous that Lieutenant Barbor reported them in a letter which was intercepted. On the 31st they broke out into open mutiny. In the meanwhile, news arrived that they had not marched on the 31st, and Majaor Hayes wrote to enquire the cause, but recived no replay. Late in the afternoon of the 31st, Mansur Ali, the tahsildar of Bhongaon, arrived with a hesitating and confused report of discontent among the troopers on account of the long marches they had made, and a vivid description of the dejected and despondent state of the two young officers at Bhongaon. Majaor Hayes prepared to go to Bhongaon, but as he was leaving several of his troopers arrived. They reported that the force had halted at Bhongaon as the men were tired, but was then on its way to Sultanganj, the next encamping-ground, to halt there for the night. They brought also a letter from Lieutenant Barbor to Major Hayes. " This letter has always appeared a mystery to me ", writes Mr. Power, " it appeared like the continuation of a letter previously despatched, and as if the writer were unable fully to express his meaning. Lieutenant Barbor stated that the men were then proceeding in an orderly way to Sultanganj, and requested Major Hayes not to join the force till the following morning, that the Ist June. Major Hayes delayed his departure. I despatched Mansoor Ali to Sultanganj, which is only five miles from Mainpuri, to ascertain the state of these troopers. Mansoor Ali return to me after an absence of three hours or so. He reported that the troopers were quiet and contented, but he brought no letter from Lieutenant Barbor. I afterwards learnt, beyond doubt, that Mansoor Ali had never proceeded to Sultanganj, and that his story was a mere invention. Had he gone there and made enquiries he would have learnt that the troopers had forcibly compelled their officers to accompany them, that a guard was placed over them, and that the party sent to Mainpuri were merely intended to deceive Major Hayes, and decoy him to Kurowlee.

Murder of Major Hayyes  ( Back to Menu ) : Major Hayes and captain Carey left mr early on the 1st June to join their force. They found the troopers drawn up on the plain at Kurowlee to receive them. As they approached some native officers rode out to warn them off. They saw their danger and turned to escape, and rode for their lives. The troopers spread over the plain in pursuit. Major Hayes was overtaken, and receiving a deep sword cut across the face, which penetrated to the brain, fell dead from his horse. Captain Carey, though closely pursued, was enabled to escape, and got safely back to Mainpuri. About the same time that Majot Hayes was thus killed the troopers murdered also Lieutenant Barbor and Mr.Fayrer. The bodies of these unfortunate gentlemen (fearfully mutilated) were conveyed to Mainpuri by Lachman Singh, Talookdar of Kurowlee, and were buried by me in the churchyard at Mainpuri. The murder had unquestionably been planned at Lucknow, and Kurowlee selected as a favourable spot for the prepetration of it. After the murder the troopers made off towards Delhi." On the Ist June the garrison was reinforced by seventy proopers of the 1st Gwalior Cavalry under Major Raikes, and some six or eight Sikhs from various disbanded corps, with about ten of the 9th N.I. who had remained loyal. Messrs. Boodrie and Collins were sent from Agra to opne a telegraph office, and Mr. Lawrence and Sergeant Swan, who had been hiding from the mutineers, found refuge at the court-house. Mr.Power then proceeded to raise a body of mounted police and succeeded in collecting about a hundred well armed and mounted men, mostly troopers from disbanded regiments of irregular cavalry. This force was placed under the command of Lieutenant DeKantzow and for a time behaved very well. In a sharp action with the 7th Regular Cavalry near Bhongaon they lost several men but were outnumbered and driven back, Lieutenant DeKantzow receiving a severe wound on the head. The rebels then attacked the police station, and though the thanadar ran away the jamadar and several policemen defended their post till they were all killed. Shortly afterwards Sergeant Wills and his wife were wounded by some passing mutineers at the Nabiganj toll-bar, and the former died soon after his removal to Mainpuri.

State of Disorder  ( Back to Menu ) : In the early part of the June", writes Mr. Power," our position became exteremely precarious, as all the surrounding districts broke out into open rebellion and Mainpuri remained the only spot in which authority was upheld. We were hourly kept in anxiety. The wrost information reached us from Kanpur , Fatehgarh, Lucknow and Jhansi. The Trunk Road swarmed with mutineers proceeding to Delhi, whose spies intrigued about us, and whose picquets reconnoitred our position at Kutcherry. The thanahas, Tehseelees, Schools, Buglows and Chowkies along the Etah branch of the Grand Trunk Road were burnt, and all Moostafabad was in rebellion, influenced by the state of the adjoining district of Etah. Every night villages were to be seen burning in all directions around us, and every hour brought notice of some heavy affray having occurred, or the commission of some fearful murder. We had to contend with the treachery of Raja Tej Singh on his return to Mainpuri. We knew that they held night meeting in the Fort at Mainpuri, and plotted againest us and that their emissaries were sent in all directions to draw some mutineer force to Mainpuri. We momentarily expected an outbreak in the jail, and I had constantly to hear that the people had been overthrown or had grossly misconducted themselves in different parts of the district. These troubles hourly increased throughout the month of June. During this trying time, however, nothing could exceed the cheerful enregy with which each gentleman at Mainpuri and the European sergeants and clerks laboured to uphold our position. Major Raikes and Caption Carey were undermitting in their attention to their men, and never left them. Dr. Waston had numerous sick and wounded to attend to, to whome and to ourselves he showed the utmost consideration and kindness. Lietenant DeKantzow did his best to organise the levies under his charge, and undertook any other work entrusted to him. Mr. J.W. Power had charge of the Jail and of the treasury, and all the miscellaneous work belonging to the office. In addition to this work, all these gentlemen patrolled the station and town in all directions at night, at uncertain hours. They were always accompained by the sergeants or clerks of the office, whose aid in all matters was of the very greatest advantage to us. The watchfulness thus evinced, and the constant preparation to resist attack, enabled us in fact to keep our position. We were also materially assisted by several faithful Zamindars and by those native officials who remained at their pots.

The District Abandoned  ( Back to Menu ) : Towards the end of June it became manifest that our authority was drawing rapidly to an end. The mounted police were insolent and disobedient. The telegrapf was nightly cut. The whole district was influenced by the rebellion then raging on all sides, and all was faithlessness and defection around us. On June the 28th people flocked in from Karahal and informed us that the Jhansi force had reached that place, and on 29th June the advanced guard of this force had reached Mainpuri itself. The force consisted of the 14th Irregular Cavalry,of the 12th N.I., a large body of other mutinous sepoys, and four or more guns. It was deemed absurd our facing them, owing to the state of feeling then existing in Mainpuri. The Jail broke loose on the morning of the 29th, and this was effected with the aid of Rao Bhawani Singh's men, the jail guard and jail officials. Nothing could be more disgraceful than their conduct. The place them swarmed with every description of villains, who with the Collectory Sowars and Mounted Levies commenced plundering our property before our eyes. After consignaing the Government treasure to the joint care of the Rajah of Mainpuri and Rao Bhawani Singh, I left Mainpuri in company with Major Raikes and Caption Carey, the Sergeants who had joined me, Mr. Mc.Glone, Mr.Collins and Mr. Boodrie. We were guarded by the troopers of the Gwalior Contingent, but for whose faithful conduct at that time we should not have escaped with our lives. The other officers not above-named proceeded to Agra in advance." The fugitives reached Shikohabad on the morning of the 30th June, and stayed there four days, Mr.power being reluctant to abandon his district, but aurgent orders were received to proceed to Agra, where the services of Major Raikes Gwalior troop were required. At Firozabad, however, these men who had hithereto displayed such unshaken loyalty, quietly mutinied, and without attempting to harm their officers, marched off to Gwalior. All the Mainpuri garrison reached Agra in safety except the three clerks, Messrs. Richards, Lawrence and Donovan who remained behind to try and save their property, and were barbarously murdered by the Jhansi mutineers who arrived in Mainpuri on the 30th. This body of rebels plundered and burned all the bunglows in the station and attempted to sack the town, but were beaten off with loss by the better disposed among the inhabitants.

Raja of Mainpuri  ( Back to Menu ) : The whole district now passed for a time into the hands of the Raja of Mainpuri. In Shikohabad the influence of Prag Dutt, the tahsildar who held his charge to the last, kept the pargana loyal, though the rebellion was at its height in all the surrounding district, and the Ahirs or Bharaul actually defeted the Raja's troops. In Kuraoli too Lachman singh, the taluqdar, long held the police station and harassed the mutineers on their way through the district by keeping the roadside villages deserted so that no supplies could be obtaind. Rao Bhawani Singh, though unable any longer to control his clansmen who followed the lead of the acknowledged head of the Chauhans, succeeded in preserving infact the treasure placed in his charge, and when, on October the 19th, the rebels evacuated Mainpuri brfore Sir Hope Grant's column, he handed it over to the British general. Grant, however, merely halted for the night at Mainpuri on his way to Kanpur and the district remained in the power of Raja Tej Singh. He seems to have been a dissipated and incapable youth, but wielded a great influence through his position as chief fo the whole Chauhan clan. He claim to the Mainpuri Raj had been disputed by his uncle Bhawani Singh and decided in his favour by the High Court. An appeal against this decision was pending before th Privy Council when the Mutiny broke out. It might have been expected that the official decision would have kept him loyal and driven Bhawani Singh to revolt. But there were other motives at work. The raj had been shorn of three fourths of its estates by the settlements of 1840, and though a money compensation had been given, the wound caused to the honour of the house by the curtailment of its hereditary dignities still rankled, and, irritated by interested evil counsellors, finally provoked the Raja into taking arms against the Government. Bhawani Singh, on the other hand, once his nephew had cast in his lot with the rebles, had nothing to lose and everything to gain by siding with the British, and did in fact by his steadfast loyalty win both the title and the estates. At the beginning of the insurrections an old feud between the Mainpuri Raj and the Farrukhabad Nawab rearly led to open war between the two rebel leaders, but after their forces had spent part of July facing one another in Bewar the quarrel was patched up and thenceforward both parties displayed the utmost unanimity in their defiance of the British Government. The Raja offered no opposition to Sir Hope Grant's column on its march through the district in October, but in december, hearing that Brigadier Seaton was coming with a small force from Etah to join General Walpole at Mainpuri, he adavanced to Kuraoli with the intentaion of barring the road. Seaton, however, easily outmanoeuvred him, and the rebels fled in disorder, losing eight guns and about a hundred men.

Adventure of Hodson  ( Back to Menu ) : It was after this action that the famous Hodson of Hodson's Horse performed one of the most daring exploits of even his adventurous career. Accompanied by his second-in-command, McDowell, and 75 men, he rode across a countryside swarming with rebles to carry despatches to the Commender-in-chief. At Bewar he left all his escort but 25 men and with them and McDowell pushed on to Chhibramau, where he learnt that Sir Colin Campbell was not at Gursahaiganj, as had been believed, but at Miran ki Sarai, 15 miles further off. Leaving the 25 native troopers at Chhibramau the two officers rode on alone and reached Sir Cloin Cambell's camp in safety, having ridden 55 miles in ten hours without changing horses. On their return the same evening they were warned by a native to whom Hodson had given an alms in the morning that after their departure a party of 2,000 rebles had entered Chhibramau, killed the twenty five troopers left there, and were now waiting for Hodson's return. Hodson never hesitated but boldly continued his journey. When they reached the village he and his companion dismounted and leading their horses along the soft earth at the side of the road passed right through the village unnoticed by the enemy, whose voice could be distinctly heard in the house on either had. At Bewar they found a party sent by Seaton, who had heard of the disaster at Chhibramau, and next day marched to that place himsrlf, joining forces there with Brigadier Walpole on the 3rd January and proceeding with him to Fatehgarh.

Restoration of Authority  ( Back to Menu ) : The district was now reoccupied by the Civil authorities and though it was not by any means brought under complete control till late in 1858, no other events of any importance took place within its borders. The rebel Raja of Mainpuri after a vain effort to induce the mutineers in Farrukhabad to re-enter and once more raise the Duab-a scheme which was defeated by Seaton's victory at Kankar in April 1858 engaged in another campaign on his own accounts. Buthe met with little success being repulsed from Shikohabad by the loyal Ahirs, and finally compelled to surrender to Mr. Hume in Etawah.

 

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