Storey Online

12.4 History of India: 19th Century
(2,270 words)

In Volume 1-1: Qurʾānic Literature, History, and Biography | Section 2, History, Biography, etc.

previous chapter: 12.3.8 The 18th Century

§ 806. The forty-fifth year of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam’s reign [ah 1218/1803–4] is mentioned as the current year at the end of—

An anonymous history of the successors of Aurangzēb from his death to the thirtieth year of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam ii (ah 1202/1787–8) beginning, without a preface, Rāwiyān i maʿnī-pardāz u nāqilān i ḥaqīqat-ṭirāz: Bānkīpūr vii 590 (ah 1238/1822).

§ 807. G̲h̲ulām-Ḥusain K̲h̲ān b. M. Himmat K̲h̲ān says in his history of the Zamīndārs of Benares (Bānkīpūr vii 608, see below in the sub-section devoted to Benares) that he was in the service of Rājah Balwand Sing’h and his son Rājah C̲h̲ait Sing’h (deposed ah 1195/1780).

D̲h̲ikr al-siyar (a chronogram = 1221/1806), a history of the Tīmūrids from Nādir S̲h̲āh’s sack of Delhi in 1151/1738–9 to the end of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam’s reign, ah 1221/1806: Ethé 429, i.o. 3971 (probably ad 1897–8), 3978 (an abstract only. Circ. ad 1891?), Blochet i 616.

§ 808. M. Ẓahīr al-Dīn Mīrzā ʿAlī Bak̲h̲t Gūrgānī, called Mīrzā i Kalān and, as a poet, “Aẓfarī,” was the grandson of a daughter (nawāsah-zādah) of M. Muʿizz al-Dīn Pāds̲h̲āh (i.e. Jahāndār S̲h̲āh), son of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam Bahādur S̲h̲āh. In 1211/1797 at Maqṣūdābād (an old name for Murs̲h̲idābād), nine years after leaving Delhi, he decided to write his memoirs, the Wāqiʿāt i Aẓfarī. In the k̲h̲ātimah to these memoirs he mentions seven of his earlier works, viz. (1) Lug̲h̲at i Turkī i C̲h̲ag̲h̲atāy, a C̲h̲ag̲h̲atāy dictionary (ms. Rehatsek p. 54 no. 27), (2) an enlarged Persian translation of Mīr ʿAlī S̲h̲īr’s Maḥbūb al-qulūb, (3) Niṣāb i Turkī, (4) Tengrī-Tārī, a Turkish-Hindi imitation of the K̲h̲āliq-Bārī ascribed to Amīr K̲h̲usrau, (5) a Persian metrical translation of the Risālah i qabrīyah1 [or ʿAlāmāt al-qaḍāyā], a treatise on the signs of approaching death ascribed to Hippocrates, (6) Nusk̲h̲ah i sāniḥāt, a parænetic work, (7) a second C̲h̲ag̲h̲atāy Niṣāb in 452 verses written at ʿAẓīmābād. Another work, Fawāʾid al-mubtadī, is mentioned earlier in the memoirs. For his Urdu dīwān see Sprenger p. 602 no. 599.

Wāqīʿāt i Aẓfarī, an account of the overthrow of the Gūrgānīs (i.e. the Tīmūrids) by G̲h̲ulām-Qādir, the Rohilla who captured Delhi in 1788, the author’s escape from captivity and his wanderings until ah 1221/1806: Berlin 496 (ah 1227/1812), Rieu iii 1051b (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850), Madras.

Urdu translation:2 Tarjamah i Wāqiʿāt i Aẓfarī … mutarjamah i ʿAbd al-Sattār … bah taṣḥīḥ u tarmīm i Muḥammad Ḥusain “Maḥwī” ṢiddīqīMadras (Bangalore printed) 1937 (Bulletin of the Department of Arabic, Persian and Urdu [Madras University], No. 1).

Description: Elliot and Dowson History of India viii p. 234.

[Ṣubḥ i waṭan p. 35; Garcin de Tassy i p. 265; Sprenger p. 208; Berlin Pers. Cat. no. 496.]

§ 809. Muns̲h̲ī Munnā Lāl, or Mannū Lāl, the son of Bahādur Sing’h, tells us (in a passage quoted by ʿAbd al-Muqtadir) that, having passed his fiftieth year and lost his sight, he had ended the detailed narrative of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam’s reign with the 30th year and had given only a summary account of events from the 31st to the 48th [and last] year. A Tārīk̲h̲ i Dakan by Rāy Munnā Lāl, who may of course be a different person, is mentioned in Āṣafīyah i p. 224 no. 797 (Edition: place? 1303/1885–6).

(S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam-nāmah) or (Tārīk̲h̲ i S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam) a history of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam’s reign (ah 1173/1759–1221/1806): Bānkīpūr vii 586 (the only recorded ms. containing the whole reign. ah 1226/1811), Rieu iii 943b (breaks off in the 24th year, 1196/1782. 19th cent.), 1027a (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850), 1052b (extracts only. Circ. ad 1850).

Description: Elliot and Dowson History of India viii 393.

W. Francklin used this work for his History of the reign of Shah Aulum and describes it (p. 198) as a “ms. of Munnoo Loll, a Hindoo, containing the thirteen first years of the reign”.

§ 810. Rāy Ṭēk C̲h̲and was Ak̲h̲bār-nawīs to the East India Company at S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam’s court. The Rūz-nāmc̲h̲ah i S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam was transcribed from his newsletters (ak̲h̲bār).

(Rūz-nāmc̲h̲ah i S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam), a journal of events at the court of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam from the beginning of the 31st regnal year (1 Jumādā i 1173/28 Jan. 1759) to his death on 7 Ramaḍān 1221/19 Nov. 1806 in the 49th regnal year: Bānkīpūr vii no. 620 (19th cent.), i.o. 3921–2 (ad 1885).

§ 811. Bhagwān-Dās Pandit S̲h̲īvpūrī began his Mak̲h̲zan al-futūḥ in the time of S̲h̲āh-ʿĀlam ii (reigned 1173/1759–1221/1806) and finished it in the first year of his successor M. Akbar S̲h̲āh (reigned ah 1221/1806–1253/1837).

Mak̲h̲zan al-futūḥ (a chronogram = 1222/1807–8), an account of Lord Lake’s operations against the Marāṭhās from his advance upon Delhi, 7 Aug. 1803, to his treaty with Hōlkar, Dec. 1805, and his return to Calcutta: Rieu iii 948b (ad 1849), 1050b (extract only. Circ. ad 1850).

§ 812. For a poem, or poems, describing Lord Lake’s operations against Bharatpūr see p. 542 infra.

§ 813. Mullā Fīrūz bin Kāwūs was born at Broach in 1758. At the age of ten he accompanied his father, a Parsee priest, on a journey to Persia for the purpose of obtaining answers from the Zoroastrians of Persia to a number of religious questions. They went first to Yazd, afterwards to Iṣfahān and S̲h̲īrāz and remained in the country for twelve years. On their return they settled at Bombay. From 1794 he acted as a Parsee priest of the “Kadmi” sect. In 1807, at the suggestion of Jonathan Duncan, he undertook to write on the model of Firdausī’s S̲h̲āh-nāmah a poem dealing with the history of the British power in India. He completed this work when over seventy years of age but he did not live to see it in print. In 1818 he published an edition and translation of the Dasātīr (see Edwards col. 187). In 1822 he helped to found the Bombay Samāc̲h̲ār, a newspaper to which he made frequent contributions. In 1828 he published a work on intercalation (see Edwards col. 213), a subject on which there was much controversy at that time among the Parsees. His Pand-nāmah (Rehatsek p. 132 no. 20) was published at Bombay in 1342/1923* and in the Qāʿidah i Fārsiyān, a collection of three works by different authors, at the same place in 1880*. For other works of his, which are all in Persian and mostly in verse and which include a Dīn-kard i manẓūmah, see Rehatsek’s Catalogue raisonné of the Arabic, Hindostani, Persian and Turkish MSS. in the Mulla Firuz Library, e.g. pp. 181, 215.

He died on 8 October 1830, bequeathing his library to the Elders of the “Kadmi” sect of Zoroastrians for the benefit of all castes and creeds. In 1854 the Mullā Fīrūz Madrasah was founded to commemorate his name and to this madrasah the library was for a time attached, but in 1857 it was detached and came under a separate committee.

Jārj-nāmah, an epic poem on the history of British power in India to ad 1817: Sprenger 218, Rehatsek p. 97 nos. 46–8 (autograph).

Edition: The George-Námah of Mullá Feruz bin Káwus. Edited by his nephew Mullá Rustam bin Kaikobád. 3 vols. Bombay 1837°*.

[Rehatsek Catalogue raisonné of the … MSS. in the Mulla Firuz Library pp. vii–viii, 215 etc.; Buckland Dictionary of Indian biography p. 146; Portrait in the Jārj-nāmah.]

§ 814. Maulawī M. Faḍl i ʿAẓīm “ʿAẓīm” gives some account of his life at the beginning of his Afsānah i Bhartpūr, which he wrote in 1241/1826 (see p. 542 infra). He became secretary to William Fraser3 at Delhi, served him for twenty years [which included the time spent on Fraser’s staff,4 when the latter accompanied General Martindell’s army as Political Agent in the Nepalese War of 1814–16, returning to Delhi in August 18155], and then by his influence obtained employment in the office of “the Board”. Unfortunately this employment proved disappointing, since his chief continually found fault with him. He resigned and was reduced to sore straits. Happily Fraser returned to Delhi, and on the outbreak of hostilities against Bharatpur, Faḍl i ʿAẓīm accompanied his old master on the campaign. Subsequently he became a Deputy Collector in the Sahāranpūr District.6 In addition to the Afsānah i Bhartpūr and the Waqāʾiʿ i Kūhistān he wrote a romantic mat̲h̲nawī entitled S̲h̲amʿ i s̲h̲abistān, which was published at S̲h̲āhjahānābād [i.e. Delhi] in 1269/1853*.

Waqāʾiʿ i Kūhistān, an account of the Nepalese War in prose interspersed with narratives of the same events in mat̲h̲nawī verse: i.o. 4020 (transcribed from the lithographed edition).

Edition: S̲h̲āhjahānābād [i.e. Delhi] 1269/1853*.

§ 815. M. As̲h̲raf K̲h̲ān was the second son of Nawwāb Dūṅdē7 K̲h̲ān, a Lāl-K̲h̲ānī Rājpūt8 raʾīs of Kamaunah (now in the Bulands̲h̲ahr District), who in his fort at Kamaunah offered a stubborn resistance to the British at the time of the conquest of the Dōāb in 1803–6. In the Vikramī year 1860 (ad 1803) As̲h̲raf K̲h̲ān was twelve years old. When his father evacuated Kamaunah and afterwards Gannaurī, they crossed the Jumna to Rājpūtānah and took part in military operations in Jaipūr and elsewhere.

As̲h̲raf-nāmah, an account of Dūṅdē K̲h̲ān’s military exploits.

Edition: Kōl 1271/1854°*.

§ 816. “Farāsū”, who wrote the Fatḥ-nāmah i Angrēz, is probably identical with the Farāsū or Faransū, who is mentioned as an Urdu poet by Sprenger (p. 227) on the authority of the Urdu tad̲h̲kirahs ʿIyār al-s̲h̲uʿarāʾ and Guls̲h̲an i bē-k̲h̲ār and also by Garcin de Tassy (i pp. 444–5, iii p. 373). He was in the service of the Bēgam Samrū (who died in 1836: see p. 544 infra) and was a European. His surname is given in corrupt forms (Captain François Akden (?) a son of Gobinet; Faraçu ou Fransu, fils de Gûst (Auguste) ou de Gûstîn (Augustin)) by Sprenger and Garcin de Tassy, but there seems to be little doubt that he is Farāsū Gōtlīb, i.e. Francis Gottlieb, a German born in Poland and educated in India, who wrote in Persian a history of the Jāṭ Rājahs of Bharatpūr (see p. 543 infra).

Ẓafar al-ẓafar, or Fatḥ-nāmah i Angrēz, a poetical account of the Indian Mutiny, begun on 9 May 1857: Bānkīpūr Suppt. i no. 1949 (19th cent.), Ivanow Curzon 317 (19th cent.).

§ 817. Mīrzā Asad Allāh K̲h̲ān “G̲h̲ālib”, who was born at Āgrah in 1212/1797 and died at Delhi in 1285/1869, has already been mentioned (pp. 412–414 supra) as the author of the Mihr i nīm-rūz.

Dastanbūy, reminiscences of the Mutiny at Delhi.

Editions: Bareilly 1871*, [Lucknow,] 1871°* (in the Kullīyāt i nat̲h̲r i G̲h̲ālib pp. 377–416), Cawnpore 1884/?/† (in the Kullīyāt i nat̲h̲r i G̲̲h̲ālib), 1888* (in the Kullīyāt i nat̲h̲r i G̲h̲ālib).

§ 818. A Muḥammadan, who conceals his name, wrote his Ẓafar-nāmah i waqāʾiʿ i G̲̲h̲adr in 1276/1859 for the information of the Secretary of State for India and the Members of Council.

Ẓafar-nāmah i waqāʾiʿ i G̲̲h̲adr, a short history of the Indian Mutiny: Ethé 431 (ah 1285/1869).

§ 819. M. Bas̲h̲īr Lak’hnawī.9

Tad̲h̲kirah i g̲h̲adr i Hind … mausūm bah Ṣaḥīfah i wālā-qadrī u Āʾīnah i ḥairat-numā, a history of the Indian Mutiny.

Edition: Lucknow 1282/1865°.

§ 820. Nawwāb Amīr ʿAlī K̲h̲ān Bahādur was born at his ancestral home, Bāṛh near Paṭnah, in 1810. In 1829 he became Assistant (at Calcutta) to the Ambassador of the King of Oudh, Naṣīr al-Dīn Ḥaidar, in 1845 Government Pleader in the Ṣadr Dīwānī ʿAdālat, in 1857 special Assistant to the Commissioner of Paṭnah and in 1864 K̲h̲ān Bahādur (a title conferred by the Government) and Member of the Bengal Legislative Council. In 1867 he entered the service of the deposed King of Oudh, then living near Calcutta, and rendered valuable service in connexion with the settlement of his debts. He was appointed Madār al-mahāmm and received the title of Wazīr al-Sulṭān. In 1875 he was made a Nawwāb and in Nov. 1879 he died. For his Wazīr-nāmah, a work on the history of Oudh and especially the life of Wājid ʿAlī S̲h̲āh, see p. 560 infra.

Amīr-nāmah, memoirs of the author, preceded by a brief history of British rule in India, with an abstract translation in English.

Editions: Calcutta 1870[–71]°, 1874°* (enlarged).

Bēring-nāmah, a life of Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook, Viceroy of India 1872–6.

Edition: Calcutta 1876*.

[Amīr-nāmah; Wazīr-nāmah; s̲h̲amʿ i anjuman pp. 73–4; Loke Nath Ghose The modern history of the Indian chiefs, rajas, zamindars, etc., pt. ii, Calcutta 1881, pp. 14–18; Buckland Dictionary of Indian biography p. 12.]

§ 821. Muns̲h̲ī Bis̲h̲an La‘l “Nāẓir” completed his Qaiṣarī-nāmah in 1297/1880.

Qaiṣarī-nāmah, a poetical account of events in India under Lord Lytton and Lord Ripon: Rieu Suppt. 372 (circ. ad 1880).

next chapter: 12.5 Appendix


^ Back to text1. For editions of the Arabic text see Ellis.

^ Back to text2. From a ms. (location unspecified, but presumably that recorded in the Madras catalogue).

^ Back to text3. For whom see Buckland Dictionary of Indian biography pp. 155–6.

^ Back to text4. Waqāʾiʿ i Kūhistān p. 4: dar ān zamān ba-hamrāhī i Āqā-yi mauṣūf ba-kār i nawis̲h̲t u k̲h̲wānd i k̲h̲uṭūṭ u parwānah-jāt u intiẓām i muhimmāt maṣrūf … būd.

^ Back to text5. W. i K. p. 76.

^ Back to text6. W. i K., title-page.

^ Back to text7. For the spelling of Dūṅdē see ʿImād al-saʿādat p. 4010: Dūṅde K̲h̲ān bā dāl i muhmalah u wāw i maʿrūf u nūn i mag̲h̲nūnah u dāl i muhmalah u yā i majhūl.

^ Back to text8. This Dūṅdē K̲h̲ān is to be distinguished from the Rohillah chieftain of the same name, who was associated with Bisaulī in the Badāyūṅ District and who died in 1770 (see the Badaun District Gazetteer, p. 148).

^ Back to text9. The nisbah is followed by a query in the b.m. catalogue, but whether this indicates doubt concerning the nisbah or concerning M. Bas̲h̲īr’s authorship of the Tad̲h̲kirah i g̲h̲adr i Hind is not clear.

Cite this page
“12.4 History of India: 19th Century”, in: Storey Online, Charles Ambrose Storey. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2021

▲   Back to top   ▲