Saif-ud-Daulla সৈফ-উদ-দৌল্লা (1766-1770 AD)

After the death of Najam-ud-Daulla, his younger brother "Saif-ul-Mulk, Suja-ud-Daulla, Shahmat Jang (Sword of the Country, Hero of the the State, Arrow in War)" Nawab Saif-ud-Daulla was placed on the Masnad (Throne) at an age of 17 years. The Management devolved upon Munny Begum (Gaddinashin Begum) his mother. A treaty was concluded on the 19th May, 1766, in which the Company engaged to pay him the reduced stipend of Rs 41,86,131 and 9 Anas (1Rs = 12 Ana's), namely Rs 17,78,854 and 1 Ana for his household and Rs 24,07,277 and 8 Anas for the support of the Nizamat. Muhammad Reza Khan, Dullavram and Jagat Seth were allowed to continue in their offices. The amount of Stipend fixed was probably in consideration of the yield of the Jagir or akta lands, which lay dispersed throughout the province in small dismembered allotments, which had been assigned for the maintenance of the dignity and household of the Nazim. Of the 16 lac Rupees which in 1765, his brother, Najam-ud-Daulla had paid the Company upon bond, 3 lakhs were repaid to Saif-ud-Daulla and the balance, which remained due to the Nawab, he gave as a fund, to be disposed of in the same manner as the 5 lakhs bequeathed to Clive by Mir Jafar.

He was formally installed on the Khahar Balish, at Murshidabad Fort, on 22nd May 1766 (confirmed by Emperor Shah Alam II 27th June 1766). Though the old Masnad remained in the Nawab's palace at Murshidabad, real authority passed into the chamber of the Directors in London. They considered, however that the majesty and the dignity of the Government still resided in the Nawab and his ministers, and these only were known to the inhabitants as the power to whom they were accountable. Saif-ud-Daulla, after sending the usual Nazars, procured from the Emperor Shah Alam of Delhi sanads and farmans for the Subahdari and Foujdari of the three provinces, and the rank of "Hast Hazari" (commander of eight thousand horses). His supremacy over the three Subahs was acknowledged without any resistance. Nawab Muhammad Reza Khan, as before, owing to the minority of the Nawab, held the post of Naib, and obtaining more powers than before over the Nizamat affairs, directed his attention to the government of the estate. The Governor and his Councillors took upon themselves the superintendence of the State affairs and the protection of the country. Muhammad Reza Khan appointed his own favourites, Ismail Ali Khan and Mir Abdul Ali and others, aides-de-camp and tutors to the young Nazim.

At that time the affairs of the Government were conducted in the following manner :: Muhammad Reza Khan [Mozuffer Jang], Raja Shitab Rai, and Jisarut Khan, in Bengal, Bihar, and Dacca respectively, after discharging their State duties, submitted twice a week their administration reports and other papers to the Governor. The Foujdars and other officers of every place after conducting the Nizamat affairs, submitted reports to the Naib Nazim, and the Naib conducted the affairs with the advice of the Political Resident. And also from that time, at the intercession of Muhammad Reza Khan, the Naibs, Dewans, Qanungos, and Mohurirs etc., who had hitherto been paid by percentage commission, began to receive fixed monthly pay. Muhammad Reza Khan received three lakhs, and Dewans Raja Mahendra and Dullavram, two lakhs each and Shitab Rai one lakh yearly. The system of paying by commission was abolished altogether. After taking the Dewani, Clive removed the Supreme Kutcheri (Court) from the Nizamat Kila (Fort) to the Moti Jheel garden-house of Nawajesh Muhammad alias Shahmat Jang, son-in-law and nephew of Alivardi Khan, and there celebrated the "Poonneah" ceremony. Muhammad Reza Khan carried on the Dewani alone till the year 1770 AD when Mr. Becher succeeded Mr. Francis Sykes, and a second Resident Mr. Morrison was appointed with limited power and authority. Muhammad Reza Khan finding himself reduced in power tried to extricate himself from their hands. From this year the date of the payment of Nizamat pensions etc., and the regulation of other State affairs were transferred from the lunar to the solar year. As the Europeans privately imported into this country ammunition and weapons, a Nizamat customs house was established at Murshidabad to check the private importation of arms and ammunition by Europeans.

In 1770, a great epidemic of small pox raged in Murshidabad and 63,000 of its inhabitants died, one of the victims being Nawab Saif-ud-Daulla himself on 10th March 1770. His mortal remains lie in Jafarganj Mokbara.

Page Updated : May 08, 2012 10:08 am