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Mir Qasim (also spelt Mir Kasim full name:Mir Kasim Ali Khan) (died 1777) was Nawab

of Bengal from 1760 to 1764. He was installed as Nawab by theBritish East India Company replacing Mir Jafar, his father-in-law, who had himself been installed by the British after his role in the Battle of Plassey. However, Mir Jafar had started to assert independence by trying to tie up with the Dutch East India Company. The British eventually overran the Dutch forces at Chinsura and replaced Mir Jafar with Mir Qasim.[2] Qasim later fell out with the British and fought them at the Battle of Buxar. His defeat has been suggested as the last real chance of preventing a British-ruled India following Britain' s victory in the Seven Years War.[3]

1 The Alliance with the English East India Company 2 Conflict with British 3 Death 4 See also 5 Bibliography 6 References


Alliance with the English East India Company

Nawab Mir Jafar had sent to Calcutta his kinsman, Mir Qasim, to represent him at the Conference regarding the Administration and settlement of the apportionment of 10 annas of the revenue to Mir Jafar and 6 annas to the English, and regarding the enjoyment of the office of Diwan by Mir Jafar. On the death of Sadiq Ali Khan (Mir Miran); the eldest son of Nawab Mir Jafar, the Army demanding their pay which had fallen into arrear for some years mutinied in a body, besieged the Nawab in the Chihil Satn Palace, and cut off supplies of food and water. In consequence, the Nawab wrote to Mir Qasim Khan to the effect that the army had reduced him to straits for demand of arrear pay. Mir Qasim Khan, in concert with Jagat Seth conspired with the English Chiefs, and induced the latter to write to Nawab Mir Jafar to the effect that the mutiny of the army for demand of pay was a very serious matter, and that it was advisable that the Nawab abandoning the Fort should come down to Calcutta, entrusting the Fort and the Subah to Mir Qasim Khan. Mir Qasim with full self-confidence, on attaining his aim, returned to Murshidabad. The English Chiefs leaguing with Mir Qasim Khan brought out Nawab Jafar Khan from the Fort, placed him on a boat, and sent him down to Calcutta. Mir Qasim entered the Fort, mounted the masnad of Nizamat, and issued proclamations of peace and security in his own name. He sent a message to Raja Rajballab to bring back the Emperor to Azimabad Patna , whilst he himself afterwards set out for Azimabad, in order to wait on the Emperor, after attending

to and reassuring his army, and making some settlement in regard to their arrears of pay. Leaving his uncle, Mir Turab Ali Khan, as Deputy Nazim in Murshidabad, Mir Qasim carried with himself all his effects, requisites, elephants, horses, and treasures comprising cash and jewelleries of the harem, and even gold and silver decorations of the Imambara, amounting to several lakhs in value, and bade farewell to the country of Bengal. After arriving at Monghyr (Munger), and attending to the work of strengthening its fortifications, he marched to Azimabad (Patna), in order to wait on the Emperor. Before Mir Qasims arrival at Azimabad, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II had returned to that place, and the English going forward to receive him had accommodated His Majesty in their Factory. Subsequently, Qasim Ali Khan also arrived, had the honour of an audience with the Emperor, and received from the latter the title of Nawab Ali Jah Nairu-l-mulk Imtiazu-ddaulah Qasim Ali Khan Nasrat Jang. But the officers of the Emperor marking some change in the conduct of Qasim Ali Khan marched back with the Emperor to Benaras, without giving any intimation thereof to the aforesaid Khan. Nawab Qasim Ali Khan followed them up to the confines of Buxar and Jagadishpur, and after pillaging those places returned to Azimabad, halted at the residence of Ram Narain, and set himself to the work of administration of the affairs of that place. [edit]Conflict

with British

The Navab's arrival before Clive's position

Upon ascending the throne, Mir Qasim repaid the British with lavish gifts. To please the British, Mir Qasim robbed everybody, confiscated lands, reduced Mir Jafar's purse and depleted the treasury. He also transferred the districts of Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagong to the British East India Company. However, he soon tired of British interference and endless avarice and like Mir Jafar before him, yearned to break free of the British. He shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger in present

day Bihar where he raised an independent army, financing them by streamlining tax collection.[4] He opposed the British East India Company's position that their imperial Mughal licence (dastak) meant that they could trade without paying taxes (other local merchants with dastaks were required to pay up to 40% of their revenue as tax). Frustrated at the British refusal to pay these taxes, Mir Qasim abolished taxes on the local traders as well. This upset the advantage that the British traders had been enjoying so far, and hostilities built up. After losing a number of skirmishes, Mir Qasim overran the Company offices in Patna in 1763, killing several Europeans including the Resident. Mir Qasim allied withShuja-ud-Daula of Avadh and Shah Alam II, the itinerant Mughal emperor, who were also threatened by the British. However, their combined forces were defeated in the Battle of Buxar in 1764, ceding control of the rich Ganges plain to the British. The short campaign of Mir Qasim was significant as a direct fight against British outsiders by native Bengali. Unlike Siraj-ud-Daulah before him, Mir Qasim was an effective and popular ruler. Their success at Buxar established the British as conquerors of Bengal in a much more real sense than the Battle of Plassey seven years earlier. [edit]Death Plundered of most of his treasures, placed on a lame elephant and expelled by Shuja-udDaula after he had been routed at the Battle of Buxar, 23 October 1764; he fled to Rohilkhand, Allahabad, Gohad and Jodhpur, eventually settling at Kotwal, near Delhi ca. 1774. Mir Qasim died in obscurity and abject poverty possibly from dropsy, at Kotwal, near Delhi on 8 May 1777. His two shawls had to be sold to pay for his funeral.[

quarrel appears to have been caused by the tactless conduct of Mr. Ellis, who was in incharge of an English factory at patna. Mr. Ellis had received a vague report that two English deserters were concealed at Munger. A long dispute followed and it was finally compromised by Mr. Ironsides, the Town Major of Calcutta , who conducted the search of the Fort with the due permission of the Nawab. No deserters were found inside the Fort, the only European in the place being an old French invalid. In April, 1762 Warren Hastings was sent from Calcutta to arrange the terms between the Nawab and Mr.Ellis. The Nawab received him well but Ellis refused to meet Warren Hastings and stayed in his house at Singhia, 15 miles away from Munger. Beside this personal rancor, serious trade disputes arose between the Nawab and East India Company. The East India Company had been enjoying exemption frm heavy

duty transit levied on inland trade. After the battle of Blassey the European servants of the Company began to trade extensivdy on their own account and to claim a similar exemption for all goods passing under companys flag and covered by Dastak or certificate signed by the Governor or any agent of the factory. Great abuses followed when the English in some cases lent their names to Indians for a consideration and the latter used the same Dastak over and over again or even began forging them. Warren Hastings in 1762 says that every boat he met on the river bore the companys flag and became aware of the oppression of the people by the Gumashtas and the Companys servant. Mir Kasim bitterly complained that his source of revenue had been taken away from him and that his authority was completely disregarded. Eventually in Octuber, 1762, Mr. Vansittart, the Governor left Calcutta in order to try and conclude a settlement between the two parties. He found the Nawab of Munger smarting under the injuries and insults he had received. But at length it was agreed that servants of the company should be allowed to carry on the inland private trade, on payment of a fixed duty of 9% on all goods- a rate much below that paid by the other merchants. The dastak also remained with a new provision that it should also be countersigned by the nawabs collector. Mir Kasim agreed to these terms but, of course, very unwillingly. Sair-ul-Mutakharin gives a detailed account of the visit of Vansittart. The Nawab advanced six miles to meet vansittart and arrange for his residence in the house which Gurghin Khan had crected on hill of Sitakund (Pir Pahar). Vansittart returned to Calcutta in January 1763 after a week long stay at Munger but he was sorry to find that the agreement concluded with the Nawab has been repudiated. The Nawab, however, had honestly sent the copies of the Governors agreement to all of his officrs for its immediate implementation. The result was that English goods then in transit, were stopped and duty caimed upon them. The English council reacted sharply and wanted that the English dastak should pass free of duty. The Nawab on the other hand protested at this breach of faith and passed orders abolishing all transit duty and thereby, throwing open the whole inland trade free from any custom duty. The English regarded this as an act of hostility and preparations for war began but English decided first to send a deputation headed by Messrs. Amyatt and Hay to arrange fresh tersm with the Nawab.Mr. Ellis was also informed of this development and was warned not to commit any act lof aggression even if the mission failed and Amyatt and Hay were well out of the Nawabs power. The members of the mission reached Munger on the 14 th may, 1763 and opened up negotiations, but it was soon found that they were undocked. The Nawab who was offended at the rough and over bearing manner in which he was addressed by the English linguist and refused to speak to him. At subsequent interviews also the Nawab tried to avenge the English insult and refused to come to any terms. The Envoys were kept under strict supervision

and when some of the party wished to ride out from Munger they found their way barred by the Nawabs soldiers with lighted matches ready to fire. Just at this tenses moment English cargo boats for Calcutta were detained at Munger and 500 Muskets intended for the factory at Patna were found out hidden under the cargo. The Nawab, naturally, became suspicious of the English move which might have been to seize the fort and the city at Patna. He wanted , therefore, a thorough check-up by his own troops otherwise he would declare war. In the mean time he permitted Mr. Amyatt and others of the party to leave for Calcutta, but detained Mr. Hay and Mr. Gulson as hostages for the safety lof his officers who had been arrested by the English. As regardes the final rupture between the English and Bengal Nawab it was precipitated by the action of Mr. Ellis who believed that war was in any case inevitable, and seized the city of Patna on hearing the news that the detachment was advancing from Munger to reinforce the Nawabs garrison. The Nawab also retaliated promptly, reinforcements were hurried up and the Fort quickly recaptured. This news of the success gave Kasim Ali the keenest delight. Even though it was mid-night, he immediately ordered music to strike and awakened the whole town of Munger. At day-break the doors of the public halls were thrown open and every one hastened to offer him congratulations. He , now, proclaimed the outbreak of war and directed his officers to put the English to sword wherever they were found. In pursuance lof this general order Mr. Amayat was killed at Murshidabad and the factory at Cossim (Kasim) Bazar was stormed. The survivorsw surrendered and were sent to Munger to join their unfortunate companions from patna. The British force under Major Adams quickly advanced against the nawab and defeated his troops at Suti. On Hearing of his defeat, he sent his Begums and children to the fort at Rohtas and set out himself accompanied by Gurgin khan to join his army that was now concentrated on the banks of the Udhua Nullah near Rajmahal. Before leaving Munger, however, he pur to death a number of his prisoners including Raja Ram Narayan, till lately Deputy Governor of Bihar, who was thrown down into the river below the fort with a pitcher filled with sand bound to his neck. Gurgin Khan not satisfied with this butchery also urged the Nawab to kill his English prisoners but this the Nawab refused to do. Jagat set Mahtab Rai and Sarup Chand, two rich bankers of Murshidabad who had been brought from that place by Mir Kasim Ali as they were believed to favour the British cause also appears to have escaped. Though as the tradition says they were also drowned at the same time. This story is, however, contradicted by the author of Sair-UI-Mutakharin who says that they were hacked to pieces at Barth. The exact location of the tower of castle of Munger from where Jagat Seth and others were thrown down has not yet been located. Before the Nawab could join his army at Udhua Nullah he heard of a second decisive defeat that he had sustained and thereafter returned to Munger.

He stayed there only for two or three days and marched to Patna with his prisoners like Mr. Hay, Mr. Ellis and some others. On the way Mr. Kasim halted on the bank of Rahua Nullah, a small stream near Lakhisarai. It was here that Gurgin Khan met his death and was cut down by some of his own troopers who were demanding arrears of their pay. A scene of wild confusion followed. Makar, another Armenian General, fired off some guns, the thought that the English were upon them and fled in terror, Mir Kasim himself flying on an elephant. There was great confusion in the army because of this false alarm but Mir Kasim marched on the next day to Patna. In the meantime the British army moved on rapidly towards Munger and at this time Munger was placed under the command of Arab Ali Khan, who was a creature of Gurgin Khan. On the first of October 1763 the main body of the army arrived on batteries that had been thrown up and were immediately opened. For two days heavy fire was maintained but in the evening the Governor capitulated and surrendered himself and his garrison. The English at once set to work to repair the breaches and improve the defences. The Fort was left under the command of Captain John White who was further directed to raise locally another battalion of sepoys. This news of the capture of Munger infuriated the Nawab who as soon as he heard of it gave order that his English prisoners at Patna should be put to death. This order was carried out by the infamous Samru and is known in history, as the Massacre of Patna. There years later in 1766 there was a mutiny of the European officers of Bengal army because of the reduction of bhatta which was an extra monthly sum to cover the increased expenses when the soldiers were on active military duty. After the battle of Plassey Mir Jafar Khan had granted an extraallowance, called double bhatta which had continued during the role of Mir Kasim also. But the Directors of the companies now passed order that this allowance should be abolished except for the grant of half-bhatta to the troops stationed at Patna and Munger. This curtailment was bitterly resented by the army officers and on the first of May, 1766 a memorandum to this effect was signed by officers of the first brigade stationed at Munger under Sir Robert Fletcher who transmitted it to Lord Clive at Murshidabad. Clive lost no time and proceeded to Munger in person by forced marches and in the mean time sent forward some officers to deal with the situation as well as they could. When arrived at Munger late at night on the 12th May, the army heard too much of drums beating and going further to Robert Fletchers quarter they found the European regiment drinking, singing and beating drums. Next morning two of them went to Kharagpur and returned with two battalions to Munger. But we learn that on 14 th the European battalion broke out in open mutiny and Captain Smith seized the saluting batteries which were situated upon hillock. The hillock was known as Karn Choura hill. Captain

Smith gained possession of the hill and was successful in suppressing the rebellion. In short, Munger was recaptured by the prompt and brave action of Caption Smith and sir Robert Fletcher. Clive hadd already reached Munger and he held a parade of troops. He explained the circumstances under which the bhatta had been withdrawn and he further applauded the loyal conduct of the sepoys and condemned the conspiracy of some officers. They were further threatened that the ring leaders would get the severest penalties under Martial Law. After his address, the brigade gave their hearty cheers and marched off quietly to the barracks and the lines. Thus, the rebellion of the British officers at Munger was successfully suppressed. For some time John Maccabe was a Deputy Commissioner, Government of Munger before 1789. The subsequent history of the district is uneventful with the extension of the British dominions, the town of Munger ceased to be an important frontier post. There was no arsenal, no regular garrison was kept up and no attempt was made to bring the fortification up-to-date. Munger, however, was still important for its fine situation and salubrious air and was used as a sanatorium for the British troops. So great a resort that it was the journey up the Ganga followed by a stay was regarded of as healthy as a sea voyage. We find that a trip to Munger was prescribed for the wife of Warren Hastings when she was in ill health and in 1781 when Warren Hastings was on his way to meet Chait Singh atBanaras he left his wife here for the benefit of her health. But during the early part of the 19th century Munger was degraded to a lunatic asylum for sepoys where there was also a depot for army clothing and it became an invalid station for British soldier

The Battle of Buxar was significant event in the rise of British rule in India. The foundation of the British Empire in India which was led by Clive at Plassey was strengthened at Buxar. The Battle of Buxar was the outcome of the clash between the British and Mir Kasim, the Nawab of Bengal. Mir Kasim was the most efficient of all Nawabs of Bengal from 1756 onwards. He suppressed the rebellious zamindars of Bengal and Bihar, who had challenged the authority of the Nawab. Unlike his predecessor Mir Jafar, he always tried to maintain his position and dignity by keeping himself away from the British influence. For that purpose he transferred his capital from Murshidabad to Monghyr. To satisfy his ego and vanity he liked to inaugurate his new regime at a new place where there would be none to interfere in his activities as a Nawab. To strengthen his power he organized his army in the same way as the Europeans did. He made arrangements for the manufacture of fire arms at Monghyr with a view to equipping his army adequately. He wanted to remain at a safe distance from Calcutta so that there would be less of

supervision and interference from the British authority. He wanted to develop an army with a view to overthrowing the power of British. This attitude of Mir Kasim incurred displeasure of the British. The matter came to a crisis when Mir Kasim wanted to put an end to all private trade. The company had been granted the privilege of free sea-borne trade by an imperial Farman in 1717. But after 1756, the servants of the company also illegally claimed the same privilege for their private trade mainly in salt and betel leaves. Because of this extensive private trade of the servants of the company, the Nawab had to suffer the loss of huge amount of revenue. Mir Kasim decided to stop it by taking drastic action. Under instructions, from the Nawab, his officers in the district began to seize the boats belonging to the English merchants in spite of their having Dastaks with them. These English merchants were forced to pay taxes to the Nawab the Nawab ultimately abolished the system of Dastak and the transit duties which put the Indian and English traders on equal footing. This created fury among the English. They carried the matter immediately to Vansittart, the then governor of Bengal. The governor violently reached to this kind of measure of Mir Kasim. Mir Kasim took few other measures which hampered the interest of the English merchants in India. He immediately increased the number of customs stations in the country with a view to checking the private trade of the English. New stations were established in places were there was none before. He increased the number of soldiers stationed in the Chaukis to stop the English boats effectively. He also instructed the local Amils to strike off all kinds of commercial relations with the East India Company. All these measures led to huge financial loss to the company. The officials of the East India Company tried their best to put a check upon the antiBritish activities of the Nawab which was not at all appreciated by the latter. Mir Kasim wanted to rule independently. Virtually a quarrel started between the English and the Nawab when their servants began to hurl abuses on each other. A meeting between the Nawab and the governor of Bengal was arranged in 1762 at Monghyr to discuss over the differences. But nothing could Bengal done to pacify the situation. The Nawab was unhappy about the illegal trade of the Company's servants and governor was unhappy about Nawab's interference in the activities of the company. The measures of Mir Kasim infuriated the British authority in Bengal. Mr. Ellis, the English agent at Patna got furious with Mir Kasim and as a mark of protest he occupied at Patna. This was sufficient provocation for Mir Kasim. He immediately launched an attack against Ellis who was defeated and made a prisoner in the hands of Mir Kasim. At this, the English launched a counter attack against Mir Kasim who was defeated in three successive battles at Katwa, Gheria and Udaynal.

To avenge this defeat Mir Kasim ordered a general massacre of all the English prisoners of Patna. There after he fled to Oudh to make a common cause with Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab of Oudh, and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam. These three people formed a confederacy against the British. After the flight of Mir Kasim that English immediately placed the aged Mir Jafar on the throne of Bengal. Events of the Battle of Buxar of Brtish Rule Shuja-ud-daula, the Nawab of Oudh, wanted very much to destroy the English supremacy in Bengal. But he could not venture to attack the English settlements side he felt more encouraged. Before Mir Kasim went to Oudh, Shah Alam, the titular Mughal Emperor had already taken refuge in the court of Nawab Shuja-ud-daula. He had already promised the Nawab a great financial assistance in case of a war between the Nawab and the English. Now the three disgruntled, rulers such as a Shula-ud-daula, Shah Alam and Mir Kasim, united together with a firm conviction to defeat the English. They combined declared war against the English in 1764. Their combined army met the British forces under the command of Major Munro at Buxar on 22nd October 1764. Major Munro inflicted a crushing defeat on their combined forces. Mir Kasim fled to the North-West and died. Shah Alam left the cause of Shuja-uddaula and found shelter in the British camp. Shuja-ud-daula fought until 1765 when he was completely defeated and sued for peace.

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