Etawah under the Rohillas and Oudh Government
Under the Rohillas
The occupation, however, was merely nominal at first; the zamindars refused to pay revenue to Inayat Khan and, secure in their mud forts set his authority at defiance. Strong reinforcements were sent to the Rohillas, including some artillery, under Sheikh Kuber andMullah Baz Khan, and many of the smaller forts were levelled to the grounds; but in their ravine fortresses the zamindars of Kamait in the trans-Yamuna tract still resisted the authority of Inayat Khan. Hafiz Rahmat and Inayat Khan then came in person to Etawah and operations were vigorously pressed against the refractory zamindars. Ultimately an annual tribute was agreed to by the latter. Hafiz Rahmat then departed to Bareilly, and Rohilla garrisons were established at convenient places in the district. Meanwhile a new minister arose at Delhi called Najib Khan, better known as Najib-ud-daula, Amir-ul-umra, Shuja-ud-daula succeeded Safdar Jang as Nawab Wazir and occupied most of the Bangash possessions as far as Aligarh, with the exception of those granted by the Durrani to the Rohillas after he battle of Pandit. But the wazir's hostility to the Farrukhabad Afghans had not abated one jot, and in 1762 he persuaded Najib-ud-daula to join him in an attack on Farrukhabad. The attack was beaten off by the aid of Hafiz Rahmat Khan and matters once more settled down peacefully.
In 1766 the Marathas under Mulhar Rao, who had been awaiting their opportunity, once more crossed the Jamuna and attacked Phaphund , where a Rohilla force under Muhammad Hasan Khan eldest son of Mohsin Khan, was posted. On receipt of this news Hafiz Rahmat advanced from Bareilly to oppose the Marathas. He was joined near Phaphund by Sheikh Kuber, the Rohilla governor of Etawah, and prepared to give battle; but Mulhar Rao refused to risk an engagement and once more retired across the Jamuna. The ambitions Najib-ud-daula had been considerably irritated by the intervention of the Rohillas on behalf of Ahmad Khan Bangladesh in 1762; and though he had been too busily engaged otherwise to pursue his plans of revenge before, he began in 1770 to plot the downfall of Hafiz Rahmat Khan.
Accordingly a Maratha army was invited to Delhi for the purpose of first wresting Farrukhabad from Ahmad Khan and of afterwards invading Rohikhand. The united forces of Najib-ud-daula and the Marathas advanced from Delhi; but at Koil Najib-ud-daula fell ill and retraced his steps, leaving his eldest son, Zabita Khan to operate with the Marathas. Zabita Khan however, was by no means disposed to fight against his brother Afghans. The Marathas, knowing this, kept him practically a prisoner in their camp and he requested Hafiz Rahmat Khan to obtain his release. Hafiz Rahmat Khan accordingly opened negotiations with the Marathas for the release of Zabita Khan; but the Maratha leaders demanded as their price the surrender of the jagirs of Etawah and Shikohabad. Hafiz Rahmat Khan was not disposed to agree to those terms, and while negotiations were proceeding for buying off the Marathas Zabita Khan escaped. Several desultory engagements now took place between the Marathas and the Afghan forces. Inayat khan was summoned by his father to Farrukhabad in order that he might be consulted regarding the surrendering of his jagirs. But although Dhunde Khan agreed to give up Shikohabad Inayat Khan refused to surrender Etawah.
Ultimately, disgusted with his father's arrangements he returned to Bareilly, and his father on his own responsibility sent orders toSheikh Kuber, the Rohilla governor of Etawah, to surrender the fort to the Marathas. The Marathas now marched to Etawah, but as the orders had not yet reached him Sheikh Kuber gave them battle. Several desperate assaults were made on the fort of Etawah which were all beaten off, but finally it was handed over to the Marathas in accordance with hafiz Rahmat Khan's orders, and the Rohillas quitted the district, leaving it once more in the hands of the Marathas. Later in the same year, 1771 A.D., the Marathas advanced to Delhi and reinstated the emperor Shah Alam, who had cast in his lot with them, on the throne. They were now masters of the empire and Zabita Khan determined to oppose them. Assembling his forces, he attacked the Marathas near Delhi but was signally defeated, and in 1772 the Marathas overran a large portion of Rohilkhand and captured Najafgarh, where Zabita Khan's family resided and his treasure lay.
Under the Government of Oudh
Shuja-ud-daula then returned to Oudh, but denied ever having promised to restore the bond. He next seduced many of the Afghan Rohillas from their allegiance to Hafiz Rahmat Khan, and then proceeded to eject the Maratha garrisons from Etawah and Shikohabad in spite of Rahmat Khan's remonstrance. He ever went further and called on Hafiz Rahmat Khan to discharge the balance of 35 lakhs due on the bond. This was only a pretext for provoking hostilities for which purpose the Nawab had already begun to assemble an army; and Hafiz Rahmat Khan having failed to pay up, the Nawab advanced to the Ganges. The last scene in the tangled history of the period closed with the defeat of Hafiz Rahmat Khan by Shuja-ud-daula who was aided by a British force, at the battle of Miranpur Katra in the Shahjahanpur district on April 23rd 1774 A.D. Etawah under the Oudh Government.
From 1774 to 1801 the district of Etawah remained under the government of Oudh. Little occurred to disturb it during this period and little is known regarding its history. For many years the administration of the district was in the hands of Mian Almas Ali Khan. Ails were stationed, we know, at Etawah, Kudarkot and Phaphunnd. One of those who held office at the last named placed was Raja Bhagmal or Baramal. The latter was by Caste a Jat and was sister's son to Almas Ali Khan, who was by birth a Hindu but was subsequently made a eunuch and converted to Islam. Raja Bhagmal built the fort at Phaphund and the old mosque which still bears an inscription recording thenamed of donor. Almas Ali Khan was, recording to Colonie Sleeman,"the greatest and best man" Oudh ever produced; be amassed great wealth, but having no descendant, he spent his money for the benefit of the people committed to his charge. He held court occasionally at Kudarkot where he built a fort, of which the massive ruins still remain. At Etawah the amils are said to have resided in the fort; but the building was destroyed by Shuja-ud-daula in consequence of the representations of the Etawah townspeople that, so long as the amils occupied such an impregnable residence, they would never do anything but oppress the people.
The cession On November 10th, 1801, the district was made over to the British Government by the Nawab Saadat Ali Khan together with the rest of the lower Doab and other tracts. This action was taken in return for a guarantee of protection, and by way of payment for the maintenance of the Oadh local forces which were ultimately stationed at Kanpur. The cession did not altogether pass off without difficulty, as the district was full of refractory taluqdars from whom revenue was only extracted with great trouble. No military operations, however, had to be undertaken, and Lord Lake's army does not seem to have passed through the district on its way in 1803 to fight the Marathas. Still for some years Etawah was threatened with Maratha inroads, while scenes occurred with thezamindars in the earlier years of the British administration which recall the experiences of the imperial officers in the 16th century, and it was not till the zamindars of Saudaus, Sahson and Kamait had been finally settled with in 1816 A.D. that the history of the district may be said to have become one of the peaceful progress and reform, which was afterwards broken only by the interruption caused by the Mutiny of 1857.