Successors of Maharaja Singh
Kharak Singh In 1839, Kharak Singh, the eldest legitimate son of Ranjit Singh, ascended the throne and appointed Chet Singh as prime minister. Kharak Singh was a man of weak intellect, consumed a lot of opium, and possessed none of Ranjit Singh’s diplomatic qualifications. A rumour was set afloat that Kharak Singh had formed an alliance with the British government and acknowledged their league supremacy, to dispand the Sikh army, and to pax taxes to them. Soldiers began to look at Kharak Singh as a traitor and formed a plot to dispose him. On the night of October 8th, 1830, a few soldiers entered his fort, killed Chet Singh, and placed the king in custody. Kharak Singh, who only reigned for 3 months, was permitted to abdicate and retire to his city mansion.
Nau Nehal Singh The Royal Prince Nau Nehal Singh, son of Kharak Singh, was proclaimed ruler of the Punjab at the age of 18. He possessed an ambitious and warlike spirit, a keen judgement, and a clear insight into business manners, all qualities perfect for being a king. He detested the British and collected an army to be ready for war with them. One day, he and his friend was travelling back to the fort. As he approached the archway, a loud crash was heard, and it was found that a fragment of the upper wall had falled and crushed the two young men. Maharani Chand Kaur, the mother of the injured prince, beat her head against the gates of the fortress in vain. Two hours afterwards, Chand Kaur was informed that her son had breathed his last.
Chand Kaur: Chand Kaur was proclaimed queen of the Punjab. The minister Dhian Singh urged the sardars to place Sher Singh as the king, but to no avail. However, the rude Sher Singh was bent on offering her armed resistance. Meanwhile, Chand Kaur appointed Attar Singh as prime minister, and a c :ouncil of four sardars was established under Attar Singh whose advice was sought in all State affairs. During the reign of Chand Kaur, Rani Jind Kaur, a wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, gave birth to a son named Dulip Singh. Sher Singh, according to previous arrangements with Dhian Singh, marched from Mukeria with 300 followers, and after time, the Khalsa soldiery paid their homage to him as the sovereign of the Punjab. Eventually, Sher Singh gathered 70,000 troops and bombarded the fort, causing heavy casualty. Chand Kaur surrendered and gave up her claims to the throne of Lahore. And agreement was made providing Chand Kaur nine lakhs of rupees, and that Sher Singh was to refrain from marrying the queen.
Sher Singh On January, 18th, 1841 Sher Singh was seated on the throne of Lahore. Dhian Singh was again installed in the office of the minister. Sher Singh enjoyed spirituous liquors, gave himself up to hunting and wrestling, and sometimes paid little attention to the affairs of the State, which were left entirely to Dhian Singh. Prince Partab Singh, heir-apparent to the Lahore throne, attended by Dhian Singh, met with Governor Lord Ellenborough, which resulted in more friendly relations. However, distrust started to come between Dhian Singh and the Maharaja, and they started to hate each other. Servants and loyal subjects started to assure the Maharaja that Dhian Singh had resolved to place the young Dulip Singh on the throne. The Maharaja then created a document giving authority for the assasination of the minister, but Dhian Singh had Ajit Singh assassinate Maharaja Sher Singh on September, 15th, 1843. Shortly afterwards, the assassins then killed Partab Singh. The city was not in a state of commotion, and the inhabitants afraid of the situation. Ajit Singh arrived at the fort and informed Dhian Singh the job has been done. Shortly afterwards, Ajit Singh betrayed the minister by having him shot dead. Hira Singh was extremely upset about the situation, organized an army, about 40,000 troops, and marched against Ajit Singh. The fort was surrounded and blockaded, and the battle lasted the whole night. Ajit Singh was eventually slained, and the fort was taken over by Hira Singh. Shortly afterwards, Hira Singh declared Dulip Singh as the maharaja, and Hira Singh became the minister.