" In Somersetshire," he says, " they do shere theyr wheat very lowe; and the wheate strawe that they purpose to make thacke of, they do not threshe it, but cut off the ears, and bynd it in sheves, and call it rede, and therewith they thacke theyr houses."
"It is a wyues occupation," he says, " to wynowe all maner of comes, to make malte, to washe and wrynge, to make heye, shere come, and, in time of nede, to helpe her husbande to fyll the mucke wayne or dounge carte, dryue the ploughe, to loode heye, come and suche other; and to go or ride to the market to sel butter, chese, mylke, egges, chekyns, capons, hennes, pygges, gese, and all maner of comes."
SHERE ALI KHAN (1825-1879), Amir of Afghanistan, was born in 1825, one of the younger sons of the amir Dost Mahommed, whom he succeeded in 1863.
Supported by the viceroys of India, Lord Lawrence and Lord Mayo, Shere Ali remained on good terms with the British government for some years; but after the rebellion of his son Yakub Khan, 1870-74, he leaned towards Russia, and welcomed a Russian agent'at Kabul in 1878, and at the same time refused to receive a British mission.
Shere Ali fled from his capital and, taking refuge in Turkestan, died at Mazar-i-Sharif on the 21st of February 1879.
The principal villages, towns and places near or through which the way passed are as follow: Winchester, Alresvord, Ropley, Alton, Farnham (here the way follows the present main road), Seale, Puttenham, by the ruined chapel of St Catherine, outside Guildford, near where the road crosses the Wey above Shalford,' and by the chapel of St Martha, properly of " the martyr," now restored and used as a church, Albury, Shere, Gomshall, Dorking (near here the Mole is crossed), along the southern slope of Boxhill to Reigate, then through Gatton Park, Merstham, Otford, Wrotham, after which the Medway was crossed, Burham, past the megalithic monument Kit's Coty House, and the site of Boxley Abbey, the oldest after Waverley Abbey of Cistercian houses in England, and famous for its miraculous image of the infant saint Rumbold, and the still more famous winking rood or crucifix.
Before his death at Herat, 9th June 1863, Dost Mahomed had nominated as his successor Shere Ali, his third son, passing over the two elder brothers, Afzul Khan and Azim Khan; and at first the new amir was quietly recognized.
Although his father, Afzul Khan, who had none of these qualities, came to terms with the Amir Shere Ali, the son's behaviour in the northern province soon excited the amir's suspicion, and Abdur Rahman, when he was summoned to Kabul, fled across the Oxus into Bokhara.
Shere Ali threw Afzul Khan into prison, and a serious revolt followed in south Afghanistan; but the amir had scarcely suppressed it by winning a desperate battle, when Abdur Rahman's reappearance in the north was a signal for a mutiny of the troops stationed in those parts and a gathering of armed bands to his standard.
Notwithstanding the new amir's incapacity, and some jealousy between the real leaders, Abdur Rahman and his uncle, they again routed Shere Ali's forces, and occupied Kandahar in 1867; and when at the end of that year Afzul Khan died, Azim Khan succeeded to the rulership, with Abdur Rahman as his governor in the northern province.
But towards the end of 1868 Shere Ali's return, and a general rising in his favour, resulting in their defeat at Tinah Khan on the 3rd of January 1869, forced them both to seek refuge in Persia, whence Abdur Rahman proceeded afterwards to place himself under Russian protection at Samarkand.
He lived in exile for eleven years, until on the death, in 1879, of Shere Ali, who had retired from Kabul when the British armies entered Afghanistan, the Russian governorgeneral at Tashkent sent for Abdur Rahman, and pressed him to try his fortunes once more across the Oxus.
The evacuation of Afghanistan was settled on the terms proposed, and in 1881 the British troops also made over Kandahar to the new amir; but Ayub Khan, one of Shere Ali's sons, marched upon that city from Herat, defeated Abdur Rahman's troops, and occupied the place in July.
In 1530 it became the residence of Shere Shah the Afghan, and forty-five years later was recovered by the emperor Akbar after sustaining a siege of six months.
YAKUB KHAN (1849-), ex-amir of Afghanistan, son of the amir Shere Ali, was born in 1849.
However, when Shere Ali in 1878 fled before the British, he handed over the government to Yakub, who, on his father's death in the following February, was proclaimed amir, and signed a treaty of peace with the British at Gandamak.
The cantonments near the city, built by Nott's division, were repaired and again occupied by the British army in 1879, when Shere Ali was driven from power by the invasion of Afghanistan, nor were they finally evacuated till the spring of 1881.
They fell in Shere Ali's time to 7700,000.
Dost Mahommed now became the British ally, but on his death in 1863 the kingdom fell back into civil war, until his son, Shere Ali, had won his way to undisputed rulership in 1868.
The meeting between the amir Shere Ali and the viceroy of India (Lord Mayo) at Umballa in 1869 drew nearer the relations between the two governments; the amir consolidated and began to centralize his power; and the establishment of a strong, friendly and united Afghanistan became again the keynote of British policy beyond the north-western frontier of India.
When, therefore, the conquest of Khiva in 1873 by the Russians, and their gradual approach towards the amir's northern border, had seriously alarmed Shere Ali, he applied for support to the British; and his disappointment at his failure to obtain distinct pledges of material assistance, and at Great Britain's refusal to endorse all his claims in a dispute with Persia over Seistan, so far estranged him from the British connexion that he began to entertain amicable overtures from the Russian authorities at Tashkend.
The result of overtures made to him from India was that in 1877, when Lord Lytton, acting under direct instructions from Her Majesty's ministry, proposed to Shere Ali a treaty of alliance, Shere Ali showed himself very little disposed to welcome the offer; and upon his refusal to admit a British agent into Afghanistan the negotiations finally broke down.
The amir Shere Ali fled from his capital into the northern province, where he died at Mazar-i-Sharif in February 1879.
It was seen that the farther they advanced the more difficult would become their eventual retirement; and the problem was to find a successor to Shere Ali who could and would make terms with the British government.
In the meantime Yakub Khan, one of Shere Ali's sons, had announced to Major Cavagnari, the political agent at the headquarters of the British army, that he had succeeded his father at Kabul.
By this convention the complete success of the British political and military operations seemed to have been attained; for whereas Shere Ali had made a treaty of alliance with, and had received an embassy from Russia, his son had now made an exclusive treaty with the British government, and had agreed that a British envoy should reside permanently at his court.
Abdur Rahman, the son of the late amir Shere Ali's elder brother, had fought against Shere Ali in the war for succession to Dost Mahommed, had been driven beyond the Oxus, and had lived for ten years in exile with the Russians.
The province of Kandahar was severed from the Kabul dominion; and the sirdar Shere Ali Khan, a member of the Barakzai family, was installed by the British representative as its independent ruler.
In July 1880, a few days after the proclamation of Abdur Rahman as amir at Kabul, came news that Ayub Khan, Shere Ali's younger son, who had been holding Herat since his father's death, had marched upon Kandahar, had utterly defeated at Maiwand a British force that went out from Kandahar to oppose him, and was besieging that city.
As the British ministry had resolved to evacuate Kandahar, the sirdar Shere Ali Khan, who saw that he could not stand alone, resigned and withdrew to India, and the amir Abdur Rahman was invited to take possession of the province.
The Umballa durbar, at which Shere Ali was recognized as amir of Afghanistan, though in one sense the completion of what Lord Lawrence had begun, owed much of its success to the personal influence of Lord Mayo himself.
Shere Ali, the amir, who had been hospitably entertained by Lord Mayo, was found to be favouring Russian intrigues.
Shere Ali fled to Afghan Turkestan, and there died.
Ayub Khan, son of Shir ~Ali (Shere AIi) of Afghanistan, who had taken refuge in Persia in October 1881, and was kept interned in Teheran under an agreement, concluded on the 17th of April 1884, between Great Britain and Persia, with a pension of 8000 per annum from the British government escaped on the 14th of August 1887.
He named as his successor his son, Shere Ali Khan.