PESHCUBZ, s. A form of dagger, the blade of which has a straight thick back, while the edge curves inwardly from a broad base to a very sharp point. Pers. pesh-kabz, ‘fore-grip.’ The handle is usually made of shirmahi, ‘the white bone (tooth?) of a large cetacean’; probably morse-tooth, which is repeatedly mentioned in the early English trade with Persia as an article much in demand (e.g. see Sainsbury, ii. 65, 159, 204, 305; iii. 89, 162, 268, 287, &c.). [The peshkubz appears several times in Mr. Egerton’s Catalogue of Indian Arms, and one is illustrated, Pl. xv. No. 760.]


“Received for sundry jewels, &c. … (Rs.)732600
Ditto for knife, or peshcubz (misprinted pesheolz)350000.”
Lord Clive’s Accounts, in Long, 497.

PESHCUSH, s. Pers. pesh-kash. Wilson interprets this as literally ‘first-fruits.’ It is used as an offering or tribute, but with many specific and technical senses which will be found in Wilson, e.g. a fine on appointment, renewal, or investiture; a quit-rent, a payment exacted on lands formerly rent-free, or in substitution for service no longer exacted; sometimes a present to a great man, or (loosely) for the ordinary Government demand on land. Peshcush, in the old English records, is most generally used in the sense of a present to a great man.

1653.—“Pesket est vn presant en Turq.”—De la Boullaye-le-Gouz, ed. 1657, p. 553.

1657.—“As to the Piscash for the King of Golcundah, if it be not already done, we do hope with it you may obteyn our liberty to coyne silver Rupees and copper Pice at the Fort, which would be a great accommodation to our Trade. But in this and all other Piscashes be as sparing as you can.”—Letter of Court to Ft. St. Geo., in Notes and Exts., No. i. p. 7.

1673.—“Sometimes sending Pishcashes of considerable value.”—Fryer, 166.

1675.—“Being informed that Mr. Mohun had sent a Piscash of Persian Wine, Cases of Stronge Water, &c. to ye Great Governour of this Countrey, that is 2d. or 3d. pson in ye kingdome, I went to his house to speake abt. it, when he kept me to dine with him.”—Puckle’s Diary, MS. in India Office.

[1683.—“Piscash.” (See under FIRMAUN.)]

1689.—“But the Pishcushes or Presents expected by the Nabobs and Omrahs retarded our Inlargement for some time notwithstanding.”—Ovington, 415.

1754.—“After I have refreshed my army at DELHIE, and received the subsidy (Note.—‘This is called a Peischcush, or present from an inferior to a superior. The sum agreed for was 20 crores’) which must be paid, I will leave you in possession of his dominion.”—Hist. of Nadir Shah, in Hanway, ii. 371.

1761.—“I have obtained a promise from his Majesty of his royal confirmation of all your possessions and priviledges, provided you pay him a proper pishcush. …”—Major Carnac to the Governor and Council, in Van Sittart, i. 119.

1811.—“By the fixed or regulated sum … the Sultan … means the Paishcush, or tribute, which he was bound by former treaties to pay to the Government of Poonah; but which he does not think proper to … designate by any term denotive of inferiority, which the word Paishcush certainly is.”—Kirkpatrick, Note on Tippoo’s Letters, p. 9.
PESH-KHANA, PESH-KHIDMAT, ss. Pers. ‘Fore-service.’ The tents and accompanying retinue sent on over-night, during a march, to the new camping ground, to receive the master on his arrival. A great personage among the natives, or among ourselves, has a complete double establishment, one portion of which goes thus every night in advance. [Another term used is peshkhaima Pers. ‘advance tents,’ as below.]

1665.—“When the King is in the field, he hath usually two Camps … to the end that when he breaketh up and leaveth one, the other may have passed before by a day and be found ready when he arriveth at the place design’d to encamp at; and ’tis therefore that they are called Peiche-kanes, as if you should say, Houses going before. …”—Bernier, E.T. 115; [ed. Constable, 359].

[1738.—“Peish-khanna is the term given to the royal tents and their appendages in India.”—Hanway, iv. 153.

[1862.—“The result of all this uproarious bustle has been the erection of the Sardár’s peshkhaima, or advanced tent.”—Bellew, Journal of Mission, 409.]

PESHWA, s. from Pers. ‘a leader, a guide.’ The chief minister of the Mahratta power, who afterwards, supplanting his master, the descendant of Sivaji, became practically the prince of an independent State and chief of the Mahrattas. The Peshwa’s power expired with the surrender to Sir John Malcolm of the last Peshwa, Baji Rao, in 1817. He lived in wealthy exile, and with a jagir under his own jurisdiction, at Bhitur, near Cawnpoor, till January 1851. His adopted son, and the claimant of his honours and allowances,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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