BAHRĀM MĪRZĀ, MOʿEZZ-AL-DAWLA, the second son of the crown prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā. Bahrām Mīrzā began his service to the court as governor of Ḵoy in 1243/1828, the year his father retreated before the Russian advance. When the Russians besieged Ḵoy, ʿAbbās Mīrzā withdrew his son and replaced him with Amir Aṣlān Khan Donbolī (Bāmdād, Rejāl I, p. 192).

At the time of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah’s death (1250/1834), Bahrām Mīrzā was with his older brother, the crown prince Moḥammad Mīrzā, in Tabrīz. When Moḥammad Mīrzā acceded to the throne, several of Fatḥ-ʿAlī’s sons and grandsons rebelled against him. The new shah ordered Bahrām Mīrzā to take control of Kermānšāh, Ḵūzestān, and Lorestān from the rebellious Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Mīrzā Ḥešmat-al-Dawla, the son of Moḥammad-ʿAlī Mīrzā Dawlatšāh, and his brothers Asad-Allāh Mīrzā and Naṣr-Allāh Mīrzā. To avoid confrontation with Bahrām Mīrzā, Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Mīrzā traveled on side roads to reach Tehran; however, he was soon arrested along with a number of princes opposed to Moḥammad Shah and imprisoned in Ardabīl. Having taken control of the southwest region, Bahrām Mīrzā captured Asad-Allāh Mīrzā and Naṣr-Allāh Mīrzā and sent them to Tehran. He then summoned his brother Farhād Mīrzā from Tabrīz and made him governor of Lorestān.

In 1253/1837-38, accompanied by Major H. C. Rawlinson, a British military adviser sent to Iran as a drill instructor, Bahrām Mīrzā set out for Šūštar to put down the Baḵtīārī chief Moḥammad-Taqī Khan Čahār Lang (G. Rawlinson, A Memoir of Major-General Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, New York, 1898, pp. 59-64).

Early in 1837, due to complaints by the people of Kermānšāh, Bahrām Mīrzā was recalled to Tehran (Rawlinson, p. 66). In 1267/1850, Bahrām Mīrzā became Nāyeb-al-Īāla (deputy governor) of Tehran in the absence of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah and his prime minister Mīrzā Taqī Khan Amīr(-e) Kabīr, who were on a tour of Isfahan. In the same year he published a military drill manual called Neẓām-e nāṣerī, in the introduction of which Bahrām Mīrzā mentions that 400 copies were published in Tehran (M. Dehqān, “Neẓām-e nāṣerī,” Barrasīhā-ye tārīḵī 4/4, 1348 Š./1969, p. 149). The official gazette of Iran Waqāyeʿ-e ettefāqīya describes the manual as “well done and carefully written” (F. Ādamīyat, Amīr Kabīr o Īrān, p. 382).

In 1275/1858, after the dismissal of Prime Minister Mīrzā Āqā Khan Nūrī, Bahrām Mīrzā was given the title Moʿezz-al-Dawla and appointed governor of Azerbaijan. He was governor in name only, however, having turned the entire administration over to his vizier ʿAzīz Khan Mokrī. In 1277/1860, Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah appointed his son, Crown Prince Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Mīrzā, governor of Azerbaijan, and Bahrām Mīrzā was summoned to Tehran. He spent the next decade as head of the bureau of military justice (Majles-e Taḥqīq wa Dīvān-e Neẓām; 1282-85/1865-68) and as governor of Ḵūzestān and Lorestān (1285-87/1865-69). After a brief tenure of nearly one year as governor of Māzandarān (1289-90/1873-74), he was again appointed as governor of Ḵūzestān and Lorestān and in 1295/1878 became the Minister of Justice. He suffered a heart attack and died on 8 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1299/21 October 1882.

Among Nāder Mīrzā’s biographies of the governors of Tabrīz, Bahrām Mīrzā receives only the briefest of notices (Tārīḵojoḡrāfīā-ye dar al-salṭana-ye Tabrīz, Tehran, 1323/1905, pp. 193-94), which indicates that but for soldiering he had no true interests. He seems to have been oblivious of the social welfare of the people he governed. The frequency with which Bahrām Mīrzā’s provincial gubernatorial assignments changed bespeaks a mercilessness in his methods of amassing wealth, which eventually incurred the people’s anger and caused his own dismissal.


Given in the text. See also F. Ādamīyat, Amīr Kabīr o Īrān, Tehran, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 292, 355, 469, 522.

For a description of Bahrām Mīrzā’s library, see Q. Ḡanī, Yāddāšthā-ye Doktor Qāsem Ḡanī, London, 1984, IX, p. 481.

(ʿA. Navāʾī)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 24, 2011

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