|Begum Samru of Sardhana.eventshigh.com|
Walter Reinhardt Sombre, a native of Luxembourg (his nativity is uncertain and is controversial) worked as a military commander for many rulers in the 18th century - the French Army and later for the Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim and others. While in the Nawab's service, he was blamed for a gruesome massacre of more than 30 English captives of the English company and others in Patna. Later on, Walter Reinhardt was on his own maintaining his own mercenary army, in which Jats also served.
In 1765, 45 year old Walter went into Khanum Jan’s kotha in Delhi’s Chawri Bazaar for an evening of fun and entertainment, and ran into a charming and good looking Kashmiri dancer, Zebunnissa and developed intimacy with her. The girl soon moved into his zenana and in those days many Europeans maintained large harems, and Walter Reinhardt already had children from a previous concubine, Barri Bibi. He soon married Zebunnissa and the girl came to be known as Begum Samru. The couple moved from Lucknow and finally to Agra. In May 1781 Zebunnissa was baptized and became a Catholic and her name got changed to Christian name -''Joanna''. Begum Joanna Nobilis “Samru” is an unlikely feminist icon from the 18th century.
|Samru's Palace, Chandni Chowk, Delhi,1857, after Indian Rebellion of 185wikipedia|
Above image: Ruined Bhagirath Palace, Delhi. Begum Samru's palace in Chandni Chowk was built in a garden gifted by ruler Akbar Shah of Mogul dynasty to the Begum when he ascended the throne after the death of Shah Alam .............................................
|Catholic church in Sardana, UP.en.wikipedia.org|
|Begam Sambru estate, Delhi - occupied by a bank (SBI) tripadvisor.com|
|Tomb of Begum Samru, Church of Sardhana, near Meerut. ww.youtube.com|