The Begum's Descendants

Who succeeded the Begum ? As soon as the Begum's burial service was over, a proclamation was read by the magistrate of Meerut, Mr. R.N.C. Hamilton, in the presence of the Commissioner and relatives of the Begum, announcing the annexation of her territory by the British Government, which was in accordance with the treaty she signed with the English in 1805. Her personal property and money, amounting to about half a crore of Rupees, were divided according to her last will.

The Begum had an heir to whom most of her fortune was left. He was the great-grandson of her husband, Walter Reinhardt-Sumru. His name was Davidi Ochterlony Dyce Sumru. Sumru's son, Zafar Yab Khan, has been referred to earlier. He was baptised with the Begum taking the name of his father, Walter Balthazar Reinhardt, though on many inscriptions we find Louis Balthazar Reynaud, presumably to distinguish him from his father. He had the title of Nawab Muzaffar ud Daulah. After his treacherous conduct of 1795, when he installed himself at Sardhana and held the Begum prisoner, he was kept under house arrest in the Begum's palace at Delhi. He remained in this state of punishment till his death due to cholera in 1799. He was buried beside his father at Agra. Before his treachery, he had been married to a certain Julia Anne, the daughter of Capt. Le Fevre. He had a daughter and a son by this marriage, but his son, Aloysius, did not survive him, and his grave can be seen in the Akbar Chuch of Agra. The daughter, Julia Anne, born on 19th November 1789, was married to Col. G. A. Dyce, an Englishman, on 8th October 1806. Dyce, a famous campaigner, had taken over command of the Begum's forces, after M. Saleur's resignation. They had many children, but only two daughters and a son survived infancy. When Mrs. Dyce died in 1820, these three children were brought up by the Begum. The daughters were eventually married, Georgiana to Saloroli, an Italian, Anna Maria to John Troup, both of whom were in her service. The son, born on 18th December 1808, was adopted by the Begum as her heir. His name was David Ochterlony Dyce. He was given the name David Ochterlony in honour of the famous English General, Sir David Ochterlony, his god-father. He added the name Sumru, after his adoption, which is usually written Sombre. This Dyce Sumru, the great grandson of Walter Reinhardt Sumru, was the descendant of the Begum. Four years after the Begum's death, he left for England. Later he made a trip to Rome and had a High Requiem Mass celebrated in the church of St. Charles, for the Begum. The funeral oration was preached by the famous Cardinal Wiseman, then Rector of the English College at Rome. While in the `Land of sculptors', Dyce-Sumru took the opportunity of ordering from the best talent in the country a monument to be erected over the tomb of the Begum. In England he married Mary Anne Jervis, the niece of an English peer, the Viscount of St. Vincent. In 1841 he was even elected to Parliament. The marriage however was childless, and so, when David died in London on Ist July 1851, there was no one to carry on the name of Sumru. But his last years were sad. He spent them proving his sanity against the intrigues of his wife and his two brothers-in-law in the courts of London and Paris. They wanted all that the Begum had left him by proving him insane. Nicholas Shreeve's book ``The Dark Legacy'', has dealth with this tragic period. Anne Jervis did not remain a widow for long. She married Baron Forester shortly afterwards. In 1867, David Dyce Sumru's remains were brought back to the land of his birth to be buried at Sardhana, at the feet of his benefactress.

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Basilica of Our Lady of Graces

Sardhana P.O. Meerut District 250 342 Uttar Pradesh, India

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