This building is where Nana Sahib coordinated his operations around the Cawnpore area. Nana Sahib was the adopted heir to Baji Rao II, the ex-peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy. The East India Company had decided that the pension and honours of the lineage would not be passed on to Nana Sahib, as he was not a natural born heir. Nana Sahib had sent his envoy Dewan Azimullah Khan to London, to petition the Queen against the Company’s decision, but failed to evoke any favourable response.
Some 300 British troops, their families and around 150 loyal sepoys were holed up in Gen Wheeler's entrenchment in Cawnpore (Kanpur) for three weeks in June 1857, were constantly bombarded by a local prince, Nana Sahib's army.
Nana Sahib (born 19 May 1824 – disappeared 1857), was an Indian, Maratha aristocrat, who led the Cawnpore rebellion during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. As the adopted son of the exiled Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II, he was entitled to a pension from the English East India Company. The Company's refusal to continue the pension after his father's death, as well as its generally arrogant policies, compelled him to revolt and seek freedom from company rule in India.
General Havelock's Attack on Nana Sahib at Futtypore in 1857, from 'The History of the Indian Mutiny', published in 1858 (engraving) Postcards, Greetings Cards, Art Prints, Canvas, Framed Pictures, T-shirts & Wall Art by English School
Maj-Gen Sir Hugh Wheeler was garrison commander at Kanpur (''Cawnpore'' in colonial English). In June 1857, his sipahis rebelled, looted the treasury laid siege to Wheeler's garrison. He retreated to an entrenchment outside the city. Nana Sahib, offered safe conduct to the River for all, boats to take them to Allahabad. Wheeler accepted, 2 days later all marched out towards the Ghat. A shot was heard. Nana's men cut all down including Wheeler.