About the German Adventurer Walter Reinhard

Who was this legendarily rich man whose fortune excited Rheinhard relatives in large parts of Europe for more than 100 years?

As a mercenary under the name Sumru (aka: Samru, Sombre, Sommer, Sumroo), Walter Reinhard came to India in the middle of the 18th Century. There, he fought against the Englishmen at the side of the Frenchmen, in 1747. There are a lot of different statements about his “heroic deeds” as a soldier.

Later he crossed over to the side of the Indians and entered into the service of the Great Mogul of Delhi, who rewarded him for his services. As gratitude, the Great Mogul gave him the estates Pargumha, Badshapore, and Thrada with Sardhana. He made a large fortune from cotton-, and sugar cane plantation on these estates. As a place of residence, Walter Reinhard chose, Sardhana, which led to his title: “Lord of Sardhana”.

Due to his unusual military abilities, he was appointed as Governor and Nabob (Town Owner) of Agra , by Randschit Khan. As Lord Walter Reinhard, he cohabited in a relationship similar to marriage, with a dance girl, who later became his wife, Begum Sumru. After the appointment as town owner of Agra , Lord Walter Reinhard placed his residency to Agra , where he died in 1778.

Today, his name, Walter Reinhard, still stands on his grave stone, in Agra ( India ).

Only one place is documentarily supported in a protestant Church Register as Walter Reinhard’s Birth Place: Eisenberg in Rhineland-Palatinate , Germany . The register indicates, he was born at that place on January 27, 1723.

Shortly before his death, Walter Reinhard, was appointed as colonel for the contributions he made towards the French and their interests during the time period, there were disputes about the governing dominance in India . The French King Ludwig XVI appointed him on October 15, 1776. His Indish title "Zafar Yab Khan" describes the milittary rank of a general or commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, Walter Reinhard Sumru never knew about this appointment: The certificate was delivered after his death.

Since Walter Reinhard didn’t have any descendants, he adopted David Ochterlony, the illegitimate son of the Begum Sumru. Begum Sumru managed the fortune of Walter Reinhard after his death until her own death in 1836. The same year, she died, the English-Indian Government took his estates and the control of his fortune.