CAWNPUR (or), or CAWNPORE, a town, India, capital of a district of the same name in the Allahabad division of the United Provinces, on the right bank of the Ganges, which is here about a mile wide, 130 miles N. W. from Allaha bad, 628 miles N. W. of Calcutta, and 266 miles S. E. of Delhi. It is a modern town with nothing specially noteworthy about it as regards site or buildings. It has manufactures of leather, cotton goods, etc., and a large trade. Pop. about 180,000. Area of district, 12,384 square miles; pop. about 1,200,000.
In 1857 the native regiments stationed here mutinied and marched off, placing themselves under the command of the Rajah of Bithoor, the notorious Nana Sahib. General Wheeler, the corn mander of the European forces, fended his position for some days with great gallantry, but, pressed by famine i and loss of men, was at length induced to surrender to the rebels on condition of his party being allowed to quit the place uninjured. This was agreed to;
but after the European troops, with the women and children, had been embarked in boats on the Ganges, they were treacherously fired on by the rebels; many were killed, and the remainder conveyed back to the city, where the men were massacred and the women and children placed in confinement. The ap proach of General Havelock to Cawnpur roused the brutal instincts of the Nana, and he ordered his hapless prisoners to be slaughtered, and their bodies to be thrown into a well. The following day he was obliged, by the victorious prog ress of Havelock, to retreat to Bithoor. A memorial has since been erected over the scene of his atrocities, and fine public gardens now surround the well.