Statue of Sir Henry Havelock on pedestal in Trafalgar Square, London.Sir Henry Havelock standing tall in Trafalgar Square, London, England.

 

General Sir Henry Havelock, namesake of the city

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Henry Havelock was born in England in 1795. By the time of his death in 1857 he had achieved world-wide fame as a British major general. Eight years after entering the army as a young man in 1815, Havelock was ordered to India. He gained military field experience in the first Burma War (1812-26), the first Afghan War (1839), and the Sikh Wars (1843-49).

During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, Havelock took the initiative and recaptured Cawnpore from the rebels following a series of military victories. There he and his men discovered the gruesome massacre of British citizens by Indian mutineers. In September, 1857, he relieved Lucknow from a lengthy siege, but he and his forces were then besieged themselves. By the time of his death a few days after the relief of the city in November, Havelock’s fame had spread around the world.

In 1858 a brand-new railroad line opened in eastern North Carolina and a whistle stop at Slocum Creek in Craven County was named in honor of the heroic warrior. Four other North American cities were named for him, too, as were other cities, streets, schools, businesses and geological features around the world.

Full details of the life of Havelock are recounted in In This Small Place by Edward Ellis.