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According to the “Pictorial Hyderabad: The British Residents”, a Madras civilian named Mr. Holland was sent by the Governor and Council of the Fort St. George Factory, to the court of the “Subedar” of the Deccan on a purely diplomatic mission. The successors of this envoy,in course of time, when ascendancy of the British over the political affairs of the Nizam gradually asserted itself, came to be known as Residents.

They were sent, to quote the words of a later Governor General, “for gaining the Nizam’s goodwill and esteem, and, at the same time,to discover any intrigues that may be meditated”, and also “to keep a watchful eye upon His Highness’s conduct, and to endeavour and by every means in their power to establish a confidential and friendly communication between the two governments.” On the left bank of the Musi, once stood a villa belonging to His Highness Nawab Nizam Ali Khan (1761-1803) and in it Sir John Kennaway, the third Resident, who was appointed in 1788,was received.

The house was afterwards found unsuitable and later when Kirkpatrick (1797-1805) became the Resident it was demolished and the construction of the Residency was started. This elegant residence took five years to was designed by P. Russell of Royal Engineers and completed in 1808 and now houses the University College for Women.

Kirkpatrick who stayed in Hyderabad for nine years as a Resident created a stir in European and Indian social circles by falling in love with a Muslim girl. She was related to the family of Mir Alam, the Prime Minister. It is said that the girl, Khairunnisa Begum, was being forced into a marriage against her wishes and therefore she took refuge in the Resident’s house. Kirkpatrick fell in love with her and they were finally married.

The Resident moved about with her openly and even built a palace for her within the Residency and named it ‘Rang Mahal’ or ‘Palace of Colour’. The Nizam conferred the title of Nawab Hashmaf Jung on Kirkpatrick and called him “Farzand Mohabat Paivand” or “affectionate son”. Kirkpatrick was blessed with two children from Khairunnisa and their photograph is still in the Residency. Originally, the Residency had only a brick wall around it.

After the famous Mutiny of 1857 and an attempted attack on it, the building was heavily fortified. The new wall was furnished with three bastions and four gates. The Residency is very British yet seems very appropriate in its Indian setting. It is built along grand imperial lines. The deep column portico leads to the Durbar Hall, which is decorated with elaborate chandeliers and gilt mirrors. Within the compound to the south-west is an enclosed graveyard. Several British officials are buried here.

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